Tag Archives: Boat-Tailoring

Harnessing Six Horses

When we bought the new outboard for the dinghy, we used the harness off the old one. It was a commercial product with plastic hardware and suitable for the lightweight two-stroke 6 hp we’d had. Soon we had augmented the harness with lines and knots, and clips, oh my — so augmented, we had little doubt it would hold the OB securely on its trips up and down from dink to stern-rail. But boy was it a pain the the transom if we had to remove the engine cover for any reason.

So, I sewed up a new one as shown below. The Velcro is not weight-bearing it just keeps the harness from dropping away from the motor when we loosen it to open the motor case. The lashed double D rings keep things from slipping and sliding. The Spectra used to secure everything is quick to deal with, can be variably tensioned and can’t corrode. [The pictures are of line I used to measure before cutting the ($$$) Spectra.] I put heat shrink tubing (ala shoe string) on the tip of the Spectra to speed lacing. The Gallery includes results and instructions. Click on first pic

Cutting Up on News Year’s Eve

Shop Boss

Shop Boss Snips

Stowing stuff for long distance cruising on a 40 foot boat is a challenge from the outset. Stowing the trash is aggravated by the packaging that accompanies much of the stuff we bring aboard. Even after leaving all but the hermetic packaging behind (Boxes, bags, label wraps, etc^3), there is still a bunch of stuff that has to be retained for periodic disposal.

I bought the snips shown above for less than $10 at the temple of “W” because I didn’t want to use my sewing scissors on some of the the materials required in boat tailoring. (I think that price was definitely a loss leader.)

These light but tough Fiskars Shop Boss Snips (sheath includes pencil holder, and sharpening rod) now see much duty cutting up empty aluminum cans and plastic of all varieties. Using them has allowed us to reduce waste volume (if not weight) buy 20% at least. No small thing. Available from Amazon for ~$18 Fiskars Shop Boss Snips

Sandy Update 4

Right now the boat is bouncing around like an en-stalled cow that smells smoke. And that’s with no fetch and a wind picture like this>


This data is from Beaufort, NC. Not far from here and about the same exposure. It’s windier at the beach. But basically, the weather we have had today could have just as easily been associated with a garden variety cold front blowing through — except for that plunging barometer.

My consolidation of the wind probabilities looks like this.  Which amounts to a 30-40% chance of tropical storm force winds (34kt), 5-10% for 50Kt and 0% for hurricane force here in River Dunes. Having been exposed to hurricane force winds twice (underway and at anchor) since last June, this is a good picture.

The bulkhead stone work has about 12-15″ left before it is over topped, so the water is already up 2-3 feet. And the storm isn’t here yet.

One happy point is the sewing work we did this summer to further waterproof the cockpit enclosure has worked. The Bimini zippers aren’t even wet much less leaking, and I am very happy we re-waterproofed the canvas.

Now to go deal with Hekl and Jekl, the two flies that got below somehow and seek to drive me nuts.

Prime Time

Yes, it is. The weather is so nice it’s distracting.

But this is about on-line commerce.

Amazon “Prime.” Pay ~$79 a year and everything you order delivers in two days (sometimes one) at no extra charge. This has been invaluable. We have ordered everything from a case of toilet paper to a kayak to sewing notions I needed to finish a project. Plus you can share Prime with family members. We broke even in less than a 90 days.

Ship to Store. More and more companies with brick and mortar (ha) stores are allowing one to order online and have it shipped to the store one specifies — at no shipping charge. We have started ordering things underway and picking them up. West Marine does this but takes forever. Home Depot and Walmart have much quicker turnarounds.

Now off to the Sushi place.

Over the Cliff

Base graph from Weatherspark.com*

Usually, Fall arrives on the Chesapeake with a series of fronts and warm-ups and it takes a few weeks to see temperatures consistently below 80° (top arrow). It takes even longer to see dew points drop into the 50° (bottom arrow) range for several days. This year the weather went over a bit of a cliff.

The first serious front has allowed us to shut down the air conditioning, sleep under a light blanket, and me to get projects done without  lathering like a derby winner.

Thus far we have been able to re-waterproof the boat canvas, clean the clear panels in the dodger, work under the cockpit without life support. It looks like I’ll get in the last of the sewing projects done today before the next rain event (tomorrow)…maybe even an engine oil change if I shut the laptop down.

Our pre-departure tempo is increasing as the weather cools, medical appointments get checked off and old lists are updated for last minute shopping/provisioning.

Now, if I could just remember the memorable location of the replacement head vent filter I bought when we got back here in July…was that only 2.5 months ago?

*www.weatherspark.com is more than eye-candy. Give it a look.

Boat Show Barometer

The best that can be said for the Annapolis Sailboat Show, Friday, was the weather was gorgeous, I was there with Janet (and her new knees!!!), and we got a good parking place. We enjoyed the day but because it was iconic and ritual more than because of the show itself.

It’s a barometer for the economy and watching the show shrink to the smallest we can remember since 1980 with some new quirks was depressing.  It didn’t help Cruising World  flipped seminars one and two, and we missed the one we wanted to hear. I doubt it was because we had decided not to renew our subscription…

Observations — Clearly, boating is optional, and whining Continue reading