Shipyard Work, One for the Boys!…#23

Opequimar Shipyard Guys

Living while our boat is in the shipyard is not easy. Long before we put the boat on the hard, we had decided to rent a place to stay other than the shipyard. YES, you can actually stay on your boat way up in the air while it is on blocks on land. We happily decided to find a cheap alternative. A room in a house close to the yard worked great.

We chose Opequimar Shipyard, in Puerto Vallarta, to do the work for multiple reasons. As I mentioned in my post Iguanas, Tigers & Crocodiles… OH MY!!!! …#21  Dan and Ken did shipyard visits. They talked with a lot of folks about the approach, the facility capability, the businesses, accomodations, and restaurants nearby for doing the work and keeping it all organized. The whole picture.  We had a pretty big list of items we wanted done and needed to have a Mexican translator and Project Manager help us. We got that with a recommendation from Dick Markie at Paradise Village Marina with Jorge Servin from SYS.

Dan and I spent the 40ish hours before the haulout preparing for the work on the outside. We moved our stuff from the outside decks to inside. They would be sanding and painting and we didn’t want anything spoiled. Plus we needed it out of their way to facilitate a faster turnaround time.  We also had our Dinghy, Waverunner & motorcycle stored on land. We were having the top deck redone too. Other than doing an outside paint job from the waterline down and 80% above the water line. We had other stuff we needed/wanted done too.

Their Work List:

  • Top side painting, Fly bridge to deck including cockpit and cranes
  • Clean, scrape, repair, epoxy coat then paint bottom and boot stripe
  • Upholstery for bow and flybridge cushions
  • Varnish railing, doors, flybridge seating rails, Sapphire deck bench seats
  • Rebed and repair Bow spray rails, stop small leak
  • Repack and install new packing box hoses on main shafts, rebed one strut.
  • Restore pitted rudder shafts, rebed rudder glands, install new bearings
  • Complete overhaul of Naiad Stabilizer Actuators and seals to near new condition
  • Reinstall dinghy cradles in new positions for safety, list control and access

The crew was expecting us and ready for our arrival at Opequimar (O-pek-i-mar).  They didn’t take long to get her into the slings of the travel lift. Below is Angelique in the sling to move her on the “hard” as us boaters call it.

They moved her on to land and did a quick power wash of the bottom while still in slings. She is setting on blocks of wood that help keep her from moving while they spray off the bottom. Then they moved Angelique to her location in yard and put her on wood platforms and started to put the jack stands on to support her upright. They tie them together across from side to side so they can’t move. Then a simple ladder to climb up the back.

The work began that day, as soon as she was supported, they went to work. 

Dan and I ride our bicycles everyday to work (as Dan puts it). We arrive at the shipyard and Dan does his dirty jobs and works on his project list while the guys are doing their paid for work.

  • Dan Jobs;
    • Wire aft bilge level switch to alarm bell
    • Install new KVH compass and Garmin display unit
    • Build and install new reverse engineered wireless remote for our old Robertson AP300 Autopilot (Saved $800)
    • Zincs on swim platform brackets
    • Refurbish and install swim step ladder as designed under the step
    • Glue, clamp Sapphire Deck table to fix crack
    • Install new port generator exhaust elbow, and stbd generator shutdown solenoid
    • Fix electrical issues with 32V bow lights and aft hall 12V lights, and panel lights
    • Build and install new heavy duty battery hold down clamp on house batteries
    • Clean repair and lubricate all 6 strainers, and fix mount on Stbd GenSet strainer
    • Install 3 new Turbo drain hoses on main engines
    • Fix steering leaky O-rings and hydraulic hoses aft
    • Fix snaps on bow sun shade
    • Repaint anchor chain depth marks
    • Install 2 new searchlights

I help and assist all that I can with Dan’s list of items. I spend time working on other stuff;

  • Angela’s Jobs;
    • Blog writing
    • Keeping us healthy and fed
    • Flat bicycle tire repair shop hunting
    • Talking to varnish & upholstery guys
    • Finding our Airbnb’s to stay in
    • Phone service shopping
    • Moving/covering our stuff on boat so it doesn’t get dirty
    • Cleaning up a bit after them
    • Taking pictures
    • Working on our budget
    • Planning our Kylie/Ryan visit
    • Helping Dan when possible (like snaking wire!)

