No. 9 - February, 1974

SAILING SEMINARS

The sailing seminars have been a tremendous success, with about 30 people coming out for them. The first was held at Doug Bertoia's, and the second two at Bruce Bennet's. Both are superb hosts and are able to provide comfortable facilities for such a huge mob. Nothing better dilutes winter doldrums than talking sailing, think sailing with sailing friends - and having a few good laughs together.

 

Mike Nicoll-Griffith and Phil Whittingstall have taken charge of the racing discussions, and John Charters has covered cruising aspects. It would be pointless to duplicate your winter's reading by covering here everything we have learned on these Monday Evenings, so wi11 just mention a few high points you may not find in the books.

 

RACING: When looking for "your" spot on the starting line, a good

lee bow (safe leeward) position is preferable to nice hole, even though the hole may be nearer the favored end. . . Don't make the mistake of starting between the spacer buoy and the committee boat. . . A fleet of boats deflects the wind so that the boat behind not only gets foul wind, but is headed as well. . . When thinking of your windward-leeward situations and luffing rights, it helps to compare your position with passing on the right or on the left on the highway. If you pass a car (think 'boat') on the right you asked for whatever happens to you; and passing on the left doesn't give you the right to crowd him off the road. . . Mike makes very definite crew assignments for each aspect of every task, and races with a crew of 4. He has one fore­deck man 2 cockpit, and his wife, Marg, in the companionway on beer duty man overboard look-out, and timing. Marg suggests that the most nervous member of the crew be given the watch - keeping eyes glued to a second hand is a good way to be oblivious of all the close calls at the start.

 

Cruising: Reefing, Anchoring, heaving to, running aground and equipment have been covered. John explained how jiffy reefing works; and also showed how he's tried to solve the lumpy-luff problem with roller reefing. He's cut away the bottom portion of the luff bolt rope and has removed that hunk of metal which holds the tack. . . Suggested ground tackle: 12-13 lb Danforth (beware the imitations), 200' of 3/8" nylon rode with about 10' of chain in between. . . In Kedging off whatever you're grounded on, if you use the main halyard to heel the boat you should remember that the masthead sheave is not designed or built to take strong lateral strain. . . Elvstrom life jackets are not D.O.T. approved. . . necessary cruising equipment includes a corkscrew. . . there was a lively discussion of what kind of toilet paper dissolves best. Yes sir. The flowerery stuff doesn't disintegrate as well as the cheap, scratchy stuff. . . John pointed out the safety factor in teaching wives to take the helm. When muscle is required on the foredeck, it doesn't make sense to have it in the cockpit. Shouting. Let her practice-in light winds before you expect her to want the tiller in a 40 knot wind.

 

 

FORGET IT!! It is a brilliant starry night. You are comfortably replete, having just gorged yourself on steak done to a turn. The coals in the Hibachi glow softly, water laps gently at the hull and you are entirely at peace with the world. Except that this early June evening is becoming a bit chilly. You yawn, and as you do so, your eye falls on those coals in the Hibachi. They always burn at their best when the cooking is finished. What a waste. You get a bright idea - how snug and warm the cabin will be with the Hibachi on the galley counter! By the time they've burned themselves out, you will be deliciously asleep.     FOREVER.

Well- burning charcoal gives off-little you can smell, but carbon monoxide is a major product of charcoal combustion. In the close quarters of your small cabin, man, that beautifully glowing charcoal is going to kill you. You've got to use something properly vented, or bundle up. Better cold than dead. (NOW, how 'bout a nice article from someone who knows all about cabin heaters!)

 

 

Dinghies, Oars & Oarlocks

Did somebody say that the only thing worse than owning a dinghy is not owning one?

 

Assuming you are tired of inflating and deflating your inflatable dinghy, or that it is worn out, or that you are fed up with its lousy rowing qualities and small carrying capacity, OR that you have no dinghy at the moment, what are you going to look for?

