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27 May 2013

Back on the wall

Posted by John. No Comments

No photos this time. Today we brought her off the temporary mooring and back into the marina. We’ll probably keep her there through hurricane season which starts in one week.

Clearly the new quadrant bracket fit and worked just fine. I had to put some extra slack in the steering cables and drilling to pin the bracket to the stem still needs to be done but we were only moving from the mooring; not battling high seas.

The secondary problem we had to deal with was “dry exhaust”. The new Yanmar 3YM20 is a perfect engine for this 33 footer but, for the hours we have put on her, I was surprised to be having problems with the sea water system. No spare impeller on board; my bad. Our trip to the boat today carried the new bracket plus a fully charged battery, an impeller kit and a sea pump drive belt. Access to the “front” of the engine is not as easy as with an aft cockpit configuration because the front is up against the two 50 gallon diesel tanks below the center cockpit.

The old impeller looked fine and, sure enough, after replacement, the exhaust was still dry.

I had worked through all other obvious areas before replacing the impeller and was feeling confused but there was one area I had left untouched; the elbow fitting that carries the seawater into the exhaust manifold. When I took off the hose and started the engine, plenty of water. A smallish screwdriver run into the elbow resulted in that well known “crunchy crunchy” of crustacean intrusion. Problem resolved.

Now that Us Too is on the wall,  we’re making a list (shared on Google Drive) that we can jointly edit/prioritize for those days that aren’t soakers, like this long weekend was.

25 May 2013

Steering Failure

Posted by John. No Comments

It’s been a while since we last posted about the boat but that’s because we’ve really not done anything with her and she recently objected – strongly. She broke away from her mooring and went “float about”. Then when trying to take her back to her mooring, the steering failed. Why?

Well, if you look at the pictures of the rusted out quadrant bracket you’ll understand why.

We couldn’t find the original manufacturer (although we did find the original owner in the process) so we had one fabricated

Walsh Metal in St Croix made this one out of SS316 and hopefully it will be on the boat this Memorial weekend.

15 Feb 2011

Dropping the swing keel

Posted by Hannah. 1 Comment

The swing keel wouldn’t drop while we were out on our maiden sailing voyage. The best solution to the problem is to dive down under the boat, dislodge all manner of stinging, slimy goo that may be residing in the swing keel trunk. Ick. Being the only one with a scuba license, you can imagine my excitement. The joys of shared responsibilities in boat ownership.

In effort to delay my Jules Verne adventure, I started exercising the swing keel cable winch: unwind a bit, pull back hard, repeat. I was soon hearing scraping/groaning noises from the keel trunk, indicating movement. Hooray! But then… I got a little over-confident and managed to hopelessly unspool/kink the steel cable. Woops. The good news: the keel dropped all the way (I think…).


15 Feb 2011

Sail Rite Sail Cover

Posted by Hannah. No Comments

We ordered a custom sail cover from Sail Rite. They build-to-spec, either a kit or a finished cover. Finished cover it was, shipped within a day of providing our measurements, and the color? purple. of course! It fits well, and looks… well, she speaks for herself:

onthehook-10 onthehook-9

15 Feb 2011

Rigging version 1.0

Posted by Hannah. No Comments

John and I purchased Harkin rigging hardware, new lines (and a variety of other hardware) last year in anticipation of having the boat off the dock and on the hook within a few months of our acquisition of her. Unfortunately, as with most boat projects, a few months turned into eight. By late november and a number of thousand dollars later, she was back on the hook sporting a new engine, new through-hulls, bilge pump, etc.

We finally got the rigging hardware mounted in January, and we thought we’d show some photos.

onthehook-1 John fixing the boom/gooseneck attachement. The boom broke loose in December, damaging the gooseneck as it swung about in the wind. If it wasn’t for our observant Marina neighbors, we could have lost the boom entirely.


onthehook-3 John manufactured a mounting spacer for the traveler rail (marine-grade solid beech?) with a curve to match the cabin and a flat surface, tilted slightly to forward to match the angle of the on the line coming off the boom. The cam cleats on the ends of the traveler rail need to be re-located, but soon come (rigging v. 2.0!). A whole post should be dedicated to the process of refitting a 1960′s boat with a modern traveler, but I’ll leave that to John — He’s the engineer after-all!


onthehook-4 New Harken Blocks for the jib sheets


onthehook-5 Jib sheet cam cleat with a two speed windlass in the background. The cam cleats are new and their positions will likely change at some point. The windlasses, fortunately, came with the boat.


onthehook-6 Cam cleat on the aft cabin, controls the port side of the traveler. Notice the spiffy new black line.

