Champlain Sailor

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About Champlain Sailor

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  • Location
    Shelburne, Vermont
  • Interests
    Sailing in all forms (racing, cruising, iceboating), biking, & skiing.

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  1. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Sorry to hear that the Dec 15/16 event was cancelled. Selfishly I'm a little happy, as I could not make it down that weekend, so I'll stay closely tuned for the rescheduled date and do my best to make it work later in the winter. With 3-6" of snow forecast for tonight, I finally said "uncle" and pulled my UFO off the beach this morning and tucked it away in the basement for the winter.
  2. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    pasdnous: If you are talking about the new carbon spreader bracket, make sure you also rough up the inner diameter of the bracket itself. I installed mine without sanding the bracket and the epoxy failed to bond to the bracket and it rotated the first time out. As for injecting, Dave instructed me simply to paint the mast in the bracket location and about 3" above the bracket with West Epoxy. So when the bracket slides onto the mast, it pulls a film of epoxy under it and gets dragged under to coat the entire bracket surface. Wipe away the excess epoxy with a rag.
  3. Champlain Sailor

    what is it?

    Its a linear actuator. It moves stuff. Could be a rudder, foil, passarelle, dinghy garage door, etc. Might be able to use it in place of a hydraulic cylinder for backstay tension, but not sure about that....
  4. Champlain Sailor

    Cruising Chute thoughts for 109 or Similar J Boats

    We have a 90 sqm chute on our J/110. It is heavy, 0.75oz material, designed for higher wind ranges. When we first got the boat, 10 years ago, we flew it as a family to 'learn' how to fly an assymetric. The previous owner told me it was his oldest spinnaker and likely on its last legs, and it looked it. The small chute is has a high clew and proved very manageable. It served its purpose well as a training sail as we built our racing program. Amazingly, it is still in service. We use it pretty rarely, if the wind is steady over 20 knots or if we are very short handed. With 2 or 3 of us aboard, it is far more manageable to jibe or dowse than our 110sqm or our jumbo 135 sqm spinnaker is. We tried a sock a few years ago. Getting the spinnaker rigged into the sock and out of it takes a little while (45 minutes?). We found the sock a big detriment to racing, and it was too much of a pain to rig the sock and de-rig it when we wanted to cruise, so I sold it a few weeks after buying it. However, if I was planning to cruise for an extended period of time, I agree that the sock would be a rice addition to the inventory.
  5. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    I sailed the UFO on Saturday on Lake Champlain at the tail end of a very windy fall day. We had seen winds of 20-25 from the SW all day, but in the late afternoon the breeze was dropping and shifting to the NW. I launched and found that in the lulls, I wasn't foiling, but in the puffs I was overpowered. Not ideal conditions, 5-10 with gusts of 15+ and 90 degree wind shifts. I wasn't excited about a lot of swimming, either. Water temps and air temps were both in the mid-50s, though I was wearing a dry suit. I considered heading back in, but decided to try choking up a bunch on the wand so that in the puffs when I was flying, I did not get high off the water. Per Dave's terminology, I put the boat back into 'training wheels' mode. So I sailed along and in the puffs, just got both hulls out of the water. With windward heal, the windward chine skimmed the water and the leeward hull was 6-12" out. The boat was still fairly fast, it dropped from foiling at about 13 knots to 11 knots with the full struts in the water and a bit of hull drag, but all the drama was gone. I stayed out for an hour or so, sailing in displacement mode for 70% of the time, and low-foiling in the puffs for 30% of the time. In marginal conditions, this was a really nice way to enjoy the boat. If the wand was fully extended, I would have been struggling each time the puff ended to bring the boat back to the water gracefully, and would have likely capsized several times, usually by pulling the boat over on top of me when sailing with windward heel and the having the wind drop rapidly. In the low foiling mode, I never capsized once, nor came close to it. For those of you sailing in Northern waters who want to continue to sail but reduce the amount of time you spend in the water, consider choking up your wands, particularly if there isn't much chop on the water.
  6. Champlain Sailor

    Exciting High School Sailing Dinghy

    Since HardDriving calls his effort to start a "Sailing Program", not a sailing team, I won't jump to the conclusion that his intent is to put together a team that will race in his local or regional high school sailing team circuit. If that is the intent, it is hard to justify not going with 420s or FJ's, as almost every HS program in the area sails them. But if that is not your goal, and you want to form more of a club that can race in one design class regattas, I'd look to your local yacht clubs to see what is raced in your area. 29ers are an obvious high performance choice for youth sailors, but I don't think that there are many of them racing in the Mid-Atlantic or New England. Pulling together a club to sail and race a one design dinghy that is popular in your area is a worthy goal. Some local clubs maintain an 'extra' boat in their fleet for just these purposes, so if your club is small, you may not even need to buy your own boat. Ask around, if you can put another boat on the line at local club races, especially a boat filled with smiling kids who are new to the fleet, you will be surprised how much help the local sailors will provide to make this dream a reality. Good luck!
  7. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Perhaps my rudder cassette is a bit tighter than Dave's, but I find that my rudder does not lift on its own until I'm sailing at 5 knots or so. I don't add lift to it prior to coming in, so that may help. The good news to this is that if I am going less than 5 knots, it means the wind is pretty darn light and I'm basically coasting in, and I can usually see the bottom and jump overboard before the rudder hits the beach. Trying to pull the rudder up by hand while sitting on the deck does not seem to work i. It is really difficult to lift it straight up, since is is out on the gantry, so it binds. If you lean way back to pull more vertically, the boat will do a backflip onto you. In my experience, I believe you either need to have the foil lift itself up while sailing, or you need to jump overboard and lift it from the water.
  8. Champlain Sailor

    what's your top boatspeed in a J boat?

