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Everything posted by billygoat

  1. I'm having a terrible time raising and lowering my mainsail. It's just getting stuck. This afternoon I almost couldn't pull the halyard out of the cleat at the mast head to lower the main - I ended up trucker-hitching it off the bow stay saddle for mechanical advantage, pulling all my weight on it, flexing the mast, completely unloading the forestay before it finally moved enough to uncleat. I'm not sure whether the sail is just not sliding in the track, or whether the pulleys at the mast head are stuffed. Well, I know the pulleys are stuffed. They're very old and worn. How big are they supposed to be, to source replacements? Mine look to be 28mm diameter, 9mm thick, with a hole to bear on a 6mm pin. So, with them soon to be replaced - is my sail sticking in the track? I've only sailed in freshwater lakes, so corrosion and salt isn't a consideration, but it's definitely getting harder to hoist. What do I lube the track or sail luff bolt rope with?
  2. billygoat

    Halyard pulleys and sail track lubrication

    Quite a while ago... Re-releasing the bolt rope ended up being a bad move. Didn't move at all (ie it was as shrunk as it was going to get and not causing any problems) but I had difficulty sewing the extension piece back in position such that it wasn't prone to jumping out of the track when hoisting. At the same time, I scrubbed the track with dish detergent and replaced the mast top halyard sheaves with sliding door rollers. Now the sail is much easier to hoist and drop. Not sure what caused the improvement. I suspect the sheaves were binding on their axles under load.
  3. Not my event, but thinking of entering. http://www.torquaysailingclub.org.au/aust-day-regatta.html Ocean race for off the beach cats, Torquay to Anglesea and return. Anybody done it? I'd be on my Maricat 4.3 (sloop, solo). It's silly, but my biggest concern is how to launch. I usually sail inland lakes and launch from ramps, directly off my trailer; I don't own beach wheels. Nor a 4x4 vehicle to even get my trailer close to the water . So getting my boat from firm land, across Torquay beach (and back again) is a headscratcher. I daresay there will be a few hands around to help, but I hate turning up and needing assistance.
  4. billygoat

    Mk1 resto questions

    I took a friend out for his first ever sail, and he immediately started looking for his own cat. Talked him out of a cheap H14 by finding an even cheaper old Mari. It's not in great shape, but suits our needs as a fix and learn project. First question - the new boat has a different dolphin striker to mine. He has a screw thread on the striker itself to tension the cable (mine has turnbuckle on the cable). Guessing they swapped to the later style for a reason. Replacing the striker cable as a matter of routine, should we go with a turnbuckle cable and ignore/remove the inbuilt striker tensioner, or is a like-for-like simple fixed length cable okay?
  5. billygoat

    Windrush 14

    Victoria has weird rules allowing standard 6x4 box trailers to not be registered. The rule is specific to length - a 7x4 needs rego - and I believe a trailer designed to carry a boat is also specifically mentioned as requiring rego. So your cat trailer fails on all fronts, and should be registered. There's enough confusion and apathy about trailer rego in Victoria that you can probably get away with it for a while and plead ignorance. I know of quite a few Victorians whose boat trailers have number plates, but which haven't paid rego in years. Looks official enough, and apparently the fine is comparable to the annual rego cost anyway if you do get pulled up on it. I'm in Ballarat and sail a Maricat. Been meaning to bring it down to the Bay for play but never happened yet. Now I've started Laser racing so the cat isn't getting out much at the moment. Silly slow tippy things these monohulls are... but thats what the local racing scene is about so that's the game I'll play.
  6. billygoat

