Sailboat Projects Part 2 – This is it, or so we hope

Working on the boat has been an unexpected rollercoaster of emotions filled with triumphs and road blocks. Of course, every time I have a moment of self-pity because a project isn’t going well or its sending us further into the red, I can’t help but think to myself First World Problems. Even I can’t feel sorry for myself, when I am trying to feel sorry for myself.

It’s especially on the forefront of my mind because we’re headed to some third world countries in the near future that won’t have a fantastic supply of marine parts available at our convenience. Why, because they have other things to worry about, like where to get clean water.

Yep, brings things right back into perspective.

Alas, here we are and if we want to sail the world and broaden our horizons, we have to get er’ done…and that is precisely what our goal was with our last couple of weeks in Ft. Lauderdale.

This is the last of our sailboat projects for a while and true to any good character building job we hit some roadblocks, experience a roller coaster of emotions and finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Bahamas here we come!!!

Sailboat Projects Part 2

(If you missed sailboat projects part 1, check that out here: Sailboat Projects – Gettin Up, Down, Dirty & Stinky)

Anchor – See our full anchor set up and details here:

Our much needed new Mantus anchor arrived just in the nick of time for hurricane Matthew but we didn’t get a chance to install it properly…we essentially rigged it up and threw it out into the water to be dealt with later.

We knew we might run into a few fitting issues (which would be the case with any new anchor, not even our old anchor was a proper fit) but we had no idea it would turn out to be a major redesign. Greg at Mantus was awesome at helping advise us through the process and making sure we didn’t order unnecessary parts, and when we needed a part, he shipped it ASAP.

The biggest problem was our anchor/bow roller. In our first few sailing videos many of you pointed out our anchor roller wasn’t rolling and that was a bad thing (thanks for tip!). We had to custom fabricate a new roller and pin, and while we were at it we brought the anchor system back to factory specs (the previous owner had removed a few parts). We did all of this, thinking we would be fine with the current anchor. Little did we know… Now here we are again needed to adjust the bow roller and it’s a pain in the BUTT!

In the end, we welded (at approximately 45°) an extra piece to hang down and we had to create a new roller pin to fit the new location. When we brought up the anchor it was not seating as expected. We couldn’t have it dangling as it would bash into the front of the boat in heavy seas, and we couldn’t have it putting pressure on the beam between the trampolines as it would create extra stress on important parts of the boat.

Retrofitting anchor for sailboat

Here’s where the Anchor Mate comes in. It attaches to the bow roller and gives the anchor a spot to pull up nice and tight. It’s adjustable so we could get it as close as we wanted to the trampoline without it touching. It’s a neat little addition but of course it meant we had to create another roller pin that extended far enough to hold the Anchor Mate.

In the end, it took 4 trips to Metalworks (the fabrication shop) and three shipments from Mantus. The roller ended up costing as much or more than the anchor itself…but we kept asking ourselves “how much is a good night’s rest and our safety at anchor worth?” Now that’s it’s all done I’d say it’s worth every penny and hour spent!

Once the anchor fit was solid we needed to sort out the rest of the system. Our old swivel was rusted to high heaven and not coming off the old anchor. Mantus makes a big beefy swivel and we now have a Mantus anchor which made for a quick easy decision, send it over guys!

Then there was our bridal hook that never seemed to stay attached. Obviously, we are not the first people to have this issue. Mantus makes a big beefy bridal hook (you will hear me say big beefy and Mantus in the same sentence a lot) that get this, comes with a closure to ensure it doesn’t come off while out at anchor. Genius. It’s the simple things that make big differences.

New catamaran bridal hook

In the end, it took 4 trips to Metalworks (the fabrication shop) and three shipments from Mantus. The roller ended up costing as much or more than the anchor itself…but we kept asking ourselves “how much is a good night’s rest and our safety at anchor worth?” Now that’s it’s all done I’d say it’s worth every penny and hour spent!

The Toilet / Marine Head

The saga hopefully ends. I mentioned last time that we installed two composting toilets in the boat and left this one marine toilet to have variety on the boat while at sea. I would have gone composting all the way but Jason wanted to keep one marine head in case we ever had issues getting a composting medium abroad. Fair enough…but that means we needed the one marine head to be 100% working…not leaking, not clogged, and not smelling offensive every time we flush.

I think you well gathered from the video Jason ended up replacing everything but the toilet itself. Hoses, fittings, clamps and holding tank are all new!


