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.

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!

Back to the boat. Underway!!

Temperatures are starting to cool off here and this has allowed us to start visiting the boat again without giving baby girl heat stroke.  Yay.

Saturday bright and early I went over to WaWa and filled up a jerry can on Ethanol free gas for the boat.

Just say to corn in your tank.

Just say to corn in your tank.

After getting some ice for the coolers we were off to the boat.

Rigging and Baby

Once at the boat I removed the extra dock lines and then broke out the Loos gauge and adjusted the standing rigging.  We needed to get the proper tension on the rig so I would not be stressed out lifting the front of the motor using the boom and halyard to replace the motor mounts.

Adjusted my turnbuckles. All these are new as we replaced everything in overhaul but for the main chain plates.

Adjusted my turnbuckles. All these are new as we replaced everything in overhaul but for the main chain plates.

After adjusting rigging tension I reinstalled the solar panel I had removed for fear of a hurricane.

As this was going on Lori and baby were getting comfortable in the cabin.

Lori and baby as seen thru the topside hatch.

Lori and baby as seen thru the topside hatch.

This was Elizabeth’s second trip to the boat.  It is remarkable how much better her life jacket fit.  We would make her wear it whenever going on and off the boat.

Here be baby girl in her jacket.

Here be baby girl in her jacket.

We discovered the V berth makes a good changing station.

Freshly changed.

Freshly changed.

For dinner Saturday we went out to Chef Larry’s, good stuff.

I spent Sunday morning replacing motor mounts.  Lori took baby antique shopping.

Motor Mounts and Damage Repair.

To enable lifting the front of the motor I wrapped a loop of rope around the flywheel housing. Then hooked it to a cheapo block and tackle.

This I hooked to the halyard  running thru a loop on the boom. It worked perfect, I pulled and lifted the front of the 400 lb motor with one hand.

After replacing the mounts (two hours due to some drilling) I readjusted the motor and shaft alignment (about an hour).

Also at this time I installed a 200 amp fuse link between the start battery and the starter as I had to disconnect the battery to safely work on the starboard motor mount.

Blue Sea Systems 5191 Fuse Block Terminal 30-300 AMP

I then proceeded to repair a few lightning damaged items.

First was the Master switch that the bolt ate.

New and old, what is left of it anyway.

New and old, what is left of it anyway.

I then turned toward the motor and getting it to start.

A few weeks back I had pretty much determined the issue was no spark.  I ordered a new electronic ignition but had the worrisome feeling in the back of my mind it could be just the coil, we have two spare coils thanks to my old motorcycle fetish.

On opening up the distributor cap I was greeted with a bunch of plastic bits.

Distributor with plastic debris inside.

Distributor with plastic debris inside.

It appears the bolt had blown up the sensor.

Old vs New sensor

Old vs New sensor

Once the new sensor was installed I attempted to start the motor.  She cranked up first try.

I let it idle for about 30 minutes and our Carbon Monoxide alarm did not go off, successful exhaust system rebuild.

At this point Lori and Elizabeth returned with dinner and I called it a day.

Monday is for Moving

This morning we started early.  After a large breakfast I replaced the fried bilge blower and RPM gauge.


Lori and I then worked on getting the boat ready to move.   2 years in the yard leads to some pretty sloppy housekeeping on a boat.  We stowed the coolers below, removed a bunch of trash, organized our dock lines in a bucket, got out the boat hooks, found the floating cockpit cushions.  Reinstalled the life sling. Tried to clean up and secure gear adrift in the galley.

We got a start on the cleanup but there is still a lot to do as we need to bring aboard the dinghy and motor and secure everything so we can sail rail in the water if need be.  Coffee grounds always seem to be the first to spill.

Off We Go!

After walking the pups and letting the motor idle for 30 minutes we cast off the lines.  Our first trip outside of the marina on Lori Bell.

Elizabeth was ecstatic.

Elizabeth was ecstatic.

The pups seemed to enjoy it.



I need a vest because I run around so much.

I need a vest because I run around so much.

Deep thoughts.

Deep thoughts.

And probably the happiest critter aboard.

And probably the happiest critter aboard.



View on the water.

View on the water.

We motored up and down the Intercoastal Waterway for about an hour and a half.  We then headed in, making a stop to clean out the waste tank on the way.

3.3kts at 980rpm and 5.5kts at 1600rpm.  She started out a little rough making turns but as we headed in smoothed out to a nice buzz.  Lori thought it was smooth the entire time but she was comparing it to our first trip in the marina with bad mounts and a fouled propeller.

We will push the motor a little more next time. I do need to adjust the reverse band on the Atomic 4 as once the oil was warm reverse pretty much stopped working.  Of course we hope to also raise the sails next trip.  Sweet.

