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Wilderness First Aid Class by @remotemedical

Posted on Sun 15 May 2011 in Classes and Workshops

This weekend Dawn and I took a Wilderness First Aid Class from Remote Medical International (web) (Facebook) (Twitter). The class is oriented towards “wilderness “ which is defined as anywhere more than 1 hour from medical care and the examples in the class were specifically focused on hiking and camping scenarios. We really wanted a medical class oriented towards sailors and especially those who plan go cruising, but currently this class does not seem to be available in Seattle. There have been classes off and one such as this, but right now they are not available. So any criticism I have doesn't really have anything to do with the class itself, but just that it wasn’t exactly what we wanted to begin with and so it misses in  key areas.

The class is well run with a sound curriculum and our instructors Janet (EMT) and Phoebe (RN) were HIGHLY trained and knowledgeable. The class was comprised of 27 students was and covered the basics of First Aid from walking up on an injury with no prior knowledge, identifying life threatening issues, stabilizing the patient and making EVAC or “stay and play” decisions. It covered many kinds of injuries and illnesses that one might encounter in any scenario: fractures, wounds, allergies, abdominal injuries, spinal injuries, etc. and how we could treat these problems without a lot of magic gear.


All of this involved hands-on activity of actually splinting people, dressing pretend wounds, moving injured parties, etc. This part of the class it the best! One of the coolest things gear things was a SAM Splint which is a lightweight padded aluminum splinting tool that can be used in many ways, definitely a must-have for our medical kit.

If you have never had First Aid and if your main focus is on hiking and camping or other types of activity where an EVAC is possible even if it might take a day or more, this is a great class and I would highly recommend it.

For cruisers who plan to be so remote that EVAC isn’t a reasonable option, the class doesn’t go to that next level of when you should give antibiotics, or pain medicines, using SSB for medical assistance, etc. But again, that isn’t what this class is intended to cover, so I’m not knocking the class, I’m just mentioning that to set expectations. Also in Seattle, I believe this is probably the best current option so it's worth it if you need a refresher. We are still going to look for that ideal class and will probably refresh our CPR too at some point.

I also managed to work on some water maker wiring, nav station computer wiring and to get up early to go this class… Whew that was a long weekend! More on the other projects in posts yet to come.

Seminar in January from Cruising Consultants

Posted on Fri 31 December 2010 in Classes and Workshops

There is a seminar coming up in January 2010 that those of you who plan to head north might want to check out.

Cruising the Inside Passage on the boat you have now

Greg Filipek, owner of the marine outfitting business Cruising Consultants, will discuss different\ outfitting strategies for boating in the Pacific Northwest. Preparing for a cruise to Desolation\ Sound, The Broughtons, or up the Inside Passage to Alaska and Glacier Bay doesn't have to\ include a 50 foot boat or ten thousand dollars worth of the latest electronics. This seminar\ will give you an in-depth look at the different equipment options for a happy and safe journey,\ regardless of budget or boat size. Topics include pre-trip preparation, equipment options for\ various boats and budgets, and cruising realities for the area. The information you take away\ from this talk will help focus your boat show equipment shopping, answer questions you have\ about an upcoming cruise, and reassure you that this once -in-a-lifetime trip can be a reality for\ you.

Friday January 14\ 6-9 pm West Marine Everett\ Saturday January 15 6-9 pm West Marine Bellevue\ Sunday January 16\ 5-8 pm West Marine Shilshole

\$35 per person/\$50 per couple

For more information and to sign up: http://cruisingconsultants.net/seminars or 425-750-6956

DIY Seacock Installation

Posted on Fri 19 November 2010 in Classes and Workshops

I’m in the middle of replacing a gate valve on my boat with a proper seacock and thought I’d share this video from Forespar. It does an excellent job of showing step by step what you need to do.

NOTE: Link lost due to bit rot.

Rose Point Navigation Coastal Explorer

Posted on Mon 10 May 2010 in Classes and Workshops

Last week I went to a talk on Rose Point Navigation Coastal Explorer (CE) which was hosted by Armchair Sailor here in Seattle, WA. The crowd was about 60 strong and there were a handful of folks in the under 50 crew.

The talk was lead by Jeff Hummel who does all these talks at the Boat Shows. He previously worked for Nobeltec and has been around the industry for awhile specifically with RADAR and software based chart plotters.