 

Something about 12' long, as stable and capacious as a garbage scow, that rows well, has a sailing rig and can stow in the bottom of the hanging locker and weighs 8 lbs. is about what we all want. A 9' dinghy can have a decent shape and capacity. A smaller dinghy viii have to be pram shaped, or "rectangular". You want a light dinghy that has good ultimate stability. It should tow well, row well; and, really, you SHOULD be able to row out an anchor in it under adverse conditions.

 

Most fiberglass dinghies tow badly, row poorly, are unstable, have inadequate oar locks weakly secured and no rubbing strakes on the bottom to take chafe when the boat is dragged over a beach, or rocks. They usually have too little freeboard.

 

Our Sportyak, the smaller of the two sizes, is light, tows well, rows well, takes a lot of abuse, and is stable. It has a small carrying capacity and would quickly swamp in a really nasty chop: We figured we lost about 1 knot towing it all last summer. Not too bad. It is entirely inadequate for coastal cruising; but suited admirably. (If you have found the perfect dinghy, let us know!) The sabot prams make decent dinghies, and sail well, too; but they slow you down more than the Sportyak.

 

4 1/2' oars will stow in a cockpit locker easily, though it has been said that 5' is the shortest you can use to good advantage. Spruce makes a good oar because it is light. An ash oar is heavy, but will last an eternity. If you fiberglass the outer 6" of the blade it won't get chewed up fending off rocks. A collar can be fitted out of leather to protect the oar where it wears on the oar locks. Line up the seam with the vertical blade so that the join won't chafe apart.

 

Oarlocks should be deep enough so that the oars don't leap out all the time. They should not be permanently attached to the oar. This practice prevents proper rowing and is a horrible pain. If the shank is too short the gunwale is subjected to a wringing strain. If you have wooden seats in your dinghy, you can drill holes in them in which to place the oar locks. Then the oars can be dropped in, held in place with shock cord, and they'll stay put while you're underway. Oarlocks are very prone to sinking and being stolen, so carry spares! It is mortifying to have no way of roving out to your boat, unless you're adept at walking on water with your arms full of cases of beer and blocks of ice.

 

There is no nastier fellow than the one who rows over and neglects to remove his oar locks before bashing up your topsides with them. The dinghy should have a soft rub stripe all around so that it won't scratch topsides, either.

 

For towing, you should have a strong bow eye, placed as low as possible so that the dinghy won't yaw. On the Sportyak we made a bridle and attached the painter to this. To ease strain on the tow-line, the dinghy should ride down the second stern wave. But we found the sport yak tows better climbing the second wave. Because it floats, polypropylene makes a good tow line - it is less likely to foul the propeller. But the stuff is notoriously unreliable and snaps even when it looks healthy. So it should be replaced yearly.

 

If you're really nervous about losing the dinghy and can tolerate a mess of line, it doesn't hurt to bend on a second, safety, line. If you are kept awake at night by the dinghy continually nudging the boat, you can either haul it aboard, or drop a bucket or light anchor over its stern. Tied to the dinghy, that IS.

 

One very good way to mitigate a wife's enthusiasm for boating is to lose her between a dock and a dinghy. I know it is demeaning to explain something so very elementary; but since husbands never tell how to get into the thing, I will. The secret, qals, is NOT to extend one dainty foot dinghy-ward, keeping the other securely on the dock. Especially where the water's polluted. You have to quickly get your two feet, your balance and your weight into the center of the dinghy and SIT. Don't slip, don't fall, and don't stand there. She who hesitates is lost. Transfer your self from dock - or cockpit coaming to the dinghy seat in one smooth motion, in "sync" with any bouncing and pitching the dinghy is doing. In getting out, you also have to be sure that you don't distribute your weight somewhere between dinghy and dock. Plunk it over quickly, even if there'5 only 108 lbs of it. (By the way, if you concentrate on tightening those abdominal muscles while you row, you can eliminate an amazing amount of gut in a very short time.)

