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..

03 November 2018
26 October 2018
30 March 2018 | Puerto Madera, Chiapas Mexico
21 March 2018
21 February 2018
21 February 2018 | La Cuz
21 January 2018
07 December 2017 | Santa Rosalia, BCS
26 April 2017
25 March 2017
17 March 2017
23 February 2017 | Cabo San Lucas
23 February 2017 | Bahia Magdalena
06 February 2017 | San Diego
23 September 2016 | Ventura West Marina
27 May 2016 | Bahia Asuncion
13 May 2016
30 March 2016 | Santa Rosalia

We're back

26 March 2023
We arrived back to Rum Doxy in Hiva Oa on March 19. She was looking a bit forlorn and neglected up on the hard in the boatyard but happy to see us and welcomed us without much fuss or drama.
Every day in the boatyard is measured by accomplishments that we can check off "the list" and issues added to "the list". After a being here a week, I'm happy to report that the list is getting shorter. The main issue and the one ultimately determining when we can splash back into the water is the arrival of new batteries we had to order. They are coming by boat from Papeete and we're told should arrive by this next week??
In the meantime we stay busy with the routine chores and projects of getting the boat back in the water and ready for another journey.
As we mentioned last time Hiva Oa has the most scenic boatyard on the planet, and we have a front row view which is awesome and a bit of a tease. While we are fixing stuff, sanding, grinding, dripping sweat in 93 degree heat, we look out on the anchorage at all the boats swaying in the breeze, surrounded by cool refreshing water....and count the days.
This morning we had a bit of drama. Both of us immersed in our projects as usual, I hear a loud and rich stream of swearing from the workshop, down in the starboard hull. My first thought is what broke? How hard will it be to replace or fix? Then as Mike emerges from the hull holding his hand dripping in blood I try not to panic. More swearing and cussing. He has sliced his left index finger at the knuckle down to the bone. "It's going to need stitches" he says, "but I need my finger to do it". Finally I thought, I get to be a hero, I'll stitch him up! I ran below to get the whiskey for his nerves and a bullet to bite on. By the time I got back, I see he's giving himself a shot of lidocaine, with a huge needle, into the cavity of the cut, with eyes closed holding his breath! After a few minutes the finger was numb, color returned to his face and his breathing returned to normal. Stoically, Mike picked up the suture needle and began stitching himself up. In the end all I got to do was assist, but honestly I was relieved, I was getting the heebie jeebies just watching him sew himself!
He finished up and went back to work in his shop. It wasn't more than 5 minutes later, the swearing began again, this time it was only the tip of his finger, something a steri-strip could mend.
Now that we got the drama over with, all we have to do is get back in the water and go sailing!!

A dog's life

13 September 2022
The seas calmed and we were able to haul out yesterday afternoon without too much drama. The boatyard is right on the water and as I sit writing this I am looking out over the bay at the surrounding mountains, listening to birds singing and waves lapping at the rocks. It feels more like being in a resort than a boatyard and we have to keep reminding ourselves that we still have work to do before flying out tomorrow.

Over the weekend we rode our bikes into town to do dome vegetable shopping. The market has large eaves with a row of benches out front and when we arrived there were a couple of guys with a guitar and ukelele singing traditional Marquesan songs out front. When we came out of the market they had been joined by 2 more ukeleles and had attracted a small audience including one intricately tatood young woman leaning against the bed of her pickup truck. 

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. While the scene I just described was uniquely Marquesan, even more typically Polynesian was the dog sitting in the back of the pickup truck. I have been to over 50 countries and seen dogs in every one of them and can vouch for the fact that the ugliest dogs in the world are concentrated right here in French Polynesia, the dog in question being a prime example. Picture a pit bull bred with a baboon then dipped in acid and dragged behind a truck on a gravel road and you have a pretty accurate image of what the typical Polynesian dog looks like. A few scars and a case of mange complete the effect. They have had hundreds of years to perfect the breed and the result is truly disturbing and one of the more powerful images that we will be returning home with.

We will be back in internet territory soon and will post pictures of our trip on the blog and in the gallery.

