Sailing Events Page, 24 February 2005

The Raleigh Boat Show:
We had a great show and we were really glad to see all of our old customers and friends. It didn’t snow or rain, but it was very cold on Saturday. The Show Picnic Cat found a new home and decided to stay in Raleigh.

A Cape Island Trawler At The Boat Show:
The Sailboat Company will be showing our new Cape Island 21 Pilot House Trawler at the Raleigh Boat Show 18 to 20 February. This boat is a traditional working trawler built in Nova Scotia. A little boat with lots of room that’s affordable. Come see us at the Show.

A New Use For The Com-Pac 23:
It looks like the Com-Pac 23 may become a true trailable boat. It has always been a big job moving our 3000-pound boat with the heavy rigging from point to point. Launching and putting it in a slip took an hour or more of hard physical work. It appears that we now have a solution for the setup and launching problem. We have a new mast tender system designed like the Com-Pac 19 featured under our “Com-Pac Conversions” link on this web site. The problem with the mast tender system and Com-Pac 23 was the way the mast compression post was designed. The Com-Pac 23 uses two bulkheads to support the mast and the other mast tender boats use a mast stub inside the boat. Our new mast tender design for the Com-Pac 23 should solve the mast support problem and maintain the original cabin appearance. The new design will use the existing mainsheet and the original mast to reduce cost. The boat will still be a sloop with the original sails. We should have a boat sailing in May 2005. A Horizon Cat trailer is the other component that’s going to make the Com-Pac 23 trailable. The side by side picture of the old Com-Pac 23 trailer and a new Horizon Cat trailer show a 10-inch difference in height.

Com-Pac 19 With The Mast Tender:
An old Com-Pac 19 that’s almost as good as a new Eclipse 20. Notice in the picture that the spreaders have been removed. The uppers chain plates were moved back on the hull. The backstay was removed. The unused backstay was converted to a forestay with a tension device. A mast hinge, a boom gallows and a new longer boom was installed. The sailcover was modified and that’s it for this boat. A new lower Eclipse trailer with bent axles would have completed the conversion to a more trailable Com-Pac Yacht.

Boat Show In Raleigh:
The Raleigh Boat at the State Fair Gounds will be 18th through the 20th of February. I hope everyone can come.

Trip To The Factory:
The Com-Pac Factory is alive and well. Five new boats were shipped to Oregon just before Christmas. We picked up the first Com-Pac Eclipse sold to a customer in North Carolina. It was hull number 23. We have been selling Eclipse and Horizon Cat trailers for the old Com-Pac 19s and 23s. Those trailers have bent axles that make them lower to the ground and their length helps the launching process. We picked up a new main sail for the first Com-Pac 23-converted gaff sloop. That boat should be sailing in the spring. All the parts are in Richlands for the first converted Mast Tender rig for a Com-Pac 19. Pictures will be available soon. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Road Closed:
The Sailboat Company is located 2 miles outside Richlands, NC on Gum Branch Road. Traffic on Gum Branch Road has been interrupted because a small bridge between Richlands and The Sailboat Company is being replaced. The best way to reach The Sailboat Company if you’re coming from Raleigh is to continue east/south through Richlands on highway 258/24 for another 3 miles. Turn left at the second paved road (Detour Sign). Continue on that road for another 4 miles until you reach Gum Branch Road. Turn left on Gum Branch Road and we are about 3 more miles on the left-hand side. Follow the local traffic signs.

Air Conditioning:
Our little window air conditioner mounted inside a Com-Pac 23 is doing a great cooling job. The unit is quiet and sleeping is going to be good. Air temperature inside the boat can be reduced to 64 degrees. That’s a little cold for most people. We tested the system on a humid 85-degree summer day. Temperatures inside the seat locker reached 100 degrees with the seat hatches closed and 98 degrees with the seat hatches open.

This 5K-window air conditioner can be powered with shore power or a small generator. Anchoring out with air conditioning is now possible for most sailboats. No bugs and a comfortable nights sleep are possible at a very small cost.

