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One Hell of a Timely Tip from Cruising World Magazine!

Last Tuesday after work, Jereme planned on heading down to the boat to install the last 1.5-inch tank fill fitting on our new 90-gallon water tank.

He had been to Home Depot THREE times to find a way to attach the fill hose to the tank using PVC fittings.  Finally he went to the local Marine Trading Post trying to find a hose fitting that was barbed on one end (to fit inside the existing hose) and threaded on the other end (to screw onto the fittings on the tank).  He found three of them, all the same size but all a litte different, so he bought them all.

Jereme knew it was going to be difficult to insert the barbed fitting end into the hose (since he had recently done the same thing while working on the shower sump removal project).  The existing hoses on our boat are metal reinforced hoses that really just don’t stretch.  On the shower sump project, Jereme and his buddy Chris tried to use AstroGlide (I know, pretty hilarious right? — two guys just hanging out on a boat using astroglide to fit a hose) and were only able get the hose on about 2 barbs deep out of the 7 barbs in total.  Needless to say, Jereme knew he was in for a struggle with the water tank fitting.

As luck would have it, just before Jereme left to head down to the boat, he was leisurely flipping through the latest Cruising World mag and stumpled upon an article about boat hoses.

I kid you not…the EXACT.SAME.HOSE.FITTING.BATTLE he was about to fight that evening was discussed in the very article he had just flipped to.  What are the odds?!

The article mentioned how hard it can be to insert these fittings into metal reinforced hoses. Yep! That’s accurate! 😉

The million dollar tip of the day… grab the visible end of the metal wire with pliers and pull out enough of it to make the end of the hose flexible/expandable.  Who woulda thought?

So that night, Jereme went down to the boat, grabbed the little metal wire and pulled about a foot of it out the end of the existing hose.  He then inserted the fitting and, voila!!! it went in all the way without excessive force or struggle.  A couple of stainless steel hose clamps later and the project was complete!

Thank you Cruising World!:)

Viva Las Vegas! Our Labor Day Weekend Rewind

We took a weekend off from boat projects and reality to jet off to Vegas with Jereme’s Aunt Bren + Uncle Mikey for a fabulous Vegas vacation!

Hello Vegas! #roomwithaview

We spent the long weekend at the Bellagio soaking up the dessert sun while drinking Limonda Rosadas at our pool cabana, enjoying some amazing dinners at Tetsu Masa, Prime, and Olives, watching Uncle Mikey win huge in the casino, taking in the Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil show at the Mirage, enjoying a spa morning and facial, and lots more!  Gosh it’s hard to come back to reality after a weekend like we had. Here are a few iPhone pics from our fabulous weekend… I already wanna go back!  😉

susanSeptember 11, 2013 - 2:15 pm

love love love love LOVE!

Update! Water Tank Replacement – Installing the New Tank

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since our last post about the water tank (10 Simple Steps to Replacing Our Water Tank), where we had just ordered our new custom tank and were awaiting pickup.

Two weeks ago, Jereme drove over to Lake Worth, Florida to the Dura-Weld shop.  He met with Gareth, the owner, who was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and brought Jereme right into his shop where he fabricates all custom plastic orders.  Our new tank was waiting for us, so Gareth pressure tested its airtightness while Jereme looked on.  Jereme talked with Gareth for about an hour, then loaded the tank into his jeep and was on his way back to Naples.

When Jereme returned, he ordered a replacement 6″ Beckson clear access port as the one that came with the tank was solid white and we want to be able to see the tank level without having to unscrew the cap.  This came in the mail within days, and was a simple switch-a-roo.  Jereme made a trip to Home Depot to purchase all the fittings necessary to reattach the existing hoses on the boat.

Prior to installing the tank, Jereme rebuilt the wall at the forward end of the bilge area where the tank sits (it had pretty bad water damage that needed to be removed).  He used a piece of 7″ wide PVC “wood” that is actually made for outdoor trim around doors on homes.  Using his Dremel, he cut this to size and used stainless screws to patch up the wall as needed.

