Mailport July 1, 1998 Issue

Mailport 07/01/98

Another Inner Forestay Stowage Method
This system was on our CAL 39 when I bought it and works very well. We have a 140% genoa on a roller furler. Rather than trying to use it partially furled when the wind comes up, we fly a relatively flat heavy #1 jib on a second forestay located just inside the furled genoa. The stay is attached near the bow and tightened with an ABI lever. The stay is stowed in a curved bracket that retains the stay and maintains a large bending radius. It was fabricated from a section of bent stainless tubing (with the outside half cut away) welded to a piece of stainless plate which was then bent 90° for through-bolt mounting on the deck ($100 from a local fabricator). I recommend thick wall tubing and .050" or thicker plate since loads may be substantial. The front bracket, also through-bolted, was made from 1/4" stainless plate; it contains a hole which fits the pin in the ABI lever. In the photo, the stay was deployed and is not shown.

The aft edge of the curved bracket is in line with the forward lower shrouds and, thus provides no additional interference when tacking the large genoa. This location also places the stowed forestay about 8" forward of the spreader. The location of the forward edge of the curved bracket, about 1/2" below the top of the handrail, keeps the sheets from getting caught when tacking the #3 jib.

Duane J. Knize
La Jolla, California

I recently read Steve Dashew’s excellent article in the April 15 issue. It was very well done…until I reviewed the mention of the Walker AIRSEP closed crankcase and silencer system mounted on the engine. The last line in the paragraph indicates what would appear to be a proofreading error where the author cites, “I would never do another boat with a Walker AIRSEP.”

Our customers, PS readers, as well as our dealers, would seem to indicate they would, “Never do another boat WITHOUT a Walker AIRSEP.”

I trust this was the author’s intent.

Michael DeLillo
Walker Engineering Enterprises
8321 DeCelis Place
North Hills, California 91343
818/895-7785 fax

Sorry about that. Steve wrote it that way and we didn’t catch the error. When we checked with Steve he reiterated that it is a “fantastic product.”

Outboard vs. Inboard
Mr. Chulski’s letter in the March double issue regarding the pros and cons of outboards versus inboards is on the money, as is your reasoned response.

We have sailed a 1976 Ranger 33 in Northwest waters for the past 10 years. Our Atomic 4 gives us good service, but we are concerned it will give up the ghost at an inappropriate time. The solution: Last spring we mounted a Mercury 8-hp. outboard on the transom. We fire up the Mercury occasionally to keep it running properly. The Atomic 4 gives us 6 knots in calm waters, the outboard 5 to 5-1/2.

This letter is directed at sailors with older gas engines who might feel safer with a “go home” outboard for emergencies.

Bruce Beh
Port Townsend, Washington

Charter Survey
One of our charter guests just faxed us a copy of your Reader Survey on bareboat chartering (February 15, 1998). Obviously, we were quite upset at having a “No” registered against us. For your information, we are one of the oldest owner-operated companies and have been in business for over 16 years. We have one of the highest repeat businesses in the industry.

Your advice to first-time bareboaters to charter only with The Moorings or Sunsail is absolutely ill-advised as those companies are far more expensive than some of the smaller ones and quite often cannot give the personal attention the smaller companies give to charter guests.

Rolf Steinhuebl
President Tropic Island Yacht Management Ltd.
Maya Cove, Tortola
British Virgin Islands

While chartering with another company in the BVI’s, my wife and I looked longingly at the meticulously kept yachts out of Tropic Island Yacht Management, with whom we had previously chartered on several occasions. As we dealt with the many problems we had with our boat, we laughed and said, “Rolf would never have allowed this boat out of Maya Cove!”

David Frizell
Metuchen, New Jersey

We have chartered roughly 15 times in 25 years. We have had all kinds of things happen: clogged fuel filters, propeller falling off, dead batteries, inoperable bilge pumps, stoves that would not light, windlasses that wouldn’t pull, bent anchors that wouldn’t hold…the list is very long.

We just had our best charter ever, with Tropic Island. We will definitely go back.

Problems happen when people charter. It’s the response to the problems that counts most.

Dave Woodman
Wayland, Massachusetts

In your January 1, 1998 issue, I note that several readers took exception to your use of torque/energy, so I thought it best to point out a few misnomers on page 24 on chain locker design.

A hawsepipe runs between the deck and the side shell of a vessel and is normally found only on larger boats or ships. With hawsepipes, stockless anchors usually stow in the hawsepipe.

The pipe running between the deck and the chain locker is called a chain pipe.

You state to “not rely on the windlass gypsy to hold it” (the anchor). I agree in that since a gypsy is a horizontal drum for hauling in lines and not for chain, it can easily slip. I believe you really meant “wildcat,” which is a cog-like wheel that is used to haul in/pay out the anchor chain. To secure the anchor for sea, a devil’s claw is used.

Also, an easy way to seal a chain pipe for sea is to pack the deck opening around the chain with children’s modeling clay. It will easily mold in and around the chain, it won’t harden and in an emergency it doesn’t need to be removed to let go the anchor.

William Stemwell
Savannah, Georgia

Another reader, J.A. Hamilton, also notes that a chain pipe is sometimes called a spurling pipe. Other terms include spilling or spill pipe, deck pipe, naval pipe and monkey pipe.

Hunter 310 Cockpit
I’ve been reading PS since its beginnings and as time goes on, I can’t help feeling that your “critical eye” is in need of a new prescription.

I refer to the evaluation of the Hunter 310 in the March 1 issue, in which you miss some very disturbing features of the current cockpit designs that Hunter employs.

In December 1996, my wife, myself and two other couples took a new Hunter 430 for 10 days in the BVI’s. The trip out of the harbor revealed that every time the boat pitches, the persons sitting near the arch smacked their heads on it. This may sound funny, but it made the best part of the cockpit—the part with all the back support—totally useless while moving.

So now we’re at anchor in the Bight at Norman Island with a hot Caribbean sun and we find that there is no seat long enough and straight enough for a normal person to lie down to read without having to curl up like a shrimp.

And finally, coming back from Anegada through a rain squall we discovered that the lower half of the cockpit fills up with water and only has the decency to empty when a tack is accomplished.

Our 10 days aboard this boat led us to the question, did anybody spend any time on the prototype before this design went into production?

I can understand most people seeing this boat at a show and picturing themselves at the dock entertaining guests with food and drink, proud of their new purchase, but you guys? A pox on your bottoms!

Capt. Fred Schenker
Island Park, New York

Paint for Props
For most sailors like myself, whose boats are hauled at the end of each season, exotic bottom paints are applied more as a superstition than for any practical results. After all, the bottom paint only has to last anywhere from four to six months. Only serious world cruisers need worry about keeping clean for years at a time. Almost any bottom paint from any manufacturer—in my 21 years of experience—works reasonably well for a summer…with one exception: propellers. Someone will make a lot of money when they come up with a product that will reliably keep propellers clean for an entire season.

My current boat has a two-bladed prop with a 2' length of exposed shaft and a J strut. Each year I have tried something different—ordinary bottom paint, two coats, zinc but no bottom paint; no bottom paint, no zinc; Desitin (messy, very messy); outdrive paint (TBT in a can for aluminum outdrives, illegal), etc. Desitin was actually the best the first year I tried it. Except that the second seson the barnacles grew thicker than ever.

Last year I tried something different. I'd been reading about the use of copper/epoxy hull applications. It occurred to me that I could try something like that. I called the Gougeon Brothers, makers of WEST System epoxy and got from them the name of a supplier in Massachusetts (M-D Both Industries, Box 306, Nickerson Rd., Ashland, MA 01721). They were kind enough to send me a sample of copper powder.

I prepared my prop by carefully wire brushing old growth off, then sanding it smooth with #100 grit paper, leaving some tooth for the epoxy to grip. Then I mxed up abut 2 to 3 ounces of epoxy. While it was in the mixing jar I added an equal volume of pure copper powder, stirred it well, then painted the whole mess on the prop. It dried lumpy, but I expected that. After it set up I sanded it as smoothly as possible, trying not to expose bronze anywhere on the prop. For control, I used US Yacht Copperkote on the shaft and strut, as well as on the rest of the hull and keel.

Results? Some growth on the prop, including slime, but just one barnacle by Labor Day, two or three at haul-out after 220 hours engine time. And the best part is that the copper/epoxy is good to go for the next year after another sanding. Best results yet! The US Yacht Copperkote worked well on the rest of the bottom, except the J strut and shaft, which were thickly coated with barnacles and soft growth.

Cliff Moore
Rocky Hill, New Jersey

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

New to Practical Sailor?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In