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.


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.

FCC, seeping, sails and dinner

Friday we received a letter from the FCC. In it our call sign and MMSI code for our AIS and VHF radio.

What a pleasant surprise, and now we are official, Lori Bell is in the worldwide data base.


Ok,  I started this post on my iPhone.  It takes much more effort to peck in a post on that thing.  I tend to be less verbose and not flush out my thoughts as much when typing on it.

First off let me say I really enjoy WordPress as a service.   I use their reader to follow a number of other sailing blogs and enjoy them immensely.

Here are two examples.


These are just so well done,  as our blog tends to dwell on the grind of boat repair these blogs give us inspiration of what is ahead when we finish.

AIS and the FCC

Automatic Identification System-  basically our boat will ping so other boat so equipped can see us on their plotters/radar.

Here is an what it looks like on a plotter, Port Canaveral.

If you are lucky you can catch a cruise ship coming and going.

Anyhow,  a little over a week ago we applied at the FCC for a MMSI and call sign for Lori Bell.  By Saturday when we got back from the boat there was a letter in the mailbox with our assignments.  Wow, what super turn around, good job FCC.

FCC letter, blocks for back haul, boom end for goose neck, piston rings.

FCC letter, blocks for back haul, boom end for goose neck, piston rings.

What a photo

This photo encompasses the major themes of the work on the Bell.  Finishing the electronic, FCC letter.  Rigging the mast and boom, out haul blocks and goose neck. Engine Rebuild, piston rings.

Before the Mast

Mast work continues apace.  The Alodine finish seems to be holding up nicely and is unchanged after two weeks.

New spreader brackets on the mast.

New spreader and brackets on the mast.

Here is a photo of the old spreaders, their poor condition one of our prime motivations on restoring the mast.

In order, Port Spreader, rotten, 37 inches, Catalina Yachts new aluminum spreader 36", Starboard spreader, rotten 34"

In order, Port Spreader rotten 37 “, Catalina Yachts new aluminum spreader 36″, Starboard spreader rotten 34”

Why are the two old spreaders of differing lengths you ask?  Well good question, surely this was some new type of asymmetrical rig?  My guess, no.

My task for the rest of this week is to figure out how to attach our AIS antenna, signal flag halyard and deck light to the spreaders with a minimal amount of drilling.   I have some ideas of what may work, we shall see.


Critter photo

Manatees fighting over fresh water.

Manatees fighting over fresh water.

Our neighbor was washing his boat and a good six manatees were jockeying for position under the scuppers to get a drink.

Hoping for a number, ropes and such…

Numbers – Radio and AIS information that need to be done.

Today I was looking at AIS class B transceivers to go with our VHF DCS radio.

In reading about features and such on our VHF and and AIS we will need to program both with an MMSI number.  What is an MMSI number?  Well it is a nine-digit number “Maritime Mobile Service Identity ” that when you use a digital radio or such identifies your boat in a Data base.

If you are not leaving the United States an MMSI number can be had for free at Towboat US.

They put it in a stateside database that the Coast Guard uses.   However this database does not work overseas in places like, well the Bahamas for example.  For that you need to sign up with the FCC and actually get a number licensed to your boat.    Uggggg.

First you will need a FRN number and login, you get this by entering yourself in the FCC database.

After you get your FRN you apply with an form  605 available here.

It states you may also have to do a 159,160 or 1070y,  I did not have to myself, even though I spent a few hours fighting with these forms (going in numeric order) until giving up and doing the 605.  It allowed me to pay the fee online and they sent me a receipt.

When filling out the 605 you enter emergency contacts and some basic ships data that will go into the Coast Guard database.   Cost from FCC $215. Good for 10 years.|135|2028691|2028908&id=1849984


Last week we removed our boom end castings and the mast step to be media blasted and powder coated.   Heard back from the fellow doing the work and it seems our goose neck end casting is shot.

Cracked casting

Cracked casting

Before picture with the casting installed in mast.

Before picture with the casting installed in mast.

This is the type of thing that can only be found by disassembling.  Lori and I got lucky we in deciding to get the ends made pretty again as we could have skipped the step and someday we could be running downwind and Gybe just to have the casting fracture under load.  Not good.

We have a call in to Catalina Yachts for a new casting.  If they can not supply one I have found one from Catalina Direct we can use but it requires a bit of cutting to make fit.  Hopefully Catalina comes through for us.

Also blasted was the mast step.

Shiney blasted mast step.

Shiny blasted mast step.


We decided not to attach our shackles to our halyards with spliced eyes.  Opting instead for the flexibility of knots. So I finished whipping the ends of the running rigging we have on hand.  We do have two more halyards coming as we have the sheaves for 4 at the masthead and a mid mast sheave for a storm sail.

Whipping the ends

Whipping the ends

Working away

Working away

Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

Finished but to trim the loose ends.

Finished but to trim the loose ends.

We also purchased some end dip in case we did not like the results of the old school whipping.   I prefer whipping but since we had the dip we opted to coat the whipped ends just for good measure.

Stuff in a bottle.

Stuff in a bottle.

Running rigging whipped, dipped and ready.

Running rigging whipped, dipped and ready.


Hawk in our yard.

Hawk in our yard.

I think this guy is waiting for Abby to come out and play.  He let me within 10 feet or so.