People, Boats, and Stories => SB/LD Cruisers => Topic started by: Captain Smollett on July 18, 2007, 10:10:41 AM

Title: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on July 18, 2007, 10:10:41 AM
Well, we have settled on a name and will be having our renaming ceremony this weekend.  Our ceremony will be simple - we will simply ask G O D to bless her and all who sail on her, and my daughter will 'annoint' her bow with fresh water.

We started a project list to have this boat in 'blue water' and/or 'liveaboard' condition.  It's currently five pages and growing.

Near the top of the list of the big projects - I'd like to replace the porta-potty with a head+holding tank, so I am following the various holding tank threads here pretty closely.  Ya'll keep working out the bugs for me.   ;D

Well, I'm off to get some stuff for this weekend's set of projects....

-paint outboard lower unit
-replace set-screws with through-screws on stanchion bases
-child harness for my son
-some other stuff (  :) ) to numerous and minor to list

(The BIG project for this week is to get that blamed ob parts finally came.  iShopMarine is great for listing the parts list online and exploded diagrams, but they take FOREVER to get the parts to you).
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on July 18, 2007, 10:27:43 AM

A pretty name for the boat. 

One thought on the stanchion bases... you might want to drill an angled drain hole in them, so that less water sits in them.  Since you'll be drilling holes on them anyways... one extra as a drain might not be a bad idea.

Enjoy... ;)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on July 18, 2007, 10:42:49 AM
Good idea.  Have some Grog.

The bases already have four holes (I guess so you can decide which one you want to use for the current set-screw) arrangment, so it would take little extra effort to just drill out the stanchion itself at least one of those.  If I do it this way, it won't be angled, but perhaps better than nothing?  And, it would provide a back-up in case something happened and the main hole thread became stripped (or head got sheared off, etc).  In other words, we could drill and tap TWO holes, but only put a screw into one and leave the other open.

Well, this will take NO effort for me...this is Becky's project.   ;D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on July 18, 2007, 11:19:15 AM
No wonder you were so happy to take on the extra work...

Personally, I wouldn't tap the holes... tapping stainless is a nightmare, and chews the heck out of your taps.  And if they're aluminum, threaded areas are generally more prone to corroding than unthreaded holes, especially if the fastener is stainless steel. 

I would just drill the holes and put the bolts through and use an acorn nut on the other side.  It is less likely to have a bolt corrode or seize and easier to remove if one does... since the nut isn't part of the stanchion base.  If the stanchion bases are aluminum, don't forget to coat the bolts with LanoCote or TefGel.

On my boat, I've also modified a couple of the stanchion bases to take a 1/4" or 5/16" fast pin, instead of a bolt... so that the railing section there can be easily removed without tools.  This is mainly for the solar panel setup, not the lifelines though. 
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on July 18, 2007, 12:44:08 PM

Personally, I wouldn't tap the holes... tapping stainless is a nightmare, and chews the heck out of your taps.  And if they're aluminum, threaded areas are generally more prone to corroding than unthreaded holes, especially if the fastener is stainless steel. 

I would just drill the holes and put the bolts through and use an acorn nut on the other side.

That's not what I'm doing.  All I'm doing is replacing the set-screw, which just pins the stanchion in place by friction, is drilling and tapping the stanchion so that a screw can be threaded into it.  In order for the stanchion to then come "up,"  it would have to either shear the screw to pull out of the deck.

With the stanchions being no thicker than they are, I'm not too worried about tapping the holes.


On my boat, I've also modified a couple of the stanchion bases to take a 1/4" or 5/16" fast pin, instead of a bolt... so that the railing section there can be easily removed without tools.  This is mainly for the solar panel setup, not the lifelines though. 

That's not a bad idea, either, especially where one might need to regularly drop it (like to get the dink on board).
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on July 18, 2007, 01:52:18 PM
Ahh... :D thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on July 18, 2007, 02:57:15 PM
Actually it only took me about 15 minutes to drill and tap the holes in my bow pulpit.I used a battery powered drill, a little TapMagic and a hand tap. Stainless isn't THAT hard if you have a sharp tap.

I really can't recall if I tapped just the tubing or tubing AND base. I'll have to look.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: BobW on August 01, 2007, 06:35:37 PM

(doing a little catching up from being off-line for a couple plus weeks)

Congratulations on the name!  I like it.

And good luck with all the projects, too.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 04, 2007, 10:35:01 PM
Well, we are off on the first family "cruise" soon.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of work and the inevitable spending of $$.

We did preliminary provisioning, watering and fueling last weekend as well as finishing some projects.  Some of the preps we did for this trip:

Right now we are looking carefully at the weather to decide between a 45 nm offshore jump vs. ICW.  The weather is right on the borderline (according to NWS forecast), so I've not decided what we'll do.  Earlier in the week it looked bad, then good, now boderline.  We may have to stick our nose out the jetties to see what is out there and decide from there.

See ya'll in about 10 days give or take.  Hope to have some pics upon the return.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 05, 2007, 08:54:33 AM
Fair winds... and take lots of photos.. :) 
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Frank on October 05, 2007, 09:33:29 AM
Have fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   how long are you going???
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 13, 2007, 06:52:37 PM
Made it back to the mooring in Georgetown last night around 6 pm and back here at the house about two hours ago.

Brief summary:

Southbound offshore (Georgetown to Charleston), 1 night hove-to off Charleston Sea Bouy, 4 nights at anchor, 0 nights in marinas (  ;D ), a total of 15 hours aground, and 12 hours motoring on the ICW back to GT.

Will post some more details later with some photos.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Frank on October 13, 2007, 08:26:12 PM honest man..15hrs aground  ;D.   Sounds like you had quite the mini adventure.Details and pics..we need details and pics,
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 13, 2007, 09:54:22 PM
How'd you end up aground for 15 hours???   Other than that, sounds like a good trip... Looking forward to pix and story. :D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 13, 2007, 11:11:38 PM
How'd you end up aground for 15 hours??? 

Short answer:  more than one grounding.   ;D ;D

Still working on the details and pics.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 14, 2007, 12:30:12 PM
How'd you end up aground for 15 hours??? 

Short answer:  more than one grounding.   ;D ;D

Still working on the details and pics. was either that or you slept through a tide cycle... :)
Title: Charleton Trip 5-7 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 03:35:07 PM
5 Oct 2007

Arrived at boat to finish provisioning and make preparations.  The reality of taking my wife and young children offshore was setting in as I prepared the boat.  NOAA was predicting 10-15 kt with 20 kt gusts from the NE shifting to the E, seas 3-5 ft, and we needed to head SW; we therefore would have a leeshore on the W.  Key in my mind was the need to weather Cape Romain, a shoal area that 'interupts' the rhumb line from Winyah Bay to Charleston.  If we were to trust the NOAA forecast, the weather was about as good as it could be for the offshore jump, but we were putting off the 'official' decision until morning to see what the conditions really were. I got to sleep around 0100 on the 6th.

6-7 Oct 2007

Underway at 0620, about an hour before high tide and daylight.  Eased out of the Sampit River and into the Bay.  A bit after 0700, raised the sails and killed the ob.  It was nice sailing down the bay.  Becky was helping with the nighttime navigation and sailed the boat a few times while I made various adjustments on deck.  She noted that she liked helming Gaelic Sea better than Wave Function.  With the Georgetown Lighthouse abeam, I decide to reef to avoid the necessity offshore, believing the A-30 to like a "reef early" on the main with a genny up.  Kissed the #5 bouy for good luck and turned S, 170 Magnetic after getting 'pounded' by the steep 6-8 footers in the inlet (our spare gas cans washed overboard, but were tied to the boat so they were retrieved).

Conditions offshore were consistent with the NOAA forecast, so we continued on.  My rhumb line was ddw with the NE wind, so I broad reached at 170 for three hours.  5 foot seas were abeam, which made for a rolly ride, and this took it's toll on Hunter and Becky.  Hunter had her bucket in the cabin and quickly established a pattern before getting sick.  Becky's getting sick set me off I must confess, but Jonathan, 2 years old, never batted an eye.  I think the boy is a born sailor.  Becky did sail the boat some during this leg while I tended to chores above and below deck.  At one point, Hunter, our 5 yo daughter, exclaimed emphatically, "I hate this frickin' boat."

At 1245, Becky sited a cargo ship on the horizon to the ESE, which gave me a good idea that we were well within the 10 Fathom Line.  At 1300, I jibed the boat to head back inshore a little bit, and the seas were now dead astern.  We had the wind on a broad reach with astern seas - sweet sailing at 5.5-6 kts with reefed main and genoa.  During this leg, the girls' tummies settled down and those below got some rest.  Around 1530, I saw a shore based structure (the Cape Romain Light) though land itself was not visible.  I fired up the GPS to fix position, and was within 3 nm of my DR position based on estimated speed and compass heading.  We had cleared Cape Romain and were on the rhumb line between my projected Waypoints 2 and 3.   So far so good.

I dropped the main to run ddw under the headsail, which slowed our speed but put us on a direct course - sailing off course but faster vs direct and slower computed out to be about the same elapsed time.  I was REALLY missing not having a whisker pole, which would have been worth its weight in gold.  At 2130, we were within site of the Charleston sea bouy and the City was clearly visible.  I decided to wait out the night 'outside' rather than try to run the channel of the unknown harbor at night.  We hove-to, Becky stood watch and I took a nap.  I relieved her at 0000 and decided to buy some sea room and began beating into the wind which now had more easting in it (as predicted). 

For about 3 hours, I tacked back out toward the sea bouy and again had some sweet sailing.  The wind had dropped to 10 kts, so I had shaken the reef out of the main, and for one entire tack, Gaelic Sea steered herself, perfectly balanced close-hauled in 3 ft seas.  By 0400, I hove-to again to take a nap so Becky could stand watch in no wind.  The sails were slatting and banging and I tried to drop them and just ride it out.  No good - bad move.  At 0530, while attempting to raise the main again to steady her back up, the gooseneck fitting failed and the boom fell on my knee.  We lashed the boom to the deck, raised the jib, started the ob and began motor sailing toward the channel.  The Pilot boat passed us in the channel and circled back to check on us, and informed us the harbor was socked in with fog.  He advised we could anchor just south of the jetties to await a clear approach if need be, but that it MIGHT clear off before we got in.  It did, and we were glad to have gotten to continue in without having to anchor to await better weather.

As we were passing Ft. Sumter, a ship passed rolling the boat through about 50 degrees each side of vertical.  At this point, Jonathan was kneeling on the cockpit seat holding the coaming and looking out.  This large roll did not even phase him.  He never batted an eye or expressed concern in any way.   As I said, a natural.

Motoring was slow in large part to the falling tide but also as we were later to confirm, water in our fuel.  We approached the City Anchorage around noon; Jerry aboard his Catalina 30 informed us we were "too close" for his comfort, so we moved to a different spot.  We were anchored by 1245.  After a nap I set about boat chores, such as inflating the dink (stored deflated in its bag just abaft the mast on deck) and repairing the gooseneck.  Becky found the pin laying on deck, and I found the cotter ring that had come out!!  (Later on the trip, I replaced both cotter rings with cotter pins). 

