Date: 27 September 2014. Life onboard Lily Maria
(Thompson 44 M/V)
when visiting friends I ran into the nicest couple. You see I'd admired a boat with beautiful lines (a Thompson44)
and was hankering for an invite aboard her. The boat is gorgeous with lots of
features worth duplicating in any boat.
the owners Colin and Jean who give the vessel life, and love.
I was made
welcome by Jean and enjoyed my visit immensely. Lily Maria is a
wonderful boat with all the amenities including two freezers. What appealed to me as a
kibitzer however were the sleek
lines, safe side decks and an easy way to go forward to set the
anchor. Set up for cruising with multiple hand hold and nice high
rails, Lily Maria is a gem.
the owners that give a boat life, and Lily Maria, along with her
crew (a canary) named Sam have a sweet life aboard the Thompson44. And
there's a lot to be found within just 44 feet.
Lily Maria is home for Colin
← Captain Colin
First Mate Jean↓
is long and definitely outfitted for comfort. I was
impressed by the shades over the side decks.
shades will keep the sunshine from heating the interior and allow an
extra level of privacy when inside. And while in the saloon we can see out. The window covers also soften the
On the door
you can see one of the "Welcome" signs Jean has. When the door is
open, visitors see them. It's a nice touch. The screen attaches
firmly so with the door open a nice cross-breeze keeps Lily Maria
cool and comfortable.
long-term boaters tend to take our safety very seriously. After all,
this is home and we want to be secure. Two oversized fire
extinguishers are accessible on the port side doorway.
aside, to the right of the previous picture are steps leading down
galley. Having a fire extinguisher just outside the galley as a
backup for the ones below is of course smart planning.
galley is great. Her Colin built a wonderful spice rack that allows
easy access to the spices and keeps them firmly in place even in a
rough sea. Cup hooks do the same for the coffee mugs. The dish
drying rack can stow in the sink when underway.
Side note: Just
below at the top of the next picture you'll note the navigation
card. (It's upside down.) The card shows the navigator what
boat you're approaching at night by virtue of the lights being
displayed. I have the same set of
Navigation Rules Quick Reference Cards
aboard Seaweed and recommend them to others as well.
A fan that cools the cook is definitely a bonus for
anyone in the galley.
forward of the galley is Jean's head. A girl's got to have her own
space, and aboard Lily Maria, Jean has hers in the forward cabin. Lucky lady! I love all
the shelving and cubby holes too.
The bunk at
the bow the afternoon I visited was in use. Boaters know
the project list is always a fluid thing and no boat is ever
finished. These screens are for the hatches. Velcro will keep them
Heading back topside is a
pleasure. The view is excellent and with an inside helm, Captain
Colin can stay warm and dry even in tumultuous weather. (Note again
the "Welcome" sign on the starboard door.)
As for me, I love his wheel. It's
very similar to the bronze one we had aboard our 40'er. When we sold
ours, I wish I'd been smart enough to swap out the wheel. Mine's
wooden on Seaweed. The Turks Head knot on the wheel will be when the
rudder is dead aft. It's both a visual and tactile clue for
maneuvering -- another good idea Colin has implemented aboard Lily
Inside steps lead aloft to the fly
Place aka Engine Room onboard Lily Maria
Before entry to the engine room you can check that all's well through
the clear plate in the sole. Yes, of course one goes below to
verify everything regularly when underway. Having that quick
peek ability is certainly an idea worth copying.
Note: The engine room has full standing head room.
There's no hunching over, nothing inaccessible -- a great set-up for
those who actually have to work in there!
the bottom of the hatch entry to the engine room Colin has full
information for spare parts, filters, belts and more.
Below, everywhere you look items are identified. When the
fertilizer hits the fan, nerves sometimes exacerbate memory
Colin's engine room, you'll know what's what.
Anyone stepping inside will appreciate his efforts.
generator with heat shield tape on the exhaust.
Bright lighting makes the engine room safe.
