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sailing around the world prep

Pulling The Stick, Getting Rigged & A Fresh Bottom

There is so much going on, I don’t even know where to begin…but it’s safe to say we’re doing a ton of work on the boat.  We’re getting ready to set sail on a big adventure and that requires proper preparation (say that 3 times fast!).

Sailing about the world is a voyage that many have done before us.  There are terabytes of books, articles, movies and guides about the subject.   I haven’t attempted to read them all, but it doesn’t take more than skimming the jacket of most sailing books to figure out one very common theme:  Preparation is paramount.

Some of the work we are doing goes beyond preparation but it all adds up to having a safe, sea worthy, passage making vessel.

We’re bound for Panama (and eventually the South Pacific) as soon as Curiosity is ready.  Everything we’ve read about sailing the Caribbean and Pacific, along with each sailor we’ve talked to that’s made the voyage, warns us to have our boat in order before departing the USA.  Skilled workers, and specialized sailboat parts will become very difficult to come by.

So this is us, doing our due diligence, and getting Curiosity as prepared as we can.

As I watch this I am asking myself two things.  First, is what would we do without Kent?  Followed by, what were we thinking?!? There is no way we can cram all this sailboat work into a single month!

The crazy thing is, there is so much more that didn’t make the video.  There must be a million little tasks we’ve done ranging from swapping halogen bulbs out for LED’s to adding additional insulation around the fridge, and even Jason working on the head…again.

Hopefully the video gave you a glimpse at what’s been going on behind the scenes here aboard our catamaran.  In case you’re super interested, here’s a bit more on some of the task being knocked out in the video.

Standing & Running Rigging

This is probably the biggest one, and luckily one we were prepared for from the beginning.  We discussed it with our surveyor before buying the boat and talked with Just Cats about estimated costs so we knew what to expect.

One thing we didn’t expect is that we would be tackling so much of it ourselves.  If you told me a year ago that we’d be taking apart our standing rigging, pulling down our mast (with the help of a crane), running lines and feeling somewhat capable about it all, I would have laughed out loud.  But here we are…and it feels pretty fantastic.

rigging our sailboat

rigging our sailboat

rigging our sailboat

rigging our sailboat

Bottom Paint

Bottom Paint (aka antifouling) is something that must be done every year or two for us as liveaboard sailors cruising around.  It’s a special paint that is designed to help keep weeds, barnacles and other aquatic organisms from growing on and eating away at our hulls.  There are way too many options out there when it comes to antifouling and it’s nearly impossible for us as novices to choose.  We asked around for recommendations and Pettit seemed to be a very popular choice.  Even still, there are a lot of different options to choose from, even within each brand.  It’s because the type of paint needed depends on a whole bunch of factors including location, weather, use and so on.  We reached out directly to Pettit to help us make that decision.  We landed on the vivid option as it’s supposed to hold up well for a long while and comes in white and black…which mixed together make grey to match our stack pack and stripe.  Because we hear color coordinating makes the boat sail faster. ?

sanding away old bottom paint\new antifouling bottom paint

Our mixture was approximately 4 white to 1 black…however we could have gone a little darker, but there’s no going back now.  It will be very interesting to see how long it lasts in the warm tropical waters we’re going to be cruising.

Keel Delamination

There is nothing like the word delamination to get a boater’s skin crawling.  Luckily, the word can sometimes be much scarier than the actual damage.  We had noticed a pinhole sized spot on our keel leaking the last time we were hauled out but it was right as we were ready to be put back in the water and head off for the Bahamas.  We knew we were coming back to Just Cats for a final round of service so Kent said, “don’t worry about it now, we will fix it up when you come back”.  So, here we are.

That pin hole was evidence of previous damage that had been done a while back and the repair was giving way.  Once sanded down, it’s easy to see what parts don’t look like the others.  Gabby (the fiberglass man at Just Cats) cut away the bad bits, did some grinding and patched Curiosity up with fiberglass like nothing ever happened.  It’s amazing what they can do to fix up a boat to look as good as new.

delamination of the keel

repairing keel damage

fiberglassing up the keel

Feathering Props

You may, or may not remember Jason mentioning he wanted feathering props.  Kent of course is a big fan of them so he wasn’t helping the situation either.  Jason just couldn’t let it go and kept researching the options while we were in the Bahamas.  He had a long chain of emails going back and forth with Fred from PYI (the Max Prop people).

