3 Things I learned in the Boat Yard

Three of the many things I learned at the boatyard,,,,,mostly from my broker.

Tulum IV was for sale on the docks at the Shelter Island Boatyard in San Diego from October of 2016 – June of 2017, while we kept her there near our broker and worked to improve her overall.  I want to share three basic things I learned about that were quick fixes to slimy and smelly situations and helped improve the quality of the boat overall.  >>>Disclaimer<<<: Many of you old salts are going to laugh at this blog post and go,,,,,,duh,,,I’ve been doing that,,,,,but these small things helped a lot and can be done cheaply and easily with a little elbow grease,,,,,yet I’ve been on too many boats that don’t practice these things.

Here’s three easy cleaning fixes that will improve the look, smell and value of your boat no matter what,,,,read on (do the work in this order!!!):

  1. Motor Mounts:  If you own a boat,,,,you probably take these babies for granted, but they’re pretty important.  These are the rubber or metal “legs” that mount your motor (engine) into your boat,,,so that when you turn on the old iron ginny,,,,it goes.  They rust and wear out.  They do.  Once they get rust on them,,,,it’s time to make them pretty again.  Plan on pain.  Get yourself contorted into a nice pretzel unless you do yoga and get into the engine space, with all intentions of actually trying to get under the engine.  Find the motor mounts and go to work with your small wire brush, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.  If done right,,,,,you’ll be filthy, covered in rust flecks, cursing, sweaty and hot and generally sore.  (if you’re down on the motor mounts and not feeling this way,,,,,start over again or fire the mechanic and do it yourself).  Once you’ve wire brushed the hell out of all four motor mounts, try to go over them once with a dry towel to get all the dust off them.  Choose a colored Rustoleum paint that will spray upside down and get in there and spray.  Try to get most on the motor mounts and less down below the engine,,,,so you don’t have the blue streaks I have below my engine now.  Use the stuff generously and your motor mounts will be protected for the cost of the paint.  A bit of work,,,,but good protection.
  2. Power Sprayer:  I broke down and bought one to clean my hull and decks,,,but my broker told me several secrets of boat prep that opened my eyes to how they get things so clean for boat shows.  One of these things is the specialized industry that only does interior or exterior boat prep,,,,like a specialty cleaning company.  When pressed, he admitted that I could bring my power sprayer below decks,,,,,and if I could get to a space below the sole of the boat,,,,I could spray it.  By this, I mean bilge spaces, engine, engine spaces, shaft compartment, generator compartment ect.  So,,,I did.  What a glorious mess I had then,,,,but the power sprayer did it’s job.  Engine came clean of oils and other gunk, bilge lost some filth, compartments began to reveal their original color.  I was impressed and a the same time upset, cause I should have done that when I bought the damn boat.  When you’re spraying,,,,,don’t forget to throw a mini-oil soak pad into the bilge, cause you’ll knock that filth loose and you don’t want your bilge pump to put it over the side.  This should be your second step after you make sure your engine mounts are nice and coated in Rustoleum and dry.
  3. Sanitize and Whiten:  Lastly, you probably want to sanitize and whiten everything occasionally, especially if you ever join the Platypus Club,,,,,hopefully you never will.  When we had to have a crack mechanic come recently and help me with a minor plumbing issue,,,,,he went to get parts and came back with BEST cleaner I’ve seen.  It sanitized, cleaned and removed smell.  But it left a bleach like smell, which I don’t mind.  I’ve fallen in love with the “Zep Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Remover”.  The stuff works and I think I’ll use it on everything, as it’s GRP and fiberglass safe and makes things whiter,,,,great on a white boat.   You probably want this to be your third step and I highly recommend you use this stuff in your bilge,,,,helps with smell.

Ok, have a great Saturday morning,,,,another post tomorrow-



Why a Guest Briefing on your Boat is SO important!

Take the time to do a Guest Brief on your boat before you leave the dock.

Yep, it happened.  Take a good look at the picture below and let all the various scenarios play out in your little minds.  Yes,,,,Captain Bligh allowed folks on his boat without giving them the MANDATORY Guest Brief that covers who Captain Bligh really is and what he’ll make you do if you mess with things like switches, buttons or put things in the heads that don’t come out of you!  I can only imagine what’s gone into that head,,,,but I’ll soon find out,,,,cause someone like me has to fix the damn thing.  This is the price you pay for not briefing guests on the various goings on of a marine head.  And,,,,once you’ve had to reach into said head with a shopping bag on your hands that soon starts to leak and is NOT waterproof,,,,you’ll understand why you’ve just been initiated into the Platypus Club,,,,no pun intended.  Once your hot wife and guests see you elbow deep in a head and you’ve playing guess who just used that head,,,,,you’ll NEVER forget to brief your guests again on boat etiquette.  And they’ll never look at you the same way again,,,,cause all pride is lost at that point.

I’m not saying this has happened on my boat,,,,it’s a blog,,,,so some of it’s made up!


