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Old 02-02-2009, 22:23   #31
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Originally Posted by Lady Circumnavi View Post
Travis, Congrats on the boat purchase. May the dream continue. More importantly, keep writing. You have the gift.
Thank you! For the congratulations and the compliment! I love a good story!
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:37   #32
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Travis,
Congratulation on your baby blue, she appears to be a great boat for sailing P'cola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. The others are quite correct in their accolades of your writing ability, your intro grabbed and held my attention and here I am three pages later at the end of your thread. Definately keep us posted of your adventures, there's a lot to be had here on the Northern Gulf Coast. For a great start, check out Sand Island, (McRae Island, on the charts) just West of the enterance to P'Cola Bay in the ICW. Best gunk hole around. Let me know if you make over to Mobile Bay, i can pass on my bit of local knowledge. Might want to hang on to that first mate of yours, those hard to come by these days.
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Old 12-02-2009, 15:02   #33
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Great reading. Keep 'em coming. Don't forget to spend time sailing tho' (Its friday here and I plan on throwing the lines off as soon as I can get away from work).
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Old 17-02-2009, 08:15   #34
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wow, I just joined to write you that. I too. have just bought a southcoast seacraft. mine is a 72. me and my wife have alot of work to do just like you. But we got ours before winter(live in springfield mo.) and its been under a tarp sine we got it. I just recently bought an outboard, and am trying to get it running(68 evinrude). I also want to mention our trailering home story, It was just about like yours. except about 20 miles longer. Our leaf spring buckled and we had to fix with a block of wood (leaf over axle) to keep the fender off the hull. it was a very nerve racking ride home. i am also looking at a new axle maybe trailer brakes. I will probably be pulling w/s10 blazer. But for now I am just waiting on spring. Its been the looongest winter ever.
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Old 17-02-2009, 09:45   #35
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Congratulations! She looks to be a great boat to adventure in..

further south...
Cayo Costa State Park out of Boca Grande (venice inlet)
or you can gunkhole the keys on vacation... the north side of the Keys is great for a boat your size.. from marathon north... south towards key west I would caution you to take the southern side of the keys..

You could, gunkhole from Tarpon south via the intercoastal... then do a LONG day trip across Florida Bay.. in fact you might be able to swing leach of cape sable and make it a shorter trip due south by that way..

A boat that size and trailerable is a deightful way to see our lovely SW coast... and of course the Keys..

Congratulations... and remmeber to take lots of photos..

you might want to consider adding a bimini for longer day trips..
www.sailrite.com has do it yourself stuff for biminits and the like..
look to see if there is a used boat stuff place around you..

you guys have NO clue to a polar bear plunge..they did it off of Sandy Point State park in Mid Jan.. water was like 40 degrees.. florida never gets that cold.. hahaha..

Fair winds..good luck.
'bella
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Old 22-02-2009, 21:25   #36
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Week 1 -- The blue boat sailsÖ



Thinking back to youth, itís the subtle differences that define the miles weíve come on our journeys through life.

Most anyone that visits a childhood home makes those curious remarks -- how small their old room seems; how short the walk down the hallÖ

It was a time before the grandeur of the little things was dulled by the inevitable weathering of experience. A time when the seat atop your dadís shoulders was the loftiest height imaginable. A time when a bicycle and a hill defined what was speed. A time when the end of your driveway was the farthest you dared venture on your own.

But as sure as day become night, those horizons will broaden. We seek. We strive. We yearn. With every discovery, the units of measure with which we gauge the world transform. They expand or shrink, sometimes in leaps and bounds, and none so much as that inescapable acceleration of time.

So strong is the memory of when five minutes in the corner was a sentence of intolerable duration. Of when six weeks between report cards was time enough for both failure and redemption. Of when Christmas seemed always a lifetime away.

But now, we might wish for those five minutes of quiet, six weeks is the time between credit card payments, and Christmas seems, always, to come too soon.

And so, too, with our little blue boat. That, which just weeks ago merited daily updates as I crawled over her like a jungle gym, discovering, learning -- finding a world of new experience without ever leaving my driveway. But the extraordinary becomes routine, days become weeks, and the repair of a part seems no longer worthy an excited proclamation.

But with life, and boats, perhaps we shouldnít reminisce too longingly for innocence lost. Growing up comes at a price, but we should not forget the reward.

There is a world of adventure beyond the end of our drives, and weíve earned our right to explore.

The little blue boat has sailed.




First, how we got there!

The ugly metal tiller from the last post has been replaced with a new wood one that I cobbled together for less than $20.







The terrible trailer (as Iíve taken to calling it) continues to be a source of problems, but Iíve managed to slowly get them within the realm of sanity. You might remember the springs that certainly added to the excitement of bringing it home:



Well, Iíve replaced the band-aid with a cast while I decide what Iím going to do with this trailer.



The winch post was also in a condition so crappy that even a procrastinator like me couldnít pretend to ignore it.



