Tag Archives: sailing

How much does it cost to sail around the world – Sue

One of the most popular posts on the blog is about money.  How do people do it?  I know the amount people spend on the high seas differs greatly depending on how much you are willing to rough it, but online there are precious few resources online that can give you actual numbers.  Obviously, finances are a very personal thing.  I’ve asked fellow bloggers who are out there doing it.

This is from a cruising couple from the UK.  They sold their home, and cruise with their savings and income from rental properties.

I think the reason people don’t post info about money is because it’s fairly personal and different people have different ideas on ‘how much does it cost’. For instance we didn’t go into any marinas in Australia because it was way beyond our budget but here in Malaysia it’s much cheaper so we do.  

Again in Australia we didn’t eat out very much but here we do.  We live roughly on a £1000 +/- a month which covers food, marinas, fuel, occasional car hire (again not always in our budget), entrance fees, laundry, custom fees, small hardware bills, that sort of thing.  It doesn’t include big jobs on the boat, flights home (which we don’t go very often) and expenses at home ie management fees for the flats.  If we go on any land travel the boat budget pays for the marina while we are away and eating out, etc but I have a small personal income that we use for the flights and hotels for land travel.  

We know some people who think £1000 a month is a lot of money and others who have pensions, 2nd incomes etc who live on £2500 a month so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer as to ‘how much does it cost’ but I hope that helps.

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Replacing the Cabin Sole

The first steps down into the cabin of Hurry On were met with a squish.  The cabin sole, which had spent a considerable time under water, had perished.  The teak and holly veneer on marine plywood was peeling off to the point it was almost completely separated from the wood.  The high traffic areas, like at the foot of the steps, sunk when trod upon.  There was no bringing it back, it had to be replaced.  Being the type of person who always seems to choose the method that involves the most sweat and cursing, I decided to try to replicate the method being researched by our friends at Joy in the Mooring and artfully carried out here.

Getting the old sole out was pretty simple, most of the screws keeping it down came out easily.  Some of the screws were stripped, but luckily the wood surrounding them was rotten enough to pull it out and then take the screw out with vise grips.

pretty squishy in spots

pretty squishy in spots

Marine plywood has to be shipped to Cape Breton, but it can get get here the next day from Halifax.  I got this piece of Douglas Fir marine ply from Sydney Millwork, for $116, this includes the shipping.  I’ve never really worked with Douglas Fir before, and was therefore, not familiar with its fragile and splintery properties, which caused a few headaches down the road.

I was lucky that the sole of a C&C 27 MkV is a prefect rectangle.  After cutting the pieces to match the original the only modifications were routing the bottom to give it a curved edge, and the four outside corners needed to be rounded slightly.  I was considering making this from two pieces (the main floor and the bilge hatch) of wood instead of 4.  Two pieces would certainly be stronger.  But working with the large piece would be quite unwieldy .  Also, I wasn’t 100% sure the large piece would fit in the boat.  Finally, the original was in 4 pieces, and I’m sure they had their reasons.

Marine Plywood pieces cut out

Marine Plywood pieces cut out

The next step is stain the pieces.  After sanding the entire surface, just to be safe, I used a wood conditioner which ensures a nice even coating to the stain with no blotches.

Stain treatment

Stain treatment

The stain went on evenly for both coats.

English Chestnut Stain, two coats

English Chestnut Stain, two coats

To get the teak and holly look, pieces of white wood are going to be set inside the plywood.  When I got the plywood, I also ordered a long piece of poplar, this would serve as the strips.  Using the poplar as a straight-edge, I ran the router with a 3/8″ bit down the lengths of the plywood at equal intervals.

3/8" trenches about a 1/4" deep

3/8″ trenches about a 1/4″ deep

C&C 27 MkV Cabin Sole

poplar inserted and glued, and pounded

The strips were cut out on a table saw, then refined with a planer.  they were tested for fitting, then glued (plain old wood glue, as my old friend Gorilla Glue tends to expand, and I didn’t want any coming out, as there can be no sanding after this) and tamped.  For the most part, the strips went in flush.  There are a few areas where the are slightly elevated, but just barely noticeable when you pass your hand over it.  Finally, 4 coats of clear varnish, with a light sanding with 320 grit between each coat.

varnished up

varnished up

The bilge hatch

The bilge hatch

Since there is much to do still, installing it  will be one of the last jobs as to avoid the wear and tear for engine and window work.  Or, I may just say ‘frig it’ and cover it with a blanket.

