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Date: 27 September 2014. Life onboard Lily Maria (Thompson 44 M/V)


At C-Quarters Marina [http://c-quartersmarina.com] when visiting friends I ran into the nicest couple. You see I had 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. However, its 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.

Still, it is the owners who give a boat life, and Lily Maria, along with her crew (a canary) named Sam have a sweet life aboard the Thompson44.  And there is a lot to be found within just 44 feet.

Lily Maria is home for Colin and Jean

Captain Colin Day

First Mate Jean


Lily Maria is long and definitely outfitted for comfort.
I was impressed by the shades over the side decks.


Those 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 light outside.

On the door you can see one of the "Welcome" signs Jean has. When the door is open, visitors see them. This is a nice touch. The screen attaches firmly so with the door open a nice cross-breeze keeps Lily Maria cool and comfortable.

Of course, 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.

As an aside, to the right of the previous picture are steps leading down into the galley. Having a fire extinguisher just outside the galley as a backup for the ones below is of course smart planning.

Jean's 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 is upside down.) The card shows the navigator what boat you are approaching at night by virtue of the lights being displayed. I have the same set of Navigation Rules Quick Reference Card  aboard Seaweed and recommend them to others as well.


A fan that cools the cook is definitely a bonus for anyone in the galley.


Just forward of the galley is Jean's head. A girl has 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 in place.

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 is very similar to the bronze one we had aboard our 40'er. When we sold ours, I wish I had been smart enough to swap out the wheel. Mine is wooden on Seaweed. The Turks Head knot on the wheel will be when the rudder is dead aft. It is both a visual and tactile clue for maneuvering -- another good idea Colin has implemented aboard Lily Maria.

Inside steps lead aloft to the fly bridge.


The Holy Place aka Engine Room onboard Lily Maria


Before entry  to the engine room you can check that all is 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!


On 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 problems. In Colin's engine room, you will know what's what.

Anyone stepping inside will appreciate his efforts.


The generator with heat shield tape on the exhaust.

Bright lighting makes the engine room safe.


Regarding 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 course important.


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 grill.

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:

Colin 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 inside too:


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 is 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 view!


Of course life afloat has its advantages. The sunset views, the moonlit nights and, well, according to Captain Jimmy -- the Red Light!


The red light was purchased from the estate of John Connelly and looks quite nautical. It's a piece of American/Texan history.

Captain Jimmy saw that Red Light, and, well,
he is quite the flirt. Alas, it was not 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.


Protecting 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 too.

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?

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