Sailing Again
Summertime in the Flathead
07/25/2011, Somers, Montana

Looking Glass is finally a complete package. First off, I received my shrouds back from Fisheries in Seattle after three weeks waiting for them to be made. I took them off after bringing the boat up in the Trestle to Trestle race in the end of June. Now it's almost the end of July and the boat is back sailing again.
I also purchased a trailer a few weeks ago. It's a nice dual axle, 12,000lbs capacity trailer that I found on craigslist. While it sucked every last drop of money out of my account, I think it will be a good thing to have. Now I can move the boat when I choose, and store it where I choose, which hopefully will be the yacht club this winter. Now I just need to spend some time and fit the boat to the trailer and get all the pads right. Hopefully all goes well.
A few other things that have been added to Looking Glass.
There is now a voltmeter for the batteries. I attached it to the forward side of the aft settee seat. It has a light and reads 8-16 volts. Will be nice not have to tear apart the seat and hook up the handheld voltmeter to see how the batteries are doing. Not sure exactly how old they are but they are giant, and I don't have concerns about running low on juice.
I hooked up the water bladder that lives in the starboard side to the shore water pressure system. Now while i'm at the dock, I can refill the bladder with just a flip of a valve. No more bringing a hose into the boat. I also ran a new vhf cable through the boat and up to the mast, however I'm not really sure how to put on uhf connectors so I might have to revisit this. Still need to replace the mast end of cable too.

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Adios mud, dirt, and all things land
Sunny and actually summer
06/23/2011, Dayton, MT

Today was finally launch day for little Looking Glass. I was down in Dayton teaching an afternoon private lesson and must have bugged the guys there enough about getting the boat in the water and out of the marshy wetlands it had been living in since last October.
Dayton Yacht Harbor has an interesting contraption for moving boats around. Many marinas around the globe use Travel lifts as the primary mover. Generally they have four wheels and can move around on there own. Here in Montana we do it slightly different. There is the hoist, there is four wheels, but there is not an engine. The power is provided by an old fire truck that is rigged to pull the hoist around the muddy fields. Then it gets even more entertaining when it has to drive down a hill to the lake with the boat swinging in front of it and pull out onto two wooden piers that create the launching area.
Well...everything went just fine. No calls were made to the insurance company this time. LG was lowered into Flathead Lake around 4:30 this afternoon and in fine summertime weather. I think the boat shivered a little bit when her keel felt the frigid post winter waters of the lake. There might still be an iceberg floating around the middle, I wouldn't doubt it. After the straps were removed and the hoist pulled away, and after doing a quick check that all my time and hard work would stay at the appropriate level on the lake, I took the task of cleaning of the several weeks of muddy footprints and greasy handprints that littered the deck. I also played around with the new oars from NRS to see if they fit. Yep..check...roger...The true test of whether that was a good purchase or not will likely come this weekend.
So the yacht is all tied up fore, aft, and a spring to keep her happy. This weekend I'll head back down there and get the engine fired up again and continue cleaning. The Trestle to Trestle race from Dayton to Somers is this weekend, so I'll spend Saturday on the boat then sail back with the fleet on Sunday. Pray for downwind...I might have a chance then.

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Round Two Begins!
rainy, cold, not summer
05/24/2011, Dayton, MT

First day back with LG today. My dad is here for the week helping with a few spring projects on the boat (and if the weather improves, do some hiking). After running around town grabbing a few supplies we drove down to Dayton Yacht Harbor to say hello to the yacht. The cover over the cockpit came off first for access to inside, then I hooked up the batteries and turned on a generator to get them charging. The rest of the short day was spent measuring up the floor and the forward settee so that it can be repaired. Also looked at sizes for a new water tank to fit into the bilge.
The projects continue tomorrow. If it's nice I'll take the rest of the cover off and start doing the work inside along with taking shrouds off and maybe a few engines pieces. Some other exciting news is that I got an old tiller pilot off another boat. Going to try and see if I can it to work and fitted to the little yacht.
Looking forward to getting back out sailing. The lake is still five feet down. This could take awhile...

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Future Planes for LG
Toasty warm
12/16/2010, From A Far Warmer Climate

As I'm hanging around here in the islands, I sit here thinking about all the good stuff I'd like to do to get Looking Glass ready for some cruising fun. Here's a sample of the list. If you have any thoughts, send me an e-mail @sailfast14@hotmail.com

A nice canvas dodger is high on the list. Keep the rain away from the companionway and provide some spray protection while sailing. Would like to make it myself, since it could be considerably cheaper.

A solar panel. I would rather not use the engine to recharge and solar setups are getting cheaper. Thinking about mounting one 85w panel on the stern pulpit. The infamous SolarStik is just a little too pricey and I want to keep things simple.

Change lights to LED to conserve power.
Replace water tank in bilge and paint bilge (Interlux Barriercoat?)
Replace ceiling liner. Paint overhead.
Tiller-autopilot.
New shrouds, forestay, backstay.
New bottom paint
Give the little YSB8 engine an overhaul. Hopefully that'll keep it happy for awhile.
New depth and speed instruments. New compass
Work on increasing and improving storage in the boat. Organization of things.
Wifi Antenna for increased chance of gaining a signal while out.
A trailer!! I'd love to be able to have my own place to store the boat while out of season.
Ohh there are lots of little projects. I'm hoping to keep things simple and not focus on getting the boat "perfect". I love the idea of going cruising now versus waiting for conditions and the boat to be ideal. Looking Glass is a safe craft currently, everything I do from here on out will just make life easier.

The plan is to be cruising by the summer of 2012. chip chop chip.

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12/16/2010 | Todd
Good list. Check out the tongue and groove headliner options, they are great. Fix the delam int he deck while you are at it. How about a hard dodger with canvas sides? You can put a boom gallows on it and perhaps store your solar panel there too. Also make a path for the chain that is in the forward locker to be stored lower down in the keel. It would require very little effort but I never figured out how to make it run smoothly. OK that is my $.02
12/18/2010 | mindy
cruising where? thought you were going to be 30?
I hope she's doing well
12/08/2010, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Looking Glass has been packed up for almost two months now, but dreams of the next season of sailing are already growing strong. I'm working down in the Grenadines in the West Indies for the winter on charter boats, but looking forward to returning to Montana and continuing life with the new yacht. I bought Looking Glass from Todd Hesse in Portland last June and am busy trying to pay the boat off and get her ready for a hopefully soon return trip to salt water to begin adventures abroad.
Stand by for more news. To Looking Glass: take care of yourself in the cold winter weather of northern Montana.

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12/09/2010 | Todd
I am so happy to see you have a blog. I hope that blue tarp keep you warm and dry. Have fun sailing around next summer.

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