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Starboard last won the day on March 26 2021

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  1. Sailing by the lee is a pretty common trick while racing Lasers to keep your advantage of being on starboard tack or avoiding a couple of gybes at the leeward mark rounding. That said, it can be pretty risky in shifty wind conditions and I've capsized plenty of times when it went wrong. Downwind death rolls are just part of the fun when club racing, especially when the stakes are pretty low. I'm not as willing to risk capsizing in my Spindrift 10n with the family on board, or when there's a lot of traffic in the marina. Or just getting cold and wet for that matter.
  2. Glad you made it to Spain with your Spindrift. It's amazing how far and wide these little boats can go. I had the same problem with water splashing out of my centerboard case, especially when motoring. I never made a real cap for it- instead I cut a piece of closed cell foam rubber that fits snugly in the top of the case and no longer have that problem.
  3. I somewhat expect the possibility or turtling to go up when the side flotation raises the mast up from the surface a little bit. I used to teach Sailing 1classes on Capri 14.2 dinghies, which are sealed fiberglass boats with a lot of side flotation when they capsize. They would turtle easily, which isn't great for a beginning sailing class. The solution was to basically seal the top of the mast- no problem since it didn't have any halyards or other lines down the center. That made them much more buoyant, but the could still turtle sometimes. Eventually they put mast top floats from Hobie 16s on as well. They never turtled after that. I originally used my Laser rig, but I have since sold my Laser. I'm building a new rig using a heavy duty windsurf mast made from Carbon Fiber- it may or may not work, but I'll be sure to seal it up so it's buoyant too. I won't get to test this new setup until next summer, since my Spindrift is in Maine now.
  4. I didn't have a chance to swamp it yet, and now I likely won't for a while, since the boat is still in Maine and I'm back in California. I just ran out of time to do all the fun stuff.
  5. I didn't get a chance to capsize it- the tide was coming in (10 feet in Bar Harbor) and I also fell in the water, so the real test will have to come later, since I'm back home in California. The Gorilla cart is great- I bought it to pull the kids around, right? Of course I had other ideas, and it works perfectly- I couldn't have guessed that the outboard would fit with less than an inch to spare, so I lucked out on that one. The cradle also works with the boat assembled.
  6. It's funny how the flotation issue has come up so much this year. I finally got around to adding flotation after getting stuck in a bad spot a few years ago when I capsized by myself in a strong breeze. When I righted the boat it was fully swamped and I had a hard time bailing enough water out, so I decided I'd eventually build in the forward seats as flotation. I documented the process in another post today. I really like having a rear bench, and I really like having a center bench, but I'd probably never use both at the same time- so I decided to make one bench that fits in both spots. It really works well- my wife likes to sit there when we are motoring, but if we were sailing and needed to hike out on the side seats it stows away just fine at the stern. Fits nice and snug in the stern. Also fits great right here in the middle.
  7. I like the idea of removable flotation- I toyed with that idea on the my Spindrift 10n. Ultimately I decided to build it in where the previous removable seats had been since it doesn't affect the nesting ability and only adds a small amount to the overall weight.
  8. Sorry for the very long delay in responding. We were at our house in Maine and to get there I had to drive cross country with a large cargo trailer- in which was my Spindrift which will now live in Bar Harbor for the next little while. While we were there I got her on the water for a little ride- carried the halves of the hull down the rocky pathway to the even rockier shore. It was a little difficult boarding from the rocky ledges but we managed- the only one who got wet was me when I stepped on a slippery rock and went for a swim while getting ready to haul the boat out of the water. As for the forward flotation, it looks good and functions well, but we didn't really have a chance to swamp and capsize the boat and see if it floats better. Forward view of the built in flotation. I really wanted to keep the nice fair sweep of the seats from fore to aft- it was a lot harder building it that way but I love the look of it. I used the same inspection ports in the forward section as in the aft section- the plywood has a slight curve here but when I installed it I used a little extra 5200 in the middle and didn't tighten the screws too hard- so the actual bend is less than 1/32 on an inch. The foam seal on the hatch more than covers the rest. Weight for the forward section is 55.9- maybe a little heavy compared to other builds but still about the same as before I built in the benches. The weight of the plywood was similar to the weight of the spruce seats that it replaced. Here she is on Frenchman's Bay at our house in Bar Harbor, Maine. I repurposed my trailer cradle to fit on a Gorilla cart to walk to boat down to the shore from our house. The Tohatsu 6hp 4 stroke outboard fits in the cart. 6hp? Yup, that's what I have- it's actually a 4hp but I bought the 6hp carb for it since it also gets used on my J/24. The Spindrift handles it just fine, but I also have an older Tohatsu 3.5 2 stroke.