The final nail in the coffin was meeting s/v Holiday in the Bahamas.  They were a 2006 Leopard 43…one year newer than our Curiosity but the same exact boat.  We were both sailing along the same point of sail, both had spinnakers up and yet, they were going almost a knot faster than us.  They gleefully attributed the extra speed to their folding props and our lack of them.

That was it.  We were slowly getting left in their wake and our fixed props creating drag on the boat were to blame.  Not only were we losing the unspoken race, we were going to arrive at the same destination hours later.  Now imagine a 1,000 nautical mile sail…going one knot faster, we could arrive days earlier!  Which could be the difference between outrunning a storm or not.

Now, I know what you are thinking.  You don’t buy a sailboat to get somewhere fast. True.  But, there are other benefits to the feathering props (including less wear and tear on our bearings, shaft, transmission and so on) but we will talk about all that later, once we’ve had a chance to fully put them to the test.

replacing old fixed props for feathering props

feathering props on sailing catamaran

Rub rails

Kent gently mentioned several times after purchasing our boat we should consider adding rub rails.  At first, we thought “why do we need rub rails when we have fenders?”.  It seemed like a nice thing to have but not necessary.  Fast forward a year later, one nail gouge in the fiberglass and several challenging and unfriendly docking situations and now we see the light.  Not all docks are kept in tip top shape, have rubber guards or are in convenient locations.  One round of docking up against concrete on a rocky day and rub rails are looking real cheap in comparison to major fiberglass repairs.

Now we have rub rails and I can’t even tell you how much less scary docking is, although we haven’t come face to face with another concrete dock just yet.

rub rails for sv curiosity

Underwater Lights

We didn’t get underwater lights for the cool factor (of course they are cool) as much as for the safety factor.  So many boats we met in the Bahamas had underwater lights they used to light up their boat when boarding the dinghy at night (super helpful) and making their boat easy to see and avoid in busy or high traffic anchorages.  Then there was the cool factor of attracting fish and being able to see what’s going on down in the water world below at night.

new underwater lights

A small leak will sink a great ship

When Benjamin Franklin said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” he was referring to finances but the literal sense is true too.  The small stuff may be small but every little thing on a boat serves a purpose and needs to be maintained all the same.

For example, cleaning, lubing and checking the oil on the anchor windlass.  No one I talked to knew how to do it.  It’s listed in our user’s manual to service the windlass every 6 months to a year as full-time cruisers (but didn’t give instructions on how to).  Obviously, it’s not something most people I was talking to were doing.  Lots of people even responded with “it has oil?”.  Luckily, I found the instructions by googling our make and model.  It was a reminder of all the little things that should be done but are so easy to ignore or forget.

servicing sailing cat windlass

Thanks so much for reading, watching and being a part of the journey.  I know we’ve been a little quiet on social media, late putting together new videos, etc. but its only because we’re working hard on Curiosity.  This next phase of the adventure is going to be incredible and the prep work will be priceless.  Or so I am told by souls much saltier than mine.

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 (57)

  • Bob

    Hello from palm beach. I have a question about who you used to purchase all the re-rigging supplies? Was is something that you had to order and wait for? Or did they have everything in stock? We’re nearing the end of our project on our 40’ Catamaran and all that is the last major project that we have left. Any tips hints would be greatly appreciated

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    • Curious Minion

      Jason mentions in the post that Nance and Underwood put together all of their standing rigging ( http://www.riggingandsails.com/index.shtml ) and they purchased all the line from Rope, Inc. ( https://www.ropeinc.com/ ) which is next door to Nance & Underwood. Looks like they got a quote up from from Nance and Underwood, and they saved money by removing the old & installing the new themselves. Hope that helps!

