Friday, June 11, 2021

Expensive Oil change

 Expensive Oil Change - NOT!

In preparation for the Palm Beach Regatta this weekend, our plans included doing an Oil change on Eximius - not really due - we did an oil change last year - didn't record it but barely used the boat.

Anyway... Oil changes on Eximius are actually pretty easy.

The process (there is a point to this, so bare with me.)

  • Warm up the engine for about 10 mins
  • Shut down the engine
  • Insert the Oil Extraction Pump hose into the Dipstick - as low as it will go.
  • 10 to 20 pumps on the extraction unit - 2 mins
  • Wait for a few minutes until the sound of sucking air is heard from the dipstick  - it's clearly audible.
  • Put a couple of Puppy mats beneath the Oil Filter and release the oil filter with the filter wrench
  • Coat the seal surface of the replacement Oil Filter - of course we carry spares.
  • Replace the filter tight by hand
  • Pour in 2 quarts of oil and check the oil level with the dipstick - add more - check again until oil level is correct on the dipstick.
  • Check the other fluid levels, clean up, run the engine for a few minutes, check the level again.
  • Wait till engine cools down and check again (we typically do this the next morning)
See, no big deal. I decant the oil from the pump into an empty laundry detergent bottle and take it to the city recycling center.

The actual oil change may take about 15 minutes. 'Normally'

So, yesterday, we got to the point where we were ready to install the new oil filter I noticed that it was defective. The cylinder that should be inside the threaded hole was clearly bent, totally unusable. Grr.
Not to worry, I keep spares on board, quickly pull one out, apply a coat of oil to the seal and install it. It's a different color from the other spare and original, no big deal. But we now do not have a spare, so we take pics of it in order to ease the purchase of spares.

Then we add the fresh oil, Opp! added to much. This if never a problem as long as it's no so much that it overflows from the Dipstick. Just use the oil extraction pump to suck out some of the excess oil and check with the dipstick again.  As we had to suck out some oil and test with the dipstick multiple times until the level was correct we put a flashlight in the work area of the Stbd side of the engine. Oh Look! There's  the Engine Fuel Filter just astern of the dipstick and look, that number on the side of the filter looks like the number we took a photo of the spare oil filter we just used.

DUH! I had just used a Fuel Filter for the replacement Oil Filter! Huge DUH! As I now had neither a spare Oil filter or Fuel Filter - we have to go get some.

Checking online - Walmart was nearest - no good - no equivalents.
Checking on google - West marine was pretty near, they'll have them for sure. 20 mins later - no they don't. 'But' the helpful guy at West Marine said - They're Napa Filters and their store is on the other side of the road.
Quick drive and into Napa - WooHoo! They have them $16 and $10 each. Not so bad, I'll take two of each. Surprise! The $52 dropped to $26 - at that price I'll take more! Always need spare filters on the boat.
I walked away with 15 filters and two Gallons of Engine Oil for $116 that's crazy! Sorry if you got to the store after me, but I cleaned out their stock on Thursday.

Back to the boat, prepped the new oil filter (double checked I had the right one), installed. Checked the oil lever, ran the engine for 5 mins and checked again. Time to wait overnight.

Friday morning, we're at the boat loading it for today's trip, 1st thing: Check the oil level - spot on!

So we're good to go.

We motored from our dock to the Ocean, put the sails out, headed out to the 3 mile limit, did a dump, turned up towards Hillsboro Inlet, Sailed to within a half mile, then ran the engine for the two hours it took from the Inlet up to Lake Boca. We're sat at anchor right now. Taking a break before the skipper's meeting this evening and the Regatta start at 10:05 Saturday (tomorrow)

See you on the Water.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Palm Beach Regatta 2021

Palm Beach Regatta 2021

Let's get real - We're Not Racers! Eximius probably has several hundred pounds of tools and spares onboard, plus we carry 10 gallons of Diesel on deck as well as 10 gallons of Gas and 24 gallons of fresh water, that's roughly 44 gallons of fluid, guestimate about 8lbs per gallon = 352 lbs, equivalent of 2 additional crew but they just sit there on the rail. So, as stated, we're not racers. However the Palm Beach Regatta is such a fun event we couldn't resist.

To be fair, we did race in 2019 and scored a trophy - we didn't finish, same as everyone in our class, but we did tell the best story and scored the 1st place trophy.

This year there are 15 boats in five different classes, only two of us in Gunkhole, us and another Catalina but at 36, just a bit bigger than our 34. Only one of us will get a trophy this year as it requires at least 3 boats in a class to result in trophies going to 1st, 2nd and third. So the challenge is on!


Most of the preparation has been in getting the race setup, the pre-race party and skippers meeting, there's not much for us to do to our boat, it's going as is, but we are doing a bit or normal servicing and trip preparation:
  • Oil Change
  • Water tank flush and fill
  • Non-perishables
  • Drinks
  • Bedding (we'll be staying aboard while anchored in Lake Boca on Friday, West Palm Beach Saturday and Sunrise Bay Sunday)
  • Our serviced PFD's (we service them every year)
  • Charting our anticipated course (we're expecting very light winds, so we'll head ENE from the start line until we feel the Gulf Stream pushing us North.)
  • Loading all of our Electronics on board - including our inReach (here's the link) satellite tracking service.
  • Clothing for 5 days, including attire for the Awards Party at the Palm Beach Sailing Club on Saturday evening.
Ok, that's easily done, we do have one other thing to do:
We'll be mounting Rail Boards to the Stanchions on both sides of the boat forward of the Shrouds in order to attach the fuel/gas/water cans. The boards will be 4" White UV Plastic boards from Lowes and Stainless Steel U-bolts. The cans will get secured to the rail boards with Webbing Straps and Buckles.

Of course, we'll need some fresh baked bread, but no time on Thursday, so here's today's results
Two Loaves of Wholemeal Bread

So, the boat will be ready by Thursday afternoon.
Friday morning we'll take the perishables down to the boat and put them in the fridge. Stow our clothing, get the boat set for sailing and then pull away from the dock around 10am and head out to Port Everglades. Heading East we'll go for the 3 mile limit and pump out, then head up to Hillsboro Inlet. We hope to get some practice on setting up for the start line before going inside the Inlet and up to Lake Boca where we'll anchor overnight. We'll leave the anchorage at 6:50 in the morning so that we can catch the 7am Camino Real Bridge, the 7:30 Hillsboro Blvd Bridge and get out of the inlet around 8:45 and head up to the start line about 1.5nm North of the Inlet.

That's the plan!

See you on the water.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach Pt. 4

West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Returning from West Palm Beach.