Our first family offshore run was a little rough around the edges but we had made it and everyone, though very tired, was well.  Becky fixed hamburgers for dinner which REALLY hit the spot.  After the children were tucked in, Becky and I enjoyed the evening with a glass of Burgundy.

No photos of the trip down.
Title: Charleston Trip 8 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 03:52:53 PM
8 Oct 2007

Becky fixed egg mcmuffins for breakfast, which after our recent trip to Tybee Island, GA has come to be one of Hunter's favorites.  We dingied to shore at the City Marina.  The current was wicked and I soon discovered that one John-Power was insufficient to the task.  I tied up on one of the finger docks to let Becky and the children walk while I confirmed where the dinghy dock was and pay my fine fee.  We walked several blocks to find a bus stop for a bus to take us to the Aquarium.  The Charleston Aquarium is pretty cool - the exhibits run a sequence that covers all geological 'zones' of South Carolina from the mountains to the ocean.  We ate the lunch Becky packed at the Aquarium observation deck watching, among other things, one of the container ship gantries lower it's arm.  The hugeness of man's machines never ceases to amaze me.

We then walked ca. 2.5 miles to Battery Park to let the children play and to see the big guns that once guarded the City.  We then walked back into town to catch a bus back to the Marina.  Both walks took us through historic neighborhoods and numerous houses of historic significance.  Hunter was disappointed that we could not take a horse carriage ride.

After catching the bus, we learned of a bus stop right across the street from the marina!!  This sums up our experience with CARTA - overall a good, clean system that is predominantly on time, but the little brochure maps do NOT show all the stops!!

The idea was to row back across to the boat at slack water, and we were a little early.  While waiting, I went to the marina office to inquire about a place to dump or pump out the porta potty (the Thetford we have can be emptied either way) and to buy some gasoline.  Uh, Craig was NOT kidding when he said this place was NOT small boat or transient friendly.  If you don't dock your boat at the marina, they won't give you the time of day.  Never mind they hit your for your $5 per day dinghy dock fee.  Becky mentioned at one point to me that she, a practicing medical doctor, felt like Poor White Trash the way the marina people (and their customers) treated us while we were there - just because we chose to anchor out rather than pay $75 per night to tie up (it's $2 per foot, which means for my 30 footer, they would be totally ripping me off with their minimum).

In short, they would not pump us out and they told us they had no fuel - had to go to Ashley Marina to refuel.   Nope, they cannot suggest a place to pump out, either...maybe Ashley would do it, maybe not.  Cannot use they showers, only for paying customers.  Now, contrast this with the marinas I've encountered before - super friendly and very helpful.  Hazzard Marine in Georgetown, for example, will let anchored transients shower and do laundry, albeit for a price generally, but at least they don't just say "nope, can't do it." I just don't get it.  What a bunch of snobs.

The BP Station there at the marina was the exception.  Though technically part of the marina, the folks at the BP were very cool.  We bought Slushies for the children to cool off a little bit.

Anyway, while waiting for slack water, we ran into Jerry ashore walking his dog.  He offered to tow us back to the boat so I would not have to row. :)

No pics from being out today...we had forgotten the camera on the boat.

Back at the boat, Hunter and Jonathan were entertained by a group of young sailors practicing starts and doing capsize recover drills.


They had no trouble with close quarters sailing.  Yes, those boats are under way!!


We had dinner of chicken picatta.  Becky and I finished the Chardonay needed to cook dinner while cooling off after a hot day with a lot of walking.  The anchorage at night was rather beautiful.


Before turning in, I moved the outboard from the stern of Gaelic Sea to the dink.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 14, 2007, 05:10:07 PM
Were those taken with the D80???
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 06:14:29 PM
Were those taken with the D80???

Title: Charleston Trip 9 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 06:31:34 PM
9 Oct 2007

Today's plan: take the buses to Middleton Place.  We got to our first bus stop 5 minutes late, which meant a 55 minute wait.  We never saw a 202 (South Beltway) bus, so we ended up taking a 201 (North Beltway) bus, which went to the same place but the long way around.  It took nearly an hour to get to Broad and Meeting to catch our next bus, but we had the same driver as yesterday, and she advised us when we got to the Aquarium in case we were going back!!  :)

We ate our packed lunch at the Citadel Mall while waiting for the bus out to Middleton.  At the plantation, we chose the "all day" ticket, which we thought kind of steep at $90 (for the two of us), but this let us finally give Hunter her horse carriage ride


as well as access to the "House Tour."  Middleton Place is home of the US's oldest designed, landscaped gardens, which in turn boasts the incredible Middleton Oak:


Steeped in southern rice culture, slavery and later Reconstruction,


this was truly and interesting place to visit.  One thing we learned on the main House Tour was that the 'viewscape' had recently been threatened with development, but the foundation had secured the required property in perpetuity.  Becky decided that our $90 was cheap to help preserve the area from being developed into condos and strip malls.  Here's a shot of the property along the Ashley River that was saved from development:


And one of the old rice fields:


Upon returning to the marina, we again got Slushies at the BP.  Back at the boat, we had more entertainment by the youths sailing and a wonderful dinner of pork loins.  The Porta-Potty holding tank was nearly full, so we had to convince Hunter to start using the bucket for 'wee-wee' bathroom trips.  It turns out she LIKES going in the bucket, so this was no problem, and actually will in the future drastically extend our holding tank usage between pump-outs/dumps.  We should have gotten her to do this earlier!

I had overheard one of the Middleton employees commenting that today was a record high, so sunset was welcome:

One thing that did impress me about Charleston was the sailors sailing their boats.  We saw several boats sailing down the river past the anchorage and many out in the harbor.  If any powerboaters think sailors 'always motor' unless conditions are ideal, they need only look to Charleston to see sailors really practicing the craft.  Here's a shot of a cutter working up the Ashley River past the City Anchorage with the "Mega Dock" in the background:


Before securing the ob back on Gaelic Sea's transom, I motored over to the BP to dump the Porta Potty and buy some gasoline.  We then cooled off with a couple of glasses of Merlot after another hot day, also enjoying chocolate bars from the BP with our wine.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on October 14, 2007, 06:36:07 PM
Very Nice!  Thanks for the report. 

Title: Charleston Trip 10 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 06:57:23 PM
10 Oct 2007

After breakfast (egg mcmuffins again), pulled the anchor and motored out to Ft. Sumter. Dropped the hook and waited for the current to lessen to row down to the Fort.  Our new dinghy is working out great, though showing the beginning signs of use.

While anchored at Ft. Sumter, we only saw one other boat, a stinkpotter, anchor out, and they on the other side (the seaward side) of the Fort.  Here's a shot of Gaelic Sea from the Fort Entrance:


And one through one of the gun ports:


Somehow, I don't think I could ship one of these on my bow to deter theft:


After finishing our 'self guided' tour of the Fort and waiting for the tidal flow to less to row back to the boat, we motored over to the mouth of Shem Creek via the Mt. Pleasant Channel.  In the Channel, a barge approached from astern and he called on 16.  I told him I'd stick to the port side of the channel (the channel hugs the shore based docks to starboard) and give him as much room as he needed.  He said, "Okay, I don't know how much water you have over there."  :)  The charted depths outside the channel run 1-3 feet in most places.


so I got to practice CapnK's "keel braile" system of navigation.  I must say it works pretty good.   ;D

Once anchored, I again swapped the outboard to the dinghy, and loaded up a 'fresh' tank of fuel - fuel from a can that was awash while sailing out the Winyah Bay entrance.  We took off to motor up Shem Creek to find a place to eat out (our designated night to eat out) and got about 100 yards from the boat when the ob died.  Trying not to curse in front of my children, I announced in no uncertain terms that I hate outboards.  Hehe.

Some guys pulling crab pots came over and gave us a tow to R & B's, a friendly little restaurant right on the Creek. We decided to enjoy dinner and worry about the ob afterward, though we did discuss various "options."  After dinner, I asked our waiter for an empty glass jar, which he kindly provided.  Yep...water, LOTS of water.  Draining that water got 'er to run good enough to get us back to the boat.

The anchorage at the mouth of Shem Creek was very bouncy; the SW breeze had the whole harbor for fetch.  This was certainly a more isolated anchorage than the City Anchorage up on the Ashley River.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: skylark on October 14, 2007, 07:06:45 PM
great tale, thanks!
Title: Charleston Trip 11 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 07:07:26 PM
11 Oct 2007

We pulled the anchor and got under way by 0800, heading up the ICW.  The Ben Sawyer bridge does not open until 0900, and as we approached, we were pacing arriving for that opening.  I tried to call the operator in VHF to verify, but she never answered.  We did a couple of circles for the last ten minutes, but as she began opening the bridge, I realized the current had set us a little to close.  I could not turn away, either way (without hitting the pilings), nor could we yet make it under the bridge.  So, I did the only thing I knew to do.  I panicked, and threw her in reverse....BEFORE securing the tow line to the dinghy.


So, there we were, current pushing us into a bridge we could not clear with no steerage and a rope wrapped around the prop.  So, I did the only thing I knew to do. 

I gave the tiller to Becky.  ;D

I raised the jib (the wind was light off the quarter) and fended off, calling over my shoulder, "see, she's a sailboat FIRST."  The genny gave Becky just enough steerage to make it through the bridge.  The bridge tender came out to see what was going on, and after we cleared, I raised to main to give Becky more control.  She was sailing beautifully, about as fast as we would have been going with the ob, while I climbed into the dink to clear the prop.  It only took a few minutes, and as I began climbing into the boat, I asked if I could have a breather.  "No,"  was my wife's adament reply.

At this instant, a very large stinkpot passed heading south and taking his half out of the middle of the channel; Becky steered off a bit to give him some room (we were under sail, so TECHNICALLY were stand-on, but this guy was going too fast to bother with technicalities).  I had one foot in the dink and one foot on the boat when Becky said, "I've lost steerage way."  It quickly became apparent we were aground - that wake had pushed us right up on a shoal.

We tried the usual quick tricks to get off, to no avail.  The tide was quickly dropping, we were maybe an hour after high tide.  All was done, and we were in for the long haul.  It turns out that if you want her to be, an Alberg 30 is beachable:


We were agound for 5 hours before anyone even stopped to ask if we were okay, and that was (believe it or not) a jet skier who was also a self-proclaimed Yankee!!  He said he had lived there for 12 years and NEVER saw sand in that spot. Certainly the chart "suggests" there is plenty of width there, but it turns out there had been some recent erosion on one of the islands that built up.  Basically, we found a new "Shoals to Bare."
While the water was down, Hunter and Jonathan got to chase Hermit Crabs. 


The whole day we had been listening on 16 to the rescue, then "they want to come in themselves," then rescue again of a disabled sailboat I believe was named Coconut Breeze located outside somewhere.  We had good conversations about self sufficiency and why did they call for help the first time if they were just going to call off the help when it got there?  The last I heard of this, the CG was telling them that Sea-Tow was again on their way and was about 20 minutes away.  I never heard specifically what was wrong with the boat other than hearing references to communication problems (we never actually heard them, only the CG replying and references to someone escorting them in to act as relay).

