Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer is halfway

With summer well into the halfway point and this year being a very busy one with work (just started with this company in Feb 2014) which has had a direct impact in my time on board.
I have been installing satellite systems for Bell express VU.
Work is busy and steady which will help the kitty more but my time on the boat is suffering.
I miss sailing the weekends away even if I am just sitting in the cockpit with a coffee.  There was always something to do on my boat always on other boats and just chatting and talking dock stuff.
Retirement cant come fast enough now, only 10 years to go sooner if I sell the house and head out and see the world from the cockpit of my boat.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vacation plans

Planning out vacation time in advance is a spring time thing and this year as luck would have it my time off falls on two of the three big holidays this year. May 24 weekend and Canada day. I will be working the weekend of labour day but will have the weekdays off after which still works for me, as anytime out is good time. 
May 24 is a three day weekend and I am going to be heading to Leek island this year which is located on the thousand islands area for the first night and then heading to navy bay for day two with a side trip to Kingston to see family for dinner. Day three is back to the marina for a dinner BBQ party and then waking up having coffee and breakfast, followed with a good cleanup inside and then a wash down of the entire boat. Back to house for dinner and getting ready for work the next day. 
Canada day is going to be great this year as I am planning to do a night sail to Toronto for the fire works. We'll be on the hook at Toronto island and then heading back home over the next three days for a total of five days. Well that's the plan but time will tell and it could also just be a great reach to Main Duck Island and just veg out for a few days walk around the island, check out the light house and maybe bury another geocache.
 A windward day to ram island is another favorite as well. 
Kerr bay another great hangout usually a few boats there BBQing and swimming as is Stella bay. 
I guess were lucky to have a few great choices right by our home port that are a easy day sail and also offer good protection. Rounding Amherst Island is another great but long days sail, maybe Wolfe Island will be on the list this year as an weekend adventure.One thing for sure is i'm planning to put some serious mileage under the keel this year.
Commissioning the boat will be a full weekend for sure and that happens the week prior to launch weekend. 
Some of the upgrades this year include standing rigging finished, all small stays are done and waiting to be installed, Last year the main side stays back stay and fore stay rigging was done with the install of the furler.
Mast work this summer will include a complete re-wiring and new VHF antenna and cable, Mast head light, wind vane, wind speed added as well. spreader lights have been upgraded and just need to be installed as does the steaming light.
I found these red and white individual LED lights and will be placing them inside the cabin area, galley, head, wet locker, fore peak and quarter berth. Outside in the cockpit will have two installed both by the sole at opposite ends to light up for foot traffic at night. two of each will be placed into the tube of the dodger and pointing down to give full illumination of the cockpit when required. 
Combing boxes are to be marked off and installed this season glassed in and then a kiwi grip finish over the whole deck and cockpit.
Every year I just keep adding to the list of things to do on the boat and almost as fast strike them off the list.
Galley is getting propane piped to the stove so that will reduce the small one pound tanks on board to a big 20lb tank mounted on the stern with a splitter to the new Magna rail mount.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Be prepared to direct your rescue!

this thread is VERY IMPORTANT for anyone trying to sail very far offshore:  Be prepared to direct your rescue!

1.  Do not call for a rescue unless you are REALLY sinking, or dying.

2.  Before #1, do NOT try to sail a long time offshore unless you REALLY have the crew ready to do it.   This generally disqualifies a husband and wife team.
The rigors of 24 X 7 X 30 + days? of life threatening physical efforts are too much for most people.   This effort will drain you both to the point that you are quickly no longer able to handle what you could normally handle successfully.   So, have a total crew of at least 4 people for a roughly 50 footer.   Even then, this will be a serious challenge, so make sure this crew is comprised of strong, able, capable, experienced people.

3.  If you are sinking or someone is dying, and have chosen to abandon ship, be aware that the transfer of people from a pleasure craft to a large freighter / tanker is a very dangerous undertaking.   VERY DANGEROUS.
Which is again why you MUST comply with #1, because abandoning ship and transferring to a big mother of a vessel, can EASILY kill you.  
So.....   here you go:

A.  Since you can not transfer from your boat directly to the rescue vessel, (because your boat will probably be smashed to pieces and easily squish you), the better idea is to transfer to something more mobile, and ideally rubber / pliable, like a dinghy, a life pod, or as many life preservers as you can put together.   Your goal is to create a new boat, but one which will not be destroyed by colliding with the freighter / tanker /rescue boat.
Bring paddles, bring any communication devices you might have - portable VHF, or a SAT phone; flares, water, cigarettes...  ( just in case you are addicted, to be prepared for hours of floating / drifting), if you can, in the order I have listed.

B.  Communicate with the rescue vessel about your plan to abandon ship by transferring to your dinghy or Life pod or life preserver barge and would appreciate it if they would approach you such that you are DOWNWIND of them.   You want to be downwind, since they will block the wind, which will facilitate them throwing life buoys to you as opposed to them trying to throw life buoys INTO the wind!

