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Everything posted by frowley

  1. Like everyone else, I've read the accounts and looked over the CG photos with a really awful pit in my stomach. I am really sorry for Jim under any scenario I can dream up to explain what went wrong. The mind begs to understand what happened, and I am completely embarrassed i hadn't noticed that the CB appears to be missing, and not just retracted. Granted, it's hard to imagine how the CB could drop out, but on my boat, at least, even without the bumper, the forward-most leading edge would still be visible from almost any angle with the board completely retracted - it's recessed maybe 3/4" from the bottom. Trouble with his CB might explain how he got so far downwind and off course, and perhaps suggests a way to explain his going overboard. Graham and Alan, I cannot imagine how hard this must be on you both. We love the boats you create - they're sound, seaworthy craft that we're proud to own and sail. Keep up the great work.
  2. Dave - as with most things I've seen you post, you've got that right! It's ugly and painful to put it there. I've seen some of your beautiful work. Coming from you I'll take your closing comment as a compliment of sorts. Thanks!
  3. Not sure whether I should post this here or on Docpal's recent post, but since I've contributed to this thread, figured I'd post here to continue that conversation. Here's what I've come up with for a masthead float. It's 3 24" lengths of 2.75" D pool noodle held in place with a nylon strap, and covered in a dacron sailcloth shroud that mounts to the sail track, in an effort to improve air flow around it (for whatever that's worth). Had I not miscalculated the volume, I'd have made these 6" longer - or 30" each. By my calculation though, each float currently provides ~16 pounds of flotation, or in the vicinity of 31 pounds total in seawater (I'm Way less bothered about turtling in a lake). Shroud, strap, ledgers, screws and noodles combined for one float weigh a little less than 10 oz. I haven't yet sail tested the final version, but did sail with a prototype that lacked the shroud around to the mast track. If I had finely tuned racing skills I could offer a more critical review. Lacking that, I couldn't tell any difference in how the boat handled, and it didn't appear to have any effect on the telltales that I could discern. My plan is to simply leave them in place, and not give them much thought again. This shows fir ledger strips, but I'm replacing them with 1/8" alum strips. You may notice I'm missing my 3rd batten which is why the sail looks a bit frumpy there.
  4. HI Steve, Your boat looks Gorgeous!! I run the two main reef downhauls back to the cockpit and just leave them in place when I un-rig. Rigging then is just a matter of hooking them into the cringles as I bend on the main - it's pretty quick and I think worth it. Also, because I've got and often use our dodger, I never jump up onto the deck underway but instead poke up thru the hatch. I like it actually, because in the 17 at least, it feels pretty secure and gives me the access I need to the foredeck. I agree with Paul - both with respect to rigging and reefing. They get better over time. Practice reefing though, seems only worth it (after the initial few times) when you actually need to reef because the experience is so different with a lot of wind - than with no wind in my driveway.
  5. Paul, Thanks so much for the detailed response and photo. (Hope this is ok, Steve?) I like the placement of your cheek blocks to pull the clew back. Perhaps I need to refine my heave-to as well. Good point about loosening the mizzen snotter so much the sprit can catch on the main sheet/sprit - had that happen too (yikes).
  6. Soooo interesting. Thanks everyone. I'm also glad to hear everyone's slight variations on heaving-to. I love heaving-to in a blow because I'm often discovering at the same time that I need to settle things down a bit on the boat and take a breath, and I'm always surprised how stable it is. I release the main, sheet the mizzen down tight, and release the tiller, CB stays down. If it's blowing and there are heavy chop or waves, the boat tends to sail a little perhaps 10-20 degrees off the wind because the waves seem to push the bow off the wind - with the main still flogging. When I've tried locking the tiller in the past, the boat seemed to go all over the place, but perhaps it's time I tried that one more time. I've never tried raising the CB and rudder, but I'll give that a go next time as well. Sounds like everyone's main reef cleats are at the aft end of their sprits. Jay - I'd love to see a photo of your setup (I Totally get that you're on your 27th version, I'm just trying to catch up to you!). Thanks!! Also - Paul, I'd love to see a photo of your setup if you have one and it's any different from Jay's. 'Reefing the mizzen is so quick'... are you releasing the snotter a lot so it's down at nearly deck level? So far, I've found that I have to release the mizzen sheet in order to cinch up the clew reef line, but maybe I'm just not letting out enough snotter line.
