Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Boat: Part 2

Last Dance at St. Augustine Marine 2007
We began the blog with a description of the interior spaces in Last Dance to help our LBFs understand how it is possible to live on a boat, comfortably.  This chapter describes the boat as a machine designed to travel on the water.

Last Dance is a 1976 DeFever Passagemaker, 40 feet in length, 14' beam and 4' 2" draft.  Art DeFever has designed many boats, beginning with Pacific tuna trawlers, made to handle large seas.  A friend asked him to design a recreational boat with the seaworthy characteristics of his off-shore fishing boats, and the DeFever line of off-shore cruisers began.  He is still designing quality boats today, while in his early 90's.  The designs being built today range from a 44' boat to boats over 60 feet.  If you are interested in DeFever designs, the DeFever Cruiser website has descriptions and photos:   Last Dance was built by Jensen Marine in California.  She has a full-displacement hull for seaworthiness.  The hull is hand-laid, solid fiberglass over an inch thick.  When manufacturers began building larger boats using fiberglass they did not understand the strength of the material, so they built the hulls as thick as they would have a wooden-hulled boat, resulting in some very stout hulls.  The previous owners installed Naiad Stablizers, hydraulic-operated fins that keep the boat from rolling.  These are much appreciated by the current crew, both who suffer motion sickness easily.  Basically, a gyroscope talks to a hydraulic pump which then uses pressurized oil to move the fins in a manner that dampens the roll motion of the boat.  You can see one of the fins under the starboard side of the boat above.

The uppermost deck is known as the flybridge, which is where we choose to pilot the boat.  There is also a steering station in the salon below, but the flybridge provides a much better view for safe operation (dodging crab traps and avoiding shoals and rocks) and enjoyment of the environs you visit.  The flybridge is fully enclosed in canvas and isinglass, which one of our friends (Andy) refers to, a bit disgustingly, as an "oxygen tent."  The enclosure sure has been enjoyed as we have traveled in high winds and temperatures in the 40s.  The sun warms the enclosure efficiently and, in warm weather, the windows can be opened to provide a breeze while sitting in the shade.  For the crew, there are two helm chairs so that both of the crew can sit securely at the same height for comfort and conversation.  Also located on the flybridge for this trip are two bicycles and two kayaks.  The bicycles provide transportation in small towns and parks and also add to our exercise.  The kayaks are for exploring small creeks and areas where Last Dance cannot travel due to her draft.  So, there are six modes of transportation, the main boat, a dinghy (rowed or powered by an outboard), two bicycles, and two kayaks.  Many ways to explore.

Ground tackle refers to the anchoring system.  The anchor pulpit holds two anchors; the main anchor is a 55 pound Delta, backed up by a 35 pound Bruce.  The line between the boat and the anchor is called a rode, and Last Dance has 50' of 3/8 chain and 200 feet of 8-braid nylon line.  To gather all this rode and anchor back into the boat, there is an electrically operated windlass to provide the muscle needed.  This system is important to this crew as we prefer to be anchored in a quiet, natural environment, rather than squeezed into a marina slip with many other boats.

Perky Port
Last Dance is powered by twin, 6-cylinder Perkins diesel engines, each 354 cubic inches in displacement.  They are marinized (modified) to work in a boat by adding raw water pumps, coolers for engine oil and transmission oil, and a heat exchanger to dissipate the heat generated by the engine, absorbed by the antifreeze, into the raw water, which is then injected into the exhaust stream to cool it as it exits the boat.

Perky Starboard

Twelve volt DC electrical power is generated by the alternators on each engine.  For 120 volt AC power, the main source is an 8kw Westerbeke generator, which produces enough power to operate the stove, air conditioners, and other 120 volt equipment.  Last Dance also has an inverter, which serves two electrical functions: it can convert the 12 volt DC power in the battery bank to 120 volts AC to operate small appliances and equipment, and it functions as a 120 amp battery charger, putting 12 volt DC power back into the batteries when 120 volt AC power is available.

There are many other systems required to make Last Dance operate, but these cover the basics and, hopefully, help the reader understand the boat as a seagoing machine.

1 comment:

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