Mason, Deerfoot and Nauticat PilotHouse Schooner

I’m not cheating on my boat,  I’m researching for my blog!!!

Fri, Sat and Sun we were in San Diego working on the boat.  Friday evening was battery time.  I replaced the old 8D’s with two nice new ones and replaced the starting battery at the same time.  Boy, what a surprise to feel how much more a new 8D Battery weighs than the old one,,,,,it was a great workout.  Saturday was boat cleaning day and I took off the aft seats to sand and varnish them.   Too bad I only got two coats on there, but better than nothing.  Sunday was full court press, me and wife working together to clean and renew the boat; projects we agreed we should have done right when we bought the boat.   These were projects like deep cleaning all the heads, power spraying the engine and all inner bilge spaces, wire brushing and repainting the engine mounts, giving the aft seats another varnish coat and generally deep cleaning the whole boat.  Do this when you buy a boat,,,,not when you bring her to the yard!!!

However, Sunday morning we needed to take a break, in the interest of blog research.  We looked at three very different boats at different price points, they are discussed below:

1.   Mason 63:  The Mason line was built in Taiwan and the smaller Mason’s were the most successful and most built.  There’s a website that says there were only six (6) Mason 63’s built.  They were built under the auspices of Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) , which is still around and owns Nordhavn Powerboats and still owns the Mason Line, although they are now out of production.   The Mason 63 that we went on is for sale in San Diego, Ca for $190,000 and is detailed in the link I attached above.   Initial impressions were its size and width, but second impressions were all about “how not to sell your boat”.  Immediately upon stepping on board with our broker we realized that someone was living on the boat.  She was very nice, but I think it would have been beneficial for her to warn us that there was a dog and multiple cats living below decks, in case one of us was allergic or afraid or something.  As it was, the first notice of a dog was when I went down the companionway into the boat and the dog claimed me for a rub and a petting.  Luckily it was nice and small compared to our Great Dane and I’m a dog person anyways.  The cats are another story.  I never saw them, but the litter boxes told the story pretty well, would have been better if the litter boxes were above decks, as I’m pretty sensitive to smells in some cases, especially cat.  Personal effects are also something that I recommend you clean up before folks come look at your boat,,,,especially personal toiletries, prescription drugs and various other things that you might have out that are private.   This boat has ALOT of teak below decks, three separate berths, and is supposed to have two heads.  However, on this boat the second head in the V-Berth had been taken out,,,not sure why.  The boat also has teak decks that seem to have been gone over with a strong coat of Cetol, but there’s not soft spots that we could find and it appears the teak is in good shape; at least to the visual inspection.   Aside from “how not to sell your boat” issues, the boat appeared to be in decent shape with cosmetic issues and some definite need for some TLC.   Built in 1984, 63 feet and for sale for $190,000.

2.  Deerfoot 62:  This is a 1982 aluminum Deerfoot for sale in San Diego for $349,500.00.   What an amazing boat.  Where do I start, expect to say if you EVER get a chance just to go on a Deerfoot to check it out, you should take the opportunity.  With a completely separate engine room and three cabins and three heads, she’s designed to be sailed by a couple (yes, two people) as everything is controlled from the cockpit and the boat is nearly completely streamlined on deck, making for a fast passage maker.  Below, she’s both at once functional and luxurious, with enough room for my wife to classify it as larger than one of her studio apartments in college.  This would be a great family boat, capable of making two hundred mile days easily and probably most at home crossing oceans.  I liked the boat, but knew that we could not afford her; but made the most of the opportunity to see her and get to know something different from what I’d seen before.  Built in 1982, 62 feet long, on sale for $349,500

3.  Nauticat Pilothouse Schooner–  This 44 foot boat that’s for sale in San Diego is a real head turner because of her schooner rig and the attention to detail paid to her by her owner.  Nauticat has a reputation for quality, go-anywhere boats that are laid up with fiberglass by hand and made in the same yard they were 40 years ago, STILL in production today.  This particular model is on the larger side of their product line and is a 1980 model, in nearly new or like new shape, on sale for $175,000.00.  As we went on board and looked at her carefully, it was obvious the owner put time into the boat and kept her up, making sure attention to detail was paid to it.  I’m pretty certain she would go anywhere in the world in comfort and style, and as a pilot house model, she’s well suited to the higher latitudes.  Not sure about her in hot weather, she may get a bit warm on the inside with the large windows all around.  I liked the boat and was glad to get on her.   Built in 1980, 44 feet long, on sale for $175,000

