KatieKat 2003 Cruise Chapter Five

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GoBackTo 2003 Cruise Chapter Four
4 May 2003 Knotting Matters
5 May 2003 Thrusting Matters
13 May 2003 Leaving Tauranga
17 May 2003 Whitianga
GoFwdTo 2003 Cruise Chapter Six

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4 May, 2003 -- Knotting Matters

Winter is fast approaching and since we need to return home to California and take care of unfinished business there, we'll be heading back north and leave the boat somewhere safe for a few months.

I'm sorry to see that this website has deteriorated into a travelogue, and hope to revive it by addressing more technical boat-related issues in the future. In the meantime, the following is in response to the question of what kind of knots I use aboard KatieKat. Of the thousands of knots available, I don't think I employ more than a half-dozen on a daily basis.

[Double Sheet Bend]There are many ways of joining two pieces of rope together. I personally favor the Double Sheet Bend, which is much less prone to loosening and releasing than the single sheet bend and is also more suitable for lines of different diameters. I've used this knot (strictly speaking, a bend) for many years. In addition to holding well, it is very easy to undo.

[Snapped Towline]This is a follow-up to the double sheet bend (above). One of the places I use it is to secure the 1/8"dia three-strand nylon towline for BikeBoat to its bridle. When the towline snagged around the SeaCycle drive leg last October it caused the little cat to go broadside while being pulled at 7 knots - the load was enormous and the line eventually snapped (thank goodness!). This is a photo showing where the line broke but that the knot held.

[Two Bowlines] [Double Bowline]

A Bowline is THE basic loop knot; however, I favor the Double Bowline as it has a higher breaking strength (70%-75% vs. 40%-60%) than a normal bowline, is even more difficult to shake apart, yet still can be undone very easily.

[Figure Eight]A Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches is the simplest and fastest way of securing something. The photo shows the fender line which is the slippery Aussie 'silver' polypro line. This functional knot does not easily come undone due to jerking (resulting in a missing fender) like a [expletive deleted] Clove Hitch.

[Anchor Hitch] [Phony Knot] [Double Anchor Hitch]

An Anchor Bend (or Fisherman's Bend) is actually a Hitch and is used, just as its name implies, to secure a line to an anchor. Although in my repertoire, I just realized that I actually don't have this knot securing anything onboard. I thought I had used it to tie off one of the lazyjacklines to the ring, but after I took the photo and looked at it closely, I see that I screwed up. I'm told that a better permanent knot is the one in the third photo which consists of a round turn through a round turn.

[Figure Eight] [Tight Figure 8]

A Figure-Eight is a knot placed in the end of a line to keep it from running out through a block. In order for it to do its job, it should be cinched up tightly (right photo). I use it at the ends of jibsheets and halyards, but NEVER in the ends of spinnaker sheets or the preventers.

[Figure Eight Loop] [Anchor Tiedown] [Anchor Tiedown]

A Figure-Eight Loop is a quick and dirty way of producing a loop in a line. An example of its use is shown here for securing the anchor on deck. For temporarily securing the line, a half-turn and a draw-loop are used (shown here) simply to make it very easily/quickly undone. For longer passages (if the anchor is not secured down below), a full round turn is utilized together with the slipped half-hitch.

[Jib Clew] [Jib Clew]

Another use for the Figure-Eight Loop is to provide a means of securing the jibsheet to the sail. In this case, I rove a short length of line into the knot. This line's tail has a figure-eight knot in the end of it. To secure the jibsheet, I simply push the loop through the clew eye and stick the tail through that loop. This technique is far preferable to using stainless hardware (e.g., a snapshackle) because it minimizes human damage due to contact with a flailing jib. So far, despite some very rough handling and flailing, this loop/tail securing arrangement hasn't failed.

[Rolling Hitch]A Rolling Hitch is used wherever I want to make a line length adjustable. In this case, it's used to tension/loosen the main lazy jack line. In reality, I very rarely loosen it. This particular rolling hitch has an extra turn in it (rather than the normal two) to provide even more friction.

[Figure Eight]In addition to knots, there's a fair amount of line splicing that needs to be done onboard, which I rather enjoy. Usually, it's just loops spliced into three-strand docklines. This stainless thimble I spliced into the emergency anchor-line extension, but didn't bother tapering the ends. I used this particular 75' line as 1/2 of a bridle when I shackled it onto the anchor chain and we sat out the very nasty wind and waves for 24 hours in Skeleton Bay last year, with a rocky lee shore just behind us. I was bothered that after this experience there was indeed a small amount of chafe on the line at one point on the thimble.

