Thursday, February 25, 2010


A renaming ceremony should probably coincide with a christening but I'm going to jump the gun, and besides, I have to call her something other than "the boat" or "the vessel" while she is under construction.  And since she will be "Rose" when finished that shall be her name going forward.. 

So "Sea Star" she was, before Hurricane Ike stole her and "Rose" she is after I stole her back. "Rose" as in rose from the bottom, as in mother-in-law Rose Watson ( picked up a few credits there, but promptly spent them on a kitchen pass allowing me to attend the Maine boat show).  "Rose" as in granddaughter Chloe Rose and Rose as in "HMS Rose", a British Navy Cutter that harrassed a young American navy up and down the New England coast during the Revolutionary War and now rests on the bottom of the Savanah River.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heads Up

A Pittsburg entrepenuer has developed and now markets a fresh water toilet flushing device that taps into the boat's fresh water system to provide one gallon of pressure free potable water to your existing msp. The Freshflush system not only eliminates the odors associated with a salt water toilet flushing system but also the need for a dedicated raw water intake thru-hull, seacock and associated plumbing.  The Freshflush tank is 10 inches in diameter,13 inches tall and automatically refills after flushing.

The conversion from salt to fresh water for flushing is a permanent retrofit that allows one to use existing appliances and plumbing circuitry. But there is no switching back and forth from raw to pot water using a Y valve or any other manifold system.  It would just be a matter of time before a washed out valve turned the pot water tank to a salt water tank. 

The raw water thru hull and intake line that used to be dedicated to the head will now be available for watermaker feed, anchor chain washdown and a 3 valve fire main circuit.  The one raw water intake willl feed these plumbing circuits through a small Shurflow 3 valve manifold.  One of the three fire hose outlet valves will be located in the head compartment.  Should a fresh water conservation plan have to be effected as a result of water maker breakdown or other such, I will close the freshwater feed to the Freshflush and use the fire main hose to fill the toilet bowl as required.

Groco tested the system and reports that it works great even "heeling as much as 45 degrees". I am on the test boat heeling 45 degrees? Yes, you can look for me in the head.

All well and good for coastal and day sailing but what about the live aboard international cruisier? The water maker will be a dc powered EchoTec model 260  producing 13 gallons per hour pulling 38 amps at 12.5 volts. (Make your water while you charge your batteries!)  Will be interesting to see how actual performance stacks up against advertised.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The Pardey's built their Lyle Hess designed Bristol Channel Cutter from wood with no engine. They used (and may still use) kerosene cabin and navigation lights. They carried a minimalist package of electronics for communication, weather forecasting and navigation. It seems to me that they came very close to replicating not only the look and feel of the vessels that plied the Scilly Islands of Southwest England 150 years ago but also the experience of those who sailed them. I wonder why they chose a "modern" bermudean rig instead of the traditional gaff? I guess they weren’t really traditionalists when they first started their adventures; they were probably more like pragmatists on a tight budget.

Those of us who followed, switched to fiber glass hulls and added engines to get in and out of port and then to get home by Sunday night when the wind died. Many added lots of other goodies as higher tech equipment, appliances and construction methods became available. We were sell outs only pretending to be faithful to sailing traditions of the past.....frauds, if you will. No we weren't! We were simply taking advantage of today's technology to improve the safety and comfort of the experience.

Maybe there is a line that separates the practical modification from the affectation.....i.e. hemp colored polyester line. If I buy a carbon fiber mast and boom painted in faux spruce awlgrip I think it is safe to say that I will have crossed that line. But having changed her to gaff from a better performing bermudean rig am I not already the great pretender? It is very tempting. to buy the carbon fiber spars ....I could take 250 lbs out of the rig and still look like I chopped down a big pine tree for my mast. If they will get the price down a wee bit this is a fraud I might just perpetrate on the unsuspecting and uninitiated.  :-)

More Recent Pics

Galley port icebox starboard

Since she is coming back gaff rigged there will not be a backstay but I am keeping the boomkin anyway.  I plan to install a Hydrovane wind vane on centerline inside at the apex of the boomkin and fill in the boomkin center area with teak grate work

Hard to tell from photo but the port side of forward cabin will have a sink with the Climma air conditioner compressor underneath and the head will be next to it with cabinets overhead. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sailing Alone Around the Room

These were taken a couple of weeks ago:

The galley is to port midship. From left to right there will be a sink, two burner diesel fired cook top and trash receptacle. 

