Monday, September 13, 2010

Last chapter of old boats of the club, the keelboats

The final installment of the "Old Boats of the Club" series.


San Juan 21
This boat and the Penguin are the only two classes of boats that the club had gotten rid of before I joined. I don't remember anyone telling me anything about this boat. Pretty much the only thing I know about the San Juan 21 is that it has a swing keel.

More information here.

Bristol Caravel 22

The blue boat in the middle is the Caravel,
the boat on the left is Excalibur.

This is known as a sturdy cruiser with a lot of interior room. While not a stellar sailor, it wasn't bad. One thing that made it worse was when a know-it-all student who was keelboat fleet captain decided that the 110% lapper, which was the biggest sail that came with the boat, was too small and decided the boat needed a 150% genoa. A sail was purchased and a track installed. Now we had some horsepower. The problem now was that this was always the last boat to Blake Island if it was upwind.

Years later I, I mean the know-it-all, did some math. I had finally noticed that at best with the genoa the boat tacked through 120 degrees. When sailing with the lapper which sheeted in between the uppers and lowers to a block on a post at an inboard position the boat could tack through 90 degrees. This means if I changed jibs from the genoa to the lapper I could point 30 degrees higher, but would lose some speed. I would have to lose more than 30% of my speed or about a knot if I were doing hull speed under genoa to make it to my destination later with the lapper. Since sailing that much slower under the lapper would be a rare circumstance the lapper would have been the sail of choice for most any upwind work. By the time I had figured this out the club had bought a used replacement lapper that no longer sheeted to the post, but instead had to be sheeted outboard to the genoa track, so it didn't point very well either.

Caravel with its original lapper.

More information can be found here.

Islander Excalibur 26

This felt like a fast boat, and it handled well. My first cruising adventure was as crew to rescue the boat from Skyline Marina in Flounder Bay near Anacortes. Keelboat users will trade off in the Islands to save having to take the boat back to the club. Apparently one user left the boat at the marina and the next person didn't show up. The first person made no arrangements with the marina. A week later the marina called us and asked us about a boat that had been left in the marina with no payment.

I was taught a lesson on this boat. I was sailing along rail almost in the water and the boat had almost no weather helm. I commented to the more experienced sailor how well balanced the boat was with no helm. He looked at me funny and said look at the tiller. I then noticed that I had the tiller in my lap, at least 20 degrees from straight. That's when I learned that a well balanced spade rudder makes it so you don't have to pull hard on the tiller even when there is massive weather helm causing you to drag the rudder through the water like a big brake.

More information about these boats here.

Columbia 26

The Columbia 26 was not a well liked boat. Maybe it was the nearly flush deck that made it look funny, maybe it was that some felt that it was a poor sailor.

See the information here.

Cal 25

A donation that needed a fair amount of work. Deception, a Catalina 27 was donated before it was put in service and the Cal 25 was subsequently sold.

Neptune 24

People complained about the transom being weak. I discovered that the transom wasn't attached to the deck anymore, so when you pressed on it you could move it in to create a gap at the hull deck join. The importance of a bridle on the spinnaker pole was demonstrated when the foreguy connected to an eyestrap in the middle of the pole caused the pole to snap. The shock to the mast caused the tang for the lower shroud/spreader base made of pot metal to fail, now that there was no lower the mast bent...

Information here.

Stone boat

I forget why we took a donation of a 20 foot ferrocement hull with a wood deck. If you see any mention of stone boat fleet captain in old club documents, you now know what it refers to.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nice I-14 sailing website

Check out these tips for sailing an I-14.

Thanks to John Courter who posted this on the list.

Photo Courtesy of

Monday, August 9, 2010

New youngest solo circumnavigation attempt set to start Wednesday

We've got another girl aiming to be the youngest around the world... How do you feel about it?

Photo Courtesy of:

Read the Seattle Times' coverage here:

And check out 14-year-old Laura Dekker's blog here:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Welcome Home Adrian!

Last night our very own Adrian Johnson, winner of the 2010 Singlehanded Transpac, made it home, if you want to hear about his adventures, check these things out.