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  • OK so I admit, I am way behind in watching… I love your guy’s fresh perspective on sailing! We have been sailing many years and the reason I am behind is we are preparing a new to us boat to head to the South Pacific in March. We hope to see you there! We finished our first leg, Seattle to San Diego a few weeks ago.
    Oh yea, the comment. I noticed in the video you purchased an OGM tricolor. We installed one before leaving Seattle and love the light. Just one problem, when turned on it cuts our AIS receive range in half. I was wondering if you have experienced the thing?

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  • ashley

    Hey guys, hope the wind is at your backs! Just catching up on all the repairs you did and that was no easy task for skilled hands but as usual you make it look so easy. Sorry if someone else asked already or you pointed it out but I noticed the scuba tank holder mounted on the back! Is that for you guys or for the stowaways on board? safe sailing….

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  • Karie

    I’ve been following for years, and it just occurred to me: what do you do with your trash while sailing? Just wait until you get to an anchorage that has trash disposal and take it in on the dinghy? Do you have a compactor on board? You probably don’t have much, but must have some, right?

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    • Curious Minion

      Yep, it goes to shore in the dinghy and no, we don’t have a compactor.

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  • Kathy Kupselitis

    Hi it’s Kathy kupselaitis again looked it your last video again so can I mail you something to Just Catamaran in Dania Beach Att: The wynns

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  • Kathy Kupselaitis

    I would love to send you a little gift. I saw on one of your videos you were washing your dishes with a sponge I make nylon kitchen scrubbies they last for ever and if you rinse well and squeeze out water and air dry they never smell like a stinky sponge I live in the keys and if you could give me your mailing address I will send them out in the morning that’s July 10 you should get them in 2 days

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  • Deborah Kerr

    Oh I forgot to ask, what do you do with all of the old rope and that metal stuff? Do they give you like a “trade” deal to reduce your bill, or do you recycle it somehow? There was a place in the video at 10:08 with a picture of all that stuff that said it was $8000 worth??? What does that mean? I’m not a sailor person at all, sorry if that’s a dumb question, but i’m just curious I guess!! Thanks,

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  • Deborah Kerr

    I love the grey color you picked for the “fresh bottom” lol. I’m surprised you haven’t found some kind of bug spray/repellant for those darn no-see-ums!! I’m an essential oil fanatic and there are oils like citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus combined in a glass spray bottle with water recipe and they say it works!! I’ll test it while in Daytona Beach & Tomoka State Park starting next weekend!! Coffee and wine – it’s like Christmas!!! There’s one thing nobody could ever accuse you two of being lazy!! Wow, you’re Cat is all cluttered and all that work!! But it will be worth it when you’re back out sailing and being “curious” lol…. Looking forward to your next adventure!! Thanks for taking us all along for the journey 🙂

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      • David

        Lemongrass and Sage works the same, if not better than citronella and smells better. We sell a lot of candles of that scent during the summer for just that reason.

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  • Pete Naylor

    As previously stated …I agree.. that’s a lot of important work you both are doing. Love your videos as you are both so articulate and informative. This next adventure sounds very exciting especially with your new crew. Wishing you the very best of everything. Here is a link to a vid I made of our BVI Charter trip last year. When I watch it now it pales in comparison to your productions. Have a sundowner and a chuckle. All the best. https://youtu.be/nWkUVfoSiHA

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  • Elizabeth Tebay

    Love to follow you two on your journey!! We are currently looking for a catamaran to charter in the caribbean to help pay for it. We plan to crew it for awhile to help with paying it of. Then we plan to cruise it across the Pacific. We will continue to follow you!!

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  • Elizabeth Tebay

    Love watching you two on your new adventure!!! Planning on purchasing a catamaran in a year or so. We are not lifetime sailors, so we will need sailing school as well. Plan on chartering our boat as captain and chef for awhile to help pay for it. Until then, we will follow you!

