Cruising Life

This is the post excerpt.

Our family is planning to one day begin a cruising life and to continue with that lifestyle for as long as it’s fun and enjoyable. Our hope was to put into writing many of those experiences and this blog is one way in which we will accomplish that. Although the idea of the blog came to us after we purchased Chismosa, we aren’t quite ready to leave yet so we are still able to capture many of the early preparations, moving onto the boat and early cruising experiences that will come our way. Although we are still aways out from beginning the cruising life, there are many adventures coming up that we will blog about, but for now I will try to go back and explain some of what has happened so far such as the boat purchase, the basic outfitting of the boat and the journey from Miami, Florida to Chiapas, Mexico where Chismosa is now. We hope you enjoy the blog and follow along.

Miami, Florida to Colon, Panama with a stop in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

January 3rd, 2018 at 9:30am, marked the beginning of our trip that we thought would take us from Miami, Florida directly to Colon, Panama. In a previous blog titled “the crew“, I mentioned (5) crew members that helped crew the boat at various stages along the way, but what I didn’t mention in that blog were two other crew members (John and Andrew) who had also joined us, somewhat last minute, from the beginning of our trip in Florida. They both had grown up with Jake (the Captain) and were experienced sailors. Because Chismosa was a new and an unproven boat for me, I welcomed any help we could get. I figured the more hands to help out if a serious problem arose the better.

When we left Florida, the crew consisted of five people; Jake, Danny, John, Andrew and I. I had only met these individuals 3 days prior to our departure. Looking back on it, other than my experience in the military, I cannot recall a time in which I was put into a situation of completing a task (i.e., sailing the boat to California) with a group of people that I knew so little about and for such a short period of time. I was also the least experienced and therefore the least knowledgeable out of the group in terms of sailing. On a personal level, I tend to be the quiet (or reserved) person in a group setting therefore this entire situation ended up being quite the experience for me. The first leg of this trip proved to be extremely beneficial for me personally in that I was completely taken out of my comfort zone on so many levels. I had to get to know the group and the group dynamics, individually and collectively, I had to learn from each of them as much as I could about sailing and of course we all had to learn to work together in what would later prove to be some challenging moments.

We left the Waterways Marina (Aventura) and headed north on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), grabbed some fuel, navigated through 4 draw bridges and made our way into the open ocean from Port Everglades, Florida. As we headed out into the open water, the winds steadily picked up and were blowing between 30-35 knots. The swells grew, the rain went from being intermittent to steady and the group began to settle in for the long haul. We had the mizzen and staysail fully up with no reefs [reefing is basically a way to shorten the sail area to slow the boat down and is typically used in conditions of high wind] and was making 8 knots in no time. The first issue that befell us was as we raised the mizzen, one of the wenches that we used to hoist the sail flew off its mount under a moderate load. As the wench came off, it struck one of the crew members and promptly fell overboard. I watched as that first equipment failure occurred and prayed that the structure of the boat was more sound, then that wench had been. No one was injured from that incident, but it gave all of us something to laugh about for awhile. We were all in great spirits, the boat was now moving along at a steady speed of nearly 10 knots and the winds had increased with gusts in the low to mid-forties. No sail change was needed, she handled the wind and waves perfectly and felt really solid.

During the first 24 hours at sea, there were times where the ride down below was a bit rough and each of us were reminded by the heeling of the boat to always maintain a hand for the boat. For those of us who forgot that, myself and Andrew in particular, we managed to make our way from the starboard side of the boat to the port side of the boat rather quickly breaking the table in the process. Again no one was hurt, but it made for a funny story later. Having five people on board meant that there were five people to help out with watches, cooking, cleaning and other tasks that needed to be completed. When the boat was underway, we always had someone up (24/7) to watch for debris or other boats that might be in front of us, sudden changes in the weather, which might require sail changes and to ensure we remained on course. We had a brand new auto pilot system installed on the boat, so unless the sea state was really agitated which creates some stress on the system, we did not have to manually steer the boat.

By January 4th, the wind had subsided a bit and so did our boat speed. We were now traveling at 7 knots and had just cleared the Florida Keys to our north with Cuba directly south of us. The unfortunate part of this trip was timing. Many of us were taking time off work to do this and the basic premise of the trip was to get the boat to California so there was not much time built into the plan to travel to exotic destinations like Cuba, Belize or Costa Rica. That proved to be tough on each of us as we looked at the chart plotter and saw all these places within reach. I was quietly hoping that an excuse would pop up that would force us to make an unplanned visit to Havana. With thoughts of old cars, Mojitos and cigars on the brain, I found myself spending the first couple of days thinking of ways to make landfall, but I knew we had to keep going.

