Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is it April yet?

Is it April Yet?--Wednesday, December 18, 2013  -- The dreay-assed days drag on--sun sets at 4:15 lots of lead gray skys--the rain is coming and the boat sits.  We Western Washington types are weather whiners--it's not like we have real winter--it's just gloomy.  The new jib hasn't come although I did get an email asking if I want hanks or roller furling so at least they are thinking about it.

I'm working on the down-haul, and repainting cabinets for a friend.  They're 60 years old, have five coats of paint.  Lots of work but much cheaper than new cabinets.

The covered bridge used o be an open car port--it does keep the Tanzer dry.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Workshop

The Workshop -- November 1, 2013 --Soon after we moved in, we started building a workshop.  It's pretty nice.  My kids teased me about the size and cost, but I just reminded them that my next workshop--if I was lucky--would be the craft room at Panorama City.

In any case my neighbor, Davy Gagne, master carpenter and wood carver, built the shop to my design and Ron Raben's plans.  It is 720 square feet (heated), and the way Davy did it you cannot tell it's an addition.  If you look at the photo, you might notice that the siding is a little higher on the left side of the down spout.  I did much of the grunt work, and that saved some money.  It cost a bit, but the appraiser said that it added more than twice the cost to the value of the property.

This is where the things needed for the Tanzer 16 get fabricated.  There is a dust collection system, and the power for the big tools is located in the floor.  There are at least two outlets every five feet.  240 volt power is located on the two far sides of the shop as well as in the floor.  Last year we plumbed in air.  Hot and cold water are available in the finish room.

Behind the tool cabinets there is a finish/spray room and a separate sanding room.  The 4 x 6 work bench is 1/8" lower than the table saw so it can be the outfeed table when needed.  The router table moves and is 1/8" higher than the table saw and works nicely as an infeed table.  The cabinets house an embarrassingly large collection of tools.  Some of my father's and grandfathers' tools are displayed on the walls.  There is 320 feet of unheated storage above.  (The building was designed for easy conversion to a legal two-story apartment if needed.)

It has been a great joy to work in this space.  Everything is handy and easy to access.  It is possible to do quality work in a routine way.

Today's Cliché:  Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No More Mainsheet Tangles

No More Tangles--Tuesday, November 29, 2013--One of the really nice things about the Tanzer is that most of the mainsheets are out of the way.  They drop from the back of the boom to a stern mounted traveler system.  The final block and cleat are on the centerboard trunk.  Lots of room--little spaghetti--good!

Unfortunately the main sheets have a tendency to tangle up around the two stern mooring cleats--especially unhandy when you are trying to gibe in a fresh breeze.  In fact it is so unhandy that the only way you can untangle them is to tack to take the pressure off the sheets and undo them while you are head to wind.

The mainsheet parts hang up on the horns of this cleat

It could be dangerous and certainly doesn't contribute to smooth gibes--solution:  Make up some covers for the cleats that will prevent tangles.  Finished them today.  Started by gluing up some 3/4 mahogany --the same stuff used for the tiller.  Then hollowed it out with Forstner bit and chisel.  Rounded the corners with a spindle sander; then rounded the top with my biggest round-over router bit.

It's nice to have a heated shop with the tools you need.

The theory is that the lines won't catch on the horns of the cleat, that the bungee will keep it in place, and since it is made of wood, it will float when we screw up and drop it over the side.  We'll see next spring.
Next tasks:  Install downhaul cleats, and a centerboard hold down.
Today's Clichés to live by. 
Nobody likes it if  you're right.  They especially don't like it if you are drunk and right.
Problems are undiscovered advantages.---Effective people have ideas that become goals that become plans.  Ineffective people have complaints that become problems that become issues.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Broken Coupler

Maybe I broke it; maybe it was just broken -- Sunday, October 20, 2013 -- Three weeks ago when the Tanzer got moved into the covered bridge* I noticed that the trailer coupler was bent and a bolt was missing.