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5 May, 2003 -- Thrusting Matters

As I've previously discussed, I presently have some fairly sophisticated load-measuring equipment onboard. Although one of the initial reasons for this gear was to determine what the peak para-anchoring rode loads are, there are many other things one can do with this stuff. A question perennially unanswered by outboard-engine manufacturers is what thrust the engine/propeller combination produces at zero velocity. For example, one of the reasons for this question is to determine what loads are really imposed upon an anchor/rode when backing-down as part of 'safe anchoring' practice. To complete the picture I still need to measure what loads the wind/waves impose upon the boat - only then will I be able to sleep peacefully at night.

[Rolling Hitch]Starboard engine in its raised position. That temporary electrical wire coming out of the engine compartment goes to the wind generator. The motor-raising line is shown coiled - one of the mods I had made was to add a block and increase the purchase on this line from 2:1 to 3:1 (much appreciated by Kathy).

Anyway, while tied alongside a dock (starboard side), I inserted the load cell into first the aft and then the forward springline and measured the starboard engine's thrust. The results are probably just a little low because the thrust is not exactly in line with the springline. For the record, the engine is a year 2000 Yamaha 9.9 Hi-Thrust Four Stroke outboard, with a 11-3/4" aluminum propeller with a pitch of 9-1/4". The engine is rated at 9.9hp (7.3kW) at 5000 rpm, and has a 2.92 (38/13) gear ratio. Here are the results:

[Forward Thrust Graph] [Reverse Thrust Graph]

Thrust for one engine, zero velocity.
The left photo shows the forward thrust graph, maximum around 250lbs (110kg).
The right photo shows the reverse thrust graph, maximum approx. 180lbs (80kg).

In the near future I hope to perform tests using both engines while anchored normally using a bridle. Hopefully some nasty weather will also strike us when at anchor so I can definitively measure what the boat's wind loading is.

I love these Yamaha outboards. With two engines, it is SO easy to spin the boat in place with one engine forward and the other in reverse; however, the boat's windage cannot be overcome when the winds get up above about 25 knots. This is a rather important point for Seawind owners to note, so let me repeat it: despite having one engine full forward and the other full reverse, the boat cannot be spun around into the wind when winds exceed about 25 knots! The trick is to throttle forward with both engines and TURN THE STEERING WHEEL. No problem, as the boat will then drive through the eye of the wind (up to what wind velocity?). I wish I had known this during my Noumea return fiasco. Despite having been told by 'experts' not to turn the wheel during docking maneuvers, I normally use the rudders in addition to engine steering as it simply improves boat control (especially if a strong current is running).

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13 May, 2003 -- Leaving Tauranga

[Coromandel Map]Part of a Department of Conservation Map showing the Coromandel Peninsula.

[Mt. Maunganui] [Mt. Maunganui]

As we leave the Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui, Kathy points at the hill we climbed almost every day with fellow cruisers, led by Jack Jones on 2nd Tri (the same name as my Telstar tri at home). Going quickly up the steep north face was VERY aerobic, and it was a satisfying daily hour-long (round trip) exercise! We left Tauranga in the late afternoon and had a wonderful moonlit broad-reach light-airs sail 60 miles up the coast to Whitianga in Mercury Bay.

[Stowed SeaCycle Hulls]This photo shows yet another way of stowing the two hulls of our SeaCycle catamaran pedal-powered "dinghy". Quite frankly, I wasn't comfortable sailing up the coast not having our SeaCycle fully assembled and ready to launch in an instant.

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17 May, 2003 -- Whitianga

The high was just beginning when we sailed up the coast, and we've been blessed by beautiful weather associated with that stalled high-pressure system. We really like Whitianga (locals seem to pronounce it Woody-Anna). The marina is sheltered, clean and quiet, the town is less than a five-minute walk from the boat (and even has a cinema, uh, movie theatre, uh, theater), and there are lots on wonderful hiking trails across the river. Just a few touristy photos:

[Whitianga View] [Whitianga View] [Whitianga View] [Whitianga Marina]

View of Whitianga from across the river. In the second photo you can see the ferry which crosses the river every few minutes. In the fourth photo, you can just make out KatieKat in the marina.

[Whitianga Boat Ramp] [Whitianga Boat Ramp Sign] [Kathy Ferguson Tractor] [Tractor and Boat Trailer]

The extensive shallows, seen in the above photos as well, define small-boat launching capabilities. The local solution is simple: use a tractor! Lots of these restored actively-used old-timers are seen sitting in people's driveways - Kathy's excited, as her maiden name was Ferguson (yes, that is a Ferguson tractor).

[Ferry Landing Library] [Cook Plaque] [Cow]

During our hikes we come across the local library (remember, Kathy's a librarian), yet another commemorative plaque honoring Cook (he's been EVERYWHERE!), and a local critter (Kathy thought she was cute).

[Shakespeare Cliff] [Beached Boat]

We hiked past the bay we had anchored in a month ago. One of the two beached boats was still there. Can you spot Kathy in the left photo? It was a classic case of asking her to move over a few more feet to get her into the picture - a couple of feet would have resulted in her disappearing off the edge of the cliff!

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