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One visit to any of the sailing and cruising forums will no doubt net you plenty of reading on the subject of “money.” What does it cost to go cruising? Can you cruise on 500.00 per month? Where is the cheapest place to cruise? All of these questions are very popular with people in the planning stages of cruising. They certainly were with us anyway. I can happily say that threads on this subject matter are no longer on my reading list. And why would they be? The amount of money that we have now to cruise is what we have. A bunch of people telling us that it is enough, or worse, that it is too little, isn’t going to change our plans a bit. We are not changing our departure plans and we will end up living on what we end up living on. If we run out of money before we are done cruising we’ll do what everyone else in that situation has done… we’ll deal with it.

Now that I have that off my chest, it’s back to boat-prep talk! Yesterday, having healed from my windlass-induced war wound, I made another trip back to the boat.

Still working on the modifications to our anchor light. More on that later.

Installed the Victory brand LED bulb in our steaming light. There was only a short moment of panic when I couldn’t get the bulb to fit. Then I realized that the pins on the end of the bulb were not symmetrical and I just had to rotate the bulb 180˚ to get it in.

I don’t like this! While enjoying my lunch on the boat I looked up to see this crack in our bimini. When I applied pressure by the crack a small droplet of water came out. This is VERY un-cool!

I invested some quality time in taking good measurements for the windlass wire run. I was pretty accurate the other day and it will be just under 20 feet one way. As I mentioned I don’t think running the wires will be difficult at all. In fact, there are a couple of other wires that run to virtually the same place that I can just follow. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to run the wire before we mount the windlass though, which in my estimation, is going to be a much bigger job.

Yesterday I visited the specialty lumber yard and bought the most expensive piece of wood that I have ever seen: a 2″x10″x10″ block of Iroko. Cost: 25.00! This wood is heavy! My intention is to carve that down to the appropriate shape and size for the windlass base and then seal it with epoxy(???). I’ll be reviewing my West Systems DVD today to see just how that gets done. Although the top of the deck where the windlass needs to go is not flat, causing us problems, the underside is not too bad. Making a backing plate to go in this area may not be too hard. One additional challenge that I am having though relates to the stainless steel hawsepipe that is there. It will not move! I have unscrewed it. I have hit it with a hammer (hard!), both from above and below. I have even hit a flat-tipped screwdriver underneath it, trying to pry it out. No go. Sooo… perhaps I’ll just leave it there and fit my nice block of Iroko over top of it. If you can’t beat em… join em. 🙂


  1. I always say, it costs what you have to spend. I am glad you are wise to this topic, so many people fret over it. Hope that crack is an easy fix… what am I saying, this is a boat! There are no easy fixes 😉

  2. Sounds like that hawsepipe was installed with 5200…


  3. Nice rant!

    I would bet the screw holding the skylight covers are leaking – mine were loose. THAT is a good application for 3M 5200; rebed them. That will help the core dry and you can figure out if it needs further repair later. I would not think about it now – too cold for the materials anyway.

  4. Money is what it is. You run out,you get some more. When it’s spent it’s gone and forgotten,but a life experience is with you forever.
    What if you were in your senior years,well off financially due to diligent saving and scrimping,and had nothing fun or adventurous to look back on? How sad would that be??

    We’re getting ready to “jump off the cliff” too,in a slightly different form.
    I’m almost certain there’s plenty of water down there!!:-)

  5. I hate the feeling I get in my gut when I see something that is possibly “wrong with the boat” in that kind of structural or major mechanical way.

    I guess I’ll get over it 🙂

    • I actually fought the urge to stop eating and jump up an examine the crack as soon as I noticed it. I was patient though and finished my salad first.

    • Livia, you never get used to it:)

      Mike, I agree with you 100% on the money thing! On Cruisers Forum, (and yes, there is a multihull faction there:)), I avoid the money talk. There are more than a few people there who are positively rabid that you should have a monthly income over $5,000 just to cruise or you have no business sailing out of sight of land!

      Iwill have two small pensions when I’m 55, in 7 years, and they will do. They’ll have to do! Period! Sure, I’ll have to most, if not all the work myself. Hell, if I get the steel boat I want I’ll learn to careen the damn thing just after high tide so I can do bottm work. Thats a clear advantadge I see with your multi-hull:)

      Someone wrote somewhere that you’ll always have the right amount of money to do what you’re required to do to keep cruising. That is my mantra….Happy sailing….Allan

  6. Ramen Noodles,Beer,Scottish Oatmeal,Paper Towels….

    The rest is just incidental.

  7. Red Mill Scottish oatmeal-good stuff

    So now I have to put a Spurtle on my provisioning list?!

  8. Mike,

    We have the same opening (crack) our my hard top, and at the same location as you. However, I dont show the signs of water like you do. Another point you can check is the GPS Unit, if it is mounted on the hard top like ours is.

    Good Luck,


    • Interesting. It was a tiny droplet of water so it might not be a huge deal. I bet it is leaking from the snaps on the top as Drew suggested.

      Our chartplotter is mounted, not on the bimini but rather on the console, near the throttle leavers. Right by the compass, where it shouldn’t be, of course. )

      • It could also be condensation, especially if it was under the shrinkwrap.

        • Possibly, but I don’t think so. We actually had zero condensation in the boat as it was extremely well vented. Also, the droplet of water was actually brownish and it only came out when I squeezed the cracked area.

  9. Ditto about the cruising budget! We’ve always been frugal and with a home and automobiles we don’t spend $5000 a month! As long as we have shelter, a place to sleep, and enough food to stay comfortable, we’re good. We imagine that most of the joys of cruising such as exploring new grounds, snorkeling, etc. will be little to no cost. Look forward to sharing our “catch of the day” with you someday!

    • I have not been all that frugal in the past but am training myself to be so. Once all of our land-based expenses are gone I think all will be well. What we really need is to just get down to the land of $3.00 bottles of rum. 😉

  10. $5000 A MONTH?!!!!! I didn’t make that kind of money when I was working, let alone now that I’m retired! Good Lord! $60,000 a year. You adjust your lifestyle to your income, be it ashore or afloat. Unless you’re my daughter, who adjusts her lifestyle to the income of her whole family, and gets mad when we can’t support her in the style to which she wants to become accustomed! Ah well, I tried to raise her to be realistic. It worked with her brothers, but not with her. Now, if I could just get everyone to tell her “NO!”. But that’s another story, not for here.

    Mike, you might want to aim Rebecca’s hair dryer at that crack while you’re still ashore. Or set up a heat lamp. You have to dry out whatever is being used as a core in that bimini before you can repair the crack. You also have to find how the water got in there in the first place. Brown water = water in core. It probably froze this winter and caused the crack. It will only come out in droplets because it’s stll moving through the core, and may still be frozen. Once you find the source and dry the core, you can repair the crack.

    • Thanks Helen. We’ll do that. I’m pretty sure I know where the water is coming in. It should be an easy fix.

      • “Easy fix”, huh? Relative to what?

        Oh, you are SO tempting the “gods”! 😉

        Fair Winds,

        • I’m sure you are right. What I meant was, it should be easy enough to squirt some 5200 on the snap where I “think” the water is coming in. Drying out the inside and fixing the crack may not be all that easy.

          And to the “gods of boat maintenance”, please accept my humble apologies. 🙂


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  11. I’m sure this is obvious… but I meant remove all of the snap/screws and put them back in with 3M 5200.

    And of course, lube the snaps occasionally so that you don’t have to force them. They get corroded or limed-up quickly.

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