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  2. Well Chessie's dinghy, "Catnip" (a Two Paw 7), is finished (except for painting her interior a "battleship" gray). So I'm finishing the conversion of Chessie's trailer from 3-rollers to one 16' trough. Today applied the last coat of epoxy with one tablespoon of powered graphite. Here's a photo: Once the cure was at the "thin-film set" stage -- can you believe that I was allowed to move the sixteen foot epoxied 2x4 board into our living room to cure in 70 degree comfort? Now that's a wife you can live with for 60 years (come July)! I'll smooth out that groove with 400 grit aluminum oxid paper. Once installed, I'll help it be nice and slippery with some paste wood-floor wax. The loading will be reduced from ~500 lbs/roller to just ~100 lbs/foot, or only about 8 lbs/inch! I think the keel will be much relieved and the boat will have an easier highway transport. Chessie is in a lift at Backyard Boats in Woodbridge so that I can have the trailer at home for the modifications. Too much sunshine! Better pix later. Forward roller (aft to right). Middle roller. Note "walking board" going forward (to left). Very useful (recovering) for attaching winch hook to bow-eye and keeping dry. Aft roller. The board at the bottom of pix is the CB catcher. This keeps the CB from ever dragging on the highway -- and also never hanging up on the aft cross member when launching. Once the new trough proves itself in a trial launch -- I'll discard the rollers.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Matt, My experience has been that the boat is ever so slightly faster (or at least feels faster perhaps due to the added weather helm) with the mizzen sheeted in just a touch extra. That being said, it's easy to take it too far and if the boat starts feeling slow again I let both sails out and start again. Sometimes the boat just starts bogging down from being over sheeted but it's hard to know sometimes unless your able to sail along side another boat for reference or you are glued to the gps for speed. A few times this year on the EC when we had a long beat after CP2 to Cape Sable and we were trying to keep up with the Highlander I would reset our average speed on the gps and sheet something just slightly or adjust the snotter and then see the effect on average speed after say 5 min. I'm not sure it was any better than just "feeling" if the boat was faster but we had nothing else to do and were sailing too high to use the spinnaker at that point The mizzen operates in the backwash of the main especially when beating so I've always felt that it needed to be sheeted in a bit more than the main. Sheeted in just past luffing might be the right spot but I think a better way to think about it is to be sheeted in to "just before stall" which might be 2 or 3 or some other number of degrees past when the sail looks like it's not luffing. In other words I think there is a range (maybe 5 deg) of sheeting angles that will look fine (telltales flying nicely) when beating and which one is best? I don't know. Having a lot more tell tales would be nice to try sometime and do some testing. Like taping a bunch of 4" long pieces of cassette tape (if you can find one) to the sail near the mast. Also I think in stronger wind the effect is not as bad since the area of backwash from the main is moving faster and has less effect on the mizzen (just a guess) so then the mizzen becomes more effective and the boat starts to feel the extra lift which is sometimes too much. That's why I think the boat really pops up when you get a gust while going upwind so sometimes i'll crack off on the mizzen just a bit to depower it a little whereas otherwise I would keep it in that little extra bit. Still rounding up in the puffs to keep from capsizing of course but it seems to me that the mizzen wants to be in a slightly different spot compared to the main when the wind picks up if that makes sense.
  5. I know you retired from your day jobs, but as long as you own a boat you never quit working. You guys down that way got hit with the serious winds while Houston was hit with the water that was so slow to move away. My son lost two vehicles and his entire house goods. He paddled out of his house in his son's kayak with a small backpack. It was a time. Thankfully with tons of help he has fully recovered even as his lost tons of family memories. It was a time. We have been boating ourselves as my wife retired a bit early with severe arthritis .But at least we are still able to get on and off the boat on our own. Will chat again in the future and probably will be making a trip to see the grandkids in the near future,,, So maybe if you are up his way we can get together for a hamburger.
