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March 12, 2021

Delta Doo Dah Lucky 13 to Open Registration Next Week

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, followed soon after by early-bird beer can series. The vernal equinox occurs on March 20. Naturally, thoughts turn to spring, and the cruising sailor’s thoughts turn to the summer season. With that in mind, we’re working on opening registration for the Delta Doo Dah.

Three boats rafted up
These three Delta Doo Dah buddy boats rafted up in Mildred Slough last summer.
© 2021 Jim Adams / Flibbertigibbet

This will be our 13th year for the cruising rally, so we’re going for a ‘Lucky 13’ theme. We plan to open registration next Wednesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. For extra luck, we’re turning the traditional three-leaf shamrock into a four-leaf clover.

Latitude 38's Delta Doo Dah Lucky 13
Our preliminary design for this year’s burgee.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

A couple of us at Latitude 38 will alpha-test the sign-up form. Then we’ll offer a beta test to last year’s fleet members before opening up to all entries. There’s no maximum — last year 92 boats signed up!

Associated Events

The rally is still mostly do-it-yourself, but as usual we do plan some ‘official’ events. In May we’ll host a kickoff with Delta Cruising Seminar (time and date TBA) via Zoom. We invite potential sponsors in the Delta to donate gift certificates for door prizes. Please contact Doodette Chris.

On June 12, many of us will sail up the San Joaquin River with Richmond Yacht Club and Stockton Sailing Club’s Delta Ditch Run. The Ditch Run offers a Cruising Division with motoring allowance, as well as the usual racing divisions.

Express 27s sailing up the river with spinnakers
The Delta Ditch Run is a great way to get the boat up to the warm-weather cruising grounds. This photo is from 2019. Like so many other events, the DDR was canceled last year.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’re partnering with Summer Sailstice this year to encourage everyone to celebrate the solstice under sail on June 19. Later, when pandemic restrictions allow, we hope for opportunities to gather with our friends at Owl Harbor and Delta Bay Marina in Isleton.

Look for an announcement here that we’ve opened registration — with luck on March 17!

Outboard Thermostats — An Open and Closed Case

The 2006 Yamaha T8 four-stroke outboard motor on Sampaguita, my Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, was running poorly. Experience told me that the thermostat might be stuck open. The main telltales were the engine not getting warm (I could feel it), and uncombusted fuel coming out of the exhaust (I could see it) and accumulating in the crankcase oil (I could smell it). Moisture was also emulsifying the latter. The motor will often run under these conditions, but not optimally, and it is susceptible to more corrosion and wear. These symptoms could also be from a deeper problem, but the ease of checking the thermostat made this a logical place to start. (Note: If the thermostat were stuck closed, the motor would likely be overheating.)

Outboard Thermostat
Thermostat location on my Yamaha T8. “Can you see the red gasket?”
© 2021 Joshua Wheeler

I changed the thermostat on this engine a few years ago for similar reasons, and it was a clean and simple task. It is easier and cleaner than, say, changing the oil or the lower-unit lube, and is safe to do over the water (as long as nothing gets dropped).

Thermostats are usually very accessible on a motor, and most vendors provide parts diagrams for identification and ordering. On the T8, I had to remove the plastic flywheel and dust covers to expose the thermostat housing. Then it was a matter of removing two screws, lifting the housing off, and pulling out the thermostat.

There is a simple test to determine if a thermostat is opening and closing properly. Place it into boiling water. It should open in the water and close when removed. If it fails, replace it and the gasket with new ones. If it turns out to be functioning, you can return the thermostat to the motor. I have even successfully reused the old gasket in these situations. You will want to test and double-check that it is not leaking, but you would also do this if it were new.

Pre-test comparison; it’s not looking good. Left: Working Yamaha thermostat. Right: Aftermarket thermostat stuck open.
© 2021 Joshua Wheeler

A properly working thermostat will allow the motor to operate at its designed temperature. It will keep the fluids and the metals at similar temperatures, preventing internal condensation, which introduces moisture into the crankcase oil. It will allow the piston rings to seat correctly, so fuel doesn’t squeeze past and end up in the oil too. Warmer temperatures will promote complete combustion, keeping gas out of the exhaust and water.

Just add boiling water; both thermostats are open.
© 2021 Joshua Wheeler
Now, remove the boiling water; Yamaha closes, aftermarket remains stuck open.
© 2021 Joshua Wheeler

The Resourceful Sailor hopes to give tips to budget-minded boaters to keep them on the water. Engine failure on the water is no joke, so it is vital to keep it running well. I have learned over the years to have a thermostat in my onboard spares kit. Remember to keep your solutions safe and  prudent, and have a blast.

Did You Know? We’re More Than Just a Good Read

We’ve been bringing you all the sailing news and stories for decades. But did you know that we do more than just provide you with great reads? We also have a range of very useful sailing resources to round out your Latitude 38 experience.

For example, we have a page dedicated to Business News, where you can find out what’s going on behind the sailing scene.

Did you know?
If your business has news, let us know.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

Then, for the sailors who are looking for a Weather update, we have a range of resources to tap into.

Our weather page includes links to live updates from Bay Area webcams.

We also have pages for Boat in Dining, Bay Area chartering information, Youth Sailing, and local Racing Calendars,

And don’t forget our famous Crew List page. It’s free and it’s fun, and it’s a great place to find new friends. The crew lists are designed to get people who want to crew in contact with skippers of boats that need crew, for recreational sailing.

Despite or maybe because of the more limited crewing opportunities, people are looking for new ways to connect to sailing, and our Crew List continues to serve. In fact, we just heard from local sailor Brian Kerney, who said, “Thanks, John, I have already had a lot of luck connecting with sailors and I will keep you updated as we continue down our sailing journey.”

The bottom line is: You can find links to lots of interesting bits and pieces in the Latitude 38 webpage footer.

Now that you know what you’ve been missing out on, have some fun and go explore the interesting and useful bits and pieces on offer.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show Is Back!

Almost. After a pandemic-induced Northern California show drought, the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Expo is returning, though no dates or location have yet been announced. We did receive the press release below from Sail America, who announced a new show-management agreement with the California Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA). We spoke with CYBA Executive Director Don Abbott (also the publisher of Bay & Delta Yachtsman) who, along with the CYBA membership, is excited to see a show returning to the Bay Area.

Will people return to shows when they reopen? Of course they will. Will shows be different? Probably, but they’ll still be a great way to gather, connect, learn, and explore all that’s available for people to enjoy the region’s best feature — the Bay.

Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show
The flags aren’t quite ready to fly, but the boat show will be returning to the Bay Area soon.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We received the following from Sail America and the CYBA on Thursday:

(Warren, RI) – Today, Sail America and the California Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA) announce they have entered into a licensing agreement for the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show. Under the agreement, CYBA assume management of the show. Ownership of the show will also transfer to CYBA over the period of the agreement. Starting immediately, Sail America will begin the orderly transfer of duties and responsibilities for show management to CYBA.

“Our organizations’ mutual interests are to ensure that the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show is able to continue with the full support of the boating industry. This agreement transitions the management and delivery of the show to CYBA, which has a deep understanding of the boating market in Northern California and a successful record of bringing together the recreational boating industry in the region,” said Abbott. “Our management team and board are excited to reimagine what the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show can be and how we can deliver a truly memorable event for the industry and the consumer.”

Under this agreement, Sail America members will continue to enjoy a member discount on in-water and upland exhibitor space, and Sail America will be named as a sponsor. “Sail America is delighted to be working with the team at CYBA. It ensures that the show will continue, that the sailing industry in that region is supported and provides an opportunity for Sail America to focus on other programs that best serve its members,” said Josie Tucci, Sail America’s newly named president. “Our goal has always been to deliver a successful, sail-focused show that attracts regional and national attention in Northern California. We believe our new relationship with CYBA will help us to achieve that goal.”

Given the ongoing COVID restrictions in California, CYBA is not planning an April show this year. However they will soon announce additional details on dates and location of the next show. Meanwhile, questions about the show can be directed to CYBA.

There will be more news to follow, so while you’re waiting, go sailing!

Latitude Extra: National Data Buoy Center Not Updating Weather Data

Tim Dick of the Lagoon 42 Malolo just notified us that there is no coastal weather data being fed to WX forecasts indefinitely. At this point, there’s no known cause. Maybe a catastrophic crash or a cyber attack or? 

The National Data Buoy Center site said, “On 03/09/2021 the NDBC primary processing servers were shut off due to a facilities issue. Station pages on the NDBC website are not updating and there is no ETR at this time. We will update this banner as we learn more.”

National Data Buoy Center
The National Data Buoy Center buoys are not sending data though the cause is yet to be determined.
© 2021 NDBC

Fortunately, from where we sit right now it’s a beautiful day but, for those currently voyaging, this could be a concern. 

National Buoy Data Centers
The buoy weather is the same everywhere – no data.
© 2021 NBDC

Does anyone have any insights? Send to editorial@latitude38.com or comment below. 

 

I Bought A Boat! Now What?

Free Webinar

A new boat means exciting new opportunities and new responsibilities. Learn about boat ownership from our experienced panel of boat owners. We will focus on getting to know your boat, maintenance, and finding your tribe to help you enjoy all the Bay has to offer. This is an interactive session so bring all your questions! Power boaters and sailors welcome.

Saturday March 13, 2021 10-11:30 a.m.

For registration information, go to www.oaklandyachtclub.net or call 510.522-6868.

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