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Core Sound 20 Mark III #3 "Skeena"


Steve W
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Last Saturday my daughter and I launched Skeena in St Michaels, MD and spent two nights aboard, sailing with 7 other boats, leaving Monday before the rain. Her are a few pics. 16706.thumb.jpg.38e057f2cbd4f83a3483234adffb3d95.jpg

 

Skeena was amazing. I continue to get used to her. I do plan on changing the hatch to a sliding one like Chick and Amos. I'll discuss this later.

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Getting to spend a couple of days with my daughter is always special. Before we spent time sailing we were in DC checking out law schools!

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I felt a little guilty having a cabin, but not too guilty......

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We were all vaccinated. Yeah!

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There was very little our last day, but I had to try the mizzen staysail. About the time I got her out it started raining, so I never had time to play much.......

 

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Life's good. Let the summer begin!

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About the hatch. When I built Skeena, the hatch design wasn't finished. I sort of copied Graham's, but my solar panel was different, so it's a bit different. After living with it for awhile I don't like it. To go up through the fore-hatch requires me to un-dog it and it wants to close unless I tighten the supports. While I have all my lines leading aft, the anchor roller, the forward reef ties and an occasional snag have required me to go on the fore deck, which is flat-out dangerous. I really liked the idea of the trench hatch, but I have decided that Chick's sliding hatch which Amos also used might be better. quick to open and shut, no interference with the mainsail are all the reasons I plan to make the switch.  I think that standing on the bunk filler I made should allow me to tie the reef lines, and deplyo the anchor from the safety of the hatch. Amos and Chick and anyone else.....thoughts?

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I can reef and anchor through the fore hatch. I like  the simplicity of just sliding it back.  Surprisingly (to me at least) they don't leak in rain.

 

My favorite feature is that while lying in the berth, I can open and close both hatches without getting up (the fore hatch by reaching up with my hand,  and the aft hatch with my foot).

 

The disadvantage is that both hatches can't be fully open at the same time. (They can both be partially opened).

Edited by AmosSwogger
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/6/2021 at 7:06 PM, AmosSwogger said:

I can reef and anchor through the fore hatch. I like  the simplicity of just sliding it back.  Surprisingly (to me at least) they don't leak in rain.

 

My favorite feature is that while lying in the berth, I can open and close both hatches without getting up (the fore hatch by reaching up with my hand,  and the aft hatch with my foot).

 

The disadvantage is that both hatches can't be fully open at the same time. (They can both be partially opened).

I hated to take the time during sailing season, but all of Amos's points are good ones, and the only negative is the lack of "scoop" effect. I'll rig up some kind of canvas alternative to  keep the breeze all night, even in rain as the previous hatch did. I am much further along, but here is an early pic. I made two rails and the plywood hatches and fit them nicely. They slide real good. I imagined myself forward working the anchor, moving my down-haul, tying reefs, and that seems really great. My tip up hatch made that difficult as un-dogging it took too long and it tipping up into the sail path was problematic.  Early in the process: 47894202_2021-05-2916_42_17.thumb.jpg.88e341f379b3a0ac64e671f418ee81bd.jpg

 

I'll take another pic tonight, because the "garage" that spans the rails and holds the solar panel is done. I can route my panel without having a need to hinge the wires. The downside is a dodger is no longer in my future, unless it is created to be at the aft of the garage.

 

And lastly, I had to trim down the forward coming that was already epoxied in place. My orbital sander with 60 grit made short work of it.

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I built mine with the forward sliding hatch and we have been happy with it.  It slides on starboard slides in pieces of B&B sail track.  We have had it out in pretty rough weather and hasn’t leaked and it is large enough for me to wiggle through…….but Carol is the usual anchor deployment crew.

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  • 1 month later...

Back in 2015, I purchased Core Sound 20 Mark III boat number 3. It's turned out to be a great boat and I've had some wonderful adventures with Skeena. At the time I purchased the plans, the only designing not quite done was the hatch. There was a lot of discussion back then. Graham and Alan eventually finished the design, but I'd already proceeded with my own design, which was sort of like Graham's, which I'd seen I think at the MASCF. The sliding aft part was excellent, but I was never quite satisfied with the front.

 

To open, I had to un-dog it on both sides with screws. And then open it and tighten the prop hardware. I liked it as it provided a nice fresh breeze when cracked open at night, but I didn't like the speed of opening and the fact it opened into the sail path. It was awkward to get out to use the anchor. A few times on the Chesapeake this spring I sent my daughter forward on top of the cabin and it was then that I decided to change it.

