Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Second Page

   When I started this blog way back in Tennessee and needed to come up with a title,  our dream of owning and cruising on a catamaran (two hulls) was an influence for choosing the name and I came up with "Page Two", kinda like the next step, you know, turn the page. We were planning on naming the boat we hadn't even owned yet, PAGE TWO. Then we bought PAINKILLER (single hull) which left us staring at a new "cover" of the next book, or page. It did not deter us from digging in and devouring that "first page" of our new book which is in it's entirety from the beginning of this blog, all those months prior to the very last blog entry you see about completing Boo Boo's Spars. Let's call ALL that page one. Now let's move on ...

                                              Rock Harbor, Eluethra

   This picture was taken today while I was filling water jugs for our water tanks 15 days into the second page. Let me re-cap the page for you. We finally pulled the Velcro free from Velcro Beach, Florida on Sunday the 15th of March and motored our way south in the inter-coastal waterway towards Lake Worth Inlet. We arrived there Monday night and anchored right at the exit point of the inlet prepared to leave an hour or two before dawn so we could make a landfall at Great Sale Cay in the Bahama's before 10:00PM that day.

  Crossing the Gulf Stream is nothing to shake a stick at. Although we had great calm weather and knew we'd just be motoring across in calm conditions, at least for the next few days, the butterflies or jeebees taking PAINKILLER out for her first trip offshore with us left us a little jumpy, so when before dawn a bunch of flashing lights and small boats interrupted our very close proximity, we hesitated picking up the hook and heading out. Lo and behold, the bow of a very large vessel creeps into the inlet and shows itself as the very largest personal motor yacht I have ever seen, then it stops, It stops cold in the channel right where we are about to exit. It then turns/pivots right there in the middle of the inlet and aims it's bow towards us and the very little space of a side channel. Then it creeps very slowly into our vicinity and we stare in awe of it's size and where in the hell could it be going, it stops again, Then out of the darkness comes a huge tanker screaming into the inlet just behind the motor yacht  doing at least 7 knots. It seemed to make sense to us at that point, that this monstrous motor yacht had to get out of the way of this tanker coming in. Not so. The yacht kept coming into this tiny channel while the little flashing light boats danced around it while it made less than 1 knot trying to avoid the channel markers and the likes of us, an anchored boat just outside the channel. As it creeps past us in its utter monstrosity of opulance we consider raising anchor and leaving as ..what? another one? A second large yacht comes around the corner towing a tender almost the size of our PAINKILLER. We watch in awe as these vessels slowly make their way to who knows where being led by lots of flashing lights. Just before daylight, we lift the hook and head out onto the first page. Let's call all this, the first sentence.

                                                    Mangrove Cays

  Pretty uneventful crossing the Gulf stream that day so we decided to anchor at Mangrove Cay just before dark as the conditions were very calm. The picture above was the sunrise of the following day. Another day of motoring brought us to anchor at Hawksbill Cays where we still did not officially "enter" the Bahama's.

                                                        Hawksbill Cays

   Next day we anchored off Green Turtle Cay and officially entered the Bahamas after paying a $300 entry fee which includes a fishing licence, damn sure better. Spent a couple of nights and moved on towards Marsh Harbor trying to catch up with some friends who had left Vero Beach the day before us. We did not go into the Marsh Harbor anchorage, instead we chose an isolated clean, quiet place called Matte Lowes and chilled for another couple of days swimming and finished  cleaning the bottom of the hull. A friend Pete, the dive guy at Vero, wasn't happy with my two day notice to do the bottom so he dissed me. Oh well, what can I say, he helped Vicky and I in numerous other ways all through our stay at Vero.. I did the prop and some of the easier hull myself before I left Vero and continued to finish it along the way. Got it done here at Matt Lowe.

  We made contact with the friends ahead of us and boogied over to Hope Town where we anchored outside and dingyed in for bread, milk and to top up our diesel jugs, then we had our first "sail" with PAINKILLER down to Little Harbor. The water was thin and the channel narrow in quite a few places so I did not have the guts to shut off the engine while sailing, although it was in neutral for the 4 hour sail. We anchored next to our friends but had no time to visit as we both planned to cross the New Providence Channel to Eluethra before first light in the morning. There was "no" wind the following morning and we both motored and fished our way to the old pirate hangout Royal Island.

