Stainless Steel Exhaust!

The Yanmar exhaust mixing elbow is a weak spot for the motor.  It clogs and then performance decreases. At one point I couldn’t rev the motor over 1,500 RPM.  I cleaned it by soaking it in Apple cider vinegar which dissolves the carbon deposits but at some point the buildup is just too great.  So I purchased a stainless steel exhaust from a company called HDI Marine.  It’s a direct swap.  Here are pics of the new one as well as the old one.  Once I removed the old exhaust I looked at the water passage and saw that it was nearly 100% blocked!  Easy job…took about an hour taking my time.  While I was down there I adjusted my packing gland which seemed to be dripping quite a bit.  So a bit of maintenance done!


Stainless Steel exhaust for the Yanmar 3YM20 engine.
Stainless Steel exhaust for the Yanmar 3YM20 engine.
View inside the stainless exhaust.
Stainless exhaust installed on the Yanmar engine.
Old Yanmar exhaust.
Corrosion and carbon buildup in Yanmar exhaust.
Old exhaust water port was nearly 90% clogged.

Saying goodbye to Catalina


What an amazing trip. Jaime (damn can he cook!) grilled tri tip and sausages on the beach at Two Harbors and we laughed and told stories. Woke up this morning took a nice long walk to Catalina Harbor and saw the pacific on the west side of the island. It was amazing. Now we are motoring back and hoping to get some wind so we can open up the sails and sail on home. The forecast is 13 knots so we should have a mellow sail back in. The next trip is a 3 day around the island.

Enjoy some of the images.



Weather Delay



Because of the weather forecast, I have decided that the safety of the crew and the boat are of the utmost  importance and because there is a forecast of gale force winds with gusts of up to 40 mph and waves in the 10 ft area, its not a safe thing to do…so We are delaying the trip for 24 hours at this point and are going to reassess the situation tomorrow.  Here is a quick look at the weather data…


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Tuesday morning the wind goes from big to wild…then goes to 30 mph with gusts to 40.  Wave height is 9 feet with an 8 second interval.  If we went we would be miserable.  So we can wait a day, its forecast to be 4 feet waves and 15 mph winds.  Much better for sailing.

Countdown to Catalina 2…..



Less than 25 hours to go!!

Been prepping the boat for Catalina…

Flares, check.

PFD’s check

First Aid Kit, check

Check engine fluids, check

Fill up tank with Diesel, check

Wash the boat, check

Wax transom (was VERY oxidized!), check

My list of things to do is getting shorter and shorter!  This will be the 3rd trip across the channel for me on Cuajota and may be the most challenging.  Gale force warning will be in effect for part of the trip.  I’ll have my heavy 125 jib up on the boat and will be prepared to reef the main.  The plan is to get across the channel early in the morning, get settled in at Two Harbors and if the weather permits do some sailing in the afternoon.  The next day enjoy a nice breakfast, do some exploring, then head back to the mainland in the afternoon and be back around sunset.  In putting my list together there are a few things I just have never had on the boat.  Flares…never had them, so I got a nice gun and day/night flares.  Spare winch handle…Really?  I only have had ONE working winch handle on the boat for 3 years…being mostly a singlehanded sailor, I can only grind one at a time, but what if I dropped it???  Yeah, better have a backup, better yet, how about use a brand new one and use the current one as a backup.  So got a nice new floating winch handle.  First Aid Kit…had bandaids and things like that, but never a general purpose first aid kit in case someone got hurt.  So added that. Gotta be prepared for anything right?

First Injury


I was sailing today. Singlehanded which is pretty normal for me. Went out to the ocean where the wind forecast was 12-17 knots. In harbor the wind was blowing pretty hard. At least 15. Out in the ocean. No wind at all. So I came back in and decided to sail in the harbor that was blowing about 15. I tacked a few times and my jib sheet got caught on the spinnaker eye in the mast. I ran up the deck to free it up and for whatever reason I grabbed it from below and the force of the wind in the sail pulled the sheet and my hand got caught between the sheet and the spinnaker eye. I pulled my hand out and looked down. My glove was ripped. My fingertip bloody. Didn’t know how bad it was. So I pulled in the jib the best I could with one hand. Wrapped my finger up the best I could and headed back to the slip with one hand. The injury wasn’t bad once I got the boat back to the slip. Pulled about an inch of the skin off of the finger. Not deep at all. The glove took the brunt of the pressure. Without it it would have been far worse. Good lesson. Gloves are essential! I was in harbor with no waves just wind. If I was in the ocean in big waves and wind it would have been very challenging to bring the boat in with basically one hand as i couldnt really hold anything with that hand. To turn it into a learning experience I realized that the key to handling this all was to relax and think clearly. I see how easily that just a little panic can be the difference between life and death in an injury situation especially in challenging conditions. It’s the following day…it’s less sore and I’m already hoping I will be ok for sailing this weekend. I definitely have the sailing bug.

Repairs done! All Systems Go!

Wednesday I went out for a sail. It was a bit windy and the water was choppy but it had been over a week since the last sail so I was determined to get to open water. I noticed the boat was not really moving fast at all for the amount of wind. When I got back from the sail I checked the equipment as usual an found 2 cracked batten boxes in the mainsail. I had repaired one already but these were now destroyed.

Great. With the Catalina trip on the horizon for the weekend and the lack of availability for these parts I didn’t think there was a chance I would get to Catalina this weekend. I called North Sails which is the brand of sail it is an they said bring it in and they would see if they could find something. They couldn’t. My mainsail is probably at least 10 years old. I’d bet on 15 so those exact parts are no longer made. What they did do for me was GIVE me some parts toque the repairs! I did the repairs today and the boat is all ready to go. The weather looks mild. 60s. We will have about 7-9 foot swells on the way over and about a 10 MPH breeze. The trip back seems like it be a bit more adventurous! 20 MPH winds and 15 foot swells. Shouldn’t be as wild as the big wind sail a few weeks ago…but it’ll be fun!

OH YEAH!!!!! Sail of the year!

Wind was blowing at 25-35 mph.

Swells were 15-20 ft. high.

It had just rained HARD and was about 50 degrees.

It was the BEST sail I have ever had!!!!

Let me say that Cuajota is a BLAST in weather. We sailed with just the main up, no jib. At one point we got her up to 8.9 knots! Yes the wind was big but the boat was very composed. I thought we might put a reef in the main, but we didn’t. I have a storm jib on the boat but that would have meant taking the 135 off the furler. I just bought foul weather gear so I had the appropriate attire for when the water came over the bow. This was the first time I had been in weather like this. I was very nervous but KJ is great sailor and knows this boat very well so I knew we wouldn’t have any issues. I was surprised at how calm and composed the boat was. I have been tossed around more in 3 foot chop. I learned so much about sailing and my boat today it was amazing. To see how it feels when it’s blowing 30 and it’s heeled over and I am doing 7.5 knots and it’s cutting through the water like a hot knife through butter. Thank you Schock for making the Santana 30. I have such a new found respect for this boat!



Big Wind from Cuajota on Vimeo.

All Systems Go!!!

Today we go for a day sail. No we won’t get to Catalina but we will get out in the wet stuff and have a little fun! I feel like a kid going out in the rain to jump in puddles! If I don’t get drenched I’ll be disappointed lol. Winds are predicted to be in to 20s with gusts higher. Swells predicted to 13 feet. By far the wildest conditions I have been in. I m going with KJ and one of his friends. I am confident between KJ and I we won’t do anything dangerous and Cuajota can handle ALOT more than we can. I got a waterproof case for the iPhone so I’ll document it all in photos and video. Stay tuned!