By January 5th, with currents and winds in our favor, we were making 11 knots (velocity made good- VMG). This speed was incredible and it felt like we were screaming along, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like my InReach device captured those incredible speeds. In addition to my Iridium Go (satellite hotspot for phone calls and to check weather) I also had an InReach device on board. It’s also a satellite-based system that can send an SOS signal if needed, it tracks your location and (with the right plan) allows for an unlimited number of text messages to be sent and received. I had a pre-paid data plan for the Iridium Go so it really didn’t get used much. The InReach proved to be worth it’s weight in gold because it was an inexpensive way for people to follow our progress, it allowed for me to stay in touch with family and friends, and there was a record of where we had been along with data about our speed, date and time, that was helpful for looking back on trip details. If you have not seen the trip map yet, follow this link and it will take you there (https://share.garmin.com/mathews).

Other than a few minor issues, the trip had been amazing so far and we were making great time. This would all change though in the early morning hours of January 5th. At approximately 2am, Danny was on watch and had just relieved Jake. Myself and the rest of the crew were asleep when I awoke to uneasy feeling that something was wrong. I could hear Danny and Jake changing sails and discussing the boat, but something was different this time. It was raining outside, the winds were in the high 20’s and the sea state was agitated. The waves were approximately 2 meters high and choppy. I put on my foul weather gear and went on deck to see what was going on. Danny explained that the steering was becoming less responsive and it was becoming very difficult to control the boat in the current conditions. The boat had dealt with much worse conditions than what we were experiencing at this moment so it was clear something was wrong with our hydraulic steering system. We turned on the motor and Jake and I brought down the rest of the sails that had been up. He and I inspected the hydraulic lines and learned that several of the hose fittings were leaking. They were relatively slow leaks, but with several of the fittings leaking simultaneously the loss of fluid added up quickly. Jake, Danny and I were discussing ways to fix the leak, but even if we tightened the fittings, we did not have any hydraulic fluid on board. In the time it took to get the fittings tightened, Danny noticed that we were down to nearly 20 percent steering ability and with the combination of wind and waves maintaining control of the boat was becoming extremely difficult.

We were more than a 2-day sail (or motor) away from the nearest land which was the northwestern coast line of Cuba. Had my dream come true? Did a need to make landfall in Cuba arise? Well…yes and no. There really wasn’t a good place, at that point, to land in Cuba without turning around. We really did not want to do that; however, if we could not fix the steering issue, we were most likely going to have to do it. Because of the seriousness of the situation, the remaining crew members were told to get up and dawn life jackets. The emergency tiller was pulled from its storage locker and tested to make sure it was working properly. I should mention that the emergency tiller was fully checked out at the dock in Florida prior to leaving, but we checked it again because we did not want any unpleasant surprises should we lose all steering at the helm. With the entire crew up and ready, the emergency tiller ready and the hydraulic fittings tightened, Jake came up with the brilliant idea of using grape seed oil, which we grabbed during our provisioning for cooking, and proceeded to fill the hydraulic reservoir with as much of the oil as he could. This was a 2 person job and a messy one at that. With the boat bouncing around from the wind and waves and us having to use a flexible cutting board rolled up like a funnel (because there were no funnels on board) we managed to get a lot of grape seed oil in the reservoir and everywhere else. Once the reservoir was full, steering returned to about 80% of normal. This was a welcome relief to the crew and we no longer needed to consider turning around and stopping in Cuba. We did however, need to make landfall in Mexico because we were not confident this patch job would hold. At this point the crew returned to their bunks and life returned to normal. We continued to monitor the steering and added oil occasionally.

