If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Friday, December 31, 2010

Safety First! Yes MOMMY!

The first of the safety requirements (expenditures) comes from the USCG.  Then there are the "Mommy" requirements to leave the dock with the kids...  Below is a mostly complete list of all the upgrades and additions even those that are not completely installed.

Below is an itemization of the USCG and MOMMY Lists ($13,253 not including EPIRBs)

The boat...   total $10,518.00
OGM -  Orca Green Marine LED navigation lights.  This includes port, starboard, stern, tri-mast and steaming. $1700+ after new wiring is ran.
Standard Horizon Eclipse DSC+ VHF plus antenna and emergency antenna $400.00
Standard Horizon hand held VHF one for the boat, one for the dinghy, and one extra. $450.00
West Marine Antigua binoculars plus floating strap  $380.00
New Navigation Navigator Compass $106.00
Weems and Plath Navigation aids est $250.00
Maptech chart kits, Maptech cruising guides, Explorer chartbooks, multiple guides covering from NYC to Mobile including the Bahamas and Caribbean. $2000.00 +_
Ditch Bag stocked $400.00
Life Sling including mounting hardware, hard case and 3:1 lifting sling.  $400.00
PFD type one USCG approved for crossings and storms  4ea and one typeIV $220.00
Fire extinguishers 4ea.  $130.00
Jack lines 2x  $116.00
Throw rope $70.00
SOLAS red parachute flares 4ea $252.00
SOLAS red hand flares 4ea $108.00
SOLAS floating smoke signals 2ea $126.00
25mm Flare kit  Gun/launcher and flares 2 sets $500.00
Misc. distress items not included elsewhere $200.00
First aid kit (self assembled) $250.00
LED Spot light $110.00
GPS Lowrance Gps/depth unit, XOG for dinghy, Spot to track adventure, Fugawi, etc $2250.00
and lots of misc. items I don't remember at the moment  $X.XX

Individual sailors - Adult 3ea @ avg $675 total = $2025.00
PFD Self inflating normal use  $150-375.00 each
Safety harness  $80.00
Safety tether $170.00
ACR strobe lights, signal kits, etc $200.00

Individual sailors - youth 2ea @ $355 total = $710.00
PFD type II coastal  $35.00
Safety harness $50.00
Safety tether $70.00
ACR strobe lights, signal kits, etc $200.00

 s/v Gemini Dreams
running total $17,251.00 +
hopefully Mommy can buy the life raft!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A while back I got a good deal on a Walker Bay 8...

I would like to start a new saying...."A penny saved will cost you a THOUSAND DOLLARS!
  1. Walker Bay 8   $799.00*
  2. Walker Bay 8 add-a tube kit   799.00*
  3. Walker Bay 8 sail kit   849.00*
  4. Wichard lift harness   349.00
  5. WM towing bridle   73.00
  6. Newengland ropes tow rope  75.00
  7. WM repair patches   25.00
  8. Fortress FX-7 achor   132.99
  9. Newengland rode with chain for FX-7  125.00
  10. Fortress FX-7 storage bag   67.00
  11. Newengland dock ropes   50.00
  12. Bolt on LED navigation lights  150.00
  13. 12 gauge signal kit  119.99
  14. Items to complete signal kit  65.00
  15. Rod Holders   35.00
  16. GPS Lowrance XOG   199.00
  17. Ram mount for XOG    35.00
  18. Sea anchor   50.00
Dinghy Subtotal                                               $3998.00

Additional items for the future...
  1. Davits   $1400.00
  2. Mercury 4hp motor    1349.00  
  3. Installation accessories     250.00
  4. Cover   125.00 
Dinghy total                                                      $7122.00
* paid less than retail

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the Last day of work

Today was the last day...

I would like to thank all that have taught me their wisdom and listened to the crap I thought I knew.
I will surely miss MOST of you.

  I have added a Paypal link along with Google adds to help support svGeminiDreams. 

The Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."
The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"
The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."
The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."
The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."
"But what then?" asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."
"Millions?...Then what?"
The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
-- Author Unknown

It is a story that has been circulating for years. It's a story I save for friends who may be caught up in the "work harder to purchase more" culture and who look at me funny for suggesting that happiness can be found in simple pleasures.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cleaned up and blue...

The boat has been cleaned and the bottom is now blue...of course it upped the price.  The top sides are in good shape and the sides still have a good gloss finish.  painting the top can wait.  I will be putting a pin stripe in navy to match her new canvas (that will be on a future project page).  At the leading edge will be the Vega star logo as on s/v K. J. Antaba. If you haven't seen this Vega you should.  His cabin sole is awesome.  The Vega Owners handbook is also on his site.

She will be powered by a 9.9 until the budget allows for a used Perkins or a new Beta BZ482.   I will keep a ledger of costs for upgrades and repairs.  My expectations are about 30k in receipts.  Items already purchased are ground tackle, running rigging, Magma Monterey, cowls and dorades, radios, Lowrance,  Walker Bay tender with RIB kit and sail kit, Solar panels, and a whole lot more.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First sight.

First photos of s/v Gemini Dreams. September 2010.  After 2 years of searching and narrowing the list down.  I chose an Albin Vega made by Albin Marin in Sweden and designed by by Per Brohäll.  Due to cost vs. abilities.  The following excert from VAGB site is a fair description.

Albin Vega 27: she's modest, but plenty tough

A Review by John Vigor

This review is taken from a series of reviews of small seaworthy sailboats from John Vigor's book, Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere.

In comparison

  • Safety-at-sea factor: 6 (Rated against the 19 other boats in the book, with 1 being the safest.)
  • Speed rating: Fast off the wind. Once holder of the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing.
  • Ocean comfort level: One or two adults in relative comfort; two adults and two kids in less comfort.

In short

  • Designer: Per Brohäll (1964)
  • LOA: 27 feet 1 inch
  • LWL: 23 feet 0 inches
  • Beam: 8 feet 0 inches
  • Draft: 3 feet 10 inches
  • Displacement: 5,070 pounds
  • Sail area: 341 square feet
  • Ballast: 2,017 pounds
  • Spars: Aluminum
  • Auxiliary: Conventional gasoline or diesel with variable-pitch propeller.
  • Designed as: Fast, light, ocean cruiser with berths for four adults.
You'd hardly guess by looking at one that the Albin Vega has earned herself a reputation for being an outstanding offshore cruiser. She's a modest-looking little fiberglass sloop, totally lacking the massive fittings, bowsprits, and laid teak decks that most people associate with real deep-sea boats. In fact, if you didn't know how tough she is, you might judge her to be rather frail. The slight reverse sheer gives her a humpbacked appearance from some angles (though not an unsightly one) but otherwise her general appearance is quite unremarkable.
Like so many of the world's seaworthy boats, the Albin Vega has Scandinavian origins. She was designed in Sweden in 1964 - the early days of fiberglass construction - by Per Brohäll, who obviously admired the long keel and skinny beam of the Folkboat. The Vega was given a short counter stern with an inboard rudder, however, instead of a transom and an outboard rudder, and her cabintop, raised in two sections, gave her more room below. Well over 3,000 Vegas were built in a production run that extended more than a decade, and thousands of them are now sailing all over the world.
Brohäll set out to design a boat that was light, fast, roomy, seaworthy, and relatively cheap. This was a seemingly impossible task because sailboat performance is the distilled essence of a series of compromises. What is seaworthy, for example, is not usually fast. What is roomy is not necessarily cheap. But Brohäll succeeded in producing one of those rare designs that exceeds most people's expectations in most areas. The one obvious thing the Vega lacks, in comparison with more modern designs, is space down below. But perhaps the comparison is unfortunate because modern designs deliberately sacrifice ultimate seaworthiness for interior space. The understanding is that today's roomy coastal cruisers will never need to fall back on the resources of seaworthiness an ocean voyager requires. Per Brohäll never had to make that compromise. From the outset, he aimed for seaworthiness.
It's the Vega's comparatively narrow beam of exactly 8 feet 0 inches that makes for snugness down below, of course. Nevertheless, the accommodations are comfortable for two adults on a long trip, and perhaps even for two adults and two children on a shorter vacation trip.

