T and J Racing

First boat at age 50

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Well we did it yesterday. After 2 years of lessons, studying, J24 rental time and crewing on race boats and cruisers, I traded one of my motorcycles for a San Juan 24. I followed the advice in Don Casey's "inspecting the aging sailboat" to identify potential issues, and she appears to be in very good nick all around. Local racing history, big spare sail inventory (8 total), all new running rigging including a new roller furler and 8hp outboard that starts first pull. Clean inside and out but will respond well to some spit and polish. Looks like she tagged the dock hard and punched a small hole in the bow at some point, which was glassed over but not repainted. 

First step for me is to service the outboard and all 6 winches, then take her out into Bellingham Bay and start figuring things out. I am equal parts excited and scared. It's a very different feeling than taking someone else's boat out.

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Go down to Shilshole, they used at least have a group that raced sj24's. Might pick up some pointers. Make sure the brace under the mast is good, that's about the only weak spot.

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There are a lot of old sj 24 racers in the ham.  Many in the Etchel's fleet, and a lot of folks in the cyc Thursday night races are former owners.

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Never understood the learning in and first buying of .... a keelboat. Not the way to learn IMHO, but I guess I'm old school now.

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10 minutes ago, Varan said:

Never understood the learning in and first buying of .... a keelboat. Not the way to learn IMHO, but I guess I'm old school now.

I much preferred when we started on forty-two foot waterline yawls, but shit happens.

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Yep, I was hoping to start on a vo70 but that didn't happen. Regarding the SJ24.. 6 winches? Really?

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You'll probably find that the eight sails are useful as awnings,the winches are shagged, the rigging is in urgent need of replacement and your wife would prefer something bigger!

Just my experience mind you

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Wow, you guys are SUPER helpful and optimistic! Bummer, most of the forums for activities I enjoy appear to have been overrun with folks who mistake caustic internet snark for actual wit. Shame really, I'm sure there is some genuine good knowledge to be found here. 

By the Lee, thanks very much for the links and information. That's a nice cross-section drawing of the SJ24.

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2 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

Wow, you guys are SUPER helpful and optimistic! Bummer, most of the forums for activities I enjoy appear to have been overrun with folks who mistake caustic internet snark for actual wit. Shame really, I'm sure there is some genuine good knowledge to be found here. 

By the Lee, thanks very much for the links and information. That's a nice cross-section drawing of the SJ24.

Forgive them, they knoweth all to well what they do-eth.   <_<

But it's true that sails and winches don't age well. If you could trade all 8 of those sails for a relatively new (like 3~4 sailing seasons on them) main and medium-size jib, you'd be better off. Blown-out gennies and bloopers and chicken chutes and the other extensive wardrobe of racing sails from back in the heyday are really more a distraction than a source of propulsion. Rebuilding the winches is relatively easy -if- they are new enough that parts are available. They will need springs and pawls and cleaning.

Us old salts generally don't trust other peoples' opinions of things like sails and motors and fiberglass repair, experience almost always teaches that such things are far far overvalued by everybody except the poor schmuck who has to go back and get it all right. But maybe you have newbies luck. I certainly wish so, for you.

FB- Doug

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Is this place turning into Sailnet? Jesus, some people are downers.

T&J-  Enjoy your boat, have fun. Keep an eye on things and don't delay repairs as they arise.

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Don't listen to the Debbie Downers.  Congrats on the boat purchase.  Enjoy it.  Make lots of mistakes.  Learn.  Take your time.  Work through the issues one by one but keep sailing it and adjust your plan as you learn about the boat.  I think you picked a perfect sized boat to get started.  

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Regarding the "Winch Farm" aspect - that was sort of the trend then,  no unlike bell-bottom pants or really wide neck ties - if simplifying the deck layout seems to make sense to you at some point,  or you want some clear space back in the smallish cockpit and you aren't planning to do a lot of kite and blooper work,  you can probably delete 2 of them.

 

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18 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

Wow, you guys are SUPER helpful and optimistic! Bummer, most of the forums for activities I enjoy appear to have been overrun with folks who mistake caustic internet snark for actual wit. Shame really, I'm sure there is some genuine good knowledge to be found here. 

By the Lee, thanks very much for the links and information. That's a nice cross-section drawing of the SJ24.

Not wit-  just realism based on hard won and expensive experience

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I'm still in initial cleanup mode right now, though tackling DC wiring today. My only substantive complaint on this boat is the wiring, so I'll methodically trace and diagram everything that's there and likely replace the lot including master battery switch, fuse and switch panel and all bulbs with LED. Compass Marine How-To and to a lesser extent Don Casey is providing good guidance on boat DC wiring to ABYC standard. I'm only powering house DC needs (interior/nav lights, VHF radio & phone charger) so my needs are fairly straightforward.

I do have a &%#$load of winches, and they are a bit mix-and-match, though all ratchet cleanly and click like the bezel on a new dive watch. That said, winch service is #3 on my priority list after wiring and outboard servicing, so I can get a first-hand look at their condition. The PO set the boat up for racing which isn't currently on my horizon, but never say never so I'm leaving the cockpit configured just how it is for now until I learn more. I was a crew chief on a motorcycle roadracing team for 12 years, and I do miss a lot of that environment.