We had pulled the dink onto the deck on Sunday night after having dinner ashore with a dozen other club members. I had also planned our departure and release from the raftup with Jeff & Hector. Alarm was set for 06:00 and we had a good night's sleep excepting for a 20 minute rain shower. Once that was past we reopened the V-berth hatch and slept well.

Monday morning while we had Cereal and Toast for breakfast, I explained the Peggy the process for parting from the raftup: Because of the tide at that time and because Jeff had a Stern Anchor out, we could reduce the lines between the two boats and pretty much stay in position. I would then start to haul in the 275feet of anchor rode. The first 175' was triple stranded 1" rope which was then shackled to 100' of 5/16" chain. 

When hauling in Chain, it just falls down into the anchor locker, but when hauling in triple stranded rope, it's quite stiff and so does not just fall into the locker, but has to be pushed down. So, I anticipated it would take a little longer to haul in the rope so we would have to be ready to put the boat in reverse in order to prevent us over-riding the anchor rode and risk having line in the area of the prop.

07:00 we started releasing the lines by the time Jeff was up and ready to let go of the stern line. Once the lines were free, I started hauling in the anchor line, had to work pretty quick as I was worried that our stern would catch the bow of Affection, that would not be a happy event. Once clear of the rafted boats, I worked at pulling the rest of the 3 strand line and treading it down into the anchor locker. Once the line was in, it was then easy to haul in the Chain and to snug the anchor up to the anchor roller.

As soon as the anchor was clear of the water, I gave the signal to Peggy that we could head out to the channel that crossed from the East side of the ICW to the West side. The bridges in WPB are on the West side of the ICW.

Once we were through the short channel we turned North towards the Flagler Memorial Bridge. We made much better time that expected and had 15 minutes to spare for the bridge's 7:45 opening. Mike & Brenda on Imagine were also heading North to the Lake Worth Inlet and was also in a holding pattern just South of us. As soon as the bridge spans were open, I pushed ahead at 2,000 rpm making over 7 knots over the water, but the tide was already turning and we were only doing just over 6 knots GPS speed. Anticipating that the tide would get stronger the longer we were in the ICW, so we motored on. Imagine likes to get their sails up when chance occurs. The wind was light and we communicated that we would probably be under motor for the first couple of hours when we turned South from the Lake Worth Inlet.

We could not make it to our dock before the falling tide later that day, so we planned to anchor overnight in Sunrise Bay, we motored most of the morning and hoisted the main around 10am. Life was good until about 12am when it got cloudy, we saw a storm cloud in the North East on our Radar, at first it didn't seem a threat, we also saw Imaging closing up on our stern rapidly under sail.

Shortly after Imagine passed us on our Stbd Side, we put in a reef just in case the weather worsened. 

Within minutes, Mike called on VHF suggesting the storm was approaching, it was. So we put in a 2nd reef then decided to pull the sail down. Just in time, winds picked up and the seas got very lumpy, nothing we haven't dealt with before, but safety first. we were only about 2/3 of a mile from the shore, didn't want to be under canvas on a lee shore just then. Imagine turned to windward and doused their sails too.

Now we're motoring all sails stowed, it's lumpy, frequent rolls dipping the rails. Then, all of a sudden, the fuel gauge read nearly empty! What !! We're about an half hour or more from our entry into Hillsboro Inlet, on a Lee shore, sails down and the engine fuel gauge is touching zero. 

This is not a good place to be ! If the engine stops, there's barely time to drop anchor and stop the boat getting into shallow water - not a pleasant scenario.

We carry 10 gallons of Diesel in 2 tanks on deck - secured to the Port side just forwards of midships. Now, I was pretty sure that we had not used all of the fuel in the 23 gallon tank, but we had been pushing the engine since 7:45 this morning. Typically we use about 1/2 to 3/4 gallons an hour. I should have somewhere between 5 and 10 gallons in the tank calculated by usage, so the gauge should have been reading at least 1/4 full, so it was probably a gauge error.

The Gauge is powered by the resistance in the fuel gauge sending unit, there's a float with a magnet that can move up and down a central tube which makes/breaks reed switches, those reed switches change the resistance of the circuit to the gauge and thus the gauge is basically a volt meter but just displays the tank level in 1/8 segments as there are 8 reed switches in the sender.

So, pretty confident that we had plenty of fuel, now was not the time to gamble. I asked Peggy to take the helm in order that I could go outside of the cockpit to get the tank of diesel and add it to the fuel tank. Peggy was not certain that she could handle the boat in the rough conditions, the Auto Pilot certainly could not, but the risk of running out of fuel and heading to the shore in the storm was just not an option. 

Peggy took the wheel - I was pretty confident she could handle it, and I was right. I hooked my tether onto the Port Side Jack line (a nylon webbing strap that runs from the stern to the bow acting as a safety line when needed) an climbed out of the cockpit. The three principles of a good knot is that it has to do it's job, has to be easy to undo and look pretty. I had tied the fuel tanks to the stanchions with a couple of clove hitches, so easy to undo with one hand while I used the other to keep hold of the boat. 

Once back in the cockpit with the diesel can, I secured it to the rail on the Port quarter just aft of the Diesel Fuel Filler point. Then I pulled our 'Fuel Kit' out of the cockpit locker. That kit contains a fuel filler syphon, fuel filler cap key and fuel additives. I didn't worry about the additives and just used the syphon to empty the can into the fuel tank. Once complete I took over at the helm and congratulated Peggy on doing a great job of keeping us on course while worked on the fuel issue. 

Knowing there were now at least 4 gallons of fuel in the tank the tension eased and we focused on dealing with the rough water. As always, the storm began to pass and shortly Mike and Brenda on Imagine were back on our tail under sail.

We continued together in tandem as we turned into the Hillsboro Inlet channel. Called the bridge for their next opening (13:45) and we held station waiting the 10 minutes before it rose.  Both of us turned South once inside the inlet bridge and eased back on the throttle as we would arrive at 14th street bridge too early, neither of us wanted to deal with the bundle of boats that would be waiting just North of the bridge.

Tom Garvey on Ohana was already waiting with the crowd at the bridge, so all three of us passed under the bridge, once open, we headed South. Imagine didn't have far to go and Ohana not much more, while we headed down to Sunrise Bay which meant passing Atlantic Blvd Bridge, Commercial Blvd Bridge and Oakland Park Blvd Bridge.

Expecting a large, Memorial Day Weekend, crowd at the Bay, we were surprised to see less than twenty boats at anchor or rafted. We anchored easily but a bit too close to a nearby boat, so we (I) pulled it up and we repositioned a hundred feat further back from the ICW. 