Truth be told, there is a good chance I broke it by backing the trailer at too sharp an angle;  I am in the 5th percentile of trailer backers.  The only people who are worse at trailer backing have limited vision, stiff necks, and arthritic hands.  But, in any case, it is now replaced.  Amazing that after 40 years, the new coupler still has the same part number and fits the tongue holes exactly.  The instructions say that you can use four bolts (with nuts inside the tongue tube--tough to tighten) or two half-inch bolts.  The boat and trailer probably weigh less than 1000 pounds, I went with two bolts. Since the sheer strength of a single 1/2 in bolt is in the neighborhood of 8000 lbs, that should be plenty.

*The covered bridge used to be a free standing carport open on all four sides.  We enclosed the long sides, and left out windows--it looks a lot like a covered bridge.  That's where the boat will stay this winter.  Racing starts in May so it will be there until the weather gets good in April or May or June...plenty of time for the three or four little projects remaining.
Today's cliche:  Victory favors the bold; disaster goes looking for the foolish.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tanzer 16 Plans

Tanzer Plans - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 --Received an email from Phil Hopewell in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.  Phil has 1967 Tanzer he bought from the original owner.  In addition, he picked up a complete set of spare parts with a hopeless 1975 hull attached.  Not to worry! 

Phil will recycle all the parts, and the hull has gone on to become the tooling for a wooden boat that someone else is building.

Phil was nice enough to include a set of Tanzer 16 plans that you can actually read. This particulr PDF came to him from Arch Altman, president of the North Carolina Tanzer Association. Other sets out there on the Internet are almost illegible when you try to blow them up.  Phil's contribution is much appreciated by those of us who need to make a part now and then.  If you would like the  PDF for your own use, email:

Phil's Tanzer

A plan you can read!

Today's Cliche:  Some people see the glass half empty.  Some people see the glass half full.  Some people see a free glass.  (contributed by DC)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tanzer Tiller

Tanzer Tiller--Monday, September 30, 2013--I should have gone to work.  I have a few pending jobs for my home repair business; the weather sucked, but the jobs are indoors. I could have done them.  I just wanted to work on the boat.  I am kind of getting into this retired thing! 

Today the rough shape of the tiller was cut out of the glue up with the band saw.  Then I couldn't help it.  I just kept going.  The hardest part of this job is fairing in the long gentle curves of the 44-inch stick of wood. It could be a straight stick like the C-Lark, but I wanted to stay with  Tanzer's elegant deisgn.

I found out that a 1/16" slat of poplar wrapped in 60 grit sandpaper made a great flexible sanding block.  It conformed to the curves and evened out the tooling from the band saw,spindle sander, planes, and belt sander.  I spent about an hour making sure that the tiller fit the rudder head connection exactly--no slop.

It took a lot of tools to get the rough shape down to the line.
The poplar sanding block worked well for the final fairing.  I finished up the bottom side, then
spiled off the top side and sanded down  close to the line.  After that, I planed, then sanded some more. 
The final shape was created with a router round over bit and a lot of sanding with 60, 120, 150,
220 grits.

The final shape was a little thicker than the original and a little less elegant,  but I like to add
a little for "stout." The original tiller will be the spare stored in the forward compartment.

Six more coats of spar varnish and it will be ready to race.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Foamy Glue

Foamy Glue -- Sunday, September 29, 2013 -- Continue to work on tiller.  Yesterday afternoon glued up the boards with some polyurathane glue.  It expands as it cures so it takes a lot of clamps.  The stuff really works, the spot on my hand will take about a week to wear away.

The clear plastic wrap keeps the glue from sticking to the workbench.

Cliche for today:  Being prepared is mostly a matter of making sure that you won't need what you don't have.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rainy Day Projects Begin

Rainy Day Projects Begin -- Saturday, September 28, 2013 -- You have heard all the stories about the rain in Seattle (Western Washington)--they are sort of true.  Seattle is the rainiest city in the contiguous 48--but not in inches--in days.  We average 162 rainy days a year producing about 50 inches of precipitation*.  I just covered the Tanzer hoping to get out a few more times this year, but that isn't going to happen.  We're lucky; we have carport that was enclosed last year--we call it the covered bridge since there aren't any windows.  The Tanzer will spend the winter in there.  In the meantime we can get started on our rainy day projects.

Western Washington winters are mild--but they are dreary and long.
Yesterday we added new shackles on the trailer so the tie downs will work better. Today we started on a new tiller. The current tiller has some cracks that may break if we get some really strong wind.  It will be made out of some mahogany salvaged from an old house that is one of the current Accurate Home Repair projects.
Cliche for today:  An ounce of image is worth a pound of substance.
* Avg annual precipitation:  NY City:  47 in, Chicago:  39 in, Miami:  62 in, San Francisco 22 in, Ketchican 202 in--and they only have 47 miles of paved road and a Harley dealership.

A tiller is not something you want to break while your'e out on the water

The new tiller will come from these 50-year old boards that used to be door jambs.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Motor Mount Finished-- Well Almost Finished--Monday, September 23, 2013 -- Picked up the plate Patrick fabricated for me, and it didn't fit--my fault.  I should have taken him the template or done a better drawing.  He used my drawing to locate the outside of the holes instead of the center--clearly my drawing did not indicate that well enough.

Oh well, cut the plate in half, added a spacer piece and put it back together--it works and nobody will notice except me.  I say almost finished because I want to clear coat the wood spacer, add a safety line and then test the motor to see if it is deep enough in the water, at the right angle, and make sure it doesn't foul the traveler or main sheets.  There is also the issue of how the extra 40 lbs will affect performance and how far forward we will need to move the helmsman to get everything back in balance.

If it affects perfomance too much, it will stay home on race days.

But--given the frequent days with light winds around here in the summer, an engine would be nice.  We could do all four races and still get back to the launch before dark. 

The Tohatsu is a nice little engine, but 4-strokes are kind of heavy for the power.  We'll see.

Today's Cliche' to Live By (platitudes with attitude)

At 20:  "What do people think of me?"  At 40:  "I don't care what people think of me."  At 60:  "People have never been thinking about me at all."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Outboard Mount & New Cliche' -- Saturday, September 21, 2013-- I bought an outboard motor mount on Craig's List and met a really interesting guy.  Patirck seems to do everything.  His yard is filled with short semi trailers, refurbished riding mowers, pick-up racks he is fabricating, an old Farm All tractor that he uses for a snow plow (the 10-foot long blade was made out of a piece of pipe with a 6' diameter), a boat trailer with a sliding tongue so the truck tires never get wet--it goes on and on.  If it's made of metal or runs on fuel, he seems to do it.  He is also working on some vintage 50's cars.  I told him I was looking for a snow blower, but he had just sold the only one he had.  I forgot to ask him how he keeps from igniting his long, grey beard when he does his welding.

I asked Patrick to fabricate a plate so the mount he sold me could attach to the built in studs on the stern of the Tanzer.  I pick it up tomorrow so I can finish it.  It will need several more holes and some slots added.  Here is the drawing I sent him.  He had it ready in two days--asked $20.  I told him the price wasn't right, $30 sounds more fair.

There is a plan and a prototype made of wood in the shop so I
can finish the job when the plate arrives.  Needed Patrick to
cut the metal and drill the 7/8 holes.  My biggest bit is 1/2"
I was told I forgot a Cliche to Live By on the last post.  How about:

An ounce of image is worth a pound of substance--provided by Lynn Kiolet.
The work of the world is done by men who wear black socks-- James Michner

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tanzer 16  #1306 (built 1976) First Sail -- Thursday, September 19, 2013 -- Got the new boat in the water.  Uncharacteristicly for me--I didn't practice rigging in the driveway before taking the boat to the ramp.  In fact I didn't do anything to the boat--just added water and went sailing. 

