Sailing Events Page, 29 March 2015
Most builders of small sailboats can't build custom boats. The Henry Ford idea of cookie cutter production is the only way to make a profit building small sailboats. Most production sailboats have their own specific Achilles heel. The San Juan 23 and many other 23-foot sailboats have masts that are too tall to raise by an owner and his or her first mate. Com-Pac solved this problem with their gaff-rigged catboats. The Com-Pac Horizon Cat and Sun Cat are boats that are easy to trailer and the masts go-up with minimal effort. Com-Pac deserves an award for the idea.
The San Juan 23 is a big boat with a big cabin and it would be easy to trailer if wasn't for the tall mast. All we have to do remove the old mast and replace it with a Horizon Cat rig and the problem is solved. The boat will look and sail similar to the Com-Pac 23 below. Check out the price for the boat, motor and trailer when we get her completed.
The eastern part of the country has been too cold. This unusual weather has slowed the start of our 2015 sailing season. Normal spring maintenance is several weeks behind schedule. The weatherman says maybe normal spring weather will start in about 10 days. We can hope.
If you can get to Jacksonville, FL this weekend, they are showing a pretty Sun Cat at their annual Boat Show.
Mike Humphrey’s is currently a Horizon Cat owner (His boat is on my yard for sale). He has sailed North Carolina's lakes and coastal areas and is now extending his sailing adventures to Europe. The following is a recent email conversation I had with Mike:
"I’m basically buying this boat to undertake my “Celtic Cruise” (to really build my sailing skills and general seamanship skills) in May thru June 2015, on my own and it will cover just over 800 miles from Wales to Ireland (that will be the longest sail - 90 miles across the Irish sea), and then really day sails of between 25 and a maximum of 60miles going up the East Coast of Ireland, visit to the Isle of Man, back to Ireland and than over to the Clyde Estuary in Scotland and my target destination is Iona on the Isle of Mull…and back as fast as I can to my “Home Port” of Porthmadog, North Wales.
If I manage all that, without losing the boat, I would like to then take the boat down to the Mediterranean in 2016 - with EasyJet we can fly directly from Basel to all main sailing areas in the Med for about $100 return…
People have advised me that a Centre-Cockpit (the Moody 333) can be particularly good for solo-sailors - do you agree?
Additionally the Westerly’s have a reputation for being “Over-built” and the Westerly Falcon at 33’8” in length weigh in at 12,588Lbs and the Moody 333 at 33’ in length weighs in at 10,575Lbs. again don’t bother researching that I have another friend looking into that for me.
Again, only if you have 10 mins to quickly review the details of both boats I would love your overall thoughts."
I think he is going to buy the Westerly. Both boats have twin keels that are made for harbors that dry out.
Who would like to have a Catalina 22 Trawler on a trailer? Standing headroom and she still goes down the highway. That's a great combination. We will build you a 1986 Catalina 22 Trawler with a motor and trailer for $12,000. If you have been thinking about making a trawler out of your boat, talk to us about a trade-in. The cost difference may be smaller than you think.
After 40 years of selling sailboats, we have collected lots of odds and ends. We will be listing those items on our third Web site. Click "Used Marine Equipment" on the left. We will remove items as they are sold and add items when we have time to do so. Stoves, biminis, canvas lots of hardware will be listed.
The Pilothouse is now available with outboard power. That makes the boat more affordable and even more affordable when you trade-in your old Com-Pac. A discount, trade and a lower priced outboard model sounds like a bargain to me. Maybe it is time to go cruising.
Installing oarlocks on heavy little boats has always been a challenge. Most commercial oarlocks are designed for light boats in the 150-pound category. The Com-Pac 16 at 1100 pounds is more stable and has better directional control. You can standup and row. This new project looks really good in the early stages. We may have a replacement for our expensive outboard motors soon. Moving a sailboat with oars and getting some good exercise at the same time isn't all that bad. We will publish on our "Current Projects" link when we get it done.
We got it done early. Our Trawler/Pilothouse Study Guide is available by clicking the link on the left. This is a great winter project for some sailors. We are looking forward to publishing pictures of work in progress and the finished boats.
The Study Plans announced below are going to be free and available on the Web. The completion date for the plans is still the 15th of October. A price list will be available for patterns and parts at that time.
I have been talking to several people about sailing performance. A fact that not many people think about is size and location. A 3000-pound sailboat doesn't sail very well in less than 3 knots of wind. A 1000-pound sailboat does very well in those same light winds. If you are thinking about buying a large sailboat and sailing in a location that only has little ripples of wind on the water, plan on not sailing very much. Sailors with big boats get good sailing spinnakers in light winds. Of course, you will need crew to do that.
We have come up with a good idea for Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse. It can be sailed from inside the cabin and also outside in the cockpit. The secret to this feature is the helm location at the rear of the house/cabin. The pilothouse's open rear entrance allows easy access for the sheets. Steering with the wheel and controlling the sheets while standing or sitting is possible. I can't wait to try this one out.
We will offer Study Plans for converting sailboats to pilothouses and trawlers. It will cover converting small cabin sailboats from 16 feet to 24 feet. This will be a "How To" book showing constructions details including a parts list with prices. The study guide will be published in October 2014 and we will accept orders at that time. It's going to be a great Christmas gift for the old man. Introductory price will be $35 including shipping.
You have all analyzed the Com-Pac 23 sailing in Sailing School Primer 2 and know what happen during the sail. Lets see if your answers to the questions are the same as mine. We talked about the first leg and I answered those questions below. The rest of the questions are more interesting. Was there a downwind leg? I'm sure your answer was no. We had several broad reaches, but no downwind sailing. Was the wind speed on the water affected by the terrain? The answer is a big YES. We talked about the first leg below. The good speed at the beginning of the second leg was caused by the lack of terrain and a long fetch. We slowed as we sailed the second part of the leg because we bumped into the reverse eddies from the land. We were very close to the land. Pointing into the wind and the land being close caused the slow speed on the third leg. The reverse wind eddies off the land can kill your power to point. The reason that we could sail in 2 feet of water with a boat that has a draft of 2 feet 3 inches is the chart shows low water numbers. We were very close to the bottom. The fastest overall leg was leg number 1. The tacking at the end was close tacking to make the finish look good. This 23 was a Horizon Cat rigged catboat. Catboats point well.
