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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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Some sailors are virtual.  During the quadrennial "Vendee Globe" race, there were laptop based sailors all around the world racing the circumnavigation course, while the actual race played out in the deep blue oceans across the globe.  It was fascinating as thousands sailed "over the shoulder" of the seasoned skippers toiling non-stop from one ocean to another.  I was too preoccupied with the actual race to attempt to be one of those virtual sailors, but I certainly understand the arm-chair sailors around the world who, for one reason or another, continue to follow a race, or a story, or a blog!  I actually logged-in to the official site ( ) every morning for about two and a half months to follow the commentary from Paris and the finish from Les Sables d'Olonnes, in the region of the Vendee.  Being a francophone, I was delighted to hear the skippers speaking in real-time from their super fast racing hulls, something our digital world enabled.

In Baggy Wrinkles' blog, the little bitty world map provides a curious look at those individuals who are standing over-the-shoulder.  The map only tracks some viewers' city and country locations.  It is a thoughtful way to realize how many different people around this world are keen to explore a simple story of a sailboat.  It gives no personal information nor IP addresses, just so that you know!  It is only a fun thing, not a digital snooping device of any sort!

Sometimes I wonder how some of you readers actually come to have an interest in a Cape Dory sailboat of this type.  It is especially curious to see the red dots of the world map light up in places like the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Russia, the UK.  It is also interesting how there are no digital hits from Africa, South America and Australia?  It would be terrific to hear from some of you readers in those locations. 

Meanwhile, I have recently had the trailer for the dory refitted in order to properly launch and haul her on boat ramps.  It has been a long awaited fitment.  Here is a photo of Baggy Wrinkles' launch where my wagon's wheels are at the water's edge, the trailer is underwater, and the dory has yet to float off the trailer.  Since the dory is about 2.7 feet draft, and the water is about 3.5 feet, she still cannot float into the water.

This dory weights 2,000 pounds, so don't think you can just push it off.  You cannot.  And pull?  Doubt that too!

So I requested the manufacturer to refit the trailer with a 10 foot extension which would permit further extension down any boat ramp to allow a "float-off" launch and a "float-on" haul out.  The extension sits directly beneath the "road hitch" and extends out providing about 8 additional feet of longitude at the ramp.  Photos show both views:

The extension can be done in any number of ways, but I wanted something sure and reliable, which did not depend on my expertise. 

As I said to the manufacturer's representative, I'm a sailor, not an engineer.  Having this extension provides me peace of mind at any ramp, that I know for sure the dory can get on and off the trailer without damage to the hull or incident to it's owner and skipper!

I was certainly anxious to test the extension at the ramp and did so, pulling her out of the water.  The critical element was if she could "float on" the trailer.  Using two lines, one for bow and stern, I guided her into the pathway of the trailer.

She entered the trailer's grasp without bumping a bit.  With simply my two deck lines, I pulled her safely to the stem of the trailer, hooked her on, and patted her on the bow-plate ( the background to this blog-site is her bow-plate, by the way! ).

These photos were taken as I had her in the chandlery area for some additional fitment and small troubleshooting. 

The Cape Dory is a heavy little boat whose design requires proper fitments from trailer to deck.  This little extension was not very expensive at all, and certainly has made the transition from land to sea, a more confident process!