Dirty Dreams and Clean Tanks

When’s the last time you thought about how clean your boat water tanks were?

Honestly,,,most of us don’t worry about the plastic or aluminum water tanks on our boats,,,,,cause what could be in them?   Ok,,,,,be very, very afraid,,,,since after this post you might be forced to actually look in your tanks,,,,or even cut them open to clean them like I just did!  I’m still having dreams about those damn dirty tanks.  In another post earlier this year, I told you that even though Tulum IV is for sale,,,,my OCD doesn’t allow me to ever stop improving and working on her to make her better.  So for the last few weekends, I’ve been devising plans to open up two of my water tanks at a time; putting view ports and new tank sensors in them and cleaning and sanitize them.  Mission complete.  I’ve finished two of my four water tanks,,,,and what I found in them was nasty!  Prior to working on the tanks, I’m not sure they’ve been cleaned since installation.  There was slime, dirt, particulate, solids and other stuff in the tanks.  But when I was done, there were clean dry tanks with 4-inch opening view ports for access and new tank sensors, all professionally installed.

Take a look by photo essay below:

First, have you ever seen how thick your plastic water tanks are?  Take a look at a core from the top of my tank-

Using a drill, we drilled out these cores on both tanks to install the 4-inch view ports with removable openings,,,,ya know the view port things-

After getting the view ports installed, we started to see what was in the tanks,,,and the cleaning started.  We used the trusty Zep Mildew and Stain Remover,,,,which is probably bleach and simple green mixed together,,,smelled like it.  Here’s what was in the tanks and is probably in your tanks if you have not cleaned them in the last couple years:

Bottom of tank 2

Love the wide angle lenses,,,inside of tank 1

After a full cleaning and double rinse, I installed the a new tank sensor on one tank and made sure the other sensor was working:

Old Tank Sensor, not working

New Tank Sensor, working very well

Lastly, we finished up by testing both tank sensors and making sure both tanks were squeaky clean and sparkly, putting the boat back together like new.

Yep, we work on them, sail them, play on them and raise our family on our boat when we’re there.  Love to adventure travel, sail and cruise, stick with us,,,,we love living free and sailing fast!



Small Blog trying to have an impact, can you help too?

LiveFree2SailFast just donated to the BVI Immediate Relief Fund, will you help?

Here’s the link:  BVI Immediate Relief Fund

BVI Immediate Relief Fund – Hurricane Irma

For: BVI Immediate Relief
Tortola, Virgin Islands, British
Organizer: Scott and Brittany Meyers
BVI Immediate Relief Fund - Hurricane Irma (BVI Immediate Relief)


Caribbean in Mind- Conflicting News from BVI

I was just going over news on the damage to some of the Caribbean Islands on Cruisers Forum,,,,and nothing really good is coming out of the area.  With US news filled with Houston last week and Miami and the Keys getting hit this weekend, I suspect that news about the Caribbean will take a back burner.  I’ve read horrible and graphic words for the damage,,,,,like catastrophic destruction in St. Barts, 90% of the buildings in Barbuda gone,,,,,all boats in the water destroyed.  Info coming out of the American and British Virgin Islands is scarce and scary too:  One photo of one of the hurricane holes that the large carter fleets use says it all:

Paraquita Bay in the British Virgin Islands, a mangrove lined hurricane hole. Those are BOATS.
Image reblogged from Cruisers Forum

Paraquita Bay is one of the larger hurricane holes in the BVI, I’d like to see how Sopers Hole and other spots did,,,,like boats that stayed in Tortola.  One business owned by cruisers in the BVI with Catamarans used for Day Sailing is Aristocat Charters, with a powercat and several large crewed catamarans running out of the BVI’s.  I hope to God their boats are ok, the family is back in the US I think from their blog, let’s hope their boats did ok.   I also received this email from NauticEd, one of the online sailing education companies out there, saying this:

BVI and St. Martin – Destroyed! What Now?
Hurricane Irma, the largest known Atlantic Hurricane, has wreaked havoc on the lives and homes of the residents of BVI and St. Martin. Not only this but it has destroyed the charter fleet as well as the marinas.Irma Destruction

Our hearts go out to all those affected. Some of them are my personal friends!

So what now?

Well for those who have booked the BVI, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, standby. Once the companies dig out and take a look at what it takes to get back up and running, we will let you know. But it is going to be a while.

Here is a situational blog article we wrote up concerning this disaster and the alternate locations:
We are so sad and can’t express the sorrow we feel for the residents of the BVI, St. Martin and others affected. Let’s only hope that those affected can get their lives back to as normal as possible soon.

Look carefully at the pics above, you’ll see catamarans upside down, demasted and generally messed up.  The Caribbean  fleet has taken a beating.

