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We Updated the Main Salon Upholstery

by Mark on February 26, 2020 ,

When we bought the boat back in 2017, she had all of the original interior upholstery, which believe it or not had been holding up pretty well. Except for the fact the cushions beneath the fabric had very limited support, at least on the seat bottoms. We hesitated on changing it out since it was part of the boats history, but sore behinds overcame that hesitation.

We saw pictures of S/V Bebe Bebe and Aquarius, both boats with their new fresh looking interiors, and that's all it took at this point. Jennifer was hell bent on getting something done about ours. Funny, all of the boat projects to date had been mine and all had to do with systems, rigging, safety and other functions. What this meant was there was no way I could push back on her GREAT plan to update the interior of the boat. She has been very patient with me, but after all of the expenses I incurred it was her time!

We spoke with Shawn at Severn Yachting Center for recommendations and he told us about Rick's Upholstery just up the road from the marina. They have done a lot of work on boats in the area, so we gave them a call. We just got word from them that they were done with the project, now we are heading to the boat for Jennifer to pick out curtain fabric for the main salon. We will keep you posted on what is going on and I am sure Jennifer will be posting more about the inside of our boat.

We finally moved the boat!

by Mark on December 30, 2019 ,

It's been a long time since either Jennifer or I made a post, but life sometimes gets in the way. Not in a bad way, just keeping us busy and not affording us the time we would like to be spending on the boat. Actually, as some here already know we live north of Houston, TX and our boat is in Gloucester County, VA so not easy as far as distance goes!

Where was I, oh yea... we moved the boat! We have been trying to move the boat for quite some time, in fact we were already paying for our slip at the new marina, but things kept getting in the way. About a month before the actual move, Jennifer and I flew up to the boat, excited to move her. I arrived ahead of Jennifer and on the day that Jennifer was flying up I got a call from Shawn at the Marina stating that we were having engine problems. Not what I wanted to hear, so I didn't tell Jennifer until she arrived, which I regret, because that night wasn't fun. Just kidding it was okay. Long story short, our house bank of batteries was dead and the only option was to replace them, all 8 of them. This meant no boat moving, although we still had a great time seeing friends and such.

Fast forward to December, we went to visit Jennifer's family in South Carolina and the plan was that I would then leave on Monday to the boat and our friend Jordan was going to fly up to help me that week. While we were in South Carolina I looked at both the weather and the tide schedule and Oh S*&t, the only day we could move the boat was on Monday or Tuesday. Since I already had a ticket for Monday, I chose to keep that flight and pleaded with Jennifer to change her plans and join me at the boat on Monday night! There was no flight to get Jordan there in time, I know she was bummed, but I had no choice. When I picked Jennifer up at the airport the weather for Tuesday was showing thunderstorms and very high winds, not the weather you want to sail in, but we agreed the boat needed to be moved so we would suck it up!

Tuesday morning arrived, we jumped out of bed and behold... NO RAIN! We darted to the boat as fast as we could, got everything squared away, got dock line assistance and we were underway! It was a bit cold, but the seas were calm, barely a meter at times and it was DRY! About an hour into the trip the winds started gusting over 30 Knots and at times nearly 40 knots and the sea state grew to 3 meters, but our boat was built for it, so no worries. At one point I raised the windshield so I could see and told Jennifer who was standing watch near the mizzen to come and have a seat to get warm. Right as she sat down a wave crashed into the cockpit through the open window and now my lovely wife was WET and COLD! Well we made it after just over 3.3 hours and we are happy to have her at the new marina!

Hurricane Season is BUSY!

by Mark on October 30TH, 2018

Jennifer, GB and I went up to see the boat about a month ago. It was good to see friends at the Marina, as well as at our favorite hangouts. We did a few boat projects, sold the dinghy to people at the marina and took delivery of our new inflatable dinghy. This dinghy was affordable and will work well for us while we are still up in the Chesapeake Bay, it doesn't have a hard bottom, simply a firm bottom. Jennifer wasn't real sure about a bright Orange dinghy, but I think she will end up liking the ability to see it and differentiate it from all the other dinghy's!

