Dik Richardson's HMS-18 Hamada

Trailer troubles? Dik Richardson's HMS-18, Hamada, in Baja.
(Hamada now has a heavy-duty tandem-axle trailer.)

Dik Richardson owns a unique Potter. It is not only one of the oldest HMS-18s around (#11), but it has been fitted out with big-boat equipment and a heavy duty trailer specifically to withstand the rigors of trailing and sailing in Baja California. Dik has been describing the modifications to his boat in posts to the West Wight Web mail list, which are presented below along with photos of Hamada.

Subject: Re: Windows on HMS 18/P-19

12/21/97 -0800, you wrote:

I was looking at the pix of potters on the Potter Yachter website and was enamored with the appearance of "Sunshine" an HMS 18. In particular I like the large seemingly one piece windows. Were large windows standard on HMS 18's or is this a retrofit?

During my first refit on Hamada, I replaced the factory windows with 1/8" smoked Lexan. Much less bucks than the factory, and was no problem installing. If I were to do it again, I would use thicker Plexiglas instead of the lexan, the lexan is really bad as far as scratching, in the three years since I did them, they have become almost opaque.

Mast base with turning blocks and mast wiring plug

Subject: Re: Solar Charging 'n stuff Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 12:37:44 -0800

I was reading the recent Potter Postings and noted some folks are replacing batteries and or having to recharge batteries before going out Pottering. Well, there is a simple solution. Pick up a Solar Battery Charger. I saw one just yesterday @ 55.00 from the Northern catalogue.

I have serious doubts that a solar panel that size would do much in the way of CHARGING your batteries, but it will be okay to keep your charged batteries topped off during the week. I use a 60 watt panel on Hamada and it has enough output to charge batteries. BTW, I have boiled water/cooked/made coffee on many occasions while under sail while I was sailing in the Sea of Cortez. We made several 2-4 day passages and couldn't find a place to park to do the cooking. . . ;-) I use a autopilot most of the time which gives me a chance to go below to take care of such matters.

Subject: Re: HMS 18 to P19
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 08:42:46-0800

The HMS-18's were designed and built by Herb Stewart between 1973 and 1974. I don't have the exact figures, but from my recollections of conversations with Jerry Barrileaux, our N. Calif. Potter Yachters commodore and historian, only about 70 of them were built. My HMS-18 #63 was manufactured in October of '74. It was not until the early '80's that Joe Edwards took over HMS Marine and started >building P-19's.....out of the same mold but somehow lengthened by 1 foot in the marketing brochures. So, to make matters simple. If your boat was built in the '70's, it's an HMS-18. It it was built in the '80's and '90's, you've got a P-19.

All well and good, but Hamada, HMS 18 #11, was built in 1971. At least that is what my title says. As far as I know, it is the oldest HMS 18 around, I remember that #6 used to be sailing up in the Seattle area, but that was quite a while ago.

[Editor's Note: I can verify that. I saw the mold for the HMS-18 when I visited the factory in 1970, and later that year I saw the first HMS-18 sailing at Marina del Rey. hg]

Foredeck with mooring bit, vent, and hawsepipe.

Subject: Re: HMS-18 to P-19 Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 23:07:35 -0800

Wouldn't it be something if IM could dig down in an old closet and find the dusty old records of the original buyers of the older boats. I was told that my #11 was Herb Stewart's own boat, but of course that is a good story to tell someone when he is buying your boat.

Subject: Re: OB on the transom

Larry Costa wrote:
Just something that I once saw. HMS-18 #55 had been modified to carry its 10 HP Honda in a motor box. The box, with much stronger transom (?), was built in the center of the aft end of the cockpit with a hole cut through the hull so the motor stuck down in front of the old transom and rudder. I was only around the boat for a day, but the setup seemed to work just fine. Another point, the boat had been trailered with the motor in place for a long time (I don't remember exactly how long the owner told me).

They used this set up on quite a few boats in the 20'-26' size range in the late sixties and early seventies. I have spent a fair amount of time on a couple of them, a Cal 20, and a Columbia 26 . . . . This works okay when there is wind blowing, if it is calm, then the engine just sits there and starts wondering where it is going to get some air to breathe, 'cuz there just ain't any fresh air down in the bottom of the footwell. The majority of the boats I have seen with that cockpit motor well have ended up installing a mount on the transom.

I think the transoms are indeed strong enough to handle the rigors of engines of a reasonable magnitude for the boats, but now that everyone is going to the larger four strokes, then they will have problems. I mean a 100 lb engine on a 19 is a bit overkill, but then again I used a Honda 10 on Hamada for years, that is after adding ANOTHER 1/2" plywood reinforcement to the transom and a much larger mount.

Aft cockpit showing storage compartments, platforms for gas tanks, transom access hatch, water tank vent, and electrical outlet for autopilot

Subject: Lets talk overkill

Okay. My turn to suffer the slings and arrows of the righteous. :-) Hamada is not your everyday P-19/HMS-18. As far as I know, it is the oldest 18/19 still sailing. Its sole purpose in life these days is to accompany me down to the Sea of Cortez and, while there, keep me as safe and comfortable as possible. Now, being the confirmed recluse that I am, I seek out the most remote islands and bays that I can find and spend up to a month at a time sailing from anchorage to anchorage as the mood strikes me (weather willing, of course). At these times, I am totally independent of the limited facilities that exist in the area. So therein lies the maddness we call ... overkill.

