A Boat Too Far

In 2005 we bought a 46' catamaran in Thailand as a wreck. We removed the cabin, bridgedeck, main crossbeam and all the bulkheads then completely redisigned and rebuilt her in Phuket over the course of 5 years. It seemed like a good idea at the time..

15 May 2022
14 May 2022
03 May 2022 | Valdivia
11 April 2020
26 March 2020
15 March 2020
07 March 2020
01 March 2020
29 February 2020
27 February 2020
19 February 2020
14 February 2020
09 February 2020
19 January 2020
16 December 2019
05 December 2019
24 November 2019

Swimming with mantas

10 August 2022
Last night, after taking care of business in the big city of Atuona on Hiva Oa, we made the quick trip back to Hanamoenoe Bay on Tahuata Island, just south of Hiva Oa. We had been here before and were comfortable coming in at night and we anchored just outside of the other boats in a little bit deeper water to stay out of trouble. We were rewarded in the morning when a group of midsize manta rays, about 6 to 7 feet across, showed up and began feeding just behind our boat. We grabbed our masks and fins, one of us pausing long enough to put on a wetsuit against the bone chilling water, and jumped in. There must have been a lot of plankton in the water because we were immediately surrounded by anchovies whose jaws were working at top speed, gobbling up the invisible critters. Then the mantas appeared out of the blue, one, then two, then five, slowly flapping their wings with their head flaps funneling plankton into huge mouths. We were carefull not to approach them at first,
wanting to scare them off, but it became apparant that they couldn’t care less and we became concerned about getting run over as they came close enough to touch. Looking down their gullets you realize that these things are mostly hollow, just a big tube with wings and when they were coming towards us you could look straight through from lips to sphincter. It may have been my imagination, but I thought I saw a tiny wink of light at the end of one.

Eventually they moved off but returned off and on during they day, then in the evening a couple treated us to an aerial display. Nobody knows why they jump. Some say it’s a mating thing or to dislodge parasites, but I suspect that sometimes it just feels good to be a fish and that’s their way of letting the world to know it.

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Wandering dinghys

08 August 2022
Almost every cruiser has experienced at least once the panic and sick feeling of looking off the back of the boat and seeing an empty space where there once was the dinghy. It was early morning  in Hanavave when we heard a shout from Erwen, our neighbor on S/V Vagabond, Our dingy is gone he hollered over in panic! We could feel his dispair. He had last seen the dinghy at 3:00 am and the wind had been blowing offshore towards the Tuamotus all night. Mike climbed up to the first spreader with binoculars and looked out to sea. After a few minutes, Mike called over to Erwin, I think I might see it, is it red? Yes, it is red, Erwin replied and immediately swam over to our boat to have a look himself. He agreed, with hope, that it could very well be the dinghy. As fast as they could the crew on Vagabond pulled anchor and headed in the direction of the red floating object about 2 miles offshore. As they got closer it became apparent that the object was not their dinghy, but a bu
Just then a fishing boat came arount the bend, towing a red dinghy! They had found it on it’s way out to sea and had been afraid that there had been sombody aboard and were as relieved as the crew of Vagabond to see it back home.  

Two days later, after a beautiful, all day sail, we arrived in the crowed anchorage at Atuona. There were 16 boats in very tight quarters all swinging willy nilly around their anchore due to the flukey eddying winds.  We only knew one boat there, Adam and Judy on S/V Vixen. We settled into the evening with dinner and a bit of TV.  At appoximately 9:30 towards the end of our first show I spotted a flashlight blazing in through the back door and than all around the boat. Sensing something was up and not wanting to miss any action I poked my head outside and hear Rum Doxy, our dingy is gone! This time it was Vixen’s dinghy. We launched the dinghy and Mike went over and picked up Adam and went to look for the lost dinghy. Luckily, they quickly found it trapped behind a small breakwater. It was an easy rescue but nonetheless traumatic for those stranded on their boat. After retrieving the dinghy Adam mentioned that just the night before the same exact thing happened to S/V Sta
a Canadian boat we had met in Fatu Hiva. The next day another boat had it’s dinghy go walkabout in the bay.

There are any number of ways a dinghy can escape it’s attachment to a boat, a clip can pop open, an knot can come untied, a line can be chafed through etc., so we have learned the hard way just to always hoist it up on the davits.

