Monthly Archives: July 2014

This and That

It’s hard to believe July is nearing its end (why, oh why, do you have to go so fast summer?!) I’ve been keeping myself busy with a few projects here and there. A month ago I said goodbye to my trusty Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing machine and hello to a new long-arm industrial ziz-zag machine, as well as a dedicated heavy-duty straight-stitch machine. The new long-arm has already completed two projects: a 7oz jib for an Ericson 29 and an 8oz staysail for Ariel. Working with the new machine has been a significant improvement over the LSZ-1 in terms of underarm space and needle penetration. The only time it struggled was while sewing the webbing in the thick corner assemblies during the final stages, and I think the issue had more to do with presser foot lift than cloth thickness, which approached 100 oz in some places.  Here are a few detail pics of Ariel’s staysail construction:

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Pictures of the staysail flying will have to wait till my parents return from their cruising. (Yes, I know, too bad the staysail wasn’t done before they left).

My trusty Sailrite LSZ-1. We made dodgers, sails, biminis, and performed scores of sail repairs together.

My trusty Sailrite LSZ-1. We made dodgers, sails, biminis, and performed scores of sail repairs together. It’s hard to believe just how much I was able to do with this little workhorse. Oh, and the timing was still perfect when I sold it.

Most recently, I’ve been working on a main and jib for an ’88 Hobie Holder MKII that I picked up a few years ago. Once those sails are done, the Hobie will be for sale to offset the cost of my new machine.

We got in a short sailing trip up the coast before I started an intensive language course. We made it as far north as Grand Haven, then returned home for the Fourth. (Pics to follow).

All in all, it’s been a fairly productive summer. No major trips for the boys and me, but my parents (and their fur babies, as they call the dogs) are having a fun time working their way north. Who knows, maybe Carrie, the boys and I will drive north and relieve my parents of the return trip south. We shall see.

Fool me once…Fool me twice

An article about this couple and the benefits of an EPIRB may be more about choosing the right boat for blue water sailing.

An article about this couple and the benefits of an EPIRB may be more about choosing the right boat for blue water sailing.

“While in Florida, the Rorkes will recuperate and plan the next chapter of their lives. Yes, those plans include sailing. Len wants to stay involved in the marine industry through yacht deliveries and marine surveying. The couple also hopes to share their story with others through motivational speaking and a book. Mostly, Len and Lisa Rorke hope they can be an example to other sailors to emphasize the importance of proper offshore safety preparation and equipment. Along with the United States Coast Guard and the Tilda Kosan crew, it is their liferaft, AIS and EPIRB that the Rorkes credit with saving their lives. As Len puts it ‘Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, as long as you’re fighting, you’re giving the someone out there chance to save you.'”

Surviving one disaster at sea is cause for rejoicing and reflection. Surviving a second disaster? Well, perhaps there should have been more reflection the first time around, especially about equipment choices. And, no, I’m not talking about the EPIRB. A Beneteau Oceanis 50 might make a fine charter boat, but it’s not the kind of boat I’d choose for blue water sailing. Spade rudders are great for the race course and coastal cruising, but they’re certainly not the preferred choice for going offshore.

You can read the entire article here.

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