Dinner on the lean was hot dogs, and as simple as it sounds, they really hit the spot.

Around 1800, two guys in a power boat offered to give a tow, and we tried it, though we did not yet have enough water.  They did, however, manage to pull us around facing the right way.  Incidentally, these two guys were classic boat fans, one having owned a Pearson Vanguard (a Rhodes design).  They took off after two attempts to get us off, but we still had a bit over two hours to go to high tide.  After 11 hours aground, and with the whole thing touch and go (the evening tide was a foot or so lower than the morning tide), we barely managed to get off right around 2045, probably within minutes of true high tide.  Floating again, we decided to plug on and make some miles we lost by sitting still all day.

I have read the opinions of many folks advising against navigating the ICW at night.  But there we were, going at last.  I felt confident we could pick out the lit marks, and it turns out the GPS was indispensible in helping get eyeballs on the unlit ones.  We motored for six hours along this stretch of the ICW in some wicked cross currents and eddies.  Here's a sample of the area at Dewees Island:

Title: Charleston Trip 12 Oct 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 07:43:04 PM
12 Oct 2007

During the six hours beginning 2100 11 Oct, I bumped the bottom once, ground pretty hard once but got off after about 5 minutes, then at 0300 grounded fairly hard.  I had cut the turn near the mouth of Awendaw Creek a bit too close,


We were wiped out (I had let Becky take a nap while going a long stretch without any unlit daymarks). I dropped the hook, lit an anchor light and hit the rack.  Becky stood the first 2 hr anchor watch, and reported we were already floating when she woke me at 0500.  At this point, I figured we should just wait until daylight.  At dawn, I pulled the anchor, fired up the outboard and began the rest of the leg to McClellanville.  The ob awoke Becky, and she asked if I was ready to try to go.  "We're going" I told her, and she felt so much better, having worried a bit during her off watch.

The cold front definitely came through Thursday night; during the night while motoring, I was pretty cold, even with long pants, two jackets and a hat on.  The sun was actually welcome Friday morning.

The next big challenge was having enough fuel to reach McClellanville.  The ob was using nearly 1.5 to 2x more fuel than I had previously experienced (lighter boat, pre ob repairs????) and we were down that 6 gallons with the water that was very clearly NOT to be relied upon (we had tried it again yesterday morning getting under way).

But, we did make it...tying alongside at the Leland Oil Company, McClellanville's town fuel dock just after 0900 with about 1-2 gallon to spare.  The fellow that runs the town dock is super nice and if I had to say anything against him, it would only be that he initially thought we were aboard a Columbia 30 :) .  There was an interesting barge at the dock that I could not resist photographing.


After refueling, buying some ice and taking care of some odds and ends, we set about stretching our legs and relaxing in McClellanville.  What a nice little town.

We walked "downtown" to visit the Village Museum and I must say this place really impressed me.  We met Bud, the curator of the museum, and he was very enthusiastic about his collection.  This museum is one of the best I've visited, though not large.  They only take artifacts from the region, so it truly is a local collection.  One thing I personally liked about it was that this was one of the few places advertised along the SC coast where one can learn about the the pre-colonial cultural history of Coastal SC (most SC stuff seems focused on the Civil War and to a lesser extern the American Revolution). Bud had one whole room dedicated to the Seewee Indians, a small coastal tribe with a very interesting culture.  He was very personable, and agreed to mail me some book titles and reference lists for me to research further.  Other exhibits showed the shrimping industry and history and the history of the wind powerer rice mill that once sat on Cape Romain and was often mistaken by ships to be the Cape Romain Lighthouse.

At 1100 we cast off to carry on the next 28 miles back to Georgetown.  Getting back into the ICW, we got to see the Cape Romain Lighthouse from landward.  The trip was a relatively uneventful 6 hours, mostly motoring with none to light winds.  Getting into Winyah Bay, we had an adverse current, so I raised the main to motor sail, and when we COULD catch a puff, it gave us an extra .5-0.75 kts.  Every little bit helps. At 1745, we ran aground 30 feet from out mooring ball minutes before low tide.  ;D  Here's a shot of Gaelic Sea back home after a week of hard work.


After securing the boat, we bought showers at Hazzard Marine, then walked downtown to Buzz's Roost for dinner and to listen to Karioke (a first for me).
Title: Charleston Trip 2007
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 14, 2007, 07:49:32 PM
General Observations:

We really have to work on stowage.  Things that look like good ideas at the dock or on the mooring don't always turn out so well underway.  For one thing, we have now decided to pretty much lose looooong settee cushions and make the settee cushions in sections.  This should allow much easier access to which ever locker, and coupling this with losing the drawers and converting their space to simple top-access lockers will help a lot, too (and recover some wasted space).

By the end of the week, the V-Berth was a shambles - esssentially like the large closet you just throw stuff into to get it 'out of the way NOW.'  :)

The children did wonderfully, and we were both very, very pleased with their behavior and resilience.  Other than Hunter's sea sickness, she had a wonderful time.  Actually, at Church this morning (14 Oct), she drew a picture of a sail boat aground and announced "that is our Alberg 30."  Jonathan would continually ask "can we go in the dingy?" and he always wanted to row.  In the cabin, they played, colored, read books, sang songs and basically did much the same stuff they do at home.

Becky has not yet decided how to describe this trip to her friends at work, other than to call it an "adventure."  She's not convinced she wants to do another offshore run, but she has not ruled it out, either.  We'll see.  Being out of sight of land did not bother her in the least, however; it was only the motion was a bit more than she had envisioned.  She did get to see the sails acting as back-up for the engine (as it should be), and hopefully is beginning to reverse the mindset of the engine being the backup.

The Ice Box insulation worked "okay," but it certainly needs a little beefing up (I had not completely finished it).  We started with three 6.5 qt blocks and two bags of ice, which were added on Friday, 5 Oct.  We resupplied with two bags of cube ice on Wednesday, 10 Oct and there was still a bit left of the blocks on Thursday the 11th.  That's six days with temps inside the boat during the day of mid to upper nineties.  Friday at McClellanville, we added more bagged cube ice to hold things over til we got in.

On a spiritual note, I believe we approached this trip in a way to set the tone for any future longer term cruising we might do.  We never asked for help, though we did accept several offers.  We stayed true to our goal of sightseeing Charleston from the boat at anchor.  I will say that one of the "options" we discussed at dinner Wednesday night included Becky and the children getting a motel room to await assistance from our shore support (my sister up in Charlotte, NC) while I worried with either securing the boat where she was or tried to get her home.  We got the ob running, though, so none of our 5 or 6 or so contingency options came into play.

I also noticed that near the end, probably Thursday during the wait for high tide, we no longer wanted to take an extra night to just anchor out to enjoy being out.  By that time, we pretty much wanted to just get back.  It was not a negative reflection of the trip nor of the grounding incident so much as recognizing that we were both very tired and any extra recoup time before getting back to the routine on Monday would be much appreciated.  We had purposefully built into the "schedule" these buffer days to use as we wanted near the tail of the trip.

Sorry so long winded on this tale, but it was truly an adventure and I wanted to share the "flavor" as much as the "what."  We had four (two adults, two children) living on a 30 ft boat for 9 days.  We have a lot to learn how best to accomplish this in the future, but now the ideas are coming from a point of view of experience with OUR family on OUR boat, rather than just "this seems like a good idea."

Fair Winds,

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on October 14, 2007, 08:55:12 PM
Great tale John. Sounds like ya'll had a really good cruise.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: maxiSwede on October 15, 2007, 04:02:13 AM
Great having a full keeled boat, isn't it?  ;D ;D ;D

Thanks for sharing, you sure did enjoy yourselves it seems.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CapnK on October 15, 2007, 06:09:08 AM
Great post, John, it was enjoyable to go on the trip with The Family Smollett. :) Good writing!

Remember: "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans." (Or 'following' them!), and "No battle plan survives first-contact with the enemy..." :D

Sailing, and especially cruising, bear out the truth in these sayings. :)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 15, 2007, 09:31:05 AM
Great post and thanks for sharing.... I see you're learning the valuable skill of careening the boat to clean the bottom. :)  It'll come in very handy when you're cruising long-term and have no marinas to haul out at.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on October 15, 2007, 09:37:00 AM

  I am very glad your trip went well.  I had hoped you would write of a wonderful experience with the Charleston marina, like they rolled out the red carpet while the band played but it sounds like you did not.  Glad you did not let that sour what sounds like an otherwise great trip.

  I am jealous though, I had to travel a few hundred miles before I got to run Faith hard enough aground to admire that beautiful Alberg hull... you managed to work it in in less then a week.  ;D

  Your photography is very nice, I wish mine were nearly as good.  Maybe you could join us as the ships photographer?  Or better yet, train Hunter to take the pictures and we can pick up a helmsman too.   ;D  Peter is good at giving orders but refuses to steer for any appreciable length of time.

  It is funny you arrived at the same conclusion about the drawers.  When Rose and I looked at your boat for ourselves a while back, we were going to do the same thing.  The drawers are handy, bu they seem like they waste lots of space.  The hanging locker would fit a lot of shelves, but with the fairly large locker you have I would hate to lose it.

On a spiritual note, I believe we approached this trip in a way to set the tone for any future longer term cruising we might do.  We never asked for help, though we did accept several offers.

  I believe the difference is to be willing to allow others to help, accepting help when needed, but not planning on or expectiong help.  It is a wonderful partof the experience, the kindness of friends and strangers.  We have recieved it many times since we started this trip.  It is one of the great things about cruising.  I do admit I find it much easier to 'give then to recieve' but am reminded that as much as I enjoy being able to help, so others do also.

  Funny thing about how your boat came to you.... I do not remember if i shared this.  Mike and his wife were aground on the New RIver, and were calling for (paid) tow when we met them.  I got on the radio and offered to help knowing that SeaTow was going to me $350 minimum where they were.  It took me all of about 10 minutes to assist them, and we became great friends based on that meeting.  The couple days they spent at the marina turned into their styaing there.  Had they moved on, I minght not have gotten to know them and been able to pass along the word of the good price on your boat.  Funny how G O D works all things together huh?   ;D

  So glad your trip went well.  THanks for sharing it.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 15, 2007, 10:03:07 AM
Funny thing about SeaTow and our grounding.  Someone passed by and asked if we were members, and I said, "nope."  This was early, about two hours in or so.  Becky said since we knew if was going to be nearly 10 more hours, we should call them to get a membership, then wait a few hours to call for a tow when we could get the member's rate.   ;D ;D

(It was only a joke, btw).

It was interesting listening to all the comments of people as they went buy.  And we were the subject of many pictures.   ;D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 15, 2007, 09:31:54 PM

Or better yet, train Hunter to take the pictures and we can pick up a helmsman too.   ;D

Actually, Hunter has her own camera, and she does quite well with it.  About every third picture has someone's head cut off, but those are not bad odds for a helmsman that is relatively cheap to feed.

She asks about you I'm sure she'd jump at the chance - ESPECIALLY if she knew you had Peter-Dog aboard (she loves all things multilegged, including spiders).

