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Re: RIP Jim Melcher

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  • Annie Hill
    I met Jim Melcher in the Bahamas in the early 90s - can t remember exactly when - in Georgetown to be precise. We were in Badger and took him for a sail -
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 24, 2010
      I met Jim Melcher in the Bahamas in the early 90s - can't remember
      exactly when - in Georgetown to be precise. We were in 'Badger' and
      took him for a sail - he was an instant convert. At the time he was
      debating sailing the Atlantic in his 'Romp' design and the first time
      they crossed the Atlantic, it was in a steamer, but subsequently they
      sailed east/west together.

      We met again in Falmouth in 1996, I think it was. By then he was
      thinking of putting a classic Hasler/McLeod rig in the boat, but was
      unfortunately talked out of it by Lin and Larry Pardey who were (a)
      horrified that anyone would not sail with Bermudian rig and (b)
      scandalised that someone would eliminate rigging. I rather gathered
      that they didn't like junk rig very much.

      Jim and I lost contact about 10 years ago, but he had told me on several
      occasions that he really regretted fitting his hermaphrodite rig to the
      boat and wished he'd gone the whole hog. He was in his 70s then and
      reckoned that he didn't really have the time nor the energy for yet
      another rig on /Alerte/. He must have been in his 80s and a fine
      example to us all that you don't need a 45ft,highly sophisticated and
      expensive yacht to cross oceans and follow your dream.

      I hope his name and that of /Alerte/ live on and that she ends up in
      good hands, continuing her roving life rather than swinging at a mooring
      for most of the year.

      Annie


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jim Creighton
      As I read this, I wondered to myself why Jim would have listened to the Pardeys advice. A few hours later, I sheepishly remembered that I had based my
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 26, 2010
        As I read this, I wondered to myself why Jim would have listened to the Pardeys' advice. A few hours later, I sheepishly remembered that I had based my decision to build a North Atlantic 29 partly on an article the Pardeys had written in the 70's. Of course, I also chose it on its own merits.

        They had surveyed a number of cruising boats and came to the conclusion that the boats the stayed cruising the longest were manned by married couples in vessels averaging 29 ft. So, since the NA29 was 29 ft and designed for two people, it seemed to fit a winning formula. I had no idea at the time, however, what they thought of the junk rig. By the time my boat was launched, 12 years later, I think the "ideal" size according to other surveys had crept up to 35 ft or so for cruisers.

        Cheers, Jim

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Annie Hill
        To: junkrig@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:55 PM
        Subject: [junkrig] Re: RIP Jim Melcher


        Snip...

        We met again in Falmouth in 1996, I think it was. By then he was
        thinking of putting a classic Hasler/McLeod rig in the boat, but was
        unfortunately talked out of it by Lin and Larry Pardey who were (a)
        horrified that anyone would not sail with Bermudian rig and (b)
        scandalised that someone would eliminate rigging. I rather gathered
        that they didn't like junk rig very much.

        Snip...


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John Gerlach
        I met the Pardey s when I went to see Taliesin when she was just about decked. I was occasionally sailing on a friend s junk rigged Gazelle at the time
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 26, 2010
          I met the Pardey's when I went to see Taliesin when she was just about decked. I was occasionally sailing on a friend's junk rigged Gazelle at the time although I never discussed the junk rig with them. To their credit, they are both very focused on what has been proven to work through time and what has kept people alive. They also continually test that data against their own experiences. All of this makes them extremely conservative in their nautical views but they are still alive and cruising after all of these years. Up until Annie's books on long term cruising with a junk rig there were really only a limited amount of information regarding long term cruising with the rig so it is hard to fault them for being unwilling to support a relatively unknown technology. If you have read the book Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, as all of you should, this makes very good sense.

          Personally, I think the junk rig is superior in every way for cruising from my day use of the rig and from the writings of Annie and Tom Colvin. One area that I feel uneasy about because so little has been written on the subject is how to handle a two sail junk rig under survival conditions. Colvin says the rig won't heave-to which is a very big negative in my book. My guess is that you just need to set a small storm sail in the right position to keep the boat positioned within its slick.

          Annie, if you read this, perhaps you could write a short article on storm tactics? Pardon me if you already have and I have missed it.

          Best,

          John

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jaroslav Cmunt
          Hi, first time poster here. This interests me, because I am building a boat for long term cruising and I plan two masted junk rig configuration. I was under
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 26, 2010
            Hi,
            first time poster here.

