Bluewater Prep Lessons

After living aboard for 15 months, the departure for our open-ended cruise is weeks away and we are starting to feel almost ready. Yay!

Our first time out in April with our new Zoom sails.

In our initial excitement, we didn’t truly realize how much work and cash it would take to get our boat and ourselves ready for offshore passages and self-sustaining for remote anchorages.

Now, we knowingly nod our heads when friends share stories of how much longer a given boat project took. Our boat projects almost always take way longer than we expect! Fortunately, we (mostly) enjoy the satisfaction of tackling and completing them, learning as we go.

To get Vinyasa ready to take us as far as our bodies and willingness allow we have:

  • Had her standing rigging replaced
  • Installed a new main and a new headsail, and ordered a storm sail, which hopefully we’ll never use
  • Bought a liferaft…should be arriving any day now
  • Replaced a canvas dodger and bimini (an unanticipated Spring surprise)
  • Ordered new anchor chain
  • Replaced large, crazed deck salon portlights
  • Bought a F-rib dinghy and a 15hp Yamaha outboard
  • Installed Kato davits: Terrie Olver provides superb customer service that helped so much with our DIY
  • Installed a 335 watt solar panel
  • Bought a D-400 wind generator along with a Kato pole, which will also provide a home for a WiriePro, which we bought right before that comapny went out of business
  • Replaced AGM batteries with lithium batteries, and upgraded to a 3,000 watt inverter charger
  • Installed an Acuva water purification system (you can use discount code VINYASA for $100 off a purchase)
  • Installed a Vesper XB-8000 system which will sound an alert and track the MOB devices on our PFDs if one of us falls overboard. The Vesper also transmits our AIS so other ships can see us, something that our Raymarine system could never do despite a trip to the factory to reset
  • Took an Offshore Emergency Medicine course, attended seminars at Cruisers University, and benefited from a few years of priceless coaching by Jamie and Behan Gifford
A fellow Catalina Morgan 440 owner referred us to Maritime Plastics in Annapolis, and they installed our new portlights on a scorching hot June day.

Pretty much every item on the list above came with a lesson or three! And while we do as much of the work ourselves as we can, and strive to adhere to a budget, costs tend to escalate quickly.

Up next? Buying and installing a CruiseRO watermaker…and then setting sail!

Stern view of Vinyasa with davits, dinghy and solar panel
Checking off a to-do item: new solar panel installed!