Refitting in San Diego

I had a few frantic days running around San Diego during which I bought a lot of stuff, including

Custom Fabricated pieces

Massive shoutout to Thomas Marine who not only managed to do the bits in a ridiculously short timeframe, but also were very reasonably priced and did a great job. I had them make me a

Mast Bracket so I could securely mount a winch on the mast for reefing

Snugs nicely onto the mast

A 26″ triangle to be used as a flopper stopper (stops you rolling at anchor)

More details when I have it rigged

Fishing Gear

I can’t stop buying fishing stuff, halp. This time it included

  • a new fishing rod (Ugly Stik) that’s rated for 50lb line (my salmon rods are 30lb or less)
  • 2 second hand Penn Senator reels
  • adaptors to move my scotty rod holders onto the rail
  • Bunch of wire leaders of various sizes
  • Various other bits and bobs.

I’m actually going to write up a big post on my fishing setup at some point – I will say for now that this book is amazing (affiliate link so if you buy it through that then I get a couple bucks)

Propane Tank and holder

I bought another 6lb tank, a bracket to hold it on the back of the boat and a hose to connect it to the BBQ (this last part required three separate trips to west marine as they kept selling me the wrong connection, to be honest I’m still not sure it’s totally right). Went with the 6lb because that’s what the boat’s tank is as well (in a tiny locker) so I can switch them if they run out. Doubling propane capacity, hooray!


Other stuff

  • a new small whisker pole. This is only 1.25″ wide and extends from 6′ to 12′. I can use it to pole out the foresail in light winds very easily, instead of having to use the HUGE spinny pole which is a massive hassle. Stoked on this. I have to replace the ends so I bought some of those as well.
  • Rod holders to hold my gaff, whisker pole and boat hook.

  • New boat name decal for the back as the old one was covered by the windvane.

Having done all that, it was time to sail to Mexico!



  1. Keep up the updates coming Matt, I look forward to them very much. I’m still dreaming at the moment but I have moved to live 1 min from the sea at bournmouth UK near two marinas, so at least I will be able to work on it now. I just need to save and plan, one day we will meet i’m sure, take care and happy sailing, Mike

  2. Here fishy fishy fishy.

    Have you browsed the southern california fishing forums at You’ll find lots of advice. Maybe I’m too late and you are gone south already, but still good reading applicable to Mx.

    Remember to target and eat any invasive fish if possible. Once you get to the other side of the Panama Canal you can spear fish lionfish until your heart is content. Not sure what there is on the pacific side of Mexico but locals and other cruisers can tell you.

    I can’t imagine the difficulty of landing a large fish solo on a sailboat and having to dance around the rigging and other stuff…do you have a plan for that? I lost my first halibut (after two years of effort) right at the boat because I didn’t have a plan to gaff it properly and that was from an open zodiak. I’ve caught halibut from my sailboat but I’d had practice with the harpoon by that point. At least with handlines you can hoist them on deck if they are under 15kgs.

    Thanks for the reminder about Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing, I’ve meant to order that in the past but keep forgetting.

    By the way, underwater lights at night reveal a whole other world. Drop one over board once in a while when you are anchor and throw down a go pro.

    I’m interested to see the placement of your rod holders and hear how that works for you. Are you running a spread of handlines and rods? How predictable is the wake of your boat and can you place the top lures so they are rather consistently on the down face of the wave (this makes the lures more visible to the pursuing fish).

    Thanks for the posts, they help keep ‘the dream’ at the forefront. I’ve been looking at a motor sailor up for sale that started it’s life as a salmon troller and it still has the 3 ton fish hold for storing catch and a nice open back end for fishing from…

    • Yeah it’s a really good book, and goes from the basics to some really good speciality tactics (kite fishing etc). I’ve actually been running two rods and two handlines at once – although I was misinformed about the number of rods you can run in Mexico so I will have to tone it down a bit :). I will do a standalone post on my setup soon that will cover most of those questions but want to nail it down a bit as still experimenting – I’ve learnt so much in the last few weeks and now catching pretty regularly (including hooking a marlin!).

      I’ve been using my spreader lights and watching the show but love the idea of the gopro under the water – will do that for sure.

      Man a decent cold storage area for fish – that’s the dream!

      • Catching fresh fish on a regular basis and not requiring year long storage capacity sounds like the dream! But I’m house bound for the next few years so I need to make my fishing trips count. And living in a temperate ocean means seasonal migrations of fish, boom and bust, and requires a fish hold to capitalize on it. I suppose you’ll get into areas with no fish and I hope you post about those times of effort but no success.

        I hope you are jigging for squid while watching the fauna gather around your boat under the glow of the spreader lights! Livin’ the dream.

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