Back on the east coast a few boat projects have been under way and finally completed today. I had previously made a boom crutch to aid in setting up Spy Hop, and to keep the boom under control and out of the way when the sails aren’t raised. What I absolutely didn’t expect was that having the boom elevated and supported means that everyone will want to lean on it. The original boom crutch broke quickly because I built it hold the boom and sail … not humans. Oh well, I built another one that I think is much stronger so hopefully this one will last more than a day. But even though the original was short lived it was still very handy during set up. I may even consider adding a boom topping lift if we ever get a mooring for the boat, but for now that would be just one more line that needs to be run during boat set up.
Update: Do not use this method of wood sealing. The epoxy will seal the wood however doing it as I have described will lead to an unappealing visual result. Please do not use this method until I update this page and remove this message.
After a bit of time to experience and live with the epoxy sealed thwarts I have some new opinions. The easiest way to say it is that I am a little disappointed in the results. I knew that the epoxy would react to UV rays, but I didn’t realize that it would apparently happen very quickly. The deterioration hasn’t been structural or decreased the protection of the thwarts in any way, but it doesn’t look great, and that is still a bit disappointing.
While working on the coamings I have developed some thoughts about improving the way I go about sealing the wood. First I’ll do thinner coats of epoxy. On the thwarts I went the route of applying thicker coats but less total coats, next time I’ll do more coats but make them thinner. Heavier coats of epoxy became difficult to control and led to unnecessary run off. Also, the complex curves of the coaming meant that achieving an even coat was difficult while going heavy on the epoxy.
A heavy coat of epoxy also meant that sanding would likely be required to even out the coat. My experience is that sanding ended poorly. The epoxy would sand but would also become cloudy from I assume the dust getting I to the small scratches left by the sand paper. A less course sand paper would probably mitigate that some what but my resolution became to sand as little as possible. I have yet to find a good way to remove the cloudiness once it is produced.
Varnish on top of the epoxy does do a little bit to bring back the visual appeal of the coated wood but it doesn’t fully eliminate the cloudiness created by the sanding process. A couple coats of varnish does add a luster to the wood that epoxy doesn’t which adds a nice level of finish to the final product.
I tend to treasure my time alone and enjoy sailing solo from time to time. But, of all the things that I prefer to do alone, sailing isn’t one of them. On our last sailing excursion Asya and I had the pleasure of hosting some of our sailing friends Jen and Cory. This was a first for us as we finally have a boat that is large enough to accommodate more than two people. And it was an absolute blast! We went out to our usual sailing haunt, Mashpee Pond and prepared for a day on the water.
Anchoring is a maneuver Asya and I have done only once before under the close eye of a sailing instructor in Santa Cruz, and it had been a while since we had done that. Jen on the other hand had experience and was willing to lead us through the process, so the decision was quickly made to anchor at one of the islands that are scattered across the lake. That would allow for some swimming, a drink, and a snack. Yes, it was all good fun.
We even made some new friends. These little guys were fun to watch as they paddled and dove around.
And we lazed around and enjoyed the day on the water.
I think that we are going to need to do this again soon. Having extra hands aboard allowed for plenty of enjoyment since sailing tasks could be spread between four people, plus the company was fantastic. We will need to take more guests out soon.
Hurricane Arthur brushed passed New England on the 4th of July. Obviously the best choice of activities for the 5th was to go sailing! Well, maybe. Winds were on the stronger side, blowing steadily at about 10 kt and gusting into the 20 kt range. Conditions were on the border of not being a good idea given the gusty and variable conditions. But, our desire to go sailing over powered my caution.
Nothing bad or dangerous happened (aside from trying to beach downwind, not sure I want to do that again). But, even though nothing broke and Asya and I came back still speaking to each other I’m still not convinced that we should have gone out that day. Before we launched I was mildly uncomfortable with the weather reports. They were the strongest winds that we had sailed in, and the wind seemed confused, blowing from one direction then gusting from another. Conditions were such that we both felt overwhelmed from the beginning, and a couple hours later when we put back in we were frustrated, which isn’t a good way to end a sail. In hind sight I wonder if it would have been smarter (and safer) to have stayed on the beach and simply enjoyed the view.
The upside of going out after the storm was that we learned where our current wind threshold is. I’d say 25 knots maximum and a 10 knot gust factor is all that I am comfortable with at this point. Yes, the veteran Hobie sailors will probably say at those wind speeds the fun is just starting, and they are probably right, but I am just not there yet. And that being the case, I’ll continue to be a wimp and push the limits only a little bit at a time.
There are still a good number of projects that I want and need to do to Tiger to spruce her up this season. The last day that I had off I had the option of staying in the driveway and doing some of the projects that I have planned, or go sailing. With clear skies and light winds it is easy to see that I would chose sailing rather than boat projects.
The light winds were actually rather frustrating because they were light and variable. When the wind would go calm both the boat and I became confused as to where the wind would start up from again. More than once I was caught off guard by and accidental jibe when the wind direction suddenly changed. All of the wind challenges were complicated by the reality that Hobie cats are notoriously difficult to tach. Tiger would end up in irons (probably my fault honestly) and the wind would die down so my tricks for getting her out of irons wouldn’t really work because the wind wasn’t in our favor, and often changed direction which only complicated the situation.
Of course, all of those difficulties with the wind aside, taking Tiger out was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple hours laying around on a boat while causally sailing back and forth across a lake?