Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tanzer 16 New Sails

Tanzer 16 New Sails -- June 14, 2014 -- It was subtle, and we would have realized sooner if we raced head-to-head with other Tanzers.  Almost every boat on the race course could out point us; even with a steady wind we would need two extra tacks to reach the weather mark.  At first I thought it was sail trim and poor helmsmanship (mine).  Added tell tales so we could trim better.  With the main and Genoa laid out on a work bench, I realized that our sails were thinner than well used handkerchiefs, and they folded way too easily.

That was when I realized they were probably the original sails--May of 1976--and just plain old worn out.  Also read an article on sail trim that noted, "All else equal, newer sails win."  Tanzer class association must think so too.  They say, "New sails may not be purchased more than once every two years unless specifically authorized by the Chief Measurer in writing, and then only for the reason that the sail to be replaced has been destroyed or rendered unusable."

Contacted Tanzer Boat Parts*; they went to their friend Benoit (Ben) and had two beautiful sails made for #1306, a main and a jib.  A Genoa is on order.  When everything is done, the sails will cost more than the boat and trailer--but still quite reasonable.  The workmanship and detailing are meticulous.  Frankly, they should be charging a bit more.  Of course the cloth feels like sheet metal compared to the old sails, and you have to think that sail cloth has probably improved a lot in the last 40 years.  

We did opt for slugs on the luff of the main--prohibited by class rules.  We race in a mixed Portsmouth fleet so the boat doesn't have to measure, and the slugs (and topping lift) make it way easier to get the main up quickly and clear the launch ramp dock for others.

Can't wait to get these sails in a race and see how we do; I 'll let you know.  (Of course they look so nice, we will probably have to paint next--there's just no end to it--then the trailer will look crappy.

*See Links

The workmanship is beautiful--thanks Ben.

Today's Cliche:  Excessive profits breed ruinous competition--unless you're big pharma, investment banking, or the cable company.

1 comment:

  1. I love new sails! The look and feel of a new sail, with its crisp and clean cloth, and even the smell...they have a wonderful, sail loft, slightly chemical, type of smell.. it all gives me a really good feeling when I look at one up close and put my hands on it, and smell it, I just love it; an almost sensual feeling. Even the bags look good with their bright color and new cloth. When I put a new sail bag, with a new sail in it, on deck it just makes the boat look better. And it makes me feel better.

    Then, when I see, as I do in your photos, the great detailing and know that a true craftsman has built it with care...

    Well, I guess you know I approve of this.

    Next, wait until you see how the boat sails.