Small update

Sorry for before no so bad at updating here, we have been very busing getting everything ready for our departure. We are back in the water and right now we are fixing the final stuff. Within a week we will be off on our sailing adventure, feels pretty unreal.
We will update soon what we have done on the boat lately and a lot of other stuff, but right now we work long days so that we can start sailing!

Bad weather, fishing gear and insurance progress

During the last weeks we haven’t had very good weather here in Stockholm, very cold and rainy so we haven’t been able to make as much progress as we would have liked with the paint job. But, during the rainy days we have been able to get started with all other final jobs we want to do before departure, such as starting with autopilot installation, replacing our old manual windlass with an electrical one and finishing our electrical panel, so at least we haven’t been out of work 😉

Whenever there has been a weather window we have been adding putty and sanded on the topsides until it felt pretty ok. We have used epoxy together with a fairing filler which is easy to sand, but it takes a long time to harden.

Adding epoxy putty onto the topsides.

We have also removed and replaced all our through-hulls and during the rainy days we managed to finish that.

Good decision to replace the old through-hulls…

We also tried out our new laser we bought to mark the waterline and make it straight. We weren’t very satisfied with the old waterline as it wasn’t very straight. Hopefully it will be better by using the laser but it is not easy knowing how the actual waterline will be.

Using laser to mark waterline.

We have also bought a fishing reel. We managed to find a second hand Penn Senator 12/0, and it is HUGE. Which we realized when we got it. We also realized that it could be that model they use in the movie Jaws, or maybe they use a bigger one in the movie. As it is so big we plan to have it rail-mounted instead of on a rod. It also feels like a good idea since our cockpit is pretty small anyway and both the mizzen mast and windvane is blocking the way to be able to use the rod fully.

Our “new” HUGE fishing reel.

We have also made some progress with finding an insurance for both us and the boat. As we mentioned in this post we have had issues finding third party insurance only for our trip as our boat is pretty cheap and old. But now we have almost signed and paid for an insurance. We also managed to get a travel insurance for ourselves, via our home insurance. Will write more about the insurance and paperwork in general soon.

A short update

It was a couple of days since we updated anything here and the reason for that is that we have just been busy both with our regular jobs and preparing Anne-Mon. We try to do shorter updates on Instagram, so follow us there if you want to see more.

But in short we are still working a lot with the interior of the boat and removing and replacing the rotten wood. We have also made a lot of progress with the freezer and we think it will be really great 🙂

We also recently bought a new life raft, we bought a Sea Safe Pro Light for 4 persons, which was on sale during the boat fair season here in Sweden. Hopefully this is something we will never have to use, but it feels really good to have one.

We also have the huge thing happening in the world right now… We really hope that for all people affected that things we calm down soon so that the hospitals can handle all infected people and so that more people doesn’t lose their jobs. We also, of course, hope that our sailing plans won’t be affected by this, but time will tell… For now we keep on practicing social distancing (pretty easy when you have a boat to renovate, we usually never go to bigger events anyway) and hope that everything will be OK.

Will hopefully have time to write a longer post soon about our renovation progress with pictures and everything.

Plans for 2020

Today, on New Year’s Eve, it is 200 days left until our planned departure date, when we will set sail towards the Caribbean. During 2019 we did a lot of renovation and set sails for the first time and sailed around in the archipelago. We got to know our boat and made it more livable again after a lot of years abandoned. But this post is not about what we have done, it is about what we have left to do before we leave.

Winter months

During the coldest months we will focus on:

  • finishing the interior inside the boat
  • finish the electricity (some lamps left etc)
  • get a solution for autopilot working (more about this later)
  • go over instruments (VHF, radar)
  • sort out paperwork (insurance, boat registration, VHF certificate etc)
  • install watermaker
  • fix an extra cooling box or fridge
  • take a look at the bow thruster
Spring & early summer
  • Haul out and go over the keel and hull, clean it and paint it
  • Fix our leakages once and for all
  • Finalize details in cockpit, last piece of teak etc
  • Mounting the windvane & autopilot
  • Finalize the last solar panel installation
  • Repair the bathing platform
Late summer & Autumn

Our plan is to leave Stockholm middle of July and head south towards the Caribbean. More details about the route we plan to take can be found under the page The Plan.

We are very excited about our upcoming adventure and we hope you will enjoy following our journey, both the last preparations and the sailing as well! 🙂

Happy New Year!


Buying our cruising sailboat

We thought that we would share some thoughts about buying our cruising sailboat. In December 2 years ago we went to look at our first cruising sailboat. We want to share our thoughts we had before buying the boat, what features we looked at and things we would prioritize differently if we would buy a boat today, 1 year after a lot of renovation.

Before buying our cruising sailboat, an OC35 built 1967, we looked at 4 other cruising sailboats. Picture from when we just bought Anne-Mon.

