• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

3 Neutral

1 Follower

About sleddog

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

4,467 profile views
  1. How close can the sails be? (i.e. the "slot")

    The cool photo of iMP was taken in the last race of the 1977 SORC, the 30 mile Nassau Cup. iMP won that race and with it, became SORC high-point boat over RUNNING TIDE. The photo appeared in a Sports Illustrated article, helping to launch the legend of iMP In answer to the question "what logo on those sails?" they were all blue bags.
  2. R2AK 2018

    +1. On WILDFLOWER, to achieve proper leg extension, we first built a test mock-up and then mounted Russ's pedal drive off center at forward end of cockpit. floor. Sitting on a folding cushion while pedaling, the tiller, AP, winch, traveler, main and jib and sheets, chartplotter, etc. are within reach without leaving spinning position. This is good for for both safety and pedal sailing, where pedaling speed increases AWS, allowing sail assist, in some cases doubling speed. With the athwartship's mounting, vision forward is also good, important for solo. As well, in trials, we found getting weight forward is important for increasing speed. Transom immersion in pedaling conditions is sucky. Initially I thought maintaining foot contact with the pedals would be problematic due to gravity, and had considered a simple foot strap system. In practice this has not been a problem, and I just wear boat shoes. If you look closely, you'll see Russ mounted the prop forward of the shaft, like an airplane. In this position the prop is in undisturbed water from the shaft. Nice. There is some friction in the chain/jockey wheels, but on WILDFLOWER (and probably INCOGNITO), the propeller begins turning the pedals unassisted when 3 knots is reached. Once the prop is vertical, retraction of the pedal drive takes less than 30 seconds..it's ~4.5 feet long and stows in a cockpit locker. Reportedly, stainless steel bike chain is available, but so far I've not found rust to be an issue. Still, I think I'd experiment with a Gates carbon belt drive like those Honda bike guys..
  3. R2AK 2018

    Health issue has put WILDFLOWER out of '18 R2AK. Have pedal drive someone might be interested in: New in 2017, 50 pedal rpm gets my 22' cruising cat to 2.5 -3 knots tops with ~ 270 prop rpm. All carbon, custom csc aluminum 73 tooth chain ring, new lower bearing and O-ring seal, 16x14 prop. You'd need about 14" bridge deck clearance for proper prop immersion. Seating is athwartships. Photo taken before hydro fairing added. Come spin in Santa Cruz if you're around..... skipallanatsbcglobaldotnet
  4. Sailing around the world in a San Juan 24

    The N corner of Texas Reef lies at 16.338 S, about 6 miles from Cape Teras at NE corner of Rambi Island. Texas Reef is charted as "Rocks, 3 feet high" at MHWS, so significant luck would be needed to pass over. If MIMSY's breadcrumbs did pass north of Texas Reef, then he is embayed in Natewa Bay, a reefy coastline of 70 odd miles to fetch up on. No navigational aids except local daymarks marking reef passes. West of Texas reef, inside Natewa Bay, there is little to no surf to speak of to break apart thick skinned MIMSY.
  5. Sailing around the world in a San Juan 24

    Assuming MIMSY is floating, it's an ~ 70 mile tow from west side of Rambi Island, through Somosomo Strait to SavuSavu port of entry..... Currently 4 unidentified vessels on AIS in MIMSY's general vicinity, likely fish boats rather than yachts. According to Fijian news, the local navy is out and about boarding vessels to confirm registration.
  6. Transpac 2017

    In start photos, did not see evidence of daggerboards on COMANCHE...Presume they were left ashore as Stan Honey suggested?
  7. Older well known IOR Boats

    Hi Tad, Thanks for posting the photos of Kiwi...I"ve painful memories of iMP's crew wet sanding the Baltoplate standing in the snow at Snead Island in '77. A couple a dozen big snook were circling the little marina trying to find some warmth against the seawall. We got the bottom sanded to #800...Dave Allen, iMP's owner, was right there with us getting wet, black, and cold. Then DWA took us all out for a warm meal. DWA was a class act, and like a father to us kids.
  8. Funniest Lines Heard While Racing

    During a buoys race in the SORC, we round inside overlapped with the big C&C66 PHANTOM. As we are about to bear off and be blanketed by PHANTOM's massive sail area, our skipper notices PHANTOM's spinnaker halyard is about to be hoisted by two big lads at a coffee grinder. Our skipper, also noticing PHANTOM's spinnaker halyard is still attached to the bow pulpit, hails "HOIST AWAY!" The lads on PHANTOM's grinder, not looking up, spin the grinder handles with enthusiasm and PHANTOM's bow pulpit, followed by the stanchions and life lines, are quickly hoisted to the masthead.
  9. Eight Bells - Bill Ficker

