Boat Prep on a Sunny Day

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We have not had much in the way of dry weather for working on the boat.  A few weeks ago (today is 12June19) I backed the car out of the garage and set up my varnish shop. Two days ago, we installed the varnished wood and today I got the bottom ready for paint.  Some pics:

Seems like a decade ago when we were in Boston, I took this pic of Elizabeth doing a little fussing before the trailer came over to splash us.  The good old days!  It was probably early May.

Meanwhile, back in Harwich at the boat yard.  Pictures from a few sunny days in early June.

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Under shrink wrap with hatch and rails off and in the garage being varnished.  I clean the winter dirt with denatured alcohol and rags.  After everything is inplace, it gets a good wash.

Ugh.  Get the shop vac and mildew remover ready.  The boat winters well under the wrap but mildew still creeps in and a lot more dust settles than one would think possible.

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Varnish shop.  Mama's Ford is parked outside.  Hatch parts being varnished.

Someone was worried mice might have gotten into the loft and eaten into our sails.  Nope.  Tedi the Attack Cat guarded my stuff all winter.  Tedi has a cozy cottage in the garage loft with radiant floor heating.

The newly varnished rails are being dry-fitted before installation.  We secure one side, install the hatch in the slider, install the other rail and fasten everything in place.  Once the hatchway is watertight we can remove the shrinkwrap and get moving.

I am happy to have removed the shrink wrap and snapped this picture.  Somehow, I sense that the boat will make it to the water this year.

The old bottom paint flaked off in many places during the winter.  The bottom that is sanded is forward of the poppet. Unsanded is aft..  This year, bottom prep went real fast.  Thank goodness, everything else has dragged on and on.  We are going with two coats of Pettit ECO Hydrocoat.  White.  It must be dry in order to apply the paint.  Today, the 13th, is rainy.  Maybe tomorrow will be dry.

A complete aside:  The Bermuda 1-2 is in progress with the single handed leg finishing up.  Three Morris Justines are racing and close together.  One design ocean racing in Morris Justines?  Sure, why not.  

One of the boats, Gryphon, has a blog:

More to follow.

Other Aphrodite 101s

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We have some pics from an A 101, Elixir of Seattle, sailing.  Another thing about living out there is year round sailing.  Here on Cape Cod, we are not so lucky.  In fact, we hear forecasts of snow inland.

OK Seattle folks, Mt Baker has snow year round but that's not the same thing.  In addition to the Elixir guys being out sailing, I then got word of the 101, Blue Max, being out under sail.  More on that later.  We are comparing notes about main sheet travellers.  They do a lot of DH so we'll be talking that, too.  Aphrodite 101s rock.

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Elixir in the passing lane

Elixir, on the far left, is in the process of passing... yeah, I said that correctly, passing... a couple of J109s.  It helps to be in the right place on the course.  The boat is owned by Megan and Jarred with Megan driving, I think.  (corrections may follow)  Megan had a comment that the new kite is so crinkly the crew can't hear what's being said as the sail comes into the hatch.  Woo hoo!

We also got a few enticing pics of evenings on the waters around Seattle.


So Honey.  Here's my idea: get a double axle trailer and rent a truck, sell the house, drive Averisera out west to spend her senior years with the other Aphrodite 101s and sail year round.


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Been wondering about a bigger boat for a cruise.  You know, something with standing head room and not too deep a draft.  A couple of Tartan designs are looking attractive. Both are 37 footers.  The Hood designed 37 footer is old school, long keel, tiller steering, no quarter berth and narrow.  The newer model is an S&S design with lots of modern features starting with roomy!  An S&S designed Tartan 37 is in nearby Harwichport and we've had a look.  Some pics follow.

Elizabeth and I are pondering the idea of cruising boat.

We like the T-37, Mark 2 but think about another name.  How about Hazel?

Our boat, Averisera, started out as Best Revenge.  It didn't suit us so we changed it. 

Random thoughts:
It is Sunday, April 28, 2019. Raining, cold, and another cuppa is in the offing.  Friday, met with an old pal, Burton, about some sailing, ocean delivery stuff.  He is sailing No Regrets back from the BVI.  I sailed her down in the Fall of 2018.  We shared knowledge.  Saturday and Sunday, Elizabeth and I gardened hard.  Houses sure a lot of work.  We should buy a boat, there'd be elss to do.... haha.  All sailing books, blogs, vlogs say otherwise and I know it to be true.

