Sunday, June 16, 2019

2nd Mirage trip.

Last weekend we headed out with my parents for our second trip on our new to us 1976 Mirage. The winds were blowing from the east and most everyone out on the lake had their furlers reefed in. We sailed under main only and hit a new speed record of 6.4 knots.  This boat just zips along.  I need to get the reefing lines sorted out and figure out how they are all supposed to run. Something is telling me that with this tall rig mast I'm going to need to be reefing more often. Here are some great pictures from the day. 

Wild blue yonder. 

Myles was not too happy at the start of the trip.  This was his first experience with this boat heeling over and he was struggling with where to hold on.  As the day went on and he got more comfortable things improved. 

Crewing today my Mom and Dad just back from their first retirement RV trip. 

The return trip up the channel is great fun. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Inspection and Shake Down

Sunday morning we made it down to the marina in time for the club's annual meeting and blessing of the fleet.  Upon our arrival, we were met with some beautiful blue skies.

The skies, however, changed pretty quickly and we spent most of the day playing around in the cabin waiting out the storms.

This was a good thing because the Coast Guard Auxiliary was doing safety inspections.  The officer was very helpful.  He suggested I check into the fire extinguisher, apparently several of the Kidde ones have been recalled.  Turns out our's has not been but it was an easy thing to check. We passed our safety inspection without a hitch. These safety inspections are a good thing to go through especially with a new boat.  It helps you work through and make sure you have not forgotten anything important.

BB ran into town while we were waiting on the weather and Myles and I had our first lunch aboard.  

Finally, our patience paid off.  A break in the weather arrived and we headed up the river to Lake Michigan for our first trip out on our Mirage! The radar showed one more rainstorm just to the south of our location.  When we headed out into the open lake we could see it passing between us and South Haven.  So we sailed north. What a great decision this turned out to be.  We were able to ride the breeze off the weather front most of the way to Holland.  

North  or 


About an hour into our sail the front passed south of us and took along with it all our wind. 

We ended up coming back with the iron genny but overall, we're very happy with our new boat and our first trip out for the season.  Brr, it's still cold up here.

Safe and sound back at the dock.

Myles and I decided it was time to really put the cabin to the test and stayed aboard for the first time. Both of us agree this is the best place to sleep.  To bad for BB, she will have to wait another weekend to sleep aboard she has a cold and decided to go home for the night.

That front hatch is great too.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

2 days until launch puzzling it together.

This boat is a 1976 Mirage over the years it has had three previous owners making me the 4th. Today I'm starting the work of rigging her.  Each owner surely brought their own ideas and flare to modifying and improving the rigging and today I am puzzling together what goes where and how. I started by tuning in the mast.  I'm not sure exactly what the tensions numbers are supposed to be on a Mirage 24.  After scouring the internet the best I could come up with were tension numbers for a C&C 25. So I started slightly below those numbers for tuning and straightening the mast. After a little turnbuckle tweaking, I was satisfied with the mast column and the ease of it all.  The adjustable backstay in another super nice addition to this boat, I've missed from my previous boats. 

Next, I moved to the foredeck.  The last owner had used the boat in a few races with his grandson although I think they were racing J.A.M.  He made some modifications over the winter to the running rigging set up and we had spent some time talking about the changes prior to my purchasing the boat. In my last post the block that got stuck under the mast while we were stepping it was one of his new modifications.  He lowered the blocks for the halyard, topping lift and down hall to the mast step.  The theory is that the lower to the deck the better the angle will be for all the lines run back to the cockpit. This is a pretty standard set up for standard symmetric spinnaker so there is not a lot of sorting to be done and things pretty much go where they go no fan fair here. The wire jib halyard was also pretty easy to sort out seems we used it back on Thursday to step the mast.  

Now it was time to pop open my rigging box and start on the aft deck.  The boom, mainsheet, and boom vang were the logical place to start. On this boat the boom gooseneck slide on to a track at the mast. Then once the mainsail is bent on the whole track move up and acts as a sail stop. Everything on this boat is so adjustable I love it. 

With those sorted, I moved on the topping lift.  There are several options here. I'm not sure which of the cheek blocks are for the slab reefing. Likely all of them so for now, I have settled on a single block near the back of the boom but I sure liked the way it looked in the cheek block. 

Now the fun part I put the mainsail on and moved the boom track up to lock it all in.  The cunningham is a bit of a mystery. There are several cheek blocks mounted to that mast some are for the reefing and there are two cleats labeled for it. So here I did my best guessing and suspect changes will be occurring as I bring my own flare to the rig's design. 

The breeze is also starting to pick up so I secured the sail and will have to sort out all the reefing lines sometime after the boat is in the water.  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Mast Up. #3daystolaunch

Mother Nature has really been playing some tricks this week.  We have had a ton of rain and very patchy sun.  Thursday after work and between the Thunder Storms we stepped the mast for the 1st time on this boat.  About halfway up I noticed one of the running rigging blocks mounted to the mast step had flipped itself over and was under the mast after a few seconds I was able to free it and we were able to finish getting the mast up the rest of the way.  Myles our videographer on this and BB with the editing.  

Regardless we got the mast us and secured just in time for it to start raining.  As we left the marina drops started landing on our windshield once more. I will have to spend some time tuning in the rig and getting all the running rigging on later this weekend.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bottom paint Tuesday

The clock is ticking with just 6 days left until our scheduled launch it is time to break out the respirator and bottom paint materials.  Today we had ideal weather for painting. The temperature was in the low 60's. So it was warm enough to paint comfortably but not so hat the paint evaporates of your brush.  

Gloves, paint sticks, respirator, and grimy clothes. 

I start the bottom by cutting in the water line with a paint brush.  I use the disposable foam brushes because nothing I dip in VC-17 is coming home. 

Then I roll on the first coat of paint. 

 Two coats later and two hours I have a nice sleek copper bottom. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mothers Day Weekend

The most stressful part is over.  After planning packing and preparing the boat to be moved it is over. 
The boat arrived today around noon and I got right to work on it.  No time to waste as the launch date is 9 days out. 

The boat is heavily oxidized so I started with washing it and then hit it with 3M Super Duty Compound.     
After the first half of the hull, was done I stopped to take a break and it took me a good 5 minutes to find those safety glasses.  Yeah, the ones on top of my head. 

Zoomed in here you can see the difference.  Left size compounding complete, right side still looks like a powdered doughnut.

Sunday we picked up where we left off and I ran over the entire hull again with 3M Fitness Polish. This is a fine polishing compound that really brings out the shine.   

#Bestwife ever came down on mothers day and helped out by painting the cove line.

Then we put on a coat of wax to seal in all that polish and painting.

BB even helped get the mast down of the deck so I could re-rig and inspect all the hardware.  Then we put it back up.  

Thirty-Six hours later and the boat is completely different.

So time for some Mother's Day Hibachi!   Yum.

2nd Mirage trip.

Last weekend we headed out with my parents for our second trip on our new to us 1976 Mirage. The winds were blowing from the east and most ...