Great Weekend

Terri at the helm

Terri at the helm

Terri and I had a great weekend on the boat, despite the rain.  We got up to the marina on Friday evening for the pre-race get-together.  Plenty of cake, cookies, chips & salsa, and homemade guacamole!

The forecast rain started around 5:00am, and early predictions had a 50%-80% chance of rain during the day.  Things let up around 8:00am when we had the captains’ meeting.  We were the 4 boat to start that day (staggered start) and Terri did a fantastic job at the helm while we jibed and tacked to hit the line.  We had a great start and were able to make the first mark in just 3 tacks!  Granted the next leg was really long (downwind for about 10 miles) and our sluggish boat got passed by the eventual winner Tenancious (which Eddie single-handed) and Rosebud… 3rd place did not officially catch us as we abandoned the race at mile 12.

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Line running downwind

The wind was fantastic and the rain held off.  After sailing for about 2.5 hours (hitting what I think was the 1/4 mark of the race) we turned around and headed back to the marina.  All told, we sailed for 23 miles (half the course) and were on the water for about 5 hours of sailing time.  We know what to expect, so we plan to have a crew and do the whole race next year.  The winner finished at 7:14 minutes… the last boat came across the line at 11:30pm (taking approx 13.5 hours to finish)

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Bluenose Racing!

line_sailWell this weekend marks our first entry into a “race”.  This will be the Bluenose race basically running about 45 miles round trip.  I’ll be honest, we have no intention of finishing… we are not really prepared for night sailing, but we will start and have fun.  The race is a “fun race”.

You can chart our progress on www.marinetraffic.com  Just do a vessel search for “stargazaer ltd”  It should then allow you to see our position on the map.  Our start time is Saturday morning at 9:27.  Hopefully the rain will hold off and we will have wind!

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Two successful weekends

So, I had two back-to-back successful weekends at the boat.

fullsailFirst weekend saw the install of two new GC2 batteries (golf cart 6v) and a new charger from Sterling.  Everything went together easily!  So much better!  I was also able to try out the new spinlock fairlead, but it would not work (it created the wrong angle to the furling drum).  I also installed my stereo and two speakers (I purchased them almost 3 years ago… finally got them in!).

Weekend 2 saw the installation of a bulls-eye fairlead… and viola! the roller furler works flawlessly!  That was a mess I’ve been dealing with for over 3 years.  I also finally installed the “locks” for the microwave, so it doesn’t slide around when we get a good heel.  One other area of concern was the drain on the kitchen sinks.  The through-hull was froze (shut thankfully), so I re-routed the drain to the bilge (since the shower already empties there as well).  A few improved wire connections rounded out the projects.

sun_fogI did make it up the mast this past weekend… looks like I do have a wiring issue with the anchor light, so I’ll be checking that (and hopefully installing a new light soon).  Both weekends were perfect weather and I was able to get out sailing each time.

The upcoming weekend will be the bluenose race with the club.  We will give it a start… that is all we can promise!

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Finally…

Crazy how a month can fly by!  We spent most of our available time at the beach during the month of August.  Collectively, about 15 days or so, followed up with a 4 day weekend in the mountains.  It’s finally time to head back to the boat!

Don’t let the length of time fool you, I’ve been reading and planning a great deal (with regard to the new electrical house bank).  I’ve researched multiple chargers and have finally settled on Sterling (made in the us).  For the type of sailing we do, the smaller (10amp) system will be sufficient.  The charger came in this week, and I’ll be picking up the 6 volt (golf cart) batteries from Costco tonight.  Tomorrow will be a full day of electrical!  I also picked up a blueseas fuse block, so hopefully the stereo (after 2 years) will get installed!

I also plan on adding the new spinlock fairlead for the roller furler this weekend as well.  I’m not sure if it will work (where I am planning to put it), so I might have to switch to one of the Ronstan fairleads…  We will see.

Finally, I do plan to go up the mast as well to check the electrical / bulbs for the anchor light and steaming light.  Both are not working at the present.  We are also hoping for some wind, so maybe the beast can leave her berth!  More later!

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Welcome Aboard

Heading up!

Heading up!

Work planned for this weekend!  I do need to head up the mast again to check out electrical connections and bulbs for the steaming light and anchor light.  We may be adding some spreader lights, but we will have to wait and see how things go.

The big event, is hopefully a new house bank (batteries) and new charger.  Our DC system is currently made up of two 12v “deep cycle” marine batteries, but the configuration may change to a back-up 12v, with 2 or 4 6v (golf cart batteries) for the house bank.

Looks like things will have to wait.  The weather is supposed to be rainy, so we will likely hold off on the major projects!

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Getting her lean on…

Terri at the helm

Terri at the helm

Right before Memorial day, we had a nice couple of days of sailing.  Terri handled the wheel, while I worked the lines.  We had a fabulous day!

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Second major “event”

Fuel problems

Fuel problems

On April 1, 2011, my friend Matt flew in from Utah to visit and we headed up to Stargazer ltd, to do a little sailing.  The ship had been winterized, so this was our first adventure for 2011.  We motored out through the goal posts, and the plan was to turn around and motor back.  Unfortunately, the engine died.

We were able to get the sails up and headed back to the marina.  With help from some people on the dock, we were able to get it slipped, but we still were not sure what the problem was.  We had to wait several days for the wind to calm down, and the a fellow sailor helped pull her to her slip.

Mark and Hannah

Mark and Hannah

After much research and a little physical inspection, we determined that the fuel pick-up filter was blocked.  The tank was removed and cleaned, and I replaced all of the fuel lines.  Mark, and his daughter, came up to give me a hand once I finished the project, and we were able to finally take the boat out.

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Name Change

Cheers to a new name!

Cheers to a new name!

We purchased our sailboat in November of 2010.  The boat, at that time, was named Chocolat.  A little bit of research revealed that it had also been known as “Kate” and “Hakuna Matata”.  All previous names were removed (along with any materials that were associated with the name) and an official renaming ceremony was done.  Pieces of metal were inscribed with the previous names, and each was individually tossed off to sea.  The vessel was then renamed Stargazer ltd, and champaign was spilled (and toasted).

Both Terri and Line’s mom were present for the ceremony (along with Kassie – Bonnie’s dog).  The official name change occurred on November 26, 2010.

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First Major “event”

Terri's first Sail

Terri’s first Sail

In early November, we took Stargazer ltd for her shake down sail.  We went with the previous owner so that we could make sure we understood all of the workings of our new sailboat.  Unfortunately, we failed to keep the raw water seacock open, so the engine started to overheat.  We caught it in time, but this was Terri’s first EVER time sailing, and we had her at the helm most of the time while we tried to figure out what was going on.  Turns out that we burned up the impeller, so a replacement had to be put in.  As a general rule, we now replace the impeller at the start of the season.

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Pre-purchase “event”

Cary and Line discussing the boat.

Cary and Line discussing the boat.

After looking at several sailboats, Terri and I decided that we wanted to move forward with a “sea trial” to see how the boat handled.  We made arrangements to meet the previous owner.  Unfortunately, the boat was unable to be started because of water in the diesel fuel.

Now, looking back, it was probably due to several things.  One, the “O” ring for the diesel fuel fill was old and probably needed to be replaced.  It is possible that rainwater could be introduced to the system here.  There is also thought that an accidental fill occurred and water was inadvertently placed in the diesel tank.  Finally, it is also possible that a huge contributor to the engine not starting was the clogged fuel “screen” on the uptake.  All of these areas have been addressed.

Interestingly, we did purchase the boat prior to ever going out to sea in her.

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