Chebacco News 55

2011 “World” Pudleduck – Richard Spelling

Sorry, it has been quite a while since I have updated this site. You see I kind of get obsessed with things. I was building a house for me and the kids to live in. Then a tornado came and blew it away. So then I was re-building a house to live in…

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The only time I have had the boat out was a couple of weekenders to Eufala, which I write about in this issue.

Other than that, my current obsession is the 3D printer I built.

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It’s a Self Replicating Rapid Prototype Machine, a 3D Cartesian Robot using Fused Deposition Modeling. I call it “Bob”. To the right is the faucet handle I printed to replace the one that was busted by the tornado when it scraped the well house off to ground level.

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Also, my tractor had the good graces to die right in front of the shop, and to wait till after I used it to push the remanents of the old house down… so I had to fix my tractor so I could get the boat out… 🙂

Oh, yeah, and I’m Divorcing the wife I re-married. My “re-wife” as a friend calls her. I think I have learned my lesson this time.

Only misshap on the trip this year was that the exit off the turnpike was right after the toll booths. I mean like 25 feet. I was in the far left lane so I could use my pike pass, and there was NO WAY I could have made that turn. Oh, well. GPS sent me on a different route this year than it did last year. I have ignored it before to my peril, so I followed it’s instructions this time. Last year I almost blew a trailer tire. The second one, both from Pep Boys. Granted I am running them right at the load limit. I was able to put on the spare and limp to a tire place, who had real load rated trailer tires to sell me, so that worked out.

Well, also when I was getting the boat ready, I discovered the motor wasn’t pumping water out the tell-tale. I took it apart and just flipped over the impeller wheel for now, after greasing it up with a fancy teflon based greese. The fun part was the six hours I spent trying to get the bleeping lower end to fit back on. I finally gave up and went to bed. In the morning I got up, spun the shifter lever around 180 degrees, and it it went on like it was designed that way. Go figure.1IMAG0157

The messabout was held again at the Monies place at lake Eufuala. Better organized this year, with the tents in the back and even lined up. The Monies provide free food, but myself and others chip in cash to cover their expenses. Hopefully they do not take too much of a hit on the food costs.

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I could barely squeeze the truck and trailer through all the cars, and someone told me the ramp was un-usable, so I had to go to the state park down the road and launch. I walked up from the beach, where there was a LOT of boats, on friday night, just after dark. Beached the boat way on the end by a Micro that looked vaguely familiar.

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Walked up to the Monies place and there were people on a loudspeaker. How weird. Jim Michalak and two others were speaking about plywood… and it looked like they were selling raffle tickets. And t-shirts. Unfortuantly, these were WHITE t-shires. I have no businsess owning white t-shirts… They finished talking, and we all went to get food. Talked to Jim and responded that I had built a 3d-printer when he asked what was up… All the old friends were there, except Chuck

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Visiting with friends, Mia (ex-step grand daughter) make a new friend or two, I check email on my smartphone.

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This was the second annual “world” puddle duck gathering. Very reasonably held in October when it’s not so bleeping hot outside. Puddle Ducks are small square boat, a racing “class” boat, but interestingly only the hull lines are fixed, everything else is alowed to be changed. This basically lets you play designer as well as race your boat. Very Interesting, but not interesting enough for me to want to make one and race… lol

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Next day they had various events, which I ignored. Funny how I can drive hundreds of mile to meet friends and boat builders, then be unsociable… 🙂 I went sailing back to the ramp to pick up the things I had printed to show Jim et. al. Water level was much lower this year than last, with the dangerous hidden stumps at least sticking out of the water this year! Interesting that they were all about the same height. I assume oxygen lets them rot above the water line. I tried to avoid the stumps and the racing course.

 

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Lots of boats.

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Kids swiming. Daughter playing disaffected teenager.

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Chebacco Bluster – Randy Wheating
Hi Richard, here is a small article…
Bees on the High Seas
Well known Chebaccoist Jamie Orr and our friend and fellow small boat enthusiast Curtis joined me aboard Chebacco Bluster for a fall sailing day in October 2008.  We launched at the picturesque Gibsons Landing Marina.  Gibsons is a small town a short ferry ride away from West Vancouver, British Columbia and famous as the setting for the long running CBC television series “The Beachcombers”. 
With had no particular  plan beyond getting out on the water, we spent a leisurely morning tacking north against the ebbing tide of Shoal Channel .  It was one of those lovely sunny fall days with just a hint of chill and contentment in the air.  Just as we were breaking out the lunch Curtis noticed what appeared to be a bees’ nest inside the cabin.  I took a peek and sure enough it was.  When we were preparing to launch I just tossed our cooler and bags into the cabin with out really looking inside.  The bees must have moved in while Bluster was stored in the driveway under tarps.  I was pretty sure the nest was abandoned but thought in prudent to wait until we were docked before and closer inspection.  Nowhere to run on a twenty foot sailboat a couple kms away from shore! 
Bravely we continued on until reaching the New Brighton public dock on Gambier Island.  We tied up and went ashore to visit the quaint general store there.  Back aboard we motored back to Gibsons Landing where we secured a berth in the marina for Bluster.  My last duty was to bundle up and crawl forward in the cabin to knock the bees’ nest into a paper bag.  As we hoped, no live bees.  I did notice Curtis was well back but had his video camera ready just in case!  Thanks for a great sailing day Jamie and Curtis.
Randy Wheating
Chebacco Bluster
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***

Rigging – Skip Pahl

Hi Richard, Happy to send you some stuff. Here’s s shot of her on the day I finished the rigging.

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Chebacco 25 Downunder – Andrew Yen

Hi Richard,

I built my first rowboat on a dare from my pre-school aged son (see: http://www.boatbuilder.com.au/images/stories/mag/smiggy.pdf ). Then my second son wanted to out-do his brother so I built him a sail-boat (a Bolger Cartopper). By then the boat building and the sailing bugs had bitten!

My dilemma was that I have three young adventurous children and my largest boat was an older 15′ trailer-sailer. I needed a bigger boat, a versatile trailerable boat with a shallow draft, occasional accommodation for five, easy to sail, good looking – and I wanted to build it. Over years of study I kept coming back to the Chebacco design. I like the look of the lapstrake version. But I had reservations about 20′. While much bigger than my current trailer-sailer I wondered if a growing family of five would find it too cramped.

This logically lead to a serious study of the Chebacco 25.

There were a number of down sides:

  • As far as I can tell only one has been built and that one was highly modified.
  • Phil wasn’t going to be around to give advice.
  • The design had not grown and progressed like the 20′ version has over the years.

But on the up side it was light for its size, small enough to tow behind my 4WD but with generous cockpit accommodation. And it was attractive. It has that Chebacco lineage.

Six months ago I started using the offsets in Boats With An Open Mind to mark and cut out the moulds from some scrap ply I had. Cost so far $0.

Then I made a building frame from left over timber from a construction project my company was working on. Cost so far $0.

Then I put it all together and it started looking like it might be a boat some day. Cost so far $0.

I had a decision to make – my investment so far had been about two months of evenings in the shed. This is the point where I was going to have to spend money. Susanne Altenburger wrote to me offering plans and building details as I was pondering whether to commit or not. She suggested that I could adapt the lessons learnt on the Chebacco 20 to the Chebacco 25 and gave me some clues as to how.

That did it. I realized that I had been committed since I first saw the design in BWAOM.

I have now scarfed the bottom and fitted a modified sternpost/rudder-stock housing. This rudder stock housing will accommodate a version of the Chebacco RD’s balanced rudder design (see Ben Ho’s description on Chebacco.com).

Iain Oughtred’s book on plywood clinker construction has been very helpful as I work out how all the part will fit together. Attached are some photos. Sorry that it is hard to stand back and take good photos when there is the frame of a 25′ boat in you 28′ shed! I will keep you updated as I make progress, or you can follow progress on a website my mate has started putting together http://sites.google.com/site/warrandytewoodenboat/Warrandyte-Wooden-Boats

Regards,

Andrew Yen Victoria, Australia

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MY CHEBACCO AFTER LAUNCHING – Unknown author

(The hole in the bottom of the boat)

Launching went well and the mast was easily stepped using the mast slot. She floated well and looked good.

Then, WATER! But not where I wanted it: When my friend Pete and I sailed her away from the dock for the first time, water started coming up the rudder shaft and making its way down toward the cockpit. We didn’t notice it at first because we were enjoying the quiet sail and looking at the sail to check the shape and so on.

When I built the after-deck/rudder post support I epoxied one side but left the other side open so that I could check what I was doing when I installed the rudder shaft. I had drilled a hole to accommodate a two inch post as shown in the plans and built the rudder post box support to that size shaft but obtained and used a solid brass shaft a little more than one inch in diameter. Then when I installed the last side of the rudder post box I was not careful in sealing it- I figured I would like access to check on things. So while the rudder shaft surroundings were rugged they were not waterproof.

Pete and I removed the mizzen mast and partner, then the “after deck” and removed the side of the after deck support. I applied 5200 caulking as much as possible and had trouble free sailing after that. Until…

I borrowed a 5 hp outboard and mounted it so I could see if it would be enough to push the Chebacco against the wind and tide. Alas, the weight of the motor lowered the waterline at the rudder post hole and the forward motion of the boat combined to bring water aboard at such a rate that I had to pump continually while we motored back to the mooring. So the 5200 didn’t solve the problem completely. I was surprised at the amount of water that came aboard.

When Hurricane Ophelia threatened heavy rain I chose to haul the boat rather than worry about the rain settling the boat low enough to bring more water aboard.

Back on land I removed, again, the mizzen partner, the after deck, and pried off the still removable side. I know water molecules are very small, and there are lots of them (says Avogadro), but I was amazed by the flow of water into the boat.

I removed the rudder completely and studied the box that enclosed the rudder post. There were no obvious voids.

I temporarily stuck a piece of thin transparent acrylic over the rudder post box with some sticky window caulking stuff and covered the hole in the bottom of the boat making, in effect, a small but columnar aquarium. When I filled it with water the water level quickly dropped, leaking around the caulking.

I found a thicker piece of Plexiglas, bought a tube of 100% silicone caulking and scraped the gunk from experiment number one. I drilled six holes to screw the plexi to the frame, applied the silicone as carefully as possible and attached the plastic with screws. I waited overnight. I dumped more water into my tall thin aquarium-like rudder box and it seemed that I was in business. So it’s winter now in New England and in the Spring I’ll do another check. My current plan is to leave the Plexiglass in place since the rest of the after deck support is very strong. It is very ugly to look at because I used 5200 while the boat was still in the water and I got it all over the place. Also my woodworking skills are workboat level at best. This whole area is covered, though, by the afterdeck.

Moral: seal that rudder box well.

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She was in the water for only about three weeks and I never fully tested her but I had a list of things to attend to. (I used the few days after launching to make a list of adjustments.) She sails nicely in next to zero wind but I have not yet sailed her with a reef. She has a neutral helm in light wind but rounded up quickly in small gusts. I don’t know how much weather helm she’ll have and won’t know till next spring because I hauled her two days before hurricane Ophelia was scheduled to perhaps dump rain on us.

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***

Notes on making the mast for my Chebacco. – another unknown author

I’m sure many will find fault with what I’ve done but I had a good time with this project.

I needed stock for a nineteen foot mast, four inches around. Some others have had access to good stock from old buildings (or perhaps even trees!) but I did not.

I probably should have explored using construction staging planks but it was too late, I had already purchased clear pine at the suggestion of the guy who was helping me with the project. I sanded bevels for scarfs, imperfectly, (I had considered using a plane but thought I could sand them better- now I’m not so sure). I glued the scarfs with epoxy to get enough length – I made six long planks out of twelve shorter ones. I then epoxied three sets of two, and finally epoxied the pairs together to make the full blank.

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I had access to a very large floor-model power planer so we planed the blank square. It looked great!

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It was quite straight and smooth.

The plans showed a taper for the last few feet of the mast so marks were made on all sides of the blank. Then a straight edge was used to mark the taper on all sides. I was a little afraid to use a power planer at first, so a hand-held plane was used to remove stock on the first side. This was a real workout, even with a sharp tool, but it was quite satisfying. However, I tried a hand held power planer on the remaining sides and found that I could control the removal quite well and the results were probably better with the power tool. Once the taper was cut on all sides, both ends, the stock was ready for 8 siding.

The jig for 8 siding is easy to make. I cut a stick about an inch square from a scrap of 2×4. (I wanted enough thickness to hold the pencils without wobbling). I drilled holes for nails positioned at the outer edge of the mast blank. The holes were slightly smaller than the nails to grip them tightly. I then divided the distance between the nails (distance between the sides of the mast) into thirds and drilled holes to grip two pencils 1/3 and 2/3 of the distance between the nail holes (nails not inserted yet). I hammered in the nails which extend down the sides of the mast blank. I pushed the pencils into the jig so that the tips showed enough to make marks.

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The jig moves along the blank, and when the blank tapers toward the tip the jig slides along at an angle and continues to make nice even divisions.

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The hand held power plane was again used to remove the four corners down to the marks. Again I found the tool quite easy to control and I was able to get reasonably close to the marks. I was very happy because it looked like a mast (to me anyway). I decided I liked the hard sided look so I am not going to 16 sides and round. I’m just going to soften the hard edges leave it as is.

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Chebacco News 53

 

Rend Lake 2007 – Richard Spelling

For this messabout I get to try out my new (well, new to me) truck.

I have been in need of a bigger truck for a long time, the Toyota Tacoma, while a nice little pickup, is way too little to tow my boat on a regular basis. And there is no way four people can fit comfortably in it.

Bought a replacement, on eBay of course. Paid 2/3 of Blue Book for it. It’s a 1999 Dodge Ram 3/4 ton with the turbo diesel. BIG truck, big engine. It tows my 3500lb boat and trailer like there is nothing connected to the back of the truck. Even up the hills that call themselves mountains in Missouri, I can fly past the semi trucks in the “slow” lane doing 70mph uphill into a head wind.

And it’s big enough to haul everybody in the cab. I like it. It suits me.

This year my wife Pat decided to rent a room in the Lodge at Gun Creek, so she wouldn’t have to do the tent thing, and so she would have a place close to take a shower.

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Sometimes at a messabout you get rained out. Sometime it’s to hot, sometimes it’s rainy and cold. Sometimes the wind blows so hard you can’t get on the water. Other times it doesn’t blow at all. I have to say, out of all of messabouts I’ve been to; the weather at this one was absolutely perfect. It was so nice, in fact, that Pat canceled her second night at the Lodge and spent the night on the boat with me.Of course, when we arrive, we discover that the park service has put in a nice new bathroom with many showers.

Friday, the first day of the messabout, there was perfect wind for sailing. Got out some, but as I pointed out several times to people who said “you are missing all the good sailing wind”, I can go sailing anytime, I come here to visit with other boat builders. Which is an interesting thing, as, generally speaking, homemade boat builders are an introverted lot, and not the most sociable people around. So a messabout is, in essence, a social event for anti-social people. Not an unfair assessment of a bunch of people who make their own boats, and spend more than a good used “production” boat would cost doing so.

There were lots of boats there this year, as you can see from the pictures below. Lots of good photos this year too, I’ve already updated my slide show screen saver at work. Even without photo shop, some of the pictures below turned out really nice.

I have done my best to match up boats and builders, but if anyone sees one I have misidentified let me know and I’ll fix it.

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Several shots of the two beaches where we pulled our boats up. Max taking a picture of Larry Appelbaum’s Swamp Yankee Canoe.

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David “Polytarp Sails” Gray (PD Racer with “biplane” rig)

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Some green catboat or something anchored next a schooner.

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Mike Zenker (Campanoe)

tn_daveboat_P1010013 tn_daveboat_P1010014 tn_daveboat_P1010015 tn_daveboat_P1010024Windigo 11, an original design by Dave Seaberg. Lot’s of interesting features on this boat. On the left note the scratch built roller reefing system. Next is the dagger board, complete with dumpster scrounged steel plate for anti-floatation weight. Middle right is a nice shot of the sheeting arrangement. Far right is a shot of the boat sailing; if you click on the image you will be able to see the anti-turtle ball on the top of the mast.

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Mounting procedures. This is Tom Hamernik in his Michalak Mixer design

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Max Wawrzyniak and his interpretation of a CLC kayak. Note the serious look on his face in the far right photo.

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Jim Tucker, cat-yawl Normsboat with sprit-boom sails. Complete with painters poles for sprits

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.Damn, he has more sail up than I have on my Chebacco. This is Philip Frohne in an Uncle Johns Skiff.

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My daughter looking bored, couple shots of me, and the cook organizing the potluck.

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Paul Ellifrit’s Oughtred Acorn lapstake. This one is so well built and so pretty I would be afraid to take it sailing, for fear of marring the spotless finish!

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Several shots of Jim Michalak’s Roar II rowboat.

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The intrepid Skiff America built by Kilburn Adams.

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Bishop Curran sailing canoe. PVC pipes for amas.

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Initiate passing manoeuvres.

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Rob Rohde-Szudy’s Light Schooner manoeuvring for a landing.

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Steve Lewis’ Scout Canoe. Kewl toy. I especially like the choice of floatation material for the amas. Floaties, no less.

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Steve Lansdowne’s Wee Rob sailing canoe, Larry Appelbaum’s Swamp Yankee Canoe, and Mike & Linda Walsh (Cartopper & Wee lassie stripper canoe)

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Lonely Toto on the beach. Belonging to Phillip Reed I believe.

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Sometimes the most interesting thing about these events is not even the boats, it’s how other folks have solved common problems.

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Sunset and a pole punt.

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Wayward Lass’ First Sail of 2007! – Jamie Orr

I’d been waiting since the beginning of October to get away for a few days in Wayward Lass, but a series of events kept me home. But I had enough unused holiday time for a good break over Christmas so I decided to go as soon as the holiday celebrations were over.

Wednesday, January 3rd, found Wayward Lass and I launching at Tulista Park in Sidney (on Vancouver Island). My plans were to sail across Haro Strait to the San Juan Islands if things looked good, otherwise to poke around the Canadian gulf islands until it was time to come home on Saturday. The light wind was just enough to carry us away from the dock so we moved very slowly at first, but the breeze steadily picked up and soon carried us to the end of Sidney Spit, about three nautical miles away. From there, it was seven miles of more or less exposed water to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The forecast said I could expect moderate southwest winds, (15 to 20 knots) which meant I would have them on my starboard quarter – too good to pass up!

Once we were in the open, the wind rose to better than 15 knots (estimated) and with Spieden Channel (just outside Roche Harbor) lined up over the bow, Wayward Lass was soon making 6.5 knots on a broad reach. We might have picked up a knot from the tide, but otherwise it was all wind power. I could see one sail far to the north, but except for that I had the whole ocean to myself. The wind kept its promise, and a little over an hour later I was in Spieden Channel, preparing to beat through the northwest entrance to Roche Harbor. I was delayed, however, by a big aluminum, RIB-like boat that came speeding up behind, flashing a pair of blue lights to demand my attention.

I slowed Wayward Lass by letting the mainsail run free as the coxswain on the other boat throttled back, leaving our two very different boats bobbing side by side. The young fellow on the bow (why do they all look so young these days?) asked if I’d ever been boarded by the Coast Guard. I said no, but that he was welcome to come aboard. He said he would, but offered to wait until I was in more sheltered water. The wind was dropping though, and getting in was going to take a while, so we agreed we might as well get it done. There was more room to drift around out there anyway. I parked Wayward Lass by centering the mizzen while leaving the mainsheet loose, so she rode head to wind while drifting slowly backwards, a couple of the Coast Guard crew stepped across.

They were very professional and the inspection/interview took less than three minutes, but completing the paperwork took a lot longer! It didn’t help that Wayward Lass is unregistered, unlicensed and has no hull ID number — Canadian law doesn’t require any documentation for a boat (and motor) this size. I’ve never even painted her name on the transom. I’ve never had any problems because of having no documentation — the first time I sailed into a US port (Port Townsend in Washington), US Customs made up a number based on my name and birth date and that has been accepted by US and Canadian Customs ever since. It doesn’t appear anywhere on the boat, though.

I thought the Coasties might have been looking for marijuana, as I understand quite a bit of that enters the US by the San Juans, but they said they were just keeping an eye on who was entering the country. It must have been a pretty slow day for them, as we were the only two boats in sight.

After seven years Wayward Lass is pretty well equipped and we had no problem passing the inspection. I now have a nice yellow boarding form to wave the next time I’m stopped, although I was warned it didn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t be inspected again anyway. I got a kick out of seeing that one of the potential violations was a “manifestly unsafe voyage”. I wonder how they define that one!

Wayward Lass and I eventually entered Roche Harbor around 3:00 pm and found the Customs shack after a short search – they’d moved it, and the docks all looked different in any case. I couldn’t decide if they’d expanded or if the outside docks were just empty for the winter. I phoned Friday Harbor to clear customs since no one was in the shack, then I left again, planning to sail to Jones Island, another 3 miles or so. The wind was very light again, though, and it was getting dark. I realized that I was going to run out of daylight long before I reached Jones, even if I used the motor. I didn’t relish finding the bay and anchoring in the pitch dark, not to mention setting up the boom tent and all, so I turned back for Roche. The trip between Sidney and Roche Harbor had been entirely under sail, but now I furled these and started the motor. Just as well, since a heavy squall caught us on the way back to Roche, if I’d been sailing it would have been all hands to reef. As it was, it gave my new rain gear a thorough workout.

Once back at the dock, I put up the boom tent and prepared a good hot meal. The temperature wasn’t quite freezing, as I recall, but it was pretty cold. I got into my sleeping bag to keep warm as I wrote up the log and read for a while before turnign out the light. Before I went to sleep I listened to the weather forecast for the next two days and decided that I’d better go back to Vancouver Island before the next front arrived, otherwise I could be weather-bound on San Juan Island for several days.

I had arranged to meet a friend in the marina café the next morning, so I didn’t get away until after a leisurely breakfast. When I did set sail, I was still hoping to return to Sidney more or less the same way I’d come – this would have meant travelling slightly north of west. The forecast was for southwest winds, to change northwest later in the morning, so I thought I could sail northwest until the wind changed, then turn southwest for Sidney. At worst I thought I could reach Bedwell Harbour, on South Pender Island, where I could clear Canadian customs.

Expecting brisk winds, I’d put one reef in the mainsail before leaving, but as we were going out the northeast entrance the wind was light so I optimistically shook out the reef. Of course, once I was out in Spieden Channel it started to blow hard, harder than I would have liked even if I’d still been reefed, so I about-turned and shot back into the relative shelter of the harbor. Again I “parked” the boat under the mizzen while I tied in both reefs, watching to make sure we didn’t drift into the docks before I finished. The wind was strong even inside the harbour now, and was blowing from the west rather than the southwest – not good for going to Sidney. Even getting to Bedwell Harbour looked doubtful, and it would certainly have been a hard, wet and uncomfortable sail. Since I was sailing for fun, I decided to go with plan B (or was it C by now?) – to leave Roche Harbor by Mosquito Pass to the south, then carry on southwest to Oak Bay in Victoria. This would be about twelve and a half miles altogether, putting me about 15 miles south of Sidney. The wind would be fair and I would be back on Vancouver Island long before the front arrived.

I found a sheltered spot in Mosquito Pass and anchored while I tidied up the reefs, furled the main (still double-reefed) and put up the jib. The jib doesn’t work well with the main, as I don’t have a bowsprit and there isn’t enough space between the sails, but I thought the jib and mizzen alone would be well suited to the strong wind I’d experienced earlier. When I raised the anchor and started sailing again, however, I got a surprise. The wind was no longer even enough to take us out of Mosquito Pass against a weak tide, and I had to raise the main again, and shake out both reefs. Once we were out, the wind stayed light and Wayward Lass was only moving at about 2 knots. I hugged the shore until a big freighter went past, then turned towards Cadboro Point, at the north end of Oak Bay, just visible in the distance.

As we left the land behind, the wind picked up again, now from the northwest but not as strong as before. I estimated it at about fifteen knots and perfect for a reach to Cadboro Point. I did think briefly of trying to beat back to Sidney, but we were even farther south now, and dead downwind, so I decided that would be a mug’s game. Instead, I enjoyed a fast return trip across Haro Strait, touching 7 knots when the tide turned and with the mainsail pulling like a train. It didn’t take long at that rate, but once behind Cadboro Point we were out of the main force of the wind and had no trouble sailing right in to the gas dock where the Customs phone is located. With that, Wayward Lass and I had completed another voyage, dock-to-dock, under sail. That and $2 will get you a cup of coffee, but so what –I do this for fun and I get a charge out of not using the motor. I paid for a night’s moorage, buttoned up Wayward Lass and called Maureen to come and pick me up. It’s a pretty nice cruise that lets you sleep in your own bed!

I had decided to cut my sailing holiday short, but I still had to get the boat back to Sidney, some 15 miles north. Friday’s forecast was for southeast winds, 15 to 20 knots, rising to 30 knots – the expected front was arriving. I could have brought the trailer to Oak Bay instead, but the public ramp has no real dock, only a sloping concrete pier disappearing into the water. The ramp is also wide open to the southeast so I felt that it would be a poor choice. Once I’d decided to go to Sidney, I had another decision to make. I could leave early and put up with the waves caused by the wind blowing against the tide, or I could wait for the tide to change but might then have to deal with 30 knot winds. I chose the first option leaving early.

Although I expected it to be fairly strong, the wind would be behind me. I used the motor to get clear of the marina, then raised the sails with a single reef. Getting around Cadboro Point was a close reach, and I took some spray before I was clear. The tide tables said the tide was running at 3 knots against me, but I stayed out of the worst of it by avoiding the roughest water, and got through the entrance okay. As I turned north, the GPS was showing 3.5 to 4 knots — the wind was about 15 knots, I think, and one reef was just about right.

Outside Oak Bay, there was a constant parade of big waves, or swells, coming with the wind on my starboard quarter. These had built up over 30 odd miles of open sea, and now were piling up as they came into shallower water. As well, the tide was pushing in the opposite direction, making the waves even steeper. I was more than a little nervous sailing over these, the motion felt like a roller coaster going out of control. Wayward Lass did a wonderful job, however, although her head swung around as the waves picked her up and played with her, that stubby winged rudder never lost its bite. Luckily our course meant the waves passed under us at an angle, otherwise we would have had to tack downwind to avoid ramming the bow into the wave ahead.

I had the centreboard down to help with the steering, but as we surfed down the waves, it was making a loud thrumming noise, and I was worried about the strain it was creating as we dashed along. Rather than risk breaking anything, I pulled it up and found it didn’t make a lot of difference to the steering – it might even have been easier with the board up. One thing was certain, though – it was a whole lot quieter and less stressful for both Wayward Lass and her skipper!

Looking at the chart now, I see this lasted for close to five miles, or about an hour – it seemed a lot longer. Holding a steady course was further complicated by the unusual number of logs and chunks floating around. The tides had been high (the full moon was just past) so a lot of wood must have floated off the beaches – this is the main hazard on the BC coast and requires a good lookout.

We had been doing over 5 knots over the ground since Cadboro Point, more or less due north, and I wanted to pass just west of the Zero Rock beacon. I thought I could see it, but wanted to be sure it wasn’t Little Zero Rock instead, which is further west and is surrounded by other, less visible rocks. One of the meridians on the chart ran right through Little Zero, giving me its longitude, and the GPS confirmed that I was well east of it. Quick and dirty navigation, but very useful when you don’t have a hand to spare.

Although the swells were gradually lessening in size and frequency, every so often a set of three big ones would roll through, just to keep the adrenalin flowing. (Adrenalin is not much use when you’re sailing. It acts as a super fuel for fight or flight, but the sailor can’t do either, he (or she) has to stay put and steer. Intravenous Valium would be far more use!) As D’Arcy Island came abeam, however, roughly half way to Sidney, both the sea and I were calm enough that I could pour a mug of tea to restore my sagging morale.

James and Sidney Islands were still between Wayward Lass and Sidney. Since the southeast wind picks up speed as it funnels between these islands, I decided I would go between James Island and Vancouver Island instead. As I neared the channel, I saw the only other boat I saw that day, a big skiff close to the Vancouver Island shore, going into the wind through clouds of spray. Whether by accident or design, they had timed it nicely, the tide had just turned and the sea was flattening out now that wind and water were moving together.

Going inside James as we were heading would have meant sailing by the lee, with the boom on the same side as the wind. This is never a good idea as an unintentional gybe can result. I didn’t want to gybe intentionally either, so I went the long way round, turning into the wind, tacking through it then turning downwind again. This put the wind on the other, safer, side of the sail. As we passed James Island the wind was strong but steady and the sea fairly flat, giving us the fastest sailing we had, about 7.5 knots and touching 8 once with a little help from the young flood. It had also been raining hard for some time now, but as we were running before it and my new foul weather gear is so much better than the old stuff, I was still warm and dry. Money well spent!

Once through the narrow bit I tacked the long way round again to reach in behind James, where I planned to heave to and drift while I ate my sandwiches. Unfortunately the bigger winds suddenly arrived, so I carried on instead for the Tulista Park ramp, now only a couple of miles away. When there was only about a mile left I turned into the wind again, centred the mizzen and rudder, dropped the centerboard and let the mainsheet loose. Although the wind was really starting to howl, Wayward lass stayed head to wind very nicely. I released the tension on the reef lines (to take the strain off the fabric), furled the main first, then the mizzen before starting Honda.

The breakwater only partially protects the dock from a southeaster and I didn’t want to try landing under sail then unless forced to. Even with the motor I didn’t want to make a downwind landing. As we came in I turned mostly into the wind but kept it on the port side of the bow so it pushed us sideways towards the dock while the motor kept us from blowing backwards on to the shore. It was sort of like ferrying a canoe across a river, but using wind instead of current to move sideways. The idea was sound, but on the first attempt I straightened out too early and the wind caught the starboard bow, pushing us away from the dock. On the second try I got it right and was able to step off with the mooring lines. I had to let the stern one go, though, because of the wind pushing on Wayward Lass and a very slippery dock (the sections were bucking in the waves too). I made the bow fast then went back on board to use the motor to bring in the stern. A fisheries officer came down and took my stern line but it was still raining hard and he left before I could recruit him to help get the boat on her trailer! It was good of him to come down in the rain at all.

The recovery was easier than I expected. A long line from the bow, led outside around the stern to the dock then to the after cleat, let me turn Wayward Lass around (actually the wind turned her but the line let me control her). Then, with the trailer backed in just far enough for the keel to land on the rear roller without floating over it, I walked the boat onto the trailer as if I was lining a canoe on the river. Some quick work on the winch and the excitement was all over. (What’s all that canoe stuff – I thought this was a sailing story!)

By the time everything was packed up and ready to travel, I guessed that the wind was doing all of the 30 knots that were forecast, but I no longer cared — I was feeling pretty cocky about how it had all turned out.

I didn’t spend any time relaxing at anchor in quiet coves, the way I’d pictured it, but except for that hour or so in the big waves, I’d had a great time. Even the waves were of value, letting Wayward Lass remind me how well she takes care or herself and her skipper.

Chebaccos rule!

***

Launch of “Three Rivers” – Ben Ho

The Chebcaao Three Rivers was launched on a cool but sunny Sunday with much
fanfare, under a beautiful sky with a light breeze. The local newspaper even sent a crew out to report on the story (building a 20 footer in one’s garage, in landlocked Waterloo is newsworthy!).

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Lots of spectators providing guidance for backing the trailer…

Everything went quite well. I was relieved that the trailer launching & recovery was fairly straight forward, as the boat ramp at our sailing club has a very shallow gradient limited by the shore line. Prior to the launch I had taken the boat and trailer through a weight station at the local dump. The total weight comes to 2200 lb. The heavy-duty weighs 700 lbs including the spare tire, so the boat weighs at 1500 lb, about right, I think, given the 250 lb of marine batteries I installed for running the electric motor.

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There she goes, floating off the trailer.

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Now moving the boat to the leeward side of the dock to make it easier to set sails. She wants to take off! With a cross wind of about 5 knots, the boat takes a surprising amount of effort to hold on to with the bow/stern lines. My reference is my 17 ft Marsh Hen, which has a fairly high side for its length, and the Hen takes much less effort. Maybe I do need a crew…

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Safely tied down….

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The V-berth has a comfortable foam mattress. The ‘skylight’ hatch makes the cabin bright and cozy. One can rest down here after a hard day of sailing, read a book, take a nap…

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The wind died (that was when the following sailing photo was taken), and we puttered around with the electric motor, sometimes with a full load of spectators. I like the motor! Nice and quiet, just turn the handle and it goes. The rudder is pleasantly responsive with a very tight turning radius. After a while the wind picked back up to 10 kts. She sailed well in this wind, and is extremely stable (again with my 17 ft Hen as reference). Response is slower than the Hen, which can be expected given two times the weight. Very sure-footed, comes about with no hesitation. At this wind there’s a slight weather helm, just about right. The mizzen doesn’t seem to do much, but I think I have much to learn yet about trimming the mizzen. I remember that someone commented on the webzine that the Chebacco can keep pace with performance dingies such as Wayfarers. Well, not quite. In light to moderate wind, Wayfarers can literally run circles around Three Rivers. So from that perspective I am somewhat disappointed. The raising/lower of the gaff takes more effort than I thought. Also, the gaff jaw rubs hard against the mast such that several spots were stripped bare of varnish, even though the jaw is covered with leather. I think I need to sheath the mast section with a piece of SS sheet. Does anyone else have this problem??

There are still a hundred other small things that need to be worked on, such as where to hang the fenders so they don’t destroy the rub rail….but overall I am quite happy so far, and am looking forward to taking the boat to some faraway lakes and do some serious gungholing…

Cheers

Ben

May 2007

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***

A new sheet ply Chebacco – Marston Clough, Vineyard Haven MA, cloughm@hotmail.com

To: Richard Spelling

Date: June 20, 2007

Re: new issue

Hi Richard

My Chebacco, first launched briefly Sept 05 was used last season here on Martha’s Vineyard. Have not yet bought motor so haven’t ventured out of protected harbor, due to strong tides which require planning. I went out only once and was not able to buck the tide in light winds.

When building I moved the mast forward as much as I could, which was maybe a foot; the base of the mast is right where the stem is faired into the keel. I sent you some ugly pictures of the modification of this last year at some point.

The finish of my boat is “workboat”, at best, but I did make everything including the mast and spars (with some help) and sail (Sailrite) and looks good from a distance.

There is still weather helm, eased by letting the mizzen off the wind. In fact the mizzen is very important in steering- if too tight in light winds, the boat has difficulty coming about. Steering upwind is likewise controlled by sheeting the mizzen more tightly.

A friend took a couple photos when I was not looking.

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***

Off topic: Admiral Dingy Attacked by Vampires – Admiral Dingy

THE CIRCUMNAVATION OF LAKE SABINE!

The first time it happened was really a bad experience but nothing compared to the second time. They came upon me in Biblical proportions, the Creatures from Hell. I had just dropped anchor and was readying the Cruise Ship Dinghy and myself for a desired rest after our day of rowing. The surroundings were perfect, dusk would be coming soon, there were birds all around and Mullets were jumping. How pleasant to reflect back on the day’s events and the joys of the cruising life! Ah, the cruising sailor and his dream! The thunder and the threatening black clouds are rolling in. Now the extreme downpour of heavy rain and wind is over 50 knots. I sit inside of my coffin size ship realizing what a lucky sailor I truly am. Life is good and I love the experience of the storm at a safe anchorage.

Enter the Creatures from Hell and the nightmare begins! As I come out of the hatch to smell the roses and the gentleness of Mother Nature after her violent storm, reality hits me. I take a deep breath and something flies up my nose and all Hell breaks loose. I didn’t even see em coming! Let’s just say that I’m not overly dressed at this instant and while I’m wondering what is in my nose I start to feel something on my body stinging me. Then my brain kicks in and I discover that I’m in deep trouble. Something is attacking me with thousands of painful little bites and the bite sources are all over me. I start slapping them in self-defense and I’m killing ‘em by the hundreds. But killing thousands by the hundreds is not good or fast enough! I take my hand and place it on top of the intruders and rake them over in a killing stroke down the length of my body, removing and killing the attacking monsters. By this time I’m completely out on top of the boat and I dive into the water in an attempt to rid myself of the thousand-fold parasites. I stay under the water for long periods at a time coming up only to breathe; I find the brackish water somewhat soothing from all the bites. The fight is over as long as I’m in the water. Yet I know I cannot not stay in the soothing brackish water all night with the possibility of hypothermia setting in being ever-present.

My plan is to quickly go back aboard ship, climb inside, and close the hatch as fast as possible. After gaining the inside of the boat and slamming the hatch to keep those mean, biting bugs out, I grab a towel for double duty: to dry myself and to kill the enemy. Peace at last! Well, not yet! There are still a threatening amount of mosquitoes left inside. Oh! I happen to have some material (fabric) aboard that happens to be mosquito cloth. I’ll cover up with that and it should keep ‘em off of me.. Good in theory and it works. Well—almost. You see, if it’s draped over me, the mosquitoes can’t bite me unless the cloth is laying on me, directly on my skin. If that’s the case they just drill in and start pumping my blood. Well, I decide to give that a try; I’m desperate and will do anything to rid myself of those ruthless (but obviously not toothless) bugs. Not all the Vampires are on the outside of the cloth, some have manag ed to get inside the cloth and position themselves right next to my skin, and are poised to bite!

WHOOPS! The battle is not over! In fact, I can tell that this is going to be an all-night ordeal. The exposure from the sun and now the attack of the Vampires has left my skin in a burning, inflamed state. It has been hours now and I’m still fighting these blood-sucking Vamps. Sleep has not come my way, fatigue has fallen upon me and cruising is no longer fun. I never experienced this kind of action in the Hollywood jungles. I have now resolved that I will not continue cruising until I’m better outfitted to fight those unwanted visitors of the night. After all, there have been reported cases of West Nile Virus in this part of the world, and with the thousands of blood-sucking Vampires feeding on me; it’s quite possible that I have contracted that dreaded Virus.

So now I cannot help but wonder what symptoms I should be looking for and hope that they don’t surface within me. One thing that I fear most has now come to past. It’s not the monsters of the deep that scare me; nor the mighty beast from the forest. It’s the mosquitoes (or as I call them “vampires”)– that frighten me! If these little and I mean little mosquitoes are so bad, I’d hate to be exposed to what their big counterparts in Southeast Texas can do.. If the little ones bother and plague me so much, imagine what the bugs in the Amazon Rain Forest are capable of doing. I got off easy in this case. They could have been Killer Bees, or even Marabunta Ants that would have eaten my entire body in a matter of minutes. Not to mention those parasites (that I would rather not mention by name or species, and that I am sure that you have heard about) that get inside your body and feed off of your flesh until you die. I wonder how many deaths have been bug-related?

Enough of these tales of woe! Let’s go back to the beginning of the adventure and look at the really great side of the cruising life. The date is 15 August, 2006, and it’s 04:27 hours. This is the first day of cruising around the world in the smallest ship to ever do so. This is also the first cruise for the Cruise Ship Dinghy I will no longer think of her as a working sculpture but a ship of the Oceans and of the world. I will think of her as my safe passage to adventure, education, and the unknown. I have to admit that I have been talking to this Dinghy for more than 32 years now.. It will be a new kind of dialogue as we find our adventure together, circumnavigating Lake Sabine, which amounts to a round-trip distance of 66.5 miles with Toups Marina serving as starting and ending point.

As I cast off from the side of my beloved Neptune’s Castle, my 62-foot sailing ship I come to the realization that I’m leaving my home of more then 20 years. I will be passing on my position as her Captain to Darrelle– Daughter of Dingy– the little girl who once lived aboard her hull and deck. The little girl who played with her ship’s wheel and stood on her salon table and vied for attention at age two.

I’m sincerely wishing that Neptune’s Castle and Darrelle–Daughter of Dingy will have a long and adventuresome marriage together. They are both in their 20’s and have a life of discovery to find. As for me, I’m bound for the Intercoastal Waterways AKA The Ditch to find my adventure. About two miles down stream on Cow Bayou, the little ship cruises by Burton’s Shipyard and I am able to spot its proprietor, Fred getting his crew of yard birds ready to do their duty on repairing the ships in the Yard. I hope that he isn’t looking at the Dinghy too hard, because I just had one my first Dumb Dingy moves: I have managed to run aground on the little point at the shipyard! No big, I’m off and running and I don’t think that he even noticed my Dumb Dinginess.

The bridge is coming up as I thread the needle and row under the bridge. The Dinghy is now in open water with no more overhead obstructions. Now I can rig the mast and sail. After a very good show with my balancing act, it is done and the ship is rigged for running. Not really, just a few probs.with the sail that can’t be fixed at sea. That means no sailing! No prob. I have two 24-volt continuous-run motors. Not really, one is frozen and the other doesn’t have a shear pin, which can be fixed at sea. So I elect to:

 

, Row, row, row my boat, gently down Sabine—article_html_m53b1c5f1

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–Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, living out my dream!

Rowing is something that I’ve hardly done with the Cruise Ship Dinghy. After I cut her deck and cabin off, I used to row her and found her to be a slow row. But she ran straight and true with her full keel. She is what she is: a cargo boat designed to carry a load, and now with her high freeboard, she is weighing in at about 2000 pounds and that’s with me in her! Take into consideration that she has her superstructure now and that means more wind obstruction with her higher center of gravity because of the mast, the wind generator and VHF and computer signal antennas. These have contributed to changing her motion on the ocean.

I’m starting to perfect my rowing with this craft, and rowing is something I’ve always loved doing. I started out this morning with a forward push type rowing. Although I do enjoy this rowing style, it is not the fastest. I do find it the most logical, though– and I also find it to be the safest style because I’m facing forward and pushing my one-ton boat forward with 10 foot oars. In short, I can see where I’m going without turning my head. The next style of rowing is standing with my back to where I’m going and pulling the boat forward. Oh, and in all of these rowing styles I will be standing. That’s just the way the Dinghy is set up and I don’t foresee the possibility of me changing it. Besides– I’m looking for a full-body workout. One more style is sculling with one oar at the center of the stern of the Dinghy. Also–I’m using the muscles in quite a different way by simply turning around and rowing backwar ds. So I’m man I’m getting my balance, my form, my rhythm, and style. One thing that’s not included in that workout “package” there yet is my deep, diaphragm-based breathing.

On down Cow Bayou I row, until I float onto a sand bar at the end of the bayou where she meets the ICW. That’s because about 35 or 40 black buzzards gathering in the trees and on the beach are glairing at me. They have my attention and I have theirs. As I look through my bino’s and see the intense, focused look on their faces, I can’t help but wonder what they’re bound to be thinking. Are those birds thinking that I’m carry-on for an afternoon snack? If so I’m dead meat! After all, there a lot more of them than there are of me–! So can you imagine these birds turning into hunters? Shades of The Birds by Alford Hitchcock!

`

Enough of the birds! I have to move on and the ship is hard aground. WHOOPS! I’m off rowing once more! Now the Dinghy is on the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW) about another five miles to row and I’ll be settled in for the night. Anchor is set and I’m kicked back! Cool!

Then along the ICW come two of the wild bunch– Will and Willey Toups in one of the strangest boats I’ve ever seen–delivering beer and conversation from Toups Marina. Now this is really too cool! So we enjoy the beer and the converse and then the storm is upon us.

..

DUMB DINGY DEMASTED DUH DINGHY!

Six months after the attack of the vampires (mosquitoes), it’s time for Admiral Dingy to finish the circumnavigation of Lake Sabine. (Go to ADMIRALDINGHY.COM–the Ship’s Log Page and read Admiral Dingy Attacked by Vampires in order to familiarize you with what happened during the first part of this Voyage. (Some rather large problem that I had with those blood-sucking mosquitoes)!

I vowed that I would not go back to sea without protection from those merciless bugs. So simple enough, I thought: “I’ll call for the land yacht to pick up the Cruise Ship Dinghy! I’ll rig up a proper mosquito net, and put some bug spray onboard and I’ll be safe from those pesky critters. I’ll be back in the water in two days!”

I can see the Dinghy’s land yacht onshore. I think that this will be an easy out. All I have to do is back the trailer into the water, (I am getting better at that). So easy up, I’m learning. Well, I put the trailer into the water without too much problem. (OK–so there’s room for improvement, but I’m getting more gooder (Admiral Dingy term for better) at it. Defiantly better then the first time I tried to load the Dinghy. (To familiarize yourself with what I allude to here, go to the Ship’s Log Page at ADMIRALINGHY.COM and read the article titled Admiral Dingy Hanging in a Tree). Well– I manage to get the Dinghy on to the trailer without many problems. I tied her down to the trailer and took down the wind generator which sits high when the Dinghy is on her trailer.

Great! We’re on our way! Headed back to the mother ship by land with no problems! WHOOPS! Prior to departure, when Dumb Dingy did his walk around the land yacht and Dinghy to check that everything was secure, he forgot to look up! And you guessed it! About a mile down the road, it’s WHAM! BANG! Dumb Dingy has demasted duh Dinghy! I get out of the land yacht and there’s the Dinghy’s mast. It has been crashed upon, bent, slammed down and rendered useless. Only one thing to do now–and that is to build a better mast.

Now–five months later, I’m back and loaded for mosquitoes. I’ve got my mosquito repellent spray; I’ve got my net, and as added insurance, I have got my stainless steel sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with nine (9) shots loaded. In this case, I’m not loaded for pirates but rather

for those pesky flying vampires. I get “mosquito shot”.

But enough about mosquitoes! I’ve made other advancements on the Cruise Ship Dinghy and still have much to do. One problem that I have not solved yet is the head, meaning the toilet. Yes doing “#1” is easy because I got me one of those male urinary receptacle things that even has a cap for safekeeping deposits. It works fine! I’ve cleaned it with bleach, and it’s ready to go. But ARRRR! What about dealing with “# two”? I do not wish to live with a bucket inside my coffin-sized Dinghy where there is barely enough room for a throne. Don’t wish to live with that either.

In reference to space, as I write this, I’m aboard Neptune’s Castle–the last boat that I will ever build or buy. This is my home for the rest of my life–until I get old and die.( That is if Davey Jones doesn’t get me first while I’m aboard the Cruise Ship Dinghy!) As I look around Neptune’s Castle, while I am in her wheelhouse, I think about her vast amount of space and compare it to the small amount of space aboard the Cruise Ship Dinghy. Neptune’s Castle’s wheelhouse alone has about 10 (ten) times more cubic feet then the inside of the Dinghy, and that’s not counting the engine room with that really kool diesel below the deck boards.

ARRRR—Neptune’s Castle’s got a diesel, and I really love diesels and the aroma generated by one is divine for this sailor!

Why do people call me Dingy? Answer: Just because I want to sail around the world in Neptune Castle’s dinghy? Actually I have had the Dinghy for 32 years and Neptune’s Castle for about 21, but The Cruise Ship Dinghy is still Neptune’s Castle’s dinghy.

Ahoy there Mattie perhaps I’ll see you on Lake Sabine in Southeast Texas tomorrow as I row, row; row my Dinghy on the second half of my circumnavigation of the Lake. AYE! ‘TIS THE CRUISING LIFE FOR ME!

We have been on station at the Pleasure Island Pier Landing for two days now, readying the Dinghy and watching the weather. The wind is coming from the southeast at about 20 to 25 knots–the exact course that I need to row into, to finish an about 66.5-mile row around Lake Sabine and make it back to Cow Bayou and the mother ship, Neptune’s Castleat Toups Marine. Needless to say, I can’t row into the wind with a 2,000 lb. Dinghy with about 30 inches of freeboard, (that’s the superstructure that is above the water line to the top of the cabin). That would truly be a Herculean task, one that I’m not up for.

What to do? Simple! Simply wait for the weather gauge to change with the wind coming from the west or southwest! Also–I wish to catch the incoming tide! With this strategy in mind, I splash The Cruise Ship Dinghy into the water at anchor to see what the weather will bring upon Dingy and Dinghy.

At 06:30 hours Sunday morning I awakened to a beautiful sunrise with just a zephyr of wind coming from the west. What could be greater than this? My next move was to ready the Dinghy for sea. The prep work had already been done; I just had to execute and get underway. I wayed anchor ready, my 10-foot oars, and started the long, grueling task of probably a two- day row, weather permitting. I quickly positioned the Dinghy for an exit out of the harbor with the wind right up my fantail. Who could ask for anything more? Aye! ‘Tis the cruising life for me!

I’m gone for the second half of the adventure on Lake Sabine (circumnavigating the second

half of it—I circumnavigated the first half last August) — and heading for the Louisiana side of the lake. It’s time to get the muscles to working; I used to do this on the dance floor. Just keep on dancing until going beyond the pain, I call this a burn in and then you can dance the night away. For me it’s the same on the Dinghy–just keep on rowing until I work through the burn and settle into a slow and steady rowing style that resembles a machine. I fall into my style and my rhythm; I have executed my mind set for the proper breathing. It’s the breathing that I lose, and then I have to come back and re-program it once more. I do this throughout the day; keep losing my correct breathing.

The wind is superb as I make my way down Lake Sabine. Some time ago the wind did a change in direction coming more from the south–which fit into my course so much nicer. Again I have the wind straight up my fantail gently helping the Dinghy achieve her destination. The scene is beautiful. The sun is burning down and bringing the temperature up beyond the comfort zone, I’m into a relaxed atmo enjoying being a cruiser.

The Dinghy is heading for the ditch–meaning the Inter Coastal Waterways. Everything is so relaxed, when off the starboard bow an alligator appears looking very primeval and stealthy. Not a large beast–only about 6 (six) feet long! The day has been good for me and Dinghy! Now I have this wonderful creature to ponder over. I wonder what he is thinking. Could it be that he also is having a wonderful day and is reflecting over same? OK–so he’s enjoying me and I’m enjoying him. So I’ll just take a break from rowing and we can look at each other. Well–I have been rowing diligently for hours and I’m feeling some exhaustion. I ship ores move my hands loosening up the fingers! This creature (the alligator) has been around since the dinosaur period without much evolution. I know that the females are excellent mothers—but the fathers are less than excellent–they have a tendency to eat their young. Just the same– the alligator has been able to adapt, with the exception of man’s influence. It’s peaceful sharing the moments at sea with the creatures, and with that thought in mind, I reach for my male urinal. Got to whiz! I’ve been putting this off for a long time since I have and am still contemplating the alligator, finding relief, and the simple joys of life! Something strange is going on as I begin to whiz. First, I feel something tingling, not painful just different, fuzzy, tickling! And I’m still contemplating the gator! I feel bobbles, crawly things engulfing my hand! Then panic sets in I’m looking at a major eruption, it’s as if Mount Saint Helen’s has blow her top! There is a bubble lava flow spuming out of my male urinal. By this time it’s all over my dink, the inside of the Dinghy, my hands, my jeans, and the bed which I’m standing on! I realize that there is only one thing to do, and that is to empty the urinal over the side!

I look at the gator while the thing is overflowing with long lines of what appear to be never-ending bubbles which seem to say to me, what’s the matter haven’t you ever seen a volcano erupt before?

Have to do clean-up after that fiasco! Coming back out of the hatch, I see the gator is still on station looking up at me, I’m suspecting the gator wants more entertainment from that goofy solo sailor. When I return to the mother ship, Darrelle–Daughter of Dingy explains that it was the chemical reaction between my urine and the bleach that caused the problem. I normally wash out my urinal with soap and water and leave the soap and water in to keep working until its next use. In this case I had used bleach instead of soap and water for the first time—and the non-stop bubble/lava-like flow was what resulted!

Coming up on the ICW rounding the corner, I’m watching the clouds—and they look threatening! I row about two hundred yards and Wham–! It’s happening all at once the: wind shifting to dead ahead in very quick fashion and I realize that I’m in trouble! The wind is now at about 35 knots–not a big wind– but something to be reckoned with! True! And over the side goes the anchor. Its set and holding, darkness is coming. This is almost the exact same spot the mosquitoes got me on the first half of the adventure of circumnavigating Lake Sabine.

But I will not let it happen this time. I have the Dinghy secured and then it’s back down below for me to stretch out my legs with a book in my face.

The next morning I’m off splashing and pulling with the oars. Around noon, I round the corner into Cow Bayou. It’s all an uphill pull with the wind in my teeth. I realize that only serious rowing will get me back to Neptune’s Castle! As I’m coming up the bayou, there is an ominous black cloud coming down, I see no rain, but I still don’t like the looks of this monster. Then wham! It hits, and over the side goes the anchor! The Dinghy is fastened; the Dinghy is ship-shape and I’m inside in record time! The storm passes quickly. I don’t. I take on the role of a wimp–just laying there relaxing, gathering strength. An hour and a half goes by before I man the oars again.

The adventure is over and no harm has come to Dingy or Dinghy–with the exception of the erupting volcano. Aye! ’tis the cruising life for me!

***

THANKS FOR THE MESS-ABOUT – Admiral Dingy

ARRR! Now that was fun, Matties! It all started when an e-mail arrived at ADMIRALDINGHY.COM from the infamous Shorty Penn.

ARRR!” says I. I remember that sailor from Lake Charles, Louisiana!

Twas a thing called a Mess-About that showed up at the Yacht Club that I belonged to at the time. What’s a MESS-ABOUT?

Well anyway, the message in Shorty’s electronic mail instructed the reader to:

Be at Port Lavaca this next weekend, unless you are dying or are in jail or suffer under the pain of death!”! Of death?!?

Attention on deck! When Shorty Penn talks, I listen, says I!

This chap looks as if he just walked out of the folksel on a clipper or a wind-jammer with a boatswain pipe around his neck in foul weather while rounding the Horn with sail changes on his mind! Save the ship! One hand for yourself and one hand for the ship!

Stand up and do your duty!

Misnomer. Short(y) Penn is not short; he is built as wide & as tall as a rudder on a coaler’s barge running the canals of Europe! With a pundit’s demeanor on his commanding face!

With that being said, (I’ll cancel the Buccaneer Parade in Corpus Christi to head to Port Lavaca for the Mess-About, just as Shorty ordered!)

After all, I have conducted the interviews and I have shot the photos for the articles that I intend to write about the Ships of Christopher Columbus:the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña.

I reason and plan: I’ll go aboard the Lady Lexington tomorrow (Friday, May 4th) and interview the crew for my future article on Corpus Christi. Yosa! Yosa! Yosa! I loved Corpus Christi– that Sparkling City by the Sea! Oh and I won’t ship Dumb Dingy aboard! (We have to leave for the Mess-About for fear of being put under the pain of death!

After dark on Friday, May 4th, the land yacht arrives at Magnolia Beach with the Cruise Ship Dinghy in tow setting low to the ground on her new trailer. Whoops! We hit a major bump! At that point, she needs a new one!

Dumb Dingy done did damage to the other one! (Read about it at admiraldinghy.com on the Ship’s Log Page—in the article titled, “Admiral Dingy Hanging in a Tree”). Oh no what a comedy of mess-ups that was!

Aye”, say’s I! I’m finally going to see a real Mess-About! I’m not really sure what this is all about.

Suddenly, my thoughts are racing…Wow! Look at that Gulf of Mexico!

The wind is up perhaps 20 to 25 knots and Dumb Dingy got us lost on one of those country roads with lack of pavement. Guess he got aboard after all! Can we talk dust? It is everywhere; the entire land yacht is covered in and out. Tomorrow is another day. But for now, it’s into the sea for me to enjoy a bath in salt water. AYE, ’TIS THE CRUISING LIFE FOR ME!

Once out of the water, I hit the hay and fade into the sleep of night…

Then…

Late! It was mid-morning before I stuck my head out of the hatch! Some mess-abouters had arrived; and more were on the way. By mid-day, they were all there!

All the mess-abouters—and their boats! Some transported them on trailers. Some on the tops of their cars! Some carried them in pick-em-up trucks! So there they were–boats of many descriptions!

ARRR! Now that got my attention span. Got to go check these boats out! There are a myriad amount of boats of many descriptions! Rowing boats, sailing boats, sailing boards! But I don’t recall seeing any power boats.

While discovering the boats, I also discovered the guys who built them! Indeed they were into design and craftsmanship!

What I found even more important and interesting, is that they are collectively a group of sailor-boatbuilders. I profoundly wish that I would have had knowledge about a group such as this when I was building the Cruise Ship Dinghy.

Having been a dancer, actor and moviemaker did not train me for the job of being a craftsmen in boat building.

But anyway, while at the Mess-About, I learned much about the intricacies of boatbuilding…of various parts and things to do.

Probably the most important knowledge I gleaned from the Event was how to tabernacle the mast. Now I have applied that useful piece of information to practice by actually having done it! It was easy and it works! Simple! I just didn’t know how to prior to the Mess-About.

Now another question pops into my mind: When at sea in a storm, should I leave the stayless mast up with the junk rig sail down and tied? Or should I bring the mast down and lay it into its cradle? Experience will tell!

In closing, I wish to thank all of the sailors at the Mess-About!

There were great boats! Great sailors! Great conversation! And I learned! SO THANKS!

If you’re a boat builder or sailor, I strongly advise you to find a MESS-A-BOUT in your area and go! You’ll enjoy the experience!

I wish I had learned about them sooner!

Admiral Dingy

***

Stealing Horses launched – Dick Burnham

Here’s a photo of gaff peaked with self made blocks working — this taken when test “sailing” in our driveway last season.

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Stealing Horses finally floated off the trailer, twice, but she was at last at home. Not that that pivot pin covers didn’t leak or that the forgotten tape and epoxy at bulkhead limber holes didn’t ooze water. But all that is hopefully just part of the learning experience. We have her on a lake, at least for this season, in southern Vermont where we hope to learn the ropes, and to get into the sailing of this wonderful design. Later we’ll plan our escapades on the coast.

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A photo with a view of Stealing Horses from the transom with the British Seagull (a noise generator but a trusty outboard) hanging out. Sails a mess, but what did we know?

Our 2nd (and last) launch was in flooding conditions. We learned to disconnect trailer from truck, to rope trailer to truck and … let that trailer roll! Actually we had to push it a bit to get into water deep enough to float boat off the trailer. It went well if with hearts in throats.

Astute viewers will note that the blocks are self built, that the masts are hollow “bird’s mouth” spars. Here’s a rundown on materials:

Raka epoxy, fillers, f’glass tape, etc.(Larry is a good helper) BS6566 Meranti marine grade plywood from Noah’s Screws,bolts,rods from Merton’s Fiberglass in Massachusetts (Joe is a great help) Sails sewn by Ulla from Sailrite kits (Jeff will hold your hand until you’ve finished sewing…) Kirby paint for topsides and Salty Dog tar finish for rubrail (George or Bill know what it is that they make for you) Hamilton Marine for line, fittings, fenders, varnish (Captain’s) and such

Cheers!

Dick and Ulla in western Massachusetts and now constant visitors to a lake somewhere in southern Vermont!

Chebacco News 51

News, questions, and boats for sale.

News:

Lots of good contributions this issue. Been awhile since the last one, been busy, very busy. Franticaly putting in a shop and making room in house for what a friend of mine calls my re-wife.

No burning questions pending, and no boats for sale that I know of.

Enjoy the issue, and happy holidays

Chebacco Richard

Questions:

Chebacco’s for sale:

***

Some Pictures – David Nedder

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I have plenty of coaches.

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Due to our drought conditions, the lake level is about 12″ below normal. The anchor holder looks a bit off, but when I let go of the anchor rode,down it goes down immediately. The anchor can remain installed while trailering.

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Normally the boat floats off of the trailer at this launch site.

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Now ready to swing around to the pier.

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Pier Side.jpg

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My iron wind is somewhat recalcitrant.

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The Pewaukee Lack Yacht was holding a regatta that day. Mid August my brother and I took our families out to Pewaukee Lake for a cruise. The winds were moderate 5-10 MPH with an occasional gust to 12. Since my wife is not an enthusiastic sailor, I keep the pucker factor as low as possible. In moderate wind I can seat my guests so that the only ballast I shift is myself. This makes for an enjoyable cruise.

Pewaukee lake is about 5-6 miles long and about 1.5 miles at its widest. It has small islands and the winds tend to swirl and take a somewhat circular path. I can set the main and mizzen for neutral helm and “Mary-Beth, too” will sail in a large arc for about 30-40 minutes before changing tack.

Attached are some pictures taken of the “Mary Beth too” sailing.

<palign=”left”>It was light air on Pewaukee Lake at the end of August. The photographer is Lloyd Schultz of Madison, WI. He can take beautiful pictures on an overcast day.

Happy New Year.

Regards

D.J.Neder.

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***

Photos – Bill Jones

Hello Richard,

Here are a few photos for the next edition of the Chebacco News. The Carol Leigh was started in September 2003 and launched June 2005. I have not had her out much due to weather and schedule conflicts, but the little time on the water we have had has been quite enjoyable. Some quick GPS readings indicated a maximum speed of 7 knots once the wind kicked up a little.

There are lots of construction photos and notes at www.people.vcu.edu/~wmjones

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Construction is of ½ inch marine fir ply and mainly douglas fir dimensional lumber. The hatch covers and CB trunk brightwork is white oak.

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Preparing to pull out of the fine facilities at the Grey’s Point Campground in Topping, Va.

