S/V Passage - Refitting a Classic (& Building Our Skills) Before Cutting the Docklines

We are working toward our dream, one step at a time, and are prepared to make mistakes and learn from them so we become better cruisers every day.

Vessel Name: Passage
Vessel Make/Model: 1980 Pearson 365 Ketch #324
Hailing Port: Chicago, IL
Crew: David Cole & Brodi Cole
We started sailing in 2004 when David's dad bought his first sailboat, a 30' Hunter on Lake Michigan. David spent many hours on Lake Michigan and when his dad upgraded to a 42' Hunter, even made several multi-day crossings between Florida and the Bahamas. [...]
In early 2010, we made a 5-year plan to pay off our debt, save money, buy a sailboat and take off for the adventure of a lifetime. One year into that plan, Brodi discovered an amazing deal that resulted in us acquiring "Passage"-a 1980 Pearson 365 Ketch-three years ahead of "schedule." We hope this [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svpassage
14 March 2019
30 May 2012 | Chicago, IL
19 March 2012 | Chicago, IL
16 February 2012 | Chicago, IL
03 January 2012 | Chicago, IL
13 December 2011
12 December 2011 | Chicago, IL
09 November 2011 | Chicago, IL
02 November 2011
01 November 2011 | Chicago, IL
19 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
13 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
12 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
11 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
10 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
02 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
20 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
12 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
11 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
04 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Recent Blog Posts
14 March 2019

A New Adventure!

It's been a while since we posted anything because kids add an unexpected spice to life and our implementation strategy for leaving the rat race has changed a bit. We still plan to 'cut the docklines' and travel the world, but sadly it won't be with Passage.

30 May 2012 | Chicago, IL

Back on the Lake!

The blog may have been quiet lately but we sure haven’t been slacking! After receiving the spring bridge schedule (we can only put the boat in and take it up river on certain days approved by the city), we had a mad rush in April to cut our [...]

19 March 2012 | Chicago, IL

Big News!

We weren't kidding when we said in the last blog post that March would be full of big news...as you may have guessed from the photo, our crew is officially expanding to three! Baby Cole should be joining us around September 2, 2012...just in time to help us winterize Passage! In case you're wondering, [...]

16 February 2012 | Chicago, IL

Winter Update

We haven't been MIA because we're busy with boat projects...sadly it's been the exact opposite. While winter in Chicago has been a bit more temperate that usual, it still hasn't exactly been ideal for boatwork. So we've been focusing on home projects that were neglected throughout boating season...how [...]

03 January 2012 | Chicago, IL

Too COLD for Cruising

We truly thought more boatwork would get done this winter, but now that the holidays are officially over it's hard to motivate ourselves to willingly spend significant lengths of time outside doing boatwork when it's already skipping the freezing point entirely! It's official, January is NOT a good time [...]

13 December 2011

Cool Website

I just found a cool new website, and wanted to share. Love the pic/quote on his main page, too!

12 December 2011 | Chicago, IL

A Month of Updates

It's been a rather crazy month for us, without really any time to even sit down and log our updates. The weekend after our last (and only) post in November we did head back down to the yacht yard to get some more stuff off the boat, and try to figure out our head/plumbing system. Our biggest challenge [...]

09 November 2011 | Chicago, IL


Motivation. That one little word has so much "baggage" associate with it, but in my mind truly defines the doers from the dreamers. Ever since Daylight Saving Time ended over the weekend I've struggled to maintain my level of motivation. Between the [...]

02 November 2011

Hump Day, Quote Day!

Well, he wrote the quote anyway...

01 November 2011 | Chicago, IL

Not MIA!

We went down to the boatyard to see Passage on her cradle last Sunday, and it was amazing that it took just 20 minutes to get there! When we got to the boat, we packed up a few things to bring home for the winter as well as started to look at the holding tank to determine how we will remove it. We also [...]

Heads Don't Have to Be Stinky

12 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / Still Warm!
If you've had a lengthy conversation with me about our boating plans, and specifically all our refit project dreams, one topic that has likely come up is my head…no not that my brain has been replaced with rocks for taking on all this craziness, but that our boat bathroom (remember, that's also called a "head") is stinky and I have trouble sleeping on the boat knowing that a fiberglass tank filled with other people's dookie is below my bed. Wow, it seems even grosser when I actually type that sentence. So, one of the projects on our "vital" list-the stuff we can't leave home without completing-is removing the head (toilet) and holding tank (stinky thing under my bed) and replacing them with a composting marine toilet called Nature's Head.

For the record, no this is not a "boat porta-pottie" or a "human litterbox" and yes it is WAY better than what creates the noxious fumes when we swim near the boat and it is WAY better for the environment. Another side benefit is that this toilet will have a full-sized seat rather than the dinky little one our current setup offers. This will allow our guests additional comfort, not to mention us because over the long term, we will have to literally live with our choice. After reading blogs about rebuilding a head or unclogging a holding tank, I'd rather be the sailboat with the "weird organic toilet" than the one with the "stinky, leaking head". We are already halfway to the former title, so the head refit is taking a top seat on the priority list once Passage is hauled out in October.

For those of you who find our bathroom eccentricity interesting, here are a few blogs of boats that have already installed a composting toilet on their boat:

S/V Sarah - Pearson 424 Sloop

S/V Sarana - Mariah 31 Sloop

S/V Deep Playa - Pearson 424 Ketch

S/V Ariel - Gemini 3200 Catamaran

They have given me an idea of what to expect in this removal/installation process, and can also provide a better understanding to our friends and blog readers of just how much better our day sails will be as well as how much work goes into living the good life on a boat. There's a very popular saying amongst sailors that cruising is just repairing your boat in tropical locations...I guess we are just practicing the repair part for now, since Chicago is certainly anything but tropical...especially come January!
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Passage's Photos -

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