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Archive for March, 2008

Mag 80 Leads Saturday Starters Past Early Fleet

Monday, March 31st, 2008

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif.- It took about a day for the fastest boats to overcome the 24-hour head start by some of the slowest-rated boats in Balboa Yacht Club’s biennial race from Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas.

About halfway through the 800-nautical mile race early Sunday afternoon Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80, an Andrews 80 from Long Beach, moved well inshore of Jim Madden’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Stark Raving Mad III and was virtually on the transom of the Nauti Chicas all-woman team sailing Predator, a J/35 half their size further handicapped by a shredded spinnaker (see E-mails from the sea below).

Mag 80 was clocking 13.4 knots to Predator’s 7.1, according to iBoat tracking’s bi-hourly report at noon PDT.

Earlier, Mag 80’s navigator, Ernie Richau, reported: “It has been an interesting night. Lots of cloud cover, a little rain and cool temps. The sailing has been somewhat challenging as the wind has been changing direction by 50 degrees and the wind speed is up and down between 7 and 18 knots. At 9 a.m. Sunday the weather now looks to have steadied into a more typical Cabo race and we are running on port gybe with the code 2a spinnaker up. We hope to even see a little sun this afternoon.”

Mag 80’s record for the course is 2 days 13 hours 26 minutes 58 seconds. It must finish by 1:26 a.m. PDT Tuesday to lower that, but the prospect was questionable at the moment.

Two boats have dropped out—Tom Holthus’ Bad Pak on Saturday with a steering problem and George Minardos’ Aeolos, a Beneteau 44.7 Class C boat from Santa Monica that broke its boom late Saturday night.

“Please report to the race committee that as of 22:00 3/29 we are out of the race due to a broken boom,” Minardos e-mailed to race officials. Our position as of 23:00 is 28 52′N / 116 42′ W. All crew are safe, we are low on fuel and are sailing to Turtle Bay.”

Also, a Class A competitor lost time after crossing tacks with a fish. It’s OK, an Andrews 50 from Covina entered by Tres Gordos Sailing LLC, struck an unknown species with its keel and needed 30 minutes to back down and remove it. It’s OK did not report what it had for dinner Saturday night.

Neither Mag 80 nor Stark Raving Mad III may catch some of the other Friday starters. As of mid-day Sunday, there was a fierce four-boat battle going on in Class B.

Tom Garnier’s Reinrag2 was still projected as the only boat that would finish before midnight Monday, although the J/125 from Portland, Ore. had more miles to go (344) than Tim Beatty’s Perry 56, Stealth Chicken (345), or Jack Taylor’s Santa Cruz 50, Horizon (337) and was about even with another SC 50, Jim Morgan’s Fortaleza.

Reinrag2 also was currently first overall in the fleet on corrected handicap time, poised to win that honor as it did in last summer’s Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii, with the Santa Cruz 50s hanging tight.

Highlights of the starts will be shown on KDOC-TV’s Daybreak OC weekday morning news show from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. starting Monday.

The finish line is off the beach in front of the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Hotel, a location also known as Cabo Falso, just before boats would turn the corner at the tip of the peninsula into Cabo San Lucas.

Besides the usual Southern California standard PHRF and international ORR handicap systems, this race also will score the a dozen competitors on the evolving IRC method.

E-mails from the sea

Nauti Chicas, Predator (Saturday): “We have been going like gangbusters at lots of 10 kts speed in 20 kts wind. But our computer got a little wet and flaky so we let it dry out for and it seems to be working (this is a test). We are all doing swell – ha ha -  in 10 foot crossing seas this whole trip, as much as 70 miles offshore at on point.

(Sunday) “Well, it’s been a crazy day/night. If you saw our detailed track on iBoat you may have noticed a big loop we did around midnight. It wasn’t a man overboard, or retrieving our favorite hat, but we blew up to shreds our strongest spinnaker in our inventory while running deep in 25 kts. Of course, some of it was our fault, as we were running quarterly swells in vertigo-inducing pitch darkness and had just a couple of round-ups which puts a lot of stress on the thing. So, anyway, we got all 3 corners of the sail on deck, saved the gear and let the kite go out for burial at sea. That and a new headsail up and a jibe all in less than an hour. You could imagine all hands on deck, tethers on, flashlights and knives at the ready. That was a first for any of us I think.”

