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 modest Alberg inventory.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Post 100

From the outset of this blog, the Cape Dory Typhoon has been an adventure of efforts for me, and learning about it and improving on it has been one of my goals.  Another has been to not over-improve, or update with new technology, a perfectly well-designed little boat.

One of the items I've often wondered about changing is the installation of a traveler system on the stern deck.  Friends elsewhere have installed Harken systems at the going rate of about 700 or 800 dollars for a traveler system, which would obviously provide me better purchase on pointing, but might over-improve the boat.  But then, the Ty they own is involved in racing every Wednesday evening at their club and I think if I were doing that I'd probably be inching ever so closely to the same improvements.  I don't compete often at all.

Manufactured in 1974, Hull #729, Cape Dory Weekender model, renamed in Summer 2014 "Baggy Wrinkles"

 I've owned a large sailboat and understand what new and nice is, but there is something very attractive about a boat which may not perform well in a time trial, like a race, but does well in giving you endless enjoyment sailing with ease, stability on the water, and a feeling of artistry underway.  And so I think this is a personal decision that I make about my Typhoon, i.e. to keep it original.  So, the draw-back is that I come-in last in any race in which I compete but I come in first every time I sail the lake, and miss a tack pointing around an island, and have to resolve it with another approach. Or, when my Ty withstands heavy winds with aplomb, and find my rig simply keeps giving and giving without seeming to overreact.  It's a joy.

A Winter afternoon with cool temps and a stiff breeze.

I think if I wanted more performance on the water I'd get a performance boat instead of a museum piece.  But you have to calculate age and your own flexibility and capability.  Getting hit in the head by the boom really gets my attention these days.  And when I hit my knees on the bulkhead I get hurt, not like years ago when I'd get a bruise and ignore it.  So, perhaps my friend is right, the Cape Dory Typhoon is the perfect "old geezer" sailboat. Ok!

Two Carl Alberg designs tied-to at the Yacht Club; Typhoon and Ensign

But here, at 100 posts, I'm looking ahead and putting together a project list of things I really need to perfect on the dory that I've not done yet.  These will comprise a variety of my future posts.  And, I'm still thinking of how I'm going to get some underway on-the-water footage of Baggy Wrinkles.  This may occur in late summer when a friend will launch his boat on the lake and provide a good filming platform.  I'll also be monitoring the hull paint, the teak condition, and other maintenance points, and there's the rigging and sails, and small appointments throughout the inside and deck, so a lot to be concerned about in future posts. 

The adventure continues.  This is a sailboat that can certainly outlast my lifetime.  Thanks for following.  Who knows where she'll go next or what sort of obscure part may have to be refitted to her?  That's all part of the fun of an old boat.
Autumn evening sets in after a day's sail.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer in the south brings heavy humidity and lots of calm days.  That's great for folks in fishing boats and skiing packages and not so good for us sailors.  

And summer light is high overhead here, so it tends to bleach out colors in mid-day like a spot-light with intense heat.  The water reflects that heat and brightness and everything becomes rather unbearable if there is no wind.  I've always been intrigued with the way light creates feelings about environments.  One of my sons was a bit dramatic when he was a toddler and used to say without a smile, eyes asking you to understand, that "today wasn't a right day," or night or whenever.  It's taken me about 40 years to work through that!  I suppose he's still saying it.  But the feeling light brings can effect the same response in me.  Some places just don't feel right because of light and others feel super because of it.  A dark sky and grey water with waning light provokes fear.  Combine light and sun and a bit of breeze, and the feeling is exuberant.  A real difference.  

The other day there was a bit of wind, say about 6 to 10 kts, sailing can be a respite from the intense heat of summer days, and it was that day.  The dory drifted carelessly across the water, the wind did not have a chance to produce enough wave chop to matter much.  It was one of those "perfect" sailing days.  

So I handed my Nikon D3100 to my 1st Mate and she took about 600 photos of Baggy Wrinkles under sail.  Out of that we got about 7% of good photographs that might be useful on this blog or in an article.  

Here are a few of her angles:
This first photo is a classic view from the port quarter, wind out of the East Northeast, you see the sail lines wrapping gracefully over the dory.

Enhanced with a bit of contrast due to the bleaching light, this port reach shows a few wrinkles in the forward edge of the genoa, the dory leaning only slightly in the causual breeze.  Notice the waterline looks perfect for her dimensions.

This is a nice photograph in which you can get a feel for the comfort of sailing the Cape Dory Typhoon.  It's never really a struggle, the hull is so determined and capable, she can slide in a breeze or slice in a storm, she really never complains a bit.  You can sail for hours in this position the only sound being a bit of rudder croaking from left to right as you keep on track.
Each of these photographs was taken at the highest quality and further enhanced with software to bring out the details often missed by the human eye.  If you click on each one you will see a larger image worth perusing a bit due to the high quality of the imagery.  1st Mate did a great job on these, so I might have to contract with her again to take some water shots when the waves are pitching and the dory is laughing in a squall!

Her final shot is now being used above on the headliner for this blog.  A beautiful take showing a graceful Typhoon slicing a gentle breeze on a port-reach.  Take time to notice those brilliant winches!

The density of the photograph draws the eye on this capture.  Our green pines and hardwoods ashore provide some sense of distance to this close-in shot.  Seated leeward, I push the waterline a bit more and hide in the shade of the mainsail as the genoa curves perfectly around pulling Baggy Wrinkles across the cove's silver water.
These are just a few photographs of the Cape Dory Typhoon under sail at Lake Murray.  Delightfully hot summer sailing days will be our fare for another several months.  Perhaps some of the usual hurricane clutter will provide a few humid but windy days as well.  