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  • Mike

    I remember the two of you trying to fix a flat on your RV in Alaska and having nothing but problems. Now look at you. As the saying goes “You’ve come a long way baby”.
    The great part is, when you sail you will know your boat inside and out. And that certainly adds to your peace of mind when things don’t always go as planned.
    Have fun and stay safe

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  • Diane Libretto

    How exciting a new adventure to the South Pacific…. we would love to see you in Australia, we have just ordered a Fountaine Pajot LUCIA 40 and have to wait over 2 years till we can pick it up from France, we have to learn to sail aswell. We will be watching your Vlogs and if you get to the Gold Coast of Australia we will show you round and youre welcome to stay if your boat needs any maintenance as we are not far from the marina. Good Luck,and be safe, from Diane & Peter

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  • Roger b

    WOW! The work you are involved with. And I ‘ll agree with what Gee says. Don’t worry about getting back to us with videos so quickly. We all want safety first in our travels. Thank you for your efforts in producing the videos that help us understand your passion for sailing.

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  • Mike

    Hi Jason and Nikki,
    I just wanted to tell you how much I like your vlog. Its great. I randomly came across some sailing vlogs last week. It didn’t take long after that to discover yours. I started in the middle but then binged watched almost every episode in one day from buying the boat, boat school, the entire bahamas trip, etc.
    I have to say you two put a great product out there. The production values are super high. Your eye for photos and angles is great. Both of your personalities are well suited for the format. Your editing choices are superb. I appreciate how you both alway dress nice too. Its nice to see people taking time to put themselves together and present a nice image. Many other sailing vloggers don’t bother.
    Again, well done. I look forward to seeing your next adventure.
    PS Your videos have me thinking about buying my owe catamaran again. Its an idea thats been laying dormant in the back of my brain for years. Now I can actually afford one.

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    • Warren

      Hear Hear!
      I most heartily agree with everything you say.
      Cheers Warren

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  • Russell & Christine Katz

    Really have been enjoying your videos as a family each week. We hope you can keep it up as you head into the deep blue, but know that internet and communication circumstances will likely change.

    Preparation is certainly key, and doing a large amount of the work yourself will come in handy when you have to deal with issues long distances from any knowledgeable people!

    It is funny that the type of work between a 2000’s cat and a 1940’s wooden boat (that is our current vessel) is not all THAT different…we use the same bottom paint, we have re-done our mast rigging 2 separate times (though at a MUCH smaller diameter wire), and have spent too many hours sanding the bottom in preparation for paint over the past several years, we can’t imagine doing 2 40+ foot hulls!

    Glad you went after the folding props, I think that is another item that will pay off in the long run.

    Good luck and Fair Winds!

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  • Now you know the real joys of owning a sailboat! Sorry Jason, but Curiosity test hat #1 is NOT looking good.

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  • Gary and Cathy

    Hi Nikki and Jason,
    We absolutely LOVE watching each and every video and can’t wait to retire, buy a motorhome, and venture out 5-6 months at a time! We bought our retirement home, we are in Port St. LUCIE, FL, and have 1,500 days left until retirement! You guys are an inspiration to us for sure!

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  • Gee

    It’s unfortunate you feel any pressure to explain short absences due to people Jonesing for your next infotainment installment. Really, it’s because we the people love what you are putting out there – it’s special and real! But focus always on what you need to do, as you seem to be doing. We’re just here for the ride and it won’t be the same ride if the horde ends up driving this from the backseat. Cheers.

