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  #1  
Old 07-30-2012
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Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Hey Folks,

I know that sometimes we just want to hear about sailing, right? So I have a brief sailing report followed by a couple miscellaneous questions.

Last week on Wednesday and Friday we took our Cal 2-27 out from Rock Creek into the Patapsco (Rock Creek feeds into the mouth of the Patapsco River right where the Patapsco feeds into the Chesapeake.) On both days, but especially Wednesday, the conditions were perfect. Comfortable temperature and humidity, light but sailable winds, and beautiful sunsets.

We've only had this boat, our first, since March. We've taken her out several times, but this is the first time that we took her out as a family, just for sailing (no fishing, no slip practice, etc.) I got to put up the whisker pole and run wing-and-wing (wing-on-wing?), which in my opinion is the most elegant and all around cool looking rigging for a simple boat like ours.

On the Wednesday trip we saw the Wednesday Rock Creek yacht race. My wife and kids loved the spinnakers, and got excited about taking ours out (it's been in the garage.)

On the Friday trip we had friends aboard, and stopped at the mouth of the creek for a ten minute swim at sunset. Absolutely beautiful.

The best thing is that in the several times we've been out, my kids (8 and 10) haven't complained that they're "bored," and my wife seems to have licked a former motion sickness problem and is talking about weekend trips over to the Eastern Shore. Everybody took a turn at crewing: minding the tiller, tailing winches, manning bumpers at the slip, etc. My wife even likes going below to use the galley, including the stove, for lunch and dinner.

I have no pressing concerns, but here are a couple questions:

- The roller furler on my jib works well, but the furling line is the least seaman-like thing on my boat. It gets kinked up and likes to get jammed in the various pieces it runs through on its way forward. Is this a common problem? Is it possible I'm using the wrong kind of line? It seems to have a "memory" for the kinks, so I'm wondering if there is a more suitable type of line.

- I have a tensioner on my back stay. I've never used it until this sail, when I noticed the backstay was slack at one point. Are there any simple guidelines to setting the proper tension? Is this one of those situations where you can set one tension but then should ease it when the load changes (like when tied up after sailing?) I tried to sight the mast for changes while I adjusted the tension, but the only difference I could discern was the actual tension of the backstay, measured by grabbing it with my hand.

- I have a 20-ish gallon fresh water tank. This is a 28-year-old boat. Does anyone consider this water drinkable, and if so, what do you do to keep the tank and lines sanitary?

Many thanks, and happy sailing.





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Old 07-30-2012
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Roller line may be wrong or just twisted. Back stay basics, tight going up wind ease off going down wind. Water google sanitizing fresh water tanks.
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Old 07-30-2012
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

I'd think regular samson braid line would work and not be kinky (what kind of web site is this, anyway? ;-)

Backstay--isn't yours a masthead rig? If so the adjustable backstay is not much use. If it isn't, then tighter in heavy air, looser in light air. Mostly what it will do is keep the headstay tighter so you don't have too much sag in the jib luff.

Water tanks--yeah you can make it drinkable through science/chemicals, look it up, should work. Hint--once done, if you want the kids to drink enough water on hot days, tell them it's full of toxic waste, and will turn them into *mutants* if they drink it. This will work, especially with boys. I cite Calvin and Hobbes as authority.

Looks like fun out there!

Last edited by nolatom; 07-30-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Hey,

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing.

Regarding your questions:
>- The roller furler on my jib works well, but the furling line is the least
> seaman-like thing on my boat. It gets kinked up and likes to get jammed
> in the various pieces it runs through on its way forward. Is this a common problem? Is

It may be something as simple as you twisting the line when you 'flake' or coil it. You should not put any twists into the line, when you coil the line be careful NOT to put any twists in. If the line doesn't have any twists or kinks it should be fine. If not, I don't know what the problem is.

> I have a tensioner on my back stay. I've never used it until this sail,
> when I noticed the backstay was slack at one point. Are there any simple
> guidelines to setting the proper tension?

The MAIN goal of the back stay tensioner is to remove any slack from the fore stay. If you see the luff of the headsail sagging, you want to tension the back stay enough to remove the sail. Generally, the tighter the headstay (less sag) the higher you can point.

The back stay and for stay should not be 'bar tight' but if you see sag it's too loose. You can loosen it when at rest to ease the strain on the rig, but we're talking millimeters not centimeters.

Later, when running downwind under spinnaker, you can easy the backstay all the way to pull the rig forward and project as much of chute as possible, but that's for when your are more advanced.


>- I have a 20-ish gallon fresh water tank. This is a 28-year-old boat. Does
> anyone consider this water drinkable,

Not me. You could probably treat it by scrubbing the tank, filling with bleach and rinsing, but I just use the water in my tanks for cleaning. I bring bottled water for drinking.

Good luck,
Barry
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Congratulations on a great sail! You have acquired a great boat for the Chesapeake and you should have a great time with it

If the roller furler line is old (ie. came with the boat) replace it. Find out what furler you have and research the correct line to use. Owners of boats of this vintage and price rarely replace old lines (or batteries)before they sell the boat, so be prepared for some expenditures.

Even if you clean the tank the water may taste bad. I sail with gallon bottles of spring water for drinking. Everyone has his own 1qt Nalgene bottle that is refilled with the spring water. Don't use the pint or half pint disposables; on a hot day you will fill the boat with empties!

I, personally, dislike sailing wing and wing. IMHO It's slow and boring, except that inattention, or inexperience, at the helm can cause an accidental jibe if you aren't using a preventer. Very dangerous.

Make sure that the tensioner on the backstay isn't adjusting itself. Once it is at the proper tension you can leave it alone and come back to the intricacies of adjusting the tension under sail till you've had more experience with the boat.

You are in the best cruising area in the east. The Chester river is nice, The Wye river is spectacular, the posibilities are endless. Have a great time on a great boat!
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Keep a moderate amount of tension on the furling line as you unfurl the jib sail; it should not be left to run free.
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Sounds like a fun day. I drink the water from my fresh water tanks, (if it hasn't been in there too long), but it doesn't always taste good. Bottled water for drinking is easier.

You can always flush the tank with bleach, rinse, wash with dish soap, rinse again. Then refill with fresh, if it tastes like bleach or soap, you didn't flush enough. If it still tastes like algea, open the tank and scrub the corners, and repeat.

If you run Chlorinated water from municipal supply it will last longer, as well as get any of the bugs left in the old water. Sounds like your family has adjusted well, fair winds.
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

The trick is to keep the furling line under tension as you furl and unfurl the jib. One of these helps enormously :

Harken 57mm Carbo ratchet block stanchion lead block assembly at Mauri Pro Sailing

It helps keep the line under tension when furling, and also helps control the jib when unfurling (ever unfurled in high winds and had the jib deploy violently? Won't happen with this block.)

Best implementation is at the aft end of the cockpit, so the line does nearly 180 degrees around it, then back to your cleat.

Of course it's also possible that your line is due for replacement, as well.
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Last edited by MarkSF; 07-30-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Thanks for the helpful responses.

The comments about water confirmed my suspicions. We've been drinking bottle water also, but I didn't know if everyone did this (probably not real cruisers, for example?)

Tension on the furling line: I haven't tried that. This line seems to be a particular problem, which is why I singled it out for a question. No other line that I coil regularly has the same problem (for one thing, it's smaller than all the other lines.) Barry, I'm not sure what you mean about putting a twist in the line, but when I coil it, I do twist it a half turn with my fingers as I gather in each loop. If I don't do this then each loop will want to twist into a figure 8. So am I adding a twist or preventing a twist? That's part of the trouble: the line always seems to have some sort of bias that wants to keep it from playing out straight.
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Re: Family sailing report with photos and embedded questions

Yes, it sounds like you are adding a twist. The line should want to go into a figure of eight if you are doing it right.

The best way is to hold out your left hand and use it as a hook. Don't move it at all. The right hand places loops over it. The rope should then take up a figure of eight shape.
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