Preview of tomorrow’s blog

I saw this online and wanted u all to read it as a “warm up” for tomorrow’s blog- this is a good story but I couldn’t figure out how to reblog it directly-

How NOT To Sell Your Boat

This story will lead into an experience we had over the weekend-





In Search of Good Red Wine for my Tin Cup Chalice- Part 3

Saturday of the 4-Day Trip to Paso Robles in search of good red wine for our tin cup chalices,,,,,starts the same way every saturday that we can be in Paso Robles,,,,,a can’t miss event, no matter what:  Templeton Farmers Market.  I am partial, but I have to say I think this is one of the best farmers markets I’ve ever been to and my wife agrees.  Selling everything from produce to fresh juice to farm to market cheese and olive oil, this market has just about everything.  What a treat,,,early morning in a place that’s cool and clean (the big central park in Templeton), with friendly, healthy people looking for their weekly or daily foodstuffs.  Just the memory of two weeks ago brings back a smile, as I remember the wafting smell of the fresh brewed coffee from one stand intermingling with the bakers truck next to it,,,,while just down from there the tamale stand was in full operation with breakfast tamales and fresh tortilla’s.  Turning around the other way, I pass the sausage maker selling the Alle-Pia brand and another stand just there selling giant cookies.  Next comes the endless fruit and fresh veggie stands, with everything fresh.  I stopped and bought a bottle of fresh pressed hand-made ultra virgin olive oil and my wife found her favorite giant tomatoes that go so well with her Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil.  Mix that with a very fresh piece  of bread we bought at the farmers market and it’s an instant picnic.  Too bad the fresh cheese maker wasn’t there; the cheese is good, but one time he suckered us into buying an entire 1/4 wheel, which was impossible to completely eat.   Hate to waste cheese, but some of it went bad,,,sorry.   Favorite thing about this particular farmers market,,,,,most if not ALL the stands allow you to try before you buy, whether it’s cheese, olive oil, sausage, fruit, bread or veggies,,,,that’s awesome.  After an hour browsing stands, it was time to pull the children away from the nice lady in the grass selling puppies and move on to our last day of wine tasting.  We were heading for wine tasting when my wife mentioned how much she missed a particular kind of salt we found up in the area last time,,,,a cinnamon salt mix that’s so very good with fresh french toast,,,that happens to be at one of my favorite places to buy fresh olive oil,  Olivas de Oro Olive Company.   So, we diverted to Creston in search of the salt.  On getting there, we found it, but we also found a quiet perfection of a place with 110 acres of 100-year old olive trees and a friendly staff that allowed the girls to go run the property in search of sheep dogs and allowed us to taste the 40 different kinds of olive oil till we were ready.  Of course, we left with several different kinds, and directions to wine tasting.

  • August Ridge– This was our first winery of the day and was recommended by the staff of Olivas de Oro.  Yep, I’ve been waiting on this part of the blog so I can introduce it to Vinny and Weird Guy with the Dog,,,,hoping they pull a big truck into this winery, as I think he might like it ALOT.  See, this winery is a bit unique in Paso Robles in that they grow and make Italian Varietals with california grades, but italian varietals and italian style.  This one was a surprise, as I’m not a huge fan of italian wines and tend to like the California styles more, but this ones good.  I’m not talking california wines made in a fake italian style, I’m talking about good wine made with the highest quality italian clone varietals and hand-crafted in an Italian style.  We bought several bottles and were impressed with the quality.
  • Stillwaters–  We had been here our first time to Paso Robles and not been back for several years.  We arrived with hangry children and were in search of a picnic spot to have lunch and a great bottle of wine.  We found it.  Stillwater Vineyard had a great grassy area and tables for us where my wife and family set up the fare we found at the Farmers Market and we tasted the variety of whites and reds they had.  There was even Champagne!  After tasting, we learned that Stillwater produces red wine grapes for a few other wineries in the area, including famous names like Chateau Margene, DAOU and Brecon.  I was curious, and pressed the nice gentlemen behind the tasting bar to let me taste some of the rarer wines, of which he opened two for me and poured them for both of us,,,,him and me.  They were both Cabs,,,,and they were spectacular.  Wow, spectacular  Cab and a great Chard,,,,I was pretty happy.  Then the nice gentlemen behind the bar pointed out that EVERY white wine was on sale for 30% off that weekend and EVERY red wine was one sale for 20% off also.  Needless to say, we had to add to our already grown collection of wines from Paso Robles.  We had a great lunch and soon had to move on.   By the way,,,,the Vineyard offered us all that hospitality while they were preparing for a major wedding that night,,,,,,and the nice gentlemen behind the bar who served me and my wife and opened those bottles for me,,,,,was the owner of the whole place and the vintner.   You won’t get that in Napa!
  • DAOU–  Spectacular Winery and Wine that we took my brother and his wife up to in order to relax for a sunset glass of wine in the afternoon.  Have to say I was not impressed with the whole staff attitude toward “regular folks” like me and my wife and we may choose to skip this experience in the future for smaller, friendlier wineries, sans the view.   Even so, I chose to buy several “small lot” bottles that we  know are excellent,,,and it’s carried in Costco in certain places.  If you find DAOU Cab in Costco, we think it’s excellent and has a great price for that level of wine.

