Monday, December 16, 2013

It's a wrap!

The year is winding down and so apparently have the pleasant weather sailing opportunities; last weekend we were going to go out to watch the Christmas parade of boats, but the rain discouraged us and we ended up grilling at home instead. Our last adventure was helping Sea Scouts move their Watkins 27 - Menehune from the Charleston Harbor Marina to Pierside Boatworks, a distance of about five miles. We had a pleasant broad reach with the current and sailed under genoa alone following the Sea Scout vessel Menehune up the Cooper River. Just as we tied up to the dock at Pierside, the light drizzle turned into a downpour and we moved the crew from the Menehune onto Peregrine where the majority wisely sought shelter below.

The deluge continued as we motored back to Patriots point against the incoming tide and with a 20+ knot apparent headwind. Several of the Sea Scouts took a turn at the helm braving the elements and did a fine job safely moving the boat up the channel in reduced visibility. We also had Scouts below deck monitoring the AIS for any traffic that might be sneaking up on us.

While putting away the boat, a couple of the crew commented on the new pedestal cover, the old one finally succumbed to years in the sun. We sewed up a new one and it works like a champ!

The Charleston Ocean Racing Association has posted the race schedule for 2014, so if you are planning on joining us save some dates and drop me an email to be included on the crew evites, two of the major races are:
10-13 April 2014 - Charleston Race Week
23-25 May 2014 - The Gulfstreamer

We're also getting ready to do the Frostbite Series which are harbor races on alternating weekends starting January 5th and running through March 2nd.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the water!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The end of our first racing season

Wow! This year has gone by so quickly; we just finished the last offshore race of the CORA racing season, the Alice Cup Regatta. Saturday morning we raced from Charleston to Bohicket and on Sunday we made the return trip. This was a great way to end the season, I hope the crew had as much fun as I did.  Before I get into the summary of the season, I would like to thank all the people that came out and crewed on Peregrine this year. In particular Mr Jim for being at every race and sharing his experience, as well as taking the helm while my rotator cuff was recovering, and also Ms Vivian for those wonderful sandwiches that kept us all going.

We started ou he season not even able to make it to the line on time to record a start but have come along way with great starts both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. At the beginning of the year I'd planned on just doing the offshore race series but became addicted to the Wednesday night races and over the year our ability to tune the boat for speed has really improved. Our tacks have become much smoother and I've gotten better at not undershooting the mark, although Peregrine still seems to be a buoy magnet pulling itself towards any buoy within a few hundred yards.

This has also been a big project year and I'm extremely pleased with the way the new Electrical panel turned out, as well as the many little fixes over the summer.

Thanks again to all of you that made this great season possible, not just the crew but also all the great people at CORA that put together a great racing season.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday Night Racing

We just finished up our Wednesday night race series and are now looking forward to a few fall offshore races.

Just for the record, here was how the series stacked up for us, it definitely improved our sailing both as far as crew duties go and to really give me a better understanding of starts so it was well worth it (and we had a lot of fun!)

R1 - D Fleet
Start: Start 4, Finishes: Finish time, Time: 18:33:00, Distance: 3.6, Course: 11, Wind dir: S, Ave wind: 10-12
11 of 11

R2 - D Fleet - 07/17/2013 at 18:00
Start: Start 4, Finishes: Finish time, Time: 18:33:00, Distance: 3.6, Course: 2, Wind dir: SSW, Ave wind: 9
8 of 8 (tied DNS)

R3- Abandoned (A fleet only)
R4- Abandoned

R5 - D Fleet - 8/7/13 at 18:00
Start: Start 3, Finishes: Finish time, Time: 18:28:00, Distance: 5.1, Course: 1
7 of 11

R6 Not Raced

Makeup 2 - D Fleet - 8/28/13 at 18:00
Start: Start 4, Finishes: Finish time, Time: 18:33:00, Distance: 4.6, Course: 4
8 of 12

Makeup 3 - D Fleet - 9/4/13 at 18:00
Start: Start 3, Finishes: Finish time, Time: 18:48:00, Distance: 2.1, Course: 6
7 of 8

The next big challenge is to set aside some time to practice with the spinnaker, once we get proficient we will be able to move up to C fleet where there are two other boats that rate the same as we do, it would be nice not to be the lowest rated boat in the fleet for a change.

Thank you crew for really working hard and learning with me over the summer!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Finally getting the hang of this

Wednesday night we had an incredible race, the wind and weather was just about perfect for a sail with a steady breeze out of the South East at 15-20 knots.

We started about in the middle of the class D fleet, it seemed like everyone was a little late over the line but we were able to quickly move to the front of the fleet and were able to round BP ahead of the rest of the boats in our class.

The second leg was downwind and a bit more challenging for us from a boat speed perspective. Several boats were able to gain ground on us. Kamikaze rounded the mark ahead of us and Pied-a-Mer was right on our heels.
 Once we rounded G27 we were sailing very close to the wind to make the mark without tacking. Some of the other boats fell off a bit to pick up speed but it didn't appear to pay off for them.

On the last leg we slowly caught and then passed Kamikaze, crossing the line about a boat length ahead. Although this wasn't our best finish of the season, it was very satisfying to be first across the line.

We took a leisurely sail back to the marina, enjoying the beautiful conditions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Charleston to Savannah Race

We were rushing to get ready for this race. During the Georgetown race we needed to keep running the engine because we didn't have enough battery capacity to keep the running lights on all night. For this race I upgraded from a single 100 amp hour battery (the second one died earlier in the season), to  a 100 amp hour  starting bank and a 200 amp hour house bank.

Unfortunately we had several cancellations among the crew during the last week and even on the day of the race. Although this made for less crowding below, we were a little short handed to run watches for an overnight race with a stiff breeze.

Everyone was aboard on time and we had a very good start, contending with several of the C class boats out to G25. As we started out the channel the boat became over-powered and hard to keep from rounding up. We muscled up the channel with about 18kts apparent wind and then had to drop out of the channel to avoid shipping traffic and then had to fight back to windward to round G15. Once we'd rounded the mark the finish was dead downwind. We angled offshore a little to keep the sails filling and improve the boats motion.

After hearing a weather warning, I checked the weather radar and saw some significant weather ahead. After discussing with the crew we decided to withdraw and head back to Charleston. We put a reef in and started heading back up towards G15 and then back into the harbor.

We weren't alone in our decision, as a result we tied for first with the other boats that withdrew -

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer racing series goal achieved!

Great work crew!

Last week (August 7th) we accomplished one of my summer goals! We finished a race in a position above last place.  This may seem like we were setting the bar low; however after several DNS (did not start) and a few last place finishes I was wondering if we would ever move up in the standings!

We started out with some bottom of the fleet finishes during Charleston Race Week, then had a DNS for our first offshore race. Then a last place finish in the offshore race to Georgetown. We followed that up with a few DNS and last place finishes during CORAs summer series II. Then we had the the good fortune to have two races abandoned, one due to lack of wind and one due to thunderstorms.

During the 5th race I finally pulled off a decent start (thanks to much prodding from Jim Wilson) and we were ahead of our fleet by the first mark. We lost ground after the first mark but were able to pull off a 7th place finish in an eleven boat fleet.

Hopefully the practicing we've done in the Wednesday night series will pay off during this weekends offshore race to Savannah.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Sailstice

We decided to pass on the Sailstice race this year. I hurt my shoulder during Charleston Race Week, straining my rotator cuff, so on doctors orders I'm taking it easy.

We sailed out under genoa alone  at about 6 pm making a course for Ft Sumter, once past the shallow water in the middle of the harbor we shifted course towards Fort Johnson. The wind was great and we were making an easy 4 knots.

Summer solstice full moon in Charleston Harbor
We dropped anchor just off Fort Johnson and broke in the new grill, which was on sale at West Marine and purchased earlier that morning. The Bubba Burgers turned out great and we enjoyed watching the race along with an incredible full moon once the sun set over the city skyline. At about 10:30 we raised anchor and motored back to the marina.

I am going to keep trying to blog at least once a month but if you are looking for more things Peregrine you can visit the Facebook page at S/V Peregrine.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Steady progress

I haven't done a very good job of keeping up with the blog for the past several months, so this is a start at getting caught up. I originally wrote this in February and a lot has transpires since then.

 I removed the battery box to gain access to the gate valve that serves as the seacock for the seawater cooling circuit intake. One of the projects on the haul out list was to replace the gate valve with a ball valve. After removing the batteries and the battery box I was able to put a wrench on the valve, unfortunately the handle encountered a bulkhead when I tried to unscrew it. After cutting the handle off of the valve I was able to finally remove the valve body from the through hull. Because of the clearance I chose to replace with a Forespar Marelon piece, which wasn't in stock at the local West Marine but they were able to order it and have it for me on Monday.

I also took the opportunity to sound a couple of sections of the hull uncovering four additional blisters that the yard had so far missed. There are just under 60 blisters that have been identified so far and all but the new ones have been ground out. The sanding of the hull appears to be about 30% complete. The rudder has been dropped and all the blistering on it sanded out, the damage on the tip has been opened up but the core is still draining a little. With the rudder dropped it was reassuring to see that the rudder shaft was in excellent condition.

While on the hard we also did maintenance on the winches, bringing them home to soak in kerosene  for cleaning off the old grease freeing several pawls that had stuck tight.

There was some play in the propeller strut and while the yard was cleaning up the bottom I took on the task of tightening up the strut. First I had to remove both quarter berth bunks and the holding tanks, then I ground off the top of the strut housing. I poured in crack filling epoxy, completing several applications which finally tightened up the strut. Finally I closed up the strut housing with many layers of glass cloth and epoxy, and faired the exterior of the hull around the strut.

After long consideration, I decided it just isn't right to have a boat named for another man's wife, so we removed the name and hailing port from the stern and aft quarters. We actually launched without a name to get back in the water ahead of Charleston Race Week.
We also cleaned off the stripe above the boot stripe and touched up several spots where the boot stripe had been rubbed away. I removed and rebuilt two of the three heads which made a huge difference once we were back in the water.

The last thing I finished up was to finish purging air from the fuel lines. I was concerned that we would need to hand line the boat from the hoist to the dock but after a few cranks, the engine fired and we were able to move to the dock under our own power. After several months on the hard, we finally were back in the water and motored to our new home at the Charleston Harbor Marina on April 12, 2013.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sailing Withdrawl

I stopped by the boat today briefly over lunch to check on progress at Pierside Boatyard in North Charleston. Last week we put a moisture meter on the hull and found it to be quite wet. The hull was peeled in 1995 to mitigate a blister issue with the resins used in the 1980's for boat construction. The layer of resin and fiberglass that was laid down to replace the gelcoat that was stripped has absorbed some water.

The yard finished media blasting the hull last week removing all the old bottom paint and most of the old barrier coat so the hull could dry and the blisters we found could be repaired. The recent dry spell has helped a lot in the drying process.

While the boat is out of the water three are three major projects going on, first is all the work to repair the blister damage and protect the hull with a new barrier coat. The second is to repair some damage on the tip of the rudder, both of these issues were identified during the survey so aren't a surprise. The third item is a some play in the propeller strut - hull joint, this is a new discovery but not a huge issue to correct, hopefully.

We are still on track to get the boat back in the water about mid-March to be ready for Charleston Race week and the CORA offshore series.

I'll be updating the blog as we get closer to launch, if you are interested in crewing let me know. I will also accept volunteers to come down and sand on the bottom to get it as smooth as possible before we put her back in the water.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Play time is over :(

Today we pulled Dimi II out of the water for her face-lift at Pierside Boatyard in North Charleston. 

We brought her over to the boatyard Friday afternoon, under tow from Sea Tow. After sailing part of the way up the Cooper River the wind died, the current turned against us we were unable to get the engine started from fuel contamination. We changed out a fuel filter but killed the battery trying to purge the fuel lines.

Before hauling her we unloaded two van loads and a pickup truck full of gear - so much for room in the garage. 

The boatyard crew carefully moved the boat into position and deposited her safely ashore.

The work-list keeps growing. Initially we were planning on blister repair and bottom paint but we also found some damage to the bottom of the rudder, a loose propeller strut and completely disintegrated zincs.

While the yard takes on those projects I'll be rewiring the AC electrical; installing a new AC panel and galvanic isolator.

For the most part the bottom looked to be in pretty good shape, the rudder really showed the worst fouling, as you can see from the before and after pictures

 After pressure washing the bottom, there were only a few barnacles but the anti-fouling paint was definitely wearing thin.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

The best way I can think of to usher in the new year is spending time with good friends on the boat. We were joined by my coworker David Hanson and members of the Gurr, Anthes and Yecke families. The weather this afternoon with light winds and temperatures in the 60's resulted in a very leisurely sail out past Fort Sumter and then back to the Marina.

The dolphins were out to play which added a special touch to a really great afternoon on the water.

This will likely be our last sail for a while, Dimi II is being hauled for some MUCH needed bottom work. A while back someone in the Little Creek Marina mentioned they could hear the clicking of the barnacles on the bottom of their boat. I didn't believe it until last week when I was cleaning up the bilge and could hear continuous clicking sounds coming through the hull.