Bill, the Seattle North Pacific rep, happened to catch me outside of Shilshole as I was single-handing Turtle to her new (temporary) home.

It’s been a busy fall. We moved to a new city and that’s been taking up most of our attention and energy. We also moved Turtle to a new marina, closer to our new home. We only have transient moorage until May – and it’s a 30A slip – but the owner of the marina assures us she can find us a permanent slip with 50A power. I didn’t think I would care about 50A, but it’s nice to be able to run the hydronic heat at the dock without igniting the diesel boiler. We also need 50A to do laundry. We can always run the generator, but it’s a nice quality-of-life upgrade to do everything we need on shore power.

We’re keeping our Shilshole slip for now. We have regular business over in Seattle, and it will be nice to have the boat over there as a local condo when we need to stay overnight. It’s expensive maintaining two moorages, but the waitlist for Shilshole is so long I’m hesitant to give it up. The new moorage is about half of what Shilshole is, so it will be nice to eventually move here permanently.

There was a long wait list here, as well. But, apparently having a shiny new boat bumps you to the front of the queue for private marinas. I feel a little bad about that – but not really. Especially considering how we’ve been treated by the sailboats and live-aboards.*

Anyway – mechanical updates!


We’ve started seeing our forward ELCI breaker trip. This happened sporadically up in Blaine during commissioning as well. So far it has only happened once, but it made us lose all the food in the fridge, since we don’t leave the inverter on when we’re away. There are no obvious sources of surges (no electric heaters, etc.) and the failure is infrequent. When we plugged power back in we saw a green flashing light which indicates: “...the tripping is due to an over current“. These things are super sensitive, so it could be anything. This one may be tough to track down. Now that the boat is closer, it’s easier to check in on it. But, I still want to know that I’m not going to intermittently lose shore power. North Pacific is helping troubleshoot – but I am also farther away from their usual boat mechanics, so the logistics could be a problem.

Hot Coolant Smell

One or both of the heater cores under the kid’s bed smells like hot antifreeze. If you’ve never smelled it, it smells like maple syrup or roasted chestnuts. There are no signs of leaks anywhere, but the smell is quite strong. North Pacific sent me a spare heater core and the local rep for ITR (the manufacturer) happens to be anchored outside our new marina (seriously, that’s a stroke of luck!). He’ll come troubleshoot on Tuesday. We need to get this addressed before our Christmas trip.

Salon Blinds are Done!

I’ve had piles of blinds sitting in the laz for months now. I finally bit the bullet and spent a day getting the rest of them in the salon. The valence hanging over the window makes these really hard to get in. A couple a tricks I found:

  • Use some poster putty to hold the clip in place while you get the screws in.
  • Get a really long extension for the power drill (and use the hex head, not the Philips head).

A couple of times I could not get the screws to go all the way in, the facing would pull away and the screw hit something (maybe the aluminum floor mesh?). But, for the most part they seem secure. I think they look really good…

Couch feet

Finally, this has been a chronic annoyance for a while. The couch doesn’t sit level (on a boat? really?) and the plastic pads scratch the floor. We tried little shims and felt pads, but they don’t work. So, I added some permanent felt feet that can be adjusted. Now it sits level and I can move it without scratching the floor.

One more thing. I picked up one of these Milwaukee portable shop vacs and they’re amazing. It makes cleanup of sawdust and other stuff super convenient. It’s also part of the whole “Fuel” line of tools that use interchangeable batteries. Though, there are differences you should be aware of before you decide to lock into their ecosystem. So far I have the shop vac, a drill, an impact drill, and a leaf blower. Been very happy with them.

*Let’s just say the tension between sail and power, and between marina live-aboards and monthly moorage, turns into full on class warfare when you have a new boat.