Joli' Elle

Joli' Elle
While in Alameda

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ready to splash

Well today I finished the bottom paint except for the bald spots where the chocks and stands are. New zinc, old stock 78% copper paint (the new stuff is 60%). I was in the middle of the job the last couple of days when my wife emailed me that her father had past away. I was suppose to splash on January 16th, crew/friends here on the 20th, a short shake down and off across the sea.
     I was very lucky to catch an American airlines to Sacramento from Hermosillo. In fact as I was searching the first options were revising to "no longer available. But managed to get out on the 14th. Basically, the family is waiting for my return and then we'll have to drive to Eureka for the memorial.
    I'm trying to work out an arrangement having my crew stay onboard until I get back on the 25th. I hope I can swing that. anyways, her is "Joli` Elle" all gussied up.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hawse pipe heaven and the Mexican weight lose program.

    I have been told and told...Do NOT drink anything in Mexico that does not come out of a sealed bottle. Did I remember that when I ordered a picture of Jamica (pronounced hah-MY-kah) is a Hibiscus tea searched cold. To make it, it is a steeping process from the flower. Probably since that water is boiled (but maybe not) it may not have been that water. However it did have lots and lots of ice cubes directly from their filtered ice cube making machine...right? Ya...right! That was two days ago and I have been at half speed since. Usually in the morning it is a wager if I can get down the ladder, across the yard to the banos, without and accident. I swear, I could crap through a screen door and not hit a wire. I'm just saying.
     Good thing I have the remedy onboard and am improving each day.



On to the hawse pipes

    I decided back in 2013 that I wanted a way of running my dock lines and anchor bridle through hawse pipes rather than over the teak rail which is already looking shabby after 43 years.  I found some in the Svendsens catalogue and had them onboard until I got the chance to install them. So when Paul and I were down in October, I took some measurements to ascertain the thickness of the bulwarks and placement of the Seadog hawse pipes. I have outside dividers onboard an took the measurement of the buklwarks thickness. I was surprised to see a measurement of 1 1/2"s. I knew I had to use a carbide tipped hole saw, but it also had to be extra deep and 1 3/4" diameter to accommodate the hawse. I thought I was going to be out of luck since most hole saws that diameter are only 1 3/8" deep. Luckly, McMaster-Carr had exactly what I needed. But then I would need a jig saw blade that could cut fiberglass and 1 1/2"s at that! Home depot had diamond encrusted diamond blades. I bought 2 blades.


The hole saw worked like a charm. On cutting across the two holes with the diamond blade was a challenge though since I didn't have a firm grip and mega concentration on what I was doing. That blade snapped faster than a click of your fingers and I had only finished 1/2 of one hawse. Oh crap...bring out the Rosary beads! I was extremely careful and extremely focused and managed to get through the job...although I could feel the blade slowing down. I fastened them to the bulwarks by drilling and tapping the bulwarks and screwing them done. They look great and will greatly improve my dock etiquette. 


Quality of work in Mexico

     Please don't think you are getting quality work done in Mexico on the cheap. You'll be greatly disappointed. In 2014, I inquired at the office here as to who could sand the bottom of "Joli Elle" in order not to have excessive layer of bottom paint build up. I had it done in Alameda at Svendsens yard and the labor there was bad enough and left me with still, a lot of bottom paint blisters. These are trapped moisture or air when too many layers of bottom paint have been applied and too hurriedly. Which when you have your boat bottom painted and you're not watching, they'd do it in the rain if they thought they could get away with it. Ok...back to Guaymas. Gabriel, the yard owner, recommended Francisco and told me he would come by to check the hull out before quoting a price. One morning I could hear the usual boatyard traffic outside until I heard a grinder power up and before you could say "what the f#@&, Francisco had gouged 3 deep grooves through the paint...through the gelcoat and deep into the fiberglass. I screamed at him to stop and what he was doing. He had no idea I was onboard and then came up with a cock & bull story of he thought I wanted peel for osmotic blisters. I asked him directly "Do you f#@&ing see any f#@&ing blisters? 
     Anyways, here I am almost 3 years later repairing his work I let him do after I settled down and told him what I expected. By the way, most bottom finishers (the ones that know what they are doing), use a 8"-10" sander and 5" for the small stuff and radius's. Francisco uses a 4" grinder with a course flapwheel which leaves an uneven surface full of what are called smiles in the gelcoat.
     To beat a dead horse he played me with the labor, asking when I was leaving. According to him, wanted to make sure he had it done by then. Of course that was BS too. The job was about 80% done and he wanted money before I left and of course promised the rest of it would be finished well before my return. Upon my return the following winter, nothing had been done. I thought, two can play this game and I inquired about an LPU paint job. His eyes lite up. To make along story short, I had a carrot dangling in front of him and told him I wanted the bottom finished before he quoted the LPU job. The bottom was done a day later and I thanked him for the LPU quote which I have no intention of having him do it. 
     Below are just a few the repairs I had to do to make the bottom a little more fair. It will take a few more haulouts to sort that mess out. But in the next few days the paint goes on.






Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In MacGyver mode today

The windvane blues

Being a Toolmaker by trade has served me well in most area of my life but certain items on a boat need to be more Raggedy Ann than accurate. When I bought the Sailomat 601 from Florida...yes another Florida deal like the watermaker, It came cheap...$400. I thought...hell, I'm a Toolmaker, I can get this thing apart in no time and upgrade the bushings...which I did. The water oar yaw was always tight and I was hoping it would loosen up on the trip down south but did not. You can see from the picture below that the oar is not swinging smoothly.
Being in Mexico however can present some challenges...
1) Where to get a platform or ladder to perform the work.
2) By what means will I be able to bore accurately in diameter, straight through the bore and lastly, round (not egg shaped). First I thought of an 1 1/2" diameter wood dowel that i could put sandpaper on and hand sand...no, that will bell mouth and egg shape the bore. I spoke with some of my fellow boat yard MacGyvers in the yard and boring head, then a honing tool...WAIT...a honing tool. One of those 3 bladed, spring loaded brake cylinder hone tools from Autozona. 300 pesos later, I was back digging around my sandpaper bag until I found the strip sandpaper. I had 80, 120 and 320 grit...perfect, I'll wrap the sandpaper around the hone and let the spring action of the hone keep pressure on the sandpaper to hone out the plastic bushing (Delrin AF). And after borrowing a ladder from a fellow cruiser, Guermo, onwards I went.
The bore was 1.562" and needed to be 1.569" for the Raggedy Ann effect. The first 300 strokes back and forth with 80 grit rendered it to 1.567", then I finished with 120, then the 320 to give it a smooth and straight bore, while blowing it out to 1.569". It was back together in another hour with the entire job lasting 6 hours. Most of the time was scratching my head and having yet another adventure in Guaymas.

       The job list is getting shorter and my splash date is January 16th in the morning...two years and nine months since hauling out and going back to California to shake the money tree. Joli Elle has come a long ways and her Captain has seen a lot of changes as well...all good ones.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Watermaker completion

In previous posts, you will see from 2013 onwards, acquiring a dead Spectra watermaker for $400 +shipping from Florida. To recap, had it rebuilt at Spectra for another $525. Bought two updated boosts pump and built my own modular unit that I call the "Marquesas". I have around $1500 into he unit and the low end ones start at $6500. So I'm doing ok.
     The problem I have these days is remembering where I left off. Paul and I had worked out what was needed for 3-way service/salt water valves and how everything was to be connected. That was in Oct./Nov. and the beginning of January, I found myself doing boat Yoga where the watermaker is tucked away, trying to figure out where the hell everything goes. Now when I say trying...I mean to the tune of 6 hours. Taking the Spectra class and becoming a roving Technician has awarded me binders and binders of information. With those and some of my preliminary drawings, I finally figured it out...or at least I think I did. I even bought a Dyno label writer. All I need now is water.
     I was so pleased to get it done, I took the rest of the day off and cleaned up all my crap that had been littering the boat the last few days.
   
 Here was a trick I used to drill into the tank and not fill it full of fiberglass particles. The tank was fill 2"s from the top. I placed a cup that is forced from under, holding it in place. Note: To the right, in the picture, I am taping for a 1/4" pipe fitting where the R/O water comes in. The lid for the inspection port you see, is clear. So while the unit is running, I simply shine a light through the clear lid to see, a) if it's filling or not and b) how full the tank is. Slick uh?
                                                          Voila!...fiberglass in cup.
               Valve 1 for selecting to draw picking to the membrane or salt water to make R/O water.
   Valve 2. selector on the panel for running to get water of to flush with fresh R/O water after use.
                                        Chernobyl...uh...I mean the Marquesas Spectra unit.
                             Flow meter and valve for sample water or water to my main tank.

Tomorrow...freeing up the windvane. Stay tuned.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Scott and Connie

With great anticipation, made it back to the boat here in Guaymas 3 days ago. But only after 28 grueling hours on the Tufesa bus from Sacramento. I have some interesting points to share regarding Tufesa. Since I booked a seat for December 28th, it seemed to coincide with return dates for the Mexican families who had visited family in the U.S. So the bus was packed full. By the time we were passing through the L.A. area, you needed to roll up your pants 6"s to go into the "john", at the back of the bus...DISGUSTING! I have stopped trying to figure out why the Mexican culture continues to through paper refuge on the floors of bathrooms. There is obviously no garbage bin in that "john". So either Tufesa needs to inform via signage that it's ok to flush it down or supply a bucket. But to wade through that cesspool in your shoes is just wrong. By the time we hit the border the entire bus smelled of urine.
     Ok...my complaining is over. The advantage to the full bus was stopping at the customs building on the Mexican side. With 50+ full seats, there was luggage in the 6 stow away bins under the bus. When the person (customs I assume) opened all the bins and saw the Mt. Rushmore of luggage, I can imagine how daunting it looked to have all the occupants of the bus humped their luggage to the conveyors and go through screening, like all the other times I had gone down via Tufesa. Instead, said official waived us through. I was elated since my luggage weighed in at 140lbs. After getting off the bus and trying to convey to the driver that I was a bag short, he insisted that it was no longer with the bus. To his dismay (read anger) I began to pull other luggage out. I refused to let him drive away until it was found. Sure enough my box of wood "Rat-boards" had somehow been "rearranged" to the bottom of a pile in a different bin. By the time I caught a taxi to the yard, 20 minutes away, I paid the 80 peso ($4) cab fair, it was 1:30pm and I was finally onboard or at least humping the 140lbs. of boat gear.


     Two years ago, I met a couple around my age on a Passport 42, Scott and Connie, while we were both hauled out. After they relaunched, sailed to Hawaii then Alaska, they came home to the Seattle area. They contacted me a month ago and needed a change of scenery and a change of footwear Shoes/socks to sandals and asked if I would like crew. Well they were so much fun 2 years ago, I just wanted their company and I'm sure sailing experience. So our plan is for me to splash January 15th or earlier to check the boat out. They're due in around the 19th and after they're acclimated to weather, tacos and the boat, we're taking off to Bahia Concepcion and meandering our way down to La Paz. Maybe a 10 day trip. Any plans further out than that are subject to change, so why bother planning?

Scott and Connie.

The work

The big project to button up was the shaft log to stuffing box set up. It had never been right from the time I removed the "dripless" system to the older style packing box. The shaft log was 1 3/4" and the rubber sleeve was 2"s. I had tried to use the toggle style clamps and they worked but the rubber did not look all that great. When I hauled out in Guaymas, I found one of the two, T-bolt clamps had broken. To that end, various other clamps had busted around the boat...two on the anti-siphon, engine raw water cooling set up and another one in the head on the Y-valve. This is disconcerting since I have never seen this on any of my boats over the years and I am suspecting a material change up on the stainless steel itself. So back to the shaft log fix...I dressed the bronze shaft log and applied 2" wide f/g cloth to build it up. I measure the thickness of the glass, dry and calculated how many layer (3) and away I went. A day later (today) I sanded the rough surface smooth and took my calipers to see it was withing .010" (3 human hairs and patted myself on the back for that fix.




