No, we don’t just work on the boat!

It’s been a while, so….. I thought I’d post some pictures from recent cruising.

Cruising Princess Royal Reach
Chatterbox Falls July 2021
Princess Louisa July 2021
Blind Bay
Laura Cove
Anvil Island
Howe Sound
Fossil Bay May 2022
Smugglers Cove

So you see we do use the boat!

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New Rub Rail

This project took on a life of it’s own.
I can honestly say that without the efforts of a few good friends it would not have happened.
(I am behind posting this as it was installed a year ago.)

After some research and phone calls to suppliers searching for the size and look that I wanted, I decided on SPHAERA 25 Rub Rail.

Here’s what it looks like

As it turned out my good friend Ross was also looking to change the Rub Rail on his 26 Tolly,
(see pictures at the end)

So…… While I ordered the product and arranged the transport, Ross took on the role of installer! Our mutual friend Gary also took charge. For the most part I was the “helper” on this project as they had developed an excellent system.

The first job was to remove the old scratched up original rub rail.

The next job was to clean up behind and under the old rub rail. We also filled and sanded the old screw holes and checked the hull to deck caulking. We used INTERLUX epoxy filler to fill the holes. The hull to deck joint caulking was in good shape.

The black PVC Base comes in a long single roll. We found it better to leave it out in the sun to warm up and then roll it out.

We used a thick bead of SIKAFLEX behind the BASE before positioning it on the boat and applying the stainless rails.

The PVC base is supplied and installed all in one run without any joints or seams. We used tape to hold the base up and in place until we were ready to apply the Sikaflex and stainless.

The stainless “bars” or Rails come in 9 foot lengths and have a core of a rubberized type material called Duralene that makes them flexible and strong.
We used the optional joint caps to hide the ends. (stock photo shown below)

We positioned the stainless over the base then drilled through the base and into the cap rail of the boat.
We put a “dab” of Sika on each fastener and screwed them in.

Gary inspecting the base for position

Ross cutting the stainless to fit the “shear” portion of the rub rail

It’s a multi person job to install the stainless. One to hold it in place, one to drill the hole into the cap rail, one to apply Sikaflex to the screw, one to actually install the screw and then at least one to clean up any excess Sikaflex. (or “schmegg” as they nicknamed it.)

Miriam was the best clean up expert.

We saved installing the rub rail on the swim step until the boat was “on the hard”. The base and the stainless take a radius curve very well and is easily shaped to fit around the swim grid and transom.

I am really happy with the way it turned out. I think it updates the look of the boat.

Many Many THANKS to Ross, Gary and Miriam for the hard work getting this project done !!

If your interested in more information,

The product was sourced from FISHERIES SUPPLY and usually needs to be ordered in.

More information can be found here. TESSILMARE

Here are a few pictures of the Rub Rail that Ross installed on his Tolly 26 “UnTide”
You can see he and Gary did an excellent job and perfected the installation technique !

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Bow Thruster

Last Year we started thinking of adding a bow thruster.

After extensive research and asking lots of questions regarding sizing, power and placement we found a great off season deal at FISHERIES so we decided to move forward.

This Spring the project came to life.

We chose the LEWMAR 185TT 5HP with the standard joystick controls at both helms.

First up was to remove the floor under the V berth to gain access.

Measuring and cutting the floor out

We had contracted with local fiberglass expert RON TOMAS for the install. Ron does a great job and allowed me to help with the process!

Measure 10 times before you cut the first hole
Scribing the line for the cut out

Here are 2 quick video links to the actual cutting / sawing:

Cutting the hole

Next the tube gets located, cut and glassed on the inside and outside.

The tube is 8″ and is installed extra long to allow for a flange to be glassed in the forward edge. This results in reduced drag and noise as well as improving performance.

Below is a look at the tube on the inside. (Interesting to see the light coming through before the hull and tube are painted)

Glass work continues and the hull is faired. The forward flange is formed at this point.

Barrier coat and bottom paint is applied prior to the gearbox and prop being installed.

Almost done on the outside

The flange is mounted to the tube then the floor is replaced and glassed back in.
Then the motor is mounted.

Lower Helm Joystick
Upper Helm Joystick

Great to have this project wrapped up before the season began.

All in all we are very pleased with the addition and the performance.

Here are the products we used for this project




AC Charger:

DC charging isolator:

Battery Box:

Foot Note:

Below is a picture of the actual holes that were cut out.

Notice the thickness of fiberglass of the hull.
Also, notice they both have the very end of the stringer attached. If you look closely you will see the foam structure as well as a section of mahogany.

This answers the age old question that there is in fact a top piece of wood in the foam filled stringers !!


