No. 89 - October 1990



We have some 20 Tanzer 22s at the Baie d'Urfe Yacht Club, where I keep Red Baron V and on launching day, our boats are launched by fleets. Which means all the Tanzer 22s are launched together, one after the other. As a result, all the Tanzer 22 owners are mast raising about the same time. As each Tanzer 22 is ready to have her mast raised, a shout brings three or four other Tanzer skippers to lend a hand. Few, if any owners raise their masts alone and not many have made or use mechanical "gadgets" to assist with either mast raising or lowering.

From time to time, we have published various methods used by short handed owners to raise their mast. From VIC PORTER comes the following.


As there are always two of us, we modified the mast raising method somewhat. To the end of the jib halyard we attach a block. Another block is attached to the stem head fitting. A line attached at this fitting is rove through the block at the end of the halyard and run back through the block that is attached to the stem head and led back to a winch at the cockpit. When everything is ready, one person stands at the back of the cockpit and raises the mast as high as he can, the other takes up the strain on the winch. As the second person continues winching, the first walks the mast up taking care to keep it centered in the boat. Once the mast is up, one holds it while the other attaches the shrouds and forestay.





For years I have launched my Tanzer 22 in a shallow incline ramp.

Needing five and a half feet of depth to launch and retrieve, I have always used an extension. As the Lake Michigan dropped, my extension got longer and longer. I started at 20 feet, then moved to 30 feet and then to 40 feet and with good results. The secret is:



a) A rigid fifth wheel to provide a straight track for the trailer.

b) A one and a half inch galvanized pipe with a trailer coupling on one end and a trailer ball on the other end.

c) When you assemble the pipe, make the connections tight with pipe wrenches; they pop out if you hand tighten them.

d) Position the trailer straight for launching before connecting the extension at the water's edge.

e) The pipe is flexible enough to drag on the ground and flex for the changing slope gradient, yet rigid enough to push the boat on level ground. Remember that the trailer tongue is supposed to carry from 100 to 200 pounds (tandem axle). If you don't have that safe weight for trailering (to keep the car's wheels on the ground), the tongue will raise up when backing up with the extension.


PS: Hasn't failed yet!




When we bought our Tanzer 22 she apparently didn't have a name; so both Karen and I started to think about what to call her. Karen, who used to live on a poultry farm on Manitoulin Island, thought of names that expressed her interest in chickens; but those didn't seem quite dignified or nautical enough for my liking.


I had thought about boat names before but most of those previous ideas didn't seem to fit the Tanzer. I took a page of a notebook and "brainstormed" a bunch of possible names, writing down some of my "old" names as well as the new ones. I looked through all the "red" words in the dictionary hoping to tie a name to the color of our sheer stripe. I won't bother mentioning most of those ideas, although I liked "Redhead", which besides being a species of duck is also an obvious reference to Karen's hair color.


Before launching, we spent several days working on the boat in the yard cleaning, sorting out equipment, raising the mast…

One day Karen picked up the binoculars to look at what she thought were loons close to the shore; but the colors seemed wrong. "This bird has a green head and a red beak", she told me. "What is it?"


I was busy with something (as usual). "There's a bird book in the chart case", I told her. "Look it up." She looked in the book and decided that the birds must be Mergansers, probably Common Mergansers. Later, I looked up the picture in the bird book, thought it over and added "Merganser" to my list of names.


Then we had the boat in the water and we still hadn't decided on a name. As we were sitting at our berth in the back of the marina, we saw something duck underwater near the shore. "Look -  is that a beaver?"


"No", said Karen .. "It's some kind of duck. It was definitely a duck, a diving duck, apparently a female. Looking through the glasses, we could see a crested head and a narrow beak - a Merganser.


We sat down and went through the list of name again. Nothing seemed to connect, until we got to "Merganser". And so it was agreed.


When we went out for our first sail together, we swimming near the edge of the harbor. Karen was sure Mergansers too; we had clearly chosen the right name for our boat. "That's the Indian way of naming", she explained. "When a baby is born, the first thing the mother sees afterwards will give the baby its name."


