Sunday, November 17, 2019

Updating the Dodger - Modifying the Frame

Raising the existing Dodger Frame.

We're modifying the Frame in order raise the top of the Dodger so that Peggy (5'6") can see under it when stood at the Helm. It also has to be high enough that it does not obscure my (6'0") vision forwards. And it has to be low enough that the boom will not touch the top when the sail is slack, topping lift loose, Vang and main sheet taught.

Cut the Frame extender and Internal splints


2 x 12" 7/8" dia. Internal Splint Tubes
2 x 10" 1" dia. Extension Tube
I had an old 7/8" Bimini Frame that I have cut bits from for various projects over the past 8 years, and it's the right diameter for the splints. I used a 4" angle grinder with Metal cutting wheels to cut  2 pieces of 12" length. They will get inserted inside the 1" Frame tube and the Extension, then they'll get Riveted into the existing Frame. The Extension tube will probably be about 7" but I'll cut them to 10 inches and check the Boom clearance, then trim their length to fit.

From the 6' of new 1" SS tubing, cut 2 pieces of 10" length, these will become the extension of the main dodger frame, joined with the existing tube using the splint cut as mentioned above.








Remove the existing dodger canvas. 

We have done this several times, some for cleaning and restitching, and other times as part of our Hurricane preparation - Note to self: New Dodger canvas must be removable for Hurricane Prep.

This is a pic of the current Dodger, note how the leading edge of the canvas is responsible for the forwards tension, the thin line at the back of the side window provides the aft tension. Also note the Dodger Tubes are wrapped in a Boat Blanket material to stop the windows getting burnt in the South Florida Summer Sun.

Remove the Grab Rail and reconnect it to the inside of the dodger - the grab rail sets the distance between the Main (aft) and Forward Dodger tube rails.

Add the Frame extension.
Internal Splint Tubes inserted Loosly into Extension Tubes

Pretty simple, at least that's my vision on this part. Just disconnect the lower Cap end from each side of the Dodger frame, Insert the 10" length of tubing into the Cap ends, insert the 12" Internal Splint into both the new extension and the bottom of the old tube.

Reconnect the Cap end to the Deck Hinge and check the height of the Dodger for Boom clearance.

Cut down the new extension tube to get to the correct height.

Once the extension height is correct, Drill the tubes and splint for Riveting. (New Titanium Drill bits!)

Internal Splint & Extension Pop Riveted
with Stainless Steel Rivets.
To make life easier, I drilled the tubes on my home Drill Press. 
3/16" Drill with Extension in Drill vice, easy.

Pop Riveted the Splint to the Extension, solid!
The other two holes will be drilled down at the boat, I don't intend to bring the frame home just to drill 4 holes.
Finally, Attach the Stainless Steel Rail Mount Hinges to either of the Dodger side rails just below the Grab Rail attachment bolts. These will eventually be part of the connector for the new tubes that reach from the back of the new Dodger down to a new deck hinge. These tubes will replace the current piece of 1/8" cord that pulls the dodger frame aft. So the new Dodger will have a sturdy rail for crew to grab as they exit the cockpit.





Stbd side of the Dodger Frame before Modification



Close up of the Stbd Side Deck Hinge before Modifying the Frame

The Extension Internal Splint would not fit inside the
ends of the Frame. So, removed the Dodger Frame from
the Boat to take home. It hung over the back of my F150

The Outside Diameter of the Splint is just larger than the
Inside Dia of the Frame.
Hence the slot along the length of the Splint.






The Splint was still a really tight fit even with
the Slot, Here the Splint has been cut to 3.5" 
1st side Extension fitted. It's a really tight fit.
No need to rivet the Extension in place.

Considering I cut the Extension with a hand held
angle grinder, it's a pretty good fit.



Extension fitted, End Cap installed.



With the Extensions and End Caps installed on both ends of the Dodger Frame, it's time to take it back to the boat and adjust the length of the Extension with the boom in it's lowest position.

Plan is to head down to the boat on Monday to make that adjustment and to create the template for the new Dodger.

We'e hoping this goes pretty quick, but will probably take a couple of weeks. At least at this time of year (it's November 17th 2019) it's pretty cool in my Garage where I do all my sewing.

Let's see how that works out.

Making progress.









Saturday, November 2, 2019

Something Broke on the Boat

Does something have to break every time we take the boat out?

We took the boat out to Lake Boca a couple of weeks ago and noted that our Anchor light was not working, as things that could go wrong, this is not a biggy, but it does mean I need to go up the mast.

Ok, so I should have checked the circuit breaker 1st, but they rarely go bad. It didn't!

After recovering from the weekend, we both went down to the boat intent on fixing the Anchor Light.
Up the mast #1
With a Trip up the mast to see if it was just the Lamp or the wiring or the fitting. Turned out the fitting was in pieces from Sun Damage and the LED lamp was damaged, probably got wet while lit.
Mast Cap. The block with the empty connector is the old
Wind Transducer that was broken when we purchased
Eximius. The White cable under the connector is the
Anchor Light wire that slipped inside the mast.
The old Anchor Light was sealed with Silicone, but the
Lens had dozens of cracks and several missing bits
probably due to UV damage over the years.
Up the mast #2
After getting a replacement Light fitting from Boat Owners Warehouse on State Road 84, we went back to the boat the next day. I was sore from the day before, my Bosuns 'seat' is webbing and not at all comfortable, today I could not get my butt up the mast due to the discomfort and finally gave up to go and get a decent Bosuns Chair. Down to West Marine off State Road 84, I found a Harken Bosuns Chair for $229 - Wow! But it's nice and should be comfortable. Back to the boat and in no time I was up at the top of the mast.

It took about 20 mins to install the new Lamp Fitting and prepare the wire ends for crimping to the old cable that came out of the top of the mast. First I tested the light using the wires from the mast and it worked fine, I even got the polarity of the lamp the right way around 1st time!

With the Lamp installed, I just needed to attach it with Crimped Butt Joints. Fully prepared, I had the butt joints and heat shrink tubing in my tool kit. with the cables prepared for crimping, I reached into my tool bag for a Butt Joint and Crimpers. Putting one in the Crimpers, I reached up for the supply wire - Where did it go? Oh S@%t! the wire had fallen down inside the mast, absolutely no chance of retrieving it! Grrrrrr. back down the mast, go home and figure out the process.

