That’s A Wrap!

Tortuga Blog (1) Tortuga Blog

Tortuga is all wrapped up for the winter.  The yard finally got around to wrapping Tortuga this week, completing the final step in winterizing her.   The wrap will protect the deck from the winter elements, and other nasty stuff, but it’s a trade off with moisture.  You don’t want moisture building up underneath the plastic causing mildew when the weather finally warms up in the Spring.  Hopefully next year she’ll be in a heated storage building, so we won’t need to take such extensive winter preparations.

Springtime Plan

Janet relaxing onboard Tortuga
Janet relaxing onboard Tortuga

The to-do list is growing for Tortuga.  When we return to her in the Springtime we have a pretty extensive list of things that we’ll need to do to get her back in the water again.  I think between Janet and I we can get it all done in a couple of weeks.  First on Janet’s list is a good cleaning from having sat in the boatyard for the winter.  This will give us a chance to dig into all of the various spaces and update the boat’s inventory.  We’re using an app called MyStuff2 Pro that maintains a running inventory of all of the spares and supplies onboard.  Currently we have over 1,000 line items of things that are stowed away in the various spaces throughout the boat.  The app knows where everything is, quantities, expiration dates on food and medications, and photos of all of the items.

Aside from cleaning and re-storing things, we’ll have to de-winterize all of the systems; removing the polyethylene glycol and replacing with appropriate water.  This includes the engine, generator, watermaker, Electro-Scan toilet, fresh water system, washing machine, etc.  The sails will all have to be re-rigged, the canvas picked-up from the sailshop and installed, batteries topped off, etc. The list is pretty extensive.

One item that we’re really excited about is removing the paint from the upper portion of the aluminum hull.  This will expose the aluminum all the way up to the toe-rails.  We are going to run a new stripe around the hull, add new naming and port-of-call decals, and possibly polish the bare hull.

Can’t wait 🙂


Out For The Winter

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We pulled Tortuga out of the water for the winter.  It took 2-3 days to complete the winterization process.  Every system onboard had to be considered from a marine engineering perspective to ensure that no standing water was left that could freeze inside a closed pipe.  Refrigerators, freezer, water-maker, generator, toilet, sink faucets, shower, washing machine, engine, etc., all had to be carefully preserved with anti-freeze.  The deck was scrubbed down, all of the sails removed, halyards moused and removed, canvas removed and sent in for minor repairs, food removed and donated to other cruisers, batteries topped off and disconnected.  The to-do list was quite extensive as both the previous owner, Adrian, and I went over every single item in great detail.

She’ll be wrapped by the yard next week and tucked in for the winter.  Janet and I will head to Virginia in April to reverse the process and spend a couple of weeks making her our own.  Until then, I’m brushing up on marine and electrical mechanical systems, learning to sew, and completing all of the safety documentation for the DSC and EPIRBs.

Finishing Up In Annapolis

Sunrise over Chesepeake Bay
Sunrise over Chesepeake Bay

We’re finishing our time here in Annapolis.  Janet heads back to Chicago tomorrow, and I’m sailing the boat back down the coast to her winter home in Virginia.

The boat has proven to be a maritime engineering challenge for me.  There are literally dozens of systems onboard that require a tremendous amount of understanding in order to maintain them and have them function correctly.  While the learning curve is steep, it’s not insurmountable.  She is far from a “set and forget” vessel.

First Post

Our Allures 45 all decked out for the Annapolis Boat Show

We are in the final stretch of purchasing our “around-the-world”, retirement sailboat;  a 2012 Allures 45.  She is currently one of the showboats at the 2015 Annapolis Boat Show.  We’ll take her to Deltaville, Virginia after the show to get her tucked in for the winter.

Once the final paperwork is done, we will rename her, Tortuga, and move her to Chicago in the springtime.  The adventure continues.  Tortuga is the Spanish word for turtle, and has been a name that we’ve used for various things in our lives in Chicago.  Also, the boat has a lifting keel, so it can be sailed up on a sandy beach near high-tide, and “dry-out” as the tide recedes underneath her, sitting nicely on the sand.  When the tide returns, she simply re-floats and sails away.  Very turtle-like 🙂

More to follow.