Sunday, February 10, 2013

Strictly Sail Chicago and rebuilding the Genoa cars.

Strictly Sail Chicago Panorama View

For the last several years my wife and I have been trying to get to Strictly Sail in Chicago.  Lets face it in when 9 degrees and it looks like this outside your not super motivated to go outside. 

Problem has been each and every time over the last 3 years we have decided to go.  Something has come up to stop us family commitments, friends or sickness.   This year we finally made it.  Was it amazing yes.  Their was a lot to see and a lot to do but is is a one day event I would not plan on making it the whole weekend.  My advise is go early.  We got their right when it opened Saturday morning.  This is the time to start looking at the boats.  Later in the day the lines can get to be to long.  We spent most of the day going through and checking out all the boats.  BB took Myles back to the hotel for nap and I got to stay and go through a few more boats and pick out the ones I thought she should really see.  The kids area had a great bounce house set up and arts and crafts for the kids.  It was very nicely done.  After nap BB and Myles even went for a ride on the sailing simulator.  

Down the vendor lanes I chatted with the Petti Paint guy about the new eco paint I used this summer, and picked up a new hat.  Saw no less than three vendors recycling old sails into clothing and bags.  I have and old sail hanging around here I might change into a fleece lined blanket.  BB says it sounds like it might be crinkly.  She is probably right but I'm going to give it a shot any way.  

One of the renders had some nice Karver blocks.  Way to big for anything on my Typhoon but I decided to use this concept to repair my Schaefer Genoa Blocks.  

Karver Block from show.
My old Schaefer Genoa blocks are it pretty rough shape.  The sheet lines jam in the sheaves. This is great if you don't feel like cleating of the lines but not so great if you are tacking. The track cars and springs are all in good shape although tarnished a bit.  I contacted Schaefer and they are no longer rebuilding these blocks.  I'd read some place that they rebuilt them but this is no longer the case.  I went to West Marine looking for sheaves but as I started picking through the pins nuts and other parts that where going to be needed the sales associate said at that rate your getting close to purchasing new blocks.  She was right so that is what I did.  Problem is the shackles will not fit through the Schaefer cars.   

Schaefer blocks pre-revamp.  ie jam blocks.
So here is what I did.  First I used heaviest stainless rings pins I could find and hooked a set of Harken Carbo swiveling blocks to the Schaefer cars.  Then I spun the stand-up springs around the ring and base.  This looked like a good start to me but those ring clips could be the weak point.  I decided to add a little extra insurance and run a fine piece of double braid line to tie it all together.  If it works for a big boat why not  a Typhoon.  I ended up removing the core of the line and melting the ends.  This thinned the line just enough to allow it to pass trough the block with the ring pin.  I considered splicing it together but after a looking at it a while I decided to just go with a simple clean square knot and tuck the tails back under.  If it works well I'll might go back and splice it but that is some small line.  Total cost under $50.00 for both cars.  Not bad when you consider the Scaefer replacements would have run north of $200 for both blocks.

Step one ring and step spring.
Core Removed and fire.
Genoa block rebuilt

Close-up of base Genoa car. 

Winter Projects a New Jib

Kraken gets a new working jib. 

In the pile of parts and pieces that came with my Typhoon there was a working jib Sail Rite kit.  The previous owner had purchased a few kits from Sail Rite.  He had sewn up a storm jib and and oversize mainsail.  He just hadn't gotten to this one yet.   So, this winter's adventure has been to sew my first sail.  I've done plenty of canvas work before on my previous boats and plan to do some for Kraken this summer but, this is my first sail.
Basting seams
Sewing one of the larger seams.
Ooooo  String
I could not get my sewing machine to sew the correct zig zag pattern for the sail.  Turns out I don't have that cam.  So I took the kit to my parents for new years.  My Mom has a great sewing machine and an large kitchen island.  Well that it putting it mildly it's the largest kitchen island I've ever seen anywhere.  We spread out and set to work.  There were no shortage of interested helpers.  My Dad helped feed the sail through the sewing machine for a while, my brothers, even both my grandmothers helped out for a bit.  Each coming and going taking turns to make sure I hadn't broken anything yet or run a needle through my fingers.  After several hours of sewing I had the large parts assembled and took the kit home to finish off all the corner pieces and hand stitching.  All in all the hand stitching and machine sewing take about equal amounts of time.  It turns out that the hand sewing in far more dangerous than the machine sewing.  I punched through my thimble and got my hand pretty good.  I ended up purchasing a sewing awl to finish up the last corner.  It was a minor investment and a tool I'm sure I will use again.  Now just if spring would get here.  
sea saw
Trimming the ends
Basic hand sewing tools later I added a sewing awl .
Needle through thimble. Ouch.

Packing it up for winter

Sailing has been non-existent this September. With school back in session, I have time for very little else. The weekend weather has also b...