Landfall in Bimini | MaryRose V | Sea Crest Marina

We made landfall in Bimini in the Bahama's on 1-29-2011 at 1300. We took a slip at the Sea Crest Marina after a short 10 hour passage from Angel Fish Cut at Key Largo, FL.

We hauled anchor at 0300 and made an early morning pass through a well marked channel through the reef at Angel Fish Cut of the north end of Key Largo, FL. The winds were forecast out of the north at 10 with 2-3 ft waves. By the time we hit the Gulf Stream, the wind was 20 and gusting to 25+ and some of the waves were 8-10 with a 5 - 8 second period. It was a bit rough and some of the crew were a bit uncomfortable. The last third of the crossing was quite comfortable and uneventful. We motored less than one hour the entire passage and saw speeds of 7 kts across the stream.

We all went to the beach after we finished boat chores and the beach was loaded with beautiful sea glass. Collecting sea glass is a favorite pass time of the Admiral she was in Sea Glass Heaven. Lilly and Jess collected shells and the Captain stood guard over the crew.

Sea Crest Hotel and Marina (marina) is a comfortable and clean marina with an easy approach. The cost as of this writing is $1 per foot (35 ft minimum), electricity is $15/day and water is thirty cents per gallon. The dock water in clean pure RO water and tastes great. Pat and Mike are quite helpful and attentive to guests.

There are several large Tarpon in excess of 48 inches that cruise the marina and last night we had an eight foot bull shark make a few passes as well.

We will leave in the morning to cross the Bahama Bank from North Rock (just north of Bimini) to the Northwest Shoal on the eastern edge of the banks. We will spend the night at anchor near the east edge of the banks and then continue to Nassau the next morning. We will update the blog and post photos as we are able.

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Angelfish Creek Anchorage at Angelfish Cut near Biscayne Bay, FL.

Safe at anchor for the evening and set for an early morning departure.
Current location is approximately:

Degrees Minutes Seconds:
Latitude: 25-20'08'' N
Longitude: 080-15'45'' W

Decimal Degrees:
Latitude: 25.3356707
Longitude: -80.262552

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We have four souls aboard and will be headed east, 55 NM, to Bimini for well deserved relaxation and sunshine. We are seeing beautiful natural sea life near Biscayne National Park.

01.28.2011 1519 CST / SM



We are in Marathon Florida at Burdine's Marina. We moved here today from Pancho's Fuel Dock and Marina. Burdine's is great with clean restrooms, laundry and restaurant on site. Pancho's is NOT on our list of recommended marinas. However, they are a VALVTECT certified fueling dock. The restrooms are dirty, poorly stocked and not very cruiser friendly. Some of the full time resident live aboard were very helpful. Our Special thanks to Captain Jack for all of his assistance.

We had some minor damage to our cap rail and that has been repaired as well as a new salt water rinse pump installed and new cockpit speakers. We will leave Marathon in the morning and anchor in the middle keys and maybe move along north before making a Gulf Stream Crossing to Bimini sometime next week when the conditions permit.

All is well and we are all adapting to the cruising lifestyle. The admiral will be writing some more fantastic blogs in the very near future.


Boca Chica to Marathon | Cruising South Florida Coast 2011

Sailing Vessel: Mary Rose V
Departed Boca Chica, Fl / Key West at approximately 1100 hours EST.
Destination: Marathon, FL
Distance: approximately 40 nm
ETA: 1900 EST

(sm 10:38CST)


2011 Sailing to Bahamas via Marathon, Florida | Cruising Sailing | Captain Montgomery

01.21.2011~0600 EST
Sailing Vessel Mary Rose with four (4) souls aboard set sail.

Departed: St. Petersburg, FL
Destination: Marathon, FL
ETA: mid to late day January, 23, 2011.


Henry David Thoreau Quote | Favorite

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like the fabric of our own lives:
so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest,
so noisy and impatient when least effective."

Henry David Thoreau:


Sailboat Portlight Repair | Westsail 32 | Maryrose V

Mary Rose had two portlights that had soft wood below them from moisture penetration. The portlight in the v-berth was simply a matter of rebidding the framework, sanding and painting. However the portlight over the navigation station was a bit more complicated. Listed below are the steps that were involved in repairing the water damage to the wood under the portlight.
1. Remove the portlight and frame.

