Month: August 2014

A Hydrophonic Runabout!

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I was out to the storage yard today where I store my boats over the winter. I saw one poor boat that has been left to become a flower pot.Storage yard 004 I saw this boat show up last year. It was in the back of a pickup truck. 2 guys kind of slid/ dropped it out and onto the concrete block that holds the bow up now. Then they left. No covering it up. Just drop it and go. I thought that they would return and tarp it at least. They didn’t. I saw it numerous times through the winter when I went to check the boats. This past winter it was full of snow then this spring it was full of water and ice.


I haven’t been back to the yard since I got the boats out but went back today on my way to Port Stanley. I thought I’d see if I could have the same spots plus one extra. I want to keep the boats together so I don’t have too much snow to walk through to get to each one throughout the winter. Looks good for keeping them together!

I noticed the boat in the picture because of the vegetation growing above the gunwale… So I took a closer look. Storage yard 005It has been seeded by the local weeds and they have rooted in the carpet! It’s become a hydroponic runabout! I’m not sure that the owner intended for it to become that. He didn’t look the scientific type. No white lab coat was seen. But here is a innovative new idea for growing weeds. They are kept watered by the water soaking into the plywood of the floor and the carpet keeps the substrate cool and moist. Both probably assists in wicking the water too! Genius!


I went to Port Stanley to procure a slip for the weekend and introduce myself to one of the 3 marina owners. Monique Killins of Killins Marina.Storage yard 023 I had spoke with her earlier this past spring and mentioned I’d pop by and introduce myself some day. Today was perfect. She showed me around the marina and properties. I have decided to leave my toy boat at her marina for the weekend. This marine could be another option in the future for Finding Peace Sail Charters. There is a festival in the port this weekend. Harbor Fest is a yearly event. This will be our first time attending. It looks like fun. Lots to see and do. There will be a couple of tall ships to tour and take rides on. We will skip the rides but probably will tour one of them.

There are 2 beaches in Port Stanley. A big one and a small one. Both have areas where you can get close to shore with your anchored boat so we will anchor off shore and wade in.

I noticed that this spring the town implemented paid parking at the beach where it used to be free. Today I noticed 4 empty parking lots and one ⅔ full lot! It was a beautiful day for the beach too! I hope the town hasn’t scared beach goers away with the $2/ hour to a max of $10/ day parking fee. (A season pass is $155.) I’m not a big fan of paid parking unless it is secure or valet.

Looking forward to this weekend!


Another race and more improvements.

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Wednesday beer can racing at Fanshawe Yacht Club. We raced again tonight and did very well. We came last by only about 40 seconds!

That is a huge improvement from the club championship on the weekend. (Remember we came 2nd in a class of 2 and finished after the class that started after us…)

Today we raced in the 3 pm race with the keel boats. Their slower…. It was windy! 14 m/h gusting 24 makes for some fun times in a 17’ boat! My wife Heidi pointed out the water coming over the side and said that that was interesting. I told her she should have come out the first time I had the boat out. I had water coming in with only the genoa up! It was a lot more windy that day.

We got off to a bad start getting over the line and were about 2 min trying to get over it after the buzzer. First I messed up the time. I thought we were at the 1 min mark and not start! So I had us in the wrong spot to start the race… I have to get another stop watch/ timer. the last one went over the side last year when a stray line hooked it while tacking.

There were actually waves on the lake today too! Some splashed and sprayed right over the cabin. We even had a bunch of water coming up through the keel cable hole in the floor of the cockpit. I had Jasmine plug it with a sponge I had in the cabin to soak up any water that used to get in their. (Redundant now with the new windows and a keel bolt that locks the keel and doesn’t let water in! Butyl tape on every deck fitting is also a huge factor in the lack of water in the cabin. I could store crackers on the floor!)Siren motor mount 006

When we were beating to the first windward mark we actually passed an Alburg 22. (Yes, that is another sailboat!)  I don’t know how. Unless it was too windy for him. It retired after the first mark. Oh the shame of being beaten up wind by a Siren 17. (It even had a good min on us from the start…)

We are working better as a sailing team now. Even with our little ballast girl along for the ride as she was tonight. The tacks are cleaner and we just get to the things that need done when they need it.

Florida; Sunshine, Oranges and No Trespassing!

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I’ve been trying to write about this subject for about a week now and keep coming to the same conclusion. Someone else is better at it than me. In this case its Wally. Here is a link to his blog ware he talks about the subject of Florida and there proposed new laws:

I won’t be affected right away by this new law. BUT, it makes me change my business plan. (Maybe that is right away.) My plan was to expand into Florida with Finding Peace Sail Charters in the future. Looks like if this bill passes I’ll not be offering sailboats for bareboat charter in the state. It defeats the purpose of my charter company. To offer an affordable alternative for people like me…

I’ve effectively been kicked out of the state before I got a chance to get in! I’ll try not to take it personally. (Maybe start a trailer charter service ware trailers can be dropped in front of homes that back onto the ICW and other waterways….)

Or not.

Please clink Wally’s link and support the fight against this bill.

And just as important. Respect the property of others and follow the rules so us sailors look good.

Note; Because of the whole Florida kerfuffle, I’m taking suggestions on places in other states that can use an affordable sailing charter service.

Post them in the comments or email them directly to me.







Consistency and Determination Win!

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I’m elated with our results in the2014  Fanshawe Yacht Clubs Championship Regatta.

Before the #’s I’ll tell about the time we had.


For Heidi and I this was our first regatta together. Neither of us was thrown overboard by the other! We have had about 3 beer can races under our belts as a team in the past. None this year. We worked pretty well as a team. There is a big learning curve for Heidi but she performed well. Hopefully I was concise enough with my instructions and not too over bearing with my commands.


I asked Heidi how she felt about the weekend and she told me that she had a great time and that she would like to do this more often. Great! I’m looking forward to more husband and wife team racing. (Note; Today, Aug 25 is our 9th anniversary!)Sunday club regatta 002Sunday club regatta 005


Now the #’s!

Sat we were; 2,2,2,2

Sun: DNS, 2,2,2

Outcome: 2nd in the Open A class! (The other boat was a Lazer 2. It was only one other boat in our class.)


You know how #’s lie… Well, we did come 2nd in our class. We also did come last in every aspect and race! We were so slow that our race starts had to be held back so we could finish the race that was done before. The last race saw us start in the 2nd of 3 starting groups. The slower keel boats followed and passed us before the first mark! We did pretty well running with the wind against the slowest of the keel boats. The still gained distance before the 2nd mark. During our last race the first Lazer class and our class ran another shorter course. Everyone finished before us. We were the last boat over the line every time including the last race that we missed because we were still racing the one before. At yesterday’s club dinner the organizer of the regatta said “ You have done so well in the past years…” I reminded him that I had always sailed a MacGregore 26D in the past. He got the difference right away.


We were consistent! We didn’t throw in the towel because we were so slow. We enjoyed ourselves! We worked together as a team. We learnt about each others strengths and weaknesses. We learnt the boats strengths and weaknesses. We learnt to refer to the specific handout race literature and not the website for start times… (See DNS above. We were late to start the first race.) We practiced for the next one!


The Siren 17 is a fun little boat. It would be great for racing against other Siren 17’s. (Hint Siren 17 owners… Wed, afternoon and evenings at FYC.) This boat is a welcome addition to our fleet at Finding Peace Sail Charters. I don’t know that I’d let it out on charter. Maybe… For sure if a Wayfarer sailor wanted it!

Looks Fast!
Looks Fast!


I’m going to look into some new chartering ideas this winter and see how or if I can get others out on a fun boat like this.


Keep reading!

If you haven’t joined the email list you won’t be among the first to know… Gets you the scoop.

Secont or Last…?

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Day 1 of the Fashawe Yacht Club championship racing is done! We sit second in my class. Guess what were classed with… A Laser 2! Yes… A very fast little boat.

Here is why…

First I couldn’t get the 4 other Siren 17 owners in the club to come out and race…. I tried…

I sent them all an email inviting them out followed up with a phone call a couple days later. This ended up in very nice conversation but no takers. And it was the club annual corn roast after the race too! (Of course the food was good. Burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob.)

