Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Inspiration II: Between Christmas and New Year 2015

We are still land based and Inspiration is on-the-hard waiting for the lift crane operators to return from Christmas break. During the pre-Christmas days we went to St. Petersburg to spend Christmas with Martha.  While there we went to marine shops to buy goodies that were our Christmas presents to each other. We left 12/27/14 for GCS.

Today 12/30/14 GCS: We spent the day today running between the Ace Hardware here and Inspiration II:  Needed not so specialty Stainless Steel nuts and bolts.  Wouldn't you know that the last machine bolt to install had a thread issue and was unusable! SAM scraped Cetol and painted Cetol Natural Teak and putty'd in some rough spots on the cap rail fairing. She also re-installed the boarding ladder steps she has been painting with Cetol NT.

The modus operandi  will be to use the 8KW generator to charge the batteries, when off shore power, plus run other high power users at the same limited times.  I may add a modest amount of solar power to minimize generator usage.  I would like enough solar power to run the autopilot and refrig/freezer which should be about a daily 100 A-H as a WAG. This leads me towards 320 watts of solar power (figuring 4 full sun hours equivalent per day--> 100AH/4 H*12VDC nominal).  Solar is cheap these days so I want to buy the best MPPT charge controller I can find: research is needed but Morningstar is the benchmark to beat.

I Installed the ProNautiqP 1260 battery charger today including three ANL fuse blocks in which I will install 70A fuses.  I should be ready to fire it up tomorrow and try and charge the 4 new Trojan T-105 batteries ( I have them in two banks with two batteries in series to make 12VDC @ 225AH each bank).  I haven't used the T&B Crimper for quite some time.  Glad I had it to crimp the #8 AWG ring terminals.

Earlier in the week I installed two ANL fuse blocks with 200 A fuses close to the battery group 1 & 2 plus I put in an ATC fuse holder from the down stream side of the battery bank 1 since it was not fused before.  I now am $250 poorer but feel 100% safer than having live loads wired straight to the terminals as before.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Back in GCS, FL

We have been back in Green Cove Springs for about two weeks.  Slowly ever so slowly, we are getting into the routine of being a boat owner again.  I have been suffering from allergies that I could not kick but it may have been bronchitis or a case of pnemonia.  After a quick trip to a local doctor I started to feel better and after taking bendryl and a inhaler the malady seemed to loose its grip on me.  I have felt better and not so tired for the past three days and this allowed me to write much delayed entry.

Inspiration II was not ready for the water on our arrival and still sits on the hard in the Holland Marine yard. To date, we have had the deck repaired, new SS prop shaft with dripless seal installed and repair of the three water strainers is in process.  W have paid for most of it but the next installment will be due soon. Our first installment was $6500 and I expect the next to be much less than that.  That should get us into the water and hopefully before Christmas.  We plan to spent Christmas with Martha in St. Petersburg for a few days and then return to the boat before New Years.

I have spent the past two days polishing Stainless Steel on the boat.  A patina of rust had developed on the railings and stanchions over the last years? the previous owner had her.  I did manage to polish the dingy davits and some portions of the aft railing. I have to say it looks good thanks to the polish I found at Advance Auto: The name is Blue Magic, s blue colored cream paste that has a smell of ammonia. I must say it really works well.  However, it still takes a little muscle power.  It is very gratifying work.

Today, I hooked up the ground and turned on the DC power to the boat and checked the bilge pump which hummed away nicely.  Then I tried the radio which also worked.  As we were leaving the boat near dark, I wanted to check the nav lights but forgot so that will be another day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day 1: Indiana

We arrived back at home about 1630 hrs local

Of batteries and other things

Snuggled in the house battery tray are four 12VDC wet cell batteries and all were discharged to 5VDC± when I arrived at the boat.  So I tried to charge to charge them one at a time and all responded the same way: the voltage from the charger slowly ramped up and a pretty much steady charge current resulted that was around 7.5A.  There was water on the plates of the battery I checked. This tells me that one or more cells are dead based on past experience. The same thing happened to the start battery but it is an AGM so it must be shot too.

Now comes the big question.  Should I buy 4 12VDC batteries or should I buy 4 6VDC batteries? The 12 VDC batteries are rated for 75AH which gives me 300 AH capacity in a parallel mode.  The 6VDC golf cart batteries would be rated at 450AH in a series 6+6 mode at 225AH and with two of these in parallel it gives the 450AH.

