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  #1  
Old 12-21-2010
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Sailing Every Week so far this fall/winter

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 - cant 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 Sailnet 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 dock monkeys moved our boat, plugged it 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 dock monkeys stepped on it while moving the boat, but it was not broken when I left her day earlier. Can anyone comment on this?

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

(I have pictures, but not a lot of time to post them. I'm sailing and I'm working on a SPECIAL PROJECT that anyone with a Driod will find very interesting. How interested is everyone in a few pictures? Should I make the time to post them?)
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2010
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Pics!

And dude, you are INSANE if you're really going to do that zinc thing! I'm getting all achey just thinking about it.

I bet even JomsViking is shivering.
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Old 12-21-2010
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Pictures are always good bene - it helps keep us Great Lakers (read as not a snowball's chance in hell of sailing) sailors sane.

I want to see the top secret Droid project details too.
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Old 12-21-2010
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Glad your having fun

You really have to work out a way to drain or blow out the raw water sections of the motor or your going to have and electric went out fubar
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 12-21-2010
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Originally Posted by tommays View Post
Glad your having fun

You really have to work out a way to drain or blow out the raw water sections of the motor or your going to have and electric went out fubar
You are right. I was tinking about building a cell phone alarm that would page me when the power goes out. I've been wanting to build a linear actuator button presser for some time, as a bilge alarm in the summer. It would be straightforward to convert it to a 12v-driven alarm when the 120v goes out.

That and draining battery power into a small heater when a power outage does take place. (Easier to build than the cell phone alarm.) 30 watts is 2.5 amps. My batteries would last 66 hours to 1/2 drained. 30 watts would be enough in that insulated engine space.

If there is a power outage, how do I drain the dripless prop shaft hose? I'd have to run antifreeze through it. With the prop a few feet below the water line, I think I don't have to worry about the shaft freezing. It will be very close to the water temp at that depth. But I worry about the hose going to the prop shaft. That could freeze if the power goes out.

That and the raw water in the engine.

If there is a power outage, I'll have to spend some time on the boat.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 12-21-2010
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Originally Posted by AboardIndigo View Post
Pictures are always good bene - it helps keep us Great Lakers (read as not a snowball's chance in hell of sailing) sailors sane.

I want to see the top secret Droid project details too.

Do you have a Droid? I'll need testers.

I've been working on it solid for weeks now. Every moment I can spare mornings, nights, commuting, etc. Very exciting as it's coming together. Tonight I got some of the heavy duty math done. No clues on what it is yet, you'll know soon enough.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 12-21-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010
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Brad—

If you need testers for your project, let me know. I've got an android phone.
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Old 12-21-2010
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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
How interested is everyone in a few pictures? Should I make the time to post them?)


Very!

I'm lucky in that the weather here has been fantastic lately. But I love seeing other boats.
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Old 12-21-2010
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Brad - still looking for testers?

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Old 12-22-2010
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brad i did get the price on the coated heat tape, the price you quoted was lower.

another option for the temp alarm is easy if you have a tele line on the dock. they make auto dialers that have multible inputs and temp sensors. cost is about 150 IIRC. a simple relay running on the same circuit as the heat tape could close one input, lose heat tape get call. you could also hook up a bilge pump switch to another input.

Voice Auto Dialer

if you dont have a phone line get a zoom bac and hook a relay in to the power supply. then you can just check the location of the boat and if it does not show up you have a problem. you could hook up two relays one for power, one with a temp sensor that closes at low temps, ie the ones that come on standard heat tape would be perfect. total cost outside the zoombac would be less than 20 bucks.

think out side the box
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