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Out of the Wild and Into City Life – Tacoma, WA

Lots to do with Silas in Tacoma! – By Thursday, knowing that Silas would be ready to burn up some pent up energy, we headed to Dock Street Marina in Tacoma. Just cruising into the busy port gave Silas some maritime visual stimulation. He asked lots of questions about his surroundings at the busy marina – all day long. After docking, we gathered up the accumulated garbage bags to dispose of, and walked a short distance into town. One nice thing about Dock Street Marina is its close proximity to a fairly vibrant harbor town. We wanted to take Silas to Tacoma Children’s Museum, where he could hang out with kids his own age.           Silas had fun at the museum, which was more of an inside play ground chock-full of activities.         We had all really worked up an appetite by that time, so next we headed over to The Spaghetti Factory for…

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Silas Onboard

Silas Onboard Kismet – Penrose Point State Park and Filucy Bay

We've Waited a Long Time to Have Silas Onboard for a Weeklong Adventure! – Monday afternoon, Lisa, Silas and I waved goodbye from shore to Ross and Hadley and headed back to the boat. To see the wonderment in Silas’ eyes, as we departed Gig Harbor, brought back memories of when I was a child spending time on the water in a boat. From Gig Harbor we cruised through the Narrows into Hale Passage en-route to Penrose Point State Park, off Carr Inlet. We have never cruised much in South Sound, except for one trip to Gig Harbor in 2011, when we took possession of our Ranger Tugs R27. The day was sunny warm and clear, the water very calm, so we decided to anchor out for our first night. What a delight to have Silas onboard with us. We wondered what Silas would think about sleeping on the boat, which he has done many times, but always at a…

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Silas First Boating Adventure

Silas First Boating Adventure – Gig Harbor

Our First Guests on Our New Ranger Tug, Kismet! – It is often said that people are a “product of their environment.” We had our grandson, Silas, on his first boat ride, in 2013, before he was a week old. Since that day, we’ve had a few boat rides with him, his parents and recently minted sister, Hadley. As he is now almost four years old, we thought it was time to immerse him into our boating lifestyle. So we invited him to join us for – Silas first boating adventure – a week-long cruise in South Puget Sound, Washington. There was no hesitation in his reply. "When do we go?" he said. We chose South Sound for its close proximity to Portland, where Silas, his sister, and parents live. After our Ranger Tugs orientation in Des Moines Marina, we spent several days commissioning the boat with many shopping expeditions to stock and equip the boat. We left there Saturday…

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Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation

Ranger Tugs Gives Orientation on Volvo Penta D4-300

Kenny Marrs met us at the boat in the morning of day two of our orientation. He would be covering the Volvo Penta D4-300 engine operations, Garmin electronics, dinghy deployment and retrieval and much more. We’ve known Kenny from the beginning of our Ranger Tugs association, a nicer young man you will never meet. We have seen Kenny in action, the dedication to his customers needs is intuitive and honest. Thanks again, Kenny!  

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Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation

Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation Day

Even Experienced Boaters Need Help Sometimes! – Because of our many years of boating experience (six of those years on a Ranger Tug) we didn’t feel we needed to have the “New Boat Delivery Experience” provided by Ranger Tugs when we took possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S – but, they insisted. Boy were we wrong! Way wrong! We have been avid boaters almost all of our adult lives. In all the new boat purchases we’ve made we’ve never, ever, EVER had such a thorough and rewarding new delivery experience like we recently had when taking delivery of our new R29S. The only other experience that was close to comparing was when we took possession of our R27, in 2011. In six years, Ranger Tugs has only improved the process, amazingly not cutting back on it in any way. We think they get how important this is to the new owner’s buying and satisfaction quota meter. Pretty smart in…

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Insights Into Jim’s Packing Science

