September 15-30, 2008 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Sept 18 - No pictures. We have been having a good time in Omaha with our friends Steve and Linda. So far we've pickled the engine on my old airplane which was a very sad day. Steve wants to fly but his legs aren't letting him at this time. Hopefully, they will in the next year but the good part is the plane will be ready with an fresh annual inspection and a well preserved engine. By the way, it ran GREAT before we pickled it.

The rest of the week, I've been doing projects around the house while he works. I won't list them all but I will say that Linda told me that it is a good thing we are leaving because she is going broke with all the parts and things she is buying that I'm either fixing or installing. We've been busy.

We are looking forward to heading back because that will mean we will finish the boat. We will be leaving in only three weeks and are almost complete with the refit. Now we will have to start watching the weather again for late storms forming in the tropics.

Sept 19 - And after an 800 point turnaround on the market in the last day and a half with an unprecedented change in the market, we were off to the airport to fly back to St. Louis. I could tell you a story about being called by friends about an electrical emergency and the possibility of Linda renting out her own handyguy but I may leave that to Deb. It was goodbye to Steve, Linda and the Beetle for another year. We always have a good time and get to catch up even more. Thanks for the hospitality and great friendship.

 Sept 21 - Yesterday the first thing Julie and I did was to head over to Anna's house. You just might remember Anna. Deb and I lived with her for about a month and a half when we sold our house. It just happened she broke her hip the day after we moved in and what a bad day that was however, it ended up working out the best for all of us. She came home early because we were there and we solidified a great friendship. In addition, Julie and Anna came to see us in Key West in January of 2007. Anna stayed on and sailed out to the Dry Tortugas with us. But today, it is all about breakfast! I knew Anna would be up so we didn't tell her we were coming and I knocked on the door and demanded her specialty. Cheezy Weezies. This is something she dreamed up when she was on a diet and it worked well for her. So that means we just had to have a great Cheezy Weezie again.

While she is toasting bread in the toaster oven, she cut up the tomatoes and the very, very sharp cheese. (Sharp cheese is the key to this great breakfast treat.) Once toasted, on goes the cheese and tomatoes and back into the toaster oven. She toasts this until the cheese is melting and the tomatoes are warm. It is really good.

We had a great visit with Anna and of course a great breakfast as well.


Then we were off for Kentucky Lake. I abused my family relationship and twisted Julie's arm so she would take us back to our boat. On the way, I twisted a little bit further and we stopped by Mt. Vernon at the KR Gathering. You might remember that I had built a KR and flew it for about 15 years before selling it to my friend Steve with a repurchase agreement when we are done cruising. Well, I just can't get enough of these little airplanes so I just had to make a quick stop by and spend and hour at the Gathering.

I left Julie and Deb at the Applebees so they could have lunch and then drove to the airport.

Left and below left is Jeff Scott's plane. Bottom right is Larry's plane along with a participant at the Gathering.

This three picture segment is of Dan Heath's plane. This is the first time Dan flew his plane to the gathering and it is probably his longest cross country in the plane as well. He has done a nice job too.

I'm not sure about all of the planes owners but I did know a number of them.

I hope you enjoy a few pictures because the one below was a real beauty at the Gathering.

To the left is Tommy Waymac and Tommy and I go quite a ways back flying into the different airshows.

As you can see from one of the previous planes, some people even name their planes. I'm not sure where the inspiration comes from but I'm sure it is important to them.

The plane in these pictures belongs to Chris from Canada. I first met Chris at Oshkosh in 2002 I think. We had both flown in and that was my third Oshkosh flyin.

Chris has a very nice airplane.

The pictures below that are of another friend from Oklahoma. In the lower right you can see that he is about to give a ride in the KR. I remember the many times there were only a couple of us that would provide rides in our airplanes. It is nice to see more people today giving rides to people that are about to finish their airplanes so they will be able to fly them safely.

To the left is Mike Stirewalt's plane. Or should I say Steve Bennett's plane. Or should I say Ken Cottle's plane. Ok, Ken built the plane and I flew to Oshkosh in 1992 with him on the wing. Then he sold it to my friend Steve and when Steve and I came to an agreement on my plane, he sold it to Mike.

