No. 59 - September 1984

TALL SHIPS - QUEBEC 84

As seen from the deck of Red Baron V (#1000) by Skipper John Charters and crew Bruce Bennett, Richard Kennish and Barbara Charters.

 

It was with considerable trepidation we loaded Red Baron on her trailer and headed off to Quebec City. Advance reports had indicated that the Quebec Bridge would be closed to traffic and no cars would be allowed into the city. Despite the assurance of "Our Man in Quebec", Guy Remillard, that there would be no problems, we were still nervous as we headed out along the Trans-Canada Highway. However, our first problem had nothing to do with Quebec '84. But rather the trailer spare tire. Somehow it came adrift on the Metropolitan Blvd. and got jammed under the trailer. Why do these things always happen on an elevated expressway, when you can't pullover? With the help of a passing good Samaritan and a jack, the tire was finally freed, much the worse for wear and no longer usable. Fortunately, it was not needed; both trips, there and back, were uneventful.

 

Guy was quite right, there were no problems. The guard at the gates of the Quebec Yacht Club greeted us (in French, of course) and asked if we were there for the “Labatt Challenge”, and if so would we like to park our car and trailer at the Club - the charge only $3.00 per day. There is an 18 foot tide at Quebec, we had arrived at low, so spent the next few hours stepping the mast and rigging the boat. When all was ready - down the ramp went trailer and car. Even with the extensions on the trailer, and the car up to the trunk in water, we were unable to float off. Back up the ramp, disconnect car from trailer, attach trailer to car with the one inch hawser I carry for just such occasions, and back down the ramp, this time with success.

 

Registration provided us with all necessary information, including "hospital type" bracelets inscribed "Challenge Labatt Canada". This was to become our passports to all the Quebec 84 events and admission to the site. True to his word, Guy had arranged berths for all the T-22s at the new marina at "Le Vieux Port" at Bassin Louise. I tell you, when the Federal Government builds a marina they do a proper job. A superb facility complete with locks (remember that 18 foot tide I mentioned?) to get in and out. Almost the best part of the weekend was the excitement of locking in or out. Only the bold got into the locks. Hesitate and you were lost, to stand by and wait for the next opening. Great sport, the secret was to circle about, timing your last circle to end up more or less in line with the centre of the locks, when permission to enter was announced. Then goose the motor, go like hell for the locks - weaving and bobbing through the boat traffic - steering with outboard engine and rudder and giving way to neither tall ship, trimaran, nor power cruiser.

 

I'm sure someone else will have described the racing in detail, so I will confine my remarks to overall impressions not only of the races, but the weekend in general.

 

The finish of race one, right up in the harbour with winds from every direction, and the IOR Maxi-racers jockeying for position. Man, when those brutes yell "starboard" they mean it. In those last few minutes I think we moved from fourth to first, back to fourth, several times. What a way to finish a twenty-mile race.

That night we were invited to join the torch light parade. What a sight. Must have been 300 boats (well maybe 100), on the river all waving flares. A sight long to be remembered. Then the firework display. To be enjoyed, fireworks have to be seen from the water.

 

The second race on Monday was something else. I'll never forget the Race Committee Officer (John Morgan) resplendent in whites leaning over the stern of a Canadian destroyer (or maybe it was a Frigate) that was used as the RCO boat, saying "I like your aggressive starts". This was after the tide had carried us well in front of the start line, and we were desperately trying to get back around the stern of that destroyer to start on the proper side of the line. We were only three minutes late. One of our better starts, in fact. Most of the fleet were even later.

Fact of the matter, I think we crossed second, right behind Chris Campbell. So there!

 

Then a reception back at the Quebec Yacht Club where we were joined by our two daughters and sons-in-law. We sailed back to the harbour so they could see some of the remaining Tall Ships and then raced back to the yacht club with "Tag". (We lost.) The evening was spent hanging around waiting for the Protest Committee. We had been protested for an alleged "missing a mark on the course". I've never lost a protest in my life, so wasn't about to lose this one. If I know I'm wrong, I retire. And, when I know I'm right, we tough it out with the Protest Committee. My record still stands.

