Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
22 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
12 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
04 January 2017 | St Marys, GA
29 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
26 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
16 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
13 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
03 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
03 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
28 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
24 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
24 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
23 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
23 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
20 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
15 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
12 November 2016 | Charleston, SC
12 November 2016 | Charleston, SC
Recent Blog Posts
22 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA

The Norther

I moved on from the port cabin top to work on the outboard side of the starboard cabin top. The starboard coaming aft and the aft deck were also getting the treatment. Repair any damage, sand off any loose finish, fair and paint.

12 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Hoist!

The musical chairs game of laptop computers continues. The “new” toughbook had a display problem. At first it looked great, much brighter than the old laptop. I had already loaded the ubuntu operating system on it and OpenCPN with its navigation charts. Then came Calibre and the ebook collection [...]

04 January 2017 | St Marys, GA

Emergency

The power supply I was using to power up the toughbooks failed and I had to resist the urge to continue using them for fear of draining the batteries dead. The blog article and photos were left till a new power supply came in and the Windows laptop was brought back into service. The horrible Windows [...]

29 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA

North River

I made Beouf Bourguignon for Christmas Day for anyone still in the boatyard. The expected group of about a dozen boatyarders ended up with just four of us and a huge kettle of food. I followed both Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles recipe and one of Martha Stewart's. I had planned to make parmesan potatoes, [...]

26 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA

Christmas Solar

Christmas is approaching and with it mixed feelings. I associate Christmas with snow and a hot fireplace burning the yule log. Here in the boatyard in the swamp in Georgia there will be no snow of course, but a different kind of Christmas is taking place. There is a huge 14 foot Christmas tree in [...]

18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA

Bonhomme Richard pt. III

I had promised Richard I would include his catamaran dinghy in the blog and post about it while he builds it. Well he has been at it full steam and is getting ready to paint the hulls, while I've neglected to take the series of photos necessary to document the build.

The Norther

22 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/storm
I moved on from the port cabin top to work on the outboard side of the starboard cabin top. The starboard coaming aft and the aft deck were also getting the treatment. Repair any damage, sand off any loose finish, fair and paint.
.
A new set of epoxy syringes came in from China and they are larger, at 60 ml., and with a larger orifice. I ordered 6 which came to less than 10 dollars, took about 2 weeks for delivery. I had been using the current pair of syringes for almost a year and they were in need of replacement.
.
On the Wharram Builders and Friends website was a posting about a Wharram Tiki 21 that went missing from New Zealand. The newspaper interview with the sailors is here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11781383. It was a father and young daughter who broke a rudder while sailing to the Bay of Islands and ended up having to bear off for Australia. These little boats have a great record of seaworthiness.
.
The Miata needed a brake job, but when I removed a front wheel it was apparent that the brakes up there were fine. Unfortunately the package of brake pads from eBay were front pads. The rear pads were very worn and the springs and clips that kept them in proper position were damaged. I ordered the proper pads and a set of springs and clips.
.
The hydraulic jack I had been using broke when I tried to pump the handle. The little piston that pumps the hydraulic fluid was rusted in place. It took a long session of banging with ever larger hammers and finally a trip to the boatyard’s workshop where a large vise and more hammer blows got it free. When reassembled with stainless rigging wire to take the place of the broken handle clip, it worked OK. Time to replace.
.
Webb Chiles was back in Africa preparing to voyage again. Since his boat is even smaller than Trillium, I’m amazed.
.
There seems to be a trend in smaller boats to get rid of the internal combustion engine and replace it with electric. The heavy and necessary batteries are stowed low in the bilge as ballast, so don’t adversely affect displacement or weight distribution. You can slowly charge up the batteries with solar and use them for a substantial passage in or out of port.
.
I am unhappy with the less than workboat finish on the port cabin side and aft deck. Sometimes it is hard to see what the finish will look like until you put a coat of paint on it. Now on the starboard side I am taking more care. One problem was that the random orbital sander, which was recommended, would not do the job. It tends to follow the surface and slowly remove material, but not flatten the bumpy surface. I tried the belt sander with a 120 grit belt and it faired the microballoon mixture nicely. I used an ordinary pad sander with 150 grit Norton Gold sandpaper and it worked just as well. The random orbital sander has a vacuum attachment that takes away any sanding debris and it is mandatory for removal of lead bottom paint or other toxic surfaces.
.
When I painted the cabin side I tried out a technique using paint pads made from 1/4“ nap paint rollers. The roller is sliced lengthwise to produce three long pieces that are then cut into smaller semicircular nappy pads. Old chip brush handles are then hot glued to the pads. Painting with them is slow, but there are no brush marks and the finish comes out smooth. As smooth, that is, as the preparation made it. If the surface is rough then the paint job will be rough. Eliminating orange peel and droops in the paint is a step in the right direction. The best method is to fill and fair the surface, then paint with a high build primer, then sand down to the surface. The finish will be a mottled surface clearly showing unfair spots.
.
I found that using a chip brush on horizontal surfaces works OK, the paint levels itself. The pads are better for the vertical surfaces, limiting the amount of paint so that it doesn’t sag, orange peel, or run.
.
After a second coat of paint, the weather forecast indicated severe thunderstorms would come through, not once, but three individual fronts, one after the other. Everything was put away in anticipation of the storms, but when they came I was caught out and got soaked. One minute we were looking at dark clouds on the horizon, then next it was storm conditions. The image is from Sunday morning’s third cold front coming across the Georgia/Florida line. Previously 11 people were killed by storm damage, including tornadoes.