 

 

FOR, and not for, THE BOOKSHELF: Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Bleritt is a superb book for getting a grasp of the basic mechanics of the subject. Practical Navigation for the Yachtsman by Frederick L. Devereux is concise, complete and excellent for a review of some aspect you need to recall. Explanations are poor and incomplete, she tells you a lot of stuff you don't need to know in an incomprehensible manner - and leaves out what you do need in order to understand what's going on. And she's conceited. The very best book you can get is Mixter's Primer of Navigation. No diagram has too much on it; the explanations are complete, simple and tackle one thing at a time. There are lots of problems and answers to test yourself on, and there are lots of useful odd bits of information. Also good - and better for plotting problems - is Dutton's Navigation and Piloting.

The one drawback of the latest edition of the Mixter is that it does not tell you how to use the HO 249 sight reduction tables. But their use differs only slightly from HO 214 and HO 229, so this is a minor drawback. Both Mixter and Dutton have complete instructions on how to use the HO 2102-D starfinder, and how to plot the location of planets with it. This is a great gadget. With it, a nautical almanac and a starry summer night you can have hours of fun. Or freeze your toes off on a winter night.

 

The Ocean Sailing Yacht by Donald M. Street, Jr. is tremendous. It is NOT just for ocean voyagers, not just for cruising types. It has everything you could want to know about sailboats, their handling, equipment, construction and maintenance. There’s a 47(1) page glossary, a LONG list of sources of supply, pages of weights and strengths of everything and tables of every other thing. Lots of nuggets of information - e.g., that eyes are stronger than forks (jaws) for wire end fittings. And there's a neat way to prevent topping lift chafe on the leech of the main. His style is chatty and readable, and only rarely does he refer to something without a good explanation of what or how. It is fine companion volume for Sea Sense - mentioned in a previous News­letter. I'd hate to choose between the two.

 

 

HEY! IT'S GOOD to HEAR FROM YOU! Richard Moor, sail no. 303, Philadelphia Pa. finds the bolt rope on the mainsail a pain, and wonders about putting­on sail sliides (slugs). John answered: A number of us have put on slides right on the bolt rope, 18" apart. The last one will end up about 28-30” from the tack. If wish, you can cut off the remaining boltrope, just leaving the taped luff from here to the foot. This helps prevent luff build-up when you roller reef. (Be sure to seize the end or the bolt rope so it won't come adrift.) You can also make, or buy, a sail stop to fit the mast groove so that all the slugs will remain on the mast when you lower the sail.

 

Bob Opotzner, sail no. 348, west Haven, Conn. has been searching all over his boat for a place to mount his Danforth Corsair compass. His idea is a "mini-bini" mount on the cockpit sole made of 4" x 4" teak, about 2 ½’ high, through bolted with 2-4 screw-bolts and with sealer between the teak and the sole. It could be either just forward or just aft of the main sheet (he has no traveller.) Bob would very much like to hear comments and suggestions. You can write to him at 15A Coleman St. West Haven, Conn., 06516. Bob also tells us that his boat's name is "Chautauqua", which was a travelling minstrel show up until about 1920.

 

A WARNING and some news and views from Philip Choquette, Oak Harbor, Washington 98277 who has glowing words of praise for Bob and Jim Higman at the Tanzer Seattle plant. "No double talk, no evasive answers, no indecisions; just factual, knowledgeable answers, and easy to understand answers and reasons for them. These people care, and reflect a lot of that care in their product." They always had time to help and discuss questions both before and during the building of the boat. "But that isn't the end of the help I've gotten from these fine men.

