Sailing Reads

I was thinking over the great sailing we had over the 4th of July Holiday and realized we had done the same thing for the last several years, in different places.  WE’RE in a different place now, but we’re still working toward the dream of leaving to Blue Water Cruise.  In order to do that, I’ve done a lot of reading.  I’ve republishing the story below because I’ve read these books and they all have an important lesson to each of you that needs it.  Take a gander and don’t be afraid to come back to me with questions on any of them.


Trying to buy a Wauquiez Amphitrite 45

Here’s the third post on my blog, from 2014.  I re-read it and remember the raw emotions from the survey of a boat we didn’t buy,,,,and the fact I was clueless on blogging or followers or views or anything.  Here’s the post:   Buying our First Sailboat- 

Tomorrow we post all about the Rosie the Riveter Museum and this weekend I will continue to work on that series, as well as the Newport Boat Show posts-

Stay with us, follow us and read about our adventures prepping a production boat for bluewater cruising.


Step 2 toward BlueWater Cruising

We’re still working toward our goal of Bluewater cruising.  Last August we made the decision that my wife would take a new job that’s three (3) hours away,,,and I would stay put till I retired with the kids and the dog,,,in the current house.  This creates some logistical and parenting challenges, but it’s doable.  As you might also remember, last September we decided it would be an opportune time to move the boat, put it up for sale and try to find another sailboat that met more of our criteria for a larger cruising vessel.  So, we did all that.  But despite having Tulum IV up for sale since October, she hasn’t sold yet but there’s been lots of interest.  We knew my wife would start living on the boat when she took her new job, so last weekend we moved the boat from the brokers slip to a new Marina that allow’s liveaboards.  Now,,,we’ll soon start the next step…..mommy living on the boat and me “parenting” the kids for the next year till I retire.   Whether you do it sooner or later, moving onto the boat has to be one of your steps toward blue water cruising, and there’s LOTS of advantage to my wife moving onto the boat ahead of the family.  The main advantage I see (and she admits) is that she will be forced to learn the systems and start to understand the various methods of keeping the boat floating and healthy.  She will also be able to get a good read (on her own) of how much room she has for clothes and shoes and figure out what features she might want in another boat,,,,without my light touch to guide her.  Whether it’s this boat or another one, we gotta move on her eventually.  This is our Step 2 toward BlueWater Cruising.  (Step 1 was actually buying a boat!)

We just got back from a few days in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles on a vacation before my wife moves,,,,great area to travel in,,,,even with two small kids.  We are LiveFree 2 Sail Fast,,,if you like us, please follow us-

Back to Tulum IV

I realized what it was as we descend the gangplank toward the docks behind the San Diego boatyard where Tulum IV is currently slipped.  The sight of stately spars, the smell of the salt air from the sea, the wafting smell of diesel engines and moving boats and the cries of the seagulls hanging near the fishing boats; I’ve been missing the sea.  The sea is a fickle mistress, often calling but not always listening.  We took the time this weekend to get back down to Tulum IV to take a quick look at some spaces on her, see if the work had been done on the Sealand Pumps and do a quick cleanup.

This was how I had to leave one of the pumps last time I was on the boat,,,,coming back this time, both the forward and stern pumps were fixed better than new and cycled perfectly as we tested them.  I’m happy about it.  We’re now waiting for the estimate on minor repairs to the dodger from our canvas guy, “Memo” and will get some those minor things fixed.  After that, we’ll basically have no more major issues on the boat,,,,and surprisingly the boat will be in better shape than when we bought it.  Some of these things go all the way back to when we bought the boat and we just lived with them the whole time we’ve owned her.  We’re pretty hardy people and can laugh off,,,or live with a lot of minor details that are not perfect.  But I learned a hard lesson the last time the boat was surveyed.  Even though we had a great price on the boat, the buyer walked away because of several issues that were important to the buyer, but may have not been so important to me.  You don’t always know or understand a buyers motivation, so fixing some of these relatively minor issues ahead of time may have saved that sale.  It’s my fault, but I’ve corrected those issues now and have written about several of the others.  See the link below for my thoughts about my A/C system,,,which always worked perfectly.

We’ve looking forward to the boat selling now that she’s in tip top shape,,,,as we probably won’t do much more to her,,,,there’s not a lot to do except maintain her in excellent condition.  But, we are going to move to a new slip eventually.

