Saturday, May 7, 2011

Yaaaayyyy!!!! Nothing Broke!

Took Rosa out today and had a nice little sail. There wasn't enough wind but I took her out anyway. L came out with me for the first time and had a ball... well, not really. As there was no wind we went Sargasso Sea a couple of times and my descriptive call of '... wow, now we're really flying!!!' , just met with puzzled looks.  I don't think it was as interesting or exciting for her as I had described.
Varsity Lakes
 Main thing though, was that there were no breakages. No tears, no near misses. Very sedate sail, which was probably best. Shame it was so boring. IF she comes out with me again, hopefully there'll be a bit more wind next time.

Not Much Wind
PS. The dolly worked really well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Paint Repair

This also sits fairly flat, so rainwater stands there quite a while
Rosa-j has been sitting out in the weather since the end of October last year. I'd purchased a good quality exterior undercoat and I'd used an 'epoxy' paint (Killrust). Okay, the paint was actually for metal but still, it should have handled the weather. Unfortunately, it hasn't. Maybe it's all the rain, combined with the QLD sun but whatever the reason, the paint has not weathered well on the bow.

All fixed

The bow is uppermost, takes the full brunt of the sun and rain. I imagine there is a fair bit of expansion and contraction and I don't cover it with a tarp or provide any other protection. So today I sanded the bow and front deck back, patched up the small cracks that were beginning to form, then repainted with Wattyl Solagard. We'll see if that lasts longer than six months.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Boat Dolly Finished (but room for improvement)

Found an interesting site today (Boats With Wheels) and got some more ideas with the dolly. As a result, I think I've got a finished design. Wife says it looks like it comes from some third world country but I take that as a compliment. Here 'tis.
Will it take the weight?

PVC pipe holding oars

My solution to a gap bigger than my arms

It works... could be neater (Mk 2?)

Mast Storage

Let's face it, the mast and boom are a bit of pain when it comes to getting them out of the way. Finally got a solution. I've finished the sail repairs, so I've assembled the sail, mast and boom (added a natty little Aussie flag at the top) and then roll the whole assembly up. I keep it all wrapped up using the shock chord from the tiller and the downhaul rope. Then it's up, under the shed awning out of the way on a couple of brackets I knocked up.

I've also put the rudder and centre-board together, upside down and back to back and hold them together by wrapping the sheet around them. I figure if I do this I can't forget anything when I go for a sail. Now I just have to find somewhere to store those and the oars.

Edit Jun 2016: The top of the mast, about 25 cm, poked out the side of the awning in the weather. After six years that part of the mast has rotted. Now I just have to decide whether to make do with a shorter sail or extend the mast back to the original size. Mike Storer designed the layout of the mast, sail and boat to be nicely 'tuned' so things will all be a little bit off if I change things. Also have to remake the sail as that has rotted away as well. Things to consider, things to do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sail Repaired

I finally put the SS eyelet into the sail. I've got two different sized tools for fixing eyelets and this one didn't fit either. So, not the neatest job but it will do.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Boat Dolly

Rosa J is a little big to manhadle by myself, just off the back of the ute. I really needed some type of trailer.

My cunning plan was to cut up a couple of old bikes and with a length of 30mm x 1.6mm SHS steel have a two wheeled dolly that would help me move the boat around. I thought it would just sit there nicely while I lowered the boat down off the ute. I don't know why I thought that, engineering design is another self-taught skill that hasn't really developed yet. But from challenges such as these, genius springs. At least I'm hoping it does because right now I have a two wheeled bit of scrap steel.

I think with a couple of extra lock-in bars I should be right. As they say in the classics... back to the drawing board (or in this case, Google Sketchup).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have to note the plastic eyelets are a failure at one point; where the downhaul tensions the luff of the sail, two eyelets up from the tack.

I'm going to put a brass coated metal eyelet back in here. I wasn't happy with the last lot I purchased as they were labeled 'brass' but after seeing rust forming on them, they were obviously only brass coated. All brands seem to be like that.

I don't have much choice but to use a metal eyelet as there is so much downward tension at that part of the sail the press-together plastic version just pulls apart. I could try gluing the plastic one together in some way but nothing really sticks to plastic all that well.

I've had two experiences of being stuck in the middle of the lake with a sail failure (well, one was due to a snapped mast) and I don't want to have another one. Mind you, I'm getting good at recovering from sea-borne tragedies.

Anyway, a brass coated one is going in. I'm going to press it together as gently as I can in the hope of not damaging the brass coating too much. I think I'll give it a coat of Kill-Rust or something as well, just to be on the safe side.

UPDATE: Whitworths Marine Hardware have a stainless steel version, so I'll get a packet of those.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two Good Lessons and Sail to Failure

Bit of a pattern emerging here. I seem to be sailing Rosa J till for some reason, she won't sail no more.

Had a friend who could sail take me out after I repaired the mast and put the patches on the sail and he gave me two great hints.
  1. Always turn into the wind... it makes the turns a lot less dramatic and the boom swings across in a nice, sedate manner.
  2. If things start to go wrong, drop the sheet. The boat slows down, there's no need to hike and you get as much time as you need to gather your thoughts.
He also got me to tie a figure-8 knot in the end of the sheet to stop it slipping out the back of the block and after sailing Rosa J by himself told me I had 'a real little boat there' and not to muck about getting over to the other side on the turns.

Anyhoooo, after sailing for about 50 minutes we were running down the length of the lake, really flying along when 'BANG, flap, flap, flap'; the only possible point of failure in the sail that I didn't patch let go. The tie between the sheet and the boom (aka, the clew).

We managed to get to the side, make a bit of a running repair, then headed back home. Not as dramatic as a snapped mast but still pretty messy. Guess that's the final sign to make my poly tarp a spare sail and spend the money on making a good primary sail. Time to get out the sewing machine again.