The mast is considerably heavier than the C-Lark, but even so, it went up without a lot of fuss.  Pretty easy to rig except for the second stay.  To get enough tension to fasten the shackle I had to tie a short line to the stay and make a loop so I could step on the cable and use my body weight to apply tension to the stay while the shackle pin went in.

Of course there wasn't much wind.  A steady 6 knots until we got on the water at 3:30 then it turned fluky.  Waiting for the evening breeze wasn't really an option because it gets dark earlier now.  The down side of dry sailing is that you need at least 1/2 hour of daylight to secure the boat back on the trailer.  This was our first look at the trailer without a boat on it.  The trailer could use a bit of work, but it's plenty serviceable for now.

The boat sails nicely; we could balance the helm by just shifting our weight, and that was simple to do.  The deep, roomy cockpit makes it easy for old guys to move around.  The simple rig minimizes the spaghetti in the cockpit.  We accomplished our goals: we got the boat in the water, learned how to rig it, had some fun, and came back with a short to-do list before we start racing in May.

The boat is in pretty good shape considering that it is 37 years old.

Two foot tide at launch time, made for a long trip down the ramp.  Took three trips back
to the truck before I remembered everything--like the battens.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Committee Boat--Almost as fun as racing

Committee Boat--Almost as fun as racing--Monday, September 9, 2013 -- Didn't know I would have a new boat so soon after selling the C-Lark so I volunteered for committee boat for Sunday, thus allowing the fleet captain, Jim, a chance to sail his aged Lido in the regatta. 

Jim is quite a good sailor.  Not only does he sail his Lido, he races Stars (there is a demanding boat), and he has a cruiser that I have never seen.  Jim has been sailing a long time, and he sails often.  He is a good racer and he knows South Puget Sound water and wind.

Yesterday's wind was light and variable, and it gave Jim a chance to make his own luck.  He arrives at the favored end of the starting line on time, going full speed, on starboard tack.  He knows exactly where the line is, and he doesn't make mistakes once he has started.  Most every boat out there owes him some time, and he doesn't waste it.  Yesterday he was the first or second sloop-rigged dinghy in every race, and he beat a few well-sailed Lasers in every race.  He even finished first overall in the fourth race, beating 5 or 6 very well-sailed Lasers. 

How did he do it?  He watched the shifts, and short tacked as needed to stay in the wind.  When the wind was light, he heeled to leeward and moved weight forward to reduce wetted surface. He and his crew moved easily and gently in the boat and kept their sails full. Tacks and gibes were smooth--no fussing.

Nice to watch a guy who knows what he is doing 

Jim finishing first.  There are three Lasers just outside the frame on the right.
Nothing fancy--just good sailing.  His hull numbers are masking tape.

Today's Cliche:  All you need to be a cowboy is guts and horse.  If you have enough guts, you can steal the horse.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New parts - no wind - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 -- Ran around yesterday and collected the few things needed to go sailing today.  New winch, bearing buddies for the trailer bearings (they keep the grease under pressure and the water out of your trailer bearings--that's the theory).  New little grease gun (gave mine to Chris when he bought the C-Lark), some mooring lines, a bow line.  Installed a safety ring in the rudder pintle, new--bigger--tie down straps, boat hook.  Priced new tiller--$187 bucks--I will make my own.  Good thing I took a few pictures had trouble remembering how to install the main sheet and traveler.

Bummer--the motor mound doesn't fit my motor--will have to make a new one.

We were ready to try the Tanzer out today.  Got up this morning to Western Washington rain.  Straight down drizzle.  They changed the forecast from 5- 15 knots of wind to 0 - 4.  I don't mind getting wet while sailing.  Don't like getting wet while sitting still--neither does Tony.

Cliche for today:  90% of life's daily problems are caused by tone of voice.

The old winch didn't lock--can you believe the 8-inch tires?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cliches -- Monday, September 2, 2013 -- As a young soldier in Vietnam, I started collecting "bad attitude platitudes."  Eventually they were assembled into a little booklet called Cliches to Live By.  So far there has been a revised second edition, and it is almost time for a third edition.

As I have aged, so have the cliches.  Thought I might share one every now and then.  Here is the first cliche from 1969:

Locks keep honest people honest, and show thieves where to look.

Last month I added:

Excessive moderation is not a virtue.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Begin again -- Sunday, September 1, 2013 -- Drove up to Port Angeles yesterday, Saturday, and bought a new boat--well new to me.  Nineteen hundred Tanzers were built in Quebec, New Bern, NC and Arlington, WA from 1963 to 1986.  Mine was made in 1976.  The hull is in good shape.  There has been one repair that is only visible in low angle sunlight, if you are looking for it.  The deck could stand some paint, but we'll sail it a year before we think about that.

It's 16 feet long (the C-Lark was 14) and deep. The cockpit is roomy and the boom will easily pass over our heads when we tack.  Specs listed below.

The previous owner, Ron, did some work on the rigging and some fiber glass repair on the deck.  He also made his own motor mount out of stainless steel.  He is an electrician at the shipyard where they build super high-end motor yachts for "billionaires" so he has excellent fabrication skills.  He rebuilt the kick-up rudder head with some super marine grade mahogany plywood--nice job.  Ron installed new sheaves in the mast.  The floor has no squish at all, it looks like somebody installed a new floor at some point--they did a good job; barely visible lines where they put in the new fiberglass.  One seat has a slight oil-can effect, but nothing to worry about for now.  The foam in the seat tanks seems fine.

On the way back from Port Angeles there was a fatality motorcycle
accident so the troopers closed US 101 for 3 hours.

The rig is simple--fractional sloop, no spreaders.  Simple rope traveler at the stern.  Big, deep, cockpit.  This boat is ready to sail.  Needs some Bearing Buddies for the trailer (which has a brand new axle), and a down haul for the main. Could use a new 100% jib; all it has right now is a 120% Genoa.  The main is in good shape; Ron just had reef points installed. So we'll need a whisker pole, and some mooring lines, a couple of fenders--already have a two-horsepower Tohatsu outboard.

At some point it will need better trailer lights, but these work now so that can be a winter project.
Too bad I volunteered for the committe boat next Saturday--anxious to get this in the water. 

Hull Type:
Centerboard Dinghy
Rig Type:
Fractional Sloop
16.33' / 4.98m
15.58' / 4.75m
6.17' / 1.88m
Listed SA:
135 ft2 / 12.54 m2
Draft (max.)
2.75' / 0.84m
Draft (min.)
0.58' / 0.18m
450 lbs./ 204 kgs.
Johann Tanzer
Tanzer Industries Ltd. (CAN)
Bal. type:
First Built:
Last Built:
# Built:
BUILDERS (past & present)
More about & boats built by:
More about & boats designed by:
Tanzer 16 Class Association

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Maybe a Tanzer--Tuesday, August 27, 2013 --Driving up to Port Angeles Saturday to look at a Tanzer.  Only two sails, but the advertised price is right and a spinnaker and maybe new sails can come later if I buy it.

Had a very generous offer extended from a Lido owner--wanted to lend me his boat for a race.  Think I'll look at the Tanzer first.  If I don't like it, then ask him to take me out on a non-race day.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Still Looking--Flying Scott in Boise--Saturday, August 24, 2013 -- Check Craigslist everyday for Seattle, Portland, Tri-Cities and Spokane.  There are a couple of possibles.  There is a Tanzer up in Port Angeles--the price seems right, $1600--only two sails.  The trailer needs work, but is road worthy.

There is a Flying Scot in Boise.  The price is really right--$5500 for what he is selling.  This boat has two mains, two jibs, two spinnakers, pole, compass--trailer isn't bad--galvanized.  The owner is still racing it.  This an interesting class boat.  Last year FS #1 won a regatta.  This particular boat is a '78.

Fifty-five hundred is more than I want to have tied up in a boat that I'm only going to sail 10 or 12 times a year.  It's a long drive to Boise (10 hours each way).  New Scots go for $19,000--I didn't stutter, that's three zeros.

Thinking about it.  It's a good buy.  More than I want to spend, but it would be fun to go head to head with Semper Fi.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Withdrawal -- Monday, August 19, 2013 -- A couple of hours after the boat headed down the road, a big case of sailboat withdrawal started to come in waves.  Checked Craigslist from Seattle to Missoula and down to San Francisco.  Only one boat seemed like it would fit--a Tanzer 16 in Portland--already sold.

My new approach is going to be to offer sellers $100 to try the boat out on the water.  If I like it, we will dicker the hundred into the price.  If I don't like it, I got to go sailing and they made a 100 bucks for their trouble.  We'll see how it goes.  You would think with all the dusty, dirty boats sitting in yards, there would be many more boats for sale--maybe everybody wants to use up the last month of summer.

Here is the current ad on Craig's list.

Wanted sailing dinghy (Olympia)
Looking for a dinghy to race. Sit in not on. Thinking Lido 14, Tanzer 16 or other of similar size. Need trailer too. I am pretty handy, but not looking for a big project boat.

Did not include in the ad:  Of course I would consider a San Juan 21 Mk 1--the one with the big cockpit, but there aren't any of those either--at least right now and finding one with a good balsa core deck can be a challenge.

Lido 14 still in production--you can buy every part on it including sails on line.

Tanzer 16 is no longer manufactured--looks more knee friendly--wife says "Maybe" on a nice day with not too much wind which really means, "Yes dear, but no thanks, I am busy today."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gone to a good home -- Saturday, August 17, 2013 -- So the 1st little boat is gone--to a good home I think.  Ben and his dad, Chris, hooked it up and took it to its new home in Hood Canal.  They will enjoy it I think.  It only cost me a grand to go sailing three times--cheap in the world of boats.  So now to find a fast boat that is a little bigger and easier on these old knees (a little more wife-friendly wouldn't hurt).  Maybe a Tanzer 16--too bad they didn't make a San Juan 17.  I have a different strategy for selecting the new little boat--stay tuned. 

Next week a tour of the shop.

Ben and Chris rolled the main and stowed it prior to departure.
Last Race--didn't happen--Thursday, August 15, 2013 -- It was dark and gloomy all day.  The rain fell straight down.  I got to the boat launch, and it was obvious that it just wasn't going to happen.  Even the Lasers bagged it.  We drank a couple of beers; watched a dinghy sit--the current moved him a bit, not the wind.  We talked about the next boat, and speculated on a third crew member if we get a spinnaker.  Dang--oh well there are worse things than good company, beer, and talking about boats. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Race?

Last Race for the No Number C-lark?  Thursday, August 15, 2013 -- Have a couple of very interested potential buyers for the little boat, but I stalled them until after today.

I would like to race it one more time.  Unfortunately the sky is lead-grey, and there isn't much prospect of wind.  It has been raining on and off all day.  It's so dark that my photocell lights came on.  Can't complain too much it has been great most of the summer.  Low tide will be during the race, but still seven feet above mean lower, low water. 

I really like this little boat, but these old knees require something a bit more roomy if we really want to be competitive.  And,  there is no chance that I will ever get Pat on this boat--she doesn't even like the Miata.  Fortunately Craigs List is just full of boats that would do nicely.  Will get back to you with tonight's results.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Boat hook - not whatever else it might look like

Boat Hook – Friday, July 26, 2013 – Yes it is an improved boat hook, not a prosthetic device for Pinocchio.  Tony had trouble getting the blunt point of the boat hook into the jib clew ring when we need a whisker pole for the jib. This new one was fabricated this morning.  We’ll try it out next week. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Emails of note

Some emails of note--Monday, July 22, 2013.  Received the following emails after I explained why I was thinking of looking for another boat already.  Yes, it has only been in the water three times--which translates to about $1000 per outing.

