Great Fender Company – TaylorMade

I made a great experience with TaylorMade Fender company. 3 weeks ago one of the fenders blew up, see picture below. I went to WestMarine to buy a replacement and saw that the label says “Lifetime” Limited Warranty, so I asked the sales person and he told me I need to get in contact with TaylorMade customer service. Next day I send them an email with a few pictures and got a prompt reply that I need to provide the mailing adress and my new fender will be on his way. I was a bit suspicious with the Lifetime warranty but that company really stands to their word of lifetime warranty. Excellent customer service. I went and bought 2 more from them!

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Taking a break in Mexico

Last week Jolanda and I went to Mexico City, where I had to go for work. Monday is a bank holiday so we are having a long weekend to explore the region. First we went with our new transportation vehicle (Lime scooter) all across Mexico City we managed to ride 5 miles from Polanco to the Old Town without getting run over by a car or hitting a pedestrian.

On Saturday we went for a hiking tour to the volcano. The hike was a total distance of 2.6 miles and an elevation gain of 6,300ft. In the end we were rewarded with a incredible view of Popocatepetl. Our group was amazing and after a little rest we went out in the evening for dinner.

Sunday will be a relaxing day in Roma with food and walking around the neighborhood also getting prepared for the cold weather when we flying back to New Jersey. We really enjoyed our time in Mexico City and the people we met. Hopefully we will come back soon again.

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Temperature Stresstest

So last weekend was -15C (5F) felt like -25C (130F), the question was how is “Sky’s The Limit” coping.

First exciting news: we have high speed internet on the boat, thanks to the engineer from Comcast who installed the cable on Saturday before the cold. We had 3 engineers coming but we are finally “online” and Jolanda does not have to work from the coffee shop any more.

On Sunday i had my 3rd lesson with Troy boat handling, as we progressed the wind picked up and it became a challenge to keep the boat upwind. One important lesson I learned was to back out from a dangerous position, rather than going forward and steering away. The bow (front of the boat) is much more difficult to steer than the stern (back).

On Monday morning the wind was blowing and the temperatures were far below freezing, as a result the fresh water pipe in the boat froze and I had no water.

It took me some time to find out what the problem was. The waterpump froze because I did not block the vents for the engine room. This was a stupid mistake I took the old foam mattress from the guest-room and cut it to use as insulation.

After that I borrowed my neighbors hairdryer and warmed up the water hose. Two hours later I had running water again. Also the ice and wind took his toll on one of the fenders, apparently they have a livelong warranty, let’s see if that is true.

A lot of people asking me if it is really worth it, I can tell you with a view like that and sitting next to our lovely and heartwarming cat Luna, it is..

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I took my first shower this year …….. on the boat

Happy New Year everyone.
Last weekend was DIY time on the boat for me (as Jolanda is enjoying the warm weather in Las Vegas). The goal was to be able to take a shower, without flooding the boat. A couple of things needed to be fixed first:

1. The water connection on the kitchen faucet was leaking because of a brass connector, I found a plastic replacement (luckily the boat came with a lot of spare parts), installed it, and voila it was dry.
2. Due to the leak above the water tank was empty, unfortunately someone on the marina used the water pipes but did not open the valves on both ends, so the water in the pipes could drain. As the result the water in the pipe froze and I had to wait until Saturday afternoon when it melted and I could re-fill the water tanks.
3. There is a pump on the boat to pump out the shower water (showers are below the water line), due to my lack of knowledge on the operation, I kept it on constantly and of course i burned out after a while. On Sunday the new pump arrived and I was able to install it with the operation switch. Now that I made myself familiar with the operation I hope it will be good for some time. Good thing is, if you can fix these kind of things it will cost you not more than $200 in comparison if a mechanic would come it would be around $1000. Also you would not believe it but it is fun.

The pump is the white round thing and the switch next to it

After all of that I had the most incredible Hollywood shower on Sunday night. Yes I have some water left in the tanks.

