Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another little project

I knocked another little item off my project list last week - I installed an electrical sub-panel.

My main DC panel was full, and I need room to install some new circuits soon.  I need room for a water maker switch, as well a circuit for the SSB.  I also wanted easier access to the various lights from the cockpit.  I'm setting this boat up for single handing and every little thing I can do to make this easier will be welcome one day.

I decided on a 8 switch Blue Sea waterproof panel.  I wanted access to it from the cockpit as well as below in the cabin, so I installed it on the side of a cabinet I can reach from both places.  The installation went fairly smoothly.  I bought a new Fein tool which I used for the first time to cut the hole in the teak - the cut wasn't very clean (my fault, not the tool) but the panel overlaps the little ugly sections in the cut, so it ends up looking good.

The panel has switches for: tri-color, compass light, running lights, steaming light, spreader light, windlass remote panel light and the autopilot.  There is one spare circuit at the moment - I'll leave it for a while and decide on what I want - perhaps the deck wash circuit.

The main panel has three new spare circuits.  In the past many circuits controlled more than one thing - the compass light was controlled by the running lights for example.  I've split the GPS and instruments circuits out into their own, and there is a sub-panel circuit so the whole sub-panel can be turned on/off at once.

Lastly, I took the opportunity to clean up behind the main panel.  I cleaned up that area last year, so it was looking much better than when I first bought her, but this time I installed new grounding buses (there used to be three ground buses, now there are two with lots of empty terminals.)  There is also newly freed space where I removed a fuse panel controlling GPS, windlass light, 12 volt plug and nav instruments.  I will use the space to install something new (probably my NMEA network connections to clean up the terminal strip currently above my AC side, which I'll do after my new GPS goes in.)  The first picture is during the project, and the after picture follows:

There is lots more to do, but it feels good to be making progress again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not sailing related

Part of the beauty of having your own blog is that you can post whatever you want.  Here's a video which is becoming viral - it helps explain our economy.

I've been spending a lot of time over the past two years watching the world's economy crash.  The things that are going on are just crazy.  But rather than my ranting, the video tells a small part of the story in an entertaining way.

While I'm posting video's, here's a much lighter one.  This is several years old, but its still a classic.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Slip

I've moved to a new slip at Shilshole.  M-63 had a great view and good neighbors all around.  I'll miss it.  However the slip was on the south side and the fairway which was only 64' wide.  When I first bought Luckness I thought that a 40' slip would be plenty of room for a 37' boat.

I plan to install the Monitor wind vane which is now sitting on my living room floor on the boat soon.  When the windvane is installed, my length including anchor in front will be 39' to 40'  Since I have a dinghy rack at the end of my slip. I lose three or four feet at the end where the dinghy interferes with where the bow would normally hang out - that's just how it works out in these slips.  So M63 was a 40' slip and I was pretty much filling the entire length up.  The monitor windvane would have me hanging out into the fairway.

I'm was also finding that M-63 being a south slip and having to back into south winds was proving a challenge in the 64' fairway.  Luckness is a cruising boat, no fin keel and spade rudder for me.  As a result, when backing I have strong prop walk to port (left for you land lubbers) and little helm control.  Backing into strong south winds - the winds I want to be out in this winter to build my skills - would cause real knee shake as I gauge whether or not I would get out cleanly or cause some mayhem.  I've managed to avoid all mayhem so far, and really want to keep that going.  I was finding that the most nerve wracking moments of a day sail were leaving the dock, then I would enjoy the sail regardless of the weather, and then it was nerve wracking coming back to the dock.  After leaving the dock cleanly I would immediately start dwelling on the docking at the end of  day with everything inbetween being inconsequential.  Backing to the south with strong prop walk to port needing to leave west was a bad combination.  Coming back to the dock in a strong south wind didn't leave a lot of room for error.  With this boat, a much more natural combination is to have a north slip, port tie.  In Puget Sound most strong winds are in the winter and are south.  So having a north slip, port tie, with port prop walk means I can leave by releasing the boat and letting it slip backwards and let the prop walk pull the stern to port (east) and letting me leave out to west easily.  Docking is also much easier, just come down the fairway and enter the slip, no need to pass it, turn around and come back to it.  If I need to abort a docking attempt the extra width in the fairway makes it much easier.

And speaking of fairways the new one is 74' wide.  Sweet!  Room to move!

Excuses, excuses.  I imagine that if I had many more years of experience I could have made M-63 work out.  But at my experience level the slip/boat combination was causing me anxiety - more than the difference in cost was worth - so I've upgraded my docking experience (and downgraded my view.)

So anyway, my new slip is B-46.  My neighbors are two honking big powerboats.  Its a little like being in a valley.  At the moment across the walkway there is a huge fishing boat - so the valley effect is pretty strong.  Not much of a view anymore.  But the docking is good, and I intend to use it to get out more.

A map of shilshole is here.  B-46 is the third slip from the end of B dock, port tie.  Come visit!  Although since I don't live aboard, I probably won't be there :-)  Yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Varnish; length of boat projects

I've had Luckness now for around 15 months now, she arrived June 22nd 2009.

When I started working on her I noticed that the length of boat projects are mainly around twice as long as I would have expected.  I thought that over time my estimate accuracy would have improved, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Here is another example of this...

Luckness' exterior is mostly fiberglass.  The caprails are teak, as are the hand rails, companionway hatch, and a few other pieces.  The varnish that was on the boat (actually Cetol, a varnish alternative) was worn out.  Once varnish starts to peel its too late for it, you need to start over.

Teak is an oily wood and the oil in it naturally protects it from the elements.  Many owners leave their teak to turn a natural grey, and it can last many years like this.  Over time, unprotected wood can wear down.  When I was looking at other boats before buying Luckness, I saw examples of boats the same age where the teak had been left unprotected and had worn to the point where it might have required replacing the wood to restore it.  Replacing he wood would be a horrific project, I do not ever want to do that.  As I would like to head down south eventually (Hi Boss!) where the sun is SuperBright I wanted the wood to be protected, and if protecting it now required some work that's what I would do.  "No shortcuts" is my motto.  I'm not afraid of a little work.  Do the project right.  No pain no gain.  Work now play later.

Here are a couple of the 'before pictures'.

After my summer vacation, which was spectacular, I came back to Seattle and there were blue skies and no rain.  Its like this every summer for a while.  I realized that if I was going to fix the varnish, that now would be the time to start.

There followed a short period of doing the research into different varnishes and the techniques.  I got some advice from Terry at Yachtfitters regarding the work, and off I went.  The varnish I choose was Epifanes Wood Finish Gloss.  This product does not need sanding between coats, which allows you to build thickness quickly.  I'm pretty happy with Epifanes, it was an easy product to work with.

