With A Little Help From My Friends…


musical-notes.pngLike the lyrics from this Beatles song, I got by with a little help from my friends.  I would not have been able to complete the cleaning out and moving process without several friends lending hands for the physical process and offering support for the mental adjustments.

Thank you, thank you to my dear friends who stepped in and saved my sanity and allowed me to meet the deadline of selling our house!

walesWales Court – SOLD!

Of course, the process of moving out after 20 years was fraught with conflicting emotions, but one feeling that doesn’t vacillate is the relief that communication is so easy and universal these days. The knowledge that I can keep in touch with my family and friends, wherever we are in the world, is what allows me to make this commitment to a totally different lifestyle.

This year, living on LIB while we still owned our land home, I always knew in the back of my mind that I had a bail out plan if cruising didn’t work for me. With the house sold, I feel a little untethered and I wonder how it will affect my attitude.  Will I be more committed to cruising or will I have a slight sense of unease because now I am truly “all in?”

Frank is at peace with the house sale and completely satisfied with boat life.  Thankfully, our sons are very supportive of our decision; so that is 75% of the family in good shape…. I’m confident I will be happy too, it’s just the finality that is hard to accept.

But enough of the emotions, let’s talk about what we are doing on LIB!

For a variety of reasons, we have been at a dock in the Annapolis area for several weeks.  So we are using the time to knock a few items off the To Do List.

Recently we completed a project that I think will make a nice improvement, though it is a little difficult to describe. (And probably of NO interest to non-boaters.)

We have had an issue with rain coming in from the sun deck and the helm station down into the cockpit. This resulted in a very wet cockpit which restricted our use of that area.


The Helia cockpit ~ Fountaine Pajot photograph

The cockpit is sort of the equivalent of a covered porch and it practically doubles the living area on our boat, so when it is too wet to use, our space is significantly reduced!


Fountaine Pajot designed the boat with a very small drain under the step where the sun deck meets the step to the helm, but the opening between the step and deck was much too small to be effective.


We modified the step to slide it further away from the sun deck so rain water can efficiently drain below the step.


When we removed the step, in addition to its’ being filthy, we found the drain holes were much too small. In the picture above, the drain holes are just outside of the center white portion and are hard to distinguish from a regular screw hole.


First we cleaned the area under the step, then we enlarged the drain holes significantly.


Water ran out of these holes onto the helm platform.

FP’s design was to have the water drain from under the step, down the ladder support and out through these small holes onto the foot of the helm station.  We didn’t like having the water drain near our feet at the helm station, so we put our heads together to design a different place for the water to exit the step supports.

Our solution was to create a way channel the rain water all the way to the well in the floor of the cockpit and out into the ocean.


So we eliminated the drain holes in the supports and added a metal extension to the stair supports that would be below the fiberglass.  


Once the ladder was in place, we add a hose to the bottom of each ladder support. 


Our access point was the speaker above the refrigerator.  Next we angled the hoses along the side of the refrigerator and down toward the floor of the cockpit.


Frank shimmied into this tiny place so he could reach the other end of the hoses and attached them to the plastic fittings we added to the drain well in the cockpit.


We tested our work using a hose and here is a picture of the water flowing from the sundeck, down through the ladder supports, through the plastic hose and out through the drain well. From here the water falls into the ocean.

We are pleased with the aesthetics of the modification and are happy our cockpit will stay dry when it rains.

When your permanent residence qualifies as a “tiny house” it’s important to maximize all of your space and this project will certainly increase how often we can comfortably use our cockpit.

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