Can We Bring This Boat Back To Life?

Let the boat work begin!  And, the first item of business…transportation, aka the dinghy, aka Minion.

Our poor dinghy has become a mold factory sitting underneath our sailboat for the past year.  And our engine has been attached the whole time.  Not ideal to say the least.  She is going to need a lot of work to bring her back to life.  Luckily, our enthusiasm to (finally) be home and get our boat back in her natural element (floating on water) is providing us with a lot of motivation.


RIB Restoration

The cleaning products were sent to us by Highfield (the manufacture of our dinghy, thanks guys!) and are not sold in the USA (at least not that I could find).  They are Blue Marine cleaning products specially developed to clean and care for ORCA fabrics.  They worked well considering the state of poor Minion.  I have tried the 3M products along with some others we’ve picked up at West Marine and other chandleries along the way.  I can’t say it was a drastic difference from other products, but the Mold and Mildew stain remover did work better than anything I’ve tried so far.   I went through 2 bottles of the cleaner, 2 bottles of the mold remover and 1 bottle of the protectant to get her looking presentable.  All that, plus a few magic erasers, and endless hours of scrubbing.


Fuel Water Separator Filter

Don’t you know they don’t sell the same exact filter in the USA either?!  The one sold in the USA is the metal version, which is fine but, it will no doubt rust and is single-use.  Still, it’s better than the big Racor version we’ve seen where you throw away a big plastic filter and housing with each change.  The one we purchased has a tiny replaceable filter and easy drain valve which totally won us over.


New E-bikes

Technically they are a year old now (been sitting in our shipping crate) but still spankin’ new to us.  We ordered them after much debate. They are NOT perfect and you must know I recommend them with many reservations.

But so far, we’re thrilled to have them.  They are the smallest, lightest (34 lbs), most compact folding e-bikes we could find.

The Bad – The bike is not ideal for taller or heavier individuals. It struggles to maintain speed when climbing hills and depending on your weight, slows to almost a stop if it’s really steep. It has a responsive but not reliable on a steep downhill rear brake. The seat is uncomfortable for long rides. It has a limited range of 17 miles (because of no pedals).

The Good – The E-Bike doesn’t have pedals, a chain, or cassette (less to rust and maintain). The bike can fold down and fit in almost any of our large storage lockers (main deciding factor) and easy to load up in the dinghy.  They are really affordable for an e-bike…but you get what you pay for.

If we had a bigger dry storage locker that could have fit our Blix E-Bikes…we would have loaded those up in our crates.  We absolutely love those bikes and miss not having them.  If you have the room, go for a Blix or similar quality.  You will never need to rent another island car and they are a helluva good time!

Full Blix Review:

Romantic Island Bungalow

A big thank you to our friends Kjell, Adriana, and their extremely sweet dinosaur-loving son Kristian for hosting us at Mystic Sands.  It has been the most relaxing place to be while we de-mold and get our home livable again.  We owe you guys A LOT of Tepache.



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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (47)

  • peter

    When did you swap out from the 20hp tohatsu to the 25hp Yamaha?

    • Curious Minion

      During the 2017 passage prep and refit they realized that their first Highfield would be on the small side for 4 people and dive gear, so that’s when they moved up to the larger dinghy (Minion) and a larger outboard. Sorry, can’t remember the exact vid they mentioned it in but you could over to the “mods & maintenance” tab & rewatch all the refit vids.
      Curious Minion

  • Michael

    I recommend Wet and Forget. I looked it up and contacted the manufacturer of Wet and Forget. This is the link they sent me:

    They also said:
    It is designed to work over time with the rain and wind to remove this type of growth. We just advise applying when the boat is at least 100 ft. away from any pond, lake, river or stream as fish are known to be sensitive to the product.

    The contact information is:
    Colleen Sovik | Customer Service Coordinator
    Wet & Forget USA, a New Zealand limited partnership
    P: 847.428.3894 ext. 111 | F: 847.428.3917 |

    I always liked the product because it would eliminate algae and lichen, and I didn’t have to scrub anything. it is a miracle on buildings and RVs, and I assume on boats as well.

    Also, I don’t know if this helps you at all, but if you were to use 303 Aerospace Protectant on your car tires every three months, they will last twice as long. It also works on all vinyl and plastic, but not canvas.

    As to any plumbing; drained and dry always lasts longer. Plumbing overall is best for moving water, and not stagnant water, unless the water is RO filtered or distilled. Back flushing filtration systems is as good as it gets, but replacement media is best. There are some tricks of the trade, but I always wonder how they work in the long run.

    As far as your boat outboard engine, you forgot to tape over the coolant holes. Those nasty mud daubers will get in any opening and they are a pain to remove. You could have tried high pressure flush to make sure there was nothing in the openings after using a pipe cleaner of bottle brush of appropriate size. But draining and then taping the holes saves a lot of work later. Also cover the top with a trash bag and tape it up good for storage and then there will be no insects or dirt getting in the system.

    Electronics must be dry, dry, dry. Running the fans saved your bacon I’m sure. Turning off all breakers is good as well. There is no need for non-essential systems to be energized at all.

    And of course everything must be protected from UV light without exception.

    I live inland, and all boats are pulled from the water every fall. They are then covered with heat shrink plastic to seal them up. The cover stops all degradation over the winter months.

    In your case, the cat needs airing out because of the moisture that might be trapped inside it. However, a complete canopy over the top of the whole thing would be ideal to keep rain and light off the boat and allow controlled air circulation thru specific screened vent ports.. That would protect if from needing to run any pumps, stop any damage from sun on any surface, and keep out the pests. And, again, tape up any thru hull holes.

    It will be interesting to see the condition of the mainsail since it was stored in a UV-stopping cover.

    I have seen that nasty problem you had with the dingy’s cleats and handles. It happens on automobile parts too. The change in the plastic type material happens from UV and certain chemicals. I’ve always wondered what could be done, other than covering it to protect it from the environment. Protectant sprays should help.

    Good luck in your clean up campaign. You’re doing great!

  • Chris Madsen

    I want to marry you BOTH. Please say YES, ha ha. I just discovered you while googling the Societies )my favorite place on earth) and have binged all your sailing videos – from buying the boat in Florida to being reunited in Tonga. Thank you for sharing in such a personal way. I feel like I know you, know the cats, know the boat (know the bilge, the traveler, the heads, the knot log impeller………… ha ha) and you have made it feel like I am experiencing everything that you are experiencing along your fabulous, adventurous journey. I spent 6 years rebuilding a sixty foot 1916 Herreshoff sloop named Rowdy (rowdystory,com if interested) and have sailed the Santa Barbara channel islands all my life but, as soon as my 16 year old twin daughters fly the coop, I will be in the South Pacific on a catamaran inspired by your well researched choice of vessels. Be brave in getting Curiosity ready for relaunch and remember the line from the John Travolta (plays the arch angel) movie “Michael” which he utters with a smile before charging and head butting the very large and angry bull – “Battle”!!! Your arm chair buddy, Chris

  • Christie Heath

    I had no idea how happy I would be seeing Minion get put back in the water. Love watching y’all!

  • JUDY Goodson

    I don’t envy you two having to go to all these extremes to get your boat livable again, but I know you’re determined and up to the task. I’m excited to know where you’re going next. Best wishes.

  • Chris Berlin

    Hey Jason. You should really remove your lower unit every year when in salt all the time. If you dont you will have a heck of a time when you do need to do it! I take mine off every year and take the water pump apart and clean/lubricate. Change impeller if needed. Also I clean and apply non copper based never seize to the lower unit bolts.
    Also you should remove your thermostat and clean/inspect.

    Those motors will last forever if they are fed clean fuel with good oil and not run hot.

  • Clint Hulsey

    Someone probably already mentioned this, but most mechanics recommend changing the water pump impeller every 3 to 5 years. Super great to see you guys back in your true element. keep it up! Fellow Texan here.

  • YDion

    Your happiness is contagious; always very happy to watch your videos!

