Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded the boat (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sockdolager, our Dana 24, is for sale.

Photo credit: Off Center Harbor
After many miles in the Pacific Northwest and an excellent adventure from Port Townsend to New Zealand in which our dear little Sockdolager has carried us safely more than 12,000 miles, we find that we are no longer sailing her enough. So, we are putting her up for sale. As you can see from the photos, she’s compact but capable.

Jim stands lookout in the ratlines as we thread between coral heads in Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotu archipelago in the South Pacific. Photo credit: S/V Vulcan Spirit
Sockdolager is a little champion who’s meant to be sailed. With her shoal draft of 3’10” you can get into spots many larger cruising boats can’t.  Here she is in a lagoon all to herself, at Aitutaki atoll in the South Pacific.

Our own private lagoon in Aitutaki atoll, Cook Islands.

We’ve been spiffing her up and she looks better than ever.

Forward hatch detail
She’s loaded with equipment; we’ve made a lot of custom improvements as the photos will show (see also Fiddly Bits). Her sails, standing and running rigging are strong, she’s documented for foreign travel, and she’s ready for a new Excellent Adventure.

Sockdolager arriving at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas after her Pacific crossing. Yes, K&J are looking stunned at all the greenery.

Specifications: 1987 Dana 24, “Sockdolager”

Sockdolager at her last haulout in October 2015
• LOA: 24’ 2” on deck, 27’ 3” with bowsprit, 29’ including wind vane
• Beam: 8’ 7”
• Draft: 3’ 10”
• Displacement: 8000 lbs.
• Ballast: 3200 lbs.
• Headroom: 6’ 1”

Always a fun view. The 175-watt solar panel eliminates the need for a power cord or running the engine to charge batteries on all but the cloudiest days.

Sail plan. Sockdolager is cutter-rigged with a removable inner forestay.

Layout schematic.

Designer: William I. B. Crealock
Builder: Pacific Seacraft (1987)
Current location: Port Townsend, WA

Sockdolager's interior. For those Doctor Who fans among you, the Tardis may come to mind when you see the 6'1" headroom and gasp, "This CAN'T POSSIBLY be a 24-foot boat!"

• Fresh Water: 40 gallons
• Fuel: 17 gallons
• Holding: 15 gallons

A custom hatch gives access to a LOT of stowage under the cabin sole.

All made between 2005 – 2011 by Hasse & Co Port Townsend Sails
• Mainsail, 2 deep slab reef points (tanbark)
• 110% roller-furling genoa with padded luff (tanbark)
• Staysail (tanbark) with on-deck storage bag
• Backstay-sail (tanbark)
• Drifter (red)
• Cruising spinnaker (green) with sock and ATN tacker
• Storm trysail with on-mast storage bag
• Storm staysail (white with visibility patch)

Sailing under reefed genoa, South Side of Catalina Island. Photo credit: S/V Silver Fog

Poled-out drifter keeps her moving in light air.
Here's the spinnaker; this is an older photo before we added the stainless arch and solar panel.

Storm sail inventory: Backstaysail, Storm Trysail, Storm Staysail.

All new in 2011-2012
• Spray dodger with pockets for storage; roped edge to deflect drips
• Custom pockets for reefing line storage
• Cockpit weather cloths with line storage pockets
• Full set of awnings with side panels to cover cockpit
• Awning for underway (under boom) rolled up atop dodger
• Sail covers, including on-deck storage bags for staysail and storm trysail on its track. Various canvas pockets for storing gear/assorted articles down below
• Lee cloths on settee berths
• Custom pockets for handy storage

Handy water bottle pocket. Roped dodger edge funnels drips away from cockpit and prevents chafe.

Rollup awning for underway. Note low outboard motor mount to prevent interference with self-steering wind vane.

Canvas storage pockets in head. You can never have enough of these.

Canvas pockets and thermos storage at companionway.

Rigging & Hardware:
Sockdolager is a cutter rig with a removable inner forestay. Her standing rigging, including chainplates, was completely replaced in 2009-2010. Most of her running rigging is new.
• All chainplates replaced with oversized bronze in 2010
• Stainless steel arch aft of cockpit for solar panel
• “StrongTrack” (Tides Marine) sail track & slide system
• Separate storm trysail track
• Harken jib roller furling system with Spinlock/Harken blocks on furling line
• Aluminum spinnaker pole (telescoping) stores vertical on mast
• 2 spinnaker halyards (port & starboard).
• Hayne Hi-MOD compression fittings on 7X19 stainless standing rigging
• Spectra running backstays
• Easy-rig preventers
• Pinrails and ratlines at shrouds; pinrails on stainless arch
• Spectra lifelines & chest-high jacklines
• Lewmar #30 two speed self-tailing sheet winches (2)
• Harken #8 staysail sheet winches on cabin top (2)
• Lewmar #16 self-tailing halyard winch (mast, starboard)
• Lewmar #8 halyard winch (mast, port)
• Bronze portlights (8)

Ratlines for climbing. Radar does not interfere with staysail or genoa.
Furling arrangement for roller-reefing genoa. This allowed far less effort in furling in heavy wind.
An excellent use for ratlines.

