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Michael Shields' Blog

First Sea Trial
By Michael D Shields
Posted on 3/31/2017 7:09 AM
First a little about my dream (madness?) After reading about SiBBs (2 young ladies on a 16' aluminum Duroboat) and the Ranch House Loop (a gentleman on a suped up tri-hull pontoon boat)., I intend on completing the Great Loop in my Grady White 208. During my googling I have not seen found anything about completing the Great Loop in a Grady-White 208. Larger more substantial 30 foot and larger Grady White's yes, but not the venerable classic Adventure 208. I intend to travel as far as the weather and my sightseeing will allow during the day and then just anchoring where ever I can and spending the night on the boat.

Second, a little about the boat. It is a 2003 Grady White 208 with a 2015 250 horsepower four stroke engine. I've put a very substantial hard top with railing on it. Included in the boat's initial purchase was "camping package" which is actually 8 Isinglass vinyl and screen panels all the way around the boat. I've also obtained Seaworthy Port Covers for the windows. To make sure I can leave the front hatch open during rain I've purchased a Dorcap Hatch Vent. For food I've got a Yeti ice cooler and strung 6 nylon gear storage hammock. For entertainment I've picked up a 9" combo TV/DVD to pick up local TV stations and two Ultimate Ears Megaboom Speakers which can be heard nicely at WOT. Also I've got 3 batteries; Two for running the household electronics at night and 1 which is reserved for starting the engine during the morning. Included for charging the phone, table, laptop, speakers, portable TV, speakers, and portable lantern is 2 USB ports and 2 12 volt outlets and a direct from the battery inverter. And just in case a shore power inverter.

Currently I am working out all the kinks while keeping as many creature comforts as reasonably possible and keeping costs down to a bearable level. Towards this end, I just completed the first sea trial on all the preparations. The Bimini top covering the deck started violently shaking and needed tighter securing. Also I found out that the boat needed to have forward movement in order for the GPS and the radar to sync up. After that just ran around Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Island a little and everything else seemed OK. Next steps would be a series of mini camping trips. I'll make more blog posts on this as they happen.

Check back and I'll get boat pictures added soon. BTW, the name of the boat is Serenity Now. :)
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