Thursday, May 19, 2016

Heaving to

A recent post on the Cape Dory message board motivates me to write this. The post was a question of how to quickly reef, from the cockpit presumably. The writer noted that in unexpected high winds, he couldn't leave the tiller and still maintain control of the boat.

Heaving to, essentially depowering your boat in otherwise overpowered conditions, is a basic, save-your-life sort of skill. Back the jib/Genoa, adjust the trim of the main, lash the tiller, and frenzy turns to calm, giving you time to think, time to reef, time to check the chart, time for lunch.

Boats heave to differently, so it's worth experimenting with your boat to see what combinations of sails/rudder works best for you.

Practice on an easy day, in a place with sufficient sea room, and watch out for traffic. Heave to on a starboard tack and you'll have right of way most of the time.

As your boat takes care of itself, and you relax, count on at least one good Samaritan to come along and ask if you're okay.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Today was a great day to scrub the exterior... cabin top, deck, and cockpit. Boat soap, bucket and brush managed to change the color of the boat, from a sort of grey color back to white. Hard to know where all the dust, dirt and grime comes from over a winter where the boat's covered.

Some minor rigging tweaks, setting up the reefing lines and the like, are all that remain.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Back in the water!

Liquidity was launched on April 25th, and last I checked was happily floating in slip I24 at Marina Bay. I20's a bit occupied, as the marina's been installing new "J" docks, and the old docks and pilings are taking up my official space, but no complaints.

The Beta was a bit cranky with fuel flow, but otherwise started routinely. Batteries seem to have survived the winter just fine.

The boat's fully stocked, with most of what goes back on board loaded while still on the hard. Sails went on last week, in easy weather, and I managed a night on board despite cool overnight temperatures. With my annual trip to Stop & Shop behind me, both dinner and breakfast were prepared on board.

Small Change inflated and stayed that way (with a small leak in the floor I need to find) and carried the last of the gear from the ramp to the slip the old fashioned way.

Tested the Torqeedo outboard; the battery started the winter at 100% and is starting the season at 99%. That's amazing!

Cleaning continues. Can sailing be far behind?