Packing for a Cross Country Trip is Like Preparing for a Marathon Getting ready for a cross-country trip requires some mental gymnastics! We’ve only got one shot to pack up the truck before we head west. Better to be well organized from the start. We knew it was going to be tight, especially since we were taking a few containers of personal items to our son, Ross and his family, who live in Portland, OR. We actually started the packing process back in April when we unloaded the contents, of our sold Ranger Tugs R27, from our truck into the garage. I sorted through it all and weeded out things we never used. Then I put most of the boat paraphernalia into containers that would eventually fit neatly in the bed of the truck. Once we depart home there's no chance we’re turning around, unless it’s Lisa who’s not in the truck. We are fairly familiar with the drill and…

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Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Ready and Waiting at the Factory – Kismet a Ranger Tug R29S

When does a boat become a boat? My thoughts are... “when it is ready to float and cruise!” Based on the final assembly production photos we just received from the factory, it appears Kismet, a Ranger Tug R29S, is ready to become a boat. The Ranger Tug R29S sports a larger head than our R27. There will also be more privacy with the head being positioned in the stateroom. The stateroom is a step up for us, having slept on a V-berth for the last six years on the R27. We are also loving the spacious under bed storage area. There will be plenty of natural lighting, more elbow room in the galley for better maneuverability. We had our new Kismet built in the same Hero Red as our recently sold R27, as this is our favorite boat color. You just can't beat the photo op of a bright red hull sitting on deep blue water. You might also notice the brows around the…

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Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars – A Planned Detour before Heading West

We spent part of three days with my brother, Ken. Heading West Again to Pick Up a New Ranger Tug Trailerable Trawler –  Once again we were on our way across country, west to Des Moines, Washington. This is where we would take possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S. We’ve done this jaunt many times before, starting with a trip to Seattle to take delivery of a Fathom 40 trawler in 2007. We spent the winter there watching it be built before we cruised some in Puget Sound – then we had it trucked back to the Great Lakes that spring. In 2011 we drove out to meet our first Ranger Tug in Kent, Washington and we’ve taken that boat back and forth, across country – four times south to Florida and two more times to explore Puget Sound and British Columbia. A boaters paradise by any experienced cruisers standards. How to Maximize the Trailerable Trawler Lifestyle We weren’t…

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2017 Ranger Tugs Charlevoix Rendezvous

Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Coming Home to Charlevoix, Michigan for the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous! Charlevoix Michigan was home to the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous. What a spectacular setting for this years event. Lisa and I have a fondness for Charlevoix as this was once our homeport. That was before we became enamoured of trailering our Ranger Tug all over the United States. So being in Charlevoix again was like coming home. Arriving on Monday morning, for our 3-day event, we had nothing but clear sunny skies while greeting attendees as they arrived. With 40 people in attendance, we had boaters from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, Ohio, Kentucky, Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Also in attendance were sponsors and representatives of Reed Yacht Sales, Manitowoc Marina and Volvo Penta. The event was also sponsored by Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats and Global Marine Insurance. By the very nature of being able to trailer these boats, Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats have…

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2017 Ranger Tugs Charlevoix Rendezvous

Own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat? Add to Your Cruising Calendar!

Come One, Come All! Own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat? 2018 Great Lakes Area Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats Summer Rendezvous Orillia, Ontario – Canada on the Trent Severn Waterway Tentative Dates:  August 17 – 19th – Since 2014, the Great Lakes Area Rendezvous has moved to different areas on, or near, the Great Lakes. This way, we can explore different ports. Last year's event was held on Round Lake in Charlevoix, Michigan. This years planned rendezvous will be held in the beautiful Trent Severn Waterway. A must see boating destination for any serious cruiser. Check Out Last Year's Event... We know it’s not just around the corner, but what better time than now to start planning a 2018 cruising itinerary. For Tugnuts and Tugettes, who are shoveling or snowplowing driveways, summer can’t come soon enough. Winter seems the best time to organize trip details and dream of parts unknown. Please take a moment to think about the…

