We Make it a Little Closer to Home

Roger to the rescue!!!!!

Fortunately after a few setbacks including the weather and availability, we were blessed to have a part-time mover help us out that seller had found on craigslist. Roger is a pretty neat guy, from Trinidad who enjoys sailing, is very experienced and isn’t afraid to tackle an issue,  our motorless sailboat. On top of that his price was more than reasonable.

So here was the plan, we would hiptow her using our dinghy and a used 9.8 outboard that I purchased for this one purpose, figuring I could resell after and make my money back from the motor.

So the big day arrived. Would everything come together as planned? (insert hysterical laughter) Of course not. After replacing spark plugs along with the upper and lower oil in the Nissan outboard and learning everything I could about this outboard, we could not get the motor to stay on. After spending about 2 hours of frustration we decided to try the 5.0 Tahatsu 2 stroke (no tide pulls out here thank God). Low and behold she worked flawlessly and tirelessly, until…… we ran out of gas. 

Roger and I knew better (2 strokes love gas!),  the previous owner assured us that the the 2 gallons of gas we had would get us from Cocoa to Titusville without a problem. Never happened! Looking back it was a good experience to learn how to handle these types of situations. Stacey was trailing on land so she bought us some gas and 2stroke oil, waited at the nearest marina and asked someone that was headed out for a day on their boat to bring us the gas. We pulled over to the side of the ICW and set down our anchor while we waited for the saviors. Boat people are a very helpful bunch

After we got going again we did manage to set a our head sail up for while while trying to conserve gas. (We were headed towards another gas shortage). Unfortunately, the wind was against us most of the way, but we did end making it to Titusville!

After a long grueling day of boat towing (Roger took on the brunt in the dinghy for the entire ride) and paying the man for his awesome service and teaching us a few things along the way, we invited him and his girlfriend to dinner and drinks and had a good time getting to know them better

By this time and because we woke up this morning at 4:00 am to make this thing happen we were exhausted. Would you believe it that Roger, this guy from Trinidad that we first met this morning invited to stay at his rental property for the night for free so that we could get home safely the next morning. We took him up on his offer and It was a good decision to stay the night.

Working with Roger was an absolute pleasure. We spoke about family, work, and boats all along the way. We learned much from him and I admire that he was always patient and thorough from the beginning of the trip to the very end. I hope we can continue a long friendship with Roger and his girlfriend Tangy.

With all being said, I must say we were blessed with an honest and very helpful seller. I have heard of many horror stories out there. Fortunately, we never had to experience any of that.

Stay tuned as the adventure continues. We still have to get her home to St. Augustine.
Until next time,



We found our sailboat

After passing our depressive state from the last boat we decided to pass on (Allied Seabreeze). Our impatience was growing so we couldn’t help but continue to look for “our boat”. From what we could tell the best deals seamed to be on craigslist, so we continued to do some hard window shopping. By this time we were in a much better financial situation as we had put together the money for our fourth and final kid’s braces and we have managed to pay our home off!!!!! (WooHOO!!!!). Now we felt like the timing was right.

I was particularly looking for a strong and worthy classic with a broken down engine (Clearance Sale!). It was slim pickings, but we ended up taking a look at a Bristol 29.9 in Cape Canaveral Fl. that had it’s engine removed (bonus!) and was being offered for $6,000. The seller just had the lower hull redone and painted and also just replaced the rudder stock and a couple of through holes.

Senora del Mar on the hard
Senora del Mar

We could not find a single bad review on this boat and although it was a little smaller than what we were looking for, it’s layout and beam made up the difference. Besides smaller is more affordable to maintain (more fun money!).

I must admit although it sounded like a fair deal, I still hesitated a bit knowing that once we said yes a financial hurricane would come our way. It did not disappoint!

So we did say yes to the deal after negotiating to $5,500 dinghy and 5.0 outboard motor included. Ok so we bought this boat so now what? The owner had now taken her off dry storage where he was getting ripped a new one and and had her docked at a friends house in  Cocoa Fl. while she waited for us to pick her up. Only 1 problem, she has no back up engine and I don’t currently have keel boat sailing experience, yikes!

After having an acquaintance bail out on me, another friend too busy at the time and looking into over water and out out of water transport fees I was a bit stressed and overwhelmed. How can we get this boat from Cocoa to St. Augustine, Fl. or at least Marineland Fl. safely without breaking the bank?

She Floats!!!!!!
She Floats!!!!!!

Stay tuned to the adventure. We will find a way to get her home. Surely it will be full of amusement for all.

Until next time,

The Dangers of “Window Shopping” Boats on Craigslist

As I lie here this morning slightly depressed, my brain is still trying to “make it work” even though we already decided that it’s just not the right time yet.

We took a look at a 35’Allied Seabreeze that a gentleman was selling for next to nothing yesterday and drove a several hundred mile round trip with full intentions on purchasing her. The largest obstacle to get around was the fact that the Westerbeke diesel engine was not working. Between towing, mast destepping, lifting, trucking, lifting again and once again towing , along with whatever other adventures happen to pop up, the reality of the numbers were starting to unfold.


She was a beautiful boat inside and out


My plan was to borrow from the nest egg account and pay it back after I finish getting braces on my youngest. In the mean time the boat would have to sit and wait until that financial obligation was taken care of. I still believe that we would have come out ahead in the end and we believe the boat was a perfect fit, but we just felt uncomfortable with the outlay of cash to make it happen. And we know to expect the unexpected surprises, and then what!

It was not all a loss as we learned a lot by speaking with the owner and made a friend, we just felt deep inside that it just wasn’t the right time.

Thanks for reading, until next time……


Repairing the Broken Boat

Hi there,
Sorry it’s been a while. I was dealing with boat repairs and then came the holidays.