Our Week in Hanavave

01 August 2022
We were so fortunate to spend  a week on Fatu Hiva. This outtermost island in the Marqueasan island group is known for the most dramatic in landscape, with it’s volcanic moai-looking spires, and razor edged ridges jutting out of palm covered hill sides, with a 5,000 foot mountian range providing the back drop. However, most cruisers miss it because, coming from the north as they do, it is a windward sail as the trades blow from the southeast.  Fortunately for us, coming from the south as we were, it was, well, a windward sail as well as the trades had switched to the northeast, but it was well worth it. 

The villiage of Hanavave is a quarter of the size of Rikitea, and barely visible from the anchorage as it is tucked beneath the trees and hidden behind volcanic narrows. There is absolutely no evidence of commercialism or tourism that we could see. There are no signs advertising stores or businesses as they are all part of peoples homes. The church, school and mayor’s office are the only public buildings. The locals we encountered at the concrete dock and along the main road greet us with a friendly bonjour and smile but alas that is about the extent of our limited French. We did have a couple of extended interactions. Once when we were approached by a man asking if we had any batteries to trade for fruit. We said yes then rowed  back to the boat and gathered a variety of different kinds not knowing exactly which ones he needed and what for. Mike returned to shore expecting  a quick exchange but was lead back to the mans house and learned that the batteries were for a hea
d lamp
that was actually broken. Taking on the challenge, Mike offered to try and fix it and return it the next day at 10:00am. True to form, Mike-guiver fixed it and the next day the exchange was made with a few well chosen French words, hand gestures and lots of smiles.

 We also were invited to a lunch put on by a local couple, Desire and Jaques, at their home for the cruisers in the anchorage. It was a traditional Marquesan Luau where locally hunted goat, pig and chicken are wrapped in banana leaves and placed in a pit over hot coals, covered with cloth tarps and more banana leaves then cooked for seven hours. In addition there was a variety of marinated fish in coconut, roasted bananas, baked breadfurit, rice with dried fruit, and salad from the garden. It was a delicious feast except for the bread fruit which tastes like wet cardboard no matter how you disguise it. Conversation with Jaques and Desire was in French through Isabel and Jeff who are from France, and in English between the German cruisers Adam and Judy and Mike and I. After lunch  and before naptime we had arts and crafts like in kindergaten, where Desire taught us how to weave palm serving platters, my souvenir from Fatu Hiva.

Getting off the boat was limited to a few trips into town and a couple of very steep hikes, with jaw dropping views which changed like a kaleidoscope as the rays of sunshine through the clouds spotlighted a different area. Snorkeling we found out wasn’t such a good idea due to the number of sharks spotted hanging out around the rocky shores.  Being anchored in Hanavave felt like being on the set of Jurassic Park and from Rum Doxy, anchored in the middle of the bay, we got the full sensurround experience, minus the dinosours which was a little disappointing, but with a little imagination……

Welcome aboard RumDoxy

29 July 2022
Some of you who are reading our blog have never been aboard Rum Doxy and those of you who have it’s been a long time. So I’ll take you on a virtual tour.

But first a brief history. She was originally named Avalon, one of 3  catamaran boats built in France by a designer named Coppelli in 1995. When Mike bought her in 2005  she’d been very neglected and pretty much abandoned in Phuket, Thailand. The intention was to do a few renovations, make some repairs and upgrade the navigation and electronics then we’d be off and sailing.  5 years later and all our money we had a totally redesigned boat, which Mike designed inspired by the famous, high performance, foreward cockpit Gunboats.  When we finally launched and started sailing in 2010 she was basically brand new but an empty shell with two brand new motors, and a few old and worn out sails. There was no electricity, gas, plumbing or furniture. Instead we had buckets, a cooler, a camping stove, flashlights, a mattress on the floor, a compass, a portable GPS and hand radio. Over the next 3 years we built and installed all the basic necessities as we lived aboard and sailed a
South East Asia. By doing so we had a really good idea of where things should go and how things should be set up for safety, comfort and efficency. 12 years later and 42,000 nautical miles she has evolved and become our perfect boat and home even with all her little quirks, minor leaks and missing paint. 

Now, welcome aboard and I’ll take you on the tour.

You can board from either stern and step down into our expansive aft cockpit. The entire area is covered  with the cabin top which provides a cool place in the shade and a relatively dry place from the rain. There are storage bins on both the left and right side which also serve as seating platforms, but other than that the space is free of obstuction. There is plenty of room to hang a hammock, open the teak dining table, set up a construction table or rig up the big propane burner and 8 gallon kettle for brewing beer. 

From the center of the cockpit you enter forward through the door into the main cabin.

Standing inside you’ll notice the 360 degree view through full size tinted windows. This was my number one requirement if I was to go cruising. It’s like living outside with the comfort and protection of being inside. The tinted windows give us complete privacy while also really cutting the heat and glare in the tropics.  We have the views of a 5 star resort and the exotic feel of an open air bungalow on the water.

The other thing you will notice when you first walk into the main cabin is that you can walk straight through another door to a forward cockpit. This is the design Mike borrowed from the Gunboat. It is brilliant in it’s efficiency and safety in sail handling. All the sail handling is done from a deep well in the center of the boat right next to the helm which is located directly behind the cockpit inside the cabin where it is warm, dry and out of the wind. Unlike the majority of catamaran designs we’re not standing out in the elements while steering, or slipping and sliding on the decks in order to trim the sails. It gives us great peace of mind to know when one of us is down below sleeping the other isn’t going over board  while reefing the mainsail.

Looking around the cabin the galley and a 4 seater bar is on the aft port side and the navigation station, all the electronics, radio  and controls are on the forward port side with steps going down into the port hull in between. On the srarboard side lookng forward, where most catamarns have a settee that seats 6-8 we have a large, deep platform covering 6 large, easily accessable storage bins that is perfect base for my Japanese swivel recliner chair. In the aft starboard corner we have  a day bed covering the refrigerator and freezer and on top of the daybed we have his and hers bean bag chairs where we spend most of our time, watching  the world go by around us like a 360 degree movie theater.

You step down into the hulls on either side from the center of the main cabin. At the bottom of the steps on both sides there is a Dickinson diesal heater. These amazing little stoves kept us toasty, warm and dry while we were hunkered down in front of the glaciers in Chile. There are 60 gallon water tanks on both sides as well.  The port hull is the master cabin with a seating/storage area, a library, shelves made of netting for clothes and the head. In the starboard hull there is the guest bunk, the brewery and Mikes workshop where he has every tool, scew or spare known to man. 

Topside,  Rum Doxy’s decks are flat and easy to walk around on with handholds where needed. There are 11 storage bins in the forward crossbeam and a large trampoline area between the hulls. On the cabin top there are 8 solar panels with still plenty of room for bean bag chairs or yoga mats. 

The sails we use are a main which has 2 reef points, a small jib on a boom, a genny, a drifter and 2 spinnakers.

The 12 foot sailing dinghy lives in davits on the stern with SUPs and surfboards above and the 14 foot Hobie pedal kayak lives on the starboard deck. 

So that’s pretty much it in a nutshell, our floating island, our home and one way ticket to the next destination.

Landfall Nuku Hiva

26 July 2022
After a very easy and mellow passage, apart from the first day, we made landfall at Hanaveve Bay in Fatu Hiva yesterday morning. We had been slowing the boat to less than 3 knots to avoid a nightime approach. Our first sight of the island was at dawn as the eastern sky was turning bright orange and a crescent moon hung over the scene. Hanaveve Bay is as breathtaking as they say with 5,600 foot mountains surrounding the bay and volcanic spires lining the valley where the small village lies. The bay is rimmed with steep, volcanic cliffs covered with coconut palms and the occasional goat. There are 4 other boats in the bay, including our French friends from Uinte Vas who left the Gambiers the day before us. The water is 79 degrees, but not as clear as the Gambiers, although reports are that giant mantas have been seen in the bay the past few days so we are looking forward to that. We took a walk through the village yesterday afternoon and immediately noticed that there are a
lot of
land birds here, something that was missing in the Gambiers, and the birdsong as we walked was a nice change from the squawking of tropic birds. Lots of fruit trees lining the road and Annette managed to scrounge up some windfall mangos. There is no pearl farming here but a lot of the yards had copra drying platforms and everybody seems to have an aluminum skiff and outboard, with some folks getting around on small horses.