Both tired, we had dinner, a glass of wine and a tot of Rum, and prepared for our early night. Breakfast on Tuesday Morning was Salmon and Guacamole, mini tomatoes and some fried bread (skillet toast) and, of course, some Hot Coffee.

We motored easily back to the dock. There was a train crossing at the FEC Bridge but we slowed down so we would not get to 3rd Avenue bridge before the FEC Bridge opened. 

Back at the dock, we unloaded, washed the boat down, checked everything was set for us to leave the boat and head home.

This was a great weekend, not only did we enjoy the sail up to Lake Boca and then the sail up to Lake Worth, but a great time spent in the West Palm Beach Anchorage. The trip home was just another lesson on how to handle the boat in slightly adverse conditions. Every time we experience a bit of difficulty we learn a lot and this weekend was no exception. 

I would give this weekend a full 5 Stars.

See you on the water.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach Pt. 3

 Fun day at West Palm Beach Anchorage.

Dawn broke long before we awoke this morning, a good nights sleep makes a world of difference.

So we started the day with a real breakfast, none of that healthy stuff, no grapes, no fiber cereal, but a good cooked breakfast. A big slice of Breakfast Ham, some mini tomatoes (ok, I guess  they are healthy), Fried Egg over easy and the last of the Bagels with Cream Cheese and Strawberry Jam and Honey. Of course, a piping hot mug of Coffee and some OJ. Sorry health nuts, it was really good! And a second apology: No pics.

Did stuff around the boat and then took a dink ride with Jeff to deliver cruising gifts to the other boats. 
Here's the boat list:
  1. Alebrije
  2. Affection
  3. Eximius
  4. Ohana
  5. Dalecarlia
  6. Deli Mali
  7. Imagine
  8. Cookie Monster
  9. Pegasus
A couple of other boats nearly made it, the nearest was Aireze was in the area but we had all gone ashore when Bruce got here. 

Hey! I'm happy that we had Nine Boats turn out. This should give a push to others to come join us on the next cruise. 

Saturday 13 of us met up at Lorenz on Clematis just 5 mins from the dinghy dock. The staff made us welcome and moved tables to accomdate all of us, the chin wagging began.

From my position,  Jeff Keiser earned the food swoone award for his body language reply when asked how good was the lasagna. THE BEST.

Peggy  and I returned to the boat as we wanted to put the dink on deck before dark, nearly made it, the deck light helped. We were ready for the 7am breakaway from the 3 boat raft up.

Sleep safe everyone. 


How to save Fresh Water onboard our Boat

Water saving on our boat

Our 1987 Catalina 34 has about 70 Gallons of Fresh Water in two tanks. We carry up to an additional 24 Gallons in four on deck water tanks, so a total if 94 gallons. There's normally just 2 of on board, so that gives us about 10 days at 10 gallons a day

At home, like most folks, we probably use 20 gallons just taking a shower, our dishwasher uses 4.5 gallons per load. and we have two bathrooms with water reduction cisterns but they use about a gallon per flush. I don't know about you, but how often do you flush the toilet.

On board Eximius, we flush our loo with fresh water - to keep the qty low, we have a 64oz water bottle alongside the head and if we're flushing do do, then we use some or all of the bottle to flush the toilet. (We do not use Salt Water to flush the toilet, salty water in the holding tank is not a great idea IHMO)

On board, no Dishwasher - just me. To reduce the amount of water needed to wash up after a fried meal, which is the toughest job in the galley - mostly :)   I use a Spray bottle with a couple of drops of dish liquid to spray down the pots and pans, cutlery, plates, serving spoons etc. 

A half full sprayer typically last for about 3 days of 3 meal galley clean up and must save a huge amount of freshwater. 

To rinse the dishes, I'll turn on the faucet at a trickle but a 2nd spray bottle would save on water uses too. I just don't have that much counter space, but during our  six week cruise planned for 2022, I'll have one just to stretch our water budget to get us between shore water resources in Eluthra Bahamas.

When new Desalination processes come down in price and power consumption, I'll get a water maker, till then = I'll be using a spray bottle.

Just an aside note. We're not liveaboards and our longest cruise to date has been a month long trip to the Abaco's. 2020 put a hold on going out of the USA, and the 2021 covid requirements are not very encouraging, so we're keeping our cruises to Florida and the Keys - we might get down to the Dry Tortugas later this year. Meanwhile, our trips are mostly less then 200 nm round trip.

See you on the water - saving as much as we can ;)


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach Pt. 2

West Palm Beach Anchoring

As mentioned in the last post (click here) We're anchored at West Palm Beach Florida.

The current is vicious here! We've seen 4 knots in the direction of the tide, right now it's flowing southerly, We're anchored with two bow anchors and one stern anchor and they are holding well. The good news is that we're in 9' of water. The Stream does give concern when taking the dinghy out into that stream, we have to be able to do at least 4 knots, "Special's Dink" should be fine, we have a 4hp outboard and it's only an 8.5' Mercury dinghy, doesn't get up on the the plane but clips along nicely if only 2 people on board. So sorry folks dinghy trips in Special's Dink doesn't look like an option. 

Ohana arrived at nearly dark last night and after dinner at Bradley's they anchored between the two city docks with several other boats. Meanwhile, as the tide changes we just hung about secure on our anchors. The only other downside of being on the East side of the Waterway is the frequent crazies on their power boats churning up the waters and making Peggy wish she had taken a dramamine. Lumpy.

lt rained briefly around 4:30 this morning and I had a mad dash about the boat to close the ports and hatches which were open to keep the boat cool. It only lasted about 10 minutes and we opened up the main v-berth hatch for the welcome breeze. FYI, I attach a spare halyard to the bow of the dinghy when it's on deck and we're at anchor so that I can raise it enough to open the v-berth hatch which is below the dink.

The Bow line that we set between Affection's Stbd side and Eximius' Port side was stretchy, so when the wind picked up a bit last night the two bows were able to wander apart a few inches and the stretch caused a shriek from the line each time it tightened. Jeff & I were both on deck and we changed it out for a larger non-stretch dock line and ran it through a Chock on Eximius to reduce the load on the cleat.  Worked great, the rest of the night was peaceful.

During breakfast, Peggy & I discussed our plans for the day - not many - I need to work on the club's Newsletter, I have a couple of projects that I could get done. Hope to be able to discuss some details of upcoming club events with the Cruise Committee (they're captive audiences :) ) and send out some emails to family and friends. Peggy is going to get in some practice and I'll do some chin wagging. Later today several other boats are going to arrive. Dalecarlia, Imagine, Cookie Monster, Aireze and a couple are arriving by car. So maybe a bit more chin wagging.

