Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall sailing and winter storage.

Here I am at the beach in Port Dalhousie in St. Catharines Ontario. The picture doesn't do justice to the sunset. It was a fine, cool sail type of Autum weekend. The lower temperatures did not stop my water nymph of a wife from making me drop anchor and go for a swim. None of that shrinkage producing water for me!

We now have a winter storage plan! We will store our boat in Hamilton at the Hamilton Harbour Authority for about $500 less than at our marina. We will also try and get a slip there in the spring. Not only will it be closer to home, with only a thirty minute drive as opposed to at least an hour at present. Plus, there are two chandleries within walking distance of the place. I love chandleries.

Yes, this will be my first big trip! About 40 kilometers or so as the crow flies, er, I mean as the boat sails.

It was a great weekend for both even with Ellies lungs acting up. Asthma. The winds were about 20kph and we even went wing on wing several times. i found that kind of hard as it took a lot concentration to maintain a consistant heading. It would have been easier if my wife would stop flashing me every now and then! I am easily distracted.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A genuine product plug

Look at the bottom picture of my last post, the one with me and my daughter in the cockpit. Look at the black nylon cleat by my foot. Do you know what is holding that cleat to my boat? Just 3M 4200! Yup, just that wonderful adhesive!

I was doing some maintenance, installing a 3x6x1/4 inch aluminium backing plate on the cleats when I discovered my through bolts were too short. I actually drilled and tapped the aluminium plates and the bolts did thread into them OK but there was no thread to put a lock nut and washer to add even more support. Yes I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy. My philosophy from the Navy is this: When you build something build it as if two, 250 pound sailors are going to stand on it. Because they will. Back to my story, So I pulled the bolts out and was going to the local bolt store and get longer SS bolt. Then I got distracted by, I don't know, a balloon or a scrap of paper blowing by. Poof! (and for any British reader I don't mean Poof! as a poofter or gay fella, I mean poof as 'voila' or Tadda!), next thing I know we are sailing for Port Dalhousie where we did what I wrote about in the last post.

On the sail back we picked up high winds with stronger gusts. Again. We ended up almost losing the motor due to a couple of extremely violent waves from a following sea. (Sea in a lake? Is that proper?) Well we got in OK and when all was secured alongside I remembered that the jib cleat had no fasteners!!!! Just that wonderfull 3M 4200.

Holy loose screws Batman, I had better get my head on straight when it comes to sailing or something bad will happen.

About that 3M 4200, I was going to get the 3M5200 but the guy said it would be permanent and if and when I removed any fittings the fiberglass would come up with it. So I bought the 3M4200 instead. Holy crap! I wonder what the holding power of 5200 is like if the 'removable' 4200 can withstand such loads?

Anyhoo, I just wanted to plug that, I mean, how often does one buy something that exceeds the marketing?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our first port visit.

Our first port visit was actually another marina in St. Catharines Ontario. This is Port Dalhousie, a quaint drinking suburb of St. Catharines. It is only maybe 5 miles from our home marina, St. Catharines Marina, but hey, it was our very first destination. The wife and I used to party here all the time when we lived here. Oh, the hangovers. 5 miles may not seemlike much but it did take 3 hours to get here. We had a good head wind and a lot of tacking to get there. Good practice for Ellies rope handling. Next time I'm going to sail into the public docks. I seen it done and it looks easy.
The picture on the left shows how easy Ellie makes friends, The centre picture show Hailey on the 5 cent carousel (sp?) Yes, it still only costs one nickle to ride. The picture on the right shows me on the luxury yacht, and my daughter watching, looking like Ahab waiting to harpoon the whale! By the way, I'm not really here in Canada, I'm actually anchored in some lagoon in the South Pacific being served drinks by girls in coconut bikinis. I wonder how the coconut bikini wearing girls got on my anchored boat? I can't wait for life to catch up to my dreams.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sails Up!

This is just after our boat was launched in May and towed to our slip. The main is showing, and the jib would soon follow. People made fun of me for raising them while still tied up but my reasoning is this; If there is a rigging problem, better be where we could abandon ship and stay dry!

They lady in the picture is my First Mate, Ok, Ok she is my wife of 18 years. We bought a cheap boat in case sailing didn't sit well with her, boy, did we make a timid choice there. She is rabid about sailing. She is scaring me with her enthusiasm.

The motor was sold as scrap on the bill of sale. A friend got it going and I am now the proud owner of a Johnson/Evinrude Yachtwin 9.9 H.P., circa 1985. Doesn't idle well but my new shop manual should help me there.

Did some fiberglass work in the engine well last weekend. Man oh man, is that stuff messy. Acetone turns out to be my best friend. First time ever working with the stuff. Do you want a word of advice for the first time users? OK, here it is; When you buy a kit from a big chain discount store that rhymes with Hall Fart, don't use the fiberglass threads that come with it. There might be a good use for the crap, but I don't see any myself. Go to an auto parts store and buy a fiberglass blanket and cut your pieces out of that. Much better to work with.

When I actually get down to the boat again (She is an hours drive from us) I'll get pictures of the work and the reasoning for this little job. When I explain it with pictures it should make sense.

A Sailors Introduction

Hello, here is my third attempt at this blog. I just want to document our progress in the world of sailing from rank amature on an old smelly boat to semi-competent world travellers. This journey should take about 7 1/2 years. Then I will be 55 and retired.
A bit of background. I am retired from the Canadian Navy as a Marine Engineer. In civy street I became a Stationary Engineer and an Industrial Millwright. I have very little to next to none experience in the following categories:

1: Fiberglass work and repair
2: Woodworking and cabinet making
3: Painting (other than rooms in a house)
4: Electrical work
5: Small engine repair (The Deck Hands in the Navy handled all outboards)

The majority of the work required on our boat can be found in the above list. Go figure.
If you'll look closely at this picture you'll notice our step ladder aft on the starboard side. Well, someone liked it a lot more than I did! They took it! Along with my security chain and padlock. Yes the keys too. Yup, genius here left them in the lock. Hey, I asked for it, didn't I? Well that's it for now, I have to see if I can post this. I hope so...Later.......Allan