Idefix puttered onto the WYC dock at around 11 p.m. and a bunch of us were there to celebrate Adrian's return. Here's a pic of the (probably exhausted) skipper:

Photo Credit: Mike Klaczynski

Adrian has written a bit about the race on his blog so make sure to check it out here:

Also, pick up a copy of latitude 38, or take a look online here: You'll notice Idefix on the cover (very nice!) and a great article about this year's singlehanded transpac on page 100.

Make sure to congratulate him when you see him!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Interested in making a trap harness?

I thought I'd pass on this offer from the WYC list.


I am planning to build my own trapeze harness, costing $50-75. Does anyone else want to make one too? It will be easier to do the tailoring with a couple extra pairs of hands.

Coincidentally, the Sail Fleet Captain has retired a stack of old FJ sails. Before they find their way to the dumpster, I'm going to grab a couple to provide material for harnesses. If you also want to make a harness, let me know and I will designate some sail cloth for you too.


If you're interested, respond to Ben on the list or send me an email and I'll get you in contact with him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Modified Mini 6.50 sailboat is the smallest boat to circumnavigate

Alessandro Di Benedetto completes a solo non-stop circumnavigation on a 21 foot boat.

Read the story here. Also see more detailed photos of his boat here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Old Boats of the Club Part 4, Catamarans

A look into the cats of the WYC's past.


Sol cat 15

The Sol cat 15 and 18 were part of the club in 1976 when I joined. There were only Novice and Skipper ratings at the time, and you had to get a rating in each boat. You had to have your C-Lark skipper rating before you could even think about getting a rating in the mysterious, scary, fragile catamarans. Well that was over the top, but not much for some people. The 15 was cat rigged, (mainsail only) and was designed to be single-handed. The Sol Cat 15 had centerboards whereas the 18 had daggerboards.

Sol cat 18

The 18 was sloop rigged and designed to be double handed. Having the tiller crossbar in front of the mainsheet block was normal for me at the time since this is the catamaran that I first sailed, but it seems odd now since this is the only cat that I have seen this way since then. Most cats the tillers are behind the traveller, so you must throw the hiking stick behind the boat to tack or jibe. This frustrates many people that I teach. The 18 allows you to bring the hiking stick forward, but you must have an extendable stick as it would be too short to trapeze with or too long to pass through on the tramp. The Sol Cat poster in the sail locker at the time claimed that the Sol Cats didn't pitchpole like the Hobie 16s. I'd never sailed a 16, but either the advertising was wrong or it would have been scary to see me sail a 16 based on the number of times I pitchpoled the Sol Cat. More info about the Sol cat 18 here.

Sol cat 20

Sol Cat's high performance boat that was 10 feet wide. It's the only beach cat that I've sailed without a watertight sealed mast, which means not self rescuing. I was sailing this boat to Mercer Island on a club lake cruise when I noticed the lee bow was a foot or so above the water. This is not normal cat behavior, the bows normally go deeper and deeper as you apply more power. I started looking around and finally noticed the crease in the deck where it had folded in and let the hull bend up just in front of the crossbeam. I carefully nursed the boat back to the club with very little mainsheet tension. When I repaired it, I drilled a 5" hole in the deck, glassed in some stringers and put a port in. First time it went sailing the port popped up into the air and the hull bent again. This made me realize that the curved deck needed to be completely glassed back together for strength which the port did not supply. So back to square one, and no port this time. When the tramp shredded completely a spider's web of line to recreate a tramp was made. It was a bit interesting to maneuver across.


This 20 foot long, 10 foot wide wooden boat was designed in 62. There was no trampoline, there was solid wood where a trampoline would be found. The center of the tramp area had a piano hinge so the boat would fold up in the center to make it 8 feet wide to trailer. This boat was considered fragile and wood boats tend to not last a long time in the club, so this donation wasn't sailed except by a few chiefs just to test it to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. More info here.