So I broke out my favorite tool, the angle grinder (it solves all of lifeís little problems), plugged in my little 110 volt MIG welder (my best impulsive purchase to date), donned a respirator (in hopes of avoiding metal fume fever), and after about an hour of noise, flying sparks, and metal slag, hereís what weíve got.



This isnít the greatest repair, for a couple reasons. First, I had to cut off a pretty good length of this post to get into non-rusted metal, and if I took any more, I though the winch would be too low to do its job. Thatís why thereís still a rust hole on the right of the photo.

Second, the metal they used was so thin that I had to keep my welder on the lowest heat setting, or it would burn through instantly. The result is a weld that didnít penetrate well and looks like a bead of hot glue. (Sadly, it might not be much stronger than hot glue either). I banged on everything with the hammer pretty good and it held, but I donít expect this to last more than a few months before it breaks again.

Oh well. Iíll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, it was good enough to get me the three miles to the boat ramp, and the real reason for this post: IT SAILS!!!



Let me introduce my companions for this new chapter. On the left is Kris. Heís a court reporter at my paper, and heís been asking me about my progress on the boat and trailer for weeks. He jumped at the opportunity to come along for the first day on the water.

On the right is Irina, a fascinating girl who recently entered the fray. She grew up in Russia and moved to the states several years ago for some adventure. She initially planned for a summer, but ended up staying to finish her degree. She agreed to come along on the Ďmaiden voyageí so to speak, even after I told her I couldnít guarantee the boat would float.

No problem, she said. She knows how to swim, and as long as there are no sharks involved, sheís in.

Sadly, Rebekah couldnít be here for the fun. A Louisiana girl, through and through, sheís spending the week in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. But I had to promise I would give her updates on how it went.

So, I was dreading raising the mast on this thing. The biggest Iíve ever done before was on a Hobie 16, and that was a major PITA, so this big thing, with its tangle of cables and spreader bars kind of freaked me out. But it went up very easily. Iíve got to hand it to Southcoast Seacraft for intelligently designing the rigging. The side stays on this boat are located perfectly in line with the mastís base, and keep it from falling to the left or right as you lift.

After bolting the base of the mast to the pivot, I stood in the back and lifted it the first bit, and Kris stood on the roof and took over once I had it over my head. Irina held on to the forestay and clipped it in once we had the mast up. Piece of cake!

So we back it in, fire up the outboard, and off we go! It took Kris about five seconds to find the best seat in the house:



But the outboard wasnít going to awake from its multi-year slumber without a fight. After it warmed up, it refused to run at more than half throttle, and then the prop managed to grab on to a stray rope and wrap it around the shaft about 20 times before the engine choked to a stop.



Thatís me trying to restart the engine after spending several minutes hacking the rope free of its stranglehold on the prop. (Notice the wet left sleeve). It doesnít help that while Iím doing this, the wind is steadily blowing us toward a bridge that has about a 15í clearance. (The mast is probably about 30 feet high). Kris was just about to pull the new paddle out of its packaging (I bought it just for this type of eventuality) and start frantically paddling against the breeze, but thankfully, I got the engine cranked back up, and disaster was averted.



Irina took the helm as we motored away. (Notice the bridge in the background). And I turned an eye to the waves the wind was pushing across the bayou. It was a nice breeze, probably 10 knots, and blowing perfectly perpendicular to the long finger of brackish water that is Bayou Grande.

I hadnít planned to sail. I mainly just wanted to raise the mast and motor around to see if the swing keel would go down, and make sure the boat didnít leak. Neither of my friends had ever sailed before, and all my experience is on little boats like Sunfish and Hobie 16s. Besides, I hadnít had a chance to raise the sails and check the rigging, what were the chances it would be in any better shape than the rest of the boat?

But I threw them in anyway, just in case, and boy am I glad I didÖ



With Irina at the helm and the motor still rattling away, Kris and I raised the jib. It went up without any problems. I showed them the basics of sailing across the breeze, then tacking and readjusting the jib as it comes back into the wind.

A few passes later, we raised the main. It went up beautifully. I clipped the boom into the sheet and couldnít help but smile as I hauled it in.

I heard the VA-WOOM as the luffing sail filled with wind overhead. I felt the boat lean hard and accelerate beyond the whining little engineís ability to keep up. I killed the engine, and Kris remarked how quiet it was without it. I pointed back to our wake and told them to look how fast we were going without needing it.

A good gust came skipping across the water and pushed the little blue boat even farther on its side, causing Irina to let out a little yelp and scramble over to sit with me on the upwind side.



Kris snaps a photo. Journalists are cool like that.

We keep on sailing and they practice tacking. The boat is so forgiving. Sheís like marshmallows and butterflies compared to a Hobie 16. She refuses to let my friends get caught in the irons if they turn too slowly or donít carry enough speed. Instead, she just falls back into the wind and continues on in whichever way they were going as if to say, ďThatís okay, it happens to all guys sometimes.Ē

We continued until the sun sank too low to be ignored. The wind cooled down and its bite reminded us that it was February, after all. I pushed the mast out into a broad reach, and Kris piloted us all the way back to the boat ramp as we warmed up in the surreal stillness of relative wind, listening to the splash of the rudder cutting through the bayou. At the last minute, we dropped the sails, cranked the motor, and eased her gently into the dock.

