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Old 30-12-2010, 13:06   #1
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Sailing Every Week So Far this Fall / Winter ( New York )

(Reposted form another forum. I like to write in the other forum first becuase I can edit and re-edit and re-edit until I've got it about right.)

It's really great having the boat in the water this winter. I've been sailing just about every week. (Ok, 1 time I motored out and didn't raise the sails.) DavidPM came with me for a sail. (I went up the mast - can't do that on the hard.) My family went sailing with me. I've sailed mostly solo though, which has it's own enjoyment. This past Sunday was another last-minute sail that was beautiful. I saw 2 other sailboats a long way away. There is always a tug and barge though, even on Sundays. Western sound, by the way.

So I'm learning a lot. The Eisenglss thing (below) caught me by surprise. For you reading enjoyment, I've divided them up into smart moves and dumb moves.

Smart move: After researching self regulating heat cable, and planning to get enough to parallel every fresh water pipe and wrap every through hull (150 feet of cable), with the help of another member. I decided to put antifreeze in everything since the cold weather was on its way. It went well below 32 immediately after that. I better add some to the 1/2 full, in-wall holding tanks before something happens with them. I still plan to get some insulation between them and the outside wall. There's a 1 inch air gap.

Dumb move: I tried to use a mere 6 gallons of antifreeze. That wasn't enough and I had to restart with 15 gallons, which then did the job nicely. (Note that there is so much quantity of water in the pipes, that there wasn't much left to get a good flush of the water heater. I fully drained the tank containing the 6 gallons of antifreeze. Water pump wouldn't "grab" easily from the empty tank with antifreeze in it, so I had to restart the water pump from a non-antifreezed water tank.

Dumb move: The marina staff moved our boat, plugged it back in, but didn't set the circuit breaker. (They left the dock power channeld to the unused 50 amp outlet instead of the 30 amp outlet.) On Sunday it was 22 degrees on the thermometer on the inside of the boat against the outside wall. Using a laser thermometer from Home Depot ($29 IIRC), the engine and water hoses to it were at about 31 or 32 degrees. I did not antifreeze the raw water side of the engine or the dripless prop raw water feed. Instead I have one of those expensive 70 watt, marine, fan-less heaters in the well-insulated engine compartment.

Smart move: Getting a laser thermometer from Home Depot ($29 IIRC). I point it at everything and it gives an instant temperature reading. By the way, clounds overhead on Sunday were at -6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dumb move: Eisenglass does not like cold temperatures. Even with the dodger already folded down on a previous warm day, 2 of the large panels cracked. Maybe the marina staff stepped on it while moving the boat, because it was not broken when I left her a day earlier. Can anyone comment on this -- does it just crack by itself. I'm chalking this one up to experience (or inexperience!) and not going after anyone.

Smart move: I plugged up the air vents that go to the engine, to help keep the engine from freezing. There are two adjacent to the companionway stairs and two at the stern. A towel wrapped in a plastic bag makes a good plug. Yes I forgot to take them out, but there is enough air leaking from everywhere else into the engine compartment, that it didn't matter. (And last Sunday I left the hatch off when checking the fluids. I may may make that a standard practice -- remove the heater, check the fluids, leave the hatch open.)

Smart move. I keep the waterproof, handheld VHF secured to my belt. If I go over, I'm calling for help. Generally I'm close to land, but with the temperatures dropping I need better means to stay in the boat when solo. Not sure I could make it even 1/2 mile in cold water. I have a makeshift jackline that I run. I'm using it 100% starting right now when solo and more than 200 feet from land.

Cold move: I plan to put my wetsuit on and grab my mask and fins and check the zinc. I'll do this outside of the marina proper. Note to self: get a replacement zinc from Beneteau beforehand.

Smart move: Instead of blasting my way out to clear water on Sunday, I broke the 1/2 inch thick ice all around the bow and sides of the boat. Then I ran the engine in forward at idle. 10 minutes later, with little risk of catching a piece in the prop, I ran up the engine and let the "wake" clear all the ice behind the boat. It cleared the 100 feet needed to get to clear water.

Smart move: There's no calendar on board. While I do want to build more experience in bad weather, I can pick sunny days and not wish I was back on shore. Things I want to do this winter: 1) see if the riding sail (anchor sail) can be used as a jib in very windy weather to balance a double reefed main. A partially furled jib doesn't have very good shape for making upwind headway, e.g. against a lee shore. 2) sail a lot.

Fun move: I put Christmas lights up one of the backstays and on a moveable forestay. (I move it back so it doesn't interefere with the jib.) It sure looks great when coming up to the dock. Not that anyone's ever been on the dock to see it.

Smart move: I created an email list with 60+ people on it. When I'm going sailing, I can simply send it out. So far only David has made it to the dock. But I'm hearing that others are looking forward to going this winter. Really, how many people, that don't already own a sailboat, like to sail on cold days?

If anyone wants to go sailing this winter, give me a shout. If you already sent me a PM, please send me another one so I can add you to my email list. There isn't a lot of warning, due to commitments and weather windows, but that's ok. The winter is long; we'll sail at some point.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 30-12-2010, 13:28   #2
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(Now for the pictures...)

