Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Non-Sailing Summer Adventures

Since starting this blog, I've been in the habit of sharing a couple of non-PocketShip photos of summertime activities, usually as a way of  explaining why more boat building wasn''t getting done.  Well, Solitude III may be done and on the water, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other fun activities to share.  So, here are some summer highlights:

Deck remodel...had been putting this off to focus on boat building!

The weather un July was outstanding, and the long days allowed fabulous after-work hikes, such as Bandera Mt

And weekends could be filled with longer excursions, like Grand Ridge in the Olympics...

...Blanca Lake in the Cascades....

...and even a fabulous multi-day trip across-the-Olympics hike to Enchanted Valley.

Then there was the epic roadtrip across the middle of the country...

...including St.Louis, MO...

....somewhere in South Dakota...

...somewhere more definite in South Dakota...

....where the buffalo roam (I have deer and antelope pictures too)...

...and Big Sky country.
Montana is pretty.  There are a couple of PocketShips being built in Montana, but I didn't stop to see them.

One more random hiking picture, courtesy of the Walt Bailey Trail.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Round of Upgrades

During my first season sailing Solitude III, I made a number of upgrades, though I have to admit I didn't get nearly as far through my to-do list as I had hoped. But, every little bit helps.

Mainsheet cleat
I singlehand Solitude quite a bit.  With one hand on the tiller and one on the mainsheet, there are times that a singlehanded captain can find himself willing to give anything for another set of hands, at temporarily.  Like, for example, when said captain is out on an after-work cruise, and would like to eat the sandwich he brought for dinner!  Of maybe the jib needs tending.  Or a light jacket needs to be retrieved from the hinterlands of the cabin.  The PocketShip manual makes a big fuss about never cleating off the mainsheet in a small boat, though I suspect that this is to prevent a calls from yokels who cleat their mainsheets in a 25kts breeze, go below for a 10 minute nap, capsize, and then promptly call the designer asking why he didn't warn them.  Anyway, knowing that my judgement is a little better than that, I decided to install a cam cleat base for my mainsheet.  Now I can trim the sails.

The tiller clutch
Also on the workload-reduction front, I added a tiller clutch to my tiller.  This also provides a spare hand, especially when under power.  It has proven particularly useful when baiting my fishing hook.  :-) Rule #1 is that this doesn't get used at the same time as the mainsheet cleat.

One other project that has already proven immensely useful, despite being only half-done in the installation of the GPS.  I say half-done because the unit is also a depth sounder...I simply haven't installed the transducer for it yet.  I mounted the GPS to a wooden bracket that slips over the lip of the companionway.  The wire run from under the cabin sole, though they have yet to be neatly routed up to the companionway...like so many others, that is a project for another time.