Painting the Nonskid

Built in 1980, the scars and repairs from 38 years of use were scattered all over Trini’s deck.  Old hardware, like snap buttons and common-sense fasteners were broken and rusty.  When we washed the decks, a white milky water would float around the boat.

Trini needed new paint.

We asked a couple of freelance boat painters/maintenance professionals that could do the work on our dock, they quoted us around $5,000.  Cheap compared to local boat yards but still too much for our budget.

After months of putting off this project and debating which paint to use, we started to hear good things about Kiwi Grip.   Its a popular nonskid paint with cruisers and a few boat owners  on our dock had used it.   We heard it was easy to apply and they liked how their decks turned out.



Now that we decided on the paint, we had no more excuses.

The can of paint comes with a stippled roller that creates the texture on the non-skid.  When you open the can you will immediately notice the consistency is like pudding.

To paint we gathered the following items

  • 4″ roller
  • Not shown  but we used a 9″ roller and put two of the small rollers on it for large areas
  • tape – tape around non-skid
  • exacto knife – trim tape
  • wire brush – rough up surface
  • trowel –  spread paint
  • cardboard box –  for the pealed off tape

We used a 2.5 gallon bucket to mix the tint into the paint.  The white was too white, this is why we decided to have it tinted.

Here’s the gist of what we did.

  1. Wash surface area.
  2. Tape off area and hardware, hand rails, etc.
  3. Rough up surface with wire brush (avoid tape).
  4. Wipe area down with acetone.
  5. Scoop paint out with cup & trowel over surface.
  6. Follow up with roller to add texture.
  7. Take off tape within minutes after rolling the texture.

You can find a step-by-step video from PYI Inc and additional painting tips.


Applying the paint was easy but we had to work fast in the warm weather.  The captain would apply the paint and roll on the texture.  I would follow behind and pull the tape.

One tip, don’t leave the tape on too long.  The paint can quickly dry to the tape and you can end up tearing off the paint with the tape.  You end up leaving a jagged edge instead of a smooth line.

We worked on this project over many weekends, painting sections at a time starting at the stern and working our way forward.  The most time consuming task on the project was taping.


Now we have a skid free deck.


Happy Sailing!

From the painting Boat Wife.

Hooray for Laundry Day!

Laundry day can be a chore, but I like doing laundry at my marina.

I have two washers and two dryers to use.  Plus an ironing board if I get the urge to unwrinkle.


From the elevated laundry room, I have a waterfront view.


We also have a small book shelf where books and magazines are up for grabs.


I get some of our best reading materials here and sometimes nautical charts.

Even if I have tones of laundry to do.  I think back to our cruising days when a toilet plunger ( solely dedicated for laundry) and cooler were part of the laundry duties.

Within a couple of hours, the task is done and I am on my way.


Happy Sailing!

First Mate, Kelly

A Quick Haul-Out

Trini’s bottom was dirty.  She had a furry algae growing around the water line.  It was three years ago we pulled her out for a paint job, so it was time to give her a new bottom.

First we had to find a boat yard that would let us do our own work.  The only place in the Clear Lake area that didn’t require us to hire their staff to work on our boat was Starship Marina.

We save money, doing our own work since the going rate to hire skilled workers is around $75-$100 per hour.  Plus if something isn’t done right, we can only blame ourselves.

Even without paying for labor, the cost for a haul-out can add up.  For the haul-out, it’s $10 per foot plus $2 per foot to pressure wash the hull.  It also includes the yard blocking up the boat and placing a tarp under the vessel.  Then another $0.85 per foot for the daily yard rate.  This is a bargain considering the yard is located next to our marina and the only other yard we could do our own work in was Pier-77, located in Galveston, a day sail away.

Then there is the cost of the supplies.  Like the anti-fouling paint, a Regatta Red with 45% copper content.  It costs $125 per gallon.  We purchased 4 gallons for two coats on the hull.  We had just enough to do the job.

Other supplies to factor in…

  • Sand Paper
  • Plastic to tent the hull when sanding
  • Buffing Compound & Wax
  • Plus our hotel stay

Planning on two full days in the yard to sand and paint, we arranged to have her hauled out at 8:45 am on a Thursday and drop her back in the water on Saturday morning.  Hopefully we would have time to buff and wax the sides and stern.

Once Trini was on the slings, we knew the bottom paint we applied 3 years before had held up well.

There was barnacle build up on the rudder.

Barnacles on the prop.


And in some areas, a little black slim that was removed with the pressure washer.

The zinc on our propeller shaft, one we replaced right before Hurricane Harvey less than 3 months ago, was shot.


It was three hours, for two people to prep the boat and sand the 42′ hull.

Covered in toxic red dust after sanding the bottom we decided to paint the next day.


After a few hours of painting…

Trini had a new bottom.

And with a little help from a couple of guys in the yard (paid them 100 bucks) we got the sides buffed and waxed.

To see the improvements we made, here’s the Before Photo

And the After Photo

And That’s a Quick Haul-Out.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

First Mate, Kelly


10 Galley Items I Wouldn’t Leave the Dock Without

When cruising many of the culinary delights I made from the galley were from scratch. Having certain items on board, besides the usual assortment of galley gadgets like a potato peeler, can make the experience of home (or boat) cooking easier and more enjoyable. Below is the list I wouldn’t leave without and the reasons why.

Pressure Cooker
This gadget can cook a tender three pound chicken in less than twenty minutes and uses little propane. I also cook my own beans for soups, stews and chili. One of my favorite uses of the pressure cooker when cruising was canning meat. Since I had limited refrigeration and no freezer space, I canned chicken, beef and even hamburger to use in recipes on long passages.