Web Messages:
Sometimes we can’t communicate. The SPAM problem has reduced our means of communications via e-mail. SPAM filters can block normal e-mail communications between our customers and us. Most small businesses use local servers that can also be used by people that generate SPAM. Our solution to the problem is web mail. A new link on our web site is “Ask Questions”. Fill out the form and ask your question. We will answer your question by the next business day. Our answers will be posted on “Answers”. Talk to you soon.

Anti-Hurricane Discontinued:
I hope everyone has a copy of our Hurricane Program that needed one. Maintaining the web site and doing downloads from an Earthlink server became a real chore. Anyone interested in Yacht Performance, The Hurricane Program and North Carolina Navigation software should talk to me via e-mail. We can still download copies via e-mail if you have a hi-speed connection.

The Sailboat Company Is Leaving Raleigh:
The Sailboat Company is consolidating its sales efforts in Richlands, NC. The Raleigh sales office will close on 1 September 2004. Boat Show participation in Raleigh will not change. We hope to see all of our Triangle customers at the Raleigh Boat Show in February.

Second Hurricane:
Charley was another small hurricane for us. It was a big hurricane for Florida. The eye and the eye wall passed over Richlands with about 70-MPH winds and 6 inches of rain. Damage was limited to treetops and some power outages in the area. Our Internet service provider (ISP) for our hurricane program took us off the air because we had excessive traffic on the site. Downloads for the month exceeded 1GB of traffic on the 13th of August. Service should be available again on 1 September.

First Hurricane:
This is a small hurricane. The wind is going to be about 60 knots. This is low wind and we are going to be on the good side of the storm. Our position will see the wind and hurricane movement opposing each other on this track.

Hurricane Damage:
We have just finished repairing the last hurricane damaged boat from Isabel. Sailboats are normally damaged from contact with docks, from other boats in an anchorage and sometimes trees if your boat is on a trailer. This is the time to start planning for the current hurricane season. It’s important to have a plan.

Your degree of concern should be based on the path of the hurricane. Anti-Hurricane software is available over the web and it’s free. The link is on the left. It will show you the hurricane’s path and the time remaining before landfall.

Most boats in coastal NC do well if anchored out with one big anchor and lots of room to move around. This is the time to check your anchor, line and anchorage. If you do sustain hurricane damage, we like to think that we can repair anything and make it better than new. The pictures below are the before and after pictures of the same boat. Good boat insurance is really important.

Air Conditioning:
Sometimes technologies designed for one purpose can be used in other applications. Small inexpensive window air conditioners for home use are going to work well in small sailboats. The AC units cost about $79. There size is a small 12 inches by 12 inches by 18 inches. That’s small enough to fit inside most small sailboats. The hot end lives in the seat locker, the cold end operates in the cabin and the condensation water drains into the bilge. The seat locker area should be separated from the cabin with a bulkhead. If you don’t have a bulkhead, you need to build one.

When window air conditioner were bigger, we would position a unit in the cockpit in front of the main hatch. This system worked on hot nights, but the AC needed to be stored when the boat moved and you had to step over the unit going in and out of the cabin. Our new smaller units are secured inside the boat. They are not going to move around while we are sailing. No special storage is required and the it’s out of the way.

A small Honda generator can power the AC. The Honda runs at idle speed with the AC at maximum cool. We should sleep well. You can see my air conditioner inside the Com-Pac 23 seat locker below.

Locator System:
We have a new toy at The Sailboat Company. It’s a locator system for our mobile operations. A large part of selling small sailboats is moving boats from point to point. We purchased a Pocket PC with a built-in cell phone to provide emergency communications on the road. We have Sprint’s minimum minutes (300) plan with their optional data services. The data service cost $15 per month for unlimited use.

We have been using Pocket PCs for several years doing GPS navigation and recordings. Our GPS receiver plugs into the Pocket PC and a little software program measures our progress on the road or on the water. I think the Pocket PC is a great knot meter for most boats. I can see the big numbers with my limited vision. The units are portable and I move them from boat to boat.

The locator system is a combination of both systems with the Pocket PC in the middle. A GPS receiver gives me my coordinates every 2 seconds. Our software program processes the GPS coordinates and then transfers my position to my web server using the Sprint PCS phone system. Sprint cell phone coverage in my area is excellent.

