Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weather Vane

We installed a weathervane just in time for Mathew's visit.   This is the only nautical thing I have done in months.  The house construction is progressing.  We finished the tower roof and before the scafolding came down,  I wanted to get the vane up.  We whittled it out of scraps of gavalume roofing.  It rides on a bearing supported shaft and will turn a needle on a compass rose on the ceiling of the tower room.  Here are some pics:

Sperm whale

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sinking Feeling

This was a beautiful boat last time I saw it afloat.  Yesterday walking the docks at Whittaker Point Marina, I saw the inevitable conclusion to long neglect of a wooden boat.  It was listed for sale for $2000 as recently as 4 months ago.  Now it will cost that much for the owner to remove it from it's slip.  Sad

Sunday, July 17, 2016


There are a lot of sharks off the coast of North Carolina.  There always have been apparently.  You can find fossilized sharks teeth in the local gravel!
To learn more about this, we visited the Aurora Fossil Museum.  Follow this link to see some amazing fossils.
The museum is filled with items unearthed at Potash Corporation. It is a phosphate quarry near the town of Aurora.  As they mine for phosphate, they turn up these amazing fossils.

the museum has displays of fossils from the many creatures who have called the area home for the last many millions of years.
In digging through one of their gravel piles during the recent Aurora Days festival we found these sharks teeth.  It took just a couple of hours to unearth these.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Felix the cat boat

This past weekend, Christa got us an invitation for a sail on a beautiful hand made 37 foot cat boat. FELIX.
The owners and builders, Art and Terri have one of the most comfortable and classiest boats I have seen.  It is full of modern systems and high tec equipment.
Here is a link to an article about this boat:
Felix is 37 LOA with a 14 foot beam!  Lots of form stability.
She has a great combination of carbon and Mahogany.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hydro: Video

We cut down the transom 3 inches and this totally eliminated the cavitation.  Now the boat can hit the top end of this motor.  It is just a 9.9 hp Johnson, but it moves.  The hull should be able to handle up to about a 35hp.  that would be exciting.  We are keeping our eyes peeled for any motors in the area that we could land.  For now this is super fun.
Here is a video of me leaving our creek...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hydro: Launch Day!

We found a great throttle cable at Marine Consignment in town.  This afternoon we hooked it up to a hand lever.  We may move to a foot pedal, but for now it works well.
Once this was completed, the boat was ready to launch.
Oriental has a nice State Wild Life Resources boat ramp in town.  We had the boat launched in minutes and it performed great!
The handling is tight and the ride is dry.  We did have some cavitation, so we will be lowering the motor and adjusting its angle.  But that is another day.
Here are some photos...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Hydro: Top Sides Paint

Today we flopped the boat over.  The weather was perfect for painting. Low humidity and sunny with a mild breeze.  We were able to get two coats of Interlux Perfection White on the top sides.  We mixed in a little Interlux #216 spray thinner.

It looks great.  Tomorrow we will be able to reinstall the steering gear, mount the engine and strap down the tank.  The only remaining issue will be the throttle linkage.  We will address this next week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hydo: Paint finally!

The fairing of the hull is close enough for now.  If we love the hull and want to mold it, we will put in another week of fairing.  The weather is warm and we are ready to try it out.
Yesterday we primed the hull top and bottom with Pre-Kote by Interlux.
Today we sprayed on Perfection White by Interlux on the hull's bottom.
After a day or two to harden, we will flip it back over and spray a couple of coats on the top sides.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hydro: Scuppers

This weekend we cut holes for the port and starboard scuppers and glassed it up.
Since this area will most likely be constantly wet, we took extra care in sealing up the holes.
After the holes were cut, we saturated the raw ply with epoxy.  The transom is made of (2) 3/4 ply wood epoxied together.
Next we cut thin wall PVC tube to line the holes.  The tube was abraided with sandpaper. The tubes had a slightly loose fit so we wrapped the tube with glass tape, saturated it and twisted it into place.
We left the tubes slightly long.  This allowed us to wrap the ends with carbon fiber tow and press it into the seam with a screw driver.
Today the lamination was hard so we sanded the tubes flush.  It looks like a solid connection. Over the season, we will monitor the integrity of this joint.
This is the sanded flush starboard scupper.
This is the glass tape and CF tow we used to wrap the scupper tubes.
This is the interior view of the port scupper.

Stern view showing the new scuppers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hydo: self draining cockpit/false bottom

Back to work on the hydro.
While it is looking like and ugly duckling, it is getting very close to launch day.
Today we took a big step forward by installing the false bottom.  There are 3.5 inch tall framing members set longitudinally supporting the hulls exterior.  By installing an elevated floor, we will be able to have a self-draining cockpit.  This is a huge quality of life improvement in boating.
We will be able to leave the hydro in a slip for periods of time and not worry about it.
To accomplish this, we cut limber holes on both port and starboard sides of each of the cross members.  These were glassed.
Because the boat will sit with stern down when at rest,  all the limber holes drain to the stern sections of each pontoon.  In the photos, you can see the 6 inch diameter deck ports we cut into the walls of the cockpit.  Any water that makes it into the interior of the hull will end up in the accessible area of the pontoons.
From midship forward, the pontoons are totally filled with 2 pound foam.
This open space in the rear of the pontoons will allow some storage but is mainly for inspection and off season drying of the hull.
The newly installed floor will keep any uninvited water out of the hull's interior.   Next we will mark the appropriate spot for scuppers. After these are cut and glassed, we will be ready for paint.
The surface is getting closer to fair.

Cross member with limber hole visible.
The false bottom is 1/2 osb glassed on all sides.  It is screwed to the cross members.  The glass tape is not so much structural but is primarily used to keep the water headed to the scuppers.
The floor is in.  After paint, the deck plates will be installed.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Boating and Camping: Hammocks Beach

The beautiful spring weather got us in the mood to get outside and camp.  We looked up State Parks and found wonderful
Hammocks Beach State Park.
Here is the Google Sat view
It is a fantastic place.
It is a barrier island right next to Bogue inlet.  There are strong tidal currents to be aware of.  There is only primitive camping.  Three of the 14 camp sites are boat in only.
From google maps sat view, it looked like #14 would be accessible with our skiff, so we reserved it.
The island has many sea grass shallows behind it and the water is very thin.  Most folks arrive on the island either on the ferry that stops in the middle of the island or by paddle craft.  There is about 1 mile between the mainland Park center and the island.
The boat-in sites are spectacular.  This is the most scenic campsite I have ever seen.  We had 2 days of peace a quiet, other than the wind in the live oaks.
Totally worth a the trip.

There are lots of great shell to be found.