I slide the rubber collar on 1" of the 2" "new" diameter and gentle tapped it on the rest of the way, with a dead-blow plastic hammer. Then re-clamped it down with new toggle bolt style clamps.
     Back in Alameda I had tried the "new Teflon" packing in the stuffing box and never liked it. It gave too much resistance and never dripped which concerned me. That and it ran hot to the touch. So I bought the regular wax type...do you think I can find that anywhere on the boat?...Nooooooo! So I'll run the old "new Teflon" until I do.
     I then hooked up my spiffy shaft to zinc wiper that I made and no longer have to hassle with that stupid bullet zinc that is on the end of my prop shaft. That damn thing would be tight for 100 miles, then with the slightest corrosion would get loose, protecting nothing.
NOTE: These changes I do to my boat is in no way a recommendation for you do the same. The system I just installed was my own idea, machined by me for the sole intent of my boat. It is experimental to see if I have remedied a prior problem. I probably won't have any concrete evidence for months to come.

Ratboards

Maybe you have heard of Ratlines. The rope woven into the rigging of thew old square riggers allowing crew to scamper up the rigging to the long yards to furl and unfurl sails. In more recent times, people have used wood slats. I have spent a great many hours walking docks and surfing online to see the different ways people attack them to the rigging. The most secure method I have seen is with bulldog clamps. I totally disagree with this method because of how I have seen the clamps distort the rigging wire...no thanks.
     I used my own system I feel may work out...again...I do not recommend you try my method, since is has not been tried before and I take my own chances.





You can see I have used African Mahogany with 5/16", 316 Stainless Steel pronged T-nuts and 18-8 bolts 5/16" bolts. A total of 4 for each "Rat board". The idea is that Mahogany is a soft, hardwood and by clamping the wood, is pressed into the form of the wire acting as a sort of braking system. Any brake can be overcome by weight and/or shock force. So I will have to see how it goes. Not knowing how it was going to react, my hand and feet would sweat while clamping them on the lower shroads while the boat is out of the water. If they in fact didn't work from the get-go, I imagine the fall would kill me or worst...turn me into a drooling idiot.

The first thing I noticed as I installed then and to my satisfaction was that they required tightening over a short period of time, telling me the forming process is working and eventually over time have a good grip on the wire. Again...we'll see.

Boat envy...again

It happened again. Too long without being onboard and I found a Alajuela 38 that struck my fancy. I must have obsessed on the thing for 4 weeks. Amazing what the cold Northern California weather will do to your head. Anyways, I have almost completely recovered as I do not want to loose another year and a half outfitting another boat to do what "Joli Elle`" already does for me. However...every time I see an Alajuel 38 in an anchorage I share, I will wish the main hatch over the captain head leaks on him every night. More to come...stay tuned.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Back down for the cruising season and the Chase bank blues

     What a shock it was when I woke up November 9th at the yard here in Guaymas and while on my way to the bathrooms was told who we had for a President for the next 4 years. Without getting too political, lets just say I continued on my way to the banos to take a Trump. Not that Clinton would have been any better.
     My friend Paul came with me for 3 weeks to crunch on the last of the long ongoing project, such as the watermaker, radar repair, new prop shaft wiper to zinc system, Ham radio revamp, battery switch relocation, complete engine to prop shaft maintenance just to name a few. Most of it was an exercise in "boat Yoga"...slipping into tiny spaces that my small frame could get into. The watermaker was the tightest, being in the port side lazerette. When we first arrived in Guaymas it was 103F and 80% humidity, so you can imagine doing water connections and soldering in those conditions. You just get use to sweating. Later in the week it cooled into the 90's and a week later the 80's.
     The battery switch had been a big problem for me. It had been located at an entry point to the dinette. Every time your leg went by it, it got kicked. At one point during the sail down thew Baja coast, a crew member accidentally kicked it to the off position while crashing out. The engine was running at the time, so I kissed the alternator goodbye. Now the new slimline battery switch is recessed and located behind a back cushion in the dinette. You merely flip the cushion up and switch away.
    I had also had a ongoing problem with the prop shaft end, bullet zinc. THEY SUCK! You buy a special prop nut and with an allen bolt tighten them on. The problem is the do their job corroding away to protect the prop and shaft but as they corrode early on, they become loose from said corrosion and the bolt backs off, when the shaft spins and without knowing it, falls off. So I built a shaft wiper that encompasses the shaft and is connect externally to a 4"X6" zinc.
     Adding to the projects, I noticed the Racor filter was contaminated. So I thought it was a good idea to have the diesel tank drained and polished and to take the filter apart and clean it thoroughly. I found a service in San Carlos that came over to do the task and found 2 gallons of water in the tank. So now I can rest that the problem has been eliminated. I also found a breached oring on the deck fill. So this may also have been a source of water entry.

