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Sept 25 – What About Madge?

In my last post, I mentioned that we were cutting our cruising sabbatical short by four months, because unexpected expenses ate through our funds quicker than anticipated. So, the question is, what are we going to do about Madge?

Here’s the situation:  Madge is an active cruising boat. She’s just completed over 2,500 miles of coastal and ICW cruising. There are a couple of minor things that need to be fixed — there are always things on a boat that need to be fixed — but we’ve been living on her reasonably comfortably and traveling on her all year. She has a lot of new equipment that we put in to go cruising with, and we’ve spent this year checking it all out, breaking it all in, and tweaking it to make sure it all works. I, on the other hand, have to go back to work. I figure I’m going to be working for seven years before I finally stop for good. If Madge sits on her mooring ball in the river — or even if she’s on jacks in the boat yard, covered up and mothballed — for seven years, all that stuff that’s working fine now will have to be replaced or refurbished to make her a good cruiser again. Also, in seven years I’ll be seventy years old. If we go cruising again at that time, it’s going to on a trawler. I don’t want to be going up the mast at that age. And, most likely, we’ll just putt-putt up and down the ICW anyway. Madge is a cruising boat, and she needs to go cruising — now — while she’s in her best shape. Anything less would be a waste.

That means Madge is for sale.

If you want to see what she looks like, in detail, click on the page titles “Pictures of Madge.”

Back on The Hard

Home AgainMadge is back in the yard at St. Marys Boat Services. I’m tired of putting diapers under the leaking rear seal of our old Perkins 4.108, and I don’t like the dark gray streak down the side of the boat under the bilge outlet. I’ve worked real hard to make sure only clean water goes over the side, but the old stain is a red flag that just begs for us to get boarded by the environmental authorities. We’ll have to pull the prop shaft to get to the seal, so Madge needs to be on dry land. While we’re at it, we’ll work on the heat exchanger, the wind turbine, and the steering cables — and anything else we can think of or have time to do while she’s out of the water. I need to add some fans in the salon before the really hot weather hits, and fix the main hatch, which makes a horrendous shrieking noise (like fingernails on a blackboard) when you open it.

While all that is going on, Suzy and I have doctors and dentists to visit — as well as family and friends. Except for FaceTime, we haven’t seen our granddaughters in five months. Too long. So we’ll be putting some miles on the car between days in the boat yard.

We’re hoping to be on the water heading north some time in mid to late June.