SHOULD WE FIRE OUR BOTTOM SCRUBBER?

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If your boat is living in saltwater, you need the bottom scrubbed on a regular basis. When we were buying our boat, we chanced upon a meeting with a guy at a local marina who offered this service. He had a lot of experience, and seemed to know everyone in the area so we hired him.

We’ve been paying $126/month for this service, which we learned from our Dock 4 neighbors is too much. But, he always showed up on schedule and he seemed to really care about No Tan Lines (“Tanny”). This week, we had Tanny hauled out for some work so we were able to get a good look at the bottom, which was scrubbed only about 9 days before the haul out.

Notice that, from a distance, the bottom looks really good. But, on closer inspection…

If all of this growth was “new,” it would be all over the hull. It’s not. If the growth above the tiller was permitted to keep growing, it could cause problems with steering. Don’t even get me started on the condition of the propeller. The growth on the bow thruster is pretty old, based on the size of the barnacles.

What really angered me was the thru hull. The one in the picture is from our aft air conditioner, which has been periodically shutting down with an error message. Now we know why! There was a lot of growth in there. The diver could have simply put a screw driver in there to break it up. Brian pulled his keys out of his pocket, stuck one in there, jiggled it around for a second, and then a mess of growth poured out, followed by a steady stream of saltwater. I was NOT happy.

I posted this photo to our Dock 4 Facebook page, asking our neighbors for a recommendation for someone who charges less, and who does a much better job.

NEXT: WINE GLASSES, EQUIPMENT AND PEOPLE FALLING IN THE DRINK

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* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

NAUGHTY NAUTICAL TERMS!

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At a recent Dock Party, we were discussing naughty nautical terms. As the night went on, and the cutter cocktails flowed, the terms got even more hilarious!

Back in the day, sailing was strictly for men. In fictional lore, the only women at sea were mermaids, damsels taken captive by pirates or captains (yes, I’m a hard core romance novel addict), and brave women paying passage on vessels…all the while being ogled by the all-male crew.

Pondering the naughty-cal terms below, it’s blatantly obvious that men invented them:

  • Bow thruster
  • Cockpit
  • Seacock
  • Seaman
  • Masthead
  • Spreader
  • Drive shaft
  • Blow me down
  • Thar she blows
  • Broad in the beam (think about it…)
  • A shot across the bow (think about this one, too…)
  • Going on the hard
  • Cuntline (I seriously can’t make this stuff up!!)

Three sheets to the wind doesn’t just mean being drunk.

And, believe it or not, Cat O’Nine Tails also has nautical origins. According to Wikepedia: “The cat o’ nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is a type of multi-tailed whip that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment, notably in the Royal Navy and Army of the United Kingdom…

That concludes our naughty-cal history lesson for today. If you need a cold shower now, I’ll completely understand.

And, if you have other terms to add, please share!

NEXT: SHOULD WE FIRE OUR BOTTOM SCRUBBER?

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll alert you to new posts and we’ll be having book give-aways! 🙂

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

YEA! I DIDN’T WRECK THE BOAT TODAY!!

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Today, No Tan Lines (“Tanny”) was scheduled for a trip to the boat yard. When I practiced docking a few weeks ago, her drive shaft threw a bearing. (I swear that was NOT my fault!!) We also want to add a new thru hull so the kitchen sink will drain directly into the water instead of into the sump pump. The sump has failed twice now and, when it does, it overflows into the bilge. Old coffee grounds, grease, and other yucky, rotting muck are NOT something you want floating around in your bilge. That can stink to high Heaven! (And, yes, we throw away leftovers and we have a strainer in the kitchen sink drain but it doesn’t catch everything.)

While it’s already been six weeks since I learned how to dock the boat, I was still feeling pretty confident so I told Capt. Brian I wanted to back her out of the slip. He said okay and we called our Dock 4 friends, Stephanie, Diego, and Allan, to ask if they’d come help. They and Max would handle the lines, and keep a watchful eye on our surroundings while Capt. Brian would stand by the helm, talking me through this perilous procedure. Once everyone tossed the lines, my stomach flip-flopped a bit. I ran a very real risk of turning the boat at the wrong time, and either hitting a piling with the bow, or hitting a boat behind us with the stern.

While regaling you with a tale of high winds, waves, and a hairy, heart-stopping experience would be fun, that’s not what happened. A northeast wind was blowing gently and I was able to ease Tanny out of the slip without incident. Once Diego told me the bow had cleared the last piling, I followed Brian’s instructions. Turn the wheel all the way to the right. Once she’s turned enough, put her slowly in forward, turn the wheel to the left, and bump the bow thruster a few times until she’s straightened out.

