It’s been an adventurous, exciting, and taxing two weeks.  Since the last cruise I’ve done a ton of work to the boat in preparation for the trip to Key West and beyond.  This post is mostly about the prep work.  For those of you who aren’t planning on living on a boat someday – skip to the fun part of the actual voyage.

My friend Brett and I left at 10am Saturday morning from Surfside, TX.  Total miles: 120, total hours under way: 19.  Our destination is the Lauberge casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  I’m writing this from the boat while docked at Lauburge.  I’ll do a separate post on the trip itself.

Fixing the fresh water tanks went well, fixing the autopilot did not.  I’m still without an autopilot.  As a result – if you want to volunteer to crew for some of the trek down to Florida I’d be thrilled! 🙂

Here’s what I’d bought into with the water tanks:


Looking down inside the aft tank




Buildup of hard water deposits combined with electrolysis

This is what they look like on land:




The removal process (that’s my bedroom, damnit!)


Anyway – the freshwater tanks were $450.00, and I had to get two of different sizes to make them work.  They sit under the queen bed in the aft cabin – so for two nights I had that bedroom torn apart and slept in the v-berth in the bow (front).  The v-berth was quite comfy, by the way!

Here’s the space under my bed for the water tanks:


Here are the tanks ready to be installed – I drove to Houston to pick them up (while I still had a truck!)


On the 18th, when I was working on the water tanks I shot a video (it was the first storm weathered on the boat, and it was perfectly comfortable on the back deck!)

Since I was under a bit of a schedule and wasn’t planning on going anywhere for thanksgiving, I tackled the engine room.  Yes – on Thanksgiving day I begin working on cleaning up the engine room.  (Bitter, party of one, your table’s ready.)

The scary thing for me was finding a hole which was bringing saltwater into the bilge straight from the bottom of the keel.  I used a stainless screw to slow / stop the leak.

By the way, one of the things tied to my identity is my vehicle.  I LOVE my truck, a 2014 F-150 4×4 super crew.  My truck, however, does NOT fit on this boat.

So, after getting the freshwater tanks and bilge leak fixed I had Friday as my last full day with my truck, so I went shopping…big time.  The expenses have built up dramatically but I’m doing ok as I’m careful to only buy that which is essential for the next step on the adventure.

Short list of stuff I purchased in preparation:

  1. plates, silverware, silverware trays, cleaning supplies
  2. water hose(s),
  3. two new batteries (one is an 8D, the cadillac of stored electrical energy),
  4. a new grill,
  5. a small spare inverter (which came in real handy when I lost the generater on day 1)!
  6. food, wine, liquor
  7. more stuff I can’t even remember right now

Cheers…onward and forward in this adventure called life!

Love – James