Saturday, June 28, 2014

A few upgrades and I hope, improvements....

Since the first time I took my boat out on the water there have been some things that needed attention and changing. So here I will describe most of the changes I have so far made.

I moved the boom up the mast about 7 inches in order to improve visibility from the cockpit and allow a person sitting on one side to see the person sitting on the opposite side. I like it much better this way and didn't notice any downside really and I was out in some pretty fair wind.

One of the problems I had been having was the jib sheets getting caught in the halyard cleats that were attached to the sides of the mast. I did away with them and instead I made some belaying pins down on the deck just behind the mast and some turning blocks at deck level to point the halyards towards the pins. These work really well and are out of the way of the jib sheets. When you need to release a halyard in a hurry, just knock the pin up and out or pull it. Make sure you have hold of the halyard when you do though!!!

The belaying pins make a nice place to hang the coiled halyards after the sail is raised too.

I decided to use this sort of high tech rope on my boat instead of steel cables for the standing rigging. This Dyeema rope is just as strong as the steel cable and easy on the hands. Also it's easy to adjust the tension and since I did not have to by expensive tensioning devises, I think it actually cost less this way.

I made a new jib furler as well. I owe this and many other rigging items and ideas on my boat to Joel Bergen, a Seattle boat builder and sailor. His blog, should you wish to take a look is linked from the right column of this blog. It is well worth checking out, as there is a wealth of ideas and entertaining sailing content.

My Jib sail furled up and ready to go.

The main sheet, the only thing I did here was to add the boom bail to attach the block to the boom instead of a piece of rope.

My mainsail outhaul runs from the clew of the sail around the boom and out to the ring at the end of the boom, then up the boom to the cam cleat.

Here is another Joel Bergen beauty, this nifty and easy as well as cheap, tiller lock. It is adjustable from completely locked to completely loose, all at the turn of the knob. It works great and is very handy to have.

Here are the rudder up and down hauls. The one on the left hauls the rudder down and has a pressure release in case the rudder hits something under water. The one on the right hauls the rudder up.

Well I took the easy way out this time. I was going to make a nice boarding ladder and even had my son make some hinge parts for me but I found this guy online fr a good price and after searching in vain for some nice teak to make one, I just bought one and here it is.

In my original plan, this would have been cabin but now it is just open space to move around. It may be the future home of a tent though.

I used these straps and snap connectors to attach the luff of the main sail to the mast. The jury is still out on them. Sometimes they don't want to slide down the mast when I'm bringing it down. I like the clean look but we will see.

Here is a view of the mast head showing the gaff jaws. Actually it may be the jaws that is holding up the mast when I lower it. You can see the jib swivel, the topping lift where it goes thru the ring on the side of the mast. Also the throat and peak halyards where they attach to the gaff.

This is the centerboard up haul at the front of the cockpit.

The centerboard uphaul tackle in the top of the centerboard case makes pulling up the weighted board a breeze.

Auxiliary power.

After the sail is stowed on top of the boom, it can be raised up using the topping lift and mainsheet to open up the headroom in the cockpit.

Lets go sailing!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I went for a sail today on Folsom Lake

Over the last couple of weeks, and since the launch of my boat, there were several things I wanted to change in order to make it easier to operate. I raised the boom 7 inches, added a home made jib furler, relocated the topping lift to better catch the sail as it comes down. The jib sheets were catching on the halyard cleats so I did away with them and instead made some belaying pins down at deck level instead of up on the mast. I made a homemade tiller tamer so I can move about the boat to take care of things without the boat going off in some unwanted direction. So today I got to try all these things out. Sorry I didn't get any specific pics of these changes in use but I will try to get some bette shots tomorrow. I did get this little video just as proof that I in fact did go sailing.

This was the best breeze I have had since the first splash of this boat and it was great fun getting out there. I need much more practice to be able to efficiently single hand this boat so anybody who wants to go along let me know and you will be welcomed. I'll get some better pics of the changes I made tomorrow and make another update here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Launch day finally.....

The day has finally arrived and we are going to get wet!

We're off to find some water....

We went to a local lake called "Camp Far West Lake" as it is about the only lake in the area that is nearly full. I guess I was in too much of a hurry to get pics of the launch, Debi was driving the motorhome and I was helping the boat off the trailer. All went well and I tied her up to the dock while we parked the house in our campsite. Here I am motoring into our camp area.

Here she is anchored a few feet off the shore. We tried something called an anchor buddy that is like a bungy cord so you can pull it to shore and climb aboard or exit and then let it out away from the rocky waters edge. The keel still took it's share of bruising so I will have to add some sort of protection for that.

Here are some pics of the weekends fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A big step closer!!!

I've been looking forward to getting her rigged...

I got the mast up and the standing rigging mapped out. I'm using the high tech rope for this task called Dyeema. 3/16" for the stays and 1/8" to lash then and provide tension. This stuff is way easier and lighter than using steel cable and probably no more expensive either.

There are still lots of fiddly bits left to do but I am happy with the rigging so far.

The boom...

The boom gooseneck that Matthew made.

A view up the stick.

It was a hot one today so I'll carry on tomorrow morning hopefully.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Odds & ends, this & that...

Lots of different projects coming up soon to get the boat ready for rigging.

This is the masthead fitting my son made for me. There are attachment points for the standing rigging and the main and jib halliards.

The base of the mast is where the boom attaches with a contraption called a boom gooseneck. My son Matthew made this piece for me to my specifications, well I specified incorrectly and told him the mast had a radius of it's diameter. Anyway he made it like I told him so instead of a 3.5" radius on the mount plate, there is a 7" radius. Instead of having him redo it due to my mistake, I just added a pad and contoured it for the correct radius. It is being glued onto the mast now and then I will varnish the rest of the mast.

Boom & Gaff. The ends of all these spars will be painted.

I added this little shelf to mount the centerboard cam cleat.

Centerboard getting its fiberglass sheathing.

And the same for the rudder.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What a difference a little paint makes....

Well I finally got to sanding and finishing up the cockpit for some paint.

Still a little paint work to do here though!

I am also working on the mast and the gaff. the sail is pretty much done except I have to put in the grommets for lacing the sail to it's spars. I will be getting the rigging together before long though I still have the centerboard and rudder to sheath in fiberglass and epoxy. I'm hoping to splash this girl in about a month!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

How to make it go...

Big brown stopped by the other day and brought me a box of sail parts. All I gotta do is stitch them together. Sure would be nice to have a big sail loft with a sewing pit in the middle.

Well I started sewing mine on a 4x8 ft table on the patio. I did the jib and it was about as big as I wanted to do there.

Then I started sewing on the main, doing as much work as I could on separate panels before trying to stitch them together. after I got all the little patches and reinforcements sewn on, I started sewing together the small panels into sections still small enough to handle. Then finally I moved the sewing machine into the living room and stitched these panels together on the floor were they have nowhere to fall. Hard on the knees but got the job done. There are still a couple of things that need to be done in the middle but it was where a patch fell on a seam so I couldn't do that until the panels were together. Now I have to sew on the corner patches, reef re-enforcements and treat the edge of the sail all around. It was actually kinda fun sewing this thing together.