Supercat 20

The Supercat was 12 feet wide. Most cats are 8 feet wide so they can be trailered without dis-assembling them or buying an expensive tilt trailer. Each of he Supercat's crossbeams are of two different diameters such that one half slips inside the other to make the boat 8 feet wide to trailer. The hull and deck is an elliptical shape. This is to minimize drag when the front of the boat is underwater and reduce the chance of pitchpoling. It was 450 pounds with 275 ft² of sail area. There was a tall rig version made with 300 ft².

Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Boats of the Club Part 3, Daysailors

A look into the daysailors of WYC's past.


Tanzer 16

A little like an underpowered smaller Flying Scot with a rounder bottom. I felt that it didn't steer very responsively, and it didn't feel very fast. It was a 500 lb boat, and since we probably had the genoa, it had 145 ft² of sail area. With the standard jib it had 130 ft² of sail area. In contrast the Flying Scot has 190 ft² of sail area.

Left to right: Excalibur Islander 26, Caravel Bristol 22, Tanzer 16
From 1980 Daysailor

The E-scow was 28 feet long with a boom that sticks out over the transom. It had bilge boards, twin rudders and was designed to be sailed heeled over. The boat planes offwind. It's a very different feel than a 505 planing. Sailing upwind you heeled the boat so when the deck was almost touching the water the lee bilge board would be vertical in the water. The boards had toe in to reduce leeway. The weather board needed to be raised because it would cause drag being at an angle to its opposite. 

This boat had small rudders and sail trim was important. I had the jib halyard break once. I couldn't get the boat to bear off, it stayed in irons without the jib. I tried raising the jib on the spinnaker halyard and promptly pulled the screws for the block out of the wooden mast. I then ran the foot up as if it were the luff using the spinnaker pole topping lift, tied a knot in the sail near the head to hold onto and sailed home. 

When I got my rating on it, the chief who went out with me and also had an E-scow of his own said, “I'm not sure that only two people can right it.” He then proceeded with the capsize part of the test. It turns out you can right one with only two people. There were 4 E-Scows at the club at one point. I believe two or three of them were affiliate boats. I have several fond memories of cruising Lake Washington summer evenings on this boat. It had 323 ft² of sail area and the hull weighed 965 lbs.


20 foot cat rigged version of the E-scow. I pretty much ignored this boat since I considered the E-scow so much cooler. It wasn't a long term boat in the club. It had 216 ft² of sail area and weighs 650 lbs.


Huskies were the first boats that the club owned. In the fifties a design contest was held and a cabinet maker won with a scow design. The boat was constructed of a few sheets of plywood. The first version was under rigged and consequently more sail area was added. 

I believe originally there were 6 Huskies, at the time I joined there were the Brad, Deb, and the Increadaboat left. Two of the Huskies were stored in the Canoe House and the masts had to be tipped back at an angle to clear the door leading to the ramp that is in the Montlake cut. There was also another Husky left that had been converted into a race committee boat, the mast had been replaced with a course board and an outboard bracket had been fitted. I got stuck using this 6 HP powered thing more than once teaching classes. 

The original boats had a centrally mounted rudder and centerboard. The Incredaboat had been modified to something similar to an E-Scow with twin rudders and bilge boards angled out. Additional sail area had been added including a deck sweeper 180 % genoa. Dual trapezes were also added. I believe on my first Snooze and Cruise that the Increadaboat hit a log and tore a rudder off with part of the transom. That evening there was a group of people fiberglassing it back together on the island.

Victory 21

I would say that the Ensign was a nice replacement of the Victory 21. Ours was famous for winding up floating stern up after taking on water. We added more foam in the cabin so that it was self rescuing after that, and we tested it at the dock. 

You can read more about its sinking and see pictures at: 

Select the floatation button on the left to see a report of its sinking and re-floating written by the club member that was involved. We sold it when some rudder and rudder post repairs became more work than we wanted to deal with. This boat had 185 ft² of sail area and weighs 1350 lbs.


This was a powered up two man keelboat. It had no trapezes or spinnaker. It was also an Olympic class. The mast had double running backs which were critical to set correctly to keep the mast from coming down. You have to loosen the leeward set and tighten the windward set on every tack or jibe. 

