Quincy’s Corner- Sage Advice From a Great Dane 190224

This is Quincy the Boat Dog’s weekly post to stay in touch with all of you and make sure you know she’s still around, living on a sailboat while her owners prep to go bluewater cruising.  You’ll have to guess what kind of advice may come next if you don’t click to read the rest- Continue reading

Quincy’s Corner-190106

Quincy is a nearly 5-year old pure bred Great Dane who lives on our sailboat as we prepare to go bluewater cruising in October of 2019.  Since this is our second sailboat, one could make the argument that we bought this boat just for her,,,,they might be right.  Every Sunday is Quincy’s time to jump on the blog….sharing whatever’s on her mind with all of you.  Come follow us to keep up with her and our adventures- Continue reading

Quick Goodbye to the Baja Ha-Ha

A quick note to say “Fair Winds and Following Seas” to all the Baja Ha-Ha Boats leaving San Diego and other points as they start the first leg of the journey down the Pacific Coast of Baja California, Mexico.  It’s my goal to start our own adventure in exactly one year to the day from today….leaving with the 2019 Baja Ha-Ha in October of 19.

Live Free and Sail Fast-

Photo credit to Pexels

Project Windlass For Dummies (like me)

Ever since we bought Tulum 5 in February, we knew we were probably going to have to update the Windlass on our sailboat, but had no idea the project would be so massive.  On most any sizable boat a Windlass is the mechanical system that hauls the chain or rope or combination of the two (rode) up from the ocean floor and back onto the boat or ship.  On most cruising sailboats that Windlass is powered by a 12-volt system (meaning batteries) but you often find generator powered Windlass’s on larger boats (110-volt systems).  When we bought Tulum 5, both the bow and stern Windlass systems were powered by 110-volt systems, meaning we would have to be running the generator in order for our Windlass to work.  In my little mind, this isn’t an ideal system, especially with my generator not functioning right now or since we’ve bought Tulum 5.  After I moved onto the boat permanently in July of this year, I knew the Windlass was one of my priorities and tackled the project in mid-July.  We did not start out wanting a new Windlass.  We listened to the advice of our broker and surveyor who both said we could take the current (existing) Windlass motor off the boat (it was 110-volt) and have places in San Diego, National City or Chula Vista re-spin the innards of the motor to make it compatible with 12-volt power.  I spent the better part of an entire two days on the phone and lugging that old motor around to various shops in the local area trying to find someone who could actually do this…..to no avail.  First point of caution here…..if you’re looking to the do the same thing, take the advice with a grain of salt.  We were unable to find anyone who would or could re-spin that 1978 Windlass motor to make it a 12-volt system.

The original 1977 Windlass on Tulum 5, all 284 pounds of it under the cover.

So the next decision was what to do:  Reinstall the motor to the windlass or we could decide to buy a modern, lighter, more energy-efficient 12-volt Windlass.  We decided to buy and install a new Windlass.  After my research, knowing our chain size, boat weight and length and intended use of the Windlass as well as price variations; we settled on the Maxwell 2500 VWC variant.  Once purchased, we had to worry about getting the old Windlass out and the new one in.  I’m going to discuss the process via a series of 5 different posts “For Dummies” like myself, but sufficient to say it didn’t go like I thought it would.

First, we had to get the old Windlass out.  This wasn’t that hard, but the thing was a monster and I think it contributed to my messed up back and neck.

Old Windlass, without 40 pound motor, on the deck before two of us hauled it off the boat.  This was the portion in the chain locker, not on top of the deck. 

In the beginning of August, the new windlass came in. 

The new Maxwell was shiny new and I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box….but it had to sit on the deck till I was done with all the rest of this stuff. 

Despite the old Windlass being out and off the boat, I still had to deal with the teak pedestal and the iron plate that it had sat on top of….custom made of course.

In my naive mind (attributed to my youth of course) I dicked around a few days with the iron plate, thinking I could cut a hole or drill it out enough to make it work.  It didn’t

Come read the rest of my 5-part series on installing this new Windlass by myself (except for a critical assist by a friend) and custom woodwork at the end of the project. If you like my “For Dummies” series about working on an aging sailboat…..keep following us cause I’m the dummy and I’m working on an aging sailboat to get her ready for extended blue-water cruising with my family in late 2019.

Republish: “The Checklist” and “Mariners Trip Planning” by Captain Chris Couch

I’m republishing this post and another about some of the sailing aids I’ve used from Captain Chris Couch because I wrote them while still owning Tulum IV.  I still use them now that we’ve moved on to another sailboat and they still have value.   Read on… Continue reading

A Happy New Year’s Wish for 2018

Photo Credit to HotWife using an iPhone

From our humble desert paradise to wherever you might be in the world during this last day of the western calendar, I want to reach out and wish you a safe and happy New Year.

I’m glad 2017 is over and I’m looking forward to 2018.  For us here at LF2SF, 2018 will bring some significant changes that I’m totally looking forward to.  We’ll be buying a another bluewater cruising sailboat, selling our house, retiring and moving as a family to start a new chapter in our lives.  I’ve re-applied for my 100GT/OUPV USCG Captain’s License and we’re continuing to travel on land as family.  That’s ALOT of change in one year,  but I think both me and my wife have thought it through enough that we’ll make it work and flourish.