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Wow! Great job on getting Minion and her engine cleaned up and working so well. Lots of work – good job you’re young! 😂 Can’t wait to see the next episodes of how you gradually return to your wonderful sailing life. Looks like loads of hard work ahead, but fun times too, I’m sure. Good luck and see you next Sunday! 🙌👍💖

  • Alan Solomon

    Thanks for another awesome, terrific video. After reading some of the other comments, I realized, I have the energy you both have but I have a bad knee and it prevents me from taking advantage of my energy! I would be all over it just like you both are. Also, working together like you are makes it fun and more enjoyable than just work. I am happy for you both. 😊
    I live in the Coachella Valley. The reason I say that is we do not have too much grass here. We definitely do not have an ocean to enjoy. I like seeing you both going down your list, working, getting things done and having fun in that environment.
    Do you guys remember when you came to Coachella in your RV? I remember that video. Jason had to go to Texas for the bank or family. Nikki was by herself in the RV till Jason got back. So much for reminiscing. Looking forward to next Sunday. There sure are a lot of Wasps there. Be careful. Best Regards

  • Pat Brogan

    Loved watching. You said you used a pain over sun tells? What is it? And what was the waxy stuff sprayed on the dinghy e fine insides? I ordered one of these under mattress things you showed us, thanks!

  • Ted

    Great to see you back on the water, albeit if only in your dinghy ! Nice to see you’re sticking with it after all this time. Congrats for keeping so positive !
    Jason on the pump for the gear oil there should have been an extension to add to the bottom of the pump so it fits the container from top to bottom. Perhaps it got lost !
    Thanks a lot for keeping us in the loop.

  • Paul Reynolds

    Great to see you both, looking fit and well, it’s hard work but well worth the aches.
    Can’t wait to see her put back in the water, like yourselves, something special to look forward to,
    happy days xx

  • Sandra -Tyler TX

    Love the video! I am so happy for you. That’s a lot of work, but your faces on the first ride are so joyful!
    Two questions Nikki, Can you share the brand of your straw hat? And Jason, we loved the bees, trees and ocean tee! Where did you get that?
    Thank you so much for making our COVID Sunday’s something to look forward to.
    (I gotta say, I was a tad jealous when you were just able to ride over to your friends and enjoy dinner with them sans 😷)

    • Amy S

      Hi you two! And when you reply about the hat, please also tell me about that cute booty shorts bikini with the frilly top. Please and thank you!

  • Ken Landis

    Glad to see Hepi Pizza built the steps down to the water. When we were there last year he had not started on them yet, best pizza in town! Assume you will hole up in Vava’u for cyclone season? We are on the Linda Marie currently in Opua, NZ – been here a year now and keep getting extensions to our visa’s – hoping NZ will allow us to stay through the upcoming cyclone season. Just went through a NZ winter and looking forward to exploring the anchorages here in warmer weather. We really enjoy your down-to-earth style, keep it up and stay safe. Ken and Linda

  • Jennifer Lopesi

    Is it just me or do others find watching things being cleaned strangely satisfying?… 🤣 I’m so excited for you guys. One step closer to sailing Curiosity! Ps. Love the bloopers too!

  • Pat

    As always great video to get my Sunday fix. We are stuck in Canada this winter due to the Covid and normally are snowbirds heading south. You two keep me laughing with all your adventures and hard work.

    Stay strong and stay safe.

  • R Barr

    You ought to change the impeller for the water pump while you’re at it…easy to do

  • Darryl

    Hey Guys…love your channel and we follow your adventures every week! We are glad your finally back home and getting ready for the next chapter of your adventure. Tip for clean up at the end of the season, check out a product called slimy grimy (no affiliation). It takes mould and stains off the hull of your boat without scrubbing. Spray it on go have a beer and come back your dingy will be white! Great stuff and its environmentally friendly! cheers Darryl

  • Ricki Glander

    Great video, always fun to watch. Your gear lube pump that goes into the oil bottle should have an extendable “pickup” that slips into itself, if you pull it it will extend into the bottom of the gearlube oil bottle.

  • Richard Fenters

    Happy to see you guys back on Minion and so happy. Well overdue! And keep up the funny “End Screens”!

  • Michael Larkin

    It’s coming around, can’t wait to see you on Curiosity again. great to see you both laugh during all of the difficult times. Michael, Dublin, Ireland.

  • John

    On your lower gear lube replacement… you are missing a small plastic tube that fits on the bottom of the hand pump so it will reach to the bottom of the gear lube bottles. That’s all you need!

