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Everything posted by PadrePoint

  1. That looks like a great tent… and premium quality. It looks like it could work… perhaps it’s too long. My guess… I won’t find one for $22.50. Thanks.
  2. Some Experimenting, and my Solution I’d already tried out a free standing tent that I have, seeing how it might fit into the back of the boat. (I didn’t take a photo of this try.) Ehhh… I don’t think so, especially since the tent has a side entrance door and how would one manage that when the tent goes from one inwale to the other? A tarp-type tent might be better and I continued my search for ideas. I had recently fashioned a sleeping platform that included the aft seats. I had a couple empty days last week so I fiddled around with a couple tarps to see if I could come up with a workable idea for a tent that could support an overnight on the water. It seems this is the predominant approach used in small sailboat camp cruising (camping ashore is always a good approach, too.) I bought a big cheap Harbor Freight tarp (green) that I could cut up for a pattern. I began my experimenting by putting the mizzen mast in the forward step (in the bow thwart) and lashing the longer main sprit to the mizzen mast (while pulling the mizzen sprit up and out of the way; not sure what I could do with the sails.) Then I began some approaches of draping the green tarp over it, even making a brace to support it. I liked the standing headroom and roominess that resulted… but I envisioned a lot of challenges in making this work. I have a couple 20’ tie down straps that could be tightened around the outside of the hull to provide a place to tie the tent into. Hmmm… I don’t know. Do I really want to try making a tent pattern here? How ‘bout a more open-ended approach with a smaller sized tarp? (I use this grey tarp to cover my pop up camper in winter and it’s close to what might be needed.) Again, I liked the height and roominess and assumed I could fashion a way to tie it down to straps going around the outside of the hull. Maybe a little better than the big green tarp? Maybe use a mosquito net over a sleeping bag net inside… but would the open ends help with rain possibilities? Fashion and attach end flaps? Use a one person bivy tent under this to protect from rain? (I didn’t take a photo of trying a bivy tent; plus it needs anchoring on either end to stand it upright.) Ehhh… Extend the top of the tarp with another horizontal brace for more coverage? Ehhh… Pull everything back and over the transom for at least an overhang fore and aft of the sleeping platform? Just not doing it for me, even with some cutting and sewing. Time to again check out some small tent possibilities on-line and with Amazon. A new small tent listing appeared on Amazon that wasn’t there earlier… and it’s only $22.49. It has a “bathtub” floor that could manage rain water in the bed platform and the access door is on the end (I hadn’t yet found a small tent with these two features.). I ordered it. When it came, the tent was assembled and placed into the back on top of the sleeping platform. Yes, the sides are squeezed some to make it fit, causing the floor to be bunched up a bit… I kinda shoved the floor material under the side decks… but, yes, I think it could work. The sails could be flaked over the sprits (and lashed) and raised out of the way by the two extra halyards. Plus, I liked how this keeps everything open in the front cockpit. There is enough room in the tent to lie comfortably, well, making use of the diagonal (I’m 6’5”.) The corners of this free-standing tent can be lashed to points in the boat to manage wind. I decided that THIS will be my solution for now. I don’t think I will plan more than an overnight or two next summer, a new experience to try out.
  3. I think whatever approach you decide you would have the skill to make it happen. For me, the real key to gaining needed skills was going through Alan’s video series (on B&B’s CS15 page if you haven’t seen them yet) in which he demonstrates a LOT of the building processes for B&B boats. And, good luck with certifications.
  4. I will suggest taking a fair look at B&B’s Core Sound 15, the smallest of the cat ketch designs. I thought the build (from a full kit) was enjoyable and sailing it is even better. It’s light enough to push around the yard and I pull it with my Toyota Yaris. I’ve had in mind people-wondering-about-building-a-boat when adding posts to my blogs: Feel free to connect with me. I also guided a 9th grade girl in making her own Spindrift 10 (from a kit.) I had a nice little cruise with Chick at last year’s Mess-About. Stopping in at this year’s event would be a great way to help you make a decision.