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Here we are approaching the mouth of the Rappahannock River as it enters the Chesapeake Bay. We chose this point for the naming ceremony as it was too busy at the dock. Visible in the foreground is one of the wooden blocks I made for the Carol Leigh.

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A nice shot of the fleet admiral relaxing on her namesake flagship.

***

Lapstrake Raised Deck Build update – Ben Ho

Hello Richard,

Almost 18 months after I ordered the Chebacco plan from PCB, and one year after I cut the first piece of marine plywood, my lapstrake hull is finally finished and turned over. The hull was completed in June, and then sanding, fairing, epoxying, painting…took the whole summer. The unusual tropical heat we had this summer in Ontario didn’t help. Here are some pictures.

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Hull is done, waterline struck with a laser pointer, working on the bottom finish with epoxy mixed with graphite and green pigment. As it turned out, the black from the graphite pretty well overrides the green, so the resulting color is very-dark green. It took a few tries before I got the hang of rolling on epoxy with a smooth finish.

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Here’s what the hull looks like after 5 coats of epoxy, 2 coats of primer, and 2 coats of Interlux paint. I use System Three for epoxy and primer. The primer is wonderful stuff – it hides small imperfection well and sands easily. The sheer strake is left unpainted.

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The big moment! The turn-over crew is preparing to get the hull out from the garage. The widest part is about 1” wider than the garage, so the whole setup needs to be tilted first.

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The hull is built on a strong-back with casters, so it rolls around easily.

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With six guys it was surprisingly easy to lift it up by 90 degrees. The safety rope prevents it from accidentally rolled all the way. The frame and temporary molds are still solidly attached to the hull to provide rigidity.

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Roll-over complete, the hull is sitting on nice soft grass. Now the frame is taken off….

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And the hull lifted up and put back on the frame, right side up!

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And pushed back into the garage.

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And ready for the interior work. Now the fun begins!!

***

Super Sail – Charles Gottfried

While there is no question that Bolger’s Chebaccos are among the finest sailing, most beautiful and most versatile boats in the (known) world, that’s not to say improvements can’t be made. I was recently persuaded to enter my boat in the Shipyard Raid, a staged race from Gabriola Island, BC, to Pt. Townsend, WA., and decided that I’d attempt to optimize a few things to squeeze that last bit of speed out of Full Gallop, my sheet ply chebacco. The first thing that came to mind was: More Sail!

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Figure 1 – Full Gallop at Sucia Island

An optional jib is shown on the plans, approximately 25 square feet in area, and recommended to be set flying from the stemhead. Since I had a perfectly lovely 2’ bowsprit fitted, primarily to carry an anchor, I decided that the standard jib would probably not set right, being carried too far forward. Additionally, others have reported that their jibs didn’t seem to enhance performance very much, if at all, and were a pain to set up. Some head scratching followed…

I didn’t have precise angles or sizes figured, but I did have the dimensions of the standard jib. Through calculations of center of resistance, center of effort, prismatic coefficient, and righting moment, along with making magic signs and uttering the sacred incantations, I expertly re-sized the stock jib sailplan.

Actually, I guessed.

I kept the leech and luff the same length, and increased the foot dimension, from 4’ to 8’. This increased the size of the sail to about 50 square feet, and helped move the center of effort (CE) for the sail back, to counter the effect of the bowsprit moving it forward. My intent was to keep the CE about the same, and since the sprit moved the CE forward 2’, the increase in the foot, to 8’ should move it back to about the same place, more or less. I hoped.

I spoke with the good folks at Sailrite, the sail kit manufacturers, with whom I have done business before. They’re experts on sails, kits, materials, and making things work well. Jeff Grant advised me that the standard jib arrangement on the standard boat probably didn’t work well because the ‘slot’ between the sail luff and the mast was so small that it probably channeled little wind to the mainsail, and may have even hindered the effectiveness. He further pointed out that, flown from the bowsprit, that problem would lessen, at least somewhat. The further forward from the mast the jib would set, the better for efficiency. It made sense.

Chebaccos’ front deck is tiny, especially if its pitching and rolling in a seaway. Since I didn’t want to have to try to stretch out to the end of the bowsprit to attach the sail to a forestay, I decided to set the sail ‘flying’. This involves incorporating the wire stay into the sail luff, instead of fastening it between the masthead and bowsprit. This wire-reinforced sail is then attached to halyards that hoist not only the top of the sail, but can pull in the tack as well, from a block on the end of the bowsprit. This let me lead halyards back to the cockpit, attach the sail tack and head, and haul it out to set on the sprit. Both top and bottom halyards can be tightened, and the sail is drawn as tight as possible. The sheets are rigged in the conventional manner, thru blocks lashed to eyes on the coachroof, and then to cleats. Now, with a little practice, I can set and strike the sail while standing in the opened hatchway, safe from spray and a potential swim from the foredeck.

Performance

I initially set the sail on a June afternoon with 8 mph sustained winds, with some gusts. It set perfectly the first time, and after messing about with temporary blocks to carry the sheets, I headed across the lake. It had been a while since my last sail, but I immediately felt the improvement in speed. Shortly, I was joined by a lazer sailor, who admired the boat, and, sailing next to me, coached me in fine-tuning the sail. The tweaks made some improvements, and were easily accommodated with the moveable blocks I’d put together (they were on loops of line that could be attached to coachroof or beam-mounted cleats). Eventually, I found that I could outsail the lazer on some points of sail, which surprised both of us “Hey, I’ve raced at the Lazer Nationals, and this is a fast boat. And you’re pulling away!”.

In hindsight, the sail could be made even larger, by as much as an additional 12”-16” on both the leech and luff. The 8’ foot seems about right, tho. I’m not certain how wise that much additional sail would be, except in very light winds. In the end, I’m pleased with the sail as it is, and even without the extra area, the improvements are noticeable. I can’t speak highly enough about the Sailrite folks – the kit was great, done quickly, and at just over $200, the price was right. Now, I’m just waiting to hear how good it looks from behind, as told to me by the other Shipyard raiders.

***

Sucia 2005, and a cruise through the San Juan Islands – Jamie Orr

It was a dark and stormy night….

And noon the day after wasn’t looking too hot either, as Dad and I stowed our gear in Wayward Lass, our faithful Chebacco, and backed her down into the waters of Sidney Channel. It was Friday, July 8th, and we were off to the 2005 Small Boat Rendezvous in the San Juan Islands. The weather forecast said we might get winds up to 25 knots, so we put in one reef just for luck.

But when we left the wind was still about 15 knots and was perfect for a beam reach to the northern tip of Sidney Spit, three miles away. We used this relatively sheltered stretch to get organized, and get into our foul weather suits as we expected some spray while crossing Haro Strait, between Sidney Island and the San Juans.

Sure enough, once we rounded the end of the spit, we started to feel the effect of the wind blowing unchecked up the Strait, and before long we had the second reef tied in. It was slow going for a while, sailing to windward over a bumpy sea. However, it didn’t last and by 1:45 we shook out both reefs and started to make better time. The log shows that our top speed was over 6 knots, but by the time we reached the entrance to Roche Harbor the wind was gone and we had to motor in to the customs dock, then out again for the second leg of our trip. (It’s about 10 miles from Sidney to Roche, and another 15 to Sucia. There is a rough map of the islands at the very end of this tale.)

The wind came back then, although not as strongly, and the tide was under us, so it didn’t take long to sail down Spieden Channel to President Channel, running northeast between Waldron and Orcas islands with Sucia visible right ahead. We still had the tide, as well as a southerly wind that was just right for the whole (unreefed) sail. The clouds rolled away and I crawled out of my damp foulies, but I had jumped the gun, and was putting them back on half an hour later. Still, it was nice to have a chance to air out, even briefly.

The rain came and went, but the wind stayed fairly steady, and we arrived at Sucia in the early evening. This year we were rendezvous-ing (is that a word?) in Fox Cove, but as we came through the entrance we saw only one boat on the beach, Jim Ballou’s Mill Creek kayak, with Jim standing on the grass above it, waving vigorously. He’d crossed from Orcas the morning before, and it had been so rough since then that he was wondering if anyone else was going to show up!

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Jim Ballou’s Mill Creek kayak

We didn’t realize it then, but others had already shown up. There were two or three keelboats moored in the bay that were part of our group, but as I recall, we didn’t meet their crews until the following day. These were, I think: Doug and Will from Olympia in their Ranger 23; Thea and Mike Schifsky in their “overgrown H-28”, Raven. And I believe Ryan Shellborn, with his children Thompson and Emily, was already there too, in his 37 foot steel ketch Makoolis.

And there were more coming – before nightfall, Greg and Shelley Stoll arrived in their MacGregor 21, Windisfree, accompanied by Andrew Linn in his Newport 16, Aurors. The final arrivals for the day were Jay Kammerzell and his son in their homebuilt Bolger Micro.

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A view to the west, showing Greg and Shelley relaxing in their campsite, with Andrew Linn standing.

My memory is hazy about who arrived when, but I think everyone else arrived on Saturday afternoon. In no particular order, they were:

Chuck Gottfried and Dean Bishop in Chuck’s Chebacco Full Gallop;

John Kohnen in his Footloose skiff, Pickle;

Frank Mabrey in his MFG runabout;

Randy Wheating in his Chebacco Bluster, with his wife Lisa and sons Jacob and Samuel;

Peter Binley and family in their newly-acquired San Juan 23, Java;

Ron Mueller in his 20 foot Jarcat; and

Bill and Sandy Childs in their 19 foot Bartender.

(I wasn’t thinking ahead, so I don’t have pictures of all of the15 boats in attendance. I’ve posted some at the end, just before the map – my thanks to John Kohnen for letting me use so many of his photos.)

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And here we all are – isn’t that a happy looking bunch? (John Kohnen photo)

Before everyone else arrived, some of us went out for a sail. Jim came along with Dad and I on Wayward Lass, and Windisfree and Aurors were also out. We patrolled between Sucia and Orcas, hoping to meet some of the Saturday arrivals, but were too early and were back in the cove for lunch before they came. The trip over was enough time on the water for most folks, and the rest of the afternoon and evening were spent socializing and admiring each others’ boats. The weather co-operated and we all had a fine time. Greg and Shelley Stoll’s campfire was a gathering point in the evening – I think about half the crews were camped ashore.

Here’s some of the crowd sitting around the campfire as the day ends.

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Sunday dawned clear, with nearly everyone looking forward to a lazy day. However, Andrew had to leave that morning, to be back at work on Monday. Things were looking good as he left but a powerful headwind came up shortly after, causing him to have a very long day. His description of it is posted on the Western Oregon Messabout list, the URL appears at the end of this account. Meanwhile, the three Chebaccos, Bluster, Wayward Lass and Full Gallop, plus Jay in his Micro were out sailing together, a real Bolger crowd. We didn’t do any racing, though, we settled for just messing about.

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Here’s Randy and family in Bluster, and Jay and his son in their Micro.

The wind, while we were outside the cove, was from the north. This, combined with a strong current running southeast kept us from sailing north around the island. It also discouraged us from going very far to the south as we would have had a tough time getting back the cove again, so there was no expedition to another island this year. No one seemed to miss it, though, perhaps because the trip over had been more demanding.

Monday morning, it was time for everyone to leave. One by one they said their goodbyes, pulled up their anchors or pushed off the beach and headed out of the cove. Jim Ballou was the first, we watched him as he paddled the two and a half miles to Orcas Island. Conditions were good for the crossing, but that Mill Creek looked awfully small out there! Most boats were headed southeast to the Lummi ramp or Bellingham, but Wayward Lass, Full Gallop and Makoolis were bound the other way, southwest down President Channel to start a few days cruise in the San Juans.

Pulling up our own anchor, we sailed out of the cove, then paused to watch the remainder of the group leaving. John Kohnen in Pickle, and Frank Mabrey in his MFG runabout, were the very last to go. They didn’t know it yet, but the same wind that made Andrew’s trip a tough slog was going to do the same for Monday’s sailors. See more URLs at the end for details.

With a final wave to John and Frank, our mini-fleet turned southwest and spread its wings. We had a moderate breeze from the south, but sailing close-hauled we were soon separated as each boat and helmsman followed their own path. Wayward Lass was to windward, while Full Gallop was slightly off the wind, presumably to keep her big jib drawing. Makoolis was in the rear – can’t remember why, but Ryan was more or less sailing single handed as his kids aren’t very big, and he had some big sails to handle.

I don’t know if you could call it a race between Wayward Lass and Full Gallop, but we were two similar boats going the same direction, so draw your own conclusions. I know that we in Wayward Lass were keeping a sharp eye on Full Gallop. Both Chebaccos were sailing well and as the wind strengthened, we started to wonder if we could take the time for a reef, or if it would put us irretrievably behind. Wayward Lass had a slight lead but as we drew closer to Waldron Island, it became apparent that the time for reefing was now, not later, so we pointed Wayward Lass into the wind to heave to and we reefed as quickly as we could.

With its cat-yawl rig, a Chebacco doesn’t heave to in the normal way. What I do, and I think most Chebacco sailors do, is point straight into the wind, and sheet the mizzen on the centreline, while letting the mainsheet run loose – it also helps to have the centreboard down. This will keep usually keep her pointing upwind, but allows her to sail backwards. I’ve clocked Wayward Lass at 3 knots, going dead astern, so it’s not a method you should use for riding out a storm. However, it’s more than adequate for reefing or for finding that hidden thermos for a hot drink. One other thing, the rudder should be centred as well, or the boat will veer off to one side or the other. I do this in Wayward Lass by dropping the tiller into a slot cut in the floor boards for the purpose.

Back to President Channel — Full Gallop had stopped to take in a reef too, so our relative positions were unchanged. Wayward Lass was now sailing more easily although there was still some spray flying at times. Looking back at Makoolis, we could see she had heaved to as well, presumably also to reef. Ryan confirmed this later, saying his crew preferred not to sail at too great an angle. Working on his own in that big ketch made reefing a longer job, so Makoolis fell behind before she started sailing again.

Meanwhile, we were now well into the channel between Waldron and Orcas, with Waldron Island to leeward. We could soon see that Wayward Lass was going to get through without tacking, but Full Gallop, being to leeward, had to tack out towards the centre of the channel, putting her well behind. (However, Full Gallop exacted a terrible revenge later in the summer, during the Shipyard Raid….)

From the eastern end of Waldron, we could see the passage between Jones and Orcas Islands directly south of us. We continued on to the southwest a little longer, until we thought we could point at the passage, then tacked. We found we hadn’t gone quite far enough, but the ebbing tide was pushing us still further southwest, so we hoped that would compensate for our early turn.

Makoolis had finished reefing some time before, and was now sailing down the channel towards us. I was amazed at how close to the wind she was sailing – I’d always understood that ketches were not close-winded at all. She was also making excellent speed through the water.

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Here’s Makoolis storming along, with Full Gallop hot on her tail.

As we approached the passage between Jones and Orcas (and yes, the tide had given us a nice boost to windward) and started tacking through it, Makoolis continued to gain at a great rate, tacking through unbelievably small angles. And I shouldn’t have believed it – Ryan had had the engine going ever since he stopped to reef. Just idling along, but it had let him sail much closer to the wind than he could have without it, and it boosted his speed as well. A great demonstration of effective motor-sailing, and he certainly had me fooled.

Passing Steep Point on Orcas, we came into sight of Deer Harbor and into more sheltered water. The wind dropped to about five knots, bringing an end to one of the truly great sails, one of the best we’ve had in Wayward Lass.

I wanted to go right into the dock to refill the gas and water tanks. We hadn’t used the engine much, but I had given away a gallon of gas at Sucia, and had spilled almost as much in the transfer (a siphon hose would be a useful (and green) thing to carry in future). The landward side of the fuel dock looked empty, so we slipped past another wharf sticking out from the shore and prepared to make a wide turn and come alongside.

As we turned, though, we saw the reason for all the space — a line of “wet paint” signs stood along the dock, so we aborted and headed back outside.

However, all was not lost. I’d seen a Chebacco-sized space at the very far end of the dock, the windward end. This would be a little harder to get into since the land not only turned the wind, but blocked most of it, leaving us only a light air from the north, dead on Wayward Lass’ nose as she edged in again. This meant we had to tack several times in the narrow space between the dock and the shore. As we got nearer our goal, we gained less and less on each tack, until we didn’t seem to make any progress. I think there must also have been a very slight current coming from further up the harbour that confounded our efforts.

In frustration, on the next tack towards the dock I let out several feet of mainsheet. Perhaps we had a gust of wind at the same time, I don’t know, but Wayward Lass surged forward towards the line of parked boats. I could feel weather helm and didn’t think we could turn downwind in time to clear the boats, so I went with the flow and put the helm down. Wayward Lass turned neatly into the wind and although the sails lost their drive, the speed we’d picked up carried us nicely up towards our berth. The burst of speed had also caught the eye of one of the dock attendants, who came a-running to stop us T-boning someone’s runabout, but no fending off was necessary and he only took our line as we squeezed past the last boat and up to the dock.

It’s all in the attitude – I just behaved as if I’d meant to do that. We even got a couple of compliments on our boat-handling. (Har!)

Once we were fueled and watered, we cast off again, still under sail (well, we had to keep up appearances, didn’t we?). Makoolis had anchored by then, just south of the marina, and Full Gallop was rafted alongside. We did the same on the other side.

Like a Mama Duck and a pair of fat ducklings.

On the green Chebacco, Jamie Orr standing, Les Orr sitting; in the middle, Thompson, Emily and Ryan Shellborn; and Chuck Gottfried on the right. Dean Bishop is behind the camera.

Fine job there, Dean!

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The next day was calm, so we motored south and east from Deer Harbour. Shortly after we passed the village of Orcas, a gentle breeze came up, lasting long enough to carry us north around Shaw Island and down between Canoe Island and Flat Point on Lopez. The wind died away then, and since the tide was turning against us, we started engines again and motored the last mile or two into Fisherman Bay

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Here’s a shot of Full Gallop with her new jib. It didn’t seem to make a huge difference on this trip, but was very effective later in the Shipyard Raid – I guess Chuck got her all figured out in the interim!

It’s “set flying”, instead of being hanked to a headstay, so it’s harder to get a tight luff, necessary for effective windward work.

Here I suffered a major disappointment. I’d heard great things about Holly B’s Bakery, and her cinnamon buns – imagine my shock when we learned that the bakery was closed on Tuesdays! We consoled ourselves with cinnamon treats at a restaurant instead, but it wasn’t the same. There’s definitely another trip to Fisherman Bay in my future!

On Wednesday morning, Ryan and his young crew turned Makoolis south towards Cattle Point, at the bottom of San Juan Island, to sail up the west shore looking for Orcas (the killer whales, not the village or the island.) Full Gallop and Wayward Lass went north instead, around the top of Lopez, then out into Rosario Strait to James Island. Both Chuck and I wanted to see James as it was one of the scheduled stops for the Shipyard Raid in September, and both Chebaccos were signed up. We anchored for a short time there, but it’s a poor anchorage, so we motored into the nearby sandy bay on Decatur Island. There we celebrated the sunset with margaritas and other tequila-based rituals. (The Raid didn’t use James either, in the end, but went south to Watmough Bight, a much better anchorage and a jumping off spot for the crossing to Port Townsend.)

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Margaritaland!! aka Full Gallop with your hosts, Chuck and Dean

We were nearing the end of our time. In the morning, we said goodbye to Full Gallop’s crew who were bound north and east to Bellingham Channel. It being calm, Wayward Lass motored north up the west side of Rosario Strait to Obstruction Pass then west through the islands again. As we neared the passage between Shaw and Orcas once more, a northerly wind came up and we finished the day with a good sail back to Deer Harbor.

The next morning, our last, was also calm and we started off under power again. We had a look in at Jones Island, another planned Raid stop and an attractive anchorage. A light wind came up from behind (the east) and we sailed slowly along the south side of Spieden Channel. Halfway through the channel, the wind grew confused, but eventually settled in the northwest and we were able to clear the channel before the tide turned. Then we had another slow sail across Haro Strait to just south of Forrest Island, near Sidney Island, where the wind finally left us and we started the motor again. A short time later we were officially back in Canada, ready to go home.

There was one small hiccup that I mention as a warning to others. I must have backed in too far when we launched the week before, and the salt water caused enough corrosion in that short time that the left rear wheel on my van wouldn’t turn.. I tried driving to force it loose, but it just scraped along so I called a tow truck to haul the van to Sidney Tire. The guys there took the wheel off, then whaled away on the brake drum (?) with a big mallet. My kind of mechanics! This freed things up in no time, and there was no damage to be found. They said it wasn’t worth charging for, so three cheers for Sidney Tire! We soon had Wayward Lass on the trailer, and that was the end of our San Juan adventure.

As it was last year, the Small Boat Rendezvous is well documented:

· Andrew Linn’s journey home is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MessaboutW/message/8482

· John Kohnen also described his trip http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MessaboutW/message/8475

· Randy Wheating’s account is in the July 16 Chebacco page (www.chebacco.com if you’re not reading this on the Chebacco page)

· Greg Stoll is publishing his story in Duckworks, the URL for the third part is http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/gatherings/sucia3/index.htm and this has links to the first two parts.

· While it’s not part of this story, I’ve mentioned the Shipyard Raid. You can read about it, and what is planned for 2006, at www.shipyardraid.ca/, which has links to published articles about it.

And here’s a few more photographs of some of the rendezvous boats:

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Bill’s Bartender (John Kohnen photo)

Bluster and Fib (John Kohnen photo)

Frank’s MGF Runabout (John Kohnen photo)

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Mike and Thea’s Raven (John Kohnen photo)

Jay’s Micro (John Kohnen photo)

Ryan’s Makoolis (John Kohnen photo)

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This is a map of the San Juan Islands I stole from www.gonorthwest.com, so go visit their site sometime. It shows the islands very nicely – Sidney, on Vancouver Island, is off to the west as shown. Lummi Island and Bellingham are southwest of Sucia. The red lines show Wayward Lass’ track, you’ll have to read the text to tell which way we’re going, and when, since we doubled back now and then.

***

Messabouts, Buildings, and Boat storage – Richard Spelling

Here are some pictures from the Arkansas messabout this summer, and a few others. It went over much better than my attempts to have Oklahoma Messabouts. Probably because, on the face of it, I’m not a very sociable person. I like specific people just fine, but not strangers, and certainly not crowds of them. When I go to messabouts I have to force myself to talk to other boat builders, which is the whole reason for going to messabouts! Not a great formula for an event host. Phil Lea doesn’t have this problem. He even married a politician, or a “political advisor”. But then again, I married a preacher, so that probably doesn’t say a whole lot. There were more boats here than I have pictures of, and I only remember a few names. (I am absolutely HORRIBLE with names). So I apologize if I don’t name your boat in the picture. Feel free to send me an email and I will identify you and your boat. Anyway, to pictures.

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Some pictures of the local abandoned park. You can sort of get to it by road, but the road leading down to the park has been closed off, so you can only get to within a mile or so of it. The best way is to go by water. It used to be tradition in our family to take the boat here on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks on the lake.

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Phil Lea in his Junebug, in the hot dead calm on lake Dardanelle.

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JM in his traditional double paddle boat pose

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I was convinced this was a production boat. It’s not, it’s a homebuilt, custom, fiberglass job. Neat

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cooling tower. LEXX in the for-ground

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Max’s AF4. Took it for a spin, nice boat. Totally different than a sailboat. You can actually go places.

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extreme carbon fiber double paddle canoe. Phil about to try it.

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Phil tries it.

What does it say about the modern world when the most successful advertising for something on ebay is “not the cheap stuff you get at Wal-Mart”? My gray plastic “super tarp” bought on ebay, specifically “not cheap Wal-Mart tarp”, is actually holding up nicely. Better than the expensive nylon/Cordova one, even. Should get another year or two out of it.

By then I will have the overhang on the side of the shop built for the boat. Yes. I spent the last few months in a frantic effort (needed to get the machine shop out of the spare bedroom) to build a shop, something I’ve been planning for years. Collecting parts for, drawing layouts of, etc. It’s 18ft x 35ft with 10ft tall walls. Even put in insulation (which, oddly enough, you put on BEFORE you put the sheet metal on). It could have been bigger, but it’s “cozy”, and easy to heat and cool. The upside is that I now have a 10 foot tall wall that’s 35 feet long to build a shed roof onto, and enclose a nice spot to park the boat. I even have plans for the building’s first paint job, it’s going to get a camo finish, to match the winter woods. In the summer you can’t see the building from the road because of the leaves on the trees, but in the winter you can, sort of. Hence the paint job. Even have a camo key for the building!

And I’m stretching my metal storage shed out as well.

Why the need for all the additional space? Well, the wife is taking a sabbatical from the preaching business, and moving in with me. So we will then only have two homes to maintain! Then she is going to start looking for a position elsewhere. She calls is “sending her papers worldwide”.

My job is going fine, even if it’s 100 miles from my house. (and new shop!) I sometimes get frustrated with the red tape from working for Uncle, but other than that it’s going ok. (we have a saying at work. “They give you a spoon, and tell you to build a castle. Then they hide the spoon). I’m getting pretty disgusted with the prospects for a job in Tulsa, so if the wife finds something “worldwide”, I would be open to relocating.

As I told her when I re-married her, my only requirements are a place to park the boat, and a shop. A man must have priorities, after all!

Chebacco News 50

News, questions, and boats for sale.

News:

Been a busy summer for me, and apparently for everyone else as well.  The last couple of months it’s just been too hot to go sailing, though I may make it out today.

Not a whole lot of contributions this issue, but the few we have are very good. Enjoy.

Chebacco Richard

Questions:

Chebacco’s for sale:

***

A Summer of Boating – Richard Spelling

In preparation for the much anticipated messabout in Port Lavaca, I decided it would not necessarily be a bad idea to check the boat and trailer out, before I towed them 1200 miles.

Matagorda Bay is a huge body of water, at least when compared to most inlandlakes, with about a 10 mile fetch for the prevailing wind to push up waves.

Anticipating larger waves on the trip than I was used to, I decided to give the boat a workout at the only local lake that even approaches the conditions in Matagorda Bay. Oolagah, north of Tulsa, has about a 10 mile fetch running north-south, and is famous in the area for good sailing. On the morning of the Oolagah trip, the weather man was predicting light winds, but I decided I would ignore him and go anyway.

When I got there the wind was absolutely perfect for the trial, a steady 14 knots directly from the north, right down the length of the lake. I have a hard time judging wave size, but it was rough enough for the flat bottom of the boat to drop off about every third wave. I sailed to windward for about 4 hours, going the 10 miles or so to the hiway bridge on the other end of Oolagah, slamming and pounding and splashing the whole way. Much fun.

While doing this, I experimented with sheet to tiller self steering systems for the Chebacco. I have reservations about using them on an unballasted boat, but I tried anyway. Not much success, the sheet didn’t want to move the tiller, even though I’d spent hours making sure it turned freely. Finally connected a bungee to both sides (see pic), and that worked, after a fashion. When the boat fell off, the hydrodynamic pressure on the rudder would push the tiller over, and the boat would head up. When it headed up too much, the bungees would pull the tiller over the other way, and the boat would head down. This setup maintained 4-4.5 knots for hours on end. While I could have sailed a bit faster by hand, I enjoyed sitting there and watching the tiller move on its own, relaxing, and drinking Budweiser.

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The run back to the ramp was quite fun, and the boat got bounced around by the 2ft or so of chop. Enough chop that I got used to it, and built up more confidence in the boat– Which was kind of the whole reason for going out…

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The GPS came in pretty handy, too, as I wasn’t familiar with this lake at all, and would have taken a couple wrong turns without it.

Pulling the boat out, the winch post on the trailer snapped at my weld… one of these days I’m going to learn how to do that right. Anyway, was able to get the boat back on by bracing the winch with some wood, and rewelded it when I got back to the house. Another good reason to take the boat and trailer on a “trial” sail, I guess.

Part of the trip prep was to see how well the wife’s mini van pulled the boat, to make sure we wouldn’t have any problems taking the van to Texas. I pulled it to Pryor with the F350, and then we swapped tow vehicles and towed it to Grand Lake, to meet a friend of the family.

The van towed and launched the boat just fine. We sailed around a bit in light air, and got a couple of admiring comments from people in quarter million dollar boats, then headed back to the ramp.

The van pulled the boat out just fine, but after I got out to make sure the boat was sitting right on the trailer, I couldn’t get back into the van! I must have hit the lock button or something when I got out. So, the van is sitting there blocking the ramp, with the trailer half in and half out of the water, engine running, and all doors locked. How annoying.

Mique, my wife’s friend, drove her back to the house to get the spare key, and I had to sit there and explain to everyone who wanted to use the ramp that they couldn’t, and why… The most generous comment I got was “It happens to the best of us!”

The trip to Lavaca was uneventful, with the exception of the three or so times I had to pull out the GPS to verify where we were. Some of the road signs in Texas are problematic…

At the last gas stop, in Port Lavaca itself, there was a smaller production sailboat and a guy with a British accent there. (Cortez 16, Noel Nicholls, ed) The wife was curious, so I sent her over to ask directions. Not because I couldn’t find the place (we had the GPS), but so she could talk to the guy. ( Note from Pat –He neglects to mention I warned him that he had to be nice to people with plastic boat because not everyone is privileged enough to have a wooden boat!)

Noel and another fella were there setting up their boats when we got to the ramp. I pulled in behind them, setup Schoedinger, and pulled around them to the ramp… while they stood there with open mouths…

As I sail up to the van and our chosen pagoda, some guy on a huge production boat says “Hi, Richard”. Hey, I recognize that voice! It’s Tom Cole, down from Texoma, with his Shearwater 28, the replacement for his Micro 19.

While Tom is setting up to take me for a ride in his new boat, a container ship comes into port. I grab the camera and start taking pictures, pretty neat, it passes really close to the beach…

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Hey, is that a wake coming?

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Well, shit.

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No damage, but Pat says “After what I have just seen, I think my laptop will be safer in the van”

About the time for the Patagonia raid, Tom, George and I sailed over to Keller Bay to recon the area. Didn’t find a perfect spot, but the ocean side of the bay seemed to be doable. A very organic spot, with mussel clusters in the water, reeds in the salt marsh, etc. Very pretty, very nice. Then the sun set.

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One thing I didn’t consider, of course, was that “organic”, and “marsh”, mean mosquitoes. While not any bigger than the variety in Oklahoma, they certainly were more numerous… And they thought that the inside of the windows in Schroedinger was a perfect place to spend the night.

