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S/V Octopussy
Watch the Cast and Crew as we refit a Prout Snowgoose 37, move aboard, and get ready to go cruising. The critics are saying, "We laughed; we cried; we nearly pissed our pants!" Follow the adventure at
The Call to Adventure: Part Deux
01/17/2013, Annapolis, MD

[originally posted on 17 Jan on]

I thought I'd share some more today to follow up on a previous post:

The Call to Adventure
[go to: to read it]

It was actually our first post. I wrote about why we want to do this.

Today, I wanted to explain further why doing now is so important to us.

When deciding how to go about this endeavor, we started months ago with a spreadsheet. There were a few different columns, but they boiled down to variations on two main themes:

1. Get the boat now (with a boat loan), live aboard for a couple of years, and get our finances in order

2. Go back to our house in New Hampshire, try to find jobs up there in this depressed economy, save a bunch of money, and then in 2 years buy a boat (which would probably still equate to a large downpayment and getting a smaller boat loan)

After finding out we'd have to wait several months in order to qualify for a boat loan (as I said in the earlier post), we had a major epiphany: we do not want to carry a boat loan around for twenty years.

Even though we will have monthly retirement income, and could carry a boat loan... why would we want to? Sailing around the world, knowing that we pay $1500 a month for the boat, plus insurance. Plus we're at the mercy of the bank and the insurance agent. "Can't go there, don't go here, you're uninsured and the bank is mad!"

We realized that we wanted the experience more than we needed a large flashy boat. It was about getting out there and doing it, not about what make or model we were seen doing it in.

Also, another major consideration for us was the fact that we would like to be sailing in a couple of years. Sailing away is not like driving a brand new car off of the dealer's lot. With a car, minus some of the bells and whistles, you pretty much know how to drive a car.

But we knew we couldn't just buy a boat in two years, then sail off into the sunset that evening. We'd need to go over the boat; learn the boat; sail the boat; outfit the boat; fix the boat... basically what I am trying to say is that we would need to form a relationship with a boat before we trusted it to take us across oceans. And, relationships are not forged overnight.


The other reason we wanted to do this now is because of our son. We didn't want to wait two years, then get a boat, then get to know it and learn to sail it, then eventually go sailing.

While there are some who might find us irresponsible for "doing this to our son," we definitely recognize that we will need to get him back into a school system in the U.S. or Europe for a couple of years of high school, in order to take exams, get grades and have an academic background in order to apply to colleges. So, waiting another two years to do all of the above would push our "sail away" date up to four years down the road. Then that starts to cramp the whole high school "thing" severely.

We want to enrich his life and learning, not disadvantage him when he is required to re-enter the "system" that is society.

So, here we are, with an awesome boat, an awesome son, and an awesome dream.

Is Your Rudder Delaminated, or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
01/16/2013, Annapolis, MD

[originally posted on 16 Jan at]

Our starboard rudder is delaminated. Not entirely, but there is a 1-2 sq.ft section on the inboard side that has delaminated from the foam core.

How can you tell if your rudder is delaminated? Well, the surveyor took a small plastic mallet and tapped on the rudder. When it made a hollow sound, he pointed it out to us.

If you look down the plane of the rudder, you can also see where it bulges out, compared to the rest of the line.

007 could actually flex the fiberglass in that spot. Here he was checking for any other spots that we should be concerned about.

After that, we drilled two holes in the rudder. The surveyor said that there was probably water inside. So... we were expecting a trickle out of the bottom hole after drilling... it was quite anti-climactic. Nothing happened.

Well, we knew we still had a problem, even if there was no water in the rudder.

Because the fiberglass is not supported by the foam core, it is susceptible to flexing.
While our rudder is not an airplane wing (nor are we expecting to go anywhere fast), over time, the flexioncould lead to a crack or deterioration of the fiberglass in that area, or further delamination of the rudder. The rudder won't just fall off, but over time, it could become a major problem. It could add to vibration, stressing other components of the steering gear, and adding to wear and tear of the entire system. It's just like a tire that is out of balance; it eventually stresses out the rest of the suspension, over time.
The deterioration is slow, but then, instead of rebalancing or replacing a tire, you are replacing ball joints, control arms, and other components.

The moral of the story is this:

$ now, or $$$ later

So, we decided to investigate further. We drilled two four-inch holes with a hole saw. Others have said to inject epoxy in the rudder, to fill the void. We plan on doing that, but when we drilled our original inspection holes with the 1/2 inch drill bit, we could not see the delamination, and couldn't see where the epoxy would even get in to do the job.

So, the holes allowed us to get a better look. Yes, we now have more clean-up to do; we have two four-inch holes to repair. But, we got a good look at the actual situation inside the rudder.

We also has Steve Uhthoff take a look at it, since he just happened to be working nearby on his own boat. He offered a couple of suggestions ranging in price from a $30 tube of epoxy to a $3000 rebuild of the rudder.

Needless to say, this season, we will try the $30 tube of epoxy, and see how it goes. If we need to rebuild the rudder, we'll do it during haul-out next winter.

I'll leave you with a good close-up picture of the rudder, where you can see the delamination. If you look in the upper right quadrant of the picture, you can see where the fiberglass has pulled away from the foam.

Weekly Wrap-up 7-13 Jan
01/15/2013, Annapolis, MD


This week was not Earth-shattering by any means, but at least the weather has been holding out. So far, we have been blessed with 40-50 degree temps... which is bearable. We're from New England anyway, so this is like Spring time for us!

This week, we:

1. Continued to varnish the teak. It all looks great. Then again, anything is an improvement on its previous condition.

2. Reinstalled the grab rails. We received our box of hardware from The website is awesome and very user friendly. All of our hardware arrived, neatly labeled and packaged. Now, I just need to start sanding and varnishing.

