Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gear: Bad News: Flaky paint

Pulled Kraken out of the water a couple of weeks ago and as she started drying up a couple of paint flakes came off, then some more, then... lots.

Looks like an earlier layer - not sure when but it was dark bottom paint coming off and at times red paint left underneath, had been applied wrong - with a primer that hadn't bonded to the underlying paint.

Solution? 5k of sodablasting, in SD. Likely some fairing, and new primer and paint. The end result, looking on the positive side, is we'll lose ten years of bottom paint and its weight. Also we'll know that it's done right.

Still - annoying!

Don't look here

Or here...

but still looks pretty if you don't look too close!

Race: Good way to end the year

We wrapped up 2014 with the Holiday Regatta in Oceanside. This was a three race series with the A fleet consisting of a J/130, a couple of Shock 35s and Kraken. Winds were light and shifty, 30 degree plus swings, no respect for a forecast, the upwind leg of race becoming the downwind leg of race two.

We placed well up the first beat and were in a solid position at the gybe mark - then got super lucky with a shift and crossed the line first, despite being the slowest boat of the fleet. In fact only Rasa from the previous fleet finished in front of us and only by a boat length. Nice start!

Second race we were doing really well but snagged some kelp near the end. having been right on Rasa's tail (Rasa swept the B fleet) we started dropping back but crossed the line some distance behind Shamen and Sirocco in our fleet. Turns out we won by 17 seconds over Shamen on corrected time and 19 over Sirocco. Woot!

The third race we split from the fleet and hit the wrong side of a shift. Never recovered from there. I never checked the corrected times but we won't have been too far off the others. Anyway, damage done at that point, regatta won.

Fun day, Kraken's first win under me and a great way to wrap up 2014!

I particularily like the second picture below as we're about to cross the finish significantly ahead of Sirocco with the yellow sail! Okay okay not significantly but if you add the 60 odd seconds a mile in...

Friday, December 5, 2014

VOR: Team Vestas running aground

Sucks to be the Skipper / Navigator this week. Lucky everyone is okay! Will be interesting to see if they can get back into the race though it seems really doubtful with such extensive damage. Its not clear yet if they'll even retrieve the boat but I really hope so!

Tuning: New prebend

Been playing with the mast some more, as we've had good speed my fingers are crossed that I haven't broken that but only improved it.

Last week I managed to get rid of the hook at the top of the mast - basically by rolling back to everything loose and re-tightening. I suspect the D2 pressure induced the hook.

Afterwards though I took a picture up the mast track decided the mast was not longer in column. One of the problems I had been having was setting the D2 tension so yesterday I went back up, dismantled them, cleaned them and had another go. Cleaning them made a HUGE difference. Previously the idea of hand tight was impossible, as you couldn't turn them by hand even when loose, now you can and I feel more confident about their tension.

In the picture below you can see the turnbuckle - there are rotating sleeves at A and B. As pressure increases A will likely bind and you have to be careful too not rotate the rod rigging - I started by trying to grip the rod but moved to gripping the turnbuckle body instead.

Straight? Straighter for sure.

 Notice the lack of bend up high.

Old shot for reference

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Race: America's cup - bah humbug!

Was really hoping this came to SD, even with our fickle winds getting up close to the boats would have been a lot of fun.

Not to be...

What do they have that we don't?? :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Race: Volvo Ocean Race - SCA in a better place?

I'll make no bones about supporting SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race. Firstly they have the least experience in round the world sailing of any of the crews even if skipper Sam Davies could out grizzle most grizzled sailors out there (not in terms of appearances), secondly they're all an all girl team and sailing is extremely male dominated.

After being in last place for a couple of days they finally started to look good last night:

With light airs hitting everyone and lifting the fleet the right started to look good. What's more wind is going to fill in from behind the fleet.

This morning Abu Dubai had tacked, and my gut says that SCA should too though I haven't properly checked the GRIBs. SCA is going to get the new wind early and look well placed.

The wind in the image below is for later today (I think, the time scrubber isn't very accurate).

Overall though the fleet has compressed and it'll be interesting to see how today and tomorrow play out.

Here's a nice clip from Brunel showing the fun they've been having over the last few days - probably enjoying a respite right now!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Race: Hot Rum II Lessons

Learning all the time here. Yesterday's race was terrible, we placed 101 out of 124, taking our overall position to 80th.

We can make this respectable in the next race.

And I could have saved it early on. As we pulled away from the start line we had wind but were slow relative to both the other 36.7s and targets. We stayed slow. We aren't slow anymore.

Lesson 1. Don't be slow. We aren't slow. Know how fast you are relative to the other boats and react if you aren't keeping up or overtaking. React early.

Lesson 2. Need to train more people in checking for kelp using the camera, or get a kelp window installed in the hull.

Lesson 3 (II). Get better at clearing kelp. The flosser doesn't work, reason being it floats at the top of the keel and generally the kelp is spread down the keel. Last time kelp messed up a race we decided to add weights to the flosser to help drag the kelp off the keel. The weights are on the boat but not on the flossing line. The idea is to try and avoid backing down, get the flosser to the top of the keel and drop the weights either side to pull the line down. Tomorrow I go to the boat and put the weights on the line.

Lesson 4. Work down when you can. Having caught back up too the fleet we should have beaten Fandango but went too high. They beat us by 30 seconds across the line and less in reality as we had starboard rights on them.

Here's a quick edit from Jonathan.