July 1, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow

June 20, 2013
New Adventures

May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug

May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference

May 6, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy

April 15, 2013
In The Middle

March 29, 2013
On The Hook

March 18, 2013
Tinker Time

February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix

February 15, 2013
Time Travel

February 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation

January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending

January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports

December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current

December 1, 2012
New Neighbors

November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?

November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?

October 15, 2012

October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable

September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem

September 1, 2012

August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options

August 1, 2012
Go West!

July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination

July 1, 2012

June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly

June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour

May 15, 2012
Making New Friends

May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New

April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast

April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler

March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature

March 1, 2012
Last Dance

February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique

February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound

January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World

January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation

December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell

December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds

November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love

November 1, 2011
On the Water Again

October 14, 2011
First Impressions

October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun

September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road

September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!

August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row

August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat

July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home

July 1, 2011
One Step Closer

June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future

June 1, 2011
Made in the USA

May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice

May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around

April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude

March 15, 2011
Helping Hands

March 1, 2011

February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options

February 1, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!

January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing

December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing

December 15, 2010
The New Plan!

December 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg

November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water

November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile

October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough

October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?

September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool

September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland

August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"

July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time

July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous

June 1, 2010
On the Hard

May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West

May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board

April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance

April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures

March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise

March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound

February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters

February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise

January 15, 2010
New Frontiers

January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences

December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port

December 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady

November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

November 13, 2009
A Cult Following

October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time

October 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye

September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature

August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote

August 1, 2009
Crab Crazy

July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay

July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay

June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North

June 1, 2009
Northern Migration

May 15, 2009

May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye

April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!

April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy

March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound

March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?

February 15, 2009
Slow Motion

February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View

January 15, 2009
High Anxiety

January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands

December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure

December 1, 2008
All Together Now

November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River

October 16, 2008
Big City Lights

October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins

September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop

September 1, 2008
The Space Ship

August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle

August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!

July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around

July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop


Lets Dance!
By Kismet, Thursday, September 1, 2011

This is our R27 just out of the mold and ready for the assembly process.

   Ever since I can remember, way back when (as the saying goes), I can recall my father saying “Let’s Dance.” He’d make this announcement whenever he felt it was time to move off into a different direction. It didn’t matter if it was time to cut the Thanksgiving turkey, go water skiing, or send us kids off to college; it was my Dads way of saying it was time to get things in gear. More importantly what he was actually saying was that he was all in, ready to go and not interested in waiting any more, in other words – let the action begin.

This is exactly how Lisa and I feel about heading out west; it’s time to get our Ranger Tug boating adventures started. My father’s sentiment of “Lets Dance” seems to be dead on – appropriate for us as we’re all in and ready to go boating again.

   For us, my Dad’s favorite saying is a euphemism for getting back onto the water. We’ve been off “the water” for 1.5 years, so it’s more than time for die-hard water rats like us to return to some of our favorite cruising grounds or exploring new waterways. To make this all happen was akin to piecing together a large puzzle, one where we had to maneuver all the pieces so they’d fall neatly into place so our boating adventures could resume.

This is how things look on the inside of the hull before the mechanicals are installed.

The process included settling into a land based house (May 2010), selling our 40’ trawler (November 2010), selling an old truck and buying our GMC HD tow truck (April 2011), selling an investment rental home (July 2011) and finally buying a trailerable trawler and trailer. With our concentrated efforts and laser like focus it’s finally come to fruition.

    The very last piece of our puzzle is the construction of our American made Ranger Tugs R27, which is currently mid-way through the construction process. Jeff, at Ranger Tugs, (Kent, Washington), has informed us that our boat will be completed by the third week of August, just before this log is posted. In the mean time I’ve been in contact with Andrew Custis, Ranger Tug’s Customer Service Manager, he’ll be keeping us up to speed as to our boat’s progress. Linda, Ranger Tug’s Office Manager, has made arrangements to have photos taken during the construction and has been emailing them to us. This added touch makes us feel more involved in our boats evolution, almost as if we’re there in person. We would have liked to be present for the whole construction process, but our land-based activities just didn’t allow us to escape until the very last hour. 

With the hull liner now married to the inside of the hull the mechanical items are being installed.