Engine and batteries:
• Yanmar 2GM20F 18 hp diesel, 2,415 hours
• VETUS Single handle throttle
• Leece-Neville 110 amp alternator
• Balmar Max-charge multi-stage 12-V regulator
• 2 100 AH Odyssey batteries
• Purolator solid state electronic fuel pump
• Racor 500FG secondary fuel filter
• PSS Dripless shaft seal
• Borel raw cooling water alarm sensor
• Borel bilge alarm

Engine access from main cabin.

Engine access from cockpit.
This photo shows the forward end of the removable cockpit sole, and custom companionway hatches. The bar across the front of the dodger houses the radar mount.

Odyssey batteries are strapped down.

Single-level engine control saves space and confusion.

• Cape Horn “Varuna” wind vane with Spinlock power clutch blocks on tiller
• Raymarine ST2000+ Tiller Pilot, Autohelm 1000 Tiller Pilot for backup

View from starboard quarter, Cape Horn wind vane with custom platform visible.

• Ritchie Navigator 2000 compass
• Garmin GPS 17X antenna for use with ICOM 802 SSB
• Datamarine A-18o Log/control panel
• Datamarine S-100KL digital knot meter
• Datamarine S-200DL LCD digital depth sounder
• Garmin handheld GPS
• Weems & Plath clock
• Weems & Plath electronic barometer


All new between 2010 and 2013
• Solar World 175-watt solar panel on a stainless arch
• Morningstar SunSaver MPPT solar controller
• Magnum ME Remote Control 1000 watt Inverter/Charger with battery monitor
• Various 110-V sockets
• Newmar galvanic isolator
• Standard Horizon GX2150 25 watt VHF FM marine radio with AIS receiver
• Icom IC-802 MF/HF Ham/SSB radio with PTC-IIusb Pactor modem and AT-140 automatic antenna tuner
• Simrad NSS7 broadband color radar with GPS and chart plotter
• Fusion Sirius-ready marine stereo system with Bluetooth

Instrument panel, VHF radio & GPS above.
Custom fold-down box for laptop that connects to Ham/SSB radio above it for email, weather faxes & GRIB files at sea.

All lights are LED (except steaming light)
• Orca Green Marine masthead tricolor/anchor light with photovoltaic shutoff
• Regular running lights for coastwise sailing
• 4 brass cabin overhead lights
• 4 brass cabin reading lights
• Strip light in galley

Ground tackle:
• 25-lb CQR anchor (bow)
• 20-lb CQR anchor (bow)
• Fortress FX-11 stern anchor mounted on stern arch
• Simpson-Lawrence Hyped 510 manual anchor windlass
• 30 feet of chain and 300 feet of 1/2” nylon 3 strand rope on main anchor rode
• 10 feet of chain, 250 feet 1/2 nylon 3 strand rope rode in stern locker abaft rudder post.

• Force 10 propane stove with oven (new 2010)
• Isotherm 3201 refrigeration system (new 2010)
• Hand-operated fresh water pump with switch for automatic function
• Hand-operated saltwater pump
• Strip lighting for seeing into fridge & lockers
• Galley safety belt
• Custom seat for galley
• Custom rope mat “ocean plait”

Galley looking forward.

Galley looking aft.
Custom galley seat for the cook when guests fill the cabin.

• Raritan PHII marine toilet with 15 gallon holding tank
• Head can pump into holding tank or directly overboard

Head. Custom shelving in locker behind head.