Hurricane Danny

With Hurricane Danny swirling out there we thought it best to visit the boat this weekend and double up the dock lines  (added a second set), and stowed our solar panel below so it will not blow away.

We have been avoiding trips out to Titusville due to the summer heat and baby girl.  This weekend was no exception.  We waited until after 6pm and for the temps to drop below 90 and made the trek out.   Wow it was hot out there.  After only a few minutes on the bench in the shade Lori had to take Elizabeth into the marina laundry room to soak up some air conditioning.   It may have only been 86 but you could cut the humidity with a knife.

Cutting Board

Another reason for our visit was to take some photos of our factory original cutting board and stove.   I recently received an email from Catalina Direct asking for such photos,  if they like our board we will ship it to them and they will use it as a template for making replacements and we get a new board in the process.

Our old cutting board installed in the Princess stove. It flips up.

Our old cutting board installed in the Princess stove. It flips up.

Of course in the process of going below and taking photos I discovered it was 100 degrees inside the boat as per the bulkhead thermometer.   Yikes.

Titusville Marina

What a depressing place to visit.  When we first moved in a few years ago with our last boat the marina was jammed packed.  I remember only having one or two choices of slip locations as they must have been over 90% full.

When we moved the Bell in a few months back I would say they were about 65% to 70% full but now since the “Live Aboard” fiasco the city has enacted the place is probably only 25-35% full.   There sure is no waiting at the laundry room for a machine or the bathroom for a stall.

A prime example of “We are the government and here to help”.  Glad these types don’t run our healthcare system….  Ohh………

With such nice facilities and docks and a decent ships store the marina is probably one of the only things Titusville had going for it, even if it was a loss leader it was one of the few bright spots. Sad.


After putting on our dock lines and listening to a power boater on the next dock berate his girlfriend like an ass we loaded up in the Escape and went to dinner.

We decided to try “Village Inn”  a Denny’s like restaurant in Titusville that has a lot of pies.   Yummy pies, even strawberry rhubarb.  Unfortunately we were so full by the time for pie came about we left without trying a slice.

Baby Girl and a Bottle

Baby Girl and a Bottle

Village Inn Titusville.  Feeding Elizabeth,  what a sweetheart.

Village Inn Titusville. Feeding Elizabeth, what a sweetheart.

Of course since we did take the time to double our lines, no hurricanes this year, that is how it works…..

Baby on board. 

Logs N Baby

I recently purchased two log books.

One we call the “Ships Log”. In it we will be recording who visits and when as well as were we go and what we do. Hopefully mostly fun entries. Anyone that comes aboard is welcome to make an entry. 

The other is the “Maintenace Log” I. It we will record any major work and routine work done to the boat.

This weekend we put our first entry in the ships log. I roughly states “Elizabeth Flora Lillian Monroe visited the boat and spent her first night aboard”. A pretty cool entry.

We first had to get her a PFD. Actually we have had one in the garage a few years now. Still with sale label attached. We were able to use it.

 Here she is dangling by the carry strap. It fits her in that it will keep her head above water and she will not fall out.

To take her to and from the boat we suit her up in this thing for the off chance we fall off the dock.
We have a small sleeper for her to stay in. We actually use this at home also, it folds up nice and has a carry handle.

Here she is sleeping like an angel.
One good thing about the boat is it affords a lot of places to hang washed linens if they get soiled.

Baby girl spends her time below out of the sun. But we did take her for dinner at Chef Larry’s and for a walk after.

 She did pretty well, we were lucky and the temperature stayed below 90 this weekend, otherwise we would have stayed home.

Maintenance Log

Unfortunately this weekend had me make the third entry in the maintenance log. This entry listes things I found that needed repair due to lightning.  It took half a page.

Basically all the engine gauges and the electronic ignition system are shot.

Surprisingly enough I worked on wiring and the mast lights all survived. Steaming, spreader, foredeck spot and anchor light all work.   The only navigation bulb we had blow was the stern light.

I replaced the radio and charge controller.

 As well as the indicator LEDs on the fuse panels.

Oh, and the Lightning jumped from my back stay and ateabout 4 holes in my rolled up Bimini.

If you look close you can see black char marks were it burn thru to the metal frame.

I also replaced the exhaust hose this weekend.

To get it from the motor compartment  to I laced the end of the hose with a tie wrap.

 This allowed me to feed a rope down inside and with the help of a screwdriver make that last tight bend through the the forward bulkhead of the sail locker.
In replacing the aft section of hose I had to crawl back under the cockpit behind this hatch.

 Here you can see daylight through the split old hose at the transom fitting.

Here is a look at the space with the rudder shaft in frame. It pretty much forces you to only have one hand to work with.

post in the way

post in the way

A better view of the work area.



Lucky for me I did this part first thing in the morning before the heat set in.

Up next trip,  tuning the rig, aligning motor, replacing burnt up stuff and hopefully going out and about for the first time.