On Sunday morning I had my next docking lesson with Captain Troy. It started off like that: Every time you starting an engine you need to make sure that it is cooled correctly, to check that you need to see some cooling water coming out of the exhausted pipe (cooling water is the water outside of the boat, being circulated around the engine and pumped out again). On the port (left) side water came out, on the starboard (right) side only once in a while and only on high power. So we concluded that there is no proper cooling on the engine and the engine might overheat.

Now it gets interesting:

– First we checked that the valve letting water into the boat cooling system is open
– Now we checked that the filter (sea strainer) has no dirt which prevents waterflow
– Now we checked the little propeller (impeller) which pumps the water through the engine. This took us for ages as the 5 screws were very difficult to access and our big fingers did not help. We had to disconnect a fuel line and we got covered in diesel and seawater. After a long time getting everything open and realizing the propeller was in good condition we ran out of ideas.
– Ok one last try, we put some washing liquid into the filter (sea strainer), in case anything that is in the cooling system may dissolve. I walked to the back of the boat, Troy started the engine and immediately the marina was covered in soap foam (sorry forgot to take pictures) ūüôā

So as a conclusion, the cooling system was running properly from the beginning, only the outlet of the cooling water was under the waterline so we could not see that. Drenched in oil, diesel and seawater we started our docking lesson. I successful docked the boat the first time on my own..

Here is a picture from Luna not being impressed with our service:

This post was not the usual “lot of pictures” post, but I hope you liked it and the boating friends might had a laugh or learned something.

Until then…..

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Merry Christmas

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a good start into 2019. This year was a though one but we came out at the other end.

We are off to Jamaica for two weeks to recharge the batteries for the upcoming year. As you know us there are more adventures ahead.

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Second week on the boat

The second week was as exciting as the first one. We still finding things out and learning a lot about the boat.
On Wednesday our favorite surveyor came to evaluate the boat for insurance purposes. After we have invested in so many “upgrades” we would like to insure the boat for a higher current value. Our curious cat Luna was constantly checking on the surveyor if he is doing a good job. Once again we were very happy with Jesse ( and we strongly recommend his service around NYC and JC.

After installing a new battery charger my 2nd project was to replace some bathroom and kitchen faucets, I’m becoming a hobby plumber as well now :-).

On Friday it was time for the annual Christmas party, as you might know Jolanda LOVES to organizes parties with all our friends. This year we were a bit limited with space on the boat but we still had 30 people celebrating with us the Holiday Season. As there was not enough time to get all the food and catering, eEveryone brought some food and we are still enjoying the amazing leftovers. Getting on the boat and even more after a few drinks to get off was challenging for some people but we all had a good time and we can’t thank enough for so many good friends.

On the beautiful Sunday morning we had our first docking and boat handeling lesson with our Australian Captain Troy. He is very patient, calm and explains us things very well and we got to practice docking the boat on our slip. We are very lucky to have him. First thing we learned is that we should not hit things with the boat but sometimes it is unavoidable so it should be done in a controlled way. Here are some pictures of our first lesson:

Now we are preparing for our holiday vacation in Jamaica. Luna is at a boarding home and our neighbors will be looking after our boat. We are so fortunate to have the best people around us.

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First week in the new home

On Saturday we celebrated 1 week anniversary being back with The Sky’s the Limit. The boat is looking better every day. I installed a new battery charger, also did some minor electrical upgrades. Currently we want to make sure that no water pipe can freeze when we are away over Christmas in Jamaica.

On Monday I picked up Luna and she is clearly enjoying the boat, so many things to explore. Also we meet already our new neighbors, which are very helpful and always up for a spontaneous party.

But most important news is that we managed to get our waste tank pumped out. The friendly staff from Liberty Landing came over to empty our tank.

Overall we are very happy with our new home and we can even see the Statue of Liberty from the upstairs room and the sunset is incredible as well. The boat is currently decorated with Christmas items, more pictures to follow.

