January 27, 2017

Windlass Installation Details

This post is a detailed supplement to our post about installing our new windlass. [Read that one first...]

Following is a storyboard of photos [with detailed annotations] demonstrating and describing the retrofitting of a new Lighthouse windlass on Denali Rose's foredeck. 

Original Nico Marine windlass (ç 1983) and 3/8" BBB chain.  

The green tape is what I used for marking the layout of the new windlass. [Note: Starboard chain is not in its gypsy in this shot; it is temporarily draped over the clutch wheel so it is out of the way for measuring.]

Laying out new windlass.

Note: the anchor locker divider (3/4" marine plywood-resin coated) is intensionally off-set slightly to port. [i.e., The starboard locker is larger and so will be used for main bower...]

Triangular top [deck] plate is in the lower left of this field drawing, and is shapped to match the existing raised section on deck. The rectangular backing plate is on upper half of drawing.

Out with the old... and reconfirm layout...

Dry fitting new deck plate; marking bolt holes for drilling. The yellow canister is the windlass motor encased in a kevlar wrap with a molded urethane base that has a removable bottom to accommodate water tight wire penetrations.

Swiss cheese deck from old and new windlass holes. This is why I had the custom deck plate and large backing plate fabricated. [Both are 1/4" thick 316 stainless steel and will be bonded with 3M 4200UV- VS. 5200- to accommodate future removal if necessary...]

Note: Nauticat does not use any coring in their hand layed-up fiberglass hulls- including the deck. The deck was just shy of 1 inch thick were these holes are.

Backing plate placed on top of deck plate [for reference] to demonstrate layout and coverage...

The backing plate lower right corner [in photo] is notched because I didn't have time to remove the old foot switch which has a ~2 hole through the deck. This hole will become a small, clear deck plate for viewing the propane A-B switch in the future.

In retrospect, I wish I had removed the rectangular grey cover securing a since abandoned 12 VDC outlet, and extended the SS deck plate over that hole as well...

Also note the 2 inch ID tubes welded to the backing plate where the two chains lead through  [i.e., hawseholes...] Those tubes are long enough [1 inch to match deck thickness- per my request] to mate with the SS deck plate [protecting the non-cored deck from the anchor chain] and extend another 2 inches into the anchor well. These are for clamping 2 inch ID exhaust tubing to for leading the chain in the chain locker [and quieting any rattling...]

Boat bling. New 1501 Windlass from Lighthouse manufacturing. [Dry fitting after drilling holes through deck...]

A view of the permanent install (looking aft .) You can just make out the yellow drive motor, below. (The loose wiring is for the propane solenoid and was later attached to the underside of the deck.) 

The perforated rubber floor matts in the background are remnants from lining the bottom [2 layers on the bottom...] and all sides [single layer] of the anchor locker to prevent the chain from making direct contact. This prevents unnecessary wear on the hull, quiets the chain in the locker, and allows for water to drain and the chain to dry.

In this view you can [barely] see I had to notch the 3/4" plywood anchor locker divider to allow clearance for the motor. Also note the forward most 1/2" hex bolts on the windlass base. These mate to nuts welded to the backing plate, greatly simplifying installation.

The finished installation. This view also shows the captive, tight fitting slotted stainless hawsehole covers/chain retainers. These fit tightly over the rectangular polyurethane boot which is an extension of the cast polyurethane base which negates the need for any sealant- making future removal of the windlass a simple matter of removing 6 bolts and dropping the motor.

The deck and backing plates were bedded using 3M 4200UV so they could be removed in the future if necessary. 

Preparing to pull [from a full barrel; 550 feet] of 5/16 inch grade 43 chain into the starboard locker [for the first time] to see how much will free-fall. [Ultimately this was done on both sides of the divided anchor locker...]

This is the 'middle' of the 550' length [1 barrel] of 5/16" grade 43 chain after both ends were pulled into their respective chain lockers. It was cut here and attached to the two anchors. [360' for the main bower on starboard; 190 feet for the secondary bower on port.] Both sides have rope rodes attached to the chain.  See our Ground Tackle Inventory page for specific details.