Secondly, the race committee didn’t know where to put me… There seemed to be a consensus (Conspiracy) that all boats that were less than 1000lb were to be called dinghies…. (The Wayfarer guys didn’t like that so much. I told them that they were just jealous of the luxurious cabin and built in head I have. I didn’t mention about the coffee maker and stove or they would have gone off the deep end. I should make some Jiffy Pop popcorn on board tomorrow and offer them some while racing. The smell would drive all the competitors nuts!)

This classing started because there was a team in a single Laser 2. (A dinghy.) It didn’t fit into the Laser one class or the Wayfarer class… So it and I were paired. But we got to race with the Wayfarers and the Y Flyers. I teased them all as they passed me each time.


If you don’t know how fast a Siren 17 is here are a couple of examples.

Our dinghy class started after the lasers and before the Keel boats. (3 grouped starts.) The keel boats started 6 min after we had started. Almost all of the keel boats passed me before the first windward mark! It gets better… Because dinghies are fast our course was double the keel boat course. So I would still be racing when all the keel boats had finished and the laser class had started another race! My class had to wait for us to finish the last race before the next race!

The wind was between 0 and 5 knot today. All perfect weather for a dinghy. But not a Siren 17. These boats are dogs in light air. (It would have been a lovely day to drop the anchor and have a picnic. Perhaps a nap too.) Heidi had a nap starting about mid way of the 3rd race. She woke up after the 4th race when I started the motor.


We did have a great time and a good view of all the boats in the regatta. (Here they are stopped for lunch. Of course they got back before us!FYC championship 2014 004 ) This of course while they all passed us… And a couple times the wind picked up and we started to make a small wake…

Tomorrow promises to be a different day. And that is about it. The forecast is for for wind of 11  m/h gusting 13 m/h. More wind is better for us. The boat goes nicely in heavy winds.


After our lovely supper at the club I took Heidi to get Ice cream. Good ice cream too! Moose Tracks. MMMM. FYC championship 2014 018FYC championship 2014 019

Our 6 year old daughter Jasmine is at my moms for the night. I bet she is having a great time! (At least she hasn’t called crying yet…)

Sew me a reef.

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I sewed a reef into my Siren 17 sail today. I ended up using 5 grommets. The reef is about 3’ from the foot of the sail.

I started by cutting 10 5” squares of sailcloth. It is actually left over from the from the same sail I cut up to make this one.

I marked the sail where I wanted the grommets and stuck the squares to each side of the sail with double sided tape. The same double sided tape that sells. Then I sewed around the outside of each square. After the sewing was done I cut holes in the middle of each square and installed a grommet.Reef in sail 003Reef in sail 004Reef in sail 007

I tried to use the punch cutting tool that came in the grommet kit but it wouldn’t cut through any layers of the sail cloth…


Here are some pictures of the windows I made and installed the other day. As well as the new trailer fenders I made.Siren motor mount 006Siren motor mount 016Siren motor mount 024 

New windows for the Siren 17!

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I replaced the windows in the Siren 17 today with new Lexan ones I made yesterday. I cut the cabin window holes with my jig saw so they are a bit longer than the original oval shape. I like the way they came out. (The lexan could be a bit darker of a tint. But I’m happy for now just having windows that don’t leak!) Now the boat should be 98% waterproofed. I still have a couple cleats on the back to bed with butyl tape. I’m not too concerned as they are easily accessed through the rear hatch.

I also installed the used motor mount I picked up the other day. It is stainless steel and I trust it more than the wood one I had made. I installed it so the motor sits 3” lower than the other mount had it. This should stop the calvacation when I turn to Starboard.

I changed the rake of the mast as well today. I did that by getting new shorter turnbuckles for the side stays and using a longer one for the fore stay. I think this will make a big difference for performance. Hope so as the club championships are this weekend.

Heidi and I will be racing together. I’m hoping to have a couple of the other 4 sirens at the club come out and race this weekend. If some of them come out we get our own class! So we won’t be last every race against the faster boats.

Tomorrow I have to repair the batten pockets on the main sail and the boat is ready for the weekend.