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21 hours ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Sail Repair
Hi all,
I also have a few thoughts on UV damage.
I would venture a guess that most UV damage does NOT occur when sailing and the thread/sails are exposed to sunlight. It is those days, weeks, and months at anchor or in a marina where the sails are covered with Sunbrella that the damage occurs. Sunbrella allows UV through its cloth and allows more UV through every year it is exposed: it deteriorates in UV and the older it is, the more UV it allows through. Take a piece of old Sunbrella that has been in the tropics for a few seasons and hold it up to look at the sun through it.
This is one reason (among a few) that I look askance at the permanent mainsail covers (side panels & zipped at top) that are so common nowadays. They are exposed to sun when sailing and at anchor and just deteriorate all the sooner.
My mainsail cover is of vinylized Sunbrella (apparently now made by a separate company that takes Sunbrella and adds the vinyl). It is bulkier for sure, but is completely opaque to sunlight and in addition, is completely waterproof, a bonus that was particularly appreciated when in the wetter regions of the world. (Older Sunbrella is not waterproof either: water treatments only go so far with older cloth).
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
22 hours ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Sail Repair
Hi Bill,
My thoughts on your questions:
Assuming a fully battened main. The batten pockets are a design issue: if you are having trouble loading from the leach, another pocket retaining design will likely solve the issue. My battens (5 full length) go in from the leach and I consider the design bulletproof and it has proven to be so. Loading from the luff would be a challenging incorporating the batten box/car and then having the tension be adjustable.
The thread is, I believe, a Gore-Tex product and is/was (it has been 6 years since I researched this) the best choice for sail building. If he has experience with this thread, he has probably been making high end sails as not all machines/needles (if memory serves) can tolerate the abrasiveness of this thread and sailmakers must upgrade to use it.
I am surprised that HydraNet kicks the cost up 50%. I do not remember that differential from 2012.
Leach tension lines dead ended at the boom end are often hard or impossible to get to. My leach line is adjustable both from the gooseneck and from the boom end (and the end of each reef clew) through the use of a small turning block at the head of the sail.
I would always want full length battens to be adjustable as to their tension along the sail, usually a screw at the batten box.
My best, Dick
22 hours ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Sail Repair
Posted on behalf of Anne Lloyd


I would definitely pay for the solar resistant thread. On our circumnavigation the treads on the seams gave out before the cloth
Hydranet is pretty tough especially good on radial cut. We have the original staysail still going strong which was on board when we bought the boat in 2013. We have not yet used our new in 2014?dacron replacement. However it begins to look rather grey and dirty after a while so you may hate it long before it wears out


Our previous experience with battcars was good so cannot comment on that.
22 hours ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Sail Repair
Hi Bill,
My personal considerations: I have a great sailing boat and I like to sail well and not be compromised. I have a feathering prop, I keep the bottom clean and over the years have, by casual observation, been able to sail (and chosen to sail) when others have put on their motor. Part of that is having good sails and I swap a year or so sooner than most. I am also willing to sail in light air as long as I am sailing and I am willing to spend a bit extra to ensure that my primary proplusions system is in good working order.
I had a suit of sails (main, staysail, jib topsail) made from HydraNet Radial (there are different types of HydraNet cloth) in the UK in 2012-3 which we now have used for 6 seasons: one Atlantic crossing and maybe 15,000 miles give or take a couple thousand. My sails are all radially designed/constructed. We chose them for a variety of reasons: I like to sail and I like to sail well so sail shape that lasts was of high priority, I no longer wanted Dacron, but I did want woven sails which dry better than laminate and are less likely to develop mold (and we were the UK where it is often wet or damp for long periods). More important a few friends who were maybe more particular than I and do better research had been using HNR for a couple of years and were very happy. As said, I did not want Dacron as its shape becomes more compromised than I would like too quickly, way before the sail “wears out” so to say. I have had laminates and found their shape great, and they lasted well, but did develop mold near the seams (just cosmetic but a bit yucky) and looked a bit ratty with age. At this point (6 seasons), the HydraNet looks likely to outlast the laminate sails I had in the past. By this time, with Dacron sails, I would already be starting to be dis-satisfied with the shape of Dacron sails (although they would have a couple years left in them) and the laminate would already be looking a bit ratty. This longevity might, in the longer run, mitigate some of the added expense of HydraNet. We shall see.
My friends, all long-distance cruisers, who bought HNR sails a couple years before me are still using theirs and have been very happy as well. Our sails still look close to brand new and show no cloth fatigue at all. They have needed no repair. Their one drawback is that very little sticks to the cloth which makes them harder to repair. I have some very aggressive double-sided seam tape, but, unlike my old laminate sails which I could fix with sticky back and sew later, HydraNet will need to be sewn right away for the repair to last.
Come back with questions/comments,
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Ps. I used John Parker at Parker and Kay Sailmakers, part of the One Sails Group, who are in Suffolk Yacht Harbor on the River Orwell. He designed and built a great set of sails for Alchemy.
23 hours ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Sail Repair
Again thanks Dick.