Sunday was drive home day.  After 6 hours of driving through the desert on a horse with no name, it was time to come back home.  We shifted the entire contents of the back of the car into the children’s laps to make room to pick up the Great Dane from the kennel,,,,and back to reality we came.

In Search of Good Red Wine for my Tin Cup Chalice- Part 2

Friday in Paso Robles Wine Country was a highlight, as we dragged my parents and our kids around from winery to winery,  searching for red wine to fill our tin cup chalices.

  1.  Ancient Peaks–  We started at the farthest winery away on this day, driving nearly to San Luis Obispo to get here from Paso Robles.  Boy,,,,was it worth it.  Great Wine, great toys and books for the kids and they didn’t mind a bit that the tiny ones were with us.  We’re going back-
  2. Tackitt Family Winery-  This one is a perennial favorite that we’re members of; and they allow our kids to play with the winery dogs while we taste.  We keep going back for the wine, but we buy more because they support the Wounded Warrior EOD Foundation.  See my note on the PTSD and Sailing Page of this blog.
  3. Treana-  Next it was onto Treana/Hope Winery off the 46W in Paso Robles.  We’d been here before, but not quite the same welcome.  Highlight was a bottle of wine with a label painted by an elephant and the back story to it.  We bought it.
  4. Peachy Canyon-  Last one, but lots of fun.  This winery specializes in great old vine Zin and has an AWESOME Malbec,,,,Ms. Behave.  This was a favorite of the trip.
When in Wine Country-

When in Wine Country-


This night Thai was on the menu, and if you stay in the Paso Robles Inn, you’ll be within walking distance to Basil Thai, one of the best we’ve had since we were in Thailand, many years ago.

Thursday night,,,,last part in this three-part series, about a few more wineries and one of the BEST Farmers Markets around.  You like fresh, organic gluten free food,,,,stay tuned to Thursday night’s blog…..

In Search of Good Red Wine for my Tin Cup Chalice- Part 1

“Tin Cup Chalice”

I want to go back to the island,
Where the shrimp boats tie up to the pilin’.
Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year,
And I’ll feel fine, I’ll feel fine.

‘Cause I want to be there,
I want to go back down and lie beside the sea there.
With a tin cup for a chalice
Fill it up with good red wine

By Mr. Jimmy Buffett

This whole thing started completely differently six months ago.  My parents were very keen to  get us and my brother’s family to go with them on a Canal Boat Cruise in France, in 2017.  Sadly, soon after they started researching the trip, the troubles in France started and we had to tell them that we were going to skip it (there may be more trouble and we don’t need it).  So,,,,annually they go on their summer kayaking migration north to avoid the heat and we said we’d meet them and my brother’s family somewhere  in-between, for a few days of family get-together.   Knowing already that we love the country in and around Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo (Central California),  we lobbied to have us all meet there.  It worked, and my parents pointed their truck and trailer that way to meet us for a long weekend.  We knew our Tin Cup Chalice was getting a bit empty of our usual “two-buck chuck”, so we road tripped to our favorite haunt.    Come on,,,,,I’ll take you there over the next few days of blogs.

Day 1

We took a few days off for this trip.  Day 1 started at 4am after working all the day before, then packing and putting tiny children to bed, knowing we were leaving at the crack of dawn.   And we did, but an hour late.  The gypsy family caravan finally left at 0545 for our six-hour drive, but doing the drive in the morning on a weekday from here is pretty easy.  Through the desert, straight through the Tehachapi Pass, down through Bakersfield, across half the state on SR 46, and into Paso de Robles.  It was a good drive with the kids sleeping through some of it before waking to yell at us that they needed food (like tiny baby birds).  Since we wanted to hit a few favorite haunts in San Luis Obispo (SLO),  we headed straight through to SLO, knowing already where we wanted lunch.  If you’re there and like decent food and great beer, SLO Brewing Company is the best.  They have a Blueberry Lager that’s heavenly and a good lunch menu.  So very impressive service too!  When they found out I had driven six hours for my Blueberry Lager the manager comped some of our lunch cause they had just ran out and another batch wasn’t done.

