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CS17mk3 — Avocet’s Adventures


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A New Boat, Making 3 — Does “3” Make a Fleet?


I built Norma T in 2020 (CS15) and Joe (Glen L Stiletto — ski boat) in 2021 (it’s almost done).  I’m very satified and happy about my choices, B&B’s support, and the results of my efforts. I was able to sail Norma T quite a bit this summer but I’m wanting to expand to some sail-camping next summer on Wisconsin lakes.  And, both of my boys wish to do the same. I would also love to sail on the Great Lakes: Apostle Islands, Mackinac area, etc.  But, these goals seem beyond what my CS15 should be doing. OK, stay within my reach and enjoy. 

Then, a 17 foot Mark 3 — Avocet — popped up for sale. 🤔 I gave it serious thought. I remember reading the Avocet thread and thought highly of the builder’s work.



(I had also seen this Capsize Camp video featuring Avocet.)

Really?!  Should I just BUY another boat?  It COULD do some of my sailing hopes and goals. It’s well built. It looks beautiful.  My family, I hope, will like this addition to the two boats I built… that are named after my parents (Norma T and Joe.)  I wouldn’t need to spend another year in the garage building and making a mess. OK… let’s do it!!


I agreed to the asking price and began to look forward to completing the purchase. Richard did some touch-up work on the boat and it is really appreciated.  It’s beautifully finished and in wonderful condition. I decided I have made a great purchase and look forward to sailing it when the snows melt in spring. 

Richard graciously offered to dovetail with his work travel, towing the boat from North Carolina to Indiana last weekend where we could meet to exchange boat and check. That meant I only needed to make a day-long drive to get Avocet. THANK YOU, Richard. 

After conversation, we hooked the trailer/boat onto my van, which, by the way, has carried two B&B full-kits to Wisconsin and the wood/materials I purchased from B&B for my ski-boat build.  Richard stands alongside the boat that I hope he is really proud to have built. 



Farewell and continue Avocet’s 2021 migration to…



I made it back to Wisconsin yesterday as the sun disappeared.  My first stop was my younger son’s house so he and his family could see Avocet. The two little granddaughters were the first ones to set foot into the cockpit and to climb into (and ONTO) the cabin. Then, it was onward to my older son’s house for another inspection, this time by my grandson. This is a little photo of the three grandkids during Gramma Camp this summer, sailing with my wife and me on Norma T.  (Hands NEED to be splashing in the water 😂.)



This morning, having spent the night at my son’s house, it was time for us to play around with this new-to-us boat. It’s a beautiful day… and about 30 degrees. (The local ski hill opens the day after tomorrow.)


Disassembling the traveling setup, we had to “learn the ropes”… literally.  I’d seen, but not tried out, Core Sound reefing rigs and it took some time to get things set up for raising the mainsail. I think we got things right (there are a LOT of lines.)  I also noticed a lot of nice little extra details placed by Richard into this set-up.  I like it. 


Then, we figured out how to put in a reef. 

I suspect it can mostly be done from the cockpit, the way the rigging is set up. I’m not sure yet how to reach all the sail ties without my son’s approach of climbing onto the cabin.  Then, we went for the second reef. What a great system. 

Onward to placing the mizzen mast, figuring out the various lines (including the completely different-from-my-CS15 mizzen sheet approach) and adding the two reefs. Success. 






Since I was planning to place Avocet into storage this afternoon, it was time to take out the reefs for some photos and put things back to travel mode… for an eight block drive down the street (no tie downs needed.) 






Richard had included a dust cover he had made… again, much appreciated. 


Hooked it back onto the van for the final leg of Avocet’s 1,200 mile migration from North Carolina to Wisconsin. 


… and into the storage building.  

Avocet, welcome to Wisconsin.  This is your winter home. That red CS15 back there is Norma T.  

A water-color image of her:



You’ll meet Joe in spring after the motor controls are installed and the top decks are finished.  (Here’s a current photo of Joe.)



NEXT SUMMER… good boating time ahead!!


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Nope. Everything stays as is. I like it. I especially like the avocet images and cute little “Epoxifer” face on the transom (it’s in the wood, augmented a bit with pencil; it looks like a favorite kid-fantasy character of the builder’s daughter.)90BAC3BD-9796-492B-8E5F-65135A437C27.thumb.jpeg.41d063ae2284b411484a58fb8120ae67.jpeg


Oh, and my son’s family are big Badger fans.

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She looks great and while I liked the building of Skeena, I like your "budge to the front of the get sailing line" approach! 


A couple of reefing observations on your pictures. The tack of your sail should be in about the same spot no matter what reef you have in. This keeps the windage low. It may be an optical illusion, but the sails look like they are running high in your pics. I could be wrong.........

On Skeena, I pulled the sail to the top and made a mark on the sail track where the downhaul hook attaches. I then lowered the sails to each reef point so that the new downhaul tack grommet location matched the un-reefed location. Next I made a permanent mark (I find spray paint used over a masked are works best, sharpie wears off) to set the halyard to when reefing.


If done this way, the sail will be lowest and that will make tying in the reef lines manageable from standing in the cabin and reaching up. I think standing up on that cabin top is a really bad idea, especially single handed. 


I have Skeena snuggled away in the barn right now, but I'm planning on 2022 being a record year for sailing, knock on Okume. 


Take Care,


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Helpful thoughts, Steve. I shall remember this for next summer. I’ll make plenty more goofy errors… I’m only getting started. 😂  You should have seen my first on-water-in-strong-wind reefing attempt last summer… when I tied the sprit into the reefed slab. “WHY does the sail look so weird?”  😂.  Errors are a way for learning to happen… but they also make one feel kinda foolish. 

Oh, and I was OK with my son standing on the cabin… it was only in his driveway. 😁

Looking again at the photos, what you described about height of the tack and making a line on the mast makes perfect sense. I never thought about it before and will do this first thing. Thank you, Steve. 

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