The 6VDC golf cart batteries are about the same length but the width is about 0.25" wider.  The big difference is the height of approximately 11.25".  After careful measurement I believe it is possible to fit the four T-105 golf cart batteries into the battery box.  I think I like the idea of the golf cart batteries

Boat almost buffed

Today we almost finished half of the starboard side of the boat.  Sunday we finished the port side but it was less weathered and easier to hand rub the finish with 3M Restorer.  This evening my neck is a bit stiff from the circular movement for several hours.  SAM made a great dinner and we enjoyed it inside the RV we have been living in.

It appears it might be several weeks before we splash since SAM want to be done with her bright work first.  We are making progress with various tasks.  Yesterday, Monday, we mapped the battery connections end to end.  This involved cutting a bunch of zip ties and contorting ones self into the engine compartment.  Now we know the schematic we can modify it if we want to change to 4 - 6VDC golf cart batteries.

We are becoming sceptical since everything we touch needs repair and the task is almost overwhelming plus expensive.  Oh well, we did not want to cruise this year anyway.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

When Posts are few and far between

We are here in Florida and the weather has been cool to cold up here in Jacksonville.  The boat was not ready when we arrived but we added a few jobs and found a lot more work to do.  That is why my posts will be few and far between.  I suspect this may continue for the next month.

Today we spent the whole day hand polishing the port side of the boat.  We were almost finished but it started raining and getting colder and we terminated the day with about 8' to go.  Tomorrow forcast is not that good either so we may work below decks.

I charged the batteries again with the same results: the battery voltage is about 12.7 unloaded.  The cells were bubbling away and the charge voltage of 13.35 VDC @ 8 amps continous.  To me that means the batteries are bad.  Now to find batteries.

I was going to change to golf cart batteries but may put 12VDC batteries in instead.  I am doing research now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First Steps 1: I Want Winmor

Ok, I like Icom equipment.  One unit I am looking at is relatively inexpensive and small and with  minimum of small buttons.  However, the most impressive thing is that it has a built in sound card so it will interface with your computer via one USB A to B cable.  That is it!

So what does a IC-7200 look like?  Here it is for one view and a few words as to its market position: The latest IF DSP technology is employed in the IC-7200. While the IC-7200 is an entry-class transceiver, advanced digital features are comparable to higher class transceivers. The rugged design of the IC-7200 means your enjoyment of this rig is not limited to your shack only. Full break-in, selectable CW carrier point (USB or LSB) and adjustable CW pitch are also standard.

ICOM IC-7200ICOM IC-7200
Here is a link to the product website so you can research things a little further if you desire.  Well, what do you do with this radio once it comes on to the boat (or car or home)?   This is the hard part.  You need an antenna and an antenna tuner.  The antenna is a pretty obvious requirement.  So what is the antenna tuner?

The antenna tuner is required since you are going to operate in multiple bands over a wide range of frequencies with a fixed length antenna.  The antenna tuner makes sure the impedance of the antenna matches the 50 ohm transmit impedance of the radio. This link is to the AT-4 .


Now comes the antenna, mounting of the antenna and getting the feedline from the antenna to the antenna tuner described above.  This is one of the real mind twisters for me since my rig is for primary use on a sailboat. You just do not go punching holes willy nilly in an expensive sailboat that are prone to get water in the decks - which makes them lose value real quick.  The antenna which I propose to use is a "rope antenna" which is just a piece of wire inside a line like a halyard.  This piece of wire must be at least 23' but it is better if it is longer.  In my case my mast is 52' tall so I think I will use a halyard to pull the line to the top of the mast and attach it to the backstay about 3 feet or less from the mast. Route the feedline from the antenna tuner to the connector on the rope antenna. Once the antenna feed line is connected to the antenna tuner you must do two things: 1) connect the tuner to the radio via a piece of feedline (easy by this time) and 2) add a counterpoise which adds the "other half" of the antenna system.  The counterpoise is VERY important and relatively artsy in construction.  There are two ways to do it - one easy and one difficult.

Of course the difficult way is probably the best and that consists of running a 2" piece of thin copper sheeting from stern to bow below the waterline on the port side and the same on the starboard side. This sheeting is connected to the ground lug on the antenna tuner via a soldered piece of  2" cooper sheeting (do not use wire to do this even though it is tempting).  Remember this is not a DC or AC ground system so DO NOT connect it to the ship ground buss anywhere.

The easy method is to buy a KISS tuned counterpoise cable for about $150.  A link to the site is given here.  Once this is done you are pretty much ready to fire up the rig and start talking HF.  I conviently left out all the connections of DC Power to the rig and the painful details like mounting the devices somewhere accessible but unobtrusive.

