Night Lights ~ Chesapeake Float 2016

The Green Monster 


It’s already growing dark when Doug gets my attention, says the crabs and oysters are ready and I’m missing them. Indeed, people are seated around long tables under the trees. Sounds of laughter and conversation, and crickets. Shadows seep from the woods and collect in pools beneath the sycamores and cypress. Fireflies lift off from the lawn, scribing arcs above the grass.


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Morning at Freeport Landing ~ Chesapeake Float 2016

direct Youtube link 


Some video from the first morning. Land critters raising a ruckuss, and some seafaring riffraff return. It’s pretty rough; wanted to get it posted before leaving town for a couple of days.

Kevin B thought it was hilarious when I told him about the rooster. In the video you’ll hear why I wasn’t laughing.




Chesapeake Float 2016 ~ Mermaids, Crabs and Other Edible Fishes


Still more to do on the Lightning before she could sail. Raising sails for only the second time, for instance, it became clear the halyards were going to be a problem. While attending to that I broke a few more things, so had to fix those, too.

Like other older racing boats, Lightnings have two-part halyards. The half you haul away on is conventional line, fat and comfortable in the hand. The other half is thin wire. The idea is when fully raised and cleated off it’s mostly the wire under tension, which doesn’t stretch much. Makes sense: Set it once and it’s good for the day.

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Off Center Harbor

Passing Like a Dream


Most of you who follow this blog probably already know about these guys. They’ve been making and posting boat flavored videos for almost four years now. Really great stuff. They cover everything from detailed how-to’s to ride-alongs on some really wonderful boats, whether a beautiful classic sailing yacht or a little homebuilt dinghy.

And the five guys who founded have the chops to do it right. Steve Stone worked in the film industry for years. Benjamin Mendlowitz is the classic wooden boat photographer almost everyone knows, as his Wooden Boat calendar hangs in offices and boat sheds all over the world. Maynard Bray was head of watercraft preservation at Mystic Seaport and has been a regular contributor to WoodenBoat magazine. Bill Mayher has had a career as a maritime writer. And Eric Blake has been building boats all his life, along both coasts, and is project manager at the Brooklin Boat Yard.

This site is subscription based, so there are no ads. (Yay!). This means that not only do you NOT get bombarded with sales pitches when all you want to do is relax and learn something, but it means they have the freedom to give their honest opinions about things without concern for which paying advertiser it might piss off. That’s both crucial and really rare when doing research, and you need to find out what really works.

In celebration of their success, they’ve provided the video above for free. You can share it with friends, post it on Facebook, whatever. And if you want to spend $40 a year to get access to more, take my word for it, it’s well worth it.




Chesapeake Float 2016 ~ Cocks Crow

 Sunrise at Freeport Landing


Dawn is very noisy. There’s a rooster. A rooster very near, like next to my head. The sun is barely up, and he is hard at work. Also, something else making a racket I can’t quite place. A sheep? No sleeping through it, rise and shine.








Lightning #2833 with the boom tent

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Chesapeake Float 2016 ~ Arrivals

 Mike’s Melonseed “Pepita”


“Don’t wait for me.”

“Where are you?”

“Just pulling out of the driveway. Of course. Still a lot of things to fix.”

“Oh. OK, well, call when you get here. Not sure where we’ll stop, but we’ll be back sometime tomorrow.”

Two hours later, Freeport Landing looks deserted. The sun is low, throwing long shadows across the water. A row of empty trailers lined up near the ramp. One lone boat there. Hmm, maybe someone went along as crew and left their boat. And Mike’s Melonseed is anchored off the beach. Not a soul in sight, though. Sometimes people double up for company or to lend an extra hand.


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Steerage ~ Semi-final Rudder Repair



After seeing those new Lightnings up close, I got some ideas for how to do a few things on old #2833. Still much to learn, but it’s a start. And I got back early enough Saturday to get started. Then had all day Sunday. Two good days in a row, a new record. Main thing is to finish the kickup rudder. That’s essentially done.

John included the plans for the boat, and those came in handy for this. I could draw out the original rudder lines on plotter paper to see how Sparkman & Stephens intended it. Laying the parts down on the lines made it easy to make final decisions and adjustments.



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