I'll have to get a tether for the 1st Mate so she can get some action photos of the Cape Dory on one of those more turbulent sailing adventures.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Got it done.  Winches are turning a new look now, thanks to the brilliant work of my local machine shop folks.  

The pitting may put some off, but to me they simply give them character.  I don't want them to appear new, just very cared for.  Like battle scars....the strip is the stern protective strip shown in a previous post.  I will now get some proper stainless steel screws to affix the strip.  If you look closely, you will see me holding the camera in the gleaming base of the first winch's reflection.

The sour looking Gibb winches didn't do anything to match the improved look of Baggy Wrinkles.  Their anodized surface had given way to her 40 years of languishing from one owner to another and were like a couple of old parts that did not belong.  While the hull glistens underneath, and the teak draws attention from passersby, the winch drums looked like they had a liver problem or something.  They were greyish purple, pitted and although functioning quite well, were not looking like they were "dressed right for the party."

Enter the master of metals who had turned the stern bump strip from a tattered, wiggly and dull piece of metal into a shiny chrome like ending piece for the dory.  

Aluminum strip with its gleam of little bumps and scratches.  One can just imagine all the fingers which have handled it.

Now for the winches.  After consultation in the shop they determined that he would remove the anodized covering and grind and polish the winches.  I asked him to leave the pitting alone, that the pitting for me added a touch of distinction to the age of the winches and the dory.  There was a possibility of soldering them or filling them but my intent isn't to make them as new but to allow them to look the best they can at the age they are.  Talking about people?  Perhaps the same applies....

As a close-up reveals, the base is brass with an over-coating of chrome.  Later, I will have these re-chromed in order to properly match the winches.  For now,  their underneath is fine so I will not worry with that detail yet.  The aggressive pitting here is the worse of the two cans but figuring it took 41 years to get this far, perhaps I have time left before I retire these as paper-weights on my desktop.

Inside the drums, the pawls were in good condition, and the ratchet teeth were intact and evenly worn yet fully functional.  But he cleaned and polished everywhere until the pieces were chromed in appearance.  Due to my carelessness during previous maintenance, I had mismatched the drums and their bases.  He found the matching sets, and reunited them correctly (I'm not a metal guy you see).  He also polished the inside shafts and lubricated both the shafts and the pawls each with a different grease (magic of these guys I suppose).  I was glad to pay for this servicing of the winches.  You know, sometimes you just don't know what you don't know....  After paying, I brought in a party sized case of Dos Equis reserves which delighted the team.  I reminded them I'd probably be back again with another creative project one day.  And I will.

 And here is the result on Baggy Wrinkles:
 I think this is going to turn a few heads!  Like any aluminum it will have to be sustained with some maintenance, some polishing, just like the teak.  But then that's what kind of boat it is....

And below is that awful metal strip that was so tattered, after some work by the guys.  Stainless steel screws are now fitted to it with some adhesive underneath.  It's really just a first contact piece so not structural.  Fends off a first contact just in case.  Now it looks much better and finishes off the stern quite nicely.

 It's time to get this girl in the water again!  Watching the wind forecast and think it'll be soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Duties ashore have kept me from a test-sail as of yet.  Perhaps that's just as good, allowing time for the paint to cure hard for a while before I splash Baggy Wrinkles for some sailing.

But then, winds in summer here in the south USA are not as predictable as in winter.  Plus, it gets very hot and humid, which make for a miserable state of affairs on a tiny yacht!  So, one has to choose their sailing venue carefully. 

While she's out of the water, I've removed a few items that badly needed maintenance intervention!

I've removed the aluminum protective strip from the stern and carried it to my favorite metal workers here in the city.  I needed a metal worker to take this "dreary" strip of aluminum and spruce it up.  I knew just the guys too....

This aluminum half round finishes the stern but is old and tattered.  Need a new piece to meet the teak taff-rail appearing above it.

These metal shop guys are incredible.  I've used them for fabricating a couple of motorcycle parts and for straightening and fitting my genoa tracks, and just knew that if it could be done, these guys could do it.  You know it's a good place when the guys smile and scratch their heads and talk in possibilities.  They don't get very excited about anything, however they seem to love a new challenge.  So, I left the strip with them.

Like everything about boats, it seems there is always another project competing for my attention.  And the next items are my dull British Gibb winches which I would like to retain, because they are original, and yet I don't really know how to polish them at this point they're so anodized.  I tossed them into the car for a trip down to the shop as well.  I am certain the guys will have some idea, perhaps culled from the years of experience with metals, which will turn these Gibb one-speed cans into sparkling wonders of design.

The Gibb winch is a one speed winch made of aluminum which has had some deterioration due to weather and normal exposure.  Would like to get these polished-up so they are a bit more presentable.  The stands upon which the Gibb winches are bolted are made of bronze but I cleaned them with vinegar and sealed them with Permalac spray.  They really look much better with the Permalac, retaining a bit more of their original color.

Upon closer examination, these winches really need some TLC:

 The pitting I'm told is from the elements penetrating the anodized surface over many years of exposure.   The teeth inside appear ok and despite the rough part of the winch, my sheets grab these barrels just fine and are able to release well too.  

Still, I wonder how they'd look if they were polished up.  Then I could maintain them with something like Mother's or Permalac perhaps. 
They should be coming back from the shop any day now.  I've gotten a peek preview already and I can state emphatically, you will not believe how beautiful these pieces can be!

This painting process has been a good time for some substantial fixes.  I believe after this session, besides going sailing real soon, I will fix my attention on the standing rigging.  I'm already replacing running rigging in a variety of places.  The standing rigging will be another adventure....but sailing comes first!