HMS Sand Castle SV - Launched In The Summer '95, At Shelter Island, Richmond B.C. Canada

I had heard about this awesome boat for sale that a couple had purchased and then gutted it of all the things that they could use on their ship. They told me that they had paid five thousand dollars for it and took fifteen thousand dollars worth of stuff off, and now wanted five thousand dollars for it. It came with the hull that had never been floated or launched and was a project started eighteen years prior. (bills/receipts from 1974) It also came with the large six cylinder diesel engine and special hydraulic drive. But the selling point was that it also had a complete set of seven unused sails.



So I totally wanted this 40 foot sloop that was basically the same underwater as the Cal 40, which had won races from the time it was built till years after it went out of production. I told the fellow that I didn't have any money, but I had an "81 FXB Harley Davidson with a 98 cubic engine that was worth ten grand, and would be more that willing to loss on the deal to get the boat. He said, "Give me three days to think about it". I said "For those three days I want to be able to go aboard and plan. Would that be OK?" He said "Sure."


On the third day I threw my hands up to GOD and said, "OK, I want this ship, give it to me and I will quit smoking." With that, I disembarked and started to walk across "C Yard" where the boat was stored, and looking at it for a couple of moments, then proceeded to "B Yard" when the boats owner drove up and motioned me in to the passenger seat. I had that feeling that you get when you know it's it about to happen. When I got in I let him start, and he said "OK, its a done deal, but we want the bike checked out first. If it checks out we'll do it." I said "But I need to know one thing when did you make up your mind." He said "I was just down at Arts boat and we were talking about it and decided about ten minutes ago." I though "Really, right at the same time that I had spoken to GOD" (Who I didn't know yet).


I ended up moving onto the Sand Castle in c-yard with no power for some time and quite enjoyed myself in her. I did a lot of planning and figuring during this time. But I had to hold to my end of the bargain, about quitting smoking, and couldn't seem to get there, so I said "OK, how about when I get her moved to b-yard where there is power."



Ok so now the boat is in "B Yard where there is power and I can get to work and prep it for launch. Also I had moved of the cal 28 in order to keep it clean as it was for sale. So at this point I had a promise to keep, about quitting smoking. It is not an easy thing to do so, said "OK, when I launch I will quit"



At first all I had to get up and into the boat was a rope ladder, a little tough with bags of groceries. But kinda fun for every one else. Eventually I had found an old steel fire escape behind the Greek Restaurant in New West Minister and asked if I could have it, and the owner said sure as long as I came in once and ordered a meal. Little did I know that would have me return many times as I for the fist time in my life ordered Roast Lamb. That dish became my favorite meal, and on occasion treated a friend to the same if he hadn't ever had it. I asked a couple of marina freinds to help me load the fire escape on to the roof of my two door K car, which was all of ten feet long, and the stairs over hung each end of the car a couple of feet or more. It must have been quite a sight going down the road, and a good thig there were no police around as I surely would have goten a ticket.


My sister Susan and her friend David dropped by for a visit at this time and we went sailing on the Cal 28 a couple of times.



The next photos start after the first winter aboard the Sand Castle, I had built the tarp cover to keep out the rain and snow, and it also became a storage place for things that wouldn't go below. In the spring I started to sand the exterior coat and prep for the final under water anti foul and marine paint above the water line. The base of the keel was cracked and crushed from sitting on the hard for eighteen years of its life, and there were cracks all along and up and down the keel from the same stress. I spent the winter studying how to best proceed with repairs. I studied reports from city engineers from around the world that were trying various methods repairing concrete bridge structures that had developed cracks. The highest success was found using epoxy mixes, and they had tried epoxy with cement mixed in and epoxy with  fibers mixed in, and after very careful consideration chose the latter. I started by grinding out the hair line cracks to a wide V shape the thought being that like a steel weld the more the surface to adhere to the better and stronger the mend. I gave it a try and discovered that using the grinder I ended up with a smooth V groove surface and would then be relying only on a chemical bond. And that proved ineffective. I decided that what was needed was a chemical bond and a physical or structural bond. So I took a welders chipping hammer and in the V groove commenced to chip away and create a rough surface for the epoxy to bond too.


Above and Below: You Can see the Keel Cracks that had developed from sitting on the hard for so many years.

Below Left: Looking forward from the Stern Cabin along the Port Side.First the Galley to the right, then through the next bulkhead is the hall with the head to the right and a state-room to the left, and beyond that the main cabin. Some what wrong as the captains cabin should be somewhat astern.

Below Right: Looking sternward from the forward main cabin, through the hall way. Left is door to the head, through the next bulkhead to the galley, and beyond to the main stern cabin area.


Above: Both photos are the same cabin, starboard, just forward of the stern cabin. this should be called the engine room, but is just the drive room. As can be seem below, the prop shaft comes forward through the keel and hull. The hydraulic motor was to be mounted parallel and above the prop shaft, one driving the other via double chive and belts.

Left and right photos looking aft, left photo is looking at the galley from the Athwart Cabin, and the right looking from the Galley towards the engine-room/aft-cabin/setee.


Above: Looking from the stern forward on deck, under the winter covering.


Below: Pealing back the winter covering to be able to work and let the spring heat out.



Below is one of the many late night work Bees. I had just finished welding the Skeg lower rudder mount. This is one of the many areas that took hours if not days of contemplation to figure the best way to accomplish the job.


Below, the midnight oil is burned the night before launch day.



Who could sleep?

Below, early morning rising after a very late night working.



Things are being prepared below decks even as the lift arrives.



Last minute instructions from both the lift helper and the ships owner.



First things first get rid of the awesome fire escape stairs that I had built a A frame support for.



Protect that precious under water coating.



Adjusting the lift straps is an extremely stressful time. And the first snug of the lines before the support stands are loosed and removed, are mind boggling. As we were lifting the vessel up I realized the the blocks under the rudder had not been removed and if we hadn't stopped the lift we would have ripped the rudder and the skeg mount away from the skeg and then ended the launch for an indefinite time.



WoW ! ! ! The travel lift is moving with the Sand Castle, and we are heading for the launch.



Over the ways and time to lower.



Preparing for the Christening.



The first swing failed to break the bottle, and some words of encouragement are not appropriate when the receiver of those words is embarrassed that the bottle didn't break the first try. I may have said "It's Ok, and not the end of the world, just do it again".



She obviously had never Christened a ship before, Champaign all over herself. A Queen she's not.



Ov course, just as she is about to receive the true Christening, I felt that a, blind with excitement, double check of all the through hauls was essentially a must.



WoW she floats and not taking on any water, and she feels light, yet, steady in the water.


A great amount of discussion ensues, about swinging the Sand castle around the end of the pier, as the current of the river albeit running is not as strong as it could be. Yet we could not afford to loose her even in a slight amount



She comes around and in without incident.




Auhhhh, a toast to the launch, and a bow for the start of her new life on the water where she belongs.

And it would appear that, when ever possible, one should stay ahead of the game?????



My personal toast and thanks.



A new ship is allowed to fly her colours for a full thirty days after her launch.

So I did. In before dusk, and out at new light.



I hand sketched the name to the vessel and hand painted it with much care.

As well as designing the Lion, and painting it on.


The swans on the other hand, were designed by some one much greater than I.



Sand Castle was moored at Shelter Island for some time until it was moved to Mitchell Island between Richmond BC and Vancouver, where she was eventually traded for one half share of the "Beverly Ann M"

Check Out the "Ocean Falls Museum"



Beverly Anne M moored at the Fort Langley Air/Sea Port

I built the mast and rigging for her.


I ended up selling her to pay for

My University Collage Degree In Horseshoeing.