2. Cut, scrape and pull away all damaged wood under the portlight.

3. Cut a piece of marine plywood that is slightly thinner than damaged area to the approximate dimensions of the damaged area.
4. Mix some thickened epoxy and epoxy the plywood into place and let it set to the stage where you can just barely make a nail print into the epoxy.

5. Add additional thickened epoxy to fill in the voids and let sit overnight.
6. Sand the entire area smooth with 80 grit and round the opening to the desired diameter to accept the portlight framework.
7. Add additional coats of epoxy mixed with faring material until the damage area in built up even with or beyond the original area and let the epoxy set up completely.
8. Sand the faring compound to a final finish and then lightly brush with non thickened epoxy.
9. Sand, Prime, Paint

10. We cleaned our bronze portlight framework with ospho and rinsed them with fresh water.
11. Replace the portlight framework with suitable material. We used SIS 440 to bed our portlights.

Start to finish took three days to allow epoxy to set up properly.

Westsail 32 Shower Pan Removed – Mary Rose V

We decided to remove the shower pan since we do not shower inside the boat. We only shower ashore or in the cock pit. We picked up several square feet of storage for plastic, brass and hoses as these items are not subject to corrosion from the dampness of below waterline storage.
It was a fairly simple procedure. We used the Fein multi-master tool to cut out the old pan and then sanded the edges. We then sanded and painted the area and then stored seldom used items in the space.
Great modification for us with little effort and expense resulting in some useful added storage.

Here are a few photos to show the process.


Marine 12 Volt DC Refrigeration | Cool Blue™ Marine Refrigeration | Westsail 32 Mary Rose V

One of the things we learned on our 2010 extended cruise was that our refrigeration system used way too much energy out of the battery bank. We have a 440 amp hour capacity and 330 watts of solar panels and we could not keep up without running the engine to top off the battery bank. Our old refrigeration unit used about 125 amp hours per 24 hour period. The Cool Blue Marine refrigeration unit by Technautics, Inc is up and running with a consumption rate of less than 30 amps per 24 hour period.
We purchased our unit at the St Petersburg, FL boat show in December of 2010. Randy was very helpful in explaining the unit and giving us consultative services on how to rebuild our refrigeration box so the cold plate would fit properly. We showed up at the boat show with detailed drawings of our current refrigerator box and Randy gave us excellent advice.
We cut out the bottom 2/3 of the fore and aft sections of the outboard end of the fridge box.
We also cut wood off the forward side of the fridge box behind the dinette settee. All of the old insulation was removed so we could install the highest r-value per inch of any insulation commonly available. We also used lots of canned foam insulation to make sure that everything was sealed well. The main insulation was Rmax, a rigid polyisocyanurate foam insulation that is lightweight, easy to handle and easy to cut. It has a foil barrier on one side and a plastic paper barrier on the other. We used ¾ inch material which has an R rating of 5.0. We were able to reach the bottom of the box by removing the water tanks in the bilge and placing additional insulation under the fridge box in the area of the drain plug. We filled the drain plug and glassed over the opening to prevent loss of cold air from the box.
We then used the pieces of the fridge that we cut out as a pattern to make new side pieces and a new wider bottom piece. The old sides made matching the radius quite simple. The local fiberglass supplier was extremely helpful with the tools, supplies and technique to build the fiberglass replacement parts for the fridge.
I made each of the three parts a bit larger and trimmed them to fit. The bottom had to be split down the middle and installed in two pieces and then glassed back together. The bottom was simply glassed and screwed into place since the old box bottom was still in place.
The sides were slid into place and held tight with screws and then glassed to seal it up and make a smooth finish. The wood that was removed from behind the settee was not replaced as this allowed for an additional layer of insulation. The hole was covered externally with ½ inch black Starboard.
We painted the interior of the fridge with Signature Finish™ paint. http://www.signaturefinish.com
We then insulated the top under the counter on the outboard end and the box was ready to install the cold plate, divider ,freezer racks, compressor and thermostat.
We cut a new access hatch in the inboard compartment under the settee next to the fridge box to make the installation easier.
We are very happy with the ease of installation of the unit. We could have easily installed the unit in less than a day if we did not have to enlarge the fridge box. My thanks to Randy for all of his .consultative help. Visit the Cool Blue web site for more information. http://www.technauticsinc.com
Another benefit of the Cool Blue system is that the divider allows you to increase your freezer capacity.

Tampa Bay Sailboat Rigging | Mast Rewiring | Westsail 32 |SSMR

One of our major projects that needed to be completed before our next long distance cruise was the rewiring of the mast. It could have been done by lowering the mast but we choose to remove the mast to complete this project. We pulled the mast a day before we hauled out to do the bottom work. We used SSMR on Salt Creek in St Petersburg. They are located right across from the Harborage Marina High and Dry boat storage and fuel docks. Our haul out location was right next door at a do it yourself yard.
The crew at SSMR (Steve, Andrew and Jennifer) is exceptional and has extensive rigging experience. They allowed me to wire the mast myself and were eager to offer consultative assistance. I purchased some of the new fixtures from SSMR but also had some of my own from other vendors.
Steve and Andrew assisted with the Mast removal after I had the rig loosened and ready to go. The tabernacle hinge pin was seized inside of the compression tube and we had a bit of difficulty removing it. We used a load of rigging anti-seizing grease when we replaced the pin. Bud Taplin shipped a new pin and it was delivered two days before the mast was ready to be stepped.
The old mast wiring was wrapped in black foam that began to deteriorate and was spewing flicks of black foam all over the deck out of the bottom of the mast opening. The old wire was not tinned and had started to corrode and become brittle. We had a wire break off of the steaming light last year in Puerto Rico. It was just tired; it had served well over time but was due to be replaced.
We installed a new VHF antenna, LED tri-color nav light, LED anchor light and a steaming light with a forward deck spot. We also installed a new SSB antenna. We used stainless rigging wire and attached one end to the topping lift tang with several lashings of high strength small diameter rope through the eye that was swaged on the end of the rigging wire. The other end was lashed to the radar tower on the stern of the boat using the same method as the upper end. The rope will serve as insulators just as a halyard would on a halyard hoisted antennae. Total cost was only $78 for the SSB antenna.
We pulled the wire into a 1½ inch PVC conduit that had opening cut into it for the wires to exit at the various sites. We then inserted the conduit into the mast and fastened it with rivets to secure it solid to the mast. The wiring and fixture install took about three days to complete. Steve and Andrew from SSMR checked in often and gave me excellent guidance along the way.
We removed all tangs and thoroughly cleaned and inspected them. Mast pins were replaced and greased to prevent seizing in the future. SSMR completed a detailed inspection of all standing rigging. We are in good shape and ready for another extended cruise.
We stepped the mast, tuned the rig, made all of the electrical connections and moved Mary Rose back to her slip at the Harborage Marina.
SSMR is certainly on our preferred vendor list and we highly recommend them for your rigging needs. You can contact them at 727-823-4800 Please tell them that Mary Rose sent you and take them to lunch and they will show you a place called Munch’s. A wonderful breakfast and lunch spot in the same place for over 50 years.


brief update

Here is a brief update to explain why we have not posted on our blog recently. This is a list of items that have been completed on Mary Rose V since we arrived in St Petersburg this Fall. Paint and insulate the inside of the hull, new headliner in the v-berth, paint the inside of the cabin top sides, repair and re-bedded two port lights, epoxy coat the underside of the deck and insulate and cover with FRP panel, sand the entire interior on all wood surfaces back to raw wood and refinish, refinish cabin sole, install new shut off valve on port fuel tank, install salt water rinse in galley sink, move exhaust thru-hull to above waterline, remove old transducer and repair hull, install hinged strainer covers to raw water intakes, moved engine raw water intake to lower bilge area, new bottom paint, removed mast and performed complete PM and replacement of all warn parts, installed 1½ inch conduit in mast and rewired the entire mast, installed new vhf antennae, SSB antennae, LED tri-color & light, anchor light, steaming light and forward deck spot light, sanded and refinished all brightwork, installed new Blue Cool refrigeration unit, enlarged refrigerator box and re-insulated the fridge box, installed cabin sole hatch locks, installed new alternator temperature sensor, rebuilt the raw water side of the engine, installed locking devices on cabin lockers and drawers painted bilge and installed new water tanks, installed AIS receiver and complete SSB communication system with weather fax. The Admiral has been working very very long hours in addition to helping with boat repairs as she is able. We are down to a very short list and will be on our way to ports further south on or about January 15, 2011 Stay tuned for more updates.