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Ken_Potts
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Ok, Maybe it's just me, but there's no way I'm going to sail around with a fender on the top of my mast.

I had intended, but never got around to putting styrofoam shipping peanuts in my masts. Just having the masts buoyant should help. I was going to go next door to the stairs on the apartment building and just position the masts upside down and fill them up. Actually, I think the filling from a bean-bag chair would work better.

What I might consider is one of the small self-inflating belt-worn life vests that isn't much bigger than a ham sandwich and blows up when submerged.

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Filling the masts with packing peanuts or some such material is a good idea. Water could still drain out the bottom, but the masts couldn't fill as full and would certainly be more buoyant.

I was going to suggest a self-inflating bladder instead of running a fender up the mast, but Gordy beat me to it. You would just have to replace the CO2 canister every couple of years to be reasonably certain it would work, but otherwise, it should never go off unless you capsize.

I've been sailing with full sail in winds at 20 knots. It's a bit hairy at that speed, but for me, the simplest safety measure is not to cleat off the main sheet (and to make sure there is plenty of slack in the main sheet, with no tangles). If the heeling angle becomes uncomfortable at all, I relax my fist and let the main sheet play out through my hand a little (or a lot if the heeling is abrupt and violent). She always pops right back up and settles down... which is very reassuring and a real joy of the split rig. Of course, after three hours of that, you do start to get a cramp in the forearm.  :)

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   Wes - Uncleating the main sheet would have kept me from going over (and it should have been my first reaction).  During the first months of sailing Southbound I kept the mainsheet in-hand and uncleated when I was in iffy weather.  Lately (for quite some time now) I've changed to cleating the main sheet but keeping my hand on it so I can let it fly at a moment's notice (cause there's almost always plenty of notice once the angle of heel starts getting uncomfortable).  When my mizzen sheet let go unexpectedly I reacted by shifting my left hand from the main sheet to the tiller and my right hand from the tiller to (not quite) the mizzen sheet.  If I had popped the mainsheet out of the cleat before I dropped it everything would have been fine.

   Now I've graduated to holding the (uncleated) sheet in my hand while sailing reefed under mizzen alone (in the third step).  Once I re-route the mizzen sheet ala Lapwing I'll probably go back to cleating the sheet but keeping it in hand just in case.

   I think it's probably okay to cleat the main sheet in gusty conditions as long as you keep your hand on it.  But you shouldn't listen to my advice - Lookit what I did last weekend, after all  ;D

   Gordy - I'm not going to run a fender up my masts either but it's fun to talk about ;)  My fenders tend to stay in the lazarette even when the boat is slamming against the dock.  :D  The real solution is reefing before you need to, righting the boat when you have to (not really a terrible experience) and getting the video when you can (I can't believe we didn't catch it on Mizzen-cam!  :o )

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I'm not sure what kind of cleating arrangement is used for the sheets on the core sounds.  I had a couple of different sloops that I used cam cleats with integral fairleads on both the mainsheet and the sheet for the headsail. A quick snatch and either or both would release.  It seemed like a good idea but its not foolproof either.  I turtled one of them during a waterspout when I didn't have time for even the quick snatch...  (You only see a funnel cloud when it is off in the distance.  When it forms on top of your head there's not much warning)

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   I can relate to the not much warning thing (but not in this case) - Who looks directly UP to see what's about to happen?  ;)

   My mizzen sheet arrangement is not the one shown on Graham's drawings.  I originally rigged it a little different than drawn and didin't like my arrangement so I changed it to something a little better than what I had.  The problem is the actual cleats - they don't hold the sheet securely.  The sheet is led straight into the cleats by cheek blocks but the cleats don't seem to get a good enough bite on the mizzen sheet.  The cleats seem to be the right size for the sheet and they seem to be routed properly through the blocks.  It's just that once in a while the mizzen sheet lets go (don't know why but it happens pretty often).  Having seen the way Tom routed Lapwing's mizzen sheet through a block and into that rotating cam cleat thingy I think that's a good solution for my boat.  If nothing else it won't require me to turn my body around so I'm facing backwards and switch hands on the tiller to adjust the mizzen sheet.  My brain-lock happened while I was facing the wrong way and I had the wrong hand on the tiller and the trim had suddenly changed from weather helm to lee helm.  It was too much for my little brain to process instantly.  I could have popped the main sheet almost instantly if I hadn't been facing the wrong direction and grabbing for the wrong string and pushing that stick thing when I should have either pulled it or let it go while screaming like a little girl...

