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The Latest Dinghy
Tue Sep 30 10:13:25 EDT 2014, San Francisco, CA

After my dinghy was stolen in Nanaimo this summer, I replaced it with the one above. This dinghy doesn't carry much, and needs reinforcing and raising the sides, bow and stern, so it is a "project boat", but it has potential.

This was a rowing/sailing dinghy, but didn't come with any of the sailing gear. It has a centerboard--currently plugged to avoid the constant wetting one gets on each wave when sitting on top of the centerboard trunk :).

The nice thing about it is how light it is--I can just pull it out of the water and onto the deck--launching is a matter of just sliding it quickly into the water.

Crewing Experience
John Parker
Fri Sep 19 20:16:28 EDT 2014, San Francisco, CA

Unsure if you want to sail your boat off shore?

I recently took a 2.5 week offshore trip with Richard Hudson on his boat Issuma. Richard, who has years of extensive experience sailing offshore (North and South Atlantic, Labrador, Northwest Passage etc.) is focused on his present voyage to the far south.

Due to my own time constraints I could only sail the first leg from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco CA. We sailed day and night, up to 100 miles off the coast, under conditions that varied from dead calm to 25 - 30 kt winds, with 15 to 20 foot seas.

My time spent with offshore sailing is limited and Richard was very patient with my experience level and helpful in his tutoring. His technical knowledge of sailing as well as his library of books and associated reference material on board allows for one to acquire knowledge and apply it immediately. The Issuma is a very functional bare boat with minimal frivolities but is built for heavy seas, offshore cruising and long distance sailing. It will test your sailing skills.

Mon Sep 29 17:10:27 EDT 2014 | bonnie
Hi! I'm glad George mentioned you were underway again!
Thu Sep 18 23:56:37 EDT 2014, San Francisco

After working in Vancouver for 1.5 years, then spending six months getting Issuma ready for sea, I got together a crew and left. It was fantastic to go to sea again!

We first had a practice/training sail to the picturesque Gulf Islands.

We then sailed to Port Angeles, WA, where we cleared customs and did more repairs and preparations.

While beating our way up Haro Strait in a fresh breeze, during a tack (turning the boat thru the wind so the sails move from one side to the other) there was suddenly a loud, long ripping sound from aloft. The jib had ripped from one end to the other (luff to leech)! We quickly furled it (rolled it up) and sailed without it until the wind died down the next day and we were able to put up the spare jib. That particular sail, only five years old, has bad sailcloth, and it rips extremely easily whenever it touches something hard under tension. In Port Angeles, Eric Taylor ( patched the torn jib and is building me a new one.

The sail from Port Angeles to San Francisco was a pleasant eight days of following winds, mostly light. One day of Force 7 winds provided a nice contrast.

Now we're in San Francisco, getting some repairs done, doing a partial crew change, and looking at the weather further south.

Wed Sep 24 19:54:28 EDT 2014 | George Ott
Off again? Good for you Richard! I'm jealous... And you finally got the centerboard painted!!!!

Fair winds and calm seas...

Wed Sep 24 20:01:59 EDT 2014 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, George!
It is nice to be off again, and to have finally gotten the centerboard inspected and painted.

The Centerboard
Fri Aug 15 22:39:28 EDT 2014, Ganges Harbor, Saltspring Island, BC, Canada

I've been wanting to lift out Issuma's centerboard and inspect it for a few years. With 4.5 tons of lead, and the ability to contain about 700 litres of fuel, it is a big job to remove it.

After a lot of calling around and talking to various boatyards and crane operators, my neighbor mentioned a crane on a barge in Ganges Harbor, Saltspring Island (Gulf Islands). I arranged with Island Marine Construction to have the centerboard lifted out.

We sailed over to Ganges Harbor, and tied up to the barge the crane was on. We disconnected hoses and removed the brackets (pictured below) that hold the centerboard down.

The next day, the crew came out, moved another barge beside us (with all the ballast in the centerboard, removing it means we have no ballast, so we needed to tie between two barges to prevent capsizing), and lifted out the centerboard.

We then painted the centerboard, the crane reinstalled it, and we fastened down the locking mechanism.

Fashionable Red Dinghy
Thu Aug 22 1:23:10 EDT 2013, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I got an old hard dinghy in New York from my friend Jane, who had salvaged it after it went adrift and was damaged. She did some repairs to it, I did more, and painted it red with some leftover hull paint that I had mixed. It's been an adequate rowing dinghy.

I had rowed to the beach to meet someone and a fashion photographer noticed the dinghy and asked to use it in their shoot. I thought it made an interesting picture.

Update: Sadly, this dinghy was stolen while we were at a boatyard in Nanaimo in July 2014. Now to find or build another rowing dinghy...

Engine Work
Mon Aug 12 12:33:00 EDT 2013, 49 10'N:123 12'W, Vancouver, BC

While anchored near Vancouver, I prepared to go for a daysail, and noticed water in the engine oil. After a few discussions with my diesel engineer friend Claude, and a few other people, and buying a coolant pressure tester, we determined that the problem was a blown head gasket.

I was anchored in a place that was protected except from NW winds. I asked around about hiring a mechanic to remove the head and replace the gasket�-the only recommendation I got was for a company in a boatyard that would need to first haul my boat (their shop is not close enough to the docks, I guess) before they could work on the engine. That would be about $1000 before any work was done, so not of any interest to me.

After some more discussion with helpful friends, I decided to do the work myself. I wasn�'t keen on doing it myself, as I was busy working during the week and I really didn�'t like the idea of being stuck there if a storm came up from the NW while I had my engine apart, but it seemed the best choice. So I replaced the head gasket, while at anchor, over the course of a couple of weekends and several weeknights.

And now the engine runs fine again.

Catching Up
Mon Jan 7 23:50:49 EST 2013, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I've been working in Vancouver for the last several weeks. After several years off sailing, I'm enjoying working (in computers) again. While I expect the novelty may at some point wear off :) , I'm enjoying it now.

Issuma is still docked in Victoria, which is 5-7 hours from Vancouver by bus/train/ferry. I plan to move her closer to Vancouver later this month.

Mon Dec 24 10:53:53 EST 2012, Vancouver, BC, Canada

As it is winter in the northern hemisphere (where I am), and not cold enough for ice pictures, I thought it would be a good time to post some summer pictures :) .

Blog Has Moved
Fri Apr 27 23:00:00 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

I have moved new entries to this blog to

The old entries on this blog will remain here.

There is a Subscribe link on the menu bar at the top of the page on the new blog that will send email whenever there is a new post.

Blog Has Moved
Wed Apr 25 11:29:01 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

I'm moving this blog to

The old entries on this blog will remain here, but newer entries are going to be posted first on

There is a Subscribe link on the menu bar at the top of the page on the new blog that will send email whenever there is a new post.

Apologies for any inconveniences.

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