Jump to content

Santa Cruz 27 owner needs all of your input


Recommended Posts

Winter solstice has passed. Summer approaches. 

I've got a problem. 

20 years of ambition and dreaming have made me the zealous owner of a Santa Cruz 27. 

She's a solid boat. Her hull was restored where she was mushy, the running rigging is up to date and the standing rigging hasn't fallen down yet. The sails are fair enough.

I know fuck all about racing sailboats. 

I'm planning to start racing in the Gorge with the Hood River Yacht club in April. I work as a nurse in the hospital, and have arranged to work weekends all summer, so I can sail the boat 4 days per week, and attend the Wednesday races all summer. I think its a good plan, except.......

I know fuck all about racing sailboats. 

So, please help me.

I understand the basics of sailing, but I need resources for learning. There are heaps of books and videos available. Please tell me your favorite resources for these topics

  • Racing rules
  • Sail trim
  • Boat handling/maneuvers
  • Race tactics/strategy

I need experienced sailors in the Gorge to sail with. If you are one, or know one, please connect us. I will serve tuna sandwiches on whole grain bread and provide a boat.

Also, I need advice on ramp launching the boat, and raising the mast without a hoist. If you trailer a similar boat, please offer up your solutions. 

  • Hinge from Ballenger Spars and an A-frame?
  • Single gin pole of height just above the spreaders?
  • other ideas
  • Cable winch to lower trailer into the water on boat ramp?
  • Long extension tongue on truck to lower trailer into water?

If you have a Santa Cruz 27, I would take old sails to thrash while learning in the high winds of the Gorge. I'm sure I will blow up a spinnaker this summer. 

About me:

I work as an RN, previously spend a decade as a mechanic mostly working at ski resorts, spent three summers on Yosemite rescue, and even learned some shit in college. I've been paragliding for seven years and stopped after losing my taste for broken backs and deaths among friends, so it time to become a sailor.  I'm excited to sail and I dream about the races like the Swiftsure, Oregon Offshore, Race to Alaska, and Transpac. 

I can take a little heckling

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, grimoire said:

Winter solstice has passed. Summer approaches. 

I've got a problem. 

20 years of ambition and dreaming have made me the zealous owner of a Santa Cruz 27. 

She's a solid boat. Her hull was restored where she was mushy, the running rigging is up to date and the standing rigging hasn't fallen down yet. The sails are fair enough.

I know fuck all about racing sailboats. 

I'm planning to start racing in the Gorge with the Hood River Yacht club in April. I work as a nurse in the hospital, and have arranged to work weekends all summer, so I can sail the boat 4 days per week, and attend the Wednesday races all summer. I think its a good plan, except.......

I know fuck all about racing sailboats. 

So, please help me.

I understand the basics of sailing, but I need resources for learning. There are heaps of books and videos available. Please tell me your favorite resources for these topics

  • Racing rules
  • Sail trim
  • Boat handling/maneuvers
  • Race tactics/strategy

I need experienced sailors in the Gorge to sail with. If you are one, or know one, please connect us. I will serve tuna sandwiches on whole grain bread and provide a boat.

Also, I need advice on ramp launching the boat, and raising the mast without a hoist. If you trailer a similar boat, please offer up your solutions. 

  • Hinge from Ballenger Spars and an A-frame?
  • Single gin pole of height just above the spreaders?
  • other ideas
  • Cable winch to lower trailer into the water on boat ramp?
  • Long extension tongue on truck to lower trailer into water?

If you have a Santa Cruz 27, I would take old sails to thrash while learning in the high winds of the Gorge. I'm sure I will blow up a spinnaker this summer. 

About me:

I work as an RN, previously spend a decade as a mechanic mostly working at ski resorts, spent three summers on Yosemite rescue, and even learned some shit in college. I've been paragliding for seven years and stopped after losing my taste for broken backs and deaths among friends, so it time to become a sailor.  I'm excited to sail and I dream about the races like the Swiftsure, Oregon Offshore, Race to Alaska, and Transpac. 

I can take a little heckling

 

No heckling.  You provided a very honest and open message with no false facade.  Don't race your first year, sail with others.  You will meet someone who will want to mentor you and help you get your boat squared away.  Sail your boat with the old rags for a year or two just to get comfortable.  It sounds like you jumped in head first, but you did buy a classic boat and it sounds like it's in good shape.  Others where you live are your allies at this point.  I would crew and by year three, be doing all the things you thought would be instant.  I'm sure you're a quick learner and ready to put in the effort, but experiences in sailing are the great teacher.  

Best of luck, you will have fun!.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CaptainAhab said:

Beer, b00bs  and weed after sailing will give you access to the local talent for crew. If it’s good weed they won’t give you shite about your steering and sails. 

FIFY

201624_03big.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

No heckling.  You provided a very honest and open message with no false facade.  Don't race your first year, sail with others.  You will meet someone who will want to mentor you and help you get your boat squared away.  Sail your boat with the old rags for a year or two just to get comfortable.  It sounds like you jumped in head first, but you did buy a classic boat and it sounds like it's in good shape.  Others where you live are your allies at this point.  I would crew and by year three, be doing all the things you thought would be instant.  I'm sure you're a quick learner and ready to put in the effort, but experiences in sailing are the great teacher.  

