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.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Still Outfitting BeBop......

Update Sept 26, 8:54pm......

Like to put in a thank you to Tom for the donation. I used it to purchase a used book titled "Self-Steering for Sailing Craft" by John S. Letcher Jr. I'm hoping it will give me some good instruction on how to get BeBop to steer herself without a expensive wind vane or my power hungry autopilot.

As you can see from the new picture above I'm still working hard on getting BeBop ready to go. Much as I would of liked to get out and get some sailing in, due to circumstances, I haven't yet. :-/ Next week the plan is to get out for a 3 to 6 day sail and actually go somewhere, stay on the boat overnight, cook all meals onboard, use the pram to get back and forth to shore and so on. A full scale test of everything so to speak. Sorry guys, I know your expecting that I got out this weekend but now that I'm in the ranks of the unemployed, I'm on what I call "boat time" and things happen more slowly. ^_^

Moving on, here is the complete list of what's been done in the past two weeks since my last post.....

Spent a whole day hand sewing the main sail cover back together.
Hanked on the main and have the cover on now too. (see picture)
Finished sewing up the port locker netting and installed it.
Fabricated two lower battery mounts in the bilge area out of 2x4's.
Put up a poor man's boom tent
Purchased a small seat with a back support on it, makes a big difference.
Installed netting over the front hatch and companionway to keeps the bugs out.
Installed safety netting on the port side. Very salty looking.
Doing the starboard side this week but need another 2 yards of netting. (ordered)

You can also see in the new picture that I have a make shift boom tent up. The tarp was donated by the Captain of the sailboat next to BeBop, "Brick." It's working a lot better than the other hanging shade I was using. I want to add some wooden dowels or perhaps a couple of broom sticks to the tarp and that would change the pitch on it and give nice shade without coming down so far into the cockpit. The netting is a real pain to put on, but when I'm singlehanding I want as much as possible to grab if I slip. Screw the windage issue.

I got the trailer sold too, (woot!) so with that money I have been able to order up some needed additional gear......

2 matching 43 Watt Solar Panels
2 SS Mounting Brackets
10 amp Solar Charge Controller
Additional 90 amp Deep Cycle Battery
The much desired Handheld GPS!!
A single, fully waterproof chart of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
Courtesy flags for Mexico and Belize.
Still dreaming about that Wind Vane..but then I woke up.

To that I want to add a cruising guide to the Western Caribbean, and a cheap Davis Mark 3 sextant in case the GPS (and serial port backup) fails. I guess the flags gives away which direction I'm going to sail first. It's a logical choice, cold beer is cheaper in Mexico than the Bahamas lol. Really, it's because of the sailing characteristics of BeBop. It will be easier going west around Cuba than east on the thorny path. Should be a good deal cheaper too. I have my laptop with tons and tons of charts of nearly the entire Caribbean but getting the first physical chart and flags really gives the feeling of direction and a first goal. I was just thinking about it earlier today and there exists the possibility of Christmas in Mexico. Belize, is another very interesting country that most people have never heard of, where they speak English as a first language. I think there is a very good possibility for employment there as well, since Central America is about as far as my funds will allow me sail without stopping to work for a bit.

Like to add in here a big Thank You to the master sailor Hawkeye who again let me raid his sail locker and I came away with a couple of old sails including one very serviceable storm jib that fits BeBop perfect, a like new stainless steel camping cook set, 2 fishing rods and a tacklebox full of lures. Very very cool indeed and I thank you again!! For those of you interested in boat building please check out his blog and his boat, "Falcon." I must say I sanded this, painted that, fabricated a couple of things for BeBop and built a dinghy. Think I was being clever? He built a schooner from the hull up on the cheap. Humbling and I told him as much. Gotta respect that.

About those fishing rods, all I need now is somebody to show me how since I haven't done it since I was a kid. Hard to read a book and learn that stuff but sure it will all come together like everything else has.

In the last post comments there was a real nice discussion about another stove for BeBop. After doing some measurements, the hanging pail with a MSR Dragonfly idea still holds the most favor with me. Just have to find the money to buy the Dragonfly as they ain't cheap. I'll check the local used sporting good stores and see if they might have one. Might take a bit to get this project underway due to budget issues but I really need a back up to propane. I expect after I finish installing the solar panels this will be the next project.

Wish I had some more pictures for you guys but a lot of what I'm doing right now doesn't photograph well ya know. It's boring to me too in a way since I'd rather be sailing. My next entry should have the solar panels mounted and really, heh, honest this time, some sailing pictures. With the ability to recharge my batteries without taking them off the boat it gives me the ability to stay onboard overnight easily and get used to that.

Until next time.....Fair Winds.....


Anonymous rchrdcoe said...

ben reading your blog since read-
ing about you in good old boat.Bamboo works great for battens on your main. Strong and light.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Captain Shackleton said...

Bebop's looking great! Cant wait to see some pictures of your first trip out to sea. Im the airforce guy whos got 3 years before he starts his own voyage.

I was woundering what port are you sailing out of in florida?

Hope to see you out in the big blue some day,

Signed Captain Shack

7:26 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Nice boat.

One thing you might try for your boom tent is to pole it out on the aft end with your boat hook (I assume you have one). I used that method on a recent week long cruise on my Seafarer 24 and it worked out quite well. It might not look all that great, though. But in the end, not having to have another item on board is a bonus. If you don't want to do that, a telescoping handle used for house painting is pretty cheap and will probably work very well and store compactly.

Oh, in my case anyhow, I found things worked better by NOT draping the tarp over the boom; but instead by running a line from the mast a foot or so over the boom back to the backstay and draping the tarp over that. But my tarp is a bit bigger than yours and binds up at the foward area over the tied up sail.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BeBop's looking great! I was wondering; when Rich sells his house and buys his own boat is he going to travel along with you?
Belize is awesome, I was there in 2002, great snorkeling but man was it HOT. At 115F I almost HAD to stay in the water. Belize is definitely on my list of cruising spots because of Blue Hole, I've heard half-moon cay is great as well. I hope you get to check that out when you're there.

Take care,

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Hawkeye said...

Hmmm. Well, okay. Fishing is easy. It's CATCHING that's not, and catching only counts if you get to eat it. If the fish bites you when you try to take the hook out, you lose, because YOU are caught and the fish may throw you back. If a kid on shore starts screaming "That's my pet 'Fluffy'! What are you doing to Fluffy?!" you lose, and have to throw Fluffy back. If you catch a nasty critter that barks and growls at you, it's not a fish and you go hungry again. Some fish are poisonous and unlike snakes and frogs, they don't tell you with brightly colored tattoos. The WORST is when you are SO hungry that you give up and keep a forty pound Mahi Mahi, eat three pounds of it before the rest rots and you have to toss it, and at night, in the dark, in your boat, the ghost of the fish, all maggoty with one big bite out of his ass, haunts you moaning, "Look what you did to me."
Then he makes you name him.

Fishing is easy.


7:32 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...


ha, knew there was a 3rd reader of that awesome magazine, (nobody I know seems to read it) good to see ya around and thanks for the tip. :-)

Captain Shack:

Thanks for dropping by! Just got the chart in the mail today and was going over it and got that nervous but excited feeling that this is really going to happen soon. I'm currently sailing around the Tampa Bay area. If your in the neigborhood drop me a line.


All good ideas for the boom tent. I went to Ace Hardware today and picked up 2 broom handles for 6 bucks. I'm going to use them to hold the tarp up as it's not that big. Drill a couple of holes....use a couple of zip ties and I should have something that works just like the expensive store bought ones except the investment in this will be about 10 bucks total. Roll up and store when underway.

Awesome idea about running a spare line from the boom to the rear stay though. I didn't think of that. ^_^ Very clever.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hey Sloth, good to see ya again. Haven't been around in a while. It's firming up that I will probably end up leaving a month or two in advance while Rich gets his boat and outfits it. Then he's really interested in seeing Belize too so at that point it's possible to meet up there or in Mexico if I stay longer. From there who knows? Hard to plan it out any futher that that. I don't even have a departure date other than "probably before they end of the year." Blue Hole, Half Moon Cay, thanks for the tip I'll check it out when I get there. :-)


man, shame on you, catching a poor kids pet fish. Mentally scar that kid ya know. Nightmares at night and all waking up saying "Fluffy, Fluffy, come back!!"

