Sailing day 2

Nice day out on the lake. Wind 5-8 knots. We had the original genoa up. Like the main it’s quite serviceable. I think I’ll put the newer sails in storage for the time being.

We sailed upwind for a while then put up the big spinnaker for the trip back.

Rigging with the sprit seems straightforward. About the only major change I’m thinking about is having slugs put on the main. I don’t think I’ll install furling.

Boat handles very well, and feels fast. I’m really pleased and excited. It was nice having Samantha and Sarah here for the maiden sail. They like the boat.

Next on the to-do list is installation of electronics. I brought the radar and MFD from Mazurka, and have a new autopilot and VHF. Ockam system is working, but I need to invest some time in understanding and calibration. Not sure about integration of wind and autopilot, but not fussed if it doesn’t happen.

The cockpit is quite comfortable for lying in athwartships, kind of where Sarah and Samantha are in this pic. I can imagine napping there.

PHRF resolved

The committee met, and offered a rating of 48 that includes the use of the water ballast. The rating without is 78. The declaration is for the season.

I took the 48. It was harder than I thought. It’s going to be hard sailing to that rating. But looking at the fleet maybe I can be first to finish. I’m in the Superior division with the big guys. That’d be fun. It’s better that sailing slower to ‘optimize’ the rating.


Samantha and Sarah arrived around noon, and after helping me with a few things like getting the rudder seal installed we went sailing.

Sarah tried to smash a bottle of bubbly wine on the bow, but it just dented the boat :-).

We sailed off the dock under main, noodled around in the turning basin waiting for the bridge to open, then out to the lake. Nice day, west wind around 10 knots.

We put up the older main. Looks fine, think that’ll be the one I use this summer.

On the lake we reached north for a while, turned around and sailed back into the river and to the dock. Didn’t put up any headsails.

Boat sails very well. Lots of stability, and no fuss going through the water.

Tomorrow we’ll do more.

Kingston NY

Mazurka is ashore in Kingston until I go back in late August to bring the boat up to Lake Ontario to complete my loop.

The Hudson is beautiful. I left anchorage right across from the nuclear power plant early to catch a favourable current and had a nice cruise up to Kingston.

I caught an Amtrak train to Toronto, had a visit with family, then a couple of days in NYC with Samantha and Sarah, then loaded up the car with boat stuff and headed for Chicago.


I haven’t talked much about some of the nuts and bolts activity and tools.

I was anchored in this nice little inlet on the Hudson River near Peekskill. Pretty snug in a lagoon about 250 ft wide, well protected except for a small part of the NW quadrant.

I stopped in the evening and spent the next day hunkered down in the rain and SE winds.

The next evening I knew the front was coming through, but I was very protected on three sides. I was reading on the couch about 11 pm when the wind came roaring in from the NW, my vulnerable quadrant. I was swinging around in this little lagoon within about 100 ft of shore. I watched my plot for a while. Anchor was holding firm, as expected. I was using a 20 kg claw on an all rope rode. In 5 ft of water I had about 60 feet out.

I checked radar and forecasts and it didn’t look dire, but as time went by the waves started building. It’s about a mile to the other side of the river there, so enough fetch to send a chop directly into my bay. And it started pouring rain again. Wind was about 25 knots and very gusty.

I almost always sit in my cockpit when it’s raining. There’s a big overhang and at anchor there’s a dry area. I was sitting there watching the little lagoon get more and more angry. The walls were vertical man made, and it was turning into a washing machine. And the wall wasn’t more than 120 feet away. Not much time to respond if I were to start dragging. So I started the motor, sat monitoring the situation, and about 20 minutes later when the rain stopped I decided to get underway.

I knew I could follow my GPS path out of the inlet, and there was a decent looking anchorage on the opposite shore.

This is where I miss having a windlass. It often takes a couple of trips back and forths between the bow and the helm, and I didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver as the shore was maybe 3 boatlengths to leeward. And in a breeze the bow falls off fast. There wasn’t a lot of room for error or mishap.

I did it. Got the adrenaline going 🙂

I anchored in an area on the other side where I had lots of room to swing. Good thing, as the wind shifted through 180 degrees with some major gusts through the night. Here’s my path at anchor.

