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Showing posts from November 23, 2014

Making a Tiller Pilot Cover

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My research into tiller pilots suggested that they are pretty reliable devices, lasting many years for some users.  Others, who relied on them for 24 x 7 blue water cruising, observed much higher failure rates, owing perhaps to greater number of hours used, but also to sun and rain.  There seems to be some agreement that making a cover for the device will improve its longevity.  It is relatively straightforward if you're handy with a sewing machine.

My device is a RayMarine ST-2000, but I believe the physical form of the 2000 and the 1000 are the same, so the covers will be identical.

The materials required are:

(1) 28" x 14" piece of suitable fabric (I used Sunbrella)
(2) 6 inches of 1" velcro
(3) 3 1/4" x 6 1/4" vinyl window material
(4) a grommet or sewn ring for the push-rod pass through
(4) suitable thread
(5) a sewing machine and basic sewing skills

I have a SailRite Ultrafeed which I find to be a great machine for canvas work.  I used to sew with …

A tale of two toddlers

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The Center for Wooden Boats has a Third-Friday Speaker each month for most of the year.  This month's event was a particularly timely topic for me.  Tor and Jessica Bjorklund spoke on the topic of sailing the Inside Passage to Alaska... with two toddlers!

Their boat, s/v Yare, will be known to many locals... I have admired her for years, seeing her often at her slip at Jensen's on Portage Bay.  Yare is a classic design whose lines Tor encountered as a 12 year old in the upstairs library at CWB.   Their traditional elegance set him on a trajectory that continues today.

When he set out to build one, he found a hull for sale at bargain prices... made of steel.  Tor enrolled in the Northwest School for Wooden Boats to acquire the skills necessary to finish her out (8 years in a barn near Port Townsend).   The boat inspires admiration for her beauty and confidence for her stout countenance.

Tor and his partner, Jessica, set off for Alaska with two one year old toddlers - Lars and …