The Alameda Boat Show

San Francisco and the Bay Area fancy’s itself the center of the universe for many things. Seattle can claim the prize when it comes to boat shows. I visited the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Alameda this Saturday. It is a nice show, and was pretty busy, but it pales in comparison to the Seattle Boat Show. With the amazing sailing the San Francisco bay has to offer, I always hope for a bigger boat show (perhaps there is one and I just don’t know about it). Nevertheless, I always enjoy spending time around boats and marinas.

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Davits and Dinghy Mods

Archimedes came to us with a 12 foot inflatable and an 8 horse outboard. Not bad, but the little motor won’t get the boat up on plane very well. It would get there … barely, but not with two people on board.

I feel the need. The need for speed. Or … at least more speed than before.

Kim. Out for a test drive on Lake Union.

Steve Guyer, from Guyer Boatworks replaced the outboard with a 20 horse Tohatsu. Electric start. Electric trim. That’s right. She’ll plane nicely now. He also added a St. Croix seat and steering. Very comfy.

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Last Saturday evening, we were on the Sound headed back to the locks. Just outside Shilshole, I went out on deck and noticed a Coast Guard boat approaching on the port side. When I saw the blue lights, I knew their intention. Those are cool boats, by the way.

The conversation went something like this…

CG: “Good evening. When was the last time you were boarded by the Coast Guard?”

Me: “Never.”

CG: “Would you like to make this the first time?”

Me: “Sure.” (Is there another answer to that question?)

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Cindy and Noe

Cindy and Noe are friends from southern California. Not much experience with the Northwest and none with boats. They came up for a visit this past weekend and we took them out on the Sound for the day Saturday.

Fortunately for all, Seattle brought out some great weather for the weekend. The first sunshine in a long time. Sometimes we get lucky.

A beautiful start to the day

We left the slip on Lake Union headed for the locks shortly after 8:00 on Saturday morning. No other boats in sight. As we approached the locks, we could see the gates were closed. We prepared to tie up at the small lock waiting area. Just then the gates started to open and we got the green light. In we went. We were the only boat around so the gates were closing as we finished tying off. That’s service!

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Mast Repair … or, if I don’t break it, I don’t have to pay to fix it

There we were. A beautiful day. On a mooring buoy in Montague Harbour. A few days into a two week trip through the Gulf Islands. The anchor light won’t light. We like to anchor. We are going to need that light. So …. I decided we needed to tip the mast down to check the bulb. Simple. That’s the way it always begins. Not the way it usually ends. At least for me.

Our mast had a bunch of “stuff” on it. Pretty heavy on the top end. Lowering takes a bit of work. Raising it, takes much more. The hinges are not built for all that weight.

All this "stuff" makes the mast pretty heavy.

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Anchors Away

Anchors are a very personal choice. I don’t really know why, but the choice of an anchor seems to spur endless debate on the internet. Archimedes came equipped with a 45 lb. CQR. The first few times we anchored, getting a good set was more difficult than we expected, and were used to on our sailboat. Perhaps it was just me or not being used to the new boat. Anyway … I got the urge to do something different.

After some investigation, analysis, non-scientific research, and just because I thought it looked cool, we decided to get a 60 lb. Manson Supreme. I thought about the next size up, but was concerned about the ability of our windlass to lift a bigger anchor and all that chain.

Here are the old and new anchors side by side.

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A Brief History of Time

Here is a quick trip through the “Way Back” machine. Just to bring us up to speed with all that has transpired. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the highlights … in pictures. This is likely to be more interesting than my narrative would be.

February 2010. A great day for the sea trial.

A great day for a sea trial

Motoring through the Montlake Cut.

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