My plan was to spend up to a month doing this, and then enjoy some more sailing.  I started this July 17.  Once I started, I took enough of the hardware off Luckness make working on her easier - but this meant she couldn't be sailed until reassembled.

The first step is to scrape the old varnish off the wood.  This involved using a heat gun to heat the old varnish and using a scraper to scrape it off.  I first scraped an eyebrow, the piece of wood below the handrail in the picture above.  Once that piece was done I sanded and started varnishing it.  I wanted to go through the entire process for one piece and learn before doing to rest.  Scraping the wood brought the teak back to its natural color, which looked good.  Sanding and varnishing the eyebrow looked amazing. I was getting hooked on this project.  I learned how thick to apply the varnish, now much time it needed between coats, what happens if you apply too late in the evening and you have dew that night (you lose all the gloss overnight) and how often to replace the tape I masked the wood with (no more than three coats.)  Having done that piece, I started on the rest of the boat.

There were two solid weeks of scraping - as I have a paying full time job, I can only do this weekday evenings and weekends.  The day job really interfered with this project!

When the scraping was done, I picked as many surfaces as I thought I could varnish in an evening and worked on those to completion - and then started on the next group.  When you throw in a few days of varnish fatigue, a few days of rain, its taken me most of the time between July 17th and now to work on it.  I had to disassemble the companionway to get the companionway cover out, as I didn't want any of the old varnish left.

Working on a group of surfaces was something like: tape (1 day); three coats of varnish (3 days); untape, retape (2 days); sand (1 day) two coats of varnish (2 days); untape, retape (2 days), sand (1 day), last coat of varnish (1 day), untape (1 day) - that's 14 days.  The boat was broken into three sections.  3 times 2 weeks plus 2 weeks scraping = 8 weeks.

Here is the boat during the project.

That picture was taken August 25th - still a lot of work to do.  Notice that the sun is shining and that it was taken in Seattle.  Also notice that the companionway in the picture above is temporary - the real one was in my basement along with the slats being refinished.

Its now Sept 19.  The exterior varnish is all done, except for the two pieces of wood which hold the companionway hatch in.  I'll do those over the next week or so.

The first picture below is of the caprail.  Compare it to the one above!   Can I have a few oooooh's and aaaaaah's?

I would like to say the project was totally worth it....but I want my summer back!  I thought this project would take a month or so, and now 8 weeks later I have a little bit of work left on it.  The wood looks really good now - but its started to rain here and I haven't sailed in 8 weeks.

I knew this was going to be a lot of work, and it was - much more than I expected.  Next year I can add a coat or two and that will be all that's needed.  That's part of the beauty of doing this work, once the varnish system is established properly, future maintenance is greatly reduced.  That's what I keep telling myself.  "The project was totally worth it!  I'm so ahead of the game now!"

I did take a few shortcuts - there isn't a mirror finish to the varnish, but its pretty acceptable.  Somewhere between utility and perfection.  It worked out well.  I didn't show the supply of bandaids I went though - it seems that when working with sharp tools for hours on end that its difficult not to cut some part of me.  All my digits are still intact.

I changed the oil in the engine today, along with the oil filter and transmission fluid.  There had been 120 engine hours since the last change, so it was about due.  I'd like to get the boat out sailing rather than working on it, just a couple things left to complete...

15 months of boat ownership.  It has been more work than I expected, and there has been less sailing than I had hoped for.  When I look at Luckness now and compare her to when she arrived, I'm really happy with the shape she's in.  The work I've been doing over the time I've owned her really shows - she's a solid boat and I smile everytime I see her.  My "no shortcuts" motto cuts into some of the fun, but I simply couldn't do it any other way.  I've progressed as a sailor over the 15 months, and yes, I'm including sailing skills such as being able to maintain your boat along with the other more traditional sailing skills - such as actually sailing.  I've learned things that I wouldn't have been able to learn through chartering boats.  Its been 15 months, some of it hard work - but I wouldn't change any of it.  I'm looking forward to the many more months to come.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation, 2010.

I left for a vacation on Luckness June 26th, returning July 11th - 16 days.  There was no real destination for the trip - I had a few goals, but they were related to gaining experience rather than any particular destination.

On Saturday June 26th, I met up with Jeff Moog and the gang for his Chowder Run aboard Angelique in Langley.  I arrived at 6pm to see Angelique already at anchor.  So I anchored a short distance off, put the dinghy in the water and motored over.  This was the first time I had Luckness anchored when I wasn't on her.  It was weird.  I kept poking my head up out of Angelique making sure she was still there.  I got more practice at being away from Luckness while she was at anchor during the holiday. Its still a bit of a strange feeling when I leave the boat empty, with no anchor watch ready to fix a dragging anchor while I go about what I'm doing on shore or elsewhere.  On Angelique the chowder and company were great, and I returned that evening to Luckness.

The next morning Angelique left south back for Seattle and I headed north toward the San Juans.  There were light winds all day and so I didn't make a lot of distance.  I chose to stay in Port Ludlow that night, not the first time I would be here for this holiday.

The next day I motored out into the sound and then sailed in light wind trying to round Point Wilson with the current against me.  After a lot of sailing back and forth, I rounded the point and entered the Straits toward Mud Bay on Lopez.
The wind eventually died, and I ended up motoring for four hours.  When I arrived at Mud Bay I found the bay perfectly calm, and took the time to calibrate my knot meter.  Its always read high, but I wasn't sure by how much.  After calibrating it, I now realize that the boat isn't able to motor at hull speed - 3300 rpm gives me 6.4 knots where the hull speed is around 7.1 - so I'll need to repitch the propeller, something to do when the boat is out of the water this winter having work done on her.

Mud bay was the first of many beautiful evenings. One of the things I really like about sailing is that it puts you closer to the environment.  I experience the weather and my surroundings more than when I'm in the city.  Here are a few pictures from that evening:
The next day I left Mud Bay and headed toward Echo Bay on Sucia.  Again, I had light winds, around 8kts SW for a lot of the day with an opposing current, so I struggled to make progress.  I cleared Cypress around 2pm and the wind improved to around 15 knots with gusts to 20.  During a slightly mismanaged jibe I saw 7.7 knots on the knot meter while I got things under control and pointed the boat back to where I was going (off of the beam reach she was on at max speed.)  As I got up toward Matia the wind started clocking around 360 at 0 to 2 knots.  After a while doing that, I got fed up and motored the rest of the way into Echo Bay.