New Cabin Sole

New Cabin Sole

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Making Companionway Drop Boards

After a winter of record snow and record cold, yesterday it reached 12 degrees.  It was amazing.  Motorcycles on the streets, people wearing shorts, and the snowbanks, now all black and gnarly, poured into storm drains.  In a post from last year, I listed some of the items that were projects for over the  winter to get Hurry On ready for the sea.  I put a dent in some of them, most, however, were just too cold to tackle.  One of the projects  was making a replacement for the rotten companionway door.  The bottom of the door had degraded to such an extent that it sunk more than an inch and a half in the grooves leaving a large gap at the top allowing rain in.

Comes with a free oyster shell!

Hard time keeping the weather out of here.

Our last boat, Indefatigable, came with a door problem as well, but once a piece was was replaced, it was better than new.  This was starting from scratch.  The original was a single sheet of half inch marine plywood, with a teak block for a handle.  For the replacement, I was thinking 3/4″ oak and mahogany, on account of teak being impossible to find here, not to mention out of our budget.

I made a lot of mistakes building these doors, and even scrapped it and started all over, so hopefully if you take on a similar project, you can avoid these pitfalls.  If I had to do it all over again, I simply would have cut out a single piece of Lexan, and sanded the edges.  That being said I am quite happy with how this turned out, but it took along time.  My first mistake, was assuming that the companionway opening was square.  Obviously its is not a square, it’s a trapezoid, but it was not a ‘right trapezoid where two sides are exactly the same length, and the other two sides are parallel.   This assumption led to many problems down the line, and many wasted hours.

On the second try, I cut out a piece of cardboard to fit the opening exactly and used this as a template for the new doors.  I would have done this the first time around, bet the old door was missing the bottom, and I foolishly thought that as long as I had the angles, the lengths would take care of themselves.   Onward.

My plan was to make these doors the same as the doors on Indy, as this was the really the only style that I have known.  These were made up of two horizontal pieces (oak in this case) and two diagonal pieces (mahogany) that would make up the edges.  I should also mention I don’t know if I would have been able to do this with out my father’s wonderful array of tools, and word-working know-how.

The first step was to cut a tongue and groove joint for both pieces of oak for each door.  This was done with Da’s shaper.  The pieces were clamped and glued with Gorilla Glue, which so far has never let me down,

Kitchen gluing

Kitchen gluing

 

Solid

The ring grains of the wood inverted to prevent warping

The shape of the door was then cut out, taking into account 4″ of mahogany that would make the edge, and the 1/4″ tongue that would be needed to make the joint.  The mahogany was then fitted with a groove, the oak got the tongue.

Trapazoids!

Trapazoids!

Once the edges were glued on, the were shaped so that they would nicely fit into the companionway opening grooves where the 1/2 plywood once sat.  Where the two boards met, there was a rabbet cut into each piece, so that the top overlapped the bottom to keep out the rain.  The proper angle was then cut into the bottom of the bottom board.  To find the exact place to cut the top piece, I slid the boards into the opening and marked where it met the hatch,  and made the cut conservatively.  I then sanded the top until the hatch slid closed.

edges shaped and glued

edges shaped and glued

It was probably wrong, and I haven’t heard of anyone ever doing this, but I oiled the doors, then varnished them.  I did this on the Indy’s wood three years ago, they they still look new.  If you can tell me why thissis just adding work, or pointless, please do, but I have had fantastic results with this.  After two rounds of teak oil, I applied three coats of Cetol Marine by Sikkens which seems to work great.

Last coat of Cetol Marine

Last coat of Cetol Marine

 

Hard to keep things dust free in this basement

Hard to keep things dust free in this basement

Added a few little vents that I picked up on our last trip to Halifax.  I used a sealant on the top and sides of the vents to keep the water out.  I applied the sealant, and screwed them in almost all the way, after 24 hours, I screwed them in the rest of the was after the sealant had dried in order to create a gasket effect.

The matching grain at the boards' union is pure coincidence.

The matching grain at the boards’ union is pure coincidence.

 

Nice and Snug

I wasn’t planning to do the rest of the wood this year, but…..

 

It fits!

It fits!

Next on the agenda, tackling the ol’ sole!

102_9274

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Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder

I am pretty thankful for fellow sail bloggers in the Southern Hemisphere.   While I have only ventured out to Hurry On a few times a week to knock accumulating snow and ice from her cover,  I can follow along with others as they go on day trips off New Zealand, or spend a few weeks trekking to the Marquesas.  But winter is not a total loss, it’s a good time to get some self-education done.

When it comes to engines, I would say I know slightly less that your average Canadian man.   And considering I grew up in a small village on the East Coast, I know considerably less than the average Cape Bretoner.   That’s why the diesel engine tucked away in Hurry On’s underbelly makes me so nervous.  Outboards, like the one on Indy, were pretty simple devices.  Small, light, manageable, and if there was ever a problem, you just pop’em off, take it home in the car and work on it in the back yard.

I have to get all learned up on diesel engines.  For the last month or so I’ve been reading Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder.

