Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pacific Marine Expo 2012

Today  I went to the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle. This is a show for the marine/fishing industry to check out the latest equipment and services that vendors have to offer. Each year I receive a free ticket and attend. I like to see what is new and wish that some of it was available when I was working. It is interesting to talk to some of the vendors that are selling equipment that I used to design installations for.
I made a quick trip of it today and was on the 1235 ferry. No stopping at Ivars for lunch today either.
The show takes up the entire first floor of the Centurylink Event Center. Seminars are on the mezzanine.
This is a MTU, 1000 hp diesel. Probably the largest at the show.
The exhibitors are eager to hand out all kinds of "freebies" to advertise their products. I like to pick up a lot of the stuff. Some is really useful, some is just silly.
Everyone needs a diesel engine stress relieving squeeze toy.
This is a sample section of non skid, cushioned deck mat. This is very shock resistant and I thought the salesperson said that a similar product was used in military vehicles. But what I found interesting is that the riser sections are made by Nike. Yes the shoe company! This company then glues the non skid mat onto the riser sections.
This is for Dave C. He is fascinated with John Deere tractors and John Deere "Green". Sorry to disappoint you, but the marine diesel engines are actually painted white(there is a reason for that) and their logos are black.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fowl Weather Race 2012-Gobble Gobble!

Saturday was the day for our clubs annual Fowl Weather race. This is a three race regatta that rewards the winner with a turkey, frozen not alive. West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club started this event in 1989. How do I know this? I was the race chairman during that time and I thought it would be a fun event to hold just before Thanksgiving Day. A previous club that I used to belong to held a similar race and I copied the idea.
The forecast for the day was somewhat grim. All week, the winds were predicted to be strong on Saturday, as high as 25-35 knots. But the final morning forecast had the maximum winds at 15-25 knots and very wet. When we arrived at the marina, the winds were non existent.
We went out onto the race course for the first race. We set a old light No.1 genoa. I had hoped that we would not need this sail. Our newer No.1 was at the sail loft getting repaired. We maneuvered around the starting area and got a good start with one boat ahead and below us. The first leg was a beat to buoy #2 near Ross Point. After two tacks, we rounded just behind but to weather of the lead boat. We set the spinnaker and rolled past the lead boat. As we neared the marina, the wind got lighter and we sailed tight angles to keep our speed up. We rounded buoy #4 and headed towards the finish and after two tacks crossed the line far enough ahead to correct on the boats behind.
For the second race, we changed to the Heavy No.1 genoa as the wind had built just as we finished the first race. The rain also started in earnest and continued for the rest of the day. We dueled with one boat along the breakwater for the start and both of us got a great start. We sailed mainly a close reach to buoy #2. The wind was very gusty and we floated the main a lot After rounding the mark, we set the heavy spinnaker and had a wild reach along Port Orchard and a run to Pt Herron. One boat behind us blew up their spinnaker. We rounded the Pt Herron mark in a close second and started the beat back to the finish. We saw winds up to 22 knots and again we floated the main to try to keep the heel angle under control. We finished close astern of the first place boat and since we owe them time, we placed second.
For the third race, we went smaller and heavier with the jib and put up the No. 3 jib. Again at the start, the boat that won the second race and us had a great duel with us winning the start. And again, the leg to the first mark was a lot of reaching and by working up in the gusts, we made the mark without tacking. We were set up to fly the spinnaker, but the wind was far enough ahead to make flying a spinnaker difficult. Furthermore, the boat behind us(that won the second race) did not put up a spinnaker either. We reached north to Radar Target "3", tacked around it and started the  beat back through the start/finish line to Buoy #2 again. The wind was still gusty, but did not seem as bad. We rounded the mark and this time set the heavy spinnaker. We were having a great run, but the race was shortened as we sailed through the start/finish line. The boat behind again got first and we were second.
After the race, the results were tallied and we were first with five points(first and two seconds) and the second place boat had seven points(fifth and two firsts) even though they were first in the second and third races. Complete results can be found here:    Fowl Weather Race Results 2012 when they are finalized.
Following the racing the competitors met on the party dock at the marina for a potluck and deep fried turkey.
I have raced a lot of Fowl Weather Races and other "turkey " races and brought home a lot of turkeys(the frozen kind). My mom often holds off buying a turkey until after this race to see if I will supply the turkey for dinner.
Thanks to the crew of Jim, Dave, Tim, Ranier and Michael for all the help and making everything happen.
 The first race track is the red line. It was a short race to the south buoy #2, through the start/finish line north to buoy #4 and back to the finish.
 The second race track is the blue line. It was a longer race that started toward the south, around buoy #2, north around buoy #4, to the Pt Herron light, around buoy #4 again and then to the finish,
The third race track is the green line. This race started toward the south around buoy #2, north through the start/finish line to Radar Target "3" and back to the start/finish line. This race was suppose to be two laps, but was finished on the second run.
Following a day of racing, everyone met on the guest dock party shelter for a potluck including deep fried turkey! Yum!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seattle International Auto Show 2012