See you on the water. Oh! Today's pics:

Neighbors - Affection and Alebrije 

Looking North. City Docks are on the left (West) side.

Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach Pt. 1

 HISC Memorial Day Weekend Cruise to West Palm Beach.

After spending Thursday night on Lake Boca tied up with Affection (Jeff's Boat ! ) we pulled anchor at 07:30 in order to get the 07:40 Camino Real Bridge opening while Affection motored out of Boca Inlet, his draft is just 3' ours is nearly 6' and Boca Inlet is too stressful for us.

07:43 we passed Camino Real Bridge and motored the 20 minutes to Hillsboro Blvd Bridge, then it was a long slog of 60 minutes against the current down to the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge, by the time we were ready to pass the bridge, Eximius was pretty well dressed for the Day, Sails & Sheets ready, fenders all inboard, Lines secured, ready to hoist the sails. 

Just as expected, the wind was very light as we navigated carefully out of the inlet and avoided the shallow area on the North side of the Inlet and 'gonna get you' shoals on the South side of the inlet.

We turned to 045º with the intent of trying to reach the Gulf Stream under motor while the wind was so light. We did raise the sails but they pretty much just hung there. By the time we were a mile and a half off of the shore, we were feeling the Stream pushing un north. Engine given a rest and we trimmed the sails. With less than 5 knots of wind, we were barely moving through the water, just 2knots. But the Gulf Stream was dragging us North an additional 4 knots! Expecting the wind to pick up before lunch time, we stayed on course.

Soon the wind picked up to around 7 knots, and our GPS speed was 9.5knots WooHoo! The Sea was very steady and it was an easy sail. The Autopilot managed just fine once we had some speed through the water.

The only issue was that the course that I imported from had some issues. Last night I had reviewed the route on and switched the Start and Finish over so that we could see what the return trip would be like on Monday. Totally forgot that I had switched the Start an Finished and proceeded to export the route. Once it was on a chip, we imported it on our chartplotter then set the GPS to follow the route. 

Sounds ok, except that I had not remembered the switch over. So initally the chartplotter reported that we would reach our destination by noon. That was great, a bit unrealistic, but great. As we proceeded, the arrival time got later and later.


Once I realized the problem, I simply deleted the route and set a route to arrive at Lake Worth Inlet. 

All of a sudden, our late night arrival was now around 2pm.

By 13:15, the wind had dropped back to less than 5 Knots after spending a hour or so above 8 knots. It also veered to 180º and was no fun. So time to wake up the engine and motor for the next few hours to get to our destination.

We arrived in time to get the 3:15 Flagler Memorial Bridge opening and followed a big barge through the turbid waters at the bridge. Once through, we could see Alebrije and Affection anchored on the East side of the ICW almost directly East of the new Public City Dock. A quick call to Hector and we had an agreed plan to join them in a 3 boat raft up.

Plan was to motor ahead of their anchored location leaving them to Port. Drop our anchor about 100' South of them, dig it in and then back down with the current till we were due west of them both, and finally, Toss a line to them to close the gap and tie up alongside Affection.

We were a bit more than 100' ahead of them when I dropped the anchor. Of  course, it dug in right away. I eased out the 100' of chain and another 80' of 1" rode line. Once we had a line over to Affection, we, the crews of Alebrije and Affection, were able to close the gap, setup a bunch of fenders and take a well earned break.

All of us agreed on a 5:30 happy hour. Peggy & I took a bottle of wine and a bag of Chocolate Pretzels, of course we also took a bottle of Black Magic Rum and our own wine/rum glasses.

It's a beautiful view across the waterway this evening.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Routing around the Crunchy bits

 Using to plan a route Pt II

A buddy asked if routing considered the position of shallow water when planning a route.

Looks like the answer is yes! But check it out for yourselves.

Here's an image of a quick a couple of routes I setup from starting points in the Bahamas.

Obviously, it's important to review the route zoomed in when on the Chart Plotter to make sure the Route is staying clear of the 'Crunchy' bits.

The two routes in Red and Orange were auto calculated by and were both set to start off shore in the Bahamas.

By importing the route data to our Garmin, we can see that we need to modify the route to suit our preference along the way.

I'm still impressed, will report back after this weekend's trip.

See you on the Water.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Using for Routing

Using for weather routing

We're sailing Eximius up to Lake Worth this weekend and using for weather routing for the first time (Paid Subscription) 

First learnt about from a sailing vlog on YouTube. Looked pretty interesting so tried it out first as a freebie account but quickly upgraded to a paid subscription.

So, in preparation for our trip to Lake Worth here's what I did.

Once logged in, I created a new route with a start and finish position. Both of those have to be on the water! Duh. In this case I setup a start that was 3 miles off of the Hillsboro Inlet. Chose that as we need to pump out beyond the 3 mile limit before arriving at lake worth for a few days stay.

I set the parameters for the wind speed at which I would turn on the engine and the ideal wind direction off of the bow. With all of parameters set. I chose the Start date and time then just click on the Calculate Route. A few seconds later I got the image shown above. The yellow line shows the recommended route that also includes wind direction and speed during the trip and it includes the current conditions along the route.

If I play the time line, the route is shown in action as the time passes our departure time and our position along the route as time passes. 

On this particular trip, with the weather forecast  4 days out, the route shows us moving towards the coast and tacking to make the best speed with the wind at the time of transit.

This is good, but it shows the route on the computer and I would really like it to be shown on my chart plotter - good news is that it's doable!

Step one (after establishing the route) is to download the data as a file format that suits Garmin's Home Port software. Most of the download options work.

Now that I have it downloaded, opening homeport I can import the route

Selecting the downloaded file and clicking on Open, imports the route data into homeport

Now to view the route in homeport

Now the route is shown in Home port, all of the route waypoints are displayed.

Next I need to copy them to a Micro SD Chip to transfer them to my Garmin 746xs Chartplotter on the boat. 

In practice, I would do all of this on the morning of the trip so that it is based upon the most up to date weather forecast.

Right clicking on the Route name within my collection in HomePort gives the option to 'Send To'. I select Device and the empty data SD chip.

Clicking on 'OK' copies the route data to the chip.

Now all we need do is to import the data into the chart plotter. 

On the boat, we insert the chip and import the data.
Now we have the route in our chart plotter and can simply instruct the chartplotter to follow the route, it will show us when we need to turn in order to stay en-route.

This is totally cool! Obviously, it's most accurate the closer the route is calculated to the departure time. 
I figure it takes all of 5 minutes to prep the chip from the moment I click on 'Calculate Route' till the data is uploaded to the chart plotter.

