Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank you GGYC

By adding this dock behind your club you have inadvertently turned my end tie dock situation into a regular slip. I was mad as hell when I showed up and the piling was put in without so much as a curtesy note on my boat, but now I see the benefit.
I'm going to add a cleet to the underside of your dock and run a stern line out to your dock so this winter I can finally hold my boat off the dock! Thank you, GGYC, thank you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When the Wood Gets Soft....

... and this is a problem I had when I owned Nordic Belle (USA 105), All of a sudden you'll be sailing and the shrouds are all loose and you can't figure out why. Its hard to see from the deck, but once you become aware of this possibility it becomes something you check for all the time. It's half the reason I keep a pair of binoculars on board.
These series of pictures comes courtesy of Klaus Kahl of Germany.

The story goes like this - Klaus says that after a day of force 6-7 winds they came back to the dock with loose shrouds, looked up and saw why. The spreader mount fitting had moved almost 2 inches and well, that's not a problem you can ignore. They prepared wooden strips
ahead of time (Mass: approx. 600mm long, 85mm broad and 3-4mm
thickly), the thickness may not be to large, because they must be able
to be bent. The wood is north spruce which is slow to grow and is a stronger wood.
First the main fitting was dismantled. The bad wood is carved out and all of it must go.
It's important to poke around the wood of the mast at the fittings to check for softness and prevent this from becoming a more serious problem. Same thing can happen at the main halyard shive at the top, gooseneck track where the boom attaches to the mast, at the deck and the heel cup. This one was caught before the mast would have required a more skilled woodworker or worse, unfixable. One of the concerns is not making it too stiff and ruining the bend characteristics you want in a mast. Too stiff and you'll put more stress on a different part of the mast and you'll never get the trim characteristics you'll need to shape the main sail. Too bendy and another set of problems, so a lot of thought goes into the type of wood, size of the grains, how they are laid in. After the epoxy and clamps do their thing, the screw holes need to be bored out and plugged. You could use longer screws, but that isn't the smartest idea. That wood is more than likely bad there too and its best to replace it. Making sure the plugs are of a dry wood and the holes are dry too will prevent the same problem from occurring again.

In the end the job looks very well done and the mast is repaired for a relatively low cost. Better than shelling out the bucks for a new one! Don't forget to put the black bands in the right spot!!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Oh, that's hot.

Brie with a heat gun... Definately hot.

...What?! Heat guns are hot!

You mean all this time....!?

... the reason my backstay has been so bunged up and hard to use is because this one nut and bolt needed to get flipped? Now when the control line has tension on it it's not dragging over a sharp edged bolt and nut?!
I love it when the performance improvement don't cost a dime.

What's not to love about Svendsen's

You can vertually show up unannounced in the spring right before racing season, leave your boat ready to be pulled, and they do seem to drop everything for us folkboaters.
They have "Cherrybomb" soap in the bathroom and do a fine bottom prep and paint. I like to give myself two weeks in the yard so I get three full weekends before the season starts just in case something bad is discovered and needs attention. But, once that drama is averted, I like hanging out in the boat yard "working" on stuff, catching up with Roger Rapp, Soren, Timmy the lift op, Anna in the office, the various familure faces in the hood, Sean, and of course Svend. Seems every spring toward the end of March a bunch of us show up and do our annual maintenence. We should make it more official and start having "Haul out parties" in the yard.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Does it really matter?

This last spring I was in such a hurry I forgot my measuring tape and I needed to get all my hardware off so Soren could do a little mast repair for me, it was cold, a storm was coming in and I kept thinking... Does it really matter if I don't put these things exactly back where I found them? Black bands yes, those matter, but hardware? Really? Why? So I did the next best thing I could think of... I took pictures of how far things were apart from each other relative to a constant point I knew wouldn't be affected by the mast work. I'm just going to go out a re-tune anyway. Ok, so I might be off by a milimeter here and there, whatever.

Have you ever had that moment...

...when you realize you completely forgot which one was the port shroud and which one was the starboard? I've made all kinds of dumb mistakes over the years and a few of those mistakes more than once, but taking all the rigging and hardware off has become a little more routine. This last spring I needed Søren Hansen to scarf out a section of mast where i kept breaking goose neck tracks. After three breaks and several broken off screws in the mast I thought I'd just deal with it once and for all and put some new wood in there design a bullet proof goose neck track, slap it in there and be done with this. I love how easy it is to take all this stuff off... A screwdriver and two wrenches is really all you need. Maybe a hammer and plyers too.

Søren Hansen Scarffed my Mast 1

It's a real joy to watch Søren Hansen work. He makes it look so easy. He'll just start chopping into your mast without hessitation. Seemingly not measuring anything and bam! It's done. I'm not sure there is anything more entertaining than a six pack on a Friday afternoon and talking world events with Søren. If you get a chance give it a try.

Søren Hansen Scarffed my Mast 2

It's nice to have a space in the "Tiki hut" to epoxy seal, prime and paint the mast out of the rain. The deal with Søren is he does all the rough cuts, I do all the finishing sanding. Works for me.