Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A rest day is coming :-)

Hello to all our readers!! Just a note to let you know that the blog has not been forgotten, we have just been really buried in the work on Free Spirit. Look for some posts in the next couple of days...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's A Family Affair

We have come to realize that on a project this big, it is certainly a Family Affair. We are all learning how we can serve the project best, and when it is our time to jump in. We recently replaced 8 of the stanchions (the posts that hold the lifelines) around the deck. You will see here, that we each had a role to play in the success of a job well done. Please note, that once again, Valin seems to have taken most of the pictures of this project. Also, because I have been working along side of them, I do not have the opportunity to take as many pictures. Although not 'shown', Valin was our all around go-getter and expert fire watch guy, always standing by with a bottle of water and a positive attitude!

Blayde performed the initial step; using the grinder fitted with a cutting disk, to cut the upper and lower part of the bad piece.

Drake came along when needed, and pounded the piece out with a sledgehammer.

I used the 7" grinder to smooth out both sides of the remaining material, to aid in the custom fit of the replacement piece.

Tamer then fitted and welded in the new clean, non corroded, un-rusty piece of steel pipe. Not pictured, is the final step, which is to come at it again with the grinder and smooth out all the welds and heat mess. Ready for painting!!


Tamer in the anchor locker, running a test with the sandblaster to make sure that it works well, and that the suit provides adequate ventilation. I needed to take over so that he could finish welding all the new stanchions into place.

My Turn!!!

This picture proves that looks truly can be deceiving :-) Here I am suited up and ready to sandblast the anchor locker. I ended up in there for a total of about 4 hours, which at the end of, I was completly disgusted with sand! Because I suffer from claustrophobia, this was an exceptionally difficult task for me mentally. First, you have a face shield covering the whole front of your face, you cover that with a hood that has a small viewing lens, then you have to put on the hat to keep it all in place. Next is getting down into the tarped in anchor locker, and at times sandblasting steel 6 inches in front of your face... All the while not being able to really see what you are doing...

Thumbs up..... Little do I know what awaits me.....

Valin standing safety watch while I sandblasted.

Drake and Blayde "Standing by".

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Steel work and the Never-ending Grinding

Laura, proving that "Girls just Want to have fun" especially with a Grinder :-) Gotta love the stylish safety gear and associated work attire!

I will be the first to admit that I was really intimidated by the copious quantities of burning sparks when I began this job. It also didn't take me long to not care for the smell of burning hair (hence the skull cap). Here's the thing.... When welding is done on the outside part of the hull, it will create an area of burned paint and slag. The area then has to be ground back to the raw steel and painted with a special epoxy paint called Amerlock. This was the reason that a large part of the interior had to be removed. We needed to have access to the interior portion for fire watch and finishing work.

Me, lying on my back in the pilot berth, which is all the way aft and on the port side of the boat.

Blayde took this picture of himself, while on a short break from doing fire watch for me.

One of the many pieces that due to rust and neglect, needed to be what I call "Cut & Pasted" above the Galley area.

As you can see, once the new piece is welding in from the outside, there is a great need for a girl like myself to do some grinding and painting!!

Tamer, doing what he does so well; cutting & pasting!!

The Cut

The Hole

The Paste

Uhhhhh... Tamer, your boat is on fire!!!

So, there we were, peacefully enjoying our lunch in the cozy confines of the trailer when we hear Deena (A wonderful person who has been around here with her partner, Don for ages) say, "Tamer..... your boat is on fire!!" I still haven't figured out how all those boys got out from around the settee and made it to the boat so quickly. Blayde even went without his shoes! When we got to the boat (about 300 ft away), Don already had a hose and it and had extinguished the 5-7 foot flames.

I have to steal a famous line from South Park to share my personal thoughts on this event...

"I learned something today."

Tamer was busy up on deck welding, grinding, welding, and grinding, while Blayde stood
fire watch (ironic, huh?). Valin and I were inside the boat cleaning all of the work areas, so they were also less of a fire risk. I sent him out onto the deck with a bag of old moldy curtains, and pieces of junk wood from the interior, to put there until we got off the boat the next time. First mistake; You never put flammable trash in the same area that someone is welding and grinding!!! Second mistake; You don't remember to haul the trash off of the boat and put it in the dumpster, so that it can catch fire, and no one knows it was you that made the first mistake!!! Third mistake; if you are going to make the first 2 mistakes, you should inform the Foreman of what you have done :-)

The water soaked remnants of very flammable trash on the back deck (also known as the Poop Deck). Tamer and I were thinking of inventing a new flammable drink, and calling it 'The flaming poop deck'.

After the messy clean-up.... Fortunately, we will be sandblasting and repainting this part of the boat before we launch!!

Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =