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Topics - Rick Roberts

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Main Message Board / Singlehanding the Sea of Cortez + Video
« on: April 27, 2019, 08:45:45 AM »
Last year, I had the best time singlehanding in the Sea of Cortez on this boat formerly known as SV Blackdragon. It was such a treat, not having to rush from a place to another and not being on a schedule. For the first time I had the luxury of understanding what it means to ACTUALLY going with the wind. Sailing from anchor to anchor at times. It didn't matter if I was going 2 or 7 knots. In this video I also give some feedback about the Sailrite sails I made.

Let me know what you guys think. I love making those videos and looking forward of making more. Feedback will be greatly appreciated and well received!

Youtube video:

When I originally purchased SV Blackdragon, it came with a Lewmar v700 windlass that could only accept 1/4 inch chain. In the process of refitting the boat by having the plan to start crossing the South Pacific this Spring. I decided I would need roughly 275 feet of 5/16 and the old Lewmar V700 might not keep up with that. I picked the Lewmar v3 windlass which is definitely oversized but wanted the peace of mind and got a really good deal on it. Also, I thought since the new windlass is a bigger unit, the hole would be bigger. I was wrong!!! I should of doublechecked... I ended getting myself in a bigger project than expected in Mexico where supply where limited and harder to get. The deck was originally roughly 1-inch thick and added an extra 1/4 on top and bottom. For a total of 45 layers of 1708 fibreglass. Here's a few pictures ...

Hi Guys, I have an Elliptical rudder in an awesome condition for sale. Protective coated with Amercoat 235, 2 parts epoxy and painted with Jotun antifouling paint. The rudder has been inspected already and is dry as a bone. The rudder is ready to be shipped or pick up. It's waiting on a crate for the new owner.

Location: Pheonix Arizona
Price: SOLD

PM for more information, Cheers.

Hi Guys! We just sailed under the Golden gate bridge last night from Vancouver, BC. We anchored in Sausalito. If any of you are in the area, it would be awesome to meet some of the members from  :D We will be in the bay area for the next week or soo and continue our way down to Mexico.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you guys!! :clap

You can also see of picture of the trip on our website/blog:


I was looking at storage in the galley and thought the bottom cabinet space could be use more efficiently and used to store pots, pants, etc. Anyway looked around and had the idea of relocating the fridge foot pump, fresh water pressure pump and reroute some of the plumbing.

Step 1: Remove the teak cabinet if you would like to make thing easier for yourself. Be careful when removing the wood plugs. You only want to drill the plug while making sure to not damage the surrounding or ruining the screw under.

Step 2: Make sure to turn off your water pressure! :thumb: Disconnect water pump plumbing, remove raw water pump and disconnect fridge/icebox plumbing.

Step 3: Now you have to replicate the cut off of the first raw water pump in the fiberglass. I used a sheet of paper, put my flashlight behind the fiberglass to be able to see the outline and create a stencil of the cut. Once you did that, use a X-acto knife and cut the outlines and replicate it to your new favorite location with a sharpie. I personally relocated it on the port side of the previous one. I used a Dremel tool to make the cut and used my shop vac vacuum to limit the amount of fiberglass dust in the galley.

Step 4: I relocated the fresh water pump under the sink and drilled holes for the bolts going thru the seating. Out of the way but a bit harder to access if the fresh water pump goes to sh*t, but I'm ok with that. I played around with the pump to determine the best location and marked the first screw hole location with a sharpie marker. Drilled the first screw hole, I measured the distance between the screws with a caliper gauge and drilled the 3 other screw holes from the seating side, much easier. Install new bolts and nuts.

Step 5: Replumb your pumps and take the time to inspect for leaks before reinstalling everything.

Step 6: Reinstall teak cabinets, I would recommend using bolts and nuts instead of screws. Like that you wouldn't have to pluck the wood plugs out again if you have to access it in the future.

Step 7: Enjoy your new storage space. :clap

Main Message Board / New youtube channel featuring our c34, Blackdragon
« on: February 28, 2017, 05:22:28 PM »
Some of you know that Karoline and I have been living on our sailboat for almost a year now in preparation for a massive adventure (to us)... and thought it would be fun to share it with you guys!
With 6 months left to go, it's starting to feel insanely real... especially when we put together this little YouTube trailer as a teaser of what's to come. I'm stoked, I'm terrified, I'm every emotion imagine-able. Please take a peak, subscribe to our channel and give the video a 👍🏽.
So much gratitude to you all for all the support along the way through every word and advices. I think I'll need it all now more than ever!⛵️

Youtube link:

Please let us know what you think!  :D

Main Message Board / Lithium Ion battery upgrade
« on: October 17, 2016, 10:35:41 AM »
Hi guys, the more I read and learned about lead acid and agm batteries. The more I keep asking myself, there must be a better solution. I kept thinking about hybrids and electric cars --- > *Lithium Ion*. There is multiple different chemical combinations but the one I was considering was the LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) for multiple reasons;

Lithium Iron Phosphate battery VS Lead Acid battery:
- Charging cycle: 2000 cycles (still gives you over 80% of the original capacity) vs 300 charging cycles
- 70% lighter than lead ( save a few hundreds pound and allow you to store more beers )
- Flatter voltage curve
- Zero Maintenance
- Fast charging: 3 to 5 hours vs 8 to 16 hours
- Discharge rate is <3% per months
- 99% efficient VS ~ 35-50% (don't really want to go under 50% charge and after %80, it doesn't charge efficiently)
- Warranty 3-5 years vs 12 months

Starting seriously about doing the switch. I could cut down my batteries weight from 400 to 60lbs (450Ah golf cart batteries to 240ah LiFePO4 batteries). Solar panels would charge more efficiently, less issues with voltage fluctuation for sensitive electronics, don't have to maintain them, last longer.

Let me know what you guys think, I haven't seen much downside beside the initial cost which seems to be well worth the upsides.


Main Message Board / New to c34 and the return of Blackdragon
« on: October 15, 2016, 03:39:14 PM »
Hi guys,
Recently this year I purchased a 1988 Catalina 34, Blackdragon from Steve (Waterdog). I wish I posted here way before but to be honest I was a bit intimidated by the legacy he left on . We have done about 500 NM with Blackdragon this season as newbie sailors and had the chance to discover Desolation Sounds this summer.

I'm really excited to meet some of you guys; please don't be shy to come knock on our hull and say hi.

We have big plans for Blackdragon, since we feel she misses Mexico. We are planning on taking her there Aug 2017, continue down south and if we fell confident enough, we plan to turn right towards Australia. Since Australia is part of the Commonwealth, as Canadians we will apply for a 2 year working visa in Australia.

We have so much to learn; techniques to practice, training to take and books to read. As of now, I'm working full time on Blackdragon to get her ready and equip for the big adventure.

Friends and family kept bugging us for a blog. We just put a website up if anyone is interested to see what we are up to.

Eric and Karoline

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