If you have a late model Web Browser, the Sailing School Primers may not have worked. Sorry about that. The World is in the process of making the Web more difficult to use. I have to rewrite lots of code on this site to make everything work by 2016. The Primers had to have the new code to work on the latest browsers now. They are currently fixed and working correctly.
Primer number 2 used a Com-Pac 23 with a Horizon Cat sail. The boat sailed well. The wind was out the northwest and blowing pretty good. We got the sail up and flying before we started recording. We started the course on a broad reach and maintained it all the way to the first mark. We were bumping the wind shadow from the land as we sailed towards the mark. You can see that our boat speed wasn't that great. The taller mast and the broad reach masked the wind's affect on our course. It was just slower. We had to pinch at the end of the first leg to make the mark and maintain our speed.
Happy 4th of July. Lets talk about the second and third legs of the Sailing School Primer. Have you ever tried to take a picture in substantial winds and maintain your course and speed? After looking at the picture, you can see where I had to be to get that picture. The tiller was in the way and I had to try several times. The little boat was doing better than I was during the picture taking. That was the reason for the crazy course changes identified by the blue boats on the Primer.
The third leg only had small round-ups from gusts. I was sailing on a broad reach and the little boat was flying. The boat hit 6 knots twice on the last leg. If a 16 is going to surf, it's going to do it in big winds, flat water on a broad reach. The finish line is at the junction of two large creeks that intersect with the river at that point. A longer fetch without the terrain blocking the wind helped with the speed increase at the end. We are on the wrong side of the waves to see the whitecaps in the picture below.
Come sail with me again in Sailing School Primer 2. The answers to those questions will be on this page in a week or two.
The answers to the first leg Sailing School Primer questions are below. My errors are marked in red on the Primer page. The wind was out of the southwest and I'm sure most of you figured that out. The course to the first mark was as good as I could do with the wind that I had. I sailed the course and tacked one time to reach the mark. Looking at the tack, it was a 45-degree tack and looked good to me. You can see where I fell off to maintain my speed after the tack. Most of the sailing was OK with the wind and waves I had that day.
My errors had to do with the terrain. The first red course errors could have been avoided. When the wind comes over the trees and approaches the water, the height of the terrain including the trees determines where the boundary layer is between light wind, no wind the wind we need to sail fast. The land projected out into the river at my first error point and you can see that I tried to maintain my course through the boundary layer. I should have looked at the terrain and sailed a better course. I found out the hard way that I didn't have the wind direction and speed to maintain my first course. Maybe I was sleeping at the switch. The boundary layer line is something to be avoided if possible. You can configure your boat for light air and you can figure your boat for heavy wind, but doing both at the same time really looks bad and it's also very slow.
I did my tack and ran into same terrain boundary layer again. The terrain southwest of the mark is higher. The boundary layer projected out pass the mark. I had to sail through the boundary layer to get to the mark. Rounding the mark really looks bad on the Sailing School Primer. Had you been in the cockpit with me, I'm sure you would have mentioned a better course solution. Next week we will talk about the rest of my 16 sail. Hitting 6 knots of boat speed was exciting. I have pictures that I will publish next time.
My solution after the fact would be to sail off the terrain more than I did. Instead of short tacking at the mark, long tacks with more boat speed going into the boundary layer would have improved my mark rounding.
For those sailors sailing with me on the computer, I just improved the Sailing School Primer. The course information is more accurate. I didn't think I was that bad. Notice the boat surfs at 6 knots while sailing the course. Most people didn't know a 16 could go that fast. I may have had more than 10 to 12 knots of wind at the finish.
We created a learning tool for new and maybe some old sailors. Our Sailing School Primer is listed below under our Sailing School Heading. It's a game to see if you see what I see when I go sailing. My answers to the questions (which may be different than yours) will be published here in a few weeks. Playing the game should be fun. Good luck.
Three boats departed the New Bern area for Oriental at noon today. Chuck Diesher, CP-27; Bruce Woods, CP-23 and Terry Gillette, CP-19 set sail for a cruise down the Neuse. They plan on spending the night in Oriental and returning to New Bern on Sunday.
There are some boats that see the World and there are some boats that never leave the marina. David St. Charles owns a Com-Pac 23D that's covered lots of miles. The boat spent 6 months in the Bahamas with a young couple (they only got off the boat 2 days in 6 months) and has just come back from the Dry Tortugas. Fort Jefferson is located there and it can only be reached by boat. The whole place is a National Park. David said he sailed the 70 miles in open blue water between Key West and Fort Jefferson. He said the trip going over took about 18 hours of continuous sailing. He said the trip was a fascinating and challenging trip. He also said that the 23 D performed well and that he was able to single-hand over and back. The return trip had light and shifting winds and he used the motor for the return trip. The red box on the map is Key West and the Blue Box is the Dry Tortugas.
Something that will help sailors be better sailors is always useful. The World of Computing has developed a new technology called "Canvas" that's going to make teaching and learning how to sail better. Not easy, but better. The first big breakthrough technology for us way back when was GPS. Most people don't know how good it really is. The accuracy of civilian GPS isn't all that great when you are trying to find a geographical location on earth. GPS has errors built into the system and it's only accurate within about 30 feet of a given location. However and this is a big however, the accuracy of GPS between two track points received by the same GPS on the same sailboat is super accurate. The errors are the same for both track points. You can measure the difference between 2 or 200 track points with one GPS receiver. You can also measure between the bow and stern of the same sailboat using 2 GPS receivers. You can measure the location and the relative position of each GPS receiver with a computer. So much for the GPS lesson. Drawing dynamic lines on computer screens by programmers have been difficult up this point. Only the newest and latest Browsers have this Canvas capability. Most programmers use track points recorded by the GPS receiver to identify sailing performance by a sailboat. I'm not sure why sailing magazines don't use this type of technology to identify the sailing performance of new boats. Maybe that's more information than what they want to publish. One more thing about track points. They were designed to help GPS users find their way home. Like leaving breadcrumbs in children stories. They are generated by the receiver based on changes in a course or direction. That works for us too because that's what we want to know. We want to record when we change directions. Sailing is about position and time and the computer can do all the other calculations for us.
