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About JTam

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  • Birthday 01/01/1

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    Chanhassen, MN
  1. I too had trouble with my birdmouth spars. Don't remember where I read it, but I made a tube out of newspaper to the interdiameter of the spar, and used it as a core to "roll" the staves around. Once I got the first clamp on getting the rest of the staves in line and clamped was relatively easy. I made my plug by ripping a square stock (same width as the inner diameter of the spar) with my tablesaw blade set to 45 degrees - made a great 8-sided plug.
  2. Arlen, I too made my weekender with open seats, but only the aft half of the seat is open. The forward half still is still enclosed and accessible from the cabin. My reason for doing this is that it gives more foot room for the helmsman how needs to get up and move around more than passengers. The extra leg room makes a difference. If you have enclosed seat boxes why not just cut an opening in the aft section? Leave the forward section as is.
  3. Denis, I had to laminate my mast stub because I couldn't get any decent lumber in the 4x4 dimension. I believe the laminated stub is stronger than the a solid piece, and it has none of the stress cracks you often get with the latter not to mention cheaper. For the rest of my mast, I used the bird's mouth method.
  4. I put birdsmouth spars on my weekender too. I used a tablesaw with a dado blade set at a 45degree angle. Some hints: 1. cut the staves from a 2 x 10 or wider - the staves will have straighter grain than if you cut the staves from a 1 x 10 or longer. 2. If you us a 2 x 10 be ready to complete the spar within a day or two - even on kiln dried lumber the center of a 2 x 10 has enough moisture to cause some crazy twisted staves. 3. before you assemble your spar, roll up a magazine or newspaper to the same diameter as the center bore of the spar and use this as a "core" to build your spar around. You only need a 1-2 foot core to help form the spar, the remaining lenght just "snaps" into place. Be sure the wrap the paper core with clear packing tape to prevent the epoxy from sticking to it. 4. The Woodenboat article didn't recomend any particular type of wood for these type of spars. Just make sure that if there are any knots in the timber that they are "tight" knots. 2x10's usually come from larger trees and have fewer and tighter knots. I used white pine for my spars and there were knots ( my staves were 3/4 inch thick)
  5. Dave, Assuming your boom tent has grommets on it, what I've used in the past is to screw an eye hook into the top of a soda or water bottle cap, and use a soda or water bottle as a "sand bag" to hold a boom tent down. It's a pretty simple solution, and these days empty soda/water bottles seem readily available. Another solution is to get a set of boat cover suction cups from Boatus or West Marine. I think they should stick to the weekender's ....might want to try a cheap suction cup before investing in the big ones.
  6. Noel, Tailtales on the leech of the mainsail for a marconi rig. Not sure about a gaff rig. I plan to put three on my main's leech. Placement, it is suggested that the upper tailtale be placed 15-25% of the leech's length from the top (e.g. 15 foot leech, set first tailtale about 3 feet from the top). Use the same 15-25% for the bottom tailtale. The mid - tailtale splits the distance between the top and bottom tailtales. The attached URL has some good rule of thumb: Jtam'> Jtam
  7. Dave, Most sailboats don't have internal (inside the boom) mainsheets. This is because of the wide range of angles that occur between then boom and the mainsheet at the different points of sail. If you're thinking binimi, I'd consider not leading the mainsheet forward, and replace one of the blocks at the end with a ratch block - or a becket with a cam cleat if you feel comfortable with that. If you get a chance, check on the mainsheet on Precision 18 and 21's, they are rigged in this manner. The weekender sail area isn't that big; so moving the mainsheet attachment points shouldn't be a big deal. On bigger boats, with dodgers and binimi's the mainsheet is often attached forward of the companion way and the sheet led back through the dodger. If you're not going to rig your boat until the ice is out, you could always go up to Lake City and check out the different options used on the big boats. When rigging a boat, size doesn't matter as much as convenience. Good luck
  8. Dave, Next time in light winds, forget the wires and sit on the lee side of the boat. This counter heels the boat and lets gravity give the sails some shape. Most times this will get the boat moving even when there seems to be no wind. I do this a lot in the light summer winds.
  9. Sorry about the dragonfly link...there's an extra "dot" in the url. The correct url is
  10. Hi all, I linked my trolling motor to my tiller/rudderbox. I did this for two reasons: 1. The power unit on the trolling motor is very long and did hit the rudder, and 2. moving the motor and the rudder as a unit increased my control and decreased my turning radius when motoring. I combined two designs found on the following websites: and I also converted my weekender from a wheel to a tiller. So my rudderbox is taller than the plans show. This made constructing the linkage simpler I'll try to post some pic's of what I did later.[/img]
  11. Dave, I have a MinnKota PowerMax 47 (47# thrust) on my weekender. It works great on MN lakes. We sail on a lake where the boat ramp is separated from the main lake by a 1/2 mile channel. The motor has pushed our weekender through that channel against a 18 knot headwind without a problem at half throttle. So, I would not worry about the 45 Endura you're considering. As for the battery, we got a 80 Amp Hour deep cycle and never have run out of battery juice.
  12. Jim, Usually when Manufactures say not suitable for below the waterline they mean not more than a few days of total immersion. So if you're going to dry sail I'd coat the rudder with 2 coats of epoxy, and then 3 coats of marine varnish. The epoxy is a good "primer" for the varnish. Most times varnish lifts because of moisture getting between it and the substrate. The coats of expoxy will "slow" this the adsorption of water into the wood. This advise comes from most of the epoxy vendors (i.e. West System, Sytem 3, and Raka). I did this with my rudder and haven't had any problems....of course you should "freshen" the varnish every year - lightly scuff the surface and recoat with fresh varnish. Good luck
  13. John, I used the NACA foil measurements for my weekender rudder. Unfortunately I didn't make a standard weekender rudder so no comparison. But, I did have any of the vibration that some of the other builders have experienced. Very happy with the response of the rudder. I also went to a tiller on my boat over the wheel.
  14. For Paint or varnish to stick to epoxy you need to remove the epoxy blush left behind after the stuff hardens. I would sand all loose primer off, then scrub the area with soapy water and a nylon scrubber to remove the blush. Be sure to rise all of the soap off, and let dry, before re-priming. Note: Dry sanding epoxy just spreads the blush over a larger area, either wash the area before sanding, or wet sand and rinse the while still wet