Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Discovery of Damage Continues

It wasn't until last Wednesday when we went out for a team practice that this was discovered. The jib halyard attachment clip bent under load. Nothing like the SF Bay to test your equipment and see what is too weak to cut it. Do the guys in Scandinavia/Europe ever break stuff like we do?
The picture is of poor quality, but I'm wondering if this may be a problem... It's hard to see, but a vertical crack about 5 inches long has developed along the white box thing that hold the starboard chain plate. Has anyone ever had one of these fail on them?
Maybe I'm looking too closely at things because even in this picture it's hard to see, but I have nothing better to do... I'm a Folkboat junkie and I just seem to enjoy crawling around looking for projects.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cassandra Takes the Helm

Wednesday evening race practice begins and I suckered Cassandra into taking the helm for the first time. I asked her to come back and helped me then ran up to the front of the boat to "look at something." We were headed straight for Annita Rock and she got a little nervous, so I came back and took over.
Patrick's dog Skolen takes a snooze... no more dogs on the boat, we have to practice.
We got in just before the sun went down, stowed the boat and went to the St. Francis for dinner.
It was cold and the wind was good, but faded as the sun went down. A good night for a practice sail.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Photos From the April 19th Racing

photos courtesy of Roxanne Fairbairn

Monday, April 21, 2008

Restoration Project/ USA 30 - Fraja

A while back I made posting about this guy Adam in Eureka, CA who was restoring a wooden Folkboat. A local paper did a report on him, see link above. Below is his Flickr site with pictures of the project progress:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Modern Jib Carrier / Boat Show

Having a baby is awesome. It forces you to get creative when all you would normally do is get out of your car and drop off your jib to be fixed... yeah, 2nd time I put it up and a couple spots didn't hold... no big deal, but after only using it twice?
Annika is such a good sport about these little trips I take her on. She hardly fussed and charmed everyone at Svendsen's chandlery.
I went to the boat show because it sounded like a good idea. I called Sean because I knew he'd be there and he let me use his dad's pass. So, I was Svend Svendsen for the day. I probably shouldn't write this... it might get Sean in trouble, but no one seemed to notice accept Svendsen's employees and people who actually know Svend... I could pass for a Svend, right? That's going to be my new name I give at Starbuck's or Noah's Begals when I make an order. Last time I was Baltizar... and they asked me to spell it! I said, "Ball-tah-czar... does it really matter?" Anyway, after cruising the boat show and spending 25 minutes back tracking because Annika had kicked off one of her new shoes somewhere we headed for home. I wouldn't have spent so much time looking for it except this was the first time she had worn them and they had sailboats on them. I figured, boat show... sailboat shoes... cute, right? My dad always said about things you are looking for that they'll be in the last place you look... I used to hate it when he said it, but he's right. I found the shoe at the All State insurance booth, the same one that gave me not one, but two life jackets for Annika if I filled out one of their information cards. One for the size she is now and the next size up... I'm set for the summer. So, I filled out their little info card and "by accident" put incorrect information. Since I was wearing a Svend Svendsen name tag.... I hope I got his email correct, I'm sure All State could get him a better rate.

