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    • UnderDawg

      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

      Sailing Anarchy is a very lightly moderated site. This is by design, to afford a more free atmosphere for discussion. There are plenty of sailing forums you can go to where swearing isn't allowed, confrontation is squelched and, and you can have a moderator finger-wag at you for your attitude. SA tries to avoid that and allow for more adult behavior without moderators editing your posts and whacking knuckles with rulers. We don't have a long list of published "thou shalt nots" either, and this is by design. Too many absolute rules paints us into too many corners. So check the Terms of Service - there IS language there about certain types of behavior that is not permitted. We interpret that lightly and permit a lot of latitude, but we DO reserve the right to take action when something is too extreme to tolerate (too racist, graphic, violent, misogynistic, etc.). Yes, that is subjective, but it allows us discretion. Avoiding a laundry list of rules allows for freedom; don't abuse it. However there ARE a few basic rules that will earn you a suspension, and apparently a brief refresher is in order. 1) Allegations of pedophilia - there is no tolerance for this. So if you make allegations, jokes, innuendo or suggestions about child molestation, child pornography, abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors etc. about someone on this board you will get a time out. This is pretty much automatic; this behavior can have real world effect and is not acceptable. Obviously the subject is not banned when discussion of it is apropos, e.g. talking about an item in the news for instance. But allegations or references directed at or about another poster is verboten. 2) Outing people - providing real world identifiable information about users on the forums who prefer to remain anonymous. Yes, some of us post with our real names - not a problem to use them. However many do NOT, and if you find out someone's name keep it to yourself, first or last. This also goes for other identifying information too - employer information etc. You don't need too many pieces of data to figure out who someone really is these days. Depending on severity you might get anything from a scolding to a suspension - so don't do it. I know it can be confusing sometimes for newcomers, as SA has been around almost twenty years and there are some people that throw their real names around and their current Display Name may not match the name they have out in the public. But if in doubt, you don't want to accidentally out some one so use caution, even if it's a personal friend of yours in real life. 3) Posting While Suspended - If you've earned a timeout (these are fairly rare and hard to get), please observe the suspension. If you create a new account (a "Sock Puppet") and return to the forums to post with it before your suspension is up you WILL get more time added to your original suspension and lose your Socks. This behavior may result a permanent ban, since it shows you have zero respect for the few rules we have and the moderating team that is tasked with supporting them. Check the Terms of Service you agreed to; they apply to the individual agreeing, not the account you created, so don't try to Sea Lawyer us if you get caught. Just don't do it. Those are the three that will almost certainly get you into some trouble. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DO ONE OF THESE THINGS, please do the following: Refrain from quoting the offending text, it makes the thread cleanup a pain in the rear Press the Report button; it is by far the best way to notify Admins as we will get e-mails. Calling out for Admins in the middle of threads, sending us PM's, etc. - there is no guarantee we will get those in a timely fashion. There are multiple Moderators in multiple time zones around the world, and anyone one of us can handle the Report and all of us will be notified about it. But if you PM one Mod directly and he's off line, the problem will get dealt with much more slowly. Other behaviors that you might want to think twice before doing include: Intentionally disrupting threads and discussions repeatedly. Off topic/content free trolling in threads to disrupt dialog Stalking users around the forums with the intent to disrupt content and discussion Repeated posting of overly graphic or scatological porn content. There are plenty web sites for you to get your freak on, don't do it here. And a brief note to Newbies... No, we will not ban people or censor them for dropping F-bombs on you, using foul language, etc. so please don't report it when one of our members gives you a greeting you may find shocking. We do our best not to censor content here and playing swearword police is not in our job descriptions. Sailing Anarchy is more like a bar than a classroom, so handle it like you would meeting someone a little coarse - don't look for the teacher. Thanks.
Ajax

The Discarded- Rescuing a Tartan 33

776 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Ajax said:

-We both suck at Scrabble. Fortunately, we're better at the game "hide the salami."

 

Pics or it didn't happen! Oh wait... :lol:

Despite the weather looks like you still had a great time! Nice write up, thanks!

 

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Gee I hope you find that Salami, it sure would stink up the bilge over the summer :)

"Find the dripping stuffing box" is the game I'd be playing on a week cruise, but that's not nearly as fun as it sounds.

FYI, I was keen on this 33 earlier this Spring http://www.tartan33.com/photo-gallery.html but ended up getting an even nicer Ericson 35 MkIII,  This Tartan is still for sail I think and is worth a look if you're in Annap. area.  Hey you could 1-design with Ajax.

 

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I know of at least two other T-33's, so OD is at least a remote possibility!

OMFG, wait till I tease my spousal unit about the "stuffing box" game. She'll die laughing! I can hear it now- "Well get down there and tighten it up!"

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Yeah, I have some pictures. I'm bad about posting them.

I'm sure I hammered my house battery, but I think it will recover. It's an ordinary, Sears Diehard marine deep cycle battery so I don't mind bashing it while I experiment with the solar panel.

My anchor light isn't LED yet either for the same reason. One area that I underestimated in my energy budget, was the constant charging of personal devices. They were heavily used during the dim, rainy days to help pass the time. At 1-2 amps, it definitely matters.

I'm surprised at how efficient the propane oven/stove is. For the amount of cooking we did, I surely thought I'd be down to about 1/3 of an 11lb. bottle but it still feels mostly full. I'm going to weigh it once I know the empty bottle weight is, and figure out how much I really used.

There are numbers stamped on the cylinder. Tare weight is the weight of the cylinder empty. 

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Ah, sweet. Saves the hassle of trying to find it on the inter-webs again and probably more accurate.

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Yeah, those anchor lights are definitely worth converting to LED since by definition your engine and solar aren't active and they stay on for ~8 hours at a time. I used to use ~8Ah for a night at anchor with an incandescent versus about 1.5Ah with an LED. if all you're doing with your propane is cooking on a stovetop, it'll last forever. The oven and/or a barbeque will use more but it'll still go a good long time. 

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We used the oven several times- multiple batches of chocolate chip cookies (don't judge, we shared them with guests!) and broiled salmon. I only grilled (using a separate propane bottle) a few times due to all the rain.

That's why I figured we'd be low on gas.

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Mmmm, rainy day cookies on a boat. Goes great with salami.

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On 5/9/2017 at 10:12 AM, Ajax said:

Well, I was DFL last Wednesday. 

The RC changed the course at literally the last moment before initiating the start sequence.  They did give some blasts on the Ollie to indicate a course change before kicking off the start sequence but nearly all of us misinterpreted the signal as a RC/Ollie malfunction, which happens plenty of times.

Out on the course, most of us were about to drive to the wrong mark when we spied the one boat doing the right thing. The rest of us dove for the correct mark, but this put me on a bad point of sail and my speed fell off terribly. I was screwed from that moment on.

On Saturday, I solo'd in the WRSC Shorthand race and took 2nd out of 5 boats in the spinnaker division...which never flew a spinnaker due to the wind being well forward of the beam the entire time.

