Wednesday, April 19, 2006

At the Dock

Under sail

The Noe Mar

The Sturdy Little Ship

The Noe Mar is a Seagoer Yawl built in 1931. The orginal design came from Thomas Fleming Day's ideas and with Charles Moer & Larry Huntington as the co-designers. They decided, since the Sea Bird Yawl was a success, to design two larger versions of it.

These plans were published by Rudder Magazine (Day's magazine) in a book called "How to build a Yawl" (of which I have a copy and an orginal). From this book a gentleman that had never sailed, nor built a boat other than a crude skiff, built a Seagoer Yawl and named her the "Islander". That man was Harry Pidgeon, and he became the second man in the world to sail single handed around the world in his home built Seagoer Yawl. If you google his name, you can find a lot about Harry and his sturdy boat. Interestingly enough, if you google Joshua Slocum you will find the first man to sail a sturdy little boat around the world by himself. Tough men. But back to Thomas Fleming Day:

Of the Sea Bird or Seagoer design, Mr. Day (known as the "Ol Man")described her as "Heavily built, ugly, and very slow" but he also said she was "seaworthy" and he liked her enough to sail the Sea Bird across the Atlantic in a heavy storm.

The Noe Mar (a Seagoer Yawl) is indeed heavy (10 tons with her motor, fuel, fuel for the cabin heater...full water tanks...loaded with all my tools and ready to cruise)...still she handled very well in 40 knot winds that took down a sailing vessle in the same seas we were in off the coast of northern California. In fact, my nephew and I felt very secure an safe the whole time...just a little rockin and rollin as we smashed through nice sized waves. We were very sorry to hear about the abandoment of the larger vessle that was in the same seas and location that we were in. I might add, that I have had light air sails built for the Noe Mar and she does well downwind in 5 knots of wind...but much better in 20 knots. She even did 6.5 knots of hull speed, with a 27 knot following wind, with just a working jib and mizzen raised when we moved her from one mooring to a bay in San Carlos this month.
I had my 1st Mate on board...and requested an additon to the sail plan so we could take her up to 8 knots...but the 1st Mate vetoed my request (hey, I need a 1st Mate:).

The Noe Mar has an addition to the orginal design...a 1/2" thick bronze strap that runs from her bow all the way to the bottom of her keel......yes, she will run over a log or other submerged objects without harm...although you would swear you had just smashed into a huge reef @ 8 knots when that happens (it happened two times on this trip). This idea was from the previous owners...I just removed the corroded and rusty steel strap and bolted on 2 layers of 1/4" bronze straps...and made them the same width as the leading edge of the bow and keel.

As to sailing on her at night...I have often tried to express how great it is, and I have failed...but hopefully the "Ol Man" will permit me to offer his quote of sailing this type of yawl at night:

"The bow waves broke away on either side a mass of fire just as if her stern was a plough being driven through a field of glowing sparks. The red and green side lights showed like the eyes of a dragon, the spray, like the breath form the monster's nostrils, coloring as it drifted across the bath of the beams. Except for the sound of the bow treading down the overtaken wave, nothing was audible save a faint rustle of the canvas--the song of the wind-satisfied sail. Boys, I wish you had been with me that night. Such a night as puts into your being that life-love, that affection, nay, passion, for existence, that gives to earth the enchantment so that all things assume an aspect of immutability, when the soul in its longing to share cries out in ecstasy, "Let me live forever!"."

This reminds me, perhaps I'd better install the LED lanterns (made from original kerosene ones) and turn off the mast head tri-color ones.

I might add that the Noe Mar is fully equiped with Radar, Statellite phone (with wich I can download weather GRIBs from 2 different sources), SSB (a third source of weather), VHF, two computers loaded with C-map Charts on Max Sea navigation, GPS, a Navonics auto pilot system (yes, another computer) and an Aires Wind Vane system...with a Sextant on board (sun shots OK but star shots???). I estimate around $30,000 worth of electronics as well as a new Volvo Penta MD2030 engine and a KIWI Prop self feather propeller (to gain that extra 1/2 knot of speed...we need help).

She is a beauty under light air sails...and no, I do not consider her ugly (just not drop dead gorgeous as some wine glassed hulls appear to be to me) fact she looks great when her shoulder is in the sea and the wind is blustry...and I guess, I like standing upright when she does that (as I am setting on deck :)

Check out her pictures and may she sail the seas long after I am off this planet, sailing somewhere in another dimension.

Skipper of the s/v Noe Mar

Friday, April 07, 2006


Finally, some wind here in San Carlos


Here I am...leaving La Paz without wind...UCK!

The last crew

San Carlos, SON, Mx

Dave and I motored into Caleta la Posada bay around 2 AM (local time) on March 31, 2006. Well, we thought it was Caleta la Posada bay....but instead, it appeared smaller and bright lights were in my eyes. Seems we were in the middle of a disco band playing at a resort area in Sangrila Coves...I quickly turned around and motored out of it. How could anyone sleep with those lights and noise. As I motored back to get into the next bay (with David, my son, on the bow sprit with a light), I get a yell...ROCKS...I hit reverse as he still yelled at the top of his lungs. Did I mention there was no moon and though there were a few stars...well, the lights of the disco blinded everyone. We missed the rocks...both Dave and I were sweating profusly.

We have anchored @ 27 deg 57.745 min N and 111 deg 02.845 min W. Turned off the engine...made sure the anchor was set correctly and went to sleep.

Tomorrow the family would fly in...we have done it.

On April 1, I got up @ 7 and brought up the anchor and motored out of the bay. Went to the fuel dock in San Carlos Marina (7 foot depth...drove my depth sounder nuts).
We filled up with diesel and headed out around the mountain, Tetas de Cabra, (look
tetas and cabra up in your espanol dictionary)to Marina Real. Called on VHF and found our slip.

Watch out for Mexican paper work...apparently we have NOT checked our boat into the country of Mexico...another $50 USD or have the San Carlos Marina do it for $100 USD (they drive to Guyamas and run the gauntlet for you). This will register the Noe Mar in Mexico for 10 years. OK, I should be out of here by then.

The picture is of my son, David, reading his book (none of this "the World is Flat" stuff...rather old economic facts of the sea :) and one of the Capitian resigned to NO WIND. However, you will notice, that once we got here and sailed out into the Sea of Cortez...there is wind...lots of it up here.

Currently the Noe Mar is anchored in 16 ft of water with 60 ft of chain out in the bay of Ensenada San Francisco in San Carlos...27 deg 57.673 min N and 111 deg 01.0854 min W. The bottom is sand and she held with 30 knots of wind the other night.

We will leave the Noe Mar home Tuesday and pay for a years moorage.

Need to come down and repaint...bottom and top...hopefully have fun sailing here and then plan our next voyage within 2007. Wish us luck.

Hasta luego mi amigos...........Skipper of the Noe Mar..........Ken Scott