Sunday, June 30, 2019


As we move from beer can racer to weekend cruiser there are a few things we are working to add to the boat. First off we are looking to fill out the galley. The boat is equipped with a sink and water tank.  So our thoughts are we need is a way to make some coffee. So I picked up this sweet german made alcohol stove. Off course it needs a little work. I pulled it apart and replaced all the o-rings and seal.  An afternoon well spent to ensure a safe working stove.

Frame Cleaned up.

Many of the seals were pretty hard and dried out from sitting.

Packings for the valves were the trickiest part.

Time for re-assembly. 

One burner is a go.

Flame on two burners.

Hot coffee in 10 minutes or less. Yeah, alcohol burns hot.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Mast and cabin electrical.

So the P.O. of our Mirage was using it for club racing with his grandson on Lake St. Claire. Fun but we are planning a bit more relaxed sailing and have started making some modifications to allow for more extended weekending trips. 

 One of the first things I needed to do was sort out the mast lighting system. Coming down the mast he had two sets of wires run. The first set ran the masthead anchor light and the second set the steaming light. Coming through the deck there is only one port to be plugged into and the plug only matches the steaming light. So the anchor light simply had no place to go unless you hooked wires to in and stuffed them down the plug. This did not seem like a good long term solution. So it is time to get creative. I called my brother up, the electrical engineer and told him what I wanted. He sourced out the parts for me on Amazon and drew out a wiring diagram for me. I got to work wiring it up.  The results are a waterproofed 3-way switch located at the mast. When the switch is up the anchor light is on. When it is in the middle both lights are on, and when switched down we have just the steaming light on.  Everything is shut off from the main fuse box in the cabin. 

The next addition is a couple of power ports to the cabin. These are simple enough. I put one up in the v berth for charging phones and a second one in the main cabin by the galley sink.  The main galley cabin one is set up so I can run a trickle charge solar panel out the hatch and lay it on the deck. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

2nd Mirage trip.

Last weekend we headed out with my parents for our second trip on our new to us 1976 Mirage. The winds were blowing from the east and most everyone out on the lake had their furlers reefed in. We sailed under main only and hit a new speed record of 6.4 knots.  This boat just zips along.  I need to get the reefing lines sorted out and figure out how they are all supposed to run. Something is telling me that with this tall rig mast I'm going to need to be reefing more often. Here are some great pictures from the day. 

Wild blue yonder. 

Myles was not too happy at the start of the trip.  This was his first experience with this boat heeling over and he was struggling with where to hold on.  As the day went on and he got more comfortable things improved. 

Crewing today my Mom and Dad just back from their first retirement RV trip. 

Mirage 24 sailboat,
The return trip up the channel is great fun. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Inspection and Shake Down

Sunday morning we made it down to the marina in time for the club's annual meeting and blessing of the fleet.  Upon our arrival, we were met with some beautiful blue skies.

The skies, however, changed pretty quickly and we spent most of the day playing around in the cabin waiting out the storms.

This was a good thing because the Coast Guard Auxiliary was doing safety inspections.  The officer was very helpful.  He suggested I check into the fire extinguisher, apparently several of the Kidde ones have been recalled.  Turns out our's has not been but it was an easy thing to check. We passed our safety inspection without a hitch. These safety inspections are a good thing to go through especially with a new boat.  It helps you work through and make sure you have not forgotten anything important.

BB ran into town while we were waiting on the weather and Myles and I had our first lunch aboard.  

Finally, our patience paid off.  A break in the weather arrived and we headed up the river to Lake Michigan for our first trip out on our Mirage! The radar showed one more rainstorm just to the south of our location.  When we headed out into the open lake we could see it passing between us and South Haven.  So we sailed north. What a great decision this turned out to be.  We were able to ride the breeze off the weather front most of the way to Holland.  

North  or 


About an hour into our sail the front passed south of us and took along with it all our wind. 

We ended up coming back with the iron genny but overall, we're very happy with our new boat and our first trip out for the season.  Brr, it's still cold up here.

Safe and sound back at the dock.

Myles and I decided it was time to really put the cabin to the test and stayed aboard for the first time. Both of us agree this is the best place to sleep.  To bad for BB, she will have to wait another weekend to sleep aboard she has a cold and decided to go home for the night.

That front hatch is great too.