Hemispheres Gets Another Addition

Well, finally pulled the trigger on the ParaSailor. I’ve only been looking at it for three years now. I have an asymmetrical spinnaker and a symmetrical spinnaker. The asym I cannot by myself, with some work. The symmetrical, I need another set of hands and since I single hand, not happening, especially since I also have to rig a pole.

The last trip to Ocracoke was almost dead downwind with following seas and I was struggling a bit to maintain wing on wing.


The ParaSailor is a unique downwind and off the wind chute that includes a baffle to let air escape and is automatically adjusted via the wind speed. this allow it to be flowing greater winds, 20+ knots with gusts up to 30. Dousing just requires heading downwind, release the sheets and slack the guy lines, then drop the sock.

And here’s what she will look like under sail. Oh yes, getting the lime green colored scheme shown above. Looking forward to flying this.


A Good and Crazy Sail to Ocracoke

For starters, you know something is going to happen when it starts out like this. There is definitely something happening with the overall system. So resetting the several times apparently solved it but I’m sure it temporary. It’ll be back.

So on to a great sail over, nice wind up to Brant Shoal then it died down a bit so we motorsailed.

But you know what always happens when you pass Royal Shoal and head southeast, the wind picks upgreatly and it didnt disappoint. We had winds in the upper 20’s and I already had the jib in. Flew down Nine Foot Shoal over seven knows with just the main! You know you’re fluing when your speed is greater that your depth.

So get the sail down and as I’m rounding the red/green mark to head up into the Silver Lake channel, an alarm goes off. That’s a horrible sounding alarm on the engine panel. Put in on autopilot and went below real quick to see the engine. Yup, threw a belt, the big belt running the alternator and fresh water pump. With the wind blowing at almost 30kts, being in the the channel and a ferry coming down the channel, had no choice but to back off the RPMs and limp into Silver Lake and get docked as quick as possible.

It was a brand new belt that broke, just a month old. It’s the proper belt, probably just from a bad batch. So tomorrow I’m changing the impeller for the heck of it. Another thing? I’m adding a water temp and oil pressure guage. All I have are the idiot lights right now and when they come on, it’s too late. And so, here’s to chaos, no major damage and ariving safely. Oh, some guys walks up to me and says “Man, you need this…” So there it is.

Some More Upgrades

Finally, after many years, got a Racor 500 put in, thanks Darrel. It costs more but the filters actually cost less than the old RP12 and it’s top loading so no more priming when I run out of fuel coming out of South River.


Next up, accumulator, 1.5 gallon which really helps with the cycling of the fresh water pump. So far, I like it.


But on a sad note, looks like the Profile monitor is on its way out. After staying on for a few minutes, she blanks out. Being 18 years old, guess she’s lived her time.


Perfect Day

What better way to spend and honor Earth Day than on the water? I previously said that if you make that just right, perfect cup of coffee in the morning, it’s a sign of a great day to come. And it sure was. Today was pretty much that spring shakedown cruise where you see what broke over the winter, what will break and what needs tweaking and repaired.

Like I said, shakedown cruise. Three issues. First, think there’s a frozen sheve on teh first jiffy reefing line where it comes out of the boom, need to check that. Next, is the cut of the main too long? Have a wrinkle on the leech at the bottom. Third and most drastic, there’s water in the bildge! I repeat, there’s water in the bildge! But because today was such a great day, I did something totally out of nature for me. i’m leaving the water in the bildge until tomorrow. That’s right, didn’t clean it up right away. Good news, it’s fresh water. Has to be one one of the two water tanks somewhere.

But overall, great day, can’t complain one bit. One thing about this Bene, she’s loves a beam reach, or more precisely, slightly forward of beam reach. Hit seven knots with under twelve knots of wind on the beam. Awesome day, just spent it tacking back and forth and out a bit. Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 9.42.36 PM

Accessing the Axiom MicroSD Card

Well you know, there’s always a downside to every new shiny product. The Axiom MFD, love it with just one issue. As the aesticis of the flush mount all glass screen is appealing, the access for the SD card is on the back, meaning each time I want to update charts or the firmware when it’s large, I have to take off the top of the binnacle.

So come to find that Raymarine already has a workaround with it being, quite possibly, the most expensive MicroSD card reader on the market since its propritory with the connection. Bit the bullet becuase after all, we’re talking about a boat.

So 30 minutes later after drilling, boring and connecting, all done. Then noticed an issue with the charts, slow to come up and jittery. After scratching my head and repeatedly asking myself, “WTF?”, I happened to go back to the box where I found some additional instructions. Simply says, if you’re experiencing difficulty with reading or writing to the card, install these three ferrites at the prescribed lengths. To which I said, A: glad I didn’t throw out the box after opening and B: ph, that’s what those are for.

Meh…all good now 🙂

Davits, Davits, Davits

Finally, after hemming and hawing for years, decided to add davits to Hemispheres. A special thanks to Terrie at Kato Marine who walked me through the entire process, including, “we may want to measure that again…”. Fantastic company, great products and great people.

Installation was straight forward, but not without hiccups (my fault obviously). The starboard side went on without a hitch, properly measured, drilled, etc. Port side, different story. Wouldn’t you know it, right where I wanted the supporting brace to be, I had the unique ability to pick a spot that was directly over a bulkhead, So, a couple of holes, and help from Mark at Inner Banks for working the tubing, including cutting and pressing, all is good.

Which then presented another challenge. Had to move the outboard, so moved it to the side. After moving it and looking at it, I figured that my very first time leaving the slip with it there, I’m that guy that would run right next to thee piling and rip it right off the rail. So luckily, there is just enough space between the starboard davit and engine lift, fits jut perfectly but need a new motor mount. After looking at several options of making one with starboard and adding up the costs, I just said screw it and ordered the ready made Edson mount. Pricey but I’d rather dedicate my time doing other things.

Definitely get the stabilizer bar and upgrade the blocks to 6:1 purchase. Well worth it.