The previous post mentions Echo Bay.  After staying here two days I realized that if I headed north toward the Gulf Islands there would likely be a long string of wonderful anchorages with nice islands to explore. At this point I changed my mind about what I was going to do.  I had been planning on heading into Canada, but instead decided to try to get out to Neah Bay for some experience.  The Gulf islands will have to wait until next year.

I first stopped in at Friday Harbor to buy a new charger for my cell phone.  While there I had a shower and ate on shore.  The shower was nice, by now I'd been out for 5 nights. But it wasn't really needed.  A sink bath works just fine and uses very little water.  The shower was a luxury, not a necessity.  There was no one else onboard, so this fact can't be disputed.

One of the biggest problems I ran into during the trip was my lack of electrical energy generation on Luckness.  My alternator is nothing special - its rated at 80Ah but it has an internal regulator and charges at 13.3 volts so it takes forever to charge the batteries with the engine.  I have no alternative energy yet, so the engine is the only way to recharge.  I was tempted to put into the marina in Friday Harbor - by now my batteries were at 12.2 volts, down 160 Ah - but the marina was pretty full and I wasn't able to get a slip with power.  I'll need a new alternator and voltage regulator, along with solar panels etc.  I knew about the need for solar panels but didn't realize how lame my alternator was.

I anchored in 60', fuel at 31 gals having consumed around 7 gallons so far.

I left Friday Harbor July 2nd heading toward Port Angeles.  I intended to stay at Port Angeles over night and head out to Neah Bay the next day.  The winds were light so I motored out through Cattle Pass and past Salmon Point where I started to sail in light wind.  By 5:30 there were 15nm to go so I had to reevalute.  I changed my mind and decided to stay at Dungeness Bay overnight - there is not much protection there but with light winds it was viable.  Within 30min or so the winds had picked up to 15 to 25 from the west.  I arrived at my intended anchorage and quickly decided that I wasn't going to stay there and reevaluated again.  Port Angeles would have been a long bash, and I didn't want to enter an unfamiliar anchorage in the dark with this wind.  So I decided to head east toward Port Townsend.  I got the sails back up and headed downwind.  This was a fun ride.  I was seeing boat speeds around 7 knots, sometimes faster sometimes slower.  The apparent wind was showing 18 to 22.  The boat felt wonderful, very reassuring.  As I was rounding Point Wilson it was around 10pm, the stars were out, the sky was clear, and my wake was glowing!  Luckness' keel is 5' 6" deep, and behind the boat was a column of bioluminescence about 2 feet across and 6 feet deep glowing brightly.  When I moved forward to the shrouds and looked over the side, the wake was sparkling with light, it was wonderful.  At this point I reevaluated my plan once again.  I was having fun and decided to keep sailing toward Port Ludlow.  I arrived at anchor at 2am.

The next day I was pretty tired, having been at the helm for 17 hours the previous day, so I slept in and took a day off, working on boat projects and reading.  On July 4th there was a gale warning around Neah Bay and the middle of the Straits, so I decided to stay one more night. This put me in Port Ludlow for July 4th.  I expected a few small fireworks along the shore but nothing large.  I was mistaken.  There were four or five houses along the shore which seemed to compete for the largest display.  One of the houses had around a 45 min intense display of high level fireworks - it was amazing.

By July 5th I had decided to give up on my Neah Bay plan and simply head back to the San Juans and explore some more.  By now the batteries were at 12.0v which meant more motoring was in store.  I bought 10 gallons of fuel at the marina.  I motored most of the way past Point Wilson in wind I could have been sailing in.  I hated this - there were other boats out sailing and here I was motoring.  I normally feel good about sailing while other boats are motoring.  After a few hours I entered the Straits and I started to sail.  I was on a beautiful close reach most of the way to Lopez.  The wind died just as I rounded the southern corner of the island and I motored the remaining distance back to Mud Bay.  I gained 108Ah, batteries back to 12.7v.

The next day I headed to Blind Bay, where I did some more dinghy exploring.

From Blind Bay I went to Reid Harbor where I took the dinghy ashore again.  From Reid Harbor I went to Roche, from Roche I went to Mackay Harbor, from Mackay I went to Port Ludlow, and the next day, the 11th I headed back to Shilshole.

It was a good trip.  I wasn't sure if single handing the boat for 16 days would wear me out or what I would find out about the experience.  Single handing was just fine, I enjoyed it.  Luckness was wonderful, with a few system improvements related to energy she would be an awesome coastal cruiser.  For blue water cruising I want to add a few more things, but that will come.  

The hardest thing I encountered single handed was leaving anchorage one day in about 15 knots of wind, the wind blew the boat around as I was trying to raise the anchor and wash the mud off the chain - this was a little tedious involving much walking back and forth, bow to the helm.  I'll need to work on this.  Having identified this as the hardest thing - I realize the weather and winds weren't challenging.  The hardest thing would be bound to change given different conditions!

I didn't get a chance to sail throughout the night, but this will be better left to after I have a self steering unit installed.

I used around 30 gallons of water during the trip, of 80 I had onboard.  I didn't use the pressure water at all.  The foot pumps for fresh and salt water in the galley and head were preferable and probably lead to less water used.  I didn't use the water from the hot water tank at all - when I wanted hot water I heated some up on the kettle.  I'm considering if I even need the hot water tank - the space it occupies would be valuable for something else.

I used my pressure cooker for the first time on this trip.  You can make beans in 28min!  Beans and rice is a viable (supplement to the) food plan.  For this trip I didn't plan meals too closely, I just brought a bunch of ingredients and made it up as I went.  The only thing I almost ran out of was granola.  I'll need to learn how to make my own.  I ate well on the trip - and by well I mean it was healthy simple food.

There was too much garbage generated, I'll need to reduce packaging next time.  I also had too much plastic onboard, I'd like to try to minimize this in the future as well.  On offshore passages you can't toss the plastic overboard, but you can toss most other garbage.  Avoiding plastic would be a good habit to get into.

One last thing I noticed during the trip - I felt good.  My dreams were vivid and cool.  I felt creative and challenged.  There was a lot of smiling going on.

I feel lucky to have this boat and to be able to do all of this.  I'm looking forward to more of it in the future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Dinghy!

For anything except moving between marinas, a dinghy is pretty much an essential item for a cruising boat.  In the past, I've sailed around Puget Sound without one, and have spent many fine nights at anchor in wonderful anchorages.  However I couldn't get to shore.  Or set crab pots.  Or visit my neighbors.  Or head into town without docking the boat at a marina.  Buying a dinghy has long been on my list of things-to-do.