I got my solar panel support frame back from the welder. He did a fantastic job despite my crappy design. The whole solar panel/polycarbonate sheet/aluminum frame assembly weighs about 15lbs. It attaches to the aft rail like a Honda whale-tail spoiler. It detaches for removal and stowage in 30 seconds or folds down against the stern.

It'll be interesting to see how it works out during my 10 day cruise this month.

My solar installation is much less ambitious. It was only intended to trickle charge the battery over the winter. I use a canvas cover that's  pretty high and makes for few sunny locations.The boat faces ESE in the winter, which means the panel gets the morning sun. I had originally intended to put it facing to starboard, i.e.south, but the stern rail didn't offer a secure position. 

 

It's pure coincidence that the panel size is a good match for the rail spacing.

 

 

Solar ib c.jpg

Solar ob c.jpg

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That's all you need, for a battery tender.

Like you, I had to mount a panel facing vertically in order to catch any meaningful rays during the winter because the sun is so low. I bungee'd it to my boom, facing east.

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Thanks to Illegal Smile, I've been able to cobble together a Franken-pilot from Autohelm pieces that should last until the next Defender Spring Sale, when I can purchase a new Evo pilot. The drive unit mount pieces should arrive today or tomorrow.

I have to say, between the wheel lock and the boat's natural balance, I have not been "dying" without an autopilot. The thing will hold a course long enough for me to grab a drink, take a piss or casually make my way to the bow and back to clear a fouled sheet.

I've purchased a 3-way switch rated for 20 amps so that I can easily toggle the solar panel output between battery banks. I've also repaired the hot water supply side leak in the fresh water system. As one might expect, it's really time to replace *all* the fresh water system hoses, which I plan on doing soon.

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I ask you, who does this??
 
I ordered Raymarine wheel pilot drive unit mounts from Defender. The package photo shows a collection of U-shaped pieces for mounting the drive unit to your wheel. When it arrived, I observed that all of the U's are different sizes. This kit is only for ONE wheel spoke! You have to order THREE of these kits in order to get 3 of the same size mounts, and then you're left with 3 complete sets of useless mounts! If this isn't some kind of a money making scam, I don't know what is. To make it worse, I wanted the autopilot for a race I'm doing on Saturday night so I had to place another order today, and pay for overnight shipping!

In other lousy news, I completely blew last night's beer can race. As a singlehander, I try to keep a little extra distance from the crewed boats because they already perceive me to be a hazard. I grossly misjudged my distance to the starting line and found myself in a safe position alright- very, very far behind. I blew the start, blew the race. I am also due for a hull cleaning now that the water is finally warm enough. I know that's part of what's killing me.

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Sorry to hear about your "safe start".  On the messed up hardware front, I cannot fathom ordering 3 kits to get a complete set.  I had my own little episode with stuff not being as expected with my new Mantus anchor but, at least it was taken care of quickly and to my satisfaction.   When it arrived, 2 out of the  6 bolts supplied with the anchor were of the wrong size.  To their credit Mantus responded to my email inquiry, on a Friday night, within 30 minutes and the correct bolts were shipped, free of charge, arriving the following Monday.

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Ajax, I suspect that the reason there are 3 different sizes in one kit versus 3 different kits all with the same size in each kit is most people would have no idea what size they need. I know I would not. Do you think taking that measurement would prove challenging? If so then Raymarine might have been getting a lot of returns with "these do not fit my wheel" let's try another size. So Raymarine did the "easy" thing and "just send them all 3 sizes". Agree it's frustrating having 6 perfectly good fittings that you probably will have no use for but I think that is the reasoning behind it. Good luck Saturday!

 

 

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Cheeze and Rice, Hobie,  I'd simply slap my cheap-o digital micrometer on one of the spokes, or eyeball a tape measure on it.  Yeah, I'm sure Raymarine got some returns from bad guessers, so let's punish everyone.  Maybe I can gift the other sets to sailors in need...

I'm doing a moonlight race in the shorthanded class above the bay bridge on Saturday with my not-very-experienced daughter and the new/old autopilot. Breeze looks light and there is a substantial downwind leg, so I've entered the spinnaker division. Even though the rig is fractional, the kite size seems a good bit larger than the Pearson 30.

Hey, what could go wrong?

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Woe! Woe be unto me and my cursed racing!

I had the most incredible beer can race last night. A beautiful start, kept most of the fleet at arm's length for the entire first leg.  I suffer a bit on the upwind legs because I point the worst out of all of my competitors. As a result, the vector between us grew wider and wider and they had the inside track to the upwind mark.

The short story is, I was mere seconds behind everyone but just missed overcoming the handicap. I was 10 seconds behind #2, three seconds behind #3 and two seconds behind #4.  I managed to beat a Ranger 37.

The leader is a B 36.7, who rates 84 to my 162.  That guy pulls a horizon job on the entire fleet every night and we were all about 2 minutes behind him, so I don't let that bother me, but I should pwned the rest of the fleet.

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Ajax, you might be the right person to ask to start... I raced my Tanzer for the first time on Sunday.  Non-sailor crew, fuzzy bottom, no spinnaker, blown main, wind to 24 kts, and all.  Best I can say is that we finished.  And that the kids kept wanting more heel!  We stopped half way through to reef.  The club was locked and empty by the time we finished tidying sails.  Anyway, given the fleet even with everything perfect it would take a minor miracle to place, so what I would like to do is to improve enough to be able to have a beer after, and part of that is getting spinnaker gear on the boat.  What tips do you have for short handed racing gear placement?  I can get the gear from someone upgrading a racing boat, I have the pole and the sail, nothing else.  And I will be looking at diagrams off of various web sites.

Cheers,

Groundhog

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Oh boy...I've been in your shoes. Sometimes, I still am!

Tanzer is a tiller boat, I assume.  At 24kts, you don't really need a spinnaker. You're going as fast as you're going to go. For singlehanding, you need to practice your tacks. 

- Always load the lazy winch shortly after tacking to prepare for the next tack.

- Steer with your knees so that you can release the old sheet and haul in the new sheet. 

- Remove the cam cleat on the vang block at the base of the mast and install a cabin top cleat so that the vang can be operated without going forward.

Not everything needs to be run to the cockpit but figure out what you use the most, and make it accessible and efficient. Get a whisker pole for non-spin, downwind work. Clean the hull and get better sails. (Easier said that done, I know.)  Check with Bacon Sails. They work well with long distance customers and have a huge, used sail inventory. They probably have something that will fit well, that is better than what you're using.

Practice, practice, practice. Especially your starts.

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Hi Groundhog,

I'm not Ajax - but I thought I'd throw in my two cents since I used to race with a non-sailor crew.

There are two critical things that you need to get around the course quickly with a non-sailor crew - and neither of them involves a spinnaker. You need good racing sails (..a good mainsail, a good 155% genoa, and perhaps a good working jib for the breezy days). Then, you need a clean bottom - it doesn't need to be perfect, but it needs to be good. No matter what else you do or don't do, if your sails are crap and your bottom is "fuzzy", you are resigned to finishing poorly if the people you are racing against are half good. 