Best of luck, you will have fun!.

What he said!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, grimoire said:

Please tell me your favorite resources for these topics

  • Racing rules
  • Sail trim
  • Boat handling/maneuvers
  • Race tactics/strategy

[ ... ]

Also, I need advice on ramp launching the boat, and raising the mast without a hoist. If you trailer a similar boat, please offer up your solutions. 

  • Hinge from Ballenger Spars and an A-frame?
  • Single gin pole of height just above the spreaders?
  • other ideas
  • Cable winch to lower trailer into the water on boat ramp?
  • Long extension tongue on truck to lower trailer into water?

Download the Racing Rules of Sailing from here: https://www.sailing.org/40174.php. You will also want to read up on the appeals, but that can wait. Go to Amazon.com and search 'racing sail boats' and select a few.

Finding and keeping a crew will be the hardest part. One obstacle is that the SC27 is uncomfortable to crew on. The narrow side decks and circulation-stopping toe rails are painful and make it clumsy to come off the rail quickly for a tack.

Practice boat handling is #1. There are 6 basic maneuvers that your crew should polish into no-brainers: Tacking, Bear-away Set, Jibe Set, Jibe, Leeward Take-down, Weather Take-down. And two common variations on those: the Set Jibe and the Jibe Take-down (the Mexican). Each of these maneuvers and be reduced down to a by-the-numbers sequence of discrete events.

In any wind over 12 knots, the SC27 does best with rail meat. This is in direct conflict with the cramped hiking side-decks. There's no kind way to say it: The Santa Cruz 27 is not ergonomic.

Ramp launching: Avoid it.
The boat was designed to be launched from a hoist and stored with the mast up.
Ramp launching adds an hour to each end of your sailing day and you risk damage each time.

That said, if you insist, a flexible tongue extension is the cheapest and best. Ridged tongue extensions can cause problems on uneven ramps. Chain is bullet-proof but suitably strong fiber rope is easier to handle. Your extension should be equal to the length of the trailer. You need a 4x4 full-size truck with suitable tires. Trying to squeak by with a light truck will end in tears.

Raise and lower the mast with the boat on the trailer, on dry land, level.
An A-frame gin pole works best and you need to secure the feet from sliding in any direction. The upper shrouds should be the last things attached. Have the lowers attached with several turns off, and the backstay attached and slack enough that the mast can go forward of vertical. The weight of the mast leaning forward will be somewhat stable and make the attachment of the forestay easier and less of a panic situation. As the mast is raised, have a crew-person concentrate of the turnbuckles and shrouds as the mast approaches vertical. A "capsized" turnbuckle or a shroud snagged on a winch at this point can cost hundreds of dollars and more. Always carry spare clevis pins and cotter pins/rings. Carry spares for your spares.

OK. You should be ready to go!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Once upon a time, I was told that to be competitive, one needs to sail at least ten years.  Don’t know about the ten years but I do know one thing.  Practice is important.  But, first and foremost is Practice.  Lots and lots of practice.  Did I mention, you need to get out on the water and practice.  Buy a one man dinghy and sail it to death  Pratice.  

Do you early racing with another skipper on his boat.  It would be very nice if you just were not assigned deck hand duties all the time but yes, as a skipper/owner you should be able to do any task asked of your crew.  People may argue with this but unless you appreciate what you are asking others to do, you will make demads they cannot or will not accomplish.  (Most of us refer to this as legal mutiny). It really wrecks the decorum of the crew and kind of kills the boats success.  

Second, if the mentor you are sailing with gives you a good cussing or even a good bawling out.  Take this to heart because these Son of A Bitches do not deserve your efforts at crewing.  Nothing like being commanded to do a task, you do not know how to do or how to do properly and then being screamed at in the loudest voice possible, using the most vile language, because you (in this assholes’ mindset), fucked up.  If this makes no sense, refer to paragraph two.    And Everyone makes mistakes.  Remember Always, YOU ARE NOT SAILING FOR THE AMERICA’S CUP..... Even Dennis Conner survived losing the America’s Cup. The World will not end, if the boat does not win

Third, remember, it is supposed to be fun,  keep it that way, Save your outside voice (read scream and holler) when some one has put themselves/others in danger.  That way, you an get thier attention when you really need to get thier attention.  

Forth, remember, it is supposed to be fun

Finally, when sailing with another, stay behind at the end of the day and help put the boat up.  As Yogi always said, 

“if you don’t go to thier funeral; They won’t go to yours.”

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you sailed in the gorge at Hood River??

  Not the venue to learn to sail/race...

    I would move the boat to Cascade or Portland to cut your teeth,  less wind and wider expanse.

  Hood River Nukes!  Extreme current,  very narrow w limited escape,  oh and then there are the tug & Barges.

  A breakdown mid stream in 40kts will not make a good day...

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.amazon.com/Elvstrom-Explains-Racing-Rules-Sailing/dp/1472946618/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=elvstrom&qid=1577132423&sr=8-1

This book has the full Rule book as well as a large section with simple descriptions & drawings that explain the Rules. You can use the online games to test yourself after you memorise and understand them. 
 

