No. 103 - June 1993



This has been discussed in an earlier Newsletter but a recent event compels me to cover it again.


The weather in and around Montreal has been awful! Rain, cold and high winds. And those days where the sun has shined, we have still had the high winds.


Last weekend, good friends of ours, invited another couple out for a sail on their Tanzer 22. Now, as we all know, the Tanzer 22 is a rugged little boat and just loves to romp through the waves. They had a marvellous time, despite the cool weather.

When they got back to our Yacht Club they were horrified to dis­cover that their cockpit lockers were full of water. Visions of sink­ing, hypothermia, drowning, flashed through their minds. I know, the first time it happened to me (during one of our National Championships) I almost had a heart attack. I now know, even if those lockers are completely full of water, the boat is not going to sink nor capsize. But it does give one quite a turn to discover everything floating around when one lifts up the seat hatches.


Certainly, if one ships water over the lee side in heavy weather, any water left there for long, will finds its way below. We need to do two things. 1. Try to prevent water from draining into those lockers. Or at least, slow down the process. And 2. Have some easy means of getting rid of said water, if it does flood the cockpit locker.


What is it that they say about an ounce of prevention? If we can keep the water out we don't need to worry about getting the water out. Maybe!


In any case, let's tackle keeping the water out first. As I see it, there are two possible ways for water to get into that locker. One is through the hull deck joint (not as likely) or by draining down from the lee cockpit seats if water has been taken on, whether from a knockdown or a big wave, matters little. When your boat was new, the sponge rubber seal probably did its job and kept most, if not all, water out of the lockers. And we tend to forget about this rubber seal until it is too late. If you have been finding water in the cockpit locker, time to check and possibly replace that seal. That's the first step. The second step is to consider tacking just as soon as possible so that any water on that lee seat will drain into the cockpit sole and out the cockpit drains. The longer water is left on the seat, the greater the chance of it finding its way below. Seals or no seals!


The other thing one should do is to install a permanent bilge pump. Maybe this is the first thing one should do! Even if you don't take water in over the side, a ruptured cockpit drain or small hole in the hull could be just as disastrous. You might also consider installing one of those little electric pumps with a built in float switch. Rule makes one that pumps 500 gallons per hour. Which sounds like a lot, but I don't think it should replace a hand pump but rather be con-sidered as a sort of back up.


Another thing. If you sail in salt water, barnacles like to attach themselves to the walls of those cockpit drains. At the end of a season, the drains on Red Baron VI (the one kept in Maine) are nearly blocked with barnacles. I carry a little fiberglas wand I found somewhere and if I find water slow to drain, I ream out those drains with this wand. Those drains are not all that large and any obstruction, no matter how small, really slows the draining noticeably. Perhaps part of the annual Spring commissioning should be to ream out those drains while the boat is still on shore. It is much easier to feed a stick or similar, up from the bottom, than down from the top. And if you store your boat without a winter cover, leaves, pine needles and all sorts of things do find their way into those cockpit drains, sometime blocking the drains completely. Unnoticed until the first major rain storm fills the cockpit!


Mentioned before, many, many times, but needs to be mentioned again. Never take that rub rail off if you suspect that water is getting in via the hull deck joint. I am repeating this warning because we still get calls from members asking how to re-install their rub rails. Because if you do take that rub rail off, you will find to your dismay, that it has shrunk some several feet. DON'T TAKE THE RUB RAIL OFF! It can easily be peeled off on each side, leaving it still attached at the bow and stern. Enough to allow a full inspection of the hull deck joint, all except the bow (where water is unlikely to enter) and the transom (where water is even less likely to enter).


Back at the beginning of this article I spoke of my friends that returned from a sail to find their cockpit full of water. Do you know what the problem was? Their lower gudgeon had come loose; some of the bolts had fallen off. At their slip at the Yacht Club, which is protected and has very little wave action, no water reached high enough to leak into the cockpit lockers. But underway, in heavy winds, the stern wave was just the right height to flood those lockers and as they filled, the boat rode just that much lower at the stern, making matter just that much worse.




