The First Post
Welcome to my brand new blog site dedicated to my adventures in sailboat projects and sailing. First, a quick introduction to me and my boat. My name is Terry and I’ve been a boater for thirty years. Good lord, that sounds like a terrible confession when I say it like that. I’ve owned all sorts of boats over the years, power and sail, wood and fiberglass. While I was a sometime sailor for the first half of those 30, the second half has been all about sailing. A little sailing and racing on other people’s boats, a little chartering on the Chesapeake, and a whole lot of sailing my Stuart Mariner 19. That is until I was finally able to move up to Kestrel, my 1998 Catalina 42.
I’ve just finished my second season with Kestrel and have had a great time learning her top to bottom, almost literally as I haven’t gone up the mast but pretty much everywhere else. I feel lucky to have found her. She was well taken care of by her previous owner and, having some experience with old boats, feel safe in saying she was pretty much turnkey. I had some work to do from the survey before bringing her to the Chesapeake from Oriental, NC, but nothing that took longer than a couple weekends. The steering cable had a little rust, so I replaced that. The lifelines were vinyl coated and not in the best of shape, so I replaced those. The propane tank needed inspection which resulted in getting a new valve installed. There were numerous other minor things that had to be fixed, but the bottom was clean, the sails only eight years old and hardly used, and the Yanmar had about 250 hours on it after a factory rebuild. Honestly, after I finished the survey list, I literally turned the key and shoved off for Virginia.
So I asked myself what is the point in publishing yet another blog about another sailboat. What I have found over the past few years is that I actually get a lot out of other people’s blogs and posts on sites like Sailnet, CruisersForum, and others. I get useful, technical information (admittedly conflicting at times) and I am entertained by others’ stories of adventures. I’ve broken a few things, fixed even more, taken on a few improvement projects, and had some adventures. I happen to like to write, especially in the winter when Kestrel is hibernating, so why not share some of what I’ve done with the rest of the sailing community? Maybe someone will find it useful or entertaining. That leads to the next question, why a blog and not just post to Sailnet or Facebook? While I like Sailnet a lot, it just doesn’t seem to lend itself to long form posting very well. And Facebook even less so, plus most of the folks I am connected with couldn’t give a whit (trying to keep it clean) about what sort of LED lights I replaced my incandescents with (coming soon) or what I took into consideration when designing my solar charging system (yes, coming soon too). Only a particular group of boat nerds like myself would want to spend time on Saturday morning reading about someone’s adventures in the port lazaret over a cup of coffee.
I am a technical guy, an electrical engineer by education and experience, but a technical manager these days. I miss technical work and really enjoy diving into the guts of a project on Kestrel. You should expect that some of my posts will include minutiae that may seem unimportant to the casual observer, but may turn out to save someone hours of searching, like finding that just right marine grade, shrink tube, ring terminal.
I invite anyone to comment on my posts, but I’ll tell you up front that I moderate them all. I’d like to keep things positive, but if you happen to disagree with me, as long as your reply is civil, I’ll let it show up. If you are out for a troll, your reply will never be seen.
Now for the most important part of this post, a picture of the beautiful Kestrel.