This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A little Reminiscing

What a wonderful summer 2011 was! "Ellie" was launched in July and it's hard to believe we had so many wonderful adventures in only half a summer.  The sailing season here is over, but as winter approaches we look forward to next spring, and more adventures to come, with great anticipation.  I've gone through my photo collection and selected my favorites to help me reminisce.  I hope you will join me.
Maiden voyage and my Son's first sail
At anchor in Fossil Bay, Sucia Island State Park

 Beached at Sucia, with engine trouble!
Giant clump of seaweed sucked into the engine.
Moored at Matia Island while we head off to explore
My Daughter Heather's first sail.  Returning from Blake Island
"Ellie" rests at anchor as Mike "Doryman" Bogoger snaps
photos of John Bigelow in the William Garden "Eel" behind her.
On the opposite side, Rick and Judy's Welsford Houdini "Gertrude"
Around Sucia "Race"

 
John Welsford at the helm, Port Townsend WA

My wife Cindy and I aboard Ellie.
Howard Rice, Denny and John Welsford aboard Scamp
The "Grand Sail By", Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival
 Here's wishing you all Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clothesline Anchoring Revisited

Lately, on the jwbuilders forum, there has been some discussion about how to do a clothesline anchoring system. There are several ways to do it - some are simple, some complex.
This is my favorite method:

 
  1. Tie one end of the anchor line to the bow cleat.
  2. Run the anchor line through a ring on the end of the anchor chain.
  3. Tie the other end of the anchor line to the stern cleat.
  4. Drop the anchor a bit offshore.
  5. Move the boat close to shore, to knee deep water or right to the beach.
  6. Step out, grab the shore anchor and the anchor line loop and take them ashore.
  7. Bury the shore anchor in the beach and tie the anchor line to it as shown below.  Or tie to a log or tree.
  8. To reel the boat in and out, untie, pull one side of the anchor line loop or the other, and retie.
Tie the anchor line to the shore anchor
Notes:
  • Securely tie the anchor line to your shore anchor as shown.  That way, if your other anchor were to slip or the anchor line were to break, you would not lose the boat because it would still be attached to the shore anchor.
  • The boat can be oriented with the bow pointed to shore or the stern. The system works either way. You can even change the direction later if you prefer.
  • You need plenty of anchor line since we're forming a long loop.
  • I prefer a sinking line over floating to prevent someone cutting it with their prop.
  • I recommend using large, smooth stainless steel rings instead of blocks on the end of the anchor chain to prevent them from jamming with rocks, sand or seaweed.
  • There is no need for an anchor chain on the shore anchor 
  • This is a short-term anchoring solution. Do not rely on it for long-term moorage.
  • If you sleep onboard your boat: 1) loop the anchor line through a ring on your shore anchor instead of tying it. 2) Keep the loop onboard (the length of anchor line lying on the bottom under the boat) so you can use it to pull yourself to and from shore. Cleat it to prevent the boat from reeling itself in or out. 3) You'll need an even longer anchor line since you'll reside further offshore and will still want to maintain scope on your anchor.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Navigator Launched

Congratulations to Wayne and Maria Johnson, and their children Patrick, Elaina, Gabriel and Blaise on the latest addition to the family, their newly launched Navigator "Good Enough" which looks far  more than "Good Enough" to my eye!  And Wayne, what could make for a better 30th birthday present than a picture perfect day to enjoy their first sail aboard their beautiful new craft!  Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us on your blog, and here is wishing you and your family many exciting adventures to come!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Small Boat Saturday at Cama Beach State Park

Saturday October 15 was Small Boat Saturday at Cama Beach State Park on  Camano Island, WA.
This free end-of-season gathering had small boats on display both on land and in the water plus skills demonstrations and talks led by professionals. The event was hosted by Seattle's Center for Wooden Boats and the Puget Sound chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association.

We launched our boats at Camano Island State Park at 11:00 and had a terrific, but short, two mile sail North to Cama beach.  The 10 mph winds and the tide were against us, but the sun was pleasantly warm for a mid October day. So enjoyable that I began to wish the sail was much longer than only two miles!


I arrived at Cama Beach less than an hour later set anchor.

Lately, on the jwbuilders forum, there has been some discussion about how to do a clothesline anchoring system. There are several ways to do it. I do it the simple way, which goes like this:
1) Tie one end of the anchor line to the bow cleat.
2) Run the anchor line through a ring on the end of the anchor chain.
3) Tie the other end of the anchor line to the stern cleat.
4) Drop the anchor a bit offshore.
5) Move the boat closer to shore, to knee deep water.
6) Step out, grab the shore anchor and the anchor line loop and wade ashore.
7) Place the shore anchor on the beach and tie the anchor line to it as shown below.
8) To reel the boat in and out, untie, pull one side of the anchor line loop or the other, and retie.


Clothesline Anchor Caught on Tape!

Notes: Tie the anchor line to your shore anchor.  That way, if your other anchor were to slip or the anchor line were to break, you would not lose the boat because it would still be attached to the shore anchor.  Also, you need plenty of anchor line, at least twice as much since we're forming a loop.

Long term subscribers to Small Craft Advisor magazine may recall a series of articles in 2007 and 2008 (issues 47, 49, 51 - 53) written by Jan Nicolaisen as he built a Core Sound 17.  This Core Sound was later purchased by Randy Jones, president of the Puget Sound chapter of the TSCA. Here you can see glimpse of Randy's excellent seamanship skills.  Randy recently returned from a weeklong trip to the San Juan islands.  He sails his Core Sound everywhere without the aid of a motor - something I wish I could do. Well done Randy!


Off to look at the boats!
First to catch my eye was this adorable little lapstrake dinghy, traditionally built by the NW School of Wooden Boat Building. Well done!






The Center for Wooden Boats did a beautiful job on this Babson Island 14

Cama Beach was a 1930's era salmon fishing resort.  The historic fishing resort was a favorite summer getaway for families for more than 50 years.  A fleet of 40 or so boats was stored in the large boathouse after the building was completed around 1950, available for rental starting at $1.50/day. Cama Beach had the largest boat livery of the many resorts on Camano Island.  There were 8 different boat designs, built by a local shipwright who created simple functional lines, cedar planking with iron fittings and galvanized steel nails. By 1955, 14 rowboats, 24 kicker boats, and 4 inboards were available for recreation and fishing.







Under construction were these cedar strip canoes, built using a technique I had never seen before.

Many other boats on display, including some ever popular pelicans.







After the show, the run back to the boat launch was even quicker than the trip up. After retrieving the boats, we all headed out for pizza and beers. What better way to end such a wonderful day?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A lovely little daysail with my Daughter

Blake Island is a lovely little Marine State Park located 8 miles West of downtown Seattle.  The island has an interesting history.  It was an ancestral camping ground of the Suquamish Indian tribe.  Legend has it that Chief Seattle was born there. Capt George Vancouver noted the small round island in his journal in 1792 during his exploration of the area, but didn't bother naming it. It was later surveyed and named Blake Island in 1841, but local settlers referred to it as Smuggler's Island. Shortly thereafter the island was logged until its timber was exhausted, abandoned, and neglected until the banks foreclosed on the loggers.  Around the turn of the century it was sold to the wealthy Trimble family who renamed it Trimble island. They built a mansion and a beautiful estate where they lived until 1923, when Mrs Trimble died in a freak accident. The Trimble family abandoned the estate. Once again, smugglers, this time in the form of bootleggers and rumrunners, used the island during Prohibition.  It was rumored to be used as an ammo dump and a unit of the Coastal Artillery of the US Army was garrisoned in the Trimble mansion.  After they left, the mansion was gradually plundered, vandalized and finally burned down in the '40s by two High School students who camped there in a home-made 16' boat.  The neglected island was traded to an investment company. After the war, developers expressed an interest in building a luxury resort hotel on the island, but it was traded for timber instead to Washington State where it was turned into a State park. Tillicum Village, a popular tourist attraction featuring Indian arts, culture and food , was added in 1962.  Today, about 100,000 people visit this lovely little island every year.

Last Saturday my Daughter Heather and I were two of those visitors.  We launched Ellie and headed for Blake under beautiful blue skies and 5-10kt winds. We knew we couldn't linger long on Blake because the forecast was for bad weather to move in that evening.
Heather's little dog "Spud" was very excited to come along. He enjoyed every minute of the hour long sail across the Sound.

Nearing Blake Island


The Indian longhouse of Tillicum Village behind the breakwater.


We tied up in the marina and went ashore. Blake Island was buzzing with activity. The entire shoreline was covered with dozens of tents belonging to Cub Scout Pack 144, there for a three day campout.  They were having a blast building driftwood forts and fishing off the docks for pile perch.

The tour boat Argosy dropped off tourists at Tillicum Village while we ate lunch and a steady stream of pleasure boaters filled the marina for the weekend.


After lunch we set out to explore the island.



We were only able to stay for a few hours.  Storm clouds were starting to gather so we headed back towards Seattle.  With the wind picking up, this was a great opportunity for Heather to do some sailing.


The Space Needle served as a great navigational aid




Meanwhile, Spud found a nice cozy spot to take a nap.
 

It was a wonderful little daysail to one of our favorite local spots. We hope to do it again soon.