Having been warned, we had netting to sleep under. However, they seemed to be getting through it. While this was probably just a combination of my imagination, the itch from the salt from the water, etc, it was enough to keep Alana and I up, which kept everyone else up. Finally, Pat says “Take me to a hotel”.(Note from Pat— Richard gave in FIRST. This was his trip and I was bound and determine to tough it out. I went outside and wrapped myself in mosquito netting, folded myself up and laid with my face over the side of the boat where it was cool. It really wasn’t all that bad for me, but there were some hot and itchy people complaining all night. I laid there thinking things like.. “I wonder how much he values his marriage” and “I wonder how Richard could get home if I just get in the van and leave.” Fortunately, he is a man that is smart enough to know that if he was miserable, I was even more miserable. He did suggest that we sleep on the beach but I vetoed that and paid for the hotel and then refused to camp the rest of the weekend. He was secretly relieved to come back at night to a shower and a dry, comfortable bed.)

Here, of course, is where the GPS really came in handy. Pitch black and an unfamiliar shoreline, there was basically no way we could have headed back without the GPS. We motored back to the beach, packed the boat up, and rented a hotel room.

Seeing as one of the things this trip was to do is see if I could take everyone on the boat on a trip, I would have to consider it a failure in that respect.

The next day was the messabout, which was quite fun. I even enjoyed being sociable, and seeing all the boats. I got to sail Tom’s Shearwater, and Chuck’s Ladybug, the latter bringing back all kinds of memories. (Note from Pat –Richard did seem to enjoy himself and the shrimp Mary cooked and the boudin that Tom brought made the meal memorable for me. The boxed wine helped with the whole trip as well, LOL)

Later in the afternoon I made the perfect anchoring maneuver– Almost. I sailed up to the beach, raised the board, and let the sheet out. Then I threw the bow anchor over the stern when the boat was about 150 feet from shore. It spooled out, dragged a bit, and set at a perfect distance to spin the boat around. When the stern of the boat was spun around it was only 10 feet from shore, so I threw the stern anchor onto the beach and headed up front to take in the slack on the bow anchor. Perfect. Except I forgot to cleat off the stern anchor, so the rope spooled out and went in the drink!

During the messabout, someone commented on the name of my boat, and that only about 20% of the people out there would get the joke. I told him that his figures were way off, that more like 2% got it…

That afternoon, I had another chance to ride a big wake. Here comes that same ship, dragging another wake behind it! I hop in my boat, and turn it into the wave, pulling on the well set anchor for five minutes as NOTHING happens. No wave. No wake. Not even a ripple. Go figure.

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The trip back was relatively uneventful, we stopped and for lunch at a rest area, and met Mom for dinner when we passed her place.

The Midwest Messabout was only three weeks after Port Lavaca. Having learned my lesson from Lavaca, I took only one person with me to Rend lake. I had originally planned on driving there Thursday, but the transmission on my Tacoma went out and I spent Thursday putting a new one mostly in. Friday, Alana and I drove down in the spare truck.

It was almost dark when we launched, and the sun had set by the time we got to the messabout area. I visit for a bit, then proceed to set the anchors so we could get some sleep, so we could get up early in the morning.

Then, this guy comes over and says “Will you help me go find my bird?” Thinking I had misheard him, I reply “Excuse me?” “My pet parrot got loose, and it flew over the lake. Can we take your boat out and look for it?”

Well, how could I turn that down? So we headed out into the failing light, with this guy and his daughter standing in the forward hatch saying “Sweet Pea. Here Sweet Pea.”…

I would run the motor for a bit to build up some speed, then we would drift and they would call for their bird. Eventually, it was pitch dark, and we had found no bird, so we headed back. All this time I’m thinking that Sweet Pea is probably over the horizon singing “I’m Free! I’m Free!” …

After we got the anchors set and went to bed, it started to rain and the wind picked up. The wind was coming almost directly from across the lake, and pulling on the bow anchor. I worried about it pulling out, as the boat was bouncing around quite a bit, and the anchor was holding us only about 20 feet from a bunch of very nice wooden boats on the beach.

Finally, I realized: 1) I had set it going about 3 knots and it had stopped the boat dead. 2) I had about 100 feet of rode out, and the water was only about 10 feet deep, if that 3) And finally, if it did break free I would probably ground out before I got close enough to the other boats to damage them.

So I finally got to sleep. (after I changed into dry clothes. Amazing how being dry, snug, and comfortable helps you sleep, no?) Where I dreamed I was awake and worried about the anchor pulling out… Don’t you hate recursive dreams? So, if you spend all night asleep, dreaming you are awake, does that count as sleep?

The next day was quite fun, I got to meet lots of interesting people, then immediately forget their names…

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There was even a Light Schooner there! Which I later rescued… Rob Rohde-Szudy launched his light Schooner on it’s maiden voyage. With his wife, two SMALL kids, and one BIG dog. We saw them paddling it out of the launch cove.. Then we saw the storm coming… I helped Steve Lewis get the motor on his power skiff, and he headed out to give them a tow. Then I got to looking at the angle his boat was pulling, and I thought about the people who died on Keystone in a storm, in a boat bigger than Steve’s… So I headed to mine and started pulling the anchors. Alana decided that she had to go with me, and came running. I told her to stay on shore, but she pretended not to hear me. I wasn’t worried for myself, so there was no reason to not let her go, so I threw her a life jacket and we headed out.

The wind was blowing 15-20 knots, and the waves had kicked up to about 18 inches. Not bad at all, 2 of the last 4 times I had been out had been in worse water, though not in pouring rain.

By the time I got out there, Steve was already pulling them back, but the nose of his little skiff was up in the air about three feet, and the transom was below some of the waves, so he had no issues with handing off to me.

I cleated the tow rope to the stern anchor cleat, and we headed back in. I had to signal to Rob to straiten out, as his boat was crabbing sideways in the water and I was worried about us digging one of those hard chines into a wave and capsizing his boat.

After it calmed down a bit, I snapped a picture of him under tow.

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When we got them close to the shore, the dog decided that he had had enough and abandoned ship. Alana was quite impressed with the whole operation, and I have to say I had a blast doing it.

Checked out a bunch of other boats, and enjoyed chatting with everyone. Was especially impressed by Dave Seaburg’s D4, which even had a homemade roller furling system.. Almost made me want to put a bowsprit on the Chebacco, so I could build my own roller furling system!

On the long drive back, I decided I’m going to sell the F350. I got passed one to many times by F150’s towing 30ft travel trailers, going uphill at 80 mph! I’m thinking a diesel 4×4 with an extended cab.

Had a chance to weigh the truck and trailer on some 18 wheeler scales at one of the gas stops. Truck weighs 6750 lbs, and the trailer weighed in at 3220 lbs. With 300 pounds of the trailer on the tongue, I figure the trailer and boat weighs in right at 3500lb. Say 700lb for the trailer, and 2800lb for the boat. About 1000lb heavier than I had figured, but still within the towing capacity of my vehicles (Note from Pat – which means that the boat is still small enough to be towed by the Volvo convertible I am drooling for.)

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Laters.

***

City Centre Sailing 2004 – Richard Elkan

Hello Richard

Jamie Orr dropped me an email saying you were looking for Chebacco material and suggested I got of my a**e and wrote something. So here it is, sent to two email addresses as Jamie wasn’t sure which one I could get though to!  Thanks for all your efforts in keeping us Chebacconists
in touch.  Richard Elkan

I live in London and I’d like to take you on a Chebacco trip down the London River, if Richard will permit me. Perhaps you are wondering what the London River is? Well most people would call it the River Thames but the traditional name for the Tidal Reaches of the Thames is the London River and that’s where we are going. We are voyaging on Sylvester a wonderful Chebacco, built by Bill Samson and purchased from him, by myself in 2003. We will travel from Sylvester’s mooring at
Shadwell, which is about a mile downstream from Tower Bridge to Gravesend about 25 miles further downstream, a five hour journey, with the ebb tide.

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So it’s a twenty five minute drive from my house near Highgate to Shadwell. Sylvester is waiting patiently on her mooring, but to get her out there was quite an event and presents a view of a Chebacco that most owners will never have seen and yes my heart was in my mouth as one thing you learn very quickly on the London River, is that you if you want to go anywhere, and more importantly get back, you sail with the tide. A third hour Spring tide will run at 6 knots and my 3hp Yamaha just doesn’t cut it against this, if the wind drops! So Gravesend it is!  I have done this trip there and back in a single day, I have also done it single handed . But I must confess this trip is a
compilation of many individual trips, so if the sky changes from blue to black, the reason is the pictures might have been taken 6 months apart and if Sylvester changes from an all White to Cream Hull and Fawn Cockpit, it’s for the same reason. So professional continuity artists,
look away now!

700 kilos of Chebacco was craned from the Quayside to the water. ( If your wondering how much this cost, the answer is nothing, as the crane was booked for a morning and only had to lift a workboat and Drascombe longboat in, Sylvester just kind of slipped in alongside.)


What goes up………

tn_Sylvester_on_Crane tn_Sylvester_on_Crane_2

Must come down.      Nice to have helpful friends!!!!!!!

So here we are at the mooring below (photo courtesy of Jamie Orr) rigging up and getting ready for the off. In the background is Canary Wharf, the new East End of London, situated on the Isle of Dogs, so called as this was where King Henry VIII kept his hunting dogs. The dock entrance (shown above) is to the old Shadwell basin, famous in our family as being the place where my late father in law moored up in his Submarine on the occassion of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth (the 2nd that is)  See we’re almost related to royalty.

mooring3

So we rig up and cast off and head down river with the tide. As you can see the river is only about 400 yards wide here. It can be a very busy river. Most frequent are pleasure boats taking site-seers down to Greenwich or the Thames Barrier or the Hydrofoil river buses travelling at 30+ knots and completely silently at that, can be scary!!!! There are working boats too, such as tugs with waste barges in tow or the sand carriers which are small freighters. Weirdest of all is when the very big Cruise Liners come up to moor along side the Belfast or even Aircraft Carriers that come up as far as Greenwich. It is not without it’s risks. A friend of mine had his Wayfarer Dinghy moored about twenty yards from Sylvester. A tug was turning a French Warship at Shadwell and “got it wrong”. He took out my friends mast, turned him turtle and snapped the mooring chain. The harbour master saw fit to moor what was left of the dinghy to Sylvester’s transom, still up side down!!!! I was none too pleased and asked  him to remove it before the mooring dragged. One thing I have learned on the London River is that manoeuvrability is of great importance. To this end I always keep the mizzen set, even in winds up to force 6. Often on the river you may only have one chance to tack, before you run out of water and hit the embankments. So hauling in the mizzen really powers the boat through the wind and you never get caught in irons or find your tack has failed. From Shadwell to Greenwich is just under an hour and rather than any kind of chart, you just need a good street map to indicate the river side pubs, many of which we visit from the water if the river bed is exposed and the tide is flooding. Try it on the ebb and it could be six to seven hours before you can float off again. You have been warned!

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Here we are moored up at North Greenwich, on the north bank of the river. Opposite is Sir Christopher Wren”s beautiful Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich proper. I once saw a Dolphin in this reach of the river and have seen a Seal playing around the moorings as far up as Shadwell.  Most common in the river are the eels. These are still fished by commercial fishermen, albeit on a very small scale. Delicious when smoked, disgusting when “jellied”, which I am afraid to say is the traditional East End of London delicacy. Just out of picture is the Trafalgar Tavern, a great pub to visit by boat. We leave Greenwich and carry on past the Millenium Dome and down to the Greenwich Yacht Club of which I am a rather new member. It has a great club house built on stilts out in the river. The government built this great new structure for the club when they were forced to leave their old site so that the Dome could be built. Many people will tell you that this is the only good thing to come out of the Dome fiasco. It is still unoccupied since 2001. GYC arrange for cruiser racing and it appears that Sylvester has got herself involved in a race. Here we are trying to outrun some club member’s yacht, he hasn’t a chance!!!!!!

tn_Race_1

Having acquitted ourselves reasonably well in the race (by NOT coming last!!!!!) we head back to the club house for long drinks and tall stories.


Greenwich Yacht Club is very close to the impressive Thames Barrier, that is designed to keep London safe from flooding.(photo below) It is necessary to call up the barrier control on the VHF radio and ask permission to pass through the barrier. One interesting thing I have discovered about Chebaccos is that they are invisible to radar! Stealth boats, no less!  Despite the fact that I always wait until I am within sight  of the barrier, the barrier control (call sign London VTS) always ask me where I am (they could see us if they looked out of their window), but they are glued to their radar screens. So never assume your all wooden Chebacco will be seen by other boats’ radar. They like us to motor through the barrier and I do if sailing upwind. On a run it is ok to sail through but try and beat through and you can get into a real pickle as the winds do all sorts of strange things between those weird shape pilings.

tn_Sylvester_ barrier

Once through the barrier and safely past the Woolwich Ferry, which is a free car ferry that carries around 50 cars at a time across the river the river begins to widen gently. Here I have experienced great fun with wind over tide conditions. This part of the river can kick up a real chop, especially toward the south bank. I don’t know why here particularly but you sure get a lively switch back of a ride with a spring tide against a force 4 wind. Sylvester’s flat bottom does tend to pound into the chop, causing much spray and laughter, as long as you are not the foremost crew member, who takes the brunt of the spray and keeps the rest of us dry!!!


Here is a picture of the author of this tale. The building right behind the mizzen is the Woolwich Ferry South Terminal with a ferry in dock. Level with my eyes is the Thames Barrier, we have just passed throughand the tall buildings are Canary Wharf, in the distance. Traffic from here on is limited to commercial vessels and private craft. Gone are the pleasure boats and river taxis. Still there are plenty of moored barges and other oddities to be on the watch for. We pass Fords of Dagenham, where Ford cars used to be built. It is now being transformed into a research centre for the automotive industry. The ebb sweeps us down past the moorings of Erith Yacht Club where a very Bolgeresque mini schooner is moored. (below) You can see how the nature of the river has changed. This south bank is now salt marshes and home to many birds. I always like this reach, as it is a view of the river unspoilt by the twentieth century and you can imagine the tall ships of yesteryear sailing up and down this great river.


Sometimes you don’t even have to use your imagination. Sometimes they just appear, just like this one……….

tn_Endeavour_Thames_May_04_06

The Endeavour……… you can tell by the surroundings that Captain Cook is not on board, in this incarnation. I can tell you I got an immense shock when I turned round, whilst helming Sylvester and saw this coming up silently behind me. Still on we go and underneath the most recent of the London River Bridges, the elegant Queen Elizabeth 2nd bridge, carrying the M25 motorway over the river.


There is still a lot of industry round here and we have lost the salt marshes under petro-chemical installations. Still Greenhithe is still an interesting  village and there is plenty of maritime history, if you know where to look. Not long to go until we reach Gravesend. First we come to Tilbury a very interesting Passenger Ferry Terminal for London. Once incredibly busy but now much reduced in importance. It also the site of a seventeenth century fort, still totally intact and quite fascinating to visit. From Sylvester we view a huge Japanese cruise ship and get a cheery wave from one of her crew standing by the terminal building.


And so on to Gravesend our destination. I could show you pictures of the old town, the sailing club, the trots of pilot tugs that tow the large shipping up to the Pool of London or even Princess Pocahontas’ grave (for she is buried here) but I won’t as I haven’ got any pictures, but what I have got is a record of what actually was awaiting us on this trip………………something to appeal to our American brethren and what all good Englishmen get up to on a sunny summer weekend………..


Re-enacting the American Civil War…….what else!

tn_civil

Happy sailing to all,  Richard Elkan, London.Strange what you see from a Chebacco on the London River!  and I’m really not making this up.

Richard

P.S. Having just discovered Google Maps, I realise you can follow the course of this trip from Shadwell to Fords of Dagenham, in high resolution satellite imagery. Shadwell is easily identified by the the seven moored boats in the river. At the time of this photograph Sylvester was not one of them! You should be able to identify the Isle of dogs (big U bend in the river) Greenwich, Greenwich Yacht Club (on the south bank), the Millenium Dome (big white circular blob) the Thames Barrier (obvious), the Woolwich Ferry (terminal on both banks) and Fords (on the north bank, just before the hi-res imagery runs out. From here we are in lo-res but you can easily make out the QE2 Bridge, Old Tilbury Docks ( a weird L shape of blue on the north bank) and finally the built up area is Gravesend.

Thanks

Richard Elkan

 

Landmarks

***

Chebacco Building – Marston Clough

BEGINNINGS 2001

I had already built a Bolger Bobcat (Tiny Cat) to be used with a Beetle Cat mast and sail that my brother owned. That boat has served me well but some time passed and I guess I got itchy to build again. I had long admired the Chebacco, having seen the article in Wooden Boat some years ago.

So I ordered the plans and in August 2001 I bought my first pieces of plywood and started laying out some of the molds at the end of my summer vacation. I planned to build this boat mainly during summer when I wasn’t doing other things.

In the fall I bought wood for the mizzen mast and spars. With the help of a friend at the school where I taught, and with his good tools and skills, a hollow mizzen mast was built using the “birds- mouth” method as described in Wooden Boat. We both enjoyed this process, especially in January when there is little boating to be done in New England.

I ordered a set of sails from Sailrite and started sewing the mizzen during my Christmas vacation from teaching school. I used a twenty-five year old portable sewing machine from Sears and worked primarily on the kitchen and living room floor. I found the instructions and kits to be very easy to follow. It was not especially easy, however, to roll up the cloth and sew the longs seams on this small machine. Overall it was a satisfying challenge and good use of winter.

02 MORE PREP

In the summer of 2002 I continued laying out pieces such as the stem, transom and centerboard case and gluing them up. This was inside work and I like to be outside so I fished and played with my other boats. I did a little more work on the sail before school started again and then more sewing when winter set in.

2003 SETTING UP

This year I was ready to take the frame pieces out of the cellar- my goal was to have a boat-shaped skeleton set up before the ground froze.

In June I cleared space in the yard, moving some earth around to make a place large enough to fit the ladder.

My schedule for boatbuilding took a back seat when I contracted to sail as cook and seaman on a small freighter from Massachusetts to Suriname (returning with wood for real boat builders). That’s another story but it removed six weeks from my building plans.

Before I left was able to mark and cut bottom and side panels.

When I got back from my sea trip I worked hard to get boat-shaped sculpture made.

I made my ladder frame stand off the ground somewhat- partly because the ground was uneven and partly because I wanted to be able to get under reasonable easily. I ended up making sort of a bulkhead next to the frame on one side.

image002

To be honest, I found it a good challenge just to get the spacing of the frames correct from the plans. Setting up the frames on the ladder took some tinkering to get things plumb and level and fair to a batten. It was satisfying however to see the outline of the boat.

image004 image006

It took some time just to get the proper heights translated from the plans to the real thing.

I continued by adding the stem, transom, side panels and bottom panel.

image008 image010

The bilge panels were an enormous job and even though I had been as careful as I could at each stage there were gaps that would need to be filled with generous amounts of epoxy.

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I fitted the centerboard soon after this shot was taken, before the bilge panels were finally fitted.

As November (2003) began I covered the boat and moved inside for the winter. The panels were epoxy tacked at this point, except for the outer layer of the bilge panel forward which was done in two layers. During the winter I finished up the mainsail, hand sewing the grommets which was a pleasant way to spend a winter evening.

2004 THE YEAR OF EPOXY

Actually the epoxy didn’t stop in 2004 but as I look at my log, from May to November, the constant word is epoxy. Cover the seams with epoxy. Fill the seams with epoxy. Epoxy this. Epoxy that. Fill, fair and sand and sand and sand.

image002

This picture shows that I glassed the hull before adding the keel pieces. In the forward section I ended up making the keel solid, laminated from construction fir. Aft of the centerboard there is a hollow plenum as shown in the plans. The ladder turned out to be useful since my frame is fairly high off the ground.

The big event of the summer was turning her over- a job made quite easy by my friend Jerry who owns boats (he’s a very good sailor) and a boom truck (from his construction business).

image004 image006 image008 image010

Now I had a large wooden bathtub and I worked through the fall both to begin the interior and decks, making sure I covered her carefully each night.

image012

Many of the pieces in this photo have not been fastened yet.

In November I closed her up completely with layers of tarps laid over a homemade frame. Despite one of the snowiest winters ever the frames and tarp worked well.

Marston Clough

Notes on making blocks for my boat:

It was (is!) winter here in New England and I had time to work indoors on boat related projects, so I decided to try my hand at making some blocks for rigging as well as making the mast.

Some time back I had looked on the web and finally found that Dave Goodchild had fooled around with making his own blocks using plywood. I found this information atwww.boat-links.com page 37 (and even then it was hard to find). It is worth searching for.

The Goodchild method uses two outside pieces of plywood for cheeks and two smaller pieces as spacers for the sheave. See my crude model.

image002

With that as a model I looked for a source of sheaves and found the Duckworks site and ordered a few of their affordable nylon sheaves. The Duckworks people were (are!) great.

My brother also found an article in Wooden Boat #41 that showed how to make a wooden block from a solid piece of wood. This is a good article. Brian Toss made a beautiful piece and I wanted to try my hand at that method even though I’m not a craftsman.

I took a chunk of 2×4 and made a crude mock-up.

image004

This mock-up is about four inches long and roughly half as wide.

Thus encouraged I bought a chunk of maple and tried to make a few blocks. I should have been a little more careful drilling out the cores because I didn’t always get the holes lined up. You need to clamp the piece to keep it from moving around.

I drilled the core first, then cut grooves into the sides for the line to go around the block, then cut the corners and started smoothing. I first tried using a bolt for the pin but opted to try some bronze rod instead. I was going to try cotter pins to hold the bronze in place but had trouble drilling it, which was just as well because a closer look at the WoodenBoat article revealed that Mr. Toss relied on the line around the block to keep the pin in place.

I bought some line and reviewed how to splice two lines together. I’ve still got five more splices to make, but I’m encouraged by the result of the first one.

image006 image008 image010 image012

***

2005 Small Boat Rendezvous – Sucia Island – Randy Wheating

image002

Bluster, Wayward Lass and Full Gallop at Fox Bay, Sucia Island

The 2005 Small Boat Rendezvous was held on Sucia Island, San Juan Islands July 8th to 11th, 2005. This second annual event attracted an assorted collection of 14 small boats from British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Included in the group were three Chebaccos – Wayward Lass, Full Gallop and Bluster.

Jamie Orr and his father Les sailed over from Vancouver Island on Friday. I towed Bluster from our home in Port Moody (near Vancouver) to Bellingham, Washington on Saturday morning. Joining me this year was my wife, Lisa Rae Devries, and boys Jacob and Sam. At the excellent Squalicum Harbour in Bellingham we met up with Chuck Gottfried and Dean Bishop launching Full Gallop. Bluster and Full Gallop motored in tandem across Bellingham Bay to the point where we set sail for the run up Hale Passage. We eventually lost our wind and motored the remaining distance to Sucia Island. Bluster detoured slightly to check out the pretty Rolfe Cove marine park on the west end of Matia Island. Made landfall at Fox Bay around 3:00 pm. and joined the small boaters already gathered there.

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Jacob takes Bluster’s helm while Sam rides in the dingy, Fib

The remainder of this day and the next were spent socializing, relaxing, exploring and taking short boat trips. On Sunday the three Chebaccos practiced a synchronized routine and photo-op.

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Wayward Lass and Full Gallop

By noon on Monday everyone had dispersed to various take out points or in the case of Wayward Lass and Full Gallop to continue a week of exploration in the beautiful San Juan Islands.

The weather turned nasty on our return trip to Bellingham with winds gusting to 25 knots and one meter waves with whitecaps on the nose. The three and a half hour outbound trip turned into a six hour return voyage. Crew and boat performed brilliantly.

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Pilot House

As with the 2004 Small Boat Rendezvous this was great fun and we all look forward to this or similar events in the future. Many thanks to Jamie Orr for all his work making this happen.

Note: http://members.shaw.ca/jamie.orr/index.htm is the web site for e interested in more information and photos.

Randy Wheating

Port Moody, BC

Chebacco News 49

News, questions, and boats for sale.

News:

Well, the long anticipated calendar is a bust. My preferred publisher was having health and technology issues. I may still do one using cafe press, but since I only received one order for the one that didn’t work, a calendar really isn’t hight on the priority list of things to do. Been kind of quite, only took the boat out once since the last issue. You would think that being unemployed would give me plenty of time to do that, but for some reason it didn’t work out that way. I plan on going to a couple of messabouts this summer, I’ll take pictures and write something up about them.

Let’s see, we had vandals posting all kinds of php based scripts in the registry, taking advantage of the facility that was there to allow you to post pictures. I’ve locked down the registry, so if you want to edit your entries, or add a new one, just send me an email with the relevant details. You can also send a picture, if you want, and I’ll include it.

Speaking of email, I was getting 300+ spams, and at least 20 trojans, a day, do I’m bouncing all email sent to my old email address. I posted the new email address on this site, but it wasn’t a couple of days before I started getting spam and worms again. I believe they scan the web and dig email addresses out of webpages. Working on that theory, I have implemented a script based form to send me email. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you are wanting to send in an article for publication, just send me an email with the form and I’ll tell you my direct email address.

We have ten articles this issue, if you include this news sheet. One if even a contribution about writing contribution, (a meta article, an article about articles! hehe), by Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks fame.

Thanks for all the contributions for this issue, and I hope you enjoy it.

Chebacco Richard

Questions:

Noted a mizzen comment by Donna D’Agostino and Vincenzo Ciminale in Italy.  Pass on to them the notation a windsurfing boom for their mizzen ashes snap on in a minute, can be extended to multiple lengths and can be hyper lengthened with 1″ thin wall aluminum tubing.  It would get them out of the business of “walking the boom” as they tack.
Dave Godsey

Chebacco’s for sale:

***

Free time and boat cruising – Richard Spelling

Well, my 9-month sojourn into the ranks of the unemployed is finally over.

I’m working night shift, on an Air Force base, 100 miles from the house, but it beats the alternative.

You know, I always thought that if I ever became unemployed, I’d just fall back on my non-IS skills, or take some low paying IS job. I found out the hard way that the companies with the lower paying IT jobs are all bargain shopping, and think you are over qualified if you have more than one certification. If the first thing they ask you when you send them your resume is “what are your salary requirements?”, this is a bad sign. Or they want you to have a BS in computer science, 10 years of experience, and then want to pay you $10 an hour…

As for working non-is type stuff, I tried that. Still have a going concern manufacturing variable output forge blowers and DC motor kits. Of all the things I tried in an attempt to rustle up money during my “vacation”, building those was the most enjoyable, and made a decent profit. And I tried a bunch of things, from mowing lawns, to doing handyman work, to doing computer consulting, to putting in concrete slabs. All doable, but not enjoyable, partly do to the physical labor involved, but also do to the fact that they involved starting over, and wasting all the time and money I’d spent getting my degree and certifications.

The kicker was calling the “work force investment” people for retraining, and being told I couldn’t go to any CDL or welding classes because I had a BS degree. (!)

Let’s see. Still don’t have a car/boat port to put the chebacco under,   I’m currently using a “super tarp” I picked up on ebay. Basically a gray tarp, but not the cheap crap you get at Wal-Mart. Speaking of Wal-Mart, anybody remember when shoes lasted more than a month before the sides came apart? Sandals lasted almost as long? Remember back in the day, before Sam died, when you could return stuff to Wal-Mart if it broke? Ah, those were the days.

Anyway. Invitation to my wedding: “Oh, by the way, I’m getting married. Jan 1st, 2005, First Christian Church, Pryor, Ok. I’m marrying the preacher. Elvis will be there. You are invited.”

Yes. I got married. Again. To my ex-wife. Hey, there are no rules; I can do what I want. Besides, you really don’t know how important things are to you till you almost loose them… which is another story. And yes, Elvis was there.

So, I’m living in OKC, and in Mannford, and in Pryor. I stay in my apartment in the city during the week (horror of horrors, I hate it), go to the cabin in the woods on the weekends to work on blowers and controllers, and go visit the wife and kids in Pryor once a week. Well, shit, life sure was less complicated when I was unemployed and single. As my wife/ex-wife/wife used to say: “This damned job sure interferes with my free time!”

Incidentally, one of the options I was considering, if I didn’t find a job, and the money ran completely out, etc, was to go sailing and just not come back. Extended cruise. Got bored at work last night and got to wondering how far I could have gotten in my 20ft semi-open boat. Some reading on ocean cruises leads me to think I need to stay away from open water… <nervous laugh>

Then I got to trying to figure out how big a boat I would need… I think I like the idea of sailing into the sunset much more then I like the reality of it. I’m definitely a fair weather sailor, any waves over a foot or two just slow the boat down and annoy me. And big movements of the boat are only fun on occasion.

Maybe I do have the perfect boat. Keep this job long enough to pay everything off, then maybe instead of sailing into the sunset, I should hook the Chebacco up to the back of a nice tow vehicle, and head off to non-open water! hehe Wonder how big the waves get on Baja?

Anyway. I’ll write a more boat-oriented article for the next issue. If you don’t think I should be writing non-chebacco related articles for this webzine, feel free to write the editor… 🙂

Or, even better, send in your own boat/chebacco related stories, and I’ll publish them instead of boring you with the editor’s life!

Laters, fair weather, and stay employed.

***

Bluster, San Juan Islands – Randy Wheating

 

Hi Richard

Thanks for all the work on the Chebacco News.

I have attached a photo of Bluster motor sailing into Hale Passage, San Juan Islands.

This was taken by Gary Powell while under tow.  Gary and his daughter Kate were sailing his engineless dory as we were all returning to launch ramp from our very enjoyable Small Boat Rendezvous on Sucia Island this past July.  The wind had died off so we just tossed them a line for the final leg.

Fair winds,

Randy Wheating

Port Moody, BC

Bluster_Hale_Passage

***

Chebacco Progress – Howard Sharp

Dear Richard,

Daytime temperatures of 10ºF, not friendly to epoxy work, have brought my building progress to a halt.  I’ve tried electric blankets, a small
electric heater under the boat running 24 hours a day, but it’s still below freezing in my uninsulated garage.

I started in April of 1993, as I see from the letter Phil Bolger sent with the plans. I decided on lapstrake construction, which I was already used to.   Building has been slow, as work and family obligations take precedent, but I am close to flipping the hull at last.

I lofted the boat full size, simultaneously working out the planking layout, using the method Iain Oughtred describes in his lapstrake building manual.  I was able to loft the permanent bulkheads with the plank lands, so I could build them into the boat.   I’m using meranti ply from Noah for all the lower strakes and the bulkheads – anything which may end up being submerged in water.  The rest will be occuome. The meranti is a little splintery, but I believe it has more natural rot resistance than occuome, and I’ve actually found fewer voids in the meranti than the occuome.

The stem and the transom are locust.  I happened to have some lying around, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it – it’s very hard to work with, and of course very heavy.  However I’m  confident that the stem on this Chebacco will never rot and will demolish just about everything that it meets.    The transom runs straight across to include the motor mount, like Brad Storey’s boat.  I didn’t understand the implications of this until I found out that the 10º angle on the original design accommodates the default mount on most outboards!    For me that’s still not a dealbreaker, as it’ll be stronger, and I think it looks better.  The boat will have an 18″ bridge deck.    I’m toying with idea
of an electric propulsion system, and I’m still wondering whether or not to build a small bowsprit, partly for use with a jib, but mainly as
a cathead for carrying an anchor.

As soon as the weather warms up I’ll be putting dynel on the bottom and garboard, and I’ll paint the whole using Kirby’s enamel.

The name I’m not sure of yet.  Loosey Goosey springs to mind (along the lines of Itchy Scratchy).

Love the website.

All the best,

Howard Sharp.

tn_IMG_0457 tn_IMG_0460 tn_IMG_0514 tn_IMG_0536 tn_IMG_0541


The last boat I built – 10 years ago!  It’s an Iain Oughtred design, Ptarmigan, 11′ OAL.  The Chebacco fits into the garage with 2″ to spare,  My dream has always been to build something bigger – say about 4 tons.  The sheer size of the Chebacco has been a lesson in what I can expect if I go ahead with something bigger.

***

A Blustery Weekend on the Sunshine Coast – Randy Wheating

Lisa, Jacob, Sam and I spent a windy and wet at times extended weekend, August 20-22, with our Chebacco Bluster on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. This well known boating area is northwest of Vancouver and for us involves a one hour drive on either side of the Howe sound ferry crossing.

A heavily loaded Bluster was launched at the Halfmoon Bay public ramp and we were under way by 12:30 Friday. We motored a northwest along the coast via Welcome Passage to Smuggler’s Cove Marine Park. With its narrow entrance and various rocky arms this park is described in our guide as resembling an alpine lake. The boys went for a swim while we anchored for lunch. The new rope style boarding ladder was tested and works fine.

Next we motored a short distance to Secret Cove, a large three arm cove containing an assortment of marinas, private homes, and such. Tempting to stop at the ‘boat-in’ pub for a quick pint…

A quick trip across Welcome Passage lead to Buccaneer Bay Marine Park, situated on a narrow strip of land connecting North and South Thormanby Island. We landed at low tide and portaged our gear and provisions across the beach to a sandy and but fairly exposed campsite. Bluster was anchored just off the beach where she swung merrily at anchor in the 15 to 20 knot winds. The kids explored the beaches while Lisa and I set up camp before kicking back.

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Lisa in the galley, Buccaneer Bay Marine Park

Saturday dawned gusty and wet – not great family sailing weather. Fortunately for us my friend Ryan with his kids aboard their 37 foot steel ketch ‘Makoolis’ joined us and we were able to seek comfortable shelter with them. Unfortunately for Ryan, he anchored a little close in and became good and grounded on a sand bar with the falling tide. We tried all the exciting stuff like rowing his 65 lb CQR anchor to deeper waters and winching away but alas, lost race with the tides. The remainder of the day was spent drinking wine, playing cards and preparing dinner (those gimbaled stoves really work) up to a 30 degrees angle until the tides released us. No damage done. Of course if we were in a Chebacco we would have just jumped in the water and pushed her off, but I didn’t rub it in.

For the second night at anchor I set the mizzen and this did wonders at calming Bluster’s swinging in the winds. Having no experience in exposed anchoring I was very pleased with holding and reset abilities of my 5 kg Claw (Bruce copy) anchor when the wind shifted through 180 degrees overnight.

With a stiff onshore breeze we executed a near perfect (if I do say so) team beach extraction on Sunday morning:

  1. Broke camp and assembled the gear just above tide line.
  2. Rowed Fib (dingy) to Bluster, furled mizzen and warmed up engine.
  3. Raised anchor and motored to position where winds would blow Bluster onto beach near gear pile.
  4. At the point where there was still sufficient motoring depth dropped anchor then moved to windward stern cleat.
  5. Paid out anchor line until bow hits sandy beach then made her fast from the stern cleat which would held Bluster’s bow onto the beach and prevented a wind from turning her beam on.
  6. Lisa and the boys smartly relayed the gear to boat where I stowed it below.
  7. Team scrambled aboard and I hauled us off the beach with the anchor and spun the bow to the wind.
  8. Hauled Bluster to deeper waters where Lisa fired up the engine and powered us away.

Moderate westerly winds and swells from the Straight of Georgia met us as we exited Buccaneer Bay. Bluster had a great run down Welcome Passage under mizzen and jib after which we finished off the day exploring Halfmoon Bay and checking out the Merry Island lighthouse.

I was very pleased with the performance and balance of the jib/mizzen sail combination. Considering the gusty conditions and the fact that we had the kids aboard this reduced sail area gave us a comfort level that allowed us to just enjoy the ride. Our close reach speed (GPS) averaged three knots. The addition of the reefed main would have likely improved the performance but we were in no great hurry. Jacob and Sam split their time between snacking in the cockpit and below where they played cards, read and wrestled. Lisa manned (womanned?) the helm the entire homeward leg while I fiddled with the lines, charts, cameras and such.

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Jacob, Randy, Sam

Hauled the boat out at the public ramp, prepared and ate a late lunch, kids went for a final swim and we were able to catch the 4:00 pm ferry and be home for the evening news.

A terrific family weekend adventure.

Randy Wheating

Port Moody, BC, Canada

***

MASCF St. Michaels MD – Ed Heins

This was my first trip to the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival In St. Michaels.  In fact it was my first small boat gathering (messabout, gawkabout, BSabout) of any kind, and I was planning to present my long suffering project Chebacco  “Boudicea”, to the boatbuilding world.   I’m sure this was painfully obvious to many of my on line contacts, who diligently waded through ubiquitous questions and pre launch drivel.  I, by the way, suffer from all the common boatbuilder maladies; procrastination disorder (PD), designer second guessing syndrome (DSGS), complete confusion complex (CCC), and ham fisted knuckle busting wood butcher disease (HFKBWBD) sometimes known as ($%$&#@!!).   In addition to those common ailments however, this past September I was also suffering from a significant case of butterflies about dragging this project four plus hours around the infamous DC beltway, and an irrational fear that assuming we negotiated the trip without problem, that surely the Chebacco would reward my seven years of labor by, if not sinking outright, at least exhibiting some indication of my complete lack of skills, acumen and abilities.   Thankfully, none of that happened.

 

Departing New Market Virginia at about 3PM Friday Oct1, we cruised sedately along I-81 and I-66,  spent two hours creeping the 30 odd miles around DC on the 495, sat in the predictable Friday evening bay bridge traffic and arrived St. Michaels at about 9:30 PM.  We had reservations at the Best Western in town, and that seemed like a great place to park.  I’d made contact with Dick Burnham previously to give me a hand with the launching, and the next morning as we drove through the Maritime Museum parking lot, his red pickup fell in behind.  We launched at the town ramp next to the St. Michaels inn & marina, just around the point from the museum.  Seeing the festival for the first time and approaching from the liquid side is pretty spectacular.  The Museum has about three piers and they’d added a floating extension at the end of the tee on the largest to accept more boats.   We found a space to squeeze in at the very end of the tee and rigged a couple fenders to try to keep from sharing paint with the museum.

 

We were in good company.  A Bolger Lilli, a folding schooner,  a Jesse Cooper, and some of Jim Michalak’s designs.  (Maybe next year I’ll cartop my “Tween”, one of Jim’s sailing dink designs, which was my first project).  Chesapeake Light Craft were there in force.  I was surprised that my wife, Debs, having existed with her things being squeezed into half our garage for so many years, seemed to think we should take on a CLC sweetwater 16 canoe. Like I need encouragement…..

 

Saturday afternoon we had the opportunity to take Dick & Ula Burnham out for a spin. .   I’m very interested in seeing how Dick attacks some of the Chebacco’s rather quirky bits as he finishes “Stealing Horses”.  It would be great to see a couple of these cat yawls sailing together someday.  Although we didn’t have much air to play with, I was completely satisfied with the way the Chebacco handled.   We were able to tack, jibe, I guess we found virtually every point of sail and I’m pleased at how close winded she is.   Later that afternoon, Richard Elkan of London & “Sylvester” dropped by the end of the pier and we again made a cruise around the area, this time with the rest of the Heins family aboard..  Whereas Dick and I have no idea what a Chebacco should perform like, I was pleased that Richard didn’t seem surprised as we sailed sedately through the moored boats.  Then again, I managed not to get him wet, or hit him with the boom, so his expectations may have been low.   At the end of the day though, it’s great to talk face to face with the  owners and builders we’ve exchanged emails with.

 

So many other things at the show; John Welsford was great as expected,  the Redwing that’s in the current WoodenBoat magazine was there, my son enjoyed the kids activities.  I’ve got nothing but Kudos to the folks that organized and made the show happen.   Only thing that could have been better, maybe a couple more Chebaccos?  Maybe next year.

 

tn_Dick_Ula tn_MASCF_Chebacco tn_MASCF_Chebaccoside tn_MASCF_Richard tn_MASCF1 tn_Pier_1

***

Chebacco Update – Ben Ho

Hello Richard,

I am making slow but steady progress with my Chebacco, mainly building the major components first before I start on the hull which will take up most of the available work space. The following are a few photos on items that I’ve done differently.

Center Board: Instead of using lead, I’ve sandwiched the CB with 4 long pieces of ¼” mild steel. It should make the CB much stronger and hopefully will better withstand a lateral grounding. The total weight is about 60 lbs, a bit heavier than the standard construction.

The glued up and shaped plywood CB:

image002

Center channels routed in for the two steel bars to lay flush. One side of the bars is threaded to accept the through-bolts. Sitting at the corner is the hinge assemly that will go on the CB trunk.

image004

The CB sheet will go through this U-bracket. Since the bracket is gripping the thin edge of the CB, I made it 6” long with 4 through-bolts in order to spread out the load. I specified a small eyelet to tie the line, but the welding shop decided that it should be a larger hand-hold instead. Oh well.

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The CB glassed, dry fitting in the CB trunk.

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These S.S. T-nuts are ideal for holding the mounting plate on the trunk:

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Gluing up the CB trunk; the white piece lining the inside surface is counter-top laminate. This stuff is incredibly resistant to abrasion – I run my sander with 60 grit paper on it for 2 minutes, with no visible wear at all!

image012

The completed CB with a couple of coats of Interlux paint. To protect againt wear & tear, I build up a ¼” finger of epoxy along the bottom edge. A half-oval bronze strip will be further added on, once I figure out where to get them.

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Chebacco Raised Deck

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometime ago I commissioned PB&F to modify the Chebacco, mainly to enlarge the cabin by lengthening and raising it, and to move the after-deck back by the same amount in order to keep the cockpit length. The Chebacco Raised Deck is the resulting design. I subsequently decided to stay with the existing plan, because I’ve already started on it and also I prefer the old look. However some design changes are excellent ideas which I’ve gone ahead and implemented on mine. I will cover some of them here.

One of the biggest changes is the whole area near the transom. The rudder is now a balanced rudder with a tab forward of the rudder shaft, increasing the overall rudder area by about 25%. Due to the larger rudder and also the last bulkhead having moved aft, the keel skeg is no longer directly supporting the last bulkhead as in the original design. Hence there’s a fairly complex ‘backbone’ added to strengthen up the whole section:

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The transom backbone is a solid piece 2.5” thick, supporting the mizzen mast, rudder stock, and the slop well. The design calls for this to be one continuous piece as part of the keel. The rudder runs through the center of this piece. The small hole to the right of the ‘backbone’ is the drain. The cockpit is now a raised, self-draining cockpit.

I find it too cumbersome to have such a huge, complex keel, so I broke it down and built the transom backbone as a separate component, with a large part that goes below the bottom panel and will be solidly glued to the keel later:

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Bushings for the rudder, made from high density polyurothene (i.e. kitchen cutting board), and a stopper ring cut from 1/16” SS tube that fits the outer diameter of the rudder stock.

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Another deviation from the original design: I am concerned about mounting the rudder on a plate that protrudes a fairly long distance from the keel. What if some 300 lb gorilla sits onto the rudder while the boat is on a trailer? Instead of mounting the rudder off the keel, the transom backbone is a much better alternative. It provides a strong, balanced position to hold the stock with simply a stopper ring. The ring is glued to a PVC cap to provide a larger surface area, which rides on a nylon bushing. The bottom bushing shown in the picture is to be half-recessed and screwed onto the bottom panel, to protect the rudder from going up and grinding onto that area.

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That’s it for now. Time to get back to work!

Cheers.

Ben

***

Chebaccos Three! – Jamie Orr

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That’s Bluster in front, Wayward Lass on the left and Full Gallop on the right.

(Randy Wheating photo)

Last July, a fleet of small boats rendezvoused at Sucia State Park in the San Juan Islands. It was a great weekend, and you’ll find various accounts of it on the web, my own was posted on Duckworks in September. But what is of immediate interest is that there three Chebaccos in the fleet. These were Bluster, built by Randy Wheating of Port Moody, BC,Full Gallop, built by Chuck Gottfried of Springfield, Oregon and Wayward Lass, built by me Jamie Orr, (that’s me) of Victoria, BC.

Wayward Lass and Bluster have both been seen in these pages before. Chuck’s Full Gallop, however, is brand spanking new, being completed and launched only one week before landing on Sucia! How well she looked and sailed shows the massive effort made by Chuck to finish in time for the gathering.

All three boats are the sheet plywood version, but they aren’t identical. Wayward Lass is built as designed, but both Chuck and Randy made changes here and there. The most noticeable being that both made the cabin bigger and added a bowsprit. Randy also built a tabernacle/step for the mast, with standing rigging, while Chuck made his cockpit self-draining by raising the cockpit sole (floor). A benefit of the self-draining cockpit, besides the obvious one, is a lot of storage space. When cruising in Wayward Lass I’ve found storage is tight – we have to move all our stores to the cockpit when we want to sleep in the cabin.

Here’s Wayward Lass (green) and Bluster (white) on the beach at Sucia, among some of the other boats. Chebaccos are a little heavy to pull up and down the beach, but they have no problem nosing in to load and unload. A stern anchor can be helpful getting off again. (John Kohnen photo)

Here’s Wayward Lass (green) and Bluster (white) on the beach at Sucia, among some of the other boats. Chebaccos are a little heavy to pull up and down the beach, but they have no problem nosing in to load and unload. A stern anchor can be helpful getting off again.
(John Kohnen photo)

But Chuck and Randy can speak for themselves and describe the changes they made.

Here’s Chuck, about Full Gallop

Full Gallop incorporated several modifications, including a raised cockpit sole, raised and widened cabin, a bridge deck, curved seats and footwell sides, and a bowsprit. The raised sole was inspired by the need to keep the boat at a dock, and so be self-bailing thru Oregon’s rain. The added plus was a huge storage space under the floor, accessed by a watertight plastic hatch.

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Full Gallop’s cockpit,…

…her sloping cockpit sides and her stern.

…her sloping cockpit sides and her stern.

Here’s the bowsprit rigging.

Here’s the bowsprit rigging.

This shows the height of the cockpit sole.

This shows the height of the cockpit sole. (John Kohnen photos)

 

The cockpit floor is an extension of the rear ‘slosh pit’ floor at the stern. I didn’t want thru-hulls, so extended the floor such that it would drain thru large limber holes and out the stern. The floor extends forward to a bridge deck that’s set even with the centerboard trunk, with the bridge deck ending about 4” above the cockpit floor level. The floor is pitched about 1” overall, to drain to the rear.

The bridge deck extends 2’ back from the rear cabin bulkhead, and is designed with access on one side of the C/B trunk from outside thru a weatherstripped lid, and the other side accessed from inside the cabin. Part of the cabin bulkhead was removed to provide the inside access, and the area reinforced.

The result is vastly increased storage under the cockpit sole accessed thru the watertight hatch, and additional storage inside the bridge deck, accessed on one side from the cockpit, and the other from inside the cabin. The storage areas are quite deep, averaging over 14” deep in most places, and low in the hull. The shallower footwell doesn’t seem to be a problem, as the coamings are generous and the seats relatively wide.

I set a full-length carlin to support the deck, cabin sides, and seat backs and coamings, with decks approximately 9” wide at the cabin. This let me slope the seat backs outward and cabin sides inward, primarily for aesthetics. A mahogany block is set at the transition between seat backs and cabin sides, which align only at the deck level. The cabin is 2 ½” higher in the back and 2” higher forward, and probably 6” wider throughout. I installed heavy breasthooks to support oak mooring bitts and a bowsprit that butts to the front of the cabin, with that area and the area of the mast slot heavily reinforced with ply and oak gusseting. No gorgeous Jonesport cleat, like on Wayward Lass!

I flew a jib from the bowsprit until I pulled the luff wire out of it. I’ll experiment with setting the jib flying, tho I use a rope stay to steady the free-standing mast. In all, the modifications are not readily apparent unless you’re familiar with the design, but all made good sense for my needs and work passably well. I value the storage, and yes, Jamie, you can sleep below without moving everything!

Now, from Randy, about Bluster

Starting from the bow and working aft are some of the personal modifications I have worked into the construction of Bluster

Cabin

Bluster’s cabin roof has been raised two inches from the drawings and the sides extended out flush with the coamings. These changes add to the interior space at the expense of side deck width, reduced to about eight inches, which with the toe rail has not been a problem move forward.

A small bridge deck straddles the centerboard trunk with cut away in the bulkhead to allow access to this storage area from the cabin.

Bowsprit

This is a plank style bowsprit (overall 1.25”x9”x26”) that is contoured on the inboard end to match the curve of the forward cabin top face. A galvanized steel, two part bracket is bolted to the forward end as an attachment point for the forestay. The 5 kg Claw anchor resides on a roller in the center of the plank, aft of which is the main mooring cleat. The 15 ft chain and 150’ x 3/8” anchor rode pass through the side deck via a deck pipe and are stored in a bucket within the forepeak.

Here’s the bowsprit…

Here’s the bowsprit…

... and here it is again.

… and here it is again.

(Randy Wheating photos)

 

Tabernacle and Rigging

The tabernacle was welded up from ½” aluminum that is through bolted astride a double thick (one inch) bulkhead. The mast pivots on the upper bolt and the lower bolt is inserted and fastened once the mast is standing. The 1/8” ss shrouds are attached to galvanized chain plates with turnbuckles and are left in place when the mast is lowered. The forestay attached easily to the bowsprit bracket via a pelican hook. The gaff bridle is also made of 1/8” ss wire rope. Setting up is fairly simple – the mast is manually hinged into place, the lower tabernacle bolt inserted (temporary hold). The forestay in fastened via the pelican hook. Boom and gaff jaws and two sail luff ties fastened to mast and hoist away. In the lowered position the mast, boom and gaff with sail attached, and mizzen rest in holding fixture on the cabin top and a crutch in the cockpit.

The tabernacle was welded up from ½” aluminum that is through bolted astride a double thick (one inch) bulkhead. The mast pivots on the upper bolt and the lower bolt is inserted and fastened once the mast is standing. The 1/8” ss shrouds are attached to galvanized chain plates with turnbuckles and are left in place when the mast is lowered. The forestay attached easily to the bowsprit bracket via a pelican hook. The gaff bridle is also made of 1/8” ss wire rope. Setting up is fairly simple – the mast is manually hinged into place, the lower tabernacle bolt inserted (temporary hold). The forestay in fastened via the pelican hook. Boom and gaff jaws and two sail luff ties fastened to mast and hoist away. In the lowered position the mast, boom and gaff with sail attached, and mizzen rest in holding fixture on the cabin top and a crutch in the cockpit.

(Randy Wheating photo)

Transom and Motor Well

The motor well is slightly smaller than show in the drawings to just fit two Honda gas tanks, one forward and one aft of the mizzen/rudder post. The transom is constructed from one piece with a simple cut out for the 5 hp Honda. Holes in the transom facilitate motor well drainage. The stern deck is also a single piece with cutouts for the mizzen and rudderpost. There is no cut away between the cockpit and the motor well as shown in the drawings.

 (Randy Wheating photo)

(Randy Wheating photo)

 

Other Modifications
  • Blocks on gaff halyard and centerboard pendant to ease lifting.
  • Wooden strips on seat fronts to fit cross boards that can then hold floorboards flush with seat tops creating a huge cockpit sleeping platform. Boom tent to follow.
  • Watertight inspection hatches on cockpit bulkheads (accessible from cabin and lazarets) to create a usable yet watertight compartment.
  • Tiller extension for comfy steering.

Now it’s me again – Jamie speaking, I mean.

I haven’t given a lot of details about Wayward Lass, since there are several articles about building and sailing her already. But if you want to compare Randy and Chuck’s modified boats to what you’ll get by following the plans, look back through some previous newsletters. There’s a good picture in the last issue.

I like the bridge deck idea, I considered this myself, but decided against it. Don’t remember why, now. The wide cabin is a popular idea – other builders I’ve corresponded with or met have spoken of making the cabin as wide as the cockpit. The raised cabin would be welcome when you’re inside it, but I think it would have to be very carefully done or it would spoil the beauty of the design. That said, however, I have to admit that both Full Gallop and Bluster look pretty good!

The hulls on all three boats here are built as designed, at least below the waterline. Apart from weight and how it’s distributed, the only things left to make a difference in performance are the sails.

Bluster and Full Gallop have jibs set on bowsprits – I think jibs on Chebaccos need the bowsprit to work properly. I also have a jib, built according to the sail plan and set with the tack at the bow, (no bowsprit) but I rarely use it as it doesn’t work very well. Going to windward, it luffs when it is not sheeted in and upsets the flow of air to the main when it is. It does work when boomed out for running, but it’s too small to be very effective. It showed some potential when used in stronger winds with the mizzen, and no mainsail, but I haven’t explored that fully. I think it might be useful if you’re caught out in bad weather and have room to run. I think you could reach all right too, but would make a lot of leeway.

I don’t plan to add a bowsprit, but I am considering a reaching (asymmetrical) spinnaker for light winds, as shown on page 131 of Bolger’s 100 Small Boat Rigs. This would be set on a spinnaker pole that would serve as a very long bowsprit. I’m still working out the details, but stay tuned.

Wayward Lass’ main sail is different from the others, having eight inches of roach – all other things being equal, the roach adds a little speed. The downside is that battens are necessary to support the roach, and the batten pockets chafe. I’ve replaced these once already because I made them too light and two of the three battens wore right through the forward ends.

Both Chuck and Randy built their sails from Sailrite kits, and are very pleased with them. I can confirm that they look great, and seem to set well. Quiet a few builders have used Sailrite kits for main and mizzen now, and all the comments I’ve heard have been positive. So if you can’t borrow the school gym to lay out your sail, or don’t want the design headaches, Sailrite looks like the way to go.

At Sucia we didn’t do any controlled tests or scientific comparisons (also called races), but one day everyone sailed over to neighboring Patos Island. Wayward Lass was almost the last to get away from the anchorage, so I was out of the action and didn’t even see Full Gallop and Bluster sail together. However, I heard they performed about level with each other, and both skippers came away pleased with their boats.

The next day we were a little more organized, getting all three Chebaccos out together so John Kohnen could take some pictures for us. Outside of the WoodenBoat article comparing cold-moulded, plywood and lapstrake versions, this is the only time I know of that three Chebaccos have sailed in company.

Three Chebaccos, with Sucia Island in the background. Bluster is in the lead, Full Gallop is in the middle and Wayward Lass is coming up behind. (John Kohnen photo)

Three Chebaccos, with Sucia Island in the background. Bluster is in the lead, Full Gallop is in the middle and Wayward Lass is coming up behind.
(John Kohnen photo)

We can’t say yet which boat will be faster. On this occasion, Wayward Lass had an edge, since Chuck was still getting to know Full Gallop, and Bluster was towing a dinghy – very small, but still a handicap. However, the rendezvous was enjoyed by everyone who attended and we plan to hold another in 2005. We’ll be sure to organize some real match (grudge) racing then, so stay tuned!

***

Racing Micros and Floating Sheep Bridges – David Lewis

Never have editors for friends.  “Write an article for me,” they whine.
“Where’s my article I bullied you into agreeing to?”  I swear, it never ends.

As if I didn’t have enough to do, what with keeping my sheep wormed and happy, getting my steers to the butcher, finding customers, building the  infrastructure for a farm while working full-time planning new telecom and  network systems for an entire company move.

Here comes Richard, “You live five minutes from a lake, and you have a  Bolger Micro that you haven’t sailed in two years.  Surely there’s a  sailing story in there somewhere.”

Uh huh.

Ok, let’s see.  Well, something rather amazing did happen the other day.
Not so much sailing as “rafting” but…

My farm is split down the middle by a creek which, with all the rain we’ve  been having, is not a small one these days.  There’s only one spot that is  passable by man or truck and you don’t do it without getting wet.

Now that’s just fine for my cattle, they’ll plod through anywhere that’s  below their chests.  But my sheep are a bit more finicky.  And shorter.

So I decided it was time to build a bridge.  Now shoestring budget that I  have, I wanted to do this for next to nothing.  In fact, free was a good  target.  I could have gone and bought a culvert, buried it to 40%, put  fill and cement around it, and had a decent bridge for, oh, I don’t know,  $2000, $5000, something like that.  Or I could use my muscles, my  ingenuity, and materials I already had and keep the cost below a hundred.

I have about two hundred railroad ties sitting around collecting sheep  poop.  Some of them are light (well, relatively light) and some of them  are so heavy I can barely get them into the truck.  Heavier than water in  other words.  Being a bit lazy, I used whatever weights happened to be on  the top of the pile.  Some were heavy, some were light.

I hauled fourteen of them out to the crossing and laid two parallel to the  flow and ten across those two.  I tied them together with three poly-ropes  and laid the remaining two ties crosswise on the lower and the upper end –  to make a two-sided “bowl” that I could then fill in with a layer of rocks  and dirt on top of that.  Then I began filling in either side with rocks,  the plan being to build up ramps that would be level with the top of the
bridge.

I went and bought some threaded rod and some of those aluminum tent  stakes.  I would put two rows of threaded rod through the top two ties,  parallel to the creek flow.  I would drive four stakes down through the  top of the two ties.  This would help prevent those ties from pushing out  as weight was added between them.

Then there was about a week where I didn’t get a chance to work on my  bridge.  Then it rained.  Not heavy but it kept up for most of the day.

Then yesterday I went to put in my threaded rod.

I’m sure you’ve all figured out what happened.  Bridge gone.  Just not  there.

I started tramping down creek to find it.  I passed numerous spots where I  was sure it could NOT have passed, it being so shallow there.  I finally  found it about a mile downstream, hung up on a fence across the creek and  still tied together with the poly rope.

Knowing how heavy those dang things are, it still amazes me that it made  it that far.  Now I get to figure out how to pull the timbers out of  there.  Could a culvert and cement be in my future?

***

On Contributing – Chuck Leinweber

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If you are reading this article, you probably had a few minutes to kill and happened here by accident.  Perhaps you have this site bookmarked and check it regularly for new material.   Maybe you’re sitting at your desk taking a coffee break, or using your laptop at the beach in front of a five star hotel with WIFI.  If you are here, you probably like reading about boats and boatbuilding.  Where do these articles come from?

 

There are literally thousands of people writing blogs.  Who needs more blather on some website?  How much is there that can possible be of interest to some boatbuilder? Admittedly, Duckworks does post something new each day, and the Chebacco News posts great articles, but we’d be willing to bet you would like to see more about the subject you are particularly interested in.

 

Which begs the question.  Do you have an obligation or better yet a desire to add your opinion or experience? As an editor, I can categorically tell you that if you take the time to put your thoughts down, they will be appreciated.  Not just by frustrated editors like Richard and me, but also by all the other folks out there who are waiting to read what you have to say.

 

Whether you want to write about a Chebacco or some other boat design, you may be unsure how to proceed.  Rule one.  Just get the words down.  Type one word and then the next, and keep right on going. What are some guidelines?  I thought you’d never ask.

 

Your readers want to know how you did everything, especially if you came up with a novel way of accomplishing some of the more tedious parts of boat building.  The process is always of interest.  Just this afternoon, I puzzled over the assembly sequence of the boat I am building.  The instructions given in the plans are not always minute, and can sometimes be called obscure, so the voice of experience (yours) is always appreciated.  And if you’d like to wax poetic, rant and rave, or better yet, insert some humor, please feel free.  Your voice is what makes what you write special.

 

If possible, include photos.  This implies that you thought you might want to write something before you started building or before you took that cruise.  We always carry a camera, except the one time we didn’t even know it was still in the truck until we were ten miles from out launch point.  A digital camera is especially nice for web articles, and also nice because you can take about a million photos and never need to load new film.  Let the editor know where you would like each photo to be placed in the article by numbering them and indicating where each should be.  Digital photos are easy to enhance, easy to crop, easy to save in a compressed format that web editors like.   Most of us have scanners and can also use regular photos as well.

 

When you are done, ask a friend, your significant other, or the guy sitting next to you to read it through.  It is always hard to critique your own work.  Have them check for clarity first.  Does it make sense; does it read smoothly.  If they have grammar skills, take advantage of them.  If you intended to be humorous, it is good sign if they laugh out loud.  If they ask you where they can go to start boat building, you know you are on the right track.  If no friendly readers are available, at the very least, RUN YOUR SPELLCHECK and read the piece out loud to yourself.

 

I will throw in a bit of grammar advice.  Don’t use the word ‘then’.  (And then we did this, and then we did that, and then she…..)  Don’t start a sentence with the word ‘and’ or ‘so’.  Get rid of words that don’t need to be there, especially if they repeat what you just said.  The words ‘very’ and ‘really’ can almost always be omitted.  .

 

Last but not least, a little abstract speculation about what makes one article stand out from all the rest.  The very best are like the ones you hear when sitting around a fire at a messabout.  The fish tales, the shark tales, the alligator tales.  The time you fell in and the boat sailed off without you.  Tell what really happened—don’t pretty it up.  We want to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Let your personality, your opinions, your unique point of view loose in what you write.  Your public is out there waiting.

This website lives by submissions.  Richard depends almost totally on readers for content.  I happen to think that this makes for honest and real reading – the experiences of amateurs who get no pay for their writing and no commissions for any products that they promote.

Editors are pretty flexible, but we do have some druthers. We like to have articles in some form of text format. You can copy and paste the article into the body of an e-mail, or you can attach just about any kind of word processor file to an e-mail instead. A file on a floppy disk or CD mailed by regular snail mail will work. I have even typed up hand written material, though that is a bit of trouble. Pictures can be sent for scanning, and will be returned promptly. If you have digital versions of the photos, they can be e-mailed or sent on a disk. The best format is .jpg without too much compression. Send as many as you need to illustrate the article. We may cull a few.

If you have certain places you want pictures to go, simply make an insertion note at the appropriate place in the text <**insert boat01.jpg**> or let us do the picture placement. We’re pretty careful.