Jereme and I lugged the new water tank down to the boat last Saturday.  I will say, the new tank was much easier to handle than the old aluminum tank and only took us about 5 minutes to get it on the boat and in the hole compared to about an hour (and lots of bickering) to get the old one out.  😉

^^working hard or hardly working?^^

Jereme’s custom measurements turned out pretty perfect! Thank god!  He thought he had designed the new tank to be one inch shorter than the previous tank so that we could install PVC boards below the tank to help drainage through the bilge.  However, once installed, we noticed that it was actually the same height as the previous tank and therefore there was no room for boards underneath. ??? That’s okay, it will actually work out better because we get more tankage volume and, since the bottom is a little narrower then the previous tank, water can actually flow pretty well around the tank edges if needed.

Jereme spent all day Sunday hooking up the fittings, which have turned out flawless (so far).  He filled up the tank a quarter of the way, fired up the water pressure, and opened the taps.  This also tested out our new water lines that Jereme installed on the boat a few weeks back.  The only leaks we saw were right at the head sink fittings, where the brass compression fitting screws onto the plastic threaded nipple on the sink.  Jereme unscrewed those fittings, used a little more Teflon tape, and reinstalled the fittings.  No leaks!!!

So, our new water tank is officially installed, waters flowing out of the sinks, and now were off sailing!  There is still some follow up work needed to make sure the new tank won’t shift in the bilge area.  We’re thinking this will be in the form of custom wood or rubber work, but the bulk of the water tank project is complete and we are extremely happy with the install!:)

[…] UPDATE: The new tank has been installed!!! Read about the last two steps here.  […]

[…] were some super stinky projects, a few dirty projects, lots of difficult + time-consuming projects, and even a few crazy simple projects. But we tackled them all!  And learned lots of new skills […]

A Boat Project for Kim! Replacing Our Propane Tank Valves

We have two, 10-pound aluminum propane tanks on our boat. Our marine survey revealed that both tanks would need valve replacements in the very near future to update the old style valves that lacked the much-needed safety features.

Somehow, this boat project was assigned to me. Probably because it’s generally an easy fix.:)

Our tanks had the oldy-goldy valves, which means our tanks were manufactured before September 30, 1998.  Do you know if you have a propane tank that was made before September 30, 1998?  Well, you might be in for a bit of a surprise the next time you go to fill it.

After chatting with the folks at Grill+Fill here in town, I learned that as of April 1, 2002, all new cylinders must be equipped with an Overfill Prevention Device (OPD).  The OPD valves have a safety feature inside the container to prevent overfilling the cylinder.  More specifically, a float inside the tank that will close the valve when the tank is 80% full. It won’t measure how much propane is in the tank, but it is supposed to keep it from being overfilled. An overfilled propane tank can explode violently because of physical damage or exposure to moderate heat. And we certainly don’t want that!!!

It is now illegal to fill cylinders (from 4 to 40 pound propane capacity) if they do not have the OPD valve.  Don’t worry though, there are about 40 million obsolete cylinders still out there.

So, how do you know if your tank needs to be replaced? The new propane cylinders have a triangle shaped valve knob. Older models had a five-prong, circular knob. If you have the triangle knob, then you should be fine. These were the old valves we replaced…

I also learned that the actual propane tank (or cylinder) is subject to recertification (also known as requalification) twelve years from the date of manufacture and every five years thereafter. In our case, our tank is older than 12 years, so we just got new 5-year recertification dates etched on our tanks.  The recertification process (or inspection, if you will) is simple and does not take too long to complete.

I left our tanks at Grill+Fill on a Thursday night, and they were ready to go the next day!  So with two new OPD valves and recertification on both, our tanks are ready to hit the high seas!

Total Cost: $88 (2 new OPD valves at $21.70 each; recertification at $8 per tank; and refilling at $13 per tank)

Project complete!:)


Brian BellSeptember 4, 2013 - 5:51 pm

Impressed with your blog-site, writing, photography, and your endeavour!!
Keep us vicarious sailors posted on your successes and stumbles!

Sail On!

B. (wanna be cruiser stuck in Central Cali)

LahoWindSeptember 4, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Thanks B! We’re trying to keep these boat projects moving so we can sail more and work less. 😉 -Kim

[…] projects, a few dirty projects, lots of difficult + time-consuming projects, and even a few crazy simple projects. But we tackled them all!  And learned lots of new skills along the way. Like how to maintain our […]

Sporty Sailing + Lessons Learned: The Maiden Voyage of s/v LAHO

(Get comfortable. This is a LONG one. And very much overdue.)