Doing research on which dinghy to buy lead to a lot of confusion.  The choice of motor also was also not a clear cut decision.  I wanted a dinghy made of hypalon, so that it would survive strong sun.  Beyond that, there are arguments for buying the biggest dinghy you can fit on the boat, or buying a RIB which has a rigid fiberglass floor but that doesn't roll up, or buying a wood floor, or not buying a motor but rather buying a dinghy you can row more easily, or buying a large motor that will speed the dinghy along, or buying a small motor which is light and fuel efficient.

In the end, I bought an Achilles LSI-260.  It has a high pressure inflatable floor, which means I can deflate the thing and roll it up into the size of a duffle bag.  This will be useful for offshore passages where I can store it below in the cabin.  Its 8' 6" and weights 66 lbs.  The motor is a Tohatsu 3.5 hp 4 stroke.  It weights 41 lbs.

I bought it at Ballard Inflatable Boats, in Ballard.  I always prefer to spend my money locally, and they gave me good service and advice.  They are recommended.  They will also talk you through the technique for affixing the registration letters/numbers onto the dinghy, which was useful.

Here's the dinghy in Echo Bay on Sucia Island.  I've been in this bay three times, but this is the first time I've been to shore.  The Island is wonderful, there is a lot of good walking, lots of camping sites, fire pits.  Being able to get to shore totally changed the visit this time.

The dinghy is also a perfect fit for Luckness.  The dinghy fits perfectly in front of the mast and behind the staysail stay.

Getting the dinghy up on deck is easily done using one of the spare halyards, the spinnaker halyard works well.  Attach the halyard, winch it up using one of the winches at the mast, flip it over and tie it down.  The side decks are free so I can still walk up and down both sides of the boat stern to bow.

After my visit to shore in Echo Bay I was returning to the boat in perfectly calm water.  I went out toward the mouth of the bay where there were no boats around and wanted to see how fast I could get the dinghy going.  I found that in perfectly calm water, with one person aboard, if I opened the engine up to wide-open-throttle, then shifted my weight forward as much as possible I could just get the dinghy up out of the hole it was in and onto plane.  Once the dinghy was planing it hit 10.7 knots!  That yielded big wide grins!  If there are any ripples or waves on the water at all, it won't plane.  But it gets around pretty well, going 5 to 6 knots.  Its a rockin little tender.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial sailing

Saturday I left for Quartermaster harbor. It was a grey morning and I didn't get away from the dock until 11:30. There was a decent wind - S10 and so I started sailing upwind. It was pretty slow progress and as I made my way past Alki point at 3pm I was wondering when I would need to turn the engine on and motor to the harbor. I kept on trying and at around 5 the wind improved toward the south end of Vashon Island and I started making better progress. By 8:30 I was approx 5 miles from the anchorage and I brought in my genoa and started motoring. I set the anchor at 9:30, just as it was starting to really get dark. The moon was almost full on Saturday - but it didn't rise until later that night.  The clouds had been clearing for the previous few hours and I made dinner and ate beneath the stars in an anchorage where my anchor light was the only one visible.

Sunday's VHF weather report was not encouraging. The stations they list describing the current conditions progress from north to south in the Sound. Seattle was 5 knots, Alki Point was 0.8 and Point Robertson reported 'winds calm.' This didn't change and I decided to stay at Quartermaster rather than motoring to some other anchorage. So I read for a while, worked on a few projects, read some more, worked on the boat some more. It would rain off and on all day.  It was a pretty productive and relaxing day.

Monday morning I woke at 6am to dead calm in the anchorage, so I went back to sleep. Woke at 8, no wind, slept again. Finally got up at 9:30 and left by 10:30. The wind reports for the south sound were light - 6 knots at Point Robertson when I left but there was stronger winds up north - 13 knots at West Point where I was going. As I left the anchorage and turned a corner toward the sound the winds strengthened and I was able to leave the harbor under sail. That lasted for about an hour at which point it died and I motored up Calvos passage on the west side of Vashon for an hour or so. Suddenly - the wind started to arrive. Within the span of a few minutes I had what seemed like 10 - 15 knots of south wind. I brought out the Genoa, shut down the motor and was able to sail the rest of the way back to Shilshole. The grey and cold of the morning was replaced with blue skies and warmth.

Another beautiful weekend of sailing. I'm looking forward to picking up the dinghy this week - for one thing it will make taking pictures of Luckness much easier.

Friday, May 28, 2010


So I'm here in Seattle working on my boat, making plans for trips with a choice of thousands of miles of beautiful coastline.  I'm planning a 10 day trip in June and then a six week vacation in August/Sept.  There are lots of choices - the difficulty is what to leave out, not searching for something that I want to see.

The same would be true in most areas of the world.  Coastline is beautiful and teeming with life.  Its also fragile.

Watching what's happening in the Gulf right now is pretty sad.  Its also making me angry.  There seem to be plenty of mistakes happening and the costs of the mistakes may be paid for years and years.  I'm not an expert on anything oil related, but there are people who are experts.  Relying on one company to stop and fix this thing seems naive - its not their Gulf, its all of ours.

If you're not angry about what's happening down there yet, here's a video which might help you along that path.  Caution, it contains foul language.

If you still aren't angry, here are two more related stories.

BP blocking journalists from spill sites

3 million feet of boom in Gulf, but does it help?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A single handed weekend

I'm back from a beautiful weekend of sailing.  Blue skies, fairly warm, and even a little bit of wind thrown in there.

I left early friday evening for Blakeley Harbor to anchor out.  There was a nice wind on friday, 5-10 knots from the north so I had an easy downwind sail.  Blue skies, easy sailing, things were pretty nice.  I've sailed single handed before so nothing really new so far, more good practice though.  Anchoring single handed went pretty well.  There are times when having more people aboard would be very handy - but I'm trying to develop these skills and the only way I can see myself learning this stuff is by doing it.  When there are others aboard things just happen and you aren't forced to think through how you would do it if you were sailing by yourself.  Anyway, friday ended well, safely at anchor, clear skies, lots of stars.

Saturday morning I had to figure out raising the anchor while staying safe in the anchorage.  There was a little over 5 knots of breeze blowing through so it wasn't a huge challenge and it went well in these conditions.  I like to spray down the chain as it comes up to keep mud out of the anchor locker, so I was on the bow spraying, raising the anchor, stopping to walk back to the helm to maneuver the boat, back to the bow to raise more chain, down below to spread the chain around as it castled, back to the helm, back to the bow...  It was pretty smooth.  It it had been blowing 20 knots or more it would have been more of a challenge.

