Thursday, February 07, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Boat Edition - "It's a boat, you've got to expect a little water!"

With Gemini done, John took a well deserved cruise in our ocean boat Halcyon Days with his friend Doug and two Honda 100cc dirt bikes to explore remote logging roads. It's an adventure John looks forward to each year. The trip was originally planned for four days, but the riding was good and it was almost a week before they returned. Why is this important, you'll see.

Wayne and I needed to do something about Gemini's weight or she just might turn turtle one windy night. We discussed it with the experts at Valley Marine and of course our good friend John. The decision was to fill the aft storage boxes and space below the floorboards with rocks. Not wanting the rocks to rub on the fiberglass hull, we first laid down mill felt (heavy waterproof cloth). Wayne and I went to nearby Sandy Beach and loaded up buckets with round rocks for our "stuffing" project.

The next day we noticed the automatic bilge pump was operating quite frequently. This seemed a bit strange, but we surmised it was residual rainwater. To make a long story short, we had a leak. First all of the rocks come out (quite a chore). This didn't help, so we found a way to tie Gemini to the dock to prevent her from sinking. Without John and his trusty tools there wasn't much we could do but wait for his return.

John and his brother Rick discovered an old screw that wasn't sealed tight. Gemini would have to come out of the water for repairs, but John had an idea. We headed for his shallow back bay, used a turfer (winch) and tackle to haul her up on shore to get at the spot.

He cut a new hatch in the floor, made a fiberglass patch and the next day Gemini was back in operation. People like John amaze me. They're so self reliant. Having lived all our lives in big cities, Wayne and I have limited practical skills and knowledge. Our learning curve is huge.

Gemini was now really ready to become Wayne's writer's retreat. She also gave him good fodder for several chapters in his book Up the Strait. If you want to read the whole story and about other boating adventures we've had on Powell Lake and the Strait of Georgia, the book is available for purchase at It can also be found locally in Powell River at Coles, Breakwater Books or Marine Traders. Hope you've enjoyed our Extreme Makeover: Boat Edition. -- Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy