Our Vessel "Patience"

Anchored in Bahia Santa Maria, Baja (photograph by Julia of S/V Arcturus)

Patience is a 34′ Coronado Sloop (1969) that is more than simply a sail boat. She has become our home and a self sufficient island that comfortably supports our lives. Because this great vessel consistently allows us to survive in otherwise unsurvivable places, we reciprocate by keeping her in top ship shape.

The tools she needs to be a cruising boat…

When Jakob traded her for his 2003 Subaru Outback in January 2010, she came well equipped for sailing and meticulously maintained, but needed some more equipment to face the challenges of variable swells and winds of coastal cruising. Besides the obvious gear such as sails, sheets and halyards (translation: ropes to lift and move sails), Patience was received with a good GPS unit for navigation, a high quality VHF radio and a radar. A quick note on the radar: Once underway this unit presented a challenge that none of us had faced before; identifying re-appearing blobs on the screen as potential things that could collide with Patience (a nerve wrecking task when sailing at night). The unit will show waves, land, other boats and even birds. Most of these look excruciatingly similar on radar. But a few unnecessary freak outs early on and we became more comfortable with translating blobs into realistic items. I digress.

In her slip in Moss Landing, California

Patience needed a few more items to make her unstoppable in any maritime situation (operator error not included). We got her (a) a life raft in case our elevation dropped (Blessings to you Steve for lending us this essential piece),  (b) an anchor windlass (translation: a motor winch that pulls the anchor up by button push) to save our hands and backs, (c) an electronic autopilot (Named “Kim”) to steer us much better than we ever could and last and certainly not least, (d) our beloved water-maker. I must elaborate on this piece of equipment for a moment: This ingenious device is a multi-pieced unit that pulls seawater into Patience and through a process much too complex to completely understand (though saying the terms “semi-permeable membrane” and “reverse osmosis”  will lead most to believe you are an expert), turns the ocean into a endless source of drinking water. Yes, we are drinking the ocean. And it’s delicious.

Temporary slip in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Through hard work, much research and less money than you may think, but more than you want to know, Patience has become a very well outfitted ocean vessel, ready to face the unknown challenges and wonders of the cruising life. Her functionality is streamlined to a degree that she seems not unlike a living organism, with all its complex systems, organized accordingly and working in unison. And we’re her brain, turning this system on or off when needed, and determining her course. Unfortunately her IQ is a little low right now and occasionally our limited sailing knowledge puts us into precarious situations. We resolve these moments of terror briskly and with it increase overall IQ as we go, while all along Patience puts up with it quietly with what seems like endless  …well she has her name for good reason…





And now for a Picture tour of Patience’s cabin:


This is the ultimate in cozy. Sporting soft foam, pillows and blankets galore, when Patience is sailing on her determined heading, this sleeping place is her womb and will put all but chronic insomniacs to sleep.


Quarter Berth

It may look like a bed, but it is actually a very narrow and long storage space that is used as a bed. And if you can manage to conduct the acrobatic effort to squeeze into the space, it is actually very comfortable (until the motor turns on, which is 13.5 inches to the right).




This might look like a toilet, but it is actually a marine head. They function differently. Besides the intricately different plumbing, two main rules set this apart from a landlubber toilet is (1) Sitting only (better leave your man-ego on land boys) and (2) only what has gone through you can go through the head. That is, no toilet paper. There is a Safeway bag hanging in front of your face for that.




It may just look like a common table to the eye, but to the live aboard sailor, it functions as much more than that. It is a place to plot our position on charts, to read a book, to write in the ship log or journal, of course it’s there to support dishes containing delicious chow, or simply it is a place to sit and be when Patience takes on a choppy sea and there is nothing else to do.


Table as bed

Just when the sailor thinks the table could offer no more, it has the magical ability to turn into a bed that comfortably sleeps two (who preferably know each other quite well).



Port side (galley and table)

The galley on the left has enough space for one cook, who knows how to execute his culinary creativeness, by standing in one spot and pivoting to the sink when necessary, while swaying in rhythm of the sea. It is also conveniently located within reaching distance of the dining table.



Looking forwards

The cabin view forward with the V-berth at the far end. This also shows our elaborate library on the starboard side.



Looking backwards

The cabin view backward showing the galley and quarter berth at the far end and couch and table up close.



And finally, below is a diagram (cartoon if you will) of her ins and outs: