Last Saturday I went on my first overnight beach cruising trip from Windmill Point to Tangier Island and back. It was 68.5 miles and my average speed was 3.4 mph. The winds were light and contrary, but sailing went fine. My camping setup is woeful, so that will need some improvement. I learned a ton on this trip too with a near miss on a lee shore at night.
Last Saturday I went for a daysail that ended up being 40.7 miles from Windmill Point to Reedville and back. It took 9.25 hours at an average speed of 4.4 mph and a top speed of 8.1 mph. It was pretty windy at times, but my winter improvements all worked well.
Earlier this week we had some nice weather so my wife and I took Moga out on the first sail of the year. It was just a short 3.5 mile cruise down the narrow Mill Creek, but it was enough to see that all of the improvements and repairs I did over the winter are working well.
Today was calm so I decided to try out my improvements with a test rigging. I’m pleased to say everything is working great! I’ve made toggle robands for the mainsail, a long pennant for the peak which runs down the sprit to a cleat by the heel, the snotter tension leads aft, there’s a toggling snotter arrangement, and a few other various time saving measures.
I’ve been working along on all the stuff that needs to be fixed or improved, so this post will be a hodgepodge of random stuff.
I’ve been working on the trailer while the boat was hanging in my shop. I built a platform to support the keel and keep the trailer from scraping the paint off when I launch. I also lowered the side bunks and moved them ahead a bit. After the platform was built, I took the wheels off to repack the bearings and change the dust covers for some Bearing Buddies.
I’m glad I did because I was greeted to a handful of rollers spilling out of the hub when I took the wheel off. This trailer is pretty old and I don’t think the bearings have ever been replaced. Anyway, I bought some new A-4 bearings, packed them, and got the wheels installed again.
Next I stapled some bunk carpet to the new platform. There’s a wooden block that supports the keel’s rocker up forward under the carpet. I added a jack too, so I don’t have to move the trailer with a dolly or the winch handle. The red bow stop is new as well, the previous one was a black rubber roller that left black marks on the bow. Hopefully this one doesn’t make my boat look like I ran over a scuba diver.
And finally I got the boat back on the trailer. I’ve bedded all the fittings that go on the deck which was a job. You don’t think it should take that long to bolt stuff down but it does. It didn’t help that I had to remake the backing plates because I put the originals somewhere for safe keeping… I still need to clean and paint the inside of the boat before I can put the inspection hatches in.
And of course no project would be complete without uncovering more problems than you started with. The trailer lights have quit working, even though they’re only a year old. They’re LED and I always unplug them before backing into the water, so I think there’s a corroded connection somewhere. I’m getting 1.5 volts measuring between the trailer ground and the plug. There’s a complete circuit but I guess there must be too much resistance somewhere for the lights to work. Anyway, I’m thinking about running a dedicated ground line to each light and changing the wire nuts to those heat shrink butt connectors. Either that or make some clamp on lights and remove them when going into the water. Whatever I do, I don’t want wiring the trailer to become a yearly thing!
When I built the boat I didn’t take the time to over drill fastener holes and then fill with thickened epoxy. So as I have been epoxying things I’ve started working on the holes. I also shortened the oarlock pads since the bolts didn’t actually land in the doubler underneath the deck. That was a measurement error on my part in the rush to get the boat ready for a vacation. Here’s how to enlarge an existing hole with a Forstner bit.
I’ve never been happy with the slot in the end of the sprit that catches a loop of line in the sail’s peak. So I filled it with a block of wood which I’ll smooth down and then drill a bee hole though. I’m planning to have a long length of line tied into the peak which will go through the bee hole and down the sprit to a cleat. That should make it easier to get the sail rigged.
The hard rubber rollers on my trailer have started chewing up the edges of the keel, so I hoisted the boat off the trailer with a chain fall so I could get under there to sand and epoxy. A strap around the main thwart almost perfectly balances the boat, and a line to the bow fitting keeps it from nosing down. I’ve also started painting the bare spots to build them up a bit before I paint everything else.
I’m hoping to have the boat done by the end of the month. Hopefully everything will go well and I’ll be sailing soon.
I got my aluminum mast partner back from the powder coater recently and dry fit it to the boat. I’m using four 1/2″ bolts to hold it on, so I drilled some 9/16″ holes in the bulkhead and sealed the wood with epoxy. Hopefully I can start painting and reinstall the fittings soon.
I did have a bit of a disaster before I could dry fit it… I managed to get a bolt stuck in some left over powder coating down in the threaded hole. So I drilled it out with a left hand drill bit, picked out the threads, and then chased the threads with a tap.
We’ve had a few days of decently warm weather lately so I’ve been able to make some progress on the epoxy work. I’ve added oak ledgers to the thwarts to carry some side benches, overdrilled and filled the fitting holes with thickened epoxy, faired out the area for the mast partner, and added a doubler to the centerboard case to carry a pair of cleats for the downhaul and snotter lines.
Here’s the updated todo list:
- Rebed all the fittings
- Install the mast partner
- Make side benches
- Paint everything
- The keel is getting a little chewed up from the trailer rollers
- Build a flat bed on the trailer so the keel is supported better
- Repack the trailer bearings
- Possibly lower the spring weight on the trailer.