It would be good if you got in a double handed dinghy with someone who has a clue. You learn from your mistakes in the dinghies(swimming). There is no better way to learn than shoulder to shoulder. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The SC27 is a great, fun boat - congrats.

For the most effective racing you may find that more modern boats that are more like big dinghies are going to be faster than your classic - which to be fair,  is more like a mini-yacht in its layout and systems - not a BAD thing,  mind you,  but different from say,  a J/27 in many ways.

Stepping the rig is pretty easy because  it's deck-stepped.  We rig a gin pole and can hang a mast in about an hour.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many good inputs above. 

My $0.02: 

Have a clear set of priorities and incremental actions/goals to avoid disappointment. 

Perhaps something like these: 

Priorities: 

  1. Be safe
  2. Don't break boat
  3. Have fun
  4. Sail Well with what you have for crew, sails, gear
  5. Place well: adding/replacing as needed

Actions/goals:

  • Learn to rig, launch and retrieve single-handed if feasible
  • Learn to reduce time to rig, launch and retrieve on a continuous basis (you want to minimize the non sailing stuff) 
  • Be able to sail, including reefing with minimal crew for safety
  • Practice simple stuff like MOB, and docking with crew to build confidence 
  • Have an Ah SH*T plan for what to do if you blow a sail, drop the mast, engine won't start, skipper unresponsive
  • Keep a log, video or otherwise of your learnings, and record weather, crew settings, and results 
  • Invest in simple instrumentation  over time
    •  Boat speed & GPS as well as depth as a first year.
    • Add wind instrumentation after a year
    • record readings to a NMEA 2000 datalogger for review off boat
    • Depending on your skills/interest/budget: analyze the results and figure out where you are not fast 
      • Polars should be available 
      • FIgure out which tacks, jibes were slow, look at video, learn and adapt
  • take photos of your rig & sails, and tag and number the halyards, sheets, traveler and other controls, compare to instrument readings 
    • If the controls are hard to operate then fix
  • Take photos of the fastest boat's sails and talk to them, about how they handle trim in certain conditions where they are faster
    • Discuss if that's relevant to your boat
    • Try it out 
  • Expect your crew to screw up more frequently than you do.
    • Plan for their learning and training of replacements as needed
    • reward the effort and progress
  • Focus on the incremental positives: 
    • Nobody got hurt and nothing was damaged
    • Today we had only XX bad tacks.. 
    • This race we actually passed a boat that was similar rating... 
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the time people have taken to give thoughtful responses here. I'm looking through all of the information. I'm fully aware that learning in the Gorge is a brash initiation. I do have the time to commit to sailing four days a week next summer, so I'll try to digest as much theory as I can during the winter. Keep it coming. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trailering - I bought 23 foot 3600 pound boat specifically because I could store it in my driveway but realized it's hell to launch so got a slip for it which makes it 1000 times easier to sail. It depeds on if you care about spending 2 hours for setup and 2 hours for takedown every time.

My boat just has 2.5 foot draft and I need over a 10 foot tongue extenion - I use a tow haul strap and disconnect my trailer while I'm sitting on the ramp.  Check your ramp depth and don't run the trailer off the ramp! You may need high tide or simply can't use many ramps. Innocent bystanders sometimes video the process because they've never seen anything so wacky. When crew helps me out, it's very kind of them but probably doesn't actually speed things up unless they know the 50 different steps to making the whole thing work. I think a few times I've been stuck solo holding the mast halfway up and had to get creative... it's nice to get help for that part. I highly suggest an A-frame or something to secure side-to-side sway of the mast during raising.

Have fun trailering and then you'll get a slip and use the trailer for what it's good for - to do work on the boat once or twice a year at your house.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought about trailering.  If you cannot find a parking area where you can store the boat with the mast up, and the boat fully rigged, sailing will become old REALFAST.  There are many who can raise and lower a mast and seem to enjoy the entire rigging process. However, I am not one.  

We own two keep boats.  One has swept back spreaders and the other does not.  Swept back spreaders make raising the mast somewhat easier.  Getting the forestry fastened is a two person bear of a job, However the boat with non-swept back spreadershas has to be tunned every time the mast is raised.  Tunnig and un-tunning a rig every time the mast is raised or lowered is a difficult task at best. (And quite frankly a pain the ass). Boats just don’t sail good unless the mast is fairly straight, fairly perpendicular to the boat and has proper tensioned shrouds and stays.  

It is easier than you think to get a nice S-Bend in the mast.  

Still, on both of our boats, rigging the boat (which includes raising the mast)  is at best a one hour job, at worst an afternoon of hot work.  De-rigging the boat, can be at best a one hour job at worst, a destroyed mast and a multi-thousand dollar expense.   

Save your life, find a place with a hoist and an area where you can store your 27 with the mast up.  Whatever the cost, it is worth it.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

And yes, in addition to sway mitigation you should absolutely use a gin pole and a winch. My gin pole is the same length as j and connects from mast base to a block at the bow. 

What Santana said is right...The whole mast- raising situation kind of reminds me of unloading a nice motorcycle from a raised pickup bed. In the rain. Could take a few minutes ezpz or on a bad day crush your leg and break a few thousand $ worth of stuff. 

