Monday, November 28, 2011

Captain Dan's Fleet Of Sailboats

Lately I have been locating photos of my old sailboats. Some were very low resolution snap shots taken with an Instamatic, some were taken with large format cameras from aircraft and boats and some were digital. Those that were not already in digital format, I tried to scan. Obviously, the small Instamatic shots were hard to scan, so the quality is not very good. I did the best that I could.

So this is a history of my fleet of boats during my more than 40 years of sailing.
1967-1968: This was really my second boat. I bought this while in Junior High. It was called a "Sea Scooter", a 10 ft sailing dinghy. I learned a lot about sailing with this little boat!
 1968-1972: My father and I built this boat. It is 15 feet long and built from plywood and covered with a layer of fiberglass. When we built this boat, we bought the plans at the local lumber yard for 25 cents.

 1972-1975: This is "Rascal". It is a Victory 21. It was a small boat at 21 feet long and had a small cuddy cabin mainly for storage. But, I took a few short cruises in Puget Sound with it. It also was the boat that started my racing career.
 1972-1975: "Rascal"
 1975-1977: This is "Rascal Too". It is a Tanzer 22. At 22feet long, it had enough accommodations to cruise comfortably. I took several cruises in Puget Sound and to the San Juan Islands with this boat. I also raced this boat a lot and I was pretty successful.
 1977-1999: "Good News" This boat is a Bystedt 30. It was designed by Bob Perry as a half ton racer under the IOR(International Offshore Rule). Only nine of these boats were built. Although it was designed primarily as a race boat, it had a comfortable interior and lots of storage space. I raced this boat a lot and in the 22 years I owned it, won a lot of awards. In addition this boat took me to farther than any of my previous or current boats. I cruised a lot in Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and on into Canada including two circumnavigations of Vancouver Island and to the Queen Charlotte Islands. This boat actually contributed to my enjoyment of cycling. It had enough space inside to carry a bicycle partially disassembled. On my long cruises, I took a bicycle with me and when I could get ashore, I could explore inland. I enjoyed sailing this boat. It had a light helm and tracked well. Like many boats designed to the IOR rule, it rolled a lot when sailing fast downwind with the spinnaker.
 1999-Present: "Great White" is a J35. A J35 was designed in 1984 to be a high performance, simple, sailing machine. About 330 J35's were built between 1984 and 1992. I looked at these boats when they first hit the market and fell in love with them. When I got to the point in my life when I could afford a J35, I searched the Internet and found this boat in San Diego. When I was in San Diego on a business trip I arranged to see it. It was more "complete" and had more equipment than the boats I was viewing in Puget Sound. So I bought it and had it transported to the NW. This boat was well equipped and had most of the interior options that make it comfortable to cruise in. I actually lived onboard for five months when I was between homes. For me, I found it adequate. I have not cruised as much as I did on "Good News". Most of the time on this boat has been racing. We have been fairly successful with this boat. It is a thrill to sail and the power is felt when the wind picks up. It is no longer considered a high performance boat like the newer boats that have come out since the J35 was built, but we still are as fast as a lot of conventional 40 foot boats. That is what the ads said it could do!
1999-Present: "Great White"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It Is Time For Fowlweather, Gobble Gobble!

Snow, rain, no wind. That was some of the forecast for the weather for Saturday. Not a real good forecast for a sailboat regatta. But the Fowlweather Regatta was scheduled and we can't control the weather.

This three race regatta is run just before Thanksgiving Day with the intent to award the winning boat with a Turkey(frozen not alive). I raced events like this at a former yacht club that I had belonged to in the mid  70's to mid 80's. Then I established this event for West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club in 1989 when I was the race director. It has been a popular event. In my extended family, the decision to buy a Thanksgiving day turkey was usually delayed until after this race. I have been quite successful in this event and have brought home many pounds of frozen, tryptophane laden, fowl flesh!

As it turned out, this Fowlweather regatta was an excellent three series for a late fall day. The weather started out clear and cold when I left Brownsville early for the delivery to Port Orchard. The decks of "Great White" were slippery until the rising sun melted the frost. But as the day progressed, the wind rose to as high as nine knots and the sun made the day feel warm.

