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Blog Posts (54)

  • Gold.

    Greetings ILY fans! Many of you know that one of the things I have wanted to do with CAYUGA is to take her to St. Michaels for the annual Chesapeake Chapter's Antique & Classic Boat Show. This was its 36th year and running. I had done a previous post about it " Boat Show Time " and the ongoing frustrations with getting the boat in the water. 2024 has been a challenge and too often anything but good. Specifically, as an example, on January 1st I woke up after a lovely dinner party the evening prior, and while sitting at the dining room table enjoying my espresso, I happened to look at my ring finger and oh no! one of the sapphires was missing from my new ring! I could not believe it and was fighting the idea that it was a bad omen. Well, from there on, things went downhill. The boat was having issue after issue. There were two unexpected and tragic deaths of past coworkers. Work problems. Identity theft. Landscaping mishaps. And a bizarre family development. Even minor everyday things have taken the difficulty scale to new heights. If normally it takes one time to do something or should be a short process, it's been anything but. 2024 is the year of persistence, patience, perseverance, and a big pain in the ass. But, perhaps my string of bad experiences may be winding down, or at least on vacation? I picked up my ring last Wednesday! A good start to hopefully a string of positives. So on to the main story. A good one. On Thursday afternoon of last week, June 13, we departed the marina at approximately 1pm and arrived at St. Michaels around 3:30pm. CAYUGA ran well. Her port engine started with some barking but fortunately, that went away and our ride down the bay was into a 12 knot breeze that she handled admirably. I juiced up her RPMs while we turned into Eastern Bay to run over the quartering waves and once around the point and headed south through Prospect Bay into the Miles River, we slowed down and cruised along enjoying the scenery (12 knots in video). The weekend was fantastic. The weather was great. I slept on the boat while Brad drove back and forth to take care of the dog (she does not like the boat - it's too loud). I made a beautiful arrangement with flowers from my gardens, set up a pitcher of iced cold hibiscus tea on a serving tray (a wedding gift with the island of Bermuda carved into it - our favorite place), and displayed the CAYUGA engraved glasses. We looked great. Folks stopped and asked about her - we were all too happy to oblige offering many to come aboard. I had signed up on a whim to be judged to find out what folks thought of her and learn what we would need to do to make her competitive next year. That judging took place Saturday morning. The awards ceremony was a Sunday luncheon. I'll just get to it. CAYUGA won a Gold Level award in her class - Late Classic. I had not expected that. I never even considered it. Not in my wildest dreams. Not even a little bit. The only award higher is Platinum. I was so surprised and stunned and speechless, except to say to the audience while holding back tears, "Thanks Dad". Not my usual calm, collected self when handed a microphone. In past stories, I've shared how Dad is the reason I was introduced to boating and found I loved it, so being Father's Day, the tears just flowed both sad and happy. CAYUGA motored home with her first, of what I hope to be many, awards and accolades. We have much work to do! I'll tell you all about how I prepped her in an upcoming story. But for now, I am on the lookout for more good things to come. Time for some bubbly to celebrate the accomplishment and a huge thank you to all of you who have supported us, in every way. I'm exhausted but it's all been worth it.

  • Transmission... dead.

    These pictures are shortly after the complete destruction of the port U-joint Tuesday and the morning after cleanup of the transmission oil and small debris. Bottom line, Brad, me, and our mechanic are all safe as is the boat. She may be trailered back to Mathews. Or, we stay in the water, potentially remove the port prop and limp around on one engine nearby not far from the marina until a solution presents itself. So, I ask you dear readers and fellow yachters, do you use your old boat or old car such that you expect it to perform as it should? Or do you baby the heck out of it and fear a failure at any moment if you should use in a normal way? We had the belief based on the restoration and rebuild and all the marine industry folks we'd worked with that we would be able to have the boat perform. However, only 3/4 of it performed as it should, 2 engines and 1 transmission/v-drive, while 1/4 decided to fall to pieces. I'd pushed her up to 3600 RPMs on our return from St. Michaels, which is only 800-1000 less RPMs than when disaster struck. Was failure imminent at some point in the future and we just hurried it along? Who knows, at least not at this time, but having our mechanic (note - he is not a transmission person) aboard was, if anything, comforting. Remember this picture from this previous post ? Basically, the "neck" between broke. The Paragon died. Right now, all the experts are conjecturing and tasked to figure out how to fix this. What exactly happened is now a figure pointing exercise. Frankly, if someone would just step up and say, you know, I think I fucked up, I'd respect that and think a turning point had been reached where my shaken confidence would be renewed in the folks involved. It's a possibility that we will fully ditch the remaining Paragon and go with new (or new to us) gears. If that is the direction - there'll be stories a-plenty. If I loved yachting before, now I'm married to it. I can't sell a broken boat, so I've got to see this through. I don't want to sell the boat, but you can't blame me for thinking about it. 2024 keeps landing punches when I was getting hopeful that things were turning around. Silly me. So, all I can say is bring it on - and as someone suggested yesterday, "get a second mortgage, redo it all new and then refi when rates go down - you only go around once".