Our time was up and we were packing up to head out when we overheard people talking about a hurricane party and preparation? Okay, maybe I wasn't paying attention considering how far north we are, so I looked at the weather forecast and the information on the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Sure enough there was a storm brewing that eventually became Hurricane Florence and was looking to hit North Carolina and turn straight for us. When we left it was still a tropical depression, but within two days of being back home in Texas it was a growing storm and was predicted to be at least a Cat 3 when it made landfall. Now this was getting serious and we needed to take action, should I fly back to secure the boat and possibly ride the storm out (think REO Speedwagon)! I called up to our Marina and spoke with them about the storm, which they were keeping an eye on and we discussed options. Then our friend at the front desk mentioned that a number of boats from other marina's with floating docks were calling to be pulled out, or wanting a fixed dock to tie up to. Well this certainly piqued my attention and provided me with one more option, have the boat pulled and stored on the hard. However, there was already a list, so I put our name on the list and thank God they were able to pull her and store her on the hard... now she should be safe, or at least safer. While Florence caused major damage in North Carolina, it never made it with any force to Virginia, but at least I had taken the precaution ahead of time, so no regrets for spending the money... it wasn't cheap!

The marina put our boat back in the water and all seemed good, right until Hurricane Michael. I had already made plans with my friend Josh to go up to the boat and we had intended on moving her to Annapolis, MD for the SailBoat show, not even thinking that Hurricane Michael would make its way all the way to the Chesapeake. I was wrong and by the time we arrived in Virginia it was obvious we were in for a serious blow, so we immediately started getting the boat prepared, limiting any windage on the boat was our first order of tasks. While Michael had downgraded after the devastation and deaths it caused in Florida, it was still heading straight for us. When Michael hit us winds were gusting well over 40 knots, lots of rain creating a large surge, but we were tied to a fixed dock, so we simply centered the boat prior to the high winds, got on board and prepared for the worse. It was a hell of an experience and I thank God that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. No damage, but in the morning, Josh pointed out all of the pine needles on the boat and we were a considerable distance from the nearest pine trees. A tornado did touch down a few miles from where we were tied up, but again no damage to the boat and minimal damage at the marina. Roads were flooded and power was out, but It's Good was sitting pretty. Don't mess with Mother Nature!

Romantic Sunset in December... Brrr!

by Mark on December 18, 2017 ,

After my very cold long weekend at the boat doing boat projects in 25 degree weather, I headed down to SC to surprise Jennifer and it worked, she was so excited that I was there. She was missing the boat, since I got to go up, but she didn't. It is really odd how fast the boat has become our home and we do miss it, especially since when I went up without her I was in charge of finishing off the "Jennifer" touch in the boat. Decorative pillows, matching bedding for the v-berth which I have to admit looks pretty good, but hey I'm a guy I was done once I got all of the lockers sorted and the kitchen stuff put away! I surprised Jennifer by telling her to pack up, it was time to head up to the boat and check her out. I have never seen her pack so quick, or so light to be honest! We borrowed her mom and dad's rocket ship (Murano) and headed back to cold VA. We did book at our favorite hotel, ate at the diner and Juan's in Gloucester, but the best nights were spent at the Water Street Grille in Yorktown! We drove to Jamestown and to Williamsburg to complete our journey of the Historic Triangle, but we really didn't get out of the car and plan on doing it again when it is warm, probably more than once.

We managed to locate the back part of the bimini top which helps retain some heat on the boat, which was good because it was pretty cold, though not as cold as a few days earlier when I was doing the chores. It will also be nice on the trip out to the Atlantic and heading south to our winter home in Charleston, seriously hoping we can get her moved soon. Our last night there we stayed on the boat and went to Juan's then straight to Redbox to rent a movie or two. Jennifer made it through the first one and GB held on till about halfway through the second, then zonked! He's funny, every time I would catch him drifting off, he would say "I'm a bear and it's winter, what do you expect"! I guess that was hibernation humor, or his best attempt at it. The sunset above was the incredibly romantic view we had as we were walking down the dock to head to Juan's, this marina has some spectacular views! There is nothing like spending time at the marina, on the boat, looking at the view, with the most incredible person in the world! It's Good!

Ice, Duct Tape and a Hat

by Mark on December 12, 2017 , <

Okay, wow! I am at the Marina in Virginia this week hoping for a good weather window for a departure later in the week. When I woke up today to go do some more boat chores it was 25 Degrees and the high isn't going to be much higher than that for today. The wind is also blowing pretty good at around 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots and yes you guessed it from the stern of the boat so all of my boat projects will not be blocked by the partial bimini or hard dodger.

