Thursday, June 28, 2007

How to Ship a Folkboat - DK Style

I've always admired how easy the Danes make transporting a folkboat look. But, getting into a 40 foot container? That's a whole nother equation. That's when you solicit the help of your boat builder friend Erik Andreasen who has just a little bit of experience in these matters.
1st - trailer it into the warehouse....

... Then secure the hoisting straps to the overhead travel lift... notice the keg of beer at the bottom of the picture?

I love the way these guys, "work".

... Flip it around to go stern end in first...

...take a picture...

...wait for the transport truck to line up...

Screw down some
2 x 2's to guide the keel.

Get the forklift into position.

Back the truck up and set the keel down in the track.

Disconnect the travel lift and slide the boat back into the container.

Drink a beer and watch you buddy finish the job.

Tie it down so no matter what ocean conditions the freighter encounters the boat won't slide around and get damaged, don't forget the mast and anything else you want sealed up for the trip ahead and... get another beer.
Since it's a Tuesday, go back to work or realize you're going on holiday for the next few weeks, don't go back to work and have another beer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New(er) Folkboat frm DK Has Been Shipped

It wasn't real enough to me until today. I received and email from Per Buch that the boat we have been talking about since January, currently named "Josephine", has been loaded in a container and is on her way her to SF. Josephine is an '81 Erik Andreasen built Nordic Folkboat - DK 816. The boat has been raced a bit, but of late has spent most of her time on the hard. Since this picture was taken, Per has added the bottom paint... not sure what color, but I don't care. It could be purple and I'd still be happy.

Other than a few scratches here and there, the interior looks ready for cruising... something I've not had the opportunity to do with my previous boat. The two black circles look like... speakers?
Those will have to go. No electronics on board my boat... extra weight, not OK.

Cabin hatch looks good, everything looks clean and ready to go.

I've always wanted a folkboat with a forward hatch... makes sleeping, cleaning, cruising more fun.

I love that everything is stock from the catalog Erik Andreasen stuff. Now I can, with confidence, just order parts direct from DK without worry as to whether it will work or not.

I love the teak combing trim. It's rounded and will make hiking out more comfortable.

If Per hasn't already, I may have to change this mainsheet arrangement... it doesn't suit my needs as is. But notice how the backstay lines cross the cockpit, then go aft for better leverage. Instead of pulling up, you pull across.... that'll save a back in the heavy conditions.

I'm not so stoked on the green mast and boom, but it is less maintenance... hopefully Per put an aluminium boom on her for me.

So, here's the story...

I went to Sweden and Denmark last summer for 5 weeks (see archived blog entries for more details) and everywhere I went when conversation ceased I'd bring up the SF Cup and how it would be great to see all my new friends again on the other side of the pond. Usually the conversation would end with, "I don't think I'll be able to qualify this next time" or "the quality of the boats I've heard is not so good." Without permission I started telling people they could either represent Norway since we have no entries from that country or if they brought their own boat they would be automatically entered regardless of the number of boats we designate for their country. Well, that got attention. When I returned home, the first chance I had I talked to our then President, Bill Madison and he agreed it was a good idea. I'm glad becuase it was too late... I'd already spread the word. In fact, it worked so well that if I could have lined up the buyers we could have had 3 new/used folkboats on their way right now, but as it stands Per was the only guy to take action early. I received and email in January saying that he had bought a boat to bring to the SF Cup and if I could help him arrange a buyer when he leaves. I took one look at the pictures and told him to look no further, I'll buy the boat. I didn't ask my wife, I didn't actually see the boat when I was in DK, but from what I know about Per, the winner of the 2006 Gold Cup, I knew it was a no brainer. Look at this way, if the top Danish sailor is going to go to all the trouble of finding and shipping a boat to SF, trim it, race it and probably do well... what is there to think about? If my predictions are correct, I'll have a very competitive boat for next season. We'll just have to wait and see if I'm right. Worst case - we have another folkboat in SF and I've done my part to help build the fleet.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I can't sleep well after a bad performance

11:59 on a Sunday night and all I can think about was how slow the boat was, how many different people I've had for crew this season, old sails, and how it just wasn't meant to be for me to qualify for the SF Cup this year. Before I explain... my hats off to Team Wilson... they are simply on fire this year... someone said we should test them for steroids, I think it's the new Soren Hansen mast. And Big ups to Mike G. for getting his act together and pulling the deuce and qualifying for the SF Cup at the same time. I was hoping he would repeat and win again this year, oh well. Oh yeah. Peter J. got 3rd... big deal(for him). The Woodies started OK... a 5th in the first race isn't too bad. Everyone, except Team Wilson it seems, was capable of a 5 at some point in a regatta. But, the worst start I've ever had leading to the single handed guy (Bob Grigsby/USA 65) beating me to the windward mark really shattered my confidence. If it wasn't for his difficulties getting his whisker pole up he would have beat me to the leeward mark as well. However, Donald Bratt made a believer out of me last summer in Sweden... never give up, he said, there is always something to learn and gain by competing to the end... Are you shark? or are you bait? That's another story....
The redeeming factor in the 2nd race on Saturday was the flyer we took to the inside where we ended up 2nd to the windward mark, but got passed by Goebel in the mix with a heard of Knarrs. We snuck out a 3rd and it was by the saving grace of a downwind finish or I fear we would have had a 5th. So, to qualify for the Internationals I needed to stay ahead of one boat...Billy D. in USA 112. First race on Sunday started off ok enough, we port tack started the fleet because extra tacks were deadly for us, but it was a short lived victory because our boat speed held us from maintaining our lead on the one boat we had to beat. Bill ended up head of us by the first leeward mark and managed to put a boat between us before it was over. Our only hope now was to beat him and put a boat between us and win the tie breaker since he didn't have a finish higher than a 3rd. A Leeward rounding mistake cost us our lead again and we never got it back, game over. I thought the big tanker ship might force Bill to tack earlier than he did, but we both ignorred the race committee boat asking us to tack... there was no way we were going to hit it or get hit and there never was 5 horn blast.... Those ships are big. Even bigger about 50 yards away. They only scare me when I look up and didn't notice they were there... there are fast too, and they don't have breaks. So, all said and done we ended up in a 3 way tie for 5th with Chris and Tommy jr. But that one 3rd place finish on Saturday saved it for me. Funny part was we passed Brock in the last 100 yards by taking his stern and heading for the boat end of the line just barely inching him out for a 7th place to end the day.
So, I'm not in the SF Cup this year. It's Ok, Cassandra and I are expecting our first baby around that time and I'd much rather be committed and focused on my wife and little girl. It would suck to be in the middle of race 4 and find out Cassandra delivered and I wasn't there. Bummed? Yeah.
Over it? Yeah.
2009? I'll be back with a new(er) boat, practiced crew and full of confidence.