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Life and times of Phreatophyte; adventures in a damn fine pocket cruiser

Jan 30, 2020
18
WTB WTB Columbia gorge/hood canal
I intend to utilize the following posts to share some of my highlights, lowlights, and lessons learned about and aboard my 1978 Yamaha 25 sailboat.

Having launched her over the long weekend I promptly got straight to the good stuff. My girlfreind, dog, and I cruised downwind up-river for two days. It was my first opportunity to sail the boat since making many repairs and modifications. The entire foredeck layout was re-done to facilitate the use of a Asymmet spinnaker on a bow sprit, and a great big 22lb plow anchor on a roller with 60' of chain and 240' of nylon rode. Both of these modifications were put to the test and proved invaluable assets to the cruisibility of the vessel.

On this trip we saw wind speeds from 25-30 kts for much of the first day and utilized numerous different sail sets(ranging from a scrap of jib to reefed main only, to full jib and reefed main) to make good upriver progress despite frequently narrow channels, commercial traffic, and very strong river current to buck (3-5kts depending on location). We locked through The Dalles damn and got a 100' vertical lift from the Army Corps and spent a beautiful peaceful night at anchor on the edges of the eastern OR/WA high desert with the cascade volcanoes clearly visible to the West.

Day two we sailed off the hook with just a corner of the jib out and popped the chute for the first time as we drifted into the channel. Given the light West winds we were unsure of our plans but, upon realizing it was possible to make a steady 4 kts by flying the chute and full main, we decided to continue upriver. The wind filled in and we continued to make good boat speed sometimes over 5kts(boatspeed provided by gps not thru the water) despite winds of less than 10 kts and a stiff current to buck. At first outside gybing the kite seemed hectic and took both of us to pull off, 3 hours later I was running the boat mostly solo. Frequently flying wing on wing and letting the tiller pilot steer so I could hand trim the kite and enjoy the view.

Here are a few photos we took and a quote from the great Ferris B. which about sums up my thoughts on the Y25
"If you have the chance to check one out, I highly recommend it. It is, so sweet."
 

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Oct 22, 2014
12,581
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Very Nice. Never sailed my 15foot "pocket Cruiser" through that big lock at The Dalles. I just pulled her out of the water and dropped her in the river East of the dam.

Columbia is a fun place to sail, especially with the great breezes that help. Congrats on your first cruise. You have completed some very nice work on your new to you acquisition in the past month or so. This Lockdown has been good to you.

Fair winds.
 
Jan 30, 2020
18
WTB WTB Columbia gorge/hood canal
Nice stretch of sailing in the last month. Phreatophyte is now on a mooring in Port Hadlock after an awesome 3 day cruise from Hood River to Astoria and then two weeks later a 10 day single handed adventure from Astoria to the San Juan islands and then down to Port Hadlock.

We called on many amazing harbors and even more stunning anchorages. Fortunately the weather gods supplied ample air movement for us to spend at least 2/3rds of the time sailing. Whatever she lacks in waterline length is made up for by the ease with which she achieves hull speed under sail. With a mere 8 kts of filled in breeze you can easily achieve a satisfying days progress under sail. I flew my assym extensively and was pleased that my DIY bowsprit and tack line systems held up and functioned well in a wide variety of situations. I put in a couple 30+ mile legs under spinnaker and full main, often running dead down with the sails set wing on wing and the tillerpilot driving while I watched the nearby gray whales put on a show.

I had one serious breakdown while I was entering Grays harbor. I was motoring in over the bar after a pretty rough first day out. The bar was restricted to vessels under 20’ with 6-8’ seas on a 9 second period in the channel. I was abeam buoy #2 with a half hour until slack current(going to flood) when I noticed a white exhaust cloud at the transom and reduced water outflow, glancing at the engine instruments I saw the temp light come on and immediately throttled to neutral for a min and then killed the engine and went below. Upon opening the engine cover I discovered a shocking flow of water across the floor and the bilge already full. I immediately went for and closed my raw water intake seacock. I then began hunting around in the engine bay for the source of the leak. Upon grabbing the hose running between the filter and cooling water pump I discovered that a threaded1/2” x close pipe nipple had broken off at the pump body leaving some threads in the pump. It was clear that there was no fixing this one and with threads stuck in the pump, not much option for jerry rigging. By now I needed to get back on deck and asses my position and heading relative to the large waves breaking onto the beaches and sandbars to port and starboard. I was already outside the red line and drifting close to an array of crab pots I did not wish to become entangled with so I jumped the main and rolled out the jib to see what could be made of the 0-5 knot SW sea breeze from behind me. It took about an hour and a half and was quite challenging sailing given the very low wind speed and relatively large steep waves I had to take square on my beam at times. Oh how I wished for a whisker pole... By alternately running wing on wing and then jibing to a beam reach I was able to work in over the bar. At this point the sea state greatly improved so it became possible to unload my dinghy off the foredeck and make it up alongside, as well as get the 6horse outboard off the pushpit and onto the dinghy. Finally I could breath a sigh of relief. I was then able to motor, using the dinghy, into the Westhaven transient dock for the night. In the morning I was able to find the fittings I needed as well as an ez-out to extract the broken threads at Englund Marine.

With the aux repaired the adventure continued and I made use of a nice southerly breeze to sail back out over the bar in greatly improved conditions at 1:30pm. The ocean too had layed down tremendously and I kept the boat moving north all night. Just after first light the next morning I made La Push and entered there for a layover day in a truly spectacular place. Such wild scenery! From here on the journey just got better and better. Many epic moments, beautiful hours, and much righteous sailing.
 

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Oct 22, 2014
12,581
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Congrats on your cruise and return to safe harbor. Sounds like you had a great time.
Port Hadlock is a sweet marina on the the south end of Port Townsend Bay. I have slipped by her many a time using the cut in transit to Port Townsend.

Is this a new permanent home?