Next on the practical skills list - docking maneuvers. I took the ASA118 class last year on my buddy's Valiant 42, and I'm going to pick a flat calm day to practice prop-walking her into a fixed position bow-in and stern-in offshore on a buoy, then back at my slip until I'm happy I can singlehand her into the desired position. Then I'll do it on a (more) windy day until I get it drilled in. Docking and MOB I like to drill constantly, I find they are perishable skillsets, with me anyway.

Meanwhile, my wife and friends have kindly volunteered to help clean her topsides this weekend which will really help a lot. She's gonna shine up nicely, which makes everyone feel better in small ways.

By the lee, your cross-section drawing got me thinking: I'm having  a persistent trickle of fresh water into the bilge/keel recess, on non-raining days. I wonder if the low-density filler between the liner and hull might be saturated with water from leaking chainplates, etc. and be draining into the bilge? Hmmmm....

Thanks for the encouragement and support guys, we'll be out on the water soon.

Troy Gessner

 

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7 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

I'm still in initial cleanup mode right now, though tackling DC wiring today. My only substantive complaint on this boat is the wiring, so I'll methodically trace and diagram everything that's there and likely replace the lot including master battery switch, fuse and switch panel and all bulbs with LED. Compass Marine How-To and to a lesser extent Don Casey is providing good guidance on boat DC wiring to ABYC standard. I'm only powering house DC needs (interior/nav lights, VHF radio & phone charger) so my needs are fairly straightforward.

I do have a &%#$load of winches, and they are a bit mix-and-match, though all ratchet cleanly and click like the bezel on a new dive watch. That said, winch service is #3 on my priority list after wiring and outboard servicing, so I can get a first-hand look at their condition. The PO set the boat up for racing which isn't currently on my horizon, but never say never so I'm leaving the cockpit configured just how it is for now until I learn more. I was a crew chief on a motorcycle roadracing team for 12 years, and I do miss a lot of that environment.

Next on the practical skills list - docking maneuvers. I took the ASA118 class last year on my buddy's Valiant 42, and I'm going to pick a flat calm day to practice prop-walking her into a fixed position bow-in and stern-in offshore on a buoy, then back at my slip until I'm happy I can singlehand her into the desired position. Then I'll do it on a (more) windy day until I get it drilled in. Docking and MOB I like to drill constantly, I fin't they are perishable skillsets, with me anyway.

Meanwhile, my wife and friends have kindly volunteered to help clean her topsides this weekend which will really help a lot. She's gonna shine up nicely, which makes everyone feel better in small ways.

By the lee, your cross-section drawing got me thinking: I'm having  a persistent trickle of fresh water into the bilge/keel recess, on non-raining days. I wonder if the low-density filler between the liner and hull might be saturated with water from leaking chainplates, etc. and be draining into the bilge? Hmmmm....

Thanks for the encouragement and support guys, we'll be out on the water soon.

Troy Gessner

 

Congrats!

 

If it’s storing a decent amount and slowly draining I would suspect that it is coming from a limberhole of sorts that’s is partially obstructed by dirt. Water that comes down my mast sometimes stays in the forward bulkhead because paint flakes will block the tiny limberhole.

Or it could be a wet deck core due to leaking chainplates, but usually those stay saturated and don’t leak for days. Either way I would sound out the deck (if it is in fact a cored deck) and rebed the chainplates.

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Thanks very much, that's exactly what I'm planning to do. I do have a couple small soft spots on the deck, but hey, she's 41 years old. I have a few soft spots now as well...

Inspecting and rebedding the chainplates is also on my short-term to-do list, along with all the stanchions and track hardware. 

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On 11/25/2017 at 11:50 PM, Varan said:

Never understood the learning in and first buying of .... a keelboat. Not the way to learn IMHO, but I guess I'm old school now.

Sure, a dinghy might be a quicker route to becoming a good sailor but, for one thing, the purchase of a keelboat  can be much easier to sell to a significant other.  A Laser, for example, will not be seen as "something we can do together,"  but more likely as selfish, or a time drag.  Also, at 50, our core muscles aren't what they might have once been.

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If you are going to redo the electrical, check out bestboatwire.com.  Reasonable prices on wire, heat shrink, etc. and they will make up cables with different terminals if you like.  No affiliation, but I have used them for several projects and have been pleased.

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On 27/11/2017 at 2:04 AM, T and J Racing said:

Wow, you guys are SUPER helpful and optimistic! Bummer, most of the forums for activities I enjoy appear to have been overrun with folks who mistake caustic internet snark for actual wit. Shame really, I'm sure there is some genuine good knowledge to be found here. 

By the Lee, thanks very much for the links and information. That's a nice cross-section drawing of the SJ24.

Forget it, it's the internet, what did you expect?

Congratulations for your new boat and enjoy the fuck out of it"!!!

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9 hours ago, Beer Can said:

Sure, a dinghy might be a quicker route to becoming a good sailor but, for one thing, the purchase of a keelboat  can be much easier to sell to a significant other.  A Laser, for example, will not be seen as "something we can do together,"  but more likely as selfish, or a time drag.  Also, at 50, our core muscles aren't what they might have once been.

