We have a pretty large hole here….

Today Lori and Elizabeth attended a ladies banquette that I could not attend.  I had a few unsupervised hours so decide to take a quick spin out to the boat and see how much damage I could do.


I drove Lori’s sled out, last time I did this I found the boat had been hit by lightning. Had my fingers crossed this trip.

I decided to install the Garmin chart plotter into the bulkhead.  It is one of the last big electrical jobs to do and a bit messy.


Template supplied with the Garmin flush mount kit for our plotter.

The kit comes 2 decals.  Nice that you really only need one and it allows a fudge factor.  Here it is with the corners already drilled.


Inside of the location were the Garmin is going. These instruments were pitched a few years back as they were full of water and basically trash. I put plastic caps over the holes.

After the corners were drilled I went after it with a jig saw.  Of note is I cut inside the line and not on it across the top. A mistake as it seems the top rubber gasket is not seating well. I will have to go the edge with a grinder to get the 1/16″ I think I need for a better seal.


Here is the plotter installed with dust/weather cover.

I then was able to dress up the wiring inside to be less of a rats nest.


Garmin inside bows that keep the mount and unit attached to the boat.



Some kit in this shot. RAM Mic, wistles, bathroom key, Boat US card, flood light.

Well, that is it for this week,  Happy Mothers day.


Brought to you by babies first selfie…

Work Day, better than no day at all.

Having to work this coming weekend I had this Monday off.   We ventured out to the Bell to check things over and get a few odds and ends done.


Grrrr, daddy goes Grrr.

Baby Tethering

The first order of business was making up a baby tether.    1 meter long and also good for adults on night watch or used with Jacklines.  For this I cut a piece of spare halyard and whipped the ends.    Attaching them to true climbing carabiners with halyard hitches.


I need to check dads work.

Baby girl checking my work some more.

Ram Mic

After making up the tether we installed the Ram Mic for our VHF.    A 1″ hole saw and some butyl bedding and all was well.


RSM Micr, now we can hear the VHF in the cockpit and she puts out better than the handhelds we have been using.

After the Mic I wanted to install the folding padeye to tether the little one to.


I headed for the marinas ships store and bought the required nut and bolts and a ice cold Coke.   Being brilliant I put said Coke in my pant leg pocket for the stroll back to the boat.

On getting back aboard I took a seat in the salon, pulled out the Coke and opened it, to have it foam up and cover me with soda.   Lucky for us we keep a spare set of clothing aboard, the “husband is messy stash” as I like to call it.


Freshly rinsed out in the sink, hanging dry.


After my journey into laundering I drilled the 3 holes and mounted the padeye.


Folds down, thru bolted with 1/4 bolts, this should hold a few hundred pounds. Bedded in butyl.

I may install a second one on the port side and use them as the aft point for jacklines.


Tether and Padeye.

Now we can secure Elizabeth in the cockpit.


Hey pops, I can do this.


Other odds and ends.

The head knocker removed going to the head.  A little less privacy traded for a few less bumps.


The divider and folding door are no longer installed.

I also install 2 tubes to hold boat hooks and fishing rods etc.  I used a 10 foot drain pipe purchased at Lowes for $8.


Boat hooks properly stowed.

Not the best photo as it was taken late in the day.  These tubes are hanging in the quarter berth in easy reach of the companionway.


Checked on our life vests. I think I need to order a recharge kit and fire off these as they getting old. I am thinking 4 years is a good rotation.

And my two lovely ladies.


Lori and Elizabeth, mugging for the camera.

More sailing required. 

We took a quick trip out to the boat this weekend.

Life with the tike and family events has been keeping us busy, but this weekend we found the time.

Baby on board!

A good example how quick babies grow up is on out last visit in February Elizabeth was not very mobile.  She just hung out with mom or dad.

This trip we discovered what it is like to have a near toddler aboard.


“Mmm, Coffee mug.”


“Dish Soap, oh i need to check that out.”

Lizzy now crawls at great speed and is close to walking unaided.

This weekend she discovered she loves the boat. The galley is just the right height for her to get at everything from the salon side. Also the shelving and cushions make for a ready made ladder. (Yes she has climbs and has remarkable upper body strength.) There is quite literally nothing in the salon she can not reach and examine. Supervision is surely required.
Child wrangling

Lori and I need to do some more work to assure Lizzy stays safe.

