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Mon Jan 17 16:48:34 EST 2011, Toronto, Canada

Much less appealing a picture than one of sailing in Labrador in summer, this is how Issuma looks now, frozen into the ice. Note the icicles that have formed on the chimney.

Forecast is for warmer weather tomorrow, though not warm enough to melt the ice around the boat :(.

Mon Jan 17 18:05:33 EST 2011 | george ray
Any thoughts of spraying foam on the inside of the hull to improve insulation? How many BTU's do you have in your two heaters? What temperature do they keep the cabin and at what fuel consumption?
Tue Jan 18 22:10:09 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
I like the thought of being able to inspect the inside of the hull plating, so do not want to spray foam in. The fitted extruded polystyrene foam that the boat has is not a lot of insulation for a cold climate, but increasing the thickness of the insulation would seem to be a great deal of work.

The BTU/hour rating of the Sigmar 120 diesel heater in the pilothouse is 5,000-12,000. The BTU/hour rating of the Dickinson Alaska diesel heater up forward is 6,500-16,250. I am in the process of replacing the Sigmar 120 with a Dickinson Lofoten, which has a BTU/hour rating the same as the Alaska, but should put out a lot more heat.

With the two heaters I have, the boat can be kept 25 degrees C (~45F) above the 0utside temperature, or 20 degrees C above the outside temperature when it is windy. I am hoping the bigger heater in the pilothouse will improve things.
Thu Jan 20 6:40:25 EST 2011 | georgelewisray
INSULATION PAINTS: Colvin for years has had links to insulating paint ( ) and a similar product seems to be, ( ). I have watched the second web site for a couple of years and know some folks that used it on the interior of a glass boat and found it cut down on condensation. The testimonials on hytechsales web site are dramatic. It is pretty economical and easy to use.
Thu Jan 20 8:28:46 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
I put Thermseal (not sure if this is still around, it was one of several "original" ceramic insulating paints with NASA mentioned frequently) on much of the interior plating of Orbit II, and on the eexterior of the deck I put Delta-T (Mascoat) on the exterior of the deck of Rosemary Ruth, and Issuma.

I used the Delta-T both for insulation (mostly for keeping heat of the sun out of the interior), and for non-skid (they do not market it as non-skid), as the embedded ceramic particles mean the paint will never go on smoothly. I will soon be painting over it with epoxy with sandpaper grit particles (I am told this is what all the tugboats in NY use on their decks) to get a better non-skid surface.

My experience with the insulating paints is that they make a noticeable difference for thermal and acousitc insulation, however, they are nowhere near as effective as foam insulation. If I was ever to consider painting the bilge in Issuma, I might put a coat of thermal insulati
Fri Jan 21 6:34:12 EST 2011 | george ray
glad to hear another good story about insulating paint !! .... ENGINE as HEATER: (1) The engine when running is a great source of heat. Radiator elements such as old bus heaters can be put in the coolant circulation loop to dump heat inside. The hanging locker is perhaps 1st place to put radiator and fan so you can always have dry warm clothing. (2) My fantasy is to 12V solar hot water circulation pump to bring water from heat coil in chimney of diesel heater to engine block so that there ends up being a large block of warm cast iron in the middle of the cabin. PUMP: example=> ,,,,,, runs on photovoltaic as low as one watt, 50,000+ hour life, works up to 203 deg_f ... //// anouther =>
Fri Jan 21 7:36:43 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Someday, when I'm happy with my heating systems, I'll write up details of them :). In the meantime, I keep working on them. I do have a heater that runs off the engine coolant, similar to a bus heater. Its rated for 40,000 BTU/hour, but unfortunately, the way Baudoin marinized the engine, you can't get hot coolant from it--only coolant that has already passed thru the heat exchanger, so is warm not hot. As a result, it is barely noticeable when the heater is running.

Those are interesting pumps in your links.
Sat Jan 15 18:57:36 EST 2011

This is a picture of Issuma in August, just north of Nain, Labrador, taken from the sailboat Evensong.

At present, Issuma is frozen into the ice in Toronto.

Sat Jan 15 19:59:59 EST 2011 | george ray
what is the story on the inner jig with the orange?
Sun Jan 16 17:00:09 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
he inner-most jib is the storm jib. It was made with an orange stripe in it for visibility (I was ambivalent about the stripe, but it was their standard way of building storm jibs).

