No. 52 - April 1983


John Charters


As far as I am concerned adjustable backstays should not only be legal they should be standard. Even when ordered, installed from the factory, the price is only $200. With a little ingenuity I think I could do my own version for half that price, or less!


The Tanzer 22 needs an adjustable backstay if you want upwind performance. I think there is general agreement; one should do everything possible to eliminate forestay sag. Which means the fore and back stays must be bar taut. And if one cranks up the stays that tight the damage done to the boat is probably five times that $200. Believe me, I know. I have my stays just as tight as I am able to get them. Next spring I face some extensive repairs. My chain plates have moved up about 1/4" and will have to be redone. While tight rigging is all very desirable for performance, it plays hell with the boat. To me the single most important feature of an adjustable backstay is the ability to slacken off the rigging between races. The boat will last ten times longer!


You can achieve much the same results by loosening the backstay turnbuckle after each sail. But the turnbuckle threads will only stand about a year of this. Then you will need to buy a new turnbuckle ($25.00) and if you don't you are in danger of losing the mast some windy night. It's the old story. Our Class is so paranoiac about keeping the cost of the boat down, we throw the baby over with the water. Sort of penny wise and pound foolish, as it were.


As for the ability to adjust the backstay tension during the race, I don't think it makes a particle of difference. I bet there are a dozen or more other things that have a far greater effect on boat speed.





Mike Phillips (#1299)


Total cost: Under $10.00


1 3/8 x 3 1/2" eye bolt w/2 nuts and washers

1 3/8 x 4" bolt w/2 nuts and washers (bolts should have approx. 2" of thread and 2" of shank)

1 1.5" x 8' 6" Genoa PVC drain pipe


2 l.5" PVC couplers with internal threads inside one end and slip-on fitting on the other end

1 can of PVC glue



3/8 drill, 1/2 wrench, 1/2 deep well socket w/ratchet, hacksaw, file, vise, vise-­grip pliers.


Designed to attach on the halyard pad-eye and run to the sail clew cringle.



1.   Cut PVC pipe 8' 6" long. File off any burrs and clean ends thoroughly. Coat up to 1.5 inches of the pipe with glue and then slide the coupler on tightly.

2.   Cut the head off the 3/8" bolt and file down the edges until smooth.

3.   Using a vise and vise-grip pliers open the eyebolt so that it will connect to the halyard pad eye on the mast. Then try to turn it down to make a type of "curl" that will hook on the pad eye with a twisting motion. CAUTION: Do not damage the threads while doing all this. If an acetylene torch is available, the eyebolt will bend easily when heated. Then cool it off before going to step 4.

4.   Drill a 3/8 hole in the center of the end of one plug. Next, put a nut up high on the threads of the eyebolt, then put a washer on. Next put the eyebolt through the hole and screw the nut on from the inside of the plug. Tighten it securely.

5.   Repeat step 4 using the 3/8" bolt with the head cut off.

6.   Screw the caps into the couplers. Tighten them securely.


You're done a "Genoa pole". It bends a bit but for the "broke" recreational sailor it's great. It also floats if it goes overboard. A short line may be attached to the eyebolt to keep it securely attached to the pad eye while in use. We stow ours on the port handrail with 2 shock cords.



Coupler with internal threads



Carl G. Shook (#2109)


We took delivery of our third sail boat, a new Tanzer 22 (#2109) "Incentive" June 4, 1982. Weather this summer has not been all one could ask for, but nevertheless we've had many enjoyable days of sailing on Seneca Lake in New York.


The boat is kept at our cottage a few miles south of Geneva on the east side of the lake. Since we are there mostly on weekends and since some pretty wild storms can move across the lake from the west I am reluctant to leave the boat on her mooring when we are not there. The photographs illustrate my approach to beaching her for secure storage during the week.


The marine railway is a Reimann and Georger Model 4000 made in Buffalo, N.Y. The cradle is the Tanzer steel cradle on which the boat is shipped. Only minor modifications were required to each to produce a superb setup.


Modifications to the carriage were:

1)   The carriage side rails are inverted from their normal position. This puts the angle iron side rails inside the wheels instead of outside and with a flat side up, providing a platform for the cross rails of the cradle.

2)   Lengthen side rails to accommodate cradle between the wheels. Six inches additional length were required for my cradle, but all cradles are not the same size. I simply sawed the side rails in half at the center point, lengthened them out 6" and spliced them back together with an 18" length of 2" channel iron and four .5" bolts on each side.

3)   The cross brace between the two front upright poles at the top cannot be used because of the forestay. To strengthen the uprights I substituted the angle iron V-brace below the hull. This is visible in the photographs.

4)   The standard mooring lines from the top of the front uprights caused the whole upright structure to flex badly when pulled up tight enough to hold the boat in position. Instead I substituted 3/8" twisted nylon lines running from the bottom of the front uprights to the stern mooring cleats.

5)   The cradle is secured to the carriage side rails with four angle brackets and 7/16" bolts.


Three modifications were made to the Tanzer factory cradle; they are:


1)   Addition of a keel guide formed of pressure treated 2 x 6's and supported with angle iron.

2)   Pads of 3/4" exterior plywood were added in the ends of the keel tray. These also serve to hold the plywood pad in the bottom of the tray in place. (This is important - the factory original floated away!).

3)   The hull support pads were semi-immobilized. 1/4" bolts in drilled and tapped holes prevent them from rotating while springs keep the pads from standing on end in the water.


