No. 85 - December 1989




My marina neighbor recently asked how to keep the water supply from getting foul.  As I answered, I thought perhaps some of our members might not be aware of a few simple steps to keep the water system clean and safe.  Best if these steps are taken in the spring and fall.

1. Remove the tank and rinse it with about a half cup of household bleach.  Turn the tank so all sides are coated.  Drain the bleach, rinse with water and plug the openings with wads of paper towel to keep bugs out over the winter.

2. Put the galley pump section hose into a cup and pump it through the hose into the sink and out the drain.  Follow with a water rinse and pump the system dry.  Mop up any spills.

3. Not necessary but useful.  Plug the anchor well drain with a towel wad and fill the drain line with bleach.  Let it stand for about 15 minutes, pull the plug and rinse.  Rinse the hull outside both drains.  In the fall, plug the hoses with paper towel wads to keep the bugs out over the winter. (Wasps love little openings in the hull!)

4. Use only city (chlorinated) water in the tank.


Editors note:

If you have one of the earlier Tanzer 22s, your water tank is built in and located behind the ice box and it is not possible to remove.  The best you can do is to drain it in the fall when laying up for winter (applicable only to those that live where it freezes during the winter) and use bleach when launching in the spring as described by Norm.  It may take several bleach and rinse cycles to get the tank clean and grunge free.  Even then, your water may taste of chlorine for the first month or so.  Very early Tanzer 22s had the water tank incorporated into the sink with very little capacity.  The solution - convert to a proper sink and install tank in cockpit locker as in modern Tanzers.




Four years ago I installed a compass, a depth finder and a knot meter in my Tanzer 22.  I was amazed with the cost.  Marine instruments are no bargain!  Having just paid for everything and having sailed on boats with yellowing compass bowls, I did not want to leave everything out for the sun and light fingers to destroy.  Instead of mounting the instruments in the bulkhead on either side of the companionway, I made a new lower companionway board and put the instruments in it.

I cut out cardboard circles the size of the instrument faces, placed them on the lower companionway board, moved them around to get a tight pattern and drew a plan based on that mock up.  (I almost forgot to leave room below the compass to allow its back to miss hitting the little sill on the inside of the hatch.)  I could not find 3/4 inch teak, so I made the new lower board out of 1/2" teak glued to 1/4" plywood.  This may be the best way to do it anyway because the plywood adds badly needed strength to the board after the big holes have been cut in it.  The teak extends 5/8" beyond the plywood leaving the port and starboard edges thin enough to fit into the slides.  A small piece of teak fastened across the top and supported with four little braces below makes it a little more comfortable to sit or step on the board.  I cut a piece of 3/8" Plexiglas to fill the space above the board.  It rests in a small groove in the top of the board and makes it possible to see aft from below in the rain.  A switch on the side of the starboard quarter berth controls the instrument lights.

The wires (power from the battery and leads to the trans­ducers) pass through a hole drilled in the starboard quarter berth and up towards the bow of the boat.  A 6" X 8" cut-out under the head gives access to the space where the knot meter and depth­finder transducers are mounted.  The knot meter transducer was mounted through the hull with a 3/4" wood backing plate glued to the inside of the hull.  The depth finder transducer was mounted in a mound of silicone caulking on the inside of the hull.  Screwing the head down over the cut-out covers the hole and keeps the head from flying about in a storm.


I'm pleased with the installation.  It looks good, the instruments are safe when stored below and the always-in-place new lower companionway board makes the boat safer to sail in rough weather.  When not in use the instruments fit standing up under the starboard end of the step and stay out of the way.


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by DON STARK #692

It's a simple concept, really.  I needed a table in the cockpit to escape the heat inside the boat.  So why not use table that I already had?

Measure your companionway opening as there may be variation between boats.  You can adjust the lower support to suit the desired height.  The slots that I cut to accept brackets on the table are a little wider and deeper than necessary but have not created a problem.  You, of course, could use the commercially available stainless steel brackets, but I was trying to save money.

It is not a difficult project, as I made mine at the dock in about two hours, using hand tools.  I used cherry for its warm color similar to teak.  Cherry will tend to darken with age.  I used a hand molding plane to do the beaded edge, though you may want to use a router.  Finish with varnish or oil as desired.  Add a red checkered tablecloth, a candle, your favorite beverage and a good friend for a romantic dinner under the stars.

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THE SAILOR'S EYES by O. DAVID SOLOMON, M.D., FACS as published in Scots and Water.


Several years ago, a friend of mine, a surgeon, was winching his Flying Scot onto a trailer when the line snapped, whipping into his eye.  I found an intraocular haemorrhage and some structural damage.  Fortunately, the injury did not end his career - the eye did recover.

Sailing is a dynamic sport and the potential for eye injury lurks in unexpected areas.  A fresh breeze whipping an uncleated jib or the parting of some running rigging are a few examples of potential eye injuries.  Boat repair is another area of potential trouble.  I have seen severe eye injuries resulting from metal fragments propelled like missiles during pounding or drilling as well as epoxy resin or paint splashing in the eye.

