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Monthly Archives: March 2009

One more to go before I can start preparing for the qualifier.

Here is the finished jib without the batten pockets.  


I may have to relocated some of the lead positions for this jib.  What I have will work for a qualifier, but I don’t think it’s race ready.  My old jib weighs 23 lbs, and this one weighs 16 lbs, with the battens.  It’s also about 30% larger.

I worked on the main all day, and will continue pushing on that all week with a lot of late nights at the loft.  It just has to get done.



Doesn’t mean you should.  The jib is pretty much finished as of today.  I spent the last couple hours of the day making my hanks while watching, well mostly listening to a movie.  One of the problems with my campaign is that I don’t have much money at all, and I can do pretty much everything that can be done on my boat, so when I see a Precourt hank design that I can make myself, I buy Precourt’s little machined part and do the little 4mm double splice bit myself.  I forget however that just because I know how to do these things, doesn’t mean I should when there is so much else to do.  I should have just bought the finished Precourt hanks, just like I should have bought an off the shelf mast/boom, and a set of sails, and blah blah blah.  It all adds up to be a lot of hours.  I wouldn’t say I’m kicking myself, but I’m definitely flicking myself a little, because I’m not sailing yet.  

No pics today.  I destroyed my laptop power cord trying to fix something, so I don’t have a good place to load pics, etc…  The little box started making an eeri whining noise which was soon followed by a strange smell.  I tried to pry it apart to fix it, but gave up after breaking a nice kitchen knife.  

I plan to put the boat back in the water tomorrow, hoist the jib for a final check before the batten pockets go on, and then get back on the mainsail.


I’m in Fort Myers now.  My Mom broke her leg on St. Patrick’s day.  I flew out the next day to help my Sister, Katie move from upstate NY to Florida to help my Mom, so she can help my Mom.  

The first day Katie and I drove to Baltimore.  The next morning I met with my agent Beth Perry, who is in Baltimore with her company Sailing 360 Sponsorship ( ).  We then did a quick photo shoot for Columbia ( on Tim Troy’s Open 60, Margaret Anna, which went really well.

Katie and I then drove 22 hours strait to Fort Myers with her dogs and a truck full of her stuff.  Once we got here I took a shower and a late afternoon nap.  Now it’s 1:30 A.M. and my sleep cycle is totally off.  

Tomorrow we are going to Sarasota to visit a very good friend of ours whose sister just died from cancer.  We will also be going to her funeral on Monday.  It’s been a weird couple of days.

I’ll be back in the loft on Tuesday to finish the sails.  


I don’t have a lot of time to explain, but here we are with the jib up to mark the spreader where the leach hits the top spreader with the rig raked aft a bit.  It’s being blown into the rig from the windward side, so the full overlap is not apparent.


Here’s the jib, as I left it tonight.


This is horrible timing, but I have to leave town to deal with a rash of family issues that popped up.  When is that ever good timing.  I’m going to talk to Dave about paying his guys to finish the jib, so it’s ready when I get back.


Long hours in a sail loft are much easier than long hours in a boat yard. It’s a much more stable environment, and just feels like less work than say, installing deck hardware or laminating.     Today we started back on the jib. Dave sewed a couple panels while I cut strips for the clews and tacks.


 I spent the rest of the day sewing the tapes and a couple more panels until the sails started to look “sailish” at the end of the evening.  


This was the first day Dave let me sew on my own sails.  Now that he sees I can do it, I think the whole process will go quicker because I don’t have to rely on one of his guys to build it, and I can just carry on with his input as he works on other projects around the loft.  I used to work in a service loft, so working on sails isn’t new to me.  I also used to think I hated sail making, but now that I have done everything there is to do on my boat I realize that sail making really isn’t so bad.  At least there isn’t any sand paper involved.  

Now it’s time for rigging nugget:

For anyone doing a cascaded system where there is dyneema going through a thimble when there is a situation where the timble is hauled close to the termination point for the splice, make the splice really large, so there is no tail passing through the timble.  


This way the splice never has to pass through the thimble under load, and the tail won’t be revealed by working it back and forth around the radius.

More sailmaking tomorrow.


Dave Bolyard was swamped for the last week, so there was no room for me in the loft for the last couple of days. That’s okay because I have plenty of rigging to do, and the boat looks just like a mini right now.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume it’s ready to sail.


