Color in the Cockpit

25 08 2010 Posted by Daniel

My new cockpit cushions have finally arrived! Here’s a photo:

New navy blue cockpit cushions

They are made of Sunbrella heavy-duty waterproof fabric, with a mesh bottom. All the foam is closed cell floatation foam with a top layer of much more comfortable mesh foam. None of it retains water, and with the outer layer of the cushion being waterproof anyway, they should dry lickety split after getting soaked.

I had a local lady do the sewing, and she did an excellent job. I’m very pleased with the results. We fastened the cushions to the boat using DOT snaps, which are very heavy duty, and I will go back through soon and epoxy the cockpit-side fasteners in place, to eliminate points of water ingress. There is no core in this area so I didn’t have to worry about that. I will also be slightly enlarging the holes to eliminate possible fiberglass stress points.

Certifiable...

16 08 2010 Posted by Daniel

Welcome back, friends! I’ve been busy as usual these past several weeks, but there is a new slight twist to the pattern. I’ve gone and taken a basic sailing course - not because, at this point, I need the basics, but because its the fundamental starting point to becoming a sailing instructor. Also, I’m beginning to take a look at what’s necessary for my Captains License. If you sense a slight sea shift in what I’m saying here, you’re probably reading me correctly - I’m beginning to switch priorities from a land-oriented life to a sea-oriented one, and building up experience and credentials helpful to getting more of that experience.

I took the ASA Basic Keelboat 101 course at Bay Area Sailing school this past weekend, and of course passed with flying colors. It helped that the instructor was friends with one of the local racers who knew my experience racing and suggested that he show me some new things despite the simplistic syllabus. I did learn a couple very very useful tricks. Perhaps more usefully, I will get some mentoring time behind the wheel of a large diesel-powered keelboat flipping the beast in and out of the docks (I’m hoping for a decent wind that day to learn more from). Something I can always use as a learning experience. The instructor certification course comes up in a few months and by then I hope to be well along with my USCG license as well. Having these certifications allows me to do several things, from the most immediately useful to the most long-term potential:

1. Save lots of money on insurance for my own boat. Certification helps a lot here.
2. Get an offshore insurance policy. Its difficult to get an older boat insured offshore without proving your credentials.
3. Teach sailing part-time to make some more money, have some fun, and share the sport.
4. Captain a charter boat and/or do deliveries for money, professionally.
5. Put me in a more competitive position for other maritime employment and business opportunity, globally.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to recently. Stay tuned - this fall promises to be a big season for boat repair, I have several longer offshore races coming up as the weather turns, and of course I’ll keep you posted on all things sailing. Until then, fair winds and thanks for sticking with my slowly updated blog!
Me on the foredeck
Sunset in the Marina

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