Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Small details—not unimportant details—weather—Wednesday, June 26, 2013.  Waiting on the weather and taking care of some small details.  It has been raining like a Vietnam monsoon.  We even had lightening.  Don’t get me wrong, I have lived other places, and there is nothing as nice as Western Washington in the summer time—which, weather-wise, starts July 12 or so and runs well into October.  Our driest period is the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August and even then you have a 24 percent chance of rain on any given day.  The last two days we have also experienced lightening.  My reserved sailing day is Thursday, but the weather report predicts more of the same for tomorrow.

Anyway!  I woke up and realized there was no bow line to help launch and retrieve the boat.  That taken care of, it occurred to me that I had forgotten to add a safety clip to the rudder pintle.  When you look at the ads for sailing dinghys, about 1/5 of them specify that there is no rudder.  There is a reason; when your boat capsizes, the rudder tends to fall out. (At this point a lot of people lose their enthusiasm along with their rudder.)  Rudders seldom float, and even if they do, you are very busy dealing with a boat that is trying to turn turtle,  and you probably won’t remember to retrieve the rudder.  (In fact my rudder looks homemade, but the early C-larks were not quite so refined as one might expect, so I don't really know.)

The solution is simple; fasten the rudder to the boat.  Some people use safety lines.  I prefer a little ring through the pintle. Of course you need to have some extra rings with you at all times.  You can’t attach the rudder to the boat until the boat is in the water--then you can attach the ring.  It is a given that eventually you will drop one of these little rings in four or five feet of water and a bent nail makes a poor substitute. 

This little hummer was hard.  It took patience and cutting oil to drill the hole.

Unfortunately the handyman business* is really good right now with promises made and promises to be kept.  Shooting for next week launch—weather is supposed to be clear and 70 – 80 degrees. (* Accurate home repair:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whaditcost so far—REALLY?  -- Thursday, June 20, 2013 – Now that the boat is complete and legal to sail in navigable waters, I actually added up all the receipts that I had.  Keep in mind that I have a pretty nice shop and spray equipment so I could do all the work myself and didn't have to pay for any of the 150 or so hours of my labor.

Boat:  $1514.91.  Most of it went for the boat and registration: $820.  The next biggest category was paint:  $490.  The rest went for small stainless parts that do come dear, and other stuff that all adds up.
Trailer:  $1306.87.  The trailer and registration only cost $398.00.  That means about $900 went into rehabbing the trailer. Admittedly new tires and galvanized wheels ($250) were a bit of an extravagance, but they look nice, and the old ones wouldn’t have lasted too long.  The new lights will last a long time since they do not get immersed in salt water. They are more visible and safer.  I could have bought a new galvanized trailer for $2000, but I still would have needed a couple hundred dollars in lights.  (At least to get them the way I like them.)

Alternatives:  I could have bought a much nicer boat and trailer for about $2000.  Then I could have had a new main made and still spent less money.  So probably I should have gone with the better boat and new sails.

Yet to buy:  Within a year I am sure I will want a spinnaker—custom made in blue and white of course—which will mean a sail, halyard, pole and associated rigging.  Plus I am sure I will want to run the sheets under the deck so the helmsman doesn’t have to sit on them.  Then natually, we will need to install a spinnaker launching tube and deck reinforcement. (We aren't going to launch the spinnaker out of some crappy basket lashed to the deck.)  The hull above the water line needs to be painted too.  Oh! Almost forgot!  Could use new sheaves for the main halyard.

Resale:  I am sort of confident that I could get $1400 - $1800 (best case scenario) for this rig if I could find a sailor who appreciates the special traveler and very nice main sail. 

How big a hole:  At this point the hole in the water is about a grand.  Add the spinnaker next year, and the whole hole should be about $2000. When I was younger, I thought the happiest day was the day you get the boat.  When I got older I realized that was the second happiest day.  The happiest day is the one when you sell it.  For now no buyer's remorse.   I went into this knowing the deal with boats*—wonder how I will feel in a year?  I will keep you posted.

*Mostly boats own you more than you own them, but I do actually own a 12-foot aluminum fishing boat.  I just drag it across the parking lot when the ramp is crowded; it gets no paint, no TLC--it just takes me and my grandson fishing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Brake Lights – Wednesday, June 12, 2013 – Working on the first try.  Used red glasses to look at the wires.  Through the red lenses the green wires look black.  —color confusion sucks.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whaditcost so far – Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – I found two more receipts out in the shop today, and I am wondering what this little boat cost so far.  I don’t want to know until I go sailing.  If it is a nice day with a light breeze, I will probably think it is worth it.  I am pretty sure that it would have been better to buy a nice boat and trailer with old sails and just replace the sails.

