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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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Well the first sail with the new rigging was great.  Nothing broke.

It didn't sail any different than it had but the ability to look and see the connections and see how turning left or right made sense was important.  I really can't always remember if tightening is right or left.  Looking at a chart or guide helps people like me.  Maybe I'll remember it later. 
Original 6 turnbuckles on the dory.
Replacement turnbuckles today.
The closed turnbuckles above leave much to the imagination.  However, if you look closely there are several toggles that are bent, and even the nuts are of different sizes.  I inherited the rig and this is simply my effort at making the vessel my own.  I'm sure other owners did the same.  I hope they did.  I do think the open turnbuckles and the new strands of woven steel will help Baggy Wrinkles achieve her optimum under way.  It's not too pricey at about 80 dollars per stay.  Realizing their importance and the possibility of breakage is always a concern.  I guess I can delay that anxiety for a while now, not that I actually thought much about it in the first place though. 
 
For the time being the first sail since a bit of re-varnishing,  caulking, fixing, and new standing and running rigging, was a delight.  It had been about 5 weeks in-between which time my father had passed away.  So, things became quite hectic for a bit.  Finally, my schedule and the weather relented and I was able to finish up and get 'er done.  Our February was moderate and made for delightful days of fixing things outdoors. 

The pollen is falling in the Southern USA and it filled the sky with a light green haze as the ground has begun to develop a green dust everywhere.  It seemed to coincide with St Patrick's Day....

 I tossed my burgees onto the topping lift and gently slipped off onto the larger lake area where there were no waves to speak of and a gentle breeze in this season of late winter.  A really perfect day to do a check sail.  Periodically I would watch the shrouds, and rather carefully made a couple of corrections on the water by parking, going to the leeward shroud and turning it left to tighten a bit.  I did this very carefully as in conversation with Rigging Only they advise extreme care for on the water changes.  But when one of the turnbuckles was dangling, I knew there needed to be a bit more tension.  After tightening one side I parked on the other side and did the same yet a bit less than the first.  I did not want to tighten much, just for the obvious.  Once back on terra-firma, I would do the nug-work and begin to approach a satisfactory tautness when not under pressure and when plumb.

Blue for the Main, Red for the Genoa.  That is easy! And yes, the yellow tint on the horizon is pollen.
 While sailing the dory never really sustained 15 degrees heel but about twice, it mostly was less than 5 degrees the entire time of 3 hours on the lake.  Impressively, as the photo above shows, coloring the main and jib/genoa sheets was deliberate and necessary.  I like labels and colors which do not require me to do the mental math of determining what I'm pulling on.  Grabbing the red is easy, that's the jib!  Plus, now that the diameters are correct, they flow through the sheaves easily.  Should have done this long ago, but now that it is done, everything is simply just easier.

Even the water seemed to have a yellow tint to it across the lake. I wanted to jump overboard and test my Sea-Step boarding ladder but decided I didn't want to get painted with the pollen.  I will wait.  I tested it with the 1st Mate in the Fall with success, but there is the need to do it again solo so that I am very competent that I can re-board if I fall overboard while alone.  The optimal test will be to fall overboard while a friend watches from another vessel to rescue just in case.  And to do this with the mainsheet locked as it might be underway when I fall over.  Seeing how the boat will round-to and when it will round-to is important.  Questions like, 'Can I manage the swim to the round-up point?"  Or, "Will I have to swim in cold water for 50 meters or more?"  Things one needs to know before that misstep and plunge.
Wrapped in sail cloth.

After several days in the water doing test sails, the shrouds did stretch a bit and require additional tightening.  Down below was dry too, a credit to the fine tubing from West Marine. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016


The naked eye often cannot see things in the way the examining eye later sees when the photographs are loaded into the editor for this blog.   Here are a few of the glimpses of the Dory on the hard during this refit time.  

The pics speak for themselves:
spending time on the hard for refit...weather is poor, cold, wet...

rain drops on the scarf joint of the taff-rail and back-stay plate

mainsheet blocks in disarray on the stern deck feeding the cam cleats

bronze bolts doing quiet duty underneath the winch stand

silver water drops on spring-block slider

sanded and taped toe and rub rails

water drops stuck on Gibb winch and bronze stand
close up of the bronze back-stay plate

gleaming winch at home on the starboard coaming
Secured on the bronze bow-plate, legendary for its patina, the chain makes do in place of a bow hook.  Notice the mis-application of pattern for the non-skid.  Why bother to change it now?  One day when I strip the dory down to resurface the entire deck surface I will remove it and start anew.  That's for the future.  It's time to sail now.

looking fore from the taff-rail
A close-up view of the new fore-stay
Fitting the Taff-rail should be the last in this entry.  The shadowy stains are where attachments are located. I resurfaced, plugged screw holes better, and revarnished with Epifanes.  Another cleat is needed on the port side for the cleat added on the stern deck just fore of the motor mount.

Monday, March 7, 2016

And then some more!

The gravity of this refit continues.  Seems as one thing leads to another, this bit of refurbishing is inching forward on several levels.  Wishing I had a better work-space is little consolation to the reality of persistent rains which interfere with varnishing. 

So as rain interrupted my re-varnish of bright-work, I took time to use the rain to its best advantage and used P1000 to wet-sand all the teak aboard, so that once the rains stop, I can wipe down the surfaces and continue with applications.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  The rain worked well with the wet/dry paper. A win-win for the dory on a rainy day.

Then I looked around and attacked my aluminum cleats on board.   This photo is rather deceiving because these look like little bitty cleats without some sort of reference point.  Yet the larger is 8 inches long and the other dull one is 6.5 inches long, so they are quite robust in their size.  Many use the fore-cleat to tie off the bow and the stern of course with the smaller unit.
Here is a snap after polishing the fore-deck cleat with the aft stern cleat looking dull and unimpressive alongside its larger gleaming companion.  These look like the Herreshoff hollow cleats to me but I can't really be sure.
 Four of the cleats I'd already polished, two on the cuddy cabin and two on the coaming boards.  With great success, armed with Mothers' paste, I brought the entire set home for a rejuvenation session.  I also removed the large and very ugly fore-deck cleat along with its equally homely stern-deck tie-to, both of whom looked weary for wear.
Applying Mothers paste to the dull surface of the stern 6.5 inch cleat.  I had already washed these, scrubbed them a bit with a green kitchen pad and with P1000 wet/dry paper.  This smoothed them a bit but left them dull. 
 
During the polishing process, stopping for a quick photo.

And the finished cleat beaming like a piece of valuable metal, ready for its important task--to take care of the Cape Dory dockside or when needed to secure her during adverse conditions.

My neighbor, with whom I share open garages across from each other, was duly impressed with the simple but effective process of polishing.  Using my work-bench and vise, I used a cotton sock, wrapped the sock around the metal in various approaches, and unveiled what looks more like stainless steel than aluminum.

Forty-two years old. 

Sure, it's a simple thing, but I think simple improvements make a classy entree for this vessel.  So after a bit of cleanup and wire brushing of the stainless steel bolts, I was particularly happy to get such results.  


Here is team Cleat in all their splendor!
 I'm very fond of these little appointments.  I'm looking to update the main-sheet cam cleat on the stern and will look for something more "period" than modern so that it gets along with Team Cleat.  I will be removing the cam cleat that is located astern and hope to find a good candidate for that soon.  Here are a couple of results from the recent refit aboard:
Coaming board cleat and its shadow
Foredeck cleat bristling in the sunshine and ready for tying-to

 A little bit of Mother's Paste and the old white cotton athletic sock did the trick!