And I had been thinking that way too - to that naming was like finding a guardian spirit to adopt the boat, to keep her safe out in the big waters and in along the rocky shores of the North Channel. Taking the name of a water bird mean that she would be at home in this place.


It is also very important to us to be aware of the native way of doing things, to feel that we have a way of expressing respect for the original people of the Manitoulin area. Respect - and be respected; like the boat, perhaps we have found our secret teachers, our way to feel at home here. It's good to do some things the Indian way.




Our Tanzer 22 is raced, chartered by the day and used for teaching novice adults. For racing I wanted good mainsail control but for the other uses I wanted to avoid the obstruction of an across cockpit traveler - and I did.


The boom vang provides adequate power to keep the boom end as far down as we ever wish. On the other extreme, to pull the boom amidship without pulling it tightly down, I have one line from the port cockpit coaming and one opposite, to the cam cleats on the sides of the boom end. In light airs, this one part windward sheeting mainsheet works fine, even replacing the mainsheet temporarily, but you have to remember to release to bear off.


When moored, this pair of lines keeps the boom from swinging with the roll and can be used to secure it off center for clearing standing.


I recommend it.




Our older model Tanzer 22 had the gas tank storage area in the port cockpit locker. This made Sherry very nervous as she was con­stantly sniffing for gas fumes down below. We tried to think of a remedy without major surgery to the cockpit area and decided the Tanzer 22s extra large cockpit could accommodate the following addition. We purchased some 3/4 inch pine (teak or other hardwood can be used if you are feeling affluent), a piece 4 X 4 (feet) should do. Also needed are a pair of four inch stainless hinges. 16 stainless screws, nuts and washers, 1/4" X 1 1/2 ", nine stainless wood screws, two 4" inside corner braces, two 2 1/2" side corner braces plus eight wood screws for the corner braces.


The pine was cut into two pieces (top and front). Top is to be cut 26" across times 15 3/4" deep. Front is 12 7/8" across by 26" at the top and 20 1/2" at the bottom. Cut three strips of pine for the top edges of the locker - the sides being 1" wide and the front 1 1/2" wide. These will add some support and will stop your coffee from sliding off the locker. Also cut a 3 1/2" X 3/4" oval hole in the front to act as a handle. Glue and screw the side strips to the top piece, glue and screw the front strip though the top piece and into the front piece. Don't forget to sand, stain and varnish the pine prior to assembly. Now attach outside corner supports and inside corner supports, use the screws, washers and nuts on the inside supports. Attach the hinges to the cockpit seat and the gas locker.


For additional support, two metal shelve brackets were used on the underside of the top, wood supports should work just as well. Two wooden strips were sprayed white and epoxied to the cockpit sole to hold the gas tank in place. A small opening must be cut in the Fiberglas to allow the gas line through. If all dimensions are followed there will be no problems opening the cockpit lockers with the locker closed. Also the locker has not gotten in the way like I thought it may have before I built it.




After nearly 20 years of cruising the Maine Coast and almost as many years of sailing in fog with compass and log, I decided that this was the year to equip Red Baron VI with Loran.


After much thought and reading of marine catalogues, I decided that a hand held Loran would be best. Mainly because I have more than once used up all the power in my ship's battery after a week or so of cruising. Especially late in the season when darkness comes early. Whereas a hand held unit, running on Alkaline batteries, would always be ready for use, provided of course I had the sense to keep an extra supply of batteries for it.


There may be more than one portable Loran C available, but the only one advertised extensively was the "Voyager" SportNav Loran C Navigator. Made by Micrologic Inc. While at the Annapolis Sail boat Show last October, I saw a Voyager on display at one of the booths throwing caution to the wind - I bought it.


The SportNav operates on six AA Alkaline batteries, with a battery life of from 20 to 25 hours. Rechargeable Ni Cad batteries cannot be used because they only produce 1.2 volts per cell. 1.5 volts per cell are required for proper operation.


The question is - after a season's use, how do I like it? First off, we did not have any fog this summer! Not during the two ten day periods we cruised the Maine coast. This has been the first year in many that we have been fog free. And if we never have fog again and never have use for my Loran in earnest, it will be worth the price of the set.


