Octopus Islands 2017

After some local cruising this Spring we ventured North to Desolation Sound on July 20th.

We stopped in Pender Harbour and Gorge Harbour before getting to our first anchorage at Octopus Island.



The Octopus Island Marine Park is a great spot.



















To get there we transited through Beazley Passage (above picture). A slack tide is required.






This is Tolly trying to become a black dog like his friends Maddy and Roger!

From the head of Waiatt Bay we hiked to Newton Lake, about a 45 minute trip. Great swimming for the humans and the dogs!

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Tolly Roger underway

Here’s a short Video of Tolly Roger underway in Desolation Sound this Summer


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Wallace Island

We stopped by Wallace Island for a visit last week.














We added our Tolly Roger sign





We’ve been to Wallace Island before and really like the history behind it.

Recently our friend Steve Monrad posted this short video about the island.


We also signed the Tollycraft Burgee in the shack!


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2016 Cruising

Summer Cruising 2016

We started at SUCIA for the Canadian May long weekend.
We were quite surprised that Fossil Bay was not very busy.


We’ve walked from Fossil to Shallow many many times and I’ve never really looked at this tree stump. It must have a story behind it.



Fossil Bay









Seems like a tradition to have the first boating weekend at Sucia every year .



The next cruise was the annual “N DOCK” Pirates Weekend ….
great fun but a a bit hard on my liver!
















Next we were  out for a couple of weeks at the end of July with our good friends in their “new to them” Tollycraft 44 now named  “HAT TRICK” (it’s their 3rd Tolly) but actually if you include their dog, who’s name is Tolly, it’s their 4th Tolly !



We traveled first to Reid Harbor, then to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island.
We like it there. Great hikes!









Of course we had to make the annual shirt purchase!











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Turn Point Light Station is a great hike. This year we had a tour of the small museum and the caretakers house that has is hosted by members of the Turn Point Lighthouse Preservation Society.
























There is an unmarked path (maybe trail is a better word) that leads from the Lighthouse to another Viewpoint that looks to the NorthWest.
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We travelled to Tod Inlet for some warm water swimming and a few walks.
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From there we headed to Pender Island and Poets Cove.

We dinghy’d over to the beach at Beaumont Park and hiked the trail to Mt. Norman.

The trail winds around the back side of the park and then ascends through the forest and then up a steep road to the lookout.


The lookout

It’s a good hike and definitely got the heart beating!
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Along the way we found time to explore some beaches in the Dinghy’s



















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Lots of fun and soon another Summer Cruise was ending.
We finished off the cruise in Shallow Bay back at Sucia


Roger That


Shallow Bay Sunset

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Teak Window Valances

In 2011, when we first got the boat, one of the first things we did was to remove the “flowery” curtains.

Original Interior

Original Interior

First we replaced the curtains with with  blinds. It dramatically changed the look of the inside and helped make the teak sides”pop” but the original window valances on the boat were covered with a cream colored vinyl and it looked dirty, dated and drab.

Valance OLD (4) Valance OLD (5) Valance OLD (1)

We  wanted to change these and update them to teak.

So this past Winter the valances were removed , stripped of the vinyl and  1/8″ teak plywood was glued to them.
We wanted the grain to run vertically to match the sides and this meant adding a molding to the bottom of the valance. A custom curved molding had to be made for the forward end of the valance.
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After sanding they were finished with several coats of teak oil.
We used the original trim “piping” on the upper edge

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Here’s how they turned out




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A purely cosmetic project this time but we think it looks way better !


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Cruising Update

We’ve been neglecting our blog entries for a while so it’s time to catch up.

The pictures below are random samples from our destinations so far this year that include;
Sucia, Sucia, Sucia, Reid Harbor, Roche Harbor (Tollycraft Rendezvous), Steveston, Captains Cove, Secret Cove, Desolation Sound, Tenedos, Pendrell Sound, Laura Cove, Grace Harbour, Gorge Harbour,  Smuggler Cove, Point Roberts…. click on a picture to enlarge.

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We’ll update with more pictures soon

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Replacing a Starboard Port…….. wait…… what?

