Great Loop, Trawler Re-store & Planning

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With no blogs about our Great Loop adventure lately, one might assume the planning fell by the wayside. Not so! I’ve just been too enjoyably consumed with scraping, fixing, patching, gluing, sanding, painting, varnishing and buying supplies related to the above that it seems there’s no time left over.
In fact, from the time I wake up until I go to bed, there’s not an hour that goes by that I don’t do, or think about the projects related to the trawler. I’m not saying that’s ALL I do now, but it practically has become a full-time hobby. (I don’t use the word “job” because that has a negative connotation.)
I’ll let the photos from before and after tell most of that story, but one project in particular is taking an inordinate amount of time – the “back hatch” as I call it. This piece was the most weather-beaten item on the entire boat. It was so bad that I spent considerable time searching the internet’s boat salvage yards in order to find a replacement…one that I could just refinish instead of rebuild. In the end, I wanted it to be more original and couldn’t find a close replacement. The pictures show the rest of the story.

FlybridgeWheel_Before

Fly Bridge Wheel – Before

FlybridgeWheel_after

Fly Bridge Wheel – After

As for plans:
First of all Margie suggested, and I agree, a great boat name would be “Yooper Looper.” We are open to other suggestions if you have ideas.
I plan to begin my trip by leaving from the Keweenaw Peninsula in late September to early October (without Margaret) and head East into Sault Ste. Marie. She currently plans to stay off the big lakes because I can’t just drop her off if the seas are big and she gets seasick.

She will most likely join me to go through the locks and down the St. Mary’s River to Drummond Island. We’ll spend a night or two there, as we haven’t been there before. After that, we’ll head west through the Straits of Mackinaw and cruise under the Big Mac. Depending if we have passengers who would like to see Mackinac Island, we may stop off there for a day. Beaver Island and/or the Traverse City area may be exploring possibilities too, if the weather holds.

FrontHatch_Before

Front Hatch – before

 

Front Hatch - After

Front Hatch – After

Margaret will probably not be along for the Lake Michigan portion, but will again join me in Chicago. From there we will take the Chicago River down to the Mississippi, but we don’t have it planned out beyond that. Apparently, the boats that have made the trip say the biggest mistake you can make when looping is having a firm plan and a schedule.
As mentioned before, we are ready and willing to take on passengers for a ride of a night or three, or think about just joining us for dinner or coffee somewhere along the way.

Compass_after

Compass_after

Compass - before

Compass – before

Until then,
Happy Trawling

SwimPlatform_Before

Swim-platform that still needs finishing

PulpitStep

Bow Pulpit Platform all finished

FlybridgeDoors_Before

Flybridge storage doors

BrianCleaningHatchPieces

Brian Cleaning Front Hatch Pieces – not yet done. Biggest project so far, but almost finished… will show picts when done.

BridgeSteps_After

Finished steps up to Flybridge

CarpettedSteps_After

Inside steps to aft cabin

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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