    As our focus migrates to the construction of Kismet our anticipation of getting back out onto the water, and cruising once again, is becoming overwhelming. The reason for this feeling of excitement is not only because of our love of boating, but the anticipation of meeting people from all over the country and sometimes, the world. There’s camaraderie in the boating community that’s hard to describe and once you’ve experienced it, you just want more. The boating community, in our opinion, seems to be blind to where you live, work, what size your boat is, what part of the country you’re from or what your standing is on some imaginary social ladder. It’s all about boating, sharing a passion, and being helpful to one another. It’s this camaraderie and the element of adventure we’re so looking forward to getting back to. Lets Dance!

Here you’re looking towards the transom. From left to right is the water heater, Yanmar diesel engine and Mase diesel generator.

    In the meantime, with our new Ranger Tugs R27 under construction there are immeasurable items to be learned during this process. Sure, it would be nice to be close to the factory so we could physically stop in to inspect the progress every week or two but with the help of Andrew, Linda and modern technology there’s no need for us to be there. When I receive photos from Linda, I can see what the current construction status is. From one week to the next, I can evaluate the progress being made and while reviewing the emailed photos, I can make notes and a list of questions to ask Andrew about. In the latest batch of photos, I was unsure of what tank was the black water waste tank, so the next time I spoke with Andrew he straightened me out. Using the waste tank, as an example, and knowing where it is located for future reference, will make trouble shooting something like a loose fitting or bad sending unit easier to address. We’ll also archive the photos for future reference, making most future servicing less time consuming, frustrating and costly.

Here you see the mold for the interior component.

    When I look at the component sections, before they are married to the hull, I’m looking for where the electric wiring is run, water lines and connectors and what will be the best way to access them when needed. In addition, it’s important to have an understanding of how you might run a wire through the boat after it’s finished. I remember having to run a coaxial cable through the cavities of a previously owned boat and I was at a loss because we had no construction knowledge of the guts of the boat. I had half the interior disassembled with my body contorted into various positions, flashlight in hand, trying to snake this cable from one part of the boat to the other. It took the better part of three days, bloody knuckles, some fowl language, and lots of beer. My point is this… if I had prior photo knowledge of how that boat was constructed I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration.

The same day I began writing this piece, Lisa and I took a break from our work/writing chores and went for walk – something we do on a regular basis. Lisa soon asked what I was writing about. When I explained that I was writing about “Lets Dance” and how it related to a fond memory of my father and also to us returning to our cruising lifestyle, she smiled. Intrigued by this, I asked her what was on her mind. Lisa made a statement that was so very true and profound in so many ways – the real reason we are so ready to get this “dance” under way finally hit home like a heat seeking missile.


This major interior section, when complete, gets inserted into the finished hull.

Lisa stated that early on in our marriage our mode of relaxation formed and centered around being on a boat either cruising or just sitting at dock. During northern Michigan’s warmer months, our time off work meant we’d head to our boat to “relax.” Even when we started to live on our boat after we retired, we always felt that relaxing vibe just floating on the water. Lisa went on to comment that since we’d returned to a land based life, with no boat, not even a dinghy, to escape to, we seemed to be having a hard time relaxing on land, not really knowing what to do to fill that void. I agreed, that we almost don’t know how to relax on land, feeling like something deep down inside is missing. In the year and a half we’ve been away from boating, we’ve been busy writing, fixing up the house we bought, and reconnecting with family and friends. All of this has been wonderful and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. However, we do miss our time to chill, very much.

This is how the interior of the cabin component looks before the windows and roof hatches are installed.

    After stopping to think of Lisa’s comments of how relaxing being on the water is for us it dawned on me that our current relaxing water time boils down to sitting on our front porch where we can see the water as we play cards or discuss the days events. We’ve also had the occasional boat ride invitation and those are wonderful but it’s not quite the same as an overnight on our own boat. I read a blog recently where a boater summed up what we’re experiencing in just a few wise words. In paraphrasing what was written, the blogger stated that he “Boated to Live” vs. “Living to Boat.” So the bottom line for us is that it’s time to get back to cruising so we can live a full life in a more relaxed state of being. My Dad was so right, time to get back out on the dance floor.


I’m really not taking a nap; I’m attempting to run coaxial cable in a prior boat.

I wonder what progress they’ve made on Kismet this week?