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billygoat

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billygoat last won the day on October 27

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About billygoat

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    Ballarat
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    Cycling, music

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  1. billygoat

    Cat rig / sloop rig.

    I usually sail sloop, but on very windy days sometimes leave the jib behind. I use two forestays when cat rigging, one when sloop rigging. I can furl my jib and convert to cat rig if things get desperate, but I don't rig a jib and not plan to use it.
  2. Warm and windy on my day off, so I declared the sailing season open today. Turned out a good day to demonstrate why it's wise to sail off a lee shore, especially when sailing solo in an isolated place like Lake Burrumbeet (near Ballarat). I pioneered a novel way to sail downwind, catching some wind in a billow of mainsail leech while dragging the mast along in the water beside the boat. Hmmm. That's not where the mast is supposed to go. Turns out, although I've been paranoid about checking the state of the plates under the side stay saddles... I haven't taken much notice of the bolts themselves. New and interesting ways for a 30+ year old Mari to fail in service. Derigged when I got to shore, and only had a short tow through the reeds to get back to the boatramp. GPS says I was out for a total of 0.5 miles. Including the wade back to the trailer. Maybe we can open the season properly another day. Once I get some new saddle bolts.
  3. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    Pretty sure that's just camera angle. My striker is tight and in good nick. But I'll triple check next time I'm rigged and tensioned just to be sure.
  4. billygoat

    Off boom sheeting?

    Pretty sure I'm using 10mm. Crappy rope though - the finest BCF had to offer. The nearest chandlery is 100km from here. I hadn't known about threading the blocks properly, so I've looked at some instructions and diagrams and worked out a better crossed-block routing. Seems better. You're right that you get some direct 1:1 effect on the boom until your overcome pulley friction, at which point it starts cranking the boom down as expected. I'd say that's the best of both worlds. You can see it in effect in this little vid from a couple of weeks ago: My biggest problem is that I can't position my cleat far enough out of the way (that's as far down as it can be adjusted), so it's prone to auto-cleating without meaning to. Haven't found a solution to that one yet. I swapped back to conventional sheeting for yesterday's session (see my latest addition to the "cartwheel" thread ), but I think I prefer it off the boom. Might even consider getting rid of the cleat altogether... although sailing sloop solo, it's easy to run out of hands, and a cleat gives some options.
  5. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    As Brittney would sing... oops I did it again Some more submarine action yesterday. Quite a bit of breeze (20 knots + gusts at Ballarat airport, about 15km away, maybe a bit more out on Lake Burrumbeet). Solo (~75kg), so I can't blame my forward hand for being too heavy this time. I was dipping the bows all day, so I was kinda ready when it went deep the first time. Dropped the mainsheet and recovered. Second time I was consciously trying to steer through the wind rather than depowering. I rounded up well when the bow dipped, but bore away too soon and sent it down in to the mud. Stepped over the bows when it was beyond recoverable. It seemed to me that the bows were more prone to diving when I had too much boom lift - traveller too far in, mainsheet eased off. Dropping the traveller further out and sheeting on harder seems to pull the centre of power further aft, lifting the bows. I rigged with a slightly longer forestay strop than usual (I made up a couple of options when I re-rigged the forestay after the incident a few posts back), so the mast is raked a bit more than I've done before (which also should have pulled the bows up, by my thinking, unless I'm getting a weird interaction with the jib slot). Lots of downhaul and outhaul on the main. I'd also like to point out that I'm getting plenty of successful sailing in, in between these screwups . And I'm deliberately pushing the envelope, seeing where the limits are, so it's inevitable that I'm going to find them sometimes. I'm just very analytical and like to figure out _why_ :-) Tim
  6. billygoat

    Off boom sheeting?