I remember the motorcycle starting to slide down the ramp with the brakes locked. An exciting exercise in balance! 

That being said if you have a reliable sturdy system and help and planning -every time- you'll be fine. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trailering: I have a Wavelength 24, ramp launch A LOT. Back to the water's edge, block trlr tires, attach cable (some use rope) roughly 25' long, disconnect tongue, pull ahead to tension cable, remove blocks, back in, launch, pull out to top of ramp where it levels off (easier to reconnect). Same for retrieval. Takes about 5 extra minutes with crew, but I have done it many times single handed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a lot of good input about trailer launching.

I worked as a mechanic at ski resorts for a handful of years, where rigging forces of 50,000 pounds of tension were normal, so I will build a safe system. If you've seen 50,000 pounds of tension released from a haul rope accidentally, that's some wild shit.

I think the best mast raising rig I've seen is a mast step hinge from Buzz Ballenger, which keeps the mast foot from scooting around, and a solid A-frame secured and guyed out to the toe rail. The A-frame will provide lateral stability, and a positive stop when the mast hits vertical. Should be able to route a couple blocks and use one of the winches to do the heavy lifting. Any thoughts on this?

I will have a berth to sail the boat out of on a daily basis. I get that trailer sailing is a pain in the ass with this boat. I want to perfect the ramp launching technique, so that it is inviting to drag the boat up and down the west coast to other venues. There are a lot of cool races up and down the coast. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bay_cloud said:

Trailering - I bought 23 foot 3600 pound boat specifically because I could store it in my driveway but realized it's hell to launch so got a slip for it which makes it 1000 times easier to sail. It depeds on if you care about spending 2 hours for setup and 2 hours for takedown every time.

My boat just has 2.5 foot draft and I need over a 10 foot tongue extenion - I use a tow haul strap and disconnect my trailer while I'm sitting on the ramp.  Check your ramp depth and don't run the trailer off the ramp! You may need high tide or simply can't use many ramps. Innocent bystanders sometimes video the process because they've never seen anything so wacky. When crew helps me out, it's very kind of them but probably doesn't actually speed things up unless they know the 50 different steps to making the whole thing work. I think a few times I've been stuck solo holding the mast halfway up and had to get creative... it's nice to get help for that part. I highly suggest an A-frame or something to secure side-to-side sway of the mast during raising.

Have fun trailering and then you'll get a slip and use the trailer for what it's good for - to do work on the boat once or twice a year at your house.

Good mention about the end of the boat ramp. I am planning to leave it in the water over the summer, I just want to be able to take it places when I have the chance. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Latadjust said:

Hey, one more thing about stepping the mast: a quick easy way is between 2 other boats using their halyards, in water or on trailers (WL24 has keel-stepped mast, so its this, a hoist or a gin-pole) 

Or find a rout to where you keep the boat where there are no trees or light post in duh way. They do it  this way in Florida all the time

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VWAP said:

Or find a rout to where you keep the boat where there are no trees or light post in duh way. They do it  this way in Florida all the time

Ya, I'm lucky in that we have dry storage for boats on trailers with masts up, but out o' town regattas... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Latadjust said:

Trailering: I have a Wavelength 24, ramp launch A LOT. Back to the water's edge, block trlr tires, attach cable (some use rope) roughly 25' long, disconnect tongue, pull ahead to tension cable, remove blocks, back in, launch, pull out to top of ramp where it levels off (easier to reconnect). Same for retrieval. Takes about 5 extra minutes with crew, but I have done it many times single handed.

If you store your boat with the mast up, that's a very different definition of trailering. 

Question for you strap launchers -do you guys use a spare wheel on the tongue? How does your tongue weight change on the ramp vs flat?

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, VWAP said:

Or find a rout to where you keep the boat where there are no trees or light post in duh way. They do it  this way in Florida all the time

Ya, I'm lucky in that we have dry storage for boats on trailers with masts up, but out o' town regattas... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bay_cloud said:

Question for you strap launchers -do you guys use a spare wheel on the tongue? How does your tongue weight change on the ramp vs flat?

The center of gravity shifts aft and the tongue gets light, I've got a dual axle trailer which helps but lots of single axle guys do it, just be careful disconnecting, it'll pop up if you're not careful.  An attachment point for the cable on the trailer well up, not low, helps. Spare tire is best cause it rolls straight but I have just the jackstand wheel, helps to have a crew tend it as it rolls down the ramp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Latadjust said:

The center of gravity shifts aft and the tongue gets light, I've got a dual axle trailer which helps but lots of single axle guys do it, just be careful disconnecting, it'll pop up if you're not careful.  An attachment point for the cable on the trailer well up, not low, helps. Spare tire is best cause it rolls straight but I have just the jackstand wheel, helps to have a crew tend it as it rolls down the ramp.

Yep that's exactly what I do - attach the tow haul strap up high on the trailer to keep the nose down.  I've actually been adding sand bags to the trailer tongue during launch.  My trailer ends up balanced on the dual axles so that the spare tire which is a mounted a few inches high doesn't always touch the ground - the nose of the trailer is just floating in the air. Fun times

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bay_cloud said:

My trailer ends up balanced on the dual axles so that the spare tire which is a mounted a few inches high doesn't always touch the ground - the nose of the trailer is just floating in the air. Fun times

Same here.