            This interests me, because I am building a boat for long term cruising
            and I plan two masted junk rig configuration. I was under impression
            that such sailplan would heave-to well, after all it has the same
            flexibility as a sloop or cutter bermudan rig. Pardeys think the same.

            From their book Storm Tactics (last edition):

            ... He has now been sailing his 34-foot Benford-designed, junk-rigged
            schooner Zebedee for six years and 20,000 miles, voyaging from British
            Columbia to New Zealand. Her sister-ship, Badger, took Annie and Pete
            Hill around the world and as far as the Falkland Islands. ... Alan,
            like Hills, had nothing but praise for the ability of his boat to
            heave-to in winds of 45 or 50 knots. "That's the most I have
            encountered so far," Alan made clear.

            So, am I missing something important?

            Jaroslav

            On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM, John Gerlach <gerlach1@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > I met the Pardey's when I went to see Taliesin when she was just about decked. I was occasionally sailing on a friend's junk rigged Gazelle at the time although I never discussed the junk rig with them. To their credit, they are both very focused on what has been proven to work through time and what has kept people alive. They also continually test that data against their own experiences. All of this makes them extremely conservative in their nautical views but they are still alive and cruising after all of these years. Up until Annie's books on long term cruising with a junk rig there were really only a limited amount of information regarding long term cruising with the rig so it is hard to fault them for being unwilling to support a relatively unknown technology. If you have read the book Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, as all of you should, this makes very good sense.
            >
            > Personally, I think the junk rig is superior in every way for cruising from my day use of the rig and from the writings of Annie and Tom Colvin. One area that I feel uneasy about because so little has been written on the subject is how to handle a two sail junk rig under survival conditions. Colvin says the rig won't heave-to which is a very big negative in my book. My guess is that you just need to set a small storm sail in the right position to keep the boat positioned within its slick.
            >
            > Annie, if you read this, perhaps you could write a short article on storm tactics? Pardon me if you already have and I have missed it.
            >
            > Best,
            >
            > John
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
          • David
            ... Hi all, I routinely heave to in Tystie (ketch configuration). I reef down to 2 or 3 panels in each sail, and strap them amidships. My double (port and
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 26, 2010
              --- In junkrig@yahoogroups.com, Jaroslav Cmunt <jcmunt@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi,
              > first time poster here.
              >
              > This interests me, because I am building a boat for long term cruising
              > and I plan two masted junk rig configuration. I was under impression
              > that such sailplan would heave-to well, after all it has the same
              > flexibility as a sloop or cutter bermudan rig. Pardeys think the same.
              >
              > From their book Storm Tactics (last edition):
              >
              > ... He has now been sailing his 34-foot Benford-designed, junk-rigged
              > schooner Zebedee for six years and 20,000 miles, voyaging from British
              > Columbia to New Zealand. Her sister-ship, Badger, took Annie and Pete
              > Hill around the world and as far as the Falkland Islands. ... Alan,
              > like Hills, had nothing but praise for the ability of his boat to
              > heave-to in winds of 45 or 50 knots. "That's the most I have
              > encountered so far," Alan made clear.
              >
              > So, am I missing something important?
              >
              > Jaroslav
              >
              > On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM, John Gerlach <gerlach1@...> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I met the Pardey's when I went to see Taliesin when she was just about decked. I was occasionally sailing on a friend's junk rigged Gazelle at the time although I never discussed the junk rig with them. To their credit, they are both very focused on what has been proven to work through time and what has kept people alive. They also continually test that data against their own experiences. All of this makes them extremely conservative in their nautical views but they are still alive and cruising after all of these years. Up until Annie's books on long term cruising with a junk rig there were really only a limited amount of information regarding long term cruising with the rig so it is hard to fault them for being unwilling to support a relatively unknown technology. If you have read the book Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, as all of you should, this makes very good sense.
              > >
              > > Personally, I think the junk rig is superior in every way for cruising from my day use of the rig and from the writings of Annie and Tom Colvin. One area that I feel uneasy about because so little has been written on the subject is how to handle a two sail junk rig under survival conditions. Colvin says the rig won't heave-to which is a very big negative in my book. My guess is that you just need to set a small storm sail in the right position to keep the boat positioned within its slick.
              > >
              > > Annie, if you read this, perhaps you could write a short article on storm tactics? Pardon me if you already have and I have missed it.
              > >
              > > Best,
              > >
              > > John
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              >
              Hi all,
              I routinely heave to in Tystie (ketch configuration). I reef down to 2 or 3 panels in each sail, and strap them amidships. My double (port and starboard) sheeting helps a lot here. If you don't get the foresail amidships, the boat won't stop. Then I lash the tiller down, and make 1/2 to 1 knot forwards, 1 1/2 to 2 knots downwind, but lying at 90 degrees to the wind because Tystie is of shoal draft. For this reason, I feel that heaving to, for me, is a method for stopping the boat, comfortably, whenever I feel I want to, rather than being a survival technique. I feel much safer running slowly downwind whenever I feel threatened by the sea - it's the sea state that counts most, not the wind strength. But of course, a long keeled, deep draft boat will behave completely differently, and may well feel perfectly comfortable hove to in 50 knots. I wouldn't. So it's the boat type that should influence your storm strategy, more than the rig type. In 10 years and 60,000 miles, Tystie has been knocked down twice, within 2 hours, in the South Atlantic, in less than gale force wind. In my last boat, I only got knocked down once, off Start Point, in the English Channel, in 10 knots of wind. In both cases, the wind had nothing to do with it, I was just in the wrong bit of water at the wrong time. Heaving to wouldn't have helped. The other 99.999% of the time, the 2 masted junk - ketch or schooner - is by far the best rig to go long distance cruising with. But maybe I'm biased.
              David.
            • Bob Groves
              We have found the two mast configuration of the Hasler Junk Rig on Easy Go to be excellent for heaving to. I have posted two notes on this previously: #13587 -
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
                We have found the two mast configuration of the Hasler Junk Rig on Easy Go to be excellent for heaving to.