31 Jan 2011

First Sail

Posted by Hannah. No Comments

We finally got all the rigging hardware installed on saturday. John did a great job with manufacturing the traveler rail, and he machined aluminum shims to add stability to the gooseneck attachment — I’m sure he’ll post more about that. And some of the rigging is still temporary: as we get the feel for the ergonomics of the boat we’ll reposition the cam cleats (they’re the little clippy gismos that help route the lines to the cockpit and secure them without having to tie the lines down).

By the end of saturday we were exhausted, John because he did all the work, and me because of my cold + sun exposure. So, although we were itching to sail, we piled stuff back into the inflatable and trudged home to rest.

Sunday — the weather turned. It was dark and stormy, rainy, gusting winds, Cold! We huddled underneath the shack at Salt River Marina, waiting for a break between clouds so we could row out to Us Too. Altho the clouds parted briefly, the wind kept up and John had a heck of a time rowing against the wind. Sometimes it seems like the inflatable dingy catches the wind better than Us Too.

As John installed the final rigging hardware, I took on the tedious task of cutting the grody rope-wrapping off of the steering wheel. It served no purpose other than to look ugly, absorb water and accelerate the rust process. And it was a pain in the butt to remove.

At about three pm, after we had decided it was too stormy for our first sail, the clouds finally blew over. John cleared the decks, I started the motor, he hoisted the sail, let go of the mooring, and we were off!

Now. For some insane reason, John thinks I can pilot a boat. Other than my 8 ft dingy with a trolling motor, I have zero experience. 8 ft vs 33 ft…. hrm. and in Morro Bay, the largest swells were about a foot and the worst thing I could ground myself on was an oyster bed (which granted, wouldn’t be good for the oysters, but it would barely even scratch the dingy.)

See the diagram below. Our mooring (big star) is in salt river. The entrance to salt river is 40 ft wide, 6 ft deep. The swells at the mouth are about 4 ft, winds gusty, big white-capped reef edges to either side. One single red buoy marks the entrance. We have no operational depth sensor, chart plotter, bottom profiler… nuttin. And the boat… well. She steers like a boat.

I was petrified. Both exiting and entering, my heart has never beat so fast. One mistake and our precious boat would be on the reef. scary as heck.

At any rate, we made it. Coming back, without even using the handheld GPS, I managed to get her to her mooring unscathed. woo hoo!

A few more pictures below. The whole sailing experience was a learning process. The swing keel appears to be stuck, and we suspect she’ll sail better once we can get it down and extended. All in good time though.

31 Jan 2011

Things are Really Moving – Huh?

Posted by John. No Comments

OK – for real. This weekend she’s going to be sailing; I can feel her excitement!!!

One problem we encountered is that the boom is not original so the gooseneck slide does not match the gooseneck bracket. The gooseneck slide looks like a Pearson slide with a 1/4″ bolt in a 1 3/8″ throat but the gooseneck bracket has a 3/4″ spacing and a 3/8″ bolt.

img_0104 So the solution prototype is shown here. Three pieces of 1″ x 1/4″” aluminum drilled with 1/4″ and 3/8″ holes, stacked together with a 1/4″ washer top and bottom into the gooseneck slide and a 3/8″ clevis pin attaching the gooseneck bracket.

Final version will be slightly longer; 1/8″ at the 1/4″ hole end to be firm against the gooseneck slide and 1/8″ more between the two holes – and I’ll use a drill press so as to make it look a little more professional. Should be done by next weekend.

23 Jan 2011

Moving Forward

Posted by John. No Comments

When we bought our boat who is now “Us Too.” we knew the electronics were absent. All of the NMEA electronics are purchased but … no electrical panel or anything. So we have a new Blue Sea 8 breaker panel to install. In addition, Hannah purchased a Pyle sound system  - 4 marine grade speakers and a waterproof housing. Mounting the traveler and putting the main back on today.

22 Jan 2011

Sailing – Maybe?

