Archive for August, 2010

Nice Summer in Catskill

August 27, 2010

Well…. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated our blog so I guess now is a good time to get it going again.

Our summer in the Northeast has been very nice – warm and mostly dry. Charter business has been a little slow which we attribute to the poor economy. But, we’re still plugging away at growing our business while enjoying ourselves on the boat.

The past month we’ve been working on how to better advertise our charters and greatly increased our advertising budget. The saying, “Build it and they will come” does not mean “enough will come to make money…”.

A couple weeks ago we decided to do some advertising with our car. I went on-line to a website called http://www.builtasign.com and made up several vinyl sayings and stickers. Yesterday they arrived so we washed the car, put on all the stickers then waxed it so it looked nice. The car hasn’t been hand-waxed in probably 5 years but now that it has our business name on it, we decided it was time. I think it came out pretty nice!

Sunny Sail Charters Explorer

Last Wednesday we were eating dinner in the cockpit and the sunset looked like it was going to be exceptional. We took our dinghy out to the river and motored down to where we had a great view of the Catskill Mountains. We took some great pics including this one Laura snapped of me relaxing just before the sunset.

Catskill Sunset on Bill

Here are a few pictures of the great sunset…

Catskill Sunset 8/18/2010

After our charter last weekend, I decided to change the oil in the engine while it was hot. While I was changing the oil filter, I noticed our steering cable looked a little frazzled. I got out the flashlight and worked my way down to the cable. What I found really scared me. The ¼” stainless steel cable is made up of little strands wound together to make 4 big strands. 3 of the big strands are wound around the center big one. Two of the outer big strands were completely broken so the cable was working with less than ½ of its strength. YIKES! I check the steering cable several times a year (because it’s kind of important) but this section is behind a pulley when the steering wheel is centered. I usually leave the steering wheel centered after our charters to I know where it is the next time we go out. So… my forgetting to center the wheel after our last trip gave me the opportunity to find a big problem before it became a much bigger problem.

I hadn’t worked on these systems before so step 1 was to go on-line and figure out my options. Turns out the manufacturer of the steering system (Edson) had some great literature. Plus, they sold rebuild kits. Of course, the new cable was about 5 times more expensive than I had thought. But… Laura and I spent 5 hours on Thursday to remove our old steering cables and install a completely new system from the steering pedestal to the rudder. $700 later we’re back up and running. I’ll keep a close eye on the new cables to make sure they don’t wear in the same place but they should last a long time (10+ years). Here is a picture of the “bad” cable.

Bad Steering Cable

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