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Liz and Mat's Elixir, Yankee # 242, Keystone Lake, Oklahoma  
September 19, 2010 - This boat is now Bryan Greer's Elixir. Click to go there

The following string of emails was found in the remnants of Jim Huxford’s old Dolphin 24 site. The pictures were irretrievable (at least by this webmaster) Elixir, after her purchase (in 1998? by Liz and Mat - last name not known) and an extensive refit, left her homeport at Keystone Lake in Oklahoma by trailer, relaunched at the Arkansas River in Tulsa,  journeyed down the Arkansas, Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, made a hard right turn at Morgan City, Louisiana, and followed the intercoastal to Rockport, Texas - just in time to ride out Hurricane Bret. Plans were then to set off for Florida. Time moves back in an email string…


Aug 99 - Elixir weathers Hurricane "Bret"
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 20:29:00 EDT

From: Wildwstgrl@aol.com

Well, we were getting on with some really serious relaxing here in Rockport when Hurricane "Bret" came along. So we tied the boat up in the middle of a canal in City by the Sea, took of the sails, the boom and all loose stuff. We then went to Houston and left her to it. When we came back all was well so we are planning to go to Corpus Christi tomorrow and enter the weekly boat race, and try and show the locals how its done, or more likely be shown how its done. Either way it should be fun, and they always drink a few beers afterwards. We will be setting of to Florida in a couple of weeks so we will let you know how it goes then.

All the best from Mat and Liz


Elixir in saltwater.
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 15:41:47 EDT
: Wildwstgrl@aol.com

To: jhuxford@apci.net

Dear Jim,

I hope you are well and all is going well with your Dolphin. Liz and I have been having a grand time on our trip, we completed the Arkansas river and went down the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya River, this we followed down to Morgan City LA were we turned right and are now following the Gulf Intracoastal along the south coast of Louisiana headed for Texas.

The boat has been doing very well I finally got the main hatch to work properly and it is very good now. I took the Hatch off and removed the flat ss track from the top of the cabin. I replaced this with two lengths of Harken small boat traveler track. Part no196378 from west marine. These were 6 foot lengths so you have to cut of a little. Make sure that they are parallel as you screw them on. Next remove from the hatch the 4 rubbing blocks that it used to slide on. Next you replace these 4 blocks with 4 small boat travelers part no 253047. You have to remove the shackles and things from them. These travelers have 2 1/4 - 20 threaded holes in each. So you just drill holes in the right places in the hatch and then slide the travelers onto the track and then screw the hatch onto them. Getting the holes in just the right spot is quite tricky and I ended up with over size holes to get the correct alignment. The inside of the hatch is also curved so you have to make little spacers to allow the travelers to ride level on the track. About 1/8 on the inside edge of each one seems to work. After all this it was still a bit stiff till I put just a little oil along the track were the balls run this made all the difference and now the hatch slides silently and so easily that I had to drill a hole through it and into the track in order to pin the hatch open, 1/2 open and closed. We had to do this as the hatch would shoot forward and back as the boat went over even small waves. Anyway talk to you soon

best regards from Matt.


ELIXIR on the river
Sat, 10 Jul 1999 20:33:48 EDT
From: Wildwstgrl@aol.com To: jhuxford@apci.net

Well Jim

just a quick note to say hello and sorry that I haven't written for so long. We took Elixir out of the lake and did a few jobs the hatch is a bit on-going, though much better. We put her in the Arkansas River at the head of the navigation in Tulsa and here we are 10 days later in Providence Lake LA. We did 445 miles down the Arkansas and are now down at river mile 483 on the Mississippi, we joined at 599. The boat has been great. Anyway must keep this short as we are sending over cell phone. I will send more news when possible.

 All the best from Mat and Liz

Hatch fix.
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 16:45:53 EDT From: Wildwstgrl@aol.com To: Jhuxford@apci.net

Hey Jim

Hope all is well, and the site looks great.I have come up with a fix for the hatch, not as cheap as I would like, but I think it will work. I have ordered the parts from West Marine, and will send a full detailed list when I know for sure that it will work. The idea is to replace the flat stainless 1 1/4" track that the hatch slides on with Harken low profile small boat main sheet traveller track. then remove the 4 little blocks of wood that contacted the ss track, and replace them with the most inexpensive small boat main sheet traveller cars 4 in all. These are about $60 each and the track is $ 70 for each side. These little cars have 2 holes drilled and tapped for 1/4 " Screws that would hold the little pulleys etc. So the screws go down through the hatch with a stainless plate or washer on each side to spread the load. Then I will devise a pin to engauge in the holes in the track to keep the door in the desired position as it will slide freely with this system. These little cars are rated for 500lbs so are plenty strong enough I think. The dimension of the car on the track is very close to that required to keep the hatch at the same height. These cars run on ball bearings. Let me know what you think, and I will send a full report when it is done.

 All the best from Matthew ELIXIR

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 13:21:34 EST

Since our re-launch we have sailed quite a bit and are very pleased with the work that we did during the re-fit.

