Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chatham Mass North Inlet

A friend got these pictures of a Gemini 105MC entering the North Channel to Chatham Harbor (Massachusetts, USA) on a day when the surf was up. The channel runs parallel to the beach for a while so the vessel is sideways to the break during part of the trip.

I think that catamarans are pretty good at this sort of thing. A few years ago I delivered a Lagoon 440 from the BVI to Newport, RI and had some really rough weather. Very uncomfortable and very stable. I was surprised and pleased.

This is a picture from the BVI's race week last year. I just like it. It always makes me chuckle.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sail Training Tips for ASA or US Sailing

Thoughts about the sailing school certification courses known as:
ASA 103: Cruising
ASA 104: Bare Boat Chartering
ASA 106: Advanced Coastal Cruising

US Sailing Cruising Course
US Sailing Bareboat Chartering Course
US Sailing Coastal Passage Making

What else does the sailing student need to know? My thoughts follow.

Pictured: some ocean sailing yachts in coastal cruising environments. The question is, what is a cruising yacht and what differentiates a coastal yacht from a coastal passage maker from an ocean voyager. Aside from a few physical characteristics of yachts, it is really just how the sailors use the vessels.

Physical characteristics: cruisers are self righting and self rescuing and have some sort of accomodation for life aboard. By this we mean, a galley, head, and berths. The terms self righting means that the boat will right itself if tipped very far over, maybe masthead in the water. Self rescuing refers to a cockpit that drains into the sea and not the interior. In general, cruising yachts are very difficult to sink. Oh, they will when the hull is breached.

Stability is described with the GZ curve. https://www.sailboat-cruising.com/gz-curves.html
Basically, at what angle of heel will the vessel not recover. From the article in 
Definitely a terrific sailing/voyaging blog.
The Gz curve illustrates the relationship between the three key factors that determine the boat's static stability:~
  • the Centre of Gravity (G) through which gravity exerts a downward force equal to the displacement of the boat, and
  • the Centre of Buoyancy (B), being the centre of the underwater volume of the boat, whose upward thrust counteracts the effect of gravity acting through G, and
  • the horizontal distance (Gz) between G and B.
The location of G is fixed, unlike B which changes as the boat heels and the immersed section changes shape.
As the Centre of Gravity and the Centre of Buoyancy initially move apart and then converge, so the length of Gz - the righting lever - increases and decreases.
This relationship between heel angle and righting moment governs the shape of the Gz curve and defines the boats static stability.
Artwork by Andrew Simpson
A useful site for comparing one boat to another is:  http://www.tomdove.com/sailcalc/sailcalc.html
We use this calculator to compare a know boat with an unknown. For example, we have an Aphrodite 101. How does it compare to a similar sized Pearson Flyer. Two numbers get our attention, the motion comfort value is low and the capsize ratio is high.

Enough about boats...

What about the sailors? 

The levels of certification offered by sailing schools generally is a measure of where the student is in terms of seamanship and boat handling. Sailing schools have their curricula. This piece is about the material sailors should know that's not on the list of "skills taught."

New Camera Trials

I am not a photographer, just a guy with a new Sony H300 and an interest in taking more/better sailing pictures especially on the subject of sailing instruction. Let's see...

Mainsail with very tight halyard tension, draft forward and leech closed.

Mainsail halyard eased, draft moved aft. Sheet tension as above.

Mainsail as halyard as above but sheeted hard, less twist in leech

Jib with minimum halyard tension, forward jib fairlead. Not much twist and lots of draft.

Jib with same sheet position and tension as above and more halyard tension

Jib with more halyard and sheet eased, fairlead moved aft, more twist.

Kite up and ghosting along.

Foredeck crew... in training.

Interesting results, after a fashion. I see the need for a plan and more notes. Pictures on the fly don't have much context.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Refurbishing the race boat

Haulout day. 

Wash, polish, wax the topsides. Paint the bottom with a water-based antifouling and repaint the red stripes. Shortly after launching, I got to really scrub off the deck and cockpit. So satisfying.

Not a race boat but... the skerry was made ready for the new mooring in Pleasant Bay. Now the grandkids (and all of us) have a little sailboat ready for use any day.

Comparison of the J1L and J1H. Those battens and roach add a lot to the power of the sail.

Stage Harbor, Chatham, Cape Cod

The skerry being used on the beach in Big Pleasant Bay 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

After a hiatus... Caribbean and New England

Finally got blogspot to open and allow a new entry. The mysteries of Norm and electronic/digital technology.

Winter in Caribbean working at St Thomas Sailing Center and on charter in the BVI for Swain Sailing. The USVI and BVI got very badly damaged by Irma and Maria, two Cat 5 hurricanes. Working those areas was a challenge as so many normally available items were hard to find. It is not that the locals were unable to work and do repairs. From where wold the repair supplies come?  Once on island, where would they be stored pending use?

Some pictures from the winter follow:
Secret Harbor Resort, St Thomas

Derelict hulls removed from St John to St Thomas

View of St Thomas YC from up the hill at Tom's house

STYC windy

STYC squall

Sailing Center IC24s in a heap. All repaired!



Sunset view The Bight Norman's Island

Leverick Harbor

Leverick Harbor

The Indians, a popular dive spot

House in Harwich in February

nanny Cay Basin

Cat got the scraps

Fat Hogs Bay, Tortola

Falmouth Harbor Antigua



Falmouth Harbor Antigua

Not many power yachts. Green Island Harbor, Antigua

Hawksbill Rock, Antigua

Anegada, BVI

Ruddy Turnstone in Anegada

Off loading building materials and a small sailboat. Later loaded damaged catamarans for repair in Europe. 

View Cane Garden Bay, BVI

St Lucia in the clouds

Pitons, St lucia

Tropical flowers

Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia

Dream yacht docks, Antigua

Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Voyage 440 interior

Bliss, flew 50 ft and flipped over during hurricane


More ooops!

It took all day to get this one moved 

View in the morning from up the hill above STYC