Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: 2017 Sailing Season on the Chesapeake
I have a big concert in Philly this Friday, and rehearsals and school board meetings all week leading up to it, then a pot luck event at our marina Saturday evening. So no cruising next weekend - probably just a daysail on Sunday morning.
Our sail across the bay last Friday was a good test of our new 135. It definitely points higher than the old 150. Predicted WSW winds were actually due south, which is why we did not have time to make it into Chester River. So we started what we thought would be a broad reach across the Bay. Of course, halfway across the bay the winds shifted back more westerly, requiring me to point as high as possible to make it across without tacking. I was impressed with our new sail's ability to point at 30º apparent wind angle with no loss of VMG. We were doing 5.1-5.4 kts at 30-33º angle with apparent wind at 7.3-8.2 kts (see pics).
I was pretty happy with our speed in rather gentle breezes. My anemometer only shows apparent wind because Raymarine will not use GPS speed to calculate true wind, but my manual calculation shows true wind speeds of 4.0-7.4 kts for the two pics shown. Making way close-hauled at 5.1-5.4 kts in these light breezes is pretty good IMO. Fresh bottom and new headsail probably contribute to this.
The only bad news from our trip is that our stuffing box needs adjustment. We are getting a drop every ~8 seconds with motor off, one drop/second with motor in gear at idle speed, and two drops/second in gear at 2200 RPM. I've bought a couple of 1-15/16" wrenches and will tighten it up a bit, and need to re-check maintenance logs to verify age of the packing. If mild tightening doesn't get things to within Nigel Calder's recommendations, I'll have to re-pack. I'm hoping to wait until on the hard next winter for that. I'm not experienced enough to try a replacement while in the water.
Also, I'm going to add a cetane improver in hopes of reducing the engine vibration a bit. It's not bad, just seems like it might be a tiny bit more than last year. (Though I did not look at it that closely last year, so I don't have a reliable control study.) I'm not sure if the vibration is affecting the packing condition, but less vibration is always better. I know that the shaft was re-aligned 2 years ago when the transmission was rebuilt.
Finally, the GPS that I attached to my AIS radio seems to have poor reception, causing speed to bounce all over the place. It's behind the electrical panel right now, so presumably suffering electrical interference. It's a puck on a ~20 ft cable, so I can move it to a much better place with less interference. Just one more thing to go on the list.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
Last edited by TakeFive; 04-30-2017 at 11:23 PM.