Canvas is going to make our track points more accurate. I will be able to calibrate the map that we sail on more accurately (it's cosmetic, but helps us understand). Notice how I sailed through the piece of land at the bottom the chart. With the canvas lines, I can see that I need to keep my boat in the water. Accurately measuring upwind tacks with a right angle on the computer screen is going to be easy. A plastic protractor can measure every course change and we will all learn from what we did on the water. We will see how good we are when we get our first Web page with lines.
Com-Pac has built a new boat. It's currently called a Launch and it has gone through sea trials with some great results. Check the Factory's Web site under the "News" link. A diesel version of this boat is going to sell for about $42,000. With a good trade-in, this boat is going to be affordable. That's good news! A picture of the new boat is on our Home Page.
Ron Brown from Jacksonville, NC has started his big Trawler trip to the Keys. We plan on keeping track of his progress with the article below.
We have been installing diesel motors in Com-Pac Yachts for some time. People going long distances need an inboard diesel motor. Some owners use their motors to move their boats short distances to and from a place to sail. The electric inboard motor may be the right solution for these owners. The motor and the installation cost are less than a diesel and the electric motor can't be stolen off the back of the boat like an outboard. Most of our Com-Pac Yachts can handle an electric inboard installation well. Gerry at Com-Pac makes 6 different kinds of inboard motor mounts for Com-Pacs. The motor installation that we are looking at is 48 volts and it has a very small footprint. Email Keith for details.
You may have noticed that The Sailboat Company has two Web Sites. The new site is going to hold our archived articles and short stories and maybe other items as we fill up the server. The new site address is sailboatrichlands.com, but you can click the link on the left to get to the new site. A newer Web browser will put one site on one tab and the other one on second tab. It will be easy to go back and forth.
Our computer browsers have changed. The old ones would tolerate mistakes by programmers and render good understandable information with all kinds of errors and mistakes. Internet Explorer has about 60% of the market and most people write to that medium. In 2016, every one will have to write perfect HTML5 code. It will be used by all browsers including our friendly IE browser. If you have a late model browser like IE9 through IE11, reading old code like this site is best done in compatibility view. The tool menu lets you choose a compatibility view for old Web sites like this one. You really don't have to do anything, but the site isn't going to be as perfect as it will be when I upgrade my code.
The Sailboat Company will be moving their Yamaha 25 from New Bern, NC to Jacksonville, NC this spring. Ports of call will be Beaufort or Morehead City, Swansboro and Snead’s Ferry. Tag along by anyone wanting ICW experience is encouraged.
Cumberland Boat Works is planning an ICW trip from Jacksonsonville, FL to the Keys this summer. They plan on doing the trip in a Com-Pac 23. If you want to sail along, you might want to contact them. They have a Web site at http://www.cumberlandboatworks.com/ or click on the link at the bottom of the page on the left.
We have a new Airplane and Sailboat short story on the left.
The EPA has removed sulfur from our diesel fuel. It doesn't smell bad anymore. That's the way I would test to see if my fuel was fresh. Fresh diesel would smell bad and the old fuel didn't have that same strong odor. Now the old fuel and the new fuel smell the same. Sulfur was used as a lubricate in the old fuel.
We always use 30-weight oil in diesel motors in the south. Real hot weather in the summer months make that oil desirable. The oil was thick and didn't leak as much as the thin multi-grades. It kept our engines clean. The new 30-weight oil isn't thick anymore. I'm sure it meets the technical requirements for 30-weight oil, but it's as thin as the multi-grades that I try to avoid for my old engines.
The Com-Pac Club (CPYANC) on this Web site is really a social site for Com-Pac owners. It was a way for members to connect and talk boats between other owners. Identity theft is a big problem and getting bigger. People doing Spam on computers are also a growing problem. I think it's time to close down the Com-Pac Yacht Association of North Carolina on this Web site. We need to protect your identity. I hope we can get together again sometime in the future for an outing and have some fun with our boats. We still plan on maintaining the Q&A section on this site.
A Com-Pac 23D that just spent 6 months in the Bahamas is going to Key West. I think the boat likes the warm weather. A Trinka sailboat is going along for the ride.
We have the sister site in Jacksonville, FL and now we also have a new used equipment site. The Things of Yesteryear Store will sell used marine equipment like canoes, outboard motors and other used stuff (I call it junk). Prices will be good and the storeowner is my son. The outboard motors will be on the Web site as soon as we get a sunny day to make pictures. The Web site address is www.thingsofyesteryear-2u.com. Is that a mouth-full or what?
Rick and Kelly have their business operating and they have a Web site. Their address is: www.cumberlandboatworks.com. Go to their Web site and say "Hello" using their email page. The Jacksonville, FL. area has some great cruising waters and their business is on the water. Maybe a good jumping off place for a cruise down the St. Johns river.
Com-Pac sells parts to install small diesels in most brands of small sailboats from 20 to 25 foot. Used engines are available from boats that have been salvaged due to the current economy. Of course new diesels are available at a higher cost. It's a big DIY project, but most sailors that are handy with their hands can get it done. We just installed an old 1976 Yanmar YSM8 in a Com-Pac 23. It took about 2 weeks of spare time.
We didn't have enough interest in our Club Race. It may be the economy or it may be the weather, but almost no one signed up for our racing weekend. The Annapolis Sailboat Show is the same weekend and Hurricane Karen is coming through this week and that didn't help our racing plans. Last year we had our outing on Mothers Day. I think I have a hard time picking good dates for outings. The racing would have been fun.
It could be that everyone is just busy. The Sailboat Company has had a big 2013 so far. The used boat business has been very busy for us and Com-Pac said they have been busy building Picnic Cats. We have been ordering parts from Com-Pac to modify and bring our used boat fleet up to date. Have you noticed that our used Com-Pac 16s are getting few and far between?
