“Sail” tales…What now?

Our Sails are BACK!!!

From our previous post “Sail” Tales, you know that we took our sails to Kingston Sail Loft in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  John looked over the six sails and the results…

  • Sail #1 – Kevlar, patched leech on both sides – GOOD SAIL
  • Sail #2 – Kevlar – DEAD
  • Sail #3 – Kevlar, delaminated –  ALMOST DEAD
  • Sail #4 – Kevlar, Heavy – ALMOST DEAD
  • Sail #5 – North White sail, tear fixed on the leech, cloth tears easily – JUST USE IT TILL IT DIES
  • Sail #6 – White Sail, very heavy, very old but structurally good – GOOD SAIL


Now what?

We have four that are dead or almost dead, two that are good and will be added to our other four sails in great condition, along with the two spinnakers.  It seems like a waste just to toss out the dead sails.  What do others do?  What do you do with your old sails?

I have seen beach bags made from sails, shoulder bags, shower curtains and a few other items.  Have you seen anything else?  Is there anything that can be made from our of old sails that would benefit us as we are sailing?  We would love to see some pics of what you have made?


James and Tammy

Updating our Cushions

FYI…circles are pics, squares are videos, click on the squares…enjoy

If you have read any of our past posts,  you know we have recently purchased our forever boat and we will use it on weekends and summer vacations until we retire in 9 years. We have a lot of work to do to transform her from a racing boat to a live-aboard cruiser.  We are planning on redoing the fabric and cushions completely in about 5 years, so we were hoping to re-purpose what we have.

At first sight, the fabric was faded but seemed to be in okay shape, so we loaded them into our car and took them home.  We wanted to take the fabric off and wash both the foam pieces and the fabric.

Washing the foam was a bit of a task, but fairly easy to do.  We had an extra garbage can (very large) and filled it with water, swimming pool chlorine and a splash of carpet cleaner with Febreze for a fresh scent.  We dipped the cushions in the water, squeezed the water out and left them to dry in the summer sun.  END RESULT…Fresh foam, waiting for the fabric

This is where things got interesting…

As you can see above, the zipper pulls that were used were made from metal, add this to the salt water environment and voila!!!  We tried to scrape it off and add new zipper pulls, but no…the corrosion was not coming off and we could not find matching plastic zipper pulls.  OUTCOMES THE ZIPPERS (great time for a movie, lol)

Pile of old zipper

So the zippers are out and our new products have arrived and are waiting to go in…

We were not happy with the faded look, after some research we have decided to dye the fabric…

Filling the washer

After we dyed and washed the fabrics we found that the edges were fraying badly.  We could not find any binding to fit our needs, but we did find ribbon.  We folded the ribbon in half with an iron and then stitched onto the fabric.  Very time consuming, but it added some great strength to the zipper area.

Fraying after the wash

We sewed the new plastic zippers into place, added the zipper pulls, sewed up the end pieces and hand stitched around the zipper teeth. At the time of this post, we are still working on some of the zippers.  As this is our winter project, it is a work in progress.  As we complete a zipper, we take the pieces downstairs and insert the foam back into them.  I have to admit this is the fun part of the whole process.

We laid down the batten and but the cushions on top to measure them out. After we had the batten cut, we spray glued onto the foam.  This gives it a softer and plumper feel and look.  Next, we cut a piece of silk film larger enough to cover the whole foam piece.  SILK FILM is your friend, it makes life so much easier!!!  We use our vacuum to suck the air out of the foam and then it slides right into place.  LOVE IT.

Seat with foamSilk Film 2






And now we have cushions that are one color (not faded), clean, fresh and plump.  We are so excited to get these back to our boat and to try them out.

We hope you find this helpful and should you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  We would love to hear your feedback as well, leave your comments below.

Cheers all

James and Tammy on svoceanphoenix

Understanding and Awareness

Self-Defense should be learned by both males and females.  It does not matter how old you are, self-defense is not about strength, it is about avoiding and getting out of dangerous situations.  As I proceed with our post, you will start noticing that I use general terms…we, the attacker, someone, people, they… The reason for this is that not all attackers are going to be a single one gender, males attack and females attack, it’s as simple as that.  It is careless to have people watch out for only one gender, it leaves them open and vulnerable to attacks by others.



When you walk down the street, in a mall, or any other busy area, how do you walk?  Do you lower your eyes to the opposite sex? Do you look away?  Are you slumped over? You should make eye contact with the people around you.  Tighten your core, straighten your back and shoulders.  As you do this, it will allow the people around you to see you as someone with strength and not as a possible victim. You will be more aware of what is happening.  Some attackers will be looking for a victim, if you do not present as a victim, at least it is a start and a good start.

