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    • 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 )


    • By William
      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.
       
       
    • By Luke
      Hi everyone, this is my first post--I've been lurking here getting lots of good info as I build and finally have a few questions myself!
       
      By now the boat is 3D and wired together. The hull, bulkheads, and transom all seem to fit well, and the boat has no twist in it that I can discern. Measurements from the peak of the bow to the corners of the transom are 109" +/- an 1/8", and sighting down the centerline, the tips of the nesting bulkheads "disappear" below the transom at the same time.
       

       
      I've made a number of spanish windlasses to pull the sides together between the forward and mid bulkhead, to pull out the 1/2" gap between the bottom and the bottom of the nesting bulkheads, to pull the forward bulkhead forward onto its lines, and lastly to try to flatten the bottom seam between bulkheads slightly to close a gap in the bottom panels.
       
      The question is how much of a gap along the keel seam is acceptable? It goes from no gap at the transom and widens to about 1mm around the nesting bulkheads, and up to a maximum of about 3mm halfway between the forward and mid bulkheads. I think the epoxy fillets will cover it just fine, but I just want to make sure it's not a symptom of a larger problem.
       
      Also, the plans don't really give dimensions to make a breasthook or quarter knees--do I just make these to fit the shape of the hull as it stands now? The instructions say the breasthook (included with the kit I suppose) is important to ensure the bow takes the correct shape--so what gives? The sheer lines look nice.
       
      Lastly, I centered the kerf gap of the nesting bulkhead on the "center frame" lines running down the sides--is that correct?
       
      Thanks!
       
       
       
      Additional photos
       
      Looking aft:

       
       
      chine

       
      bow and gap

       
      forward bulkhead

    • By PlaneCrazy
      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.
       

       

       
      Onward,
      Mike
       
       
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