We have a proper vest with a locator strobe already attached. Here are some thing we need to do.

  • Make up tether and install D ring in cockpit so she is not able to climb around when in the cockpit. This will also be handy for Lori and I if we stand night watches on passage.
  • Install netting on lifelines. If she gets out it would help.  Also with the pups.
  • Lee cloths on the settees and for the V to keep the little one confined.


As it was quite windy when we arrived we did not want to fight with installing the main. Did some housekeeping and checks and cast off.  We ran south for a few hours under a reefed jib.

 On the motor back we had a crow come to visit.

Even after sitting for 2 months the A4 fired right up. In part thanks to our 50watt solar panel keeping our batters topped off and floating a 13.4 volts.


Our motor is humming like a top. The idle has creeped up over time. I suspect this is due to the new rings bedding in. It has 10.9 hours on the meter and the idle is about at 1400 rpm when hot from the 880 rpm I had he dialed in at when in the garage.  I need to adjust the stops.

Parking the Boat

I am starting to get this down. I actually find it easier to park our C30 than the C27 we had.  Here are a few reasons.

  • More weight, she tends to resist gust and falling off the wind better.
  • Inboard motor- real controls for the motor, not fighting tiller and motor. (Can manipulate the motor with my feet)
  • Nice wide side decks make it easy to run for and aft and as the boat is less tender I feel more sure footed. Kiwi grip win.
  • Better slip- our slip allows us to use the entire fairway on approach, our old slip had me worried about grounding as the far side was sea wall.

In closing


A Feat of Strength and Rain

Superbowl weekend started off with sailing.

I was able to install our new hatch over the stuffing box.  I made it out of starboard, 3/4″ thick even though 1/2″ would do.


Abby approves of our new hatch cover.

We had Dana and Dawn come out to join us for a the day on the water.  We cast off the lines and went sailing, but first I had to pump out.


Here I am Clark, pumping out my holding tank.

Very few get to witness the spectacle that is a holding tank pump out.

The winds were light with drizzle and overcast but out we went regardless.   Again ran south on foresail only.   Dana was at the helm.


Dana in control

As the rain picked up all three ladies and the pups stayed dry down below.


As they enjoyed the comfort of the cabin I took a bit to fiddle with our new video camera.


And this horrible fiddling with a boat hook.

And more good pictures.




Baby Elizabeth performing a feat of strength doing arm hang from the companionway hatch.



I will probably edit this later and add content.

Seamanship and Swag

Schooling in Seamanship

A bit chilly this weekend so no sailing of us.   I have to get my fix in with sailing videos and such.

Here is a nice instructional video for the Maryland School of Sailing.  A good watch.

I have a lot to learn.

Why you need a preventer and why it is called a boom.


If you have not noticed we now have a ships store.   You can buy hoodies and such branded for SV Lori Bell.     See the link in the blog header.

Designing the items was fun and we may at some point purchase some for items ourselves.  I really don’t expect many sales.   Of note is a pretty cool flask, the journal book with photo and hoodies, we even offer baby cloths.

Just a short entry today,  now I am going back to my videos.





Now we are in Business! Anyone want to go sailing?

Having worked the weekend I took Monday off.   We met our friends Glenn & Stacey,  going out for a sail in the afternoon.

This was our first short trip to the boat just to sail her,  no work was done on her (if you do not count replacing the forward hatch wingnuts with 5 point knobs) and we just added some fuel, fired up the motor and header out for a sail.  Duplicating the trip we took on our first sail.

Glenn & Stacey had never been out on a sailboat before and I employed them as crew and of which they did a great job.

The comment was made that sailing can be a workout.   This is true,  if your are not accustomed to pulling on ropes to furl and unfurl sails or even just manning the tiller and maintaining a pretty true course (the ICW were we are at can be unforgiving on depth) it can be a lot.   Let alone the climbing up and down scurrying about releasing dock lines etc etc.

ICW  looking towards starboard.

ICW looking towards starboard at the VAB.

The Bigger Boat

After our day out sailing and dinner at CrackerJacks Lori and I got to talking on the 45 minute drive home.

