We all know and hate the bilge. The bilge is dirty, stinky, and looks like something out of a horror movie, at least ours was that way. Because we have all the floor boards at home for refinishing, we thought now is the best time to clean our bilge.
With so much dirt and grim in our bilge we decided we needed to scrub it first to see what we had to work with. Armed with Mr. Clean, Super Tuff and a lot of scotch brite pads we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We scrubbed and rinsed for a straight day. Having access to a fresh water and a garden hose helped a lot, as we scrubbed we could wash down the bilge and drain the water out with the bilge pump. The little water that we had left we used our wet/dry bucket vac. With day one of cleaning the bilge done, we went home for a beer and shower.
Now that we could see the bones of the boat, day 2 was all about prep. We had scrappers and scratch pads, along with sand paper and acetone. We scraped all the loose old paint off, cleaned any additional spots that were missed and then gave the surface a full sanding. At the end of all this was the final vac, again with our wet/dry vac we sucked up as much of the dirt and old paint chips as we could.
Day 3 was the best! We got to see the results of our hard work. We were unsure which product to use at first and got some great information from different Facebook groups…with that, we decided to stick with Pettit Paint (we use Pettit for bottom paint). We purchased our Pettit Bilge Paint from Jamestown Distributors in white, and the results were instant. We did not use the acetone to wipe down the bilge before painting, for us, this did not cause a great concern. The paint went on great, with no issues, and while there was some left over paint chips, this didn’t affect the out come we were hoping for.
All in all, it took us 3 days to complete the bilge, and we are completely happy with our results and hard work!
James and Tammy on svoceanphoenix
Thank you @PettitPaint for a great product!
Our dream…to retire when James turns 55, myself 50 and sail away into the great blue yonder. Yup, we all have dreams and some of us out there share this same dream. We have ten years to turn this dream into reality.
James has owned boats in the past, a powerboat first and then a Beneteau 323. After the sale of both he became a beachcomber, a sailor without a ship. I have had no real experience, the occasional fishing trip and ferry ride, lol. Shortly into our relationship, I understood how important his passion was and I was excited to give something new a try. About a year into our relationship (November 2016) we came across a CS 22 for sale at an auction, we decided on the highest price point and WE WON! The first time we seen her, she was so sad looking, but we fixed up the trailer and pulled her home. We spent the next several months during the weekends working on her. We must have cleaned out about 50 clay wasp nests, hence the name Yellow Jacket. Fast forward to summer 2017 and we have a beautiful boat ready for the water, we added items, took out items and designed a crutch for the mast. We now have a week vacation and decide to take her to the Thousand Islands.
Good morning everyone. As I write this post in my living room I cannot help but feel the sense of ” wasted time” on a perfect boat prep day. Why would you say this you may ask? Well….. we are stuck on the hard – literally.
Like many others around the world this is the time that we spend completing all the little or even bigger jobs while we are hauled to get us ready for the summer boating season. Bottom paint, hull cleaning and wax, rigging repairs and so on are just a few things we spend time on in the spring.
Covid-19 has definitely thrown a curve ball at all of us and as much as we want to just go out and start our preparation rituals in the boatyards, many of us are at home waiting it out – unable to travel – and unable to access our vessels.
Tammy and I have 2 boats right now, Ocean Phoenix in Rhode island and Dragonfly in Maine. Both very non accessible for us right now due to the 14 day quarantine protocol everywhere. And we have big TO DO lists for both of them. We could go down to each of them separately and stay the 2 weeks on board or in the 5th wheel. That would allow us to complete all of our repairs and get them ready to go when we all get the green light to launch. But we only have so much vacation time and Tammy has half the time that I have so its not a great option.
Also to make things even more complicated, we have the sea trial for Dragonfly to complete in June so we can sign off on any escrow items that may be lingering. And we have several items ( Our Main Sail being one) that is in storage in Massachusetts. We are likely going to have to postpone our sea trial to a later date.