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Late Night Chat

24 July 2022
Late Night Chat

It’s 12:30 am Mike is down below sleeping and I just finished yet another Hugh Grant chick flick. Same character different love interest, all disgustingly sappy. When I switch the computor back to the electronic chart to check on our position, I am startled to see a bright red AIS tracking line headed right in our direction. It’s a cargo ship from Vietnam the HoChiMinh City, 17 miles southeast of us, traveling at 19.3 knots, with a CPA of 5 miles in 55 minutes.  All of the sudden I felt like we were a sitting duck. We were under full sails, poking along at 3-4 knots sailing with the wind angle of 90 degrees. The true wind angle was fluttering between 100 and 120 drgrees making our course to look like a drunken sailor walking the plank. What if our AIS signal wasn’t broadcasting? What if the captian of the ship was sleeping or playing video games? These are the first thoughts that come to my mind.  I turned on our bright foredeck light to illuminate the boat and make i
t more
visible. I turned on our radar to make sure the AIS was accurate and I turned on the VHF radio in case I needed to call and wake them up. I could see the ship light up behind us, the green running light was where it should be indicating it would pass from the starboard side behind us. 

As I watched and waited the ship seemed to be moving a lot faster then the CPA calculated. With in 15 minutes it was 7nm away but remaining steady on it’s course. 

Then a call comes in on the radio. Rum Doxy, this is HoChiMinh City on channel 16, do you copy? This is Rum Doxy on Channel 16 I answer back. Switch to channel 06, he says. So we meet on channel 06.  Rum Doxy, This is HoChiMinh City how are you doing tonight, he asked in a very heavy accent. We’re doing really well, thank you for asking, over, I reply. You are a sailing boat on a Pacific Adventure, he asks. I answer, Yes we are a sailing boat heading to the Marquesas from Chile, over. You are very brave, he replies. You are from America, where in America, he asks? Santa Barbara, California, I say. I’ve been to California many times, he replies. Then abruptly he announces he is switching back to channel 16. I sign out, then 5 minutes later the radio sounds….Rum Doxy,  this is HoChiMinh City, I have question, he asks How do you have food and water on boat for long time? I tell him we have a water maker to desalinate salt water for drinking water, that we have a freezer
refrigerator for fresh food and lots of storage for canned and dry goods. I tell him we have  plenty of Oreo’s, avocados and beer and that we are doing fine. Very good, he responds, HoChiMinh City back to channel 16, copy? Copy I reply, but before you sign off I just want to tell you that it was a pleasure to talk with you, and as a small sailing vessel we really appreciate you making contact with us so we know that you have us in your sight. I also want to tell you that you speak English really well. Have a good night, Rum Doxy back to channel 16, over.

I get really nervous talking on the radio. I’m always at a loss for words and forget radio etiquette but last night with no one else around,  talking with the on watch officer of the ship, who was genuinely interested in us, was a lot of fun. And, knowing that he saw us on AIS took all my stress away. After the ship passed I turned off the foredeck light and the radar, then checked our course. While we were having our little chat the wind angle switched again, so I turned the foredeck light back on to trim the sails.  Off in the distance I saw the ship light up like a cruise ship. His signal, Good Night, and Farewell. I trimmed the sails then turned off the deck light, the ship went dark. In the middle of the night, out in the open ocean I made a new friend and it touched my heart.

Later, after all that excitement I’m wide awake and ponder what to do in the last hour of my shift, then I hear a Slap, Skidder, Flop, Flop, Flop on the cabin floor. What the heck? I turn on the lights and find that a flying fish has managed to slip through a 2 inch opening in the cabin top hatch. What are the chances? Using a dish towel I grab it’s spastic little body and threw it back overboard. No need to ponder any longer, the last hour of my shift I spent washing the floor and vacuuming all the fish scales off the cushions and rugs. 
Vessel Name: Rum Doxy
Vessel Make/Model: 46' Custom Catamaran
Hailing Port: Santa Barbara, California
Crew: Mike Reed, Annette Reed
Extra: A "rum doxy" is 18th century pirate-speak for a woman of remarkable character and ambiguous virtue
Rum Doxy 's Photos - Main
After storing the boat for the Austral winter in Valdivia, we headed south in early October, arriving in Puerto Williams in early December.
83 Photos
Created 16 December 2019
We arrived in Puerto Montt in mid-February and spent a hectic week repairing broken stuff, re-provisioning and adjusting to the cold. We then headed south with the goal of visiting the Laguna San Rafael and it's tidewater glacier before making our way back to Valdivia to fix more broken stuff and store the boat for the winter.
79 Photos
Created 15 March 2019
We didn't know what to expect at Easter Island. There is no real anchorage or harbor and we heard and read accounts of boats getting chased around the island by the changing weather and the crew never making it ashore before being run off by the weather. Some cruising guides mention that if you do make it ashore, you must leave at least one crew member aboard to move the boat if the weather changes. Even the Sailing Directions published by the US government say "The weather is never good for more than a few days at a time at Isla de Pascua. Ships anchoring off the island should be ready to sail on short notice. There are abrupt and violent wind changes....". So we were a little surprised to find gentle trade winds blowing offshore and a relatively calm anchorage off of the (only) town of Hanga Roa. When we arrived the port was closed due to swell and it was 2 days before we were checked in and able to go ashore, but after that we were able to relax, take care of repairs and do some exploring ashore. We rented a car one day and a quad on another and did a lot of walking as well. The island is roughly 12 x 6 miles with a population of about 6,000 so it doesn't take long to cover it.
45 Photos
Created 27 January 2019
After the 8 day bash down from Costa Rica we arrived in Ecuador and got a slip at the Puerto Lucia Yacht Club. After a few days to regoup, we flew to Cuenca to meet Sabine and Alan, who had been roaming around Ecuador for the past week or so. We spent several days in Cuenca, looking at buildings and taking a trip up to Las Cajas National Park. S and A then left for the Galapagos Islands while we headed north to Otavalo where we hiked the Las Mojandas lakes and visited the market downtown.
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Created 17 December 2018
It seems that our time in Costa Rica has been mostly about the wildlife. We visited the cloud forest, several national parks and some private ones. Here is a rogues gallery of the critters we saw.
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Created 25 November 2018
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Created 21 March 2018
We spent almost a month in the La Paz area and Isla Espiritu Santos, discovering new little anchorages and enjoying the comforts of old stomping grounds. On February 13, we finally cut the ties with the Sea of Cortz and set off for new adventures, beginning with Isla Isabela.
18 Photos
Created 24 February 2018
Over time we have become insufferable beer snobs. As such we found that we could no longer abide the marginal brews we find when abroad and were compelled to take matters into our own hands. We brought a brew kit and grains back to the boat with us after a Christmas visit home (see the blog post for 1/21/18), tied to a mooring in Puerto Escondido and got busy.
11 Photos
Created 21 January 2018
We left the boat on the hard in Puerto Penasco for the summer while we returned home to Ventura to work. We returned to the boat in early November and, after 2 weeks of work on the boat in the yard, we launched and headed straight for Isla Angel de la Guardia, where we took up where we left off in the spring.
27 Photos
Created 7 December 2017
We got a late start heading south this year, our mainsail warranty replacement having taken much longer than anticipated. Our plan, as we headed south, was to get to Ecuador this season so that we would be poised to head to Patagonia in the fall. Somewhere along the way, though, we realized that this would mean traveling every day; more of a delivery than a cruise, so we decided to spend another season in the Sea of Cortez, store the boat in Puerto Penasco or Guaymas for the summer hurricane season, and head to Ecuador next year.
24 Photos
Created 4 March 2017
39 Photos
Created 30 March 2016
After a quick haul-out in La Paz we headed out to the local area to do some exploring. We spent most of January and february sailing up and down the coast enjoying the Islands of Espiritu Santo, San Francisco and San Jose as well as some of the anchorages on the mainland.
34 Photos
Created 13 February 2016
We left our slip in Channel Islands on November 7th, bound for Mexico with stops at Santa Barbara Island, Catalina Island and San Diego. We arrived in Cabo one month later having harbor-hopped down the coast of Baja.
23 Photos
Created 8 December 2015
30 Photos
Created 19 September 2013
