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Close-hauled with Good Company


This past Saturday, I decided that Lorilee needed to stretch her legs one last time before I dig into some big projects.  So my dad and youngest brother joined me for one of the best days of sailing I’ve had to date.    Because of the wind direction and the orientation of Aransas Bay, Lorilee was either close-hauled or close-reaching all day.  Westsail 32’s are notoriously bad for pointing to weather, but Lorilee tends to prove that rumor wrong.  We saw up to 7 knots close-hauled, which is near her top speed.   We had beautiful weather, dolphins, and a couple of ice cold beers at the dock.



Plath No. 1 Manual Windlass

In other news, I recently wrapped up some projects on my to-do list.  I finished the Plath Windlass refinishing, built a new boomkin, and a new set of teak dropboards for the main hatch.  For the windlass, I used BLP Mobile Paint’s MoPoxy primer and Mothane epoxy topcoat.  This is the same paint I used for the mast. It’s affordable, cures like concrete, and looks great when sprayed.  I highly recommend those guys.   I even got some brass cap nuts to give it that extra touch! 




The dropboards were a particular challenge.  Because of the angles of the hatch, some of the geometry and joinery is a bit difficult.  I am by no means a carpenter, but I think they turned out well.  I built them slightly oversized, so I have to do a little planing to get them to fit snug in the hatch.


Out with the old, in with the new

Deck-To-HullThe next big project is going to be the removal of the teak caprails and sealing up the deck-to-hull joint.  When the Westsail 32’s were made, this joint was sealed with polysulfide caulking.  Over the years, the polysulfide has hardened, cracked, and deteriorated to the point that it is leaking like a sieve.  I have some big remodeling to do on the interior, but I can’t do a thing until I fix those leaks.  There a couple of paths I can take here – either fill the joint with Sikaflex or another sealant, or fiberglass over the joint.  Fiberglass will be more work, but it will last forever.   Another thing I’m considering, is rebuilding all of the caprails with Iroko or another hardwood.  The original caprails are so weathered they’re showing some their retaining screws.   This wood was originally 13/16″ thick, but it has weathered to less than 1/2″ in some places.  The cost of the wood and the challenge of cutting some of the curved pieces is my only roadblock at this point.

With any luck, I’ll be aboard Eleanor in a few weeks, crewing with Alex en route to Panama!  So until next time…

Fair winds,


Published in Ryan Bradfield
Updated: March 2, 2016 — 08:00


  1. Ryan what a lovely video! And what a gorgeous incredible day to go for a sail with those two!! Haha I can only imagine what a fun day you guys had sharing and feeling the wind. To think that it’s only been such a short time you started sailing, the bit at the end when you go to the bow with the selfie stick, the looseness, pride and bliss on your face there’s no words. I hope many others get tempted, motivated and even feverish to make it happen too!

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed so that you can sail down with Alex!! I’d be so freaking awesome!

    I’m flying in three weeks hope I can finally see you!

    Much love for you and your cool family!


    1. Thanks Carla! I love getting out there by myself, but sharing sailing with others (especially non-sailors) is particularly special.

      It’s not looking good for my joining you guys on the trip down. Something catastrophic occurred at work yesterday, and I’m 99% certain I won’t be able to take vacation anytime soon. Perhaps I can come down to Panama later this year. :(

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