Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Better Late than Never 2011 Update

It is difficult to believe that my Pocketship launched more than two years ago. It is also harder to fathom that people are still reading this blog but evidently there is a Pocketship readership out there. Therefore, I guess it is overdue for me to update the continuing trials and tribulations of “So True”.
The sailing season of 2011 was delayed as the previous year due to extremely wet conditions on our cottage lot.  The photo below illustrates how  much water can accumulate due to the saturated soil. I could probably pull the boat and trailer from its garage but in the process would dig ruts a foot deep in the boggy soil conditions. Backing the boat and trailer back into its garage would likely have been impossible.

Conditions did improve faster than 2010 and the cottage lot finally dried up but wind conditions on Lake Winnipeg were once again our nemesis. This novice sailor is just not ready to challenge 25 knot winds quite yet.

“So True” finally got to test out its new 2.5 HP Suzuki outboard. The maneuvering ability and power more than exceeded my expectations compared to my failed electric trolling motor experiment. The photos show the motor in its up and down position and also that when in the down position the cavitation plate is a good six inches below Pocketship’s waterline. 

The motor mount turned out to be less obtrusive than I anticipated and it is sturdy enough that the motor does not need to removed for trailering. 
There is also a photo of the solution to not having to remove the bobstay for the bowsprit when launching the boat. Who knows how many times I had stared at the winch but, “Doh!”,  not realized the winch is adjustable. Thanks to Pete M. for that remedy. 

With the winch and crank moved down the bobstay is now nice and taut and never has to be unhooked. The arrows indicate the old position of the crank.  You cannot move the crank completely to the bottom or the crank handle will hit the triangular plate.

Some actual sailing photos are included below.  I DO have to remember to bring my wide angle lens so that more of the boat is actually visible.

I'm looking a little crusty in this one as we motor out of the harbour.  The cars are parked on the large breakwater for the harbour and you can see that the lake level is less than a foot from the top of the dock. In normal years it is a 4 or 5 foot drop to water.

In this photo you can see my economy track stop. Instead of paying an outrageous $40 for a track stop with a lock screw I simply used a $1 track slide and lashed it to a small cleat on the other side of the mast.

This is about as calm as it gets on Lake Winnipeg.  Fifteen minutes later the chop picked up and we were motoring back to the safety of the harbour.

Enjoying the ease of use of the new outboard. The tiller lock comes in handy when using the outboard.

“So True” received some other upgrades this year. The companionway louvered doors and cockpit floor grating have added a nice touch to “So True’s” appearance. 

We purchased a sail cover kit from Sailrite to protect the sails when trailering and to keep out the spiders when the boat is stored in its garage.

We are looking forward to an earlier start to the sailing season next year now that we put in the gravel driveway. The driveway is elevated enough that even with lots of standing water we will still be able to pull the boat and trailer in and out of the garage.

We also have plans to boost our sailing confidence by going out in “So True” with Fred who has 30 year experience sailing on Lake Winnipeg. We tried to hook up with Fred this year but our schedules just didn’t match up.  Fred did drop by to look at “So True” and was impressed with what was crammed into Pocketship’s 15 foot design.  Another sailing couple who were moored at the harbour when we were launching one day were equally impressed. It was a surprise for them to see such a fine gaff rigged sloop design. Thanks again to John C Harris for designing such a sleek modern design based on a classic sailing rig that just isn’t seen much anymore.
Winter, for us , is only about 30 days longer, as we will again be visiting both our kids in Australia for two and a half months. Lots of time to get a good head start on a protective tan for the 2012 sailing season.

I thought I would finish with some photos that show just how destructive the high water levels were on Lake Winnipeg this year.

The beach is a hundred yard walk from our property through an empty lot.

This was our "beach" this year.  At least 15 feet of shoreline were eroded away this summer.

Yes, I have to confess we are some of those awful people who when sailing conditions are not optimal haul out a jet ski for some fun.

The big old Cottonwood that was standing in a previous photo did finally succumb to the wind and waves.

By late September the lake level had finally dropped and Mother Nature had started to return to us the beach she had borrowed for the summer.

This is the type of day that we don't have the confidence yet to go sailing.

At least the geese were amused by the windy conditions.


muidaq said...

Thanks for writing all these blog posts. I've been pondering building one and just finished reading all your posts. Great job on the not so little ship.

muidaq said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andre said...

Greetings Dave,

Just a quick note to say thank for all the time that it took to keep the blog up to date. I have enjoyed reading your blog over the last few hours. You should be very proud of her! You did a very very nice job of building her. On another note If my wife of 26 years had gotten conked on the head like yours did the whole party would have been over right there. I hope your wife did not have any long term problems because of it.

Happy Sailing :-)

Shawn said...

Hi Dave,
Just finished reading your blog. I've been an expat living in Thailand for the past 7 years and am moving back to Seattle after the birth of my daughter this week. I've been looking for a project to do with my father who is newly retired when I return back to the states. I came across the Pocketship online and liked what I saw but was a bit intimidated by the building process. After reading through this blog I feel more comfortable with the idea. I would love to get ur email address and send you updates/ask for your advice once the build is under way. Anyways, hope that the 2012 season was better for you then the past few. Cheers from the Land of Smiles.
-Shawn L.