                I have posted two notes on this previously:

                #13587 - Heaving To
                #14285 - Storms and Damaged Sails
              • John Gerlach
                Thanks Bob. In your previous posts you wrote that you hove-to in 50 knot winds using the two top panels of the main which was hauled amidships. Do you use a
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
                  Thanks Bob. In your previous posts you wrote that you hove-to in 50 knot winds using the two top panels of the main which was hauled amidships. Do you use a single or double sheeting arrangement to get the main completely amidships or would that matter? Would you recommend any modifications to the sail or rig that would make the task more efficient or the gear better able to resist the wear effects of multiple storms?

                  John





                  ________________________________
                  From: Bob Groves <sveasygo@...>
                  To: junkrig@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wed, June 30, 2010 11:30:57 AM
                  Subject: [junkrig] Re: Pardey's advice to Jim Melcher - Heaving To


                  We have found the two mast configuration of the Hasler Junk Rig on Easy Go to be excellent for heaving to.

                  I have posted two notes on this previously:

                  #13587 - Heaving To
                  #14285 - Storms and Damaged Sails




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Bob Groves
                  We have a single sheeting arrangement that sets the main close enough to mid ships that it sails slightly forward and steadies Easy Go in rough conditions.
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 3, 2010
                    We have a single sheeting arrangement that sets the main close enough to mid ships that it sails slightly forward and steadies Easy Go in rough conditions. This also allows us to gybe to the other side, as required, to stay in relatively the same position.

                    The sail wear we have experienced would be reduced with heavier sail cloth in the top two panels or possibly something like top gun instead. We have continued to use the sails that now have over 25,000 sea miles on them. With a larger tabling sewed on we have eliminated all flutter and expect the sails to go for at least as far again before a major rebuild.

                    The biggest problem we have experienced in heaving to is the frustration in not being able to move forward as planned. However, any time at sea is a good time and we are never in a rush to end a passage.

                    --- In junkrig@yahoogroups.com, John Gerlach <gerlach1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks Bob. In your previous posts you wrote that you hove-to in 50 knot winds using the two top panels of the main which was hauled amidships. Do you use a single or double sheeting arrangement to get the main completely amidships or would that matter? Would you recommend any modifications to the sail or rig that would make the task more efficient or the gear better able to resist the wear effects of multiple storms?
                    >
                    > John
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ________________________________
                    > From: Bob Groves <sveasygo@...>
                    > To: junkrig@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Wed, June 30, 2010 11:30:57 AM
                    > Subject: [junkrig] Re: Pardey's advice to Jim Melcher - Heaving To
                    >
                    >
                    > We have found the two mast configuration of the Hasler Junk Rig on Easy Go to be excellent for heaving to.
                    >
                    > I have posted two notes on this previously:
                    >
                    > #13587 - Heaving To
                    > #14285 - Storms and Damaged Sails
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
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