First Races of the 2008 Season

The first races of the 2008 season started with a bang. Winds gusting upwards of 40 MPH for the 2nd race made things rather interesting... it may explain my soreness this morning. We started off with a general recall and thank goodness, we were way over and a little to eager beaver, but I guess I few of the other guys were too. On the restart, 4 boats were over and we were one of them... maybe one day I'll learn how to start. We retreated back to the line rather quickly, cleared ourselves and rounded up. We nailed the sail trim and the boat came alive. We were high and fast and despite the bad start ended up 3rd at the windward rounding. Downwind we separated nicely, but Wilson had taken advantage and was gone. Bill D. was ahead of us but we closed the gap as we got to the leeward mark. All I can say is... sweet rounding. Again we were high and fast and on the shoreline tack Bill took our stern. Our tack wasn't so hot and we barely crossed in front on the next pass. As we crossed again at the St. Francis, Bill had an override on the starboard side and floundered and we sailed on. The gap increased and the IOD's came up on us from behind causing additional drama. We held 2nd and felt like we were making gains on Wilson for the rest of the race. My crew was convinced we'd be in a battle for first if our start had been better. The 2nd race we were poised for an awesome start and the boat end, but I asked for the main to come in a bit soon and we clipped the committee boat's metal guard rail and had to do a 360. Minor gel coat damage, nothing that can't be sanded, filled and faired from the dock. At this point the wind had really come up and my main trimmer got the main sheet wrapped around his lag and our turn took a lot longer than it should have. We recovered and again felt high and fast. By the time we got to the windward mark we were 4th and our group was breaking away from the rest of the fleet. Downwind we turned ASAP and headed straight for the mark. Wilson and Tommy went wide and by the time we reached the leeward mark we were in 2nd place. Peter was in first and not going to be caught so the plan was to defend 2nd, but the rounding turn was good, but our trim was not and we were too tight. Tommy went below us, Wilson went above us and we ended up 4th. But, for not having had tuned the boat at all and just throwing up a MP main and new Doyal jib, and crew I'd never sailed with it was a very promising day on the water. This was the first time I'd ever raced the boat aside from the single handed race.
The port side cleat is lose and needs repair. The jib also needs repair. The batten pockets decided to open up. Not a big deal, but I'll have Columbo at Doyal fix it this week.
The traveller and backstay control line cleat housing teak broke away on the last tack before the finish. Ironically, Peter Jeal had noticed this as a weak point and recommended I fix it. Now I guess I'll have to. The only other major drama I heard of was Brock's crew taking a swim. I received this email from him this morning:
Congratulations on your strong first day finishes on Josephine! Looks like you have the potential to give Don & Peter a run for the money. On the last downwind jibe in the second race I lost Phil, my foredeckman overboard.The wind was intense, the pole was up and I had a crew member in the water. No time to go forward to take down the pole. We immediately turn upwind disregarding the jib and threw Phil the life ring. I then got out a coil of floating line and managed to get it to him on the second toss. Once he was on the line we pulled him back to the boat and the pulled him on board like a tuna. I seem to be getting a lot of man overboard practice as I had two last year. Throwing the ring was important as it is bright orange and provides a good target for keeping an eye on the swimmer. The floating line was also a big help. Tomorrow I am going to the boat show and will look for one of those rope ladders with the plastic steps that Don demoed at the Spring meeting. This would definitely make getting back into the boat easier. I sailed back to Alameda by myself with only the jib and the boat was still doing 4.5 - 5+ knots! I checked the weather at 6:30 and they said there were wind gusts of 40-50 MPH with a 65 MPH gust recorded in San Rafael. Quite a way to start the season. Hopefully there was no boat damage.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rules Seminar At The St. Francis

The lights were dimmed, the room was quiet except for the words of our rules seminar speaker, and the drinks had an adverse affect... Despite popular belief, rules seminars are not a sleep aid, but for Bill DuMoulin they seem to be. Peter noticed first, then dared me to take his picture. I said only if you buy me a drink. He said yes. Then, after I risk all to get the picture he says I have to post on the blog to get the drink. This was not part of the original verbal contract so all previous negotiations are null and void. I renegotiated for "several" drinks this Saturday after racing if I got the picture up before midnight.
Thanks Don Wilson for organizing this rules seminar given by John Cristman and hosted by the St. Francis YC. The power point presentation regarding the turning on and off of rule 18, only to have rule 15 enabled, then have 18 turned turned on again, but only when an attacking boat is tacking and the over taking boat is tactless enough to tack and attempt to slide inside taking the attacking tacking boats tactfully tacking position away and then would seemingly be forced into tacking it into the mark... I'm not sure that segment of the seminar helped me, but it was fun to see everyone (except MIKE GOEBEL who said would be there) before the first race of the season this Saturday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Old School Photo of the Day

OK, now I'm fired up to go race! Mom was cleaning out the closets and found this newspaper clipping from what looks like 1981? Back then, our local newspapers actually printed stories about Folkboats on the bay! If you can't read it, it mentions my dad winning race 2, Don Kieselhorst winning race 3 and Danish sailor Henrick Sorensen's winning the 1st SF Cup and also winning the 1st race of this regatta... classic.

What Makes Team Wilson So Fast?

Is it this crazy hood ornament on his Vovlo stationwagon? No.
Is it this Soren Hansen mast? Maybe.
Is it the multi track jib leads? Hmmm. Whatever it is, my spy mission on Wilson's boat turned up nothing unusual or out of the ordinary. Perhaps it is knowledge and skill. I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Project List