We apparently really like to plan our sailing milestones around holidays.

Boat shopping on St. Patrick’s Day.  Marine survey and haul out on April Fool’s Day.  And now the Maiden Voyage of s/v LAHO on Cinco de Mayo weekend. …Seems about right.

We were VERY excited to officially take ownership of s/v Ms. Roxy (now s/v LAHO) by sailing her down from the St. Pete Yacht Club to the Naples City Dock the first weekend in May. The trip is roughly 110 nautical miles, and considered a fairly easy sail down the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.  We left on Saturday morning, and made it in safely to the City Dock around 8pm on Sunday, May 5th.

We learned a LOT on this maiden voyage. 😉  And made a ton of memories along the way.

>>>excited to finally + officially own the boat!<<<

Here’s how it all went down… (disclaimer – I only had my iPhone with me to capture these moments. I was a little nervous about bringing the real equipment on this trip.)

Maiden Voyage Planning:

Jereme and I are smart enough to know what we don’t know.  We needed help on this trip. Big time.

So we hired an experienced Captain to accompany us. Jereme researched several captains in the St. Pete/Tampa area. And after weighing our options, we chose Capt. Rick Meyer.  Big factors in this decision were not only his experience and captain’s fee (and availability), but also his willingness to let Jereme ask him any questions he had along the way, and basically use these few days for some additional real-life training. Some of the other Captains we approached were not interested in more or less “training” us on the job.

Day 1: Friday, May 3, 2013

We drove to St. Pete on Friday morning, where we first had to pick up the boat from Embree Marine where it had just received a fresh coat of bottom paint and some minor blister repair work (on about 12 blisters the size of a silver dollar). We didn’t have Captain Rick’s help for this part, so Jereme asked our boat broker, Al Pollak, to help him move the boat back to the St. Pete Yacht Club. (I volunteered for the easy job – driving our car from one spot to the other).

Once safely back in the slip at the SPYC, we spent the afternoon preparing ourselves for the next two-day sail.  Remember, we’ve never done this before, so we’re basically winging it from A to Z.

I found a Publix in downtown St. Pete and “provisioned” us for the next few days. I had ZERO clue what all or how much to buy, so I basically acted like we were camping all weekend and may never see a patch of land for the next 48 to 72 hours. I stocked up on granola bars, donuts, muffins, chips, fruit, lots of sandwich supplies, an easy meal like hot dogs and potato salad, etc. etc. etc. I’m pretty sure I bought enough supplies to last us for the next 3+ weeks. Better safe than sorry. 😉

While I was grocery shopping, Jereme was running around the city trying to find a spare alternator belt, a quart of oil, a raw water impeller, and about 50ft. of rope for the jib sheet since the previous owner managed to wrap it around the prop on our sea trial and never replaced it.  Jereme hit up five different stores and never found the alternator belt because it appeared to be a special order type.

We reconvened at the boat in the late afternoon to square away all the other items on our to-do list.

In case you are wondering about the logistics of getting to St. Pete by car, but then sailing to Naples, and somehow getting our car back to Naples too.  …Well, Jereme’s parents met us in St. Pete on Friday afternoon (luckily for us, they were already driving from Ohio to Naples that weekend).  So, we were able to hand off our car keys to them so they could drive our car back to Naples.

We spent Friday night on the boat at the Yacht Club.  This was our first time sleeping on our new boat! …and probably the first time ever sleeping on any boat for that matter. Surprisingly, it went very well. Much better than expected. The gentle rocking motion of the boat and the cold AC definitely helped. I actually remember waking Jereme up in the middle of the night because I was too cold. Figures.

Day 2: Saturday, May 4, 2013

We got an early start on Saturday morning. Capt. Rick met us at the boat, where he went over a few final checklist items for the big voyage. Rick made a point to ask us if we had everything stowed…and of course our response was, “yep, we’re good!” (A little foreshadowing, if you will.)

After checking the weather forecasts and seeing a cold front moving in, Capt. Rick decided we should plan to sail straight through (instead of stopping somewhere overnight about halfway between St. Pete and Naples) and not risk the weather taking a turn for the worse on Sunday.