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Kismet Ranger Tugs R-29S

Construction of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Marrying the Hull of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S Having something built from scratch, such as a house, car or in this case a boat is usually best left to the professionals. As you’ll see from the following photos there is evidence that a tremendous amount of thought and mindful design goes into building a boat, before and during manufacturing. There is a coordinated effort, before the actual production starts, to have on hand all of the hardware, wiring, hoses, batteries, glass, lighting, engine, generator, electronics, solar panel, seating cushions, tanks, etc. This ensures production occurs smoothly and on time. If not planned properly, I could see how delays and backlogs in production could very easily happen. In this case our new Kismet was complete almost before we knew it, that’s because of the efficiency of the professionals at Ranger Tugs… they know how to build boats and they build them well. In the past, when we've ordered a…

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Kismet On Sea Magazine

Nice Article on Crew of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

TRAILER BLAZING! Sea Magazine just did a fantastic article about the crew of Kismet in their August 2017 issue. Find out more about this amazing lifestyle choice. Go where you want to boat with less restrictions, less weather restraints and more affordability. Use your boat as an RV when traveling to distant cruising grounds. For the best fun of all, get out on the water and meet up with other Ranger Tug owners, from all corners of the country, at Factory or owner held rendezvous. Become part of the community! That new VolvoPenta Engine will be taking Kismet on some big adventures, by land and by sea! Hope we see you there. #RangerTugs, #VolvoPentaNA #VPtakesme #VolvoPenta Kismet Sea Magazine

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Ranger Tug Kismet

Construction of the NEW KISMET!

UPDATE on the NEW KISMET! Having sold our Ranger Tug R27 a few months ago, we ordered a Ranger Tug R29S, we'll take delivery of our new Kismet in August 2017. So, we are spending the summer boatless! Lots to do at home while we prepare to travel west to Seattle, next month, to take possession. This tug, with a sportier look and a Volvo Penta diesel engine, will take us to some exciting cruising destinations with a quieter, more stable ride. Our new tug will be just a little bit bigger, but still trailerable. Yes, Kismet will look good again in that Hero Red hull. Looking forward to a little more room to accommodate our growing grandchildren. One of our new goals is to share our love of boating with them for many years to come. Construction photos to come soon!

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Boaterhoming Cross Country

Kismet is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Boaterhoming Cross Country – Time to head home! – Our 2016 boating trip in the Pacific Northwest came to an end. What an adventure it was! We will be boaterhoming cross country, back to our home state of Michigan. A slight delay on the first day of our road trip! After we dropped our grandson off at his parent's house, we started the trek home. Within minutes we were on I84 heading east along the Columbia River. If you notice in the photo (above), we are stopped on the shoulder of the highway. Unfortunately we blew a tire on the trailer and had to have a tow service meet us on this busy road to change the tire. Not a fun experience with all that traffic zipping by. Immediately after, we had to drive to the nearest tire store to get a new tire. This whole process delayed the start of our trip east by several hours, but this stuff…

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Boaterhoming Cascade Locks

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On the Columbia River with Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks for the First Time! – Silas didn't hesitate leaving his Mom and his cozy home in Portland, Oregon to go boaterhoming Cascade Locks with his Papa and Ana. We're happy he feels comfortable enough to take off with us like that – Do you think he's inherited the adventure bug DNA? We didn't drive far, that wasn't the mission. Cascade Locks is a city in Hood River County, Oregon, about 25 miles miles from Portland. The name came from a historic set of locks built to improve navigation past the Cascades Rapids of the Columbia River. We'd cruised to Cascade Locks last fall and stayed in town at the city marina. So we were familiar with the area and knew about this small campground located in the heart of the town very close to the marina, on the river, across from the old lock. We wanted to camp with Silas and take advantage of a learning opportunity…