When I winch my Scot onto my trailer, I turn my back to the bow of the boat when the line gets taut and I try to wear eye protection when I make repairs on the boat.

The sailor's eyes are more at risk on the water than off because of exposure to sunlight.  A recent report from Johns Hopkins revealed extensive exposure to sunlight can triple the risk for cataract formation.  The sailor is exposed to greater damaging ultraviolet radiation because of the reflections from water and the bright topsides of his boat.

Some individuals are at a greater risk for retinal damage from UV than others.  Certain medications increase the photo sensitivity of the retina.  Some of these are Psoralen, Tetracycline and Doxycycline, Allopurinols and Phenothiazines.

Patients who have had cataract surgery are definitely at risk for UV retinal damage unless an implant containing a UV filter was placed in the eye during surgery.  Since the UV implants have become available only in the past few years, older implants probably are not protective against UV.


Fortunately, sailors can easily and cheaply protect themselves against UV ocular damage.  Sunglasses with UV absorbing properties are readily available.  Be sure the label states that the lenses absorb up to 400.  Polycarbonate plastic lenses are more impact resistant than glass and are recommended for sailors.  An inexpensive polycarbonate UV 400 sunglass may be as satisfactory as a similar expensive lens with designer name.

Non-prescription sunglasses may easily be tested for optical clarity by holding them at arms length and looking through them at a straight line.  When you move the lens in a small circle, the straight line should not become distorted.

Although sailing poses some hazards to your ocular health, a few precautionary measures will help to provide many enjoyable years of sailing and healthy eyes.


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David Solomon serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor with Case Western Reserve University and is the Chief Eye Surgeon and Director of Laser Lab at Richmond Heights General Hospital in Cleveland.  Last year he finished second in the Masters Division of the NAC.


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Had a phone call the other day from a member asking about topping lifts and what could be done to improve on the standard factory issue.  It started me thinking and forms the basis for this month's Service Department.

The standard topping lift was a length of flexible wire with a thimble nicro-pressed on both ends.  One end is fastened to the mast cap and a length of thin line to the other.  And it is this length of line that is attached to the end of the boom - adjusted to whatever height one wants the boom to be when the sail is dropped.  Most skippers like to have the boom as high as possible so as not to keep hitting ones head on it.  The trouble is, if you do this, the topping lift is too tight when the sail is hoisted and the topping lift either has to be re-adjusted or removed from the boom and attached somehow to the backstay.

And if one forgets to re-attach it before lowering the main - ouch!


There should be a better way.  On Red Baron we have fitted a small snap hook to the lower end of the topping lift and the boom is hooked to it when not sailing.  The length of line is also attached to the boom with enough slack to allow the mainsail to set properly.  Granted, the topping lift does flog about a bit and I suppose could cause a little wear to the sail.

Seems to me a better system would be to have an adjustable topping lift, with the control lead to the mast or even to the cockpit.  Or to the forward end of the boom.  The latter would be the easiest to install.  Materials needed: a small Cheek block, a cleat and some line.  Pop rivet the cheek block to the aft end of the boom and the cleat near the forward end of the boom on the same side as the block.  Attach line to end of topping lift, feed through cheek block and bring forward to cleat.  Once sail is hoisted, adjust topping lift to suit.

A better system might be to have a block attached at the tip of the mast with the boom permanently attached to the lower end of said topping lift.  Again, a length of line led from the top end of the topping lift through the block at the mast head and down to a cleat on the mast.  Or even through another block at the foot of the mast and aft to the cockpit, much the same way as halyards are led aft.  This way the topping lift could be adjusted from the safety of the cockpit without ever having to go up on deck.

With any one of the systems described, one would be able to adjust the topping lift when the mainsail was hoisted to allow just enough slack so as not to affect the shape of the main but not so much that the topping lift was allowed to chafe the leech of the mainsail.


I have never been happy with the idea of tying off the topping lift to the backstay.  Apart from the obvious disadvantage of being hit on the head should the main halyard ever let go or become undone one could loose the boom overboard.  If nothing else, I'm sure that black plastic goose neck track would be broken.  In addition, jiffy reefing is much easier if the topping lift is attached to the boom.


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Here is a project for Winter.  If your boat is like ours, you have halyard wires outside the mast that you tie back with bungees and other probably electrical wires that run inside mast that you cannot tie.

The ones outside vibrate in the wind and make a clicking and drumming noise that keeps everyone else in the anchorage awake.  The ones inside, even on a windless night with every roll, clang and ding and reverberate down the mast and into the hull.  This stops you from sleeping inside.

Our solution was to buy the spongy gray 3/4" hot water pipe insulation.  This was to be inserted into the mast around the wires if possible but, if not, then alongside them to soften their movements.

I bought twine the length of the mast. Then, with the truck (top plate) off, I opened up the tube around the wires at the masthead and slid it down inside the mast.  As each piece went in it was placed around the wires and taped with duct tape to the next piece so that I had a reasonably firm alignment to push on.

