Friday, December 31

It's all relative

Today, Tom got the bilge pumps working! (Did we mention that one was broken? And when he went to fix that one, we discovered the second bilge pump had kicked the bucket as well?) And it only cost $200 in parts and materials to do it!

As we’ve written before, at this point anything under $1000 seems pretty damn cheap. Kim and Eric over at Ship's Blog even have a name for it: a “boat unit,” or b.u. One b.u. = $1000. Anything under 1 b.u. is relatively inexpensive. Not to make you think we have thousands to throw around. A b.u. is not based on how much the boat owner can actually afford, but rather how much it costs to fix things - whether you like it or not. The idea is, once you buy a boat (at least one big enough to liveaboard) you should get used to thinking in thousands, not hundreds of dollars. Getting the heater fixed cost 2.5 b.u.'s. Painting the boat cost 4 b.u.'s. Replacing the portlights cost 3 b.u.'s. You get the picture.

But today, thanks to Tom’s hard work, we didn't even have to spend ½ b.u. and the oh-so-critical bilge pumps are working perfectly.

Tom's not afraid to get his hands dirty.


Monday, December 27

Lessons Learned Part 2

Continued from Lessons Learned Part 1. We do it the hard way, so you don't have to:

-When you put your wooden boat back in the water, pull up the carpets, make sure all of your bilge pumps are working properly, and get the shop-vac ready. Then go buy another manual bilge pump just in case.

-Diesel engines make the whole boat smell like… well, diesel. Glade Plug-Ins, drawer sachets, and open windows are your friends.

-Painting the grey decks white makes them look about ten times better. And then they get dirty about ten times faster.

-Add two hours to every project time estimate for every 3 minutes you think it will take to complete.

-Clean up dog pee ASAP. Then dry it out again. And again. Then make sure it is dry. That way your girlfriend doesn't step in it in her socks.

-If you buy walkie-talkies so the captain and first mate can communicate while docking, make sure the radios include headsets. No one ever has a free hand to hold onto a radio.

-When you twist up the radar cable to get it out of the way so you can paint the roof, be sure to untwist it before you turn on the radar. (Recommendations for a good Seattle-area radar technician are welcome; leave contact info in the comments section.)

Tuesday, December 21


Doo, do do, do doo doo da do.... (that's our pathetic attempt at intermission music).

We're traveling. Right now we're in Utah, where we spent the last few days snowboarding. Today we leave for New Joisey, where we'll spend Christmas with Tom's family. Yes, we know, this would be a great time to take some pictures and write about our adventures as we go.
Too bad we forgot the camera at home.

So our apologies, but it looks like we're in the midst of a long intermission. Real blogging will commence after the holidays. And now, back to the music.

Do, da do da doo doo doo....

Thursday, December 2

Only in Seattle

Only when you liveaboard in Seattle can you step out onto the bow of your boat and see this:

The Christmas Ship Parade began yesterday on South Lake Union.

The Parade involves dozens of boats decorated in Christmas lights. Every evening from December 1 - 23 they cruise to a different spot on Lake Union, Lake Washington, or Puget Sound.

The lights are only half the show. The Spirit of Seattle (above) is the lead boat and carries the Seattle Girls Choir, singing Christmas carols broadcast through speakers. A pretty amazing event.