  6. LOL ,Oyster- I retired years ago. Hey, last birthday I turned 78! Haven't been able to do much sailing since I hurt my back. Injured it on a sailboat delivery down to Mexico. Gertting better slowly, so maybe can repair the baoat soon. AND I bought back a Lindsey 21 I've owned twice before. It has some damage also. Last trip I did was a singlehand one- 3 months, here in Texas to Florida and return. Good to see you still posting
  7. Greetings its been a while since we have seen you around these parts for sure. And I am just getting back up to speed myself . I hope you get some time on the water this year without any storms. Keep in touch and give us any updates on any sailing adventures when you finally retire.
  8. Last week
  9. Brad, I'm interested in learning more about what you did here. Do you have any process photos? Or shots of the stem before the strips were added? What kind of seam is hiding under there?
  10. Yes Alan, I appreciate your very helpful insight on how to sail the cat ketch rig with a spinnaker
  11. Thanks, Alan, for all of this useful info. I have a question about this particular comment. When I am sailing to windward, I usually sheet both sails to where they start to luff at the same time and steer just on the other side of luffing. Do you tend to oversheet your mizzen slightly so there is room to sheet out slightly and not luff? Is that trim more efficient with a cat ketch?
  12. We have routes saved to go between each checkpoint but we don't always stay navigating on the route all the time. It's nice to break it up into smaller chunks so you can say, ok 4 hours until we reach (whatever the next milestone is) and i just use the route as a guide and set my own "go to" point. The route is a lot less important for us since depending on the wind direction we might follow the route exactly or be tacking wildly across it in which case it is not helpful to have closely spaced points along the route and better to keep picking a point up ahead say 5 or 10 miles distant. Otherwise as you pass each point vmg drops to zero and the gps is telling to you turn 90 deg to be on course while in actual fact you might be just sailing past one of the route points. The garmin decides when to navigate you to the next point on the route which is annoying sometimes because you can have a gap in the heading information until the gps picks up the next point on the route which is why i like to have my go to point always distant. If your navigating through an inlet though you're going slower and have to be more mindful to stay on the route exactly especially at night.
  13. Wow - thanks Alan. That is a ton of great information. I'm going to copy the whole reply to my OneNote notebook. You set up most or all your waypoints before the race, don't you, so you're just selecting the next point along the route, or are you actually creating new points as you sail the course?
  14. That's a terrific explanation, Alan. Thanks.
  15. On desktop or larger displays you may notice that several posts are displayed incorrectly. I have a support topic in for this and will keep you updated. I apologize for the inconvenience - it popped up after a recent security upgrade.
  16. Looks great, fun day for a pile of plywood to become a beautiful boat!
  17. Mark, For years we've used the GARMN MAP76 and 76CX (color version with charts and magnetometer). They have always served me well and garmin always fixes them and sends them back when we send them in for repairs. I think our family has about 6 of them between us and we carry multiple spares although we've rarely had a breakdown with them. They do have a tendancy to shut off when the battery gets disconnected such as if they bang against the cockpit seats and the battery squeezes the spring and momentarily loses contact. I keep the gps in my PFD pocket on my kokatat misfit pfd with the screen facing my chest. i can slide it up for a quick check very easily. at night i typically leave it clipped to something and sitting on the seat in front of me with the backlight on the dimmest setting. That way i have a hand free to use the spotlight and can just look down to check our course. This year we took the newer MAP 78 which is a bit different but i still like it fine but don't have nearly as much time on it. Fred, Dead down wind (with main and mizzen on the same side) the chute is hanging lifeless behind the mainsail which is when you would hoist or recover it if it were bag launched from the cockpit. As we head up, we sheet it in to get it "started" and the leading edge catches the breeze and it quickly fills and we let the sheet way out so it can billow out to it's proper trim (leading edge just starting to curl). We head up to say 10 deg off ddw and the chute stays filled but the boat does not accelerate much this is where I found the best angle to be for the lighter winds we had (about 8 knots). Heading further up to say 20-30 deg off the wind the leading edge collapses as the apparent wind rotates further forward so you sheet in to keep the chute trimmed and the boat accelerates. As it accelerates apparent