    Bill Ficker was a friend, competitor, mentor, my boss. Bill's 1958 World Champion Starboat NHYCUSA (Newport Harbor Yacht Club USA) was always immaculately prepared. I should know. My Star was parked in an adjacent stall, and I worked a summer job for Bill in his architect's office. Friday afternoons Bill would send me off early from work to wet sand the bottom of NHYCUSA, first with #800 fine grit, then #1200 extra fine. Years later I wondered if Bill didn't enjoy having the kid smoothing his boat's bottom, knowing I wouldn't have time to fine-tune my own boat for that weekend's race. It was part of the psyche, and Bill was very good at that. Bill was a quiet but fierce competitor, finely attuned to both the rules and winning tactics. You knew if Bill got ahead, you'd never pass him back. Bill was always conservative, never taking flyers if behind. And when he got ahead, he would always tack to cross, to consolidate his lead. Bill, encouraged by his sister Sue and father Pete, was already a good sailor as a kid. At Cal Berkeley, Bill, with Lowell North and Larry Shep, made a formidable intercollegiate team. They would likely have won the 1950 championships, but Lowell broke his leg and couldn't sail. Dick Carter and Bobby Monetti came out from Yale and won by a point in a photo finish in the last race. That's Monetti holding the Morss trophy, Dick Carter immediately to his left in the dark shirt and shorts, and Bill Ficker standing tall behind Monetti, second from right, with the towel and head of hair. I couldn't help but learn when sailing against Bill Ficker. I knew I was sailing against the very best. Even watching from astern was a pleasure: you just knew Bill was on the right tack, his Baxter and Cicero sails perfectly shaped and trimmed for the breeze and sea conditions. Once, in a Star fleet race, Bill's NHYCUSA and I were starting at the weather end. We had a perfectly timed start, and NHYCUSA, to weather, was a few seconds early and barging. I was about to tell the master, “No room, Bill, you're barging!” when Bill, without looking, said in a firm, level-toned voice, “Skip, I'm gonna need room, I have an absolute.” I couldn't remember what an “absolute” was or if I'd read about it. I wavered at the tiller, and Bill slipped NHYCUSA through the hole we opened and sailed off to another win. That afternoon as we washed our boats off, I mustered the nerve to ask Bill, “what's an 'absolute'?” With a wry grin Bill said to the 14 year old kid “why Skip, an “absolute” means I have absolutely no rights.” Bill Ficker. Great guy, wonderful sailor, true gentleman.
  10. Merlin at 75 mph

    A sunny afternoon for MERLIN's 40th Birthday celebration at Santa Cruz Harbor. Many familiar faces among 150 paying homage, with docks filled, tours below, and MERLIN's cockpit filled with smiles, guitar and mandolin music. Much emotion too, realizing we are all 40 years down the road. Yay, MERLIN, bringing us together again. Lu and Bill Lee, Bill in his 1977 Transpac crew shirt 6 surviving crew from MERLIN's Transpac record run in 1977: (from l to r) navigator Don Snyder used celestial; phil vandenberg was cosmic flushed; Bill Lee, Dave Wahle; Jack Halterman; Bobbo Larson. RIP Harvey Kilpatrick, Rob Wade
  11. Merlin at 75 mph

    Thursday, Feb.24, 1977, was a big deal for Bill Lee and crew. The previous afternoon MERLIN had been rolled out of the Chicken Coop and loaded aboard Drivin' Ivan's plum colored 18 wheeler. With nearby Santa Cruz Harbor shoaled by winter surf, Bill instead opted for the 20 mile drive down Highway 1 to Gravelle's Boat Yard in Moss Landing for MERLIN's launch. With "Bosun" Dave Wahle in Maui, Bobbo was detailed as "launch master", and KT was charged with picking up refreshments: a keg at Z's Liquors. Drivin' Ivan never was much for speed limits, and somehow the crew aboard MERLIN was able to lift local power lines with wooden handle crutches as MERLIN sped along underneath. MERLIN arrived at Moss Landing before noon. But Bobbo had somehow forgotten to check the tide book and launching couldn't take place until later .... much later. The launch crew and arriving friends did what they do best in such adverse circumstances .... "Let the Party Begin" pronounced Bill Lee.. The beer keg was breached, brandy was poured, and the sweet aroma of local pot filled the air. By mid-afternoon the party was in full swing, and there were some minor casualities. Drivin' Ivan had been drinking brandy in his truck cab and passed out onto the ground below, his position taken by a back-up driver. Fortunately, Don Snyder's mother had thought to bring a camera, otherwise we wouldn't have the only photo of the event that apparently survives. As the sun set, MERLIN's chief wood worker, KT (Karen Trap), was handed the traditional bottle of champagne to break on MERLIN's bow. Only problem was she couldn't reach the bow, as it overhung the water. Bobbo appropriated a nearby scaffold plank, and with half a dozen wobbly kneed assistants acting as counterweights on the inboard end of the plank, KT ventured dangerously to the end and with a mighty swing, christened MERLIN. Doggies.
  12. Merlin at 75 mph

