Part 2: Saying Goodbye – By Mitch Traphagen

Mitch has been kind enough to let us republish a recent series of articles he wrote that are at the Observer News. I have included a link back to the original article on the Observer News website at the bottom of the article here.

My wife Michelle flew in to help prepare the boat for the voyage home. The tanks and lockers are full. It is time to sail home. Saying goodbye to Michelle was the hardest part.

Part two of an Observer News feature series


The Chesapeake Bay is beautiful, historic and the entire area is a national treasure. Part of what futurists Herman Kahn and Anthony Wiener termed the BosWash Corridor; 50 million people, nearly 20 percent of the population, live in the region stretching from Washington, D.C. to Boston, on only two percent of the U.S. land area. The Chesapeake Bay, particularly the Eastern Shore, is a respite from the crowding. The bay plays a prominent role in our nation’s birth and history. While the Founding Fathers created the concepts in Philadelphia, much of the blood was shed for freedom on these waters.

For a boater, the bay appears to be nirvana. There are hundreds of rivers and creeks offering protection from adverse weather. There are also hundreds of historic, picturesque waterfront communities to visit. Years could be spent cruising here without seeing it all. But the Chesapeake is also temperamental and, in fact, can quickly become downright grumpy.

Last year I sailed for the Chesapeake from Cape Cod, through New York City, then sailing offshore in the Atlantic to Cape May, New Jersey. From there I sailed up the Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal, which brought me to the bay. The stark, desolate landscape and the steel gray water of the […]

Saffanah Mast Re-wiring by Bill Amt.

I just re-wired the mast on my 32 and added and/or replaced the following:

·        New VHF antennae

·        New Aquasignal tri color with anchor light – all LED

·        New Windex wind indicator

·        New Tri-lense radar reflector

·        New deck/steaming light – incandescent and halogen

·        Fabricated several aluminum brackets to hold every thing at the mast head without interference

·        I also added two mast steps at the mast head on which I can stand if I must go to change bulbs or do other work

·        Also wrapped the mast at the mast head with a couple strips of reflecting tape.  Hopefully I can direct a flash light to find Saffanah a crowded anchorage in the dark.  Just shine the flash light up at various masts until I get a reflection off the tape.  Especially important when I have had just one extra beer before stepping into the dinghy to return to Saffanah.

The conduit in the 32 is as you stated in the 38 and would suggest all wiring be replaced.  I also ran a conduit through the deck so that there are no leaks between the deck and mast.  Originally the wiring exited the mast at deck level and penetrated the deck – wanted to correct situation since I considered it to be a problem.  Also set up wiring with pin plugs so I can easily remove and restep the mast without cutting wiring in the future.

Here is a view from the deck

Also here is a view of the mast head with the original anchor light that was on its last legs in my hand

This was not a cheap endeavor however.  I bought a Aquasignal LED masthead tricolor and the radar reflector […]

Part 1: The Last Leg – By Mitch Traphagen

Mitch has been kind enough to let us republish a recent series of articles he wrote that are at the Observer News. I have included a link back to the original article on the Observer News website at the bottom of the article here.

The Last Leg

CAMBRIDGE, MD – The temperature outside was falling into the 30s. A brisk wind from the Northwest gripped the rigging, causing my sailboat to shudder. The gust-induced rocking seeped into the dreams of my semi-sleep state, causing wild images and an occasional note of fear. But I had nothing to fear. There was no concern about the wind; there was no chance of waves breaking over the deck. I wasn’t standing resolute to heavy weather as much as I was simply enduring it. I was tucked into the forepeak bed under an electric blanket — the deck of the boat was 12 feet above the ground. My sailboat is in a boatyard in Cambridge, Maryland, not off at sea sailing through a dark and stormy night.

The last leg is getting the boat into the water from the boatyard in Maryland, then sailing three days down the Chesapeake, then making it to Florida through the Intracoastal Waterway.

Although Cambridge is only 1,000 miles from Tampa Bay, I drove 3,200 miles to get here. Driving through snow showers from Indiana to western Maryland on my way to the boat made me question my plans. Snow and boats do not go together in my mind. Palm trees and beaches, yes. Snow, no. The thought of working on a boat and worse, sailing it, with snow falling does nothing to enhance my spirit of adventure. I’m simply not that adventurous. Fortunately, streaks of blue appeared in the sky and the temperature rose nicely as I […]

S/V Saffanah, Notes on Standing Rigging by Bill Amt

Bill Amt sent me an email recently about re-rigging his DE32 Saffanah because I had solicited information about the rigging specs on our boats. He has included the quote he got that lists the specifications of all the rigging. I will be putting that up soon. He also included a commentary on some of what he found on Saffanah that caused him to replace the rigging.  So here is a link to the quote with the specifications in it DE32 rigging invoice. I have also uploaded the quote to a page under information on DE32’s. The invoice is dated 11/1/2010 to give some idea of how current the pricing is.

Scott Carle

From Bill Amt,

Some time ago I saw a comment on the DE website asking for information for standing rigging on the DE 32.  I recently replaced all standing rigging and attached is a copy of the invoice giving both dimensions as well as prices for anyone looking to replace rigging.

As a side note, when I first purchased Saffanah, I had a marine survey completed before I bought the boat.  The surveyor noted all rigging appears to be in serviceable condition .  When I finally got Saffanah into a yard near my home this fall, I decided to un-step the mast to replace the spreaders rather than attempt to replace the spreaders on the stepped mast.  I then got a chance to inspect the rigging close up with the silly thought that I was likely wasting my money removing the mast.

What I found was very disturbing to say the least.  As I inspected individual tangs and connection points, I found many microscopic cracks in the stainless steel even tho there were no indications of rust. Two of the fittings were so badly weakened, after a […]

Yasawas by Jason Rose of Bhodran

Bodhran anchored off Waya Island

After our 2 weeks trying to get my batteries replaced, we were definitely ready to get out and do some sailing. With a nice freshly painted bottom and clean prop, we easily made 6 knots motoring out of the marina. We had planned on going north up to the Yasawa Islands, but a fresh northeasterly wind dictated that we go back out to Musket Cove on Malolo Island. We spent a couple of days on Malolo waiting for the wind to turn out of the south, enjoying the water and sunshine in the rain shadow of Viti Levu.

After a couple of days a light southerly picked up and we got an early start heading north through the Mananutha Islands. Once clear of the reefs and shoals around Malolo we put up the spinnaker and had a nice run most of the way up to Navadra Island where we picked up a commercial dive mooring and had the entire island to ourselves with a building southerly blowing across the island. Unfortunately the reason that we had the bay to ourselves was the tendency for the ocean swell to wrap around the island and make for a rolly night. After the sun went down, we were minding our own business watching a movie on the laptop when I heard a boat pull up outside. It was a couple of locals from Waya Island 7 miles away who’d come over to spearfish in the dark of the new moon. When there’s no moon out, fish tend to just sit there even when you shine a dive light on them making them much easier to spear. The fellas were planning on staying out all night fishing, and wanted coffee and smokes to help them through. I didn’t […]