Sonny in the Boat Parade

Post some pics of your Albin
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DougSea
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Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:35 am

Kat and I decided to participate in this years "Trees in the rigging" boat parade here in Essex. It's a pretty cool event, with a parade down Main Street with vintage cars and "boat floats", and then the arrival of Santa by boat and the boat parade down at the Connecticut River Museum.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a very Happy New Year to you all!
AtTheDock.jpg
All set to go!
FrostyOnBow.jpg
Frosty mans the bow!
LiningUpForStart.jpg
The boats are assembling for the start of the parade
FromTheJudgesStand.jpg
The look that got us 2nd place!
Reflection.jpg
Back in her temporary winter slip. Frosty had a few too many egg nogs and is out of action until next year!
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Doug
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Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

irishwake
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Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:47 am

Looks Great!

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Tree
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Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:04 pm

That’s brilliant Doug! I can see a huge amount of effort has gone into that. I’ve never seen anything like it over here - wonder if I can get something going with the angling club where FP2 is berthed??!??!?
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Nancy
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Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:20 pm

That looks amazing, Doug! How did you rig that tree?
Nancy
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DougSea
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Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:28 pm

Thanks all. Yes, it was JUST a bit of effort! And naturally you can't find much ready-made that will suit what I was doing!
Nancy wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:20 pm
That looks amazing, Doug! How did you rig that tree?
Well, since you asked! :D

The star at the top is made of 10 Home Depot yard sticks all bolted together, painted, wrapped with lights, and mounted to a piece of 1/2" emt conduit (thin wall). Kat found an example on Pintrest and I modified it for "marine use"!
1-StarParts.jpg
2-TheStar.jpg
3-CompletedStar.jpg
The "tree" took a bit more doing. The main components are 3/4 galvanized pipe/conduit and fittings. At the base, which I don't seem to have a picture of, there are 2 12" pieces threaded into a tee. This is then clamped, using a pair of conduit hangers bolted together (3/4" for the pipe, 1-1/2" for the arch) to the radar arch just in front of the radome. (This would come to be known as "the easy part" - although it was probably the third or fourth method I thought of.) And in case you're wondering - the arch is 14' above the deck! This thing is way up there!

The business end of the tree (did I mention this thing is about 12 feet long/tall?) has a coupling with a close nipple that runs through a ceiling fan mount that I drilled out to fit the conduit. Then another coupling secures it in place. The reason for the extra piece (18") on top of the already long 10' main piece is that I coupled them together and then put a 1/2"x3/4" bushing between them. This is what keeps the mounting rod of the star from dropping down too far. Attached to this "plate" are attachment points fore and aft for the guy lines, and a pulley on each side to lift the port and starboard light strands.

Here's the top plate right after mounting.
4-TopOfTheTree.jpg
Here it's all assembled. Fun fact - the whole thing is THREADED into the already installed base. So I had to prepare all of the lines, coil them up neatly, and zip tie them to the mast.
5-TreeRadyToGo.jpg
Here's another photo where you can see the top plate more clearly.
6-RiggedTopOfTree.jpg
And THEN all I had to do was climb this "boat ladder", hoist this 12' contraption vertically over my head, and thread it into the base!! Fortunately there was a gentleman down on the docks working on his boat and he helped me get the guy lines secured.
7-TheBoatLadder.jpg
Here's the very first picture with the star up top!
8-TheMastIsUp.jpg
I don't have any pictures of the next steps - I was getting a bit punchy since it was getting cold and dark and I was working alone at this point. Each side of the tree, which has 6 strands, is actually a single strand of lights. Each strand is about 160' long and has 600 lights! And because I was concerned about the strength of the wire those strands are wire tied to a piece of paracord. Did I mention that they're 160' long? LOTS of wire ties!

The next bit sounds simple (it wasn't!). I just tied a loop into the support line at three premeasured points, connected those to the halyard on each side, and hoisted my tree! Plug everything in and voila!! :)

Here's a final picture from underneath. Kinda cool.
9-FromUnderneath.jpg
And there you go! Add a 3 foot wreath, an inflatable reindeer and snowman, wrap another 600 lights around the rail, and you're good to go!!
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Doug
Sonny IV
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Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

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rebuckley
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Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:29 am

Looked great - first year in a while we missed the parade (but we come by land as we are usually laid up by now). I missed getting a nice eggnog at the Gris or the Seal....
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RobS
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Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:34 pm

I'm impressed! With the project and your photo-documentation. BTW, how many holes did you accidentally drill into your hardwood flooring :shock:
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Nancy
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Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:58 pm

>>This would come to be known as "the easy part" <<
>>"boat ladder"<<

LOL! What a feat! Dare I ask how many hours it took?
Just think - next year, it will only take a fraction of the time since it's all built.

It's really beautiful and perfectly proportioned.
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DougSea
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Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:20 pm

Nancy wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:58 pm
LOL! What a feat! Dare I ask how many hours it took?
Just think - next year, it will only take a fraction of the time since it's all built.

It's really beautiful and perfectly proportioned.
Thanks Nancy! Yes - I started taking it down today and I'm pretty confident it will go up much quicker next year. Probably took 20 hours of assembly and install - with that much in trial and error planning on top!