• All new foam and professionally made upholstery cushions in 2011.
• V-berth cushions divided athwartship for easier access to sail locker
• HyperVent under V-berth cushions to prevent condensation.
• Full-length cockpit cushions new in 2011

• All lockers, hatches, lids and openings fitted with “upside-down proofing” physical restraints to prevent opening. (See "Fiddly Bits.")
• Whale Gusher Titan bilge pump accessible in cockpit
• Electric bilge pump with float switch
• Special companionway seat for watch keeping
• Davis Echomaster radar reflector
• Custom horseshoe buoy
• Flares
• Custom companionway seat

• Cockpit coaming storage for small items
• Cockpit interior locker shelves
• Custom-made storage for companionway boards
• Large sail locker beneath V-berth (cushion custom made for easy access)
• Hanging locker converted to three large drawers for clothing and pots/pans, with “secret” compartment stowage beneath and above.
• Two vertical chart storage spaces on either side of hanging locker drawers
• Custom shelving in locker behind head.
• Custom companionway steps utilize wasted storage space
• Custom cutout in cabin sole utilizes storage space underneath sole
• Custom storage atop hanging locker keeps items in place offshore
• Custom Thermos storage on corner horn at companionway for easy reach
• Custom fold down shelf for navigation laptop, with connections to SSB radio for downloading weather & emails
• Custom storage box in engine compartment

Hanging locker conversion. Vertical chart storage either side of drawers; hidden compartments above & below drawers.
Storage area atop hanging locker is captured with this  removable custom arrangement.

Custom companionway steps utilize wasted space, capture hatch in sole, and provide seats for galley and companionway.
Top step lifts to make checking engine oil easy.

Handy companionway seat for wet night watches or a mini-table for serving snacks to hungry guests.
Loads of storage in main salon, including behind and underneath settees.

Second laptop storage area in pull-down basket for nerds who sail.

• Outboard motor bracket mounted low on stern to avoid interference with wind vane
• Custom shelf on wind vane bracket for storing two 1-gallon jerrycans outside hull
• All teak trim has been recently sanded and is ready for new owner's choice of finish.
• Sockdolager has teak decks, which we liked for the good footing. Bung maintenance is up to date.

Offshore in rough weather, 2011, the wind vane handling all steering.

• Large selection of engine, head, rigging, and other spare parts including spare tiller.

More about Sockdolager:
• Coming soon: link to 3 videos of her in summer 2013 by Off Center Harbor.

More about the Dana 24:
Bluewater Boats review.
Review of a customized Dana that crossed the Atlantic and is now in Europe.
2008 Transpac footage in a Dana 24, from our friend Chris Humann
Spectacular kite cam compilation, also from Chris.

Price: $64,000
Contact Jim at: jheumann(at)

We wonder, where will her next excellent adventure be to? 

Kind of nostalgic here, but to everything there is a season. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Year and Change

Happy new year. We are still going strong, still in love with life and with each other, and enjoying the quieter comforts of home and community. Perhaps this is The Time Between Excellent Adventures. Sockdolager is snug in her slip after a haulout, Raven is snug in hers, winter gales blow, and cruising friends remain scattered to the four winds, or at home after good cruises.

Sockdolager all spiffed up after her haulout.

There’s been a year-plus hiatus from blog posts, but it has not been a year without writing. Or cruising adventure.

The book I've been writing since we returned from our Pacific crossing is complete, undergoing revision and edits before being sent to a professional editor, after which I (K) will search for a literary agent, after which the agent will, I hope, submit the polished manuscript to publishing houses, after which there will be probably more edits and finally, a book! Self-publishing is not the route for me yet; this one will take patience and a nervous degree of perfectionism. There’s a lot of sailing in the manuscript, but also a life, warts and all.

I love the word “manuscript.” It connotes the labor of pen poised atop paper, a handiwork inscribed, a physical sheaf of thoughts you can carry to a comfortable chair, to read and scratch margin notes on. Is manuscript still an appropriate word in an age where torrents of electrons bathe us, then disappear behind screen savers, or vanish altogether at unfortunately timed power outages?

I’m re-reading a story by Edgar Allan Poe, called “Manuscript Found in a Bottle, in part due to the irresistible mystery of the title. Who wouldn’t be curious about that? At age twelve I had read it titled as “MS Found in a Bottle,” and had no idea what MS meant. Neither Microsoft nor MSNBC had been invented yet, so I thought MS meant multiple sclerosis, which I thought suitably odd for a Poe story. Had I known MS meant manuscript, it would have made the story even more mysterious.

Manuscript, the full word, still belongs to us because it’s a reminder to all purveyors of electrons. It reminds us of the many satisfactions of labor by hand, which sailors through the ages have also taught. To carefully work a knot, replace a piece of wood, or write words on paper forces one to slow down. To write is to feel the ink flowing, sometimes like blood – you’re moving at the speed of a sailboat through a sea of thought.

I sometimes do write with pen and paper, especially in the early stages. But when the torrent of words begins, I find the keyboard’s obnoxious clacking doesn’t make me miss quiet scribbling sounds enough to swear off computers. There’s no word flood insurance in the writing world. Anyway, this space is a blog, short for web log, something electronic that didn’t exist a couple decades ago.