    Halyard pulleys and sail track lubrication

    Took a look at my sail today and found that this has already been done. The bolt rope is hand-stitched about a foot up the luff, and there's a corresponding extra length of generic rope in the bolt rope sleeve. I've unpicked the hand stitching - will see how things move next time I hoist the sail.
  7. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    I actually furled the jib when the wind came up, and intended to race cat-rigged. Milling around before the start... it was awful. Just wouldn't steer. I actually rounded up into the wind and "parked" in irons in the middle of the lake, walked out the bow, untied the reef, unfurled the jib and reconnected the sheet. I didn't need the power, but the boat is so much nicer to sail with the jib up. Especially now I know how to depower the jib and keep the bows above the waterline. I very rarely sail cat-rigged. It's like an entirely different, completely unfamiliar boat. I would quite likely have evolved a different rig setup if I had sailed that way more, and hopefully would have gotten better at tacking without the benefit of a jib to pull me around. The Hobie states are on at our club this weekend. Looking at some of the boats in the yard (I don't get to look at many beach cats close up) - at least one of the H16s has a jib halyard led down the mast so it can be adjusted on the fly. Of course, their jibs are fully battened, which changes the rules completely, but I must read a bit more about how H16 sailors trim their jibs.
  8. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    This is true, but once the forestay is tight, it doesn't change length much. The sail itself is much stretchier. I had my sail rigged "short", so the luff stretched quite a bit under static rig tension. Then I tried rigging it longer, so the luff didn't stretch as much under static rig tension. Tensioning the mainsheet will, of course, add tension to the forestay, but the wire doesn't elongate to any significant extent, so the jib luff doesn't elongate either. Almost the opposite of mainsail luff tension, I found that a tighter jib luff causes the sail to bag up, and get lots of draft. Looser luff made the jib flatter, which was easier to handle in heavy air.
  9. billygoat

    Halyard pulleys and sail track lubrication

    Halyard pulleys sorted. As a stop gap at least. I was in Geelong this afternoon where my "local" chandlery is. Turns out they go sailing Sunday afternoon and shut the shop. Good for them, but I have no plans to get anywhere near a chandlery again, any time soon 😕 Bunnings to the rescue. Sliding door wheels are a lot like mast head sheaves. They all have ball bearings rather than being plain nylon, but there's a heavy duty option that's all stainless in the guts (unknown "heavy duty" polymer in the wheel). 32mm diameter, about the right thickness, fits on the bearing pin. That will do for about $8 a pop. If it seizes, we find plan B. I've read varying opinions about lubricating sail tracks, but universal suggestion is to clean it, which I haven't done. Yet. Ever. Truth be told, there's probably a bit of lake mud in there, especially near the head 🤭. I'll give the bolt rope / luff of the sail a good scrub too. Then I might spray a bit of silicon lube into the mast track, or I might not.
  10. billygoat

    Cartwheeling (nose diving)

    A new angle to add to this thread. I've been thinking a lot about jib shape and power. I've tended to have my jib luff as tight as a frogs bum. There is significant slack in the forestay when unrigged - a loop of cable at the head or tack. Rigged up, the sail stretches until the forestay takes the load, which pulls a lot of shape into the sail. Pulling on lots of jib sheet tends to pull the leech tight, still with a big belly in the sail. Also with a tendency to luff at relatively low pointing angles, because there's so much draft so far forward in the sail. So, lots of power in the jib, and difficult to release power because it gets flappy. I think this is what has been driving my bow down the hole. I raced today (mixed class - solo sloop on my Mari, second time racing in about 20 years 😎) in about 20 knots. Usually that would be serious nosedive risk wind, especially in close proximity of other boats forcing unwanted manoeuvres. And some broad reaching legs that give us all nightmares. I loosened my jib luff significantly today. Just snug on the forestay. That gave me a much flatter sail, much less power forward. Pulling the jib on harder pulled all shape out of it and really depowered effectively. MUCH less tendency to bury a bow. Even downwind. This will require more experimentation. I reckon it might be something that needs changing for different wind conditions - a bit tighter in light air when we want more power? But probably not as tight as I have been using. I wonder if this is something that needs to be more readily adjustable than retying the jib. Anyone done an adjustable jib halyard or cunningham?
  11. billygoat

    Cat ID please?

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F273627382847 I took a friend out on my Maricat for his first time yesterday. He's already shopping for his own 😂 I've recommended he pick up a cheap Mari or Windrush. There's a few H14s around at the moment but I'm hesitant to recommend one (for all the usual reasons that have been covered elsewhere). This one has a sail emblem I don't recognise, but looks half decent. Anyone know what it is?
  12. billygoat

    Cat ID please?