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  • Hi Nikki and Jason,
    Excellent video of the work you are doing. Thanks for pointing out things most folks don’t think of.
    Annie of “Havewindwilltravel.com” made a really great video of a trip across the Atlantic last year on a 46′ catamaran. It’s nearly 2 hour movie. But check out about 1:35 , she shows the rigging failures that are really scary
    https://youtu.be/W-41fwVAfVc
    As soon as you see this you will be glad you did your rig preemptive work.
    Many others repairs along the 30 day journey too. ( note: boat had been hit by lightening in USA).
    The French owner has now replaced rig with hi tech not metal rigging, way lighter but no cheaper.!
    Great move with the Props , you will love them and a free 1 knot of speed is huge , HUGE!!!!!! ( as is the cost).
    Sorry I hate the non flush underwater lights, I think they will gurgle etc…..and way too “showoffee”….hope you prove me wrong.
    Love the rub rail……could you now carry less fenders that take up so much space? I doubt it.
    Oh re: AIS I looked up you boat on marine traffic, and there are way to many boats named “Curiosity’s”! Can you change the name ,at least, in Marine traffic listing to say “Curosity Wynns”? It has a lovely double entendra too.
    I think I saw you moving to and from Miami but not sure if I had the right boat. ( maybe just the AIS unit!)
    So hopefully you are all finished by now , as of right now (7/7/17) AIS has you in Dania Beach still.
    Have a really great continuing trip/cruise.
    I will send you a little drop in the bucket for you coffee fund!
    Cheers Warren

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      • Warren mangan/myname

        Hi,Nikki, thanks for replying
        your right 3 sailing vessels, only 2 are US. Is the other leopard 43 you ‘raced’ on AIS? You data shows 6.7/5.9 knts max/av , I wonder what theirs shows? ( hopefully more!)
        Cheers Warren

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  • Steve C

    Hey World Class Vagabonders:

    I’ve been following you guys for a long time, started way back when you were RVer’s. Although I’m a wuss when it comes to sailing the high seas, I’m excited for you as you set out on the big one. I’ve not commented on your site for quite awhile as I too, am on a wander. I’ve been on my latest trip for almost 4 months. I’m now in Chiang Mai Thailand, after spending time in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

    While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I met up with an older French couple who had their 47′ sloop docked in Malaysia while they are doing a self guided tour around Southeast Asia. They started on their around the world voyage eleven years ago and are still at it.

    My yacht, a 4×4 pickup with an 11′ camper has been ‘docked’ in California while I’ve been roaming around Asia. I too have had to do some maintenance. The wheel strut on my backpack came loose, causing me to find a bolt and nut to bring it back up to wheeling speed. Then, I had a blow-out in one of my sandals and had to search for some super glue to bring it back into spec. lol Hey, no matter what scale you’re on, it’s always something.

    I’m retired now, sold my house last July and will be tooling around North America in my camper for half the year and somewhere around other parts of the world for the other half, for as long as my body and/or mind can handle it. Hoping to meet up with you guys one of these days in some far-off port of call. Will you still be hanging around Panama in about 6 months; I will.

    Happy Sailing!

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  • Brian

    I’ll say it again, love your videos. I do have a question for you. Do you think the motor home was less or more expensive to maintain then your sailboat? Might be difficult to say at this point, I know you’re doing a lot of maintenance that is only due once in every 10-12 years this time around. By the way, if you think Sail boat parts are expensive, try airplane parts. Looking forward to future adventures.

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  • Marx Tapia

    Great work on your catamaran, you guys really do as much hands on maintenance that you can handle, awesome, I’ve been catching up on your videos, you guys come off as being more real and down to earth than other you tube channels . I’ve learned a lot thank you . I now know it’s more possible to get into sailing someday.. I’ve been checking prices.$$$

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  • maurice harvey

    good news Nikki…if you get down to New Zealand you will find your dollars will go a little further with the currency exchange …we drive on the left side of the road..there shouldn’t be any problems finding any parts for your cat , if you break something ..the people here are a mix of everywhere with a few disgruntled Americans who didn’t like Trump …yes we won the america’s cup again ….the sad bit i.e. the national parks as in Fiordland don’t like kitty cats

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  • Wanda

    I followed you religiously when you were land traveling. How does this compare? Lived in Beaufort NC for many years so I know many boaters. Most say best day in their lives is the day they bought the boat and next best is the day they sold it. Just curious as I am planning my retirement. Hope you are having fun!

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  • Tracy

    Never miss a video of yours! Can’t believe how much work there is in owning and sailing full time!

