Rob Blackburn

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About Rob Blackburn

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  • Birthday 01/01/1

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    Lennox Head Australia
  1. Hi Rob I see you went with the sloop rig. I must say with stays, topping lifts and lazy jacks integral with the stacking sail bag, a zip luff jib and full length battens I'm sure I could beat you in the race from stopping the car to sailing off the ramp. I only have 3 extra lines to clip on with snap hooks...the topping lift, the reefing line at the clew, and the reefing downhaul at the tack...compared to a standard CS17 with tracks. Everything else is permanently rigged. Certainly though a roller reefing jib is a terrific way to reduce sail area quickly. You are probably a bit quicker to windward which is always nice. Cheers Peter HK I guess when I say busy I mean that there is nowhere to put the sails if you go with the battened sails. My old rig was just wrapped up around the mast which was perfect at the end of the day etc so that you did not have a pile of sailcloth in the boat with you. I did agonise over the whole thing and I can see the merit in that approach, I just wanted the things out of the way when they were down. The main is all nicely zipped away and in reality it is two topping lift clips and the gooseneck fitting pin (which is one of those irritating split ring things... made by Bastards Incorporated Pty Ltd incidentally) You are totally correct on a race from the car park to the bridge and back. It does take more to do. I guess the bit that over rode that decision was the 'fright' I had out in Hervey Bay one day. It did not take much imagination that day to see me in The Courier Mail, page one. The other thing that beats me around the head on this is that we bought a couple of those Hobie Adventure Islands. If you have a few hours free, you just chuck them in the water and go for a sail and go home. The 'boat' has always been a bit of a bigger project and this has not helped. But when I get to Tassie or Fraser, it will be better. So compromise is the word I guess. Dunno as we say. I wondered about telling everyone about this but there may be something here that interests someone. The cat ketch certainly looks better! Rob
  2. John Welsford did the whole thing. I sent him the sail plan drawing that Graham supplied which shows the centre of effort and centre of LR. I also did a fair bit of amateur checking of it all and initially I thought that John had it in the wrong place...(don't you love the irony in that sentence?) He clearly knows more about it than me and it has worked out perfectly. Yesterday with all sail in about 10-12knots there is gentle weather helm hard on the wind which is as he predicted. When I say gentle I mean gentle. Not like a Laser etc. John made a remark at one stage that the form of the hull has a lot to do with the true balance of the boat as it heels and his take on this project was that he thought it would be spot on and he was right. So that was my big fear at the outset that I would be dragging the rudder through the water like a barn door. So all good.
  3. Hello All, I have been absent for quite a while from the forum but thought would send you a few pictures of our Core Sound 20 with it's new rig. I had John Welsford draw me up a new sail plan for the boat about 2 yrs ago. I initially thought I wanted a 'modern gaff' rig but John was busy at the time and by the time he got to starting my job I came full circle and decided on a standard sail plan. Largely due to the thought of having to deal with local mast and sail makers who would have no experience in that type of rig. (nor me for that matter) So, once I had the drawing I then started trying to get a mast section etc that would fit the bill but that proved a bit harder than I thought. Most riggers were in the big boat $20,000 per job end of the market at a starting point and all their gear and experience was built around that. So the sections they had were all bigger than I needed and it got a bit frustrating sending off emails/plans etc to finally get out of them that it was not their cup of tea so to speak. So, driving past the sailing club I spotted a couple of Nacra cats so rang the factory in Brisbane and after a bit of discussion they did a great job on the rig and also had their preferred sailmaker come and do the sails. So it all finished up well. The final product is exactly what I asked for and works perfectly now that I have my head around the rigging etc. It does take a bit more to rig though. The jib in particular is a bit of a pain to rig as it has a luff zipper and when the boat is on the trailer it is not easy to manhandle as you are working above your head. If you put the boat in the water first then it is much easier. But the sail then falls in the water or in the mud. It has the luff zipper so you can use the roller furler drum. The main has lazy jacks and pre-rigged reefing lines down to the boom, which go forward to the mast and jam cleats. It works really well and this is the main reason I did the whole exercise. The problem I had was that the boat was not easy to reef or drop sail when sailing by one's self or when in rough conditions. Getting up on the foredeck really is not an option if you are being thrown around a bit and the wind is building. I found that if you lashed the tiller and the mizzen and then tried to reef the mainsail on your own it really was not easy. It was inviting me to fall into the water in my opinion. There was a thing in SCA where some guys had that experience in that they put too much weight on the bow and flipped their Core Sound from memory. I just did not feel confident that I could sort it out on my own if I got caught. My option was to rerig the cat ketch with a mast track and halyards etc but I just did not have it in me to go down that road. It just looked too hard. Maybe I am wrong on that but I had a look at a 17 with all the reefing lines etc and it looked pretty busy. I puzzled over the rig on the Bay Raider ie self tacking jib, gunter main rigged a bit further forward ie at end of deck in current 3rd mast hole but then needed a mizzen and bumpkin and all that. Could not face that either. So in the end I let the easiest route become the one I would follow. I don't think the boat is any faster really, I had an increase in sail area but it does not feel any faster. Down wind the old rig would have to be quicker wing and wing I feel, but am doing a whisker pole to get the most out of that. The boat runs so well downwind that I think the performance would probably be very little different over the type of sailing we do. If the jib gets annoying you roll it in. I had the mast rigged with the fittings for a spinnaker/screecher but that will have to wait for next year. I am going to shamelessly copy the bay raider which I pored over at the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival. So, the reason for all this is simple. We are booked in the Tawe Nunnugah Sailing Raid in Tasmania in Feb 13. (I went sea kayaking down that area in January of this year and was amazed at the wind we had so hence the need to have good reefing I feel.) It should be a lot of fun for a week, then a few days of wooden boat festival... That in itself is fun but having your boat in the harbour and sitting on board having a few refreshments at the end of the day should be good too. Anyway, it won't suit everyone but I am just putting it 'out there for discussion'. Not sure if the attachments have worked so here is a link to download the photos off Droplr. Cheers Rob Blackburn Lennox Head Australia.
