Seattle Boat Show 2018 Tour

boat show pnw

Seattle Boat Show 2018

boat show pnw

Last Saturday, Scott and I attended the Seattle Boat Show for the tenth year in a row. This is the largest boat show on the west coast. If you recall from my last blog, we planned on staying the night on the boat Friday and Saturday, to have a “staycation” in Seattle. Well, after the weather forecast came out on Thursday, change of plans!

boat show pnw

Wait until you see the video footage I took! We are so glad we did not stay on the boat! We heard from marina neighbors that the waves were crashing over the breakwater wall. High tide was at noon and was 11.6′! With gusts of 40mph, this was a very unpleasant day on the water.

Show #1 – Century Link Field

boat show pnw

This year, there were three locations for the boat show. The big show is at Century Link and the other two locations were at Bell Harbor Marina and Lake Union. At Century Link, they have two levels with boats on the lower level and vendors on the top.




While we did enjoy looking at newer boats, we actually had a mission for this show:

  • Look at Toilets – we need to get one with a macerator
  • Talk to Sea View Marine about hauling out & working on the boat
  • Find an Isinglass installer and get pricing (we talked to Sea Marine in Port Townsend)
  • Look for a propeller company to replace our current ones  (there were no suppliers at the show!)


That’s a fun topic. Not surprising, this booth was packed! Probably because anyone who has a manual flush toilet has toilet envy to the electronic macerating ones.  The sales rep was very helpful and said it is somewhat easy to swap out. The only catch is it needs a power supply.  Chances are, we won’t be replacing our current one. Back to “no toilet paper” rules.

I know you are asking the question “So are you keeping this boat?”. The answer is, we don’t know yet.  We will either keep Kokomo and invest in it. The boat needs to be hauled out, under painted and have the props replaced. If Scott and I find a different boat that is bigger, more seaworthy and within our budget, we will consider upgrading. Right now, we are researching all of our options.

Fun Surprises at the Show

Meeting Wendy Hinman

If you follow our blog & our Twitter account, you know that one of my favorite authors is Wendy Hinman. Wendy’s first book,Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey” fascinated me! She and her husband are from Seattle and they traveled across the globe on a 31′ sailboat! You have to read it!

I met Wendy years ago at the Seattle Boat Show and last year when I ran into her, she had just released her second book “Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire“. The title of the book is not exaggerating! This is another must read. Over the past year, we have tweeted and re-shared Wendy’s posts and when we ran into her on Saturday, she was so grateful! Be sure to pick up her books.

Elliott Bay Marina

Scott and I went on a hunt to find Elliott Bay Marina, as they had some kind of activity.  Turns out, you had to make ten basket ball goals in 20 seconds and Scott did it! He won a $10 gift card at the Fuel Dock!

Sea View Boat Yard

Most of our boating friends referred us to Sea View Boat Yard to haul out Kokomo. They have two locations, one at Shilshole in Seattle and one in Bellingham.  Scott and I talked at length with the sales rep and got pricing for everything we need to do. Then they had a “spin the wheel” contest and we won 10% off Labor”Woot Woot! At $105/hour, that saves us quite a bit of money!

Show #2 – Bell Harbor Marina

boat show pnw

The boat show offers complimentary shuttle service between all three locations. Our next stop was at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle. The winds were crazy when we arrived! Again, be sure to watch our video for the full footage. It was so windy, that we were getting a bit sea sick looking at a 39′ Carver that we actually loved.

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

Touring the brand new $11 million Ocean Alexander 100′ MY

I was surprised that we were able to tour this Ocean Alexander yacht without all of the red tape. It truly was a gorgeous boat and bigger than my house! We included a lot of footage in the video, so be sure to watch it towards the end.

Show #3 – Lake Union

Scott and I attend two boat shows a year at Lake Union, including the Boats Afloat Show. We knew that this location would be mostly either larger boats over 50′ or Trawlers. By the time we got to Lake Union, we were starting to get cold and tired.  While we didn’t see any boats that would work for our budget, we did look at two really amazing ocean worthy Trawlers!

Sea Lion – Fraser Yacht

boat show pnw

Surprising, this yacht only had one engine, but a great engine at that!

Rock A Bye – Precision Trawler

boat show pnw


This trawler was heavy duty! Each of the staterooms had locking air tight doors and this vessel is meant to travel a long ways.

