Tulum IV under way in San Diego Bay

On Friday the 17th I signed the last of the paperwork to finalize the sale of Tulum IV,,,,and she sold to a new owner who loves her just as much as we did.  I’ve always been an advocate of the fact that the boat will sell when the right person comes along,,,,all others just seem forced.  And, in this case, I knew during the survey that we had found the right owner.  Without getting into details, the sale was smooth and easy and we simply had to clean her out on Saturday and continue cleaning her on Sunday.  Sunday morning at 0830 we put the new owners lock on the main hatch and stepped off her for the last time.  I miss her already, but it’s time to look forward to what’s next.  For us, this is another step toward Bluewater cruising.  We know we want a slightly larger, older boat with a different berthing and cockpit setup than the last one,,,,and we’re taking our  time to find the right boat.  I’ll discuss the two boats we toured on Sunday in another post, as they were very different but we had a favorite.

As far as now being a sailing blogger without a boat- we still adventure travel as a family and we are looking for another boat, so this is a natural progression.  We continue to work with Yachtfinders and Windseakers in San Diego to find us another suitable boat as their advice so far has been pretty good.

Stay with us as we work through finding the right boat, financing it, buying it and eventually cruising it-


Saving “Bad Company”

Last Saturday was not a typical day for me.  The family had taken off to do some afternoon shopping and I was very much looking forward to cleaning and painting Tulum IV’s bilge before our friends arrived for dinner.  However, this was not to be and instead I was able to practice what I preach and help out in any way I could to keep a sport fisher on our dock from sinking.  I didn’t do much, but I felt a strong need to help and had no problem doing whatever the Marina Staff needed me to do.  The Marina Staff were excellent during this incident and really know their stuff.  However, they were hampered by the fact they could not get inside the boat, they didn’t know where the leak was coming from originally and found too late that the entire engine room was completely flooded.  To their credit,,,,the ONLY reason the boat continued to float is because of their hard work and actions.  TowBoat US had been called quickly, but took over two hours to respond to the incident,,,,by which time the boat was out of danger of actually sinking.

Here’s what the scene looked like when I arrived, the boat very close to actually going under by the stern:

To their credit, locals on the dock and the Marina Staff employed what pumps could be found to keep water from coming higher, made sure to try to keep the water from coming through scuppers and then actually employed your’s truly to just simply bail,,,,a highly underrated but effective technique to get rid of water as needed.

Here’s what the boat looked like an hour later and before TowBoat US got there with large pumps, out of danger:

Here’s all the work done in between, with us literally standing on one side to try to raise the scuppers out of the water to keep it from going under:

Eventually a diver was able to go down and identify that water was coming through a shaft seal, which is why the entire engine room was flooded through the doors:

By the time the afternoon was done, the Coast Guard arrived to do an incident report and the boat was stabilized by TowBoat US and towed away.  Later the same day, I heard a rumor that the boat owners insurance company had already totaled the boat due to the extensive water damage, but I can’t confirm that.

Moral to the story: Know where your shaft seal is and be prepared to plug it.  A wooden bung won’t do it for a round shaft seal; get the round wax seal that specifically designed to go around the shaft in case of leaks.

Never know what kind of excitement you might find in the Marina, but this wasn’t the kind I really like.  Never did get to paint the bilge that day but I did get it cleaned really, really nicely.

Offer Accepted

Shhhhh, we didn’t tell you all everything about this last week, cause we didn’t want to jinx anything.  We received an offer to buy Tulum IV last week and after some hard negotiating by the  potential new owner,  we accepted the offer.  So, on Veterans Day and the Marine Corps Birthday; the Sea Trial, Haulout and Inspection were conducted on Tulum by a crack surveyor, several boat brokers, the potential new owner and me.  What a great San Diego Day to get out on the water and sail.  Tulum performed like she loved the wind, getting to 7.2 knots in 15 knots of wind under full sail.  I loved it, I think the potential new owner loved it and I think Tulum loved it.

