About Me

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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Truth About Chain Plate Bolts

You may think your chain plate bolts are solid and strong-They look ok don't they?

So did we until we broke the head off of one!  Then another- Then another.....

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pirates of the Stinging Kind Board HideAway

SV HideAway Com-Pac 23 with AC on!
As with most summer days in these parts, the end of the refit day brought the threat of storms capable of dropping huge amounts of rain in a short time. Before debarking I’ve developed the habit of checking the cockpit drains.

A nice feature on HideAway, a Com Pac 23, is the cover over the fuel tank and the scuppers.  The sturdy "L" shaped fiberglass cover/seat does not extend to the cockpit sole to allow water to flow under it and the fuel tank.   

Fuel tank cover- Sailing HideAway
 Removing the cover is a two handed affair leaving one without an immediate view of its underside and what might be lurking there.   My concern over clogged scuppers veiled the existence of pirates!

A swarm of angry wasps that clearly had taken over the boat flew around my face first then formed a sort of dry water spout of swirling wasps.

com pac 23 fuel tank cover removed SV HideAway
The Human Brain Is A Funny Thing.  

It has a mechanism for just such threatening events going back to the beginning of humankind.  Popularly known as the “fight or flight” response or scientifically, the Autonomic Nervous System.  Turns out the ANS is not connected in any way to the rational thought process.  It exists to only protect the brain and associated accessories from eminent danger.  

The ANS determined the best response to the Pirate Wasps was to leave the boat immediately, which apparently meant head first down an eight foot ladder. 

SV HideAway boarding ladder is eight foot tall
Fortunately, my left leg would hear nothing of this and grabbed the life line while the rational brain was contemplating the relative density of the increasingly closer mother earth.  A long uncertain moment passed as I hung there looking much like a gecko I’ve seen in a similar position but without the certainty of a good outcome. 
Eventually I righted myself, descended the ladder, (this time in a manner suggested by the manufacturer) then developed a plan to retake my ship.  

A Water Borne Attempt Seemed Fitting

I approached from the starboard side, climbed up the trailer and hanging with one arm around the winch, let loose with a blast from my garden hose set at maximum pressure.  

It Didn’t Help.  

I ran to the port side and up the ladder boarding the boat without stopping.  I managed to reduce their fort, OK-nest to the consistency of a wet sponge.  Without thinking about its potential occupants, I reached down, grabbed the nest and threw it overboard.  My neighbor, who was riding about on his lawn mower, seemed as enthused as myself about the accomplishment, but upon reflection probably not for the same reason.

The HideAway Was Mine!

The rational brain deduced this would be a good time to wash down the entire deck.  A mindless task to be sure, seasoned only by the sensation of a half drowned wasp crawling up my bare leg.

Habits Are Good Things

One of my best and what saved me this day was tying off the ladder to the stern cleat.  Had I not done so the result surely would have been more serious than the purple bruise going from my knee to a place you don’t want to visualize. 

Never board a boat without a cleated off ladder! Sailing HideAway
  Other Good News -
Life Lines Actually Work!   


Custom Beverage Can Cooler
Add your own photo and text!
Cans or Bottle!
SV HideAway on Zazzle!
Custom Beverage Can Cooler by MACmedia
View another Drink Cooler  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Need to Haul-Out Without the Out? Just Add Water

After a recent tropical storm paid an ugly visit to our fine bay a few of the anchor out flotilla came to painful rest on rocky rip rap.  
After the storm
The Calm After the Storm
 Rescued from further embarrassment and fragmentation this sailboat found her way to our docks.  She suffered a broken rudder among many other ills. 

Rudder?  What rudder?
The vessel expended her remaining allotment of seaworthiness to traverse the 50 yards or so to safety.  It was a harrowing but successful journey.  

Sailing HideAway
Where Boat Dollars Go
A real haul out is necessary to fix all of her woes but first the rudder needed desperate attention.  

Sailing HideAway
Water Ballast
The best way to reach what was left of the spade rudder required adding water, lots of it, to the bow.

With her stern uncomfortably high in the water and her bow looking as if it were part of a submarine, some of the damage was exposed. 

sailing hideaway
A Water Lever 
A creative solution born of immediate necessity 

Sailing Bottle Cooler
Put your own photo and Text here
Bottles or Cans
SV HideAway
Sailing Bottle Cooler by MACmedia
Look at another Drink Cooler

Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Lose Your Sole - Compac 23

Of all the projects on the long and growing refit list perhaps the most dreaded is the replacement of the cabin sole.  The other large projects, cabin painting, compounding and waxing the hull, painting the topsides etc. were at least things I’ve either done before or could wrap my remaining brain cells around.   Ripping out a substantial chunk of the cabin was something to put off even with the acknowledgement that the project was not going away. 

