Through the Looking Glass

Discovering our own Wonderland aboard S/V Madhatter

11 June 2015
04 June 2015 | Melbourne Beach FL

Caribbean Prep!

11 June 2015
Ah, Boat Ownership. A never-ending to-do list!

You start out by researching the type of boat you want to purchase: Sail or Power, Monohull, Cat or Tri, New or Used. Then you're on to make, model, layout, year, budget considerations. Once you've narrowed your search down, you can find the boats for sale that meet your specifications and are in a reasonable geographical location for you to retrieve the purchase. You can then get a broker or not, get financing or not, go through negotiations with the seller, and now, you can survey the boat. Fly up for a survey that will run you about one boat buck ($1000) and wait for the results before proceeding to the sea trial. FINALLY, if all goes well, and often it does not, but in our case, FINALLY, you purchase and OWN the boat.

Your head races with things to buy and things to do and places you'll see and and and...but first, you need to actually get the boat to where you live, which took us 3 weeks, and then you get to repair all the things you broke along the way, which is where we are now.
After months and years of preparation, we are finally getting ready for our first big cruising trip to the Caribbean.


Well, aside from getting our new-to-us land home matters all squared away for our absence, and our kids and our affairs in order: insurances, medications, mail, work, school, a new business, and boat learning issues like a diesel class, running the asymmetrical, boat systems operations etc, we just have this little, incomplete, ever-expanding to-do list to finish:

1. Register Boat
2. Change epirb registrations (2 of them)
3. Dingy registration?
4. Hurricane locations at intervals in keys and gulf side
5. International entry requirements?
6. Hurricane reaction map and spots within 24 hours of all points on course
7. All communications (t mobile plan? others?) Ocens, Gribs, SPOT, Iridium, etc.
8. Tour EGYC

1. Rudder
2. Fix Main sail boom caddy
3. Get several more docking lines
4. Check inflatable fenders and blow up
5. Fill LP
6. Complete repairs on dingys
7. Oil change and basic engine maintenance course
8. Speed over water indicator
9. Replace 10 pound with 20 pound LP tank on rail
10. Full spare parts inventory (get extra toilet parts)
11. Figure out cushion cover options so they are more stain resistant and/or protected
12. Get all necessary Charts (paper and electronic)
13. Order new Yanmar screen
14. Broken Cleat
15. Brush and Oil all teak
16. Clean out boat completely and find best places to stow everything


Dink engine harness
Zip ties
x3 padded homework/eating trays
Back chairs installed?
x2 chairs for forward deck
xSpice rack
Table bed conversion
Propane and rack
A IS (will do spot)
WiFi booster
Southern caribbean navnet chart and check for other chart needs
xCup holders for helm
xScrub bag
xClothespins and clothesline
xLilly dress
Shade over bathroom hatch
xBroom/Dewalt Vac
Hailing changed to Melbourne Beach
Salon cushions velcro
xDink and motor
xFrench press
xPressure cooker
x Satellite minutes
Lifeproof phone cases
Another tablet
Download curriculum and family reading
T-Mobile boat phone
Hat clips and sunglass bungee
Medicine cabinet items including aloe, pep to, earache drops, bandages, liquid bandages

And THEN, we can provision, check weather forecasts, and head to our first destination, most likely in the Bahamas. Which has SEVEN HUNDRED islands to choose from...

In other words, we are not leaving as soon as we'd hoped but we are leaving sooner than if we never got going on all of this. Hopefully we'll be on a trial loop of Florida's coast in a week or two and a real departure in six weeks or so. Of course, this is all at Mother Nature's discretion. Hurricane paths trump our itineraries anytime.
In the meantime, we are REALLY getting excited and loving our adjustment to life on the hook. This past weekend we celebrated my birthday on a sail to Ft. Pierce's inlet and had an amazing inaugural Madhatter ocean sail with it's full set of crew.

Also, our boat cards are in! Yay!
Vessel Name: Madhatter
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42 mk1
Hailing Port: Melbourne Beach, FL
Crew: Chris and Lisa Mohrman
About: Learning as we go with 3 kids who won't mind a year of boat schooling as we explore the Caribbean and life aboard.
If you have a shrinking cake from Alice, by all means, EAT it and join us as we make the journey to our Wonderland. For the rest of you who require more than a few inches of space and eat more than a morsel of cake each day, the next best thing awaits when you add yourself as a member of our new [...]
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