Welcome Aboard!

These pages will cover the restoration and upgrades I have done to a 1979 Choate 40.
I acquired the vessel in poor condition at a reasonable price and so far have put twice that amount into her.
From the evidence I have found, she had been de-masted, run aground several times, slightly flooded, run hard and put away wet.
Fortunately, she had new standing rig with a used mast from a Catalina 40 and a recent head job on the motor.
The rest of the info I'll segregate into pages for detailed information.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heavy Weather Bridle

I'm not looking forward to having to ride out a storm so I've given it plenty of thought. Part of the bridle gear is actually part of the inner forestay, as in the mast upgrade post.  This boat has very low freeboard and a sharp bow. So, if I were to anchor in a storm or have to put out a sea anchor, a line running over the bow would just pull the bow into the waves.

As it is, when I'm sailing, the bow seems to cut thru the waves rather then ride up over them. which really puts a lot of water up on deck and having a line pulling the bow down even more doesn't help.  My idea is to run a heavy duty bridle back about half way to the mast. This way it'll allow the bow to rise up as much as it can but still maintain a forward pull.

So, this is the main reason for putting in a Samson post, secondary to holding the inner stay deck fitting. The bridle will be pulling mostly sideways around the hull and opposite of each other, more towards a pivot point while going up over a wave.

This picture shows it too far back but you get the idea. And the wave is a bit extreme. But as the bow starts to rise the line will not be pulling the bow into the wave but will have an even pull over the forward section of the hull. This is my theory. If it doesn't work out I can still run the bridle over the forward bow chocks just like all other boats. All I can do is try it out and see.

I got these large 10"(OAL) bronze chocks from Skip'r John in Hawaii.

I've enlarged the fastener hole to take a 1/2" FH screw, and I'm going to polish them up a bit before having them chromed.  I considered cutting the ears off and adding studs on the under side but they seemed too far out of proportion.

I spent quite a bit of time polishing off the casting. But this should be good enough for chroming.

8/28/13  Got them back from the chromers today. Shiny, A!

This is where they'll go....................................

9/15/13 Got them mounted after I was in Alameda for a a few days

Side view.............................

Here it's in position with the wear plates, but I'm not happy with the install.  They were so close to the edge that the bolts couldn't go in straight.  So when I get back to the boat in Calif. I'll add a little more cap rail inboard and move them in a bit for a better bite. That will take some more epoxy and glass work. And another scupper hole for the water to drain.

Well here it is a year later and I've finally got around to redoing this.  so I've pulled the chocks and laid in some additional material, after finding a more suitable location for the new screw holes.

After cutting to shape and laying in the fillets it was epoxied in place and covered in FG with a couple layers.

Then it was sanded/faired in to a nice finish.

And taped off and painted withe a couple layers.

Drilled the holes and sealed. Now I feel better about the strength of the fasteners.

Now I just need to make a bridle. 
Also I need to go back in the yard for some premium bottom paint and another coat of yellow. The waters in Alameda are deplorable with some kind of weed that loves to grow on the bottoms. Never seen anything like it. After I'm out of the yard I'm moving up the Delta.


  1. You should consider using a series drogue deployed from the stern rather than a sea anchor deployed from the bow. There has been research that documents many advantages of the series drogue set-up include greater stability and lower shock loads. Many have been successfully deployed by boats that made it through very bad storms without damage. They aren't that difficult for DIY but can also be purchased online. Sailrite sells kits and instructions.

  2. It's great to see such well thought out and executed work , an inspiration! You may want to check out Attainable Adventure Cruising's section on Storm tactics for a thoughtful analysis of the use of drogues etc in real world situations .http://www.morganscloud.com/category/storm-tactics/
    Remember to practice deploying and retrieving whatever equipment you choose to use , first in calm conditions and then in a bit of a blow so that you're familiar with how your boat reacts to the drogue and have a mind map of the steps required before the green stuff rinsing your deck makes it all a lot more challenging to work out.
    Thanks for a great blog
    Have fun out there!