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