We keep trying to do some fun stuff too, but the hard work is over shadowing the fun stuff right now. It is important to get it done as quick as possible, it cost us everyday on the hard. AND we want back on our boat and in the water. It is our home now.

After Angelique was pulled out of the water an inspection was done to the bottom. Of course more work was found and identified adding to the length of time on the hard and our budget. Something has to give with the dollars being spent and we will have to give up some of our wants vs needs.

We were told an estimate of 3-4 weeks in the yard. But as I write this blog we are at Day 27 but think we are on the downhill side. It will take longer than 4 weeks, my guess is 6. We are trying to be optimistic with our timeline. But with most projects it isn’t going to hit the target date. Now we have added to the scope. Dan and I had a bet in November before we talked to anyone about the work.. He picked a date and I picked a date…… GUESS WHOS going to WIN!! Our dates were 6 weeks apart. Lets just say I wish I didn’t win.

Pictures of the paint prep, a couple guys

Once back in the water we still won’t be done. There are items that can’t happen in the dusty, dirty shipyard. example: final varnishing of the rails, and placing of the dinghy cradles.

We are really excited to see the completion and a clean boat. That will be a happy day! Watch for our next blog…. ——>>> what was found, what we fixed & what was completed

Adios Amigos, Bueno dia




WARNING!! Scams in Mexico are real!! Our Story… #22

Scams in Mexico, Vallarta Gardens Boutique Residence club & Getaway travel services

Mexicans are one of the nicest peoples. They are genuinely nice to the tourists that visit their country. They know we have money to spend, we are on vacation and we are looking for good deals. For the most part the majority of Mexicans are honest and doing a good job to support their family.  BUT there are those that are trying to scam you. We also have scammers in the US and Canada. The difference is that in the US the people call it out via many means and police will shut them down(most of the time).  In Mexico….. it seems to be allowed to happen. Everyone knows it happens and you are just made aware and expected to take care of yourself.

These adventure trip centers sell day adventure which are real, fun and honest. They can also send you to the timeshare presentation…so beware, they make money for sending you. I’m also not against timeshare. “see my notes at bottom of blog”

Dan and I accepted an invitation to a timeshare presentation. We knew what we were getting into, we knew we were not going to buy anything, but it wasn’t just a hard pushing sales deal, it was a pure scam. Why did we go, you are asking? Well they reward you for sitting through the presentation with a gift, YES? We have all done this at one time or another. So we scored $3,600 mxn cash ($190 usd), plus we just wanted to see other areas of Puerto Vallarta and facilities.  Timeshares are all over Mexico. We didn’t think that it was going to be a total scam.

Our story begins on a Sunday morning. We were picked up by a taxi and delivered to the Vallarta Gardens Private Boutique Residence Club. It was very private with a guarded gate, not uncommon for mexico. Uncommon was a solid wood fence and closed tight unless the guards opened it up. A normal guards gate is a stand with a arm blocking the road. Dan and I commented on “why was there no name on the front of the resort?” they just had an emblem but nothing advertising their resort, this was odd. The escort didn’t know the answer. We were delivered to an area close to the beach where we were served breakfast after 45 minutes of signing us in.

We had a couple folks sit down and talk with us. Ultimately our sales guy was a Mexican man named Bill that grew up in the US and spoke perfect english. He chatted with us during breakfast. He told us heart wrenching story of his 18 year old son dying. Not sure if this was true or part of the scam. He also told Dan to stop using his phone during the meetings, which didn’t sit well with Dan. Mainly because Dan like to search on stuff if he isn’t sure or wants more data…well, they don’t want that.

We were shown 3 different units. I started feeling odd when I saw no one…… I mean NO ONE at the resort. Until we got on the elevator with one very sad looking guest. Bill asked about his stay. Something about his $199 usd, 4 day stay. We didn’t comment about it, but my spidey senses were going off big time. I instantly thought he was a plant. He was not a happy resort person, like he had ridden up/down the elevator all day. The 1st room was gorgeous. We were told we could book with 24 hour notice. We asked questions about how many rooms and how booked they were. Which again the answers of approx 280 rooms and 70% occupancy. They maintain this % for a quick turn around for the owners. Again, didn’t make sense. As we walked to the next units we saw two young ladies at one pool and one lady on her deck on her cell phone. I just couldn’t believe that they could be successful with no one in the resort. Well, unless they are taking money and not real tenants.

IF…. it is too good to be true, your right!!! 

NOW for the pressure sales job area. At this time we didn’t get that it was a scam yet. But we both knew something wasn’t adding up. As he started sharing the cost and why we should buy and how we can get $$ back by returning a portion of our allowed 4 weeks back to the company and we would get paid within 8 months thousands of dollars because they could rent it to other people. It was a break even deal… They said!! Right?

We didn’t like the approach and the soon to be realized scam. When we didn’t go for it, they brought in the high pressure sales guy. These guys make it so you can’t say no. Because the questions they ask you are in a manner in which you have to say yes.  They want you to say, yes it’s a good deal. “Then why aren’t you buying now” comes out. When we didn’t fall for buying the cheapest deal they had at $40K. Half down and 16% interest on remaining balance. High interest rates so you will refinance with someone else and pay them off… Getting all their money within a few months! AND… All this didn’t include the 1000+ dollars per month HOA fees. We still didn’t bite. They were not happy with us now. The high pressure salesman storms off in a huff.   “Kinda like a spoiled child that didn’t get his way”

Dan actually got a photo of the document

They sent us upstairs with a marketing guy. He starts off by saying they want to market better and eventually tells us about a deal where we pay about $3,500 today and we get $20,000 in travel dollars. The catch is, you have to give online reviews within a specific amount of time. Again, my spidey senses are going off.. we asked if we could chat about it alone, which they allowed. (surprised they let us) When we came back Dan asked to see the contract. Which had no contract wording or even looked like any formal agreement. Again, they were not happy when we said no,. They then took us to the cashier and paid out our participation pesos and a taxi was ordered.

Once in the taxi, the googling started. Both deals are scam and many many people are getting taken. When we started reading the comments, they are pretty bad. Many folks have struggled after they realized they were scammed and tried to put a stop to the charge on their card. With the outrageous cost and no money back if they don’t stay for 4 weeks a year, the cost is killing couples. They also still have a signed contract which they need to get out of. I could see online that some folks actually stay there and give reviews, but not many good comments.

Our marketing guy that was a “too good to be true” ploy of 20K travel $$ for 3,500 fee was an even bigger scam. We could read online that no one was getting any travel $$ and reviews from folks were reporting that the site was bogus and nothing worked. This sales job was a total 100% scam.

It is very hard to tell that they are deceiving you, they lie and they are good at it. They have lots of practice. Americans and Canadians fall for it all the time. We all want a good deal and it seems like an awesome deal. But listen to your intuition and what doesn’t seem right!

There were purchases done that day by other couples. When we were in the “let’s make a deal” room I saw couples handing credit cards out. The room had about  8 couples chatting with different sales guys during the whole event. I saw only 1 other couple with us at the cash out station. Sad situation for those that got sucked in.

I have to thank my parents for all their good work with teaching me to not trust what doesn’t’ seem right. Trust my intuition and spideys sense all the time.  (don’t think Mom called it spidey sense, that’s just what I call it) Assume that it probably isn’t right if it doesn’t seem right. Too good of a deal, is a fake deal. If it has to do with money, it is even more of a suspect.

  • We saw lots of things that didn’t make sense No name on the resort
    • Solid gates at entrance
    • No one at resort
    • No risk to you statements
    • High cost and high interest
    • Very high Monthly HOA
    • Eager to take my money
    • No phone usage allowed
    • if it seems too good to be true, it ALWAYS is!