We’ve been slowing making the gal now known as Curiosity ours. Adding our personal touches here and there so that she looks and feels like the sailing vessel, traveling home and adventure base I have in my mind’s eye.

I started by painting the cockpit cushions to the delight and dismay of many. We added a few new distinguished characters to our crew in the form of throw pillows and removed the cracking and tattered decals from the sides of the hulls.

If money were no object I would love nothing more than to paint our hulls sunshine yellow or our signature shade of Wynn’s blue. But that would be very costly and vinyl stripes are cheap. So, vinyl stripes it is! Plus, we’ve been told adding stripes to the side of anything makes it go faster.

Sadly, color choices are limited when it comes to off-the-shelf vinyl’s but I did find a pleasing shade of blue, yellow and now grey. They do take time and patience to apply but it’s a worthy DIY project that makes a nice visual change. Just beware of the lift sling and place a blanket over the portion where the slings are placed!  When we paint the bottom in 2017 we’ll go grey so all the colors will start to come together.

Applying hull strips to sailboat

Thanks to my ever-flowing fountain of knowledge known as Kent, we ordered the stripes from It’s not the most user-friendly website but they seemed to have the best pricing/selection that I found online.

Delaminating Windows

We finally got the windows back in place! We had already done the grunt work of removing and cleaning them. Putting the windows back in is where we needed a little expertise and Kenny at Just Catamarans is the window man. The activator and final bead are tricky. We have one window left that hasn’t been redone and now it’s starting to delaminate as well. Ugh…but we’ll save that one for another day and time. Hopefully in another 5-10 years or so when it is time to redo them all again, we will have the confidence and know how to tackle the whole project on our own.

Recycling Our Old Sail

In service part one we shared why we had to replace our genoa sail. Now it was a matter of what to do with the old sail…which didn’t take much debating. I first laid my hands on a Sea Bag at the boat show and loved the concept. They salvage tons of old sails every year and recycle them into wildly functional, water/weather resistant bags for a variety of uses. Tote bags, duffle bags, hand bags and so on. Naturally, I was super excited to donate our old sail and get a bag for us! They go into all the details on the program on their website if you are curious or have old sails that need to be recycled:

Once we get our bag I will make sure to give you an update on the process and what bag we end up with and how our design turns out! We thought about making a limited run of bags from our sail with our design, could be a neat thing to offer to our faithful readers and Patreon’s.

Iridium Go

Staying connected while coastal cruising in the good ol’ USA didn’t require any special offshore satellite gear. We’ve used our cell phones as hotspots the same as while traveling in the RV. (There’s a lot of cross over gear between the RV and boating worlds.) Even 5-10 miles off shore we were still connected, especially so after we installed the same boosters we had in the RV (WeBoost and WiFi Ranger). We will share more detailed information on our full set up later…

Now that we are heading away from the USA and traveling much further out into the ocean we need a way to stay connected, receive current weather information and call for help if needed. I dug deep into the internet searching for options.

Turns out if we had oodles of money, we could stay so connected we could live stream from anywhere in the world and even outside of the earth’s atmosphere. Satellites are amazing. We don’t have oodles of money so I kept digging. There are some affordable options that exist but nothing nearly as exciting as the oodles of money options…but things are looking promising in the coming years.

Iridium Go was hands down the most logical and affordable option. It has the most bang for the buck and is used and reviewed by a wide range of world traveling sailors. So, there’s plenty of practical, real world experience to show its truly a reasonable option. It covers the things we were most concerned about: getting up to date weather info and the ability to communicate while offshore.

We’ve been using the Predict Wind app to plan our sailing days and their offshore app works with the Iridium Go. Predict Wind also offers the most appealing Iridium Go package/monthly service plans. We will go into much more detail on thisdevice later (once we’ve figured it out and have a chance to test the features). For now, I can tell you we went for the marine package, installed the equipment successfully and after a few cocktails, curse words and a couple of days of being tied to the computer for setup, everything is functioning. We won’t truly know it works until we are out at sea and using the device. I will follow up on all of this soon but I am excited! Something about sending a tweet when the nearest rock is 2,000 feet below water seems thrilling. I know, what a millennial statement!

Boat Cleaning

After a few weeks at the marina, endless projects, a hurricane, being hauled out and sitting on the hard…our boat was looking like it had been ridden hard and hung up wet. It took a solid 2-3 days of cleaning and organizing to get everything seaworthy again. Good news is, once she’s all cleaned up, it’s not hard keeping her that way when we’re away from the boat yard.