When you visit a new place, there is usually a sense of urgency.  We want to see as much as possible, take in all the new sights, sounds, and tastes.  As you are exploring and tasting, keep your hands and arms free.  Purchase a backpack with multiple pockets.  You can keep our cash and valuables hidden deep, carry water with you, a whistle on the strap, and all your purchases can go into the pack.  This pack also becomes a defense tool, which we will discuss later.  This enables you to hide what you have bought and keep your hands free, just in case


Awareness of where you are and who is around you is extremely important.  Why…because knowing where you are and where your exits spots are can help you escape from a fire, an attack, or any other possible danger.  Knowing who is around you is equally important, is there a person who presents a danger, are you being followed, is there someone that needs help…

Can anyone relate to the following…

  • Leaving your office and your arms are full of paperwork, books, briefcase, the cell in your hand and your tired
  • Carrying so many bags of groceries at once you swear your arms will come right off
  • Reading a book, magazine, or looking at your cell phone
  • Jogging with music and both earbuds in
  • Exploring a new area, and being overwhelmed by everything around you
  • While traveling, you go off the path well traveled for a better look

All of these could put you at risk and have the potential of making you a target, you are distracted, unable to defend yourself and unable to identify situations.


  • Keep your purse or wallet closed and secure. Ladies, the strap over your shoulder and purse part closed and between your body and arm.
  • Don’t weigh yourself down with bags, make an extra trip.
  • Let people know where you are and where you are going
  • Trust your feelings
  • Look around and see what is there and who is there

More to come next time, for now, stay safe everyone!




One in five women at some point in their lives will be raped

46.4% lesbians, 74.9% bisexual women and 43.3% heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetime

Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault

Every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. That means every single day more than 570 people experience sexual violence in this country



We live a beautiful world, great places to see and destinations that are sought after.  As we sail from land to land we stop and take in the sights and sounds.  Some of us visit the country side and hike the mountains, speak with the locals and even take in dinner with a few.  Others seek out the local pubs, tasting some of the finest and best draft that your area offers.  Others yet, will head a shore with empty bags only to return with their arms completely weighted down with fruits, fresh veggies and little trinkets from the local merchants. This new land that we are excited to see is filled with so many new smells, sights and things to taste and touch…our sensory system is on overload.

Do you notice when you are being followed?  Did you happen to feel when the person took our money from our bag handing off your shoulder? What about the person who slips something into your drink as you turn around to take a selfie with the local bartender? You really need to go pee, someone is standing by the public washroom, but you don’t give it a second thought. As a female, you are walking down the street, you look away from males as they pass you.

Talking (writing) about abuse, assault, rape…any of it can be a very difficult subject.  As you see from the stats it is real and it is around us.  I have been waiting to cover this heavy topic.  This will be the introduction to more, I will answer the questions in the paragraph above, give you more tips and techniques that I have learned over the years and answer question that you may have.

Please note…There is NEVER any guarantee that the tips and techniques will work, but I will provide as much information as I can, including images and videos.  You do not need to be fit, young or flexible to save your own life…The first topic we will cover is “Understanding and Awareness”.  Till then be safe!

It’s your LIFE and it’s worth fighting for, NEVER give up!16667167664_4901761eb5_b

The above stats were found below


Sexual Assault Stats Link



The waters are calm, the refection almost mirror image.  As she stretches out from bow to stern she has a certain style.  Her lines are smooth and clean…flawless.

As she moves she has a classic grace about her.  She will slice through the water and flow over the waves.  As the wind expands her sails she starts to feel her full power.  She sets out, slow at first, as she gains speed she never loses her grace. She handles her power with ease.

She will take you places that you can only ever dream of.  Somewhere close for an afternoon outing with someone special or a passage through time to a far-off island full of grace and refinement.

She will teach you balance and culture.  She will teach you patience and endurance. Of course, there are more sophisticated beauties out there, newer, sleek, more elegant.  But once you meet her and form that connection, that’s it.

SHE…is your sailboat, she might have some years on her, but that gives her charm.  She has our respect and she gives us her joy.