We noticed a drastic increase in boat speed after the ice left in mid-June. We launched 30 May last year and spent that weekend circling a large slushy ice floe in Back Bay .... taking five mile runs to look at a still-frozen-solid inland sea called Great Slave Lake.


This enthusiasm led to the first disaster of the season. Back in Nova Scotia, moorings are trusty objects you can tie a 50 footer to in a gale .... but in our small club everyone does their own. I accepted a mooring from a departing member and later discovered his boat weighed less than our keel .... with mooring sized accordingly!


The next day dirty weather came up fast from the East and raised three foot waves in the protected cove. The Commodore called me at work to say our boat had broken free and was hard aground before the insurance check had cleared .... Murphy was an optimist!


I rushed out and waded waist deep through the freezing water to get aboard .... only the keel centerboard was taking a beating, none of the Fiberglas made contact with the oldest, hardest rocks in the world.


Working alone for half an hour, with hypothermia setting in, I tried repeatedly to haul her off with an anchor winch combination, but the silty bottom made progress difficult and the 30 knot wind kept driving me back on shore.


Finally, the Commodore (a local banker) came to the rescue in a three piece suit .... straight from the office .... and with cool pro­fessional judgment (and a warm brain) saw the solution right away; get this maniac OFF the boat .... take a dinghy to the mooring with 200 feet of line .... and winch the sailboat back directly.


When we launched the dinghy I told the six foot three Commodore he should sit in the stern to keep the bow light into the waves .... but he was the Commodore and would sit where he wanted.

Well, this time BOTH OF US went into the frigid water .... and al­though we got "ICE CUBE" moored eventually (with a 13 lb. Danforth and a line to the shore for good measure), I learned first hand the impor­tance of proper moorings .... something about brass monkeys .... and how cool bankers can be when completely immersed in their work.




First Race of the Season (or, how to sail into shore while the fleet starts without you!)


After the ice finally left Back Bay last summer, the Great Slave Cruising Club started the Sunday Race series. I spent two weeks recovering from the mooring "learning experience" by sailing without a motor and getting used to the new boat.


The wind often prevails into the cove where we moor, so I practiced sailing off in the lee shore situation and luffing up around the dock at the edge of the cove.


We asked two friends to join us for the first race of the season when my folks arrived from Nova Scotia a few days earlier than expected. So we invited them too.


Now you Tanzer pros know the difference between two people sailing off a mooring in a light onshore breeze and SIX people sailing off .... but I didn't. Maybe the water bubbling up through the cockpit drains should have been my first clue ....


Well, the engine didn't start .... and the 10 minute horn started, so I threw up the genny and main and went for it!


Parents who have never set foot on a sailboat in their lives are not, however, accustomed to taking sailing orders .... not even from their eldest son .... so we sat there at a tenth of a knot .... slowly, ever so slowly, turned around 180 degrees and sailed toward the shore as the fleet crossed the starting line and the gun sounded.


Even though the bracket which holds our Seagull in the REVERSE position fell into four feet of water AFTER I got her going, we managed,just like Farley Mowat in "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float", to BACK UP UNDER FULL SAIL while the rest of the fleet made the first mark and TURNED TO SEE THE WHOLE THING!



Well .... we finished the race .... and almost caught up with the

slower boats but I'll never forget my Mom saying "Don't get upset,

Philip, it's only a race." (ONLY my mother calls me Philip!)


For this "exceptional exhibition of seamanship" and the previous attempted drowning of the club commodore .... I was awarded the Hardisty Island Marching Band Trophy.


My next story will be "How to accidentally launch your storm anchor in the middle of a race and still come in first."




In the may issue of Practical Sailor there is a letter from a Tanzer 26 owner. Has to do with how best to clean the anti-skid on the deck.


The Tanzer 26 has the same anti-skid surface as the Tanzer 22, so the advice should be suitable for our members.


The writer recommends Westley's Bleach-Wite which is a spray on white wall tire cleaner. Apparently available in any auto or hardware store. Spray it on, wait two or three minutes, then scrub with a soft bristled brush and hose off.




Joseph Kneuer (Fair Haven, NJ) has been doing a slightly different kind of racing with his Tanzer 22 #1222. That's not quite right. His Tanzer 22 went racing without him. And came in second!


During the December 1992 winter storm in New Jersey his marina's storage lot was floated away by a record tide and boats wandered freely along the Shrewsbury River and inland. Joe's Tanzer 22 was second only to a sistership in the "Great Inland Boat Race", coming to rest a full two blocks from the river.


The stout sisterships ended up parallel and about ten feet apart, with their keels resting in handy trenches they had cut in their un­willing host's lawn. The boat had some damage from the pushing and shoving that went on during the exit from the boat yard, but it was all cosmetic and the insurance company,

USAA agreed to the repair estimate without complaint.




Being a new (return) member of the Tanzer 22 Class Association, I have various comments/experiences which you or the readers may or may not find of interest. I realize that you have devoted a lot of time and effort to the Association and the Newsletter. Your efforts are (and have been) beneficial and certainly appreciated. So, thanks!


Anyway, in an attempt to delay the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on your behalf I am submitting my first contribution.


I originally purchased my Tanzer 22 #2197 and at the time it was a toss up between an O'Day 23 and the Tanzer. I went for the keel C/B since a lot of my sailing was to be done in the somewhat shallow waters of Barnaget Bay.


It proved to be a wise choice. Back then I was a bachelor seeking adventure and excitement with no responsi­bility. Most of my free time then was spent between sailing and flying a Cessna 150. By the way, most of my female companions (during that era) preferred the Tanzer over the 150.


I married Susan in 1978 and we had our first child in 1988. My last sailing season was 1989. We then moved from northern New Jersey to Brick which is right on Barnaget Bay. Unfortunately, I was now five minutes from the bay and 10 minutes from the ocean, but could not afford the expense of the marina, etc., etc., now that we had just moved into our new home and had a second baby on the way. So I got a trailer and parked it in my driveway.


So this year I decided to go for it! My first job was keel preparation. Originally, when I bought my Tanzer I wasn't too happy with how the keel was prepared. I don't remember exactly, but the iron keel was coated with some kind of strange red (?) color which was even then showing some rust before ever being launched for the first time. The dealer then coated this as well as the entire hull with with Interlux Tri-Lux. Upon hauling it out after its first season, the Tri-Lux proved a little less than adequate with regards to marine growth in the salt water, although it seemed to only permit a little more rusting. Prior to the second season I had my keel sand blasted. It was sand blasted to a shinny silver and I coated it with Interlux Steel Epoxy. While I was applying it, I could observe tiny spots of shaded rust beginning to form. After applying a couple of coats I covered it with Interlux Vinylux. This worked very well for both prevention of rust and marine growth. For the following years all I did was sand, wipe with paint thinner and apply one coat of Vinylux (since that was adequate and who needs an unnecessary build up of bottom paint in the hull).


Since then it has sat an additional three and a half years in my driveway. I managed to lift the boat, with a hydraulic jack and cinder blocks, about six inches. The center board was (of course) in the retracted position. It took me about six hours over the course of two days. using hammer and chisel to lower it the six or so inches I had clearance for. Needless to say, it was very difficult and I en­countered a great deal of rust. If you ever do this, be sure to wear protective eye gear. I must have saved at least $200.00 by not having a marina do this since the center board was really stuck hard. My board seemed to be bowed to starboard. I then brought my Tanzer to the marina where I had the keel sand blasted (small sand blasters can be rented at a reasonable cost which is what I intend to do someday when removing bottom paint. In my opinion, sand blasting is the best way to go, since it does the best job, takes the least amount of time, is cleaner and is less dangerous). The sand blasting only took about an hour and a half and was the first time I was ever charged a reason­able amount by a marine - $65.00. They did a good job, especially in the trunk of the keel where the center board resides, it never looked so good in there. The exterior of the keel and center board was about 60% shiny silver and the remaining 40% was the white steel epoxy which I put on nine years ago and still looked new and refused to be re­moved. I then applied several coats of Interlux Interprotect 200 to the keel, center board and as well as I could, in the trunk of the keel. The boat then hung five feet off the ground in a sling overnight to dry. The next morning I applied Micron bottom paint to everything below the water line. (I don't own Interlux stock, but if something works, why change?)