    13.4 knots on a J/110. Heavy, small (88 sq m) kite up, double reefed in 30 knots of breeze with 4-6' waves during a practice session on Lake Champlain. Photo taken while we were heading upwind, trying out our storm jib before we turned down and set the 'chicken' chute. None of us had the presence of mind to take a photo while the spinnaker was up. It took several days to remove the smiles from our faces....
  9. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Martin: Thanks! That is a tempting offer, as it appears you have a fleet of really interesting fun boats available. If I can work a weekend into a business trip to Miami this winter, I will definitely take you up on it. In the mean time, keep up the videos! Doug
  10. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Nice videos Martin! Looks like you are really getting the hang of it single handed. Double handed will take more time and coordination. Bummer about the repairs, but looks like you have a handle on getting it all back right. I'm jealous that you are still sailing in shorts with sunshine. I made it out this morning, but it was a drizzly gray 50 degrees out, not nearly as welcoming. Now drysuit/wetsuit weather :-( Are you going to get one of Dave's smaller sails so that your son can take the UFO out on his own? I bet he'll master it really quickly.
  11. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    I stuff it into the bulb in the hull, the cavity into which the mast and front strut pass through. The main strut opening has plenty of open space to the aft of the strut to feed the halyard tail into, and the strut exit at the bottom is tight enough to prevent the tail from falling out of the bottom. I find it works best not to coil the line, I simply find the end, and start feeding it into the bulb until its all laying in there. Its quick, clean, and has worked well for me.
  12. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Martin: Good questions. I too have noticed the lack of good storage options for drinks or bags, I like borritough's water bottle suggestion. I've recommended to Dave that when he builds his next set of molds he include a raised flat spot on each hull about 7" in diameter, likely next to the front cross member, so that owners could cut a hole for an inspection port if they were so inclined. This solves the storage needs on most Lasers. I don't know if that would cause structural concerns or if Dave is inclined to consider it or not, but it seems like a pretty inexpensive upgrade and concession to practicality. It won't help our boats, but it would make newer boats more practical. Note you can fit a can in the velcro pouch in the bottom of the sail, but most water bottles or large gatorade style bottles won't fit. I used to tuck the main halyard in the pocket at the bottom of the sail, but found that it definitely gets sucked into the mainsheet block often. My current method is to tie it off to the cunningham eyelet, then stuff the tail into the bulb under the mast through the slot aft of the main strut. This has worked well for me. Occasionally, he bottom of the mainsail itself will get pulled into the mainsheet block, but that is rare and doesn't get jammed like a line does. I think I have the newer shroud tensioning line and it seems to be holding up fine. My rudder downhaul line, however, only seems to last 5-6 outings before the cover is cut through. Doug
  13. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Martin: I believe that you have the bushing in the correct place on the lower gudgeon. There should also be two bushings on the rudder, one each in the hole on the arms that connect to the gudgeons, inserted from the bottom. Since your rudder assembly is tight now, you likely have them all in place. Your son certainly seems to be enjoying himself on the UFO. Doug
  14. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    I just returned from 2 days of UFO coaching with the Fulcrum Team in Bristol. Seven other UFO showed up. Here are my top take-aways: 1. Tension the battens properly. According to Dave, the sails ship with the battens in their pockets and the batten tensioning screws just making contact. From this point, turn the top batten tensioner 15 half rotations, the 2nd batten 10 half rotations, and the remaining battens 5 half rotations. This will put a lot more shape in the sail and increase the power available in the marginal foiling conditions. Note that the tensioning wrench is included with the sail, tied on a loop to the outhaul grommet. 2. Check your shroud tension. Over the first few sails the knots in the shrouds slip a bit, and the shrouds will have too much slack between the spreaders and the hounds. With the mast down, loosen the knots at the spreader tips and pull the shrouds down until both sides are hand tight. Once the mast is up again, you may find that you have to re-tie the knots at the bottom of the shrouds that connect them to the purchase system. I ended up taking about 3" of slack out of each shroud. Dave states that you should likely do this after 3-5 outings on the boat. I have to admit sailing over 2 dozen times and not noticing that this needed to be done. The line that the shrouds are made of is sticky and stiff. A leatherman is helpful to loosen the knots. Its actually not as hard as it initially seems. Once this is done, put WAY more tension on the rig in 8-12 knot conditions than I was initially doing. The Spinlock Rigsense tool that Dave refers to is great. Now that I know what it 'feels' like, I don't think I need to buy one. But it would be a handy little tool. 3. Use the 'other' hiking straps. I know several folks on this forum are already doing it, but in marginal conditions, it helps tall people to use the 'far' hiking straps, so that you aren't putting your weight as far to windward. This reduces windward splashdowns and capsizes significantly. The downside, to me at least, is that the strap is much tighter, since your ankle is over the center arch, and you are really 'locked in'. When you do capsize, it is kind of claustrophobic, having the boat come on top of you with your feet locked in the straps. But they do slide out, and the panic subsides.... All in all, a very fun, productive weekend. I really enjoyed getting to know more of the UFO sailors. It is interesting how diverse the UFO owner's sailing backgrounds are.
  15. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Maybe not. I used one once on a local sailor's boat that I tried out before I got mine. He really struggled with it, as did my son when he tried to help. I did see several comments from other posters early in this thread who struggled to get the pin through reliably. However, if you developed a technique to make it work well, I'm sure it is a pretty simple and robust mechanism once engaged.