I've been launching this way for 20+ years without incident, EXCEPT for the one time about 7 years ago,  1st launch of the year, didn't check tire pressure, launching by myself which I'd done many times, one of my competitors (a long time racer and known to talk A LOT) was working on his boat just beyond the crest of the ramp. No one else around. I get everything set up - cable attached - dock lined hanging. I hop in the truck to ease back on the hitch so I can release it.  It jumps up and keeps going - up. It stops when the back end of the trailer frame hits the pavement which jumps the blocks out from behind the wheels. Now the whole works starts rolling down the ramp.  I'm sitting in the truck watching this unfold in the mirrors, bracing myself and saying as fast a little prayer as i could muster. Amazingly, it goes straight down the ramp,  tilted up at about a 30° angle,  the water slows it down, stern comes up, cable slack used up and comes to rest perfectly alongside the dock. 

I get out of the truck,  tie up the boat and drive back up the ramp, thanking the good lord above that no one saw that. At the top of the ramp I stop to reconnect the trailer.  Without looking up from his work, my competitor says "Interesting way to launch a boat. "

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuck gin poles and A frames, DO NOT DO THAT.

Fabricate a proper tabernacle mast base: two side plates, a half inch bolt athwartship as a pivot. Round off the forward bottom of the mast: As the mast pivots FORWARD, using the boom and main sheet as a lever, then that forward bottom edge of the mast stays clear of the deck. Performance benefit: mast bends better. Two side lines from toenail a foot forward of the mast back to the end of the boom: Keep the boom in the centerline when you drop and raise the mast. Attach main halyard to end of boom, spin halyard to toe rail and pull snug when the mast is up, will go a bit slack as the mast is dropped, no problem. A slight tug on a jib halyard connected to the bow pulpit gets the rig going forward to drop. Slight drag on same halyard makes the mast settle gently when raising. 

In this way, it takes one person five easy no stress minutes to raise or drop the rig.

I did this hundreds of times over ten years with my SC27.

Use a hoist to  launch. The SC27 was specifically designed to be launched with a hoist! There is a vent just forward of the sliding hatch. A steel rod, with an eye at the top, and a threaded coupling on the bottom that screws onto a keel bolt right at the CG of the boat. SCYC people know. Cheap to fabricate, but some are probably available.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You really don’t want the headaches of putting wheel bearings and brakes in the water twice every time you go out. 

I mean, you can and a lot of people do.

But if you do, you will get really good at replacing bearings and axels and tires and fenders and doing brake and light repairs, all on the side of the road. For certain. Lots of experience on this topic.

Keep steel out of the water.

YC hoists are your friend.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/25/2019 at 10:52 AM, Latadjust said:

Same here.

I've been launching this way for 20+ years without incident, EXCEPT for the one time about 7 years ago,  1st launch of the year, didn't check tire pressure, launching by myself which I'd done many times, one of my competitors (a long time racer and known to talk A LOT) was working on his boat just beyond the crest of the ramp. No one else around. I get everything set up - cable attached - dock lined hanging. I hop in the truck to ease back on the hitch so I can release it.  It jumps up and keeps going - up. It stops when the back end of the trailer frame hits the pavement which jumps the blocks out from behind the wheels. Now the whole works starts rolling down the ramp.  I'm sitting in the truck watching this unfold in the mirrors, bracing myself and saying as fast a little prayer as i could muster. Amazingly, it goes straight down the ramp,  tilted up at about a 30° angle,  the water slows it down, stern comes up, cable slack used up and comes to rest perfectly alongside the dock. 

I get out of the truck,  tie up the boat and drive back up the ramp, thanking the good lord above that no one saw that. At the top of the ramp I stop to reconnect the trailer.  Without looking up from his work, my competitor says "Interesting way to launch a boat. "

 

I had a runaway empty trailer down the ramp once (was in a rush), luckily it was easily retrievable. And a scare once when I pulled the boat out of the water too far onto the flat...it of course kept rolling towards my truck but thankfully stopped just short. 

That's why they call it "the show"... watching people launching boats. If I ever sell this boat it will come with a manual that I create for it. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/25/2019 at 11:30 AM, carcrash said:

Fuck gin poles and A frames, DO NOT DO THAT.

Fabricate a proper tabernacle mast base: two side plates, a half inch bolt athwartship as a pivot. Round off the forward bottom of the mast: As the mast pivots FORWARD, using the boom and main sheet as a lever, then that forward bottom edge of the mast stays clear of the deck. Performance benefit: mast bends better. Two side lines from toenail a foot forward of the mast back to the end of the boom: Keep the boom in the centerline when you drop and raise the mast. Attach main halyard to end of boom, spin halyard to toe rail and pull snug when the mast is up, will go a bit slack as the mast is dropped, no problem. A slight tug on a jib halyard connected to the bow pulpit gets the rig going forward to drop. Slight drag on same halyard makes the mast settle gently when raising. 

In this way, it takes one person five easy no stress minutes to raise or drop the rig.

