Sea Star 7

1998 Bayliner LeClercq


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Tile Project

Last season the building manager here at the Mexico condo said that we needed to seal the tile on the upper deck each year.  This to keep it from "raining" in the kitchen below during the rainy season.  This made little sense to us as sealants are supposed to be warrantied for multiple years.  But, in fact, the tile did leak and create a bit of a mess.  This was exacerbated by the fact that the deck drains were not functioning properly - so whatever waterproofing failures there were underneath had several inches of standing water atop them for hours.

After much debate, we finally decided to have the tile replaced.  Not so much because we disliked the existing tile but because it all had to be chipped up to water proof properly underneath.  This is a 20 year old building after all - so no surprise that the water proofing has failed.

This was the point of no return:

And here they have begun to put down the waterproofing - same stuff they use to water proof swimming pools.

Melissa had planned to stay to see the project completed.  Alas supply chain issues on the tile we want means a delay of 30 days.  Now that the water proofing is complete, its ok if the rains do come.  The tile installation can wait for a dry day.

Electrical Cabinet Hinge 3D Printed Replacements

The lower left hinge on the glass door over the electrical panel was mucked up. Dave thinks what happened was the hinge froze up and when they opened the door the, cap broke. And, wouldn’t you know it, the replacement hinge is obsolete. Dave went to get some WD40 to try and free up the frozen hinge but due to supply chain issues there is none to be found.  The hardware store has been out for weeks.  So he soaked it in engine oil and it freed up. Now the hinge but what about the broken cap?  Dave designed one up and had a friend 3D print it.

Worked great, and the door is now looking good!

What is with the electrical system?

Back in April when Dave took possession of the boat, he struggled a bit with the power systems.  For some reason, the breaker on the inverter tripped (in the engine room so was not immediately apparent). He figured at the time that the fridge, freezers, 3 heaters might have been enough to pop it.  While it was in this mode, half of the boat had no power. Once he figured out the breaker on the inverter, it immediately tripped the GFCI on shore. Now, none of the boat has power. Going backwards, fast. After fooling around with power up each circuit separately, he restored power to the boat.

The best Dave can figure is there is an imbalance related to running on inverter and connecting to shore power.  Theory is the problem started when someone attempted to move a few circuits from the non-inverter leg over to the inverter leg but didn't do the neutrals correctly. Dave suspects someone wanted to get the freezers to work on inverter but messed it up.  This is probably why we have difficulty connecting to shore power causing Dave to have to develop a sequence to turn on circuits one by one.  Took him some experimentation but he was able to come up with a reliable procedure to keep from popping the GFCI on the dock.  But this is gonna need to get fixed!

GPS Location on VHF now operational!

Dave went looking for the spare antenna wire. We have two antennas but just one radio so Dave hoped he could find a wire to connect to the new AIS. He took off one of the panels under the helm electronics. Yikes. What a rat nest. He did not find an extra antenna wire but did find a NMEA2000 connector to put onto the VHF radio - it now had GPS position so if you hit the emergency button, it broadcasts our location.  So didn’t find what he was after, but managed a big improvement anyway!

How much soap do you need to clean a cabinet

Dave went to go fill up the dish soap counter top dispenser. Poured a bunch of soap in. Try it out. Nothing. Put some more in. Nothing. Oh oh.  Looked under the counter and there is no bottle.  It had broken off and now there was soap EVERYWHERE.  Sigh.  And unfortunately due to supply chain issues, he couldn’t find any plastic epoxy anywhere.  He gave regular epoxy a try, but ultimately ended up purchasing a brand new soap dispenser all together.


As Dave has slowly started to go through the cabinets, he has found them filled to the brim with junk.  4 tape measures (really??), bungy cords, batteries, candles, cabinet hinges, tools, matches, lighters, bbq forks, bug spray, 5 bottles of suntan lotion. Stuff everywhere with no seeming organization.  He has consolidated, tossed stuff out, and freed up a bunch of cabinets.

Much better once organized:

Under the sink was no better. 

