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
About:
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. [...]
Extra:
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
Social:
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
20 September 2011 | Chicago, IL

It's the Small Things in Life...

There are so many big projects that need to be done before Passage is ready for long-term sailing, but for some odd reason it's the little details that get me excited that our plans can truly become reality. This is why out of all the things we really needed to work on, I first chose to make new [...]

12 September 2011 | Chicago, IL

Heads Don't Have to Be Stinky

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 [...]

11 September 2011 | Chicago, IL

Passage Has a Home This Winter!

August has been a slow month for us, in terms of both sailing and boat work, but earlier this week we did manage to finalize where Passage is going to spend the winter. It is official, she's going to Canal Street Marina! I've been emailing back and forth [...]

04 September 2011 | Chicago, IL

Step Up to Your Life Raft!

When we first bought Passage and started telling people what a gem we'd snagged, we were told multiple times "they don't make boats like that any more." At first we'd just smile and agree with them, but we didn't really realize what that meant. Having been researching sailboats for a while, and seeing [...]

01 September 2011 | Chicago, IL

Anarchist Yacht Club!

What am amazing video about sailing! After the short sailing history intro, which is pretty interesting, a Pearson 30 enters the story! I see pieces of myself in all of these "kids" and it has inspired me not to be (afraid? worried? anxious? all [...]

It's the Small Things in Life...

20 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / Chilly & Overcast
There are so many big projects that need to be done before Passage is ready for long-term sailing, but for some odd reason it's the little details that get me excited that our plans can truly become reality. This is why out of all the things we really needed to work on, I first chose to make new curtains instead!

On our way back from Tyler & Liz's wedding in Traverse City, MI this weekend we stopped by the Lighthouse Outlets in Michigan City, IN. This is where we wanted to sail over Labor Day but the weather didn't cooperate. We went to search for dress shirts and pants for David, and stumbled on Sebago and Corelle outlet stores. While the boat shoe selection was pretty poor, the options in the Corelle store included several I've only seen on the website! Why am I so excited about dinnerware? Well, there are basically three options I know of for galley dinnerware.

1) Kitchen Dishes. Some people might choose to save money by bringing dishes from home on the boat. This is rather dangerous because standard stoneware sets can break fairly easily, and with all the heeling a monohull does, breakage seems pretty likely.

2) Melamine Dishes. Plastic dishes are practically unbreakable. However, over time the plastic can start to get scraped off by knives. This is especially true with the plastic designs "painted" onto the melanine. Plus the scrap marks on the plastic just makes the dishes look a bit dumpy. Just look at well-worn kids plates...those are typically melamine.

3) Corelle Dishes. These are "glass" dishes, but are the closest one can get to unbreakable. They are marketed as break-resistant and chip-resistant, but it was the review of these dishes on The Boat Galley that really sold me! Her honesty, even in the review update, helped me decide that the product is marketed accurately...and David's grandmother has owned them for decades and also loves them.

I'd decided a couple months ago that I wanted to buy Corelle because not only are they hardy but they are also stylish. It may seem silly but if we really want to make this lifestyle change happen, I don't want to feel like I'm camping by eating with metal sporks out of tin cups or some other craziness over the long term. We ended up getting the Sand & Sky pattern...
Sand & Sky Pattern
...which I love because the square shape will fit more naturally into our overhead dish storage area in the galley! Even the bowls are square...This will help ensure our new boat dishes don't slide all over the place and cause a noise nuisance!

Having lightweight, sturdy, non-plastic dinnerware just makes this seem more permanent in a way. No, I don't need that built-in hot tub under my bed like we saw at the Michigan City Boat Show, but I do want small, affordable details that just make me happy. I guess I'm just a bit of a classic lady after all. Things like curtains, dishes, and cozy bunk cushions are worth a few extra bucks in our preparation process...they can really make the boat feel more like a home.


***Don't forget to check out Passage's Facebook page for photos and extra updates***

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!

Passage Has a Home This Winter!

11 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / 78 & 10 kt winds
August has been a slow month for us, in terms of both sailing and boat work, but earlier this week we did manage to finalize where Passage is going to spend the winter. It is official, she's going to Canal Street Marina! I've been emailing back and forth with the owners, and David's been down to see the place a couple times...the big selling points for us are 24 hour access and a 20 minute commute from home! When we first bought Passage last spring, it was difficult to get down to work on her because she was 45 minutes away and the yard closed at or before 8pm daily. The folks at Canal Street are so nice that they're even going down to the old yard to get Passage's cradle for us!

