BeBop Around The World

Even though the trip has been called off, I'm leaving this site up to read for anybody interesting in refitting a boat or sailing in general.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Outfitting BeBop......

It's been about 2 weeks now since I put BeBop back in the water and the process of getting her ready to go cruising is well underway. It's amazing how much stuff you can (and have to) cram onboard. It's moving along slowly as I'm stuck shoreside except for weekend outings until I get the trailer sold to get the solar panel and another battery. None the less, I go down and work on her for a couple of hours 3 or 4 times a week while trying to help Rich get the house ready to be sold so he can buy his own boat. (payback and I have tons of free time now) I've put everything I need onboard for cooking except for the pots and pans cause I don't have any spares, sewed up and installed some netting over the port side lockers, took the wind cover off the stove cause it was just getting in the way, purchased a adjustable seat with a backrest, put a wooden folding table down below for eating, messing with the the laptop etc, got a sleeping bag and pillow too. I'm skipping lots of little things that I've forgotten about I'm sure. All in all I guess from the readers point of view this is all quite boring compared to launching her last week. You guys will have to bear with me for awhile I continue to do the outfitting and test voyaging until I really get underway.

My friends Hawkeye and Donny who are live aboards down in Sarasota dropped by to see BeBop in person for the first time yesterday too. I was nervous and excited at the same time. Eager to get a approval from people who have nearly as much time on the water as I have breathing air. With both of them in agreement that BeBop was ready to go cruising it really felt like it was really time to leave. The exception to this dramatic moment was Hawkeye's smart ass comment about having the smallest mast in the marina. (even if it's true) Everything else was cool. (it's ok man I forgive you lol ^_^) Least he didn't call my boat "cute" like the dockmaster did last week. (no respect, no respect at all I tell you)

Last weekend Rich and I took her out into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. This is the drawbridge that I have to through to get out to the Gulf of back to my slip. This first picture with the bridge open we didn't get there in time to go through and had to wait another 15 mins for a opening. Doesn't sound like much until your 10th circle or so.

BeBop going through the bridge....all those cars stoppin' for little ol' us. ^_^ It's good to be me hehehehe.

Florida appears to be a little weird in how you call the bridge tenders and request a opening. Everything I ever read says you call the bridge by it's name....such as "Pasadena Blvd Drawbridge" or perhaps just "Pasadena Drawbridge." Wrong. They call them structures around here. So in my case this bridge is "Structure C." Stupid imho cause there are more than one "Structure C" within radio distance but only one "Pasadena Drawbridge" right? Anyway, after figuring that out cause it's not listed anywhere, you request a opening on VHF Channel 9 say right after you pass the last channel marker heading towards the bridge. Something like "Structure C, Structure C, this is sailing vessel BeBop approaching from the north requesting a bridge opening, over" Then they call back and let you know when they are going to open the bridge for you. I call back to let them know BeBop is clear and to thank them. Another person in the world you do not want to get on the bad side your cook or barber.

After getting through the bridge and out into the channel heading into the Gulf it was obvious the marine forecast was a bit..uh...."off." Instead of 1 to 2 foot seas we had 3 to 4 foot seas after passing the last channel marker and the wave interval was very very quick like 2 to 4 seconds so we got the crap beat outta us. Once we had the sails up, it was better but I don't think I would of like to try cooking down below while pounding into those seas. Larger seas with a greater wave interval would of made for a better day than short and choppy. Due to the seas and me still learning how she sails we didn't get much further out than about 3 or 4 miles for a couple of hours before we headed back into the channel and calmer waters. I really wanted to do more than that little bit out in the Gulf but it was too rough to have much fun. Also the wind was blowing directly out of the West onto the shore so it made getting out very hard. Going back to my slip this same wind that was so killer in the Gulf was great in the intercoastal waterway because it put us on a broad reach, so we motorsailed with the jib up. Sounds crazy but that was the best part of the whole day. On the positive side at no point did I ever worry about my safety. She's a tuff little boat. (notice I didn't say cute) Here is a picture of us coming back into the channel for the intercoastal, perhaps a mile offshore. Prior to this point it was too rough to get the camera out for photos.

This was calm by comparison to being out just a couple of more miles. Look at the compass to get the boat orientation. Now imagine bouncing from side to side like that and bow to stern for a couple of hours. A couple of hours was enough the first time out. The next day I had muscles aching that I didn't know I had.

