End of Season

End of Season

It’s a sad day. I knew it would come too soon. I pulled her out for the winter. This was the first time to try out the new trailer extension. It worked great for backing. The locking pin took a little effort to get it lined up to get it out then back in.

Getting the boat centered on the trailer was a real pain in the a%$*. I had removed the 2 inch spacer under the carpeted keel pad to gain some more depth on the ramp, so I also lowered all of the rollers accordingly. With the extension out and the truck’s exhaust halfway under water, the keel just cleared the pad. I had to wade crotch deep to get to the winch to pull the bow up as far as I could. Once it was out of the water we realized how crooked it was on the rollers.

Back in the water we went, after marking the guides to get a reference level mark. After three attempts, the keel was still not centered but it was good enough to get down the road. It took a little over four hours total to get it out and derigged. Adding the nearly three hours road time made it almost a full day that we started too late (1:30 pm).

Now I just need to hose her down and get her stowed away for winter.

I’d like to get a barn built yet this fall. The quotes I have include a considerable increase due to COVID-19’s economic effect and is making that decision more difficult.



UPDATE: The Hobie is sold!

I admit, I have an addiction. I’m always looking at boats for sale. I came across the Hobie at a garage sale last weekend. The seller wanted it gone. I had owned a Hobie 14 many years ago and I couldn’t pass up a Hobie 18. I’ve now realized that it will take time away from my next project that I found on Craigslist, a 1977 International Yachts HMS (high main salon) 23. I bought this as a package deal. The 1977 shoal keel and a 1976 swing keel, two trailers, a Yanmar diesel, an Evinrude outboard and two full pickup loads of other random boat stuff that I will be selling.

As the owner of four boats now, I realize that I need a place to store and work on them out of the elements. Since a small insulated 30 x 40 x 14 tall building is in the range of $50,000, it looks like I will be building a tall 24 x 36 garage instead.

By the way, the Hobie 18 is for sale on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1189876348072513!





Tiller Brake 2.0

Tiller Brake 2.0

Here’s my latest version. My tiller cover will slide over it easily. I’m also using 36 inch bungees. I didn’t get a chance to test it the other day as the wind was to much to go solo.

I painted the flattened galvanized angle bracket with some black Rustoleum and stuck some anti-skid tape on the inside.



Tiller Brake

Tiller Brake

Summer is moving way too fast for me. I’ve been sailing when I can, mostly solo. If the wind isn’t too much, I can usually handle both the main and the jib alone. I have decided on just using a downhaul line on the jib to bring it down from the cockpit. The Gerr downhaul with the extra blocks hung up more than not. Now I have just a single block at the tack to deal with.

But, there are times when I need to take my hand off the tiller and there have been a few scary and ugly maneuvers. Not any more. After finding an over priced ($80) little black box clutch for a tiller, I looked deeper and found a DIY version. I took a small scrap of mahogany and shaped it so that when screwed to the bottom of the tiller it created a tight “notch” for a line to be wedged into it. The 5/16 inch line is about 30 inches long with a bowline in each end. Then I wrapped a 24 inch bungee around each of the aft cleats and hooked them into each end of the line. This allows it to be easily “disengaged”.

After using it for several hours, it seems like it will work great. Except, it’s just too chunky and now I can’t get my tiller cover over it.

So, I’m replacing the mahogany piece with a small right angle bracket that I flattened to create that same “notch” angle.


Trailer Upgrade

Trailer Upgrade

Picked up my trailer last week. Mike did a great job. Exactly what I asked for and then some. He sourced the steel tubing for the telescoping section. He removed the large bolt that was in the way and welded a heavy steel plate across the “fork”. He drilled two holes in the tubes for the removable heavy 5/8″ pull pin. He modified the mount for the ladder to remove the bolts from the path of the telescope. He also added a stop on the tube, welded on the safety chains, added a ring to hook the safety chains, and spot painted.

It’s not 12 foot like I was hoping, but it is nearly 10. I’ll try it out this fall. He took my poor attempt at an extension in trade, so my bill was less than $100. 

I also swapped out my outboards. For now, it was way easier to put my old 25 inch Mariner back on. To use the new, shorter 20 inch shaft, I’ll have to modify the mount to get it 5 inches lower. An extension kit was not available. If there was, it would be around $400. No sale!

Outboard Blues

Outboard Blues

I got the chance to get out on the water with my new 20 inch, 4 hp, Mariner. At first glance it looked like the prop would set deep enough. If two people sit at the stern, there would be no problem. BUT if I go solo, which is typical, the prop cavitates as my weight moves forward in the boat. When I’m on the bow, I can’t see the prop but it sure sounds like it’s totally out of the water.

I posted on a Facebook group for ideas. I was totally surprised by the amount of responses. Many said take it back. Some said lower the mount on the transom. Some said change the mount where the motor clamps on. One said to add a new mount on top of the existing mount. Another also said that there may be a kit available from MarineParts.com to extend the lower end by 5 inches. I’m hoping that one is available for this model and it’s not too costly. If not, I will try to lower the mount at the transom by making an adapter plate using heavy aluminum angle.

In the mean time, I decided to investigate my old 25 inch Mariner. I started by checking the linkage by pulling out the rubber plug on the lower housing. I loosened the clamp to discover that I could put it into forward. This meant that the problem was in the shift linkage up to the motor. To see the top of the linkage, I had to pull the powerhead completely out of the housing. With the powerhead removed, I was able to work the shift lever easily. I soon noticed that the bolt that clamps the shift linkage to the lever had backed out and was hitting the bottom of the powerhead housing (notice the scratches). I carefully reassembled everything and gave it the barrel test. It works great.

It looks like I’ll be putting the old 25 inch back on the boat when I can. I just had my second hand surgery for “trigger finger”. The first was three years ago for my right thumb. Last week was on my left index finger. It’s a quick out patient procedure where the band that the inflamed tendon passes through is cut apart. It takes a couple weeks to heal and that finger will never lock again and the pain and swelling will be gone too.

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