An interesting part of going to Canal Street Marina is instead of taking Passage several hours south of Chicago, we get to travel down the Chicago River through downtown...on our own personal river/architecture tour. I have to admit, I kind of feel like this is a third big selling point because I've never seen my home city from that viewpoint before. We haven't officially booked our haul-out date yet, but it'll likely be the weekend of October 15th when David's best friend visits from LA. Talk about a unique weekend trip!

We also went sailing today for a few hours...just the two of us (and Lucky). The winds were forecasted at 2 knots so I didn't have high hopes and we even took our time getting down there-going out to brunch and wandering around the Renegade Craft Fair for a while, but when we arrived at the tender dock I was really happy to feel a stiff breeze and actually see waves out on the lake. We were discussing how rare these opportunities have been this summer since we've had so many wonderful friends share their afternoons and evenings with us. Today was relaxing, and I actually got to just lay in the cockpit and sunbathe while David steered. It was a unique, low key and amazing afternoon with just the perfect amount of wind to keep us at 4-4.5 knots with JUST the genoa!

For pictures of our sail today, check out the S/V Passage Facebook page!

Step Up to Your Life Raft!

04 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / 18 knot winds & choppy swells
When we first bought Passage and started telling people what a gem we'd snagged, we were told multiple times "they don't make boats like that any more." At first we'd just smile and agree with them, but we didn't really realize what that meant. Having been researching sailboats for a while, and seeing other boats in the harbor perform in different sailing conditions, I can't help but take a moment to broadcast just how right they are!

We went out yesterday in barely any wind, and then again today even though I was really nervous about having never been out in such strong winds. But my mom was in town with Tony (my stepdad) and we wanted them to experience how great Passage truly is. We'd made plans the day before to have our friends Lauren, Brian, Liz and Beth also join us so I was a bit concerned that we'd taken on more than we could handle and invited an audience to see us crash into the sailboat behind us as we tried to get off the can. However, seeing the waves as we drove down Lake Shore Drive made me feel a bit better about the conditions and Lake Michigan didn't look so overwhelming.

The harbor itself was calm but I could see boats heeled over at a significant angle, and while my mom was (a bit too) excited to "sail like a racing boat", I wasn't sure how we would do and several people took dramamine to prevent seasickness-including Tony who had gotten seasick in the suprisingly big swells the day before. Today, we saw what our boat can do in decent winds and I am even more excited to get Passage back on the oceans where she belongs!

There are two safety precautions I've learned in my plethora of reading in the last 20 months, which I've told David and our friends who sail with us often:
1) Schedules Sink Ships
2) Step up to Your Liferaft

The first one we lived yesterday when we cancelled our sail to Michigan City, IN to shop at the outlet mall due to intense thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon (which ended up being a smart decision). The second one we didn't experience this weekend (you sadist!) but seeing Passage cut through small swells, sail over larger ones and easily right herself when we were hit sideways during a tack made me realize that our boat will really be able to hold her own during foul weather. Comparing Passage's smaller heeling angle to those observed in the newer, fin keeled Hunters and Beneteaus made me truly believe that they really DON'T make sailboats like that any more!

When I came home and used my new login information to join the Pearson365.com website I discovered a short video that reinforced this even more...I hope I never have to find out if my boat is as tough as this Pearson 365...

Anarchist Yacht Club!

01 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / HOT
What am amazing video about sailing! After the short sailing history intro, which is pretty interesting, a Pearson 30 enters the story! I see pieces of myself in all of these "kids" and it has inspired me not to be (afraid? worried? anxious? all of the above?) of the work ahead of us in fulfilling our dream. For the record: I do not condone squatting illegally on giant poweryachts...

These "kids" roughed it a lot more than I'd want to, but I appreciate their passion and drive to make their dream happen in the way they needed in order for it to happen at all. At 75 minutes this video is longer than I expected...more of an actual biographical documentary than a short film..and it taught me a lot of random cool stuff:

1) The difference between crosswalk signs in the US and Bahamas
2) How to clean a conch
3) Where the term "head" came from
4) Foul weather is both the best and worst of sailing
5) Keep the rig up, and the water out. The rest is just inconvenience.

Check out the trailer if you aren't sure if you're ready to commit to the whole video yet.
The bottom line is anyone can fix up a boat and sail off into the wild blue yonder...if, when and how is up to the individual. Check out their website if you want to learn more.
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:15801
Passage's Photos -

About & Links

SailBlogs Friends
THIRD DAY