That rough trip out into the gulf popped a rivet up on the spreaders that had to be repaired. I can't afford to buy a expensive boswains chair or self climber so I had to come up with a solution to get up the mast cheaply so I could repair the missing pop rivet. I got to thinking about the mast stairs system that you hoist up the mainsail track and how to build one. I ended up buying a 25 foot 4,000 pound test nylon tow strap, 20 feet of additional 4,000 pound test nylon and 10 3/8" sail slugs. The nylon cost about 15 bucks at harbor freight and the slugs $2.50 at masthead enterprises down the road. Rich did the totally tedious job of hand sewing it all together Saturday and Sunday and I swallowed my fear of heights late yesterday and up the mast I went to the spreaders to fix the rivet. I really didn't wanna have to climb the mast for another year or two as I just rigged the whole thing up. Here is the picture.

I was inserting the rivet into the gun during this picture. I was wearing a safety harness designed to keep me in the boat not for climbing but you go with what you got. We attached the spare haylard to it in case I slipped. Not likely since I was using my best death grip on the mast to avoid doing a "Stuka" onto the deck. Everytime Rich moved on the deck I was like "she's gonna roll over!! abandon ship, abandon ship!" lol. Rich still has to finish sewing on the rest of the foot straps for going higher than the spreader but that's not something I even wanna think about doing in the near future. I can see my career as a rigger over before it even started. I don't like heights at all. Strange for a person who loves aircraft, gliders and roller coasters eh?

Couple of more pictures here, nothing fantastic. You can see I have the sunshade up here and the bow piece of Half Note on deck in front of the dodger. It fits!! Getting her in place or deployed and assembled is going to be challenging though. I'm thinking unless I'm anchored out like a mile from land or plan on being somewhere for more than a week, I'll keep Half Note on deck and just use a cheap Walmart inflatable cause it's be much easier to deal with. Still need to build something to attach it to too. The shade is ok. Not the best solution but it does help quite a lot during midday. I still really want to get a full boom tent money permitting. Then I could leave the main companion way open and not worry about rain in all but the worst of downpours.

The last picture I just happened to like. Typical Florida afternoon. The storm building in the background, palm trees swaying. Paradise at the dock right? Truth is I was very tired after climbing the mast and sweating like crazy while doing the final little details before heading to the house for a well deserved Gin and Tonic. Can't wait for it to cool off just a little bit. But the more time you spend outside the better you get acclimated to the heat also. I have first hand experience with that when I was in Haiti and this will be no different. You just have to know for the first month you will be totally hating life. Then it's the new normal and you don't think about it.

Last thing, somebody commented in the last post about gear than I don't have but need so I'll list some of the stuff I'd like to have but don't in case somebody is like...."yeah man I just happen to have a Bristol Channel Cutter out back of the house and it's yours cause you look needy." lol

1. Self Steering Vane. If somebody had a small one that fit BeBop and donated it I would be moved to tears since I can't afford one (ever) and could really really use one.
2. Anything involving shore power, BeBop has nothing atm. I have a 30amp cable that I need to buy some connectors for and rig up a system but I could really use anything.
3. A real marine kerosene stove like a Taylor. Using a propane coleman stove at the moment. Stateside it should work fine but overseas propane is quite rare and the fittings are different for each country....and Kero doesn't explode if your having a bad day.
4. A 6x7 boom tent. The sun just tears you up down here tan or not.
5. A (very) small storm trysail and jib
6. A small sea drouge
7 USB or Handheld GPS. Currently running off a ancient AAA battery powered serial port GPS that takes like 10 minutes to get a fix if your lucky...on a perfectly clear day.
8 Another Catalina 22 mainsail. They fit BeBop great and mine is a bit iffy. I'd like to have a spare.
9 A sextant
10. See number one. If I could only get one item out of all the above it would be that and totally grateful to be sure.

I'm not doing too bad gear wise in all the other departments or I made something that works good. Got great ground tackle, tons and tons of spare line donated by Hawkeye enough bumpers and so on. The rest of the stuff is hard to cut the corners on. You just need the cash to buy it or a sewing machine capable of making it. (and mine doesn't do sailcoth or sumbrella well at all)

Hoping next weekend to get out into the Gulf again, get offshore for a bit and improve upon my basic sailing technique....which is rusty right now. Just need more practice, practice, practice. Until next time.....Fair Winds.


Blogger Rocko Delray said...

Great to find another Westerly owner!
Good luck to you on your voyageing.
Westerlys are great boats.
I have been blogging and ranting about mine for over a year now.
BEWARE! Once cruising gets in your blood it is hard to get it out.

What a great name BeBop! I like jazz too and Half Note! Excellent name for your tender. BTW I have a very old Windward 21 sail you can have. Not hardly any life left in it but I think it's still in one piece. Ill check for you.
Also check out my blog:


3:35 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Thanks for the compliments Rocko. I checked out your Blog and I'm sorry to hear about Narenba but good to see your on another boat...a Westerly at that.

Your view on how "the man" treats cruisers is spot on I'm afraid. Can't have you on the water unless your paying property tax right? Only the rich can play on the water right? Wrong. Not sure I would of givin' the ranger a hard time though...much as I would of liked. So tired of fighting. I would of just upped anchor and found a more peaceful spot. Plenty of world out there.