After I've set the storm jib, I often don't bother to take it down until I'm next motoring or going into port. When I take it down, it gets lashed ondeck, without a cover, until reaching port, so it doesn't see much less UV when lashed ondeck than it does when set.
Mon Jan 17 18:02:59 EST 2011 | george ray
I see the spools of line built into the rails. Can you say a little about how you have used them and/or how you plan to use then in the future. Are they on both sides?
Nain Harbor
Thu Jan 13 19:05:17 EST 2011

This is a view of the harbor in Nain, Labrador last August. The masts of Issuma are visible to the right of the ship.

Brian, in his comment to the previous post, points out that there is still no ice in Nain, which is incredible for January.

Thicker Ice
Mon Jan 10 18:38:30 EST 2011, Toronto, Canada

We tried to leave the harbor today for a short sail but, after an hour of breaking ice, decided to wait for a warmer day when the ice is easier to break. We could have broken our way out the rest of the channel, but I don't really know how much ice this hull is designed for, so thought it better to wait for a warm spell before going sailing next. The temperature has been between -5C and -10C for the last few days and the ice quickly closed in and got thick. The ice we were breaking was about 13cm/5" thick, composed of a clear, hard layer of ice and a softer, white layer of snow that became ice.

In the picture, Don is pushing one of the chunks of ice down with a pole so the thickness and layers can be seen.

Wed Jan 12 13:30:18 EST 2011 | Brian
Not a smidgen of ice up here in Nain harbor, [people going in speed boat hunting seals, never been seen in living memory.
Wed Dec 22 19:01:11 EST 2010, Toronto, Canada

After a total of two hours (including the turn) to get thru 300m of 3-4" (8-10cm) ice, we were free to exit the harbor.

Once out of the harbor, we had a pleasant afternoon sail with mild temperatures, gentle winds and light snow.

My neighbors at the marina took pictures and video of Issuma pushing thru the ice. There are pictures at
Don Proctor's Infrequent Photo Blog,
and video on Joe Berta's

Thu Dec 23 9:36:53 EST 2010 | Brian
Nice winter shots, you should have hung around Nain, no sign of any ice yet up here.

You and the crew have a merry festive season.
Fri Dec 24 20:30:44 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Brian. I'm surprised to hear there's no ice yet in Nain--perhaps I should have stayed n Labrador :). Merry Christmas.
Sat Dec 25 9:20:06 EST 2010 | george ray
Glad you arrived safely at your winter destination. ... What heater are you using? .... Wonder if there is a way to leave the bowsprit and reinforce the bobstay and attachments. Perhaps have an alternate higher winter attachment point for the bobstay so that it would carry the furled sail and furler weight and windage and additionally only allow winter use of outer headsail as drifter and you would then more normally keep first reef in the main. when back in the tropics or on way to South Georgia you would move bobstay to the summer position.

Ian McCoglin who is on Woodenboat forum and Brion Toss forum is a good thinker w/ experience in these things.
Sun Dec 26 8:28:22 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks. I have the little Sigmar 120 drip-feed diesel heater in the pilothouse, a Dickinson Alaska drip-feed diesel heater up forward, and some oil-filled electric heaters. Am still working on the heating system...the above is not enough heat for the temperatures here.

