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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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Finishing Touches

Here I am grinding away, finishing the last of the stanchions and chain plates on the deck. I started this project in February with the idea of doing a bit at a time.... I was really excited to get them all done, so that I could have an unfinished project out of the way!

A few days later, painted with 3 coats of amerlock.

We had been in quite a quandary over what method of insulation we were going to use for the hull. Because the boat is steel, it is not so much to protect against the cold, but to ward off condensation. We had found an insulating paint that they use on a lot of steel vessels, in industrial applications, but it was going to cost about $700 just to do the Focsul. So Tamer, being the genius that he is, researched for months on the subject, and found what we believe to be a great solution. We bought the above roof paint at Home Depot for $120 for ten gallons.


We added the above product, ThermaCels, to the paint for a cost of $100. This brought our total for 2 thick coats of insulating paint in the Focsul, to $220.

Tamer suited up and ready to go!

After the insulating paint was applied, Tamer then had to apply a total of 3 gallons of Rustoleum. the icing is on the cake! Now the focsul proudly displays a total of about 7 layers of paint!

Here is the boys' future bedroom after the painting was done and the flooring was installed.
It is amazing the look back and see what it looked like before we started. I am anxious to see the results when it is all finished.

Sherron, Tamer's mom, grinding away diligently on the new anchor locker hatch cover. She was sooooo amazing to have here in Florida with us. She not only helped me with my stuff, and played endlessly with the boys, but was always looking for a way to help! She has now been officially awarded the title as one of , "The Girls of Glades" :-)

Tamer, appearing to be headless, giving his Mom a hug.....

Thanks Mom!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Menagerie

~The Smyth Family~

One of Drake's favorite places...... Upside down & spinning on his bar! We built this for Drake for his 3rd Christmas and had it installed in our basement back in Fairbanks. It traveled all the way here with us, and now hangs proudly from the new bow sprit.

Tamer, being a 'Chick Magnet' :-)

Kirsten, Me and Nathalie.... Just a small portion of Glades Grinder Girls....

Looking down on our new campsite and Sherron's smiling face from the deck of boat...

The proud fisherman, on a lazy Sunday, displaying their catch.

A close up glamor shot was absolutely necessary for this big one!

SV Drummer moving to her Summer home in the storage yard. Matt and Margaret will return in the Fall to finish preparing her for launch.

Gypsy Queen, moving to her Summer home, the waterways of South Florida. Don and Deana, opposite of SV Drummer, will be returning in the Fall to work on other peoples boats.

Blue Toes, ready for touch down.... She drug and buried the straps for the lift in the mud when she launched, and was also stuck for a short time in the launch bay....

Doc, the proud Captain!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Bow Sprit ~ Part 3 ~ A Work Of Art

Putting on the new bowsprit would require hours of prep and some fabrication.

The naked cutwater, ready to be refinished.

Grinding the top smooth. The flame cut edge was rough in spots, so a bit of grinding was required to get a smooth finish.

The new bowsprit would bolt on, rather than be welded to the cutwater. This is closer to the original design - which calls for a wooden spar bolted to the deck and cutwater, and allows the bowsprit to be removed for service.

Welding a stainless insert into the cutwater. This is where the bobstay will attach.

Welding the deck pad, where the aft end of the bowsprit will be bolted to, onto the deck.

The mounting bracket gets welded to the deck plate....

.... And the bowsprit gets ready for paint.

Lifting the finished bowsprit onto the deck. Even though the spar is entirely of steel, it only weighs about 200 lbs.

Getting ready to mount the aft end into the bracket on deck....

...Like this....

...and there it sits. You can see the old bowsprit down below.

Then the 'sprit is bolted to the cutwater. Note the space for fingers in between, giving room to paint and inspect.

Setting up the whisker stays. These keep the bowsprit centered side to side.

The whisker stays attach with 5/8" galvanized shackles.

The axles and anchor rollers must be put on and adjusted....

...and the dolphin striker (petter) attached.

The bobstay chain being installed and adjusted.

And with a bit of tuning, the bowsprit installation is complete.

Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs


The following post may be deeply disturbing to individuals who have issues with insects and spiders!!

Now, first of all, let it be known that we have NOOOOO love for these particular insects called, of all things, Love bugs. They have all but halted any productive work being done on the boat. The worst part about them is that they love the scent of any and all types of chemicals. One of their favorites happens to be paint of any kind, whether wet or dry (especially Amerlock). Above is a small chain plate that I had just painted on the rail about 5 minutes before the picture was taken. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of our struggles with them for the entire month of May.

Another example.....

It is really obvious in the above picture, the areas that I had prepared and painted only about an hour before. Keep in mind, what you see here, is after Drake had followed me around while I was painting, pulling the love bugs off with tweezers.

It was at this point that I about broke out into hysterical crying mixed with maniacal laughter!!! The worst part was sanding them off the next day..... Not only were some still alive, but the sanding left behind the outsides and insides of the ones who perished. EEWWWW. It was Tamer's mom Sherron's first experience with helping us while she visited for 2 weeks.

Aaaaawwww, now we are to the fun stuff!!!

Although prolific in the area, we do not have any pictures of Black Widows, only Brown Widows. Both of which have the same distinct egg sack, and both we have had to destroy many times. The above spider was inside a small coil of rope in the basket of Tamer's bike. She had about 5 egg sacks that also had to be crushed.

Here is another one found a couple of days later, on the underside of a wood scaffolding frame.

Same one as above, but without a head, used to show the hourglass marking on her belly.

We found this little velvet ant on the ground outside the trailer one morning. We put it inside a bug container to take pictures of her, but after we found out more about it, we let it go.

We encounter about 5 new insects a day done here, now that Summer is approaching. It is an environment that none of us are used to, so we find it really fascinating!

Sealed Fuel Tanks and NEW Floors!

Here I am sanding away with the best sander known to women everywhere!! The Makita model # GV5000... I am so thankful to Nathalie for telling me about it (and for her and Olivier getting it for me for Me and Tamer's as an Anniversary present :-) I was preparing the last fuel tank area to paint and finish so that the cover could be sealed back on in the cargo hold.

Here is Blayde painting some touch up to an area inside the furthest aft tank in the Salon. As you can see, it was quite a tight fit for him to do this task. thank goodness he is not claustrophobic!

Climbing out, with a smile...

Most forward tank re-serviced, cleaned, sealed and ready to be filled with Diesel fuel.

Next 2 tanks further aft, for reference, these tanks are under where the engine will be re- installed soon.

Furthest aft, the tank that Blayde finished up the inside of for us.

Tamer and Blayde installing the braces for the forward cabins' floor. This is a really exciting stage to be at!! We were all hooting and hollering :-)

Here is the flooring installed in the aft part of the forward cabin. I don't yet have a picture of the other 2 sections, it will be posted soon.

The entire floor installed in the Cargo Hold... Woo-Hoo!!! The furthest left section will eventually be the bathroom floor, the long section towards the bottom of the photo will be in Tamer's shop, and the furthest top piece is the Library/Guest cabin floor.

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 =