Monday, November 27, 2017

San Diego EP 24 San Diego, Sailing SV Angelique of Vancouver, Later Than...

We are sitting at Costa Baja in the La Paz area and finally have wifi so here is out latest video from Oceanside to San Diego, CA just before we headed into Mexican Waters.   Its very hot here in La Paz and we just came back from the pool.... Life is tough

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ep 21 Marina Del Rey, SV Angelique of Vancouver, LaterThanWeThink

Where are we now.... It is September 11 and we are in the beautiful Bay of Monterey...

We spent yesterday provisioning the boat, walked to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, participated in happy hour on the boardwalk and just generally relaxed. 

We had spend about 10 days in San Francisco, actually Sausalito at anchor until the winds turned nasty and SW at a steady 30 knots with gust of 40-45... and yes this happened at midnight and blew to about 3 in the morning.  We saw a small unattended sailboat drift into another occupied by a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids). The coast guard was called into rescue because the unattended sailboats anchor rode got wrapped in the prop of the other boat as they tried to get away from the drifting boat.  Once the family was rescued we watched as that unattended boat drifted passed us and onto other boats anchored in the bay.  After 3 hours of this activity the winds finally eased to 20 knots and we all got some rest.   At 10 am the following day the winds again built to over 30 knots and I desperately called every marina in San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda and other areas in the bay to see if we could get a spot to wait out the system.. 

This was remnants of the hurricane that hit the Baja just a few days ago and was accelerating over the hill in Sausalito bay so I just wanted a quite place for a few nights.   Lucky for me Richmond Yacht club answered my call (after many hours of getting voice mail ... it was Labor Day Monday and most marinas, yacht clubs were not answering).  We spent 4 wonderfully peaceful nights on reciprocal at the Yacht club, the members were very friendly and made some new friends. 

When we arrived in Monterey there was an Italian Festival that ran all weekend so we enjoyed some good homemade Italian food, Wine and great music, did some site seeing at the Aquarium and went shopping for my birthday presents.... After all I was told by a reliable source that you don't just celebrate the day you are born but for the whole month! 

We certainly did that in Monterey, leaving the day after my birthday for Santa Barbara and rounded my nemesis Point Conception.

Ep 20 Santa Cruz, SV Angelique of Vancouver, Later Than We Think

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We are off! Off the dock and heading south. I said we would head south until the butter melts. This summer in BC the butter was melting so I understand everyone's confusion. But in the middle of August the smoke from the wildfires cleared and the temperatures dropped. The butter is no longer melting.

Time to head south!

It's August 16 and we are in Sydney BC. The sky is a brilliant blue that is common in BC.

All the more brilliant
when set against the evergreen forest and the emerald green sea. Sailed with porpoises and killer whales to get here. Not sure if I really want to leave. This is such a beautiful province.
Beautiful BC! No shit!

But the butter is hard and a weather window is opening. Time to head south. We should clear customs in Friday Harbour tomorrow and then head out Juan de Fuca on the weekend. Excited and scared, as I always am at the start of a new adventure.

We hope to be in San Fransisco by the end of August. We are chasing our friends on Double Deuce. Chase is the appropriate word, since they are 15' longer. We will not see much of them until San Francisco

Jacquie and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary on August 28th. Hope to be in San Francisco  for this, but we may still be at sea, depending on the weather.
Wish us luck. More posts when we reach San Francisco

The refit
Always an exciting and scary adventure when you own a boat, especially if the boat is your home. Doing a refit on a live-aboard boat is like renovating your bathroom while you live in it. Lots of  smells, dust, and carcinogenic chemicals.

Our adventure started on a lovely spring day, anchored in Port Graves. My friends Ron & Karen were aboard for morning café stupid's (coffee and Baileys) when Ron asked a simple question about the rigid vang. The pin looked a little small. That's all it took. A simple question about an innocuous pin kicked us off into a 3 year $50,000 refit.

We started with the hull. Angelique was finished in All Grip paint, as opposed to Gelcoat. Twenty three years later the All Grip was gone and we were looking at raw fiberglass in some locations. Jacquie and I wanted to refinish with All Grip as we liked the durability of the product and it had the colours we wanted. Unfortunately, All Grip can only be applied by a certified professional with a full oxygen breathing system. The paint contains cyanid.
I did a couple of months of research and landed on a product called Alex Seal. It had the colours we wanted and it could be installed by an amiture using roll & tip. We could afford this, so decision made.

It was fall by the time we bought the paint. So I spent the winter upgrading door latches, hatches, adding roller shades to the ports (great but holly shit expensive), painting the interior and demolishing the head liner. Its all a blur but I thing there were some AC/DC wiring jobs as well. I remember we changed the shore power and battery charger.

Spring arrived and we scheduled a month in Lions Gate Marina as they had a shed big enough to hold Angelique. But First, off to Lynnwood Marina to drop the rig at Protech who did an inspection (all good) and some upgrades to the spreaders and the spinnaker crane.

Once we got into the shed at Lions Gate we spent the first 2 days building an enclosure inside the shed to control dust. We needed to keep ours inside and the yards outside. Since it was early May we also needed heat. Alex Seal is an epoxy paint, 2 main parts as well as thinners and accelerators. It will not cure if the temperature is less than 15C (around 60F). So we added electric heaters to the enclosure.

Jacquie and I started sanding, preparing for multiple layers of primer and fillers. I have done lots of cars in my misspent youth and this stage ALWAYS hacked me off. You spend a lot of time and money to add a finish, and then you spend more time taking some of it off. Clean and repeat.
Three coats of primer and we were ready for paint. Our friend Ron (you remember, the guys who I mentioned earlier as starting all of this) was horrified by our first effort of roll and tip. I remember his words exactly. " No, no, no. Stop! This is a shit-show. I'll show you."  We watched and tried a small spot.  "Nope. Your not getting it. Your fired Mike. Jacquie can tip-off and I'll roll on"Half way through the second coat Jacquie was fired as well. While she was doing a great job, she was too slow. As I was not qualified to paint I did what all non-skilled labour does on a site. Go on a beer run.
Ron painted the 2 colours on Angelique's hull. Jacquie and I sanded between coats. The finished paint job looks fantastic. Thanks Ron!

Back to Lynnwood to pick up the rig, and home for a rest. Ha! No rest for the wicked. I built a bubble over our home and started in on the deck. Same sanding process as for the hull, except ALL of the deck gear has to come off. While we were at it we move the primary winches to a better location, rebuilt all of the winches, added new cars and blocks (all roller bearing Gerhauer, very sexy) and changed out the manual windlass for a new electric, complete with wash down. Oh, we also changed out the old boom vang, which was what started this whole shit show in the first place. Somewhere along the way I learned how to roll and tip. I think Jacquie thought me. We both painted our little brains out and had the decks finished for a fall cruise. All the new gear worked great. One last piece.  A new hard top. We had wanted one of these but they are a ton of work, so we never started. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. We started planning the hard top as a spring project. See our post for the details. What I thought would be a 3 week project took 4 months to complete.

Three years later we are very happy with the results. Would I do it again? Yes, but I would hire professionals and just do what I do best. Go get the beer.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Where are we now

To find out where we are currently cruising go to Currently Cruising and enter either VE7MWC or VE7JCH in the find at the top of the map ....hit enter and our positions will populate the map .... these positions are reported via our ham radio every time we check for a weather report, talk to other boats, or send an email Blast to friends and family

Friday, June 2, 2017

Laterthatwethink Ep9 The Voyage Home Good Bye Desolation Sound

The last installment of our Desolation Sound adventure, please tune into the next adventure as we sail south till the butter melts

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gone Sailing.... Hubby and I have finally decided to cut the dock lines and sail to Mexico in the summer of 2017 so all items in my shop are now 50% off use Coupon Code

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hard top

I thought it was time I spoke about the hard top. Why did we build it, and the story of the build.
We had a canvas dodger and Bimini for close to 20 years.
Sailing into San Francisco 2008
Jacquie and I made templates for both using electrical conduit we scavenged from a job site. Once the shapes where close I took them to a shop to have the frame made. I asked the bender " Make the new stainless like these conduit templates." To which he replied " Do you want all of the kinks too?" No, smartass.... Was what I wanted to say. I asked him politely to make the hoops without the kinks, if it was ok with him. Jacquie made patterns in 6 mil poly to cover the new hoops, and we spent 2 weekends sewing up the new canvas with her old Sears sewing machine.

Over the years we covered the Bimini with solar panels, so the temporary nature of a canvas cover was lost. Also, the thread rotted out while we were in Mexico so we started thinking of a more permanent solution. I had admired the large hard tops most catamarans have, with lots of room for solar panels. They also seemed to be cooler than a canvas top in the tropical sun. Since we were already planning to repainted the hull and decks, I figured it would be easy enough to build a hard to as well. In theory this sounded ok to me. Jacquie said that in practice it sounded like a lot of work. Or a lot of money for someone else to do it. I'm cheap, so I talked her into helping.

Lots of YouTube videos later I knew I needed a pattern. So I talked Jacquie into making me one out of some cardboard boxes taped together. The pattern was a little rough but she was smart enough to tell me that it was ok to built the top without the kinks.

Jacquie and quality control
Two sheets of foam core, 10 gallons of resin, yards of Nytech glass and some 2x2 stringers and we had all the parts. Just needed a place to build it. I talked my friend Ron into letting me use his garage. We started in March by building a work deck and cutting the 1" structural foam panels to size. We needed 2 panels to cover the cockpit, so we stitched them together with resin and 6" wide mat. This sounded like a great idea at the time, but it created a whole host of fairing issues later in the project. If I was to do it again I would pin the foam to the work deck. You'll note the top is flat. We had a lot of debates over this. In the end I could not figure out how to add camber to the top and still have the curved edges to match the canoe stern. 
First layer of Nytech

It took the entire month of March to glass both sides and to prep for the stringers. We were working in an unheated garage and on weekends. I need to keep working to pay for all of the materials after all. While Jacquie is retired I could not, try as I might, talk her into working on the top while I was at work. Something about the 5C temperatures and toxic fumes. 