As human nature normally dictates the initial thought process is a selfish one. If we could complete several day trips on the weekends we could get everything accomplished but there are no guidelines on travel through separate states and stopping anywhere. I understand if your final destination is a specific state, and you are staying, you have to Quarantine for 14 days but what if a person is not staying? What if we drove to Massachusetts, gathered our items in storage and drove back to our home state the same day? We can pack our own food in the cooler and only stop for fuel.
On the financial side. Did we Pay for our mooring in Rhode Island in February and now loose our mooring fees for this year without even using it? Are we going to have to pay for Summer storage for Dragonfly in Maine if we cannot launch our Cat before the Summer storage fees start? Do Tammy and I take unpaid leave from work for 2 weeks to get the Cat ready 14 days before the sea trial and sail away to Rhode island in hopes that we do not have to self Quarantine again once we arrive at our mooring? Or do we just suck it up, take the hit of all the extra costs and use this time to complete all the items needed for both boats on the hard once travel opens up?
The bottom line is we are ethical people no matter how much our minds drift off to the anxiety of not knowing if we will ever have any sailing season this year. Covid-19 is no joke and we pray that all of our friends, family and all those we meet along the way stay healthy and safe. So for that reason we are staying put at home and watching sailing videos on YOUTUBE!! I know there are lots of you out there going through the same issues as we are right now.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the water again at some point and years from now it will be a point of conversation that we look back on and say “we got through this together”.
Fair winds to all,
Tammy and James
Here we go again for yet another sailing season spring prep. As if we all didn’t have enough challenges getting everything done before we splash, now the universe throws us a curve ball with COVID-19. As many of you know Tammy, Ray and myself live in NY state so travel is not possible right now. However we still have many things we can do at home to prepare us for our season. We are sorting through our many totes of gear and nautical items making decisions on what items go to each vessel and what items are just going to go or sell. We cleaned our Magna BBQ today (well…. Tammy did most of it). Next week I will service the 4HP Mercury outboard. We will be cleaning the carb and changing the fuel filter. We also sent out our 2 epirb’s and Life raft for inspection and service to LRAS in Tiverton, RI.
Lets start with Ocean Phoenix our beautiful C&C 37R. She is still for sale as of today. We have been tossing up the idea of setting her up for bare boat chartering in RI. This gives us the best of both worlds – we can keep her rather than sell her & it gives us a small income once we pay for insurance and a second mooring/dock. We have a small hit list of items to do this summer while she is on the hard to get her up to a charter state but she has proven to be a great sailing vessel and she should charter easily.
The items for this summer are a Hydraulic back stay rebuild ( rod end seal leak on last sail of 2019), lazy jack installation, new salon windows (old ones are UV damaged) and interior varnish. We also still have the new pulpit, bow roller to and the stern ladder to install. As always we will keep everyone posted on our projects.
Now onto our new vessel DRAGONFLY, a gorgeous Catana 411 Catamaran. Our splash date is June 12th. She really does not need a lot however we still have a bottom core repair, bottom paint, sail drive anodes, gel coat repairs in a few spots. We also bought 4 new 4D batteries for her to start the season off on the right foot. The previous owners have graciously offered to spend some time on board with us to go over the systems and give us an up close and personal tutorial of her. Not many people would do this and we are truly grateful for the opportunity to do so.
I am currently working on the water maker and getting it ready to install. It is an older PUR Power 35 12V dc unit. It tests well electrically however it is popping the relief valve so it may need a new membrane before we can install and put it in service. I will try and clean the membranes first before buying new ones. We hold 160 Gallons of fresh water so we do not need it to travel for now but it is nice to have.
Our surveyor, Even Keel Marine Surveys gave us a hit list of items to remedy before we launch the boat. I have highlighted them and are currently getting all the parts and pieces ready to install.
For now we are on hold like many others, unsure of when we will be free to travel and start our hit list of items on either vessel. We are hoping that the Coronavirus will get under control soon and those afflicted will get better. Until then we will follow the guidelines to keep ourselves and others safe so we can all enjoy another sailing season together.
James and Tammy
PS, if you are in need of a survey email email@example.com
Hello everyone! When we last left off we were searching for a Catamaran that would accommodate all of our cruising needs. At the time we decided to sell Ocean Phoenix we had viewed a few different vessels in the North East US and had made arrangements to travel to South Carolina to view another.
So how does a person make such a big decision? Well its not easy that’s for sure. So lets cover a few vessels we seen and what our opinion was of each vessel.
First up was a PDQ32. She was like new inside and out. The pride in ownership was incredible and being familiar with the PDQ line of boats she is very well built. The price was well within our range and she was close to Rhode Island. Unfortunately she was too small overall. She also had a very deep cockpit and it was hard to view your surroundings unless you were at the helm sitting in the chair. That being said though you were very well protected in the cockpit.
Next was a Wildcat 350. Alright, this was much better. Nice lines, nice cockpit, nice interior, this was looking promising. It didn’t have the galley up we wanted but still the layout was good. With her 20′ beam and the molded 2′ long swim platforms on each transom this was looking good. We spoke with the broker for awhile and mentioned that we wanted a boat we could cruise on. To our surprise he said not to go below 40′ for a live aboard, and preferably 43′ is ideal. He suggested this boat as a stepping stone to a larger vessel and it would get us into the Catamaran style of sailing but we would have to upgrade before retiring. Not exactly ideal and at a high price tag it did not seem like a good investment. The nail in the coffin for this vessel was each person who came up from each hull hit there head on the way up to the salon. “SMACK”!!!!!WTF!!! That was a very poor design flaw to say the least.
Moving on to the next vessel. She was a Catana 411. Build for blue water and performance and she showed well. This boat had a TON of storage space. She was roomy, bright and open. She was a galley up version with a huge salon area. Large windows with a panoramic view. 2 heads 4 berths and a great cockpit area. However all this came at a price and she was definitely at the top of our budget. The boat had 2 helm stations that seemed exposed to the wind, weather and spray and our concern was how to remedy that and still be comfortable on longer passages. She was well equipped and needed basically nothing. She needed some gel-coat work and had a few core repairs needed before going back into the water but overall she was a great boat.
Last but not least was a Fountaine Pajot Tobago 35. This boat was located in South Carolina. She seemed to have everything we wanted but to get her home was 800 NM sail back home. We were up for the challenge but not sure if we had the time off of work to bring her home. We contacted the owners and set a date to see her. ( We never made it)
Just before the new year we reached out to the Catana broker (East Coast Yacht Sales) for a second showing. This vessel really impressed us during the first showing. This time we focused on the helm positions and really digging into the inside of the vessel. The storage space and access to all the systems is amazing. We strolled out to the fore deck for one last look at the deck space and then met our broker back in the cockpit. We decided that this was the boat and made an offer.
And just like that we are now the proud owners of a Catana 411 Catamaran!(Just waiting for the closing date)
So our last post spiked a huge round of questions. But the biggest is… Why are we selling our beloved Ocean Phoenix?
So lets backtrack a little to this past summer. We were planning our first real significant sailing trip since our purchase in 2017 to Martha’s Vineyard. We had been completing many upgrades so we could outfit her for longer cruising once we retire. Ocean Phoenix is a true Bluewater boat and is solid in design. She is fast and points incredibly well and from a safety and performance point of view she will go anywhere we want to travel. And let me say, the feeling you get when your sailing with your rail skimming the top of the water is an amazing thrill…but.
We started the task of loading all of our gear that we wanted to use while we were on the island. Snorkel and scuba gear, bikes. spare main and head sail ( just in case). We figured out where to stow all of our gear but overall it seemed a little tight. That got us thinking about how much space we will really need when we start to live aboard on a permanent basis. If you cant stow it you don’t have it!
