Showing posts from 2009

Anchor rode

Spent a couple hours on Ripple today securing the heater tank, and tending to various small tasks including:
Finishing the splicing of the aft-deck anchor rode on a thimble, shackled to the the anchor chain.  The nylon line had previously been sliced directly to the chain.
Renewing bungie cords on the boat cover.Renewing the leather retaining straps that keep the bronze belaying pins in the combing oarlocks.  These pins are wonderful as combing cleats, and I am going to look into a set of oarlocks and sweeps so as to be able to row Ripple in the even of a near-dock engine failure.

Lake Union Tour


Randy, Mathias and I took Ripple for a tour around Lake Union.
The Engine started easily, in spite of the cold (about 40 F).  90 minutes.

No wind, light overcast, a pleasant day to visit houseboats and ogle boats.  Got back just about the time Mom and Marguerite arrived at the dock, and greased the landing.

Put the cover on, put her to bed, and went to lunch at Ivar's Salmon House before taking Mathias to the airport for his trip back to San Diego.

Nice trip.

re-installing the Force-10 kerosine heater


Ripple came with an alcohol wick 'stove' installed that could take the chill off the interior... sort of, though I can't exactly feature boiling water on it, let alone cooking anything on it.  A Force-10 kerosene boat heater had once been installed, and the parts were all in a box (the stove, fuel line, tank, stack, and stack-hat, as well as some braces for securing the tank below the galley cabinetry).

Randy and I puzzled through the earlier installation evidence (palimpsestuous screw-holes, tank-shaped-recess cut into the ceiling slats, configuration of bent-copper fuel lines), and decided on an appropriate re-installation approach.  Some details remain to be worked out  (securing the tank), but we think we have a sound approach, and the stove itself and stainless steel tank went in with some fiddling.  The previous owner, bless him, had assured that all parts were taped in place so the copper spacers and bronze bolts and nuts were all present.

Ripple is nearly…

Life line terminations


The life lines terminate fore and aft in nylon bindings linking bronze thimbles on the life lines to bronze eyes screwed to the teak top rails.  The rear bindings were dangerously weakened, a number of the constituent cords having worn through. 

Replaced with new nylon cord.

I also spent time today sorting out how to tighten up the boat cover so that it looks better, and sheds water more effectively.  Raising the gaff and boom yokes, the gaff halyard, and the topping lift raised the boom, steepening the pitch of the cover, and a ridge line from the bow to the mast tightened up the front of the cover.

Puttering and Exploring


I spent a couple hours at the dock getting to know Ripple, inventorying her lockers and checking out systems.  I think I found the problem with her electrical system (an ammeter, fried, with evidence of heat deformation on the back.  A loose lead from the shunt to the meter, as Dave Erskine suggested it might be.

I excavated the bitter end of both anchor rodes, and secured them.  Looked over the ballast in the bow, thinking about securing it as recommended in the survey.  The lazerette had a boarding ladder for recovering the deck after a fall overboard (another issue raised in the survey.   The forward-port jam cleat needs to be reset, a screw having stripped out).  The stantion life lines need to be resecured at each of their stern points, a nylon binding being more than half-way severed on each side.

As I was puttering, Bobby, a regular on the docks, showed me how to pivot the boat, end for end, in her berth, a simple manouever that will avert having to back in or out of…

Berthing Pangs


s/v Ripple took up residence in her new home on Friday.  A sailing friend, David, helped me bring Ripple into her berth.  Her greenhorn skipper learned a little about screw currents, offset shafts, and backing strategies.  I think it will be a while before I'm single-handing.  The sailing part is easy, or in this case, a short motor (pocketypocketypockety).  Transitions from weather to tether are something else again.

We got her in ok, and bedded her down, full boat cover installed.

The Deed is Done (and in the bank's name)


The complex constellation of loan, insurance, mooring, and will converged today and I am now indentured as s/v Ripple's most recentcustodian.  I'll take her over to her new Lake Union berth on Westlake sometime in the coming days, but before leaving the Center for Wooden Boats, I popped down to check her bilges.  The full boat cover is doing its duty... the interior, bilges and air, were bone dry.  Comforting.

I've started to think about tenders.  An inflatable would be practical, relatively inexpensive, relatively easy to store and... well... wholly out of character.  Why not an Atkin-design tender to compliment Ripple's classic beauty?  Handy Andy seems just right.  I bet I can do that....

Getting to know you...

2009-11-12 Center for Wooden Boats

A long day spent inspecting, inch by inch, inside and out, each nook and cranny of a 26 foot hull.  Valves, bilges, sealing, chain plates, decking, pin rails, spars, sails, flares, pintels and gudgeons, red lead, batteries, fuel filters, through hulls, zincs, and on and on and on.  Brilliant, cold air, motoring over to the haul out along the ship canal on that rarest thing, a clear day in a Seattle November.

I won't see the survey for several days yet, but overall, this boat is in about as good a shape as a 16 year old wooden boat can be.

First Dance

2009-11-08 (10:00 - 13:00) Lake Union

November isn't the best possible time to sail in Seattle, but time is of the essence, and a morning weather window allowed two motivated sailors to take s/v Ripple for a 'sea trial' of sorts today.

The experience reminded me of the day i got my first really good guitar - handling a finely crafted wooden instrument whose quality my skill would never do justice to, but would help me rise to a new level.

Kemp Jones, a licensed skipper and long-time CWB volunteer,  was kind enough to help put Ripple through her paces before the weather closed in.  It was a delightful promise of sailing to come.

On to the survey.

So it begins

I've been looking at boat ads in Seattle's CraigsList for about half a year now, and the lesson is... don't sweat it - there's another one out there.  You can buy a different pocket cruiser pretty much everyday of the week if you're so inclined, so be circumspect.

Ripple is the first counter example in my price range.  It was love at first sight, and second sight as well.  This is an uncommon sailboat.

Ripple is a jewel built in 1993 by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, WA.  She has clearly been cared for lovingly in her 16 years afloat.  Her previous owner donated her to the Center for Wooden Boats, sale to benefit the CWB's programs. I wrote a deposit check for her today, and will sail her, weather permitting, tomorrow.

Her interior is compact, without the luxury of standing headroom, but replete with bronze, opening port-lights, a hatch prism, V-berth and settee berth, and a galley that is capacious in proportion to the si…