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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Creating A Timber Pad
keith, hot and humid
06/15/2008, Deaton Yachts in Oriental

This photograph may help you to better understand the concept of the timber pad. The reason these things are so important is that they help the self steering system to be strong and rigid, which makes for more accurate and reliable steering. There are three brackets to the boat on my Hydrovane. Matt has been sanding and prepping the two timber pads (the third bracket falls on a perfectly flat part of the boat and there is no contour to fill in with a timber pad). This afternoon we will resin them. Then the boatyard will apply an epoxy layer and then a layer or two of paint. They should last for many years and be very strong and extremely accurate as they are molded directly from the hull. The process is very time consuming. But I guess I won't mind if my self-steering system works when I really need it. The guy at the yard said that it would have been better to get an Auto Helm 6000 (I already have a 4000), which would have been installed in 1/2 a day. I disagree.

Another Smurf In Oriental
Keith, hot and humid
06/15/2008, Oriental, NC

This used to be a white shirt. I have been underneath the boat sanding down the old ablative paint in preparation for the three cans (at $100 each) of new stuff, which will go on shortly before the boat is ready to go in the water.

The Hydrovane Rudder
Keith, HH
06/15/2008, Deaton Yachts in Oriental

We have been in Oriental, NC for two weeks. We're still working on installing the Hydrovane, the wind turbine, and the solar system, among other various and sundry projects (bottom paint, dingy repair...) Granted it is taking longer than expected, but in return we are getting the opportunity to work as a team in challenging conditions. I'm learning a lot about the boat and getting into parts of it that I wouldn't have explored. I am also learning a lot about how to use tools and build stuff on a boat. I have learned, without question, that I am profoundly more able-handed at litigating than I am working a bolt that requires nuts turned in different directions. Sometimes I can't even get a wrench into an odd position and Matt has to turn his nut and mine. The same is true for threading bolts with washers and nuts. I have yet to master a technique for doing this with one hand on a bolt that comes down from the top. It is frustrating to have to ask Matt to thread my bolts and washers. Making things worse is the heat. Even on nicer days, it is hot in the middle of the day. Today we were about to drill a hole to install one of the Hydrovane brackets at around 2:00 p.m. and it was so hot, neither of us could think straight. We just dropped the tools and went home to rest and cool off. The little Yamaha Zuma 50 2 stroke scooter has been a MVP of the trip thus far. We have used it quite a bit, at least several times each day. And the Rebounder, with practically all the comforts of home. I think Jake and Anne are as happy or happier here than back in Tucson. They love the grass in front of the RV and the morning walks. The gear install should be finished within the week, then maybe another week more or less on my own doing finishing touches, then the cruising begins.

Starting To Fabricate The Timber Pads
Keith, hot and humid, but not as bad as last week
06/14/2008, Oriental, NC

We are up early at 5:10 a.m. today. That is because we go to sleep early. That is because we work hard in the hot and humid conditions all day, day after day after day. It is also much more comfortable outside in the early mornings and late afternoons. We work in the mornings and use the late afternoons for other things, like having a beer and making and eating dinner. Anyway, every Hydrovane owner has to run the gauntlet of fabricating and installing the timber pads (Matt calls them plinth blocks) before you can get beyond installation of the bottom bracket. Timber pads pick up the space between the straight Hydrovane bracket and Tropical Dreamer's curved deck. I won't bore you with the entire process of fabrication (all at once), but the pads you see in the picture are used to obtain a mold of the actual pad, which has yet to be created. If you are lucky, you will be reading this posting many days from now and you can see the final timber pads without having to hear me complain about crawling into "the hole," as we call the place I go several times a day to work the back side of the bottom bracket of the Hydrovane. Its time to take the dogs for a walk in beautiful Oriental, NC.

Captain's House Bed And Breakfast
Keith, morning cool
06/13/2008, Oriental, NC

The law office came to rest in early May. It is now mid-June. It has been over three weeks since we pulled away from the boulder canyon house in Tucson. I drove with the dogs across the country in the motor home. I picked up Matt two weeks ago in Atlanta and drove with him the rest of the way to Oriental, NC. We will have been in Oriental two weeks in a few days. How time flies. The refit is taking longer than expected, which is not unexpected in the world of sailing. I used to envy folks working on their sailboats in the yards for weeks or months at a time. What a simple life, I thought. And it is simple. But ultimately the cruising is the objective and there is the constant desire for the refit to be over so the cruise may begin. The refit takes time. Many who came before me experienced much, much longer purgatory working in the yard to get their boat ready to sail. I am determined to get the boat in the water by the end of the month, if not sooner. I can see there will be plenty to do on the boat in terms of maintenance, but most of that can be done from the water. So its off to work on the boat tomorrow and the day after and the day after until the refit is done.

Matt Taking Over Being Cookie Tonight
Keith
06/12/2008, Oriental, NC

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Matt On The Way To New Bern
Keith, Nice
06/12/2008

Some sort of forest fire was going on close enough to us to bring smoke all throughout the area. What I thought was a mist bringing rain to Oriental was actually smoke from the forest fires. The smoke got worse as we approached New Bern farther inland.

06/12/2008

Them there are the cuts I got from working on the sailboat thus far.

The Mark of Things Going OK
Keith, Nice
06/12/2008, Back In Oriental, NC

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To New Bern
06/12/2008

Today the project was traveling to and from New Bern in the motor home. It is 29 miles from Oriental. I got prescriptions filled, we picked up some things at the hardware store, we parked outside the theater for awhile attempting to fix my internet and talking to Will at Hydrovane. We picked up other and sundry supplies in the "big city." Frankly, it was a nice break from the monotonously calm bliss of Oriental. On the way back we stopped and picked up 20 feet of 316 stainless steel tube which we will use to reinforce the bimini so that it will handle the solar panels and become like a hybrid arch. Since we have been driving a scooter and everyone knows everyone in town, the lady asked us how we were going to get the tubing home. I pointed across the street to the 34 foot Rebounder, the perfect vehicle to transport such a long span of tubing. And that we did, to Deaton Yachts, where Tropical Dreamer is located. Unexpectedly, they determined to move the vessel to a new location after 7 months to make room for a big powerboat. We watched as they picked her up with the travelift and moved her to a corner of the yard, perfect, as the foreman said, for the motor home to cozy up into. So on we go.

 

 
Singer Family Adventures
Port: Tucson, Arizona
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