The following weekend, without an Anchor Light, we went up to Sunrise Bay to anchor among 12 other boats from the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club (HISC) and I used a temporary anchor light for the weekend. We purchased a pair of Dinghy lights at the Annapolis Boat Show a year ago, so I just used one of those secured to the Backstay as our Anchor light. It's Bright and easily lasted the whole night long. During the weekend, I was able to pull the fallen Anchor Light cable out from the base of the mast. I also confirmed that there were two unused cables, an old VHF cable and the old Wind Transducer Cable (our New Transducer is Wireless). The VHF cable was already cut off just outside of the base of the Mast.

Back to the Boat  today (Saturday) and Backup the mast. My Neighbor offered me a used Full Fall Arrest Harness, which is just what Harken instructs users of their Bosuns Chair to use.

With Harness attached to a safety line, and my Bosuns chair attached to a climbing rig (a couple of Prussic knots), Tool bag attached to a pull up line, my phone, and wearing my Ear Tec headset, Peggy assisted me wearing her headset while working the Main Halyard Winch (safety line was the Halyard), I headed up the mast.

Once at the top, I pulled up on the old VHF wire and the attached Anchor Light cable, luckily the two passed together through the hole in the top of the mast.

Within an hour of leaving the deck to go up the mast, the Lamp was connected, insulated and tested. We were good to go.

Of course, the tool bag hoisting line got snagged on the furled jib sail and the old VHF cable got snagged on the Radar Reflector and the spreaders, but I was able to free both and retrieve them.

Once back down on the deck after Peggy lowered me via the Main Halyard winch, we checked the Anchor Light, Steaming and Deck Lights, all working great!

Time for a lunch break, clear up and head home. We're ready for our next trip out on Eximius.

Eximius, she is Special! 😏






Updating the Dodger

It's due! Time to replace the Dodger

This project is going to take some time: It's the most challenging I've tackled so far. It's expensive - at least $650 (by my initial calculation, but look at the Materials page of the spreadsheet below)  dependent upon materials choice. And it's complex compared to everything I've sewn so far.

Why update it?
Much of the stitching is failing, it no longer fits well - many of the snaps can no longer be used (material is probably 10-20 years old and has shrunk) and, most importantly, the top of the dodger is directly in Peggy's line of sight, so she has either to sit at the helm or stoop to see under it. I can easily see over it, but I still have to duck coming out or going into the cabin.

Step 1: Decide on the features we want.
  • Dodger height increased - at least 6" but it can be raised as much as 7.5"
  • Front window panel center opening for ventilation
  • Add Dodger frame struts to replace existing lashing from aft of top to combing.
  • Wear strips on Aft top edge of dodger (existing canvas has suffered for not having this)
Step 2: Raise the existing Dodger Frame.
  • Add a Frame Extension to the bottom of the existing frame.
  • Basically I'll remove the lower end Cap end of the main Dodger frame tube, insert a internal splint and add a new piece of 1" SS 316 tubing to the bottom and replace the end cap. Then make any adjustments before templating the new dodger (have to make sure the Boom will not touch the dodger when the sail is fully raised and the topping lift is slack)
Step 3: Follow Sailrite's example concept of templating the new canvas & windows

Step 4: Get down to the construction process - I'll detail that as I go.

Materials

Those prices are after a 10% discount as I purchased them during the Annapolis Boat Show special.
I had some of the binding left over from previous projects for Eximius, and a couple of yards of the Sunbrella and a couple of the zippers. 

With all of the materials at the ready, it's time to start on the project. But 1st, I need to go earn a few boat bucks!!! I'm sure I'll have some material left over, but still had to pay for it. It had better turn our really really well!!

I'll add new posts with pics as we (Peggy will have to help with some of the work - it's much easier to move all of this stuff around with two people involved, besides, this is catering to some of her needs (being able to see out of the dodger when it's raining)  ... at least, that's my story.


Existing Dodger - new side windows, bottom edge does not
reach the studs except for the front, the rear tensioning line
is not strong enough for someone to grab hold and they do!
The Grab rail is one of my additions, it's a huge help so they
will be incorporated in the new design.


Note the lower edge is not snapped in place. The Dodger tubes
are covered in boat blanket and the window was new a couple of
years ago, the old windows were crispy from being burnt by
contact with the tubing in the hot Florida Sunshine

The existing Dodger does not handle the running rigging lines
that now come back to the cockpit, the new Dodger will.

See you on the water!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

AIS - nice to know we can be seen

When you're only a small boat, it's nice to know that you can be seen.


We motored back from the HISC Oktoberfest Cruise on Monday morning. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is being put together for it's opening on October 30th. So all of the Big boats are in town.

This is what the AIS overlay looked like as we motored past the boat show.

Just in case it's not obvious, each Red Arrow is an AIS target!


Thursday, October 24, 2019

My Splicing Kit

My DIY Splicing Kit

Needing to splice different types of line for everything from Fender Lines to Soft Shackles, I've watched dozens of YouTube videos on the subject. This is despite the Navy training I had at age 15 on how to make various splices in ropes, typically Coir Rope (Coconut Husk material).

1964 That's me in the Back Row 5th from the left.
HMS St. Vincent's Rope Work Class - Jnr Seaman


Over the past 4 years, I have made Fender lines, Dock Lines, Main Halyard Loops and the list goes on. I've built up a simple Splicing Kit and find it's pretty much all I need to complete any splice on the lines sized to suit Eximius. A larger boat might need thicker lines and a couple of extra, larger splicing tools.

My DIY Splicing Kit comprises of a Small & Medium sized FID, a line puller, Marker Pen, Ruler, Line Cutting Board and Sharp Knife

Fids: Used to open the rope strands or push a line end though the parts of the line. I purchased a pack of hollow, aluminum, knitting needles from the local fabric store. Cut the blunt ends off and then ground down that end with my rotary sander (could have used my Dremel)

Line Puller: Used to pull a line or part of a line inside of the rest of the line, I know, that's not very descriptive, I'll show it in pics.

Here are the parts of my kit:
My original Line Puller, Version II, Long Fid, Short Fid
Single Sided Razorblade, Sharpie Marking Pen

I spent a few minutes making a holder for everything except the Razor and Ruler
Note: The holder is marked at 6" 8" and 12" 
so that I don't have to have a 3' rule at hand.
Still thinking about how to include the Razor in the holder


Solution for the Razor, I've started to using a box cutter to hold the blade.


