Reach was launched in the first week of November!  I had been driving Mark crazy to pick a launch date, but everything came together in the end.  What can I say, I was anxious to get her back in the water so that we could turn her into home again.  As the boatyard jobs ended, new jobs were commenced.

Riverside was kind enough to lift us in the slings the night before our launch so that Mark could apply antifouling paint to the underside of the keels where Reach had been sitting on blocks.  Less chance for mini-reefs to grow there.


It was wonderful to be floating again, all new saildrive seals and rudders leak-free.  We left Riverside Marina behind and went 10 miles up the ICW.  It wasn’t enough time for a shake-down, but our new props felt like they had a very good bite and lots of power.  We were flying under power, but you always feel like a race boat when you have a smooth, freshly painted bottom.  

Our new rudders felt quite different; very light and responsive.  However, it is hard to tell if this is entirely related to the new design because half-way up the ICW our steering cable went slack!  We had a moment of excitement with wind and current now controlling Reach and had to drop the anchor right in the middle of the channel.  

Mark went below and tightened up the continuous cable (pull-pull) for a temporary fix.  This got us moving again, yet our rudders were now misaligned and we were zig-zagging the rest of the way.  Later, he had more time to shorten the cable by re-doing the eyes to get a snug fit and align the rudders.

We took a dock at Vero Beach City Marina for a few days to load all of our “stuff” onboard that had accumulated over time in the condo.  I had already started provisioning for our upcoming trip to the Bahamas and everyone knows that I’m an expert in this area.  Especially the making it all fit on the boat part… doesn’t quite seem possible, does it?!

Reach needed a serious cleaning and we got right to work inside and out.  It always amazes me how well boats clean-up!  The organic growth on the deck was tough to get rid of with only a few stains left in the gelcoat by now.  Our mini-pressure washer is a lifesaver and was used to get the first layer of crud off.  Oxalic acid takes care of most stains and whitens the boat until it’s glowing again.  Even the full dodger got a much needed scrubbing.

Inside, Reach got one of the most thorough cleanings ever, at least since the day we purchased her 13 years ago.  Five months of  boatyard dust had gotten into every corner and I attempted to reach each and every one.  Also, during the six weeks that we were away from the boat we’d used SunPacs that did a great job keeping mold away in a closed-up, hot boat.  

Mark steam-cleaned the carpeting on the walls, while I tackled the rest of the interior.  Cabinets and shelves were emptied, cleaned (my least favorite job) and reorganized (my favorite job, truly!).  

Here are a few BEFORE and AFTER’s:


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"Stuff" was stashed in every usable space ~ like these paper products behind a door ~ including a new secret storage area that opened up with the changeover from lead acid to Lithium batteries



The forward “Garage” is usually dedicated to boat parts and tools, although it is employed for overflow during these provisioning times for snacks and beer.  Yes, everything we own is on the boat!

The freezer is now full again with all kinds of goodies, meats and even frozen blueberries as a luxury item in the Bahamas.  We’ll carry as much fresh produce as possible, expecting that this will be precious cargo very soon.  This will last us until next summer; we won’t starve (nor run out of gin) and are very much looking forward to a primary fish diet again.

© M&M 2019