Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Home Sweet Home"

The longer I live aboard Annie, the more she feels like home - "Home Sweet Home."

Before my son and grandsons came to visit I decided the thousand pound staircase I built for my old friend Fuji had to go. It was awkward, heavy, and prevented exit when it was pulled up. So, as with many things on a boat, I had to go back to the drawing board. 

My solution was delivered via the internet and UPS... "Pet Loader."

Fuji needed the six step set but it works perfect
Because of the height of the companionway, I had to get the six-step version.

The company,, namely Evonne, was great. I first ordered the five-step version, 14.5" wide and discovered upon arrival that the steps were not high enough and they were too wide to fully extend, (the 14.5" version hit the built-in DC Cooler). Once I realized the set of steps I ordered would not work, I called Pet Loader and Evonne immediately sent me the 12" wide - six step version without waiting for receipt of the five-step set I had received and was to send back. She just trusted me to send it back... and I did. What a great company!

After modifying my companionway ladder and building a top step the Pet Loader could rest on, it worked perfectly. I simply put the steps up when Fuji needs out... he goes up and I take the steps down, (they are very light but will support 250 lbs.), and I ascend the companionway ladder normally. When Fuji needs down into the cabin, we reverse the process.

The next issue that had to be addressed was the WI-FI system. I had issues with a consistent connection to the marina WI-FI. My buddy, Jack Webb from s/v Drifter instructed me as to the equipment I needed, (an Ubiquity Bullet, a POE device, a marine antenna, RJ45 cable, water proof stainless steel cable entry port, an N Class router and a boatload of patience)... so I ordered everything but the patience - Amazon doesn't carry that. 

Once everything was installed, and after my patience had run out, Jack came over and after hours of programming and troubleshooting, Jack had me online. Thanks Jack, you're a good man... I don't care what Denis says about you... LOL.

So now, the ROKU is working... NetFlix and Amazon are streaming... DVD's are playing... Facebook... all streaming at high speed. All my devices on the boat can now wirelessly access the internet and that makes for all the comforts of home. (Hey Jer, no more tethering to your phone).

Again, living aboard a small boat is a lot of trial and error. My pull-up table was fine but lacked the flexibility I needed to be comfortable... so... Amazon to the rescue. I bought a laptop swing-arm mount and it is perfect. It provides me with quick ingress/egress and offers a variety of positions to work on my computer.
By not installing the table clamp mount, it worked great

Again, I am discovering the living on a boat is a lot of trial and error... but the more you trial, the more your boat starts feeling like "Home Sweet Home." Fuji thinks so...

The berth was not completely pulled out here so he was hanging off a

Fair seas and God bless!


  1. Good job on the network connection setup. I've read others get that type of setup and improve their range to get into a lot of distant networks.

    I like that computer mount you found.

    Looks like you've settled in quite nicely.

    1. Hey Dan,

      The Ubiquiti Bullet is amazing... I can pull in stuff a mile away. POE (Power over ethernet), works great and once you manage to get it set up, it does a great job.

      As to the computer mount - Amazon... they have all kinds... this one looked like it would work and was cheap.

      Still need DC refrigeration installed and then I'll move up to the sails, caprails, and deck.

      How was the move? How's Rhapsody?

  2. Rhapsody is still in TN while I'm in VA. I had a plan to bring it on the next 4-day (holiday) weekend but found out the next one is the wife's birthday. I'm working on a short update for the blog. I've sanded down the spreaders to get them ready for repainting at a later time. I'm also working on getting additional varnish on the tiller and rudder cheeks.

    Otherwise, I've been working on a plan to replace my fuel tanks and looking at getting other supplies that I can at least start working on something.

    Slow process at the moment, but certainly not out of mind. ;-)

    1. You can't miss the wife's birthday! You'll enjoy it all the more when you get back to it.