Friday, July 31, 2020

Subaru Outback SUPER GUMBY 28 Jul 20 Trailer Light 4 Pin Plug

28 Jul 20:

Our 2020 Outback Limited XT Super Gumby is due for a 600 mile checkup of the trailer hitch installation, so before we took her over to the dealership we thought we'd check the trailer light wiring on SMEDLEY's trailer. SMEDLEY got excited, we told her to settle down, we'll get her out to play soon. 


Alcort Catfish SMEDLEY 26 Jul 20 Centerboard Pattern

26 Jul 20:

We have some folks looking for centerboards for their Alcort Catfish, so we went out to get a pattern of of SMEDLEY's centerboard. Not sure how many other catamarans had centerboards back then, but they make it nice to slide right up on the beach.

First a little note about the centerboard, when it is on the trailer it won't drop straight in because the leading edge is longer than the top of the trunk, the tip needs to angled in first.

We traced the centerboard onto thin birch plywood and cut out the pattern with a DeWALT 20V Brushless jigsaw.

The thickest part of the centerboard measured out at 9/16th inches, but we believe it could be thinned down to 1/2 inch as long as a good grade of marine plywood was used. Otherwise break out the planers.

Notes on centerboard measurements:

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sorg 15 Runabout WILLOW 26 Jul 20 Battery Tender and Bilge Pump

26 Jul 20:

Before we got to battery chargers we filled a couple of screw holes with THIXO Wood. Once it dries we will replace the screws that went missing a few weeks back.

Put a ProMariner ProSport HD6 battery tender on WILLOW's lead acid battery.

First turned on, the tender analyzed the battery condition. Looks like it needs a charge.

Found a nice spot for the tender, better than attaching to a structural member of the boat.

Checked on the battery a few hours late, it seems pretty happy now. Once a month the tender will go through a storage recondition cycle that discharges the battery a bit then recharges it.

WILLOW's bilge pump is located starboard side aft, and has an automatic float switch in addition to the dashboard switch.

Log of WILLOW.

New Tow Vehicle 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT

20 Jul 20:

We picked up a new tow vehicle for the Armada, 2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT. All Wheel Drive, 2.4L turbo with a tow rating of 3500 pounds.

The Armada is largely unsuspecting...

Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES 22 Jul 20 Downrigged and Covered

22 Jul 20:

We put ST. JACQUES away in advance of an approaching storm. She rides on a Dynamic Dolly.


Skipper mad the cover from Sunbrella.



Saturday, July 25, 2020

SailRite Edge Hotknife

25 Jul 20:

Well, in the last video we explored ways to NOT use the Hotknife, like letting it get too hot and cutting over a flammable surface. Bad bad bad! We figured out our goof and ordered theTempered Cutting Glass for Hotknife from SailRite. Yay


Friday, July 24, 2020

Spritsail Tuning Notes and Brailing Line

17 Jul 20:

Air Temp 79 F, Dewpoint 76 F, Wind NE 9 knots gusting 10.

Took ST. JACQUES out in a little more wind to play with the sprit rig, Skipper could get her to point pretty high for a sprit, head where she wanted but at a slow pace. We fell off a bit and moved ballast aft, ST. JACQUES is happiest on a broad reach or run, which is what we envisioned when we designed her, to row out a bit against the wind and/or tide, then time it so we could ride the tide and wind back to the beach.

The brail line doesn't run as free as I like through the block at the top of the mast, which is a bronze Wilcox and Crittenden block from a Sunfish, so we are going to swap that block with something smaller. We also are going to tighten up the bridle a bit so it doesn't interfere with raising the tiller and that will give us a better sheeting angle.


Bridle off of belaying pin on quarter knee.

We run the sheet around the pin at times to adjust the sheeting angle, close hauled.

The sprit is the spar that goes to the peak of the sail.

The snotter is the line that controls the setting of the sprit spar from the bottom pin. On some boats the snotter is fixed length. We like to be able to lower our sprit from down low in the boat, should too much breeze come up.



Thursday, July 23, 2020

Penobscot 14 ST. JACQUES 16 Jul 20 Voile et Aviron

16 Jul 20:

Air Temp 76 F, Dewpoint 72 F, Wind ENE 3 knots gusting 4.

0714 Launched early in ST. JACQUES to try and intercept the dolphin, they have been coming by just after 0700 each morning. Rowed ENE into the wind for 10 minutes or so, Skipper puts the rudder down so she can steer while I provide motive power. Not much motive power this morning, we seemed to be going uphill against some river current and flood tide eddies. Skipper turned us into the roaring 3 knot breeze, I shipped the oars, lowered the centerboard and loosed the spritsail brail line. ST. JACQUES slowly turned off the wind and Skipper sailed us the 3/4 mile back home on a beautiful run. We played around a bit with moveable ballast positioning.

I think Skipper may have sculled us a bit.


ST. JAQUES telling Sea Stories to SMEDLEY.

Rowed .75/Total 28.75
Voile et Aviron 1h / 15h 0m


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Paddle Sanding

15 Jul 20:

Darted outside in the 104 F heat to sand WILLOW's paddle as fast as I could, used 120 grit pads on a DeWALT random orbital sander, hooked up to a Dust Deputy and ShopVac to collect the dust. We are going to use West Systems 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the coating, and take photos of the 207 for an upcoming article in Small Boats Magazine September 2020.

More great articles in Small Boat Magazine.

Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat MARGARET ROSE 13 Jul 20 Bottom Planks

13 Jul 20:

Air Temp 88 F, Dewpoint 82 F, Heat Index 104 F so we are hiding in the air conditioning. Winds gusty all day too, 15 knots gusting over 20 at times. So if you like windy saunas, head to Florida!

We'll be learning a new planking method with MARGARET ROSE, diamond bottom cross planked. She was planked that was for expediency and because those were the materials available, off cuts from the shipyard. We are chatting with a few folks about the method and referencing some photos from Pete Culler's book Skiffs and Schooners.

We did sneak out long enough to see how the inner stem might look.

And if you're wondering if you could evere build boats, Pete Culler said...


Sorg 15 Runabout WILLOW 12 Jul 20 Functional Check Float and Other Tidbits

12 Jul 20:

Air Temp 82F, Dewpoint 74F, Winds NE at 4 knots. Light swell.

We put a new lead acid battery in WILLOW and got some fresh gas with Merine StaBil added, time to take her out for a Functional Check Float (FCF). Lowered her cradle lift and headed towards the river looking for dolphin, they were either sleeping or were good at hide and seek. The motor ran great, water was flat once we left the bay and got into the river channel, so WILLOW stretched her legs and sped up to about 20 mph. We took a long sweeping turn past a townhouse we used to own and headed back to the pier. Florida outings are not lasting too long this time of year, heat index was already approaching 100F when we got everything put away.

The wooden lapstrake hull is holding up well, she needs a repaint some time in the next year as we are starting to see a few paint pops over fasteners that need attention. This paint was RustOleum Topside Oyster White, it's been our favorite Oyster White and it has been on the boat since 2014, with a lot of time in the Florida sun. I'm not sure if a more expensive paint would have held up longer, and I am not sure how many coats, primer, etc went on with this finish. So when it comes time to repaint we'll evaluate what colors are there and decide if we are going to use Topside again. We'd need a color just as beautiful to switch.

Bow lines. We like em. When we launch and retrieve I drive the tow vehicle and Skipper handles the lines. We have a nice long bow line, she grabs it before WILLOW goes in the water and then she can stand clear of the vehicle and trailer. At our ramp next door she has enough bow line to walk over to the dock and tug WILLOW behind her while I park the trailer, bow line is probably 18 feet long or so. We have also found a long bow line handy for different docks, plenty of room to get to cleats and some left over to act as a spring line. We also have 4 other dock lines on board, 2 aft and 2 amidships. We normally don't need them but don't like not having them.

We are also confused by the number of boats that we see launch next door that don't have lines, or boat hooks, people do some strange acrobatics to try and keep control of their boats next to the ramp and dock, many times dangerous stunts. We saw a young woman trying to fend a boat off the pier recently, no lines, no boat hooks, all she had was her arms and legs. She actually fell in and hit the boat with her head on the way down, luckily a glancing blow. ANd talk about acrobatics, you should see the lengths people go to to keep from getting their feet wet, climbing in and out of truck beds, over bumpers, across wet trailer tongues, up and over bows.....people, just bring a towel and some ramp shoes!

The Suzuki 25 still runs great. We are on the list to get some Preventitive Maintenance done in a few weeks, oil change, impeller replacement and we are going to maybe get an On/Off switch put on the battery box.

She's looking pretty good for age 61.

Log of WILLOW.