Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Plan Winter 2014-15

The Plan, The Map....
Our Winter Cruising Plan is on the LAUNCH PAD. We are loading up and we will be moving to the the Annapolis MD Boat Show on Wed/Thur. Then Team Island Spirit will be starting our 4th year of cruising. After the boat show we will head south with the flock of boats, and several IPs. Our Buddy boats will be IP38 MOONDANCE with owners Bob and Nina and IP380 PRIORITY with owner Reuben onboard. We will take the AICW, The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway South to Florida.

We will spend time (lay days) in:
Portsmouth VA, South Ferry Basin
Elizabeth City, NC, city dock
Oriental, NC, anchor in town
Beaufort NC, Greg & Kate ? done!
Wrightsville Beach, NC, anchor
Charleston, SC, Maritime Center
Vero Beach, FL, Mooring balls
Biscayne Bay, FL, Coconut Grove/Dinner Key
Florida Keys, HCC? Explore Keys?

Once in Florida, we plan to re-explore Biscayne Bay and the keys as well as the west coast of Florida where we hope to reconnect with Buddy boat IP420 FLATLANDER, Alan and Kathy, and others. After some time on the west coast returning to Palmetto, Sarasota, Fort Meyers Beach, Marco Island, and maybe the Dry Tortugas. Then we will prep for the Bahamas as we move back around to the east coast again.

on the Launch Pad, our home dock
This year, we may just simply return to the ABACOS via West End, Great Sale Cay, Green Turtle Club and the WHALE to Marsh Harbor and the JIB ROOM. Once there we will sail to Hope Town and climb that beautiful lighthouse and enjoy the peace and calm of the ABACOS. Life is easy there.

After spending springtime, mid March and April in the Abacos, we will look for a weather window to make the run for the Chesapeake Bay, our home waters by the third week of May 2015. (We need to make a family vacation end of May)

Our IP Community Web Site, 5,300+ Photos
This is our over all plan for this year. A review of many of our favorite places we have found, and a return to re-discover the beauty and fun of these area. We also want to reconnect with many IP owners. So many places, so many IP owners to connect with along this cruise.

We look forward to connecting, and sharing some harbors with you. We also invite you to sail along any part you can. We could get a fleet together and all head to the Abacos for a month. It is easy, it is close, it is beautiful in the springtime. If you go to the Bahamas in the winter, Dec-Feb, then you need to go SOUTH at least to Georgetown to get below the winter cold fronts. If going to the Abacos, then it is best to wait until spring and go in March and April and May. But then again, May is the best time to head up the East Coast, so you need to plan your Abacos exit back to the coast.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Short Haul 2014

Always exciting to see our yacht in the slings....
So what is a "Short Haul?" A short haul (out) means hiring a marina to lift your boat up and out of the water and then place it on the land with jack stands for a short period of time in order for you or the marina to service the yacht. Common needed yacht services are: 1. The bottom cleaned and re-painted to slow down the accumulation of barnacles and marine growth. 2. Clean and wax the top sides, the part above the water to the deck, the hull. 3. Service the propeller and the propeller shaft. 4. Clean and wax or paint the boot stripe. These are the primary services needed to be completed on a yacht once a year or every other year. For us, it has been three years since we last painted the bottom. We use a very expensive paint ($250 per gallon!) called Petit Trinidad  which has 60.5% copper mixed into the paint. The copper prevents marine life from attaching to the bottom. This is a hard paint which does not wear away into the water. We prefer this kind of paint because we do not like the idea of applying a gallon or two of paint to the bottom and then having it deliberately wear away into the water. This seems to us to be a bad idea. We like to keep our paint on the bottom!

This is the bottom with some marine growth.
With the weather being nearly perfect, we decided to haul out now and accomplish these tasks over three days. Day one, we washed and waxed the hull. The boat was thoroughly compounded and waxed by the Island Packet Yachts factory team in November, so we decided to only wax the hull this time. This took us about 5-6 hours. The yard wanted $650 to wax the boat. The next day, we painted the bottom with two gallons of Pettit Trinidad Blue paint. This is a rather quick and easy job, as long as your arms and shoulders hold up. Using a broom handle and a paint roller, you stand back and reach under the yacht to paint the keel and under belly. But, remember, the paint is 60% copper and copper is HEAVY, so your paint roller takes on the weight of about a bag of sugar. After an hour of levering this 5 lb roller up and down, spreading the paint onto the hull, you never want to see a paint roller again!

The prop with PropSpeed applied
After painting the bottom, we decided to apply a sealant to the propeller. We sanded and cleaned the blades of the propeller and then applied a two part sealant from New Zealand known as PropSpeed. Once the etching compound is coated, then you quickly apply the top clear coat to seal the surface. This product then makes the propeller so smooth and non porous that marine growth cannot attach to the surface. A clean prop saves fuel and makes the boat moyor faster. We have used this product before and it lasts easily over a year, maybe two. It is not cheap, but then again, nothing in boating is cheap.

The $5.99 boot stripe paint, it works!