 

Tuesday morning and breakfast with the Mayor of Quebec at City Hall for the prize giving. Chris. Campbell (#413) won first place in PHRF4 - the T22 classification, Don Anderson (#363) came second overall and yours truly third. Police escorted us to and from the yacht club. The highlight was when some poor woman almost ran over the motor bike cop that had stopped to hold up traffic. When last seen he was trying to write up a ticket with one hand while pulling his motorcycle out from under the car with the other.

 

Strange as it may seem, all the boats at the Quebec Yacht Club are launched and hauled on a ramp. I enquired why so large, and, I believe, the oldest yacht club in North America did not have some sort of Travel Lift. I was told they used to, but because of the extreme tidal range, found it was easier to launch down a ramp. So every boat owner has some sort of trailer, complete with guides to facilitate finding the trailer when under water. Primitive it may sound, but believe me they can haul a boat in about half the time that would be taken with a lift or hoist. I have my own system for retrieval much the same, and we were able to haul out without trouble, drop the mast, secure the boat and be on our way back home by noon.

 

And what a super weekend it had been. Even added a third place flag to our collection. Plus two flags from the race, one the "Coupe de Quebec" flag that was flown by all those competing for that Cup, and a Challenge Labatt flag signifying we were start #2-PHRF 4 Class. I'm going to add these to my collection as well for those occasions we dress ship at the Baie d'Urfe Yacht Club. Others may have more prize flags, but no one else has these two in our Club.

 

THAT SHINY GELCOAT

John Charters

 

There she sits all bright and white, new and shiny . . . A thing of beauty and a joy forever - your new boat. And, because she is the love of your life you take good care of her. Waxing the hull and deck, washing her down with fresh water weekly and protecting her hull with nice soft fenders. Then, one day, horror of horrors, you discover some yellow stains on the deck. Most probably at the toe rail or in the corners of the cockpit. They don't come off with Fantastic or acetone. Even fiberglass cleaner doesn't work. Disaster has struck - your thing of beauty is no longer beautiful. Oh woe!

 

Take heart, there is a solution. Your boat can be restored to her showroom shine. A little work and a little time is all that is needed.

 

But first, a little background on Gelcoat. Gelcoat is a polyester resin that has been pigmented. It is sprayed in the mold much the same way a car is spray­painted. When new, gelcoat has a high gloss. But, despite appearances, it is not as hard as it looks. In fact, it is slightly porous and can be easily stained as well as scratched. So why do some gelcoat areas yellow and some not? And why, for heavens sake, do some decks never yellow? I don't think there is a definitive answer. It has been suggested that perhaps it is a reaction caused by the styrene in the gelcoat. This styrene tends to concentrate in the nooks and crannies. Hence the staining is often confined to the corners.

 

Now the cure. Assuming you have tried the commercial fiberglass cleaners without success, the next step is to try to polish out the stains with a fairly aggressive rubbing compound. This may be all that is needed. However, if the stains are particularly stubborn, you may have to go a step further. Sandpaper. Buy a few sheets of #600 and #1200 "Wet 'n Dry" sandpaper. Now, with a bucket of water wet sand the stained areas, starting with the #600. One of the neatest tricks I've seen is to use one of those pressurized garden sprayers - spraying a fine spray of water almost continuously, as you sand. Whether you use a bucket or a spray, use lots of water. When you have sanded out the yellow with the #600, switch to #1200. This will help to smooth and polish the gelcoat. You can tell by the sound and feel when you have sanded enough.

 

Now it's back to the rubbing compound, first a medium then a fine, polishing until you have restored the gelcoat to its original lustre. Then add two coats of wax and the job is done.

I have, as some of you know, a red hulled T-22. Last summer I had it refinished in much the same manner as described above. It was done professionally, took two men about seven hours to restore the hull to a deep red from a faded, mottled, almost pink, hull - at about a quarter the price of an "Awlgrip" repaint job. The sanding was done by hand, except using three grades of sandpaper instead of two. The polishing with rubbing compound was done with heavy duty buffing machines, as was the waxing.

 

Speaking of waxing, you should wax the smooth portions of your boat at least twice a year. The liquid ones like "Starbright" are the easiest to use. A word of caution. Starbright is a silicone polish, and although its results are spectacular, it does have one drawback. Should you ever decide to have your hull repainted it will be very difficult to remove all the silicone from the pores of the gelcoat. And the paint won't stick if there is any silicone polish left on the hull. A little more work, but a good paste wax is perhaps better in the long run.