Wrapping up the Show

After six hours, Scott and I were ready to call it a day! The Seattle Boat Show offers multi day passes and honestly, that is probably the best way to view the show. That’s how we attend the Annapolis and Miami shows. There are great seminars during the show, along with festivities for families. The show goes until February 3, 2018, so you still have time to go visit – and hopefully during better weather! Check out our next post, as we cover more on the show.

Boating Journey has a new channel on YouTube! Be sure to subscribe for upcoming episodes. Below is the video for the tour of this year’s Seattle Boat Show 2018.

Thank you for following us and sharing! Until next time! Scott and Ally

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Life Without Mac

Life without our golden retriever Mac

Scott and I have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of condolences for the loss of our golden retriever Mac. Last Thursday we said a very tearful goodbye to our boy, who would have been 15 in April. This is the first time in twenty-eight years that I have not had a golden retriever or a dog for that matter, in my home.

Our friends and family have been asking, how are we doing these past few days.  Let me tell you, it’s been a tough journey.  Scott and I deliberately took a quick trip to Las Vegas to distract us from our sorrows.  If you love going to Vegas, this trip was not your typical “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” trip. It’s hard to enjoy the bling and scenery, when your heart is so heavy. Keeping ourselves occupied, we did go see Treasure Island, as I had not seen the pirate ships before.

life without Mac

We stayed at the Bellagio and ironically their courtyard garden theme was “The Year of the Dog” for Chinese New Year.

life without Mac

life without Mac

In fact, everywhere we went in Vegas, the theme was “Year of the Dog”; a cruel irony, but that’s part of life. Unfortunately, just 48 hours we were back home to an empty house.

Grief is like an ocean

There is a quote that says “Grief is like an ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” ~ Vicki Harrison

That quote described my first full day at home without Mac. As I did chores throughout the house I was constantly reminded of our loss. His fur balls would appear, his leash still hung on the coat tree and the cookie jar was still on the counter.

Scott and I have decided to take a break from having a dog and give ourselves time to grieve for both Maggie and Mac. With that said, we are donating their beds, bowls and toys to the Seattle Humane Society.  Gathering up his things, was overwhelming.

life without mac

My entire home is full of “all things golden”, from coasters, to door mats, to trivets and pictures.  Those things are simple reminders of the love we have for the breed and our precious pups. As time moves on, we will slowly replace some of these. Right now, it’s far too painful.

The love from social media

When I posted on Facebook that we were saying goodbye to Mac, I had no idea that over 275 people would react. The number of condolences and kind thoughts have been overwhelming. Mac made an impact on so  many people, even those he had never met.  Many friends posted photos of their lit candles or memories with Mac. Some left us messages on our Facebook pages. Some cried with us.

Thank you to all of you for your love and support. The love that has come out of this sad moment, has shown me that there is a lot of good in people and life. Never forget that.

Life without Mac, what’s next?

Scott and I bought this house because it had a huge yard for the dogs and we had planned on having children.  Now it seems silly to live in this big house all by ourselves.

life without mac

So this spring, we will most likely put our house up for sale. Are we moving onto a boat finally? Not yet.  Most likely, we’ll simply downsize for a year or two.

Scott and I don’t know yet what our boat plans are for 2018. We will either look for the next boat, a 40′-45′ cruiser or keep Kokomo for another year.  We’ll keep you posted on that plan.

Seattle Boat Show Weekend

This weekend is the Seattle Boat Show – one of the largest boat shows on the West Coast. There are three locations for the show this year and we are hoping to take lots of videos and share those with you on our new YouTube channel. So stay tuned for next week’s update.

power boat show pnw

Scott and I are planning on staying on the boat this weekend, so we can finally say we stayed on it during the winter. Again, another distraction from our sadness.

The day we pick up Mac’s ashes and deliver his dog items to the Seattle Humane Society will be extremely emotional. It’s part of life, but it’s never easy. I remember cleaning out my childhood home after my father died and then just four years later, taking care of my mom’s apartment when she died. The best advice I have for myself and Scott, is take each day one at a time. As the quote says, “grief comes in waves”.  Take one day at a time.

life without mac

Thank you again to all of you who left us condolences here on our blog, social media pages and sent us cards. It means more to us than you realize.

life without mac

Our new chapter is here……….Scott and Ally

Saying Goodbye to our Golden Retriever Mac

saying goodbye boating dog

Saying Goodbye to Mac

Sadly, Scott and I are saying goodbye to our golden retriever Mac tonight.  To say we are heartbroken and devastated is an understatement. Anyone who has ever had the joy of living with a pet understands this.  They are more than animals, they are our kids.