The portlight on the Starboard side was looking a little “worse for wear”
The portlight was ugly, the trim ring was cracked, the bug screen was broken, the lens was cloudy and the outer silicon seal was falling out, so….
It was time to replace it.

1 Port Light (4)


It looked like the outside edges had been sealed with silicon at some point and that was failing.
The outside trim ring was brittle and came off in several pieces.
I ran a knife blade around the edges of the portlight and with very little pressure it literally fell out (or actually in, crashing into the sink in the head)


Next I cleaned up the outside surface and sanded down the high spots.


Although there was no sign of it on the inside, I discovered that the portlight had been leaking.

The inner wall is teak plywood and the outer is  fiberglass but in between is 1/2″ plywood and the lower aft corner was WET!  Luckily it was just the inner core of the plywood that was wet and damaged.
Good thing this project is getting done!

I dug out the wet wood with a small screwdriver and used the shop vac to help clean out the debris. Then I dried out the cavity with a hair dryer and let it sit open for a day or so.

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After it was completely dry, I sanded the entire opening. I mixed a small batch of epoxy resin and applied it with a brush around the opening and using  a syringe I filled the cavity, level to the bottom edge of the opening.
I let this cure for a couple of days.

Next, I dry fit the new portlight in position to measure the fit and the outside edge.

The new portlights come with a full 2″ depth spigot. The old one was flush mounted to the trim ring.
I think that the flush mounting actually caused the seal to fail and leak, so I opted to extend the spigot out  3/8″.
The  spigot was easy to trim using a table saw. (sorry no pictures of that step)

The old portlight was mounted with the trim ring screwed on from the outside.
I  like the look of the trim ring without the screws so I chose to use 4200 to attach it.

I opted for the BECKSON Self Drain Port. I think it looks better than the “rain drain” style with the two cut outs on the bottom.

Beckson Rain Drain Port

Beckson SELF Drain Port


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Next,  I installed the trimmed portlight. The inner flange is screwed to the cabin wall from the inside.
Then I taped around the outer edge outside of where the trim ring will sit to make it easier and neater to clean up the excess 4200.

I then sealed the gap between the spigot’s outside flange and the cabin side and the old screw holes with 4200.

I applied a generous bead of 4200  around and under the trim ring and gently clamped it in place.

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After a short set up time I removed the clamps and tape and cleaned up any excess 4200.

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I re-taped the trim ring to keep a bit of pressure on it and left it to set up overnight.

………..and here is how the Finished Port Light looks

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Another needed project done !

On to the next one…………………………..

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Battery and 12V DC Upgrade

This project began in the Fall of 2014 and turned into an almost complete upgrade and update of the 12 Volt DC system

First a little background

As far as I can tell, the boat came from the factory with 3 – 8D batteries located between the stringers centred in the lazzerette. One 8D was wired just for the port engine (starting)  the other 2 were wired for the starboard start and house bank. We had a house bank of about 650ah or so and yes we did drain that down while anchored last year.
It was then I started to seriously think about a new set up


Charging these 8D’s (while cruising) came from both engines wired to an old charging combiner and then to each battery. This seemed to work OK but I do not think the batteries were ever fully charged with this method.


last 8D in place. There were 2 more in front of this


At some point the previous owner added a Xantrex Prosine inverter/charger and powered this with 4 – 6V Golf Cart batteries. These were located between the outside stringers, 2 on each side.
This was wired as a complete seperate battery bank dedicated to the inverter only and only charged by the Xantrex.

Nov 8 (8)

Old Location for GC 6V batteries. 2 on each side


Everything seemed to work OK   but we lacked the ability to charge the Golf Cart batteries with the engine alternators (remember we don’t have a generator) and we lacked the ability to properly monitor either battery bank. Another issue was we could not completely isolate the “House” bank from the “Start” bank.

The 8-D’s were 8 years old and were on the list to be replaced, so this all led to a re-design and upgrade of the entire system.

I started thinking that if we combined the inverter batteries and the  existing”house bank” and added a separate stand alone “start” battery that would be better. One huge benefit will be that the new combined house bank can now be charged from the alternator while underway.  I had recently changed the 4 Golf Cart Batteries and my supplier felt that adding an additional 4 so soon was no problem.( Usually you would not want to combine new and old batteries but these should be just fine.)

