Misadventures of a Would-be Sailor

The agony of not knowing what you're getting into or alternatively "How not to buy a sailboat and subsequently do every wrong thing you can ..."

Vessel Name: Silent Toad
Vessel Make/Model: 1973 Irwin 45 CC
Hailing Port: Blaine, WA
13 June 2011 | Brookings
31 May 2011
15 May 2011 | Eureka, CA
25 April 2011 | Fort Bragg, CA
18 November 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA
28 June 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA
Recent Blog Posts
13 June 2011 | Brookings

Still Waiting

Well, what to do .... the weather isn't co-operating so all plans are shelved and looking towards next week for the final trip up

31 May 2011

Another leg

Headed for another try at our final destination. Brought along a 3rd. to help with the watches and armed with Bonine, dramine, wrist bands an whatever else I could think of to quell the unexpected reactions. Set off about 6pm on the 27th from Eureka and had good seas for the first bit. Cappy opted not to put up any sail and make it a motor journey. Seas getting rougher and felt the pangs come 3 PM. Totally useless for the rest of the trip. Raycor Filters started clogging up at about 6 AM the next morning and finally had to change 4 of them to prevent stalling. Last one gave up the ghost at about 4 PM (along with the starter) and that was it. Had to get towed into Brookings, OR ... made it by 12:30 and there she stays till we can get the fuel cleaned, removed or replaced...

15 May 2011 | Eureka, CA

Fix'er Up

Back again with one of the individuals who sold me the engine. After taking the tranny right off, discovered the internal linkage bushings had come undone (who knew). Repaired and did a test run so all seems well. Decided he'd fix the leaky seal on the fuel gauge as she was leaking on top, put it back together and the gauge stopped working (it just keeps getting better and better) Back to home and wait for a weather window for the next jaunt

25 April 2011 | Fort Bragg, CA

Time to get going

The day finally comes and we're off on the adventure to bring her up to Washington. Spent the 20th and 21st in Fort Bragg trying to fix up the "repaired" issues that had cropped up from last time. Left early on the the 22nd. owing to problems with the starter (which amazingly Cap'n Steve was able to resurrect) Cappy decides that we should motor and forget about sails. All things were going smoothly though the seas were rougher and the swells taking their toll owing to the loss of the drop keel. Got totally sick at about 2:30 and was absolutely useless to Cappy who managed to persevere through it all and finally was able to rise from the dead at about 9 pm. Decided to make it to port for the night and start fresh in the AM. Docked at a transient dock in Eureka after Cappy was able to bring us in without GPS or nav aids (sure glad he's along). Woke fresh in the AM and started heading out about 7 AM on the 23rd. Mad a last minute turnaround to fill up the fuel tanks and then disaster. Transmission stopped working about 200 yards from the fuel dock and we're able to tie up owing to some momentum and some fancy lassoing on Steve's part. Spent the morning trying to get the tranny back in operation to no avail and, unfortunately, Sunday doesn't allow for much in the way of mechanics. Towed to Whidbey island Marina and tied up at the visitor dock. Struggled with the tranny for another day and finally gave up and decided to come back another day.

18 November 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA

How's It Goin', eh ..

Arrived back to Ft. Bragg with my local 'hillbilly' mechanic to clean up the exhaust manifold & repair the hole in the mast. Most of the first day was spent re & re the exhaust manifold and then we start her up and she purrs (well, growls) to life. Tim decides to take her on a small motoring excursion and, for the first time, I get to actually steer her (was told later that I had the biggest shite eating grin on my face). The next morning, fiberglass, glass beads and tape in hand we tackle the hole in the mast. First cut out a section of the floor around the base of the step keel mast (painful) and then carefully start cleaning around the base to remove the years of accumulated crud .. a chore that I never want to repeat! When all is said and done, Tim comes over to inspect and start the filling process. Upon examining the mast, he scowls and lets out the only expletives I've ever heard him utter "Where's the f#@%%$ing hole?" Surprise! The "hole" was probably a shadow on the accumulated crud and the finger going into the hole was probably just poking through accumulated sludge. To add insult to injury, I stark poking at a dirty spot in the mast and poke through a plugged drain hole ... WOW .. 50 feet of trapped water in the mast comes shooting out of a 1/2" hole ... Clean up the mess, mutter curses about the reality of always checking for myself and that's it. We lock her up and head back home again!