Next, it was off to a few favorite wineries:

  1. Chamisal–  We’ve been here before and knew the kids would be ok on the expansive back patio with their artwork.  We were right.  The service is great, they allowed us to taste right at the table with our kids doing their coloring.  We love the Pinot and the crisp Chardonnay.
  2. Kynsi Winery-  We go for the Pinot, but we keep coming back because of the atmosphere.  Our kids could run around the grass and play, we sat and tasted some of the best California Pinot we’ve had in a long time.  While we were sitting and relaxing, a nice gentlemen with a big glass of wine ambled up to us and struck up a short conversation.  Turns out, he was the owner.  You won’t find that in Napa!

Back in Paso Robles after finding the parents, we hit a crowd favorite, Buona Tavola.  Take my advice on this one.  If you’re ever in the area, this is some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had; and the guy behind the small bar is likely to be the owner’s nephew and one of the owners of the Alle-Pia Meat Company, making organic, hand-made gourmet sausage like you’ve probably never tasted in your life outside of northern Italy.

I’ve updated the PTSD and Sailing Page with just a bit of information about another favorite winery in Paso, which donates to the EOD Warrior Foundation with every signature bottle of wine sold,,,,it’s for a good cause! 

Coming Tomorrow,,,,,Part 2 of 3

Oceanside to San Diego- Sailing Tulum

Saturday we took Tulum from Oceanside to San Diego on a  7-hour run with nearly no wind.  It was a great day to get out and make the trip, mostly overcast with the usual Southern California offshore layer.  We left Oceanside at 0700 and pulled into Shelter Island around 3pm.  Wow, although there was nearly no wind, once we rounded the third set of buoys outside San Diego, the boat turned into the cruising sled I’ve been on so many other times when there was wind,,,,and off she went.  Michelle was at the helm and we decided to sail the boat, hand steering is SOO much fun when there’s wind and you’re just ripping through the sea.  The boat performed just like we’ve seen her in the past when there was wind and we were able to get perfectly trimmed sails to help the boat through 7.5 knots and perhaps 8 knots, but we’re didn’t really have time to look as we were trying to keep her rails out of water.  And, we were trying to keep the kids down below from allowing the lego sets to go everywhere when Tulum found her groove in the San Diego winds and exploded like colt out the gates the first time.  What a thrill to watch the joy on my wife’s face as she put 33,000 pounds of boat with no engine power into the wind, allowing that force of nature to push the boat through San Diego Bay.  Several people appeared to be watching us, but they could have either been staring at my Adonis like figure or the Conch Republic Flag flying on that side of the boat,,,,as I tried to mind the sails to keep the rail out of the water so my wife could more effectively steer.  We learned at least a year ago that Tulum goes faster when the rails are not in the water and two little girls are not crying and screaming in fear due to the heeling.  After a great example of “bow thruster appreciation lessons”; we put her to bed in a nice slip on Shelter Island.  She’s there to get a bit work done, more next time-

Paying the Piper- Boat maintenance if you don’t stay on top of it!

Since I’ve owned a sailboat, I can honestly say I’ve done as much as I could with the time I had to put toward boat upkeep and maintenance.  However, I must caveat with the fact that I live three (3) hours from my boat, so getting there to do much of anything takes some planning, and getting major projects done almost always requires me to take time off work,,,,which I don’t mind, but I mind being away from the family for any reason.  Admission: I like being around my wife and my kids!

One of the things I’ve done well is to hire Dockside Divers, a great hull cleaning company that doesn’t bitch about my hull paint because they keep it in good shape and they change my Zincs without me having to ask.   They were also honest and straight up when I asked about my prop,,,,,saying,,,yep, it probably needs to be balanced, “we can do it and get it back on the boat no problem”.   I liked that.  One of the things I have not done so well is to clean, wax and polish the hull above the water on a regular basis.  Take my advice,,,,if you’re in a slip and not cruising,  you may want to do this yourself or have it done several times a year instead of once in two years,,,,for this, you’ll pay the piper too! 

Of course, I’ve also paid attention to the engine preventative maintenance and service checks on a regular basis and I know clearly that diesel engines like to be run, generators like to be run with the right load on them and both engines need to be run to stay functional with everything lubed well.  One secret you need to know about your  sailboat diesel engine,,,,find out if there are Zincs INSIDE the engine from your manual, the internet or a mechanic,,,,cause those might need changing and service too.