This was a significant factor for me certainly. Also, I resent the core muscles remark. Not that it isn't true, I just resent it. DAMMIT.

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T and J, I like the fact that you will dedicate some time to just maneuvering around in tight spaces, learning how to get the boat into the positions you want. Too often I see fairly experienced sailors who basically refuse to practice. A couple of pointers: sailboats coast in reverse much better than they power in reverse (generally.) A good technique is to build up a bit of speed (like a knot), then shift into neutral and do your steering while coasting backwards. When the situation gets tense, there is a tendency try to do too much at once so practice how you'll fight and fight how you've practiced.

After you feel confident with doing it under power, you can practice on doing it under sail. It's a whole different set of problems. Another tip: sailing in tight quarters will be easier with just the main up because you will have better visibility and less strings to worry about. But sailing under main alone can trip-up a lot of otherwise good sailors. For one thing, the balance of the boat will be wrong and the boat will try to swing dead into the wind, especially if the main is sheeted too tight. Take a tip from the dinghies and don't sheet the main to the centerline; sheet the end of the boom nearer to the lee rail when trying to sail to windward without a headsail. That one trick will help a lot!

 

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11 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

Thanks very much, that's exactly what I'm planning to do. I do have a couple small soft spots on the deck, but hey, she's 41 years old. I have a few soft spots now as well...

Inspecting and rebedding the chainplates is also on my short-term to-do list, along with all the stanchions and track hardware. 

Cool.... between that and practicing maneuvering, sounds like you have your shit together...... or will have soon.

Don't expect too much prop walk, outboards don't produce much, usually. The SJ24 stern does not lend itself to motoring with one hand on the motor so you can turn the motor and really spin the boat.

Good luck and post photos!

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, T and J Racing said:

This was a significant factor for me certainly. Also, I resent the core muscles remark. Not that it isn't true, I just resent it. DAMMIT.

I have now owned four sailboats since I have been married and each one of them had to be acceptable to the missus, even though she really doesn't do a lot of sailing.   As to the core thing, nothing personal.  I am in the same age category and I resemble that remark.

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13 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

Wow, great info guys. Thanks very much. I love books but books and practice can only go so far, right? 

Buy a Laser as well and sail it as much as you can, better than any book, to improve your sailing (and your abs)

If you can get your crew to sail as well you will be amazed at how easy the bigger boat becomes to manage.

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San Juan 24, you could sure do worse! There are about a bumptillion guys around Puget Sound who knows those boats inside out and backwards, so you will never lack for a few folks with experience to ask about repairs and stuff.   Have fun!

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21 hours ago, By the lee said:

Is there standing water in the lazarette? Long way 'round but possible....

You should strip deck of all hrdwr and Git Rot all the fastener holes unless they localized punky then chuck an allen key and make epoxy plug.

https://www.westsystem.com/wp-content/uploads/Fiberglass-Manual-2015.pdf (pg 48)

I'll be darned, that was it. Believe it or not, I actually traced it down before reading this. Nice to have a super dry boat.

I'm mid-rewire right now, it's not too bad considering my very limited power needs, though I'm doing my best to do everything new and to ABYC code. The bow light wires were a mother$#@&er to get to, but I managed 4x properly crimped butt splices with marine shrink tubing on every connection in that tiny, tiny inconvenient space. SUCCESS! Tomorrow is LED bulbs and wiring up the little switch/fuse panel. Staying original in configuration with updated components. I got an Interstate Series 27 battery and a proper marine 5a charger. Also tomorrow wiring 5 consumer circuits from bus bar to switch panel. I have a  bosun's chair but still scratching my head about scaling the mast to replace the deck and mast lights. Looks like the mast wiring is that stupid speaker wire, not sure how to replace that either. At least it looks to be in good shape. Does anyone know if I'll capsize the boat from the top of the mast? I'm about 205lbs fully dressed. 

This thing sure is fun to work on.

 

 

 

 

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Yep, a steaming light halfway up the mast. I'll try getting up there this weekend when I have some help on the lines.

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Stuff I've done with Wasabi (my SJ24) since buying her last November:

  • Stripped and varnished the teak on deck - it's beautiful
  • Fabricated and varnished a 2-piece companionway board out of teak veneer plywood - also beautiful
  • Put her in the yard at Seaview for 2 weeks (I work there now) 
  • Ground and repaired keel-hull joint, tightened keelbolts
  • New spot epoxy repair and new bottom paint
  • New spin halyard upper sheave
  • New LED-s all around
  • Paint cut/polish

Sailing stuff:

  • S&$#load of San Juan Islands cruising miles, half singlehand, half with crew, winter, spring and summer
  • 2 local races (DFL but who cares)
  • 5-6 island camping trips
  • Near disaster when a spin sheet block parted in a good breeze during practice, and only foredeck and I were paying attention. Lots of huge eyeballs and brain lock on basic functions for a few minutes, but it was a great wake-up call for the crew I'd been harping on to keep one eye on what's going on at all times. 
  • My wife likes the boat!!!!!!

