Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The first week of summer

The summer solstice was just a few days ago and today, after 14 months since the knock down, Ventura sailed once again!

It was a very nice day though I could have used just a touch less wind, but in the end it was just fine.  Trying to get this rig back together and sort out everything is tedious and time consuming.  One really needs to be happy just "messing about" in boats with a trailer sailor because so much time is spent getting the boat to the water and ready to go, then doing the reverse at the end of the day.
Our sail was only about 2 hours, but it was enough time to take the boat thru it's paces.  We raised both main and jib.  We reefed the main.  We tacked.  We jibed.  We docked and we used the motor.  It is all working again.  The only thing we didn't really do was anchor.
I have along "to do list" after the sail.  Mostly things I forgot, some important, some not so much.  I forgot to put on the rigging for the reef point, that was very annoying.  I made it work with spare line onboard, but heavily chastised myself for not thinking it all thru.
The out board was a bit inconsistent as we left the dock and eventually died, but we had decent wind so we just sailed.  On the return I ran it for a while and it eventually evened out and ran the entire time we needed it.  This was the first time it has really run since it was IN the river.  I did maintenance it after it's sinking but hadn't really run it very long since.  I think it will be fine.
In truth my enthusiasm for this kind of boat, this kind of sailing isn't very strong.  I miss my full keeled cruiser on it's mooring.  But I will make due with what I have right now.
It was good to be back on the water and even sailing with in sight of where I took my very cold swim, the one that was almost the last thing I ever did, was fine.   I really only gave it a thought for about 2 seconds, maybe 3.
There is a lot of summer ahead.  Todays sail only cost 10 dollars at the launch ramp.  I have to do quite a few of those to equal the cost of a slip for the summer, so that makes spending the 10 bucks a lot easier.  Let's see what the summer has in store for us.
Fair Winds!
Although I am thinking of having a new mainsail built for Ventura and using her as much as I can I will say that if anybody needs a very, very cheap boat and trailer I am open to selling her.  I have too many boats right now and I really miss sailing my Bristol

Thursday, June 18, 2015


We took the skiff out to the lake yesterday.  After stopping at the park ranger's office and buying our permits for the year we put in at the boat launch.  We rigged the sail and set it.  The wind was light to none existent at times but it did move us along most of the time.
The old, larger sail.  It was often times too much but it kept the boat moving
in the lightest of breeze.
The new smaller sail is really a bit too small, but it does keep me from worrying about being knocked down and makes transporting, and handling the spars much easier.
I have recently discovered that my enthusiasm for getting out on the water has diminished.  This began about 4 years ago, I'd guess.  I think the hassles of dealing with marina's and clubs was one part of it.  Clubs seemed dominated by the member's personalities and often times I found that people had a lot of issue's that really affected my time sailing.  I wanted to sail to get away from that kind of thing.
The marina's seem overly crowded.  The more boats, the more money for the marina.  It seemed that many boaters in the marina's came to the water with the same attitude of hurrying that they have on the highways.  This is another thing I tried to escape by going sailing.
Even using a small boat, like the skiff, that I can throw in the truck can seem overly complicated.  I think that yesterday having to stop and get my annual permits added to this feeling that I takes so much time and effort just to get the boat under way.
When I used to keep my boat on a mooring I never felt this way.  When I arrived at the Club or boatyard I went straight to the dinghy dock and dropped my bag in, stepped aboard and I was on the water, rowing, which, I considered an enjoyable and integral part of going sailing.  I rarely had to use a motor at all because I could just sail off the mooring and back up to it upon return.  Maybe I was spoiled by this great situation, but I still would prefer it and believe anybody who really likes sailing would too.
I have yet to launch the Venture 21, though she does seem ready to go, mostly.  I need to finish up some details like setting up the mainsheet, and putting on a piece of line for the outhaul on the main, but really she could be put in the water today.  Today my excuse is questionable weather.  Really it is just lack of enthusiasm for hooking up the trailer, driving to a launch ramp, rigging, getting the boat in the water by myself, and then motoring away from the ramp in order to sail.  All of this only to have to reverse and repeat before the end of the day.  All of the energy and stress of getting the boat to the water and back kind of overshadows my joy for sailing, maybe because I know there was/is a better way.  Maybe a trailerable isn't for me.  But right now my other option is the larger deeper boat in a marina and that means crowds and engines and expense.  On the bright side is that even on windless days (except weekends when the place can have a street fair/trailer park air to it) I can just sit on the boat and enjoy being there.
All of this makes me feel bad, and the best antidote, I have ever known in my life, for feeling bad, is to be on a seaworthy boat, close hauled away from the maddening crowd, and no pressure of having to return if I choose to stay out because I have everything on board to do so.
It was good to be on the water yesterday.
The best cure for lack of enthusiasm for sailing,
is to go sailing.
(Waneeshee and her happy Skipper)

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I know that there is something elemental missing from these photo's, like water, but one step at a time.  Presenting the Venture 21s.  "S" stands for short rig.
Formerly the staysail, now the jib.  Kinda small but it'll work
The shortened main sail.  Always was short along the foot.
The sail actually has roach to the leech but I don't have the battens in.
Cut and pasted jib, from the first photo into the second and now we
have all working sail up.

