A project only small-boat folk might appreciate… (in Portland, Maine)

We store our outboard on deck.

It’s not pretty. It’s not aerodynamic. It elicits charming comments from strangers like, “all that weight up so high up, tsk, tsk, tsk.”

But look, if you live on a 33′ boat and you want to have a giant outboard, you have to make some compromises. An unsightly outboard stored on deck is one of ours.

All of which might lead you to believe that I’m about to say we found a better solution for storing the outboard (wrong). Instead, I’d like to present the brand new outboard throne that is my new pride and joy 🙂

First, please admire my zipper panel (per Sailrite’s instructional videos… he says “Coo-shun” really funny but other than that the videos are amazing):

Finished zipper panel, per Sailrite's instructional videos

Next, please hazard a guess at the multi-purpose nature of this giant cushion…

Cushion made of lifejackets - dual purpose

If you guessed “somewhere to store all the required lifejackets while simultaneously protecting the deck from getting banged up by the outboard”, you got it right!

A peek at the lifejackets inside

I’d never tried sewing a piped cushion before. It’s seriously satisfying.

My first real piped cushion job

And the finished product. An outboard throne 😉

Big outboard on a little boat - cushion made of lifejackets

Like I said, I’m pretty sure you have to be a small boat person to appreciate this little project… but it’s pretty great from over here 🙂



Lofty Summer Goals (on Jewel Island, Maine)

You might’ve figured this out already, but we didn’t actually leave the dock very often last summer.

To be precise, we left twice.


To be fair, the second time was to go explore the Penobscot and we didn’t come back for a month, but compared to our lofty “we’ll sail every weekend and go for evening jaunts on weekdays” goals, we failed pretty miserably.

We can explain this away with a myriad of excuses (Jon was working a ton; we tackled some enormous multi-weekend boat projects like re-bedding both toerails; I have a fear of hitting boats while docking; we have a fear of docking in general actually, etc), but the point stands: for so-called boat-lovers, we did a crap job of actually enjoying our boat.

So our NEW summer goal (because Maine sailing season pretty much = summer), is to just have more fun. Ideally fun that includes leaving the dock and going sailing, but we’re trying to set achievable goals here 😉


Along this line, we left the dock last weekend, and it was amazing.

Sailing in Maine - Happy days on Jewel Island

We practiced our tacking through the Hussey Channel… I was seriously rusty 😉

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Anchored at Jewel, where we made our Maine landfall in 2014. We hadn’t been ashore together since my very first visit to Maine, in 2009 (!!!)

Jewel Island, Casco Bay, Maine

So we all went ashore to explore…

Dinghy on the beach at Jewel

Found a tower with an inviting ladder…

Tower from below

So obviously I had to give it a go (I may be smiling, but my grip on that rail gives my real feelings away…)

Leah at the top of the tower

Took the obligatory “from the top of the WWII tower” photos of Casco Bay…

Views from inside the WWII towers at Jewel

As well as a re-enactment of 2009’s tower climbing shenanigans:

Jon on Jewel circa 2009

What it takes to get those views

And beach selfies:

Leah and Jon circa 2009

Apparently 7 years brought more wrinkles, less hair:

Jon and Leah on the beach at Jewel


As if a perfect sail and hike of the island wasn’t enough, our awesome friends from s/v Meredith met us at the island and we had a great beachfire… confirming that I have patience for burning hot dogs, but not actually cooking them 😉

Beachfire at Jewel


s/v Meredith goes sailing by at Jewel

And by Sunday afternoon we were back in our slip, and I even managed to get the hammock up for a quick afternoon nap…

Hammock days in Maine

(Complete with a fleece blanket, because it’s really not that warm out yet!!)

Tropical days in Maine


And our lofty summer goals?

Well since the majority of the struggle seems to revolve around getting off the dock, we decided to just practice docking. What a novel concept, right? 😉

Plus now we’re one weekend in and we’ve officially left the dock 5 times this season. Mission accomplished.


Shoulda knocked on wood…

Did I say that Spring had come? I was wrong. Mother nature had one more “surprise” snowstorm in store for us, so we got to experience a taste of what winter *without* a bubble would be like…

Snowstorm in April in Maine on a sailboat

(No thank you!!!)

Sailboat in Maine winter without shrinkwrap is sad

At least the duck prints were cute…
At least duck feet in the snow are cute

Since then, we moved the boat out to our summer slip (a very big 5-minute trip from “B” dock to “E” dock necessitating a ridiculous amount of preparation… funny things like, “oh, I guess we should re-attach our steering wheel before we go” 😉 )

It’s a bit further of a walk to the cars and the showers, but we like it for the open views…

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Including the 4:30 am sunrises!

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In other important updates, I’ve discovered the miracles of a box of hair dye…

No more sparkly gray hairs!

(my gray hairs had been sparkling at me every time I looked at my head… I’m convinced blondes have it easier!!!)

While Jon continues to just stay eternally youthful and cute (not that I’m biased)…

My cute husband

And we’ve finally accepted that we don’t finish anything without self-imposed deadlines, so we invited friends to go sailing next weekend… not that we have an attached prop, a finished bathroom or a clean boat 🙂 (but we will by Saturday guys!!!)

The always-glamorous liveaboard look…

Cruising ladies have serious style

And the rather entertaining feat of assembling panels that are bigger than our companionway… big project + small boat = extra fun!!

Big projects on small boats

That’s it from me!

– LMK 🙂

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