Nothing Ventured…

It is now official, our boat is Ventured.  It was previously named Mirage, not a bad name but not my name, and I found out painted on boat names are quite difficult to rid yourself of.  I never did try the suggestion of oven cleaner, but I did have multiple go rounds with a chemical paint remover, plastic spatula/scraper, and finally a 3M wet sanding sponge.  I’m sure there is still some traces of the old name if one looks closely at the right spots, but from a distance it is all gone.  What really stretched this out was the requirement for it to be over 60 degrees for the paint remover work effectively.  Somehow, Seattle seems to have missed the global warming memo, and even on the rare warm days I would be working.  Finally there were a few warm days that I was free to use the product, and it works reasonably well.  And of course, once I got the name off I realized I was going to have to take some striping off for the new, longer, larger name to fit, so back to waiting for warm days.  I love the sunshine, but when you need it and it won’t come out, it can be very frustrating.  Speaking of frustrating,   thanks to Prism Graphics in Seattle for putting up with my multiple visits, questions and minute adjustments to the name.  I think I might have been one of those customers they tell stories about.  I finally decided on all the details, color, font, size and ordered the name.  And after much anxiety, Jenn basically told me we were putting the name on, and we did, and it went off without a hitch.

Name on, green stripe not yet applied

A night later, we had a small renaming ceremony on the dock, and christened Ventured.

Breaking the bottle on the bow!

I gave the sea (lake?) Gods both champagne, and a generous pour of Rainer.  So far so good as Ventured took us to Oak Harbor and back without a hitch, leaving the morning after the renaming for Whidbey Island Race Week, and returning a week later.

For those of you wondering, no, I didn’t race my boat, we took it for a tender boat, which certainly beats a tent and meant we didn’t have to find a cat sitter.  I raced on

Boat of the Week Award!

a 1 tonner named Absolutely, and not only did we win our class, we ended up winning boat of the week honors.  Jenn sailed with us on one day, and must be good luck as we won all three races.  Thanks to Charlie, the owner\skipper for letting me race, and to all the other crew, it was an amazing week and I’ve harbored a

Winning it all is hard work

secret desire to be on a boat that won the overall honors since I started going up for Race Week about 7 years ago.

Jenn got one side striped at Race Week, and we got the other side done when we got back.  So the renaming\graphics job is 100% done, and crossed off the list.  And I can use my boat name on the boat, finally.

Just a note on the names origin, for those that are curious.  When I signed up for my first Yahoo email account, I couldn’t find a single word account that wasn’t taken.  This was quite a while ago, believe it or not, so I was a bit surprised I couldn’t be SpeedRacer or Mach5 without it suggesting SpeedRacer112 or some such nonsense.  I suppose Erlin was open, but I can’t remember why I didn’t want just my name, or maybe it was taken and I just can’t remember.  After trying words for quite some time, I stumbled on Ventured, pulling it from the classic Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained adage.  There were some other names considered, but in the end I went with one I’ve had in my life since near the beginning of the internet.

Now it is back to work, for a few more weeks, and boat projects.  Updates on the windlass and refrigeration coming soon!

Bad Minion, Rainer is for sailors!


Bedtime just got a whole lot better

Tonight is the night, the first night on the new mattress!  We’ve been sleeping on some very worn out 3″-4″ thick foam mattress, made of three pieces. While it looks okay in the picture, I’m pretty sure based on the pattern and the make of  the boat (Tartan) that this was the original mattress.  It didn’t have a lot of cushion left in it.

The original mattress


We have been shopping for a new mattress, and have found several we really liked, at the boat show and at a factory up north.  They ran a cool $2200 or so, but what price can you really put on a good nights sleep?  Well, that did seem a bit steep, so we hadn’t ordered one yet, but we certainly dreamed of placing that order.  A couple weeks ago as I was leaving one of the businesses I regularly deliver to, I realized there was a foam and upholstery shop across the street that I looked at all the time, but never really noticed.  So I stopped in to Classic Foam and Upholstery in Anacortes, had a nice chat with owner Diane, and received a phone call a couple hours later with some options.  One was a discontinued queen size 7″ thick latex foam (a great choice for boats as it won’t mildew, not to mentions they are just plain comfy) mattress for less than a third of the price of the ones we had been looking at.  After adding in cutting it to size, a custom sewn cover and fabric, it would still be less than half the price.  The caveat?  She could only tell us a number for the level of firmness.  We took a chance, had her order and a few days later it was in her shop.  We stopped by, tried it out, and felt it was just about exactly what we wanted.  We were also able to have it cut into only two pieces which will be much more comfortable.  A day later Diane called and asked if I could pick it up and as soon as I finish writing this, we are headed to the V-berth for our inaugural night on our luxurious new bed.

My $33.86 Wood


Teak is expensive!  But I now have a nice piece of 2’x8″ wide and 1″ thick teak lumber, ready to be milled down a bit to fit over two rather unsightly holes left in the deck after removing the electric winch that came with the boat, sans motor.  Unfortunately they were cut through a rather thick teak plank custom mounted on the bow, and my tools and carpentry skill aren’t up to making an exact fit teak plug to fill the holes, so after three layers of plywood and epoxy, the holes are filled. You can’t varnish epoxy and as delightful as my glass work is, I don’t want it on full time display.  So the quick, easy and $33.86 is a nice piece of teak to cover the holes with, and then I can mount my $100 manual windlass, complete with 4 coats of white paint.  After that I can get all the exercise I want pulling up the anchor.  I’m pretty excited, this is my 4th sailboat, and this will be my first working windlass.




As of today, Ventured has shiny new stainless steel lifelines. Of course, the project is 95% complete rather than actually finished. I still need to install the lower gates in the two openings on either side of the boat. There are gates on the top, which I would consider sufficient for sailing on the lake or Puget Sound, but for offshore I plan on adding lower gates.

For those curious about the details, I opted to use uncoated 1×19 3/16 inch 316 stainless steel lines. I considered using 1/4 inch wire, but after some research decided the 3/16 inch is plenty strong, as well as saving enough money for a few weeks of cruising.

Cost wise, the whole project came in at $358, and that includes a couple pieces I had to buy twice because of a learning curve. I was able to re-use two Wichard loops at the gates, although in the grand scheme that was a few dollars of savings. Thanks to Stuart who spent a day helping me out, and saved me a tidy sum on swaging costs.

I’m thrilled with the appearance, the stainless steel lines are less visible than the vinyl coated white lines, and less susceptible to corrosion to boot. I hope we never need them to be a line that saves a life, but I feel good knowing they are there if they are needed.

One project, almost done!