The Magic of Paint

Our engine, like all good engines, starts.  That’s a desirable trait in an engine. It also doesn’t spew out black smoke and has a consistent chugging tone when in idle.  But if you were to look at our iron-genny (sailor’s term for engine) you’d think she was a relic from WWII.

Ford-Lehman circa 1980

Opening up the engine room doors one would find thin coats of brown corrosion encrusted on the surface.  Not yet a ball of rust, it soon would be if the Captain didn’t save it with a cosmetic intervention.

See the rust dust!

Wiping down the engine, scraping off the years of belt dust & rust left the Captain blacked from his efforts.  But like a movie star who’s lost their luster, a bit of rouge (can of spray paint) can brighten any dull surface.

Making her glow

The overall effect is an engine that looks good as well as runs good.

Two Days of Prep & Two Cans of Spray Paint

Not only did our Ford-Lehman get a new coat of paint.  The handy Captain replaced the fuel lift pump, gaskets, air filter and radiator cap.

So if paint can make an old engine look this good, maybe there is some hope for an old Boat Wife….think spray-on-tan.

Fair Winds


The Tide is High

When the tide is high, we can sail.  If the tide is low, in our marina, we’re stuck in the mud.

So when our friends from Phoenix, Kathy & Scott came to visit, we were lucky to have a high tide to get out of (and back into) our marina.

Perfect day for a sail
Perfect day for a sail

We love to entertain friends and family on our boat.  Sailing is a an active sport that many people can enjoy.  If you like to hoist sails, tack around or just relax in the cockpit, sailing in a gentle breeze is where it’s at.

Kathy, Kelly & Scott
Kathy, Kelly & Scott

Not only was the tide high, the weather cooperated.  So the stars were aligned for a day on the water.

Kelly Girl at the Helm

This is not a common thing…in fact, in the morning, while we were giving a presentation of our World Circumnavigation to the Lakewood Yacht Club, outside the weather was active with thunder and lightening.

But by 2:00pm we had beautiful skies and 13knots of wind to fill our sails.

Honored to be given a LYC burgee

Being with friends on the water has been some of our fondest memories.  We’re glad Scott & Kathy could be a part of it.

Fairs Winds,

Boat Wife



Cockpit Teak Tearout

Trini still has a few leaks to work on. Our project this week was to tackle the old teak in the cockpit.  In hard rain, water would drip down into our engine room and sea locker.



We had two options to fix this.
Option One:  Replace the old teak with new.  Not only is it  labor intensive and an expensive option, we would need to varnish the teak and maintain it annually.

Option Two: Pull up the teak, seal up the holes with epoxy then prime and paint where the teak once was.  Little to no maintenance afterward.

We picked option two.

Pulling up the teak
Pulling Up the Teak
Finding a Healthy Layer of Mud Under It


Once the teak was up and the benches cleaned, Capt. Kelly sealed each hole with epoxy to keep the rain out.  There were a lot of holes to seal.



After two coats of primer and a coat of sanded paint. (The sand is to prevent slipping when standing on the seats.)  The cockpit was ready to go.  So we took our friends, visiting from Phoenix, Kathy & Scott for a sail in Galveston Bay.

One item we will add are cockpit cushions to make it a more comfy ride.

Kathy & Capt. Kelly enjoying the cockpit
Scott enjoying the bow

Sailing Happy!

The Boat Wife

Kathy & the Boat Wife (Kelly)


A Sea of Green

Around Here:  The heavy spring rains knock loose the Hydrilla that flourish in Clear Creek.  Green rafts of Hydrilla drift into Clear Lake.  The marina we are in seems to attract the floating foliage and this is a problem.

As you can see it’s take over a few of the slips.

Hydrilla 1

The staff works at scooping it out, one pitchfork at a time.


Hydrilla 5


According to our dock neighor, Jack this Sea of Green will eventually rot in the brackish water causing a stench in the heat and then eventually sink to the bottom of an already shallow marina.  That’s why this young 80-something is on his knees to pull it out.



Kelly decided to give him a hand.



I’ve noticed that it also brings in spiders, snakes & who knows what other creatures.  The only good thing I see from the hydrilla is a pretty flower that blooms from it.

hydrilla 4

That’s the news around here.

Fair Winds from the Boat Wife.


Rainfall – Houston vs. Seattle

Every other week it seems like rain is in our Houston area forecast.  So it begs the question…Does it rain more in Houston or  Seattle (where we used to live)?

Marina Rain
Rain Cloud Form Over our Marina

According to this site….Average Annual Precipitation by City

Houston Gets  More Rain!

149 Days of Rain 37.7 inches

104 Days of Rain 49.8 inches

But Seattle has the reputation of a rainy city.  Our observation is that Seattle has more “drizzle” rain days – 149 in fact.  Where as the rain in Houston, like a NFL Line Backer, hits you hard and fast.

Driving the glistening streets of Houston, we compare our rain experiences in the two cities.  When we arrive at the marina, we stop the car, open our umbrellas and race back to the dry, comfy boat.

Driving in the RainApril Showers Bring May Flowers

Fair Winds!

Boat Wife

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

Trini’s Bug Proofing

The weather is warming up and the bugs are coming out.  Instead of buying expensive screens for our hatches (hundreds of dollars), we decided to make our own for less than $15.

The following items needed to make these screen covers

  • Black screen material from Home Depot
  • An old black rope (ours came with the boat)
  • A sewing machine & black thread

This is what we did to make the screens.

We sized the material over an opened hatch and pinned the seams together.

Pining the screen around the hatch
Pining the screen around the hatch


Then put the rope around the base and pinned it in place.  The rope’s weight keeps the screen on the hatch.

Pins come in handy


I sewed it up and Walla!  A new screen that keeps out mosquitoes, wasps and cockroaches.

Bug Proofed!
Bug Proofed!


This is Bug Proofing on a budget.  We know this works since we had made similar screens for Moorea when we cruised and they stayed on even in windy anchorages.

Fair Winds,

The Domestic Boat Wife


The Answer Plus A Snake


This post contains the answer to last week’s post of “What Is It?” and we found a Water Snake.  What Kind?  Who knows.

 An Update and The Answer:

What is it?
What is it?


Last week we asked if anyone knew what this red contraption was.  We weren’t sure it was for a sailboat.

We had some good guesses come our way, but they just didn’t seem to be right.  Then the Captain’s brother, Chris posted our question & photos online.  Nephew, Joey posted the question on Reddit.  The inquiring minds from the Reddit world got involved and provided an answer and photos.

Turns out this is a Universal Mast Base for a Windsurfer….a vintage windsurfer since the design of windsurfers have evolved over the years.

See the part in action!


dufourmast bicdufourbase

Whew!  Mystery solved.

Thanks for the answer guys.


Now the Snake:

The marina is loaded with Hydrilla – a bed of prop-tangling floating foliage.   Turns out it brings in critters.  The other day the Captain walked past a raft of Hydrilla, right next to the dock, and spotted a snake resting on top of it just a few feet away!  (Insert screaming here.)

What kind of water snake is this?


The marina staff said it was a Water Moccasin.  Then said it could jump four-feet.  Of course, a Water Moccasin is poisonous.

We’re not sure if this is a Water Moccasin.  Any snake experts out there?

The Boat Wife…watching where she steps.