>The roller furler works very well, and the new jib is great. We had an extra reef put into the main sail, and had the opportunity to use this the other day. We were sailing in a steady 5F. with frequent gusts to 6F. recorded on deck. We had the jib rolled up to a little less than 100% jib size and with the second reef in the main we were doing 5 1/2 knots, getting soaked and enjoying it as much as the boat was.
>The cooker works great and warms the cabin in no time. We even sheltered behind a hill and made coffee.
>The new Honda 8hp is really good, it seems much stronger than the old 7.5 hp but is a little bigger and more difficult to man-handle into the hole. The battery charge output seems to work great also. Though our batteries haven't really had much need for it just of late.
>The marine head works great and is a real luxury.
>The marine radio works very well and has a very low SWR reading, even at 25 watts. It receives weather radio very well.
>The Rule 500 bilge pump works great. We have been leaving it on AUTO as we have a slight leak in the copper tube that houses the rudder post. The pump clears the water in a few seconds and I thinks does it about once a week. We will fix this when the weather warms up a bit.
>We have not had to use the Guzzler yet.
>We still have a few jobs on the to do list.
>Remove re-seal and re-fit all the deck fittings.
>Fit extra cleats. (2 at the bow and 1 each side amidships)
>Fit gap seal around fore hatch.
->Modify the main hatch to make it more secure and waterproof.


Yankee Dolphin 24 Hull # 242 Year 1971
Keystone Lake Oklahoma
From: Mat & Liz

We first encountered Elixir in March'97. We had been looking for a 25 footer for some little time, and had been to see a couple of Catalina 25's. I found an advert in the Tulsa paper for a "24'Dolphin Sailboat". That weekend we met the owner at Grand Lake and went for a test sail. The boat sailed great and we fell in love with her.

She had not been out of the water for several years, but she came with her own trailer so the deal was struck, and we picked her up the following week. The trailer was in fair condition, so we inflated the tires and, just like a big speed boat, hauled her out and took her home, slowly.

The boat was in fair shape though had a dozen or so blisters in the hull, the wood was all dried out, and the running rigging was a bit old and worn. The main sail was old but OK and the two jibs and Genoa were in good shape. We set to and sanded all the paint off the bottom, cut out the blisters and let them dry for a few weeks while we wet-n-dried and then polished the rest of the hull. The wood we sanded, stained and varnished. The topsides just a good clean. We fitted two 6 volt golf cart batteries and a fish finder. The fishfinder seems to do more than a depth sounder for less money. When this was done we fixed the blisters and put two coats of Epoxy paint on the bottom.

The engine at that time was an Evinrude 4.5 hp, which was not really powerful enough but worked ok. So by late June she was ready and we put her in Keystone Lake. We had many good sails and she stayed in the water for the next 14 months with no major problems. We changed the engine for a early 70's Honda 7.5 hp 4 stroke, which worked much better. The wind in Oklahoma can be quite strong at times, and we blew out the main one day. We had it sewn up, but it blew again a few weeks later so we bought a new one. So things were fine for ages.

This September I found that a steel mooring rope that holds the floating dock in place had been coming up in strong east winds and had been rubbing on her forefoot, causing a small hole in the hull. Though not all the way through, nor leaking, we decided to haul her out and fix the damage. So we inflated the trailer tires and packed the bearings, and hauled her out and home, slowly. The first stop on the way was the car wash and gave the bottom a good clean with the high pressure hose. This was very effective and got off almost all of the green slime. So on and to the house we went, and put her in the hay barn. The first order of the day was to cut out the half dozen or so blisters that we found so that they would be drying out.

We had been planning to take the boat on a trip from Tulsa to the Gulf of Mexico for some time. So we decided that this was a good time to make a few upgrades for the trip. The things that we decided to do were as follows....

Roller Furler for the Jib. Upgrade fresh water system (20 gals). Marine Head with holding tank. Mast steps. Replace standing rigging. Replace the rivets that hold the mainsail track to the mast. New 22 LB Claw with 40' 1/4" High strength chain,and 150' 1/2" Nylon rode. Extra reef in Mainsail. New Honda 8hp 4 stroke. (Can charge the battery) Gas cooker for galley. Fit marine radio. Fit Radio/CD player. Fit Anchor light at the masthead. Fit battery state of charge meter. Fit solar panel. Glass-in new floor in battery box, with strong tie down points. Fit new bilge pump.(manual) Fit electric secondary bilge pump. Change all the sea-cocks.

The above are not in any particular order. Most of the above items were bought from our local West Marine store in Tulsa, who have been great through these trying times. We fitted a Hood SL-700 roller furler, it was very easy to set up following the good instructions that it came with.

We ordered a new roller Genoa 135% from Cruising Direct Sails. It fitted first time and rolls up just fine. Luff 29.3' Leech 28' Foot 12.8' LP 12.16' High cut foot. It is of 5.0 oz Dacron with white UV strip. It rolls up counter clockwise, this allows the line on the drum to coil clockwise, so avoiding the bad luck from CC coiled rope.

