Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perhaps we've gone off the deep end...

but heres Peanuts new compass mount for the Tacktick. Note the lightening holes, which are keeping in theme.

I drew up a design, my dad processed it and had it made up on a friends cad mill. It's made of thicker material than the stock ones (which bend and bounce around a bit)

Going to mount the tacktick plate (shown) to the bracket, and then mount the bracket to the mast using a threaded slug in the mast track. The clearance in back is large enough to fit a couple lines or a block through.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Boom

Got some more work done on the boom, and have a couple photos, and even a video. Yes, a video... of a boom. It's really cold in Chicago, ok?

This shows the arrangement and location of our mainsheet blocks and cleats. The big one is a Harken 2145, mounted to the boom with fitted delrin shims, but I'm going to remount it with a slightly different shim. The small one is a 291 with the cam cleat reversed.
The gross tune is the stock shields 4:1 purchase, but reeved so that the end of the line goes into the boom rather than dead ending on the fiddle block. Reeving the line like this makes it possible to get the boom closer to the deck, since the blocks can get closer by going side by side. Inside the boom there is a 2:1 purchase attached to the tail of the gray mainsheet, which makes it 8:1. This fine tune exits the boom forward through a 242, and ends up back at the cleats.
This is how it all works: The gross tune is used to trim the boom in to an upwind setting. Then the last couple inches are pulled in using the finetune, with twice the power. The finetune is used to make small adjustments while sailing upwind. At the windward mark, both can be released for a quicker ease of the sheet.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spars and... Spripes? Whatever, I'm tired.

So, I have totally broken my promise to not work on the boat when it's sub-freezing. But I took a lot of other people with me at least.

This week saw 3 days of at least partial 88 work!

Brian Shaw came out to help move the mast and specced out his control layout on the boom. I can't wait to finished this thing up, as it's going to work really well I think.

We talked it through and arrived at the below arrangement for mainsheet gross and fine tune. For some reason, it flipped the image, but up is forward. The little Harken headknocker is for the internal fine tune, and the big one is a Ratchamatic with a cam. The upside of this arrangment: both sheets are close at hand, the fine tune can be dumped at the same time as the gross tune by pulling "in"

This mounting requires some serious rigging gymnastics to make it all work, including a trick system for the routing the fine tune inside the boom (complete) and some small riser blocks for the ratchamatic (in process)

Heres how our gross mainsheet will make it into the boom. It took some fiddling (ha) to make this work, but it seems like a good arrangment, and it actually lets you get the mainsheet blocks closer together than the standard setup. Making this work requires another exit block in the boom, which is not a big deal. Cutting exits is actually one of my favorite rigging tasks. No idea why, as it used to scare the hell out of me. My method is simple, and pretty standard I think.

-mark shape of exit block
-drill hole at either end of cutout shape, using punch/smallbit/full size bit. The holes should be offset so that you're ~1/16" inside the edge of the cutout shape.
-cut out shape with jigsaw and NEW metal blade. Use lots of oil to keep things easy. I always aim to cut out a hole a bit smaller than the finished opening. This means you're final shaping is done with files. This is slower than the jigsaw, but lets you get the shape perfect, and gives you a little margin with the jigsaw. I've got about 5 files I use to make these shapes. Make sure your corners are rounded, as sharp corners form weak spots where stress builds up and thats where cracks are likely to occur.
I worked on our boom in between some other projects, and am about 1/3 of the way through it all.
Time on boom in shop
Kristian 3 hrs

Niki and I went down to the boatshed today. Kevin was prepping varnish with the heat on, so it seemed like a good time to be there. We had a short little list of tasks, mostly around moving the halyards and small parts from the old mast to the new. I'm going to miss that old mast, it was great in big breeze as the middle was real stiff, with a soft top section. Oddly, it seemed to stiffen up as the season went on, although that could be due to our rotting mast step.

The old mast was a bit ragged. The mast base had been repaired once, with a big welded chunk on it. And the back edge of the mast was starting to deform a bit, probably from the angle our step made with the base.
We also moved the halyards over to the new mast. The mast still needs the following:
install masthead unit
install gooseneck plate
cut exit for spin halyard
install topping lift exit block
cut topping lift exit
install spreader brackets and spreaders
install standing rigging
install themed compass mount

Kristian 2hrs
Niki 2hrs

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shields 88 Winter Work


Well, I broke my promise not to work below freezing, but it's not my fault!

