Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keel Repair

Bill, who owns a cruising converted Shields out west asked about the status of the keel seam repair I spent so much time (and brain cells) fixing. Since I don't get a lot of requests on here, I'm happy to share the photos.The good news is the keels still on! The first half of the year was quite windy, and we punished the boat a bit racing it. It's a bit funny being out there in the middle of a pretty intense race, wondering how the keels doing. The fiberglass sheathing of the seam worked out great, which is good because I never want to do that particular job again. In the above photo you can see the top of the keel joint looks pretty good (although it still has 36 grit scratches all over it, ugh.) You can also see the front of the keel looks a bit funky. At some point this year we hit something that must have been floating just under water. I tried to wet sand it when diving to smooth it out, which is why the leading edge looks weird. Honestly this looks a lot better out of the water and will take minimal effort to fix.
The second pic is a close up of the keel seam (or lack of) and the rudder fairing strips which also held just fine. You can see the weird blisters on the rudder. No idea what thats all about.
Unfortunately, the _other_ keel seam, where the lead meets the deadwood is still a piece of crap, which is why the joint shows and also leaks. Going to have to fix this one before it gets too cold for epoxy. Yay!

Have some more fun projects on the horizon: the Shields class has legalized a couple things I want to have on 88. Tacktick digital compi are now ok, so we're going to get a Micro compass and throw that on. Also a 8:1 mainsheet fine tune is ok, which is excellent news as the Shields main can be a bit of a bear for most people in breeze. We're considering a couple options for this, such as a super slick system with purchase below deck and led to the sides, but will probably go for the simpler (and lower friction) in boom system. The way I figure it, people can add a really great fine tune to their boats for less than $200. Honestly I've been selling boat stuff for so long that it's unclear whether thats a good value or not.

Friday, October 17, 2008

1 year

Delivered the boat to the yard today, which I suppose officially ends our sailing season. It's been great fun, which justifies all the other stuff (boat work, boat budget)

Our goal with the boat was to fix it up, race it with a top 3 result, and do lots of daysailing. The boat turned out pretty well, we won our season, and we've had a lot of fun taking friends and family out for little cruises. Niki and I just did our yearly sunrise sail, which was pretty great.

Last night we went out drinking with some sailing friends, including a couple people from our crew and also Kevin from 150. Everyones got lots of plans for next year, and it seems that Nationals 09 is already something to think about. While I'd really like to not do anything to the boat, I've got a bunch of things to fix, and even more to improve for next year. Hoping to be a lot more reasonable in terms of project scope this year, and have made myself a temperature limit; no work when it's below freezing!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mast Rake

While prepping 3 of our fleets boats for a match racing practice, I had the opporunity to observe 3 different boats mast rakes.

The photo is from the side, and all 3 boats are more or less parallel on the docks. from front to back is 88, 45, 150.
It seems like 45 has the least rake, and 150 and 88 have a good bit more.

More rake seems to be a good bit faster, and lots of boats have moved their steps fwd to the maximum class legal limit. I've heard a couple different reasons for the speed advantage; I think it's becuase it moves the center of effort (from the sailplan) aft, giving you more helm earlier, which makes sense it light air. But it also seems like rakier (is that a word?) boats go faster in heavy air as well, which my friend Bam says is due to the more vertical leech. I also think it's because the extra helm lets you flatten and depower the main more, while still keeping the boat tracking upwind. Whatever the cause, rake is good. I'm going to max out our mast step position this winter, although it may mean we have to cut our (really nice!) floorboard up front. Hoping that our local boats will take the time to check/move their mast step position before nationals next year.