Going to send you a email later this evening.

sailboat.bebop the @ sign

9:54 AM  
Anonymous martin said...

Hey Jammer,

I just found your blog and have been getting paid to read about your adventures. Hows that for a poke in the corporate eye. Wait a minute I'm the boss/owner.

I bought(deal of a lifetime) a sadly neglected 1978 Pacific Seacraft 25 in Feb and have spent all my spare time(and money) since repairing and refitting her. I may have come to the same conclusion as you. I'm going sailing and I don't care if the rest of the world can't get by without my help I'm going.

The major boat work is pretty much done. New sails, I rebuilt most of the Yanmar, removed the(ruined) teak decks and resealed them, built a new companionway slider, bowsprit. Removed and refurbished all the bronze ports, put in a new deck hatch. Found and rebuilt a windlass, rebedded all the deck equipment, redid all the sailtrack and installed a ladder, which is a bitch on a double ended boat. I have lots of good used stuff left over if you need something specific give a shout and if I have it I'll be happy to send it your way.

All thats left is the piddly finishing stuff that really won't change my comfort or the boats usability one iota. I WILL do it because I figure I have about 2 more years to go before I can pay off my servitude. I could go now but the wife would hunt me down and....damage me.

And I thought $300 was and outrageous amount for a slip for my boat!!! She sits on a cradle on a flatbed behind my shop under a modified carport tarp set up.

At least I can go out and sit in the cabin, listen to the vhf or the radio and dream.

Keep up the story........martin

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you moving on board?

8:07 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hi Martin,

Real nice boat you got yourself there and sounds like you did enough to her to have your own blog.

More than once I've done exactly the same thing you do. Sitting onboard daydreaming about being out there. My daydream was anchoring off the island of Hispaniola looking up at the tall mountains that can be found there. Been to Haiti, very very poor but beautiful mountains. Getting close to being out there for real now. Good luck with your cruising dreams and don't let them get away from you. ^_^

Anonymous 8:07pm

Moving onboard anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months from now at the longest.


8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i teach sailing and recently lived on a Colvin 42 in Aus. on the GBR and have sailed in Fla, Bahamas,Maine,Mass,Wash.,Alaska etc.and am a Nacra /soling racer and various other venues serving my land sentence till I get back out there.Looking at your list .Bugger most of it BUT!!!
don't leave with out somekind of autohelm Or find crew.otherwise just use a tarp for cover,get a cheap used Kero or alcohol stove.
They are easy to find especially if you can clean em up a bit.
Propane is better for cooking but hard to deal with in some places and the k boom is can b.Q. almost anything,dutch ovens are good.The ONE POT GOURMET and THE CAN OPENER GOURMET are good.Remember the more you have to go to land the more it costs and the more you know the less you pay. Cruisers pick each others brains and spares constantly.Try to barter for whaT you need.As you go into different marinas you will find stuff for free or almost.
Less is more.If it doesn't do three jobs ditch it mate!When you get to the east coast of Aus. i.E. Mackay
look up THE COASTAL PASSAGE cruising newspaper and it it's yank editors Kate and BOb Norsen.Bob is trying to sell his ketch and build a cat.Best coral north of there in The WHITSUNDAYS.Also in that area VMR (volunteer marine rescue)keeps tabs on everybody for free and membership is cheap well worth it as I found when I lost helm and needed a tow to Airlie Beach. You can get temp.membership to Whitsunday Yacht club and use the shower .It is a party town!!
if you need spares in Aus. E mail Sandy at
She can get you anything and she is a badass woman to know.Good luck,
Fair winds!! You have the right idea small is beautiful.
Susan Eliazabeth Smith
Malletts Bay Vermont
p.s. I hAD A 1975 CASCADE 29.

10:43 AM  
Blogger martin said...

With yours as an inspiration I started a blog of my own yesterday. "A Gunsmith Goes Sailing". As mostly a computer fumbler I'll probably make a mess of it at some point but so far its fun. Check in from time to time......martin

8:02 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Anonymous 10:43,

Great advice and thank you. I was leaning in the direction of the Tarp boom tent and you suggested it so that makes it real somehow. If you don't have the funds Big Lots becomes your West Marine. ^_^

Your right about having to go to consumer land of course and my budget is currently a joke. I'm trying to be smart about what I put onboard. If you know where I can get a good, cheap Kero stove please, please let me know. Done some searching but can't seem to dig anything great up.

I post about what I'm doing to BeBop and people use me as inspiration but truth is I still have so much to learn. (from experienced cruisers like yourself) Thank you again for your advice and wow, Australia seems so far away but I promise to look up Sandy when I get down under. Don't be a stranger feel free to drop in anytime.


12:27 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hi again Martin,

Just checked out your Blog and left you a short comment. Very, very nice boat you have there. Like I put in my comment, even though you only have two posts up, I dig your writing style and I hope you continue to tell your story. I love reading stuff like this.

Oh btw...already a great idea about the paint you used vs paying like $35 a quart for Brightsides. I'm going to seriously check it out. (and I'm doing the smack forehead thing atm)



12:46 AM  
Anonymous skyl4rk said...

I don't know how cheap it is, but this kind of stove would work well:

You may have already seen this, I noticed you linked to Baldwin's site.

I converted a two burner Princess pressure alcohol stove to kerosene, but I don't recommend this because the burners are expensive and you will need a gimballed stove.

You probably don't have room for a two burner gimballed stove so a single burner is the way to go. Besides, you can get by with one burner no problem, especially when cooking for one person.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...


Yeah like pretty much everything James Baldwin does I like his stove alot. Can't get them anywhere anymore to the best of my knowledge. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So...I was considering getting one of these

But the question would become how would you go about gimbaling it for use on a boat? (not a cheap stove either)

Your right about the two burners of course. I'm not going to get a kero stove that will fit that has that and understand I'll be doing the one pot chef thing. ^_^


10:46 PM  
Anonymous skylark said...

I have an older version of a Coleman multifuel stove, see:

I have not used this on the boat, I use it as a camping stove with unleaded gas as a fuel, but there is another jet included that will work on kerosene.

Wick kerosene stoves might work:

This place sells kerosene pressure stoves, but don't tell him its for a boat, he gets pissed off and says its dangerous:

I think I would go with a stove like Baldwin's kerosene roarer burner stove and make up some kind of pot holder and gimbal.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous skylark said...

Found this, a source for kerosene stoves:

11:23 PM  
Anonymous skylark said...

This "pail stove" worked really well on a trip across Lake Michigan. Look for pics here:

I was able to cook even though it was rough with 6 foot waves. It is very stable because it is supported at the top of the pail, no additional ballast weight is necessary. It did not spill at all, even though we were bouncing around. It keeps most of the heat right around the pot and if there is a spill it contains it (except it will leak out of the vent holes). The down side is that it takes a lot of space. You don't have to hang it from the cabin top, you could support it much like Baldwin did on Atom.

The burner is a cheap Wal-Mart propane burner, I took the stove apart and and figured out how to cut a hole in the bottom of the pail to fit between where the burner head screws on to the stove body. You might be able to find a way to fit a kerosene stove into a pail stove, it might be easier than building a stainless wire basket as in Atom's stove. You might have to solve some problems like how to fill the fuel tank easily.

The pics show pretty much how to do it, just make sure you have plenty of vent holes drilled around the side of the pail, a little lower than the flame. The stove pictured could have used a few more vent holes. I only put them on the back half but it needs them all the way around and more of them. Cutting the notch for the pan handle was pretty easy, I used a spade bit with a piece of wood backing the pail metal to cut a circle at the bottom of the notch, and then used a jigsaw to cut out the side of the notch. The spade bit was pretty well ruined (dulled) so just use a cheap one.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...


I've just spent the past hour investigating all the information you've dug up and shared with me. Most impressive work and thank you! ^_^ I knew of the butterfly stoves but the other site that sells the kero brass roarer one is new to me. Wish they had more information about it.

Actually out of all the ideas present, I like your hanging pail stove the best. Just brilliant. It's simple, gimbaled, with a built in pot holder. Now I really like the idea of making one with a kero stove like the Primus Omni Fuel or a MSR Dragonfly. Thinking about it now, the Dragonfly would work better in the metal pail as there would be less cutting and drilling involved. I would have to bulkhead mount it vs hang it overhead with some sorta arm but it's totally workable I think. Easier than trying to fabricate a curved stainless steel metal frame. I know how to weld but don't have anything to do SS, just regular steel. :-/

I'm going down to BeBop on Monday to take some measurements in the bildge area so I can fabricate a battery holder/mount and move them to a lower center of gravity in the boat. I've already gotten the dimensions of the metal pail and I'll measure the galley area and see what I can brainstorm up!


11:47 AM  
Anonymous billy said...

The two Englishman who rowed the Atlantic, Ridgeway and Blyth, used a cheap round tank paraffin pressure stove in an old paint can.
Plenty of old primus type stoves about. Cut a new pump washer from a piece of leather and you are done.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hi Billy,

I'm working under the assumption when you say Paraffin your referring to mineral spirits or kero. Never thought about using a paint can but cool idea in addition to a metal pail. Won't rule out a primus multi fuel stove either. Just gotta find one cheap now. Thanks for dropping by. ^_^


10:03 PM  

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