Tag Archives | projects


Managing power on a cruising boat

Living off the grid, providing your own power, is a tremendous feeling. On Totem, it’s one of the compelling aspects of life afloat, hand in hand with a more simple life and a lighter carbon footprint. Relying on our solar panels and wind turbine to supply power needs instead of plugging in is liberating. That […]


Hauling in Thailand: part 3- lessons learned

The combination of low costs and skilled labor makes Southeast Asia is an appealing region for boat refits. Phithak Shipyard was all that and more. We learned a few things, and will give ourselves a few pats on the back- but there are a couple of things we’d change if we could do it again. […]


Hauling in Thailand: part 2- through hull replacement

New antifouling was the primary objective of our haulout in Thailand, but being out of the water for the first time since early 2008 was an opportunity for other projects. One which Jamie had been thinking about for a while is replacing several of Totem’s through hulls. They are original to the boat, they show their […]


Hauling in Thailand: part 1- a new bottom

Southeast Asia is an appealing region for boat hauling and refits because of the combination of low costs and skilled workers. The Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand have shipyards where everything from carpentry to stainless work is available and relatively expensive. Our needs were more modest- just a new bottom, a few through hulls. A combination […]


Maintenance in exotic locations: preparing to haul

It’s been said that the definition of cruising is performing maintenance in exotic locations. We recently hauled Totem for new anti-fouling paint, four through hull replacements, and a few other projects. Living the definition, propped high and dry on the hard. We had not hauled Totem since April 2008. Five and a half years is […]


Managing surge with docklines and snubbers

Totem’s parking spot in the Brisbane river comes with lots of current and regular rolling from the wake of passing ferries. Both of these are quite unfriendly to docklines. Poor Totem springs back and forth in her slip, and snaps so hard against the docklines that it honestly hurts me a little inside. We clocked […]


Follow up to FAQ: using strops

We had a question from Okeebc on the first passage safety post last week, wanting to see a strop rigged as we use them on Totem. Here’s one example- our boom with two strops (yellow) at the outboard end. The squall in the background of course is nice dramatic effect! The forward strop is to […]


Just another day on Totem

My parents recently asked for “normal everyday” pictures of what’s happening with the children on board. It’s hard to say what a normal day is, since they change as often as the scenery around us- but there are common themes. Here are a few snippets from recent days on board Totem. Niall has been working […]


It is GOOD to be back

It is GOOD to be backOriginally uploaded by behang It is so good to be back at home on board Totem! Jamie and I stopped in Hermosillo to grab a quick bite on our dash back to Phoenix in a rental car to pick up the children and our things at my Aunt Glenna’s home. […]


There are always projects

Replacing hatchesOriginally uploaded by behang We purchased this boat with the idea that it was already in solid shape, and definitely not a “project boat.” All you boatowners out there now shaking your heads at us know… EVERY boat is a “project boat.” It’s just a matter of scale and how much you want to […]

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