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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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

One thing leads to another on these old dories.

While awaiting some spreader boots, provided me time for getting the teak refurbished, re-puting some teak bungs in the taff-rail, and working issues related to protecting the surfaces with some Epiphanes varnish.  Like any project, there's a correspondence between when you can do something based upon your supplies at hand, and those you have on order, and the current status of your ongoing project. So I've adapted a products-based order of approach.  There's no need to hurry nor any crisis that should hurry good work on this old girl.
I had used this rubbery caulk for the past year or so to attempt to keep the water from seeping in-between the toe and rub rails.  However, not such a splendid idea as there was moisture underneath when I removed it.  So, off it comes, and will varnish this connection instead.  There are other places on the deck that might be more important culprits of permitting seepage.

The 4 inch square sander is perfect for this task (above) and the chisel helps to remove the line of filler I used for a season.  The filler simply kept moisture in the joint, so I'm removing it completely this season.  The varnish requires about 6 to 8 treatments, and that corresponds to as many days.  Some rain is in the forecast but I don't think a small amount will bother this effort. It simply requires persistence by the worker, me.
 I decided to take advantage of a passage of good weather to bear down on the teak and prepare it for some protection.  And I decided to multi-task, get the teak started, then shift to rigging, and then additional deck paint....  The lines from RW did arrive in a timely manner and this is how they arrived at my door, ready to be pulled through the mast. 

I ordered both main and jib halyards exactly to CD specifications along with messenger capability on one end and the stainless connectors on the other end.  Ready to go.
The color coding of the lines will make for easy handling when either I forget which side of the mast the main is exiting, or when I have another less-acquainted shipment aboard and I cannot say quick enough which line to handle, then I'll just say, "get the blue one!"  Much easier than saying, "uh yeah, um grab the one with the light blue flecks in it, wait a minute....I mean light green, no blue? I don't know...grab the one on the left side of the mast, whoops, no....the right side, that's it!"  Ok, that's over.  Grab that one there, the blue one, and pull it fast! 

While on the ground the mast is easy to handle and the lines quickly run in and out making for a no-mess refit of halyards.  I spread the mast on a couple of ladders and voila, done.  I sealed off the bitter ends of both jib and main halyards and stowed them as dock lines for situations requiring more than standard lengths like 30' feet.  Always good to have more lines aboard.

Whipped together at left, the lines are easy to slip through their openings in the mast.  They'd probably been able to go through with just tape on them but I didn't want to take that chance and ruin a perfectly great day!

As you can see, the connectors are fitted to the size of the lines by RW Rope and this makes for less mental stress on my part to order just the right size.  I checked with them on this and said, "Great, so you guys will do the right 'size' of closure device?"  "Yup they said."  Nice work.

Lines are looking good and ready for use. 
One more piece needing attention is at the base of the mast where successive generations of work and adjustment has evidently been made.  Two sets of holes in the aluminum give evidence that another owner in years past, had had to make a fitment for the tabernacle.  In my observation, the mast appears to fit the tabernacle well, despite the double set of holes.  Yet, as a friend noted, a riveted piece of stainless steel probably needs to be attached to the mast in order to guarantee future years of proper alignment and inhibit possible problems of loosening fitments at this critical base.

The base of the mast to Right of photo, evidences a slanted base which fits perfectly into the tabernacle (as far as I can tell with the naked eye).  The second set of holes is a probable because on the other side of this base, the two holes are nearly side by side.
What I need now is to find some stainless steel for this before it becomes an issue.

Monday, February 15, 2016

An ah-ha moment occurred during my de-rigging of Baggy Wrinkles the other day.  It caught my attention rather quickly.  It was a pensive moment, worthy of a good cigar too, and I spent a few gestalt moments reflecting over this discovery.  Life is too short to get too excited about every little thing, and this little thing, albeit important, had not failed, but could have.  I thought about this for a while and how fortunate I was and also how careless I'd been to not validate every itty bitty thing in the rigging....   A lesson relearned again.

A convenient cigar holder on the aft deck while piddling around doing some checks on the dory. 

I'd been sailing this rig pretty hard for the past several years and decided to remove the rigging and send it up to the folks at Rigging Only who could redo the small amount of wires the Dory has in a quick fashion, and they did so within one week.  It was great service and figuring about 6 wires done, the cost was about 75 bucks per stay.

