Prism's Blog

Summer Update

Where is all the time going?!?! we have been so busy! I don’t even know where to start to update about everything that has happened.

We did finally get all the varnish finished! We finished the cap rails first then were stopped due to weather and busy weekends. Jon in 1 week knocked out the rest of the varnish on the eyebrow, hatches and handrails.  It did not rain much this winter, but when it did, man some of those storms that did come though were huge! Our dinghy almost sank at one point.

In Feb we made our way don to southern California for our families annual Disneyland trip. Jon and I could not resist the temptation to meet up with our friends who originally turned us on to the Hans Christians. They were nice enough to put us up for a few nights and take us out sailing on their HC38. It was a perfect day for sailing in the Santa Barbra channel. We then met up with the rest of our family and spent 2 days being children again and having way to much fun at what some call the happiest place on earth.

Getting the hatches and doors all varnished
Jon proud of all his work and getting the damn leak over the aft cabin door to stop!
Prism looking all shiny and  pretty and glossy
thats one water logged dinghy
Jon getting some shots of a storm moving over the bay

SV Horizon HC38
SV Horizon HC38
I know this picture is a little off..
California Screamin
they are ready to get wet!
kiddo bumper cars
The Neely Family
ARR we are on a pirate ship!
im so glad i got to see one of my best friends while we were there
Jon, Me, Cater (Jenna’s son), Jenna and Chris

We also spent some time up in the mountains and went skiing with mom and the family!

Jon and I heading up the mountain
So glad we got momma Neely to come out and ski with us in a snow storm!

Jon and I had scheduled a haul out right after the Disneyland trip so we could replace the head, put new bottom paint on, and give the hull a good buff. There are perks and downfalls for working at a boat yard, perks… I work at the boat yard, downfall= getting pushed to the side cause of other “paying” boats. I cant complain, so we are waiting till later this summer to do the haul out. My brother had come up from Cambria to help with some of the back breaking sanding, but because we did not haul out, we found other ways to spend our time together! SIGHT SEEING!

My brother William and I
Jon and his cameras

Because we did not haul out and we had bought a bunch of new stuff to replace the old, we now had nowhere to store it. So Jon went out on recon and found some old windsurfing boards. You can imagine as I am on my bike ride back from work and see Jon rowing our dinghy with a surfboard in tow. Not a sight you see all the time. We strapped the 2 together and put all our “stuff” piled on top. It is pretty honky looking, but for the time being.. it works wonderfully.

row Jon row
Add caption
all our crap

We have been out sailing in the warm spring weather before the cold and windy summer sets in! We have been out buddy boating with our friends Josh and Bob. Josh has a BCC30 (Bristol cannel cutter) and Bob has the best looking westsail 32′ you have ever seen. Jon and I were amazed on how well Prism did when sailing with those guys… we pretty much left them in the dust. Yes I am sure our HUGE 130% genoa had a lot to do with it, but still! We had a blast, headed over to TI (Treasure Island)and rafted up with Josh for a late lunch/early dinner and some drinks. We all took afternoon naps in the wonderful cove in the warm sun and enjoyed a great sunset sail back to Berkeley. We both got some amazing photos of our boats as we sailed home.

out on Josh’s BCC
Jon and Bob coming in at sunset on Bob’s west sail 32′
the new bay bridge, always so pretty
Rafted up in TI with Josh.
SV PRISM looking sexy, as we sail off into the sunset
S/V Castonza (Westsail 32)

Jon and I went to the strictly sail boat show in Oakland for the weekend, we decided to sail over and spend the weekend with our boat at Jack London Square. We have been out sailing our boat quite a bit, we have been watching our furling head sail slowly die every time we head out, thinking that at any moment it was going to rip. Sure enough, on our sail over to Oakland… we tack and WHAPPP! the leech line is free and the sail is no more. Good thing we have a staysail! At the boat show we get quotes from all the sail makers in the area, and from those who are over seas.

I (Jon) am taking over the blog now.

We had a great time at the boat show, met up with my mom and brother and spent two days looking at gear and production boats. Shannon Scored a seriously comfy pillow because her current on was over seven years old, eww… I talked down the Helly Hansen girl for our friend Lowell and got him some offshore foulies for $350 out the door (Jacket and bibs)! While we where in our guest slip at jack london, I did notice something off with Prism. The Docks at this marina are quite taller than our docks back in Berkeley and with this different vantage I found some cracking on the bowsprit. I pulled out my knife and popped off what I though was paint but was actually 1/8” epoxy fairing with white paint. Under this epoxy coating was very dark wood. Not a good sign. I then stuck the tip of my knife into this spot and pushed in. My Blade went in about 2”! “Tikes” I thought “this I was not expecting” I tell Shannon the news, I don’t think she fully got what was going to need to happen when I got back to Berkeley (remove the furling, pulpit, anchor, lifelines and bow sprit). At this point I could only think of this stupid rot, luckily the show was about done and all we had to do is get back on the boat and sail back to Berkeley. After dodging a few cargo ships, we got back into south bay. We where then hit by 20knts on the nose from the north. Not the direction or velocity of wind I was hoping for with a compromised sprit. The wind 99% of time blows from the west so this north wind was not normal and was coming right to where we wanted to go. Under full main and staysail we pounded up for 2hrs until we rounded the Berkeley pier and then made a right for a beam reach into harbor.

Shannon making way to Jack London Square.
at the BOB BITCHEN party at the sail show… bring on the free beer and pizza

Over the next couple of days I managed to get down the furler with the help of Bob for the final drop of it. Later that week I sold the unit and the torn sail for $800 to a nice guy named Tony for his Rafiki 37. Side note, our HC33 with 43′ food mast has the same length jib stay as a rafiki 37 forestay. I managed to remove the the anchor, lift off the pulpit and slide out the sprit all in one day. It was actually a really easy process. I then brought the sprit over to the yard once agin calling upon Bob and his truck to help me move out 9 foot 130lb Apatong sprit. Once at the yard I got the help of the local wood boat specialist (Steve Hutchenson) to help me pop off the Cranze Iron. Once the iron was off we then could see the true depth of the rot in the sprit. The entire tip the was “sealed” under the crazne cap and was black. You could just grab and rip off a 1/4” of wood with your finder nails. not good. The design of the cranze was obviously not a great one, I immediately got on the phone with Port Townsend Foundry to get the ball rolling on a new bronze one. I spoke to Steve and he recommend that I could just scarf the last 3 feet of the sprit and it would be plenty good. He was quite busy so he couldn’t do it. I like to think I know where my personal limits are with boat projects. Im decent at most boat projects, but with wood I’m just Ok. I didn’t think rebuilding the single most important piece of wood on the boat would be a good training project to learn how to scarf load bearing hardwoods. I then ran into a guy that said all he did was repair spars. Casey quoted me what I thought was a fair price and did all the scarfing for me. The sprit currently is at Casey’s shop done, waiting for the very allusive cranze iron from PTF. Once we get the cranze we just need to shape the front of the sprit and paint it up. So two weeks ago while the sprit was off I got to thinking. My thought was while the sprit was off I might as well drop the rig and knock that out. All I wanted to do was replace all the lights with LED and rewire and put the wire into the conduit. So two weeks ago I motored over to BMC and had them crane off the mast. With a little coaxing with a 10lbs hammer to pop out the tabernacle pin we where off to the races. Once the mast was on stands Shannon decided to take a break from work and go see how her mast looked like off the boat. The first thing out of her mouth was “ahhh, we need to paint this” I gave her a little eyebrow raise look and said “we?” the she proceeded with “Have fun with that”. This changed the size of this project immensely. Now I had to strip the mast off of all hardware which I hate doing because all the screws are seized and then sand and paint. So I set off in my corner, marking all the rigging and nicely rolling them up. Sadly the next day I came back to work and found all my rigging in a big tangled mess on the concrete. Apparently I left them in the wrong place and someone felt compelled to chuck them across the yard. Not only did I have to untangle and re-roll all the stays but it also screeched the crap out of three of the newly replaced HI-mod shrouds we had just put on the boat 8 months prior. Ohwell, one more thing to polish I guess. The hardware came off just about exactly like I imagined, terribly, breaking off about 80% of all fasteners even after heating till orange and removing by hand. Who ever commissioned this mast in 83′ used no countermeasures for corrosion.

