Hello, and welcome to the Desperado II page.
My name is Phil, in July of 2015 I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and told by the doctors that the average survival is 5 months, after surgery I returned home and waited for the inevitable, finally I decided to get busy living, I found Desperado II neglected in a boatyard in Parry Sound, I purchased her in November of 2016 (probably paid too much), my friend Roy helped me tarp her as she had been left to the elements for several years, I was exhausted just putting the tarps on and called the yacht broker and told him I had made a big mistake and please re-list the boat as I was unfit to own the boat.
In the spring of 2017, I drove to Parry Sound to un-tarp her, I started sanding, repairing, cleaning and painting her, I never even thought I would get a chance to sail her, but my passion for fixing up old boats came back and I truly believe this passion has kept me alive! I have made mistakes and had many successes, my videos will be crude, but all of them honest.
This year 2018, Michelle and I have spent over 100 days on the water (we launched May 1st), sailing the North Channel and as much of Georgian Bay as possible.
After a not-so- positive oncology appointment August 20th, we quickly decide to realize my dream of sailing the Caribean, so on Labour Day (less than two weeks later) this year (2018), we set sail for Bahamas and other points south.
2023 Update – well I am still alive, we sail the boat to Key West most winters now. I got inspired by the live musicians in Key West and bought myself a guitar and taught myself some chords, I have been truly blessed, I was able to live a dream and play my ONE and only gig at Margaritaville, Key West on my 5th anniversary of surviving Pancreatic Cancer (thank you to Mike at Margaritaville for giving me the opportunity) – I wasn’t very good and my nerves get the better of me, but I played a two hour set!
We have so many friends now in Key West, it is like coming home every Novemember, and while we do plan on moving to land, for now the only way to afford it here is living on a mooring ball.
I guess what I am saying is: Never Give Up and you are never too old to try new things!
My Surgery: This page was actually meant to inspire hope in Pancreatic Cancer Patients, My tumour was on the body/tail of the pancreas, 75% of my pancreas, my spleen, and 24 lymph nodes were removed, my margins were .2mm (good margins are 2mm) – my cancer has a 99-99% chance of recurrence. This year will mark 8 years, and the past 8 years have been the best of my life, please don’t give up.
As our boat was NOT ready to cruise here are some of the projects we have done underway:
Installed Frame and Solar Panels, Controller ect.. along the Erie Canal.
Dodger and Bimini in Parry Sound
Hauled out and repaired a leak at the centerboard cable.
Installed a new Windlass in Hilton Head.
Installed a new autopilot (big job) in Miami.
Rebuilt the Fuel Injection Pump on our Yanmar.
Rebuilt and Installed a Watermaker.
Rebuilt and re-installed a Katadyn Watermaker.
Rebuilt and re-installed again Katadyn, 4 new membranes later in two years, the Katadyn 40E
Purchased and Installed new ground tackle.
Installed Radar integrated with our Garmin products!
New Dickinson Mediterranean 3 burner propane stove/oven!
New Dickinson BBQ
202 Amp Hour of Lithium batteries + DC to DC charger
Air Conditioning Now functioning! WOO HOO!!
Garhaur E-Z slide blocks
New deadlights (look for video soon)
We made the mistake of trying to save money on a dinghy and motor, please do not do this, we have since purchased an 11ft Hypalon RIB and a Yamaha 9.9, life is much BETTER!
I cannot say enough about the following companies that have helped us along the way..
Bridge Yachts in Port Dover, I cannot say enough about the great service and help that Steve, Hugh, Ed, Dan, Ernie and the gang have provided.
Bacon Sails and Marine Supplies in Annapolis Maryland, Steve and his staff have been very helpful, including providing transport for parts and helping in our futile attempt to fix our Alpha Marine Autopilot!
Yates Custom Rigging, Wilson did not only make our new wire to rope halyards, but looked at pictures of our boat and gave us recommendations on modifications.
Garmin, our new GPS stopped receiving satellite signals, they had us send it back on their dime and over-nighted us a new unit so that we could continue on our travels, STELLAR CUSTOMER SERVICE!
Anchor Marine of Miami, I only hope I can watch Mike screw up one day so that I can make fun of him for a week.
Genco Marine – While we have not been 100% satisfied with their canvas work or the install, Mitch has been the best, having a new autopilot and drive dropped shipped to us in Miami, best advice on electronics! We also felt we got very good deals on our Stove and BBQ. We love our Garmin electronic package, there are several videos on the site about how we use it.
Some companies have just been jerks and I mean this:
Lewmar – as a Brit, I want to support them, but they do not stand behind their products and are almost impossible to deal with, after buying two new hatches and a V2 Windlass, I expected better than relying on the exceptional service of West Marine, to make a defective product right.
Suzuki (sort of) – when our new outboard died 2500 miles from home, we were told the warranty would not be honoured as it was a Canadian motor and had to be repaired in Canada, I thought all Suzuki’s were Japanese, didn’t realize we were descriminating – Suzuki USA did eventually agree to repair the motor – but took over a month – it was known service issue.
As we had to wait so long, we bought a Yamaha and sold the Suzuki!
Our journey continues…
(we need help with this site, as we have many videos and narratives that we would like to post)