    Cheers Darcy. We may have found a Mari in "project" condition, which he can park up next to his other projects while we cover the fundamentals on my boat.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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?
  21. Hi Maricatters, Starting a new thread as an introduction and somewhere to post all the questions I'm gong to have in the next few weeks/months/lifetime. I grew up in Sydney racing Skyriders, then Flying 11s, and eventually sailing sheethand on a very non-competitive 16' Skiff out of Drummoyne (I don't think we finished a race in the couple of years I was sailing there, but we had a lot of learning experiences...). Dad bough an ancient NS14 at one stage, which we floated around Botany Bay on a few times before I moved to Melbourne, then on to Ballarat. It's now 20 years since I sailed regularly, so I used to know a few things but will be a bit rusty. I'm thinking it's about time my 9yo daughter learned one end of a mainsheet from the other. We have Lake Wendouree in town - an over-filled swamp about 2km across... shallow and full of weed, so I figured we'd be best off without a centreboard. The only cats I've sailed have been rented by the hour, a handful of times in the past decade. So I won an eBay auction, and brought our new old Maricat home yesterday. Apparently she was a Sydney boat originally, then was sailed keenly by somebody near Sale before moving to Melbourne under the ownership of the guy I bought her off yesterday. He had never sailed, and didn't have a very successful time with it. So, I've now emptied my sail box and tallied up two booms, two mainsails (with different numbers... one 23xx and one 24xx, both rainbow, the 23xx seems to be slightly bigger... both made by a sailmaker in Sydney, old enough that the phone number on the label only has 7 digits - I remember going to 8 digits in about 1992). Two jibs on furlers (different shades of yellow - haven't unfurled them to get a better look), with jib sheet pulleys attached, and one with no hardware (with an American sailmaker's patch sewn on it, may be a random misfit). Two sets of three older looking stays (one with the fourth broken eye that must have been attached to the broken stay in the box), one set of two newer looking stays. I've pieced two pairs of intact stays into a set of four, which appear to be two fore and two aft stays. Will worry about mast rake later. I'm thinking that the two new ones must be for sloop rigging. I'm thinking that breaking a stay must have been the end of Old Mate's brief sailing career - he said he never tried rigging with a jib, and there are no jib sheets anywhere to be seen. He never mentioned breaking a stay, but that information may have been forgotten in his haste to get me and the boat out the gate. There's a toolbox full of random bits - lots of pairs of pulley blocks... assumed to be jib related,, although I haven't found anything that might be a boom vang either (if we run a vang on these? I haven't looked at the boom/mast connection yet). Digging through your own sailing toolbox can be a scary and confusing time, digging through somebody else's toolbox is even worse. It looks like a few bits may have been stowed while wet, but hopefully nothing terminal. The hulls seem to be in good shape; the port side hatch is half full of salty water. If it got in and never got out again, I reckon the screw hatch itself must be suspect. The tramp was new when Old Mate got it, but has popped a short section out of one of the tracks, so I'll have to see about getting that back in somehow. The mainsheet and outhaul have been on the boat, out in the weather for who knows how long, but the blocks seem to be in okay shape even if the sheet needs replacing. The rudder blades are in fair shape, the downhaul (? terminology?) ropes and shock cord bits are pretty ragged, and the stick what joins the tillers together :-D is corroded pretty badly where the extension is riveted on. So, my plan now is to try and rig her up, on the trailer in the back yard, to check that it's possible... then de-rig, head down to the lake and give it a proper trial run. Without jib sheets, we'll be cat rigging for the immediate future, but I'm pretty keen to get fully rigged before long. May need some assistance there - I've only ever had direct pull jib sheets, and both my rigged jibs have pulleys on them, so we must use some kind of mechanical advantage (which must involve some of the pulleys in my box). I used to solo the F11s and NS14, so should be able to solo this Mari with minimal assistance from offspring, until she gets the idea of pulling ropes when shouted at. Tim
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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?
  25. 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.