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About BradW

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  1. Considering you can run the Belhaven up on most soft beaches, you might get away without a dinghy. But if you are at anchor or on a mooring and want to go into shore/dock for dinner, or whatever, and moving the Belhaven is a pain or means giving up a mooring location, a dinghy could be good. If you go with one, there should be enough room, even if it's awkward, to get it up on deck and tied down for a rough passage if needed. I've towed a Walker Bay in following seas behind my keelboat and occasionally it tried to come aboard over the transom, unless I used a long towline.
  2. Close fits like that will stick. You have unanodized aluminum tubing, I assume. You could send the pieces out for anodize, but either mask off the overlap or be prepared to sand the joint before putting it together, because anodize will add slightly to the material thickness. If you didn't want to anodize the pieces, you could either just live with it or paint it. On big boats, if/when the anodize coating deteriorates, some folks will paint the mast, usually with 2 part Awlgrip polyurethane. You might be able to use a wax to coat it and reduce oxide creation temporarily. I've used Woody Wax to pretty good effect. It'll work on metals and fiberglass.
  3. Try They have replacement poles for all kinds of tents. Other places also that cater to backpackers.
  4. Also, I didn't figure it out until mostly done w/ my first S&G project, but scrape excess drips, blobs, etc. while still a bit green and you avoid a lot of the sanding dust, which is what really set me off. I don't have any nice cabinet scrapers like the pros would have, but I made do w/ sharp straight edges, a wide chisel, etc. Of course, if I hadn't been so ham-handed ladling the resin on, I would have had less to take off! Also, I finally got a clue and stopped trying to over-use the sandpaper. If it stopped cutting, I yanked it off and put on new. Spend less time sanding, you spend less time exposing yourself to the stuff.
  5. Yup, get disposable Tyvek bunny suits and a real respirator w/ organic vapor filter cartridges and spares and eye protection. I had a full face respirator from work, which takes care of breathing and eyes. And double glove. The heat sucks, but allergic reactions are worse. I used Maas epoxy and had very little trouble, but still used these, esp. when sanding the stuff. I got itchy, wheezy and some redness when I got lazy and sanded green epoxy w/o covering up. Never again. And if you still react under all that, well, there are some really neat, more trad wood boat techniques.
  6. Despite what you read in a lot of sailboat reviews, even with a decent sloop rigged keelboat of good design (my old Tartan 30) with a cruising bent, you should be happy with a net average including tacking angle of 95 to 100 degrees. Yes, some modern race boats with deep keels and clean foils can tack under 90 degrees, but the "groove" is often narrow and even they wind up footing off in anything other than the right wind and sea. Not only are you slow when pinching, chances are good you will suffer a lot of leeway since the foils aren't working well.
  7. I sold my Tartan 30 last fall after enjoying it for 12 years. I single handed it more often than not, performed most of the maintenance, and could jump on board w/ a cooler and bag and be underway in 10 minutes. Partly a victim of financial pressure, partly a wife who never warmed up to sailing, partly an old boat that deserved a serious overhaul that I couldn't justify. Once we know we have some house stuff done, I'm considering a build for a personal craft with some legs. I still have a set of BRS15 plans around here, but am thinking of a kit, either CS17 or another design, to speed up the process. The Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, OBX are my stomping grounds. The Tartan was a grand boat, classic design and fine performance, and I had a great deal and location on the Chesapeake. The classic S&S designs defined balanced capable design and style in my mind. Easy of motion, strong on the wind, a reaching machine and capable of ghosting in a light evening breeze on the creeks. In a slightly different world, I might well have had it renovated and fitted for blue water by now. If things improve, well, there's always more used boats out there. Meantime, a trailerable to call my own and racing on Other Peoples' Boats will suffice.