When we get 100% coverage in Coastal North Carolina waters, everyone will know where we are when we go sailing. I think that’s going to be good safety feature for most sailors. Three files on your personal web site and the hardware above is all you need. The link on the left, “Company Mobile” shows my current location and when the last fix was obtained. I only operate the system when I’m on the move.

Com-Pac Pictures:
Com-Pac owners should check out the club web page. We have new factory pictures. The 23 looks good.

Com-Pac 23 Change:
A new model of the Com-Pac 23 is being built. It will have the Com-Pac 25 rub rail and other major improvements. It will be called a Com-Pac 23 Mark IV. I thought old boat was a great looking boat.

Com-Pac Club Outing:
The details of the June Com-Pac Club outing are posted on the CPYANC news letter page.

Chesapeake Bay Ferry Trip:
We were going south and everyone else was going north. The first day was a 70 mile passage from Patuxent River, Maryland to Deltaville, Virginia. The wiggles in the track is maneuvering to avoid crab pots in our path. The distance across the mouth of the Potomac River is about 10 miles. Lots of pots in that area. The first anchorage was Fishing Bay in Deltaville, Virginia. A big storm required an extra day at anchor in Fishing Bay. The next leg was a short trip to Norfolk, Virginia. I’m sorry I didn’t save that track. It was a boo boo on my part. The next leg shows our departure from Water Side in downtown Norfolk and our progress south. That leg is about 30 miles long and moved through an area with lots of bridges. One bridge broke and we waited for 2 hours until it was fixed. Our engine failed at the end of the track at Pungo Ferry Marina. The engine was over heating and it appeared to be a catastrophic failure. A decision was make to transport the boat to Flordia by truck. Check out our pictures by clicking the Florida Ferry Trip link on the left.

Good Times Are Here Again:
The Hutchins Company has orders for big boats through January 2005. Their big boats are the Com-Pac 25, 27 and 35. Small sailboats are still available in about 6 weeks.

A Quick Passage:
Bill DeHart departed Jacksonville, NC April 19 for Oriental, NC in his new Com-Pac Horizon Cat. He stopped at Casper’s Marina in Swansboro for one night and pressed on the next day. The wind was 25 knots on the nose during the first afternoon. The second day was better. The little boat did a fast 6 knots at 2200 rpms. A dry bilge and a good sleeping boat made for two happy sailors. Bill’s home port is Pierce Creek at Oriental.

A Pocket PC With An Internal Cell Phone:
I plan on updating this web site from a Pearson 32 as we ferry it down the Intracoastal Waterway. A link featuring the ferry trip is located at the bottom of page on the left. Our departure point is Patuxent River, Maryland on or about 7 May 2004. There is a fine line between an ordeal and an adventure. We tried the same ferry trip in early April and it was definitely an ordeal. Cold, big winds and waves. We decided that maybe May would be a better departure month. You should be able to see the boat’s progress on our web map and read my daily comments as we try the ferry trip one more time.

Chesapeake Bay Ferry Trip:
There are good days and there are bad days. Bad days have big wind and cold conditions. Spring weather conditions on the Bay were forcast for 6 foot seas and 60 mph wind gusts. Waiting for the weather to moderate in a slip with the boat heeling 25 degrees and 30 degree temperatures at night isn’t fun. However, being in the slip was a lot better than being on the Bay were we would have been the only boat out there. The wind reduced the water level on the Bay by 3 feet and that made getting into marinas located in adjoining rivers and creeks impossible. Once you made it to the Bay, you could be there for a long time. We cancelled the ferry trip and decided to do it next month. The Pearson 32 is going to move from the Patuxent River in Maryland to Jacksonville, FL. Next month should have more good days than bad days. Stopping for long periods of time for weather can be expensive.

A Mast Tender System For The Com-Pac 16:
The best looking boat at the Raleigh Boat Show was a good looking green hulled Com-Pac 16. The boat was equipped with the popular mast tender system and was sloop rigged. The mast tender system is a stub mast with the boom resting between the stub and the boom gallows. The main sail is ready to be raised. Hinge the mast up and go sailing. The boat is a restored 1986 model that looked as good as new. Everyone liked the green color.

