First 30 Days of Boat Ownership

We've officially been boat owners for one whole month! It's been a busy 30 days, full of paperwork, boat projects, and sailing. Here's a recap of what we've been up to, with the fun stuff (sailing!) up first. 

(PS - You can get an insider look at all of this by subscribing to our YouTube channel)


thisldu sailing blog

Collectively, we've taken the boat out three times. For the sea trial, Garrett sailed her out of the Gate (which means he went under the Golden Gate Bridge toward open water) and she handled beautifully.

After that, we had some friends join us for our "maiden voyage," during which we motored over to Angel Island, grabbed lunch, and briefly raised our sails on the way back. The wind was low that weekend, so we didn't move much if not under power.

We traveled to Park City, Utah at the end of September and then opted out of sailing during the chaos of Fleet Week after that, which meant we took a 2-week sailing hiatus. A pretty big storm pushed through the San Francisco Bay during the following weekend, so we decided to wake up early on a Saturday to take advantage of the only storm-free window. We brought Thisldu in and out of the docks pretty easily and had a great cruise around the empty Bay on our very first double-handed trip together. A move in the right direction, I'd say!

thisldu sailing blog - san francisco storm

The days are already getting noticeably shorter, which means most of our sailing from here on out will take place on the weekends until spring. That being said, we hope to get out at least once every weekend. I'll be a salty sailor soon enough!

thisldu sailing blog

Boat Projects

The good news is that if we wanted to sail to Mexico tomorrow, we could. Well, the boat could. She's in great shape and pretty much ready to go wherever, whenever. That doesn't mean there aren't projects on projects on projects, though. I think I'm starting to get the sense that owning a boat means doing lots and lots of projects. There will always be something to work on. 

Here's what we've knocked out so far:

thisldu sailing blog
  • Cleaning and brightening the teak are two out of the three steps we took in restoring the wood to its natural state. Over time, the elements got to the teak, leaving it dirty and gray. We spent a couple of hours scrubbing the wood with teak cleaner, and then a couple more applying teak brightener. The third and final step is applying teak oil, which we'll get to shortly (we've been delayed by wet weather and diminishing daylight). 
  • Oiling the hatches, since they were stiff and difficult to open. A little bit of elbow grease and WD-40 made this project a quick one.
  • Measuring the cushions for recovering, since the current cushions have been on board since 1979. We're replacing the brown vinyl with a nice cream and blue cotton plaid. We picked out the fabric (thanks to those that voted!) and got one cushion done before our sewing machine broke. Now we're looking into other options (ahem, affordable labor) for getting the cushions recovered in a less headache-inducing way.
  • Organizing, organizing, and more organizing of all of the items left on the boat. This project was harder than it sounds because I'm still not totally up to snuff on the what's what when it comes to boats. A lot of things had collected over the years, and a lot of them looked important. Deciding what to keep and what to toss took a lot of careful consideration and me asking, "Garrett, what's this?"
  • Purchasing a roller furling unit was Garrett's top priority after buying the boat. He decided on a Harken furling unit, and we placed the order last week. We're hoping that it'll be installed and functional within the month!


Bored by the word "paperwork" already? Me, too. But, like any other big purchase, buying a boat came with lots and lots of paperwork, such as:

  • The boat survey which, lucky for us, was completed by the previous owners a few months prior. It was great to have the survey results on hand when considering the boat.
  • Insurance was one of the first things that Garrett took care of, as it was required by the yacht harbor where we're docked. After painstakingly looking for a company that would insure a boat manufactured in 1979, we landed with Safeco Insurance, and so far, so good.
  • Registering the boat in our name was one of my least favorite activities as it involved going to the DMV. I ended up bringing more paperwork than what was required, but in the end, had everything I needed. Except for handing over a sizable check, the registration process was easy enough.
  • Transferring the slip to our name was also a smooth process. Thankfully, we were able to take over the same slip at the yacht harbor where the last owners kept the boat. The harbor is easy to get to from both our apartment and work, and it's really nice. Great, clean facilities and proximity to a market, bar, and restaurant. It also looks over the city, and is a great place to catch the sunset and sunrise. Really, it can't be beat! Here's what we look out on:
thisldu sailing blog

After our first full month of sailing, writing checks, and busting out projects, I'm glad to report that we love being boat owners. Phew. 

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