Here's wishing you guys a fair crossing when the window opens, and keep in touch when you can.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 16, 2007, 10:35:40 AM
Capn Smollett-

One thing I've found very useful for stowage is a elastic net that is normally used for containing things in the back of an SUV.  It's basically a big bungee net pouch with three or four compartments that can stretch to hold a pretty wide variety of things.  I got mine at a discount store for about $8.  It might be worth looking into for Gaelic Sea's interior
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 01, 2008, 01:25:33 PM
Whew, what a weekend.

We hauled Gaelic Sea for the first time since we've owned her.  It was a whirlwind weekend, with only a 3-4 day window to get some key work done.  Not ideal, and there was more I would have LIKED to get done, but that's it for this go-around.

I wanted a shot in the slings - my first haul-out of keel boat (I've only had trailerables before this):


The yard crew at Hazzard's was totally professional and deftly handled my old-woman-like worrying.   ;D

If the above shot does not show it very well, here we can see more clearly the extent of the weed and growth on the bottom;   I don't know when the last time this boat was hauled, but it has surely been a while:


The reason for the haul-out and #1 on the priority list:


That's a garden variety gate valve that had been installed on a below-water-line through-hull.  As far as I can tell, that was original on the boat (making it over 35 years old).  This one had me very worried, and was to be fixed on this haul-out if nothing else got done.

Number two priority was removing and glassing over the through-hull for the raw water intake; since there is no longer an A4 in this boat, no need for a hole to let in cooling water.  Here's a shot with the through-hull removed and the hole ground out ready for glassing.


Two other through-hulls were ground out to be completely replaced with proper flanged seacocks; at least these did have marine ball valves on them.  Here's one:


With the generous help of a friend of mine who came all the way down from North Carolina, as well as the assistance of Mate Becky, we got the bottom sanded and some glass repair/fairing done mostly in one day.

Sunday, we finished some minor fairing, one more semi-major glass repair below waterline and I got the head installed and plumbed (on the intake side at least).  The first coat of ACT went on Sunday as well. Here she is taped and ready for paint.


Monday morning, in less than an hour, we rolled the second coat of bottom paint.  The 'finish:'


I would be ready to splash, but I am waiting for a FedEx order to complete repairs.  That's okay, the yard is not working today (Monday, Labor Day) anyway.  Hope to get her in the water Wednesday.

I sure would have liked to have her out long enough to do topsides paint, but we just could not do it this time.  So, she'll still be a little rough around the edges, I suppose, but my faith in her below waterline integrity is much greater.

She just needed a little TLC, and now I've hauled a boat!  Maybe next time, I won't be QUITE the Nervous Nellie I was this time.

Many many thanks to Jon B. for all his help...without him, I'd still be sanding.  He's a workhorse.

Edit: Fixed 'ball valve"
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on September 01, 2008, 01:48:56 PM
Congrats! Looks like you were well prepared and it worked out well.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on September 01, 2008, 02:03:08 PM
Capn Smollet-

Isn't the other valve a ballvalve?  There are no proper gate valves IMHO on a boat's through-hulls.  I hope the Fedex guy arrives on time. :)


Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on September 01, 2008, 02:49:52 PM
Looking good mi amigo. I see you did away with the boot topping ;D Good move. As I told you, I'll be doing the same next we haul out, which appears to be this month.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 01, 2008, 03:03:28 PM
Capn Smollet-

Isn't the other valve a ballvalve?  There are no proper gate valves IMHO on a boat's through-hulls.  I hope the Fedex guy arrives on time. :)

Ooops, yes, the second shot was a ball valve...typo.

Whitby DID put gate valves on the boat under the waterline....that's what the other one was (the first shot).  That was the sole purpose of this haul-out - that thing scared the doo-doo out of me.

As rusty as it looks on the OUTSIDE, believe me, it was as bad inside, too.   :o
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Frank on September 01, 2008, 03:20:10 PM
sure looks a lot better.Bet ya pick up a knot or more to windward without the growth down there. Fishing off your deck won't be as good tho  :o
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on September 01, 2008, 04:45:05 PM
Looking good mi amigo. I see you did away with the boot topping ;D Good move. As I told you, I'll be doing the same next we haul out, which appears to be this month.

boot topping ?
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on September 01, 2008, 05:19:13 PM
See the red line around the hull just above the bottom paint in the first pic? Note it isn't there anymore in the final shot.

I told him lots of cruising people were just painting bottom paint up to the top of that. Prevents slime, etc from forming right at the waterline. Well, maybe not "prevents" but helps a lot.

On Tehani it's dark blue, but next we haul it's gonna be black bottom paint instead. Under the counter has a tendency to get green as it is.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on September 01, 2008, 05:28:18 PM
OK so you just meant eliminating the bootstripe, I thought perhaps that is what you meant but couldn't find a reference, probably discussed in chat  :)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on September 01, 2008, 06:15:09 PM

Actually discussed over the telephone

 ;D ;D

see ya later tonight?
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on September 01, 2008, 06:20:53 PM
Yeh gonna try to be there, hopefully all the southern folk will be too :)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on September 02, 2008, 10:45:05 AM
Looks good john.

  The old paint was actually not that bad considering it's age.  Bet you will sleep better with the new plumbing!

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 08, 2008, 03:35:16 PM
She swims!!

Got her splashed today and FINALLY leaktight below the waterline - Second time was the charm...deck leaks are another story for another day.   ;)

It COULD just be my imagination, or wishful thinking, but she sure seems to handle better backing under power than before.  I've dreaded putting that boat in reverse, but now she seems a LITTLE more docile.  Similarly, she seems a bit easier to handle at very slow speeds going forward (ie, approaching dock/mooring/etc).

Can't say enough good stuff for the yard guys and management at Hazzard's in Georgetown, SC.  If transient through SC and in need of a haul-out, this is a good place to go.  They squeezed me in even with all the boats that had to haul and splash due to Hannah and I got an unexpected discount on the second haul.  As I said before, very professional and quite helpful.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on September 08, 2008, 03:39:08 PM
Glad to hear it John.

Looks like it MIGHT be our turn in the barrel >:( :o >:( :o
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on September 08, 2008, 06:15:48 PM
Congrats on splashing the boat Capn Smollett. :)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: maxiSwede on September 09, 2008, 08:28:09 AM
nice job!  All the best & Fair winds
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 22, 2008, 08:29:00 AM
Busy weekend.  Got some projects done that really needed doing.  No photos this time.  The next pictures I show of this boat will probably be in her new home next month.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CapnK on October 14, 2008, 09:06:37 PM
Smollett and S/V "Gaelic Sea" are on the move and doing good. They're up past Wilmington, by Figure 8 Island at the moment. He's planning on going just past New River, to an anchorage there, for the night.

He's discovered why I've long been an advocate of nighttime travel on the ICW. :) (Yes, I'm serious - there's less traffic, the wind usually calms down, bridges open on request, etc...)

He left here day before yesterday at about 3PM. We've had strong northeasterlies, that tend to die off after sunset. That and the tide made for a late departure being the smart choice. That night he went to Little River, getting in shortly before dawn, IIRC. Leaving there yesterday afternoon, he made Southport at 4AM this morning, anchored by the boat ramps (great easy anchorage), and then left there at 2PM.

If he can reel off the miles tomorrow, I'd expect he might make it up close to the mouth of Adam's Creek, across from Oriental. That'd put him on the home stretch for an easy day up to New Bern.

James/Lynx - I told him to keep an eye out for your Portland Pudgy. :)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on October 14, 2008, 09:11:57 PM
Thanks for the update Capn. Hopefully we will here from John when he can.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on October 14, 2008, 09:30:32 PM
Sounds like you've gotten a lot done.  How did you end up plumbing the head?  Does it discharge directly into the tank or does it have a diverter valve and a pump overboard option?

Busy weekend.  Got some projects done that really needed doing.  No photos this time.  The next pictures I show of this boat will probably be in her new home next month.

  • Finished head-to-holding tank plumbing.  I do have one little leak on the hardest-to-get-to hose clamp...but I need to pick up a 7 mm open end to get to it.
  • Wife proved instrumental in solving the old "where to put the overboard discharge diverter valve" problem.  I was "scared" to put it where it needs to go because I feared she'd be angry about losing that storage space...but that's where she suggested it go...problem solved.
  • Installed Waste Pump-Out deck fitting
  • Installed Fresh Water deck fill
  • Rebed four stanchion bases with all new backing plates; the two forward ones did not even HAVE backing plates.  Next week, I will be replacing all wire and stanchions themselves for lifelines.
  • Recaulked chainplates at deck
  • Installed through-hulls in bow for holding tank vents (I know this one is/will be controversial, but I took the lead from another A30 owner who did his this way and is VERY pleased with the result).
  • Wife began her vision for redesign of the galley...   ;D
  • Children began process of making fore-cabin "theirs."  For example, they slept on v-berth for the first time (it's usually been too cluttered).
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 17, 2008, 04:58:50 PM
Hi all...back at "home" (only for the next two weeks).  The boat is in her new slip at Bridge Pointe Marina in New Bern.  Met a few of the other livaboards on B-Dock this morning.  Bridge Pointe is ultra friendly.

Arrived in New Bern 0200 on the 16th, making my last day's run from Mile Hammock Bay at the New River to New Bern in 17 hours.  Stopped twice...once on the base while the military had the ICW closed for an hour for a Shoot Ex and once for fuel in Swansboro.  Long Day/Night on the ICW and Neuse River, but it was worth it to get there.

As I said, we are back here finishing up getting the house on the market.  We'll be up in New Bern permanently the first week of November.

How did you end up plumbing the head?  Does it discharge directly into the tank or does it have a diverter valve and a pump overboard option?

Hi Dan,

I plumbed the line from the head directly to the holding tank, then the pump-out line goes to a diverter valve.  One leg of the diverter valve goes to the deck pump-out fitting and the other goes to a Whale Waste pump.  Discharge from that pump goes overboard.

I'm not sure if this is the 'standard' way most people do it, but I did it this way rather than the diverter valve between head and tank so that I could empty the tank over board.  If we are "inside" the limit we can use the tank, and jump "outside" to empty if no 1st world pump-out facility is available.

Actually, the hoses for the overboard discharge are not plumbed yet.  That's a lower priority since for the short term, we won't be where we can pump-out over board.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: roybaots on October 17, 2008, 10:59:49 PM
Im new to the forum. Ive really enjoyed reading about your adventures. Sounds like youve had a great summer. Makes me miss that area. Truely a wonderfull place in the carolinas.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on November 02, 2008, 10:59:08 PM
Officially moved aboard tonight.  Gaelic Sea's crew has made the transfer from SC to New Bern, NC.

See ya'll on the water.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on November 03, 2008, 08:59:10 AM
Great to hear John, a hearty grog for Ya
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on November 03, 2008, 11:29:39 AM
Good to hear... :) How'd she do on the trip??
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on November 03, 2008, 09:09:34 PM
Gongrats John!

  May the good days outnumber the bad, and may you and your crew have very short memories on the bad days.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Allan on April 03, 2009, 10:46:31 PM
Good on ya!! John

Sounds like you had a good shakedown cruise.

As for the water in the fuel problem Methylated Spirits (Metho) is worth while keeping on board for just this problem.

