Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Sail of the Season and Tucked in.

The last sail of the season.  

Heading out

15th trip to the head that was a lot of lemonade.
This year the last sail of the season was just me and Myles.  BB was off on a trip to Ceder Point with some friends so we packed up and headed for the lake.  This was our first trip just the two of us out sailing.  Sailing alone with a 3 year old is a little like sailing with one hand behind your back.  One of the greatest things about the Typhoon is I can reach him wherever he is in the cockpit with out letting go of the tiller.  It was a great trip for the two of us and a good learning experience for us both.  My advice to anyone planning on trying this is to think ahead. Safety first PFDs and a Jack line on the kid.  I use my main sheet for this purpose because it is quite long.  Bring plenty for the child to do and lots of snacks and drinks.  Drinks with children lead to the need for bathroom breaks so be sure to have the head accessible.  Include the child in the sailing.  Myles helps pull up the sail, trim the sheets and crank the winch handles.  He is quite involved and feels part of the crew. 

 A week later we're out of the water for the season.  BB and I dropped the mast down.  I'm planning on making some modifications to the rig this winter and the mast creates a simple back bone for the winter cover.  Here we are all tucked in for old man winter.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sailing Lake Kalamzoo

Sailing Lake Kalamazoo.

We had a great fall Saturday here in West Michigan.  The sun was shinning and the weather was superb. We very well could have gone out to the big lake and sailed.  Instead we decided to pull out from our dock at Tower Marine and put up the sails.  This is the second time we have sailed Lake Kalamazoo.  It is very shallow in areas and you really have to get to know the lake.  Watching the eyes of the other big boats owners turn into saucer as we turn out of the marked channel and into the lake is just great.  We started with talking with people around are marina and getting some local knowledge.  Looking at the lake on Google satellite view then pulled the charts for lake K-Zoo from the NOAH web site.  With the map and charts we where able to link up some visual land marks with water depth data.  From their it was experimentation.  We started and worked northwest to southeast with our depth sounder expecting to sail from center dock at Tower to the large dock off the Butler.  We found it a bit shallower than expected note the red star.  I draw 2'6" we put on here and where able to get off fairly easily.  In the Map below you will see the orange area is where we have been sailing.  Great sailing this time of year however during the summer this is the anchorage area so it's maybe not so good on a busy summer weekend. 

Backing Out

We sailed for about 3 hours it was great to see the boats leave Tower and then return while we still sailed away.  We even became some what of an on lake tourist attraction.  The Duck boat based out of Saugatuck came out to visit us twice full of waving passengers and the Star of Saugatuck paddle wheel went by once on it's normal route around the lake.

Duck boat heading for us.
Duck boat heading off.

Ate lunch...  So now what do you do on the lake for 3 hours with a three year old.  

You get out your flag.

Striking the Colors.

You set a course.  

Getting your bearings.

You lean to.  

Dedication to the prize.

You bop the buoys. 

You bop them again, and again. 

Round seven hundred and fifty four.  

You set the "parachute sail"  also known as a spinnaker.  

Parachute sail

You trim you sail you have a good time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beach Party!

Our second trip out was a great success.  The 1st trip was okay but a bit breezy for us so it was cut a bit short.

So off  for a sail on Lake Michigan.     This post is just eye candy.

Moving along

Tell tails look good.

Snack Time

Cabin Kid
Kicked Back

After a bit of sailing we had enough of the black flies and headed for the beach.

From the water.

Stern from the water line. 
Swimming to the beach.

On the beach "Get Kraken" in the background.

Back at home port.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Launch Day

This was our first time launching the Typhoon off a trailer. BB and I had launched my old Catalina 22 off a trailer before but we figured this was a bit different the dory being a full keel boat.  I talked to a John at Tower Marine about the best places to launch in Saugatuck. He recommended launching at the  down town ramp next to The Star of Saugatuck.  The Star is a large paddle wheel river boat that cruises up and down Lake Kalamzoo and out to Lake Michigan.  When I went in to pay the ramp fee I asked the ladies at the counter about the ramp and water depth.  The drought this year was foremost on my mind and water levels are down here.  They said they didn't really know and in all their time working their had never seen a sailboat launch from the ramp.  So I paid the fee trusting John's knowledge of the area and we checked the ramp out more closely.  The launch went really well. So here are the basic stages we went through for those of you new to launching a sailboat at a ramp.  

Stage 1: Line up with the Ramp.  The ramp we used was large enough that we set up on one side so other boats could still use the other side.  While we were rigging fishing boats where launching on the other half of the ramp.  

The Ramp

Stage 2:   We stepped the mast prior to launching.  It is not necessary to do this, you can launch then step we just find it easier to get the mast pins lined up to the deck step when the boat is not bobbing up and down in the water.

Mast Up

Stage 3: Stick out your tongue.  To do this you first need to block off your wheels.  It would be no good to watch the trailer roll into the lake at this point.  After the wheels are blocked we lower the trailers forward pad/wheel this will take the pressure off the tongue of the trailer so you can pull the clevis pins.  One person pulls the car forward slowly and the other lets the drop pin fall in.  The cotter keys are put back in and the wheel blocks are removed. 

Stick out your trailer tongue.

Stage 4:  Prepare the lines.  Make sure your lines are secured to your cleats.  We secure lines to the dock side one forward and one aft. 

Dock lines

Stage 5:  Roll it in and entertain the seniors.  We gathered quite a little group for a Tuesday afternoon. This is pretty much like any other boat launch.  Roll down the ramp while the second person tends the lines.  

Entertain the Seniors
Stage 6:  Tie up and park the trailer. 

Tied up 
Mission accomplished an empty trailer.

Stage 7 Jump on board!  This proved a bit more difficult than usual.  One off our lines got wrapped on the post.  BB jumped off to untangle it and the boat left her at the dock.  Yes I came back for her.  ...  The Seniors even clapped for us.

Hop On.

Stage 8: Go for a ride. 
From ramp to dock.

Cleaning up.
BB on board.

Once we got back to Tower Marine.  We finished rigging. Retrieved the trailer our kiddo and a pizza. 

Final Rigging
Dock line set up.
Dock lines set.
Rigging completed

Looking for snacks
Tiller in the sun.

Locking up to head home.
The perfect end to the day.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rainy Day Project and Bronze Ports.

The drought here has finally broken.  We've had several days or rain and there is just not much that can get done on the boat at this point.  So I pulled the tiller back off and brought it in for the day.  After several different wrap attempts I finally settled on this.  It really looks neat and the double braid line color goes really well with the new anti-skid.  The pictures really don't do this justice.  One of these days I'm going to get a better camera...  "I'll have to quit buying boat parts."   Yeah I'm probably never getting a better camera. 

top side
close up
head on

Bronze port
Hillbilly Bronzing:  I looked at bronze ports at over a $100 a piece they are a bit down the road with regard to this project.  However Rustoleum metallic paint is $22 dollars so this seems like a good option.    "Maybe I will get that camera after all."  Tape it off sand the old chrome spray it, easy peasy.  These where originally chromed and the chrome had rubbed off in many places.  The bronze paint matches pretty well to the cleats and other bronze work however BB says they're a bit oranger.
Bronze Port.

Packing it up for winter

Sailing has been non-existent this September. With school back in session, I have time for very little else. The weekend weather has also b...