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Everything posted by DTA

  1. First off, I'd like to apologize to this forum. Based on my review of the front page of this forum a couple months ago, I thought that this forum was primarily devoted to large, yachting catamarans, and that smaller "wet" catamarans were not a source of discussion. A Class Sailor has corrected me in another forum, and has informed me that this forum does indeed discuss small "wet" catamarans. So, I apologize for having mischaracterized this forum. I am hoping that you will accept my apology and allow me to participate. I am a new CAT sailor, having sailed Aeros, Lasers, and a Vago for several years before recently purchasing an RS CAT 14 to try and learn CAT sailing. The problem is that I have discovered that CAT TRAX appear incompatible with the RS CAT 14. It appears that the distance between the interior of the hulls on an RS CAT 14 is significantly shorter than the same distance on Hobie CATS. As a result, when I try to put the CAT TRAX under the RS CAT 14 it doesn't work, because the wheels come into contact with the interior of the hulls. As I can see it, I have two options. First, drill holes further inward and move the wheel mechanism further inward. Or second (as H Class Sailor suggested) get a REALLY long axle and put the CAT TRAX wheels on the outside of the hulls. The second option sounds best, but the entire CAT TRAX mechanisms (roll pins and bracketing mechanism for keeping roll pins flush to the smooth aluminum axle) seem precisely engineered toward an exact diameter of aluminum axle. So, before I embark on option 2, I was wondering if anyone could direct me to a website for the exact aluminum axle that would be appropriate for implementing option 2 w/ my other CAT TRAX parts. Thanks, in advance, for any info you can provide.
  2. Bird Island Basin was the starting point on the north. Yarborough Pass was the destination on the south. Outward path in teal. Path back in red. Planned path in yellow. Late start – around 1:30. Just general disorganization. Hard sailing upwind, which, combined w/ the late start, meant I only made it to a random spoil island about 13.5 miles toward the 20 mile destination of Yarborough Pass. Tacking in the catamaran, combined with the narrow channel and the *EXTREMELY* shallow waters outside the channel (shallow enough to catch the rudders), made it pretty rough. I’ll probably wait for more easterly winds before trying it again in order to reduce the tacking. Along the way, I came across a huge group of dolphins. About 4 or 5 separate pods of dolphins, each with about 3 or 4 dolphins in each pod, were all congregating together and splashing about. I couldn’t tell if it was a feeding or social frenzy. But it was nuts. I’ve seen lots of dolphins while out sailing, but nothing like this. Many of the dolphins followed me and swam close. But one in particular I saw come charging up from behind me, then proceeded to pass under my CAT between the hulls, then came out in front of me, and then when about 20 feet in front of me proceeded to leap into the air about 4 or 5 feet out of the water. It was like some sort of Sea World performance. I have no idea what that was all about. I was run off the narrow channel by a huge barge/tanker. I had been sailing for four hours, so it was late and I just decided to make camp where I landed – some random spoil island. Pushed the cat up onto the island and made dinner on the stone patio of a GLO fish house. These little houses dot all the spoil islands and you can lease them from the GLO. But this one was boarded up and hadn’t seen any use in years. I was feeling good about my situation because NO MOSQUITOES. I cooked a wonderful dinner and stretched my legs, and I was thinking that it must be because this is a spoil island. No mammals anywhere around (not even rats or mice), so I figured there was nothing for the mosquitoes to eat. But then nightfall came and I discovered that they feed on random sailors who sleep on the island! Completely miserable all night long. I didn’t bring mosquito netting and they feasted. When I would turn on my headlamp, the light would illuminate dozens and dozens of mosquitos all about me. Around 3 a.m. a lightning storm approached from the west (landward). A short time later, a separate lightning storm approached from the east (oceanward). Both were high altitude lightning storms with cobwebs of air-to-air lightning. No ground strikes. But each involved HUGE flashes of lightning. Additionally, the oceanward storm was moving landward, the landward storm was moving oceanward, and it appeared as though they would converge right on me. Since I was sleeping on the boat, right next to a tall metal mast, I was getting very worried. So, at 3:30 a.m. I moved my camp to the GLO cabin. I set up a tarp in preparation for the massive storm. Although the storm fizzled out, the mosquitoes did not. The only way to keep them at bay was with two layers of shirts, a rain jacket, pants, and shorts. I sweated profusely all night long. I don’t think I ever fell asleep, either when camped on the boat or outside the GLO cabin. Upon sunrise, I cooked myself some mac & chili, finally free of mosquitoes. I packed up the jib and reefed the main (my first time ever reefing). I did not want ANY drama on the sail back. At first, the winds were out of the south and I was sailing dead downwind. I was very nervous about an accidental jibe, but then a cold front came through and the winds switched to West and WNW. So, I was able to hold that line, with no tacks or jibes, all the way back to Bird Island Basin. Go to my parents' condo, showered, went out for a massive Whataburger meal, and was asleep by 5:30 p.m. I woke up the next morning at 7:30 a.m. Never woke up once during the night. It sucked during, but is now fun in memory.
  3. DTA

