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Everything posted by PadrePoint

  1. This guy has a number of videos with a dinghy cruising emphasis.
  2. Small Craft Advisor created a virtual boat show in which its members can write up a few things about their sailboat. They invited us to send in an article. Then email letters went out with a variety of submitted boats and articles. Today, I spotted in the latest Small Craft Advisor email that Dennis submitted about his beautiful Chebacco build: Chebacco, Dennis Gamble: “Here's a recent photo of my Chebacco 20 Moonshine. My first modification was to add a short bowsprit and jib with a roller furler. With the jib set and the mizzen tweaked just right, she will self-steer for minutes at a time. The lead of the mizzen sheets is not ideal. Off the wind, given half a chance, she'll hook the motor. A boomkin might be in order.” The photo Dennis submitted is one I took of him in his Moonshine with a couple guests heading up the river to the Highway 34 bridge. It was a really beautiful evening… and a nice shot of his boat. Dennis on the other hand took a photo of MY boat as well when my wife and I passed by him. It’s one of my favorite photos… thank you Dennis. (The photo of my wife and me in Norma T is below.) This is the article I submitted that was included in an earlier email from Small Craft Advisory: B&B Core Sound 15, Ted Johanson: “When I retired in 2020 I stumbled upon the BandBYachtDesigns.com website and bought the full kit of their Core Sound 15 sailboat. The “stimulus” checks my wife and I received during COVID covered most of the kit cost, and stimulated a great small business. The kit had everything needed (except for screws, nuts, and bolts to mount the the fittings.) All pieces were exactly cut and fit together beautifully. The boat was finished and launched within 3 months of my getting the kit home. Some reasons that I enjoy this boat so much: 1. Alan Stewart of B&B made a series of twenty videos that taught and showed me every step in building the boat… ‘I can DO this!!’ 2. I appreciate all of the coaching and answered questions offered by B&B during the building process. 3. I like how the cat ketch boat sails and how the hull moves through the water. 4. Set up at the boat launch takes ten or fifteen minutes, unless someone comes up to inquire about my boat… a frequent occurrence, but I enjoy talking about the boat. 5. I can pull it to the lake with my very small car and can push the boat around my yard for storage. 6. The CS15 can comfortably hold 5 or 6 people with the wide open cockpit and seating. 7. It seems like a safe boat and will not ‘turtle’ with the mast float. 8. My wife and family enjoy sailing it.” Yep, I really like the above photo that Dennis sent me. The second photo — below — came from somebody on the committee boat during a race: So, yes, these two boat builders feel good about their sailboats and enjoy sailing them.
  3. Not one of ours, just a scary time: (A note: I’m not sure why jibing was the approach for this.)
  4. I helped my neighbor girl with making bushings for her take-apart Spindrift 10 mast. We tried a dry wrapping using prescribed length to judge how close we got to making a good fit. I had an inexpensive caliper that could measure outside and inside measurements. As I recall, the dry wrappings were close enough to use for the bushings. As I recall I thought we might need a little additional material and cut material to have it on hand when applying the epoxy. We kept checking the measurements of the bushings as epoxied wrappings were applied and especially as we approached the correct size for the inside of the bigger tube. We needed to add some additional cloth for the desired thickness and it easily went on. The caliper was cleaned up with acetone and the cured bushings needed some sanding. I have a tabletop belt sander that was carefully used to “shave” the bushings to the desired fit. I suppose that had we taken off too much with the belt sander we could have built it up by applying another wrapping.
  5. Thanks, Don. Pizza and tv show are done and I was starting to look for the photos I have on the mizzen bridle. He who waits… sometimes has less to do.
  6. Interesting thought, Steve, on the mizzen. Richard, the builder of Avocet, made a bridle from each aft corner for the sprit sheet. I’ll see if I can find a photo. Don am I pondered a mod by Gira Gira for the sprit. I’ll try to find that as well. And, of course, Graham built a boomkin to move the mizzen sheet point aft if the rudder. Others have done this as well. What’s fun for me is that Don is taking on these projects while I just sit at home and enjoy the downhill skiing season. I should state that I really enjoy sailing Avocet, more all the time. I’m mostly getting used to the setup I bought from Richard and I don’t have the sailing savvy to know the differences y’all mention. So, I’m really appreciating Don’s attention and sailing smarts. But, pizza just came so I need to close this.
  7. A newsletter article in Small Boat Advisor’s virtual “Winter Boat Show” The SBA wrote to their email list folks an invitation to write about their boat… pros and cons… that might be included in their virtual boat show. This is what I submitted. It was included in their Day 2 email. I guess I didn’t come up with any cons. Oops. B&B Core Sound 15, Ted Johanson: “When I retired in 2020 I stumbled upon the BandBYachtDesigns.com website and bought the full kit of their Core Sound 15 sailboat. The “stimulus” checks my wife and I received during COVID covered most of the kit cost, and stimulated a great small business. The kit had everything needed (except for screws, nuts, and bolts to mount the the fittings.) All pieces were exactly cut and fit together beautifully. The boat was finished and launched within 3 months of my getting the kit home. Some reasons that I enjoy this boat so much: 1. Alan Stewart of B&B made a series of twenty videos that taught and showed me every step in building the boat… ‘I can DO this!!’ 2. I appreciate all of the coaching and answered questions offered by B&B during the building process. 3. I like how the cat ketch boat sails and how the hull moves through the water. 4. Set up at the boat launch takes ten or fifteen minutes, unless someone comes up to inquire about my boat… a frequent occurrence, but I enjoy talking about the boat. 5. I can pull it to the lake with my very small car and can push the boat around my yard for storage. 6. The CS15 can comfortably hold 5 or 6 people with the wide open cockpit and seating. 7. It seems like a safe boat and will not ‘turtle’ with the mast float. 8. My wife and family enjoy sailing it.”