With a non-sailing crew, I would suggest you sail non-spinnaker - at least at first. We actually used to beat some of the novice crewed spinnaker boats on a boat-for-boat basis because by the time they got the twist out of the sail from the hoist, and pulled in their shrimp net from the dousing, we had passed them. Spinnaker work for non-sailors is very complicated and confusing, and can lead to all sorts of screw-ups that can lead to deflated morale and confidence. So, until everybody has risen to the point that using a spinnaker adds to the fun, I suggest staying "non-spinnaker", and concentrating on the basics. 

With good sails and a clean bottom, you should be doing a lot better soon. An adjustable whisker pole that extends as long as the LP on your 155% genoa will make your downwind legs more palatable, and your fore-deck crew will get some good practice at setting, jibing, and dropping the pole efficiently - which will help if you go "spinnaker" later.

If it ever looks like you are completely blown out on a race, that is a great time to put a newbee on the helm and give them a taste of driving. Also, when you are making decisions about tacking and jibing, talk out loud so the crew can hear your thoughts and begin to understand what your important considerations are. (EXAMPLE: We want to arrive at the windward mark on Starboard tack ..or we don't want to get on the lay line this far out because we won't benefit from any possible lifts, etc.)  Talking about what you are doing while you are doing it will go a long way toward turning your crew into sailors. 

Finally, when it get to the point that you start losing races by seconds rather than hours, you can focus on things like removing extraneous weight from the boat, fancy racing sails, and all the details that racers like to obsess over. For most round the buoy racing the biggest single impactor on performance is how you well do on the start -  and that is something you can work on with every race, and even a bit on non-race days, Getting a good start is often more than half the race - 30 seconds after the flag goes up, you can often guess how the rest of the race will go. So, getting a good start is important - and it doesn't cost a lot of money either, Just practice. :)

Hope this helps.

Start

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The results from last Wednesday's race are in-

I have finally made up those precious seconds. I took 2nd out of 7 boats, solo against crewed boats. I finally got the boom vang run where I can use it more easily and made a jib car adjustment that seems to help. I think I was choking off the jib in light/mid range.

I feel like this was my most legitimate improvement yet so far-

All 7 boats started, finished and were scored. My competitors have been getting better and faster. No one made any glaring errors such as running aground or missing race marks.  I'll probably never pull it off again, but making the podium just once, was really nice.

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Congrats!

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10 minutes ago, Tom Scott said:

Also, when you are making decisions about tacking and jibing, talk out loud so the crew can hear your thoughts and begin to understand what your important considerations are. (EXAMPLE: We want to arrive at the windward mark on Starboard tack ..or we don't want to get on the lay line this far out because we won't benefit from any possible lifts, etc.)  Talking about what you are doing while you are doing it will go a long way toward turning your crew into sailors. 

^^^This!! 

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Hi Groundhog  - Also-not-Ajax  

Your boat's speed is limited by the hull, so a spinnaker in 24kts might have slowed you down more than sped you up either by plowing the bow in or repeatedly rounding you up.  And that's assuming your crew has a lot of experience flying a chute.  Like mentioned, get race tuned first, spin second.   It can take a year or two to get the hang of a boat in race-mode. Even longer to get really competitive, but stick with it and it gets even more fun when every start is a possible win.

Besides the obvious smooth faired bottom and crisp shapely sails, a little things that really make a huge difference is crew consistency.  Getting a full crew on the boat each week is a major component of winning so keeping your mate's tails wagging and eager to come back for more is key.  Again there are obvious things like good food and drink (you don't have to provide, just coordinate to make it happen), and not quite as obvious: NO YELLING. EVER, and even less obvious, like someone mentioned earlier: make sure everyone gets a chance to drive now and then, and switch up positions so everyone knows what the other guy's pain points are.

A decent cheap starting watch will alleviate half the stress of the first 5 minutes.  With PHRF racing your strategic goals are simply tacking on appropriate wind and current shifts, covering your closest competitors, and balancing not-tacking-to-much and not over-standing lay lines.   Not hitting other boats is good too.  Have Fun!

 

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Hi Groundhog! Another not Ajax person here..... All off the above are great points. One that didn't see though is, in my opinion, most important is to get out and practice. Set up a start line and practice your timing to get there at the right time, practice putting up and taking down sails, tacking, gybing, everything. What size is your Tanzer too?

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I knew I would get a lot of good input from Ajax's thread!  Including from Not-Ajax.  All good.  Thank you to all.

No question I would not have flown the spinnaker in the 24 kts.  Might have been useful on the first leg, 10 kts, though.  No question that I need to get all the other things right first too - practice!  And scrubbing.  I am able to practice on my own a couple times a week.

I will still start to figure out setting up the spin gear, though, since the bits and pieces are available, and since by the time I get everything done I will have another two months practice under my belt!  Lots of figuring about where the blocks need to go, how the pole (double ended) attaches to the mast, and so forth.  All very much different than the J92 which is my regular evening race ride. 

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15 minutes ago, hard aground said:

Hi Groundhog! Another not Ajax person here..... All off the above are great points. One that didn't see though is, in my opinion, most important is to get out and practice. Set up a start line and practice your timing to get there at the right time, practice putting up and taking down sails, tacking, gybing, everything. What size is your Tanzer too?

...You should take Ajax and me off ignore. :D:D

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Oh boy...I've been in your shoes. Sometimes, I still am!

Tanzer is a tiller boat, I assume.  At 24kts, you don't really need a spinnaker. You're going as fast as you're going to go. For singlehanding, you need to practice your tacks. 

- Always load the lazy winch shortly after tacking to prepare for the next tack.

- Steer with your knees so that you can release the old sheet and haul in the new sheet. 

- Remove the cam cleat on the vang block at the base of the mast and install a cabin top cleat so that the vang can be operated without going forward.

Not everything needs to be run to the cockpit but figure out what you use the most, and make it accessible and efficient. Get a whisker pole for non-spin, downwind work. Clean the hull and get better sails. (Easier said that done, I know.)  Check with Bacon Sails. They work well with long distance customers and have a huge, used sail inventory. They probably have something that will fit well, that is better than what you're using.

Practice, practice, practice. Especially your starts.

Tiller boat, yes.  I have the proper tiller off for a repair, and the temporary spare is more than a little clunky!

Tacks are a work in progress.  So far I tend to either over- or under-rotate a lot, though by the end of yesterday I was hitting them more frequently.

I assume that in tacking the main is more or less left to fend for itself?

Good idea for the vang.  I think that is the only line that really has to be brought back to the cockpit.  Traveller is on the bridge deck in front of the companionway, good location, with a pin-and-car type control so I have to pre-set the position before loading, but I can live with that.  Headsails are hanked, and there is a dousing line rigged, seems fine windage notwithstanding.

The start yesterday I was within a few seconds of perfect.  Doesn't mean as much as it might since the next slowest boats were the Sonar fleet... later on there will be three boats in the same 200+ rating band...

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3 minutes ago, Tom Scott said:

...You should take Ajax and me off ignore. :D:D

Ha ha!  I almost put this query on your thread first, Tom, but it didn't make sense to double post, I know you read here, and Ajax is in the middle of figuring out the racing thing.  No shortage of good experience in this forum.