The Other Women- Hunter 460 in the Med

Although they have not posted in roughly a year, there’s a fairly interesting blog about an Australian couple who took at Hunter 460 across the Atlantic and spent several years cruising the med.   I’ve been looking for different references about folks cruising their Hunter 460’s as I do my research, but most of what you find online is about Mr. Mike Harker and his voyages on Hunter 460’s or about several other bloggers I’ve written other stories on.  I was looking for folks who have cruised the same boat with the some of the same stuff onboard, to find out about real time quality and sailing ability.  So,,,the latest website/blog I’ve found is: Hunter460.Blogspot, at this link.  Not sure if the folks are still out cruising as I have not read all the articles yet, but the last one written was in 2016, then nothing.  I’ve started to notice this seems to be common with some blogs from cruisers and boaters who decide to move back to land,,,,thus not writing about their travels anymore.  I’ve got to read their whole blog and stories to find out what I can about the boat and how it did on it’s two Atlantic crossings,,,,but I’ve seen nothing catastrophic yet, so that’s great news.

Hope you’re all doing well.  Here in the United States, this week starts to lead up to the 4th of July holiday, one of the largest holidays celebrated in the US.  We’ll be on the boat and I’ll be sure to blog for the first time from the boat,,,,as the new Marina has Wi-Fi, which I’m pretty stoked about.  Ok, enough of my diatribe, have a great week.

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.


San Diego International Boat Show- Fun before Fathers Day-

Although I miss my kids whenever they’re not with us, I was relieved at the same time to not drag them through the San Diego heat to hours of boat show.  Unlike the Richmond show, this one was all outdoors and the focus was the boats,,,not so much the professional booths.  Yes, some actual sailboat vendors were there and unlike other shows, some of the vendors were actually on the docks, but most vendors at this show were geared toward the well-heeled power boat user, not so much the poor sailor.   There was a good mix of powerboats and sailboats, not many used boats but that’s to be expected.  I also didn’t see a great variety of different sailboat companies, there was the usual few,,,,and a few catamarans, but not more than a handful of names.

Here’s the show in pics,,,,have fun here-

Started off with these new toilets on the docks,,,,with macerators inside them,,,,so no need for a separate macerator,,,,,salt and freshwater toilets, but they all require power-



$949,000,,,,,YES, that much-


Yep, that’s a jacuzzi on the back of this powercat, we went on board her both here and at the Newport show,,,,and she’s docked in our Marina! She’s a steal at $3.8mil

Cool Trimaran, we went onboard-

Next, we got to go on board an Ipanema 56,,,and she’s much more massive than any magazine could show you,,,,but my photos might help illustrate-

Yes, she’s more massive than in magazines

Next, Dennison Yachts let us we tour a grand beauty from the 80’s,,,,wait till you see her inside:

Yes, this is inside a sailboat!

And,,,,finally, on the way out,,,,Dennison hooked us with some great swag,,,and we decided to hit the Tiki Bar,,,but it was cramped and smaller than last year,,,,but we still had a great time:

Ok, look closely at this next picture,,,,as the people watching at boat shows is great,,,,

Look closely at this big Mikelson,,,,the perfect couple were paid to sit here all day and smile and make like a nice couple on a huge fishing boat,,,,and they did!

48.5 Island Packet,,,,only about $1 Million Dollars- But what a great boat,,,,wish we could afford it!

More Sailboats down the row.

Finally, one of the biggest reasons we go to boat shows is for new ideas for our own boat,,,like these shades that are bug nets and blackout shades,,,,we’re getting some!


Liked this idea too, the old foam over the metal paddle board holder,,,,we’re going to do this too!

Overall, this was a great show.  Better on-water show than at Richmond but more disappointing booth’s,,,,not so many focused on actual boat products.

I loved going to the show and will go again every year we’re around.  If you liked my show review,,,,stick around as I have not finished Richmond or the Newport show reviews yet.  Stick with us or follow us,,,,we’re trying to grow! 

via Daily Prompt: Relieved

Tulum IV Stretching her Legs


No Wind, 2 whole knots of boat speed!

Tulum IV got to get out and stretch her legs this weekend, with nearly no wind in San Diego Harbor,,,but it was great anyways.  Since September, she’s been at the Brokers Dock at Shelter Island Boatyard.  She’s still for sale,,,but we’ve decided it’s time to move her to an actual Marina where we can get her in and out of a slip easily and we can enjoy her more.  So, we took the plunge and moved her,,,,and love the new new place.   It’s a bit more distant, but not much and we can be on the water in minutes.

More on this giant step tomorrow or Tuesday, enjoy some foggy San Diego pics-

Tulum IV approaching Coronado Bridge, first time we’ve taken her under and the girls first time under,,,they’re on the bow.

via Daily Prompt: Distant

A Huge Step Forward

You might be wondering why I’m re-blogging this story, but I think it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate forward progress and pure triumph.  By buying this boat,,,,this is a step into the future that he’s always dreamed about.  And, this boat is more of a commitment to that dream than he know’s, because he’s paying for it now and has to continue to push in that direction.  I’m excited and happy to be able to follow his blog and celebrate the boat with him.  Take a look at this post.  If you like this writing, why not follow his blog, he’s got great photos and now has a great boat!!

This is Upper Range Pond in Poland Maine. I took this picture this morning on my way down to Cumberland Center to look at a boat for sale. I wanted to sit in a 30 foot sailboat to see if it “Felt Right” and was big enough for me. You can look at pictures all […]

via Long Live The Pioneers, Rebels And Mutineers — Weird Guy With The Dog

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.



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