Whenever I anchor I set both an alarm and tracking on my phone. I generally sleep soundly as long as I have lots of room to swing. But I didn’t sleep well, and was up not long after dawn to head north.


Tin Lizzie is named and afloat.

Today was a flurry of activity. I polished the topsides, then went to get a new valve for the water ballast system. Should have done that earlier. When I got back Phil had the graphics done, and after some fussing around I got them on.

I think it’s perfect.

The yard crew snatched the boat the moment I was done, and gave me an opportunity to touch up the bottom

And splash!

I didn’t get time to swap the valve. Might have to hang the boat to do that. I’ll get to it. But now I can prep for sailing. Samantha and Sarah are coming for a quick visit and a christening sail.

A few more dock shots. Good looking boat.


I unpacked the mast, fixed the broken B&G wind sender, installed a masthead VHF antenna, and got the rig up today.

I’ve been helping out the rigging crew this week. It’s probably the busiest week of the year. Great bunch. One of them I knew 30 years ago as an expert on racing electronics systems. He brought in his test bench and a replacement connector – these are very specialized OEM parts – and fixed the wind indicator on his lunch break. Thanks Mark! I did a fiberglass wrap over the cracked carbon fiber and relocated the wire, and we were done.

I’m constantly shocked at how much money is spent on this sport. A replacement unit is US$1,600 and I’m sure most people would just pop for a replacement. But that’s not the Tin Lizzie way!

Boat will hit the water tomorrow or Friday. Still lots to do, but the path is clear so far. I hope to get the new name on first. If not we’ll pop it out to apply the name later.

The rig is very well done and in good shape. Lots of good lines and hardware. I’m very pleased with the whole package. Nobody has anything good to say about running backs, but I’ve never minded them. I’m not a big fan of swept back spreaders. The setup on TL is very nice, with a checkstay deflector control next to the mainsheet.

I think I’m going to try to build a furling headstay. Will decide next week after doing some sailing. I suspect that the genoa would have to be modified. Maybe the jib too.

Lots of compliments on the boat. I’ve got more cleaning to do but it looks really nice all round. Looking forward to sailing this weekend, maybe with my boat partners if they can make it. We could probably easily smash a bottle on the tin bow 🙂

Getting to know Tin Lizzie

I spent today getting the old graphics off, the rudder in, and some exterior cleaning done. Roamed the ships store making mental lists. The store here is well stocked and can order anything they don’t have. Autopilot should be here in the next couple of days.

I really like the design. There are about 800 sailboats stored ashore here, and I never tire of walking among them. I would stop and admire this boat any time.

Manfred made the radar mount for me and it’s just what I had in mind and nicely finished.

I’m really excited about this. Can’t wait to start sailing. One step at a time…

Thanks to my partners Sarah and Samantha and the good folks at Crowley’s for supporting me in this crazy endeavor!

The Countdown Begins

I’ve just registered for the GLSS race from Chicago to Mackinac Island June 22. Deadline for registration is Monday and there are 24 boats registered as of now.

This is a big challenge, sailing solo in a 300 mile race. But I’ve laid out the steps required and am going to do my best and see how it goes.

The boat is perfect. I feel fortunate to have found it, and the owner/builder was very cooperative and helpful, and cleaned and packed it up nicely. I have some work to do, but it’s manageable. Should be sailing in a week and in a better position to try to refine sails and sail handling. Got the mast off today and all looks to be well put together and in very good shape.


Well, that was painless. Lizzie is now at the yard in Chicago.

This is a major milestone. I’ve been plotting and scheming about this for three months.

I rented a 3/4 ton truck – a new F250 diesel – from Enterprise Truck Rental in Indiana, drove to Ontario, closed on the boat, and towed it here. Just returned the truck. Nice machine, very stable and gobs of power. Total cost including rental, fuel and tolls was about US$700. Trailer was very stable. I didn’t have the hitch high enough, but no issues. I also talked with Enterprise in London, and they had similar pricing and availability. I wasn’t sure about renting a tow vehicle, but it was easy and effective. I’d do that again.

It’s cold and rainy here tonight, but sunny tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting to know Lizzie better then. I have lots to do but hope to be sailing within a week.

Here we are leaving St Thomas. That’s where the boat was built.

And at a stop in MI