Wombat of Sydney was the 5th boat we physically looked at. There were many we looked at online, and we originally found Wombat online and saw that it was represented by a dealer we had just visited. So we called him up, talked to him about it, and made arrangements to see it. We found the boat sitting on the hard. Force10 Yacht Broker – Steve Scherr
Oct 2020 – Sell the house!!
Dec 2020 – Close on the boat
Still in Fishing Bay, Deltaville, VA – Time to start assessing what we bought and what we need to do! Boy did we under estimate the work ahead – but go big or go home.
- Solar Panels
- Swim Platform
- Dinghy Purchase
Mar 2021 – Move to Carter’s Creek – Custom Yacht Services, Irvington, VA
Put us closer to Marine Fabricators in Kilmarnock, VA for fabrication work. Custom Yacht Services let us keep the boat on their dock for a couple of months to allow Erny from Marine Fabricators easy access to it for the fabrication work we had in mind. Unfortunately, work fell behind schedule due to weather and other factors and we wore out our welcome. We found a new home at Carter’s Cove Marina were we stayed in a slip till we left for good the beginning of May.
Decals arrived from Island Boat Lettering and applied
The course went well. Everyone passed. Boat behaved well and we had a great time and learned a lot. Capt James was very experienced and passed on lots of great information.
Our first Coast Guard Axillary Inspection
Took Scouts to and from Summer Camp in the James River
Replaced Cockpit VHF Radio
Sails to Evolution for maintenance.
Genny and Jib go in and the Genny is pronounced not worth investing more money on. Jib got new UV cover and several spot fixes in the stitching etc.
We also start the electronics work. The Quark and the new Garmin Chart Plotters are installed along with the NMEA 2000 backbone. We also install the beginnings of the Engine Monitoring system and for the first time we get tank sensors in both diesel tanks and both fresh water tanks and can see the tank levels on our Chart Plotters.
This time the boat had not moved in too long a period of time and we had not been out since all of the changes had been made. We had several issues that rose to almost emergency levels. Capt Bill commended us for how well we handled them and when he went to do the 106 review, he skipped the emergency systems section as we did them for real. We made life long friends and agreed to stay in touch.
Electronics & Electrical work continues
New house batteries and getting the remaining items integrated so we have a working boat to head south.
Push to get ready to leave
Annapolis Boat Show
This was our first boat show experience and while we were there, we bought a Scuba Compressor as well as a Sailrite sewing machine. We bought a bunch of other things and made a bunch of great contacts including the guy that eventually would help architect the Lithium Battery upgrade. We also got to meet the You-Tube Channel creators from Odd Life Crafting, Calico Skies and Delos in person.
Final Training with the previous Owner
Part of the sale conditions was some hand-off training and systems consulting from the previous owner. We focused on some of the specialized sail handling to include our first use of a Spinnaker and how to use the Spinnaker pole for wing on wing sailing which we would eventually use most of the time going downwind.
New Life Raft – the old life raft was well beyond end of life and we were able to get boat show pricing that saved us over a thousand dollars. We stopped in Cape Charles, VA to put us closer to the previous owner for our final training as well put us close to where the Life Raft was shipped to so we could pick it up. We ended up going back to Carter’s Cove to pickup Colin who decided to crew with us on our first trip south.
Time to head South
First passage – Weems, VA to Southport, NC
We had our first overpower event while flying the spinnaker in the lower part of the Chesapeake bay. The real lesson we learned was that if we found ourselves in a position where something on the boat is not rigged right or fouled, that we have to fix it then. The plan we had was to follow the back side of a weather front and ride favorable winds south. We ended up getting a bit too close due to great boat speed and found ourselves in open water conditions that we were likely not well prepared for. We decided to bypass the first port south of Cape Hatteras and push onto Southport, NC. Once there, we got pinned by weather for most of a week.
Second leg – Southport, NC to Ponce Inlet, FL
Once we were able to leave Southport we again headed south. The weather was much better but the winds were pretty light so we ended up motoring much of the way. As the weather continued to be great, we decided to keep pushing further south and the opportunity to be in FL for my parents birthdays. So 3 days later we pulled into Ponce Inlet at night and made our way to our anchorage in front of Sea Love Boat Works. We were extremely lucky to make it to the anchorage at night. When we left during the daylight several weeks later, we were astonished just how difficult the inlet and associated section of the Intercoastal Water Way was to safely navigate even in the daylight.
Get some boat work done & have Thanksgiving with Lee’s Family
We used the opportunity of being at the boat yard which had time and space to haul us out and keep the boat safe while we were visiting family. While the boat was out of the water, we could easily remove the swim platform and have the protective coating applied that wasn’t available in VA. The platform was coated with a truck bedliner called LineX. It’s nearly indestructible and should allow the AL in the platform to last for many years in the harsh saltwater environment.
Crew of 4 – Lee, Brownie, Colin and Bob
Colin’s friend Bob joined us for some Disney time in FL and some cruising time around FL. Bob also volunteered to cook in the galley a few nights.
First Leg – Ponce Inlet to West Palm Beach
Second Leg – West Palm Beach to Key Biscayne
- Discovered Water maker needed to be rebuilt
- SSI Dive Boat now official
- Brownie, Bob and Colin complete React Right – First certifications on SV Unladen Swallow
- Discover the GenSet can’t run the Scuba Compressor
Third Leg – Key Biscayne to Marathon Key
- Certified Colin as an O/W Diver, Bob completes Buoyancy and Navigation
- Brownie becomes our First Master Diver
- Bob & Colin decide to cut their journey short and depart for home
Forth Leg – Marathon Key to Boca Chica Marina
Final thoughts as we close out 2021.
There’s just something unreal about playing loud Christmas music while sailing underway offshore of Florida and quite satisfying. We were now on our way.