It took only minutes and I didn’t hit anything at all, nor even come close to a piling, much to everyone’s relief. We were on our way and I steered her into Tampa Bay, toward the channel that would then lead us past the Coast Guard station, and into Salt Creek. There were a TON of crab traps so the trip was like navigating a fun obstacle course. There was also a regatta of small sailboats that I had to steer around. (Thank goodness I didn’t have to pass THROUGH them!)

Once we got to Salt Creek, I let Capt. Brian take over. It’s very narrow, with boatyards and docks on either side. He had to pass a motor yacht and the vessels were only two feet from each other. That was a bit hairy.

By the time we approached Embree Marine (which is EXCELLENT, by the way), the manager, Chad, was walking out to help us dock. Brian pulled up alongside the dock on our port side without incident. It was perfect, in fact! Everybody secured lines and we disembarked.

We’re staying in downtown St. Pete until Tanny is done at the boat doctor. I can’t wait to take another shot and docking her when we get her back! 🙂

Diego, Stephanie, Brian and Allan. We love our awesome Dock 4 friends!

NEXT: NAUGHTY NAUTICAL TERMS!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll alert you to new posts, and we’ll be having book give-aways! 🙂

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

A FUNNEL CLOUD OVERHEAD!

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On Tuesday morning, the weather reports looked pretty ominous. Winds of 21 mph, gusting to 50 later in the day. Severe thunderstorms, frequent thunder and lightning, and hail. Oh BOY! It was going to be an exciting day!!

We spend the morning securing lines, and stowing any objects that might blow around. While a tornado or waterspout is of major concern to anyone, the chances of one hitting us were pretty remote so we decided to ride out the storm on No Tan Lines (“Tanny”).

The front was a long line stretching northeast to southwest, with Tampa getting hit first. Our phones all started singing with weather warnings. There was a tornado north of us. By then, the winds had really kicked up and Tanny was bouncing around quite a bit. Once the rain started, we found a few leaks and put towels down. There was tons of lightning and thunder and it was a cozy yet exhilarating day on the boat.

At one point, while we were bouncing around, the boat suddenly pitched and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I looked out the bedroom port to the south, up at the sky. I couldn’t see anything. It subsided after a few minutes so I got back to work.

The rain ended around 7:00 p.m. and we were none the worse for wear. In fact, Tanny had received a nice bath in the storm so she was glistening.

Later that night, I found a photo on Facebook taken from the other side of St. Pete. It showed a funnel cloud directly over the marina area. Thank goodness it never touched down! The next time the boat pitches like that, I’m going out on deck to investigate. And, of course, I’ll take my camera!

NEXT: YEA! I DIDN’T WRECK THE BOAT TODAY!!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll alert you to new posts, and we’ll be having book give-aways! 🙂

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

WHEN YOU BUY A BOAT, EVERYBODY INVITES THEMSELVES FOR A VISIT…BUT CAN THEY HANDLE IT???

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As soon as we announced we’d moved onto No Tan Lines, numerous friends and relatives invited themselves for a visit. We were too busy at that point to host dinner parties and out of own guests but, eventually, we ran out of excuses and the flood began. Here’s a brief list:

  • My father-in-law: Super cool guy from Corpus Christi. One of my absolutely most favorite people in the world! Loved hanging out with us in the cockpit but he didn’t want to sleep in the boat. Said he’s not a boat person. He got a hotel.
  • My parents: Were not invited to stay on the boat (not enough room for them). They were going to stay with our daughter anyway. The tide was very high when they came to visit and my mother had to climb a ladder to get onboard. She made a few peeps and “oh dears” but she got on board. They spent about 30 minutes, politely complimenting the boat and taking pictures. Then, we went to dinner. They left town a couple of days early and never came back to visit us on the boat.
  • Husband’s friend: Wanted to stay on the boat. I was impressed! He’s a tall guy. Bumped his head the next morning and it bled. Hurt his leg later in the day. He said he woke up in the middle of the night and thought there was an earthquake because the room was moving. He’d forgotten where he was. The second night, our cat kept scratching on the v-berth door, looking for our son, Max (that’s his bedroom). The friend then asked if he could stay at our daughter’s house for the rest of his visit. He’s coming back to visit, too this summer, and said he doesn’t want to stay on the boat.
  • Another in-law: Came to visit before we all went out to dinner. Said, “This is cozy,” and asked if we were comfortable in it. I don’t think the “cozy” comment was a compliment.
  • Husband’s other friend: Gets seasick. Was visiting with his dad so they couldn’t sleep on the boat anyway. He asked, “How long did you have to live on the boat before you could stop taking Dramamine?” I told him none of us had taken Dramamine since moving onboard.