The Star class has been around since about 1911 and has had a variety of rigs including a Gunter rig in the past, which is basically a gaff rig where the gaff goes up nearly vertically. The boat that was donated to us was made of wood. We kept for 3 years then sold it. This boat is a little short of 23 feet, weighs 1500 lbs, and has 285 ft² of sail area.


Another two man keelboat that is 22 feet long, but this one had a trapeze and spinnaker. It weighs about 1000 lbs, 500 of that was a bulb keel. This keel could be lifted with a purchase until the bulb was touching the hull making it easier to trailer. It has 247 ft² of sail area. 

Minute Man

15 foot catboat styled boat with a gaff rig. It has a U.S. Flag as its insignia on the sail. If you don't raise the peak and throat halyards together you break the gaff jaw, so the gaff was in the shop on a regular basis. A wide shallow draft boat with a short rudder is perfect for sailing in shallow waters but it resulted in compromises in sailing ability in my opinion. 

This boat draws 8” with the board up. You couldn't really hike in the boat, but if you let it heel it would round up when the rudder came most of the way out of the water. This boat was 15 feet long, had 145 ft² of sail area, and weighed 800 lbs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Old Boats of the Club Part Two, the Double Handers

A look at the double handed boats in the WYC's past.



We had a maximum of 16 C-Larks at some point. We used to also have the area on the far side of the boat ramp to the first pedestrian ramp to store boats. The C-Larks were the double hand training fleet. They were a fat version of an I-14, much more stable with less sail area.

It was a self rescuing boat, but the tanks were small and low in the boat, so when you righted the boat it came up half full of water. There were two small holes in the transom to drain the water. For a long time after righting it you had to be very careful with weight placement. If you moved too far forward, the water would rush to the bow, the bow would go underwater, and water would fill up the cockpit again. Any direction you let the water in the boat roll to would result filling the boat again. The boat would eventually drain completely dry without having suction bailers because the cockpit sole was above the water due to the tanks, except for a small well at the back where the drain holes were in the transom.

If you sat too far aft the back of the cockpit would always have water in it. The solution for most people was to keep plugs in the drain holes unless the boat capsized.The boat would plane, but the bow goes up in the air due to the amount of rocker.I'm sure that my views on how the boat planes had a lot to do with my level of experience at the time, but I thought the boat was very difficult to handle while on a plane. I remember sawing the tiller back and forth trying to keep the boat from capsizing and quite often not succeeding.

These boats were advertised as being able to take 4 people. At times there were 4 people on C-Larks with all their camping gear stowed in the bow to go on Snooze and Cruise.

The C-Lark had a fairly large sail area of 130 sq. ft. for a 14 foot boat. It weighed 275 lbs. I've been told that they originally came without mast partners. Apparently we bent enough masts that we built mast partners. It is believed that C-lark eventually added a partner to the boat. Another modification that we apparently caused to be added was a small triangular shaped tank under the side decks to try to slow turtling of the boat.


We acquired the 420s as the double hand teaching fleet when the Laser 2s died.  We had both a Flying Junior and a 420 as demo boats.  One reason I remember hearing for selecting the 420 was that it was slightly bigger.   

420s were the popular inter-collegiate fleet at the time.  Some east coast schools still use 420s, but most of the west coast now uses Flying Juniors.   I find the 420s and Flying Juniors to be very similar.  A sailing article from years ago comparing the FJ and 420 had the opinion from some college sailors that the Flying Junior was a better boat than the 420 because you could hardly get it to plane, thus keeping the racing tighter and better.   

The 420 is 420 centimeters long,  had 110 sq. ft. of sail area and weighed 260 lbs.

More info at:

Alpha One
The designer of the Alpha had us sail his prototypes, presumably with an eye to selling us a fleet eventually.  Turns out we discovered the mast needed spreaders when we bent the mast, and the daggerboard well needed a LOT more reinforcement.  We found a couple of other issues, all of which he fixed, but we were never happy enough with its sailing qualities to buy a fleet. Laurelhurst Beach club and Western Washington had fleets. 

One day I was going out to try the club's new Alpha and noticed a girl that was about to go out on a Kite, I asked her if she would like to try out the club's new boat with me. She said yes to going out sailing and yes to marrying me two years later.   