From my friend Fred sailing around the world slowly on his 43-footer:  Ha! This makes me chuckle. Two-footitis already.

Well I hope you stick to nice old boats which don't cost much and avoid the temptation to buy a $60,000 high performance marvel.

From my friend Tony who builds lovely cedar kyaks and crews in the C-Lark:  In his first email he asks if I am crazy.  A day later he says let's build a Flying Scot this winter.

From my son Bill: Please cut your Man Card in half, package it in a Pamprin box, and mail to my PO Box in Yelm, WA.
No danger there, Fred.  Tony, I just finished a project boat--let's buy something ready to sail.  As for you Bill, I will not mention the details of certain concessions you made to get me to drive you on your paper route one rainy afternoon back in the day.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

For Sale -- Sunday, July 21, 2013

For Sale -- Sunday, July 21, 2013 --It takes forever to sell a boat, so I listed the C-Lark today.  I hope it doesn't sell until after the August races.  It may take years to sell, and we will keep racing the boat until it does sell--and we will keep improving it. 

We are hooked on racing, but the C-Lark is just too athletic a boat for our old bones, and no way will Patti get on anything this small.  So we will be looking for something a little more "wife friendly" and something that demands a bit less agility from the crew.

In the mean time, I ordered some kneeling mats for the cockpit floor and the location of the outhaul cleat is going to change so it hits the helmsman's head less often.  The knee pads kind of worked, but pads should work better.

 Tried on my old life jacket; it is less likely to snag on the boom during tacks and jibes so it will go back into service and the new jacket will go on the shelf.

Also thinking about having shortening the sail by six inches so we have a little more headroom.  I noticed that this sail is at the absolute max allowed by the class rules.  Every C-Lark picture shows less sail.  Six more inches of headroom would cost us less than 4.5 square feet of sail area and vastly improve our work in the cockpit.  If we do that, it won't get done until after the racing season.

On an up-note the weather helm disappeared when the tiller was shortened.  It moved the helmsman back a foot and that balanced the weight of two people--tending to confirm my idea that the tiller was extra long for single handing.  Here is the Craig's List ad:

14-foot C-Lark Sailing Dinghy - $1800 (Olympia)
This 14-foot dinghy is great for cruising or racing. It is a nice little boat in good condition for its age. I bought it and rehabbed it so I could race. It is a lot of fun, and competitive, but wife wants a something more like a Buick and less like a Miata.

Custom cut main like new with adjustable leech and foot lines.

Like new jib with roller furling.

High-performance Harken traveler. High-performance internal main halyard.

Brand new polyurethane paint on the bottom and cockpit.

Trailer is like new (maybe better)--completely refurbished all new bolts, paint, lights, etc.
Lights are detachable so they never get wet. New tires, new galvanized wheels, two spare tires.

Large tarp cover.

One person can step the mast and have the boat sailing in about 15 minutes.

I spent $2800 to fix it up -- yours for $1800.

If you are interested, I can link you to a blog that shows the entire rehab process.
Will consider trade (boat and cash) for San Juan 21 MK I or other wife-friendly boat of similar size.



Friday, July 19, 2013

2nd Race--Less mistakes but last

2nd Race Night--Fewer mistakes but last in class -- Friday, July 19, 2013 -- Last night there wasn't much wind and it really hurt us.  The C-Lark has a very small jib and doesn't perform all that well in whisper light air.

First race.  We were really on top of the start.  We would have been the second across the line, starboard tack, plenty of room.  Then these folks in a Flying Scot came bearing down on us from the start side of line--they were windward and port tack.  I hailed them three or four times and they did know we had the right of way but didn't know what to do about it.  So finally we had to gibe, turn a 360 and give way to a lot of boats we would have beaten to the line.  The Flying Scot people ducked across the line, tacked back and started way ahead of us.  We missed all the puffs and stayed in last place.  Our error was compounded by sailing for the wrong mark along with five other boats, which still would have been okay.  The wind was shifting and it looked like we would make the first mark in one tack--but alas the wind stopped, we drifted, we finally finished ahead of one super high tech boat badly sailed.  (It all worked out though--I didn't protest, but the FS people fell in the water trying to dock.)

Second race.  Same kind of deal.  The small jib killed us.  By the time we were sailing fast, we just headed back to the line and told the committee to give us a Did Not Finish so that we weren't holding up the fleet for the third race.

Third race.  A little more wind.  We did a little better.  We even got to use tactics a bit.  A Tanzer was right behind us as we went for the finish.  I reminded him that we were on the same tack and I was leeward.  I told him, "You know I am going to gently rub you off on the committee boat."  Fortunately he actually had a passing understanding of the  rules, and was fine with it.  So we actually were second to last twice and took a gentlemanly DNF to help out the committe boat.

Of course the wind picked up a bit later. We had a nice sail back to the marina and sailed up to the dock in about 7 knots.  The wind picked up to a steady 10 later.  We could see it from the bar.

No major screw ups.  Most of the little improvements helped.  Tony and I are really into racing, but we really need a more age-appropriate boat.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Handicapping--we owe time

Handicapping --  We owe time & an interesting blog--Wednesday, July 17, 2013 –The Portsmouth Handicap System is used on our races and I finally got around to looking at the race results for last week.  The news was not good.

When we race, there are many different kinds of boats: C-Larks like mine, Lasers, International 470’s, 420’s — and so on.  Some of these boats are inherently faster than others.  To make the racing more interesting and fair, each kind of boat has a handicap under the Portsmouth rule.  After you finish the race, your elapsed time to finish the course is corrected, and all the boats have their finish adjusted.  That is the corrected time.  Last week we were beat by an International 470; he beat us by more than we knew. 

Our C-Lark rating is 96.8; an International 470 has a rating of 99.7. 

To calculate corrected time you take your elapsed time and divide it by your handicap number, then multiply by 100.  Lower handicap numbers owe time to higher handicap numbers. 

So--on the first race last week we finished in 17 minutes and 22 seconds.  The 470 finished in 15 minutes and 29 seconds.  He beat us by 1 min 53 seconds.  BUT when handicap was applied, he beat us by 2 min 24 sec.  So we owe him 1.8 seconds for every minute we are out there sailing.  In a 30-minute race we could beat him by 50 seconds and still lose by 4 seconds.  Clearly we will have to do better in the future than we did last week.  I do believe the handicap number is probably fair.  On the down-wind legs, when we weren’t screwing up, we were able to gain on the 470.  We kept right with him when we did a good job on the up wind legs.  So—you hate to give time to a competitor, but the rating is probably fair even if we did owe time to every boat out there except the HLR.

Here is an interesting blog.  Jeff has a C-Lark and he had to rip out the entire floor of his cockpit to replace some wood.  Looks like he did a great job.

While researching our handicap status found the following official specs for the C-Lark.  I am thinking ours was built closer to 1964 than 1979. 

Hull Type:
Centerboard Dinghy
Rig Type:
Fractional Sloop
14.00' / 4.27m
14.00' / 4.27m
5.70' / 1.74m
Listed SA:
133 ft2 / 12.36 m2
Draft (max.)
3.50' / 1.07m
Draft (min.)
0.50' / 0.15m
295 lbs./ 134 kgs.
Don Clark
Clark Boat Co. (USA)
Bal. type:
First Built:
Last Built:
# Built:
BUILDERS (past & present)
More about & boats built by: