This has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. We definitely bit off a chunk to chew, all while preparing for our adventures… not only selling everything that we owned and moving aboard a sailboat, but home-schooling, work, maintenance and all the projects to get our floating home sea worthy and self sufficient have been (well…) rewarding.
The old dagger boards were originally set up with a wooden pulley hoisting cable. The new boards were made with precision water cut tooling and a 1” bore for the swing pins. We installed 240 lbs of grade A steel, coated with epoxy and bottom paint, and then used an ATV cable wench for the hoisting system… How cool is that? Push a button! 3 ft draft to 6 1/2 ft draft.
We also painted the hull and bottom, sanding the bottom all the way down to the fiberglass as to change from an ablative paint to hard shell… with 4 coats of black hard shell Trinidad anti-fouling bottom paint… 5 coats at the water line… then I rolled and tipped , 4 coats of deep red enamel on the hull and 3 coats of beige for the boot stripe. We should be fine for the next 5 years without the need to dry-dock. *One can hope!*
This summer has been very busy, not only with the restoration and refit of sv/HabiHoba but also gearing up for home schooling as well as some sparse charters throughout. We have met some wonderful folks along the way… sharing ‘Love Life & Adventure’.
Diana and the kids took the plunge and we all decided that starting homeschool a year early would be best for everyone… just getting into the routine is most important.
The kids have been rocking this summer, swimming daily and making new friends. Jake getting PADI certified for scuba diving was huge and we’ll get Sarah certified next year just before we take off.
As far as the refit I have been working from project to project while lacking on updating my blog… here’s some information to catch you up to speed… after our San Francisco run I am convinced that our S/V HabiHoba must have a full cockpit enclosure *A dry crew is a happy crew!* I started off this summer building a hard windshield to build off of with a dodger and Bimini, then enclose the sides with removable strata glass curtains. Last year a local marine service went out of business and the owner let me rummage through what was left for wood. I got a lot of teak and mahogany for free. One day I decided to turn a pile of discarded wood into something beautiful… I kinda had a plan but as we know a sailors plans are at best made in the sands at low tide… looking back on that project , I have to say that it was more like sculpting. I just started from the bottom up and removed everything that didn’t belong.
Diana had a wild idea to make a pass-through on the port side from the salon to the aft stateroom through the engine room. Of course I was reluctant from the start and said “No that’s impossible!” but her persistence convinced me that not only was it possible but probably necessary. I can only imagine how difficult and dangerous it would be to climb up and over to access that back cabin in high seas. I can also see that area being a nice ¼ birth and maybe the place to get some rest when it gets rough out there… and… and… then upon Diana’s request I filled in the bed center area and turned the two twin bunks into a queen bunk from side to side in the aft stateroom.
All along the way there were other issues that came up moving priorities around a bit. We ran out of fuel one day on the Starboard tank and the port fuel tank had 7 gl. of something in it that was not fuel. We ended up pulling the fuel cells and had them cleaned at precision radiator then I had trouble purging the air from the system… new mechanical pump, a new electric pump & new fittings… by the time I was done I changed every piece and part of the fuel system from cells to throttle body… it was the very last part from the 1964 system that was the problem… the starboard valve was drawing in air. Now we have a complete new fuel system. We also Had starter issues after a rebuild and a new starter, I found the problem… it was the ground strap. I had been grounding everything to the engine assuming that it was grounded. So now I have 2 starters, one will be put into a Ziploc, just in case. What a learning curve but I must say that I am glad it’s breaking here rather than out there and now I own the systems… It’s all on me and if anything goes wrong I know all about it and will confidently be able to repair anything.
We got the boom vang/boom kicker installed, the LPG system is now USCG compliant and also the new winches bedded…
What else went wrong… Oh! We had a massive water leak from our starboard water tank. The fill hose and the vent hose both popped off of the intake tubes and man, it was hard to get to. I couldn’t figure out how I had installed that in the first place, I couldn’t reach it so I got Jake to get up in there and get a ratchet on the hose clamps to tighten them down again… I don’t like fixing things that I’ve already fixed.
I’m working on the bow pulpit and sprit now, again working from the bottom up and removing everything that doesn’t belong.
I keep telling myself, “This would be a whole lot easier if I only knew what I was doing.”
March 31, 2015
Catastrophic Failure, March 29, 2015
What an experience! Now I know what they mean by the “Northbound Bash”.
We spent a couple days in San Francisco Bay getting a few things buttoned up.. Engine maintenance, some electrical issues tended to just for peace of mind, We pulled out all the sails to inspect their conditions & learned the ‘in-mast reefing system’… We went over safety topics, float plans & schedule… The vessel was surveyed with a good bill of health… We thought we had this one under control with weather conditions being the only variable that we were up against, We were ready to depart. We made our way towards the Bay entrance and anchored at Angel Island the first night, preparing to exit the bay on an outgoing tide the following morning.
We set a heading of 270º through the traffic separation scheme to get outside of the outer channel marker before heading North-Northwest on a heading of 330º… the sea state was 8-10′ swells with 1-3′ wind caps.. We were close hauled on a starboard tack with winds off our nose at 15 to 20 kt.
We all decided that our best rhumb line was approximately 40-50 miles offshore… as the evening approached we were looking at a sea state of 12-15′ swells and 2-4’ wind caps, wind gusting to 25+ kt and the wind was picking up, with all sail reefed to minimum… we fired up the engine to help keep a heading. When the sun went down it was pitch black… The only electronic navigation aid was a sonar and a Lowrance chart plotter that was showing our vessel icon spinning in circles, We had to rely on a compass… The binnacle/compass was bouncing in a range of 60º as we pitched from crest to trough… But the north star was shining brightly.
As each hour passed it seemed that the sea state was ever changing…
& we reefed the main and mizzen sails to almost nothing but we couldn’t get the headsail to furl all the way in … something was hanging up the sheets… Over the next 10 hours, the winds picked up to 40+ kt gusting to 50 kt.
Still pitch black you could only feel the angle of the vessel as it climbed the swells and dropped off the backside at times quite violently… Down below, it looked like a bad roommate had visited and left everything thrown about… I knew that the vessel could handle much more than any one of us onboard could. Still under power we knew we had to bring in all sails and no one wanted to go out on that foredeck, I know I didn’t… Kipp Walters threw on his foul weather gear and heading out to tame what he could… We still couldn’t get the headsail to roll all the way in and at this point it would have been dangerous to say the least for anyone to be all the way out on the bow to figure out what was hanging up to sheets… So the headsail flogged for hours and I was sure that it wouldn’t be usable by morning.
When the sun started coming up and I could see the silhouette on the horizon… I was looking at 20’+ walls of a mighty ocean coming our way … When it was light enough to actually see the headsail, I noticed the clew and the sheets were no longer attached… At this point, it was not safe. We couldn’t make repairs or even change out the head sail in those conditions. It was time to change heading to 030º and duck back into the nearest harbor for repairs.
We still didn’t know the extent of the damages until we got back into calmer waters.
We pulled into Bodega Bay at 16:00, We traveled approximately 120 miles and only made a northern progress of about 20 miles… after beating into the weather for 26 hrs. we were all exhausted and it wasn’t until we were tied up that we noticed the bobstay was swinging from the kranze iron. The bobstay is a 12 foot X 1 inch stainless steel bar with 5/8 stainless steel swageless tangs to connect the kranze iron to the stem plate… It is what keeps the downward tension on the forestay… Without that bobstay the entire vessel could have been demasted… some would say “LUCK”… I, on the other hand, would give the credit to the Master… That night we were in GOD’s hands.
I was very impressed with the owners and how well they took the beating… They are true cruisers that will do fine over the years… Being some 80 miles away from any real town, Jeff & Cathy Shelton will have to find someone local to get the repairs done before they can get their vessel to the Puget sound.
I’m sorry I don’t have many pictures to share, My phone was lost at sea, my camera got wet and I only had a few files on the card… the only other footage was from my GoPro and it wasn’t much.
I am truly humbled by the power of the oceans and I am at peace.
February 25, 2015
As Christopher McCandless puts it… AKA. (ALEX SUPERTRAMP) from “Into the Wild” “Happiness is only real when shared!”
February 15, 2015
One of the first things to confront when leaving a life of convenience to a minimalist lifestyle is getting rid of ‘STUFF’… a lof of accumulated things that seem to have made life easier yet complicated at the same time.
The closer we get to our scheduled departure the more I think about “How in the world am I going to get rid of all this stuff?!” I don’t want to store much as everything can be replaced and the expense is unwanted. We’ll have one truck w/canopy and 8X16 ft cargo trailer with personal keepsakes parked on a friend’s property so they can start the engine once a month but otherwise I have no need for all of this…
I reckon if I don’t start soon we’ll have a huge job ahead that could only put off our departure and we don’t want that…
The time and energy involved in taking pictures, posting to local ads and meeting people to offload things can be daunting… I’m sure, come this time next year we’ll have a huge blowout yard sale and then give everything else away.
The question is what can’t we live without? “We are selling the farm!”… “That’s IT we’re going OFF the grid!”
“God is Love”, therefore Love is my God!
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.