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About steele

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    Land of the locks

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  1. steele

    Small Handheld DSC VHF

    I have the HX870 and agree it is not very portable, but it has held up over a few years and works well. Uniden MHS335BT is a competitor, I looked at their previous version but it did not seem as well made. West Marine use to sell one under their name that was less expensive, I suspect made by Uniden.
  2. It sounds like your area and Puget Sound have the same rules, no dischage ever, no mater what processing takes place. Both our last boat and the current have simple manual heads and holding takes, no macerator or other sanitation equipment. So far we have had no problems. You should be able to get rid of the electra-san as long as you are strict with head rules. On our boat we only use the minimum amount of crappy 1 ply marine/RV paper. We empty the tank whenever the opportunity arises, even if not full. After each pump out we run lots of fresh water through the system. If you remove the current set up have a low threshold to replace the hoses, research the best ones. Even at 3x the cost they are still a cheap investment in boat dollars. All of this starts to make a composting head sound like a good idea, but so far things work well enough to keep what we have.
  3. steele

    Cruise Ships: blessing or curse?

    I agree with most of this, but we are forgetting what a bargain cruises can be compared to other vacations. A name brand Caribbean cruise with an outside room including food can be had for under $150 per person per day. This is less than an OK hotel room in most destination cities. Hell a one day ticket to Disneyland is over $100, as are lift tickets at most better ski areas. Most travelers have limited vacation budgets, especially retirees, and at those prices it is easier to see how they fill those huge ships. I am not implying modern cruise ships are a good thing at all, but it does help explain why they are so popular.
  4. steele

    Vancouver Island Recommendations

    It sounds like they are outdoor types so as mentioned the hiking is very good. One of our best day hikes started at the ski area at Mt Washington, but may be limited if snow is still around. Surfing was also a blast, they have lessons for beginers like myself. I would also second kayaking, there are outfitters who do day trips so you don't have to bring all the gear. The restaurant at Wikannish Inn in Tofino is very good and very expensive, but the setting is spectacular. It is worth stopping for a drink and appetizers at sundown.
  5. steele

    setting up a boat for shorthanded sailing

    If that is a traveler behind the tiller using it is worth a try. My first boat had one in the same location. Since it is aft of the boom it may bind under load since the lead looks a little off, but shaving off some wood to cant it foward will help. The switch to end boom sheeting will reduce loads and may allow you to reduce the number of mainsheet purchases. My new boat has a tides marine mast track and dyneema easy jacks. The combo makes the mainsail easy to handle. Do you have a way to downshift in heavy conditions? It looks like you already have a good vang so running it and the outhaul back to the cockpit if possible will allow you to de-power the main. Setting up a good reefing system will help. Most people with single line slab reefing report lots of friction so going with a two line system may be worthwhile depite the increased equipment needed. My biggest challenge single handling is not sailing, its docking. Adding a midships cleat is handy. Garhauer and others make versions that utilize your jib car track.
  6. steele

    Refitting Fionn

    How about cutting a vertical slot in the cabinet where the pee container abuts the wood? The angled part would be best, then put a bright LED battery operated light behind the container to shine through. You should be able to see the fluid level even with a semi opaque tank. Add a simple switch on the outside and you would not even have to lift the lid. Try it with water and a flashlight first before cutting.
  7. steele

    Black Water Tank Crack

    Here is another good source for parts in case you try to salvage what you have, The orientation of your photo is hard to figure out, but If you replace the tank try to have all the fittings on the top, including the pump out which can use a dip tube. This greatly reduces the risk of leaks if there is a failure. I also suspect the mystery port is for a tank level monitor which failed (they always do). Since it is a plastic tank there are mutliple options that can be applied to the outside and not get gummed up.
  8. steele

    talk to me about the tartan 30

    A quick added note, ours had the full starboard galley, this one has the aft one with the funky icebox than can be accessed from the cockpit, so tank access may bet better.
  9. steele

