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Mad Island Sailing – Adventures of the S/V Egress

The speed demon of the fleet.

A post about our classic 1965 speedboat.

Our little 16 foot 1965 MFG speedboat with its beautiful 1962 Mercury 850 Kiekhaefer that I purchased in Colorado for $1000 in 2005 hasn’t received much love from us since we took her to the island. And hasn’t been in the drink since 2009! I’m sure she is just as anxious to feel the water beneath her deep v-hull as are we. Is this the year? Stay turned to find out.

MFG or Molded Fiber Glass Corporation was formed in 1948 they produced boats from 1955 until the 1980’s although it was never intention of the parent company to produce boats. MFG boats have a unique Lapstrake design. All fiberglass models were produced 1959 onwards. You can find out more about the history of MFG boats and other classic Fiberglass boats at fiberglassics.com

Our 1962 85 HP Mercury 850 Kiekhaefer has a classic look and the iconic Phantom black cowl. She is truly a looker. Kiekhaefer history and roots are synonymous with Wisconsin and Mercury Marine. To find out more about these lovely old Mercury Kiekhaefer engines please visit oldmercs.com and also mercurymarine.com

 

We towed the old girl up to the Island in October of 2012. Fighting a 30-40 Mph headwind the entire way. We went through two boat covers and numerous straps, bungee cords and one busted up nose (from the straps, not the wife) to get her there. But I’m sure she will be worth it. I’ll keep you posted.

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A big decision. Anchoring our roots to the rock.

A place to call Home.

Hello B-16!

I debated whether to write and publish this post. It may interest some of you and others it may elicit a “meh”.

We had been contemplating becoming members of the Madeline Island Yacht Club (MIYC) since we had purchased the Egress back in late 2014.

There were many pros and we couldn’t think of one con when contemplating the decision to become members.

Pro

  • Saves money
  • Limited amount of memberships given.
  • Guaranteed slip
  • Can put slip into rental poll when not using it.
  • Equity in the Club

We had been paying by the week when renting a slip for three weeks every summer. For our size boat it was darn near the price that a member pays for an annual slip fee. In addition, we payed separately for launch, haul out, and a monthly fee for storage. Normally other than a storage fee for members, the launch and haul out are included in the annual slip fee. Additionally, the price for shop work was about 30% higher for non-members. Becoming members would save us money, and more importantly guarantee us a slip. But most importantly for us, it would solidify our ties to the Madeline Island boating community, and make us feel like part of the family.

We are indeed Anchoring our roots to the rock.

For more information on the Madeline Island Yacht Club please click here.

A rebranding.

I enjoy making graphics and logos, whether it’s for fun, shirts, or my business.

I decided to come up with one that fits the name of the website rather than the just the good ship Egress.

The new logo is appropriate since we plan on adding another addition to the fleet in the not to distant future, and sailing her south to warmer climates in the winter. (Goodbye winter, you won’t be missed!)

I wanted to have the new logo encompass where we started our sailing journey from and where it will one day hopefully lead. Hence the palm tree.

I must say however, that sometimes in the summer, Madeline Island does indeed elicit a wonderful tropical vibe, sans the palm trees.

I will write about our little Lake Superior Island paradise in an upcoming post.

What do you think of the new logo?

Meeting new Sailing friends

Meeting the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes.

The crew of the SV Egress meets the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes

We had been in contact with the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes since we discovered them whilst searching Sailing videos on you tube. We enjoyed watching their videos and reading their blog posts. We had commented on their videos and blog posts and quickly struck up a friendship with them. We had learned that they were preparing to leave Lake Superior next year and sail on down the ICW to warmer climes. Exactly what Barb and I plan to do in a few short years. We were especially excited that they would be documenting the journey.

We had become fascinated with finding others who sail in our area and document their sailing via blogging or YouTube. We tend to watch our YouTube sailing video subscriptions during the winter months to catch up on everyone. Comparably speaking, not many on the Great Lakes blog or upload videos compared to the Ocean sailors and certainly very few on Lake Superior do. Not sure the reasons why that is. I don’t think it is the lack of sailboats. Maybe because the sailing season is short and it therefore limits the amount of good material to use? Maybe an older sailing crowd who isn’t interested in blogging or uploading videos? I know it is especially tough for us, as our sailing season is only three weeks long, coupled with the fact that we only can visit our boat only two times a year. It does make it hard to come up with relevant material, especially the videos.