  7. I've tried a bunch of different approaches to reefing the main (specifically the leech reef lines) - not working yet for me! I'm really curious to hear everyone's experience and approach. Originally I ran these lines back to the cockpit using the ramp and ball technique on the drawings at the time. Set up time was too onerous so I took off the ramps and re-configured, initially with cleats at the clew end - thinking that was way clever of me - I'd just tighten up the reef at the end of the main sprit while I stood in the cockpit in front of the mizzen, heaved-to. Not. In any kind of blow the boat sails away on you and holding on to the end of the sprit is a real fool's errand. I'm moving the main, clew, reef cleats to the forward end of the sprit unless I hear a better idea. Your approach sounds appealing, Paul, but I can't imagine in my head how I'd keep fully battened sails attached to the sprits when raising and lowering the masts. Where are your clew reef cleats for the main? Are you using the ramp and ball rig? I've been using small blocks and a soft shackle to secure the clew reefs to the cringles on the mizzen, but they're a pain. I like your idea, Jay, of just using hooks, so I'm going to switch to those. Do you, then, Jay, cleat the main clew reefs on cleats at the forward end of the sprit? This would be a set up that mirrors the mizzen. If so, then a trip to the foredeck is required, and it's kind of a reach to get to them. Here's another question - I re-do my approach every time I have to reef in earnest. Do you release the snotter all the way so the fwd end is down near the deck before cinching up the clew reef line? I'm thinking this makes the most sense, since otherwise I'm standing on the thwart and reaching up just to get to the cleats, with similar antics or worse for the main.
  8. Gorgeous photo, Reacher. It's fun to see your beautiful boat. Like Hirilonde, I have a 2:1 ratio on my main. I'd originally rigged it to spec (4:1), but couldn't see the need for it and dropped the extra block and sheet run. I've been out in blows well over 15, and often manage the sheet by clutching the fall (the lines running to the sheet block) - especially if I have to jibe. I prefer the 2:1 because it's less line to have to pull thru the cleat. I also dropped the 2nd cleat for that matter. I didn't like having to manage two sheets and two cleats, so I've just gone to a center mounted cleat, altho, as Hirilonde says, leaving one, offset, cleat would have been fine too. It's a pretty small cockpit on the 17'.
  9. Hi Steve - thanks a lot for your replies, and glad you found something of interest. I could send you a chunk of the ss tubing I used, if you like. Feel free to msg me with your address. I had to drill it out a bit to get my lock to fit, but it wasn't that hard to to do. The guides on the anchor roller are delrin. There are lots of things to grumble about living in Seattle, but access to incredible, beautiful places, and to killer marine supply houses aren't among them. I'm lucky to live within 10 minutes drive of both Online Metals and Fisheries Supply, so getting delrin rod stock or ss tubing, etc, has never been a problem, and I don't have to pay shipping. Jay, if memory serves, I think you might be the one who started us all off on keeping the sprits on the masts - thanks! I still get pretty tangled up with snotters and other lines when I go to raise the masts, and always have to talk myself through it to minimize the tangle. I think I'm getting a little better at it. I'd love to see pictures of your masts/sprits/sails etc as they go together for trailering. I can't quite picture it all in my head, but I'm sure I've got some things to learn once I do. Your boat, and Steve's, are the envy of all of us - so cool to see how you've both gotten such great use out of it (already, for you Steve!). Hope to see you on the water one of these days, Randy, Whenever I head to the fwd hatch to manage something up front, I've always needed to break trail through the duffles and gear that inevitably end up on the sole. It's been a pain, especially if haste was involved, so I made a lee cloth to contain the stuff. Each end unclips so it's easy to fold down out of the way. I bought a sailrite machine to sew our dodger and manage smaller projects like this - love that machine!
