Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Multi-Year Coast Guard Vessel Documentation is now available

The Coast Guard has just allowed folks to start renewing their Coast Guard Documentation for multiple years vice one year at a time….which is a recent change.  Attached to this email is a document that gives you contact info and you can also learn about it online at the Coast Guard website.

Multi-Year Documentation

Credit for getting me this info goes to Mr. Jimi Laughery, as I had no idea about this change either.  Thanks Jimi-

Sporadic posts but life continues-

Gotta apologize, as the posts have been a bit sporadic these last couple weeks as life has been busy but we keep going.  Hotwife had a hip operation so it’s been a week of having the kids on the boat with her elsewhere; then when she as able to get back on the boat on crutches I needed to take her to appointments for most of the next week.  So I missed my usual writing schedule and missed some of the work I needed to do around the boat as well.  With hotwife back on the boat, things have settled down a bit.  Take a look at Quincy, she won’t even move now when crutches go over her:  But it’s been a productive couple of weeks regardless.  Hotwife and Pirate Kate attended the Women’s Sailing Convention last weekend, I was able to determine the cause of my broken bilge pump and I’m getting it changed out with a new one, I finished my Small Boat Diesel Engine Course and we’ve set solid dates in March to haul Tulum 5 out of the water for a bunch of repairs and upgrades.

We’re looking to do the following while T-5 is hauled out:  three coats of bottom paint, drop and inspect the rudder and it’s bearings, have a dripless seal installed on our shaft, have a freshwater foot pump installed in our front head, have a saltwater foot pump installed in the galley, have the gray water flow changed from our 50-gallon (below the water line) tank to direct overboard and possibly remove the tank, unfreeze all the throughhull handles and fiberglass over throughhulls we don’t use and clean and paint the main bilge.  But this also gives me strict deadlines to get the washer/dryer taken out and if I’m going to put in a composting head…I’d like to get it done before the haul out.

So we have a bit to do.

We’re a family who got a good deal on a great boat and now have to dedicate the time to fix systems and give her the TLC needed to prep her for cruising.  We’re doing just that.  We’ll start our YouTube Channel in June and post every one of our complete free video travel logs on this blog.  We’ll also continue to post with mongo lots of pictures as we go along. If you want to read it all and share in the action, please think about following us and continue to follow us as we go.

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-

Looking to your Rode: Chain Marking My Way

If you own a boat and haven’t a clew what your Rode is; perhaps it’s time to learn?  In boating parlance, Rode prefers to the entire system used to keep a boat anchored in one place (but not a mooring)- this means the chain/rope, attachment swivels and any kind of anchor.  Today we’re only discussing the chain/rope portion of a Rode, although anchors are a favorite subject too.  Ever hauled out your chain or rope and paid attention to them?  If not, this post may be some help:  (more…)

Deep Bilge Work To Welcome the New Year

Today’s Weds, so I’m working to get back into my M/W/F posting routine, but launched into working in the deep recesses of my deepest bilges today.  I’m hopeful that none of the muck gets caught in the keyboard.  If ya don’t know or understand..older heavier boats built in Taiwan in the 70’s tend to have really deep full bilges.  Engines tend to sit in those spaces.  My deep bilge is the hardest I’ve ever seen to get into and clean out.  It sits nearly 5 feet below my engine and the shaft that rotates our prop is also under the engine, further complicating working on the bilge.  Yep….there’s a few smart folks out there scratching their heads because most engine shafts normally come out of the engine directly to the propeller to power it,  but ours had to be complicated and is attached to a “velvet drive”.  Simply means things are backwards and the shaft comes out of the engine to the “V” drive then goes back under the engine to the propeller.  Yep, it’s as complicated as it sounds.  Now,,,,bilge- A bilge is defined as: The bilge /bɪl/ is the lowest compartment on a ship or seaplane, below the waterline, where the two sides meet at the keel. (wikipedia).  Our bilge has two large pumps that pump water out of the boat and various other hoses to things that were a mystery.  Mystery no longer.  The problem with our bilge also is that the extra special “V Drive” means we can’t really get into the bilge but other stuff can fall in and disappear forever.  Our large bilge pumps are supposed to have automatic float switches on them that start pumping water automatically, but ours have been broken.  Today we went through every single hose going into or out of the bilge, much to my surprise there was lots more than I thought.  We found out that our full tub drains directly into the bilge (important to know) and that we have another pump for the bilge that could be used in combination with the forward saltwater wash down pump to de-water in an emergency.  We also found out that we needed to fix and update every hose, several were burned through by touching the shaft and simply done.  All of this work is accomplished by someone on their stomach on top of the engine or looking through a 1 foot by 1 foot hatch from the galley.  Not terribly efficient or effective setup, but I love to work through problems so this is a great experience and I get to learn more about the boat.  Here’s what this process looks like from above:

The bilge ends about 5 feet below Francisco, he’s on top of the engine.

