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Time to get on with some serious small boat cruising...

>01-01-2010 - Happy New Year!  I've got some ideas about cruising more this year on Lake Erie.  I'd like to plan a sailing trip to Geneva-on-the-Lake.  Why there?  It's where the previous owners kept my boat.  There should be several places along the way to stop and explore.

Another destination is Maumee Bay State Park.  That's a good 60 miles from Sandusky, but definitely possible.  Depending on the weather I may be able to continue on to Toledo.
I also have a spinnaker now courtesy of an ebay auction.  It's for a J/24, but should work great for my boat.  I'll be posting the progress of this project as I add all the rigging.

I'm in! The Rattlesnake Island Sailaway that is. SYC says I'm boat #30 of 30. The week of July 4th. The weather better be great!


Spinnaker 1: Getting Started 

I started by looking at how best to attach the spinnaker head to the mast and have the halyard run internal.  I started a pretty lively discussion on the forum when I posed the question of "How do spinnakers usually attach on a fractional rig".  I got some pretty good guidance after some prodding.  I'm adding another sheave in the masthead and placing a swivel block on the front of the mast, 6" above the forestay.  The turning blocks for the sheets will attach to the stern rail seats.

Spinnaker Drawing
RF30174 Halyard Block

Spinnaker 2: Installing Rigging

I spent today, 1-9-10, adding rigging for my spinnaker.  I have the downhaul blocks & fairleads installed.  I got the swivel block riveted to the mast and the masthead sheave installed.  The chase rope is in the mast just waiting for a halyard to pull through.  I mounted the pole track on the front of the mast.  Check out the pics of my progress.  The lines are just for demonstration and will have smaller lines installed when completed.

Ronstan Swivel Block
Harken Carbo Ratchet Blocks

>2-28-2010 - I finally made the little cabinet I've been putting off for a couple years. It's made of ply with a teak door and teak trim. There's a shelf in the middle. Now I have a better place to store smaller items, and it will be easy to reach when in the v-berth.


>3-10-2010 - It's time for tuning up the outboard.  I replaced the plugs, oil, gear lube, impeller and prop.  This is the first time I've replaced the impeller and it was due.  One vane was broken and luckily the piece was still there.  The prop has been becoming more pitted each year.  I originally throught it was due to the PO leaving it in the water while at the dock.  I don't do that, but it has continued to get worse.  It's getting very thin in places.  I wanted to replace with a duel thrust prop, but my F8 has 7 splines and the T8 has 8.  I'm wondering if the T8 is a 9.9 lower end with the 8hp power head.  So for now I replaced the prop with one of the same size, 8 1/2x7 1/2.

>04-30-2010 - Purr'n is in the water! Debbie's parents, Bill & Doris, helped us setup and launch on Friday. It was pretty breezy (20mph), but almost 80 degrees made it ok.

>05-01-2010 - Busy day opening our pool and getting ready for the ball. As new members, Debbie & I went the SYC Commodores' Ball on Saturday evening. We had a lot of fun meeting new faces and enjoyed the wonderful meal & dancing.

> 5-15-2010 - Debbie & I spent the day on the boat with our cat Beau. He did really well. Upon returning to the boat the very first time, Beau hopped right on, as if to announce "Ahh, here's my boat". He curled up in the v-berth when we took him out for a test sail around the bay.

> 5-22-2010 - Not such a great weekend. It started out fine on Saturday. Then Saturday night/Sunday morning I awoke to the urge to vomit. Four hours later I was worn out and dehydrated. I don't know what it was, but I don't want it again. So Sunday was a bust and I missed the Yachtmans Brunch at SYC. I did manage to get on the list for the Rattlesnake Island Sail-away.

