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
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14 March 2019
30 May 2012 | Chicago, IL
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13 December 2011
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02 November 2011
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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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11 September 2011 | Chicago, IL
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Recent Blog Posts
19 October 2011 | Chicago, IL

Winter Storage River Trip

We went on our big river trip this weekend...taking Passage through the river lock next then 3 miles upriver under 23 bridges to Chinatown! David's best friend, Andre, was in town from LA and joined us for the floating jaunt through the city. They'd gone out for a sail while I was at [...]

13 October 2011 | Chicago, IL

Passage has Business Cards!

Yes, it's official...Passage has her own business cards! We ordered them from Vistaprint, a quality yet affordably solution for lots of home and business promotional products. We've used Vistaprint for various other things in the past, including our wedding Save-the-Dates [...]

12 October 2011 | Chicago, IL

Hump Day, Quote Day!

We've been doing hump day quotes on Passage's Facebook page for a while now, and wanted to share this week's selection with our blog readers as well.

11 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD

Boat Show Awesomeness (Part 2)

If you read my last blog closely, you're probably still wondering how we could go to the oldest sailboat show in the country and only see one boat?! Well, there were literally hundreds of vendors and we had some serious shopping to do! After all, once Passage is hauled out next weekend for the season [...]

10 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD

Boat Show Awesomeness (Part 1)

Going into the 2011 Annapolis Sailboat Show, I had so many expectations yet wasn't really sure what to expect at the same time. Last year, we basically wandered all the booths for a little while but spent the bulk of our two days at the show attending seminars and touring every single possible boat (even [...]

02 October 2011 | Chicago, IL

Fall Sailing & Boat Show Prep

After three weeks off the boat due to weather or weddings, we were able to finally get out on the water for a sail today! Although a bit chilly the sun was shining and the winds were a steady 12 knots yet the waves were fairly mild...a truly perfect fall day for sailing!

Winter Storage River Trip

19 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / Cooling Off Fast
We went on our big river trip this weekend...taking Passage through the river lock next then 3 miles upriver under 23 bridges to Chinatown! David's best friend, Andre, was in town from LA and joined us for the floating jaunt through the city. They'd gone out for a sail while I was at work on Friday, so Andre already knew his way around Passage's decks by Saturday morning...sort of...but good enough!

We got up early and got to Monroe Harbor around 7:30am, and were off the can by 8 and on our way toward Navy Pier! We weren't really sure how long it would take to go through the lock, or even where it was...so we followed the other boats heading that way and hoped for the best. By the time the Lake Shore Drive bridge raised a little after 9am, there were 18 boats waiting to head up the river to winter storage!

When the river started to narrow after we passed the Merchandise Mart, we quickly discovered that 18 is too many to safely navigate the river between bridges since they don't raise at reasonable intervals for boats to keep moving smoothly along the river. Once the boating caravan turned south, we were basically broadside to the wind and the smaller boats started struggling to maintain control of their vessels. One sailboat ended up being blown into the lowered bridge while waiting for the bridge staff to raise the damn thing.

There were some moments of stress, but overall we pulled it off without doing damage to out boat (or others') and we even managed to see people we knew along the way! Some of David's coworkers came out to wave as we passed the Merchandise Mart and then our friends Brian and Lauren came downtown to see us as we turned south into the second part of our river journey.

In the last leg of our trip, we waited for quite a while for the railroad bridge to raise while we stared at Canal Street Marina next to Ping Tom Memorial Park in China Town. At least there was a lot of open space there, and we were able to raft up to a wall and hang out with the other boaters while the freight trains went over the last bridge between us and the end of the 'road'. By the time we pulled up to the marina dock to check in for the winter, we spent four hours on the river from the time the first bridge went up...that wasn't too bad considering one river trip took boaters NINE hours because the bridges kept breaking down!

We took the sails off the boat and organized it a bit before heading to dinner at a tasty authentic restaurant in China Town. It was a truly exhausting day! To see the pics, check out Passage's Facebook Page!