I purchased these (available on Amazon)
The cutter fits easily into the Splicing Kit holder. I didn't need 12 cutters, but what's the chance I'll loose one (or more 😉







Now I can sit and watch TV while I'm making a Soft Shackle or putting an Eye Splice in a piece of Dyneema.

See you on the water!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Multi-Purpose Block and Tackle

Should have made one of these years ago.

In preparation for Hurricane Dorian's visit (didn't happen here), I realized that Peggy was having trouble hoisting our Outboard engine from the Rail Mounting so that I could remove the outboard from the boat and get it safely in our Garage. The block was small and only had a 2:1 advantage. My solution was to replace the block with a 4:1 Block and tackle.

While on my buddy's, Peder, boat, he setup a Preventer to keep the Main sail steady during a downhill run, Wow! I never realized what a difference a Preventer would make. I'll have to get one.

This week we took our 69lb Inflatable dinghy back to the boat, it's been at home for cleaning and safe from the Hurricane (didn't happen here) and that reminded me that hauling the dink from the water onto the foredeck with a spare halyard (1:1) was a real pain. I need to have a better system.

So that's 3 reasons for having a block and tackle at hand on the boat, there's a 4th! Hauling someone from the water after a MOB event is no easy task, and a block and tackle would make that doable.

So, at least 4 reasons for a Multi-Purpose Block and Tackle.

I figure the max load would be about 250lbs (heavier than that and you're not coming on my boat, sorry, it's not a big boat!). So the SWL should be about 2.5 times that load, that's around 625lbs or 1.4Kgm and the attachment point would need to be able take a load of 500lbs or 1.1Kgm


NEW ENGLAND ROPES Solid Color Sta-Set Polyester Yacht Braid


50' of 5/16" Diameter












The Top Block

Lewmar 60mm Synchro Double Block with Becket















The Bottom Block

Lewmar 60mm Synchro Single Block
















We need to give this a name, we'll call it 'The Blue Block and Tackle' 

Yesterday, we hoisted the deflated dinghy from the Dock to the Foredeck using The Blue Block and Tackle, literally - NO SWEAT!

Now I need to make a dinghy hoisting harness. It'll be a simple 4 point harness with snap shackles on the 5 ends. Easy job using my Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing machine.

See you on the water.

Paul

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Raw Toast Explosion


Exploding Bread

I have now been baking bread for just over a year and since getting the America's Test Kitchen Bread Illustrated book, my bread baking skills have risen (pun intended) greatly.

Here's a link to ATK: https://www.americastestkitchen.com

Yesterday I baked my 1st ever Soaker, Sponge, Dough bread - Whole-wheat sandwich bread (See page 209 of Bread Illustrated).

It exploded! 


This method of baking (which should not normally blow up like this)

The Soaker process seemed to go ok, although it probably had a higher hydration % (I didn't have any wheat germ and used toasted Flax Seed instead). The Sponge processing went well too (as per the book)

I followed this process when I made the dough by combining the soaker and sponge: Putting the Sponge in the mixer bowl and setting it on Low, then adding the soaker one tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Then I added the other ingredients. Finally kneading for 8 mins on med-low.  Into a greased (EVO) bowl with plastic lid to rise. It rose to the top of the bowl within 30 minutes! (15mins early) but hey, this is South Florida in Summer = Hot, Humid even with the AC running to 78º F .

Folded dough the 6 times as described, next rise, that was quick too.

Split and shaped the dough then into the Bread Pans (8.5" x 4/5") and covered with greased plastic wrap.

My oven takes a while to get to temp. So I set the oven to 350 while the final rise was taking place.

15 minutes and the bread was overflowing the pans!!! I pulled the bread from over the pan sides onto the top and pressed to seal - did not slash the dough.

Popped the pans into the oven sitting on a baking sheet - just as well

I checked the bread at 25 minutes to rotate but - Explosion!! Dough had spilt over the sides of both pans and had risen even more on the baking pan (the baking pans were hardly visible)

As I have learned, if it fails - finish the cooking - it might be salvageable.  Baked until 205ºF

Pulled out of oven, had to let them cool in the pans until set sufficiently to try removing them.

I had to  do some major surgery to get the loaves from the pan, but was successful and transferred loaves to the cooling rack.

My wife buttered a couple of pieces of the lava left overs, delicious!

This morning we had some of the bread toasted - Delicious!!! Very light, lots of reasonable sized holes  and the toasted Flax seed added flavor to the bread.

So, I'm guessing that the problem was the amount of yeast in the final dough!

The recipe on page 290 indicates 2 Tablespoons of Yeast, I'm betting that's a typo and should read 2 teaspoons!


And the good news:


 None of the dough spilt over into the oven! It was close.

And the bread in the pans looks good.

They were cojoined but none of it was burnt, a hint in the left corners nearest  to the camera.








With the excess cut crusts cut off, the bread came out of the pans in one piece, the 'open' sides of the bread were not trimmed, that's how they came out of the pan.

Size and shape were just fine. It's just odd having a loaf with no side crusts.








Not too shabby!

The loaf is very light, really light! I was expecting a rock, as I have baked a few of those over the last year or so.

But the crumb was very airy, the flax seed was we distributed, and the flavor was really much better than I expected.

Next time I'll use just 2 teaspoons of yeast and will not use Flax seed but use the suggested Wheat Germ.

Oh, what did we do with the overflowing crusts? We ate about 1/3rd of it and tossed the rest. Too much bread crumbs in my galley already.




This is not a bread I would or could make on the boat! It requires a stand mixer - don't have one on the boat - and it takes 24 hours total to make - I started my prep at 14:30 and the bread came out of the oven at 18:00 the next day!  But I must say, it is really delicious.

See you on the water - and I'll probably have Boat Baked Bread on board too!

Paul

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

DIY Spool Holder

My DIY Spool Holder

DIY Thread Spool Holder

A couple of years ago we thought of getting our boat's Dodger & Bimini replaced, but the cost was going to be over $5000 - well over! So I decided I would learn to make one myself, even then, the cost will be close to $1,000 but it would include a whole lot more features. I purchased the Sailrite's LSZ-1 Sewing machine and later the Industrial table & Servo motor - they work! After two years, the machine has easily paid for itself.

During that time my sewing kit has expanded and these recent additions have been really useful.