This time, we hauled her out at a boatyard/shipyard in National City, California, close to where we have her slipped, it was really convenient.  She looked good out of the water and seemed to have a great survey.  Here’s some pics:

Out of the water, Inspection Started. Nothing major found during Hull Inspection that I know of-

Below are some of the stories I’ve written throughout this year of having Tulum up for sale about the sales process and the work we’ve put in to get to this point.  I was glad to meet the potential new owner on Veterans Day and I think Tulum IV would be a perfect boat for him and his family.  I hope things work out.

Stay with us as we work through this process-

Vagabond Comparisons

We lucked out with getting to see a Vagabond here for “comparison sake” before she’s been put on the market.  We realized pretty quickly that we actually liked the layout of the boat in spite of the potential massive amount of work to change out the current fuel and water tanks.  So,,,on Saturday our crack broker,,,,Clark Hardy with Yachtfinders/Windseakers was able to get us an appointment to see another Vagabond 47 for sale here in San Diego,,,and we took the entire family to go see her.  So, we went on board this boat on Saturday morning and she’s in decent shape with older electronics and a few other things that need a bit of work.  For comparison sake, both Vagabond’s we’ve looked at are exactly the same model year (1984) and both are ketch rigs.   But, as with many Taiwan boats of a certain age, same year boats don’t mean they mirror each other at all even though they are considered production boats of the same year,,,,cause they don’t.

For example, take a look at the “V” Berths from each boat in the pics below:

“V” Berth from the boat we looked at Saturday that’s on Yachtworld and is for sale now

Front Berth, a Pullman, not a V-Berth as expected; on the Vagabond that’s not yet on the market

Now take a look at the “Owners Suite” berth in the pirate stern:

Owners berth in the boat we toured Saturday that’s on sale on Yachtworld

The Master Berth with Pirate Ship Windows in the Stern,,,,bitchin,,,first boat we toured that’s not on sale yet-

Take a look at the links below for more pics of the outside and inside and tell us what you think?  We know that one boat needs new tanks (big job) but has nice teak decks and the other boat has newer tanks but it’s deck is in need of work or re-decking.

A boatyard surprise from the Maritime Museum of San Diego

I like boatyards.  Every boat is there for a reason and it means someone cares enough to spend the money to get that boat fixed, repaired or upgraded.  There’s no two ways about it,,,,you never know what you might find in a boatyard.  Friday (Veterans Day) I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours in a great boatyard in National City, California.  This one was an actual working boatyard but you could easily look at it and also say it was a shipyard,,,,,cause it also had ships in it.  As I was wondering around,  looking for the free food that the boatyard generously offered us for lunch, I came upon a piece of wooden nautical history, out of the water and showing off her fine lines for everyone to admire.

This is an original wooden pilot-boat from the Maritime Museum of San Diego getting recaulked and renewed inside the giant hangar at the shipyard.  Five minutes after shooting this pic, I was tucked into a fresh subway sandwich that the yard had offered and we took them up on.  See the link below for some of the other ships that you can see at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Wyland Painting on an America’s Cup Boat?

How often do you get to see an America’s Cup Boat out of the water?  Or,,,,how often do most of us get to see original Wyland Art?  How about all at once,,,at a local boatyard?

Disclaimer:  I have no actual 100% proof this is art by Wyland, but it’s signed and looks like it to me, so I’m gonna show you and let you decide.  Regardless, it looked really, really cool so I took some pictures and want to show you what both an America’s Cup boat looks like out of water and what a boat painted by Wyland looks like.

Not much keel under this boat, but she’s a former America’s Cup Contender or practice boat

Look closely behind the sharks tail and you’ll see the Wyland Signature

LiveFree2SailFast still loves sailing, boats and adventure travel.  I was out sailing on Veterans Day on Tulum IV and we got her to 7.2 knots in 15 knots of wind,,,,she was truckin!  Stay with us, follow us as we continue our adventures.

