2020 – It’s a Warp!!

Did you think I meant “2020 – It’s a Wrap”? No, I definitely meant warp. I think 2020 has been twisted, bent, distorted, and has deviated from any type of year most of us had ever anticipated.

I can only imagine how difficult being in total lockdown would be. And I really feel for our friends who were planning to travel interstate for Christmas only to have their plans disrupted at the last minute. We know how lucky we were to get to Queensland when we did. We took what seemed like one perfect day of opportunity, because since then the weather & tides weren’t in our favour. That trip is covered in my previous blog – Iluka/Yamba to Queensland – if you’re interested.

While we haven’t been in such a trying situation as many, we were quite isolated living aboard, more so for the first six months of 2020. So, this allowed us to complete several boat projects and I thought I’d just share these on my blog, in no particular order (actually in the particular order that I thought of them.

Replaced broken windows

A window in one of our saloon doors was broken when we bought Poseidon and while we were in Port Stephens, one of the saloon windows developed a crack. We think this was probably due to something we were doing, removing bedding compound to try to stop some leaking we were having, and as a result the glass had more flex and cracked.

When we reached Coffs Harbour we got a shipwright to replace both these windows. This was a good move since there is a significant amount of work required to remove the frames, ensuring they didn’t break. He was great and also taught us how to seal round the windows to help prevent future leaks.

Our turn to seal a window

Armed with some new knowledge and a little experience, we had a go ourselves. Not perfect but pretty pleased with our first effort.

New cupboard in master cabin

The shipwright did such a great job on our windows, that when we identified a void in our master cabin, we decided to get him to cut out the wall and build us a door & frame (using an existing door) so we had another cupboard. Storage on a boat is especially important and this cupboard is great. Out of interest, some Ocean Alexanders use this area for a washer/dryer. I’m not so in love with washing that I want one in my bedroom!

Replaced toilet in ensuite/laundry

The toilet in our ensuite/laundry was salt water, and because of bacteria in the pipes, it always smelt disgusting! To help you understand this, here’s an extract from a website:

“In the case of seawater flush, the water in the intake line and bowl will begin to stink, a result of anaerobic processes converting sulfate in seawater into hydrogen sulfide, resulting in the familiar rotten-egg odor.”

I think Robert got fed up with me complaining about the smell and we agreed to replace it with a freshwater loo! We carry about 1500l of water so shouldn’t be an issue. 

More cleats

Robert bought some traditional cleats from another boat owner, John A, in Coffs Harbour and installed them in the Portuguese Bridge, three each side. Perfect for keeping ropes, what we “boaties” call lines, in order.


I made some screens to help keep bugs out and cats in. There’s a large one on the saloon doors that rolls down and is secured with clips, then rolls up almost out of sight. Then there are a couple in the pilot house around the windows that are set into the doors.

Outdoor table

We’d bought a second-hand teak butlers table years ago and refurbed it, but we weren’t using it. I challenged Robert to put it on the wall so we could fold it up and down. It also solves the problem of where to store it and as you can see from the image, is very useful.

Raggy quilt

I like to have a project or two on the go and this year a friend showed me how to make a raggy quilt. 

There’s something a bit ironic about cutting large pieces of fabric into smaller pieces, then sewing them back together again in even bigger pieces! 

My original plan was to make a lap quilt, but it kind of grew. The cats enjoyed rearranging my pattern too! I’m very happy with the result and finished it just before summer!

Wheel cover

The wheel on the flybridge was getting sun damaged, so I made a cover.

I followed a Sailrite video exactly until the point of putting the elastic in. I thought it would be too loose using their instructions. I was wrong! It’s still a snug fit and I may revisit it one day to replace the elastic.

Note to self, don’t think you know better.

More fans

With no air-conditioning, Robert installed some 12-volt fans in the saloon to help circulate the air.

We were also at a chandlery recently and he commented they had the same 12-volt fan in store as what he’d installed on his side of our bed. I asked why I didn’t have one, thinking there was a limitation. But no there wasn’t so now I have one too!  These ones – unlike those in the saloon – can be set to run for 3, 6, 9, or 12 hours, or be always on. 