Hope you found this useful, please leave a comment and any questions you have, happy to answer them. As long as they are sailing or boat owner related :)

See you on the water.

Here's a link to another post on this subject:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Keeping notes of things to do on the boat

 Keeping notes of things to do on the boat

It seems that every trip is responsible for pointing out that we need to do something on the boat, some before the next trip. Even though I'm retired, life is pretty hectic and I just don't keep  notes in my head as well nowadays.

I have tried using spreadsheets, but it's a little cumbersome. Then I found Google's Keep Notes.

Keep-Notes is a google app that can be installed on Android phones, Tablets but is also available on the web at

It's a really simple App/Website (you would hardly know you were on a website) and allows multiple notes to be kept and accessible from the google account. 

If I keep notes on the web via Chrome, that same, updated, note is almost immediately available on the phone app.

Here's an example of a recent note. The items in this note are setup as Checkboxes, if I check off the box that item is shifted into the Completed Items list which is below the uncompleted items list.

Setting up a check off list is optional, if I just want to keep a text note, I just start typing or use the Voice input. Of course, voice does not always get it right as the list below demonstrates - (Just keeping it real here)

This note was created via the App (Voice is an option on the App)
The list was of the boat names that participated in a recent HISC cruise on St. Pat's Day at Sunrise Bay in Florida.

The boat name list should have read:

I kinda like the interpretations.

I find that the lists being available on all of my google devices is a huge benefit. eg. I keep a list titled 'Lowes' containing items I need to get at my next visit to Lowes. I can edit the list on my laptop at home and then review the list when I'm in Lowes.

I really like the simplicity of the whole system, but it does have a few more tricks.

eg The 3 dot menu in the bottom line of any list includes the option to copy the list to Google Docs. I know, I could just cut and paste the note into a google document, but it's an easy process to copy it over.

Typically I have multiple notes: Winn Dixie, Lowes, Eximius, House and more.

Hope you find this useful.

See you on the water.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Don't feed your engine Vegitables

Engines don't like Veggies


A friend asked if I could help her out. Her heat exchanger had been taken apart and thoroughly cleaned but it needed reinstalling. Her boat, an Erricson 32, has a very similar engine to my boat. Universal M25XP (her's may not be an XP) and the cooling system is really simple.

This image shows the whole cooling system.

The Sea Water Thru Hull connects to the Oberdorfer water pump, the output of the pump is fed to the Heat Exchanger and the output of the Heat Exchanger is fed to a nipple on the Exhaust where the water is blown through the muffler and out of the back of the boat with the exhaust.

Follow the Blue line that transitions to a yellow line in the heat exchanger.

The problem occured when the skipper started the engine and no water was being blown out with the Exhaust. After discussing it with a few people she suspected the Heat Exchanger. It has a Zinc anode installed in it's body and that zinc was missing, presumably inside the heat exchanger. Hence her reason for servicing the exchanger.

With the exchanger serviced, it was ready to put back together and reinstalled. Not having a lot to do that afternoon, I agreed to help her get it installed and get the engine running.

After checking out the engine for any other obvious issues I reassembled the heat exchanger and reinstalled it. All hoses secured, Coolant replaced, Oil level checked, it was time to flash up the engine.

Thru hull opened, battery selector on and ignition ready. Blower motor ran for nearly a minute, Glow plugs for 20 seconds, check the stop lever was fully in, press the start button and the engine starts up. That's a good sign.

Sadly, still no water pumping out with the exhaust!

The skipper confirmed that the Impeller on the water pump had been inspected. I suggested that perhaps the thru hull was blocked or that the hoses were blocked.

To check the hoses meant disconnecting the raw water hose from the Thru hull, putting it in a bucket of water and running the engine, if the hoses were blocked, then we would know, if they were not then it's a blocked Thru hull.

After spending a few minutes releasing the two hose clamps securing the hose to the Thru Hull, it only took a few seconds to pull off the hose.

We immediately knew the problem.

Yep, that looks like a Green Bean stuck in the Thru hull! I could not pull it up nor push it down (when the valve was opened).

I broke it off at the top of the plastic fitting and then used a wire coat hanger to push the remainder down and out of the Thru Hull. Obviously, water started pouring in so I closed the valve.

Reconnecting the hose, we started up the engine and WooHoo! water was being expelled from the Exhaust.

We let the engine run for about 20 minutes while we checked for leaks and dried everything up.

Moral of the story: Don't feed your engine Green Beans, nor any other type of Vegitable.

Post and Photo with permission of the Skipper.

See you on the water.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Under Sink Illuminatrion

Installing lighting under the bathroom sink

The cabinet under the bathroom sink has a lot of 'stuff' in it. 
  1. Thru Hulls (3)
  2. Fuel Filter and Water separator
  3. DST 810 Transducer (Depth, Speed and Water Temperatur)
  4. Electric Fuel Pump
I remove the Transducer when we are tied up to the dock to prevent sealife growth clogging up the speed paddle on the transducer. It only takes a few seconds, but being able to see what I'm doing is a big help.

If the Engine Raw Water Thru hull gets clogged with marine debris and needs to be roto-rooted, I close the Thru Hull, remove the hose, poke a short piece of drain snake down as far as the Thru hull, close of the gap with my hand and then open the Thru Hull in order to push the snake all the way down and out, thus clearing the blockage.

If the Engine Fuel Filter has any water in it, we have to drain that filter, it's easy, but easier if we can see what we're doing

All in all, having some illumination under the sink means I don't need Peggy to be standing over me with  a Flashlight.

Ok, here's the result:

This looks pretty bright, but that's because there is nobody in front of the doorway.

The Switch is in the upper left of this photo.

On the left can be seen the Electric Fuel Pump, below that (and slightly aft) is the Fuel Filter and Water Separator, below that is the Inline Raw Water Filter.

Aft of the Raw Water filter is the Engine Muffler box.
On the right is the Exhaust pipe (Black) which goes all the way aft to the Transom.

To the right of the Exhaust pipe is the Sink Drain hose.

That little black knob that can be seen next to the door opening (to the right of the Sink Drain) is the 2nd Manual Bilge Pump handle.

Ok, and with the new light on:

Literally, Night and Day difference.

The LED lamp is glued to the inside upper edge of the cabinet door opening.

The power is via a double tinned copper wire that runs from the switch, up to the underside of the sink counter, then over to the Port side loomed with some other wires. Then it passes behind the Shower Seat Cabinet, into the Cabinet behind the head, on through the main head bulkhead into the Cabinet (used to be a hanging locker but now has shelves) then up and into the area behind the electrical panel.