  • What we all should do before going to one of these (Not all timeshares are scams)
    • Google the timeshare company, see what type of feedback they have
    • Google the resort name for feedback
    • Type scam with the name(s) and see what comes us
    • Look for comments, feedback & reports from real people
    • During the meeting, ask for time away from them to discuss
    • If they ask you to not use your phone, be concerned
    • Make an agreement with your spouse before going, what will happen
    • Agree what amount of $$ you can afford
    • Don’t buy without reading and understanding everything on the documents
    • Only buy if you currently spend that much money on travel
    • Ask them… “you mean if I come back in 3 days and want to buy, you won’t take my money” …. come on people, of course they would.

Dan and I ended up being fine and came out ahead, but that isn’t always the case.

READ about what you are buying before you buy. Learn and carefully pick what you would want to spend that money on. AND always assume the worst with high pressure sales men!

Example of a tiny bit of searching can find you… mexico timeshare fraud

Please note** Dan and I are not against timeshares. We don’t own any, but many of our friends do and use them all the time. Just be aware, don’t spend more than you can afford and research before you buy. ALSO, there are tons of resales of timeshares that people don’t use for dirt cheap. Do your research, you go hunt for the one you want, rather than they find you.

As always, Please feel free to share my website or post the link in your FB. If I could save a few couple heart ache, money and pain with this article, I would be happy.


Thanks for following, I am grateful for you!   Tenga un buen dia = Have a good day

Our next blog is our boat yard adventures… sorry for postponing the Repair Blog!



Iguanas, Tigers & Crocodiles… OH MY!!!! …#21

I love going to new locations, it’s part of the adventure. But leaving La Paz was bittersweet. We made new friends that were staying in La Paz, John and Janet Harrington on the Sailboat Tango, and we also love hanging in this city. We didn’t want to leave yet. But we were excited to travel with our friends from Portland, Ken and Cheryl to Puerto Vallarta. So off we went.

“La Paz is a small city in comparison to Cabo San Lucas”

We had a 30+ hour run from La Paz to Mazatlan, which was our first stop on our way to PV. We took advantage of a little bit slower cruising to get some fishing done while underway. Dan and Ken worked on getting the lines out and we were lucky on the first day and caught 3 small tuna, 1 big Mahi Mahi & a Spanish Mackerel. The 4 of us easily changed roles between manning the helm, fishing, cleaning the fish and quick freezing them with a vacuum food saver. We had fresh Tuna sandwiches for lunch that afternoon and enjoyed the first day at sea.

Around dinner time we had a bird plop himself on our front bow railing. He was not leaving no matter how many times we tried to chase him away. It looked like he was very tired and the frigatebirds were chasing him. So, Cheryl and I agree to clean up the poop mess the next morning if the boys would agree to let him stay on. Welcome aboard to our “booby” bird. 

During Cheryl’s watch, while Dan and I slept, she had an odd encounter from another boat. Ken and Cheryl were both awake and at the helm when they noticed a boat on the radar moving at a very fast pace (35 knots) towards Angelique. As they neared, within a couple miles, Ken and Cheryl started looking for them with binoculars. Being that close to us, they should have been able to see some type of lights on their boat. The boat was dark. The boat then started hailing us on the radio, in Spanish of course. Unsure what to do, they woke up Dan. At this point the vessel turned on navigation lights. We all couldn’t quite tell what was going on, but Dan decided to tell the boat…. “This is Angelique Motor Yacht, we will pass you Port to Port” The Spanish speaking boat seemed fine and repeated “Port to Port, Aye”. So Dan went back to sleeping. A few minutes later we were hailed again by the same boat. This time with an english speaking person that asked us to repeat and explain who we were. Dan gave a detailed description of registry, people on board, from and to location, and was given a polite reply from the Mexican Navy wishing us well. Dan wished them a safe patrol from a retired Navy sailor and the cruising resumed.

“You never really know what can happen at midnight”

I was ready to take over for my watch from Cheryl at 3am…. When I took watch the moon was out and casting shadows on the glass calm water. The only movement was the up and down with the small swells of the sea. The bow was very visible, which is not normal for a night run. The stars were unbelievably bright with such a light cloud cover. 