  • 4 bottles of glass cleaner
  • 4 bottles of various rug cleaners
  • 3 bottles of cleaners with bleach
  • 4 bottle/cans of various stainless steel cleaners
  • 2 Bar Keepers cleaners
  • 2 hand sanitizers
  • 4 hand soaps
  • 4 boxes of various trash bags
  • 2 boxes of quart freezer bags
  • 2 boxes of Swiffers
  • 6 scrubby sponges
  • Cooktop cleaner
  • Box of plastic silverware
  • Clorox wipes

And now all nice and neat:

Harvest Time

When we first got to Mexico in October, Melissa started trying to grow - from seed - a number of plants.  Tomatoes, peas, onions.  The only thing that she could get to sprout and grow were the tomatoes.  And boy did they grow!

As we are nearing the end of the season, Melissa picked a big batch, and then decided to dry them.

This big batch of dried tomatoes made its way into the freezer for next season.  A subsequent batch was made into a sun dried tomato pesto as a spread over fresh baked bread!



Is it real yet?

For weeks now, Dave has staunchly refused to believe that we are actually buying a big power boat.  He just keeps saying its not real.  Melissa's theory is that he is so excited about the boat that he just can't let himself believe its real - because if something were to go wrong with the sale of the condo or purchase of the boat, well, he would be utterly heartbroken.  With the additional complication that if we sell the condo and the boat deal falls through we will also be homeless in Seattle.  So he has sort of mopped around.  That is until the condo closed.  Then he promptly bought a ticket back to Seattle so he could be there when the boat closed.  Because, well, kid in a candy store.

When the boat closed on Tuesday, Dave went over to just sit on the boat.  All by himself.  Just digging around in the electrical systems.  He discovered that the owners had come aboard and removed a few things like artwork.  This is a strict "no no" when selling boats.  Once the boat survey completes, the boat is to remain as is until sold.  So might be some conversations there about how that happened and what else may have disappeared.

On Wednesday, Jim came to see the boat and the guys just sat around drinking beer and digging into systems.  Dave is liking the electrical more than he feared.  Seems the hot water does reheat underway, and the electric burners on the kitchen stove do not take much power so moving them over to the inverter will work great.

On Thursday, Dave and Jim went back to the boat with Vic (the broker) for some quick lessons for Dave on docking.  During the boat sea trials, Dave was not allowed to dock the boat for insurance reasons.  But now that its ours, the docking maneuvers can begin.  Did two practice dockings and Vic promptly hopped off the boat having realized Dave didn't really need any lessons.  Well duh.  MacGyver's got this.  They then moved the boat to the new boat slip not far down the way in Lake Union.  Due to some confusion over the boat marina name, they ended up in a different spot than Dave originally believed the new slip would be.  But they figured it out eventually.

Jim even got to drive.

On Friday morning Dave then measured the depth of the slip.  Its 6 inches below the props.  Yikes.  That is cutting it a little close.  Though in the summer when the lake comes up it will be better.  Ultimately Dave moved the boat forward in the slip so that there is more like 2 feet under the props which is much safer for her in the winter when the lake water is at its lowest point.

Friday afternoon, Jim and Dave met up at Apsaras.  The did a little work but mostly sized up the jobs needing to be done.  There are two things that need fixing, the radar and the diesel heater.  They discovered we removed the tools Dave needed to remove the diesel heater, so we will have to hire that out. They then took Apsaras out for one last cruise.


And one last rescue.

On Saturday, Murph dropped by, and helped to "properly provision" the boat. The boys went to dinner at The Eastlake Bar and Grill. The provisions might have been reduced a bit Saturday night.

On Sunday Murph and Dave went out for a cruise. Lunch was up at Red Mill Burgers before Murph drove home.

Monday, Dave went out to Nomi’s boat after work to diagnose a problem. She is in the process of selling her boat and during sea trial they realized they had no cooling water coming out. Dave quickly determined that the gaskets on the strainers were bad, and the impeller was sucking air, not water. She had some old ones on the boat which did the trick.

