Happy boaty October

11 Oct

Boo! Fall has definitely arrived, with temperatures getting cooler.

Helm hatch

23 Sep

Here is the probably the final bimini post – as the next canvas posts will be all about the dodger (second gulp). Excited and nervous to work with vinyl window material. Looking forward to changing a few annoying things there too! I reserve the right to bore you all with more bimini details though. The original bimini had some vinyl fabric strips over the spans to prevent chafing and wear. I can’t decide if this is good design or overkill since everything else wore out first. Since this fabric has a fully waterproof PVC backing, any sewing introduces holes, so there’s that…

The annoying thing I decided to change in the bimini was the shape of the helm hatch. The old hatch was an arch shape, with two zippers that met in the middle of the arch. Time and weathering really affected the arch and the zipper workability. I decided to throw it out and go with straight lines. While this may not be the most elegant design, I know it will fully zip every time. I don’t think it looks too bad either – what do you all think? We also added a velcro strip to hold the hatch open when we are sailing – something we are thrilled about! The old design required some bungees that were known to pop off and snap a helmsman in the head. Guess that’s one way to stay awake!



I think I have become Sailrite’s new best customer…


12 Sep

Okay, so a bimini isn’t REALLY alive, but shouting this out feels right! Not fully finished, but done enough to put up for the first rains of fall. It’s got a bit of a sag on the starboard side, but that’s intentional as there’s more sewing on that side needed. Next step will be to cut in the hatch opening for helm, add the zippers to the front for the new dodger (gulp), and the zipper pockets for the center panel.



Jigsaw puzzle time

14 Aug

For Robin’s first canvas project, I am using the old and VERY worn out canvas to piece together a new one. I could have made all new templates, but this design works well. Andy spent a week ripping all the seams apart for me – very fiddly work – since the old canvas was so worn it would rip before the threads.

Now, having bought some fully waterproof new canvas, it’s time to lay it all out in our storage unit. How to maximize the new fabric and make it all fit…quite a jigsaw puzzle.


Robin’s new toy

25 Jul

Last week I got a new toy…a super fancy Sailrite sewing machine! I’ve almost purchased this about ten times, and always got scared away by the price. BUT, knowing the cost of a professionally made bimini/enclosure, I know it will be worth it.

So, I finally bit the sewing lure and did it. This machine is so beautiful, and I love the rock and roll case (just ignore the dirty carpet). Only issue is that at 80 pounds, it’s not the lightest thing to move around.

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Next post…tackling a bimini replacement!


You know it’s time to cast off the dock lines when…

16 May


Sundance Fire

12 Mar

Two weeks ago a large marina warehouse burned to the ground, destroying 350 boats, about a 1/4 mile away from Tango. Today, after weeks of continued rain the smell is still noxious and probably contains pockets of smoldering heat. Tango, and many other boats in the rows near us, were covered with a gritty, petroleum soot.

Glad that we hadn’t done any spring cleaning yet, and thankful we didn’t catch on fire, we spent the weekend trying to scrub off the worst of it.


View of warehouse debris from Tango

After much scrubbing, we got to a point that was less gritty and smudgy. Once the rain stops (haha), we’ll have to get on our hands and knees and detail her thoroughly, but isn’t that’s a part of spring cleaning anyway? Time to buy a few boxes of magic eraser!


Before and after – took three passes. 1) gel, 2) on and off, and then 3) magic eraser…which really is magic

Learning to ski

1 Feb

This week we found ourselves a cabin on Mount Hood and gave the girls a day of ski lessons at Mount Hood Meadows. It’s a shame to live so close to a beautiful mountain and not enjoy it! Plus last year was a record low for snowfall on Mount Hood, and most of the ski lifts never opened.

Both the girls enjoyed their day. Andy had no trouble picking up his great skiing skills, and Robin attempted to not fall off the top of the lift. We all make it home in one piece, so mission success.


Another year

29 Dec

It’s been quite a year for the Beck crew, as we have adapting to a larger land life with our first full year back in Portland. These including things like selling the adventure bus, buying an electric car, modifying our home situation to help out an aging family member, moving to a long-term home marina (which is much trickier in this area than the east coast!), making new Portland friends, selling our Maryland house, saying goodbye to an old doggy friend, gaining two new rescue doggy daughters, visiting London, and changing a job. Perhaps we did need a stationary year to find time to breath and center…although we are still sailing nomads at heart.

We look ahead to the joys a new year brings, hopefully with more boating adventures in the Northwest (for now). We want to wish you all a lovely New Year as well!


Happy boaty holidays

24 Dec

From our crew to yours!