   A funnel cloud huh?  That's cool!  ;D  I'm originally from the midwest so I'm used to those things being deadly.  Also, when my mom was a girl she lived down the street from the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West (nice lady, I hear).  ;D

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It was too much for my little brain to process instantly.

I shouldn't say I had no warning.  A few seconds prior to the capsize I sat kind of dumbfounded as I watched an area of water just off the stern start raining... up.  Water was leaving the surface of the bay vertically... defying gravity.  It was one of those moments where one thinks "what the h!@#", then, "I've never seen that before", and then finally  "oh s!@#".  At the instant of the "oh s!@#" moment of recognition, the wind changed from about 12kts to what I have to assume was over 100 kts. 

A funnel cloud huh?  That's cool!  Grin

It is now.  It was a very violent 30 seconds or so. At one point the only part of the 20ft hull that wasn't submerged was a 6 or 7ft portion of the bow pointing nearly straight up.  The wind left as suddenly as it appeared and the weighted centerboard self righted the boat.  My brother and I were both thankful and amazed that neither of us were hurt.  But since we came through it unscathed, now its cool ;D.  It makes a good beer drinking story anyway.

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At the instant of the "oh s!@#" moment of recognition, the wind changed from about 12kts to what I have to assume was over 100 kts. 

You may not have seen this footage from the 2001 Sydney- Hobart race. It was filmed from Nicorette - the largest boat in the fleet. I can only find it in German...still a fabulous and frightening video.

http://www.sailinginnovation.tv/view_video.php?viewkey=f0af142b6d3bead98a92&flag=I

I was chased by one offshore about 5 years ago but it dissipated before it reached us. I don't ever want to get closer.

Peter HK

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I found the sheet araingment on Southbound very awkward.  Part of that is probably that I never sailed a cat ketch though.  I don't like 2 - ended sheets, but now that I think about it I'm not sure how I would rig a sprit boom, having never done it before.  The mizzen sheet ends are in  awkward places and Ken uses clam cleats for them.  I don't like these for anything but halyards or other lines that are adjusted seldomly.  There is way too much chance of the line releasing as they are hard to secure the line in well and easily.  A sheet is adjusted often, and the chances of poorly securing the line are high.  My first thought would be to at least change the clam cleats to cam cleats with fairleads.  This at least would reduce the chances of an untimely release.  I would do the same for the main sheet ends as well.

I am a big fan of block/cam cleat combinstion hardware for mains on dinghies.  This would also imply a single ended sheet. I don't know how they could be rigged on sprit boom sails though.  Does anyone use these?  I used to race 420s as a kid.  Always keeping the mainsheet uncleated was too much work, but timely dumping of the main was often called for.  Were it not for the block/cam cleat unit I would have gone swimming far more than I did.

We must have been lucky when I was sailing Southbound at the Mess-About Ken.  It was certainly blowing then, and I sure didn't feel in control all the time    (note:  I didn't tell Ken this at the time  ;))

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Oh the cooler is in the proper position indeed, in the galley portion of the yacht, fully stocked with the menu that I have filled out the night before.  I have a fulltime hostess on board that deals with the important stuff while I navigate through the reefs and rocks and raging winds, and comes when I ring the bell with more than just peanuts too, and also provides on board entertainment too. ;D

From what I am beginning to learn here now, you guys must be the ones that I always read about that rides in coach. :)

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If I wanted one that was open so I could fully cast off, I'd likely use something like this, that has the beveled cam jaws to make getting the line engaged in the jaws easier (I have some more conventional cams like on my mainsheet, and they are a pain to get engaged if you already have the sheet fully trimmed).

9837-1.gif

Yup, exactly what I was talking about.

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Great Video. I had my headset on and I felt like I was there with you. I had to stop the video half way and ran out, retrieved my life vest, attached my whistle, secured my Tilley hat and then restarted the video. I am going to now wait for the Sequel.

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The motor works now - I almost had to resort to building oars.  ;D  I still need to get to Capitol City Lumber on some weekday and pick through the pile for some good oar wood.

I drained the fuel tank, carburetor, engine oil and lower unit.  While I was at it I figured it wouldn't hurt to change the spark plug but I wasn't able to get one so the old one went back in.

I refilled the fluids and fired it up on the second pull.  I let it run for a while to get rid of any residual moisture.

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