Don't you ever browse the Folkbad Centralen web catalog? I sure do. I emailed Erik and he sent me one... 7 years ago... and I got a sticker too. :) For years I've been studying the catalogue and wishing I had a boat made in Denmark. Now I do. And my "To do list" is getting silly. So, I have time to sit back and enjoy it before the race season begins. Above is my relaxation kit. Beer, the catalogue and a Scrabble dictionary. Ok, so I'm the nerd that reads the scrabble dictionary in my spare time for all those little annoying words that can score a bazillion points and make you want to challenge me. I think it's important to know all the names of tropical shrubberies you can learn.
Annika is getting her sea legs and soon enough she go out for a sail... when Cassandra thinks it's safe. I try to tell her about how I was 2 months old and my parents took me sailing. And I know Ditte wasn't much younger than me when she went out for the first time. It's not sooo unusual to take a small baby sailing on a folkboat, right?
So we kicked back and enjoyed the day. The wind did pick up today... no wind never lasts more than 2 full days on the bay... it's practically impossible. And no, I don't normally drink Bud... someone left it on board with a few others after the German team put on a food spread with beer at the SF cup. They're not like eggs, they don't go bad, do they?
Svend A. asked me to take some pix of the down below for "research" or something. Here you go. Jibs on one side, main on the other... Whisker poles elevated... yes, poles. Haven't you ever broken one in a race? Oh, maybe you don't sail where the wind is that strong. I keep the 2nd one for nostalgia... my dad made it and claimed it was perfection. Except, it's a foot shorter than most poles... I'll figure out his angle someday. But a short spare pole is better than no spare pole when you need it. I also have a spare boom and brand new mast in storage... I've never even seen it too. It's stashed up in Peter Jeal's loft still in it's bubble wrap from shipping.
This MP main looks good, but I'm not sure it's flat enough... anyone out their with trim tips in English?

Friday Evening on the Boat

When a high pressure system rolls in and creates a rare off shore flow the temperatures go up and the wind, if any, comes out of the east. The Bay was like a lake. No wind at all and it had to be at least 75 degrees. So, no sailing because if the current is stronger and faster than you can sail and you don't have an engine, you'll be sucked out to sea as far as 7 miles before the tide brings you back in. And that can be problematic if you get slammed into a pier or into the south tower of the bridge. No thanks. I'd rather get a 6 pack, some snacks and just hang out and watch the J boats motor in for their regatta this weekend.
Annika got a little restless in the cockpit and didn't want to be down below so we put her on the hatch and she started crawling. Our little girl started crawling a couple weekends ago just so we could check that off the development list. She's now on to pulling herself up to standing with anything she can get a grip on and is walking around whatever she's holding on to.
The sunset was awesome and the joys of having a folkboat continue.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday Evening Sail - April 9th, 2008

Wednesday Evening is the greatest day and time of the week to go sailing. The wind is strong, but usually fading. The sun isn't going down until after 8pm now, which leaves plenty of time to cruise the bay in a Nordic Folkboat. (please forgive the black spot... camera phones are not that slick)
Still really love this boat. Every time I go to work on some part of it I giggle inside knowing I now have a really good boat... and now, Cassandra is coming sailing more frequently! :)
But tonight was not a race and this was true because there were no other boats out on the bay! Crazy. It was like having a powder day all to yourself at Squaw Valley with no lift lines. We brought along some friends with beers, Brad and Carie. They wore their snowboarding gear to stay warm.
We had 15+ knots of wind, but it was gusty and shifty so I just travelled down a bit and tried not to constantly make micro adjustments and just enjoy the sail. I made the tiller extension out of carbon fiber fishing pole. I used a rubber ball I confiscated off a student of mine who was improperly bouncing it in the hallway. All I paid for was the universal joint to attach to the tiller. It's lighter than the brick of a tiller extension that was on their when I got the boat. It's for sale if you want it. :)
We reached over toward Sausalito to the edge of the wind line and turned around. Took the stern of a small tanker and headed over toward Crissy Field and Mark #16, the one we use for Wednesday evening races, then tacked and went under the bridge. I didn't bother to check the tide book, but realized we were in a pretty strong ebb, so we tacked and headed downwind and put up the recently fixed whisker pole that Per's barbarian crew destroyed during the SF Cup.
Took some pictures, had a beer...
I let Brad drive downwind...
Then before we went back to the slip, I had to do it... Chasing swimmers is just a hobby of mine, I can't help it.
The wind gusted as we entered Aquatic Park and we were flying across the water.
Took a peek to look for swimmers.
Looked again as we surged forward, but alas... no swimmers to be found. They must have seen us coming this time.
The only other boat out on the bay was the Adventure Cat. They decided to join us in the hunt for swimmers, but instead turned down the interior of the break water and returned to port. It's another way to see the bay in style if you don't have access to a folkboat. With no swimmers to chase and the sun going down, we returned to port ourselves and stowed the boat and went out to dinner. What a great way to break up the week. I highly recommend it.