I opened the engine compartment to check the new intake water pump that was installed by the marina, and to charge the battery. Did I say it's freezing outside? I have my hat, but it's hard to do anything with the gloves, especially when using duct tape. There is water in the port side locker that was discovered when we pulled the dive gear and life raft out to get the raft re-certified.

I pulled out a good West Marine pump that I had found stowed in the lazarette, but no hose that would fit, so break out the duct tape! After getting the pump and hose connected I soon discovered that the pump/hose combination were not long enough to reach the bottom of the locker and pump over the side of the boat. Off to the store to get paper towels, hey don't judge that was the closest and simplest solution. As you may be able to see from the pictures above, the boat had ice on the deck and of course part of the water in the locker had frozen, so that made part of the project easier just pull out the sheet of ice, however, there was still about a 1/4 inch of water. This was solved successfully with the paper towels and the we put the life raft and other ditch gear back into the locker and we are ready to go. Back to watching the weather via PredictWind to see when we will have good enough weather for rounding Cape Hatteras.

Should I Stay or Should I go...

by Jennifer on November 27, 2017 ,

I've been hesitant to post an entry lately because I really don't know anything about boats or sailing. In retrospect, though, I realized that my rookie (newbie) perspective may be of interest to others that are new to sailboats.

So you may have already noticed from one of Mark's postings that we're about to move our boat from VA to SC. Obviously, I really underestimated what is involved in scheduling the trip. From weather patterns to currents, everything must be taken into consideration.

I've also discovered recently that the coastline of Cape Hatteras can be quite challenging, so I've decided to let Mark and the boys make this initial voyage without me. I'll meet them in Charleston, pass the wine. Hope you guys don't think I'm wimping out! Safe travels, calm seas and good winds!

Getting Her Prepared for First Journey

by Captain Mark on November 17, 2017 ,

We gave the final list to our friends at Severns River Yachting Center in VA for all of the boat maintenance and other items we wanted to have completed prior to moving the boat to Charleston, SC. I will say this, the team at Severn's is amazing. I watched day by day when Kevin hand made a replacement wooden bow sprit that was at least 3ft long, I have watched Jack and the team transform a boat from less than a beauty back to its glory days. They have already done so many things for us, and this should be our final list before we return to Gloucester next season. They did the antifouling bottom paint, washed and waxed the hull, replaced the cockpit windows, replaced a halyard, replaced the traveler line, and many other things. Now we are just waiting on the new stickers for the stern, and a good weather window to move the boat. I have PredictWind and can easily select a weather window, so sometime in the next couple of weeks we will be making the 3 - 4 day trip around Cape Hatteras, down to Charleston to our winter home. We are quite excited to get the boat there and are already planning some small trips, as well as trips to the Bahamas and Bermuda, for work believe it or not!

Why are we going to PetSmart?

by Jennifer on November 8, 2017 ,

I thought it was about time that I submitted some thoughts for our blog. As Mark mentioned already, I am totally new to sailing. He probably hasn't mentioned yet that I am only 5'3" tall. As many of you shorter folks already know, being short definitely poses challenges for getting on and off a boat. To complicate matters even more, our boat is on a fixed dock at our marina in Virginia, and the tide level changes two feet or more.

Thank goodness no one took any videos of my first couple of visits to our new boat - especially trying to get on or off the boat at low tide. I forgot the other complicating matter - our boat sits with a few inches of the keel in mud at low tide. You've probably already guessed this means there's no way to pull the boat closer for me to get on. This was upsetting for a couple of reasons: 1) it's frightening trying to make a "leap" onto the boat and 2) maddening to think I could only get on and off the boat at certain times of the day.

This blog entry does have a happy ending though. One day Mark told me we needed to make a stop at PetSmart. I thought this was odd since we don't have a pet. I was thrilled to discover he had found a pet ramp there he thought would be perfect for our boat. Guess what! It's the best purchase ever. I would recommend the pet ramp for anyone that needs easier access for their boat!

Peanuts Anyone or Where I found the emergency tiller

by Mark on November 8, 2017 ,

On our first trip to visit the boat armed with the Amel Super Maramu "2000" owners manual, my mission was to thoroughly check out this "cult boat" and try NOT to drink the kool-aid! Let's go back to the owners manual... nothing seemed to be located where it should, panels didn't match, what the heck is going on?! Well soon I realized that the manual was for the newer 2000 model Amel, but in this process I still wanted to further familiarize myself with the boat before even considering making an offer on her. Jennifer was busy getting the lay of the land and trying to sort out why it felt small or smaller than she had imagined, while I was, well drinking the kool-aid! In fact, I was hooked in about 30 minutes, just one thing really bothering me... nothing matched the manual! That included the emergency tiller, which any sailor knows is one of those things you hope to never need, but you also want to be sure you have it IF you NEED it. This became an addiction and at the end of the first day, Jennifer just quietly said, I really like this boat, let's go have dinner and a glass of wine in Yorktown and then we can go to the hotel to compare notes.