   The good news is...my boat survived hurricane Newton. It was reported that the yard had 80mph sustained winds with 100mph gusts. When I arrived at the boat, she was listing 5 degrees because some of the boat stands had sunk into the ground up to 4"s. One stand was an inch away from the boat not doing a thing. This was a little un-nerving since the yard had told me all was a-ok. I had the yard correct the listing and was told for the first time that 3 boats had fallen over. I later learned it had been 6. So the yard owner was downplaying the situation. 3 of the 6 had fallen over into another boat, usually dismasting both. But I guess if it didn't hit the ground, it didn't count as falling over. In San Carlos, 58 boats fell over between the two yards there.
    Just a few miles down from the yard here in Guaymas is the "almost free marina". Where if you are on the cheap, berth your boat for 30 Pesos ($1.30US as of 11/16). The docks are new and beautiful but the local fisherman treat it as a method of relieving you of excess gear on your boat for you such as outboards and most anything that is not chained down or locked. A German national that I met last year in the yard had launched his 60ft. cement boat. Although there had been lots of warning that the hurricane was on track to hit Guaymas and San Carlos, he claimed that he didn't know. I find this hard to believe as there are at least half a dozen other boats in that marina as well as Mexican national boat there. As the rains came and then the winds, the heavy ferro boat slammed in and out of the docks until she was holed then ripped away from the docks, finally resting on rocks across the small inlet where the marina is located. My take is that he was simply ill-equipped to deal with the storm.
     Here are some pictures of the carnage from the storm in the yard. The one picture you see with what looks like cement on the transom, actually sank and was refloated.




     Now, lets take a moment and talk about my experience with Chase bank and this probably applies with other American financial institutions. Oh...don't worry...your money is secure. So secure in fact that not even you can get it out of your account while traveling.
     Before leaving this last time, I went to my local Chase bank to give them notice that I would be in Mexico for awhile. I gave the dates I would be there and it was duly noted. So you know what happened right? Down I go to the Banmex in Guaymas and nada mas. So back to the boat and I call on Skye to sort it out with Chase. I get..."Oh I don't see a problem but I will reset the information and you should be ok". Two days later, I try again...same deal. This time, I'm not taking "everything is ok" for an answer and after 15 minutes talking to one of their script reading customer service persons back in Alabama, I'm transferred to a debit card "Specialist". On comes a guy with a heavy East Indian accent. Who also does not see a problem but some how magically fixes the problem and encourages me to try again. Out of curiosity, I ask him where he is located. He tells me India. Some how I'm not surprised. Bank managers freshly out of college and out-sourced customer service is now the norm.  So again...back to town the next day and some how it is now working although no one knows why. Really instills confidence in the banking system doesn't it?
     I vow to get to the bottom of it when I get back. I walk into my branch but the manager is busy and will have to call me which actually happens. In my most stern voice, I lay out the scenario for her. She promises to check it out and call me back, which she did. But again cannot explain what happened and stated that two different starting and stopping dates were inputted but had no idea who or how it was done. This is due to the fact that she is not able to see on screen, the transaction because it is another department and "retail bank branches cannot look at that. Really?...you can't even communicate within your own bank? I explained to her that it was her branch where the input was done and even told her which banker did it. She said she would check into it but I'm sure the result of that would be as lame as all the other information I had received thus far. The funniest part was at the end of the conversation where she told me that she could even input the information next time. So I said..."Ok, so moving forward, I will have you, the bank manager, input it for me". Her reply was..."Well if I happen to be here, I can". And thus my friends is the banking system we have today. Welcome to Chase.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