Mason Jars
Not just for canning, I use mason jars to store spices I buy in bulk and to sprout. On long passages and remote anchorages, I would sprout mung beans using a 2 pint jar and screen mesh on the opening. After soaking the beans overnight then rinsing them three times a day, I would have edible mung beans in two to three days.

A Variety of Cook Books
I have about fifteen cookbooks on hand. It helps me stay creative in the galley especially when most of our meals come out of it. I have a large assortment of recipes to choose from. Its handy to grab a book and look through the pages for ideas especially when no internet is available to Google a new recipe. When cruising, I was glad to have my ethnic recipes along. My Sunset Mexican cookbook came in handy at the Mexican markets since it had photos and descriptions of the common ingredients used in the cuisine. Also my Mediterranean cookbook provided plenty of recipes in the various countries we visited while cruising the Med. But if I had to choose only three books I would pick the following.

Betty Crocker, The Big Red Cookbook – This is the encyclopedia of cooking. With 1500 recipes to choose from it provides tips and tricks for beginning cooks to the seasoned chef and the choices of tasty meals are endless.

Lean Bean Cuisine- As stated on its cover “Over 100 tasty meatless recipes from around the world.” This is a practical cruising cook book. It’s compact and offers vegetarian bean recipes with ingredients you can get from most places around the world. This is also an excellent resource for a dish you can bring to a cruiser potluck.


Vegan Planet – I am not a vegan or vegetarian. I call myself a flex-a-tarian since I do eat meat, but choose to eat more plant based foods than ones that moo. This book offers a large variety of practical recipes with most ingredients being accessible in many ports.

Tortilla Press
Right when we arrived in Tonga we craved fish tacos but couldn’t find a good tortilla. Our friends on s/v Ohana Kai purchased a homemade tortilla press in Mexico. My husband copied the designed so when we found the masa or corn flour we were set to make a patch of tortillas. Just eating them straight off the griddle was heaven.

Coffee Grinder
Call me a coffee snob but I prefer grinding my coffee beans to get the freshest cup of jo I can. The coffee grinder can also grind granulated sugar into powered sugar, but the sugar might have a tiny coffee flavor. Bonus!

French Press – I like to have two presses on board, one only for coffee and one for only for tea, which I only put tea leaves in….does that make me a tea snob too?

Small Iron Skillet
After throwing out a couple of Teflon pans where the coating was coming off, I knew I needed a pan that was eco-friendly and nontoxic. I found it in New Zealand, an American made iron skillet. I had considered getting one before we left the States but worried it would become a ball of rust. I took my chances, made sure I kept it oiled and it’s been a trusty, not rusty, galley companion for over ten years.

Lemon/Lime Hand Squeezer
I picked this up in La Paz, Mexico for about a buck. Easy-peasy to use and I can flavor my water with a squeeze of my hand extracting every drop of juice from the fruit.

Rolling Pin
If you’re cooking from scratch like pizza doughs or pie crusts, this is a must. I prefer the long French Rolling Pin (it tapers at the ends). I have two uses for it, cooking and keeping the Captain in line.
Vita Mix
Vita Mix is a blender on steroids. I didn’t cruise with it the first time around the world but I sure want to the second time around. Why? It blends smoothies, shakes, sauces, and soups. I can also make peanut butter and almond milk using this gadget. The problem is convincing the Captain, also known as The Amp Warden, to let me take it when we cut the dock lines. His arguments are, it takes too many amps and it’s too large. Where’s my rolling pin?

So, that’s my galley list.  It keeps the galley food interesting and tasty but to be honest, I do have a few more tips to pull off some of the meals I conjure up, which I won’t give away just yet…because the key to being a good cook is keeping a few culinary tips a secret.

The Boat Wife


Captain’s Work

The title of Captain has a lofty ring to it. For me it brings up images of a solitary sole at the helm of a vessel guiding it through a storm or one of my Captain trimming sails and checking on navigation.

But being a Captain has many roles and if the Captain is hands-on, there are many duties they perform.  Here are some examples…

Working in the chain locker, painting and resealing the wood.


 Checking the rigging up the Mast.


Hunched over the workbench repairing storage doors.


Or hunched over a greasy windless.


Working on bedding down the handrails.


Helping the First Mate with a sewing project.


Sealing holes on the cap rail.


Taking out the microwave his First Mate didn’t want.


But the best is grilling off the stern.

This is a glimpse into the life of my Captain on his boat.

He’s hard working, handy and as his Boat Wife, I think he’s also nice to look at.

Fair Winds!



Tanks for Water

One chore on Trini  is filling the fresh water tanks.  We fill the tanks once a month.  Each tank holds about 100 gallons.

Water Tanks
Boat Wife filling the tank – Where’s the Captain

Most of our water usage is for washing dishes or our hands and drinking water.  (We shower at the marina showers).

As I fill the tanks on deck, the Captain monitors the amount below by sticking a dowel in the tank to determine how full it gets.

Water Deck Plate
Water Deck Plate

To make this chore easier, we could hook up a water-line to our boat but this can pose a couple of problems.

  1. If a hose in the water-line breaks, it could flood our boat with water.  So much water our bilge pump wouldn’t keep up, which could sink the boat.
  2. Its another step to unhook the line so we can go sailing.

But if we do decide to make it easier, I wouldn’t want to.   During this chore I get to visit with my dock neighbor, Sasha.  She also diligently supervises our water-filling responsibilities.

Sasha - the Water Works Supervisor
Sasha, The Water Works Supervisor


Have a Great Weekend & Fair Winds!

The Boat Wife – Tankful for Water