We are a very active family and for us, our gear for our water and land activities is a must have while cruising. So the big question is how we make more room on our current boat. We hammered out a bunch of design changes for the interior and looking at our storage options for our scuba gear, tanks, air fill compressor. Where we can store a small 2000 watt generator for a little more AC power etc….. you see where we are going with this right?
This brought up the ever controversial question amongst sailors – Monohull vs Multihull. I wont bore everyone with the pro’s and con’s as it is more of a preference of which one is better as a living platform for each individual. I have always loved the space a catamaran has to offer yet they are a much larger investment. However now we are in a position to buy, and rather than waiting a few more years, we have decided to make a change sooner than later.
So now the search is on for a Catamaran with the space we feel is needed to accommodate all the things we need and want to do when we finally set sail. And if we do not find a suitable “Cat” or a new owner for Ocean Phoenix, rest assured she will be in the water next season for another summer of sailing.
Merry Christmas everyone!
James and Tammy
Ocean Phoenix is a 1989 C&C 37R designed as a racer/cruiser. Currently located in Barrington, Rhode Island, she has been in the water for the last 3 years and out in storage during the winter months. The 37R hull was built entirely with DuPont hybrid material that combines Kevlar with Glass Reinforced Plastic. The deck is constructed in typical C&C fashion using end-grain balsa core. This process results in a very high strength or stiffness to weight ratio. Unidirectional glass is used for additional local stiffing. Her sleek lines and deep keel allow for some amazing sailing. If you are looking for a fast boat that points well, is outfitted for a family or a couple, and can handle many different situations, then look no further. Viewing is available by appointment only and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, pictures and videos you can visit our website at www.svoceanphoenix.com, we have documented many of our happenings and improvements there.
Price $52,500 USD.
1989 C&C 37 R
Hull Number 11
Sail Handling Equipment:
New instruments, new refridgeration, mast re-rigged, wiring, new sunshades, floors redone, dripless shaft, fuel tank sensor wire replaced, regular maintenance…
There was a lot of days with a lot of work. At the boat show this year you will remember that we purchased new instruments and the refrigeration conversion kit for our ice box. The instruments were first, as the mast was down for service anyway. Was a fairly simple task to install the new windex and cable. As for finding someone to install the instruments this was a challenge all in its self.
I don’t know what others are experiencing with marine services but no one wants to take our money!!!. After a bunch of calls to have someone finalize the install of the instruments and do the final connections…. zip, zero, nada. Ended up calling Raymarine support and they walked me through the entire setup and identified every cable and junction I needed. They were great!
On the mast, we added a new LED anchor light and a new foredeck/steaming light.
The refridgeration install was not that difficult, however, you need to take the time and plan your install and be gentle with the copper tubing. You only have about 3 bends in the copper before it workhardens. The only thing we found is I should have used a larger gauge wire for the power supply. On the deep cycle batteries when the compressor tries to starts the voltage drop is too low and the compressor won’t start. So for now we run on ALL batteries since the starting battery has enough to get it going. Other than that it is working perfect and our 150W solar panel keeps the beer cold.
Now for the outstanding jobs.
Still have the 3 solar vents to install. 2 forward hatches to retrofit. The bow roller still needs to happen. And the new bow pulpit and ladder need to get mounted. Would like lazyjacks and a new sailbag next season to make the mainsail easier to manage.
And this is the Big One…. we are going to strip the top deck down to the original beige gelcoat, do any gelcoat crack repairs and repaint the antislip coating. This came about because the last owners had painted the topside white however over the years it is wearing off and the origional color has shown through. We sanded a small area as a test and it looks great so we have decided to continue. It’s a daunting task but the results will be worth the effort. Last season we rebeaded to salon windows. They are leak free but we are not happy with the overall condition of them. So we will cut new smoked acrylic windows and possibly bolt them in place. Currently they are held in by sealant.
