More Video! Check out the new Resourceful Sailor Series piece, “Lowering The Mast Of A Small Boat,” published by Latitude 38’s online magazine, ‘Lectronic Latitude. In this one I highlight an advantage to going small by lowering the deck-stepped mast of Sampaguita, a Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 at the dock. No cranes, no fees, and if you are really ambitious you can do it single-handed. It does take some set-up, research, and a grasp of physics.

A special thank you to Monica and the crew at ‘Lectronic Latitude for their support and patience.

For the full article, follow the link below to ‘Lectronic Latitude:

Photo: Eric Maffre

Breskell stopped in Tuk for provisions and repairs and left with a story of human connection. Tales From The Northwest Passage – Tuktoyakyuk – What’s In A Fish? has been published in the June issue of 48 North Magazine. It’s an honor to be published alongside Andy Cross and Karl Krueger, two inspiring local adventurer’s.

A special thank you to editor Joe Cline for his support, Eric Maffre for his photos, Olivier Huin for his ship, and Scott Wilson for his mentorshuip..

You can get a subscription to 48 North Magazine or pick up a free copy at your local chandlery or marina.

The Port Townsend Sailing Association, Blackbird Associates, and Steve Scharf have relaunched the 1979 CHB Trawler race committee boat, Committee. (Yes, that’s the name. Underworld sounding? Or a little like naming your dog, Dog?Fresh from the Port Townsend Boatyard, simplified for purpose, and with a new electric motor, Committee is meant to augment the local sailing community and to oversee the local Thunderbird fleet and PHRF buoy and long-distance races. 

Originally put on the hard for winter storage and routine maintenance in the fall of 2020, the refit turned into more of a rescue. As work commenced, it became clear that many of the systems of the 42-year old boat were at end-of-life. The leaky and smokey Ford Lehman diesel, which the house mechanic Dan Ginther had kept running, was ultimately going to need a rebuild or replacement. With parts difficult to source, the latter was the reality. 

Steve, the owner of Committee, decided to pull the trigger on installing an electric motor. “At that point,” said Steve, “other diesel options were considered, but I convinced myself, despite a real mix of opinions concerning my sanity, to go electric.” It’s a progressive and new-age conscionable decision, though not yet widespread, whereas a diesel engine is time-honored but not necessarily forward-thinking. Full speed ahead, Steve enlisted Revision Marine to help design the new system.

In the meantime, there were other tired systems to remove that were unnecessary for a day-use committee boat. Out went the two-cabin heating system, the cooktop, and the hot water. Say bye, bye to refrigeration, radar (a tough call), and extra cushions. Get rid of the two large diesel tanks and the oversize freshwater tank. They removed the excess plumbing, renewed much of the remaining wiring, and rebuilt the steering. Other cosmetic and functional improvements are ongoing.

After a long winter of prep, the boat was ready for the motor to be installed. The new propulsion system Matt Mortensen of Revision Marine, a self-described tech geek, designed for Committee, hasa 108 volt, 40hp, Elco EP-40 electric inboard powered by a 25-kilowatt-hour battery consisting of five recycled Tesla modules. It will have an operating time of about three hours at 5.5 knots. Efficiency increases at slower speeds with 6.2 hours of run time at 4.5 knots. “They used about 15% of the battery capacity for Wednesday’s race,” stated Matt about Committee’s first outing for the T-bird racing.

The refit and repower of the committee boat demonstrate a commitment to supporting PTSA races and leading-edge technologies. The trawler’s structure is solid, providing a good viewing platform. Its operation will often be by volunteers, so it’s important to have a safe, simple, and reliable vessel that is easy to operate. As the days get longer and the Port Townsend race season heads into full swing, Committee is ready to play her star role out on the bay. As we see the reign of the combustible engine challenged in our modern world, the Port Townsend marine community is embracing the future.

Photo Credit: Amanda Landon

Out with the old plumbing and tankage. In with the new recycled Tesla battery.

Photo Credit: Steve Scharf, Steve Scharf, Joshua Wheeler

The Elco ready to installed. The Elco Installed. The Command Center

Photo Credit: Steve Scharf, Joshua Wheeler, Joshua Wheeler

What could be more salty? The latest installment by the Resourceful Sailor Series in Latitude 38′s online ‘Lectronic Latitude, centers around the addition of Breskell‘s crow’s nest for her transit of the Northwest Passage. Thank you to Monica and the crew for publishing “Shouldn’t Every Boat Have A Crow’s Nest?” on May, 12, 2021.

For the full article, follow the link below to ‘Lectronic Latitude:

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According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the third entry defines ‘warp’ as to move (something, such as a ship) by hauling on a line attached to a fixed object.

Thanks to Monica and the crew at ‘Lectronic Latitude for publishing the latest installment of The Resourceful Sailor Series, Warping A Boat Around At The Dock, on April 14, 2021. It includes a video for the first time in RSS history!

For the full article and video, follow the link below to ‘Lectronic Latitude:

I can’t thank Monica and the crew at ‘Lectronic Latitude enough for their support. They have done it again. On March 12, 2021, they published my latest Resourceful Sailor Series piece, Outboard Thermostats – An Open and Closed Case.

“There is a simple test to determine if a thermostat is opening and closing properly. Place it into boiling water. It should open in the water and close when removed.”

Click the link below for the full article:

The battery-testing meter on Sampaguita, my Flicka 20, was not working properly. I was particularly missing it while swinging on the hook. In addition to slow cooking stew on the solenoid-regulated stove, there were long, winter nights under the anchor light and short stormy days with limited solar-charging opportunity. Monitoring the batteries health was no longer flick-of-the-switch easy.

Thank you to Monica and the crew at ‘Lectronic Latitude and Latitude 38 for publishing the Resourceful Sailor Series installment, Replacing The Battery Meter on ‘Sampaguita, on February 15, 2021.

Here’s the link:

When you buy a used boat, you also buy a previous owner’s modifications. Sometimes these are desirable and sometimes less so. For example, the conversion of Sampaguita’s galley stove from alcohol fuel to propane was a win. But the push-pit mounted LPG tank blocked the visibility of the stern light. Correcting this seemed proper. This Resourceful Sailor Series article explains how I did that.

Thanks AGAIN to Monica and the crew at ‘Lectronic Latitude for publishing Keep The Stern Light in Sight on February 5th, 2021. Also, for their continued support in these trying times.

Click the link below for the article:

A special thank you to 48 North Magazine for publishing my piece, Exploring Local: Kilisut Harbor, in their February 2021 issue. Kilisut Harbor was my go-to destination for 2020 for reasons I’ll let the essay explain.

You can get a subscription to 48 North Magazine or pick up a free copy at your local chandlery or marina.

There’s also a cool article about a new Maritime High School, and it looks like Sarah Scott bought a new boat too.

Sampaguita’s portlights had sprung a few leaks around the panes. It was very slight in only a couple but was worsening and spreading. The outer gaskets were deteriorating too, so it was time to roll up my sleeves.

I did just that, and the project was the subject of my most recent Resourceful Sailor Series article, Old Bronze Portlights: Sealing the Pane. A special thanks to Monica and the crew at Latitude 38‘s online version, ‘Lectronic Latitude, for publishing it on January 18th, 2021. 

Click the link below for the article.