From Dock Queen to Offshore Cruiser by Sailing Seabird

Thankfully we have had a mild winter here in Portland and Seabird has had very few adventures “sailing” on her dock.. Aside from one experience just after we finished wrapping her. I was able to deduce that I, or more likely one of the kind folks that helped me shrink wrap, failed to properly hitch my bow line. A few days later when the wind piped up to 30 knots the line slowly payed out as it was merely wrapped a few times around the bitts. I have never heard a story of a boat misbehaving that didn’t happen in the middle of the night when the operator was in the nude. Seabird must have read this book as I was woken up in the early morning when the electric heater turned off. It does turn off from time to time but I happened to be looking at it out of the corner of my eye and I could not see the little red light. Reluctantly, I got out of bed to find we had no power on board at all and my reverse polarity light was on to boot.

Frankie was very helpfull

I didn’t even know the reverse polarity light worked, let alone ever see it on. I sprung into action. When I opened the shrink wrap door I noticed that my boat was slightly out of position and in fact her nose was about to start hitting our neighbor. This move to starboard had pulled our shore power cord out of the receptacle but only a little. It was enough to cause problems but an easy fix was figured out and life returned to normal shortly thereafter.

this is a Camrea Phone picture taken of the new larger sleeping area

Sophi and I are planning to sail to Summerside Prince Edward Island this summer. So we have been thinking of safety and seaworthy issues, as well as some additional features that would be good for the crew while away from the dock.

We have electric hot water now, but we need to install a loop from the engine coolant to the heater so we may run the engine to create hot water. We have twin head sails to help us get down east, we have also recently bought a used cruising spinnaker to add to our inventory. We hope this addition will ease our dependance on the engine. I have been removing rotten plywood and replacing it with fresh stock. Our port settee backrest was mostly rotten so I ripped it out and made a new piece and added three larger opening doors that secure firmly. What a difference it has made! Even the largest of pots fits through with ease; each door is about 10″ tall and a foot long. I also added a 14″ pull out to the settee as well. It’s a piece of 1/2″ plywood that is bolted on top of the normal seating area. To make it pull out you have to take out 2 pins and slide the board on to a three sided frame I built around the bulkheads and along the length of the settee. I am happy with it because now when people sleep over we can have them sleep on the port side and out of the walk way.

as you can see we need to add some cushin…. soon

This week I plan on cutting out new cabinet doors under the settees port and starboard, to allow us to gain access to items under the settees with out removing the cushions to get there. Can’t wait! We are also planning on building a small arch to house our radar and solar panel. We are also “thinking inverted” which means, what if we are rolled over 90 degrees or more? What will happen to… everything? In order to keep things in place we are putting good latches on all the boards that don’t even have a hinge; this will keep the doors closed and the contents will remain where they belong. It also means not having any holes on deck, I don’t mean a hole caused by lightning or some other broken thing. I am talking about our dorode vents, hatches and our compainon way. I’ve read somewhere that a 4 inch hole can sink a 35′ boat in about 30 minutes, we have 4 dorodes, does that mean we would sink in 7 minutes? Frankly I don’t care to find out, we will be putting plugs that screw into the dorode vents to keep the ocean out.

The thought of hand steering some 1600 nautical miles is not the most exciting of thoughts and we have seriously thought about a wind vane of some sort but they cost so much money. A cheaper alternative is to attach the sheets to the tiller along with some shock cord, I have high hopes that we will be able to rig something up to keep us away from the wheel. Seabird has a stable design so perhaps with some practice with sail trim we will be able to simply lash the tiller and walk away for a while.


Visit to read more of Sophi and Travis’s adventures with Seabird!

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2 comments to From Dock Queen to Offshore Cruiser by Sailing Seabird

  • avatar swaimah44

    Thanks Scott, it’s nice to be featured on the home page. we can’t wait to get someone in that berth and try it out

    • 🙂 we have a port side double berth on valkyr 🙂 I end up on it a lot. It’s a comfortable place on the boat.
      sorry your comment went to moderation. I think it will let you comment now without being moderated. Have you used that email address for your login on the site? I thought that registred email addresses/logged in users didn’t get moderated.

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