None of the cables or wires connected to the batteries were labelled or marked, so the first step was to trace them all back and mark them. That took longer than I had expected but I was then able to see how the boat was wired and I ended up changing the main power switches to dedicate one as the “House Bank” and one as the “Start Bank”

By increasing the new “house bank” to 8 – 6Volts this will give us just over 900ah of standby power, should be plenty!

This new combined House Bank will use the inverter/charger for AC charging and I could eliminate the OLD – GIANT – NOISY pro mariner.  Some people call these old chargers “battery cookers” because they are single 60 amp chargers that just BLAST a charge at the batteries. More modern chargers are 3 stage and will make batteries last longer.
Well, we have one of those, so why not use it !


Old Pro Mariner Battery Charger


Next I thought If I could move the location of these batteries, 4 on each side, to the outside stringer space this would free up a huge amount of storage space where the 8D’s were.
I constructed heavy duty plywood shelves to fit the batteries on . The shelves are fixed and are quite solid. The batteries in their boxes slide in place from the lazzerette and are held in with cleats and nylon tie downs.

Nov 8 (6)

Testing out the new loaction

Nov 8 (5)

Batteries in place ready for cables


I wanted to isolate the entire house bank circuits, dedicate a new, larger alternator for the new house bank , add new wiring with the proper fuses and at the same time add a
Blue Sea ACR. This will combine and then isolate the Start Battery from the new House Bank. I found and removed a few wires that were unused and a added few runs that needed an upgrade. I was able to re-use most of the heavier cables by shortening them and crimping new lug terminals. Shrink tube was used on all cables and wires. I did increase the size of the main house bank alternator and it’s cable. I added fuses where there were none to bring the wiring up to today’s standards.

November 14 (3)

Wiring Begins

Jan 2 (8)

Almost Finished. That’s a Group 31 Start Battery in the box.








Battery Boxes

Battery Boxes

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Nylon Strap Tie Downs


Jan 2 (9)

Wiring Almost Complete



As usual, there were a few more things to add.

To be able to monitor the House Bank I added a Xantrex Link-Pro. This will give us all the information we need to properly keep track of our usage and battery level. It even monitors the Start Battery Voltage.

Link Pro (6)

Link Pro Battery Monitor

Dec 14 (13)

Wiring showing the Xantrex Shunt



One thing leads to another……..

Unlike many other models of Tollycraft, our 34 did not have a separate 12V distribution panel. Many of the circuits were simply fused from a main fuse panel. Some had single switches but many were not switched at all.

I wanted to clean this up and be able to switch circuits, so I added a Blue Sea 8023 panel.

Jan 2 (16)

New DC panel and LinkPro mounted

New distribution panel

New 12Volt Distribution Panel


To make room for the new panel I removed the old water tank level gauge (it never worked) and re-located the Espar Thermostat  Control.
While identifying and changing circuits over to the distribution panel I tested each device and circuit. I found that the LP Gas sensor was not working correctly. We’ve had several false alarms and I suspected that the solenoid was not closing properly.


I installed a new LP gas sensor and solenoid control and relocated it from the cabinet wall in the head to a more convenient location easily reached while in the galley. This solves 2 issues and updates the solenoid and alarm! Perfect !


New propane switch and alarm panel added

Jan 17 (5)

New Propane Switch and Alarm



Of course this left a huge hole in the vanity cabinet in the head….


Giant hole and old switches to fix


So………………. I made a custom aluminium panel.  This houses the VacuFlush control, a switch for the shower light, the shower drain pump and I  added a “night light”.

It covered the hole nicely .



New Control Panel

New Vacuflush panel

New Vacuflush Panel covers the giant hole




“Well, you’ve got the whole boat ripped apart and tools everywhere… you might as well keep going. This project is taking a long time”…….



I thought it would be nice to have a working monitor for the Water Tank so…. I found a company that makes a sensor and panel system that gets great reviews.
Ferriello make these sensors under private label but sell for a few dollars less on their website.