I got out to Puget sound with the idea of heading south to Quartermaster harbor...but there was no wind.  I'm pretty patient so I waited for four hours with the sails up bobbing around while I drifted first north and then south with the current, watching the current go from an ebb to a flood.  Finally I'd had enough and motored back to Blakeley for a repeat.  This time I lowered the chain from the windlass remote rather than being at the bow and unleashing the chain from the windlass clutch.  When using the clutch I can lower chain very quickly - it can just rip out of the locker.  That could be handy, but I'm not at the helm when doing it.  Using the remote the Lighthouse lowers chain much more slowly, but its controllable as I can maneuver at the same time.  I'll try both of these approaches again, it might be that I use them in different circumstances.  When I finished anchoring it was still early so I waxed the topsides for a while, cleaned things up, read, enjoyed the sun, had dinner and just generally enjoyed being out.

Sunday morning I had a small inspiration for making raising the anchor easier.  I fastened the hose nozzle to the bow of the boat pointing down at the chain.  I was then able to use the windlass remote to raise the whole rode, stopping once to reflake the chain below - but this was done while the anchor was still on the ground so I wasn't moving anywhere.  It was pretty smooth.  As the anchor tore free I was able to get it to the bow and then head very slowly forward with the autopilot on while I moved around cleaning things up and getting ready for a sail.  I'll work on making the hose nozzle/bow connection easier and try it some more.  If only I could see the chain rode at the bow from the helm, that would make placing the boat as the chain came up easier.   Maybe some sort of mirror setup would help with that?

Getting back out to the sound there was again no wind.  I motored slowly toward Shilshole and after about 1/2 hour a few knots of wind arrived.  I let the genoa out and started sailing at about a knot north!  The wind slowly filled in to between 10 and 15 N, which is more than enough to drive the boat at hull speed.  Sweet!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another project done

The sound deadening in the engine compartment is done.

I ripped out all the old material from the engine compartment which was disintegrating and causing a god awful mess.  Then came the tedious cleaning to get back to plain wood or gel coat, removing all the old adhesive.

The new sound deadening panels are from Sailors Solutions and come in 1 foot x 1 foot panels, with adhesive on one side and heavy silver film on the other.  Installing the panels was a breeze compared to some of the things I've done this winter!  Running the engine with the new panels in place is much better - the high frequency annoying noises are gone.  I can still hear the lower frequency thrumming - I've got a 4 cylinder diesel engine in the boat, its not exactly going to go away.  But I no longer have blood dripping from my ears after running it for a while.

Looking at my list of projects now is pretty satisfying.  There just isn't that much left on it that is major.  I need to varnish the cabin sole.  Someday.  Maybe next winter.  I need to varnish the exterior teak where the old varnish is flaking off.  But maybe I can hire someone to do that with me.  Then there are a bunch of smaller things, like getting the equipment for climbing the mast together and figuring out a good jibe preventer setup, etc, etc.  When I start getting setup for offshore sailing my list will grow again, but that can wait for a while.  I'll be doing coastal sailing this summer, and the boat is setup for that.

Time to sail more!  If it was a 80/20 rule before, with 80% of the time spent doing projects and 20% sailing, it should be something more like a 60/40 rule now, with 60% going sailing.

Finally!  Its a sailboat not a project.  Lets go sailing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celestial Navigation!

I attended a celestial navigation course at Windworks over the April 10th weekend.  Everybody knows that celestial navigation is used to figure out where you are when your at sea, right?  You use the sextant to measure an angle and then do a bunch of math and voila, now you know where you are!

I understood that overview but never really understood what was really going on.  Now I know!

A general overview of celestial navigation is really pretty easy.  Don't be confused by my description - its probably much easier than it sounds!

All sailors should know how to do simple navigation.  One of the easy things to do when sailing around coastlines is to get a fix for where you are by taking three bearings to landmarks.  For example, if you know roughly where you are, look at a chart to pick three things you will be able to see.  A lighthouse, a radio tower and the end of a point of land.  Go onto deck with a hand bearing compass and record the bearings to each of these three marks.  Then go back to your chart and draw lines from the marks along the bearings you measured and the three lines will cross in some small area - that's where you are.

Celestial navigation is basically the same thing.  The most basic form is where you pick three stars which will be visible and arranged around the horizon roughly equally.  Then you go up on deck with your sextant and take a measurement and record the time.  With some basic math (addition and subtraction) and table lookups, you can then end up with three lines of position (LOPs) which will intersect in a small area.  The area of intersection is where you are.  Its the same as for taking a fix with a compass but with more math.

Its pretty cool.

For a star, the basic idea is that the stars have well known positions in the sky at any particular time.  This can all be found by looking it up in tables and doing a little math.  After doing this math you end up with the geographic position of the star at that exact time - essentially the point on earth which is directly below the star right then.  The next step is to assume that you are at some point, your assumed position.  This can be done by estimating where you think you are by dead reckoning.  If you're far out its ok, that will be fixed a little bit later.  Now comes the magic of the sight reduction tables.  Given the geographic position of a star, and your assumed position you can easily calculate a bearing to the star and its exact expected height above your horizon.  That part of the calculation is mainly done as table lookups and is a little magic.

So what you do is pick a star (or three) from the tables which you want to measure.  Then go onto deck and find the star and then measure the angle between it and the horizon with the sextant.  A sextant really only does one thing - it measures angles very precisely.  When you measure the angle you also record the time.  Then you make an assumption for where you think you are and do the calculation to find where the star was expected to be at that exact time.  Once that is done, you have two angles: the height of the star where it was expected to be and the height of the star in reality.  The difference between these two angles relates to how far away from your assumed point you are.

Hold your arm up for this next part: if the height of the star was expected to be 45 deg above the horizon (hold your arm out at 45 degrees) but was measured to be 30 degrees (slide your arm down to 30 degrees) then: are you closer or further away from the geographic position of the star?  After a bit of thought and repeated arm gestures, the answer comes: you are further away!  If the angle measured was greater than the expected angle then you are closer to the star's geographic position than you thought.

So almost done now.  You have an assumed position and a bearing to the star at the exact time you measured the star.  Draw a line on a chart from where you are to the star.  Now adjust your assumed point toward or away from the star by the amount corresponding to the difference in the two angles (the computed angle and the measured angle.)  Make a mark on the chart at that point.  For example, given your assumed position, the bearing to the star (its azimuth) might be 230 degrees and you are 3.5 miles further away - so put a new mark at that point.  You aren't at that point, that would be too easy.  So what does that point indicate?