We made an unplanned detour to Alaska when the wind sent us there. Rather than spend time in the Salish Sea as we had planned we have been sailing from Kodiak to Prince William Sound and down to the Inside Passage with stops at icy Bay and Yakutat.
97 Photos
Created 1 September 2013
After leaving Yokohama we headed southeast to get below a series of lows coming off of Japan. This worked to some extent as the wind was always behind us, even if a bit strong at times. As we approached the Pacific High the winds lightened and we were pushed northward which gave us the idea to head for Alaska instead of Canada, a move we have not regretted. The great majority of the trip was spent under cloudy skies, rain or fog so there are regretably not many photos. On the other hand, Kodiak is having their best summer in 75 years with daily temperatures in the 80's.
17 Photos
Created 25 July 2013
43 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
We made our way from Luzon to Okinawa with a detour to Taiwan due to weather. from Okinawa we sailed directly to Shimuzu where we based ourselves for a week while we did maintenance and land travel.
36 Photos
Created 5 June 2013
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Created 20 April 2013
We made our way from Miri, Sarawak to Kudat, Sabah where we hauled out for a bottom job and a few odds and ends. Then we headed north up the west coast of Palawan, spending some time in the El Nido area, where we met our friends from Miri, Roger and Jane on "Wings and Strings". We have been buddy-boating with them for the past week as we make our way through the beautifull Busuanga group. We are really enjoyin g the Philippines as the people are very friendly, the beaches clan and the water clear. The scenery is spectacular as is the snorkling.
60 Photos
Created 30 March 2013
Nearby Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for it's caves. It sports the world's largest cave system, largest cave passage and largest chamber (100m x 400m x600m!). The BBC series "Planet Earth" filmed it's "Caves" segment here (think mountain of guano seething with cockroaches). We took a couple of days off from boat work and flew out to have a look.
39 Photos
Created 8 September 2012
We had an uneventfull passage from Singapore to Borneo, though a bit tiring as we had to hand steer for 3 days and 2 nights. We arrived in Borneo just after dark on the 3rd day, anchored and awoke to a scene from a Tarzan novel. Over the next week we made our way to Miri, just short of Brunei, traveling during the day and achoring at night as we didn't want to run afoul of the many floating logs in this area. Typically we would sail all day then drop a couple miles off the coast to (mostly) avoid the bugs. We were lucky with the weather and apart from the hydraulic steering exploding as I tried to avoid a log, we had a good trip.
19 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
After 2 years of working on the boat and migrating back and forth between Phuket and Langkawi, we finally moved. The trip down the Straights of Malacca was uneventfull but at times difficult due to the opposing wind and current. We did not travel at night for fear of fishing nets and buoys and so had long days between anchorages. The sky was a uniform dismal brown due to forest fires in Sumatra and the shoreline was mostly mangrove flats so not much to see.
26 Photos
Created 27 August 2012
With the dinghy done we set sail for Langkawi, leaving Thailand for the last time. We lingered a few days in the Butang group to take advantage of the clear water, then made our way to Langkawi, where we have been working non-stop on the boat ever since.
27 Photos
Created 25 July 2012
We've been knocking around for a couple of years now without a dinghy so we took the time to build one this trip. We got a spot on the "work dock", picked up some plywood in town and got busy. The rowing/sailing boat is from plans but heavily modified. It took 2 weeks all in. It might have been less, but when the wind wasn't blowing a gale, it was raining. Some people do this inside garages or sheds, but they don't know what they're missing.
24 Photos
Created 3 June 2012
After launch we did a "circumnavigation" of Langkawi to put the boat through it's paces and see if all our work was for naught. As it turned out, the leaks are all a thing of the past and the boat now makes a pleasant "squish" instead of "bang" when beating into a sea. After our spin around the archipelago we picked up Annette's parents, Gordon and Grete, in Langkawi and made our way up to Phuket where we met Sabine and her boyfriend Josh. Another spin through Phangnga Bay and it was time to button up the boat and head back to Santa Barbara for another 4 month work stint.
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Created 22 January 2012
Annette's plastic cardboard fix allowed us to continue work despite the rain and we were able to launch after 2 months and 3 weeks. It's great to be out of the boatyard but we will miss all of our friends who we left behind, hoping we will see them on the water.
24 Photos
Created 29 December 2011