Rectangular Ruler


This is the ARTEZA Quilting Ruler, no, I do not make quilts. But it is a huge help when trying to measure and mark material and keep the lines straight and parallel. This is one of those tools that should have been on my shopping list much sooner.

Now it's really easy to get square corners and the correct sized hems.

This comes to hand on virtually every new sewing project.

Available on Amazon





DYI Thread Spool & Bobbin holder.

When working on a sewing project, it's an annoyance to have to wind a fresh bobbin of thread in the middle of a seam or hem. So I prepare several Bobbins from the Spool of thread and put them on my Thread holder.


This pic shows the simple DIY Thread Spool holder and the Spare Bobbin holder.

The Spool holder is a simple piece of 3/16" Steel rod bent at 45º. the length of the angled part is about 3" longer than the typical height of a Spool of Thread.

This causes the spool to rotate as the thread is pulled off, avoiding twists. I didn't remove the thread holder than came with the Sailrite table.

The smaller piece of 3/16" steel rod is straight, it holds my pre-wound bobbins to match whichever thread I'm using for the current project.

In the event of the bobbin running out, I simply use another of the prepared set. I typically have five bobbins pre-wound.


This shows the Spool holder in use.

Both the spool holder rod and the bobbin holder rods are simply inserted into 3/16" holes drilled into the table but they do not penetrate all the way through.

This took about 10 minutes to make, I simply cut the metal rod (available at most hardware stores) using an angle grinder.

This turned out to be a great improvement in thread handling. It's easy to change the spool when I need to use a different thread and the correct bobbins are always at hand.


Love my Sailrite!





Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Value of a Sailing Club

What is the Value of a Sailing Club?

Our first boat was a Catalina 250 - Swing keel water ballast 25' Trailer Sailer. We kept her on the trailer at the side of the house (it's still visible on google maps) and dragged the boat behind our F150 the 90 minutes to Black Point Marina where we would spend 2 hours rigging the boat for launch. 

After 10 years, and lots of upgrades to the boat, and pushing it even to Bimini, we would take the boat out for up to 10 days at a time, just to get the value out of the work needed to launch and retrieve the boat. But we enjoyed that boat 'Joint Decision' every trip, even when the weather went south.


I wanted us to extend our cruising area, and the 25' boat didn't do it for us. I'm 6' and needed to wear knee pads to get around inside the boat, and approaching 65 I needed a bit more comfort. We needed a bigger boat! 

After a couple of years searching the Internet looking for a new (to us) boat, I had a pretty good idea of what type of boat 'I' wanted. Peggy's 'wants' were more pricey and I knew from our first boat, that upgrades / fixes take a bite out of the budget, so I felt the need to go with the older, proven, well supported boats. Catalina yachts were at the top of my list, but there were others.

So, if we wanted to get a bigger boat, I figured we needed to be around people that had bigger boats, it's probably catching!

We joined the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club with the intention of moving up to a bigger boat. We got so much more!

The HISC is a dynamic club, they only meet monthly at a rented hall for Cocktails, General Meetings and a Sailing interests program. Typically there would be about 100 members turn up the monthly GM, and the cocktail chats often extended into the parking lots afterwards. They held a lot of events that interested both of us. Racing (not so much for us), Cruising, and Social events. 

Knowing that you only get out equal to what you put in, I jumped into the club and volunteered whenever the chance arose.

In 2015, I was assisting at the Strictly Sail Miami HISC Membership Booth with other members of the club. We had been to the SSM show for the past 10 years and knew the layout. So spending an additional day at the show was an easy decision. 

During the show, I met with another of our club's members - Tom - and he knew that I was in the market for a bigger boat. He mentioned that he had recently delivered a boat from the Bahamas to Port St Lucie that was for sale and was a great boat, a Catalina 34!

I didn't jump on it, it was not in the right price range for Peggy - too cheap - not that we had the budget for an expensive yacht, and I thought no more about it. Three months later, the owner called me and invited me to come and look at it, 'You would not be disappointed" he said. So I suggested to Peggy that we go to see the boat and make a nice weekend of it by visiting our dautghter as well. She agreed. 

We drove up to the boat and spent over an hour looking at her. 'ChrisDeek' a 1987 Catalina 34 Tall Rig Fin Keel. Then we drove to Loxahatchee, to see our daughter and grand-daughter. On the Way from the boat, I suggested that if we were to buy the boat, we should name it 'Special' but Peggy insisted that we were not going to sail around with the word 'Special' on the back of the boat - note! She did not say we were not going to buy the boat! It's a Winner!

Anyway, that's the long story about how we got our bigger boat, because we joined the sailing club and got so many points of view from other boat owners, the chance to visit their boats on the water during the many club cruises, and to confirm some of the things we needed to look for.

Joining the sailing club helped us reach our goal. But it has done so much more! Since we brought 'Eximius' (Latin for Special) home, we have really dug into our club membership. Because the club does not own a building, the fees are only $150 a year, compared to the thousands that some clubs have to charge. But the equivalent of just $3 a week it's incredible value for the money.

We participate in a sailing club event at least every month, additional socials, again at least every month, and more. The friendships we have formed over the past five years add a lot to our retirement living. When we go to the club, practically everybody knows us, primarily because we jumped into the club by volunteering. 

Now I'm the club's Rear Commodore - That's a higher rank than I had at the end of my 25 year Navy career, and that means we're on a four year commitment - Rear, Vice, Commodore, Past Commodore. But it's worth every effort. Now I'm in a position to encourage others to get more out of their sailing hobby, develop new friendships, and enjoy the camaraderie of like minded sailors.

So I suggest, if you want to really enjoy local sailing, and more, then Join a Sailing Club - and Jump In!

See you on the water. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Not the best Birthday

Birthday Weekend - cut short

We set out from the Dock Saturday Evening before 6pm to motor down to Lake Sylvia for the start of Peggy's Birthday Cruise Weekend. Plan was to anchor overnight Saturday at Lake Sylvia, then Motor out of Port Everglades Sunday Morning, Sail up to Hillsboro Inlet and then Motor up to Lake Boca to anchor overnight, Monday reverse but going from Port Everglades directly to the dock.

Weather has been steady the past few days, either storms in the morning or just after lunch, hot blue skies in between. To make sure we dined well, I made Fresh Whole Wheat Bread and a Bacon and Swiss Cheese creamy Quiche on Saturday, and we packed plenty of food, wine, rum and snacks.