  • Third Time's A Charm

    Oh, the joy of fixing things... After a nice run from Annapolis and back at the dock last Sunday, I began to fuss with the wheel because it's still loose, turning it all the way starboard and then port. And then while turning to port, the wheel started to unscrew. Yes, it just kept on spinning. Oh s***! What if that had been while underway? A true I love yachting moment that thankfully did not come to pass. Our friend Berke George, AKA the Cannon Man, is in town, he arrived last Wednesday. Given that we still have a bit of boating to do before CAYUGA gets hauled for the season, the Edson wheel needed to be fixed. Berke has a wealth of knowledge regarding boats and how things work on boats so who better to dig into this problem. As you know, we tried this once, then again, and now here we are doing it one more time. We'd thought our love of yachting moments with this wheel were behind us but not quite yet. So on a beautiful Thursday last week, Berke and Brad went to town on the wheel. The culprit was discovered to be a set screw on the shaft that had been worn and was sliding on the shaft but also scoring it. That's not a pretty picture. Berke filed the shaft to both repair and smooth it out. Then the hunt was on for a new set screw and a threading tap. For those of you who may not know what that is, because I certainly did not, it is used to create threads a screw can go into. I had to look it up on the google, so here's a picture for ya in the middle. We surmise that this was going on all along to some degree, we can't be sure but there's no doubt in our mind that the instructions we followed the second time around got this situation to mayday status. The "turn the wheel all the way and then turn hard again" directions - we don't plan to repeat unless totally necessary. I'm not saying anything we were instructed to do in any way was wrong or bad - what happened was a mechanical deficiency. Berke discovered that the old set screw couldn't fully and properly situate itself against the shaft because of the hub hole threads. Basically, no screw would until the threads were all the way through the hub hole, so this was bound to happen. As an aside, technically, the boat could be maneuvered with throttle alone but that would be only at low speeds, I would not want to try steering that way going at a cruising speed. I don't use the wheel to dock, it's all gear shifting and bow thruster. My comfort level with steering CAYUGA around is growing with more and more scenarios we get her into. However, it's nice to have confidence in your basic boat operating machinery! So Brad and Berke went to Fawcett after not being able to find the right screw or tap at the marina boatyard we are docked at. Two folks at Fawcett were struggling to find what we needed, a longer 5/16th set screw and the same size tap. In was called a wisened old salt who descended into the basement from where he emerged victorious in his quest with just the right screw and tap. Berke remarked that "now we're in business". Once back at the boat, the tap was used to completely thread the whole way through the hub hole. And while Berke was at it, he took some time to Flitz the wheel and get it looking like new. If you don't know about this stuff, you are missing out! This wheel is shiny - I like shiny metal stuff. It's so nice to have a working wheel. We were out today bringing the boat home and it was night and day steering ability. And it looks great too. Look at that set screw doing its job like it's supposed to. Thanks to the always awesome Fawcett folks. And way to go Berke! I learned so much listening to you just to do this post with how you explained exactly what you did and what was needed to be done. I am a much better yacht girl today than I was yesterday.

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Other Stuff (12)

  • First Owner | I Love Yachting

    The First Owner Blair Brown Blair Brown certainly had a history prior to 1964, but let's just start here. He was attending Harvard Graduate School of Design and was friends a fellow student, Lionel Spiro. Lionel graduated a year ahead of Blair, but both experienced difficulties in finding the kind of materials needed to do their architectural projects. Thus was born Charrette, a company specializing in all things for design, architecture, interior, graphic, etc. ​ Starting in Cambridge, the two decided to take on NYC. And that they did in 1970, exceptionally well. Headquarters were established in Woburn, MA in 1977 along with a 200K sq ft warehouse. According to an article that all I could dig up was the title and lead, Charette had become an $89 million business by 1997. Investment firm Berkshire Partners, in a management buyout, purchsased the company for an undisclosed amount. Somewhere in there, Blair was already sailing. Brad, in his research, learned that Blair's first sailboat was a C&C 40 named GREYHOUND. Then, in 1984 Blair partnered with Bache Renshaw and commissioned a 40' IOR design by Brendan Dobroth, named DRUMBEAT. This was when PUG came into being. Blair commissioned Hunt to design a 30' powerboat to serve as a tender to the racing program. In 1991 Blair again partnered with Bache to build a Taylor 42 at Concordia, also named DRUMBEAT. This was also the time when Blair repowered PUG with larger engines. In 1998, Blair went out on his own and built the Taylor 45 SFORZANDO at Goetz. Which we learned in a few articles that an acquaintance of ours through the Sandys Boat Club in Bermuda, Peter Bromby, an Olympic Star sailor, was often crew (tactician) with Blair. In fact, that is him in the light blue shirt in the aft of the third picture above. ​ Blair's last boat was a Kerr 55 that he also named SFORZANDO. Blair passed on Januray 2, 2016. He was incredibly accomplished and thankfully, very clearly, loved yachting. We will add more about Blair and his racing days. We have reached out to Peter, and Blair's longtime boat caretaker, Jack Foley. Definition and Pronunciation of Sforzando Sailing.org July 21, 2004 SouthCoast Today July 29, 2007 Sailing World , June 14, 2010 Sailing Breezes, July 23, 2010 Alisondgilbert.com, Januray 14, 2011 Reprographics.blotspot.com, November 13, 2013 Taylor Yacht Designs Back to CAYUGA

  • CAYUGA | I Love Yachting

    CAYUGA - Her Story Back Story I Love Yachting started as a hobby and continues to inspire us to write and share more stories of our own. There's a story dedicated solely to where "I love yachting" started. Thus far most stories have been fueled by our boat, CAYUGA. (We continue to solicit for your story - and you can upload one right here !) Our gal is special and deserves her own explanation, much of which has been compiled by Brad, master storyteller and researcher. If you have questions, please "Hail Us " and we'd be happy to tell you more. Line Drawings Architects & Builders First Owner What's Next

  • YOUR STORY | I Love Yachting

    Share Your Story Thanks for submitting! Upload your pictures and video Max file size 15 MB, up to 10 files. Write, upload, and submit here!

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