Posted by John. 2 Comments

With a bit of luck, the main traveler will be mounted tomorrow and the possibility of sailing for real. The spacer to match the flat rail to the curved cabin top is finished and epoxy sealed and before end of day will be primed. The spacer is made from marine grade yellow spruce and while I thought that it would be through bolted (which would require 7″ bolts) I am instead using #14 x 2″ SS wood screws. The center 7 screws from the top penetrate the cabin top; the remaining 8 do not; just anchor the rail to the spacer. Then 15, #14 x 2″ SS come from underneath to anchor the rail to the cabin roof.

6 Nov 2010

Trip Detail

Posted by John. No Comments

First, let me say, I love the post Hannah made earlier. We post separately because we are very different people so we have very different perspectives. We are really good at communicating but, like many couples, there is still room for improvement – and “Us Too.” will be a great help.

There are many things that Hannah omitted from her post that need to be said, some of which she is not aware. The plan was to splash, then for me and the yard manager and the chief mechanic to take her for a spin (so to speak) to allow for final adjustments to be made to the engine, the stuffing box, the controls and to just generally get some confidence of her seaworthiness. I suspect my boating skills were also being assessed as we were launching into a small craft advisory and there could be issues with a boat yard giving the keys to a less that competent helmsman. Realizing this, my return approach to the fuel dock needed to be perfect and, thankfully it was. Sailboats never steer well forward on the motor (they’re sailboats!) but Glander’s choice of rudder design is renowned for poor (understatement) performance in reverse. Having verified this, my return to the fuel dock needed to be a perfect, one attempt, forwards only – and it worked.

From that point on, I surrendered the helm to Hannah. She had the helm the whole way from St Croix Marine to the mooring in Salt River. We had discussed this several months ago – that I needed her to be the helmsman so that I could work the sails, the lines, etc. but I didn’t know she remembered. She did fantastic.

Exits from Christiansted harbor are well documented and marked; not so for Salt River. We had not had the time to mount electronics so the GPS we were using was a small, handheld Garmin Colorado 400t, which does not have “charting” capability. Our best assessment of the passage through the reef and approaching our mooring was done using Google Earth and we placed pins for our planned track. with the intent of uploading to the handheld.

Good plan; poor execution. It was no-ones fault but we ran out of time so from memory, I manually entered the waypoints into a route plan and the rest was going to be up to us; my rusty skills and Hannah’s developing skills.


Here, you can see our success leaving Christiansted harbor; the blue is the actual path we took; the white line is the Google Earth planned track; the yellow pins are the Google Earth planned waypoints and the flags are the Garmin waypoints I entered manually from memory. There are two ways to get in/out of the harbor around Protestant Cay and we took one recommended by the yard manager, not the one planned.


As you can see, we did pretty good, especially with some pretty big swells – or I should say, Hannah did well, her first time at the helm of a 33′ Tavana. Contrary to her posted picture of us both at the helm, I only held the wheel while she fished her camera out of our dry bag and set for a timed shot in very bouncy water.


In Google Earth, I had entered our route as vectors but one never sails vectors; so I am very pleased with the path we took. DDWR stands for – “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson” – because there are shoals off the entrance to Salt River that we could only estimate from GE and only guess at when manually entering the waypoints. The heavy swells helped here as we could clearly see the breaking water over the shoals as we approached and virtually abandoned the GPS. There are times that the swells are so big that the entrance through the reef is really difficult to distinguish but, as you can see, we entered perfectly, used visuals to navigate the shallows and rocks and approached where our mooring “Popeye” is located.

Popeye is a standard mooring ball that is just a little too small for the weight of chain that attaches the eye to the 6 ton forklift counterweight that, by now, has sunk several feet into the alluvium of Salt River. So “Popeye” (the previous owner of the mooring gave it this name) is difficult to find because only the eye is above the surface. We had kayaked out several months earlier and GPS’d the location but, being on about 80 feet of chain, he can move around.


As you can see, we had difficulty finding him. We cut into neutral and dropped an anchor to consider the situation. Hannah was studying the GPS and, in the light of the setting sun, she spied a ring bobbing above the water about 50 feet away.

Lessons learned? Put a flag buoy on the mooring: Put a floating pick-up line on the mooring; get a better ladder for transitioning “Us Too.”.

Sorry for the long post but – it’s our blog (or “Us Too.”).