Hoist!

12 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Winter
The musical chairs game of laptop computers continues. The “new” toughbook had a display problem. At first it looked great, much brighter than the old laptop. I had already loaded the ubuntu operating system on it and OpenCPN with its navigation charts. Then came Calibre and the ebook collection that is labeled “400000 books”. There are less than that in it, but it takes a long time for the program to load them into its database. After 2 days of churning along it was indicating about 47,000 books loaded. The display was going bad with the lower portion out of sync and it kept growing.
.
I had an old broken CF-52 toughbook display that I took apart to familiarize with its parts. Then I took apart the new display. I was guessing that the problem was a bad or loose cable. When I had it almost all apart and powered up, I could not make the problem go away by wiggling the cables. Then the LCD part of the display fell out of its case and tore a small ribbon cable apart.
.
I found out after a lot of searching around that this display is an LED backlit display while the earlier ones are cold cathode fluorescent. The LED display is much brighter. In our case, we have no spare parts for it, so a new display was on order.
.
During this time I was using the windows laptop and the older navigatrix toughbook. I had blog posts partially written up here and there. Perhaps this one will survive and be posted.
.
The painting on the port side outboard cabin top and port side rear deck and coaming continued. I was down to the last quart of arctic white, so ordered another gallon. About 100 dollars including shipping from NJ.
.
We were having a cycle of 2 or 3 days of cold weather going down into the 30‘s at night and only in the 40‘s or 50‘s daytime, then 4 or 5 days of 70‘s daytime. My plan was to continue working on the outside of the boat during the warm days and work inside during the cold days. Inside work included doing laundry, breaking computers, and reading the kindle. I would have to start doing some real work inside and we will probably have more cold weather more days in a row in which to do it.
.
The next day was warm with a beautiful blue sky, so I goofed off and kayaked out to Trillium. I hadn’t been out there for a while. I was shocked to see about a foot of water in the cockpit. Another few inches and it would have been over the sill and into the cabin. The cockpit drains had been clogged and we had had a lot of rain. I cleaned the drains, they drained, and I grabbed the spare tiller arm, the Miata service manual, and a plastic jug of fuel, and kayaked back to shore. The kayak is not large and it is normally tortuous for me to get in and out of it. This time I tweaked something in my sore knee, and now it had regressed to the stiffness and pain level back when I injured it.
.
Back in the boatyard I ran into my neighbor Bill who needed to go shopping, so we took the Miata out for lunch and shopping. The day before, I found the car wouldn’t start. The battery terminals were loose. Then I remembered one of my dock neighbors up in Maryland telling me that Captain Ed had borrowed my battery, without asking, while I was away sailing Trillium down to St. Marys. He never said thank you or mentioned having borrowed it.
.
It turned out he had really messed up the battery terminals, that’s why he didn’t mention it. The car ran, but every now and then it would be hard to start. I was thinking of buying a new battery. It ended up that I had to completely remove the battery from the car and ungall one of the terminal bolts, find a new nut for the bolt, then reassemble the terminals and install the battery clamp, which he had left in pieces next to the battery.
.
Back from shopping and the boat next door was getting some work done. I believe they were working on an electrical problem, found the wiring of the boat mystifying, and were up the mast to ohm out the line that fed the steaming light. The crane that hoisted the rigger up the mast is called a man lift and was recently salvaged by the boatyard and put into service. It obviously needs a coat of paint. I am sure it is perfectly safe.