ďIt was wonderful. It was beautiful,Ē Kris later said, one of the most eloquent writers I know reduced to three word sentences.

But, yes. It was.

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Old 23-02-2009, 00:04   #37
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Originally Posted by pjop View Post
Travis,
For a great start, check out Sand Island, (McRae Island, on the charts) just West of the enterance to P'Cola Bay in the ICW. Best gunk hole around.
Is this what you're talking about?

As much time as I've spent playing on Google Earth, I can't believe I've never noticed that before! What is is? A big spoil dump area from dredging the intercoastal waterway or something? Cool!

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 23-02-2009, 00:51   #38
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wow, I just joined to write you that. I too. have just bought a southcoast seacraft. mine is a 72.
You're going to love it! It's such an obscure little boat. I was worried when I first got it, because there isn't much info out there about them. For every 100 Catalina 22 pages on Google, you might get a sentence mentioning Southcoast 22s.

Here's something that may help you though. The Southcoast Seacraft Manual. (1.9 Mb .pdf - right click, save target/link as)

I downloaded it as a bunch of pictures from someone's website, and made it into a pdf file. There's not a lot of info in there, but it's something! I was sure glad to have it!

Quote:
me and my wife have alot of work to do just like you.
My advice is to get it sailable as soon as you can, and save the detail work for later. I've got a whole pile of wooden trim parts laying in my shop that will probably take hours of work to get refinished and installed on the boat. And don't get me started on the seat pads and the tons of interior comfort work it needs...

But I'm so glad I knocked out the major seaworthyness stuff and got it in the water, even if it did look like the ugly duckling. Feeling the wind in the sails keeps you motivated to keep working on it, you know?

Quote:
I just recently bought an outboard, and am trying to get it running(68 evinrude).
Good luck! Outboards are kind of a sore spot for me at the moment. I like working on small engines, but mine's an early 80's model, and it's giving me fits. I've got this trash can that I fill with water and lower the engine in to run it while I'm troubleshooting it.

If you run it without being in the water, you risk destroying the water pump impeller... Ask me how I know! Lol...

Quote:
Our leaf spring buckled and we had to fix with a block of wood (leaf over axle) to keep the fender off the hull. it was a very nerve racking ride home. i am also looking at a new axle maybe trailer brakes. I will probably be pulling w/s10 blazer.
I'll bet it was nerve-wracking! You start thinking about how that leaf springs holds the whole axle on. Then you start picturing what would happen if it failed while you were driving 45 mph... Every little bump in the road becomes REALLY noticeable!

I bet the S-10 will be fine, even if you don't have trailer brakes. Don't get me wrong, they're always nice to have, but I've towed bass boats a lot heavier than this one.

Quote:
But for now I am just waiting on spring. Its been the looongest winter ever.
I hear you. Spring time's just around the corner though! Please give me an update when you get your boat in the water! And let me know what you do with that trailer! I still don't know if I want to try and salvage mine with some new springs, or if I want to replace the whole axle assembly. It's a tough call...

Cheers, and good luck! You've got a really cool boat!
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Old 23-02-2009, 08:21   #39
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Good for you Travis!!
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Old 23-02-2009, 09:29   #40
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Great stuff, Travis. That's about how I started out with sailing, except mine was an Oday 20.

Looking forward to more updates.
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Old 18-03-2009, 22:41   #41
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Week 2 - Sailing Excitement and the Thunderstorm Squeeze

Work has been dragging me down recently. Time to get the focus back where it needs to be...Sailing in Springtime!

Me and Rebekah took the boat out for the second sail Saturday.



Stepping the mast was pretty chill with two people. I made a little four stepped pole to aid in the process. We pulled out of the Pensacola Shipyard into the bay courtesy of a new 6 hp Mercury engine that I borrowed from my dad in Tallahassee.

Then the sales went up and it was off to the races.



Yeah. Literally off to the races. The winds were the highest sustained that than I've ever sailed in. Even with ugly sail trim and and a luffing jib, we were covering some ground.

The waves were kicking us around pretty good when we were sailing closehauled, so I eased off to a beam reach and I'm not sure if it made any difference.

At one point, Rebekah suggested trimming the sails a little. Even a first time sailor can tell that they don't look right...apparently. (I'm still figuring it out, ha!)



So I did. Got the mainsheets set right, downhauled the main, and got the jib pulled all the way up where it's supposed to go.

By that point, we were really moving. Probably doubled our speed, but the heel was making me nervous, and we were starting to get some of those strong cold gusts of wind that hang out near thunderstorms.



Sooooo, the jib came down, the main went back to luffing, and we wallowed back into the shipyard looking like a couple grommits.

But with a 15 minute trailer/maststep/drive home process, and a house a mile and a half from the ramp, you know I'll be back for more soon.

What a great day! Adventure. A little bit of adrenaline! Oh yeah, and a video of our exploits. Shot by Rebekah and edited by me. Check it out: blue meets grey on Vimeo
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