Jim does his Titanic thing.

It’s also been a year of recovery. There was more than one surgery, but now they’re past and all is well, we’re both hale and hearty as ever and making plans. We managed to squeeze in a 10-day early spring cruise aboard Raven to Vancouver, Canada, and anchored with our Canadian friends Marty and Mae amidst the downtown skyscrapers of False Creek.

Wild Abandon and Raven, at anchor in Vancouver's False Creek.
We first met Marty and Mae back in August 2009 in Canada’s “Outside Passage,” and they taught Jim not just how to fish, but how to catch fish. On a slight “misunderstanding” that caused us to think they’d entered a certain cove a million times (turns out they’d never been in there), we brought Sockdolager through some unbelievable rapids at narrow, rocky, Buchan Inlet, scaring the bejesus out of ourselves and them. A description of that nutzo day with 4 videos of that insane rapid is here.  A tamer reunion with jello shooters in 2010 is here.

On the most recent reunion, Jim and I made, uh, er, the most classic newbie mistake: so much time had been spent at the dock getting the newly-purchased Raven ready for her first cruise that we neglected to, ah, um, well this is embarrassing… practice anchoring her. I mean, how hard could it be, right? A boat’s a boat, you drop the dadgum hunk of iron and back down.

Karen does her wheelhouse thing.

So, we arrive in False Creek on a chilly March afternoon, clear customs, and chug upriver, 29 feet of salty, classic, head-turning gorgeousness, and now this is where I get to play Ms. Authentic Fisherman, by turning on our overhead “crab lights” to flash a hello at Marty and Mae, who are waving wildly, and Jim’s at the bow and before I can say, “Wow Sweetie, those are some mean-looking, fast-moving dark clouds!” a wall of wind and hail slams into us and Jim drops the hook and the boat goes sideways and I smile-yell to Marty and Mae, “IT’S OUR FIRST TIME ANCHORING!” and they go “WHAT?” and right then a dockline blows off the deck, wraps around the prop, and stops the engine. Yep. Right in the middle of a hailstorm.

You did WHAT?

We spend a few anxious minutes and get a second anchor ready to drop, but it's okay, the anchor's holding. But we can’t start the engine. Luckily, Marty happens to be a retired commercial diver! Unluckily, he doesn’t have his tanks with him and has to hold his breath. He comes up and says, no way I can do this, you’re gonna need a diver. Luckily, Jim finds one right away. Unluckily, the guy can’t make it that day. Luckily, we don’t need to use the engine. The diver comes the next day, tells us he’s never seen such a wrap, and frees it. He’s French, so we feed him excellent hors d’oeuvres. We celebrate with dinner.

It was a fun reunion, with dinners and long walks through art galleries, Chinatown, the Granville Island market, and along the waterfront. This is a great spot to come and hang out in the middle of a big city. You have to get a permit to anchor in False Creek, but it’s worth it, especially in the off-season when it's not crowded. Posted signs tell you how to get the permit.

Crossing Georgia Strait during a brief window of fair weather, we slowly cruised along Canada's Gulf Islands. The solitude in March is wonderful; you have your pick of anchorages, such as this one at Montague Harbor:

Sure it can get cold, but that's why it's not crowded. You can still take naps, just bundle up:

Jim snoozes in the dinghy as we cruise along.

And talk about a party platform! Nothing’s more fun on a hot summer afternoon than to gather a bunch of friends and go anchor with other like-minded boats in front of the town dock where, each Thursday, a new band plays a “Concert on the Dock.” Raven’s secret weapon is her dance floor. Just put the table and chairs away, pop in the floorboards, and rumba! This photo was taken as we were getting the boat ready for a dock party:

Which brings us back to our dear little Sockdolager, and an admission: two cruising boats is, for us, too many. Sockdolager is not getting sailed as she deserves, and our eyes are turned northward, to the Inside Passage, which can be cold and rainy.

Our aging bods appreciate a heated wheelhouse and the ability to dryly go to windward at six knots, and to fish for salmon and crab without wondering where to store the gear.

A new 10-foot sailing dinghy means we can still sail.

What I’m trying to say is that with much mixed emotion, we are going to be putting our beloved Sockdolager up for sale sometime in the Spring, and would like to see her go to someone who’ll sail, love and care for her as she deserves. With a ham/SSB radio, self-steering vane, and all her other offshore gear, she should not be sitting in a marina. She should be happily making new passages and having new adventures.

Sockdolager in Fakarava, the Tuamotu archipelago.