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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Shallow Minded passes survey

I want to thank Joey Duran of Harbor Marine Consultants for a very fair minded survey of Shallow Minded.
Here is his summery:
"The subject vessel was personally inspected by the undersigned on June 23, 2015 and was found to be a well constructed, appointed and comfortable vessel.  The vessel is very capably captained and well-kept..."

I have since received an insurance binder for $100K liability and $825K oil spill liability. 
Shallow Minded is back under her shelter. Having completely gone over the running rigging and sails I am pushing toward getting the last of the preparation and packing for this fall's trip. 
To continue following my preparation and subsequent adventures please follow me from now on at my new blog site: Shallow Sailing. This will be my only record from here on.  Thanks

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Getting Ready for a Survey

Let me say up front, I am changing to a new blog.  This will be my last entry here.  You can find my new blog here.
For this last entry I will detail my preparations for survey.  "Why on earth would you get a survey"? I hear you say.  Well it's like this: I just don't have the nerve to maneuver around big expensive boats like I have to when getting gas or docking to get supplies.  Not to mention the hundreds of thousands you can get fined for a fuel spill even if you didn't cause the sinking of your own vessel etc.  The insurance is cheap.  Only $131 a year for peace of mind.  Caveat: on a home built you have to get a survey.  Okay, I'm just paranoid.  I will feel so much better knowing I have a cushion in case the worst happens.  My assets and retirement could be at risk.  'Nuff said.

So it's happening tomorrow.  I have to have the motor ready to run.  This is my setup for running the motor.  I just don't trust those earmuff things. I lost an impeller once trying to use one.  Not again, especially on a new motor.  (I know, more evidence of mild paranoia).  The nice thing about this build is that I can use it in the lower position to run my other motors using the bar as the motor hanger.  Let me tell you, it works great.  I get to run the motor for 20-30 minutes so I can heat it up thereby opening the thermostat and cleaning out the salt residual when I take it out.  Also, I can introduce chemicals to dissolve the buildups.
I took a look at the bilge pump. It was pretty pathetic so I installed this heavy duty Johnson 1600 GPH model with separate float switch.

I bought this control switch so I can pulse the pump manually, turn it on auto or turn it off if need be.  I used an existing cutout in the cabinet door where the power management meter resides to monitor solar charge activity.

Ok back to the survey.  The reason the insurance companies all require surveys is that they just don't trust us home builders to launch out in a safe boat.  Never mind that the most derelict glass boat with a manufacturers name is insured without question.  I know, stupid, none of their business and screw them...  Well you can't fight city hall on this one.  I need what they have.  And once it's done...never again.  $131 a year from here out sounds good.  That includes $825,000 spill insurance. Trust me, the government isn't kidding about the spill thing, even if it isn't your fault.  The survey focuses on sound hull.  Functional propulsion and steering.  Enough safety systems to keep you from being a menace.  It happens tomorrow (6/24/2015).  Wish me luck.  You can see why I got to thinking about systems and looking at the penny-Annie, light weight bilge pump, that was definitely for my own good.

Remember, from here on look for me at:  here

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I'm working on finishing the Spindrift 11N nesting dinghy to be Shallow Minded's tender.  Looks like the Interlux Perfection went on pretty nice.  I believe I have somewhere around 6 coats of Primer under 4 coats of Perfection.  I find it takes a lot of paint to get good results.  Between my mistakes and filling in the imperfections it seems to go on and on.

This was my first bottom job.  It just didn't seem like it came up high enough and just looked funny.

I'm using the laser level to re-level the boat and move the line up 2 and 1/2 inches.

This seems a lot better to me.  I will be taking it up some time this week to have it measured for GA DNR registration. 

Swift on the spare trailer.  Waiting for name and DNR numbers as well as the striping tape to finish.  When it is all done will disassemble and finish the water line on the facing halves.  At that point she is ready to load on the foredeck of Shallow Minded.

Inside view of Swift.  Just need to install the oar collars and she is ready to row.

I got 125 lbs of Anthracite coal for Shallow Minded's multi-fuel stove.  I loaded two 25 lb boxes on board to ward of chilly day's this next winter.  Word has it that it can get a bit nippy even in the Everglades.  Remember the big fish kill in 2009 from freezing temps down there?
I have ordered 8 six-inch cleats for Shallow Minded's gunnels to make short term docking easier.  Anything requiring strength of course, gets attached to the kevels. 
In August I will start the loading process.  Meanwhile Shallow Minded gets a good cleaning and goes back in the shelter where I will apply one more coat of anti-skid.
 Dinghy name in place

Friday, May 29, 2015

Working out the details

I finally mastered the art of connecting with MC4 connecters for solar power.  These connecters are completely water proof and ideal for the marine environment.

This is my second semi-flexible 100 watt panel.  Note that the seller installed stainless grommets in the ends and center.  This panel will be suspended on the Bimini supported by a somewhat stiff backing and tied to the frame of the Bimini.
I have secured a 12 gallon fuel tank to a mount in the flooded well.  There will be another 12 gallon tank somewhat forward which I will detail soon. 
The Sealect2 inch tie down eye straps are used to secure the 2 inch webbing which is closed with a snap system used for kayaks.

