Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tight is Right

One memory of the Gorge Worlds was Bora pounding his board into the well with a rubber mallet. Yes, the M2 has tight fitting components, one of the reason they're so fast. Amac gave me some ideas on making the hull opening match the strut and when I returned home I had followed them to create a somewhat tight opening. But after sailing off the beach for the past month (sand is a pain!!!) I found there was increasing slop. So I removed the well cassette and rebuilt it to create a tighter fit. The mallet wasn't required, but the board doesn't slide in and out easily. Even with some McLube, it's a challenge to put in and out. I believe that tight is good.

At any rate I got in another couple of hours of sailing this morning in a healthy breeze.  After diddling around Willoughby Bay for a bit I took a trip across the harbor to Hampton. Interesting with the north breeze and the strong current in the channel. Waves were in the 2 foot range and the board/wand/height adjustment seemed to work fine.

Now the problem is with the rudder system. There's way too much slop, so much that I'm going to have to disassemble the works and try to tighten things up.  Bill made a comment that jibing is next to impossible with a sloppy rudder system And there's so many places that play can crop up, from the pin on the gantry, to the tiller/rudder head connection (I've long discarded the rudder cassette idea), to the internal worm drive.  My rudder problems were exasperated when the gantry exploded at the Gorge last year. Who remembers sailing/swimming the boat in rudderless?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"That Little Boat Hauls Ass"

Today I got in another three hours in a real puffy (6-10, gusts to 15) breeze. Again hot and humid with a heat index of 110. A couple of changes seemed to work well. The inboard leads for the front of the hiking strap worked well. I just carboned on a couple of shackles to the wing bar then wrapped the wetted out epoxy with vinyl tape.

The new wand block was an improvement (less hull slap) but still not quiet. Maybe a different paddle shape at the tip? The wand itself seems standard - it was what John is using with the FC boats. Maybe I need to tweak the pivot bolt angle...

This time of year, especially on the weekends, the tourists and fishermen are out in droves. The parking lot at the ramp was chock-a-block with boat trailers. So I had plenty of flybys with lots of folks looking on. As I was sailing around jetskis, a Hobie 16, an Opti, and some folks swimming off anchored boats I got lots of thumbs up and hoots and hollars. On the way home, about a mile from the ramp, I was stopped at a traffic light an a couple of guys in a pick up truck pulled up besides me. I guess either they were on the water or lived in a beach cottage and saw me sailing. At any rate, they made the title comment.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Jelly Monsters

 Yesterday was a hot one.  With air temps in the mid nineties and high humidity (heat index of 105) we had the typical pre-frontal gusty southwesterlies.  So even though it was hot, I was itching to get some time in the breeze (8-20 kts with big shifts). Launching at 1:00 p.m., I didn't come back to the beach until 7:00. This morning I'm a bit brusied and battered. A couple of items of note:

(1) the new wand pivot needs reworking. I'll have to make a new one since the hole containing the wand was too vertical causing lots of hull slap (so much it was wearing the paint away!)

(2) I'm not convinced that extreme rake (a la Bora) is the way to go. I'm having trouble bearing away after the tack, so the next time out I'll try some slightly longer shroud adjusters.

(3) I'm finding that my hiking straps are just too far outboard at the front end. There's too much chafing on my shin and not enough on the top of my feet. So another change will be to fit a second lead further inboard for the hiking straps.

(4) Three year old gloves lose their protection at the second finger joint. Six hours in gusty winds resulted in a few open blisters. New, longer fingered gloves are on the to-buy list (any recommendations?)  I also now appreciate seeing Amac's mainsheet in Weymouth practically worn to a frazzle at the ratchet. It takes LOTS of sawing the sheet to get the boat upwind effectively in gusty and shifty winds.

(5) The stiffer wand seemed to help, but I can't tell for sure until I tweak the angle to prevent the slapping.  I just glued on a half round tube to the fiberglass batten that John supplied.