He basically went through all the core functionality in Coastal Explorer 2009 and then gave a good overview of the improvements in Coastal Explorer 2010 which is now in beta. Here’s a brief run down of some cool things Jeff demoed independent of version:

  • Active Captain Data viewable in CE2010 This basically supplies local knowledge that you can see in the live map view around you and then click to read information on anchorages, tricky entrances, anything really.
  • RADAR They’ve had this for a while a now. Basically they OEM Koden RADARs which with CE. There is so much press about HD and Broadband RADARs though they they appear a bit behind the times. For offshore cruisers I think they’d be fine.
  • See other features on the Coastal Explorer site.
  • The new UI in Coastal Explorer 2010 Beta is much improved.
  • Navigating the charts feels more like using standard web mapping software.
  • The menuing system which looks like the Office Ribbon shows you more of what’s available instead of digging through lists.

A solid good talk and if you have a chance to attend one of these I’d go for it.

Tool Swap This Weekend - 24 April

Posted on Fri 23 April 2010 in Classes and Workshops

This weekend at the SCCC Wood Construction Center is the Tool Swap. I’ve never been to this, but I figured some of you locally here in Seattle might want to know about. I got a flyer at Crosscut Hardwoods and I noticed one hanging in Stoneway Hardware as well.

According to the flyer you can Buy, Sell and Trade tools from antique hand tools to power tools. If you go or if you’ve been let me know how it goes.

Tool Swap 9am – 2pm 24 April\ (Get there early)

SCCC Wood Construction Center\ 2310 S. Lane St.\ Seattle, WA 98144

Entrance on the corner of S. King St & 23rd Ave S\ Do not park in the Red Apple parking lot.

Get your HAM On !

Posted on Tue 12 January 2010 in Amateur Radio

If you want to get your Amateur Radio LIcense (AKA HAM Radio). The Mike and Key Club ARC is having their annual electronics show and flea market on 6 March 2010.

To register for exams call 425-788-0452 or email ag7t@arrl.net

To get ready for your exam I recommend www.HamTestOnline.com. It’s how I studied and it’s a great tool for cramming in all those test answers.

So much to learn…. so many tools to buy…

Posted on Tue 17 March 2009 in Boat Shows

Seattle Maritime Academy Slug: so-much-to-learn-so-many-tools-to-buy Status: published

One of the things about making this decision to go cruising is all the cool stuff you get to learn.

Tonight was the last of our Marine Diesel class at the Seattle Maritime Academy. The class was 11 weeks long (roughly) and was about 1/2 rambling lecture and 1/2 hands-on completely unguided lab work. The class could have been much better run and organized but in general coming out of it I feel like I know a lot more about Diesels to the point of being knowledgeable enough to do some of my own work, to have an informed conversation with a mechanic and to have a sound basis for doing research to figure out how to do things I can’t do right now. I’d give the class a C+. I' was going to go lower, but I think the fact they actually have smaller diesels (like we have) was worth the C+. So it was passing, it accomplished the goals, but it also had a lot of wasted time. Judging by the amount of people who dropped out and frequently didn’t show up; I think many might score it lower.

One of the big outcomes of that (and of the Brion Toss Rigging workshop) is that I put together a big tool order tonight and will stopping in to get some Craftsman toys tomorrow. I like Craftsman tools, I’ve never broken one yet, they are reasonably priced and if I did break one they’d replace it! Did you know on www.Sears.com you can order things and pick them up in the store? Very handy and saves shipping since I wouldn’t have been saving sales tax. I’ll post some list of things and pics of things when I do a full tool inventory.

Next on the course of learning is the Mahina Offshore Cruising Seminar 4 April 2009 in SeaTac, WA. I have good things about this seminar, I’ll let you check out the site yourself and I’ll post more when we’re back.

We stumbled on to the upcoming Mahina seminar because we’re also going to the Strictly Sail Pacific show in Oakland, CA 17-19 April 2009. I didn’t want to invest a whole day in SF on the one class so taking it here in Seattle is ideal! We’re very stoked (they say that in CA right?) to be going to the Strictly Sail show as we’re going to also use the time as a little mini-vacation as well. I’ll post more about that when we’re down there or when we’re back.

Update on our schooling

Posted on Tue 10 February 2009 in Classes and Workshops

I mentioned before that Dawn and I are taking a Marine Diesel Class and I’m taking a Marine Electrical class at Seattle Maritime Academy. Well there’s only one more day of the electrical class left and we’re about halfway through the diesel class.