After shot of windlass and anchors in 2014  (60# CQR on port; 80# Supermax as main bower on stbd.) [We later changed our groundtackle configuration...]

Note the 1/2" 'Starboard' installed on foredeck and anchor locker lids to protect fiberglass deck from anchors, chain, etc.

For those who desire even more information, here are the complete details about our groundtackle system.

Friday Funny 01/27 (Bears)

Send more tourists, this one got away!

This is Binky, he lived at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. In July of 1994, a tourist decided that she wanted to get closer to the bear and climbed past the first barrier. The bear grabbed her leg, and eventually ended up with just her shoe. The tourist ended up in the hospital with a broken leg, and bite wounds. This incident spawned T-shirts, buttons, and world-wide attention. 

This gives you an idea of how large they actually are.

Whew, scarey! My brother works in security in the Alaskan North Slope oilfields, one of his first jobs was to be the polar bear lookout for the people working there.


Actually, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Advice from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

In the Rare Event of an Attack

If a bear makes contact, you have two choices: play dead or fight back. The best choice depends on whether the bear is acting defensively or is seeking food.
  • Most brown bear attacks are a defensive response. Play dead in defensive situations: Hit the ground and lie still if a brown bear you have surprised or any female bear protecting cubs makes contact. Lie flat on your stomach, legs spread apart for stability, with your hands protecting the back of your neck. A defensive bear usually ends its attack if it feels you are not a threat. Remain motionless for as long as possible. If you move, and the bear sees or hears you, it may return and renew its attack. In a prolonged attack, fight back.
  • Fight back in other situations: Rarely, lone black bears or brown bears may perceive a person as potential food. Fight any bear that has been calmly focused on you and makes contact or that breaks into a tent or building. In almost all situations, your best defense against an attacking black bear is to fight back. Concentrate on the bear’s face or muzzle with anything you have on hand.

Good info

In 2012, Bill and I visited Katmai National Park and Preserve. It's an experience that remains one of our top trips ever. You have to confirm your trip the day that National Parks opens it up for internet bookings [usually in early January each year...] and be ready hit your enter button immediately. That's how popular it is. The whole story is worthy of it's own blog post I suppose. Here's some highlights.

We stayed in the campground which is surrounded by an electric fence. Not bear proof, but bear deterrent.

Bill finishing setting up our Trango 3 tent. [A favorite among those who climb Denali...]
He's wearing a Original Bug Shirt to protect from the mosquitoes. [It works! Get these on Amazon...]

Looking out at Naknek Lake.

The walk out to the "Falls" platform is about a mile, through the forest, and then onto a boardwalk, to a raised platform at the Brooks River.

Bears try different techniques to catch fish.

You can imagine we have thousands of photos. Bear here, are conditioned to a human presence. They know that if a human is in proximity, that you will back up, and away, to let them pass. They don't even look at you, or pay any attention, it was surreal to be so close, and yet the bear seemed oblivious to you. There are park rangers ALL over, to ensure tourists don't approach, get close, or do any of the stupid things we are capable of. This type of behavior is NOT the way bears act in the "wild".

When we hand out Bear Spray canisters, we remind you that "Bears like condiments too!"

Thirty miles southeast of Wrangell, just across the southern tip of the island, is another bear viewing area, Anan Wildlife Observatory. You still need a permit to visit, since they only allow so many on the platform at a time, but it's less controlled since it is a smaller area. This is one of the few places that black bears, and grizzlies can be seen fishing together. We usually take our summer guests there for the experience. Yes, we have thousands of photos of bears here also.

Momma and baby.

Whenever we have visited Denali National Park and Preserve, we have seen grizzlies. These bears are not as large, due to the lack of protein in the area. Still impressive.

Bears (seen from the bus), and Denali, what could be better?

Come to Alaska; we'll show you bears!

January 20, 2017

Friday Funny 01/20 (No Glass)

Clink your glass!

We don't have glasses that clink, we try to avoid glass onboard where we can.

Three different types of Lexan glasses to drink adult beverages from.

