24 December, 2015

Christmas gifts

This year's Christmas were rich in marine gifts for our boat so I would like to share some interesting ones with you.

Special anchor for rocky shores with a railing holder. This kind of anchor is very handy on rocky shores like on Adriatic sea in Croatia. Simply throw the anchor to the shore and it will grab immediately without need to leave the boat. I think it's not very secure for strong winds, but the local people use it to ease the anchoring during a day when single handed. You can always put a piece of chain over the rocks afterwards for the overnight stay.

The boat name on the stainless steel anchor

Anchoring / mooring reel with 50m of the line and the Ronstan 60 series continuous-line roller furler and the anti-twist rope for an additional sails.
Anchoring/mooring reel, anchor, roller furled & anti-twist rope

We are planning the additional Gennaker, Blister or Code-0 for the next season, because there is no other
worse experience than staying boat when others are moving :-)

However, this Ronstan 60 series is not a top-down system so we have to buy a sail with straight luff and let the anti-twist rope sew in. More on this on the next post.

SOG FF23-CP Nautical knife

A nautical knife like this SOG FF23-CP is a no-nonsense lock back design with a rescue-style blade, marlin spike for rope work. Ordered directly from China. Every mariner should have some handy knife on board in case of emergency. The question is not if you will ever need it but when!

The last gift was the head flashlight and some accessories. This is however a subject of the next post.

Marry Christmas and Happy New Year ! 

01 December, 2015

Skipper Tomas' guide to winterizing

The winterizing process is commonly discussed among the sailors so I would like to put together all important steps I do on our boat. Over the years I own the boats I came to a resolution that all systems on the boats has to be extremely simple, reliable and of course very easy to maintain, because we want to sail more than doing an unnecessary maintenance.

  • I think it is important to keep the boat dry over the winter season so parking it in a garage is the best but putting over some heavier tarp is a minimum. Personally, I have a tarp made from a material used for truck trailers, which is around 500g/m2. Yes, it's heavy, but will last more than 1 year and protects the boat perfectly
  • To avoid wear through by various sharp hardware or stanchions always puts over some piece of protective material like carpet leftovers. On the picture below, you can see that I've used plastic plumbing tees on the top of the stanchions.
  • I always build some kind of netting from side to side to prevent the build up of water pools on the tarp.
  • Support the mast properly in case of heavy snow.
  • Additional mast support in the cockpit and the rope netting
  • To prevent the water condensation I always keep the front hatch open a little to provide some ventilation, but it's necessary to put over some bug screens.

  • Remove battery from the boat, store in a dry basement and charge it once after two months or so. 
  • Take home all portable electronics or remove all batteries from it.

Cabin's junk
  • It's always a good idea to clean the boat, because you will always find some nice pieces of forgotten food or any other bio materials which just attracts the mold or ants.
  • Remove all chemicals which could be damaged by freezing temperatures.
  • Take home all the clothing and sleeping bags. Everything that can absorb moisture can produce stinky odors.
  • Take home cushions or store on their sides.

Water systems
  • Put a cup of bleach into the water tank and let it sit. 
  • Empty the water tank completely, including the water pipes. You can use a non-toxic antifreeze based on propylene glycol, but it you don't have complex plumbing, it's just expensive and won't save you much time.
  • Clean the water tank from inside. This is a substantial difference over the flexible water bags!
  • Empty and clean the chemical toilet.

  • Sails are the main engine of the boat so they need care so clean them if necessary
  • Put them off the furler, fold them properly into the sail bag and bring them home.

  • It's better to take off the outboard from the bracket to avoid unnecessary stress on the stern.
  • Change the motor and lower unit gear oil - according to the manufacturer manual.
  • Spray some fogging like oil into the cylinders.
  • Empty the fuel tanks in the car or pour in some fuel stabilize.
  • Desalinate the engine cooling using a mild vinegar solution.

  • Check for corrosion and touch up if necessary
  • Jack it up on some stands to ease the load on the axles and tires.

  • You can also check that all the lights are working and the wheels are spinning without any noise or other issues which you can address during the winter time.
  • Check the hand-brake if it works properly.

As you can see this is not a rocket science, so having only a simple system on the boat helps you to spare some time to other aspects of life.

08 October, 2015

Lipno lake 2015

After the 3 weeks in the salt waters of Adriatic sea, we had one more very sunny week during the summer and went again to Lipno lake. We love it, especially the local nature and beautiful atmosphere.
This year we decided to launch the boat in the private marina YC Černá v Pošumaví. The local harbormaster was very kind and helpful.
I have to point that the last trailer modification I made proved it very handy, especially on a gentle slope so I had just to lower the after roller and support pads and the boat went off the trailer easily.

This year we bought a real marine clothing so when we used it one night the storm struck from sudden, I was more than happy we have it. Unfortunately, we had to re-anchor that night to the other side of the island and I missed a good light a lot.
After this experience I decided I really need a bright light on board so I bought the LED flashlight Fenix UC35. It's a waterproof and rechargeable flashlight with an integrated charger using the standard USB. The beam is pretty wide and strong for a single LED diode so searching for a good spot to drop anchor will no longer be an issue.

A few more photos from the trip:

Leaving the dry dock

Phobos 21 and WV Beatle .... both with trailer!

Mast or something

Blueberries, the forest was dry, not much to find

Blue teeth

Caught without the rod


Beautiful daysailer - Saffier Se 26

Statue of Lipno

Notice the cool windex

Marina Lipno

Marina Lipno

Lipno Marina and the Fish fountain

Cableway to the treetop walkway

Lipno treetop walkway

Wild nature

This used to be a car?

Kid's playground ... notice how tidy the boat is :-)

Slip at YC Černá v Pošumaví

Preparing to go home

Panorama from one of the most beautiful bays on Lipno.

Adalbert Stifter cruiser boat and its big wave

The GPS log from the trip is here

Sailtracker.cz log

19 September, 2015

Phobos Days 2015

We had a great opportunity to visit a nice event held by the Phobos Yacht's official dealer here in the Czech Republic. He brought together the whole line of the Phobos yachts starting with Jumper 19, Phobos 21, Phobos 24, Phobos 25 and also a hot new prototype of the Phobos 24.5, which is supposed to be a replacement for the old Phobos 24 to complement the new design line.

The best thing was that it was held on the lake Slapy so all the boats were available for testing sails.

For me, it's good to see the other boats so I can get some inspiration and chat with other owners of the Phobos sailboats.

Phobos 24.5

Phobos 24.5

Inside Phobos 24.5, great standing height

Phobos 24.5 - head
The smallest - Jumper 19

Phobos 21 - hull #39

Phobos 21 - hull #39 - with a diesel heater!

Phobos 21 - galley with fridge - my wife loves it!

Phobos 24

Phobos 25
Phobos 25 with additional swim platform and retractable ladder

Phobos 25 with the boom tent made by Ovčička Sails - however the rods are not foldable

Mr. Linhart and me with a son

The conclusion from the council of the expert sailors is that Phobos 21 is exceptionally fast boat :-)
Coming soon for the next season: Jirka a friend of mine, decided to buy a gennaker for his Phobos 21 !!!