Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The ultimate in high performance low stretch shelving...

I felt out organizational performance was somewhat lacking last year, particularly our sail locker which turned into a giant pile of sailbags, hardware, foul weather gear, a vacuum, a giant pile of dust (the vacuum broke open) rum, Niki's wardrobe, beercans, empty beercans and random other junk. The only logical way to resolve this problem was with a really expensive piece of rope, hence our PBO hanging shelf!

The support on this shelf is 6.3mm PBO, which gives that part of our shelf a 17500lb break, which I think gives us a nice safety margin for beers. We _could_theoretically go with a "heavier" beer than Coors Light, but I'm not sure we should push it.

Seriously though, I had a PBO F40 jib halyard that was essentially useless, as the cover was torn in a couple spots exposing the core. If you haven't used PBO rope before, it's a very strong, very low stretch fiber, but breaks down when exposed to light or water (great thing to have on a boat right?) Well, after cutting up samples for rigging clinics and destructive testing, I was still left with a 20' piece of PBO that couldn't be used in any critical situation, so naturally it became a shelf.

Also updated 88's jib sheets. The sheets we had last year were nice, but a little bit too short for poling out the jib downwind, so I wanted to add about 10' . This was naturally a good time to try out some new 2010 ropes and I cut a piece of Alpha Ropes K-Mix for these sheets. Got to say, I love this rope! It's a very grippy cover over a very tight core. Takes a little bit of extra time to taper and splice, but the finished product is very nice to handle and runs well through blocks. The latter characteristic was pretty important, since the Harken 29mm blocks top out at 8mm line, so the tapers have to be perfect or your jib sheets will hang up in tacks. You can also see the final setup for the jib cleat, the clew blocks and shackle and the jib car.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

88 winter update

Compared to previous years, I'm doing very little to 88 this winter, but we still have a couple new ideas to try. I'm making new angled risers for the jib sheet cleats. The stock Harken ones work fine, but with the addition of the extreme angle fairlead, the cleats overhang the risers by quite a bit. It seems like the hard edge would be a line catcher, so I wanted something that kept lines out from beneath the cleat assembly. This are just chunks of teak, at an 18" angle, and beveled so a line should slide up and over the cleat. The angled cut visible on the right one is to line up with the front of our control console.

Someone asked me recently about the legality of this system (above), as they counted 3 blocks per side and figured it meant 6:1 Well, it's definitely 2:1. The line goes up from the car, through tbe block on the clew and back to the car. This makes 2:1 advantage, as when the line is pulled it moves the clew closer to the car at a rate of 1" for every 2" pulled. After that is where it gets confused, as even though it goes through the car block, then sideways to the ratchet block, there is no extra mechanical advantage as both of those objects are fixed. I'd be happy to sit down with a ruler if anyone wants to test this ! The whole thing was added to the class rules years ago, allowing for 2:1 sheeting:
8:21 Jib Sheets
The jib sheets may be rigged with either one or two parts using one or both tracks. (See Specifications 8.7, 8.19, 8.20, 8.22, 8.23)
and for the additional cleat 8.6
There shall be bow and stern mooring cleats. The type, number and location of all other cleats are optional. However, cleats shall not be of a type or in a location that will alter the lead of the main, jib or spinnaker sheets.
The additional about changing the lead is a tricky one, as you couldn't go straight from the jib car to an inboard cleat, as that cleat would then alter the lead of the sheet by pulling the car inboard. The rules require an outboard block to avoid changing the lead, which works out fine as the ratchet is most effective when turning the line 90deg as shown. Luckily this is one of those class rules that got added on after half the Newport fleet just did it anyway!

Niki took advantage of a touchscreen computer at Costco to add yet another mark of Peanut. I think we accidentally set the drawing as the background image, screensaver etc so whoever buys the display model will be quite confused...

Our 2009 jib sheet setup (above) worked great, but took a bit of time to rig before sailing, as we have to run the jib sheet all the way through the car, sail and ratchet blocks. Originally we kept it rigged, and used a large keypin shackle to unhook the 40mm blocks from the sail, but the big shackle meant we ended up 2 blocking the sheet sometimes. See below for the 2 blocked sheet. This was our first daysail, and we had no tack height but the sheet 2 blocked even with a 4" strop at the tack.
To fix this this problem, i got rid of the big shackle, and lashed 2 29mm Ti Lites to each jibs clew, as seen in the first picture. This worked fine, but required running the line through all the blocks (including running the line through the ratchet, practiaclly guaranteed to be be backwards) so I wanted to go back to the original easily rigged blocks-on-shackle approach, but without the 2 blocking problem. It took some work, but theres a Harken shackle that fits over the giant clew grommet (no idea why we don't get a simple ring instead..) but is still really low profile to avoid 2 blocking. Should work great, and means we can leave the sheet rigged. Easy rigging=more likely to daysail!
Partner shims:
Wooden box partner jig
Our old system for shimming the partners fit well and looked great, but was kind of a bear to change between races. More often than not we'd think about moving shims, but wouldn't have the time or the inclination to pound the shims out of place. This year we'll be doing something different, with permanent side shims to keep the mast centered, and smaller, looser fore/aft shims. The sideshims are held in place with 2 screws tapped into the partner box, and fore and aft shims have a notch on top, which should make it easier to make it past the vang bail, which interefered with adding shims behind the mast. I'd also like to try sailing with no shims, and see how the mast floats or pumps. Got to keep trying new things or it gets boring!

Chicago's strictly sail was last weekend, and Fleet 3 had #126 on display. She's for sale, so if anyone wants to buy into a great 1d racing fleet let me know!