From: (Bryant Vann)
Subject: Rio Update & Chesapeake Heat
Date: Aug. 18, 1999

The Admiral has requested that I "clarify" Rio's coloring.  It is NOT "dirt color" as previously 
reported, but "red fawn."  He is NOT dirty, but quite clean.  I apologize for any confusion.  
Now, since the Admiral's all-over tan matches Rio's color almost exactly, she, too, must be 
red fawn...  This is all so complicated.

Now on to the heat...

It has been noted on this list that it gets HOT on the Chesapeake Bay in the summertime.  
True enough -- especially when the region experiences a "Bermuda High" that literally 
pumps gooey wet, humid and hot air from the Gulf of Mehico up our way.  Somehow it 
manages to do this without creating a lot of wind at the surface.  So when the threat of 
surface temperature and humidity in the mid 90s and the wind under 10 knots exists, you 
have what I consider to be near ideal trawler weather.

Ideal?  Sure, we look at it as a blessing.  Just like the nettles that run the swimmers, water 
skiers, jet skiers, hotels and condominiums away, these conditions run the sailors away.  
The only folks left are a few fishermen and the trawlerites.  Neat, so we end up practically 
OWNING the Bay all summer.

So here we sit, anchored at 38°12.56'/76°27.74' -- just off Tippity Witchity Island in the 
upper reaches of the Saint Mary's River, a half mile from the nearest visible house and even 
further from the nearest anchored boat.  A cold front and rainstorm came through last night 
and swept the humidity and haze away so highs today will be in the mid-80s.  Mighty nice...

So the truth is that although it DOES get hot here, there are PLENTY of breaks in between.  
So how do we anchored trawlerites deal with the heat when it does come?  Here are some 

The obvious answer, of course, is to crank up the genset and turn on the A/C.  Our little 
gennys burn well under a gallon of fuel an hour so that's a small price to pay.  Of course 
that's not the ONLY price to pay...  Most of us don't like to leave the boat with the genset 
running and most of us don't have a crew to leave on watch.  Also, most of us don't like 
running a genset all night while we're all asleep either.  Finally, I'm willing to bet the biggest 
drawback is having to go into the hideously hot engine room and change the genset oil every 
100 hours -- something that has to be done all too often when you're running it almost 

So here're some alternatives.  I'm not a psychologist, but I'm quite convinced that a good 
part of dealing with heat is attitude -- plus your willingness to adapt your activites and 
lifestyle maybe a little.  First, like our mothers said, drink plenty of water, even if you're not 
thirsty -- heat exhaustion and stroke come on like hypothermia and hypoxia -- very subtly.  
A couple of the symptoms to look out for are tunnel vision and irritability.  Perhaps the 
doctors among us can suggest others.  Next, slow your actions down.  There's a reason we 
southern folk move REEEL SLOOOOW.  That's because it keeps you cooler.  I already 
mentioned in a previous post a cooling dip in the water (with a nettlenet, if needed).  It's 
really amazing what an hour soak in the Bay can do to keep you cool for the rest of the day.  
OK, when you get out looking like a prune (more so than usual), you're already near nekkid 
anyway, so just stay that way.  If you have a KK42, another possibilty is to just fill your 
bathtub with your seawater washdown pump (assuming it has a strainer, which will keep 
the jellies out).  Ooops, you don't know where your bathtub is?  It's on the foredeck.  Some 
folks call it a dock box -- and they keep extra dock lines in it.  If you do too, just pull all that 
junk out and plug the drain with a cork and fill it up!  Well, don't QUITE fill it up because it 
ain't sealed around the top and any overflow will run below -- NOT good.  Other boats may 
have similar features -- some even have big dock boxes on the foredeck that could be used.  I 
would think a kiddie pool in the cockpit would serve a similar purpose.  Time to use your 
imagination here!  If worse comes to worse, just fill your inflatable dinghy with enough 
seawater to splash around in. (We keep a 12-volt water pump fastened on a board to empty 
things like dinghies and water tanks and such so we don't have to bail.)