  With a strong cold front coming we casually hung out and explored this very well protected harbor until it hit the second night. All the boats in the anchorage spent a good two hours in their cockpits from 12:20 AM to about 2:30 AM hoping we didn't have our anchor break free as three other boats had happen to them. Makes for exiting times in the middle of the night blowing, raining and gusting like stink while hearing others who didn't fair that well yelling and somewhat cursing at their boats as they clash together in a storm. Fun stuff!

  The next day we had favorable winds and after negotiating Current Cut we sailed without engine to Pineapple Cays. Our very first "real sail" on PAINKILLER and we kicked ass with all three of the other boats that were making the same trip south. She likes some 18 to 20 knots of wind, that's for sure! The next morning our friends moved on, for they are looking to get through the Windward Passage and move on towards Jamacia and Panama for this season. We have no such gripping plans, so sat out another day in a beautiful anchorage. We were the last of three boats to leave the next morning and with only 20 something miles to Rock Harbor we never started the engine in the morning and "sailed" off the hook for a leisurely sail in light winds. We made anywhere from 3 to 6 knots throughout the day and I never lost my patience and started the motor until we rounded the corner up into the harbor. We sailed here and are anchored off  Rock Harbor Settlement. We are truly on the second page now.

                                       Rock Harbor Anchorage



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Boo Boo's Spars

Updated ...
All I want for Christmas is a Dyer sailing dingy, I said out loud half in jest to a friend at the marina, he got on his phone and I heard him say, "you still have that Dyer dingy for sail, how much? He looked at me and said $300 about 4 miles from here. I told Vicky and off we all went. A 1991 Dyer Midget sailing dingy minus the lower mast section, the boom and sail and oar locks. It came with the upper yard (to the mast), the complete rudder, daggerboard and a set of oars. I snatched it.

Once I glued up some straight grained fir that I bought at the local lumber store I brought it to shore to my makeshift shop, the concert picnic table behind the cruisers lounge and laundry. After squaring up the stock for the round mast with hand planes I drew out a taper for the upper two thirds of the mast.

With this very crude but simple jig I was able to draw lines that tapered the "square" to the desired top dimension, 1 3/4". The base is 2 1/2"

Next is to cut the corners off, making 8 sides to the spar staying away from the lines. It was very tough using a jig saw for this operation, but a man's got to use as best he can what a man "has" to use.

Certainly not the greatest bench, but enough. The scenery was excellent and the distractions from cruisers were many, but I got by.

 I then carefully planed all eight sides to an even width right to the lines. This gave me the taper I wanted and much closer to the "round" I wanted. I'm sure I could have come up with a way to draw lines on all eight sides again for a perfect 16 sided spar but I chose to knock down the 8 high spots by eyeball with the hand plane.

It was definitely close enough with 16 sides to dig right in with the truly grunt hand work, sanding against the grain with a cut opened belt sander pad. I think it was 50 grit.

Then of course some proper sanding down with the grain to bring to finish.

With the fitting and shaping of the mast step I was ready to move onto the rectangular boom. 

My crude but effective set up to use a round-over bit for the boom and an evening beverage for a good day work.

The oak jaws on the boom were pretty straight forward other than I had riveted the end prior to getting the bronze fitting, which is held in place with nothing "but" the rivet, so I had to re-rivet twice.

Prettying it up with the leather work and we are just about done. I also made a couple of teak cleats for the mast and boom, threw on a few coats of varnish ...

... spliced some rope work to complete the running rigging. I had bought a new sail from Dyer along with the proper bronze fittings I was missing, but they sent me the wrong part which caused a very long delay leaving me frustrated not being able to set the sail.

The parts finally came in and I hurried to rivet on the yard hook strap eye with the two inch copper nails.

Christmas came very late for me this past year but worth every minute I had to build the missing parts.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Few Things Been Happening

Had a brain fart for an easy no see-um screen for our Lewmar ports. Cut out Styrofoam and stitched the screen to it ....worked awesome.
 Fits right in there and am able to remove from inside when the rain cometh.
 Had some hands on sea food and found a mudder ....Oh Well!
 Have been digging in to the electronics of wind power to make better.
 Bought a new tender for the boat that can row as well as motor and sail. Dyer Dow.
 Need to secure the oars from theft so I went on to build a home made version of Edsons oar clamps that cost a wee to much money. 

