Thursday, December13, 2018

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Unassisted Mast Climbing -- a review of 6 methods

There are many articles reviewing different ways of climbing a mast. There are also articles where people tell how they do it, their pet way. After frustration that none of the ways I have tried over the years or read about doing as complete a literature search as I could, would meet my goals, I went out and tried to come up with a new way, something that would meet my goals. This article reviews six ways of climbing a mast without help form anyone else. It talks about the pros and cons of each system and scores them on a set of criteria. The high score system is one I developed using some mountain climbing gear. I tried almost every mountain climbing mechanical and non mechanical assist that I could buy before settling on the system I like.

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How to Fly a Spinnaker - Updated 6/9/2014

Spinnaker This 8 page tutorial covers all the terms, positions, and tasks of flying a symmetric spinnaker using the end for end gybe technique.

I have had Papoose for 23 years and never used a spinnaker on her. Last two seasons we won the local beer can series using a free flying jib downwind sometimes along with our normal jib. But we always had to play catch up to the boats that used spinnakers. I decided to learn to fly a spinnaker so we could move to the next level.

I joined the crew of a very successful Tarten-10 for the winter series. I used a GoPro camera to document as much as I could. This training series of articles is the result.

Lazy Lightning (the T-10) uses end for end gybes which are said to be appropriate for boats up to 35 feet. It is much simpler to rig and execute than a dip pole gybe so is the preferred method for boats such as mine which fly smaller spinnakers.
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Tide Page

This new tide page will show tide chart, table, and hourly tide or current. Search for a tide station by entering part of the name. Select from the list of possible stations. There is a list box that shows nearby stations if you want to switch locations. A map shows where the station is registered.
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Using Bluetooth GPS Receivers with Android - UPDATED 7-13-2013

To get the most accuracy from GPS based applications it is not enough to use the built in GPS in your phone or tablet because they do not have differential (WAAS) mode. Some applications can take advantage of higher update rates available in external GPS devices as well. In this article, I will explain why you might want an external GPS receiver, what the various Android drivers do, and why I picked "Bluetooth GPS Provider" as my preferred app. Finally, I will explain all of the Preferences in Bluetooth GPS Provider, something you will not find anywhere else.

Note that as of Android 4.1 it is a little tricky to get these devices to work. Read on and find out what you need to do.

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How to Point Higher

NOTE: This is an article I wrote for our local yacht club newsletter. For background, so far this season I have come in first 6 times and second once. Last race we won by 4 minutes in a 6 mile race.

Resource id #11
I have been racing at SPYC for 5 years and that represents almost all my racing experience. I am thankful to the club for this experience and it has helped me a great deal to become a better racer. I am also grateful to other skippers who are far better racers than I will ever be for sharing many insights and tips on sailing. While I do not consider myself an expert racer, I would like to continue the tradition of sharing what I have learned in hopes of making other boats faster as well. In my case, there are two things that help Papoose win races. One is having lots of wind when racing against much lighter boats. The other is pointing ability. It is my hope that this article might help other people discover new pointing ability in their boats.
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More Low Friction Rings

In the first article of this series we gave results on using fairleads and showed how the added friction is not significant with low deflection angles. In this article we consider using low friction and other standard rings with high deflections and analyze how these can be used in systems to provide simple and inexpensive mechanical advantage. Again we used the digital scale shown on the right to make the measurements. This scale reads up to 220 pounds with 1/2 pound resolution.

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Fairlead Friction Uncovered

Have you ever wondered hom much, if anything, you are giving up by using fairleads instead of blocks? How much friction is there. How does this compare with a block? Does the style of the fairlead matter? This article attempts to answer these questions.

Using a digital scale, I was able to compare the no fairlead force required to just move my weight against the turning block that I had on the test bench to the force required to move the weight when there was a bend through one of two types of fairleads. I took data at many angles with both fairleads. I also took some data with different line types, specifically Samson XLS and Amsteel.

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Jibsheet Fairleads

Do you find that you get wraps on your jib winches or just want give a better lead angle to the winch? In the last race we did, a new crew member got a wrap so tight that the only way to release it was to cut the sheet with a knife. We strung the lazy sheet to the secondary winch and took the pressure off but that was not enough to free the wrap, that is when the knife came out. The winch manufacturer recommends between 3 and 8 degrees as the ideal sheeting angle.

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Unique Mainsheet System Analyzed

It isn't often you see a completely new way to rig a mainsheet. I saw this posting on Sailing Anarchy and though I would share an analysis of what they are doing and why. Here is a picture of the boat

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More on Rings as Twings, Inhaulers, and Fairleads

I have several articles on using rings as inhaulers and twings. This can be taken to extremes and the jib car can be eliminated and just the twing and inhauler used. It not only can be, that is how the TP-52 fleet is rigged. Here are some pictures to show it. This is a picture I took a couple of years ago at the Big Boat Series in San Francisco of the TP-52 Mayham
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Calibrating a Marine Compass

Everyone understands that a marine compass needs to be calibrated. I am not an expert on compass calibration but got interested in the question when a club member asked me if I had an article on the subject on this web site. It is easy enough to find articles on how to calibrate a marine compass but I found them lacking in two areas. First, they did not explain what was really going on such that I could understand why things were being done. Second, they all recommended you don't actually do the calibration yourself but rather hire an expert. Of course, because I only was presented with a how and a recommendation not to do it, I did not have the knowledge to judge if the procedure was going to be error prone if I did it without some of the fancy tools the professionals have. I kept thinking about it and doing a few experiments until I felt I understood what the goal of all these measurements was and how accurate they needed to be. Of course, I would be a fool if I didn't give the same advice, have an expert do the job for you. But after reading this you might at least understand what is going on and be able to judge for yourself if you think you know enough to calibrate your own compass.
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7-Day Tide and Current Forecast

Improved 2/27/2013 - Graph now goes midnight to midnight. Added title to each section.

Tables and graphs for selected tide or current station for the week ahead.
Table shows high and low times for tide, slack and peak for current. Also shows sun and moon events. Graph is as shown below. The final table shows the hourly values.

Sorry tide depth graphs only, please select another station.
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Low Friction Rings Mechanical Advantage

Using Low Friction Rings instead of Blocks
I recently saw a picture of a three stage cascaded block system using low friction ring instead of blocks. This article analyzes such a cascade and shows how to calculate its effective mechanical advantage. The techniques shown can easily be extended to other systems. I will discuss one such system that I use on my boat.

Mechanical Advantage
To analyze a system like this you need to know the efficiency of a single stage, extend that to the the efficiency of the entire system, and translate that to mechanical advantage. For reference lets consider the following sketch.

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Make Your Own Telltails

By: Ed Sinofsky

I admit it, this is sailing nerdiness at its extreme. When I was a teenager I was a sailmaker at Spencer sails in Huntington New York. That was almost 40 years ago! I used to make the telltales when I worked there. It was always fun bringing pockets full out to customer's boats and giving them away like bringing cake or wine to a visit.

I'm no longer a sailmaker, but over the years I have fine-tuned the design. As winter sets in, I always like to make a nice big batch just to keep myself occupied. I thought some of you might be interested to see how I do it.
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The information on this web site has not been checked for accuracy. It is for entertainment purposes only and should be independently verified before using for any other reason. There are five sources. 1) Documents and manuals from a variety of sources. These have not been checked for accuracy and in many cases have not even been read by anyone associated with I have no idea of they are useful or accurate, I leave that to the reader. 2) Articles others have written and submitted. If you have questions on these, please contact the author. 3) Articles that represent my personal opinions. These are intended to promote thought and for entertainment. These are not intended to be fact, they are my opinions. 4) Small programs that generate result presented on a web page. Like any computer program, these may and in some cases do have errors. Almost all of these also make simplifying assumptions so they are not totally accurate even if there are no errors. Please verify all results. 5) Weather information is from numerious of sources and is presented automatically. It is not checked for accuracy either by anyone at or by the source which is typically the US Government. See the NOAA web site for their disclaimer. Finally, tide and current data on this site is from 2007 and 2008 data bases, which may contain even older data. Changes in harbors due to building or dredging change tides and currents and for that reason many of the locations presented are no longer supported by newer data bases. For example, there is very little tidal current data in newer data bases so current data is likely wrong to some extent. This data is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. See the XTide disclaimer for details. In addition, tide and current are influenced by storms, river flow, and other factors beyond the ability of any predictive program.