Structural Ribs

As the weather warmed up we were able to get back on the top and add the 2x2 wood stringers, rolled edges and the fairing.

Jac sanding. What a gal!
Lots and lots of fairing. Remember the 6" wide matt stitching I mentioned earlier. BIG mistake. Add fairing compound, sand, quality control, repeat. I'm into this for about 200 hours at this point.

Seems my fairing left a lot to be desired. I was fired and relegated to assistant. Jacquie and Ron took over and fixed up all of my cosmetic kinks. Add another 100 man hours. At least we were getting somewhere now. It started to look like a top.  Finally ready for paint. Or maybe not yet. My build was taking too long and Ron needed to demo the garage as part of rebuilding his house. We were relegated to the side yard, covered by an old show tent from Jacquie's summer markets.

It was around this time that Ron's wife Karen asked 'Are you going to take that down to the boat for a test fit? We test fit our hard top 3 times to make sure it fit.' I'm a bit of a gambler, and have total faith in Jacquie's ability to make a pattern. I simply replied ' Nah. It will be OK' and continued to cut out hatches and help Jacquie and Ron finish the fairing. Truth be told we were now in May and I just wanted to get the f#@&ing thing finished. If it didn't fit I was going to bin it.

Captain Ron fixing my mistakes. Thanks man!
Test fit for hatches

Mixing primer, finally.

There was still about 100 hours of fairing before paint. I was REALLY starting to hate this thing. But Jacquie pushed me on and we started prepping for paint.

We decided on Alex Seal for finish. Its a lot like All Craft without the cyanide. So I could apply wearing a simple respirator. We also wanted a product that could be repaired. The Alex Seal product can be applied with a roller and finished off with a brush. We used the same product on the hull and decks with fantastic results. We applied 3 coats of primer, polishing between coats. More sanding, all by hand with 300 grit. Wax on, wax off.

Primer! Finally some paint!

Its now June and I am painting on my own. Jacquie is off to her summer markets. I have a deadline to have the top on the boat for July. Get painting boy!
First side done
Final coat done! Shinny!!!!
With the paint complete it was time to add the hatches and get ready to install the top. Ron offered to use his trailer to transport the top. Unfortunately I was late with the paint and he was off to the Gulf Islands diving. Bastard! Well, the top needed to cure anyway. Add one more month.

Loaded for transport
Its now August and we are REALLY behind the gun. Ron is back and kindly loads up the top and drives it over 100 miles to the boat yard.

We decided to haul out at Lions Gate Marine to install the top. They have a great yard and were willing to use the forklift to place the top. We used the transport frame, which was made from the work deck, to build the temporary cribbing on the boat. Waste not want not. We took down the backstay and had the top lifted into place. Does it fit? Will the backstay run through the hole in the top?

It fits! time to strap it down
Will the mainsheet bind on the front? Will we drop it while hoisting into place? Months of hard work and lots of money all roll into a single moment. We slide the top into place and run in the backstay, holding our breath.

Stunned shock. It fits perfectly! All from a cardboard pattern Jacquie cut out over 6 months earlier. I love that woman!

The top looks gorgeous! The yard owner asked who made the top for us. 'We did' was a happy response. He looked confused, then smiled. You know the kind. The kind that says 'oh sure you did'.

Add the name back on and we are ready to splash. 
Only 2 years after the paint job. Looks great!

There was a 4 foot chop in the bay on launch day. We were terrified that a strap would fail, the top would crack, or the crib would fail and all our effort would sink into English Bay.

A tense 2 hours later and we were safely home. We had already met Roy "The Welder" at Lions Gate. He had a great plan to anchor the top on 4 2" SS posts. Jacquie had a sketch for a new radar arch, so Roy was off to his shop. He worked fast! A little over a week later all of the steel was installed and Roy was wrapping up some field welds.

Metal installed, cribbing going out.
Running cable. Wow that's shinny!
Time for canvas!
Canvas and solar panels

I tried to get Jacquie to do the canvas again. She has a Sail Rite walking foot machine after all. No joy. I used up all my credit with the sanding, painting, sweating, and lifting. "Call Denise at North Sails. I am NOT sewing any more cockpit enclosures!' The admiral had spoken.
A quick call and North Sails in September and the canvas was on before Christmas. Another 2 weeks and I had the solar panels installed. So only 12 months to build a hard top to mount solar panels on.

On time? Nope. On budget? Nope.
Happy owner. YUP!

Finished at long last!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017