I did this hundreds of times over ten years with my SC27.

Use a hoist to  launch. The SC27 was specifically designed to be launched with a hoist! There is a vent just forward of the sliding hatch. A steel rod, with an eye at the top, and a threaded coupling on the bottom that screws onto a keel bolt right at the CG of the boat. SCYC people know. Cheap to fabricate, but some are probably available.

Any chance you have photos of the tabernacle mast hinge you built for your Santa Cruz 27? I want to set up my boat so that it is easy for myself to launch and retrieve it. Easy-ish. I hear every word about dunking the trailer in salt water frequently. I have a lifting eye for hoist launching. That is a super simple process. There are simply a lot of cool places to sail which do not have hoists. 

I appreciate you taking the time to write useful information

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

what he said...   and pay attention to the weather and wind conditions...  heavy wind conditions is what we call check writing weather, you don't want to break anything..

Well, its windy AF in the Gorge. What are the first things to start breaking?

Link to post
Share on other sites

No advice beyond what others have given you. But I will share that my dad had a SC27 back in the '70s. He'd been sailing Stars, then a Ranger 26. He and few others were going to get a Kirby Half-tonner and the deal fell through for some reason. So he was looking for a boat in the 25-30 foot range. One day there I was reading one of his sailing magazines: whatever Sailing World was back then. On the back cover was an ad for the Santa Cruz 27. I said, "hey Dad how about one of these?"

He ordered one, and we drove out to the factory in Soquel to pick it up and tow it east to Stamford CT where we sailed it for a few years. We spent a few days in Santa Cruz and hung out a little with Bill Lee. Totally out-there character and we really enjoyed meeting him. At the time they were partway through building Merlin. The hull was still upside-down in the shed.

That boat was fast, (relatively) easy to sail, and bullet-proof. If our experience is any guide you will have to work damn hard to break the boat. Last I knew the boat was being sailed on Lake Champlain in upstate NY. But that was a long time ago.

Good luck. I'm a bit jealous.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a kid and these boats first started showing up, they were like Ferraris racing the family station wagon brigade. The first one I laid eyes on was "Vanishing Point" in Santa Barbara. Jeeez, that thing practically glowed in the dark! Most new boats were plain old Clorox bottles with a TV antenna for a mast, most old boats were wooden lead mines (although beautiful). This new boat looked fast tied up to the dock, cool color scheme, bitchin rig, latest everything. I stood on the dock with this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was too young to know that I would feel many times in the future over women and cars, you know that feeling, I stood on the dock drooling...

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Latadjust said:

they were like Ferraris racing the family station wagon brigade

Yeah.  I remember when the first couple of SC27s hit Newport Harbor (Vivacious and Giant Killer, IIRC).  They scooted up and down the bay in the summer beercan races like everyone else was standing still.  With the crews grinning the whole time.  Apparently, fast is fun.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2019 at 5:54 PM, Latadjust said:

When I was a kid and these boats first started showing up, they were like Ferraris racing the family station wagon brigade. The first one I laid eyes on was "Vanishing Point" in Santa Barbara. Jeeez, that thing practically glowed in the dark! Most new boats were plain old Clorox bottles with a TV antenna for a mast, most old boats were wooden lead mines (although beautiful). This new boat looked fast tied up to the dock, cool color scheme, bitchin rig, latest everything. I stood on the dock with this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was too young to know that I would feel many times in the future over women and cars, you know that feeling, I stood on the dock drooling...

Kevin Connelly and the Yabo’s!

0EB03EC2-81ED-4E0A-87C1-E1EFA5E36111.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/23/2019 at 8:38 AM, Raked Aft\\ said:

Have you sailed in the gorge at Hood River??

  Not the venue to learn to sail/race...

    I would move the boat to Cascade or Portland to cut your teeth,  less wind and wider expanse.

  Hood River Nukes!  Extreme current,  very narrow w limited escape,  oh and then there are the tug & Barges.

  A breakdown mid stream in 40kts will not make a good day...

 

Can any other Gorge sailors chime in? Would I be better to base out of Cascade Locks than Hood River? I don't have experience with either. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

set up for stepping the mast on a dragon... (easy to handle, relatively light, simple,...)

 

we just poke the pins under the tripod thrue the holes in deck (where the stays normally are going thrue the deck), attach the front leg of the tripod to either the moring eye on the bow or to the forestay attachement with a shackle and you are ready to lift the mast...

IMG_2617.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fast and safe in the Gorge watch the fast guys, Peaches, Dougie, Tyler, even Hauge and Billy

Goto regattas watch and learn.

The SC-27 ain't a Moore or an Express downwind but she can sail to her rating.

Get a babystay and use it upwind anytime it's windy enough to have the full crew hiking, light winds it is not required, heavy winds you will eventually lose the rig without it, ask me how I know...

Rudders and posts vary a lot, get Betts to build you a new one if/when you lose the one ya got, again ask me how I know.

Often the deck has been rebuilt under the mast and the mast is not centered or class legal aft, get this right. You will need 6" travel on backstay and forestay class max length.

Practice using your gin pole or A frame so you can do it safely and it works easily.

Goto regattas ask questions, watch and learn from the fast guys, look for grey hair or Evan or Hippie.