To understand what you just did, think of a streetlight.  The geographic position of the streetlight is the point just below the light (for a star its the point directly below the star, for a streetlight, the point directly below the streetlight.)  Now pretend you measured an angle of 45 degrees from where you are to the streetlight.  If all you know is where the streetlight is and that angle, what it tells you is that you can be anywhere on a circle of a calculated radius out from the streetlight.  The one angle won't tell you where you are, but you can draw a circle around the light and you are somewhere on that circle.  If you do the same thing again for a second streetlight you will have two circles which intersect.  If you add a third streetlight and measure the angle to it, compute the radius you have three circles which intersect in a small area - that's where you are!  That's what's going on with our star sights - we use three stars, measure the angles, calculate their position and expected heights and then figure out where we are.

So back to the mark on the chart we made.  We moved toward or away from our assumed position by the amount corresponding to the difference in the computed and measured angle.  That gave us a point on the chart.  Now draw a perpendicular line, a line at a right angle to that point and azimuth and draw a new line.  We are somewhere along this line, the line is a line of position.  To be exact, we should draw a small portion of a circle with the stars geographic position at its center - but that circle is so large for us that on the chart in front of us the little portion of the circle looks like a line.  So just draw a line.

So we have a line on the chart and we're somewhere along that line.  This is exactly the same as the coastal situation where we took a bearing to a lighthouse, drew that line on the chart and knew we were somewhere along that line.  If you do the same thing two more times with two more stars you get two more lines of position which will intersect in a small triangle, and that will be our fix.  We used the stars to figure out where we were on earth.  Cool!

You can also use the sun, moon or four of the planets for the fixes.

Celestial navigation is simply to use these bodies to calculate lines of position on a chart.  If you draw three lines of position you have a fix and know where you are.  In hindsight this all seems pretty obvious.  Everybody knows that's how it works, right?

Something you might not know: there are only 57 stars used for navigation out of all the billions and billions of stars out there.  Something you do know: stars are really pretty to look at.  Something you might not know: the names and positions of the 57 navigation stars.

I don't yet know where the 57 stars are.  But now I can figure out where any of them will be at some point in time, walk outside, look in that direction and height above the horizon and there it will be.  And that's pretty neat!

I'll be keeping my GPS.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teak oiling: done!

One more thing off of my list: teak oiling the interior.  Luckness' interior looks much better now - which is cool, as she looked pretty sweet before!  I've oiled all of the interior wood.  During the project, which lasted for months, I got better at oiling.  The first surfaces I did don't look as good as the last ones, but its done for now.  Perhaps I'll do some more next winter, perhaps not.

I took a few photos but they don't do justice to it.  Part of it is tactile - you need to feel the new surfaces to really appreciate them.  I was hoping to have this done weeks and weeks ago, but its done now.

This note is for the future Craig who wants a reminder of what worked: clean the wood with a mixture of water/bleach.  Not too much bleach or it will etch the wood in droplet patterns which will need to be wet sanded out.  On the veneer, just clean it and then start oiling.  Three coats of Daly's Seafin seems good.  On the endgrain of the plywood where the core of the plywood is exposed - cupboard openings for example, add a lot of oil as the wood just soaks it up.

On the solid teak: sand with 100 grid, then 150 and lastly 220.  Initially sand until you get to clean wood, then sand to smooth out any imperfections.  Add three coats with a day to dry between each coat.  Then add one last coat and wet sand with 600 grid paper.  If the wood is exposed to the outside (stairs, engine cover, companionway entrance, etc) try another coat - until the wood doesn't soak up any more.

After each coat of oil, wait 15 minutes and wipe it off with a rag.  Once the wood has had enough oil it will start to draw out of it slowly.  So for the last coat, stay around and every 1/2 hour or so wipe the surface down again.  Keep doing this until there are no fresh drops on the surfaces.  If you don't wait around and wipe the surfaces clean after the wood has had enough, it will dry with little shiny droplets on the surface.

Next up: removing old sound deadening and adding new to the engine compartment.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Safety at sea

I attended the Safety at Sea seminar that was held in Seattle over the weekend of February 27th and 28th.  The seminar is held every two years, timed to coincide with the years the Vic-Maui race is held.  The seminar is a requirement for racers who want to race in offshore category races.  Its packed full of information and there were a number of cruisers who attended as well.  There were 110 people on the first day and roughly 85 for the second.

The first day's curriculum was:

  • Introduction.  Discussion of accidents by type on the water and types of accidents
  • Hypothermia, sea sickness and injury prevention
  • Man overboard and development of the life sling
  • Weather essentials
  • Storm sails (by Carol Hasse)
  • Damage control and jury rigging (by Brian Toss)
  • A coast guard helicopter demonstration of a rescue.  A real helicopter, fake victim, real rescue swimmer jumping off the helicopter for the rescue
  • Search and rescue, life rafts
  • A flare demo.  SOLAS flares rock, the normal recreational flares don't
  • Lifejackets, harnesses, tethers
  • Giving assistance to other craft
  • Marine communications
  • Care and maintenance of safety gear
All of the speakers were very knowledgeable and could have spoken on their topics for much longer than the time they were allotted.  It was an interesting day.

The second day included a pool session where you practiced getting into a life raft and other fun stuff all with full foul weather gear on and your life jacket.  Unfortunately I was only an observer during this session as it was full, so I didn't earn my ISAF certification for the session.  No offshore racing for me this year!  Offshore cruising is allowed :-)

The second day sessions had four streams, with three or four sessions happening at once (depending on the overlap with the pool sessions.)  Some of the sessions were duplicated so you could make sure you could see one where others were only held once - you had to make choices for what you saw.  The sessions I saw were:

  • Sail maintenance and repair, Carol Hasse
  • When a storm strokes a fleet: learning lessons, Dr Paul Miller
  • Cruisers round table
  • Installation and tuning tips, Brian Toss
  • Fire extinguisher demo
  • Pool observer
It was a pretty worthwhile weekend, lots of good information was passed along and I have many notes and links to follow up on to explore the topics and related material in more detail

Monday, February 22, 2010

Building skills - more single handing!

I ended up with a few extra days off to make a long long weekend: Feb 19th to 22nd.  My original plan was to leave on a single handed trip for the duration.  As the date approached I realized that I have had little experience on the boat by myself and that a more gradual building up of skills isn't a bad idea.  So I had a change of plans.

