April 30th

Another Cape Dory and the Birth of a Sailing Nonprofit

Posted by // 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.…
Read More
April 27th

Dauphin Island Regatta Hit By 80-MPH Winds, Two Dead, Four Missing

Posted by // 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.…

Read More
January 22nd

…and this week in International Epoxy News

Posted by // January 22, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


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.

Read More
January 15th

A handful of epoxy hints

Posted by // January 15, 2015 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

, , ,

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.…

Read More
December 20th

How to get a perfect fit in an odd-sided, curved, enclosed space?

Posted by // December 20, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


It’s been a while since I’ve done a boat repair tip. Here’s one I used yesterday on a friend’s boat.

        Have you ever found yourself trying to duplicate a particularly odd four-sided shape, maybe in an enclosed area or on a curved surface? I ran into this problem when working on an icebox. The box is going to be built into a cockpit seat. It’s basically going to be a drink cooler so in order to make the best of a very small space it will be built with minimal insulation and directly against the hull. I started by epoxying the insulation directly to the hull, keeping the curvature.…

Read More
December 10th

The Many-Headed Hydra

Posted by // December 10, 2014 // COMMENT (10 Comments)

Cruising, People

     I am, finally, back home in New Orleans after a long jaunt down the East Coast. The crew and I were completely out of touch with the world for the past few weeks as we explored some of the more remote reefs in the Florida Keys and made the jump out to the Dry Tortugas and home to New Orleans from there. Now we’re surrounded by friends, airing out stale projects, re-combobulating the trappings of life on land. There’s a bicycle hanging in a wharehouse on St. Ferdinand, a few boxes from the attic of a house on Urquhart, some clean clothes.…

Read More
November 6th

Kedging in the ICW

Posted by // November 6, 2014 // COMMENT (12 Comments)

Boats and Gear, Cruising

Photos Courtesy of Mon Iker
After a bit of an absence I would like to return with a bang, or at least a soft thud. I am currently cruising South from Maine with a crew of friends, headed for New Orleans. We’ve made it as far as Florida, always a good place for adventure.

I (maybe unfairly) tend to think of the ICW as slow, expensive, and often dull, so we’ve been staying offshore most of the time. But there are exceptions, most recently the stretch between St. Augustine and Lake Worth when we decided, for once, to avoid one of the big cold fronts which are usually our mile-makers.

Read More
March 21st

Freediver ‘Base Jumps’ at Dean’s Blue Hole

Posted by // March 21, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Miscellany, ,

I’ve never quite understood the appeal of competitive freediving, in much the same way that I don’t get why people choose to run marathons through a desert in the middle of summer. My friend George Stoyle once told me about his fleeting obssession with freediving quarries in England and and for a moment I was three years old again, standing open-mouthed and asking ‘Why?, Why?, Why?’ while he described diving into pitch black, freezing cold water where you only know you’ve hit bottom when your hand sinks into icy black muck, you come up with a nosebleed as often as not, and every now and then people die.…

Read More
March 8th

Sailing Through Mardi Gras

Posted by // March 8, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


It’s no surprise to me that so many sailors are also writers, nor that the best of these often live out secluded lives. Not a few classics in the genre include passages about the glorious solitude of sailing singlehanded over great distances, of living alone in a small cabin with only an oil lamp, a molding library, and a notepad for company. For us who have never crossed an ocean, but want to, have yet to single-hand, but quietly carry big plans, have barely started books, but dream of finishing them, these sea stories carry a fair weight, amplified of course by certain moods.…
Read More
December 7th
Fun, right?

A big reason for writing this blog was to document work on my own boat. Here are links to all the posts about DIY repair and building things. Keep in mind that the way I did a repair is not necessarily the ‘right’ way to do it! This was especially true early on in the process.


Building A Cockpit Sole:

Pt. 1: Getting Started
Pt. 2: Laying Fiberglass
Pt. 3: Fairing Mistakes

Repairing Rotten Deck Core:

Pt. 1: Anatomy of a Water-Damaged Deck
Pt. 2: Repairing and Sealing Minor Damage
Pt. 3: Replacing the Core I

Read More