  8. Some of you may remember the near-death story about my experience in an International 505. For those who don’t, attached is the June 2004 club newsletter both for the story and a bit of history of the club. Enjoy! Joe Terry Joe’s second crazy sailing adventure: During the late winter/early spring of ’93 Lee, a friend of mine, decided it was time for him to fulfill his lifetime desire to own a boat and learn how to sail. This desire was partly my fault, because one year earlier I had the opportunity to go sailing for the first time (that would be ‘Joe’s first crazy sailing adventure’, if you wanted to know) and we talked at great length about how wonderful it was and so on and so forth. In any case, Lee’s interest was sparked and he was on a mission to buy a boat. He searched around for a really cheap sailboat and found the neat looking red and white boat. It needed a little work but had sails and a trailer and he was told it was tired but was pretty much ready to hit the water. I didn’t know much about different types of sailboats but this one looked plenty exciting to me. The boat was, in fact, a 505. And for those of you who are not familiar with a 505, as I certainly was not at the time, it’s probably one of the worst beginner boats you could find. Look up the race handicap in the Portsmouth book and it’s right up there with some of the fastest monohulls you can sail (the DPN number is 80.2). It is very over canvassed, has a trapeze so the crew balances out on a wire, and flies a spinnaker, and its design for extreme speed makes it quite unstable. To put this boat in some perspective, this picture was taken at the 1991 National championships and this boat was literally flying. The picture on the next page was taken from the ’96 UK national championships... I digress... One big problem was that Lee didn’t know how to sail and for all practical purposes, neither did I. I had only been on a sailboat once before so since I had more “infinitely more” tiller time than he did (about 30 minutes vs. his 0), Lee though I should be his coach. My first experience with sailing was so much fun I just couldn’t resist, so I agreed. So on an early spring day, we got together in Lee’s yard and tried to figure out how to step the mast and rig the boat. This is quite a project if you’ve never done it before and it took us pretty much the entire day to figure it out. This boat was set up for some great “day sailing” with a roller furling jib. It took us quite a while to figure out that the jib had the forestay rolled inside of it. But in the end we were both pretty excited and thought we had just conquered the world. A few weeks later (the second week of May) we decided that it was time to go sailing. We had both read some small boat sailing books and figured we could make things work. The weather was nice – about 60 degrees and the nearest lake was Devil’s Lake in Baraboo; just a few miles away from Lee’s house. We improved dramatically on our boat setup. It took only a few hours rather than all day. We were really excited when we backed the boat off of the trailer and into the water. We left the jib furled and sailed away with just the main. We were grinning from ear to ear as we sailed away from shore. This sailing thing was FUN! In addition, the boat was moving along pretty nicely – a lot faster than the Santa-Cruz 25 I had my only other sailing experience on. Devil’s Lake is not an optimal sailing lake. The water is always very cold and the wind is fluky due to the bluffs on the east and west side of the lake. This results in gusty and shifty conditions when the winds are blowing. In any case, we were managing the boat rather well and thought we could shake out the jib and see how the boat really handled. Lee started trying to unfurl the jib but was having problems. The furling lines were tangled and he was going to need some help in order to shake it out. We were right in the center of the lake and the wind wasn’t blowing too hard (maybe around 8 to 10 mph) so I cleated the main and went forward to help lee. Little did I know that cleating the main isn’t a good idea. That lesson was learned very quickly... A little gust knocked us over in a heartbeat and we found ourselves confused by the whole situation and swimming in 50 degree water. Since we were still on the “sail” side of the boat, Lee uncleated the main and I started swimming for the centerboard. We recollected quickly from the books we read that some weight on the centerboard can right the boat, so that’s what we did. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of water on the main sail and our weight didn’t seem to be righting the boat. We kept trying, but things just weren’t working like we had thought. Just then, I thought I heard something. Something like a little blurp, bubble, burple, bubble sound. The 505 has a sealed deck/hull and the sides of the boat being sealed act as flotation. This boat obviously was no longer sealed and the bubbling sound we heard was air bubbling out of the tank, meaning water was going in! We quickly determined that this boat was sinking fast and there wasn’t much we could do to right the boat. To top it off, Devil’s Lake prohibits power boats and a quick scan of the lake gave us a grim feeling: there wasn’t anyone visible on the water. There we were, in 50 degree water, smack dab in the middle of the lake with a sinking boat. We evaluated our options and things didn’t look good. The way we saw it, we had those cheap bulky orange life jackets on so trying to swim for shore (about 1⁄2 mile) would be futile. We might have been able to swim for it without the life jackets, but the water was really, REALLY cold and we were worried that we might be hypothermic in a few minutes anyway. If we stayed with the boat we’d be a little more visible, but at the rate the boat was sinking we’d only have a boat for perhaps another 10 minutes. So we did what every other red blooded American would do in a similar situation, we looked at each other for a brief second, then looked towards shore hollered our heads off for help. After about 20 to 30 seconds, we noticed several kayakers paddling our way very quickly. We were thanking our lucky stars that SOMEONE heard us and although we couldn’t for the life of us figure how a kayak could really help; there was comfort in knowing that someone at least knew we were out there. Several minutes later about six kayaks arrived. The 505 was going down by the bow and only the last foot or two of the stern was above water. Comically, it looked like a mini Titanic. For some reason I blurted out and asked if anyone had anything that would float and a very long rope. Like magic, one of the guys pulled a coil of rope out and a little inflatable pillow like thing and asked if that would work. He tossed it to me and I tied it to the stern just as the boat slipped under water. The coil had a good 100 feet of line on it and we were in about 45 feet or so of water, so even if we didn’t make it back before turning into two giant blue popsicles someone could at least locate the boat. Then one of the guys in the kayaks instructed me to climb on the back of the kayak. He said to do so very carefully and to stay laying down the entire time – to just slip on like a seal climbs on a partly submerged rock. I did as I was told and slid on quite easily and didn’t tip the guy over. Lee had already slid aboard another kayak moments earlier and was being paddled towards shore as I was tying the line to the boat. The kayakers briefly debated for a moment which way to get back to shore. Heading the short way lead to a rocky shore line but was quite a distance from any real help. They decided to go the longer way and head towards the beach where the ranger station was and likely some medical help if needed. On the way back I was really starting to feel the cold, but at least my whole body wasn’t still in the water. There were three kayakers including the one I was catching a ride from in my “group” and they started talking and laughing. I was freezing, turning mostly blue, was shivering so bad I could hardly talk, and saw nothing funny about the whole situation. Then one of the guys turned towards me and asked, “So, how much did Charlie pay you?” I knew I was cold, and was maybe starting to go hypothermic, so maybe I just didn’t understand the question. He asked again, “So, how much did Charlie pay you?” I responded asking who the heck was Charlie and what are you talking about. They concluded by asking, “So Charlie didn’t pay you to do this?” As it turned out, these people were from the Chicago area taking a class in sea kayak rescue. Charlie was their instructor and the day before taught them how to tow a victim just like they were towing us. They all thought this was a staged drill because having real “victims” for them to rescue was just too good to be true. Besides, the sail had the letters SOS on it (they thought it said SOS, not 505). Little did they know at the time that if they wouldn’t have been there we likely would have gone into hypothermic shock and drowned. By the time we got to shore I did see some humor in the whole situation. I tried to imagine the picture from their perspective and seeing two nuts out on the lake, with a sinking boat, with SOS on the sail, and on the second week in May isn’t very normal. But at the same time I was still freezing my hiney off and needed to get warmed up fast. As soon as we got to shore I took off running up and down the beach, trying to generate some heat. A short while later after about a mile of running we warmed back up and were just fine. After getting some skin pigment back we went over and talked to the group for a while. We were invited to join them that night at their camp for some BBQ and talk. We did, and got to meet Charlie. We all had a great big laugh at what was; however, what could have been still makes me think someone else was keeping a close eye on us that day. In the end, several weeks later we managed to raise the mighty 505 and it lived to sail another day. Raising the 505 is another story in itself. The way I see it, there were several lessons to be learned from this story. Here are just a few: First, don’t go for your first sailing adventure in Wisconsin the second week of May in anything less than a keel boat. Second, if you go out in cold water, make sure you have some help in case things go bad. Third, make sure your boat is sea worthy enough not to sink if capsized. Fourth and most importantly, don’t cleat the main in a dingy and leave the main and tiller unattended.