It's not a lot of canvas but I ain't racing and at this point in my experience with this boat, I'd rather be under canvased.  (Wink, wink, nod, nod).  I hope to be in the water next week.  Before the equinox would be nice.

My rigging measurements were good

New rigging copper swaged eyes, slathered in lanolin and
covered in heat shrink tubbing.
Workboat handsome, or industrially cute?
I stepped the mast today with the newly made rigging.  All the measures were good.  The turnbuckles were about 60 % open when it was all snugged up.  That should leave some room to take up if and when things stretch out under strain.
It was a breezy day so not only was I wishing that I was launching, but I also had to be careful about raising sails while the boat was on the trailer, which I did to see how things fit.
The small jib which was the staysail is truly small, but, it fits nicely on the forestay.  I have yet to alter the jib and genny to fit the new rig measures.
I also set the main, which was much easier for the topping lift that I added to the boom, but still awkward as the mast is really designed to have the luff, as well as the foot of the mainsail in the groove.  This main has the roping on it to set it this way but lugs have been put along the luff.  I'm not sure why this was done and only realized this now after owning the boat for a year and a half.  Duh!
Anyway, the mainsail's new height is good.  I may end up with a lot of chafe as the leach passes under the back stay and the topping lift.
I took pictures but my phone is having issues sending them to the computer.(piece 'o' shite!)  I'll add them later.
I will say again that it is so much easier to raise this mast now.  I suppose that the 15% of length that is no longer out at the end of it makes a lot of difference.
I'm not sure what is next, maybe launching her and sailing.  There is a thought!  It's been a while.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jib (staysail) is ready

I had to stitch a new clew onto the staysail that I am using as the jib.  It works pretty well for stronger weather.  I added a patch and then a roped grommet to the clew and we are set to go!
I also moused all the upper rigging points.  So I guess the next thing is to try raising the mast again and seeing how it all worked out!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Main's done

I got the main all put together and it came out pretty good, I think.  I hand stitched the new patches and used aluminum pop rivets for the head board (I reused the old head board) and then pounded in a grommet for the halyard to attach to.
Re-cut. shorter, stronger....
and hand stitched
I did have to put 4 of the sail slides back on but I used 3 of the old ones and one new one I had lying around.  I put in on the mast, as the mast is by the shop on saw horses and it seems to fit just fine.
Now on to the jib that has a torn out clew.  I think I will add a patch and then a roped grommet for the sheets to tie to.
Memorial day is this coming weekend, unofficial boat season beginning.  I have no intention of being on the water this weekend because it is usually madness.  This also means I am in no rush to get these projects done other than needing to move on to others in the shop, oh yah, and I'd like to go sailing again someday.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Re-cut the sails for "short rig"

The Venture 21 was considered a pretty quick boat in it's day.  It certainly seemed to move thru the water easily when I started sailing Ventura, even though the main sail was not the original, and about a foot and a half shorter along the foot, and two feet on the luff.  Now with the mast being about 3 feet shorter from the damage and the repair, the sails a little bit tall.
I am cutting the mainsail down by about a foot, and I need to loose about a foot and a half off of the jib and genny.  The staysail will continue to work as is if I fly it on the forestay in heavy weather, as I did before because the boat didn't have a inner stay rigged as was the original sail plan.  I will in fact rig an inner stay so as to assist the new rig.  I hope to set is up in the fashion of a running back stay so that it can easily be set and slacked for tacking.  It's an idea.

Old main, cut down, patch to be added, reused headboard
In re-rigging the boat I have had to raise and lower the shorter mast a few times and the few feet of lost length has made the job very much easier.  Yahoooo!  I am not overly concerned about the lost sail area.  On the main sail the loss will come from the head of the sail, a portion of the sail that has very little drive or area.
The jib and genny are a bit of a different story.  I don't really want to just lop off their tops, so I am considering putting a grommet for the tack up a foot and a half from the original and adding reefing nettles, and continue to use the original clue.  The sails could always stay "reefed" but the original area would be preserved.  Why I want to do this I am not really sure.  Partly because I am concerned about getting a good shape of the head sail if I recut it.
It is good weather for sitting in the shop with the big doors open and hand stitching the sails.  It is better weather for actually being sailing. All things in their time.
I found that a sail maker I have used before would build me a brandy new main sail for under $500, including shipping.  It is VERY tempting, but mostly because I am lazy.  The old main never set very well, was blown out and old, but, I do own it already and this boat is about spending NO money(which I have failed at, but it is a boat so I can't be to hard on myself can I).  If after launching the boat seems to have a good place in my life then I might splurge and order a new main someday.  For now it is snip, snip, stitch, stitch.
If I ever do order the new main I think I will have the change the insignia from V21, to V21s, to signify the short rig.