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diy cheeky monkey boat decal

The 80 Percent Rule

Having spent the last seven years on an older (1986) sailboat, which has required us to replace pretty much every moving part on board (some of them twice), I've been feeling pretty darned smug about our new boat, s/v Cheeky Monkey. I mean, she is three weeks old. Three weeks! I have underwear older than this boat. Wait, what am…

parasailor cheeky monkey turf to surf

Testing the Parasailor

Ryan and I are both visibly stressed when we arrive to Pierre's office at Uchimata Sailing Services. We've been running through everything that needs to get done on Cheeky Monkey before Pierre's team of workers finish at noon tomorrow to go on vacation for a month, along with the rest of France. I am holding a scrawled list of outstanding…


Way out of my league

By the time I arrive from Greece, Ryan has already been in La Rochelle, France for a week, living near the marina where Cheeky Monkey is getting all her post-factory work done. By now, Ryan knows most of the boats on our pontoon, as well as the guys from Uchimata Sailing Services, who are doing all our installations.   The…

tasha hacker turf to surf cheeky monkey

In the driver’s seat

As the date of completion of our new Fountaine-Pajot Helia grows near, I am increasingly aware that Ryan and I are going to have to get this boat off the dock in La Rochelle and take it out to sea. Which means I'm spending a lot of time staring at the dock, at the sharp edges on the end of…

fountaine pajot helia 44 turf to surf

Choosing the right boat for us: the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44

It's 2008 and Ryan has suggested that we buy a sailboat with some of the profit we made in our first year of running our own business, Teaching House. "But what the hell would we do with a boat?" I protest. "We don't even know how to sail!" "We'll learn," says Ryan, with the kind of bold confidence he exudes…

henri lloyd clipper round the world race crew

7 Pieces of Advice to Crew on the Clipper Round the World Race

The start of the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is exactly 4 weeks away. Which means there are about 250 amateur crew from all over the world who've signed up for Leg 1 of the race. And about half the crew on each boat have taken a huge leap and committed to doing the full round-the-world-race, which will…