We stopped working on the 23T while we were doing our customer's boats. We still have a customer Com-Pac 23D that's going to Key West. It is going to be a pretty boat with lots of options. Our old 82 Com-Pac 23 outboard that we sold new in 82 currently has a diesel motor. It is just about completed and I think I'm going to play with it for a while. We may take it to the St. Johns River in FL for sea-trials. I have a son-in-law that going into the Com-Pac restoration business in Jacksonville, FL. He has already started on a 23 and he looking for some 16s.
We will be updating our Web site when the weather gets cool. We will be doing an article on the care and feeding of small diesel engines. Most of it is finished, but it still needs to be published.
Mike Humphreys just made a big voyage in his Horizon Cat. He picked up his boat at Jordan Lake and took it to Bath, NC and then sailed from Bath to Ocracoke Island. A picture of his boat in Bath is on this Web site's Home Page. I'm sure Blackbeard made that same voyage many times. He had a home in Bath. This is the same boat that made the long journey from Beaufort, SC to the Erie Canal in New York State. If sailboats could only talk, they could tell some great stories. I will publish the first owner's cruise story again this winter.
We tried to race in the New River, but launching was going to be too complicated to make it work. The race on the 12th will start at Duck Creek Marker #1 in the Neuse River at Noon. We can use ramps at Northwest Creek Marina, Union Point in New Bern and the Park site next to the big bridge on the Trent River. You should be at the start line at least 15 minutes before start time. The plan is to race the course twice. The first race is a practice race and the final race will pick the big winner. You can look for the Com-Pac Coastal Packet committee boat at the race start line. The course will be from Duck Creek to #7 and #26 and back to Duck Creek.
Dinner will be at Applebee’s on Highway 17 in New Bern at 7:00 PM.
Spending the night at Northwest Creek Marina or Duck Creek Marina is possible if you plan on going home on Sunday. Check with the management about the heads and a transit slip fee.
RSVP is important so let Keith know if you plan on coming. An email or a phone call will do. We hope the weather is going to be fantastic and that we have a good turnout.
Being a software person, we have several pages on this Web site displaying Com-Pac racing and individual boat performance. We made an improvement to our software recently that shows boat headings as we sail around the course. The boats on the page are objects with 2 colors. The blue end is the stern and the red end is the bow. You can see the boat tack on its blue stern and point towards the new heading with its red bow. I like to print the chart and analyze the results while I'm in my easy chair. The headings and terrain tell the story. You can print the chart by pressing the PrtScreen key on your keyboard. The copy and paste method can move the image to a paint program for printing. The Browser Print function doesn't work that well.
The images below show an Eclipse sailing on the wind towards the first mark. The wind is out of the south and light. We assume that the boat is pointing 45 degrees to the wind on that first leg. Can you see where the terrain changed the wind direction and the boat's course on that first leg? The little bump on the second leg is a wind change caused by terrain. The images are close together on the third leg indicating a slower boat. Going down wind is going to be slower.
The Coastal Packet had it final US Coast Guard Inspection and she passed without discrepancies. It may be the only 20-foot pilothouse sailboat with a diesel. We had one person come by during the inspection and he said it was a boat that could do it all. It may not be a live aboard, but it is a boat that can go places on a trailer and can be sailed from inside with wheel steering and sleeping accommodations for two.
We lost another sailor on the 15th of this month. Bill was an Annapolis Graduate with a distinguished career as a Naval Officer and had captained ships laying communications cables across he Atlantic after leaving the Navy. You may have met Bill at the Raleigh Boat Show during the last 30 years. Bill stood in at the show while the other salespeople had dinner. He was the person with a smile and a dry sense of humor.
Bill sailed his small boats all over the eastern part of North Carolina and he ferried small and large boats all over the country. He helped Richard Summers take his Com-Pac 27 to Texas by water. He also made many trips up and down the ICW with fellow sailors when they needed crew. He was good company on long voyages. Bill once captained a Ferry down the Mississippi, across the Gulf and on to New Bern, NC. I'm sure he did more, but Bill didn't talk that much about Bill.
Bill came by The Sailboat Company 3 weeks ago and we talked about the good times. One time of note was when we were on our way to the Com-Pac Factory to pick up his new Horizon Cat. I was driving the truck and Bill was riding copilot and he said: "If I had to drive through this traffic to get this boat, I would leave it in Florida". He had a way of telling it the way it was.
That's Bill on the left in the picture. We will miss William DeHart of Pittsboro, NC.
We have 2 sailors signed up for the October race on the New River. Bruce Woods and Wes Newman said they would be there. The plan is to launch at the Marina Cafe in Jacksonville. They have a ramp and a big parking lot. The masts have to stay down on the inland side of the Jacksonville bridges. Power lines prevent the mast from going up in that area. After going under 2 bridges, John Fountain's Marina is on the left and he said we could put our mast up there. From that point, it's only a hop, skip and jump to the race area on Morgan Bay. You can check out the racecourse on the links on the left. I currently have 4 GPS receivers and we will document the race. Dinner will be at the Marina Cafe and spending the night there should work well. Restrooms in the marina are large and clean. Sign up for the race when you can.
The weather has been crazy this year and the boat-selling season started late. We are currently busy getting boats ready for their new owners. We did have time while it was raining (it rained a lot) to work on our computer sailing program. An improved program (Sun Cat Sail below) shows graphics with pointed ends instead of round dots. The graphics follows the course direction the boat is sailing. That way you can see when we miss a tack. We had some bad tacks on the first leg below. Can you pick them out? We hope to get some 16s, 19s and maybe Sun Cats out on this racetrack in the fall. Seeing reds and blues and greens with pointed ends going everywhere should be fun. Let me know if you think you can come down on a Saturday for a race in October. I think it needs to be in October to be enjoyable.
The Sailboat Company has been blessed with a good selection of used boats this year. Most of the boats in the picture below are for sale. A few are being repaired and of course I own several boats that I call my own.
We just published a new Short Story on Racing. Click Racing Can Be Fun on the left.
We didn't have enough members sign up for the cruise and we didn't go. Maybe that's a good thing because the weather turned super hot (91 degrees in the shade) with very little wind. The sail from Northwest Creek to Oriental would have been a great sail if the wind had been 10 to 15 knots. The forecast of 5 to 10 or less would have required the motor. We also had the same light wind forecast for Saturday and Sunday and it's hard to make miles on the Neuse River in light winds.