Warning: This post involves new, old, and restored motor vehicles most of which are hydrocarbon burning and carbon spewing vehicles. A lot of the vehicles are in the price range for the 1% er's and a few for us 99% er's. Those people looking for sailing info will probably be disappointed, move along.
Today was a good day for retired people like me to go to the Seattle International Auto Show while the working people were, well, working! The show is at the Century Link Event Center. The intent is to show new cars for the 2013 model year. As always, a lot of the displays are glitzy and the cars are displayed under bright lighting. Most of the well known(and lessor known) manufacturers were present. Cars are not for sale at this show, but many brands were offering discount coupons to those people who were really interested.
I spent a lot of time at the Ford display. There Shelby Mustang GT500 was a beauty. But the Dodge Challenger was also a car I could see myself in. So many choices! I was looking for smaller electric cars and finally found one off in the corner behind the Lincolns. I think an electric car could be a good way to get around for running errands and shopping. But so many of the major manufactures put in all the frills of a gas powered car at the cost of more weight and less range on a battery charge.
All the "exotic" cars were up on the mezzanine. Here were the Land Rovers, Jags, Bentley's, Porsche's, Lamborghini's, a McLaren and even a Smart Car. What! Did I say? Smart Car? I sure did! There was actually four of them including a convertible. I learned a lot more about them today. I often think they would be a great little car for running around town, or even taking a trip. I was always impressed with them when I was in Europe and am glad to see more of them here.
After a quick trip through the displays, I went back to the 1500 ferry, did not go to Ivar's and was home by 1615.
Here is the Beetle Shark Cage that was featured in a commercial.
It actually went underway.
Mustang Shelby GT500. 5.8 liter, DOHC, 4 valve, 5.8 liter V8 that puts out 662 hp.
I could sure see myself in this!
Of course, the Shelby Cobra badge.
Wasn't for sale, but who would not want a Mustang pool table?
Ford F150 Raptor. It has an off road tuned suspension and a 6.2 liter V8 engine. When I stepped up to get in, I reached for a handle on the windshield pillar. My F150 has one there. But there was no handle. When I set down, a guy came up and said that he saw me reach for the handle that was not there. He said that he used to work for Ford and thought it was a dumb idea when they stopped installing it. He was told that Ford wants you to pull on the steering wheel when you get in. Strange! I like the handle.
Restored 1951, Studebaker Champion Starlight 2-door coupe. On display from the LeMay Museum in Tacoma.
 Restored 1960 Chevrolet Corvette. Also on display from the LeMay Museum in Tacoma.
Dodge Challenger R/T with the 6.2 liter Hemi V8. When I started to get into this car, the young guy who just got out said "You want to fall asleep in there". I told him "No, I want to drive it!" If not the Mustang Shelby GT500, I could also see myself in this car.
 The obligatory Ferrari picture.
Bugatti Veyron. It has a four-turbocharged, 8 liter, 16 cylinder engine that generates 1001 hp and has a top speed of 253 mph. Sells for a mere $1.5 million!!!!!
 I like this little electric car. Simpler, smaller and less expensive than the electric cars produced by the big manufacturers, it still gets 100 miles on a charge. This would be a good vehicle for commuting and around town driving. I don't think any of the electric cars are practical for travelling very far, yet.
The main floor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Phase III- Improving The Breathing

Warning: This is another installment in the ongoing saga of "The Great Bronco Engine Transplant". Many posts have been published over the last two years chronicling this engineering/installation project. Those people looking for sailing info will probably be disappointed, move along.

About a month ago, I reported on Phase II of The Great Bronco Engine Transplant. Phase II is the replacement of the rear differential with one from a 1996 Ford Explorer. The Explorer 8.8 inch differential is much stronger than the stock 7.5 inch differential and also has disc brakes and limited slip. This mod is ongoing while I assemble the various parts and line up a weldor to come to my house and weld on the spring perches and shock absorber brackets.

But before I have completed (or even started) Phase II, circumstances have occurred that allowed me to start Phase III. Phase III is a performance mod to the V8 engine.

I was at a car swap meet a couple weeks ago at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and found an Edelbrock Performer aluminum intake manifold that fits the Ford 302, V8 engine I installed in the Bronco. This was always something that I have been keeping my eyes open for and I felt fortunate to find it. I picked it up for a cheap price. It is a manifold for a four barrel carburetor and my original thought was to buy an adapter and install the existing two barrel carburetor as a money saving alternative until I could buy a four barrel carburetor. But I was searching on Ebay and found a new Holley, 600 CFM, four barrel carburetor for a great price, and free shipping too!