The Daily Post Elegance

THANK YOU…yes YOU pt 2


As we stated before, here we will continue to say Thank You to one and all for their help, their insight and their opinions.  There are many, many more responses that are Jolly and truly amazing, if you want more, speak up and we will share them.  After all, it’s all of you that makes this possible.   Below we will continue with part two…

Worldly Possessions –

  • I knew a guy who had that beat. Instead of filling up his garage shelves with miscellaneous leftover stuff, he kept a huge collection of assorted fasteners in a secure and climate-controlled storage facility, and there was no charge until he actually needed to use one.
    He called it “the hardware store”.
  • Before you move aboard and cast off you don’t know if this will be a permanent way of living. My wife and I decided after 45 years of coastal weekend and vacation sailing to give it a go. We committed to each other to give it a year and then decided what we wanted to do. We rented the house, sold or gave away a lot of things, put a lot of our things in storage, gave away one car and stored one, gave up our slip and cast off. After one year we were still having fun so we continued. After three years of family, issues caused us to decide to move back into our house. So it turned out to be a good decision for us to keep it. A year later we are still trying to empty the storage unit. I don’t know where we ever put all this stuff before. As we unpack things that one or the other of us wanted to keep we are throwing out nearly half of it and don’t really need or want a quarter more. Of course, the cost of storage was more than the value of the stored stuff…but we just weren’t ready to get rid of it before. And we decided that if either one of us couldn’t part with a thing it was worth storing it.  So, you really just have to decide for yourselves what’s worth keeping and for how long.  Now we are happily sailing weekends and week-long cruises again. It is for us a win either way.
  • Who says you have to sell everything to become a liveaboard? Just buy a larger boat.

Why do you Sail? –

  • Freedom, lack of bureaucracy ( mostly ). really great times sometimes, some scary times that you survive. meeting people. Generally a life of extremes….. not boring. good exercise helps to have a sense of humor and a bit crazy, never-ending learning experience. Must be a lot more. I need a sleep !!!!
  • Good question and hard to answer.
    I suppose it is an activity the whole family can do together or for us maybe it is camping without the hassle of packing up the tent at the end of the weekend.
    You have got me thinking, maybe it is just the fact I like spending money, I mean what else do normal people spend their spare cash on?
    Who knows, but whatever the reason it is always fun to be on the water even if some days the family might not agree with my version of fun.
  • Sailing or cruising? I had a great 26nm sail yesterday that I fully enjoyed, playing with the boat trying to pinch a little more out of her, making sure I kept ahead of the charter cat trying to catch me BUT that’s a rarity, I cruise and sailing happens to be my main form of propulsion, I don’t do it for the sailing. The big question, and so many reasons, but the main reason for me is “the creeping death of sameness” that day to day normal life offers, how many lawns can one mow? A comfortable existence of hoarding more crap just doesn’t do it for me. When Saturday morning at Bunnings (home depot) is the highlight of one’s week, you know you’re in trouble! I look at my life as a book, and I want to write as many chapters as possible, each new place, each new person, each new problem adds to my life, currently writing Seychelles chapter. The busyness of doing irrelevant stupid little things that dwindled my days away at home prior to cruising didn’t seem like living to me, one year blurred into another, If I died tomorrow I feel like lived more in the last eight years than most of my homebound friends have lived or will live in their lifetimes, even the not so good experiences add color to my life, it’s all adventure. Sailboats are designed to move, cross oceans and go places, they teleport you to new experiences!!! IMHO.
  • Why I sail,,,
    Well, that is a loaded question with many answers. First, may I say because I bought this boat for my husband and I last April 2016 to have the best summer of our lives.
    Then sadly he died of a heart attack and he never made the maiden voyage mid-April of last year. So I am not a quitter and I had sailed (as crew only) on my father’s boat 35 plus years prior to owning my 322 O’Day. I needed to hone in on some sailing skills to continue to make my dreams come true. The freedom of space (meaning the waters) the wind in my sails has definitely brought me closer to my main purpose in Life which is, to Love All that I can about being Alive! It may be silly for some but I have met some wonderful people and they have taught me their skills. Still, I am developing my own way to manage and sail my boat. I call my self a “Sailtress” my word for a female Sailor. I have retired early because of a few health issues.  One being legally blind, two having By-pass surgery and 2 heart attacks and 2 stents placed all within the last 3 years this Dec. I am a strong will woman and I fear very little after all that I have lived through in 55 years.
    I remain strong in my convictions and with my pursuit to master my boat. She is my peace which brings me great happiness when I am aboard her. I apologize for the wordiness of this response, but I have found my Peace in Sailing.
    Cheers to All Who Love to Sail!
  • Because that is when the world makes sense

Thank you all

James and Tammy on svoceanphoenix.com

The Daily Post Jolly



Part One:

When people say sailing is very communal, as a new sailor, I never really understood this comment and I’m still just scratching the surface.  James always spoke of how social a sailing life can be, how the people around pull together to help one another.