the first sighting of the rot
a little more digging
off goes the pulpit
the bent and cracked bow sprit bolts- SCARY!!!
Jon is castrating Prism
poor Prism she looks so funny!
The bow sprit
time to “dig” in
that does not look good!
that wood is very dark.. not good
the old Kranze Iron
Bowsprit down to bare wood
Rot die grinded out to show how bad it was

Also we had a broken port lens, I ended up having to break out the old lens to remove the retaining ring. I removed the retaining ring by making my own spanner wrench that is 13” in diameter then putting the portlight in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Came apart, ordered new glass and now we have a fixed port light $95 later. Side note, 1/4” laminated glass is HARD, almost broke my teeth out because the hammer bounced off my fist hit.

Original Crack
Smashing out the glass to relive the pressure on the retaining band

** And this is Shannon again:

You have to realize that Jon and I have been writing this blog post for the last 2 months. We start typing and get distracted, come back then have to leave bla bla bla. Sorry if you are beginning to develop whiplash from the he said and she said….

So back to me telling Jon he will have fun painting our mast 🙂 As he was sanding he found 2 things that you never want to find when dealing with your mast. The first was out mast is bending, a lot…. but that can be fixed when tuning the rig. Second we found a kink/dent. This made our stomachs drop. We had pretty much everyone in the yard take a look and tell us what they thought. The winning vote: GET A NEW MAST. Damn! We were not planning on this at all! But that’s how it always happens, a simple project turns into something way bigger. We contacted our insurance (BoatUS) and got the ball rolling on getting our mast checked out and start looking for a new. We had a 50/50 chance of the new mast being covered 100% by insurance. However they wanted to know the million dollar question: “How did it happen?” Apparently our “Uh, we have no idea, don’t know where or when it happened” was not the answer they were looking for, and told us that it would then have to be under the “wear and tare” option… and that is NOT what you want when you are trying to get insurance to help pay! So they sent out a surveyor to check out our mast.. he never said a word to me, asked someone in the yard where he could find the mast to the HC33 and when to look. We never heard anything from anyone. A few days later the main guy from Ballinger was in the yard getting a few things, He stopped to look at our mast, I felt kind of special.. I mean this guy is THE MAST GUY! Any who…. come to find out, the insurance surveyor guy asked the Ballinger guy to look at our mast cause he “didn’t know what to think and needed a 2nd opinion”. Then I got the news… WE DO NOT NEED A NEW MAST! WHOPP WHOPP! I was told that the kink in the mast has most likely been there since it was made, it was not caused by sailing and there is no need to worry about it. The Bend is also nothing to worry about, as it was not caused by the kink. SO back to the project of getting it painted, wired, put folding steps on it and get it back on our boat!

Jon has not only been working on PRISM, but he has also been putting time into his moms boat SV Sea Castle a Mason 43′. A few months ago she wanted to go sailing and upon Jons pre-sail check the fuel filter was black and smelt of kerosene! DAMN it’s filled with algae! So Jon took on the task of polishing the fuel and looking into the fuel tanks on the mason.

