Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I made it myself

It's not a perfect photo, but you get the idea. After staring at the Andreasen catalog for all these years, I felt like it was time to make one of these. Thanks for the idea Erik!

It was Always There

When I was a kid it was just normal for my dad to keep the season championship trophy on the mantle... I thought it was ours to keep it was there so long. It wasn't until Kate Funk snagged it in 1976 that I found out it was something my dad had to win back.

Here we are about to go out for sail... notice the boat bag. Peter Jeal does this now... I wonder where he got the idea? I'd do it, but I'm on an end tie and well... I need a dock on both sides, plus I don' t think the harbor master likes the idea.
My dad's ugly orange/pink striped shirt... rumor has it Svend hated this shirt and made fun of my dad for wearing it... I think that's why my dad continued to wear it, but I'm not sure. In the above picture my sister, Kirsten, takes the helm.
These last three photos don't really connect, they are from around 1987... Don and Joan looking dashing. We really need to bring back the blue blazer thing. Otto Schreirer... still has that georgous wood folkboat US 92. Now that's a wood boat even I would take over one day.
The bottom picture has what I call the ultimate 80's folkboat party crowd. We need to have more camp out parties where we throw the keg on the shore and someone fires up the BBQ and a reggae band mysteriously shows up and plays all night long. Everyone passes out on their boats and sails away the next day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Mystery of the History

A new friend Adam in Eureka sent me a link to his Folkboat restoration project and well, I have to share. There is, however, a bit of a mystery as to which boat he has. I'm sure if we put our collective brain power to work we could figure this one out.

The below text is an email I received from Adam giving me as much info as he has on his boat... I only edited it a little bit:

"I never have found any hull number stuff on the boat itself. I do know that it was build by Knud Peterson in 59, i think the name of the boat is Freja. I have seen other boats named freja. It was purchased by a man named tom sheldrake from sf and trailered to eureka but i am not sure what year. He sailed it here and then sold it to a couple in Grants Pass oregon and i think that was the last time it was in the water. They sold it to the gentleman that i bought it from who had intentions of restoring it but never did. I bought it from him in sept of 06 and have been working on it sinse. I have replaced 6 of the 7 floor timbers that have keelbolts in them. I have replace roughly 40% of the planking including new garboard, first broad, and sheer strakes. I have replace all of the frames except for maybe 3 up in the bow. Now we are working on all new deck framing. I don't work on it as much as i would like to but family and other things often call."

Ok, kids... solve the mystery of the history of this boat.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How do you win Championships?

First, you need those yellow slickers like the Wilson Boys.
Do all your major boat work in your own driveway, use the workshop you designed, take your time and save your money.
And a perfect crew that functions as a team. Ron Honn is more or less 265, Al Jolly maybe 165 in this photo and then know how to drive and make a boat go fast. With Ron holding down the rail it was no wonder these guys did so well. It's hard to lose when you go higher and faster than everyone else.... nice glasses Al. I used to come along and was basically strategic ballast and beer fetcher. Since Ron weighed so much Al didn't have to go any farther forward than the hatch and could handle the jib and sometimes gybe the main so dad could focus on driving. As long as Ron got two beers every downwind leg he was stoked to take all the waves in the face and protect little Al and dad from getting wet. Just get up on the rail before the boat starts to heel. I think the plan was always win the start, beat everyone to the windward mark by a lot and see how far they could extend the lead before the leeward rounding... most of the time the race was already won as they rounded the first mark.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Old School Photos

1970 Svend vs Kaiser
Dad and me 1972 (nice little sailor suit, huh?)

1960? Not really sure. But clearly a light wind day.
The photo album said 1975 so who remembers who was in US 33 at the time?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Having Fun

This is my dad, Chuck Kaiser, in 1966 sailing on USA 16 - Folly. He's having fun, you can tell by the big ol' smile on his face. He didn't know hardly anything about sailing at this point, you can tell because he still had the engine mount attached to the transom. Somewhere around 1967 he ditched the engine and never used one again after that. He used to say, "You'll never learn how to sail if you use an engine." So, I grew up never using an engine on a sailboat, never knew why you'd need one either, you just sail in and out of the harbor, drop the sails at the right time and there's no problem, right?
The strokes were brutal on my dad. His adventurous independent spirit got zapped. It's why I live the way I do. I relish every moment I'm on the boat, with my friends and family. Makes me a sap, but when it's all over said and done it's better that we have some fun because no one lives forever. I love this picture because of the big ol' smile on my dad's face. Puts it all in perspective for me. Jeans and T-shirt sailing on the bay, must have been a nice day. It's important to remember your parents were once younger, more vibrant and did fun, crazy stuff too. Motorcycles and racing Folkboats on San Francisco Bay... it's what my dad was into, makes me want to go out sailing tomorrow, except it snowed in the hills last night and will probably do the same tonight... maybe I'll play chess instead.

Old School Photo of the Day

What makes a successful Folkboat youth movement? The old school. Without them, we wouldn't have any of the traditions we have today. See anyone you know old timers? And I use that as a term of affection. Well, if you couldn't figure it out that's my dad, Chuck Kaiser, 2nd from the left.
Bill Coverdale is on the very left, then after my dad is Marianne and Finn Reinath, not sure who #5 is, but then there is Bob and Barbara Ray and way over on the end is Don Oestreicher... I hope he's not still mad at me for by accident leaving him out of last year's roster... Sorry Don. If you can pick out anyone you know send me a note.... Sure is fun digging through the old photo albums and with the advent of scanners, lots for photos coming up. Got any old pics I can add to this blog? Email them to me and give me the story.