We have been writing posts since the beginning of October since we purchased our sailboat Ocean Phoenix.  Our first post “From the Beginning” to our most recent post “Relocate…One Country to another” have been learning experiences for us.  We have written 19 posts and really enjoyed the feedback and comments.  We share our posts through our website, our Facebook page, and other Facebook groups and on the Cruisers & Sailing Forums.  The majority of responses have been from the Cruisers Forums.

We would like to thank everyone who has responded to one of our posts.  It is amazing to hear the thoughts and opinions from so many different people.   In keeping with the community aspect of sailing, we would like to share some of the responses with you.  Below you will find the title of our blog in “Italic” and underneath that will be some of the responses.  Unfortunately, we can not include every response, as much as we would like to.

“The Power of sailing” – 

  • You should also search the web for Service Bulletins. They’re those pesky notices about how the original manuals were wrong and other things you NEED to know about upgrades to the engine. Very important.
    Engines 101 – The BIGGEST & BEST collection of M25 Series Universal Engine Information on the Internet, plus some M35, too
    Diesel Engine – c34.org
    Also, find out what rw pump you have.
  • Aw, c’mon. You can’t expect me to let that statement stand!
    The comments about fresh fuel are correct. To expand on that, probably 90% of the auxiliary engine failures I’ve seen on sailboats follow the same pattern.
    Your fuel is rarely used if you’re truly sailing. Bugs (bio-fouling) and sediments are stirred up by a brisk day sail. Motoring back in, the stirred-up sediment eventually clogs the filter. Right around the time, the boat is approaching a lift bridge or some other immovable hazard.
    It happens with frightening regularity. I’ve seen boats dismasted by a bridge, and I’ve pulled people off a boat being heeled over by the current, with the mast stuck on a bridge. Always the same cause.
  • I have an M35. It starts extremely quickly and seems a very remarkable engine all around. Like all diesels (and really all engines), it requires some essentials to start. When those essentials are not there, things go to poo quickly.
    I have had issues for the better part of a year with mine but I can’t blame the engine. It seems to be related to a VERY tiny air leak in the fuel supply line. The resulting problems are VERY fickle including being apparently dependent on the level of fuel in the tank. I think I have it solved (but then I thought that before).
    There are a number of other little things that can drive you insane trying to figure them out. Despite all of the problems I have had, I LOVE that engine![/QUOTE
    Install an electric fuel pump with a switch as close to the tank as possible. If you have 2 tanks install it right after the Y valve. When on this will pressurize the lines & show you right where the leak is. Plus it’s great for changing filters & can also run the motor if the primary fuel pump quits on you.

“Ocean Phoenix” – 

  • Have you Had a look at this yet?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%26C_37/40?
    Or here?: https://c-c-37-40.blogspot.ca/
    …and here?: https://c-c-37-40.blogspot.ca/2017/0…-drawings.html
    …and for some photos, try this: https://c-c-37-40.blogspot.ca/p/photos.html
    Those will get you started.
    Which 37R did you purchase?
  • The following link is to previous threads in CF that mention the boat model you now have. There are good tips and comments about the boats in those threads. I saw several that should help you with tips about chain plates, core, rigging, handling, etc. Look beyond or deeper than the thread title, as often the comments that are very helpful are not closely related to a thread title.
    Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your new boat and cruising too.
  • Had a C&C 38 with a customs keel, 7.5′ draft, based out of Narragansett Bay, I sailed the snot out of that boat up and down New England and NY area in all conditions and loved it, it’s long gone now but I still miss that boat. C&C tended to make well rounded, good performing boats that still handled challenging conditions well and comfortably. Mine had an inner forestay added, to fly a storm jib, which added much flexibility to the trim options, it’s something you might consider, it helped bring the center of balance inward in big wind, it was removable, so it didn’t interfere with tacking the large (155%) headsail in normal conditions.
    Perfect boat for the area you’re in, good upwind performance, good seakeeping traits(for a racer cruiser) and a level of comfort and stability most racer cruisers don’t offer. Oh, and by the way, I was able to outpoint most J’s, which gave me no endless joy. One thing though, due to the inner mounted genoa tracks offwind headsail trim could be inefficient, so I used to carry extra genoa lines with snap shackles and s hooks on the ends, on broad reaching days I clipped them to the toe rail to bring the trim of the headsail out from the center of the boat which made for much better broad reaching sheeting angles. It’s worth noting.

