Overnight races – Annapolis to Solomons, Annapolis to St. Mary’s College

I’ve now done 2 overnight races on Old Shoes.  The first  was the Annapolis to Solomons race.

We boarded the boat at the dock in the Rhode river.  Then had a 2 or 3 hour motor up to Annapolis.  Thomas Point lighthouse is on the way.  Look out smooth that water is.  Not really what you want for a sailboat race.

Thomas Point Lighthouse

Thomas Point Lighthouse

 

Then we stopped at an Annapolis dock for a planned halyard fix(halyard is the rope that takes the sail up to the top of the mast).  While doing that a small drone flew over with what looked like a GoPro on it.  If you find a video on YouTube of the start of race let me know.   After that it was mill around the starting line waiting for our start.

Waiting for the race to start.

Waiting for the race to start.

The race started just outside Annapolis in the evening with light winds.  The sun was going down and after crossing the starting line we first needed to sail west out of the Severn river and into the Chesapeake.  There was a beautiful sunset behind us as we left.

Leaving Annapolis

Leaving Annapolis

Once we turned south, the sunset lingered for what seemed like hours, although this picture is only 20 minutes later than the other one. Kind of odd, since the sun seems higher – but timestamps don’t lie.  I guess that’s just a reflection and the sun has already set?

Lingering sunset

Lingering sunset

In the Chesapeake, there are always large obstacles like this to steer around.  These block the wind pretty good.  (That’s bad – stay away)

Wind dead zones

Wind dead zones

The wind stiffened a bit and we sailed under a steady breeze and full moon all the way to Solomons.  It was very nice.  Sorry, didn’t get any good pictures in the dark.  Once the sun came up however, there was not enough breeze to ruffle your hair.  Here is where we left the Chesapeake and turned up into the Patuxent River.

Mouth of the Patuxent River

Mouth of the Patuxent River

Shane got to drive.

Shane driving

Shane driving

Rehab Jr. got to drive.

Rehab Jr. driving

Rehab Jr. driving

Do you see a picture of CapnRehab driving?  Nope.  But there is nothing quite like a cold beer in the morning after an all night sail!

We limped across the finish line with a bunch of other boats.  It was a fun time.

In between the weekend races we did a regular Wednesday race where I took this of an Osprey near the starting line.

Osprey

Osprey

The other race I did was the Governor’s Cup Annapolis to St. Mary’s College.  It started with the same sail up to Annapolis.  I won’t bore you with another picture of St. Thomas lighthouse.  One pin of the starting line was the “Pride of Baltimore”.  With the light wind and strong current, some skippers misjudged their course and we saw at least two of them drift into the bowsprit.  Wow, that has to make you feel pretty bad.  I wouldn’t want to have done it.  Sorry for the bad picture quality.  Can’t really see the screen to know what the phone is going to produce in the sunlight.

Pride of Baltmore

Pride of Baltimore

No shortages of sunset pictures with all night races that start in the evening.  Look at this pretty new sail!

Yet another sunset

Yet another sunset

This is pretty, but seems to indicate there is moisture in the air.  Could be trouble ahead.

Moisture in the air.

Moisture in the air.

Moisture indeed!  The forecast was for moderate to light winds (5 – 8 mph) all night.  There is an old adage that goes “Sail the weather, not the forecast”.  Once the sun went down, the wind picked up, (up to 18 mph or so) the rain came down, and we bashed through the waves all night.  I was running the mainsail.

There was a lot of excitement (not all good).  At one point the boat dropped into a wave trough suddenly and I came up in the air off the seat a couple of feet – just like on a roller coaster!  The new halyard that was put up at the last race snapped WHILE we were smashing along, dropping the jib sail and leaving us two short halyards.  It’s an interesting thing to watch as someone goes on deck to change sails while it’s heaving up and down.  I’m glad we had an experienced crewman along to take care of it (Thanks B.!).  I learned that I have a LOT to learn.  The rest is an interesting story to be shared over a couple of beers out of earshot of Mrs. CapnRehab!

We also go to watch the skipper give his lunch to Neptune.   I’ve seen a few people lose the contents of their stomach due to seasickness, but that was the most interesting sounding one!  Shane was a bit green around the gills already, and I was sure it would make him toss his salad, but he held on grimly.  I’m happy to report I never had an issue.

No pretty morning pictures.  We were rained on all night, it was incredibly cold for August 1, and by the time we dropped anchor everybody had been shivering for hours.  This race was my most exciting time ever on the water.

Sad to say, the skipper has decided not to race with crew anymore.  His reasons are sound, but it’s disappointing.  I’m very appreciative of the chances I got to sail on “Old Shoes”, and will miss her and most of all her crew.  I’ve joined the laser program at the boat club, but have yet to take part in a Friday race.  Summer is running out, but I don’t think I’ll make the next two either.   Let’s hope I’ll have some One Design racing to report soon.  Till next time, be safe out there and have fun sailing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catalina 22 Keel weldments are out! (Part 1)

Curtis in Alaska broke a keel screw and contacted me to find out if I’d fixed mine yet.  I hadn’t yet so he had to learn about it on his own.  He’s done some research, started it and sent me pictures.  I’m glad he is slightly ahead of me in this.    With his encouragement I decided to get started.

The swing keel folds up into a well in the center of the cabin.  The weldments are on either side, down near the sole (cabin floor).  They are called weldments because a flat piece of metal is welded onto the top of a threaded socket.  The red arrow on the left is trying to indicate the inside of the compartment, not the oscillating saw!

Keel weldment location in cabin

Keel weldment location in cabin

 

I got out my oscillating saw and went to town.  Curtis used a drill to clear out fiberglass material, but I didn’t find it that usefull.  I just used the saw entirely.

Here is the view from the bottom looking up into the well.  Aft is towards the bottom of the picture..

Sheared Off Keel Bolts

Sheared Off Keel Bolts

I bought a special 1/4″ drill that is 12″ long.  With it I drilled up from the bottom through a weldment without a bolt so that I could see the location from inside the cabin.  I didn’t have to go the full 12″.  Note this finding technique will only work on the port aft weldment.  As you will see later, on the starboard side the drill will just stay behind the keel well wall.  You won’t see it until you cut through the wall.

The rear port weldment is located at the aft end of the forward dining table seating compartment.  The picture below is taken inside the compartment looking towards the center of the boat.  (to the right in the picture).  Here I’ve made a few exploratory cuts to get to it.  Water started flowing out of the space under the dining table well as soon as I cut through the wall.  I’m not too concerned since the boat was half full of water when I first got it.

weldment location

weldment location

Below, you can see the first hint of the metal showing through the fiberglass.

First hint of the weldment

First hint of the weldment

To do this cutting, I did have on a breathing mask.  Fiberglass dust was flying everywhere.  I would definitely NOT do this without some sort of breathing protection!  I also recommend wearing a disposable suit or at least long sleeve shirt.  I didn’t and it’s been a bit itchy yesterday and today.

After some more cutting I got to this.  You can see the weldment is completely clear of fiberglass.  You can also see that I cut too much and went right through the hull!  The weldments are so close to the edge of the fiberglass that it’s near impossible not to do so.  Out of the 4 weldments I cut out, only on the second one did I manage to not to cut through the hull.  I’ve placed the new weldment in the picture to give a comparison of how much is still imbedded in the fiberglass.

Old and new weldments

Old and new weldments

Once it was clear of fiberglass, I took a 1/4 inch bolt, put a couple of nuts on the end and hammered upwards on it from below till it popped out.  In the picture below you can see I’ve knocked it upwards a bit already.  A few more smacks with the hammer and out it came.  On some of the others I didn’t clear out so much fiberglass first, so they wouldn’t come out all the way until I went back and cut out the fiberglass that was still in the way.

Hammering out the weldment

Hammering out the weldment

Once the first weldment was out, I started on the second one.  I measured the holes on the hull and transferred the measurements to the top.  After more fiberglass cutting the second weldment appeared.  This is the only one I didn’t cut through the hull on.