The nav station and chart table with icebox under is starboard mid ship.  The ice box will be chilled by a Technautics Cool Blue refrigeration system. Forward of the ice box is enough room for a bank of 3 small drawers. Cool! (blue?)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good Ideas

I get some myself. My best design work seems to take place at 60 mph driving to the boat (yeah I know, kinda slow; as my youngest son says, "Dad, your just not left lane material".) Other great ideas emanate from various googled websites. And then there is the archived emails electronically filed in the BCC owners website, Roger Olsen's book, "Practical Sailor", "Wooden Boat", "Classic Boat", "Hand Reef and Steer"......and on and on. Too often I celebrate the discovery of the elegant and yet simple solution to my very dilemma only to forget the details the following week; and even more maddeningly, I forget the location of my original discovery and am thus forced to re-google the topic. This time it's my wife who offers the simple if not so elegant solution to the retention problem..... "Write it down". Fine! I will write them down (another list). Here are a few of the good ideas, and solutions I have come across recently:

Bending on the a wire line from the mastband at the hounds to a turnbuckle attached to the main deck or the fife rail. Hank the trysail to the taut wire line and keep the sail tied off to the base of the mast.....especially interesting for gaff rigged vessels.

Man overboard maneuvering options most often discussed include the quickstop, figure eight and tack gybe and return. You're shorthanded, reaching during daylight hours. Head straight up into the wind, complete the tack but do not release the foresails i. e. Heave To. Launch the dinghy on the lee side and go get your MOB. Would have to be practiced but could be your best shot at successful recovery in certain conditions.

This one from Colin Speedie... "The addition of the Wichard Gyb’Easy has been a great success, slowing the boom effectively on its “slackest” setting, working as a preventer on its tightest—we really like it." A crash gybe with a heavy solid boom and running backstays would likely fall into the catastrophic event category so a self tending preventer makes good sense.

Same source in the "keep the water out of the boat" category. Put effective seals around lazarette and hatches. Seems obvious but worth another "note to self" based on the recent lesson in downflooding provided by Ike. Per Mr. Speedie, "We experimented with a couple of different mouldings before finding one that was perfect for our needs. We then sourced some much more robust and effective locker lid clamps that hold the lids down tight on the seals. As we have no watertight bulkhead aft, any water that could get into the cockpit lockers would find its way to the bilges pretty soon, so we’re glad we’ve cured that."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Current To Do List

  1. Finish roughng in the interior cabinetry in forward compartment.
  2. Build a spreadsheet showing DC powered equipment and lighting plan.
  3. Go out for bids on building the spars.
  4. Buy inverter/charger, battery, SSB and VHF radio and add to other components on the testing bench. ( Move test bench from dining room to the yard) 
  5. Detail clean interior and prep for insulation and paint.
  6. Finish plumbing fuel tank.
  7. Dry fit gammon iron and anchor rollers, deck sampson posts,bow sprit and anchor windlass
  8. Complete the engine install.
  9. Dry fit Lavac head and have Juan tab in the shelf. 
  10. Beef up deck under anchor windlass and sampson posts. 
  11. Install Wallas cooktop, Climma air conditioner, Cool Blue refrigerator compressor, Muir anchor windlass.
  12.  Exchange Galley sink.
  13. Buy some 10mm aerogel insulation to build icebox top and insulate bare hull.
  14. Build new water tanks  2" shorter to fit under the newly lowered sole.