Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Corrival Sails Offshore to Freeport, Texas

TMCA Spring Fling Docker Dudes mooring Corrival
Corrival made her first extended offshore passage on May 18, 2012.  She sailed from Galveston to Freeport, Texas to participate in the annual Spring Fling hosted by the Texas Mariners Cruising Association. Close to 150 sail and power boats made the 70 nautical mile trek from Clear Lake and Galveston.  Upon arrival, we were met by the wonderful TMCA Spring Fling Docker Dudes.  That evening, we were treated to a BBQ dinner and live music. 

Corrival in Freeport with flags waiving
We were in Freeport for three days, and TMCA had something fun, interesting, relaxing, or educational to do each day.  On the second day they offered several classes such as medical treatment for sailors, air conditioning, and VHF/DCS/AIS integration, just to name three. That afternoon, the Coast Guard demonstrated a helicopter rescue by dropping a rescue swimmer right in front of Corrival.  Afterward, the Coast Guard helicopter crew joined a boat crew for questions and answers.
The good folks from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United State Power Squadron provided free Vessel Safety Checks. Their web site says there are at least 15 reasons why a vessel might not pass a safety check; but Corrival passed with flying colors!
Vessel Safety Check inspection sticker.

If you've read her history, you know Corrival is a Hurricane Ike survivor who was one day away from being scuttled by her previous owner.  When we bought her, she was in very sad shape, though structurally sound.  It has taken innumerable hours and careful attention to all the regulations to get her back in shape.  Passing the Vessel Safety Check was an enormous accomplishment that I am very proud of.

Sunrise in the ICW
After a terrifically enjoyable stay in Freeport, it was time to head back to home port.  We decided to return via the Inter Coastal Waterway.  What a relaxing ride!  We passed by marshes and bird sanctuaries, and traversed small lakes along the winding path.  It was quiet, still, and serene just skimming along the water hardly making a sound.  We made it back to Clear Lake in record speed, averaging 6 knots under a combination of sail and motor.
An amazing trip!  Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Corrival at her home port, Legend Point Marina.  She just had her topsides painted and the original teak brightwork has been restored.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Interior Shots

The mighty sailing vessel Corrival is more than a fine sailing ship, she is a comfortable home away from home.  As you descend down the companionway from the cockpit, you see the booth style table to port.  Under each seat is a large storage locker.  This photo shows the new teak and holly floor we just installed a few months ago. 

On the wall behind the table is a small bookshelf that holds maintenance manuals, charts, navigation tools, a captain's log, and all documentation. While under way, the table provides ample room to spread out the charts.  The raised edging keeps pencils, calculators, and protractors from rolling off.
The table can be lowered to the level of the seats to make a nice-sized double berth 6 1/2 feet long by 3 1/2 feet wide.  In addition to being a comfortable bed at night, this is a great place to read or take a nap on a lazy afternoon.  Push back the curtains from the large windows and open the companionway hatch and you have a 270 degree view around you.

To starboard is the galley.  This galley has a microwave, teak drawers and a locker under the sink.  The faucet has a battery operated pump.  To the left of the sink is an enormous ice box with two levels.  It can hold 160 lbs of ice.  Lasts for days.

Forward of the ice box is a voluminous hanging locker (closet).  It easily accommodates a week's worth of clothes for two.  We also keep a rechargeable lantern and propane stove in the bottom of the locker.  The stove fits easily on the counter space above the ice box providing plenty of room for cooking.

Further forward is the cavernous v-berth.  It is 6' 6" wide at the top, 6' 8"  long, and 20 inches wide at the foot.  I've seen much larger sailboats with v-berths nowhere near as big as this one.  We use king size sheets and blankets to fit the length and width at the top.  On each side there is a small railing and shelf.  Her name is prominently displayed above.

Not shown are the two brass reading lights on either side of the bulkhead.  Beneath the mattress are three storage lockers and a 25 gallon fresh water tank.

The small door at the foot of the berth opens into a huge anchor locker.  The barely visible door to port opens into a small head with a toilet, stainless steel sink and faucet with battery operated pump.
Here is a view looking aft from the v-berth.  You can just about see one of the two small quarter berths, just behind the microwave to starboard.

Below is a view of the starboard quarter berth.  If you've been counting, so far two can sleep on the convertible booth, two in the v-berth and one in each of the two quarter berths for a total of six.  The quarter berths are small, though.  80" long by 22" wide--about the size of the average sleeping bag.  The quarter berths are excellent sea-berths for sleeping while under way.  They are fully enclosed on all sides, so you stay safe and secure even in rough seas. 
Beneath each quarter berth are two storage lockers.  Again, if you are counting, that makes 9 storage lockers, one hanging locker, one sink locker, and two drawers.  Not shown is one other 6 foot long storage locker beneath the cockpit.  Storage space is abundant.  We typically use the quarter berths for even more storage rather than for sleeping.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Before and After

Here is a picture of poor Corrival in February of 2010.  She sustained quite a bit of damage from Hurricane Ike in September of 2008.  She broke loose from her moorings during the storm and was lost for two weeks before her previous owner's son spotted her bobbing aimlessly in Nassau Bay.

The wind ripped her mainsail off the boom and mast leaving only the slugs and shreds of cloth like white moths lining up the mast.  Her headsail unrolled with such force that the headstay snapped breaking the furler.  This picture shows the remnants of the headsail wrapped around the broken furler and headstay drooping down in front of the mast and resting to starboard.  The forward hatch was completely blown off.  In its place was a Styrofoam cover.

Corrival may have been badly beaten, but her hull was intact and structurally sound.  Her starboard outer shroud chain plate was attached to a rotted piece of wood that served as a bulkhead, which I immediately replaced.  There were a couple of soft spots on port and starboard deck near the main portlights, but other than that, she was a sturdy ship.

After replacing the bulkhead, refastening the chain plate, and installing a new headstay, I added new sails and took her out for a spin.  The tiller was rotted and mostly missing, so I improvised with a cheap piece of 2x2x42, which worked well for over a year.  I also replaced the stiff and torn vinyl bimini with a new cloth cover.

To my astonishment, she sailed amazingly well.  She easily points up to 30 degrees close hauled and makes little leeway, thanks to the deep fin keel and huge spade rudder.  She balances out nicely and holds course with very little input.

Here she is in the middle of her bottom job.  You can see the fin keel and spade rudder very well in this photo.  Columbia's specs state she draws 4'7", while their brochure says 4'10".  We measured, and it is 4'10" easily.  

Ben Miller of Ben Miller Boat Works did the bottom job and painted on a new waterline (taped off for painting in the photo).  He fixed the soft spots on the deck and installed a new marine sanitation device (toilet for you landlubbers).  He installed a new depth/speed/temperature gauge and transducer, and replaced all the through hull fittings with new sea cocks.   I've heard good things about Ben from several friends, and he certainly lived up to his reputation.  I would highly recommend him.

Last year, the folks at Hayes Rigging installed the new headstay.  This year, I asked them back to replace the lifelines and all running rigging.  They also retuned the shrouds for me.  They did a fantastic job.

So, here she is again at Double Bayou a year after the photo above was taken. She looks pretty different.  My partner (seen waiving through the portlight) and I repainted the deck and restored the teak.  We are completing a full refit of the electrical system.  You can see we now have a proper marine 30 amp electrical cord (yellow) and watertight receptacle.

On this trip, I was glad I installed cockpit reefing.  The winds were steady at 20kts, gusting to 30.  I put a reef in the main and she flew from Kemah to Double Bayou in three and a half hours.  That is an average speed of 6.28 knots.  Her theoretical top hull speed is 6.25.  She heeled to just under 20 degrees the entire time.  Perfect.  I wish I had a picture of that.

Since then, we have done some more cosmetic work.  We replaced our trusty 2x2 tiller with a new mahogany and ash sculpted tiller and put in new engine controls.  Inside, she has a new teak and holly floor under the booth-style table, and the bilge floor covers have been replaced with teak and holly boards.  I'll post pictures of that soon.

Looking good and ready to go, she is now going to have to prove herself in the Harvest Moon Regatta, a 150 nautical mile race from Galveston to Port Aransas.  She was assigned a PHRF of 240, which is fairly high (meaning comparatively slow.  The higher the rating, the slower the boat.  Other boats in her category have ratings of 140-180).  I hope that handicap is high enough to let me earn a trophy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Two weeks ago I went to Clear Lake Marine Center to have some major refits.  Got a new bottom job, replaced all through hull fittings and valves.  Got a new depth meter and knot indicator, fixed all the cracks in the fiberglass and reset some loose stanchions.  Then I got completely new running rigging and new lifelines installed.  Best of all, a new USCG approved marine sanitation device.  Hadn't had that replaced since it was originally installed in 1969.

Next, I will have the mast stepped down and inspected, and I will have all the wiring replaced entirely.  I will install a new tri-light beacon on top of the mast, along with a new anemometer and apparent wind display.  Then, its an all new paint job on the topside, and new teak handles and doors! 
Pretty soon, I'll be better than new!!