Sunday, December 28, 2014

How to sail a foiler Moth in 5 easy steps

Right.  After viewing Nate's videos I've drawn a couple conclusions.  First, rigging a foiler makes rigging my Europe dinghy (with all those pesky through-the-mast-bearing-ring internal control lines) seem like a walk in the park.  Second, even with stop action photography, getting going and then remaining foil-borne looks like the equivalent to mastering how to  ride a "penny-farthing" bicycle.  I suppose the crashes into (hopefully) warm water are, assuming you miss all the potentially hurtful goobers on the boat, more forgiving than crashing onto granite cobblestones while attempting to descend a steep hill on a high wheeler.  But don't take my word for it.  Judge for yourself.  I think I'll stick with something safe like mastering an Axel jump on figure skates.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Deckage.

No sooner had I updated John Z's progress than I received some new photos from Martin Scott over in Cornwall.  I may need to start a pool to see which of these two Mistrals will be launched first...

Fore deck temporarily held in place during initial fitting with duct tape.

Looks good!  Note the neatness of both the boat and the work area.  Martin is building his boat in the utility room of his house, while John Z. builds in his downstairs rec room!  I don't know how they do it!

Martin's boat will have a center main traveler.  John is planning to stick with an aft bridle.

Martin is also designing his own sail.  He indicates that although he'll be measured under the IMCA's current rules, he will build a slightly less powerful sail than is permitted in the interests of controlling the boat in his local conditions.

Friday, December 5, 2014

John Z. Mistral update: The decks are on.

John's Mistral now has her decks.  All of the key seams have been glass taped (I learned that vacuum bagging flattens the selvaged edges of glass tape, so there are no little annoying ridges to sand down).

The decks have two coats of epoxy but have not yet been varnished.The diagonal lip at the aft edge of the side decks demarcates the seating areas where John used thicker plywood.

At this stage the hull weighs 57 pounds.  John has plenty of leeway for rub rails, hardware, hiking straps, varnish, etc. in order to get the boat up to the class minimum weight of 75 pounds.  He intends to make several test coupons to predict weight gain with different weights and types of glass cloth to help decide whether or not to sheath the exterior of the hull.

A look at the neatly done fore deck joint around the mast tube.  A nice dark mahogany streamlined boss surrounding the mast tube might look nice.

Plenty of access ports in the well deck and main bulkhead.  The cockpit sole has a 3mm ply doubler in the "stomping area".  John may add a layer of fiberglass to provide a non-skid texture to the sole.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chestertown Walkabout.

It's been a couple weeks since the Sultana down rigging weekend.  I finally got a chance to edit the pix I promised from our walk around Chestertown itself.  Here's part of what we saw that day.

After parking the wagon we stopped here for coffee and scones.  Quite tasty.  Note the details in the fascia to the right of the sign.  Fishhooks or anchors?  You decide.
An autumn themed window display at Evergrain's

Probably not for the gluten intolerant.  I, on the other hand, have never met a warm crusty loaf I didn't like.
Chestertown is a pleasant small town which, as its name implies, rests along the north bank of the Chester River, on Maryland's "eastern shore".  You can read about the town's history here and here.

Although there were a few boats on the hard, there were still lots of boats in the water as of Halloween.

Now this is my idea of a "townhouse".

The old Customs House dates to pre-revolutionary times.  The building is now part of Washington College.

Wall art in the commercial district of town.

I liked this long brick pavement, mirrored by the long brick garden walk.
The houses abound with many interesting details.

Not much breeze was stirring on this sunny late October day.  The Washington College flag in the foreground with the Maryland state flag in the background.  Maryland's flag is based on the Calvert and Crossland family's coats of arms.  Calvert was the family name for the Lords Baltimore who founded the colony of Maryland.  Crossland was the family name of the mother of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore. The Calvert's colors were black and yellow, the Crossland's were red and white.

An attractively detailed front porch.
I'm attracted to weather vanes.  I can't say why.  Probably for the same reasons I'm attracted to lighthouses.  I just like them.

Zooming in on the rooster.  This could almost be France.
A walkway along the river brings one to the Lelia Hynson Pavilion.

This structure overlooks the river and Washington College's small boat facility.  The College has fleets of 420s and rowing shells.

Autumn leaves.

A view over the roof tops.

A nice Indian corn door wreath.

A narrow little house.  What goes on behind the black door?

Another stately townhouse.

Note the Flemish bond brickwork in the wall of this old Tavern.

I don't know what plant this is.  Can anyone enlighten me?

There are many entertaining shop windows to look at.

Here's one.  Yes, well, it is Halloween.

In the late afternoon some clouds rolled in as the harbinger of the next day's predicted cold blowy rain.  But for the remains of this day, the clouds just made the fall colors of the trees stand out a bit better.

I've tried to sprout magnolia seeds several times but so far without success.

The town fountain decked out for the evening's  festivities.

Late day sun on a church bell tower.
Another interesting shop window; this one with a nautical theme.
Zooming in on the fids, awls, mallets, tarred twine and other paraphernalia of marlinspike seamanship.

 Ditty bag, Noun.  1. A sailor's small bag to hold thread, needles, tape, etc. sometimes called a "housewife".  2. A little case or bag for materials used in sewing, and for other articles of female work; also called a "hussy".

The day grew late.  We started seeing bands of children in costumes making the rounds for trick or treat candy.  That was our sign to head back to the western shore before the hobglobins came out.  Chestertown is but one of many interesting small towns on Maryland's eastern shore.  Visit if you get a chance.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Down Rigging Days in Chestertown

The tall ship Sultana was built in Chestertown during the winter of 2001.  Each fall the town celebrates putting their ship to rest for the winter.  Generally, Sultana is joined by other tall ships for a weekend of parties, short sails on the Chester River and opportunities for the public to meet the crews and see the ships up close.  The festivities begin on Friday.  This year, fellow blogger, Baydog, planned to come down on Friday and asked if I'd be there.  Diaristwoman and I were able to take off the afternoon from work.  What follows are some of what we saw.
This way to the ships.

First stop is the information tent.  Can't tell a Knight from a Day without a program.

The original Kalmar Nyckel (Swedish for "Key of Kalmar"; Kalmar is a town on the Baltic coast of Sweden) brought many Swedish and Finnish colonists to "New Sweden" (northern Delaware and parts of southern New Jersey).  This replica, built in 1997 serves as the tall ship of the State of Delaware.

The Kalmar Nyckel's figure head.  Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus was known as the "lion of the north".   This ship is the Scandinavian equivalent of the Mayflower.  Starting in 1638 she made a total of four round-trip crossings of the Atlantic--more than any other ship of her era.

The cat boat Silent Maid was docked near by.

Francis Sweisguth is perhaps better known as the designer of the Star class boat.

You don't see dueling bowsprits everyday.  Even the incoming Chesapeake skipjack has one.

The tents seen to the left provided shelter for a local musical group and provided beer and oysters.
Details on the Kalmar Nyckel.  I think some of these gargoyles are representations of her shipwrights.

In those days even merchant ships carried some fire power.  Pirates, matey...

As we walked along the docks we encountered many interesting small boats like Peeler, a Smith Island crab skiff
Several "buy boats" (power boats which purchase the catch of the sail powered bugeyes and skipjacks) were on hand.  Annie D. has been converted for use by the Echo Hill Outdoor School for environmental studies.
Enjoying a spot of coffee in the sunshine.  Friday turned out to be the best day.  It was a crisp but pleasantly warm Halloween afternoon.  Saturday turned cold and rainy.  Sunday was dry but heavily overcast and cold.
From time to time my eye turned back towards the town.  Chestertown is a pleasant small town with many historical buildings.  We'll look at a few in a later post.
The route 213 drawbridge over the Chester River.  To the left, the road goes north all the way to Pennsylvania.  To the right, it goes south, joining routes 301 and 50.  Those roads take you to  either Annapolis or to the Maryland and Delaware beaches.
Further along, we encountered this large cat boat.

I always enjoy the lines of a nice commuter style motor yacht.  It makes me wonder why designers of modern power craft seem to produce only the ugly craft that currently inhabit most marinas.

A nicely turned out drake tail work boat.

Maryland's tall ship, Pride of Baltimore II was also present.  This ship, built in 1988 replaces an earlier Pride of Baltimore which was lost at sea in 1986.  You can read about these ships here.
One of the deadeyes which terminates part of the standing rigging on Pride II.

Like the privateer which inspired her, Pride II sports her share of canon.
Masts rising above the roofs of buildings on the wharf, in this case, the Fish Whistle restaurant.  No doubt in the age of sail this scene would have been common.

The Baltimore clipper design, on which Pride II is based,  includes masts which have been given a distinct "Bermuda rake".
New Jersey's tall ship, A.J. Meerwald was also on hand.  The Meerwald was built in 1928 and served many years as an oyster schooner before being restored as a sailing classroom to teach New Jerseyans about the Delaware Bay ecological system as well as the region's maritime history.

We called Baydog on our mobile to see where he was.  He was out on fellow blogger Steve Early's boat Spartina.  Steve has posted more photos from Down Rigging weekend on his blog:

Steve seems to be a trusting soul.  Here it appears that he's allowed Baydog to take the helm.

Of course this weekend was supposed to be about the ship Sultana.  When we first arrived she was docked in a way which made photography difficult.  This view of the stern and the following one of the figurehead were as good as I could do until she got underway for a short cruise up and down the river.

 Sultana holds the distinction of being the smallest schooner ever to serve the British Royal Navy.

Finally, a good shot.
 Spartina also popped back into view, this time with Steve at the helm.  That meant Baydog was ashore.

And so he was.  Here Baydog (red jacket) and his brother Huck pose for the camera on their way up to Sultana HQ.  Their father, Jim Wagner helped build Sultana during the winter of 2001.  Baydog still has Jim's ID badge.

Walking back to the docks we passed the log canoe Silver Heel 
Silver Heel, based out of Chestertown, has her own Face Book page which contains lots of interesting photos and videos.  Log canoe racing goes way back on the Chesapeake.
A bow shot featuring Pride II and the Lady Maryland.

A closer look at Lady Maryland.

This large green schooner anchored out in the river.

The skipjack Elsworth.  Note the distinctive Baltimore clipper bow.
The Swedish naval ensign is a three forked design.

The Kalmar Nyckel  joined Sultana out on the river.

Great name for a mahogany speed boat.

Here's Spartina at the dock.

Spartina details.  I'm guessing that the lines coming down to the turning blocks are for the main and peak halyards.
As the sun started to dip, the small boats headed back in.
This little Beetle Cat is snug under her cockpit boom tent.  Part II of this report will feature some of the interesting houses and buildings found in Chestertown.