Peter Bretschger, Adios (Saturday): “Team Adios had a spectacular night last night. With up to 30 kts of breeze and 16 kts of boat speed, we had a blast doing almost 188 miles on the first 24 hrs. We think we’ve done well to date sitting in the middle of our fleet position-wise, with most of them owing us time. The boat has been flawless so far with long smooth runs of 10+ kts regularly occurring. Not much sea life so far, probably going too fast. Sunburn is the main concern now as the skies have cleared. Looking forward to Cabo!

Glenn Highland, Bien Roulée (Saturday): Remained an E Ticket ride all day off of Mexico — plenty of wind, big rough seas, some jibes in 25 knots to get your attention along the way. Bien Roulée continues to hold her own from what we could tell in the morning positions. She is kicking up a wake that looks like a Volvo boat in the Southern Ocean! Eating has not been that important . . . sleep has been the focus — and we have another long night tonight. Some clouds, some blue skies, but lots of wind and waves.

(Sunday) Conditions have moderated . . . wind and seas down. Still nice sailing but you can now carry on a conversation in the cockpit without having to yell to get over the sea noise. Very civilized. Last night was pitch black . . . clouds to start with no moon until 2 a.m. — as dark as you can imagine. Some ships around but no racers sighted.

Class leaders
(positions on corrected handicap time at 1 p.m. PDT Sunday)

Started Saturday, March 29

1. Peligroso (Dencho/Kernan 68), Mike Campbell/Dale Williams, Long Beach, 543 miles to go.
2. Medicine Man (Andrews 61), Bob Lane, Pico Rivera, Calif., 552.
3. Stark Raving Mad (Reichel/Pugh 60), Jim Madden, Oyster Bay, N.Y., 543.
4. Magnitude 80 (Andrews 80), Doug Baker, Long Beach, 521.

1. Pendragon IV (Davidson 52), John MacLaurin, Long Beach, 563.
2. Holua (Santa Cruz 70), Brack Duker, Pasadena, 558.
3. It’s OK (Andrews 50), Tres Gordos Sailing LLC, Covina, Calif., 571.
4. Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), Patrick O’Brien, Venice, Calif., 564.
5. Stars & Stripes (Farr 60), Dennis Conner, San Diego, 571.
6. Westerly (Santa Cruz 70), Tom Hogan, Newport Beach, 566.

Started Friday, March 28

CLASS B (10 boats)—1. Reinrag2 (J/125), Thomas Garnier, Portland, Ore., 344.
CLASS C (10 boats)—1. Katrina (Swan 53), Damon Guizot, Seward, Alaska, 420.
CLASS D (7 boats)—1. Wind Dancer (Catalina 42), Vance and PK Edwards, Ventura, Calif., 445.

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Class Winners Bask in Victory

Monday, March 31st, 2008

After completing a single distance race today, yesterday’s eight class leaders nailed down overall victories at the 35th annual International Rolex Regatta, which began Friday. The trade winds that made the prior two days so exciting delivered once again as sailors on 90 boats completed the Pillsbury Sound course, set between the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, and its smaller sister island of St. John. (more…)

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Races Stack On Day Two

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Lively trade winds made for a bountiful second day of competition at the International Rolex Regatta, where hundreds of sailors are competing in a fleet of 90 boats. After yesterday’s gear-busting conditions, the wind checked in at a more moderate 14-16 knots today, allowing race organizers to pack the day with back-to-back races in eight classes for handicap (IRC and CSA), Beach Cat and IC24 One-Design competition.

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Big Wind Makes for Big Stories

Monday, March 31st, 2008

With the wind blowing 20-22 knots on opening day of the International Rolex Regatta, everyone had a war story to tell when they got back to shore. The three-day event kicked off with a race to town, in which 90 boats took off from the east end of St. Thomas, where the 35-year-old event is hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, for the bustling waterfront of Charlotte Amalie. After the downwind sprint, the fleet reversed course and sailed back home “on the nose.”

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Mac Stories Night Coming April 11

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Mac Stories Night is April 11th

Chicago Yacht Club invites you to join them, April 11th at Belmont Station, Chicago.

Mac Stories Night – The Sequel
6:00 p.m. ~ A la Carte Dinner Buffet
7:30 p.m. ~ Speakers

Back by popular demand…Mac Stories Night! This year’s event will feature winning skippers who will share the secrets and strategies of their success. Humor, terror, excitement, luck – it’s all covered! Join fellow members to hear these fascinating stories about what happened during the last 99 races as the Chicago Yacht Club continues the celebration of the 100th Running of the Race to Mackinac.

To make reservations for the dinner buffet contact the front desk at 312.861.7777.