About the ghost of the Mahi Mahi.....can I have some of what your taking? I might get lonely during a passage and want something to talk to. ^_^


8:52 PM  
Anonymous Captain Shack said...

Well my home towns casselberry, left about a year ago. Im currently in Japan so im not exactly in the neigborhood (haha) but when im done with my 4 years in the military im heading back to florida. I want to spend the next few years sailing after that.

I figure after the military I could use a few good years of true freedom before I deside whats next. :)

But a dream, but a dream.

Keep us updated!

8:29 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

I just reread your wishlist from a couple of posts ago and had some thoughts....

1) Regarding your shore power electrical needs, I may be able to help a little. I have a battery charger (I can't remember the brand) wired into the boat that I want to replace with a smarter 3 stage charger. I'm going to haunt the Annapolis Boat Show and see if they have anything good for the right price. If not, I'll probably be buying something from Defender within the next couple of months. If you haven't left yet, I may be able to give you my old (cheapo) marine battery charger. I think it is a 10 amp unit and can handle two battery banks. Just a thought. I'm not sure it is worth the hassle of ebaying away.

2) Regarding your "iffy" main, instead of replacing it you might try having it cleaned and re-resined at I haven't tried them yet (after this season I'm sending them my main, and will see how well they work at that time) but from some comments on the trailor sailor BB, it sounds like they do remarkable work for very reasonable money. If memory serves, one guy there had his main redone for less than $100 and he said it came out like new. $100 might not be spare change for you now; but it certainly beats the cost of a new (or even used) sail.

Your plans to dump the 9-5 workaday world and move on to exotic and wonderful destinations closely matches a secret dream I've been harboring for ten years. I stood still too long and somehow (how did this happen?) ended up married (to a wife who hates sailing, no less) which pretty much flushed that dream down the toilet. The obvious moral here is that a moving target is much harder to hit. Keep moving.

All the luck in the world. I'll be pulling for you (and keeping an eye on your blog as long as you are maintaining it).

2:18 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

FYI: I just checked the sailcare web page and they claim the cost to recondition a Catalina 22 main is $94.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Thanks for the offer on the battery charger but I have a 10 amp one that I use right now.

9 to 5 sucks and I really admire what James Baldwin did 20 years ago. He said if you want to earn money, you can find work everywhere you go. I'm so hoping that is still true today because I truely have a shoe string budget.

Shame that you can't convince the wife to go cruising with you. Hate to see dreams die hard. :-(

Thanks for the info on where to get sails cleaned. I read about them 6 months ago or so. If I had a spare $100 bucks however, I would kick it towards getting my own (decent) digital camera because I'm using Rich's atm. Kinda important to get one of my own (and soon) if I wish to continue putting up pictures of what I"m doing. I can live with my mainsail as it is for the moment but thanks for thinking of me. ^_^


9:32 PM  
Anonymous skyl4rk said...

There are some good sheet to tiller self steering pages here:

9:52 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Nice skyl4rk. I was going to say I've seen that page before but I checked it again and it's been updated recently with alot better information. Good find and thanks for steering me back to it. ^_^


10:51 PM  
Anonymous Captain Shack said...

Hey Jammer

I feel your pain, living on just about no cash at all. As I've been told meany time's, where theres a will theres a way. Im going to shoot you 100 bucks when I get paid tomarrow. Hope that helps. I was looking for an E-mail to privetly tell you this, doesnt look like you have one posted. Anyway, use that money to get bebop set ok :)

Good luck!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hi there agian Captain Shack. I don't know what to say but (wow) "Thank You Very Much!" I consider it a honor that you think enough of my writing and goals to donate so much.

And Captain, your halfway around the world on your own adventure right now. Don't let it escape you, sailboat or not.