Looking at a new sail - there are many choices to consider and I look forward to your follow-up piece on sailcloth, etc.

My main is 590 Sq Ft, (P=52.5ft, E=19.0ft). Currently made of Challenge 9.62 Dacron.
I don't like the batten boxes and the way the battens are retained at the leech - which has seen many modifications to prevent the battens falling out! The batten boxes themselves are too weak - with an M6 or thereabouts bolt being secured into plastic threads. I have stripped several and keep spares on hand. They also offer no adjustment opportunities.
The leechline is all but impossible to reach.

I would like to fix the batten problems by loading them at the luff - any concerns about this?
I would like to have the leech line brought down the luff

The sailcloth my current loft is looking at is Contender Fibercon 9.46 as a straight replacement.
He is also quoting Hydranet 380 as a premium upgrade (adding 50% to the cost). (Hydranet is a woven polyester with Dyneema strengthening - not a laminate)

He recommends using GORE Tenara thread - (at additional cost) - for it's strength and UV stability.

I've started looking around the various sailing forums about Hydranet - seems there's a discussion about Radial vs Crosscut - so that brings in a whole new dimension - how the sail is actually sewn together...

HELP!!




edited by bbalme on 11/16/2018
1 days ago
Topic:
Bidet

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Bidet
Does anyone have a Bidet on the boat? Came across this today - seems like a neat way to eliminate some TP and possibly some head blockages...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A0RMQ1E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?tag=skim0x34040-21&ie=UTF8&psc=1



1 days ago
Topic:
Project Drift

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Project Drift
Hi Bill,
Understood and agreed. I was not clear that I did not intend you to necessarily do it. It sounded like the unit was out and accessible and would be able to get to a shop that could execute the work. Back end issues, for me, are harder to diagnose than diesel issues. Are the NextGen people being helpful at coming up with an elimination tree for trouble-shooting?
My best, Dick
1 days ago
Topic:
Project Drift

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Project Drift
Hi Dick,

It's not the testing of the diodes that's tricky in my mind - that's sort of OK - but they have to be separated from the rotor in order to do that test - requiring some pretty high level soldering - which I don't have in my toolkit!

Yes, the diesel is running fine...
1 days ago
Topic:
Project Drift

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Project Drift
Hi Bill, Blown diodes are usually easy to test and diagnose. Start with the easy tests and go from there. I assume if you are looking at windings and diodes that the diesel aspects of the genset are working ok: eg it starts and runs. Dick
1 days ago
Topic:
Aleria

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Aleria
Hi Daria,
Yes, the family is great and most generous. We had the fortune to join a family party at the family home/compound which we greatly appreciated.
And yes, the yard offices and shops should/could be turned into a maritime museum--- or an art museum---or a craft museum.
Their area is a special part of the world as well.
My best, Dick
1 days ago
Topic:
Forward Looking Sonar

Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 775
Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 775
Topic: Forward Looking Sonar
Bill,

£1,400 is on the expensive side compared to the budget versions. I'm not sure if they still make the Bronze version but it used to be around £600 and is perfectly adequate.

I agree the transducer is vulnerable but we have never had any damage to it in normal cruising although we did remove it in ice infested waters. In Greenland the local boats with FLS have glassed in protectors lateral to the transducer to deflect ice. I have never seen that modification in temperate waters.

Never tried pointing it backwards but the turbulance off the prop would surely make it useless in reverse?

