No. 76 - February 1988

 

STICKING/SLAPPING CENTERBOARDS

by DICK STIMPFL #1498

I bought #1498 (1978) used in 1980 and it has always been sailed in salt water.  The board operated freely during the pre­purchase inspection and during the 1981 sailing season.

After launching in 1982 it was discovered that the board was stuck up.  The boat was hauled to give access to free the board with a crowbar and this process was repeated later in the season when the board stuck again.  At US $75.00 per hauling, something had to be done.

During 1982-1983 winter storage I removed the board.  This was no mean feat since the keel rested on two 6 x 6 inch blocks set athwart the forward and aft ends of the keel and a slit trench had to be dug to allow the board to drop clear of the keel.  Also the position of the pin was nowhere near the old or new location indicated in the owner's manual.

On inspection after removal, the board was heavily scaled with rust and it was also cast with a 1/4 inch warp in it.  The board was ground down to bare metal to remove the rust and reduce the warp and the trunk was cleaned out as well.

A hole was drilled into the lower leading edge of the board and a stainless steel bolt inserted to prevent full retraction into the keel and facilitate removal if it got stuck again.  The board and trunk were primed and repainted and the board reinserted.

The board worked fine during the 1984 season but when we were ready for launching in 1985 the board was stuck again and could not be moved by hand.  The bolt was removed and a shackle put into the hole.  A chain was attached to the shackle and the boat yard bulkhead and only by raising the boat in the slings of the hoist could the board be moved down.  The board was raised by lowering the boat onto the bulkhead with its weight forcing the board up into the trunk.  At this point we decided to leave the board down about nine inches and we sailed the season with poor pointing ability.

When the boat was hauled at the end of the 1985 season, we knocked out the pin and pulled the board out completely using the chain bulkhead hoist method described above.  It was covered with rust again and when the now empty trunk was power hosed all sorts of good things came out; mud, sand, shells and large amounts of scale including several pieces 1/16 inch thick and about six inches square.

(Ed. note: Dick sent along a sample with his letter.  Ugh!)

 

In the spring of 1986 the board was again ground down to bare metal plus some to reduce the warp further.  Any residual loose scale was cleaned from the trunk.  Everything was again primed and repainted but the board would only go halfway into the trunk.  The rust had reduced the width of the trunk sufficiently to prevent the board from fully retracting.

Exasperated, I decided to leave the board out for the season while I tried to figure out what to do next.

Just prior to launching I went on a business trip to Canada traveling with a Canadian associate who was a power boating enthusiast.  I told him my problems as well as several sailor/customers who sympathized and related horror stories of removing keels and using chainsaws to remove rust and scale from the trunks to enlarge it.

Now I was resigned to never getting the board in again.  However, on the last day of my trip while going to the airport, my power boating friend suggested, "If you can't make the trunk wider, why not make the board thinner?" Eureka!

On my return home I had a new board cut from 1/2 inch black iron plate and everything has been working fine since.  Now, during the sailing season, the sound of the board slapping while I make my tacks is music to my ears!  And just for good measure I remove the board at the end of each season and clean and repaint it and the trunk prior to launching each year.

Helpful Hints.  When removing the board, keep it almost fully retracted.  Place a 2 X 4 under the forward part of the board so that when the pin is knocked out the board will be supported and can be lowered gently.  Then the rear can be lo­wered and the pennant detached from the winch and pulled from the guide tube.

Reinsertion of the board is just the opposite.  Run the pennant up the tube and onto the winch and partially retract the board.  It will swing on the pennant.  Using the 2 x 4 as a lever, the forward end of the board can be moved into alignment with the hole in the keel so the pin can be reinserted.

 

The pennant can easily be brought back up through the guide tube with a length of flexible cable such as a piece of old pennant or shroud.  This is run down through the tube, butted against the pennant, taped tightly with thin masking or electri­cal tape and pulled back up.

To keep the pin from falling out, insert 1 1/8 inch diameter 5/8 inch plugs of pine or other soft wood into the ends of the pin holes and seal with some kind of compound.  The compound will hold the wood in place while it swells from the water.  The pin will be secure as you will find out when you try to remove it.

 

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Robert Johnstone, Marketing Advisor for J Boats, recently did an in-depth analysis of the growth rates in sports participation for the year 1986.