The next morning, David and I headed back down to the marina to meet with the yard mechanic, Jeff. But the time we got there, he had fixed our water pressure system...something we hadn't been able to do all summer since our water pump made noise so we assumed it worked. Turns out, it didn't work except to make noise...problem solved! He installed the new one and showed us how to empty and refill our tanks (to clean out some seriously stinky, nasty sludge) so we can winterize them and actually use them next summer. Jeff and David also reviewed the process for winterizing our engine, and set a date for David to shadow Jeff while he winterizes our system.

So far, we LOVE our choice for winter storage. Mark and Jackie Riegel, the owners, are so nice and friendly and helpful. Mark is going to connect us with some guys who can help us repair our rub rails and Jeff is going to let us shadow all the work he does so we know how to do it ourselves next time. He also recommended the diesel engine class we want to take this winter because a friend of his teaches it! What a great connection to have...Mark even volunteered to adjust our boat from cradle to jackstands when we repaint the bottom next spring so we don't miss any spots! It's really nice to be able to discuss our plans and have yard staff who are willing to support and work with our goals to learn our boat systems better.

To wrap up a great weekend, our Nature's Head arrived this weekend...now we need to prep the boat for the install so there'll be one less system to winterize! With 24/7 access to Passage, we should have plenty of time to knock out several of our bigger projects...I can't wait for next summer!!!!!

Passage has Business Cards!

13 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / Typical Fall
Yes, it's official...Passage has her own business cards! We ordered them from Vistaprint, a quality yet affordably solution for lots of home and business promotional products. We've used Vistaprint for various other things in the past, including our wedding Save-the-Dates in 2005, and have had only positive experiences with the company.

Generally, you can order 250 free cards by choosing from one of their stock styles, and only pay tax/shipping...or right now, for a limited time you can take advantage of a special promotion they are running that offers 500 premium business cards for $10...including FREE shipping! We did this, and even got to upload a photo of Passage as the background for FREE! Then after checkout we were offered another 500 additional cards for just $3.74...and more FREE shipping!

The bargain-shopper in me is SUPER happy right now...FREE is my favorite price! And $0.02/card is pretty darn great, too!

Hump Day, Quote Day!

12 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi
We've been doing hump day quotes on Passage's Facebook page for a while now, and wanted to share this week's selection with our blog readers as well.

We were introduced to a great poem at the show in Annapolis over the weekend, and wanted to pass it along to all our readers.

May it inspire you to pursue your passion!

Boat Show Awesomeness (Part 2)

11 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
Brodi / Not too Hot to Spend Boatbucks!
If you read my last blog closely, you're probably still wondering how we could go to the oldest sailboat show in the country and only see one boat?! Well, there were literally hundreds of vendors and we had some serious shopping to do! After all, once Passage is hauled out next weekend for the season we have at least a score of projects to accomplish before she's relaunched in 2012.

I am happy to say we came home having ordered the two big items from our list - a compostable head and bottom paint! We've made another semi-contentious choice in some boating circles by purchasing CopperCoat, a bottom paint that is copper based; some people say that copper paints are bad for the environment because they flake off copper into the water. However, as a non-leaching paint it literally takes about 10 years for CopperCoat paint to even start wearing off a boat's hull. The dried epoxy resin doesn't cause or promote electrolysis, galvanic action or cathodic decay. Having done significant research on bottom paint over the last 6-8 months, it seems to me that in general corporate pollution is a much greater copper concern for our environment than what's on the bottom of a recreational boat. David and I both agree that the substantial cost and time savings of not needing to re-apply bottom paint through full haul-out every two years was a major selling point! (**Note: If potential future cruisers read this months or years from now, feel free to email us to see if we still feel positively about our choice. I always wonder why more people don't share their bottom paint choices; there are so many options, I have found selection overwhelming.**) We are really excited for spring when we can buy soy-based paint stripper (more on this in a future post) and see what's really under all those layers on Passage's hull!

