Monday, October 27, 2014

Tanzer 16 -- 70-mile open water race

Tanzer 16 -- 70-mile open water race, October 17, 2014 -- Here's an email you don't get just everyday.  Brian in South Florida is working on Tanzer #1460 built in 1980.  He casually mentions that he and his boat participated in, "...A 70 mi open water race last year but had to greatly improvise..."  Would love to more about that.  He is having the mast and boom painted.  I hope Brian will send us some pictures.  jim

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tanzer 16 --Racing small boats--good start--poor finish

Tanzer 16 --Racing small boats--good start--poor finish, October 21, 2014.  You need a good start to win, but a good start isn't enough if you don't sail your boat fast.  The committee boat provided some pictures that gave us a good look at the start and the finish.  To understand what is going on here, you need to see this diagram.  The race was held on August 28, but the conditions were exactly the same as July 17.  The starting line was laid out in a very odd way like so:

You really couldn't start on starboard tack.  The best you could hope for was to run down the line on starboard, then tack into a hole and start on port.  Port was the favored end of the line for both weather and position.  The first mark was on the port side of the line.

Dealing with the Lasers in our mixed fleet is always interesting.  If they get to the line too early, they just capsize their boat for a few seconds.  Then they right the boat, and take off like they came out of a slingshot. The sequence below is from two starts, but they were almost identical so I substituted one picture.

1.  We were barrelling down the line on starboard and could have made the C-Lark bear off.  But, we were just a tad early.  He was a little earlier.
2. We told him to hold his course and ducked behind him.  He was early and had to luff to avoid being over the line early.  The O'Day on the right was way over early and had to restart.
3.  The same thing happened the next time, but this time we tacked behind the 420 instead of the C-Lark.  Same result both times.  We got to the line about 1 second after the start going full speed.  The boats that we allowed to maintain course got to the line early.
3a. Out on the course.  We started ahead of the 420 and C-Lark both times and tried to cover their tacks. We were only successful until we reached a long windward tack.  Both of them could out point us by one or two degrees.  Both sailed a teeny bit faster.  (The C-Lark owes us a few seconds, and we owe the 420 a few more seconds on the Portsmouth Yardstick Handicapping Table.)
4.  We made up some distance on the downwind leg, but not nearly enough.  In case you can't see the sail, we are last--they were a few people behind us, but they were way behind us.  This is the part of the fleet we need to beat.

Things we learned.

  • I screwed up and didn't ease the topping lift enough.  That prevented us from flattening the main the way we should have on the upwind legs.
  • Our tacks were sharp and clean, but we need to fine tune how long we hold the jib to backwind the bow and give us that tiny extra push to the next tack.  We did bear away cleanly on the new tack with no over steering.
  • When the wind picked up to anything over 12 knots it was too difficult to use the traveler.  We need to add a block and gain a 2:1 mechanical advantage on our traveler set up. The blocks are here and we'll make that adjustment when we have the new, hinged mast step working.
  • We need to keep the boat flatter on the upwind legs by moving our weight forward, better use of the hiking stick.  We probably need to add hiking straps.  But we are a little old for that, and one of us has a plastic and steel knee.  We'll think about it!
  • We need a better pole to hold the jib out on downwind legs.  (We already got a new spinnaker pole.) 
  • We still need a new Genoa for next year.  This was a very unusual summer in Budd Inlet--good wind almost every Thursday so the regular jib was plenty of sail.  I continue to bug our sail supplier in Quebec.
Today's cliche:  It's okay to make mistakes--as long as they are new ones.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tanzer 16 Project Boat, Jon, repair to hull

Tanzer 16 Hull Repair -- Jon is ready to repair the bow -- October 9, 2014 -- Got an update from Jon in Saint Petersburg, Florida.  He has flipped his boat, and he's ready to begin repairs on the bottom of the bow section keel.  Gotta wonder how the former owner managed to maim it so.

That a lot of beaching!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast Retrofit -- Part 9 King Post Placement

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast Retrofit -- Part 9 King Post Placement -- October 3, 2014.  Reattached the hinges to the kingpost with appropriate screws -- it was time to put the kingpost into its position on the mast step. The approach was to raise and lower the trailer tongue until the keelson was level. Since I was working alone, this was a lot of in and out of the boat--move the block under the tongue--get back in the boat--check level--adjust the tongue again...back in the boat check the level--you get the picture.  It took about 12 cycles, but finally the boat was level.

Reminder--you are seeing this as I build it.  I haven't finished yet.  There will undoubtedly be mistakes made along the way.

This is the level used to determine the horizontal level of the keelson an
plumb of the king post.  In this picture, the plug has been attached to the
mast step top plate.  See the outline drawn on wood.  Counter sunk 
1/4 SS machine screws with lock nuts held it tight. 

Once the keelson was level in the horizontal plane, I adjusted the placement of the kingpost (using the level) until it was vertical.  That's as close as I can get without the boat in the water.  That position was marked on the mast step plate by tracing around the kingpost.  The plug was bolted into position.  The plate was reinstalled and the kingpost was installed.  There was enough room to put two #10 SS 3/4 sheet metal screws through the kingpost and into the plug.

King post in final position, mast step plate reinstalled.
This is more rigid than the mast ever was when it was
just rattling around in its slot.

This is as close as the kingpost can be located until the boat is in the water and correctly loaded.

Next steps:  Add two fairleads to the deck and rig the new mast with standing rigging, halyards and topping lift.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast Retrofit --Part 8 Mast Cutting Day -- October 2, 2014.

Tanzer 16 Hinged Mast Retrofit --Part 8 Mast Cutting Day -- October 2, 2014.  Today is finally the day that both of us are available to take a hack saw to the 24 feet of mast.  We'll remove a couple of feet from the bottom; that will be the king post.

Reminder--you are seeing this as I build it.  I haven't finished yet.  There will undoubtedly be mistakes made along the way.

First order of business--build a miter box for this job.  Some scrap 3/4 plywood fashioned into a box should do the job.  I made it just big enough to hold the mast tight if you roll it over and lock it in with clamps.  It's about 24 inches long.  (Just finished a cabinet job so oak scraps are abundant.)

Of course a jig was needed to make the jig.  Blocks were clamped around
the jig to make sure that the hack saw stayed on the line as we cut
through the walls of the miter box.

Then we needed a way to hold the mast flat; I don't have a 24-foot long work bench.  But, I do have a table saw that is the same height as the work bench--35 1/2 inches.  (Actually the table saw is 1/8" taller than the work bench so the bench can be an outfeed platform for the saw.)  My router table is a little taller than the table saw, and we added this little platform to 2 saw horses.  Between the four supports, we will have 24 feet of support for the mast.  Of course we will need to open the shop door so the mast can stick outside.

With enough scraps, a few nails, some patience, plenty of clamps, and
some patience you can rig up almost anything.

Next question -- how long to make the king post?  I ran a string from the transom over the snubbing winch. If the king post were 24 inches tall, the  mast could lay on the transom and still clear the winch.  Then I added an inch in case we want to take out the hefty new mast step and go back to the original.  So--25 inches and another 1/2--just for safety.  This looks kind of like the spacing on the old Tanzer's that had hinged masts.

Old photo that I found scouring ads for the comps page.

Cutting begins at 3:30.  Hope it is a boring routine procedure.  I will finish this post tomorrow.

Success! Before Tony arrived, I made a last minute adjustment to the miter box.  The blade was not quite perpendicular on the back side so I cut the slot bigger and added a new pieces--like so:

After a beer and a little pre-planning we got down to business.  The mast was adequately supported by the four tables, and we clamped the miter box in position.  After quadruple checking, we decided to make the cut 25 1/2 inches from the bottom of the mast.  Put a new blade in the hacksaw--easy cutting.

Because we had spent so much time on preparing for this step, the actual
cutting was kind of anti-climatic.

In this picture you can see four clamps holding the mast.  We used six--
and that was barely enough.  The mast has to be locked down tight, and
the miter box even tighter.

Then we attached the hinges with stainless steel screws into the plugs.  I will need to go back today or tomorrow and change the screws to 3/4-inch # 10's, but #8's worked for the moment.  The 1" length screws bottomed out on the forward bolts.

We were a little pressed for time, but couldn't resist seeing if all the work had paid off.  The new king post dropped into place perfectly.  It is  much more sturdy than the original set-up.

The debris at the bottom are styro beads that fell out
everywhere.  We caught what we could in a coffee can.

Next step:  Final placement on the mast step so the king post is perpendicular to the keelson.

Today's Cliche:  Prior planning prevents piss poor performance--mostly--a little luck couldn't hurt.