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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Saturday, October 19, 2013

It was a gorgeous day for easy sailing.   And the first sail for a four year old grandchild.  It's not all about high winds and competitive tacking.  Today was all about a first experience aboard a sailboat.  My first experience was at 14, strong winds, deep blue pacific ocean, and wondering if I'd ever return to the shore--I didn't see any need to repeat that drama here!

With Daughter in Law and Grandchild aboard we headed out after testing, to enjoy Baggy Wrinkles on a warm Fall day in South Carolina.  A perfect day of gentle sailing and a great day to introduce sailing to someone.

So, before boarding, there were the normal safety issues, briefing about this and that.  Meanwhile my littlest sailor was itching to get going.  Dispense with the details Grandad, let's go! 

Winds were light at about 6kts and seas calm, the air about 70 degrees, and a few other sailboats skimming about with us.  The pure enjoyment of sailing sometimes relieves us from the duties brought about by strong winds, shroud tension, and those ever-present critical moments of sailing which are routine to a vessel being blown about by nature.  But this was simple enjoyment, the type of sailing the Cape Dory does without fanfare and does well.

My daughter in law assisted expertly in hoisting both jib and mainsail, so that made everything quite a bit smoother to get underway.  So off we went baggy wrinkles and all, lines about the cockpit and warnings about the ever-present boom and its capricious moves!  I think the smallest member of our crew did manage to bump into the boom once, between munchies...

This was the first time any of my grandchildren had come aboard the dory too!  We were a bit askew, with a fender hanging off the starboard side, sails almost trimmed but not quite, lines about the cockpit and the 4 year old asking if there was anything to eat!  Sure, eat!  That's what it's all about isn't it?  We all enjoy eating aboard a yacht, especially in good weather.  Out emerge the Pringles and all is well....

Of more interest to me than Pringles was that the tension bracing bar in the cockpit worked efficiently whether on a close reach, abeam, or downwind.  There was no evidence of the waggling slackness I'd observed normally on the vessel.  The stainless steel pin never worked loose.  I had thought of drilling all the way through the tubing and may do that eventually, but for now it worked well.
Meanwhile, aboard the Baggy Wrinkles, all is well, she's sailing so easily, and proving to my new crew just how fond one can become of an old sailboat like the dory.  As my daughter in law said, it was very therapeutic.  I agreed!

Ashore, the 1st Mate was taking all these photographs, trying to capture both the Baggy Wrinkles and the other, equally energetic grandchild, zombie walking all around the yacht club.  I knew our time was limited, so before either of the little ones ran out of sufficient interest in things I turned the vessel back to port feeling that a small success was a big accomplishment!

 And so the sail was complete and successful.  No fingers were snapped, no heads bumped, at least not too much, and all returned to the rigging dock with fanfare.  This sail was a grandkid sail and for a first time aboard, he did real well.  I expect years from now he may look back on this first experience with great delight. 

So, then, it is back to details and fixing little things, making them work better.  One of the next projects will be to repaint the textured deck gripping on the dory.  While at the Newport Boat Show, I had spoken to the Epiphanes Yacht Coatings representatives about the terrific matt finish product I'd used and how I wanted to find something for my deck grip.  After some phone chats and so forth, the deck paint has arrived.  Perhaps before I set off for a trip to Europe, I may be able to get this done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting good information can be a challenge.  Even in this digital world, it can be frustrating to try to find "legacy" information on something.  By legacy, I mean information about something particular which may not be on the internet but may still exist somewhere offline.  And thus, perhaps undiscoverable, but pertinent, leftover, lost.  Using search engines often becomes time consuming and mind-numbing.  So much information pours through our internet browsers that sometimes I find myself closing the browser because I lose interest in searching. 

And as it comes to the Cape Dory, I sometimes happen upon articles that I can never find again and I wish I'd have saved it somewhere.  So, for the readers of this blog, I will insert these from time to time because they really are good descriptions of the vessel or contain information in a precise and efficient manner to help one understand and appreciate the classic vessel, the Cape Dory.

Look at this article from 2008 found online:


Friday, October 4, 2013

Success!  In the last post I discussed the problem of cuddy cabin pressure and shroud slackness.  With some testing and modification of the door brace, purchased at a True Value store, I was able to shore up the cabin, create a solid connection from the mast tabernacle to the keel of the Dory utilizing the brace, thus stiffening the shrouds at leeward creating a more reliable transfer of power from wind, to sail, to forward motion of the boat.

The main solution lay in using a suitably strong bracing bar which allowed for some adjustment and a proper footing and topping block to hold the brace in place.  It is better seen than told.  Following are photos of the modifications I made and tested over two days of sailing.  The first day winds were continuously blowing at 20kts or more at times.  The brace, with holes for the spring pin, looked solid enough but failed under duress as the spring pin, a useless cheap link was forced out of its hole by the downward mast pressure.  Pow!  The brace fell under pressure....

Once that spring pin popped, the brace fell, and the shrouds went on holidays.  I pulled her into wind and went into irons, going below to examine the mess.  Everything else was fine.  The topping block was velcro'd into place still, the foot device was unharmed.  But the spring was jacked-up inside the tube.  I reached for some clevis pins and found a sturdy piece of stainless steel.  I hammered it into the holes of the metal tubing and pushed the bar into place with just enough pressure in the calibration of length to fit into the notch and get kicked into place with my foot.  There it stayed for the rest of the sail enabling the shrouds at leeward to remain with minimal slackness under pressure.  Success!

Counter-boring the holes enabled a flush fit against the cuddy cabin.  I wanted this block to stabilize the bar's position while also giving the same look and feel to the interior of the cuddy.

Velcro enabled it to remain in place even if the bar was not holding it on.  Underway, the Velcro enables just enough holding power to keep the bar from slipping away from the cabin top.


Tipping the bar at an angle enables it to fit up into the circular notch as foot pressure scoots it into place.

 Once in place, the top piece is snug and ready for service. 

The bar is now scooted into place by foot and aligned  with the naked eye.  Resting now upon the block underneath the cabin sole, the bar extends the mast pressure while underway.  Now that the fix is in place, the bar can be removed for convenience if remaining aboard, or left in place if desired.  The question of using epoxy to solidify the block underneath can be made after several sails to determine if any movement of the support is evident.

Of course nothing survives the first test flight.  And this photo was before the blow occurred that snapped the cheap spring clip inside this bar. 

The following photo here shows the stainless steel pin gleaming in the sunlight after I rescued my bracing bar.  Lines askew, no time for cosmetics, I had to get the fix done whether it looked pretty or not.  Once the fix was in I was quite proud of the stability the bar brought.  I was blown about a bit at this point showing a bit more heel than she was under.  The last photo revealing our approach into the harbor area, under a bit less wind but shrouds taut and smart.

As we say, "the proof is in the pudding."  The following photo shows the effects of sailing in a brisk wind just after I had made the modifications while underway with strong winds from the Northeast.  Note carefully the lack of waggling shrouds to leeward ( left, in this case ).  Keeping the shrouds under reasonable tension means the mast position is now true and the wind to keel, to forward motion of the vessel is more reliable.  Photo shows almost equal tension, the leeward having just a slight bit less than the starboard which is natural for the pressure.  This is much better than the 4 to 5 inches of slack that was apparent before.  And see the bar underneath the mast showing a direct line to the keel of the boat: