Sunday, July 17, 2011

Salt Water Plumbing Complete

After several misfires the sw plumbing design is now final and the system is installed. There are two thru hulls, a 3/4 inch aft that is dedicated to engine cooling water and a 1 1/2 inch located in the forward cabin that provides feed water for the water maker, air conditioner heat exchanger and wash down / fire hose service.  I  installed the 1 1/2 inch manifold because I had originally planned for a system that would flow through a manifold at a volume that would allow all three systems to run simaltaneously.  What was I thinking?  When would I possibly need to be making potable water while air conditioning the main cabin as I am fighting a fire? Clearly the seacock should have been 3/4 inch not 1 1/2 inch.  But it made more sense to install a reducer rather than pull the seacock, reglass the hull and buy another seacock.

The salt water supply flows from the seacock, through a 3/4 inch strainer and then to a 3/4 inch 3 position diverter valve.  This diverter valve is below the waterline and supplies the watermaker boost pump and another 3 way valve that provides supply water to wash down pump or the Clima air conditioner.  One thru hull, seacock and strainer serves the airconditioner, salt water washdown system and water maker.
There are three wash down hose outlets, one up forward on the bow for anchor wash down duty, one on the port quarter deck and another down below in the head.  The outlet in the head serves as a below deck fire water station and a source of flush water in the event there is a problem with the fresh water flush system.  The outlets are made by Newfound Metals and are designed so that a hose can be connected or disconnected with the system presuurized.

Back on Point

 One of the three salt water wash down stations is flush mounted on the deck just starboard of the bowsprit. A chain hawse pipe for the secondary anchor is located on the port side. The Muir Atlantic 1000 anchor windlass with capstan serves primary ground tackle handling duty.

The Harken mains'l traveller track is bent to conform with the shape of the taffrail. This allows the track to be mounted on the aft trailing edge of the taffrail leaving room for the center single swivel ratchet block with cam cleat to be fix mounted still on the taffrail but in front of the track.   The car is on a four part purchase to port and to starboard.   A fiddle block on the boom bail and a single with becket on the traveller car completes the system.   It's not very tradtional looking but in this particular case performance issues trump tradition. Mains'l control is more challenging on the gaff rig than the Bermudean.... the mains'l itself is 50 square feet larger and she will sail better if the sail twist is easily controlled.

I thought the bottom mast band would be fabricated with integral spreader band brackets but it's not, so I need to buy or build these.  The spar plan calls for a pivoting spreader bar with 5 degree up and 3 degree aft tilt.  This so the leeward spreader will be pushed forward out of the way of the mains'l when off the wind. Do you thru bolt the spreader bar or just wood screw and 4200 it to the mast? The spreader on Precipice, a wooden gaff rigged BCC, is the one drawn  by Lyle Hess. I'm sure Jaun can build them but I need to contact the owner of Precipice to ask how his are installed. from the photo it looks like it is just sitting on top of the mast band.    His are cetainly tried and true....if the Northwest passage is not a test I don't know what is. 

The two peak halyard mast bands were to have had horizontal bails so the blocks would not bind when the gaff twists off the wind. Not to worry; I can modify plans for block attachment hardware. . 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Golf in the Kingdom

It was about 5 years ago when Lew called to ask me to go deep sea fishing with him and his only sister, Beth. Actually he was on one of his Good Samaritan missions. His sister Beth had cancer and she had always wanted but never been able to go deep sea fishing. "Puleez, come with us", he begged me. Neither one of us were fishermen but, hey; it's on her “things I really want to do before I die” list (I don’t like the term “bucket list”). I agreed to join them. Lew chartered a nice boat with a captain; we bought beer and snacks and left the dock early. The trip was a grand success even though Beth got sea sick. Throwing up didn't seem to bother her. I guess the side effects of chemo make "mal de mere" seem a walk in the park.

I asked Beth how she was doing when I saw her last week at Lew's funeral. She said, "Fine, my cancer is in complete remission". I told her that was wonderful, as I thought to myself, Lew and I could have been golfing that outing that I'm sure was higher on his list than deep sea fishing with sis. Beth was supposed to die and Lew wasn't; but she didn’t and he did.

I’m sure there is a deeper message here but the shallow ones always come to me first…the journey’s end is inevitable but the when is not something we can control or even predict? I am reminded of the time a former co-worker and I were waiting in the aisle to exit a just landed aircraft. No one was moving but some guy from way in the back is pushing and bumping his way forward, clearing a path as he went with, “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me”. Roger blocked his forward progress. In response to his even louder “excuse me” entreaty, Roger turned to him and said a bit louder than necessary, “we’re all going to the same place and you’re going to get there right after I do”; Rog loved a good fight and never missed an opportunity to start one. But I digress (master of the parenthetical).

I accepted Terry’s request to speak at the service and tried to stay within her guidelines. I said:.

"For over 15 years Lew and I worked together in the oilfield equipment business. We were sometimes competitors and other times partners. We were also close friends and golfing buddies. Over that time period, as you might imagine, I accumulated a large inventory of funny Lew stories. And while I am happy to share some of these with you, I thought today rather to offer a few thoughts from what may be a slightly different perspective on the man that was Lew.

When I knew and worked with Lew, he owned and operated his own oilfield equipment company. He called himself a junk dealer but in fact he bought surplus equipment, re-worked it and sold it to end users. His company distinguished itself as a reliable and trustworthy player in the market. But that honest and trustworthy brand attached more to Lew's name than the company’s. In short, Lew was a man of his word. If he said the deal carried a 4% commission, at closing that’s what he paid…….no back pedaling, no claw back. I am quite sure that Lew’s high standard of business ethics was a major factor in his company’s success. Working with him it soon became clear that Lew was decisive, pro-active and a risk taker. He was not a timid man. The stakes were high and the action fast at the typical oilfield auction….not a game for the faint of heart. If he was in attendance he typically set the tone. Lew understood the industry, moved confidently within it and always played fair. As a result he was highly regarded by sellers, buyers and competitors alike.

But Lew wasn’t just about business. We golfed together; writing down scores lower than we earned, abandoning those high ethical standards for an afternoon. And if you were golfing with Lew, he’s driving the cart; no discussion on that point. But don’t go to sleep in the passenger seat, the ride always proved to be adventurous. We never really figured that game out so we often found ourselves driving through parts of the golf course that better players rarely got to see.

But regardless of the setting, business or social, Lew was always kind and considerate to everyone around him. It was almost impossible to pay for a round of golf or to pick up a lunch check for that man. “I already have it covered”, he’d say, with that bigger than Dallas, cat just ate the canary smile of his.

And while he is gone from us now, we are not diminished by the loss. No, in fact, we are enriched by the example of his life. (Can you plagiarize your own words? ) We take solace in the knowledge that Lew began a new life when he departed this one and I can only imagine the joy and celebration when the Lord God, all the Saints and choirs of angels welcomed Lew into the Kingdom of Heaven."

Lew’s family seemed happy with what I said. But, what else would they say.......”your eulogy sucked”?

Now fast forward a week. I am on the driving range at 3 o’clock in the afternoon in Galveston Texas in July. It’s103 degrees and the humidity is 90 per cent which explains why I am the only one out there. Anyway, I’m using my driver to hit huge banana shaped slices that refuse to straighten out when a young lad only a head taller than my golf bag joins me on the practice facility. Despite there being 30 open stations, he sets up camp right next to me on my right side. Not only that, but it turns out he is left handed so we’re facing each other. He takes a minute to get organized. We don’t speak until he gets his ball teed up and then just before he takes a whack at it, he looks up at me and says, “watch this”……not so much as a hi, hello or howdy dowdy, just, “watch this”. His shot did not have a lot of altitude but it went straight. “Great! I thought, “even small children are better golfers than me”. I quickly got into the spirit of things, teed one up and directed him to “watch this” The conversation that followed led to a friendship and went something like this:

“Have you ever hit one all the way to the blue post” he inquired.

“I’ve hit some that far but they get crooked before they get there”.

"Mine are straight but they don’t go so far”, he replied. I assured him that his straight shots would get farther and farther but my crooked ones were not likely to get straighter.

“I’m Jason and I’m nine”.

“I’m David and I’m sixty-three”

“My Dad’s fifty-four”, he said, trying to make me feel a bit better about my advanced age, I suppose.

I said, “He’s just a baby”.

We continued to alternate shots, complimenting or consoling each other on each swing depending on the result. Jason then asked me, “how come you called my dad a baby?”.  Realizing that I had insulted his Dad I quickly apologized and explained that I meant he was quite young compared to me. Without saying as much it seemed he had accepted my apology and we carried on demonstrating our shot making skills to each other.

There were no cars in the parking lot and there was no one else around. Curious, I asked young Jason if he lived nearby.

“We live in Houston but we have a house close to here. Sometimes my mom drops me off here.”

“Our family lives in Houston too, but we have a second house near here too”, I said. “Our house is on Petite Lane”.

“That’s our street!” he exclaimed, quite excited about this coincidence.

After confirming relative locations of the two homes and noting how cool it was that we were neighbors, we agreed that we would surely be seeing each other again. But just to make certain, Jason advised that, “If you see a kid wearing a baseball hat just like this one”, pointing to the LSU hat on his head, “that will be me. Or, if you see a kid shooting baskets in the driveway, that will be me too”.

We shook hands and parted company. The next day I saw him on the putting green with his junior golf camping buds. From the golf cart I shouted to him, “Hey Jason!”. I got a smile and a wave in return.

You sent him, didn’t you, Lew?