What’s in a Name?

So why is she named “Echoes?”   A lot goes in to naming a boat.  It all begins with a tradition of Friday night stay home dates we’ve had for years.  We make a nice dinner, open a bottle of wine or two, sit at the dinner table with our favorite music playing and talk of dreams for hours.  Dream talk means sailing talk which often lead to possible boat names for our future boat.  We kept a book strictly for this purpose.  After years of this, we compiled a list of over 100 boat names.   This tradition included guests at the table and their input.  Mind you, the names got more ridiculous as the nights grew longer.  For example, on the list was “Blow Me,” “White Wino,” “Gin and Eggs,” “Runaway Bunny,” and “Ankles Away.”  Also on the list were our personal favorites.   Candis liked “Good JuJu,” “Bo Jangles,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Lollygagging.”  John liked “Zoot” (a Monty Python reference), “Mostly Noodles” (what you commonly end up with at the end of your provisions on a sailing trip), “Days and Confused” (to say John likes Led Zeplin is an understatement) and we were very much leaning towards “Easy Rider.” (We are motorcycling when not sailing or freezing in the tundra.) Even considering the votes from some of our favorite people we could not settle on a name.  When it got down to crunch time we set some criteria.

  • It had to be short to make it easy to fill out customs forms and make shore side dock or dinner reservations via VHF (radio).
  • It needed to be dignified.  It could not be silly or demeaning to ship or crew.
  • We wanted it to be unique.
  • It needed to be understandable so we didn’t have to explain it to everyone or add confusion to SAR (search and rescue) if we ever needed their assistance.  (Turns out Echoes is the same word in a number of languages.)

We went round and round with the final contenders and had hit an impasse.  Then Cannon, while making a sandwich in the kitchen one late afternoon said, “Echoes…call the boat Echoes.”  Echoes is a song by Pink Floyd off the album Meddle that has ties to the sea and to things greater.  We would regularly play this song as a family on past sailing vacations late in the evenings in tropical anchorages laying on deck looking up to the stars – perfect!  If you ever get a chance to do this, do it – it may help you get ready for what’s next in life.  The song also has whale calls in it which strike a cord with Candis.  And echoes has a great nod to the generations of sailing enthusiasts in our family, Candis’ dad, ourselves and now our sons.  It seems appropriate that after years of debate we found her name days before we had to send it in for registration as we had different names picked out for both sons until the last minute.  It must be the way names find us.



What have we been doing the last couple of weeks?

We are still on Marco and have been getting to know the boat intimately since we arrived.  We didn’t take pictures of outboard engine repair, detail cleaning, waxing, grill installation and plumbing and many other projects.  We have made uncountable trips to numerous hardware stores that had limited inventory and that were staffed with people more suited to the fast food industry.  We’ve been to West Marine so many times that when we leave they say: “See you tomorrow, John!” (Bendel – thank you for the WM gift cards.  Great to have since a spray bottle of dinghy cleaner is sixteen bucks!)   The ACE hardware on Marco Island deserves special mention here – the owner does know hardware and his store – he’s operated it for 44 years!  He’s the only one who knows where anything is or what it is used for.  He’s hired complete fools but they are nice guys so I’ve provided extensive training to them on many of the products their store sells.  Fools are much easier to suffer when you are retired and its 78 and sunny every day!


Fixing the aft holding discharge pump – a good job for a smaller dude!


Installing the bimini and solar panels


The impeller extraction took 3 days due to lack of proper tools to pull it from the spline shaft it was frozen to.  Hard to believe that no one in Florida knows what a gear puller is.  Without one it was a real MF!


Greasing the winch.  A parts washer would have been nice.


Installing new stereo –  someone before me could benefit from a basic electrical wiring course!  I’m sure I’ll find more surprises – just hope I find them before they start the boat on fire!


Inflating the dinghy – we use a 1.5 HP, 2.5 gal mini shop vac, one of the most frequently used tools on board.



The engine – a 4 cylinder Yanmar Diesel that produces 50 HP.  It now has a new impeller and 5 fresh quarts of Amsoil 15W-40.  Next on the list is inspecting the hear exchanger.


What we call “The Garage” – an over packed storage area located under the port cockpit seat.  It is starting to accumulate numerous tools and equipment.


Our first sail with our first guests, Tonya and Marc


We sailed out 3 miles into the gulf to empty the holding tanks and then returned up the Marco River to anchor and burn some Italian sausages on the new Magma grill.



The Inspection

Closing on the purchase of a boat is contingent upon accepting the results of an inspection by a certified marine surveyor.  You pay the surveyor a bunch of money and he goes through the entire boat from rig to keel including (almost) all the electrical and mechanical systems.  (Ours missed checking the batteries but a thousand dollars later we had brand new ones!)  Part of the inspection is the haul out to check the hull and other bits hidden below the waterline.

The boat was located just south of Miami.  For our inspection we needed to sail the boat up the Miami River to the boat yard for the haul out.  The boat weighs about 22,000 lbs so the lift used for the haul out is not small.


View of Miami to the north on inspection day.  Shot taken in Biscayne Bay.

Lift bridge in Miami River and haul out at boat yard


My broker letting me know the check I’ve written for the haul out (in the envelope) is the first of many!