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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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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