(6) Bing translations of blog comments still leave a lot to be desired. So "來幫推 你個blog影d相真係好靚,係我至愛" translates as "To help push you a blog shadow d-nice, really good to love me?"  Go figure....

(7) Running into a Moon Jelly at speed is a strange sensation. Not the plastic bag feel, not the solid object crunch, just a noticible "thud" with a very slight slowing.  With the bay water temp at 82 degrees I'm sailing without a wetsuit (and have the bruises to show it) so am very aware of the plates and stinger nettles that seem to bloom this time of year. All the more encouragement to stay upright! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Buttery Silk

I got in another couple of hours again today, with a couple of trips across the harbor for probably 20 miles total distance. Slowly the biceps and hand grips are getting into sailing shape.  A slight boat mod following Bruce's suggestion was to lengthen and stiffen the wand, looking for more height. In a breeze of about 10 kts (no whitecaps) I pulled off my first "perfect" jibe -- everything happened just like it was supposed to: no extreme force changes, sail gently coming across, height maintained throughout the turn, and an exit with speed onto the new heading. Why can't it be like that all the time? It did give me something to shoot for -- a feeling of buttery silk.

This afternoon I'm changing out the wand pivot from the Fastacraft aluminum to a homemade plastic block trying to increase the bearing area and reduce wand chatter and vibration. How it works will be in tomorrow's report.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Happy Family Sail

    Susan and I went for a two hour sail this evening - I was in Try-Foil and Susan was in Aftermath. Breeze was about 10 kts. A good time was had by both of us. The builder (me) was satisfied. Maybe soon Susan will want to try the foils under her boat.  At any rate, we got back home around 7:30 and just felt happy ;-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Kit

I got another couple of hours of sailing in today, with a breeze of about 8-12 kts.  Nothing broke and I had fun foiling into the Naval Base lagoon where a bunch of juniors were rigging up Optimists. I made about a dozen trips up and down Willoughby Bay trying to nail the jibes. Still more work to do....

The pic above was taken last October in Long Island Sound at the AYC High Performance Dinghy Open. There the AoA of the main foil was at 10.8 degrees, a degree greater than I had today. Tomorrow I'll crank the strut forward a bit more and see if that will give me the height I'm looking for....

Anyway, I thought I would throw in a bunch of pics of various bits of the boat. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to make 'em.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deja vu, all over again.

It's about seven weeks til my next major regatta - the North American Championship in Harbor Springs, Michigan.... and I've sailed Try-Foil only four times since last October. Each time out I was in the "sea trials" mode of sail, break, repair, adjust, sail again. Boy, it seems that I'm always just rebuilding before the major races. Perhaps one day I can afford an all sorted M2 and just jump in and go.

The major change from last year is using a push rod instead of the morse cable for the wand. Below is a picture of the new front of the boat. I still need to repaint but that can hold off for awhile.

 I also replaced the top end adjustable system, replacing my sliding pin with several  incremental fixed pin locations. Yesterday I sailed for about 90 minutes in a nice 10-12 kt breeze and found the strut angle of 8.5 degrees to be just a bit too low. Tomorrow I'll try another degree of AoA and see if that helps. I'm trying to get more height (full flap up with the foil about 8 inches under the surface.) Below are some pics of the top of the well. The first is with no pin locater bolted in, the second with a 9.6 degree forward cant, and the third with a couple of the other pin locaters. The different pin locaters only take about five minutes to change out. I feel better doing this than trying to put a shim in the foil socket (after having my new foil socket collapse at the Gorge Worlds, I've decided to stay with a fixed t-joint for now...)

At any rate, school is finally out and I can sail almost every day until the regatta. The rigging/unrigging has gotten much smoother - yesterday it was less than 30 minutes from pulling into the parking lot to foiling off the beach. It still seems that most of the time is spent getting the rig together (probably 15-20 minutes just to assemble the mast, slide on the sail, fit the shrouds and spreaders, step the mast/sail, tighten the forestay, run the controls.) The fitting of the foils goes smoothly with the new top end adjustable system.

More posts and some more pics later...