Edit: oh, you weren't addressing me there.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

The results from last Wednesday's race are in-

I have finally made up those precious seconds. I took 2nd out of 7 boats, solo against crewed boats. I finally got the boom vang run where I can use it more easily and made a jib car adjustment that seems to help. I think I was choking off the jib in light/mid range.

I feel like this was my most legitimate improvement yet so far-

All 7 boats started, finished and were scored. My competitors have been getting better and faster. No one made any glaring errors such as running aground or missing race marks.  I'll probably never pull it off again, but making the podium just once, was really nice.

It won't be just once, Ajax.  I think being competitive can become addictive.

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1 hour ago, Tom Scott said:

Hi Groundhog,

I'm not Ajax - but I thought I'd throw in my two cents since I used to race with a non-sailor crew.

There are two critical things that you need to get around the course quickly with a non-sailor crew - and neither of them involves a spinnaker. You need good racing sails (..a good mainsail, a good 155% genoa, and perhaps a good working jib for the breezy days). Then, you need a clean bottom - it doesn't need to be perfect, but it needs to be good. No matter what else you do or don't do, if your sails are crap and your bottom is "fuzzy", you are resigned to finishing poorly if the people you are racing against are half good. 

I'll look to the bottom as soon as I can find my wetsuit... as for sails, in a couple weeks I'll put my better main on - I do have a dacron main that is only a couple years old that was taken off for delivery and early learning thrashing - but the headsails will have to suffice for this year.

1 hour ago, Tom Scott said:

With a non-sailing crew, I would suggest you sail non-spinnaker - at least at first. We actually used to beat some of the novice crewed spinnaker boats on a boat-for-boat basis because by the time they got the twist out of the sail from the hoist, and pulled in their shrimp net from the dousing, we had passed them. Spinnaker work for non-sailors is very complicated and confusing, and can lead to all sorts of screw-ups that can lead to deflated morale and confidence. So, until everybody has risen to the point that using a spinnaker adds to the fun, I suggest staying "non-spinnaker", and concentrating on the basics. 

.nalp eht si nips-noN

Or... non-spin is the plan.  (That backwards text is not on purpose; weird.  Seems to be a quirk of splitting quoted text.) 

1 hour ago, Tom Scott said:

With good sails and a clean bottom, you should be doing a lot better soon. An adjustable whisker pole that extends as long as the LP on your 155% genoa will make your downwind legs more palatable, and your fore-deck crew will get some good practice at setting, jibing, and dropping the pole efficiently - which will help if you go "spinnaker" later.

Re: whisker pole, if I can find one cheap or going begging I'll get one this year, but it might have to wait too.  The spin pole is presumably too heavy and unwieldy.

1 hour ago, Tom Scott said:

If it ever looks like you are completely blown out on a race, that is a great time to put a newbee on the helm and give them a taste of driving. Also, when you are making decisions about tacking and jibing, talk out loud so the crew can hear your thoughts and begin to understand what your important considerations are. (EXAMPLE: We want to arrive at the windward mark on Starboard tack ..or we don't want to get on the lay line this far out because we won't benefit from any possible lifts, etc.)  Talking about what you are doing while you are doing it will go a long way toward turning your crew into sailors. 

Finally, when it get to the point that you start losing races by seconds rather than hours, you can focus on things like removing extraneous weight from the boat, fancy racing sails, and all the details that racers like to obsess over. For most round the buoy racing the biggest single impactor on performance is how you well do on the start -  and that is something you can work on with every race, and even a bit on non-race days, Getting a good start is often more than half the race - 30 seconds after the flag goes up, you can often guess how the rest of the race will go. So, getting a good start is important - and it doesn't cost a lot of money either, Just practice. :)

Hope this helps.

It all helps, and I really appreciate the responses.

 

1 hour ago, Tom Scott said:

Start

(Response cut into the quote above)

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30 minutes ago, hard aground said:

Hi Groundhog! Another not Ajax person here..... All off the above are great points. One that didn't see though is, in my opinion, most important is to get out and practice. Set up a start line and practice your timing to get there at the right time, practice putting up and taking down sails, tacking, gybing, everything. What size is your Tanzer too?

Our start line is permanent and handy, so I can and will practice on that... and everything else.  At least that is the plan.  Tanzer 8.5, "Possum".  With enough work I hope to be at least in touch with the fleet of an afternoon...

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1 hour ago, debonAir said:

Hi Groundhog  - Also-not-Ajax  

Your boat's speed is limited by the hull, so a spinnaker in 24kts might have slowed you down more than sped you up either by plowing the bow in or repeatedly rounding you up.  And that's assuming your crew has a lot of experience flying a chute.  Like mentioned, get race tuned first, spin second.   It can take a year or two to get the hang of a boat in race-mode. Even longer to get really competitive, but stick with it and it gets even more fun when every start is a possible win.

Besides the obvious smooth faired bottom and crisp shapely sails, a little things that really make a huge difference is crew consistency.  Getting a full crew on the boat each week is a major component of winning so keeping your mate's tails wagging and eager to come back for more is key.  Again there are obvious things like good food and drink (you don't have to provide, just coordinate to make it happen), and not quite as obvious: NO YELLING. EVER, and even less obvious, like someone mentioned earlier: make sure everyone gets a chance to drive now and then, and switch up positions so everyone knows what the other guy's pain points are.

A decent cheap starting watch will alleviate half the stress of the first 5 minutes.  With PHRF racing your strategic goals are simply tacking on appropriate wind and current shifts, covering your closest competitors, and balancing not-tacking-to-much and not over-standing lay lines.   Not hitting other boats is good too.  Have Fun!

 

Oh yeah, a spin at 24 kts would have been more of a circus than a drag race.

The racing is definitely a side-venture for this boat.  If I want to go fast and win I'll be on the J.  I expect that even with everything done up perfectly and lots of practice I am not going to win club races except in exceptional circumstances because of how PHRF tends to work, but I'm ok with that.  In a couple of years I might like to try out the slow boat division at Chester Race Week, though, so improvement is valuable.

All the race strategy will come with time (I have a dinghy background and 16 years on the J, so it isn't a stretch).

Thank you all.

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Now that I see the picture above.. there's some weird stuff going on there.  The M30 on the right looks to be in the lead and about to get lee bowed (or clobbered) by the was- port tacker. The main shape looks ok even with the reef (that's hard to do sometimes I think) and that all makes sense and why she's out front.    Fancy Free though? with no reef she's over powered, probably slipping to leeward fast, and flogging that super pretty kevlar main.  But is that a dodger?  That's not fast.  The boat right in front has a reefed main and what appears to be a 10% roll-reef in the jib.  I've never seen someone race with a partially reefed jib before.  I suppose a small roll doesn't kill the shape, but I'd almost be inclined to just drop the main and sail on the full jib alone here. Thoughts?

Moral of the picture story is to have a small jib ready for windy days, know how to flatten your reefed main, and take off the dodger, bimini, and other windage before the start.  