  • Aboyandhisdog

    Jason, the lower plug is the drain plug, the upper one is the fill plug. The gear oil goes in the fill port from the top and when the oil just starts to come out you know the level is right. I’ve never seen a gear box that fills from the bottom, but maybe Yamaha specs this for some reason.

    • Ricki Glander

      Jason got it right, never fill from the top as they can get an airlock (bubble inside) and give a false level reading. 😉

      • Michael

        Are you sure? How tiny are those oil tanks?

  • Diane

    Great seeing you this morning-fantastic job on the cleanup – clearly more fun times ahead – Minion clean up a major achievement- congrats!! 💪💪🎉🎉🎉

  • john brunson

    Next time put the 90 weight gear lube in a catsup squeeze bottle. hold the nozzle up to the drain and squeeze it in…. as a kid in high school we used a mixture of bleach and laundry detergent to cut the mold and crud when washing boats…. sap from pecan trees was our enemy… long pole with a brush, straight bleach mixed with Tide detergent in a bucket. brush on, scrub a little then let set for 30 seconds…. bye bye mildew! easy peasy… just do it in fresh air so the bleach does not get inhaled.

    • JR Thornton

      I think they want to stay green and bleach wouldn’t be that good for the runoff.


    Extremely Happy for you❣❣❣
    Enjoying your progress 🤗🤗❤💕💝

  • Jon Stensloff

    I think Keith Rubbed off on you while Aboard Zartara……..Just saying

  • Bill

    Great story. I just have one concern, are there life jackets in the dingy? I would like to continue watching.

  • OjaiLynda

    Well done on the clean up so far. Great to see you both back on the water in Minion!

  • Greg Dobbyn

    Hi Wynns – another excellent video! Have you ever considered using an electric outboard??? You have plenty of solar on your boat and it would eliminate the need to carry gas on the boat and source gas. For long trips they don’t work well, as you can’t store enough energy, but for short dingy trips they are great. Biggest advantage is you get rid of a lot of maintenance issues – but you inherit some new ones. They really have improved dramatically over the last couple of years. What does minion think??

  • Bernard

    You always make Sunday a specialer day than it is anyway. 😉
    Always looking forward to your next video!


    Congratulations on Splash-1, by now (Oct 18th, 20) you may have already had Splash-2 and I’m looking forward to that video.

    Only part you did not show was how you got rid of the nests. Did you film any of that?

  • Deborah Kerr

    Good progress!! 🙂 Anytime you can bring a dinghy back to life – well, that’s a good day!! lol


    Not finding CRC soft seal in the US. Got a part number?


  • Marge Nehlsen

    So happy you are back on the dingy. Wish I had half the energy you both have. I very much enjoyed your video as I was sitting on my couch watching someone else do all the hard work. Was suspenseful waiting to see if the engine would start. It did!

  • Wylie Elson

    Happy for you two to be back with your boat! Clearly lots of hard work ahead to get ready to splash, but that’s what haul kids are for anyway.
    Since your posts are delayed this may or may not help, but two tips to mention.
    Outboard. Nicely done there. I would suggest replacing the impeller.
    Top sides or white surfaces everywhere, there’s a cleaner available in stores (everywhere in the USA) like a Formula 409 or the like WITH BLEACH. It’s a slightly thick creamy liquid in a plastic bottle. Really helps remove mold and mildew stains well. Don’t get it on your colored clothes or cushions.
    Oh, one more thing. You can save a ton of elbow grease if you get the use of a power washer. The best ones have a gas motor powering them. Really helps remove all that staining with 1/10th the manual effort.
    Looking good ! You’ll be back aboard and having new adventures at sea in no time. Best wishes.

    • Pat

      I was thinking as I cleaned my dinghy at home that I would make room for a small power washer and small wet dry vac!!

  • Gary

    You missed a spot

  • Jim Ege

    So great to see your enthusiasm through all of this. There must be cry time but you do not show it! Kudos to you both!

  • Laura

    So happy you made it back to your boat. Good luck with the clean up and everything in between. Appreciate you sharing it with us… even the bad. Hopefully we will be joining you on the water at some point.

  • Suzanne lieberman

    Welcome back I really Enjoy watching your videos I just recently had a knee replacement and I really enjoy watching these selling videos thank you helps me get through this. I already watch a new video this morning can’t wait for the next one. Thank you


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