Having said all that, I must say the SportNav is a joy to use.

I've mounted it on the starboard cockpit bulkhead along side the knot­meter/log. At the suggestion of the manufacture, I have run a ground wire from the back of the set to the mast step. (Which is grounded to the keel.) Also at the recommendation of Micrologic, I will add a six to eight foot whip antenna at the stern next year to increase the sensitivity and accuracy.


Back to the Loran. I am pleasantly surprised at the accuracy.

Perhaps not in the same league as GPS, but I only paid $299.00 (US) on sale at the boat show. But close enough to bring the boat within sight of a waypoint even in dense fog. And what more can one ask?


Mind you, I have been using the unit in bright sunlight when my destination has been clearly in sight. But one needs to practice in clear weather with any navigational aid in order to be able to trust it in poor visibility. Come next summer and the fog, I am sure I will feel for more confident with my navigation with the addition of Loran.


I spent all of this past summer entering waypoints. The sport­Nav will hold 100, which is about as many as even the larger sets will hold. I doubt I will ever be able to use up all 100. One can enter waypoints from a chart using latitude and longitude, or by going to a particular buoy or other aid directly and when there, asking the set to "Save" that position. The latter is the method I have been using.


In use, all one needs to do is to push the "go to" button and enter the number of the waypoint desired. After a couple of seconds the SportNav comes up with a range (in nautical miles) and bearing (degrees magnetic) to the selected waypoint. Push another button and the set will give you your speed over the ground and the course made good, Push a third button and you will get the Time to Go in hours and minutes along with your cross track error and course error. With a little arrow pointing in the direction you should steer. And the new course to reach the destination selected.


Push yet another button and you see a visual display of your boat and whether or not you are on course, or off to the left or the right. And by how much. As you alter course to get back on track, the display shows your boat moving back to the center of the screen. This "Course Deviation Indicator" has been used for aircraft navigation for a long time and has been carried over into marine navigation. Of all the features, I found this to be the least useful.


I am almost looking forward to fog just to see how I make out!




It was not too much leisure time or a need to spend excess cash that motivated us to do this project, but a desire to perfect our already nearly "perfect" Tanzer by correcting a distracting feature, the windows.


Our 1976 Tanzer 22 was plagued by scummy, hazy windows, with cracked gaskets and ancient discolored frames. We checked into replacement parts via Eric Spencer and new opening ports from window manufacturers and decided both alternatives were too costly in the end. Noticing that many of newer design boats had frameless windows, we decided why not ours!


After pondering the structural considerations, we decided there should be no problems as we would not need to cut or alter the existing openings in any way.


We removed all the windows including frames. The result was not pretty as the raw edges of the openings were rough, caulk filled and dirty. A few hours of scraping and sanding made a world of difference. We ordered six pieces of 1/4" smoked acrylic Plexiglas, precut in pieces 21" X 7" from a plastic company here in St. Petersburg, FL. We also used two tubes of a clear marine silicone sealant and stainless steel screws about one inch long and 14 per window. The pieces of Plexiglas come with paper attached so it was easy to trace the screw holes by using the old frames. Next, drill the holes using a new sharp bit. Note; besides the old existing holes, we put a screw in each corner about 7/8" from the tip and side edges of the glass. Before mounting and removing the paper you must sand and buff the edges of the Plexiglas. Now strip off the paper and put a generous line of caulk around the window opening in the boat. Start a few screws (spread them out top and bottom), line up the holes and start tightening the screws. To put the windows on the boat you will need two people - one to hold and line up the screws - the other to tighten. Do not tighten any screw until all are lined up and started. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN ANY SCREW! As this may crack the Plexiglas. The photo shows the finished product - a more modern looking Tanzer 22.




We sprayed the interior aluminum frames with a white epoxy enamel. You must use epoxy as regular enamel will not stick. A white self adhesive vinyl weather striping will finish off the raw edge of the window cut. And there you have it, clear, clean, modern looking windows that have not leaked! Total cost - around $70.00 (US). $40 for the Plexiglas and $30 for the other materials.