In total we have 120 feet of track extending 90 feet into the water. Depth at this point is 48". With the keel tray about 12" above the lake bottom there is adequate clearance to easily position the boat over the cradle even in a chop.



We can launch in about 5 minutes. Retrieving takes 5 to 10 minutes longer as a lot of cranking is required with the manual winch and 250 feet of cable.


In November we did an end around end number with a few sections of track and moved "Incentive" up along side the cottage for winter.


We lowered the mast using the device described by Len Forkes in the June '82 Newsletter. I used scrap .5" galvanized water pipe for the tubing. It's a little heavy but it was free: I must say the device works very well. Much easier than the jury rigs we used on our earlier boats.



John Charters (#1000)


Now that you've removed the winter tarp, and with launching a week or two away, it is time to prepare your boat for the summer season.


Anti-fouling was covered in a previous issue, so will not comment further - except to mention teak cleaners and their effect on bottom paint. Those two-part cleaner/ brightener chemical cleaners that do such a good job of restoring teak, also do a good job of bleaching the colour from the paint. Unless you want a streaky looking bottom, delay applying your anti-fouling until you've done the teak.


While on the subject of teak, may I digress for a couple of little minutes and pass on my own observations regarding teak care? You have two choices. Leave it alone, or clean it. Left alone, teak will turn grey and eventually dry out. This, I'm told is very bad for teak. If you do decide to clean your teak, and I hope you will, if for no other reason that to maintain the good looks of your boat and, incidentally, increase its resale value, you have several options. Sandpaper and elbow grease, powdered or liquid cleaners that require a scrub brush and the two­part chemicals mentioned above. Whatever you choose, you should end up with teak looking like new. But it must be oiled or sealed or it will soon turn grey. In a recent evaluation of oils and sealers 'The Practical Sailor' recommends 'Teak Wonder' for a natural look, and 'BoatlifeTeak Brite' and 'Tip Top Teak' for a darker finish.


Now, back to launching. While you are waiting for the ice to go out is the time to do all those jobs you neglected last year. It is important to check all fittings and most important, the standing rigging. With a soft cloth, run over all your wire rigging. If there are any broken strands or barbs the cloth will catch on them. Any suspect stays should be replaced. Check the threads on all turnbuckles; if worn thin, replace. A broken mast half way through the season we don't want.


Check all split rings and cotter pins. Genoa sheets have a nasty habit of catching on them. If bent or mangled, replace. You might like to try the new rigging tape made by Armet Industries (Concord, Ont.) for taping up your turn­buckles. This tape only adheres to itself, so won't foul lines or discolour metal parts. I have not personally used this tape yet, but it does look promising.


If you haven't looked at your keel bolts in a while, perhaps this is the time. 100 ft. lbs. of torque should be about right. (Some of the earlier boats have the bolts glassed over; there is not too much you can do to tighten them). While at it, tighten all screws and bolts. Surprising how many seem to loosen after a season's sailing. Leaks were covered in an earlier 'From the Factory'. However, if you see signs of water stains around any through deck fittings, best to remove and recaulk.


Interior Cleaning: There are a number of commercial mould and mildew cleaners available, but I've always used javex and it seems to work. For tough stains 'Fantastic' seems to work best, and some marks can only be removed with acetone. Whatever your favorite cleaner, now is the time to give the interior a good scrubbing. Aurora Chemicals in Toronto make a vinyl cleaner. You might like to try this if you have vinyl interior cushions.


Exterior Cleaning: I leave cleaning the deck until after the boat is launched and mast stepped. No matter how careful, I always end up with muddy foot prints everywhere. However, it wouldn't hurt to give the hull a good cleaning. I have used 'Starbrite' for years, but am told any silicone polish makes it much harder to paint over. So if an Awlgrip job is in your future, better use a conventional boat wax.


By now the ice should be out and launching day near at hand. This procedure is well covered in the Owners Guide, so won't repeat it here. (If you don't have the guide, a $5.00 cheque to the factory will get you one by return mail) Some time ago I started to revise this Owners Guide, but other more important chores have placed this project on the back burner. Some day: In the mean­time the advice given in the Guide is still valid. Follow it! Most of us do not have a choice as to what sort of hoist and slings will be used. But if you do, pick a hoist with a frame wider than the boat. Slings that 'Squeeze' the hull are likely to break the bond between hull and deck, and a leak could later develop.


Mast stepping: Once again, follow the Guide. It has been suggested one can attach one lower and the opposite upper, and raise the mast. DON'T DO IT.I tried, and even with the turnbuckles fully extended, bent my chain plates. If the wind is blowing, you can attach one upper on the windward side, but that is all. Don't forget the wind indicator. If you have a convertible hatch, you might like to invest in a new mast tabernacle that allows you to raise and lower the mast without removing the hatch. It is about $40.00 and you can order it from the factory. But don't wait till the day before launching - order it now.


Outboard Motor: I assume you have all followed the manufacturer's directions regarding winter care, and have carried out whatever spring preparation is needed. Every year I see one or two people testing their engine out of the water. I was reading the other day Tristan Jones' new book "One Hand for

Your Self, One for the Ship". (Good reading, by the way). I quote "The motor should not be run out of the water, as dry running would damage the water pump." You have been warned!


Now take five minutes to check over everything. Turnbuckles secured. No leaks from the through-hulls. Everything shipshape and Bristol fashion. Bend on the sails and enjoy that rarest of moments, your first sail of the season.