Skip to main content

Two Years and loving it.

Two years ago today we brought Cygnet home to River City and began living aboard.  It was such an exciting time for us, being able to change your lifestyle while maintaining it at the same time, if that makes sense.  In the spring of 2014 we both had good jobs, we had a house, a couple nice cars and we were happy.  But one thing led to another and a few months later we were living on a boat in the Chicago river.  It's the best thing we've done.  We love coming home (like last night) and sitting outside on the aft deck and watching the world go by, talking for hours.  We love taking our home out on the water and entertaining friends and family in a unique way.  Think about the last time you had a party, your guests probably thanked you and left.  When you live on a boat your friends get super excited about parties, they talk about if for months before and after, they will do whatever they can to make it to the party.  Boat parties are the best parties.
First Cruise of 2016
We've mentioned before that our lives are pretty normal, we just happen to live on a boat.  What people who don't live aboard don't realize is just how fun every day can be.  How you are a weather bug, how you sit on the aft deck and wave at everyone who floats by, how you sleep like a baby with the soothing movement of the boat on the water.

Last year at our one year anniversary I made a list of what we've done and what we still need or want to do.  We thought it might be appropriate to update that list.  If you look back at the original post the "to do" has decreased significantly (from 33 to 13)!   Not only that - most of the major things on the "to do" list are done.  We're pretty proud of how far Cygnet has come in the last two years.  A few of the other guys at River City tell us that Cygnet is the nicest boat in the marina, and we think that's true.  Pretty soon Cygnet might be one of the nicest boats in ANY marina in Chicago.  She may be getting old and smaller than some of the giant yachts out there, but she is in great shape and getting better every day.
Sleeping Beauty

The mostly complete list of all the great or stupid things we've done to Cygnet in our first TWO years. Newest first!

Paid to have done:

Year Two
1) Brand new canvas and Eisenglass on the flybridge
2) Shoe cabinet added to the aft deck
3) Removed the lower helm and created a wine rack and counter top
4) Rebuilt generator (in process right now)
5) Major engine tune up
6) Redid bar cabinet on the aft deck
7) New carpet on the aft deck and flybridge (in process right now)
8) Fixed broken window on starboard side (in process right now)
9) Had the boat polished and waxed above the rub rail
10) Get the rudder position indicator working (it always worked, Kevin is just a dope)
Year One
11) Removed the carpet and installed new teak floors
12) Removed and replaced the couch and salon chairs
13) Replaced the "impossible" poo hose
14) Waxed the hull below the rub rail
15) Installed new double stereo system and home theater w/ super awesome motorized TV mount
16) Made new sun-pad for the bow with articulated back
17) Replaced the swim platform with OEM look module with added solar lights
18) Replaced galvanic corrosion preventing anodes
19) Replaced 2 of the 3 A/C thermostats with digital ones.
20) Checked or replaced all fire extinguishers

We did ourselves:

Year Two
1) Installed new fancy macerating toilet in the aft stateroom head
2) We installed a dishwasher!!!
3) Added lots of color changing LED strip lighting 
4) Fixed the leaking bow hatch
5) New couch, chairs, and decorative cooler on the aft deck 
6) Filled the old snap holes and redrilled new snaps
7) Replaced blower hoses in engine room
8) Remove Oak Brook from transom and added Chicago as the hailing port
9) Added new All Round (top) light that is much lower and clears the bridges
Year One
10) Swapped working toilet from forward head to aft head
11) Replaced forward head with fancy new one including installing new pump and tank sensor
12) Fixed leaking water line behind the non-working washer/dryer
13) Fixed leaking water line above the starboard fuel tank
14) Replaced gross water filter with new 3M whole house filter including running new lines
15) Hung some pictures
16) Insulated the master stateroom bed from the cold
17) Replaced the forward shower drain bilge and pump
18) Replaced spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor on both engines
19) Changed oil on both engines
20) Cleaned the spark arrestors on both engines
21) Cleaned the escaped poo from the bad head waste hose (needs more cleaning)
22) Added chairs to the breakfast bar
23) Created a bar in the storage cabinet on the aft deck
24) Fixed the toilet previously swapped to the aft head
25) Replaced the waste hose from the aft toilet to the tank
26) Checked and filled the batteries with water, then a month later replaced those batteries.
27) Removed non-working radar
28) Replaced hailer horn
29) Repaired non-working aft navigation light
30) Replaced the shower head hoses and cleaned the shower heads
31) Cleaned pretty much every surface inside and out multiple times
32) Added snap extenders on much of the canvas and taped the splits in the Strataglass
33) Fixed the anchor windlass that wouldn't retract
34) Disconnected the dragging throttle cable from the lower helm
35) Oiled all the teak wood on the interior multiple times
36) Replaced the bad power inlet for the second time
37) Moved the fender holders to outside the railing on the bow
38) Put plastic on the interior of the windows for winter, then took it down for summer
39) Checked and emptied all the seacock strainer baskets
40) Replaced all wired CO sensors
41) Added LED touch lights to the closets and drawers
42) Replaced some interior and helm lights with LEDs
43) Flushed the freshwater system and refilled weekly, dumped the waste tanks weekly
44) Replaced spark plugs on generator
45) Thoroughly cleaned generator valve head (rusted)
46) Put felt pads under the Lay-Z-Boy recliner

