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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Used Trailer Rust - A Hot Dip Into Galvanizing

In all the years of sailing in fresh waters of Nebraska and South Dakota the subject of used trailer rust never reached consciousness of this sailor.   After all, salt is for icy streets.  It has nothing to do with water, unless your cabin fever is so severe that you take your boat and trailer for a drive in snow country. 

The Magic Pearl

Upon relocation to a hot place with lots of salt in the water we did not take much notice that our newly acquired Sea Pearl had a hot dipped galvanized trailer strapped under it.  Years upon years passed before the capt noticed the port side trailer wheel leaning inboard at an alarming angle as he backed the trailer into the driveway.    

 “This sort of thing happens a lot in Florida” My trailer parts guy declared.  “Just cover your new axle completely with axle grease and you’ll not have a problem again”.   As he wrote out the bill for the axle and the grease.  True to his word, we didn’t and we learned how difficult it is for no see ems to penetrate the axle grease that found its way to our extremities.   Winners all, we were.

Then Came the HideAway – A Trailer-Less Com Pac 23

As the rent on my little patch of salt water increased from $100 per month to just north of $230, it became economically clear the HideAway needed a home on the hard or worse -The Hook.  Of course she would hear nothing of this nonsense and held out for leaf springs and four, mind you, four, soft cushy wheels.  

It mattered not the least to her that a new trailer would cost, at minimum, the same as the HideAway not including the full sized pickup truck needed to tow said trailer.    Boats are like that you know.   Ahhh, but Florida is nautical place.  A trip to the local Marine Salvage yard was in order followed shortly by a similar journey to a local used truck emporium to find a Big Red Truck.  (Well, you know – Nebraska and all…)

 
A New Old Trailer

A substantial looking former power boat trailer was found, measured and priced to include an additional axle and a drum surge braking system to accommodate the capts dreams of far away and certainly exotic, if not romantic destinations.   (This from a transplanted Nebraska/South Dakota sailor living in Florida – The land of no winter to speak of).

A Problem Solved

In the passing years the HideAways followed the same ritual.  Launch, Sail, Recover and Wash.  In summer the washing included the crew.  In winter, not so much, however the motor and the trailer always had a good fresh water bath. 

Cast off all lines! SV HideAway

Then one hot summer’s day one of the trailer wheels refused to turn. The brake shoes had rusted to the drum!  Then the other brake equipped wheel got in the habit of making loud protest noises littering the parking lot with a trail of red every time it rolled.   Click here for the shocking video!

One of the holy fenders
 Added nuisances included the giving away of all staples holding the carpet on the bunks not to mention the appearance of the holy fenders.  How could a hot dipped galvanized part rust?  After all, wasn't that the purpose of the hot dip in the first place?

“I thought that hot dip galvanizing formed a bond between metal and stuff that stopped rust from forming” I stammered to my trailer parts guy.

“Well, this sort of thing happens a lot in Florida”

 he said.  “It’s a lot like lovers breaking up… You see, what happens is that any injury to the galvanized parts allows air and metal to mix it up with the salt… you see and…rust forms…. that breaks them apart….” His voice trailed off then continued.    “You have to repent……err…. Repaint… you know” his eyes glazed a bit just then “…to get the bond back you see….. Just a minute… I have to make a call….”  He said as I watched his back disappear into a maze of trailer parts.

Southward bound - Sailing HideAway
 So that’s why I spent a beautiful warm winter day on my back with an electric drill, the one with the wire disk on it, grinding my galvanizing off  when I should have been sailing on salty water to some exotic destination.

Don’t Let this happen to you!    Repaint my friend - often

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cheasapeake Light Craft St Pete 2015 Report



CLC Boats came to the Gandy Bridge, St Petersburg side this weekend bringing with them a large selection of kayaks, canoes, and rowing craft.  While there were no sailboats, several of the boats can be sailed and there was a private owner with a beautiful rendition of a Northeaster Dory on display.




During a previous visit I had the opportunity of sailing this work of art.  Although it’s fast and remarkably stable, the narrow stern will not support a human therefore it requires a tiller several feet long that operates on the arm you see to starboard.  I found the  push-pull steering tiresome.  The boat rows and sails well- It’s just not for me. 

Beauty VS Art

Another old salt admiring the workmanship and design of the boat told me that he has built thirty boats in his time, some as pretty as this and others not so much.   He said the pretty boats, usually bright finished, were seldom used for fear of disfigurement while the less so saw great use. 

He brought one with him, a sort of shallow draft trawler about 20 feet loa, recently painted using home center deck paint using a cheap foam roller.  It looks sharp at 30 feet, he bragged, but he has no fear of the usual dings and marks associated with normal use.  It brought to mind HideAways encounter with large commercial fishing boat whose wake threw us into a fuel dock at John’s Pass.  A repair that required a new rub rail  --- Here's the link- Rub Rail Installation SV HideAway


We have been looking for an extreme shallow draft kayak for exploration and photography of our area’s back waters and rivers.  The Mill Creek 16.5 double kayak looked interesting, but the online photos didn’t show a good, dry place for camera equipment.  A quick paddle out proved this to be true.  We tried some of the row boats and found them either too large or cumbersome for our purpose.

Then we discovered the Wood Duck 10 and 12.


Both are available in different woods.  The strip planked Wood Duck 12 Hybrid shown feels heavier than the website weight comparison for both hybrid models of 4 lbs. However our WD10 featured the sable wood option that felt much lighter than the WD 12 Hybrid. At 40 lbs. maximum either one is easy to transport.    Both have a large cockpit that is easy to get into, with plenty of space for gear and are very responsive.  The wide beam keeps them comfortably stable.  While the 12 takes more effort to paddle either one will move with little effort.  Both track well. Basic handling between the two boats is what you’d expect for the water line difference.   

And now a word, ok, image from our sponsor  


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We will need two- but which?

 
In any event, if Chesapeake Lightcraft comes to your area be sure to make the trip - It's a lot of fun


And who knows- you may end up with an addition to your fleet!