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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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The After Party

~ Nathalie & Olivier of P'tit Louis ~

The boys had been super anxious to let off some fireworks (firecrackers). We let them buy some before we crossed over into Florida back in January of 2007. By this time, those ones were buried in the horrendous stacks of things we probably don't need in our storage unit in Labelle. We bought more for our launch/New Year's party, and they immediatley went into action. They built a little gaff rigged schooner aptly named SV Murple, out of blue foam, twigs and recycled pieces of paper. Then they added little explosive tanks to the ships cargo. Second they built a little itty bitty steam ship named SS Nurgy which was rigged to explode with on board underwater firecrackers. The war was watched and enjoyed by about 40 spectators on shore soon after dark.

Attention on deck Free Spirit, I think we are under attack by SV Murple!!!!


Smiling girls are what you need at any launch party!!

Margaret ~ Drummer / Deana ~ Gypsy Queen

Deana.... Thank you so much for making what could have been one of the most stressful days of my life more than tolerable. She went above and beyond to ALWAYS be there when I turned around needing something. Launch day for us was not only exciting, but a lot of hard work. I was also trying to prepare for this huge party in the evening. You are a dear and wonderful friend, I really appreciate all you are :-)

Shortly after we purchased Free Spirit in December of 2003, our good friend Gina joined us in Fort Lauderdale the middle of January 2004 for Tamer's first visit to the boat. During an evening involving a few cocktails, we made a very special toast.....

To love and to lust
to the friends that we trust,
and the good ship Free Spirit
all covered in rust!

This was written on the back of a used piece of notebook paper, and was found again during the latest refit. When it came time to toast in the new year, and the success of our launching, a new toast was made by Gina.

To love and to lust
to the friends that we trust,
and the good ship Free Spirit
no longer covered in rust!

Champagne for the alcohol drinkers, and Martinelli's for the non...

Fireworks, finally!! Right at midnight, as usual :-)

~ Peacefully sleeping in the slipway ~


New Year's Eve and the crew, with new ship's shirts, are ready to do this!!

Tamer, Laura, Valin, Shep, Blayde & Drake Smyth

Tamer and Raoul discussing logistics and last minute details. Now, what was I not supposed to forget to do? (As the travel lift starts up ans heads our direction)

Dearest Shep, It was so great to see such a fulfilling smile on you!

Blayde, as always, calm, collected and ready for anything!

Valin is great at finding things to do while he is waiting out something exciting.

Yep, I am super duper proud to be wearing my new fancy shirt!

P.S. All of the youngest 3 boys, had worked and slaved away while wearing the nice new WHITE t-shirts, and now they are all work shirts :-)

Here is Raoul with popping muscles, attempting to move my special staircase to it's new home at Drummer. I think that we finally ended up using the yard's tractor.

"The Yard Boys".... John, Proctor and James getting prepared to haul us out. (with Hugo trailing)

Here she is, lifted and hanging while the last spots of bottom paint dries before hitting the water.

almost there......................

Olivier, trying to release us from the straps so that we could be floating on our own!

We took up most of the slipway, so it became a group effort to get us pushed out of the mud, off the straps, and free.

Now we know that we are not taking in any water, are off the mud. Time to
get all of our dock lines secured, and stay for a while :-)

Okay, okay so maybe we got a little impatient... We were not in the water for more than a couple of hours, and we HAD to take her out for a spin!!!

Released from the grips of land at last, the good ship Free Spirit is prepared to float in the New Year......

Last Minute Details

Oh please.... Is it ever going to stop?

We let him out of the hole only when he is done running wiring under the salon floor.

Using Dennis's truck to haul the lathe on board to install in the Cargo Hold.

La ti da ~ Just hanging around :-)

Valin is always an awesome tag liner! His strength is amazing!

Hmmm.... I got it this far..... Now what do I do with a 600 pound machine for my workshop?

Installed and ready to use!!

Tamer and Shep on the end of the bow sprit, tightening and adjusting the rigging.

Christmas In Daytona Beach - Where's The Snow??

Our Pirate's booty (hee-hee), surrounding the beautiful little tree that Deana gave us to enjoy Christmas with.

Knowing that I was missing my traditional Christmas decorations (that were lost in storage), Hugo's girl Chick brought me over a big bag of goodies to take to Daytona Beach. She even threw in 3 little stockings (with a stash of loot)! Thanks to Hugo & Chick for helping me to transform the condo into a Christmas morning dream world!

Dad and Valin sharing a moment...

Blayde, tearing the tag off of his fancy new 'town' shirt.

Shep looks perfectly natural with Drake sitting around on his shoulders.

Hmmmm... Whatcha got, whatcha got???

This would be the first time that we were enjoying the Florida sunshine and the lazy river on Christmas day.

Until the resort staff noticed them, the foam swords provided hours and hours of entertainment for the Free Spirit pirates!

My little visitor.....

Thanks again to Pete, for the camera. It is the center of attention during the pool photo shoots :-)

Heeeelllpppppp...... I'm sinking!!!!!

Water fun never ends!

Yet Another Misc. Post

Shep, always eager and waiting for a trip up the mast, does the first hanging of Christmas lights on Free Spirit.

Stringing them on the tweenstay between the aft and forward masts.

Just hangin' out ;-)

A happy moment!!!

Knowing that sunsets are one of my favorite natural occurrences, Blayde took this picture for me as a surprise.

Shep sharing a little George Carlin, for an afternoon laugh or two or three!!

Raoul gets some valuable lessons on rope splicing from Dad, who is the true splicing expert. It was nice to see them working together again!

~Shep and his Bapa ~

Suzy was down from Fairbanks visiting her family in the Tampa area, and although her visit was short, we really enjoyed seeing her and showing her the boat.

Valin, laughing hysterically as her falls through the bottom of a cloth chair...

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 =