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Sailing reports

Tim Diebert

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Where's all the sailing stories? Is everyone here building or working on boats?

I thought it was pretty cool that the Alaska Chapter were out sailing so early. Serious enthusiasts. I saw Mikes pix with his wife half froze in the VAC. :lol:

I sailed on Saturday (solo) and had a wicked awesome day. It blew hard all day and never let up. I set the stock jib and one reef in the main and was still feathering the main to keep the decks out of the water. Went to windward for about three hours and covered ground in record time.

I finally got to use my new (for Christmas) GPS and love it. I had the use of a buddies last year for a couple of weeks. It was an antique. I think the sampling rate was pretty slow. This new one is less than a second it looks like. Constant, accurate readouts. I managed, under that sail config, to go over 5 knots to wind. Not steadily though.

Once I reached the top of the hill I came around for the run down the lake. On a broad reach I clocked 6.6k whilst surfing down a nice big wave. Dang that's fun. I like being able to trim sail and see if the input is actually working or not.

After that I shook out the reef and went for it. Still broad reaching. Still blowing steady 15 and gusting....but I couldn't beat that speed.

I took on more water than ever before. The rails collect all that water on the side decks and it ends up on the bench seats then down in the cockpit. I was bailing all day. It was so wavy and so windy that it was impossible to stay dry going to windward. So today I made scuppers.

I tried two versions. One easy and ugly on the strbd side...one nicer looking but time consuming on the other. Perhaps this, along with some coamings of some kind will help keep my butt and my feet a bit drier. There is no way I can keep the rails out of the drink...it is too much fun.

The big dagger board may be a big part of this as well. More energy going to forward motion rather than slippage me thinks....I read that somewhere....

Oh, and the new rudder and rudder location has worked out very nice. I finally have the balance I have been after. Perfect weather pressure on the tiller, and enough to tell you when to luff the main a little. Most of the time it is around one degree or two. Nothing like how it used to be. The boat was being slowed down by excessive weather helm almost all the time, other than in light air, and always too much pressure to deal with.

I am still playing with sail/helm balance with some shock cords for self steering. The boat feels totally new, so all my old settings don't work.

The wake or look of the water after the rudder is so peaceful and so much quieter as well. I am quite pleased so far.

At the end of the day after sailing for over five hours, it was getting dark and time to get off the lake. But it was still so windy! I hated to 'waste' it.

I dropped the main, adjusted the tiller lines, slid the daggerboard forward and trimmed headsail to beam reach back and forth across the lake and the wind. I sat on my butt in the cabin with my back up against the centerboard case (off center) and had something to eat and daydreamed. :sleeping:

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The admiral and I went out for a sunset cruise last sunday up the banana river (north) about 5 miles. No destination in mind, just an excuse to kick back and watch a glorious sunset with some tunes playing.

We were about halfway back to the slip as I was munching on some stuff she brought when all of a sudden the boat slowed way way down, fell off the wind and James (the autopilot) set off his alarm. Instantly I figured we had grounded but we were still moving albeit reeeeealllyy slow. So my first thought was to bring up the centerboard that I had about halfway down. Grabbed the centerboard line and it was totally limp. Oh Shoot! (not really what I said but edited for content), the board pivot broke and now we're dragging it, I thought. No wait, the line is loose, it would be really tight if that happened.

Next thought was to drop the jib (only sail up) and get under power. Even at half throttle the boat was barely moving. OK, now this is damn weird. I looked all around the underside of the boat but couldn't see anything.

Now I'm starting to run out of ideas. I put the motor in neutral and let the boat start drifting with the wind. More because of not knowing what to do next than anything. All of a sudden a crab trap float popped up from under the stern and the centerboard line went tight. SON OF A @&$^@%!!!!! We fouled a crab trap and had been dragging it!!

I guess that's what happens when you don't pay attention.

Next I'll tell the story of docking the boat and SWMBO trying to cleat the bowline.


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Tim, I'd love to have a sailing report for you. Maybe next week. Bill Paxton and I are hoping to sail this weekend if the weather holds. Got to test out the motor and other mods before the big messabout the following weekend.

Sounds like you had a good time as did Russ even while dragging a crab trap. ;)

By the way, Russ, did you check the trap for a crab or two? You might could have had dinner. :D

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Russ, Russ, Russ. Now the Fish and Game will come to see you for a contribution. How could this happen? We have a guy up here over in PCola who shot a 4 foot gator that was stalking his kids. For 13 days he tried to get the Fish and Game to send the gator rangers to no avail. On day 14, when the gator was going for his daughter who was fishing in the yard, he shot the damned thing. They are charging him with 4th degree felony poaching. So much for protect and serve. That was not a crab pot, it was a small engine block someone was using for a mooring anchor. Did anyone see you touch it???? 