The +ve is connected to the Circuit breaker protected 12v terminal block and the -ve is attached to a 12v -ve terminal block. Both of those will be replaced when we do the electrical panel upgrade.

So and easy job, and very worthwhile. I'll probably install this type of 12LED Strip light in the other cabinets as we get to them.

See you on the water.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Spring Fling Cruise 2021

Cruising weekend to Lake Boca

Weather for the weekend was forecast to be ideal for an easy cruise up to Lake Boca, so we made plans to get out on the water - we were not alone!

Leaving the dock just after 12:30, we easily navigated down the New River, past the Swing Bridge, on to 7th Ave Bridge. The FEC Railroad bridge was up but there was radio traffic that indicated at least two large tows were heading up river. We communicated with the skippers that we were ok waiting on the upriver side of Andrews Avenue Bridge. Both of the big tows past us holding in pretty slack water and a third big yacht joined the upstream crowd. Once they cleared Andrews bridge, we throttled up and passed Andrew's close to the North side fender. Third Avenue bridge was already aware that we were outbound, but etiquette demands that we call to request opening. They quickly opened the bridge so we really didn't need to hang around between Andrews and 3rd.

Once past 3rd avenue bridge, we joined a few other boats that were headed down the river. Sometimes, following other boats is more stressful, some of the smaller boats are not very well educated about navigation rules, so guessing what they might do is fraught with challenges.

As we continued on down the river, I worked at getting the boat's running rigging setup for sailing.
Starting at the Bow, I released the hold back line that prevents the furler from unrolling in heavy winds, we needed to be able to unfurl (deploy) the Genoa. Back to the Mast, I connected the Main halyard to the head of the main sail, making sure it was not twisted around any of the other lines that went to the top of the mast. Made sure that the reefing lines were free and not likely to get tangled when we hoist the main. Check that the Dinghy was secured to the deck and not likely to get pulled free in heavy winds. Not that we were expecting any strong winds, the forecast was for winds gusting to 14 knots. I took a few minutes to lower the Lazy Jack lines on the Stbd Side of the stack pack. Moving back to the cockpit, setup the genoa sheets on both the port and starboard winches. Head down to the cabin and get the Winchrite electric winch handle and secure it close to the Starboard winch.

After releasing the line clutches for the 4 reefing lines (two each for the 1st and second reefs) and releasing the boom securing line which prevents the boom from moving side to side when motoring or at the dock/anchor. Checking the outhaul tension, light winds, light tension. A quick test that the traveller car was free to move on the traveller. All set, we just need to be able to turn into wind before hoisting the main.

As we passed marker #5, we left the New river, turning out towards where it joins the Intracoastal waterway, we saw a lot of boats hanging out at the Sand Bar, which included several drink bars! It was a little surprising, this was Friday early afternoon. 

We continued out joining the other craft that were heading down the ICW towards the 17th street causeway bridge, most of them small stuff, a couple of boats that had to wait till the bridge raised in order that they could pass the open bridge. No cruise ships in site, but the Port police were out in their boats to ensure that nobody strayed into the Turning basin, we've done that before and know better now.

Once past the corner on our Port side, we turned out into the Port Everglades Channel. The channel was pretty calm and the waters looked peaceful. Of course, a few dozen fast power boats quickly churn up the waters and we, travelling at around 5 knots, get pushed around quite a bit. We've been out there in much worse conditions, to we took this in our stride. Motoring, we headed out to the PE1 buoy before briefly turning South, into wind, to raise the mainsail, no issues, the electric winch handle quickly hoisted it all the way up our 50 high mast. With the Stbd lazy jacks lowered, and with the wind just off of the port bow, the main raised without issue. 

With the Mainsail up, we turned North and unfurled the Genoa, 100% no need for reefing, the wind was light. We turned to the North East in order to reach the Three Mile limit - we needed to pump out and we never break the law. Once we passed over the 3 mile line on the GPS, I went down to the cabin, unlocked the dump thru hull, opened it and ran the Macerator, meanwhile, Peggy checked over the stern to let me know when the the tank was empty. Turning off the Macerator, closing the Thru Hull and relocking it, pump out was complete. We returned to our Northerly course. We were getting 2 knots push from the Gulf Stream. 

Sadly, the wind was dropping and our course had the wind over the stern, our speed dropped down to 3 knots, not a comfortable sail, downwind, slow and long! Looking at our GPS calculated arrival time at Hillsboro Inlet, I figured it was time to start up the engine and lower the sails then turn in directly to the inlet.

Despite it being close to low tide, we passed through the Hillsboro Inlet without seeing any depth less than 9 feet. Checking the Hillsboro Inlet Depth report we knew which course to follow. It pays to research before going in through any inlet.

After a short time holding for the Hillsboro Inlet bridge to open, we raised the engine RPM and got our speed up to 7 knots (this was not possible before our prop and shaft were treated with PropSpeed back in  January 2021). The stream was still pouring out of the Inlet, I increased the RPM to 2100 and we were just under 8 knots through the water, but we had over 3 knots against us, so we passed by the open bridge at just 5 knots. 

Once passed the bridge, we thanks the tender and turned to Starboard heading to Hillsboro Blvd Bridge. The Bridge opens on the hour and half hour, we passed the HI bridge on the hour that gave us 30  minutes to get to the Blvd bridge, even at our new higher speed, we would be really pushing it to make that bridge in 45 minutes and the next opening we could make would be on the hour. So we slowed down and took a very relaxed motor North. Time for lunch: Crackers, Guacamole and Potato Salad with a GZero drink, surprisingly good.

We timed arrival at the Hillsboro Blvd Bridge perfectly catching up with several boats that waked their way past us only to have to wait at the bridge. The bridge opening was delayed a few minutes, just enough to ensure we would not make the 20 minute trip up to the Camino Real Bridge, so we took it easy again, shooting for the 20 past bridge opening. 

As we passed Camino Real, we got our first glance of Lake Boca and it's popularity this weekend - CRAZY.

Most sailboats anchor in the North East Corner of Lake Boca where the depths are over seven feet, plenty deep enough for our keels. Anchoring spots were hard to find because there were so many boats on the lake, and, don't forget, it's FRIDAY afternoon!! We passed around the deeper channel around the lake and ended up anchoring on the East side of the lake half way between the North and South extremes. We were anchored just to the East of a Catalina 34 named 'Cheerios' which was owned by a club member just a few weeks ago, he sold it. In front of us was a Motor Yacht named Special K - Cheerios and Special K - We looked behind us and another motor yacht was at anchor astern of us, not behaving very politely, I guess we had Cheerios' to Port, Special K ahead of us and a bunch of Flakes behind us. 

Bada Bing Bada Boom

We could see a few other boats from the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing club on the lake, but we were ready for an early dinner and early bed. First we put the Dinghy in the water ready to use it in the morning when we would go visit.

With the Dink off of the boat, we were able to raise the hatch above the V-Berth and with the little wind we had, it was cool enough. In the Galley I prepared Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes, followed by Klondike bars, washed down with a glass of Pinot Grigio for Peggy and a mile Red Blend for me.

Goodnight. Saturday deserves it's own post! See you on the water.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Fresh Water Plumbing - Shut off valve

Shut off valve for the Fresh Water Plumbing System


This is the modified Plumbing system that I did in April 2020, this past weekend I found a defect in the design.

After purchasing new water filters (set of 3) for a change out before our trip this past weekend, it only took a few minutes to remove the 3 filters. To do so, the whole house filter is accessed by removing the center draw from the galley undercounter and then the two filters for the drinking water system.

Then the phone rang and I needed to answer it. My buddy was calling to ask about our meet up later that day. It took a few minutes to deal with the call but I could hear water running, I figured that there was a small amount of water syphoning out of the whole house filter housing. After the call and as I prepared to put the new filter in place, I realized that the 'small amount' had filled the bilge to the point where the bilge pump was about to run!! The 3 way valve does not work, it does allow selection of either the Mid or Aft tanks, but it does not stop the flow in it's third position.

During those few minutes, the aft tank and mid tank drained about 15gallons! 

Solution is to add a shut off valve between the selector and the whole house filter.

Pex Shut-off Valve installed on the pipe
from the Tank Selector to the House Filter
Shown in the Shut position.

This project took 4 hours 10 minutes.
3 hours to find the pex tools - Duh, in the Garage in a box marked 'PEX'
1/2 Hour to drive down to the boat
10 Minutes to remove the Galley Drawers, Cut the pipe, Install the Shut off valve, Test it, Reinstall the Galley Drawers.
1/2 Hour drive home.

The dribble of water on the pipe below the shut-off valve is just from the filter when I cut the pipe. We had drained the tanks earlier this week, part of our water health routine.

We filled both water tanks, no leaks. 

It's easy to reach the shut-off valve when I need to remove the water system filters. Life is good.

See you on the water, we're heading up to Lake Boca on Friday, back on Monday.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Shout out to Prop-speed



We had our boat's prop and shaft coated with Propspeed when we had Eximius out of the water in January. I mentioned, in a post at that time, how pleased we were with our boat's performance due to the prop-speed finish.

Since then we have had 3 weekend trips out, a couple up and down the ICW and one outside on the Ocean. All involved working our way up and down the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

Why 'Wow' ?

Because we had never seen 8 knots over the water before, never. We had gone just over 8 knots over the ground when we had a 3 knot gulf stream current carrying us along, but never over still water.

This weekend was a great example: We were coming in to Hillsboro Inlet close to low tide - I know, not the best time to come in through that bridge - well, at 2,000 rpm we were doing 7.6 knots through the water but only 4.4knots over the ground, which meant that we were going against a 3.2 knot current - BUT WE WERE DOING 7.6 KNOTS AT 2,000 RPM ! That's 'Wow' !!

On our return trip from Lake Boca, we were rushing to catch the bridge, but we had a 2 knot current against us, I pushed it, raised the rpm to 2,200 and we were doing 8.3knots, we were doing 6.3 knots over the ground- that's beyond 'WOW' !!

I contribute this wow to having our prop and shaft painted with Prop-Speed and the nice job Patagonia Services did on the boat's bottom.

So, a well deserved Shout out to Lehandro of Patagonia Services.

Thanks Guys!

See you on the water.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Alternator tach failed

 Alternator Tachometer failed.

Our Alternator Tach failed on our trip out a couple of weekends ago. I guessed it was probably the wiring at the alternator. A quick look at the back of the alternator I could see that the white wire (tach) was broken. After removing the plug I also found the the sense wire (blue) was hanging on by a thread.

IMHO  - the wires from the Alternator plug are too short so the connections to those wires are subject to a lot of vibration strain.

We spent an entire afternoon searching local auto stores trying to find the standard auto part, eventually we found a store that had two. Looking at them both, one appeared to be defective, so I only purchased one. The wires are longer !!

It only took about 30 minutes to install the new plug and connect it to the engine harness. The new plug connector was $39.

With everything wired up, we did an engine check and all was fine. We're ready for our trip next weekend.

When I got home I did a search on Amazon for the connector. Most of the online auto supplies were the same cost. 

But this is for a Dorman 645-906 Blower Motor Resistor Pigtail $14.95 Same item!!!

Now I have a spare.

See you on the water.

Sunday afternoon and I could do with a Beer.

 Fixing the Head

This is our Jabsco Head Pump. We are very careful when it comes to taking care of our head system.

This pump is normally used to pump the poop out of the bowl and to flush the bowl with water, however, I disconnected the water supply to the pump (it was a salt water supply) and we keep a flushing jug in the bathroom. We've tried various jug sizes, turns out the best so far is a 2.44 quart OJ container, we fill it to the 2 qt mark and that helps us keep track of how much is in the tank.

Back to the Pum fix.

Peggy complained about the pump being too stiff last weekend we were out, and it really was. In the past a quick lube with teflon lubricant did the job. But this time there was black sealing rubber coming out of the top of the pump shaft (under the grey handle)

Time to pull it apart and fix it.

The top of the pump is secured in place with 6 screws. But why on earth do they still use Flat Head screws  on anything ??

But they do, so I carry the tools.

The flapper valves are getting old, and I carry a repair kit for the toilet on board.

It only took a few minutes to remove the whole valve assembly, clean up the surfaces beneath that and put the new flapper valve in place.

The big hole in this pic is where the pump does it's job. It looks cruddy but cleaned up with a few Chlorox Wipes got it done.

The big "O" ring on the end of the Pump shaft was next, two pairs of pliers quickly removed the nut on the end of the shaft, but then I found there's no need to remove the O-ring holder. There's a flat on the lower side of the holder that allows for easy removal and replacement of the O-ring.

Before putting everything back together, copious amounts of Teflon lube was slathered on the pump O-ring, and the seal where the pump shaft exits the top of the pump casing. That needs to be replaced, but the kit I had did not include that seal, time to get another kit - with that seal.

Works a charm now.

This is the wrong kit! Ours looks like the center of those 3.

Although the handle is Gray. And the boat was built in 1987, but perhaps the head is newer that that.

Another Sunny Sunday Afternoon, listening to the Beatles Fixing a Hole - how appropo!

Head's fixed. 

See you on the water!