First an innocous picture while underway. Drool you land locked swabbies, drool!


Here's a shot of the Christmas lights. Not that there's ever anyone around to see them. This was taken while at the dock. You can see the reflection below.


Here's the new figurehead I mounted on the bow. It looks a lot like DavidPM. Seriously though, there was a huge flock of birds on the water that looked like a reef from far away. We were motoring over to check it out.


The winds were so light that I went up the mast to see if we could run the Bullet2HP cable down the mast. We were unsuccessful. I thought the 32 foot deep water had an interesting color.


During this process, David drove the boat around in circles trying to rock the boat from our wake, to help get the string run through the mast. I thought I had some video of it, taken from up the mast, but I must have been too busy holding on and jiggling the string to get it through the blockage.

Few people know of the Long Island Sound balloon gyre. It's mostly evident in winter.


Here's the stairs that I bought so my parents could easily get on board. I drove to Philly after working all day to get it from a guy that had it on eBay. It blew off the dock. It gets very windy here in the winter. Maybe it was stolen, but that would require someobody actually being at the marina. Also a marina worker said he saw it floating out the little harbor and then washed up on a nearby beach. (I looked, it's gone.) Maybe I should put up some "missing cat" type posters. You never know. "Reward for missing stairs, stepped away from anxoius owner."


Here's a sunset picture.


Here's the marina, as seen from up the mast. I didn't have to go all the way to the top this time because I was installing new a lazy jack line at the top spreader.


Another sunset


Another sunset picture


Regards,
Brad
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Old 30-12-2010, 13:31   #3
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(And some more pictures...)

This sunset picture just screams winter.


I hosted a little get-together the day after Thanksgiving. I went to the boat the day before to clean-up, and took this picture. My camera was going through it's "blue" phase. All the pictures from that day have a blue tint to them.


Here's the little gathering. We ate, sailed and then ate. There was a little vodka flowing. (I had a beer after we got back to the dock, following good protocol.)


On one solo, I came across another boat. We talked for a bit. At one point we were going the same way and I took a couple dozen pictures, try ing to get one where the boat was in the path of the sun. I emailed it to the owner of the boat. Let me know if you want a (large) screen saver version of this. It's a good one.


Drool you landlubbers, drool! This was a fun day.


On the way to the marina one day, I saw a sailboat race. I got to stand at a really good spot to photograph the start.


Here are a couple of happy guests, from the Thanksgiving Friday sail. Joe and Liz sail in Chicago. They actually manned their yacht club's booth at Strictly Sail last year. If you see them this year, tell them I said hi.


Regards,
Brad
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Old 30-12-2010, 13:36   #4
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(Almost caught up. This is from 10 days ago.)

Here are some shots - and a video - of the ice last weekend. And a video of sailing too.

First the ice around the slip.








This picture was taken after I was back at the dock. You can see how the prop wash cleared a path.


.

This video was taken after breaking up the ice all around her and then running her in forward at idle for awhile to make sure all loose ice was clear. Only then did I increase the rpms to create a path to clear water. It worked. The warmer water from below quickly make a large clear area so I didn't have to play ice breaker.

40_megabytes_It_is_big

Here I've run up the rpm a bit, while on the boat.

18_megabytes_it_is_big
.
And here's a video of some solo sailing right after clearing the ice.

47_megabytes_It_is_big

Hope you enjoy these.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 30-12-2010, 13:40   #5
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(Now this is from this past Sunday, just as the Blizzard was about to hit. we got 17 inches on Long Island. Parts of New Jersey got 30 inches!! )

Went to the boat today during the blizzard. By the time I got the dinghy off the davits, and secured upside-down on the end of the dock, it was really blowing.

I opted to not untie, even though I really wanted to do some docking practice. The gusts were making the boat rock a bit and there was really no traction anywhere on the boat or the dock, so it was a wise choice. (Really no room for plan B's or C's when you would slip just getting to where you could fend off.) Also it was starting to get dark, which can make things more difficult. Instead, I can picture sailing in the blazing sun with all this fresh snow reflecting in the sunlight on a clear crisp day. That will be excellent.

As you can see I was dressed for the occasion. Note the snow streaming past in streaks.


The ice eater is now installed. I moved it around a bit so it's secured from dock to dock making a triangle. Previously, our boat was too far forwad to make that possible. After moving her back I now have the same setup as my neighbor. Since the ice eater is not tied to the boat anymore I'm thinking I can more easily go out for a sail.


Here another shot of the boat. The snow was really blowing. We are getting 12 to 18 inches of snow tonight.


It's probably worth noting that over the summer I wrapped black electrical tape around the forwardmost parts of the bow pulpit. It was reflecting a lot of light back from the navigation lights. I still reflects too much for my liking. Electrical tape is actually quite shiny. Maybe some flat black paint will do the trick. Either that or installing a board on the top to block more of the light from coming back.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 23-06-2014, 00:18   #6
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Re: Sailing Every Week So Far this Fall / Winter ( New York )

Still winter sailing?
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