The Com-Pac 20:
The new boat is selling well. Com-Pac has 11 boats sold or on order as of this date. It going to be a winner.

NC Coastal Mapping Software:
Our NC Coastal Mapping Software is still available for downloading. The price is the same, free. Send me an email if you want a copy.

IdaSailor makes a pretty traveler for sailboats without a standard traveler installed. We just purchased an IdaSailor traveler for a new Precision 23 and it going to work really well. The purpose of the traveler is to adjust the mainsail’s angle of attack or trim. The main sheet adjusts and maintains mainsail twist. IdaSailor’s address is We do custom installations on most sailboats using IdaSailor hardware.

The Raleigh Boat Show:
The North Carolina Power Boat And Sailboat Show is scheduled for 20 to 22 February at the State Fair Grounds. The Sailboat Company will be showing a new Precision 185 and a pretty little Com-Pac Picnic Cat. Come on by the show and we can talk sailing and boats. We hope to have a restored Com-Pac 16 for the show. See you there.

The Com-Pac Eclipse or Com-Pac 20:
The boat looks good. The boat sails good. The boat’s retail price is $19,995. That’s better than the 24K rumor we heard several months ago. It’s on a one axle trailer and that’s good for price reasons. The climb-up rear cockpit area is going to work well. Life lines are optional and a furling jib is standard. The inside has the Horizon Cat’s jointer work, a full galley and bunks for 4 adults. Pictures are on the Com-Pac Club web site. We can start calling it the Com-Pac 20 anytime.

The Com-Pac Eclipse:
The last of the new boat’s construction tooling is being processed at the factory and a new Com-Pac Eclipse will be rolling off the assembly line soon. The planned debut will be at the Atlantic City boat show this winter. This boat has a new modern look for a Com-Pac Yacht of this size. The reverse transom and stainless steel stern arch are contemporary design features currently found only on the Com-Pac 35. The mast raising system for the Eclipse has the popular Com-Pac cat boat system redesigned for the Eclipse. The mast will fold with a hinge like the cat boats, but will be pinned and unpinned for movement fore and aft to accommodate the longer mast configuration. The cockpit features a built in stern pulpit for those sailors concerned about an open transom. The small stern pulpit will still allow easy access to the cockpit while the boat is on the trailer. The trailer is going to be single axle and low to the ground. The keel has room for a center board and a diesel motor. The diesel will be an option in future boats.

This design of this boat is going to retain the sailing qualities of the old Com-Pac Yachts and satisfy the modern need for an easy to launch coastal sailboat. Spending an hour in the parking lot getting ready to go sailing was never fun and the cost of a slip can be expensive. This may be the ultimate sailboat for the masses and maybe the “Boat of Year” for 2004.

We Lost Another Pioneer:
Jerry Koch was the owner and builder of Nimble Boats. He passed away this month in Florida doing what he liked to do best, building boats and talking to people about boats and boat building. Jerry was a positive person that really liked innovation and change in his boat business. He was blessed with a great personality that everyone enjoyed. He could sell you a boat in one conversation most of the time. His boats were full of great ideas that originated with Jerry. We are going to miss Jerry Koch and his enthusiasm for small boats.

The Annapolis Boat Show:
The economy has improved. There were more vendors at the sailboat show this year than last year and maybe for the last several years. Business is good. Com-Pac had a 35 and 25 in the water and a Horizon Cat and Sun Cat on land. Precision had a 23, 18 and 185 on land. The city docks were under water during hurricane Isabel, but that didn’t stop the city from cleaning it up and getting on with the show. The shops around the dock area were operating like normal. The food was excellent as usual. Why are all the shrimp in that area so large? I always gain a pound or two at the show.

Precision and Com-Pac have backorders into next year. If you need something for the 2004 season, order it early. The canvas people and sail makers are going to have their hands full. It takes time for businesses like that to hire new people and ramp up for new business. New boat models like the Com-Pac 19 may be pushed back a little because of increased business in their existing line of boats.