And thanks for the comment about the proportions! A lot of thought went into that too!
Doug
Sonny IV
2006 35TE Convertible, Volvo D6-370's
Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

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DougSea
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Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:29 pm

Tree wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:04 pm
That’s brilliant Doug! I can see a huge amount of effort has gone into that. I’ve never seen anything like it over here - wonder if I can get something going with the angling club where FP2 is berthed??!??!?
Hi Tree!

I'd definitely recommend you look into it! There are a number of towns up here that have parades - and it's apparently quite the thing down south.

Our parade had everything from canoes to a 60 footer and a Frostbite Sailing starters barge! (They came in 1st! The bastards!) :)

If you're thinking about it you'll want to work with the town/village to make it part of a larger event. The boat prep takes as much effort as you're willing to put into it - and you'll want to show it off as much as you can! There were 2 support boats from the museum that organized the parade and we had the local police boat out there on standby - it's cold and dark out on the river here and you want to make sure it proceeds safely!

I'm assuming that LED holiday lights are as prevalent and available there as they are here now. The beauty of LEDs is that you can run a nice sized light display from a battery and a small inverter - so you don't have to have a genny to have a great light show!

Happy to answer any questions you may have. Kat is already plotting the additions for next year!
Doug
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2006 35TE Convertible, Volvo D6-370's
Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

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DougSea
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Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:21 am

RobS wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:34 pm
I'm impressed! With the project and your photo-documentation. BTW, how many holes did you accidentally drill into your hardwood flooring :shock:
Thanks Rob! High praise indeed! :)

(The first star is still bolted to the Living Room floor. Don't tell anyone!) :lol:

Since I know you and a few others love the details I'm including a few more photos I took today to make it all clearer. (Plus I just discovered that AOG supports "Drag-n-Drop" for photo attachments! Sweet!!)

The first shot here is of the top of the arch and the "tree" above it. One of the challenges was to clear my massive "antenna farm". Did that by hoisting to the top in front of the antennas and then using a boathook to lift the 3 aft strands over the antennas. Did the same in reverse to remove them today. (Please note that I tied the top of my ladder to the arch and had the base on a non-slip matt. I did NOT want any surprise movements! [Hmmm. I think there's a joke there!] Please be careful out there!!)
1-TopOfTreeDaylight.jpg
A couple of shots of the base mount. I went round and round on how to do this, ultimately going for all metal construction and the stability/security of the threaded connection. Given how high this all is I was very concerned about the boat getting rocked and snapping or bending the mast. That's a big reason for the much heavier 3/4 "rigid" conduit. The thin walled "EMT" type or PVC just made me nervous. Sonny IS an Albin afterall! Overengineering is key!!
The red paracord is there to make sure the base didn't rotate around the arch.
2-Basemount.jpg
3-BaseBracket.jpg
Here's an in place closer shot of the underside of the top plate. You can see the red paracord fore and aft that stays the mast. The star is also secured to those eyes. The star is like a big lollipop on a piece of tubing and can spin in place. So it's tied to the top plate to keep it aligned.
4-UndersideCloseup.jpg
ALSO - the top plate is also free spinning. I have washers top and bottom to keep it secure but I couldn't be certain where the main mast pipe would stop when it was threaded in to the base tee. By keeping it slightly loose I was able to properly orient it by pulling on the stays. Worked like a charm!

Here's a shot of the halyard and the top of the port side strands. There's be 3 hooks here but I only had 4 (instead of 6) for both sides. So the center got tied on. If you're taking notes - divide the total length of the strand of lights by 6. At 1/6 and 5/6 are the tops of your front and rear strands, with the middle being - the middle! I made the halyard a loop. My thinking was that I might need to pull down as well as up! Plus it gave me a bit more control.
5-LightStrandsTop.jpg
A shot with the port side lights removed.
6-PortSideRemoved.jpg
And finally - 160 feet of lights on the dock! Amazingly I got the whole thing wound up on that orange spool in the distance. So, as Nancy said - installing them next year will be a breeze!
7-LightsOnDock.jpg
A few other closing thoughts -

I used "regular" threaded eyes for the connection for the stays - and then had nightmares that the boat would roll and the eye would open under the strain. For next year I'll use a solid eye.

Same issue with the S-hook and pulley at the top of the light strands. My original plan was to have a separate pull for each lift point. I quickly realized that was WAY too many pulleys - so I went with one as seen above. BUT that means the full weight of all those lights is on a single S-hook that I squeezed shut with pliers. I'll do something more robust next year.

I used an ENTIRE 500' spool of red paracord (seriously - I had less than 3 feet left!) which I used for everything. Next year I'll swap out another color (green perhaps?) for the stays and halyards. Just to make it a little easier to tell what's what as it all goes together.

I also need to rework the extension cord that powers the star. Go back to that earlier post where I have everything tied to the base of the mast. If I had a shorter extension cord I could have removed that additional bulk from the mass of stuff I had to secure.

And that's that. The whole experience was fun (attendees at the 2019 NE Rendezvous can hear the running aground and parking lot stories if they buy me a beer) and I highly recommend doing something similar if you can. The cheers from the fuel dock and being serenaded with "Frosty the snowman" by the crowd were a thrill!

Joyfully yours!
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Doug
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Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

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Pitou
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Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 am

Great job Doug and as the spectators at the parade did I enjoyed your enthusiasm!

Standing by for next year's additions .. go Kat!

Merry Christmas to you!!!
kevinS
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April / '04 ~ May / '13

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