Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tanzer 16 A fast sail in ideal conditions

Tanzer 16 A fast sail in ideal conditions  -- 4.4 km in 30 minutes--no kidding -- June 23, 2016  I dinked around all day trying to get the length of the shrouds just right so there would be enough tension on the roller furling luff.  I had a new hinge made, and that required that I shorten the shrouds.  They were already loose from the last round of "improvements." Finally after three hours of a little less here, a little more there, three different length shackles and some spacers at the head attachment to the mast--it all fit, and I made it to the launch in time for our test sail.  (*See below)

When we left the dock, the tide was low, really low.  The wind was out of the NW at a steady 8 knots. We made it out to Boston Harbor, that's five and a half km in less than an hour.  The current was against us.  We only tacked once to stay in the channel.  The wind just wanted to lift us up--couldn't believe we were that lucky.

Coming back was better. The wind shifted; came out of the SW and WSW at 8 knots--no waves.  We were close hauled all the way, The current was with us.  We turned south at exactly 1800.  At 1830 we passed the Olympia Shoal--4.4 km in exactly 30 minutes.  We were throwing a nice clean wake all the way; add in the current and we were way faster than hull speed.

Sometimes you get double lucky!

And--by the way--the new sail from Schurr worked well.  Well built--great service.

*It was a lot easier hook up the luff since I use the winch on the trailer to raise the mast.  I had some mechanical advantage so that I could over-tension the mast against the shrouds, hook the Genoa, then back off the winch tension. It was also helpful that I have temporary supports (shrouds) in place as part of the gin pole mast raising process.  It allowed me to disconnect a shroud while I worked on the spacers and still keep the mast standing in good control. Without that feature, I would have needed to raise and lower the mast three or four times.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tanzer 16, Mistakes, outtakes, bloopers, and screw-ups

Tanzer 16, Mistakes, outtakes, bloopers, and screw-ups -- June 11, 2016  Generally I try to be honest about the boat and the work we do on it.  If I mess up, I generally report it.  But then there is the other stuff, small mistakes that generally don't warrant a whole post.  So this will be the blooper post.  We have checklists for packing the boat, racing upwind and racing downwind.  But sometimes you forget to look at the checklist.  Hope this post provides you with a chuckle, some insight, and a chance to say at least I didn't do that.  I read somewhere that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as they are new ones.

Dropping the mast -- Doesn't count.  I have dropped it twice (one was controlled*) the other time it just hit the pavement.  I can see from the scrapes and cracks that it has happened at least twice before.  That's why I have a hinged mast and a gin pole.  Difficulty with mast raising is the only really negative thing about the Tanzer 16.  (* By controlled I mean I dropped it on the top of my truck with its roof rack.  No damage to the truck or mast.)

What a mess!

Launching, retrieving,  trailering--  After backing the trailer down a long, long ramp due to extreme low tide, we discovered the boat would not come off the trailer.  We had not made sure the centerboard was cleated off in the extreme up position.and it was catching on the cross member of the trailer.  I had to pull the boat back up on the trailer and climb in--not easy--with my muddy feet.  Haven't repeated that one.

Needs to be up and cleated tight.

Pulled the boat up to the trailer and heard a tiny grinding sound.  The centerboard was up, but nobody pulled the rudder blade into the up position.

Headed down the driveway and heard an awful grinding sound right after the truck hit a bump.  On the second occurrence stopped the truck.  The trailer jack was in the down position.

Travels better when the jack is tilted parallel to the ground.

Forgot things at home--   First time it was the old main--which I had laid out, but didn't take.  The new main had over-size slugs that didn't fit.  Second time--had the mast ready to hoist and discovered that the gin pole A-frame was still at home.  Tony went to get it and we just left the boat half rigged sitting at the launch.  Lucky it's a big launch and Thursdays are slow.  Now we take all the sails no matter what, and the gin pole is on the packing list.

Tough to raise the mast without the gin pole.

Sheets to the wind -- One each--didn't tie a stopper knot in the main sheet.  Kind of fun trying to grab a piece of rope with a boat hook while barreling down wind.  At one time or another we have lost the port or starboard jib sheet.  Easy to get back--just tack.  We did lose a spinnaker sheet but that doesn't count since we let it fly purposely while we recovered from a 120 degree wind shift. Of course everybody, including us, has drug a bow painter along side the boat.  Unfortunately ours is bright yellow so the whole fleet gets to enjoy it.

Topping lift -- Worthy of it's own category.  Makes it much easier to rig and launch the boat because the boom is up off the deck, but it is a sword with two edges.  In one race we couldn't figure out why almost everyone could out-point us.  Looking at the pictures later it was obvious that we never flattened out the main because the topping lift was still on.  Last week in extremely light air, the boat did very well for such a heavy boat.  Once again we had forgotten the topping lift, but this time it worked to our advantage--much fuller shape, thus more power in the light air.

As you can see, the topping lift is about as tight as a fiddle string.

Motor --  You have to turn on the fuel supply or it won't start--enough said.

The fuel valve is on the starboard side at the back of the
engine.  You need to look for it because you can't see
it from the helmsman's position.

Running aground -- Doesn't count.  The tidal range in Olympia is often 15 feet and the channel out of the marina is only about 100 feet wide.

Too much leeway -- We got a good start, stayed with the fleet on the upwind leg, made up some time down wind by broad reaching instead of running and couldn't make any forward progress as we rounded he committee boat for the second lap.  Yeah--forgot to put the center board down.

Stuff that hasn't happened yet  -- I can't tell you because I am superstitious.  If I tell you, it will surely happen.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tanzer 16, labeling the lines

Tanzer 16, labeling the lines --  June 8, 2016 I like to have the halyards, topping lifts, down hauls, etc. labeled.  It helps when I have non-sailors in the boat.  In the words of one guest, "Why can't you just call it the sail raising rope?"  After painting the boat,  I had to replace some of the little tags.  I took a neatly typed list to my sign making guy.  He is not a sailor.

Normally I am pretty fussy about the boat, but I thought, "What the hell, it's a nice piece of whimsy." So I installed it.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tanzer 16 PNW Invitational - what to expect

Tanzer 16 PNW Invitational* - what to expect -- June 4, 2016  -- Okay, Jim, suppose I am willing to put my boat on a trailer and come down to the southern most point in Puget Sound for this race on Sunday, August 14.  What would it look like?

Here are some pictures from last year, which, I am told is pretty typical.

Not so much wind in Budd Inlet in the middle of a summer day.  Usually a fair turn-out for boats.  If we have enough boats, we might even get our own start.

Then it is kind of a leisurely race out to Gull Harbor a distance of 2.5 miles.  No need to hurry.  There is only one winner, the first to finish, and that is going to be a catamaran or a 505 depending on the wind.

Then sail into Gull Harbor for lunch.  It's very protected.

After lunch the wind usually fills in either from the West or North (not always of course) and it can be a bit blustery.  Just right for the Tanzers.  This is a handicapped race so we will want to start with everyone else.  Worst case scenario--you get a nice sail for 2 1/2 miles.  Should be plenty of light to load the trailer and head home.

*If you have a boat, you're invited.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tanzer 16 -- Hatch for the spinnaker chute

Tanzer 16 -- Hatch for the spinnaker chute   -- June 2, 2016  -- Never expected to get a place on the dinghy dock in my lifetime.  I assumed my boat would always be trailered and live at home in our carport we call the covered bridge.

So when I did get a place on the dinghy dock, I had to quickly fabricate some kind of a hatch cover for the spinnaker chute.  We didn't do all this work to collect water in the retrieval sock and thus into the bottom of the boat.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep any of the templates from the original installation.  So I had to start by making a plug out of plywood.

Because I was in a hurry--and because I will make a better cover next fall -- I skipped the mold step, and made the hatch straight from the plug.  I sanded the heck out of the edges then put on four coats of polyurethane.  After that the plug was waxed--four coats. Then I laid up four layers of glass cloth.

It came off the plug pretty easily.  Then the hatch was trimmed away from all the waste and primed.

Somewhere between primer and finish coats I must have contaminated the surface.  There were all kinds of problems with allegation.  So, I sanded back to primer and started over. New primer applied with a brush, and three coats of sprayed on Brightside. (My usual mixture of thinners--it sprays nicely.)

The finished product--like I said, better job this fall.

In the meantime a new hinge is being fabricated for the mast step.  I could be happier if rake were adjustable.  Yes, I will concede, this is getting a bit ridiculous--even for an old man's sailboat.