A Vagabond in a boatyard-

Paradise for a sailboat might be sitting at a boatyard, waiting on repairs.  Saturday we went to check out the Vagabond 47 in an earlier post,,,,here’s the link:

I was prepared for a boat that needed some work,,,,but this one needs some work.  There’s no dodger, no mizzen boom, no mizzen sail, no dinghy, the davits are trashed and the boat still has it’s original black iron tanks.  Soooo, this means all the tanks on the boat will need to get removed and replaced with either aluminum or plastic tanks or you have a floating time-bomb waiting to happen.  And,,,,it will happen, probably at the worst possible moment,,,,so you want to have the tanks replaced.  Aside from all this, me and hot wife did actually like the layout of the boat and the teak decks looked really good and solid.  I took some pictures of the highlights of the inside of the boat,,,,here you go:

Main Ladderwell

Front Berth, a Pullman, not a V-Berth as expected

Nice Chart Table

VHF and HF Radios

Original Panel, wait till you see the back-

I expected a rat’s nest, but when opened it looks like this, pretty professional and clean

Nice Accessible Engine Room

Surprise, the boat has a watermaker!

Walk-Through Galley on the way to the Master Berth

Master Berth with Pirate Ship Windows in the Stern,,,,bitchin

Got questions on the Vagabond 47,,,,or the Hunter 460 or many other boats,,,I might be able to help, let me know.  We’re here as a resource for you!

Vagabond 47 Look-See

We get to go take a look at a Vagabond 47 tomorrow afternoon before she goes on sale in San Diego.  See, we gotta keep up on our research “cred” as sailing and cruising blog.  She’s ultra salty and I love the pirate ship lines, but looks like she might need some upgrades and gear.  As long the price stay low, she might be worth it to someone with time to fix her up and a pirate like outlook on life!   Here’s some initial pictures a friend sent me:

If you study some of the pics, you’re going to see some things that trick you’re eyes, but they’re real.  Yep, looks like there’s a bit of damage to some of the sails, sail covers and canvas.  That’s ok,,,,that’s easy stuff to fix for a price.  The decks look great and the rest of the boat we’ll see tomorrow.

Stay Salty and Stay with us,,,,we’re working on big things right now that we’ll update you on over the weekend.

Sailing a Catalina 22

Sailing and Rigging a Catalina 22 for practice and fun, with the family to help.

Two Saturdays in a row before I was going to volunteer coach with Warrior Sailing (in San Diego; California) for the week-long VA Summer Sports Clinics, I took out two different sized sailboats to refamiliarize myself with how they sailed and handled.  These are the boats I learned to sail on for my basic and intermediate classes, but it had been several years since I had been back on them.   The first Saturday I focused on the 16.5 Capri, as detailed in the following post:   The Saturday before the clinics started, me and the family took out a Catalina 22 so I could spend time getting to know the boat and making sure I was ready to go sailing the whole next week.  Sailing these two smaller boats before getting to the clinic was a great idea,,,,I needed to get to know the boats again.  Here’s some sailing notes for the Catalina 22, mostly for myself but also for anyone else who might just want to see it here instead of trying to remember on the docks:

The Catalina 22 is obviously larger than a 16.5 Capri and just a bit more to handle, not a boat to be intimidated by at all.  If I can sail one, you certainly can.  They have an outboard engine, emergency kits and certain models will have a battery, mini-galley, portable head and VHF radio.  This one did.

First things first,,,,step on board and stow your gear, especially the all important emergency kit with up to date flares:

Next, check the outboard fuel levels and get it started, making sure it’s completely down in the water, the choke is out and the lever is in neutral:

Next, prep the sheets so the main is hooked up, there’s a bit of slack on the lines to put up the sail after you’ve cast off the dock and the jib is ready to go if you need it:

Main Halyard


Traveler, make sure the tiller is under it,,,,or loosen and get the tiller back under it before leaving the dock.