Added to the fuel probably a cup full for a 23 ltr tank helps the water to bead and pass through the carbie.
Works a treat.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on June 10, 2009, 09:19:43 PM
Since we had a full shoreside-life schedule for May-June-July, we decided to undertake a few projects that would put Gaelic Sea out of sail trim for a while.

Today, I completed the tiller head replacement.  The old one had worn so that there was a LOT of play in the tiller.  The new was from Edson was not QUITE drop-in replacement, but nothing an hour or so with a Dreml tool couldn't fix.  I did have to saw off 1/8" off the end, too, and redrill one of the holes in the tiller itself.  Slapped on some resin to reseal the wood, let 'er dry, put some 4200 around the bolt holes and she's done.  Much better, and it should improve sheet-to-tiller performance as well.

Got all the genoa track and wooden caprails off last week, and yesterday went to get the mahogany to replace the rails.  The dude I bought it from gave me a great deal - $6 a board ft for 1" nominal boards.  They range in width from 6" to 16", and that 16"-er is quite a board.  I've got some 'before' photos of this project, so after I get done, I'll get some 'afters' and post them.  The boat is already more water tight in the living space below.

Today I finally got started on the pine prototype of my anchor roller.  The final roller will be made of mahogany also, but this I already had (I did not have enough to do the rails).

I still have not finished the ice box, but oh well.  Too many projects, too little time (or that's what I tell others).

Anyway, we are progressing.  We are missing some beautiful sailing days, such as this evening.  Though VERY hot out today, this evening is absolutely gorgeous.  Ah, the price of one foot in the water and one on land.   ;D

On another note, we've temporarily lost the title of biggest family on one boat here at the marina.  We had a family of EIGHT pull in a week or so ago.  Their boat is bigger of course...a 42 ft Cat.  Great folks, and the children have had a blast having someone to play with.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on June 11, 2009, 08:15:53 AM
Sounds QUITE productive. Reminds me I have to order a tiller head, my understanding is an "Ensign" fitting will work as a replacement for the Ariel is unavailable.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on November 05, 2009, 11:56:56 PM
Gongrats John!

  May the good days outnumber the bad, and may you and your crew have very short memories on the bad days.

Well, for those of you considering the ups and downs of living aboard....

We 'celebrated' our 1 year anniversary of living aboard this week.

Which means, of course, we did nothing special for the event.   ;D

During this year, we


Living aboard is not much different from living anywhere else.  The local environment is different, perhaps, but the issues are not.  The attitude wins the day.

Don't sweat living aboard.  The loss of convenience (we have no oven, no fridge, no tv, no pressurized running water or shower) is completely insignificant.  The spiritual gains, the connection to weather,  neighbors (other liveaboards and transients), the knowing "I CAN" so far outweigh the perceived conveniences that no comparison is really justified that one merely face those fears to conquer them.

Okay, it's true...sometimes, carrying ice to the boat *IS* an inconvenience.  A hassle.  "Not tonight," I would say.  "I just want a break." 


Having my children, now 4 and 7, not miss TV, prefer to explore on the dingy, tell others of 'life on the dock (complete with the death of ducks, major fish kills, etc) so far outweigh the 'pain' of parting with contemporary "America" that I cannot imagine moving BACK into a culturally normal 'life.'

In other words, boats are cool.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Frank on November 06, 2009, 08:17:33 AM
Congrats on a year!!!!!!!!!!!!  Grog to ya   ;)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on November 06, 2009, 08:24:39 AM
Congrats Have another :D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on November 06, 2009, 08:24:58 AM

  Wow, does time fly.  So much sweeter the fruit of our decisions because it does.

Congrats to you, your crew and the good ship Gaelic Sea!

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Lynx on November 06, 2009, 12:57:12 PM
I have been on mine for 2 years. The First  year voyaging and the 2nd needing work. A lot different. Boat Maintance is so much easier than living in a house. What a different life. People are generally about the same.

Welcome to the club.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on February 11, 2010, 11:36:31 AM
Posting some links to other Gaelic Sea threads.

Old Stuff:

From 2007:

Delivery from New River, NC, to Georgetown, SC (,627.msg10050.html#msg10050)
Overnighting On Schooner Creek (

Life Aboard:

The First Week (
The First Month (

Getting out on the Dinghy:

Dinghy Explorations (

General "Cruising/Sailing:"

Day Trip - New Bern to Oriental (
Light Air Practice and Goof-Up in Marina (
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on March 09, 2010, 10:33:26 PM
"Boat Repair in Exotic Locations"

Yesterday, I mentioned, "We must be cruising."

Wife:  Why do you say that?

Me: Because cruising is said to be boat repair in exotic locations.

Me:  But I don't know how 'exotic' New Bern, NC is.

Wife: More exotic than [small town in central South Carolina]


We took off a port light to rebed the frame...and found total delamination and a completely CRAPPY repair of some previous damage.

In fact, well, I'll post some pictures and some comment later, but let's just say, by some definition, we are "cruising" now (if you'll grant me poetic license on 'exotic').

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on March 11, 2010, 01:58:39 AM
It's not New Bern, but I have a t-shirt that says;

  So there is that.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: AdriftAtSea on March 11, 2010, 04:57:11 AM
I was just in Belhaven.  While it may not be exotic, it is certainly REMOTE.  There was no cell phone service there in most places.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: CharlieJ on March 11, 2010, 06:33:57 AM
LOL- I was in Bellhaven once, long ago. We were told that on Friday notes, they had these great parties there, not to be missed.

So we pulled into the marina(not at the hotel) and tied up, then wandered about town. Ever see a western movie where the maincharacter enters a ghost town? Tumble weeds, etc? That's what it felt like. Five PM on a warm late summer Friday afternoon and we met not a soul. Not a car moving, not a person walking, not a store open, dust blowing in the streets.

It was kinda spooky.

After about an hour or so, we went back to the boat. Never did pay for the night at the slip, as
we never saw anyone TO pay!!!

Months later we again stayed overnite, this time at the hotel. That time it was
extremely cold, but the place was hopping. ;D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on March 11, 2010, 11:38:51 AM
In keeping with this trend of thread drift, I would recommend that a visit to Bellhaven include a stop at 'Wine and Words' a great little restaurant / book store with a eclectic menu that changes every week and a library with selections you simply will not find in (big box) chain book stores....
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on March 15, 2010, 11:45:01 AM
Pulling in the reigns a bit on the thread (  ;D  )...

Gaelic Sea scored her first consignment shop finds this weekend.

(1) Barlow 16 winch for the mast for $10.  I have one on sb side and wanted a match for the port side.  It's missing lower pawls, but I can get replacement parts.

(2) Two stainless bow chocks (much bigger than the broken ones they are replacing) for $8 each.

Saw a winch handle for $3, but it was mislabeled so it had to stay. 
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 28, 2010, 07:47:18 AM
Yesterday, for his schoolwork lesson, my son (age 5) had to write a list of ways he could be helpful.  Here are the first three items on his list:

At least we are finally getting some projects done.  Will post some pictures soon.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 01, 2011, 10:05:17 AM
New Chapter opens for the Crew of Gaelic Sea:

While we feel SOME sadness about this change, it is seen at the moment as being 'for the best.'

We've realized that some of our boat restoration cannot be easily done while living aboard and that, at the moment, the best course is to move 'ashore' for a time.

We plan to put the boat on the hard for about a year.  It's been quite a while (probably at least a decade) since she's had a GOOD drying out, and we will have the opportunity to strip everything out of the interior to get things done...without the two hours of moving everything before and after any given project.   ;)

We have found a place to rent that will give me a place to work in all weather and store some of our gear to be handy.

We are not "running" from living aboard...this is not because of any pressing stress of the lifestyle.  We've toyed with moving ashore over the past 3 years on occasion because of that stress, but this time it is driven by several other practicalities.  This makes the decision easier.   ;)  If we WERE changing because we could not handle living aboard, I think we'd feel even more sadness and a sense of 'shame.'  Or something. 

The push is driven not only by needed to get some work done on the boat that has proven difficult while living aboard, but also some issues here at the marina.  I'll detail these later after we are actually "out."

In part I offer this to anyone considering getting a project boat and living aboard while fixing 'er up.  It's darn hard, at least with a family.  It CAN be done; but then again, even the Pardeys and Martins move ashore occasionally, and I think the boat needs this break, too.  In the long run, I think she'll get in cruising 'trim' far sooner.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on August 01, 2011, 10:04:00 PM
Does not sound like defeat to me, more like a strategic withdraw in preparation for going cruising!

Good luck in a speedy refit, and may the splash date come much sooner then you can even imagine!

Looks like I will finish that delivery in the next couple weeks... the boat is headed to the Sheraton docks right across from your current slip.

You guys still going to be nearby?

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on August 01, 2011, 10:30:45 PM
Agree, sounds like a good plan. Looking forward to hearing about the progress.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 02, 2011, 07:39:45 AM

Looks like I will finish that delivery in the next couple weeks... the boat is headed to the Sheraton docks right across from your current slip.

You guys still going to be nearby?

We will be in the area...depends on when you get here if the boat is here or in the boatyard.  We probably won't haul before 1 Sep or so.

After the haul-out, we are likely going to be in that marina...but that will be next year some time...unless a LOT changes here at this marina.

You should still have my cell phone number; if not, PM me.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea" Weathers Hurricane Irene
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 29, 2011, 08:14:30 PM
Our Power out 40 hours (MUCH less than I was anticipating), though we do have friends that are looking at Thursday at the earliest.  We rather enjoyed the warmth of candlelight.


New Bern was not hit too terribly bad on the whole, given the western edge of the eyewall was only about 20 miles or so to the east (per radar image on Saturday, anyway).  One part of town, which happens to be the area where I anchored my boat, got hit a LOT harder than we did here...2--3 miles away as the crow flies.

Even at that, I've thankfully seen very few homes with wind/tree damage.  We have several friends and acquaintances with waterfront property whose homes got water intrusion.

One coworker of my wife lives in Aurora and they got blasted...she said driving back toward New Bern, each mile was lesser damage.  She's essentially describing the very steep decreasing gradient of wind speed from the eyewall over land, and the eyewall did not miss her by much (if really at all).

Docks at our marina were essentially destroyed.  Before the storm, they evac'd C Dock, but A and B remained quite full since they essentially moved C dock boats to vacated slips on A and B.  The fixed portions of A and B lifted pilings completely out of the ground.  Yesterday the marina staff would not let those of us who left to return, and today, they've ordered all liveaboards still in the marina out (no electricity).


In that picture you can see the pilings sitting ON the ground.  I saw one slip piling leaning at about a 30 deg angle and the boat it was tied to sitting crosswise in the slip.  I was told, but did not see myself, that two finger docks on A dock were broken loose.

I was told this evening that A Dock was 'destroyed.'

One boat on B dock sank.  I asked the owner of this boat on Friday if he was moving out, and he said he did not have an anchor suitable to anchor out in a storm.


One furler unfurled and the sail is shreds.

High water mark at the marina was just inches shy of the parking lot - that's over a 2 ft seawall and up another 1 foot or so rise above the highest I've seen the water.  The seawall is just the other side of the sidewalk.


Another marina just upstream from 'ours' had a dock completely destroyed and a boat sunk.  They have a boat yard, too, and at least one boat was blown of the stands.  The other boat yard in town, the one everyone tells me to run to for a hurricane had three boats blown over, with one of those taking out the boat next to it.  I had three friends in the yard (two in the water and one on the hard), and they all fared fine.

The ONLY damage I have personal knowledge of for anchored boats is shredded sails.  Two boats in the city anchorage appear to have drug, but they seemed to have been neglected in terms of preparation for the storm.  Several friends and acquaintances anchored out and fared just fine.

One sail boat was partially sunk and blown against the high rise bridge concrete piling.  I don't know if she was anchored or clue.

I've seen two boats essentially in trees,


 one in the marsh  (well aground),


lots of destroyed private docks, but lots that fared fine, too.  It seems MOST of the dock damage around town was 'surge' related, and it seems to me quite a variability in the 'set' of the pilings.  Some held, some didn't.

One friend had his Boston Whaler on the trailer in his yard.  Sunday morning, the boat, trailer and all, were gone.  It was found a few houses down.

My boat did fine at anchor...stayed right where I put her. 



The two x's are Friday, before the storm (east wind), and Monday morning (0.5 knot downriver current, 180 deg ish from how she laid on Friday).  The X's are separated by 265 ft (per Chart Navigator), which is double the anchor rode I had out.

I will post a separate 'anchor' thread outlining what I did, what I did GOOD, and I did NO-SO-GOOD, etc. 

Here she is riding in about 30 knots with gusts still mid-40's at about 17:00 on Saturday afternoon.  Low fidelity cell phone pic, but you can see the white blob on the river,


And if I zoom in with The Gimp,


She was about a quarter mile upriver from a yacht club, and the folks hanging out there during the storm said they'd been watching her the whole time, and that it was just amazing how she stayed right there.  A few times, they thought she was gone, but it was just that the rain was so heavy, they lost visibility...each time it lightened back up, there she remained.  Yea Manson Supreme!!

Several large cypress branches (and one smallish hardwood!) were massively tangled around the anchor lines.  You can make them out in the zoomed image.  It proved to be quite an athletic endeavor to free these in the 1 knot or so current the next day.

Here she is as I approached on Sunday,


She looked, and felt, aground, but that proved an artifact of the limbs tangled in the anchor line.  And the water aboard.

The only problem I had was failure of my primary bilge pump and unknown to me (the primary keeps water from getting to it), the wires had broken on the secondary.  Water in the cabin came about 10" above the cabin sole (the floorboards were floating).  Hooking a freshly charged spare battery to the operational secondary (and repositioning it) took an hour to pump the water out...that's a Rule 1500, plus the 100-150 or so gallons I initially hand bailed with a bucket.

Had I been aboard, I could have attended to the pumps (or used one of the manuals) and kept the water out.

Other than "a bit" of water inside, no other problems for the boat.  I sounded 9 feet where she was today, and since she was only a couple of inches down, she was was still afloat. VERY sluggish feeling, but still afloat.

This morning I moved her back to town, the so-called "city anchorage," to wait her next step.  The boat yard I wanted to haul in got hit pretty hard, and are presently 'offline,'  We'll see.

So, which is better for a boat...marina slip, hauled at a yard or anchored out?

Of our three docks, the one that fared best was C, which had only two boats left on it.  A Dock had all the 'big boats' and was the most damaged.  Coincidence?
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Godot on August 29, 2011, 09:28:36 PM
Is good.  I survived Irene at dock (for me, practically a non event, fortunately); but I'm always interested in what others do in different situations.  After all, next time I might not be in such an excellent location.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on August 30, 2011, 07:28:20 PM
Glad you made it though John!

  The USCG boat right across the River (where I was) registered a gust of 121 mph.

Just a 'SailFar' note; the bridge John had to go under was '45 high... Hurricane hole? SaillFar boats only thanks.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 30, 2011, 07:42:09 PM

Just a 'SailFar' note; the bridge John had to go under was '45 high... Hurricane hole? SaillFar boats only thanks.

 ;D ;D

And chalk one up to CCA era low aspect rigs, too.  Many modern 30 footers with high aspect rig would not have cleared that bridge.  Coming back into town yesterday, I had 2 feet or a little less between my anchor light and steel.

I like options.  Options are very cool. And Carl Alberg gave me a TON of 'em.  I become more amazed in what he put into that design every single time I have that boat under way.

Thanks, Carl.

(Note: However, Carl's original design for the A-30 was for a taller mast and a fractional rig.  I think it was the folks who commissioned the design wanted a masthead rig, and the mast position was already fixed, so the only way to do it was to shorten the mast.  This past week, I was the lucky recipient of that accident in the A-30's ultimate design).
Title: More Drama Than I Like on a Simple Delivery
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 05, 2011, 08:11:57 PM
If this were an article needing a "snappy" title to grab readers, it accureately enough might be any of the following:

"One of the Stupidest Days of My Life"
"When a Hypocrite Takes the Tiller"
"SINO: Sail Boat in Name Only"
"Luck Favors the Prepared, and Sometimes Smiles on the Others"
"No One Thing ... A Series of Poor Judgements"

This is an account of the recent delivery of my boat to the boat yard where she will live for the next few months.  It was a 14 hour (about 60 nm) trip, so not really "big" by any stretch; this is doable in a single day (obviously), but I planned two with an overnight stop at an anchorage I had heard a lot about but had never visited.

The short version for anyone not wanting the gory details:

Day 1: about 29 miles, 8 hours underway, followed by a 1.5 hour dinghy ride.  Sails up and drawing for about a 15 minute motorsail.
Day 2: A 1.5 hour dinghy ride to get back to the boat, then about 28 miles in 6 hours.

Navigation Philosophy of This Trip:

(Disclaimer: I don't claim to have some sort of monopoly on this info/experience, as I know this is essentially the philosophy of most sailfarers).

Part of the "thesis" of this write-up is to outline the application of, and practice of, 'traditional' navigation techniques.  The GPS was used only as the following:

Compass for the dink (I did not have a hand bearing compass with me)

Ship's compass course calibration to account for current set and the compass being "off" on some courses (I think anchoring from the cockpit is a good idea, but it does introduce a large junk of steel near the compass).

Speed Log (speed over ground)

Record of Track to make the 'pretty chart pictures' below.


The GPS was NOT used to sail directly to waypoints entered into the unit.  That is, all course steering was done via either (a) following a compass course (sometimes for a period of time) or via visuals on navigation aids / shore features where visible/useful.  Also, my GPS is a non-mapping kind unit.  To use as a 'chart plotter' to show where I am on a chart, I need to interface it to my laptop (with SeaClear II).  The laptop was not aboard, so I had no real time chartplotting capability, and no 'real' reference to position in regard to depth.

My depth sounder was aboard, but not hooked up to either power or the transducer.

Course-to-steer was estimated from a paper chart..."from here to there looks like about 120 degrees True, so about about 130 degrees Mag."  I have a course plotter, but did not use it.  Distances on the chart were estimated using 'human digit dividers' and finger thicknesses and such as compared to the lines of latitude (on the chart I was using, each minute was drawn, so I had a handy 1 nm reference).  Again, I have a pair of dividers, but chose not to get them out.

Several times, for example to make sure I was avoiding shoaly areas, I ran Ded Reckoning runs of 1-2 minutes to a half hour.  In these cases, I estimated a "safe distance to run a given direction" from a known point (such as a Navigation Aid), computed how long I needed to go from my speed (usually very rough 'in the head' calculation) and timed my run.  For timing, I used either my cell phone clock to the GPS clock.  Or just counted "1 one thousand" for however long I needed...

I hope to show that these crude methods for getting courses and distances proved adequate in THIS context.  What I would like to also say is that this style of navigation required a TON of concentration and CONSTANT double checking.  I had several runs of 1-2 hours on one compass course, and even within that window, I was continuously looking for 'updates' to position.  I did several "eyeball" triangulations on marks that I COULD see (even when out of sight of the 'target' Aid to Navigation), shore features when I could see them, etc.

I can see why so many folks prefer GPS chartplotting and having the sounder on constantly.  I'm not criticizing that style of navigation.  What I did for two day was hard work and mentally exhausting.  It was exasperated by the fact that several Aids were missing or damaged (so as to be difficult to identify).  Some of these marked shoals and other hazards.  If you are used to doing eyeball navigation, NOT being able to see a pilotage feature you hoped/expected to rely upon can be quite disconcerting.  Many of these, though not all, were listed in the LNM, which I did NOT look at before embarking on this trip.

The problem I see with 'practicing' electronic navigation as a matter of course, even if 'traditional methods' are known by the skipper, is exactly the reason most folks seem to take the easy way.  What I mean is, if/when the GPS (or sounder, or both) fail, doing it 'the old way' is so much more difficult that I fear, at least for ME were I to NOT practice it as a matter of routine, I would NOT be up to the task...especially if other things were going wrong.

A good pair of binoculars is worth their weight in gold.  I REALLY like our set, but they are not image stabilized.  Image stabilization might make things 'easier,' but again, I'd hate to build a reliance on such and have it fail when I was used to it.   Using any pair of binoculars in the seas I had on the 3rd is going to be tough.

03 Sep, 2011:

This day was a Comedy of Errors...or at lest, a comedy of delays.  It turned out okay, but could have been really bad.  I will remember this day as one of the stupidest days of my life, insofar as I made not one, but a series of very poor judgments that could well have ended catastrophically.  I remain amazed at this phenomenon...even when we know better, and KNOW inside we are making a bad choice, we do it anyway.  I also remain convinced that it is often a series of such mistakes, each compounding the last, that leads to what we call "accidents," rather than any one single thing standing on its own.  It's humbling to reflect on this from the safety of this computer, and hopefully, learn from it.

Got to the boat early to do preps for leaving the marina permanently.  Needed a couple of things from West Marine, and since they did not open until 9 am, the XO decided to go there for me while I left to get to the boat at 7.  I thought it was an early start.  I did not leave the dock until a touch after 11:30.  Get chores done, getting the holding tank pumped out, even short dock-talks with friends/neighbors add up, and finally pulled out from the dock nearly two hours after I had planned.

Coupled with that delay was the decision, to save time, to NOT bend on the sails.  I had hoped to sail/motor sail, but there was no wind and the forecast was for "light and variable," at least for town.  To my mind, at the time, it didn't make sense to take additional time sitting at the dock.  I had planned on a six-ish hour trip and had fuel for 10 (in emergency mode, as some of that would be fuel for the dink).  If it took 6 - 7 hours to my anchorage, I'd be there 1.5 hours before dark and should have no problem getting back to Oriental by dinghy, where I planned to get picked up.

The late start was to be the first of my "mistakes" for the day; not having the sails on and ready to go, while probably neutral overall, was the second mistake that I am counting.  It just would have been easier/nicer to have the sails ready to go rather than trying to deal with that underway.  Thus starts the trajectory of a day mismanaged that culminated in a very dangerous and unprofessional "stunt."