  9. I slightly modified the center seat so that it can also be stowed in the stern when sailing. I suppose you could sit on it back there too, but so far it doesn't get much use in that position, especially if the outboard is mounted. It's obviously a little smaller than the usual seat as it it sized to fit perfectly in the stern. It doesn't affect usability at all since you couldn't sit at the very edges anyway. The center seat is supported by the side seats, so I didn't have to add any additional support blocks on my boat. I mounted two small blocks of wood to help locate it when stowed in the stern I have a line with a brass shackle that works in the forward and the rear positions to hold it in place.
  10. Aphers, The Spindrift looks great. I like the natural wood on the daggerboard trunk- it's a nice touch. I was also repainting the interior of my Spindrift today and I'm amazed how many flaws and imperfections made it to through to the final build. I have to say that I don't even notice them when I'm using the boat. You don't really notice them at all unless you go looking for them, so from the dock or from afar I doubt anyone else will either. They'll just see a really sharp little boat that splits in half- always a novelty and always gets lots of questions. Congrats on getting this far. Cheers! -Starboard
  11. It's always amazing what a coat of paint can do. I applied two coats of primer after all the epoxy had cured. Last night as I was about to prep the paint, I noticed that the daggerboard trunk had a little bit of a ledge on it, and wasn't a nice rounded corner that it ought to be. I'm not sure if it was built to plans that way or if it was an oversight when I built the boat seven years ago, but either way I decided to round it off and make it a nicer shape. This will be good for my little crew and also looks a lot better. I did two layers of epoxy last night and sanded it this morning, after which I applied the first coat of primer. That's why I skipped painting the top of the daggerboard trunk until tomorrow, to let it dry. I figure since I was already painting the bow I might as well paint the stern too. I'm using the same Interlux Brightsides Hatteras Off White (1990) as I did seven years ago, but in the unlikely event the colors don't match exactly I'll have done both bow and stern. The stern had a number if dings and scratches too, so another coat of paint or two will cover that up. I masked off the brightwork and the hatches, as well as most stainless hardware and the Harken cleats. I thought about masking the locknuts and washers but in the end I just painted them. The paint may not stick very well, but then again it'll probably be fine. It's getting close!
  12. Captain Tim, We love Portsmouth- we stayed there a two years ago on our way to Maine. Great town! This spring we'll be driving cross country and only have 5 or 6 days to do it, so we'll wave from the bridge. I hope we can get back a few weeks later if we do a run to NH for some big ticket purchases.
  13. Peter, That's exactly the flotation I'm looking for- I hope that my on-the-side waterline is similar to your upgraded dinghy. With version 1.0 of my Spindrift, the waterline is much higher- about up to the mast. When you right it, almost the entire boat gets scooped with water. Many other small dinghies I've sailed, like a V15, have lots of flotation built in and you can almost dry-capsize if you hop onto the centerboard quick enough. I don't expect that from a Spindrift- it doesn't have a self draining cockpit after all. No boat can be all things for every occasion- there will always be compromises. The Spindrift is an incredibly capable small boat that is an excellent sailboat, rowboat, and motor tender. The nesting version notches it up one step higher by splitting itself in two and stowing in almost half the space. It's pretty amazing how clever Graham's design is. The compromises for the nesting version are as a little less convenience with the interior layout as well as less flotation than the non nesting version. I'm adding a fair amount of flotation back which will mitigate that compromise. This may not be an issue for some people as they probably won't be capsizing very often- but I plan on using this boat to teach my kids to sail and it's almost a guarantee they'll go over. I want them to have it easier to recover from the capsizes. The side are epoxied on. Tomorrow I'll round off the sharp corners and get it ready for paint.
  14. I've epoxied in all the support strips and done the final shaping of the side support panels. I ran out of West systems 205 fast hardener, which is good down to 40ºf. I still have a bit of slow hardener but it is good down to 60º and it's been hovering around 62-63º during the day and will certainly be below that at night- it was getting down to 42º the other night. California problems. So a little trip to West Marine is in store this afternoon. I'm looking forward to measuring how much extra flotation this will give. My visual estimate is 10-15 gallons of flotation per side. That should make a big difference when capsized, and when it's recovered and upright again will be a lot less water to bail out. There's just enough room to install the hatches. Everything is ready to epoxy in once I get the fast hardener. This phase always looks so messy but a coat of paint makes it look great.
  15. Inspired by Sailing Florence who found a broken carbon mast for The Machine, their Spindrift 9n, I recently picked up a Carbon fiber 570 windsurfer mast, which is pretty much the exact length of the Laser Radial mast. I have one old Radial sail, which is in pretty good condition. I'll do another post later in more detail when I start that project. Is the mast even strong enough? We'll see- it's designed to have a clip on boom, so I need to build a gooseneck- oh yeah, and a sailboat boom to go with it. I sold my Laser a while ago and the boom went with it. I plan on making the rig reefing according to Graham's plans, so... a halyard and reefing points? For a Laser rig? Sure. The whole thing will be an experiment anyway and I can always go back to the normal Laser mast if I want. Any updates, Captain Tim? I'm in California but I'm taking my Spindrift to Bar Harbor this summer, so we'll probably drive right through Portsmouth on our way.
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