If it saved one nasty grounding in Patagonia then the cost would be easily justified.


Simon
1 days ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Sail Repair
Hi Bill,
You are not happy with the sail. Get a new one. Your boat is your home and it should be how you want it.
Repairs will not fix the design problems that you described, but should make the sail last for another 4+ years. Batten pocket problems can be a real headache and often cause problems (when a poor design) well before the sail gives out. Leach lines need to work, especially as a sail ages. Most sails can be repaired in the field with patience, but batten pockets are often a special challenge and maybe impossible for average cruisers in the field to repair. I would especially lean toward new were I to be planning 1. A lot of upwind sailing or 2. Care more about performance than the average cruiser or 3. Will be going where sail services may be hard to come by. The sailing itinerary you outlined also, to my mind, argues for having a very good sail inventory. Mainsails should always be the first priority in any sail plan.
Too many cruisers (in my estimation) spend years with compromised sails saving some money, but diminishing their pleasure and efficiency when under sail. And, I believe, you have a cruising boat (Outbound 44 ?) that sails well: that argues for good sails also.
I will write about my thoughts/experience with regard to sail clothe/sailmaker choice in the next day or so.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
2 days ago
Topic:
Sail Repair

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Sail Repair
We're capable of doing some basic stitching of sails, but I like to have a professional loft look my sails over after we've put a lot of miles on - and before we put a bunch more on.

This year we'd sailed from the Caribbean to the UK so I took our sails to Steve Goacher, close by Windemere and spent a morning with him and his staff. We looked at the two headsails first - which look to be in reasonable shape and some minor repairs are all that's called for.

Not so much the main! Steve inspected the seams closely and some had clearly begun to fail. Those that hadn't failed, he started to pick at with his thumbnail - and was basically able to break the stitching in many other areas. The cloth itself he felt was in reasonable shape (heavy Dacron).

In the end, I got an estimate to repair the sail, along with some proposals for a new sail altogether...
The repair estimate (£850) is about 25% of the new sail cost in similar material (9.46 Contender Fibrecon). (He also quoted in Hydranet 380 - which adds £2,000 to the bill...)
The current sails are only 5 years old, but have about 25,000 miles on them. They've been in the Caribbean for two winter seasons.
I've never much cared for the mainsail - the batten pockets and boxes are a lightweight design, tensioning the leech line is near impossible, and the sail had to be modified straight out of the box due to excessive roach, so the shape has always been a bit off...

We live on the boat full time and plan to do some pretty serious mileage in the coming years - down to Patagonia and then across the Pacific...

Like most, we're on a budget and a new main was not figured into it!

What would you do? Repair or new?

If new,
Is Goacher a reputable sailmaker?
Should I be getting other quotes - who from??
Thoughts about the two fabrics?


Appreciate your thoughts...
2 days ago
Topic:
Project Drift

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Project Drift
My "NextGen" generator stopped working when we were on our way to Ireland. Nothing unusual about this - happens all the time! I've gotten quite familiar with my beloved generator!

Unfortunately, this time I couldn't fix it... I looked at wiring, capacitor, sensors... nothing! I determined that there must be something wrong with the alternator itself - windings? This was going to take a while - so we'd wait until we were in one place for a decent period.

When we arrived in our winter berth in the UK, I lifted the generator, separated the alternator and took it to a Park Gate in Carlisle to get the windings done - whatever that means... They took it apart and checked it over and decided the windings were fine!

Perhaps it's the diodes? Unfortunately, the place I took it to were uncomfortable going further - they prefer working on bigger stuff. I think I got lucky - even though they spent time looking into the project, becasue they couldn't fix it, they didn't charge me...

I managed to find someone who used to work on this brand of alternator - a Markon BL105 - and he agreed the Diodes were a possibility and guess what - he can supply them - I just need to ID which ones mine has... So I send a photo and he's not seen anything like it! The theory we have is that probably my unit was built in Mexico - after the Markon factory closed in the UK, they moved it to Mexico - it's since closed altogether. While in Mexico, we think they may have done a fairly typical 'cost out' program on the Alternator and come up with cheaper diodes...

My next problem is that my soldering skills are non existent - and since Park Gate felt uncomfortable about it... Fortunately, I have found someone (Chris Dobson) right here in Whitehaven that's willing to 'give it a go' - what do I have to lose?

