12.4.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

3 Dec
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Busy day trying to get the last of the boat projects wrapped up for now. The last of the things that actually need doing, not the last of the projects. There is no such thing as the last of the boat projects. Ask anyone.

Of all the stupid projects I needed to do, cleaning the bottom of the dinghy has to be number one. That thing has been in the water for about five weeks. In that time barnacles claimed every square inch of it and grass grew on the waterline. Ridiculous. Took two hours to get that thing cleaned up.

Not much ...

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Research, and a bit of humilty: Patching the old thru-hulls

3 Dec

I’ve just done a bit more research on fiberglass repairs and am feeling rather sheepish about my cocky post on grinding the boat’s hull. I’ve since learned that the essential aspect of the 12-1 ratio which we resolutely ignored is less about strength than it is about flex. I had assumed that due to the thickness of my hull we would get plenty of strength even when patching a relatively small area. However it seems there is a possibility of the patch failing precisely because it is stronger (or, more accurately, harder) than the rest of the hull.

The issue ...

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12.3.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

2 Dec
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Lowe touched American soil for the first time yesterday, decided that was enough for now, and walked back in to Mexico this morning.

We needed new visas. We could have easily risked becoming illegal aliens in Mexico, chances are it would have never become an issue. But one can never be sure, and seeing as both our kids are Mexican, and we have every intention of spending a good many years here over the course of our lifetimes, we just couldn't take the risk of being flagged.

So yesterday we flew out to Tijuana, on the least expensive direct flight we ...

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KARVER FLYING CAM CLEAT: Multiple Uses

30 Nov

Karver flying cam cleat

All the info I have right now on this new widget from Karver is what you see in these two photos. The concept is pretty self-explanatory. Presumably it was developed for dinghy racers who want to get a better grip on skinny control lines, but I find it’s not too hard to think of other things to do with it.

For example, I can see using it to help tie down gear real tight and in other situations where you want to pull real hard on something. But mostly I see it as a sort of instant rolling hitch that ...

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12.1.11. our life. daily. puerto vallarta, mexico.

30 Nov
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Lowe is outgrowing his clothes at an alarming rate. It's pretty clear we're going to have big kids. We've cut the feet out of a couple of his six month-old pajamas to try and extend their life a bit, but mainly we're moving on to the nine month stuff. Ali is already having trouble carrying him for very long. Fortunately for both of us Ouest finally seems to be outgrowing the "carry me everywhere" stage and much prefers to run amok these days. Also, after a few days off Lowe went back into full rolling over mode again today.

We cleaned out ...

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Evil, awful fiberglass: Grinding the old thru-hulls

30 Nov

 It may be the single greatest advancement in making sailboats affordable but fiberglass is horrible stuff to work with! Here you see me emerging from the forward anchor locker where I’ve been grinding a 2sq-foot section directly into my own face. Even with a shop vac sucking air out of the compartment it would so rapidly fill with dust (which was also filtering into my foggy goggles via the ventilation holes) that I was doing most of this by feel. No doubt the wost job yet on the boat but we’ll see what’s to come…

This was just a quick ...

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Wings, the Next Generation

29 Nov

Wanna have some fun? Set Paul Cayard loose on the subject of America’s Cup 34, some re-imagined and surprising wing-control mechanisms, and the terrors of San Francisco Bay in full cry. The custom AC72 catamarans of 2013, he says, will be 30 percent more powerful but “much less stable” than the AC45s that sailed three events this year on the America’s Cup World Series circuit.

And occasionally failed to maintain verticality.

Cayard’s home waters, where the Cup will be sailed, are known to be a windy spot, and when the ebb tide works against the seabreezeone sixth of all the ...

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CARIBBEAN 1500: Katahdin Checks In

25 Nov

Katahdin

Good news: I’ve heard back from my people and can now share some pix and verbiage on how the voyage south went for Katahdin.

Rather than paraphrase, I thought I’d share the raw dispatches.

The first e-mail I received was from crew member Tom Trump (who also provided all these pix):

Onboard Katahdin

The Katahdin story is pretty vanilla. We had light stuff until we had motored through most of our diesel. We were actively discussing contingency plans, but picked up the trades in the nick of time. They were SE for the first 2-3 days and we were sailing just off of close-hauled, ...

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Working on the boat: Painting prep and water-tight hardware installations

24 Nov
Having a crew to help sure makes for short work
Yesterday was a very productive day! I had not one, not two, but three helpers out for the whole day and we got quite a lot done.
After having found water damage in some parts of the deck core we earlier pulled all the deck hardware, where possible squirting in thickened epoxy to fill gaps in the balsa core. Now we’re trying to protect this core from points where anything enters the deck and water might seep in. In the case of through-bolted hardware (mainly stanchion bases, for us) this ...
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CARIBBEAN 1500: The Fate of the Fleet

24 Nov

Caribbean 1500 fleet in Hampton

Having been left behind on the dock, I’ve been obsessively following the progress of this year’s Caribbean 1500 via the rally’s online tracking page. For much of the fleet it has been slow going. After prudently waiting the better part of a week for Tropical Storm Sean to go away and then for a cold front to pass through, the rally organizers launched their ducklings the Friday before last (Nov. 11) into the heart of a big high-pressure cell. The fleet enjoyed one good day of wind, but then burned much diesel fuel as it worked its way south looking ...

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