But in the de-rigging I discovered something critically wrong which I'd not found in several times of stepping the mast, traveling the road, and re-rigging the dory.  At the top of the forestay, the pin holding the forestay to the tang on the mast was unsecure, that is, there was no cotter pin securing the pin to the tang at all!  Thinking perhaps it might have broken-off recently helped me satisfy my curiosity but didn't truly reconcile my carelessness in failing to comb over every connection in my rig.  Had that pin wriggled lose, the mast would have been free to blow down under power, and crash the deck and me, and perhaps break the tabernacle on the cuddy cabin, tearing it out of its mount.  

What is more bizarre is that I had had this rig up and down a number of times and whether the cotter pin had broken off or never been inserted in the pin is beyond me.  Like we often say, "I thought I had checked that thing!"

Examining old closed turnbuckles which I replaced with open versions that might be a bit easier to adjust. A close look at the rigging is always part of any inspection process.  I'm so glad it's a little bitty yacht.

It was another lesson in redundancy.  As with any machine, one needs to constantly check systems, fluids, contacts, bolts and nuts, wires and lines, cleats and blocks, and ever be attending to some of the same things all the time.  And especially on a sailboat which is constantly under stress and moving.  Metal can break, and wires can deteriorate, and these small things can create big havoc in times when we need a sound rig. 

It's funny too because on a new vehicle or vessel, we'll rush back to the manufacturer at the slightest inconvenient discovery.  I recall when we purchased our Beneteau 473 years ago, it was delivered to the Virgin Islands without some appointments and fixes that we had anticipated.  We were pretty disappointed.  Yet we often fail to be disappointed in ourselves when it is obviously our own fault that our rig is deficient.  But that is the truth of the matter.  So, a great discovery and all my fault!

So, happily discovering my error, I've got a couple of bags of cotter pins and will be replacing all connections on s/v Baggy Wrinkles as soon as the weather clears up and temps moderate.  Plus, I've got some refurbishing of teak to do as well.  I've decided to put some glossy Epiphanes on the dory this season and give her some penache on the water.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Good news, parts have arrived for s/v Baggy Wrinkles.

New open turnbuckles, spreaders and tips, uppers and lowers.

Rigging Only produced a complete set of standing rigging in 7 days flat.  And that included shipping.  No kidding.  Service was great.  They understood the task at hand and returned to me my original rigging in individual coils of steel with all parts intact.  And with that send, a complete set of their new rigging taped to identify the locations of uppers, lowers, fore-stay, aft-stay, etc.  
Looks like a refit feast!

When it came to the spreaders, the original equipment was no longer in the inventory and also showed problems of disintegration, yes I said disintegration, can you imagine that?  So they consulted with me and we took the choice to insert the original spreaders inside the new ones, thus sustaining the fitment at the mast yet providing the new rigging new spreaders.  Think of the safety measure they took in this.  Under stress the spreaders could fold and wreak unnecessary havoc during an otherwise favorable tack.  Thanks!
So the fit the original spreader inside the new one thus creating a super spreader!

Recently arrived too are the main and jib halyards from RW Rope, a company that handles oodles of lines for all types of applications and serves as a supplier to Jamestown Distributors in Rhode Island.  RW made my halyards to the Cape Dory specifications I provided from the CD Manual directly.  This is because the generic lines supplied to Jamestown did not fit the specs.  This is a supply issue not a manufacturing challenge--get to the supplier.   

Cut to length, and easy color identification for older eyes or landlubbers who set sail with me.

In the meantime, I ordered stainless steel cotters for all my rigging and a replacement Windex, torn off in the yard by tall trees slapping my rigging during a storm last year.  One good thing is getting those points from West Marine!  Reduced the cost of that silly thing in half.  Windexes are expensive!  I've got my eye on that tree now.  If I get a hungry woodsman with a chainsaw, I'll have my way with that thing!  

Ok so my latest and greatest attempt for a thorough solution to these little buggers.   I think this wire supported tubing is the best for the tight angle between cockpit drains and seacocks.
 So a trip to the dory with moderating temperatures will provide some time to refurbish the teak in several places where it has worn to thin.  And, I found time to contort myself and work upside down in the hatchway in Hoses Part 3, replacing my "just in time" logistical challenge of last year's leaking hoses with some inferior tubing from the local Ace Hardware store.  As stated earlier, the Annapolis West Marine carried just the right kind of flexible hose with wire which could handle the small and difficult turn underneath the cockpit sole drain-to-sea cocks which keep the vessel free of liquid aboard.  I double banded those buggers!  And my 2 dollar strainers continue to serve valiantly their role as well.
The closeup of the pig tail snaplink on the aftstay.