That's an interesting idea of moving the bobstay up and keeping the main reefed and not using the outer headsail during the winter. It wouldn't be a lot of work. Hmmmm. In the very short term, I'm planning on disconnecting the bobstay, then reconnecting it before setting sail. Thanks for the suggestions.
Sun Dec 26 13:57:03 EST 2010 | yann
Hello, I agree that the idea of Georges is intersting, but you have to remember that the bobstay is taking the strength of the mainstay, and the mainstay takes all the strength of the top of both masts; I am afraid that both masts would bend backwards upper than the second it possible to install another stay between the bow and the top of the mizzen mast? I don't remember. friendly.
Tue Dec 28 20:29:46 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Its hard to say if its feasible to put a stay (or temporary rope) from the top of the foremast to the bow. To use a ring that is already there to attach to, it would get very close to the anchor, and probably touch the anchor when it is stored there. Another attachment point could be put in farther away from the anchor, then it would probably work out ok.
Sat Jan 1 5:54:03 EST 2011 | George Ray
Yann has important point about forestay loads.
(1) If you don't use the outer jib and keep the main reefed then a bobstay that is shifted up seems worth thinking about a bit more.
(2) If Issuma's stem is strong enough you could theoretically beef up the bowsprit, the bobstay and the bobstay raised attachment point/area and let it go at that. I wouldn't know who to ask about a gut feeling for what you can get away with except Yann. (3) You might want to some trigonometric calcs to see how the compression loads on bowsprit and tension loads on the bobstay increase as the bobstay attachment moves up and angle between bowsprit and bobstay decreases.
Sat Jan 1 6:08:37 EST 2011 | George Ray
For attachment of temp stays consider lashing stainless rings using nylon twine/cord. (a) When there are sharp edges you can lay in a piece of soft plastic like milk jug wall and to be fancy you would sand it and glue in w/ 5200. (b) Lash in stages with locking hitches at each stage to prevent one chafe leading to complete unravel. (c) paint the finished lashing to keep the sunlight off and it should be near permanent. (d) When you do the arithmetic to figure total strength the turns of the lashing add up really quickly. Not unusual for 10 full wraps to be 3-4 thousand pounds breaking strength.
Sun Jan 2 3:05:03 EST 2011 | yann
happy new year to all of you,
I read Georges, I understand what he means
the problem is that the diameter of the bobstay is the same than for the mainstay, and the load is at least the double when you compare the angles; this means you would have to increase its size if you want to lift it; and about beefing up the bowsprit, I wouldn't like the idea to increase the weight of the bow! friendly
Sun Jan 2 13:48:16 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks for the ideas, George and Yann.

The bobstay is 13mm, the outer jib stay is 10mm.

I tried disconnecting the bobstay at the top, it didn't work out so well, as it got banged up a fair bit at the bottom when breaking ice. Disconnecting at the bottom to break ice and reconnecting to sail is looking more difficult than I first thought, due to how far down in the near-freezing water one has to reach from a dinghy to re-attach it.

At the moment, I have the spinnaker halyard rigged as a temporary stay from the top of the foremast to the bow. When the wind dies down (its too cold to get much work done aloft now), I'll see about putting something stronger in place.

I'm working on the load calculations, but its been a long time since I've done this math :).

The best answer seems to be to remove much of the bowsprit. While that might be straightforward if I moved back both the outer jib and the inner jib, that means two sails to modify, two stays to shorten, and
Mon Jan 3 17:45:59 EST 2011 | Jean-Luc Arsenault
Hello Richard, Why not replace the bobstay by a heavy steel flat bar? That will only transfert the load to the bowsprit.
Wed Jan 5 10:21:55 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Jean-Luc, thanks for the suggestion. It would be relatively quick and easy to replace the bobstay with steel plate. The problem I see is that it would be putting extra weight in a bad place, so it isn't so good for sailing.
Sat Jan 8 23:31:11 EST 2011 | george ray
You could add a triangle of steel plate welded to the stem whose bottom edge is about the same as the line of the existing bobstay. The fwd top corner of the plate would have a hole and accept the clevis pin of the now shorter bobstay. This way the angle of the bobstay is the same but the steel plate can cut the ice. The steel plate can be 1/2" thick and the weight added to bring the bobstay up a foot would be less than 20 lbs. (1/4" steel is 10lb per sqr ft)
Mon Jan 10 18:34:29 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
George, thanks for the suggestion. The weight sounds light enough, but I wonder if 1/2" steel plate would be strong enough to handle hitting the ice at an angle (in the case of a glancing blow to a piece of ice or in the case of making a turn in ice)? The boat would have to be hauled out to weld the plate on (since there are no tides here to dry the boat out on), so I guess I have lots of time to consider it.
Steady Progress
Wed Dec 22 18:59:13 EST 2010, Toronto, Canada

After getting thru the 90 degree turn, it got much easier to break the ice. The problem with Issuma in breaking this type of ice is that the bobstay (the pipe structure in front of the boat is called the bowsprit, the wire that supports the bowsprit from the bottom is called the bobstay) is low enough that it sometimes cuts the ice, instead of the hull riding up on the ice and then using its weight to break the ice. The bobstay supports the masts via the jibstay, so, even though I wasn't using much power (to reduce strains), it is not that good for the bobstay to be cutting ice.

