Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Still Hauled Out

I’m around but distracted because Tulum has been hauled out since late Tuesday but her bottom’s not even started yet.  The damn cold and wet weather patterns have not helped.  These Jan/Feb/Mar months have been the wettest and coldest I’ve ever experienced in San Diego.  In order to save approx $1400 dollars on hotel or Airbnb costs, we elected to stay on the boat and then yard happily obliged.  We have power and our crack poop pumper showed up at the yard with a 100 foot hose to clean us out,,,although the yard has very nice heads and a private shower.  Climbing the 16 feet to the boat via ladder has not stopped the girls but they have had to learn to slow down and allowed me to help them across the expanse from ladder to boat.  The yard starts early in the day and ends work early in the day, something we’ve gotten used to and have worked through.  I think we’ll go back in the water by this coming Thurs/Fri, just in time for Michelle to get back from her Japan trip and miss all the fun boat work in the yard projects.  I’m sure she’s jealous!

Here’s a shot of her hauled, more later this week-

Haul Out and Yard Work on the Horizon for Tulum V

There’s a haul out and spa week coming next week for Tulum V and I can’t wait.  She needs this TLC and maintenance prior to us leaving and this happens to be one of the milestones we need to check off prior to starting more serious shakedowns come spring and summer.  Here she is hauled out for survey:

 

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Waterhorse Charters.com and TRLMI

Good Morning Everyone, it’s been a crazy long week and more to come next week.  This whole week I’ve been working on the boat (of course) but I’ve also been going to night classes at Training Resources Limited Maritime Institute (TRLMI) for a Diesel Engine Maintenance Course.  YES, I’m still trying to improve my weak mechanical skills and since I have a firm grasp on my own failings, I already know that I’m not the greatest at mechanical stuff…..and the high jump!  As a bonus this afternoon, we were allowed to go on a field trip to check out the engines on Captain Zach’s Newton 46 dive boat.  Zach is one of the students in the class and owns Waterhorse Charters and Dive Shop (in San Diego).  Because San Diego has a large sunken warship (Yukon) just off the coast, Waterhorse Charters specializes in taking folks out there who come to train for thier PADI or other Wreck Dive Certification.  The boat is spotless, has more than required safety gear and his engines are in great shape.  I was pretty impressed, cause I’ve been on some pretty janky dive boats in a couple of places, but Captain Zach knows his stuff and has a Master’s License to prove it.  Me and him sat in class for a couple of weeks in January 2017 at the (then) Maritime Institute for our Masters License Training, but Maritime Institute has since become TRLMI.  I get to wander around the San Diego Sunroad Boatshow tomorrow and then finish up my last Engine Class tomorrow afternoon as well…too much fun.  I’m getting LOTS of stuff knocked out on the boat and the next two weeks will be huge weeks for the boat.  Next week I have someone coming on the boat to look over my spinnakers with me.  Pretty excited, as I don’t have much spinnaker time and every second counts for good experience.  In order to shore up some of my weaker points and stop paying ripoff prices for work I can probably do, I’ve also signed up for a week of class for Outboard Engine Maintenance in February and another week of class for Onboard Electrical Systems in March.  If you’re interested in these skill sets, TRLMI offers the classes and has a world-class training facility where you’ll get hands-on + instructors who are willing to take the time to explain crucial details along with real world experience.  If you want these skills, highly recommend you sign-up for a class somewhere and improve yourself.

I’ll do another couple of posts with more detailed info and pics on Waterhorse Charters, TRLMI and the boat show.

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/01/15/100-ton-captains-course/

http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/01/22/successful-captains-license-class/

So the above reasons are why I missed Wednesday’s post, but I’m working hard to stay with it.  Today was another painting with bilge paint day on the boat before I went on the field trip and I’m gonna have to throw a second coat on tomorrow, then be done with that portion of the paint project.  I’ll have some pictures of before and after to awe you with my painting skills and the nastiness of the areas painted….you’ll see we’re making slow progress.  Next week it’s into the engine room all week to clean the engine, change the coolant and the oil and then attempt to get to the impeller to change it.  My engine is literally put in backwards because of the velvet drive and V drive operation…so getting to the critical bits of it is literally painful boat yoga for midget’s and my kids won’t go into those spaces.  I try to bribe them, pay them and threaten them but they will won’t go into those impossible to get to engine spaces so I have to do it….next week. Ok, still got paint on my hands so I have to clean up- see ya-

Calling all Women Sailors and Boaters- February Sailing Convention for Women

It’s important that both men AND women have both hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge in order to gain more confidence and safety on the water when sailing or boating.  Learning must occur to spark experience.  This can be done through boat shows, conferences, reading and hands-on experience- but the point of the first sentence is that it should and can be done by men AND women, not just the manly man on his boat!  You see men on boats a lot.  This is changing, especially as you immerse yourself in this world and start learning that there are more and more women involved with boating and sailing than you might have thought. There are women sailors and boaters who follow this blog and I hope more will follow as we go.  I digress.  Calling all Women Sailors and Boaters:  If you have the means to get to it, there’s a very good Sailing and Boating Convention just for women coming to Southern California in February 2019.   It’s called the Sailing Convention for Women and while it’s not the only one, it’s the only one on the West Coast in the near future.  The Convention date is February 2nd 2019 in Newport Beach, Cali, USA.  When me and Hotwife were going through the morning and afternoon seminars; I was a bit jealous because there are so many cool seminars that I would like to go to, but she’s going instead.  I’ll stay here and babysit (I mean parent).