Solo Tank Level Monitor Panel


This panel reads the tank level from a sensor mounted on the outside of the poly water tank. 2 strips of aluminium are attached vertically spaced 3″ apart and 2 copper contacts are adhered to the strips.

External sensor

External Sensor Kit


Sensor Installation Drawing



Sensors attached to water tank








New Control Panels

New Control Panels

I have a feeling that this project is not over just yet but that’s it for now at least.

Check back in a few weeks and see if I have added anything else….. you never know what I might find at the BOAT SHOW !!!!!!


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Desolation Sound

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We’ve wanted to go to Desolation Sound for some time. This year it finally happened.

We started by cruising over to Gabriola Island on the first leg, then to Pender Harbour on the 2nd leg then to Grace Harbour, a total of 106 miles. The skies were clear and the seas were calm. Just the way we like it!…………………..


Half way up Malaspina Straight there was a passenger transfer between Nordic Scot and Breakaway

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Rounding Sarah Point and the first sight of the towering peak of Mt. Denman was every bit the excitement  that we had heard about. Just amazing….. click on any of these pictures to enlarge.


Our 2 week itinerary included Grace Harbour, Tenedos Bay, Prideux Heaven and Laura Cove, Squirrel Cove and Gorge Harbour but as usual the final float plan evolved along the way…

We were cruising with the crew from Breakaway and  Adagio  and we met up with Desolation Veterans Nola Dene and Nordic Scot who were great tour guides and teachers!

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Rafted in Grace Harbour

Rafted in Grace Harbour

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Around every corner and down every inlet the scenery is simply awesome!


Tolly Roger Cruising in Desolation


Karly joined us half way through the trip by flying into Prideaux Haven.



Arriving in style Arriving in Style thanks to Corilair !

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We had a great time in Laura Cove! So much we stayed an extra couple of days !!

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Stern tied in Laura Cove

Stern tied in Laura Cove

A Big “Hit” on the trip was the “RELAXATION STATION”
Thanks Bob for transporting it!


We hiked in to many of the fresh water lakes inland from the anchorages.

Unwin Lake at Tenedos Bay and Black Lake from Roscoe Bay were excellent swimming for people and the dogs!


Looking for Tolly

Looking for Tolly


There were many Dinghy Rides and Floating Happy Hours along the way……………

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Bow Party

Chillin’ in Squirrel Cove

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We left Prideaux Haven and headed to Squirrel Cove


We hiked over to Van Donop inlet. It’s a great hike, well marked trail and good trails.

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From there we headed to Gorge Harbour

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Gorge Harbour Marina is an excellent facility. Great docks, a very good store and a fantastic restaurant.

They even had a Yoga Class every Morning !


We dinghy’d over to Mansons Landing to dig a few clams for a delicious dinner !

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We left Gorge Harbour and headed straight down ending up in the Gulf Islands for our last night.

It was a long run but the sea was calm so we decided just to go for it.


Such a GREAT trip ! We can’t wait to go back up and explore again…………

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#desolationsound          #Tollycraft       #Laura Cove  #Laura Cove  “Tenedos

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Catching up

Well, it’s been a while and we probably need to catch up on some of our cruising notes.

We’ve had 2 long weekends in May this Spring at Sucia including the annual N Dock Pirates weekend. What FUN!

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Then it was the annual Tollycraft Rendezvous in Roche Harbor in June.


The theme this year was WESTERN ROUNDUP so we costumed up and even Roger got into it

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Then it was off to Reid Harbor for a Birthday Party and more fun. We counted 16 Tolly’s gathered after the rendezvous. Some stayed just overnight some stayed for a few days.

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We spent 10 days cruising around the San Juan’s….


We left Reid and headed to Friday Harbour to meet up with a few friends. Spent July 4th there and saw the fireworks diplay!


Ross applies yet another coat of Liquid Glass

Ross applies yet another coat of Liquid Glass

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade


Roger celebrates July 4th

Dinghy rides are a must……….


Best Friends and Lap Dogs…. Roger and Tolly

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We stopped in a Sucia on our way home. What a great trip to start the Summer with!



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