Altus Trip – Richard Spelling
So I’m pulling Schroedinger to Altus; traveling on 40 west of OKC. Around mile marker 70 I start to see big huge windmills in the distance. As I get closer there are more and more, then a whole farm of them – maybe a hundred. I start thinking, “Hey, these weren’t here the last time I was through this way.” Then I get to trying to figure when the last time I actually WAS through here was – on 40 west of OKC. Seems it was while I was in the Marines going to El Toro, driving a friends Volkswagen van, with four bald tires, in the middle of a huge winter ice storm. Back in…. 1984. Time flies when you are having fun. I think I need to get out more..So I’m pulling Schroedinger to Altus; traveling on 40 west of OKC. Around mile marker 70 I start to see big huge windmills in the distance. As I get closer there are more and more, then a whole farm of them – maybe a hundred. I start thinking, “Hey, these weren’t here the last time I was through this way.” Then I get to trying to figure when the last time I actually WAS through here was – on 40 west of OKC. Seems it was while I was in the Marines going to El Toro, driving a friends Volkswagen van, with four bald tires, in the middle of a huge winter ice storm. Back in…. 1984. Time flies when you are having fun. I think I need to get out more… <grin>
With the “mountain” in site, on a two lane road, I have a blowout. With only a couple thousand miles on these tires and with the weight of the trailer well within the weight rating. Last time I buy tires at Pep Boys. Second blowout, actually, but the first one was caused by a roto-tiller hidden in the grass, so I can’t hold that against them.
Go to jack up trailer and scissors jack won’t fit under axle. Pull forward to a more level spot and it will then fit under axle but it won’t even begin to lift up the trailer. Break out truck jack and use it on frame of trailer to take some of the weight, then use scissors jack to lift axle up enough to get wheel off. Need to weld me up one of those funny looking “stick under axle and pull forward” trailer jacks.
Go to put on my spare (which is brand new, from previous blowout) and guess what. It doesn’t fit on the hub. The center of the hub (which I replaced years ago because the bearing races were loose in the hub) is just slightly too large for the rim.
And I’m in the middle of BFE so, of course, my cell phone doesn’t work. With fortuitous foresight I had tossed a 3lb hammer and 1-1/8″ thick piece of round stock in the bed of the truck instead of putting them up properly before I left. I bent over the new wheel and pounded on the hub center in a circular motion for about 10 minutes till I “persuaded” it to be a little bigger.
Nice wind for sailing when I get there but I just came off a night shift and a long drive, so I sleep
Next day the wind is real light but we go out anyway. Decent sail.
I pack up and head back, trip is uneventful.
Chebacco Lily Catchpole – Howard Sharp
It was a beautiful day and we managed to navigate without damage to boat or egos.
The cockpit construction, with bridge deck. I built in two battery boxes for the not too far off day when we will all be using electric motors (at the moment she’s propelled adequately at 5kts by a 5hp Nissan). Lily has navigation lights, and one of the battery boxes is taken up by a 1/2 size 12v battery recharged by a solar panel.
I’m keeping the boat on a trailer, launching it every time I sail, and motoring away from a crowded dock. I chose to lock off the motor dead center and use a remote throttle from the cockpit rather than reach back over the motor well. Rapid last minute changes of direction are not possible, but in my view the convenience of having throttle control right under my hand (or foot) is a worthwhile trade off. I’ve also found that I need to keep the centerboard down for better directional control, especially when in reverse.
Two weeks after launch, I took the boat to the boat to the WoodenBoat show at Mystic, CT, as part of the Phil Bolger tribute. Chebaccos were well represented,as you can see. From the left, Ben Ho’s raised deck version, with a lot of useable space in an enlarged cabin, and a self-draining cockpit, “Lily Catchpole”, and David? Robichaux’s “Grey Cat”.