We spent the next two days on the boat and I just guessed we would have to have one crafted or something, but my mind went on to other things and I was off exploring (drinking more kool-aid). On our final day we made an offer and had to wait. Once the offer was accepted and the survey scheduled we were excited, like a couple of school kids drinking kool-aid at recess. When we arrived for the survey, things were going well and the surveyor who was looking though the same/wrong owners manual went to the starboard berth to locate... yes, the emergency tiller! I told him it wasn't there, but we looked again, then the crazy search began... No Emergency Tiller, pass the kool-aid.

Fast forward to closing day or weekend, we spent several days cleaning out the boat as mentioned in my previous post, but ran out of time before really getting to cleaning out the deck lockers and lazarette. A few weeks later we returned, this time with a goal to begin the process of cleaning our the deck lockers, organizing the sails and inventorying everything that we were keeping. I climbed down into our abyss of a lazarette where I found more kool-aid, oh and packing peanuts! Just what you need on a boat, right?! I began handing item after item up to Jennifer who was busy drinking kool-aid, and I began to clean up the peanuts when I uncovered, wait for it... the Emergency Tiller!

So What's Where?

by Mark on November 6, 2017 ,

One of the first things you have to do when you buy a boat, well a used one, especially a passage maker, is to determine what is already onboard and where it is stowed. Jennifer and I spent several days just opening up every cabinet, every drawer and every deck panel below and began making an inventory, and a location note so we could sort it all out. We found spare parts, tools, books, plastic storage bins, first aid supplies and some items in the galley that had passed their usability date!

We spent most of the first few days on the inside of the boat and once we had things noted, we began cleaning below deck and started moving our stuff in. There were a few loads of personal items, clothing and shoes, then the kitchen stuff, and all of the essentials we wanted on the boat to be better able to stay on the boat. We replaced the old VCR/DVR combo unit, which was large, heavy and "warm" with a small little Sony DVD/BluRay player, but kept the 19" TV for now. To be honest, unless it is storming out, which it did the first few times we were at the boat (tropical storms), you really spend your time out on the deck talking, having sundowners and staring at the stars. In fact, we actually did this during much of the two tropical storms, except when the wind shifted and the rain started pelting us sideways. We will have more to bring aboard, but for now we are pretty set to go with new linens, comforter and such. Next it will be my turn on deck digging through lockers!

First Visit to It's Good

by Mark on October 22, 2017 ,

Welcome everyone to the ships blog for S/V It's Good, we hope you enjoy our journey! We saw It's Good for the first time on Memorial Day (May 31) 2017 at a marina in Gloucester, VA and it was love at first sight, well for me it was!The drive to the marina was an interesting one, as we kept getting further from civilization and more into the "woods"! In fact, Sheila (our GPS) took us down a road that started as gravel, then dirt then mud with water filled potholes We discovered later that there was actually a main road to the Marina.

We walked out and there she was sitting all alone at the end of the dock. In fact, the picture above is the first picture we ever took of her. The next day we met Mike from Epic Yacht Sales, and he told us to hang out on the boat and if we had any questions, just come and get him. Really?! We get to hang out and check the boat out with NO sales pressure, thanks Mike! Funny note here, I had pretty much memorized the owners manual that I had downloaded, but would soon find out the the Amel Super Maramu we were considering, was very different than the SM 2000 we had the manual for. Oh well, just water under the keel!

At the end of the second day, we made our offer and crossed our fingers! We visited a couple of more times including pulling her out of the water for the survey and then heading out for the shake out sail, with NO wind! The survey went great and when I get a chance I will post a link to the video of her being pulled out, it truly gives you an appreciation for the size of the boat! I think the funniest thing that happened the first day, was Jennifer stating it seemed smaller than it appears on all of the Delos videos, but by the second day it grew on her and she would move from compartment to compartment stretching out and getting a feeling for the boat and what life may be like aboard. More coming soon!