Monday, August 20, 2012

End B Series, field trips

The 88 blog has been neglected as of late, but I have gotten the chance to do lots of fun sailing including a few field trips on other boats.

2 weeks ago I got to helm a T10, Mutiny, for the beercan in about 15-20kts NE with big waves.  It was successful as we consumed far more beer than any other TTen, won the race, and even had a quick COB recovery with 20 seconds to go in the prestart. I always like getting to drive other boats, so thanks John!

Last wednesday we continued our PHRF shenanigans when we put a T10 chute on 88.  It worked out great!  It's about 7' taller than the Shields chute, so the foot gets a bit wet if there are waves over several inches, but it was quite quick and we ended up doing 7kts in about 9kts of breeze, mostly DDW.  Highly recommended, although you should have a contingency plan in case you run over the foot; ours was yelling, until it flew again.  Generally successful, although they didn't score us since we're not sure what our rating would be.  I'd really like to try sheeting a 25-30' boats genoa, and maybe a fathead main.

On Friday I tried the "other" cat themed boat in Belmont harbor, the VO70 Il Mostro. They're good customers of mine, and I've been itching to get out sailing on it all year, but the few times they've gone out to knock around I've been busy at work.  The boat is just magnificent, and really fun to sail. Docking in and out is a little hairy, and the fact that it takes 6 grinders 10 minutes to get the main up might deter beercans, but it has definitely become my second favorite boat.  Here are a few pics. 

 The bow could host a medium sized gathering quite comfortably! Love the 3d leads, so simple, but so powerful!
Some CYR work on the backstays.  There are lots of back and checkstays.

Ha! How many kids get to drive a VO70?

Thats a lot of main.  The highlight was driving of course, and feeling the effect of the keel.  With about half of full cant the boat was doing 9kts on a close reach in 6kts of breeze.  Once we dialed it back to around 12deg keel, it felt like a normal boat; lots of heel and great feel upwind.  With the keel canted to 40, the feel went dead and the boat felt fast but without feel. It took a while to realisze what the sensation was, and I finally realized it was more like driving a big powerboat!

Here are some pics from Saturday.  While it was just another series race, it was probably one of the best days I've had on the water.  We won both races, but the tricky conditions meant that we had lots of work to do.  Quite happy with my starts in both races, as we won the boat the first race, then the pin the other (while getting 196 and 130 ocs, yikes) but due to some pretty big shifts and holes didn't lead the first race until the last leg.  One of the best things we worked on was our wave spotting and trimming.  One crew would do nothing but watch waves upwind, and communicate the timing to the trimmers, who would ease jib sheet about .75" and mainsheet about 2", so we could twist the sails and power through.  It was devestatingly effective; at one point we were behind and to leeward of 63 coming in on port tack layline. Once we found flat spots we could pinch them off, then used the wave trimming to extend ahead and give them bad air.  This gained us at least 15 lengths in 5 minutes, and sealed the race in our favor.  Headstay was at 49.75. 

The good ship cat-shape, Joc, Katie, Niki, Andy

How we spent much of the race!  Here Andy trims main and spots waves and the rest trim jib and watch compass.

Our new main, easily the best one we've ever had.  Even  says USA for some reason!

Our 09 jib is still looking pretty sharp.

Our jib tack detail.  The "down" strop is a soft shackle with 3 balls, although we mostly use the middle one, the tightest setting is cool for beercans where we don't want to hike. The small "forward" shackle holds the jib tack forward, in line with the luff, and also locks the turnbuckle.  Our experimental Hayn calibrated turnbuckle has laser etched numbers. 

 If you absolutely must have overkill, I recommend a covered dyneema carbon dogbone for your Shields vang.
Valiant bowman. Probably calling breeze and air show info.

 Andy really got good fast at spin trim this year, we were blazing all day.
Katie doing Katie things on the way in. 
And oh HELL YEAH we found a frisbee. 

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