Annapolis Sail Boat Show 2017 Off The Hook!

Annapolis Maryland, hallowed ground for sailors.

Picture Nova Scotia fishing village meets small town America. Annapolis is off the hook. Cobble stone, historic brick buildings, and it’s all situated on the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay, some of the best sailing waters in the world.

Check this out:

Now take this magical town of just some 40,000 residents and add the biggest in-water sailboat show in the world! Everyone who is in love with sailing has either dreamed of attending, or attended several times. It was personally my third trip to the historic boat show.

For one weekend in October and one in the spring, this place is absolutely packed with sailors from the world over and every major sailboat manufacturer has brand new boats on display and completely open for you to board and explore. Plus vendors from all the major players in sailing from Harken to Helly Hansen. Need a wind vane? No problem. Anchor windlass, yup! Tons of swap shop type stuff too if you are looking for hard to find odds and ends.

We checked out boats from Hanse, Beneteau, Jenneau, and on and on. We even looked at Cats…. sort of. Of particular interest however – Delos was there!

No, that the actual Delos. Sadly.

But rather me in a Delos shirt aboard nothing other than an Amel! This isn’t a Super Maramu 53 like Delos but it is a direct descendant. This is the new 54!

We turned a corner and amidst all the same old same old plumb bow sugar scoop Beneteaus, we saw her. The Amel really set herself apart being center cockpit and bearing the lines of a true world traveler. Call me crazy but I’d take the 54 Amel before I took a 60 Oceanis. She was our fav for sure.

We got to tour the Amel and every other boat we encountered falling in love with everything these new production boats have to offer, except the price tags 😉 After all, our motto is Go Small, Go Simple, Go Now.

We met some super cool sailors who are just looking for the vessel they will be taking south too! I hope they find us on the internet.

We put away a lot of Painkillers with these two I tell ya! Great folks!

Just when we thought we’d had enough, we met Brittany from Windtraveller and our hearts melted. Meeting your idols is always scary cause you never really know what to expect but Brittany is wholeheartedly an amazing person and every bit as awesome as we’d expected. And that Tortola tan! Wow Brit – we can’t wait to be that tan. We bought our #BVISTRONG shirts and continued on exploring all the awesomeness, with a few more painkillers.

We stayed at the show till the lights came on and get that distinct “last call” feeling showed up. Everyone seemed to have left so we made our way toward the front gate when just in the distance we heard it… the sound of Caribbean flavored music and dancing. B-line, go!

We came around the corner and our minds were blown, a full scale sailor party with free beer and live band was happening right in the boat show!

I can’t wait to publish the next episode of Lady K Sailing to show you guys how awesome this place was!

For now however, I’ll leave you with a few pics. Don’t worry, the State Trooper was quite friendly 🙂

Sailboat Racing PHRF

Club racing is likely the best way to become a better and safer sailor if you’re new to the sport. I’ll give you my understand which (disclaimer) won’t be to the standards of the lifetime avid racer but more directed at those who, like me, want to get involved at least on some level.

We’re a small club with about fifteen boats that usually race. Racing sailboats is sketchy at best because you have to rely on the weather and you have to arrange races for times where people will actually show up. Trust me, it’s not easy. I’m the race committee chair this year. Yikes!

We tend to race on Thursday nights at around 6:00pm. To be involved in the race, you really just have to show up ahead of time to get a race sheet that the race committee usually has at the ready.

As you likely know if you’ve ever sailed in your life, planning to sail is always a bad idea. Sailboats only work when there’s wind and if you’re trying to get somewhere, there will either be no wind or wind directly in the wrong direction. It’s just how it goes. Sailing life.

Provided the wind and weather cooperate and people show up, the race is on.

As it’s very rare for any two sailboats to be equal unless your one design racing, you have to handicap the faster boats somehow so everyone is somewhat competitive. Our club uses the PHRF system. “Performance Handicap Racing Fleet” measures are published online an easy to find. Without getting too technical, we use this system to try to make every boat finish the race (in theory anyway) at exactly the same time. It makes things exciting!

Each boat has a PHRF rating, typically well above zero. The “zero rating” is a theoretical boat and describes how fast that boat would take to get around the race course. A boat that is slower than the zero boat would have a higher rating. Let’s say your boat has a rating of 100. This means it *should* take your boat 100 seconds MORE THAN the zero boat to go each mile. In a one mile race, you would start exactly 100 seconds before the zero boat. Someone with a rating of 200 would start 200 seconds before the zero boat. This way you and the 200 boat should finish at the same time.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to actually know any of this. The race committee finds your boats PHRF and bases your race start time on it. My boat for example is a 147. This means if the zero boat started at 7:00pm and the race were one mile, I’d get to start 147 seconds before him. If the race were ten miles, I’d get to start 24 and a half minutes before him.

