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.

"New" Standing rigging

My new standing rigging is finished!  After much research, and a bit of stepping back to look at the big picture, I decided to go with the "nico-press" type of fittings because it was inexpensive, I could to the work myself, I didn't need expensive new tools or machines, and I could reuse a bit of the material I already had.  I fully realize that many might be critical of the use of this type of fitting, and I might be to, if I were setting up a boat bound for open water or even strong weather, but in this case the boat is to be used for recreational, fair weather sailing, and having "made" the rig myself, I will be more mindful, and aware of the conditions of both the rig and the weather.
Had I been using this rig a year ago, I might have been more conservative about what I put the boat thru, decided to quit sooner, or not gone out at all, and saved my self the experience of being very, very cold and wet. (on the good side, I now know what that is like.  Ignorance can breed fear, and knowledge allows for better judgement, I hope)
SS thimble, 2-Swaged copper sleeves on lower shrouds
coated with anhydrous lanolin, then covered in shrink wrap tubing
Some info on this rigging technique:
-1x19 S.S. doesn't want to bend the short radius of the thimbles.  It seems that the sharp bend may compromise some of the strength of the rig.
-1x19 S.S. requires 2 copper sleeves, each swaged 3 times along their length.
-I made sure that the sleeves did not actually touch the thimble, or each other.  I did this to promote a full compression of each swage.
-The end of the SS wire stuck out of the lower swage, but was covered by the heat shrink tubing.  Before the tubing was applied the entire fitting was slathered in anhydrous Lanolin for protection.
-I used a swaging tool that uses 2 bolts, tightened down to compress the copper sleeves.  This tool was the least expensive(a priority in this boat), smallest (so that in the future it can be kept on board my larger boat for emergency rigging), and it was simple.
- I checked the swages with a micro meter to see if they fell in the specs that I found on a forum thread about home built airplanes and this type of rigging.  the tool was pretty consistent with the thickness of the finished swage and that dimension collaborated with the aviation specs.

I believe that Brian Toss mentioned that most of the boats he'd seen rigged in this way were in the UK.  He didn't recommend these fittings very highly and seemed to think they were the wrong "tool for the job".  I wouldn't disagree with him ultimately, but, I think that they will serve fine in this application.  Most of the negative comments I found on the forums about pressed copper sleeves seemed to be about the way the finished fitting looked.  I actually like the work boat kind of look they have.  It is even more attractive because the look reflects that I did the work myself.

Using this tool with these parts required really taking my time setting up and making each swage, three for each sleeve, two sleeves for each eye, two eyes per stay, six stays, plus a few practice sleeves.  I have to enjoy each moment of the work or I will rush to be done and botch the job.

Now on to recutting the sails.