As I'm sure many cruisers do at this show, we also came home having ordered some items that weren't on our original shopping list:

New Membership to the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA)

Good Old Boat subscription
Chute Scoop
Electromaax High Output Alternator with Serpentine Pulley System
Airmaax 12v Wind Generator


Oddly enough, we had discussed all of these things at some point since last year's show at Annapolis but they hadn't really been on our radar. We are excited because the SSCA has a lot of members who are actively living the dream, and can offer us a lot of tried and tested advice if we want it. The Gams (cruiser parties) are supposed to SUPER FUN and take place in various cities worldwide! I was sold on Good Old Boat because they actually have published a variety of articles on DIY projects we already have planned, and some were even about other Pearson 365s!

The Chute Scoop was literally an impulse buy while we were trying to decide if we were already over our spending budget. We rationalized that we spent all summer without using our free spinnaker that came with the boat because we were so intimidated by dousing it. Now, we'll actually be able to try it out next year! The great bonus is that the Chute Scoop is easily transferable to other light-air sails, like the drifter we're going to add to our inventory within the next year or two.

We actually planned on only buying a standard alternator to replace our broken one, to save money, and I hadn't considered a high-output one. However, David had and between conversations with him and both the President of Electromaax and Designer of the alternator and serpentine pulley system, I was (slowly) brought up to speed. I had gone into the booth to say hello to Rich Boren, of S/V Third Day and Cruise RO Watermakers, but I also wanted to hear more about his experience with the Airmaax 12V wind generator. Needless to say, we liked what we heard about both the alternator and windgen and have ended up with both! While it's true we don't technically need a windgen next season on Lake Michigan, we decided that it is necessary to make any big purchases we know we want to have down the road now while we still have significant income to offset the expense. And, it'll give us time to get to know these new systems while in familiar territory.

Between the deals already offered at the boat show, our intent to pay with check (not credit card), and-of course-our awesome likeability we were able to score some great pricing on our load 'o' stuff for next cruising season and beyond! We also had an opportunity to work with an incredibly knowledgeable salesman who helped us fit foul weather gear, just for the satisfaction of knowing we knew what to do. He explained that if it fits great when you squat down, then it's too small..."if it looks like it fits, then it doesn't it. It needs to look way too big!" While we're not in the market for this yet, and are hoping to score a great discontinued or off-name set rather than paying new/name brand prices, at least now we have some idea of what to look for!

One thing I think we are a bit more confounded about than when we started are dinghies. We spent time both days of the show oggling the Fatty Knees dinghy, but also spoke to several inflatable brand reps and even checked out some of the electric outboards available. We want to minimize our fossil fuel dependency, but there are so many options...Thank goodness we don't have to make a decision on that for a while because both David and I are (still) totally befuddled on this one!

For more photos, check out S/V Passage's Facebook Page!

Boat Show Awesomeness (Part 1)

10 October 2011 | Annapolis, MD
Brodi / PERFECT for Spending Boatbucks!
Going into the 2011 Annapolis Sailboat Show, I had so many expectations yet wasn't really sure what to expect at the same time. Last year, we basically wandered all the booths for a little while but spent the bulk of our two days at the show attending seminars and touring every single possible boat (even some multi-hulls). This year was basically the opposite in every way. We attended just one seminar-by Lin & Larry Pardey on Budget Cruising-and stepped foot on just one boat...the new St. Francis 60 ft Catamaran, a yacht so big I can't even confidently call it a boat. I mean, that floating monstrosity has more square footage than my condo!!!!! Craziness.

Last year, I felt like I had no idea what I was talking about if I did have a vendor conversation and this year I knew which booths to see (I actually researched the vendor list and show map in advance) and which to skip. In some cases, I knew their selling points before they said them. (But I do now know how to fit my foulies when we buy them!)