Thanks for taking the time to write up the details of your project. I assure you it will be of great interest to boat builders and wannabees.

Chuck Leinweber
Duckworks
608 Gammenthaler
Harper, TX  78631
www.duckworksmagazine.com

Chebacco News 44

Icebreaking – Richard Spelling

tn_P2230001

Well, woke up this morning, and there is six inches of snow on the ground. Guess that’s a sign I need to publish this issue!

Been kind of quite around here. Send pictures! Send stories! In particular, I know of one long cruise in the Chebacco “Samantha”… Send write up!Well, woke up this morning, and there is six inches of snow on the ground. Guess that’s a sign I need to publish this issue!

In this issue we have an update to “Chebacco Sailing 101, from the previous authors, some miscellaneous conversations, and some pictures of a Chebacco from Down South. Not “Down Under”, but South America! He even wrote me in spanish.

Coincidentally, I’m learning spanish, so I wrote him back in the same language. I’ll spare the regular readers the trails of automatic translation websites… (which translate “sailboat” to “boat of candles”…) I had originally planned on doing the whole issue in his native language, but I’ll do it in
english instead.

Ed Heins reports progress:

At long last it appears I’m able to report some progress on the chebacco garage ornament that’s been living about 25 ft away from this computer for the past 4 years.   Light at the end of the tunnel is looming larger as I should finish sheathing the topsides tomorrow and be done with the final fairing of the epoxy making ready for painting by the end of the month.  Boat name “Bodacea” has been selected and routed into an oak nameboard for transom mounting, and brightwork already started.  Electrics are in to the stern light and battery box, and should the mood strike tomorrow, I’ll get the flush mount running light mounts cut in.  Current plans are to paint it interlux dark blue on the bottom and hatteras off white on the deck to just below the rub rail.  Then a gold and red bootstripe should finish it off.  Opting for no waterline markings since the boat will live on a trailer for most of it’s life and the bottom will not be antifouled.
Just bought the power planer today, and plan on attempting a birdsmouth mast later this winter.

As does Mike Haskel:

Good morning Richard,

How are things going down in Oklahoma? I have attached a URL that describes
the building of “Two Grumpy Old Men”

http://www.adventurequest-usa.com/New_Folder/chebacco.htm

All the best,

Mike Haskell, Founder/CEO
Adventure Quest-USA
8 River Road
Bowdoinham, ME  04008
207-666-8976

Also had an interesting conversation on the origins of the name “Chebacco” with Edson White:

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 8:39 AM
Subject: Re: Where did the name “Chebacco” originate?
Actually, I think it is a type of boat from England:
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 8:30 AM
Subject: Where did the name “Chebacco” originate?
Richard:  I am a little curious.  I have password “chebacco”, and my son has “Chebacco-2”  Our “clam shack” on the ocean was named “Chebacco” back in the 1800’s!
Thus, (1) “Chebacco” is an Indian name, given to a river before the advent of the white man – at least up here in the northeast.
Is this also an Indian name prevalent in Oklahoma, and if so, do you know the meaning of the name?
                                                   
                                                                                                         Best regards,    Edson F. White

I’ve been able to sneak out a couple of times, weather permitting, and using nice tall rubber boots to retrieve the boat from the frigid water. Nothing really notable, except for the icebreaker session!

A friend of mine had come up to deliver half a boat, which is a whole other story. Part of the price was a sailing trip in Schroedinger. Luckily, the weather cooperated, and we had wind and temps in the 45 degree range.

We see some nice waves when we drive over the dam to launch the boat at the local state park, so I’m anticipating a nice brisk sail.

I setup the boat and we launch at the ramp, with only one other vehicle in the state park on this nippy January morning.

tn_P2230002

The new steps I cast for the boat work great! They make it very easy to get in when the bow is on the beach. (I’ve been doing machine work lately, when it’s to cold to sail.http://www.richardspelling.com/richardsfoundry/  )

I notice the water is calm in the bay where we are launching, I attribute this to the surrounding hills.

As I’m reversing away from the ramp, I idly wonder aloud what that filthy layer of scum is on top of the still water. “Oh, that’s ice” says my sailing
guest.

And I’m about five feet away, backing the transom and the expensive motor right towards it!

Can you say “quick turn”?

I take a good look, and guess what, there is NO WAY out from the launch ramp facility! There’s open, ice free water about 1/4 mile away, but there is no path to get to it!

Nothing for it but to put the 1/8″ stainless steel keel armor to the test. RAMMING SPEED! All hands brace for impact! Crunch!

About this time I’m wishing I had brought the camera!

At about half throttle, the keel rides up on top of the ice, and the weight of the boat breaks the ice, in true icebreaker fashion.

My greatest worry at this point is that I’m going to have to repaint the bottom!

We crunch through the 1/4″ mile of 1/2″ thick ice to open water, and have a nice sail. The only other homemade boat on the lake was out, so we sailed over to him and had a nice chat.

And guess what, when we retrieved the boat, we had to do the whole icebreaker thing again! Oh, my poor paint!

When I got off the boat at the ramp and looked at the hull, there was not a single scratch in the “deck paint” on the hull! Amazing, I was expecting at least bare fiberglass.

And interestingly enough, when I posted my tale on the Bolger egroup, two other people had ice stories, for the same day! We decided to officially dub that saturday “National Bolger Icebreaker and Porch Paint appreciation day”!

More when the weather warms up!

– Chebacco Richard

***
Sudamericano Chebacco – Gustavo Estévez F

Mr. Richard

Chebacco Sudamericano

A finales de Diciembre lancé mi bote (Chebacco con un toque de Goland
Gaffer) llamado Haka a las aguas en Valdivia, Chile (no es el fin del
mundo pero de aquí se puede ver). Hasta ahora no he tenido problemas.
Espero enviar pronto fotos navegando a toda Vela.

Saludos

Gustavo Estévez F. (gef@telsur.cl)

Sudamerican Chebacco

At the end of December I launched my boat (a Chebacco with a touch of Goland
Gaffer), called Haka, in the waters of Valdivia, Chile (it is not the end
of the world, but you can see it from here). So far I have not had
any problems. I hope that soon I can send you photos of the boat sailing under full sail.

Greetings

Gustavo Estévez F. ( gef@telsur.cl)

P1000045 P1000047 P1000048 P1000053 P1000054 P1000056

***

Pre-Christmas Sail – Jamie Orr

‘twas the weekend before Christmas…

And after thinking about sailing all week, I decided to go and do it, so on Sunday morning I threw all the warm clothes I own into the boat and headed for the launch ramp.

I drove to Cattle Point, on Victoria’s east shore – Victoria is right on the southeast corner of Vancouver Island – where there are two ramps.  The older one is narrow, with rocky sides, and faces northeast, while the newer one faces southeast.  Neither has very good provision for mooring the boat while you park or retrieve your trailer, but the new ramp has more room.  Because I’d packed up in a hurry last time, I spent a leisurely 40 minutes untangling lines and rigging up.  Cattle Point gets a lot of walkers, so I had several conversations as people stopped to ask about the boat.

The launch went smoothly, and Honda fired on the second pull – not bad since he hadn’t been running for a month or so.  I motored out until I was clear of the rocks, and had some room to drift, then put up the sails.  There was a nice little breeze from the northeast, and Wayward Lass moved along well. I wanted to explore the Chatham and Discovery Islands group, so I tacked upwind, thinking to have the wind behind me to avoid having to tack in the narrow channels between the islands.  It took a while to reach the north end of the passage I had chosen, and I was getting hungry, so I picked an inviting bay off the chart, and headed for that.  As I worked my way to the head of the bay, a group of kayakers came by, adding some colour to an otherwise wintry scene.

I anchored in about five feet.  There was a smooth beach only a few yards away, but most of these islands are Indian Reserve land, and landing is only permitted on the south shore of the most southern, Discovery Island, where a marine park fills that side.  Just as well, really, or these islands would be fully developed as well as private, being so close to Victoria.  As it was, it was like being miles from civilization, as I watched an otter catching and eating his lunch while mine heated on the stove!

After I’d finished and tidied up, I pulled up the anchor and set the main again.  I made sure the anchor was ready if wanted, since I expected some current and the wind was very light by now.  I set off south through the passage between the two larger Chatham Islands, with the wind behind me and against the current.  The deep channel is close beside the eastern island, which may be why the wind became very light and fluky – the island sheltered the channel too well!  I found myself still sailing gently about half way through, but no longer moving in relation to the land.  I used the canoe paddle for an extra boost until a gust came along to help, but it was all undone in the end.  After another spell of motionless activity, what little wind I had reversed itself, and I had to follow suit.

The current carried me back almost to the north end, where the “real” wind was still coming from the northeast.  It seemed to be a little stronger than before, so I turned to try again.  This time I stayed further from the shore, despite the shallow areas, and did a little better.  I managed to sail past my previous turning point before I had to resort to the paddle.  After another 40 or 50 yards, the wind took pity on me and came back.

I thought I was clear then, but found I couldn’t quite sail the course I needed to stay out of the shoals.  The current was still running, and the wind was still too light to allow much manoeuvring, so I decided to trust to our shallow draft, and turned inside a pair of rocks that were just ahead.  I wondered if this was really a good idea, standing with the tiller in one hand and the centreboard line in the other, watching the bottom go by only a couple of feet below.  If I hit some really shallow water and went aground, it was quite possible that the current would hold us there until the tide dropped, leaving Wayward Lass and I on the mud for the night.

However, just before reaching the keel, the bottom receded again, and we reached deeper water, moving out of the shelter of the islands as we went.  Once out in the open, we had a straightforward, two mile run to the ramp.  The wind was still light, but steady, and the gentle run made a nice finish to the day.  I was able to tie off the tiller and let Wayward Lass steer herself long enough to take in the mizzen, then about a quarter mile from the ramp, we stopped and I furled the main.  When I started the motor, the starting mechanism made some funny noises, but the engine ran alright, so I just made a mental note to look at it later.

We made a soft landing at the ramp, despite the following wind, and the recovery went as smoothly as the launch.  I tidied up a little more carefully this time, so that my next outing wouldn’t require untangling all the lines.

After a sail, I always run the outboard in fresh water to flush the salt out.  When I pulled the starter cord this time, I got nothing but funny noises, and the motor didn’t turn over. When I took off the cover, I discovered that a big plastic gearwheel had broken into four pieces.  Two were still more or less in place, until I pulled on the cord again to see what would happen.  (They popped right out.)   I was able to start the motor by winding another cord on the thing on top of the flywheel, but I’ll have to go to the shop for a new recoil gear.  I suppose the plastic gets brittle with age, the engine is about 17 now.

No matter, it was still a good day!

A few days later…

Dad, Catherine and I drove to the launch ramp in Esquimalt Harbour.  A fairly decent ramp and dock, and sheltered from the prevailing southeast wind.  We rigged Wayward Lass, then I backed down the ramp.  Hadn’t paid enough attention to a tree growing beside and over the ramp, and we brushed through it, getting a cockpit full of twigs, needles and cones!  However, we launched without problem, and got underway.

We motored out carefully, as there are rocks near the ramp, then got the sails up and headed for the open sea.  We caught a nice breeze and made good time to the south with a southeast wind (maybe a touch more easterly) pushing us along.  For a while we were gaining on a big ketch on the same course, but he eventually found his groove and started to open up the distance between us.  We’d been out for an hour or so by then, so made our turn for home.  Had a nice reach going back to the harbour – saw a smallish (thirty-something feet?) schooner come out and turn west, making a picture postcard scene.

Once back inside the harbour, we turned into the wind to furl the sails.  Esquimalt is a naval harbour, and boats are required to stay at least 100 metres from all naval property, including the ships.  We were over the minimum distance from the ships, but pointing right at them.  It may have been a coincidence, but the patrol boat came out from behind them in a minute or so, coming our way.  However, by then we had the main down and were busy with the sail ties, so our peaceful intentions were evident.

The motor started on the first pull – still using the “emergency” rope – and we motored in to the ramp.  Everything went very well, until I pulled the boat and trailer up the slope. At this point we ran into the same tree, but the branches must angle down-ramp, because although the main mast still got through all right, the mizzen hung up and broke off just above the partners.  This put a bit of a damper on the day, but it looked like it might be repairable, so I was mostly only ticked off at making such a dumb mistake.  D’oh!!

The aftermath.

Although I’m no mechanic, the starting gear didn’t look like a tough job, so I went down to the Honda dealer and paid the outrageous amount of $38 for a four inch diameter plastic gear!  The remains of the old one came out after undoing the top bolt, so that was pretty simple, but the new gear wouldn’t go on without removing the assembly completely, because of the need to mesh with the teeth on the flywheel.  To take off the assembly only meant undoing three bolts, but it took a while to find a socket that could reach them – I finally bought a nutdriver to make it easier.  Once I had the right tool it was all done in minutes.

The mast was a longer job, but not much harder.  The mast is made of two halves, glued up the middle.  One side had split when it broke, and resembled a two foot scarf.  The other side was broken pretty well straight across the grain, but there were a lot of spikes sticking out from either piece.  I decided the spikes would serve as finger joints and provide some strength when glued up in conjunction with the “scarf” on the other side.  I cleaned up the loose chips and straightened up some bent spikes, then carefully matched up the ends.  I pushed them together as much as I could, then used a mallet on the butt of the mast, ramming the joint as tight as I could.  I had to do this a couple of times, taking it apart and removing more broken chips each time until the thing fit properly.

Then I smeared thickened epoxy over all the broken area, matched up the ends and got busy with the mallet again.  Once everything was as tight as it was going to get, I put in a temporary nail so the ends couldn’t slip apart, and clamped the scarf firmly.  I gave it three days to cure, after that it was just a matter of cleaning up the epoxy that squeezed out, and putting a couple of “dutchmen” in where some small pieces of wood were missing.  I considered putting a fibreglass band around the “finger-joint” area, but decided it was strong enough without it.  We’ll see next time out.

Chebacco News 42

On the Road Again – Jamie Orr

Being the further adventures of the good ship

Wayward Lass

in Clayoquot Sound (for chart, turn to the last page)

image002

Yes, Wayward Lass has been on the road again, this time to Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, to explore Clayoquot Sound. Clayoquot is made up of a number of inlets, with three major islands, Meares, Flores and Vargas. Meares Island was the centre of considerable attention a few years ago, when logging and anti-logging interests clashed over clear-cutting on the island. Meares is also the most interesting island from another point of view, as it lies completely within the sound, and can be sailed around without venturing onto the open sea. Flores and Vargas islands guard the outer edge of the Sound, providing sheltered waters on their eastern sides.

Saturday

I was supposed to get away with my dad, Les, in June, but work kept me in Victoria for another month. We didn’t know it at the time, but this turned out to be a blessing – in the whole week, we were going to have lots of sunshine, almost no rain, and a good sailing breeze for part of every day. We arrived in Tofino about 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, after a five hour drive from Victoria, and launched soon after at the 4th Street Public Docks (shown in the “cover” picture) . We found parking for the van and trailer only three short blocks away.

We left the docks at 4:40 pm, and motored north for a short distance through Deadman Passage, with sand banks to port and rocks and mudbanks to starboard. I should note here that as we travelled, we frequently left one channel for another, with the tide changing between fair and foul almost as often. The tide was ebbing on Saturday evening – in Deadman it was on our starboard side, as we turned west in Heynen Passage it was in our favour, then when we turned north again to Maurus Channel it was dead against us.

About 8:30 we anchored in a small cove on the northeast side of Vargas Island. This was still close to Tofino, and turned out to be on a busy corner. While well sheltered from weather, it was wide open to the wakes from the numerous water-taxis and whale watching boats that passed the entrance every few minutes. These carried on until late – not a good recipe for a peaceful night!

image004 Wayward Lass at anchor in the morning, with Lone Cone (on Meares Island) in background

Sunday

Next morning was a bit quieter, and we cooked up bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast before the traffic got going. Then we got moving, under power since the wind wasn’t up yet – this was the general pattern for the week, no wind in the early morning, a bit in the late morning, a quietish spell then a good breeze in the mid afternoon, lasting until evening. Once out of our cove, we headed northwest to Millar Channel, where we turned north. Near the top of Millar, around noon, a light wind came up, so we put up the sails and stopped the motor. (About the same time, we saw the only porpoise we were to see on the trip.)

At the north end of Millar Channel, Obstruction Island splits the channel into two – the passage to the west is fairly straight, but Sulphur Passage to the east is a more interesting, winding around corners and islands. We thought we’d make use of the favourable wind and the last of the flood tide, not to mention our shallow draft (a great comfort at times!) and sail through this route. The wind became fluky and unreliable behind the island, but never totally deserted us. At the most eastern part of the passage, we were drifting more than sailing, but once around that corner, we could feel some air again, so were able to beat down the next leg and see our way between Obstruction itself and the last islet of the chain next to it. Once through, we were quite pleased with ourselves.

We now faced a long beat westward to Sydney Inlet. The tide was starting to ebb (having changed channels, we now had the ebb in our favour), but the wind was against us. I lost count, but I believe we crossed and re-crossed that inlet a dozen times, with the wind strength going up and down, and often changing direction due to the hills and valleys either side of the channel. We finally rounded the point and started south down Sydney Inlet. Unfortunately, by this time the ebb was almost done, and the wind had gone around to the south, following the line of the channel, leaving us still fighting for every inch. Our goal was Hot Springs Cove, just around the corner at the mouth of the inlet. After all our work we were determined to reach Hot Springs, and we passed up one or two inviting bays on the east shore of the channel. One of these had several kayaks pulled up on shore, and tents on the beach. Smart kayakers — it took us another hour to reach the final point, and then we just could not get around it. The wind was almost completely gone, while a strong current was coming around the point against us. We tried for a good hour, but were either pushed back into Sydney Inlet, or towards the rocks where the gentle ocean swell was breaking in a most ungentle way. In the end, it was Honda to the rescue, and we motored into Hot Springs Cove, arriving at the Parks’ dock 10 minutes later. During this short stretch, we had the only rain of the trip, a shower that lasted until we had the shelter up. Since Hot Springs Cove was our only pre-determined destination, we celebrated with wine and a spaghetti dinner, with an excellent meat sauce brought from home.

Our galley arrangements might be of interest. To start with, we don’t carry a cooler on board. It would be too bulky, and we couldn’t keep the ice long enough anyway. Our solution was to put the perishables under the floorboards in the cabin. We kept bacon and eggs for three days this way, and they were still good – we finished them by then so I don’t know how long they might have lasted. Hard sausage, butter and cheese were still good at the end of the week. There was a bit of mould on the cheddar, but we scraped it off and the rest tasted fine. Beer and soft drinks went under the floorboards in the cockpit, since a bit of salty water won’t hurt them. The rest of the “galley” went in two plastic storage boxes. These are convenient, and the soft plastic doesn’t mark the paint when they’re moved around. Our stove is a two burner camp stove that runs off one pound propane bottles. The stove goes under a cockpit seat and the bottle, once started, is stored in the cockpit, in the open space under the motor well.

Monday

The next morning, we were up bright and early (well, early anyway) and by 7:00 were on the trail to the hotspring itself. This trail is about 2 km long, and is boardwalk all the way, with lots of stairs up and down. The spring starts a few metres above the high tide line, the water first appearing as it falls over a small rocky cliff – I found this natural shower a little too warm to stand under. The hot water then runs through a series of rocky pools, cooling as it goes. These pools are more or less natural – some rocks have been re-arranged to better hold the water, or for comfort – but they’re still small, rocky pools in the end. The best has a gravel bottom, and is big enough for 4-6 people (depending how well they know each other) to sit comfortably. We were lucky in that only two other people were there when we arrived – what it’s like when the tour boats come in I don’t know! However, I’d hate to see it developed – for me, the appeal is in the unspoiled surrounding. Happily, since the point is a Provincial park, it’s likely to stay as it is for a while at least.

After our soak, we hiked back for some breakfast, then at 11:00 we left Hot Springs Cove to go down the outside of Flores Island. This route is open to the Pacific swells – nothing between us and Japan – so we were careful to get an up to date weather report from the VHF. Favourable winds were predicted later in the day, but as there was no wind when we set out, we started off motoring. Once we were clear of Hot Springs Cove, a light south-west wind did appear, but it wasn’t enough to make us put up the sails just yet.

image006 Next stop, Japan!

We thought we might be able to start sailing at Rafael Point, an hour away, where the coast falls away to the southeast, and we could hold a course without tacking. As we approached Rafael Point, I saw a puff of spray shoot up from the surface. After a second, I realized it was a whale spouting! Soon we were able to make out three or four grey whales. First the spout would appear, then the whale’s back would appear as it started to dive. Once or twice we saw a tail come briefly out of the water – just like on the postcards!

image007 Here’s the only picture we have of a whale – see the grey hump in the middle of the grey sea? The mist is the spout, several seconds old.

We were pretty thrilled, but didn’t hang about too long – we were still very conscious of being on an exposed shore in a not very big boat.

Instead, we got the sails up as planned, and managed to sail slowly down the coast, but the wind wasn’t really strong enough. – the rocking and pitching from the swell was making the gaff and boom thrash around, so eventually we dropped the sails in favour of motoring again. Passing an unnamed point two or three miles southwest, we saw another group of three whales, so we were well pleased with our morning.

South of Flores Island, we motored back into sheltered waters, eventually turning north again into Millar Channel, this time turning into smaller Matilda Inlet to dock at Ahousat, where we topped up the gas tank, and re-filled our 5 gallon water jug. We decided to stay the night there, and take advantage of the special at the cafe (sweet and sour meatballs.) There’s a sizable marine railway at Ahousat, and at high tide that night they were going to put a fishing boat back in and haul a 53 foot cruiser – a huge fibreglass beast. The cruiser had lost one of its propellers, but the owner had spare props and shafts aboard. I went along at 10 pm and watched the show. The operator of the ways, who also runs the store and everything else there, gave instructions to the cruiser’s owner and several other men on the cruiser as to where he wanted it placed in relation to the supports, then disappeared up to the winch end of things to fire up the engine and start hauling. It was a very smooth operation, finishing with the boat out of the water, but still overhanging it, so actual repairs were to start once the tide allowed. (I took a look in the morning, at low tide, and the two inch stainless steel shaft had snapped off cleanly, just outside the “A” bracket. I’m told this is not an uncommon happening with stainless shafts on big boats – just one of those things rich people have to cope with.)

image010 Wayward Lass at Ahousat, looking across Matilda Inlet to the Indian village of Marktosis

Tuesday

We ate breakfast at the café (moral decay setting in!) then took a look at the chart. Our decision was to go around Meares Island, particularly as both wind and tide should be in our favour for several hours. We fired up Honda and set off back down Millar Channel, but we fairly soon felt some wind and put up the sails. About then, one of Tofino Air’s floatplanes came along, not wasting much fuel on altitude – it was so low that it swerved around us rather than flying over! Soon after that, we left Millar behind, cutting inside both beacon and rocks at the point in order to avoid any extra distance in the light wind. (By watching the local traffic, fishing boats and water taxis, we got a good idea of where it was safe to cut corners.)

image012 Sailing close inshore in light wind.

On leaving Millar, we turned northeast, sailing between some small islands on the way to Cypress Bay. On the way, we passed Hecate Bay, which used to be a big centre for logging activity. There was a big chip barge and a tug moored in the bay, but it didn’t look like a lot was going on.

image014 Here’s Dad toughing it out in Cypress Bay

At the north end of Cypress we lost the wind, so were motoring as we passed through the narrow entrance to Quait Bay, which opened out into a sizable sheltered anchorage, with enough room for a hundred boats. There was a big floating resort moored on the northwest side, catering for sports fishermen, but we didn’t attempt to land there, instead continuing on around the bay then ducking out an even smaller passage to the east of the main entrance.

The wind returned nicely about this time, and we were able to sail eastward towards the narrows at the north end of Meares Island, getting through them just before losing the flood as well as 95% of the wind. We had thought, in our innocence, that on reaching the east side of Meares Island we would pick up the ebb going south, but found that the current was flowing the wrong way! Some study of the chart and the guidebook showed that the flood goes all the way up the west side of Meares Island, across the north end, then down the east side (where we now were) before turning up Tofino Inlet in a northeast direction. And of course the ebb goes back the other way. The tide also flows east and west through Browning Channel south of Meares, but Browning is narrow, so a lot of water takes the long way north around Meares. All of which is to say we blew it and didn’t get any help from the ebb tide.

We started the motor again, heading south and looking into Mosquito Harbour, which is much nicer than its name. Coming out we were able to use the local wind and sail a mile or two, but once clear of Mosquito Harbour, we lost the wind – all the bays we looked into had their own winds blowing out, but I’m not clear on just what causes these.

We by-passed the next bay, since we could see down to the end, and the wind was blowing strongly out of it anyway. At the southern end of our channel, we turned east towards Tofino Inlet, not noticing right away that the wind had come up behind us.

When we did notice, it was hardly worth putting up the sails, so we kept on motoring around into Island Cove, then into another, tiny cove on the south shore of that – absolutely no wind here. As we putted slowly in, getting ready to drop the hook, we saw a young black bear foraging his way along the shore. He stopped and sniffed the air when he heard us, but didn’t pay us much attention beyond that. We passed by about 20 feet out, then circled for some more pictures. He just kept working his way along, and by the time we had the anchor set, he was out of sight. Made a great end to the day.

This also made me realize that I have to invest in either contact lenses or a new camera. I have an old Olympus SLR, but when I focus the camera now, I’m also compensating for my eyesight, so the resulting pictures aren’t as sharp as they used to be!

image015 A young black bear on the shore of Island Cove

We also saw (and heard) an eagle spiral almost vertically down to the beach, but before he could do more than peck at something he found there, five crows arrived and started to verbally abuse him with great enthusiasm. The eagle took himself off, pursued by one particularly aggressive crow.

Wednesday

As was usual by now, there was no wind as we started off at 8 o’clock, so we were motoring as we got properly into Tofino Inlet, heading towards the Kennedy River. The chart indicates this should be navigable, at least at high tide, all the way to Kennedy Lake, but there are drying areas, as well as at least one bridge with no clearance indicated. As the tide was low, we settled for going up only a few hundred yards before turning downstream again. We also looked into Kennedy Cove next door, where some old pilings were all we could see left of a cannery that thrived (throve?) there years ago.

Continuing up the inlet, we looked into another cove, slipping behind some small rocky islands to come out the back door. Dad was steering while I watched for rocks from the bows – I could see a rocky ridge below us as we passed out of the bay, but it was safely under our keel.

image017 Here we are up the Kennedy River, looking downstream towards the river mouth

Travelling the rest of the way up Tofino Inlet was an enjoyable if uneventful trip, getting a little sailing when the wind appeared for a short time, but motoring most of the way. We’ve found that a lower setting on the throttle gives almost as much speed as a higher, but it’s a lot quieter, so it felt like we were loafing along. We passed several small islands, including two that together almost cut off the head of the inlet from the outside world.

My goal was to have a swim once we reached the far end of Tofino Inlet, as the guidebook said this was the warmest water in the area. Okay, that may be so, but the rest of Clayoquot Sound must be damn cold! Up here it wasn’t quite gasping cold, but I didn’t stay in long. Getting back in Wayward Lass, I used as a step a line strung between cleats at either end of the cockpit – something I’ve thought about for recovering a man overboard. When I stepped on it, the line swung under the overhang of course, but it still helped me get aboard by on my own.

image019 Here’s a view of the head of Tofino Inlet

Just about then, about 12:20, the wind came up, a healthy one at last – maybe 10 knots. We motored clear of the islands and got the sails up about 1:00, then started tacking back down the inlet – do I need to mention it was against us? No? Okay then, I won’t.

We crossed the inlet at least five times, working our way southwest. As we left the last of the bigger islands behind, it started to blow harder, and we started to take some spray

aboard – lots of whitecaps by now. By the time we were back down near the south end, it was well over 15 knots, so we ducked in behind a handy island at about 2:30, and put in a reef. Then it was across the inlet again to Grice Bay on one long, wet thrash!

At its western end, the inlet narrows considerably, feeding into the even narrower Browning Channel. and the wind was funnelling through these at an estimated 20 knots by now, so sailing through seemed unlikely to succeed. In which case, we thought we would motor through Grice Bay. This large bay is mostly mud flats, with a narrow channel winding south of a biggish island to join Browning Channel further west. We thought it might be a challenge keeping off the mud, but it turned out to be dead easy, since the tide was well up. We navigated down what we thought ought to be the channel anyway, to be on the safe side. It was a trouble free journey until some floating weed choked the cooling water intake on Honda. Luckily, it also caught around the prop, and the change in engine sound caught our attention. I stopped the motor and cleared away all the crud, after which it started again on the first pull.

Once out into Browning Channel, it was just one long plug into the wind. Since the tide was going with us, it was a wet plug as well, with a sizable chop thrown up by the battle between wind and tide. We pounded a bit, but didn’t have to slow down. With the favourable tide we managed over 6 knots a lot of the way. The eastern entrance to Tofino has a big submerged rock blocking the channel, and our (old) chart didn’t show any aids to navigation, but we thought we would give it a shot, rather than add a couple extra miles to go around. A good decision, since we found a pair of lateral buoys marking the channel in – these were very close together, no more than 25 feet between them, so I was glad we didn’t have to judge it by the kelp alone! These markers must be fairly new, since the guidebooks don’t mention them – our Waggoner guide is only 2 years old. We arrived at the 4th Street docks at 4:45, and downed a couple of pale ales to celebrate.

image022 Les Orr in Wayward Lass, at the 4th Street docks, in Tofino

These docks are mostly reserved for commercial fishermen, so are busy all day and a good part of the night, but about 20% of the space is available for pleasure boaters. We shared “D” finger with a couple of big sailboats headed (separately) around Vancouver Island.

Waggoner passes on a glowing recommendation for the Rain Coast Café. We went there and found that he’s absolutely right, but he forgot to mention that quality costs. Our visit left a large hole in my wallet, although it was unquestionably the best halibut I’ve ever tasted, and the peanut butter pie was right up there with it!

Thursday

The forecast for Thursday morning accurately predicted fog, but it cleared early at Tofino, so after a quick bite at the Coffee Pod Café, (which I recommend highly for good foodand for its prices) we cast off for Lemmens Inlet. Right off the bat the engine sucked in some green, hairy weed floating at the dock and had to be cleared. Once we’d done that, we paddled clear of the crud and re-started. Once you get past a couple of islands to the north of Tofino, Lemmens Inlet carries on straight north, trying hard to cut Meares Island in half. It doesn’t quite make it, but it does provide a great day of sheltered, fog-free travel. Motoring up it, we took the narrower western route when the passage divided, successfully getting around the north end of the island by scraping past what we think was an oyster farm moored just off the shore. We wanted to look into a small unnamed bay to see if it would do as a shallow water anchorage, but ran into some eelgrass (a new Kevlar variety, I think) that wound itself firmly around the prop. I pulled up the motor and worked at clearing the grass while Dad started paddling our way out of the weed patch. It’s funny, in 2 ½ years, I haven’t had a problem with weed, but in these last two days we were stopped three times by it. Once out and clear, we abandoned the bay, since it was on the wrong side of the eelgrass, and headed on up the inlet. The next bay along is known as God’s Pocket, and it’s a good sheltered anchorage. We poked into another tiny bay inside, (God’s Watch Pocket, perhaps?) that was just Wayward Lass sized for anchoring. There was one nasty rock to avoid near the entrance, but once we were in, it was almost as nice as our nook in Island Cove.

