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Great New Articles from SailNet - 07/11/07

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  • Bill Scanlon
    ... Dear SailNet Member! This week, SailNet eNews delivers a diverse mix of articles and forum discussions for DIY sailors, cruisers, rookies and veterans.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2007
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      sailing photo

      Dear SailNet Member!
      This week, SailNet eNews delivers a diverse mix of articles and forum discussions for DIY sailors, cruisers, rookies and veterans. Good Old Boat's Confessions of a Bottom Feeder discusses how to find and refurbish bargain sailboats, while our feature from Practical Sailor looks at the safety issues involved in storing your life raft. In the forums, our members trade comments on furling mainsail options and offer tips on docking large boats in small spaces.

      Fair Winds.

      Chris — SailNet Crew

      A Good Old Boat Magazine Featured Article
      Confessions of a Bottom Feeder

      Good Old Boat
      Free Issue Offer
      Bob Brintnall looks at how to fix bargain boats and make a modest fortune.

      "I know about guys like you," the old yard worker said as we strolled the back fence. "You're a bottom feeder. You look for old hulks that nobody wants anymore, make a few insulting offers, and if nobody bites, you move on to the next yard 'cuz eventually somebody will."

      I tried to laugh him off. "Got anything with deck rot?" I gibed. The truth is, he was right. I am the poster child of bottom feeders. It started in college. I bought three small boats from a YMCA camp for $50 and made two sailable vessels from the three hulls. I sold one for $275 and the other for $500 and almost dropped out of school. Fortunately, my next boat—a soggy wooden Lightning that I ended up scrapping—convinced me to finish college.

      Once I started teaching, I realized the only way I was ever going to afford cruising on such a salary was to bottom feed. I've made some money, but mostly I've stayed in boats and thus made the most of my profession's three great perks: June, July, and August."

      Read the rest of "Confessions of a Bottom Feeder"

      A Practical Sailor Magazine Featured Article
      Life Raft Stowage:
      The Overlooked Necessity

      Practical Sailor
      Subscription Offer
      "Sometimes, it seems that safety is a dirty word in the boatbuilding industry. A favorite marketing catchword is "bluewater cruiser." We assume this means a boat capable of going to sea, rather than a boat designed to tiptoe along the shore.

      But when you go aboard the "bluewater cruiser", more often than not you find a boat most suited for blue water when it is secured to the deck of a ship enroute to the dealer.

      Nowhere is this more apparent than in the provisions made for the stowage of life rafts. Or rather, the lack of provision made."

      View more of "Life Raft Stowage"

      Hot Forum Discussions
      Furling Mainsails
      SimonV asked about furling masks in a recent discussion:

      "Hi all: Has anybody had/used a loose-footed mast furling Main? The one I have seen furls on to the foil that is set parallel to the mast, much like a headsail furler. Obviously this is not set for a racer but for cruising short handed. I wait with baited anticipation for your answers, and thank you in advance."

      Haleka136, along with many others, spoke of her own experience."Sorry SD but the only thing I can agree with is the part about adding weight aloft. I had a boat with in mast and LOVED it. On my new boat it's the ONE thing I REALLY miss. In 35 years of sailing I never had a more usefull feature! Never had a jam, the sail shape was beautiful and and I regularly beat my sistership who had a deep fin and a full batten dutchman system.

      A good sailor with RF main can still kick a mediocre sailors butt even if they "theoretically" have the faster boat.. On Catalinas the booms on RF main boats is longer to compensate for the lost roach and slightly shorter on non RF boats. All the hype about jams and such are from people who don't know how to use one correctly. You NEVER point directly into the wind to furl an in mast main but I see people do it all the time and then they blame the system for jamming..

      Even in non-existant wind my RF main boat was a sprightly performer..."

      View the rest of the threads on this subject.

      Hot Forum Discussions
      Docking Tricks
      Tom Shannon asked for some assistance with a specific docking question in the Seamanship forum.

      "I'm looking for some help with docking in what for me is a tight space. I have a 42' boat that I'm very new to. I don't yet have a feel for her handling characteristics. The clearance from the end of my slip across to the far boat is at best 50'. To get back into the slip I need to turn to port and usually have a crosswind from port. Compounding the problem is that in reverse my stern has a marked tendency to go to port. So, being new to the boat I'm not doing real well judging the right combination of proper speed for steerage and when to make the turn. If I miss on the first attempt there is not much room to maneuver (I seem to get out of the slip with no real problems). Two things I'm considering are backing in with a spring or trying to move to the opposite side of the dock. Both would mean the stern movement to port would actually help, not hinder me. Both would probably be better for my neighbor's hearts. Any other ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated."

      The reponses included diagrams, photos and plenty of suggestions. John R was the first with a tip. "I have used a bridle of sorts for making that tight squeeze into my previous slip. I ran line from both of the rear pilings to a center point forward in the slip. This created a "V" into which I could simply point the boat and rest assured that the bridle would catch the boat. I thought of it as training wheels until I got used to getting into the slip.

      For getting out of the slip, I have often times had to put a line on a cleat near the midsection, and make a wrap or two around the rear pilings in order to pivot boat-- especially in high winds. Of course, you could always get a bow-thruster and never have to worry about any of that!

      View the rest of the Docking Tricks thread.

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