Even though the turnout for the regatta was only five boats, the competition between "Great White" and "Dulcinea"(J105) was intense with "Great White" winning the first and third races and "Dulcinea" winning race two. On "Great White" we showed excellent upwind speed and good tactical calls. Our downwind speed was also good enough to stay ahead of "Dulcinea" who excels on the downwind/reaching legs. The winds speed varied enough that "Dulcinea" would gain some on us when the winds lightened in races one and three. But, we were able to sail hotter angles and find patches of new winds. In race two, we were way ahead of "Dulcinea" at the weather mark, when a mess up with the spinnaker set caused us to lose the lead and the race.

Following the race, the club had a deep fried turkey at the marina's visitors float. It was very tasty and on the delivery home, it was hard.....

Here are the tracks of the days three races. The red track was the first race of the day. The green track is the second race and the blue track is the third race. All races started at the Port Orchard marina. The wind was NW swinging to north as the day went on. The three races all went around the course in a counter clockwise direction.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pacific Marine Expo Nov 17

Thursday I attended the 2011 Pacific Marine Expo at the Century Link Event Center(aka Clink) in Seattle. This event is a trade show for commercial fisherman, commercial vessel operators, owners and the people who maintain or modify commercial vessels. Am I a commercial operator? Not really. My parents were commercial fisherman and were invited each year. I took their invite and added my credentials and my business name. Now each year I get a free invite. I don't think anyone really pays to attend. When they finally opened the gates, nobody checked any of the badges.

I enjoy going to this show. I can talked to vendors and they seem interested in talking to me. Little do they know that I am not in the market for a 200 gpm centrifugal pump or a 500 hp diesel engine. But I can still be interested in things that I can use on my own boat. I feel that I come away with a lot more information about what is used in the marine field. The exhibitors and participants at this show are a lot friendlier than what I experience at boat shows.

After the show, I had enough time before the ferry left to walk down the street to Ivars and get an order on fish and chips. YUM!

 Most everything needed to operate, maintain and modify commercial vessels is here.
 Big diesel engines.
 The floor is filled with exhibits.
The model basin is always interesting.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Got Me Under Pressure"

With credit to ZZ Top, I was under a lot of pressure this week, hydraulic pressure! With a boat, it is always something. There is a continual list of maintenance and repairs. This week on my boat, it was the hydraulic system that needed work.

This all started a few weeks ago. A modern sailboat  can use a hydraulic system to tension some of the rigging that holds the mast up. On my boat, I have a manual pump to supply the hydraulic oil to the cylinder. It is not uncommon to pump 3 to 4000 psi into the system. The seal on my hydraulic cylinder started leaking during the summer. I started looking for someone to rebuild the cylinder. A prominent rigger suggested an authorized rep in Seattle or just a local hydraulic shop could do it. I called the rep in Seattle, but he did not return my call(the number on the website was an old number he did not use). So I took the cylinder to a local hydraulic shop. They could not get it apart. So, now came Plan B. I found a used one on Ebay and decided to take a chance on it. It arrived and it became immediately apparent that it was in terrible shape plus it had the wrong rod installed and could not be made to work without replacing the rod and replacing the seals. The cost would be as much as a new one. I am still trying to return this cylinder and get reimbursed.

So now, I get a call from the factory rep in Seattle and yes he would be glad to see if he could repair one or both. So I sent both cylinders to Seattle to see what he could do. He possibly would need both cylinders to make one workable one or maybe both would be unusable. After a few days, he called to say that he could rebuild mine, but the Ebay unit had many problems along with the short rod and is pretty much junk and only couple of the parts were any good.

Yesterday I took a bicycle ride to Seattle to pick up the cylinders. The rep lives right at Alki Pt. But first I rode north from the ferry to the north end of Lake Union(near Gasworks Park) to Fisheries Supply for some small boat parts. Then I took a detour to the Ballard Locks. From there I retraced my path to the ferry terminal and continued around Elliot Bay to Alki Point. I loaded up the two cylinders along with two quarts of hydraulic oil and headed back to the ferry. I arrived with enough extra time to buy fish and chips from Ivars. Yum! By the time I rode home from the ferry, I had travelled 44 miles. A good days ride!