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Boaterhoming In Portland

Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon

Getting a Good Night's Sleep While Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon! – We didn't waste much time in getting back to the states after our cruising adventure in the Broughton Islands (British Columbia, Canada). Our route was a fairly fast track back to the States to boaterhoming in Portland, OR. After an amazing rendezvous of Ranger Tug owners in Roche Harbor, Washington (San Juan Islands), our sights were set on trailering Kismet south, to Portland to visit our son, Ross and his family, Sarah, Silas and Hadley. Since we wouldn't have a lot of time to spend in Portland, we decided not to put the boat in the water. Instead, we opted to park in front of Ross and Sarah's house for a few nights before we took our 3-year old grandson boaterhoming for a few days. Ross and Sarah have a limited amount of space in their cozy home, so we thought, why not just sleep in the boat while parked…

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Lagoon Cove

Lagoon Cove Marina – Last Stop On Our Broughton Island Adventure

Lagoon Cove Marina – A Must See When Cruising the Broughton Islands – This day was somewhat bittersweet! Although we were still in the Broughton Islands, we were heading south to our last stop, Lagoon Cove Marina, before high-tailing it 254 miles back to the USA. It was windy and the water was rough when we departed Pierre’s Echo Bay for our 25-mile cruise into Knight Inlet and finally, our last stop in the Broughton Islands... Lagoon Cove Marina. This is a full service marina located at the north end of E. Cracroft Island, just southeast of the Broughton Archipelago. The setting is well-protected from all sides and offers vast scenic vistas from almost any angle. We’d heard great things about the hospitality at Lagoon Cove Marina, so we were glad we had time to include this little gem in our summer's cruising activities. As we pulled to the dock on a beautiful sunny day, we were greeted by friendly staff and…

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Pig Roast

Famous Pig Roast at Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina

It's All About the Pig Roast! – We first heard about Pierre's Echo Bay while we were researching the Broughton Islands for our 2016 summer cruise. We made a point of visiting their booth at the the Seattle Boat Show earlier that year while we were collecting information for our upcoming cruise. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry were at the booth when we stopped by to see what they were all about. Their reputation proceeded them, as we already knew about their famous feasts from other boaters. In talking to them and others at the show, we gained a little glimpse into what we could expect that summer as we explored the Broughton Islands. Our trip would not be all wilderness and wildlife, if we charted the right course, our experience would be interspersed with theme meals at unique and colorful floating marinas. Pierre's Echo Bay, being one of the standouts. Because of these little outpost communities spread out around…

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Billy Proctor

Visiting Billy Proctor – A Living Legend in the Broughton Islands

Visiting the Billy Proctor Museum – The next morning, after arriving at Pierre's Echo Bay, we took a short walk. We made our way over a bumpy well-worn path starting at the marina, over a bridge,  through the woods and finally a big open field, to Billy's Museum. Billy Proctor, fisherman, logger and beachcomber, is a living legend in these parts. Billy was born and raised in the Broughton Islands. Over the years he has gained a vast personal knowledge of what it was like to live in this remote area. Billy started collecting the impressive memorabilia found in his museum when he was just five years old. The collection highlights a rich and colorful life spent in the Broughton Islands. Billy has written several books and has more stories to tell of his life in this wilderness than anyone in the area. While visiting the museum, we bought one of his books, titled Heart of the Raincoast so we could…

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Echo Bay

Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel in the Broughton Islands

Pierre's Echo Bay Lodge and Marina is Famous for Their Nordic Themed Feasts – Less than 2 miles away from the previous nights anchorage in Shoal Bay sits Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge and Marina. We arrived early morning for a 2-day stay. Before making our way to our assigned slip, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tank. This is a chore we prefer to do on the way into a marina. That way, when we leave early morning, we don't have to wait in line at the fuel dock. After coming out of the wild, with several days spent watching for bears, whales and eagles, we found ourselves, once again, immersed in a busy and unique, floating community. Pierre's Echo Bay is well-known, by boaters in the Pacific Northwest, for their central location in the Broughton Islands and the owner's flamboyant nordic roots. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry have created a haven for boaters in the Broughton Islands with a decidedly nordic flare, a reflection of their…