Our grand daughter's other Granma was scheduled to have her birthday celebration with family on board the Jungle Queen Saturday evening - 6pm departure, family had planned to come from all over, so we contacted JQ as soon as we heard them navigate up the river on the VHF #16 and them to say hi as we passed. We often meet and pass the Jungle Queen, always courteous and their skippers know our boat by name as they do most frequent travellers of the New River. JQ agreed to say Hi which basically meant they would sound their horns as we passed. We had our little biddy horn ready too (nowhere near as loud as JQ's).

We expected to pass JQ just upstream from the Tunnel so we were prepared. As she came around the bend, they saw us and blasted their horn in a cheery melody. We reciprocated with several tweets from ours. Peggy was stood on the cockpit seat waving to everyone on JQ, we looked for our family but could not see them among the couple of hundred folks on board. But they all waved back, it was fun. But apparently, the family didn't make it to the JQ but we didn't find that out until Sunday Morning. Still, it was fun to Meet & Greet with JQ. Thanks Guys!

Lake Sylvia was not as packed as past weekends, we found a suitable anchor spot and dropped our 35lb anchor and 70' of Chain, backed down with enough speed to dig in but not enough to pull the anchor back out. 1st time! Anchor secure! It only took a few minutes to hoist our Anchor Day Mark and secure the Anchor Snubber to soften any sudden movements of the boat against the chain, not a frequent event on Lake Sylvia, but we like the quiet of the snubber compared to the crunching of the chain when we swing around due to wind or current.

The boat, Patagonia, was off our Stbd quarter, I was pretty sure they were club members but were out of hailing range. I watched the skipper inflate his dink on the foredeck, his boat was about the same length as Eximius. He put it in the water, mounted the outboard and took it for a spin around the lake. While I was making dinner - ok, serving dinner as it was the still warm Quiche - Delish! I saw them depart their boat in the dink leaving Patagonia at anchor.

We enjoyed the Quiche, some wine for Peggy and Rum for me. Weather was forecast to be quiet overnight and we ran the AC for a couple of hours before turning in for the night.

Sunday morning we realized that we (me) had left the Butter and Olive Oil at home, bummer! I had planned on making Eggs Benedict with Sausage, Tomatoes and Fried Toast for Breakfast - So we had poached eggs (egglets) sausage and Toms instead - not as fancy, but a nice breakfast. Our plan was to leave around 9am so that we were not trying to get out of Lake Sylvia at low tide - there are plenty of skinny parts both in the lake and in the canal entrance to the lake. We hoisted Anchor without seeing the crew of Patagonia nor their dinghy.

We motored out to Port Everglades, the bridge was already up for it's O'Clock opening, so I hailed the bridge to advise them that we did not require the bridge open so that they didn't hold it.
Passing under the closing bridge, we saw the new Ship USS Paul Ignatius which had only been commissioned the day before (Saturday) Very smart looking ship. As a 25 Year Navy guy, it was nice to see a really modern ship in port.

Motoring out of Port Everglades, Peggy cocked her ear at what she thought was unusual sounds on the boat, but we didn't thing much of it, depending upon the current in the river and port entrance, the engine can be under different strains each time and we often hear noises from other passing boats resonating through our hull. We should have been more mindful!

There was barely any wind and the seas were calm, so we motored out to three miles. I know, it was supposed to be a Birthday Cruise, and we were heading out for a dump! At 3.5 miles out, we dumped the tank, and re-secured the discharge valve. The wind picked up to 5knots from the East, so we actually hoisted the sails. We were managing 4+ knots through the water with under 6knots of wind, not shabby, especially as we were not working at it. The Auto Pilot was keeping course, it was a beautiful day for a sail. Then we heard the noise! a regular Screeching sound coming from the propulsion system when the engine was off and in neutral. Oh Carp! 

We discussed what it could be. It did not sound like a bag or line caught on the prop, but it did sound regular with rotation. As soon as we put the engine in gear the noise (and the prop rotation) would stop. Definitely something wrong with the shaft.

I emptied the aft berth in order to open the shaft space below, then, while I lay on the aft berth floor, Peggy put the engine in Neutral - No doubt now! The noise was clearly coming from the area of the Cutlass Bearing. NOT GOOD! Assuming it was the bearing, I did not want to run the engine and risk damaging the Bearing housing - that's big bucks. Needed a plan.

My decision was to go sailing! We could not get back to our dock until around 6pm Sunday evening due to the tides, and motoring was not an option except in an emergency. I figured that if we called for a Tow around 4 or 5 pm, we could get towed back to the dock near high tide. We could continue to sail around until 4pm - ish and then call Tow Boat US. After all, it was a beautiful day for a sail.

We turned North towards Hillsboro Inlet and Boca Inlet, just to burn some daylight. Sailing was great, Peggy was not happy - the boat is broken and we're about to spend a Boat Buck or Two on getting it fixed.

With plenty of time to think about it, my mind wandered through the process of replacing the Cutlass Bearing.

For those that don't know about Cutlass Bearings - The picture shows the cylindrical bearing housing along the lower edge of the strut through which the Prop Shaft passes. The Cutlass bearing is a tube that is lined with a rubber insert that has grooves running from each end. Those grooves allow water to cool and lubricate the shaft / bearing interface and has to be replaced every few years. (dependent upon the engine hours) We normally sail with the engine in Neutral which means the Prop is free to rotate, but it's normally silent and we are not aware of it's rotation. The pic was taken before refinishing the shaft, prop and installing the new Zinc last January (2018)

To replace the bearing requires the boat to be hauled (a diver can do it in the water, but there's not really any option to check the bearing housing for damage). Hauling the boat costs about $500 (haul, pressure wash, blocking, stands, and resplash after the repair) Once on blocks and stands, the prop has to be removed. Then using a bearing removal tool (rental and shipping) is used to extract the bearing, the same tool is used to insert the new bearing. Of course, with the boat out of the water, there are several other things that could be done to get the best out of the boat bucks, like: Prop Speed coat the Shaft and Prop, Clean and Polish the hull above the water. Our Bottom paint is in good condition so no need to repaint after just 18 months. It would probably cost about $1,000 to do the work myself, a lot more if I paid for a contractor to do it. Luckily it's all well within my skill set. The downside is that it's Summer! Doing that work in 100ºF is close to unbearable!