Would we do all the work again, no we would not.  We would rather just have spent $20k and bought a much more sail away ready boat instead of a Derelict like she was.  Sure we know her inside and out but the time spent we will never get back.

That said we are thrilled with our Catalina 30 as compared to the 27 we had.   She is much less tender that  the Clew and much more roomy, her inboard motor is much more friendly to use and work on.

Going sailing is now more fun as we now have a better galley and no super cramped and tender boat feel.  It is sailing fun without the suck that chewed away at the back of our brains.  I can see us taking Lori Bell far afield and enjoying every bit of it.

Baby Girl,  6 months old.

Baby Girl at 6 months old in the arms of my beautiful bride. 

Guests Welcome.

Lori and I welcome anyone that wants to go sailing with use. Bear in mind we have a baby and 2 dogs that travel with us.     An average trip can last from 2 to 6 hours depending on wind conditions and when we leave the marina.

Child life vests can be borrowed for free at the Marina office. We have enough adult vests for 6 people and all the required safety gear as not to get a citation and keep us safe.  We even have more fire extinguishers than required and a Carbon Monoxide detector in the cabin that is tested annually.  We also have a pretty nice first aid kit.

We do not provide sea sickness medications,  let it be noted that they should be taken a few hours or the night before departure on the boat as our experience is they knock you out for a bit.

Smile, we like sailing.

Smile, we like sailing.

A few Things left to fix

Of course we are not really done with our work.  Here is a short list of stuff we need to do.

  • Tune the motor to idle better and get max RPM as well as sort our the choke and starting etc.
  • New stuffing box hatch cover as the old one is rotten.
  • New top crib board as that one is rotten
  • New backing plates for all 4 cleats as the aft starboard side is loose and they probably all need help.
  • New handle on the interior of the companionway hatch.
  • New starboard side rope on the traveler.
  • New Traveler.
  • Tiller pilot install.
  • Ram Mic install.
  • Chart Plotter mount install.
  • New mast top antenna to replace the one lost to lightning so we have AIS and VHF communications.
  • LED lighting inside, white and also red lights for night sailing (vision).
  • Add a port side accessory jack in the salon.
  • New port side cabin top handrail.
  • Fix all those holes int he back end of the companionway hatch.
  • Install foot pump in the head for hand washing.

Ah, that is all I can think of at the moment.   God bless.


It is a “Sail Boat” after all.

Last weekend we had 4 days off due to holidays and such.    As it was on the first day we took it easy packing up and not getting out to Lori Bell until later in the afternoon.


The weather was fairly nice but cool and with winds out of the NNE at about 10 knots.

I spent the morning fiddling with electronics and watching baby girl.   I think she enjoys our time at the boat due to the close proximity of puppies and mom and dad.  All pretty much within reach.

Lori ventured off to take a shower at the marina wash room, a routine operation that turned into a event in itself.   She got to talking to some of the other boat folks when one of the ladies had a medical emergency, Lori and others assisted.   When she got back from the shower she asked me “Did you not worry I was gone for two hours?”  My response is I thought she was probably talking to someone and I was enjoying playtime with Lizzy.

After her return and lunch I went up on deck and fiddled with the rigging tension and pinned the backstay turnbuckle. Completing the rigging adjustment.  I then installed the Genoa and sheets on the furler.


By the time I had finished my little chore it was getting close to 3pm and the wind was picking up.  Our slip at D129 was getting pretty rough as the wind was at the perfect direction and the waves traveled pretty much unimpeded from the Indian River.  Lori Bell was rolling.

Lori and I went to the office and got a list of available empty slips and walked the docks, deciding on a new location to move that would be smoother.

After deciding to give A dock a try again we got the boat going and headed out for what would be our first sail in her.   Leaving the marina the chop and wind picked up and looking at the clock it was almost 4pm.  Sunset was 5:36pm so feeling a bit less adventurous I turned the boat around and brought her into A-30,  our new slip and the only one left vacant on A dock.

A-30 just happens to be kitty corner to A-6, the slip the Clew was in that is now vacant.

Securing the boat in the slip I spent some time moving the dock lines and such from the old slip and moving gas cans and odd stuff from the dock box.

Heading to the shower before Chef Larry’s for prime rib I realized we had spent another day on the boat and not sailing.  Oh well, at least we moved the boat and ran the motor.