Photo courtesy of:
click for more pictures.


This was a donation.  It was a high performance, no spinnaker, no trapeze boat.  It had a rotating mast like the Hobies and a fully battened main.  It was 14' 10” long, weighed 150 lbs, and had 123 sq. ft of sail.  It wasn't in the club for very long.  I don't remember much about it, I'm not sure I even got to sail it.  I believe that it was considered too fragile to keep.

Photo courtesy of:
click for more info.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cartwheel Grounding

Check out this video of the Asko skiff's cartwheel grounding at the 2007 18 ft skiff World Championship.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Keelboat Skipper Class Sees High Winds Last Weekend

Recounts of the keelboat skipper class overnight cruise to Kingston April 3-4.


South Winds Saturday of 15 to 25 knots drove the three club keelboats to Kingston.  Mostly on a broad reach, the fleet later beam reached into the harbor.  Platypus came across from Edmonds to join wearing only a lapper. Crew Connie did a great job dragging down the lapper in the stiff wind. We decided to take advantage of the almost free reciprocal moorage and forgo anchoring, a good decision because the next morning the anchoring area was pretty rough as the wind had clocked around toward the east. Everyone cooked aboard and went to town in the evening.

Sunday morning found all three club boat engines with their covers off. Deception had idle problems. Rascal has no reverse. Charlotte had a broken starter assembly. Deception and Rascal got off the dock first as the crew on Charlotte tried to repair the starter assembly. They finally gave up trying to get the starter assembly to work. Then they could not get the engine started using a length of cord with a knot in it. Something else was wrong. We thought about the neutral lock-out switch but were not sure where it was. It turns out we should have tried a little harder to figure that one out.

With Rascal and Deception already winging their way toward Shilshole, we prepared Charlotte and Platypus as much as possible for sailing. Then Platypus towed Charlotte out around the breakwater. The rollers were steep and it was a challenge raising the sails. From the cockpit of Platypus I could see the bow of Charlotte bouncing high into the air as Brandea and Helgi rode it like a bucking bronco. Platypus barely made headway with her engine at full throttle trying to pull Charlotte out far enough so she could get on a starboard tack to clear the ferry dock.

Both Charlotte and Platypus were double reefed. Charlotte had a lapper, Platypus a storm jib. It took a couple of hours to get across the sound and the wind kept building and building. I measured a steady 20 knots with gusts to 24 and know it got worse than that because I sure didn't want to take measurements when fighting the helm and wiping salt water off my face. Connie and I were both soaked. A close reach which normally would have taken us to the marina entrance instead took us pretty far north of Edmonds as we were blown sideways and forward.  We finally got near to land where it was slightly more sheltered and could tack south. We ran the diesel full out and had both sails drawing to inch our way toward the marina. We dropped sails very close to the entrance and I spent few seconds out on the deck lashing down the sails.  My goal had been to stay off the foredeck and in the cockpit. Then we headed to our slip where a kind neighbor took our lines for us.  We changed into dry clothes and listened to the VHF radio.

Got a hail from Charlotte as she considered giving up the attempt for Shilshole. We left the radio on channel 69 as they had a quick crew meeting to decide.  I believe Rascal and Deception with their head start were able to make a better run for home and quite possibly they got across into the shelter of land before the really high winds hit the Edmonds area. The crew on Charlotte, faced with over 30 knots of wind decided to shelter over in Edmonds. They hailed us on the VHF and asked for a tow. I brought Platypus back out into the maelstrom and found Charlotte just off the breakwater with a double reef and a storm jib. We towed her into the guest dock where she stayed for two nights. I think the decision to shelter in Edmonds was a very good one. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Helgi, Brandea, Fred, and Bill are headed to Edmonds Tuesday the 6th to bring Charlotte back to the WAC.  Here is the wind speed chart from the Edmonds area on Easter Sunday:

The next day we started an email discussion about the weekend. Here are some excerpts:

Fred on Deception:

We left the Kingston docks with our sails ready to hoist, lapper and main with single reef (~11am). After raising both sails we quickly felt overpowered with the lapper and changed to the storm jib. We seemed well enough balanced with this setup and made a few tacks to leave Appletree Cove. We crossed the shipping lanes to be on the east side of Puget Sound. From there we pretty much had a straight shot to Shilshole on port close-haul/close reach, arriving ~2:30pm. Winds were definitely strong (20-25 knots?).

