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, October 4, 2013

Success!  In the last post I discussed the problem of cuddy cabin pressure and shroud slackness.  With some testing and modification of the door brace, purchased at a True Value store, I was able to shore up the cabin, create a solid connection from the mast tabernacle to the keel of the Dory utilizing the brace, thus stiffening the shrouds at leeward creating a more reliable transfer of power from wind, to sail, to forward motion of the boat.

The main solution lay in using a suitably strong bracing bar which allowed for some adjustment and a proper footing and topping block to hold the brace in place.  It is better seen than told.  Following are photos of the modifications I made and tested over two days of sailing.  The first day winds were continuously blowing at 20kts or more at times.  The brace, with holes for the spring pin, looked solid enough but failed under duress as the spring pin, a useless cheap link was forced out of its hole by the downward mast pressure.  Pow!  The brace fell under pressure....

Once that spring pin popped, the brace fell, and the shrouds went on holidays.  I pulled her into wind and went into irons, going below to examine the mess.  Everything else was fine.  The topping block was velcro'd into place still, the foot device was unharmed.  But the spring was jacked-up inside the tube.  I reached for some clevis pins and found a sturdy piece of stainless steel.  I hammered it into the holes of the metal tubing and pushed the bar into place with just enough pressure in the calibration of length to fit into the notch and get kicked into place with my foot.  There it stayed for the rest of the sail enabling the shrouds at leeward to remain with minimal slackness under pressure.  Success!

Counter-boring the holes enabled a flush fit against the cuddy cabin.  I wanted this block to stabilize the bar's position while also giving the same look and feel to the interior of the cuddy.

Velcro enabled it to remain in place even if the bar was not holding it on.  Underway, the Velcro enables just enough holding power to keep the bar from slipping away from the cabin top.


Tipping the bar at an angle enables it to fit up into the circular notch as foot pressure scoots it into place.

 Once in place, the top piece is snug and ready for service. 

The bar is now scooted into place by foot and aligned  with the naked eye.  Resting now upon the block underneath the cabin sole, the bar extends the mast pressure while underway.  Now that the fix is in place, the bar can be removed for convenience if remaining aboard, or left in place if desired.  The question of using epoxy to solidify the block underneath can be made after several sails to determine if any movement of the support is evident.

Of course nothing survives the first test flight.  And this photo was before the blow occurred that snapped the cheap spring clip inside this bar. 

The following photo here shows the stainless steel pin gleaming in the sunlight after I rescued my bracing bar.  Lines askew, no time for cosmetics, I had to get the fix done whether it looked pretty or not.  Once the fix was in I was quite proud of the stability the bar brought.  I was blown about a bit at this point showing a bit more heel than she was under.  The last photo revealing our approach into the harbor area, under a bit less wind but shrouds taut and smart.

As we say, "the proof is in the pudding."  The following photo shows the effects of sailing in a brisk wind just after I had made the modifications while underway with strong winds from the Northeast.  Note carefully the lack of waggling shrouds to leeward ( left, in this case ).  Keeping the shrouds under reasonable tension means the mast position is now true and the wind to keel, to forward motion of the vessel is more reliable.  Photo shows almost equal tension, the leeward having just a slight bit less than the starboard which is natural for the pressure.  This is much better than the 4 to 5 inches of slack that was apparent before.  And see the bar underneath the mast showing a direct line to the keel of the boat: