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Carlita's new adventure


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Tom, 

I want the rudder fixed to aid directional stability. Before engaging the vane, I try to find the sweet spot for the rudder and lock it. I will then observe the course after the vane is engaged for a while and may rotate the vane at the clutch or move the tiller slightly. Usually I adjust the clutch because did not have the right load on the vane when clutched. It is a powerful little vane and will tolerate a fair amount of imbalance. All self steering systems hunt so the better everything is balanced the less it will hunt.

 

Howard,

 

Did you see Alan's video on Carlita? He shows the auxiliary rudder.

 

Wind vanes are not for everyone. If you do not enjoy fiddling then they are not for you. Naturally they are worthless in waterways because the wind is too shifty. It did do a great job last week running down the Cape Fear River. The GPS showed a top speed of 8.75 knots and the speed was rarely under 6, at least 3 knots of that was current.

 

 

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Dave,

 

That is the idea, I have found that I do not even need the vane when going upwind. Last year in the EC I used a 1/2 oz. nylon vane that was too fragile. Optimistically I stowed the vane below to protect it hoping that the wind might turn fair. It never did turn and I sailed more than 100 miles with the helm lashed amidships. Down wind the rudder is pretty much on center also.

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This was the video Graham referenced that shows the design and operation of the wind vane. Discussion on the vane starts around the 2:00 minute mark. Good discussion of the vane, and the rest of the boat as well.

 

 

 

As you study how this thing was built, you begin to realize how complicated it would be to build the thing, which is about 10X easier than designing one that works right is. There are so many hidden things that you have to get right or it won't work. There are about 4 or 5 key things that create a cause and affect.......feedback......, and they all happen instantly. Get one wrong just a little bit and the thing won't work right. So why bother? Getting one that works right is sight to behold and enables a single hander to go places and do things that would not be possible without it. Once a person has an effective means of self steering on board, it changes the notion of cruising completely. It will spoil you for life.

 

A good apparatus for self steering will steer a course better than any mortal human can and will do so hour after hour or day after day. The last iteration of the ones I built was like that. A group of about 6 of us in similar boats left a cove beating towards a destination about 15 miles away. They were all good sailors.......better than me......but I let the vane do the steering and once set, we pointed higher and sailed faster than any of them. I left the pack of them behind and arrived about half an hour ahead of the best of them and about an hour ahead of the rest of them. Later one, I asked why it took them so long and they asked why I used my motor. 

 

Yes, complicated, but if you are cruising, worth the effort.

 

 

 

 

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BTW, there is one huge negative about good self steering. If you fall overboard, you are in trouble. The boat won't be stopping and it ain't coming back. It is going to continue on leaving you bobbing in it's wake while you watch it disappear over the horizon.  Or in the words of Blondie Hasler, "stay in the boat or prepare to drown like a proper gentleman".

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You are so right Howard. When solo sailing outside, and when my crew mate was down below (when I had one), I have had a rule that I don't step out of the cabin without clipping on. I intend to transfer that rule to the 20 footer once she is in the water. It might be a smaller boat, but the ocean is still a big place. I haven't tried this one, but I have known people who also trail a line attached to the self-steering disengage lever on the theory that once over the side and being dragged along like live bait they can grab the disengage line and let the boat heave-to.

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Trouble with a life line on a boat that is self steering, whether by vane or just tying off the rudder, is that the force of moving through the water can prevent you from pulling yourself back to the boat. Drew is right. Ya gotta have a way to release the self steering if you 'take a dunk".

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On our "other " boat we have padeyes in the usual  locations, and when we are alone on deck we wear harnesses.  Very likely adopt that policy on our CS20.3 when alone and on self-steering.   I won $50 from my younger brother when he said he could get aboard my anchored Columbia 29 many years ago.  Aint happening!  Even difficult with a "rope ladder", and now father time is catching us, best stay aboard!   

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I just ran across this post from IsZataRock about his CS 17 Mk 3 http://messing-about.com/forums/topic/9493-cs-17-mk-3-just-in-time/?page=2

 

After waiting for the Labor Day crowds to dissipate, I've gotten out another couple more times this week.  Motor runs fine.  Though I forgot to bring the GPS I'm pretty sure I'm pushing 9-10 mph with just me aboard.  With my friend, Paul and some more supplies, we confirmed about 8 mph.  Despite great performance, I've realized that I am NOT a motorboater.  The noise and vibration is inconsistent with my expectations of being on the water in a beautiful boat.  So I'm working on getting at least a downwind rig functional yet this Fall.

 

This with a 6hp Nissan and a bare uncompleted hull & deck without rig.