 Ahh, Mexico. A nice break from the Northern California winter.
     I had the usual problem crossing into Mexico and that was getting a visa. A year and a half ago, I brought my truck down through Otay Mesa. After crossing over and having my truck inspected, I could never see a building of any sort to obtain a visa. This time I used Tufesa bus service from Sacramento to Guaymas. We crossed over into Nogales. I asked both the bus driver and the border person screening my luggage where I could obtain a visa, naturally assuming it would be at the border right? Nope. They both shrugged their shoulders and off we went. I later learned it as at kilometer marker 21. Of course the driver sailed right by it. I really wish Mexico would get their shit together with their infrastructure. I thought I could fix it at Immigration in Guaymas but no luck, I would have to bus it back to Nogales.
      My intent was to spend 6-8 weeks here. Crank on the boat for around 3+ weeks and maybe shake her down a bit. Thinking about the visa issue and the fact I would put expensive bottom paint on for just 3 weeks of sailing, it didn't make much sense. I have 7 qts of Pettit Trinidad hard bottom paint. It is the old 78% copper content stuff. They have since reduced it to 60%. I know this would be the last time Joli Elle would get the "good stuff". In Mexico, the only bottom paint available is ablative (sloughing) paint. Then you cannot put hard paint over it. So I made the decision to just crank on the boat now on all the projects and come back down in late October to finish up a few details and launch. This way I end up with a 5 year bottom for the South Pacific.
On to Boat Projects:
In previous posts, I had measured for my new hatch board with "Joli Elle" milled into it. I had made all my dimensions 1/8" oversize in order to "fit" the board in later. I was very surprised to find that the board fit perfectly...
Then it was on to trying my new Porta-bot cover that my friend/canvas guy made for me. Again a success.

Next, my Engineered anchor light...



As you can see it is quite bright. It comes on at dusk and is off by the time I get up at day break. I walked across to the main yard to the far end and my light was very visible. It drew a whopping 100ma.
     I installed a new propane heater vent, the old one being a really thin Stainless unit that I constantly beat up while wrestling with the mainsail in the dark. I will add a low profile shaped rod guard around it later. It worked fine but the heater still blows out with anything over a 12 kt. wind passing over it. Such is life.
     Working on the bilge pumps, I discovered the electric auto bilge pump gave up the ghost. It had been giving me problems for the last few months in the Sea and finally quit.  The manual pump had also given me grief and upon disassembly discovered the flapper check valves were in backwards. How, I have no idea. Factory?, Previous owner?, Me with my head up my ass? It's works good now.
     I have removed the thru-hull for the knot meter paddle wheel. I have found these to be a useless addition to a boat. When I had my Ingrid 38, my crew at the time compared the GPS to the meter. If we calibrated the knot meter around 1.5-2kts, we found it was off by maybe 20% at higher velocities. The same was true if we calibrated the unit at high speed...then the lower velocities were off. That and one less thru-hull to worry about.
     I also replaced my bronze thru-hulls for the cockpit drains. They were original. Since they were in a really tight corner of the engine room, I had to grind the tulip end off them outside the hull and pound them up and out. A process that was only 15 minutes a piece. Now that they were out and upon inspection, I found the 42 year old thru-hull were in perfect condition. Such is life. I will also add that the old ones were not bonded and lived under the waterline.
     I have learned to balance work and health. Every other morning either a new met friend or just alone, I would walk about 3 miles at a brisk clip. It was good for the body and mind.
     I was able to get the KISS Ham radio, ground radials in place, without much grief.. Basically it looks like a 12ft. black garden hose. Doing an inventory for the rest of the Ham radio auto tuner I could see I was short a few parts and have been keeping a list of more "stuff" to buy. It was the same for mounting the new engine instruments. The connections were different than my original ones and will require some female push on connectors. But they look good mounted!
My crew, Paul and I, had some funny readings crossing the Sea. The engine looked as if it was overheating and the volt meter was dead. The panel always felt super hot to a point it was melting and distorting the plastic. I'm pretty sure the volt meter was shorting out as its brass body was discolored when I removed it. I still have to practice boat yoga and crawl into the engine room and change out the sending units.
    I spent the rest of my time designing a method to hold my new SSD laptop under the dodger for navigation. Also a cockpit table and wiper for my prop shaft to attach to an external zinc. I'm tired of the prop shaft end zinc which continues to fall off. It's a really stupid design. As soon as the zinc loses 10%, it becomes loose on the shaft end, creating a lousy connection, in turn inadequate protection.
My continued take on Ferro-cement boats:
I know it's hard to believe that I argue with people (ha ha) but I always get these blow-hards defending their cement boats. To me, it's one rock looking for another. I hear the stories how when on a reef, they last for days before crumbling. Maybe that's true but at their ridiculous weight, that's where they stay. Everyone of them have 7+ft. of draft because of weight and lack of buoyancy. Structurally they are very inferior. There is no linear strands like in fiberglass to create surface/linear strength. Once I was asked to crew with a Marine Surveyor to take a South African built Ketch to Hawaii. The surveyor hauled the boat to look at the bottom to find crazing patterns all throughout the bottom. The yard that hauled the boat was hired to investigate and with a needle gun, chunks of the hull began to fall off the internal (now rusty) wire mesh. The pounding in seas had beat the boat to death.
     I bring this up because, across from me in the yard is a recently abandoned dream. She was a double-ender around 41ft. Apparently, while anchored, the owner would see a sheen around the vessel. Just to back up a little, this boat was laminated on the inside with layer of epoxy and glass in order to have a method of attaching bulkheads. Apparently at some point the glass had been breached somehow. Then somehow, a large amount of oil ended up in the bilge and migrated through the cement. After that, it was delam-city. They had bought a ply-glass Catamaran. To me, not much of an improvement structure wise. The boat was stripped, parts sold and the hull crushed. Here are some pictures of that disaster...