The Marine Wind Forecast for Oriental is as follows:
16May 10 to 15 knots
17May 5 to 10 knots
18May 5 to 10 knots
19May 10 to 15 knots
The Marine Wind Forecast for Oriental is as follows:
15May 10 to 15 knots
16May 10 to 15 knots
17May 5 to 10 knots
18May 10 to 15 knots
19May 10 to 15 knots
The Marine Wind Forecast for Oriental is as follows:
14May 10 to 15 knots
15May 15 to 20 knots
16May 15 to 20 knots
17May 5 to 10 knots
18May 5 to 10 knots
The Marine Wind Forecast for Oriental is as follows:
13May 10 to 15 knots
14May 10 to 15 knots
15May 10 to 15 knots
16May 15 to 20 knots
17May 5 to 10 knots
The Marine Wind Forecast for Oriental is as follows:
12May 10 to 15 knots
13May 10 to 15 knots
14May 10 to 15 knots
15May 5 to 10 knots
16May 5 to 10 knots
17May 10 to 15 knots
This is another update to the May Club Outing.
Chart BookletCharts are available free from NOAA on line. 2 Booklets will be needed for this cruise. They are Booklets 11552 and 11548. Booklet 11552 covers the upper Neuse and Booklet 11548 covers the lower Neuse. Coverage splits at Oriental.
This is the coldest spring on record and our sailing weather hasn't been that good so far. We expect winds in March, rain in April and spring flowers in May. It seems like we might be getting all three at the same time. 20 knots or more of wind on the lower Neuse is too much wind. It will give us waves of 3 feet or more and that's too much for a fun cruise. We need a forecast of 10 to 15 knots of wind in the lower Neuse for 3 days. A bad weather plan "B" for the cruise is to stay in the upper Neuse. The most important feature of this plan is to keep everyone informed. I plan on monitoring the weather and publishing the forecast for Oriental on this Web site for the cruise.
Weather forecasts are petty good for 3 days in advance and a little less accurate for 5 days. We have to look at the 17th through the 19th with some parts of all three days navigating the lower Neuse. When you look at this big expanse of water and we are the only boats out there, we know something is wrong.
TO MAKE THIS CRUISE WORK SMOOTHLY, EVERYONE THAT'S COMING NEEDS TO CHECK-IN WITH KEITH ON THE 15TH OR 16TH OF MAY BY EMAIL OR PHONE. PHONE NUMBER 910 324 4005. I WILL LET YOU KNOW THE PLAN AT THAT TIME.
We are hoping for sunshine and fair winds. Keep your fingers crossed.
This is a change to the May Cruise Outing below. Whittaker Creek Marina will be glad to have us spend the night with them on the 17th. They will take us to the restaurant in town and the restraint will bring us back to the boats. Anchoring out in Green Creek is no longer on our schedule. My cell phone number on the boat is 1-910-381-9596 and it will be turned on during the cruise. Of course we will also be up on VHF Channel 16 on the 17th. Whittaker Creek has an entrance marker about 200 yards downriver from what we call Oriental #1. Really, Oriental #1 is Smith Creek #1. The channel going into Whittaker Cheek is perpendicular to the Oriental entrance channel. Whittaker Creek has several marks including a range mark at the end on shore. Before getting to the range mark, you have to turn to port for Whittaker Creek Marina or starboard to go to Whittaker Point Marina. We will turn to port and from that turn, you can see the fuel dock at Whittaker Creek. Someone at the fuel dock will tell you where to go. It's the marina that appears to be on a point of land between 2 other creeks. The rest of the cruise remains the same so far.
Our May Cruise is scheduled to begin Friday, the 17th of May. We will leave Neuse River Marker # 19 across from Northwest Creek Marina at 10:00 and head for Oriental, NC. The plan for Oriental is to anchor-out in Green Creek for the night. Transit facilities in Oriental are fewer than they were several years ago. Marinas that do offer transit slips in Oriental are Whittaker Creek, Whittaker Point and the Oriental Marina. The next morning, we will rendezvous off Oriental at 10:00 and head down the river for the River Dunes Marina on Board Creek. We will arrive at that marina Saturday afternoon and spend the night there. The next morning, we will depart at 9:00 for Northwest Creek Marina and home.
This is going to be a flexible cruise because boats can join and depart the cruise at any time. Some boats may want to launch at Oriental and go from Oriental to River Dunes and back. Others may want to start with the group at Northwest Creek, sail to Oriental and then back to Northwest Creek. You can pick your days and the weather and sail as much or as little as you like. Launching ramps at Northwest Creek, Oriental and River Dunes are very good. The launching ramp in Oriental is at the base of the high-rise bridge. The details about launching at Northwest Creek are in last year's instructions. The maps of Northwest Creek Marina are still on this Web page below and that information is still accurate.
Anchoring in Green Creek will be just inside the high-rise bridge on the port side. If the wind is high, we may go up the creek another 1/2 mile for more anchor room. Of course, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (910 324 4005) for more information. The old name for Northwest Creek Marina was Fairfield Harbor Marina and I may have used that name last year. The correct name is Northwest Creek Marina.
Both Northwest Creek and River Dunes know we are coming. That's a good thing. A bad thing is the restaurant at Northwest Creek is closed. I don't have a solution for that problem, but I think everyone should bring lots of food, drinks and drinking water. The food at River Dunes requires a reservation 10 days in advance and that's not going to work for us. I plan on having a grill on the stern of my boat and everyone on the cruise can use my grill. I think hotdogs may be on my menu at River Dunes.
The distance from Northwest Creek to Oriental is about 17 miles and the distance from Oriental to River Dunes is about 10 miles. The anchoring in Green Creek will be on a short anchor rode to stay out of the channel. We need to monitor the weather forecast for Friday night. An anchor light will be needed for Green Creek. If you don't want to anchor-out, you could stay at one of the three marinas above that offer transit slips. Slips are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Bruce Milne has owned several boats. His first was a Com-Pac 23 sailed while he was still in the Marine Corps. Bruce and his 23 had some good stories tell. Bruce flew helicopters in the Corps and after the Corps he worked for the FBI in Alaska. He currently has 37 dogs and races the IDITAROD when he can. His current and maybe last sailboat is a Com-Pac 23 on Resurrection Bay near Seward Alaska. He can only sail 30 days a year, but he says it's worth every minute. The picture was taken last summer and you can still see the snow on the mountains.
We published more sailing short stories on this Web site. It's too cold to sail anyway. Click "Sailing Short Stories" on the left.
The New River at the mouth of the river and the inlet at Snead's Ferry have been dredged. We have a creek behind our boat yard that's running faster than it was before. Everyone with any draft was concerned about going aground at Snead's Ferry. I plan on coming through there with 4 feet of draft this summer.
We talked to River Dunes about our cruise in May. They do weddings on Saturdays during the summer, but they said they could feed us at a different location. It looks like the cruise will start on Friday the 17th of May at Fairfield Harbor. Boats can join or leave the cruise at different locations. We plan on leaving Fairfield Harbor on Friday, departing Oriental on Saturday and going home from River Dunes on Sunday. We will have more details as time go on.
We published 2 sailing short stories on this Web site. Click "Sailing Short Stories" on the left. We will have more stories about coastal sailing as time permits.
We have a good-looking Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse on the yard. It should be here for the winter and you may want to come by and see this great looking boat. There is a reason why Sail Magazine picked this Pilothouse for their "Boat of the Year Award".
The opening ports listed on our Yard Sale link will be a great addition to almost any Com-Pac 16. New boats have the forward cabin port and they look good. The ports on new boats don't open. An old bronze ports can be made to look like new by soaking it in a solution of vingar and salt. Of course, they would also look good on 19s and 23s. Rodney Deal installed one in his 23 below.
River Dunes is looking pretty good for May 2013. Departing Northwest Creek Marina on Saturday and staying the first night at Oriental and then departing Sunday for River Dunes sounds like a plan. The trip mileage from New Bern to River Dunes is about 26 miles and the down and back should take about 4 days. Some boats that can't do 4 days can head back at Oriental or wherever. All the stops will be at marinas with everything that marinas offer. The food at River Dunes is supposed to be fantastic. Of course anchoring out is always an option. The best thing about the lower Neuse is that it will give us more sailing with less motoring. The short distances between stops means that it's going to be a casual cruise. The blue circle on the map is the start and the red circle is the entrance to River Dunes.
Com-Pac will show a 23 Pilothouse, Eclipse and a Sun Cat at the Annapolis Boat Show. The show starts 4 Oct 2012. This will be a great time to see these boats.
The CPYANC is thinking about a May 2013 Neuse River cruise. May is a great month with possible destinations of Cape Lookout or River Dunes, NC with a stop in Oriental, NC.
Com-Pac just issued its new boat price lists for this year. Not many prices have gone up and few have gone down.
The Sailboat Company's Com-Pac 23T should be sailing by Christmas. Inside a warm cabin on a cold day should be great.
A customer is getting his new Com-Pac 23/IV in early November. It should be on our yard for a week or two. Come see it if you can.
We have resold customer boats for over 30 years. We call it brokerage and car dealers call it consignment. It's really the same thing. The State of North Carolina and their Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) manage the documents (titles) for boat trailers, cars and trucks in this State. They inspect boat dealers to insure that they have a title for every trailer on their yard. With brokerage boats, a brokerage form with the owner's name and address was satisfactory until last week. We now have a requirement to have a Floor Plan document for every trailer on the yard that doesn't have a title. This makes sense for car dealers who have a floor plan with a lien holder at some other location. If a car dealer owes money on his inventory, the lien holder wants to keep the titles until the inventory is paid for. The DMV rule was made for car dealers and that's great, but it doesn't fit the broker business very well. Individuals own their boat trailers. A customer in Florida owns the one that we received our DMV warning over. Florida doesn't have trailer titles. They buy and sell their trailers with a registration form. I think a customer that really wants to sell his or her boat is going to have a hard time with the floor plan document. It doesn't make sense unless you are in the finance business. I think holding a trailer title on the yard until someone buys the boat and trailer and then sending the trailer title back to the old owner to have it completed for the new owner will be difficult.
We solved our DMV problem in Raleigh when we sold boats and trailers there. We turned our license in to the government and didn't sell trailers in Raleigh anymore. To my knowledge, no one sells sailboat trailers in Raleigh. If you can't sell trailers, you can't sell the boats that go on the trailers. The government overhead in Raleigh was too great for us at that time. The coast Of North Carolina was much more reasonable (nice inspectors) and we continued to do business there. It appears the overhead and the paper work has moved to the coast with our last inspection. We are not sure if we can continue selling broker boats.
We have an energy problem and that's why everything cost so much. Being old has some benefits. The old people can remember the way it was. Jobs and new sailboats have something in common. We had a sailing boom in the 80s and our Company sold 8 new Com-Pac 16s at a spring boat show in Raleigh. The buyers were mostly middle age people in there 30s. They were people that financed their boats at banks or credit unions. We ended up selling over 500 new boats during the 80s and early 90s. These boats are still with us today as used boats. Most of our current sailboat buyers are older people and they don't finance their boats. What has happen to the new sailboat sales in the United States? A new Com-Pac 27 cost $36K in 1986 and cost over $100K today. You can see why we don't sell many new boats and why young people can't afford to buy one. I think we are also running out of good used boats. Used boats are old and restoration costs are high. Everyone wants a used boat, even people in Europe and Asia. When they leave the States, they are gone forever. We need to solve the energy problem now and it's not going to be solar or wind anytime soon.
Our costs have gone up. We just received a package from a wholesale house in Norfolk. It contained $44 worth of parts and pieces. The shipping from Norfolk to Richlands, about 200 miles was $54. Who can stay in business with cost like that?
What Richard did with his new 1987 23D is still being done today. Com-Pac built the new 23 Pilothouse that's going to be very popular and they are going to be the new boat on our waterways. Maybe even the waterways of the World. Com-Pacs are currently selling well everywhere. Richard did his 23 cruise and then he did a 27 cruise all the way to Texas. One of my best stories is when we were just north of Miami in the ICW in January and it was cold. I spent most of my time at the wheel and I really like hot coffee when it's cold. I was drinking and Richard was making the coffee. I asked for another cup and Richard said "are you sure you don't want 2 bags, one for each cheek so you suck on the them". He wanted me to slow down on the coffee. I have many good memories of sailing with Richard. His 23D is still sailing and its current home is on Kerr Lake in North Carolina.
