Opening Day of Boating 2014

TraileringWell, it finally arrived! Opening day of boating season for 2014! We’re up at Anacortes, at the Cap Sante Boat Haven Marina, putting Southern Star into her new slip. We towed her up yesterday (Friday) morning, taking about an hour and a half to get there. It’s always interesting looking into the rear view mirror to see a large boat tailgating us!  Once in Anacortes, we dropped her off at a marine service center and got her outboard serviced for the season, with an oil change, new spark plugs, etc.

We explored the town for a while until the boat was ready. There’s a Safeway right next to the marina, so plenty of food options.  Around 2:30PM we got the call that Southern Star was ready, so we picked her up, then took her over to the sling hoist at Cap Sante Marina to be splashed into Puget Sound.On the sling
The first real adventure of the weekend came as I was motoring her over to her slip while Stella drove the truck and trailer over to the parking lot near our dock.  All went well at first, but then halfway down the C dock her engine just up and quit. Fortunately, the wind was behind me, and no one else was in the lane, so I had room to drift and try to get her restarted. No joy. So I put her into the last slip, and called Stella. While she walked over to join me, I called the service center that had jut worked on the motor. They sent a guy over who thought (at first) that it was the ignition switch.  Then he suspected the new fuel filter.  He went back to his shop to get my original one, since it at least worked. But while he was gone, I kept thinking that it didn’t appear that fuel was even getting TO the filter.Motor finally running again So I stepped on the squeeze bulb on the fuel line and something gave.  There must have been a clog in the fuel line itself that gave way, because all of a sudden the fuel filter filled up with gas!  I quickly reconnected everything and tried starting her again, and she roared to life! Once the tech got back, he help button everything up again, and we finished the brief trip over to our slip.  We spent a while getting the ‘permanent’ lines in place. We like to leave a set of dock lines at the slip all tied to the correct lengths so that all we have to do to come and go is to hook them over the boat’s cleats. We have another set of lines that we take with us for “foreign” marinas.

Once tied down, we got to work stepping the mast and rerigging all the lines.  We haven’t done that often, and it showed, because we had to partway raise and re-lower and re-raise the mast at least three times until we had all the lines run correctly. Of course, a shackle fell in the water that we had to run to West Marine to replace.  Thank goodness one of those is very close by!  We were exhausted by the time the evening wound to a close, and we settled down to an evening of watching the Hobbit on our new (slightly bigger) TV with much improved speakers.

The PiratesOn Saturday, we attended the Opening Day ceremonies at the marina.  What a blast.  Some pirates fired off a cannon, some local dignitaries talked about how important the marina was to the community, and the editor of Waggoner’s Cruising Guide talked a bit.  Turn’s out that this is his home port. Some “wandering minstrels” sang some sea shanties, and we enjoyed some bowls of really good clam chowder.

So now the mast is up, the canvas cockpit enclosure is all set and zippered and snapped in place, and the cabin is all organized and ready to be or weekend getaway home.  Next time we’re here we might actually get to go out into the Sound in Southern Star!The Marina


Categories: Anacortes, Cap Sante Marina, San Juan Islands | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Opening Day of Boating 2014

  1. Bob Johnson

    Hello Dave and Stella,
    I found your blog when reading your report about Mac mods and your install of the auto pilot I love your web page and I look forward to many more postings. I too have a M26 and just installed autopilot. I sail in Green Bay (the north coast as we call it) and realized that the long distances were tiring especially in choppy water and decided on the Ray Marine EV 200 sport. I lack you skills so am having it installed. I was wondering how you like your enclosure, how much did it cost (if I may ask), and do you use it often? We have cool weather here and I have considered it as a future option. I look forward to reading more on your blog and to your reply when you are able.
    Best regards,
    Bob Johnson

    • Thanks for the nice words, Bob! Glad you enjoy the blog. I haven’t given the autopilot any kind of workout yet because this weekend was dedicated to just getting the boat into the water and set up – stepping the mast, getting the cockpit enclosure all set, and setting up ‘house’ down in the cabin so that it really is a vacation home for us. I’m looking forward to putting the autopilot through its paces the next time we go up. The only big disappointment I’ve found is that there are already important firmware upgrades for all of the Raymarine components, but you can only install them if you have a Raymarine brand MFD. I have a Garmin GPS that is only two years old, so I don’t really want to fork out another $600 for a component that I don’t really need.

      As to the cockpit enclosure, we bought it all through our local MacGregor dealer, Blue Water Yachts. The dodger came as part of their “Coastal Cruising Package“, while the rest of the cockpit enclosure was purchased separately. Their current price is on this page (about $3000). Subtract off the cost of the dodger (about $750), and you have the equivalent to what we paid.


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