James and Tammy on svoceanphoenix.com

Relocate…One Country to another


July 2016 my husband relocated to New York from Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  He relocated for work purposes within the same company.  Our son and I followed suit a year later.  Relocation for us has been a very positive event.  I would think that for some people this can be a very trying and complicated business.  Now, don’t get me wrong we sure did have our ups and downs, and we are still waiting on an item to be processed, but this part is all of the paperwork and ensuring that everything is legal…there is not much that can be done here.

When we came to New York, we decided to live in the Albany area.  We are nestled between the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Berkshires with the Hudson River flowing beside us.  No doubt that this a beautiful area rich in history as well. We have enjoyed every moment here.

As with any change or relocation, there are bound to be differences.  We moved 4 hours down the road, into a different country.  Kingston, Ontario Canada is only a four-hour drive to Albany, New York, USA.  Being so close we figured that not much would change as far as daily living…Wrong, there has been changes, neither good nor bad, just items that are different.  Here are some examples…

1. USA – Restroom
Canada – Washroom
You would think not a big deal, but if you really have to pee and you are standing there asking for a washroom and they have no idea what you mean

2. USA – Soda
Canada – Pop

3. USA – No Advent calendar
Canada – Yes, Advent calendar

4. USA – Beer is inexpensive
Canada – Beer is double the price

5. Healthcare. Now…. this is a tricky one, and can be quite political. Please remember that this is just our opinion.

       Canada – The healthcare is very Good. Basic Health care is covered within your taxes. You can upgrade through your employer for an additional fee if benefits are offered. There are some additional costs if you are Not Healthy that Healthcare does not cover. There is a lot more to this but this is it in a nut shell. Most don’t have to fret about the costs for the majority of procedures.

     USA – There Health care is AMAZING! as far as technology, doctors and wait times. However, there are many different levels of healthcare coverage. And with that if you are not Healthy it can cost you big dollars. If you are relatively Healthy and complete your checkups and take advantage of work benefits if provided the cost per year is actually less than Canada. Again, there is a lot more to this but that’s what we have found so far.

We love the changes, all the little differences, in our minds are great, they tell us that we are still learning, growing and changing.  And now we are doing all this in a new Country

So, as I stated before, our relocation has been amazing, we have found some new friends and much joy from moving here.  We have so much more to explore and learn from our new home and we are embracing it all with open arms.

Written in response to The Daily Post prompt:






As we sat there on our boat sipping a glass of wine…I realized that this was a special gift.

This was my first sailing vacation, my first large amount of time on a sailboat.  We took a week in August of 2017 for our honeymoon and sailed around some of the islands in the Thousand Islands on the Canadian side.  The first couple of days we had weather that was not great, but we still enjoyed our time, on day three we docked on Beau Rivage.  That evening as we sat there, the water was calm, our hearts were peaceful and all was tranquil…nothing but Serene


“Sail” Tales


So after the purchase of our boat one of the first things was to survey our sail inventory. We had looked at the cruising sails before we bought her but she also came with a healthy supply of racing sails.

Unlike many sailors we do not have a great knowledge of sails yet. I mean, we know the basics, but to actually know what we have will require a professional to do a tune up on them. So its off to the sail maker to have then serviced.

Yes that’s right…. I said serviced. Just like your engine, your sails being a source of power need to be serviced on a regular basis. Many can do this themselves and have the skills to do so. Us however, need to have the repairs done by a pro.

Our inventory consists of 5 cruising sails, 5 racing sails and 2 spinnakers.

We stretched out every cruising sail in our yard first and tried to identify the obvious issues with each sail. (I’m sure our neighbors thought that we were nuts.  We even had one guy ask if we were going parachuting when we opened up the spinnaker, lol) Some had just a slight tear that could be taped up and others had a little more stitch work that was needed to make them ready to be hoisted. For the most part the cruising sails were in great shape. The delivery main was perfect and the cruising main had a small tear on the luff.  The 2 Genoas were in good condition and the storm TRI sail was like new (never used).

The racing sails were another story. We don’t know a lot but we do know that a sail is less effective with a big tear in it. Only 1 of the 5 racing sails was in my opinion ready to use. They are a nice NORTH racing sail made with Mylar and Kevlar. Although we are using our boat for cruising it would be nice to utilize the racing sails both for fun and also to save some wear and tear on the Dacron cruising sails.

We are fortunate to have a sail-maker – “Kingston Sail Loft”–  that we have been using for several years with other vessels. He is fantastic and honest. We will take them to him this weekend and have him give us his opinion on repairs.

As always we cherish your knowledge and opinion so please tell us. Who do you use to service your sails? Do you have any experience with Mylar materials and how to repair them? How many years of service have you gotten out of your sails? Do you have a favorite manufacturer?

Tell us what your experience is or has been.

James and Tammy


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