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So We're Going Cruising...

Written by Cathy Siegismund
January to August 2000

Once you make the decision to go cruising, the work really begins. Eventually this area of the site will have all the details about what upgrades we added and how. However, for now, we'll just give you some of the highlights. For those of you who have already gone through this process, you know how much time, work and $$$$$ it takes. For those who are considering this adventure, you'd never believe us anyway -- so we wish you luck and hope to see you out there!

When we bought Felicity, we thought she was perfect and she really was if we had planned on just cruising around the Northwest. The previous owner Karin Venator, had kept the boat in pristine shape. The hull was solid and dry the interior looked new and all of Felicity's varnished exterior was immaculate. Karin had also replaced a number of the systems including the electrical system with new batteries, new holding tank and head, added an Espar, and new transmission.

We however, needed to add the cruising upgrades we wanted. In hindsight, it does seem that we've poured an awful lot of money into a 31' boat. However, she is our home and we're going to be living aboard for quite some time and wanted to be safe and comfortable.

Included in the refit the following were replaced or added

New Raytheon wind, speed, depth and multi instruments
New running and standing rigging
All new Schaffer blocks
New Schaffer headsail furler
New Navtec hydraulic backstay adjuster
New full suit of sails including spinnaker and storm sails from Schattauer Sails, Seattle
Dinghy and outboard (Achilles and Yamaha)
Three new anchors and rode
New Bowmar forward and main hatches
Winslow life raft
New MOM8 and Lifesling
Monitor windvane
Max Prop
Spectra watermaker
New Lavac head and plumbing
New Icom VHF
Icom SSB
Furuno weatherfax
6 Hela Fans
Custom v-berth mattress
New stereo system and monitor - for movies!
Cockpit shower
VDO water and fuel tank monitors
New sail covers, sun awnings, cockpit cushions, lee cloths    
Solar panels
Towing and convertible wind generator
Complete set of spares for just about everything except towing a spare boat, and the one thing we'll need and no doubt forgot

It's amazing how a new wind instrument turned into removing the mast

Felicity's Mast Collar

Do you think I should cut here?

Stepping the mast

Ken logged a number of hours in this seat

Ken up the mast again

Up the mast even at anchor

Just hang on up there, I need to get my hat...

Cath trying out the new dinghy and outboard

The MaxProp

Monitor windvane

Felicity going for one of many rides in the sling

New sound system - our Christmas present to us

6 CD changer

Ken installing the weatherfax in the quarterberth

Ken working practicing his contortionist act in the lazarette

Ken making time to practice guitar

New Food Saver toy from the Seattle Boat show. Yes, just like on late night TV but it's great for provisioning

Cath Provisioning - Yep, it all fit on the 31' boat

Maintenance completed before leaving

  • Engine maintenance
  • Fuel polished
  • Water tanks inspected
  • Bottom painted
  • Steering system
  • Rebedded some deck hardware
  • Exterior varnish

Cath with her trusty heat gun working on the Varnish

...and Cath is still varnishing

Classes taken by one of both of us:


  • Sleep on the shelf in your closet.
  • Replace the closet door with a curtain. Six hours after you go to sleep, have a friend slip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble “your watch.”
  • Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the showerhead down to chest level.
  • Every time there’s a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you’re nauseous.
  • Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get dressed as fast as you can. Then run out into your yard and break out the garden hose. (Practice for setting the anchor again in the rain in the middle of the night.)
  • Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills on your front and back doors so that you either trip over the threshold or hit your head on the sill every time you pass through them.
  • Every so often throw your cat into the swimming pool, shout “ Man Overboard.”
  • Run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots, pans and dishes off the counter onto the floor, then yell at your spouse for not having “secured the galley.”

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