5.31.2012

Tropical Storm Beryl | Brunswick, GA | Morningstar Marinas at Golden Isles



Tropical Storm Beryl paid a visit to the Golden Isles this past weekend.  There were concerns at the local marinas as the storm approached with forecast winds that were expected to be over 55 mph. 

We paid a visit to Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles to see how the boats were holding up as the winds began to build out of the North East as the storm approached landfall near Jacksonville, FL.

We were pleasantly surprised to see the Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles was well protected from the North Easterly winds that were blowing about 24 sustained with gusts of over 30. 

The vessels were all securely tied in their slips with lines and most of them had double lines added as insurance against the stronger pressure from the winds that were yet to come. 

While we were walking the docks we noticed several individuals busy at work going down the dock inspecting each vessel and making dock line adjustments as needed.  These dock hands included
Dock Masters Chick Candler and Buck Vickery along with Operations Manger Alfred Battey.  Right along side of these individuals decked out in full heavy weather gear was Chris Ferguson, General Manager.  We were impressed to see these individuals working hard on behalf of the vessel owners to protect their property. 

I dare not count the times I have seen the management staff at other marinas in the office delegating rather than being a part of the solution.  We salute the entire staff of  Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles for a job well done to prepare for Tropical Storm Beryl. 

We checked back with the management and there were no major problems at this marina for the duration of this storm. 


We have no problems giving this marina a high recommendation should you find yourself in need of a slip while you are in the area or looking for a place to call home. 

Moringstar Marina at Golden Isles is easy to find and located just off of the ICW at mile marker 675.

Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles Web Site
Contact information:

Chris Ferguson
General Manager
Morningstar Marinas at Golden Isles
206 Marina Drive
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
(p) 912-634-1128
(f) 912-634-1786
 at

5.15.2012

Platimo Contest 101 Compass Review - Poor Lighting for Night Vision


Our old Constellation compass was impressive but it was a bit of a tripping hazard!


We installed a Plastimo Contest 101 in the bulkhead of our Westsail 32 before our last voyage off shore.  We were very happy with the design and compact nature of the compass and it served us very well...................that is............ until we needed illumination to read the card.

It is fine if you are directly in front of the compass and close to it but the light is way to dim to view the compass card from the normal steering position and clearly a problem when you are on the opposite side of the cockpit.  Forget you have a compass if you have marginal weather conditions. 

I called Plastimo and they agreed to sell me another bulb to install in the compass so that there would be more light.  I had no problem with that and agreed to pay $8.63 for a $2 bulb to fix a design problem with their compass.  The real shock came when the invoice arrived separate from the package and listed the shipping cost as $13.59 for an item that weighs .2 of an ounce.  This item could have easily gone in a padded envelope for a couple of dollars.  So we spent about 20% of the price of the compass to install an additional bulb to correct a design flaw in the compass.   This is an obvious design flaw that could be easily corrected by the manufacturer.  I am sure that the lighting installed in this compass is adequate if you shut the lights off in the lab and look at it on a shelf.  However, when put to the test of actual sailing conditions the illumination features of this compass fail the test.

We still like the compass and hope that this additional light fixes the problem.  We are writing this product review to inform the sailing public of  a problem so they can adapt before finding themselves left in the dark and not being able to view the navigational compass at night. 

We feel that Plastimo should sea trial this compass at night in marginal conditions and then provide adequate lighting.  We also feel that the correction for this problem should have been provided at no charge and that the shipping charges should have been in the $2 range if any at all.  Plastimo did refund half of the shipping charges but made no other adjustments.

This item is on our recommended list as long as you correct the illumination issue.
Captain Don Montgomery

5.13.2012

Westsail 32 - Keel & Rudder Crab Pot Line Preventer


The keel shoe/preventer that extends over the gap between the keel and the hull on a Westsail 32 has proved worth the time and effort to build and maintain it.  It gives us Peace of Mind when sailing through waters that are loaded with crab pots and when tidal currents case you to drift backwards over your anchor line.

This is the third and we hope the final time that we will have attached a crab pot line preventer shoe to the keel of our Westsail 32.  There was one on the boat when we purchased it but it was lag bolted into the bottom of the keel and it became loose.  On one of our routine haul outs we glassed over it hoping that this would keep it snug and secure.  It lasted two years and then on our last trip to the Bahamas we lost it.  We were anchored in the Ragged Islands just North of Duncan Town and the winds shifted in the night and the anchor became dislodged.  Before it could get another bite we went aground on a hard rock shelf in a falling tide.  With the help of a fellow sailor we were able to dinghy the anchor to a deeper sandy spot and kedge Mary Rose to safety.  During the process we later realized that the freshly glassed preventer was ground off the bottom of the keel.

During our most recent haul out we had a new preventer fabricated that fit the aft end of the keel like a shoe and the tail extended past the rudder then bent up at a 45 degree angle and stopped short of hitting the rudder.


The shoe was fabricated out of 1/4 inch 308 stainless steel and I had the welder attach two short lengths of pipe to one side before drilling the attachment hole so we could use them to make sure our holes lined up when we drilled through the keel to attach it to Mary Rose.  It was a Rifle Barrel concept and it worked perfectly.  We then cut the tack weld that were hold the aiming pipes.



After a couple of test fits and minor adjustments we were ready to drill the holes through the keel and attach the foot. 



After the foot was securely attached the excess length of the 1/4 inch bolts were cut off.   We used 3M 5200 to protect from water penetration into the holes by filling all the voids and around the holes we drilled.  The next step was to mix up some epoxy and fair the edges smooth so it became a integral part of the keel.  After the fairing was complete we gave it several barrier coats to seal it all up before applying the bottom paint.  We hope that this one will stand up to the abuse that it takes when in marginal anchoring conditions.  We will let you know.

Captain Don Montgomery

5.11.2012

North Florida and South Georgia Boat Yard and Haul Out Facility


North Florida and South Georgia Boat Yard and Haul Out Facility
We had our Westsail 32 hauled out for routine bottom maintenance this year at Tiger Point Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL.  Tiger point Marina is a Full Service Boat Yard with a 35 Ton Lift.  There have been many upgrades to this facility since I was here several years ago.  There is a large inventory of new Secure Steel Hurricane Cradles.  You can see them on their web site.  http://www.tigerpointmarina.com/boat-storage/
Tiger Point Marina also offers a Do It Yourself “DIY” option for those of you that are interested.  We had to have some hull repair completed as two thru hull sea cocks were removed.  The workmanship was high quality and the labor rates were competitive.  If you need parts and supplies, Jackie can have them for you the next day.  She is very knowledgeable and extremely helpful.

Tiger Point Marina is located at Buoy marker number 6 on the ICW. The entrance to Egans Creek is a narrow channel. Use the center of the creek as a range guide. Our floating docks are parallel to Egans Creek and docking starboard or port side is determined by the wind and tide.

After using Tiger Point Marina several times over the past years we are delighted to report that they have been added to our recommended supplier list. We do not give this distinction out very often and items must be tested and proved before they make our list. We have no problem telling you to invest in Tiger Point Marina when you need Boat Yard Services.
Contact information for Tiger creek is:
Tiger Point Marina
997 Egans Creek Lane
Fernandina Beach, FL 
904-277-2720

Be sure to tell them that Mary Rose V sent you.

Fair Winds,
Captain Don Montgomery and Admiral Lana Nelson