Mike has really done some improvements to the plane and has flown it across the country a couple of times. He really enjoys flying the plane and he is having the time of his life with it.

Below is a typical picture at a Gathering. A bunch of aviators either telling lies about how much faster their plane flys or, being truthful, helping out someone with an idea or just talking about flying. This group was actually asking about Deb and I going cruising and how we liked it. On top of that, they were really interested in when we would be flying back in with the KR.

I can't even answer that question myself.

Planes are everywhere and you can see engines of many different makes and models.

Below right is one of the very first KR's ever built. It was built by Dan Diehl and sold to one of his friends and then on to someone else and now another party. They good news is it is still flying strong.

The picture to the left and lower left are of Mark Langford's plane. He has done more testing on the plane and has more data about the plane than anyone I know. He flys it so much he just hasn't ever taken the time to paint it other than primer.

Mark is a great guy to know because of his huge knowledge base with regards to this plane.

And below are more planes.

In the end, my hour was up and even though I didn't get to talk as long or to as many people as I would like to, I was off to pick up Julie and Deb and head on down to the lake. After we unloaded, Julie headed back to St. Louis. Thanks Julie for the help getting us back home. Until next year, we won't be imposing on our family and friends. Oops, I almost forgot. We will be having Paul pick us up in a week but that is so I can help him with the screens on his boat and teach him to use our sewing machine.

More later.

 Sept 26 - Since we are back, it is back to work. One of the things I've been wanting to do is to sew a new nose cover for the dinghy. This is to keep water from coming into the dinghy when we hit some big waves down in Key West this winter. You can see the cover to the right and where I've attached it to the little nose piece bottom right and left.

I never used this nose piece even though it made the boat look better because it was just something else to put on AND when you go into a dock the first thing that hits is the nose piece trying to break it. I probably still won't use it much unless there is big water. The nose cover will keep the water out and the nose piece deflects the wave/water to the side. It should work well now instead of a scoop.

The boat actually came with one but it was of vinyl and they had me put it on with double stick tape which immediately didn't and to Davy Jones locker it went.


To the left you can see a big pile of white things. These things are actually my eight pieces to the complete rear enclosure. I decided I never want to make another one so I took six sheets and made up bags for each one to put them into before I roll them up. That way the zippers won't imprint into the vinyl windows.

I decided to store them in the space in front of the closet space in the forward starboard hull. Since I shouldn't have to get to them very often, it should be a good storage space. There is still room for paper towels and toilet paper when we go to the Bahamas again this year.

The next project was replacement of one of the two windows that was ruined when I had a Pfifertex screen made for them. The windows were ruined in three months. Bummer. Ok, I replaced them once before, time to do them again.

The best way to get a window off, after you remove all of the screws, it to take a small filet knife and cut away the silicone with the blade as close as possible to the window. This isn't hard, it is tedious and you want to take your time so you don't cut up the material on the inside of the boat.

When you get the window removed, you will leave the old silicone on the boat as you see below. The next step is to cut away half of this silicone. I mean from top to bottom not thickness. That way you will have a dam and when you inject silicone from the outside corners, it won't run into the boat.

Bottom right shows transferring the pattern of the window on the new material. In addition, I used six clamps to clamp both of the sections together. I spaced the "windows" up from the asphalt where I was working and drilled all of the holes for screws while it was clamped together.

Next was the big process of cutting along the line. I have found you can use a cheap saber saw but you better use a good bosch blade for this process. There is nothing like a good blade.

Once the window was cut, the next step was to sand the edges. You want to round off the outside edge so you don't mess up a leg when you slip on the boat. Just round them over a bit unless you can actually take this somewhere and route the edge to a slant. Next, put the new window on top of the old one. You MUST remember to keep the inside of the old window and the new window in the same plane. The way I did this was to take two 3/16" drill bits, which was what size the holes were for the screws, and put one at each end so the windows would remain lined up. Next, use 3M (HIGH QUALITY) vinyl electrical tape and tape off the openings that you are supposed to see through. The electrical tape leaves a clean line. Then, use the blue tape along with paper and mask off the areas you don't want painted. You can attach the blue tape to the vinyl electrical tape.