  10. I hadn't realized what a challenge spaghetti lines in the cockpit were til I started practicing donuts (sailing tight circles around a buoy to improve boat handling skills. Get so you can do tight circles in 15 kts of wind to build your confidence. Still working on it.) I kept getting strangled, or tripped, or glasses torn off by spare lines as I ducked under to grab the far rail. I tried velcro tabs, but switched to this - a couple of washers with a stand-off between. Works better than the velcro for me, but still not completely satisfied. Here's how I'm locking the cabin - I've sleeved the thru-hole with some SS tubing to make it a bit more durable. I really like trailering with the sprits atop the masts - it's quicker to rig and the straps tighten up the masts while we're on the road. As nice as Graham's were, the layout looked like too much work. Mine look like pook, but they work ok and were simpler to make. So, most of you will be horrified by my anchor roller, but I like it. I think it weighs something close to 2 lbs, but that's a mere fraction of the weight of 15' of chain in the anchor locker. It keeps the anchor solidly fixed in place, and I can launch it from the cockpit. I keep it tethered like this underway and trailering. And I've just run a line back to the cockpit that I can use to pop off the tether. I'll 'arm' it before coming in to anchor and cleat the rode off at, say, 50'. Haven't actually used this yet, but from the cockpit I'll be able to ease up to the anchorage and let it go. Peg and I were recently in the San Juans. It was beautiful (altho the arrangement above would have been helpful). But 10' tidal differences are common here. This lagoon actually dried out to the rock you see on the right. We moved the boat before that, but I'd beached Deluge at high tide in the new spot in a direct on-shore 15 kt breeze, and really hadn't sorted out in my head how you do clothesline anchoring. In any case, I was going to need Peg to help me anchor, and nor could I figure out how to get off the beach with her in the boat. Here's the result - water wasn't high enough to re-launch til 5pm the next day. (We had a Great time.) I did eventually get something worked out: But here's how I plan to do it from now on. This may be risky, but seems to me the risk is fairly small for over nights - to use a quick link in place of the standard horseshoe shackle. With it, I can quickly change the configuration between shackling the rode directly to the chain (for regular anchoring), and running the rode thru the link (for clothesline). Regular anchoring: and for clothesline anchoring:
  11. As Deluge emerges from newborn to toddler-dom, it seems like time to update things a bit, with items that I haven't seen elsewhere but that seem to be working for me. She'd been in the water less than a dozen times when the CB pendant broke; an epoxy spur I'd left in the pendant path had shredded the line. I replaced it with one made of dynema after cleaning things up. I had to splice it in place, but fortunately it's really easy to splice the stuff. The challenge is the stopper knot - it's so slippery it's likely to slip off the end. The fibers, it turns out, are quick to absorb epoxy, so the solution is pretty simple. This is just an overhand knot I'd filled with epoxy inside a piece of PVC pipe. This didn't fit, so, gulp, I just ground it down till it did. I'm convinced it's plenty strong enough for the job. In fact, I don't bother with the fancy knot they tie on the internet for soft shackles, I just do this: The little rigging balls make nice 'stopper knots' and it's easier to make your shackle exactly the length you want it to be. I keep adding epoxy to the fur until it can't take any more, and I tie rigging twine at the neck to keep the epoxy from wicking down below the ball. It wasn't long after launch that I'd bashed my transom with the rudder, since I had no rudder stops. I just made a very simple set with starboard and they've worked well. These, or something like them, are now probably on the drawings: I've been impressed by how much the trailer and boat bounce around on Seattle's roads (they're often in terrible shape), and realized that the CB is bouncing around even more, secured only by the pendant (the CB slot doesn't align with my trailer bunks). So I put in a pedestal, capped with starboard, to keep the board from bouncing around when trailering. Graham used a fixed bolt to secure his main mast, and I got a couple of the one-legged nuts he uses for it, but it turned out to be easier for me to bolt the mast from the front. I can manage everything from the foredeck, and for whatever reason, it was easier for me to build. The T bolt was my first shot at silver solder - a mysterious alchemy that had long intimidated me. It was pretty much like regular soldering only higher heat. This is the aluminum receptacle - it's just tapped for the 5/16" bolt, and fixed in place with a couple of screws.
  12. Alan, This analysis is super valuable and I (we) really, really appreciate your looking critically at the physics. What's more, I'm really encouraged by your results, and look forward to the evolution of the ideas you've offered. Thanks -
  13. Thanks for the link Mike - can't believe you Found this. I'd been pondering just such an idea but figured I'd have to cannibalize a pfd. They're also kind of heavy, what with the CO2 cylinder and all. I'll see what happens with Graham and Alan's float, and/or the pool noodles first, then go from there.
  14. Thanks Alan, for the thoughtful reply. I've thought a bunch about those trade offs, and did have the notion that I could go rent a slip and fill it with a big ol' keel boat. But it's just not what we want, and we love the boat. This will mortify many, but I want to experiment with 3 24" sections of pool noodle secured to the top of each mast, and see just how badly they disrupt air flow. If I can live with it, they should add 24 lbs of lift per mast. That should help. Paul, my mizzen was sealed, my main mast was open. I've thought a lot about this, and closely studied Amos' (I think) boat video during the last capsize camp. No idea whether his masts were sealed or not, but you can see his masts (last capsize of his) slice through the water when his sails were all the way out as if on a run. I don't think the volume of the mast is enough to provide much flotation, whereas it's clear to me that the sails offer a lot of resistance if they're sheeted in. Yes, I think the masts should be sealed, but again, not sure it's enough to have made any difference. Steve, I'm not sure. Frankly, by the time I'd gotten around to the stern (within seconds of uncleating the sheets) the CB rolled into the trunk. I'm not sure, if it had somehow been locked, that we could have reached it to make any use of it in time. On a stb roll, it's higher out of the water, and the boat had rolled far enough, and the CB upright enough, that it dropped easily into the trunk. Under some circumstances, it seems to be less than a minute before the hull turtles.