When Scott and I met, I had Maggie, my four year old golden retriever. Immediately, we wanted to get a second dog when we got married. Mac arrived in June 2003 and we were so blessed to have such an awesome dog.

saying goodbye to mac

He and Maggie hit it off and became best friends for life.  Soon after we got Mac, we moved from Bellevue to Renton to a house with a huge yard. They loved to chase each other and romp in the grass. Their other favorite spot was my family’s home at Tyee Beach on Camano Island.  Mac and Maggie would swim for hours in the sound, if you would let them.

saying goodbye camano island

Life After Maggie

When Maggie was 15 1/2 years old, we had to say goodbye. Suddenly, Mac was living a new life and he wasn’t sure what to do.  Maggie was the alpha dog in their relationship and now there was no one around to boss him around.

We spread Maggie’s ashes in the sound at Tyee Beach since it was her favorite place.  Scott and I put Mac in the boat (not knowing how he would react) and we motored out just a bit.  We had friends and family along the beach celebrating her life with us and it was a very emotional moment.

saying goodbye dogs


The Wine Shop Dog

Since Mac had never been alone, we decided to bring him to work at our wine shop. There he greeted all of the vendors and customers at the door and politely waited for treats. He was a great store mascot! We would throw him birthday parties at the shop and one customer gave him a card with $20 in it!

saying goodbye to Mac

Scott and I sold our shop, The Wine Alley in October 2015 and now Mac was back to being a house dog. He had such a following, that customers insisted we bring him to wine tastings on a regular basis, which we did. In 2016 he started to slow down and getting in and out of a car required a ramp, which meant we couldn’t do as many things as we used to.

Of course, swimming at Camano was still at the top of his list and that is where we will spread his ashes too. He was never a great swimmer, but he learned to love it and it was hard to get him out of the water.

saying goodbye to mac

Mac the Boating Dog – Not

When Scott and I bought our boat Kokomo in May 2017, we assumed Mac would LOVE boating with us. Unfortunately, it was not his favorite past time. Probably because it was long walk to the dock and at 14 years old, he wasn’t into it.  Once on the boat, he did great, mostly slept or begged for food. I shared a blog post about boating with Mac last summer.

We always made sure he was comfortable and never stressed when we were boating. Mac loved all of the marina dogs he met and he loved that he could dine with us at Maggie’s Bluffs.

And our guests loved boating with Mac. He was always such a great boy to be with.

Thank You Mac

I can’t imagine what our lives would have been without Mac in our family. We traveled all over with him to Mt. Rainier, to camping in Eastern Washington, to visiting Cave B Resort and wineries in Washington.  Now he is with Maggie running around chasing her and it comforting to us to know they are once back together.

sweet golden retriever face

We miss you more than words can say and your memory will live in our hearts forever. We love you, Mom and Dad

Here’s our tribute video to Mac:


Fletcher Woodworks Gift Items

Fletcher Woodworks Cutting Boards & Utensils

This past Christmas my brother in-law, Kurt gave us some great gifts from his Fletcher Woodworks business. If you recall, Kurt has helped us out tremendously on the boat, including helping us dock on our first day.  He is also a very talented woodworker!

We have a joke in our family that if you want him to design cabinets or counters for you, be patient because he has to grow the tree first. After Kurt retired from the Washington State Ferry system, he started this business with his two sons, Chris and Spencer. Everything they make is handmade with custom wood and gorgeous!

Cutting Boards

This year Kurt gave us a Birdseye Maple cutting board and honestly this picture doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it up close.

wood cutting board handmade

Here’s a close-up of the grain:

handmade cutting boards seattler

Cheese Knives & Spatulas

In addition to the cutting board, Kurt also gave us four utensils. The cheese knife is displayed above on the cutting board. The utensils are made out of Leopard wood, also known as Lace wood. The knife has a very sharp edge on it too.

handmade wood products seattle

I know what you are thinking……these are way too nice to actually use! However, they are designed to be used regularly.  They also have a wood finish that is food safe to use on the cutting board and utensils. Fletcher wood finish is made of organic beeswax and organic flaxseed oil (linseed oil). They chose this mixture over mineral and other oils because of its food safety, rich color and tougher finish. Flaxseed oil naturally soaks into the wood pores and polymerizes with time to form a stronger finish.