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via Daily Prompt: Descend

Top 5 reasons not to anchor near Tulum IV

My friend Brian is on a 3 week vacation taking his boat down the ICW.  He did 9 straight hours downwind today, an epic run on his 36″ ft boat, making it all the way to an epic pirate hangout there on the ICW on the East Coast of the United States.  One of his texts to me today reminded me of a funny but true lesson in things we have to employ,,,,or I’ve heard are employed to keep folks from anchoring too near the boat.  I have not experienced it much lately, but I remember as a kid and in the BVI,,,,,some folks just like to snuggle up close when anchoring and it’s not appropriate in an open anchorage with lots of room.    Some folks just don’t seem to understand the duel meanings of privacy and swing room, so there’s a few key tactics employed by my friend Brian, us on Tulum IV and several other boats I know to “encourage” folks to anchor farther away.  No matter if you’re on the ICW or in the BVI,,,,these tactics seem to work,,,,read on:

#5.  In a nice mellow way,,,,letting the other boat getting know that you have 200-300 feet of chain out, then watching to see if that boat comprehends what that means? 

Some Boats actually know how much chain they have out and how this will affect their swing room.

#4.  You and your partner standing on the deck with your arms crossed, watching the other boat as they start their anchor run.
#3.  Quietly encouraging your 7 and 5-year-old to start re-inacting one of Lost Boy Scenes from Peter Pan,,,,to music,,,on the front deck of the boat.

Quiet Children

#2.  Using a little known technique involving snacks and the promise of dolphins,,,,you rouse the 130 pounds of puppy play love sleeping on her doggy bed well hidden in the cockpit,,,,to come play on the front deck,,,,as the other folks have started anchoring,,,,,waaaay too near you.

130 Pounds of Great Dane,,,,secret weapon

#1.  Although I do not encourage this method nor do I endorse or sponsor it from this website, I have heard from others it’s highly successful,,,,but should be used sparingly:  As a last result if a boat is anchoring too near you and there are no loud children or large loud dogs to set loose,,,I’ve heard that this works every time-  You and/or your partner standing on the deck with your arms crossed, watching the other boat as they start their anchor run,,,,,naked,,,,,(tends to ward them off).

Note:  This method will backfire if you or your partner are hot. 

Ok,,,,I’m smiling just writing this text, but they work.  If you like us, stick with us.

Careful with your Hose

On a Boat,,,be careful with hoses (not hoes) connected to through-hulls, even if they’re just outgoing hoses.   Take a look at my picture, then read below so you don’t get hosed too!!!

Once we had the Freshwater Pump problem figured out (next blog), the very handsome and charming friend helping me decided to test the water pressure by allowing the main sink to run for a bit.  This led us to quickly figure out there was a leak in the bottom of the main sink (now fixed better than new).  However, while taking off the main outgoing hose line to the sink, I forgot that it’s through-hull was still open, and once that hose went below water line,,,,,it started to gush,,,,,all over the place.  This picture doesn’t even show you half the water that came out of that damn hose, until I was able to close the through-hull.  After drying the whole galley for a while, I was able to continue work.  AND,,,,since I was staying somewhere with a washer and drying, I was quickly able to get the pretty boat towels cleaned and back on the boat.  Yep, another once of my working on boat adventures,,,,,tomorrow we can discuss more-

Stick with us,,thanks for reading!!!

Dear Boat Surveyor

Dear Boat Surveyor:

So that we don’t have another problem with the Air Conditioning on my sailboat in the future, could you do me a favor and look at the picture of the panel above.  During the last survey done on my boat,,,,,you found a problem with the  Air Conditioning System, in front of your client and the prospective buyer of my boat.  The system wasn’t getting cold, but it was on and blowing.  I missed the mistake with the switches (my fault),  but maybe you should have caught it?  When you turn on the system in my sailboat,,,,you have to turn on either the FWD or AFT system,,,,,,AND the Air Conditioning Relay Switch to get cold air.  Without the Air Conditioning Relay Switch to the on position, the whole thing just simply blows like a fan.  Among some of the other very minor things that were found,,,,I spent a couple of days off work last week either fixing or starting to fix those things.  I’ll discuss in upcoming posts,,,including several lessons learned.

No matter if the boat is for sale or not,,,I’m continually improving the boat,,,,won’t stop till the day she sells.  That’s just how it is,,,,she’s ours even if she’s for sale, so we might as well make her better.

