Saturday, August 22, 2015

from horn cleats to a little bit of cam

 Beachcomber came with a splendid array of wooden horn cleats, and they somehow looked 'proper', and representative of the satisfying habit of 'making fast'. They are easy to use because they are big and well-proportioned, but for a sometimes lone, and a not overly confident self-taught sailor they presented a bit of a risk in a sudden gust if I need to de-power any or all of three sails quickly without leaving the helm. So I felt it was a safety issue to bring a little cam (calm?) into the arrangement.

The pic above shows the old horn and the new by-pass, through the combing to the cam cleat on a merbau block. The angle is 45 degrees. Being a two-ended main sheet, this end will be cleated off while I sit next to it, working its opposite number across and under the tiller- and that side can be cleated too, obviously...but released in a panic without needing to go anywhere.

I will arrange the jib sheet similarly, but I'm struggling to decide how far aft to take these cleats. If I had crew, they would prefer them further forward, near the side seats, but alone, I would prefer them quite close to the main sheet, so that two lines come from a similar direction can lay across my lap. Either way will have benefits...

The staysail is self-tacking and will probably remain horn cleated for the moment, because it its the outer one, the jib that is most likely to want to power me into trouble in a blow.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Metung Old Gaffers, East Gippsland

Soon, the old gaffers will come out of hiding in preparation for a series of six events on Sundays. Above, Endeavour owned by Peter Harvey is sailing in second position (last year), ahead of the red sailed Calypso. I hope to spend some time celebrating and photographing some of these local boats in the future, and will try to find a few stories about them too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

magic morning merely motoring

Above, a beautiful, tranquil Lake King viewed from off Shaving point, looking towards Paynesville.

After the trip I managed to toss a bit of varnish on the decks on the basis that a 20% chance of rain was also an 80% chance of the varnish drying...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mainsheet blocks

The kit for Beachcomber's main sheet has been brought home for treatment. It has been a joy to tackle the tackle.

Some of the loftier blocks have been a challenge , particularly the peak halyard system, which involves five blocks altogether, and a very long piece of string. The topmost double block is at the very top of the mast. Despite this, I've managed to decommission about seven blocks in simplifying the rig from exhaustively traditional to more pragmatically practical. Of course I'm open to being wrong about these simplifications, but will always try to simplify and 'add lightness'.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cape Conran beach textures

Our first trip to Cape Conran on the East Gippsland coast- one of several new places for us to explore in an area of the state we have only seen superficially before. This is wonderful and expansive farmland, bush and coastal country. The bush is not unlike that of the Western parts of the state- the places most familiar to us- but there are significant differences in species and climate. In the bush this is Banksia country with gnarled old trunks supporting masses of the unusual flowers.

Exposure to deep ocean currents makes for interesting beach combing. I couldn't resist a few pics of sponges and weeds that competed with the horizon for my attention.