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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Monday, May 30, 2016

Last Weekend at the Club

So, this is the last weekend for Baggy Wrinkles in South Carolina, it is raining due to a surprise early tropical storm, and it sort of typifies a bit of sadness after such a terrific time of refit, sailing, and the joy of watching a sailboat come alive again.  

Making way on a port reach toward the photographer.  First Mate took this photo on a warm sunny day.

The rain has been washing over her for several days, but down below, she's tight and dry, her cover holding off the watery world once again.  Watching the forecasts it appears the weather will break and clear on 1 June, the day before she must depart for Rappahannock.  We will remove her cover, stow it away for travel, bring down the mast, and secure the shrouds for travel.  She'll be off for one last sail with us in Virginia.

It's simply been a terrific three years of exploring the Cape Dory Typhoon, admiring the design which may not be the optimal choice for lake sailing everyday, has proven herself in a variety of winds, especially the strong ones, as a vessel of remarkable tenacity and strength. 

This is a strong little bitty cruiser that's for sure!

I recall a summer blast that came out of the west across the lake one day, (look here for that one! ) , and there was a burly wall of whipping wind and water that rushed across the lake at several of our vessels.  One Pearson Ensign took refuge behind a peninsula and others battened down and reduced sail.  I slacked the main and crept forward enough to stay in place while the water poured into the cockpit.  But the drains worked  quite well, and despite some pelleting rain in the face, we saw ourselves to the other side of the cloudburst after some 20 minutes.  There was no need to hide that day, there was hardly any convection but lots of bravado in the blow.  Baggy Wrinkles impressed me that day and many other days, and suggested to me that if I were to ever head off-shore that she'd be a design of choice.  Her larger editions, designed in much the same style would be competent cruisers indeed.  I made a mental note.  The Cape Dory is a legendary design, by a legendary designer, Carl Alberg.

So as I searched for a larger boat to handle the possibility of guests and grand-kids, I decided to shift toward a similar Alberg design and found a preference for a similar design called the Alberg 30.  Here below are the Alberg 30 on the left and the Cape 30 Dory designs:

Cape 30 drawing on sailboatdata.comAlberg 30 drawing on

I've studied these designs side by side and can find only the slightest of differences which do make for a bit of difference in handling although both boats are very seaworthy vessels, the Cape Dory seeming to have a bit higher freeboard than the Alberg and the slightest of difference in keel line, and a bit slimmer in the beam.

Very similar vessels.

The Alberg 30 has a lower freeboard than the Cape Dory cutter design, and is a skidgeon less beamy with an 8.75 rather 9.0 beam (not much difference) and 409 sq feet of sail area as to 436 in the Cape Dory, and about a foot taller main mast than the Alberg.  I'm sure someone of more astute insight on characteristics would cite the vagaries of all that.  Seemed to me the Alberg had a distinct profile that appealed more to me this time than it's cousin the Cape Dory (Alberg), which is a differences of qualifications but not quality. 

Here speaking with the Seller in Nova Scotia with the Alberg 30 looking over her shoulder at her new Skipper.  She's probably wondering what sort of waters she's headed for.  And I'm getting as much information from her last Skipper as I can.  We spent several hours together and discovered so many mutual interests that it was more like a family visit together.  We will keep them informed of our journey aboard the Alberg 30.

 Our intent is to transition from the Typhoon to the larger Alberg and one day to get more mobile, and haul the Alberg to the Coast, the Gulf or the Great Lakes for "other waters'" adventures.  Sailing for several months or longer in other places will afford us a different sort of journey than simply long offshore periods.  And, because the First Mate doesn't swim, I don't want to have her in the middle of the big blue wrapped in a life vest all the time.  Being able to take a mooring and go ashore daily as we wish will be our plan.  A trailer will afford us making good time overland too!

So this last weekend is memorable and we're looking forward to one final great weekend with the best of the itty bitty cruisers!  

 We will soon be one of those people who say, "We used to own a Typhoon..."  And every time I hear it said, it is with such affection!  We hope her future has many upgrades and care awaiting her.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baggy Wrinkles has a sale pending.  

Our years long journey with her is soon to transition.  She's been on the market for several weeks and has had several pretty interested suitors.  It's been enjoyable to speak with the folks about her and one couple even stopped by for a hands-on experience.  We never put her on any listing site, rather we just continued sailing her and biding our time. We love her and hate to think that one day she'll depart.  And that day is soon.

But adventures lead somewhere, and this one has led us to another Alberg design, sort of like a Bigger Baggy Wrinkles, just much bigger.  

