Saturday, November 16, 2019

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 been un-welcoming to sailing. It has either been raining or the waves have been huge. Lake Michigan is experiencing record-setting high water levels. When the waves on the big lake pick up they are crashing over the piers. I'm not interested in being picked up and set down on the jetty by a passing wave. Woodstock is now on her trailer and it is time to start packing stuff up and winterizing.  


This means packing all the sails and cushions off.

We are dropping the mast this year so I can change out the forestay. In the spring we are planning to install a roller furler and the forestay currently on the boat is set up for racing and won't work.

Tidying up

My homemade wood motor stand gave up the ghost last spring so I had to get a bit creative. I found I could hook my motor to my ladder for winterizing. 


First off I remove the spark plugs and squirt in a little oil.  Turn the motor over a few times to lube up the pistons well then put the plugs back in for winter.


Then I drain and refill the lower unit gear lube.  This Spring when I commission the motor I'm going to drop the lower unit and change out the water pump impeller.  It's been working well but as a precaution, it is time to replace it.  I will also put in new spark plugs. 






Next up I pulled out all the foresails and folded them up nicely for wintering over in the garage.  I'm considering converting or building a roller furling sail over the winter if time allows. 



Next, I took a look at my mainsails. I have 2 one is a Mirage 24 main. The other I picked up on eBay is a full battened main from an S2 7.6. The dimension on the S2 sail is slightly smaller than the Mirage sail but it is in excellent condition and when I was designing the bimini I was thinking I might need a bit more clearance at the boom.  Turns out I didn't but this is a nice addition to the Mirage's sail inventory none the less. I suspect the sail would be fairly equivalent to a Mirage's standard rig mine is the tall rig so I just have more sail up all the time. 




With all the software stowed for the winter, I headed back down and threw the winter cover on Snow will be here soon.






Friday, September 13, 2019

Building a Spinnaker Sock DIY

Spinnaker Socks are super nice for launching and recovering your spinnaker.  My last two boats have had them and after using one the benefits are clear. 1st off, sail handling is much easier especially if you're short-handed. 2nd, safety spinnaker socks let you launch and recover your spinnaker without everything being perfectly packed in a turtle bag another word fewer things to tangle up keeps it safer. Woodstock does not have one so we have not used the Spinnaker yet and our trip to Lake Mac last week would have been the ideal time to use a Spinnaker.  So it is time to look into this.  $17.00 per foot x 28 ft =$476 plus tax.  Hum lets go see what's in the garage. 

Any past readers remember this old post Boom Tent  Well this is one sewing project that didn't work out. However, I still have the material sitting here on a shelf and it is light enough and long enough to make into a sock. Now just to find one of those fancy fiberglass hoops they use to make these things.  *Eyes bathroom trash can, decides no.*   Off to look in the garage again. I know I need something fairly sturdy and round/oval shape.  I read someone made one from PVC pipe but had trouble with the squared edges. After a while, I found this piece of plastic conduit at the bottom of my house parts bin.


DIY Spinnaker Sock
With the conduit found I twisted it into a circle my diameter is about 9 inches. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
I shoved a wood dowel into the end's of the conduit and set it with screws. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Just like that a roundish ring for the bottom of the spinnaker sock.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Next, I laid out my rip-stop nylon. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
I used the ring to determine how much material I would need to remove the edge.  My full piece needed to be 37 1/2 inches wide and my length is 28 ft.

DIY Spinnaker SockDIY Spinnaker Sock
Once things are marked out it is time to cut.  This goes pretty easily once you have a good section started and straight you simply fold it over to provide a guideline for the next area. Working your way all the way to the end.  Now I have a nice 18 1/2 inch by 28 ft piece left over for another project and a good looking 37 1/2 inch piece on the right to make into a sock. Next step, relocate inside away from the mosquitos. 


DIY Spinnaker Sock
Inside I started by sewing a hem at the bottom of the sock large enough to slide the electrical conduit through. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Then I folded the material in half.


Next, I sew the whole length together.  It is a long long run so be sure to fill your sewing machine bobbin before you start. I use a zig-zag stitch the whole length so this will take a bit more thread but it will add a lot of strength. Also, this is the inside of the sock so your stitch won't be visible when you are finished.


DIY Spinnaker Sock
Once the entire run is done I did a little trimming and turned the whole sock through its self. It is now right side out and the whole seam is hidden.


DIY Spinnaker Sock
With the big part of this done it is now time to put in the bottom ring.  I slide the conduit into the hem at the bottom of the sock. Put in the screws. Then I taped over the joint with tarp tape. This is to prevent water from getting into the conduit and cover the screw heads to prevent chafing. 


DIY Spinnaker Sock
The next step is setting up the bottom of the sock for bridals. This is an important piece for raising and lowering the sock. To do this I use tarp grommets this kit was under $5 at Menards. To start I use the marking tool above to set my location. Then cut a small hole in the material.  
This sock will have 3 grommets in it just above the conduit ring.  



DIY Spinnaker Sock
With the hole cut, you place the grommet through.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Put the cap on the top.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Line up the stamping tool with the bottom.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Then WACK! 

Grommet

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Oh, wait I mean Grommet. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Three times and you're done. Be selective place them around the circle in thirds. 
DIY Spinnaker Sock DIY Spinnaker Sock
Now the fun part, stringing up the bridals. The inner one is the easy one it is two parts. I made this with one string placing a larks head in the center and attaching the ends to two grommet points. This will go up inside the sock and get attached to the socks internal halyard. Later you can play with it and adjust it so the sock moves up further or not as far depending on your boats needs. The outer bridal uses all three grommet points and comes down outside.  This will attach to the retrieval line to bring the sock back down and douse the sail. Three points will give you a bit more control when bringing everything back down. 


DIY Spinnaker Sock
Now for the sock head mechanics. I started with a nylon strap and a cheek block. I sewed a second nylon strap to the first for additional support and provide a thicker base for the nuts.


DIY Spinnaker Sock
Then I added a shackle to the bottom loop. This is the Spinnaker head attachment point. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
To finish off the strap I warped the nuts with rigging tape.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
I tapered the top of the sock. Then on the inside of the sock, I sewed a Sunbrella patch to protect the nylon from wearing through.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Attach the nylon webbing to the top of the sock. Be sure to sew above the cheek block and below it. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
With the patches and the webbing secured it is time to close up the top.



DIY Spinnaker Sock
I used some dacron sail edging during this process. One of the sides needs to be left open so the sock lift halyard can be run through it. 

DIY Spinnaker SockDIY Spinnaker Sock
 Once finished this is what the head looks like.  The Nyon strap comes out the top for the Spinnaker halyard to attach it to. 



DIY Spinnaker Sock

DIY Spinnaker Sock
With all the sewing done it's time to lace up the sock halyard.  Through the cheek block to the two-point bridal inside the sock.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Then the 3 point bridal gets a line attached to it as well. Some people will make this one continuous line but I tend the think it works better as separate lines. Plus I color code them this way Green is spinnaker up Red is Spinnaker Down.

DIY Spinnaker Sock
The finished project! Now to go stuff a spinnaker into it. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Now for the test. I found this great tree house to tie the head too.



DIY Spinnaker Sock
It deployed nicely. 

DIY Spinnaker Sock
Recovery was super slick. 

Mirage 24 Spinnaker Sock
Now for some dock-side testing up goes the sock on the spinnaker halyard.

Up goes the sock. I have a little adjusting to do on the sock bridal to get it up all the way but things are looking good.

Mirage 24 Spinnaker Sock
 Now just to find a day to go sailing. 








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...