We start the slowest boat at 7:00pm, followed by each faster boat. A few boats start very close together, and the very fast boats start as late as 7:30pm. The races are usually less than ten miles.

The timing is adjusted as the season goes on to try to get all of the boats to the finish line at exactly the same time. May the best sailor win!

This works for the most part and once you understand the PHRF system it makes a lot of sense. The problem is, boats that are the same are often not the same. My Hughes 35 for example has no problem placing in the top five or six boats at the finish line. Another member however, also on a Hughes 35 sailboat usually wins by a huge margin.

The difference is in the unmeasurable. Does his sailboat have a smoother bottom, a folding propeller, better sails? Or does his 60 years of experience just trump my five years? Everything comes into play in PHRF racing because the boat has no advantage. It’s like drag racing a Corvette and a Prius. If you mathematically figure out how far ahead to let the Prius get before the Corvette can leave the line to make them finish at exactly the same time, the race is very hard to win in either car. That’s what PHRF does. It comes down to the driver.

Racing in PHRF is also very unforgiving. If you make a mistake, typically the only way to make a comeback is if everyone ahead of you also makes a mistake. The learning curve is very steep.

I can say that despite to competitive stress and my long list of mistakes in almost every race, I am still learning tremendously fast.

Races in PHRF are definitely not for the faint of heart either. Boats under full sail and heavy heel are often very close together. Tactics are everything. Passing someone on the high side will steal their wind so even if you can’t make it past without hitting them, when you get into their wind they will fall off and you won’t hit them anyway. It’s very tricky to master the close quarters combat but an extremely good time if you like that sort of thing, which I certainly do.

Our racecourses are marked by buoys and typically have three legs headed in three different directions, always with an upwind leg to keep things interesting.

Anyway, that’s all on PHRF racing for now. If you have questions please post in the comments.

Cheers!

When can we leave?

Frustration doesn’t do it justice.

We’ve moved back into the house and with that came the inevitable – we miss Lady K. We miss the water, the people, the lifestyle that is #boatlife.

I scour my brain for ways to leave sooner. Wouldn’t it be amazing to just go now? It’s the right time of year to miss the hurricanes and get to the Caribbean just on time. I actually started making a list:

Where do I want to be right now?

Answer, without a moments hesitation: A warm anchorage.

What’s in my way?

  1. Pay off credit card,
  2. buy solar,
  3. composting head,
  4. water maker.
  5. Save kitty.

It’s so frustrating living the day to day praying we find some way to expedite our plans. We’re ready to go now in many ways: boat, plans, emotions, energy. But we aren’t ready in one super important way: money. The great barrier.

We love making videos and we hope in time to get a good patronage going on Patreon but alas, it takes time. We have a financial plan that has us in a very good place to go in two years. But two years!

We have most of our stuff for sale to expedite the process as much as humanly possible, and I am scouring the online atmosphere for any odd jobs I can pick up in my down time.

Does anyone need any writing done? Hehe.

Our motivation is pure, or resolve is uncompromising.

We will find a way.

We will go small, go simple, go now…ish.

10 Things We Love & Hate About The House Life

As Tim previously mentioned, we’ve moved back to the house after living aboard for a better portion of our summer. School things and broken car things have led us back to the city and I can honestly say that “happy” isn’t the word we’d use to describe how we feel about it.

So, in light of our Top 10 Things We Love and Hate About Boat Life, I’ve decided to share how we feel about moving back to the house.

The LOVE List:

