Sea Trials

Sea Trials, or Ship’s Log prior to our departure:

Joana was declared finished in July 2003.  In my mind, this meant that the boat had reached or exceeded the state that you normally achieve with a production boat, and in some respects, a custom builder.   From that point forward, we enjoyed the boat, did regular maintenance, and of course – upgrades and modifications.

Summer of 2003

This was really our shake-down cruise, where we went out on Lake Ontario for 3 weeks.  On previous trips we learned about anchoring, docking, the electrical system, charging etc.  We learned about temperature on this trip.   On one night crossing of Lake Ontario we passed about 10 miles from the Toronto waterfront, the CN tower was very small in the distance.  On the FM radio at 2330, the broadcaster was talking about the heat at the Rolling Stones concert, it was 27 degrees Celcius.  Meanwhile, we were huddled in the cockpit, with our woolies on, the temperature on the lake was more like 6 or 7 degrees! 

Summer of 2004

This summer was the first time that we really got introduced to the cruising lifestyle and sailing/cruising in the company of other boaters, most of whom were more experienced than us.  We ventured into areas that we previously had not thought possible, for a boat our size, but were aided by more experienced and friendly yachtsmen.  We came across Peter Tielen and the HMP crew at Cobourg.

Summer of 2005

This summer we installed our new Bimini Top, that totally solved the problem of a sun shade.  It is very convenient and able to swing around in just about any position to bring shade into the cockpit and still be able to see the sails though the material of the Bimini Top.  The lowpoint of this summer holiday was when we got stuck at the East end of Presquille Bay, at the exit of the Murray Canal.  Joana draws about 7’2″ and can generally squeeze through some mud/silt and grass.  However, the water level at Lake Ontario drops in the late summer, making it easier to get under the bridge at Belleville, but more difficult to get through the Murray.  The Canadian Coast Guard gave us a pull and easily freed Joana from the mud.

Summer of 2006

This was a great summer holiday.  We never got stuck, lost or bump into anything.  For the first time ever, we docked at a proper berth.  The marina at Whitby had finger docks long enough to take us.  We bought two folding bikes from Holland Marine and relocated our Raytheon radar display from the nav station up to the cockpit.  Of particular note, we made use of the excellent SS swim platform and diving ladder made for us by Bill Shankland.  Two of our house bank batteries had to be withdrawn since they had dead cells.  This is the start of replacing the entire bank, which will likely happen in 2007.

Summer and Fall of 2007

It was very difficult for us to get in a sailing holiday this summer.  I was posted back to Canada from Brussels.  We had to move into “new” digs in Ottawa.  Jonathan got 8 weeks of summer employment.  We returned to Canada on 5 August.  By the time we had received our car, moved into our apartment and were ready to even work on the boat it was Labour Day weekend and we were taking Jonathan to start College in Barrie.  We finally launched on 28 September, with the intention of wintering in the ice, which we have done several times before.  Since repatriation back to Canada, I’ve caught up on a number of tasks: antifouling, extending the bow roller on one side (the two anchors always bumped into each other), installed a chainplate on the bow stem, installed a Y-valve on the fuel fill hose, fixed the Kobelt hydraulic steering pump leak, installed a SS pipe across the davits to provide support when the dinghy is hanging, installed new dodger windows, installed new antennas for a 2nd GPS, AIS, HF DSC Watch Antenna, NavTex and a special WIFI booster, and completed the installation of the ICOM MC802 HF/SSB radio.  We also replaced dorade box vent screens that had become fouled with spiders over the years.  The list of things installed/repaired/adjusted is getting smaller by the week.  I also had to withdraw another 8 golf cart batteries from the house bank, leaving only 4.  This was the fall for catching up.  In order to say that we still went cruising, to some degree, I’ve included a few pictures of our Atlantic crossing via the Queen Mary 2, as we sailed from Southampton UK to NY – the best way to do an ocean crossing!

Spring, Summer and Fall of 2008

After sitting at dockside from September 2007 to July 2008, it was time for a cruise, but not before we finished quite a bit more work.  We replaced the old 1460 Ahr flooded cell 12V battery bank (6V golf cart batteries) with 900 Ahr Lifeline AGMs.  We installed an automatic fire suppression system in the engine room (that will also shut down the exhaust fan if it deploys). We spent nearly a month installing our Echo-Tec watermaker, and promptly winterized it.  We replaced the broken “plastic domed” anchor light with a new LED one, with integral light sensor. We had new cockpit seat cushions made and finally came up with a simple way to secure them. A new “sail guard” was made and installed protecting the TV antenna. All internal cabin incandescent light bulbs were replaced with low power, long life LED models. We fitted an electronic loud hailer that has programmed fog signals. We fabricated and mounted a removable solar power flood light (it is on a magnetic base).  Recognizing an outstanding requirement to provide rain cover in the cockpit in the event of inclement weather (which we don’t plan to sail through), we built a retractable awning frame at the aft end of the cockpit.  A prototype cover (from an old spinnaker) will be developed next year.  We replaced our small round BBQ (Kettle) with a large rectangular one mounted on the pushpit, and even installed a heat reflector above to protect the solar panels. We built a substantial bracket to hold a 25 lb BBQ tank on the port davit.  We “reclaimed” unused space in the engine room (formerly occupied by the water system accumulator tank) and built two more shelves in the galley (much to the delight of the First Mate). We bought a new Tohatsu 9.8 HP outboard to go along with our AIB RIB, and configured a robust stainless steel mount on the starboard davit. We finally installed passive air intake for the engine room and active exhaust air. These seems to have greatly helped with the unwanted production of black soot on the transom. We also removed the Volvo’s diesel injectors and had them polished. We noticed that the plastic rollers on the mainsheet traveller were sun-degraded so had new ones fabricated out of aluminum stock with delrin bushings (an improvement).

Finally – in mid July, 2008, we went for the long awaited shake-down sail, with Ted and Karin Ceelen.  Although it was only overnight, it gave us an opportunity to test our new ParaSailor2 Asymmetric Spinnaker  .  In August, we went for our traditional 3 week cruise, the first week only with Wade and Diane, but the second and third weeks with our son Jonathan and a Deanna’s son – Robert.  We went to all the usual places – Waupoos, Belleville, Cobourg — but this year, for the first time ever, we cruised to the US side of Lake Ontario to visit Sodus Bay (beautiful vacation spot) and Rochester (great facilties at Shumway Marine).

After our summer cruise, we hauled, sandblasted the bottom, recoated with epoxy and 4 coats of coppercoat antifouling and returned to winter in the water.