wind moves further ahead and you have to sheet in even more to keep up with it OR bear away. With an asymmetrical chute you are constantly playing it. rounding up to "heat" the boat up sheeting in as you do and then bearing away in the puffs to bleed off speed and gain progress downwind. VMG initially goes down but then back up once the boat gains speed. Whether or not VMG is better than it was when going ddw is what you're looking for. It's tough because you are constantly playing the chute and heading up and down a bit to keep it in trim. We didn't play the chute nearly as much as you would if you were buoy racing so with the chute cleated off it's up to the helmsman to keep it in trim with changes in course instead of constant sail trimming. heading up until it just starts to curl on the leading edge and then bearing away in the puffs. We did this a lot sailing in the tybee 500 especially when conditions were very steady state (flat water and constant breeze) and the crew can take a break from "sawing" on the spinnaker sheet. With a following swell you can head up to heat the boat up, catch the swell, bear away (sheeting out as you do to keep the chute powered up if needed) or if you caught the swell (yay) and are now surfing you might be sheeting the chute in hard to keep up with the apparent wind shifting forward. You just have to have your eyes glued to the leading edge of the spinnaker and do whatever it wants. If we'd had a bit more wind which we did a couple of times then the boat pops up on plane and as soon as it does you have to sheet the chute in again to keep up with the apparent wind (keeping the chute trimmed properly all the time). And then you can bear away now on plane and let the the chute out a bit as you do keeping the boat powered up and you can now drive the boat down on plane and make lots of good speed more toward ddw and if you lose speed you head back up to find it again. wash rinse repeat. I kept the mainsail in about where it would be when sailing upwind which is where it wanted to be and also helps act as a back-stay. Of course the running backstays were pulled in as well. On the spinnaker catamarans, if you don't have the main sheeted in tight when you're flying the chute the mast won't stay up very long. The mizzen is a different story, I kept it out more like i was on a broad reach or even a bit deeper because it has a lot of leverage over the boat and when the boat heats up and heels over there is weather helm generated from the lift of the sails being to the lee of the boat. To de-power the boat while flying the spinnaker you bear away toward ddw and you don't want anything to prevent you from doing that. The mizzen can easily overpower the rudder input in that situation. Many times when you want to bear away you have to make sure the mizzen is let out a touch. Also if you're sailing upwind hard and the boat is trying to sail on her ear too much it will cool right off if you just crack off on the mizzen just a touch. As for knowing when to tack or gybe in this case it was really just when we felt like it. We were following the leader so as a rule you don't want to get too far from them so you get about the same air as they have and you get about the same shifts and puffs. In our case we were also trying to minimize gybes which are slow so we would sail out until we though we can sail "in" back toward cape sable and have a nice long run. We're trying to sail the shortest path so like for sailing around cape sable we set a go to point down at the farthest point out that we'll have to turn at. When we reach that point we set a new point and so on. So the gps is always telling me to turn to that course that is the shortest straight line course. If you tack through 100 deg and you're sailing upwind on a port tack and the gps says turn 50 deg to port to be "on course" then you know you're doing just as good on that course as you would do on the other tack. If you get headed (wind shift causing you to bear away or fall off) then you can switch to the favored tack for a slightly higher vmg. Some boats sail waaay out away from the beach but i don't like that because most of the wind is usually right there near the beach and also i can't tell you how many times i've been farther off the beach and watched boats closer to the beach pull away and rarely is it the other way around. As you approach a "go to" point you're navigating to on your GPS then you get close to the laylines and the "turn to" number changes faster. You know when you've reached the layline when your turn number equals your tacking angle (assuming there is no current). the gps is a super handy tool and invaluable at night but during the day i'm focused just as much on where other boats are, looking for current as we pass markers and making sure the boat "feels fast". Also, we probably kicked our rudder up 30 or 40 times along the course and pulled the CB up all the way occasionally during a tack to make sure we weren't dragging an ocean of seaweeds around with us. Usually you see a nice clump of them float away behind the boat whenever you do.