Tuesday, Dave, Jim and Margaret met up at Apsaras with the intent to remove the radar. Jim went up the mast. The bolts were quite corroded making it more difficult job than anticipated. They ended up spraying the bolts with penetrating oil and left it to soak for a day.

Dave returned to SS7 and Nomi stopped by for a tour of the boat. They were down in the engine room when SLAM, the access hatch closed and locked them in. They did not even have their cellphones to call for help. Luckily, it was not too hard to jigger the latch to escape. MacGyver needs to work on something a little more failsafe.

Wednesday, Hermann (up from Chile) helped Dave store the car back in the hangar. It is a very tight fit.

Hermann was kind enough to bring Dave back to Apsaras. He hung out with Jim and Dave while they finished taking the radar dome off. Dave went to his favorite restaurant at the marina and had oysters for dinner.

Thursday, at 0-dark:30, Dave took an Uber from SS7 to SeaTac for the flight back to the winter home.





We gonna do this?

For a long time now we have been pondering whether to buy a big motor boat.  Yeah, I know, we are sailors.  Well, ok, Dave is a sailor.  Melissa is cook, deck hand, and supply and logistics officer.  Living aboard a sail boat makes sense if you are going round the world.  But its not the best boat for the Pacific Northwest where when its windy enough to sail the weather is crappy, and when its sunny, you can't see out because you are inside of a "cave".  So, the debate about whether to change boats has raged on for years.

Until earlier this year when a Zillow email hit Melissa's inbox saying what our Kirkland condo was worth.  Might be worth that much to someone else, but not to us!  So, after years of thinking about it, we emailed our agent to ask whether Zillow's valuation was for real.  A few days later she confirmed that yes, the condo really is worth near to $2 Million.  So we say "Yep.  Let's do this."

Within days we were both on a plane back to Seattle where we packed up the condo, gave away all our furniture, and put what remains of our belonging in storage.  We stripped Apsaras of all our personal belongings and that all went into storage too.

Meanwhile Dave had been looking for a new boat.  We visited a couple down in Tacoma, but none were "the" boat.  Until he found Sea Star 7.  One look at the photos and we were both drooling.  This is the dream boat.  She has everything right down to the heated bathroom floors!  Took us all of 5 minutes once we got aboard to tell the broker we would take it.

Grass does not grow under these feet.  It was 65 days from the time we made the decision to move forward on a sale of the condo till the time we closed on the boat.


  • Tuesday January 11 - We send email to our agent to ask "how much is condo worth"
  • Sunday January 16 - Meet with agent to confirm value and hit "go" button on selling
  • Thursday January 20 - Fly back to Seattle from Mexico
  • Friday January 21 - Start packing, giving away furniture, decided on new flooring color
  • Saturday January 22 - Movers come to help pack.  We intended to have them take a truck load to good will, but they didn't get there in time and the whole truck load ended up at the dump.
  • Sunday January 23 - We looked at a couple of boats, but nothing interesting
  • Monday to Wednesday January 24 to 26 - Work and run errands
  • Thursday January 27 - Go to look at Sea Star 7
  • Friday January 28 - Make offer on Sea Star 7
  • Saturday January 29 - Offer on boat accepted in the middle of moving out of the condo
  • Sunday January 30 - Move out of condo and Apsaras completed
  • Monday January 31 - Friday February 4 - Condo interior paint
  • Tuesday February 1 - Sea trial of Sea Star 7
  • Wednesday February 2 - Fly back to Mexico
  • Monday February 7 & 8 - New flooring was put in
  • Wednesday February  9 - Condo cleaning
  • Thursday February 10 - Condo Staging
  • Friday February 11 - Photos for listing
  • Monday February 14 - Condo went on Market
  • Wednesday February 16 - Boat inspection and survey - which ultimately came back relatively clean
  • Friday February 18 - Offer review and purchase acceptance on condo
  • Thursday March 17 - Condo closes
  • Tuesday March 22 - Boat closes