Monday, March 11, 2019

Mast tube part II.

This post is for Alden, over at the stream of consciousness blog.  On my previous post about building this mast tube he commented that he'd be interested to learn how easy, or not, the plug would be to remove from the tube we were constructing around it.  I was away this weekend but John Z. decided to answer that very question.  And so here it is:

Hi George,

Well, the plug didn't just slide out as it would have in my dream world.  I had to drill a hole out the middle with a spade bit and then bang away with a sharpened pipe, pry bars and maul.  I finally got all of the pieces out and it didn't hurt the tube a bit.

The tube is snugger than it should be so will need a little sanding but it just barely rubs in spots and shouldn't take much to open up with some 60 grit wrapped around a pipe. 
John Z

It took a fair amount of persuasion to clear the foam plug from the mast tube.  
But in the end it did come out.
Next on the list of  "items to do" before the tube can be installed in the boat is to make sure that the mast will smoothly rotate inside of the tube.  That will be the aim of our next joint session.

Friday, March 8, 2019

A mast tube for Pegasus

Project Pegasus is at the point where interior layout and "furniture" installation must be considered.  When new, Pegasus had a Sitka spruce, keel stepped mast with a three stay rig.  Both the bow stay and the side shrouds could be adjusted while racing.  The rake of the mast was controlled by a block and tackle system which connected with the bow stay and was lead back to the cockpit.  The side shrouds could be slacked off, downwind, via Highfield levers located under the side decks.

Boat end of adjustable bow stay.  The jaw seen here was swagged on a short piece of wire which fed through the tube soldered on the tang.  In turn, the opposite end of the wire connected with a block and tackle system which led back to the cockpit.
Cockpit end of origianl bow stay block and tackle system.
Boat end of the port side adjustable shroud with which Pegasus was originally equipped.  This bit of wire with a marine fork connected to the shroud, via a corresponding jaw, and terminated with a Highfield lever on the under side of the deck.  The starboard side was similarly equipped.
While Pegasus's original wooden spars survive they are not in serviceable condition.  I do have a spare Europe dinghy mast and have decided, since this is not a slavishly accurate restoration, that in principle Pegasus would still have an adjustable bow stay and no downwind interference from shrouds if I adopt the current semi-free standing rig that some of the other Classic Moths have employed. In order to do that I need to make an oval topped mast tube.

Recall that when John Z. built his Mistral he created an oval mast tube.  In order to do that, he first found a PVC pipe with an i.d. large enough to slip over the heel of his mast.  He then laid up enough carbon  fiber around the pipe to make a tube with roughly a 1/16th inch wall thickness.  After that he split the tube, introduced an oval form at the top while retaining the original diameter at the base of the tube and then closed the sides with more carbon fiber.  That was a lot of work.  This time around he and I took a different approach and made a foam plug of the desired shape and laid up multiple layers of 6oz glass around that plug.  I used fiberglass rather than carbon fiber mostly because (a). I already had an abundance of 6oz glass cloth left over from an earlier project , and (b). I'm cheap.  Will a glass lay-up be strong/stiff enough to do the job?  Don't know.  We'll find out. The pix that follow show most of the steps for this alternative approach for making the mast tube.

First John build up a foam blank by gluing together a couple of rectangles of pink insulation foam with five minute epoxy.  This was done to create a block of foam with enough thickness for the finished plug Next we took a hot wire knife and squared off the ends of the block against a pair of carpenter's squares so that we could accurately attach cardboard templates, an oval on one end to provide the ability to rake the mast at the deck partners, and a circle large enough to accommodate the heel of the mast on the other end.  We then took the "hot wire" foam cutter and allowed it to follow the templates.

After cutting out our plug we had some fairing to do since the hot wire was a little slow on my end and created ridges in the foam.  We filled those in with dry wall spackling compound and when dry, sanded the plug fair.
A few days later we got back together to continue.  Here John is checking the size of the plug to make sure it's fat enough for the mast.  It was a little too small in various places so we added duct tape to increase the plug's size until it passed muster.  Once the plug was deemed satisfactory, it was covered with clear packing tape to give a smooth surface.

The next step was to paint the plug with polyvinyl alcohol (a mold release agent) so that the fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin wouldn't stick to the plug.  While the PVA dried we got busy cutting layers of cloth to a paper pattern that fit the plug.
Your old diarist painting one of the early layers with epoxy.

Our lay up is eight layers thick.  We are shooting for a finished tube with a wall thickness of roughly a 1/16th of an inch.
After all layers were added.  A large, burrito-shaped thing covered with peel ply.  John and I will reconvene once the epoxy kicks to take the tube to the next step.

Friday, March 1, 2019

2019 CMBA Mid-Winter Regatta

It's late February.  Must be time to pack up the boats and head down I-95 towards Gulfport, Florida for the Classic Moth Boat Association's Mid-Winter Regatta.  The older I get, the longer it takes me to pack up and get to the point where I'm confident that I've packed all the important stuff and not, for example, forgetting a rudder or boom or some other critical component for one of the boats.  It's roughly a thousand miles from home to Gulfport Yacht Club so making lists and checking them over and over is not a trivial pursuit. I'm envious of guys who have just one boat to pack!

The weather forecast for Gulfport called for sunny skies, temps in the upper 70s and winds of perhaps upper single digits on Saturday and lower double digits on Sunday.  Your basic Chamber of Commerce weather forecast.  Meanwhile, up in Maryland, it snowed a day before we made our Gran Depart.  That, of course, made the packing up just that tad more tedious.  But in the end the job got done, all the important stuff was accounted for, and so diaristson and I left Maryland at 3:50am the Thursday before the regatta weekend.

