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Blog is moving
Tue Apr 24 0:27:17 EDT 2012

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

Apologies for any inconveniences.

Tue Apr 24 6:25:12 EDT 2012 | Aw, bummer
Dude! NO way! Too hard to follow all those blogs spread out all over the place. At least here they're all in one spot. Reconsider?
Tue Apr 24 13:33:10 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Sorry for the inconvenience. At the top of the page on the new blog, there is a Subscribe option on the menu bar, which you could use to have new posts emailed to you automatically.
Fishing Schooner Woniya
Tue Apr 24 0:15:56 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Fishing Schooner Woniya
Tue Apr 24 0:15:15 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Note that sails are bent on, so I think Woniya sails or motorsails some of the time (or else just uses the sails to reduce the rolling).

Fishing Schooner Woniya
Tue Apr 24 0:14:12 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

This fishing schooner was in Sitka a while back, I didn't get a chance to talk to the crew, but they definitely were commercial fishing.

Raising the Mainsail
Sun Apr 22 12:34:24 EDT 2012, Sitka Sound, AK

Setting Sails
Thu Apr 19 13:03:10 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

The weather is much nicer now that spring has arrived. While setting sails on a testsail a few days ago, a local motorboat came over to say hello. They kindly took some pictures of us.

Thu Apr 19 14:33:35 EDT 2012 | george ray
I know you have had some roller furler replacements and problems the last few years. What furlers do you have now and how happy are you with them?
Fri Apr 20 23:16:36 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
I have an original (30 year old?) Sarma furler on the yankee jib. It's been modified to use carbon-steel DIN-spec bearings (which are commonly available, as opposed to the original stainless steel bearings it came with). Where it attaches to the extrusion has some wear and I will need to either have some pieces milled or replace the furler with some other unit in future.

The main staysail has a 3-year old Facnor furler. The design makes adjusting stay tension more difficult than the much older Sarma design, and the Facnor seems to have more friction than it should (considering the small size of the sail that is on it), but overall, it functions adequately.
Mon Apr 23 11:02:59 EDT 2012 | bowsprite
ah, how beautiful it looks there! well, it should be! we took your grey and chill down here! brrr! warm greetings from a nippy drippy nyharbor!
Mon Apr 23 13:23:02 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Thank you, Christina. It was a very nice day. This morning we are back to heavy rain.
Wed Apr 18 11:57:35 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Wed Apr 18 19:34:17 EDT 2012 | george ray
Great pics, ... unloading what??
Wed Apr 18 23:54:16 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
George, thanks. Unloading herring, I believe.
Off With The Bowsprit! Part 2
Tue Apr 17 0:33:51 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

The easy part was cutting off the old bowsprit with an angle grinder. Then, without the bowsprit in the way, I could see how the anchor could be made secure.

I had some stainless steel pipes bent to the angle of the plates where the bow rollers were, and welded them on (the anchor shank and chain run between them). At first I used my wire-feed ReadyWelder, which is a device that runs on batteries--12, 24 or 36 volts. I welded the first pipe on with 24 volts, and, after doing some hammering, it broke off, as the penetration wasn't good enough. I had better results from adding another battery to get to 36 volts, but even better results when a neighbor on the dock lent me his stick welder (which plugged into shore power). Another neighbor who was a former pipeline welder helped me get the machine setup correctly.

I tried to bend the old pulpit into shape to be able to use it, but was not successful, so put a piece of blue, reinforced plastic hose in place for now.

The anchor is now held in place by the windlass holding the chain, a safety chain hook, and by turnbuckles on either side that attach to shackles in holes drilled into the anchor. I think the anchor will stay securely in place well when the waves push across it.

Final painting is still to be done.

Off With The Bowsprit! Part 1
Tue Apr 17 0:25:55 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Last year, friends moved the jibstay off Issuma's bowsprit so the bobstay could be removed (the bobstay was taking a real beating breaking ice). I wanted to test-sail the boat for a while before removing the old bowsprit (which was then just excess weight in a bad place).

It has taken me a while to get around to doing this job. For the Northwest Passage trip, the bowsprit proved a useful place to store the grapnel anchor I carried for use as an ice anchor.

Here is Issuma with the bowsprit still on.

Another Dinghy
Sun Apr 15 12:08:46 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

This is a similar "dinghy" to the one in the previous post. Note the large propeller and how well it is protected from getting caught in nets.

Sun Apr 15 13:25:09 EDT 2012 | doryman
There are a few of these "dinghies" around here, too (Newport, OR), though I've never seen one at work. They probably transit to Alaska as do many of the fishing fleet.
I've been thinking about your comment that fuel is not expensive enough to force people to fish from sailboats. It's true that these big trawlers make big money and cost a lot to maintain, but I can envision a fleet of smaller boats, employing many more out of work people to do the work by hand. Can't get away from the feeling that by out-sizing and out-competing smaller boats, the fishery has not served the community well. Perhaps there is a driving force more important than money. I know it's heresy to say this today.
Mon Apr 16 10:32:48 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Michael, it certainly would seem that using smaller boats would provide employment to many more people, though I think there are limits to how many people want to work hard at sea for little.

Other than Brazil (where fishing boats as small as dugout canoes are quite common), Yakutat is the only place I've seen where they have managed to keep the size of fishing boats down and the numbers up. Yakutat has a lot of little fishing boats fishing Yakutat Bay, and that really seems to keep the community alive.
Mon Apr 16 20:06:58 EDT 2012 | will
i've seen these on vessels that operate off gloucester, ma and nova scotia also

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