Emergency

04 January 2017 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy/winter
The power supply I was using to power up the toughbooks failed and I had to resist the urge to continue using them for fear of draining the batteries dead. The blog article and photos were left till a new power supply came in and the Windows laptop was brought back into service. The horrible Windows 10 update debacle seems to have passed. I have shut off automatic update, search for updates, anything to do with updates.
.
I had been writing about using a cheap Chinese GPS puck with Navigatrix and the problems in identifying what tty device linux thinks the GPS is. It can be serial port, usb port, or asm (asynchronous serial something). Another GPS device came in from China, a USB dongle that has no cable, just plugs right in.
.
I haven't tried it with the linux machines, but windows didn't automatically identify it and load a driver for it, the driver was obtained from the U-blox manufacturers site. After installing a piece of software from them, the GPS was recognized in OpenCPN running in Windows.
.
I was trying to get more work done on the exterior of Kaimu while the weather was still warm enough to use epoxy, even though it was taking a couple of days to cure. While climbing onto a rickety aluminum ladder/scaffold, it wobbled away from the boat, causing me to take a step out into thin air and land down below on my outstretched leg. Pain. What is called a hyperextended knee. I tried to pedal the bicycle around to loosen it up, which seemed to be working, until I stopped and stepped to the ground. At the last moment I realized I was landing on the same bad leg and now the pain was even worse. Embarrassing. Now I was out of commission for a while and limping very slowly to get anywhere. I could drive the car after 2 days.
.
The weather cooperated by bringing along a severe cold front including tornado warnings and heavy rain. I was too sore to get everything covered with plastic, so I have a lot of wet stuff to dry out.
.
An order from Harbor Freight Tools came in, including some savage looking 36 grit grinding discs and sanding belts. Also a couple boxes of chip brushes that I had ordered for Bonhomme Richard were traded for a short roll of fiberglass cloth. His wife handed the cloth to me and said Richard was in too much pain to come work on the boat today. He had a boatyard related injury. Later I spoke with steamfitter Bill who had fallen off a ladder and broken 3 ribs. Our courtesy car was in the process of being repaired. I said maybe we don't need a courtesy car, maybe we need an ambulance.
.
When I searched for ambulance on saatchiart.com the above image came up, called Emergency, by Ricardo Salles of the U.K., a painting available for purchase.

North River

29 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Winter
I made Beouf Bourguignon for Christmas Day for anyone still in the boatyard. The expected group of about a dozen boatyarders ended up with just four of us and a huge kettle of food. I followed both Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles recipe and one of Martha Stewart's. I had planned to make parmesan potatoes, but ended up putting them in the beef cooking pot, so it became beef stew.
.
I was unable to find parts for the VHF whip antenna that goes on the top of the mast. It is a TRAM Browning with a loading coil that has a 3/8X24 stud, a common antenna mounting thread. The whip and mounting nut that came in fit the thread, but would not support the whip properly. Perhaps I had ordered the wrong replacement whip, like maybe for a Metz antenna.
.
My email to the TRAM Browning distributor was not answered. The Shakespeare whip antenna looked like it might have the same mounting hardware, so I searched for that. I ended up on a CB shop site called Blue Parrott, and was able to find parts there that would do the job. What I ended up ordering was a 3/8X24 coupling nut and a .1" whip stud mounting. We will see if they fit. Total cost was less than ten dollars.
.
I had purchased a couple of cheap GPS dongles from China and one came in. On the back of it was the name "G-Mouse". It took some work to get it to connect to OpenCPN on the linux machine running Navigatrix. In the connection tab, the connection is /dev/ttyACM0, where 0 is zero. There is a wealth of info on the Navigatrix forum about troubleshooting GPS devices. I have another coming in and we'll see if that will work. It is like a thumbdrive, it has no cable.
.
The no-see-ums came back, like they do this time of year, swarming and biting. I retreated to the safety of the galley. The sky was bright with sunset clouds, so I grabbed the 30D and took the bike down to the dock and took a picture. Sometimes, even with flies biting you, an image can make it all worth it.

