Cody Reviews his 10-day cruise in a SageCat

Cody summaries his thoughts on sailing the San Juan Islands, SageCat and provides a couple of packing lists –

This trip through the San Juan Islands really opened my eyes to how much more there is to explore in this beautiful archipelago.  My wife and her friend both raved about how great and relaxing of a time they had, and we are already planning for a trip to visit the northern San Juan Islands such as Stuart, Patos, Sucia, and Orcas.

Sweet Potato [my Sage Marine SageCat] performed flawlessly under a multitude of conditions and provided a very comfortable home for the three of us and our pup.  I can’t speak highly enough of the merits of a small, seaworthy, easy to rig and easy to handle boat.  I know Sagecat is not the only choice out there to fit these requirements, but she does them as well or better than any boat her size that I know of.

The bottom line is, get out there and sail, wherever you are and in whatever boat you have.  There are so many beautiful places to be visited and experiences to be had by boat.  Especially by small boat!

 

Below is a list of some of the gear I took along:

Cooking:

  • Single burner GasOne butane stove
  • 3 bottles of butane
  • Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset   
  • 3 sets of plastic camping plates, bowls, silverware

 

Boat Gear:

  • 10’6” Jimmy Styks Inflatable Paddleboard, two piece paddle and pump
  • 3 gallon bucket and WagBags for legal and odor free waste management
  • 3 quality life vests and one dog life vest
  • Navisafe portable LED navigation lights
  • Honda 2.3 hp long shaft outboard
  • 5 Gallons of ethanol free gasoline (we burned less than two gallons on the entire trip)
  • 13 lb Mantus anchor, Mantus swivel, 30’ of 1/4” high test galvanized chain, 150’ of 1/2” rode
  • 4.4 lb Lewmar Bruce anchor, 15’ of 3/16” galvanized chain, 50’ of 3/8” rode
  • Handheld VHF
  • Suntactics 14v solar panel
  • Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Battery charger
  • Flares, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, 3 gallon collapsable canvas bucket for bailing and various other safety items
  • Yeti Hopper 30 soft cooler
  • 3 boat fenders
  • Extensive tool kit
  • Seadog telescoping boat hook
  • Bushnell Marine Binoculars
  • Ocean Rodeo Soul Drysuit
  • 3 sleeping bags and pillows
  • Multiple charts, current table books and a cruising guide book for the San Juan Islands
  • JBL Flip 4 Waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker
  • Spyderco Atlantic Salt knife (lashed to my PFD)

 

Day 10 of Cody’s San Juan Islands trip in a SageCat

Day 10 – Fisherman Bay to Anacortes –

I had shared my tales of Holly B’s bakery with the girls the previous evening, so we all got up early and made a pilgrimage to this baking holy site in the morning. After again being dazzled with their confectioner’s wizardry, we spent a few more hours exploring the village shops and getting a few things at the grocery store for our afternoon sail.

Our plan was to sail back around Lopez Island and spend a few hours enjoying the beaches and views at Spencer Spit state park and then making a short hop over to James Island, another state park, which would be a good jumping off point for crossing the Rosario strait on Saturday morning to get back to Anacortes, where our truck and trailer were parked. There was not a breath of wind when we got back to the boat at around noon, so we motored the roughly eight miles with a hefty current helping us for the first half of the trip to Spencer Spit. Upon arrival, we again anchored and paddled ashore where we had a few fun filled hours of beach combing and hiking. I even got in a quick nap on the warm sand. At about 5 o’clock we got back to the boat and again began motoring toward James Island which was about four miles away, where we planned to stay for the evening.

I had been a bit stressed about crossing the Rosario Strait with the girls aboard since I had experienced some rather rough conditions and unpredicted winds a week and a half ago. The winds were forecasted to be about 10 knots from the north, which should have been fine, but the slack tide window on Saturday morning was very short, with strong currents from the south before the slack and quickly turning to strong currents from the north. The late afternoon slack tide window on Saturday had much more moderate current velocities and a longer slack period so I knew I could always wait for that time, but still I was feeling uncertain about what the conditions would turn out to look like.