I affixed a Garmin 78 mount next to the navigation computer so as to have GPS redundancy.
This water tight connector provides power and a data connection.  My route information can be used to direct correction commands via NMEA 0183 sentencing.  This is a 4 pin connector so the second set of connecters are used to provide a connection the the NMEA bus system.  I use the brown wire which is the NMEA talker.  A nice secondary benefit is that I will wire a second 4 pin connector with power only to provide 12 volts to a portable anchor light. I have already detailed the automatic anchor light system.  I just feel better with a light more at deck level so that power boaters will be more directly aware of my presence.

 Here is the adapter cable for the Garmin 78. The internal batteries can be used (and I keep an abundant supply) in the event of power loss. 
I work out my routes on OPEN CPN and can upload identical routes to both systems. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spring Brings a Flury of Activity to the Boatyard

I was reminded by one of my readers that I am woefully behind on posts for the blog.  He noted that updates have appeared on Facebook a-la Duckworks page but no blog posts have been forthcoming.  Touche I say.  It seems that when I get in a productive phase, it's hard to sit down and keep up with the documentation.  Somehow a picture update of Facebook is about all I can muster some days.  Well, here goes.

One of my biggest worries was figuring out the new to me rigging on Shallow Minded.  It turns out that things were better than I thought.  I did need some new line, but not all that much.  Reading Phil Bolger's running rigging list turned out to be very enlightening.  He does have a way with words.  A simple reading of his description was all I needed to get going.

Here is a quick look at the peak and throat halyards.  These lines really need to be replaced at some point.  I decided that I have enough expenses this time such as replacing anchor lines and chain.  Next year we'll update all the running rigging that has not been so far changed.

I was taken aback a bit to note that no jiffy reefing had been installed.  Lord knows, when things are going to pot weather wise it's not a good time to have to makeshift the reefing.  Here's my solution.  Three check blocks and three cleats with 5/16th line attached forms the simple bases of my solution.  Note that I moved the blocks back to make sure I had a pull out as well as a pull down for the points.  A simple hook on a strong strap eye composes the tack connection.  It's surprising how nicely the luff stays tight with simple downhaul on the boom.  The lacing doesn't seem necessary once the tension is applied.  I used Amsteel (Dynema) 1/4 inch line for the lacing. 

All the sails are now up and functional.  After finding the screecher thanks to a quick reply by Connie McBride, the former owner, I found everything in good order for deployment.

I added these fittings so as to have a stable lower guy for the spinnaker pole.  The so called fore and aft guys go to each side of the boat and are cleated near the mid-point of the boat  The three guy assembly comes together at a ring which has a clip on it to clip in the sail.  The spinnaker clips to the ring and the pole is push out to about 9-10 feet to make a luff long enough for the resultant fore-triangle.  Sheets lead back on each side so as to sheet the sail properly for reaching sheet angles.  All-in-all, it seems to work very well.  Not near as fussy as I had anticipated.  Thanks to the designer who made this easy for me.

As for the mizzen mast  I have cut and labeled all the necessary lines  They include a halyard, luff lacing, sheet and down-haul.  These are all carefully stowed in a separate bag which will be used for protection at the base of the mast when anchored.
This is the tack hook that serves as a reefing tack as well.  Note the plastic liner applied to the boom jaws.  The riding up and down is better now.  One still has to raise and lower the yard, for instance and near horizontal angles so as to not scar the mast finish.  It is absolutely essential to loosen the peak halyard in order to get a tight luff (boom being raised a bit so as to apply down-haul for maximum luff tension).
The more I drill down on the details, the more I know how important it is to cover every eventuality in terms of design as well as repair and remediation.  I am, as they say, deep into the weeds already!
The dinghy refinishing project is coming along nicely.  All rough seams are faired with Total Boat epoxy fairing compound.  I like it!