The final job we completed was to sand and re-paint the boot stripe. We have had bids on doing this job for $1,000, so we have been doing it ourselves using a $5.99 can of spray paint called KRYLON FUSION. It is for plastics. Guess what, our boat is plastic, fiberglass, so it WORKS!  This will last about 3-4 years and it is so easy to do. We simply sand the boot stripe with 320 grit (400-600 would be good also) then we tape it off and wipe with denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner to clean off any wax or dirt. Dry it, dust it and then spray it. This takes about 30-45 minutes for the entire yacht. Easy, easy job.

Our final work will be the second coat of bottom paint around the waterline. The marina also has to move the jack stands which will allow us to paint the area under the pads. Then we plan to touch up some varnish and be re-launched back in the water. At this point the boat is ready to HEAD SOUTH for cruising year #4. YAHOOOOOOO!!

The marine travel lift at Haven Harbour, they do a great job
Job #1, power washing the bottom to clean off the growth
This takes one marina employee about an hour
Drive the yacht across the yard to a parking place. Total remote control
Time to get to work....Radeen jumps right in and begins the clean up
Standing on scaffolding, we use buffers to wax the hull, 

Look how shiny this 20 year old boat is now...WOW

Perspective: Our car parked under the bow of the boat.

Time to wax the other side, this side is in the sun....HOT

The prop: 17" dia x 14" pitch, Michigan Wheel, Dyna Jet....works great.
No folding prop for us. Been there, removed that...

Radeen working on painting the bottom of the keel, hard working girl.
PropSpeed product, two parts, one etches into the prop, the other seals it

A completed prop with PropSpeed and Radeen cleaning up

Thanks to Ed L.. KRYLON FUSION paint for the boot stripe
Works well and it only costs $5.99

Sand, wipe, tape, spray it....FINISHED in about an hour!

Easy to spray, easy to do

Our work space, with  thework ladder and shelf
All I can say here is....KA-CHING $$$$$

There it is, now you know all you need to know about yacht services on the hard. Haul it out, wash it, wax it, paint it, seal it, varnish it, relaunch it, .... and set sail. DONE. We were hauled out on Wed at 9am, we will be relaunching on Friday at 2-3 PM. Thank you for sailing along with us!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fort McHenry, Blue Angels, Fireworks

Fort McHenry, Oh Say Can you See?
The City of Baltimore went over the top with an outstanding production of their Star Spangled 200 celebration event. Friday, we watched the Blue Angels prepare and practice for their Sat and Sun air show and walked around the many tall ships tied to the harbor seawalls. Navy Ships, NOAA ships, Tall Ships, and USCG ships from everywhere sailed into the harbor to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Radeen and Nina enjoy Saturday's air show from the bow
Saturday, we worked most of the day cleaning the boat and stowing tools and spare parts. We watched the Blue Angels from our boat and then went to Canton for dinner with our good friends Bob and Nina of IP38 Moondance. Sunday, we water taxied together to Fort McHenry for a new perspective on the air show, with an interesting narration. We boated, walked the waterfront and took in some beautiful skyline harbor views. Our adventures were topped off with a wonderful visit and waterfront crab cake dinner with long time friends Reuben and Molly, owners of IP380 Priority. We look forward to traveling south together!

We are so impressed with the changes made to the Baltimore waterfront. We have not been here for 6+ years, and our memories of the waterfront were not that fond as there were many run down areas. Today, that is not the case, Baltimore is a MUST STOP harbor on the northern Chesapeake Bay. From Canton all the way into the Inner Harbor, there are fantastic marinas, wonderful towns, exciting shops and diverse restaurants. We simply came over here to see the weekend event, but now we feel as if we need to stay the week and rediscover this outstanding town. The Chesapeake has so much to offer, and in the fall, it turns into a dream cruising ground. Outstanding job, Baltimore, we plan to return and stay much longer!

The best and largest fireworks display we have ever seen

6 Barges in the river all synchronized to fire at the same time!

Our home at anchor off Canton Waterfront, Baltimore

We were at Fort McHenry National Park for the Air Show Sunday, these are our Park Stamps

The Fort McHenry 15 Star Flag and Pole in the exact position as in the war of 1812

The USCG demonstrates a dramatic water rescue off the fort

Great friends Reuben and Molly with Radeen and Hayden....
Thank you, Nina, for the photo

A beautiful view of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore

Island Spirit is back into the cruising plan and this was such a great way to kick it off. Our next adventure is to return to Rock Hall where we need to reassemble and ship back our old engine. Next, we need to haul out, paint the bottom, and wax the hull. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Star Spangled 200

USCG EAGLE training ship...
With the engine installed and up and running, it was time to break it in and motor sail across the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. So, we departed Rock Hall, MD at 7 am and made it past Fort McHenry, through the restricted zone, and into the harbor before the practice flights of the Blue Angels began. WOW, they are loud. They flew directly over the harbor and our mast where we are anchored in the spectator area A. The Blue Angels performances are scheduled for Sat and Sun from 2 to 4 pm. Then there will be a massive fireworks display at 9:30pm.  If it is raining, then the fireworks will be Sun night.  We are also here with our buddy boat, IP38 Moondance, Nina and Bob, who just returned from their first trip to Long Island Sound and NYC. They loved it. Other IPs we hope to see this weekend include IP32 Betelgeuse, IP420 Oro Negro, IP380 Tamarack and IP380 Priority.

