Travel 2015-2016

Fixing or Removing Things That Broke

If you don’t really need it, then you work around it when it breaks. The Commodore Says, “If you’re not using it, get rid of it.”

Here’s how my Epifanes finish is coming along.


I’m pleased. You can make out the reflection of the shade cover on the left side and the underside of the mizzen boom with the red sail cover in the middle.

It seems pretty glossy. That’s the third coat. Three more to go. I’m getting the hang of brushing without leaving such egregious brush strokes, lumps, and “holidays” where there’s no coverage. It takes six coats to start. And then a fresh coat every year. Plus touch-up when you ding it with something that chips the finish. 

The subtlety is this.

It takes about 50ml to cover this. And you’re supposed to thin it with 10% of the brush thinner. Um. 5 ml of thinner? That’s about a teaspoon. A dash more than a splash.

The tiresome part of the task is the 24 hours between coats. Two coats per weekend. It will be months to get the hatchboards and sliding covers looking ship-shape. 

The Davits Saga

Once upon on time, we had davits. Which (a) we never used and (b) we sheared off the mounting bolts when we tried sailing with the dingy hanging from them. The story is in “Gang aft agley.”  We’ve had them for years. And didn’t use them — even with new bolts. See “Davits — Feature of Fluff.” 

At the time, I said “davits are (a) just fluff; but they also (b) need to be maintained until they’re in the way of installing something more useful” I was partially right. 

CA took them off. We sold them for a good price. 

But there’s nothing “more useful” going in there. They’re gone because we never used them. We prefer to put the dinghy on the foredeck. And we prefer to have nothing astern. 

Removing the davits left us with holes in the toe rail. Big holes from the big ¼” bolts I put in. 


Here’s a picture of what we have now.

A stain that shows where the base was. A crack in the wood that’s pretty standard. 

CA filled the holes with West System six-10 epoxy. When that hardened, she drilled out a nice cylindrical space, filled in some glue and banged in teak bungs.

A brad-point bit would have been helpful. For example, this. Lacking these, we used more conventional bits, leaving conical ends on each hole.

After the glue hardened, I chiseled off the bungs, filled the remaining spaces with plastic wood filler, and sanded it down so that it was sort of smooth. We’re going to let it age. We’ll probably give it an ammonia wash next year and see how it looks. Maybe we’ll sand it some more. Maybe we won’t.

Bowsprit Breakage


Two of the planks in the bowsprit have cracked. We use this constantly, so it has to be maintained. 

We glued and clamped the cracked board. 


We put a woodscrew through it to hold it together. We really like the teak structure. It makes working the foredeck safe because it provides solid, no-skid footing in crappy conditions.

CA knows. She’s been up there in some right crappy conditions.

Not me. I’m not allowed forward of the mast because I’m not careful enough of the huge weight and power of the ground tackle.

Galley Cleanup


The final job this weekend was to wash all of the dishes and cupboards.

We have a small leak from the deck that runs down behind the teak over the galley cupboards.

We get drops of a reddish rust-like residue from the teak. So far, we haven’t figured out where it’s from. We have to stick our head in there during an epic rainstorm to see if we can see where the water originates.

We suspect the port fixed portlight. But we have no solid evidence. Until then, clean the drips periodically.

And store the cups open-side down.

The Kids Came To Visit

“The Kids” (Xan and Han) live way out west. LA and Las Vegas. Once in a while they can structure their vacation to come east and visit mom and dad.


It was a cloudy day with wind out of the E at 17g22. A sporty day in the Piankatank river entrance.

We had some lunch and took Red Ranger out for a little spin around. 

It was rocking and rolling and rather unpleasant.


Indeed, it was some of the worst sailing we’ve seen. We’ve learned that we like flat seas and relatively calm weather. We’ve been bashed around, of course — most sailors have been beaten up by the weather.

It was important to note that the 3’ seas which — once — broke over the bowsprit are spectacular but they’re easily avoided by waiting for a better day.

We’ve had our share of bad weather issues. But they’re rare. Paying attention to the forecast can improve the sailing a lot. 

But. We only had this one day to sail. So out we went. We rocked and rolled. And we came back. Things worked. We handled it well. Nothing broke. It was a great day.

The Wave Stopper Dodger

We bought a Wave Stopper Dodger from Canvas Creations. It’s quite a bit like having a hard dodger, but it’s held on with screws and steel pipe just like a canvas dodger. It’s a brilliant hybrid solution that offers many benefits of a hard dodger without the complex installation.


The polystyrene plastic is under some stress and can crack. We talked with the folks at Canvas Creations about this. When they had work in Deltaville, they added our dodger to their plans. 

[Important: we also  talked with the boatyard to add them as a proper boatyard contractor. This allows them to work there without getting into trouble with management.]

They welded the crack shut. And they told us to replace the plates that hold the dodger on the steel. They sent us a box of these new plates that reflect a change in the design.

We unscrewed the old plates and installed the new ones. The sizes appear to be nicely standardized, so there was no real question about orientation. The new plates have more plastic outside the screw holes, making them more durable.

That was an unexpected level of support for their product. 

© Steven Lott 2021