3. Put new hardware on the swim ladder and davits. Even though it was all stainless hardware, it rusted. It is 30 years old. We removed the davits and swim ladder, cleaned the surfaces (30 years of gunk build-up-yuck!) installed new hardware, and reinforced it all with large washers. Add a little 4200 for good measure, and voilĂ !

4. Called Accent Graphics in Annapolis to discuss the design of the custom boat graphics for our new name! They've already sent us some proofs to discuss. Yeah!

5. Investigated how to get the old graphics off of the hull. Ugh. After talking with Chris as Accent Graphics, it is in our best interest to have someone else remove the old graphics. We attempted to see what we could do. It didn't go so well. I am going to try "Plan B" (once I figure out exactly what that is), and if that doesn't work, then we'll hire someone in the boatyard to remove the old name.

6. Cut lots of holes in our starboard rudder. Yes. We did. It's not pretty, but it was necessary. The rudder has a 1.5 sq ft section, on the inboard side that delaminated. We believe water got in, and then froze one winter. So, we had to cut some holes to investigate.

7. Started scraping barnacles. There were a few areas where barnacles grew where there was no bottom paint. We will have to see how the boat sits in the water, and next year if we need to raise the water line, we will. It's only in a couple of locations, so we don't know if it just wasn't painted correctly, or if it actually will sit lower than usual.

8. Replaced the zincs on the shafts and props. Also replaced the Spurs bearings and zincs.

Ok, maybe we did get a lot accomplished!

The Weekly Wrap-up: 30 Dec- 06 Jan
01/09/2013, Annapolis, MD

[Follow the adventure at]

Well, I realized today that we have a lot more going on than the blog posts might suggest. So I thought I'd start listing what we did, or at least worked on, over the course of the week. This will be mostly the "ongoing" stuff... the stuff that we either work on in between the "big" projects, or the stuff that will take so long to finish that we will eventually write a more extensive post, once there is something significant to say.

So, for the week of 30 DEC- 05 JAN we were working on the following:

1. Removing deck hardware for grab rails, swim ladder, davit stanchions, and rub rails, and ordering suitable replacements.

2. Realizing that we need to do some work on the rub rails. They were put in with wood screws... hhmmm. The person that did the work failed to remove the bolts and nuts that held the previous rub rail on the boat, and just installed the new one over it. Awesome. It's amazing what you can find out about a boat with the headliner down. So, needless to say, we are adding "removing rub rail, removing old hardware, then reinstalling rub rail properly" to the list of what we need to do before we put her back in the water.

3. Sanding and polishing the windows. I really need to devote a post to what we've been doing. But, for now, it is enough to say that we've been trying to see out of the windows again! More to follow. I promise.

4. Sanding, sanding, and more sanding. We don't even have that much wood. God bless you all with teak decks.

5. Ordering deck hardware, zincs, bearing kits etc that we need.

6. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

01/08/2013, Annapolis, MD

[originally posted on Jan 2, at]

Well, I thought (after nursing a slight New Year's Day hangover) that I would detail our punch list of things we need to do over the next 11 weeks. Our splash date is 22 March. This is set in stone by the boatyard, as we are all crammed in like sardines in a tin, and the other boats further "inboard"-so to speak- have to get in the water as well.

Getting the old headliner/adhesive/mold off of the interior of the hull was a huge waypoint for us in terms of what we need to do over the next few months. We thought it was going to take us much longer, but now (thankfully) that it is done, we can set our sights on other things.

It's hard with a boat like this, because there is a lot that needs to get done. But the discussion we had on Monday night was all about, "what do we NEED to get done before March 22 with the boat out of the water."

Needless to say, that was enough to get us to make our next punch list (in no particular order):

1. Touch up the bottom paint on the hull. Dos Equis had a decent ablative paint job, but through the last three years, there have been a lot of scratches to it, which brought it down to the fiberglass. So, we are going to touch it up for now, instead of going all out to blast and then repaint right now. Bigger fish to fry!

2. Replace the prop zincs. We have Autostream props (which we have received many compliments about, BTW) and they have cone-shaped zincs at the ends. I found MARTEC in California, which is the American distributor for Autostream, so I will need to order new zincs from them.

3. Replace bearing and zincs on the Spurs anti-fouling cutters on the prop. The previous owner lived in New England. Even during our sea trial in November, we were dodging lobster pots and lines. So installing these little gems was smart thinking.

4. Install zincs on the braces for the propeller shafts. They are metal, and there currently are no zincs on them. The surveyor mentioned that we should put zincs on those as well.

5. Two seacocks replaced. We were going back over the survey, and there were a few other things that really need to get done. One is replacing two seacock valves on the engine cooling intakes. They are apparently gate valves, and need to be replaced with ball valves.

6. Pour some epoxy in the starboard rudder. Apparently, the surveyor was concerned that it was delaminating. He said we needed to drill some holes, make sure its dry inside, and then pour epoxy in the rudder to stiffen it.

7. Remove the barnacle pads left on the hull. The hull is actually pretty clean, but there are a few locations that have barnacles or barnacle pads left on the hull.

8. Officially rename her! We need to get the Dos Equis graphics off the hulls, and properly put on our new name!

There is still a ton of other stuff that needs to get done, but this is the list that HAS to get done before she goes in the water. 76 days and counting!

Come Check out Our Blog!
01/07/2013, Annapolis, MD

We are posting regularly at


Come check out the progress we're making on restoring/refitting our Prout Snowgoose 37, moving aboard, and working up to cruising in the Fall of 2014.

The Cast and Crew of S/V Octopussy

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Who: 007, Octopussy, Dr. No, M, and Q
Port: Seabrook, NH
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