Supplies

Liveaboards

We have been living on Tomahawk for a week now (which is a good excuse for the lack of posting). There are still a lot of things to do to get settled in, so we are busy: buying propane, hooking up a battery/electrical system, scraping and painting the bottom, cleaning inside and out, organizing our stuff into bins and compartments, etc. Lots of ups and downs, sometimes literally, especially on windy days!

Soon I will post further updates about our various adventures before and after moving on board, such as refloating our friend Jamie’s boat Paramour and fitting everything into storage. Also, yesterday we were sort of trapped on the boat because our dinghy is hard to get into on a choppy bay. Today we plan to remedy this by buying a fender step to hang over Tomahawk’s side.

If all goes well, I’ll be updating a bit more frequently again in the near future!

Fender Step

Our new fender will look something like this

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Categories: Cleaning, Electricity, Getting Started, Life Aboard, Practical Stuff, Supplies | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

House- er, Boatkeeping

The boat is tidier than it’s been in a long time, but don’t get me wrong. It’s far from tidy. We threw out a bagful of crap that the previous owner left on the boat. Evidently, he was of the mindset that you should keep everything, just in case, which is laudable, except that you only have so much space on a boat. To be fair, a lot of the stuff has been sitting doing nothing all winter and probably deteriorated since he decided to keep it.

We’ve also replaced our lost paddles (you can read about that adventure here) and bought a kayak cart. It works great, even though we haven’t inflated the tires yet. So we took one of our kayaks home to our balcony and tucked the other inside the boat’s cabin, since we had cleared it out. I told you it wasn’t actually tidy in there. Keeping it in there reduces the risk of theft, though, which has hit home pretty hard recently.

One of the oars from our dinghy got stolen along with our friend Mike’s rowboat that he built himself. When Jason told him, he seemed surprisingly blase about the loss. “Living on a boat is a good lesson in perspective,” he said. “You’re always wondering what you need to figure out next.”

I suppose this is true of owning a house, as well. Or even a car, in some cases.

Among other things, we stocked up on the required safety equipment for our boat’s size (manual bailer, sound signalling device, fifteen-meter throw rope, etc.). I made a rope ladder by following the instructions in a book about knots that we bought on sale a while ago.

We ordered oarlocks to replace the broken one on our dinghy, but when they arrived, they do not fit. We paid twice as much on shipping and customs as for the oarlocks themselves, which is a bit off-putting. We are going to try to return them, but we probably won’t get much of our money back. As of now, we are considering ways to rig up straps for a temporary fix. Of course, we also need to buy new oars, since someone thought it worthwhile to take one.

Jason is starting a woodworking course soon, so he will try to construct something sturdier once that gets on the go.

Categories: Getting Started, Practical Stuff, Supplies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warming Up

It finally feels like spring today. I know, I know. People in the rest of Canada and many parts of the US, Asia, and Europe will be thinking, “Finally? It’s only mid-February!” But to us spoiled people here in Vancouver, this month marks the beginning of the end.

The days are getting longer too, which gives me a fuzzy feeling and an itch to get working on the boat.

However, I realized today that we have everything we need to actually sail Tomahawk. The sails are beat up, but seem workable. The hull is solid, albeit due for a cleaning and a fresh coat of bottom paint. The rudder responds well to the tiller. Our biggest concern is the engine. I’m starting to understand why so many boaters are fans of diesel over gasoline. And electric starters, rather than pulling the cord, which I suck at.

We also need to take our engine out of the too-small engine compartment and mount it on the transom. This will be one of our first priorities. Of course, if the engine won’t start properly, we may need to shell out the cash for a new one, which will hurt a lot.

After basic preparations, we will soon need to turn our attention to the battery bank. We’ll need a new battery, in all likelihood, as well as some sort of generator. We have a solar panel on board, but we are thinking hydro would be awesome. And possibly wind. The more sources, the merrier.

Of course, before we can live aboard, we will need a solution to our toilet problem. No, we haven’t solved that yet. We will likely ask a few sailor friends for advice and see what our bank account thinks of the various options.

And a shower. We have our solar shower, which should be fine for summer, but we need some sort of hiding place to shower in. I’m thinking maybe one of those collapsible camping showers, if we can set it up in the cockpit. Hmm…

Lots to think about. Can’t wait to finally start sailing next month!

Categories: Getting Started, New Boat, Practical Stuff, Supplies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fenders

My boss at work happens to be an avid boater, although of an entirely different class from Jason and me. Whereas we keep our boat anchored and intend to provision it for living aboard while keeping our costs as low as possible, my boss uses his vessel entirely for pleasure trips, keeping it docked at a somewhat pricey marina at Coal Harbour and furnishing it with all the latest devices (or rather, paying for someone else to furnish it). He also has a rather large powerboat. Tomahawk’s diminutive 27 feet of sailboat will receive much more direct attention from its owners.

As with most things in life, the differences are neither positive nor negative. Instead, they merely serve to illuminate the diversity within the boating community. Some powerboaters hate sailors and vice versa, but really, variations on a theme can make that theme much more dynamic and interesting. So much wasted energy trying to figure out who’s better or more right when we should be celebrating each other’s experiences.

Anyway, the other day, he told me that they are tearing down and rebuilding his rented boathouse. He has to clear out a lot of stuff that has been stored there, which could lead to some decluttering – always a good thing.

The best part for us is that he has offered me and Jason some spare fenders that he no longer needs. Since we lost most of ours in the Great Beaching of 2013, additional fenders will be very valuable.

(In case you aren’t sure, fenders hang off the sides of a boat to keep it from scraping on docks, other boats, or anything else. They come in many shapes and sizes.)

Fenders on sailboat

The fenders are the white things hanging off the side

So yay for free fenders! Knowing my boss, they are probably good quality, too. He’s gutting out the boathouse tomorrow, so we may be due for a paddle out to our boat in the near future for some fixing up. I’m starting to get itchy for the next phase. Let’s hope for warm, dry weather and an early spring!

Categories: Supplies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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