     Being social and making friends:
Being in a boat yard and especially in Mexico, you meet all sorts of characters. I met a fellow, Ed who is one of the best fabricators, I've ever seen, and that's coming from a Toolmaker. He bought a Roberts 39, stretched to a 41, steel boat and has removed it's engine in lieu of a propane powered outboard on an exotic raising and lowering boom as well as removing all the hydraulics and replaces with a tiller that would steer a 100ft. Viking ship. I wish I had taken pictures. Apparently, Ed is very allergic to oil.  Another friend is Greg, a retire contractor with a Morgan O/I 41. Enough interior room for a man and his horse.  Greg and I share a similar past with family dynamics and our heart issues. He and I walked in the morning a few times. He was very friendly and helped me get into town a number of times for boat and food supplies. 
     My neighbors, Ian and Ellen, port of me, had a Endurance 35 which they sold while here. They had a mini flea market where I scored some good offshore items at 1/4 of new.
 Then there are the not so common friends I have made here...

But all in all, the biggest surprise came one evening as I was walking around in the dark with my coffee in hand and was invited to join in on a bull session of a motley crew, two fisted beer drinkers . Various characters would drift in and out of the group and when a fellow entered seemed vaguely familiar. A few of the guys addressed him as "Ted" and I asked if his last name was Nehry? It was. I had met Ted along with my other friend, Chris Catterton back in 1990. 
     Both Chris and Ted had done a delivery for another friend of mine, Noah on a Cheoy Lee 30, from Hawaii back to California. A week out of  the Islands, they were hit with Hurricane Iniki. I wrote an article for Latitude 38, outlining the event. Ted and I were reacquainted a year later when he bought "Anna", a 1926, 60ft. Alden Ketch. I would bump into him on occasion in various cities and yards throughout California. Although I have been in the Guaymas yard for almost 2 years, I had never bumped into him.
    Ted had Anna in Puerto Escondido, when another Hurricane came over the area and a large vessel dragged anchor and holed Anna slightly above the waterline. Ted was not onboard at the time but got down to her quickly, limped her into Guaymas and has been there the last 9 years. 
    Ted has set up camp there. It took him some time to figure out what to do with her injuries, rotting planks and decided to completely tear her down re-plank her with a Mexican hardwood and lay a few layers of glass epoxy over her. It's a daunting project for sure and Ted described himself as determined but I told him that he could better be described as tenacious like a Jack Russell Terrier.
     He has hired locals and trained them the art of being Shipwrights.










And I thought I was ambitious! It takes a certain type of person to work on boats. Most boat owners nowadays don't have the stomach for it. They buy their "bar of soap in the water" and when work is needed, they either hire it out at $150@hr. or simply sell the boat. The day of the self-sufficient sailor is almost gone. Alas, we'll turn off the light and lock the door on the way out.