If you like us,,,,follow us and stick with us, we appreciate it-

Great Service in Point Loma, San Diego

Lest you think that tomorrow’s post makes me sound bitter,,,,,I want to make sure you know how over it I am.  While the boat has been sitting at the dock at Shelter Island Boatyard, I’ve dealt with some folks who provided world-class service for a fraction of what you might think of for cost.  And,more often than not I learned all about my boat because they took the time to explain things.  Here’s a few of the pros I’ve worked with,,,,so if you’re in San Diego or need great service as you come through,,,look them up:

Quality Marine Services–  I met Alfredo as he was doing an inspection of the engine on my boat for me.  I’ve trusted him since to do my engine work when I can’t and am very impressed.

Fleming Marine Refrigeration and Air Conditioning–  Need something done on the West Coast with A/C or refrigeration on a boat?   Gary James came up to Oceanside and fixed my refrigeration and then last week they came out and diagnosed my boat A/C problem,,,,in about 40 seconds.  Yes, these services are not cheap, but worth it for a cold beer.

Closs Marine LLC– Ken Closs and his team are located inside the Shelter Island Boatyard and go above and beyond.  I’ve used his expertise several times,,,and only paid a small fraction of what it’s worth.

Yachtfinders/Windseakers–  Sure, this is the brokerage that has my boat for sale, but I’m telling you about their great service because of the small things that happen without me knowing and the extra time both my own broker and the brokerage have put into helping me and my family.  I know they are a business, but I’m still impressed by the care taken while I’ve worked with them.

Christian and Company Marine Surveyors–  Here’s my vote for a great surveying team.  I’ve met and worked with other surveyors,,,,and now I won’t work with anyone but Christian and Company.  However, to be on the fair side, they are pretty busy as a Company and they are pretty expensive, but they’ll go anywhere you need them and have surveyed most types of boats.  They are also one of the few Marine Surveyors in Southern California that’s accepted by Boat US.   Oh yeah,,,,did you know if you get Boat US insurance they ask you to use one of their preferred surveyors,,,,and have a list by region online?  Pretty interesting,,,,as I tend to believe they vetted their recommendations pretty well.  I’ve been through a number of survey’s with Christian and Company on my boat and others and am still impressed with their professionalism, focus and how easy they are to work with.  They don’t make me bitter!

If you liked this post, this blog will continue to bring you info like this and other stuff that I think is relevant, cause it’s my blog.  We continue to focus on sailing, boats and adventure travel,,,,,,and if you like us, follow us!

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Hard work getting Tulum IV ready to sell!

Have we put in some work to get our boat ready for sale,,,,heck yes.  Take a look through these pics and other posts about getting her ready and updated for sale-

New Radar, MFD and Chartplotter

Sony Marine Grade Cockpit Speakers, DONE! Hops Appreciation in progress while photographing

Old Engine Panel on the Left, New One on the Right

New Main and Engine Start Batteries

Updated Safety Equipment

Brand New Drink Holder, custom molded by Marlow Hunter (after the old one disappeared)

New Exhaust Elbow on Northern Lights Generator

New custom made Sail-cover

Varnish Updated!

Propeller tested, gauged and updated

New Bottom Paint Job

and, she is ready for sale and I’m willing to listen to all offers, cause we want to buy a bigger sailboat.

Here’s where you want to take this boat once you buy her:

Not Bad!


Bottom Paint really does make a difference

Uhhh, I usually come home at night and write posts to be published the next morning,,,but I am totally exhausted tonight.  You remember the old jingle from the commercial for Men’s Warehouse,,,,”What a difference a day makes”?  Well, what a difference some bottom paint and TLC have made to our boat.  Tulum’s Bottom Paint Job is finished, and she looks fantastic.  I’m pretty impressed with how she came out, considering I was dreading the bill and it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Keep in mind that the boat had not had a new bottom job for at least four years,,,,but I’m religious about keeping her bottom clean monthly by professionals, so while it may kind of look grody in the photos, it’s not that bad.   But after bottom paint,,,,wow, she’s dressed to the “9’s” and looks ready to roll:

Hull before 2nd power wash and painting, after complete safety check-

Hull After 1st Coat, what a difference!

Bow Thruster, pre-painting

Bow Thruster After Painting

Rudder, before power wash and painting-

Same Rudder, new attitude!

Dirty Screw, ready for some love- (see the Shaft Shark!)


Same Screw, less dirty and more polished, (with Shaft Shark). Screw has also been realigned and tested.

One keel view, pre-painting

Another view, pre-paint


Ahhh, with paint and TLC, ready to sail-

All in All, I’d say the bottom paint was a great investment.