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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The search for our next boat has come to a conclusion.

This weekend I finalized the transaction on our new boat a Mirage 24! This boat is a Canadia Sailboat Hall of Fame boat, designed by Cuthbertson & Cassian ( C&C yachts ).  This is the boat I went to look at back in January when it was 14 degrees out and blizzarding.  It was snowing so hard we actually stayed at a hotel instead of coming home that night. 

These boats are built with amazing quality and care.  While not as weighty as the Cape Dory"s neither of the Mirages I looked at were decaying from core rot that seems to plaque so many other boats of the time period.  

This particular Mirage is the Tall Rig version. Which set it ahead of the other Mirage I looked at off the bat.  The Tall rig has a slightly taller mast equating to a bit more speed.  Not that we are planning on racing but some times a bit more speed can help us cruisers get to our destinations a little sooner and can help us duck incoming poor weather. 

Overall the boat is in good condition, structurally.  The previous owner being a mechanical engineer clearly spent some time making sure bolts were torqued, fittings were done right and deck hardware was re-bedded when needed. 

Aesthetically the boat needs some work the hull is heavily oxidized even though the pictures don't show it.  I'm hoping this will not involve wet sanding the gel coat but suspect it may.  

The boat comes with a custom trailer. This is not the boat ramp kind of trailer so we won't be launching this one anytime soon at the local ramp.  This weekend I spent time strapping the mast down and getting the boat ready to be moved. 

The fin keel design is similar to the Chaser 29 we owned prior to our Typhoon.  This appeals to me as we should be able to point much higher into the wind.  One of the best parts of this boat is the size of the keel trunk on this boat.  The keel trunk is larger and better distributed than the C&C 25 we looked at making for less possibility of separation also the interior keel bolts are better laid out. 

The cabin was one of the biggest reasons we liked this boat.  Bigger than the Typhoon's and still small enough to clean up quickly. We have a little bit of personalizing to do in this space but we think it will be perfect for some overnight adventures this summer.

I came home to start laying out and checking out the sails and it started to snow.  Agh winter GO Away! 

Mirage 24 resources:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Search for the Next Boat and the list.

Some people were surprised that I sold our Typhoon. Truth is, the Typhoon is a great boat but it was time to move on.  We simply want to be able to make some slightly longer passages have a bit more room for overnight camping and the Typhoon just was too small to do those things with. 

For some time, I have been looking over the horizon and creating a list of cool boats.  Here it is. 

Note: you will not find a boat over 25 feet on my list.  The annual dock costs double for any boat here over 25 ft.  So, while there are a lot of great boats over 25 ft long, financial costs have to be considered.

The Classics:   Albergs, and Hershoff's

Herrshoff Eagle 22  is one of my favorite boats.  A great classic look, that topsail in just too cool.  The killers here are the cabin size is to small for our family weekending purposes and the desire to stay away from any mechanical swing keel boat as we plan on doing more Lake Michigan coastal sailing trips. 

Cape Cod Marlin 23  Super cool boat I have only once seen a used one for sale out on the east coast.  They are apparently building them again now but wow $$$$$  New in not in my price range. 

Kittiwake 23       All of these are Alberg design variations in the 22-23 foot range. I find them very appealing.  With a PHRF rating around 280, it may be a stretch for these boats to reach the distances we are hoping to travel.  

Cape Dory 25  While not an Alberg design, this is one boat we went and looked at. One popped up for sale a few docks away last summer.  The cabin was nice but the owner had removed the galley and had stripped it down for day sailing.  We also were not a big fan of the narrowish beam and it seemed only slightly more stable in the water than our Typhoon. 

Quickstep 24  This Brewer design is one of my favorites. The lines here are just so amazing and I love the canoe style aft quarter. A very neat boat with only about 23 of these built market availability is somewhat limited. Many of them are not in great condition.

Bristol 24  Having looked at two of these in the last year they are amazing.  Cabin wise, there is a ton of room and the boat has those classic lines you expect to see on a full keel boat. The first one we looked at was a project gone bad.  The owner dropped the mast and the deck was a bit of a wreck. The second was off in the middle of the state.  A farm field boat. It was in much better condition cosmetically, however, the keel was suffering from significant water intrusion that would have required some serious effort to dry it out. The boat was also missing several key rigging components. Again, full keel boats have significant range limitations due to their speed.