We headed out around 8:00AM, after fueling up with diesel, emptying our holding tank, and relocating the dinghy onto the bow of the boat so it would be secured for the trip (but also because we were going to take it off the back anyhow once we got to Naples — the City Dock charges by length). The sail out of Tampa Bay was nothing less than perfect. Sunshine and 75 degree temps. Smooth sailing ahead! Or so we thought.

As soon as we hit the Gulf of Mexico, everything changed. Seas were about 6 feet, which felt more like 10 to 12 feet to us (or at least looked that way). Jereme says they felt like 20 feet at times.  Temps dropped. If I’m not mistaken, there was even a small craft advisory issued. Capt. Rick didn’t seem to think this was much of a concern so we sailed on.

Rick called this “sporty sailing.”  …A new term to us. I would call this “miserable sailing.”:(  Especially for us beginners.

But for me, this “sporty sailing” is when things really took a turn for the worse. By Saturday mid-afternoon the “sporty sailing” had taken its toll. Jereme was kind enough to dig out a bucket from one of the cockpit lockers for me. I spent the next several hours hugging that beautiful bucket as we sailed up and down the waves. Getting splashed by waves while simultaneously puking is NOT my idea of fun.

Trying to keep to a course was somewhat difficult during these conditions. Jereme and Capt. Rick were alternating hour-long shifts. Jereme would start his shift on course, but by the end of his shift, he had drifted a tiny  bit off course. Capt. Rick was able to keep us on track. But we can only hope we’ll get better at this with more experience.

So while I’m puking/napping and Jereme is trying to keep the boat upright while sailing at a 40 degree angle,  Capt. Rick comes out of the cabin asking for a paper towel. Hmmm, that’s kind of a random request at the moment. So Jereme says “Ya, why?” Rick kindly informs us that there is a blue cleaning fluid spilled all over the head. Awesome.

As the day continues…I’m still puking and Jereme’s still at the helm, all we hear is crap smashing around inside the boat. I’m too sick to care. Jereme is too busy doing all he can to steer the boat up and down the large waves. Meanwhile, Capt. Rick looks at both of us, and says “I thought you had everything stowed?!?!”  Oopsie!  Turns out, we didn’t really do such a great job in the stowage department. Major fail on our part!

During all of this craziness, Jereme deserves one hell of an award for keeping his cool AND not getting sick himself. THANK GOD! He definitely looked WAY more skilled than most and did a great job at the helm. He’s a natural!

Eventually, Capt. Rick made the call in the afternoon to head inland for the night…which was a huge relief for me. I wasn’t sure if I would make it all the way to Naples.

We made our way to the Crow’s Nest Marina in Venice, which wasn’t quite the halfway point so we were a little off schedule. And as soon as we were out of the Gulf, I instantly felt better. Once we tied up at the dock, we immediately threw away all of the stuff that had been flying around the boat. …No more faux flowers…so long smashed coffee machine…see ya later random wall hangings and picture frames! And then proceeded to clean up the mess of powdered donuts that was the result of our awesome stowage job. I’m talking white donut powder stuck in every nuck and cranny of the companionway stairs.:(

After a little cleanup, some hot burgers and cold beers at the Crow’s Nest Marina restaurant, we called it a night and were definitely ready for what the next day had in store!

(PS – Jereme cannot believe we have ZERO photos of the massive waves on our first day of sailing. You can thank me and my bucket puking 4 hours of fun for not better documenting the trip!)

>>>heading out of tampa bay.<<<

>>>jereme + capt. rick<<<

>>>just passed under the skyway bridge<<<

>>>first lunch prepared on the boat. later to be returned by kim.<<<

Side note: After leaving Tampa Bay and making lunch, we have no more photos until we docked in Venice…a result of my sickly state during most of the day.

>>>docking at crow’s nest marina in venice, fl.<<<

Day 3: Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 3 started on an interesting note.

Let me back up a bit. The night before, Capt. Rick was taking inventory of our fender supply and noted that we only had ONE actual fender for our size boat…the rest were dinghy fenders, according to him.  So, needless to say, he used that one and only fender right around mid-ship to keep us from hitting the dock all night long.

