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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Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Bow Sprit ~ Part 2 ~ Out With The Old

As written in the post a few days ago, the bowsprit on Free Spirit had to be repaired. In this case, it was easier to build a new bowsprit than to repair the old one.... so here we are taking it off.

The old sprit, showing its age. Notice the rollers and axles already removed.

Marking, to cut the badly corroded spar off the cutwater.

Cutting it off via oxy-acetylene torch. The new bowsprit will be bolted on, as per the blueprints.

Oops! missed a spot....
Look at those big muscles popping out!!

The art of persuasion

Olivier helps to tag off the old spar. It was a bit tricky, being very heavy and awkward.

Olivier, (behind the van) controlling the tag line attached to the van.

Almost down...

The naked cutwater, looking a little raw.

Holes on the left end (look closely)

EEEW! Rust!

Deck Repairs & Heights

With a project such as ours, one has to be prepared to deal with things as they come up.

Welding a stress crack in the gunwale adjacent to the chainplate. Important stuff here, but much easier to remedy in steel than in any other medium. Even a critical repair such as this could be done underway in a self sufficient boat like Free Spirit.

Putting the finishing touches on the chainplate repair.
We do not have it photo documented, but Tamer also had to replace sections of 2 more stantions on the port side. It is remarkable how much better his fabrication has become over the last few months. After I got them osphoed and painted, you could not even tell that they had been repaired.

We have recently decided that we are not going to move the boat back into the sandblasting pit to sandblast the entire deck and topsides, but instead I will do it by hand. Our knowledge, strength and confidence has grown a lot since January, and the job is not as intimidating as it once was. There will be an enormous amount of grinding, sanding, osphoing, and painting, but I am pleased to announce that the bow is the first section to be done!! There is lots more to do, but the job has begun :-)

Everybody loves the bosun's chair, right?

A welcome foothold....

On my way to inspect the upper rigging. kind of unnerving to depend on the same hardware that you are inspecting for imminent failure....

On top. The view was.... Disturbing.

P'tit Louis Gets A Make-Over

Our dear friends on P'tit Louis have started one of the final touches on their beautiful boat. A new paint job! Nathalie has done an amazing job, and kept a smile on through all the hard work of sanding/painting/sanding/painting/sanding/painting...... They had just replaced all of their windows with new 3/8" acrylic, so she covered them with tin foil to protect them from the sanding dust and paint spatters.

Drake pays a visit to Nathalie, preparing to work into the night while Olivier is away on business.

The first coat is almost on! This view is from the deck of Free Spirit.

The cute sanded "butt" of P'tit Louis...

One side finished with 2 coats... There will be 4 coats applied before they launch, along with a coat of good bottom paint. Also, all the areas that are white, will be beige when it is finished.

The "New Butt" :-)

~Nathalie, as always, with a Smile ~

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Anchor Locker Is Finished!

We had pretty much been in complete denial about the finish work on the anchor locker... So, we faced our deep dark fears and tackled the project head on! Here is Tamer grinding every new steel surface, to free it of the mill scale. It was a really miserable job for him to do, and he did a wonderful job! We had previously sandblasted all the original steel surfaces, before the new side pieces were put on back in February.

Here I am sanding off the dried Ospho from the entire inside of the space. After it was vacuumed and cleaned, I applied a couple coats of epoxy to the edges and bottom floor to prevent water from leaking down into the 'void' in the focsul. Admittedly, this was probably the most claustrophobic area to work on in the whole boat. (So far :-) )

Here is the locker with the first 3 coats of paint on all the surfaces but my get-away areas. During the application of this paint, the outside temperature was 90+ degrees. The bow of the boat also happens to be in the direct sunlight for most of the day. So, I would guess that the internal temperature was 110+ degrees while I was painting inside. Also, because of the confined space, and the toxicity of the Amerlock, I had to wear eye protection and a respirator. I kid you not, within 2 minutes of being inside, I would be dripping sweat!! Great weight loss plan :-)

Although the painting is done here, the locker has had a chance to get a little dirty from the continued work around the deck. Yahhhhh!!!! One more unpleasant task completed!!!!

*~* The Wedding *~*

Don and Deana of Gypsy Queen, blessed us all with the sharing of their engagement, and wedding ceremony 9 days later.

Here, down on one knee, Don formally places the engagement ring on Deana's finger and asks for her hand in marriage.

Kimberly decorating the travel lift so that the ceremony would be more festive.

Here it is, all decked out and ready!!

Doc, of Blue Toes, with little time to practice, played the wedding march for Deana to walk 'down the aisle' to. Thanks Doc, it was the best we have heard yet :-)

The blushing, beautiful bride...

The wedding party; Nathalie, Deana, Pastor Dick, Don, Leanord, and Deana's son Mike.

A beautiful moment captured during the vows.

The ring bearer carried the pillow above with the rings tied onto the middle... It is hard to read in this photo, but the bottom says, fittingly, Man Overboard!

Exchanging the rings

Kimberly's husband Bruce delivering some beer to the Groom that was found floating down the River during the reception.

Blayde, giving Deana her hand made wedding gift. He used copper wire and adorned it with whole abalone shells which curved all over then attached to a copper base. He is really becoming quite an artist!!

Dancing the night away..
This is Don, Barbara, Nathalie, Chip (dancing with Deana), Larry and Julie.

Leonard and Larry look on during the bouquet toss.

The removal of the throwing garter....

Leonard, Valin, Drake, Blayde and Bentley of Alex eagerly await the arrival of the garter. In the end I think Valin caught it, but gave it to Nathalie :-)

~ Leonard and Julie ~

~ Tamer and I ~

We both felt that this was by far the most beautiful wedding ceremony and reception that we had ever been too. I am especially thankful that we were making the boat yard our home when they decided to 'Tie The Knot'. We wish them the best!!

~ Bruce and Kimberly ~

~ Margaret and Matt ~

The Bow Sprit ~ Part 1 ~ Construction

The original bowsprit was easier replaced than repaired. There was extensive, structural corrosion. The new 'sprit builds on lessons learned, with stainless inserts at the wear points and stainless steel anchor roller brackets, as well as a bolt on design closer to the original blueprint specifications.

The 6" by 1/8" square steel tube was impossible to obtain, so I had a machine shop bend 11 gauge sheet into channel so I could weld it together to form a square tube. I also considered using schedule 10 or 5 pipe in 6", but found that that was unobtainium as well, with the Chinese evidently absorbing the entire global supply of petroleum pipeline pipe. Hmmm.

Here, Blayde helps with the spot welding process to hold the parts in place for final welding.

Welding the channel sections together to form the main tube.

The 5/8 plate bullnose, after final welding. This will bear the majority of the loads on the bowsprit.

Bullnose in place, awaiting stainless inserts in the holes.

Reaming the stainless inserts. Here you can see the bullnose, as well as the stainless axle tube and rub plates.

The inner forestay mounting eye, with ears below mounting it to the cutwater. This is a continuous piece of 5/8 plate that bears the loads from the inner forestay directly below to the massive steel cutwater on Free Spirit.

Grinding, showing the stainless anchor roller ears. The stainless axles that the rollers turn on go through stainless steel tubes welded through the 'sprit. The rollers rub on stainless rub plates to prevent paint wear. These details should prevent the damage that caused the early demise of the original bowsprit.

Fashioning the aft end of the bowsprit. Here a stainless eye will attach the after part of the new spar to the deck.

Here, Finished.

View from above.The boys did all of the grinding on the new spar! The entire surface had to be ground to remove the mill scale, which would prevent the paint from adhering as well as it could.

Valin, hard at work. One day, we found him grinding away before anyone else was even awake!

Blayde, focused on the task at hand. Although not pictured, Drake used the air powered die grinder to grind all the stainless parts, his contribution to the grinding effort.


After grinding showing the construction details. Note the stainless inserts welded into all of the attachment points.

More of the details, after the surface prep. The inner staysail attaches to the eye behind the inner forestay. this eye is designed to allow easy caribeaner access for anyone working out on the 'sprit in heavy weather.

Oliver from P'tit Lois helping to foam the new spar with 2 part foam.

Pouring the tricky stuff in.....

....And waiting for it to expand.... what a mess!
The foam will help to keep the bowsprit corrosion free.

More on the bowsprit soon!!!!

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 =