  8. You're welcome. I hope you have good times this summer. I know that a lot of folks slag off on the Chesapeake about our summer weather, but if you have the ability to pick your sailing days a bit, you can do some fine summer sailing. Most of the larger Western Shore rivers develop a thermal sea breeze at their mouths. I've heard the one in Annapolis called the "Severn Wind Machine". Sometimes, I'll be bobbing, praying for wind until I clear Greenbury Pt. The Severn channels a breeze with easterly components as the afternoon sun heats the inland areas and a thermal develops, drawing in air from over the Bay. Ditto for the Patuxent River down at Solomons. When things get too steamy, find a riverside restaurant and cool off. Downtown Annapolis is very walkable and you can find places to tie up, take a mooring, or anchor and dinghy or water taxi into Town Dock. Sailors head for Davis's Pub or the Boathouse Grill in Eastport. I like Galway Bay near the capitol. Good Irish food and they know how to pull a pint o' Guiness. Galesville on the West River has a couple of places. We've enjoyed Pirate's Cove several times. Solomons has good places. The Tiki Bar is an interesting scene and one of the original tiki bar places on the Bay. For classy small restaurant dining, the Dry Dock in Zahniser's Marina is great, and Z's (where I kept my boat for a while) is a top yard for work. The Eastern Shore has many nice spots and more anchorages than can be named. St. Michaels has the museum and much food, but is a zoo on holiday weekends. Oxford is quieter. But there's always another cove around the corner. For a shoal boat on a trailer, you might look at trailering down to Crisfield on the Eastern Shore to explore Honga River, Tangier Island, etc. rather than sailing over the bay from the west. Those waters are some of the least spoiled on the bay. If you want a spot on the Potomac, look at Pt. Lookout near the mouth of the river. A bit of a drive from DC, but a good marina and nice creek. St. Mary's City, MD on St. Mary's River is a historical town w/ a sailing-mad college. I'm from Virginia, and have cruised the bay down past the Northern Neck where there are a lot of good creeks for anchoring but not as many good boating towns. Reedville is one. Mobjack Bay down by York River has a lot of nice shoal depth potential if that's your kind of thing. We used to fish there when I was young. My brother still goes there to flyfish the shallows for sea trout with his kayak. Enjoy!
  9. If you are looking for places closer to DC, look around Annapolis and Kent Island. My boss stores/launches a Precision 18 at Fairview Marina, Pasadena, MD on Rock Creek just inside the mouth of Magothy River. This is just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It's not a very well run marina in my opinion, but is cheap, in a good location near Annapolis and w/ good water access. If you can find a spot to store it but need a launch, the Sandy Point State Park just down the road from there has a large and well appointed set of launch ramps. No storage, though. If you go south of Annapolis, the Rhode River and West River have a number of marinas. Rhode River, Casa Rio, Blue Water marinas are all on the Rhode. At least one, Rhode River, advertises $50/month for trailer storage. I don't know if that is just for the trailer, but they do "boatel" like a lot of marinas here. Solomons, MD also is a fine location and there is a state ramp as well as numerous good marinas. All these areas are cheaper than in Annapolis. They are all close to the Bay but also have river sailing, and have good access to DC.
  10. I've used George Kirby (old school oil base) paint on a wooden canoe for my nephew. It is an absolute pleasure to use on plain or primed wood. I've never brushed anything on as smoothly. Not as good on epoxied wood, but it did work after drying for a couple of weeks. I used it for some of the colors, which my nephew picked out. I used Brightsides for repairs on my fiberglass cruising boat. I'd heard bad things about it and it did take 3 coats to cover well, but turned out not bad. I was repairing a fiberglass hatch that ripped loose in a storm, so had to relaminate portions of it and wanted to get close to the gel coat color without too much fuss. It's an old boat and I wasn't going to great pains, but hatteras white was not far off. I put some flattening agent in the last coat because the gel coat isn't too glossy anymore.
  11. Go for the BRS or CS. Our family's first boat was an aluminum outboard fishing boat about 15' long. It was fine for Dad, my brother and I to go fishing on the Rappahanock River, but you had to be careful about how you waved your fishing rod around! I recall Mom coming along once, at that was enough for her, and I'm sure it was more cramped. We moved up to an 18' wood lapstrake runabout, a Lyman or Thompson (?) with a windscreen and room under the foredeck for stuff and a kid to hide. Much more stable. I'm sure the S12 could hold 4 ok, but w/ cooler, tackle, and rods, could get a bit dicey. I've now had a chance to sail on a CS17, at the Delaware TSCA messabout. Very nice, very stable, moves very easily. Yes, in a reasonable breeze, you could easily sail w/ one mast, and that would make things a lot easier w/ a crowd. Plenty of space for coolers, etc. Actually, I bet you could adapt one or more of the seat lockers as livewells or fish coolers if you wanted. Get the lightest 4-6 HP outboard you can and it'll be plenty. The little 2HP ones will work but they don't have a reverse gear and the gas tanks are usually smaller.