  9. Bob offered another response: Here’s my scary moment. One summer in the mid-1980’s I taught sailing at Fox River Marine in Oshkosh, WI (I’d previously taught sailing for Hoofer’s Sailing Club in Madison and for the UW P.E. Dept.). On the last night of a 3 week course I had 3 students with me on a Hunter 33 as we practiced tacking, rotating positions at helm, winch, and tail. Everything was going well until, without warning the mast crashed to the water. It was surreal. My first reaction was to get on the radio, forgetting that the antenna was now underwater. The best we could do was pull the rig along side the boat, fire up the diesel inboard and creep back to the Marina. It was near dusk when it happened and we were in the middle of Lake Winnebago. The dock master knew something was wrong when we didn’t arrive back on time and he couldn’t hail us on the radio. He stayed late, thankfully - it was well after dark. What caused the dis-masting? Later examination (insurance, and other) found that marina maintenance staff had forgotten to put cotter pins in the chainplate clevis pins when they readied the boat in the spring. The boat had been sailed frequently before one pin eventually worked its way out and down came the rig (gravity isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law). What if it had been rough water? would a spreader, then pointed at the boat’s side, stab holes, and sink us? We had lucked out. Still, that thought was with me as we took turns steering home. I still think about it. I maintained a calm appearance enough that the students considered that I had, perhaps, “staged” the event as part of the lesson. I was proud of that. I actually WAS pretty calm. Most of whatever fear or nervousness was in retrospect - again, what might have happened.? That’s a value of “close calls,” I guess. What I learned? 1. Check for Cotter pins/split rings, especially if someone else puts the mast up. 2. A big boat mast and rigging can’t really be man-handled - the best we could do was get it alongside, not up on deck (and that was in light air and flat seas). 3. Calmness takes over in an emergency. The scary part is remembering it. -Bob
  10. A response and story from Dennis: Thanks Ted. I will have to check my sprit end geometry too. I bet my main boom could catch it in a wild jibe as well. I think since we sail mostly in the Summer, on the warm waters of Lake Dubay, most personal danger is mitigated by the wearing of a PFD, regardless of what happens to the boat. Early and late season sailing, and sailing on cold waters or in remote areas, calls for additional caution. It always pays to consider the worst case scenarios before heading out. I once capsized my Hobie 16 on Lake Dubay on a Moonlight Cruise. I was sailing alone in moderate conditions. It was getting near sunset and time to head for the landing. The other boats had already pulled out, or were heading up river, when a sudden gust of wind capsized my boat. It happened just when I crossed in front of the dam, which probably accounted for the sudden increase in wind speed, as the wind was from the East that evening. I did attempt to ease the main, but it caught in the jam cleat, and over I went. I spent about 15 minutes trying to right the boat - unsuccessfully. I just wasn't heavy enough to right the boat myself. I considered dropping the main to make righting easier, but was concerned that removing my weight from the lower hull would allow the boat to turtle, and perhaps result in the mast getting stuck in the lake bottom. Since both the air and water temperatures were in the low 80s, I decided to just stay on the lower hull and drift across the lake to the westward shore. By paddling a bit, I was able to direct the boat to the beach over by Deer Island. It probably took about 2 hours to drift across the lake. It was well dark by the time I reached the far shore. I never got cold, but I could see lightning to the West as I drifted across the lake. I was fully expecting to get blown back across the lake by the approaching thunderstorm. After righting the boat, I was faced with a sail back across the lake in the dark without nav lights, and the possibility of an approaching storm. I had plenty of wind, but I didn't want to capsize again and start all over, so I tacked fairly cautiously back to the landing. It was well past Midnight by the time I got back. This was also before I had a cell phone, so I half suspected that my wife would have called the Sheriff's Department and reported me missing by then. As it turned out, she was visiting friends and never noticed I was late. I did end up buying a righting bag after that, so that I could right the boat myself if necessary. I also learned that catamarans capsize more quickly than monohulls, at least in my experience. Dennis
  11. Hi All, I found this article interesting and thought I would share with the membership. Would you like to share your own scary moment? Dennis From Ted Johanson (PadrePoint): Not too dramatic, but close to a capsize on Lake DuBay with my wife in one of my first times sailing with my new Core Sound 15… The boat has two masts, the main in front and mizzen near the middle. Each sail has a sprit that extends from the clew to just forward of the mast. I read about one Core Sound person who managed to let the mainsail become caught by the mizzen sprit when it came through on a tack, putting him over into a capsize. (His problem was not correctly building a six degree rake into his mizzen mast. He rebuilt the mizzen step to the correct angle and problem was solved.) Yep, that’s what I managed to do. It was a stronger wind with some gusting, but not so strong as to not sail. I reefed the sails before launching. I had just raised both sails when a gust hit the the main bringing it across the boat, but it got caught on the mizzen sprit amidships. With all that power in a “stuck” sail we immediately started heading over, and I was falling toward the leeward side of the boat and desperately trying to scramble to the other side to counterbalance the steep heeling. My wife immediately felt the boat getting blown over and was able to quickly scramble across to the windward side. We managed to not capsize as we gained balance and I managed to free the mainsail to spill the wind. Yes, I was very impressed with her quick reflexes and climbing. Hmmm… what caused that sail to get caught? We sailed (carefully) a while before heading home. Now to find the problem. I put the sails up in the yard and saw the effects of having built the sprits too long. My thinking was that once I cut the sprits to exact length, I couldn’t make them longer if needed, so leave them a little long, just in case. And, I might need to whittle another pin into the end if the one I made broke or didn’t work. I was just trying to be clever, I guess. “Wrong!!” So, referring back to the plans, I did the measuring and cut a little “circumcision“ to each sprit, around 4 inches or so. Then I did some more testing with the sails up to assure good clearance. I also noticed that if the mizzen snotter (the rope tightening the sprit) is way too loose, the sprit can lower and protrude too far forward from the mast, possibly catching the mainsail. That is something I keep in mind. So, was it scary? In that instant moment of the boat unexpectedly getting caught by the wind and quickly heading over, yeah. And I really didn’t want to capsize during my wife’s first venture with me in the new boat (not an impressive thing.) But, she is very comfortable on the water and was able to climb up the deeply heeling boat to keep it from dumping onto its side, and I soon joined her to get control in things. No, the “scary” level wasn’t very high. It was more of an “oh… (for purposes of an email) shucky darn” moment that got fixed before we needed to swim. Ted Johanson Below: A nice calm evening sail on Lake DuBay with my wife in our Core Sound 15. One can see that the forward part of the mizzen sprit is not real far from the mainsail’s leech. There isn’t a problem with this unless I have an overly loose snotter, letting the front of the sprit drop about a foot and moving forward. Then it can be too close. Photo by Dennis Gamble as he passed by on his travel up the river with friends:
  12. Here at the magazine we’ve long been fascinated with seaworthiness and the idea that small boats are more capable than most people expect. As the magazine’s subtitle (Small Boats, Big Adventure) suggests, we actively seek out stories of little boats facing big challenges and we’ve published plenty of dramatic tales of adventure. This sort of thing makes for entertaining reading, but more importantly these stories are nearly always full of lessons we can apply to our own sailing. (Better to learn from someone else’s ordeal than have to learn the same things the hard way.) With that in mind we thought it would be interesting and informative to ask you, our readers, about your own close calls and scariest experiences boating. As some of you will recall, we prepared a detailed 17-question survey and sent it to thousands of you via our Small Craft Newsletter e-mail list. We received some fantastic, thorough responses—thank you. Were there any lessons or takeaways? Were there any consistent themes or common denominators? Any surprises? Yes, yes, and yes. So without further ado, let’s take a look at your close calls and scariest moments on the water. IT’S THE WIND, DUMMY “Went out with a friend to review a boat he wished to purchase. Wind, rain, waves came from nowhere, from 5 mph to 40 mph in less than 10 minutes. Knocked down three times. Water actually flooded into cabin (but none in cockpit strangely enough). I was unable to reef because of the way the owner had rigged the halyard. The entire incident lasted less than 15 minutes. My friend did not buy the boat or set foot on another ever again.” “Failed to consider the potential strength of incoming thunderstorm.” “Sailing in Grays Harbor out of Westport, Washington. The wind picked up and I was overpowered. No way to reef the mainsail. Ran the boat up on a sandbar and took the mainsail down. Pushed the boat back into the water and sailed back to the boat ramp with the jib alone. Promptly sold the C-Lark and purchased a Sea Pearl 21.” “Unexpected downburst, lasted only 15 minutes; winds of 34 to 40 mph.” “Was told later it was a straight-line 15-minute wind burst between 60 and 80 mph. This was on the Ohio River. My boat came out of the water (sails were not up) and flipped end over end repeatedly. Sun came back out as quickly as the storm had appeared.” Maybe it makes sense given we’re mostly talking about small sailboats, but the first major revelation of our little study was that high winds were the most common factor in our respondents’ “worst moments” on the water—far outweighing factors like large seas, fog, cold weather and tidal currents, for example. It was also largely unexpected high winds that created trouble for our sailors. Did they fail to check the weather forecast or did winds simply exceed the forecast? We don’t know, but whatever the case, the sudden appearance of strong winds was a major theme throughout the tales of woe. In fact a full 25% of you specifically cited “failure to check weather” as a key factor in your dangerous situation. Another common corollary was being unable or unwilling to reef. As any small-boat sailor who’s had strong winds arrive suddenly knows, sometimes just letting go of the helm to tie in a reef can be daunting or impractical—especially in situations where maneuverability or course choice is restricted. A number of our respondents might have been able to avoid trouble had their boat been equipped with reefing gear (a surprising number had no provision at all) or if they’d practiced the reefing process thoroughly on boats so equipped. As we’ve seen time and again, most small sailboats can cope with bad weather if they can just reduce sail area enough for conditions. Lessons Learned: 1. Check the weather—particularly the wind forecast. Based on our survey, if a sailor was able to avoid high winds (obviously not always possible), he or she would eliminate a factor that weighed heavily in 80% of our “worst experience” responses. 2. Make sure your boat can be reefed, and practice reefing until you’re comfortable in the operation. A reefing plan is only theoretical and possibly useless until you’ve practiced it—preferably in real wind. As pugilist Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Know exactly how you’ll respond when the wind comes looking to knock you out. 3. Expect bad weather. Even if the forecast says otherwise, plan on encountering strong winds and make appropriate preparations. BUT WHAT ABOUT WAVES? “We ended up in large waves that caused the boat to submarine. It managed to resurface before filling the cockpit but was scary as it limited how we could maneuver and we missed the sheltered back channel, keeping us in these conditions longer than needed. Had one thing gone wrong we would have been in trouble.” “Extremely high waves for a 15-foot boat, guessing 10-12 foot waves with very short duration. The only saving grace was no waves broke while the boat was directly below them.” While waves and breaking seas weren’t as common a factor as wind, they definitely played their part in a number of stories—sometimes breaking in harbor entrances or onto the shores of intended destinations—other times over the stern of respondents’ boats. IT WAS MY FAULT “That particular day we had never seen the lake in such a fury…The wind was more noise than wind and was properly terrifying. We were two of us: My dad and me, 14 years old and a whole 120 pounds. But we were old sea dogs and just had to try the boat in huge waves and hurricane-like winds. If trouble came people were bound to help us. So we furled somewhat and had the storm jib up when we took off—literally. We lasted about a minute and 200 yards. The boat was a wild and crazy mustang. Of course it heeled, but a Flying Scot is really wide and the underside of the boat, leaning over, took the wind and became a sail itself and capsized us instantly…The Scots don’t sink, we just had to get the bow to the wind, climb on the daggerboard and get back in. A motorboat