  5. So, jumping around the forum I find this bit of info from 10 years ago on sprit length:
  6. I need to keep this word in mind… “Well, fiddely dee, isn’t this amusing?” (I’m sure my wife would appreciate it.)
  7. Longer Sprits Paul described to me a problem of his mizzen sprit catching the mainsail when swinging over in a tack (if I understood the unfortunate event correctly.) He decided the mizzen mast needed to be raked back sufficiently (he decided he built it too upright, I think) to avoid a repeat. I left my sprits long on my CS15. In a stiffer breeze with the reefs in, my mainsail was caught by the sprit in a sudden gust while just getting the mainsail up. My wife and I managed to scramble up to the windward side and got the boat rebalanced, allowing the mainsail to be released by the mizzen sprit and normalcy returned. Quite an exciting introduction to the boat for my wife. I cut the sprits twice to what I think is a good balance length… or what was called for in the plans (go figure.) The point is to be thoughtful about sprit length for the mizzen sail to avoid catching the mainsail in the various reefing combinations.
  8. That is an interesting thought here. I’ve noticed that my mizzen will luff, not flapping, but kind of a gentle “s” shape from luff to leach. Some of that might be an effect of air moving between the two sails, I wonder. I’m starting to make a list of questions to bring with me to the Messabout… just around the corner. (I had three full pages of questions with me when I picked up my CS15 kit from B&B in 2020. Alan and Graham graciously spent a couple hours with me walking through all of them. I tried to remember what I could. )
  9. Last month, one of the first days I had a tracking program, I played around with a bunch of things on my local lake. I was trying to carry out Graham’s “homework” from a helpful post he gave me on my “CS15 — Sailing the Norma T” thread. So, I thought I’d post a photo of my effort to point as closely as I could into the wind, the zig-zag track below. The tacks look closer to 90 degrees than I thought they would be. (The wind was mild, sometimes less, about 8 mph.) I might have been sheeting in too tightly with a result of lower speed. I’m new to sailing and I just don’t think I point very well upwind and I can tell that the “learning never stops.” The “figure skating” tracks were my learning to steer with a locked tiller, using sails only. I even managed to do a few circles with sails only… I enjoyed my homework.
  10. What a GREAT Day of Sailing! I thought it was a perfect day to take my younger son’s family for a sail today. It was beautiful fall weather with lots of warm sun and a gentle amount of wind… just enough for a few 5+ mph speeds and only a few strong gusts that required a quick release of the mainsheet to snap the boat back to fully upright (since we might have leaned almost 15 or so degrees … it’s always good to keep mom comfortable with this new-for-her sailing stuff.) (Oh… and, by the way, these are all my daughter-in-law’s photos.) We stayed on the lake for several hours. The younger one got really tired. She laid down on a picnic table while we packed up the boat for my wife’s and my 2 1/2 hour drive home (their’s was only 30 minutes… what parents will keep doing for their kids. ) We started with some teaching on how to get things ready to launch the Norma T into the water. “Ok, this is one easy way to attach the halyard to the mainsail head… I’ll show you and then I’ll take it apart and you can try it… a couple loops through the eye and then a couple half hitches.” “Now, you try it.” ”Great job… you correctly made two half hitches… that’ll hold just fine.” “Next, we need to get the sail’s lugs into the sail track…” How many of these things ARE there? () The younger one wanted some jobs as well… “Can you help attach the dock line to the transom eye? That’s it, pull it all the way through.” This is the first time since I installed the roller bunks that my son saw the boat “slide” off the trailer without even a push… nice… We’re all aboard and ready to take off. “I haven’t tried rowing away from the dock before… let’s see if we can this work. “We’ll use just one oar… you row with me until we’re away… then you can take over on your own to get us far enough out to raise the sails. ”Hey! This actually works. We won’t use the motor at all today.” The kid wanted to keep rowing… but we were ready to raise the sails. “Ok, pull down on the halyard with one hand take up the slack through the cleat with the other.” (I pulled out a cleat rivet once in strong winds as I kinda intensely hoisted the mizzen… I was pulling the halyard very hard to the side from under the cleat… . . I decided this might be a better and non-cleat-rivet-breaking approach. ) “There ya go… the mizzen is heading up… all the way, now. Keep pulling.” ”Here’s a way you can get that last bit when it gets harder… pull outward and downward on the halyard above the cleat and then pull the new slack through the cleat. There ya go, the sail is all the way up.” (I don’t think this is too stressful to the cleat’s rivets — at least I hope not.) After sailing around for an hour, I suggested trying out a fun new place to sit… right up on the deck where the main mast is. FUN!! Especially when we run into big wake waves from the other boats!! Lots of intense little kid laughing. And, of course the younger sister must try this out as well. (Nice that the life jackets have a place for gramma to hold… it’s good to be safe.) “Hey, we can both fit up here… and we can get our shoes wet!” They were up there a long time. And singing was included. This is the track of the first couple hours on board. We had a couple “spontaneous” man-overboard drills… at the kids’ discretion. Very exciting for them to plan WHEN… and then “surprise” everyone… but they can’t seem to do it without saying their plan loudly enough for all to hear . Note a couple circular drills to recover the thrown seat cushion. They missed the pickup on the top one… poor cushion. Edit: I just recalled another reason I really enjoy the openness of the Core Sound sailboat… this 15 foot boat comfortably holds four adults and a couple kids… and moving around with this number on board works fine. My son had a Covid booster the day before and felt a little off (it’s worth it). He wanted to lay down for a while. No problem at all for him to stretch out on the aft bench seat. Nobody felt “inconvenienced“ or had to move (since the kids were both sitting up on the bow deck.) This was a perfect sail for the kids to finish the sailing season. More sailing adventures next year. Next year’s plan includes more instruction and working the controls AND jumping off the boat for a swim! Plus, my ski-boat build will be done, opening up even more new water adventures. This has been a GREAT sailing summer. I’ve learned a lot, tried many new things for a first time, and I’m now looking forward to my trip out to B&B’s 2021 Messabout.
  11. Playing With Some New Things I took out my CS15 on this beautiful fall day just to finally try out a few new additions that I put together this year. I felt like a kid playing with new toys. Mizzen Mast In The New Forward Step I installed the forward step earlier this summer but haven’t tried it yet. I see two purposes: to use a reefed mizzen sail only in very strong wind (small amount of sail) and to move the mizzen forward for rowing or camping. (Here is the mizzen in the forward step and in the reefed position; there is only a single reef in CS15 sails). I will add a couple additional reefing ties in the clew and tack eyes to neaten up the rolled up reef slab… which kind of dangles down from the ends without extra ties. I tried sailing (in today’s light winds) with the mizzen sheets running back to the transom blocks (regular placement) and then placing them in the mainsheet’s blocks. The original seems a little “stretched” back and using the middle thwart seems a little undercut. But, I think using the mainsheet’s blocks provide a better fit, especially when the sail is let out some past the gunwale. So, here I am lounging against the transom in the gentle autumn breeze using only a single reefed mizzen sail. Some Motor Sailing Not a lot of wind today so I used the motor to get out to the middle. I have a Waterspeed App that monitors speed. My 2.3 hp Honda produced an easy 2.5 to 3+ mph at just above idling. Raising it to about half throttle produced over 5 mph. The motor doesn’t seem to use much gas. The sail responded to the moving air but I’m not sure it contributed to speed. Rowing Experiments — I Liked Using Only One Oar Since the mizzen mast is now out of the way and no longer in the center thwart (for the first time) I tried some rowing. I’m not yet particularly coordinated with the two cupped oars in the loose and open oarlocks, but I noticed I could easily add 2+ mph to the speed produced by the reefed mizzen sail in the gentle breeze. That was cool. “Motor-sailing??” I gave sculling over the transom another try. Very little forward movement but good “wiggling” of the boat’s aft section. . I s’pose sculling can be a little useful for very slow maneuvering around. But, it occurred to me that by adjusting a locked tiller I might try using both hands on a single oar from one side. BINGO!! I tried this on both sides, relative to the wind, and either worked fine. For an approach I never used before, it felt good, controlled and strong. I found it easier to check to the front occasionally while rowing this way. (It felt harder while holding two oars to twist enough to look forward for stuff.) After a bit of slight adjusting to the tiller while rowing with a single oar I found a sweet spot that kept the direction of the boat steady. I made good speed with this approach, even with no sail. It felt kinda fun. I think I could row a while like that, maybe even alternating sides occasionally to switch things up. I guess… I really only need to carry a single oar instead of two. Trying the New Sleeping Platform Before painting the pieces I cut for a sleeping platform, I should try them out, especially to see how it would be to set up the platform while on the water. The platform pieces (shown here) fit nicely between the narrower space between the centerboard trunk and forward seat. I will probably recut a piece to keep it under the level of the centerboard trunk top. I found my platform setup easy to do, not cumbersome at all. Here are the frame pieces (I forgot to put in the middle longitudinal beam when I took the photo… you can see the slots… Oops). Then I added the plywood pieces for a flat surface. (I will add some bracing pieces to firm it up.) This produces a good sized sleeping platform for my 6’5” body. Using the second mizzen mast halyard to hold up the sprit while also tightening the snotter, the sprit is now horizontal above my head, even while I’m standing, and the sheets run back to the transom blocks. I will try to fashion a tent over this structure from bow to stern. This tent approach could work out really well to make cruise camping possible and comfortable for the Core Sound 15. Very cool. What a delightfully fun day today playing in the Norma T and trying out a bunch of new things.
