Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ports, passages and paying attention (or not)

I received a question from Lorenzo about access to storage spaces on Pathfinders, particularly through the ports beneath the seats in the aft cockpit.  I will give a little rundown of what I store and where.  The simple answer to the questions about access to the lockers - it's easy to access to just about all the storage areas. 

In the photo above you can see three access ports.  There is an eight inch port beneath the pelican box where I keep a spare radio, spare gps and engine tool kit with spark plugs and shear pins.  To starboard (we're looking aft, so to the left) is a six inch port where I keep emergency flares, chemical lights and plastic bags.  Forward of that, where you cannot see, is another six inch port beneath the seat where I keep a watertight plastic jar with batteries, spare bits of line, spare hardware and a filet knife.  To port (on the right) is a six inch port that has access to fishing tackle.  Forward of that is another port opening to a locker with cleaning and toilet items - toilet paper, a roll of shop towels, etc.  All lockers are easily accessed.  While sitting on the seat I can reach down, twist of the port cover and reach inside to get what I need.  The trick is to know what is where so there is not a lot of searching around.

Spartina has four eight inch ports, two on the thwart and two on the bunk flat, all of which you can see above.  When cruising, food, some clothing and some gear are stowed in the thwart lockers.  Beneath the bunk flat I keep eight gallons of water, a tool kit, spare anchor and chain - all heavy gear which sits next to the ballast, 30 lbs on either side of the cb, where it belongs.  

There is one more port forward up under the foredeck in frame no. 1.  When building the hull I put a large metal hook on the forward side of the bulkhead to starboard of the port thinking I could hang a coil of extra line there.  I have never used it, the space - several cubic feet - is empty and serves as positive floatation if needed.  To date I have never needed that positive floatation.  I did install two small hooks on the aft side of the bulkhead where I hang a mesh bag.  Two-gallon zip lock freezer bags fit perfectly in the mesh bag.  It is there, out of sight, where I keep my trash - empty foil packets and cans from food, dirty shop towels, etc - while cruising, dropping off the trash at marinas/ ramps whenever I can. 

I have been using the term "ports," but now that I go to the Beckson site I see they are really called deck access plate.  I use the twist out models.  The two on the thwart and the two on the bunk flat need to be the replaced this winter, the rings have developed cracks from being stepped on over the years.  They have put up with a lot of wear and tear, I'm not surprised they are cracked.  I will replace with the same model of deck plate.


Webb is in Apia, Samoa after an interesting passage from Hawaii.  Watching his yellow brick track, it appeared to be an excellent sail.  Webb's passage log tells a different story.  The earlier journal entry, which details some damage from a near knockdown, is an excellent read too.


I was disappointed that it took me so long to put together the last cruise log.  Work, family life and a small hurricane seemed to have gotten in the way.  Looking back through the log just this morning I was pleased to remember a very nice sail.  When writing the entries for the last couple of days of the cruise I was surprised to learn that what I had thought was an eight day trip was in fact a nine day sail.  My mistake dates back to when I opened my notebook early on the morning of the eighth day to begin my daily notes and mistakenly wrote down "day 7," which I had already used the day before.  It is easy to lose track of time out on a sail.  I need to pay better attention.  Or maybe not - losing track of time might be a good thing.


Lorenzo said...

Hello Steve, thank you so much for your latest post and tfor clearing out my doubts about the lockers. I am preparing the seat sides panels for my pathfinder and your indications really helped me take the necessary decisions. I will let you know how i get along with the build. I have planned to plank the hull during a three weeks break i intend to take after some work out at sea in october. Kind regards and fair winds to you and Spartina, Lorenzo

Steve said...

Good luck with the build! Planking can be fun.


john t said...

Steve, thank you so much for doing this blog. Its as artistic as informative and in all ways done with love and diligence. Anyone vaguely interested in small boat cruising could learn a ton from following it and observing the careful planning and preparation as well as practice.
I'm somewhat familiar with your local waters, and once hoped to be doing this myself by now, but when I ever get the chance, it will be much easier for all your guidance.
John thornton
ps. If anyone had told me five years ago i would actually enjoy looking at photographs of food, Id have said they were crazy.

Steve said...

John T

if anyone had told me I would do a blog and take photographs of food, well.....