I had found a suitable yacht back in January while at school, on the hard in Rock Hall, Maryland, which was particularly hard to find and rather cold too at that time of year.  A "distressed sailor" sale, which was sold out from under my interest after seeing her first-hand and wondering about our possible relationship for a couple of weeks.  It was a Sparkman and Stephens design, not an Alberg, and it fascinated me but did not bring me to decision.  So, when it sold to another buyer, I shrugged my shoulders and kept sailing.  I knew that as we prepare for the next few years, we wanted to continue sailing a classic design like Baggy Wrinkles, with her stability and lines of yesteryear, and we also wanted a bit more room aboard too.  Room enough for another couple of kids or adults, perhaps grandchildren might want to become pirates?  And yet we did not want to go too big.  It had to fit in our lake, and it needed a trailer, and should be able to do coastal sailing later.  First Mate wants to be able to go ashore at exotic ports and find treasure, so there won't be any passage making in our future!  But coastal attacks on marinas and moorings abound.  

Like all of us, I love to look for sailboats, and have written of this penchant before.  So in searching, I narrowed my selection to the Alberg keel hull design, excluded the larger Cape Dory designs because they were more suited to oceanic voyages and passages.  I wanted something more suited to our interests and settled on the Alberg 30.  It seemed a fitting transition for us to go a little big bigger, 12 more feet in length, trailerable still, and yet that adorable design that makes eyes turn with the identical teak coamings, rub-rails and other quaint touches that suggest another time and place.
It's another Alberg!  Sort of like Baggy Wrinkles on steroids...

We flew north, to Nova Scotia, where we saw our next adventure, and we closed on the deal.  It is still cold up there, but we're very lucky indeed that temperatures were still in the 50s and 60s with plenty of sunshine for several days too!  We took plenty of photographs.  And as you can see from the photo, Spring had not arrived when we stopped by and found her.

I know what you're thinking, "Why in the world did you go all the way to Nova Scotia to find this sailboat?"  Hmmm, that makes you wonder...  Well, I think it was a "hunch," that this boat looked very cared-for in the photos, and very clean.  It was the full-cover that caught my eye.  Something told me, strike quickly!  I competed in a bidding war that never got a chance to continue, as the first bidder dropped out.  The seller accepted my bid.  We decided to travel north to validate the survey.  The rest is history.
First Mate is taking notes in our Logbook while "Queen Bea" looks on...we decided we'd start the Log in Nova Scotia, as this vessel will have to migrate to the Southern USA in a few weeks and we did not want to forget things we might have seen and talked about with its owners. (and there is a fascinating story of them and our connection about which we had no idea before meeting them!)
In the meantime, we are scheduled to compete in the Typhoon Nationals one more time, and will do so 4-6 June at the Rappahannock Yacht Club in Irvington, VA.  We had a great time there two years ago, changing Baggy Wrinkles' name and pouring champagne over her with the crowd watching.  It was a hoot.  This will be our last time in that setting as Baggy Wrinkles is scheduled to meet her new owners that weekend.  A sad but necessary day as we transition from one vessel to another.  Yet not without much fond appreciation of this legendary vessel, Baggy Wrinkles.

Until then there are some things to do aboard to get her ready for closing, and a little bit more sailing too.  There's always more to do and always a few more photographs!  One of our club members photographed Baggy Wrinkles under sail the other week and I hope to post several of those here when he gets around to sending them!  The water in the cove was smooth and the breezes were turning the dory on her leeward rail.  Should be interesting! 

We will keep our Baggy Wrinkles photos, so many of them, and may continue this blog or may not.  Not sure.  Some folks read it every new post and yet not sure its followers want to follow another boat blog.  However, the Alberg 30 is a unique vessel as well, and part of the Adventure Series!

Friday, May 20, 2016

 Teak tales...

Here, the mainsheet is relaxing on the cockpit cushion as the teak around it warms it up in April.

Ok, this has to speak for itself.  It's about teak.  I didn't get this Cape Dory because I loved to do varnish work, I got her because I loved he entire look and feel of the boat.  But there is some work that has to be done to maintain her in good condition.  I've not done a complete surface restoration on her but I have highlighted her so that different aspects of her gleam (these have been shown-off in previous entries).

But you and I hear this phrase often from some sailors, "...well I like the weathered look of the teak..."  "No you don't," I'd reply, "you simply don't want to put the maintenance of your wood on your priority list."  Sure, teak will turn grey with weather but what wood remains it's finished color?  When you go into Ethan Allan you don't see a bunch of barn-board stuff.  Nobody runs their hands over grey pine and remarks how much they love it either!  Too funny.  Teak is a strong wood and a beautiful wood as well, if taken care of.

