Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tanzer 16, Heave To -- just for fun

Tanzer 16, Heaving To -- just for fun -- May 28, 2015 --  Brian Mrachek indicated that he would have to prove he could heave to before next year's big open water race in Florida.  (See previous post.)  Since I wrote this post we have tried heaving to in 20 knots--not good.  See below.  jim 6/22/15

Since Tony and I had a little time on our hands before the first start of our three races last Thursday night, we thought we would give it a try. I have done this on keel boats ranging from 21 to 30-footers, but never tried it on a dinghy.  Basically you try to set the sails so the boat will try to fall off, then the rudder will round it up, then it will fall off, round up, fall off, round up...over and over.

We had about a six-knot breeze with a Genoa and set the boat up like this:

It worked great--better than I had expected. The boat was essentially parked.  This works much better than just letting the sails luff, and it is far less annoying.  Plus we seemed to make much less leeway. Might be interesting to try it in stronger winds.

higher winds:  We tried heaving to in some brisk winds, 15+ steady and gusts over 20 knots.  No Go!  With that amount of wind we were just tossed around and blown over.  With the sails tight. the gusts just wanted to knock us down.  Thank you Mr. Tanzer for putting lots of buoyancy in that beamy rounded hull.  jim

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tanzer 16 Gin Pole Raising System Update

Tanzer 16 Gin Pole Raising System Update    --  May 24, 2015:  We have now sailed twice with the hinged mast.  In the last group of three races we tacked scores of times and everything seems to work fine.  Set up and take down were easy--no drama.  We did have a problem with the new Genoa.  Since the sail is bigger, the sheets tend to get hung up on the hinge and the cleats above.  We can't remove the cleats because we need them to hoist the mast.  A canvas boot is being made; it will wrap around the base of the mast to cover up the two cleats and the hinge.

This is not a photo of my boat, but this is exactly where the Genoa snags.  It
isn't a problem with the smaller jib.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Spinnaker Launching Tube--crazy idea!

Tanzer 16 -- Spinnaker Launching Tube--crazy idea! -- May 25, 2015  If you want to see a person's least rational self, just get them around boats.

I have been wanting to put a spinnaker launching tube in my boat for almost a year.  I have put off painting he deck until I can find one. No luck!  Nicely installed, it would look like this example from Brian Mrachek.

Isn't that just the slickest paint job you have ever seen?  He sprayed it]
in his garage.

So here is my new idea.  If I could find a beater boat--one that could not be rehabbed--I would buy it. It would have to be non-salvageable because I don't believe in letting these fine old boat go to the dump.  BUT.  If I could find such a boat, I would fly (or get in the RV and drive if the distance is reasonable--say under a 1000 miles) to wherever it is with my recip saw and a few other tools.  I would remove the tube and other parts. I could sell the centerboard, the rudder, the trailer, the gudgeons and pintles, the deck tracks and blocks, etc--even the mast if I could get the boat home.

I got the idea by looking at this boat in Apex (I forgot which state).  It's not the beater I need, but it sparked the idea.

So anyway, that is today's crazy idea.  I probably won't do it, but maybe--I have done crazier stuff.

I will tell you about our last race as soon as my pride heals a bit more.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- small sailboats and the full trailer experience

Tanzer 16 -- small sailboats and the full trailer experience  -- May 14, 2015 -- Nobody that I know of ever bought a boat so they could enjoy the boat trailer experience.  The trailer is a necessary pain in the rear if you want to enjoy your sailboat.  At best it is a cumbersome inconvenience.  At worst its a big fat hassle every time you want to use the boat.  My approach is try and improve the trailer so as to minimize the hassle.  Here are my ideas for whatever worth you may find.

1a.  Try to get a galvanized trailer.  As you saw the other day, I went to considerable effort to swap out my regular steel trailer for one that is galvanized.  When you sail in salt water, the extra cost of galvanized metal will pay you back many times.

I bought boat 1313 on the left, so I could put the galvanized trailer under
my boat 1306 on the right.  Hassle to be sure but worth it.

1b.  If  you can't get a galvanized trailer take the boat off your steel trailer and clean up the metal.  Rustoleum makes good paint that will stick to rusted surfaces.  You don't need to go back to clean metal.  Scrape and bush off the loose stuff and apply paint.  It is usually too expensive to sandblast the trailer.  Change out the regular bolts for galvanized.

2.  Keep the lights out of the water.  Seems to me that salt water, copper wire, and electricity is not a very good combination.  It is not a lot of fun to have to dink with the lights every time you want to take the boat out.  I prefer to mount the lights to a board that stays in the truck while the boat is put into the water. This is a little tougher on the Tanzer because you can't just clamp the board to the transom.  I added two stainless steel studs to the transom and use those to hold the lights in place.

The cable runs over the top of the boat and plugs into the truck outlet.

I like the plug in cable instead of the flat connector.  After the boat was
placed on the trailer, the winch tower received several coats of Rustoleum
silver paint and new bolts.  Some stainless.  Some galvanized.

3.  Use Bearing buddies. Every time we take out the boat, we add a little grease to the Bearing buddies that hold the grease under pressure in the hubs.  On long trips I add a bit of grease every two or three hours of driving.  It is important to let the bearings cool before you stick the boat in the water.  Not usually a problem with a sailboat that has to be set up to launch.

I keep the grease gun in a plastic box along with a
supply of rubber gloves.

4.  A heavy trailer needs a jack.  My last trailer had considerably less tongue weight.  So this time I added a jack.  It helps a lot.  Of course I still have the trailer dolly I have been using for the last few years.

This is a cheap jack I bought from Harbor Freight so it
will probably need to be replaced in a few years.

So I have done what I can to reduce the hassle of trailering, and of course mast raising is now much easier.

Now if I could just bet better at backing that trailer down that long ramp at low tide.  I am still the worst I ever seen.  With constant practice I have improved to terrible.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- Two boats/Two Trailers Switch

Tanzer 16 -- Two boats/Two Trailers Switch  --May 11, 2015  -- The extra boat went away today, but first I had to change the boats on the trailers. Two boats, two trailers and the boat launch is nine miles away. Too much hassle, and I have a shop full of stuff so thought I would try and switch them in the driveway.

First I used some steel sawhorses and made a cradle to fit the aft section right by the transom.  I just cut a 2x4 on the bandsaw.  It looked like this:

Then I had to make a run to the lumberyard to get a couple of 4x4's. I got treated so I could use them for fence posts later.  Then  with a saw horse on each side, I just picked up the front of each boat and let the boat rest on the 4x4.  (A 2x4 didn't seem sturdy enough.)  The empty hull weighs about 400 pounds so this was a bit of a struggle, but manageable.

Then in was just a matter of sliding the trailers out and putting them under the new boats.  It did look a little odd for a few minutes.

Once the trailers were back under the correct boats, there was some roller and bunk adjusting to be done. The galvanized trailer is so heavy that I put a jack underneath.

This boat trailer with the boat and winch tower is so heavy that I may not be able to pull it up the driveway's slight incline.  But!  I already have a trailer hitch on the riding lawn mower so that could work.

Finally the new boat # 1313 went to its new home on the old trailer.  Dave says he will give it a good home and get it sailing again.  He got the extra mast stored in the covered bridge.  So now I just need to get rid of the odd mast that came with the boat.  Anybody want a free mast?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tanzer 16 -- 70 Miles of Open Water in Florida

Tanzer 16 -- 70 Miles of Open Water in Florida  --  Letter from Brian -- May 7, 2015  Received the following email from Brian who has participated in two 70-mile open water races down in Florida. Reprinted with his permission and his photographs.


We were best in class this year on the 70 mile.  We were very lucky.   The wind was at our back 15-20kts and the tide was coming in from the opposite direction.  That made for a lot of jibing, knock downs  and pitch poleing.  Six boats total had to be rescued by the coast guard two class 4  (monohull sailboats).  I was not as adventurous as others and reefed in at the start.  Once out, I was able to go full sail on a beam reach.  The Tanzer handles the seas well for a little boat.

Next year I am signing up for the 300 mile.  With all the boats having problems, they are going to make sure you can reef, heave to, right, etc.  They are also going to make sure you do not overload the boat. I expect they will be tough.  Looks like capsizing and MOB drills this summer!

Do you know the capacity of the Tanzers? I don’t have any plates on mine that would show me.

They have the race to Alaska around your neck of the woods.  You should try it!

Thanks and hope all is well


Brian Mrachek

I know that Brian has a very nice spinnaker launching chute and his jib
roller furling.