The complete report is too long to include in our Newsletter.  Here are the highlights.

Sailing closely correlates with discretionary income.  Dis­cretionary income correlates with age.  Sailing is also the ultimate "escape" .... an "entrepreneurial type" alternative ... a statement of individual freedom and self reliance, adding color and dimension to what, at age 40, may be one's routine "land based" existence.  Sailing is also an inclusive "couples" or family sport.

Both Boardsailing and Sailing showed higher percentage gains over 1985 than Downhill skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Tennis, Waterskiing, Fishing or Canoeing.  In fact, it's larger than all those categories combined.

The only larger gain in "Total Numbers" for an outdoor sport was Golf.  Both Sailing and Golf are sports which become more popular with an aging, wealthier population.

Because of aging population trends, this analysis provides a clue to sports which are likely to experience better than average growth rates in the next decade.  Next to Exercise Walking, Sailing is at the top of the list!

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PROTEST! PROTEST!

There is an old saying - "If you can't rule the waves, waive the rules!"  Some racing skippers never neglect an opportunity to protest another competitor.  For any real or imagined infraction, no matter how slight.  And there are those who never protest even when they should.

And I guess I tend to fall into the latter category. I must admit, I detest protesters and protest hearings and go out of my way to avoid situations that may lead to being protested.

However, having said that, there is one situation where the only alternative is to protest.  I am referring to a situation where one or more competitors in a race find to their chagrin that an action by the race committee has materially affected their finishing position.  Even though this action may have been quite unintentional.  Example: You finish a race only to discover your name left off the list of finishers.  Or you know you finished ahead of another competitor but on the list he is shown well ahead of you.  What do you do?

In the past, your only recourse was to protest the Race Committee.  And in the past, if you won your protest, the Race Committee's only recourse was to abandon the race.  Which didn't help their popularity too much with the rest of the racers.

Now, there is another way.  Let me explain by telling you of an experience I had while acting as the Race Committee Officer for the Shark Canadian Championships.  On the Committee Boat with me as an observer was a chap that was working towards qualifying as a "Gold Judge" which is the highest qualification awarded by the Canadian Yachting Association.  Between races we were discussing the above situation.  And Leo (that was his name) said, "It doesn't always have to be that way."  And he went on to describe an event at which he was a judge on the Protest Committee.

 

Seems that somehow or other a finisher got left off the list or else thought he was listed in the wrong place.  I forget the details but the end result is the same.  The Race Committee, quite by accident, had messed up the finishing position of a competitor.  Instead of scrapping the race, the Committee called in all the skippers and told them to line up in the order they thought they had finished.  There was a bit of shuffling around but finally all agreed that they were in the right order.  "Right", said the Committee, "this will be the official results."

Thereby saving the race, satisfied all competitors, including the one left out.

My message here is mostly to Race Committees.  The next time you have a competitor who thinks he has been materially prejudiced by the Race Committee, see if you can't solve the problem by getting all competitors to agree on what would be fair - and go with it.  In other words, make every effort to save a race rather than scrub a race.

 

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SAILING CANADA

The October issue of Sailing Canada has some rather nice things to say about the Tanzer 22.  In an article titled "Best Bets on the Used Boat Market" by Michael McGoldrick, a number of boats are reviewed from the 17 foot Siren up to the Grampian 26.  Included in the survey is the Tanzer 22.  Thank you Michael for selecting the Tanzer 22 and for mentioning the Class Association.

 

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SHOW A LEG!

This expression, which today means to get started or moving, dates back to early days in the British navy when many of the sailors had been pressed into service.

It was thought too dangerous to allow shore leave as the chance of the men deserting was more than likely.  Instead, women were allowed to sleep aboard when the ship was in port.  Come morning when it was time for the sailors to be up and about, the command "show a leg" was issued.  Those with nice soft curvy legs were allowed to remain in bed; the ugly hairy legs were required to get up.

 

THE NEW RUDDER

by DICK STIMPFL #1498 - FLEET CAPTAIN HEMPSTEAD BAY SAILING CLUB

I've just finished my first season with the new rudder and I (and my wife) can certainly attest to the improvement in handling.  However, I would like to comment on a few of its characteristics.