As we came out into the main part of God’s Pocket, the wind came up, so we upped sails and motor and sailed out of the bay, then right up to the end of Lemmen’s Inlet. We had a good run going north, where we turned and started beating back south. Since the flood was running later every day, and we were up to Thursday now, it was still running and we had that against us. However, the wind was reasonably steady, and we made good progress back past God’s Pocket, (showing off to the two big sailboats still anchored there) down to where the inlet narrows between the mud banks. The wind was lighter now, but steady, so we kept sailing. I got out the lead line, but found I wasn’t able to get good results – maybe I need more practice, or maybe we were still moving too fast. Anyway, we found we could see the bottom in time to tack, so we were able to avoid any embarrassment. Eventually we sailed right out of the bottom of the inlet, feeling very smug (again!)

We were now at the east end of Heynen Passage, and had to work to windward again to take Deadman Passage back to Tofino. (No matter which way we turned, we had the wind against us because it was being funnelled by the land, and we were travelling generally west.) The current was stronger now, and we were making slow progress. On the plus side, though, the water had covered the mud, so we crossed our fingers and took a short cut over the banks east of Deadman, on the wrong side of several rocks and islets – we could just nicely make our course on a close reach. We could see the bottom, about four or five feet down, but as our maximum draft with the centreboard down is only four feet, all was well.

Once through, it was still too early to quit, and as we were pointed at the channel leading to the open sea, (well, not quite open, one more biggish island south of Vargas still offers some shelter) we carried on past the town. Off the point on the northwest tip of the peninsula where Tofino is located, is another small island. This effectively blanketed our wind, and we bobbed around near the rocks for a while, but the ebb finally pushed us out to where the wind could reach us again. We sailed around to a nearby cove where we had been told there were mooring buoys and safe anchoring. Didn’t see any mooring buoys, (found out later they’d been removed) and the wind blew right into the bay, where some healthy (for surfing) rollers were beating up the beach. Nowhere I’d want to anchor, for sure. We worked up to windward a bit, then turned back towards town. We got stuck in the same wind shadow, but this time the tide couldn’t help. We finally got through when the wind picked up, and we had a royal run down the length of Tofino’s waterfront – got a big thumbs up from the guy on the seaplane float, I wish we could have had a photo from there too.

Since no one was at the loading/unloading dock at the end of “D”finger, and it was parallel to wind and channel, a landing under sail looked like a good idea. We don’t get to practice these much, (I think this was our first) I wasn’t sure of our turning circle, and we had a good stiff breeze behind us now, so I was somewhat shy of hitting the dock. As a result, the first attempt positioned us nicely parallel to the dock, but 10 feet away. We were able to keep turning, though, and circled, making the second half of the circle into two 90 degree turns and finishing stopped against the dock, just like we knew what we were doing. After we moved to an overnight spot, it was back to the Coffee Pod for dinner. (I hate to admit it, but every time we were at a dock at mealtime, we caved in and went to a restaurant – brought half our food home with us. Ate well, though!)

Friday

On Friday the fog finally caught us. It was thick and grey, and only a few water taxis were going out. I guess with radar, GPS and digital charts they can handle fog without much trouble. We had a leisurely breakfast (at the Coffee Pod again!) and did what chores we could find on the boat – not many left after five full days on board. Then we remembered that we had the van nearby, so we topped up Honda’s remote tank from the spare can, and took the can for refilling. To Uclulet, 30 miles away.

Rather than unhook the trailer, and wonder where to leave it, we pulled it along. The spare gas can fitted nicely in the “U” channel for the keel, and a bungy cord kept it there, so we didn’t have the smell of gas in the van – very convenient.

We actually filled up before Uclulet, but we carried on, right through the town out to the southernmost point – both Tofino and Uclulet are on peninsulas, one north and one south. Then we located a boat ramp for future reference – not very fancy, and expensive, but quite usable for Wayward Lass. We could see fog around parts of the inlet there too, showing that we weren’t missing any sailing, so we took time out for a coffee.. However, it doesn’t do to take chances, so we were soon back on the road to Tofino.

image024 Fog on D dock, at Tofino’s 4th Street docks.

As it happened, when we reached Wayward Lass the fog was definitely clearing, so we cast off right away. The tide was low, so we were careful to keep between the markers in Deadman Passage. There’s a dirty big sandbank on one side, and a dirtier big rock on the other to keep you honest, here. Once we had a clear course through, we got the sails up and worked our way through both Deadman and Heynen passages, and into Maurus Channel. At the point where we turned up Maurus Channel we ran into the fog again, however, we had the radar reflector to keep the water taxis off, and the GPS to back up our dead reckoning. Before the trip, I had entered waypoints from Tofino to Hot Springs Cove, in case of fog, and we were back on part of that route so these waypoints were ready if needed. We were in thickish fog for a mile or so, then we sailed out of it and left it behind. We sailed to the point beside our first night’s anchorage, where the tide and wind coming around the north end of Vargas Island met us head on, then started the motor, thinking of an “outside” trip around Vargas. However, a weather check told us that fog was still thick outside, and 25 knot winds were predicted for the afternoon, so we abandoned that idea. We’d been tossing it around for a couple of days, but between fog and higher winds forecast out there, we hadn’t tried it. I guess we were lucky to have had one great day outside the islands, never mind asking for more. Instead, we turned north for Cypress Bay and raised the sails again, planning to anchor for the night in Quait Bay. We now had the wind behind us, as well as the flood tide, so we were soon making good time, hitting 6 knots at times.

About mid-afternoon, I thought I’d try out the jib. This is shown as an option on the Chebacco sail plan, and I made one last winter. I haven’t had much luck with it, but haven’t used it much either. I decided that if I got all the strings just right, I could set such a small jib without leaving the cockpit. It took a couple of trips to the bows to get the strings set up, of course. At the beginning of the week I had put a line up to a block to use for this and/or the radar reflector, so at least I didn’t have to climb the mast! Finally, everything was ready. I put the sail on the cabin roof and started pulling the halyard and downhaul (there’s no stay, the jib is set flying.) It went forward and up as planned, but the sheets took the opportunity to wrap themselves firmly around the downhaul, and it took two more trips forward to sort this out. I should have kept a firm tension on the sheets as the sail went forward, I think.

While I was doing this, Dad sensibly kept us on a bit of a reach, rather than running straight downwind, so I wouldn’t get whacked by the boom if we gybed. However, it was getting to be time to gybe before we ran out of water. We noticed the lee-side mizzen sheet had caught in the pulled-up motor, so I loosened that and cleared it, then Dad started to put the helm over. However, I hadn’t pulled the mizzen sheet back in enough, because the mizzen sail suddenly swung forward in the cockpit with us! Dad put the helm back where it was, to stop the gybe. But the wind got behind the main anyway as we worked to clear the mizzen, and we had a lulu of an uncontrolled gybe. We saw it coming, so no one was hit by the boom or caught by the sheet, but the gaff finished up vertical, ahead of the mast on the windward side, with the mainsail wrapped around the mast to leeward and the boom cocked up at a jaunty angle! Luckily, we were able to gybe back and clear it all, and then gybe a third time onto our new course before we hit any rocks (remember why we started all this?) A fair bit of a schemozzle, but personally, I blame it all on the jib.

We sailed a while longer with the jib set, but it really is too close to the mainsail to work properly. So far it’s been a failure – other Chebacco sailors, Fraser Howell for one, have successfully used a jib, but only with a bowsprit, and I have no plans to add one of these at present. I’ll keep the sail anyway – maybe I’ll want it for a downwind run sometime when it’s blowing too hard for the main.

By now we were nearing Quait Bay. We took in the jib, with my patent “from-the-cockpit” method working smoothly this time, and chose our course to allow for the brisk wind, which of course promptly died. Dad still had the helm and he persevered, slowly working us into the entrance. At this point, we felt a slight breeze follow us in, and we kept that all the way to a nook at the far end of the bay, where we rounded up to anchor at 4:45. I didn’t drop the anchor immediately when we turned, as I wanted to back down a few feet.Wayward Lass, though, didn’t want to stop sailing, and forged ahead in the light air, even with the mainsheet slack – I guess the wind was light enough that the weight of the boom held the sail in position. So we anchored first, then furled the mainsail, then lifted the anchor off the bottom and backed down as first planned.

Ham with rice was on the menu, and I tried to follow my wife’s instructions for cooking the rice, but couldn’t make the stove simmer. Instead, I turned the heat right off after bringing the water to a boil, but this way the rice was taking forever to cook. To while away the time, I took in the mizzen, which had been left up, sheeted amidships. Right away, we started to sail around the anchor, even with the rode in the Jonesport cleat, leading directly over the bow. I put the mizzen out again, sheeted it amidships, and bingo! – we were head to wind again, dead steady. Then I added more water to the rice and boiled it into submission. We had the last of the wine to celebrate a successful cruise, and to distract us from the now soggy rice.

While we were anchored here, we saw a burst of bird life. An eagle snatched something out of the water and landed on a rock on shore to eat it, and a kingfisher also dove in for his dinner – didn’t see if he got anything, but he flew away and didn’t come back. We saw some divers (later identified as red-breasted mergansers) patrolling the water’s edge. They would put their beaks and eyes under water, then swim quickly along. One suddenly put on an extra burst of speed, and dove under. A second later it was on the surface again, flipping a fish around in it’s beak, then bang, the fish was gone. Evidently this was a prime spot for fish dinners!

Saturday

After a peaceful night, we were up early to take advantage of the ebb to get to Tofino. I’m not sure why, as we were motoring again and could have easily beaten the tide. Still, it’s the nautical thing to do, right? The forecast didn’t mention fog at all, but still called for winds of 20 knots on the outside, so the round-Vargas idea stayed dead. It was time anyway to get back to town, and get on the road home. To speed things along, we didn’t have breakfast, just grabbed a snack on the way.

As we travelled south, we passed a tug pulling a barge, loaded with a grapple and a grader, towards Hecate Bay, so maybe things aren’t as dead there as they looked. We also had a second sunrise as we motored along, as the sun climbed above a narrow but heavy layer of cloud in the east.

I was thinking that despite our early arrival at Tofino, we’d have to wait for the tide to bottom out, then rise a bit before we could recover the boat, since on such a low tide the water would be down to the end of the ramp. However, the tide behind us did it’s work well, we made 6 knots over the ground most of the way, on an estimated 5 knot throttle setting, and with this on top of our early start we arrived two hours before low tide. I hustled off for the trailer, and after several attempts managed to get it in far enough, without putting one wheel or the other in a hole. Then I went over to “D” dock where Dad was waiting with Wayward Lass. Usually I like to be ashore to guide the boat on by hand, particularly since I learned that the keel can hit the ends of the steel frame if it misses the centre bunk, but in this case I was too lazy to walk all the way back to the ramp. We both stayed aboard, and made a “hot” landing, luckily putting the keel right in its U-shaped bunk. Definitely more luck than skill, since the current was pushing us sideways at an unknown rate!

And that was the happy ending to an entirely satisfactory cruise of Clayoquot Sound. We hauled Wayward Lass out, unloaded and unrigged her, then before starting for home, stopped for a last breakfast at (where else?) the Coffee Pod Cafe.

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Life is good!

The Chart

When I read accounts of coastal cruising, I always want to see where they went, so I’ve attached a copy of the large scale chart for Clayoquot Sound. Brown indicates land, blue is water, and green is where it dries at low tide. I’ve roughly indicated our track in red. The numbers refer to places mentioned in the text. I’ve emphasized the shoreline, but haven’t attempted to show all the rocks and small islands. My hand may have slipped here and there, so if you know the area and something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. If you’re reading this on-line, it’s going to be small, but hopefully you can enlarge it enough to read the numbers and see some detail. If on hard copy, a magnifying glass helps.

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The chart is plagiarized from the Canadian Hydrographic Service chart number 3640. This is an old chart, (my copy of the chart is about 25 years old,) which was superseded when the hydrographic service changed over to metric charts. My apologies to the Service, along with my thanks for this and all the other excellent charts they produce.

***

Launch of Buster – Randy Wheating

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Hi Richard

Congratulations on the launch of your Chebacco.  Built and launched in
one year, that is light speed from my perspective.

I finally launch my Chebacco, Bluster, at the Stave Lake (one hour east
of Vancouver) public ramp on July 7th.  I have been puttering away on
this boat for over five years.  I still need to build the masts and
booms and I have purchased the Sailrite kit all of which will be next
winter’s project.  I am thrilled with the final results.  She handled
the five adults and two children easily for the inaugural one hour
cruise on a typically warm and rainy west coast day.

Bluster is a sheet ply Chebacco with a few minor changes:
The keel is laminated solid fir
Cabin top is raised two inches and the cabin sides pushed out to
line up with the coamings.
Transom is one continuous with a cut out for the motor
Motor well is slightly smaller (fits two 3 gal gas tanks)
Coaming is continuous along the aft section (no cut out)
Rudder and rudder post are welded aluminum
Mast to be deck mounted on a welded aluminum tabernacle; shrouds and
fore stay required
Plank style bowsprit with anchor roller and fore stay for jib

I splurged out and purchased a 5 hp Honda four cycle outboard motor
which I am very pleased with.  I purchased the optional ‘power prop’
designed for displacement hulls.  This prop gives me about 1/2 knot more
speed over the standard prop at all throttle settings.

On the weekend of July 13th  Lisa and I took Bluster out for her first
salt water and overnight trip.  We live close to the end of the Port
Moody arm of Burrard Inlet (the mouth of which is the city of
Vancouver)  We planned to travel the end of Indian Arm which is the
longest arm of Burrard Inlet, the end is about 30 km from Vancouver. We
launched at Rocky Point at 6:30 pm on Friday night and we were dropping
the hook around 8:30 pm in Bedwell Bay off Indian Arm.  I am new to
anchoring so I reset the anchor once and tested it before we tucked into
our cockpit candle light dinner.  We spent a fairly comfortable night
but awoke several time to check on things.  I noticed that Bluster would
dance around in the slightest of breezes (up to 180
degrees) not  on the anchor but just on the weight of the anchor line.
The large, heavy,  motor yachts  in the anchorage did not budge.   Maybe
the mizzen and centreboard would buffer this movement.  The night was
warm and the mosquitos  had a go at us.  Note to me – need a screen for
companionway opening.

Up at 7:00 and motoring away from anchorage by 7:45.  We cruised over to
the village of Deep Cove and tied up at the public wharf. Walked  into
town a found a cafe for a big breakfast.  After this in a warm but light
rain we motored north 18 km to the end of Indian Arm.  Stopped once to
brew up a coffee on my single burner hiking stove.

We motored steadily all day and the Honda (with standard prop at this
time) just purred along.  GSP gave us 5.5 knots at half throttle and 6.1
at full.  Even at a fast idle we moved along at 2.9 knots. Used
approximately 3/4 of the 3 gal gas tank for the entire cruise.  Lisa
thinks we should skip the sails as it will just complicate the fun and
she would lose her seat on the front of the cabin top.

Arrived back at the ramp around 3:30 pm on Saturday at an extremely low
tide.  No retrieval problems.

Since this trip we have been out for several day cruises with the
children (Jacob 7, Sam 5) for family fun.

I have attached some photos.

Thank you Richard for all the work in maintaining the Chebacco site.

Randy Wheating
Port Moody, BC
Richard Spelling wrote:

> Wonderfull looking boat. Looks like you spent the 5 years well.
>
> Why solid wood keel?
>

Years ago, when I was getting around to the keel, I had never heard of a hollow
keel and it seemed vulnerable in the case of groundings or trailering.  I also
had a supply of really old rough cut 2″ boards in my father’s barn that need a
purpose in life.  Through work (industrial fiberglass manufacturing) I had
access to some kevlar scraps that I used to encase the keel.

>
> Transom and aft deck looks good, why did you do it that way?

I though the original drawings were odd in that it cut away all but 2″ of  the
transom and then bolted a motor mount plank across the hole.  Therefore, after
much pondering, I went with the solid transom.  I needed to attach a little
wedge to the transom to get the motor angle right.  I recall Brad Story’s
version have a solid transom.

I also did not care for nor understand the purpose of the big cut away into the
motor well from the cockpit and then adding a plank for the mast/tiller so I
made this solid and added a little access hatch under the tiller to get at the
forward part of the motor well (through which I can slip a 3 gal Honda gas tank)

>
>
> BTW, love your floor boards. Look much better than mine. Pine?

These boards are the cheapest wood on the boat – scrounged from a lift on
utility grade 1×4 spruce we use for pallet building at work. I just cut to fit,
rounded the edges and varnished.  My plan was to replace with some nice fir
boards in the future but the pallet wood seems to look fine.

>
> Welded aluminum rudder post? 2″ I thought of doing that, but didn’t think it
> would be strong enough.
>

So far, so good.  I copied  Fraser Howell’s idea and I have access to an
excellent welder at work who could whip it up for me.  I fabricated all the
metal work (tiller bracket, chain plates, anchor roller mounts, fore stay
brackets) and had these professionally galvanized.

>
> Interesting, you are trading standing rigging for a simpler tabernacle, and
> a usefull jib. Let me know how it turns out. Don’t forget the compression
> load on your mast now.
>

I do not expect the standing rigging to be a big deal and I wanted a nice tight
fore stay for the jib.  The mast is actually to be cabin top mounted on an 1/2″
thick by 9″ tall hinge.  I laminated the forward bulkhead to 1″ thick to act as
a compression post.  Cut a square hole in it rather than a round one as per the
drawings.

>
> Don’t let Lisa convince you to loose the sails. There is something about
> flying along in silence with nothing but the wind pushing you that can’t be
> matched by motoring.
>

You certainly do not need to convince me.  I am busting to get sailing.  Lisa
has not really had any sailing experience to speak of so I am eager to share
this with her.  I have learned to go slow.  As they say:  “When the momma is
happy, everyone is happy.”

Cheers,
Randy

***

Miscellaneous boat ramblings – Richard Spelling

“It’s a Chebacco. No, it’s a yawl, not a ketch. Yes, I built it. Thank you.” Well, if nothing else I meet lots of people.

At least they don’t think it’s a fake boat!

You know, life is funny sometimes. I built this boat to take the family, and in particular the wife, out camping and sailing. The wife likes the boat, but she still left and took all the kids. Life is change, I guess. At least I got a boat out of the deal. Know any girls who like to build boats? More to the point, know any girls who like boat builders ?

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Out sailing, some of the hard to get pictures of your boat sailing. Quite windy, put in a reef and went splashing through the big waves where the wind had a couple of miles to build up waves just after this. Beat to windward, run back and beat to windward again. Much fun, got water on the inside of the windows! (hatches were open). Ex 6 year old stepdaughter had a blast.

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Hey! I want one of those. Picture of a powered parachute buzzing around. Right is a picture of the recycled electrical panel I made for the boat. Was a panel for some computer equipment I salvaged from the trash. Some 50 cent switches and fuses, and some holes bored on my homemade milling machine, and presto, switch panel.

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Anchor well, anchor rode, and launching rope. Wedge under motor to give proper trim angle. I put this on because the back would dig in at full throttle, and I thought the trim was off on the motor. Back still digs in, I guess I’m climbing over the bow wave. No matter, when the motor is tilted up it rides lower with the wedge, less chance of water going up the exhaust and into the cylinders now. Also, you can’t pull the motor off strait up, you have to slide it off sideways now. And, there is a plate screwed on with with epoxy blocking the screwdriver slots on the soft brass screws to prevent sideways sliding. Theft prevention. Right is battery charger.

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Foam and boards to go on the seats and the berths. Going to try my hand at upholstery. Note clean empty living room. One advantage of being single again, I can work on boat stuff in the house!

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Prototype of hitch mirror. Doesn’t work, moves and gets out of alignment due to the wonderful roads here in Oklahoma. Thought was to let me see the hitch in the rear view mirror for hooking the boat up singlehanded. Designing Mark II now. Right is a picture of the storage areas under the berths.

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Here we are launching a friends Micro in Grand Lake so we can work on the trailer without jacking the boat up. This is so we can take both boats out sailing.

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OK, I lied. It wasn’t Grand Lake.

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Modifications to the trailer to fix the lights, and to encourage it to sink…

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David: “I’m not going in there!” Me: “It’s not like it’s a sewer or something!”

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Me: “Yuk!”

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Hint: Do not drive an old trailer with 8 inch wheels in a rocky field with holes deeper than 8 inches, you will break leaf springs. Right is emergency repairs.

tn_DSC00040

Micro goes back in it’s barn. I guess we are only taking one boat out.

 

***

—-Original Message—–
From: Richard Spelling [mailto:richard@spellingbusiness.com]
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 10:52 AM
To: Mike Haskell
Subject: Re: Request in next newsletter

Sure, no problem. Maybe we should ask them to register so
everyone has thier email addr?
Put the side decks on, and started the mast this weekend.

—– Original Message —–
From: “Mike Haskell” <mike@AdventureQuest-USA.com>
To: <richard@spellingbusiness.com>
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 9:45 AM
Subject: Request in next newsletter

Good morning Richard,

When you complete the next newsletter, would you put in this request:

To all Chebacco lapstrake builders. My name is Mike Haskell and
I plan to start building a lapstrake Chebacco in the summer of 2002. By scouring past articles in the Chebacco News, I have deduced that the following may have, or have built or are building lapstrake Chebaccos:
Marc Lindgren
Allan Bell
Bill Parkes
Bill Meier
Jerome McIvanie
George Cobb
Gil Fitzhugh

Would each of you be willing to respond to me off list. I’d like to have your e-mail addresses, so that I can contact you to see whether or not I can pick your brains as I get into this project. Gil, since you and I have already correspnded, you need not contact me again–I have your address and you are currently at the top of my “When I Need Help Call______” list.

Thank you to all who respond–and there is a prize. If you ever get to Maine, stop by Bowdoinham, we’ll go sailing or kayaking, and I’ll treat you to a bowl of the best lobster stew you’ve ever eaten.

Sincerely,

Mike Haskell

Mike Haskell, President/CEO
Adventure Quest-USA
Leadership That Gets Measurable Business Results, Guaranteed!

Forging Business Leaders Who
-Create Effective Work Teams
-Increase Productivity
-Deliver Measurable Business Results
mailto:mike@AdventureQuest-USA.com
http://www.AdventureQuest-USA.com

Chebacco News 38

Hello Richard:

 

I want first to thank you for continuing Bill Samson’s work in editing the Chebacco News. I have learned a great deal from this newsletter and appreciate very much Bill’s work on behalf of Chebacco builders.

 

In his very helpful description of the building sequence for the sheet-ply Chebacco 20, Bill describes how he installed the two hull side panels by suspending them from the ceiling while he fitted them. Since I am building outdoors and do not have a ceiling, I had to find another solution.

 

My approach, therefore, was to cut out six small jigs out of scrap plywood (I actually used the cutouts from the bulkheads.). These were screwed temporarily to bulkheads # 1, # 4, and # 6 as shown in the diagram below. The side panels were then dropped into the slots, three on each side, and I was able to take my time in positioning the panels. When the epoxy fillets were complete on one side of the bulkhead and the panels were permanently fastened at bow and stern ends, I removed the jigs and made the fillets on the other side of each bulkhead.

 

 

Side Jig 2

I found this to have been very easy and I hope that it might be of use to others as well.

 

Regards, Tom McIllwraith

Halifax, Nova Scotia

***

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the nice job on the last issue of chebacco.
Here are the pictures of blocks and tabernacle fitting
that you requested.

block1.jpg 1 block2.jpg 1
Blocks are made out of locust with a brass sheave spinning
on a 5 mm brass pin (Fig. Block1.jpg).  They run nice and smooth
as long as the hole in the sheave is a bit larger (e.g. 5.25 mm)
than the pin. As I mentioned before, I made patterns
by magnifying the drawings in the “Riggers apprentice”
by Brion Toss. I also fitted the block on the centerboard
case with some kind of slotted tongue (Fig. Block2.jpg)
to jam the sheet, a home-made simple substitute for a camcleat.
taber1.jpg 1 taber2.jpg 1 taber3.jpg 1

The stainless steel fitting for the tabernacle was “invented” and made by
my friend Roberto Ginetto. There is a U-shaped part that goes around
the back and sides of the tabernacle. This part is screwed onto the tabernacle.
The front part is removable (Fig. taber1.jpg) and goes on the u-shaped part
like a “fence”. The U-shaped part also has “ears” (Fig. taber2.jpg) to attach
the double turning blocks for the throat and peak haliards (starboard side,
Fig. taber1.jpg) and topping lift + jib haliard (port side, Fig. taber3.jpg).
As you can see, things are still a bit scratched and unfinished around there
but the whole thing works well and is very easy get on and off single-handed.

Let me know if you need more explanation or other info.

Cheers,
Vincenzo

Do you have any close up pictures of the hinge on your tabernacle?

Also, I notice you have the forward section closed off. What is the distance from the hing to you locking mechanism?

How do you raise the mast? You use the jib line as a forstay, do you use it to hoist the mast?

It appears your mast is rounded up top, but square on the bottom. It is square up to the double reef position of the gaff?

Have any closeups of your gaff saddle?

Hi Richard,

It is very easy to raise the mast, I just stand on the cabin roof and walk it up, it takes only a second then to block it with the metal fence. I do not use the jib haliard as a forestay or to raise the mast, although I guess that could be done.

The mast must be rounded all the way above the hinge point, otherwise the gaff jaws will not be free to swing around when hoisting or lowering sail (acting as a wrench around a bolt) and might bust at the first gust of wind! So, the mast is left square only in the part that goes into the tabernacle.

I will take close-ups and measures over the weekend.

Buon vento,
Vincenzo.

Richard,

the distance from the pin of the hinge to the bottom of the locking mechanism is 67 cm.
The width of the steel plate of the locking mechanism is 6 cm.

I made the curved gaff jaws epoxying 2mm oak lamination to a final thickness of 24 mm
(see attached pictures)

gaff1 gaff2 gaff3

Cheers,
Vincenzo

Did you use the 1 inch stainless steel rod described in Chebacco News 18 for the pivot pin?
I’m thinking of going a little thinner, to have less of a hole in the mast.
Did you do any kind of reinforcement for the hole in the mast?

The round plate with the three screws, this is the bearing plate for the pivot pin? Are all the mast forces taken by this plate, or is it a loose enough fit that the mast forces are taken by the box section of the tabernacle?

PCB&F says: “Since we know of no widely available source for them any more, we are proposing a ‘home-made’ gooseneck. It uses two stock ‘heavy duty’ SS gudgeons to accept a 1/2″ SS eyebolt which then connects via another ‘undersized’ bolt loosely to two SS tangs that are screwed to the forward sides of the boom; there should be enough freedom for the boom to move any which way, including twist from the sheet-pull. ”

I was never sure what exactly they were saying. It looks like you have a 10 inch or so long, 1/2″ thick  rod between the upper and lower brackets (gudgeons?) on the tabernacle face. I can’t see, but I’m assuming you then have an oversized eyebolt that slides up and down over this rod, is attached to the front of the boom, and acts as your gooseneck?

I used 1 inch bronze rod for the pivot pin.

To avoid having the pin bearing directly on wood, I screwed steel plates
(with a 1 inch hole for the pin), one screwed to the side of the mast, the
other to the side of the tabernacle, so the forces on the pin should mostly bear on the steel plates. The plates you see in the pics are just plywood plates that prevent the bronze pin from working its way out of the hole.

You are exactly right about my gooseneck. The pin is 12 X 30 mm stainless steel. I made it so long with the idea of rigging a downhaul to tension the luff. However the throat halyard is enough to give plenty of tension, and the sliding up and down of the boom is just a useless complication when hoisting or lowering the sail. I am going to cut that rod!
Pics of gooseneck details next weekend.

Vincenzo.

***

From: “Bill Samson” <bill.samson@tesco.net>
To: <richard@spellingbusiness.com>
Subject: New Chebacco growing on Vancouver Island . . .
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2001 2:41 AM

Hi Richard,

Just had these pics from Bill McKibben via Chuck Merrell of his ‘glasshouse’
Chebacco Motorsailer that’s coming along well.

Bill has raised the topsides a little more than is shown on the plans, but
(I think) kept the overall height the same.  You remember the pic of his
model on one of my last Chebacco Newses?

Anyway, Bill would be delighted if you included one or two of his pics in
your next issue.

Cheers,

Bill Samson

>Speaking of pix, the attached just came in from B&B for the NW Chebacco.
>Will put them on his web page.  They were taken in Aug and September.  I
>have a hunch he’ll have it complete by sometime next summer.  BTW, that
>green foliage, higher than the cover in Picture #1 is Beth’s corn crop from
>last summer.  I had some they brought down.  Delicious!
>Chuck
>NWCheb01 NWCheb02 NWCheb03 NWCheb04 NWCheb05

***

Hello Richard!  A short note with 3 photos for your next Chebacco e-zine, the main purpose being to show how I’ve tried to build a Chebacco over the summer.  As cold weather now comes over the Massachusetts hills here, I’ll soon be forced to close down boatbuilding work although I’m hopeful that an Indian Summer will come about to allow the finishing of the hull and flipping.  Even in snow I’d flip her!

Stealing Horses Keel
Photo 1 shows the keel on top of the bottom panel.  It was my assumption that it would be much easier for me to work at placing the keel without the bilge panels in place.  A step ladder under the bilge panel space allowed closeup work, to see into the centerboard slot, to work on finishes such as they are.

 Stealing Horses Bilge Panel

Photo 2 shows Stealing Horses with her bilge panels in place.  The front 8 feet is composed of 2 layers of 1/4″ plywood with the first brought into shape with Spanish windlass action, and the second secured with a buttering of thickened epoxy and many sheetrock screws forcing the outer to the inner panel per Jamie Orr’s earlier description of how to do this.  The aft sections of the bilgepanel are 1/2″.  A brass half-oval strip extends over the inner stem, awaiting the outer stem for attachment.  The strip along the forward keel, along both centerboard cheeks, down the aft keel but shy of where the rudder post attachment will be placed.

Stealing Horses Xynole

Photo 3 shows the bilge and topside panels covered with xynole cloth prior to wetting out.  The keel and most of the bottom has, as the photo shows, been cloth-clad and coated with epoxy laden with graphite.