Basic Design

The Vega has a shallow hull with narrow beam and fairly hard bilges. Her keel is long, but not full-length, running for only about half the waterline length, from about the mast to the after end of the cockpit well. While there is more than sufficient length for good tracking, especially downwind in the trades, this keel reduces the surface area (and therefore friction) of the "traditional" deep-sea keel and helps the Vega perform better in light airs.
The rudder is attached to the aft end of the keel, but while this is a very strong way to support it, the rudder itself has revealed some weaknesses. There is no cutout in the rudder for the propeller, which, unusually, emerges from the deadwood under the counter but above the rudder.
The hull is solid fiberglass, said by the builder to be 3/8-inch thick at the sheerline and 1-inch thick at the base of the keel, but the deck and cabintop are cored fiberglass for lightness. It has been reported that you can press in the cabin sides with your bare hands. Of course because a panel flexes, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is too weak, but continual flexing will eventually cause fatigue and cracks, so in a boat intended for long passages at sea, you'd need to stiffen it with internal stringers or bolt on a large plywood or acrylic storm cover outside.
The caulked, internal flanges of the hull and deck are bolted together with 5/16-inch stainless steel bolts every 5 inches, which makes for a reassuringly strong joint and few leaks. The sheerline, as mentioned above, is reversed slightly to improve headroom below. It is actually almost a straight line from stern to bow, but the eye increases the humpback effect because it is trained to see a concave sheer in that spot. The bows, therefore, look lower than usual for the size of the boat and appear to lack buoyancy, but there is no evidence that such is the case.
The low topsides cut down on wind resistance, which means the coachroof must protrude more to provide adequate headroom below. Brohäll resisted the temptation to create a high, unsightly superstructure that would accommodate a standing 6-footer anywhere below. Instead, he placed a low cabin trunk over the head and the aft end of the V-berth, and then stepped it up another story to give 5 feet 10 inches of headroom in the main saloon and galley. The result is a fairly large superstructure, but one that blends pleasantly with the hull and avoids boxiness. The cockpit is self-bailing and small enough not to cause concern about pooping, but big enough for two people not to get in each other's way on long trips.
Early Vegas were powered by gasoline engines, the 13-horsepower Albin or the 15-horsepower Volvo. Later models carried Volvo diesel engines, including the 10-horsepower MD6A (which was generally thought not to have sufficient power) and the 13-horsepower MD7A.
But the really interesting thing about the Vega's power train was the Combi variable-pitch propeller, which was used without a transmission on the early boats. Even when transmissions were added at a later stage, the variable-pitch prop was retained. It was controlled by a single lever that changed the propeller pitch, from full astern to full ahead, without the need for a clutch. When the boat was under sail, the prop could be feathered for least resistance. It was reportedly a very efficient piece of machinery, but complicated and expensive to repair.


The Vega has comfortable bunks for four, two 6-footers and two of 6 feet 6 inches, but it would be a mistake to plan on long ocean crossings with four adults. Two would be plenty.
The accommodation layout is logical for a boat with a 23-foot waterline, starting with a chain locker up forward, followed by a V-berth and a toilet just forward of the main bulkhead. The head faces a hanging locker on the other side of the gangway and can be closed off from the main cabin, but remains open to the V-berth.
Aft of the main bulkhead are transom berths to port and starboard, the starboard one being 6 inches longer than the port one. The table between the berths fits into sockets in the cabin sole, so it can be yanked out and stowed - or dropped into similar sockets in the cockpit for sunset drinks and snacks.
At the after end of the cabin, under the sliding hatch, the galley divides itself into two portions, one each side of the companionway steps/engine cover. The cooker lives on the port side, and a sink and icebox on the starboard side.
Cubbyholes and lockers in the galley and the main cabin provide ample stowage space for gear and provisions for two people on an extended voyage.
As usual in a boat of this size, there is no dedicated chart table, and the cabin table supplied with the boat is unlikely to be steady enough for serious navigation business in a seaway. But a removable or fold-down plywood table could be made easily enough to fit over one end of a berth or over the icebox/sink area.
All the deadlights are fixed in place with rubber gaskets, which means you can't open them, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to add a couple of Dorade ventilators, although the existing ventilation system works better than most. If you're heading for the tropics, you'll need all the ventilation you can get.

The Rig

The Vega's rig is entirely conventional and easily handled. This masthead sloop has single spreaders and two lower shrouds on each side.
The mast and boom are aluminum, and neither is of excessive proportions, but the mast is stepped on deck, which brings problems in time because few designers or builders ever manage to compensate adequately for the enormous downward thrust a mast produces. The best way to transfer that thrust is to carry the mast down to the keel, but on narrow-gutted boats like this one it gets in the way so much down below that most buyers won't tolerate it. When it comes time to make repairs, however, they may live to regret it. We'll go into this a little deeper in a bit.
The main boom is quite short, yet the mainsheet traveler can still be placed aft of the rudder head, so the sheet is at the helmsman's fingertips. Single winches on the cockpit coamings can handle everything from the spitfire jib to a 150 percent genoa.


Initially tender, the Vega stiffens up at moderate angles of heel, and despite her shallow draft she works reasonably well to windward.
She is very handy indeed off the wind. A Vega called Little My III crossed the Atlantic from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados in 14 days, 16 hours. Richard Henderson, commenting on the trip in his book Singlehanded Sailing (International Marine), says: "She reportedly surfed in the trade winds at speeds up to 13 knots, yet was dry, comfortable, and easily managed. Her excellent downwind behavior might be attributed to her well-balanced hull with flattish run, modest displacement, and moderately long full keel."
Her working sail area, while correctly proportioned for an ocean cruiser, is too modest to give her scintillating performance in light air, so it would be wise to carry a large nylon drifter and/or an asymmetrical cruising spinnaker if you're not planning to motor through the doldrums.
In general she has a reputation for being extremely well behaved, being easy to steer and staying under control even when hard pressed.