Side note on the air intakes for the engine room:
Colin installed wire mesh to prevent critter incursion. It's a
better option than regular screening and worth emulating. Also
note how large these intake vents are... at least 2' and capable
of moving a lot of air. Keeping diesel engines cool is of
Jean took me on a tour of the aft
deck and showed her plants. At one time she owned flower shops and
certainly her green thumb shows clearly. Anyone who successfully has
tomatoes and more growing in our salty environment has talent, and
hers, well, I love lush and was impressed.
Another good idea
implemented aboard Lily Maria is the swim platform. It folds up.
The aft deck also sports a
Everything about the boat
speaks to making her comfortable and safe for her owners.
Jean and Colin have created a home aboard a boat and that's to be admired...
Patriotic garden aboard Lily Maria:
Colin is a Brit and Jean a Texas
gal. The found each other online six years ago and have been enjoying the
fruits and tomatoes (see above) of their love. On the
afternoon we went to the grocery store, Jean drove. It works like this: in
the US, Jean drives. Any place where the cars are on the left
side, Colin takes over.
After many years in the Royal Navy, Colin retired.
He is a seaman who
knows not only the big things (navigation, safety, seamanship)
but also the fun things like rope weaving. Check out the fancy
rope-work on the tender:
He also did wonders restoring a Cape Dory sailing
dinghy. It's beautiful and stored just above the aft cabin on
deck. Easy to launch and fun to sail!
We can see the dinghy from
The care shown Lily Maria is
evident in the master cabin too. From a feminine standpoint, I love
the plethora of storage spaces afforded. Often production models do
not have easy access to large (and small areas) but that's not a
problem aboard Colin and Jean's home.
In the aft cabin, drawers offer lots of places for
important gear. Under the bed is also opened with storage too.
Aboard boats that have been long-term homes this sort of modification
and improvement is normal. That's why I advocating buying someone's
home versus a seldom used dock queen.
The closet lighting is
one of the LED strings we see at Christmastime.
It's muted and has a
low power draw. ↓
Lily Maria has a spacious main head and
shower. I appreciate the ample natural light. What is niftiest though in
my mind is the half-moon shaped towel rack made from bronze. It's
beautiful and holds four towels. I can well imagine a larger diameter half
moon shape holding a shower curtain away from the bulkhead.
Heading back up the steps into the main salon is a
treat. One crew member who enjoys the scenery is a yellow canary named
Sam. Sam likes Romaine lettuce and has a treat each day. And what a
Of course life afloat has it's advantages. The sunset
views, the moonlit nights and, well, according to Captain Jimmy -- the Red
←The red light
was purchased from the estate of John Connally and looks quite
nautical. It's a piece of American/Texan history.
Captain Jimmy saw that Red Light, and,
well, he's quite the flirt. Alas, it wasn't his night.
Captain Jimmy took a
picture with Jean. He's quite the fisherman. Alas for Jimmy,
Jean's already been caught by her Colin!
Safety is always an issue when one is boating. Aboard
Lily Maria, Captain Colin has made safety a priority. This is demonstrated
in several ways.
Colin and Jean aboard Lily Maria
There is a smoke alarm in the main
cabin, ditto engine room, sleeping quarters, etc. Also note the handrails on the ladder topside. Jean's
philodendron plant in the corner adds a nice touch of home
A pair of large anchors supported by an
oversized Power Winch on the foredeck means lots of safe and
secure nights at
anchor. Colin wrote
Cherish the Memories of the Night
about that very subject.
After looking about Lily Maria, you can
imagine Captain Colin has participated in boating as a S.A.R. (Search and
Rescue) professional. Atop his boat is a large Red X. That makes his Lily
Maria unique and easy to spot from the air should there be a incident.
If one sign of love is protecting your dearest ones,
Colin has done so quite nicely on this Thompson 44 trawler. And if
playfulness is another sign, both Jean and Colin have found true love
aboard Lily Maria. We should all be so fortunate...
Do you have any markings on your boat's topside so she'd
be distinguishable from the air?
And, is your engine room spacious and easily accessible?
In the Bilges,
Doing Our Thing ~
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