Port, forward weldment location

Port, forward weldment location

With this experience under my belt, I tackled the weldments on the visible side of the keel in the cabin.  Following Curtis from Alaska’s example, I taped the smooth finished fiberglass so it wouldn’t shred.  Then I again drilled through a weldment to get a location.  This time it was the forward starboard weldment.  In this picture I’ve opened up a hole to access both weldments, and have the aft one almost cleared.

Cut away to starboard weldments

Cut away to starboard weldments

The cylindrical thing sticking up on the right side of the cut is the drill bit through the forward starboard weldment.  I started first on the aft weldment.  The exterior cut is a bit high so I could get the oscillating saw in at the correct angle to cut down through the fiberglass to the weldments.  Not sure how I’m going to patch this up and have it look OK, but that’s another project!

Here is the view of from starboard inside the cabin after the weldments are out and it’s cleaned up.

starboard view of weldments removed

starboard view of weldments removed

Here is a close up

Close up starboard view of weldments removed

Close up starboard view of weldments removed

Notice the dark lines above the left weldment?   There are some smaller ones on the right one too.  Those are holes where I cut through to the keel housing well.  Notice also that the tape didn’t seem to help all that much.  The edges are really jagged.

So there it is. If you’ve had a keel bolt shear off on a Catalina 22 (and probably goes for a Catalina 25 too) you just have to cut them out of there and put new ones in.  Let me know if this post helps.  I sure would have liked to have found a post from someone else that had done it.  If you’re doing one of these, let me know how things turn out for you!

Now I have to read up on epoxy and fiberglass so I can patch this back up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Catalina 22 is hull #686!

While doing an inventory of the equipment that came with the boat I came across a couple of sail bags.  On opening them I discovered the sails are in pretty good condition.  I think they are the original sails.  This is the main.  Inside the red diamond and just above the “22” you can see a slight orange shadow where the Catalina “C” has fallen off.  I will need to get some sail battens (fiberglass rods that go into those horizontal pockets above the red diamond and below the numbers).  The battens help the sail attain the correct shape.

Sail # 686

Sail # 686

Over 10,000 Catalina 22′ boats have built.  This is a very early one.

It also has a 110% jib and a 150% genoa.  Wow, that saves me $1100 for the main, and $650 for the 110% jib.  The 150% isn’t even available.  Too bad there isn’t a spinnaker.  Those make going downwind fun.  At $700 it will be a while before I get one of those.

Moving the boat inside was just the catalyst I needed to get me excited about the project.

Catalina 22 moved to the garage – work to begin soon

Big doings here at the Rehabitat.  The Catalina 22 has a moved.

I wanted to get her inside the garage so I could open her up and start working without worrying about the weather.  This is what I faced on Saturday morning.

Future home of the Catalina 22

Future home of the Catalina 22

After a bunch of moving, re-stacking, organizing, shoving and cramming I got a hole opened up.

Cleared away

Cleared away

Don’t EVEN ask what the rest of the garage looks like now!  Here is a side view so you can see the before/after shot.

Another view of future Catalina work area.

Another view of future Catalina work area.

Yes, that is Big Red the riding lawnmower with the hood up.  He sat too long with a busted starter and now that I’ve put a new starter on, the carb is not letting any gas get to the spark plug.  I’ve been doing a lot of work on him, but since it isn’t boat related I’ve held off posting about it.

With some masterful backing up by yours truly, the Catalina is sitting pretty in her new home.

Catalina waiting to be worked on

Catalina waiting to be worked on

Yes, that’s about 4 inches to spare!  She’s touching the back wall and I had to lower the front end all the way to the floor so I could close the garage door.

The whole trailer couldn’t fit, so I had to completely pull out the trailer extension.  That took a bunch of “Fabulous Blaster”,  a magnetic penetrating lubricant.  It also took quite a few whacks with a sledge hammer.

Trailer extension removed to fit trailer in garage.

Trailer extension removed to fit trailer in garage.

The extension is the black bar sitting on the ground to the left of the trailer.

Yes, it’s exciting times here at the rehabitat.  I’ve already started working on the keel fix, but that’s a story for another day.

 

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 starts but won’t idle after dead battery – FIXED!