New Bathroom Lighting Pt. 2

 New Bathroom Lighting

What do you do when at Anchor early and there's time to twiddle your thumbs?
Complete the install of the new lighting for the bathroom (head).

Very happy even though I only installed one of the White LED strips and one Red Strip.

The two switches are mounted on the bulkhead just inside the bathroom door with the wires running inside a heat shrink tube that is double sided tape glued to the bulkhead.

Just like in the galley lights, the switches are setup to be Red (Rear), white is the forward of the two switches.

The video shows the None - White - Red lighting.

Oh, and just in case you wondered when I type up my blog posts, Peggy snapped this while I was setting up this post.

It's about 5:45pm Sunday March 28th, 2021, On the boat at anchor at Sunrise Bay. My laptop is networked with my Phone's Hot Spot. Love my T-Mobile service.

The install was completed when we were on Lake Boca yesterday.

What else did I do this afternoon after we motored down the Intra Coastal Waterway from Lake Boca, Florida to Sunrise Bay Florida - I'll post that next - someone has to do it.

See you on the water.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

New Bathroom Lighting

Updating the lighting in the Bathroom (head)

I installed LED lights in the bathroom several years ago with some LED Puck lights

They were a lot better than the original Festoon lamp but I would not install them again. 

The light switch was located on the aft bulkhead of the bathroom where the original power cord passed from the other side of the bulkhead, that's the Port Side Cockpit locker.

After installing the Red and White Galley lamps in 2019, we both agreed that they would be better suited for the lighting in the bathroom and having the Red option would improve our night vision if we had to go.  Go - get it?

This past weekend, Peggy reminded me that we needed to change out the lights, a quick reorder on Amazon and the new lamps arrived this week.

These 12" LED strip lights will mount beneath the cabinets in the bathroom.

I purchased 2 packs, one Red the other White, each pack has 4 strips of lights.

I'll use two of the whites and two of the red strips with switches for each color.

I should be able to mount the switches close to the bathroom door or at least convenient to reach when entering.

The simple on/off switch has VHB tape on the back, so easily mounted, the challenge is to run the wire so that as little as possible is exposed, both aesthetically and so that the switch is out of the way when we take a shower.

I might even mount the switches outside of the bathroom.

The switches were available in various lengths of wire, I chose the longest, 78" that should be plenty.

Of course, I'll have to pull out all of the contents from the Port Side Cockpit locker in order to get to the original wiring.

I'll run new wiring back to the electrical panel which is another project that is getting closer and closer.

We might get this project underway this weekend, looks like a storm is heading our way and will leave our weeklong trip to Biscayne Bay in jeopardy, baby steps.

Part II of this post will be the actual installation. If we do get to go down to the Bay, then I guess the install will be while we are on the water.

So, see you on the Water.

Speed Transducer failed after just 2 weeks.

 Speed transducer doesn't work

After just 3 weeks, our brand new Garmin DST810 transducer failed - at least, it didn't report our speed through the water - that counts, right?

When we got back to the dock, I pulled the transducer out and inserted the plug.

Looking carefully at the speed transducer paddle wheel, it would turn but obviously had something slowing it down to a crawl.  Looking even closer, we would see a yellow gummy stuff that appeared to be sticky and stopping the paddle wheel rotating on the spindle. 

A quick 'how does it work' ... The four bladed paddle wheel has magnets that when the wheel rotates, the magnetic force is detected by the electronics inside the transducer, the faster the wheel spins the greater the transducer signal to the NEMA 2000 network, the boat electronics translates that into speed.

So, back to the Paddle wheel. The sticky yellow muck looked like it could be washed off, as we looked even closer we noticed that it moved! It was alive! 

A quick wash with some very diluted bleach water and then a rinse with fresh water and the paddle wheel spun easily. A quick test spin and the Chartplotter showed that we had speed. Woo Hoo!

Last weekend, we did an in the water test, it matched our gps speed (taking the current into consideration)

Now? Well, we're pulling the transducer out every time we get back to the dock.

Another reason not to go swimming in the canals! 

See you on the Water.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Companionway Board Storage Solution

Eximius' Companionway Boards

C34 Companionway Board storage

We have tried several different ways to store the Companionway Boards on Eximius, but most involved in storing them in the aft berth or beneath a salon cushion. All were a pain.

Then I figured out this idea of making a baggy that holds one board on each side of the cabin steps. 

The bags are made to measure as the boards are different widths. They are currently secured to the bulkheads with Stainless snaps, they do unsnap a bit too easy, so I'll change them out for Lift the Dot Snaps.

If I need to get access to the engine, simply unsnap the covers and stow the boards elsewhere until engine work complete.

The Baggies have a piece of plastic sponge sewn on the inside of the bottom just to avoid wearing through the lower edge.

Now we can unlock the boards, slide the top open, and lift out the top board, insert it in the Port side Bag (they store on the same side as the handle), repeat the same for the lower panel and we're all set. No boards dropping into the salon and no rattling around when under power.

The bags were made from off cuts of Sunbrella.

See you on the water.



Sunday, March 7, 2021

Change of Command at the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club

 Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club - Change of Command Rendezvous March 6th 2021

I have the Honor to be the HISC Commodore for 2021-2022 

Tough Cap to wear, Dale Kern the outgoing HISC Commodore did an amazing job last year, holding our club together during the Pandemic, even growing our membership. We have a strong club.

The height of the ceremony was the display of the 2021 Cruising Flag.

Normally we have a Circle Raft Up with as many as 72 boats in a Sunflower formation. This year, still under restrictions due to the Pandemic, we're not allowed to raft up, so the Change of Command Circle Raft up was changed to a Rendezvous.

Some of the club members arrived on their boats at Sunrise Bay on Friday Morning, we arrived around 3pm, by sunset there were 7 boats from the club and one more, Past Commodore Dale, arrived Saturday afternoon when he had finished helping out at the club's Youth Sailing Program on Saturday Morning.

It might not be obvious from the picture, but it was raining, no cats, no dogs, but plenty of rain.

Before the anticipated rain arrived, Astrid Hunton allowed me to try out her SUP, first time ever on a SUP, Fell off on first attempt to stand up, water was not so bad, I was laughing at myself. So the rest of the practice was on my knees so that I could figure out the Paddle technique. A visit over to Hector on his boat for some paddling technique advise, I stopped going around in so many circles after that.

We're staying on the lake until around 3pm as our dock is tide bound until 4pm.

This was a great weekend, a much needed break after the hectic preparation over the past month for taking the helm. Thankfully, there are over 60 club members that fill the various committees and board positions to help us stay afloat.

Looking forward to next weekend - St Patrick's Day cruise. 

See you on the water.