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2020 Update and Annual Haul Out

Well….. 2020 sure has been a different year to say the least !

With the boat moored in the Point Roberts Marina, as soon as the US / Canada Border closed our access to the boat was cut off.

Point Roberts Marina now with many empty slips

The mass exodus of boats actually started before the border closure but we decided to “wait and see”.

Like many others, we waited for several Months to see if the Border would re open but finally on July 3rd we had MV Tolly Roger moved into Canadian waters.

Arriving at Captains Cove Marina July 3rd 2020

We didn’t have much choice on the day they moved the boat and as it turned out it was a cold and rainy day but at least we had our boat back!

We were quite lucky to find a slip at Captains Cove Marina

Now we could finally get cleaning and getting the boat ready for the season!

I’ll spare you the details but lets just say despite having the boat fully ready to go for our now annual cruise to Desolation Sound….. “Life” got in the way and we had to cancel.

We did finally get out for a week at the end of August and included attending the Canadian Tollycruisers non-rendezvous .

Fast Forward a bit to the end of September and it was time to haul the boat for some long overdue maintenance.

Haul Out at Captains Cove

On the list was Bottom Paint, Zincs, Cut Polish and Wax, an Insurance Survey, a minor Fiberglas Repair and a new Boot Stripe. While “on the hard” we decided to replace the house bank batteries as it’s a lot easier to handle these in the yard rather than at the dock.

Here are a few pictures:

Old Batteries out waiting delivery of new ones
New House Bank Batteries

New House Bank Batteries are US Batteries supplied by Hub Power in Burnaby

2 coats of Interlux Micron CSC
Full cut polish and Wax
Sanding the boot stripe

I was going to sand and re-paint the boot stripe like I had a few times before until I discovered that Kickplate Graphics could save me all that effort and apply a vinyl stripe!

Anthony skillfully applying the new boot stripe

We are very pleased with the vinyl stripes. If you look closely you will notice that we also had him replace the 1″ stripe just below the windows.

Back in her slip after several days in the yard
Back in her slip

It’s great to have all these projects completed.

I had great plans to get all this done in the Spring but the events and circumstances this year certainly changed that plan.

We are definitely looking forward to a better boating year in 2021 !!!


Additional Notes

First a big thank you to everyone for their kind comments and compliments about the boat. (I had no idea how many people actually read the blog)

I’ve had several people asking how we had the boat moved in Canada so I thought I would add it to the post.

The process is actually quite straightforward.

There are a few “boat brokers” who have a business that can still operate in the US and Canada. We used Westwind Marine. They operate the repair/haul out business in Point Roberts and also have a Boat Brokerage Business. One of their employees moved the boat from Point Roberts to Steveston (about 20 nautical miles) and cleared Canada Customs at the public dock.

After Customs had inspected the boat, Peggy drove him back to the Point Roberts border where he walked across. Phil and I then took the boat about 7 miles up the river to Captains Cove Marina. Easy. Not inexpensive but all-in-all we repatriated the boat and with limited choices we felt this was our best option

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Going Solar

We wanted to be able to increase the time between charging the house bank while away from the dock.

After some research, we decided to add a solar charging system for the boat.

A bit of background.
We do not have an “on-board” generator. We use a small 2000W portable when needed. It works but we hate the noise and in quiet anchorages we feel guilty that we have to run it. So in most cases we don’t.

We have 8  6-Volt Golf Cart Batteries in the house bank. They are US Battery 2200’s

Here is the link to the electrical upgrade we did a few years ago.

After some research and discussion with a few friends that added solar we set out to design and install a system.
We do not have a place on the boat to permanently mount the panels so we decided to look at panels that we could temporarily place up on the Bimini when we need solar charging.

After some price and brand shopping, we purchased 4 -100 Watt Flexible panels from  Amray Solar
These are Sunpower panels and flexible but not “roll up flexible”

Testing Solar Panels

Here are the panels being tested outside before taking them to the boat.

They have grommets built in. I tied them  with zap straps and they hinge together into a bundle.
Peggy made a “Tote” bag for them that keeps them neatly protected and fits under the upper helm in the brow.
They are flexible but do not roll up. They weigh less than 2 lbs each.

We “deploy” them (for lack of a better word) and slide them up on the Bimini, then tie them down with bungee cords. It takes about 5 minutes to get them in place and connect the wiring.
They are quite secure up there. We did experience some gusty winds one afternoon but the panels stayed in place quite well.

We don’t travel with the panels up there unless we are just going a short distance at slow speed with no wind.

Solar panels deployed on bimini


I am working on tightening the Bimini so the panels sit totally flat.




Back to the design and install.

