Posted by Paul Calder // September 19, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)
Mast step structure exposed
Well, we’ve got the mast step on the Telltales Sailing Collective’s first boat opened right up and now we’re deciding how to put it back together. Working on boats I often find this the hardest part of the repair- there are so many materials and approaches available that it can be overwhelming, especially in a case like this where there is no ‘standard approach.’
The fiberglass we cut away to expose the internal structure
Fortunately with a little critical thought we came up with the correct repair. In the first case, mild steel has no place on a sailboat, particularly in a role as critical as distributing compression loads from the mast, so the first step will be to remove the piece of steel tubing which the mast was resting on.…
Posted by Paul Calder // September 15, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)
Yep folks, that’s forty-year-old mild steel holding up the mast!
I’ve written before about bizarre and highly questionable design elements in 1970’s Cape Dorys (Side note: I always hesitate when I pluralize Cape Dory, like I want to write ‘Cape Dories’ but I know that isn’t actually right). Now that the Telltales Sailing Collective has been given a nearly identical Cape Dory 27 I’m getting a trip down memory lane. But I’m pleasantly surprised to find that this time around is a little different. That rebar and mild steel isn’t pretty and from a technical perspective it’s fairly artless but on this boat it has held up to the test of time surprisingly well.…
Posted by Paul Calder // August 9, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)
A little while back I mentioned that we’ve started a sailing collective here in New Orleans, but I haven’t said much about it yet other than to intoduce the boat, a Cape Dory 27 nearly identical to my CD28. It’s not yet in the water but it is inching its way in that direction as our newly minted collective learns about and embarks on the handful of repairs we need to make before launch day. The biggest task at the moment is a bottom job, one of the most miserable things on any diy sailor’s to-do list, but many hands make light work and we’re half done already.
Posted by Paul Calder // July 30, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)
Simon Ager/Sea Shepherd Global via NYTimes
Has anyone been following this series in the New York Times about the ‘Outlaw Ocean‘? It’s some of the best reporting I’ve ever read about the oceans by one of the last few papers which has the budget for this kind of reporting. The series reports on smuggling, illegal fishing, abusive working conditions and forced labor, even slavery and murder and paints a damning picture of wide scale abuses in shipping and fishing industries. It’s also full of riveting stories, like the chase of the Thunder, where a vigilante conservation organization ended the career of one of the world’s most notorious poaching vessels.…
Posted by Paul Calder // June 28, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)
Nada at anchor outside of Burtonport Harbor
Let me tell you about Burtonport, a small fishing village on Ireland’s most hospitably inhospitable NW coast. The village is a small cluster of houses, big enough for a doctor’s office and a pub but not a grocers. This actually good-sized for the northwest of Ireland, where craggy cliffs jutting hundreds of feet up out of deep water and prevailing onshore winds make viable ports few and far between. That’s the inhospitable part: this couple hundred miles of storm-wracked coastline is so nautically infamous that you can pick up a map marking four-hundred-odd notable shipwrecks at the local tourist bureau.…
Posted by Paul Calder // June 19, 2015 // COMMENT (9 Comments)
A typical helmsman’s nav setup. The only similarity with my boat is the cupholder.
On my first long trip as a boat owner, from New Orleans to Maine, we primarily navigated with a handheld GPS and a few old sets of paper chart kits that I had scrounged online. Funds were tight and plotting on paper is good practice, keeps you sharp (at least that’s what I told myself and the crew). This worked well enough and we didn’t have any major mishaps but there were a few nervous moments entering some of the ever-changing sandy harbors of the Gulf south.…
Posted by Paul Calder // April 30, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)
This is not quite my boat!
At the tax office in Bartow, FL on Monday morning I signed a title and became the legal owner of aCape Dory 27, a little-sister ship to my Cape Dory 28. Today, with a friend, I’ll start the long drive back to New Orleans and by the end of May we hope to have the 27 floating alongside my 28. Now you might ask why on earth I would want to own two nearly identical sailboats, and I wouldn’t blame you for asking. Simply put, I don’t. And although it’s my name on the title for this lovely little boat the last thing that I want is ownership of it; that was never the plan.…
Posted by Paul Calder // April 27, 2015 // COMMENT (11 Comments)
Looks like Clark beat me to this one. Details are still coming in about a storm which hit the annual Dauphin Island Regatta on Saturday, scattering the race boats and causing widespread chaos in Mobile Bay. After the race two people are confirmed dead and at current count four are missing with an ongoing Coast Guard search (down from this morning’s total of five missing). Forty people were rescued from the water by the Coast Guard and up to ten boats were capsized, according to some reports. Winds were reported at 70 or 80 MPH in the storm, which appeared to be a large, discrete cell which swept over Mobile Bay in the afternoon.…
This, apparently, is a current image of the gold funerary mask of King Tutankhamun:
Source:Al Araby Al Jadeed
The story goes that a cleaner at the museum was spiffing up the mask when they managed to knock its beard off (or, in another version, the beard was intentionally removed because it was loose). Then, in a classic case of sidestepping, the head of the renovations team called her husband instead of the Ministry of Antiquities and asked him to fix it. Supposedly, he’s also a ‘renovator.’ Whatever that means. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s never read the West System Use Guides or my last post on Epoxy Hints.…
I’ve been doing a lot of epoxy work this last week and it has got me thinking how much easier this stuff is than when I first started. Sure, I’m more skilled now than I was but much of it has to do with simple habits which allow me to move quickly and surely when working with the stuff. With that in mind, here are a handful of tricks that have helped me this week. I’ll try to update this as I think of them.
Having a good set of mixing buckets will save you time and materials. Yoghurt containers work great in a pinch but they’re really not the right shape.…
Paul Calder, son of boat-systems guru and author Nigel Calder, grew up aboard a seemingly endless succession of cruising boats named Nada. Though Paul knows all about life aboard, he's still got a thing or two to learn about sailing. After a ten-year hiatus for school, Paul is now living in New Orleans, working to fix up a classic fiberglass boat on a budget so he can set off on a cruise of his own. Along the way he hopes to acquire some the sailing and maintenance skills he never quite picked up as a kid. He chronicles his adventures at his blog Safe At Harbour But Meant For Sea.