As we slept Saturday night snug under our quilt with 2 puppies keeping us warm we could here rain on the overhead and hatches and the wind in the rigging.

The morning proved more of the same, wind, rain and cold.  We spent the morning drinking coffee, eating oatmeal and pretty much relaxing.  As lunch approached we decided it would be a good time to head over to the KSC and us our passes will expire at the end of the month.  IMAX was calling us.

We bundle baby girl up and off we went.


My first trip to NASA.


Orion Capsule.


Lori and Elizabeth with Mars in the background.

We were able to see a presentation by Astronaut Marcos Pontes.  He was great and had some good questions and answers after.  I really liked his answer to the question of if he believed in god.   Very impressed.

Here is a lnk to his bio. http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/pontes.html

We were able to get a photo with him and Elizabeth.


By Monday morning the rain had moved off.  It was a perfect day.

First thing I did was mount the main sail.


Our new main.


After putting the main on I took some measurements to allow the ordering of a new sail cover and then we went out sailing.

We motored out of the marina to the ICW channel.  Unfurling the jib we sailed without the motor for a few hours heading south.  Lori Bell was making a good 4 knots with the sail partially furled and she was staying very flat and comfortable.

I decide not to use the main or more headsail since we were going to have to motor back against the wind.  May as well take it easy.

This was the first time Elizabeth has ever sailed and all of us having our first trip on Lori Bell.

I wonder how many years it really has been since our C-30 has sailed? The rig was is such horrible shape and the boat was just being used as an apartment when we bought her I imagine it has been many years.


And Two Months Later.

Saturday afternoon we finally got out to the Lori Bell after a long absence.

She looks good except a little mildew on her decks from lack of use.

We have  a diver who keeps her bottom and prop clean and checks the zinc on the shaft for us. He gave us a call and said all was well when he had checked things just that morning.

Once there we unloaded all our stuff and then proceeded to Chef Larry’s for dinner.  Unfortunately for us there was the Titusville Christmas parade and it bared our way from Larry’s.

Atomic 4 work and Electronics work

First thing Sunday morning I installed the new fuel pump and fuel pressure gauge.  She started right up with the new pump in place.  It is good to diagnose a problem correctly.

As she ran I checked the voltage on the batteries,  unfortunately there was no charging coming from the alternator.  Another casualty to the lightning strike.

I then spent the remainder of the day installing the VHF radio and AIS, unfortunately we are using the AIS antenna for the VHF as the mast top whip was destroyed in the strike.

Monday morning I replaced the alternator with the spare and also replaced the sender for the fuel gauge.

Pup Takes a Swim

After working on the boat Sunday we wanted to take baby girl to check out the lights at the park here in Titusville.   Unfortunately as we were putting the dogs leashes a squall rolled in. We had to delay for a bit.  By the time things had cleared it was after 9pm.   The park had closed for the night an no lights for Elizabeth to ooggle at.

After picking up a snack and returning to the marina we were making our way to the boat.   Lori had Elizabeth in her life vest and myself with the two dogs.

Abby, being a bit of a free spirit decided to make the jump from the dock to the boat before being told.   As she had run ahead she did not have enough slack I let go of her leash to allow her to make the jump.  Her front paws made it but her rears did not and down into the water she plunged.

As far as I know was is her first ever swim.  She paddled around a bit until I went down the diver ladder at the end of the dock.  She noticed me and swam on over and I fished her out.  Only getting wet from the waist down myself.

Suffice it to say Lori was a bit excited.

Sea Trials

After Lunch today (Monday) we took the Lori Bell out for a second sea trial on the new motor.

After the first sea trial I had to tighten some bolts on the prop shaft, replace the fuel pump and adjust the reverse band in the transmission.

This 1.5 hour trip was much smoother, with no rattle or knocks and the motor running smooth up to about 1700 rpm and 5.3 knots.  There appears some tuning issues as we should be able to get about 2100 rpm and 6.5 knots with the screw we have.     I will have to do some research into what steps to take to optimize thing but we are definitely on the way.  At idle of 900 rpm she moves at 3.3 knots and evens makes 2.3 knots into the wind.


And now some baby photos.

