Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

The advantage of a small boat is measured in feet.  If that sounds obvious it's because with boats, one pays by the foot for slip space, for ropes and lines, and shrouds.  And sometimes the advantage is measured in square feet rather than foot length.  Bottom paints, anti-fouling prep, and sails, those wonderfully magical wings that turn a boat into an adventure at sea.  So, it's all about feet...

An 18.5 foot boat just fits well.  You're snug in a small boat.  And snug works well, especially when things get rough.  The wind, waves, and rain can threaten you but the Dory tends to snicker cause she's solid down below.  That 900 pound keel gives her confidence.  And sitting up top, you can feel the difference that small makes.  Small and heavy.  Advantages to both.

File:Parts of a sail.svg
Diagram of a Sail with Names of features
So it came one day to have to do a bit of repair on the genoa tracks.  The tracks are located just aft of amidships where the distance between the clew of the genoa can be adjusted. 

I add the diagram and link to the page here from Wikipedia for those who are not so acquainted with the parts of a sail and the various names that colorfully describe this piece of magical cloth.  This sail is actually a mainsail but the terms work for a jib or genoa as well.  So you see the clew is the part of the sail at the very bottom and trailing edge.  The clew of the genoa attaches to a line which runs through a "spring block," called that because it springs upward all the time to keep the line ready to feed into the winch.  From there I then can then wrap it around the winch and pull the genoa to the point it catches the wind in just the right amount to pull the boat into the wind.

And so for all that I needed to work on the genoa track.  And that meant I'd have to get underneath the cockpit of this 18 foot boat in order to pull-off nuts and spacers and bolts.  A job that I immediately thought of in terms of feet, and was so glad the genoa track was only about 2 feet in length!

But I'd have need of another helper to get underneath the cockpit.  As you can see it is pretty small.  One could get claustrophobic in there!  So I began to think of all the small things and small people in my life and I realized this was a perfect task for my 1st Mate or should I say 1st Maitresse? 

The genoa track bolts poke down through the toe rail into the actual seam between the hull and the top deck of the vessel.  I'm not sure whether the bits of peg board were original or whether they were the idea of a former skipper.  Nonetheless, it looks pretty nasty up in there.  This was a job for my qualified small 1st Maitresse...
And so she arrived complete with nails done to perform the bolt removal servicing I needed to perform in order to then get the genoa track fixed.  This was a "small" job requiring a "small person" which produced "big" results.  She came into the project with certain expectations of course. 
She didn't like the peg board crumbling in her face.  We did lose a few washers to the space between the hull and the inner liner, hmmm.  And there were periodic comments and questions about which direction do I turn the ratchet, left or right, or what are you doing now?  And then there was her need for refreshments during the project and comments about how this probably would not occur again in the near future.  But when it was done, I was able to remove the genoa track with little problems.
So then, as I was marveling in the condition of the toe-rail after so many years, and the quality of the stainless steel genoa track, I realized that I had left the 1st Maitresse down below...without her Diet Pepsi!  OMG!