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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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Got the "hankerin" to race the other day.  We will have to fix that urge.

Hull 729, Baggy Wrinkles, a Cape Dory Typhoon...

Wind was great that day.  There were 4 of us boats, an Express 27, an Ensign, a San Juan 24, and us, little Baggy Wrinkles.  If you know what you're reading, here you know how it turned out.  I should have known better than to join this run windward/leeward.  

Well I think our Commodore urged me to join, "it'd be great," he said.  Yes it might with 15 to 20kts of wind, I thought to myself, foolishly persuading myself we might have an advantage of some sort.

So, the 1st Mate suggested it'd be a great sailing day, so why not?  Ok, if she's in it, then I'll suffer through.  After all, why do something that is going to cause you pain and suffering, loss of sleep at night, and the urge to spend money on a fast boat?  So many club members own 3 boats!

At the race start we were spot-on to start, then a Flying Scot passing across while waiting for his race start, got in our way, delaying my crossing the start line by 30 seconds, ahh then we got across and there were the sterns of the Express and the Ensign, a mere 100 feet away!  Good wind, perhaps I can stay on their sterns and chase a bit, mused I did, in my sailor's dreamy mind.  But after a run this way, then that way, the sterns became more distant, the San Juan's skipper, new to his boat, was catching the same tacks as the 2 leaders....  It would not be long, I thought to myself, that this fleet of 3 would be long gone when at the windward rounding, we'd be lost off the charts and the race committee would be looking at their watches wondering where was the Cape Dory, sail number 729?

We were actually very close to the San Juan at the windward rounding.  We pushed the Dory as close to the wind as we could and tacked near to shore, pinching every bit of angle advantage we could when the San Juan slipped into its downwind run, a bit off course to the Southeast, while we ran straight downwind thinking we had them easy!  We set the whisker pole to port, let the main to starboard, wing on wing and off she went, happily gulping the 15 to 20 kts with joy.  Baggy Wrinkles was like a puppy in the waves laughing ignorantly at the race.  What uninformed hubris it was!  But for a few moments on deck we were like kids in a fantasy story.

The club radio clocked the Express, again, across the finish line.  Well, he always wins the races anyway, it's a fast boat!  Then the Ensign followed close behind.  We figured that.  And then we watched in horror as the San Juan finally got his whisker up after 10 minutes and began to creep faster away toward the committee boat.  It was over.  We knew it was.  We crossed the line last at 2 hours and 13 minutes.  Did anyone remember that?  Did they figure our PHRF?  Distance was about 10 miles or so.  That put us at about 4.4 kts for over the ground speed.  It was not enough.  We lost another race.

When will we learn?  Baggy Wrinkles looked sad as we passed the committee boat.  She could see the San Juan off to port, now easily sliding toward the cove and home.  She wasn't far behind, close enough to think she might catch the San Juan, and far enough to lose.  Nobody photographed her, nobody cared, it was a Cape Dory.  Everyone tends to tell her how cute she is, and what a darling classic, but she wants to win a race once in a while too.  I guess when we get older we all want to win a race once in a while just to prove we've still got the stuff?

1st Mate and me sailed on into our cove, flaked the sails, hauled her out and put Baggy Wrinkles to bed.  She smiled coyly as we assured her that one day we'd get her to play in the water with some Cape Dories again.  She liked that idea.  She closed her portholes as we tied her cover on and headed for home.  Just another day.  But we won't subject her to such disappointment by racing such fast hulls again!  

But we said that before.... 

Always remember Baggy Wrinkles..., objects appear further than they really are!

Friday, September 18, 2015

This is a great idea for Cape Dory Sailors...

We've never quite seen anything like this for the Alberg Typhoon until the good folks at SeaBags created it!  

First Mate approves of these bags!
A couple of years back, we had some extra  Typhoon sails which were in awful condition and quite old.  Wondering what to do with them, we searched the network and discovered some useless links to a couple of assistance programs in countries where used sails were donated for fishermen and such.  This came to nothing, yet over time I kept looking.  Then I came upon the re-manufacturing industry of used sail cloth.  I did not find anything more than some very high priced businesses that made remarkable profit from used sails.  We've all seen these in high-end stores with other high-end costly products that most sailors might not be able to afford!

Then I found SeaBags, a company which will take your old sails and for the donation of material will allow you to select a bag of your choice as reciprocation for your working capital of material.  Here is the direct link for their site:

Working with them on the profile, we asked for a template of a Cape Dory Typhoon to be placed on a SeaBag we were receiving in turn for our donation of material.  

What resulted is quite a nice design.  And, since they've already gone through the process of getting the sail plan just right, there are quite a few Cape Dories that might enjoy this tote.
Zipper closes the liner.
It has a liner inside, and a large zipper on top.  A tan hemp rope is a useful handle.  The bag has that crackle of a newer sail and serves as a fine complement to your Cape Dory Adventure!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Winds were supposed to be 10 to 15 kts from the west-southwest, skies partly cloudy, temps about 85 degrees.  A typical setting for early September in South Carolina.

I'd approached the day with casual interest.  In fact, I spent quite a bit of time lying on the leeward cushion while under sail as there weren't any other boats to speak of on the lake, and from that vantage point I had a clear view of my tell-tales and advantaged the Dory with a longer waterline and thus a bit more speed.  I hoped!

And I began too to mess with my genoa during this gentle breeze.  

Baggy Wrinkles has only one genoa track which appears just rear of amidships and is about 22 inches in length.  As with everything on this little vessel, there was nothing about competition or speed in the design of the track at that position, but it certainly affords easy single-handling from the cockpit for me. I guess others may have found this fact too, not sure.

Under a brisk late winter breeze with normal block setting on a port-reach.  The sail shape blossoms ( a good word?) to aft providing lots of rounded sail but not much efficiency.  It sails fine just does not point very well upwind due to this shape.  How to move that and get a better shape?
 So to capture a better sail shape I winched in on my genoa to the best shape possible, then I grabbed the sheet which was entering the spring-block, and lapped it around my shiny winch.  Thinking I really needed a longer track was my first reaction, but everytime I start thinking that way it causes gyrations in my mind about the lack of a traveller, the archaic cam cleats holding my mainsheet, etc.  So I refuse to engage at that level.  I lapped it around the winch and watched the sail shape change.

My little shiny Gibb is doing extra duty bringing the inbound sheet alongside the tied-to the cuddy sheet. 
 It went from about 1.5 feet out to about half a foot from the stays, and the shape of the sail seemed to embrace a better more forward capture of the wind, thus I think getting me along a bit better.  This is all subjective however, cause I did not get up to grab my phone and check the speed over ground or whatever.  Just my feeling.  And that was enough.  I didn't want science to interrupt a good time sailing!
This technique pulled in the clew on the genoa a bit.  I looked at the angle from this perspective to line up the sheets for a bit more scientific approach, well just a bit of science.  You'll have to use your scientific sailor eye to determine how much closer to the stays this brought the sail.  

At least this shaped the genoa a bit more.  We'll see if it is useful or not.
 The problem with this arcane method is that I cannot trust this in stronger winds.  But you know I'll try!  We shall see as we're hoping to put the dory into some wind today and try this technique again with more aggressive conditions.

I just don't want to ruin an already beautiful rub-rail with a long track on this gorgeous little boat.  


Friday, September 4, 2015

One feature of the Cape Dory that I especially enjoy are the special bronze appointments that compliment the vessel.

Everyone seems to appreciate either the faded teak look or the revitalized teak, me the latter, and the patina look of bronze or the real look of bronze.  For me I wanted to protect a couple of bronze areas just because I think the newer look has a better effect on the eye, yet on places like the bow-plate, difficult to soak in vinegar, which will clean it like new, it comes across with quite a bit of historical flavor quietly doing its job up front.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I deliberately worked carefully around the scuppers on the hull to remove old sloppy paint.  Then I taped a plastic applesauce cup around the bronze, perfect fit, and put a paper towel soaked in vinegar inside.  After a few hours it restored the bronze to its original metal color.  Then I used Permalac spray to sustain the look.

Another piece I soaked in a bucket and sprayed last year some time.

I used a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket on this motor bracket along with a couple of gallons of white vinegar. Kind of a good look to have the uneven quality look.  I scrubed this with a wire brush as well.  Vinegar did most of the work.

I chose to restore the original color of the bronze winch stands.

Although I could, and might later, use a towel soaked in vinegar to treat this bow-plate, I enjoy the old world look it provides the Dory.

There is something classic about the patina.
There are lots of dories being restored to various degrees of originality.  I think that is the enjoyable part of owning a sailboat like the Cape Dory.  You can always find something to fix on it, yet in the meantime, it always looks great!