As we were out motoring back and forth we saw a few dolphins about.     They were a few 100 feet away so no good photo opps were had.  On returning to the marina we saw another dolphin swimming closer to the boat hunting fish.

At one point it came mostly out of the water with a fish in its mouth, pretty neat.    If you look you may see a fin in one of these photos.

In Closing

It was a very productive long weekend.  We are to the point were we are starting to discuss our first overnight trip.

Plans are to get the sails up on day one and sort some loose ends on the run.

Lori Bell under power from an inboard is much more manageable than the Knot was with her outboard.   Although not the best in reverse she easy to control in the marina even with a 10 to 15 knot cross wind.

Also the Bell is a lot more stable a platform than our old Catalina 27, the additional ballast and beam make her much more pleasant.

What is Next.

What will the next week bring?  Will be participate in the Christmas Boat parade?  Will we take a trip to St Augustine, New Smyrna, Melbourne, Cocoa?  We have yet to decide.

If this keeps up I should fire my Mechanic.

Things started slowly last Saturday.   I was a bit frazzled and enjoyed the morning drinking coffee and enjoying hanging out around the house.

After lunch we started to get ready to head out to the boat.  I had to load up the dink and get ice and fuel as well as the main sail out of the garage.


Pulling the dinghy out of the garage I figured it was a good time to practice inflating the thing so I would not have to guess at how it works once on the boat.

DInk all packed up.

DInk all packed up.

Achilles LS4.

The boat itself weighs probably just 30 lbs or so with the wood floor weighing about the same.  It is easy enough to tote it around as long as you do not pack the floor in with the dink.

It unfolds.

Unfolded with foot pump connected.

Unfolded with foot pump connected.

It took 9 minutes to pump it up using the supplied foot pump at a leisurely pace, switching the hose between the fore and aft chambers half way through.

Here she is.

Here she is.

Deflating and folding it back into the case took 2 minutes.

Fully loaded.

Fully loaded.


We got to the boat pretty late in the day and I just had enough time to load all the supplies aboard before a squall hit.  She was rocking and rolling as we left to go get dinner.

Night picture of the Lori Bell

Night picture of the Lori Bell

After dinner we called it a night, as we got up with the sun in the morning.

Dawn over the marina.

Dawn over the marina.

Following breakfast and coffee I got to work on the boat.  First order of business I went to work on the gauges.  Replacing the water temperature and fuel gauge.  The fuel gauge replaced I looked at the sender, it measures open (should be 6-260 or so ohms) so a replacement is on order now.

Bad fuel gauge sender.

Bad fuel gauge sender.

After the electrical work I tightened some bolts and adjusted the reverse band on the Atomic 4.

A4 with transmission cover off to adjust reverse.

A4 with transmission cover off to adjust reverse.

Once the I had the motor and electronics sorted I started her up.   She ran for 10 to 20 seconds and died.

After attempting to restart for a minute or so I had to troubleshoot.

Pulled the #1 plug, good spark.

Disconnected the fuel pump from the carb and hot wire the pump to run. The pump made noise but no fuel came out.  Uggggh.  The fuel pump was the last part still in service from before the rebuild, I guess it wanted to retire.

Offending fuel pump.

Offending fuel pump.

So ended our plans to take her sailing for the first time.


I actually did do some work toward getting our sailboat to actually, well sail.

I busted out the Loose gauge and adjusted the turnbuckles so the shrouds have proper tension.

Turnbuckles with split pins.

Turnbuckles with split pins.

I also replaced a too short halyard with a longer one that can double as a topping lift.

Old black, new white.

Old black, new white.

I sewed the the two together and pulled the new one up the mast using the old as a messenger.

Whipping string and sail needle.   Gets the job done.

Whipping string and sail needle. Gets the job done.

I also ran the furling line for the jib.  We need 2 new fair-leads to make it run smoothly.  They are on order so we should be good to go.


Also spent some time securing some bits in the cabin that have been loose since we bought the boat.  Drawers, bar, gear.

Secured the galley bar with a fiddle board, now it does not move when leaned on.

Secured the galley bar with a fiddle board, now it does not move when leaned on.

And got rid of the hump in the engine hatch using a hammer for a little manual persuasion. 

Until next trip Libby says bye.

I love my vest!

I love my vest!