We love our minimalist lifestyle and we love living on a rocking home but we definitely understand this type of life isn’t for most folks. Still, we enjoy giving them the experience whenever we can, even if they quickly realize it isn’t their cup of tea.

Several friends have been waiting to be invited to dinner parties on the boat. And, while we have had a few, with the boat maintenance, homeschooling the children, and running a business, we don’t have time to host a lot of parties. I wish we did!

NEXT: A FUNNEL CLOUD OVERHEAD!

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

OUR FIRST BIG SAILING TRIP GETS BLOWN AWAY. LITERALLY…

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Each year in March, the Grand Prix comes to St. Petersburg. A couple of weeks before that, they start blocking off huge chunks of downtown, near the waterfront. The cars actually race through the streets of town in a large, meandering circle. Large gates are set up to prevent crashing cars from hitting buildings and pedestrians.

While this sounds cool, it creates a traffic nightmare. And, for the three days when the cars are practicing and racing, the sound is absolutely, alarmingly deafening.

Last year, we were located in a high-rise apartment three blocks from the waterfront. Despite being on the 18th floor, and having hurricane-proof doors and windows, we still had to shout inside to hear each other talking. Worse, the noise would start at 7:30 a.m…on the WEEKEND! It was pretty awful for residents.

This year, we decided to take No Tan Lines on her first big trip! Okay, it was only for five days but that was huge for us! We were going a spend the night on Beer Can Island, and then sail to Egmont Key for some history lessons for the boys, and then we were going to head into the Gulf of Mexico for deep sea fishing!

But, as Murphy’s Law would have it, on the day before we were scheduled to set sail, the weather forecast took a dramatic change. A cold front was going to blast through, bringing gusts to 36-knots, and 6-8 foot seas offshore.

I know the boys must experience bad weather at times on the boat, but I didn’t think their very first trip would be good timing for that type of adventure.

We put our heads together and came up with an alternative plan. Since the boys were so excited to have a vacation, we simply had to create a new one for them. The next morning, we asked our good friends, Diego and Stephanie, to watch the boat. We packed our clothes and camping gear in the truck, along with the dinghy and outboard motor (we had promised them boating, after all!), and drove three hours south to a campground on Marco Island.

We had a blast primitive camping, and then moved to a cabin when the front blew through. We hiked, fished, dinghy’d, played competitive games of shuffleboard, roasted marshmallows, weenies and burgers over the fire, and shared funny stories from our childhood. Everybody had a super time!

As of today, we’re in a holding pattern so no sailing is on the immediate horizon. No Tan Lines is scheduled to go on the hard next Monday because the driveshaft threw a bearing when I was learning how to dock her a few weeks ago.

I swear it wasn’t my fault!

NEXT:  WHEN YOU BUY A BOAT, EVERYBODY INVITES THEMSELVES FOR A VISIT…BUT CAN THEY HANDLE IT???

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

 

HOW TO SAVE YOUR MARINE MATTRESS IN A HUMID ENVIRONMENT

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

The humidity in Florida in the winter is odd. In the summer, any moisture in the boat dissipates pretty quickly, likely because the air conditioners are running at full-blast, 24 hours a day. In the winter, however, the moisture in the bathroom after you shower, for example, can linger for hours or even days. We hadn’t been vigilant about this and we started seeing mold on the teak inside the shower. After cleaning that, we realized that hanging damp towels in there was the problem. Now, one of Mason’s chores is to take all the towels outside each night, and hang them on the lifelines. We have a couple dozen clothespins on board just for this.

That worked! The mold problem disappeared.

Last month, however, we pulled the v-berth cushions out to have them measured for replacement. That’s when we discovered they were damp on the bottom. Those cushions have rubber bottoms so we were able to clean them with bleach. Mason’s mattress was the same way. However, our mattress, which came with the boat, is a traditional memory foam one. When we checked it, we found it was wet on the bottom, and had mold. We had to get rid of it.

While we waited for a new one to be delivered, we slept on an air mattress. That was NOT a comfortable experience and we had to keep Rambo the cat out of our room. If you’ve ever owned a cat with claws AND an air mattress, you know why.

It took a week for the mattress to arrive and, in that time, we took a trip to West Marine. With the calculations for the size of the mattress, we purchased enough Dri-Dek to fit the bed area. When the new mattress arrived, Capt. Brian pieced the Dri-Dek puzzle together, which only took a few minutes. We then placed the new mattress in its place. A week later, we checked underneath and it was as dry as a bone.