Our sunrise as we depart Rock Hall. MD

Being on anchor again, with a running engine and a fully equipped cruising sailboat, is a peaceful and joyful activity and we both love it more than ever. We can really appreciate this even more now that all the engine work is finished. We baked homemade bread, shared a sunset with Nina and Bob aboard Moondance, slept in, and enjoyed breakfast around 10:30! WOW, what a peaceful life. It is great to be getting back into the cruising life, even if only for a short while before we haul, paint, wax, close up the house, and load up! For now, we will enjoy this special weekend.

Here are some photos, I love to share....

So much for a simple motor test, unforecast 20-25 knots of wind, spray over the bow

Boat motoring at 1,500 RPMs to break it in, sail full, speed 6.4 knots

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, the entrance to Baltimore harbor

A dinghy tour around the tall ships, a great way to see these beautiful old vessels

1932 USCG EAGLE training ship, 295 feet long, this is the figurehead

Look at the finish on this wood ob "Le Galeon"! OMG

Nina and Radeen share a smile and a sunset, great to reconnect with the team

What is a sailboat without fresh baked bread?

The Pride of Baltimore II sails off our stern

Touring the tall ships via dinghy

Radeen, in the sunrise, WE DID IT, Island Spirit is back on the water!

Our SUNSET off Baltimore, beautiful
If you want to see the events planned for this weekend, they are published at www.StarSpangled200.com We saw the Navy Jazz Band "The Commodores" perform and enjoyed an IMAX movie depicting the battles against the British leading up to the famous night of September 14, 1814, at Fort McHenry. What a fantastic celebration!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Engine in and Running

And her name is "YannieNEW"....
WE DID IT! Along with our good friend and master mechanic, Don, we installed a new remanufactured Yanmar 3JH2e 38 hp diesel engine into our 1994 Island Packet 35. Day One, Monday, the crane lifted the engine from the crate to below decks, setting it onto the cabin floor. We took over from there to do the installation. This required us to gather up all the OLD engine parts, block, cylinder, mounts, brackets, clamps, exhaust elbow, etc, as the new engine did not have exactly the same connections for cables, mounts and various items. So, we used our IPY company car, the Ford Taurus named "Goldie" and drove to Chris Oliver's machine shop on Kent Island to pick up our old engine. Well.....the engine is still in the trunk of our car BECAUSE WE CAN'T LIFT IT OUT! So our car looks like a cool LOW RIDER now :-) See last photo.

Our poor car filled with the old engine parts
Monday, we spent the afternoon getting the old engine and taking off parts that we needed. We found a broken weld on one motor mount, so we had that repaired. Tuesday, Don worked with us and helped us finish the mounts, and together we used the mainsail halyard to lift the engine from the floor into the engine room. After that, we bolted it down and connected the propeller shaft, after diving under the boat to clean the shaft of barnacles so it would move forward! Yes, I hired a diver two days prior to clean up the shaft and the bottom, but the shaft would not move, so I dove it. By the end of the day Tuesday, we had the engine nearly finished. Wednesday, we worked on the cooling hoses, wiring harness, exhaust system, alternator, grounding wires, pilot solenoid for the starter, and a initial engine alignment. By 4 pm on Wednesday, WE FIRED IT UP. The new engine started in a nano-second and sounded fantastic. We are back up and running. What a job it has been!

Don our Master Mechanic and IP 420 owner
Our next step will be to complete the engine alignment with Don on Thursday, then on Friday we will shake it down as we power over to Baltimore for the Star Spangled Banner Event Weekend! After that, we need to gain confidence in all this re-installed work, and check and recheck all systems, bolts and mounts. One big advantage to this job is.....

We really KNOW the engine room NOW! Heck, we have installed EVERYTHING! No worries now, because if it breaks, we can fix it, that is for sure!

We lifted the engine with the halyard from the top of the mast

This has to go, a slotted engine mount. Not good. We used our old one.

We added a pilot solenoid under the starter, an optional upgrade

This flywheel dampening plate was one of the necessary parts from our old engine

Reinstalling our transmission from Ed L. Thank you, Ed!

Looking down from above as we lift the engine into the room and bolt it down

LOOK AT THAT, new mounts and a clean install

POP the GRUET Champagne, our favorite from NM

Ahhh, a day to celebrate on Island Spirit!
Side Note: We used Shell, DEX-COOL, the orange stuff
Our poor car, "GOLDIE" with about 500 lbs of old engine parts in the trunk
We are so happy to have Island Spirit back up and running, Now it is time to prepare for moving back aboard and our trip #4 south on the ICW to Miami, Biscayne Bay, The Keys, the West Coast of Florida, and the Bahamas. LIFE IS GOOD......

Check out our Celebration Video! Yahooooooo!