    Gay Test

    I haven't looked at the front page of SA in months, for the reasons articulated above. I just now decided - what the heck. Let me give it a shot. And I see this. I mean, whatever. This site can do whatever it wants, so no lectures from me. But "Nice *box*" - what are these guys, 14 years old? Anyway, I just thought it was hilariously ridiculous that literally the first time I look in months I see this at the top.
  4. DTA

    RS CAT 14 Sail Camping

    Since I live relatively close, I plan to practice sailing all around and stashing water at various locations along the route. My boat is pretty small w/o much in the way of safely storing lots of weight (i.e. storing lots of water in a way that would not hinder me during capsize). So, hopefully, I can off-load that water to various locations along the way.
  5. DTA

    RS CAT 14 Sail Camping

    Well, I'm planning to do the Texas 200 in June. We'll see after that! http://www.texas200.com/
  6. I've sailed small dinghies for years (Laser, Aero, Vago) and was similarly trying to find a way to do overnight camping on a small, single-person boat. Like nlmasopust, I opted for a CAT, though in my case it's an RS CAT 14. Seems to be working out well so far. I can carry all my supplies strapped down on the tramp. And if the wind picks up too much, I ditch the jib and reef the main. Seems pretty difficult to capsize when sail size is so reduced. But even if it does capsize, I'm comforted in knowing that righting it should be much easier than righting that Hobie trimaran in the video above.
  7. DTA

    RS CAT 14 Sail Camping

    Hmmmm .... I'd have to see pics/video of someone making a hammock work on a treeless beach with only one vertical object (boat mast) before I go try it out.
  8. DTA

    RS CAT 14 Sail Camping

    Sounds pretty nice. Totally different climates and coastlines, but same love for the adventure of going out alone. BTW, I just bought this to save me from the mosquitoes next time: https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/ionosphere
  9. DTA

    Gay Test

    I agree w/ KC375. I don't watch the front page of Anarchy much, but when I have I've seen stuff like "Hottest Sailing Babe Contest" or other such stuff. So, it's like - well, this is where all the people who know about dinghy sailing hang out. So, I kinda have to hang out here too if I want to stay in the know. But it's kinda like visiting a seedy adult cinema. Like KC375, I'm not outraged and I don't complain. It is what it is and I deal with it. But, like KC375 said, maybe the people who run the seedy adult cinema might want to know about the viewership that they're missing. Or, again, maybe they don't care. And that's fine too. I'll just keep peeking in at the dinghy forum inside the adult cinema, hoping nobody notices me watching. And if they do, I'll say "I just read it for the informative dinghy articles ... I promise!"
  10. So my planned trip down to Big Shell Beach (in yellow) in my RS CAT 14 did not go as planned (sail out in pink; sail back in red). Lightning drove me close to shore so that I sailed ~100 yards outside the breakers. I then got caught by several fishing lines of a shark fisherman who had kayaked his lines far offshore. The fishing lines eventually broke my rudder crossbar. Below is my plan to better prepare for this kind of failure in the future, especially when sailing to a remote location with no possibility of support. I'm curious if the board has a better backup plan than what I plan below. I'm not sure how rudder crossbars work on other CATs, but on the RS Cat14 the rudder crossbar is hollow. At each end of the rudder crossbar is a hole into which a hard rubber plug is inserted. The part of this plug that remains outside the crossbar has a standard male rectangle, which fits into the complementary female rectangle on the rudder tiller. The rubber plug stays inside the crossbar by virtue of two rivets. Each of these two rivets are shot about 1/5 of the way into the rubber plug. This keeps the rubber plugs securely inside of the rudder crossbar. Except, of course, when there are several fishing lines applying strange forces on the rudders, which rip one of the rubber plugs out of the rudder crossbar. And then, of course, it's impossible to re-insert the rubber plug into the crossbar because the rivets remain in the crossbar and refuse entry to the rubber plug. In this instance, I was able to borrow fishing line and piano wire from the shark fisherman and thereby connect the crossbar to the rudder tiller in very crude fashion (see pic below). And by cutting the plug short so that it only inserted as far as the first rivet, I was at least able to insert the rubber plug a very small ways into the crossbar which gave some minimal stability. However, the plug kept popping out if I hit a wave, at which point the entire system would wobble because the crossbar was only loosely connected to the rudder tiller. Although this solution got me home, I was lucky to have calm winds and seas. I don't think it would have held together very well in rougher conditions. As a result, I'm looking for a backup plan in case this happens again in the future. Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of is to carry a backup rudder crossbar on my next long distance trip. I'll order a new crossbar, and then fix up the current crossbar by drilling out the rivets, inserting a new rubber plug, and then re-riveting. However, carrying a backup crossbar does kind of suck. I'd rather just carry smaller parts to fix it on the fly, but I can't think of how to do so. Any ideas? Also, why do you think the manufacturer would keep the plug secure with a couple rivets that only go 1/5 into the rubber plug, rather than a screw or bolt that goes all the way through the rubber plug and comes out the other side of the crossbar? That seems like it would prevent this sort of problem from happening in the first place. But, of course, there's probably something I'm missing. Thanks in advance for any ideas you have about how to minimize my repair kit and keep from carrying a completely new crossbar on my future trips.
  11. Thanks much to everyone above for the assistance. I got my new UJ in the mail. Drilled out the rivets and just used stainless steel screws to hold the UJ in place. As A Class Sailor said, it holds very tight. No need to drill all the way through the other side and use a bolt to go all the way through the crossbar and UJ. The solution was so elegant and simple and amenable to easy fixing in the field that I almost opted to drill out the rivets on the other side and do the same, even though there had been no failure on the other side. But, alas, I opted to just leave well enough alone for now. Also, per the suggestions above, I have a better emergency kit. It now includes: * Piano wire * Leatherman (Rebar version) * Cord of various diameters * shock cord * Hose clamps to fit around tiller and crossbar * A spare Universal Joint * Various spare shackles * Electric tape *Duct tape Only thing I'm missing right now are the clevis pins. But I'll eventually get an assortment of those in the emergency bag as well. Weather permitting, I'll be attempting my trip to Big Shell Beach again next weekend!!!
  12. Thanks man. I'll give it the ol' college try with the screws and see how solid it feels. Like you said, it's way easier to fix/maintain w/ screws. If Amazon delivers the UJ by tomorrow evening, I'll give Big Shell Beach another go this weekend. But I'm not counting on another shot until the weekend of the 15th. Fortunately, Corpus stays warm (no wetsuit) until around Halloween.
  13. I'm pissed off on your behalf, so I can imagine how angry you were. I've never seen that at any of the inlets around these parts. No boats ever drop their lines until they are well clear of the inlet. What a complete jerk! However, what we do have are some fairly narrow inlets, and fishermen on both sides will cast their lines into the inlet channel, leaving very little room for a non-motored sailboat to maneuver through the gauntlet. The only thing that keeps the fishermen in check is the fact that a motorboat racing through the inlet will cut their lines.
  14. Ummm ... that sounds truly frightening. It's one thing to be pulled to shore by a stationary fisherman. It's quite another to be dragged about the ocean by a motoring fishing boat!!!!
  15. By the way, this happens to be the shark fisherman who "caught" me. I'm not joking:
  16. DTA