Friday I went out all day on the boat by myself - it was great.  By now I've left the docks and gotten back to them by myself enough to be (foolishly?) confident.  Its still a little nerve wracking but its familiar.  I left the docks in the morning and headed south through the breakwater.  The autopilot came in very handy - I turned it on in the breakwater while going slow to remove fenders and lines.  Once out of the breakwater I headed up into the wind, engaged the autopilot and raised the sails.  The winds were light, 5-10 from the north.  The boat moved well, the seas were light, the skies were blue - it was a great day out on the water.  The autopilot was only used as a second hand when needed.  If I wanted to adjust a line at the mast I could engage the autopilot while I moved around the boat doing what I needed.  The auto tack feature isn't working properly yet, the controller needs some adjustment.  But tacking while standing in front of the helm and turning the wheel is just fine.  I headed north into the wind until around 3:15 at which point I turned around and headed back.  Again the autopilot was very valuable when taking the sails down and putting the fenders and lines back on.  I shouldn't rely on it as it could fail one day - but for now I'll be using it.  I got back at around 5pm, docking in 1-2 knots of wind.  Beautiful.

Saturday was pretty much a repeat of friday.  The winds were pretty much the same all day and I got to around the same turn around point.  There were more boats out on Saturday so it was fun to measure my boat to others as we tacked north and ran south.  I got smoked by a few boats while heading north and then passed another heading south.  Its not a race!  And Luckness is not a race boat, but she's fun to sail.

On Sunday the winds were calm and I worked on various projects rather than going out.  Monday was even more calm and I got some more things done on the boat.

Its a lot of fun to sail with others, and I like to learn what I can from them in whatever ways I can.  When sailing single handed however, I find myself becoming familiar with sailing in a different way.  Certainly being on the helm all day gives me more hours of sailing than with a larger crew, but the experience I'm gaining is more than simply more hours at the helm.  Being out sailing by yourself seems attractive to me.  I may change my tune when I'm out sailing alone and the winds pick up to 30kts or more and things get busy.  But for now, I'm really enjoying my time out on the water, alone or with others.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Light wind winter sailing

Luckness has been out sailing in February several times.  Winter in Seattle is rumored to have strong south winds all winter.  I've heard that winter is the best time to sail locally, as in summer the winds are light and inconsistent.  Winter sailing is real sailing.  Winter sailing around Puget Sound rocks.  This is my first winter owning my own boat and having the opportunity (now that I'm only working on the boat during the week) to sail on the weekends.

We were out on three weekends in February.  

Feb 6th and 7th Joe, Tim, Ivy and I left Shilshole to visit Port Orchard for a night.  There was a little work remaining to do on my anchor chain connection so I choose to not anchor out - the system was usable but I wanted to finish off a detail.  So we all left at 9am Saturday morning hoping for a nice winter sail - and were presented with blue skies and light wind.  We sailed for a while, barely making headway against the various currents until we had to start motoring.  We arrived at 4pm and were the only boat in the guest docks at the marina until 5pm when one other boat arrived.  Its a nice destination.  The town has a couple places to eat, a few bars, coffee, a bakery, etc.  We hit a few bars, played some pool, etc.  The next day the winds were just as light and the skies just as blue.  We made a stop at Bremerton marina to get some more coffee into our systems and then headed out again.  We ended up motoring most of the day once again.  As wind paws would appear on the still water we would pull the sails up - and then the motor would come on again when we stopped making progress.

The weekend of the 13th, 14th and 15th Ivy and I set out with a destination of Quartermaster harbor.  Again, we had blue skies and light winds.  We were able to sail most of the way to Blakely harbor where we anchored out.  This harbor is a nice local destination, with good anchoring and views toward Seattle's lights at night.  We were anchored toward the back of the harbor and were a little startled by a low rumbling toward the evening.  Looking out, there was an Argosy ship heading deeper into the harbor, where it get shallow pretty quickly.  They did a back and fill to turn around and then headed back out.  The boat must have been rented and the captain was giving his guests a tour while he was practicing his skills.  Cool.  There was one other boat in the anchorage all evening.

The next day we were able to sail most of the way to Quartermaster harbor, motoring the last hour or so in order to arrive before it was too dark.  It was a beautiful peaceful night at anchor - we were the only boat in the harbor at anchor!  Home made pizza for dinner - this isn't exactly like camping where you need to rough it eating freeze dried with bugs.

On monday we motored out of the harbor through fog into clear air to find no wind - flat calms.  We motored back getting there around 4pm.  Lunch time found us around the top of Bainbridge were we powered down to watch the views while we ate.

All the new systems on the boat worked well.  The new furnace kept us very warm and doesn't draw enough power to be a problem while at anchor for a few days.  A better test of the power draw will come when we have better winds and don't motor as much which ends up charging the batteries.  The windlass is great, the autopilot works well.

The downside for the two weekends was that there wasn't much wind.  There were a lot of upsides - sailing slowly or motoring with good company during warm days with blue skies in February is not such a bad thing!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sailing to/from Port Ludlow

Luckness went sailing January 23rd and 24th!  I had organized a small crew: Ivy, David, Jeff and myself hoping that the boat would be ready.  We were joining five other boats as part of the Windworks fleet's January Chowder Run which Jeff Moog has been organizing for years.  In the end, the outfitting to the boat wound up on friday the 22nd, Terry and I moved the boat through the locks to my slip in Shilshole that evening, I spent some time cleaning, installing cushions, getting rid of tools and project materials and had the boat ready for boarding Saturday morning.  Saturday came along and we went for a sail!

It was really nice to be out on the water again.  The sail out to Port Ludlow was a day with light winds, sailing downwind north in a light south wind.  My Crealock 37 is a pretty good light air boat, which has been something of a surprise to me.  Looking at the numbers for the boat, with a displacement/length ratio of 338 you would think she wouldn't move in anything less than a gale - but I'm continually surprised that I can sail in light winds.  Its really nice.

Of the six boats that sailed out to Port Ludlow, we were the only one that sailed all the way.  One other, Limu, pretty much did the same only turning on their engine for 20min or so toward the end.  Part of this is probably related to how long I had been off the water and how much I wanted to sail rather than motor.  We arrived last, just after the sunset - it was a beautiful light air sunny day on the water.

The sail back was also a lot of fun.  We were the last to leave the docks at Port Ludlow, and were sailing south into south winds of maybe 10 knots - seeing up to 18 apparent across the deck.  The boat loves these conditions.  We were also sailing south into an ebb current of 3 knots at its peak and so we were not making good progress toward our destination.

As the winds started to fall I decided to put the staysail out - it helped a little in boat speed and it looks good having all the sails up!

Through some poor planning (leaving too late!) we ended up toward the south end of Whidbey Island at around maximum ebb at 3:15 on a day when the sun set at 4:58 with many miles to go to Shilshole.  We ended up turning on the engine and motoring back from there.

It was really nice to be back on the water.  Some of the people on the other boats took pictures of us, some of which are included below.  Thanks to everybody for a good time!

These first three pictures are from Jeff Moog on Angelique.  The first two are of Luckness leaving Shilshole and then there is the group photo from Sunday.