  18. I loved seeing Southern Skimmer flying her chute. Alan, presumably as you sail away from the rhumb line, your VMG decreases, and your 'turn field' values increase. I haven't raced. Using these values, what's your rule of thumb for when it's time to tack? And when you say you're often entering or changing waypoints to avoid obstacles, are those obstacles things like sand bars, etc that weren't on your chart?
  19. An exciting day, to be sure. You're video is a lot of fun, too.
  20. I enjoyed watching your time lapse video, you are doing a great job. I am sorry about your little glitch. It is not a big deal and will not compromise the boat. Unfortunately it is right around the maximum curvature where the ply is under the most stress and will cause a slight outward bulge. It needs to be epoxied back into place but you need to apply force to get the cracked veneers back to the fair shape. I would cut a piece of 6mm ply about 9" long and 7" wide with plastic sandwiched between the ply and the hull and screw it over the damaged area to force the hull back to its fair shape until the epoxy cured. Because the 6mm ply bottom that you are screwing into does not have enough thread bearing area to absorb the force needed to draw the cracked area back to a fair shape, you need to use some blocks to screw into, like 1 1/4" squares of 3/4" ply. Put some duct tape on the underside of the blocks. You should do a dry run to check that it works like you want. If it does not quite bring the surface back to fair, try thicker ply. I presume that you will glass the outside of the hull before painting. I would glass a patch on the inside and you will be back to full strength.
  21. In unfolding and weighing down the hull panels last night, I made a mistake which resulted in a small split or crack on the outside of the starboard bottom panel, about 19" back from the bow. Would appreciate any advice or suggestions on how to fix. What happened was, at the step of the instructions where you put some weights on the bottom panels to open them out to the shape of the cradle, I got the bright idea to combine it with the step where you lay scaffolding across the stringers so the weights wouldn't be resting directly on the plywood. This seemed to go OK until I bumped one of the weights putting another one in, and it slid off of the scaffolding and fell about 2" onto the panel, cracking it. The crack is about 7" long. As the hull opens up (curving that section of the panel more) I am imagining that the crack itself is opening up and getting wider. It doesn't go all the way through the board (yet), the plys on the inside aren't cracked. At the moment, sighting down from the bow, that part of the panel is just barely not fair (by a few millimeters). I was thinking of possibly wetting out that section with clear epoxy and a scrap of fiberglass, and then bracing it from underneath with hopefully enough pressure to push the bulge in slightly. If it was glass rather than wood (like a windshield), I might drill a hole at either end of the crack, and then fill the hole, to stop it from spreading further, but not sure if that would be smart or not with plywood.
  22. Was inspired by the WaterTribe Ultra Marathon to make some progress here. Mostly finished now with several bench projects, including tiller + rudder assembly, centerboard, and locker tops and coamings. Also got the hull panels fully assembled, wired together, and did the unfolding ritual last night; now my pile of wood is vaguely boat shaped. Unfolding was exciting due to my failure to account for the height of hanging light fixtures in the shop, which meant some ladder work in the middle of the process. Time-lapse video of my unfolding adventure here.
  23. Never heard of them, but they look perfect for what I need!
  24. When I was doing the calculations in the first post I was thinking that the destination was directly downwind. But I realized that it is more likely that a downwind mark might be 20 or 30 degrees off of dead downwind. In those situations the temptation might be to sail directly to the mark. But, if a 10-20 degree course deviation (sailing 40 degrees off of dead downwind rather than 10-20 degrees) adds only 2-6% to the length of the leg, it might be well worth it to sail the higher course if boat speed rises accordingly. So important to find the sweet spot for boat speed. Pete, my favorite ice boat is the Class A stern streerer aptly named The Menace.
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