Finally got the fuel gauge working. Thank goodness for a good multimeter. Turned out to be just a broken sending wire. Now it’s time to dive into our Diesel.
Our M35 universal is a great motor. It is a hard starter though and I want to get that resolved. I am sure it’s a glow plug issue. The motor starts imediately when it is warm but takes some time first thing in the morning. So new glowplugs and new power wires are on the list. Other than an oil change and new water impeller (preventative maint) she is good to go.
At the end of the day we get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from working on Ocean Phoenix as well as sailing her. We purchased her knowing the workload would be high but she is a solid & safe vessel with great performance. The key to our success is Tammy and I work great together and have skills that compliment each other.
Whether its projects or sailing we are a great team!
We have had a very busy spring season and we are behind on our posts, (we will fix that soon, I promise)
Today we want to share our trip that we are planning. We have not yet taken Ocean Phoenix on any kind of sail outside of a couple hours here and there. At the end of July, we are sailing to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, and we are very excited!
We are planning on leaving Barrington on Sunday and sailing to Cuttyhunk first, we will stay the night there, hopeful there is a mooring available! Monday we will make our way to Edgartown where we have reserved a mooring for two nights.
We are looking forward to sailing, fishing, and sightseeing. We may take our bikes for when we reach land. The one thing that is exciting us the most the chance to get the boat out and really sail it and to see how it handles, and to get some experience under our belts. We have not really sailed for more then a couple hours at a time and now our first sailing vacation and one step closer to being cruisers. 😁⛵
Have you made this sail? What do you recommend? What was your experience? We would love to hear from you, drop us a line!
Last year we were really watching our packing glad, the thin jam nut seemed to be warped a little and we were unable to lock it down like we wanted to. We could get a slow drip but had a slow steady stream after motoring for a while, not urgent, but made us want to look at replacing this. After some research, we decided to purchase a dripless shaft seal.
As expected the removal of our current packing gland proved to be quite the challenge. We had previously, the week before, soaked the motor coupling with PB Blaster. We let it sit overnight to soak in a little. There are 2 grub screws that hold the coupling to the shaft. One came out with a little effort but the other would not budge. Eventually, I snapped the one screw off flush with the coupling hub. So out came the drill to remove the broken end.
Once that was done we tried to use a 2 bolt puller to remove coupling… nothing. Then added a little heat to try and “wick” the blaster into the seam of the shaft bore and expand the coupling slightly…. nothing. At this point, we decided to split the coupling with a cutting disk on a grinder at the keyway, tapped in a feather wedge to spread it a little and …. success!
We used some emery cloth to clean up the shaft. The cutlass bearing looked great and there was only .002″ thou of wear on the shaft so at least we don’t need a new shaft also. We gave the shaft seal parts a quick test fit, all good, and we will order a new coupling from “General Propeller” in Florida on Monday.
Upon assembly, I will use a little anti-seize to make life easier for next time.
A big shout out to Paul.G of Magicflyte, fellow C&C owner, for his guidance and offer to use his alignment bushing for the new installation.
Tammy and James Doucette
Spring is right around the corner (literally, it’s tomorrow lol) and that means it’s boat prep time. Last fall we got ambitious and we decided to bring home all the flooring from our sailboat with plans on redoing them. Well, we have started. The weather is just nice enough to work in our garage to removed all the old vanish. We will keep you all up to date on the progress as we go. Please remember, we are new at all of this.
Over the next 2 months we have much to do. Finish the flooring, clean the bilge, redo the bottom paint, run all the halyards back through the mast again, install the new instruments, install the new PSS shaft seal, convet our icebox to a fridge… wow I see some long days and nights ahead, but we’re are excited!
THEN, we are on the water again and all the hard work is done but a distant memory. Our days will be filled with sailing, fishing, sundowners, and of course the regular maintenance involved with having a boat.
I don’t know about you, but we can hardly wait to get out there again.