So now, I am rounding up the miscellaneous parts to install the manifold and carburetor. I hope to be able to start this install in December or early January before I accomplish Phase II. This mod should provide more performance than the stock intake system. But because of the improved breathing and the modern carburetor, a lot of opinions are that my fuel mileage should improve too. I hope so, because it can't get much worse!

Here is my Holley, 600 CFM, Four Barrel Carburetor and
Edelbrock Performer Manifold waiting to be installed on the 302 V8.
Aren't they pretty?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gig Harbor LeMans Race-Nov, 10

What is a LeMans Race? In motorsports, it usually refers to a race with a LeMans Start. This is a start where the drivers run to their cars, jump in, start the motor and then race onto the track. This type of start is rarely used anymore. Safety issues such as drivers not buckling in properly and cars colliding during the mass start lead to it being phased out and replaced by more structured starting procedures.

But, a race utilizing a LeMans Start is alive and well in Gig Harbor and has been raced for nearly 50 years. But the Gig Harbor race is raced with sailboats. The competing boats anchor in a "box" encompassed by four buoys. The crew hides below decks and at the starting signal run up on deck, raise the sails, weigh anchor and sail down the course.

For this race, I was invited to race onboard "Dulcinea" a J105 in my club. I like sailing on other boats sometimes. It is a great chance to learn how other boats sail. Since I have my own boat, I don't get invited aboard many other boats.

The day started cold and clear with light winds predicted. We had to wash frost off the deck of "Dulcinea" to stay aboard.

After the 0900 meeting, we motored out to the starting box near the starting line for our 1030 start. After we established our spot, other boats anchored close and the "box" became crowded. At the starting gun, our crew of four ran topside and pandemonium ensued. We ran the main sail up, raised the anchor, unrolled the jib and got underway. The wind was light out of the south as we beat down Gig Harbor towards the narrow entrance. At the harbor entrance, the fleet compressed and it crowded with all the boat trying to sail through the narrow entrance together. As we tacked out of the bay and headed north, we anticipated setting the spinnaker, but no luck as the wind shifted toward the north. We jib reached, sailed closehauled and chased very oscillating shifts as we sailed up Colvos Pass to the shortened course mark just north of Pt Richmond. We saw winds as high as 7-8 knots a couple of times, but mostly it was very light with bands of winds just out of reach and dead spots to try to avoid.

After rounding the mark, again we thought we could set the spinnaker, but the wind shifted more east and we had a close reach down the shore toward Gig Harbor. As we neared the entrance to Gig Harbor, we finally were able to bring the wind far enough aft to set the spinnaker. We jibed into the entrance and thought we would have a good run to the finish. But no! About a hundred yards short of the finish line, the wind shifted to the northeast again. We quickly dropped the spinnaker and unrolled the jib for the short close reach to the finish.

At the post race party, the race chairman said that when the 50th anniversary of the race occurs in a few years, he plans to revive the original start of the race. The way the race was run in its beginning was the skippers rowing a dinghy to their boats and then tow the dinghy throughout the race. That would be more of a "true" LeMans start!

Thanks to Matthew, Mellisa and Tessa for inviting me along on this race, I had a good time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Political Rant

This is my first(and hopefully last) political rant. Since I got into trouble commenting on my sailing competitors, I bet I can REALLY get into trouble commenting on the current political scene.

Well folks, by this time tomorrow we should know the outcome of some of the most important elections. Some will be happy, and some will be distraught that their candidate or measure did not pass. I will be glad when this election cycle is over. The ads on TV, the letters to the editor, the mailings and phone calls(that I don't answer). I am sick of it!

I am amazed at how emotions run rampant during this time. Some people who I know that profess to be anti violent, anti hate, only speak nicely of others type people are often the ones who write and speak very derogatory comments about people of a different political bent than theirs. Just because someone votes a different party line does not make all their views wrong.

My voting was completed a couple of weeks ago, shortly after I received the ballot. How I voted is personnel, so I will not say how I voted. But even though I vote mainly along a specific party line, I also vote for the individual who I feel has the best experience or platform that meets my beliefs regardless of the political party they belong to. Afterall, I am selfish and mainly am concerned with how the elections affect me!

The following links are videos from King 5 TV. They are part of a series by their political reporter, Robert Mak. He runs a series called AdWatch where he does fact checks on some of the attack ads from some of the candidates. These are from the Governor and Attorney General races. If you have time, these are pretty interesting and show how some of the political ads really stretch the truth.
Attack Ads Against Rob McKenna

Regan Dunn-Missed Votes and Persian Rugs

Jay Inslee

Bob Ferguson and the death penalty

Rant Over!