Cut to Sunday morning, and our boat is now being held off the dock by a flat, rubber pancake (also known as our only fender).  (It’s August 2013 — almost four months later and we still don’t have new fenders.)

The second day of sailing was MUCH smoother.  With the poor conditions in the Gulf, Capt. Rick made the executive decision to take the slower, but calmer Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW) route down until we hit Fort Myers Beach. Then we would sail in the Gulf the rest of the way to Gordon’s Pass in South Naples.

Today was great! I didn’t get sick. And we gained some great experience under our belts, like learning how to use the VHF radio to call for a bridge opening.

The weather was a tiny bit cooler after the cold front rolled through, but made for a very pleasant sail.

We rolled into the Naples City Dock right at sunset.:)Capt. Rick made sure our lines at our new slip at the City Dock were perfect (which meant we would never want to move the boat and screw up his perfect lines) and we I headed home for a much needed shower (while Jereme and his dad drove Capt. Rick back to St. Pete).

Maiden Voyage complete! s/v LAHO is in her new hailing port of Naples, Florida! :)

>>>beautiful morning for our second day of sailing.<<<

>>>off the coast of naples.<<<

>>>our first bridge opening outside venice.<<<

>>>pulling into the city dock in naples at sunset.<<<

So, we definitely learned a few things on this glorious first trip. Here are a few gems that made this maiden voyage all the more memorable…

Lessons Learned from s/v LAHO’s Maiden Voyage:

  1. Stowage 101. Unless you want powdered donuts, blue liquid from random cleaning products, a smashed coffee pot, and lots of other fun stuff strewn about your boat…then you might want to properly stow the vessel. Lesson learned.
  2. Keep a puke bucket handy. Turns out taking multiple doses of bonine (sea sickness medication) doesn’t really matter in rough seas. Instead of having to frantically search for some container to puke in while your turkey sandwich from lunch is trying to make its exit, you might as well have a bucket ready in case someone (Kim) gets sick. Lesson learned.
  3. Don’t go below deck if you aren’t feeling good or seas are getting rough. See Lesson #2 for affirmation. No lunch prep or magazine reading in my future during rough seas. Lesson learned.
  4. Bring appropriate gear. As in, rain gear for bad weather and proper clothing for cooler weather. Kim brought one dinkie hoodie. Jereme had one thin long-sleeve shirt and only shorts. Awesome. Lesson learned.
  5. Tethers and harnesses are must-haves on any trip. Thank god Capt. Rick brought his own stash of these because we weren’t prepared. But luckily no one fell overboard. And we plan to keep that record in tack. Always. Lesson learned.
Lorraine DolsenAugust 25, 2013 - 10:46 am

Really enjoyed reading about your first trip. Too bad about getting sick. I’ve many a time pitched it usually off the lee side. Good news is that when you are on the boat all the time, that it gets better,

I saw that you don’t have new fenders yet. That’s probably on your to do list. We use one for the dinghy being next to the boat for getting on and off it while at anchor. A couple for when coming up to dock and still have a 4th on for various reasons. ALL are big and at times, have been used at the same time.

Congratulations on your purchase.

S/V Changes

LahoWindAugust 25, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Thanks Lorraine! So far, there haven’t been any other “sick” incidents. Thank goodness! Fenders are definitely on our to-do list and we hope to get that checked off very soon. Thanks for checking out our blogsite! Happy sailing! -Kim

Katy LinJune 12, 2014 - 11:38 pm

Loving reading all about your adventures! It makes me excited for our upcoming voyage! :) Thanks for sharing!

[…] feels like just yesterday that I was blogging about our maiden voyage. You know, the crazy one we made from St. Petersburg to Naples where we were surfing 10-foot waves and I was puking my guts […]

GeorgeMay 5, 2015 - 9:43 pm

Hi Kim,
I enjoyed your blogs from the beginning.I have to commend you both.For people that had never done any sailing you two did a great job sailing all the way to BVI
And back home safely. Thanks for all your blogs.

Sold! | LAHOWINDMay 14, 2015 - 11:59 pm

[…] only been 20 days since we sailed back into our home port…almost two years to the day that we sailed the boat from St. Pete to Naples…and LAHO is sold! To some really great blog followers no less! I still can’t really […]