No. 54 - September 1983


Donna Creamer (#1233)


"Ah, corduroy covers to store teak hatch boards in when sailing", "Oh, that's a good place to store your boat hook", "screens for front hatch, better for sleeping, . . . hm . . .". These were some of the creative ideas that were shared among Tanzer 22 owners when Fleet #44, the Seneca/Cayuga Fleet (shortened to "Senuga") had a rendezvous on Cayuga Lake last July 22 - 25, 1983.


Twelve fleet boats were invited for the rendezvous. Two Seneca boats, Harris #1759 and Shook #2109 began Thursday, July 21 by sailing north on Seneca, dropping masts at Seneca Lake State Park and motoring through the Seneca Canal to Hibicus Harbor at the Northeast end of Cayuga Lake by Friday, July 22 afternoon.


Meanwhile Friday at 9 a.m., two Cayuga boats, Schoggen #1155 and Creamer #1233, with reefed main and 110 working jibs battled a 25 knot North wind managing to keep a gusty 6 knot hull speed and join our friends at Hibiscus around 6 p.m. Friday evening.


After spending a restful evening at Hibiscus, the 4 Tanzers set sail Saturday at 9 a.m. and were cheer­fully greeted by Sweeney #700 sailing out from his port of Red Jacket Yacht Club. Winds soon ceased and we were forced to have the 5 Tanzers motor the remaining 20 miles South on Cayuga to our next overnight of Treman State Marina.



Near Long Point, the 5 motoring Tanzers were proudly met by one sailing Tanzer, on a run, Kouterick #1821, who carried helium balloons, tooting horns, greeting and joining us in the Tanzer parade to the South end of the lake.


Most of the motoring was in straight abreast across the width of Cayuga - sometimes billowing out in a geese V-formation, but managing to stay close enough to each other to "gawk and eye" ourselves by watching each other's Tanzers. (Tanzer owners just love to look at other Tanzers).


Upon passing the Ithaca Yacht Club, the 6 Tanzers motored in a perfectly aligned abreast formation with Schoggen 1155 proudly displaying his colorful flags of Tanzer races - blues, reds and yellows. Standing on the Yacht Club point vehemently waving his arms was Bellamy #45 who was unable to join us during the earlier activities.


Upon reaching Treman State Marine, we were greeted by Shaw #1566, McAlinn #2211 and Bellamy #45 - making a total of 9 beautiful Tanzer 22's to admire. There between raindrops, approximately 25 of us barbecued steaks with everyone bringing an easy dish to pass. We had a delicious picnic with a total of 10 Tanzer owners ­Gravanui #1507 arriving late, but somehow managing to bring clearer skies.


After the barbecue, we all "toured each other's boats" to exchange, critique, and analyze each other's outfitting of the same exact "handsome hull".


Did you know plastic dishpans keep items from spilling and rolling beneath the quarter berths' stowage?


Everyone reprovisioned, and then took a "field trip" over to admire and pet Dave Ahler's new 10.5 Tanzer in dry dock. (Ahler is the previous owner of Gravanui's 1507).


Sunday evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Schoggen's Ithaca home, and then took Schoggen's 1155 and Creamer's 1233 with other Tanzer owners out for a midnight sail. Even with only a 3 knot wind, 1155 fin keel just tiptoes away from the swing keel of 1233.


Monday morning brought much better skies with a steady Northwest wind of 10-15 knots for Shook 2109 and Harris 1759's journey home. Creamer 1233 decided to sail just a "little way" with them, only to find out they just didn't want to quit and ended up half-way up Cayuga Lake by noon - only to have to turn around and return back to their port, Treman.


All in all, the four-day rendezvous was . . again . . a huge success and greatly enjoyed by all. Plans are already "in the wind" for next year . . . " let's sail to . . . ". 



Jacques D'Avignon (#595)

Cornwall, Ont.


New Mast Step. I have installed the new mast step that John Charters had talked about in a previous issue this year. It is a great help when I raise the mast. Having a convertible top, it was necessary for me to remove the hatch to raise the mast. The new mast step makes this unnecessary. But, BEWARE, there is a danger in that you may shear off the coaxial cable for your VHF antenna or your steaming light. I know because it happened to me, I had to repair a sheared off-coax. Luckily, I had left enough slack in the wire. I just redrilled a hole higher and made a new connection.


Noisy Mast. If you experience noisy nights because your wires inside the mast play a symphony all night, there is hope for a cure.


Buy 50 ft. of small line and about 2 dozen cheap sponges, remove the mast truck and snake your backstay up to catch the line. As you are pulling the line down, tie a sponge about every two feet. Keep on pulling until all the sponges have been inserted. The most difficult area is around the spreaders, it is narrow and you will have to pull fairly hard, so make sure your line is firmly anchored to your "snake".