We exceeded our 1GB monthly data transfer quota with our Earthlink ISP in July and September and our downloads were cut off. The heavy transfer rate was caused by individuals downloading the hurricane software during those months. NC Navigator and Hurricane software downloads were effected by the outage. We apologize for any inconvenience. Sorry about that.

The Sailboat Company will be concentrating on sailboat repairs and maintenance during the next few weeks. Trawler construction has been suspended until our customer’s boat damage has been repaired. We anticipate that everything will be back to normal by the new year. We are taking enough time off to go to the Annapolis Boat next week and will make a report when we return.

Sailing School For New Sailors:
We have an on line sailing school for new sailors. The link is on the left under “New Sailors”. This free program provide lots of fundamental sailing information for anyone interested in sailing. Maybe more information than we first anticipated. We plan on answering questions if you want clarification on some of the details via e-mail. Your questions and my answers may be published on this web site for the benefit of other sailors.

Post Hurricane Isabel:
Richlands had 70 knots of wind and 3 inches of rain. We were in Isabel’s eye wall on the south side, but didn’t receive any boat or property damage from the wind. If your boat is on our yard, it’s OK. The sailors in the Neuse River and points north were not as lucky. We will be doing coastal cleanup for a long time to come.

Hurricane Isabel:
Boats that’s can be pulled out of the water started the evacuation process early. They were moving on the roads going west during the weekend with Isabel expected on Thursday. Isabel is a slow mover at 7 to 9 knots of forward speed with landfall somewhere on the outer banks of North Carolina. Hurricanes that track EAST of your position will produce north winds at your position as they move north. Hurricanes that track WEST of your position will produce south winds at your position as they move north. That’s why tracking a hurricane is important if you have property, relatives or friends on the coast. Maximum winds will be in the northeast quadrant of most hurricanes. The speed increase in that area is because the counter clockwise rotation speed adds to the forward motion speed. On the backside of the hurricane, the opposite effect takes place reducing the overall wind speed in that area. If you live on the coast, you need to know the big wind direction if your boat is in the water. Large boats can’t be pulled out of the water and marina docks can be a dangerous place for your boat during a hurricane. If you know the wind direction, you can tell if your boat going to on the dock or being held off the dock.

Boats on our yard are pointed north with blocks behind the trailer wheels. The big boats have extra supports and are pointed in the same direction. Trailer boats are tied to their trailers and everything loose is secured. Local marinas in the area have boats anchored out or removed from the docks before the hurricane arrives. We have another 6 hours before the rain starts and the big wind will arrive tomorrow. We expect a maximum wind speed of 60 knots at our location 20 miles inland from the coast. We are going to be on the good side of the hurricane if our calculations are correct. The red dot on the graphics is Richlands.

Wind On Kerr Lake:
Michael Young and his first mate are enjoying some good wind on Kerr Lake. The Precision 18 is in the grove and doing its thing.

Precision 18.5 Coming Soon:
The new Precision 18.5 will be arriving in September. We plan on doing a computer race with the 18.5 after it arrives. We are going to race the Precision 16.5 and the 15 when we get some wind. Racing this year has had its problems. No wind and lots and lots of rain has made summer sailing difficult. We are hoping for an outstanding fall sailing season.

A Jib For The Sun Cat:
We are working on a bowsprit and jib for the Sun Cat. The Sun Cat could use a little more sail area if your a lake sailor. We hope to offer the modification as a kit some time soon. Some older sailors will remember the first Island Packet 26 back in 1986. That boat was originally created from the hull and deck molds of a Bombay Trader cat boat. Long bowsprits have always been very popular in traditional boats.

The New Com-Pac 19:
The Com-Pac 18 is going to be the New Com-Pac 19. The boat is longer than originally planned. We should have new pictures in about a week. I’m on my way to Flordia to pick up a new Picnic Cat and I plan on taking my camera.

The Com-Pac 18 Sloop:
A line drawing of the new sloop is on the Com-Pac Club web site. It may not be an 18 when it’s finished and the boat is suppose to be out in the fall. Good looking boat.