As the sun peeked over the horizon around 6am, we could see our bird was still on the front railing. He was starting to invite his other friends. Which Cheryl and I were not happy with. We had cleaned all the poop off the deck that our “booby” had left over night and were not willing to have his crew do the same. Chasing them off with a broom or hands was not even phasing them. They didn’t move. I had a hose out from cleaning the deck and decided to use it to keep them off. It was a joke trying to keep them off. Cheryl and I were laughing pretty hard. The Birds would dive bomb the bow and attempt to sit on the railing as I was taking the hose and chasing them away before they landed. It took a couple hours before they realized they weren’t welcome aboard Angelique and the humans won! 

When we arrived at Mazatlán, at the El CID Marina, they put us on the outside of a busy marina dock. It was an easy to dock the boat but the ocean opening was close to the marina. This made for a rocky moorage due to lots of surge. We had many lines holding us to the dock. We did have good dinners at the hotel within El CID resort. The next day we had great entertainment with the iguana’s at the pool. They would hop up on the lounge chair if they thought they could get some food. 

During the next day we visited a indoor vendor market, headed to a cool place for a snack and drink near the malecon. The attention we received at the outdoor venue, Mr Lionso Restaurante, was amazing. We asked the waiter to take a pic of the 4 of us, which turned into a selfie with the 2 waiters flipping the camera on us and themselves. We had so much fun! 

On our to next leg to Puerto Vallarta we had a similar length of time and watch rotation. I also had very similar experience with the night sky and stars. It is truly impossible to explain how bright the stars and planets are when you are at sea. You forget living in the city how many small stars we have in our universe. I was able to see Mars above the horizon that looked like a bright light on a sailing mast a few miles away. Shooting stars and the Milky Way. I’m all alone at the helm waiting for 3:55am when the moon is scheduled to come up and lighten up my view.  When the reddish shaped cradle of a moon arrived it was not the bright light I was expecting. Mars was dominated the sky but the moon was putting on the show with her reddish cradle shape. The clouds & wind picked up a bit and I’m forced back to my helm duties and watching radar for fishing boats.

6am sunrise!

We were greeted at Paradise Village Marina by Dick Markie, Harbor Master/Manager of the marina. We were grateful to be in Nuevo Vallarta, which is a suburb of Puerto Vallarta. Dan and I were planning on having some work done on the boat in Puerto Vallarta shipyard, so the guys (Dan and Ken) went off to check out the different boatyards, so we could schedule the work.

Dan and I are always grateful to have help with transit of our boat. It makes the cruise safer and more fun too. Ken and Cheryl had to leave soon and that part is always hard. We all had so much fun and the sun and 80 degree weather didn’t hurt either. 

Rihanna’s Casa

As we said goodbye we looked for other boaters to visit with and learn lots about the marina and took a dinghy cruise and saw the vacation casa of “Rihanna” and a crocodile.  


Our Son Chase and his buddies joined us for a week and they had fun in the city with a bikini contest at a local bar, tequila pool volleyball at the resort and waverunner in the bay with dolphins few feet away from them.  

Dan had a shock of a life when he was walking in the Resort (Paradise Village) an turned to see 2 very large Tigers staring at him. He found out later that Dick & Gina, the Manager of the Marina, raised them from kittens and they now reside at the resort.  

All our guest were gone and the Christmas Holiday was approaching. We had worked with Jorge Servin a Marine Project Manager owner at SYS to schedule all our haul out and work on Angelique when we return from our 2 week holiday in Oregon. 

Our trip home was full of holiday time with family, visiting with my Mom and my Sister from Spokane, doctor appointments, finance appointments, (gotta stay on budget) and family time with kids. The kids and I visited my brother who was in the hospital with life treating issues. He is doing much better now.  We did a 2 day trip to Bend to see Dan’s Parents and a couple dinners with a few friends. Our trip was over quick and we were coming back to PV. Excited and sad at the same time. 

Angelique had started her transformation when we arrived back in PV. Opequimar boatyard was in 2 days and we had prep to do…. 

Next blog is our Boat yard adventures…. 

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                        Adios for now muchachos