I’m also babysitting (parenting) the kids while working on the deep bilges because they don’t go back to school for several more days.  So I’m knocking out this post on my lunch break (kids eat all the time and MUST be fed) and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll have working bilge pumps with working float switches and new hoses too?  We’ll see.  If not, it’s my priority project tomorrow and the curtains get to wait.

Happy New Year and a quick hello to all the new folks who are following our little blog. Baja Ha-Ha leaves in October….are you in ?

A family heirloom- Saving “Wallys” Anchor

How the heck is a famous American Astronaut tied to the LF2SF crew?   (more…)

Are readers fickle?

I do watch my blog stats!  I admit it.  As a writer of a blog in a niche area with a potentially limited audience, I wonder if this limits me.  Then I remember I don’t really care because the readers that I do have on a regular basis are awesome folks who actually engage…a lot.  I read about the blogging ups and downs of mega-bloggers like a opinionated man (Harsh Reality) who have some of the same challenges that I do on my tiny niche blog.  I also know this blog wasn’t started (like some other blogs I know) for me or my family, it’s truly meant to be a resource for folks if possible.  But back to the question in the title: Are my readers fickle or are they just busy and overloaded with information?  Even though we may follow a blog, I would venture to say we don’t always read it or even click on it some or most of the time.  Reading all the blogs I follow would be a royal pain in the ass, especially as some of those bloggers post 5-8 times per day.  I think I’m right….readers don’t always read our blogs even though they follow them; and THAT’s OK.  I appreciate anyone who follows, reads, glances at or comments on my blog at all.  It’s royally cool to have followers who comment back and I appreciate it.

Bad Blogger!

I try to do a Mon/Weds/Fri posting schedule and facilitate Quincy the Boat Dog’s Posts on Sunday.  It’s been a hectic week, so I missed my post yesterday, wanted to do it today but missed it again.  I will be back on my schedule tomorrow.  Remember I live on a boat with two small children, a Great Dane and LOTS of boat projects….but I love writing on the website and have more ideas than time.  And…it rained for three days in San Diego which is really rare and generally sucks.  The rain got  to us all, delaying all my projects.  I’m working on making dinghy chaps and curtains right now…it’s a slow process.

Here’s the end of my post:

Amelia Rose Goes to Sea

It’s taken me over a month now to be able to put into words the emotions of watching our former sailboat leave for Baja Ha-Ha 2018.   Having your current and former sailboat able to be in one picture is cool enough,  but watching your former sailboat glide from her slip one last time proved to me how enraptured I can be with sailboats and the emotions they spark, even when I don’t own them. (more…)

Digitized Aleutian 51 Ketch Plans and Drawings

In the post below is my photo essay containing the hand-drawn plans for the Aleutian 51 Ketch.  Mr. Stan Huntingford was the designer and if you look closely at one of the sheets, you’ll see it’s actually dated, October 20th 1975.  I was around in the world- were you?  In October of 1975, we were most likely preparing to sail down Baja California on the original Tulum II with my parents.  Through new information from one of the editors for Cruising Outpost Magazine; there were only 9 Aleutians built in Taiwan in the late 70’s and there may have been several more built in Canada  sometime during this period too.  I’ve tracked several Aleutians via this blog/website:  ours is here in Southern California prepping for Baja Ha-Ha 2019,  another Aleutian is very much alive and sailing in the Caribbean, one Aleutian was sailed from the US to Australia and is detailed in several of author Jackie Parry’s books,  another is somewhere in Ventura or Oxnard (California) while another was sold somewhere in Spain several years ago.  If you have any information on other Aleutians, I’d love to hear from you.  Enjoy the plans, I’m glad we can continue the legacy of the lady we live and sail on:  (more…)