Here is the super awesome Ullman Code Zero (screecher) that Bolyard built for me for the Bermuda 1-2.  You can see in this picture that the hoist is short because of the new rig, and it’s sheeted inboard of the outboard shrouds.


      And here is a picture of the rig raked forward.


I spend some time in the loft today making my padded canard case, and will spend all of tomorrow there working on the jib. It rained all day, and I’ve been tired so, I’m calling it a day.


What’s this?


That’s right, she floats…


It was a pretty long day, but ultimately Pat and I were able to step the mast.


I was able to play with the mast a bit with the adjustable forestay and deck partners, and it is pretty amazing.  I have never sailed a boat that has a rig this adjustable while sailing, and am pretty excited to do so.  The mast rake can be set from forward of vertical to 5.5 feet aft, which is to the cabin top bulkhead with varying prebend settings independant of the rake.  It’s either the mast of my dreams or the mast of my nightmares.  Either way, I’m excited to find out.


I’m stepping the mast in the morning.  I moved Myrna to Pontchartrain Yacht Club and assembled the mast there to the point that it is ready to be put on the boat in the morning and jin poled into place.



 From there we’ll take some measurements and finish the mainsail and jib.  Then the mainsail goes up with the RBS battens.


RBS sent us two sets, a carbon set and a glass set.  We want to see how durable the carbon ones are, because they are three pounds lighter than the glass set.

From there we’ll mark the mainsail track at each batten end, at every reef point.  Then the mast comes out again and I’ll reinforce those areas with carbon and install the wind instruments and nav lights and of course, paint the spreaders so they don’t look insane…

Then it’s rig up and go sailing time.


So here are some pictures of the dry fit.

Mast with halyards run.



Tie down for inboard shrouds.



And 2:1 Jib halyard with a 40mm Lewmar flying block.  


*People keep asking me why I’m using a 2:1 halyard for the jib and mainsail, and the only reason I’m doing that is so I can reduce compression on the mast.  It reduces compression by 50%, which is a big deal when you are bashing away to windward for a day or two.  Yes it means there is more line in the cockpit bags, but that is only really an incovenience for day sailing.  Offshore you won’t be confronted with that on a daily basis.


* A friend of mine sent the following correction to me regarding the above post.  I had to explain to him that I have a BFA in oil painting, and still count with my fingers.

“I don’t know if this information is usefull to you but I think your numbers are off on the advantage of the 2 to 1 halyard system. I agree that the force required to lift will be half but the compression on the mast (which, I believe, is your main concern) will be cut by 1/4, not by 1/2. so if your are lifting 100 pounds, there with be a compression force of 150 pounds even though the pulling force on the down line is 50 pounds. not trying to be a smart ass but if you are running your numbers close, I thought you should take a look at this.”

 I’m fitting the standing rigging on the mast and figuring out how all of this will go together.  The more it comes together, the more it makes sense to me, even though I designed the damn thing!  “Design” can only be used loosely though, because I’ve been improvising the design of this mast the whole time as it was being built, and I never made any detailed drawings of anything.  I’m starting to feel quite good about it now though, and it’s pretty clear to me that this will be a very sophisticated mast in both performance and execution.  It’s already looking that way.  I’m glad I hired Barry to finish her off, because it looks very professional now, where as I would have probably just filed down the edges, and spray painted the whole thing black or something.  

I found a disc today that Katie Triplett had in her possession for several years.  It’s a collection of a few videos from my transatlantic delivery of the Open 50 Artforms from 2005.  It’s great to be able to relive those moments spent flying across the North Atlantic with Kip Stone and Greg Feldman.  In my opinion Artforms was one of Owen Clarke Design’s masterpieces.  We spent day after day knocking off 300 + mile days with little or no effort whatsoever.  I had a lot of fun working with Kip in those days, and miss watching the miles dissapear in Artforms’ wake.  I’ll post them to Youtube tomorrow, so you guys can have an idea of what I’m talking about.  They are on a friend’s computer.

 I try not to think about the big boats anymore because they are so far from my grasp and require major sponsorship dollars to build and race, but these videos make clear that I’m simply in denial.  I want to sail on a boat you can stand up on and walk around!  One that doesn’t pitch around like mad and goes really fast, not just “fast for a 21′ boat”.  But, I’ll have to keep pushing through the Mini ceiling to make that happen.  I appreciate deeply the opportunities Kip extended to me during those days, and look forward to getting back on the water with him one day, whether it’s his campaign or mine.  

Back to work.