Winding up

11 September 2022
Alas, all good things must come to an end, but not without it's final bits of drama. So we really can't write a final episode until we know how it truly ends.  We are now back in Hiva Oa because we had a haul out date scheduled for Friday, September 9 and a flight scheduled on Wednesday, September 14. Yesterdays attempt to haul Rum Doxy had to be aborted due to too much swell so we try again on Monday.  Except for the tight time schedule now it's just as well we're still in the water as we don't have mosquitos and we have refrigeration and cold beer.

To recap a bit, It was a great sailing season aboard RumDoxy this year. We sailed from the snow capped mountains of southern Chile to the white sandy beaches and dramatic, verdant pinnacles of the Marquesas. We sailed over of 6,000nm in 4 and half months, including the crossing from Valdivia to the Gambiers, Gambiers to the Marquesas, and 500nm roaming around the Marquesas.

As happens every season, things break, systems stop working and shit happens, but overall on Rum Doxy it was relatively painless and very pleasant. Since this blog is also our record of events I'll list the primary things that broke and the lessons learned. Or in other words, what we would do different next time knowing what we know now.

Things that broke or gave us trouble were the watermaker boost pump, the house batteries that we had replaced in Mexico,  outboard motor,  Sailtrack worn out and slides popping out, rudder cracked and repaired, now good as new.

There were many lessons learned. Some things we had to relearn because of the long lapse in sailing time due to Covid, others were new situations and circumstances unique to the area. We rediscovered that the best sail combination for going straight down wind on Rum Doxy is wing on wing with a reefed main and the jib. After a few episodes of dragging anchor we learned when to and when not to use chain floats and a trip line, and make sure there are plenty of days between haulouts and flights to compensate for weather. But the most important thing we learned was how to brew and bottle a great tasting beer in half the time, consuming far less resources and preventing any shortage. 

As of now it's looking good for a successful haul out Monday, the swell is way down and the winds are forecast for a light breeze. Fingers crossed. 

Bali Hai

01 September 2022
Being here is like living on the movie set of Bali Hai. White sand beaches lined with coconut palms lie at the base of shark fin fidges which break up the verdent walls of 3500 foot mountains shrouded in cloudy mists. A handful of lazy looking sailboats swinging at anchor are awaked occationally by the splashing of a school of 6 to 8 foot manta rays grazing on the currents of plankton. And the sun highlights each sceen individually as it filters through the steady flow of puffy clouds passing by.

This is the view that surrounds me as I sit on the aft deck and begin to read Herman Melville's book Typee, in which he describes the experience of being captive by the natives on the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas the year 1842. His discriptions of the Polynesean people, their culture and taboos, their lifestyle, their values, the flora and fauna are fascinating to read about and compare with what we are seeing and experiencing here today.

After jumping ship from the whaler he was on, Melville made his way inland to avoid capture only to stumble into the valley of Typee, feared for it's reputation for cannibalism. Rather than making a meal of him, the inhabitants embraced him as an honored quest, free to roam the valley as long has he did not try to escape. He eventually spent 4 months in what he called the Happy Valley before managing to slip away.

As we have now spent weeks ourselves in his exact location it's easy to imagine what it was like for him, even though very little still exists as he describes. Melville describes life on the islands as being very simple, slow and easy, with no real stress except for the pesky neighboring tribes who occasionally cross into the valley and provoke little skirmishes. He attributes the village Shangri La to the consistent perfect weather, an abundance of uncultivated food that literally grew on trees, and the absence of money or accumulated wealth. According to Melville no one really worked.  Breadfruit was the main staple along with coconuts and bananas which were plentiful and available for the picking in the valley. When they hunted boar or fished it was a special event, done as a special feast for ceremonies and festivals. All their material possessions were made from the natural resources around them, Tapa cloth out of bark, calabasa gourds as cups and bowls, pigments from
for tattoo dyes, jewelry out of bones and shells, soaps and fragrant oils from the nectar of flowers. Their activities being more like hobbies and recreation, done at their leisure for pleasure and according to their needs. Because there were more men than women they were polygamous, where women would have more than one husband, but Melville notes that, in general, relationships were very causal and open.  Men were still the head of tribe, as chiefs, religious shaman and as warriors. The high chief determined what was taboo and off limits to women, but the restrictions were few, being primarily to the holy sites (the men's club) and religious ceremonies, which if it was me I would totally be ok with not participating in anyway. According to Melville, everyone had equal opportunity to all the resources, so there was no real need for laws or law enforcement, open relationships relieved most of the jealousy and angry competition and there was no caste or class system. Melville saw
the last days of that civilization because it was at that very time the French were colonizing the island tribe by tribe throwing everything off balance with the intrusion of guns, alcohol, disease and religion.The population on Nuku Hiva went from around 18,000 in 1842 to 2,096 in 1926 and still remains pretty sparsely populated today.

From our observation and generally speaking it appears that the simple, easy going lifestyle is inherent to the Marquesan people. There seems to be a sense of contentment with less. Material wealth doesn’t appear to be a driving force and the only fashion trend of any kind  we noticed was the bleached tuffs of hair all the teenage boys were sporting. Other than that it is t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops for all, year round. Outrigger canoes are the popular activity for the boys and men and polynesian dancing for the girls and women. We hear the drumbeats and dodge the canoes everytime we enter a harbor or walk through a village  What is most remarkable to us is the sense of community and family in each village. As the sun wanes in the late afternoon everyone, young and old, gather together outside to visit, play bocci ball, volleyball or just hang out. Also noticable is the cleanliness of the towns, roadsides, beaches and trails. 

There still is an abundance of fruit available for the picking on the islands, mostly uncultivated but on private property now so as a guest you don’t just pick it off the trees, but no noticeable commercial agriculture of any kind. As mentioned before every island in the Marquesas has an over abundance of feral goats, pigs and chickens which are available for the taking which also provide the activity of the day. We’ve seen a handful of fishermen per village but not what you’d expect being on the coast. Each village has 1-3 tiny little stores with the bare essentials at exhorbitant prices, a post office and government building, a clinic, a catholic and a protestant church, a school and a community gathering spot. Which raises the question, what generates income in the Marquesas, how do people make money? Tourism is very minor and low key, there is no manufacturing of goods, no commercial agriculture, except for copra, not a big money maker. Everything is imported twice
, first
to Tahiti and then via local cargo ship to the outer islands. A can of beer is 4 dollars and bag of Cheetos to go with it is 18 dollars. 

The Marquesas are composed of 10 islands over an area of 1,418 square miles and is off the beaten path from anywhere. Visiting the Marquesas is seeing a lifestyle and culture untouched by commerialism, consumerism, big business or industry. The outside world does not seem to have much influence on the daily lives of the Marquesan people, and from what we can tell they are ok with that. From an outsiders point of view it does appear like the islands of Smiles and Happy Valley’s, very little to get upset or stressed about.

Nuku Hiva

18 August 2022
Last week we left Tahuata, headed for Ua Huka, 55 miles away. We stopped at Hanamenu Bay on the north side of Hiva Oa to shorten the trip a bit. While the water was a bit muddy, the surrounding hills made us feel like we were back in Baja. Dry, volcanic rock with a few scattered dry bushes. The next morning we left for Ua Huka with a forecast of 20 knots just behind the beam. After a couple of morning squalls where we saw 35 knots the winds settled into a steady 25 to 30 knots. We fell off a bit for comfort and headed for Nuku Hiva instead. After a sporty sail averaging 8 knots and dipping into double digits we arrived at Controller Bay on the southeast side of the island in time for happy hour. 

In the morning we took the dinghy up the river a bit and walked to the village of Taipivai, the Typee that Herman Melville wrote about. There we asked around until we found the trail to Tiki Paeke, a holy site in the mountains where thousands would gather for rituals. It is all but forgotten now, mostly reclaimed by the forest, giving it an Indiana Jones vibe. We did find a couple of Maraes, the ceremonial platforms, with several tikis in attendance and a stone in the middle that looked to our eyes just like a chopping block. We stopped at a small market on the way back to pick up some eggs and they loaded us down with avocados on our way out.

We then moved to Taiohae bay where the main town is. Along with stocking up on provisions as best we could we stopped in at the Notre Dame catholic church on Sunday to hear the singing. It was standing room only so we spent the service outside on a stone bench with some locals but there was no rear wall so we were able to see and hear the service that was in Marquesan with lots of hymn singing. It was a beautiful morning and the singing was a treat and I was not struck by lightning, which is always a particular concern of mine whenever I am near a place of worship, so a win win all around. 

Our next stop was Anse Hakatea on the southwest end of the island where 1600 foot mountains created the backdrop on the west side of the anchorage. We beached the dinghy and, after feeding the no see-ums for what seemed a reasonable amount of time and watching blacktip sharks cruising the surfline, we hiked a couple of miles up the valley to an overlook where we could see Vaipo waterfall, at 1150 feet high the tallest in Polynesia. It was pretty dry and the falls were more of a trickle, but the mountains were stunning with ridges, fins and spires covered in green velvet rising straight up from the valley floor with tropic birds circling in the canyon. The entire trail followed the ancient Marquesan roadway that is still mostly intact. Built of stone, 8 feet wide and raised above the ground it went straight up the valley, at times carved out of the hillside. On both sides were lots of pae pae or stone foundations where huts used to stand giving us some idea of the thousands of
who lived here before European contact. We even passed a marae with a tiki, built around a banyan tree, which were considered sacred. We had paid a small entrance fee to one of the few residents remaining and he told us to stop by on our way back. We did so and, as we are now becoming accustomed to, loaded us up with more pamplemousse, star fruit and a huge stalk of bananas.

After a rough trip against the wind back to Taiohae we have been restocking at the vegetable market, getting some fuel, fixing broken stuff and so on. We also found time to bottle our latest batch of beer that we have dubbed Typee A. We stopped by the tourist office and met Collette, a local Marquesan from Taipivai. We had her out to the boat for lunch and had a nice visit, learning about the island and such. It was particularly nice as she had lived in Hawaii for 11 years and speaks fluent English. As we speak no Marquesan and only enough French to buy eggs it was the first time we had any real interaction with a local.

You've got mail

13 August 2022
11 and a half weeks with out internet, that's how long it's been since we last were online. On August 3rd we connected for the first time since leaving Valdivia on May 12th. The lack of internet has actually been a reprieve from the daily bombardment of ads, facebook requests and bad news. Except for the fact that we've not been able to post pictures on the blog or google information we have questions about, it's not been something terribly missed.

So when we finally did connect for 1 hour there were 500 emails waiting in each of our inboxes, mostly junk but also lots of news to catch up on, and a few hidden surprises but nothing serious. The highlight for us was going to our blog and reading all the thoughtful comments you all have been posting. Thank you so much for taking the time and participating with us by adding your thoughts. I do apologize for the gobbledy gook that shows up in the text of our posts. We knew that quotation marks, parentheses, and exclamation marks turned up weird but I wasn't aware that apostrophes show up like a Greek letter also.

Internet in the outer islands is virtually nonexistent, even for the residents. You'd have to get up at 2am, the stars have to be in alignment, and maybe then you could send off a picture or receive a large file but that's if you got lucky. Even now that we are on the main island of Nuka Hiva internet is limited to WiFi in a restaurant. Even our satellite connection is difficult and struggles because the anchorages are tucked deep inside canyons surrounded by steep 1,500- 3,500ft rock spires and mountain ranges. So it may be a while longer before we can post photos to accompany our posts. 
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
In early May, 2022 we reluctantly left Chile and headed for French Polynesia with a stop at Robinson Crusoe Island on the way. We here not allowed ashore on RC Island as Covid restrictions were still in effect. Nevertheless, we spent 5 days there waiting out some weather and were able to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the Island from afar. We then carried on to the Gambiers, taking another month due to light air. The Gambiers were beautiful with the best snorkeling we have had to date, but winter was catching up and we made our way north to the Marquesas where we enjoyed warmer water and swimming with manta rays. By mid-September it was time to head home for work and we left Rum Doxy on the hard in Hiva Oa where she awaits our return in after hurricane season.
53 Photos
Created 1 January 2023
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.
63 Photos
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.
27 Photos
Created 25 November 2018
11 Photos
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
19 Photos
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.
60 Photos
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.
50 Photos
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