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Designer last won the day on July 13

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  • Birthday January 1

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    Vandemere, NC
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  1. Here is the first installment. It was a grand adventure but as much fun as it was to leave, it was even better to return. The trip was everything that I hoped that it would be. People asked me why I rushed, I could have spent a year doing that trip but you cannot just abandon your home. We live in hurricane alley and I did not want to leave Carla to have to face one alone. I was able to get a good flavor of the area and I can drive to places in the future and I can do a section in as much depth as I like. I did this trip for many reasons. It is obvious that my voyaging days are over so I made this like a mini voyage and I also wanted to prove the mk3’s as a valid coastal micro cruiser. Carlita turned out to be close to perfect for me. The only improvement that I can think of would be to have a 20 mk3. Nothing wore out or broke except for the wind indicator when I scraped it against the mizzen mast while raising the main mast between bridges. I was able to glue it back together. Note to self, watch the indicator as it passes by the mizzen mast. Beside being fast and easy to sail, navigating in shallow water was where she excelled. She covered many miles in water less than a foot deep with no centerboard or rudder, steering and tacking with just the sails. When aground I would walk around the boat, looking for deeper water. The bowsprit gave me the leverage to rotate the boat to face the deeper water. The boomkin was just the right height to lift and push. I usually got away with it, saving me from having to wait for the next tide. An electric pump for the water ballast would be handy so that you could lighten the boat quickly if the tide was falling. I tested the water ballast several times. I naively thought that Delaware Bay was going to give me a break. The forecast was SE 10 to 15 knots, I ended up with 2 reefs in each sail and still surfed to 8 knots. I broached her twice, the first time I was concentrating too hard on the chart and got way off course at the wrong time. The second, I got slammed on the starboard quarter by a breaking wave. The rudder ventilated down the low pressure side and around we went. To my amazement we never heeled past about 20 degrees and suddenly we were safely laying a-hull. Several times I deliberately rounded up to reef or to tend to some business but with the luxury of picking my time. Single handing can be hard sometimes. Another test was on the last day: There was a small craft warning for Pamlico Sound with forecast SW winds gusting from 20 to 30 knots. I was only 28 miles from home. I decided to get underway at 5 am to beat down the Pungo River and cross the Pamlico River before the wind reached full strength. The plan worked well and just before the Hobucken Cut got narrow I decided that I could afford to put the anchor down and have breakfast. I left the sails up as it was going to be a short stop. It was hot down below with the vent and hatch dogged down. I opened the hatch to full wind scoop, forgetting about the sail. It was very pleasant. Suddenly a big gust blew the bow to port and the reefed foot of the main caught on the hatch and we were laying over. By the time I got on deck and realized what the problem was we were upright and it was over. I lowered the hatch to just a foot above the deck and life was good again. When I went to raise the anchor it felt like it was fouled. It was the hardest breakout of the whole trip. I have some other ballast ideas to try but I think that it is valid as is. Steve, yes I brought the anchor back to the cockpit and I am very pleased with it. There is nothing special except that I have a cleat about 18” forward of the sheer break. I left the bitter end tied to the bowsprit tube and the main part of the 100 ft rode in the anchor locker, the rest was just flaked on the cockpit forward. The Danforth self launches because it does not stow neatly. The Bruce/ claw stows neatly but I have to give it several flicks from the cockpit before it will launch.
  2. I was not sure what to think when Alan said that they had been working on the boat but I thought that it was a pretty good joke when I saw the wheel.
  3. Hey Chick, You know how things never take longer to do than you hope. I have made good progress and with a bit of luck and the crick doesn't rise I will be out of here by the weekend.
  4. Dwg, Thanks for the offer. I will be near the beginning of my cruise when I pass Lynnhaven Inlet, if I have not forgotten or broken anything critical I should be okay but it is nice to know that there is a refuge right there if I need it.
  5. That is all good info Brad. I would love to see the Blue Angels again but I won't in the Annapolis area that early as I am intending to do the trip anti clockwise. Steve, I look forward to seeing your pictures and hearing about your trip. Matt, It is a minimum of 700 nautical miles.
  6. Thanks for the answer 

