The Samurai Files
My boyfriend and I recently bought a 1974 Swiftsure 24' by the name of Samurai. She's a pretty little thing, though she certainly falls in the realm of project boat. I know very little about her heritage; she was designed in the Pacific Northwest, and apparently built in Richmond, BC (possibly by De Vries, though this is just heresay at the moment.) She's apparently a racer/cruiser, and from her looks, most of the interior, as well as a good portion of the exterior are from the original manufacturer. She has a few newish sails, and I would guess that she was raced at some point (apparently her PHRF rating is 231). Though we intend on racing her (perhaps next summer, and not terribly competitively) for now we're concentrating on having her be comfortable for weekend trips.
In the style of AllThumbs, and in the interest of keeping my myriad of questions together, I'm making an attempt at a "project boat" thread, if only to remind myself of the hours put into her when the 2'-itis starts itching.
Here are a few of the key projects we're hoping to do by the end of the summer:
*Repairing her delaminated deck (the foredeck from bow to cabin top shows signs of pretty severe delamination. So as to not void our insurance, we have 6 months to complete this)
*Building a venting, self-contained fuel locker.
*Running as much of the running rigging back to the cockpit as possible, and replacing much of it.
*Permanently mounting bilge pump and float switch.
*Adequately attaching the split backstay (6 months - insurance)
*Sanding down gelcoat blisters
*Brightwork & hull spiffy-fying
*Installing a freshwater system
*Installing wire lifelines
*Repairing the fibreglass where the transverse hull stiffener has detached from the hull at the forward keel bolt. (6 months - insurance)
... and many more.
Good luck. Enjoy what this boat will teach you, because it will likely be applicable and practical with the next one.
You were fortunate to get a 6 month window for the "must dos"... we were given 30 days in November by our first insurer to get similar jobs done. (we changed carriers to buy time)
So, yes, you've got some projects on your hands, but as Val says you'll learn tons and prepare yourself for the next one.
btw, I don't live too far from Reed Pt, if you want a second opinion or some suggestions on how to proceed, feel free to PM me. I'd be happy to help if I can.
Reefing Point too far above the boom?
Today I'm curious about reefing. Samurai only has one reefing point (and had nothing set up to actually do so.) On our shake-down weekend trip home from Victoria, we added a cunningham, which will double as the reefing point at the tack. We also added lengths of line at the reefing points along the new foot, and a length of line to take the load at the clew. It's not ideal, but it's what we have.
Here's my question - how close to the boom should the new tack be? Our mainsail is attached with sail slides, which are blocked from falling out with a split cotter pin where the track widens. This is about 8" above the highest position for the boom (the height is adjustable.) However, we've found that the best position for the boom at full sail is another 6'" below that. Say we go to reef - our reef point is now 14" or so above the boom, and we've only taken maybe 6" of sail down and left her with some disturbing sail sag. I *can* raise the boom to make up 6" of that, but this seems like a lot of fussing to reef (especially considering I will already have to untie the cunningham, rethread it through the reefing point, and reattach it) and potentially hazardous to be moving the boom about in high winds.
So, what am I doing wrong? Do I need to be concerned? How do I fix this? Will I be putting too much force on that pin? Does anyone have any suggestions to cure the shared cunningham/reefing line? We'd discussed adding a hook at the boom to simply attach the reef point to, but obviously this won't work if the slides won't come down any lower...
Install a hook.
To reef, leave the boom low, reef the sail, tie off the reef, hook the eye, then reinsert the cotter pin above the sail slide above the reef point. the reef ties and the hook will take the load.
Thanks for the tip! It had never occured to me to let the lower slides drop below the pin...
Unfortunately your slide stop pin is rather high, and you're stuck with having to remove the pin to reef cleanly. This makes shaking the reef out a bit more of an exercise. btw - put a keeper string on the pin for that inevitable time that it slips out of your hand... it'll be sure to bounce overboard.
Also - highly recommend you remove the lines from the diamond patches.. you won't need them. The tack and clew lines will handle the loads just fine. If the reefed fold hanging down is a serious problem then just use them to lightly gather the extra sail. NEVER tie them tight to the boom!
In your last photo there is a grommet a few inches above the tack. My main has a similar grommet, and it's the one that the cunningham goes through before it runs down to a fastening point on the mast. I don't think the first reef should double as your cunningham.
As for the cotter pin in the sail track.... what do you do when you douse the main? Do you leave all the slides above the pin? When the sail is up or down, the cotter pin is unnecessary. It's only while the sail's being raised or lowered that you need the pin there, assuming that all the slides that would end up above/below the pin start out above/below the pin. I would recommend that you take the pin out to reef... of course that means you can't reef from the cockpit.
The other thing that occurs to me is this: identify the slides that need to go past the pin, and tie their grommets directly to the mast (i.e. a line running around the mast, loosely enough that they can still slide freely, and tightly enough that, as the slides pass the wide part of the track, they don't pop out. You could even use some kind of rings like you see on a gaff rig. Then you can leave the pin out permanently and not worry about the slides.
Thanks for all the great suggestions!
The short yellow lines in the diamond patches are going to have to stay, unfortunately. The sail bags out, and hangs in front of the helmsman something fierce. DIY lazyjacks are going to be part of the up-the-mast project we'll be doing at the end of the month, and should help with that. I know there can't be any tension on them - hence the extra concern at getting the reef point closer to the boom.
The grommet about 6 inches up from the natural clew is what we use as a cunningham - that's where the line normally threads through (it's tied with a bowline to a fairlead on the port side of the mast, up and through the grommet, back down to the base of the mast now on the starboard side, where there's a sheave which redirects it to a cam cleat in the cockpit. To "transform" it into a reefing line - remember this was out of desperation, facing high winds and heavy seas - I untie the bowline, rethread it through the reefing point, and reattach the line to the fairlead)
We haven't bothered to remove the pin when we douse the main, so all slides are always above the pin. It all fits under the cover as is, even if the first few flakes are a bit wonky. I don't want to be messing about with ensuring that each slide goes into the track everytime we hoist. We can't reef from the cockpit yet, and considering the pin-conundrum, I doubt we ever will be able to. Once we've replaced the main halyard (currently stretchy goldbraid) and installed a reefing hook, the cunningham will return to her regular duties.
I hope that made sense!
I wouldn't expect you to pull the pin when you douse the main... all the slugs will fall out and, as you said, you'll have to feed them in again. Pulling the pin is only required/suggested for when you need to get the reef tack down to the gooseneck. It would be real nice if that pin was closer down, but it is what it is.
If the reefed sail is bothersome, then yes, leave the ties in place but please don't use then for any purpose other than to loosely gather the reef fold. I've seen more sails torn when newbies tightly tie all those tight around the boom before hoisting, only to tear a couple when the hoist the sail, or when it first fills.
AS for your cunningham/reef tack situation.. maybe buy a tack hook for easier transfer... you'll lose a bit of purchase but also a lot of friction, so it may be a saw-off. Then it's a simple matter of moving the hook from cunningham cringle to reef cringle as required.
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