    I'd love to see a picture of your bridle traveller setup, Jimbo. If it's how I imagine, it sounds like the exact opposite of the no vang, mainsheet controlling boom lift arrangement that seems common on our Maris. I have tended to cleat the main more than I should. It might be friction in my aged pulleys or an overly stiff sheet, but I do find the main quite heavy to work, and it really tires me out. The cleat was set so that it would pull in to the cleat by default, unless I deliberately kicked the sheet out of the cams (which I try to do so I'm able to depower when I get scared ? ). So I have tended to adjust the main sparingly, steering the boat to control it through gusts. From the short test I gave it, off the boom sheeting feels like it takes less strength. I guess it is now effectively a 7:1 block (with the last run bypassing the traveller block, but still contributing to the mechanical advantage). So, I'm terms of the amount of rope required for a run... it should still be less than if I'd opted for an 8:1 which I understand has been done by some. I currently have more sheet than I need (took somebody advice and got 8m for an endless main and traveller, and have thought I could easily lose a couple of metres). Again, since I'm not racing, I don't tend to run square very much. Broad reaches are more fun. If I drop it, the furthest I have to go is the traveller car which is where the other end of the sheet goes. So, same as conventional sheeting. I accept your point about skimming the upwind hull rather than flying. Reality is, that's what I'm doing. It rarely comes far out of the water. But it does feel a lot more like walking a tightrope when you stop relying on the stabilising effect of the upwind hull's buoyancy, so sensitive controls are appreciated. Tim
  7. billygoat

    Off boom sheeting?

    Tried a few different rigging ideas today. First of all, I followed all your advice and lost my vang. Consciously tried to use the traveller more for trimming, keeping the mainsheet pulled on as much as possible to keep the boom down and power in the head of the sail. First observation with this setup is that sheeting out to depower in a gust is MUCH more effective. Boom lifts, leech opens and spills air very efficiently without having to swing the whole boom and sail out. Not so much sheet to pull back in to get the power back on. I think this is going to be a different, but nicer way to sail. I'm also trying to focus on keeping a hull up, skimming the water. Coming from monohulls my tendency is to sit as far out as I can to keep the boat level, and only heel once I've run out of hiking. Today was a bit of a breeze (8 - 12 knots) but not overpowering, so I was trying to sit in on the tramp and get a hull flying before thinking about getting out on the strap. Balancing on tip-toe like that I was glad to have better power control with my sheet controlling boom lift than previously with the vang. Last thing I tried - an idea of got from reading about some of the new things people have been doing in the 20 years I've been away from the sport - was to flip my (6:1) mainsheet upside down. Literally unshackled it from the traveller cart and boom, and reattached it the other way around with the ratchet pulley and cleat up on the boom. Quickly realised I would need to change the angle on my cleat so I'd be able to release. I only had time for a few tacks like this, but I really really liked it. It feels lighter, more responsive and yet more powerful. I felt better able to play the sheet, even with my currently puny little cyclist arms, and hardly felt the need for a cleat. Better angle, feels like less friction... Just better. Also nice to have some physical separation between the main and traveller sheets rather than having them both coming off the traveller cart (both the same colour, since I'm running an endless sheet). Does anyone else sheet off the boom? Is this something you all do and I'm late to the party, or something you've tried and rejected, or just never tried? Not relevant to me because I don't plan on racing, but is off-boom sheeting allowed in class rules or are we supposed to sheet off the beam? Tim
  8. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    Thread resurrection! I took a newbie mate out for a sail today. Sloop rigged, about 160kg all up, in about 15 knots. He wasn't so keen on sliding back and snuggling with me on the back beam, so I was having to round up into the wind all the time to keep from submarining the downwind bow. Then we were about to go down the mine again, on a port tack... with a couple of kids struggling to control their 420 under spinaker on starboard reach, coming down upwind of us. If I rounded up we would have gone straight through them. Long story short, there's a whole lot of mud on my starboard bow, and my forestay snapped when we went over. I came up under the trampoline and immediately knew that something very bad had happened... the tramp shouldn't be flat on the water in a 5' deep lake :-/ Now I'm trying to read up on ways to keep the bow up. I've had suggestions of pulling more jib on, letting jib off... looking at the (dodgy) video, it looks like we had a heap of mainsail draft, and not much downhaul. I'm still learning how to use the downhaul to control sail shape, but wonder whether pulling more downhaul (and outhaul) on to flatten the sail and bring the draft forward might... uh... make things better or worse or do nothing at all? I did have a little more baton tension than normal - I'd basically rigged for power, thinking that extra power would be handy with the extra weight on board. Does raking the mast work to pull the bows up work when sloop rigged?
  9. billygoat

    Billygoat newbie question thread

    No newbie question today - I'm generally on top of things now, making mods and repairs along the way as I need to. Just a video. I've taken to mounting an action cam under my jib furler. Gets some good footage. This was last Friday on Lake Burrumbeet (20km west of Ballarat). I had the day off work, and at 42dgC with a solid nor'westerly blowing, I had to make the most of it. It was pretty gusty and quite choppy for an inland lake, which added to the excitement. The wind picks up at about the 1:00 mark, and things really get moving :-D Like I said, it was a bit gusty... :-P
  10. billygoat