Boat  1. OC35

When we looked at the first boat we didn’t have enough money saved yet to buy it but we wanted to take a look at it and get a feeling for what kind of boat we wanted. The boat we looked at was actually another OC35 and we really liked the model.

buying cruising sailboat
The first OC35 we looked at on the hard.
Sofa and table on the OC35.
The galley on the first OC35 we looked at. Similar to Anne-Mon but on the opposite side.
The main cabin in the first OC35 we looked at.
Pros and cons about the first Oc35
  • Pros
    • It was a very well taken care of boat in good condition
    • Good engine installation
    • Spacious inside, lot of possible storages
    • Pretty good electrical installation
    • It had a folding propeller
  •  Cons
    • Interior-wise it was well taken care of, but a lot of plastic. We prefer wooden interior
    • No water heater
    • Pretty bad-looking deck (yellow plastic, unfortunately no picture of that)
    • Small, but otherwise nice head and toilet.
    • Pretty small cockpit

Boat 2. Allegro 33

The same day we also looked at another boat, a Allegro 33, and we realized when looking at that boat that we really liked the planning of the OC35 a lot. The Allegro everything felt smaller. It was a bit smaller boat 33 ft compared to 35ft, but everything felt a lot more narrow. Unfortunately we don’t have any picture of that boat, but we will give our pros and cons of that boat as well.

Pros and cons about Allegro 33
  • Pros
    • A lot of wooden interior
    • It had an electrical windlass
    • The deck was in good condition
  •  Cons
    • Wooden interior, but in a bad shape. A lot of mold in many places.
    • Not so good engine installation or electrical installation
    • The inside felt narrow and small. Not a lot of possible storage areas.
    • Tiller steering, we prefer a steering wheel

Boat 3. Fortissimo 33

The following day we went and looked at a Fortissimo 33. It was also a narrow boat.

The galley in the Fortissimo 33.
Everything was more narrow in the Fortissimo 33.

Pros and cons about Fortissimo 33
  • Pros
    • A lot of wooden interior
    • It had an electrical windlass
    • The deck was in good condition
  •  Cons
    • Small galley
    • No bowsprit
    • Guardrail that didn’t feel very safe
    • Not so good engine installation or electrical installation
    • The inside felt narrow and small. Not a lot of possible storage areas.
    • Tiller steering, we prefer a steering wheel
    • Small water tank
    • No windlass

Boat 4. Långedragsklipper

After a weekend filled with looking at 3 boats, it took a while before we looked at the fourth boat. A Långedragsklipper made out of steel. It was a cheap, but messy boat. Everything inside the boat was dirty, except a new engine, generator etc. All the equipment in the boat was probably worth a lot more than the asked price for the boat. We decided not to buy the boat because of all the work that we would have ha to do in order to get the boat in shape. But we were seriously considering it for a while, because of all the brand new fancy equipment.

The Långdragsklipper was a very messy, dirty boat but with a lot of new fancy equipment.

Very dirty inside…
Pros and cons about LÅNGEDRAGSKLIPPER
  • Pros
    • A lot of new fancy equipment, new engine, generator, water maker etc
    • Good possible storage areas
    • Good engine installation
    • Hydraulic steering
    • Electrical windlass
  •  Cons
    • Wooden interior, but in an extremely bad shape. A lot of mold in many places.
    • Very dirty and bad smell inside the boat
    • Small galley, and very dirty as well
    • Very disgusting head

Boat 5. OC35 again

A couple of months later we looked at Anne-Mon for the first time, another OC35. Once again we realized that we really liked the model OC35 and how it is planned. Anne-Mon is also an extremely robust sailboat. The drawback with Annie (as her nickname is) was the engine. We didn’t know if it would start or anything. At the end we bought it anyway and got a bit lower price than asked because of the engine. Another big job was plastic repairs in the cockpit.

Pictures from when we just bought Anne-Mon can be found in this blog post, click HERE.

Pros and cons about Anne-mon
  • Pros
    • A lot of wooden interior, in quite good shape
    • A lot of storages
    • Pretty good condition of the deck
    • Extremely large bowsprit and good guardrail
    • A lot of water and fuel tanks
    • Steering wheel
    • Big galley
    • Very spacious inside and a sofa located high with big windows
    • Windvane
    • Spacious and good planned head
  •  Cons
    • The engine
    • A lot of plastic cracks in the cockpit
    • Small cockpit
    • Don’t know the condition of the keel and hull under the waterline

After our first “looking at sailboat weekend” we created a pretty serious document listing all the things we valued most for our future sailboat, and compared the boats against each other. We listed some features we wanted to have on our sailboat and also listed the importance of each feature. Below in the post we have listed features that, if we were gonna buy a boat today, would add to that list.

On thing that is not on this list, that all boats we looked at had is that they are long-keeled. We wanted a stable and safe boat, so that is one thing all of these boats have in common.

