The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Boat Without a Tail

You may be interested in a great blog about another sailor working toward the escape plan.

I finally removed the Voyager windvane that was heavily damaged last year when a 12 m sailboat crashed into it at the marina.

Jakatar looks kind of funny without its tail. All that's left are four holes on the canoe stern. Yup, the boat is slowly getting more naked; pretty soon I'll be eligible to join the minimalist club.
Canoe stern
The stripe paint job (first coat) looks good from a distance. The edges look sloppy because I haven't removed the tape yet. From this perspective Jakatar looks like an elongated egg. Can you believe it? I went home and left the windvane carcass lying on the ground - The removable parts are on the boat.
I also slopped on the first coat of enamel paint on the hull stripe. I think 2 more coats will make it presentable, at least looking better then the lifeless deteriorating dark blue that absorbed sunlight and got really hot in the sun, which caused the gelcoat to craze (fissure).

A friend, Paulo, also working on his boat at the yard invited me for lunch at his home on this gorgeous street.
Streets of Nazare
This is the real Nazaré. I took this picture about 50 m from the beach.
José, an anthropology professor, also joined us for some delicious fried sole fish and "açorda," a concoction of mashed bread, garlic, pepper, olive oil, parsley - and whatever you might feel inclined to throw in - that was really good, accompanied with perhaps too much red wine.

During the meal we found ourselves in an animated conversation about the difference between "having, doing and being" and Paulo even sang a Fado song that was somehow relevant to all this. Lunch ended at 4 pm, and I went back to the boat yard feeling that socializing with the right people is what it's all about.


  1. Açorda, too much wine and Fado? Could that be more Portuguese? That street looks like a postcard.

    Regarding your Voyager windvane: I have one (it's currently in the garage as my mast is out and why leave it to cook in the sunshine?) Do you think it can be repaired by Peter the manufacturer? If the insurance pays 100% (I don't know how that will work), perhaps you could order an identical model and salvage spares from the damaged one. That would be an ideal outcome from a bad situation.

    I would suggest, given Peter's proximity to retirement age, that if this is possible, that you do it soon. I really like his work, but I don't know how long he's going to keep working!

    By the way, for sails in Portugal, Velas Pires Lima ( comes highly recommended to me and apparently are not as crazy-expensive as most places. My Portuguese friend has got Americans ordering sails from the owner, so it must be competitive with North, Quantum, Doyle, etc.

    1. Rhys,

      I talked to Peter (who is a great guy and a very honest and smart man, by the way) about repairs but he doesn't make the early models any more...besides it got cracked, bent and just plain totally ruined in the crash. My brother (who also has a Corbin in Lake Erie and a Voyager windvane) wants me to keep the parts as spares. No problema though because the other boat's insurance paid in full.

      My new jib was made by Velas Pires de Lima and I'm very happy with the price and quality. Thanks for the good information never know, I might not have known about it.

    2. Fair enough. Some time in the Atlantic has convinced me that autopilot PLUS windvane is the way to go, because one of them will break en route!

      Coastal is a different question, of course. The winds are fluky enough in Portugal to favour the AP.

      I'm glad to hear from yet another customer than VPL are a good loft. I am contemplating new sails before we go...perhaps a new main first and then show up in Portugal to get a larger light-air foresail and a reefable staysail. VPL look very capable of making the heavier Dacron I want (triple-stitched, reinforced corners), but having a custom boat, it is better if it's measured in person by the sailmaker, not by me, who is a little ignorant on the topic.

      Strangely, my sailmaker here in Toronto is Ron Fernandes of Triton Sails...another damned Portuguese! You guys are everywhere!

    3. What can I say, we discovered half the world by sail back in the days of Henry the Navigator.
      It's in our genes.

  2. Socializing IS what it's all about, not to mention wine, food and fado! I just find it hard to get any work done afterwards.
    So, are you getting a new (paid for) windvane? What kind? Mine's in the shed and needs tlc. I've got no idea what brand it is. It's like a big rudder permanently hanging off the stern which also serves as a backup rudder (you can see it in my 1st survey clips) I'd like to get it back on (maybe next year) but I have a thing for naked butts... and Jakatar's got a beaut! Gotta love those double end-ers.
    Nazaré looks like paradise!
    Thanks for the great blog link. A keeper

    1. Peter,
      Getting a new windvane, are you kidding? I invested most of the insurance money on booze, women and bottom paint...and wasted the rest(just love that George Best quote).
      My hydraulic autopilot works like a charm. Windvanes are great on ocean crossings and pretty much useless for coastal cruising and anchorage hopping.
      Nazaré would be Paradise if it had an anchorage, but it's still a mighty fine town.