Hurricane Florence


The Far Reach about 24 hours before Florence made landfall.

I am very happy to report that the Far Reach survived the trial of her life during Hurricane Florence, which pounded eastern North Carolina from 13-14 Sept 2019.

Continue reading


Splicing Wire Standing Rigging in British Columbia



I spent three weeks on Vancouver Island splicing rigging and helping my friend Kaj install the rig on his self built Lyle Hess designed 34’ Falmouth Cutter.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was invited by my friend Kaj Jakobsen, to help him  step the mast and splice the standing rigging on his beautiful Lyle Hess designed 34’ Falmouth Cutter.  I flew to Vancouver Island in the middle of July.  I had never been to British Columbia and all I can say is wow!  It is gorgeous.  It reminded me of Montana but with a lot of water.  Many islands.  Clear water.  Deep fiords.  Lovely Douglas Fir trees everywhere.  Clear sunny skies.  Perfect temps.

Continue reading

Dyneema Soft Shackles and an Improved Deck Bucket

I selectively and carefully incorporated dyneema and it’s heat treated cousin Dynex Dux into the rebuilt Far Reach. I used Dux for the forestay and later modified it with a quick release pendant. The link to how we made the forestay releaseable can be found here.


We used a 5/16” doubled soft shackle to attach the large low friction ring to the tack fitting on the gammon iron  as part of our releasable forestay system.

We also use dyneema for our lifelines and various shackles with and without toggles. The dyneema has performed very well. We continue to find ways to use dyneema in a manner that suits our philosophy of reliability, simplicity, and self sufficiency.

Continue reading

Hand Splice Standing Rigging—The Liverpool Splice




All of the standing rigging on the Far Reach is spliced to include the 3/8” bob-stay and the 5/16” sprit-shroud stays.

Readers of our rebuild website may remember I hand-spliced the standing rigging for the new mast we built for the Far Reach. It was one of the many projects associated with the six year rebuild. I used a splice called the Liverpool Splice. I learned it by reading Brion Toss’ book The Rigger’s Apprentice.

Continue reading

Cape Lookout Summer Cruise

We had hoped to sail to Bermuda this summer but it was just not in the cards. We had too many balls in the air especially with the kids graduating from home high school and the seminar I teach at Camp Lejeune graduating at the end of May. So, we decided to enjoy a more simple to execute, week long cruise out to the Cape Lookout National Seashore. This trip was just for Gayle and me. Because the kids are usually with us, it was the first time Gayle and I have been alone on the Far Reach for more than a night. So we left the newly graduated high school seniors at home with a credit card and the car keys.


The Far Reach all provisioned and ready to go.

Continue reading

Upgrading Primary Winches—Phase II. And a new winch base design.


Before: The primary winches were on a 2” riser pad and were, by design,  very tall winches.  They also suffered from aluminum/bronze corrosion—IMO a fundamentally bad design.


After: The new primaries are a little shorter in height plus I removed the riser pad.  They are the same model as the smaller stays’l winches we installed last fall. Note the new winch base with bronze plate.

After completing a number of small projects this year, it was time to tackle the last big project for the foreseeable future—installing the new primary winches. The new winches are bronze Lewmar Ocean Series ST 46 two speed winches. The 46s replace the original 1982 era bronze two speed Lewmar 44s.  Though they performed satisfactorily, the 44s were a flawed design from the beginning, mixing aluminum with bronze. The aluminum jaws were ate up with galvanic corrosion.  For more information on the original installation click here.

Continue reading

Stepping It Up



The removable dinghy step is about 24” long x 9” wide.  The sub frame is iroko and the treads are teak.

We have found getting from the dinghy up to the Far Reach is not always so easy. It’s a little over 40” from the waterline to the top of  the bulwarks.  It’s not just us.  I think many cruisers find climbing from the dinghy to the mothership a challenge, especially as we get older.  And, the traditional stern on the Far Reach means the best way to embark or debark is along-side vice over the stern.  Many modern sailboat designs include the now ubiquitous “sugar-scoop” transom, which greatly simplifies the task of getting from the dinghy to the sailboat.  The disadvantage of a sugar-transom is that it makes the boat less secure.   It’s easy for an  unwanted visitor to get aboard the boat by clandestinely swimming up to the stern and crawling up and over the sugar-scoop.  And sugar scoops, generally, detract from the aesthetics of the boat. But I digress.

Continue reading

Building Dorades


The dorade boxes were in bad shape.  Originally, I varnished them but finally painted them white after repeated mysterious varnish failures.

I have known for a long time that I needed to replace the dorade boxes on the Far Reach. During the six year long rebuild I was on a budget so I had to decide how to spend the time and money, where to save the time and money, and when to live to fight another day.   So, building new dorades was saved for another day…which, finally, arrived a few weeks ago

Continue reading

Let There Be Light–Adding LED Lights.


The Alpenglow LED lights are a nice addition to the Far Reach .

From the beginning of our rebuild of the Far Reach we had three goals that guided our efforts: First, was to make her as simple as possible. Second, was to make her comfortable and enjoyable to sail and live aboard. Last, she had to be beautiful. I call our philosophy “elegant simplicity.”

Continue reading

Removable Side-Mount Rotating Arm Engine Bracket




Here we are departing Hancock Marina on 29 Nov 2015 for the BVI.  There was not a breath of air.  We used the engine to get to the head of Adams Creek on the ICW that afternoon.  The next day we sailed all the way down the ICW, under two bridges, and out to Cape Lookout where we waited for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream. A few days later a friend linked up with us in the Bight at Cape Lookout and we transferred the engine to his skiff.  We sailed to the BVI engine free.

While I would prefer to have the Far Reach engine free all the time it would require access to a mooring that we could sail on and off. There are very few moorings in NC and none where we are. She is berthed in a small marina with 360° of protection. So, we often carry a Honda 9.9hp four stroke outboard on a custom-made removable swing arm bracket attached to the port quarter. The outboard allows us to more conveniently move her in and out of her slip, make the tight turn onto the fairway, then exit the narrow 1/4 mile long channel out to the Neuse River.

Continue reading