28 June 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA

And away we go (almost)

Down to Fort Bragg to check on the Kimberly D and put the final touches on the engine install prior to the "crew" showing up in 7 days for the trip up to Bellingham. Arrived in time to see Bob peer out of his hatch on the Yorktown and skedaddle onto and into the Kimberly D with bags in hand (after [...]

Still Waiting

13 June 2011 | Brookings
Well, what to do .... the weather isn't co-operating so all plans are shelved and looking towards next week for the final trip up

Another leg

31 May 2011
Blustery and Squalls
Headed for another try at our final destination. Brought along a 3rd. to help with the watches and armed with Bonine, dramine, wrist bands an whatever else I could think of to quell the unexpected reactions. Set off about 6pm on the 27th from Eureka and had good seas for the first bit. Cappy opted not to put up any sail and make it a motor journey. Seas getting rougher and felt the pangs come 3 PM. Totally useless for the rest of the trip. Raycor Filters started clogging up at about 6 AM the next morning and finally had to change 4 of them to prevent stalling. Last one gave up the ghost at about 4 PM (along with the starter) and that was it. Had to get towed into Brookings, OR ... made it by 12:30 and there she stays till we can get the fuel cleaned, removed or replaced...

Fix'er Up

15 May 2011 | Eureka, CA
Back again with one of the individuals who sold me the engine. After taking the tranny right off, discovered the internal linkage bushings had come undone (who knew). Repaired and did a test run so all seems well. Decided he'd fix the leaky seal on the fuel gauge as she was leaking on top, put it back together and the gauge stopped working (it just keeps getting better and better) Back to home and wait for a weather window for the next jaunt

Time to get going

25 April 2011 | Fort Bragg, CA
Clear and Blowing
The day finally comes and we're off on the adventure to bring her up to Washington. Spent the 20th and 21st in Fort Bragg trying to fix up the "repaired" issues that had cropped up from last time. Left early on the the 22nd. owing to problems with the starter (which amazingly Cap'n Steve was able to resurrect) Cappy decides that we should motor and forget about sails. All things were going smoothly though the seas were rougher and the swells taking their toll owing to the loss of the drop keel. Got totally sick at about 2:30 and was absolutely useless to Cappy who managed to persevere through it all and finally was able to rise from the dead at about 9 pm. Decided to make it to port for the night and start fresh in the AM. Docked at a transient dock in Eureka after Cappy was able to bring us in without GPS or nav aids (sure glad he's along). Woke fresh in the AM and started heading out about 7 AM on the 23rd. Mad a last minute turnaround to fill up the fuel tanks and then disaster. Transmission stopped working about 200 yards from the fuel dock and we're able to tie up owing to some momentum and some fancy lassoing on Steve's part. Spent the morning trying to get the tranny back in operation to no avail and, unfortunately, Sunday doesn't allow for much in the way of mechanics. Towed to Whidbey island Marina and tied up at the visitor dock. Struggled with the tranny for another day and finally gave up and decided to come back another day.

How's It Goin', eh ..

18 November 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA
Overcast
Arrived back to Ft. Bragg with my local 'hillbilly' mechanic to clean up the exhaust manifold & repair the hole in the mast. Most of the first day was spent re & re the exhaust manifold and then we start her up and she purrs (well, growls) to life. Tim decides to take her on a small motoring excursion and, for the first time, I get to actually steer her (was told later that I had the biggest shite eating grin on my face). The next morning, fiberglass, glass beads and tape in hand we tackle the hole in the mast. First cut out a section of the floor around the base of the step keel mast (painful) and then carefully start cleaning around the base to remove the years of accumulated crud .. a chore that I never want to repeat! When all is said and done, Tim comes over to inspect and start the filling process. Upon examining the mast, he scowls and lets out the only expletives I've ever heard him utter "Where's the f#@%%$ing hole?" Surprise! The "hole" was probably a shadow on the accumulated crud and the finger going into the hole was probably just poking through accumulated sludge. To add insult to injury, I stark poking at a dirty spot in the mast and poke through a plugged drain hole ... WOW .. 50 feet of trapped water in the mast comes shooting out of a 1/2" hole ... Clean up the mess, mutter curses about the reality of always checking for myself and that's it. We lock her up and head back home again!

And away we go (almost)

28 June 2010 | Fort Bragg, CA
Sunny, Clear and Beautiful
Down to Fort Bragg to check on the Kimberly D and put the final touches on the engine install prior to the "crew" showing up in 7 days for the trip up to Bellingham. Arrived in time to see Bob peer out of his hatch on the Yorktown and skedaddle onto and into the Kimberly D with bags in hand (after hew was informed not to board her. Lost patience & waited for the Sheriff ... what ensued is the stuff of movies and will be saved for another blog ... at the end, Bob leaves swearing, cursing and accusing Bill and I of all manner of things but Good Riddance. Get into the Kimberly D and NOTHING has been done ... no clean up, no installs ... only items that we subsequently found to be missing as went looking for them ..... Just have to hope for karma and that I'll eventually get my money.
Well, Bill and I get to work cleaning bilges, checking electronics, doing installs and the like. One problem after another crops up but we persevere through the day. Following morning doing a pre-inspection we check the fuel tanks and discover 2 things. First the top cap of the tanks have been glued on and is loose so we have can look forward to diesel sloshing over the tanks and into the bilges once we're on the ocean (Who glues the metal plates on tanks) and that "someone" has poured water in the fuel tanks (found the hose by the side of the boat) Spent most the afternoon carefully siphoning the water out of the 105 gallon tank (removed 23 gallons of water (what a chore). Then it's off to the machine shop to have a new cap engineered that we can seal and screw down onto the tanks.
But it's done and we crank up the engine to ensure all is okay and it is. Contacted the local diver to find out about the hull inspection that he'd done on the boat only to discover that (though I had been billed and paid for it) he had never dove this boat, he'd dove Bob's! Sigh, live & learn ... arrange for him to dive the boat and clean the hull and check the drop keel which he does but when he come up he promptly informs us that"your drop keels on the bottom" We thank him and remind ourselves to raise it up before we get underway. He goes off confused and returns the next day to clarify "Your keels on the bottom ...laying on the bottom ... it's only connected to the boat by a cable" Crap!!! (Visions of Bob lashing the Kimberly D to Daybreak and dragging her across to the crane, complaining about how sluggish she was to get going ... The master sailor forgot to raise the keel and the pin must have snapped so we were dragging it on the bottom .. sluggish .. I'll bet she was!) Get the diver to sever the cable and spent the rest of the day (along with 6 float bags and a lot of hauling) to get the keel over to the crane, haul her out (man, she's heavy) and then load her into the yard until we can get her home. So now, we have no drop keel and not too sure of how she'll handle for the trip up .. get onto the net to contact the Irwin guru and are assured that "she'll do fine .. just bob around a lot"
Okay back to cleaning and sorting out the electrical systems which are a rat nest. By the time the next day is done, the bilges are clean, the interior is presentable and I'm hoping against any further surprises. More problem ensue (surprise?) and Bill has to do some ingenious reconstruction to mount the filter assemblies and some of the electrics but we get the linkages re hooked to the cockpit and await the crew.
The crew arrives in a flurry and I'm so glad to see them and finally get going (it's been a rough week) Pastor Jim (the Cap'n) introduces me to the other 3 members, Ray (an old sea hand) and "Moses" their driver. The morning passes with Jim inspecting around the vessel and informing the rest of us on the finer points of sailing with a crew whilst a couple of the others go for provisions .. mu luck feels like it's finally looking up and then ... the final stab in the heart!
Ray, while inspecting the bilges and the bowels of the vessels informs us that he's found a hole at the base of the mast and that it's structurally unsafe to put up a sail. Bill goes down to check and comes up with the bad news that he put his fingers right into the hole and that's that ... no sails... and
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Silent Toad's Photos -

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