Anyhow we had planned on getting together with David and Marge the crew from Wandering Toes in August when we were up in May and again attempted in August but it just didn’t work out. We were finally able to get together in November and they were nice enough to come over to the Island for lunch and drinks at the beach club.

We had a very nice time meeting them and talked about their big adventure, selling their house, buying an RV, and prepping the Wandering Toes for the trip to the Caribbean. It was fascinating listening to them and how they have made the transition to soon become full time live-aboards. We also talked about other sailing videos we follow. We found out we had followed many of the same. It was a fun time and a great afternoon. We made plans to drive up to Cornicopia (Corny) in May of 2018 to get together with them before they push off in July of 2018.

I highly recommend following and checking out Sailing Wandering Toes.

Fair Winds to them and to all of you who follow us.

Sail Fail 2017 and a taste of freedom.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Time: Mid-Late August 2017

Location: Madeline Island

Event: Busy busy busy and more busy.

Result: Sail Fail. Two days on the water out of 21 possible.

We arrived on the Island for our August 2017 Vacation and the next day headed immediately back to the mainland to tackle our shopping list as the day after we would be heading to Duluth to pick up Barbs Grandsons. We would entertain them for a week and then it was time to take them back to Duluth and have a two hour break back on the Island before our next batch of guests arrived. This time we would have a few more people than our normal summer guests. This summers batch (hatch?) of visitors consisted of my folks, my brother, his girlfriend and her daughter, my sister and her boyfriend, and a new 2nd cousin and his wife that I had never met before. It was going to be a busy three weeks.

And it was a busy three weeks!

We entertained every morning and evening. Now don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to spend time with family, but it put a crimp on the boat projects. So I made do with the time I had.

I arose every morning at 5:00, made coffee, grabbed a cliff bar and headed out the door with the promise to return in time for breakfast at 9:30. I was able to wrap up the installation of the Airhead vent fan, and the solar panel/charger installation. I also changed the oil in the venerable old Atomic 4.

So I guess I really did accomplish a lot with a limited amount of time. However we didn’t accomplish much Sailing at all, and that is sad.

An emergency sail repair.

After hoisting the main during our short visit, we noticed a small rip in the main. No idea how that happened. With a trip scheduled in two days where I would take everyone out for a sail we had one of the local sail repair guys take the sail and sew a patch. He had the sail repaired by that afternoon. It looked good and in his professional assessment we should be good with the sails for a couple of years before needing new sails.

Small craft warning and Libations on the Egress.

The morning of our sail came and I turned on the NOAA weather radio for the forecast and it of course called for a small craft advisory with seas 3-5 feet, building to 4-6 feet later in the afternoon. The winds were forecast to be 25-30 knots with gusts to 35 knots. Well damn it! There goes the only opportunity to take everyone for a sail, so instead I suggested a couple of drinks on the boat would have to suffice. Everyone was game and a good time was had by all. A day later we were able to take my sister and her significant other out for a short sail before the next windy weather system rolled in and brought another small craft advisory.

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A short sail and a taste of freedom.

After everyone had left Barb and I had one more opportunity to take the Egress out. We had talked about wanting to take the boat over to Bayfield on the mainland to take care of some small shopping that we needed to do. It was a pleasant short motor over the 2.0 miles and we docked without too much drama at the town of Bayfield docks after waiting on the ferry traffic to clear. We went and had a coffee, toured the marine museum and took care of our shopping list with absolutely know worries or thoughts about what the ferry schedule was to get us back to the Island. It was wonderful not to be beholden to the ferry schedule for a change. So after much conversation we decided we would put the speedboat in the water next May to give us options when we wish to go over to the mainland and the Egress hasn’t been launched yet.

Now I know why the locals wish for the Ice Road every winter! Freedom!

New Mantus Anchor.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I had ordered our new Mantus Anchor and brand new Anchor chain and line prior to our trip in May.

I knew that it wouldn’t be installed until our August 2017 trip.

After thorough research and based on a lot of reviews I ordered a 35 pound Mantus Anchor with 30 feet of 5/16 chain and 270 feet of 8 plait 5/8 line. I ordered this Anchor through our Marina on the Island and the Anchor rode through Defender as they had the best price.

Anchor install and marking the rode.

I snaked the Anchor rode on our lawn and marked the rode every 25 feet after the 50 foot mark.

The install of the Anchor and the Mantus Anchor Mate was easy peasy. I also installed a swivel. I have heard various pros and cons regarding the use of swivels but figured we would give it a shot. A swivel, I would guess, would be much more applicable when using all chain rode. I did notice after the install that I will need to add an additional length of chain between the swivel and Anchor to allow the swivel to be stored in the Anchor locker.

Unfortunately we never got to use the Anchor in 2017, but that’s another story.

Solar power? Yeah Baby!

Yeah Baby! All the juice I need!

So with the  new Airhead now installed, it was now time to install a solar panel and controller to solve two problems.

How to power the Airhead vent fan without installing a solar vent and punching another hole in the deck, and how to power the bilge pump when on the hard. The bilge pump was especially important to us after the flood we had inside the boat in 2016 after the cockpit drains had plugged.

In the spring I had purchased a 100 watt semi flexible Windy Nation solar panel and a Go Power 30 amp charge controller of off Amazon for $300. With extra wire and deck hardware it came to $375.

I had thought about mounting options of the panel prior to making a purchase. I had two mounting options in mind.

1. Mount a rigid panel on the stern rail. Though this option appealed to me initially, most of the panels that were the right size were in the 30 watt range and quite expensive for their small size.

2. Mount a semi-flexible panel on the deck. This option seemed to me to be the best as I get get a higher wattage panel for way less then option 1 and it gave me the flexibility (no pun intended) of multiple mounting scenarios.  I could screw it or glue it to the deck. Velcro was also an option.

So I went with option number 2. You just couldn’t beat the price and much more bang for the buck when it came to wattage and mounting options. Of course there are some drawbacks of mounting a solar panel on the deck or on a dodger or Bimini, namely shading from the sails. However with a 100 watt panel I still should receive enough power when sailing for this not to be a problem.

Where to mount. And a temporary solution. Continue reading “Solar power? Yeah Baby!”

No more stinky Boat! 

My sincere apologies for the long delay in posting!

The install of the Airhead Composting Toliet.

Who wouldn’t want to poop in this?

I started this project during our May 2017 trip up to the Island.

I had ordered our Airhead in late April and it was waiting for me at the house when we arrived.

I say waiting for me, as it was my job to remove the old stinky head and replace it with the new Airhead, while Barb enjoyed her time spent with the Grandkids.

First things first was the removal of the old toliet.

The old stinky toliet

The good?

Wasn’t too stinky, since it was pumped out the previous season, and it hadn’t warmed up yet on the Island.

I knew that there probably would be some smell as I removed the hoses. So I pumped a little bleach/water mixture through the toliet, hoses and on into the holding tank.

The Bad?

The hoses.

Several of the hoses where very attached and did not want to relinquish their hold on the toliet or holding tank fittings.

So I had to slice the hoses down the middle and peel them open and pry until they came off.

I had put a dab of Vick’s under my nose and put a mask on for this task. Continue reading “No more stinky Boat! “

Oh sing to me sands of Stockton

One day before pulling the Egress out for the year we finally made landfall on our first Island of the 22 Apostle Islands Archipelago besides our home port on Madeline Island.

You can see our You Tube Video Below.

Stockton Island


Stockton Island is the second largest of the Apostle Islands. Madeline Island being the largest. Stockton Island is the largest island included in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Apostle Island National Lakeshore encompasses 21 of the 22 Apostle Islands.The island chain is located off of Northern Wisconsin’s Bayfield peninsula in Lake Superior. Continue reading “Oh sing to me sands of Stockton”

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