However, you did not buy this HF radio just to talk on it to other amateurs around the world.  No indeed, you bought it to send and receive emails, weather faxes, CW and PSK messages.  So you need a computer, a cable and some software. DO NOT connect the radio and computer at this time or you will regret it.  First download the drivers and control software.  To make this seemingly impossible task easier review the video below and understand it before proceeding with any connections between devices.

In retrospect, I think this entry should be in my blog on Marine Technology but I will leave it here for now since it is easier to add Youtubes to this blog..

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Homebrew 2x4" workbench

Ok, I will not take credit for this device but it would sure be handy on the boat for "those" projects.  Add an 1/4" aluminium top for that small metal vise and you are set for a lot of work that needs to be done on the boat,  Ha, you even have a small stepstool too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 12 : GCS

Up at 0430, finished packing, lowered the camper top and moved the rig to the parking site and all done by 0545.  Went to the clubhouse to make my porridge with walnuts , cranberries, raisins and honey in the microwave.  We were on the road by 0645 and arrived in Knoxville about 1630 hrs.  We had a nice dinner at Cracker Barrel.  The Tuesday special was good but was disappointed they did not have collards. The day seemed long and I just got out of a hot shower that hit the spot.

I am researching synthetic teak for the aft seats of the aft deck.  The original teak is cracked and marginally serviceable.  If the prices are too high, I can always glue them in the cracked spots and put cross strips for more support.  Maybe I will do that no matter what.

I am looking online for Stainless Steel 316 name tags to replace the ones below that are aging and cracking:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day 11: GCS

This was a wrap-up day. Talked with Tom Holland, Sold the old dingy to Nick and cleaned up the site plus put a bunch of things on the boat.  We also found the missing purse that contained some old documentation and loyalty cards.

We are now in the clubhouse writing this blog and SAM is watching TV and trying to fill in the puzzles.  However, it is time for bed and an early rise for the return trip to Indiana.  We accomplished quite a bit this trip and it was worth it.  Moore later.

Day 10: GCS

Spent day doing stuff. Too numerous to tell. The highlight was that SAM used "The Works" to clean the white waterline rust stains and our boat now looks beautiful again.  FYI - The Works is made near our hometown.  The owner hit upon a million $ secret.  The prime ingredient is 10% hydrogen chloride ( or in other words hydrochloric acid diluted to 10% that is sometimes called Muratic Acid).

I worked inside the boat clearing surveyor punch list items.  I installed smoke dectectors.  The CO detectors just arrived so they will be installed upon our return to GCS.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 9: GCS

We awoke late but it actually was early since it was Fall back night.  Had my oat meal with berries and nuts then went over to the boat to check on the batteries charging state --> still at 7.5 amps.  Ok, folks I think I have 4 bad house batteries all ater 12VDC and all are West Marine 75 AH for a total of 300 Amp Hours.  I have to stope over as soon as I get through writing this missive and shut the charger off.  No sense in boiling the cells dry.  My old Youngsun had the same issue and it was bad cells for all batteries.  That was a $500 bill right there.  So much for a perfect boat - ha, ha.

I talked with Jerry after I determined this to get the size of a 6 VDC 225Amp Hr battery and it looked as if it might fit but it will be close.  Four golf cart batteries would give me 450 AH for about the same price ( I think).  I am going to go to an automotive place to get the size tomorrow.  This is all in the planning phase and I will need new cables too so read the package as expensive.

Oh, BTW, SAM did the toilet bowl cleaner trick and the white water line is white again not a deep rust color.  SAM has other improvements in store for the viewing eye.  All my stuff costs a lot and you cannot see the results of PM and Repair work so I am the bad guy and she is the white hat.

I cannot go on - Moore later.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 8: GCS

We woke up at 0400 to higher winds.  The winds continued to build until about 1400 hrs and at 2000 hrs it was gone.  the day was brilliant sun but cold and round 58°F.  We worked a lot in the boat and I checked the battery voltage which was very disappointing = about 5.5± VDC.  I put the charger on the start battery and it settled in to about 7.5 A charge current.  Later it was still about the same so I switched to House #1 and about the same thing.  On to House #2 same thing on the amps.  I will check voltage tomorrow to see if the voltage is back to 5 VDC.

In the afternoon, I removed the old house powered CO detector and left the wire to be abandoned later since they are very small current capacity.

Day 7: GCS

Well, this is Friday and we talked with Holland Marine about the total billing hours for the deck repair and it is about 50 so we are on track at the $70/hr labor rate.  Now comes the rework of the fore deck to correct the lousy painting job and blushing that somehow occurred. tom said he would correct it and his staff said it would be done at no charge.  This time it would be done with a bit more nap.

