Let the upgrades begin!!!!

Old Yanmar engine panel.

Ok, just like anything a man cannot leave things along.  Cars, houses, and boats are no exception.  So I am going to be starting to go through things and fix them up little by little.  Lets start with the engine panel in the cockpit.  Its awful…cracked and sunbeaten.  Looked up the local Yanmar parts dealer, and they had a new panel in stock..picked it up and slapped it on…HUGE improvement!

New Panel after swapping the electronics on the left, old panel on the right.


2nd Sailboat Lesson…Not so fast……

Today was the 2nd private lesson.  I was on a huge high from yesterdays outing with KJ on Cuajota.  This lesson was on a larger Harbor 20 boat that should feel closer to my boat.  Well it wasn’t horrible, but it was a rude awakening.  A few times we almost capsized.  The winds are gusting at about 15 knots and its the strongest wind I have been in.  When the wind fills the sails, we heel over, and being a smaller and lighter boat than Cuajota, it will definitely take on water and ultimately flip over putting us in the Newport Beach Harbor.  Not something I would alike to do.  I was confused when talking about tacking and jibing and turning the boat the wrong direction when doing either.  The things I was doing so effortlessly before were now confusing me.  I think it was also the fear (first time I have had that on a sailboat) of capsizing that had my mind stuck a little bit.  In the end I pulled it together and got some valuable experience out of it.  Could have been worse, but it wasn’t the greatest.  I began using an app on my iPhone called Motion X GPS.  It allows me to track my sailing outings and post regular updates to an email address or Facebook…here is the track of my lesson….


Sailing with KJ!

This week will be busy!  Tomorrow I have a 2nd lesson and today I just finished a sail with KJ, the previous owner, to put the sailing knowledge I learned on the small boat to use on the bigger boat.  WOW.  Cuajota is a blast to sail!  I am getting quite good at maneuvering the boat under motor and mooring and docking.  KJ called and told me he was at the dock.  I was already on the boat getting it prepped.  I was going to grab him in the dinghy, but decided just to drop the mooring lines and pick him up in Cuajota.  I think he was a bit surprised I was so comfortable on the boat.  2 weeks ago I had never really been on a sailboat!  We raised the main at the dock and then pushed off and unfurled the jib and we were sailing!  We took turns at the helm so I was able to understand how to do both jobs, manning the jib sheets as well as steering and generally being in control of the whole boat.  The only downside of the outing was the leach line in the jib ripped out of the sail.  Looks like the stitching came undone.  I’ll have to have that repaired…GREAT.  KJ thinks it shouldn’t be a lot to fix so hopefully that won’t be bad.  He also is giving me a few more sails for the boat as well…a storm jib, I think 80%, a 155% that we may put up in the meantime so we can sail while the 135 is in the shop getting repaired, and the original main as well.  Even with the sail issues it was a great experience!  KJ is an awesome sailor!  He really knows his stuff….I am learning a lot just by watching.

First Lesson Wrap Up

Well thats not that tough!  It was pretty easy!  I learned tacking and jibing and how to raise the sails and lower them.  Its a lifts lightweight boat thats easy to sail.  The instructor was impressed I learned so quickly.  I am a doer, I learn by doing things.  I have been reading sailing books and watching youtube videos for weeks now.  Its time to move forward with the business of sailing!  I am still confused about WHY you do certain things and under what circumstances, but once I know what I am doing, doing them isn’t tough.  I think that will be more instinctive as I do it more.

Clean Bill Of Health!

The boat yard has given it a clean bill of health!  Its ready for adventure!  The bottom has been painted and the hull has been buffed and waxed.  Its all clean and shiny!  This is really a beautiful boat.  A timeless design that doesn’t look old or outdated at all.  Classic.




Going In For Bottom Paint

We knew when we bought the boat it was ready for a bottom paint.  It has also been sitting a bit in the warmer So Cal waters so there is a bit of growth on the bottom as well.  This is perfect as we can also get them to go through the boat and tell us about anything that may need addressing.  I’m a bit nervous…the previous owners tell us not to worry if they give us a long list of small things…I am more concerned about a long list of big things!  lol…The boat will be out of commission for a week while this is happening.

First outing on the boat!

We decided to take the boat out with our friends that sold us the boat and their kids.  It would be a good way to start to get to know the boat while under the supervision of an experienced sailor.  We headed out of the harbor under motor, it was evening and it just seemed easier.  Got to the Ocean in about 30 minutes and headed out of the harbor.  Things got pretty bumpy…I was at the tiller and my wife was VERY nervous about it.  I was determined to muddle through.  Our friends didn’t seem phased at all.  I’m not sure if it was to make us comfortable and not freak us out or if they were used to it and we were not.  There were about 4 foot waves, but they were coming from all directions so it felt like war were getting pushed around a bit.  We went out to the buoy and saw the sea lions hanging out there.  Fun stuff.  Then we turned around and headed back and we looked in the distance and saw dolphins!  My wife points way out and says look at them…I look about 10 feet from the boat and saw “Look at them!”.  They were guiding us back into the channel!  They swam right next to the boat all the way into the channel.  Wow.  That was cool!  I had always heard of dolphins having a bond with people but it was cool seeing it firsthand.  So aside from getting a bit freaked out, it was a very successful first outing.  Itching to get the sails up and really take her out.  My goal is to make a run to Catalina in the next few months.  Thats a 24 mile journey from Newport Harbor.  Doesn’t seem too bad, I mean people actually swim that!  lol….

Sea Trial

We decided to buy the boat…but we need to take it out for a see trial. Its like a test drive before you buy a car. So here we are aboard Cuajota about to go out on the Sea Trial. I still can’t believe we are buying a boat!

We went out with the owner of the boat and he showed me just about every inch of the boat. Talked about what he thought it needed and what he planned on doing as far as upgrades. Most of it was like he was talking greek to me though…lol. We went out into the ocean a bit and had the job up as well as the motor on as there wasn’t much wind at all. I could get used to this though!