Meahwhile, as planned, we sailed down towards Port Everglades from North of Hillsboro Inlet, and I called Boat US on #16 at 15.25pm. After taking my details (and checking my membership and Gold Unlimited Towing) they dispatched a tow boat out to the Port Everglades entrance. Timing was perfect, their arrival would coincide with ours just inside of the PE Channel. A Cruise ship was leaving the dock, and the tow boat got us in tow before it came out of the channel. I asked Capt George to not go too fast and advised him of our nearly 6' draft and that we had a mast height of 54'. George confirmed our mast height so that we could pass under the 17th street bridge without opening. It was nearing high tide, but I was confident that we had clearance at the center of the bridge. So Capt George steered down the middle as we helmed the boat to go right down the center between the fenders, making sure not to twing the bridge lights that hang down a foot or so below the bridge center.

Tow Boat US did a great job in getting us back to the dock, timing was perfect, and our Capt was very considerate of both our speed and draft. We got alongside our dock close enough that I could step ashore and secure the boat while Capt George completed the Paper work (iPad).

As Tow Bot US headed away down the canal, we started to unload the boat and took a few minutes break to eat some more Quiche (delish even when cold). Peggy still not the happy birthday girl, I don't blame her. 

Monday morning we drove back to the boat and I used my Olympus Tough G2 camera, on the end of a boat hook, to take some videos of the Prop and shaft. FOUND IT!

The Zinc on the shaft has slid back as far as the Cutlass Bearing (the divers had left the old zinc in place when the installed the new one that is further from the Strut.

This is an easy fix!




Monday evening, the Divers went down to the boat, removed both zincs and installed a new one (I always keep spare zincs on the boat). Tuesday morning, I went down to the boat and ran the engine from slow all the way up to full throttle - no noise from the shaft! WooooHooo!

Now, all I have to do is figure out what I'm going to do to make up for Peggy's spoiled Birthday Cruise! I saved a Boat Buck (Bring On Another Thousand) 

See you on the water. - Pay attention to those weird noises!





Friday, July 26, 2019

Keeping our boat's Log in the Dark

Sailboat Log Keeping at Night.

I posted a few months ago about the new Ships Log that I created using Google Sheets, here's a link to the first of those two posts.

We've been using the Log Book for nearly six months now and have used it on several night sailings. It has worked out really well.

When keeping the Log at night, the biggest issue is being able to see the pages and write in the dark. The GPS screen and the other instruments at the helm are dimmed almost to minimum in order to protect our night vision, so using a Flash Light to illuminate the pages of the log is not an option.


I found these on Amazon and they are incredible.

The light is plenty bright enough to be able to see the Log Book Pages and the Red Light does not harm my night vision.

I routinely switch through the clicks of the pen to get to the Red Light, and when switching it off, I switch through 3 times to get to the 2nd Off setting which means one click and the light is on.

There was a concern that the Batteries might not last long enough, but we have used the Pen nearly every night during a 3 week sailing trip to keep the Log Book and to write up my blog notes (while Peggy is taking a nap). The batteries are not showing any signs of needing replacement yet. The Set of 3 came with 6 refills and 3 sets of spare batteries. The package is a ziplock type bag, so the spares stay nice and dry as well as all in one place, which is normally a problem for me, I'm not the tidiest sailor on the ocean.

Here's a link to the pen set on Amazon - Yes, I earn an amazon commission on sales from my blog, but hey, it helps me do all of these projects. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Improving Engine Access

Better Engine Access on Eximius

The Engine is located beneath the Companionway Steps on our Catalina 34. This picture shows how the steps are really in 3 pieces.

The lower two steps (that's the piece with the Documented Number) The Top two steps which are held in place by the two clips that are attached to the Companionway bulkhead.

The center piece, not really at step, more like a hood, or top cover to the engine bay.

To get access to the top of the engine, the top two step piece has to be lifted out of the way after releasing the two rubber grips where they sit on the top of the lower steps.

Then the Hood has to be lifted out. And that's the pain.

I saw where someone had put a hinge on the back of the Hood so that it could be lifted from the leading edge and tilted back to the companionway bulkhead.


Searching around I found these stainless steel hinges with removable hinge pins. They allow the Hood to be raised up and removed if needed. If I'm just checking the coolant fluid level or the Air Filter, the Hood just needs to be raised out of the way, but if I'm tensioning the drive belt, or doing an oil filter change, then the Hood has to be removed.

Hinge is really nice quality and the style keeps the Hood away from the bulkhead behind it.

Another great find on Amazon, here's a link to the hinge.


This shows the center section in the closed position.

I have installed small cleat on the front face of the panel and a Stainless Steel Strap on the bulkhead above where the panel hinges upwards - a simple line is attached to the strap and turned on the cleat to hold the panel open.




The hinge pins are held in place with ss ring pins, but I'm waiting for the Retaining Clips Stainless Steel Fixing Pins to arrive from Amazon.

Here's a pic with the Panel in the Raised position, it's a whole lot easier to swing the panel up and secure it, rather than lift it out and put it somewhere while I work on the engine.



I'll replace the plastic cleat as soon as I get the ordered handles (2 for another project)

Meanwhile, this works great. I had to replace the Alternator after a repair and while at it, I replaced the Raw water pump. Not having to deal with the big Hood Panel in the cabin or out in the cockpit made the job a lot easier. Especially as I made several trips from the Cabin to the Cockpit which would have required either balancing on the top of the engine or replacing the Hood. Being able to quickly lower the Hood in order to step out of the cabin made the work go a lot quicker and safer.

See you on the Water.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What if the Boat Engine fails?

Planning for an Engine Failure

We rely upon our engine to get us from the Dock out to where we sail or to another dock or anchorage. Because we keep our boat over an hour from the Ocean, it's typical for our trips to start under power and navigating the New River in Fort Lauderdale, but what happens if the engine quits as we are transiting the river, passing under bridges or heading in or out of the Port Everglades inlet?

Sadly, it's from experience that we have figured out how to deal with this situation safely, so, to save you from having to make the same mistakes, here's what we have learnt.

Be prepared to tie up alongside anything! The river we transit has sides that vary in structure from home docks, other boats, concrete riversides and empty dock poles. Some of them are unsuitable for tying up just because there's nothing to tie to!

Being prepared means having lines ready to deploy, already on a cleat and Fenders ready to flip over the side in an emergency - there's no time to dig a fender out from a locker and get it secured to a cleat or line where it's needed.