Dirty catamaran

A Tax Extension

Now it’s time for the adventures to begin! We were supposed to be out of Florida by October 20th but unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t agree (20-30 knots of north winds and high seas make the gulf stream ugly). We called our documenter Kimberly and asked what to do. She put us in contact with the head honcho in the tax office, I’m talking the guy. Kimberly warned “don’t beat around the bush and don’t tell him it’s service related because he won’t care, however he has been known to temporarily extend for weather related purposes.” Thankfully he was friendly, understanding and told us to wait for a safe weather window before crossing over and not to worry about rushing out.

November 4, 2016:  Our weather window has finally arrived!!! We’re pulling away from the dock at 3am to start our Bahamas crossing. It’s been a crazy six months of learning, sailing and preparing but we feel 100% ready to cross that proverbial line in the water. We surely hope this is our last service stop for a while. Of course, the boat isn’t 100% perfect, but if we waited for perfection we would never leave the dock.

Thanks for hanging with us, we’re super happy you are here! If you like what we’re up to and want to and want to show us some virtual love, we’ve listed a bunch of ways you can do that here: Say Thanks

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 (37)

  • Tracy H

    Nikki, did you ever get your bag from your old sail? I don’t remember seeing anything else about that in later posts.

  • Jen ciechanowski

    Noticed screening or shades in your cockpit area that seem new?
    We are building an an enclosure for our 49 Beneteau for both cool weather and hot as we will be transiting to the Caribbean once hurricane season is over. We’re not sure to put shading or screening and wondered what you did and why

  • Ashlie E

    Hello and thank you!

    We are considering purchasing a used catamaran and doing exactly what you’d doing. Wondering if you still feel like the price you paid for your boat is fair? Clearly, you’ve spent $20K+ getting the boat back in order … In retrospective, would you have put a lower offer in for a boat in “good condition?” BTW … thank you for including all your pricing information!!!!!! We want to go into this eyes wide open and your comments are helping us really plan and not be utterly shocked at every corner! So very very very appreciated!

  • Michele

    Just wondering if, besides the stripes, you used for your boat name and port lettering, or did you use another company for that? The name and port lettering looks really nice and we need to do ours soon. Thanks!

  • Deborah Kerr

    Kudos on your persistence Jason to fix the toilet and the anchor roller thingy!! Sometimes you just need to “bite the bullet” and get through it all!! Sunny days and safe travels 🙂

  • Denise

    Thank you for this post and video. My husband and I have been following you for a while now and are working our 5 year plan to sail full time. Love that you show all sides of the lifestyle…good,bad, and ugly! Keep them coming. We just purchased our first RV for weekend and short trips around Colorado with our two daughters and love the transferable skills you have shown. You are an inspiration! We too will make it work and live our dream.

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    Love that you recycled the sail! I have two seabags and they are just the bomb! So many designs, and I feel good knowing that old sails bring their history.

  • Phil Bruce

    Nikki and Jason, engaging video. I wish I could help you with the frustration, but I understand. You may have said and I just missed it, but why are you not installing the composting toilet?

    Enjoy the Bahamas!

      • Phil Bruce

        Oops. I had assumed the words were a transcript of the video. My mistake–I just watched the video. I’ll be more diligent in the future.

  • Dave

    I’m sure this has been mentioned before on this site:


  • Leo &Lau

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!.Thank yo for sharing.Love you guys!!! Keep the good work!! That’s what life is all about.

  • Joe

    Hi Nikki!
    There are free alternatives to commercial satellite communication service using amateur radio that would be handy to have whether near shore or deep at sea. Check out for a great example of what’s available for e-mail, positional updates, etc.
    It’s yet another hobby to explore, but also quite practical for small craft marine life.

  • Joanie

    Nikki and Jason, great video. Safe journey and happy Thanksgiving.

  • Dan Delaney

    A hole in the water into which one throws money?

  • Rick Wahl

    Hi Nikki, Hi Jason
    We started following your blog a couple years ago and now that you have come over to the Dark (Blue) Side it’s even greater! I recently saw your video on the Dinghy swap, and would like to talk with you about your old Dinghy. Have a Great Thanksgiving

    Rick Wahl
    s/v MoonDog

  • abeer

    hi ,
    keep posting boat problems & fixes we need that as real part of the experiment
    but what is wrong is the timing because we are waiting for Bahamas crossing for 2 weeks
    & Bahamas exploring part 1 for this week
    one month late for video posting is frustrating for us
    when we are waiting badly for another kind of post like Bahamas crossing

    i think if you get 2 video in one week is best for us
    but there will be a problem of the internet in upload speed for islands
    plus electricity shortage & video editing
    good luck

  • Sam

    Living the life you have, no one is going to feel sorry for you. One more chore you have to take care of yourself. Have your personal pity party, then get up and go back to work. Man, I love you guys.We all know it, but it is refreshing to see not all is hearts and flowers, even for you guys. Thanks for bringing us along on your vida loco.

