30 May 2012 | Chicago, IL
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16 February 2012 | Chicago, IL
03 January 2012 | Chicago, IL
12 December 2011 | Chicago, IL
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19 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
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11 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
10 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
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20 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
12 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
11 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
04 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Kool-Aid Works Miracles!
31 May 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / 89" & Sunny
The Kool-Aid worked!!!! I got the lemonade flavor, so my hands didn't turn color, but they did anyway...not green or red or purple from the drink but black from all the tarnish! I couldn't believe how big a difference there was after cleaning one of the hooks. The Kool-Aid did such a good job in cleaning the brass hooks I brought home that all the tarnish ended up darkening my fingers so much they looked black. Even after washing them twice, my hands are still discolored...but they couldn't look any better and didn't even come close to looking this good when I tried Brasso on them over a week ago. I can't wait to pull the rest of them when we head back down to Passage. Who'dve thought a $.20 package of powdered drink mix could do WAAAYY more than a multi-dollar bottle of specialized cleaning solution.
I also applied for a mooring buoy at Monroe Harbor today. After calling the harbor office, and finding they do actually still have "cans" available I immediately submitted the application. The girl who answered the phone said it usually takes about a week for people to hear back on their applications, but hopefully this'll work out and we can get out on the water this summer after all.
We've started getting quotes on sails, and some aren't as much as I expected (or feared?). Now that the ball is really rolling, I can really start to see things happening this summer rather than waiting a whole year to see what Passage can do when she's floating with the wind and currents!
A 3 Day Weekend is a Great Time for Messin' About in Boats!
30 May 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / Sunny and HOT!
It’s been another couple of productive days preparing Passage to be water-ready. Although she’s not going to be ready to take off for saltier waters any time soon, we’d still like to try to spend some time enjoying Lake Michigan from her deck during the short, hot Chicago summer! We’ll see what happens.
It rained and stormed all day yesterday, so going down to the boat wasn’t in the cards but I was still able to run errands to get more cleaning supplies with my dad and start reading through The Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual by Don Casey. I found directions for making new curtains (the old ones use rv track curtain hardware) and a handheld sewing machine that works on D/C and A/C power. I don’t think the handheld will be able to handle curtain making, but hopefully it’ll be good for basic repairs going forward. I also bought David a “boat warming” gift-four tropical themed drink cozies! Now when we have guests, we can keep the beer cold since the refrigerator isn’t totally working. It feels colder than the ambient air but doesn’t really chill anything…not very high on the repair list yet, but we’ll get to it.
Today was a much more productive one, since the rain ended and temperatures were nice and warm! I cut the foam for the v-berth which ended up fitting perfectly into the boat when we took it with us this afternoon. We might even be able to use the extra pieces to add a second layer to the mattress if we can get just a bit more for the middle. We went to Home Depot to get “Krud Cutter” as my dad recommended in order to work on the water stains above the floor in the main cabin. It really lightened the dark area below the dining table, and I have high hopes it’ll do the job for the rest once we sand off the remaining varnish. My dad said he’d mail us his palm sander when he gets some, so we don’t have to buy one.
David thought he was going to have to rebed two of the portholes-in the hallway and v-berth-but it turned out that there was so much dirt accumulated between the window and the frame that they couldn’t seal properly. A thorough cleaning hopefully fixed the issue; we’ll see next time we’re down there if the water puddles don’t reappear below them. We are pretty much done with the v-berth now, and Passage is starting to look like more than a forgotten storage closet. Because we were able to find great berth cushion replacements at Ikea, I was able to talk David into trashing the old ones…which I’m convinced came with the boat when it was first launched in 1980!
We did decide to keep a couple of them so we can trace the right shapes for our new cushions, since that’ll be much easier than tracing below bench backs in the main cabin.
We also tried to take measurements for new sails, and did get the jib done but the main halyard is somehow stuck at the top of the mainmast and I wasn’t about to test out our boson’s chair on a rather windy day so we saved that for later. Passage’s inside is now clean enough that I’m not worried about getting some crazy mildew/dirt disease by walking on the floor, sitting on benches, or leaning against anything. So we can now get started cleaning the bilge out (David found a shoe down there) and we’re looking at having Crowley’s marine diesel guys evaluate the Westerbeke since neither of us even know where to start.