  12. Thank you. I know I post a lot of trivial things on this forum. It’s a way to share things with my family and friends, and to kind of document something that has been really fun for me. The posts, believe it or not, take a fairly long time to do… but I’m a retired guy, and each post is like a little project. Much more fun than doin’ nothin’. (Andy, you might be sorry you encouraged me.) Yes, I do think about potential B&B customers because I really think highly of the B&B folks and have appreciated their kind support. I am just now getting ready to go out and “play” with the new elements of the Norma T that I added this year, well, maybe NOT the strap boarding ladder just yet. I’ll let ya’ll know a bit about how it goes today and my effort to use this day sailer as an occasional “camping dinghy” for me and my boys.
  13. A Video of Getting my Core Sound Ready to Launch My wife and I decided to sail around on a local lake for a few hours on this beautiful September day. I asked her to take a video of most of the steps I use to get the boat ready to launch. The quick setup process of a Core Sound is another reason I really like this boat. Once I motored us away from the dock I asked my wife if she wanted to sail the boat today. She’s always been a passenger and “crew” but hasn’t tried the tiller and sheets yet… but she was willing to take control of the helm and sails. I was the steward for lunch and drinks. The leaves are beginning to turn, the sky was blue, and the wind was a gentle 6 or 7 mph. It was a great day for a first “captain” experience and she stayed at it for almost three hours. We tried out a couple drink holders my wife had found. I thought they worked well enough.
  14. Hope to join you guys in the future for something.
  15. Thanks, Meester. I forget you went toward a different sail rigging than cat ketch. Looks good.
  16. Meester, Do you have any photos? Do you tent the front? Back? Full hull? Do you leave the mizzen mast in place? How do you handle the sails when “parked” to camp? I appreciate your info.
  17. I just bumped into this video of how a guy made a tent cover for his sailboat. Very clever, I think, especially the idea of running a tight strap around the hull to provide anchoring for the tent sides. I also spotted another of his videos. I wonder whether this tent might be set up while IN the boat.
  18. Great write up about some great accomplishments. Congratulations, Tom.
  19. Thrillsbe, I’d installed the forward step this spring but I haven’t tried placing the mizzen mast and sail into it yet. Your videos explain a few things I wondered about. My sails don’t wrap around the mast so I’m unsure what to do with the main if I do a switch to mizzen-only while underway. So, I have a few things to try out when I return from a two week vacation.
  20. Reporting on Graham’s “Homework” Assigment Today, I had a chance to be alone on my boat and try things Graham suggested. I’d already learned that I could steer the boat somewhat using only the mainsheet. That was cool to discover that. The wind was 8 mph with gusting. It really was a beautiful sailing day. Using my new iphone app, Waterspeed, I recorded today’s sail track. I wonder what my sailing looked like from shore. I first wanted to see how closely the Norma T could point into the wind. Sometimes it seems like I just don’t get it going toward the wind enough. But, in this series of three tacks, I seemed to get from about 85-100 degrees. That was pleasant to see. Three points: Then, I tried locking the tiller and using the sheets ONLY for steering. Now THAT was interesting and really fun. I haven’t really done much adjusting of the mizzen sheet and I began to realize how much it can impact the boat. After a while of keeping a longer steady course or purposely varying it with the sheets I wondered whether using sheets only I could actually come across the wind to the other tack. Well, give it a try. WOW! It worked. Try a jibe… who hoo! Here are some tacks and jibes using sheets only with a locked tiller… and I even purposely did a few circles. VERY FUN!! So, what would happen if I raised the rudder out of the water? Well, doing that made the boat was a more skittish and… “pivoty” for lack of a better word. The boat would “oversteer” quite easily. I wondered if raising the centerboard halfway would help, and it did. I could control the boat reasonably and still do tacks, jibes, and circles (sometimes accidentally). Even with the centerboard completely up as well as the rudder there was still a capacity to steer. Playing around without a rudder: My wife and I are getting ready for a two week vacation so after a while I needed to head home and put the boat “to bed”. Heading into the dock I used my second mizzen halyard to keep the mizzen sprit and sail out of the way. I’m really glad I added one to each mast. SO, MY HOMEWORK GRADE? I did all my graduate study on a pass/no-pass basis. Since I successfully did all this stuff in today’s “passage” — AND safely got back to shore — I shall give myself a “passing” grade. I’m happy. And, thanks, Graham, for the homework.
  21. A Few Additional Items I’d been thinking about building a bed platform for the rear cockpit area (I brought up the issue in this thread.) Finally, I had the time and inclination to begin. With some measuring, a few “bulkheads” were made from leftover pieces of okume plywood. Those would go across the cockpit, resting on the keel batten and much of the floor, and still allowing water (if there is any) to move along the keel and not pool up. The three bulkheads were screwed together to cut slots for the cross pieces. The first cross piece was cut from the kit’s temporary bulkhead that I had tossed into the attic (until there was some use for it.) When cutting the center cross piece from this plywood, it occurred to me I should cut off a corner to help ease it into place. But, OOPS , I cut the wrong corner. Ok, first, cut off the correct corner. Then, I guess, it’s a little repair to make (the cut-off corner is screwed into place until I epoxy everything… then it will be glued.) Onward. Three cross members were made, again from leftover wood. For setup, I’ll assemble the most aft piece first and then place the rest of the supports. With this approach I won’t need to permanently install rails along the cockpit edge. Now to cut several rectangle shapes for the area between the seats, using leftover plywood pieces from my current boat build. The pieces are weird shapes but I got three of the four pieces this way. BUT, the fourth piece will need to be cut from a new full sheet. (Trivia… I bought the wood for my current ski-boat build from B&B and to get the plywood fitting into my van for transport home I had Alan cut little squares that fit around my van seat’s mounting pylon… Alan hoped “I wouldn’t rue the day” with those notches, but things have worked out as I planned.) So, I now have a bed platform available for Norma T. The disassembled pieces fit nicely into the smaller forward cockpit space nestled up to the centerboard trunk. I’ll add little lips to three of the platform pieces to make them fit together more securely and I’ll epoxy coat everything… later. Very little wood was left over from this project that was fashioned out of my boat-build scraps. I love using up wood that I purchased. While being such a busy beaver, I did a couple other little jobs that I wanted to get at. First, I had picked up a strap-type boarding ladder that needed some way to attach securely to the transom. Since I sometimes lean my back onto the transom when a lot of people are aboard, I didn’t wasn’t a metal hook or eye sticking out. I ran some rope through a piece of 18 mm ply (the darker wood) and then bolted the wood to the transom. The ladder is easily stored away and can be quickly attached for sailing… in case it’s needed. I’ll try it out… someday. My third little task was to create a one inch spacer to raise off the thwart my alternative mainsheet camcleats. The riser makes it much easier to set the line into the cam cleat. I really like having these additional cleats for a passenger to use when managing the mainsail while sitting in the front cockpit… or when I am sailing solo and sitting right behind the mizzen thwart (that way, I don’t need to reach behind me to adjust the mainsheet in the original cleats along the inwales.) A few more little building tasks are now done… well, except to epoxy the bed platform pieces. Perhaps yet this year, I will try out the bed platform with an overnight on board.
  22. Rowing must be done gently… and down the stream… and with a merry attitude. I’m not so sure I’d have a sufficiently merry attitude about rowing, especially since I’d make a motor part of the whole thing (and, it’s a great looking motor well in the photos.) And if I had to row (as a backup) because my motor was not WORKING… well, merry I would not be. Just saying.
  23. An All-Day Sailing Event My local sailing club enjoyed a 5 mile Poker race yesterday in which each boat member could grab a playing card from each of five bouys set along the way. The winds were great and mostly behind us for a quick sail. We rafted up for lunch while the wind shifted to again be mostly at our backs for the return trip. It’s like it was arranged. Good connections. The race back consisted of six legs and a “rabbit” start. Each bouy was a “finish/start line”. The last boat across the line kept moving forward and became the leader of the next race leg. All other boats used that crossing as their start (an interesting and enjoyable way to do it.) A non-sailor joined me for the event, working the mainsail on the way up the lake and the tiller/mizzen on the way back. The two of us novices somehow managed to win one leg on the return trip and placed sixth of seven overall. The participants then joined up at a local bar and grill for supper and “poker hand” taking of prizes. It was a GREAT DAY and a great sail. I put together a little video:
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