Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast -- Part 1 --extra mast & finding the hinge

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast Retrofit -- Part 1 -- extra mast & finding the hinge  -- September 1, 2014  My first step was to find an extra mast for my boat.  If I wanted to take a hacksaw to a mast that is no longer being made, I felt I should start with an extra mast.  If I get this right, and document it properly, maybe others can approach this job with enough confidence to skip the "get a spare mast" step.

A new mast would cost about $400.  Since the companies I located were on the East Coast, and I am in Olympia, WA, shipping was going to be a problem.  Turns out that if they can drop it off at a recognized commercial address, in my case a friendly local lumber yard, the shipping costs drop down to about $250--of course that doesn't include the cost of any  fittings that you will be robbing from your old mast.

But!  I got lucky. A fellow down in Vancouver, Washington had put a Ranger 16 mast on his Tanzer, and we struck a deal for his old mast--200 bucks, and I drive down and pick it up.  Bonus--it had a complete set of fittings on the mast.  He threw in the old shrouds for another 25 dollars.  Thank you Ralph--see post June 23, 2014.

Ralph is the guy who did the total refurb on his Tanzer--like new boat and
trailer, with full cover, and nice sails.  He was only asking 4 thou--bargain.  
I would have bought it if I weren't already emotionally invested in my own.

The next task is to find a hinge.  O'Day was the answer.  They are still making their boat, current count 10,000 units, and they still make parts.  The hinge came from D & R Marine ( cost: About 51 bucks plus shipping.

This is the small hinge--they make a larger one, but this seems appropriate.

Next part:  Getting some plugs to attach the mast to the hinge.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tanzer 16 a respectable last place - that mast must go!

Tanzer 16 a respectable last place - that mast must go!  -- August 30, 2014 -- Thursday was the last race of the season, and only our second time racing this year-broke my arm in May the night of the first race.  We were last, but it was a respectable last--the committee folks weren't drumming their fingers waiting for us to finish. Participation was light so we were up against the best sailors who had something gain--no low fruit to pick*.  We got very respectable starts on a skewed starting line--nobody could start on starboard tack and those that tried had to jibe behind the fleet or endure penalty turns for tacking in front of and touching other boats. (*Actually we beat a couple of boats but we didn't do the last of the three races; it was getting dark, and the boat had to go back on the trailer.)

We were just starting to bear off--we missed the C-Lark by about an inch.  
More room than I wanted to give him, but we were early on the line so 
we needed to kill a few seconds.  He had to luff to not cross early, and we
started dead even on port tack.  We were going faster at that moment.
He was about 60 -90 seconds ahead of us at the windward mark.

That is the value of racing; we were up against the best of our little fleet--we didn't make any mistakes.  We now know for sure that our boat is just a little slower than the others and points a little lower than the others, probably two or three degrees.  The new main has helped a lot, but there is more to do.  We never could get the main quite flat enough or get the boom all the way up to the center line on windward legs--the wind was about seven knots.  In our races that all added up to more than 90 seconds on the first windward mark.  We gained on the downwind legs but not enough.  Bright spot, our tacking and jibing have smoothed out so we don't lose time there. (And, we don't look like clowns.)

I have already stripped the boat and started working on next year's improvements.  It's early.  We could sail for two more months.  But, I am sick/tired/frustrated about the Tanzer 16 mast.  The Tanzer is a wonderful boat--but I hate that mast.  It is tall; it is heavy; and the base attachment to the keelson is impossible.   The portable hinge makes it tolerable--but just barely tolerable. The mast must go!

This is the new (used) mast.  The bottom fitting for the keelson has been
removedso that we could machine plugs.  They will attach the mast to the
two parts of the hinge--after we cut the mast.  In subsequent posts, you will
see step-by-step how the project unfolds. 

This is going to get fixed.  There is no sense starting and ending every sail with the dreadful task of dealing with that mast.  It is going to become a hinged mast like the early Tanzers and the Overnighters.  The parts are made and a spare mast is hanging in the storage area.  The most difficult part was machining the plugs that will attach the mast to the hinge.  A friend made them on his Shop Bot (plotter with a router).  The second most difficult part was an extra mast.  We found one down in Vancouver, Washington. (If you have to buy a new mast, a blank--no fittings is about $400 plus $200 or $300 shipping.)

I will explain the mast modification as the project proceeds.  I know this isn't just my issue.  Raising the mast and the cost of boats are the two most popular parts of this blog.  Lots of us must have trouble with this 31-pound, 24 foot piece of metal.  Wish me luck!

The to do list:
1) add hinged mast for easy raising with a gin pole
2) move halyards to centerboard cap; add cam cleats and a winch so it is easy to raise, lower, and adjust halyard tension underway
3) add additional blocks to traveler to gain 2:1 mechanical advantage so it will be easier to adjust traveler in brisk wind
4) add spinnaker pole
5) get new Genoa
6) paint deck, including filling holes left by previous owners
7) add new rub rail
8) do a little cosmetic repair to hull in bow area--somebody bashed a lot of docks
9) clean up trailer, paint, and new bunks
10) install cunningham with 2:1 mechanical advantage
11) refill the hardware box with shackle pins, rings, and cotter pins (lots of borrowing by others has depleted the spares)

That's a lot of stuff--but this boat is worth the trouble.  It is simple, roomy, easy to sail and very well- mannered.  Great design--crappy mast.

Today's Cliche:  Problems are just undiscovered opportunities.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Travelers for Tanzer 16's

Tanzer 16 Racing -- Travelers for Tanzer 16's -- August 17, 2014 -- Got an email from Ethan in Rhode Island.  He saved his money and convinced his dad to let him buy a Tanzer 16.  He wanted to know if he could improve on the rigid metal traveler on his boat.  It looks like this, and like all Tanzer things, it is simple and it works pretty well.

Simple but effective -- one of the nice things about Tanzer 16's.  Notice the 
nifty line to retract the rudder.  This photo is from the link "How to
make a rudder..."

But it could work better.  This arrangement won't allow you to loosen up the main sheet and still move the boom to windward.  The original plans show two different options.

Notice this drawing does not show how high the metal would have to be
to allow for rudder clearance.  I have never seen this arrangement.

Better, but they still had another option.

We had pictures of this arrangement when we viewed Ralph's boat in
July, 2014.

The class association manual shows what they call the Howe Traveler.  It looks like this.

I can see how this would allow you to flatten the main, but it doesn't look
like you can move the boom to windward.  I must admit that I have never
actually seen this particular arrangement in person or in a photo.

My boat had this traveler installed by Ron who sold the boat to me. I get a lot of control from this arrangement, but it is really difficult to adjust when there 10 or more knots of wind.  It really needs some form of mechanical advantage.  Maybe this winter we will add some two-part blocks.

This allows a lot of control and adjustment.  You can flatten the sail or
loosen it up, and you can control the boom position.

Truth be told--when we have to sail up to the launch dock on a super tight beat (a frequent occurrence in the evening when the wind comes out of the NW)  I just grab the boom and pull it to windward with my hand.

(Still waiting for parts to make my hinged mast--another winter project it would seem.)

Today's Cliche: The chances for failure increase exponentially as the number of people or parts involved increases  (one guy with a rock is far more reliable than a committee with a computer).