And on Saturday “Lily C.” and I were delighted with an honorable mention in the Concourse D’elegance owner-built category:
I’ve sailed bigger yawls in the past, but the Chebacco has reminded me just how useful the mizzen can be for a single-handed sailor. Even under motor, the sail can be used to reliably steer the boat for minutes on end, while I go about clearing things up for docking, navigating, or preparing for night. “Lily Catchpole” will easily sail at 5kts, and with 15kts of wind has reached 6.5kts under one reef – pretty good for a boat of this size. We’re planning a circumnavigation of Manhattan, and hope to bring you a report.
That Trip – Nick Hughes
Dear Richard here is an account of our first journey in Sylvester the Chebacco we bought from Richard Elkan in London in May. My girl friend Sally and I left Greenwich , London at 5:10 a lovely calm morn with the promise of force 5/6 gusting 7 later in the day.
We decided to motor with our trusty lil’ Honda BF5 as we wanted to complete the trip of about 25 miles in one day as quick as possible. We passed quickly through the Thames Barrier, the old Docks , and wharfs and kept a weather eye open. We had decided that if the weather had taken a turn for the worse by the time we reached Gravesend we would overnight there but as it happened there was a N.Easterly blowing making for a nasty chop but nothing terrible, so we decided to press on.
However once we were in the mouth of the Thames Estuary the awful combination of a N.easterly now picking up in strength on an ebb tide made for a rough passage. The area is notorious for being rough in a North Easterly but we reckoned we had just enough of a window to get through. We then followed the Isle of Grain coastline at a very healthy distance as it dries out for about a mile and we watched as surf formed on the far shore. and so we headed for to the River Medway Estuary about 4 miles away.
And so it went… the wind now reaching the promised 5/6 and gusting more at times, not the most pleasant of journeys. the next two hours were bloody rough, the waves up to 7- 8 feet high. Sylvester’s bow rose up and up then we slide down or rather pounded down before the next one rose before us. After an hour we had not come to any grief and were impressed by Sylvester’s strength and ability in such a sea and motored on. We took on only little water as we were head on to the wind .. again most impressive.
Keeping well clear of the dreaded lee shore on the Grain shallows we literally ploughed on!! then as we approached the mouth of the River Medway we saw a small yacht run aground on the Grain shore, surf was breaking over her and it was frightening to watch. No one could get near because of the lack of water/ surf etc and she sent out a Mayday. Soon enough the police rib came out followed by the Sheerness lifeboat. In the meantime she had somehow found enough water to get free… a lucky man!
We then had the pleasure of entering the Medway with the N.E wind building up huge waves astern which were actually breaking .It was hard work to keep from broaching … surf down the waves …. yaw.. get ready and off we went again!! … even some big modern motor cruisers were struggling as they ran for shelter. Finally after about half an hour we were in more sheltered waters and could relax for the next two hours until we reached home.
We finally got back to our barge at 13.30, cold wet but very very confident in Sylvester’s abilities. We live on a 1926 Dutch barge and spent 26 hours bringing her back from North Holland to England but that was nothing compared to our first journey in Sylvester.. Thanks Phil Bolger to designing such a stunning little boat and credit to Bill Sampson who built her..Hopefully we shall be able to go for a sail soon.. but thats another story yet untold.
regards Nick & Sally
Inspector Clouseau a cold moulded Chebacco – John TumaRichard,
I am sending along some pictures of my modified Chebacco, “Inspector Clouseau.” Two weeks before the launch date, I discovered the boat was covered with pink overspray. It’s a mystery where it came from, hence the reference to the Pink Panther.
My boat is a combination of cedar strip and cold molded construction to the lines of the lap-plank Chebacco 20. However, I adapted the full keel from the glass house Chebacco for this boat. By eliminating the centerboard trunk, I was able to open up both the cockpit and the cabin. The boat carries 200 pounds of scrap steel and concrete ballast.
Inspector Clouseau sails to weather remarkably well, though how is a bit of a mystery, but off the wind this boat really shines.
The pictures show me out sailing in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, and also out on San Francisco Bay.
If anyone is interested in knowing more, they can reach me at j_tuma (at sign) comcast (period) net.
PS: Thanks for putting the Chebacco News together. I really enjoy
seeing what other Chebacco enthusiasts are up to.