Monday, December 2, 2013

She moves....................

Moving your boat 200 ft from one slip to another, under her own power, may not sound like a big deal but this was the first time in TWENTY years TIH propelled herself through the water.  She sat on the hard for fifteen years under her previous owner and in a slip for five under my ownership.  Call me sentimental but a boat is meant to be moved and I got a big buzz out of this.

Monday, November 25, 2013

De-Nial is a river in Egypt.....

All boats, at some stage, will have water inside the hull either from leaks or condensation.  Obviously, the first thing you  is minimize these leaks or reduce the cause of the condensation.  The second thing you do is prevent this water from pooling and soaking woodwork, upholstery etc.

The forward Engine Room bulkhead on TIH has always had some water damage / wet rot.  I was happily ignoring it as I assumed that the whole bulkhead was compromised and it would be a major job.  I finally bit the bullet and happily found that only the bottom edge was affected. 

Some penetrating epoxy and fill the void with epoxied marine ply and it should be good to go.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Forward Battery bank.........

I have been undecided on the need for a forward battery bank for some time.  I will have a windlass (Lofrans Tigres) and possibly a 4HP Vetus bow-thruster installed.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and install two group 24 batteries (79AH each, installed in parallel)  in the port locker in the vee-berth.  I have connected the two banks (house and forward) with 1/0 cable via the Mastervolt DC Distribution 500. This cable is fused at both ends and has a switch at the forward battery end.  Most of the time this switch will be off.  The forward bank will be maintained by a Xantrex Echo Charger.  This will ensure that the forward bank is charged anytime a charging source is charging the House Bank.

My logic is as follows.

1.  The windlass needs a battery bank of a minimum of 100 AH - check.  Its max draw is 125 Amps.

2.  Under normal windlass operations I will switch the connecting switch ON.   This will allow the alternator/house bank to pass this amperage to the windlass should it be needed.  The 1/0 wire is far in excess of the minimum required for a 30 ft (round trip) of 125 Amps.  This setup will permit almost continuous use of the windlass.

The bow-thruster is another ball of chalk;

1.  Interestingly it only needs a min battery bank of 108 AH.  It draws 350 Amps for a max of 4 mins.  In reality you use it far less that this or you are doing something wrong.  I would have to connect both banks using 3/0 wire to facilitate recharging from the house bank.  This was a non starter.

2.  Under normal bow-thruster operations I will have the connecting switch to OFF.  The bow-thruster will ONLY operate off the forward bank.  This is acceptable in my book.  Any current used will be recharged from the Echo Charge once a charging source (e.g. Alternator/solar/wind) is available.

All opinions welcome, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Friday, November 1, 2013

V-Berth Workshop

OK all you girlie men with your soft mattress, throw cushions and rugs up in that V-Berth that you have normally covered with fenders, Jerry jugs and folding bicycles.  This is what a real mans V-Berth looks like.

Mind you, I'm getting lots of push back from the management.  I'm not sure if I can keep it that way once we start using the boat.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Latest addition to the fleet.....

Who could resist a Lyle Hess designed boat, of any shape or size;

Friday, August 16, 2013

Whitby / Brewer Sailboat Rendezvous 2013

The 2013, 20th Whitby/Brewer sailboat rendezvous will be held again at the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, Maryland on October 7, 8 & 9. Anyone who owns or is looking at a Whitby/Brewer is welcome to attend. Contact whitby42 "at" to make arrangements.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bowsprit, bobstay etc.....

Bobstay and bobstay plate installed.  My friend Rhys suggested adding "a second hole (on the lower plate) that can carry a waterline rode snubber".  I did not have this option as I bought the bowsprit already made.  I have seen this on a few boats and had thought it an interesting idea. 

Should be robust enough.

My late friend Patrick's boat "Gaia" for comparison purposes.  The location of my lower plate was dictated by the shape of the bow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Small upgrades.....

