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Alan Stewart

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Alan Stewart last won the day on April 20

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About Alan Stewart

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  • Birthday January 1

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    North Carolina, Raleigh

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  1. Looking forward to seeing it come together. Glad to hear the kit stayed dry it was really pouring!
  2. Note, more pictures than what are show below are on my build album (link below) https://photos.app.goo.gl/22Tfg2WR5pTSBHyw1 The last thing I got done was glassing the ballast tank "Bathtub" with 10oz glass. I did NOT use peel ply for that because i've found that it does not do a good job with hand layup in larger areas and severe pinholes are the typical result. Instead I just coated the glass and then after about 6 hours i came back in and flood coated with a brush the whole area to fill the weave with a nice thick glossy coat over the glass. Worked very well. Pic below. Ballast tank "tub" fiberglassed and flood/fill coated (no peel ply) Resulting smooth surface Fast forward 3 months from above. After about a 3 month hiatus (amazing how easy that is to do) we've got some progress to report. I spent a weekend getting the garage back to a state of mild organization and then got a little bit of work done. Starboard bunk compartments are glassed. I sanded some of the glass tape edges (all tape was applied with peel ply) that stuck up a bit higher than normal and generally felt around for sharp dags or glass spikes near the ends of the tape and sanded them all smooth. The middle parts of each panel were still uncoated bare plywood with some drips here and there which were sanded smooth with 80 grit. Then I "flood coated" each compartment with a chip brush and did a final pass with a foam brush to flatten it a bit. I tried to use as much epoxy as I could whilst still not having runs. It came out quite well. Even with just the single coat almost all the areas that were bare ply are now fully saturated to a glossy finish albeit with some roughness from raised grain here and here. I plan to sand a few spots where the epoxy soaked in more and apply a second coat but other than that I’m happy with how it came out. There are a few spots where the bottom stringer still needs a small fillet with the partial frames to eliminate the last little crevice which i'll do before putting down the bunk itself. I also coated the hypotenuse side of my triangular section cleats and then a few hours later (when it had soaked in) coated them again in preparation for installing the following day. Before note that triangular cleats for bunk top support were all pre-fitted and held in place with temporary drywall screws. Then these were removed in order to coat the compartments. Starboard bunk compartments sanded and coated. Cleats were installed the following day while the coats were still "green". Triangular cleats coated on "long" side. Note bent wire holder worked well. Also, not pictured here, I glued up my sheer strake finger joints and test fitted the sheer strake on the boat. The raised edge of the temporary gunwale batten makes this very easy as the sheer strake just fits right into place with any clamps.
  3. Jay, We wanted to try to eliminate some of the solid wood in the water ballast tank so we changed the plans to show using a fiberglass Angle instead of a solid wood cleat around the top edge of the tank to support the lid. Not that a solid wood cleat is bad but the thinking was one less piece of solid wood in the ballast tank would be better! So long as the solid wood is well coated prior to installation and all end grain is well coated especially then there won't be any issues. The other advantage of the glass is that it makes venting the top of the tank a bit easier since it would be more flush with the underside of the lid and also allow slightly more (ok no much but still) water into the tank. If the fiberglass angle is too expensive I might just go with wood cleats myself but it would be nice to have some glass angle pre made up for other uses too!
  4. I tried really hard to find something that we could buy off the shelf. A while back we were given a sample at a boatshow of what I would consider to be IDEAL. Here are some pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WRCfHXduXu3szT4Q6 It is made with epoxy and bias glass not extruded or pulltruded with polyester. It's also very light at 3.2oz per linear foot. It's called an FRP bonding angle made by ATL composites in Australia. Product number ANT3042 http://atlcomposites.com.au/icart/products/93/images/main/FRP Bonding Angles.pdf I would love to get my hands on some for my boat as well to use in the ballast tank. I've sent off a request for a quote to see if B&B could stock this.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Well done! I need to make some more progress on my boat!
  9. Wanted to bring this to the attention of anyone interested. The Shackleford Challenge (a sort-of replacement to the NCC started by Nathan under the "North Fleet" banner) is on for a second year. Scheduled for June 28th 2018 which unfortunately coincides with the Mystic family boat building weekend. While not as interesting a course as the original NCC it is still an opportunity for an out of the box sailing event to test your navigational and sailing skills. https://www.northfleetcmd.com/register-route
  10. Im not sure how that would be useful for navigating. That is vmg to a direction but sure you could just set a go to point that is very very far away in the desired heading and vmg will show essentially your speed toward that heading. We are always trying to go to a destination. And i am constantly updating the next destination i want to reach along my course to avoid things. Vmg to those coordinates is the most relevant info to have because you know right away if you've overstood (crossed the layline, vmg=0) and i always show the "turn" field which tells you how many degrees to turn L or R to be on course. Vmg and turn together allow me to identify shifts by watching for changes in how far off course i am from one tack to another and i can identify current with or against by noting my tacking angle with each tack. The turn display field also prevents overstanding and missing the layline. If i get a 20 deg shift ill see it right away on my turn to angle without needing to be looking at a compass. We just try to keep the turn to at zero. Without this tool (handheld gps, and "turn to" feedback) navigating florida bay at the speeds that have been done would not be possible at night.
  11. We were glad to have them and they defenitely made a difference. For cruising at this point i dont consider the added complication to be worth it but if you are a tinkerer its a fun project. They do make rigging a bit more complicated which goes very much against the grain of the simple cat ketch rig in some respects. Extra topping lifts for the front are needed and the snotter is a bit different. Overall it probably added 4lbs to the booms in added material of the booms and extra blocks and lines.
  12. We were only able to use the spinnaker on the last bit of the run around the everglades when the wind turned more west. We cant use it dead down wind being an assymetrical spinnaker but it gained us 1-1.5 knots vmg downwind in about 10 knots of breeze i would guess. So maybe 5.5 knots wing on wing vs 6-6.5 vmg with it sailing maybe 20 ir 25 deg off ddw. You lose speed in the gybes though and the Highlander would catch back up during gybes since we were being very careful not too flip or get lines hung up. As the wind picked up and the boat jumped up on plane with the spinnaker the gains are substantially more i think we say 9.5knots a few times when we let her heat up but it was speed with little vmg gain.
  13. Tom, We had the original green/white/yellow assym spinnaker. It worked well except for our homemeade torque line for top down furling. It had too much twist and would roll the sail unevenly top to bottom causing the sail to hang up when we tried to unroll it. Rolling it up while it just flogged (no sheet load) worked the best. Other than that we wished wed had a bit more luff tension or had adjustable luff tension but we gave that up with our diy top down furling setup. It was worth the trade off but just needs tweaking and maybe a less twistable torque line.
  14. EC-22 and Highlander safe and sound.
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