So, we have a Midships Dock line setup on each side of the boat when we are transiting. The Line is coiled and laid over the Dorade in front of the Dodger. Those lines are at least 30' long.

We keep a 40 foot dockline on the cleat at the bow with the line running from the cleat, under the bow rails and back over the top. The line is secured with a slip clove hitch so that it can be quickly released and is ready to toss ashore and there is someone to grab it.

At the stern, we have another 40 foot docking line ready to deploy with a loop that we can quickly put over a cleat on either side. Again, it's secured so that it doesn't fall into the water and cause a problem by tying itself around the prop!

We have a fender on each side at the widest point of the boat (just in front of our Midships Cleat) secured in place and flipped over the lifelines so all we need do is flip it over the top and it's deployed, we have a 3rd fender jammed in place on the Port Side of the Dodger that we can quickly grab and move to anywhere it's needed. (The port side because our preferred choice is to tie up Port Side to. Of course, if we have no engine, then any side will do, but at least we know where the fender is so that we don't have to hunt for it.

We also keep a couple of older throwable cushions in the cockpit ready to use as fenders when a round cylindrical fender just won't do the job.

For those occasions when a tie up is not practical, that's happened a few times, we'll have to drop anchor. This is where local knowledge comes in. We know all of the places where we are not allowed to drop anchor due to under water lines or pipes. 

We lock all top side lockers when the boat is left at a dock, but when we are preparing to depart the dock, we unlock all of them, especially the Anchor Locker! We learn't that early on! I had gone forward to deploy the anchor and the locker was padlocked! I had to rush back, down to the cabin, get the spare locker keys and then back forwards to unlock the anchor locker! Lesson learnt! 

For the same reason, I also make sure that the tethers on the anchor are removed before we set off from the dock. 

We have our Main VHF radio on Channel #9 when transiting the river and our Hand Held VHF on Channel #16 at the same time. If we have an engine failure e call out a quick Security call on #9 in the river or #16 in the Inlet. 
eg. ""Security, Security, Security. this is the Sailing vessel Eximius, We are inbound on the New River at [Location]. We have an engine failure and are anchoring at [Location] any concerned vessels respond on Channel 9 or Channel 16."" 

We did have an engine failure as we were inbound to the 3rd Avenue bridge. Because they were opening for us, we called them on #9 and advised them that we had an engine failure and would not be able to make the opening. We tied up alongside a concrete side while we fixed the problem.

At the helm we have our Rechargeable Air Horn and pump charged and ready to sound to alert any really close vessels. 5 short blasts tends to get peoples attention even if they don't know the meaning of the Sound Signal.

Of course, we also have unlimited towing from BoatUS in case we cannot fix the problem quickly. Luckily, we have only had to use them once in 15 years, but that's another story - it's a good one.

So, be prepared and have a plan - your crew will thank you!

See you on the water.





Friday, July 19, 2019

Alternator - Internal -v- External Regulator

Alternator Failure - Updating wiring

Our Balmar 100Amp Alternator failed on July 4th. After leaving the dock, the Tach showed Zero RPM and the Analog Voltage Meter read 12.4v (ish). 
Upon arrival at the Bahia Mar, we did some fault finding, suspecting that the Field wire to the Alternator had failed, but the wiring and connectors were ok.

I removed the Alternator and took it to Fort Lauderdale Battery & Alternators on 3rd Ave just off of State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale ( Map link here).

They put the Alternator on their test bench and confirmed that there was no output. Despite the Alternator being setup for an external regulator, there appeared to be a short between the Field Terminal bolt on the back of the alt, and the surface of the regulator. They confirmed that the Regulator was fried.

So I left the Alternator with Greg to fix and it should be ready in a few days, it was - they have never failed me to live up to their word. With repaired Alternator in hand, I headed back to the boat. Thinking about it, I have a really nice Alternator with an Internal single stage smart regulator that is not used and an expensive external smart regulator that is used. But what if the external regulator failed? What would it take to switch over to using the Internal Regulator.  Time for some research.

The good news is that there's a great diagram on the Balmar website that shows how to wire the Alternator to use either the Internal Regulator or an External regulator.

At home, I complete my research and draw the wiring diagram in Open Office




The SPDT (Single Pole - Double Throw) switch is used to select either the Alternator's Internal Regulator or the External Regulator

I purchased the switch (a pack of 3) from Amazon. It's an On - On switch, so it cannot be in the Off Position which would cause both Regulators to be Off line!
With the Switch in the Internal Regulator position
  • The 12v from the Ignition Switch is connected to the Excite connection on the internal regulator. This powers up the Internal Regulator
  • The internal regulator senses the voltage on the +ve Output Terminal and adjusts the output of the Alternator as required.
  • With the Switch in the External Regulator position
  • The 12v from the Ignition Switch is connected to the Reg On connection of the External Regulator. This powers up the External Regulator and Powers down the Internal Regulator
  • The External Regulator Field connection to the Alternator now adjusts the output of the Alternator as required.
  • The External Regulator Sensor connects to the +ve of the Battery (actually to a shunt close to the Battery) and senses the Battery Voltage, rather than the Alternator Voltage which can be a volt or more different from the Battery Terminal voltage due to losses in the wires from the Alternator to the Battery. So the External Regulator adjusts the Alternator output more accurately. 
The Alternator's Stator or Tach connection is connected to the Tachometer which uses the signal to display the RPM of the Engine.

If the External Regulator ever fails, we simply shut off the engine, flip the switch to the Internal Regulator position and restart the Engine. Now Alternator output will be managed by it's Internal Regulator.



Life is good.




Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Navigating the New River in Fort Lauderdale Florida

Navigating the New River


We’ve been navigating the New River for 4 years, I’m sharing our experience in the hope that others will avoid some of the pitfalls we have enjoyed in that time.

The New River:
As far as Sail boats with fixed masts are concerned: The New River extends from Sand Bar Park up to the New River Fork and then either the South Fork or the North Fork. The South Fork leads to the Fort Lauderdale Marine Center beyond Davie Blvd Bridge, the North Fork leads up to Broward Bvld. My discussion is in regard to transiting the North Fork of the New River From Sand Bar Park - Upstream (Inbound) to 5th Steet Canal just before Broward Blvd.

