Monday, February 27, 2012

Playing With My New IPHONE 4

I have been studying my new iphone and even took a course at Verizon to learn more. One of the great things the geeks shared was an interesting free app called: Pic Collage

I started practicing using some of my old blog photos. It is a simple program to use and lots of fun.
Take a look:

You can choose different backgrounds or use a photo as a background, as in Circumnavigation Harstene. You can add Text, pull photos forward or backward and even change the photo borders. Get ready to see more of these in the future. My crew have loved them and what a nice way to thank them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New LED Anchor Light

John Stokes of Ms Bettencourt in Georgia recently told me that I could now get an LED anchor light from a dealer that he uses in South Carolina. My anchor light is made by Aqua Signal and is the Series 25 type. The regular bulb is a festoon type that is double dimpled as opposed to the bullet connection. I had looked several years ago for a replacement but couldn't find one. I called the company to double check on the size and in a few days I had the light in my hot little hands.
44mm Festoon LED Navigational light Dimpled barrel end-item number FS-44-30B

Yesterday, I went to Shatoosh and in a matter of minutes the light was installed and working. This is wonderful, as the LED will hardly draw on my batteries ehrn anchored out and seems much brighter than the old one. Thanks John, you have made my day today, and probably for many dark nights to come.

On another note and rainy day project. I brought my old dirty life rings home and gave them a good scrubbing, took off the old lettering, as I was always unhappy with the spacing and setup of my lettering that I put on when I bought the new rings. After several trips to buy the correct letters and getting the old glue off the rings, I successfully reapplied them. I like this much better. Now I am happy with both Shatoosh lettering and my new Pashmina logo. We are ready for the boating season to begin.

Shatoosh's Swim Platform

Spring projects are appearing on many Albin lists. I have recently heard from some of my newly met,  female skippers here in Washington state. They are considering re-creating Shatoosh's Swim Platform. This has led me to gather photos, material information, receipts and to put together a packet of data and information. I am posting this so others may benefit from the information, as well.

In 2003, my friend Jo had her Albin 25, Lit'l Bit on the hard for the winter here in Tacoma, WA. She lives in  Hawaii on the Big Island, so I was going to keep my eye on Lit'l Bit for her and while doing so I decided to design a swim platform. This is a project that I have never done, so I was pushing my creativity envelope to the far reaches of my mind. I traipsed down to Lit'l Bit numerous times in the cold, wet Washington winter to take measurements, tracings and make numerous templates, which I still have and periodically send tracing of the form to other Albin owners.. When spring came, Jo flew over from the Big Island and together we cut the final platform and installed it. Jo no longer owns Lit'l Bit and the new owners have taken her to Alaska.
MDF Template glued to King Starboard

Cut and Still Connected

Newly cut and final sanding.
That is not snow on the ground but  rather shavings

 Meanwhile, Shatoosh was still in California and I was busy cruising the heck out of her. It wasn't until last summer 2011, that I finally got my swim platform installed. I love having it and now my new portaboat Pashmina 2 sits, proudly on it. I have had many compliments on her shape, design and I have to admit that I am totally pleased with my big design project. I have to thank Jo, as she is a master builder with decades of construction experience and to the Salmi Brothers at Warrenton Boatyard in Warrenton, Oregon(near Astoria, Oregon on the Skipanon River) for their superior installation.

Swim Platform for Albin 25
Thoughts to my friends regarding making a Swim Platform

Re: the templates( tracing, cardboard or MDF) and which one you might want depends:

1.     If you plan to create your own design and need only the shape of the transom, then a paper tracing should be all you need. My platform is 18 wide which gives one enough room to stand on and walk/sit without being offset by the upper transom rub rail. Remember that the transom is not at 90 degrees but slopes forward as you descend towards the water. Anything less than 18 inches is too narrow. I do not have the exact angle of the transom but maybe someone does.

2.     Deciding on materials. I did not want to deal with taking care of more wood which lead me to the starboard. If you were to decide on the starboard then I would want you to use the MDF template as it can be hot glued to the starboard and cut. King Starboard has a non-skid imprint into the surface. See website for info/planning/color selection.

The brackets I bought from West Marine did have an odd angle in them which is not stated in the catalog and I didn't realize until later. This did not match the angle of the transom so wedges had to be made of plastic and inserted between the bracket and the transom for the platform to be square.
Wedges placed to square off the brackets and platform
Jo and Lit'l Bit
You can see how the platform tilts when no wedges are used.

When installing the brackets it is critical to watch for placement. When you remove the aft cabin liner you will see that the air vents are fiberglassed all the way to the engine compartment which is a beautiful design. When we installed the duplicate platform on Jo’s Albin we could see where a previous platform had been attached and they had drilled into this vent system from the outside and then had to cut a hole into the vent to gain access to the bolt to attach the nut, which meant air was not going down to the engine compartment. Another owner had taken off the original platform, but never re-glassed the hole. It is always amazing what you find in boats with many owners.
Aft Cabin with Liner Removed
Fiberglassed Port Air Vent to Engine Compartment.

With the shape of my design the 2 smaller brackets fit nicely on the outer side of the vent and the 2 larger brackets fit inward of the vents.