  4. We have a CS 20 in northern NSW if you are up this way and you want to come and see us/go for a sail. Rob
  5. We had sprits all along and they were fine. In many ways they are the best and easiest. The problem was we got caught out in deeper water by some wind and despite having 2 guys on board and plenty of weight we got a bit of a fright. We got the main away and then were on mizzen alone but we could not go to weather at all well with the mizzen in the middle hole and we had a long way to go. (We got to shore and moved the mizzen eventually) So it made for a long day. The boat seems to drive well to weather with the masts in their normal spots but with reduced sail better, than the mizzen sail in the middle hole only if you have a load on. Also it is not easy in 25knots and waves mucking around carrying masts about. It is all fun though, I have enjoyed the whole process but feel that this offers a "Sea Pearl" type solution to the reefing issue. Rob
  6. Hello Chaps, I can understand if you think I have been a bit of the long way around on this but that is what happens when you start in one spot and are too mean to chuck out the sails and masts etc you have made. Finally got the roller reefing working on the CS 20 and on the weekend had the chance to try it in a gusty NE wind here in Ballina. It worked a treat. I have put up some shots that may be of interest to someone. There is a video here too. The nice thing about rolling up the sails is that it is really neat and tidy and there is no sails in the boat. I just could not come at the mess everywhere getting muddy and having lunch spilled on them etc.. if you have to put them down in the bottom of the boat. I also like being able to transport/store the whole catastrophe easier. I think now I will start on getting a lighter set of masts working as the way I have it now it is rather heavy as I have sleeved the bottom 1.5m of both of them due to me breaking the first ones. It really is a two person job to get them up safely. But over all it is better than the two other bright ideas I have had!!! Cheers Rob
  7. Kel the stainless man has finished my fittings. So here are some shots of the hardware. Old Greg the retired butcher with a lathe has done me up some hardwood 'donuts' to for mast fittings. They are not finished as yet, they need tidying up... Here are some shots. The booms I have made are straight until the last 20% so that you don't get that big gap between the bottom of the sail and the boom. Then the boom drops down to the mast. Should work. But the problem remains, how does one give the mast man the amount of load on the mast so he builds one strong enough? Rob
  8. I guess I am looking for a way to get rid of sail area when sailing alone, or in deep choppy water even with a mate with me. As for cost. I have a quote from a NZ company around the $1200 delivered mark, which is not that expensive compared to a smoking habit or the million dollars a head given by the govt to buy each GM workers job. What I see as the advantages of this approach is that you get to stay in the boat at all times, ie undo vang, loosen outhaul and wind up mast with rope around the bottom. Then vang on, outhaul on, and you don't have to stand there fiddling with a pile of sail, lazy jacks etc. The mess you end up with under a sprit is not pretty so I can't see any great loss of efficiency being the point here. Besides it is not about a race either. If you look at the sail rolled up on the mast it is not that big really, relative to the outhaul dimension. The big problem with the cat ketch I reckon is that as soon as you pull on the main in any way, you make the bow drop to leeward. So if you are anchored as suggested, it hunts around on the anchor and on the 'return trip' it tries to get you over the side if you are up on the foredeck fiddling... No amount of mizzen tension prevents this if the wind is up. So, assuming that it is not class racing you are after I reckon this is worth a go. I have here a link to some photos I have garnered off the web and magazines. The one labelled Bolger sail design is sort of closest to what I have in mind. The other ones show a boat with a novel boom which I reckon can be avoided by using turned up hoops that go on the boom ie 3, one at the top to stop the movement, one that moves with a boom fitting on it that only moves in the vertical plane, then another stopper one fixed to the mast. Got to take kids to school so shall look in again later. Rob
  9. Hello Chaps, me again. I have finally decided it is time for action. Now I want some technical advice. My plan is simple. 1. throw out my aluminium masts 2. throw out my sails with sprit booms 3. get a kiwi mob to make me some carbon masts. 4. get new sails cut which have vertical leech battens so they can still roll up... a bit like a Hobie resort catamaran 5. finish making new laminated booms 6. harrass stainless steel fabricator to finish my gooseneck fittings which are shamelessly ripped off from the Seapearl design but made bigger. 7. enjoy an easier boat to sail alone. My questions are... 1.What data do I give the mast man about strengths required in the finished masts seeing as I have wrecked one set of aluminium ones already and. 2. what sail design considerations should I be considering for the new sails? ie length of battens, number of battens etc etc The reason behind this is the idea that I can reef by ... 1. unclip vang, 2. loosen outhaul, 3. roll up mast and sail to desired size, 4. reclip vang on, 5. tighten outhaul, 6.continue. Rob