We will also be purchasing Dri-Dek for the boys’ mattress, and the settee cushions.

Another good use for Dri-Dek is in high traffic areas on your deck. While the boys scrub the deck weekly with a long-handled brush and Comet, there was still a noticeable difference in “dirtiness” on the starboard side, where everybody boards the boat. Capt. Brian pieced together a Dri-Dek walkway along the starboard deck, from the finger dock to the cockpit. Footprint problem solved!

NEXT: OUR FIRST BIG SAILING TRIP GETS BLOWN AWAY. LITERALLY…

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

CAN GIRLS DOCK BIG BOATS? YEP!!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

As detailed in past posts, I’ve owned three boats in the past. A 25′ sailboat, a 17′ fishing boat, and a 30′ motorboat. Back then, I was pretty good at launching and docking, whether from a dock or a boat ramp. But, that was 20 years ago. And, those boats were far smaller than No Tan Lines, which is 52′.

I admit, after buying No Tan Lines (“Tanny”), I was nervous. She weighs about 45,000 lbs. You can’t stop her on a dime, nor do a fast turn. She reacts very slowly to whatever you do, whether under power or sail. And, when a piling (or another boat) is close, you run a very real risk of hitting something. That’s why everyone comes out of their boats to watch when someone’s docking!

Today, Capt. Brian Whiddon took us out, and taught me how to dock the boat. To avoid giving our Dock 4 neighbors a heart attack, we took No Tan Lines around to Dock 5. There are no live-aboards on that dock so I could safely practice pulling into slips without a crowd of anxious eyes watching over me (or yelling at me!). Dock 5 is the last dock at the marina and it has a large, deep basin beside it. So, you can approach the dock from a considerable distance, heading straight in. You don’t have to turn at the last moment.

There were empty slips on both sides of the one we used for practice so my nervousness was diminished somewhat. Capt. Brian did an excellent job. Here are his calm, wise instructions so you gals can try this at home yourself!

– As long as water is passing over the keel, you have control of the boat. If you stop completely, you won’t.

– Go very slow. This isn’t a race. Don’t make the same mistake that (name removed) made last week. He was going WAY too fast.

– Gradually ease the bow between the first two pilings, and shift into neutral.

– When you’re halfway in, very gently tap it into reverse to stop moving forward.

– If you need a little more momentum, gently tap it forward. Do not throw it into forward.

– Your deckhands can now use the boat hooks to get the lines on the pilings by the stern. Once they secure those to the stern cleats, you won’t hit the dock in front of you.

– At this point, your crew can toss a bowline to someone on the dock, or someone can jump onto the dock, and have the lines thrown to them.

Using his excellent advice, I was able to move into the slip several times with just a few problems in the beginning. Okay, I may have grazed a couple of pilings and, at one point, Richard was standing on the port side, his feet firmly planted on the deck, pushing a piling away from the boat with all of his might. It was at these times that Capt. Brian’s patient, coaching voice would change to something entirely different:

“Go slow. VERY SLOW! Why are you in such a hurry?! Slow down! Reverse! REVERSE!!”

“Do you really want to lose that toe rail? No? I didn’t think so. Maybe you should steer a little more to the right then?”

“I said SLOWLY shift into reverse. I didn’t say to gun it!”

“Do you see that piling straight ahead?! Yes? Are you TRYING to hit it because YOU’RE ABOUT TO!”

Yes, Capt. Brian gained a few more gray hairs today but, for the most part, I did a pretty good job, especially after learning from my earlier mistakes. And, I was confident enough after practicing numerous times to steer the boat into our own slip. I overshot the slip the first time after turning too late. I aborted, turned around, came around again, and eased her in. It was picture perfect! At that point, there was an audience on the dock and, I have to admit, the men seemed impressed.

Later, one of the men on the dock texted me, and said, “Hey, can Capt. Brian teach MY wife how to dock a boat?”

Now I have to learn how to back her out of the slip. I’m a bit more nervous about that because she’s pretty big and there are boats in the slips behind us. I’ll let you know how that goes.

NEXT: HOW TO SAVE YOUR MARINE MATTRESS IN A HUMID ENVIRONMENT

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll alert you to new posts and we’ll be having book give-aways! 🙂

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

BUYING THE ARCH: NEVER BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE FOR MAJOR BOAT EXPENSES!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

I’m pretty good at haggling. Whenever we need to buy a major asset, Richard stands back and watches me do the negotiating. The adult kids occasionally ask for my advice when they’re making a major purchase.

Even if the product or service has a firm list price, I’m not afraid to initiate a negotiation if it’ll save me some money, especially if the product is priced extremely high. When buying No Tan Lines, I negotiated the price down $30K. That was a 23.1% savings! (Yeah, I calculated it.)

Oh, the awesome (expensive) arch! They provide mariners with extra room for even more equipment (toys!). And, even better, they look super cool! No Tan Lines (“Tanny”) has one solar panel hanging from the port side that hasn’t worked since we bought her. Tanny’s myriad of antennas are attached to stanchions on the port side of the stern. I’m not even sure all of those work, either.

We had a really nice set of davits for the dinghy but we knew we’d have to remove them in order on install an arch. The good news is they’re worth about $1500-$2000 used. We took pictures so we can sell them.

For the arch, we contacted a well-known local firm for a quote. They came out and measured Tanny, and the estimate was astronomical. I was expecting to pay maybe $3K to $4K. When the much higher estimate arrived, I said, “No way!” I had resigned myself to the fact that we just weren’t going to have an arch.

Fast forward to the St. Petersburg Boat Show a few weeks later. The same arch company had a booth there and they were advertising the same arch for a much lower price. $1800!! I didn’t hesitate to immediately confront  the guy working at the booth. Why was the price so much lower than the quote I’d received? He stammered a bit, and tried to tell me the boat show special was for an arch that was too small for my boat. Uh huh… It’s so funny when salesmen in an industry dominated by men (boat products) think this blonde chick was born yesterday.

Fast forward again to the following Monday. Brian called the owner. He’d heard we’d been at the boat show. After Brian’s added high-skilled negotiations, we did indeed get the arch for the boat show price and Brian would install it for us, saving us even more money. The deal was so good that Brian got one for his boat, too!

Our awesome and multi-talented neighbor, Diego, pitched in to help and now both No Tan Lines and Floggin’ Molly have beautiful arches AND new davits to boot! (The davits were only $400 per set, and they attach directly to the new arches.) Now we get to begin the fun task of deciding on new solar panels. If you have any recommendations, please let us know! 🙂

NEXT: CAN GIRLS DOCK BIG BOATS? YEP!!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll alert you to new posts and we’ll be having book give-aways! 🙂

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

DRIVING (NOT SAILING) TO KEY WEST. SIGH…

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

My birthday was last week and we drove to Key West for a grown-up’s weekend of fun! While we’d have loved to have sailed No Tan Lines there, we do not yet have the experience to do so. And, we desperately needed a tropical, grown-up holiday!

Our Dock 4 friends Stan and Chris are currently moored there and we stayed in a hotel on Duval Street. We were going to take the ferry down from Ft. Myers but it was far too cold so we cancelled that. We learned that, if they don’t have enough seats inside, you have to sit outside. And, it’s a good thing we cancelled because, on the way down, I came down with a horrible case of the flu.

(Before I forget, read about the time I checked my mother-in-law and her new husband into a clothing-optional resort in Key West…without telling them RIGHT HERE. Heh..)

Anyway, we left for Key West on Wednesday, stopping in Ft. Myers for a night to break up the drive. That night, I had a slight tickle in my throat at bedtime. The next morning, I woke up feeling AWFUL. It hit me so fast!

I bundled my pillow and big, furry robe into the back seat of the SUV. I tried working on my laptop for awhile but my head was pounding and my eyes were burning and watering. I ended up sleeping in the back seat for most of the drive, missing the miles and miles of beautiful, aqua blue water on both sides of the highway. It’s one of my favorite drives but I was so sick I didn’t care. I just wanted to get to the hotel, and go to bed.

When we arrived, that’s just what I did. That night, I had horrible chills and I couldn’t eat anything. I was coughing like crazy and my fever was making me hurt all over. Richard bought Mucinex and that helped, but never got my temperature back down to normal. I was downing cough drops one after another, and couldn’t sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

And, that all lasted until the day before we were scheduled to leave. The flu didn’t ruin our vacation. It just changed it up quite a bit. I did have a few days of complete bed rest and I watched a ton of mindless TV.

We left on Tuesday (a day late) and I got these photos of hurricane damage on the way back.

50 – Foot sailboat that WASHED into a backyard!

This boat is clearly too big to have been dragged over the seawall and into this yard. This shows how high the water got in the upper keys.

Every several miles, we saw salvaged boats piled up. Many had barnacles all over them, indicating that they had totally sunk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get to see enough of Chris and Stan while we were there so we’re planning to return in May or June. They’ll be cruising the Caribbean until hurricane season returns.

You can read about their adventures on http://www.svdisorder.com. Don’t miss it!

NEXT: BUYING THE ARCH: EVER BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE FOR MAJOR UPGRADES!

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.