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Caribbean Fleet Readies for Battle

Friday, March 28th, 2008

At the St. Thomas Yacht Club today, positive energy blended splendidly with the excitement surrounding preparations for the 35th running of the International Rolex Regatta. The three-day event starts tomorrow, offering handicap and one-design racing for 90 boats and hundreds of sailors, who are giving two thumbs up to some new twists. First, the regatta has taken a lead in offering IRC racing, since the popularity of that rating rule has grown rapidly in Europe and North America and is now catching on in the Caribbean. Second, the event is the first part of Virgin Islands Race Week, which combines the International Rolex Regatta scores with those from next week’s BVI Spring Regatta to determine winners in a series that unites two Caribbean nations.

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Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Presents ’08 Regatta Calendar

Friday, March 28th, 2008

MILAN, ITALY – Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) presented its 2008 regatta calendar to press and guests gathered today in Milan’s Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology. Following last year’s 40th anniversary celebrations, 2008 marks the beginning of a new phase in the Club’s development in which expansion and internationalization are high on the agenda in addition to a continued commitment to organizing world-class yachting events. (more…)

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Got Manuals?

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

We asked our site users what manuals they carried for their engine.  More than 18% did not have manuals for their engines and only about 18% had both the parts and service manual.

While manuals are no substitute for the assistance of an authorized marine engine service center, they can help you make emergency repairs at sea.  The proper manuals can also help mechanics in remote locations where you may not be able to reach an authorized service center to get you on your way with a minimum of inconvenience.

When you have the proper manuals and some common spare parts on board you can keep a minor inconvenience from turning into a ruined trip.

The following are links to find the manuals you may need for your engine:

Yanmar Manuals

Universal Manuals

Westerbeke Manuals

Atomic 4 Manuals

If you do not see your engine listed, please feel free to contact Torresen Marine’s parts department or call 231-759-8596.

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Standing Rigging; You Can’t Ignore the Wire

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

As I start many of my discussions on rigging I need to reiterate that there are many distinctly separate systems related to rigging. Mast lights, life lines, furlers, halyards, and wire all fall under the general description of “rigging”. The term systems means that within a specific rigging area such as the standing rigging there are various components that when assembled make up the “standing rigging system”. When discussing the condition of a system we need to consider each of these components as a variable to the overall condition of the system itself. If one or more of these variables are improperly incorporated, defective, or damaged in any way, they become the “weak link” in the system. Therefore this weak link becomes the benchmark for the integrity of the system of which it is associated. In this article I will discuss standing rigging by introducing the different types of standing rigging that are commonly used on today’s sailboats. I will specifically address 1×19 stainless steel standing rigging. Likewise in the following monthly articles I will go over the other types of rigging independently.

When referring to stainless steel standing rigging we are talking about wire. Two types of stainless wire are generally used in standing rigging. These are 1×19 wire and Dyform wire. The most commonly used standing rigging is the 1×19 wire, therefore let’s discuss the variables associated with this rigging system.

Stainless 1×19 wire is made up of 19 individual wires wound into a single product known as wire rope. The end product is a relatively stiff wire with excellent abrasion and stretch resistance. The actual stainless content can be 302, 304, or 316-grade stainless steel. Lower grades have more iron content than the higher grades and are obviously more susceptible to corrosion from the elements. Each specific diameter of this wire has a published breaking strength. Any termination hardware associated with these wire sizes usually have the same breaking strength ratings. When assuming that the standing rigging has been properly sized and assembled, the system is able to maintain this breaking strength variable. Sizing of wire for a particular use is based on the safe working load of the wire size. This working load is usually conservatively rated to be around 15-25% of the breaking strength of a given wire size.

The leading system variable to consider is the life expectancy of this wire and its terminations. The life expectancy variable is effected by its own sub-variables. The main players are; the grade of stainless, the quality, design, and installation of termination fittings, the frequency of use, the sailing environment, and the care and maintenance of the standing rigging.

Next, state-of-the-art rigging hardware provided by a reputable manufacturer is the only acceptable choice. Anything else can be considered an unnecessary risk. Acceptable assembly techniques are roll swaging that uses rolling or hammering dies to compress the barrel of the fitting onto the wire therefore fusing the fitting to the wire and maintaining the expressed breaking strength. Mechanical assemblies are done with swageless fittings that use a cone and wedge type fitting that effectively terminate the wire system and also maintain the breaking strengths of the system. These mechanical fittings are particularly good to have on hand when a reputable boat yard with swaging capabilities is not available.