We discovered on our last trip that the boat pounds quite a bit when going to windward due to the flat bottoms on the hulls. The boat has a unique contruction in that the hull and deck both come from the same mold. The deck is just flipped uside down over the hull and they are joined down the middle. A clever idea, but it turns our what makes a good deck does not necesarily make a good hull. We also found that the Thai workers had sanded the hulls a bit too thin in some areas which allowed water into the core when the boat was working. Ungood. Our solution was to see if we couldn't improve things by adding a bit of "vee" to the forward sections of the hulls to help with the pounding and encase the whole mess in a layer of glass with a proper barrier coat of epoxy for the leaks. A side benefit is that we get a "minikeel" encased in the vee so that we can beach the boat if need be. It also would provide a crash compartment along the length of the bottom. We hauled out in the village of Chebilang outside of Satun in southern Thailand and dug in. The yard is on the rustic side and is used by the local fishing boats and ferry companies, but it is endlessly fascinating and the staff are very accomodating. We will also be doing work to the interior, adding bunks and a head, making spare rudders, working on the mast and fixing up the forward cockpit.
57 Photos
Created 18 September 2011
We came back from Thailand to meet our shipment coming ocean freight from Long Beach. 2 pallets of wire, rope, tools, materials and toys. Once we picked it up I was able to install the 12 volt electrical system which freed us from shore power. Now we are able to work on the boat at anchor and have been taking advantage by exploring the Langkawi Archipelago as we put the boat together.
24 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
A quick root canal and we headed back to Phangnga bay to pick up where we left off.
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Created 26 January 2011
Between dentist appointments we took a spin up into Phangnga Bay for a couple of days. We were surprised to find a lot of solitude here as it is high season and a popular destination. There were a lot of tour boats but from 4pm to 10am we had even the most popular anchorages to ourselves.
24 Photos
Created 26 January 2011
As the major construction on the boat progressed, it occurred to me that I could move things along a bit by building some of the smaller bits at home and shipping them to Thailand. Even with shipping costs this saved a lot of time and money. We had rented a small cottage in Carpinteria that had an attached deck. Sabine lived in a tent on the deck and I set up a work area under some tarps supported by bamboo next to the tent. It worked out really well and I was able to build the dagger boards, rudders and rudder drums, hatch bases, stanchion supports, trampoline supports, nav station, galley and steps down into the hulls. After we launched in March, 2010 we had to return to SB to work for 7 months. We were living on our Catalina 30 in SB Harbor to save money but I was able to build a refrigerator/freezer, settee, lavanette, cabin beams, battery box and other small bits right there on the dock. I was not popular with the next door neighbor but again, it worked out well.
45 Photos
Created 9 January 2011
Just after the New Year we went back to phuket to get some dental work done and see Phang Nga Bay, which we had to skip the first time around. We had great sailing, taking 3 days to do the 160 miles to Yacht Haven Marina at the north end of Phuket. We had broad reaching conditions the whole way and got to put the boat through her paces.
11 Photos
Created 7 January 2011
Once launched we had to take the boat out of the country as the visa had expired. We took a week to leisurely sail down to Langkawi, the first stop in Malaysia. The boat was nowhere near ready to sail but you do what you have to do. There was no electrical system, plumbing or furniture. I had pre-fabbed the nav station and galley in SB and shipped it to Thailand, but it was still in the crates. The boat did motor well, though and we got to sail a bit, at one time doing 9.4 knots in about 16 knots of wind. Once in Langkawi we had to haul out again after only 2 weeks as there were some leaks around the daggerboard cases. We were now out of money so we had to return to SB where we got our old jobs back and worked for seven months.
44 Photos
Created 24 December 2010
After over 4 years in the boatyard, countless setbacks, redoes and hand wringing we quit our jobs and flew to Phuket New Years day, 2010 for the final push to get the boat in the water. The date was not arbitrary. The boat's visa ran out March 27, so we had less than 3 months to get the boat in the water and out of Thailand or customs would impound it. The worklist included fabricating and installing fuel tanks, installing the engines and controls, installing the hydraulic steering, glassing in the rudder drums, building a mast step, painting, rigging and stepping the mast, building and hanging doors, making and installing windows and hatches, installing the trampolines and all the deck hardware, scuppers, and prepping and painting the boat. This is just a partial list but gives an idea of what we set ourselves up for. We rented an apartment in the marina and got to work. In the end we were able to slip out of Thailand 2 on March 29, two days late, but who's counting.
37 Photos
Created 24 December 2010
From August 2006 to December 2009 the boat was on the hardstand at The Boat Lagoon in Phuket Thailand for a complete refit. As we had to stay home and work to pay for it we had contractors do the work under the supervision of a Marine Surveyor. I would send plans and money and visit the boat for a week or 2 every 4-6 months.
50 Photos
Created 16 December 2010
We bought this boat "as is" in January 2005. The idea was to replaces some bulkheads, do some hull repairs and sail it back to California to finish. After over 30 years around boats I knew better but what can you do? These are the "before" pictures. As you view the photos try to imagine the sweet tang of mildew and cockroach scat and the delicate sound of millions of tiny termite jaws feasting on the bulkheads.
13 Photos
Created 4 December 2010