I am applying the final coat of Interlux 2000/2001 Interprotect to the exterior surfaces.  I found this needs to be diluted nearly to 30 percent for good coverage.  I have since sprayed a coat of Interlux Epoxy Primekote.  I diluted this 30 percent, e.g. 600 cc 404 base and 200cc reactor with 400 cc Interlux 2316.  The undiluted mix (mixed with a drill driven mixer needs to sit for 20 minutes.   With the gun (DeVilbiss 670) set at mid pressure (about 35 lbs) I got a very nice wet out. I believe this will serve well as a base for the final coat topside of Perfection as well as the barrier coat below the water line.  Stay tuned for marking the waterline with a laser level. By the way, the formula (or at least one method to figure percentage) goes like this   X-solution volume=.3X  E.G. divide the undiluted solution by .70 to obtain the total volume of diluted solution.  Simply subtract the undiluted volume for how much diluent to add.
About spray gun choices.  Many are attracted to the idea of HVLP for maximum use of product with minimal overspray and loss as well as environmental reasons.  HVLP designation requires the limiting of pressure in the atomizing head to 10 PSI.  This is NOT enough pressure to atomize properly any paint let alone heavy paints like primers.  The Devilbiss 670 is listed as a near HVLP.  It 's head pressure runs around 12 plus pounds which does not meet designation but is sufficient to atomize the product and apply a reasonably dispersed layer of "dots" to the surface.  A pressure adjustment meter at the gun is a must.  The Devilbiss 670 comes with an adjustment gauge with a blue area indicating he safe pressure area.  Too much pressure causes over-spray.  Too little won't get the product through.  If the tip starts to clog with a sputtering sound, that is because the product has not been diluted sufficiently.  Lower pressures and more dilution gives a nice even wet out.  .
I use a 18 CFM Ingersol Rand air compressor with 1/2 inch fittings.  I have a Moto-Guard 1 micron filter in line that uses M-723 toilet paper like filters to remove all water oil and particulate mater.  I change this regularly.  I haven't had much luck with the gun side filters.  The Moto-Guard seems to be adequate.  I try to spray on days that are above 70 degrees and as close to 60 percent humidity (or lower) as possible.
When spraying primers, I use a 1.8mm tip.  This is the larges tip offered with the DeVilbiss 670.  I would prefer a 2.3mm tip where upon I could dilute the product a little less.  When spraying finish paints I use a 1.4mm tip and dilute for around 18 seconds on the Zahn cup.  This ends up being around 25 percent dilution. 
I use MEK to clean up with. It is much cheaper than the proprietary brands like Interlux and is very powerful.  I wipe down with Interlux 202 before and after sanding before the initial paint coat.   MEK would work as well for a good degreaser. 
Why would I not roll and tip.  Quality!  I like a very nice smooth finish.  To me the best way to get that is to spray.  I spray everything including bottom coat.  Yes, thin with Interlux 216 and you get a VERY smooth finish.  Of course on work boats like Shallow Minded everything is rolled.  It's just not worth the hassle to try to protect the trailer.  On the SeaPearl and the dinghy, everything is sprayed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sea You There sailing buddies tour Shallow Minded

Steve and Ginny (and George), our friends who have traveled via SeaPearl 21 sailboat from Florida to Central America and the rivers of South America are back to visit with us and pick up their cart and trailer.  Thurston their beloved SeaPearl 21 came to grief while attempting a landing on the North shore of Hispaniola.
Our other sailing friends, Genise and Bernard and Diana and Jeff came over to share stories and tour Shallow Minded.  A very enjoyable visit was had by all.

After a pleasant pot luck lunch the group checks out our newly refurbished SeaPearl 21.  Bernard is in the final stages of finishing a John Welsford Pathfinder.  We all plan to meet at Cedar Key for the annual Small Boat gathering the first weekend in May.

I'm working on refinishing all the spars.  I decided to remove all varnish and use Sikken's Cetol Marine from here on.  I will coat with 4 coats.  The advantage is that Cetol for the most part does not have to be stripped off and can be re-coated with a little abrasion for tackiness.

The new Bimini is just exactly the right width but too tall and too long.  I have cut down the bows and am having the canvas top shortened by 10 inches.  It should fit well when I finish.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting to know the Garmin 741xs

The Garmin 741xs is a leap into twenty first century marine guidance systems.  Since I had to buy a chart plotter e.g having sold Belle with its Garmin 198C I naturally wanted to see what today's technology had to offer.  And it's pretty spectacular.  We all are used to the gestures used to pan and zoom our smart phones.  Well, the Garmin 741xs and its contemporaries  have made parallel steps forward in technology.  Not only are the charts detailed and up to day (this unit has all the G2 charts for US coastal waters and the Bahamas as well as Lakes and rivers) it is fully touch screen.  The old rocker switch is gone.  Just pan and zoom as you would on the smart screen on your smart phone.  I elected to pass on the Radar element for now.  When we move toward northern waters where summer fog can blindside you, I will probably indulge.  I would probably sooner spend the money on radar than an AIS transceiver.  Although announcing our location, heading and speed to larger ships would be helpful.  

Here I am demonstrating the Garmin Helm app on my Iphone 6+. It is connected via WiFi to the 741xs making the Iphone a second station for the 741xs.  All commands and gestures are available on both devices.  Route planning and way point plotting can be done on the Iphone and uploaded to the 741xs for implementation as an active route.  All instrumentation and all the features of the unit are available on the Iphone. 
I commandeered this 12 amp 12 volt power supply to run the mapping unit for study and practice.  I went ahead and labeled the NMEA 0183 ports 1 and 2 talkers and listeners on the wires so installation on the bus in the boat will be a minutes long process.  I don't have any NMEA 2000 devices yet so no plugs or cabling for the back of the unit.  An XM weather satellite device would plug directly into the NMEA 2000 port or if I had a network, into the drop.  
So far I am totally pleased with this device.  I am waiting for the water-tight deck mounting case to install it on Shallow Minded.This unit is certified IPX8 but I wouldn't want waves splashing on the back of the unit.  The case is cut for this unit so with weather seal provided nothing but the face or its cover will be exposed to the elements.