I got a chuckle out of your article, “Ready For an App At The Helm?”
(Oct. 2012). I recently sailed from Santa Cruz, California, to Stillwater
Cove in Carmel Bay. It was foggy almost the entire way, and we could
only see land once we were within a couple of miles of Point Pinos,
at the southwest end of the Monterey Peninsula. I always have paper
charts onboard, but when you can’t take a reading from points on
land, or see the sun or stars in the sky, dead reckoning on paper is
your only hope, if the electronics fail you. The boat was equipped with
a new GPS, autopilot, and radar. The crew logged coordinates every
hour, and recorded our track on paper, and we had backups with an
iPad and on a couple of iPhone apps.
On our way back the next day, we could see land from Cypress
Point to Point Pinos, but we were in the fog the rest of the way. The
GPS started blinking on and off, acting weird, and the autopilot compass reading was completely off. On the GPS, the boat icon was facing
backward but heading correctly along the plotted track line. I could
not figure out what was going on. We relied on the iPad and iPhone
navigation apps for the trip home, and we were glad to have them.
When we got back to Santa Cruz, I looked more closely at the
problem, opened the locker where the fluxgate compass was installed,
and found that someone had stored a hand vacuum right next to the
fluxgate. As soon as I removed it, the autopilot and GPS compasses
realigned and the boat icon now faced correctly, toward the bow of
the boat. The hand vacuum contains a small motor that is magnetized,
and storing it next to the fluxgate made the compass react to the magnetic field of the hand vacuum.
I totally agree, you “should not ever rely solely on your cellphone
for operating, navigating, or otherwise interfacing with your boat.” But
on our trip back from Stillwater Cove, on a foggy day where land was
not visible, and with a baffling problem with the electronics installed
in the boat, we were sure glad we had those apps.
Santa Cruz, CA
As a tool and die maker, as well as a cruiser, I read with interest Tom
Neale’s article on bolt removal, “When There’s No Dynamite” (Oct.
2012). I have a few additional tips.
When you drill stainless, keep everything cool and keep the drill
speed low and the bit sharp. Too fast and the drill burns up. I agree
with Tom, if the bolt breaks, EZ-outs seldom work. If you have to drill
the bolt out, I’ve been very successful using an offset technique.
I try to drill out the bolt so that the majority of the diameter is
removed on only one side, to the edge of the threads. The rest of the
diameter is thinned but not touched. I then take a small round punch
ground at an angle, then triangle the obround point so I have a chisel
point at an angle. I then attack the thinned portion of the remaining
thread, tapping it into the hole, collapsing the bolt inward. Soon the
bolt carcass loosens and comes out. The benefit is no re-tapping of an
oversize hole with limited damage to the thread. Yes, I carry all this
Bonita Springs, FL
Sunset Mountain: Brent Haynes, of Tacoma, Washington, took in this
Mt. Rainier sunset from his boat moored at Penrose Point State Park.
Quick Study: Lauren Simendinger, 8, pilots a Stingray 185LX on Jordan
Lake, North Carolina, last July, up the New Hope River side of the lake
toward the US 64 bridge, while mom (Denise Simendinger) enjoys the
ride. “Lauren has eagerly become my first mate and takes the helm
whenever she is not riding in the tube,” writes William Simendinger.
“Her next lessons will be docking and loading on the trailer.”
Greer took advantage of a lull
between two July
storms to snap
a picture of his
Cheetah Fast Cat
on the Colorado
River in Needles,
California. He says
was worth the
effort of pumping
out all the rainwater. He brings a
whole new meaning to “Cat” nap
after all that