28 May 2022

The problem with Sta-Set


This tangled disaster is the primary flag halyard. This is what I contend with every morning.

NER Sta-Set is made with a proprietary stiff core that comes off a roll in the factory and will forever try to go back to its curly origins. In my professional experience the only thing worse than Sta-Set for self-hockling is Sta-Set X. There is very little you can do to avoid it; you can tediously try to lay it all down flat, observe and compensate for each little kink, and add a little turn with your fingers as you flake it; and it will still win.  Trying to un-twist it become more frustrating than leaving it alone.  If you run it through two blocks under any tension at all, you will have hockles or at least excessive friction.

Some will contend with me here and claim that since it’s so popular and widely-used I am probably its only hater out there.  All I can tell you is that such an argument isn’t based on technological fact; it’s based on perception, which is what people in Marketing count on. The world is FULL of bad products successfully marketed at a public (perhaps wilfully) ignorant of their technological drawbacks (VHS, Windows, SUV cars, steel residential entrance doors, vinyl siding, Tesla…). The wise consumer looks for quality using an open mind and an awareness of options.  Most consumers are not ‘wise’.

I strongly advise AGAINST this rope for anything you don’t want to fight with for ever. This 70-ft halyard will be replaced with Sampson Trophy braid ASAP. 

25 May 2022

World change

On the eve of the birth of my first grandchild, my would changes utterly. 


Boat is still far from ‘complete’ but project has basically just run out of time. Still on the list:

  • Most interior trim, including hull liner;
  • Brand-new Johnson SFX toilet leaks due to discharge elbow being designed to metric system or something - actually undersized for world-standard 1-1/2” Type-148 septic hose. DO NOT BUY THIS TOILET - see my review online;

  • Deck vents - need screen before I drill these through-vents;
  • Most egregious - deck paint. This marina is filthy with railroad-grade black gravel and dust clouds raised by restaurant patrons with BMWs (non-boat owners) and large 4x4x4 trucks of jetski owners using ramp for the day. There is no point in staining the hull again like last time with washing down the deck till I am well away from here;
  • Gimballed stove not finished;
  • Cannot afford to get lifeline gates, downhaul tackle, and seatback cushions out of hock at contractors’;
  • No gas. Marina charges like 5.79 for 93-octane with Fuel Ox added in. This is no.1 destination for all the sport boats up the River and it’s fine then; but I’ll go to Wawa and get 2 gallons as soon as I can figure out the incomprehensible spout on the new can I bought (because I mislaid my older one) and that’ll get me to the next, cheaper, fuel source;
Worst: mystery seawater leak about 2 gallons/24 hrs. May have to have boat hauled ASAP to figure this out. It’s not through-hulls; not new through-hull for antique SR Mariner speedo; only leaking hose is holding-tank exit to deck, at the tank (can be fixed later); not keel bolts. Strongly suspect it’s the bronze drain plug, installed with Teflon tape inside and smeared over in 5200 outside. Will replace this with plug completely sealed with 5200 (when will I ever want a hull drain and why did I do such a nice job installing it?).

I’m still debating with God over whether He is totally against me on this - as I've been living full-time on this boat - or He’s just ‘challenging’ me - if they’re ‘challenges’ why are they so much more like absolute BARS?

For example, right before pulling up the mainsail I had an argument with the outhaul and lost the forward tail into the boom. What should have been a 20-minute operation turned out to be an ALL-DAY ordeal of disassembling the whole boom. The little blocks designed to ‘fall’ out the after end (see any pic for how it’s cut off) had become completely jammed together and I made up my mind to cut the boom in half to free them and to use another scrap boom that I have. The other boom turned out to be too undersized. I returned to this boom and, realizing I might have an alternative to using it, it coughed up the blocks and line after one mild tug. They were a twisted, tangled, knotted mess full of paint chips and scratched aluminum. The Sampson XLS had done a really good impersonation of NER Sta-Set that time! 

Still it is the prettiest boat on the River and many friends have been very encouraging. My mom was tested positive for Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease (if that’s not PC to call it that, sorry; but that’s what it IS) and I came down with it too. So no launch party or other observances; and so I sit alone down below through the rain with the fluffy bunny (April; she is become the onboard mascot - more on her as events develop) and the Patience game on my phone.  

Now begins the next chapter of my life in which the fulfillment of this great reconstruction ordeal can be achieved!

Much thanks to all who have made this possible:

  • Rachel Cherubini deWeil and all at NuWave Marine
  • George Staton
  • Jerry Rohrbach
  • Jeremiah Masey of JDOC Marine
  • Mike Georgeanni
  • Matt Curtin & all at Curtin Marina
  • my mom

Diana’s slated to sail into Barnegat Bay where she will be till early August.  Reach out for an opportunity to visit and view her.

All constructive support is always welcome.

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