Thursday, March 31, 2016


I've been in sort of a boat doldrums for a few weeks now. I've not had much urgency to get down to the boat since my Electric Propulsion system does not require a whole lot of maintenance. I've instead been spending some time spring cleaning around the house and trying to figure out what to with some of the left over stuff I pulled off the boat when converting to Electric Propulsion. Thinking about EBAY, donating or selling out right. I've been cleaning out a lot of stuff in the Den where I'll be hopefully working on a new sail cover and cushions for the Engel refrigerators in the main cabin. Now that Spring has officially arrived I feel the boat calling again. So I ordered a few items I know I'll be needing for the upcoming season.

I pretty much am a single hand sailor these days. One thing I bought since it really makes a lot of sense for me to use is a Pick Up Buoy.   I don't know why it has taken me so long to buy one. I was getting along quite well with an empty milk container tied to the mooring pennant lines and a boat hook since 1996. But, after watching a neighboring sailboat use his it just makes a lot of sense for me. Especially since the winds and the currents in the harbor do not always cooperate sometimes requiring me to sometimes make another pass to snag the line.

Another item I knew I'll be needing in the up coming weeks is some Cetol Marine Natural Teak Wood Finish. I've been using Cetol for years mostly on the cockpit hatches, and handrails. Last spring I decided to use it to spruce up the galley area, companionway steps and the headliner project . I was pleased with the look and ease of application. So I'm planning on using it on other areas of the cabin this year. I bought two quarts since I also plan to use it on some unpainted molding at the house.

I've got a few more things I'll need to order  for the up coming season but, they can wait until I get closer to a launch date. For now these along with 9 yards of Sunbrella fabric for the new Sail Cover will keep me busy enough.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


My girlfriend had the week off from her teaching gig because it was Spring Break. So we jumped in the car and as we often do head to a place where we could be by the water. In this case it was Ocean City Maryland. A few days in a hotel with an ocean front view over looking the Atlantic Ocean can do wonders for the soul when one still has the boat stored on land for the winter.

Just watching the waves, having the smell of the sea and the sound of the surf can rejuvenate ones plans for the up coming season. Add to that the taste of fresh seafood at meals and one feels once again close to waters that surround us. Though for me the most impressive part of the day is the sunrise:

You can get a feel for how impressive and vast things are by noting the person on the beach in the lower left of the above picture. On another morning I may notice a local fishing boat heading out at dawn to get the catch of the day:

I'll watch the boat pass by and wish I was out there with BIANKA.  In another few months I will be.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


With the temperature rising into the 70's earlier this week there was no excuse not to head down to the boatyard and check on BIANKA. It had been a couple of weeks since the last visit and despite some nasty weather and a couple of days of high winds I saw no further damage on the deck area. Even the bilge looked surprisingly similar to when I left it. No additional water had entered except the little bit of antifreeze I splashed into it back in February:

Good to see. Apparently the previous water levels I had observed were from snow that had gotten blown in through some of the hatches during the winter storms. All was well so I got to work on starting to implement some spring projects. one was to make some custom seat cushions for the two Engel refrigeration units I have on board in the main cabin. Unpacking some of the patterning material I had bought from Sailrite I quickly made an outline of the Engel tops on the pattern material:

After cutting out the pattern. I'll be taking it home to use my Sailrite sewing machine in fabricating the new cushions. I'm not the only one who will be fabricating some new things this year. The boatyard guys are busy fabricating some new floating docks to replace ones that were damaged when the harbor suffered a quick freeze during a cold snap a few weeks ago:

Spring is just around the corner and I'll be getting busier getting BIANKA ready for the up coming season.