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Barry, is the south sound a specific spot/bay or a region?

You are lucky to have that area to explore. Also, if you are getting roughly the same weather as me, all that rain and wind is turning into blue sky and warmer temps as the week progresses. I hope to get out maybe twice this coming weekend.

Dave. Not out yet this year? Too busy with getting the boat ready eh?

Nice to have a messabout to go to ....and Bill to sail, with as well.

Russ. Sounds wonderful. Do you sail right through the summer...or is it too hot around there? A couple of my clients are in Florida and are always complaining about how dang hot it gets in the summer...and they end up staying indoors :shock:

What boat are you sailing?

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DEFINATELY don't ever touch one of those crabtraps. Those commercial guys get extra mean if they catch you messing with one of their traps.

OK, so the other half of the same outing.

So we're back to the dock to end this cruise. I'm at the stern turning off the gas to the outboard and SWMBO is up at the bow to cleat off the bowlines. Normally whoever does the starboard bowline and springline goes onto the dock and throws them onto the deck then goes back aboard to finish cleating them off. I go to get the boathook out of the lazarette and I hear this half of a scream, a thump on the boat, and then a splash. I turn around and the boss is gone.

I instantly run to the bow and sure enough she's in the water and hanging onto the gunwale. I grab her arm and pull her up far enough to where she can get aboard. Boy is she mad.

Turns out she went onto the dock to get the bowline and figured she could just reach over and cleat it off with one hand and hold onto the bowrail with the other. Naturally when she grabbed the bowrail the boat started moving away from the dock to the point where she couldn't stand back up. I guess she lost either her grip or her footing and into the drink she went.

I wish I had an explanation as to why outings that start out really nice end up turning to crap.


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Yes you can sail year round but in the winter the north wind blows through here like a freight train. In the summer our biggest problem are the pop-up thunderstorms. The sky can go from clear blue to black in a matter of minutes it seems like. It's not the rain or wind, it's the lightning. It's not uncommon to get multiple strikes per minute. Scary stuff.

We sail on a 1981 O'Day 23 that we bought after I sold my beloved weekender. I miss 'Opus' more than I ever thought I would. 'Second Star' is fun and I'm learning a bunch on it, but I just don't have feelings for it at the same level as I did with 'Opus'.

We have a plan to keep moving up in size as we want to start taking trips to the Bahamas and possibly down island in the future. So we are constantly on the lookout for something bigger. In fact we might be selling 'Second Star' shortly. The guy we bought it from contacted me a couple of weeks ago and he's extremely interested in buying it back. I found a 34' Oday that looks very possible right around the corner from where our slip is. Tell me what you think.



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Barry, is the south sound a specific spot/bay or a region?

It is a region, as the inland waters (for the most part) are considered the Puget Sound. I live in the extreme south of the Puget Sound (Olympia) and we will launch at Swantown marina again. I have another launch point but it is really shallow and you have to time you trips 'just' right. ;)

We are going out on Friday, yipeee!!! :) :) :)

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We're thinking we will explore the Nisqually Flats, Anderson Island area


This is a delta area of the Nisqually river which flows off of Mt. Rainier.

The Islands and inlets in this area are quite nicely developed, especially in and around Anderson Island and Fox Island.

This is the general area map.


We have an interesting challenge this week. Extreeeeeme low tides for this part of the Sound with -3.5 ft. and greater lows mid day. Lots of things exposed that wouldn't be normally, including the bottom at the end of a lot of the launch ramps.

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We went sailing this weekend ... beautiful weather, in the high 70's, with lots of sun. It was SUPPOSED to get up to 5 - 10 knots, but there was hardly a breath of wind. My friend used his wind meter and tested it at the high point at 2 - 3 knots.

So we ghosted along. I was in my Potter 19, the plastic boat, along with two other families that own the same brand of boat. In light air, the lightest boat tends to win, so I was sailing out in front (just two of us on board). We got off shore several miles and about a half mile from the oil platform, in no wind at all, my boat turned around. I was on a port tack, I guess, pointing into the wind that was coming over my starboard side, and when the wind died, the boat slowed to nothing, then turned just as if I was tacking into the (non-existant) wind. My wife said "Where are you going?" and I let her know the boat decided to go "that way". The lapper flopped, then a breath of a breeze started again, and the lapper moved over to the starboard side and we started making headway again. I had to get up to about 2 knots to tack back to my original bearing.

The guys behind me laughed, but one of them did the same thing, in about the same area. We have no explanation for a boat tacking in no wind, but we think it might have to do with a current out there or something (its over 35' deep, but who knows?)

It was a good day, even with no wind. My wife was just a bundle of activity, it was so exciting:


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Your wife reacts to the calms the way mine does. She gets a book out and reads for a while and then studies the inside of her hat (and eyelids) for the remainder of the day.

She sometimes comes alive again when I crank up the diesel to motor to our slip. Sometimes she doesn't.

She wanted to get the boat for "family activities." :lol::lol: I sail, she rests.

When all is said and done, I suppose that is fair.


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Great stuff. Now we are getting somewhere.

Thanks Jake and Barry. You guys have a grand day on Friday. Looks like there will be sun at least. Big high through the whole area it seems....though you coasties can get rain any old time I guess. You are so fortunate to have such a huge protected area to explore.

The bigger boat looks pretty damn awesome to me Russ, I say get it. :shock: :D

Just wondering why you got rid of your little WE? I guess you didn't know that you would miss it so much?

Ray and I have discussed this quite a bit when I was looking at a larger boat. My wife and I came to the conclusion that if a larger boat...one that the two of us could cruise and weekend on....came into our lives, I would hang on to Annie. You could not get much $ for such a boat and would be more valuable for quick day sails and such. I may not have worked out that way for you, but around here it would make good sense to go with such a plan.

Frank. Great shot and story. She looks so relaxed. For this reason alone it would be good to get a larger boat. 8) I know that's why Daphne would want one.

Good thread. Maybe it will stay active with lots of adventures and sailing reports. Waiting on Orsters first sailing day with the new one. Should be lots of first sails coming up pretty soon. Stump sounds close as well.

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Really the only reason we got rid of Opus was that we couldn't justify paying slip fee for Second Star and storage for Opus. We knew even before building Opus that we would move up to a bigger boat. Opus was just a way to shut me up until something better came along. Stay tuned about the 34. :wink:

BTW, you're correct, you definately DON'T make money by selling the weekender.

OK, I agree with Tim, who else can step up and tell us about their launching or first sail of the season. If I can write about our mistakes and mishaps then you can too.


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I am very close, need to mount the ports and set the rigging. oh yea, I still need to make the sails :wink: I made rope mast hoops, blocks and deadeyes.

Funny, using glossy Rustoleum REALLY shows how little sanding I actually did on the topsides. :lol:

Having trouble sleeping. Dreaming about what I have left to do and actually having the boat out sailing. Lots of trips in my mind so far :roll:

One more week and I should be sailable...I'm really jealous that I won't be ready to go with the guys in the south sound. Went out with Capt. Jake once and had a ball. Great area to go "messing'about" in. :D

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The Mr Moon South East messabout was a great success. I took my mini cat Pearl and several had a try at her, light winds 5 to10 knots beautiful day. I put a pork sholder on the smoker in the am and smoked it all day 8hr.we had for the evening meal. Every thing turned out real nice and I think everyone had a good time. THANK YOU MR. MOON. Y'ALL COME Cap'N Bud. :)

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Although I haven't been able to sail my Weekender in months, I've done a lot of sailing this past Fall and Spring. Being a freshman at Drexel University, I made it a point of joining the Sailing team as soon as I could. We sail Vanguard 420's one design, small fiberglass 2-man boats with a Jib and Main.

We went (the season is over) 2 times a week normally in the late afternoon down on the Delaware in Essington, just south of Philadelphia International Airport and north of Chester. We rent dock space and a storage locker at the Corinthian Yacht Club, situated between a state park and a lot of manufacturing facilities including a giant plant for Boeing Helicopters, a rarely used seaplane base (the US's oldest, although because of the International Airport, there is an airspace height limit of 400', so it is sparcely used), a coal power plant, another aircraft company, and a marina. The river is wide enough that we don't have to worry about being in the shipping channel, where some gigantic container ships, tankers, and tugs go buy constantly. The river there is still fresh water but has about a 6' tide that provides a very strong current in either direction.

This November, after the fall season was over, a tanker spilt 473,500 gallons of oil into the river just North of where we sail. Unlike gasoline, oil sinks. We would normally see crews go out of the neighboring marina to various locations as part of the clean-up effort. All their boat's all flew Chilean flag (I suppose that's where most of them were from) and had full sized port-a-potti's on them.

The season is now over, we held an alumni regatta last weekend to try to raise money for new sails for the boats (we have 8 420's and are buying a Laser this summer). I was elected new Equipment Manager for next year after an unsolicited nomination.

This weekend, I'm finally going back to Allentown(it's been months), so I finally fix some things on the Weekender for sailing. This summer I hope to finish the dory I was working on as well.

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