We arrived to Isla Mujeres, Mexico (a small island off the coast of Cancun) in the early morning hours on January 7th. We were in need of hydraulic fluid and fuel, but we couldn’t do anything until we had checked in with immigration and with the Port Captain. In fact, its illegal to leave the marina or to make any purchases prior to completing the in-processing at immigration. When we arrived, we stopped at the fuel dock located just inside the entrance to the island on the north side. We were told by the fuel dock staff that we needed to walk to the Port Captain’s office which is in violation of the very rules they had just explained to us. So with a basic understanding of where the Port Captain’s office was and our paperwork in hand, we headed off on foot. Once there, my inability to speak fluent Spanish became an issue and the Port Captain didn’t know English, but of course he isn’t expected to; after all we were in his country. A friend of his, Julio Leon, was an employee at the El Milagros Beach Hotel and Marina down the street. We went there and Julio was a huge help. Not only did he speak some English, but for a small fee of $75 (US) he had all of the various departments (i.e, Port Captain, Immigration, and the Agricultural Department) come to the El Milagros Marina and do the paperwork there. Although this should have been a simple and straight forward process. It wasn’t and it took two days and nearly $700 to to complete. The first complication came when they asked for a “Zarpe”. I had never heard of this document before, but in Mexico, Central and South American countries I am told they all require this form. When you travel by boat, this form is used to document your moments around a particular country or from country to country. For example, to travel from Isla Mujeres to Colon, Panama we needed a Zarpe from the Mexican government. Of course there is a small fee for this but its cheap. The problem for us was that we didn’t have one showing us leaving from the United States to Mexico. The U.S. does not issue Zarpe’s although there is a form that U.S. Customs can give you, but you must ask for it and you have to know the form number when you ask. Most Americans traveling by boat on the west coast stop in Tijuana, Mexico and the immigration officials from Mexico are so used to Americans coming through without one that it’s never an issue.

My inability to speak Spanish became a problem again when speaking with immigration which almost led to me getting arrested. The immigration official had asked me where I had come from prior to my arrival in Mexico and I thought he wanted to know where we were going to so I kept talking about Panama. Because I did not have a Zarpe from Panama he did not believe my story. At one point he was getting mad and told me, “If your lying to me. I will arrest you.” When the immigration official arrived earlier that day it was on a Vespa, he had been wearing an oversized helmet and his uniform pants were 3 inches shorter than they should have been, which exposed the white socks he had underneath. Needless to say, I was not impressed by his level of command presence, but up until the point where he threatened to arrest me, I thought he was nice guy. I can honestly say that when I heard him say he would arrest me, I immediately thought to myself, ‘Arrest? What is happening? Okay, if I see him reach for his handcuffs I am going to foot bail. I don’t have time for this nonsense’. Of course that would have been a horrific decision on my part because I am not accustomed to running from authority figures and I am sure I would have done something really intelligent like leave my passport behind on the counter. He didn’t reach for his handcuffs so I ended up sticking around and Julio eventually asked if I had a receipt for a fuel purchase in Florida to use as proof that I came from the U.S. and I DID!!! I just happened to still have that receipt in my wallet and it showed the date, time and location on it, which proved my story. That worked out perfectly and kept me out of jail, but now I was told I needed to write an apology letter to the Mexican Government for arriving without a Zarpe. I reminded Julio that our arrival to Mexico was completely unplanned because of mechanical issues. He said it doesn’t matter, but he wrote it for me in Spanish as part of the fee he charged.

After dealing with those issues for two days, we searched around for a mechanic that looked over our hydraulic system, made some repairs and completely flushed the system. We also purchased extra hydraulic fluid and a new set of house batteries for the boat. We stayed in Isla Mujeres for a total of 4 days before moving on; however, this delay created an issued for John and Andrew because they did not have time to continue on to Panama. They ended up flying home from Cancun and Jake, Danny and I left Cancun for Panama.

We arrived to the Shelter Bay Marina in Colon, Panama on January 14th. The rest of the way from Mexico to Panama was uneventful. Light winds and several days of motoring left me wanting a break from the boat so our arrival to Shelter Bay Marina was a welcome site for me. It was followed up by a prompt visit to the bar where I sucked down about three Balboa’s (a local Panamanian beer) before I even thought of dealing with immigration.

For the next blog, I will go into our experience in Panama, transiting the canal and the trip to Chiapas, Mexico where the boat is currently located.

Basic Outfitting

As mentioned in the blog titled “the purchase” we needed a few key pieces of equipment just to get her to her new home in California. She needed a full set of sails. The sails she came with were Doyle sails but they were original. Although they were in good enough shape for some day sailing, a 4500 nautical mile sail required newer sails. I reached out to Bob Meagher III at Doyle Sailmakers in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bob was truly one of the nicest gentlemen I worked with along the way in Florida and made the process of buying new sails painless and easy.

Chismosa was in need of a Genoa, Staysail, Main and Mizzen. There was also a spinnaker onboard that was older, but serviceable which we kept for later use. Bob came to the Waterways Marina in Aventure, Florida where the boat had been kept and took measurements and came back with a quote for brand new sails and cradle covers (lazy jack system) and some needed sheets. The grand total for the new sail setup was $26,000.  The motor, sails, electronics, a good strong hull and good standing/running rigging are the heart of the boat in our opinion so we did not hesitate to buy quality when it came to any of these items. 2600 nautical miles later we couldn’t be happier with our decision to go with new sails from Doyle Sailmakers. The quality and service were fantastic.

The price included the following from Doyle Sails:

  • Blue Water Main Sail:
    • 674 sq ft
    • 2 reefs
    • 6 full battens
    •  luff slides
    • overhead leech line
    • head board
    • foot slides
  • Blue Water Mizzen:
    • 221 sq ft
    • 1 reef
    • 4 full battens
    • luff slides
    • head board
    • foot slides
  • Blue Water Roller Furler Genoa:
    •  125% genoa
    • 932 sq ft
    •  Sun cover
    • luff flattener
    • Overhead leech line
  • Blue Water Staysail:
    • 338 sq ft
    • hanks
    • 1 reef

Next, we looked at buying electronics. We knew that B&G was the brand we wanted for sailing and Ariel from ABB Marine was recommended to us for the purchase and install. We were quoted a price of $21K for the following B&G equipment:

  • B&G Zeus3 9” chartplotter
  • 508 Wind Sensor NMEA 2000
  • V90 VHF radio with AIS
  • Triton2 Speed/Depth/Wind indicator w/ 4” display
  • Pilot computer
  • Magnetic compass.
  • Auto Pilot controller
  • Pilot rudder feedback RF300
  • Pilot RPU 160 reversible Hydraulic Pump
  • VHF wireless handset
  • Misc. cables and mounts
  • Hailer horn speaker

The bottom needed to be painted per the survey recommendations and it was now about three years old. It was clearly overdue and we decided to use Sean from Royale Palm Marina for the job. We were quoted a price of $13K for the following work:

  • Soda blast bottom
  • Haulout and bottoms sanding and prep
  • (4) coats of primer were used because there was almost no paint on the exterior bottom when we got her.
  • (2) coats of Micron 66
  • Hull waxing
  • Re-packed the stuffing box
  • Zincs were replaced
  • Rudder was found to have water intrusion and mold. The inner portion for defective rudder was removed and refilled.

At this point the boat was about done with the big items, but I felt before we left the dock bound for California I had better have the life raft re-inspected. At the time of purchase, the boat had been equipped with an Arimar (8 person) raft and it was sent to 84 Boatworks in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This proved to be a valuable lesson when it came to life raft inspections. It turns out the life raft that came with the boat was total garbage. It was found to have water intrusion and the internal devises used to inflate the raft were inoperable. So had we left without inspecting the raft and needed it we would have been screwed. I purchased a brand new ocean-rated life raft (Revere Offshore Commander —8 person) with a hydrostatic release hammer and cradle for $3,392. It was a great investment and a huge relief to know that we were set if we needed a life raft for any reason.

At the time of inspection, the boat was found to have some under-sized wiring and there were no GFI outlets. Although during the refit, the boat had all new wiring installed, none of the outlets were grounded. I had a marine electrician (Randy Oberempt) come to boat and make some electrical improvements for safety. He installed, propane gas sniffers, Carbon Monoxide detectors, GFI outlets, grounded the entire boat properly and rewired any undersized wires. He added an galvanic isolator and replaced switches that needed replacing. This came at a cost of $4K but we felt it was needed. We do not want to have a fire on board due to incorrect wiring or lacking safety items like GFI. Although much of this work I could have done myself, Randy did it while I was still in California so that when I arrived to Florida to bring the boat home the work was complete and my insurance company (Boat US) required the work to be completed by a certified electrician.

The boat needed to be outfitted much like a small apartment would with basic kitchen items, cleaning supplies etc. For that I went to Walmart, but for a cordless drill and vacuum I went to HomeDepot (see below itemized expenses). I also purchased extra fuel/oil filters and motor oil. Two faucets needed to be replaced because they broke before leaving the dock and we purchased an Iridium GO for our sat phone and weather needs. The costs of these items are listed below.