  7. Mark, This is a little off topic here but I have bad news for you. There is no magic bullet for varnish. Epoxy has very poor UV resistance. There are some coatings that hold up a little better than varnish but they are heavily pigmented and do not look quite as good. If you want a quick long term coating, go for something with a solid pigment coating, paint. Alan said the day when we looked at my aging varnish that he might add a few touches of brown paint on his boat and maybe experiment with some feau streaks.
  8. Amos I hope to come down the Dismal swamp canal on my way home and I hope that I will see you.
  9. Hey Cruzer , the 14th is close to my departure date so I will certainly look out for you. We are just up the Bay River from the ICW. Your 4' of draft might be marginal at the end of our dock as our tidal height is wind driven. You can anchor 100 feet straight out from our dock in plenty of water.
  10. Thanks Brad. I have heard that Delaware Bay can be humiliating at times but I believe that it is mostly wind against tide so I will have to try and go with the flow as best as I can. I see that I can split that passage into two legs which would make it easier to work the tides. Of course being an optimist, in my planning I see fair winds and tides with sunny skies. I have never cruised the Chesapeake but I have done 6 deliveries south through the Bay where we ran non stop except for one trip where we pulled in to Solomons for the night when it started to snow.
  11. Joe, Great picture. Yesterday if I could. Bathroom remodeling takes longer to do than you hope. I am almost done and I am flatout on Carlita's trunk and freshening up her varnish. I hope to get underway within a couple of weeks.
  12. Circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula has been on my bucket list for a long time. Ever since my first road trip to the area on a cold fall day about 30 years ago, looking out across the marshes and sounds teeming with migrating birdlife, trying to see round the next bend only to be denied by the road leaving the water, I knew that I needed to come back one day in my own boat. Carlita may not seem like the ideal boat for this but when you look into it a little deeper, she may be more ideal than you might think. Shoal water abounds allowing greater exploration, being able to sail in 6-8” of water will be a big plus. Near the northern end of the Eastern Shore is the Assawoman Canal which is crossed by 2 low bridges with a listed vertical clearance of 3.9’. The canal is no longer maintained and is only used by small craft. She may be cramped by cruising boat standards but they cannot do it, compared to open boat cruising she is luxurious. Having lived aboard her for a couple of months and taken her in some pretty big water I am sure that we can handle it. The only weak link may be me. I will turn 78 in a few weeks and I have had Parkinson’s disease for the last decade and am nowhere near as physically capable as I was. I currently have Carlita in the shop and modifying her centerboard trunk to the mk3.2 location which will allow me to reef her further when going upwind. This trip will give me a great opportunity to evaluate the modification over a wide range of conditions. The large chart shows the whole voyage. See the red course line starting and finishing at B&B, lower left. The small chart starts at the southern tip of the Delmarva peninsular. For anyone not familiar with the area, the highway running through the chart is the Chesapeake Bay tunnel bridge. The soundings are in feet and it is 5 nautical miles between the pins.
  13. The instructions for the centerboard pin was correct for the the mk3.1's. On the mk3.2 which you are building, the board was moved forward causing us to flip the pin as the cover plate hit the bunk top. On the mk3.2 we decided to give up on the detailed instructions and do more detailed plan sheets but we threw in the instructions anyway. We will look into the instructions correct them. It should not be a problem to back fill the hole. If you are you are concerned you could put a small glass patch over the hole on the outside. My preferred bumper is to turn the trunk upside down with the bottom edge of the bumper level. You need a temporary side and ends, then squirt in 100 percent silicone from your caulking gun until you reach the correct level. Put some mold release on the faces that will touch the silicone so that they can be removed. With this method you will have no fasteners that could leak into the trunk. I cut hardened silicone tubes into 1 1/4" slices and counterbore the center to take a washer. I use a large screw through the washer and screw the donut onto something stout for a great door stop. I have watched a heavy wind gust slam our big shop doors against my stop which has compressed to about half it's thickness absorbing all of that energy. It must be about 15 years old by now.
  14. I agree with Peter. I think that that the worst offender was sailing with the topping lift on probably preventing proper snotter tension. If you stop the video at 32' 39" you can see that the reefed clew is not drawn tight to the cheek block and there is a big bubble in the sail around the sprit mast area and a tight topping lift. In your defense, you are sailing a mark 3.1 which does suffer from lee helm in those conditions. On the 3.2 versions the centerboard was moved forward. You can see the video Carlita across FB being driven hard in those conditions with 2 reefs in the main and 1 reef in the mizzen. It would have been more comfortable with a second reef in the mizzen but I would not have been able to point as high. I think that my track was posted on the forum but it was close to 90 degrees between tacks. It was the testing on Carlita that made us move the board forward. We offer technical assistance to anyone with a 3.1 if they want to update. I do not think that the mast float helped and I am not sure whether it would actually prevent the boat from inverting. The masthead would have to be a fair way under water before the float is fully immersed and contributing its total lift. That is very close to or maybe past the point of vanishing stability. As comfortable as the dodger is, it adds a lot of windage. The boat looked good and you looked and you were doing well.
  15. Sorry for he confusion, I was trying to be concise. When I said inside I meant the trunk inside the boat and outside means the trunk from outside the boat.
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