 

I had seen Jay, Amos and Chick's sliding designs, and I decided I liked the safety of a slider. In order to keep my solar panel, and because I'd already cut a hole for the old hatch, here is what I came up with over a few beers anchored on the Myles River near St.Michaels a month and a half ago, while talking to some of my friends. 1448326949_2021-07-0613_52_02.thumb.jpg.40f8ca6799c778c0b5bbac7cdb9dec18.jpg

 

She's a slider like Chick designed, but there is a garage over the middle part to hold my solar panel. The hatches run in a full length groove. There is a stopper cleat on the aft of the front hatch and the fore of the aft hatch. There are six weep holes that let water exit from the rails.

I made it out of Mahogany, which is a bit heavily that the pine I used before, but I used less of it, so there is that. I hate bright-work, but it sure looks sweet. The rest is Spanish cedar. You can walk on any of it.
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I trimmed the old hatch coming down using a sander, to a line. For that I had to clear the cabin.
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In this picture you can see the inset magnets I used to latch the slider. I bedded 7 pairs of strong magnets I bought, on both the hatch and it's slot. Sliding the hatch forward snaps it shut. I didn't love the idea as I thought it would interfere with my compass, but my son Teddy told me it would be fine and he was right. I won't shoot a mark with my handheld compass up there. If there is a downside, it takes a bit of strength to pop it open. I have a actual latch to use for security I'll install tonight. I can reach the anchor gear easily from here, and get the sail lugs started, etc. Nice and secure.
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Open. Amos mentioned he was surprised his hatch was waterproof. We had a torrential rain storm and the lid pooled over a half inch. No leaks! I had some doubts, but I even dumped a five gallon bucket over it. No ingress.
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Inside. My bug screen still works with no mods. I routed a pull into the hatch.
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Solar wires. I like that the wiring is now fixed to the solar system. My son Teddy 3-D printed me a cover for the old setup but it won't work so he's printing another one to protect the wires.
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Aft. Pretty similar to the old design, with the addition of the recess to push/pull when the hatch board is in.
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My favorite part. If you shove the aft hatch forward, it closes the front hatch, and the magnets latch it. I suspect my kids will sit up there on the edge, or poke their head out like a tank commander. The only downside is the lack of ventilation. I have an idea, but let's test what I got first.

I noticed in Graham's epic journey, he had figured a way to deploy his anchor from the cockpit. I'm curious to hear his solution. That will be next. I have a lot of trips planned and it's good to get this small project that took way longer than it should have done.

 

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I love this boat.

 

Take Care,

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thrillsbe, I was apprehensive about the latch, but it's far enough forward not to matter at all. I did alternate the 7 pairs of button magnets!

 

On another note, wooden boats are just so easily modifiable. I added what my friend Andy calls "beer fiddles" to the mizzen support as shown. My Yeti mug sits right in there like a champ, with the sheet holding it captive.  Being only half circles solves the drainage issue. I's all about the cup-holders.....

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  • 1 month later...

I haven't sailed as much this summer as I wish. Work and weather have conspired against me. The few times I did get out I got a bit too much sun. And I had my son Andrew sleep on the aft seats one night on Conesus Lake and in the morning the dew was so heavy it looked like it rained on his sleeping bag.

 

I had decided not to put in a dodger as others have. I just don't sail in weather that dictates one. But at anchor shade is desirable and protection from rain and dew more so.

 

I played around with some awning ideas and here is what I came up with.

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My son Teddy sewed it up for me. He left for his second year of college at Clarkson University, all I had to do was string it up. It allows me to leave the companionway hatch open at night and also keeps the dew off the seats forward of the mizzen mast.

 

There are three poles that give it shape. It pops up in a couple of minutes and the poles are just shock corded tent poles. It folds up to about the size of a shoe-box. It can be rolled up assembled with the tent poles in and shoved below or strapped to the cabin top. I'm pretty happy with it. It will be nice to have some shade later in the day at anchor. It can also be strung low in the front if the rain is driving.

 

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Negatives: It does shade the solar panel, but my 50 watt panel seems to give me more juice than I need and the sunny times of the day I'll be sailing. Also, it will be interesting to see how it affects hunting at anchor. The good news is yesterday we had 20 knot winds and I left it strung up in the yard and it didn't seem to mind.

 

If the weather cooperates, I'm planning to take a week off and sail the Chesapeake the last week in September, sailing to the MASCF in St Michaels. Hope to see you there!

 

Take Care,

Steve

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got back from the MASCF Sunday. What a trip and what a boat! Skeena was amazing. I slept on her 8 nights in a row and wished I could have stayed longer. 

 

Here's the journey:

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Looking back at the bridge we went under:

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I was with my friend Doug and his Marsh Cat. We started at Sandy Point State Park and Gunkholed in Mill Creek.

 

Sunday we went to Annapolis and had lunch and stopped at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Video to come.