We spent a lot of time going thru lockers and pitching a lot of gear that was too mildewed or rough to keep.  several old life vests with no numbers or legible print on the lable --> out. Lots of line from the old Inspiration made their way to the boat and so did the Fortress 23 and hard laid 100± Ft of Rode.  Judging by some of the dock lines we saw, these new lines will be welcome.

One locker on the Stbd side smelled particularly strong - not too objectionable but definitely like stron polishing wax.  We emptied two hard cases of items and more or less stowed them.  we have a lot of stuff on board now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 6: GCS

Today started like the days before.  Sort of sleepy, casual breakfast and then a trip to the clubhouse to make coffee.  After that, things sort of went into super motion and here it is time for lunch and I have done nothing except chat with the other sailors.

I guess I should not have said I have accomplished nothing but to as much as I dreamed about the night before.  I have these dreams about work to be done on the boat.  They are clear, precise dreams.  Then I awake and all the dreams evaporate into nothingness since I cannot remember them.  I am left with an empty day.

I did research and found the old supplier I used to replace EPIRB batteries. Unfortunately, I did not remember the prices correctly and I was "sticker shocked" to the point I called them to see if I remembered incorrectly.  I guess I remembered incorrectly.  Bottom Line: EPIRB battery replacement is $250± but that is half the price of a new one. I need to order new fire extinguishers, CO detectors and smoke alarms for the boat too.  This is one item that may not wait since it is a critical safety item.

Yesterday, SAM & I talked with Tom about the bad deck paint job.  It is so bad that it called question into my mind if this guy is as good as his reputation and prices justify.  He said he would fix it but he is charging by the hour so what does he care?  One can only hope that he is like I am with my customers - a complain gets fixed for free.  It may be a satisfactory transaction or it may be an expensive but valuable lesson.  Time will tell on that one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 5: GCS

Much the same today with breakfast and off to the boat to do some more clean up.  Checked out the systems again this AM.  SAM is sweeping up the sand that has been tracked in by us and others.  To-do tomorrow is to check out the battery charging circuit so I can plug Inspiration II in and get the batteries up and ready: NOTE TO SELF - check the battery state before plugging in the charger.

SAM is washing clothes this afternoon and I am ordering a manual that I think I need that relates to the boat.  We have noticed a definite increase in traffic and people rolling in for the season.  The weather has been quite good and we need to turn on the RV air-conditioner so that Abby does not over heat while we are doing other things.

As soon as SAM finished the clothes we need to go to the post office to mail this letter that has a check to pay for the manual.  I really cannot believe that people still do not use Paypal and credit cards.  Oh well, perhaps it is a tax thing.  Moore later.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 4: GCS

Another perfect day but a bit hot at 85F.  SAM had doggie duty this AM so I went to the boat and putzed a bit then had a self-made lunch with a  quick bite of hard cheese, pepperoni on a bit of bread.  This afternoon we went to the storage unit to deposit more items and further reduce the clutter of the vehicles.

I have spent a lot of time on the internet to look up parts and parts suppliers.  Then current fuel hookup is via tank to filter to generator and propulsion engines. It is a two micron filter so I feel a little exposed in that if it plugs the neither the engine nor the generator will function.  I am proposing to put in redundant filters.  More on this tomorrow as I am metaphorically going to sleep on the job here in Fl.

Day 3: Green Cove Springs

We have been here at the boat now for about three days.  Enroute we had a brake failure in Tennessee and were there two days waiting for the truck to be fixed: we spent some time exploring Knoxville and found to be interesting but one has to search out things to do,  We went downtown to the 1982 Worlds Fair site and walked the park and climbed the big sun ball. We are now living in the truck camper and it is not real comfortable.

Inspiration II is still in the yard and we visit daily and do small items.  Mostly we have slowly unloaded all the items we think we will need down here this winter. This is pretty boring reading. Somewhere we lost a day as we thought it was Saturday and it was really Sunday.  We have met several sailor couples at the club house. Yesterday I re-tightened the belts on the generator and propulsion engines. Now I have to check the oil and figure out how to work the oil change/drain pumps. It is complicated without the boat in the water but that will be in December.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nightmares et. al.

Time is approaching to go down to the boat for the first post buy visit.  Every night is filled with dreams of doing this and that on the boat.  Interspersed with good and neutral dreams come the nightmares.  

Last night started neutral and pretty soon became a nightmare when, at launch, water started leaking in via the prop shaft packing gland at increasing rates and the slings had been released.  I was searching around for the bilge pump switch and could not find it.  In a panic, I called the former owner but he did not answer.  The launch crew were trying to get the straps back in place and a mechanic came rushing out with the proper tools to tighten the gland nut - then I woke up and all became normal except I really could not remember where the bilge pump switch was located.