Christmas Solar

26 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Winter
Christmas is approaching and with it mixed feelings. I associate Christmas with snow and a hot fireplace burning the yule log. Here in the boatyard in the swamp in Georgia there will be no snow of course, but a different kind of Christmas is taking place. There is a huge 14 foot Christmas tree in the center of the boatyard. Underneath it we held a pot luck dinner with all the boatyarders who would be staying over the holidays and some who were departing to celebrate with family and friends somewhere else.
.
Back on board Kaimu I continued working from the top down, the cabin tops were painted and solar panels in their new mounts, not yet bolted down, photovoltaic wiring crimped and connected to the batteries. The old batteries were on their last legs but still functioned well enough to power the interior LED lights and the radios in the pilothouse.
.
I began on the port cabin side, outboard, and coming aft, grinding bad spots in the fiberglass sheathing, fairing the edges, exposing bare wood. At the stern I followed up over the coaming and onto the aft deck, above the furthest aft compartment which held the water heater and holding tank. The deck sheathing was blistered and came off too easily. An area of about 15 square feet of glass sheathing in total came off. The wood underneath was damp but not rotten. I covered the exposed deck and cabin side with heavy plastic drop cloth to prevent rain or dew from getting into the bare wood.
.
The rain did come and continued for a few days. It had been dry weather for so long, and now that I had exposed the wood it rained. The plastic drop cloth kept the wood dry and when we had more dry weather I primed the wood with unthickened epoxy, then glassed it the next day.
.
During the rainy days I did a lot of reading or worked inside the port hull where the full sized main bunk had been chopped up into two counters on either side. The counter above the port battery bank had a hatch cut out of it, exposing the tops of the batteries. Maintenance on the batteries was difficult because the space above the batteries was small and their water level could only be seen with a mirror. It was dark in there also. Now I could look down with plenty of light and see the water level and have easy access to add water. They were very dry and reading only 6 volts, nearly totally dead. After adding water and giving them a charge they came up to 13.4 and an indication of 75 percent. Perhaps the electric toilet, which is in the port hull aft, could now be flushed.
.
It looks like the weather will continue to be mild, not falling below 60 at night, not going above 70 during the daytime, right up till New Year’s. The image is from saatchiart.com, by ALDYN Alexander of Romania, called Crystallization 2 - Solar Flare, available for purchase. I found it by searching “solar”.

Bonhomme Richard pt. III

18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Cold Fall Weather
I had promised Richard I would include his catamaran dinghy in the blog and post about it while he builds it. Well he has been at it full steam and is getting ready to paint the hulls, while I've neglected to take the series of photos necessary to document the build.
.
Here is a photo of Richard prior to glassing one of the hulls. Afterwards he did some tests and decided to use 4 oz. cloth in 5 layers to cover the bottom of the hulls, which is a foam build up with a nice vee bottom shape. One problem he encountered was air bubbles forming under the glass due to gases expelled as the hull heated up in the warm sun. He solved that problem by injecting epoxy into the air bubble voids with a syringe. He had to drill tiny holes, one in each air bubble. I think he was exaggerating when he said there were 600 bubbles. Maybe not.
.
We did some research on how tight a corner fiberglass can bend and one answer by Chris Kulczycki was "about 1/4 inch radius, the diameter of a fountain pen or small cigar". A tighter radius, or no radius, causes the glass to lift if it can't bend around the corner.
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:6137
Kaimu's Photos -

About & Links

SailBlogs Groups