  1. Nearly endless hot water. Lady K doesn’t have a hot water tank, so when we need it for cleaning and dishes and such, we bust out the trusty kettle. Otherwise, we take advantage of the shower and washrooms at the Club. When we came back to the house on Sunday, all four of us managed to shower without emptying the tank. It was great! Tim also got to enjoy the luxury each time he came into the house with grease/oil/fuel on his hands from fixing my car (thanks babe)!
  2. The car thing leads to the next love – the garage. We have a 2-car garage and a wide variety of the tools required to fix our cars, our friends cars, boat things and more. When we’re stuck at the house, there’s a pretty solid chance we’re not even in it. We’re in the garage.
  3. The space. While we got used to living all four of us on K and we made do with the space available to us, not every day is butterflies and rainbows. There were several occasions where one of us just needed to go for a walk or a dinghy ride to blow off some steam or to clear our heads. For the days that were more wet than just plowing waves or putting the rail down, it wasn’t so easy to “escape”. Being back at the house allows us to separate ourselves or the kids when we’re having a rough day.
  4. This is a selfish one, and one to be tinkered with in the future, but… ALL of my sewing things. While I managed to make some cute event outfits and whip up some curtains and such with my light, portable computerized machine – I certainly can’t mend a sail in K’s cabin. I mean, I probably could, but comfortably and without smothering anyone else who dare be in there with me? No dice. While I haven’t yet found the motivation to bang out hours and hours of my #stitchbitch work since we’ve been back in the house, I know I’ve got full access to everything I need once the moment strikes. This is a money-making skill in which I cherish and I’ll never let go.
  5. The sunset. It’s absolute bliss out on the water, but when stuck in the city, our house is in a pretty perfect location to catch most of the beauty too. Still doesn’t beat the sunset on the water, never will, but we take what we can get. 😉

 

 

The NOT SO LOVE List:

  1. The city and the buildings and the structures. Aside from the sunset and the fact that we’re car people too – there is just nothing to look at! The buildings are boring (house included). The drive to work in the morning is bland. The construction all over this town seems endless. It’s just…ugh. The photo featured in this post? I took it tonight. After spending an hour scrolling through my photos trying to find something decent…nothing. I don’t have a single picture of the house. Meanwhile, my phone has just under 5000 photos on it (I should probably save those somewhere) and I can guarantee 75% of them (or more) have something boat-related in them.
  2. The space. This is a love/hate relationship (more of the latter for what I think are becoming more obvious reasons). There’s so much more to clean! While the fridge is 100x bigger than what we have on K – there’s more room to stash things and forget about them until well past their expiry date. The floors just don’t stay clean, despite any effort. I shed like an animal, random thread from today’s project or whatever I worked on months ago never seems to go away and the dust carried in through way of the garage never seems to settle until after we’ve swept and mopped. Most of the house floors are ceramic tiles, but the bedrooms are carpeted. All that stuff that lingers…always makes it way to the carpets and it just…Never. Ends. On K – we tidied up and cleaned the small space almost daily, it was so easy!
  3. The stuff. We have so much stuff. We lived for months (between weekends and the time we legitimately lived on board) without all of this stuff. The couch. The TVs. The gaming systems. The tables. The lamps. ALL of the things that fill each and every nook and cranny at the house – we did without. Throughout the process of moving out to the boat, we took what we needed initially and made a point to stop in to grab the few things we needed as we went. It worked. It was simple, it was happy. Now – we just sit here looking at all this STUFF and we’re like…what do we do with it?
  4. The atmosphere. For such a tiny space, K has everything to offer that we actually need. Actually. The things, the space, the people – most of all the people. Now this is a little biased because we’re lucky enough to be members of a club that are just so dang welcoming, but still! Middle of the week, nothing going on, you hear a car roll by – you go visit. Hours and education and work-done and memories-made later, it’s time to call it a night, go to bed happy and (98% of the time) stress-free and that’s that. Get up and do it all over again the next day. At the house – there is no atmosphere. There’s no flow or jive. It’s just this big giant space that we live in with all of the stuff we haven’t parted with yet. You hear a car roll by (depending on how it sounds)? Well, you don’t run outside and strike up a conversation with them. They’re already gone.
  5. We’re SO BORED. There’s a few points we’ve made thus far, which all make it seem like “how could they possibly be bored?” It’s not entirely that we’re bored. It’s the fact that we have to actually think about what we want to do. What should we do? Netflix on the couch? No. Clean the house (again)? No. Tinker with some projects around the house? No. WE JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO THE BOAT! We never had to think about things to do out there. We lived in the moment. Some days, we had mild plans to go for a dinghy ride or go fishing or powerwash the boat. But how much thought went into this? Like none. We just went with the flow. Get to K, have a beer after work, make dinner and just roll with it. Jay needs help pumping up his dinghy? Done. The Hewstones need someone to climb up the mast? Done. All of the outboard problems? Yep – those are done too. We just never had to think about it. There was always something going on to keep us busy. It was great!

There we have it. The loves and the hates. The love list was a struggle because they’re all things that we can do without. We’re not happy at the house. Not now. Not after we’ve had a taste of what our future holds. But we’ll manage. We’ll get through it and we’ll work our asses off to get where we need to be. “Go small, go simple, go now.” It may not be in this very minute of this very hour on this very day, but it’s sure as hell going to be a lot sooner than we first planned.

Candice <3 xo.