Please keep these folks in your prayers as they begin to put their lives back together and start the cleanup; it’s going to be a long winter for some folks.

LF 2 SF- What the hell does this mean?

Good Morning, I hope your Sunday is going great-

What’s LF 2 SF ?

So,,,what does LF 2 SF mean?  It’s the acronym for this website, LiveFree2SailFast,,,,and it’s now immortalized on my license place because I’m genuinely proud of being able to come out of my shell enough to publish a blog.  I’m a bit of a private person, so writing and publishing a blog and getting the help needed to set up a website was a huge step for me.  I’m also a humble person, so this new license plate isn’t something I’m doing to be a show-off,  it’s just all about the website.  Speaking of the website, I’m eternally grateful to the talented couple who helped me set this website up, couldn’t have even gotten remotely close to this point without them.  If you ever need any kind of media or advertising support, they operate Benchmark Studio’s and can be contacted through their website-

BTW, I’ve done some updating to my permanent links about both the Family and the Boat and will be doing more today.

Thanks for visiting, please consider sticking around by following this blog!



A Re-Blog- Solar for Boat or RV, things to consider-

If you’ve never thought through your plans to make power on your boat or in a motor home,,,,you might want to think through it on your own, keeping in mind where you want to go and what you can afford.  It’s not as easy as you think unless you have enough money not to care.  If you can afford anything, don’t bother to continue reading.  But, if you care about the costs, they add up quickly.  Solutions include solar, wind generation, water generation, battery charging via your main engine or a separate generator or both and more exotic means (hydrogen fuel cells– with an article from BlueWater Sailing) being developed and tested as I write.  I’m NOT an expert at any of this stuff, but lots of folks have put in extensive research and have written about it in great articles.  One of them is by the folks at Roads Less Traveled, a website by a couple who cruised Mexico for a short time (on a Hunter) and are now into motor home living full-time.  They’ve written an extensive article on this subject that I want to present to you via the link below, to start your ideas or thoughts on what you’ll need.

Roads Less Traveled

Give this some thought, as finding the means and systems right for you, your boat or RV and your checkbook won’t happen overnight.  If you liked the Roads Less Traveled site, please consider following their site.  If you liked the info on our site, please FOLLOW us, as we’re working toward the same goals.

Mistress For Christmas?

Yep, you can buy a Mistress for Christmas if you want.  I’m talking about a boat,,,,of course.   I hope no one gets offended (especially my wife) when I talk about a boat as a bit of a Mistress (I have NO experience with this).

Tulum (our sailboat) is still for sale and is featured on the Yachtfinders/Windseakers Website, on the YachtWorld Website and will soon be featured in print and on the website of the large military newspaper in San Diego, the Armed Forces Dispatch Newspaper.  You may wonder why we would bother to put the boat in an old-fashioned print ad newspaper (and on its website) in San Diego,,,,when she’s already featured in the largest boat website in the world, YachtWorld?   Well, there’s actually places in the world where you don’t always get internet but you always get the Armed Forces Dispatch Newspaper,,,,,like Navy ships at sea or while you’re at work on bases across San Diego (there’s a large Navy presence).   We also put the boat on the popular Sailboat and Cruising Website and Blog titled: Sailboat-Cruising.com, one of my favorite sites just for the sheer amount of info on the site and the fact that the owner actually emails me back personally, helping to unscrew my ad about Tulum being for sale.

So,,,,yes, this is shameless plug for my boat for sale,,,,,but I’m chafing at not being able to get on a boat and go sailing,,,,,as we’re keeping her clean and getting project after project knocked out.  It’s fun to keep checking things off the list that the surveyor mentioned,,,,and I get the total satisfaction of getting some of those projects done.



After the Survey- Sell or Regroup- Part 6

You’ll know within a week of the survey if you’ll get a “survey allowance” request (code for the buyer wanting to pay less money),  if the buyer has signed the paperwork and your boat will be selling or if the buyer walks away and you’ll need to regroup.  In the case of the survey allowance, that’s up to you; whether you have room to negotiate and meet the survey allowance,,,or you can counter-offer,  accept the survey allowance or simply tell the buyer you can’t afford the survey allowance.  In our case, we’ve regrouped and are making HUGE strides on the simple things the surveyor told me verbally.  I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in a short time:

Nikon D50

Nikon D50

Is the whole LIFESLING bad,,,or just the bag? Sometimes with sailboats, it’s NOT as bad as it seems and most everything can be fixed.








 Same LIFESLING, 5 minutes later, new bag,,,,not much work but noted on the survey!









Brand New Water Pump, One Hour worth of work, FIXED!

Having your Sailboat Surveyed- The Sellers Point of View- Part 5

From the sellers perspective, getting your sailboat surveyed.