got us back to harbor. The lesson I learned is that when something looks worse than bad, stay away. Common sense should override the adrenaline rush. Never be arrogant with nature…” A number of respondents mentioned being young, foolish, inexperienced—or some combination of those things, when they had their scariest moment on the water. “Youthful ignorance,” one respondent called it. While these situations can end up being great learning experiences, that’s only if we survive them. Nearly 40% of our respondents mentioned “Inexperience” and/or “Overconfidence” being a factor in their circumstance. An additional factor in a couple of the incidents was that they took place during sanctioned sailing events where a schedule, racing competition, peer pressure, or a false sense of security from sailing with other boats played a role. Lessons Learned: 1. If it looks bad, it’s probably worse. As surfers know, waves look a lot smaller from shore than they do when you’re ducking under them. Same goes for wind and sea conditions—it’s probably rougher than it looks. How many times have you taken a photo in ugly weather only to be disappointed with how boring it looks as a static image? There’s nothing quite like being right out in the elements. 2. Know your limits. Don’t intentionally tempt fate. If you insist on pushing your limits, gear-up with the right safety equipment and have a series of bailouts or contingency plans. 3. Accept that younger sailors might make poor decisions and look to prepare them and the boat for that reality. ANCHORS AWEIGH “Sunk at mooring after being holed by abandoned mushroom anchor that was in upright position.” “Anchored in a cove exposed to the north. Cold front came through overnight and brought north winds. Motored out at first light into heavy seas, 3-4 feet. No anchor well, anchor and rode piled on foredeck. Anchor fell off and rode wrapped around outboard prop. Ended up grounded on nearby island. Dinghy was our ‘lifeboat’ that got us to mainland. All took place on Lake Huron south of Alpena, MI. Happy ending: I asked my girlfriend to marry me that day and we’ve been together 33 years.” “Pushed onto shoals in heavy wind/sea during the 2017 Everglades Challenge. Two anchors failed to hold on silt bottom, ultimately requiring rescue by Boat U.S. Towing to avoid being pounded into surrounding mangroves.” “Severe thunderstorm—65-knot winds (verified). Poor holding. Anchor dragged. Blew ashore. A fishing boat pulled us off next morning.” “Left Kingston returning to Brownsville. Wind 25 knots. Heavy, steep chop. Pounding damaged ice box platform. Anchor mount came loose and anchor was swinging freely off the bow. Singlehanding. Ran downwind under jib and went on foredeck to secure anchor. Was able to secure things and resume. However, there was potential for serious damage or injury. Swinging anchor could have holed the boat. I could have gone over the side. Could have stayed in port. Should have stayed in port. Lucked out.” As we learned in our recent anchoring survey and resulting article (issue #104), many of us have easily-stowable but relatively ineffective ground tackle and, consequently, plenty of stories about dragging—and this survey was no different. Where it became someone’s scariest moment, however, was dragging onto rocky shores or into breaking waves. To our surprise, anchors also featured prominently in our survey in other ways. In addition to the one boat holed by an abandoned anchor, a few respondents had their anchor and rode get away from them, with anchors bashing against the hulls or anchor rodes fouling engine props. Lessons Learned: 1. Take another look at your anchor type and entire ground tackle system. Do you have one of the better modern anchor designs? Do you have some chain and enough rode to pay out 7- or even 10-to-1 scope if needed in storm conditions? Do you have a second anchor aboard? Can you access your anchor and set it from the cockpit if going forward isn’t practical or safe? And just like with reefing gear—have you practiced anchoring? 2. Anchors are big, heavy, and sharp. Don’t leave them lying around loose. As author John Vigor says, “Think inverted!” Where will your anchor go if your boat bounces wildly or gets upside down? WHAT FAILED? “A furling jib would have allowed more time to prepare before the storm hit.” “This is the second time I have experienced issues with the centerboard becoming jammed. I have no idea how to resolve this issue.” “I was sailing, doing 5 knots downwind in great weather. There was a loud snap and my mast broke at the deck line. She’s a gaff-rigged catboat with 280-square feet of sail. Mast, gaff, boom, and sail all in the water.” “Mast took on water, lack of flotation in mast.” “Starboard chainplate parted. Mast went over.” “Outboard failure.” Although the old maxim “the boat can take more than I can” proved true and most of you said the boat did fine, we asked what, if anything, about your boats failed to meet expectations or match conditions. Wishing for a better (or any) reefing system topped the list, at 22.6 percent. Almost 15 percent of you said your secondary propulsion system (mostly outboards) failed, and nearly 13 percent of your boats didn’t have any or enough flotation (one owner capsized and watched his 23-footer disappear completely in less than three minutes.) Another 13 percent of you (probably those having trouble reefing) said you could have done with some additional ballast. About 10% of you said your cockpit drainage or bilge pump was less than effective, and another 10% said your boat didn’t point as well as conditions demanded. As for the boats you got in trouble on, there was a wide variety of type. Roughly equal numbers were aboard boats in the following categories: small open dinghies or racers, 13-19-foot trailerables, larger trailerables, and larger keelboats. Fewer than 30 percent of you considered your boat’s small size and weight a factor in your troubles. (For comparison, 50% said operator error was a factor.) LESS COMMON, BUT STILL SERIOUS PROBLEMS “I did not see low-hanging high-voltage line.” “I was due to pass under a low bridge under engine. The tide was exceptionally high. Two height gauges gave conflicting clearances. Due to hypothermia I made an over-optimistic conclusion that ‘there must be enough headroom.’” “Hot Florida day, and we were sailing close (and parallel) to shore when wind suddenly died, therefore we were rowing. Adjacent boat wake caused water to be shipped over the gunwales. We were swamped but still afloat. Was able to (very carefully) catch enough wind to sail to shore. Had automatically-inflatable life vests stored safely in the aft lazarette where they promptly deployed on exposure to water, and therefore were jammed and could not be extracted or used.” Lightning was only cited by about 12% of you, but they were some of the more harrowing accounts. One sailor rode out a series of lightning storms at anchor watching his electronics fry, another watched in horror as lightning struck his own mast. One sailor concluded, “I learned if you hear thunder, no matter how distant, get off the water.” Two