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?

Perspective on this blog

Good morning:

This little blog that started with the idea to give readers advice on sailing, cruising and boating “for everyone” and not just the wealthy IS slowly evolving and growing, but will always keep it’s core message.  We will continue to evolve to discuss PTSD as a sailing treatment and we will discuss adventure travel as a whole.  As a real person, I generally TRY hard to be as boring as possible because this generally keeps me out of trouble.  I’m a patented homebody but not a hermit, I love sports that involve individualism over team perspectives and have dove into several of those sports with some success.  My wife is generally quite opposite of me- very outgoing.

Last week, a very successful blogger (Roberta Pimentel) posted a very informative article about how to write a better blog and find more recognition.  I read it twice,,,I would love to follow all her advice.  But I need to share with you all that one thing I probably cannot live up to from her post is the ability to post every day.  YES, I would love to ramble on about sailing daily and probably can, but my work and life schedule preclude this, so the deal I will make with you all is that I can probably post 2-3 times a week.  I WILL NOT make this a job,,,once this becomes a job then it gets hard, not fun and my creative juices will slow down.

Next, a HUGE THANKS to those who followed just in this last week.  Please tell your friends and fellow bloggers to take a look and perhaps follow if they read something that makes sense and doesn’t have too many spelling errors.  Thanks again-

Decisions-Decisions: Is it time to sell the boat?

Decisions, Decisions- Boating is all about decisions and problem solving skills, no matter the size or worth of a boat.  Two of the biggest decisions are the buying and selling the boat kind of decisions.  When we started this blog project, we were intent to assist, encourage and inspire people with little money to think through how they might buy a boat.  We walked through our process for buying a boat WITHOUT laying down much cash, although we’ve spent some fixing her up and ensuring her systems were safe and updated.  But after owning Tulum IV for two and a half years, we came face to face with the unexpected; life decisions that made us consider selling the boat we had put so much time and effort into fixing up to prep for cruising.

The intent of next few pieces in this blog and my ongoing project is to walk you through some of our decision points as we considered whether we would have to actually sell the boat, the selling process (in real time) and the outcome.  Whether you are considering buying or selling a boat, this blog series should help, as you will gain knowledge from a sellers perspective (mine) and get to know some of the motivations that might help you as a buyer.   I’ve been involved or have personal knowledge of several folks selling their sailboats and have purchased one of my own, so we’ll work through this together; as most of these folks follow this blog and have great experience with this subject.

Decisions, Decisions- Why do people sell their boats and why did we make the selling decision;  what drives selling decisions?

Some selling decisions are easy,,,some are more complicated:-

I want to sell my boat because: I want another one, it’s time to stop cruising, I’m too old,  poor, unhealthy to handle the boat anymore, I want something else beside a boat, my boat costs too much to maintain, my boat slip to too expensive, my wife thinks the boat is becoming my Mistress, my wife told me to sell the boat, my wife wants another boat, my wife has divorced me and taken the boat in the settlement, my kids won’t get on the boat anymore (it’s no longer cool), I need to sell the boat to pay for college,,,,house,,,vacation.     See what I’m getting at,,,,it could be complicated or it could be easy, but somewhere along the line something started you thinking about selling the boat and now you actually have to make that decision, either quickly or eventually.  If you can’t make a selling decision quickly, I would advise you to slow down and rethink the decision, as you might find you really don’t want to sell the boat, you need to solve some other problem in your life that selling the boat might represent?

Why and how did we come to selling decision?

I’ve covered some of this in previous blogs, but here’s a quick update:   Several months ago my wife was offered another job with the same company that will move her out of our immediate area and I will need to stay here (Yep, we both work full time and have several small childrens).   This move will impact our ability to work and play on our boat as my wife will have to move to where the job is.  Thinking it through made us consider our immediate priorities and whether we could afford to keep the boat but not be able to use it or work on it as much as we wanted.   We also may want a larger boat or a catamaran, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.  This time in our lives was a boating crossroads, we needed to make decisions about our upcoming trip.  Because of Michelle’s work change, we pushed the trip off by another year at least and remain flexible as a family.  Because we loved our previous Marina and the people we know there, it took us several weeks to come to a selling decision, but once we came to the decision as a team, we knew it was the right one.  Upon making the decision, we knew Tulum was in great shape because of the work and upgrades we had made; but we didn’t feel we wanted to present her for sale before making a few cosmetic upgrades (waxing/buffing the hull, getting a few gel coat scrapes fixed, getting the prop rebalanced and making sure she was shiny clean inside and getting a new sail cover made) so we held off putting her up for sale before getting all this done.  This is a tactic I would highly recommend and something our broker asked us to do prior to putting her on the market.  So, for the past month the boat has been sitting at the brokers docks behind a boatyard, slowly getting fixed by a combination of our labor on weekends and a few specialists coming down to give us some professional help.

Lastly, here’s something I want to pass on that might help:  When you’re looking at boats to buy, look at how much prep the owner’s done to sell.  It might not all be the owners fault if the boat isn’t gleaming everywhere all the time with fresh gel coat, wash job and no clutter on board.  There are always two sides to every story.  Two weeks ago we went on two boats the same size; one obviously prepared for sale and gleaming nicely while the other had personal effects and needed a bit of spit and polish, but both boats had nice bones.  On the opposite tack, three years ago we went on a boat prepped for sale and looking ok.  We met the owner and took the boat out for a sail, hauled her out and looked at her.  But the owner would not budge on price and may have privately asked our broker if he could get a copy of the survey that we had paid to have done that day.  We rescinded our offer and moved on to look at other boats.  So think this over,,,,was the owner of that boat serious about selling or did he just want a free survey and haul out to look over his own boat?  As for us, we’re serious about selling and have polished, cleaned, decluttered and semi-staged our boat.


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-