 

On page 122 of Bruce Bingham's (he's the chap that always draws a cat and mouse in his sketches) book, "The Sailor's Sketch Book" (Seven Seas Press - Newport, RI) he talks of a "secret super solvent". What is it . . . it's brush cleaner. The kind that is water soluble. "Poly Clens" by Lepages is one such solvent. It will make your vinyl lifelines, rubrail, fenders and so on look like new. There are a couple of things you can't use it on - Lexan, ABS plastics and, of course, painted surfaces, to name a few. So read the label on the can.

 

 

IDEAS PACKAGE #2

Doris and Paul Eckland

 

Upper Companionway Louvre

When buttoned up during the week, inside cabin temperatures approach l20F. Standard ventilation is not adequate to dispel the heat. We added a large louvered teak grill to the upper board and a low-profile cabin roof vent, solving the problem. The louver is screened and has a vent closure on the inside to retain cabin heat in cold weather. The expert who made it was Roy Tischuk of Aquilon Ebenisterie Inc., at (514) 636-1435. Roy is a master craftsman for this kind of work.

 

Swing Keel Freeze Plug

Doris III is a swing keeler. The boat was used in heavy weather on Lake Ontario during its first year. The one inch diameter swing keel hinge-pin worked its way out of the keel and guess what - we lost it.

Doris III was immediately returned to the factory where Mr. Tanzer himself graciously and expertly replaced the whole as
sembly. In its second year, again on Lake Ontario, we keep a watchful eye on the pin/keel unit by underwater mask. The very same thing started again except that this time we caught the pin before it completely disengaged the board. Enough is enough: A solution has to be found to what we feel is a design flaw. Its answer is to remove the wood plugs on each side of the pin replacing them with a galvanized one-inch diameter (standard plumber’s) freeze plug. The plugs are surface tack welded with stainless weld rod where they rest flush with the fixed keel. Should they ever need to be removed, a surface grinder will easily free them for extraction.

 

 

Tiller Lock

For single handling or whatever, the tiller-lock made by Savidan Devices of Montreal is unique. After making several home made rigs to hold the tiller while under sail or power, we switched to this product and found it incomparable in its usefulness, also it is a fraction of the cost of an Auto helm.

 

Electric Panel

The T-22 electrical panel not only is inconveniently placed, but also located such that visitors and crew inadvertently activate switches without the skipper's knowledge. This is due to the long handles on the toggle switches, their ease of motion with no noise, and the narrow passage-way to the head. To solve this problem and others, the whole boat was re-wired and electrically redesigned. A Marinetics eight switch circuit breaker with dual battery test meter panel was located on the bulkhead wall of the port seat locker. Dual batteries were installed forward with a built-in Nautilus 15 amp dual battery charger directly connected to our l15V shore power box. All wiring is heavy gauge with solder lug terminals. Both Marinetics and Nautilus are only available in Canada from HMS in Port Credit, Ontario.

 

Teak Cockpit Grating

It looks great and also keeps the dirt, sand or potato chip scraps out of sight. Roy Tischuk again, made it in two pieces to accommodate floor mounted mainsheet traveller.

 

Pop-Top Frame

For those who have the Tanzer pop-top, a sometimes useful device, the problem is, where do you store the huge pipe support frame on a T-22?

The solution is, cut the two frames with a hacksaw in the center. The ID of the pipe used on these frames exactly fits standard 1/2" copper water pipe. Using a piece of copper pipe six inches long, insert this halfway into one half of the frame and glue it in place with epoxy. When in use, reassemble the two pieces. They will stay together by the pop-top itself. To store they now are small enough to fit under the cockpit floor, neatly out of the way.

 

Sun-Shield

This product, sold by MMOS, is the most marvellous coating for teak we have ever seen. No more constant oiling is needed, while the wood still retains its original unfinished appearance. After two years, no changes are visible. Follow the directions on the can. We used six coats. They claim 3 year protection. We believe it. Ask Roy Tischuk, he uses it also. We recommend its immediate application on a new boat. For example, we coated the exterior companionway board guide rail with Sun-Shield and oiled the interior side. One cannot see the difference between the two adjacent surfaces.

 

 

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