We sometimes wished we could go to a double reef in the mainsail, however the reefing system was such that we would have to untie the reefing line from the first reef cringle on the leech and re-tie it to the second reef cringle. We felt that the risk of losing control of the sail in the process was worse than the minor over-powering we were experiencing. We put the traveler down to our taste, luffing/bubbling the luff to various extents. We made it to Shilshole fine, average speed over ground ~3.5 knots. We had a good sail, Bill and Erik did a great job.

I’ve attached the pdf of our sailing track for April 3&4 for Deception.

From Helgi on Charlotte:

Some things I can add to the list of things which may help. I'd like to mention first that I have sailed very comfortably in 25 kt winds with gusts to 32, and that yesterday's wind reached in excess of 30 for a long time near Edmonds, with gusts way above that (ask yourselves how much wind it takes to deeply heel a double reefed boat flying a storm head sail).

1) Try to break the crew up into shifts. This can be difficult when you only have three people, but I found that this gives the helmsman a break, and also gives the other's in the crew a chance to learn what their limits are (I believe that both Andrew and Brandea found themselves able to steer well in winds much much higher than they thought they were able to).

2) Have Dramamine onboard, and take it if you even suspect that you are going to be seasick. None of us got too ill, but it may have been getting close, and loosing a crew to seasickness significantly increases stress on the rest.

3) Reef deep, reef early.

4) Rig jack lines ( and wear a harness, even in the cockpit. Though we didn't actually capsize, we were whipped a couple of times way too close.

5) Have a hand on the main sheet, and be ready to blow it.

6) Secure every single thing in the cabin (boy, did we have a mess on our hands when we docked).

7) Be ready to give up and seek shelter. Think of back up plans to back up plans. Mine was ducking into Holmes Harbor if Scott hadn't been able to tow us into Edmonds.

My 2 cents. Helgi

And from Jeremiah on Rascal:

First of all, I'd like to say that the crew of Rascal (Nikita, Jason, and Mark) handled themselves beautifully this past weekend. Any mistakes that were made were minor and were dealt with comfortably and calmly.

As we left Sunday morning and neared the entrance to the marina we could see that the breakwater was doing it's job. The bay was quite choppy out there. Once we rounded the jetty Nikita put us into the wind to raise the sails. However, the sails and rigging weren't quite ready and the motor popped out of the water once or twice. Nikita promptly put the boat at a diagonal with respect to the waves and fixed that problem while the rest of the crew readied sails and rigging. Sometime later the sails came up. We were running the main with one reef and the lapper. (Maybe we should have communicated the conditions to the rest of the boats, so that you could have been prepared? Did anyone have their radios on, so we could communicate back to you?).

Lesson #1: Ready your sails and rigging at the dock, so that you're ready to raise them within minutes of rounding the jetty. Sailboats are much happier sailing than motoring.

Nikita steered us on a starboard close-hauled tack. I noticed that he was fighting the helm a little. I suggested that the rest of the crew join me on windward side of the deck. Not only did Nikita have an easier time steering, but with less heel we accelerated to slightly faster than hull speed. That was a lot of fun!

Lesson #2: Hull trim (or weight distribution) is just as important as sail trim.

For a while we were racing the trimaran. I think you can guess who won. In fact, I'm not even sure that they knew we were racing them ;) For about 30 seconds the trimaran was flying both hulls and just screaming down the sound. I think that it scared them a little because I didn't see them do that again.