Being wide awake I started thinking about the simplest of functions like charging the batteries by connecting up a temporary 120VAC 20A circuit to the shore power line.  Then I thought of taking off the winter cover and stowing it.  And then came re-installing the dodger and cockpit canvas.  On and on it goes as I try to play a chess game  In absentia.  The bottom line is I cannot wait to get there to figure out all this stuff :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Trials, Tribulations and Indiana

The past couple of weeks have been trying.  For several months I have had a cyst on my eye - not the eyelid variety but right on the eye - and the Doctor recommended it be removed.  Last Monday it was removed and it was not a pleasant experience requiring five stitches.  So, this week was spent sitting in the darkened room, applying a thick ointment and listening to music, books on tape plus Pandora music and minimal computer work.  Today the stitches came out and there was instant relief and renewed vision.  Life is good again.

Today I listened to the podcast on sailloot.com in which SV Delos was featured.  It was a long podcast but I was entranced through the whole thing.  Previously, I had watched the complete Youtube series of svdelos.  What a group.  Many of the videos are pretty good and there is enough lost that the imagination fills in the glamorous extras.  The podcast fills in the human and financial aspects.  Watch all the Youtube videos (approximately 20) and if you like them then go to the podcast.  I wish I could join them in our boat s/v Inspiration II.  Alas, time and human frailties may not permit.

 I spent the afternoon working on the IRLP node for Inspiration II.  Details are discussed in the link above so I will not repeat here.

As I close this log, I will say that the direction of particular blog will be to document sailing and water related adventures, great and small, and our Tumblr blog will be more practical ship specific items related to the operation, maintenance and systems of s/v Inspiration II.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Fall Day

It is Fall in Indiana.  Preparation is being made for the fall of the leaves, Thanksgiving with the family and s/v Inspiration II.  In a previous post I described the putting to bed of Little Yellow, our 16' American Fiberglass sailboat.  So here I sit on this exceptionally beautiful Fall Indiana day writing, looking outside and listening to my IRLP node 8783.  Soon I will go down to the lake to move things around and bringing out of the leaf vacuum that does a pretty good job of sucking up the partially mulched leaves the mower blades try to chop up. After that comes a followup appointment to the eye doctor to have a look at my allergy prone eyes.

The garden is almost bare now and only the Brussel Sprouts remain viable but there are a few kale leaves that survive.  The new 500W dehydrator just arrived and I cannot wait to try it out.  This may make its way to the boat so we can have some goodies down there this winter and make the place smell real good.  I just talked with W3RX down there and told him I have the merchandise he bought from W9LKI.  Now I have to try and get a hold of  KG4LMP to see what he is up to these days. Moore later people.

Sleeping Bear Dunes our old sailing grounds

The video does not do justice to the area we used to sail.  It is even more beautiful.  Be prepared to stay for days as summer storms roll through but there is plenty to do close by Leland, Frankfort and Traverse City.  We have traded this for Florida as we find our summer home precious and want to be there in the summer but yet enjoy the heat of Florida's winter.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shipboard email account

All emails to me must be as follows if I am to pick them up at sea:
User Name:  k9cwm@winlink.org
white Subject Line: //WL2K ( Must start with) If you do not do this then emails will bounce as the server thinks it is spam.
Here is an example of what I receive:
Message ID: L738B6MMNQK5

Date: 2014/09/07 01:33
From: csjmoore@gmail.com
To: K9CWM 
Source: SMTP
Subject: //WL2K tHIS IS A TEST


Saturday, September 6, 2014

email at sea

All emails to me must be as follows if I am to pick them up at sea:

User Name: k9cwm@winlink.org

Subject Line: Must start with //WL2K space and then the real subject.

If you do not do this then emails will bounce as the server thinks it is spam.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Drum Roll - Inspiration II

Ok, just received the photos of Inspiration II from Signs by Dillon.  We think it looks good and we especially like the stern. Now I wonder what the bow Port side looks like.  A little more suspense since he did not send the picture.  Perhaps it is not finished?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor Day & Little Yellow

Labor Day has come and gone and with its passing the "end of the season" is upon us.  To that end I removed the sails from LY and all the gear except the sponge, paddle and the motor.  I will take her for one more trip around the lake on motor and then haul her for storage in the designated spot in the barn.  A good bottom cleaning is instore for her too.  It will be a real gas to get her out of the water and it may entail decoupling the trailer to push it out farther than the truck can go even with the 10' 2x12 planks (to keep the rear wheels from sinking into the muck).  If it goes smoothly then you will hear no more but if not prepare for a page full of details.