respondents had masts hit power lines, with plenty of sparks and broken shrouds. One occurred while the boat was on the trailer at a launch ramp, the other in the middle of the night motoring into a marina steering by flashlight. Groundings (30%) occurred in a surprisingly high percentage of incidents, but we don’t know how many were the cause of troubles versus those that were simply a result of other problems like dragged anchors. Jammed centerboards were also indicted on a surprising number of occasions. Do you have a way to access and free your board if it becomes jammed? PFDs “Solo sailing into dock. Stalled the boat into the wind and was stepping to dock when wind shifted and pulled boat away from dock. I went into the water but hung onto boat. Was wearing sweats, jeans and wind pants and could not climb back in boat. Steered through a tack and a gybe before bringing her back to shore and walking out. Water temp was 52º. I got stripped down and changed clothes, warmed back up and recovered the boat…. I have raced offshore and sail weekly, but never have I had as close a call as at the lake five minutes from my house. No one was there to help.” “It was December and a beautiful, sunny, 70º day, which is very unusual for Northern Illinois, so we hurriedly put the boat in the water for our last sail of the year. After sailing up the creek a bit, we turned 180º and raised the centerboard about 80% for a downwind run to an area where the lake narrows and the winds are blocked by the surrounding hills. At the end of our run, we found the winds not blocked as usual, but swirling. I went to lower the centerboard, not knowing it had gathered a black sticky mud and was now stuck in the trunk. Upon tacking, the boat began to heel more than expected. When I tried to release the mainsheet, I found it was caught in the mainsheet block. The boat heeled onto her rail and in an instant she turtled. The water was in the 40s and in our haste we hadn’t put on our flotation devices. I tried righting the boat, but my wife was panicking and wouldn’t let go of the mainsheet, making it impossible to right the boat. Two canoeists came out and brought my wife to shore, while I tried unsuccessfully to right the boat as now the mast was stuck in the lake bottom.” “A guy in a 19-foot center console powerboat was running full speed down the river and daydreaming. I was sailing a catamaran. He ran over me and the catamaran...cut both hulls in half and cut the mast in half...ran over my back. The compression of the powerboat pressed it and me underwater. The life jacket took the compression blow and also prevented me from drowning.” The good news is that only 20% of your incidents involved someone going into the water and, when it happened, 67% of you were wearing a personal flotation device. The bad news is that 33% of you hit the water without a PFD. WHAT WASN’T A PROBLEM A number of potential factors came up less than expected. Extreme heat and cold weather were rarely mentioned, although a few of you did say your decision-making was negatively affected by being cold, and several of you said your foul-weather gear failed. Fog was barely a blip on our survey’s radar, and trouble caused by rogue powerboaters or other marine traffic came up in less than 10 percent of responses (although when it did happen, it was potentially deadly). Fire didn’t come up at all. And none of our respondents said alcohol consumption was a factor in their situation. About 10% of you were towing a dinghy at the time of the incident—a few said it was helpful, a few said it was a non-factor, and one said it contributed to the problem. THE GOOD NEWS While each of these events was stressful or worse for those involved, there were also, arguably, a few encouraging numbers. For starters, while knockdowns (41%) were fairly common, actual capsizes (28%) we’re pretty rare considering these were “worst-ever” scenarios. Collisions (10%) and actual sinkings (3%) were rarer still. Nothing about the survey has changed our opinion that small boats, properly-managed, are plenty safe. Even as the worst was happening, only 20% of the situations involved a person ending up in the water, and in the end, only 4% of all events involved injuries. CONCLUSION It occurs to us that the most significant lasting damage from these scenarios is the psychological trauma to the sailors involved. Many of you were rightly shaken by what took place. One sailor wrote: “It put me back onto smoking for awhile.” Another said that after the incident he “took a short walk and a long beer.” But in every case, lessons were learned and those involved are unlikely to repeat the experience. And only a few of you appears to have been scared off the water entirely. Ultimately it would seem that sailors who do just three things: Check and respect the weather forecast, know how to reef sails on their boat effectively, and who wear their PFD, will greatly reduce their chances of adding to their own scary stories. •SCA•
  13. These are my very few photos from my trip to Lake Wisota’s Regatta last July 24. I’m motoring back to the clubhouse after lowering my sails (and calming things). The waves weren’t big but wind was strong on the east side of the lake where races began. I would be inclined to bring my CS17.3 with a cabin next year. Back at the dock. A nice gathering area beneath the clubhouse.
  14. I sent an email to the Yacht Club on Lake Wisota. I’ll put the response below. I enjoyed going to Lake Wisota last summer for their Regatta, the first in many years. The folks I met were very friendly and they have a nice setup with a landing and docks, beach, clubhouse, and lots of parking space. Races occurred in late morning into the afternoon, and I went to the starting line. The winds were stronger than I am comfortable with in my Core Sound 15. It was easy heading downwind to the starting area. Once there, I reefed both sails but still felt uncomfortable. Several boats had capsized, one needing a rescue by a safety boat. After some flailing around I just decided to lower the sails to calm things down. I started up my motor and enjoyed a cruise back to the clubhouse. Most folks were out on the water (quite a good number of boats) and I just loaded up Norma T for a trip back home. This is the club’s location: This is the email response I received when I asked whether we might join them from Lake DuBay sometime. I would really enjoy heading over with some people on a Friday, launching and staying overnight on the water, then meeting folks at the clubhouse on Saturday. Just keep it in mind. Hello Ted We would love to have you guys over to Lake Wissota to sail. We are in the process of setting up our calendar for next year. We have a number of Saturday races that all are welcome to participate in. The races are usually 1 o’clock in the afternoon. These are just fun free races. I believe there will be a second annual regatta scheduled for next year as well. Let’s keep in touch and make this work. You can access our calendar through the Lake Wissota Yacht Club. I believe will have it all updated by the first of the year. Hope to see you.
  15. Ok, another off-topic post. A proud poppa is posting photos of what my son just sent me of his just-completed canoe, built from plans. I don’t know who the designer is, not it’s design name. He does say he is invoking the “10-foot rule.”
  16. I didn’t post on this thread photos from my sons and me camping out in the lake one night this past summer. I also made a little video of our venture: I’m already looking forward to the 2023 sailing season. However, I have a lot of downhill skiing to do first.
  17. I got this email from Small Craft Advisory. I tried a simply “copy and paste” to place it on this thread. It seemed to work but I’m not sure if the photos come out right. (If I turn my phone 90 degrees the pictures become correct. I see some interesting ideas here, maybe the one catching my attention the most was letting a purchased tent hang out over the edges of the boat (since it doesn’t fit IN the boat.) While my little red tent is only a little too wide for the back of Norma T, it is narrow enough to squeeze inside the inwales… the floor sort of sort of puckers some. The “bathtub” floor, however, should assure that rain stays on the outside of the tent, so my solution at the top of this page might be adequate. I should find a way to tie in the tent corners so the tent doesn’t blow away. I’ll experiment some more next season. I’m done building boats so I can dedicate myself now to just Messing-About and playing in my boats. Maybe an idea below will spark some imaginative but effective ways to camp aboard a Core Sound. Or to add a roof covering to the back of a Mark 3. The “wheels” in the brain will keep turning these things over. Open in app or online Gimme Shelter Some ways to stay warm, dry or out of the sun on your small boat NOV 10 SAVE ▷ LISTEN Nothing compares to cruising in a small, open boat, whether rowing, paddling, sailing or motoring. When underway or at anchor you are close to, sometimes almost in the water—seeing, hearing, feeling and occasionally even tasting the universe below. You’re not riding high above the surface in a boat-shaped apartment, removed. You are in touch, maybe excited but oddly relaxed, absorbing it all. Okay, stop right there. While these sentimental, ooey-gooey outpourings are permissible, we deserve to be slapped now and then, until admitting that the most beautiful days can quickly turn soaking wet, freezing cold, windy or all of the above. And when that happens, there you are, huddled in the sleet wishing you’d stayed home in your cozy bed, with the thermostat nudged up and a faithful dog asleep at your feet. About this time, cold and miserable, you might wander toward the dark side, almost admiring the monstrous boat anchored next to you, with its grotesque but dry and toasty cabin. And it’s possible you’ll begin to hate the boat’s skipper, who is probably watching a great Netflix classic on his iPad, while you face certain death via hypothermia. The bastard! … it’s possible you’ll begin to hate the boat’s skipper, who is probably watching a great Netflix classic on his iPad, while you face certain death via hypothermia. The bastard! If you’ve had that experience—soaked through, chilled to the marrow—do not despair. There are creative and simple ways to turn your small, open, adventure-seeking boat into a sorta-deluxe accommodation, with some kind of shelter from the elements. You know, a way to believably swear you had the time of your life when later sharing your adventure with friends, family, bus riders or anyone else who’ll listen. Following are shelters some boating friends have come up with, in absolutely no order. Sergei Joslin might have the most colorful small boat we’ve cruised with—shown here after he rolled his Scamp above the high-tide mark in Mystery Bay, near Port Townsend, Washington. Out on the boat’s veranda in the evening, Sergei was enjoying the boat’s generous, well-designed cover, with zippers and flaps to control air flow…and the ability to seal the cockpit’s sleeping platform from the elements. All pretty deluxe for a boat measuring 11’ 11” overall. James McMullen emerges from a good night’s sleep aboard his Iain Oughtred-designed Sooty Tern. The boat’s nifty shelter, secured to the mainmast and mizzen, is fastened over side rails to keep water out of the boat and off of James’ sleeping bag. Nice, clean design and clearly functional. Bob Miller’s Drascombe Longboat, shown at anchor in Montague Harbour, British Columbia during a small-craft rendezvous, boasts a shelter that has been clearly thought out and crafted: Zippers in several locations so that Bob can have full coverage, or open individual sections to improve ventilation or just seek UV protection when the weather’s nice. So while he mostly takes the cover down when underway, Bob has the option of cruising with one or two of the compartments up and ready for action. Some folks, like this couple from Montana, keep it simple, in this case finding an off-the-shelf camping tent that’ll drape over the sides of their Michalak-designed Mikes Boat. The roomy solution has worked great during a number of camp-cruising adventures, this one being in northern Puget Sound. Eric Tirion of British Columbia also made the most of a stock camping tent that somehow fit nicely atop his little 13’ 8” Crawford Melonseed. Eric was taking part in a three-day Palooza Crooza in South Puget Sound, setting up his tent home at Jarrells Cove State Park. Here we have two views of Jim Tolpin’s 18-foot Poulsbo Boat—the first showing his initial experiment with a tarp stretched over battens (which could be wood or fiberglass), and the second featuring a custom dodger he had made by Best Coast Canvas in Port Townsend. (If you go with the tarp-over-boom approach, or stretch a tarp over battens, be sure you have good ventilation. Even if it doesn’t rain, dripping condensation inside the tarp might make you wish you’d slept under the stars.) Here’s another Scamp cockpit cover, lower-slung than the one we showed in the first photo. Simeon Baldwin does fine with his custom-tailored approach, which fits the boat nicely and allows for fairly easy boarding from the side. (Side note: Simeon has been a generous and tireless Scamp proponent, answering endless questions of builders and launch-ramp passersby. And, with years of experience in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, he’s a valued buddy to cruise with.) This camp-cruising sailboat opted for a sturdy, custom-made shelter from UltraShade, a small company that offers whatever dimensions are required for your small cruising boat. See www.crawfordboating.com for details. This boat was photographed during the first-ever 2019 Salish 100, a small-boat cruise from Olympia to Port Townsend, WA—100 nautical miles. For details on the 2023 Salish 100, email jesse@nwmaritime.org. Bimini tops are a great way to shelter your open cockpit—often