I you want to check out the document, click HERE. It might be a bit messy for someone that has not created the the document, but we added some comments that might help.

We listed the following features as important when first looking at sailboats (with the most important one first):

  1. Engine installation
    • A good engine installation was something we (read Thomas 😉 ) valued a lot. Our criteria for a good engine installation consists of:
      • Easy access to the engine, for maintenance etc
      • Organized cables, and not a spiderweb of cables.
  2. Overall feeling
    • This may not be a feature for the boat, but nonetheless important. It is a general feeling of how much we like the boat, if we do like a boat the other work necessary might be worth it. And if we don’t like the boat and get a good feeling about it it doesn’t matter how fancy the equipment is (the Långedragsklipper is a perfect example of that)
  3. Overall condition
    • The overall condition in the boat, is it well taken care of? Is there a lot of mold? Bad smell? Basically all small thing summed up to one to get a general condition. This category also take into account if the boat is sea worthy, robust and in general if the boat will be able to cross an ocean without falling apart completely.
  4. Interior
    • What type of interior is in the boat, wooden? Plastic? What condition is the interior in? This is also about how the boat is planned, if it is spacious, light and if it feels like a boat you could live in for a couple of months.
  5. Galley
    • A good galley is important, since a lot of time will be spent cooking when we are on our way. Features that we felt were important is if there is enough space, marine stove, good sink.
  6. Sails
    • The condition of the sails and if there are any sails included. We didn’t take a look at any sails before buying. For the first boats we never got to the stage of looking at them since we decided right away that we wouldn’t buy them. For Anne-Mon we knew that we got a bunch of sails, but we didn’t know the condition of them.
  7. Electrical installation
    • No spider web of messy cables, good and organized electrical panel is some things that makes up for a good electrical installation.
  8. Storages
    • Of course an important feature if you gonna live on the boat. For example, good wardrobe, toilet storage, food storage, storage for tools, spare parts, extra sails etc. There are a lot of things to bring along when cruising compared to “vacation sailing” in the summer.
  9. Bowsprit
    • Not the most important feature generally, but something we prefer to have. It gives extra length to the boat. When sailing in the archipelago having a large bowsprit makes it possible to anchor in places you otherwise wouldn’t be able to anchor.
  10. Pulpit/guardrail
    • We wanted to have a steady pulpit and a good guardrail, when doing deck jobs on an ocean it feels good to have some kind of guardrail that will take some weight and isn’t to low.
  11. Windlass
    • Not so important for sailing in the archipelago, but later on we don’t want to take the anchor up by hand. An electrical windlass would be the best but a manual will do as well.
  12. Steering
    • We prefer a steering wheel over a tiller.
  13. Head/Toilet
    • A good spacious head with a good toilet and shower is preferred. Also good if there are storage possibilities in the head. One good big head is better than several small ones in our opinion. Most of the time it will only be the two of us onboard.
  14. Number of beds
    • If the boat has one or two extra cabins for guests that is good enough for us.
  15. Cockpit
    • The condition of the cockpit and in general how it is planned. Of course, it is nice with a big cockpit but not the most important thing for us.
  16. Tanks
    • Big tanks in good condition is a good thing.
  17. Deck condition
  18. Windvane
  19. Autopilot
  20. Mast ladder
  21. Propeller
  22. Deck  connection holding tank
  23. Deck material
  24. Water heater
Thing we missed on our first list

This was the list we made before buying our cruising sailboat, 1,5 years later after a lot of renovation we would also like to add the following to the list:

  1. The hull and keel
  2. Mast and rig
  3. Sails
    • We had sails on our previous list, but what we should have done is to check the sails out, which we didn’t do. New sails are expensive.
  4. Possible leakages
    • Finding possible leakages and through-hull screws, chain-plates etc that could cause a lot of damage and repair work.
  5. Bathing platform
  6. Anchor
  7. Propane installation
  8. Dinghy storage
  9. Pumps (fresh water, sea water, holding tank etc)

All in all, even if we have done a lot of renovation and still have a lot left to do, we are very happy with what kind of cruising sailboat we bought. Anne-Mon is a robust, steady boat. The interior is spacious, with a lot of light from window and deck hatches. We really like our boat and the effort we put in to renovating her is worth it. It also feels really good to give the boat the chance to cross the oceans. The name of the boat OC35 means Ocean Cruiser 35, and what we learned when buying Anne-Mon is that even though she was built for ocean crossing she has never done it. At 50+ years she will finally get the opportunity! 🙂 She was also abandoned for a couple of years before we bought her and now we are working on giving life back to her and send her out for an adventure, which also feels really good 🙂

If we should give a general tip for someone that is looking for buying a cruising sailboat, it would be to spend some time to think about what features is important for you, write them down so that you won’t be blinded by a good price for a boat that is not what you are looking for.