Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Great Eclipse and Preparing Jean Marie for Donation

On Monday, August 21st we had the great eclipse, yawn.  My neighbor, Taylor, had an imposing set up with binoculars and a viewing screen made of poster board and two sets of glasses.  One set was commercial and one was home made with three layers of emergency blanket material.  He shared his setup and I admired his work,  Really a smart guy.

As I was leaving I noticed the shade from the trees was making little eclipses on the ground.  The trees leaves were making natural pin hole viewing spots.  The photo at the right is on my front porch with the natural pinholes through my wisteria vine.  The center of the photo shows the little eclipse patterns.  Later I saw the same thing on the TV News. 

The Dolphin is still on the hard in the boat yard.  The trailer fell apart as they were lifting her with the big travel lift.  Currently the yard is repairing the trailer bunks and the winch post.  They were rusted out.  I knew the trailer needed work, but hoped to do it this winter.  No such luck.  I was blessed by The Almighty that this didn't happen on the way home.  It would have been a major disaster.

On Wednesday, the 23rd, I went down the to docks and took the sails off Jean Marie.  I had found that there was a high tide the next morning and I needed that to get the boat on the trailer at the ramp.  The river is low and at low tide the trailer rolls off the end of the ramp into a hole. 

Thursday I parked the truck and trailer at the ramp next door to the docks and hiked around to my dock.  I motored to the ramp and then retrieved the boat.  The mast came down fairly easily and I strapped the boat to the trailer and drove home without incident.  Whew!

 On Friday, my neighbor Rick helped me switch the outboard motors and I put my newer Mercury in the boat house.  I went to Harbor Freight and bought a package of bungy cords to secure all the rigging for extended travel.

Saturday I got up early to beat the heat and spent five hours emptying the fishing gear, fuel tanks, porta-potti, and various anchors and rodes out of the boat.  I put it all away in the boat house, my shed, and in the living room of the house. 

I left the sails and running rigging in the boat along with the winch handle, fire extinguiseher, oar, spare tiller handle, and the whisker pole.  The boat has a handsome power panel and I left the depth sounder installed.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is supposed to have Speeds Towing come get the boat next week.  I did the same with my old Fiero last year.  I hope this goes smoothly, but nothing has so far this summer.  I am supposed to get a tax deduction for the donation, but I am not holding my breath.  We are due another heat wave starting Sunday, so I was hustling to get this done.  At least the dock is now clear if I ever get the Dolphin rigged and launched. 

I started to get a little melancholy about the boat as I was working to get rid of her.  Then as I thought it through, I realized I had gotten my fair share of fun and adventure out of her over the last 33 years I have owned her.  From Palm Harbor, Florida to St. Johns, Oregon I have sailed, camped overnight, fished and voyaged on her.  I took her to Timothy Lake in the cascades and slept in her in view of Mt. Hood.  I motored and sailed from Portland to Astoria on a six day solo trip.  I towed her from Florida to Oregon.  Last but not least, I boated four spring Chinook salmon on her.  One was caught by my elderly father-in-law and three by me fishing alone. 

Good bye Jean Marie.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dolphin on the Hard

The Dolphin was put in the Multnomah Yacht Harbor yard on July 21st to have her bottom scraped and sanded.  She was then to get two coats of barrier paint and one of anti-fouling paint.  Her center board was to be freed from the barnacles growing on the board and in the center board trunk in the keel.

No one is allowed in the boat yard.  I would drop by at night and commune with her through the fence.  Notice that The Dolphin has become a SHE.

 The first time I went by she was still on her trailer.  The second visit she had been blocked up and the old paint removed.  I had consulted with the yard boss and decided to remove the cove stripe and paint up to the top edge of where it had been.  Barnacles had grown into the cove stripe.  The blue tape is were the paint will go.

The next evening visit showed definite promise of progress.  The paint was on and she was looking good from where I was outside the fence.  It sort of reminded me of visiting someone in the ICU in a hospital.  Things ground to a halt after that with a heat wave, smoky air from Canadian wild fires and the breakdown of the yard lift.  She had to be lifted and propped up so the center board could be worked on. 

I visited one day earlier this week and she was sitting high and dry with a poor yard worker scraping away on the now dropped center board.  I didn't have the camera, but I really didn't want a picture of such hard, hot hand labor.

Tonight, Thursday, I went to see my patient about 7:00 PM and there she was, raring to go home.  I expect the hospital, boat yard, to release her tomorrow.  I did have good news today.  The new main and jib are in from the North Sails factory in Sri Lanka or Ceylon.  I will go ransom them in the morning.  I paid half down.

The boat yard had put three hours in the quote for scraping barnacles.  Debra in the office warned me they were over ten on the much wedged and barnacled center board.  Like I told her, "I sure couldn't do it."  I will bring a big bag of money when they call me to collect my patient.

Now I have to figure out where to park my partner of 30 years, Jean Marie.  It isn't easy being a two yacht owner.  Sigh.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Boys in the Boats

I took the day off from sailing preparation and took the boys to Timothy Lake.  Perfect weather and on a Friday not very populated. 
Andy, Logan, Josh and Big Red at The Cove.  Then, shazam, the three boats in the water. Actually there was some huffing and puffing getting the kayaks and all the picnicking gear to the water.  The boats are two 10 foot Pelicans and Josh's new 8 footer.

The water was crystal clear and the breeze was from the South.  All three toured the cove and the Josh decided to go swimming.  You can see him in the blue next to Logan's orange kayak.  Andy used my yellow boat and was paddling like a pro in just minutes.

Josh swam and kayaked.  I sat in my chair and fished.  Andy fished from the kayak.  Logan did a tour and then relaxed with a Heinlein sci fi novel in the sun.  We at chips and sandwiches and doughnuts and water melon and more chips.  A perfect day in the Oregon Cascades.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 Whoopee!  The Dolphin has her bottom work started.  She is in the yard for sanding, barrier coat, and bottom paint.  The yard will clean out the barnacles from the center board trunk while they are at it.  The boot strip was half destroyed, so I decided to have the bottom paint up to the top of where the boot strip was. 
The second photo has a blur because I had to take it through the wire fence.  I stripped the cabin and took a load of old cushions and covers to the land fill.  I cleaned out the old stuff I had in the shed from my other boat, as well.

 The anchor light was full of water.  It came down and I made a bracket to fit on top of the mast that would hold a new anchor light and a wind indicator. 
 It looks okay on the mast head and I was able to keep the wire lead from the old one. 
 I installed a new winch on the trailer that has a dual role.  It pulls the bow eye up to the trailer roller and it is used to raise the mast on an A frame.  The winch is a Dutton-Lainson Brake Winch.  I got it on Amazon.  To let out the winch you have to turn the handle in reverse.  It will not free wheel.  Perfect of mast raising.
 My rigger and sail vendor, Kerry Poe, from North Sails delivered and assembled the Harken jib furler for me.  I kibitzed, handed him tools, and was glad I had decided to pay him for the job.  He delivered and installed the new lifelines.  I put a gate on each side and we used stainless without the plastic covers.  I have all the new standing rigging ready to go on launch day. 

I installed new rope halyards for the main and jib.  I rigged a topping lift for the spinnaker pole I haven't found yet.  (Looking for a used one $$$)  I figured out how to rig a main boom topping lift and found a piece of hardware for the masthead. 

The new Toyhatsu SailPro outboard is on order from Texas.  I downloaded the manual and found the Mercury 4hp I bought two years ago is the same basic motor.  The new one is a 6hp ultra long shaft with a 10 amp generator.  It costs quite a bit less than the Mercury long shaft.  The SailPro has a propeller sized for pushing sailboats and the shaft is longer than the Mercury.  On the rivers here in Oregon we get lots of power boat and commercial boat wakes.  The Mercury would cavitate, so the longer shaft will be a blessing.

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.