From the cockpit of a C-310R in a former life

The new Craftsman metric wrenches came in today.  These are larger sizes needed for the Irwin 43 MkIII engine work.  I started arranging for the SAE tools bag and the metric tools bag that are soft sided (Harbor Freight 12" style)  so I can grab either bag depending on what I am doing.  The soft sided bags will not mar the gelcoat or sole of the boats.  While at HF I bought one of those 12" diameter 15" deep duck bags with the rope handles to hoist tools up the mast while I work on items aloft..  I am also starting to arrange all the electronic parts I want to take with us when we start our journey.  I'll report more on that in my electronics and system blog at http://watermanwater.tumblr.com/ .

The picture is from an era past while I was flying a C-310R eastward towards New Hampshire one morning and I was over Lake Erie (and Canada as I remember).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Moore Inspiration - of course!

We contracted with an artist to paint the name and hailing port on the stern and name only on the bow. I try to post the script and colors here but am not too sure it will portray what I think it will look like.

The name is Inspiration II and colors will be the black with grey shading.  The hailing will be Saugatuck, MI and that will be in black block letters.  The price comes out about to be about the same as vinyl lettering ±. We think it will look good on the grey gelcoat.  We should know pretty soon.  Inspiration II's picture is below and I will put an after picture when it is done.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little stuff

We are almost constantly thinking of Inspiration II and in the process of preparing all the equipment, tools and items required for living aboard for 6 months or more.  Since it is a new boat to us we will over prepare but will put some in our storage we are renting since it is pretty close to where we will slip for a while.

I just bought some more sockets from eBay to fill in my Metric capability.  Now I need wrenches to fill the gaps that I never needed with the Rice Rockets which were mostly happy with <16mm p="" sizes.="">

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Irwin Trivia

I f you would like to find out more about our boat you can go to here http://sailboatdata.com/view_builder.asp?builder_id=82  for all the models of Irwin.

I also came across this on SailNet   Quote "I have in mast furling that has worked well but last Sunday the main refused to unroll after only a few feet. I notice that the sail bulges out next to the portion under tension being rolled out, about 7 feet up from the boom for a stretch of about 10 feet. The winch simply cannot pull it out - and it should be pulled out by hand, ideally. The mast is slightly curved, but not too much to accommodate the furling system and has not malfunctioned before. I suspect the sail may have been reefed the last time with insufficient tension, but that is just speculation." End Quote.

I found the article interesting because the same thing happened to us last winter while delivering Nanita to Clearwater from Ft Lauderdale with the owner/captain.  Of course, it happened at night in 18kt winds and since we could not see because the spreader lights were defective, the sail jammed pretty good.  It was morning and in 6' seas before we could see what happened.  We had to wait until we reached cam waters near Boca Grande to fix the problem.  In retrospect we should have deployed the sails in daylight and in low wind conditions. Moral: know your systems well before you hit the big winds and waves.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Holland Marine called

We had a call from Holland Marine this morning asking what the combination was to the boat lock so they can get on the boat.
There is a little issue in the area of the windlass that we want fixed and Holland Marine was highly recommended by many of the people we trust and the price was reasonable for the scope of the project. They are also repairing the prop and cutlass bearing.

From the sound of things the winter storm cover has made it through the season so far and we hope it survives intact and can be used next year. the cover was originally designed for way up North winters and snow load.  It seemed a bit light for our way of thinking but perhaps we underestimated the strength.  It is not a full cover but keeps water, leaves and dirt out of the cockpit and the scuppers there and has closed forward and aft zippers.  As you can see, the boom keeps the tent in place.  All those little lines just wind around and around and around and the network is about 400' long all stretched out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

sv Delos & other trivia

I have been viewing the travels of sv Delos on Youtube.  I have quickly gone through all their videos. The early one were more like documentaries of the daily log type.  They rapidly progressed into so really good editing and making good videos.  It is worthwhile viewing their series.  They also have a Facebook site and www.svdelos.com .  They have a saying that I like - "We like to say that our plans are always written in the sand at low tide. ".  I sort of feel that way about our boat sv Inspiration II which is a 43' Irwin.  We will be starting our first season aboard pretty soon and it promises to be a fun thing.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A little catch up for Summer of 2014

