C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Going Two-Ply!

After some consultation with Anne, I've decided to go two-ply on the paddle board bag.  This will offer the board more protection and make the bag more durable.  In addition there is still plenty of material left in the main.

After cutting and sewing the additional layers, I began fabricating the slot for the fin.  I began be adding another layer of sail cloth around the site of the fin slot. The additional fabric will make this area very durable.
Initially I zigzag stitched the patches onto the panel.  Then carefully strait stitched around the edges of the slot.  Using the straight stitches as a guide I used a razor blade to cut the slot into the four layers of cloth.  A soldiering gun served as a hot knife to seal the edges of the slot.  
To seal the slot when the board is traveling with the fin removed, I abutted two strips of 1" webbing and only attached the outer edges.  
The test fit on the board looks good!  Hopefully tomorrow I can join the three primary components and complete this project. More images are available - Paddle Board Bag Project - Summer 2012 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Zippers & Handles

After viewing a couple free how to videos on zippers from Sailrite, I installed a 60" zipper into the side panel of the future paddle board bag.

Next my attention turned to handles / lash points on the top and bottom of the bag.  Concerned that the forces on the handles could cause the sailcloth to rip, I installed re-enforcement patches along the inside of the bag at the handle attachment points.

Using a zigzag stitch to avoid weakening the sailcloth, seven patches were sewn at 12" intervals along the mid-line of the bag.  

I then flipped the bag and utilizing the patches attached a continuous piece of one inch webbing to the outside of the bag.  

My next challenge is to create a slit in the bottom of the bag to allow the skeg to remain in place while the board is stowed in the bag.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What to do with a retired sail?

In the past our friends at Ella Vickers have received C'est la Vie's retired sails.  Ella will give you credit towards purchases for your retired sails - Ella Vickers Sail Exchange.

With a new paddle board, a retired mainsail, a sailrite LZ1 machine, and time on my hands.  I've elected to fabricate a storage bag for the paddle board.  Images from the project are available - Paddle Board Bag Project - Summer 2012

Earlier this summer we purchased our first paddle board.  We found the used Surftech 11'6" Laird board in Atlantic Beach via Craigs List.

The rocker (curvature) of the board prohibited me from simply tracing out the dimensions of the board on the cloth. So I measured cross section of the board every 12" and then drew this  pattern out on the sail cloth.
Once the pattern for the top of the bag was cut out, I draped it over the board for a quick test fit.

A couple hours of measuring, drawing, and cutting produced the three basic pieces of the project.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Updates to boat and blog

Summer is waning, the hurricane season is in full swing, and the tick tick of the clock counting down to launch day is growing audible.  Both the boat and the blog have rested long enough.  It is time to get back to work / play / boat ownership.

While continuing to enjoy our summer in Beaufort, NC, we have committed to another season working for Outward Bound in the Florida Everglades.  The decision to return to FL sets a Beaufort departure date of no later than November 1 for C'est la Vie.

Past readers of C'est la Vie's blog will note the change of format.  We use Blogger to host the site and I elected to give their new "dynamic views" a try.  The black ribbon across the top of the screen allows the reader to choose the layout of the blog.  I personally like "classic" and "magazine".  The "flipcard" layout is useful because it allows the reader to sort blog posts by author, date, and label in a graphic manner.  I believe that the dynamic views will also translate better to mobile devices.   The big loss with the new format is the lists of photo albums and web links once visible along the side bar.  These links are now hidden unless the reader selects a tab from the right side of the screen.  My fear is that this will limit readers ability to simply stumble upon projects or trips that may interest them.  Please share your thoughts on the new format.  I can always switch back.

As for boat projects... A year of sailing under the new genoa convinced us to give up on patching and repairing our circa 1995 mainsail.  We have contracted Omar Sails to build C'est la Vie a new loose footed, fully battened mainsail.  Images of the project are available: Replace Mainsail Project - fall 2012.

We are pleased with the Strong Track system installed last fall.  Since the sail slugs are in excellent condition, I harvested them off the old main and gave them to the sailmaker.

Paul from Omar Sails convinced me to to fix the gooseneck / boom in position on the mast.  Previously C'est la Vie's boom ran along a short track on the mast.  This allowed the luff to be tensioned via a downhaul attached to the boom or the halyard.

To fix the position I sandwiched the car between two stainless steel plates bolted to the existing track.

The tension on the new mainsail luff will be adjusted via halyard or cunningham directly attached to the mainsail.  

We added C'est la Vie's boom gallows in 2010 (Boom Gallows Project).  Despite or best efforts to squeeze in the gallows and bimini, the boom made contact with the gallows when sailing close hauled.

Our new mail will be cut higher along the aft end of the foot to provide greater clearance between the boom and the gallows.