PS: If you’re around the convention and spot Hotwife, tell her hello-

Constant Improvements on Tulum 5

It’s Veterans Day Weekend and perfect San Diego weather,  but we’ve chosen to stay on the dock to keep up our project momentum and give us a chance to take a deep breath.  (more…)

Cruising Sailboat Generator and Energy Decisions

Photo Credit to our Roving Reporter, Dr. Emmy

Right now we’re on the dock; but as of next October we want to be heading toward life under a giant sunset somewhere.  Our equipment and energy choices will have an effect on that life, as we have no desire to sit on a dock somewhere for an extended amount of time.  Here’s the story of the curveball thrown at us in the last 3 weeks and how Fate seems to have intervened to help us with some of our equipment and power choices. (more…)

LF2SF’s Informal Survey of Baja Ha-Ha South Bound Boats

The 2018 Baja Ha-Ha leaves San Diego on October 29th to “rally” (not race) down Baja California.  Here’s my own Baja Ha-Ha intro (for those of you who have never heard of this unique sailing adventure) and my own informal survey  of the traits belonging to the Baja Ha-Ha Boats on my dock.   (more…)

Project Windlass For Dummies (like me)

Ever since we bought Tulum 5 in February, we knew we were probably going to have to update the Windlass on our sailboat, but had no idea the project would be so massive.  On most any sizable boat a Windlass is the mechanical system that hauls the chain or rope or combination of the two (rode) up from the ocean floor and back onto the boat or ship.  On most cruising sailboats that Windlass is powered by a 12-volt system (meaning batteries) but you often find generator powered Windlass’s on larger boats (110-volt systems).  When we bought Tulum 5, both the bow and stern Windlass systems were powered by 110-volt systems, meaning we would have to be running the generator in order for our Windlass to work.  In my little mind, this isn’t an ideal system, especially with my generator not functioning right now or since we’ve bought Tulum 5.  After I moved onto the boat permanently in July of this year, I knew the Windlass was one of my priorities and tackled the project in mid-July.  We did not start out wanting a new Windlass.  We listened to the advice of our broker and surveyor who both said we could take the current (existing) Windlass motor off the boat (it was 110-volt) and have places in San Diego, National City or Chula Vista re-spin the innards of the motor to make it compatible with 12-volt power.  I spent the better part of an entire two days on the phone and lugging that old motor around to various shops in the local area trying to find someone who could actually do this…..to no avail.  First point of caution here…..if you’re looking to the do the same thing, take the advice with a grain of salt.  We were unable to find anyone who would or could re-spin that 1978 Windlass motor to make it a 12-volt system.

The original 1977 Windlass on Tulum 5, all 284 pounds of it under the cover.

So the next decision was what to do:  Reinstall the motor to the windlass or we could decide to buy a modern, lighter, more energy-efficient 12-volt Windlass.  We decided to buy and install a new Windlass.  After my research, knowing our chain size, boat weight and length and intended use of the Windlass as well as price variations; we settled on the Maxwell 2500 VWC variant.  Once purchased, we had to worry about getting the old Windlass out and the new one in.  I’m going to discuss the process via a series of 5 different posts “For Dummies” like myself, but sufficient to say it didn’t go like I thought it would.

First, we had to get the old Windlass out.  This wasn’t that hard, but the thing was a monster and I think it contributed to my messed up back and neck.

Old Windlass, without 40 pound motor, on the deck before two of us hauled it off the boat.  This was the portion in the chain locker, not on top of the deck. 

In the beginning of August, the new windlass came in. 

The new Maxwell was shiny new and I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box….but it had to sit on the deck till I was done with all the rest of this stuff. 

Despite the old Windlass being out and off the boat, I still had to deal with the teak pedestal and the iron plate that it had sat on top of….custom made of course.

In my naive mind (attributed to my youth of course) I dicked around a few days with the iron plate, thinking I could cut a hole or drill it out enough to make it work.  It didn’t

Come read the rest of my 5-part series on installing this new Windlass by myself (except for a critical assist by a friend) and custom woodwork at the end of the project. If you like my “For Dummies” series about working on an aging sailboat…..keep following us cause I’m the dummy and I’m working on an aging sailboat to get her ready for extended blue-water cruising with my family in late 2019.

My new buddy-

I didn’t mean to go looting or pillaging….and in fact asked permission first.  But now I’ve got a new buddy.  (more…)

Tulum 5 keeps giving up her secrets-

Do you think your home, trailer or boat could ever be a living entity; like it knows how you’re treating it and has a soul?  Some folks think of boats this way and especially older sailboats that need work and TLC.  Tulum 5 (our 51 foot Aleutian Ketch) keeps slowly giving up her secrets as I put more and more work into her. (more…)