We do have one set of special occasion "glass" glasses, because they were hand-made, and a gift to Bill from his colleagues for retirement.

Etched with Alaska, and a sailboat.

"Core Apps", the name of the group Bill managed, and "Curmudgeon Emeritus".

I mostly drink wine, and since the no glass rule is in effect, it comes from a bladder in a box.

You never know what you'll find when you lift up the stairs.

The top stair holds mostly beer, and the bottom, mostly wine. There's also beer lying next to the hull under the sole, (floor, for you lubbers), in front of the aft (rear), head (bathroom). The beer stays cool there.

Merlot is usually my choice.

It's time for wine!

The Boat Galley, Carolyn Shearlock, has a website FULL of great suggestions for everything boating. Here is one of her solutions for securing your wine bladder. People who boat in warm climes have issues with bugs and cardboard, so some have rules about no cardboard on board. In addition to bugs, it also takes up too much valuable space.

Plastic, tupperware type, cereal container, with a spout hole cut out.

I found these products on Amazon:

Convenient carry bag for a wine bladder.

Do you think people would notice if I had a straw coming out of my scarf?

You should see the results on Amazon, when I was searching for a wine container. LOL, one of my results, was a wine bladder holder that you put in your bra, a wine-rack! I'll leave it to you to imagine, or search that one out.

Any kind will do.

I don't know if my friends drink milk, I KNOW they drink wine.

Maybe I should decide which kind of bottle...... now while I can enjoy the wine. 😀

What is your favorite wine, or drink, and would you drink it out of plastic? Leave us a comment below, or on our Facebook page, Denali Rose Sailboat. Thanks!

January 13, 2017

Friday Funny 01/13 (Morning People)


Morning people vs Night people, that sums it up nicely for me.

Bill is definitely a morning person, cheerfully arising anywhere from 5:00am to 8:00a. I'm not like that, not even remotely. I usually wake up when he is getting out of bed, but then I pull the covers over me, and blissfully go back to sleep. Back when we were "working folk", Bill would be up early doing email, or whatever, and I would stumble out later, to get my morning coffee before going work. Bill, brightly tells me "good morning!" I mumble something, grab my mug, and shuffle back to the bedroom, or bathroom to begin showering, and dressing. "Don't talk to me", I'm thinking on the best of days.


I know I'm not the only one, given the fact of how easy it is to find funny non-morning people cartoons on the internet.


My parents both came from farms in the Midwest, and had the idea that every Saturday my brothers, and I would be up early to do the household chores. I never liked this notion, I figured I had gotten up early everyday for school, why the heck couldn't I have one day to sleep in! I never understood it, until as an adult, I went to work for an airline with shift work. That was where I found out I was a night person, reveling in working the evening shift: 3:00pm to 2:00am. I'd had no clue! What an eye-opener, and a learning experience for my family not to call me before 9:00am, and preferably later.


My morning saving grace is coffee, hot, with just a bit of cream.


I realize that I'm fortunate. After Bill gets up, he makes two mugs of coffee, one for him, one for me. If it is after 7:00am, he will bring it in and set it on the shelf next to the bed where I am sleeping. He whispers, "coffee", just in case I might be aware. When I wake up, I just reach out, and like magic, there it is! If by some strange circumstance, I actually get out of bed first, I will make two mugs of coffee, and I will know that either Bill is ill, or he has been awake for a substantial part of the night with something.

Love you AND coffee!

I found my opposite.

The Thermos brand of mug is our mug of choice, liquids stay hot or cold for hours in this one. We have four of them, with sipper, and total cover lids. Unfortunately, they don't make this style anymore. Once in awhile, I can find them on ebay, but for astronomical amounts of money. Apparently we aren't the only ones who hoard them.

One mug a day, keeps the grumpys away.

What's really weird, are the number of websites that pop up when you google "become a morning person". Like that's ever going to happen!


This pretty much sums it up for me.

My bed is toasty, not a toaster.

Which one are you? Let us know here in comments, or on Denali Rose Sailboat facebook page. Night people unite!