Month: January 2014

All in a DAY’S Work…or is it YEAR’S?

the list

WARNING! The following list may create a strong desire to never become a boat owner, EVER! Dreamers of the cruising lifestyle, BEWARE!

S/V YOLO To-Do List (as of 1/29/2014)

  • Clean interior
  • Scrub/clean headliner
  • Polish/Oil interior wood
  • Sand and varnish bright work
  • Clean cockpit and lazarettes
  • Unjam mainsail and remove
  • Replace mainsail furling line
  • Remove jib from roller furler
  • Re-secure inner forestay
  • Give away or sell unwanted articles left on boat by PO
  • Remove old electronics
  • Sell old electronics on Ebay
  • Remove and toss trash compactor (YES, this boat came with one)
  • Determine repairs necessary to forward head
  • Service aft head
  • Purchase and install lifeline netting
  • Clean and lube all winches
  • Extend bimini frame for Matt’s height
  • New canvas for bimini – color TBD
  • New canvas/isinglass for dodger
  • Recover cockpit cushions – color TBD
  • Repair foredeck  soft spot
  • Repaint topdecks
  • Repair transom crack
  • Apply new nonskid on deck
  • Buff and wax hull
  • New waterline boot stripe – color TBD
  • Sand Bottom
  • Apply Barrier coat
  • Apply new anti-fouling
  • Fix forward head
  • Service Genoa
  • Inventory sails
  • Purchase new mainsail
  • Replace all running rigging lines
  • Inspect proper bedding of all deck hardware
  • Remove “Wanderbird” name and hailing port
  • Remove “Wanderbird” wooden plaque on both sides of bow
  • Get artwork done for “YOLO” and hailing port
  • Apply new “YOLO” graphic to transom
  • Service dinghy outboard
  • Remove flat screen TV from bar area
  • Determine serviceability of dinghy
  • Purchase new fenders
  • Look for boat hook, purchase new if necessary
  • Inventory life jackets and other PFD’s
  • Replace flare inventory
  • Replace centerboard pendant lines, if necessary
  • Re-glass centerboard pin pivot
  • Service engine
    • Change all fluids
    • Replace all belts
    • Replace all filters
    • Replace zincs
    • Check hoses and clamps
  • Service genset
    • Change all fluids
    • Replace all belts
    • Replace all filters
    • Replace zincs
    • Check hoses and clamps
  • Service prop
  • Inspect/replace cutlass bearing?
  • Replace shaft zinc
  • Replace rudder zinc
  • Inspect/clean water tanks
  • Inspect/polish fuel and fuel tanks
  • Service all thru-hull valves
  • Inspect and lube steering quadrant and chain
  • Lube rudder posts?
  • Inspect and service watermaker
    • Replace filter/o-rings?
  • Replace fresh water filter under sink
  • Service/replace manual foot pump in galley
  • Replace hasps and locks on both companion ways
  • Polish all stainless steel on deck
  • Re-install and rewire all four solar panels on bimini once bimni extension and canvas complete
  • Service/clean/lube windlass
  • Inspect anchor/hardware and chain/rode
  • Polish and clean stainless and glass on all port lights
  • Lube/replace boom battcars for furler outhaul
  • Inspect all cabin lights and replace bulbs as necessary
  • Get light fixture info to convert to LED bulbs
  • Test sound system and service as necessary
  • Build starboard cutting board/sink cover
  • Clean sea chest and other strainers
  • Install isolation valves to sea chest
  • Inspect fresh water pump
  • Replace fresh water accumulator with larger tank
  • Inspect/recertify liferaft
  • Inspect all fans, replace as necessary
  • Replace MOB pole?
  • Inspect all exterior navigation lights on mast and topsides. Eventually replace with LED
  • Purchase and install Wirie WIFI antenna booster
  • Redesign/repair cockpit table
  • Test bilge pumps and alarms
  • Purchase EPIRB
  • Test manual whale bilge pump
  • AIS?
  • Troubleshoot erroneous depth sounder in cockpit
  • Consider self-steering gear – Hydrovane?
  • Remove obsolete instruments on cockpit binnacle
  • Wrap steering wheel with paracord
  • Clean and detail engine room
  • Install engine room sound insulation
  • Purchase 1-2 VHF handhelds
  • Dinghy wheels
  • Dinghy anchor?
  • Jerry cans for diesel, gas, and water
  • Determine battery bank condition, replace if necessary

