Boom Tent

I’m hoping to go back to NJ this summer and continue my trip down Barnegat Bay and I figured transportation wise it’d be a lot easier to plan if I do an overnight trip. The polytarp setup I used on my lone overnight trip to Tangier Island was absolute rubbish so I’ve decided to build something a little more purpose built. It’s a 10′ x 10′ ripstop nylon rainfly from Amazon that I cut to follow the hull. Then I made some triangular doors at the back from the scraps. I hemmed the edges and sewed the panels together and moved some of the webbing tie downs. It’s pretty cheap but it only needs to last until I get Long Steps built in the next couple years.

Next I need to make a permanent boom crutch at figure out the attachment method. I’m currently leaning towards passing shock cord loops under the hull.



New Years day cruise

We had some friends come visit the day after New Years and the weather was nice enough to go for a trolling motor cruise in the afternoon. It was a really low tide and I had to row the first hundred yards away from our dock and have the girls sit up on the bow deck to trim the boat out. Eventually we plowed our way through the mud and into deeper water where I could lower the motor. Coming back the tide had risen enough to where I could slowly drift/motor to the dock with the propeller half out of the water. We went 3.4 miles in an hour and ten minutes. This was the last hurrah for the ~6 year old lead acid starting battery as I’ve since bought a 50Ah LiFePO4 which is amazing.

Barnegat Bay, NJ

And here’s the second of my two trips while I was in New Jersey. I launched at the top of Barnegat Bay and sailed my way down 29 miles south to just past the inlet. I made a diversion through the marsh over to the lighthouse and would have continued 17 miles to a public ramp, but I called it quits since I was relying on my father in law for transportation and didn’t want to be too late. I tested out my electric trolling motor setup for the first time as well.

Trolling motor and New Jersey

Lately I’ve been experimenting with a trolling motor setup so I don’t have to use my British Seagull which, to be honest, isn’t all that great for the environment.

Also my wife and I are heading up to New Jersey for about 10 days to help her parents move. I’ve got some ideas for a few sailing adventures so here’s how to bring two trailers! I seriously wanted to weld a hitch receiver onto the utility trailer so I could pull doubles, but apparently it would only be legal through Maryland.

Spring Modifications

Here’s some modifications I’ve been doing lately. My first child, Henry, was born in April so things have been happening much slower than usual! We’re going up to New Jersey in July to visit my wife’s family and I plan to take the boat along… I’m thinking I’d like to get a long daysail in on Barnegate Bay.

Changed out the leaf springs on my trailer for a pair of 500 pounders. This has made the ride much smoother.

Fabricated some aluminum fenders to replace the broken sheet metal ones. I slipped them into a batch of metalwork I made to be powder coated, so I should get them back soon.

Rigged up a pulley system under my sunroom so I could touch up the paint on the hull that I scraped off going across the sandbar at Ocracoke Island last year. I also got around to getting the boat registered so I can use a motor! I hand painted the letters which was a lot more difficult than it seems.

Mast and bilge pump

It’s been too cold lately to varnish in the garage, so I set up the mast in the spare bedroom. I put on five coats of Helmsman spar urethane, probably not as good as real spar varnish but I’ll give it a try this season. I can’t imagine it’ll be a problem for a garage kept boat. The fiberglassed section is a little noticeable, but not too bad.

A few times I’ve buried the rail while trying to bail out water in a blow, so I thought a diaphragm pump might be a more sedate way of keeping my feet dry. I’m thinking I’ll have a pipe go to each side of the boat where the water collects, a diverter valve in the middle so I can select which side to pump, and a check valve on the ends of the tubes to keep water from draining back in. Pumping the water into the centerboard case seems like a tidy way to do it. I’d like the pump to be centrally located so I can work it on either tack, but this option looks like it’ll take up too much floor space and the plumbing might be awkward.

Back here on the sternsheets looks pretty convenient, although the handle would need to be lowered to accommodate the sleeping platform. Looks like there’d be a lot of awkward plumbing for this option too.

Underneath the main thwart with the handle just sticking through is high on the list. It’ll be mostly tucked away and the plumbing runs will be short.

I think I’m leaning towards something like this. The handle should be a little easier to work and it’s still out of the way. Next I need to figure out what plumbing parts I need. The threads on the pump aren’t NPT and I have no idea what standard they are other than 1-7/16″ – 6, so I might see if I can 3d print some custom adapters. Failing that I could machine some.

Now that I’ve typed all that out about the bilge pump, I’m wondering if a single flexible hose and check valve would be better. Since I’d need to lean down to work the diverter valve I might as well just clip a hose onto the frame where the water collects.


Here’s a few improvements I’ve been working on lately.

Got the area around the new hatch painted and the hatch installed with butyl tape. The #10 screws on the sides fasten to the new stiffeners I added underneath and on the ends are machine screws through the 1/4″ plywood sternsheets. This will really improve access and keep the bilge water out. I faired the front well enough you’d never know there used to be a hatch there.

I epoxied an oak peg onto the top of the mast when I was experimenting with my topsail, but it ended up not working very well. It was too hard to slip a loop of line on the topmast around it, and using it to route a halyard didn’t work either. Plus it also tended to mess with the set of the jib halyard turning block.

I chiseled off most of the peg and sanded the rest smooth. I need to figure out something for the topmast halyard, there might be just enough room for another beehole in the middle.

The boom jaws have been gouging the mast a bit so I sanded back the varnish and will epoxy some left over 6oz fiberglass around once it warms up. I knew keeping the scraps from fiberglassing the hull would come in useful someday!

I also plan to touch up the paint and varnish, but that’ll have to wait for warmer weather. It’s been freezing here in Virginia lately and it doesn’t look like it’ll let up any time soon. The topsides are in fairly decent shape, but there’s a few spots underneath that got worn off when I dragged the boat across a sandbar at Ocracoke last summer.