Tag Archives: sailboat

Go With The Flow

Howe Sound is a true delight at this time of year, as daytime heating affects the air flow up the narrow sound.20090519_howesound

The pattern lately has been outflow (northerly) winds in the morning, with the wind going light near noon, then a complete reversal in the afternoon to an inflow (southerly) building through the afternoon.

Over the long weekend it was almost like clockwork – on both Friday and Saturday I managed to sail downwind for a few hours, only to turn around and sail downwind home.

I’ve been getting lots of use out of my North Sails G-3 gennaker (cruising chute). I’m getting a lot faster setting the running rigging for the sail, so I’m using it a lot more.

20090519_reaching

On Friday I spent most of the morning getting my gybes down.

I had a distinct lack of confidence with the inside gybe – that’s where the clew passes ahead of the forestay but inside the tack, rather than bringing the clew all the way forward and around the tack. I know the theory but just couldn’t seem to get the sail around cleanly – a lot of it is timing.

The G-3 is very forgiving – fortunate for me – but after 4 or 5 ‘proper’ gybes I finally got the hang of it and now feel a lot better about having to do them quickly or in heavier air. The sail is so much fun to use, partly because Madsu behaves like a completely different boat off the wind when I’m using the cruising chute.

220090519_beating

On Sunday the whole family was on board to enjoy the sun. We broad-reached north with the gennaker, then doused the chute and hoisted the 150 genoa for a leisurely beat home.

The wind piped up to about 15 knots and we had a fabulous trip home.

On a starboard tack with no-one below us, we cruised home at a lively 5 knots without a single tack. The only time I touched the jib sheet was to douse it when we arrived at Horseshoe Bay !
View Madsu in Howe Sound on Sunday in a larger map

Mothers Day Sail

20090510_sailing-sm

EB and I spent a fabulous day sailing Howe Sound – my rather lame mother’s day gift to her.

The sound was picture perfect, with some high thin overcast causing a slight ring around the sun.

There was a sweet inflow that had us humming at 5.5 to 6 knots to weather, with Madsu right in the slot the boat was made for, heeled between 15 and 20 degrees, the 150 genoa driving us to weather with a nice steady motion through the chop.

We beat for about an hour and a half or so, tacking to follow the wind shifts, with hardly any traffic.  Lots of harbour seals were popping up so the feeding must be good.

On the way back I ran dead downwind for quite a long time, my back to the pushpit and my feet up.  I was pretty close to nodding off, as it warmed up considerably as was ran wing on wing.  Great was to spend the day.

Launch Into Spring

It’s a sure sign of spring. Madsu made the move from her off-season storage next to the house, to her salt-water moorage at Sewell’s in Horseshoe Bay.

She’s got an “I can see myself in this shine” buff on her fiberglass – it wasn’t nearly as much work this year as last – proof that buffing up the gelcoat is worth it if you do it every year. Catalina really put these boats together well – that’s 30 year old fiberglass shining like it just came out of the mold.

20090412_madsu_shine

Before hauling the boat down to the marina, I gave the non-skid on the deck a work-over with our powerwasher, packed in all the interior cushions, loaded sails, safety gear, charts, and the most essential item – a coffee pot.

A rental F-150 truck, a few miles down the road later, MB and I step the mast in the Thunderbird Marina parking loft, and the next thing you know, Madsu’s on the lift. The guys in the yard at Thunderbird are totally awesome – I highly recommend them. Madsu looks rather elegant hanging out on the Travelift!
20090411_madsu_lift_sm

I gave Madsu’s steel swing keel a fresh coat of rust paint – I’m not using anti-fouling paint at all since the boat comes out yearly. You can see the large sacrificial anode bolted 2/3rds of the way forward on the keel.

20090411_madsu_keel

With Madsu on the lift, you also get a really good idea of how little surface area is actually in the water – with her keel up like this, Madsu only draws about 2 feet.

20090411_madsu_lift-2_sm

We had some other things to do, so MB and I made haste for our moorage at Horseshoe Bay. I couldn’t help but notice the snowline on the North Shore mountains, and smiled knowing that while we were sailing, loads of folks were boarding and skiing just a few miles away.

20090412_tree_line_sm

An hour later and we were back at our dock – set for another season of sailing out of Sewell’s at Horseshoe Bay.

20090411_madsu_wide_sm

Turn That Thing Down

I’m putting the hardware back on Madsu’s spars after stripping and painting them. I’m super impressed with the results. The mast and boom are now a crisp and clean white –

Here’s a shot of the wiring just above the spreaders where it exits for the steaming light. The new conduit works like a charm. The duplex on the right continues up to the masthead for the anchor light.

Madsu Upgrades Slide Show

After taking a lot of bits and pieces apart, I’m finally reassembling Madsu and we’re just days away from getting her back in the water for the summer.

In celebration, I put together this little slide show.

  • Use the + and – buttons to go forward or back, or jump using the thumbnail images
  • Your keyboard page forward and page back buttons will also work
  • Mouse over the image to see if I’d added any notes…

Masthead Good to Go

Another crappy weather day, so no painting today, but I did work inside on bits and pieces of Madsu’s gear.

The masthead is done and ready to go. Yesterday I discovered that the new sheaves I got to replace the old wire sheaves didn’t actually fit.

I spent a bit of quality time with my Makita sander and the aluminum plate that acts as a spacer between the port and starboard pair of sheaves.

In the photo you can see the aft pair of sheaves – and the arrow points to the spacer that runs fore and aft and keeps the starboard side sheaves apart from the port side.

I didn’t want to sand too much since the sheaves just run free – there’s no bearings – the plastic sheave just runs on the pin – so I don’t want too much play in there.

The fit is perfect now – amazing what a little sandpaper on aluminum can do

With a new spin crane, a ridiculously expensive block for the spinnaker halyard, new anchor light post, Windex, and new sheaves for the all line halyards, Madsu’s sad little masthead has been transformed.

To keep me inspired while I’m working on this stuff, I’m reading There By No Dragons: How to Cross a Big Ocean in a Small Sailboat by Reese Palley.

(if you’re wondering what the hell that thing is sticking out of the TOP of the windvane, it’s the new ‘bird spike’ meant to keep freeloaders of the avian variety off the vane).

I should say that we sailed all last summer without the benefit of a masthead Windex. Instead we used Newport shroud telltales which were great, and we’ll keep them on board again this year.

Madsu Masthead

A lot of rain kept me from getting top coat on Madsu’s spars today. So I turned my attention to the masthead, where I’m adding an anchor light and a windvane.

Since I was installing a post for the light, which means tapping 2 holes in the mast head, I figured there must be a way to use the same machine screws to attach a bracket of some sort on which I’ll mount the shaft of the windvane. I had ordered a ‘special’ bracket from Catalina Direct that uses the upper shroud tang, but like a few things I’ve ordered, it doesn’t actually fit the hardware on my mast. When a boat’s 30 years old, who knows what kind of mods have been one to the rig, so it’s not a huge surprise, but a little disappointing since I can’t return it ;-(

After cutting a short length of aluminum plate, I bent it into a bracket using a vice and a ballpeen hammer – low tech but it worked out ok. It’s too long but I’ll cut and soften up the edges now that I know it’s all going to fit together.

I’ll drop in 4 new sheaves for the main and jib halyards as soon as I shave down the spacing plate (the new sheaves from Catalina Direct are a bit too wide – easy fix if I trim the spacer a bit), I’m switching to all-line from line/wire. And of course, the new spin crane looks very inviting !