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3 hours ago, debonAir said:

corrected time, Now that I see the picture above.. there's some weird stuff going on there.  The M30 on the right looks to be in the lead and about to get lee bowed (or clobbered) by the was- port tacker. The main shape looks ok even with the reef (that's hard to do sometimes I think) and that all makes sense and why she's out front.    Fancy Free though? with no reef she's over powered, probably slipping to leeward fast, and flogging that super pretty kevlar main.  But is that a dodger?  That's not fast.  The boat right in front has a reefed main and what appears to be a 10% roll-reef in the jib.  I've never seen someone race with a partially reefed jib before.  I suppose a small roll doesn't kill the shape, but I'd almost be inclined to just drop the main and sail on the full jib alone here. Thoughts?

Moral of the picture story is to have a small jib ready for windy days, know how to flatten your reefed main, and take off the dodger, bimini, and other windage before the start.  

Hi debonAir,

I was sailing the Morgan 30. The picture was taken shortly after the start of the second race on a very windy day. The boat below me was an Alerion 28 who tried to cross on port tack but couldn't. It wasn't really as close as it looked, he was maybe a boat length to leward when he fell onto starboard tack with the rest of us. Fancy Free actually won that race- and the whole regatta too. (..My old Morgan came in second.)  However, we beat the Alerion 28 around the race course every race on both days of the regatta, and I was pretty proud about that.

As for the dodger, understand that this regatta was being sailed in January by people who have become acclimated to southwest Florida.:D When we left the dock, the temp was in the upper 40's, and the high temp for the day was 55` with a 20+ knot breeze. (...Hey, if I'd had a dodger, it would have been UP! :D). Most of us wimps down here us would not go outside on such a day, let alone race - but racing often makes you sail when you'd otherwise not.  Also, this group is the non-spinnaker class, so we are less than hardcore racers... except I did brag about beating that Aileron 28 around the race course. 

Here is the start form the previous day - I took that too, but Fancy Free walked over me on this first leg, and I ended up taking a second again. Still, I beat the Alerion 28 boat-for-boat again (..that is him on my port quarter), so I was all smiles. I did not beat the J-32 boat-for-boat, but I finished about 40 seconds behind him which crushed him on corrected time. Actually, I crushed everybody but Fancy Free on corrected time as I was the highest rated boat sailing in the non-spinnaker class while I could beat many of them boat-for-boat.

start4a

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22 hours ago, Ajax said:

The results from last Wednesday's race are in-

I have finally made up those precious seconds. I took 2nd out of 7 boats, solo against crewed boats. I finally got the boom vang run where I can use it more easily and made a jib car adjustment that seems to help. I think I was choking off the jib in light/mid range.

I feel like this was my most legitimate improvement yet so far-

All 7 boats started, finished and were scored. My competitors have been getting better and faster. No one made any glaring errors such as running aground or missing race marks.  I'll probably never pull it off again, but making the podium just once, was really nice.

Your club has a podium?

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Starts. A common error of new racers is being too far from the line at the gun. I'm talking 100yds or more away. Thats going to make you a minute or two late. The way to avoid thst problem is to be right up at the line  at the 5 min gun, and staying close. That means sailing in a mess of boats going in different  directions, so get familiar with the rules about port/starboard and windward/leftward.

My boat does not point high so I try to start to lee of the crowd when possible, or all alone in the middle of the line as a second choice.  A close-winded boar to Lee is trouble.

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14 minutes ago, SemiSalt said:

Your club has a podium?

Yes.

Yes they do.

That's right. :D

Ajaxwins!

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35 minutes ago, SemiSalt said:

Starts. A common error of new racers is being too far from the line at the gun. I'm talking 100yds or more away. Thats going to make you a minute or two late. The way to avoid thst problem is to be right up at the line  at the 5 min gun, and staying close. That means sailing in a mess of boats going in different  directions, so get familiar with the rules about port/starboard and windward/leftward.

My boat does not point high so I try to start to lee of the crowd when possible, or all alone in the middle of the line as a second choice.  A close-winded boar to Lee is trouble.

I'm not sure how Groundhog's Tanzer behaves, but parking on the line would not be a good option for my Morgan 30. I need to be moving near top speed when the gun goes off, or I absolutely will be walked over in short order. It takes me much longer to get up to speed than my lighter fin keeled competition. (...Also, if I EVER had to do two 360` penalty turns, I might as well withdraw from the race!)  

I like to time a run on a beam reach out, and tack or jibe to be back on the line at the horn. I do have to make some adjustements for other boats that may take me up, or cause me to duck below, but getting to the line at speed is the goal. If the Tanzer accelerates well, then perhaps getting near the line and "parking" can work - but if it is slow to roll (like my boat), staying moving may be more important.  My Morgan 30 is not the most nimble boat around the race course, especially when I'm racing smaller boats.

 

In this really old "low quality" video by Tom Ray, you can see Whimsy starting at the 30 second mark of the video.  If I recall correctly, the pesky Morgan 24 beat me on corrected time. :ph34r:

 

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I never said to park on the line. I said don't get caught 100yds away because you are uncomfortable in the melee.

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1 minute ago, SemiSalt said:

I never said to park on the line. I said don't get caught 100yds away because you are uncomfortable in the melee.

Apologies then.-_-

I read your comment of: "...be right up at the line at the 5 min gun, and staying close." as more or less parking because "staying close" for 5 long minutes would otherwise be tough.

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The other option is to be at the line 5 minutes before the start, then sail away from the line for 2 minutes or so tack (or Gybe) and sail back to the line. It takes a bit of practice but van work very well.

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Takes a bit of luck too with puffs & lulls.  We usually do a quicker cycle, like one minute away, turn, one minute + back, total less than 3 minutes...

In theory the Tanzer should accelerate better than Tom S's Morgan, but not (yet) in practice.  If I had to start from a luff on the start line I would be ten length back within a minute or so because all the other boats are so much faster.  I think in a mixed fleet a running start of some variety is pretty much necessary.  Even in the fast boats on short buoy courses being slow to get up to speed at the start often makes the difference between placing and being buried.  Witness the J105 never making up the difference on the J29s after being too soft and/or slow on the line - in a one hour dying wind evening race it can be difficult to pass quickly enough to make up the handicap.

Nice to have room for a reaching start like that, Tom!

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Here's another question that hopefully fits well here, Ajax.  You are single-handing your races.  Others here will have good input too.  Which lines do you have lead back to the cockpit?  I have a pretty good idea of what I want, but without the experience to back it up, and even as recent as last night I was changing my mind about certain points based on internet research... trying to balance function with complexity, and assuming being shorthanded or solo most often.

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The thing I'd do first would be putting a traveler between the helm and cockpit that you can use while driving.  Getting the proper twist, and being able to dump the main and pull it back one-handed will be key to going upwind alone.  And that gives you the main sheet in-hand as well.  I think your Tanzer has a traveler right on the bridge deck?  Moving it on top of the transom might make it more accessible? Solo racing you aren't going to be doing sail changes often,  all you really need handy are the sheets.  The out-haul is probably next, which is handier in a clutch than on the boom when short handed, and then cunningham and vang next depending on your particular boat/conditions.