The frequency of use of a vessel is also a consideration. A technical monitoring group by the name of Germanisher Lloyd has developed a yacht classification for this variable. They consider the displacement, yacht purpose/environment, and how this yacht is crewed. Their classifications are; Cat 1 heavy displacement ocean going vessels handled by professional crews, Cat 2 mid-displacement offshore yachts handled by crew or owners, Cat 3 light displacement coastal cruisers and club racers handled by owners and crew, Cat 4 light displacement racing yachts handled by professional crew. Obviously a boat that gets used for recreational sailing every other week during summer months in a fresh water environment has less wear on its rigging that a commercial charter boat located in the Caribbean that is used heavily all year long.

The major environmental factors relative to the life expectancy of standing rigging are humidity and salinity. For comparison sake let’s assume that the above variables are all averaged. In a fresh water environment with moderate humidity and negligible salinity, the life expectancy of the average standing rigging system is 15-20 years. In a northern coastal environment with moderate humidity and moderate salinity the life expectancy of average standing rigging system is 10 to 15 years. Lastly, in a high humidity and high salinity environment the life expectancy is more like 5 to 10 years.

Maintenance and inspection schedules play a part in this life expectancy. This variable offers a wide range of possibilities from effective maintenance to neglect. The Navtec Rigging Services Guidelines refer to a level A rig inspection that is simply done by a visual inspection of rigging with the mast in the stepped position. Recommended intervals are several times a year. The level B inspection is visual inspection with the mast stepped but rig tensions unloaded. This inspection is more for yachts with sophisticated rigs usually incorporating rod rigging. Recommended inspection intervals are once a year. Level C is a full-service inspection with the mast removed from the boat. Recommended intervals are once every four years. Torresen Marine’s Rigging Department offers a comprehensive rig inspection that categorizes rigging systems, explains what we are looking for, what we are finding, and recommends service with estimated prices. Annual inspections organize the conditions of rigging systems and allow the customer and the rigger to organize, maintain, and schedule the needed services.

Common problems found in wire rigging are rougeing, improper fitting terminations, turnbuckle galling, cycling, and age.

Rougeing is a corrosive breakdown of the wire and its lower termination of a section of rigging. As water and its contaminates travel down a section of wire it begins to attack the swage or mechanical fitting and wire. We can inspect this area visually under magnification and begin to see tea-colored stain in the wire itself. If this is visible you can be assured that something worse is going on inside the termination itself. Time to talk to a reputable rigger.

Improper fittings are usually found when improvisations have been made to rigging connections to remedy a problematic situation. It’s when these “quick fixes” are not properly addressed and/or ignored because they are an improvement over the past condition that the “system’s” integrity is breached.

Galling is another common problem when stainless steel turnbuckle bodies are used with stainless steel studs. These similar metals when tensioned over and over (as when a mast is unstepped every year) that these metals begin to fuse together on a molecular level. Given a little time and contamination this type of turnbuckle will gall and ultimately make the rig unadjustable and difficult to remove completely. These turnbuckle bodies can be easily replaced with a chrome-plated bronze turnbuckle body. Once a turnbuckle has galled itself to the swage stud, replacing this turnbuckle will require cutting the old stud off the wire and re-swaging an extended stud back onto the old wire and adding the new turnbuckle.

Cycling refers to the torque forces associated with the “pumping” of standing rigging. Consider a mast that is standing still on a boat either in a slip or on its cradle. Considering this to a dormant situation is erroneous. On a mildly breezy day look closely up your mast and you’ll notice the presence of harmonic vibrations. Its these forces that continue to add to the break down rigging. Even worse if your boat is stored on a mooring during the summer months these forces are severely increased. It would be safe to say that the life expectancy of the standing rigging on a moored boat can be reduced by half. Mast-down storage reduces the amount of cycling on a yearly basis and also gets your rig in the hands of competent riggers who will notice and report potential problems before they become summer vacation destroyers.

As far as age, from where I sit now I can see roughly three hundred, well aged boats stored with masts in the upright position. It would be safe to say that only a handful of these rigs have had any standing rigging replaced ever. It is advisable that boat owners consider these variables and consult their riggers to further discuss their particular rigging conditions. Torresen Marine’s Rigging Department is available for consultation.

In the following months articles on standing rigging we will discuss Dyform wire, rod rigging, and fiber rigging respectively.

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Dennis Conner is Racing to Mexico Again

Monday, March 24th, 2008

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif.—So if you were arguably still the most famous sailor in the world where would you rather be this month—racing to Mexico with some of your friends or wrangling in court about the format for the next America’s Cup?

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