The teak on the Cape Dories and on all this style and period of yachts simply looks great, and, it accents the boat in a warm way adding that cared-for look that can be achieved simply by scheduling some maintenance on your vessel.  

I was sailing the other day and glanced back and saw this view of Baggy Wrinkles' stern and thought, "wow, what a difference a bit of work makes!"  There were the clean cushions, the polished cleats port and starboard, bronze coated with Permalac (trade name), stainless steel, and the visual theme of warm teak wood!
If you're not sure how to proceed with your teak refurbishing, then check out the tutorials of Jamestown Distributors and the Epifanes folks, whose products I use, as they will provide step by step help on making things look just right with your teak appointments.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Don't be fooled by this calm demeanor dockside, this gal has gusto.  When the wind's up, she's got her game face on.
The Cape Dory Typhoon, much like her larger sisters, wears a poker face. 

The other day was one of those forecasts.   It was partly cloudy and some rain had been forecast but no convection.  Later in the day some heavy brutish clouds began to roll toward the lake just while I headed for the docks.

Yes, she is rarin' to go as the wind bears down on her from the Northwest.  I have her outboard down below just in case we get into a pinch.  We didn't.
She shows off her clean grey boot stripe ready for play.

The wind was predicted to be some crazy combination of 16kts, not 15 but 16, rather funny itself that it was so precise.  So 16kts it was, with gusts up to 35 at times.  I consulted a few wind sites and settled that there'd be some good wind for the dory.  Of course I didn't want to just jump into a melee of angry gusts, but I'd read these forecasts before and few met up to their original estimates.  I decided I'd splash Baggy Wrinkles and reef her up one.  After all, I've got to get as much sailing out of her as I can before I'll permit her to find another owner.

So, as is my habit, I launched for a 3 day window.  And if things deteriorated, I'd pull her out on day 2.  That is, if the conditions became violently stormy, or, if the conditions deteriorated so that there was no wind left at all, I'd get her out and clean her up and cover her till next time.  I put in the first reef as I was accustomed with this sort of wind and left it in all day.
Day one, cloudy with some dark bottoms ahead, bow splashing excitedly into the small waves being pushed down the lake. 

First day was pretty brisk, I must admit.  However, the forecasts did not measure up.  Yes, there were white-caps and waves, and yet my wind meter only topped at 20kts and most of the gusts were sub 20.  But there was a steady 16 kts.  The lake is longer than it is wide and this blow was aiming at us from the northwest, so it made for an easy sail to the west and the veritable "Bomb Island," which I've written about previously.  From my rough calculations it took exactly 30 minutes for us to cover the 2 mile jaunt up, 8 minutes around and 30 minutes back to starting point.  We were making around 4kts an hour. 

Day two, was quite a bit different than day one.  Winds were out of the North, not blowing as strong, perhaps 15 at most in a gust and 10 consistently, with a nice happy ceiling of sunshine.  And, due to the obstruction of land and trees, the wind would pulse between its blows either catching you by surprise, or, in my case, giving me time to eat something and get a drink before the next blow.
Bright and warmer, gusts were periodically very strong but relented once they realized Baggy Wrinkles loved it.

And over she'd go, with her first reef, she was fine rolling a bit onto her side and pushing forward under the load, reminding me of a draft horse making her way across the water.  Two days of sailing, one was very frenetic and lively, and the second was periodically enjoyable with its strong gusts blowing over rather flat water, you get the feeling of moving along quite quickly.  We observed a large cloud formation with definite strength and circulation moving toward us as we headed in to the docks.  At one point I looked up and laughed a bit as it appeared to be spawning something of a cylindrical whisp, "No, no, no, not now..." I said to myself as we drifted under loose genoa and flaked main to the dock.  Tied up just in time to avoid some rain.

And, by the way, for readers in northern climates, the water is warm to the touch already here in the southern USA.  Hope your skies are as gorgeous as this:
A brilliant view above.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Docking a Cape Dory Typhoon can be an exciting event if you've not calculated all the forces that play in a water-borne landing!

I thoroughly enjoy flying and love take-offs and landings.  And as exciting as that is, I find the same sort of fascination with take-offs from a dock and landing at the dock.  Seems that is the one exciting moment of sailing for which little training is given.  Most of our time sailing is not spent around the dock anyway.  

Dock work in a less frenzied moment.

But it is at the dock where exciting things occur.  Back in the days we sailed our 47' Beneteau in the British Virgin Islands with the Moorings, the re-entry to the crowded docks was always filled with apprehension for the expensive new boats.  The dock-hands were so capable at wheeling the vessels around the marina that if you so wanted, they would come to your vessel and dock it gratis.  And, stern first to the dock.  With their help, there was no question that all would be safe.  But this isn't always the case, and we don't all have that luxury.  Nor are we always sailing in such wonderful environments.  It doesn't take much for calamity to occur around the docks.  I look at them like landing strips!

Most of us common folk with smaller boats, have to always re-enter the marinas on our own with sparse help available.  And it never fails that our apprehension is in direct proportion to the weather at hand.  Wind is a great asset to a sailboat but can turn into a cruel brute if permitted the chance.  When the wind is blowing you directly back into the marina you have a terrific adventure ahead!  Plus, the less practice one has, fits conveniently in one's handicap for this event!  

So this really makes for the need for great take-offs and careful landings at the dock.  I think I learn the best when things go terribly wrong and I have to adapt instantly to a shift in wind, a line getting wrapped around a nearby dock post, the main-sheet traveler getting caught and holding the sail against that burly gust of wind, and pushing the Dory perilously closer to the shore rather than to the open water!  And this happened to me recently when I thought all was well.  I knew the angle of departure would be slight and I knew the dory's ability to snatch that angle would be slim, but I was ready to test her limits and mine, so I was game.  Perhaps I should have just mounted my motor, but that came later.

When the wind arrived that morning, I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself though that selfish thought crossed my mind. The gentle 5kts of wind suddenly scaled-up in a gust to a blistering 8kts and blew us hard against the dock.  People always seem to estimate wind at twice its velocity thus 8 was 16?  No, but in the moment, it seemed so.  Perspective is important in these moments...

I hardly had enough angle to make way and I suddenly found lines tossed awry, tiller driving me wildly toward danger, and sustained gusts to my surprise which would not relent.  Meanwhile, some Flying Scots were happily carving off their angles and sliding out into the lake while Baggy Wrinkles grunted and hugged the dock, her rig in a mess and a very embarrassed look on her bow that suggested she might have to start her motor to overcome this disastrous take-off.  After all, with 8 kts blowing 2 thousand pounds against the dock, it is highly unlikely that you might be able to persuade the wind against its will.  Technique and tricks might be employed however.

After reading Loki & Loon, the adventure of Gifford Pinchot's sailing his 24' sloop across the Atlantic without a motor, I'd been a bit more attentive and conservative about the use of my 2.5 horse Yamaha.  But this morning I was so flummoxed with wind, sailcloth flapping, lines askew and misbehaving themselves by catching every block, corner of teak or dock itself, that I retrieved the iron genny from below, mounted the bronze device on the stern deck, and fought back against the onshore blow, now with a bit of determination.  

It was brute power and against power.  Horses, two and a half of them, against nature's breath.  We won!  The ferocious dock disappeared as we propelled swiftly out into the cove, the brute wind now less mischevious gave way to being underway with power.

With the genoa down and main fluttering, I was able to power out and get on a close reach, tie the tiller and haul up the genoa.  Sails up, motor purring, and the winds turning us on our tack, I thought what a great thing it is to have just been bumfuzzled for what seemed relentless dockside torture yet avert certain embarrassing disaster in an unintentional grounding at the marina.  Or, worse yet to be blown into a neighbor's yard or a fellow sailors yacht! 

I pulled the motor off the stern and tucked her down below near the compression post, sat back in the gentle wind and betrayed a bit of consternation that the angry gusts which had whipped us around a half hour before were nowhere now to be seen.  And that's the way it is, nature serves up whatever is necessary to keep us alert and sometimes humble, keeping us on our toes and reminding us that our experience will always be a handy toolkit for just such times as these moments, whether taking off or landing, critical times to be well planned and execute one's maneuvers with precision if at all possible.

Our pride may suffer more injury than anything else on these events.  But it has been my experience to remain humble about such things because no one is going to do everything just right on any take-off or landing.  But resolving issues while underway is where the matter should focus.  I must  have looked rather harried as I tumbled, tossed, pushed the dory away from the dock while the wind whipped at the rigging and I cringed at the thought of more plastic from the dock rubbing onto Baggy Wrinkles' free-board.  

And, it was a rather fun, however quite a bedraggling event! 

It can look so quiet dockside...