My goal in such an early departure time is to pick my way past Washington, DC and get south of Richmond, Virginia before morning rush hour traffic chokes the highways.  That strategy has worked in previous trips and worked again this time.

When we arrived at the club on Friday morning the temp was already hot and climbing towards 80 degrees--wonderful if one was under a shady porch with an appropriate beverage.  We were unloading and  rigging boats in the  hot sun!  Also, the wind forecast was changing by the  hour.  Saturday's once benign forecast now featured winds in the upper teens to low  twenties with  gusts higher.  None of this easing into your regatta, old man.  No sir, this was an in your face, launching off the lee shore kinda regatta.

What follows is a photo collage of the boats and people that made the trip and made up this year's event.  Len Parker took most of the pix.  The rest are via Amy Linton and your old diarist.

Mike Parsons digs in the bow of his Mistral at the weather mark.

Rutledge Young must have stuck a copy of the Wall Street Journal on his leeward side tank.  The cockpit sole of a Europe just isn't that interesting.

Mike Parsons rounds the mark ahead of a gaggle of boats.

Same mark a few seconds later.

Diaristson Erik in Ooh La La, Nr 69.

Your old diarist in Femme Fatale,  Nr 151.

Although it isn't obvious in this photo, Saturday's racing offered up stiff winds and a goodly chop which caused many to go for a swim.

Jeff Linton in Mousetrap.

Mark Saunders in Spider.

Erik inside of Rutledge Young's Nr 138.

At least the boat's pretty.

Bill Boyle in his home built Euro.

Larry Suter, Europe.

Joe Bousquet.  Swiss Moth.

Chandler Owen arrived at the club on Friday with this old Shelley which a friend had found as a "give away" on Craigslist and after a long session of "boat building" in the club yard, produced a creditable racer which proved very competitive.

Low boom.

Last year's Gen I winner Lewis Hay.

Randall Stoney borrowed a boat and became this year's 3rd place winner in Gen I .

Woody Kapp.

Bill had several leaks to deal with during the regatta.

You can almost feel the breeze.

Despite his problems, Bill Boyle managed a series of good starts only to drop back as the race went on.

As the day progressed many skippers went for a swim.  Here we see Chandler struggling with his borrowed yacht.

He did eventually right the boat but he had to sweat up on his bow stay after turtling.  The winds were strong enough (20 knots sustained with gusts a good bit stronger) that I decided to retire after the third of five races on Saturday.  This didn't do my score any good but I just didn't feel like I had control over the boat, especially downwind.  The last thing I wanted was to hit another boat and cause damage or injury to a fellow competitor.

A better view of the Shelley.  The fog reveals that this photo was taken on Sunday rather than Saturday.

Good thing that Erik had a bright orange cap!

During the Sunday races a random guy in a Sunfish joined us uninvited.  He had the nasty habit of camping on my air!

I eventually was able to extend away from his wind shadow but the damage was done.

 Here we see Woody trying to figure out where the marks are.

Our RC boat.  One can just make out the condos on the far shore.

John Z. Mistral.

Larry Suter, Nr 3, with the odd scalloped shaped leach after he cut down an old Europe sail to CMBA specs.  His sail did measure in legally.  Opinions are divided over the esthetics of this sail but in Larry's hands it was very effective.

Randall Stoney

Note the open transom on Chandler's Shelley.  The boat had a false bottom and self-draining cockpit.  Chandler later told me that the first big wave that washed over the bow swept his sponge and bottle bottle straight out the transom holes!

Mister Sunfish.  Some people's children have no manners.  I've encountered jet skiers with more couth and refinement.

I can't  say that I  missed him once he left.

Mike Parsons, eventual third place in Gen II.

Lewis Hay

Jeff rounding without another Moth in sight.

What? That sunfish again!  I thought he'd gone!

Another look at Larry's sail.

The Shelley digs in.

Fog.  The RC postponed for an hour in the morning.  Regrettably Erik and I launched early and didn't get the memo.  After a half hour's time a mark boat came out to tell us but I didn't feel like going all the way back to the  beach only to arrive in time to relaunch.  We kept our eyes peeled and ears open for  power boats.  Luckily we had no close encounters.

The fog lifted a bit and racing commenced. Here Jeff leads the parade to the gybe mark.

Mark Saunders rounds outside of Larry's Europe.

Your old diarist momentarily leads a group of Gen I boats.

Sun. Finally.

After a total of ten races it was time to go in.

Once again Mike Kasper (blue shirt, tan hat) headed a very capable race committee. Photos of the awards were taken by (I think) Amy Linton.

The usual suspects (left and nearest the camera, diaristwoman, clockwise: your old diarist, Beth Saunders diaristson, diaristdaughter, and Joe Bousquet.

The awards: Randall Stoney receives his 3rd place Gen I award.

Mike Parson was 3rd in Gen II

Our new guy, Chandler Owen seems happy with his well deserved 2nd place in Gen I.

Larry Suter crushed everyone in Gen I.  He discarded a 1st place!  Sadly, both members of L'equipe Albaugh finished well off the podium this time but hope springs eternal. 

John Z took 2nd in Gen II

Barb and Mike Parsons.  It's hard to find a picture of this twosome without a glass in hand!

Larry Suter (left) in deep discussion with overall winner Jeff Linton (center) and Mark Saunders (right).

Len Parker, aka IoW Len, (left) took most of the photos seen in this post while slaving away on Amy Linton's mark boat. Thanks Lennie!  Clockwise beyond Len are Amy Parker, diaristwoman, Len's daughter Nikki and an unknown pair of legs.

And so as the sun sinks slowly in the west we bid a fond adieu to Gulfport YC until next year!