Looking Ahead to Casting Off

If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you know that we’re preparing to launch off from our home base in Portland Oregon come May. We’re a family of four: Brenden, Rachel, Evan, and Kali. Almost five years ago, we hatched a dream of changing our lives as we knew them: selling our suburban home, moving aboard a sailboat with our kids, and traveling the world.

We’ve sold the house. We’ve found, purchased, and moved aboard our 40-foot sailboat, and been living aboard full-time now for nearly 2 1/2 years. We haven’t yet struck out on any kind of adventure that could be called traveling the world.

But, that’s about to change. Perhaps in a small way, for some, and considering our overall plans, but in a big way for us, in that this summer’s adventures involve some we’ve never experienced before… and which are a vital step in the overall path toward true world traveling.

Preparing for an Ocean Voyage

However, before we can cast off toward the Puget Sound this May, we still have many boat projects to address to get our boat, Mosaic, ready for an ocean passage.

This trip will see us leave our home marina of the past 2 1/2 years. We will travel almost a hundred miles downriver and will have to cross the treacherous Columbia River Bar. We’ll have a licensed captain with us on what will be Brenden’s and my first time out in the open ocean on a sailboat, and will make our way up the Washington coast and into the Puget Sound.

Must-Do Boat Projects

Brenden heading into the sailboat's aft lazarette on a boat project

Snapped this pic just this morning as Brenden dove into clearing everything out of the aft lazarette in order to start on the steerage gear project.

Living on a boat, we’ve come to understand that the list of boat projects which need doing at any given time, will never end. However, despite the $40,000+ which we spent on Mosaic last year in a major refit, we’ve still got more projects to complete before she’s seaworthy for ocean passage.

Here’s our list, as it stands right now, of projects to complete before we can leave our home slip and venture out the mouth of the Columbia River. Out onto the ocean.

  • Rig inner forestay
  • Rig running backstays
  • Purchase & install new bilge pumps
  • Replace chain & cable for steerage, clean steering quadrant
  • Anchoring system to functional
  • Prop shaft alignment
  • Install new VHF
  • Install new chart plotters
  • Decide on, set up, and test back up navigation system
  • Investigate emergency steerage system
  • Install reefing system
  • Register dinghy
  • Design, fab, and install stern pole
  • Construct steerage gear protection box
  • Replace dodger windows
  • Fix leaking deck drain
  • Fabricate bracket for engine cooling pipe
  • Replace lifelines
  • Address propane locker
  • Figure out swim ladder/boarding ladder
  • Service compass
  • Liferaft: rent/borrow/buy for passage north
  • Cultivate emergency plans
  • Design & build/make lee cloths
  • Design dinghy & outboard stowage for offshore
  • Purchase & install new roller furler
  • Kit out base spare kit
  • Design & install preventer setup
  • Refab latches inside engine shroud
  • Replace cockpit drain thruhulls
  • Replace portlight latch
  • Rebuild/service mainsheet winch

That’s no problem, right? After all, we’ve got 2 1/2 months until May…

I think my new mantra needs to be: “One thing at a time, Rachel. One thing at a time.”

But, one positive! This should give us LOTS of fodder for upcoming blog posts. Here we go! ~Rachel

PNW Frost on the docklines this winter

3 thoughts on “Looking Ahead to Casting Off

  1. Hey, guys! Just.want to put in a plug for using an iPad instead of investing in a whole chart plotter system. If you’re starting from scratch with your nav stuff, you can get two iPads–one for backup–and have affordable, up-to-date navigation that can be updated worldwide via the web, AND have another way to watch movies. Just make sure you get a tablet that’s 4G (or otherwise cell-service) enabled; they have internal GPS that will work with iNavix or whatever charting app you pick. We used this system for 2 years and were super-happy with it, and I know Michael and Windy on DelViento did the same. We protected our gear with Lifeproof case and mounted it at the helm, in an easy-to-remove-but-secure holder, also form Lifeproof. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions. Cheers!

    –Deb, s/v Milou


    • Hi Deb! Thank you! We may very well end up with an iPad for another backup but we were able to get a really good price on the chart plotter we bought so it’s already purchased. If not for the deal we got, we likely wouldn’t have purchased a chart plotter at all, but it worked out! 🙂 Just need to finish the install.

      Anyway, I just took a few moments and read your latest couple of blog posts. So interesting! How are you doing? I didn’t see – where are you settled in now? Hope you’re well. Thanks! -Rachel


  2. Pingback: Mosaic Crew Boat Budget: February 2019 – and a Finance Announcement! | Mosaic Voyage

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