Monday, January 14, 2008

USA 38 - Wind Seeker Goes for a Winter Sail

A rare Saturday for me, time for myself to mess around on the boat... it wasn't planned so I didn't quite know what to do with myself. My project list has grown to 23 things, but with only 3 hours it's hard to decide what to do. So, I loaded up the car and decided that it would be smart to pick up a sandwich before getting down to the boat and while cruising the parking lot, I noticed USA 38 Wind Seeker getting ready to go out. January 12th and it's 60 degrees, light wind out of the north and a ripping ebb tide... sounds good to me.

I knew Rich had sold the boat and I had heard it was to a group of "young, ambitious, avid sailors who wanted to sail her more than work on her."
I walk down the dock and see Justin putting things in their place for departure. We'd never met, but Folkboats bring people together and soon we discovered that not only did we have excellent taste in boats, but we also teach middle school students. Yikes. He somehow has a job teaching underprivileged kids how to build bicycles from the various array of parts he has amassed and at the end of the project the student gets to keep the bike for free. How cool is that?
I couldn't help but notice the cleats he and his partners use and asked where the lever went? They thought it was too hard to use in a pinch and changed it out for the old fashion, very user friendly, wood cleat.

I surveyed the boat and took a few pictures and talked some more and then he asked the wrong question... or the right one depending on you perspective... what do you think?

Does she leak? Is your gooseneck track cracked? Your main halyard is wrapped around your backstay and... they sure are fun to sail, huh?

Yes, she leaks... a lot, but they have a battery powered pump. Yes, the gooseneck track fitting was cracked, but that's something Peter Jeal can easily fix. And, well... main halyards get tangled all the time. Nothing that will prevent a sail in medium conditons... I hope.

Gashouse Cove is a great location to have the boat because there are 10 Folkboats within eye's sight and most of them are right next to each other where this boat is kept.
Rich is a great guy, he lent them his outboard motor... and hasn't really said when he wants it back... how nice.
Justin had a funny story to tell me about being boarded by the Coast Guard... the summary: no CF numbers, no registration on board and no running lights 30 minutes after the sun went down. Hmmm, we may need to have a fund raiser to help these guys when the bill finally comes in. Regardless, the youth movement is strong here in SF and that dream of 20 boats on the line might come to fruition this season if we rally the guys on the fringe. I think it's Ok to have a party fleet within your group. As long as they don't try to barge at the start, let them have a beer in hand rule and let's have some fun when the Wednesday Evening Series starts up again. By the way, this is my 100th blog entry.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Great Folkboat link

Cruising Folkboat sites like so many I know do, I found this one
and on it a video of myself sailing with Cassandra on a wednesday
evening race.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Boats in the Yard - USA 16 - Folly

I was over at Svendsen's getting a thing or two, was hanging out with Patrick and noticed a Folkboat out in the yard. A white boat with a wood transom... Hmmm, could it be Folly was being worked on?

I walked a little closer and... yes, it was Folly. I know this boat very well. This was my father's first Folkboat he bought in 1962. I was practically born on this boat. It's distinctive cabin with no windows is another dead give away.

Jason Roe bought her off Chris who bought her off of John, who had bought it off another guy named John, who had bought it off another guy named... John, who bought it off my dad. He bought it off a guy who last name was Seward, hence the name Folly. For those who don't know their expansionist history, Seward's Folly is what they called the purchase of Alaska from the Russians for I think it was 7.2 million dollars in 1867. That's 1.9 cents per acre. In retrospect a great deal.

This boat too is a great deal not because of her history in the fleet, but because of how well she's been cared for. The keel was re-bolted, if I may use the term, in 2005. And the rails are new, the cabin was stripped and refinished and I believe the boom is new also. Jason has repainted the bottom, is refinishing the transom, repainting the deck and also repainting the hull above the waterline.

A serious amount of work no matter how high your enthusiasm level is, was, would have been if you had any idea how much it would cost to do all the things necessary to keep up a wooden Folkboat. But the youth movement is strong in our fleet in SF. There are several of these projects going on right now and this one, when finished, will be out racing once again! That dream I had of 20 boats on the line may become a reality sooner than I thought.

The interior work will have to wait... a Svendsen bill tends to get larger the more time you spend out in the yard so close to that chandlery with everything you do and don't really need.

I found some of my dad's old handiwork down below. What's this you may ask?

It's called a, "Go fast goodie." Top secret stuff when you are 8 years old and ask you dad the same question. In reality it's a way to adjust the jib halyard tension from the helm's position without having to ask your crew to do anything because as we all know, if you have to ask it's already too late.

Mostly used down wind and very illegal from what I understand, it allows the skipper to extend the jib out from the deck about a foot and a half. I'm not sure how or why this is useful, but I'm working on it. It's hard to see, but the red line is connected to a wire that comes up where the tack of the jib connects. The line feeds aft to within arms reach of the skipper down wind.

Oh the stories I could tell about this boat and where she's been and what she's done... Let's just leave it as she's a good boat with a great history.