One side benefit to this arrangement is that the birds will be unable to build nests in the mast in the spring. From now on your nights will be free of clac, clac, clic, etc.


This job will take about two hours and two beers ???


Rusty Keel. Over the years it has been impossible for me to keep my keel from bleeding rust every year. No matter what I did, every fall, I had rust and pitting. Finally I got very fed up using good antifouling paint to no avail. Out came the high speed grinder, down to bare metal, fill the worst pits and valleys with car body filler and then two coats of Tremclad paint. No fouling after a full season in the river water, so from now on, touch up where the rust dares to come out and cheap antifouling. There is a story circulating in this area right now that some­one is using straight Tremclad paint all over the hull instead of regular anti­fouling, the boat is in the Ottawa River and no fouling problems occur in THAT WATER. I have been unable to verify this. Whatever you do, DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT try to cover the-Tremclad with any other paint, you end up with a mess on your hands, face, clothes, etc. I have tried.


Fore-deck Hatch. On the opposite page is a photograph of the modified fore-deck hatch. The Lexan was purchased as scrap from a plastic outlet. A hole was cut in the hatch and the Lexan was. screwed down after bedding it in silicone compound. The screws are countersunk and after tightening the nuts inside, the screws were cut off. The Lexan is about one-half inch thick, is dark in colour (your privacy is maintained) is bullet-proof (?) but can get slippery when wet. After 6 years no scratches have appeared and it looks good.


If you can, have the Lexan cut by a professional, it is not hard to cut but has a tendency to melt while you cut it with a regular saw. Make sure that you run a bead of caulking around the edge of the Lexan after the installation is complete.




Vents. The same photograph shows the position of two of the three mushroom vents, the third one is over the forward berth. The air circulation is very good even if the ship is closed up for weeks at a time. If you install these vents, make sure they are REAL stainless steel and not some imitation now available.


Kitchen Storage. I have installed a large drawer under the deck, see photo. It is possible to keep all necessary cooking utensils and cutlery in it.


Clew Outhaul and Topping Lift. The clew outhaul was modified by installing a snap­shackle; as I am using the old fashioned reef points, it is possible to hook this clew out haul to the new clew as necessary.


The topping lift was made truly adjustable, as you can see on the photo. It made it easier to set the height you want, especially when you put the convertible top up and take up any slack when sailing.


Extra Access to the Sail Locker. Two access holes were cut in the back portion of the sail locker and inspection ports were fitted. These are used to store bumpers and docking lines. I realize that the new Tanzers are now built differently, but for the old models, you would not believe how much space is lost or not accessible. The space is large enough for me to crawl into to make repairs, but make sure there is someone around in case you get stuck, as it is not recommended for someone prone to claustrophobia.


P.S. The sun shower shown on the seat over the locker is a marvellous invention. See photo.


Bilge Pump. A Gusher 10 bilge pump was installed in the port locker with a diverter valve. The thru deck fitting position is shown in the picture. At the bottom of the photo you will see the screws securing the diverter valve in the locker. One hose reaches in the bottom of the sail locker, the other one snakes under the star­board quarter berth and terminates in the small locker under the sink. It can be pulled out to reach any water that may find its way in the cabin bilge. Let's hope that I never have to use that part of the installation.


The hardest part of this installation was to find the deck fitting for this pump. Mine finally came from the West coast and was found in a Sale Bin. For some unknown reason, this part became very scarce and in great demand about 4 months ago.


Traveller. As you can see, from Photo #6, many modifications were made to the Traveller. The plug on the forward part is an electrical plug for a high power hand spotlight. It has its own circuit and fuse. Had to use it a few times and found it invaluable. Don't ask why there is such a large plate under - the hole kept growing . . . .


The control lines for the traveller were also changed to make them easier to handle. One trouble, that will be rectified, is that the clam cleats are the wrong size.


The mainsheet cleat is now on the traveller car; it gives better control on the sail shape.


The compass is also mounted on the traveller. It is maybe not in the best position, but it suits my purpose. It also has its own light circuit with a switch in the cabin.


A Marine Head With Rubber Holding Tank. This tank is installed under the forward berth. I had been told to watch for odours. I beat that by putting in about 4 oz. of Liquid Gold every weekend. No problems at all. In order not to cut a new hole in the hull, I am using the same hole as the drain for the sink. It was only necessary to enlarge it slightly. The hole was then capped by a Christmas Tree (just like in an oil field) with a valve and necessary fittings.


The only potential problems are to suck soapy water in the head or suck scraps of food. The first one is really funny, but the second could cause possible blockage. After you finish washing your dishes, pour a good amount of water down the sink to clear the drain as much as possible. The only advice I can give is to use two hose clamps on every hose connection and not one hose clamp. I know what I am talking about; leaks on this piece of equipment can spoil a weekend.


