Friday, June 23, 2017

Sitting alone in the Grass at Sequim

On May 27, 2017 I drove from Portland, Oregon to Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.  It was a four hour drive and I arrived about 11:00 AM to find a dream waiting patiently in a grassy field.  The boatyard had closed for financial reasons and there were only about six vehicles still in the storage lot.  She was the best looking of the bunch.

There she sits, hull number 168, of the Yankee Dolphin pod.  She was built in 1970 in California.  It was love at first sight.  I planned to dicker with the owner and go over her with a fine tooth comb for condition and possible repairs.  It didn't work that way.  I climbed up a rickety wooden ladder and fell in love.  What can I say?  I drove back the next Saturday, June 3rd and met the owner at the bank in Sequim.  We transferred his full asking price from my account to his.  So much for bargaining and fine tooth combs.  I went back to the now closed boatyard to find the yard owner who had fixed the trailer for me.  He was working another full time job and fixed the trailer in his off time.

Off to Portland with 6,000 pounds of boat and trailer.

I drove back over the Hood Canal floating bridge, the Tacoma Narrows bridge, and down I-5 to home.  The trailer had new tires, brakes, bearings, new master cylinder assembly, and new safety chains.  I kept a steady 50 miles per hour down the four lane for 216 miles.  I kept waiting for the boat to fall off the trailer.  On a Saturday evening there was lots of cars, but few large trucks passing us.  I got home at 11:00 PM and even found the street parking in front of my house clear.  Hooray!

The Dolphin website is

This classic MORC boat is designed by Sparkman and Stephens.  For much more information go to the website.   

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Short Sail under a Tall Bridge

I went sailing yesterday for the first time this year. I have been working on the boat and the garden as soon as the rain stopped this spring.

My daughter and her husband, Jennifer and Andrew, were along and it was Andrew's first time on a sailboat.

My new mast raising "A" frame worked great. The outboard,which was running fine last fall when I winterized it, refused to run. It would start and then die. Fuel pump is probably the culprit.

"So this sheet goes here ..."
"Jen, you just knocked over my drink."
"Are you sure this is going to work?"

"Well, if the wind holds we may make it  back to the ramp?"

I'll try to get out next week with a repaired motor. I ordered a fuel pump repair kit. It is amazing, you can get parts for a 1989 Evinrude on line.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fixing Old Outboard

I have been working on my 1989 4 horse Yacht Twin.  I had to replace the starter rope.  I found two sites on the web that listed parts and even showed an exploded parts diagram.

Long links, but you can cut and paste to your browser.

The key part for me was the diameter of the starter rope.  It is listed as 1/8 inch.  The rope is available from one part site in 200 foot roles and from another by the foot with a $7.50 service charge.  I went to a STIHL chainsaw dealer and found a pull rope that is the right size and got my 52 inches for $1.25.  The line was a roll that they stock for a weed whacker, not a chainsaw.  The chainsaw line is too thick.  Beware of just plain old 1/8 inch diameter line sold in the big box stores.  It doesn't have a core and will stretch, both bad things for outboard pull ropes.

I found a number of forums that gave advice about how to put in a new starter rope.  One of them told how to wind the spring assembly, use the hole in the lower section to put a screwdriver in to hold the spring wound and then thread the pull rope into the connector.  Then you release the spring, keeping tension on the rope, and it will wind the rope onto the drum.  I tried it and it worked like a charm, the third time.  Don't ask about the first two tries.

Be very careful with the spring.  It can and will shoot off into your workshop.  It can bite you.  I found a set of vise grip pliers very useful in hold the whole shebang together while I was working on it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chart Plotter on Laptop

This is a view of the laptop screen with OpenCPN displayed.  The location is showing where I was parked at the boat ramp in my pickup with the GPS from my Microsoft Streets and Trips on the dash.  This is soooo cool. 

The GPS plugs into the USB port and uses com 7.  The OpenCPN recognizes the GPS input and positions it on the chart.  It also shows direction, logitude and latitude, and speed of travel.

The charts are free from the NOAA web site.  They are in zipped format and you have to unzip them and install them in a file and then move them into the OpenCPN chart bin.  You can quilt the charts together and then just scroll from one to another.  I downloaded the charts for the North Pacific and then the Columbia River system. 

Some details: 

The GPS is PHAROS GPS360.  The 360 and the 500 are on Amazon for $18.99.  Pharos has a web site.

The NOAA web site is

The OpenCPN web sit is

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sea Trial Success

    I will work backwards on this, starting on a successful launch, sail, and retrieve on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.  I had to deal with a pad eye that broke while raising the mast, a power winch connection that proved too short when the trailer tilted, and a launch that saw the boat sail across the slip to another dock than the one I intended to use.  Minor stuff and that's what sea trials are all about.
    The day was glorious.  Light airs from the southwest.  Sunny, but not too warm.  No one at the ramp and little commercial traffic (say barges) on the river.  Major problem on the river was that my drink thermos decided to leak all my iced coffee into the bilge.  Here are a few pics I took with my cell phone camera.

All Sails Flying, or maybe flapping?
Under Sail Going Upriver

Motoring Back to Ramp

St Johns Bridge
      Back on Saturday, September 25th, I took the boat down to the Cathederal Park boat ramp.  I needed space to rig the mast.  All the stays were loose and the fitting were mostly new.  I found the ramp parking lot really full.  I put the mast up after I connected all the rigging.  Found a few issues, but it worked pretty well.  Spent some time drinking lemonade and sitting in my lawn chair in the shade.  Life can't be all work.

Busy Ramp Parking

Halfway Up

St Johns Bridge and Big Red

    I have a long list of winter projects including trailer lights, a rebuilt electrical panel, finishing the outboard mount (still plain wood) and more.  I did make a platform for the cabin floor which works great.  I need to finish it and paint it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Equal Time

Jen at the helm 1990                   

Progress So Far

I got started two weeks late on August 14th.

To start I scraped out leaves and debris from cockpit and rear hatch area.  Used shop vac to pump out water.  Lots of water.  Removed and cleaned outboard tanks, battery box and battery.  Opened cabin and pumped out more water. 

Removed mast and rigging and put on sawhorses.  The boom, sails, and sheets are stored in the basement along with the electric trailer winch.  Refurbished mast powering light and plug in.  New one costs $47.97 at West Marine.  Did have to buy $168 of wire, fittings, and braided halyard.  Also replaced topping lift.  Put new rings on standing rigging versus cotter keys.  Replaced rusted cotter keys on spreader bracket.  Put on new spreader boots and taped up.  Learned a new trick from the West Marine guy, zip tied the spreader boots on.  How cool.

Consulted with Gordon, my 86 year old father-in-law, on how to refurbish the wood pad on the outboard bracket.  He gave me some scraps of plywood to cut and laminate for the pad.  Gonna work on that today.  New bracket costs $249 at Fisherman's Marine Supply.  I had to find my table saw in the garden shed and rescue it.

An unexpected pleasure has been finding all my small tools and organizing them.  Takes a while, but it sure is neat to be able to find things.

Sail on.

Captain Hal.