We ran a 10G duplex marine wire from the upper bridge console, down the back side panels and directly to the charge controller then to the House Battery Bank. The wiring is concealed inside the boat.

I know it’s common to “backfeed” through a fuse bank or other existing wires but I wanted to:
1. Dedicate a fused circuit or wire run JUST for the solar direct to the house bank buss.
This would allow the solar charge to show up on the LinkPro SOC meter as well.
2. Maximize the wire size to cut down on any power loss .

For a charge controller we went with a Victron MPPT 100/30
It got great reviews in the solar world and has a cool feature of Bluetooth so you can monitor the performance of the entire system on your phone or ipad. The app shows you in real time what the panels produce and what amperage is going into the battery bank. You can also see the past 10 day performance.

The charge controller is mounted in a side cabinet in the cockpit just above the battery bank.
I added 2 circuit breakers at the charge controller and a 30 amp fuse at the connection to the battery bank.

Here is a screen shot of the Victron app showing a 25.0 AMP charge going into the battery bank! This was the maximum that I saw but I am very pleased with that amount of charge.









And here is the LinkPro showing fully charged. I was surprised to see this as I did not expect to be able to reach a full charge while being “on the hook”






Here’s a better picture of how the panels look on top of the Bimini.
(I am going to tighten it up and get them to lay flat.)


On our recent 17 day trip to Desolation Sound we had GREAT weather with lots of sunny days. The system performed beyond  expectations and we never plugged in or used the generator once!
Very pleased with that result!


When we are just out for a few days and do not have the Bimini up, we just lay the panels on one of the fly bridge seats. I am surprised that even this gives us lots of charge!

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Heading for Home

We started for home on Sunday.

Leaving Melanie Cove

Our good friend and tour director heading home aboard the Nola-Dene II









The skies were still very smoky but the water was calm as we headed down Homfray Channel and around Sarah Point









Along the way we stopped by Savary Island to remember my Father Bill

Savary from a distance in the smoke

The house on Savary that my Grandparents built



We had hoped to anchor for a bit and walk over to the house but we’ll save that for another time.

Jolly Mon

Briar Patch heading North






We continued South and just off Westview we spotted good friends and fellow Tollycruisers Jolly Mon and Briar Patch who were heading North to Desolation Sound.






Briar Patch on AIS



Smokey Cruise

We carried on through the smoke stopping at Secret Cove for the night and made our way home the next Morning.

And so ends another Desolation Sound trip










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Melanie Cove and the Concert in the Smoke

We left Tenedos and headed into Refuge Cove for a few supplies and some water and then headed to “Downtown Desolation Sound”

Prideaux Haven, Laura Cove and Melanie Cove were starting to fill up probably due to the free floating concert that weekend.


We tried for our usual spot in Laura Cove but it was taken and the rest of it looked a bit tight… so we rafted in Melanie. It was just fine when we got there but very quickly became PACKED!

It’s a great spot but a bit too busy this year.

Melanie Cove starting to get really busy

I guess we knew it would be busy as the Floating Concert has become popular and has been published in a few cruising magazines.

We didn’t quite know what to expect but it was truly a lot of fun !!






This year the concert was dubbed “concert in the smoke” because of the forest fires that had been burning for several weeks.



It’s hard to say how many dinghy’s were there but maybe 150 or so.

We rafted with a few other friends in their dinghy’s and soon others joined us.





Leaving Melanie Cove



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Tenedos and 5 Fathom Bay

Another return anchorage for us is 5 Fathom Bay in the North West corner of Tenedos.

Tenedos and 5 Fathom Bay

A quiet spot away from the “main” anchorage it is very shallow and a bit tricky to get in and out of but it makes for a great anchorage.

Thanks to our more experienced friends again for not only showing us these spots but for doing all the heavy lifting of anchoring and stern tying.






Of course we dinghy’d over and walked to Unwin Lake a few times for human and canine swimming. Too much fun!


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Pendrell Sound

This year we anchored about half way up Pendrell sound on the North side in the bay just outside “The Lagoon”

Another great spot, although this location can be subject to the wakes of transiting boats. Most are respectful of the 5-7knt speed but then there are some that are just plain rude!
( MV Nugget you owe Graham a few dishes!)

Entering the anchorage


Pendrell Sound Oysters on the BBQ.

The crew from Hat Trick relaxing on the bow






The view from the flybridge

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Walsh Cove 2017

We left Octopus Islands and headed to Walsh Cove

We traveled through “Hole in the Wall” (another slack tide)

We crossed Calm Passage, through Raza Passage down Pryce Channel before turning down Waddington Channel. The scenery is spectacular and we had a perfect day for it

Walsh Cove is another great spot. Quite and very Scenic

We will definitely be back


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