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.