My bowsprit did not come with a bob-stay, that had to be ordered separately.  I'm not even going to discuss the cost but if I ever sell the boat I'm taking it with me.

Moved into a bigger storage area in the yard.  This is how much space an exploded Whitby 42 takes up. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bow Sprit going on....

Capt Jim hard at work.

Lined up.

Business end.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gulf Stream crossing....

Just back from my third Gulf Stream crossing this month, all on other peoples boats.   Always nice to remember what boats are for;

Sunrise over a benign Gulf Stream

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I have always felt that AIS is a game changer, especially on sailboats.  The ability to quickly identify contacts and see their CPA (closest point of approach), course, speed etc. will make offshore watch-keeping much less stressful.   If you install an AIS transponder then other vessel should be able to see your details, which is even better.  I have recently helped to install a Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS transponder with WiFi on a friends boat.  I believe that this is the best deal out there (for the moment) as the use of iPad apps via WiFi makes the system much more usable.

The device; 


Screen shots

Target List

Vessel Info

More info

Once we have installed the Seatalk/Seatalk ng connector to the Raymarine wind instruments and depth/speed we should be able to see wind data, speed and depth on the iPad as well.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vacuum Bagging 2, success at least by my standards...

Top of hatch, which passed the 200lb Irishman jump test. 

Underneath.  The sides were well formed.

Slight build up or resin in the corner but not a major issue.

Good enough edge.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Habemus bowsprit.........

After all my bowsprit machinations I found the impossible.  A complete, "Tops in Quality" manufactured bowsprit made by the original steel fabricators to the Canadian Whitby Boat Works.  It was destined for a stalled project boat in Tampa.  Its now in my yard.

While there I naturally bought the Garhauer mainsheet traveller on offer. 

Time to get installing, that was the last major part of the jigsaw.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Aft Companionway - we have a winner.

I like having access to the aft cabin when in harbor and on a nice bay sail.  I am less impressed with it offshore.  In fact, unless you are dealing with flat calm conditions I believe that the aft hatch should be closed and secured once you venture offshore.  As the aft companionway on TIH needed a complete overhaul I took the opportunity to redesign it.   

I will replace the existing hatch board and cover with fiberglassed coosa board.  The front will be hinged about 2" up and open forward.  It will be bolted closed against heavy rubber gaskets.

 The top lid will be hinged about 2/3 of the way back.  The teak board represents the location of the main sheet track.  The black otter box represents a Lewmar 20 ocean hatch.

The top lid will have a front edge.

Lid hinged up.

Will be held up by a brass hatch holder;

Location of heavy duty rubber gaskets.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aft Companionway.... continued

Ask six sailors a question and you will get seven opinions because at least one has a split personality. 

I posted the aft companionway question on the Whitby Facebook page and got a number of great responses.  I also got one phone call and one e-mail from owners who either don't trust FB or are on the witness protection program.   I expect to get at least one reply written on papyrus, delivered by a man with a split stick, such is the diversity of our owners group.   To all I say thank you.

The lack of consensus breaks down as follows;

  1. Owners who love and use the act companionway and scoot up and down with impunity.
  2. Owners who have removed the ladder, installed temporary steps and use the existing companionway as an escape hatch and for ventilation. 
  3. A small number who have blanked off the companionway and installed a standard hatch, even one Brewer 44 which I believe was factory ordered this way. 

As usual the Whitby/Brewer lives up to her reputation as a  "A many-faceted boat"

These are photos from Rich and Carol Middleton's boat CREOLA  (Thanks for the input Rich and Carol)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garmin iPad Bluechart app......

with ACTIVE CAPTAIN and GRIB forecasts and Premium weather ($4, needs cell phone access - i.e. within 10+ miles from the coast).

Uses all of the above on my recent short hop on friends Whitby 42 from Marathon to Fort Pierce.  220 miles in 28hrs, motor sailing, but still nice.

Shots are taken in my apartment but you get the general idea.