Tonight I’m going to try the Kool-Aid trick suggested in a previous blog comment for cleaning some brass fixtures I brought home today. By the time we finished, I was too tired and hungry to clean the lifejackets to take back to the boat, but that’ll be a good project for some warmer weeknight this coming week. David thinks we’re going to get Passage in the water before July 4th but to do that we need to clean the bilge, set up an engine review appointment, buy some basic sails and throw a coat of antifouling paint on the bottom. Stripping and repainting will need to wait until next spring.
We don’t need a working shower, hot water heater, or refrigerator in order to get out there. The Pardey’s don’t have all sorts of complicated trinkets and they cross oceans! People who’ve seen photos of Passage or stopped by in person all seem to have a similar response, “you’ve got a lot of work to do.” But we knew that going into this, and it’s nice to feel like we’re getting to know Passage a little at a time.
Making Progress...Thanks to Ikea!
28 May 2011 | Chicago, IL
With both of us working full time jobs it’s been tough to have so little time to start working on all our projects we’re so excited about, but the holiday weekend has been a great start to try checking things off our list. My dad was in town visiting for the weekend and spent Friday afternoon with David at the boat taking berth and mast measurements for new cushions and sails. When they got down to Passage, all the lights were on and the radio was going because we accidentally left the A/C breaker switched to on, so the solar panel had a week to fully charge. Oops! But it was good to realize there isn’t a short in the radio wiring that caused it to stop working each of the previous times we tried to listen to it for more than three minutes at a time.
David and my dad picked me up from work and we drove to Ikea where we found scrub brushes for cleaning the interior mahogany, non-skid tape for the companionway stairs, a temporary cushion for the nav station, fabric for new curtains, memory foam cushions for all the berths AND a king memory foam mattress for the v-berth. In a little over two hours, we got so much done it more than made up for all the time we’ve been “wasting” at work over the last five days.
We had our final sailing lesson this morning, with great conditions! We even got to practice our first “man overboard” drill when I found a fender floating just outside the harbor entrance, and managed to snag it on the second attempt. In the afternoon, we headed down to Passage to trace the berths so we can custom cut the foam and to start cleaning the main cabin. We wanted to also recheck the mast measurements-one can’t be too careful before ordering new sails-but it started raining as soon as we got in the car and didn’t stop until we got home a little after 6:00pm. Even with the rain, though, it was a very productive afternoon!
Originally, the plan was to cut the v-berth foam and start working on the curtains but we were just too exhausted from a couple of crazy days to do more than enjoy some quality family time. If the rain keeps up tomorrow as forecast, I can still work on the curtains and/or use my dad’s woodworking expertise to shop for varnish and cleaning supplies for Passage’s mahogany.
Pre-Refit Cleaning is Underway
22 May 2011 | Chicago, IL
The past few days have been really busy in our new boat ownership, but we did officially get our ownership paperwork. When we met our broker there, he took some photos of me cutting down the ‘for sale’ sign and of us on the bow as well as in the cockpit. Throughout the rest of this weekend, we spent a lot of time assessing what we had and generally starting to clean out Passage.
On top of the giant functioning solar panel and dinghy davits aft of the cockpit, we’ve also found the following items so far still in useable condition:
10+ PFDs, including two suspender-style whisker pole
winch and sail covers bimini
two fishing poles various fishing tackle
two flashlights camping lantern
Cruising World foul weather jacket book on knots
book on sailing boson’s chair
spinnaker spinnaker chute
mizzen sail three docking lines
three hoses with two spray nozzles two shore power cords
mooring line first aid kit
several lines for sails and miscellaneous use extra bulbs for indoor fixtures
weighted-bottom bowl with lid emergency kit w/flares
marine stereo radio/cd with 4 speakers four ice cube trays
spare parts for a handheld VHF radio fish-shaped mini paper lanterns
mystery sail the same color/material as the spinnaker but shaped more like a rectangle/trapezoid
We started by cleaning every surface in the v-berth so that as we find usable items we can clean them and store them there while we work our way aft. David mopped the floor and I cleaned the floor level fiberglass and counters. I also tried to polish the decorative brass fixtures in the v-berth but they seem beyond saving, so we will likely replace them as well as the window coverings and cushions throughout the inside cabins. We also opened the refrigerator to see just how big it is...since a friend asked how many cases of beer we can fit in it and we didn't really know. Now, we do: a lot! Leaning inside I my fingers barely grazed the bottom when I tried to touch the far side I couldn't actually reach it. David could almost crawl inside! It'll be a great feature when we go cruising full time.
