Thanks, Chris!

Have to send a great big thanks to our son Chris for getting me a bunch of glass-filled nylon clamps to mount stuff on the stern arch.  These gadgets have worked beautifully, allowing mounting without the need for drilling holes or welding on tabs.  We can also re-position the gear if needed.  Thanks, bud!

Man Overboard strobe and VHF Antenna Base
Life-Sling Box
PA Horn
Dinghy Lift Clutches


Electronics Week

Yeah! The hull, engines, steering/rudders, plumbing, centerboards and many other  projects are done. Now we’re into plugging in the new toys mode. This week is electronics week.  In go new radar, chartplotter/GPS, anti-collision, power inverter, solar power and refrigerator.  Today the radar and chartplotter/GPS were first up.

Oh, the joy of plugging stuff in and having it work on the first try!  The picture on the left shows the split chartplotter/radar view.  The detailed charts are not loaded yet, but it is good to know the GPS can locate the boat in our back yard correctly.  The radar view shows a bunch of blobs representing the trees surrounding the boat.  The plotter also has its own wireless hub and can transmit the same view to our iPhones and iPads, eliminating the need to be at the helm to keep track of our position.

The Pointy Bits

This week we re-installed the refinished rudders and  scratch-built centerboards… but not without some pain.  While installing the rudders I came up one part short.  Search as we might, we could not find the needed pipe.  Later, while on a phone call with Kyle, I spied the missing member propping up one side of the sandblaster.  I had  put the part somewhere “safe” last Fall, forgot about it, and then used it to replace a missing leg on the blaster.  Brain farts suck.  No harm, though: the part went back on the rudder fine.

Installing the heavy and cumbersome centerboards was a good patience test for the Admiral and me.  We both flunked miserably.  The engineer who designed the pivot bolt location on these boats is a sadist.  It took almost three hours to position the boards and insert the pivot bolt through each, working blue the whole time.


It remains to run the lift lines to the centerboards and connect the motor lines to the rudders and the Hull projects will be complete.

Wheels of Progress

The last few days have been productive, with only only a few steps backward.  I discovered I need to add some bracing to the stainless arch to support the additional weight of the 9.9 hp outboard.  This means unbolting the arch from the boat and bringing it in the workshop where it can be welded.

The modifications Peg made to reduce drag on the dinghy chaps was a success and we gained almost 7 mph in on-the-water tests.  We zipped up from Bayport to see progress on the new St. Croix River bridge.

Amazing to see how they assemble this new monstrosity.

I finished soda blasting the old bottom paint off the hull, in preparation for a new coat of Micron CSC ablative… only $234 a gallon!  Soda blasting uses a sand blaster but with Calcium Carbonate crystals.  Because the bottom paint is harder than the hull gelcoat, the crystals remove the old bottom paint without loss of the hull material.  I borrowed Rob’s air compressor and paralleled it with ours, allowing longer blasting time between compressor cycles.  Still, a dirty job, but gratefully done.  Left is to mask the waterline and roll on the new paint.  Hopefully the sun comes out again.

Today I combined the parts of two broken whisker poles into one working unit.  We now have two poles to use on the Genoa and spinnaker when running dead downwind.

I also kicked the machine shop into gear today and manufactured 4 end caps for the new hammock seat poles.  Haven’t used the lathe in the while and it was a fun diversion.

Pssssssst. Need help?

Bull Snake

This little wannabe helper (a bull snake) slithered up while I was taking some measurements on the hull.  Adult bull snakes average about 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) in total length.  We’ve had them around our property years ago, and seeing one now is a sign there are plenty of rodents around to be eaten.

A shock to turn around and almost step on it.  Have to go change my shorts now.


And then there are those days when the planets align against you.  When the tool casually tossed back toward the tool box ricochets so as to cause maximum damage somewhere else. When the one thing you trip over breaks something else.  When a weld burns through at the worst possible place.  When tools and parts constantly roll off the deck and fall to the ground far below.  When a welding spark finds the one gap in your clothing.  And so on.

I should take up golf instead… probably a lot less stressful.

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