On measuring the size of the water tank enclosure we found that West Marine tank #486670 fitted quite well and hold 4 more gallons than the old tank. A custom tank made for the space may hold even more but would cost a lot more. We fitted a deck fill on the port side and a new Fynspray Hand pump a the sink. The tank breather empties into the sink also. I sprayed some expanding foam insulation stuff down the sides of the tank to stop it sliding about. In line we fitted a Systems IV activated carbon filter (West Marine # 193748)

The Head is a Jabsco Compact Bowl Manual type and is just ahead of the bulkhead in the normal position on this design. Above and behind is a 6 gallon holding tank , below which is a system of some complexity allowing either Pump O/B, Pump into tank ,Pump tank O/B or vacuum empty of tank via Deck fitting. The contents of the tank can also be circulated for mixing. The tank is vented onto the deck via 5/8 Thru-hull. I enclosed the tank and made a shelf on top of it.

We felt that mast steps would be a useful addition on this size of boat, as the halyards are a little to small for a 230lb mast climbers peace of mind. So we fitted 12 ABI Folding Mast Steps from West Marine (# 373219). These are shaped to fit the curving surface of a larger mast. So First we attached them with 4 1/4"-20 SS countersunk screws, going into large rivnut like fasteners. To fill in the difference in the curve I spread JB weld on the mating surfaces and screwed them down tight. A quick wipe around with a acetone damp cloth cleaned up the mess and made a good job. This 2 part epoxy takes 24 hrs. to set, but is very strong. Our mast steps are very secure and don't move at all. I just hope we never want to take them back off.

The standing rigging was original and seemed fine, but we decided to change it for peace of mind and keep the old for spares. We up graded to the new style of open body turnbuckle. Again West Marine got the stuff and made it up in the store. The Mainsail track is one piece and was fitted with 1/8" aluminum poprivets. These had stretched so we drilled them out one at a time and replaced them with 1/8" stainless steel poprivets. After popping 112 of these you get a strong grip.

The new mainsail was an off the shelf item originally intended for a McGregor 26 (I think). It fits quite well but only had one reef, so we had the local sailmaker put in a good deep second reef. The sail is a Rolly Tasker. We got it from The Sail Warehouse. It is not quite tall enough but this lets us have the boom set at the top of its track giving us more headroom in the cockpit. Set like this it gets within 6" or so of the mast head. It could be 10" longer in the foot but who's counting.

The new engine may be a bit of a luxury, a Swiss friend of our who sails a Catalan 25 just got a new Suzuki 9.9hp 4 stroke and he says that he bought happyness. Our old engine works very well but was quite old and could not charge the battery. For the river trip we will probably be motoring quite a bit so a Honda 8 hp 4 stroke we ordered. This we got from Waterdog Marine in McAlister, OK they had the best price by far. The new engine is very similar to the old one but has a medium length shaft instead of shortcut fits in the lazarette just fine. We made a little carpeted shelf that holds the motor hole plug in, and is somewhere soft for the engine to lie when not in use. We hold it down with a ratchet strap.

Our boat has the optional mini galley with no cooker, but it dose have a little fold out shelf above the end of the quarter berth. We found in the Harbor Freight Tools catalog a small single burner propane stove that fits the little shelf great. It is chrome plated and has a brass burner.(#35558-0CHX). The gas cylinder fits in the lazarette on the port side. The stove we bolted to the shelf so it can still fold down. This stove has no gimbals but it was inexpensive and works fine.

The marine radio and CD player we set into the bulkhead on the starboard side the fit very well there. The marine radio antenna is at the masthead and the am/fm radio antenna is on the pushpit. The battery state of charge meter is just below the CD player and is activated by pressing a small button beside it. The radios and the state of charge meter are all controlled by a radio master switch. This is below the State of charge meter button. The radio/CD has a live wire the bypasses the switch to keep up the clock and channel memory. The boat has a cigar lighter fitted beside the main DC electrical panel. We plug the solar panel into this when we are charging the battery. The floor of the battery box had become very rotten and the batteries were strapped down with a ratchet strap to screw in steel hooks. These almost pulled out with a good tug. So we cut out a new piece of 3/4" Marine Ply and fitted new Stainless Eye bolts (Thru bolted). This we glassed into position over the old floor. We used plenty of fiberglass to make sure it will be plenty strong as the batteries are quite heavy.

For our main Bilge pump we fitted a Guzzler 500 thru-deck. It empties through the transom just to the port side of the motor hole after passing through the Lazarette. The pump body is set into the side of the cockpit just ahead of the port side locker. At the bottom of the intake is a strainer/foot valve. For our electrical pump we fitted a Rule 500 with a float switch this discharges through the transom on the starboard side opposite the manual one. The pump can be operated either manually or via the float switch. This pump has a strainer built in to the pump base. The space in the bilge is very narrow and this pump only just fits.

The sea cocks fitted to the boat were brass gate valves, corroded solid, not very good. We decided to fit PVC sch.40 ball valves. These are available from Lowes and Home Depot type places for not to much money. They will be free of corrosion, are designed for quite high pressure, ruggedly made, and have a white body with bright red handle. We lagged them to protect from frost. To each sea cock we tied a soft wood plug.

We are getting ready to re-launch and will let you know how it all works. I have some photos in the camera still, and will take a few of some of the above work, to clear up anything that sounds strange.





























































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