88 damaged her mast (or we did it for the boat, rather) and we purchased a new one from Cape Cod Shipbuilding. The mast shipped towards the end of the boatyards winter break, and was scheduled to arrive a little earlier than we planned. Since the mast is in a 40' 400lb crate, they require someone to sign for it and push it off the truck. My dad thankfully agreed to wait at the yard with me for it in 20 degree temps (inside)

While we were waiting, we got some work done. 88 sustained a bunch of cosmetic damage while on loan last summer, and it's requiring some work to the gunwale, so we had to take off all the teak toerails. We're likely going to install the vinyl rubrail, which is a bit ugly to my eyes, but better than repainting the boat! Removing the wood toerails took a lot less time than I thought, so we attacked the next work item: the mast step.
While I'm perfectly happy with our location, the wooden mast step support has been rotting, and I noticed towards the end of last year that it's got tiny little insects thriving on it! So I thought it would be a quick job to pop out the rotted wood part and then make a new aluminum or composite piece. Wrong. It took 2 guys 2 hours just to remove the parts from the boat. Our boat has the strangest mast step I've ever seen. It's 4 3/8" studs, somehow attached to the mast step subframe from underneather, on top of which fit: 1/8" stainless plate, big wood block, stainless plate with ears for tie rod system, then mast step casting, then years of crud. The alnuminum wasn't isolated from the stainless (grr) and everything was glued. I think this was done by the same malevolent spectre of boatwork that 5200'ed the jib tracks on.

We finally got it all apart, and it will be short work to make up a new part and reinstall. After that we'll check our mast step measurement (we don't have any room for error there!) Only thing I'm still pondering is whether to make the mast step angled or flat. The class rules are a bit vague here, but I've noticed that most east coast boats have an angled step. This means that the mast bears evenly across the mast step, reducing stresses on the mast and supports. J22's had this issue, and now all use angled steps to prevent the decks cracking. However, a flat step is what came stock on the boat, and also the flat step dials in a bit of prebend as it supports only the aft part of the mast section. Not sure what to do there.

Victor 3 hrs
Kristian 3hrs

While all this was going on, the truck with the mast arrived, and completely ignored all the instructions (call me!) and tried to deliver the mast to the metal company next to the boatyard. They called up a boatyard manager (on his Xmas break!) who came in and unloaded the mast solo. I feel like a jackass, especially since we wer 100' away and could have helped, but were sitting there waiting for the phone to ring. Sorry Eric!

The next thing we did was more fun (but even colder) as Brian Shaw came into town and helped me unload and move the mast.
The crate took about 45 minutes to break down enough to get the mast out, and then we walked it across the yard, through a ridiculous minefield of parked stuff in the lot, and made it into the Shields shed with inches to spare on either end. Then started stripping the old mast of it's rigging to reinstall on the mast later. It was pretty darn cold, so we grabbed the new boom and took it into the shop to figure out our control specs and layouts for outhaul, mainsheets, vang etc. Brian is into this kind of stuff, and will be using it all, so it was good that he had input into. We got it all figured out, including the strangely specific class mandated locations, except for the location of the single mainsheet turning block bail, which seems to be required to be in 2 locationa a foot apart. Huh? The written rules say it should be 3 inches from the black band (unlikely since thats on the tapered part of the boom) but the class rigging plan says it should be 1' 1-3/4" from the band (more likely since thats approx where every other boat has it) I'm not sure how important the accuracy is here, especially since I've noticed other boats had this stuff all over the place, but as long as we're doing it, we might as well do it as best we can. That and I have a new rigging shop, and can do this all on the bench, so it's good practice to be exact. Next step is to install all this stuff, and we've got some great tricks which will be in the next installment. The highlights are: an 8:1 internal fine tune, replacing the clunky old (plain bearing!!!) mainsheet headknocker with a Harken flip flop ratchet block, further devlopment to the vang "soft bail" and more.

Brian 5 hrs,
Kristian 5hrs