Still to do:

  • Rebuild the 8 horse outboard
  • Refinish the interior teak
  • Install a propane countertop stove?
  • More sailing, longer trips
  • Replace wire-rope halyards - more research required
  • Get a racing team together for 2019 - DRILL!

I'm currently at work offshore Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk right now until October-ish, but the wife is checking on Wasabi and reporting her condition regularly.

In the meantime I decided to take on an altogether new sort of challenge and got myself a solid old wooden Thistle in need of restoration. I estimated 1 year, so it will probably be 2 years at least to get it into the shape I want. Looks like a fun little boat for Lake Whatcom, or just to sell after I'm done with the restoration.

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750279024_EagleHarbor.thumb.jpg.f5eb1ef37f8957763c46e59204898171.jpgHere she is at Eagle Harbor, right before I left for work. Another fantastic overnight trip. What a great little boat.

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On 11/26/2017 at 3:31 PM, Varan said:

Yep, I was hoping to start on a vo70 but that didn't happen. Regarding the SJ24.. 6 winches? Really?

Any winches on a 24’!

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24 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

Stuff I've done with Wasabi (my SJ24) since buying her last November:

  • Stripped and varnished the teak on deck - it's beautiful
  • Fabricated and varnished a 2-piece companionway board out of teak veneer plywood - also beautiful
  • Put her in the yard at Seaview for 2 weeks (I work there now) 
  • Ground and repaired keel-hull joint, tightened keelbolts
  • New spot epoxy repair and new bottom paint
  • New spin halyard upper sheave
  • New LED-s all around
  • Paint cut/polish

Sailing stuff:

  • S&$#load of San Juan Islands cruising miles, half singlehand, half with crew, winter, spring and summer
  • 2 local races (DFL but who cares)
  • 5-6 island camping trips
  • Near disaster when a spin sheet block parted in a good breeze during practice, and only foredeck and I were paying attention. Lots of huge eyeballs and brain lock on basic functions for a few minutes, but it was a great wake-up call for the crew I'd been harping on to keep one eye on what's going on at all times. 
  • My wife likes the boat!!!!!!

Still to do:

  • Rebuild the 8 horse outboard
  • Refinish the interior teak
  • Install a propane countertop stove?
  • More sailing, longer trips
  • Replace wire-rope halyards - more research required
  • Get a racing team together for 2019 - DRILL!

I'm currently at work offshore Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk right now until October-ish, but the wife is checking on Wasabi and reporting her condition regularly.

In the meantime I decided to take on an altogether new sort of challenge and got myself a solid old wooden Thistle in need of restoration. I estimated 1 year, so it will probably be 2 years at least to get it into the shape I want. Looks like a fun little boat for Lake Whatcom, or just to sell after I'm done with the restoration.

Don’t bother rebuilding the outboard. Buy a new one you’ll be ahead in reliability & costs over time. In fact my pro tip is to buy a new one every 5yrs. You get good resale & you never have to spend money on repairs. 

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I was thinking about that, but apparently I'd then be stuck with a heavy ass 4t motor, not to mention $3200 or so compared to $1300 to rebuild my existing powerhead including a new crank. I'm pretty handy inside a 2t motor, and I much prefer to fix or rebuild something than toss it and buy new, when possible. Hence the 70 year old wooden boat.

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6 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

I was thinking about that, but apparently I'd then be stuck with a heavy ass 4t motor, not to mention $3200 or so compared to $1300 to rebuild my existing powerhead including a new crank. I'm pretty handy inside a 2t motor, and I much prefer to fix or rebuild something than toss it and buy new, when possible. Hence the 70 year old wooden boat.

$3200 now. Sell for in 5yrs for $1500 you’ll be ahead + you won’t need to worry about it. That’s making a good bet you’ll spend another $500 on the existing one in the next 5yrs, safe bet & you won’t need to worry about it. Up to you but I’ve proven it to myself time & time again. 

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On 11/29/2017 at 12:46 AM, T and J Racing said:

Next on the practical skills list - docking maneuvers.

Do everything slow and the risk is low.

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9 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

I was thinking about that, but apparently I'd then be stuck with a heavy ass 4t motor, not to mention $3200 or so compared to $1300 to rebuild my existing powerhead including a new crank. I'm pretty handy inside a 2t motor, and I much prefer to fix or rebuild something than toss it and buy new, when possible. Hence the 70 year old wooden boat.

So, what exactly do you want to do most? I spend a lot of time working on boats, less on motors but still..... It's better than yard work, but I'd rather be sailing

My time is valuable, there's less and less of it every year. You get to decide about yours.

-DSK

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Had a SJ 24 in the 80's.  Took her everywhere.  Crossed the Gulf Stream several times.  Generally, a good sailing boat, EXCEPT, off the wind.  She'll go into wild right/left gyrations and it will be hard to sail her under the spinnaker.  A blooper definitely helps when going off the wind.  She'll go to weather and reach quite nicely.  Won quite a bit of silver with her, so learn her quirks and you will be rewarded.  Good Luck and fair winds.

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Congratulations !!!

The SJ24 is a great little boat. You will learn a lot quickly. Just go out and enjoy. 

Dont listen to those that talked about bad winches and bad sails. Can things be updated? Do they wear out? Sure. But don't let that keep you at the dock. You'll figure out what needs to be replaced or updated to meet your needs and with a 24, it won't be terribly expensive.  

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Thanks for the encouragement guys. I have greased all the winches, all in good/great condition. I even did my first race with 40 year old sails and didn't finish in last place, though I do have a newer main and genoa I wanted to use the old stuff first to get a feel for racing conditions without trying to adapt to new sails at the same time. Mostly I've just been putting in time in all different weather conditions. She is a mechanical bull in a following swell, holy shit.  

Regarding the motor, I've planned the rebuild for December for a crappy weather week. I'll split the cases and inspect the bores, and if good I'll have it back together in a day, good as new. One less thing to think about.

Pardon my newb-ness here, what's a blooper? A storm jib? Asym? 

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7 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

Pardon my newb-ness here, what's a blooper? A storm jib? Asym? 

As someone who lived throughout the IOR age, you're better off not knowing.  

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14 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

As someone who lived throughout the IOR age, you're better off not knowing.  

Wouldn't know about that.  30+ years ago on a Chance 32/28 it gave us an extra 0.3 knots and settled the boat down when running DDW.

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On 11/29/2017 at 2:05 AM, Beer Can said:

Sure, a dinghy might be a quicker route to becoming a good sailor but, for one thing, the purchase of a keelboat  can be much easier to sell to a significant other.  A Laser, for example, will not be seen as "something we can do together,"  but more likely as selfish, or a time drag.  Also, at 50, our core muscles aren't what they might have once been.

Lasers are the only way to learn sailing, particularly understanding prop walk and MoB retrieval. 

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34 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

Pardon my newb-ness here, what's a blooper? A storm jib? Asym? 

It was a sail , designed by sail makers to increase their income. It did have some merit as it gave the pit guy something to do on a run and they looked fabulous in photos. Like the symmetrical spinnaker, they have been consigned to history at the front end of the fleet but as you will be told by many on here, you will need to learn on a laser to really understand them.

 

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Got it. Internet hive mind? No different than motorcycle roadracing forums, bike owner forums, etc.. Must be an attribute of human nature.

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1 hour ago, Morgan Crewed said:

Wouldn't know about that.  30+ years ago on a Chance 32/28 it gave us an extra 0.3 knots and settled the boat down when running DDW.

I only knew one 32/28 from that era in this region.  Chula?

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4 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I only knew one 32/28 from that era in this region.  Chula?

There were a couple of others in the area.  I was on Freeway - the one with the dark blue hull.

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Boats designed and raced under the IOR rule (1970-1985, or thereabouts) would just as soon go through the water sideways as straight ahead. The rule type-cast designs favoring heavy weight so as the boats went faster, instead of surfing or planing on top of the water, the boats just dug a trench in the water. Once the boats got to "hull speed" they were very hard to make go any faster so in strong wind the best Velocity Made Good towards a leeward destination (VMG) was Dead Downwind (DDW). With the pole squared back, the boats tended to roll to windward.

death_roll_667px.jpg.9bfef9ed525c5da75695db2178a6ffae.jpg

Both these boats, on different tacks, are rolled well to weather, the foreground more extremely.

Since the ribbon mains weren't enough to counter this rolling, someone got the idea to fly a genoa to leeward. To get it to work, they had to get it out from behind the main so it was rigged without being attached to the forestay. To get it further outboard, the halyard was eased a generous amount.

Well, the genoas were too heavy to fly this way well, so people were breaking out their biggest drifter until someone got the idea to build a purpose-built loose-luffed light genoa. It was effective to stop rolling (to a degree) so soon all the sailmakers offered the sail under a number of different names. I forget which sailmaker came up with "blooper" but that's the name that eventually stuck.

blooper.jpg.0a4ce96cee4e618e99eac3de0892c08c.jpg

So here's your blooper. Basically a spinnaker built to genoa size limits. The rules were looser than the limits placed on modern code-0 sails. Consider the blooper to be a spinnaker built to genoa rules and the code-0 to be a genoa built to spinnaker rules.

In the picture from astern, you can see the hole being dug in the water as the yacht is straining to go faster. The boat is almost upright, yet you can see white bottom paint almost to the keel root.

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24 minutes ago, Morgan Crewed said:

There were a couple of others in the area.  I was on Freeway - the one with the dark blue hull.

A friend bought iFreeway and had it at North Cape for a year or two back in 2000 or so.  Standard gold chain shirtless act at the Bay.  

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Skip a propane cooktop unless you already have a serviceable system in place.  Look at a single burner Origo alcohol instead.

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On 9/3/2018 at 12:37 PM, Somebody Else said:

Boats designed and raced under the IOR rule (1970-1985, or thereabouts) would just as soon go through the water sideways as straight ahead. The rule type-cast designs favoring heavy weight so as the boats went faster, instead of surfing or planing on top of the water, the boats just dug a trench in the water. Once the boats got to "hull speed" they were very hard to make go any faster so in strong wind the best Velocity Made Good towards a leeward destination (VMG) was Dead Downwind (DDW). With the pole squared back, the boats tended to roll to windward.

death_roll_667px.jpg.9bfef9ed525c5da75695db2178a6ffae.jpg

Both these boats, on different tacks, are rolled well to weather, the foreground more extremely.

Since the ribbon mains weren't enough to counter this rolling, someone got the idea to fly a genoa to leeward. To get it to work, they had to get it out from behind the main so it was rigged without being attached to the forestay. To get it further outboard, the halyard was eased a generous amount.

Well, the genoas were too heavy to fly this way well, so people were breaking out their biggest drifter until someone got the idea to build a purpose-built loose-luffed light genoa. It was effective to stop rolling (to a degree) so soon all the sailmakers offered the sail under a number of different names. I forget which sailmaker came up with "blooper" but that's the name that eventually stuck.

blooper.jpg.0a4ce96cee4e618e99eac3de0892c08c.jpg

So here's your blooper. Basically a spinnaker built to genoa size limits. The rules were looser than the limits placed on modern code-0 sails. Consider the blooper to be a spinnaker built to genoa rules and the code-0 to be a genoa built to spinnaker rules.

In the picture from astern, you can see the hole being dug in the water as the yacht is straining to go faster. The boat is almost upright, yet you can see white bottom paint almost to the keel root.

Wow, thanks very much for that explanation, plus the illustration of hull speed on a displacement hull boat. That really makes a lot of sense when I look at the pictures, and it puts a lot of my personal experiences with my boat into perspective that I can understand. Great stuff.

 

Troy

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Thanks. That post treads a fine line between mansplaining and omitting necessary detail. Entire books can be written about the IOR and its faults and good points. Ocean racing was in its heyday and it produced some fantastic racing in venues all over the globe. For boats designed to the rule, there was very close racing.

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On 11/27/2017 at 12:04 PM, T and J Racing said:

Wow, you guys are SUPER helpful and optimistic! Bummer, most of the forums for activities I enjoy appear to have been overrun with folks who mistake caustic internet snark for actual wit. Shame really, I'm sure there is some genuine good knowledge to be found here. 

By the Lee, thanks very much for the links and information. That's a nice cross-section drawing of the SJ24.

Wit? Here? I think you may be half-right.

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I don't have much sailing experience compared to most here, but I do really enjoy learning the characteristics of my SJ24, or as a friend called it, "learning to speak her language". I'm also really enjoying learning about the rich trove of available information on sailing in general, and learning to handle this little boat in all reasonably anticipated conditions. I came form a long background in GP motorcycle racing, and the straightforward explanations and illustration of the principles described made a lot of sense. 

I can see me staying with this boat for quite a while, it just seems like the perfect compromise for all the things I want to do.

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5 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

I don't have much sailing experience compared to most here, but I do really enjoy learning the characteristics of my SJ24, or as a friend called it, "learning to speak her language". I'm also really enjoying learning about the rich trove of available information on sailing in general, and learning to handle this little boat in all reasonably anticipated conditions. I came form a long background in GP motorcycle racing, and the straightforward explanations and illustration of the principles described made a lot of sense. 

I can see me staying with this boat for quite a while, it just seems like the perfect compromise for all the things I want to do.

     T,

  As important as learning your boat and how to sail her, is the weather.

  you should make it a daily habit (whether you're sailing that day or not) to know what's going on in the atmosphere.

    what's the pressure, wind direction/speed, fronts approaching,  what do the clouds look like,  are they changing.

  Immerse yourself in weather information,  evening news, web sites.  etc...

    you will find the more comfortable and better you are knowing what the weather is doing the more you will enjoy your sailing future...

  

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5 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

I don't have much sailing experience compared to most here, but I do really enjoy learning the characteristics of my SJ24, or as a friend called it, "learning to speak her language". I'm also really enjoying learning about the rich trove of available information on sailing in general, and learning to handle this little boat in all reasonably anticipated conditions. I came form a long background in GP motorcycle racing, and the straightforward explanations and illustration of the principles described made a lot of sense. 

I can see me staying with this boat for quite a while, it just seems like the perfect compromise for all the things I want to do.

Sounds good. The SJ24 is a fun boat, goes very well in light wind. How did docking practice go? If you've been off on a cruise or two already, I'm guessing fine.

Those 8 sails? If you have a newer main and headsail (what size?), what are you saving them for, retirement?

The issue with this IOR/"death roll"/blooper stuff only happens when you're going directly down wind in heavy air with a spinnaker. Easily avoided. You probably have a spinnaker amongst the sail collection and maybe a blooper.

FB- Doug

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T&J, you will love your SJ24, I loved mine. Always clear the limber holes.  If you have leaks use penetrating windshield silicone from an auto parts store.  Get John Letchers' book on self steering I used his Genoa self steering tips and soloed all over the place.  Wear a harness.  Do your own outboard work ,if you can get the parts.  You are in for a wonderful time.  My wife thought the boat was pretty.