Make sure the main is hooked up and take off all the covers

So,,,,you’re about ready but there’s a few other things to do.  If your Catalina comes with a battery and VHF radio, go below and switch the power on at the main.  Then get on the Marina Channel for a radio check before leaving the dock:

Last, but very important,,,,take your boat off shore power if it’s hooked up:

When taking the Catalina off the dock, I had my wife reverse the outboard motor while I made sure she left the slip smoothly, then pushed her nose out hard before jumping on board.  With that,,,,we motored then sailed smoothly out of the harbor to hit the ocean.  But,,,in Southern California there’s not always wind,,,,so on this day we didn’t find much, but had a great time anyways.

Sails Up

Everyone did such a great job on this trip that our girls were officially promoted,,,going from “Swabbe” to “DeckHand” based on good attitudes, great helming and keeping it together while we bobbed along in little wind.

She actually had a great time, but doesn’t always look like it.

Although my specific reason for getting some time on the water in both the 16.5 Capri and the Catalina 22 was to prepare for the upcoming clinic with Warrior Sailing, we learned more than expected.  Getting back into these smaller boats after just sailing on larger sailboats gets you back to the basics of sailing.  Inputs to larger boats are often not felt or ignored since you don’t always see results of smaller inputs; but not so on these boats.  These smaller boats remind you that sailing is FUN, FAST and often controlled chaos, but that’s what I love about it.

Small Boat Sailing with Warrior Sailing and the VA Summer Sports Clinics

The blog was a bit slower than usual last week because I had the humble honor of sailing all week with the Warrior Sailing Program in support of the VA’s Summer Sports Clinics.  I’d love to say I coached all week, but in all honesty,,,the quality of the four senior coaches at this clinic was staggering,,,,and I was only too happy to learn from them and soak up the knowledge.  Every day was a learning experience.

Saturday I went back to my first marina and spent several hours getting reaquainted with the Catalina 22, which I’d be sailing in addition to the 16.5 Capri.   This was a great day, because the whole family got out on the water in this much smaller sailboat than Tulum IV,   relearning the basics and getting the kids and us experience on a different sailboat.   Monday – Friday,  I sailed with veteran participants, coaches and staff from Warrior Sailing and the VA Summer Sports Clinics.  This was humbling.  I’ll work through several stories this week to share some of my experiences, which can’t be replicated anywhere else because of the caliber of both the participants and Warrior Sailing staff.  During the week, I was able to eat lunch with a future Olympic skier, sail with a veteran who has earned his Basic Keelboat Certification while totally blind, meet the first amputee the Army allowed to deploy to combat in Iraq and watch the outstanding senior sailing coaches mentor veterans with every sort of injury into having a great time on a small sailboat,,,,while actually learning how to sail for themselves.  None of us gave “boat rides”, all of us involved the participants as much as possible and you could see it in their faces as they came off the boats.

So,,,,while the blog was slow last week, I was off doing what I write about,,,,living free and sailing fast (as possible on the small boats while keeping mostly upright)!  I took vacation days to help out and got to sail all week.  While the only material possession I took away from the clinic was a hat, I came away rich in humble pie and experience from watching our veterans sail and getting to sail with the four senior coaches, who are some of the best sailors I’ve ever met.

If YOU are on active duty or a veteran and are interested in attending one of Warrior Sailing’s 3-day camps; check out their website and put in an application.  The camps are completely paid for, but they ask that you fund the initial cost of your airline ticket, then you’ll be paid back.  If you’re an experienced sailor and want to volunteer to coach, put in an application on the website and they’ll see where there’s a spot.

I learned a lot from this camp that I’ll work into several blog posts, but the biggest thing is the feeling of giving back to the veteran community and asking nothing in return.  I’m good with that (but a shirt wouldn’t have been too bad either)!

At this blog,,,we actually do the things we write about or try to do them as often as possible, juggling full-time jobs, small children, a large dog and fixing up a cruising sailboat.  We LOVE your feed back and support.  Keep reading and consider following us.