Today I took the cylinder down to the boat to install it. First I flushed about a quart of new oil through the pump and hoses. Actually installing the cylinder only too a couple of minutes and then I pressurized the system to 3000 psi a few times to purge any air out.

So even though it is more fun buying glitzy things like fancy electronics for the boat, sometimes the low tech items take priority.

 The two cylinders. The lower one is the one from my boat. The upper one is the one I bought from Ebay. Notice how far into the cylinder the rod goes. It can be pushed all the way into the cylinder.
 The cylinder from my boat is also fully retracted. Notice the difference?
 Cylinder once again installed and leak free!
 The large locks at Ballard have been drained for maintenance. I have never seen this before.
 The large locks at Ballard have been drained for maintenance. I have never seen this before.
 The bike trail heading along Elliot Bay back into Seattle.
 Alki Beach.

Opening Day For The New Manette Bridge

 Today the new Manette Bridge opened. Once again the downtown Bremerton and the Manette community are joined by a bridge. I rode the bicycle down to witness the event and walk across the bridge. The day was spectacular! The weather warm and sunny.

 The new bridge is built to modern standards and provides plenty of room for all forms of traffic.
 One of the few times that the bridge will ever be this empty.
 The crowd waiting for the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was reported that about 400 people attended.
 And away they go! Pedestrians were given about a half hour to walk the bridge. I heard one woman say that she crossed it four times.

 The old bridge is being demolished. This will go on for some time and everything down to the bottom of the narrows will be removed. The old bridge is in poor shape. Many have suggested leaving it up for non motorized traffic. But the footings are eroding away and the steel construction is rusting badly. Continual maintenance would be expensive. So after 81 years, it is time to say goodbye!
 The parade of first cars to cross from Manette to Bremerton. The first people to drive across were chosen by lottery. I rode my bicycle back to Manette.
And some motorcycles too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seattle International Auto Show

Today was my yearly trip to Seattle to look at the new cars at the Seattle International Auto Show at the Century Link Field Exhibition Hall, AKA as "The Clink".

As in previous years, the new auto displays were very glitzy and the sales personnel friendly.

 The Cadillac CTS-V coupe. This was painted in the black diamond finish. It was beyond metal flake and hard to describe the appearance of the sparkly finish. I set in this car and it is very comfortable. Ricaro seats with nice bolsters. Also, with it's high horsepower and great suspension package, it has bested the European luxury cars in performance. This is NOT my uncles luxury Cadillac!
 Ahh, the Mustang Boss 302! This car was locked up and I could not sit in it. They would not open the hood either. This is a serious performance vehicle. With it's high horsepower V8(444 hp), handling package and spoilers, this car just begs to be driven fast on a track. Surprisingly, Ford removed the back seat. It is a true two seat car now!
 The rear spoiler looks functional.
 Ford F150, SVT. This has a larger engine, offroad suspension, fender flares and a very comfortable interior. I could enjoy driving this. I am not a big fan of four door cabs. I wonder if they make this in a standard or super cab?
 One from the other side. Chevorlet Corvette. I have already forgot the model, but this guy had a supercharged V8. Sort of cheesy, they put a plexiglases window in the hood to see the supercharger.
 Hard to see in this photo, but this model of the Mini Cooper has a streamlined roof that ends in a hatchback. Called the Mini Coupe, it is not as boxy as the original flat top Mini Hardtop. It has lost the rear seat too and is now a two seater. The "S" model also utilizes a turbo instead of the supercharger that I was used to. One cool feature too is the rear spoiler that automatically deploys above 50 MPH.
 I was told that the Dodge Charger had been redesigned. Sure enough, I like the full width tail light.
 I still think of the Charger as a four door sedan. But this baby had a Hemi engine, suspension package, Brembo brakes and sporty wheels. Pretty cool family car!
 Ahh yes! The Dodge Challenger! This is the car that I would buy if I had LOTS of disposable income.... Oh well, nice to dream! To me, this so resembles the late 60's early 70's Challengers. But these have a 392 cubic inch Hemi engine, better suspension, brakes and interiors.
 I always like this stance!
Can you say Hemi?!
And finally, here is a high end Lamborgini.