more against UV rays than rain. There are a number of different manufacturers and a huge range of sizes, height, width and length dimensions, fabric colors and other choices to be made if you like the basic idea. This Bimini fits Bob and Aleta Mueller’s AF4b outboard cruiser nicely, and they’re clearly enjoying the boat, and protection offered by the Bimini. A lot of folks who are cruising with boats like this Redwing 18 outboard lack protection in the cockpit area, but not John Kohnen of Oregon, who has a standing-headroom hardtop and fabric side curtains he can deploy when overnighting. Pretty deluxe, turning the cockpit into a roomy space with complete privacy and weather protection. When nothing seems to make sense for your small, open boat—or your craft is too small to sleep aboard—you can always default to the option of sleeping ashore. That’s what a lot of us do when custom fabric shelters, boom tents or other devices don’t work on our small boats. In this example, we beach camped ashore at Lake Ozette, in Olympic National Park, alongside Jo and Roger Beachy (background), who arrived aboard a not-so-roomy sailing canoe. So, plan now for an active 2023 season, camp cruising aboard your small but weather-protected craft. After a few pandemic-affected seasons, aren’t all of us eager to get out there and explore? I sure am…with a new boom tent aboard my 14-foot camp cruiser. —Marty Loken •SCA• LIKE COMMENT SHARE © 2022 Joshua Colvin PO Box 8958, Moscow, ID 83843 Unsubscribe
  18. Ok, the “third-boat-build” is done, except for a 3” wood backsplash under the tiles. My wife — who graciously put up with two messy boat builds done in her car’s garage space — just said to me from the kitchen, “I think the new counters and sink look nice; I really like them.” I think of the countertop project as a way to sort of balance the building attentions I’ve given to my boats since retiring three years ago… and it barely starts to make up for the mess of building. I’ve been wondering in the last months what I might be doing once the third project is done. I found the answer quite recently… I am going back to work full time on December 1 (It will likely back off to part time as we get into 2023.) Today, to celebrate finishing these epoxy-related building projects, I threw away all my “epoxy clothes” (nearly all my short sleeve shirts fell into that category) and my old tennis shoes. New shirts are now on the hangers. If you’ve guessed by my screen name, PadrePoint, I’m a Lutheran Pastor (ELCA, for those familiar with the Lutheran world) and I live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The opportunity to re-enter active ministry caught me by surprise. Then again, retiring three years ago caught me by surprise… as has my hobby of boat building… and sailing. My boats are now in winter storage. Next summer will be dedicated to messing-about with boats and playing in the water. Sleep well Norma T, Joe, and Avocet. You’ll be back in action soon.
  19. My phone cranked this out… no prompting.
  20. Norma T and Joe are getting a new “grand-canoe” made by my son and painted with the same red and white Interlux Brightsides that I used for both of my recent boat-builds. It was fun to supply him with some of the materials and paint for his build. My younger son started his 17’ plywood canoe last year, building it from plans. The epoxy he used is extra resin (and wood dust) I got from B&B for my ski-boat build and the glass material is from what I had left over from my high school build: an 11’ ski-boat that I built in 1968. My dad (Joe) got a full roll of fiberglass from somewhere and I’ve held onto it since then, waiting to build the ski-boat that I finally completed this summer. I think of it as a “partner” to Norma T, my Core Sound 15 that is named for my mom. I then named the ski-boat for my dad: Joe. (My kids and grand kids thus have a grandparent legacy and memory in these two boats.) Last weekend, I gave my son the white paint I was going to use next spring on Norma T‘s interior (intending to put another layer on the seats and to cover some blemishes occurring for various reasons.). He just finished painting the inside of his canoe today. He’s been hand-caning the seats and will install them along with the thwarts. (I like the look; I’m rather partial to the colors, what can I say?) Do you s’pose he’ll add a white stripe? And just because I’m proud of the woodworking of both my sons, this is a shot from a couple weeks ago of the canoe my older son recently completed and this weekend the paddles that he has hand-carved. Yep, that’s a cribbage board on one paddle . All this stuff went to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters in September. This is a shot my two sons the morning after camping overnight on the lake using both of the sailboats. I’m writing this post while watching the Green Bay Packers trail behind the Detroit Lions, 🫤 putting off the last part of my “third boat build”, new butcher block counters in the kitchen. (Sort of a trade to my wife for giving me her garage space to build my boats .) All I need to do is take the old sink and countertops out and put the new ones in place. Easy Peasy, right? . Maybe I can think of another distraction when the game finishes.
  21. I’ve done that with my CS15 and the mizzen thwart served as a nice seat for rowing.
  22. 2022 Messabout: as produced by my phone (I know, the music is rather dramatic. ) And, I had the little video below pop up on my phone a few days ago. It is from some of my photos and video clips of our Family Camp this summer. We brought my two new red boats, our four kayaks (two were new kid-sized kayaks), my son’s cedar strip canoe, some floaties, and my daughter’s inflatable paddle board out to the Lake DuBay beach. The red boats are Norma T (my CS15 built in 2020) and Joe (my Glen-L Stiletto design built in 2021-22 from plans that I bought in 1984… no, it isn’t a B&B design BUT I bought the wood for it from B&B.) This was the first time we tried skiing behind Joe… and my boys had not been on a waterski for maybe 15 years or so. Success!! The grandkids tried out being pulled behind the ski-boat in our large Mega-tube and they couldn’t get enough of it. I thought it is funny that the main photo for the video is B&B’s canoe seat sitting in the sand. I built it from the plans I downloaded from the B&B website. We actually use it in the back of the ski boat when more than two are in the boat. Family Camp was my family’s introduction to Joe. As the grandkids get older, it’s going to provide a lot of boating fun. We placed Bruce — the red mast float — atop Norma T‘s mizzen mast for the first time, having the whole family around. That’s my brother’s name (he died some years ago, so it’s a fun reminder to add to my parent’s names on my two red boats: Norma T and Joe.)
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