This list was, purposely, not numbered to avoid self-induced panic. Also, there is NO specific order of importance. We now see why some people require 3-5 years to get their boat “ready” for extended liveaboard cruising. Now, to be fair to this list, many of these items will be a quick inspection, cleaning, etc. Most of these will be DIY. However, there are a fair number of big jobs that will require professional attention, labor, parts, and wait for it…MONEY. To the uninitiated, BOAT is actually an acronym for “BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND.” A little clichéd but not far from the truth. We met some fellow cruisers during our last visit to San Carlos. They have coined the term “Boat Unit,” where 1 Boat Unit = $1,000. When they had to replace their engine, the cost was only 13 Boat Units. Not so bad, right?

We will be on board YOLO tomorrow and our next post will update the progress of…(insert dramatic horror music here)…”THE LIST.” Oh, and probably some new items we have yet to encounter.


Hello YOLO

Lookin' a little scruffy in the desert.

Lookin’ a little scruffy in the desert.

We did it! After a couple of tense post-survey negotiations, we found some middle ground. We have purchased our future floating home.  Meet SV Yolo, our 1990 Brewer 44!

Is she perfect? No. Is she turnkey ready? No. Is she even, dare I say, “a little rough around the edges?” Probably. But as some may know, buying a boat is never a 100% rationale decision. How did we know this was THE ONE for us? Well, let me take you back to my first trip to look at her. Picture me rocking out in the rental car to nothing but Mexican jams from the airport in Hermosillo all the way to Guaymas. I was flipping stations like a mad man just trying to hear some US of A music. No luck. I went and checked into the hotel in San Carlos and then realized I needed to go see her (the boat) now. I just couldn’t wait until my meeting with the broker the next day. I jumped back in my Chevy Spark and drove the 12 or so miles over to the boat yard in Guaymas where she was stored on the hard. Yes, still had some crazy mariachi tunes playing on the station. I was about 5 minutes away from the yard, when this song comes on…

In English. No joke. I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. Talk about fate, eh? I probably should have just turned back around and flown home and told my broker I would take her. My appointment the next morning strongly reinforced my feelings about this boat.

I got home the following day and talked to Courtney. We quickly decided to put in an offer. We had a few counters back and forth and got to an agreed price, including a repair allowance for a few known issues. Namely, a soft spot on the foredeck and a hairline crack in the gel coat of the transom.

Court and I flew back down to Mexico with my dad (also a sailboat owner) in mid-January for the survey and sea trial. We were fortunate that the owner of the boat was present on the boat and took a lot of time showing us the various systems and workings of the boat. Unfortunately, I only remember about 20% of what we went over.


It was a whirlwind three days but we got it all done. There were no major surprises other than the in-mast furling system not working correctly with the mainsail…i.e. jamming at about 75% on the outhaul. This was a major deal for us, as we had put in writing on the initial purchase agreement  that the furling system must be working satisfactorily. It was not. But nonetheless, we loved her. She sailed incredibly well and motored nicely. Not too shabby considering she has been on the hard for about 3 years.




We got back to AZ and started doing some recon on the in mast furling issue. Most of the feedback was quite positive. Although many a sailor will tell you they hate in mast and/or boom furling systems for the mainsail…working or not. Our research concluded that we will need, at minimum, a new mainsail and a very good cleaning of the inner workings of the furling system. Hopefully, that will fix it. If it doesn’t, the rig has to come down to extract the system and repair or replace. We really don’t want to do that.

We came back to the owner with a new offer to give us an allowance on the furler issue. After some more back and forth, we struck a deal. The actual purchase process has been fairly painless up to this point. The brokers have handled most of the communications and paperwork shuffling. We have a maritime agency that is processing our USCG doccumentation forms, title, etc. Another Mexican document we will be getting is called a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). This is a very important piece of paper that is tied to the boat (not literally tied, because then it would get wet). The TIP allows you to leave your boat in Mexico as a foreigner, legally, for up to 10 years.

Courtney and I are headed back to Mexico on Thursday to spend a few days on YOLO*, as OWNERS! I’m sure Court will go into one of her OCD cleaning frenzies and I will be stuck sorting through all the lockers to see what treasures and trash I can find.

We have a lot of work to do! Please follow along as we make her our own!

*The boats’ current name is Wanderbird. We will be doing the name changing ceremony to make her YOLO in the next few months.


Where the magic will happen.

Where the magic will happen.



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