We followed a similar route that Fred showed. Our primary goal was to get to the windward side of the sound, where the waves were bound to be smaller. We were right. As the wind started building even more, the crew decided to reef the lapper. It was definitely a smart move. This time Nikita offered to go forward to reef it. He did a good job. It wasn't quite "rodeo" style but good none-the-less. Then the crew decided to put in a second reef in the main. Unfortunately, while the sail was flogging a small tear in the main that we had noticed developed into a large rip. We immediately doused the main and motor-sailed the rest of the way with a reefed lapper. Everyone (except me of course) took turns at the helm. Everyone did very well controlling the boat under these difficult circumstances.

Lesson #3: From now on, I'm carrying sail and/or duct tape in my sailing bag, so that I can fix small tears before they develop into big rips.

Lesson #4: A major lessoned learned this weekend was that an overpowered boat doesn't necessarily translate to more speed. Often the extra power translates into lots of heel (= more drag) or lots of weather helm (= more drag) and makes it difficult to control. More than once, the crew noted that reefing did not necessarily reduce boat speed but it did make it much easier to control the boat.

And from Goran who went to the Edmonds marina to take a look at Charlotte's engine.

"I am in Edmonds and have just got the engine started on Charlotte. It seems that the gear selector is a bit loose and the neutral safety device was not in exactly the right place so I bypassed it and the engine is running now. I also installed a new recoil assembly.

And Dennis' comments:

This is the 3rd time that has needed to happen that I know of. We should take a couple of pictures and show folks how to do it. It is VERY simple. Pull the wire off the switch, they are automotive type push plugs, male and female so the engine part can be just plugged together. I would permanently disconnect that switch but for chance that some dummy would start in forward at high throttle.

My two cents after the fact:

Such winds really re-enforce the need for those little safety measures we try to practice.
1. Have a well rested, well fed, healthy crew.
2. Have foul weather gear, not just for chance of rain but huge amounts of salt spray over the deck.
3. Never loosen a halyard or any other line until you are ready to use it.
4. Pre rig sails in the shelter of the harbor so you don't have to do it on the deck of a pitching boat.
5. Have optional plans formulated before you leave the dock.
6. Communicate with the other boat skippers so we can be there to help each other if need be.
7. Keep in radio contact.
8. Be very careful moving around on a boat that is experiencing a "lively" motion.
9. Stay calm, think smart, reassure the crew.

I'm pretty dam proud of everyone on how they conducted themselves this weekend. sv


Crew call Saturday April 3rd at 09:30
Leave dock Saturday April 3rd at 10:30 Puget sound by 12:00 (noon). Run north to Kingson, or south to Eagle Harbor. Back to WAC on Sunday ~4p (est.)

Here are the crew details (Manifest)

Designated Skipper: Helgi Felixson
Student Skipper: Brandea
Crew: Andrew

Designated Skipper: Jeremiah
Student Skipper: Nikita
Crew: Jason
Crew: Mark

Designated Skipper: Fred
Student Skipper: Bill
Crew: Erik
Crew: Paul
Skipper: Scott
Crew: Connie

Friday, April 2, 2010

From the Penguin to the Kite: Single-handers of WYC's Past

A discussion of boats the club owned in the past.   


Part 1: single handers
They were 11.5 foot wooden or fiberglass  non-self rescuing (at least back when the club had them) cat rigged single or double hander. 72 square foot sail, 180 lbs.   The club acquired a fleet sometime in the late 1950's. They were long gone when I joined the club in the fall of 1976.
I asked Norm and Ralph what they remember of the boats.
As I recall we had 8 cyan/aqua glass Penguins when I joined in 1966.
They and one (maybe two) wood hull(s) were on a rack in the canoe house.
We used a dolly to launch them down the ramp into the cut.
Yes.  A fc named Evan Engstrom and several of us built these racks.  I don't remember the dollies, but how else would they be launched.   We could probably find plans on the internet-- or certainly thru WoodenBoat magazine.   Ah yes, coffin corner.  rj>

Cat rig, removable stayed masts, sailtrack/slides, loose-footed main.
Hard chines, vertical transom, little rocker. Plywood sheet floorboards
1-2 inches off the hull. The club (I think) put styrofoam sheets under
the floorboards to help them in a capsize but they floated about as
high as an old Lightning when swamped.
 I don't think they planed much if at all. Usually something broke if you
A common way to capsize in summer was to sit in "coffin corner", flat
on the floor with your back against the transom and your arm over the
tiller, and then jibe. You blocked the tiller so you couldn't round up
and you were stuck there while it rolled on you. Resting your arm
on the tiller in this position could also jack the rudder off the
transom, another fun ride.
Another fun prank was to sail by someone with their boom out and unhook
their clew. The "Phantom UnClewer" had many a victim.