The pile of reciepts ... so far.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Half of half of half…Monday – June 10, 2014 -- Finished a little early today, but couldn’t finish the trailer lights.  No wire.  They ordered some and it will be here tomorrow.  Another obsession thing.  I could have used four conductors side by side and messy, but I wanted one cord with four conductors inside—much neater looking, and, on the practical side, it doesn’t snag on things.

Since that was stalled I decided to finish rigging.  I figured out the outhaul on the main—never used a loose footed main before. Learned how to step the mast single-handed, and sorted out the halyards, boom vang, and mainsheet. Before that the hiking straps were installed (of course needed to make special tool to hold screws and washers in invisible position—you can’t reach in there either. Then I realized that there are no cleats for mooring lines; that’s kind of important when you have to launch it and tie up, then put the trailer in the parking lot.  Plus Curtis hasn't finished my second hull number plate, and I need to get some kind of fog horn.  So right now, I could have sailed it today, but I want to finish up the tiddly little things first.  If I get half of the tiddly remaining things done every day, I will never finish.  There will be an endless number of increasingly samller things to do.  But then Newton invented calculus because he didn’t know how to sail.  Maybe next week--certainly by the week after.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First rigging replaced -- Saturday, June 8, 2013—The trailer is done, the detachable lights are almost ready, and this evening the first piece of rigging went back in the boat.  The traveler car that caused so much fuss, what with 42 ball bearings rolling around the boat bottom, went back in easily.  It just slid off the piece of plastic, assembly track and on to the real track.—easy peesy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Recon – Thursday evening, June 6, 2013—Even though the boat isn’t in the water, wanted to observe a race and see what the competition will look like.  We took up our positions at a very nice restaurant on the water front at 6:00 pm.  Our plan was to have a drink, then an appetizer, then dinner, then dessert and maybe we could see more than one race.  Turned out we didn’t need the dessert.  The pork chop took forever; we saw two races.   

The first race starts at 1830, but by 6:15 only two sloop rigged dinghies were out.  There were about ten Lasers—but they race as a separate class.  Then an inflatable went right past our window seating with two International 420’s in tow—the kind I used to sail in college.  They hauled ass out to the committee boat, but they were about four minutes late to the start.  However, one of the 420's hit the line flying and caught up to the lead boat.  At the weather mark all four were spread out with the late starter a close second.  On the downwind leg two of the boats popped chutes.  One was the late 420 that eventually finished first. 

Observations:  The 420 with the chute will be the guy to beat.  He is fast and somehow managed the spinnaker single-handed--of course the winds were only about six knots.  Even with a late start, he finished first.  Nobody is much of a starter.  They all kind of sat on the line and sheeted in hard when it was time to go.  (Back in the day, I loved the start with all the boats in tight, trying to push the upwind guys over early, hitting the line full speed, sheets down tight, water over the rail--well, maybe with just four boats and light wind it's no big deal.)

Not so much on tactics—the leader never covered second who had a good shot at beating him.  On the final leg the second boat sailed away from the rhumb line and picked up some air that we could see even from the restaurant.  In that maneuver second picked up about 200 yards of distance and finished second by about 40 feet. Of course this is Portsmouth rules so who knows who corrected out at what time!

 We will need a chute eventually but we can have some fun the first year without it.  The C-Lark has a much bigger main than the four boats we saw last night.  Generally the South Sound winds are light on summer evenings and we should be able to gybe easily enough.  Not sure, but I suspect the C-Lark’s fastest point of sail on down wind legs will be a very broad reach.  The bottom flattens rapidly after the center board, and I think there will be too much wetted area straight downwind.  We'll see; the Clarks who built these boats were a lot smarter than I am. 
ConclusionFeeling like we will have to pay our dues, but we should be competitive eventually.  (PS the dinner was great, but too salty.)

The C-lark sails fast, has small air tanks, easy to turtle, tough to empty.

A 420.  Note the large tanks.  These boats are easy to right and drain quickly.
That particular kick-up rudder doesn't look too sturdy.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Boat Flipped – Thursday, June 6, 2013—After rubbing out the sides with some over-priced marine rubbing compound, discovered that one man could flip the boat back over to the normal position.  Even though it weighs about 400 lbs, the shape of the flat deck makes it easier than fighting the round bottom when you start with the keel on the ground.  Didn’t break my foot, but it is sore.  Finally asked the neighbors to put down their drinks and lift it on to the trailer.  As soon as some lights get set up, it will be ready to go.  Now to pull out the photos and put on the standing rigging. 
Wish I had painted the topsides because now the bottom looks better than than the hull above the water-line--oh well, maybe next spring.  It has been a long three months since the boat came home, and I am anxious to actually go sailing.