 

"On the 23rd of November, my T22 broke her moorings in a gale force wind here, and was sent up on the rocks, to weather it out alone! The

damage was confined to the bow, where the fiberglass had been pounded and raked across broken concrete slabs used to build up the seawall area. After I got the boat out of the water, Jim Higman and his crew came up and got the boat and took it to the factory to start repairs. There is one place here on the island where I could have taken the boat, but they were unable to do the work due to a shortage of materials. The Tanzer factory made a very definitive estimate for me, the insurance company said to go ahead; and so, again, Tanzer has been of great service ­to me. Why did the boat break her lines?

 

"She was moored to a buoy with 1/2" nylon line, brand new. I had used two lines, each 30' long, one on each side of the boat and secured to the buoy, from the cleat, with stainless steel thimbles spliced into the ends connected to the shackles on the buoy. The line was covered with plastic hose about 24" long where it goes through the bow chocks to prevent chafing. The hose is very similar to the hose used to drain the anchor well."

 

Phil found that when it gets cold, this hose breaks into sections, just like a piece of uncooked spaghetti! This is what happened to his chafing gear, and the lines quickly chafed through! The damage was $850! Jim and Bob Higman have suggested using a bow eye, like the one used on the K/CB model for trailering. This would eliminate the need for the lines to run through the chocks completely. But Phil is understandably reluctant to let the boat lie to one line only, no matter what size.

 

The month of November saw 23 days of small craft warnings, and 5 days of gale warnings were posted on the Straits of Juan De Fuca and in Puget Sound. December was worse, with 75 MPH winds on Dec. 11.

 

Phil says," As for the Tanzer 22, the people behind it, and the Class Association, there are not enough words available to me to express my feelings that they are truly a very warm, knowledgeable and dedicated group of professional men and women. I have the only T22 in the Puget Sound area, except for the factory demonstrator. It has proved to be a most sea kindly and seaworthy boat; and has been very competitive here against some very fast company. . . . without any sort of handicap, I have beaten a Columbia 22, a Cal 25, a couple of Ventures; and tied with a C&C 27. The Islander 30 was a good rival also, but I finished a half length behind her. This race was 5 hours long, here in the Straits of Juan De Fuca, with small craft warnings posted the last three hours. The winds were gusting to 35 before it was over. . . The Tanzer organization here in the U.S. can only be a good example of what the home office must be like, and also what the Tanzer owners must be like. I am indeed a fortunate man, and very proud to be with all of you. . . Perhaps someone has some chafing gear suggestions which are effective and simpler than sewn canvas, leather, worming and parcelling, etc.

 

 

NOW, THAT'S THE SPIRIT! George Clark, sail no. 282, Norfolk Virginia, wishes we had more news from the Chesapeake Bay. And so, he's sent us some! George spent 9 years in the Navy and 2 years in the Merchant Marine, wanting a sailboat all the time. Now he has her, and finds she out sails any boat under 30' in the Norfolk area. Her name is Lady Galadriel, from the queen of the elves in Mirkwood Forest, from the ring trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Whenever anyone abides in Lady Galadriel's domain, time ceases to pass and he lives in everlasting bliss until leaving her realm.

 

George has had rouble locating good overnight anchorages, but has found one about ½ mile down the dismal swamp canal, off Elizabeth River, southern branch. He has a nice quiet slip at Southern Branch Yacht basin on the intercoastal waterway about buoy no. 65, just north of Great Bridge Locks. He warns that at low tide there is only a very narrow passage to the slip. Dick Martin is the very helpful owner.

George is very interested in forming a fleet in the area. Similar minded souls can find him at 1030 W 43rd St., Apt.A2, Norfolk, Va., 23508.

 

 

AH HA, YOU NOTICED! The Tanzer 22 factory brochure lists the keel weight at 1250 lbs. The TaT is listed at 1300 lbs. The truth is that BOTH boats have the same keel, and they weigh between 1250 and 1300 lbs" depending on casting differences. We allow a tolerance of 50 lb. anyway, so it really doesn't matter - except that some of you were concerned. Call it a printer's error, or whatever.

 

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