  • Bill

    Joking; Have you forgotten the definition of a boat?

    • Sid

      Jason, Here are two humorous cliches l discovered from boat ownership.
      “The two happiest days of a boat owner is the day he buys the boat. Then the day he sells the boat”

      Then in between those days “A boat becomes a hole in the water to through money into. “

  • As far as my “on water” experience, I think I’ll stick with my inflatable kayaks. $25 every 3 years for a boating license. Never thought owning a sailboat was so $$$ and involved. Followed Nikki & Jason from the first RV search….thru their RV swaps travels and now into their new sailing life. Job well done….All these Vlogs should be “require” viewing for anyone entering the sailing lifestyle as new-bees.

  • Susan Goetzinger

    Wow! I was exhausted watching all the repairs! I am afraid to ask what the final price tag of all the repairs added up to. The great thing is you are focusing on a safe voyage by having these repairs done.

  • Ken

    your doing great,the best is yet to come, I can’t wait for you to take me with you on my video cruise to everywhere ,

  • Jeff

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Merri (jamminalong)

    Whoa!! Let me grab a drink… I’m exhausted!!

    On a serious note, were all these challenges taken into consideration on the purchase price? I sure hope the neglect was documented on the survey… yes? And yes I’m surprised Kent keeps showing his face after selling this fixer-upper to you, LOL!! But hey, if you’re happy… No I’m not judging. I believe Karma happens good or bad so I’m staying on the good side. I’m truly looking forward to your future videos. Your channel really kicked up a notch or two! Cheers! ~M

  • Diane Sanderbeck

    Love y’all! I know Curiosity is already in the Bahamas as I write this, but I’m SO looking forward to seeing that vid of y’all casting off the lines. I sure do appreciate seeing all the hard work it takes to sail away. I’ve been following for years. Did the road trip and can’t wait to sail away myself…soon. Hope to see y’all out there someday. Hugs!

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Wow watching you two exhausted me but you persevered and got it all done. Another job well done and the video showed the real truth. Safe Sailing!!!

  • Marivic Burger

    Aww big virtual hugs and a huge high five to the both of you! Great job getting things done! You both have so much energy and patience, I can’t be anything but impressed! Thank you for another great video!

  • Chris C.

    @ 19:05 over your right shoulder your pillows look like an albino shark. I laughed.

  • T.K.


    1. Use pencil and paper to do math, double check your work…your life may depend on it…
    2. Never work on or remove/replace cover of a RUNNING engine, sober or not…
    3. Hard is a great teacher, easy is not…
    4. Perseverance is undefeated.
    5. Your teamwork is impressive.

  • Manson & Cindy - Cat's Meow

    Great video. Good job on the projects! Hope you are enjoying the Abacos.

  • Skip

    Ok.. I cannot believe I watched 25 min of your personal frustration and never saw you leave the dock.. not the way I wanted to see that video end.. Go.. leave.. untie the lines and let us see you slip away so the adventure can begin.

    You two have a real talent for the vidiograpgy and production. I enjoy your posts. The hardest thing to achieve seems to be a sailing series where most of the time is dedicated to… sailing. Maybe that would bore me.. I’d like to find out. I think I would put my support behind that.


  • OMG. Any fleeting thought I ever had of getting a boat is forever gone. Clearly, it takes attitudes like yours to endure all the headaches. Great video content though!

  • Colin

    Having been a cruising boat owner before I know EXACTLY the pains that you guys had to go through to have everything sort of ship-shape for the trip… There is always that extra nut, bolt, clamp, line, etc to be changed/fixed/added/removed/etc. But there comes a time to call it: READY!
    Kudos, you did it, not only that, but you did it while living aboard! I’m really impressed.
    Can’t wait for the reports from the trip. Let the fun begin.
    Cheers and safe passages!

  • Frans

    Stay safe!

  • Frans

    High energy, always moving, servicing your fan base!
    Oh my! I am exhausted just reading about you two and all the stuff you do to travel. Kudos Wynns and cats, truly you only live once, make it count!
    I love it. All the best from San Diego!

  • RoeH

    I think the RV was easier. 🙂


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