  12. One problem is that because copper alloys are so ancient, there are a lot of imprecise traditional names and confusion over types. If you find a supplier of bronze hardware that proves itself in service, keep that supplier. An example I found was in L. F. Herreshoff's designs in "Sensible Cruising Designs" where he often calls for "tobin bronze" shafts. That is an antique term for a group of alloys known now as naval brass. They are brass in that they have zinc in them, but are otherwise composed so they have better corrosion resistance in seawater than yellow brasses. To really know what you have, you should look for a copper alloy number of the form UNS C65500. There is a CDA number that is sometimes used that is based on that, so it will look like CDA 655. That is, by the way, a wrought silicon bronze alloy sometimes known as Everdur that is often used for marine fasteners. It has high strength (around 55,000 psi yield strength...better than typical AISI304 stainless at 30,000 psi), excellent corrosion resistance and can be fairly easily worked. If a supplier for hardware can't give you a copy of a mill certificate for the material then you have to take them at their word what the alloy is. I have nothing against Chinese or Indian bronze products, but much of their material can't be certified as to adherence to an American alloy standard, so you don't really know what you're getting. This is a real problem in the engineering fields that require careful documentation like aerospace. Some may cite alloy callouts from other national standards, but figuring out equivalences between Euro, American, and Japanese alloy types is not easy. There are thousands of alloy compositions for copper alone.
  13. I don't know if you are inclined to try some books on sailing, but there are some good ones. I'd think everyone still needs to learn by doing and by example, but I like to back that up w/ some understanding of principles from books. Disclaimer: I'm an aerospace engineer, so I tend to geek out on wanting to understand the underlying physics and what some would consider trivia. However, if you would like to read about the principles of sail trim, sail shape, boat performance and steering, I recommend Steve Colgate's "Steve Colgate on Sailing". It's not a basic "how to" but rather, develops an understanding of the theory of sailing (name of 1st chapter) without resorting to a full-blown physics treatise. Another good one, more practical with more seamanship aspects, is Bob Bond's "The Handbook of Sailing". It's been around a long while and spends more time discussing the basics of small boat sailing that a lot of newer books, which tend to jump right into big cruisers. Also, try to bum a Sunfish or similar small dinghy from someone this summer and just go mess around in some breeze with it. (I don't advise Lasers as they have a lot of strings to confuse you.) With not much cockpit, the penalties of capsize are less than w/ a CS (you WILL capsize it) and it's a fun way to build some confidence, especially in warm water where spending time in the water isn't bad. I learned as a kid on an old Sailfish, spent a lot of time righting it, but it went like stink on a broad reach.
  14. Just a thought on your anchor light, here is the wording from the USCG navigation rules site "EXCEPTIONS: If your vessel is less than 23 feet/7 meters in length, then it is not required to display an anchor light or shape unless it is anchored in or near a narrow channel, fairway or anchorage, or where other vessels normally navigate." So, legally you would be ok anchored dark in a lot of cases. Doesn't help if someone still mows you down, though. You might consider a LED anchor light. Many of the ones you find in the stores in the US are very pricey, but if you are willing to not worry about USCG stamps, but rather, good product, look at Bebi Electronics. They are getting good "buzz" in the cruising community, and have LED anchor lights for under $50 compared to 3x that from most places. I know a lot of big boat cruisers who have the standard lights on the mast but hoist a LED anchor light on a halyard anyway, to save juice. And you save a lot. The Bebi lights are as bright as a regular light and draw under 0.090 amps. That could make a good difference w/ a small system. And they claim to use an active current regulating circuit rather than simple "dropping resistors", which I know is good, because poorly controlled current through these LEDs will kill them quickly (having killed a few in the lab...).