New Helm Chair & Fort George August 2016

Matching helm chairs

Sonas was built with one helm chair on the fly bridge. So when under way, depending on who is on the helm, one of us has to sit on the bench seat. This is much lower and visibility is not great.

So we decided to add a second matching STIDD helm chair. This was ordered through Lambs Yachting Center back in April and had finally arrived. So we took Sonas up the St John’s River, through down town Jacksonville to the yard. We also asked for a new fly bridge VHF radio to be installed as the current one was acting up, and for the Pilothouse A/C unit to be cleaned up.

Waiting for the train to pass through downtown

All this was completed, so on Friday we went over and picked her up planning to go straight up to Fort George River for an overnight stay. Before we left the house we called the yard to make sure that Sonas was ready and were advised that all of the work was completed but they found that the water coming from the faucets was grey and smelly. Did we want to hold off until they could clear all of that up? We decided to go ahead with our plans and handle that ourselves.

As we arrived at Sonas Sian said “close your eyes,” aimed Paul at the side of the boat and there was a nice surprise. Sian had arranged for the yard to add names plates to both sides of Sonas in the same style as on the transom, shamrocks included!

New name plates
New name plate

We arrived at Fort George anchorage around 2:30, dropped the hook, started the generator for the A/C, and launched the dingy to take Grace ashore. This was the first time we had launched it since we had the engine serviced back in June. And it wouldn’t start! So Paul used the emergency paddle to take Grace ashore. We suspect water in the fuel so we are going to drain the tank, dry it off, replace the filters, and see if that helps improve things.

Fort George River anchorage

The light winds died away to a whisper in the evening. We grilled a couple of steaks and watched some Olympic coverage before bunking down.

Fort George sunset

The next morning we ran the water to see if we could identify the issue. After about 10 minutes the water ran clear. We suspect it was just that the water had been sitting in the lines and went bad given we had not run the boat since June.  we will treat the water in the tank to help avoid that in future. Plus using the boat more will help!

Around lunchtime we ran the boat down to Palm Cove Marina to pick up some fuel in preparation for the Labor Day Holiday Weekend trip down to Hammock Dunes in Palm Coast. We arrived back through the Queens Harbour lock and home dock around 3:00.

The rest of the weekend’s photos are below.

One thought on “New Helm Chair & Fort George August 2016”

  1. That made my day Paul! Guess I didn’t read far enough. What an amazing cruiser you have! I’m so glad that we are not the only couple that find the twin seats a necessity. I see so many quality cruisers, Nordhavns, DeFevers, Flemings, Ocean Alecanders, etc. with only one chair, I have wondered what I am missing?! (Flemings have the double chair, which we don’t like either.) You know, when you make a wish list of items for that perfect cruising boat, you know that you may still have to compromise. Sonas hits every box for us. With our Albin and Marine Trader experience, I have to admit that I am not too anxious to start with the bright-work again, but it would be a pleasure to do on your boat.

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