Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Boat Repairs, Part 3: In the Water. Plus, a quick update.


Here’s another post that I wrote months ago (literally) and never got around to posting…. my apologies, dear Readers!

Celeste received a lot of TLC this winter, both at the boatyard and once we got back in the water. winter-sailing-2

Here’s what we did in the marina after our launch on 12/5/16:

First we addressed our new rig: We tuned the rig (tightened the stays and shrouds so that the mast stands up correctly, at the correct angle); re-attached the boom and spinnaker pole, ran the sheets and reef-lines, put our mainsail back on, and sealed up the mast collar (where it goes through the deck) with boot tape.


Ready to sail! (Minus the snow…)

We had installed a new steaming light (navigation light for when a sailboat is motoring) before stepping the mast, but we’d had a snafu with the wiring, so we fixed that.

We also put Celeste‘s interior back together – re-installed the table, screwed the floorboards back in, and reconnected the bilge pump and plumbing, stowed all our stuff, and generally got the boat liveable again.

We through-bolted new eye-straps on the foredeck for our new-to-us dinghy.


For a long time, we’ve wanted a nesting dinghy and this fall we finally found one in our price range. So we sold our trusty Dyer Midget (to some wonderful people on the Columbia River) in favor of this new dinghy. It’s called a Chameleon, designed by Danny Greene. (I’ve written a piece for Off Center Harbor about it that should come out soon for those of you who are interested in more information.) It’s 10’6″ when it’s assembled for use, so quite a bit bigger than our Dyer, but only 5’6″ when its two parts are nested together and stowed on deck, so it has a smaller footprint and just barely fits on the foredeck aft of the windlass:


Nesting dinghy on the foredeck

We put in new stanchions to replace the ones bent in last winter’s storm, and we also replaced our old corroded lifelines with shiny new ones:

New and old lifelines

Shiny new upper lifelines contrasting with the old corroded bottom ones before we replaced those also.


We installed a hard plastic holding tank to replace the bladder type we used to have.

And we went sailing a few times! Although it was cold, we had a lot of fun – good wind and Celeste handled beautifully! We just tacked up the harbor and ran back to the marina, but it was good fun! winter-sailing

So, that was what I wrote several months ago.

Since then, we went back to Switzerland, where Seth successfully defended his PhD dissertation (as mentioned in an earlier post – thanks to everyone for your kind comments and congratulations!) and where we got in a couple of days skiing:

Ellen skiing in Valais

Back in Port Angeles, we had a few minor details to finish up on Celeste; plus we sold the car we’d bought for the winter, said to goodbye to our wonderful friends we’d made there, and generally got ready to sail back to our favorite haunts in Alaska again!

11 thoughts on “Boat Repairs, Part 3: In the Water. Plus, a quick update.

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  4. Hi Seth and Ellen, Geoff and Merel writing this from Gabriola Island where we now live. You may remember us from Panama 2007 when we were on Sifar. If your coming up the inside would be great to catch up, would love to see you both and your boat.

    • So exciting to hear from you! I can’t believe it’s been ten years since Panama! We would love to see you on Gabriola – we’re actually already in Ketchikan, Alaska as I write this, but we’ll probably come back down the Inside in the late summer – let’s definitely stay in touch and try to catch up in person! I’ll send you an email.

  5. Yikes! All that snow. Hard to imagine that at this time of year (at least in the northern hemisphere). Looking forward to new stories about Alaska.

    • I know… definitely a belated post… I’m glad the snow’s gone now (at least at sea level!) – really nice to be done with winter, boat work, and to be returning to sailing season!

  6. All the best for the next phase you two! That snow on the deck looks a bit colder than we can cope with!

    • Thanks very much! Happily it’s not that cold anymore 🙂 Coming into summer up here!

      • I forgot! We are entering winter here and will be heading off to leave land life for a few years right in the middle of winter… so the cold is on our mind!