Sailboats & Things
I have been dreaming lately.  More and more of my dreams are of sailboats and specifically, of Inspiration II.  I dream of all the work to be done this Fall and Winter.  I dream of all the materials I must collect and take with me to the boat.  I hope she does not sink after loading all this “stuff”.
I started a “Ship’s Log” yesterday.  It has 10 sections that deal with items needed to manage a live-a-board vessel for several months at a time. Now I need to generate the document forms for each section.  For example, Section 1 will have a form that lists Time, Date, Vessel status (in port, mooring, under sail, motoring, person on duty and position reports plus other elements of interest to the vessel and authorities.
  • Section 1 is the day to day log of all activities of being onboard.
  • Section 2 is all about Maintenance & Repairs.
  • Section 3 deals with Fuel status, concerns and hours of operation of the two diesel engines.
  • Section 4 documents Improvements
  • Section 5 contains Schematics of electronics, electrical and mechanical systems
  • Section 6 is a catchall Legal Documents & Miscellaneous grouping.
  • Section 7 chronicles Ideas for the boat and sailing
  • Section 8 contains To-Do Lists
  • Section 9  formally presents the vessel Survey(s)
  • Section 10 is an area reserved for guests who have visited the boat
I need to get motivated to generate some ham radio related project like getting the AllStar operational on a BeagleBlack and IRLP on a PiIRLP board.  This will reduce the size to a form factor suitable for the boat.  Right now I think I will work on the forms for each section of the Ship’s Log.  Bye.

JULY 31, 2014

A Saugatuck Work n Sail
SAM & I traveled to Saugatuck/Douglas, Mi Wednesday, leaving early, to meet up with Dan & Kathleen on S/V Kathleen.  We arrived just before lunch, which Kathy served up, and after a brief catchup of the past year we planned our work for the afternoon. The weather was cool and the sea fog was rolling in by the tonnes but Thursday weather promised bright skies and warmer inland temperatures.
Dan and I started on the radio project to check out his antenna system and then install a Standard Horizon Matrix 2000 VHF/GPS/AIS unit.  This DSC radio is very cool and reasonably priced at about $400±.
The antenna system checked out good with the old DSC radio reading 21W forward and about 2.5W reflected.  Not too bad for a boat system.  I mostly lent Dan moral support and watched while he did all the work on the install.  Well, actually, I played with his new chartplotter / sonar unit.  I did find out the sequence to adjust the depth offset so the chartplotter depth agreed with the standard depth guage so I guess I held up part of the bargain.
Prior to the real install we made a mock-up of the place below decks that the radio was to be installed to determine if the radio would receive the GPS signals: the GPS receiver must be very sensitive because it worked well and agreed with the chartplotter position.
After we got the unit installed I checked the power output of the transmitter and it was 19W forward with 2W reflected so it agreed with my previous readings.  After this we played with the radio and I must say the audio was excellent.  This is on my purchase list.
Today, Thursday, we took Kathleen out on Lake Michigan for a few hours but the winds were 5 - 8 Kts so it was not a real good sailing day.  The further we went out the worse the winds became and the lumpier the 2’ seas became.  Water temperature was 55°F in July.  This is a cold year on the water.
We had a great chat but soon it was time to make the three hour trip back to Indiana.  D&K promised to visit us this winter towards the end of February - Yea.  We cannot wait to have them aboard Inspiration II.

JULY 26, 2014
A long paddle

So I went out on the lake the other day and had a nice sail but could not beat close enough to the wind with this boat to get back so I was pretty much stuck on the far end of the lake going back and forth and around and around until I go tired.  I lowered the sails most of the way and started the motor and headed back up the lake into the wind.  When I arrived near the far end I killed the engine and finished lowering the sails and raising the centerboard.  When I tried to start the engine the recoil would not go out or in - it was hung up pretty good.  So out comes the paddle and I started the 200 yards back to the slip.  I made pretty good time for a while but then the offshore wind came up and I had to work hard to make it to the slip.  I was sweating like a horse but I stowed all the gear and cleaned up the dock lines and removed the motor to take back to the house so I could repair it.
Upon return to the house and a day later I tackled the motor.  Turns out the nylon line had swelled a bit over the years and it was too big to have it all fit in the recoil track. Since it was fraying anyway, I cut off 6” and it fit far better.  Now, I am ready to put it back on Little Yellow the next time I go sailing. Yea!
Here a couple of shots of the lake and slip area.