One of our first stops was Lin and Larry Pardey's booth, since they're doing the boat show circuit to promote Lin's new book Bull Canyon. Meeting them was an absolutely amazing experience! I have read so many of their works, and a lot of their messaging (Go Small, Go Now) really helped me commit to taking a chance on Passage even though I knew she would need a lot of work to get back to her former glory. At one point, I felt so silly telling Lin how much her books mean to me but it was so great to hear her perspective on our life plans and to have our dream totally validated by people who've been out there and know what it's like. The best part was when Lin and Larry signed my copy of The Cost Conscious Cruiser...when I read it, I got a little tear in my eye. Lin said, "Brodi and David, I envy you. You can only do something for the first time once." She's right. As much as I might get bogged down in details and planning and worries and doubts...this entire process is magical in its own right. David and I share a dream, and we are making it happen. We might mess up, we might make decisions different that others would or did, but they're our decisions and they're for our dream. There are few things in life greater than that.

I wasn't sure if things could get any better than the start of our first day at the show, but throughout the rest of the show I also got to have a chat with a few bloggers I "follow": Carolyn, who writes The Boat Galley blog (and is publishing a cookbook in 2012 that I'm eagerly awaiting!) and Rich Boren who designed an amazing watermaker that we're oggling, blogs about sailing with his family in the Sea of Cortez, and until recently also had a sistership Pearson 365 ketch.

Then, towards the end of our second day at the show, we got to meet Nigel Calder! For those of you who read this blog but aren't big on boating mechanics, he is basically THE GUY when it comes to mechanical and electrical stuff on sailboats. David and I were chatting with the President and Head Engineer/Designer for Electromaax, when he walked by. They called him over (since I guess they know each other pretty well), and introduced us. During the conversation, Nigel said that he's been promoting their high output alternator with serpentine pulley system all over Canada! Well if Nigel Calder endorses it...

One thing I definitely did not expect was to meet several of the Who's Who of the cruising lifestyle and even have extended conversations with them! While not necessary, it's great to hear that our thoughts and perspectives are on the right track in planning to make all this happen. As we were discussing our plans and our boat with these sailing greats, I started to realize that we're almost two years into our five year plan...and somehow it just started to feel more 'real'. We aren't going to do everything right before we go, so it was time to commit to purchases and make decisions on some big ticket items. After spending our first day talking with all the key vendors we wanted to see, and even some we didn't expect, David and I spent a lot of the ride back to his sister's place (and that night when we were relaxing) discussing what purchases were important for "now" and what we wanted/needed to wait until next year...

See more pics on Passage's Facebook Page!

Fall Sailing & Boat Show Prep

02 October 2011 | Chicago, IL
Brodi / 65 & Sunny
After three weeks off the boat due to weather or weddings, we were able to finally get out on the water for a sail today! Although a bit chilly the sun was shining and the winds were a steady 12 knots yet the waves were fairly mild...a truly perfect fall day for sailing!

We were out for several hours, and took the opportunity to appreciate what will likely be our last waterview of the skyline in 2011. Next week, we are off to the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis to oggle and shop as well as visit family and hopefully friends. We are also going to be meeting up with S/V Bright Eyes to buy some of their sailing gear since they are back from their Carribean jaunt and will be rejoining the workforce for a while. Their boat is for sale in FL if anyone is seeking a solid cruising yacht.

One thing we've been wrestling with is the classic "argument" between a RIB (rigid in-bottom) or hard-bottomed dinghy. While RIBs are easier to find used, hard dinghies can double as a liferaft and can also come with a sail package so as a liferaft they can be used to sail toward land, shipping lanes, etc in order to hopefully increase the chance of rescue. Thankfully we don't have to actually make any decisions for a while, so we are going to use this trip to see, sit in, and compare the multitude of options available. It seems that other than Lin & Larry Pardey we can't find anyone else who has or does actually use their hard sailing dinghy as a liferaft...if you have any direct experience with hard dinghies (or know of another cruising blogger who does)...especially doubling as a liferaft...we'd love to hear it!
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Passage's Photos -

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