Once you have everything sealed up, it is time to paint. First sand the area you are going to paint and then use some good detergent to clean it. This makes sure you get any grease off of it. After dry, paint with a good spray paint that is good for plastic. I used five thin coats.

The paint has to dry overnight and since the bugs don't sleep at night when they see these two faces breathing, you probably will want to put some paper over the opening.

This picture is also important because you can see some small pieces of tape on the boat. These pieces are to indicate where the snaps go back on the window. The sunbrella cover I made never was a problem so I will go back to using that full time. However, I just found out that Sunbrella makes a product now call Sunbrella shade. If I wasn't taking my sewing machine back Monday, I would probably make some screens from that. Oh well, maybe next summer when I come back again for family and friends.

Fortunately, no mosquito bites.

The next afternoon, I tried to let the paint dry for 24 hours, I put a layer of GE 100% silicone on the old silicone and put in all of the screws. This is a pain to do because it is a two person job. One person has to hold one end of the window away from the opening while the other person lines up the first edge and gets the first screw started. In anticipation that all of the screw holes wouldn't line up perfectly (I'm doing this in a parking lot rather than a shop) I filled all the screw holes in the boat with 5200 before applying the black silicone. As it ended up, I had about six that didn't line up and I had to drill new ones.

I'm not in a hurry so I let the first silicone application dry over night before I started filling in the edges. The final step is to pump silicone down into the void. You can see I've taped off the boat in preparation to wipe the silicone and get a clean line. I injected into the void first and then I put ample silicone on the outside to have enough so I could wipe it with some excess. That means have paper towels and a trash can available to wipe off your latex gloved finger. The other key to this is when you get say half of the top done, pull the blue tape up. Then move on down the window. This way you will have a good line.

It comes out to be a pretty good installation and it is the way they installed them on the 536 series of the boat. I know that because I asked.

I have another window to replace but that will be after I return from Puxico. Otherwise, we are just about ready to go. Tomorrow we are going out to watch the start of the Commonwealth Cup race and tomorrow night I'm playing for the party. More pictures as the weekend develops.  

 Sept 29 - Saturday was really fun. I mean really, really fun. The pictures you see to the right and below are of some friends boats as we were taking pictures of the race. This was the first time we actually got out of work mode and into fun sailing mode on the water. It was FUN FUN FUN. We are ready to get back to cruising.

Of course we leave in two weeks on the twelfth as long as the weather is good. Am I sounding like a cruiser? I really am. At the same time, I still have that dream job in my mind where I am ready to get back in and make a difference.


Above you can see another friend on the rail of the boat at they were tacking up the lake in great wind. These guys came across the line first and deserved the accolades they received. Just above us was the way we did the race. Now I have to start this story with the fact that I was told that we couldn't enter because we were a Catamaran. Now that didn't disappoint me because I was scheduled to play my guitar and sing on Saturday night before the ceremony. So here is what we did..... We took pictures of a ton of boats as they started the race and then we motor sailed down the lake to get ahead of the fleet and then get some more pictures. Since we are truly cruisers, we then anchored and I cooked homemade pizza for lunch. As the racing fleet came back up the lake into the wind and heeled over, we were flat and having a good time. Of course I was the responsible guy drinking tea so that I could play that night.

Pam, above driving our boat, is really a racer married to the guy on the teak above right. Pam taught me some more good stuff about sailing and we were able to point about 45 degrees to the wind and pretty much keep up with the faster part of the fleet. I love learning about sailing.

Of course to the left are some more friends on Hottie Tottie. Thanks Tom and Diane for bringing my main window lexan! I should have that new window installed in another week.

On Saturday night I played my guitar and entertained for about an hour and a half ending with Southern Cross and most of the crowd singing or humming along. It was a great night for me and I really enjoyed the people having a good time.

Sunday it was back to work. I changed the oil in the engine, transmission, Honda Generator, the fuel filters, lubricated the outdrive along with the ORIGINAL steering cables, and changed the zinc in the heat exchanger. In other words, we are almost ready to go. Monday, I'm off to Pat and Paul's to get rid of my sewing machine and to teach Paul to sew. More on that later.


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