The Electrical class has covered all the basics of electrical theory which centers around Ohm’s Law. We’ve built some simple circuits on a bread board and tested voltage, resistance, etc with a volt meter. We’ve also done a bunch of calculations to determine wire sizes needed in certain applications. Last night we were a little more hands on and practiced some soldering. I’d show you the results but they’re not that interesting, instead check out these videos.

Intro to Ohm’s Law

How and Why to Solder Correctly

Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance & Operation For Boaters- 7306 CSS 122 3D

Posted on Wed 07 January 2009 in Classes and Workshops

That is the title of the class Dawn and I started on Tuesday at the Seattle Maritime Academy which is a department of Seattle Central Community College. We got there at 6pm as the website said, the instructor seemed to be there milling around rummaging through things in the front of the room and people were trickling in and he started the class at 6:30 with barely a hello, barely introducing himself and mostly he ranted on about the facilities maintenance and then he told a pretty long story about the VP of SCCC selling a barge (and losing 9 classrooms and labs which sat on the barge) for \$24K when the barge surveyed for \$94-100K allegedly the buyer sold the barge on EBay for \$130K.

Ooookaaay…… is what I was thinking at this point a little confused and starting to get upset.

He finally started talking a little bit about engines and along the way gave some miss information about biodiesel, gave some smarmy answers to questions about propellers. He also mocked the environmental laws, tax laws, ‘liberals’ as he frequently put it. Its like we teleported Crazy Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard to Seattle and asked him to be as offensive as possible.

In general the guy was a surly boat engineer, that’s fine, but we also didn’t cover very much information, didn’t provide an outline of the class and didn’t give a general engine overview for orientation purposes.

We did cover 2 stroke and 4 stroke cycles, which was interesting. We did cover how fuel usage rates relate to the HP output of the engine, and how that can also be calculated by measuring the fuel exhaust temperature.

I really really hoping the class on Monday was just the guy having a bad day. I was really excited about this class and if its not going to improve I’ll have to find something similar somewhere else, but it will probably cost a lot more. Here’s hoping tomorrow goes much better. He handed out a bunch of handouts I need to read now.. yay homework. ;-)

Boat Math

Posted on Tue 21 October 2008 in Classes and Workshops

NOTE: I have updated this entry with accurate chainplate beam measurements.

Here’s some hardcore math as an outcome of my time at the Brion Toss Rigging workshop this past weekend. The point of this exercise is to be able to determine the loads and thus the wire sizes needed for the standing portion of the rigging on my Pearson 424.

Feel free to leave a comment if I messed anything up. I’m sure I did, see the footnotes for caveats and sources.

My Formulas

  • Main Shroud Load = (RM30 * 1.5) / .5 (Beam at the Main Chainplates)
  • Single Spreader Double Lower Main Shrouds
    • Upper Shroud Load – 45% Main Shroud Load
    • Lower Shroud Load – 32.5% Main Shroud Load
  • Mizzen Shroud Load = (RM30 * 0.5) / .5 (Beam at the Mizzen Chainplates)[1]
  • Single Spreader Single Lower Mizzen Shrouds[2]
    • Upper Shroud Load – 45% Main Shroud Load
    • Lower Shroud Load – 50% Main Shroud Load
  • Wire Rating Requirements = The Specific Shroud Load * SafetyFactor

My Inputs

  • DWL = 33’ 8”
  • RM30 = 47000 lbs[3]
  • Beam at the Main Chainplate = 9.54'
  • Beam at the Mizzen Chainplate = 10.83'
  • Safety Factor 2.75[5]

My Findings

  • Main Shroud Load = 14,465 Lbs
  • Upper Main Shroud Load = 17,900 Lbs
  • Lower Main Shrouds Load = 12,928 Lbs
  • Mizzen Shroud Load = 4,246 Lbs
  • Upper Mizzen Shroud Load = 5,254 Lbs
  • Lower Mizzen Shroud Load = 6,423 Lbs

[1] This formula is not in the Rigger’s Apprentice. Brion Toss provided at his workshop 18 October 2008

[2] I have assumed that the load per wire ratios for mizzen mast shrouds are the same as those for main mast shrouds with the same numbers of shrouds and spreaders as in figure 5-25 pg. 138 in the Rigger’s Apprentice.

[3] I derived this number from the RM30 table Figure 5-24 pg. 136 in the Rigger’s Apprentice.

[5] Brion supplied this as a fairly standard constant used in rigging at his workshop 18 October 2008