It wasn't possible to enclose the wires that exit at the bow light level and the spreaders.  Those were dealt with by a second length of tubes taped together which filled free space in the mast, like an undulating snake, stopping most of the remaining movement.

There is space in a Tanzer 22 mast for a third tube set but we haven't had to put one in.  The tubes can be pulled out again provided the tape stays stuck.  So, if the method doesn't work for you, you can recover your investment and insulate water pipes at home.

But for us, our mast is silent all night for both insiders and outsiders.  Everyone sleeps better, is less ratty the next morning.  In fact, the whole anchorage gets along better and enjoys life a little more.


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After 13 years of valiant service just about all the electrics on Red Baron V refused to function when I commissioned her this year.  First it was the battery, with one cell refusing to take a charge.  A new marine deep cycle battery soon replaced the old.  After much debate and thought, I mounted it in the same location as the old, under the starboard V-berth.  I would have liked to have found a more accessible location - the port cockpit locker would have been ideal, but that left the gas tank without a home.  #1000 has the original tank location, later boats have the gas tank mounted at the stern, under the tiller.  It would also mean re-routing all the wires.  So under the V-berth until I think of a better place.

However, to my disappointment, other than the VHF radio. nothing worked.  With the help of another Tanzer 22 owner and a volt meter, we found that the original switch panel was no longer functional.  The terminals were badly rusted and corroded - time for a new panel.

After a little research I located a super replacement switch panel at MMOS (Marine Mail Order Supply).  They have two models, one very similar to the original panel with fuses, and a slightly more expensive one with circuit breakers.  The best is barely good enough for Red Baron; circuit breakers it would be.  An added bonus, it is exactly the same size as the original, no extra cutting or drilling was needed.  Better still is the price; only $17.89 - model #5787-5.

Like the battery, I wasn't all that happy having the panel beside the head.  It is an awkward place to get at.  However, the MMOS panel has rocker rather than toggle switches - almost impossible to flick on by mistake.  Also each switch glows red when on, an additional feature I like.

If your panel needs replacing I highly recommend this one.  Comes complete with extra labels for just about any application and mounting screws.


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I had a telephone call awhile back from a member who complained that he couldn't get his boat to point.  Now, if there is one common complaint amongst those that race, not just Tanzer 22 sailors but all sailors, it is the "she just won't point!".  There is nothing more frustrating than to watch the fleet sail away from you, seemingly pointing higher and faster as they leave you behind.

Now, if I were such an expert, how come I don't win more races?  Tell me!  I have invented all sorts of excuses - a bad start, the wrong sail, crew problems, unable to tack, fluky wind shifts, weeds on the rudder, the list goes on.  If some of you have other excuses, please let me know.  I am running out.

But back to why your or my boat won't point.  If we eliminate luck and all those excuses, what is left?  Tuning and sail trim.

Under normal conditions, that is a fairly constant wind and not too much wave action, what is needed is a Genoa with a flat entry.  That is to say, with not too much draft forward.

I have a feeling most sail makers cut their sails with the draft a little further forward than where it should be.  For a very good reason.  They know most of us will hang on to the number one longer than we should when the wind pipes up.  I know I do.  And when that happens, the draft will move aft to where it belongs and the sail will have the proper shape.  Which is all well and good.  Most of can only afford one of each sail and, in any case, our Class Rules only allow us to replace any sail after two years.  Translated, this means we have to live with the sail we have.  If a sail, in particular the #1 Genoa, is cut for the proper shape in ten knots of wind, what do we do or can we do when the wind is only five?

The only answer I have is to slacken the Genoa halyard.  In the days of wire luffs, one could and probably should hoist the Genoa up hard.  I doubt if the sail shape changed even slightly.  All that has changed with the rope luff most sails now come with, so called stretchy luff.  But there is still a temptation to over tension the luff of on a stretchy luff headsail.  We like to see a nice smooth entry, with nary a wrinkle to be seen at the hanks.  And while this may look nice, it is not necessarily the shape of speed.  Or rather not the best shape if we are looking for maximum pointing.

I have learned the hard way if I want Red Baron V to point to windward, we have to slacken the Genoa or jib halyard until we see wrinkles at each piston hand.  Sometimes even more.  The sail looks terrible!  But the boat goes.  And points.

The next time you feel the fleet is outpointing you, try easing the genny halyard.  Lots!  It just may help.  But for heaven's sake, don't look at the luff.  Instead concentrate on the tell tails.  And try to ignore the snide remarks about you Genoa as you meet other boats on the course.

A word of caution, it is much harder to keep the boat in the groove with a flat entry than with a full.  You will have to concentrate and react to each and every wind shift.  In light winds, perhaps sit on the leeward side in order to see the tell tails.  And steer small.

The other item that does affect windward performance is head stay tension.  In anything other than a drifter, the head stay should be taut.  Or even tight.  Some form of adjustable backstay should help.  I have always felt the main advantage to an adjustable backstay was the ability to ease it off when not sailing to allow the boat to rest.  Even if you don't have an adjustable backstay a few turns on the backstay turnbuckle before you set off to race may just make a difference.  Worth a try.

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