Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity


Boat Improvements


The trip recap in numbers.

S/V Serenity and crew
Boat size:  36 feet long, 18.5 feet wide, 3 foot draft (depth in water)
Boat type:  PDQ 36
Number that started the trip:  5 (Jim, Jan, AJ, Lucky the dog and Sid the cat).
Number that finished the trip:  4 (Sid decided to stay in the Bahamas) Continue reading “Numbers”

Anchor alarm panic (at 1am) and solar problems (2/9/18, 2/12/18)

Two random topics from the Bahamas.

We take a break from bragging about the sunny skies, the white sand beaches, the blue water and warm temperatures to talk about two issues from this week.  The trip isn’t all rainbows and unicorns!! Continue reading “Anchor alarm panic (at 1am) and solar problems (2/9/18, 2/12/18)”

Solar: Upping our connection to the sun.

While we wait for a weather window to move to the Bahamas, we take a minute to upgrade the solar system on our boat.   Continue reading “Solar: Upping our connection to the sun.”

Preventative Maintenance Matters (12/5/17)

Let’s be honest. I have not, as I have grown up, shown any great aptitude or even good attitude when it comes to maintenance. Of anything that has an engine.  Computers I love breaking/fixing and breaking again, but mechanical stuff?  Forget it. For example, I burned more cars (two) than I fixed or worked on (zero) through college. Upon joining the Army, I got drilled into my head that preventative maintenance is key to making sure you stuff works. That is–take care of the equipment by doing the routine services and it is going to last a lot longer. But I didn’t actually DO the maintenance; just made sure it got done! I mean, your hands get dirty and stuff! When it came time to get work done, I outsourced it to someone else. Rather have someone else dork it up than me! Continue reading “Preventative Maintenance Matters (12/5/17)”

CHICAGO!!! And the end to the Great Lakes portion of the trip (9/6/17-9/7/17)

The marking of the end of our Great Lakes portion of the great loop was marked yesterday (9/7/17) with the unstepping of our mast in Crowley’s boat yard. It also marked the beginning of our river portion of the trip and we got a small taste of some of the challenges we will
face when we went to Crowley’s; bridges, barges and traffic.
Continue reading “CHICAGO!!! And the end to the Great Lakes portion of the trip (9/6/17-9/7/17)”

Six Flags and We DON’T Leave for Chicago (8/4/17-8/5/17)

Start: Waukegan, IL
End: Chicago IL
Total Distance: TBD
Time: ???
Average Speed: ???

We really don’t have a schedule and when we try to pretend we have a schedule we are reminded why we don’t.

Continue reading “Six Flags and We DON’T Leave for Chicago (8/4/17-8/5/17)”

On the Move Again: Waukegan, IL (9/3/17)

Start: McKinley Marina, Milwaukee, WI, 0703
End: Waukegan, IL, 1431
Total Distance: 44.1 nm
Time: 7:28
Average Speed: 5.9
Subjective grade for the quality of the day: A plus plus plus (from “A Christmas Story). Sunny, good wind, what not to like?!?!

Continue reading “On the Move Again: Waukegan, IL (9/3/17)”

Planning for the rivers: Unstepping and shipping the mast (8/19/17)

This is a niche topic. If you look at the venn diagram that shows the intersection of ‘people who read the blog’ (about 4 people) and ‘people planning on doing the loop in a sailboat’ (more than 4), the intersection is not many.

But we are heading south from Sheboygan to Milwaukee on a 40+mile trip with eight hours of time, the day is sunny, the lake is not busy and Jan scanning the horizon, so I have time. And time and a computer are dangerous things. Continue reading “Planning for the rivers: Unstepping and shipping the mast (8/19/17)”

Maintenance: Fridge, Battery Charger, Hatch O-Rings and lower unit oil change

We knew we were going to be in Manitowoc for a couple of days, so a week ago I contacted Gary, the service manager at Manitowoc Marina, to see if he could help us with some maintenance issues. We needed (in no particular order) to get our battery monitor installed, someone to look at our ever running fridge, and haul our boat out of the water so I could change the oil on the outboards engines lower unit. And while we were here, I would replace the O rings on our hatches to see if that would stop the slow leaks we had in both bedrooms. The windows directly above each bed would drip water onto our beds in bad rainstorms. It appeared to be coming from the window handles, so I ordered some O-rings which grandpa Chuck delivered. Continue reading “Maintenance: Fridge, Battery Charger, Hatch O-Rings and lower unit oil change”

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