Dave Hodges at SC Sails has probably forgotten more than most will ever learn of SC-27's, plus his sails are fast and prices fair.

21(880) on uppers 18 (640) on lowers is a good base on LOOS gauge.

Empty crap outa boat except safety gear and cooler(it's required by class rule)

Do Oregon Offshore and beat our record on Blade Runner 196miles in 22hrs.

Do Pac Cup and break our 24kt top speed.

Do 3 Bridge or Ditch and get your first 3 digit score on the results sheet, yup we did that too.

Fast is Fun, you have an epic boat, treat her right and you'll never regret the $$$ spent!

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, nwrig said:

Get a babystay and use it upwind anytime it's windy enough to have the full crew hiking, light winds it is not required, heavy winds you will eventually lose the rig without it, ask me how I know...

 

Great info, thanks.

I just bought a 27 and trying to understand what the babystay is used for.  My boat doesn't have a deck fitting for the babystay, so I'm wondering if I even need it.  Does the babystay serve to stop mast pumping upwind in waves?  Would checkstays serve the same purpose?  Not class legal I know, but I can see the babystay being a PITA, and checkstays would allow better control of the mast bend and compression.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes you will need a babystay, look at any picture of fleet racing in the SC-27 fleet and you will see inverted masts, eventually they break, depends how often/hard you sail.

Use the downhaul tackle for the spinnaker pole as the babystay upwind, as you approach the weather mark simply release it for the last several boatlengths and use as foreguy if you choose.

The babystay is a piece of spectra/or dyneema or whatever hanging from T-ball ring installed to front of mast just about at spreaders. Have a bungy at mast base to secure it when not used which is about 80% of time in PNW but prolly most of time in Gorge you will need babystay upwind. Don't try to reinvent things with checkstays, they are great boats already, the Wizard was smart and wise:)

You will need an interior stay from foredeck to hull just aft of foredeck hatch to secure babystay tackle.

Edited by nwrig
typo
Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, nwrig said:

Yes you will need a babystay, look at any picture of fleet racing in the SC-27 fleet and you will see inverted masts, eventually they break, depends how often/hard you sail.

Use the downhaul tackle for the spinnaker pole as the babystay upwind, as you approach the weather mark simply release it for the last several boatlengths and use as foreguy if you choose.

The babystay is a piece of spectra/or dyneema or whatever hanging from T-ball ring installed to front of mast just about at spreaders. Have a bungy at mast base to secure it when not used which is about 80% of time in PNW but prolly most of time in Gorge you will need babystay upwind. Don't try to reinvent things with checkstays, they are great boats already, the Wizard was smart and wise:)

You will need an interior stay from foredeck to hull just aft of foredeck hatch to secure babystay tackle.

Thanks, I will have a look at how the rig is set up for this next time I am at the boat.  Is the babystay trimmed just hand-tight to stop pumping, or more than hand-tight?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree on the baby stay.
 

I turned my spreaders around to reduce mast bend! It was easy to over bend the mast so forestay tension was lost.

Never had a concern for stability of the rig, and my boat (Light, 47911) was raced hard by many people for over a decade, sometimes with even 8 on the rail in strong breeze and slamming seas. 
 

Strong boats.

I don’t have any pics from 1975-1985 when I owned the boat from new, so none of the mast step (tabernacle). I’ll keep my eyes open however. Every sailboat in Huntington Harbour has such a tabernacle that was needed to lower the mast to get under the PCH bridge since 1962 or so.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a perfect drawing of the typical mast step.
 

Milt and Marty Vogel came up with an improvement that I copied, where the step was raised 4” so sheaves could take lines from inside the mast and distribute them, fanned out across the cabin top. So no holes in the lower part of the spar. No jumping halyards of course, so not necessarily perfect for all, but great on the SC27 where the action must all happen in the cockpit and not at the mast.

62B1AB8F-90EC-4408-B3F3-570615C01F25.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Spindrift V said:

What is wrong with rudder bearing

why are you attempting removal?

There is movement in the rudder moving it side-to-side when held at the bottom of the blade.  Steering upwind in waves it will slop back and forth.  This is very annoying but easy to fix with new rudder bearings.  The weather is too crappy right now, and the boat is in the wrong location, to do most other things so we are focusing on the long-lead time items that we can start on now.  

Trying to get the boat ready for May regattas.  We have lots of time to fabricate and install new rudder bearings.  Which brings up another question - the rudder is held in place vertically at the top of the rudder stock by a plastic ring with three screws in it tapped into the shaft.  If this ring fails the rudder will drop an inch or so and then the rudder head will bottom out on the deck.  This strikes me as pretty mickey mouse, and I am aware that rudder loss has been an issue with 27's.  Are there better rudder head designs out there?

 

IMG_0475.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Spindrift V said:

Sc27s never had rudder bearings..

they simply had a tube that rudder post slipped inside of and white lithium grease now and then

Odd.  This one has them.  It is an after-market elliptical rudder.  The rudder post would have to be 2.5" OD without the bearings.  The current rudder post is 1 7/8" OD SS.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Rain Man said:

... Which brings up another question - the rudder is held in place vertically at the top of the rudder stock by a plastic ring with three screws in it tapped into the shaft.  If this ring fails the rudder will drop an inch or so and then the rudder head will bottom out on the deck.  This strikes me as pretty mickey mouse, and I am aware that rudder loss has been an issue with 27's.  Are there better rudder head designs out there?