Expenses (not including the boat, but prior to leaving the dock):

  • Doyle Sails – $26,000
  • B&G Electronics – $22,000 (cost went up a little from the quote)
  • Royale Palm Marina – Bottom Paint – $13,000
  • 84 Boatworks – Life raft $3,392
  • Electrical Repairs by Randy – $4,000
  • Home Depot – $300
  • Davis Plumbing – Faucet Repair $207
  • Satellite Phone Store – Iridium Go w/ Marine kit – $2,000
  • RPM Diesel Engine – Spare engine parts – $147
  • Landfall – wooden plugs and other equipment to stop leaks on board – $144
  • EPIRB – purchased from Amazon – $430
  • Misc. Items for ditch bag – $160 (we will do a blog specifically on ditch bag items and safety equipment in the near further)
  • Walmart – Basic household stuff, some provisions, cleaning supplies and items for the galley such as pots, pans, plates, utensils etc. – $736
  • West Marine – this is broken down into two categories; safety items and supplies for the boat such as clamps, hoses, caulking, bilge pumps, oil absorbent sheets, grill, Dacron cords etc.
    • Safety items: jack lines, horn, flares, horseshoe buoy, life sling etc – $851
    • Misc. Equip. : stated above – $1,468
  • Blue water Books and Charts- Paper charts $270 (route covered Florida to California), Electronic charts – $422 (North/South America plus Central America and the Caribbean)
  • Advance Auto Parts – Spare oil (15W40) for the boat – $120
  • Provisioning at Costco & Publix- $750
  • Fuel – Topped off the fuel tanks prior to leaving Florida – $307

Total spent after buying the boat, but prior to leaving Florida was $76,704

Listed below are the businesses and points of contact for the purchases and services mentioned in this blog:

Doyle Sails – Sail purchase and install

Address: 4710-C NW 15th Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33309

Phone: 800-541-7601

Website: http://www.doyleflorida.com

Contact: Bob Meagher III

ABB Marine – B&G electronics purchase and install

Address: 17361 NW 52 Place, Miami, Florida 33055

Phone: 786-357-6184

Contact: Ariel

Royale Palm Marina – Bottom paint and repairs

Address: 629 NE 3rd Street, Dania Beach, Florida, 33004

Phone: 954-923-5900

Contact: Sean (Service Manager)

84 Boatworks – Life raft

Address: 990 W. State Road 84, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33315

Phone: 954-779-7000

Certified Marine Electrician – Electrical upgrades

Address: 1497 SW 49Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33317

Phone: 954-235-6495

Email: randyoberempt@yahoo.com

Contact: Randy Oberempt

RPM Diesel Engine Co. Inc. – Spare parts for engine and generator

Address: 2555 W. State Road 84, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33312

Phone: 800-660-6304

Satellite Phone Store – Iridium Go

Address: 2830 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, California 92106

Phone: 877-943-6383

Website: http://www.satellitephonestore.com

Landfall – Boat safety equipment

Address: 151 Harvard Avenue, Stamford, Connecticut 06902

Phone: 800-941-2219

Website: http://www.landfallnav.com

Chismosa – The purchase

Builder: Cheoy Lee

Designer: Wittolhz

Model Year: 1983

Type: Ketch Sailboat

Gross Weight: 45,000

Hull Material: Fiberglass

Keel: Long Fin / Draft 8’ 6”

Engine: Yanmar 2014 Model: 4JH4TE

Generator: Koehler 8kW Model: 8EOZ

Cabins: 4 / Heads: 2

Hull Color: Light Blue

Bottom Paint: Red (Micron 66)

The purchase of CHISMOSA was a relatively easy buy for Jen and I once we sailed her, but it wasn’t an easy find. In fact, finding the right boat for our family has been a long process. We previously owned a 2000 Catalina 400 MkII (2-cabin design) which we lived on for a period of time and sailed her often in the San Francisco Bay. We loved that boat, but she proved to be too small for our growing family and more of a coastal sailing boat and our plans for that changed as well.

We had spent months looking online for the right boat and have many friends and family members who are experienced with boats of all kinds recommend that we look for boats in Florida.  Simply put, they are cheaper and there is far more inventory there. We hadn’t really explored Florida much during our search because we did not want to buy a boat then have to pay to have it brought to California and I wasn’t sure how my employer would feel about me taking the time off to bring it back myself. We set those concerns aside and simply focused on finding the right boat. If we found one on the east coast then we would just have to figure the rest out from there.

We knew that we wanted stick to a purchase price of $200k or less, but I have to admit, on occasion I would remove the price range from the search engine and some really cool looking boats would pop up. Looking at the really expensive boats was always a bit fun but once we got really serious about our search we stuck to the plan and one day came upon “Chismosa” which means “Gossipy Girl” in Spanish. Her eye-catching photos on the listing quickly drew Jen and I in and from there we learned that although she was a 1983 model, she had gone through a 5-year refit in Cuba from 2009-2014. The boat from bow to stern had a make over with new teak decks, new standing rigging, fridge/freezer, haul paint, bottom paint, masts and booms repainted, new Yanmar engine installed…the works! At first, Jen and  I thought this is too good to be true for the price point of $139K.

We contacted George Ottoni from the Multihull Company in Miami, Florida where the boat was docked and made arrangements to fly out and see her. In November (2017) we arrived to Miami and felt that she was more eye-catching at the dock than she was in the pictures, which was hard for us to believe. We went aboard and found a very open concept design for the living space below. Although the galley has a linear design to it, it’s located to port and is really out of the way for most foot traffic. The settee, nav desk and other living space at the base of the companion way is open and spacious. The newly installed LED lighting provides great light below and each of her 4 cabins are comfortable enough for a 6’ adult. There are two heads both with showers and central air conditioning throughout.

The deck was amazingly wide at 14’ and her overall length of 53’ made her seem really spacious on deck as well. It was nice to see her deck wasn’t cluttered with excess equipment like we had seen on many other boats. All of the wenches, hand holds and hatches were all smartly placed to allow for an optimal work environment when underway. Of course a boat this old did have some minor work that was needed. Some of the wenches needed to be replaced, some light woodwork was needed below and other minor cosmetic issues would need to be fixed at some point, but nothing major. We still needed to sail her and haul her out for a bottom inspection before we could make a decision.

The bottom inspection was done at the Royale Palm Marina located at Dania Beach, Florida and the surveyor we went with for our inspection was Randy Boiko. To haul the boat out for the inspection we were charged $528, which was pretty typical for a haul out. The service team was very contentious of the boat during haul out and ensured that the straps were properly placed. I realize its their job to watch out for the boat, but not all marinas are skilled at this process.  Randy determined there were no glaring issues, but noticed the rudder had some softness to it and would need to be looked at if purchased.

After the splash, the boat was motored into the open water near Port Everglades, Florida for our test sail. Although the sea state at the time consisted of 1-2 meter swells and winds of 22 knots, it wasn’t ‘crazy sailing conditions’ by our standards the captain was a bit hesitate on heading out in those conditions. I insisted we do the short test sail anyway and he agreed. That was when Jen and I were sold on this boat. She handled the wind and waves beautifully. At just over 22 tons, she is heavy enough to feel solid in the open ocean, but not so heavy that her maneuverability was sluggish and slow. It turns out, Jen and I were spot on with her sail-ability as I would later discover when the crew and I left Florida bound for Panama 2 months later. In 42 knots of wind on our beam with only a staysail and mizzen flying with no reefs in she handled the waves and wind without any issue. We also were able to sail with a full compliment of sails (mizzen, staysail, main and genoa) at a speed of 5 knots in only 8 knots of breeze. Her complement of sails and long sleek design made her perfect for so many sailing conditions.

At the time of the inspection, Chismosa was lacking serviceable sails, had no navigational equipment on board and was in need of fresh bottom paint. We ended up negotiating a great price for her and a month later she was ours. This marked the beginning of the basic outfit process she would undergo in order to get her home to San Francisco. Our plan had always been to live on the boat once in California in order to save money and then one day when we were ready…begin cruising as a family. Chismosa had been built in Hong Kong in 1983, owned by an Italian, refit by a Norwegian while living in Cuba and is presently owned and sailed by Americans. For that, we think Chismosa already has an interesting past and its our hope that our family can build upon that by taking her to many places around the world. She sat for nearly 3 years after her refit before we purchased her and we are excited to breathe some new life into her and make her our new home.

In the next blog, I will discuss the basic outfit we did to get her ready for the 4500 nautical mile trip home, the costs in doing that and how we found crew. Below, I listed the contact information for the people and services discussed in this blog in case you are in the Florida area and needed a recommendation.

The Multihull Company  – George Ottoni

Phone: 877-242-3565

Email: george@multihullcompany.com

Royale Palma Marina

629 NE 3rd Street Dania Beach, FL 33004

Service Manager: Sean

Office Phone: 954-923-5900 Cell Phone: 954-495-6897