    Victorian Maricat Owners

    Zombie thread resurrection! Guess I'd better check in. I'm Mari #2418 (or #2353 on my other sail), parked in Ballarat, usually sailing on Lake Burrumbeet or Lake Wendouree. I've had my cat for a bit over a year. Prior to that I hadn't sailed much for 20 years, after sailing Skyrider, Flying 11, NS14 and a 16' skiff while growing up in Sydney. I rarely see another boat on the water when I'm out. Ballarat yacht club is fairly active, in their chosen classes, but I'm not really interested in racing and I find the wind better out on the big lake (Burrumbeet) than the town swamp (Wendouree) where the club sail. I usually sail sloop rigged, either solo or with my 10yo daughter as forward hand. I've been thinking about towing the boat down to Geelong for a look at the bay, or maybe even out on the ocean from Torquay, but haven't gone there yet. tim
  11. billygoat

    Tiller Pivots

    The clear plastic tubing that connected my tillers to my crossbar (over the top of the broken flex links) went yellow and stiff, then split. Now I have new clear plastic tubing. The closest size Bunnings had was a bit loose, but nothing a couple of stainless hose clamps couldn't fix. Good for toe-in adjustments, I'm sure. I like the look of Pete's solution above. What are those ball joints meant to be from?
  12. billygoat

    Broken Rudder Lever Clips

    I never had intact clips, but the levers secured themselves by going over-centre with a bit of stretch in the rope. Until one of the levers broke. I replaced it with a bit of ~12mm Al pipe which worked well until it bent. Now I have a cleat on each tiller. Much simpler. Especially for my sailing on shallow lakes, I can cleat my rudders at half-mast position which gives me some steering as I approach the shore. I have seen others suggesting a 2:1 pulley pull-down. I like this idea but haven't picked up any suitable pulleys yet. I've also seen lots of people recommend a self-releasing cleat in case of hard impacts. Probably also a good idea but not in my immediate future plans. Don't get too invested in the lever system. They don't last forever.
  13. billygoat

    Tiller grip

    My orange conduit tiller is grippy enough so far, but if I needed more grip I'd go straight for the road bike bar tape (ie the stuff we wrap around the handle bar of drop-bar bicycles). They put cork flecks in the sponge rubber stuff for grip when wet. Adhesive backed; just overlap by half a width as you wind it on. Finish the end with electrical tape. I get cheap crappy cork tape for about $2 per two rolls from eBay. Does just as good as the brand name stuff that people pay $50 for. I redid the bar of my lawnmower with bike tape too... much more comfortable.
  14. Winter has landed in Ballarat, and I won't be sailing for a few months now. For those who don't know Ballarat, we have arguably the worst weather in Australia... weeks on end that don't reach double figures but don't freeze either. Just wet and miserable. *sigh*. Anywho, I rugged up in cold/wet weather cycling gear and took my cat out a few weeks ago for a final sail before packing up for the winter. Also strapped my new not-goPro to the boom for a try. Turned out to be nearly ideal conditions for me. Enjoy! I know I'll be looking back on this for inspiration over the next few months. Tim
  15. billygoat

    maricat sail track tramp mod questions

    My tramp had solid plastic rods sewn in either side to key in to the tracks. When I replaced the original Al strips with tracks (it was pulling out, same as you), the rods we're too thick and would not fit in the tracks. I cut a little hole in the tramp material at either end of the rod so I could pull them out. I probably sealed it with a lighter so it wouldn't fray. As Darcy has suggested, tying a light string to the rod and pulling it through is a good idea. After a bit of experimentation (ie things that didn't work), I figured out that the classic blue and yellow Telecom rope is the perfect size for the track. So I pulled a length through each side pocket and installed the tramp (using liberal amounts of laundry detergent as lube), then just tied a figure 8 knot in each end of the Telecom rope to keep it in place. If I ever need to replace the trampoline again, I'm guessing that I will be able to just pull the ropes out, then the trampoline will slip out of the track. Shouldn't be too hard to get a rope in to the side pockets again if I neglect to pull a string in. Tim
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