Present Port: Shinjuku

Not actually a port, unless you count the railway station, which according to Wikipedia is the busiest in the world. That gives me some consolation for getting lost every time I try to traverse it. Without fail. Shinjuku is one of the few large metropolitan areas in the world I have visited that makes little sense to me geographically, as …

Obon Holiday Part 2

I woke up around 05:00 out of a deep sleep, and groggy and disoriented rolled over and nearly fell out of the bunk. The need for lee cloths becomes increasingly apparent. The newly refurbished cabin sole was a pleasanter place to half fall onto though, rather than the open bilge, and the new bilge inspection port cover did its job …

Obon Holiday Part 1

We had a long weekend here in Japan as it was the Obon holiday. Obon is a time when Japanese return to their hometowns, visit their families and traditionally visit the graves of their ancestors in remembrance. In recent years the grave visiting aspect seems to be diminishing in favour of more touristic activities, and the roads and trains are …

Traditional Japanese Fishboat Construction

A few bays north of Watari’s mooring is the little town of Hota, where there is a small wharf with a pontoon for pleasure boats, a popular seafood restaurant, 24-hour onsen hot spring, laundromat, and supermarket. In the evening, after scraping, sanding, fiberglassing or painting all day it’s nice to walk the kilometer or so along the shoreline to have …

Companionway Rebuild Continued, Solar Panel Bracket, Interior Woodwork

The companionway rebuild project continues. It’s going to take several more sessions so I’ve stopped naming the parts. Like the engine rebuild project, I reckon I’ll post a full series of pics showing the process once it’s completed. For now though, here’s the latest update. I’ve gotten as far as shaping all the wood, and can finally properly close and …

Wet Dock

When ships go in for refit/repairs they are usually hauled out of the water and put into dry dock. Currently Watari is undergoing an extensive refit, but since most of it can be done in the water (for now) she remains on her mooring in wet dock. My friend Pete helped me rebuild the top end of the little Yanmar …

Rebuilding the Companionway Part 2

This is a pretty big job. I spent another weekend slowly working away at fixing all the damage the previous owner did. It was extremely hot this weekend, so one of the first things I did is rig up a temporary dodger cover for some shade. It was useful both for shade cover and for giving me an idea of …

Japan Craft Inspection Organization (JCI) Rules Simplified

The following is my attempt to explain simply the JCI rules as related to me by the staff in the head office in Tokyo. These rules are quite complex, so if you have any specific questions about your vessel or area please contact me and I’ll try to explain in detail. I’ve tailored this explanation to the type and size …

Companionway Examples

In researching how to best rebuild the companionway hatch I’ve been gathering samples of boats built with the same hull as Watari’s. Sparkman & Stephens design #2098 was licensed to several boat works, and each had a little different variation on the cabin. I’ve found a few with the same flush deck built as the SHE 30 and PJ 30: …

Rebuilding the Companionway

While I’ve been waiting for parts to complete rebuilding the engine, I decided to start another project. One of the things that has bothered me most about Watari since I got her is an ill-advised modification the previous owner made which has caused a disastrous chain of events. Here are a couple of photos of Watari from when she was …