Monday, February 27, 2017

Still Thinking...

Design notes
For some reason which is obscure to me,when I am designing something, all my ideas and calculations end up on sticky notes.  This pile is right next to the laptop that I am typing on, right now.  Every design idea I have had on the new mizzen stack-pack is in that pile.  Scary, really.

But sticky notes are not the only tool I use.  For the layout on the fabric (and determining, therefore, how much fabric to order), I used LibreOffice's draw tool, with a scale of 1" = 1':

The order to Sailrite has been made (7 yd of the 46" wide Erin Green fabric, plus a whole bunch of notions: zippers, fasteners, etc). 

And delivered.

Now all I need to get going is weather decent enough to go out and lay out the cuts on the fabric... out on the dock.  Can't do it inside - the panels are 12 feet long.

Waiting for spring...


Monday, February 20, 2017

Sailor, and now Author

Drew, a frequent contributor to Practical Sailor and to our own Small Boat Projects, has branched out - he is now a published author!  Aside from making a few bucks to cover his time and effort in producing these books, Drew is paying it forward; he is giving new and less-experienced sailors the benefit of his extensive experience.

Drew, as an engineer (disclaimer:  as am I), has a precise, unambiguous writing style.  But he will also wax poetic, in the fashion of a man who has carefully examined his own motivations.

What is rare in the sailing genre is that Drew, again being an engineer, does not shy away from experimentation.  He does not accept "everyone knows" without actually testing it himself, rigorously.  What Drew reports is derived from first person experience and experimentation.  If he says it, he's tested it, and you can believe it.

So far, there are four books in the bookstore:
  • Keeping a Cruising Boat on Peanuts
    PDF, Pending 2017 Kindle, about 400 pages
  • Rigging Modern Anchors
    Pending 2017, TBD, about 250 pages.
  • Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor
    Kindle, 143 pages, PDF, 154 pages
  • Faster Cruising for the Coast Sailor
    PDF, 183 pages, Pending 2017, Kindle, about 200 pages

To provide a little view into what's included, here is the Table of Contents from Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor:
  • Acknowledgments 4
  • Preface 7
  • Part 1: The Singlehander
    • Chapter 1: The Reasons We Go Alone 11
    • Chapter 2: The Costal Philosophy 14
  • Part II: Preparations
    • Chapter 3: Docks 21
    • Chapter 4: Sailing 24
    • Chapter 5: Safety 41
  • Part III: Practices
    • Chapter 6: Sailing 63
    • Chapter 7: Safety 74
    • Chapter 8: Living 80
    • Chapter 9: Kids 85
    • Chapter 10: Summer 87
    • Chapter 11: Winter 88
  • Summary 100
  • Glossary 102
  • Appendix I: Annual Inspection 103
  • Appendix II: Tethers and Jacklines 108
  • Appendix III: Rainwater and Water Filtration 122
  • Appendix IV:  Climbing the Mast, Ladders, and Falling 136
  • Appendix V: Extension Ladders and Webbing Ladders 141
  • Appendix VI: Stropes 148
Come on, you know these books are going to make for wonderful reading at anchor!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Six Hours

I don't know what's the matter with me.

I have changed Eolian's oil twenty times now.  Each time I have run the engine prior to the task... to warm up the stiff oil (down there in the bilge, the temperature could be near the water temperature, 48° right now).

But not this time.  See, I was going to change the oil filter with this oil change, and I decided not to run the engine before that.  Eolian's Perkins 4-236 has a horizontally mounted oil filter, and with a long period between engine runs, it partially drains back thru the oil passages.  I didn't want to have to deal with a full oil filter when removing it.

So I decided to pump out the oil with our vacuum can, without an engine run, when it was cold.

Wow, was that a bad decision.

It took six hours of pumping on the vacuum can to get the 8 quarts of oil out.  Yes, the oil filter change-out wasn't as messy...  but it was so not worth it.

Oh, and I have a vacuum leak in the can somewhere.  It wasn't enough to pull a vacuum and renew it when it was filled with oil.  No, I had to pretty much keep pumping, for six hours straight.

I'm so exhausted that I can barely lift this bottle of beer to my lips.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Silicone, again

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might remember my declaring my absolute hatred for silicone rubber.  Our Previous Owner loved the stuff - he slathered it everywhere.  He even used it to glue stuff to Eolian's vinyl headliner.  I removed the various things, but try as I might, I was unable to remove the silicone from the vinyl without damaging it, creating a bigger problem than I was solving.

Years went by.

And then Drew reviewed a product: Re.Mov.It, aka DSR-5.  (Sorry Drew, I can't find the reference in your blog)...

I ordered some:

Holy cow!  This stuff actually works!

OK, it doesn't actually dissolve the silicone (I don't think anything would do that). But what it does do is soften it and swell it, making it easy to scrape off.

I applied it using the end of a paper napkin, wiping it on the silicone over and over.  And then I lowered my thumbnail and continued to wipe back and forth, scraping the silicone as well as wetting it.  The silicone came right off!

I need to mention again that previously I had actually reached the point of damage to the naugahyde headliner in trying to remove the silicone...  and now it's gone!

If you have a Previous Owner like ours, you need this stuff!

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