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1 hour ago, debonAir said:

The thing I'd do first would be putting a traveler between the helm and cockpit that you can use while driving.  Getting the proper twist, and being able to dump the main and pull it back one-handed will be key to going upwind alone.  And that gives you the main sheet in-hand as well.  I think your Tanzer has a traveler right on the bridge deck?  Moving it on top of the transom might make it more accessible? Solo racing you aren't going to be doing sail changes often,  all you really need handy are the sheets.  The out-haul is probably next, which is handier in a clutch than on the boom when short handed, and then cunningham and vang next depending on your particular boat/conditions.

The Tanzer traveler is on the bridge deck.  Fairly accessible as-is, especially with a tiller extension.  It wouldn't go on the transom because the boom isn't long and the sheet would sweep the cockpit.  The traveler is a pin-type, so can be pre-set before a tack; can be changed without tacking but takes both hands!  The other things you say sound reasonable.  It seems like leaving the main halyard and reefing at the mast is ok (the main halyard is actually run back to the cockpit now but in such a way that it looks like it is supposed to be at the mast and someone just added a longer rope tail on the wire halyard).

People talk about whether or not they want to leave the cockpit while underway; I can do it with only a line on the tiller with a bit of friction, and can resort to tiller pilot if necessary.  So, anything that I would adjust during a single race leg (the controls you mention primarily) should be at hand...

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1 hour ago, groundhog said:

uHere's another question that hopefully fits well here, Ajax.  You are single-handing your races.  Others here will have good input too.  Which lines do you have lead back to the cockpit?  I have a pretty good idea of what I want, but without the experience to back it up, and even as recent as last night I was changing my mind about certain points based on internet research... trying to balance function with complexity, and assuming being shorthanded or solo most often.

All my halyards, vang, outhaul and cunningham, terminate at the mast.  The jib sheets, mainsheet, and main traveler are all cockpit accessible. My boat can be set to self steer in almost conditions where the wind is forward of the beam, so going forward is easy for me alone - I just lock the rudder, and do what needs doing.  I find it fastest to have most stuff terminate at the mast because when it comes time to reef, douse, or hoist, I am going to be subject to going up there anyway. I can hoist the main faster and easier, lower it faster and neater, and reef it quicker when working at the mast where the other lines are all nearby. There is less friction, fewer snarls and snags, and faster changes. Most of my sailing is single-handed. I have sailed boats with everything led aft, and I have generally found it less desirable when sailing alone because I STILL had to go forward - to pull the mainsail down, and flake and tie it.

If I were to lead any line aft, it would be the cunningham. For me, everything else is best at the mast, with only sheets and traveler controls left to clutter the cockpit.

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37 minutes ago, Tom Scott said:

All my halyards, vang, outhaul and cunningham, terminate at the mast.  The jib sheets, mainsheet, and main traveler are all cockpit accessible. My boat can be set to self steer in almost conditions where the wind is forward of the beam, so going forward is easy for me alone - I just lock the rudder, and do what needs doing.  I find it fastest to have most stuff terminate at the mast because when it comes time to reef, douse, or hoist, I am going to be subject to going up there anyway. I can hoist the main faster and easier, lower it faster and neater, and reef it quicker when working at the mast where the other lines are all nearby. There is less friction, fewer snarls and snags, and faster changes. Most of my sailing is single-handed. I have sailed boats with everything led aft, and I have generally found it less desirable when sailing alone because I STILL had to go forward - to pull the mainsail down, and flake and tie it.

If I were to lead any line aft, it would be the cunningham. For me, everything else is best at the mast, with only sheets and traveler controls left to clutter the cockpit.

The simple way is almost as seductive as having absolutely everything - double ended - pouring into the cockpit in a waterfall of line... seriously, I have to keep reminding myself to back away from over-doing the complexity.  Might it be different, though, if you were racing, Tom?  I'm thinking that rounding a mark and having to change from upwind to downwind settings, or vice versa, it would be nice to be able to adjust at least the outhaul in addition to the cunningham without leaving the helm, and possibly the vang too, though for a given wind condition the vang could be a set-and-forget line (correct tension down-wind, slack beating).

After this I should stop hijacking Ajax's thread....

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When racing, I am usually the only person in the cockpit.  Everybody else is on the rail - and they are closer to everything that needs adjusting when it is already located at the mast. I I don't screw with the outhaul between upwind and downwind legs. I do adjust it for conditions (prior to the race), but that is done when the sail is hoisted. The only thing I mess with when racing between upwind and downwind legs is the genoa lead position, the traveler, and the cunningham. If I have crew, we might adjust jib halyard tension, but when single handing, the genoa halyard - like the outhaul - is set for the anticipated conditions and left alone thereafter.  Leading the vang aft makes it less convenient (...and take more time) to reef, when alone. I do set the vang for conditions - but when the gets light, I may have to ease it a bit more. Fortunately, when the wind gets light, it is absolutely no problem to take four steps forward and ease it. In heavy air, I generally pull it on for all it''s worth, and leave it. So,leading that aft would not be a big help for me at all. 

 

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debonAIR is right- You do want the traveler and primary winches easily accessible from the tiller. If you are satisfied with where they are, then run with it.

I'm guessing you don't have a roller furling jib. You might consider rigging a jib downhaul for dousing the jib in really bad conditions without going to the bow. You basically clip a small line to the head of the sail and reeve it through the hanks and run it through a small block attached to the stem fitting. Run the line aft, to the cockpit. This can be a temporary affair that you only rig when the forecast is marginal.

On the Tartan, I am "somewhere in between."  I only have the vang, main and spin halyards run to the cockpit. I set my cunningham at the mast when I hoist the main, and leave it. My jib is on a furler so there's no pressing need to have the jib halyard in the cockpit. My pole lift is at the mast. 

The spin pole lift could be acceptable to me in either location. I end up going forward to help pre-feed the spinnaker guy (lazy sheet) to the jaw of the pole anyway, so raising the pole at the mast is no big deal.

Having everything at the mast is ok. What you want to avoid, is having to go all the way to the bow whenever possible. It's all about your preferred ergonomics. You'll probably end up going through a few iterations before you figure out what works best for you and your boat.

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7 hours ago, Ajax said:

debonAIR is right- You do want the traveler and primary winches easily accessible from the tiller. If you are satisfied with where they are, then run with it.

I'm guessing you don't have a roller furling jib. You might consider rigging a jib downhaul for dousing the jib in really bad conditions without going to the bow. You basically clip a small line to the head of the sail and reeve it through the hanks and run it through a small block attached to the stem fitting. Run the line aft, to the cockpit. This can be a temporary affair that you only rig when the forecast is marginal.

On the Tartan, I am "somewhere in between."  I only have the vang, main and spin halyards run to the cockpit. I set my cunningham at the mast when I hoist the main, and leave it. My jib is on a furler so there's no pressing need to have the jib halyard in the cockpit. My pole lift is at the mast. 