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Day 17 – WE MADE IT – Sky’s The Limit is home

What a relief, we made it back to Jersey City. A four day trip turned into a 17 day odyssey. A lot of ups and downs, very emotional but also very rewarding. We feel very proud of our persistency to accomplish our mission. It was one of the most challenging endeavors in our life’s. It’s such a good feeling to be finally home.

Can you see the happiness in our smiles when we finally saw the Stature of Liberty. The last 60 miles was a smooth ride, also thanks to our 3rd captain Jay. Yes, we had 3 captains on our “4 day trip”, thanks again to Rebecca, Troy and Jay.

As we arrived in Jersey City, we filled Diesel tanks, cleaned up a bit and invited our new neighbors for a small welcome party.

Luna is probably coming tomorrow and there is still stuff to do. We will keep you updated and hope you enjoyed our story so far. Now we can enjoy the holiday season by decorating the boat (Jolanda has already started).

P.S.: two pictures a friend of ours took on our arrival

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Day 14 of our experience

So as you have read I surprised Jolanda to accompany her on the last of our journey. I was very scared that she is calling me in the bus during the 3 hour ride and finds out, luckily everything worked out that night.

We went to bed and I had the alarm set for 3am to register for the Berlin Marathon 2019, it was a first come first serve draw. Unfortunately I took me 10min to find out were the registration button was, so I did not make it.
On the bride side we had a beautiful morning and engines stared smoothly.

We took off bright and early for our leg to Jersey City. The first few hours were beautiful, chilly but great views and sunrise. At Atlantic City we realized that the swells were getting much higher, wind picked up and visibility deteriorated. We were trying to get into an inlet just after Atlantic City but we could not even see the canal markers. So we continued in the Snowstorm. I can’t tell you what torture the next couple of hours were, BIG swells, sometimes the boat even diving into the swells and all things not secured flying through the boat. We were so lucky that our experienced captain Troy managed to get the boat into Barnegat inlet to get shelter. Even he US Coast Guard was watching over us that we made it through the canal safely.

Completely exhausted and relived we ended the day at Lighthouse Marina at Barnegat bay. So long story short we are still 60 miles away from Jersey City, but we learned a lot today (especially how much beating our boat can withstand). We have some bad weather forecasts the next days so we hoping we will be able to finally arrive at home on Saturday.

Stay Tuned……

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Day 13th – December 4th

So we are 13 days into our adventure to bring our beloved Sky’s The Limit up to Jersey City. So this means I have lived on our boat now for 13 days and nights ¬†:-)!

Day 13th was so beautiful! ¬†Gorgeous weather, beautiful heater running and looking forward to the next day to bring the boat up to Jersey City…..

Suddenly around 3pm I felt it’s getting colder and I turn the heater up, but I realize it’s not producing heat anymore…I checked the voltage…something wrong! After a few calls I find out that our super nice, expensive mechanic turned off the battery switch…. he wanted to come up to check…but even though I like him, I’m like – ¬†oh no – not another $210 per hour…. I can do this! ¬†Just tell me which switch to turn on and I did. I see the battery improving immediately. However after a while ¬†it doesn’t seem to improve the battery anymore. By that time Troy our captain arrived and our expensive, nice mechanic had an idea (maybe he felt a bit bad to turn off our battery switch :-)…he advised us to go and buy a battery charger…. off we went with Mr Uber Formula racer to make it before the automotive store closes. Troy our captain connected the charger to the battery and it seemed somewhat to work…. we looked forward to a relaxing evening with no worries, but we ended up concerned we can’t start our boat in the morning… while we were going through our options, I checked the voltage upstairs again and suddenly the door opens and somebody stands in front of me and I scream….. Marcus arrived to surprise me….Thanks ¬†to the late George H.W. Bush Senior. ¬†The banks closed Wednesday because of his funeral and Marcus got the day off and wanted to join us for the last leg. Did I mention lately that I have the most wonderful husband in the world?

I hand this blog over to Marcus to document day 14th after a sleepless night due to excitement, a bit of worries that the boat will not start and Marcus trying to win a lottery entry to the Berlin Marathon at 3am in the morning…..

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