> 6-1-2010 - What a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  I missed most of Saturday at the lake, but arrived in time for the Prime Rib & Seafood Buffet @SYC and a sail at sunset. Sunday I sailed out of the bay in the morning toward Marblehead, and on toward Kellys when the wind died. I was followed by Bill & Jan, so I motored over to them to wait out the wind. Jan lost her hat, which I retrieved. No wind for sailing, yet somehow enough wind was available to blow her hat off. Once the wind picked up we all sailed toward CP. I continued on to the water tower on CP Road, while Bill & Jan headed back toward Marblehead. The sail back from the water tower was most enjoyable. With the sails adjusted and the tiller locked down I was able to sit on the bow dangling my feet in the oncoming waves. For about twenty minutes I was a kid again. Heading toward the channel was downwind and seemed so slow. So I tried out my spinnaker, first time I've hoisted it, without a pole. It was pretty cool and while not flying at it's optimum it did improve boat speed noticably. A nice gurgle could be heard from the stern. Retrieving wasn't too bad although I did get it a little wet. So the halyard & swiveling cam cleat worked well from the cockpit and the sheets were long enough and the turning rachet blocks seem to be effective. My sail bag got a bit wet when it fell over the side after launching. I had it tied to the deck, but it's a big bag. I may want to look at other options for launching. Monday I headed over to SYC to use the library WiFi and then uptown to the fish place for a perch sandwich combo. A long nap was called for after lunch. I woke in time to clean up and put away before the rain came.   

>06-21-2010 - A really nice weekend. I sailed over to the beach at Cedar Point on Saturday and limed around all day. Grabbed a bowl of chili & Corona at SYC in the evening. Bill, Jan & I sailed North on Sunday. We turned around at the Canadian border and headed West around the North side of Kellys Island. We had pretty nice wind until we reached Marblehead. A splash in the pool felt good after a long day in the sun. Afterwards we feasted on pizza.

>06-27-2010 - PIB sail weekend was a success! Steve & I tried out the spinnaker on the way, which gave us 5-6 knots in light wind. We rafted up with two larger sailboats at B Dock, one a 30' Catalina from Battery Park. We watched team USA fall to Ghuana on Frosty's large screen while stuffing ourselves with pizza. It was quite an interesting evening, but you know what they "what happens at PIB, stays at PIB". We had to motor all the way home Sunday morning. My new dual power fan worked great too. It was Pirate Weekend at the bay so Steve brought his pirate hat.

Pirate Steve

>07-05-2010 - I sailed in the bay on Saturday. The wind was light & god knows. It changed direction on me several times, once while I had the spinnaker deployed. Very hot Saturday and Sunday. I tried out the pool at SYC and had a picnic lunch. On Sunday, Debbie brought her parents down for the SYC cookout and CP fireworks. We motored over to CP to watch the fireworks from the water, and had a good time. I ran home to mow yard and get ready for our vacation cruise to the islands. My 50A power connector came in the mail on Saturday, so we should be good for Rattlesnake Island.  

>07-10-2010 - Wow, what a week! On Tuesday, Debbie & I went to Kelleys. We wandered all over the island and enjoyed the local food & drink, staying a night at Portside Marina. On Wednesday we headed for PIB to have lunch and gas up, then on to Rattlesnake Island. We arrived at RIC around 3pm. RIC was just perfect for two nights. The weather was hot, 90+ degrees, but it was a lot of fun to go on our first SYC Sail-Away and to meet so many members. We waited for the storms to pass Friday morning, and then surfed back to Sandusky at 7 knots. Here's a link to some pics on the Sailboat Owners website - .

Purr'n liming at Portside Marina, Kelleys Island.

>07-18-2010 - I sailed all three days this weekend. SYC had their regatta this weekend as well. I sailed in the "Great Sailboat Race" and had a blast. I didn't win, but I wasn't last either. Lots of stuff to do this weekend, and met lots of new faces. Rode on John Py's Lyman in the boat parade, that was fun.

>08-01-2010 - Debbie & I sailed with our cat Beau on Sunday.  Dylan and Diane were coming in as we were going out.  Diane has not met Debbie and after a year had decided that Debbie was only in my imagination. Debbie officially exists now!  The bay was pretty choppy and the wind was light, so we did our fair share of bobbing around.  Beau got a little sea sick down in the cabin.  He did much better once we brought him up into the cockpit.  This is the second time out now that I have slip neighbors.  I really don't like having a boat right next to me much.  Especially since they ran into Purr'n during their first docking attempt.  Three guys in the cockpit, no fenders, no boat hook, no one on the bow with a line, no thought of others.  Rant over.