At this time — late October — the large xynole sheets have been wetted out and received 3 coats of fairing compound which cured just before the cool weather.  Now the job of sanding the hull is sporadically underway.  The outer stem–composed of built up planks of rosewood–has been lag-screwed and epoxied to the inner stem.  The lagscrews are recessed into the inner stem and set in bedding compound.  By the way, Jim Slakov (who built an exquisite lapstrake Chebacco) suggested to me one of his embellishments: that a small wood wedge be eventually epoxied to the inner stem to hold the mast at an intermediate stage when raised.  The idea is to stand in the cockpit and raise the mast to this point (contingent on one’s height and muscle power), and then to leave it semi-raised and secured by the rachet effect of the wedge while climbing to the cuddy roof to complete the job.

I’d like in what remains of this building season to get the hull sanded and the waterline scribed to the hull–I’d like of course to do more like paint and flip–but I’d settle for this.  Soon I’ll be forced to unscrew the ladder strongback of the boat forms from the ground stakes that level it.  The coming frost will of course heave these stakes and I’m concerned that the hull not be stressed so I’ll let it float atop frozen ground.  Then an accurate waterline will be impossible.

Semi-gloss marine enamel was bought for a 2-coat job above the waterline (to be placed about 2″ higher than the design waterline) with the graphite-laden epoxy coming up from the bottom.  Kirby Paints was kind to test their various paints and primer on a sample of my plywood/my epoxy to see how to proceed (no primer was deemed necessary).

For those considering a sheet plywood version of the Chebacco the following is a list of major materials and their sources that I’ve used:
1.  Meranti marine plywood (LS 6566 grade) from Noahsmarine.
2.  Locally grown spruce, encapsulated in epoxy.  Some island-grade rosewood brought back from the South Pacific some time ago.
3.  Xynole cloth from Defender instead of fiberglass cloth because of a concern for puncture and abrasion resistance.  Xynole, however, absorbs epoxy like a blotter.
4.  Epoxy, fillers, and fiberglass tape from Raka Epoxy.
5.  Fasteners from Jamestown Distributors and Hamilton Marine.  Hamilton sells a nice through-bow silicon bronze eye bolt for pulling the boat to the trailer. I went to Jamestown for silicon bronze ring nails and screws, bedding compound.
6.  Sails, sewn over last winter, from Sailrite kits.
7.  Kirby traditional marine paint for the topsides / bilgepanels that are above the waterline.

Cheers, keep warm,

Dick Burnham

Stealing Horses stem paint

Here is our Chebacco with 2 coats of oil-based Kirby semi-gloss white on her.  The outer stem is as yet unfinished but we plan to sand it down and to varnish it.


Dick Burnham

***

Hi Richard

New email address  – ‘rwheating@telus.net’

Apologies for not thanking you sooner for your work on the Chebacco News.

I live in the same corner of the world as Jamie Orr.  He lives on Vancouver Island and me on the main land.  My Chebacco has been in the works since 1995 (!)  I was searching for just the right boat project (my first) when I read the Chebacco article in the Wooden Boat magazine.  However this would be a test of my dedication as my wife and I were just starting our family which I was to discover dramatically cuts into ones free time…
My boys are now seven and five and I am able to pick up the pace so to speak.  Just tonight I have done the final tidying up and dusting in preparation for spray painting my boat.  Mine is the standard sheet ply variety Chebacco with some modifications such as raising the cabin two inches and widening it out to the coamings.  I have also gone with a one piece ( a la Brad Story) transom with drain holes.  The forward bulkhead I doubled in thickness (to one inch) to allow me to mount the mast, using a tabernacle, directly onto the cabin roof.   I have some ideas for the tabernacle but would be very interested in other CB readers experiences with this.
Hope to launch this before January and then spend the spring on the trim  and spars.  Thanks for the sail info.  I will likely go with the Sailright kit.
I will send along some photos in the near future.
Thanks again,

Randy Wheating
Port Moody, BC
Canada

***

Sanding the CLC

Everyone has been saying that this will be a cold winter. To which I have invariably replied “NO, it will be a mild winter, so I can finish the boat!”. And you know what? With the exception of a couple of days of snow, it has hardly gotten below 50 degrees yet… spooky.

DSC00029 DSC00032 DSC00033

These are pictures my homemade power long board. To the left, I have just disassembled the inline air sander I bought from Harbor Freight. Center is where I have made up some small mounting blocks, and countersunk some 1/4″ flat head screws in it. To the right, I am gluing the blocks to the sanding board with some 5 minute epoxy. Note that the blocks are attached to the sander during this operation, this is the only way to make sure they are glued exactly the right distance apart, so they fit on the slide of the air sander perfectly.

DSC00034 DSC00035

After testing my setup on the boat, I realized the slide on the sander was some kind of plastic, and bent all out of shape when the board was forced to follow the curve of the hull. What you see in this picture is a 1/4″ x 1″ length of cold rolled steel, used to keep the slide stiff and reduce the wear. Still got some wear using the sander, and had to return it to the store. I’m not sure it was all related to my setup though, as I’ve had this exact type of sander before, and had the same problems with it. I’ve since ordered a Campbell Hausfeld air sander from HF. They had it in the catalog for $16.99, about $40 less than I could find it anywhere else. The card in the mail said it was back ordered, and I can’t find it online any more… Not sure if it was a typo or what, but it appears they are going to send it to me.

To the right, you see where I have taken the sanding pad and used glass tape to strengthen the attachment of the spacer blocks to the board. The sandpaper was attached to this board with contact cement, 3M Super 77 spay adhesive. Application of the heat gun on high while pulling the paper off made changing to a new sheet a breeze. I used 36 grit paper, the kind that worked with the inline sander. At about $7 for a box of 25 at the local HF. Went through two boxes.

DSC00030

On the left here I am squaring up the rudder assembly, and on the right it is set aside for the epoxy to set up. I used three layers of the 2″ tape I got frommarsales1@aol.com I bought five 50 yard rolls of 2″, 6oz tape from him for $35, you might email him and see if he has any more. The tape is a satin weave and doesn’t wet out as easily as some of the more open weaves. You have to pre-wet your surface, then apply your tape, then wet the outside. Give capillary action a few minutes to work the epoxy in, then work any remaining bubbles out with your thumb. This tape is a bit more work than a more open weave would be, but well worth the saved money.

I make the rudder a bit thick for the post, so I trimmed it down some with a flap wheel on the angle grinder. Also, I flared the aft end on both the blade and the wing down to a finer point than on the plans, in an attempt to save a bit on drag.

DSC00001 DSC00003 DSC00004

Here you see the centerboard case going in. In the picture on the left I have just dropped it in, I had to cut a notch out of the board you see to get it to drop all the way down. Center is a side view, and right is a view of one of the cleats used to hold it. If you look in the picture, you will see that the cleat only has one screw. This is to allow the case to be levelled from underneath, before tape and epoxy is added.

On the right you can see a one of the bilge panel spices, still covered with the remnants of the wax paper used to keep the clamp board from sticking. I later went back with a wire brush on a drill and got this off.

DSC00003_2 DSC00005 DSC00006

On the left you see the crew applying glass and epoxy to the hull. This was a major operation, glassing the entire hull with 6oz cloth. Made more interesting by it being in the 60s, and by my being out of slow set epoxy. We only had one pot start to cook off on us, and I was able to dump and spread it before it had smoked too much.

Center you see a good shot of the cloth hanging off. In the future I may try to trim closer to the hull before applying the epoxy. I wasted quite a bit of glass here, as after it gets a few runs of epoxy on it, about the only thing you can do with this stuff is throw it away.

On the right, you will see where it looks like I spiced onto the back of the keel. This is caused by me splicing onto the back of the keel. Measure twice, cut once. Then cut again. Also note the brown under the glass. I used the last of my slow cure hardener to spread wood flour and epoxy over any sections that weren’t exactly smooth, so the glass would lay even. I learned on a previous boat not to use phenolic micro balloons under the glass. They aren’t very strong in tension, and I had a section de-laminate on me during sanding. This boat is being made as strong as I know how to make it, so the only putty under the glass is wood flour based.

DSC00007 DSC00008 DSC00009

The left two shots show a good view of the cutout for the motor well. Also, note that the glass is folded over twice on the transom, and right under where the rudder will be. This required a bit more work faring the hull, but the added strength may come in handy some day.

DSC00010 DSC00011 DSC00012

More shots of us desperately spreading epoxy and chasing bubbles, before the epoxy set up.

DSC00024 DSC00025 DSC00026

The two pictures on the left are of the stem after it is attached. I agonized for days over whether to finish it “bright” or not. finally, looking at the pictures I have in the Chebacco News issues showed that most people were painting over it. In addition, I REALLY wanted to cover it with a layer of glass. So, it is made up of cutouts of plywood, laminated together. Notice the radial lines on the stem? This is where I broke the belt on the hand power planer, and had to use the chain saw to finish the carving… <grin>. The stem had a liberal coat of putty applied to the bottom and then was attached top and bottom with a couple of temporary screws. After the putty set, a little sanding was done, then more putty, and a couple of layers of glass cloth went over the whole assembly. This coming Saturday a friend is coming over to help me forge a piece of 1/8″ stainless steel to the shape of the cutwater, so the keel armor will extend from the bottom up and around the cutwater! Should be very cool.

DSC00027 DSC00028 DSC00031

On the right we have applied a coat of glass bubbles and wheat flour as a faring compound. Notice the line starting halfway up the bilge panel next to the transom? This is where the bottom and the bilge layers of cloth overlap. I have two layers of glass over the bottom chine to add to the strength.On the left, I’m attaching the cheek plates over the centerboard case. I broke with tradition, and foil shaped them in the best bolger tradition, with the flare on the sides and bottom matching. Hopefully this will reduce some of the turbulence caused by this protrusion of the keel.

This notched trowel process took a LOT of epoxy. More than glassing the hull! Oh, well, it allows me to fill in the low spot, and will give a smoother hull. Helping to decrease resistance and turbulence.

DSC00001_2 DSC00003_3 DSC00004_8

This is the boat after MUCH sanding. The girls decided they would volunteer to sand the boat instead of buying me a birthday present. Their mistake! <evil grin>. I only had them sanding for a couple of weeks… They did a wonderful job, though. The odd color scheme is my attempt to vary the color of each successive layer of filler. No reason, I had the pigment and though I’d experiment.

On the left we are just starting to apply the leftover Interlux barrier coat primer from another project. I put a little of the green pigment I had left into the white primer, and it turned the yucky blue you see. We turned the boat into a swimming pool! I didn’t have quite enough for the entire hull, but that’s ok. I experimented with the paint, and it stuck to unwashed, unsanded, smooth epoxy with no qualms. Even stayed on after a couple of days in the dishwasher, and hardened up nicely after a couple of weeks.

On the right, you see the hull with paint on it. We are putting it on in many thin layers, to avoid runs. In this picture we still need a couple of layers of paint. The green is a color I got from mixing three gallons of various shades of green deck paint purchased at the local close out store. At $2.88 a gallon, I bought 12 gallons, even before testing on the epoxy!

Anyway, that’s all for now, next issue I’ll have pictures of the forged armor for the keel, and pictures of the boat turning, currently planned for some time in January. Also, I’ll show how I figured out the welding of stainless steel on a cheap wire feed welder.

Richard Spelling

From the muddy waters of Oklahoma.

Chebacco News 33

Chebacco News 33 – February 2001

 

 

A New Chebacco Motorsailer

ChebMS1

Bill and Beth McKibben of Sidney BC, Canada – the prolific builders of many Bolger boats, including the Breakdown Schooner and the Fast Motorsailer, are turning their thoughts to a Chebacco Motorsailer, and have built this model as their starting point. The keen-eyed among you will notice that they’ve raised the topsides a smidgen, and have used the Solent Lug rig in preference to the more usual gaff rig. It looks wonderful, and will make a great addition to the growing fleet of British Columbian Chebaccos.

 

A Swedish Chebacco

edstrom

Björn Edström writes:

I have built a Chebacco 20 in sheet ply coated with epoxy and fabric
both in and outside because I used only 9 mm plywood on the whole
construction. The boat was launched in September this year, so far it
has only been one weekend sailing this year, the interior is not
completed.

Built: 1999 – 2000
Launched: September 2000
Name: WOODY
Owner/builder: Björn Edström, email: bjorn.edstrom@posten.se
Location: Stockholm/Sweden

I will send more pictures from the launching when the film is developed

 

Mary-Beth, Too

Mvc-004f

Dave Neder has made a great ‘gold plater’ job of his sheet ply Chebacco, “Mary-Beth, Too”. He writes:

. . . The mast is hollow. It consists
of a marine ply box section sheathed with Sitka Spruce and Red Oak at the
gaff throat position.


The tiller is from a 26′ “Lancer” sail boat. It was contributed by a
friend of mine. The coaming is made of ribbon stripe mahogany ply and
mahogany lumber. I cap all exposed ply edges and I built narrow hand rails
all around into the coaming. The drawings show flush sides, but since I
need a better grip, I added the rail.

The hatches are water tight. The out board motor’s gas tank is under the
port hatch. The motor will be old 9.9 Johnson from the “Lancer”. The 12
Volt battery is under the starboard hatch. Their centers of gravity are
equidistant about the centerline.

The cabin hatch cover is shown closed portions of the cover, trim and pen
boards are made of red oak. It is common here and I like to work with it.
The two cleats are for the peak and throat halyard.

I am going to trailer the boat. I have a wide choice of sailing lakes
including Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is about twenty miles from my front
door. One comment about sailing on Lake Michigan; it is about 90% Ho Hum
and 10% sheer terror. Moorings in my area are filled up and expensive even
if you can find one for sale or rent.


I am presently building boom crutches to hold the masts and booms while
trailering the boat. I will send photos as things progress
Our goal is to sail this spring.
Regards Dave

Yet another Chebacco growing in BC!

Randybow

Randy Wheating writes:

Hi Bill

It was my pleasure to have finally met you in person at the Port
Townsend Wooden Boat Festival last fall. I turned my hull over this
past June. I went the brute force method with the help of six friends.
Before the ‘flip’ I cut out a notch in the cross pieces of the strong
back. I added a little padding to the notches and when we turned the
hull we set the keel into these notches and there she stood – upright
for the first time! A little shoring up and leveling and the hull was
for me to climb aboard.

As you may be able to see from the attached photos, I have made some
minor alterations. I have increased the width of the cabin about six
inches per side – flush with the cockpit coamings. The cabin top was
raised two inches.

The forward bulkhead I made one inch thick (laminated two half inch
pieces of plywood) as this will be the main support for my mast
tabernacle. I cut a square hole, for no particular reason, rather than
the round one as shown in the drawings.

The space under the cockpit seats will be sealed with air tight
inspection hatches for dry storage and floatation.

I added an eight inch bridge deck and made some cut outs in the main
bulkhead, from the cabin, for extra storage.

Like Brad Story’s boats (I believe) the aft cockpit is not cut through
to the motor well. A one piece stern deck with port and starboard
hatches with cover this area. There will be a small access hatch in
this deck just forward of the rudder post that will just allow me to
drop a 3 gal fuel tank into this space. A second tank will sit just aft
of the mizzen.

The rudder and post are aluminum. I fabricated an epoxy/cloth/mat tube
just larger than the rudder post OD which was then bonded between the
hull and motor well floor. This should create a nice water tight
passage for the rudder post.

Since taking the photos I have temporarily reinstalled the original
forms into the cabin and have started on the cabin sides.

With luck I will get her into the water later this year.

As always I enjoy the CN and appreciate your fine work. You must come
back to the West Coast in a couple of years for a cruise when all four
BC Chebaccos are in the water!

Take care,
Randy Wheating
Port Moody, BC, Canada

Pete has flipped

Upright

You’ll remember Pete Respess’s ‘poor man’s laser level’ from the Chebacco News #32. Pete has now flipped his hull, and I must say that waterline looks fantastic!

Skip flips, too

skipflip

 

Skip Pahl, in Southern CA, has flipped his handsome sheet-ply hull. In case you’re wondering, about half of his helpers are on the other side of the hull!

Skip writes:

So. Cal.’s apparent “one-and-only” Chebacco is not dead, however, progress
has been mighty slow.

A few weeks ago we had our annual neighborhood block party, an event that
provided me with lots of horsepower for turning the boat. We kicked-off the
party with the boat turning and everyone was delighted to be a part of the
effort. They have been watching the building for nearly three years now! By
scheduling the turning early in the picnic (before the beer), we accomplished
our task without a nick or scratch.

A note about striking the waterline: Last year I found the world’s cheapest
laser level for $39.95 in the Radio Shack Christmas catalog. It produces a
fine laser line as well as the standard spot! I mounted the level on a piece
of plywood attached to the top of a camera tripod and then leveled the
platform north, south, east and west) with a mark on the cutwater were I
wanted the waterline to start. After the first arc gave me a series of dots
from the cutwater to midships, I rotated the level on its leveled platform
and marked dots from miships to stern. I the stretched 3M fine line (1/4″)
tape along the pencil marks and arrived at a clean and satisfactory
waterline. This is a good system if you don’t have a great deal of work space
around the boat.

Best wishes to all!

Skip Pahl
Carlsbad, CA

pahltejeda@aol.com

That’s all for this issue

Not a terribly technical one this time – just a showcase of the fantastic efforts that are going on around the world. It seems to me that the number of Chebaccos is growing at an ever-increasing rate, as of course, a beautiful design like this deserves.

 

Keep in touch, everyone!

Bill Samson,

88 Grove Road,

Broughty Ferry,

Dundee DD5 1LB,

Scotland

bill.samson@tesco.net

Chebacco News 15

Chebacco News

Number 15, May 1997

[This issue of Chebacco News can be seen (in glorious colour) on the World Wide Web at: http://www.scotland.net/users/wbs/chebacco]

Our Website

Those of you who surf the World Wide Web will have noticed that Chebacco News is now at a different URL from previously. Formerly, I put CN on my web pages at work, in the University of Abertay Dundee. I now have a private web page, funded by yours truly.

There are two reasons for this – firstly, my employers could see that I had interests outside of work – a grave mistake in this age when workaholism is assumed to be the norm – secondly, I plan to retire later this year and my work pages will disappear anyway!

The downside of the new site is that I’m rationed to 1/2 megabyte of web space, so I’ll only be able to show one issue at a time, so the happy state of having the entire collection of Chebacco News’s on the web is to be no more.

To keep new readers happy, I can now offer earlier issues of Chebacco News as ‘bound’ (i.e. stapled) volumes. The two volumes are issues 1 though 6, and issues 7 through 12. If you’d like either (or both!) of these, the cost is $10 for each volume, including surface-mail postage, or £7 in British funds. Add two more dollars (£1.30) for air-mail. Please send cash only – it costs me a fortune to cash an overseas cheque. Commission for converting cash is much less.

News, enquiries etc should be sent to me:

Bill Samson,

88 Grove Road,

West Ferry,

Dundee,

DD5 1LB,

Scotland

Email:- wbs@sol.co.uk

Gil Fitzhugh ‘fesses up . . .

Gil Fitzhugh has been reflecting on his experiences of building a lapstrake Chebacco hull:

It’s true confessions time. Many of your newsletters have passed on information on how I was building my Chebacco, with the goal of helping those who hadn’t started yet to get off their duffs and get cracking. It has increasingly been occurring to me of late, that many of the techniques I used were suboptimal. Not wrong; I do have a nice hull. But I could have built it much more efficiently. But, if I’m ever misguided enough to build another glued-lap plywood boat, here are some of the things I would do differently.

1. The Tom Hill approach is one I wouldn’t do again. It uses a series of battens to define plank lines. Tom’s boats aren’t particularly curvy; it makes sense to use battens to help shape the planks. But a lapstrake Chebacco is a pretty curvy boat. Since I disagreed with Phil Bolger’s plank shapes, I lofted my own. Then I cut molds to duplicate my lofted planks. Having done so, I didn’t need Tom’s technique to define my planks. I could have taken them direct from the molds. This is what I did when lofting the cradle boat, and as you can see it worked fine:

ch144

Gil Fitzhugh’s cradle boat – based on Iain Oughtred’s ‘Whilly Boat’ design

I used Iain Oughtred’s plank lines in defining my molds. There are no plank lines specified in the lapstrake Chebacco. You can use Tom Hill’s battens to come up with nice lines, or you can loft them. You don’t need both.

2. Having abandoned Tom’s battens, you can set up all the permanent bulkheads as molds (either substitute molds or extras, depending on where they fall). When you lift the hull off the building frame, the temporary molds are left behind and the bulkheads stay with the hull. This saves many months of fitting out. I suspect that’s the way sheet-ply Chebaccos are built [that’s right – Bill] ; no reason not to do likewise for lapstrake.

3. Using drywall screws to hold the planks togetherwhile the epoxy sets up is easy and effective while you’re doing it, and a monumental pain later. Some of the screws break off and have to be removed by brute force. All those zillions of holes have to be plugged and smoothed on the outside, and the ones in the cuddy have to be smoothed on the inside, too. All this takes forever and yields no job satisfaction. A better way is to make up a batch of plywood plank clamps, like this:

clamp

They can be made tight with a wooden wedge or two at the open end. I starte out to use them on the Chebacco, but the presence of all those Tom Hill battens meant the opening had to be quite wide and the closed end rather thin. When I tried to tighten the clamps with wedges, they bent at the closed end instead of pulling the clams together at the open end. So I gave up and went to drywall screws. I gave up too soon. I should have used heavier clamps. In the cradle boat, with planks of 1/8 inch luan ply, my clamps were scraps of 12mm occume ply from the Chebacco. They worked fine, and left no holes. If I’d taken the time to glue together two or three thicknesses of lumberyard ply for the Chebacco clamps, they’d have been plenty strong enough.

I’m grateful to Gil for sharing his learning experience with us. After all, it’s better to stand on the shoulders of our predecessors, than to start from ground level.

Story Chebacco-20 spotted at Maine boatshow

:

John Harris, of Chesapeake Light Craft, MD sent some email:

Neat show; I’d swear there was as much interesting stuff as at the WoodenBoat Show. Just crammed with wooden boats of all shades and an acre of boat-stuff vendors.

Brad Story was there with a lapstrake Chebacco 20. Marvelous finish and detail. (Were those NUTS and BOLTS holding the laps together?) I talked with his wife a little; she said they were going to try to ease out of big boat one-offs and concentrate on marketing the Chebacco as a production boat. I’ll be very interested in how that works out; they’ve already sold nine and are doing some nice advertising.

We left on Sunday after a mandatory stop at the LL Bean and Patagonia outlets.

Cheers,

John C. Harris

A new Sailing Pirogue from PCB & F –

John Harris also reports that he has built the prototype Sailing Pirogue – a new design from Phil Bolger & Friends. This pirogue is 11’6″long by 2′ beam. Drawings of this fun boat are available from Phil Bolger & Friends, 29 Ferry Street, Gloucester, MA 01930. Phil writes:

The plans of this design are on two sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ typewriter paper, rough but demostrably adequate. If somebody wants a set, we’ll charge US$25.00 for them, mostly “handling”, i.e. nuisance.

peero

John Harris’s prototype Bolger Sailing Pirogue

Progress with Sheet Ply Chebacco:

Hi to All,

I’ve been making some, but somewhat slow progress. I’m building a sheet-ply Chebacco, and I’m building it in my garage. my progress to date…

cut-out my bulkheads and molds (I guess I’m very luckyto be living so close to ‘Boulter’ (plywood and specialty woods and materials, an excellent company and resource – Boulter Plywood Somerville Ma 617-666-1340)

I built my support structure (less than 2 feet to spare) in an effort to keep things straight, I stretched a wire from front to back and permanently mounted it near the

cieling over the boat centerline. On the wire I have a weighted string that I can slide along over the construction and verify the centerline alignment of individual

elements or the underlying structure, which gets hammered on occasionally. I also shot several areas of the floor/structure with spray-paint, to make it more noticeable

if my structure gets shifted.

I’ve cut-out, but not yet laminated the inner-stem

The transom is not yet reinforced or on the structure.

I have plenty of work ahead of me, and the expenditure of funds is at the rate that is hardly noticed (but the progress is certainly noticeable…if slow) which is

my general plan, small expenditures of money, over long period of time. (besides, I have only a little bit of either of those resources).

I do have some questions for the general Chebacco-building

population…

I’m trying to decide, whether to build the centerboard/case and install/mate with the bottom panel, at bottom panel phase of hull construction (soon in my case) ???

And I’m not clear on the intent, on the plans for the thru-hull-section for the rudder post…

is it lined with an appropriate sleeve for the post to wear/rub against, or is it epoxy-coated (specialty additives) for the stressful life of supporting the twisting and turning of the rudder?

Does any preparation for this area happen while upside-down in the hull stages?

By The Way, My garage is now adorned with a large framed color print of ‘Sylvester Ghosting In’, which was featured on a previous ‘Chebacco News’, (Bill, I hope that’s

OK) it’s beautiful and right smack-dab in front of my wife’s parking space in the garage…she still has use of her side of the garage…and we’re both enthused

by the artwork.

Jim Stewart mailto:stewarj1@polaroid.com

#2 Stewart Farm Rd.

Atkinson NH 03811

Regarding the hole for the rudder stock, the way I built my Chebacco all the wear is taken by a pintle (gudgeon?) at the bottom end and a steel plate with a hole in it on the oak ‘slab’ at the top. The hole itself is epoxied and painted, but doesn’t seem to get any wear. Some builders fit the CB case at the same time as they fit the bottom to the hull. I cut the slot later, and inserted the CB case before making the keel. If I was doing it again, I’d fit it at the same time as the bottom – much less hassle!

More questions on construction:

Here’s another email question and answer session between Burton Blaisbblais@EM.AGR.CA – and myself

Hello Bill:

Is it sailing season yet in Scotland? We’re nowhere near it here – it’s still snowing out there!

Three weeks until the moorings are laid. I was out in my Payson Pirogue at the weekend. First time on the water this year!

Anyway, I wonder if I might pester you with yet another request for tips on building my Chebacco. I’ve pretty well finished cutting and sorting out all of the parts & components for the centreboard and its case (all I need to do now is to fiberglass the inside surfaces of the case before putting the whole together – I’m waiting on this for warmer weather and for my shipment of RAKA marine epoxy – yes, despite my recent controversial query to the Bolgerlist folks about the possibility of using vinyl ester, I still intend to use epoxy for my Chebacco). In anticipation of the hull asssembly process, I wonder if you could give me your opinion on the following details:

1) For the inside surfaces of the centreboard case, will fiberglassing with epoxy provide sufficient protection?

That’s what I did and it seems OK. I understand that Brad Story epoxies a layer of Formica on the inside of the CB case – should save a lot of bother!

2) After cutting out the hole in the centreboard for the lead ballast, did you first epoxy the inner edges of the plywood to protect it from the water, or will this interfere with the “adhesion” of the lead? Perhaps it would be better to pour the molten lead in first, let it solidify, and then seal the surface thoroughly with epoxy?

Yes – I epoxied AFTER pouring the lead. It seems fine so far.

3) For the framing, floors, deck beams and carlins, what type of lumber should I use? Can I get away with using carefully selected spruce or white pine, or do I absolutely need stronger wood ( such as oak)? I’m assuming that the main function of the deck beams and carlins is to support the deck, and not to play a major role in the structural strength of the entire hull itself.

I used reclaimed white pine – liberally coated with epoxy and well painted – seems fine. If I’d had unlimited resources, I’d probably have gone for mahogany or Douglas Fir. The carlines themselves add little to the strength of the boat – they effectively extend the glueing area for joins between panels.

4) Again, what are the options for lumber for the keel cheeks?

If you can get oak, that’s probably best – but be careful, It doesn’t glue well, so back up your joints with S/S bolts. I used construction-grade fir (‘red deal’) which epoxies well but is more easily damaged than oak.

5) I seem to recall reading in your published building sequence that fort the bilge panels you are recommending two plys of 1/4″ plywood, rather than 1/2″, due to the twist in the panel near the bows. Unfortunately, most lumber in Canada is sold in metric sizes, and while we can find 1/2″ plywood readiliy enough, the closest to 1/4″ that I can find is actually thicker at about 8-9 mm. Therefore, if I go the route of using two plys of the thinner stuff I will actually end up with a bilge panel that is considerably thicker than 1/2″ , and which will not be flush with the other 1/2″ panels. Therefore, I may have no choice but to use the 1/2″ plywood for this job. Do you have any experience with this, or any tips on how I might be able to use this thickness and still get the correct twist in the panel ?

I can get 6mm ply here, which is pretty close to 1/4″. I should point out, though, that in fact I made the bilge panels out of 1/2″ (12mm) ply but you need a bit of brute-force to get the panels bent into position. I used strategically placed clamps and twisted ropes (‘Spanish windlass’) to coax them into position.

Sorry to bother you with so many questions, but you are simply too valuable a resource not to use! Many thanks in advance for all your help.

Regards,

Burton

Delighted!

Bill

Photo from Nova Scotia:

I found this image of Fraser Howell’s strip-planked Chebacco-20, ‘ITCHY’, on the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, the image has suffered somewhat in the transfer! If you can get onto the web, the URL is http://Fox.nstn.ca:80/~swbans/photo.html where the image is much clearer. Fraser tells me he’ll soon be sending some other images. Watch this space!

fraser

Fraser Howell’s strip-plank ‘Itchy’ scoots along.

That Tasmanian Chebacco:

A number of you have written or emailed me asking for more details of the Chebacco that appeared on the fromt page of Chebacco News #14. Colin Hunt, who took the photos, takes up the story:

. . . as I wandered around the docks there it was – ‘GREBE’ – a chine built Chebacco launched last summer by Bruce Tyson of Port Sorrell in Tasmania. This craft is magnificently built and finished, and when I finally caught up with Bruce he described her as a very user-friendly boat. She was built according to the plans with no ballast and a 5hp motor.

ch143

GREBE

Colin also tells me that he has built a ‘Bobcat’/ ‘Tiny Cat’/ ‘Instant Catboat’ (surely a 12 foot boat doesn’t need all these names). He mentions that construction is very like that of the sheet ply Chebacco. I hope Colin sends some photos for a future issue.

And Finally . . .

When we first started this newsletter I wondered if it would survive as far as a second issue. I’m frankly flabbergasted at the amount of information we’ve disseminated. We seemed to have hit the market at just the right time when the first home-built Chebaccos were starting to appear. The World-Wide-Web has also been a tremendous help in reaching new Chebacchisti (- Gil Fitzhugh coined this word -), particularly through Chris Noto’s Bolgerlist, and Tim Fatchen’s Light Schooner home page.

Thank you all for your news items, past, present and future – Keep ’em coming!

Bill Samson