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The Logbook

Winter is here.

By the First Mate

Although temperatures are still in the 40's Winter has certainly arrived.  First snowfall is expected in a few days and we now find ourselves with more time to spend in front of a computer.

The last of the snow free hikes for a while.

I have been very busy this summer working at Waterways Veterinary Clinic. The town used to have a second vet who visited town 3 days a month but he recently closed shop leaving Petersburg's pets with only one option.  Bummer.  Just finished a video for the clinic website Waterways Veterinary Clinic - Veterinary Vessel Hallie.  Secondary title, The cool stuff I got to do this summer!

Chuck and I have been hinting at a new project for quite a while now and have just, in the last few days, solidified our plans.  Our original thought was to take Lealea to Port Townsend for her haul out and re-fit but after spending more time here and getting to know the area we have decided Petersburg will do just fine for Lealea's much needed face lift. 

Last night Chuck posted the first of what will be an ongoing series detailing the initial planning stages through to the final steps of the complete re-fit of our old, beloved, fiberglass boat. Stay tuned.

CruisingLealea.com will also be seeing a major re-fit.  Over the next few months we will be converting the website to a Word Press format which should allow for mobile friendly viewing and easier conversation through the Logbook.  This will be a Winter long project which we hope to have finished by April.  Thank you Tom P. for your generous gift of server space and support. 

If you are looking for an old fiberglass boat to refurbish yourself we recently heard of an Albin Vega in Seattle that needs to be rescued or she will be demolished. Time is urgent which means a good deal to be had. 

5 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Ondine Brandon | November 14, 2015 at 01:29 PM EST

Hi Laura,

This post can at an interesting time for us, along with your recent up load to youtube. We are in the process of a fairly major retro fit of our Douglas 32Mk11, we are taking a year sabbatical to go down the ICW and over to the Bahamas in 2017 we love our Silhouette, for many reasons but our logical/fiscal sensabilities are causing us hesitation. We are struggling with the theory of putting more money into the boat than she will be worth.

Our biggest endeavor will be her new engine, (which I think I've mentioned before. Our justification so far is that for what we put into her we will have what we want in a boat sturdy. Knowing how fiscally responsible you are and that this will be your second refit including a repower I wonder how you and Chuck rationalize the investment into LeaLea. Mostly looking for support that we are not crazy to be doing this:)

2. Laura Wong-Rose | November 14, 2015 at 07:25 PM EST

Hi Ondine,

If you want the hard numbers of it. Maintaining Lealea over the last 25 years, including the purchase price, has been about 65K. We've lived on her the whole time. Subtracting purchase price we are into our boat for $166.00 per month. This takes into account all our previous rebuilds.

To answer your question, how do you rationazlie. Since we will be rebuilding her stronger than the factory prduction line and to our own tastes, we expect her service life to be an additional 40 years and in that light another 15K does not seem like much. There is a lot to be said about knowing your boat from the inside and out. Taking out every screw and checking every fitting gives you good piece of mind.

Could we buy another boat, yes, but then we would be starting all over again and since we have never found another boat that suits our needs as well as Lealea then the investment is worthwhile for us.

3. Ondine Brandon | November 15, 2015 at 10:08 AM EST

Hi Laura,

First I have to compliment you on being able to read my initial post, I obviously didn't proof it before sending, my apologies.

And to thank you for your candid response especially with regard to your investment into LeaLea. I didn't mean to pry into your personal finances, it is very gracious of you to share. It's always nice to hear the thoughts of those who are like minded. We get questioned a fair bit as to why we don't purchase \a better boat\ which in a lot of cases means bigger;). And though one tries to not let opinions influence decisions it does cause one to periodically re evaluate, which I believe to be a good thing.

We purchased Silhouette with a plan in mind 7 years ago and in the end we will have about 60-65K invested in her, and like you thus far we too have never found another boat, certainly not within our budget, that we feel fits our needs as well as she does (of course everyone's needs are different). Additionally you make a very good point regarding the vessel being stronger than originally built. This will be true of Silhouette as well.