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Shoal Harbour

Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole for Bad Weather

  Shoal Harbour is Located Close to Pierre's Echo Bay at the North side of Gilford Island – After lunch, we stayed a couple of hours relaxing in the Burwood Group, it was that spectacular. Our plan was to anchor for the night in Shoal Harbour. En-route there, we explored while cruising in and out of Scott Cove and eventually Pierre's Echo Bay, taking a quick spin around the famous floating marina (we had reservations secured for the next day). After our exploration cruise, we arrived into the north arm of Shoal Harbour as planned – late afternoon. The harbour is a well-protected, shallow watered, anchorage. Navigating into Shoal Harbour can be a little nerve wracking, as one needs to negotiate a narrow channel before entering the harbour. Its called Shoal Harbour for a reason, I would guess, many parts of the bay are “shoaled.” With that said, we found a spot in five feet of water at low tide. Shoal Harbour has a logging operation located in the…

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Burdwood Group

Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Burdwood Group – A cluster of low lying islands – One of the interesting features of the Burdwood Group Islands are the white shell beaches. This grouping includes Denham Island, Walker Islet and a few other unnamed islands and islets. We stopped for lunch during our day-long exploration on our way to Shoal Harbour. The surroundings were amazing, almost dreamlike with pointy islands all around. It helped that it was an extremely calm day with glassy water below us reflecting the mounds of islands nearby. Above us, the sky was intensely blue at the height of the day, we felt saturated in warm color and dreaminess. It felt like time stood still. We were soon joined by a couple of sailboats, they coasted by as if they were gliding on half-set Jell-o. The Burdwood Group Islands are a popular spot for kayakers. We can see why. I would want to return to this group should we ever make it back to the Broughton Islands. It was that amazing! We made…

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Simoon Sound

Peace and Quiet in Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Simoon Sound – A Sure Thing for a Bear Sighting We left Kwatsi Bay late morning to head back west into Tribune Channel and eventually Simoon Sound. First, we wanted to explore the length of Tribune Channel while also looking out for a spot to anchor for the night. Our preferred choice was Macintosh Bay, but the best spot was taken. We proceeded further back into O’Brien Bay and found a nice spot in the north corner of the bay with a good view of a level shoreline and wide open beach area where we hoped to have a black bear sighting at low tide. Simoon Sound is located on the north and east sides of Wishart Peninsula between Tribune Channel and Kingcome Inlet. The sound is also a reserve of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Captain George Vancouver anchored here on Discovery and Chatham in 1792 Entertainment for the night? Bear Watching! Sure enough, at 5:15 we spotted a small black bear walking on the rocks…

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Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina

Can’t Get Enough of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina More fog greeted us this morning. We watched it slowly roll into Viner Sound the night before. Never have seen this much fog in our lives! So, today was another exploration cruising day. We enjoy poking into little coves, around islands, up bays, rivers or sounds, just to see whats there. It must be the inquisitive nature and wanderlust in our blood and our ongoing desire to see as much of the Broughton’s as we can this summer. Our end goal today is a return visit Kwatsi Bay Marina. Soon after we departed Viner Sound, we cruised through a group of islands called Burdwood Group. We were scouting potential anchorages for when we come back through. We moved slowly east into Tribune Channel, once again, but saw no whales, however we did see a great many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, way off in the distance. After a delightful afternoon cruise we traveled the final…

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Cruising To Viner Sound

Cruising to Cover More Territory – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Cruising Along a Fluid Highway Around the Islands – When exploring new cruising territory, like we are right now in the Broughtons, we will often spend the whole day traveling in and out of bays, coves and sounds. We’ll skirt around islands and stick our bow into a shallow inlet to investigate the setting. Our day will be spent watching for wildlife, especially bears foraging for food along the beaches. With limited time in the Broughtons and with so much territory to cover, it just makes sense to maximize our exposure this way. We usually have a trip planned out ahead of time, one that leads to an anchorage at the end of the day. While exploring, we might stop to take in an exceptionally scenic spot and pause for lunch. We’ve been known to spend hours watching bears sunning themselves in grassy low-lands near the water. Our favorite sighting was at Brem Bay, Toba Inlet near Desolation Sound, where we got…

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