'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

More boat jobs in paradise!


Because a boat is never done.

Or perhaps more accurately, a boat never STAYS done. Anyway, we’re in Marathon, Florida, enjoying some time with friends Russell and Lynn from “Blue Highway” who have so generously opened their home-dock to us for a few days. The weather has been blowing stink for two days, news on the VHF radio is mostly about boats dragging anchor out in Boot Key Harbor, but we’re safe and snug and last night had a preliminary rum beverage unveiling to introduce Nicki’s latest masterpiece – the “Keys Breeze”

It. Was. Awesome. And will be featured in the official “Rum-Off”, scheduled for tomorrow evening. She’s looking to repeat her first win, back in 2017, which would make her record a solid 2-out-of-three against the home court contestant, Lynn. Tune in for the results next week!

So people ask us “Don’t you get bored with just hanging out on the boat?

Maybe we would – if we had more opportunity to just hang out. But as I’ve mentioned, boats are just entropy looking for a place to happen. The last couple of days have included the following:

Completely disassemble, clean, and reassemble the carburetor for the dinghy motor.

Cut down the head of the dinghy’s rudder so it fits under the boom of the sailing rig.

Move 250-plus pounds of trim ballast out of the stern of Sionna and find places for it somewhat forward of mid-ship.

ABOVE: See those pretty gray trapezoidal shaped blocks in the photo? Those are 50# (plus of minus) blocks of lead, which used to be under the berth in the aft cabin.

Back before we added the davits and began hanging the dinghy off the stern, Sionna needed that weight back there to make her float level fore-and-aft – what’s called “on her lines”. But when we added all that extra weight aft, she became distinctly tail heavy (“Down at the stern” – don’t you just love marine terms? I do!). Not only did that make her look a bit odd, it also effected how she responds to waves, making her more prone to Hobby-horsing (there’s another one!), or pitching nose up- nose down repeatedly. It’s a really uncomfortable motion, and potentially risky as she could bury her bow into a wave and cause damage.

A close-up of some of that lead – these three blocks add up to a little over 150#, moved from well behind her center of gravity to slightly forward of it, and about 2 feet lower in the boat. The other 100-some pounds is slightly farther forward.

Meanwhile Nicki has been busily replacing and re-attaching our fine mesh no-see-um screens throughout the boat. We are mighty tired of getting chewed up every night by Florida’s copious insect life, and have high hopes this will make us less of a main course for the little buggers!

So that’s life at the moment – a little here, a little there and we’re getting Sionna back in shape for the next 1300 miles up the eastern seaboard. See you there!

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house. we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

3 thoughts on “More boat jobs in paradise!

  1. Do we get to see maps with progress like last time?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too bad.


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