I then, with the help of two friends, erected the mast while the boat was in the slip. I really don't know what is the correct pro­cedure for this. But over the years I have found that the following works for me.


1. Loosely connect lower shrouds and backstay. (Editor's note: on my Tanzer 22, if I connect any shroud to the chainplate, no matter how loose, the chainplate will get bent on the way up. Suggest you not connect the shrouds before the mast is up.)

2. Secure mast with bolt to hinge.

3. One friend pulls on a rope looped through top of mast, while man and another friend lift as we walk toward the bow raising the mast.

4. Secure bow turnbuckle forestay.


When I was done I foolishly forgot to double check everything and discovered that my main halyard was stuck at the top of the mast. What was I to do? Take the mast down? No way!!! That's a pain in the butt. Go up the mast via a bosun chair? (Which I don't have!) I also don't have a mainsail winch and if I did I don't think I would enjoy bouncing around every time a power boat goes by. So this option was out. Third, ask the marina to do it for some unspecified amount of dollars, they would use a lift of something they didn't describe how they would do it, nor whether it could be done while in the slip or moved or whatever. Yuk!


I went home and thought about it overnight. My solution was to get my binoculars, take the largest paper clip from my desk at work ( a two incher) and tie a line to my jib halyard. I then bent the paper clip so it was secure to the wire halyard where it is tied to the rope tail on the aft side of the mast. I then further bent the paper clip so it extended one inch horizontally and then in a one inch hook. With binoculars I then located the mainsail shackle stuck at the top of the mast and also observed the position of my improvised hook which I had just raised. After about 10 minutes I was successful, caught my main halyard and reeled in my catch!




I am gradually coming to the conclusion, albeit with reluctance, that keel preparation is an annual affair, along with bottom paint­ing, mast stepping and launching.


Although POR is still the best rust preventative paint I have used so far, it still does not turn iron into stainless steel. Unfortunately! And no matter how carefully I prepare the keel each Spring, I will have to go through the same operation next Spring.


So, rather than trying to "fix that damned keel once and for all", I have resigned myself to include keel preparation as just one other task to be done each year before launching.


I wasn't able to buy any POR 15 in Camden (Maine) for Red Baron VI so had to settle for Pettit's #6980 Rustlok Steel Primer. Which, I was assured by the clerk at Wayfarer Marine, would be just as good as POR. It is similar, no doubt, as it is just as hard to get off ones hands as POR as well as being moisture sensitive like POR.


So, armed with my Black & Decker grinder, mask, safety glasses, body filler, body filler spreader and a supply of disposable latex gloves, I once again set out to prepare the keel for the season. The grinder came with a grinding wheel but I have found a wire brush to work better and faster.


Took the better part of a day. What with stopping to chat with fellow yachtsmen preparing their boat in the yard and returning home a few times to pick up forgotten items, it was supper time by the time I finished. Keel ground down where rust showed, two coats of #6980 over entire keel, dents and gouges filled with filler and one coat of Interlux Fiberglas Bottomkote. The instructions with the Rustlok Primer advise applying anti-fouling paint within two hours. Any longer and the primer should be sanded.

Red Baron VI is strictly a cruising boat and I must admit I didn't spend a whole lot of time faring and smoothing the keel. And for some reason, it is always the port side of Tanzer 22 keels that need the most work. Must have something to do with the way the keels are cast. And while the starboard side of my keel is pretty smooth, the port side does leave something to be desired. Anyway, once the boat is in the water I can't see either side of the keel, so who cares?