Some tweaks to existing things

As I mentioned before, storage is important. I ended up putting tabs on some of our window and door covers. This means they can be stored in situ, rather than have to be removed and stored somewhere else.

And we also put up some washing lines along both sides of the deck. They’re hidden away so you can barely see we’ve got our washing out to dry.

Bilge pump hack

Even though we have bilge pumps, there’s always some residual water in the bilge. The water is mostly because rain water drips in via the anchor chain, and some water always drips through the stern glands (around a drip once or twice a minute when motoring) which is normal. While the bilge pumps get most of the water, there is always a little residual that doesn’t get pumped out.

This bilge pump hack , that Robert found on a forum, helps dry up the residual water. There’s a sponge under the cover, (cover looks like a power point cover) to absorb the water, and a small tube going into the sponge. Every four hours between 7am and 7pm, a pump comes on for 3 minutes to pump out this residual water, leaving our bilges mostly dry – depending how much rain we’ve had.  

Boat chaps

I actually created a post about how I made boat chaps earlier this year. So if you want lots of details and photos, please click How I made Boat Chaps.

Completed the Portuguese bridge

We finally finished the Portuguese bridge. We’d completed all but the final painting with non-slip Tread Grip paint. 

We followed the same process as I wrote about in my blog, A Foredeck Refurb


And lots of it…

One tip I have…CT18 truck wash is excellent for cleaning salt off windows.

Standing computer workstation

We created a standing computer workstation in the pilot house. I like the option to be able to stand and work.

Varnished inside around windows and kitchen bench

Just a little touch up job really. I only do projects that I know are easy to maintain. I see no point varnishing large sections of wood if I know it’s too much to keep up in future.

Grew cat grass, which they love!

I never knew I could sustain any edible plants, since never being able to before.

Binge-watching TV

When I look at the list above, I wonder when I got time to binge watch so much TV. But somehow, I managed to watch entire series of, to name a few, Schitt’s Creek, Community, Doc Marten, The Good Fight, Why Women Kill, Fargo, The Last Man on Earth, and Parks and Recreation. 

Becoming a bag lady!

As I mentioned previously, I like to have a project on the go. Here are a couple of bags I made. Maybe I’ll start selling them. Any takers? 

~ And that’s my wrap for 2020 ~

9 Responses

  1. Happy New Year to you both (and the cats).
    Your new life sounds amazing and In have enjoyed the photos and the blogs.
    The amount of work is incredible, you both have such attention to detail so the finished items are first class.
    Hope to catch up one day.

    Love Wendy

  2. Happy New Year Pam! I’ve really enjoyed you blog and learning about boating. Look forward to more in 2021.
    Cheers Mon xx

  3. Wow, that’s an impressive ‘done’ list! So you can just sit back and relax in 2021? Nothing left for New Year’s Resolutions… 🙂
    Best wishes to you and Rob from Cheryl and Mike

  4. Interested to see your tray of ‘cat grass’. I wonder if it’s the same sort of grass that dogs like to chew on. I’ve noticed that my dog Laurel has a nibble almost every day, and that it’s a particular sort of grass (not any old grass will do) so I’m making sure there is some in my yard.
    Love to both of you and best wishes for your cruising in 2021.

  5. Wow you certainly have been busy! Soon you’ll have nothing to do but to lay on the deck, sipping a Marguerita! Enjoy, and safe travels!

  6. I’m not only living vicariously through you, I’m also learning boat terminology. Great post! Stay safe!

  7. Excellent post Pam. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year as we have enjoyed your posts.
    Love to you, Robert and the cats,

  8. Boat chaps ! Now Iv learnt something . So enjoy your blog takes my mind away from this covid situ in U.K. happy Christmas 🎄 and all best wishes for 2021. Love. Malcsx

  9. I am just so inspired by your energy. Both you and Robert have achieved so much with all the work you have done around the boat.
    Your Sirocco fans are marvelous! We had them in the 4×4 Motorhome. (Did I tell you we sold it?)
    Love the Purssy cats!
    Have a wonderful Xmas.
    Rob & Chicka

Comments are closed.