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, March 28, 2009

Back To The Dry Tortugas!

Ok, now I have to admit how very behind I am on the blog! I forgot to bring the ship's log book with me, and I am only guessing on the date that we left Fort Myers for the Dry Tortuga's. I am pretty sure that it was the 26th of January..... :-)

It was soooo great to be 'back at sea' and headed somewhere. We had a fantastic trip, and Bretton was excited about doing his first night watch. We left about 1 pm and arrived about 11am the next day.

The Portugese Man of War, in all it's glory.... They were all over in the water this time. We were really careful about swimming!

Valin and Drake out for a morning kayak ride. Drake has been given ownership of the Sevlor inflatable kayak, and is very proud that he can paddle it all by himself.

Looking for treasures under the water near shore.


Tamer, taking a rare break to read on the beach. I love to see him finally realxing and getting into the lifestyle we have worked so hard to acheive.

Would'nt everyone love to have an office like this, open to the beautiful ocean and sea air.

The port side of Fort Jefferson, and the walkway that goes all the way around. A fantastic walk....

A cuban escape boat... The Dry Tortuga's happen to be the first and closest spot of Dry land to Cuba. If immigrants reach the sand of the shore, they are not returned and allowed to stay in America.

The crew also enjoying some down time on the beach, listening to Paul's great guitar music.

Valin in the kayak, racing Paul and Bretton in the dinghy back to Free Spirit for some picnic food for the beach. I am still not sure if this could be considered a fair race, but Valin loved the challenge :-)

One of Blayde's beautiful art creations, made from stuff he found on the beach.

When we pulled anchor to leave 3 days later, these little fish were jumping into the dinghy at a rapid rate. Whenever our big deck lights are on it attracts sea life, but we had never had them 'throw themselves' at us before!

Work In Labelle

Tamer and Paul replacing the sea water pump, with a better and more salt water tough version of the one we had.

Bretton installing the first panel of plywood around the cabin top windows in the Salon.

The dockside, daytime wood shed.... We will be forever thankful for the convienence of the Labelle City dock. We have yet to find a more wonderful place to work at!

The open, but not yet empty cabinets.

The incredible chaos of the Galley work, which Miss Terrie from SV Wahine calls progress :-)

Teamwork is sometimes a grave necessity.... Blayde and Bretton worked really hard to finish this up in time for me to have the Galley back to make dinner.

The final, yet unfinished shot of the insulation and framing carpentry in the Galley.

The on board carpenter's station, located conveniently on the aft deck box.

Mom Sherron's sewing station on the dock. She is an amazing seamstress, and worked very hard to make fender covers and the new bimini cover. Sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. I have a lot more to learn from her, as I am not really a 'sewer of things'.

Trish recovering from her trip up the mast.... She was a great help to me while I was reorganizing everything. She was also played a big part in getting all our ebay packaged and shipped off. Thanks Trishaww!

Free Spirit, 'sitting on the dock in the river'.


New Year's Haul Out & Anniversary

Free Spirit during her first haul out at Glade's around May 24th, 2004. It is hard to believe that it was almost 5 years ago already! The same awesome yard crew were there then. I think that James, Proctor and Jon were all sure that we would never get her pretty and back in the water :-)

Fast forward to December 31st, 2008, the anniversary of our launch on December 31st, 2007. Bretton getting some good pics of the haul out. It was the first time that he got to see Free Spirit out of the water.

James, directing Proctor's Limo!

At least for this haul out we know exactly what we are in for! The haul out was to repair the damage the hull sustained when the anchor came lose just outside off Southport (see Rough Seas post). Also, the keel was pretty paint free after our little trip down the Dismal Swamp Canal. It was great to have Sherron here for all this fun!

For some odd reason, we always seem to draw a crowd...

Some of the damage from the flailing anchor on the Starboard side. "Rust Never Sleeps"!

Due to the fact tgat we were working our tails off to have time to head to our Timeshare in Daytona Beach for a week, I did not get many pictures of the stages of work.
But here are Paul and Bretton getting the bottom paint on all the repaired places on the hull. We have a saying about the smell of bottom paint being the scent of success! I would have to agree wholeheartedly!

Hey, the little fishes, sharks and dolphins don't care if the bottom has tiger stripes :-)

Ready to splash, January 16th, 2009!

Just a cool shot...


A little bitty poisonous snake next to Drake's hand. Yes, I was a wee bit nervous about this shot!

I am rarely off the boat while she is in the water to take pictures, so I really wanted to share these.

The ship on her way to the city dock in Labelle, I had to drive the van in and meet them.

Our good friends Margaret & Cody from SV Drummer (sorry Matt, you must have been working too hard) Miss you guys, see you out here!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Continuous Re-fit

The closet area on the right side of the aft cabin looking forward. Because of all the steep angles in this area, it was near impossible to store much of anything in here. This is the 'Before' picture...

The in-between stage

Now, with all the shelves and stuff in, we can store lots of stuff here. My desk and the area around it have been turned into the navigation station for the ship. All that is displayed on the monitor above the desk, is also viewable at the helm station and on a monitor in the main salon. The area at the bottom right hand side of the picture has become a great place to store all the dirty clothes.

The aft cabin, looking at the back of the boat also needed suitable shelves and cabinets for storage. This and the next 2 pictures are the 'Before' stage.

Mid work, with the frames in....

FINISHED, with doors and handles! They still need to be painted and stained, but at least everything is put away and stowed in an organized manner! I waited over a year to have a place to put my clothes away, and I am very happy!

Bretton's carpentry skills are getting better and better with every project he undertakes! I am thankful for his desire to make everything perfect!!

Thanks to Paul and Bretton for all their hard work and dedication to Free Spirit!!!!!

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 =