April/May 2003 - We purchase Dream On. The boat had recently returned from a
circumnavigation under the ownership of Ed Alcott. Ed was still living on
board at the time. He showed us over and described the boat in great detail
so that when we returned we would understand all the boat’s systems. The
purchase was subject to survey which was carried out after our return to
Once the purchase was complete
Ed and our broker Pepper Rodda moved the boat from its mooring at Dania to
Summerfield Boat Works on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for
storage, in the water.
July 2003 – We enjoyed two
weeks vacation in Fort Lauderdale, living aboard Dream On, taking inventory
of equipment and spares and familiarising ourselves with the boat’s
equipment and systems. We were able to communicate with Ed, the previous
owner on a regular basis by email for any explanations we required. We
installed solar powered vents in the hatches in the heads to that there
would always be some ventilation.
April 2004 – We made a
short 10 day trip to make sure Dream On was in good shape and to remove a
few more jobs from the list.
Summer 2004 - Hurricanes
Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jean all hit Florida during the summer of 2004.
We were very fortunate that none caused serious damage in Fort Lauderdale
and Dream On was undamaged. Hundreds of boat owners further north were not
October 2004 - We return to
Florida to prepare Dream On for cruising. We move on board while still based
at Summerfield Boat Works. There are preparations before haul out and many
jobs to complete before our maiden voyage; maintenance items, new
equipment and modifications.
While still in Fort Lauderdale
we complete the transfer of registration of Dream On to the new hailing
port of Road Harbour, British Virgin Islands.
2004 – We haul Dream On out of the water. After a few days we make the
decision to repaint the hull above the waterline in addition to the planned
antifouling below the waterline. Under the expert tuition of Lydia Lee, a
very determined French lady, who is a professional boat finisher and a
perfectionist, we hand painted the hull. Preparation, painting, sanding,
preparation, painting, sanding. Four coats later, we achieve a far better
result than we or anyone else expected. Very hard work, in between rain
While the boat is out of
the water for 24 days, we continue to live on board. This involves a long
and precarious ladder journey for shopping and water.
24th November 2004 - Back
in the water, looking like new.
As soon as the boat is
back in the water we start on the installation of a 300 gallon per day
watermaker, a new chartplotter, a new GPS and a new DSC VHF radio. We also
design and help to make a new anchor plate and anchor rollers to take
heavier than standard anchors. We now have a 55lb Delta, a 44lb Delta and a
33lb Bruce. In order to make the installation of the rollers, we have to
release tension on the backstays and remove the forestay, which resulted in
a temporary rig for around 2 weeks.
Before departing Fort
Lauderdale we buy "His" and "Hers" Kayaks. These are each 9 foot long and
would not fit in our car. We thank Jean-Marc, our friend on Solvei, (and
Pepé) for his assistance with his artistically adorned VW Camper.
We will always be grateful for the valuable and
humorous advice and support
given to us by Lyall Dodson, dockmaster at Summerfield Boat Works.
Lyall can park any boat, anywhere, in any weather. A true magician.
Ken, who was our neighbour at Summerfield aboard his
boat soon to be renamed Helena added a great sense of humour to the yard
along with his valuable advice to us rookies. Just across the yard, Tony and Christina,
busy repairing the hurricane damage to their boat.
We thank Lee and Pat Harrell, ex SV Toucan, for their
ideas, advice and hospitality.
And then there is "Crazy" Jim aboard Champagne.
up with you somewhere Jim.
17th December 2004 – We leave Summerfield
Boat Yard. Although we were very keen to leave by this time, it was somehow
sad to leave Fort Lauderdale, a place we had come to know well and enjoy and
all the friends we had made in the area. Many are cruisers and we hope to
see them again in our travels.