1. Length.  The new rudder is five inches longer than the old one.  I have a K/CB and it was suggested in a past Newsletter that the pintles be positioned lower on the rudder to raise it effectively above the depth of the keel and compensate for its longer length.

The old ruder was two inches higher than the keel so the pintles should be three inches lower, right?  Wrong!  There is a jog on the leading edge of the new rudder preventing it from being raised more than one to two inches before it hits the transom.  Thus, the new rudder will always extend below the shoal keel by one or two inches.

Thank goodness for soft bottoms in my sailing area.

2. Buoyancy.  I went to great pains to line up the pintles on the new rudder so that they would rest equally on the gudgeons for proper weight distribution.  Surprise!  The new rudder is buoyant and instead of a downward force on the gudgeons through the pintles, there is an upward force on them borne by the cotter pin in the pintles which prevent the rudder from popping up and out.

 

3. Rudder Head.  The head on my new rudder is thinner than on the old one and I had to put washer shims between the tiller and rudder to get a reasonable friction fit for vertical tiller positioning.

Helpful hint.  Put silicone or other sealant into the holes for the pintle bolts before inserting them.  This will help prevent water from entering and being trapped by the core as happened with my old rudder.

 

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SERVICE DEPARTMENT

WINTER PROJECTS

This just might be a good time to re-finish your tiller so it will be all nice and bright for the new rudder you are going to order for your boat.

 

(You are going to take the plunge and replace that old rudder, aren't you?  Just as a matter of interest, as of mid-October, 97 US members and 73 Canadian members have bought a new rudder.)

Back to the tiller.  The factory finish was clear polyester resin, if I remember correctly, each tiller after sanding was painted with resin and hung up to cure, then sanded and given a coat of varnish.

 

For most of us, this is not too practical.  A high quality marine varnish or urethane will be just as satisfactory and a lot easier to apply.  Be sure to use a brand that has a UV shield.  It is not the varnish that breaks down, it is the wood.  The ultra violet sun rays penetrate right through the clear finish and attack the wood underneath.  No matter how many coats, it is those miserable UV rays that do the damage.  So, annual maintenance is a must if you wish to keep your tiller looking new.

If your tiller looks like mine, you are in for some hard work.  I was once told or read that Oxalic Acid will bleach wood and remove that ugly gray.  Don't you believe it!  Or at least it didn't work on mine.  Elbow grease and sandpaper is the only sure method.  And just about as much fun as jogging.  That gray is much more than just skin deep!  This year I am using a paint scraper before sanding to speed up the job. Just be sure the scraper is good and sharp - and kept that way by touching up the blade with a file as soon as it gets a bit dull.

Then several coats of varnish, with light sanding between each coat.  The resin used by the factory helped seal the wood hence only one coat of varnish was needed.  Without the resin you may have to go to three or four coats.

However, what is really needed is a tiller cover to protect the tiller when not sailing.  When you think of it, for most of us, the boat sits for days at the dock or on its mooring with the sun beating down doing its darndest to ruin all exposed wood.  A cover made from the same material as the sail cover will protect and preserve that varnish.

Now, here's a winter project for one of you.  A pattern and instructions for making a tiller cover which we will print in the next Newsletter.  (I see that in the Catalina Newsletter they advertise such an item for $18.00 made especially for Catalina yachts. Maybe it will fit the Tanzer 22.)

 

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While on the subject of tillers, just about the best tiller lock I have seen or used is the "Tiller Brake", now manufactured by RWO.  There is a photo of it in Newsletter #53.  Next to an auto-pilot, the best friend the single handed skipper can have.  With a little practice and a steady breeze, the helm can be locked and the Tanzer 22 will stay on course long enough to brew a cuppa or crack open a cool one.  And longer.

 

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Another winter project, write something for our Newsletter.  I received a note from a member the other day asking why there was no account of the Quebec Open in the December Newsletter.  I was at the Newport Boat Show that weekend and none of those that raced that I asked ever got around to writing it up.  Over the years the success of our Association and its Newsletter has been the contributions from our members.  Lately this has been drying up.  I am sure that one of you out there has an interesting cruise to write about.  A modification.  A cure for a persistent problem.  Why not share your experiences with the rest of the membership?

 

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