Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Some time off -- Banderas Bay

Tanzer 16 -- Some time off -- Banderas Bay --  November 24, 2015  --  Taking a few weeks off for Sunshine Therapy in Mexico to inoculate ourselves for the gloomy winter ahead.  (Plus we missed a few storms at home.)  Fred and Judy invited me out for a sail in their Serendipity 43, Wings.  They have raced their boat all over the world and circumnavigated during a 15-year cruise.  Great people. Great boat. Great time.
In three ways, their boat is a lot like a Tanzer 16. It has a pointy end.  It has sails that are
roughly triangular in shape.  The wind makes is go.

Fred has an incredibly interesting blog at Wingssail.blogspot.com.

Fourth thing.  It has a tiller instead of a wheel.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- seat patch finished

Tanzer 16  seat patch finished -- November 5, 2015  -- To finish off the patch, one layer of cloth was added on top the mat.  Then sanded the last layer of build-up back so it faired in with the seat surface.  Now for a couple of coats of heavy primer, and it will be ready to paint. Started filling the holes and dings.  After 40 years, it will take quite a bit of fussing to complete before painting.  While the resin was mixed we also filled in a few factory "owies" in the gelcoat.



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- seat repair continues

Taner 16 -- seat repair continues  -- November 3, 2015  --  At this point the patch is secure from below.  A number of small pieces of cloth were laid in to make the patch level--it had some low spots.  A layer of mat was applied.  When it was sanded out, the patch was stronger than the surrounding area, but it was still too low.

So a piece of mat was torn (as the U-Tube video suggests).

Then the mat was laid into the center of the patch to bring it up to grade.

We'll give that a day to set up.  Then we'll sand it out and see if we need a layer of woven cloth or some resin with micro fiber to bring it up to final height.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tanzer 16 --Buy, Sell, Trade, Substitute

Tanzer 16 --Buy, Sell, Trade, Substitute -- November 2, 2015 -- It's not easy to find parts for 40-year-old boat.  Especially since some of them were custom made for the Tanzer.  For some reason I have developed kind of a mild* personal obsession with keeping these special, old boats in the water.

Kind of thinking that it might be helpful to add a page to the blog where people could list items they would like to buy or sell--or trade.  And maybe we could list tips on things that can substitute.  (Such as the hinges from the O'Day Day Sailor for a hinge.)  I was thinking maybe we could find somebody to cast the plugs for hinged mast conversion--or I could make them out of oak.  

I would never advocate scrapping a hull that could be saved, but when it can't be saved, such a page could be a forum to list parts, sails, etc.  (Heck I even know where you can find a free hull that's sound.)

If you think this is a good idea, let me know at jslosson@aol.com.  Thanks for following this blog.  If you would like to send a picture of you and your boat, sail number, and a little narrative, I would love to post it for others to see.


* My wife would argue with the mild characterization, but she has never known any really hard-core sailors.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Boom tent on #1460

Tanzer 16 -- Boom tent on #1460  -- Brian Mrachek adds a boom tent, October 31, 2015  -- Received the following email and pictures from Brian.  He is the Floridian who did such a nice job on his boat's refurb. That refurb is shown in the pages section.  Brian is also the guy to likes to take his Tanzer out on 70-mile open water races.  Too bad he doesn't like to race short -course, with a roller furling jib and spinnaker launching tube, he would be pretty competitive.

Good luck on the boat.  I reinforced my centerboard truck. I probably added a little too much weight but I am not racing around the buoys like you guys.
My boat is now a true Gunkholer.  The boom tent is completed and we made cushions that can act as a bed.  Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to race this year.  We are expecting our second grandchild and its due the same time.  My wife is using her "Veto" powers.
I am thinking on doing the Florida 120. It would be good practice.  Its not a race but just a cruise with like minds.  I can also use the kicker and save a little rowing.
Anyways, I thought I would forward a couple pics. 
I really enjoy the blog.  Please keep it up!

Notice Brian's trailer is pretty sweet too.

Practically the Hilton.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- change of watch #699

Tanzer 16 -- change of watch #699  --October 30, 2015-- Received the following email from Joe McIntosh.  I asked him for information about his new boat.


I'm in Fairhope, Al. I bought the boat, hull 699, from Gregg Warren in Commerce Ga. He raced the boat in 2008 and won 5th place in a national race. After that he apparently put the boat away. Its in good condition and I should be able to sail it after a little work ( like getting the mast up - it does not have a hinged mount). It is not an overnighter. It was made in 1973. Attached is a pic.

Regards, Joe.

I paid particular attention to the motor mount since I am thinking of changing
to the same type.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tanzer 16 seat repair continues --making the patch

Tanzer 16 seat repair continues --making the patch  -- October 29, 2015  With the bad material removed, it's time to start putting the seat back together.  The first item was to glue some of the detached small blocks back into the bottom of the seat where it meets the vertical wall of the seat.

The small blocks that fell out were slathered up with a
thickened mixture of resin and clamped to the underside
of the seat.  When the glue set up, the seat was already

A piece of thin, 1/8-inch plywood was cut--4 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the the hole.  It needed to be thin so it could be drawn up to the hole by shop-built clamps.

Two layers of cloth were laminated to the plywood.  One was cut straight, the other was cut on the bias--which probably didn't make any difference, but it couldn't hurt.  After the epoxy resin set up, some 1/4-inch bolts were inserted and tightened up.  These will hold the clamps.

Thickened epoxy was added to the edges of the patch.  After inserting it into the hole, the plywood strips went on the bolts.  They were tightened up and the patch was pulled up tight against the bottom of the seat.  With the clamps removed the patch was quite secure.

The bolts dropped down into the seat where they will
probably rust  Wish I used stainless.

Small blocks of plywood went on top of the patch held in place by thickened epoxy.  The level of the patch is now below the finished level or the seat.  This will leave room for the matt glass top of the patch to bring the whole think back up the level of the top.

Since the boat is still out in the "Covered Bridge" it needed a little heat to help the epoxy set up.  A small space heater set on low worked nicely.  The cardboard is just to contain the heat.

Next:  Building up the top with matt.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tanzer 16 Seat Repair -- a bad idea poorly executed

Tanzer 16 Seat Repair  -- a bad idea poorly executed -- October 24, 2015.  Back in the spring of this year an fiber optic camera revealed the cause of sound and excessive oil-can movement in the seat.  It had a crack.  It seemed like someone must have dropped something heavy and hard in that spot--but actually it was the combination of a less-than-swell design that was executed badly.  Maybe the workers had smoked a lot of weed at lunch--it was after all Arlington Washington in the 70's.  But this crack started back at the plant with the construction of seats.

They built the seats and forward air chamber  as one piece.  The mold was laying top down.  They sprayed on gelcoat.  Then they put in a layer of chopper glass--a thin layer--a thin layer without enough resin to thoroughly wet the surface.  Then they laid a number of small blocks of plywood on top of the wet resin.  The resin was supposed to be the glue that held the small blocks in place.  Then they put more chopper glass on the backs of the small blocks.  You can see all this when you cut out a section of the seat.

An oscillating saw cut a small hole in the seat.  As the damage revealed
 itself, the hole was enlarged to remove all the cracked pieces.  The builders
dumped in a load of small foam blocks for flotation.

With section of seat removed, you can clearly see the construction details and why it failed.  Mickey mouse as it was, this design would have worked if the builders used enough glass and enough resin between the gel coat and plywood blocks.

Here you see the three blocks that were never glued to the
top layer of chopper gun.  At the first stress they just let
go and pulled the surrounding blocks with them.

The total damage was about twice as big as the hole in the seat.  

The small blocks were probably used so that the plywood reinforcing material would conform to the curve of the seat without  a lot of fussy fabrication.  Nowadays it would probably be laid up with some fancy foam for reinforcing.  If they had built the seats for strength, they probably would have skipped the plywood and hand laid-up two layers of roving on top of the first layer of gelcoat and chopper glass. But that would have added substantial cost and weight to the boat.  Goodness knows the boat is heavy enough already.  At the very least they should have staggered the placement of the blocks so the seams didn't line up so neatly.

Next--putting it back together.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- New Tiller (the second one)

Tanzer 16 -- New Tiller (the second one)  --  October 22, 2015  --  The boat came to us 2 1/2 years ago with a cracked tiller, and I made a new one that was pretty much an exact copy of the old, cracked piece of teak.  That design left something to be desired.  It rubbed on the after deck, and it was difficult to attach a hiking stick.  So instead of sticking to the hull repair and painting like I should have, a new tiller came out of the shop.  It pretty much matches the original design  in the Tanzer plans, but it's three inches longer--hopefully forcing me to put more of my weight forward on upwind legs.

Luckily our local Home Depot now carries mahogany.  After spending weeks looking through the Habitat Restore, no mahogany came in so I plunked down fifty bucks for a board.

Started with an oversize template on cardboard and cut
the matching pieces out with a band saw.

Then they were glued back to back so the slight warp
would cancel itself out.  Once they were glued with 10
clamps I used the table saw jointer, hand plane etc to
achieve a taper and fit into the rudder socket.

Old and new side-by-side.  Now for some sanding and
marine varnish.

I have cut out the broken part of the seat.  In the next post we will look at the construction details and the manufacturing screw-up that led to the seat crack.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tanzer 16 Painting -- the rubrail arrives

Tanzer 16 Painting -- the rubrail arrives  --  October 17, 2015 --  You can buy rubrail on-line direct from Taco.  Or you can buy it at your local West Marine dealer for about the same price.  The advantage with West Marine is that they don't charge for shipping--on line shipping costs money. A lot of money for such a skinny piece of aluminum.  If you want the trim un-cut, in 12-foot sections instead of eight-foot, they charge an extra $150.  Even with UPS-friendly eight-foot sections, the shipping is a significant cost.

It only comes in 12-foot sections.  You will need four of them.

West Marine sent my 12-foot trim in a 22-foot box.  Thankfully I have a truck and some bungee cords--and a little bit of rope--and a short, low speed ride home.  After all, you wouldn't want to bend your $290 dollars worth of trim.  I think that does not include the screws; you will need about 90 of them. (Once I asked Brian Mrachek, T #1460* in Florida what his total refurb cost.  He said he didn't keep track, and he didn't want to know.  If he didn't know how much he spent, his wife would not know either!)

It is a long, skinny, floppy package.

Still working on the seat--more later.  *See Brian's total refurb in the pages section.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tanzer 16 Painting -- Centerboard removed

Tanzer 16 Painting -- Centerboard removed -- October 10, 2014  It doesn't seem all that big when you are looking at the plans.  They say the centerboard is 48 inches long.

But when you pull it out, it looks like a pretty serious piece of aluminum.

This board won't need a lot of work.  There is a collection of dings on the leading edge.  Some came from the trailer, others, near the bottom, tell me I'm not the first guy to ground it.  Mostly it needs a bit of time with a file and some polishing to remove some signs of a few barnacles that have been removed.  Apparently the boat spent some time stored in the water-- but nothing like my C-Lark that was covered with barnacles.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tanzer 16--Painting--hardware removed

Tanzer 16--Painting -- hardware removed -- October 12, 2015 -- Before painting, all the hardware has to come off the boat.  Mostly one limber person can do this by themselves, but it takes a helper to reach the fittings deep in the corners.  Tony came by Saturday to help with the spinnaker sheet turning blocks and other little pieces in the far aft corners.  He turned the screws from top side while I crawled into the lazarette with a flashlight and collection of small wrenches.  All that's left to come out is the centerboard. We won't be messing with the chain plates or the stemhead fitting.

It shouldn't be surprising--but it is.  Once you remove the thwart and centerboard cap, you are left with really fragile centerboard trunk.  If we were doing this again, I would leave it till last.  It's been kind of fun to see how the boat was put together.  The hull was laid up.  Then they glassed in the seats and forward air tank.  The deck was attached with pop rivets.  The builders made extensive use of mahogany plywood between layers of glass.  Nowadays I suppose they would use some kind of Airex foam.  My only complaint is that the seats flex a bit too much, and our starboard seat is cracked inside so we will have figure out a repair before we can proceed with painting.

The top of the centerboard trunk is one thin sheet of chopper glass.  Don't
lean on it.

The boat looks a lot bigger with all the deck fittings removed.  Maybe more so on this boat! Because of the gin pole mast raising system, a few extra mooring cleats, and a lot of spinnaker fittings, the deck sprouted like mushrooms on a spring lawn.  To keep track of all that stuff we made pictures of the deck and cockpit.  The fittings went in plastic bags with numbers keyed to the pictures.

You could probably figure out where everything went without the little "map"
but this should make it easier.  

Since we had to take everything out anyway, we are doing a few improvements to deck brace for the king post--rounding the edges, painting, adding nylon sleeves to the holes for halyards.

The whole gin pole mast raising system has worked really well.  Now when
the crew gets to the marina, the mast is up, the boat is rigged and ready to go
into the water.  The next morning, I take the mast down by myself.  It takes
about 45 minutes, but it is easy and the mast is never out of control for even
a second.  Running the halyards down through the deck and back to the
centerboard has made it easy to single hand.

Next steps:  Remove the centerboard, take off the stickers, and start the deck and hull repair. Probably time to start thinking about colors.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Getting started on repainting -- king post

Tanzer 16 -- Getting started on repainting -- king post  -- September 23, 2015  --  Right after our last race at the end of August, we pulled the boat and began stripping off the hardware.  The plan is to repaint this winter.  A couple of days ago I pulled out the king post (see page:  Gin Pole Mast Raising System.)  For 40+ years people have been drilling holes in the bottom of the mast, and it was getting pretty beat up.  So--just for grins--I decided to fix it up and paint it.  It would have worked just fine, but didn't look so fine.

The holes are for the boom vang and centerboard lanyard.  The penciled circles
show where the new holes will go.

Filled the old holes with JB weld in the putty stick.  Then sanded everything
with 60 grit, then 120.

Then added four coats of Rustoleum Hammerite.  Looks
pretty good.  Too bad most people will never see it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tanzer 16 Racing with a spinnaker--cost/benefit in minutes

Tanzer 16 Racing with a spinnaker--cost/benefit in minutes  --  August 28, 2015 -- Final downwind leg of the final race of the final evening of Thursday night racing for this summer.  "What the hell, let's pop the chute!"  It was only the second time we have ever used that sail.  But we had nothing to lose.  We were going to beat a few boats, lose to more, and we were looking for a nice ride home.

As we passed the committee boat, we had the sail up and flying.  It took
another minute or so before we realized the sheet was still in the guy hook.
It took almost the entire downwind leg to get the chute up and the Genoa in.
Read on.

We got our wish; it was the fastest, funnest ride we ever had into the launching area.  But we also learned that the particular racing situation in Budd Inlet means we won't be using the chute very often.  It has to do with the length of the races.

We race every other Thursday night.  The first race starts at 1830, and they try to finish the last race by 2030.  We begin racing the first week in May and end the last week in August.  We like to do three races a night and sometimes the winds are light--thus we have short courses.  Most races last about 20 - 30 minutes -- so two maybe two and a half miles for each course--or lots less distance if the winds are really light.  That means in a 24-minute race with two downwind legs you are only sailing downwind for about 8-10 minutes. Worse--it's divided into two 4 or 5-minute segments.  Look at this picture.

Don't get me wrong.  If we had long downwind legs to use the spinnaker, we could eat up the Lidos, Coronado 15's, and 420's in our fleet.  But short downwind legs kill you!  Here's what has to happen.

You round the weather mark,  You have to set the spinnaker pole and topping lift.  We generally ignore the down haul.  You have to get the sheets on the spinnaker.  The helmsman has to hoist the spinnaker while steering with his knees and in our case tending one or both of the spinnaker sheets. The crew has to work foot of the spinnaker around the forestay to the correct side.  By now more than a minute has passed no matter how good you are (and we aren't that good yet).  Then you need to drop the Genoa and secure it to the deck.  Raise the centerboard, and now finally you can adjust the trim of the spinnaker.  In a five-minute run you will be passing the committee boat about the time everything is dialed in.

Then it will be time to head upwind again.  No way could you bring in the spinnaker and reset the Genoa quickly enough to briskly round the committee boat and start your beat to the weather mark. The benefit in minutes is nowhere worth the cost in minutes--plus by trying to do too much too quickly you will lose your Zen and you'll screw up all the fine steering and trimming needed for the upwind leg.

So--it's sad, but for us in our races the spinnaker is a great sail to have for long downwind sailing--like a day sail, but not so helpful for racing.  Of course  if it is a true drifter and nobody is moving and it looks like it could take 10 - 20 minutes to complete the downwind leg--then the cost benefit ratio changes dramatically.  We'll see next year!  Further note--the cost benefit analysis means that there is really no point in fabricating and installing a spinnaker launching tube in the fore deck.  For our purposes a bucket is fine.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- crunched your hull -- no problem -- free boat

Tanzer 16 -- crunched your hull -- no problem -- free boat -- well nearly free -- August 21, 2015
Eric the other Tanzer guy in Olympia, Washington has a deal.  He has a good hull that he has stripped for his current boat.  But the hull is in good shape.  Neither Eric nor I want to see this hull cut up and taken to the dump.  I also don't want it to become some kind of lawn planter.  So all you have to do is convince him that you are going to put the boat back into service and he will sell it to you.

If your racing got too competitive, and the hull got crunched, this could be a good opportunity to start over.  To be honest it would not be practical to gather up all the parts needed to start from scratch make this boat whole again.  But if your hull is beyond repair, this could be a good deal.

Plus you would be doing me a good turn--I so can't let this boat go to the dump that I told Eric I would put it in my backyard until somebody needs it.

If you could make this work, email me and I will put you in touch with Eric.  He is asking $25 but I bet that's negotiable.  The trailer is not included, but delivery could probably be negotiated as well.  jim

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- There's always one more thing -- you have to lower the centerboard

Tanzer 16  --  There's always one more thing  --  you have to lower the centerboard -- A couple of weeks ago I wrote that we needed to find 43 seconds if we wanted to be in contention.  I am happy to report that we found about 30 of those seconds.  That means we finished 4th out of five boats* during a three-race evening.  But it was a tight 4th--except for one race, and it wasn't our kind of weather.  With just three knots of breeze (often less)  The Coronado 15 and the Lazers had it all their way.  We did pretty well--except in race two--We just couldn't seem to get up to the line.  Finally one of the committee guys yelled at us, "Hey do you guys have your centerboard down"--OOH REDFACE.  That boat just sails so darn much better when you remember to drop the board.

Yes, that is us on the left.  A rare moment.  First across the line, and we are
on starboard tack.  Knowing that it takes about 30 seconds to tack has really
helped our starts.

*At the beginning of the season we routinely had 15- 20 boats out to race. I suspect that turn-out is so low because it is pretty well settled who will be winning the whole summer series and so most of the other sailors are staying home or going on vacation. We are left racing against some pretty good sailors.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Need ideas to turn boat over -- updated two times

Tanzer 16 -- Need ideas to turn boat over--updated  twice -- August 8, 2015 -- Come September it will be time to paint the boat.  I need your help.  What is the best way to turn over a 400-pound boat?

I know that Ralph Krause down in Vancouver, WA and Brian Mrachek in Florida have done this. Unfortunately recent computer problems wiped out my address book.

I would appreciate your ideas, and Brian or Ralph, if you see this, please send me an email.  If anyone has done this and kept some pictures, it would make a nice post.

Thanks for your help.



Brian from Boca Raton, FL responded the same day with a good idea.

"I used two engine hoists.  One had a line hooked to the bow ring and the other hooked to an eyebolt that I screwed into the drain hole.  That way you could rotate the boat while painting.  Just be careful not to turn it so much that the eyebolt unscrews from the drain hole."

Thanks so much Brian.  I don't have access to engine hoists, but I do have dimensional lumber and plywood.  Along with a lot of rope and pulleys.  I am sure that I can rig something up that will work.

Here is a picture from the Complete Refurb page that features Brian's boat.
With his explanation, it becomes quite clear how he did it.

From Martin Robitalle came this idea:  "Two friends is all I needed to turn it over.  Be careful on the side that is touching the ground; I used an old pillow to protect the aluminum band circling the boat..."  (Editor's note.  I did this with my C Lark and you also need to be careful to protect the chain plate.  I used two 4x4's on the ground.)

Thanks Brian this will work too.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tanzer 16 Locked in irons at the weather mark

Tanzer 16 Locked in irons at the weather mark  --  August 4, 2015 --  I have pointed out several times that it can be difficult to turn the Tanzer 16 in light air.  I believe the Tanzer is a great boat and ideal for the two of us to race.  But it is important to know that the boat is difficult to turn in light air so that you can work around the problem.

The other day we were racing in light air, and IT happened to the other Tanzer just as IT has happened to us a few times. IT equals the boat got locked in irons.  Of course it happened to Eric just as it has happened to me right at the weather mark.  Not much feels worse that sitting there unable to move while the rest of the fleet just sails on to the next mark.

IT seems to happen when you don't have enough headway to complete a turn--even if you hold the jib on the lee side of the boat until the bow has passed head-wind.

I know the skipper of the other Tanzer.  He has a lot of experience sailing, and
he agrees that the Tanzer can be tough to turn.  We both used to own San
Juan 21's and felt that the Tanzer was almost as difficult to tack in very light
air--maybe more difficult than the SJ.

There isn't much more frustrating than just sitting there while the rest of the fleet moves on.  So here is my personal list of ways to avoid this situation. (It is a short list--it only has one item--so maybe it isn't a list.)  I am still pretty green at sailing the Tanzer so I offer it with the caveat that it may be worth what you paid for it.

Don't try to tack if you aren't moving fast enough.  That seems simplistic and even counter intuitive. But if you know the boat won't turn, don't try to turn it.  It you have to, sail well past the mark; then gibe.  In very light air the boat will often keep moving down wind through the turn.  This may not make your crew happy, and the rest of the fleet will wonder what in the heck you are doing. It does look very odd, but it works better than sitting there unable to move.

If you see a puff coming, stay on the same tack until it arrives.  I know it seems silly to keep sailing past the mark when you are barely moving anyway.  But again:   if you know the boat won't turn, don't try to turn it.

After you have been locked in irons a time or four this will seem like better advice.

Until then --what to do when you are stuck in irons.  The only thing that seems to work for us is use a boat hook and push the jib out as far as you can and hope that it will turn the boat one way or another. Then all your efforts should be focused --not on the race--but simply getting the boat moving again. Then you can rejoin the race, or just head back to the committee boat with your spinnaker tucked between your legs.

Sometimes you will get lucky, and the wind will fill in from the weather end of the course first.  Then maybe you can catch up with the fleet.  Sometimes they will get the wind first, and you will have a long, lonely ride back to the committee boat.  That will provide plenty of time to contemplate an important principle:   If you know the boat won't turn, don't try to turn it.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tanzer 16 finding 43 seconds--racing in a mixed fleet

Tanzer 16 finding 43 seconds--racing in a mixed fleet -- July 30, 2015 --  On a Thursday evening usually have three and sometimes four races between 1830 and 2030.  Kevin never misses a race, and Kevin makes dinghy racing look easy in his Harpoon 5.2.  He regularly finishes every race in the top three.  He drinks a beer and smokes a cigarette while tends his spinnaker.  He often single hands.  He is pretty darn good.  I include this description of Kevin because the other day he beat us by 43 seconds in a 30 minute race.

The competition:  A Harpoon 5.2.  There are two of  these
in our fleet both are sailed well.

Tony and I have continued to improve our racing skills. The last few races we did not finish last in any single race, and the fleet was pretty tight.   But we need to find another 43 seconds of improvement if we want to be in the top third of the fleet—that’s doable.  We need to clean up some things that cost us seconds and we need a strategy that fits our boat.

The competition:  There are two Lidos--very nimble boats  especially in
light air.  A Harpoon is on the right.

Tacking time.  Depending on the wind, Kevin can tack his boat in 7 -10 seconds less time than we can tack the Tanzer.  If we can eliminate two tacks upwind, we gain 14-20 seconds of the 43 we need.  This is manageable.  We need to be mindful of the wind patterns and try to hold tacks longer.  We need to try and avoid tacking duels; we can’t win those—especially against the lighter boats like the Cornnados and Lidos.
For our boat it is better to overstand the windward mark than to risk the time it would take to short tack twice at the mark.

Sail Choice.  In winds above seven knots we need to use the small jib instead of the Genoa.  The Tanzer carries a lot of sail for 16-foot boat.  When the wind reaches 10 or 12 knots with the Genoa up,  we spend too much time spilling air just to keep the boat upright. (We are too old to hike harder—steel pins in ankles and rebuilt knees.)  We have gotten pretty adept at pumping to point a bit higher as the gusts ease, but it still costs us time and energy.  Better sail choices could give us 10 – 20 seconds in some races.

The competition:  We race pretty even with the O'Day Daysailer.  We owe
them a few seconds.

In winds over 12 knots, we should reef the main and use the small jib.  In the higher winds too much sail slows us down and costs us a few degrees of progress to windward.
If we get better with practice, it would be helpful to use the Spinnaker on the downwind legs. It is a lot of mucking about on a very small foredeck, but there are times when it would have given us 10 seconds or so on the downwind leg.  It would help even more when we get the rare reaching leg.

The competition:  Coronado 15.  Very quick to turn.  Comes
with trapeze.  They owe us a few seconds.

Rigging issues.   Now and then we have little rigging issues that cost us seconds.  The main sheets can get hung up on the aft mooring cleats.  We moved them 10 inches forward.   We had too many things attached to the spinnaker pole rig and had to fight that occasionally.  We added another ring above.  The vang would be in the way when Tony tries to change sides of the boat.  We now store it on a hook and only set it up when we need to on the downwind legs.  I was spending too much time messing with the traveler, and it was distracting me from sailing fast upwind.  Now we just leave the traveler in the middle until we are on a long windward leg.

The competition:  Us.  We need to not beat ourselves.


Starts.  We need to recognize that we are not as nimble as the other boats during the start.  We need to find a good line—not necessarily the best line and get a decent start—not necessarily a great—start.  We are thinking something like sail away from the line for 30 seconds when there are two minutes to go.  Commence our tack at 1:30 to go.  This should put us a little less than one minute away from the start.  Then we can luff a bit and lay behind the Lasers that like to sit in a pack just luffing.  The nice thing about them is that they accelerate away from the line quickly and leave you sitting in pretty clean air.  (Or maybe we should just follow Jim in his Lido.  He always gets a great start.)

So there it is.  There are 43 seconds to be found.  By the end of this season we should be able to move up a few places—but I doubt that we will be drinking any beer until the races are over for the day.  We’ll see how we do this evening!