Category Archives: Getting ready to go

Initial launch

5/20/2011, Sandusky Ohio

Well…finally ready to get the boat into the water…not just yet – FOG. The fog was so thick you could hardly see six feet in front of you. Needless to say, we waited until it cleared, then made the drive to Sandusky.

The yard already had the boat in the water when we got there and the engine was running. We moved her over to a nearby dock and prepped for the trip to Catawba Island and our dock.

Motoring through Sandusky Bay past Cedar Point:
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This was the first time piloting the boat and I was impressed with how solid and stable she was. Motoring through Sandusky bay and toward the tip of Cedar Point, I noticed the depth guage getting dimmer…and dimmer…and the visibility started getting worse. As we entered the Sandusky Bay chanel we lost all electonics and were enveloped with fog.

Now let me go back a few weeks to the decision to wait to replace the batteries. We knew the batteries needed to be replaced, but figured they would get us to our dock, and it would be much easier to replace them at the dock than on the hard (primarily due to the weight). Bad decision!

I always carry a handheld VHF and map GPS. Good decision! So I pressed on using the handhelds, but the fog just got worse. It was pretty scary hearing the sounds of engines and not being able to see where they were or what they were, but we kept a good watch and a slow speed, and the fog lifted completely to a bright, clear day as we approached Catawba Island.

The first time docking a new boat is a little intimidating to say the least! But we got her secured with no incident.

Safe at dock:
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Will we ever get the work done?

5/15/11, Sandusky Ohio

I am not sure but I think there have only been 2 days during the whole month of April that it did not rain! The weather averages have been blown away…both for excessive rain levels and much colder than normal – GREAT.

We have been working away in spite of mother nature, and here is a summary list of what we have done so far:
– Thorough cleaning of the interior
– Stripped 1/2 of the teak cap rails for refinishing
– Painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint
– Sanded and painted a new boot stripe
– Removed old cove stripe and put a new one on
– Cleaned and waxed the hull (4 coats of wax)
– Re-bedded 2 of the port chain plates (fixing leaks)
– Painted interior port lockers
– Repaired minor gel coat damage on the keel
– Repaired keel heel where the heel strap attaches
– Painted the radar pole
– Reinforced the bottom of the propane locker by adding a layer of fiberglass

We racked up over 110 hours of labor on these projects and paid to have the fiberglass work done by the boatyard. We are completely exhausted and extremely sore, but the boat is looking good, and we are ready to launch.

Taking the first step

4/1/2011, Sandusky Ohio

The winter in Ohio this year just SUCKS! It has hung on way too long with much snow and cold, and we need an escape plan.

We had been contemplating an extended voyage (cruising) via sailboat for several years and doing our due diligence. We narrowed the choice in boat brands and were actively looking for the right “deal”, when we came upon a listing for an Island Packet 40 in Sandusky Ohio.

Since we dock in West Harbor on Catawba Island, which is only a 20 minute drive via car from Sandusky, the listing held great appeal. Always in fresh water and more than capable in blue water, with an easy delivery to our dock…excellent start . After initial inspection (in pouring rain which turned to snow) and professional survey, we bought the boat. We didn’t even have to change the name or hailing port on the back.

So now we set out to conquer the long list of projects that need to be completed before we launch her.