If you’re one of our awesome followers or new to this website, stick with us and experience the adventure as we go.

Happy New Year! 

Financing the Dream: Sailboat and Cruising Cash

Have you thought through how you’re going to actually finance the dream,,,,the actual cash for that sailboat and then the cash for bluewater cruising?

Or,,,,are you one of the folks who are sure that you can do it on a shoestring,,,,nearly no money,,,,make friends as you go, find work,,,,not much more than a vagrant?   Lest you think I’m joking,,,I’m not,,,those folks are out there and I know some folks who would love to live this way.   WAIT,,,,,sailboats are EXPENSIVE and you do need to eat and buy fuel somehow,,,,,but you’re probably rolling in money,,,,,or you’re a diesel engine mechanic,,,,or you’ve learned to live on bread and water and don’t really have a need for much along the way.   Except,,,,,THE HORROR:  Ganja and booze costs money and none of us are Jimmy Buffett, so how will you really finance your dreams?  Read on:


I am not a finance expert.  I am not rich.  I don’t have much money.  I do own a boat,,,,therefore I don’t have much money.  I have children and a wife,,,,therefore I don’t have much money.  I am not a certified financial planner.  I prefer riskier investments which may mean you will lose all your money if you choose to ever follow any of my advice!  – There, that’s my disclaimer and if you choose to read on,,,you do it at your own risk and possible reward.

I’m working on investing with an eye toward going bluewater cruising with my family in the next few years and want to start writing about how I’m doing that.  However, aside from my disclaimer above,,,,my methods are pretty boring and may not earn you much money,,,,cause you often need to invest large amounts of money to make large amounts of money,,,,,herein lies my problem,,,,cause I invest small amounts of money,,,,trying to make money as I go.  So, far,,,,,it’s working.  I read a lot of investment books,,,,mainly about Warren Buffet and his ways of doing business.  Here’s a few basic principles you’ll see as a theme throughout my writing:

  1. Debt sucks:  Debt sucks and I have a lot of debt but I’ve paid off one credit card in the family and am working on paying off the rest.  We’re keeping the one since it earns airline miles and paying consistently .
  2. Pay yourself first:  Every paycheck,,,,,take some out and pay yourself somehow.  Make sure you pay yourself in some way you’ll recognize and value.  Whether it’s into a savings account, a IRA or you get to buy more stocks,,,,pay yourself a little bit every paycheck so you build,,,,build and more.
  3. Love the compound interest:  Compound Interest is pretty boring,,,,till it isn’t.  Let something percolate long enough on compound interest and you’ll build something slowly,,,,,but you gotta let it ride!
  4. You can’t earn if you don’t invest in something:  You’ve probably heard about investing in yourself,,,,,I’ve done that and it’s great,,,,but now I’m investing in a bluewater sailing trip,,,,every paycheck.  Stay with us,,,,this is the fun one!

As we go through this series,,,,I’ll talk you through some things I’m working on and perhaps you may get some ideas for your own cruising money.  I’ve heard the term “cruising kitty” and hate that,,,not sure what it means,,,,I like money for cruising instead,,,cause I’m frugal but not cheap.  Stick with us,,,,,I’ll post more on this as we go!

Blog is a funny thing

A Blog is a funny thing,,,,I’m working hard on consistency!

Soooo, I’ve been doing all this reading on how to blog better, hints to get more traffic, info to help with getting readers to identify with my blog and my “niche”.  One thing I see a lot is that consistency is key and that writing on a regular basis is important and getting stuff onto your blog is important too.  So, I’ve been trying.  This week, I found posts from some of the blogs I read the most that were outstanding,,,,,so I re-posted them so I could have consistency and get things on the blog that I liked,,,,so my mentality is to share them with others.  And some,,,,kind of tickle my sense of humor,,,,like Shiny Boobs!  So the Blog is a funny thing.  Sunday the 16th was one of the best days ever for readership and views on the blog,,,,,while today and yesterday were two of the worst days in two years for readership on the blog,,,,,,since my standards are going up when I write more.

It’s frustrating (remember,,,,I’m male,,,,,Type A,,,,and like pictures),,,,but if you’re reading this and you’re the same way,,,,,ya gotta realize that this is just part of the whole blogging thing and I need to realize it as well.  I’m getting over it,,,,,I’m over it.  This stuff happens and I can’t predict which posts will go viral or get read by lots of folks,,,,but I know I want to write consistently or post consistently if I can,,,,so I try.  I’m ok with re-posts,,,hell, the authors often send me messages and thank me for those re-posts.  But my goal is to get my own writing on my own blog as often as possible and get folks to stay with the blog so we can grow together,,,,,as I’d rather have 90 folks who read the blog than 9000 who just view the blog then don’t interact.  This is funny too,,,,,cause I have about 10 folks who interact with me through the darkness of cyberspace on a regular basis, and this is great.  I’m really glad to have folks who somehow found this blog and then stuck with us.  I’d love to have 100 great followers rather than 1000 folks who just glanced at the writing.

As we get closer to leaving the US to go bluewater cruising,,,,things will get more interesting.  We’re going to get our own Youtube channel and drone and look into satellite internet for the boat (if we can afford it).  Ok, enough ranting,,,,I’ve run out of white wine!!! Good night-

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.

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2016/07/07/discount-shout-out/

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-