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Cold Water
Mon Jan 24 11:03:22 EST 2011, Toronto, Canada

Outside the harbor yesterday, when it was cold (-19C/-4F). The misty areas of the picture are steam coming off the water and steam from the spray when the water hits the ice-covered rocks.

Today it warmed up enough to snow (for those not used to cold climates, snow requires clouds and clouds reflect heat back to the surface, so the coldest temperatures happen when there are no clouds--ie when it is not snowing).

Mon Jan 24 14:17:23 EST 2011 | Brian
Nain harbor, 24 January 2011
Mon Jan 24 17:33:49 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks for the link, Brian. It certainly is surprising to see so little ice in Nain harbor in January.
Tue Feb 1 14:19:35 EST 2011 | christina
warm greetings from the frosty south, dear Issuma!
Tue Feb 1 17:35:42 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Christina. I see NYC is in for freezing rain tonight. Hope you are warm and dry.
Sun Jan 23 16:29:33 EST 2011, Toronto, Canada

In contrast to the previous picture of sailing on a beautiful summer day in Labrador, here is where Issuma is today, locked in the ice, which is now covered with snow. Being covered with snow means the ice wont get thicker as quickly (because snow is a good insulator), which is good, as the thicker the ice is, the longer Issuma will be stuck in the ice.

Mon Jan 24 6:59:40 EST 2011 | yann
nice picture,
and nice boat, isn't she?
Mon Jan 24 10:45:50 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Yann. Yes, she's a nice boat.

Are you thinking you want her back :)
Mon Jan 24 12:30:20 EST 2011 | Jerry Levy
What's the blue boat on the far side of the harbor?
Mon Jan 24 17:32:19 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
I dont really know anything about the blue sailboat on the other side of the harbor. It is docked in a yacht club (I'm docked at a marina). I assume it is being lived aboard, otherwise it would have been hauled for the winter, but I've never seen anyone aboard.
Tue Jan 25 12:26:19 EST 2011 | yann
no, Richard, I am happy to see her with you where you are
Fri Jan 21 7:53:58 EST 2011

As Issuma is still frozen into the ice, I can only dream about sailing :), so here is a picture of Issuma this summer in Labrador.

Fri Jan 21 14:41:43 EST 2011 | Brian
Apart from white hills it almost no change.
Fri Jan 21 15:26:24 EST 2011 | Jerry Levy
Happy new year, Richard! It's snowing a little in NYC now but I imagine it's no where near as cold as where you are now. I envy you being on the water, though. Best wishes.
Jerry, s/v 'Kama'
Sun Jan 23 8:51:38 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Brian, I'm amazed there is still no ice in Labrador.

Jerry, Happy New Year. I imagine one could still go sailing in NY harbor now, which would really be nice. Is your boat out of the water for the winter? While there is open water less than 100m from me, the boat is firmly enough held to the dock by the ice that I'm not going anywhere until it melts.
Sun Jan 23 12:49:17 EST 2011 | Jerry Levy
Yes, my (35'9" steel double-headsail rigged) sloop boat is in winter storage now in New London, CT. I haven't seen any sails in NY Harbor recently, but I remember well sailing with you 3 years ago this month in the harbor (the last time on Super Bowl Sunday) on 'Rosemary Ruth'. That was fun! I hope she finds a new owner who can give her the attn. she deserves. A truly beautiful boat - as is your current boat. I see you've discovered the virtues of roller-furling headsails! Me too. You do have a chartplotter, don't you? For coastal sailing, I think the are great!
Sun Jan 23 16:02:46 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson

I have fond memories of sailing Rosemary Ruth in NY Harbor, both summer and winter.

I like the roller furling sails on Issuma, because the sails are all big (so physically harder to handle without roller furling gear) and it is a much wetter boat than Rosemary Ruth, so changing headsails on a furler-less Issuma while going to windward in a chop would be no fun.

I don't have a chartplotter on Issuma (though there is one on Rosemary Ruth), but use a laptop with charting software. A chartplotter would be better (because it is waterproof), but then I'd need all new charts, which would be really expensive. I find electronic chartplotting of any kind makes coastal sailing, especially singlehanding into harbors, much easier.
Mon Jan 24 9:57:48 EST 2011 | Jerry Levy
Well, since you have a pilothouse and an inside helm you should be able to get by with the laptop/GPS/charting software. Like radar, it's best to have it within easy sight of the helm. As for the cost of new e-charts, it really varies depending on the brand/model of chartplotter you have. I have a Garmin which is pre-loaded with all US coastal charts. The micro SD for the East coast of Canada (I'm planning on a trip to Nova Scotia this summer) cost about US $150.
Mon Jan 24 10:48:24 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Yes, using laptops for charting only works on boats big enough to have dry places to use them from. Actually none of my instruments are easily visible from the helm, and I only steer from inside in really nasty conditions (but when sailing the windvane steers most of the time). It would be convenient to have instruments outside, but I have no faith they'd survive a big wave coming aboard if they were outside. That said, I have plans to build a box with a strong, clear, openable plastic lid that would withstand the water pressure of a wave coming aboard and mount that in the cockpit and put depth and GPS displays in it.

Best wishes on your trip to Nova Scotia, it is a nice place.
The Rope Reels
Tue Jan 18 21:58:11 EST 2011

To answer George's comment about the reels of rope on deck. One reel stores 100m (330') of 22mm(7/8") polyester and 10m chain. The other reel stores 200m (660') of 20mm (3/4") blue polyethylene rope (underneath a cover for UV protection).

These ropes are used for anchor rodes, sea anchor rodes, and as shore lines (tying the boat to shore as well as using an anchor to limit how far it will swing).

We used these ropes a lot in Labrador, where we often wanted either a second anchor or a shore line. Having reels makes it quick and easy to handle long ropes. Since it is handy to have the ropes available, I leave the reels on, even when not expecting to need them for anchoring, or shore lines.

The disadvantage of having these reels is that they are pretty heavy when the rope is on them, which is weight in the wrong place, and also that thay stick out, so the boat cannot go alongside a wall on the port side. Not being able to go alongside a wall on the port side is usually not a big deal, and has only occasionally been an inconvenience.

The rope reels are stainless steel with plywood bolted onto the ends. There is a solid stainless steel rod going through them which they turn on.

The picture was taken this summer in Hudson Strait. In the background is an ice floe with two seals on it.

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

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