Placement of brackets with air vent positions

Then you have to decide on the height placement, too high it looks unsightly and would make it difficult to get onboard if swimming or falling over board, so I placed mine above the lower teak step. I did leave the step SS thru bolts, but took the teak step off the bolts(holders) as I did not want to reglass the holes on the transom. That’s another project. Make sure that you have SS back up plates for the bracket thru bolts. We used SS bolts but one is already rusting. Also, leave room between the platform and the transom for water to drain which is where the wedges/brackets help.

The Finished Product
Very Nice 
Good placement with Air vents

Beautiful  lines on the water

Swim Platform Materials 2003 prices                                                                             Makes 2 full transom Swim Platform

 See to see all options for ordering/colors/tools needed to cut materials.

     King Starboard purchased from: Interstate Plastics Attn Byron
6846 So 244th St
Kent Wa 98032

1 sheet of King Starboard: white in color-- 1in X 54in X 96in. Weighs 180#, Cost: $458

Pre cut at factory into (2) 27in x 66in pieces (these 2 pieces made full platforms for Shatoosh and Lit’l Bit. 
With the left over material we then cut:
(2) 27in x 30in pieces (these 2 pieces went to John Elmore(Too Tall Tom) for his Skol split transom swim step.) Skol has been bought and now lives in Seattle on Lake Union and is being restored beautifully by his new owner, Corey.

2.     Design layout: Concave-Convex Shape
Widest length:64 in
Widest width: 25 ¼ in
Width of platform: 18 in

1.     MDF BOARD ½ in X 4ft x 8ft Home Depot cost $14.72

MDF Template Glued To King Starboard

2.     Stainless Steel Brackets Made by AFI but bought at West Marine
Each platform requires 2 - 7 in brackets and 2- 9 in brackets
4- 60995- 9in x 17 x 1 ½ -- 54.99 ea
4- 60993- 7 in x 14 x 1 ½ -- 42.49 ea
Total: $ 424.24

3.     SS bolts/washers/nut/backup plates not included in costs.

4.     King Starboard- $458
MDF Board-$15
+Brackets- $424
Total- $898   divided by 2 = Each Platform cost $ 449 

I  apologize  for the errors in numbering and misplaced words/letters. Since I cut and pasted from another file I haven't been able to see them on the editing section of the blog to make corrections. This is one of those times where the blog is in not forgiving of an inserted strange format.

I hope this information is helpful to all you Albin 25 owners who want to make their own swim platform.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hanging Out in the Sun on McMicken Island

I spent a lazy morning with the heater on as the outside temperature was in the 30's. After breakfast I did  a check of the engine and batteries and read some more chapters about the south sound cruising grounds. There are so many wonderful places to go and explore that I am champing at the bit. I had put Pashmina back on the swim platform yesterday, so unhooked the electrical cord and slipped my lines. I headed out for my favorite McMicken Island. Its only 6nm away and such a sweet place to hang out in the sun. Again, no one is there, so I own the place again. I short tie from the aft cleat to the mooring buoy since I will be here for a few hours and the water is calm. The birds and eagles will keep me company while I read, relax and take photos and practice editing them and sending them on my new IPHONE 4. I did not get the 4S as this one was free for me at Verizon.
Short tied to buoy

I love this reflection

4PM the southern skies darken

A newly cropped and zoomed Mt Rainier

What a simple, wonderful 2 days back on board it has been. I got alot of many little things done so I can return home and be patient for the weather breaks. The next 10 days does not look good, as more rain is predicted.

Another Weather Break

I had 2 days of beautiful blue skies that I wanted to capitalize on with action on Shatoosh and Pashmina.
The first day has been long awaited for me, Tim of Brown and Balsley Sign Makers in Olympia, WA, was coming to Pashmina to attach her newly made Impresas for our adventures in the Salish Sea. Tim had been referred by another boat owner in the marina who has an old portabote lashed to his swim platform. Tim had been waiting for warmer weather. I came down early to get Pashmina onto the dock, give her a good bath and let her warm in the sun all day. Fortunately, Tim lives above the marina on the bluff so he met me on the docks at 4 PM. In a flash he had the Impresas affixed. With 2 graphics on the port and starboard sides Pashmina will let the logos drive our mission of exploring the small nooks and crannies of the Salish Sea. Look thru the archives to see the meaning of the logos.

As I waited thoughout the day, I got my new 2012 logbook out that I had made from Vista Print. I used one of my favorite photos of Shatoosh at Matia Island this past summer. There is a new pen to go with it as well. Log Books are important to keep and I am always referring back to them and they are unique to each skipper. Some have elaborate, and detailed ones, but my format has served me well over many years on Shatoosh.

The first hard copy page I leave available for documenting fuel purchases, yearly mileages, battery replacemets, and important registration numbers and state park mooring number.

The right hand pages have the columns of time/date-location/speed/ engine hours/nm/fuel. The left hand pages are for writing down info about the trip, ie, birds sighted, interesting people-boats, marina fees-bathroom codes-wi fi passwords and anything else I might want to keep on hand or to write in the blog.