Batteries. I am happy to say that after five seasons, the golf-cart batteries installed under the forward berth are still giving fantastic service and only came out once - to have the acid changed. Mind you, they weigh 85 lbs each and are not the easiest to handle. They are really deep cycle batteries and are the best I have found so far. I only charged them once in the middle of the season and once a month during the winter months. They give me a reserve of over 200 ampere-hours, quite enough for regular use of lights and VHF radio.



John Charters (#l000) BDYC


If I were asked to name the most neglected piece of equipment on a Tanzer 22, I would have to nominate the battery. All winter it sits neglected in the basement or garage. Then the night before launching, if it's lucky, it gets put on charge. Once installed under the V-berth it is forgotten about - that is until someone notices the boat's lights seem a tad dim. Then it gets another charge.


Until recently, there was not too much choice. You could install an ordinary car battery (size 24 seems to fit) or a so-called marine battery. Depending on the make and price, some marine batteries are little more than car batteries with rope handles. True, some of the better marine ones are specifically designed for boat use, are double insulated and more ruggedly constructed than automotive types. A true marine battery will have a thicker and stronger moulded case, and the posts will be moulded in such a way as to minimize the possibility of leaks. The positive plates should be of higher density for longer life, and the plates may also be thicker with heavier grids to hold them in place.


But even the best marine battery behaves much like a car battery. It is a battery designed to deliver a heavy load or current for just a few seconds to start an engine, then to be recharged immediately. This kind of battery does not like to be completely discharged. In fact, a complete discharge may damage the battery and even prove fatal. The moral here: Keep your battery charged if you want long life from it. 


A recent arrival on the battery scene is the service or deep-cycle battery. A battery designed to be deeply discharged and recharged many times. A figure quoted: a typical marine battery can go through 30 to 40 discharge/recharge cycles before its power, or capacity, is affected. A deep cycle battery, on the other hand, may endure as many as 200 cycles before it will decline. A conventional battery will have many thin plates, perhaps 90; a deep-cycle battery will have fewer, but thicker plates, probably 66. Unfortunately, these deep cycle batteries are quite a bit more expensive. A recent ad in a Montreal paper lists a conventional battery at $50.00 and an RV (Recreational Vehicle) marine (deep cycle) at $100.00: Considering a deep cycle may well outlast a regular battery two, or more, to one, perhaps the deep cycle may in fact be the less expensive.


Another new arrival is the maintenance-free battery. I understand that "antimony" is replaced with calcium in the lead, and as a result gassing is reduced to a minimum, water is not lost and the battery never needs "topping up". Attractive though this may be, it does make it more or less impossible to check the battery's specific gravity with a hydrometer. And good marine practice suggests periodic checks with the hydrometer. I'm told calcium in the maintenance-free battery forms calcium oxide on the lead conductor plate grids when the battery is completely discharged, rendering the battery useless. If that is the case, regular, or "low" maintenance batteries would seem to be the better choice.


At the recent Montreal Boat Show I was introduced to the "oil battery" made by Thermo Batteries Canada Ltd. Claimed to have far greater recovery power than the acid type, it is advertised to regain enough power, even after a complete discharge, to start an engine, if given a 20-40 minute rest. However, other than the manufacturer's literature, I have not read any other reports on this oil filled battery. If anyone has additional information, I would most certainly like to hear it.


Battery maintenance: As mentioned, the electrolyte should be checked at reasonable intervals with a hydrometer, water added and battery recharged whenever needed. Most tap water is good enough, but if you have reason to feel your local water supply contains too many minerals, you may wish to use distilled. Do try not to spill any battery acid on your clothes. I've ruined several pairs of pants with battery acid by being careless. Baking soda does a good job cleaning the top and posts, (1/4 cup to qt.water), but it must not be allowed to get into the cells.

After cleaning, rinse with water and dry, bone dry. Cables and posts should be shiny bright. Use sandpaper or a stainless steel brush.


Charging: I have read in several places that "trickle charging" ruins more good batteries. It is better to use a regular battery charger whenever needed, than to leave a trickle charger on all the time. A fast charge, if properly controlled, is OK for regular marine batteries, but should not be used with deep cycle batteries. Remember, when charging your battery, be sure to provide lots of ventilation. Hydrogen is produced during charging, and as you know, hydrogen is highly explosive. I find these fumes very irritating, making it hard to breathe.

I don't think it's a good idea to put the charger on, then turn in for the night when sleeping on board. Given a little TLC your battery will last for a good long time, 4 or 5 years is not unknown. Neglected, it may not last a season.


REF: Your Boat's Electrical System 1980/81 by Conrad Miller and E.S. Maloney. Surrette Battery Company Limited.