 

On Monday we crossed over the Bay to Annapolis. Skeena was a rocket-ship. It was a thrill ride but I never felt uneasy. Entering St Michaels I saw a pair of Bald Eagles perching on a channel marker.
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Tuesday I helped my Friend Tom move some boats around in preparation of the MASCF.

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Wednesday we joined an excursion to a winery up in Cox Creek. It was light sailing, but I had my friend Joe sail with me which made it better. The CLC boats got a good head start, but we caught them and sailed to within 200 yards of the dock before the wind died.

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Thursday we headed to the Gunkhole at Wye Island. Lot's of singing and laughing and maybe a bit of Whiskey.

 

Friday it was back to St Michaels, home to the filming of "Wedding Crashers" which I couldn't resist the maritime edition, tacking at the break-wall, much to everyone's amusement.

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The Festival was it's usual amazing time. So many friend, boats, music, workshops.

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The only sad part was I didn't do real well in the race. I got a great start, and was heading on a run in 4th place, thinking I should be catching the boats in front of me. On the 2nd leg I lost some ground, even though it as a reach. And on the final leg, upwind, I not only pinched, but picked the wrong side of the course. I got passed b a lot of boats and finished poorly.

 

I felt bad as I was the only B & B boat at the festival. I was kicking myself, but in the morning when I went to pull the boat out, I found the tank was full of water. My bailer had leaked and I had a heck of a lot of extra weigh those other boats weren't carrying. Pretty stupid for me not to check. I do feel like I need some lessons from Graham and Alan to get better sail shape (my battens might be too tight and my sprits are too short), but  I had a lot of fun, and that is what counts.

 

I don't think I'll make the Messabout this year unless I fly. But next year I will be in "pre-retirement" and plan on making a week or more of it, living on the boat like last week. 

 

Take Care,

Steve

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Amos,

 

The bay crossing was exciting, but in a really good way. Doug and I got a late start crossing as I had a Zoom meeting for work that morning. Doug got some ice from a marina while I worked, so by the time we poked out of the Rhodes river it was 11 and the wind was freshening. The first 1/3 of the crossing was just joyful with full sail and not much chop, and then the wind freshened to the point I decided to put the first reef in. Doug already had one in and radioed that he was getting wet with spray and decided to put in a second one in his Marsh Cat. Without a Mizzen, that is an adventure, so I just hung out until he was underway again. I did take an occasional little splash, but remained relatively dry and now Skeena was in her element.

 

There are a few zigs in the map in my previous post where I had to go back to wait for Doug. These were purposely inefficient tacks with luffing. Here's the last pic of the sea conditions I took:

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That pic is low res, but the boat on the left is the Gaff rigged Marsh Cat. I think that is Poplar Island on the left and probably Kent Point on the right. I'd been flying at 7+ and this is the second blip where I went back to be a better wingman. For the record, my boat has 5 feet more of waterline and is much faster and water ballasted and decked. But those Marsh Cats are very capable and Doug is an excellent and cautious sailor.

 

We tucked into Tilghman Creek and took a lunch break. By now the wind was shifting to south/southwest, so I stayed in the lee of the western shore of the Miles river. I got to St Michaels at around 6:30 and the wind had lightened and I just sailed around the harbor while Doug caught up. I didn't really want the day to end.

 

I put up the tent and that thing is gold. It kept the heavy dew off the seats forward of the mizzen, let me leave the hatch open at night (too cold for bugs) and gave me great shade all week. I never disassembled it as it fits below just rolled up and rigs in two minutes.

 

I keep a list of improvements and I came home with just three.

  • The dreaded too short sprit. I made mine two inches longer than the plans and I had trouble de-powering by flattening. I'm going to move the main sprit to the mizzen and make a new main sprit.
  • I'm going to add a bilge pump to empty the tank. I have one rigged to fill it and it's whisper quiet. Those two-way pumps are noisy and expensive, so I'm just going to add another cheap bilge pump and wire a two-way switch for in and out. There may need to be a second valve. Winter is time for this kind of thing. I feel bad about my poor race performance, but I know the full tank in those light breezes was partially responsible.
  • The second is to figure a way to plug the cockpit drains. I had six people in the boat and the guys in the back got wet feet. Also, when I was in Annapolis I had to back out of a spot for quite a long time in reverse and a bit of water was pushed in. When I was building the boat I had considered just putting a PVC ball valve in tubes. Whatever I do, this is a low priority.

I do want to sail with Alan and/or Graham to figure out how to get more out of my sails. But the messabout just isn't in the cards this year due to work. But next year, knock on wood, I'll take a bunch of time off.

 

All in all, it was a great week. Best thing was that there wasn't any other boats I coveted. Skeena is just a fantastic boat.

 

 

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