My Sole Extraction Project Began with a Brush

I was painting something at the time, and well, you know how that goes.  You just can’t stop or you’ll have to clean things.  It doesn’t take long in the heat that is spring in Florida to dry out an ill placed dollop of paint from a fully loaded brush dropped in response to my sole achieving a bond with one of the smaller digits of my left foot.

If You Can’t Laugh At Yourself You’re Missing The Best Part Of The Show

The fairly outsized piece of sole protruding from one of my smaller toes was removed without remorse by the admiral from the foot hanging over the gunnel that belonged to the shoeless painter and staked out by an insistent sole all the while providing entertainment to the post woman and snickering neighbors whom happened by. 

So my friends go below to find my offering described with talking moving pictures of how to remove your very own sole.

 Part Two- Finding Your Sole should be a real hoot.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

BCYC Spring Sailing School - Docking

It was the last day of the spring Sailing School.  The final lesson is piloting a glass boat up a narrow channel in gusty winds to an immovable object.  This lesson involves all points of sail while developing your nerves of steel.  What could be more fun?


Friday, April 22, 2016

Turning Fiberglass into Wood

oh, you mean the PAINT
I like the the blues I said - So do I-she said - make it blue!
Whats wrong with this picture?  For one thing its too sterile, besides being awash in blue, it has no personality .  Since adding real wood was beyond my skill set, risk tolerance and time line I resorted to the cure of most ills; another coat of  paint.  OK, many coats of paint.

Sailing HideAway refit
 Not just any paint will do the job I had in mind.  It has to be artist's quality professional level to maintain the most basic of sailboat maintenance requirements-  It has to be expensive!

The real reason though is that professional level artist paint has no fillers.  That means you can mix colors accurately.  It's not easy-as any artist will tell you- art is a very painful thing. .
painting below the deck- FiberWood
It's easy to attach the trim- just use a paint brush!
I have to do some work on the trim pieces but so far I really like the effect.

below deck paint
I used the rough surface to add color and texture to the  FiberWood.  Like most things in this world, it looks better from a distance.  Yes, I see the port has some paint on it- I don't claim to be neat! I can remove the blemishes later. 


 Custom Wood Photo Cube
Custom Wood Photo Cube by MACmedia
Look at other Vacation Photo Cubes at zazzle.com
We've sold several of these as gifts for Mother's Day
Just add your own photos/art- It's easy- I did it!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

It Is What It Is - Com-Pac 23 Refit Update

Forward cabin before refinishing compac 23
It the beginning of the refit I had a notion to update hull #2 to a more current version of the Com-Pac 23. It should be relatively easy I reasoned since the hull and house of all CP 23s are made from the same mould after all. Perhaps all I need do is cover up the rough parts below with wood and plastic and voila  I'd have a older version of the 23 that at least looks younger.

A Nautical Fountain of Youth

Its not so easy though. The early boats were not designed to have a fine finish. The cabins are, to be kind, rough.  So rough in fact that any attempt to cover the cabin house walls with wood panels require either grinding down the fiberglass errors or shimming out all six ports.  Add in the strange peeling of the  cabin top limits any significant improvements.

cabin top of SV HideAway before painting

Like Her Owners, HideAway is Getting Old

We both look better from distance and we are both of work boat decor.   HideAway at least can be made to look much younger with some paint, fillers and some new parts.  Can't make the same claim for us though.

What's More Important: Yachting or Sailing?

I'll admit the new boats have much nicer looking cabins filled with wood cabinetry and the slide out galley and an actual table stored below.  Though, if you look at it  through black and white eyes much of the cabinetry makes comfortably sleeping in the main cabin near impossible for normal sized Americans.   And this normal sized American is not going to sleep where you go - if you get my sniff.

Add in our concerns of cooking below decks, the utility of coolers and practicallity of  hatch boards as tables, then the newer cabin interior looks great but has some functional issues..Either that or we have just adapted to the work boat decor environment of less is truely less and would be lost within the luxury of the yacht like improvements.  
SV HideAway interior painted- not finished

The Sailing Fun Factor Does Not Change

The cool thing about mass produced fiberglass boats is that they are all essentially the same hull and topsides. That means low numbered hulls will sail with the same vigor as the new.  Albeit not as shiny and yacht like.

So, my friends the HideAway is what it is and we rather like it that way.

SV hideAway cruising