Hinterholler 25 Is one of the early Keelboat designs.  A stretched out version of the Shark 24 these boats have a nice look to them.  However, everything I have read and seen about them they seem to have some significant structural issues that pushed them out of consideration for us. One of my favorite video bloggers did a review of one a few years back.  Here's the link.

Some Newer Designed Keelboats (70's-80's)

S2 7.3 Now this is a newer design that was built just 5 miles from my house. Surprisingly there are not a lot of them around here. S2, now, Tiara yachts has a good reputation, however, some of these boats are tending to have balsa deck coring issues.  This is a high potential boat for our purposes, especially with the shoal draft version. 

Mirage 24 This the C&C design that got away. C&C sold this design off to one of their dealers who went to Canada and started the Mirage line of boats. We have looked at two of these both well built and holding up despite their age. A high contender for our next boat.

C&C24  We went and checked one of these out. This one is just all over the place. Not sure what the designer was thinking. The weird head placement, mainsheet anchored to the center of the cockpit floor for us, we just did not love this boats set up. Also, the one I walked on had decks so soft I thought my foot was going to go through the cabin top.

C&C 25 When C&C realized how successful the Mirage 24 was doing they released this boat. Very similar to the Mirage the C&C has a larger cabin and a shorter keel. Some of them were equipped with inboards. Having looked at two of these now both of them had some minor water intrusion around deck fittings nothing major.  However, both also had keel joint separation issues or smiles. 

Hunter 25  This one should have been a consideration but after talking to a few owners they have not loved the boat for their sail-ability.  So these were bumped from our list.

Catalina 25 A great boat, my Uncle currently has one and this is one of the most popular boats ever built in this size range.  Truly a consideration especially in a fin keel. This boat has ample cabin space and is a dependable boat.

Catalina 250 This is one I felt had great potential but the open design of these newer boats in a non-starter for my wife.  She likes the privacy the bulkhead between the v-berth and main cabin provide.

Beneteau First 235:  While loved by their owners I just can't see us in one.  These boats are faster than anything else we are looking at. The reviews say they can be a bit unstable at times. We're not looking for a race that we will need to sit on the gunwale to keep upright. Also, the price point on these is right at the top of our range so there would be little room for improvement. The 235 has the modern open layout not loved by my wife and the aft quarter berth just I can't see anyone sleeping in there.

Hunter 23 FK  We took a look at one of these.  It is very reminiscent of my old Catalina 22. Great boat for 2 but a bit crowded for three.

So far these are the boats we have considered if you have any suggestions throw them down in the comments. I can't wait to see what's on your daydream list. =-)

Meanwhile, we are off to look at another boat this time in St. Claire. It's 14 degrees here.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mackinaw City

Waking up early to look at boats. Mackinaw City is four and a half hours from my house.   

6 AM roll time.

January heading up north for most means Snowmobiles or skiing. I feel a bit out of place wearing my deck shoes and getting ready to walk on a boat. 

The marina storage has a giant windmill.

Keel smile, that's not a good sign on this model boat.

Boat out the water for several years and a bilge full of water and rusty keel bolts. I think we have found the cause of the keel smile.

Sure the outboard can be pulled up, that's why you modified the rudder.

Well with the soft deck and other issues this boat turned out being a bust.  At least lunch at Audie's was great.

Also, fit in a trip to Big Mac before heading home.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The games a foot....

This weekend we really started the hunt for a new boat.  Well I've been hunting a while but we took to the road to look at two boats. Neither ended up being the one but oh the cool treasures you find along the way....See photos below and sarcasm.

Sea cocks you can remove by hand. I mean remove from the hull.

Storage plans for not the boat you are on.

A Loran, so we will never get lost.

I think I can relaminate that tiller, Its probably fine.

Climb under the shrink wrap the tiller is delaminated the decks probably fine right.

Mythical Creatures

Count the plugs, yeah that is the Atomic 2. Good luck finding parts for a tune up, hope nothing major goes.

This compass works well with the Loran.

More boats to look at soon.

T-0 days until launch

In and ready to start another great season here on Lake Michigan!