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  • Bill Dennis

    I’m a long time follower from your rv days and have enjoyed your great videos and articles. I was surprised when you let us know you were going on the water with your travels and on a cruising cat at that. I’m green wth envy. I was concerned for your safety when you started out with little sailing experience especially in a cruising catamaran but you have made great desicions with instruction/training and experience in such a short time IMHO.FWIW I spent 4 yrs on boats in USN including rescuing another gunboat dead in water in typhoon in South China sea in ’72, also raced several sailboats including Tornado catamaran. You both are doing it right while your young and can enjoy the life on the water while physically and financialy able, smooth sailing and following seas to you both.

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  • Pamela A. Mederos-Streetz

    I can’t tell you how much we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, watching your videos and reading your posts!
    It’s always a GREAT day when one of us announces, “the Wynns just posted a NEW video!” or if the day is not the best we’ll say, “maybe there’s a new posting by the Wynns.”
    This is sooooo exciting! Can’t wait till the official “jumping off” day!

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  • Anthea

    I have to admit, I think boat maintenance and repair videos are some of the most interesting to me. Thanks for sharing this part of your adventure in boat ownership!

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  • Doreen Colnaghi

    It’s a lot of work, but so important! It must be very exciting as you tackle each part of it, and rewarding to know that you are doing so much on your own. Thank you for sharing

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  • Art

    Love the episode. Fun to watch all this going on. Looking forward to travelling along as you head further out there!

    But I have to say, ditch the baseball cap, Jason…

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  • Charles Reece

    Can you put a link to the UW lights? Thanks

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  • Jerry C.

    We are eager to ‘learn’ where the new adventure will be–but we must assume it will be the big pond. We need to learn how to join the crew.

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  • Gina and jeff Davis

    Great insight in to what it takes to maintain your boat. One of my favorite things in life is watching your videos.

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  • Pam McClure

    Amazing.

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  • d jimenez

    at the end of this adventure, you will be able to design and market RVs and catamarans. you two are amazing. be careful with those mosquitoes. love and prayers getting back out and resuming your(our) adventures.

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  • The rigging (rope) was all different colors. Is that to indicate type, size or strength, or is it just aesthetics?
    I really enjoyed the video but when I saw them drilling a whole in the hull for the underwater light, well, you guys are stronger than I am. I don’t like drilling holes in the bottom of our Converted School bus (which is your fault by the way, the bus not the holes) let alone a BOAT!
    Keep up the good work you salty sea dogs!!

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    • Curious Minion

      They’re color-coded by sail type. So if you want to raise or lower the mainsail, you know you need the gray & yellow line, the blue line is for the genoa, etc.

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  • Cheering you on from the Roadrunner. We have no plans to move our full-timing lifestyle to the sea as you did, but we are loving every minute of your videos and your blog. I will confess I look forward to the next post and video and am never disappointed though I wish there were more. But I’m grateful for all the hard work you put into sharing your lifestyle with the rest of us. And you two work a lot harder than the rest of us will ever know in all the mundane behind the scenes tasks. I love the continuous maintenance and the insight into how you make things work. Keep it up! Looking forward to the next one. It’s fun see you two living the dream!

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  • Ted

    No wind generators?

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  • Denis

    Just a big thanks for taking us along on your travels .been following yous from the beginning.in your first r v .ps looking forward to see more video..

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  • Peggy

    One of your best and most informative posts, and we’ve enjoyed them all way back to your Rving days! Really looking forward to following you on your adventures!

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  • Joseph Brown

    Great post! Do you guys subscribe to a maintenance reminder service? I don’t want to post the one I have heard of in case you have an agreement with another one but I have heard they are a life saver for not forgetting those maintenance tasks that are always looming (and seem to all be on a different schedule). You input your vessel and equipment and it tells you the maintenance / inspection schedules to keep everything in working order. Looking forward to watching your next adventure!

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  • LINDA TARDI

    I just love your adventures on land and now by sea. I can’t wait for the next adventure you take us all on. Safe travels and I’m waiting for your next posts. HAVE FUN OUT IN THE OPEN WATERS.

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  • Connie

    Thanks for sharing, wow…….Big Love !!

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