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On 9/2/2018 at 9:37 PM, Somebody Else said:

Boats designed and raced under the IOR rule (1970-1985, or thereabouts) would just as soon go through the water sideways as straight ahead. The rule type-cast designs favoring heavy weight so as the boats went faster, instead of surfing or planing on top of the water, the boats just dug a trench in the water. Once the boats got to "hull speed" they were very hard to make go any faster so in strong wind the best Velocity Made Good towards a leeward destination (VMG) was Dead Downwind (DDW). With the pole squared back, the boats tended to roll to windward.

death_roll_667px.jpg.9bfef9ed525c5da75695db2178a6ffae.jpg

Both these boats, on different tacks, are rolled well to weather, the foreground more extremely.

Since the ribbon mains weren't enough to counter this rolling, someone got the idea to fly a genoa to leeward. To get it to work, they had to get it out from behind the main so it was rigged without being attached to the forestay. To get it further outboard, the halyard was eased a generous amount.

Well, the genoas were too heavy to fly this way well, so people were breaking out their biggest drifter until someone got the idea to build a purpose-built loose-luffed light genoa. It was effective to stop rolling (to a degree) so soon all the sailmakers offered the sail under a number of different names. I forget which sailmaker came up with "blooper" but that's the name that eventually stuck.

blooper.jpg.0a4ce96cee4e618e99eac3de0892c08c.jpg

So here's your blooper. Basically a spinnaker built to genoa size limits. The rules were looser than the limits placed on modern code-0 sails. Consider the blooper to be a spinnaker built to genoa rules and the code-0 to be a genoa built to spinnaker rules.

In the picture from astern, you can see the hole being dug in the water as the yacht is straining to go faster. The boat is almost upright, yet you can see white bottom paint almost to the keel root.

Great explanation for those of us who haven't been sailing for 30-40 years. Thanks.

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On 9/1/2018 at 9:33 PM, T and J Racing said:

 

  • Replace wire-rope halyards - more research required

 

you'll have to replace the sheeves as they are meant for wire, the sheeve groove will be too narrow for line and cause extra strain on the line..  size the new sheeves to the size of the halyard you want to use.. for 24'   a dbl braid with dyneema core around 5/16" will be more than enough 

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7 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sounds good. The SJ24 is a fun boat, goes very well in light wind. How did docking practice go? If you've been off on a cruise or two already, I'm guessing fine.

Those 8 sails? If you have a newer main and headsail (what size?), what are you saving them for, retirement?

The issue with this IOR/"death roll"/blooper stuff only happens when you're going directly down wind in heavy air with a spinnaker. Easily avoided. You probably have a spinnaker amongst the sail collection and maybe a blooper.

FB- Doug

I have a newer North Sails main that I used a few times but is a bigger PITA when singlehanding due to the boltrope luff, so I use it when I'm either racing or other sailing with crew. So far I'm alone about 80% of the time. Everyone seems to have "things to do" that don't involve sailing. Weird.

I also have a newer 163% genoa that I'm keeping for racing for now, mostly because my older 3 jibs work fine for the singlehand stuff I'm doing, plus I don't feel quite as bad when one of them takes a bit of incidental abuse - case in point, I left my older jib on the furler when I left for the trip I'm currently on, thinking I'd be gone 3-4 days as planned. That was 6 weeks ago and the poor thing is still rolled up exposed to the sun while I'm overseas. Also, I find myself using the 100% jib most of the time.

I had 3 spinnakers (tri-radial, radial head and a light air sail), and sold the light air one. No blooper, drifter, storm jib or asym. 

Docking is an ongoing thing for me, I have a healthy respect for maneuvering my boat around stationary objects, especially expensive ones belonging to other people. Early on last December I did tie up to the local guest dock because it was too puffy for my comfort level tucking her into the slip alone, otherwise all that practice has paid off nicely and I usually find myself overthinking approaches to docks and buoys. I may install cockpit controls for the outboard this winter though, its a bit of a distraction having to turn and lean over the transom to shift gears at a  critical approach moment. More practice will give me the answer there, I think.

Overall a great boat in great condition, plus she looks good and the wife is warming up to the idea quite well. Next up is learning how to handle the Thistle once it's together.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, guerdon said:

T&J, you will love your SJ24, I loved mine. Always clear the limber holes.  If you have leaks use penetrating windshield silicone from an auto parts store.  Get John Letchers' book on self steering I used his Genoa self steering tips and soloed all over the place.  Wear a harness.  Do your own outboard work ,if you can get the parts.  You are in for a wonderful time.  My wife thought the boat was pretty.

I was actually thinking of pulling and re-bedding the windows since a couple of them do leak, I'm just not sure how they go together and I'm hesitant to pull the ancient aluminum bezels and seals apart if I may damage one of them and struggle getting proper replacements. Someone has already run silicone beads around the outside of the 2 big windows from the outside.

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On 9/2/2018 at 10:57 PM, steele said:

Skip a propane cooktop unless you already have a serviceable system in place.  Look at a single burner Origo alcohol instead.

As an owner of a 26' boat, this is good advice.

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41 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

As an owner of a 26' boat, this is good advice.

I've never had an alcohol stove, what is the advantage?

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5 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

 

you'll have to replace the sheeves as they are meant for wire, the sheeve groove will be too narrow for line and cause extra strain on the line..  size the new sheeves to the size of the halyard you want to use.. for 24'   a dbl braid with dyneema core around 5/16" will be more than enough 

I replaced all wire on my boat (w my rigger) and the sheaves fit the new line just fine. Maybe the sheaves in this instance were originally  sized to the line attached to the wire?...in which case the right size for new line? As with a lot of stuff...it depends.

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4 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

I've never had an alcohol stove, what is the advantage?

Before I launch into what can be a religious discussion of stove fuels, all fuels have their problems.

The nice thing about Origos are that they are small, fairly self-contained, use readily available fuel, are easy to use and put out enough heat for camping type uses.  On my wee boat it's perfect.  I don't have to worry about leaking gases. . .

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15 minutes ago, T and J Racing said:

I've never had an alcohol stove, what is the advantage?

An alcohol stove has the ability to bring a cup of water up to room temperature in about 2 hours. 

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Ok, stoves.  

In the beginning, there were alcohol pressure stoves.  Think original Coleman.  You had to pump up the tank, start a small fire to warm up the lines, then hope it doesn't explode... or leak. 

Then came Propane; Fuel is stored in a pressurized bottle, hoses run to the stove, which operates like a home stove; Light a match and turn it on.  All good until one of those hoses or tanks leaks and fills the boat with flammable gas (which is heavier than air).  A proper installation puts the bottle outside the cabin and a detector inside.  For 'camping', you can use those little disposable bottles, but they should still be stored outside.  For really basic camping, look at a Jetboil. 

Origo (and some copies) make a version of an alcohol stove that uses a can with a bunch of absorbent in it.  You fill that with alcohol, and light it, much like an oversized sterno can.  A simple flap controls the heat and shuts it off when you're done.  It's not as much heat, but there's no gas to leak or pressure to be worried about.  Fires can be put out with water.  I have a 2 burner version in my 28 footer, and I love it. 

 

 

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Docking and Outboards

I've always found outboards on sailboats to be a pain in the butt. The distance between the tiller and the outboard controls makes every single maneuver look like a panicked scramble.

Try your docking using as little power as possible. Your boat is small and there aren't many situations where you can't just reach out with your hand, grab the dock, and stop the boat. The rotation of the prop tries to walk the stern sideways, especially in reverse. The best technique is to build up a little speed -- say 1 - 1.5 knots -- then put it in neutral and coast. All of a sudden the boat becomes much more controllable. Goose the throttle as needed.

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6 minutes ago, Somebody Else said:

Docking and Outboards

I've always found outboards on sailboats to be a pain in the butt. The distance between the tiller and the outboard controls makes every single maneuver look like a panicked scramble.

Try your docking using as little power as possible. Your boat is small and there aren't many situations where you can't just reach out with your hand, grab the dock, and stop the boat. The rotation of the prop tries to walk the stern sideways, especially in reverse. The best technique is to build up a little speed -- say 1 - 1.5 knots -- then put it in neutral and coast. All of a sudden the boat becomes much more controllable. Goose the throttle as needed.

That's my approach right now, setting approach speed about 5 boatlengths away, then coasting in slowly enough to step off and stop the boat by hand. You're right that the controls are far enough away to make "powering in" very difficult, especially since I have a 2-part backstay specifically designed to stop me being able to reach the outboard. It definitely makes raising and lowering the motor a bit interesting in any kind of swell.

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16 hours ago, T and J Racing said:

I may install cockpit controls for the outboard this winter though, its a bit of a distraction having to turn and lean over the transom to shift gears at a  critical approach moment. More practice will give me the answer there, I think.

The time spent fitting controls would be better spent practicing docking. 

Ppl still sail around the world without engines so you’re ahead of them. You also said you have gears, so you’re also ahead of ppl with 360 degree drives.

As above were you have to reach back for the gear you just maintain enough speed for steerage. You want to have it in forward at idle & all lined up so you are not turning while looking back & you can change to reverse if need be to stop without changing the throttle. 

In under 10 knots of breeze you can maintain steerage & dock without reverse. 

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On ‎11‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 9:52 AM, T and J Racing said:

Well we did it yesterday. After 2 years of lessons, studying, J24 rental time and crewing on race boats and cruisers, I traded one of my motorcycles for a San Juan 24. I followed the advice in Don Casey's "inspecting the aging sailboat" to identify potential issues, and she appears to be in very good nick all around. Local racing history, big spare sail inventory (8 total), all new running rigging including a new roller furler and 8hp outboard that starts first pull. Clean inside and out but will respond well to some spit and polish. Looks like she tagged the dock hard and punched a small hole in the bow at some point, which was glassed over but not repainted. 

First step for me is to service the outboard and all 6 winches, then take her out into Bellingham Bay and start figuring things out. I am equal parts excited and scared. It's a very different feeling than taking someone else's boat out.

If you got a San Juan 24 you should sail around the world... Rima did it!

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Spring lines can make docking easier. Pay attention to wind and current so you don't blow past your spot. Easier to power into the breeze. Backing a sailboat with a folding prop is an exercise. It's a lot easier to dock my power catamaran with OBs at the corners. 

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