JULY 5, 2014
Little Yellow - the morning after the day before
Here it is the day after the 4th of July.  This is the day after the night before and when I slept soundly through the fireworks that I did not hear.  This is the day after the early morning arrival of Abby, who jumped upon my bed and awakened me, and who disappeared almost immediately.  This is the day that I could not go back to sleep after Abby Event.
I got up and made some porridge, via a three minute burn in the microwave, and added pecans, raisins,  cran-raisins plus local honey that I know came from fields nearby.  While all this was melding together, the electric teapot was plugged in and water was boiled, cooled to proper temperature and added to two bags of Teatley English Breakfast tea in a very fine teapot.  Breakfast was enjoyed on the back porch while being serenaded by birds of all sorts on this clear, cool day.
I took the deck umbrella cover off and laid it aside so that I could deploy the umbrella and made it so.  The morning sun was just filtering through the trees while I was enjoying my strong tea and Abby cavorting around the deck in her silent non-barking manner.  While all this was happening, I noticed a green tree frog sittng in a nook on the adjacent deck chair. She was a pretty frog.
Later in the morning I took the red but striped cover down to Little Yellow so I could cover the exposed boom that has the main sail attached.  I adjusted a few lines and this helped LY to ride more naturally in her slip and left for the m

Several months into the future from last post

We have been busy this summer and now that it is almost over I'll write a bit.  We are the official owners of Inspiration II (old Con El Viente) and are planning winter now.  I must admit that our watermanwater.tumblr.com site is seeing more posts than this one.  I am not too sure why but that is the way it happened.

I came across this site this afternoon and have watched most of the Youtubes to date. http://svdelos.blogspot.com/ is about a sailboat travels from Australia to Indonisia to Malaysia and probably onward.  A well written blog and Youtube videos are pretty good too. Makes me wish I were 40 years younger.

We are sailing our Little Yellow this summer on Pleasant Lake and that has been a blast.  It is a 16' American Fiberglass and has a battened main with a nice jib that helps tack around.  I think the main is a tad too big but I am going to experiment a bit by shortening it a bit by taking one wrap around the boom.  Other than that she is a small sloop with a tiller and all the features and sheets of a bigger boat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Winter 2014 Gulf Coast near St Petersburg and Other Places

FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS: It looks like we have our boat - an Irwin 43.  More about this later.

Here we are this winter in St. Petersburg and it is cold.  Abby & I are at the beach on Treasure Island where it is sunny and cold but the kites are flying at the annual event.  The blue jacket came from West Marine because I was freezing and had no cool weather clothing.

We have spent most of the winter looking at boats.  First in the Keys and later in north east FL near Jacksonville.  However, in early February we went to the Hamcation in Orlando but it was rainy, cool and overcast except for the last day.  We had the camper so we were snug and warm and it was not a too bad experience.  I could go on and on but the best purchase was a green laser pen that is very bright and you do not want to look at it for the real possibility of retinal damage.

After Hamcation we started planning for the trip to The Keys and Miami.  First was the keys where we stayed with friend Steve.  This year we actually got tans and spent hours in the sun on Steve's ocean front
property.  The weather co-operated and we rode our bikes on 7 mile bridge out to the key and back several days, found a fresh seafood place north of Marathon and generally had a good time talking with Steve for a week.  It did not get old and we saw a lot of Marathon this year so we are glad we came down and that Steve invited us to be a guest in his backyard for a week.The picture shows us on Seven Mile Bridge near the end fence.  It is a 2 mile ride out and 2 miles back: Notice our hair blowing!  Well, we had to ride back in a 15 kt wind and let me tell you it is a struggle to peddle a cruising bicycle against that wind.

After we left Marathon we drove directly to Larry & Penny Tompson Park on 184th Street in Miami.  We were there to help Roger celebrate his daughter's first birthday Latino style.  As luck would have it the event was in the same park where we were staying so we could bicycle over the 2 miles±.  Good people, good food and a great family - we are glad to know them.  The three days passed quickly and soon we were on the way back to St. Petersburg.

Back in St. Pete we finished the yard work and pool cleaning and misc other home duty and prepared top
go to Green Cove Springs to look at a Whitby 42.  Upon arrival the broker was there just before us (we had stayed in Starke at the Days Inn just to be close).After a quick inspection of the hull, we climbed aboard as she was on the hard, and settled in the cockpit for a look see.  While a nice boat, we quickly decided she was not the boat for us.  The broker was asked if he had another boat nearby since we had driven such a long way.  Sure enough, he had an Irwin 43, so we asked to look at her.  I liked the lines and rig of the boat right away but she looked a little forlorn without sails on the rather dreary day.  I stayed in the cockpit and SAM went below with the broker.  She liked it below!  The rest is history but we ended up making and offer that was accepted.  Now comes the sea trial and survey in May. At this point I have contacted a Surveyor and the check is in the mail.

We have been to GCS twice now and spent some time there on the way back to Indiana in early April.  We met the current owners and they were great to be with.  We had a chance to bicycle around, eat out a few times and generally tour the wharf area.  Not the ritz but a place where real people live, work and play.  Interestingly, the actually build pretty big ships here.  I will try to post some pictures here to end the missive.