So now the burning question is will a standard UK diode arrangement fit in my unit and will it work? Will Chris be able to come up with the soldering capability...

Stay tuned for the next installment!



Anybody else had problems with diodes in large alternators??
2 days ago
Topic:
Aleria

Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 732
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 732
Topic: Aleria
Hi Dick,
We first visited Astilleros Lagos two years ago and yes we were amazed. We have become good friends with several family members and were invited to visit the family home in Bayona. There we toured Honorary Member Alfredo Senior's office. That's another very special place. You might have seen my article in the OCC Newsletter about it. We've actually talked with Alfredo Jr. and Alberto about turning their assets into a museum of boat building. You never know.

As to the rallies, Alfredo's son Alberto met his wife Jenny on one of those! Yes, they are legendary.

And they are taking exceptionally good care of Aleria for us.
Daria
2 days ago
Topic:
Forward Looking Sonar

Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Bill Balme
Administrator
Posts: 180
Topic: Forward Looking Sonar
I had never really thought about Forward Looking Sonar as being a particularly useful capability until a couple of friends mentioned that they have, love it, wouldn't leave home without it!

Our plan (ha!) is to end up heading down to Patagonia where the anchorages are particularly small and rocky - so perhaps FLS would be a smart option - especially since my experience with underwater rocks isn't stellar! It would certainly be nice to have a view of what's going on underneath and in front - though I understand that the output does take some interpretation.
Practical Sailor did a review of various systems and it appears that the EchoPilot Platinum would be the best fit for me - it would allow me to feed the output to my existing MFD and not have to find space for yet another display.

But...

It's not cheap - £1400 for the kit plus a hole in the boat and some long cables to run.
It's somewhat vulnerable to be knocked off by a stray line under the boat - unless one is disciplined to pull the sensor all the time.
When actually anchoring in Patagonia, I'm thinking I'll be reversing into tight spots - should I install rearward facing sonar??!
It's yet another thing to go wrong and fret over

Do you have any experience with these things? What do you see as the pluses and minuses?
edited by bbalme on 11/15/2018
2 days ago
Topic:
Where to purchase 12-14 feet foldable dinghy

Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 732
Kim,
You might try Virgin Islands craigslist for used dinghy posts. https://virgin.craigslist.org/search/boo Good luck.
2 days ago
Topic:
Dengue Alert for Senegal

Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 732
Daria Blackwell
Administrator
Posts: 732
Topic: Dengue Alert for Senegal
The US Centers for Disease Control have issued an alert for an outbreak of dengue fever in Senegal (8 Nov 2018). There is currently no vaccine against dengue.


Because dengue is spread by mosquito bites, all travelers to Senegal should also prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing when outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned or well-screened room or under an insecticide-treated bed net.


Dengue is a viral disease spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, pain in the eyes, joints, and muscles, and minor bleeding. If you are bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to develop but usually last less than a week. In severe cases, symptoms may include hemorrhage, shock, organ failure, and death.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/dengue-senegal
2 days ago
Topic:
Where to purchase 12-14 feet foldable dinghy

Sam Coles
Posts: 2
Seahopper folding plywood boats are certainly worth looking at - www.seahopperfoldingboats.co.uk and www.seahopper.com - with or without sailing gear and o/b bracket - excellent folding sailing dinghies in 7',8', and10ft sizes when I last checked. Good Luck Sam Coles SY Ramprasad
3 days ago
Topic:
Outhaul Design

Dick
Posts: 313
Dick
Posts: 313
Topic: Outhaul Design
Hi Bill,
Sounds like a plan regarding the outhaul.
With regards to the side deck 4-1 b&t arrangement, yes, there are 3 control lines attached to the boom at all times (2 side-deck lines and the sheet): the side deck lines are brought back to the cockpit through brakes allowing for easy control at all times. The windward line is always slack (not braked) while the leeward b&t is always firmed up. The farther from close hauled we are sailing, the more this arrangement serves as the boom vang (and preventer until the boom end is over the side of the boat where an offshore preventer is used that goes to boom end). (We have no other vang.)
I believe I have written elsewhere in these pages in greater detail about this arrangement. Tell me if not found.
My best, Dick




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