Glad we have a small boat, Averisera, since it is not too much work. Presently, I have stripped the varnish off the teak on deck.  Ready for some dry days to sand, bleach and varnish prior to launching.  This cold and rain is certainly holding me back.  A bigger boat will be a lot more work so we consider that, too.

So... after gardening, we did sneak off for a look at a very beautiful Tartan 37 that is in a local harbor. The boat was built in 1979 and looks "nearly new." For the first visit, Mr MacAndCheese was with Norm as the owner, Mitch, showed us around.  He is the third owner and the boat looks very well cared for.  I particularly liked the story that Owner 2's wife came aboard a year after Mitch bought the boat and said she  (Owner 2's wife) regretted ever having sold the T-37 for a bigger, newer model Tartan.  Good sign.  There isn't a lot of seller's regret in boats! 

Back to the "boat in question."

Some pics of the boat inside with Mr MacAndCheese (a few weeks ago) and outside, with E on Saturday afternoon, April 27.  After the look we went to Brax Landing for a cocktail and apps.  We could see the boat's mast from the bar seating.  We talked names. Norm declared the new boat to be named Hazel after his Grandmother Martin. She was a pretty clever old girl and kinda cute, too.  Elizabeth immediately flashed on the cartoon character, Hazel, by Ted Key and thought we'd all need to wear a housekeeper's cap.  Hmm...  they both work . 

All shiny and bright on deck. I like the halyard winches on the mast. Nice clean deck and cabin top.  Wide walk ways and good hand rails.

Mr MacAndCheese all settled in.

The couch is very important so we checked it out.  Comfy and roomy with the table stowed.  With the table down it makes a perfect place to lounge in comfort, read, draw, play a board game, etc.  The extended table easily seats six and the galley is big enough to feed six. 

It was a mighty cold day that day!  

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May 9 2014 on our way to Harwich and our new life on Cape Cod.
It is cold a lot of the year around here.  Look at that sky.

April 14, 2007 and 2019

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On April 14, 2007, Elizabeth and Norm went to Housatonic YC in Stratford, CT and met Averisera in the water for the first time. Moved aboard and sailed away the next day. It was a wild ride and the storm came to be known regionally as the Tax Day Storm.

Today, Averisera sits quietly on her hard-stands in the Queen Anne Yard awaiting the water.... and some varnish, polish, paint, love.  Be still my beating heart!

Road Trip!

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Last couple of weeks we've been to Marblehead, Pelham, Annapolis, Apex and back to Marblehead. All good!  Nice to visit with E's brother Rick, his wife, Darien, mom, Marilyn. 

Marblehead, drop off sextant for repair.
Pelham, visit with family.
Annapolis, visit Chesapeake Light Craft and lose Norm's credit card.
Apex, visit with Norm's sister and her family and friends.
Marblehead, pick up repaired sextant.

CLC Boats in Annapolis. Super tour of the place and we may have picked out our next project, a Jimmie Skiff II

Patience got an enormous SUV with more screens than we own. 

A beautiful view. The barn was designed by our dad.

Trent and Eileen's house next door to sister Patience's home.

Patience and Elizabeth rowed into the pond to investigate some strange doings. It was amusing. Trent and Norm had a cigar on Trent's porch and watched.

My sextant, originally bought by Grandfather Captain White, used by dad Pete Martin and then by me. Now lovingly restored by Ridge White of Robert E White Nautical INstruments in Marblehead.

Cats vs Monos, observations.

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Norm here.  I had some time in the BVI a few weeks ago to binge watch YouTube on cruiser/voyager topics. I focused on the discussions between the catamaran proponents and monohull advocates. 

Just for the record, Norm is a mono guy and, even worse, a skinny mono guy! A very good sailing channel on YouTube is Patrick Childress Sailing aboard his Valiant 40 sloop, Brickhouse. Lots of useful content about voyaging any type of vessel. His happens to be a monohull.

A channel on YouTube, Sailing Zatara is worth viewing. A family buys a monohull for an around the world voyage and halfway along switches to a multihull. You must watch the channel to get the whole story. Basically, they needed more room and a more stable platform. Their story is worth the time it takes to view.

I recently sailed a new Lagoon 450. Some pictures and comments follow.

Wide tacking angles! maybe 150 degrees? We tacked up the Sir Francis Drake Channel from Norman Island, upwind and upcurrent. It was a pleasant sail with little forward progress after 5 hours so we switched into the Yanmar gear and motored to North Sound. The sailing of the cat was fun and fast. Most cats are observed sailing for a few hours and then motoring in to harbors.

The boat is 45 feet long and 24 feet wide, draft is under 4 feet. The yacht is comfortable for living aboard, entertaining, lounging, and taking in the Caribbean scene.

One corner of the main salon. The galley area is aft, behind the picture and runs the full width of the salon along the back wall, so to speak. Opposite the dining table is an office table/navigation station. The bridge has a full suite of navigation screens and electric winches.

Cats are spacious. The little bedroom (shown) has a dressing area, ensuite toilet and stall shower, hanging lockers and many electrical outlets for 12v DC and 120v AC along with nice lighting.  The salon was gracious. 

In almost every anchorage the ratio of cats to monos is 2 to 1. That is Anegada Harbor off the Potters Dock.

So... what is the story with monohulls? Well, they sail upwind better. They heel. For a given length, they are pretty small. The Beneteau 44 we use, No Regrets, is a very nice boat and about half the size of a 44 or 45 ft cat. It, too has three cabins and three heads. everything is just smaller.  Some pictures of the boat.

Standing in the same place looking forward and looking aft. Nice boat, fun to sail on the ocean.

What does Norm like? (I knew you'd ask.)

The one on the left is our baby. The jib of a leeward boat is visible and looks like a staysail on Averisera. It is not! Thanks, Spike, for the picture.

Three weeks in the BVI for Norm

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February, Norm went to the BVI to do some work for Rob and Gina of Swain Sailing. It was an interesting trip.  I got seated in a middle seat on both long legs, out and back. Book earlier next time? E and I drove to Providence, stayed overnight at a hotel and I left the next morning at 0400... with Elizabeth's car keys in my jacket pocket. Darn. Big razzle dazzle to get the spare set to E at our hotel. Thanks Jeanne and John for your help. An inauspicious start. Words and pictures follow.

I worked for three weeks. The first week, Norman and Evan (Rob and Gina's son) worked on the company's Beneteau 235 sometimes referred to as Tiny Girl or Baby Girl or the little boat. In any event, we cleaned off the falling vinyl liner, painted those now bare surfaces, and generally dolled up the boat. The end result was super. The work is similar to some work Norm and Elizabeth had done on their own boat, Averisera, some years ago. The next week Norm sailed a Lagoon 450 on charter. Norm does not like charter cats so we'll leave it at that for the moment. The final week was a quiet one as Norm and Evan did some boat work while Evan's dad, Rob, took a charter on their Beneteau 43, No Regrets.  Norm flew home, middle seat to Philadelphia. The onward leg was cancelled due to weather in Providence so Norm spent 18 hours at PHL before getting a ride home on Amtrak. Again, thanks to friend John for his driving Norm from Providence trains to meet E at the Sagamore Bridge. The next night, we treated John to hospitality at our home. Thanks, John.

Some pictures and comments in the rough order of arrival to departure.

I like this view from the balcony of the Petite Pump Room Bar near the ferry at St Thomas. In the far distance is Yacht Haven, now greatly restored. In Norm's youth, the 1970-72 era, it was a wild place for yachts and yachties. Now very elegant.

Over in Road Harbor, Tortola, the Mass Maritime Academy ship was in port. Here she is turning around to depart. Our neighbor in Harwich has a kid aboard as a midshipman. The vessel used to be a Lykes Lines ship which Norm put cargo aboard back in the 1980s. 

Below are some pictrues of the restoration work done to the Beneteau 235. The yacht went from ugly to pretty in a week. Just before Norm departed the BVI, the new mainsail arrived from Doyle Sails and we fitted it. It is a good sail, so our thanks to Bob at Doyle BVI.


Amazing what can come out of the cockpit locker!

The new main, fitted for a teaching boat.

A few pictures of the Lagoon 450 catamaran
In closing, the yacht is a small one, in Anegada with a couple aboard. The yacht is a bit longer than Averisera and set up in a sea going manner. She definitely sailed here on her own bottom, as it is said. An opportunity to visit did not present itself.

OK, not quit the end.  The trip home was bizarre as the Philadelphia to Providence leg was cancelled due to weather. Norm spent 18 hours in PHL before finally getting aboard an Amtrak train to Providence. The airport life is amusing, after a fashion. The best thing is a place called Minute Suites. I rented a little room for 8 hours at about $20/hr and slept like a baby.  
More to follow.

New Boat?

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Allied, Tartan, Cal...?
The Plan, in brief, is to find a boat with headroom and living quarters that sails fairly well, is shallow draft (under 5 feet) and can be enjoyed by our extended family of children and grandchildren who sail. Other considerations are length and price. We have a mooring that will accomodate a 37 footer at most and we need the boat to be inexpensive. Norm wants to keep Averisera and has a plan for that which is a big secret. The new boat would occupy Averisera's mooring in Stage Harbor.

