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!