Boatyard Livin’

With the boat out of the water we were able to pull our car right up to the bottom of the keel (bottom of the boat) and unload all of our personal items. It was ideal because if we were at our slip we’d be trucking everything quite some distance. This way all we had to do was unload, and carry the items up the ladder on the side of the boat. Once inside and putting things away, I was very excited to see that there was actually more storage space than I had imagined! There was more than enough space for all my cooking spices, and Pampered Chef cooking utensils. Score!

In the yard     Up the steps

For a fun break, we decided to explore Serra Cross Park (“Grant Park”).  The park has some amazing vistas and is a nice place to spend a lunch.  In 1782 Father Junipero Serra founded the San Buenaventura Mission.  Both the Mission and the park have a rich history.  The Mission itself still has an active Catholic parish.

Serra Cross Park     A great history

Back in the boatyard, we had electricity, which provided us with lights and working outlets, but no Internet, running water, or propane (for cooking on the stove). This forced us to find the nearest free WiFi hotspot so we could continue working our “real jobs” during the day. While we have a head (bathroom) on our boat, it’s not exactly the thing you want to spend cleaning, so we opted not to use it when we don’t have to. The ladies at the boatyard gave me my own special bathroom key. Only the woman’s restroom was locked, and with good reason when you think about what a bathroom might look like at a boatyard. Scary! We bought bottled waters and replaced eating out with creative cooking on board using our little boat microwave. It was all great fun, but we really wanted our boat in the water! That meant finishing up our out of the water boat projects.

Project 5: Update Hailing Port

Upon purchasing a boat you have to register it, much like you register your car. Different states have different rules, but in Ventura we were able to register our boat with the coast guard instead of the state of California. Upon registration you are asked to declare a hailing port. We picked Ventura, California, however we found that the hailing port could have been any city in the United States. This left us wishing we would have requested North Liberty, Iowa as our hailing port to serve as a funny conversation starter. Maybe next time! If you look, all boats have a name, city and state in vinyl lettering on the rear sides of the hull. We ordered our new lettering for “Ventura, Ca” from West Marine. After removing the old lettering, we followed the directions for application. After it was installed, we read that it could not get wet for 24-hours. Of course it was scheduled to rain that evening! Even so, we covered it as best we could to protect it from the elements and we had no issues.

Updating the homeport     Finished.

Project 6: Fix In-Boom Reefing System

Back in Wisconsin during the packing stage, we thought we should apply the same logic to removing the reefing lines (lines that help shorten the sail in strong winds) from the inside of the boom (a large metal pole that runs along the bottom edge of a rigged sail), as we did removing all of the halyards from the inside of the mast. However, our messenger line got stuck halfway in the boom along with the reefing line. Soon we were pulling lines and blocks (pulleys) out of the boom and none of it made any sense. It was a huge distraction to the task at hand so we decided to save it for California. We wrapped up the boom along with the confusion and sent it on it’s way. In Ventura confusion returned when we unwrapped it all. Google provided us with a diagram after searching “in-boom reefing system.” The diagram was helpful but limited. We were able to see the inside contents by using a small access point on the side of the boom, and only later did we find we could take the entire end off to fully examine the inside. Soon we were back in business and had all the lines back in place as it was meant to be.

Project 7: Replace forestay Inside of Roller furler

To replace the forestay (wire that helps hold up the mast that runs down to the bow or front of the boat) with our newly cut version, we had to disassemble the entire roller furler jib mechanism (the jib is a sail that is often see in the front of the boat. The roller furler assists in rolling up the sail after each use). The disassembled furler consisted of more than a half a dozen VERY similar parts. Most of which were easy to take apart, except for a few stubborn pieces that required both a hammer and a wrench to dislodge. After it is all apart we simply removed the forestay wire, replaced it with our new wire and reassembled everything with no major surprises.

Removing the furler sections     Still working on the furler     The drum and base removed

Project 8: Connect New Rigging Lines to Mast

In one afternoon we had all of our newly cut rigging lines attached to our mast and ready to go! There was a slight discrepancy when we looked at how we would be connecting our roller furler jib (explained above) with the forestay enclosed, to the top of the mast. We compared the size of the old toggle (point to connect the wire to the mast) on the top of our mast, to the size of the pin hole on the new forestay we had ordered. They weren’t matching up. The hole for the toggle to fit through was too large. We had ordered the new forestay according to the factory recommendations! But it appeared the old toggle had been beefed up a bit. We had the boatyard rush order a toggle that would fit with our new forestay, however after attaching it was only 1/3 as wide as the original. A new problem! This meant it would be sliding around at the top of the mast more that we would be happy with. Once again, the boatyard came to our rescue and their machine shop created two 1/4 in. spacers to insert on each side of our new toggle. Problem solved!

The new upper tangs attached     New terminals

Denise attaching a turnbuckle     Forestay toggles, old and new

We felt we were just about ready to get splashed so we went into the boatyard office and got on their list for the following day. The Ventura Harbor boatyard was part of the reason we decide to stick to Ventura as our hailing port. With an experienced staff servicing both commercial and pleasure vessels up to 165 tons, as well as superior equipment, such as two travel lifts (a crane with wheels to lift both small and large boats out of the water), made them the right choice for us. Our experience was above and beyond great! The staff was very friendly and allowed boaters to utilize the yard do their own work. Much thanks to Mike, Brenda, Tom, Fred, Otto, Jose and everyone else at the Ventura Harbor Boatyard we had a wonderful haulout and learned a lot in the process.  Perfect!

Sign at the village     A nice day at the harbor


  • Congratulations on your launch!! Heard your IPR interview today – good job, nicely done.

  • Denise and Greg,

    It’s great to hear from you both. Just had dinner at the White Star and Greg is planning a trip to LA and may look you up. The progress reports sound great and your rigging descriptions sure put a dent in out cabin fever back in Iowa!


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