Again, domo arigato gozaimasu ^_^

sailboat.bebop the @ sign

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Hawkeye said...

Wow, Jammer, you sound skeptical about ghosts. You should get some important historical documents like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Captain Ron' and other factual accounts like 'Weekend at Bernies'. These are true stories, and that monkey looked more than a little fishy to me. There's a lot of superstition around the sea you know. You DO have a lucky turnip on board, don't you?


10:01 AM  
Blogger Santana Sailor said...

Hey Jammer, You're welcome for the donation. But, I think I should be thanking you. For entertainment value alone, your blog is well worth the donation. Plus, I'm getting how-to's and motivation for my own projects as well as a role model for focus and determination. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Heads up to all you BeBop blog readers out there. If you've been entertained, if you've learned something or if you've been motivated, dig into your pockets and show some appreciation. You pay for books, newspapers and magazines; you pay for cable TV; you pay for 100's of silly entertainment things that you get far less out of - the least you can do is support someone who is sharing his experiences with you. Worst case: Jammer can continue to post his experiences and we will continue to be entertained. Best case: your karma will be rewarded. What goes around, comes around. Think about it. I have no affiliation with Jammer other than I have thoroughly enjoyed BeBop Around The World.

Jammer, I hope you continue to post your experiences and I look forward to your book.

Sincerely, Tom

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Captain Shack said...

Yeah show the man some love, send him a bill or 2. I to havent met him, but i'v found this site very rewarding. So fork over the cash!

Oh Jammer, Im having touble with my address at the moment and its not letting me send you the cash, your going to have to wait about 2-3 days before my address changes goes though.

Post more, we the fans of Bebop demand it.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...


Aye aye sir, I DO have my lucky turnip..two actually. One for both the port AND starboards sides since I need all the luck I can get. Remind me to show you the coin I put under the mast step when mast is up. But I'll be happy to tell you about it hehehehe. ^_^

Santana Sailor:

Good to see ya back again Tom and thanks again! I'm glad to see a couple of people like what I write. It's nothing great, just a dream I decided to live and Rich got me interested in writing about it. I give thanks to him also. I draw inspiration from those such as the Martins and Baldwins who came before me. Motivation to act upon a dream must come from within.

I see your blogger ID has Santana in you sail a Santana or enjoy the musician?

Captain Shack: take care of what you need to take care of. I'm just honored that you think enough to even leave a donation at all. I've gotten a couple nasty grams from people because I simply have the button there. If I can sqeeze it in, I'd like to get up another post either tomorrow or Monday night covering installing the solar panels that I did today. I'll finish it all up tomorrow. (**very very cool stuff**)

Good night all,


10:45 PM  
Blogger Santana Sailor said...

I have enjoyed your writing very much and I'm looking forward to a book. I can see something like the Pardey's first book but at a more "grassroots" level. I hope you are taking a lot of photos.

Re: Santana I sail a Santana 21 that I'm slowly fixing up. Your blog has given me a bit of a kick in the pants to step up the pace. I also like Santana the musician. I used to produce and host a blues radio show that was syndicated on six radio station in the early to mid-90's as well as being on in the early days of internet radio.

Are you familiar with the St. Pete bluesman, Rock Bottom? I booked a couple of tours for him in 1998. Great guy. I wish I could have found more gigs for him.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Jammer said...

Hey Tom,

I enjoy a couple of Santana songs myself. I have a DVD of him in concert too. Never heard about the guy from Saint Pete and I like the blues too. Loved to play the blues on my bass. Easy but fun. Have to look him up.

About your Santana 21..I bet she would sail circles around BeBop hehehe...but then again...Nomads aren't designed for speed. ^_^ If you ever wanna go sailing together I bet you money I can make port dead last, after dark, and the bar probably closed a hour ago lol.

I'm glad you like what I write...there must be like 10 people now who actually read my blog lol. I hope when I get to the book it doesn't sound like a long winded reporter. I really think I write like that with a couple of bad jokes thrown in to keep you awake. But like everything's a learning process.


11:21 PM  

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