The third mistake was psychological: didn't want to stop in Oriental..wanted to make it to South River.  It's a bit further 'down the road,' and I've spent enough time in Oriental.  I wanted something different...something 'more adventurous.'  Setting a goal is fine, but on the water, goals must be flexible.  That was another mistake.

The first couple of hours was uneventful enough.  I throttled back to save fuel but still maintained 4 - 4.25 knots over ground.  This was a sad show of just how dirty the bottom of the boat must be.  At that throttle setting, I should have been at 5 knots or at least over 4.5.

As the breeze filled in from a favorable direction, I decided to bite the bullet and bend on the Genoa.  Catching the beam-on winds with the genny would give me a nice lift to the 4.0 the iron jib provided, plus I was due to make a turn to bring the breeze a bit broader off.  I also figured if it stayed settled, I could always bend on the main and get more area up.  I was willing to work a little for any extra fraction of a knot, but had no delusions that I'd be sailing sans engine.

What's that saying about a schedule being a sailor's worst enemy?  Yep.

Oh, picture this:  I was bending on the genny, working on the foredeck that is, with no lifelines and no bow pulpit.  I got to test my "I don't mind working on the foredeck' stance that I rant about.  I did wear a life jacket, so I if I did go overboard I could merrily stay afloat while watching the boat motor away from me.  I had my harness and tether...but chose not to use 'em.  The line I planned on using for a jackline was a tangled mess on the side deck next to the cockpit.  Why rig a jackline at the dock?  There was no wind and the water was like a mirror.

Luck favors the prepared, and I sure made my own luck in my lack of preparations.  I would have deserved anything that thankfully did not happen.

Anyway, mere minutes after raising the sail and expressing great joy at the additional boat speed I was getting...and having sail up on the boat at long last...the wind shifted dead on the nose and built.  And built.  And built.  It probably topped out at 15 knots or so, so it does not sound TOO bad.  But for some reason, two things happened that killed my boat speed.  First, as I rounded bends in the river, the wind stayed on the nose.  This river is wide enough that it should not so effectively "channel" the wind like that.  Second, the wind, though not excessive, built some of those nasty, steep sided white caps the Neuse is known for.  Remember this afternoon on "medium small"  ( winds and seas lighter than what I was having off Flanner Beach.

Motoring head-on into that garbage took its boat speed hit 2.0 knots a few times, and I was HAPPY to keep it at 3.5 knots for any period of time.  So much for making good progress and having any cushion of daylight at the end of the day's trip.

Well, that was not a cushion at all, really.  I was looking at a long (1+ hour) dinghy ride to my pick-up.  I was eating into time I really needed.

And it did not let up...the winds stayed on the nose and the seas stayed "up," for quite a while, 3-4 hours, though after about 2 hours it did seem to be settling down into something a little better.  By the 3 hour mark, I was probably sitting on 3-5-3.8 knots more than under 3.5...I rejoiced over every 0.1 knot over the ground.

What was fun was getting the sail down.  By the time I realized that the wind was going to stay on the nose no matter my 'ideal' course, the bow was pitching about four vertical feet on the larger seas.  Again, this is not extreme, but no pulpit, no lifelines.  That said, while it was a bit of a roller coaster, I never felt insecure up there, and I credit that to being "used" to working on the foredeck and denying the "rather stay in the cockpit" mindset we read so much about.  So much of being effective is mental preparation.

This section of the trip was further complicated by the number of missing Aids to Navigation.  It was not really a super complication, as it's not really hard to stay in the middle-ish of the river, but still...having made the trip up/down the river several times, those Aids are like familiar landmarks on a road trip.  It became more of a fascination with the concept of reality vs expectation than any real cause for concern navigation-wise.

By the time I got past the Minnesott and approach Oriental on one side and Adam's Creek on the other, I knew I was getting light on time.  I had three options:  press on for South River, detour to Adam's Creek or head into Oriental.  The latter two options would save me an additional 7 ish miles (at a mean boatspeed now of about 4.3 knots, nearly two hours).  Going into Oriental would mean no dinghy trip except for 100 yards max from the boat to the dinghy dock.  Adam's Creek represented a few miles up the Creek to find the anchorage I would, the dinghy ride back to Oriental.

I COULD call me crew and have them pick me up somewhere else.  I COULD stay on the boat and not have to dinghy anywhere after anchoring.  I COULD have made better choices.  I CHOSE to press on for South River.  This was a BAD CALL, and though it worked out alright, I cannot deny that it was a bad decision.  I don't believe the merit of a decision is based on the's right or wrong at the time it was made. This was a bad decision and I KNEW at the time it was a bad decision.  Why did I do it, then?

Emotional decision making does not work for me.  I WANTED to get to South River.  I did NOT want to anchor at Oriental.  This mistake, coupled with the next bad decision, could have easily gotten me killed.

Making the leg from Oriental to South River "funner" was the missing marks on G7 (a shoal marker); the piles were there, the mark was not.

I pulled into the South River anchorage (a beautiful spot, by the way, and one I hope to revisit with my crew in the not-too-distant future) around 19:30, with less than 30 minutes of true daylight left.  I got the anchor set and stuff stowed in 'record time,' and hopped in the dink.  

The day's run:


Title: More Drama Than I Like, Part II
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 05, 2011, 08:12:08 PM
03 September, 2011 (cont.)

Hopped in the dink a bit before 20:00, meaning I had already been "working" for 13 hours.

The sky was red with sunset and I knew I'd have SOME twilight left.

It was not enough, of course....over 7 nm on a dink going on average about 5.3 knots (I hit 6.1 once for a few seconds with a following wave) takes almost an hour and a half.  I had no lights on the dinghy.  So, there I was, crossing a body of water that is cut by the ICW and full of nighttime fishing boats, in the dark (only a crescent moon) with no nav lights.

In a word...stupid.

And I knew at the time it was stupid.

Still, I risked it.

I realized quickly enough (when a small fishing boat on the shoals temporarily put their running lights on to make sure I saw them...they probably could HEAR me more than see me if their engine was off) that the "Color Flashlight" app I have on my phone could work as SOMETHING to signal other boats as to my presence.  I could make the light red to show a red sidelight, green for the other, and white for a stern light.

It worked!  The boat killed their running lights seconds after I showed them my "red."

I did this a few other times with other boats...leaving it off until I 'needed' it to conserve the battery.  I was constantly switching the color red, green, white, depending on the most immediate situation.

The worst was that I ran out of gas more or less in front of an approaching commercial vessel, several hundred feet long, and not unlike the one Charlie reported on recently.  I got fueled up and sorted out who/what he was (I did NOT like seeing white over a red/green combo from an unlit dinghy at night), and which direction he was going.  I showed him my "light" as best I could and motored off the track as best I could.  

Oh yeah, did I mention that I left the VHF on the boat, thinking at the time that I won't need it for a 'quick dinghy run across the river'?  Stupid mistake number...what number am I up to, now?

I could not even call that guy bridge to bridge!  

While I was not really "scared" in that circumstance, I was cussing my own judgment for the evening.  I could not believe that I had put myself into that position, and so strongly with not one but MANY poor decisions.  If he ran me over, he would have never felt a bump, and it would have been in no way, shape or form, his fault.  Blame rests on my shoulders for even having a 'closer than it should have been' call, which in reality was not THAT close...but close enough.  Closer than I like, given the "Rule of Tonnage."

Anyway, to the punchline: I made into Oriental without further incident, showing my improvised lights as needed.  I did not know it was really working for anything, but I had to do SOMETHING.  On shore, my wife said she could, in fact, see the light from quite a ways off, and she had a pretty strong feeling that the 'erratic' light she saw was me due to the behavior of the light.  She could even tell it was green or white.

The only downside was that it KILLED my night vision, but oh well.  I tried to preserve it as much as possible.

Coming into Oriental was a bit nerve wracking since the entrance is a 'choke point' and the Saturday night boat traffic was heavy enough for my taste.  This included a tow boat pulling in a disabled power boater.  I was particularly ashamed at having such a gross breach of seamanship in full view of pros like the barge captain and the tow boat skipper.  Oh well.

Also, about halfway across, with about 3 miles to go, the GPS started giving me "battery low" messages, and I knew the battery on my phone was getting dead in a hurry running that flashlight.  Neither died, but I sure hate using/relying on such electron hungry tools.
Title: Finally, a Lower Drama Day (Part III)
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 05, 2011, 08:12:23 PM
04 September, 2011:

Well, I exercised a little better seamanship the second day.

Upon arriving back at Oriental, I saw s/v Saga, sailfar-er "Cruise", anchored in the harbor in a picturesque setting.  (I had seen her the night before, also, but not a good photo op).


Hoped in the dink, and after breezing by to introduce myself to Cruise, heading back across the river to the anchored boat.

At this point, a fair question is "why not just stay on the boat."  I thought about it, the XO thought about calling and suggesting it, but it wasn't done.  What can I say?

I *DID* need to go ashore to get fuel, though.  Since leaving the boat at anchor was always part of the "float plan" for this trip, I did not bring enough fuel the first day for both days.  What spending the night on the boat could have purchased, however, was not doing that dinghy ride in the dark.

So, the dinghy ride was 3 hours round trip.  


Notice how much "cleaner" the daytime track is.  This is the view from the dink on the way out...nothing like the feeling of being on open water in a 9.5 ft open boat.


Got to the boat and underway with no mishaps...just a bunch of oozey mud brought up with the chain.  South River is a nice anchorage.  There's TONS of room in there.

Toodled out of the anchorage, stayed due north out of the gate to be sure clear of a shoal, and eyeballed the chart for a heading to R6.  Followed that course and over the next leg, slowly made adjustments to cut the leg over to R4; that's why that part of the track (the first long leg) looks a bit curved).  We hear a lot about how rough Pamlico Sound can get.  This is what I saw Sunday morning, and you can see why, again, I did not bother putting any sail up.


I never did lay eyeballs on R6, though there is nothing in the LNM about it being missing.  Picked up R4 in the binoculars and ran what was roughly parallel to the (imaginary, since R6 was not there) line between the two to gain clearance around.  

This guy came around R4 a few minutes before I got there, and this was a similar vessel (tug pushing a barge) to what I saw last night on the the dark...without my showing proper lights.  Recall that for a few minutes, I saw white over red/green (though he was still a bit off, any time seeing white over red/green makes me nervous).


The next leg was another compass course with the heading eyeballed from the chart.  Ran that leg until getting R2 and NR (Neuse River Junction) in sight through the binoculars.  Cut the shoal between them (chart read 9-11 ft and I chose to trust it), heading for the entrance to the Bay River.  At G1 of the Bay River, met a USCG work boat, and dodged farther north to give 'em plenty of that thing was plowing up some water making way.

Navigation of the Bay River was mostly straightforward, but I was cautious to not run mark-to-mark, since they mark bends and that can get me aground.  It's important to pass a mark, keep a heading for a time, then start the turn to the take the other one a bit wide.  The hardest one to find was G5, as it was completely lost in the woods behind until I was fairly close, but fortunately, staying center river is a pretty good strategery.