At this point do not live aboard full time but our intentions are to move aboard for a year's sabbatical and then 3-4 years after that we intend to retire and live aboard her for 6 months of the year so our \return on investment\ isn't as rapid as yours, but in reading your response it reassures me that our plan is viable.

Thank you, it's always such a pleasure to hear from you and exchange thoughts.


4. laura | November 15, 2015 at 05:29 PM EST


My first instinct was to pick up the phone and call rather than communicate here. Unfortunately I recently had a phone malfunction and lost your number. Can you please email it to me (laura@cruisinglealea.com)

Thank you, Laura

5. ron | November 29, 2015 at 05:07 PM EST

Hi Laura and Chuck,

First I want to thank you for the many hours of enjoyment I have had watching your videos and for all the quality information you have shared. About 8 years ago I decided I was going to purchase a sailboat and live aboard when I retired. I have been reading blogs and dreaming while saving every dime since I made that decision. Southeast Alaska is high on my list to see. After watching all of your Alaska video I realized that there is not a lot of opportunity to actually sail while cruising southeast Alaska.

So here is my question. Does it make sense to purchase say a 24 foot Bayliner on a trailer in Washington and haul it to Skagway or Haines. I would spend June, July and August for a couple seasons touring southeast Alaska. In the winter I could leave it on the hard on the trailer while I return to the lower 48 and travel south with my camp trailer for the rest of the year. It is just me and my two dogs so I do not need much room.

I have been trying to buy a 27 to 35 foot blue water sail boat for several months. When I start sailingI would like to start in the Sea of Cortez so that is where I would like to purchase but I am getting such poor feed back from the brokers. I need to be there but I do not want to spend several thousand dollars every time a broker embellishes the quality of a boat and once I arrive and see it first hand I am not interested.

So back to the question, would a 24 foot Bayliner be safe in the inter-coastal waters of Southeast Alaska? When I am done I could sell it there and then work my way back south along the coastal areas looking for a sailboat.

Thanks for listening


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"Jim's book is thoroughly, entertaining and honest and for us to be included is an honor. 

If you dream of sailing off into the sunset after you retire we suggest "Sailing into Retirement" is a must read."

Chuck and Laura

Fellow shipmate, Fran Taylor, writes about her many adventures as crew sailing aboard different tall ships and she mentions one voyage in particular  during her time aboard HMB Endeavour where she meets a couple on their honeymoon.  Read the humorous tale of the seasick groom and how a new "private signal" was born among the Endeavour crew.
The first book I read after moving aboard Lealea.  A wonderful journey that got me dreaming.
Looking for a read that will make your stomach hurt from laughing?  This one did it for us!  A definite page turner.
-Chuck and Laura

"This Old Boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance aboard, this is the one.

-Chuck Rose

"This old boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance, this is the one.
Chuck and Laura

“The Ashley Book of Knots” by Clifford W. Ashley is, quite simply, the definitive work on knots.  We think if you have more than a passing interest in marlinspike seamanship or decorative knotting this book is pretty much a “Must Have” This book is a high mass volume. 
                       -Chuck and Laura
Fran Taylor was born and grew up in Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde.  She has sailed all over the world in a number of “Tall Ships” and has had a number of articles published. She is a regular on the guest  speaking circuit around Perth where she lives when not pursuing her dreams and answering the call of the sea. In 2012 she took part in the Titanic Memorial Cruise, a special event to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the sinking. This book tells that story.
The story of Margo Wood and her husband Charles who began the "Charlie's Charts" cruising guide series. When her husband passed away she began to sail as a singlehander.   A wonderful story about a lady I admire a lot. - Laura  
An excellent read for anyone interested in single handed sailing. An inspiration for women. Anne had quite an adventure and this book is especially interesting to Albin Vega owners.- Chuck
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