  10. Crikey!!! 2003. I will have taken it off or it will have fallen off the server. I will see if I have it at work and put it back on. Rob
  11. sorry about the delay... How has the boat held up... Good really, except when we hit the corner of a pontoon and punched a hole. Also when I towed it out from under my house and knocked the transom off because I left the engine on the transom and it hit the bottom of the bathroom. The finishes have been good and bad. The waterbased epoxy paint was a matt finish and was never much good in places. Eric had a lot of trouble spraying it. It also does not bond well to the old coating inside.. The same with the waterbased clear finish. I am sure the vendor/maker would tell me why it should have worked but we have tried and it has been hard. I have just cracked the mizzen floor fitting which is made from timber and epoxied. Suspect the mast rocking on the gallows whilst trailing on the road. Am going to put a stainless fitting in there instead. Otherwise it is good. The boat is nearly standard, Eric curved the seat lockers to follow the line of the coaming better and we raised the aft deck a bit to allow more storage, but not all the way in the plans. Happy with that. The music was a Neil Finn song .. 6 Months in a Leaky Boat sung by Little Birdy... Album... She Will Have Her Way We launched at Southport and had the first night at Jumpin Pin Bar and then the next two nights at Caniapa Point on N Straddy .. We planned to go to Manly on the last day but the wind which had been on the nose for most of the weekend gave up the ghost so we motored half way home and got the car. Rob
  12. Get the 20 in my opinion. 2 blokes and gear, fits well, I really think the 17 would be too small for somewhere like Hervey Bay. We have had some hairy trips up there and the 20 handled it really well. You are welcome to come and see ours. We are in Lennox Head Rob 0434 004 895
  13. We did a 3 day camp cruise up an inland waterway here in Oz a few weeks back. By our standards it was cold but we had a great time and enjoyed the sailing. Here are some links to a simple short movie made with the digital camera. Two formats, Apple Windows These will download the movie in a zip file. Rob
  14. Yes, I have done the slip and fall just missing the bit on the end of the centreboard too... not a happy thought getting that up your clacker. We have the luff pockets etc but I do feel as if I have had to reinvent the wheel a bit with them. Shall dig out some photos for you... I had some up on the web but not sure where at the present. You need 2 zippers. That is the bit that foxed me for a while. You have one from the foot to the first normal cutout, then another up to the top cutout. Plenty of reef grommets and it is quite simple. In hindsight, I think the best arrangement would be the soft luff sail plan ie no battens, so you can roll it up, a track up the mast so you can move it down before you reef and also the track allows easier reefing full stop. End of story. More than that becomes overkill for the boat. My other thoughts were the balanced lug, like Nigel Irens Romilly. But once again you are at the cutting/bleeding edge reinventing stuff. Paint it, put the sails up and go. Don't think too much about it. That is my advice. Rob
  15. Hello all, we are still alive and have dusted off the boat again after a dalliance with the dark side in the form of a speedboat. The kids like tubing and there is no way I can convince them that sailing around is quite the same. So, we relaunched the boat for the 3rd time since I broke the transom off by pulling it out from under the house with the outboard on the back and headed down river. (the 2nd time was interesting too as we nearly tipped it in a gust due to the crew having his leg over the mainsheet cleat, me having a beer in the non tiller hand and a BIG gust hit us... we luffed up and took a few gallons over the side) Thinking how nice it was and how much nicer it would be if we could have a nice coffee as well we headed for the large aluminum floating dock out front of the riverside cafe in Ballina. I made a mental note that last time I did this, I had unclipped the sails and motored onto the dock but thought, 'why not just luff up, up current and gently fall on'... As the more perceptive readers will realise here was a problem developing. The current was stronger and the wind dropped all at the wrong time just as the crowd assembled. Crunch onto the dock... the sharp corner of the dock to boot, we arrived 6 foot too far down (no shouting though by the captain), we then fell off and drifted in behind the pontoon ending up with the bow wedged onto the retaining wall and the motor failing due to cavitation from arresting our drift. I let it gently nose onto the concrete wall, stem first cut the motor, got the rudder untangled and turned the motor through 180 deg and powered out. What a debacle. Luckily we had some duct tape and all was well. Here are a few shots of the hole in the side and it is back to the shed for repairs. sigh Rob