Fletcher Name

So you are probably assuming that Kurt’s last name is Fletcher, but in fact it’s not. My sister and her husband live in Ballard and in a quaint neighborhood (one street) called “Fletcher’s Village”. This quaint street has a handful of Storybook Tudor homes that were built in the 1930’s, featuring European style homes with clinker brick & stone work exteriors. As you enter the village, there is a big wooden sign over the street for “Fletcher’s Village”. Now you know where the name comes from!

Fletcher woodworks

Fletcher Woodworks On-line Store

Fletcher Woodworks has an on-line store with all of their products available. These are locally handcrafted items from the Pacific Northwest and are great gift items. Of course they would go perfectly on a boat, but also serve great in any kitchen.  So the next time you are looking for that unique gift, remember Fletcher Woodworks handcrafted gift items. Check out their website and on-line store at

Fletcher woodworks products for sale


Stay tuned for the end of the month, as we are heading to the Seattle Boat Show! We plan on staying on the boat that weekend for our first winter stay over, so we’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Cheers! Scott & Ally

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Dock neighbors helping each other

holiday party marina

Dock neighbors are your second set of eyes

When Scott and I started mooring our boat Kokomo at Elliott Bay Marina, we didn’t think too much about the importance of our dock neighbors. With over one thousand boats in the marina and us being moored at the very end, our boat is just a spec among many.

holiday party marina

But over the last few months, we have realized that we do care about our dock neighbors and we make sure to keep an eye out on their boats. Being new boat owners, we were not sure about how to connect with the folks we see every weekend. In fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that we didn’t meet our neighbor Joe until the Christmas party.  We decided then, that it’s important for us to connect with our neighbors and also meet new ones throughout the year.

A Fuel Leak

When we first arrived in May 2017, we did meet our yacht neighbors, Jules & Doug. They own a beautiful custom yacht and are located at the end of our dock, just a couple of boats away.

yachting seattle dock neighbors

We didn’t get to see them much during the summer as they left for a few months to cruise British Columbia.  When they returned in the Fall, we exchanged numbers in case of emergencies.  Of course, I was hoping that would never need to happen.  But a month later, we knew they were out of town and we noticed fuel around their stern.

I immediately called the marina and I also texted Jules to let her know. She was very grateful and the mechanics arrived asap, so nothing major happened. When all this was happening, I was nervous about notifying them. No one wants that call, but at the same time I would want someone to call me.

Should that water be running?

Right next door to Jules’ yacht, was an older Chris Craft house boat. It was under major renovation and the owner lived on it part time.

dock neighbors elliott bay

One morning, I noticed that the hose that was hooked up to the boat, was pouring out more water from the faucet connection than probably going in. Turns out she had hooked it up and didn’t know she needed an auto shut off valve and so water was going everywhere.  We did call the marina, but they already knew about it. Better safe than sorry.

Should the boat look like that?!

Last week, the PNW had another wind storm and our marina lost power. We decided to go down and check our lines and make sure the heaters were back up and running fine.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we were just making a pit stop at the marina.

dock neighbors marina

As we approached our boat, we noticed Joe’s boat across the way and it didn’t look right. (No, I don’t have a photo – we were too concerned with fixing the problem than taking pictures). But here’s one from summer and if you can picture what we saw.  First, his bow looked like it was on the dock, but it was because all of his bumpers were ON the dock, not between the boat. What the?? Turns out his stern line had snapped and forced the bow up onto the dock slightly.

dock neighbors helping eachother

We called him right away and fixed his bumpers and secured his stern. Normally the marina staff walks the docks and they would have noticed it too, but it was the day after Christmas so they were on a light staff.

Just as we were done and walking down the dock to leave, we notice the lock box next to us, was completely tipped over. Nope, didn’t get a photo of that either. Will do for the next time. So we went to the marina office and told them about both situations so they were aware.

The Dock is Sinking!

Scott and I follow many cruising / sailing blogs and YouTube channels. Recently, there was an episode on Sailing Ruby Rose. They were sound asleep and were woken up by their neighbors to inform them that their dock was sinking! You have to watch this episode–WATCH HERE! There’s lot to learn should this ever happen to you. Thank God their neighbors woke them up.

dock neighbors helping
The moral of this story is all of us dock neighbors need to be looking out for each other. If you don’t know your neighbors or haven’t exchanged contact information, do so the next time you see them. Boat neighbors are no different than your house neighbors, in fact in some cases this could be their home.

If you have experienced any dock neighbor situations, please share with us.

Happy New Year! Scott and Ally

#KokomoSeattle #BoatingJourney

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