Anchors . . . I carry two Bruce 11 lb, one Danforth 8 lb Hi tensile, and one Fortress aluminum of unknown weight. I keep four plastic buckets, each with 150ft of 3/8" line and 20' of chain. One of these sets is ready to dispatch at any given time and lives in the cockpit with me while underway, the remaining three sets are stored in the v-berth, forward. Depending on my location, I sometimes have three anchors set at the same time . . . I have NEVER drug an anchor.

Outboard . . . I am currently in the market for a new one, probably be a Honda 5 hp, I will stay with the 4 cycle mainly due to fuel economy. I carry about 12 gallons of gas total.

Big boat stuff . . . Lots of it, Hamada is a four-winch boat - two on the cabintop in conjunction with two sheet stoppers. These are for the halyards and reefing, main and first reef on the starboard side, and jib and second reef on the port. Sheet winches are on the coamings, the boat has no cockpit railings. On the foredeck there is a good sized mooring bit that is backed up inside with a 6"x6" stainless backing plate. Winches are backed with 1/4" aluminum plates, and all other stuff has large stainless fender washers for backing. The backstay is the bridle type with about 12:1 adjusting purchase. There is a removable stainless bracket on the stern that holds a 60 watt solar panel, and will do so even under way. Each cockpit seat has a storage locker with removable bin installed near the aft end. The mast is a replacement for the original that lost a battle with a radial arm saw (no comment), and is the same section as a Catalina 25 mast and has a custom fabricated masthead fitting.

Inside the boat . . . A 10 gallon water tank lives under the cockpit with the filler on the starboard seat, also under the cockpit is a porta potti that slides out into the main cabin for use. In place of the port quarterberth, there lives a Igloo Survivor propane powered refrigerator that gives about four days use from a standard disposable bottle (I refill my old ones and get about three days from them), and makes ice cubes as well. On the starboard side, the seat has been removed and the quarterberth moved forward to fill the space, and yes, you can get into and out of the bunk without any obscene contortions. Under the forward berth the batteries and their selector switch and panel reside, accessable but out of the way. The rest of the interior is pretty much standard, sink to port and storage cainet/work surface to starboard. I use a Mr. Stove single burner butane for cooking, but looking into converting it to use propane fuel tanks. Will be getting new custom made cushions this summer.

Trailer . . . Just got a tandem axle 7000 lb capacity trailer last summer, made up new bunks (4) and large guides, works very well, but is a bit much for my Toyota to bring up a ramp, it will do it, but sure don't like it.

In general . . . Hamada is pretty much a one-trick pony, but does that one trick very well. I do not daysail the boat, or even out for weekends, I am fortunate (?) enough to have my Catalina 27 for that, and my Islander 33 that I call home (a guy just can't have too many boats . . . ) The boat is in a constant state of evolution, and whatever strikes my fancy and serves a usefull function is fair game. Is my set up for everybody, certainly not . . . would I say that everybody should set up their boat like I have, certainly not. Does it work very well for me and my agenda, it certainly does. Is it a case of flagrant overkill? It certainly is, but I wouldn't have it any other way; but I also would never say that everyone else should do as I have done with/to their boat the things I have done to mine.

Cabintop showing winches, sheet stoppers, and mounts for the dodger. Access plate in front of sliding hatch is for the keel winch.

Subject: Fire away

A few of you have contacted me and mentioned having some questions about my rigging of Hamada. You can fire away with any questions you may have, either privately or on the list, and I will do my best answer them. I will be sending some pictures over to Gordon shortly to put on the PY web page. I am in the process of sanding the teak and, in fact, the whole boat so I can get it painted later this month, so some areas aren't too pretty, but you can get a general idea.

Subject: Re: Fire away

At 08:38 AM 5/4/98 -0900, Clair&Edgar wrote:

(1) Where is your 12 gal fuel storage and how is it configured?

Fuel is carried in three 4-gal honda fuel tanks. There are two shelves in the rear of the cockpit that hold one tank each, and the third is tied down on the aft end of the port cockpit seat.

(2) Is Hamada balsa or plywood core? Have you done any structural reinforcement to the hull, cabin, and/or deck (other than transom, we've already beat that one to death!) :-)

Other than the dreaded transom reinforcement, Hamada is a solid fiberglas boat, the hull, deck, and cabin are solid laminate. There are two half rounds of about 1"+/- glassed longitudinaly down the hull. The interior is wood, no glass interior pan.

(3) Did you add any additional floatation foam? Where? What brand?

I haven't messed with the flotation, in fact, if I were to mess with it, it would be to remove some for additional storage. WHOA DOWN NOW . . . I don't worry about sinking in my larger boats with great gobs of lead for ballast and no flotation, and I don't worry about it in the Potter. But that is my personal feelings about the matter and in no way a recommendation for anyone else.

(4) Have you made any modifications to the steel daggerboard?

No, I do need to smooth it out quite a bit; it is getting rather grungy.

(5) Have you added any hull armorment, or heavy guns for your extended cruises in the remote parts of Baja? :-)

None needed. I feel mucho safer down in the Sea of Cortez than I do in the rivers and sloughs here in my local areas.

Dik Richardson "I'd rather be in Baja"
HMS 18 #11 Hamada
Catalina 27 #3258 Old Bandito
Islander 33 #326 Vas Kora
Hidden Harbor Marina, Rio Vista, CA