Jan 14: Mama and I went to look at two Allied Seabreeze 35s. One is in Yarmouth Port, near us, and the other is in Rockland, Maine, about 5 hours away. We had a look at the nearby boat which is yawl rigged. The drive to Maine was a nice three day diversion from Cape life. The Maine boat is a sloop. Both boats looked solid and unloved. Lots of renovation time and money required.

Above: Allied Seabreeze 35 view from astern showing her full bodied hull and 4 feet draft.

Below: By comparison, our Aphrodite 101, deep and narrow.

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Squat versus svelte.  Deep keel and slack bilges, be still my beating heart.

Fact is that we love Averisera but she is too deep draft for the Cape area and too small below for cruising with family. We love svelte but may have settle for not-svelte. Looking at the choices.

So... a couple days later. Norm went over to Marion MA to meet with John from Lawson Yachts and they looked at a 1969 Tartan/Blackwatch 37, hull 22, designed by Ted Hood. A day later, Norm and Elizabeth met John at the Hood for a first look for Elizabeth and a second for Norm. The boat is not tired or unloved. It is absolutely stunning. Move aboard and sail away. No renovation money required beyond normal spring commissioning.

Some pictures in no particular order.

Very refined shape for a full keel hull.

Some old guy tried to sit in Elizabeth's preferred seat. Visualize knitting and a cuppa.

The next day, Elizabeth, no knitting and no cuppa. Too tight.

Transom berth in the pulled out position. we removed a drawer and looked behind the seat back to find the entire upper berth is removable by undoing a couple of bolts at each end. This means the upper can be either made narrower or deleted so the lower settee can be widened.

Same old guy slouching on extended transom berth.

Beautiful joinery

Instruments backs are behind a nice bit of cabinetry. Replace the mirrors, of course.

Old fashioned electrical panel. Behind is the wet locker with room for four sets of gear and boots! How about that? 

A hand hold runs the full length of the cabin at a convenient level. It also serves to redirect any drips from the ports away from the berths. Very seaman-like feature.

No rock dings!

Owned by the same family since new. Indoor storage for many years.

So kids: If you love Averisera so much how about her near sister the Bianca 111? (PHRF 93!!)

Jan 23, Norm went to Mattapoisett to check out a Cal 34 built in 1977. It is right with regards to length for our mooring, size of sails/rigging, and draft of 5 feet. Nice boat, very simple. The price is right but... don't you hate the "but" statement?  But... the gelcoat is in poor condition. Interestingly, the stanchion bases show no crazing and below there is only one place showing weeping. The boat seems really solid and may be worthy of a full refit.

20190123_122421.jpgTypical Cal-design, flat bottom, 1960s era longish fin keel and spade rudder. Shows hull form for a lot of room below decks. 

This is the pose: can Elizabeth sit comfortably on the settee and knit? This one is pretty comfy with sloped backs and wide seat.
The all important had rails below. Not too high. These are reachable.

Settee backs lift to provide generous berth width or stowage. The nav table has drawers under and lifting top. The quarter berth is generous and has an outboard bin for personal gear. Nicely thought out family boat.

New Garden Shed at 288

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Pine Harbor Sheds made us a garden shed and here it is!


All we have to do is paint the doors and trim. the doors we can bring inside the house. The trim will wait for spring.

First snow of the season.

Boats and Farms

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A thirty five foot sloop is being restored in Chatham. The shed is a work of art and will be shrink wrapped soon. The yacht is a Sparkman and Stephens design built by the Knutson Marine Boat Yard on Long Island. The yacht is similar in design to the Hinckley Pilot.

There it is a couple weeks later, all covered and snug.  Averisera would look good in such a shed!

Cape life revolves around boats and farms. In the old days, as Norm heard it from his grandparents, it was a bit less touristy and more small family operations just a bit more than subsistence work. Norm's family was in the tourist business as summer camp operators. As a kid in the 50s and 60s, he saw a lot of boat yards that built boats and farms that grew food. Now boat yards repair or restore boats and farming is more landscaping and gardening.

While on a walk out by the Penniman House in Eastham, we saw a scene from the old Cape.

There are a lot of garden centers and landscaping firms on the Cape and still a few working farms. A couple of working farms from Norm's childhood, Lake Farm and Mayo's Duck Farm, are now subdivided into homes as are many of the old hay fields. The commercial fishing business is still strong and supported by boat yards. Not many boats are built out here any longer. many work boats and yachts are restored.

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