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Member Since 04 May 2004
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In Topic: Pacific Cup 2016

27 July 2016 - 12:03 AM

Thanks for the response.  When we did Pac Cup (as crew) on the J/130 we really wanted to be able to square back.  When we did it on our J/105, we never felt the need to do that.  We actually had days and days of tight reaching and several other days of broad reaching in 18-25kts.  We must have done something right as we won our class when Sweet Okole broke their rudder. 


This year was quite different by all accounts - congratulations for getting through it!  I read between the lines expecting the thoughts of "never doing another ocean race", we've all had those...

It sounds like the chainplate became detached.  I'm not sure how the chainplate was attached.  Maybe a tie bar and not a bulkhead?  


Eric, I don't think the J/120 would have been better for this one.  More comfortable, sure, but both our boats have fundamental flaws for heavy downwind conditions.  You need to be able to square back the pole and if necessary be able to wing out a jib.  We didn't have that option on either boat.  For this year, even the best boats (1 & 2 overall) spent time wing on wing.  


Personally, I would never do this race again on a boat without the ability to square back the pole.  Some years, when it is light, that won't be a big deal, but when it blows, having to angle across the waves just sucks.  


Really looking forward to following your trip in 2018.  You guys already have the preparation and the skill to do well.  Two years for refinements and you'll be a real threat.  

We find that selective amnesia allows to us to want to do this race again, but I was quite clear with myself during the race that I would never cross an ocean again.  But then somehow you start thinking about what you could do differently next time to be faster and more comfortable.  


Anyway, Spadefoot is now for sale.  We did what we wanted to do with the boat.  We sailed a bunch at home and raced it to Hawaii.  2 days faster than 2014 on a slower rated boat.  Mission accomplished.  No plans to do Pac Cup again in the near future, so having two boats, both capable of crossing oceans, isn't necessary anymore.  If anyone else wants to race Spadefoot offshore, i now have some great, simple ideas to make it better.  

In Topic: Pacific Cup 2016

25 July 2016 - 07:00 PM

Justin - I hope you get around to writing a full recap.  Sounds like such a rough trip, I hope it was still fun!   So many boats, even well prepared ones, didn't make it.  I'm curious if you think the J/120 would have been better for the conditions this year.  


Do you know what happened to the chainplates (?) on the J/124?  One of my friends was going to deliver it back, but that was cancelled.  


We are planning on Pac Cup 2018.  

In Topic: Pacific Cup 2016

17 July 2016 - 05:21 AM

Action packed report fom Roleur today:

Pacific Cup Day 5 – Feast & Famine
July 16, 2016 | Filed under: General
I thought was going to talk about waves today, but that will have to wait. So many things happended in the last 24 hours. First, yesterday afternoon we put up the A4 spinnaker, a slightly small heavier kite that we love. It signalled the beginning of the downwind conditions for the rest of trip to Hawaii. The evening sailing was fantastic and fast. By nightfall we were bombing along in 20-25 knots, but it required two people keep the boat going as the waves were not in synch with the wind, so mucho steering was reuquired. We decided to pull an all nighter together and rack up some as we knew were had a good setup and good conditions. Steering was challenging though, so it was 30 minutes on 30 minutes off. Alternating between driving and trimming. I started taking hourly positions and could see we were averaging close to 10 knots. Visions of a 240 day flashed through my head. Unfortunately, around 6am the steering started getting really funky, so we took a peak over the stern and saw the bad news. The lower rudder gudgeon was very loose. Ah, that might explain so of the challengins steering overnight. Anyway, I hopped down below and started to make may way to the back of the boat (i.e. crawl through a very narrow tunnel to a very small space with a few tools I thought might be useful. Just as I started, 10 feet from the stern, I looked down and saw a nut on the floor. Well, I knew that hadn’t been there long as we completely emptied the boat and wiped everything don just days before the start. I figured that nut might be useful for my trip to the back of boat. Sure enough, one nut was missing and the other 3 bolts were loose. Tightened everything up and we were back in business. I wasn’t too worried about it as we had a second set of gudgeons for our emergency rudder that were spaced to match the existing rudder in the event something like this happened.

With the rudder tight again and the breeze still steadily over 20 knots we decided to go up with A0 so we could both get some rest. Even with the pause to fix the rudder and a nice spinnaker wrap in the middle of the night we still managed 215 nm for the day. Happy with that. Fortunately for us our sailmaker convinced us to get an A0 make of heavy AirX spinnaker cloth, so the sails can do double duty as an nice small, flat A5 heavy air reacher and that is exactly what we had in mind. Up with the A0 and we were off, almost immediately hitting 15 knots and it was very easy to let ‘er rip in good control.

Oh, but the fun of the day was just beginning. About an hour later I felt a light vibration from the rudder. Was the gudgeon loose again, already? Didn’t feel the same, nor did it feel loose. Must be something else, but we didn’t see anything wrapped on the rudder. Best guess was there was something wrapped around the keel. Easiest way to find out? Take down the A0, turn the boat into the wind and back down and hope if there was something on the keel, it would slip off. Never saw anything, but we popped the A0 back up and took off. No more vibration!

So, neither had slept for more than 12 hours and it was time to get some rest. I was down below and Chris was driving when we rounded up and I heard the pop and crack. I thought for sure the sprit had broken, but know that wasn’t it exactly. The sprit is held on with brackets that are through bolted through the deck with G10 backing plates the top and bottom. The deck is thin carbon skins and closed cell foam. It turns out the force of the A0 flogging during the wipe out drove the aft deck bracket right the deck. Yes, it basically punched a 3″ hole in the deck. No buneo. Not good at all. At this point we though our race was over. We put up the jib top wing and wing and pointed at Kaneohe. We no whisker pole or spinnaker pole this not easy at all, but we were moving along a 6-7 knots with some big surfs headed in the right direction. At least we could still get to the Mai Tai’s in a reasonable time this way.

And then we started thinking… Maybe we could just fly the A0 off the bow, sans sprit? The breeze was still up, so the A0 was the sail of choice anyway. Okay, new plan.

And then we started thinking some more… Was there a way to fix the mounting bracket or could we just move it. Move it? Sure we could just move the aft bracket aft 9″ or so and through bolt it again. The sprit would only be 9″ shorter, which is nothing given our options. The risk was we punched another hole in the deck. Probably unlikely and since we already a nice deck repair needed, this seemed like a reasonable risk. What we really needed though as a bigger backing plate on top that would reduce the point load on the deck. A big backing plate like that nice thin stiff engine cover access panel? Yeah, like that. Perfect fit and it’s about 12″ x 18″. Just drilled 3 hole in it. Not sure it is even ruined as the access panel.

Challenge though… One person needs to be on deck to hold the bolts and one person needs to be inside tightening the nuts. Umm… who was going to steer? Darn the challenges of double-handing. If only we had an autopilot. Wait! We do have an autopilot. Did I mention we used it for about 10 minutes, 2 day prior when it was light (10-15 knots – light for this trip anyway) and lumpy and I was tired and not steering very well? Did I also mention that everything on Spadedoot is through-bolted with nice G10 back plates? Except the freaking autopilot bracket on the deck. Only took 10 minutes to rip the 3 screws out of the carbon and foam. Seriously? Screws into foam? Anyway, easy solution. Through-bolt the bracket and add washers underneath. That would be good enough for now.

So, that was the first job, then we got the autopilot driving. Then we got to moving the bracket. Then was done and everything was tightened and seemed good and secure. So, we put up the A0 again around 3:30pm today and off we go, racing again at full speed. I think we gave up about 2 hours all told. 4 hours spent going about half speed.

That’s been our day. Well, the first half of it anyway. Let’s see what tonight brings…

Oh, we both hear what sounds like a radio station coming from the bow, but there is nothing electronic up there. So weird.

In Topic: 2016 Vic-Maui

15 July 2016 - 07:41 PM

"Two major gear failures" according to comments on the tracker.  



Crossfire is out.

I saw their turn to the northwest and wondered what was up. Did something break or ???


In Topic: Pacific Cup 2016

14 July 2016 - 03:32 AM

Yes, Roleur is on Spadefoot. They are doing fine.