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. 


  1. Thanks so much for the Blog on your CD. I purchased the identical vessel in Charleston, South Carolina, from a Marine Engineer. Mine is a 1974 and looks practically identical to your earliest photos. I've taken notes on your recommendations and look forward to asking questions as I go along. All my teak parts are in my garage after a first sanding. I am taking my time, doing this in stages. My hull is clean and well taken care of but I do have some questions about sails, budget minded roller furlers for my weekender. So, perhaps we can begin the conversation? Thanks, Skeep.

  2. Hi Skeep. Go ahead and ask away. I'm not sure that I know all that much about furlers. I did however look into it and considered the The Harken small boat furler. The problem is you would need to have a fore stay sewn into the sails. If I where going to do a furler this is the way I'd go lest parts to break or bend when dropping the masst. I don't see a furler as necessary for me, and the type of sailing I'm doing but to each their own. I'm actually going to build a fore deck sail bag here in the next few weeks.

  3. Chris, thanks. I lost the web page for a few days while I was varnishing with Epiphanes, which by the way, I purcahsed on your recommendation and it has been fabulous. Waiting for the pieces to harden up before wet sanding with 600 and then applying one last finish coat.

    The furler issue is the result of having a 150 genoa which has hanks on it---former owner. Not sure what he was thinking. Sail is new so I'm trying to do a work around on that. We have one sail guy in Columbia SC so I'll consult with him on a fix. I've found CDI ( ) in CA to supply a furler for small Dories like ours which is not too pricey.

    I'm now starting into cleaning the hull and would like your recomnendations on that. I've looked at West Marine stuff and will need a stronger grit to remove stains if I use a grit. Have looked at hull cleaners like vinegar (worked well for the winch mounts by the way) and have looked at more toxic remedies like toilet bowl cleaner with peroxide!! But it appears to work. I have a very nice salt water stain above my boot stripe which is begging for removal. Ideas that worked for you?

    Thanks for the reply will get this blog sent to my email. thanks Chris

  4. I use a product called easy off it does a nice job on that yellow salt line. Just be careful with it it is strong stuff. Gloves and gogles.

  5. Chris, I didn't see your reply before I had tried another combination of toilet bowl cleaner and hydrogen peroxide which nearly did the trick, very little stain remaining. Is Easy Off the oven cleaner product to which you refer?

    Would like your thoughts also on the boot stripe. Did you calculate it or simply follow what you had? And, what type of paint did you use, i.e., brand?

    One more question on transom. My teak is pretty worn on the transom and am looking at a refabrication. Did you redo yours? Do you have any advice on whether that piece on the deck needs steaming in order to accomodate the curvature of the deck? I am of the opinion that it doesn't need steaming from what I have read. Your advice?

  6. Oops sorry the cleaner I used is called ON and OFF: Here's the link

    Boot Stripe: I used this video and made up one of their projectors. I used the top of my existing boot strip and projected down. It came out pretty well.

    I used Interlux bright sides Paint.

    The Teak on my transom is is decent shape so I didn't replace it. I'm not sure but my thinking is you could do it with out steaming but you will have to cut that curvature in. Which means a lot of waste and teak is pricey. Steaming you would for sure be able to make that bend and you'd have less waste saving you a few bucks in the end.

    Sorry I could not get the links to be simple clicks You'll have to copy and paste them.

  7. Chris, great info. That is what I was wondering, ref the increasing size of the boot stripe toward aft. Lots of southerners are using plain ole tape, "caus it's cheap and ah don't want ta spend much muney" ughhh.

    I was not impressed with my initial products from West Marine but have used 3Ms liquid compound and 3Ms polish for great success. My scum line has almost disappeared now but I'm still looking to improve the hull's look.

    I'll probably stand up a blog soon to highlight some of this too.