The spin pole lift could be acceptable to me in either location. I end up going forward to help pre-feed the spinnaker guy (lazy sheet) to the jaw of the pole anyway, so raising the pole at the mast is no big deal.

Having everything at the mast is ok. What you want to avoid, is having to go all the way to the bow whenever possible. It's all about your preferred ergonomics. You'll probably end up going through a few iterations before you figure out what works best for you and your boat.

This ^^^ (bold).  Best way to figure it out is to do it.  For instance, I've already figured out that I had better figure out the reefing system!  Appears that the hardware is mostly in place for that.  I do have hanked headsails and already have a jib downhaul for dousing, works a treat, though I will put a shackle on it for quick disconnect for fine weather crewed days.  Other than set-up and put-away time I am not missing a furler so far.

I'll diagram the controls so that I know where the end result might be, so as to avoid conflicts, but then make changes one at a time and sail a lot in between.

Good responses as usual!

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On 7/8/2017 at 5:14 AM, Ajax said:

 

debonAIR is right- You do want the traveler and primary winches easily accessible from the tiller. If you are satisfied with where they are, then run with it.

 

On a tiller boat you get the advantage of a tiller extension (compared to a wheel boat). On anything normally sized that puts the whole cockpit within reach. 

My traveler and primary winches are quite far forward and my boat's cockpit is large, but they are still within reach with the tiller extension. 

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I have everything except the spin pole lift and reef lines run back to the cockpit. At some point if I can get a single line reefing system working nicely I'll get it run back too. I have been considering moving the jib halyard cleat to the mast, but there are still times that I adjust halyard tension during a race.

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Ground Hog,

A few stray thoughts:

  • On the start, my aim is to hit the line a few seconds late, at best speed, and in clear air. My boat is smaller than most of the competition, so I stay away from the pack at the favored end.
  • A "Tiller Clutch" is a very handy way to set the tiller for a short period of time. (http://www.wavefrontmarine.com/) I have no financial or other interest in it.
  • When you go out day sailing, especially when you're close reaching or beating, practice your steering, experiment with the position of your sheet leads, steer from the leeward side if possible and look at the shape of the jib and watch the tell tales. IF there is another boat around, get into the "race mode" a little bit.
  • I light air, get your weight to leeward to keep some heel, and thus better sail shape, albeit gravity induced, and keep crew movement to a minimum.

Great thread drift. Lots of good advice.

B.C. (also not Ajax)

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37 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Ground Hog,

A few stray thoughts:

  • On the start, my aim is to hit the line a few seconds late, at best speed, and in clear air. My boat is smaller than most of the competition, so I stay away from the pack at the favored end.
  • A "Tiller Clutch" is a very handy way to set the tiller for a short period of time. (http://www.wavefrontmarine.com/) I have no financial or other interest in it.
  • When you go out day sailing, especially when you're close reaching or beating, practice your steering, experiment with the position of your sheet leads, steer from the leeward side if possible and look at the shape of the jib and watch the tell tales. IF there is another boat around, get into the "race mode" a little bit.
  • I light air, get your weight to leeward to keep some heel, and thus better sail shape, albeit gravity induced, and keep crew movement to a minimum.

Great thread drift. Lots of good advice.

B.C. (also not Ajax)

Stray thoughts good, BC.  Well corralled, that is.

I don't mind mixing it up on the start line some, but it does have to be at best speed, yes, or it is all for naught.  For most of our club races the (typically) leeward end of the fixed start line is favoured but given the speed differences and the reaching angle I am better off centre of line or windward to avoid being too blanketed or getting caught having to pinch to make the first nav buoy.  (Talking like this is old hat - I've started on that line hundreds of times, but only once on my own boat so far.)

My "tiller clutch" is a line from stanchion on one side to one on the other side, looped twice around the tiller for some friction.  If the geometry works I am thinking of doing this:

http://navigatorjoel.blogspot.ca/2014/03/how-to-build-adjustable-tiller-lock-for.html

I find I can get enough straight line time to be able to go forward for a few seconds.  Eventually hope to get the balance worked out well enough to have more time than that.

Sitting to leeward will let me see the leech of the jib in the experimentation phase.  Definitely need to control the leech flutter in moderate to higher winds.  Can't bring myself to race that way, though, it just feels wrong sitting to leeward (dinghy background, maybe).  Neither of my headsails even has telltales yet; PO's were pure cruisers and I suppose didn't feel the need.  Interesting sailing by the shape of the luff again, though.

 

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If you are going to use a hiking stick on your boat, it can also be used as part of your self steering arrangement. I use a Forespar telescopic hiking stick and a "lock box" into which the end of the hiking stick is engaged to hold the tiller at a desired angle. With practice, you will be able to eyeball just how much weather or lee helm you need to dial in before you go running around the boat. To be clear, I'm not advocating this as the BEST self-steering option - I'm just suggesting that if you are going to have a hiking stick anyway, this allows that hiking stick to do "double duty" and hold the rudder in a fixed position while you attend to other things. No lines across the cockpit, no clutches, no cleats, quick to set-up and disconnect. 

The Beat

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It is amazing how fixing very minor things relieves burdens and smooths things out. These repairs are the proverbial "pebble in your shoe."  I've walked with these pebbles for so long, that I began to ignore the pain. Then when I fixed them, the relief was palpable.

- Replaced the worn out Merriman block for the backstay adjuster. Sheaves shot, cam cleat mostly frozen.

- Replaced the worn out Merriman 2-sheave deck organizer for a 4-sheave, double-decker organizer.  Sheaves were all but disintegrated, lots of friction.

-Cunningham block not equipped with cam cleat and nowhere on mast or deck to cleat it off. Replaced with new block with cam cleat.

Trivial things that make you say "Ahhh..."  Not so trivial, I've observed salt crystals inside the cabin on the underside where the port chainplate penetrates. I've never seen any water dripping down, but this seems to indicated that re-bedding the external chainplate cover is in order, so I'll be doing that this week.

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What did you do with the Merrimans? My son is a rigger and he's collecting those as antiques.  We just launched my Ericson and did the first sail yesterday. Nothing like having new furler, blocks, and sheaves. This 35 is smoother that. my oday 23. 

One fine tune for racing is replacing your old halyards with high tech rope. This dyneema stuff is sweet. No stretch at all so you just set it once and it doesn't eat away at sheaves like wire so you can use delrin sheaves. And you can get really light spin sheets etc.

 

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

It is amazing how fixing very minor things relieves burdens and smooths things out. These repairs are the proverbial "pebble in your shoe."  I've walked with these pebbles for so long, that I began to ignore the pain. Then when I fixed them, the relief was palpable.

- Replaced the worn out Merriman block for the backstay adjuster. Sheaves shot, cam cleat mostly frozen.

- Replaced the worn out Merriman 2-sheave deck organizer for a 4-sheave, double-decker organizer.  Sheaves were all but disintegrated, lots of friction.

-Cunningham block not equipped with cam cleat and nowhere on mast or deck to cleat it off. Replaced with new block with cam cleat.

