Gone Floatabout

Lucky to live on a boat!


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Boat Repairs, Part 2: At the Boatyard (Sept – Nov 2016)

I started writing this post after we launched (12/5/2016) but didn’t get around to finishing it until now – sorry! So with that in mind, here goes:

celeste-in-snow Celeste is back in the water! Yes, it’s cold and snowy (update 2017: it’s still cold and snowy!), but it’s wonderful to have her floating and feeling like a real boat again!

We stepped our mast and got the rigging all put in place on Friday 12/2/2016 and launched on Monday 12/5/16. It was so exciting to be back in the marina and nearly finished with our major repairs! Continue reading


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Port Angeles, Part Two

Installing solar panels, varnishing hand rails

Installing solar panels, varnishing hand rails

The ten days following our hoped-for launch date of June 10 were dominated by installing equipment. Once all the paint and varnish had dried, Seth mounted and wired our new solar panels: two on the forward end of the cabin top, two aft where the old Dorade vent was, and one on a swivel mount on the stern pulpit. (There had been a large one there, but it didn’t seem to be producing much—if any—power, so we replaced it.) Meanwhile, I was hard at work back in our hotel room putting together our Jordan Series Drogue.

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Port Angeles, Part One

New GRP, Kevlar, and barrier coat put on over the winter

New GRP, Kevlar, and barrier coat were put on over the winter

As most of you have already guessed from our posts about our Katadyn watermaker, our Rolls batteries, and other projects, we—and the guys at Platypus Marine—have been hard at work refitting Celeste for ocean voyaging in general and high latitudes in particular (one reason that these blog posts are so far behind reality!). Over the winter and spring, Platypus Marine did the most major projects, especially sheathing the hull in GRP and Kevlar, barrier coating and painting the whole hull, and installing our new diesel engine. Seth and I arrived in Port Angeles in May to finish the refitting by doing the finicky (and high labor cost!) projects ourselves.

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Our Refit at Platypus Marine

Platypus Logo2

On the recommendation of a trusted friend and shipwright, we placed Celeste with Platypus Marine in September 2013.  We subsequently negotiated sponsorship with them.  In short, we only work with companies whose products we would use regardless of sponsorship.

Celeste was beautifully constructed and designed when she was built: her cold-molded hull was meticulously laid up and saturated with epoxy; her decks, cabin trunk, keel, and rudder were all sturdily built; and everywhere is evidence of the skill and workmanship of both her designer Francis Kinney and her builder Bent Jespersen.  Celeste was also maintained excellently by her previous owner.  He especially took care to keep the bilges completely dry—we’ve found some spare pieces of wood he kept there that didn’t even have a drop of moisture stain!  Nonetheless, all boats come due for a refit after about 20 years and Celeste’s has been particularly thorough in view of the waters we’re hoping to explore.  Thanks to our boatyard in Port Angeles, Platypus Marine, we’re setting off with a classic-looking yet robust and technologically up-to-date vessel. Continue reading