Monday, August 6, 2018

Been putting a lot of work into her not much sailing or writing....

The Ocean Institute at Dana Point every year throws an incredible event called the  Tall Ship's Festival (  The festival includes cannon battles, parades of ships, mermaids, concerts, sails & ales and a host of other things.

The wonderful and beautiful first mate waited in line for a slip for us six months ago, getting the best slip in the event.  With all that pressure we wanted the Carolmarie to look her best for the September event.  First we pulled off all the stantions.   

And then began sanding the caprail in preparation for another three coats of Bristol Epoxy.

Thank god for Katie and Uncle Keni, the two of them went at it for three days, sanding, varnishing, rinse and repeat.

I worked on embedding the chainplates again, they'd leaked coming down the coast.

We finished off the varnish on the side boards with polysulfide chalk between the boards and the hull to set them off a bit.

We cleaned the fenders, finished the interior cockpit varnishing, and cleaned her up.

Now looking back from the day I bought her until now she's has really transformed.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Boat Steps and Boat Boxes

I have held off as long as I could about getting a set of steps for the boat.  I finally went looking for some on the web.  I wanted something that would complement the CarolMarie's teak trim and yet not drop the price of a dinghy on it.

I found lots of teak steps which were very pricey, but nothing that would satisfy what I needed.

Having no luck after nights of searching, I turned to my own design skills to see if I could hack a nice set together.

I found these 24 inch garden boxes from Signature Hardware called: HOLLEY 24" TEAK OUTDOOR STORAGE BOX.  I went about the design process to show how to cut them down into the proper shape.

Design of the steps using the outdoor storage boxes.

The idea was to get two of these boxes and cut the first down to make the lower step.  with a 10"platform a 10" rise seem to suit just fine.  The top of the first step was screwed to the four posts of the box because there was no need to open it.

The next step was a visual mock up to see if it fit.

Visual mockup of the cut pieces.

Happy with the design and sketch i ordered two boxes to be delivered to my uncle Keni's place in Chula Vista.  Uncle Keni is a great woodworker and had the whole think cut down and varnished in a two week period.  To make the teak look a little more realistic Keni caulked the gaps in the top of the box making it look like a ship's deck.

Seeing the final product I couldn't believe it might not get stolen so we stuck our boat name on it.

Steps in place

Named steps

Showing off the inside.

Once that was complete we decided to add a deck box in the same way.  Again I when back to Signature Hardware and found a good fit.  This time we used the 3 ft Terrel Natural Teak Storage Box, as the basis for the deck box.  This is the box as it came from Signature Hardware.

Original box from Signature Hardware

The next step was to make it water tight, not water proof.  I purchased 1/8" plywood with a birch veneer to line the inside of the box between the panels. Before the panels of the box were assembled, (they come from the vendor knocked down flat), each segment was treated with 2-part epoxy urethane.

Epoxy treated panel
Next each of the inner inserts were treated with the same 2-part epoxy after being cut to size.  These inserts were with screwed with brass screws or glued into place.  The effect was a 3-D teak and holly appearance from the box slats.

Insert epoxied and ready for assembly
The top of the box was treated in the same way as the stairs using a black deck caulk to seal it, then adding the epoxy on top of it.  Once this was done of course the boat's name and logo were added.

Top of the box ready for assembly
With the top of the box completed the entire thing was assembled and the final touch ups of the epoxy done.

Final touch ups complete after assembly.

The last step was to add the locker hasp.  A brass one was ordered off the internet and fit nicely with the gold offset lettering of the boats name.

Hasp added to lock her up.

When we put her on the deck, the dinghy fit snuggly inside, the old girl looked sharp.

Deck box mounted with dinghy inside.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Crashing the Baja Ha Ha Start with SIYC

October 30, 2017

This weekend Ray McCracken and Alicia Watkins came down from Portland for a visit and break from the rain.  Ray is the current Commodore of the Sauvie Island Yacht Club, and Alicia has long worked on the newsletter and been a great friend.

Ray and Alicia at the West Marine in Chula Vista
After bumming around the tall ships at the San Diego Maritime Museum we met up with other SIYC members George and Sue Stonecliff for dinner before their start in the 2017 Baja Ha Ha.  George and Sue own a beautiful yawl called the Julia Max.

The next morning our plans were to follow them out of the Chula Vista Marina, and sail with them in the Baja Ha Ha parade through the port of San Diego.

This morning Charing and I met Ray and Alicia at the boat, with plenty of food and drinks. With any start on the CarolMarie, there are plans until she tells me otherwise.  Of course this was one of those times when we almost didn't leave the dock because she had other plans.  With all the lights on, shore power off I tried to start her up.  Of course that blew the two existing Class T fuses ($30/ea).  After getting them replaced, the engine wouldn't start.  Finally through some trouble shooting I checked the battery terminals, they were all lose enough the charger wasn't charging them correctly.  After locking them down, and 15 minutes of shore power charging, she started.

We motored out of the marina about 45 minutes later then planned, the Julia Max was already under the Coronado Bridge, about 6 miles ahead.  With the motor, tides and wind in our favor, we unfurled the 130% jenny and we took off at 7.5 knots over water.  In no time we'd caught up with the Julia Max.

Deck of the CarolMarie looking at the bridge before setting sail.

Julia Max displaying her flags ready for the start.

It wasn't long before the entire Baja Ha Ha fleet had surrounded us. Over 150 boats had registered this year for the 11 day run to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  One look at the tight quarters shown on the AIS gives you a feel of the pack.  Only about 1/3 of the boats have AIS transponders though, so imagine the photo below with 3 times more boats around us.  We are the little white boat on the screen with the red and green bow.

AIS of the Baja Ha Ha Fleet.

We listened to Channel 69 as the Grand-Pooh -Ba directed all boats to get as close together as possible because media including CNN were on the committee boat taking pictures.  Suddenly we found ourselves locked into formation of a flotilla of slow moving boats approaching the starting line.

We found a sister ship amid the flotilla, another Hans Christian 38, called Amistad.

S/V Amistad at the start

It wouldn't be San Diego with out having the U.S. Navy delay a day's sailing.  With just 4 minutes to start the Grand-Pooh-Ba came on the radio saying the start was to be delayed and he'd call for a one minute warning to the start after a Navy warship had past the flotilla.
Stalled at the start waiting for the Navy to pass by.

The fleet began to break up a bit giving me the chance to turn and slow down as the Navy did their thing.  Julia Max surged ahead as we drifted to the back of the fleet.

Drifting backward looking at the tail end of the flotilla.
The one minute warning was given, the count down began.  As the minute closed, I never heard the starting gun go off, but I did hear more and more boat horns, and cheers.  The 2017 Baja Ha Ha started, and the CarolMarie, even though in the back of the pack passed by the committee boat.  Shortly afterward we turned around and headed back for the marina.

Charing and I sat in the cockpit and listened to the roll call of the boats crossing the line.  When the Grand-Pooh-Ba called out "Julia Max", we heard our friend Sue reply, "Julia Max - three souls aboard."  Charing and I looked at each other, with watery eyes and sighed.

Good luck Baja Ha-Ha 2017 Fleet - fair winds and safe travel to you all.

Movie of sounds and horns at the start

Best Wishes Baja HaHa 2017 Fleet!