Still need to do:

1) Replace the radar and electronics with modern pieces
2) Sand and refinish the wood on the aft deck and swim ladder
3) Replace the wallpaper in the salon
4) Replace the broken seacock for the forward head raw water intake
5) Add registration numbers to the sides of the bow for Coast Guard compliance
6) Fix dim and flickering aft shower light
7) Add LED strip lighting to salon
8) Get the washer/dryer working (probably will never happen)
9) Replace transmission gear oil on both sides
10) Repair the spot light movement motor or controls so the light moves
11) Paint the black frame for the plexi aft deck windows and door
12) Install power plug in the engine room on A/C circuit
13) Fill the holes left by the old thermostats


  1. Congratulations! 2 years, wow. From the Dreamonaut.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Boat (Part 1)

Let's face it, boats are not easy things to live with.  There are many people out there who have been around boating their entire lives and are still learning.  Every boat is different and every boat owner has a different skillset of what they can and can't do.  We know a few people who've been boating for years or even decades and don't know how to drive a boat.  We know people who take to it immediately and can dock a large boat without any help.  If you have never been a boater or you are thinking about moving from a small boat to something much bigger (like we did) there are a myriad of things you need to know.  We're going to start with the most basic stuff and let you know all the things you need to know about owning a boat before you make a bad and costly decision by buying a boat that isn't for you.
Feel free to post questions in the comments but we'll make this a multi-part series since there is a LOT to cover.  Hopefully one of the later posts wi…

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Boat (Part 7)

Congratulations!  You made it through your first season with a boat but now the weather is changing and the high temperatures are in the 60s on a regular basis.  You've extended the season as long as you can but it's just getting too chilly to be out cruising around, and definitely too chilly for a swim.  It's time to put your boat into hibernation for the winter.  So, where do you start?

We live aboard Cygnet all year so winterizing is very different for us.  But we had Two Wrights for years and took her out of the water every fall and put her back every spring.  Our winterizing routine wasn't much different than most.  What you'll read below is a general winterizing program.  You may have a different requirement based on your boat and that should be found in the manufacturer's manual or online.  Don't take our word for it, find out from your boat builder what you should be doing.  It's a good idea to make a check list and use it every year.  This can…

What We Learned in the White of Winter

If you read THIS previous post you know we wrapped Cygnet this year in white plastic instead of our usual translucent.  This was a mistake.  It wasn't our choice, the guys who do this only had the white available and we went with it to keep Cygnet out of the ice and snow for the winter slumber.  We were a bit concerned about less light making its way inside the plastic and not getting the greenhouse effect that normally helps tremendously to keep us toasty warm in the cold months.  Well, we were absolutely right.  By using white we effectively kept the sun and the warmth created by it out of Cygnet.  With a new method of routing power to our heaters and a slew of new heat units we thought we'd be nice and warm but it turns out we were worse off this year than we've ever been, including our first winter in 2014/15 where we didn't see temperatures above the mid-20s the entire month of February.

We had a couple mornings where the outside temperature was -20ºF (-29ºC) and…