>08-08-2010 - I sailed on Sunday around Middle Bass Island and the West side of South Bass.  Great wind most of the time.  Got fooled into using the spinnaker for about 10 minutes, then had to pull the plug when the wind shifted.  Arrived back in the bay as the sun was setting.  A perfect end to a wonderful day on the lake.

Perfect end to a wonderful day

>08-22-2010 - I moved Purr'n over to the Sandusky Yacht Club this weekend. I tried out a dock for the weekend, and decided to move from Battery Park to SYC for the rest of the season and for 2011. It rained most of Saturday.

My new slip at SYC, C-14.

> 09-13-2010 - I got to the boat @noon on Saturday with the idea of sailing to Vermilion before  the storms roll in. The first storm went around me the second didn't look too good on radar, so I pulled into Huron for the evening just as the rain started. I managed to catch the last 3 minutes of the OSU-Miami game at I-5's while enjoying some jerk chicken. Sunday morning seemed like it would be a lazy wind day so I repacked my spinnaker with hopes of flying. I was entirely wrong! The wind was brisk heading out of the Huron River. Sailing to Vermilion was awesome surfing along the building rollers. I averaged 6+ knots and saw as high as 8.6 knots. Once at Vermilion, I had lunch at a nice little grill downtown and visited the maritime museum. The wind and waves where stout when I left Vermilion. The day was clear and I could see the Cleveland skyline in the distance. Someday I'll make it there. I sailed into the wind at 5.5 knots toward CP with a reefed main & full jib. I was making pretty good progress until the wind practically died near Huron. About a mile past Huron I had to fire up the outboard to make it back to Sandusky. My fun was over.

Leaving Sandusky Bay, heading to Huron
Public docks at Vermilion

>10-10-2010 - Wow! What a nice weekend. I came up on Friday, a nice fall day with blue sky and 10mph winds from the West.  I sailed out to Marblehead Lighthouse and back.  The lake was really nice without the powerboat chop. Saturday I sailed to the West end of the bay and used my spinnaker to make the return run as the wind was diminishing.  Debbie and Mia (her cat) came up Saturday afternoon, so we went for a sail in the bay.  Mia did real well.  She didn't seem to mind that she was on a boat.  At one point she was sitting on the stern watching the bubbles.  Debbie & I had dinner at the club before she headed out.  On Sunday I sailed the bay, doing my best to keep up with boats besting me by 10 foot of waterline.  I had an awesome time sailing along with a Hunter 356 in the Western end of the bay. The Hunter was faster, but I could point higher by 3-4 degrees. I also sailed with a new Catalina 25, at least until I pulled away. I tried out my spinnaker again.  All the way down the bay.  I had a hard time keeping it filled, so I need to keep practicing and learning. Some things I tried seemed to work better. It definitely puts speed in Purr'n down wind. I bought this spinnaker to learn how to fly one, and it has some patches from previous owners. Since I'm getting the hang of it, as I can lauch and retreive single-handedly, maybe I'll look for a colorful one for next year. This is my last weekend before haulout. It's been a wonderful three days.

>10-13-2010 - Well it's time to haulout. Debbie, her parents Bill & Doris, and I came up on Wednesday to pull Purr'n. It was a sunny no wind day. Perfect for pulling the boat. Too perfect. All went well until we lowered the mast. It turns out that the hatch can not be slid full forward when lowering the mast. The vang attachment made a nice hole right through the hatch. It's repairable, but it made me sick. I must have been lucky in years past. A few years ago I forgot to unplug the mast wiring. I now have a large note on the mast support to remind me of the wires. So I'll need to add a similar note regarding the hatch. I got her powerwashed and put away in my shop for the winter. I need to get some stitching done on the jib Sunbrella and replace the dog clutch in my outboard before next season.

Salt Free

I've been placed on a low-sodium diet to help with my inner ear problem.  So this year of sailing I'll be coming up with a new boating menu.

Breakfast: Eggs, Kashi ceral, fresh fruits
Lunch: Fresh fruits
Dinner: Lean meats, fresh vegatables

I can see myself visiting the farmers market frequently.  The regiment has helped significantly so I'll just have to adjust.

Sailing is a lot like running a dirt latemodel on the cushion.