Ron Slipped Away to Columbia

I thought that I should let you all know that Ron has gone to Columbia for a couple of weeks and will be back on this project around the 4th or August or so… So far he has done a great job and I can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve when he returns.

So Star of Orion sits on her stands and is putting up with the southwest Florida summer. Hot, humid and wet. I’m sure she is looking forward to getting her keel back in the water and start doing what she does the best.

I, on the other hand, am starting to wrap things up here in the Reno, Nevada area and am getting ready to pack up and start the journey to Minnesota for the MN Renaissance Festival. Seven weekends of performing for my 18th year there. I’m very jazzed to be doing my magic show for them again. It’s been a good run for me and I have a bunch of good friends there.

I do have a couple of people that I will be seeing that have sailed on Magic Wind in Florida this past season. Out of the few that I will see, a couple of them have boats on lakes that will get me sailing again and putting my rail in the water.

So hang in there folks, Ron will be back soon and the work will start back up. I will be taking reservations for sailing on Star of Orion anytime you want to call. I’m here for you. I’m already locking down some multi day charters and with Star of Orion’s two staterooms, she can accommodate two couples or a small family of up to six. (CLICK to see photo’s.)

Also keep an eye on the web site by clicking HERE. I will be announcing some sailing packages that will be affordable and loaded with sailing adventure. Those packages will be announced soon.

Enjoy the summer… Get out there and sail!

Bam, Boom, Rumble…

Just a quick note to let you know that work was postponed today because of weather. A ton of thunder storms rumbled through today and since Ron was knocked off his feet and thrown about 5 feet he takes lightning pretty seriously. Good idea.

But he is in the process of sanding and putting the first coat of barrier coat on the rudder and has shinned the prop up real pretty. He will be leaving for Columbia soon but the work will continue when he returns.

Enjoying the summer and hope you’re doing the same. You can sail on Star of Orion right now by going to the Home Page of the site and clicking the link for a 4 minute sail. Enjoy…

Success! Time to Look Things Over…

It’s been a battle for Ron. The weather is hot and sticky and he’s been working in my aft stateroom with his nose in the aft engine compartment. Pounding, pounding, pounding…

The coupler was not giving in. He used T9 and other oils to free up that coupler from the shaft. It was a no go. Finally he broke out the torches. He heated up the coupler and then pounded again. It moved 1/16 of an inch. That was good news. The plan was to go in the next day and bring a bigger torch and really heat it up. So he did…

As I have said, I have a lot of faith in Ron and I know that he can do things that I’ve never seen anyone else do. But it got me looking for a new shaft and coupler so we could get on with this project. This was the last try before he cuts the shaft in half and then we replace the shaft and coupler. He went in the next day and got it to move 1/2 inch and then the next try, he got it off. It’s amazing what a half hour of high heat can do. So the shaft is free at last.

As he was taking breaks he was sanding the bottom getting ready for the bottom paint. He informed me that the bottom is looking pretty good. The paint is coming off and suggested that I go ahead and put on 5 coats of barrier paint. Now that’s an expense that I wasn’t looking to do a the moment, but what the hell. She’s out of the water and we are at that point where we can just throw a couple of coats of bottom paint, or go ahead and do the whole nine yards.

I’ve opted to go with the barrier paint and then bottom paint for a complete new bottom job. I’ve also got to replace a couple of through hulls and then a couple of coats of bottom paint.

Then it’s rebuilding the shaft and aligning things back up. At that time I’ll put in a new barring, a new PSS shaft seal and a zinc, as well as barrier paint the rudder and paint her up too.

Ron heads south to Columbia this Friday and will be back on the 3rd of August. Then he will finish up the work and sail her back to Fort Myers Beach for the rest of the summer.

All in all I think it’s going good. I wish the shaft coupler was a little more giving. But all in all we are on the road to recovery.

No new photo’s from Ron yet, but I’m sure he’ll have some coming soon.

I’ll keep you updated. In the mean time, get your reservations in early. CLICK HERE for information. Then click on Pricing & Reservations.

You can also sail with me right now by clicking the “4 minute sail” link on the “Main Page” of the site.

Photo’s Are In… YUK!

Remember you can click on a photo to enlarge it in a new window.

I checked my mail today and I received 3 photo’s from Ron. Looks like his computer is working again. They weren’t pretty, but it was good to see what he was talking with me over the phone about. In fact when you look at the one of the rudder, you will be able to smell the stench of the little critters drying out in the humid sun.


Here’s a shot for you… Let your eyes adjust… What do you see? Use the comment button at the bottom of this post. I’d be interested in your thoughts. Thanks for playing along and I’ll tell you exactly what it is in a future post.


Here she is on the hard. Now I knew that there was some bottom issues with Star of Orion when I bought her last March, but her potential out weighed what need to be fixed, so the soul of Star of Orion shinned through. Ron reported that there were more than 200 blisters. But for a boat that didn’t have the care that she deserved that isn’t much. Grinding, filling and sanding… Grinding filling and sanding… Did I say, grinding, filling and sanding? I thought I did.

Take a closer look…



Now since I have a chance to show you some shots… Do you think a diver would keep your speed log clean, from the outside? I don’t think that was on his mind while he was down there.


So there you go. Ron is still working on getting the plate off the shaft and he is figuring another 4 to 5 hours of sanding the hull. Then he’ll put some paint on that bottom.

I may as well leave you with a pretty shot… Not of Ron, but Gloria. Here is Ron and Gloria. In my last post I told you that Ron was thinking of heading down to Columbia for the winter. Now I know why. The views are great there as you can see.


Thanks for keeping track of the progress… More and more to come.

And the Sweat Keeps on Pouring Out

As of yesterday, Ron had spent the last couple of days working on on removing the shaft. I remember the last time that we tackled a shaft project with Magic Wind… We pounded and pounded and the progress was slow. Ron went home at 7:00 p.m. and I stayed the night. I pounded until 11:30 p.m. and then hit the sack. As of 10:00 a.m. the plate was off the shaft.

Well as of last night Ron spent a couple of days getting the 4 bolts off, now it’s time for the plate. Lots of work for a simple result, but I haven’t seen a short cut yet. If you have one, drop it in the comments link for us. Things are soaking and I have faith…

Ron’s going to keep sanding the hull and get her ready to paint and then once the parts come in he’ll start the re-assembly process. In the mean time looks like sanding, painting and gel coat work and then new lettering and assorted little things that will pop up here as the progress continues.

Thanks Ron… I’ll miss you this winter. Sounds like he is going to strap his Harley to the rail of his Hunter 45 and head south to Columbia. Go figure. But from the stories he tells of the area sounds like the right thing to do. PLUS it gives me another great place to visit a good friend.

His computer is in now and photo’s will be coming soon…

Plug Your Ears, or Thar’ She Blows…

I got a call from Ron this morning and he told me that the prop is still stuck on the shaft. I’ve seen Ron work and I’m sure that he has put some dents in that prop and if it isn’t budging then it may be part of the shaft. He told me not to worry because he has a source for some dep cord and is planning to blow it off.

I’ve never used the stuff, so I told him to make sure the hull was shielded and not to blow anything else up in the process. He explained to me how it would happen…

First he was going to wrap the cord around the shaft at the prop. Since the dep cord is shielded on one side he said it would be like the sound of a cherry bomb going off, but would put about 3000 pounds of pressure on the prop and pop it right off. I told him to get photo’s and call me when it “pops” off.

When he called me later in the afternoon, I asked if the prop was off, he said yes. I asked him if there was any hull damage. Well as a last resort he soaked the prop and shaft down with T9 and let it sit for a couple of hours. Went back with a hammer and popped the prop off. God bless T9. I use it on everything that moves on the boat and it works great. Kind of too bad for Ron though, he likes to drill holes in boats, fly F-16’s and blow things up. Maybe next time Ron…

He gave me the details about the shaft, 1 inch, and the shaft log, 1 7/8 inches, so that I can get the new PSS shaft seal ordered. I also need a 4 inch strut bearing. Ron picked up a couple gallons of paint for the bottom today also.

So that’s the day and progress is being made.

Happy 4th of July to everyone and I’ll report back as things move along.

Work Has Begun

Well as of a couple of days ago, Ron has started the tedious job of grinding away at the blisters and sealing everything back up. I knew when I bought Star of Orion that her bottom was neglected and would need some TLC to get her back in shape. Well she couldn’t be in better hands. Ron has never steered me wrong and I have come to respect the work that he does.

His computer is down and I’m on a cellular dial up situation so photo’s will come later. I’m sure looking forward to seeing the situation myself. I’m in Reno a the moment with a month commitment here and then I have a 2 month contract in Minnesota to perform at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, so it will be a while before I see Star of Orion again. This is the last long summer that I will be away from the sea and it is a long one. I’m there in Spirit and that’s all I have for now.

The 4th of July is right around the corner and I wanted to place this video up here for everyone. It will just give you a reminder of what it’s all about. Sorry for the quality, but this was shot on a Sony still camera on email mode which is in 160 by something. Youtube blows it up to 320 by something. So there you have it. It will still get my point across though.

That was for her Grandpa Charlie in 2003. I think she was 3 or 4 at the time.

Well as Ron grinds away and fights the hot and wet weather in Southern Florida he is also pounding on my prop trying to get it off. I have full confidence that he will, I’ve seen him swing a hammer and I don’t know of any object that has won. He told me tomorrow it’s the torch. Good luck prop.

While he is working on the shaft, he will be giving me the measurements that I need to order the new PSS shaft seal. He reported that I need 2 through hulls replaced on both ends of the AC system.

I guess that’s about it for now. Everyone have a wonderful 4th of July and try not to burn the house down.