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About sailwriter

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    Tampa Bay

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  1. sailwriter

    RIP - Stuart Walker

    He was an instructor for an Offshore Sailing School's racing week in 1985. His lectures and individual critiques we're quite clear and with a booming voice. Different than his writing. He'd tell us what the weather would be the next day on Captiva Island. Thursday was not right. "Oh, but it is, at 3000 feet," he said. By midmorning he was correct. Dave Ellis
  2. sailwriter

    Lightning protection or no?

    If you put electronics in the microwave for protection, make sure you tell everybody. A bag of popcorn thrown in without looking fried everything. Oops.
  3. sailwriter

    Lightning protection or no?

    St. Pete Marina has about 600 boats, most with masts. Lightning very common in the area. From 1987-2000 when I managed the sailing center there were no reported strikes. Yet, it struck the nearby airport and even the nearby water. Was spectacular to see. Perhaps Faraday's Cone around the area was in play. So, get in a bunch? On the other hand a Moorings 50 used by Offshore Sailing School was docked away from other boats at Captiva Island, Florida. 7-foot draft. It was hit twice in a month. Steve Colgate had us use cable clamps to attach a really heavy cable to the backstay and let it dangle well under water. Never hit again. Dave Ellis
  4. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    Cool. Mine with aluminum mast does not self-right. I have flipped twice in the Raider. Once waiting for the start and got complacent. Embarrassing. The other was in a Mug Race with a gnarly downdraft over the windward shore. Never saw it coming. Boat flipped and the gust turtled the boat. Took very little time to right the boat and take off. Happily was in a deep spot. First thing you do is look around and see if anyone was watching. Nope, nobody near.
  5. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    Congrats! Did you know that your Raider 16 with the original carbon rig will right itself? No need to even stand on the dagger board. The configuration of the hull and the long light mast make it self-righting, like a keel boat. So, keep near the boat if you flip, or it will stand up and sail off! As for tuning and rigging information, online at under technical. If you found the spinnaker rigging guide just scroll down, and down, and down and you will find the rest. In any kind of breeze your original Raider design keeps right up with the updated Raider design, starting with boat #100. I had the last boat from the original mold, #99. It was left over when the new mold came along. Mark at the factory gave me the hull and I cobbled together the rig, used sails, etc. The only real difference in handling from the new mold boats is the newer ones have a fuller bow area and a little more rocker, besides the dagger board well forward a bit to make the boat balance with the jib. So, in waves, sit well back! Enjoy! Dave Ellis Raider #133
  6. sailwriter

    successful dinghy brand available

    No, Trinka 8', 10' and 12' are also built by Johannsen Boat Works in Florida, as is the Windmill. Mark Johannsen also builds the Raider 16, starting with its original configuration with carbon mast, mainsail and asymmetrical spinnaker. It would right itself without crew help! The updated Raider Sport with aluminum spars, main and jib, and the Turbo which adds the asymmetrical spin, has an updated hull shape. The Sport model won the Mug Race on handicap over 80+ boats in May. This boat is superior to many dinghies of the size. Oh, and I've sailed them all, believe me. But promotion, demo traveling team, boat shows, print ads all are expensive. Dave Ellis
  7. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    By newer hulls I mean any from the new mold. Since Johannsen Boat Works started building the Raider, any boat would be equal in excellent quality. Big difference in skipper ability among boats in the fleet though. I used to write up the Mug Race each year in Southwinds magazine. Pretty much retired now. But results are on the Rudder Club website.
  8. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    Yes. To keep at the price point, the carbon spars had to go. Economics. The new mold, as stated, is much more sea-kindly, although in smooth water the original hull shape would be potentially faster. Not in the real world. As you may know, the Raider with jib but without screecher or spinnaker won Dinghy class and won on handicap over the whole 88-boat fleet in the May 35-mile Mug Race this year. And it was sailed single handed by a 73 year old curmudgeon. It is really a comfortable boat for one or two, and able to be anchored out overnight and still be upright in the morning. Oh, and I have no vested interest in the company. Just like the boat. Dave Ellis
  9. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    I have had no structural problems with the Raider, and I have owned four of them. The first was the original hull shape used as a test bed to help develop the souped up Turbo with jib. It was older and used really hard. The lower gudgeon finally broke. Simple to replace with the nearby access port. The boats made from the new mold are better in chop/waves due to a little more rocker and Fuller bow area. Dave Ellis
  10. sailwriter

    Classic American Dinghies

    Windmill and original Pram.
  11. sailwriter

    boat advice requested

    Yep, and that Mug Race winning Raider is for sale on their website.
  12. sailwriter

    What's the Tiniest Asymmetrical Spinnaker You Know Of

    I have an Optimist sail on my old Phoenix Tandem kayak. I put a small jib on it and found little change in upwind speed. Significant help off the wind. Suggest instead of an asymmetrical, just get a small jib.
  13. sailwriter

    Best Race Committee Boats

    Sounds ideal, and comfy enough to attract volunteers.
  14. sailwriter

    Best Race Committee Boats

    Yes, that's why those high, comfy RC boats may be nice for the Signal Boat staff, but not for competitors. I do dinghy fleet's. They must be able to sight from the non-start side, through the orange flag, over or through the RC Signal Boat to the windward edge of the start pin and to something beyond. Yes, the skipper usually has to stand. For dinghies, the big RC boats also cast a significant wind shadow. Tougher to find volunteers on those big boats, though! Dave Ellis
  15. sailwriter

    Best Race Committee Boats

    Yes, point taken. Don't want the flag in the spotters' line of sight. Besides, that flag is noisey right above those gazing eyes. I worked for a decade with the writer of that RC Manuel. When you say she did everything by the book, it was literally so. Dave Ellis