This is a small post to record a fix that defies common sense, but worked like a charm.

I left the cab light on the the truck and when I came back to it 2 days later the battery was dead.  I recharged it, and the truck would start but wouldn’t idle.  As soon as I let off the gas the engine would cut off.  I did an initial search that didn’t help and went back out to fiddle with the truck.  Frustrated, I came back in and tried again.  I must have used different words, because this time I got some strange advice on a comment on this forum question.

If you recently had a dead battery and re charged it you need to reset your computer. To do so follow these steps: A) Disconnect the negative battery cable B) Turn Your Ignition key to Start position for 30 seconds while putting the gas to the floor. c) Clean and reconnect neg terminal (good time to also clean the Pos Terminal if needed) D) restart the engine and you will be good to go.

I was running through all the bad scenarios of replacing the alternator, etc so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try since the cost was my favorite price (free).  I did it and next thing you know the truck was running.  I took it out and drove to Home Depot (It died on the way but started up again easily) and I haven’t had trouble since.

Wow, this solution just doesn’t make sense, but it worked for me!  :)

 

 

Fun evening at the races on “Old Shoes”

Thankfully, it was another windy evening in the West River here in Galesville, MD.  The wind was out of the south-south east so we had a down wind start  [bottom of the map].  It was a bit breezy, so no spinnaker, then we had the smooth line out to the red circle (see map) where we put up the spinnaker and I trimmed it (eased it out and pulled it taut to optimally keep it filled with wind).  Wow, it did get a bit interesting since we had a following sea rocking us side-to-side and played “dodge the boat” as we met the front runners coming out of the river as a pack.  There was even more excitement as we got to the turnaround at the top of the map when the spinnaker needed to come down and the jib back up.  The sail sheets got tangled around the spinnaker pole when we had to jib before the sail switch.  As a crew member put it “I’ve never been so filled with adrenaline at 5 miles an hour!”.

The race course

The race course

Then we headed back south, doing a bunch of tacks till we crossed the start/finish line.  On the way back it was calm enough to take a few pics.

2014-06-25 19.08.04

The skipper and crew

The skipper and crew

And the scenery is so beautiful out there.

2014-06-25 19.08.18

West River Sailing at sunset

West River Sailing at sunset

Rehab junior was there, I think he may be catching the sailing bug.

ReHab Jr pretending he is a whisker pole

ReHab Jr pretending he is a whisker pole

And what is a blog post without a selfie? (Although, since I didn’t take it I guess it’s not really a selfie?)

Sort of selfie

Sort of selfie

Have fun and happy sailing.

P.S.  The garage projects are coming along nicely so I should be starting the sunfish repairs soon.  I’m thinking of converting the trailer to haul two sunfishes and buying a second one.  Stay tuned.

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A catamaraner’s life for me!

On Tuesday nights a catamaran club sails out of the WRSC headquarters.  It is an official group, the West River Catamaran Raicing Association. (WRCRA).  They are a very friendly group of people with the attitude of winning is fun, but it isn’t everything.  Let’s race, see if we can improve, and then let’s go have a beer.  Just my style.

Yesterday I went sailing on a Nacra 20 catamaran with a great skipper.    Fun loving, very encouraging – a really nice guy.

Going sailing!

Going sailing!

Wow, what fun!  The wind was going pretty well, and heading downwind we put the spinnaker out and were roaring along at somewhere around 20 mph, maybe more.  At one point an error was made (skipper says it wasn’t mine) and we capsized.  A bit of climbing, leaning and then scrambling aboard and the boat was back up and we were sailing again.  I think there were about 8 boats out, and 3 or 4 of them went over – so we weren’t special.  The wind was definitely up.

Last week I went down to see if I could catch a ride, but none of the boats needed a newbie crew.  I went to the starting line and snapped a few pictures after the first short leg of the race.

last week's catamaran race

last week’s catamaran race

My current schedule for racing is Tuesday night catamarans and Wednesday night big boat.  I’m considering joining the WRSC shared boat program to race Lasers on Friday nights, but I’m not sure I have the stamina!