Marine Diesel Engines

Because I consider myself to be starting from scratch, I appreciate how the book starts with basic theory.  The difference between gas and diesel engines, and how engines work on a very basic level.  It doesn’t take long before you get into the nitty gritty of the more complex components.

I’m only halfway through the book, but already, Calder has pulled away the veil and demystified much of the engine and its various parts.  I remember over the years seeing an engine that would spew black smoke, and thinking “Uh oh.  The engine is broken.”  But now I know black smoke means unburnt fuel.  Why is there unburnt fuel?  Too much to burn?  Not enough air to burn it all?

I’ve just arrived to the chapter on winterization.  A bit late, but now I’ll know for next year.

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Indefatigable Log Book – June 25

Date – June 25, 2014

Conditions – Sunny, wind brisk

On Board – Rob, Erika, Frances, Charlie

Duration – 1 hour

I suppose this was our test voyage.  Up until now, whenever we were to sail, we would have either my, or Erika’s, parents look after Charlie (1) and Frances (4).  Here we are at the start of a new season, and who knows, perhaps we can all go out together?

We had mixed results.  Both kids packed their colourful sailing bags with the toys they thought they would play with.  (they’re great!  A coworker gave them to Erika now that her children are grown.)

Frances did great, wore her life jacket with no fuss, and spent most of the time in the cabin, occasionally sticking her head out the forward hatch to say hello to those in the cockpit.

Charlie proved to be a bit more of a challenge.  He wasn’t keen on the life jacket, or the tether, and spent most of the time bouncing around the cockpit.   He was under constant supervision, so that took away one person from sailing the boat.  At one point he climbed up and stood on the tiller (being braced by Erika) while looking over the stern.  We pretty much decided then that Charlie may need some more time before he’s ready.

In town that day was the US Coast Guard training vessel, tall ship Eagle.  We went for a tour of her the next day, and met her impressive crew.  Things were so hectic, we only managed one pic!

 

IMG_0879

US Coast Guard Tall Ship Eagle

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Winch Refurb – Lewmar 6 Single Speed

Ever spruce up your winches?  Apparently this is something that should be done annually.  I’ve heard manufacturers recommend twice a year.  I have never opened one up, and had absolutely no idea what the heck was inside them and what made them work.

Frances, (who just turned 4!) and I were up on Indy while she sat in the trailer in our driveway, for a little bit of a tidy before launch.  She spun the winch and asked ‘what’s this for daddy?’  I noticed that there was no ticka-ticka-ticka during the spin.  It was quiet.  I tried the others, they all sounded ok, but I decided I would have to figure out how to get these in better shape.

Looks fine enough.  But who knows what's going on in there.

Looks fine enough. But who knows what’s going on in there.

 

Popping off the top, you can see this is not going to be pretty.

Popping off the top, you can see this is not going to be pretty.

Inside are small pawls, being propped up by tiny springs.  These pawls were all gummed up, rusty, and dirty.

The pawls on the bottom haven't fared any better over the years.

The pawls on the bottom haven’t fared any better over the years.

 

Lewmar 6 Winch

The only things I used in all of this was a scouring pad, mineral spirits, grease, and a few replacement pawl springs.  Everything was taken apart, cleaned, greased, and reassembled.

After wipe-down

After wipe-down

Lewmar 6 Winch

Moving smoothly, ticka-ticka-ticka

Moving smoothly, ticka-ticka-ticka

Lewmar 6 Winch

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Essential Navigation and Seamanship

Over the last number for weeks, when rambunctious toddlers konked out upstairs, Erika and I would break out our charts, plotter and dividers, and settle in to do the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship course.  It’s designed for the complete beginner, starting with nautical terminology, and advancing to calculating the best place to moor with 10kt winds from the north and a 2kt ESE current because of spring tide.

It was a fun and informative way to spend the cold wintery evenings, and kind of sad that it is all over.  Our new education has given us the renewed confidence to try another trip to the Bras D’Or this summer which didn’t go too well back in 2012.

It also got us thinking about other educational options available.  The next step, through RYA, would be the Dayskipper courses, which come in a shore-based theory portion, and a five day liveaboard practical section.  Through Discovery Sailing on the mainland, (one of two RYA training centres in Canada),  we had the option of taking the practical portion in August of this year.  As tempting as it was, with Charlie still nursing,  five days ( plus a day travel time both there and back) was a bit too long to be away from the kiddos.   By June 2015 we should be ready to roll.

Since we’re looking ahead to next year, why stop there?  In 2016, why not charter a boat in the Caribbean?  From the limited amount of research on this, the British Virgin Islands seems the place to start this adventure, because of the many harbours, great weather, and mostly all line of sight navigation.   Never too early to start planning I say!

Essential Navigation Seamanship

The New Navigators

 

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