I thought this was in the Kite era, since they used the "two
pronged bracket" and swaged wire rope for their outhaul.  --rj

The wood centerboard often broke off the bit around the hinge pin when
people (ahem..) sailed up the ramp without raising them (easy to do with
a southerly). After my contribution to this research I became the Penguin
fleet captain and fixed this a lot. The bronze pin was captured in two
3/8 inch pipe nipples and caps threaded into the sides of the trunk.
For a while I replaced the pin with a wood dowel which acted as a fuse,
but I had to replace them regularly due to wear/sogginess. I should have
varnished them ;)
Ralph might remember more about the wood ones and how many we had in 1961.
I recall rumors of as many as 12.

Sorry I don't.  --rj

Pictures of the Penguin at:

The Pico was our first attempt at a polyethylene boat sometime in the 90s.  We had both an Escape and a Pico brought out as demo boats.  I wanted to demo the Escape and the dealer tried to talk me out of the Escape so he talked me into also demo-ing the Pico.  The Pico was a much better built boat and the Escape went back with a hole in it.  After much debate some months later a Pico was purchased to evaluate if it was strong enough and to find out if the instructors liked teaching and students liked learning in it.  The instructors weren't interested in even trying the boat out in their classes and the boat was sold off as an orphan boat after a few years.  The Pico is 11.5 feet long, has 55 sq. ft. sail area, and the hull weight is 154 lbs.   The mainsail reefs/furls around the mast like the Bravo, but you have to disconnect the vang and there is no furler line, you just grab the mast and rotate it. 

Pictures of the Pico at: 

Tech Dinghy:
This was a donation that we had for a time.  Few people sailed it.  A story from the old timers says that the P.E. department had a sailing program using Tech dinghies and their students were told to sit in the middle of the boat for safety.  Apparently our club members took great delight in sailing circles around them while hiked out annoying their instructors.
The Tech dinghy is 12 1/2 feet long, cat rigged, and weigh about 200 pounds.

Regarding Tech Dinghies, there were four made by the Beetle Boat Works
that belonged to the P.E. department in the canoe house then. I don't
know if the club ever owned them or acquired others. The instructor
was very paranoid about wind and they would be coming in while we
were launching Penguins or Huskies.  

After the PE dept stopped giving classes we had access to them.  I don't recall how they were disposed of.   If memory serves(?), Larry Jasman (chief and binary barge throttle jockey) had taken the PE class.   --rj

11 foot self rescuing fiberglass cat rigged single hander.  They were acquired approximately 1970, and I don't remember exactly when, but it was probably the early 80's that they were sold. The one named Ralph Jackson was given to Ralph for all the work he put into the club and because the Kite was his favorite boat.  The club had at least 8 of them, and they were the single hand teaching fleet.  The Kite was designed as a junior trainer for the Finn.  It had a solid round tapered wood mast that was stepped right at the bow of the boat.  I was told that I had to hike off of the transom when running to keep the bow from going underwater due to the weight of the mast up forward.  I remember the 1/2" thick sheets of wax hanging from strings in the sail locker that you would rub on the bolt rope of the sail to make it slide easier up the luff slot in the mast. These were the first boats I went out on.  I liked taking them out for our Friday night races when the wind was fairly light.  The Lasers were the hot new boat that everyone knew couldn't be beaten by anything, and I had a good time beating them on the Kite.  I think the Kite had less wetted surface and so was a little faster in light airs.  The Kite was 11' 7" long,  sail area, 78 sq. feet,  hull 160 lbs, 205 lbs all up.  Note the ski belt that was common for a buoyancy aid at the time on the person sailing the boat. 

Photo from 1980 Daysailor.