Date: 29 November 2014. The Helm.
asked what my helm looks like. It is like Seaweed: not fancy, but it
works. Mine is an older trawler. She was built in 1983. The cost of
a modern electronics suite could easily eclipse the price of the
boat. Thus my
controls are simple. They are also easy to understand, even for a
Under the faded green
octopus cover is my compass. That was made by my friend Ann on the
schooner Steelaway. I love the homey touches, and Ann knit this
using a variegated yard. It's quite beautiful and reminds me of
aboard Schooner Steelaway
Ann was the innovator of a
favorite activity in an anchorage over on the east coast. She
Ann was hostess of
gatherings on Tuesday afternoon. The ladies in the anchorage
would arrive at her boat for tea. We'd bring our own cups and
perhaps a treat. Ann supplied endless hot water.
We all enjoyed chatting
and many boat cards were exchanged. [For more information on
boat cards see the
Intriguing Possibilities (boat
cards) article.] No
men were allowed. It was really quite wonderful.
Here is my one of my boat
I tried a variety of
specialty teas and passed along some of mine too. If I am ever in
a place with gals (this boating is a predominantly male
endeavor) I'll try the Tea-Time ritual too.
It was fun
and I would like to replicate something similar one day.
That is what
boating is about: sharing our experiences. The men tend to talk
engines, wiring and the newest electronic gizmo needed. Women do
too, along with balancing family relationships, and great spots to
visit next along the waterways.
seem to discuss boat brands as often as men. I am not certain why that
is... not that it matters anyway!
But I digress...
Same picture, placed again so you wont have to
Usually to the left
of the compass would be my
net-book (Toshiba NB305, uses just 15 watts)
with OpenCPN. There is plenty of room for the full size chart as you
can see. And, finally, the picture above is called Throttle Cues because:
See the red
on the throttle knob? That means that I'm to keep the red markers to
port. It's a visual clue and helps me. I especially find it useful
when traversing inlets where those markers swap sides
I'm sure there are mariners who don't need these cues. I do, and
when helping neophytes get the hang of boating...
Turk's head is on the wheel meaning to open the thru-hull for
water before starting the engine. I keep thru-hulls closed as a
matter of course. Because mine is easy to access when getting
ready to start then engine this is not a big deal.
Eventually I'll paint that one green so I have a green and red pair.
That will be more ship-like, but for now this serves the purpose. It's not
perfect, but is good enough.
Also on the
wheel is a wire tie that shows me when the rudder is dead center.
When in the boatyard that was added. There are specialty gizmos that
will show you the angle of your rudder. Spend the money for one if
you like -- or, make do with something simple.
I did see a boat with a Turk's Head knot tied to one of the spokes
of the wheel. It looks much nicer than mine and is spiffy. That is a
"one of these days" projects.
In the lower right is an
old cleat with a bungee cord. The theory was that I could tie off
the wheel and Seaweed would steer a straight course. Basically, an autopilot for the low-cost
cruiser. The unfortunate thing is my bottom is curvaceous and
will not track.
allows for turning the wheel when a crab pot appears. I am still
working at that tracking thing. Towing the dink at the far corner
(versus dead aft) helps, but not enough.
on what I did wrong pre-purchase regarding this issue the
Tyranny of the Tiller (pre-purchase advice)
an autopilot would be ideal. Nope - not one of the
starship Enterprise (er,
Star Trek Voyager) variety, but a
simple one that will steer a compass course. That is how I do most of
my navigating anyway... I would like one someday. That is probably the next
major post-engine swap investment in my home.
Or two more
solar panels and four batteries. She's a boat. There are always
projects and wishes to be considered. Someday... well, Seaweed is
improving each year and that is all one can ask.
There is nothing fancy about
Seaweed, but she works.
Is your boat set up with the latest electronics?
And, what's on your "Wish List" for the helm?
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