Bridges:
There are 5 Bridges on the North Fork of the New River, all are normally closed to sailboat traffic but will open on request.  I say upon ‘request’ because the tenders, understandably, get a bit grumpy when someone ‘demands’ an opening. Hailing the bridge tender on VHF Channel #9 normally gets a quick response. The procedure we use that seems to get an appreciative response is:



[Bridgename, Bridgename] Sailing Vessel Eximius [Inbound/Outbound] [location] Requesting an Opening, Over.

-Tender’s Response-

[Bridgename] Eximius – Roger, Standing by on 9




Because our boat has an unusual name, we have it spelled out phonetically at the helm, just in case the tender asks how to spell the boat name.
Echo - eXray - India - Mike - India - Uniform - Sierra



Upon clearing the bridge, we always thank the tender with a quick

[Bridgename] Eximius - We’re clear, thanks for the opening.



The 5 Bridges are:

  • 3rd Avenue Bridge
  • Andrews Avenue Bridge
  • FEC Railroad Bridge
  • 7th Avenue Bridge
  • 11th Avenue Swing Bridge


3rd Avenue Bridge:

3rd Avenue Bridge is a double span bridge and when transiting up the New River, it does not come into view until within about 300 yards of the bridge, so, we don’t wait until we can see the bridge before requesting an opening. We call the bridge as we cross over the ‘Tunnel’ and add our ‘location’ to our call. eg. 'Just passing The Tunnel'

Once the opening starts, it gets to fully open pretty quickly.



Andrews Avenue Bridge can be seen before passing 3rd Avenue, so we request the opening of Andrews bridge before we clear 3rd Ave. It’s a short run and Andrews Ave bridge is slow to open. It’s a single span bridge, the hinge is on the Southern, left side as going up river. We hug the North side fender, we’ve seen sailboats nearer to the hinge side, but it’s not so obvious if the mast will clear as the fully open bridge overhangs the river.

Caution: There is a Pumpout Outflow on the North side of the river just downstream of Andrews Avenue Bridge. That Outflow will push us across the river unless we have sufficient speed through the water. 

Caution: The FEC railroad bridge is about 200-300 yards from Andrews Avenue Bridge - If the FEC bridge is closed, Andrews will most likely not open, which means we will have to hold station between 3rd Avenue bridge and Andrews Avenue Bridge - that could be for just a few minutes to over half an hour if it's a Freight Train passing! Most  likely we will not be the only boat between the two bridges, and it gets to feel crowded really quickly - we do not have a bow thruster - holding station can be tricky, especially if there’s a current flowing - there normally is for us. (see dock note below) We have tied up alongside an empty dock several times, because our boat has prop walk to Port, we will ideally dock port side too between the two bridges. 



Florida East Coast Railway Bridge (FEC Bridge)

The FEC Bridge is a single span bridge and is not controlled at the bridge - it’s a remote control bridge, however, when Brightline (Now Virgin) trains started using the bridge, they were required to have a tender at the bridge. They respond on VHF #9 to ‘FEC Bridge’

Caution: There is a 2nd Pumpout Outflow on the North side of the river when approaching the FEC Bridge from Andrews Avenue Bridge.

The width of the channel at the FEC bridge is narrower than it seems due to the overhang of the bridge, ther have been several boats that have struck the bridge structure because they strayed too close to the hinge side of the bridge.

There is a Website that shows the status of the bridge at https://www.nrbinfo.com/

It is also available as an App for Iphone and Android (Search for New River Bridge Info)

3rd Ave bridge is a double span bridge seen quickly after passing the FEC Bridge, and rounding Sailboat Bend, the bridge generally opens very quickly, so be prepared to rev up to pass the bridge. There are floating docks at Sailboat Bend, but beware their docksides are not nice! Have fenders out and do not scrape the dock, those are not plastic dock bumpers, they are metal! We have tied up at the floating docks several times. If you plan on picking crew up, then they can park in the big lot opposite the Museum and take the 2 minute walk to the floating docks.

Just beyond the 3rd Avenue Bridge, on the North side of the river is ‘cooley's landing marina’. There are quite a few long term liveaboards in the slips at the landing, the current can be quite strong at that point in the river, and the tops of the ramps are frequently underwater during high tides. There’s a parking lot for boat trailers.

11th Avenue Swing Bridge is the least used bridge on the North fork of the New River, but the tender normally responds right away, traffic can delay the bridge opening for several minutes.

Caution: Stay clear of the shallow area on the North side of the river as approaching either side the bridge.

Caution: Do not try to pass on the North side of the swing bridge - it’s impassible to a sailboat.



Pumpout Options 
There are several pumpout options on the New River, we have only experience at those on the South Side of the river. The first is at Smokers Park. When approaching 3rd Avenue Bridge inbound, going up river, and passing The Tunnel, Smokders Park is on the left as passing the corner. (see map) The pumpout is a Free City Service, but it can be reserved, so either take the chance that it’s not reserved and risk being asked by a city employee to leave, - or - Call the New River Dockmaster and ask to use it.

The Pumpout is controlled by a time switch on an electrical box just past the exercise area to the North of Smokers Park, Have everything ready for pump out at the boat before walking the 150 yards to the timer and set it for about 30 minutes, then head back to the boat and connect the pump out hose. It’s polite to suck a few gallons of river water into the hose before stowing it at the pump out station upon completion.

The New River Dockmaster can be reached on VHF #16 but backup with a phone call if no response on VHF Call them at: 954-828-5423



Notes:We keep our boat well up the North Fork of the New River, the canal is subject to shoaling and we can only get out of the canal within 2 hours of high tide, this means that we are probably going to have current flowing in or out as we transit the New River. Ideally we would time our departure and arrival at the dock so that the current is on our bow, it’s easier to transit the New River against the current - holding station for a delayed opening bridge is a lot easier when against the current.



The New River is used by a lot of commercial traffic. There are probably a dozen or so of River Taxis, Tour boats (Jungle Queen, Go to Sea on the Carrie Be, etc.) and then there are the Tow Boats: Large vessels heading to and from the Fort Lauderdale Marine center are often towed as the turns on the South Fork of the New River are especially tricky for a 55’ to 150’ vessel! The good news is that if you are behind a tow boat, the bridges will open quickly for them. The bad news is that if they are delayed due to the bridges, they take up a lot of river.



All of the bridges on the New River close to river traffic during rush hours between 07:30 and 09:00 and again at 16:30 to 18:00 on weekdays - National Holidays excepted.

During the year there are several events which may close a bridge for the duration, such as Fun Runs etc.


See you on the Water.