Sediment at the bottom of the tank
Dirty Racor500
Dirty Tank
Clean Tank

He did a great job, and even installed a fuel polishing system on the boat so all they have to do now it turn a switch, and wala! it will polish and bleed the system! So the next time the family came out to the bay we took out the mason. Jon, myself, Momma Neely, Jon’s little brother Chris and his girlfriend Marissa. We had a great sail over to Treasure Island, and dropped the hook in clipper cove. The next morning I wake up to a very funny feeling wake. The boat is moving as if a wake had passed through the cove. I wake up and look out the port light, it is dead calm in the anchorage, it is 7:30 am… and then I remembered, the tide. Just 50 or so feet off our stern is a raft up, all rafted up in the sport we normally drop the hook. And where we dropped the hook this time… well we found a high patch. We were in the mud and teetering on the keel.

Thank god the mason is a full keel boat, all we have to do it wait for the tide to come back in. But it was 7:30 am and low tide was at 9 am, we still had another foot of water to ebb out… this is going to make for a good morning. A few hours later at low tide, our friends over at the raft up started calling and texting us “um your sticking out of the water there a little guys”. We had some good laughs and some friends over for coffee and of course everyone wanted to see what the mason looks like inside. I don’t blame them as it is a truly beautiful boat, even with her ass end up out of the water like a sore thumb. We all decided to row ashore and check out TI, find some food and maybe try out some of the winery’s.

Momma Neely and her boys with the Mason behind then
How cute: Chris and Marissa
the Mason

When we got back to the boat she was floating again on her water line. Jon and I rowed over and said hello and good bye to fellow sailors that were sailing toward warmer waters.. AKA south. Mom hailed us back and we set sail back for Berkeley as the family still had to drive to Santa Cruz to drop Marissa off and then back to Shaver Lake.

Now it is back to crunch time to get our boat back to working/sailing order as we want to be out and enjoying the beautiful weather that the summers have to offer here in the bay area, time to break out the parkas, beanies, gloves, and wool socks! Nothing like cold, wet, foggy and winds blowing 25knts to make for a blissful summer afternoon bay sail.

The boat is out of commission but that has not stopped us from having any fun around here. Jon and I are going to start a movie theater road trip thing. We are going to ride our bikes to all the different movie theater that the east bay has to offer. I have been spending a lot of time with my best friend Katie in the city, mostly when Jon is out of town cause he really does not like the city. I have been Juice fasting, so our boat has 2 fridges, one for me with all my kale leaves and green goodness, and then there is Jon’s fridge.. filled with all stuff Jon knows how to cook/ eat… breakfast he has down.. eggs, bacon, grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, onions…. he can make a mean breakfast now of days.. lunch is summer sausage and olives, dinner is mac and cheese or a simple salad…. he is learning:) We have been going to the Tuesday night BBQ here in the marina and there is always a good time/ good food/ and great music there. We have taken our dinghy out a lot and even got 3 grown adults in for a sunset sail. The fun never stops!

Out in SF with the girls
Tuesday night BBQ
In Cambria visiting my brothers for our moms birthday
Jon’s finds from the Berkeley Boat Swap Meet
Katie and I at a Dodgers Vs Giants game at AT&T park
out sailing our dink…beer run
We are ready to walk! BAY TO BREAKERS
Bay to Breakers group
my Juicing veggies
My best friend Katie graduated from the Academy of Art!
Juice away! Yum
Jon and I walking the Marina
Jon and I riding our bikes home from the store,  Jon played chicken with a squirrel!
Biking to the movies
Jon searching for “treasure” that people have left next to the dumpster
William came to SF again!

Mast Update from Jon;

So here are a few photos of my fun with the mast.

Boat about to get the mast pulled
Mast on the ground
Corrosion on the surface, broken off screws!
Welding up a small crack on the mast head
heres the dent
Heres the bend
Shanny all decked out practicing her TIG welding
Making new Bowsprit bolts out of 316L rod
Each bolt with its new Rod
First coat DONE!
Thats all for now. Next update should have us finishing the mast and sprit and raising the rig!
I found a Yankee and Staysail next to the dump that will fit Prism! Other than being a little stained the are in great crispy shape! SCORE!

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