Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Update

Boat: We found a couple of possibilities but they turned out to have serious problems (for instance, one was being kept afloat by the bilge pump because its bottom planks were rotten). I have been trying to find out if any of the marinas in the area have boats that they want to sell or give away. Most local marinas have terrible websites (special offers that expired years ago, all the pages are the same as the home page, little or no information about actual slip availability or prices). The funny thing is that it wouldn't take that long to fix all the problems, and I'll bet there are plenty of web programmers that would be willing to trade work for slip fees (I for one).

Captain's licenses: We are almost finished going through the COLREGS. I wish that when they re-did the Inland Rules they had just adopted the COLREGS and left out all the "special anchorage areas designated by the Secretary", but then we are in California so we still have to learn about inland but don't get to sail there. Maybe some day we'll cruise the Mississippi.

I am working on decorative knot work on a spyglass (future blog post).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Surviving Cold Water Immersion

I regularly follow Mario's blog and highly recommend it. These articles and accompanying videos are well worth the time to watch and read for anyone interested in boating or activities on the water.

Staying Alive in Cold Water (1-10-1)

Read his other articles, especially the one about drowning- they are short but could save your or your loved ones' life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Basic Knotwork, Loop Knots


Following the natural progression from stopper knots we come to Loop knots. All of these knots are used to put a fixed loop in the end of a line. The Bowline is one of the staples aboard ship.  It is easy to tie and untie and holds well. The Water Bowline is more difficult to tie and untie but holds more securely especially if the knot will be towed under water. The Flemish Loop Knot or Figure-eight Loop is bulkier then a bowline but is very secure and can be untied even after the line has taken a heavy load. The Bowline in a Bight shares the characteristics of the bowline but has two loops. A triple bowline has three loops and can, with proper care, be used to make a harness in an emergency. Unlike the preceding knots, the Alpine Butterfly knot or Butterfly Knot is tied in the middle of a line and can take stress on not only the standing part and the loop but also on the working end. This makes it ideal for making a rope tackle for lashing things down

Bowline

Make a single turn in the line making sure that the working end in above the standing part. Bring the working end up through the loop. 

Pass the working end behind the standing part of the line.

Bring the working end back through the loop.

Tighten the knot carefully as it can capsize and not hold.

Finished knot front.

Finished knot back.



Water Bowline

Make a single turn as in the bowline.

Form another single turn in the working end. Bring the single turns together so that the working end can be passed through both.

Pass the working end through the both loops.


Pass the working end behind the standing part of the line.
Pass the working end back trough both loops.

Tighten carefully.

Finished knot front.

Finished knot back.



Flemish Loop or Figure-eight Loop

This knot is tied the same as a figure-eight knot but in a doubled line.

Double the line, form a single turn, and pass the end behind the standing part.

Pass the end through the loop.

Tighten.

Finished knot.



Bowline in a Bight.

Double the line and form a single turn, making sure that the working end is over the standing part.

Pass the working end up through the loop.

Open the working end into a loop and pass it around the knot up onto the standing part.

Carefully tighten

Finished knot front


Finished knot back.


Triple Bowline
Tied the same as a normal bowline but in a doubled line.

Double the line and make a single turn in the line making sure that the working end in above the standing part. Bring the working end up through the loop.

Pass the working end behind the standing part of the line.

Bring the working end back through the loop.

Tighten the knot carefully.

Finished.








Butterfly Knot

Form a single turn in the line. Twist the loop as shown.

Bring the upper  loop around behind the standing part of the line.

Pass the end of the loop up through the lower loop.
 Tighten

Finished knot front


Finished knot back

Here is a short video of the knots being tied.

video

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update

Boat:
Doing research on different posibilities. We really like Baltic Trader style boats, but they are scarce on this coast and tend to be rather expensive when you find them or needing extensive work. I don't mind all kinds of refitting but I shy away from hulls that need framing/planking/fastening. When your budget is almost non-existent your options are limited.

Captains Licenses:
Making progress on learning the COLREGS. and finally starting to pass most of the practice tests on the computer.

I have been putting together more tutorials on knots and Mrs. Afloat has been learning to bake a new kind of yeast bread that doesn't need to rise (and it is fantastic).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Basic Knotwork, Stopper Knots

Stopper Knots are used to keep a line from accidentally freeing itself from its bock, fairlead, or tackle. The most basic stopper knot is the overhand knot. It is quick and easy to tie and is unlikely to come undone. Unfortunately it is rather small for a stopper knot and can be very difficult to untie once it is tightened down all the way. A double overhand is bigger but even harder to untie. The Figure Eight knot is probably the best all-around stopper knot, and is also used for many other applications. It is almost as fast to tie as an overhand, but is bulkier (a good thing in a stopper knot), holds better, and is easily untied even when over-tightened. For occasions where a very large stopper knot is needed, Ashley’s stopper knot is an excellent choice. Clifford W. Ashley, author of the Ashley Book of Knots, developed this knot after seeing a large stopper knot on a passing boat.



Overhand Knot
Make a single turn in the line then pass the end through the loop. To tie a double overhand, go around and through the loop again.

Tighten the knot but pulling both ends.
Finished.


Figure Eight Knot

Make single turn in the line and bring the end around behind the standing part.

Pass the end over the line and through the loop.

Pull tight.

Figure eight knot as it is normally tied.

Figure eight tightened for use as a stopper knot.






Ashley’s Stopper Knot

Make a single turn in the line and form a loop in the standing part. Pass the loop trough the single turn.

Tighten the knot by pulling on the end and the side of the loop leading to the knot.
This is a common Slip Knot.

To make it into an Ashley’s stopper knot pass the end through the loop.
Pull the end tight against the knot and then tighten the loop by pulling on the standing part of the line.

  Finished



 I made a short video of tying these knots to show how you tie them in hand.


video