I do see one error in the recorded track;  my shown track is wrong between R8, the white private aid, G9 and R10.  I passed that White Private Aid with it to starboard and threaded through that section.  Oh well...other than that, the track looks pretty accurate based on what I remember doing at the time.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 06, 2011, 11:45:43 AM
I should point out, too, just for completeness, that a window of opportunity opened for this trip that I did not realize I had.  I basically planned this trip Friday, less than 24 hours from leaving the dock.

Schedules and sailboats don't mix...
Title: Rainy Day Project
Post by: Captain Smollett on September 25, 2011, 02:59:34 PM
Nice thing about having a "shop" to work in (for a change) is actually getting work done on rainy days.  We've had 3 solid days of rain with more due to come.

Yesterday, I got a wooden ladder built to take to the boat yard.

Today, I got the LopoLight LED Bow Light Combo dry fit to the pulpit.

The stock A-30 has separate side lights mounted on the deck.  Though I could have 'dropped in' replacement LED's,

(a) I wanted to get them higher (and more forward)...out of the way of the headsail when on deck and less protrusions to snag lines


(b) I liked the idea of a single fixture.

So, I had a small stainless plate welded to the 'nose' of the pulpit, and mounted the LopoLight Combo Light there:



And for those that had seen Gaelic Sea's pulpit with the damaged stanchion, you'll notice in those pictures that that has been repaired as well.

One of the best 'contacts' one can make while doing a boat restoration is a good welder.  The dude I go to has custom fabricated several parts for me now, and he does GREAT work at a reasonable price.   ;)

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 08, 2011, 09:09:11 PM
Haul-Out/Refit Update:  The things you find when you REALLY clean a boat.

Some may remember that we had some under waterline plumbing issues that needed addressing.  Well, I finally chose to tackle it.

The issue was that a PO had plumbed the cockpit drains and deck drains together, in this weird crossing pattern with misaligned "T" fitting, and, well, yes, it WAS as complicated as this description is starting to sound.

I prefer the cleanliness of KISS designs, even in the boat's plumbing.  So, I set about ripping all that stuff out.

Here's a shot of PART of ONE SIDE worth of fittings.  This is not everything in the chain, and most of this was below waterline:


Basically, the gist is that we had a through-hull fitting (old style), a screwed on ball valve (old style, not flanged), a short piece of hose, a reducing fitting, another piece of hose, a T, etc.  All below waterline.

The reducer and the T were not "marine" components.

In fact, I almost cried when I realized what this was:


That's the reducer, but...well, it reduced too much and the hose must not have fit properly (must not have been able to tighten the hose clamp enough), SO....the person wrapped the undersized hose barbs with ordinary electrical tape (!) to bulk it up, installed the hose and tightened the clamp.


Again, under the waterline.

I do have to say that it did not leak (much?), but, but, it's just wrong.

Why not just use the CORRECT fittings and hose?  Yes, poop from Lowe's IS cheaper than marine grade, but, but ...   ::)

Not once, but twice this was done.

Moving aft, after cleaning out the laz, I inspected the through-hull fitting with the attached hose from the bilge pump.

Again, after a layer or two of size changes for the hose to get things to fit, I saw this little gem of marine engineering:


Now, if you look closely there, you can see what was done.  The hose, even after the adapter to increase its size, did not fit the existing through-hull fitting.  So, we once again made a trip to the local hardware establishment and got an ordinary pipe coupling.

And simply caulked it to the through-hull fitting.   :o

Admittedly, this one was above the water line, but again....just wrong.

If it had failed, it's close enough to the water line to have flooded the boat in ANY kind of waves...

I thought I had found all this second-rate stuff on the boat.  Sad that I'm still getting surprised.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 08, 2011, 09:23:11 PM
And on the subject specifically of cleaning the boat out, I remain completely amazed at just how much stuff/junk this boat can hold.

Just cleaning out the two cockpit lockers (previously PARTIALLY emptied) and the lazarette, I generated enough garbage to fill a large contractor bag so heavy I could hardly lift it.  I mean literally hardly
lift the bag.

Included in this was about 5 lbs of rust I scooped out with my hand.  This was from an old anchor chain that had sat in there for years (chain previously removed)

That's just what I threw away!   :o   ::)

Among the items kept (all in those three aforementioned lockers, and this does NOT include the stuff already removed from the cockpit lockers):

3 Sections of VERY large diameter (1 inch or nearly so, I'll to measure it) dock line, one 30 ft, one 60 ft and one 70 feet long.

Two extension cords (one what thrown away)

Three Type II Adult PFD's

A small mooring buoy, inflated

Two buckets of miscellaneous tools and fiberglassing supplies

An old furling headsail from another boat

About 7 pieces of miscellaneous line, various sizes and lengths

A box of various supplies, such as two quart size 2 cycle oil, funnels, etc.

A third shore power cord

A small container of SS screws, washers and nuts

Each time to the boat in the yard over the past three weeks, I've brought back an SUV load of stuff (some garbage, some keeper). What I've KEPT has probably totaled equivalent to 4-5 large rubber maid size container fulls at least.  Well, more than that counting our containers of clothes and food that were already "organized."

The boat is not empty yet.

No, I'm convinced that 30 feet is PLENTY large enough for a family of four to live (and cruise) on...if the junk is kept at bay.

You simply would have to see it to believe it how much has come off this boat.  Anyone saying 30 feet is too small is defining that differently than "available volume."  The issue is "how is the space used" not "is there enough."

Just plain WOW.

Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: skylark on October 09, 2011, 08:44:49 AM
That is truly frightening.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Oldrig on October 09, 2011, 07:28:38 PM
Have you looked closely at the wiring?
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 09, 2011, 08:46:47 PM
Have you looked closely at the wiring?

Yes.  One of the first big projects I did was install bus bars and redo some of the wiring around the distribution panel(s), and other has been redone as needed over time. 

I've still got a few additional wiring related things that need doing.

Most of the issues seem to be really really shoddy glass work; this latest bit with the plumbing was a real surprise.  I just NEVER expected to see that.

(On the bilge pump through hull, I've even looked at it before, and I don't know, I guess with stuff in the laz I just did not notice that's what it was.  I've got to eat some culpability on that, since I did not pick it up the first SEVERAL times I saw it...)
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: s/v Faith on October 09, 2011, 09:21:56 PM
I recall thinking that the cockpit drains were awfully slow (even after I would clear them out).

Now I know why.  :o

Wow, good thing you have a good haul out cycle before going too far off shore!
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 09, 2011, 10:55:15 PM
Way back when, I found a resume from a PO of this boat...with all kinds of boatyard experience listed and a cover letter to a new yard hoping to get a job.

Now, *IF* (big if, I have no idea) he's the guy that did all this stuff to THIS boat, God help anyone for whom he has worked.

I truly thought I could not be surprised anymore; before, most of the stuff could be categorized as "ignorant."  These new discoveries are purt-near willful negligence.

I just hope whoever did it no longer owns a boat, is not within 200 miles of anyone else's boat, doesn't even THINK about boats ....

I will say the path is an interesting one.  All of this is forcing me to make sure I do The Best Job I Can Do (tm). It's a karma thing; this boat deserves a full reversal of her fortunes.  Not sure I'm up to THAT task.  She's like a whipped dog or abused horse.

I've got to earn her step at a time.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 16, 2011, 09:45:21 PM
Tackled a neat little project today.

The original A-30 had the lifeline stanchions mounted in a slight 'depression' molded into the deck.  Here's a shot from last May after the stanchion base was removed that shows how the base-deck interface is a "low spot:"


I've never liked that arrangement; instead, I prefer the newer approach a lot of guys are doing: deck hardware is installed on small "pads" that are used to raise the hardware so that it is NOT a low point where water can accumulate (and stay for a while).

The first step in making this improvement was to glass over the depression.  Into the depression, I laid in several layers of 6 oz cloth with epoxy and then faired over to make it smooth with the deck.

But,that introduced another will water "get around" the base and pad...fore and aft of the stanchion base, the deck right along the molded in toe rail is lower than the non-skid on the deck...not just lower because it's not non-skid, but molded lower.

So, today I finally 'solved' this problem.  I set the stanchion base and riser pad in from the toe rail a bit, then routed in a 'gutter' to make a free channel between the base and the toe rail.  I used a Dremel tool with a drum sander to rough in the gutter, then hand sanded to finish smooth.

It turned out better than I figured I could do.  Shown here is the faired smooth area of deck and the 'gutter' along the toe rail:


(It looks better than this picture seems to show...I had to sand away some gelcoat to get to good glass underneath, and that's faired the picture, it looks like that's still exposed, but it's not).

And here's how it will look when assembled:


Again, the pictures don't do it justice...maybe after it's all painted it will look better.

All that's left is:

Drill oversized holes
Fill with epoxy
Drill proper sized holes
Epoxy in riser pads
Epoxy in backing plates (3/8" Garolite)
Bed and Install Base

Also installed two of the four riser pads for the pulpit bases on the bow pulpit, and next time out will epoxy in the other two.  Then it will be backer plates for those bases and the pulpit will be done,

Once the riser pads for the two foremost stanchion bases and the pulpit are in place, I've got one more round of sanding (did what should be the last batch of fairing today as well) before...

I FINALLY get to start "finish" work on the foredeck!   ;D  I'll epoxy in my play sand for non-skid, the prime and paint.

YAHOO!!   ;D

(This has been a LONG time coming)

Once the pulpit is in place, too, I'll get to start finishing the mahogany anchor the main piece rough cut, but need the pulpit in place to "finish" to make sure things line up properly.

It's a LOT more fun putting things together ....
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Tim on October 16, 2011, 10:38:15 PM
Oh Great! Now another project for the Ariel  >:(

I am never going to get to the painting  ::)

Looks good, definitely an improvement.
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Captain Smollett on October 25, 2011, 07:50:43 PM
I keep finding silicone on the boat, and I keep finding damage nearby.  Coincidence?

Part I:  "Silicone is NOT filler"

The foredeck had a mounting base for a spinnaker pole, though where it was and the angle it was, the pole could only have been about 4 feet long.  But I digress.

I'm making a custom whisker pole, and the jaws that I bought don't fit in the existing base.  It needed to come off anyway so I could 'complete' the foredeck restoration.

When I removed it, I found another one of those 'molded in' depressions, like mentioned above for the stanchion bases.  The only problem was that the pole bracket was larger than the depression.

What was done?

Why, fill the whole enchilada with silicone, that's what.  

24 grit on an 11,000 rpm angle grinder got rid of it (along with the gel coat under it) and got me down to bare glass.  Today, I glassed over the depression and will fair it tomorrow.

(2) "The Case of the Delaminated Forehatch Cover

My boat came with one of those solar powered vents installed on the forehatch cover.  It doesn't work (though possibly could be fixed), and I've never liked it anyway.  The dang jib sheets almost always get tangled on it during a tack.


I finally decided to remove it and glass over the hole.


It was thoroughly bedded with silicone.


And yes, it leaked.

And yes, the forehatch cover IS delaminated because of it.

DIE, Silicone...DIE.    >:( >:(   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Alberg 30 "Gaelic Sea"
Post by: Frank on October 25, 2011, 08:18:44 PM
I'm surprised you think that way.....Craig loves the stuff

kiddin  :o