I’ve been on both sides of the survey fence, meaning as both a buyer and a seller, and not just for my current sailboat.  As a seller, getting to the point the boat was getting surveyed meant that the perspective buyer had made an offer to purchase, and we had accepted.  He (or his broker) then found a Marine Surveyor, Engine Surveyor, Rigger and made an appointment at a boatyard for the requisite haul out.  After my three hour drive to the boat, I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the best surveyor’s in the area already on the boat, hard at work.  I also met the perspective buyer, his broker, my broker and the engine surveyor.  Professionally, they all took time to introduce themselves and make sure I received their cards.  They then walked through the day with me and the perspective buyer.  I was impressed.  Haul out was at 1100, so we took a break and moved the boat to the haul out yard at 1100, and out she came.

Tulum, coming out for her hull survey.

Tulum, coming out for her hull survey.

If you look close, you’ll see Shiny Michelle (new anchor) there on the bow, the bow thruster and the fact that our bottom has been well cleaned.   The hull survey went well and 30 minutes later, she was back in the water.  Like normal, the surveyor came along for the in-water portion of the survey.  During the next couple hours of the afternoon, we sailed and motored San Diego Bay, getting the boat to her full power and speed (8 knots) and getting all sails up to attempt to beat the America’s Cup Sailboat (we lost).       That’s ok, as I know her engine is in great shape as are her sails, so she did great.  Coming back to back on the docks, we cleaned up everything while the surveyor’s continued their work.  In the late afternoon, the lead surveyor impressed me the most as he took the time to sit down with both me and the perspective buyer to verbally explain what he had found and it’s impacts.  There was nothing catastrophic, but there were minor repairs that I could do myself, quickly.  The engine surveyor also give us a verbal run-down of his findings, but they were all fixable pretty quickly.  Again, I was impressed by all of their professionalism.  The perspective buyer will see the written report (which most boat sellers/owners don’t get to see).   After the survey was done and everyone had left, I was relieved and happy that none of the survey’s noted anything dangerous or immediate on any of the survey’s, and Tulum IV was in decent shape.  I’m always looking for improvement, so I’ll continue to work on her and take care of her till the day she sells.

*Note on Marine Surveyors:  If you are a perspective boat buyer, a bit of research on Marine Surveyors may go a long way.  Of course, choose your own surveyor,,,,,choose your own surveyor.  Ask your boat broker for their opinion, but make sure you pay for it and that you set up the appointment with a surveyor of your choice.  Do your research, especially with your perspective Marine Insurance Company, as they might have a mandated list by region of approved surveyors.  YEP,,,,Boat US does have this list on their website (but I threw it on there for you) and they enforce it.  We used the surveyor on this list and I was very pleased.  Same surveyor from my post above.  I don’t have any issues with the company, cause the truth hurts sometimes and my boat isn’t perfect.  But of the things that were discussed with me and the perspective buyer that afternoon, I’ve already knocked out several of the larger issues.  Propeller and new fresh water pump fixed,,,new sail cover done next week, moving on to the rest of the issues.   Like I said above, I’m always trying to improve her, it’s a good boat that’s well priced and ready for sale- see the link below!

Tulum IV- 

Here’s the rest of the Series-

Offer to Purchase-Part 4

Selling Tulum-Part 3

Selling Tulum-Part 2

Time to Sell the Boat-Part 1

Offer to Purchase Your Boat- Part 4

You’ve decided to sell your boat.  You’ve decided on the place to sell it.  You’ve cleaned it stem to stern.

Next comes the hard part- the waiting.  After your broker puts her on the market, you wait for an offer to purchase.  It might be a week or it might be a month or 6 months.  But if you’re not greedy and you and your broker have agreed on a fair price for your boat that will get her noticed, you’ll eventually get an offer to purchase.  I have both unique perspectives on this, as I’ve done this process as both buyer and seller.  As a seller, automatically assume the buyers offer will be 10% – 25% off the price you have listed your boat for,,,and you can’t be offended by this.  But once you receive an initial offer to purchase your boat,,,you have three choices to make,,,,discuss them with your broker.

-You can  reject the offer, outright- this will probably kill the offer right there and you can start the waiting over again.

-You can accept the initial offer, outright.  This will speed and simplify the process, but you might have more negotiation after survey, so don’t forget this.

-You can and probably should a some counter-offer to raise the price of the offer back toward what you initially put her on the market for –  you and the buyer will probably find some middle ground and settle somewhere in the  middle, but don’t forget there might be some negotiation after survey, if you have any more room to give.

Once you agree on a price and sign paperwork, things will start to move fast,,,,hold on.

Next post-  The survey from the sellers perspective. 

Buyer or Seller- Remember why you like boats in the first place?

Buyer or Seller- Remember why you like boats in the first place?