    Laser Vago rigging questions

    Oh crap! I remember when I owned my Vago I thought to myself: don't ever remove the main halyard, or it will be an absolute BEAR to re-rig. I can't remember what was going on, but I *think* (could be wrong) that some of the main hailyard came down the interior of the mast and exited via a hole somewhere. Anyway, I just remember taking care to protect the main halyard from sun damage b/c I did *NOT* want to have to replace it. Hilarious (i.e. not hilarious) that the previous owner thought he was being helpful by removing it for you.
  17. Yep. If I can figure out a way to remove rivets in the field (hammer & chisel method w/ camp shovel and screw-driver?), then a nice back-up solution is to carry a couple screws to screw into the universal joint (ala A Class Sailor's suggestion) in the event of a similar future failure.
  18. Dex - at first I wasn't understanding how hose clamps would be helpful. But now I think I understand. Do you mean use hose clamps to attach to the rudder tiller, and then I would have a better platform to which to attach line, wire, whatever, in order to jerry-rig a solution? That makes sense; but I just wanted to make sure I understood you correctly.
  19. I still may end up putting a bolt straight through per your suggestion (and my own original inclination). It's just weird, because once I got back home safely, I tried pulling the other Universal Joint out by hand and couldn't. So, in my mind, some really weird monstrously large force was somehow generated amongst all those fishing lines, and it seems like something else would have broken had the UJ not ripped out. Plus, I seem to have a penchant for getting wrapped up in fishing line! So, still not sure which solution I'll pursue.
  20. Thanks A Class Sailor, that's good advice. I'm not sure though if a screw would hold tight to the Universal joint the way the rivet does. I would think that the screw would jiggle around in the hole in the crossbar a bit. But what I think I will do is try to figure out some way to remove the rivet in the field, and then use your screw idea as a backup. I carry a small but strong collapsible camp shovel, which could double as a hammer, and a flat-head screw-driver might double as a chisel. I'll give it a go at home in my garage to see if that can work. By the way, I had no idea that the Universal Joint was an industry standardized thingie! So, if I understand you correctly, I don't need to buy that part from RS Sailing. I can just go to Amazon and buy this (which does indeed look like it): https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-HT5098-Flexible-Tiller-HPN470/dp/B071GD66MM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1536067710&sr=8-6&keywords=universal+joint+sailing Thanks! I feel silly for not knowing that!!! And roger that on carrying more stuff to repair this in the field. To be honest, I didn't really understand exactly how the crossbar and Universal Joint worked before I broke it, so I wouldn't have known how to prepare for fixing it in case of a failure. While I'm getting my feet wet with this long(er) distance sailing, I'm trying to be safe by sailing in onshore winds in mild-to-moderate conditions and trying to plan my adventures so that if I blow up onshore with a broken boat I'm no more than a 50 mile walk from civilization. I always carry plenty of water and a small backpack so that I can just walk out if worst came to worse. Regarding posting in this forum, I don't know - I just know the guys who prowl around on this dinghy board. This is where I've lived for years while dinghy sailing. I pop over to the CAT board for super-specific CAT stuff (e.g. CAT Trax), but I try to hang out w/ my old peeps on this board when I can.
  21. You know, I was thinking of doing just that: drill a hole opposite the rivet hole and drill a small bolt through the rubber Universal Joint. But A Class Sailor made a good point. What if that Universal Joint hadn't have ripped out? Maybe the tiller would have broken off from the rudder, or the rudder would have broken off from the sleeves holding it to the boat. So, maybe it's a feature rather than a bug that the Universal Joint failed when it did.
  22. Yeah, I bought them off Amazon from a non-Chinese distributor. Cost more, but I got them in two days. Cat Trax all fixed up per your method. Thanks.
  23. Dazz - i just got the clamps. Am headed off to the store now to pick up the 10 mm line. Thanks for the great idea.