By Aleksandr Pasechnik
I've had a few situations now where I'm in unsteady waters and want to be able to switch my Spindrift 11N to rowing. I've added a topping lift (a simple single line from the top of the mast to the end of the boom) so that the boom doesn't drop into the boat when a release the halyard, but that's proving to be annoying still, since the lift is hard to adjust when there's a breeze and the boom is bouncing around. So now I'm thinking about adding a block to the top of the mast and running the topping lift down and cleating it off with the other control lines.
Part of the goal here is to be able to quickly get the sail out of the way and out of trouble when I need to be rowing. So my theory is that if I add the lift, and then, when necessary, pull the boom way up above my head (30˚ or 45˚ up, perhaps?) then the sail is free to flop and flap about (maybe with some mainsheet tension to keep it towards the back of the boat) but I'd be able to row out of trouble. Is that wrong? Am I liable to end up with a sort of parachute way up in the air knocking my boat around?
Last time I tried to bring the sail down while on the water, the zipper for the sleeve got stuck and then I was bouncing around, and then there was a pier wall, and that was a good 20 minutes of keeping Elsewhere off the wall and upright, pulling myself along to a dock. I'm wondering if a pullable toping lift in conjunction with some kind of line on the sleeve zipper pull would make it easier to get the sail down and out of the way in an emergency. I guess if I'm switching to oars for emergency purposes, I don't really care about getting the sail back up after I'm done rowing to a dock of some kind.
So I guess the question is: how do folks disable, significantly depower, or douse the sleeved Spindrift sail on the water? Do I have to switch to a lashed or rail configuration for the sail? Would raising the sail clew without the ability to mess too much with the other sail controls (with the exception of maybe loosening the halyard and whatever the reefing line can do) make a very tippy boat?
I guess I could also reach the outhaul and the attachment of the reefing line, usually. If I were to replace the bowline knots on their attachments to the boom with some kind of quicker-release knots or pins or something, I could let the whole sail fly free. Maybe add some way of bunching it up to the mast?
By Aleksandr Pasechnik
tl;dr: Looking for learning resources for non-competitive dinghy sailing.
Hiya folks! So I’ve pretty much finished my Spindrift 11N. Her name is Elsewhere and she is red and white and wonderful. I’m sailing on the Hudson River off Lower Manhattan (Pier 40 is home). The Hudson is fun! Salty, a little icky, and a lot ferry. We play chicken, me and the ferries and the party boats and the giant barges. Never a dull moment.
I learned to sail and practiced on a 22-foot-ish bermuda rigged sloop on a quiet little “river” (more of a long lake, really). Elsewhere is much more skittish and “active”. And less forgiving of errors. Like getting the mainsheet caught on a life vest attachment during a tack. That got me in the water right quick, and the fire fighters dropping by to see what the fuss was about. I’m learning all about the nuances of downwind sailing on a boat without shrouds and how crucial line management and tidiness is.
So the question: are there books or other learning resources for the “beginner” cat rigged dinghy sailor? Not particularly interested in racing, but looking to hone the craft of safe and confident sailing. (My heart rate is apparently consistently two to three times higher on the boat than on land =D )
I last posted on here a few years ago. It's taken me sometime to convince my wife to give up the living room to an N11.
My Spindrift N11 project is called South Queensferry Electron - in recognition of Donald Crowhurst's Teignmouth Electron - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Crowhurst
Following the usual 'messing-about' convention, here is my progress right up to when I found the courage to saw her in half - earlier today!
Nidaplast is very flexible and I epoxied and peel plied each piece of the hull before assembly. Bulkheads are carbon fibre and Nidaplast, three layups of biaxial cloth. A diamond cutting wheel on a Dremmel made short work of trimming excess from the bulkheads and transom.
The hull still needs finishing, as do the bulwarks. Knees still to fit as well, that's the next job.
So I realise that 6mm ply would have been the best route to go down. However, prior to this build I had not worked with West Systems or carbon fibre before. The SQE is a 'learning by doing' project in preparation for the retirement boat.
I will update with more photos as work progresses. I live in Scotland, the weather is getting colder and less conducive to epoxy use and, of course, I have to give the living room up for Christmas. Progress might be slow! However, with the hull complete I can cut out the rest of the Nidaplast components and get the sailing rig ready.
Happy boat building to you all!
For want of a decent local plywood supplier I will be building in 5mm nidacore honeycomb sandwich, carbon outside, vectran and glass inside. If I can get my hands on some affordable basalt fabric I am sure I will find a few panels for it to feature. It is certainly not going to be as enjoyable as building in wood but at least I will get to learn a few new skills along the way. A lighter boat is almost a guarantee, but that all depends on how many laminates will give me the impact toughness I require.
I do have a partial sheet of nice 6mm ply and will cut the transom, mast partners and a few other small parts from that.
The nidacore sheets are 7ft x 4ft, which, as fortune would have it, is just long enough to cut the main hull panels from 3 sheets, one being halved and butt-joined to the full sheets just like the plans for plywood.
As my first post on this forum I may as well start a build thread.
I should start out by saying I have little to no experience with boats, but I love building things and my wife says we don’t need any more bookshelves or lawn furniture.
I have read many of the build threads on this site and have appreciated being able to get a more in-depth understanding of the process.
I also watched Alan's set of videos.
So one day I called and talked to Alan, and ordered the kit.
The next thing you know I have a large stack of wood parts, several bottles of epoxy, and rolls of fiberglass tape.