Thursday, March 28, 2019

Update to Ships Log

Improving our Log Book 

After printing out the log and putting it in a 3 ring binder, and after reading several posts online about the value of a ships log, even for a small sailboat (our's is 34') I realized that the Boat Info sheet could be more valuable.

So, I added to several new fields to the spreadsheet.

Log Book - Boat Info Sheet

I have updated the shared version. It's still available for download and editing.
Here's the URL to the Google Drive Sheet

The reason for adding the additional fields was to make sure I had that data when I take the Log ashore, like to the Customs & Immigration office, Boat Yard, etc. For example, if we took the dinghy ashore and someone stole the engine or the dink, I would have that info with me. (In my log, I include the Outboard model and serial number!

Hope this helps.

See you on the water.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ships Log

SV Eximius - Ships Log

We've wanted a ships log for quite a while, now, planning our first decent sized cruise, it's time to get it done.

After looking over the options online, I asked my FB buddies for input and this is what I put together.

Basically it's a Google WorkSheet that has 4 Sheets
  1. Usage - explains how we use it, and how others can download it to edit / use themselves.
  2. Boat Info - Basic Boat info that identifies the Boat, and Important info such as Engine, Fuel, Water, Communications etc. I'll probably modify this from time to time.
  3. Trip Info - My concept is that each time we take a trip, we'll start a new Trip Info page. It includes typical info about a trip, where we're going from, where too, who's going and when. Short trips will only use this page, longer trips will use addtional 'Watch Info' pages.
  4. Watch Log - Longer trips will use one or more of these pages in addition to the Trip Info Page.
Our planned use is to keep the Log Book on the Nav Station in the Cabin, and keep the current Trip Info page or Watch Log page at the helm.

The helm will make entries on either the Trip Info page or the ongoing latest Watch Log page.

On change of helm, the off-going helm will update the chart with the info from the Info Page or Watch Log page. Ideally, the on-going helm will make their first annotation in the log so that they are cognizant of position, sea state, wind conditions etc. Ideally they would get to review the off-going log entries too. As long as the Position Log info is transcribed to the Chart.

Boat Info Sheet

Trip Info Sheet

Watch Log

The worksheet is downloadable from my google drive.

To edit
  • Download it as and ods file
  • Open it with Open office or upload it to your google drive
  • or Download it as an .xlsx file and open it with Excel
I would appreciate any comments about the content or use. 


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Step up Mate

Refinishing the Cabin Steps - at last!

I'm not a lover of Varnish in any form, but I detest ruggly varnish finish - would much rather have bare wood.

So far, I have sanded and varnished the bathroom cabinet door below the sink, and the cabinet behind the shower seat, they get wet when we shower, no real choice there.

After completing an Engine Oil Change this weekend, I finally accepted that the cabin steps are in the 'Ruggly' category, dark, nasty looking varnish. Time to refinish them - they do get wet when we trapse wet footed into the cabin or if it rains when the dodger screen is not in place. So varnish it is.

Step 1. Sand down the old grotty varnish. I spent nearly 2 hours sanding with 60, 80 and 220 grit, that got the upper step set looking pretty good. Another couple of hours and the lower step was sanded.

Step 2. The old Documentation plaque, it does not meet Coast Guard Documentation standards as it's just, a poorly, engraved piece of plywood screwed to the lower step unit.

Solution: Remove the old plaque and carve the Documentation number directly into the wood of the lower stair unit.

I used my cardboard stencil set to mark out the numbers and then a Dremel  routing bit to carve out the numbers (prefixed with 'NO.' ). Once routed out, I used a Permanent Marker pen to color in the carved characters.

Step 3. Re-varnish the steps.

Result: Not to shabby
The top steps look so much better.
None Skid patches are from Lowes' Hardware, one patch does two steps.

I cleaned the hardware before refitting, even the screws and nuts came out pretty good.

The finish is Satin, water based varnish which is supposed to be unaffected by water of common household chemicals.

The lower steps, including the CG doc number look so much better!

I'll take another pic when they are on the boat, she should be happy. Might not happen today as it's pouring outside, and it's a half hour drive to the boat. But they are in the passenger back of the truck and I have a plastic sheet to cover them just in case it's still raining.

This whole job took about 5 hours, most of it spent engraving the numbers. It only took a few minutes to apply a coat of varnish and follow that, when dry, with a light sanding before the next coat. Four coats in all.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Making better use of our Fridge

The Fridge/Freezer on Eximius works well, but it's a pain having to dive down into the top loader in order to get anything out that's not on the top shelf, especially if it's a nice cold drink!

Solution: Bottle Bags!
Simple tube bags that will stand up on the bottom of the fridge and be easily accessible and hold 3 or 4 bottles of water, G2 and possibly beer and wine!

Finished Product - it has 2 bottle of G2 inside.


11" by 24" Phifertex®  panels
4 1/4" Circle of Phifertex®

8" strip of Webbing

 Step 1: Turn a seam the full width of one end of the panels and stitch the seam.

Step 2: Fold the Webbing in half and the panel in half along it's length - the Panel is folded so that the seam is on the outside (it will be turned inside out later)
Sew about 1" of the webbing on each side of the panel and complete the sewing of the panel the full length from top to bottom.

Step 3: Starting at the bottom of the tube, turn it inside out. That will result in the 'handle' being on the inside of the tube. This takes a bit of fiddling to get the tube folded on itself, but only takes a few minutes.

Step 4: Cut tabs into the edges of the tube base circle from the outside to just inside the blue line (1/2" on mine)

Make a cut about every 3/4" around the circumference. These slits will allow for easy sewing of the base into the end of the tube.

Step 6: Position the base on the inside of the tube and sew each 'tab' around the rim of the tube until all tabs are sewn.

That's it! I made three of them in less than an hour

These turned out really well. I'll take some pics of them on the boat to show how they work.

See you on the water.