On the last blog, I had mentioned the damage that occurred to the boat. I ended up taking our 2 piece broken mast to an aluminum fabricator. He ended up reinforcing the broken area by putting a short aluminum rod on the inside of the mast, between the two pipes and the welding the mast back together.  The mast was previously broken and welded under the previous owners watch at the same location at some point. The cost was $50 for the repair and took less than an hour. The quick turn around was appreciated!

Next came the the forward shroud that had frayed. I ended up going to West Marine  as I heard they supply you with the tools to get the job done. Well, my first attempt was not so good. I’m sure it would have helped if they gave had given me the correct oval sleeve instead of a round stop sleeve. Talk about frustration….
I surrendered after an hour and a half of trying to put it all together with the help of the the West Marine associate.

Google and Youtube to the rescue! After doing some online research I went back and purchased the correct oval sleeve type and size from West Marine and went to work. After another hour and a half hand wrenching, wire bending / holding (not fun for a pro guitarist) and crimping with my arm pit, I was set. Very comical to watch I’m sure.  It would have been easier with 2 people, but I was just glad it finally came together. Not as neat looking as the previous one, but it will do.

Next part was the easiest. I had to rivet the two shroud attachments back onto the mast, reattach the chain plate on right side and also rivet the base of the mast back in place with some super long rivets that needed to special ordered online. Lesson. DON’T BE A DUMB ASS! Take your mast down as soon as you get the boat out of the water, even if you can’t find a parking spot.

She is finally ready for the water again. More adventures to come soon.

Happy New Year!!!!

Until Next Time,
Dennis Fermin

Redemption Sail / Mast Decapitation

I hope you all enjoyed the previous blog about our previous crazy Bus to RV conversion and travel adventures. If you haven’t seen the pics and crazy videos you can check them out here: https://wordpress.com/post/senoradelmar.wordpress.com/225

Below is a video clip of Stacey and I redeeming ourselves after our last sail during a rain storm. Not fun in a dinghy! The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see a damn thing and had no idea what direction we were going in. Not to mention that the boat started taking on quite a bit of water. I strongly suggest not doing this in a smaller boat unless you have some type of navigational device and cover to use it under. Get your boat to shore or to the closest dock ASAP!!!!!!! My daughter (19) just happened to be on the boat this time, but I think she may be permanently traumatized by this experience. As usual I should have listened to my wife.

Redemption Sail:


Unfortunately, after a great sailing day we just happened to get into a little fight with a tree while moving the boat to an area so we could dismantle the mast. We lost the fight: the mast came down in 2 pieces, the front stay tore and two stays tore off the mast. OOOPS!!!! We will let you know how the repairs go on the next post. See you then!

Dennis Fermin

Help Support the Senora del Mar cause at:
Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SenoradelMar?ref=search_shop_redirect
Main site: https://senoradelmar.wordpress.com/



The Adventures Begin

It’s been a slow start after Hurricane Mathew hit. The local community has been doing a lot of cleaning up and damage assessing. Fortunately, the Fermin family faired well with Mathew. Our little sailboat survived! The worst was being without  internet for just over a week.

So here we are trying our hand at a different market lately here in st. Augustine, Fl. The Wednesday Market by the Pier. Wish us luck!

So as promised, I said last time that I would give you run down about our interesting travel adventures over the past several years that have brought us to where we are today. Several years back we were living In a 3,600 square foot home in Ga. until the economy bottomed out. At that time I was a full- time private music instructor. Anyway we figured that we had two choices: we could rent a smaller place without the guarantee of having enough income to pay rent or we could begin our crazy travel adventures. After gaining some knowledge and inspiration from youtube we decided to take on a school bus RV home conversion project and hit the road.

We purchased an older 35 foot dog nose diesel Bluebird built in Ga. and went to work!
It was a challenging, but fun project. Learned lots of new things from steel work to plumbing, constructing walls and bunk beds and all kinds of crazy stuff. We completely re-did the ceiling since it was previously ripped off. Also put in 12 volt and 110 volt wiring throughout. Bathroom, shower, convertible couch, you name it! Way too many detail to get into, but you can catch lots of pictures and videos here:



Although,  It was an interesting, exciting and educational project. I couldn’t quite figure out how to make ends meet and support a family of 6 doing music entertainment while part time traveling so we decided to moved on, parked and eventually sold the bus once we decided to call St. Augustine, Fl. our home (for the time being).

Somehow along the line we have developed a taste for the gypsy lifestyle and the thirst continues! More to come in the next Senora del Mar blog post!

Dennis Fermin

Stacey, my wife babysitting our learner sailboat (Squirt) recently while waiting to plucked out of the water.

Figuring it all out

Most things in life we have found are not as easy as they would appear to be, but anything worth having is worth working for. Currently we are experimenting with a different markets to see which 2 are the best fit to sell our beach pallet art work through. All profits will go towards the purchase of our future sailboat. We have also set up a FB page along with a main website and etsy shop. Check them out and let us know what you think:
Main website: https://senoradelmar.wordpress.com/ (soon to be www.senoradelmar.com)
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Se%C3%B1ora-del-Mar-Beach-Themed-Pallet-Art-332976327039491/.
Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SenoradelMar?ref=search_shop_redirect



It has been challenging finding the time to make it all happen, but it’s slowly coming together. This Saturday morning we are setting up shop at a new market in Ponte Vedra, Fl. Ok, not a great start I lol. just got a text asking if we can start the following week instead. Wait, I take that back. They were asking if I can perform music the following week. All is good. Wish us luck!

Hoping to find the time and the weather to take our little dinghy sailboat out again here soon to keep up on our sailing skills.

Next blog will most likely be about our previous small space living experiences (don’t want to miss this!) and more specifics on our future sailboat living plans. See you then!

Dennis Fermin