Well we have only gotten to go out a couple more times on sea puppy. I had the boat pretty well torn apart for a week or two with repairs and upgrades since the last set.
The last time I took sea puppy out was to single hand for the first time.. The sailing went well 10 to 15 knots wind and 3 to 4 ft seas and she handled great.. I cross sheeted the jib sheets accross the cockpit so I could adjust them from the high side and it worked very well. With this setup I can handle the tiller, mainsheet, traveler and jib sheets while sitting in one place. For raising and lowering sails though I still want a tiller pilot. It is tricky if you have to reach a hand for the tiller every once in a while to stay into the wind while rasing sails.. To many hands are needed.
I was sailing near Anago and they turned around and went back in. Since we were having trouble understanding each other on the radio I followed them back in to see if they might need help.. It was just a new crew member that had gotten sea sick, but as it turns out it was a good thing for me. As we were coming up on the inlet I reached down and pushed the outboard to the down position in preperation to starting it. well lets just say that was my intention… instead of pushing down it came right off the mount on the transom and started torward davy jones locker. I did have a chain on it but if it hit the water it would have been totally submerged one handed I snagged the engine and yanked it back into the cockpit. It’s a lot heavier than my other 4hp engine and i would never normally try to move it with one hand… lol. it didn’t feel that heavy this time ( I must have had a hell of a adrenaline rush going). Long story short… I sailed into the inlet and into an area partially sheltered from the wind and while Anago hung out in case I needed help I worked on re-mounting the engine… it just gets better though.. when I went to start the engine the pull cord broke in half.. So i found some line and rigged a emergency pull line to wrap around the emergency pull system on the top of the engine…. after that everything went smooth.. all i have to say is why did everything have to go wrong with equipment the first time I take Sea Puppy out alone? sigh.. oh well..
After getting back I examined the mount and found where the the vibration of the engine had caused it to eat a 1/4 inch into the board (1.5 inch thick total ) that the engine mounts on. This had created enough slack for the engine to come off the mount when I pushed it. So off the engine came. I repaired the hole with epoxy, thickend with cabosil, re-painted it and then screwed an aluminum plate 1/8 inch thick over the area where the engine screw mounts tighten. Also the engine has two mount holes where you can bolt it down to the board in addition to the screw mounts. I used two 1/4 inch by 2 inch long stainless bolts, lock nuts and some stainless washers to bolt it down.. I don’t think it will come off again.. In looking at the what I think was excessive vibration I found a very small ding in one of the blades of the prop, using a small sander I sanded it down and made it smooth again. In testing the engine after this was all done I ran it to full power while tied off to the dock with no excessive vibration.. I think it is working better than ever now.. oh and I also repaired the pull rope so it cranks normally also.
Next project was to install a tiller tamer.. I pulled my old one off of my Santana 21 and mounted it on the tiller on Sea Puppy.. Purchased two jam cleats and installed them for the ends of the line coming from the tiller tamer.. I’m not sure but I think the tiller tamer is having exposure issues. the plastic cracked in two places when I gave a decent but not excessive tug on it. It is still there and working but I don’t trust it much… I have started to work out a design using the guts of this on a stainless frame that I could make. We will see what happens.
Next finished is the jib and halyard line bag that is mounted on the starboard aft cabin bulkhead under the winch. I took the old faded and torn red one down and picked it apart as a pattern. I used some of the new blue sunbrella that was left over from Patty making the new boom/sail cover and cut out a piece to this pattern… Then found out that the original pattern was a mess.. I ended up making it quite a bit differently but it ended up looking the same when I remounted it. It should be much stronger this time though.
I still havent gotten around to moving halyards around or putting new reefing lines in.. I have the new forward boom end that will let me do single line reefing and after I install that I need to change out the to short lengths of 5/16 line currently in use to the correct length of 1/4 inch line with it all led back to the cabin top correctly.
I was going to move to 1/4 inch even on the jib and main halyards but I have two new lengths of 5/16 in green and red that I will use for those, it will stretch less in use which is better for racing anyway.
will update more when something new gets done. Also when I get around to it I will take pictures of projects done and insert them where appropriate here.