These last four images are from Rob Johnston.  Rob is a professional photographer as well as a sailor, and probably a bunch of other labels.  He has had his images published on magazine covers!  He was kind enough to allow me to use his images on my site.  See his originals at:

Check out Rob's other images at:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Luckness out of the shop

Luckness has been at YachtFitters since Oct 23rd.  Everything was finished off on January 22nd, in time for a weekend sail I had planned.  Originally the stay at YachtFitters was going to be much shorter, but one thing led to another and a few of the items took much longer to finish than anybody expected.  The goal of this round of work was to outfit Luckness to be comfortable cruising locally, all year around.

Most of the days the boat was "in the shop" I tried to get down either briefly during the day or in the evening.  Weekends were mostly spent working on the boat.  Exceptions were the holidays of course.

The list of projects completed during this three month period is something like the following.  Items not labelled as (Craig) were done by YachtFitters (Terry and Justin.)  The list is something like the following:
  • Install Webasto AT 3900 diesel forced air furnace.  The furnace is working and is providing great heat.  The installation is nice - very little space was lost but good heat is  being provided to the boat
  • Install Raymarine auto pilot with wireless remote.  The bulkhead where the linear drive is mounted in the engine compartment was strengthened.  I've lost something like 5 degrees of rudder travel on each end due to the distance the linear drive can travel and how it attaches to the 10 inch tiller arm on the rudder post.
  • Install a new Lighthouse 1501 windlass.  I changed my mind from an earlier selection of a Maxwell vertical windlass.  The Lighthouse was my aspirational choice originally which I toned down by going for the more moderate Maxwell.  In the end, I sprang for the Lighthouse.  Its awesome.
  • Install a new fuel tank
These were the big four items, along with those there are many smaller projects I worked on and that I had YachtFitters work on.

The fuel tank project was on the list as there have been reports of the aluminum tanks corroding over time and starting to leak.  The plan was to remove, inspect and seal the original tank and get it back into the boat.  I'm lucky in that Pacific Seacraft has designed my boat in such a way that the fuel tank can be easily removed.  After the tank was cleaned up and inspected we discovered that it was in worse shape than we thought.  I'm glad that we pulled the tank, it was getting close to its end of life and would have started leaking within a short period of time.  We ordered a new tank from the original builder and received a short estimate for when to expect it - 2 weeks.  It ended up arriving Jan 11th, after about 8 weeks.

The other long lead item was the windlass.  It turned out that the Lighthouse factory was moving to Texas and this caused a delay in our receiving the parts.  We finally received all the windlass parts on Jan 12th.  Less than two weeks after receiving all the equipment for this round of work, it was all installed and everything was finished off.  Thanks to Terry, Justin, Jeff and others for getting it all done in time for a scheduled sail!

Some of the other projects I had done are:
  • Cleaned up headliner around the bow hatch by installing a teak trim.  The forward hatch had been leaking. It was removed, cleaned, and reinstalled properly.  The teak trim added cleans up the headliner completely, and the same trim was installed around the hatch in the main salon for symmetry
  • Cut the anchor locker in to one large space and a small space that could be used or spares or other infrequently used equipment.  The old anchor locker was unsuitable for my primary anchor rode as the chain would castle when retrieved.  The new locker has the chain fall into a much more open space and where it used to castle 4 or 5 times when retrieving the whole 300', I am now able to raise it with only one adjustment to the pile.  This is an improvement.  I'll get more experience of this as I cruise more this year
  • Created a new fiberglass pad for the Lighthouse windlass to be installed on.  This involved widening the existing windlass pad.  The new pad looks original, very nice.  Sealed an old deck pipe hole which ran into the anchor locker.  The hole was in the way of the new pad.  There is no visible clue there was a hole in the deck where the old deck pipe was
  • Fixed some cracking in the fiberglass around the bow hawse pipes which allowed leaks into the anchor locker.  There was also a crack in the fiberglass around the rudder post in the cockpit which allowed water into the cockpit locker and onto the quadrant, this was also fixed
  • Constructed a new panel above the steering quadrant to replace old flimsy plywood.  The new setup has freed up some unused space behind the quadrant which I now have access to from the cockpit lockers
  • Replaced all the fresh water hose in the boat (Craig)
  • Replaced all the portlight gaskets.  They passed the pressure washer test (Craig)
  • Installed a saltwater foot pump in the galley
  • Installed a new fresh water pump.  The new pump is quiet and does not need an accumulator (Craig)
  • Installed Dri-dek to the propane locker base as well as the interior cabinets (Craig)
  • Improved the storage setup for the removable inner forestay
  • Installed a new VHF radio (Icom 604)
  • Installed my previously bought AIS equipment (Smart Radio SR 162G receiver and Vesper Marine WatchMate display).  I used to carry this equipment in a small bag I created for use on boats I chartered (Yachtfitters and Craig.)
  • Cleaned up the wiring behind the instrument panel to make it all clean.  Wire NMEA 0183 output from my GPS to the ICOM 604 so it has location information.  Wire the NMEA 0183 from the AIS receiver to the display.  It turns out that these two networks are different speeds and the AIS receiver with built in GPS isn't able to feed the ICOM.  The ICOM wanted a slow baud rate (4800) not the faster AIS network (38,400) (Craig)
  • Installed a WASI Powerball anchor swivel between my chain and Rocna anchor (Craig)
  • Install two Wichard folding pad eyes in cockpit.  One on forward bulkhead beside engine instruments, one on aft bulkhead, between your legs as you stand at the helm
  • Bought a new 10lb propane tank.  The mounting bracket for it is ordered.  This will give me two tanks, one 20lb, one 10lb
  • Added a Perko bronze pump strainer to my manual bilge pump.  It had injested little pieces of 'stuff' on two earlier occasions causing the pump to stop working.  I'm hoping this no longer happens
  • Added engine panel cover
  • Had an acrylic companionway board be made (the middle of three)
  • Install new 12volt outlet in main salon
  • Took Genoa to Schattauer Sails to be repaired (Craig)
  • Constructed a small block to help lock the anchor in place while underway
  • Started to apply fresh teak oil to the interior (Craig)
There are some other small things, but that was enough to keep us pretty busy.

I hope to finish the interior by working on teak oil projects during the week, leaving weekends free for sailing.  After the teak oil, I would like to improve the sound deadening in the engine compartment.  The cabin sole needs fresh varnish.  This summer I'll need to work on the exterior varnish.  The outhaul needs improvement as it can not be trimmed while under load.

...but I'm starting to get down to the end of my project list.  At least until I start equipping the boat for blue water, which is a whole new list!