On Sunday, we took Lucky (our dog) with us to the yard so he could start acclimating to Passage. At first he wouldn’t move after David carried him up the ladder, but he finally got comfortable and wandered between the deck and the cockpit and when we took him below even tried to climb the companionway ladder once to go back up but slid off. He actually seemed to enjoy it, and fell asleep in the car on the way home.
Before leaving on Sunday, we stopped by the yacht office to officially register as Passage’s new owners. We also spoke with them about leaving her on dry-dock for the summer but they recommended we launch her at least part of the summer so that we can run the engine in the water and ensure it runs smoothly. It’d give us time for a “shakedown cruise” to see how she sails. Then David started tempting me with a weeklong sailing trip to Mackinaw City for my 30th birthday in August. So, we agreed to see how the refit goes since they don’t consider a boat as summer storage until July 4 weekend.
Until the end of June, our upcoming projects include:
1) Finish cleaning surfaces of age and grime
2) Strip and revarnish floors and internal woodwork
3) Replace inside cushions and window coverings
4) Ensure no water is in the engine, v-drive or transmission; change all oil, filters, etc
If this gets done, then we’ll see what happens…I love the possibilities our new phase in life is bringing us!
We are Yacht Owners!
18 May 2011 | Chicago, IL
It's official; we own a boat! The paperwork went through today, and we are one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal. 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. Technically, today shouldn't be happening until about the beginning of year four but I guess that's my first official lesson as a cruiser: plans and timing frequently change and that can turn out to be a good thing.
Here's a little background on how I went from browsing to buying within a week (yes, things changed that quickly): Last Monday I was looking around on yachtworld-basically realtor.com for boat people-to figure out what kind of boat(s) I like. I found a "repo" boat at a bargain basement price and told David about it. To my suprise, he just said "contact the broker;" but he was so nonchalant about it that I didn't think he was serious. The next day he asked if I had heard anything and I admitted I never sent any emails, but thought there'd be no harm in looking since sailboats at a decent price don't go up for sale in Chicago.
I arranged to meet the broker on Thursday, and by that morning David decided to come with me. The online pictures suggested the boat could either be a hidden gem or total lemon, so I thought we'd only be there maybe for a half hour and David could take a long lunch. We were there for over two hours and made an offer on the spot to the broker, who pulled out beers for us to toast with from the cooler in the back of his truck. So cool!!!
We arranged for a formal survey on Saturday, and met the surveyor at the boat when it was over so he could review key findings, etc with us. It was very helpful and educational, but also a bit scary because I started to worry that the projects were going to be more than we could handle. My cautious optimism reasserted itself, in large part because of David's insistence the rest of the weekend that THIS was THE BOAT for us. Rationally, the money we'd put into this boat would end up giving us just what we want for less than anything else on the market that we'd want.
By yesterday morning, we had finalized our offer and arranged for the wire transfer. Yes, another big win with this is we didn't have to finance a penny! So we own this boat outright as of today. We still only have emailed copies of the title because our broker is meeting us at the boat on Friday to hand deliver the papers and give us boat access.
Here's her specs:
1980 Pearson 365 Ketch
LOA: 36 ft 6 in
Beam: 11 ft 6 in
Headroom: 6 ft 6 in
Dry Weight: 17700 lbs
Engine Model: Westerbeke 40HP
Engine Type: Inboard
Drive Type: V Drive
Propeller: 3 blade propeller
Number of double berths: 1
Number of heads: 1
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