Red Baron V (that's the boat that is kept at the Baie d'Urfe yacht Club near Montreal) lives in fresh water and for some reason or other, the keel doesn't seem to need any anti-fouling paint. Possibly because the water is so murky that the sunlight does not reach that far. The first year I had Red Baron VI in Rockport Harbor, I didn't bother to anti-foul the keel. You wouldn't believe the growth when we hauled in the Fall. And covered with barnacles! There wasn't a square inch not covered with those wretched creatures. No wonder the boat was so slow when we raced in the State of Maine Regatta that year!


So, rather than getting all worked up about iron keels and the extra work they entail, I console myself with the fact that, although lead keels do not rust, they do get damaged easily and are a lot more trouble to repair if they do get bent or gouged out as a result of hitting rocks or shoals. (Quite common where we sail on Lac st. Louis, especially when the water is low.)


While I was waiting for the #6980 to dry between coats, I installed the Impeller Mounting Unit for the Speedwatch Boat. Neatest little unit you have ever seen. Consists of a stainless steel "skeg" to which one screws a tiny little red impeller that hangs down until the boat starts to move, then streams aft just like a trailing log. The manufacturer suggests gluing the unit to the hull with silicone. But as the hull of a Tanzer is so thick, I elected to screw the Im­peller Mounting unit directly to the hull, as well as bonding it with silicone. Each flange was already pre-drilled with a small hole. I think I used #6 self-tapping sheet metal screws, about 3/16 inches long. In any case, they were short enough that they did not go through the hull.


According to the manufacturer, the Mounting Unit may be attached wherever it is most suitable. It can go in front of, to the side of, or even slightly behind the keel. I installed mine aft of the keel, to starboard of the center line.


The Disk Sensor Unit is mounted inside the hull, more or less opposite the Impeller mounting Unit. Dual Lock Velcro comes with the kit.

The Display Head can be attached anywhere you like, so long as it receives enough light to power the solar cell. Again, attach with Dual Lock Velcro provided.




How well does it work? It works a treat! Speeds are read digitally and in the top left hand corner, there is a smaller read­out, that records the maximum speed attained. (Something to brag about when you get back to the Yacht Club bar!) To "Zero" the maximum speed attained, all one needs to do is to shade the instrument from the sun and cover the display face with your hand for at least 30 seconds.


I have only one reservation. Mentioned earlier in this article are barnacles. I wonder if they will be attracted to that little red impeller? Do barnacles like to stick to plastic? I asked the North American Distributor, David Laylin of Laylin Associates Limited about this. He suggests that if barnacles or other marine growth become a problem, to don mask and snorkel and unscrew the impeller, clean and re-install. Which may be well and good in Florida where the water is warm. But not in Maine!

An option available is a Trailing Log Unit which should solve this problem - should one arise.


According to the manufacturer, the Trailing Log is suitable for sailboats and small motor boats. The Trailing Log Unit can be used where the maximum speed does not exceed about eight knots unless extra ballast is added. If you remember, we have already established that the hull speed of a Tanzer 22 is about six knots (1.34 times square root of the water line length), so I have asked David to send me the Log Unit.


The stainless steel wire is 19 1/2 feet long, although seldom is this much needed. Some experimentation will find the best length. If possible the wire should be led under a ladder or some other structure on the transom to minimize the angle at which it enters the water. This also attaches with Dual Lock Velcro. A safety lanyard comes with the Log Unit and should be attached to a cleat or rail.


I will use the standard Impeller Mounting Unit for the boat here in Baie d'Urfe and try the Trailing Log Unit for our Maine boat. After a season's use, I should have a pretty good idea which works the best. And I will try to remember to report back.


The Speedwatch Log (for the Maine boat) is on back order but David has promised to get it to me by mid-June when we will be back in Rockport. I will use it at first with the Impeller Mounting Unit al­ready installed until I suspect a problem, then switch to the Trailing Log Unit. When we haul in October I will know for sure if barnacles like little red impellers.