Finally, even with humidity in the 90s, get the most from whatever breeze there is.  (Note 
that bug screens block a LOT of air -- a LOT more than you might think by looking at them.  
I thought everybody knew this, but I've been surprised lately to find that a lot of folks don't.  
So if the bugs aren't too bad, take the screens down.)  Since we're sailors we were used to 
using the little colorful spinnaker-looking thingies called Windscoops (there are several 
brands of these things around -- check the WM, BUS, BW, etc. catalogues) on our hatches -- 
especially the forward ones.  They work quite well on sailboats, because sailboats usually 
stay pointed close to the wind at anchor, but this doesn't seem to be the case with some 
trawlers.  That's because the Center of Effort is often forward of the Center of Lateral 
Resistance.  (ie, the wind from the side effectively pushes on a point IN FRONT of the point 
where water from the side effectively pushes)  So when the bow turns slightly away from 
the wind, the wind keeps pushing it further and further off the wind -- maybe as much as 90 
degrees before the bow swings back.  Even if you manage to get a Windscoop installed over a 
forward hatch, it will spend most of its time collapsed, since it needs to be point nearly at the 
wind to stay properly filled.

So here's a way to install one so it WILL work on a trawler -- at least out to 60 degrees from 
the wind...

First, you're gonna need an extendable boathook with a rubber-tipped handle, some 
polypropylene line, and a grommet-setter (with some grommets) in addition to your 
Windscoop.  (A word about grommet setters -- they get lost easily.  If you've lost yours, buy 
another one -- then when you forget where you put the second one, buy a third one so you 
will find the second one when you go to stow the third one in a proper place for a grommet 
setter.  Also, DO NOT IGNORE the instructions on the order of putting the grommets 
together with the two dies in the kit -- this is critical.  However, DO ignore the instructions 
about hitting the punch and dies with a hammer.  Put the punch in a 3/8" variable speed drill 
-- this cuts the cloth a lot cleaner.  Squeeze the dies and grommets together with a bench 
vise (I use a little hand-held one that folks use on a drill press table to hold small parts while 
drilling so the part won't jam and twist part of your hand away when the drill bit jams -- 
really handy on a boat for all sorts of projects -- even if you don't have a drill press).)

Next, figure out a way to run the poly line over (or NEARLY over) the forward hatch.  
Sailboats (or at least MOST sailboats) have a forestay that runs from the top of the mast 
to the bow -- so they just tie the upper end of the Windscoop to the forestay and attach the 
lower end to the hatch in one of a number of ingenious ways suggested in the instructions.  
The poly line is going to substitute for the forestay.  It's poly so it won't stretch and cause 
the Windscoop to sag.  We run our line from the pilothouse top (actually, the steaming light) 
to the handrail near on the bow pulpit -- you'll have to figure out how best to do this on your 
own boat.  The problem is that this line may not be high enough to support the windscoop.  
()h yes, the reason for using poly is that it doesn't stretch.)  I suppose we could climb the 
mast and tie the line to the top, but I think our method is easier.  OK, so you've tied the line 
over the hatch.  Now use the boathook (hook end up) to raise the line to the desired height 
(you want the Windscoop to be fairly tight) and position the line directly over the hatch.  It's 
best if the hook is nearly over the hatch.  Cant the boathook to the side to move the line 
over the hatch -- in fact it's BEST if the line were off to the side to begin with so the 
boathook can be canted.  Use a separate piece of line to guy the hook to hold against the 
canted boathook. The rubber handle tip will keep the bottom on the boathook from slipping.  

Now you'll have to figure out some ingenious way to attach the bottom of the Windscoop to 
your hatch.  On our KK42 I put four SS fairlead eyes at the four corners to tie the Scoop to.  
I had to put a couple of extra grommets in the bottom because the hatch was a little small 
in the fore-and-aft direction (again, you want to keep the Scoop fairly taut.  Next I put a 
grommet at each end of the batten.  A light line leads forward from each to the poly line 
about 5 feet in front of the Scoop to keep the batten from twisting enough to let the wind 
"back" the Scoop.  You might even add guys to the back as well.  Finally, I two more 
grommets in the forward edges of the side panels.  These are tied with more light line to a 
convenient point ahead and to the side.  The purpose is again to keep the whole thing taut, 
even when there's only light breeze.  

Well, enough for now,  That ought to give you a start!  Stay cool!

- Bryant Vann

PS.  Almost forgot about the lifestyle changes...  The biggie is to schedule your bimonthly S-
E-X for the cool breaks.  Nothing (well, ALMOST nothing) is worse than dripping sweat on 
your S. O.  Did I mention that it was going to be cool today?  Heh, heh, heh!