  15. Peg and I did a capsize drill with Deluge (CS17.3) in Lk Washington earlier this month. No video I'm sorry to say, so here's a description of our experience and what I think we've learned. Water warm, light chop, 3-5 kt winds, and we were 50' off the beach in around 15'-20' of water where a few folks were casually swimming and hanging out. The ballast tanks were full for the two tests, washboards in, companionway hatch and fore hatch closed and latched. 1st capsize to port, sails sheeted, cb down. I swam immediately around and leaned on the CB, which popped the boat up before Peg could get into position for crew rescue. 2nd capsize to stb, sheets tight, cb down. I lingered a few seconds in the water to ensure Peg could be in position, and this time released the main and miz sheets. Within seconds the boat started to roll; I swam around the stern just in time to watch the CB drop back into the trunk. We retrieved the righting lines (secured to cleats amidships, just forward of the coaming) and the two of us (~300 lbs) hung on it with no appreciable movement. The mast had gotten stuck in the mud, hull was ~160 degrees off upright. Two adult swimmers joined us and the 4 of us reefed on two righting lines - the 2nd tied to the mizzen - again, without budging the boat. A very small dinghy with a 2.5 hp ob offered a hand, and by towing the bow backward and the 4 of us reefing on the lines for all we were worth, were able to slowly roll the boat over. Unfortunately though, the cabin was full of water. I got the anchor down and cleated, then boarded to bail. The boat was unstable and felt like it could roll back over. The stern was high (CP compartments stayed dry), bow was down a good 20 degrees, which left the CP half full of water since the CP drains were well above the waterline. After about an hour or so of bailing (bucket and manual Whaler) we were able to get Deluge back sitting on her water line and we sailed back to the launch. Here are some of the lessons I've been mulling over for a few weeks now: no future capsize drills without a motorized support boat the CS17.3 is very stable with the ballast tanks full, but once the hull is more than maybe 110 degrees, I don't think self recovery is possible (with or without righting lines), especially on a stb capsize, where the CB is high and will be quickest to roll into the trunk. Sheeted sails laying horizontally in the water provide resistance as the masts transit down thru the water, and that resistance offers time to get around to the CB. If the sails are released, as I did, the sprits pivot, allowing the sails to slice through the water and hasten the boat's roll. Even at the risk of the boat sailing away, I'll never release the sheets from the water again. The cabin vent hatch (stb side for Deluge) that opens to the anchor locker, was open, and (I believe) allowed the cabin to flood more quickly than it would have otherwise. I plan to keep that hatch, and the forward hatch secured while we're underway, or at least under dicey conditions. (I presume the cabin would have eventually flooded anyway. Our companionway hatch was closed and washboards in.) The large, forward cabin storage compartment was completely full of water (and water was pretty much above the compartment throughout the cabin). I plan to make the hatch cover water tight so the compartment can provide flotation. I suspect this should float the flooded hull closer to the DWL, and enable the CP drains to drain more of the cockpit. That should increase the stability of the flooded hull some. Even in perfect swim weather and conditions, communication in the water is difficult face-to-face, and essentially impossible on opposite sides of the boat. Crew need to know their tasks and do them once in the water without expecting to chat about it during an event. Inflatable PFDs make it very awkward to reboard with our ladder (our's is a Garelick 2-step, swing-down model). I plan to add a couple of large grab handles, and if that isn't enough, replace the ladder, since the first step is quite high (esp when the stern is so high off the water) on this model. I also plan to research a less bulky PFD. I believe the self-rescue sequence should be: beefy-guy swims immediately to the CB and rights the boat as quickly as possible crew immediately positions self for a gunwale rescue. Once the masts are out of the water, or as soon as possible after that, he/she releases all sheets, then seeks to support beefy-guy's re-boarding. The crew then sheets the mizzen, leaving the main free, to heave-to. I think it's critical the crew be immediately in place for gunwale rescue so they can release the sheets, otherwise bad may go to worse in a hurry. Secure as much masthead flotation as possible. Don't tip over. I'm looking forward to any discussion this prompts from folks -- thanks in advance for your insights. Fred
  16. Thanks Graham - really appreciate your responding with sound advice. I love the taper idea, and will just stick to glass and forget the kevlar.
