Month: July 2014

The long drive home.

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The end of another vacation. This usually means the long drive home.

We just spent some time in PEI with family and have a bit of a drive ahead of us. We live in London Ontario. It’s only 1900km door to door… 

I went out by myself and camped at Fort Ingall in Quebec one night. Now I’m about half way home in Drummandville Quebec with my family. I don’t mind doing the driving.

Here is a picture of my camp site on the way to PEI. I brought along a couple stuffy friends for Jasmine. Got allot of looks from the passers by at the campground.

Remember to take breaks while driving. I just drink lots and stop lots….Fort Ingall 004

Does the tent fly look like it may have been a spinnaker? It used to be! I did some cutting and sewing.


A little vacation.

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I’m going on a trip with a moose and a monkey tonight! Moosey and Coleman the sock monkey are joining me on a little drive to PEI. We leave tonight at 3am and plan a stop at Fort Ingall in Quebec for the night. We should be on the island before supper on Sunday.
It will be nice to see my family again. Heidi has been in Toronto doing Waldorf teacher training for 3 weeks. She flew to PEI last Friday. I dropped Jasmine off in Quebec 3 weeks ago to be taken the rest of the way to the island by her grandpa.

Moosey and Coleman 002Moosey is visiting from and Coleman was made by my daughter Jasmine and my wife Heidi.

You can follow the travels of Mosey here;

A quick look at the Siren 17 after I lost the main sail.

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It was kind of harry for a minute. But I got the sail down and threw it and the boom into the cabin. Enjoy!

Siren 17 shake down sail.

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I got my Siren out for the first time last Sunday. I went to Fanshawe Lake in London Ont. and it was windy. Perfect for the first solo shake down sail. (Don’t try this at home or anywhere folks!)
I launched with the aid of another sailor that was at the dock. Good thing too or the boat would have been half way across the lake before I could have got to it if someone hadn’t been holding the line.
I set out withe the 2hp Elgin I have and it worked great. Pushed the boat about as fast as I expected it to. About what I figured was hull speed.
I started sailing with the main alone and the boat worked ok. I wasn’t the happiest with the main cleat as it would pop if you didn’t cleat the main sheet with the aid of your foot. No biggy. That can be fixed.

After about 30 min of just using the main and having fun in the gusty conditions. Wind was 20-30 k/m waves about 2.5′. I decided to raise the genoa. (DON”T do this if you are the least bit uncomfortable with sailing on the side! I know what I was doing and was prepared for a dump if it happens. I also wanted to see what this boat will do in heavy wind with no reefs. I haven’t sewn a reef into the main sail yet.)

I was just about on plane… Flying wing on wing when a gust took the main sheet control off the deck! It broke the 5/16″ stainless steel bolt that allows the main control to pivot or twist around. With the main trying to pass the genoa I turned into the wind and dropped the main and pulled the boom. I threw both into the cabin.

Not to let a little thing like that ruin my afternoon I sailed around for the next 3 hours on the genoa alone. It was a bit difficult getting back to the dock as I was down wind So I decided to motor sail back.

After a while I dropped the genoa and just stuffed it into the pulpit to keep it handy. Good thing because I ran out of gas about 2 min later! So raised the genoa and started sailing again.

It was a bit windier now and I was having fun. (Did you now you can get water into the cockpit with just the genoa alone…?) I wanted to see when the boat would head up or broach. I’m not sure it will. I had about 4″ of water coming in over the side and the boat kept it’s course. My MacGregor 26D’s will head up into the wind once the dagger board cavitates. (A air bubble surrounds the DB or rudder and it looses it’s “grip” on the water.) On the Mac’s you can get to about 55-60* ish before you are auto tacking… No water will enter the cockpit. I’ve tried.

While I was paying attention to the water coming in over the genoa sheet cleats I noticed how much the whole rail moves! Too much! Because I didn’t have the motor for back up if I pulled one off the deck like the main sheet control I decided to head for the nearest dock. I sailed through the mooring field and moored boats at  the Fanshawe Yacht Club and sailed right up to the main dock. (I had seen other people do this and always marveled at there skill…) I have only sailed up to my finger dock once with a Mac 26D and had to get off fast to stop the boat from grounding. I usually motor in slowly.

I walked back to the car and brought it to the ramp. When I put fuel in the tank before I headed out I put what I thought was about 3/4 of a tank. I was wrong! I had just put a new fill spout on the can that has a shutoff to stop spills. Well you know how fast gas comes out of the regular spout… It comes out about 1/10 of the speed with the new spout… That’s why I ran out. I thought I had enough because I’m used to the filling speed of the old spout… And it was really sunny so when I looked in the tank I just saw a reflection of the sun and the fuel in the tank and thought it looked 3/4 full when it was probably less than 1/4 full. Next time I’ll dip a stick in and see.

I’ll be making a few improvements to the boat in the next little while.

1; The main sheet attachment. I’m going to use a larger 1/4″ bolt and while I have the plate off I’m going to put a aluminum plate under the cockpit floor to make sure the other bolts don’t come through. 

2; I am going to put backing plates under the genoa control tracks. Probably about 2″ wide and 2″ longer than the track.

3; I am going to go bigger with the hardware that holds the tracks and main control to the cabin. I’m not going to use pop rivets to hold the track on!

4; While I have everything apart I am going to bed all the hardware with butyl tape so there is never a chance of a future leak into the cabin. 

5; Replace the hiking straps. Mine started tight and once the got wet they stretched!