Category Archive: 03: The Refit

Oct 24

Oriental, NC

Oriental has been our home for six weeks. Tomorrow we leave.   Six weeks ago when we started our sailboat search, we had only heard of Oriental because of some boats we’d seen listed online. We had no idea that Oriental was “the sailing capitol of North Carolina” nor did we know that of all …

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Oct 19

And from here on out, we walk (or run)

This evening we bid our last tie to land adieu: The Rogue is ours no longer. A nice, young, North Carolinian couple bought The Rogue-ster and I hope she does as good for them as she did for me. Knowing we would be without wheels from here on after, we made last-minute trips to the …

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Oct 19

He can’t sleep…

His eyes shoot open at 3am because his brain is wide awake speaking to him of all the projects that are yet unfinished. So his brain drives his body out of bed and into action. As I lay dreaming in our warm, cozy v-berth, Stephane works away on this project and that project, trying to keep quiet …

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Oct 19

Shady Free Rangers

After roasting in the cockpit on more than one occasion, we thought it best to get a bimini made. A bimini is like an umbrella on steroids: it shades you from the sun but it is mounted to some major metal which, in turn, is mounted to the boat so it’s super sturdy.   I don’t have …

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Oct 19

The Refrigeration Zone

After several curdled milks and some iffy dinners (Me: “you sure that’s still good?” Stephane: “I can eat it first. If it’s bad, we’ll know within ten minutes or so.”), we decided to pull out the Tropikool refrigeration cooling system and get a different/new one. Before installing our new refrigeration unit, we decided we needed …

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Oct 14

Hard Aground

Dan drove down from Suffolk this past weekend to hang out with us on Free Range. So fun to have my little brother as our first overnight guest! I cleaned out the quarter berth (which was good because was fast becoming “the junk drawer” of the sailboat) and got it ready for Dan. We worked on …

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Oct 14

New Bern

We took the afternoon off and drove to New Bern, NC- about 30 minutes away. New Bern was founded by a Swiss family (thus “new” Bern – Bern being the capitol of Switzerland). New Bern’s flag is just like Bern’s flag – red/yellow with the “Swiss bear” on it.   We checked out “Hurricane Jack’s” …

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Oct 14

Mini Projects

As the larger projects have mostly been completed, we’ve been taking on smaller projects   Slocum 37 placard I’m not super stoked about how this one turned out- I think I should have left the cool, old, patina. I spent a lot of time trying to clean the patina off to get down to what …

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Oct 05

Morehead City

We are so happy to be in calm water and at a safe, solid anchorage at Morehead City, we think we’ll stay for a day.  

Oct 05

Small Craft Advisory

Cape Lookout is amazing! But it’s time to get back to Sailcraft and get back to work on Free Range. The weather window for the next few days does not look great. Saturday shows a Small Craft Advisory with winds 20+ knots and seas 5-7 feet. We think – this could be good weather to …

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Oct 05

Bascule Bridges

In preparation for our trip to Cape Lookout, I reviewed the chart, looked up all the Local Notice to Mariners (these are published by the Coast Guard each week with items that boaters need to be aware of, such as bridge construction, waterway closures, etc.), and made sure we would fit under all of the …

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Oct 05

Cape Lookout

S&S and a few other guys at Sailcraft recommend that we go check out Cape Lookout. It’s about 30 miles from Oriental, six of which are in the ATLANTIC OCEAN! So we borrow an old chart, get some provisions, and take off. Most of the way is motoring / motor sailing on the Intercoastal Waterway …

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Oct 01

Profile of a…some boat feet

**WARNING** Heidi McCollum, DO NOT read any further as this post involves…feet.   As Stephane and I laid on the warm pool-side cement after a short swim and a long day of projects, I noticed our feet. Feet, like hands, can tell a lot about a person. When I look at our feet, here’s what I see: …

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Sep 28

The Other S&S

Did you know that there’s another S&S out there? And did you know that they are fabulous? Well, now you do. Sally and Steve – a.k.a. “The Other S&S”, “The West Coast S&S” – are the previous (and original) owners of Free Range (Dimsan).  We are so blessed to have purchased this boat because now …

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Sep 28

More Projects

And the projects continue…         We needed to add a new switch to the electrical panel. There’s this thing in the bilge called a “float switch” (actually there are several float switches/bilge pumps in the bilge). When water gets to a certain level in the bilge, the water pushes the float switch …

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Sep 28

Maiden Voyage

Saturday afternoon, after much cleaning and stowing of things, we took Free Range out for our first sail. Mark, a master rigger who works at Sailcraft (local boat yard/marina where we are staying) came with us to make sure we got out of the channel without running aground and to teach the ropes. We were …

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Sep 25

“Tis early practice only makes the master”

Mami & Papi sent us some neat old photos of the boat they used to own along with some great words of encouragement. Stephane had a great teacher! Check this out:  

Sep 23

Splash & Step

Sunday, a few final projects: painting the boot stripe, lubing all the sea cocks and making sure they can open/close easily, loading all of our belongings from “the burrito” onto Free Range.     Monday we splashed Free Range (dropped her in the water!). Paul loaded her up on his giant truck and drove her …

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Sep 23

Big Boat, Little Boat

This past Saturday we took a day off. And boy did it feel good 🙂 We drove back to Nofolk and got to spend the morning on the aircraft carrier on which Dan currently serves – the USS Harry S. Truman (The Buck Stops Here!).         Later in the day, we met …

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Sep 18

Original Slocum 37 Brochure

Yesterday I discovered a Slocum Owners Group on Yahoo Groups – awesome!!! Although most of the owners appear to own the Slocum 43, it is still a very helpful and knowledgeable group of which to be a part. I posted a question about chainplates last night and got a response an hour or so later …

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Sep 18

Boat Boot Camp – Week #2

More projects this week… Chainplates We had Mark from SailCraft (local boatyard) come out to assess the chainplates. The chainplates themselves look good and so we are good to go to move forward with re-sealing them. Stephane did that today (took all day, but it’s DONE which means NO MORE LEAKING in our boat (at …

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Sep 18

s/v Free Range

We’ve been brainstorming for a proper boat name since the day we bought her. Finally, we have one we love: FREE RANGE We see “open range” signs all over our neck of the woods in Colorado (ranchers let their cattle wander over the land, eating whatever wherever). We also see them on our way to …

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Sep 13

The Star Key

There’s a little star cut-out on the deck where you fill the water. All week we’ve been looking for “the star key” so we can open up and fill the water tanks.   Finally, when we see the boatyard owner, Paul, we say to him, “We’d like to fill up our water tanks but we …

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Sep 12

Boat Boot Camp

It’s been a work week like none other I have known before: manual labor from sunup to sundown. My body has grown soft and weak sitting in its office chair all day Monday through Friday, so this new routine has been hard on it but GOOD for it! Monday As the clock struck seven AM …

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