Jim Brown ran the travel lift at Duck Creek Small Boat Marina for years. He was the Marina expert on everything from engines to glasswork. He helped me many times and I'm sure he did the same thing with everyone that needed his help. He knew his boats and I think he was extra smart. Jim passed away last week at his home in Fairfield Harbor, NC. We are going to miss Jim and his friendly disposition. I'm not sure who is going to answer all those questions we all have about boats.
Some people said it couldn't be done. You can't remove 14 inches from the bottom of the keel and still have a sailboat. The boat would fall over and sink. The Yamaha 25 is an ocean sailing race boat (IOR) from the 70s. If you sail in the ocean, you don't have to worry about draft and you need lots of sail power if you are going to win races. If you sail in North Carolina coastal waters, you really need to worry about draft. A draft of 4 feet is about right for our coastal conditions. The Yamaha 25's 5 feet 2 inches of draft will not work in North Carolina. Something had to be done to make this quality boat workable in this area. We removed 14 inches of keel and keep our fingers crossed. The 14 inches turned out to be 500 pounds. They only gave me $25 at the local junkyard. Iron isn't worth very much around here. The boat also had an old diesel installed that needed to be upgraded to a new model. A new Yanmar 1GM10 replaced the old Yanmar YSM8. The boat floated on its lines in the slip after launching. You couldn't tell that 500 pounds of ballast had been removed. We added 450 pounds of lead to the interior storage lockers in 28 pounds units. The boat stayed on its lines. Since this wasn't going to be a racing boat, we replaced the old mast and sails with a Com-Pac 23 mast and sails. This was the boat's configuration on the first sail. Wind was light out of the north with about 70 degrees of temperature. It was really a great day, but we could have used more wind. The new diesel power turned out as desired. We used a three bladed 13 X 11 prop that took the boat to 6.1 mph at 3200 rpm. The engine was too new to maintain that rpm for long. The boat sailed well in the light air. I think it may be a little too stiff and we may have to remove some of the lead. I'm looking forward to more wind on our next sail.
A North Carolina 1991 Com-Pac 19 has made the big journey across the pond (aboard a big ship) and has arrived in Germany (notice NC numbers still on boat). The boat is going to be sailed on the lake in the picture this year and the Baltic Sea next year. The new owner loves his boat.
I know I picked the wrong date. Our CPYANC Outing was in competition with Mother's Day and mothers always win. We still had 5 members show up and the weather was great. We sailed an informal race out to marker 17 and back and also did some general sailing in the area. Wes Newman and his daughter won the race in a pretty blue Com-Pac 19 with a big genoa. John Day in his Legacy looked real good at the start, but as the wind increased a little, John saw Wes pass him and move into the lead. Tom Bass in his Sun Cat came in third.
We had a wonderful host in Northwest Creek Marina. They have nice people working there and the bathrooms are clean. We had 9 people for dinner at the Hurricane Restaurant. The food was execllent and the conversation was even better.
The pictures are of Wes at the finish and John at the start. Can you see the difference in wind speed by looking at the water's surface? John back winded his jib waiting for the start. We will publish the GPS race results soon.
The map below shows the path to the marina after launching. The most direct route has very little water. Follow the blue squares down the creek and into the marked marina entrance. Rooms at the marina cost $129 or $149 depending on location. The phone number for a room is 252 637 2477. The food is excellent at the restaurant and they have reasonable prices. I had dinner there last Saturday.
The name of the marina where we are having our CPYANC outing is Northwest Creek Marina, not Fairfield Harbor Marina as I said before. The marina's name was Fairfield Harbor and it is located next door to a group of homes called Fairfield Harbor. They changed their name several years ago, but I still call the marina Fairfield Harbor. Sorry about that. The fee for a slip (maybe shared) is $1 per foot. The standard minimum of $30 doesn't apply to us. We get a discount. Tell the dock master when you arrive that you are part of the CPYANC outing to get the discount. Remember to RSVP to Keith.
Check out the pictures of the CP-23 Pilothouse in the Bahamas. Com-Pac has the pictures on their Web site in their photo gallery. The boat looks like hull number 1. We may see more pictures and get some the cruise details soon.
This will be our first outing in several years. I hope all the CPYANC members can come. The plan is to sail some on the Neuse River on Saturday, have dinner at the marina restaurant that evening and then slept on the boats. The next day is more sailing and then going home when desired. The slip rates are $1 per foot and the marina needs to know who is coming. They want a head count. Let Keith know by 1May. They also have rooms to rent at the marina for people that can't stay on their boats. The marina has heads and showers and all kinds of services for slip renters. The club did this event 30 years ago and the marina has increased their services. We had a great time then and I'm sure we can do it again. Bud, the old dock master has retired. Dawn is in charge and she is still doing her thing.
Our Outing will be on the 12/13 of May. Feel free to come on Friday and spend Friday night on your boat if desired. A Captain's meeting will be held on the restaurant's veranda 10:00 Saturday the 12th. To get to the black dots on the map below, take highway 55 after the big bridge in New Bern. Turn right at the first traffic light on 55 and follow the road until you pickup the black dots on the map. It's the same road. The ramp is the red dots and the parking for cars and trailers are the green dots. Don't park at the ramp or they will give you a ticket. Let me know if you are coming. It's going to be fun.
Our World has changed. I just came back from the port of Jacksonville. We took a Com-Pac 19 down there to be shipped to Germany. We have done business there in the 1980s when we imported boats from England. The dollar and the pound were in our favor and those boats were cheap. They were good boats too. We found the port has more security now than in the past. We needed an escort to go to the boat's point of departure on the port. That added an extra $50 to our overhead. We remember from the 80s that they were importing lots of new cars and a few boats from overseas and we didn't need an escort. Today, they are exporting lots of old cars and boats overseas. The World is buying our used boats and cars, but the powerboats have to be late model. The boat I took to Jacksonville was a 1991 model. The EU inspector said (yes the EU has their own inspector in this country) that most of the powerboats going to Europe are 2005 models and newer. Those boats are environmental friendly and produce little pollution. I saw lots of classic cars being readied for shipment. Apparently the 2005 or newer rule doesn't apply to those cars.
I think our weak dollar may change our boat buying habits in this country. Our used boat market is getting smaller fast.
We are selling used sailboats to Europe. The hot boat on our yard was a Com-Pac 19 that more than one person from across the pond really liked. Our newest Com-Pac owner is from Germany and his 1991 model Com-Pac 19 will be leaving the United States this month. The 19 will ship out of Jacksonville, FL and arrive in Bremerhaven in April. Maybe you have wondered what has happened to all of our used boats? They may be jumping ship and going to Europe. The EU inspector that inspected our boat said that most of the powerboats going to Europe are 2005 models and newer. These models meet the EU emission requirements in Europe. Our boat passed the EU requirements with flying colors.
A rumble seat for the 16 Pilothouse is in work. The seat will be fiberglass, removeable and have a soft cushion. I can't wait.
Com-Pac just started their sixth Pilothouse 23. Sales have been good and they have orders waiting to be filled.
I put our War Stories back on our Web site for anyone that may be interested. The link is listed on the bottom left. Flying little airplanes or helicopters are a lot like sailing. Airmen normally make good sailors and good sailors normally make good airmen. Both move in a fluid environment and it helps to hold your mouth just right if you’re going to be successful. Flying small aircraft are more like sailing than driving a car. All three require a feel to be good and all three take practice. Do it enough and you can get good at anything. One interesting note, aircraft and sailboat maintenance is about the same thing.
Our Sun Cat Trawler is featured in the current Small Craft Advisor magazine. It has some great pictures.
People from the northeast have been retiring down south for years. They like the warm weather and our friendly people. They also bring their boats when they come and the little boats are really well built. The only problem is they are not built for our area. Up north, small sailboats are built without a trailer eye because they are not launched from ramps. They may have lots of wood because the owner needs to do something during the wintertime when the boat is stored inside. Everyone loves a good varnish job. Small boats are moored out during the summer months and they need bottom paint and a good cover to keep the rain water out. Down here we trailer and launch from ramps. Complicated rigging and a transportation only trailer are not made for the southeast. We think a $3500 Com-Pac Picnic Cat rig would really improve most small boats built in the northeast. Of course you wouldn't have to do all that varnish work every winter.
We have a new way to furl our headsail. Our older furling systems were really designed for larger boats that stayed in the water. If your Com-Pac 16 or Legacy stays in the water all the time, the Flex-Furl CDI or some other brand will work just fine. The problem with those systems if you trailer sail is the sail doesn't drain if the furling system is lying on top of a boat that's on a trailer. If you only trailer sail, the rigid or semi-rigid furlers really doesn’t work that well. Your jib will die of mildew and water rot in about 2 years. The new Harken small boat furler uses a wire in the luff of the jib and the sail can be tensioned with the halyard. We are going to have an article on jib sail shape soon and you need a halyard to adjust sail shape. To make the system work for our boats, we attach the forestay to the bow pulpit and a higher point on the mast. That gets the forestay out of the way, but gives us an extra safety feature. You lower the furled jib with the halyard and store it inside the boat. A Harken furler can be purchased from West Marine and your current sail needs to be modified with a wire luff. A Com-Pac 16 Mark I may need another forestay solution. It has an aluminum pulpit. Using an extra halyard to the pulpit will work and you can leave the forestay at home.
2011 has been a Com-Pac 16 restoration year. People really like the looks, quality and price of a used 16 when they can find one. Finding one may be the problem. The price of a restored boat is currently about half the price of a new boat. Some times a little more with additional options. Trailers fall into the same price range when restored.
Back in the early 70s we didn't have a used boat market. The only used boats were kits boats and they were few and far between. New sailboats started selling to the public in the late 70s and lots of new boats were sold in the 80s. These boats are still around today and most of them are in need of restoration. A big problem with some of the old boats built in the 70s was the core material. A wood cored deck can have moisture problems. Most 80 boats avoided this problem with a resin core. Sailboat builders today are not producing the quantities of sailboats needed to re-supply our used sailboat market. We are going to have and maybe already have a shortage of inexpensive sailboats. I think restoration and modification will continue to drive our business in 2012.
Something that's going to be interesting in 2012 is sailing our modified boats. We plan on sailing a Pilothouse 16 and the Sun Cat Trawler when we get some warm weather. Maybe we could race both boats at the same time (with pictures)?
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The little 16 has bunks for 2 and a place for a toilet. It hard to take pictures of those features. The table folds up and down with storage inside.
All 16 boats on the yard did fine. We had wind and rain for a long period of time because it was a big storm. The wind started in the middle of the night and I was hoping it would be over by the following morning. I was only half right. The eye arrived at Cape Lookout that morning and then we had the other half of the hurricane to deal with. It was about 36 hours from start to finish. The Sun is forecast for tomorrow.
We had a good show even if it was a little smaller than normal. Nice people that are interested in boats. We had a dog and cat agency next to us. They were trying to find homes for some good-looking dogs and cats. The dogs were well mannered and didn't make too much noise. I was interviewed by the local newspaper and I told them that a new Com-Pac 16 sold for $3,800 in 1982 and they sell for almost $13,000 today. We only paid about $1 for gas in those days and we pay about $3.65 today. I think that's about the same ratio. Boats are really made from oil. I was the only sailboat dealer at the show and maybe, I'm the only small sailboat dealer in North Carolina. I would like to see the business improve like it was back in 1982. We had 8 sailboat dealers in Raleigh at that time. Times were good.
The Com-Pac 16 Pilothouse was a big hit. People wanted to know who made it and I told them it was a 1977 model that Com-Pac made a long time ago and that we modified it for the current market. Everyone liked the furling gear and the inside table. The table folds down and has inside storage. The boat still sleeps 2 and has room for a head. We are still looking for someone to trade-in a standard 16 on the pilothouse.