 I think this lock is going to be down right pretty when it's set on the thwart of that Dyer. Below is tyhe the new future mast and boom to said Dyer dingy because .....I have a few things in the kettle these days.
 And of course there is always time to admire boats that I think I wish I owned....here is a 1970 William Atkin's designed ketch that blows me away for beauty and form!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Been Plenty Busy

   Just haven't felt like writing about it, or taking pictures and posting. I've been in a nasty funk lately, as our canvas guy has delayed our departure by weeks. I've turned a new attitude and am taking every day as a blessing. There are many worse places we could be than Vero Beach City Marina mooring field.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Living Off The Hook

Not to long ago on the Pearson 424 forum that I hang out at, someone asked if there was any information or drawings, or possible "who" fabricated the anchor platform that was offered to Pearson owners when having a new boat built.

Nobody had any concrete answers, so I offered to the gentlemen inquiring that I would give him an accurate detailed drawing that he could have the exact piece reproduced from any competent fabricating shop.

All I had to do was go forward with measuring tape, paper and and pencil. I noted in my drawings (I shared with the forum) that I would add a third or fourth point to stiffen the platform as it seemed to me it having a weak spot with potential heavy loads from getting a stuck anchor off the bottom. Not to mention that mine was bent at least 5 degrees....I never noticed it till I starting measuring for the drawings.

I had some ideas and traded some unwanted stuff at Sailors Exchange in St Augustine, FL for some various bits and pieces of stainless steel hardware that I could fabricate into something to help beef up the platform. A 1/2" U-Bolt was my starting point. The actual finished bracing point saw a few different ways before I settled on a robust 3/8" plate that supports the brace for the anchor platform and offers me a point near the waterline to lead a snubber line for anchoring. After coming up with a definitive plan, I removed the platform and brought it to a local shop to have straightened and weld up my various pieces.

I backed it all up with 12" x 5" shaped block epoxied into the forward stem. Not sure if I would tow my boat at sea in an emergency from this point, but for sure at anchor it will be fine.

I'm thinking this will take a load off my concerns of have an oversize anchor bury itself a little deep and need some persuasion to pop it free.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bomar Cast Alluminum Hatch Rebuild

   After seeing the replacement cost of these old style offshore hatches we actually went and bought three , one step down, Bomar replacements for just over a $1000. After getting the new ones back to the boat we took a closer look at them side by side with the old ones. Wow! We brought the new ones back for a full refund. Let's keep the old ones and rebuild!

   Once started,  the old lens's came right out. A couple of these were leaking and it seemed to me that the lens were at one time cut to big and not given enough room to expand and contract. Should be (I think) about an 1/8" per foot of lens, 2' hatch=1/4". Google it, find out for yourself.

    The dogs came out just as easy with an 1/8" punch and small hammer.

    Very simple construction, a shaft, a dog, couple of pins and a tightening nut.

   Old dry gasket material just as easily came right out.

   Lots of wire scraper, wire brush and sandpaper cleaning  of all surfaces inside and out, it's kinda therapeutic for me, I just love making things better!

   Sorting through all the dog downs, deciding what is worth keeping and or repairing and how many "new" complete kits to buy.
   I filed and tuned up most all the dogs, had to make a few new shafts with material I had at hand ...
   ... to give me one hatch with 4 new bronze and brass studs, one hatch with original aluminum studs that were in good condition and one hatch with all new kits at $35 a kit. That's the one in the galley, used the most.

   Using an old lens re-cut for more clearance, with a router I traced the new stock for a proper fit.

   Zinc Chromate for the bare aluminum and a couple of coats of paint, let dry for a few days and...

    ... mask everything then...clean, clean and be careful of even your fingerprints as handling the new lens ...
   ... lay on the goop for a waterproof shiny new hatch.
I didn't get any pictures of laying in the new gasket. it went simple enough after a thorough cleaning and then clamping the hatches in place for a couple of days.

   A total of about $100 per hatch, what's not to love about that?