  17. Thanks Paul - it was really a drifting non-event that was more embarrassing than anything else.
  18. Peg and I attempted to sail out of Boat Harbor, Port Townsend a while ago with Deluge (CS17.3), which involves negotiating a very narrow channel bordered by a jetty, in our case, with the wind on our nose and no outboard. Short story is we foundered and hit the jetty - and retreated, (which involved me jumping overboard and pushing us back out into the channel). After a quick review of the boat, I figured our egos took the worst of the damage. The CB leading edge had a few scrapes, but the hull seemed fine. I've since had the boat out in a 15-20 knot crossing of Puget Sound through some nasty chop in which the hull took a real pounding. Again - all good. Today though, I just discovered some delamination on the cabin sole, and a hairline crack on the outside of the hull - hopefully discernible in these photos: About 4 " to the right of the keel you can see a hairline crack. The inside, 2nd photo, shows the delamination and broken fibers. My plan is to sand about 10" square around the crack on the outside, then layup a 6-8" square of 10" fiberglass cloth, feather the edges, and paint. On the inside, this may be overkill, but I'm thinking I'll sand out and patch the delamination, then layup a layer of kevlar over the entire, exposed, cabin sole. We were drifting when we hit the rocks, never really able to get way on. I suspect the damage occurred when the keel, which must have ridden up on a rock, slipped off of it, bringing the weight of the hull down on the rock. Pretty sure the ballast tank was full, so that's a lot of weight. Does my approach seem reasonable? Better ideas? While I was under the boat, I also discovered this: I haven't gotten the board out yet, but this is definitely a failure of the butt joined centerboard segment I'd added to bring the length up to current specs. More on this after I get the board out, but for now, my plan is to sand it back well beyond the segment and tip, and lay it up possibly with a light weight kevlar and a light weight glass over the top of that to keep from going crazy managing the kevlar. If this happened during our jetty mishap it certainly wasn't visible. But perhaps we weakened it? I embedded several carbon fiber rods I had laying around the shop before laying up the board - I suspect they're what's holding it together at the moment. Again, let me know if you have any thoughts or advice on my repair. I'm not really in a mood to build another entire CB unless Alan or Graham think I need to. Fred
  19. 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?
  20. 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?
  21. Orienting the glass on the bias to get it to wrap those curves also helps a bit. Here's another thought re the tabernacle. I've wanted, on occasion, to flex the main mast horizontally more than once when it's down and in it's crutch, or as I try to maneuver it around stuff. Thing is, at that distance from the tabernacle, a pound or two at the mizzen thwart exerts lots of pounds of twist on the walls of the tabernacle. I filleted the inside corners, but I'm not sure I was careful enough to wrap the glass across the corners and completely across the inside back wall, but I kind of wish I had. Fred
  22. Hi Steve, Yes - just an ordinary, metal, drywall blade. It gives a much cleaner, more even float than a bondo or plastic spreader.
  23. Hi Steve, Virtually everyone on this site knows more about this stuff than I do, so I'm sure you'll get some great advice. Paint IS humbling, and I totally feel your pain (and disappointment). It is -- not that you'll hear this -- wayyy better than it looks to you. That said, you might think about floating the seams with quick fair, or epoxy w talc and microballoons before laying on another prime coat. QuickFair is much the better option if you haven't tried it. I've become a convert. Then block sand, of course. Personally I don't think it needs to be a long board. I floated stuff like this with a 4-6" drywall blade so I could really get it to feather out. You could blast on high build primer which would eventually do the same thing, but quick fair is a bit more direct and quicker. ('Floating' makes it sound like you'd be laying on gobs of epoxy, but it'll more likely be 1/32" or so, feathered out to nothing, unless you used very heavy cloth.) Fred
  24. I'm curious what the starboard foredeck bracket and pin are for on Carlita (always curious to hear what Graham's latest invention is). The material appears to be star-board. It looks like Graham's rebuilt his sprits? Also wondering if the wind vane plans or kit are still in the works, or maybe available? Thanks, so far, for posting the great pictures - they're really fun to look at.
  25. So cool, Amos! Your boat just looks so wonderful on the water - it's beautiful, and so fun to see your family enjoying it so much.
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