Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Once I got home from the gym this morning I decided to surf the web for a motorcycle. I've put several hundred thousand miles on bikes since I got my first little KD100 dirt bike when I was about 12year old. I sold my last bike about 3 years ago, a nice 2002 GL1800ABS and have had this itch for a couple years now.
So back to the web, I found a beautiful 1998 HD Springer Softail. Oh man what memories came flooding through my mind. Young guy with a ratty bike some cash in my pocket and nothing to lose. Suddenly I had that leaky tent strapped to the back, bugs in the teeth. YES I'm FREE, FREEDOM.......really?

Oh wait I'm in North Dakota and that little square sticker on the little rectangular piece of sheet metal embossed with some numbers on the back of my bike is about to expire. The thugs demanding payment are a 1000 miles behind me. And I just know there is a local revenue collector with his gun in the next town. If he forces me to stop then demands to see that I've paid tribute to the thugs back east and I don't have them it's jail time for me or at the very least my only mode of transport will be my two feet.

Yep Freedom is just an illusion. I'm free to ride my bike only if I have paid all the taxes(called registration, excise fee, title fee, license fee, insurance fee, inspection fee) and have the little stickers and pieces of paper in the "proper" place.

Janis sang "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose". In a way that's very true because if you defy the thugs and don't pay tribute you'll soon find out you don't really own much of anything.

Even my house, my castle, I can't just say NO I WILL NOT, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! Because before long there will be a revenue collector with his gun standing before "my" home and selling(renting really because there is no ownership) it to some stranger.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mast raising and lowering, on my Siren

I decided to make my first youtube video to demonstrate how easy and quickly it is to raise or lower a Siren 17 mast. I have been seeing numerous threads and videos of very complicated contraptions and 3 people to do this job. Well here is a video of a past middle aged man doing it solo:)
I probably raised and lowered the mast a half dozen times this morning while trying to get decent footage:)

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Siren 17 getting some love:)

We plan to take the Siren 17 out lake sailing Sunday so today I decided to fix a main sheeting issue that drove me crazy last year. The old block at the cam cleat was corroded and wouldn't move inline with the sheet.
This is the main sheet overview, here is a closeup of the problem. The toggle point, just below the where the line goes thru the block, is seized up hard!
The line rubs against the shoulders of the block, not only here but on the double block on the boom. Also the trail end is tied to a pad loop and crosses over the sheet where it exits the block.

Then when tacking to port a real tangle occurs. I had a couple blocks on hand so after drilling out and manhandling the old block things looked much better.
IIRC a Harken Air Carbo 40mm Swivel
Next I got at the boom end block, turned out it was missing a toggle so the lines again were rubbing on the shoulders of the block.

Not a real good pic but the lines are rubbing. The problem is a missing toggle where the block and carabiner clip.  I didn't have a toggle to fit so I'm using the block off Phoenix until I need it back on the Triton.

Now I have a smooth running main sheet, yeah!  But not done, after supporting a Triathlon tomorrow I'll get back to work hope to get a tiller extension and tiller tamer installed, a real outhaul, reefing point, Cunningham and a symmetrical spinnaker(200sqft off a Flying Scott)! With that and a new Main and Genny sail this boat might actually sail have way decent:)

Getting the Rigging up to spec:)

We got back home a couple weeks ago and have had a chance to get some work done on Phoenix.  First I stripped to old lines off the mast and boom, measured and ready to by replacements. The old lines were washed and retired to support roles around the house or other projects. Next I started checking out the standing rigging and came across an odd setup. There are 3 shrouds on each side, but there are only two chainplates! After much searching on the net I found from the Alberg site that early East Coast Tritons, up to at least hull #192 only had 2 shrouds, hence two chainplates.

The P.O. had simply used a toggle to allow the cap upper/top shroud(not cap as the shroud attaches at the level of the fore stay) and a lower shroud to share the chainplate that is inline with the mast. Not really a good idea and the old silicon-bronze(?) chainplate was worn about the clevis pin hole. Next when I pulled a the bolts on snapped off with very little torque.

So that made me abandon my initial plan to reuse the existing chainplates. Now I have a local machine shop making six new 1"x 3/16"x9.5" SS316L chainplates. I'll install the extra forward of the mast line an distance  equal to the aft chainplate offset.
Hope to have the new plates in hand by next week! I also talked with the machinist about building a tabernacle but he is really busy this time of year so I'll just use a A-frame to hoist the mast into place. The Westsail 32 service manual has a good writeup on using the tabernacle.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Season starting from afar....

There is still three feet of snow on the ground but work on Phoenix is occurring either in Connecticut or Sri Lanka! I placed an order for a new Mainsail and a #2 (135%) Genoa with North Sails through local guy, Eric in Freeport Maine.
I'm having the mainsail built with 2 reef points, 4 leech battens, cunningham, foot skirt, triton insignia, sail number #190, and 3 draft stripes.
The genoa is being built with spreader patches, stanchion patches, 1 tell-tail window, sail number, and 3 draft stripes.

What finally got me going was while I'm wintering in Florida I gotten involved with the Lake Eustis Sailing Club racing on a Flying Scot 19. The Flying Scot is what they call a One-Design race boat. So we race against a fleet of between 12 and 24 other Flying Scots. I was lucky enough to team up with the local....I don't know what you call the local routinely fastest sailor so I'll just call him the "hot shoe". A term from auto racing.
I've found I really enjoy this kind of sailboat racing. We race twice monthly on weekends at LESC and Ray and I are also doing the Wednesday night, 6:25pm, racing with the Lake Monroe Sailing Association. We've also done a couple of regattas.
Returning with broken rudder after leading through leg 4 of 5 leg race:(
The LMSA racing is not One-Design however. At LMSA there are a variety of small sailboats, the largest I've seen is a Precision 27 this past Wed. They handicap the boats using the Portsmouth Rating The idea of handicapping is so very dissimilar sailboat can race competitively. We haven't done as well in the Wednesday night Rum Race series at LMSA with a 7th and 3rd.

But it's been so much fun that I've decided to race Phoenix this summer!!! 

I'll be racing with local yacht club, Northport Yacht Club, in Maine and they only do about 7 races but it's a start. This is also handicapped racing but under PHRF(Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) More on my rational for racing a 55 year old full keel Triton later:) Now just wishing the warmest winter globally on record would warm up Maine!