    Last evening, as the sun set into a thick fog, Bill and Lu Lee's iconic 'Fast is Fun" MERLIN was lowered into the Pacific at Santa Cruz Harbor after an absence of many years in Great Lakes waters. Bill and crew spent recent months removing the dysfunctional canting keel, daggerboard, hydraulics, and massive internal structure, and installing a new, Alan Andrews designed, torpedo type keel. Bill had a broad smile last evening when he saw MERLIN floating evenly and exactly on her original, 1977, designed lines, indicating a displacement of 25,000 pounds had been met. MERLIN will compete in next summer's Transpac, 40 years after breaking the Transpac elapsed time record. Welcome Home, MERLIN! A re-christening ceremony will be held February 26, all invited. Regarding questions about the paint job, cabin shape, and other refinements, Bill would say MERLIN remains a "work in progress," with nothing off the table..
  13. Merlin at 75 mph

    Good news from Santa Cruz is Monday MERLIN was lifted off the cradle and carefully set down on her new keel. Everyone had done a good job, and things fit with precision. Props to Homer and crew for the massive amount of glassing new internal hull and floor structure, and ultimately drilling the keel bolt holes using a template and pilot holes. Drilling large diameter holes from the outside upwards ain't no easy job, where the vacuum dust sucker is as important as the alignment spotter. The rudder, looking about 8 feet deep, was also fitted into place. While Ian finishes rigging the nearby mast and fine tuning the steering, final underbody fairing and painting is taking place. Sooner, rather than later, MERLIN will again taste saltwater, the mast stepped, and sails begin to go up and down. Though you would not know it from their patient and calm demeanor, I know Bill and Lu Lee are ready to launch their baby back into the Pacific. Next door to MERLIN is a cute, slightly dated, IOR Half Tonner getting some fresh paint. Anyone care to guess who the unlikely designer was? ~sleddog
  14. Merlin at 75 mph

    MERLIN's new keel has arrived:
  15. Merlin at 75 mph

    With Santa Cruz Harbor's 30 year old dredge well and truly dead, long time Port Commissioner Bill Lee had a vested interest in this morning's launch of the new $5 mil. dredge "Twin Lakes." While Bill, I, and a happy crowd of 200 spectators watched, the 280 ton,120 foot, "Twin Lakes" was slowly lowered down the launch ramp on 8 inflatable sausage bags, each 6 feet in diameter and 35 feet long. Acting as a brake was a four part tackle of 1.5 inch flexible steel wire anchored to an 18 wheel tractor trailer and a giant diesel winch. At one point, an air bag squirted out from underneath, and things came to a stop while the now listing dredge was righted by relocating the wayward sausage, and pumping in,more air (2.5 ppsi) from a giant compressor. It was all slow motion, and took about 4 hours for the dredge to travel a precarious 75 feet down the ramp and into the waters of its new home. The crowd cheered and applauded, and Bill Lee smiled his wry smile. Why this all matters, other than the ill designed Santa Cruz Harbor needs full time dredging during the winter and early spring, is MERLIN's new Alan Andrews' designed keel bulb and strut, a beauty on paper, are currently being built at Duro Keel, near Mexico City, and scheduled for delivery in Santa Cruz in mid-July. The keel will weigh 10,500 pounds, same as before. But MERLIN is lighter, with an all carbon deck and a lighter rig. Draft will be 10.5 feet, about all that Santa Cruz Harbor can accommodate. Things are looking up for MERLIN. Bill is assembling an outstanding crew for Transpac '17, all of whom have Santa Cruz loyalties. No crew will be paid to race. Everyone is A#1, top-notch talent who will compliment MERLIN's pedigree to the fullest. Good on Bill Lee. When the keel arrives, things should begin to happen with more pace. I know it's been occasionally frustrating for Bill trying to assemble the pieces of a 40 year old legendary design into a competitive ocean racer for modern times. Bill's calmness, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of design history and parameters, bodes well for MERLIN's return to the Pacific swells.