Thursday, September 29, 2016

Up the creek with a newly varnished paddle.....

September 24, 2016

I bought a CD9 Cascade Sailing Dinghy from a friend.  It was built in 1980, so it had some wear and tear.  I spent the weekend sanding down the teak dagger board and the teak rudder to varnish them again.  I also took the time to strip down the oars with an orbital sander and 80 grit paper.

Here you can see the before and after sanding of the oars.
Once stripped down, I added a personal touch of a couple of Hawaii Kai decal's.  It made the oars look like a branded well finished product.

After decals added with Hawaiian Kai decals.
The final step was coating the oars with 6 coats of varnish.  They were both sanded with 220 grit in between coats.  This sanding provided a smooth coating of varnish and a glassy look to them.

Final finish with 6 coats of varnish on the oars and the teak boards.
Here's a look at the CD9 which is to be tackled next week.

CD9 Cascade Sailing Dinghy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Long Weekend Around Sauvie Island

Thursday September 15, 2016

After spending too much time at work, and too little time on the boat I began to feel like Ishmael at the beginning of Moby Dick.  It was high time I took to sea.  Not having enough time for a trip to sea I took a long four day weekend to cruise around Sauvie Island.  So as the sunset on Thursday evening, after a long day on working on the boat, I made plans with my trusty dog Kona to take off and sail about the watery bits for a while.

Musings on our gazebo planing for the next day's adventure

Friday September 16, 2016

Last night I had pizza with friend Ray and Alicia from S/V Rowena, and we discussed an invitation we had from Chris and Kim on S/V Kaaluna.  Early in the morning I pinged Kim on email basically inviting myself and K-dog to stay at their marina.  By noon we'd loaded the boat and set sail for Big Island Marina (BIM).  BIM is located just down river from Fred's Marina on the Multnomah Channel, but it's on Sauvie Island.  I put our life jackets on and we set off for BIM.

K-Dog with his life jacket on.

Willamette River heading to BIM

BIM as it turn's out is a great place.   There was a huge field for Kona to run in, and use the facilities.  There is an awesome "man cave"/pirate hangout, and generous docks with power, showers, and welcoming neighbors.   The only hard part was getting into the single slips which are 45 degrees orthogonal to the current.  It means you basically pass the marina slip, then motor toward the slip you want while the entire time pointed at the slip just up river from you. To complain about that though is a bit like insisting your grapes are pealed.

Man Cave at BIM

Kona's field - He loved running around it.

BIM's docks
Chris was kind enough to help us moor without hitting anything.  Chris went back to work while I broke out the sand paper and continued to work on the bow sprit.  Although I came in about 2:30, I had finished the bow about 5:00pm.  Chris and I had a beer as we waited for the others to join us.  S/V Rowena pulled in about 8:00pm right when it got dark.  Kim cooked chicken and Alicia great sausages which we enjoyed with beer and wine, talking the evening away.

Saturday September 17, 2016

Wet rain dampened the next leg of the trip to the Gilbert River Docks.  We left BIM about 10:30am and arrived at the Gilbert about 12:30.
Rainy day headed to Gilbert River

The Gilbert River Docks are basically in the middle of the Gilbert River with no access to shore.  We met people from the yacht club there and had dinner.  It rained and rained so much. Kona and I went to bed earlier that day.

Kona sleeping next to the heater staying warm and dry.

 The next day we had a great breakfast with them.  I brought out the FLIR attachment to the camera and took a couple of photos.


After breakfast we packed up and headed back to the docks at Hayden Condo Bay Marina. We stopped at Fred's for lunch, and to give Kona a break to go to the bathroom on grass.  He was grateful for the stop over.

We got back to the Vancouver Railroad bridge and waited a good 45 minutes for a train and then a shift change.  They swung open for us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sailtice and New Spinnaker

I went through our local chandlery called Columbia Marine Exchange (  They had a brand new spinnaker made by Port Townsend Sails (, which happened to exactly match one of the smartwatches I designed.  In fact the smartwatch band was won on a bet with a leader at one of the watch companies, and it's a one off.

So the colors matched very nicely.

The sail came with a socket and bag. We laid it out and ensured it was all there, then bought it.

Sailistice gave us a chance to use it, and man it was fast.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cruise Downtown for the Weekend

On Friday April 15th 2016 the crew of S/V CarolMaire sailed to downtown Portland on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.  We left at 10:30am on Friday, after scrambling last minute to prepare the boat and provision for the weekend.   By the time we got out on the Columbia from Hayden Bay many of the SIYC ( boats were nearing or at the Vancouver Railroad Bridge.

One other boat S/V Somehow and ourselves needed to wait for the I-5 Bridge to lift.  The river level had risen by 8 foot since we were last out.  At this river level the passage under the mid-span was 62ft which is exactly what we need to go under.   Any wave action would mean we'd impale the bottom of the bridge with our mast.  So we asked for the opening for both boats.

Current was flowing at 2.3 knots so we passed quickly under the bridge.  Approaching the Vancouver Railroad Bridge we waited about 15 minutes for it to open.  With the current we were doing 9.0 knots with a speed in the water of 6.8.

Kona our dog took watch for a while.  Although he couldn't steer he was very good at watching for other boats.

Charing did her part as well by keeping the cockpit clean.

 Although Kona took his watch, he didn't really finish it and decided to nap on the deck rather then point at yet another fisherman.

By noon we'd made the turn to onto the Willamette River and were now counter to the current.  Our speed dropped, and the number of fishing boats increased.

By 13:00 we were staring at the St. John's Bridge and opening the St. John's Railroad Bridge.  More fishing boats and three different agencies' boat searching the fishing boats.  We saw the local USCG, Multnomah County Sheriff's and one more we couldn't ID.

By 13:30 we were at the Fremont Bridge and we could see S/V JuliaMax waiting at the Steel Bridge for all the rest of us.

As we approached the Broadway Bridge the traffic on the VHF Channel 13 increased as every body told their clearance needed.  We were the second tallest boat behind Somehow at 65ft.  Before we knew it we went through the litany of bridges opening and closing until we'd arrived at Riverplace Marina.

We tied up on the outside of the city docks and paid our fee.  Just afterwards teams of people began flowing down onto to docks to board the Dragon Boats.

We club had a dinner together on the docks and we turned in early to clean up the inside of the CarolMarie.   It had been almost 5 months since we last been on a cruise and the cleaning was very much needed.  The next morning several of the ladies of the SIYC when on a power walk around the city.   Kona and I did some boat maintenance while they walked.  Installing the new propane tank and changing fuses, etc were the highlights of our morning.

A few walks up and down the docks for bathroom breaks for Kona and he was worn out.   People through the morning came up and down the docks asking about the boats, and photographing themselves with the boats in the background.  Ray from S/V Rowena asked for me to put up our large pirate flag which I did.  He put up a few flags on his boat too, and it wasn't long before flag wars began on every boat in the club, 10 boats in all.  Each time a flag was added on one boat another one was added on another until a sea of colors filled the space from the water line to 60 ft in air.

Kona and I sat on the deck watching people watch us while Charing and others went to the farmers market.

He got the chair while I sat on a cushion.  People would pass us and ask why is he on the chair and you're not.  I respond that it was his boat, which would prompt him to look smugly at the questioner.

We had another great dinner that night on the docks, and more members came by land.

The next morning the we had breakfast on the dock and reversed the process heading back to Hayden Bay through all the 10 bridges lifting 7 of them on the way.

As we went under the St John's Bridge both Charing and I felt like the boat sinking.  By the time we got out on the Columbia it was worse, I turned on the high bilge pump and nothing came out. I look down at the shaft and there was nothing but the bow continued to raise. Then for no reason it stopped raising and boat returned to a normal stance. When we docked I felt the front carpet in the cabin as we were cleaning and it was all wet. I couldn't figure out why.

I went to the sink and there was no water coming out.  Just two days earlier I had filled both tanks, so this lack of water made no since.  It was then I realized the water came from the vanity sink, where the pipe broke.  Since the water pump was on it emptied the tanks into the high bilge until the tanks were dry. We were literally sinking form the inside.

I siphoned out the high bilge, and dried the carpets.

It was a great weekend in the end and wonderful to spend it in Portland's backyard.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Let Thar Be Light ARGH!!!!

Ok pirate jokes aside a big safety factor is lighting at sea, especially on the deck.   A couple of years ago we lost our spreader lights, and we've failed to get them back.  With big thanks to Richard our SIYC commodore the CarolMarie now has two new LED spreader lights.  In fact the last time I was able to use them was back in Sept 2012 when we ran over fishing nets (

The new LED technology light were used.

I can't wait until tonight to try them out.