Issuma is loaded heavily, and floats lower than it would in seawater (because freshwater is less buoyant), so the bobstay hits the ice more than it might otherwise. I think the solution is to remove the bowsprit (not a simple thing to do, it involves moving the jibstay back and shortening the jibstay and the jib and probably needing to compensate the sail area change forward by removing the roach from mainsail).

Thu Dec 23 15:05:47 EST 2010 | Yann
you are right Richard, the bobstay is really suffering, one can see it on the video!!!!
something could eventually break, but nobody knows if it is the bobstay, the main stay , the backstays or one of the masts! hope everything is OK :) happy christmas (should I say christmast?)
Fri Dec 24 20:32:46 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Yann.

I think next time I go out I will disconnect the bobstay, then reconnect it if we use the jib (last time the jib furler line was frozen so we couldn't unfurl the jib anyway).

Merry Christmas
A Slow Turn
Wed Dec 22 18:56:13 EST 2010, Toronto, Canada

From where Issuma is (was) docked, getting out of the marina involves a 90 degree turn shortly after leaving the dock. This turn is quite difficult to do in ice, as it is hard to apply a lot of power in turning. Having two propellers helps a lot, but it still took an hour of back and forth and chopping at the ice with boathooks etc from the bow, to make this turn.

The auxiliary rudder was removed (you can see it on the dock), as I wanted to try breaking the ice in reverse as well as forward, and felt that might put too much of a strain on it. Issuma can only break very thin ice in reverse, as otherwise the ice is too close to the propellers (which would be very expensive to have to fix or replace). I think the main rudder (steel, controlled by hydraulics) is strong enough to back down into ice (slowly) without straining it.

Thicker Ice
Wed Dec 22 18:53:03 EST 2010, Toronto, Canada

It is getting more difficult to go out sailing. The ice in the marina is now 3-4" (8-10cm) thick. Issuma has gone backwards and forwards to break a path thru the ice.

Smooth Ice
Sun Dec 12 19:32:53 EST 2010, Toronto, Canada

Customs cleared me into Canada the morning after I arrived, and then Martin and Magdalene came aboard for the sail to the marina I'd arranged a berth in (Bluffers Park Marina).

It was a nice, pleasant, relatively warm (ie, above freezing) day with a light tailwind. We motored out of the harbor, then had a nice sail to near the marina, doused the sails, raised the keel most of the way and motored into the marina.

My assigned dock in the marina was a long way from the entrance, so after entering the marina, we had about 300m off thin ice to plow through. This was no problem, the ice only being about 1/2" (1.3cm) thick. In the picture, the boat is reversing towards the dock, and you can just see the ice that it has broken.

Mon Dec 20 20:21:54 EST 2010 | Magda
Richard - it was great meeting you and having the privilege of sailing with you. :) It was cold but definitely worth it. :)
Tue Dec 21 20:26:40 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Magda, it was great meeting you and Martin. Glad you enjoyed the sail.

Someone once told me it is never too cold to sail :).
Cold Sailing continued
Sat Dec 11 17:52:23 EST 2010, Lake Ontario

After dawn, things got easier, as they often seem to with daylight. Several of the ropes thawed out and became easier to work with. The wind steadily increased to a Force 5 as we approached Toronto. The waves washed the salt (that I'd earlier spread on the deck to melt the snow) off the deck (but were not high enough to wash the salt off the pilothouse roof).

Dropping the sails and motoring into Toronto harbor was straightforward. A cheerful harbor police officer asked me if I'd really come from Whitehorse (now that I'm in Canada, everyone knows where Whitehorse is (far north and inland, on a big river in the Yukon Territory), where I once lived and where the boat is registered. While preparing docklines, a boat which saw me singlehanding came out and offered to help with the docking. It is always nice to have help when docking.

Tue Dec 21 23:14:58 EST 2010 | bowsprite
I am SOOOOO happy I know where Whitehorse is. Now, i would like to say i've been there. Working on it!!!

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