Normally these rudders float. The rudder is pushed into the hull and will not fall out without an unusually spectacular event. The Mickey Mouse retainer is so it stays put when hauling the boat. Arrange the bearings to handle the upward force. Prevent the rudder foil from rubbing on the hull. Normally handled by the lower bearing or a bushing where the shaft enters the hull.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Normally these rudders float. The rudder is pushed into the hull and will not fall out without an unusually spectacular event. 

Thanks!  I understand that the boats can pitchpole when pushed downwind.  We intend to push!:)

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Spindrift V said:

Well that’s what’s great about the internet even when you suggest things like putting spreaders on backwards to improve performance you still get a forum.

Babystay will keep mast from inverting which is slow and somewhat dangerous

 

SV, you are correct that a baby stay can prevent mast inversion, which could be dangerous. But on SC27, inversion never happens. Baby stay was never needed.

The slightly swept back stock spreaders (about 5cm) did induce mast bend, but mast bend could be easily increased with back stay tension.

Reversing the spreaders was like adding running back stays, which are effective at reducing mast bend. Two forces acting against each other stabilized the mast. Reversing the spreaders reduced head stay sag by more than half, adding decisively to the ability to go higher and faster. Just like runners.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2020 at 2:16 PM, Spindrift V said:

Yes you will need a babystay, look at any picture of fleet racing in the SC-27 fleet and you will see inverted masts, eventually they break, depends how often/hard you sail.

 

In ten years of racing 100+ days per year, never saw mast inversion. Too much bend was the issue, not too little.
Of course, upwind speed matters, which means headstay tension matters, so I actually used back stay tension.

Those might be the reason for the differences in our experiences: mine is real, yours consists of pictures of incompetently sailed boats. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, carcrash said:

Those might be the reason for the differences in our experiences: mine is real, yours consists of pictures of incompetently sailed boats. 

Slow down a little cowboy!

swrig, who first brought up the babystay, has a couple of SC27 National Championships under his belt (actually his wife's belt) as well as a rig lost to inversion. That boat routinely sails in 30+ knots sustained several times/year. 30 knots is a big difference from 20 knots. When he first brought up the babystay issue, I engaged him on the topic in detail, me being a non-believer. We've talked on several occasions about it. When a professional rigger who has won the Nationals and lost a SC27 rig talks about SC27 rigs, I tend to perk up my ears and pay attention.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On rules, worth getting a couple of apps:

1. World Sailing, about 10 bucks - gives rules, case book and a heap of other stuff.

2. PAX - basically Elvstrom, easily searchable with links to the Case Book

one Book - Perry’s Racing rules book - worth its weight

various technique pointers - YouTube is a massive reference aid

finally, a true sailor realizes they never stop learning

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll make the baby stay work. It’s easy to see how the mast could invert when the boat is really pounding. There’s a lot of flex in 27 feet of lightweight boat and the mast is relatively long. The middle of the mast needs a nudge in the right direction. 


Keep tossing in favorite resources about sail trim, race tactics, etc. The theory of racing sailboats is fascinating. 
 

I’m told I will definitely need a number 4 for the Gorge, and that I will use it all the time. If anyone has a number 4 for sale, let me know. Also, who makes a good number 4 if I need to buy a new one? 
 

I’m psyched on how many people are dumping knowledge on me. There’s a ton of shit to learn. 


 


 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, grimoire said:

I’m told I will definitely need a number 4 for the Gorge, and that I will use it all the time. If anyone has a number 4 for sale, let me know. Also, who makes a good number 4 if I need to buy a new one? 

Call Alex at Ballard Sails in Seattle!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 1/5/2020 at 8:43 AM, silent bob said:

cali zephyr.jpg
 

You mean like this!?

On a different day that same red boat was going upwind, and a 40ft boat did this maneuver and both tried to occupy the same place at the same time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Timo42 said:

Keeping that pic away from wife until tomorrow afternoon...

 

Looks so peaceful in the slip...

88048502_10215647211110277_6055992866197471232_n.jpg

Making a list, mostly sails, minor repairs...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/4/2020 at 11:36 AM, carcrash said:

SV, you are correct that a baby stay can prevent mast inversion, which could be dangerous. But on SC27, inversion never happens. Baby stay was never needed.

The slightly swept back stock spreaders (about 5cm) did induce mast bend, but mast bend could be easily increased with back stay tension.

Reversing the spreaders was like adding running back stays, which are effective at reducing mast bend. Two forces acting against each other stabilized the mast. Reversing the spreaders reduced head stay sag by more than half, adding decisively to the ability to go higher and faster. Just like runners.

UM...  Is that class legal??

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/29/2020 at 6:41 PM, Timo42 said:

Looks so peaceful in the slip...

88048502_10215647211110277_6055992866197471232_n.jpg

Making a list, mostly sails, minor repairs...

 

Is it class legal to remove the toe rails?  Asking for a friend...