C.  Get into your transfer vessel, and caste off from your sinking boat.

D.  Keep in communication with your rescuer, and using your paddle(s) help to position yourself to be able to catch the buoy they throw at you. 

E.  Be patient, stay calm, stay warm, stay ONBOARD your new boat until you really have a secure line secured to you to pull yourself & crew onboard / up to their deck.

The concept that the rescuer should be downwind of you is invalid, since the wind will not blow you to them unless they will REALLY come to a complete STOP in the water - otherwise, they will go right past you well before you can get to them.   Believe me, that is true.

The worst thing which can happen is that you end up in the water.   That is why you want to leave your sinking vessel by transferring to something you have which will float and will be pliable, i.e., a RIBBY, a dinghy, a lifepod, or ALL of your life preservers TIED TOGETHER.  

Direct your rescue.   It is MOST important to you, not your rescuer, keep that in mind.    :-)

Captain Doug
S/V Triumph


This is an audio of the rescue.

The following link is to sailnet where there are over 1300 pages dedicated to this.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winter setting in

With the cold winter starting to set in for another season on the hard, a reflection of the summer comes to mind of where, what, who come to mind.
What happened over the last sailing season, Ron and Lauren joined us this year in their Catalina 25 called Y-Knot also another younger fella Darrin bought in with his Annapolis 26 and had lots of questions about sailing and handling, rigging and a day sail with him started him on the right track .

Boats were repaired and tuned up, furlers were installed on a few this year and three were rebuilt on the dock. The crew at the marina is second to none, full of ideas on how to, and then do show you how its done.
Some upgrades at the marina were also done, Gary and I did some electrical outlets and rewired the pumpout dock along with power to the west section which has not been working for the last year.
we had a great turnout  on wednesday night rounding the poles with an average of four boats each week but the party always had at least 35 people joining in the fun and burgers, with happy hour being stretched to hours.
Projects are being planned out for the winter months which will be wiring upgrades and looking at a hard top dodger and an arch for the solar panels and a possible wind generator.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekend run

Out with a few friends over the weekend and the wind was up around 10-15 knots gusting to 20 ish. 
Gary on the stick I was on foresail and Ron was snapping pictures. 
Ron got a picture of us a few days before while we out and want me this 
A shot of us as we came by to see how Ron and Lauren were doing. 
Kami also got a pic of the drifter as we were on a run the weekend prior
A good couple weekends of sailing and hanging with friends 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Xantrex Charger/Inverter installed

So I went out and got a new xantrex charger inverter 1000watt.
Some info for you to read on is in the included links here;
Data Sheet
Owners guide
Installation Manual

For my boat I had to install it in my battery electrical compartment. This also meant some cleanup of the existing wiring the previous owners had left behind.
No biggy as this was also on the list of to do's and getting it properly arranged so the feeder from the switch actually did do the power feed was top of the list.
after removing all the extra single feeds I then made a power distribution feed and connected all power here. Grounding was also set up the same so everything is grounded to one place.
The feeder was set up in two lines
1) internal components on one feed which is controlled by the panel
2) external components on one feed.which is the radio, GPS and autopilot
So now when I shut down power everything is off.\
The only exception is auto bilge pump which is direct to house system and has the panels hooked into them as well for continuous power supply.

The second issue was the shore power and that needed to be rewired as it was done improperly and only powered one side on the main disconnect, so now we have two full 15 amp circuits drawing on a 30 amp system.
If you remember this is the solar panel kit I bought in 2010 which I has hastily installed and wired two summers ago which I properly re installed and wired through an MPPT controller.
Now the panels are putting out just over 75 watts of power with a continuous 7 amp charge which really handles all the power needs when on the hook.
I can run my power cooler all day with minimal drain on the system, I shut it down at night when cooler out and it is not being opened for atleast 8 hours.

The new main sail cover has been made for the boat and it looks awesome, Thanks to Barb Harrison who custom made this for me. Cost was 300 and is very reasonable... Pictures and close ups next post.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

long over due

Long time has passed by so some updates are in need.
The furler is installed
the new sails are on the boat
did a full clean up in the interior, marine cetol was used on all the wood
lines were replaced, new sail cover has been ordered and will be ready next week.
Kami and I spent the day cleaning and reorganizing inside and out, removing items that were not used or needed. Slimming down what is inventoried and carried onboard made a big difference to space as well.
Electronics were tested, some wire management will be in order over the next few weeks.
Also I will have the dodger remade over the winter and am looking for a new anchor.
Bow roller is being picked up tomorrow while we are in kingston and I will see if it can be installed while on vacation during the next week.
The BBQ needs to be replaced with a larger grill and propane as well. The charcoal is just too small and has a habit of dying out prior to fully cooking the dinner.
The go pro was picked up and I am playing with it while sailing.