 

I understand why you normally don't want a motor that big, but for the ICW passage to the EC, it might have made all the difference.

 

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alexscott-- If you thought his fuel consumption was large with the 'zuki, think about how much it would have been with the 6.

 

I was out in my boat today.  It was a lovely day, with temps above 70.  A johnboat was headed to the dock.  I could hear the one fisherman talking (shouting) to the other way across the lake.  I just lay in the bottom of my boat, water gurgling along the sides, grinning.  Yeah, motors are a necessary evil.

DSCF1035.JPG

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Don,

 

I did use my smartphone GPS and I liked it. I planned it as a backup but I used it when the Garmin had too much glare to read from my helm position, I had it in my pocket and could hold it away from the glare. I used it at night for trip planning because it had better scrolling and measuring than the Garmin.

 

I thought that I would have needed it for real one day when the Garmin gave me the dreaded crash and then the black screen. I shut it down or a while and it rebooted as though nothing had happened.

 

One of the many jobs that was not completed before I left was mounting the compass and elected to mount it along the way. I never felt the need for it while underway as the GPS with its projected course line is way superior to the compass as it is calculated from your projected course over the ground with set and drift and recomputing continuously. I did use the compass while not under way checking on wind direction as fronts came over. 

 

Alex, I had to hold my nose to put on a 2 1/2 hp motor let alone 6. My problem was running late and facing winter fronts coming continuously. There was one day when I would not have said no to another hp but I just do not want the extra size.

 

There was one time when the motor was handy. We were ripping down the Cape Fear River with a strong fair tide and following wind. I had to do a 90 degree turn to rejoin the ICW and it became quickly apparent that if I did not use the motor I might get swept past the channel. The motor was on the lee side so there was no issue of the prop ventilating but it was interesting to hear the motor change rpm's as the puffs came, accelerated the boat and unloading the prop and reloading as the puff went away. A couple of work boats around 40 - 50 feet came up the river, entered the channel behind me and it was interesting to see how much they crabbed as they turned across current.

 

I have put this time to good use and have made a better GPS mount which will allow me to angle the unit to any helm position as well as downward to reduce glare. I also made shelves, washboard and cup holder, pencil and  binocular rack and lots of other little details.

 

 

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Chick,

 

I do not have any pictures yet. As you know when it comes to cosmetics Beth rules, all of the parts are out being coated.

 

I never had ideal conditions for testing the centerboard extension yet. I did watch my leeway angle at every chance that I had and I am pretty sure that it is better.

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Okay Chick,

 

Here is the first installment, the shelves forward. They run from the forward hanging knee to the forward bulkhead They are the width of the knee aft and start at the sheer strake aft and are level. They are wider than the knee built into bulkhead 2 as they run straight to bulkhead 1. The fiddle rail is bout 2 3/4" tall. The bottom is 6mm and the fiddle is 9mm ply and they are glued and filleted in place.

 

 I did not want large and imposing shelves but they can carry an amazing amount of stuff. I want to be able to stow light but large bulky items like that big packet of corn chips. I will drill some strategic holes so that I can enhance the fiddle rails with shock cord if I need to stow something tall.

 

When I lean back against the aft end, the flat fiddle is comfortable against my back.

 

I did not want a full shelf across the boat because wide shelves dump everything to the low side unless you fill it up with fiddles and it will visually make the cabin look shorter as well as impair my access the forward lockers. The hull behind the shelves was sanded before I installed the shelves for a better bond plus it is prepped for painting after I return. Shelves.thumb.jpg.9f09abfa97952d2284f077c726a800a9.jpg

 

 

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Here is the GPS mount. It started with a pine semicircle 1" thick with just a shaving or two off of the outboard edge to account for the deck camber. I needed the bottom surface to be flat, level and flush with the hatch frame. A 1/4" hex head bolt was drilled through the pine and set in epoxy for the main pivot. The GPS is mounted on a piece of 12mm ply about 3" wide and 8 or 9 inches long. 

 

You can see the GPS in it's stowed position , then in the open position and then from the cockpit but under the hatch which is where it can be used if needed to keep it out of direct sunlight. The is a wedge under the ply arm to give an upward angle. Beside the arm being able to angle,the GPS bracket allows for a 360 degree swivel on the vertical axis and it has a horizontal axis which should give me a lot of choices for different conditions. 

 

There are two large fender washers sandwiching the ply arm and it is tightened by one of our shop made starboard wingnuts. It is very firm.

 

 

GPS mount 1.jpg

GPS mount 2.jpg

GPS mount 3.jpg

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