    talk to me about the tartan 30

    We had a T30 in the family for decades, I owned it for 8 years before selling it to a frequent contributor here. The hull is solid and overbuilt, lead keel, skeg hung rudder, tiller and super rigid strong rig. I never saw a blister. There is lots of info online, here are some details based on personal experience. It takes a big jib to make it go, ours had a 130, and since the mast is well aft the fortriangle is big to begin with. Not good or bad, just how boats were made back then. My old furller failed and I elected to replace it with a new Schaefer unit, not a racers choice, but robust and reliable. They came with a tall rig option but your photos show a wood toe rail rather than the aluminum that came with the taller mast. They originaly came with a roller reefing boom that did not work well, most have been converted to slab reefing but if not plan for that. Look closely at the chain plates, especially the starboard side which is bolted to a smaller section of the bulkhead and more prone to movement and leaks. The ports always leak, your photos show stains on the interior. They can be re built without any special parts as long as you do not damage the alu frames. Since they are through bolted butyl tape worked very well. The stem fitting is a complex alu casting so take a good look for damage or cracks. The boat sails well with no bad habits and is well balanced. It motors forward fine, but reverse can be a challenge. The prop is just behind the keel, the motor is offset to port, and the skeg makes the rudder inefficient in reverse. My dad always said you can hold on to the tiller in reverse if it makes you feel better, but don't expect any results. Ours had a non folding two blade prop, an advantage since you can mark the shaft and rotate it under sail to align with the keel. The T30 is easy to work on, engine access is amazing, the best I have ever seen on a sailboat. Tartan thought about access for plumbing etc, I was able to completely redo the head plumbing and add a holding tank with no cutting. Access to the fuel tank is not so good, the starboard cabinets have to come apart, an important issue if the tank is original. The old pressurized cooktop can be replaced with a drop in Origo, worked fine for us but some do not like alcohol to begin with. Overall they are good boats, better built than most of that era. The interior is especially nice with lots of solid wood. Feel free to reply with any specific questions.
  10. steele

    rant: driving fuckery

    I have cycled in Hanoi, turning left you NEVER stop or risk getting hit from behind. You just start your turn and let traffic flow around you. As long as you are steady and predictable it seems to work. I would never drive there, lanes, lights, shoulders, all are just for decoration. When crossing a busy multi-lane street find the old lady and follow her.
  11. steele

    Flag Lots - Any Real Estate People Here?

    We have lots of properties like that in our area, although I live in a pretty dense city. In addition to Clean's advice there are a few other things to keep in mind. Other property owners utilites often cross these lots so they will probably have easments for access on your potential property for repair etc. This can restrict development options for you as well. Your utilities may have to cross other properties, so you need to insure the right of access for service as well. In our area if you build there has to be access with a minimum width for emergency services. I assume some day you will need septic? if so finding space on skinny lots can be hard since no parking or paving is allowed nearby. The end result can be a title report that looks like a novel. In more rural areas with larger lots these things are probably less of a problem, but study the situation.
  12. steele

    How much bigger?

    There are 6-8 of these giants departing Seattle every week all summer long. I live and sail here and they do not affect things much. Their timing and routes are predictable and compared to the ferry and containerships they are a small portion of marine traffic. The passengers do clog up the tourist sites, we have stopped going to Pike Place market in the summer where people will line up for an hour to get into the original Starbucks. The bit about the airport is also true, but the boost to the local economy is obvious. Years ago we took a multigenerational family vacation on one to Alaska. It worked out better than expected. We could hang out together or go our own way with minimal fuss. We walked through the first town and were done with that activity in 5 min. After that we would get off the boat and hike, or kayak, or any other activity that involved getting away from the crowd which was pretty easy since most passangers have no interest in any physical activity at all. At the time the population of Skagway was under 1000, swelling to 4000+ when the ships landed. We signed up with a local guide to hike and raft part of the Chilkoot trail with perhaps 10 other people. All told I have no desire to ever do it again, but do understand part of the appeal. One issue is cost. Checking on the web it looks like you can book a week at around $100 a day. How they feed and clean up after you at that price is hard to fathom, but short of camping it may be the best vacation bargain out there.
  13. steele

    Light air sails

    I have an asym in a sock on 35 footer. The boat is fractional rigged with a 110 working jib so a downwind sail is helpful. Swapping jibs on a furler is no fun on the water, setting a spin will be faster. The sock is handy as I sail short handed, but I do worry about the snuffer getting caught at the top of the mast, dowsing on the same tack as you raised the sail is needed. Oddly the biggest problem is the size of the whole set up. As already mentioned the sail, sock, snuffer, separate halyard and block to raise the sock, and a bag to hold it all takes up a full berth on the boat. The top down furlers I have seen seem to take up less space so if I had to do it over again I would probably go that way despite the cost and complexity. The PO did not mention the size of his boat, but I agree if under 30 for use in light air a used spin of either type with no extra stuff would be a good way to go. Practice on a very light wind day, even at the dock.
  14. steele

    Coolboats to admire

    Looks fine to me, travelers down, sails reefed, tiller almost midline. The next step is more keel, or six guys on the rail.
  15. I agree about the being chased around the inside of the dink by a puddle of water. We usually have boots or water shoes on since we often are headed to the beach rather than a dock. It is so light that I somtimes just flip it over before getting in to let it drain. To bad about the motor mount, I hope there was not an outboard attached. My avon was in perfect condition purchased used from a guy who used it once but had no mount. I saw the cost of the UK option and ended up buying another redcrest used with a mount and rear seat that I also wanted and put it back on craigslist.