Trivial things that make you say "Ahhh..."  Not so trivial, I've observed salt crystals inside the cabin on the underside where the port chainplate penetrates. I've never seen any water dripping down, but this seems to indicated that re-bedding the external chainplate cover is in order, so I'll be doing that this week.

I did the same thing on my boat when I first got it, replacing deck org sheaves, upgrading mast base turning blocks from old sleeve bearing units to Garhauer ball bearing units (and going up a size), replacing old halyards that barely fit through the organizers and cam cleats with thinner high tech stuff, etc. etc. What a difference! It's the best boat buck I've ever spent.

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55 minutes ago, debonAir said:

What did you do with the Merrimans? My son is a rigger and he's collecting those as antiques.  We just launched my Ericson and did the first sail yesterday. Nothing like having new furler, blocks, and sheaves. This 35 is smoother that. my oday 23. 

One fine tune for racing is replacing your old halyards with high tech rope. This dyneema stuff is sweet. No stretch at all so you just set it once and it doesn't eat away at sheaves like wire so you can use delrin sheaves. And you can get really light spin sheets etc.

 

The aluminum bodies of those pieces were also getting rather corroded so I chucked them in the scrap metal bin. Sorry. I'll contact you if I remove any pieces in the future.

My halyards are VPC, the mid-range, mid-tech line that lives somewhere between Sta-Set and Dyneema. It has creep that needs to be taken up eventually, but little stretch.

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3 hours ago, debonAir said:

What did you do with the Merrimans? My son is a rigger and he's collecting those as antiques.  We just launched my Ericson and did the first sail yesterday. Nothing like having new furler, blocks, and sheaves. This 35 is smoother that. my oday 23. 

One fine tune for racing is replacing your old halyards with high tech rope. This dyneema stuff is sweet. No stretch at all so you just set it once and it doesn't eat away at sheaves like wire so you can use delrin sheaves. And you can get really light spin sheets etc.

 

When one replaces wire halyards, do the sheaves generally have to be replaced too?  Something I am considering.  I'll see the top of my mast close up for the first time when the boat is hauled in October, see what the sheave condition is then.

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Standard wisdom is- "Yes."  replace sheaves when transitioning from wire to rope. The theory, is that the V-groove for wire is too sharp for rope and when loaded, creates a force that distorts and damages the core over time.

I (ahem) have *not* replaced mine on my previous Pearson 30 or the Tartan when converting from wire to rope. I made sure the sheaves weren't tore up with sharp burrs that would cut the rope cover, but that's it.  I have observed no chafe on the rope halyards and had no problems, so I'm really not sure how urgent it is to change out the sheave.

Whenever I un-step the Tartan's mast, I'll replace the sheave simply to follow best practices.

Edit: I'm adding some sketches that will indicate why you should replace them.

Blocks1.jpg

Wire_rope_Figure_3.jpg

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Woodworking question for those of you who are so talented:

I need to replace a teak tread piece on my boarding ladder. I have the raw piece of wood.  All of the other tread pieced have been routed with a "round bottom" bit to give them more contact area with the tubing, and greater stability rather than just bolting the flat piece of wood to the tubing. 

The ladder tubing is 1 inch SS.  I assume that in order to route the same type of groove in the new piece, I need a 1 inch, "round bottom" router bit?

I'm sure this seems painfully obvious to most of you but I rarely work with wood. I have a brand-new router that I've never used. In fact, I've never used a router before at all. I'm only just now learning about all of the various types of router bits.

If you think this question is dumb, wait until I come here looking for advice on replacing my cabin sole this fall/winter.

Thanks for the assist.

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routing is an adventure. Spend a lot of time rigging fixture to guide the router. make everything as rigid as possible. practice a bunch of times on scrap. route a longer piece than you need amd then trim length because the ends get messy easy. each wood type acts different so try a scrap of same wood first too. don't touch the bit. 

the PO of my boat was a very experienced wood worker with a complete shop. He built a new sole and told me "had you asked me how much I'd charge before I started I'd have said maybe 1000. After, maybe 4000. Maybe I would just say no at any price."  It's a very nice sole though.  Besis the materials being super expensive, it's fitting them all together scarfing and skiving. fittingl the bilge boards, and the fact it was the first thing put in the boat and everything else built on top of it. labor of love only.

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Oye...maybe I'll just find a shop and ask them to route the groove in the piece!

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nah, its not that bad.  just practice before hitting the real wood.  when I did a lot of routing work I setup a router table which basically turns the router into a table-saw type thing with a fence which means you hold and move the wood instead of hold and move the router, so there's less fixturing.  I find it better with the table if you don't need to plunge it in

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yup. but as always, you could probably get someone to route the step for 99, and not have another thing to store.  personally I am OK with buying a neat new tool to "save money" because I have a basement and a garage. I bet you could find a vocational school that'll route your step for fun.. good luck!

 

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For sure, I could ask around and have it done for cheap.

I like to learn new skills, I do have a garage and I do appreciate nice tools. I bought the router for household work, so buying the table isn't outside the realm of sanity. I'm sure I'd use it for other boat trim work as well.

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routers are great tools, but please be very careful, especially with a table as they are probably one of the more dangerous shop tools out there. Especially if you like your fingers. 

Small cuts a little bit at a time with sharp bits. Feed or push in the direction of the arrow on the base plate. You can get by without the table but it does make things much easier to do what you are trying to do. Get or make push blocks for table usage especially with smaller pieces like your foot tread. 

 

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Roger on the push blocks. I learned to use them with table saws and band saws.

I'm safe with power tools, I just don't do much wood work.

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I have that exact same Ryobi router table, that my old Sears plunge router is more or less permanently mounted to.  It's nothing that you couldn't make from scratch yourself, but if the price is right, it's OK.  For some reason, they've made it very difficult to reach the chuck of the router - you have to reach around some plastic bit.  And you have to tighten the adjustment screws unreasonably hard or it will drift in the middle of a cut, particularly with hardwoods. Also the router itself has some issues that make fine adjustments a pain.

I used to have a better one when I was building the house.  I outfitted Grandpa's old cast-iron table saw with a six-foot fence and had a router table integrated into the end opposite the table saw.  Used the same fences and pushers.  It was a great, but took up a whole bay in the garage.  So I sold it when the building phase of my life slowed down.  Sometimes regret that...

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Re: the original question about the ladder tread - what shank size does your router accept?  All the little sets you can get at Home Depot and Lowes are 1/4" shank.  Sounds like that project might require a larger one...

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I have a Skil 1817 which takes a 1/2" shank. I was thinking that I might have to order the necessary bit for this.

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You can also do the groove on a table saw by running the wood over the blade at an angle. Some experimentation is required...

 

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Whoa, that's cool!  Too bad I don't have a table saw. Clever, though.

Took 2nd place out of 7 boats two weeks ago. Race committee last week. Took 3rd place out of 6 boats last night. Both races solo, against crews. I think I must really make people nervous. I've got people yelling "starboard!" at me from 75 yards away when we're only moving 5 knots. Calm the fuck down, I see you!

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