As we motored up to James Island on a completely glassy sea state, I was finally able to look across the Rosario Strait. It was as flat as a board. Not a ripple to be seen all the way across to Anacortes. I pulled out my current tables and we were perfectly timed to cross the strait in a large window of slack tide with very small currents predicted on either side of the slack. I made the decision that we would be wisest to cross while the conditions were perfect and find a place to anchor near Washington Park, where the trailer was located, and then simply pull the boat out of the water in the morning and get an earlier start home. The girls both seemed happy with this plan so we enjoyed a delightfully uneventful motor across the Rosario strait.

As we approached Washington Park, I had planned to anchor just off the beach as it was protected from the direction of the light winds predicted during the night. However, I also quickly noticed a huge sign on the beach, facing toward the water, reading “DROP NO ANCHOR. ELECTRICAL CABLES UNDER WATER”, or something to that effect. The sun was getting low on the horizon and there didn’t seem to be any quick protected anchorage to get to, so I tied up to the dock, raised the dagger board, backed the trailer in the water and hauled Sweet Potato up into the parking lot. We were all famished after a long day of hiking and motoring in the sun, so we left the boat on the trailer and drove into Anacortes for a meal. We ended up at a great little Mexican place called Real Tequila and we all ate until we were about to pop. The food was fantastic and the service was equally so. Back in the campground, now nearly dark, I reconnected the truck to the trailer and we all walked down to the beach to enjoy the final colors of the sunset and the lapping of the water on the pebble beach. Now that the boat was on the trailer and had the centerboard taking up one sleeping position, I was relegated to the bed of the truck since I had the warmest sleeping bag.

SageCat cruise report

SageCat owner Cody sent a report on his cruise of Washington State’s San Juan Islands in late July ’17 –

I had a fantastic cruise in the San juans aboard Sagecat! The first 4 days I spent alone shaking the boat down in cruising trim and the last 6 days and nights were with my wife and one of her best girlfriends and our dog. I was extremely cautious and tentative about how the boat would do with 3 adults and cruising gear aboard but she did great! Her sailing performance was still quite good and we were all able to sleep, cook and lounge aboard. I never tied up to a dock for the entire trip and used an inflatable SUP to shuttle the girls one at a time to shore each day! The v berth is a marvel as all 3 of us were able to sleep, albeit snugly, lying shoulder to shoulder. A big hats off to Jerry on the design and to you all at Sage Marine for a top notch build!

The pics below are of an approximation of our route and one of us at anchor on the south shore of Jones Island.

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Thanks for sharing Cody!

Resin infusing a SageCat deck

The first production SageCat is being assembled.  Last week the new deck mold was completed and now the first deck has been made.

Here are some pictures of the deck being prepared for resin infusion

deck-mold-ready-for-gel-coat

The deck mold has been buffed, sealed and treated with mold release.  It is now ready for gel coat.

skin-coat

A ‘skin coat’ of fiberglass mat is applied to stabilize the gel coat and limit any fiberglass print-through.

infusion-media

Over the structural fiberglass and balsa core peel ply is placed to assure the flow media comes off the part. Flow media assures the entire deck structure receives the correct amount of vinylester resin.

infusion-bag

Over the flow media the vacuum bag is placed.  The vacuum pump is the machine in the lower-right of the picture.

Vacuum is applied to check that there are no leaks in the bag.   If no leaks the resin is mixed and the part is infused –

resin-bucket

A 5-gallon bucket holds the vinylester resin that is ‘sucked’ into the deck mold.

Here is a quick video shows a portion of the SageCat deck being risen infused –

After the part has been fully infused the vacuum bag and infusion media are removed.  The interior side of the deck is now prepped for gel coat –

infused-deck

The deck after the infusion bag and flow media are removed.

infused-deck-with-infusion-media

Here you can see some of the flow media after being peeled off the deck.

deck-prepped-for-gel-coat

Deck interior side has been prepped and is now ready for gel coat.

Now the deck interior finish is sprayed –

spraying-gel-coat

Wearing a ‘bunny suit’ Matt safety sprays gel coat in the spray booth.