Monday, April 29, 2013

First Sail of 2013


We finally got Wrinkles on the water this weekend. We loaded (by "we" I mean Brenda) all the stuff back on our 23 and headed to our local lake with a forecast that showed nothing but sunshine and fair winds. We got to the ramp Saturday morning in beautiful sunshine and 55 degree temps. Things were really looking up.

We knew it would take us a little extra time to rig Wrinkles up since it was the first time out and we also had a new headsail to install. Everything went along smoothly except for the missing mast bolt. Fortunately we had spare in the parts box. The mast raising system worked great - all three times we raised it! Yes, we raised and lowered that mast three times. First time we had a line shackle attached to the bridle which of course shouldn't have been. Raised it up perfectly the second time and prepared to install the new headsail in the CDI FF2 furler. Hmmmm, that halyard is about 20 feet up in the air. No problem. Lower the mast again and tie on a couple extenders to the halyard. Raise her up for the third time. Did we mention we really appreciate the mast raising system?

The rest of the assembly went smoothly and we attached the new tongue extender to the trailer to see how it worked. Other than messing around with the headsail and talking to several onlookers about our Com-Pac the whole process was quickly done. One car stopped by just long enough to say they read our blog each week and recognized our boat. They actually enjoy reading our little blog. Sweet! Thanks for letting us know you like it. We backed Wrinkles in and with the extra 5 feet of tongue extender she came off nicely.

The sun suddenly disappeared, but the wind was perfect. We got to that wonderful moment when you raise the sails and turn off the kicker. Ahhhhhh. That's the sound and feeling we have missed so much. As we sailed we kept adding clothes to match the thickness of the cloud cover and the falling temps.

We enjoyed a few hours of great sailing until we started to think about supper. We decided to park Wrinkles against the empty staging pier at Marshall Park and walk the 1/4 mile to a great Chinese restaurant. Good food and a bottle of wine were enough to thaw us out. We wandered back to Wrinkles and since the winds had died we decided to motor over to Picnic Point to spend the night

Brenda backed us out and and motored us across the lake. She ran the outboard during anchoring for the first time and did a perfect job. We lit the oil lantern and piled the blankets deep in the v-berth in anticipation of a cool night. We slept like rocks as the water was completely calm.

We awoke to the prospect of sunshine as the clouds were definitely thinning out. We cooked up some oatmeal and coffee/tea to start the day out right. The sun did arrive, but it didn't bring any wind with it at all. So we occupied ourselves (Brenda reading a book and Mike pretending to fish.) for a couple hours.

The wind just wouldn't come out to play, so we motored for a bit to enjoy the scenery. After a simple lunch we felt a hint of wind in the air and quickly raised the sails. A gentle breeze was just enough to push us along at 2 to 3 knots. Quiet music playing on the radio, sunshine, the sound of water slowly gurgling along our hull and a lake all to ourselves made for a memorable couple of hours.

As the wind died and the sun was approaching the tree line it was time to motor home. We docked smoothly and the boat loaded very nicely. A quick tear down and the first wonderful sail of the season is in the books.

Happy sailing season everyone.

Mike and Brenda


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Late Start

This season Mother Nature is really cutting into our sailing season. Living in Wisconsin means wonderful weather during the summer and fall, but it also means you can have some nasty springs. This year spring has been cold, wet and windy. This weather has made it tough to even get Wrinkles out of her storage area next to the garage and get her ready to sail.

This past few days we have see some slightly better weather and Brenda has been cleaning the cabin prior to loading all our sailing gear aboard. Last fall we swore we would cull out a bunch of the excess when we reloaded in the spring. We'll see how we do at this over the next couple days.

Mike has been busy building a tongue extender to help in launch/retrieval at the ramps. This will be a really nice addition. He also is finally finishing the foil on the rudder with just a coat or two of paint left to go. A couple of new deck connectors for the two mast lights are also in process.

A few other projects in process or completed;

  • Shortened the Bimini frame 3 inches to achieve more boom clearance.
  • Sewed the Velcro pieces permanently to the Bimini window covers.
  • Put fasteners on the Bimini cover to replace the worn out zipper.
  • Mariner 8 HP outboard carburetor is soaking in carb cleaner prior to the annual rebuild.
  • Sewed up a cover for the CDI FF2 furler.
  • Brenda also made up a new tiller cover.
  • The new 110 headsail is in the house ready to be installed
You would think that would more than enough projects for this spring, but the to-do list is still pretty impressive.

We hope to put Wrinkles on Lake Mendota this Saturday. We'll see if Mother Nature agrees.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Log Book" origin

A ship's progress was measured by tossing overboard a wooden board (the log) with a line attached. The rate at which the string was payed out as the ship moved away from the stationary log was measured by counting how long it took between knots that were tied in the string. These measurements were then entered in a book. Hence we get the term 'log-book' and also the name 'knot' as the unit of speed at sea.

Now I can download a free app on my phone and get instantaneous speed feedback. Nice.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sailor Lingo - Log Book

Ever wonder where the name Log Book came from? How about Knots? Well stay tuned and we'll let you in on their origins.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Monkey Fist Adventure


Each year we go to Carlyle Lake in Illinois to join several Com-Pac sailors for four days of fun, sun and even a little sailing. We like to take along a small gift for each of the participating yachts as a thank you for attending. Two years ago Brenda and my mother made personalized burgees for each of the boats which were a really big hit.

Last year we decided it would it would be fun to make small Monkey Fist floating key chains as our gift. Sounds simple enough. Our friend George had given us one that he had made and it looked easy to copy. So, we purchased several colors of parachute cord, styrofoam balls and split rings planning to have them all ready to take along to the outing. We got busy sailing and working which of course meant we didn't get any of the Monkey Fist key rings made before we packed to leave for Illinois. No problem, Brenda will just do them during our seven hour tow to Carlyle Lake.

Four hours into the drive and guess how many key chains were perfectly knotted? You got it.... Not even one! No problem. We'll have a couple of days at the event to make them up. Sounds reasonable to us. Two days later Brenda's total output is exactly zero completed key chains. No problem. Mike decided to throw his talent at the obviously simple task to rescue Brenda. He promptly sat down and created not just one, but several perfectly miserable, unusable attempts.

No problem. There is a Walmart just a couple of miles away to find substitute gifts.

Fast forward to Spring 2013. Our friend George finishes laughing at our ineptitude and comes to visit and show us first hand how to make Monkey Fists. It sure seems easy when he does it. A few quick lessons and we are now fully qualified Monkey Fist makers. No problem!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Whew! Brenda is happy again.

When I advertised our previous boat I made the mistake of using pictures that showed Brenda's treasured yellow horseshoe. She loved the salty look it gave our Com-Pac 19/2 as it hung off the transom. I didn't realize just how much Brenda loved that goofy horseshoe until she realized it was about to towed away by the new owner. Instead of being sad to see her well loved sailboat towed away, she was sad about her horseshoe going away.


I had built an oversized garage to store our 19 which of course was not "oversized" enough to house our new sailboat. The new owner of our 19 became a friend and sailing buddy, so I offered him free use of the garage for the following winter storage season. The 19 spent the winter safe and dry all winter in her snug garage.

I received a call from George, the new owner, on Monday asking if he and his wife could stop by after work to say hi and show us how to tie a Monkey's Fist. (More on that in a later post.) George knew that Brenda missed her horseshoe and had purchased a brand new white one to match Wrinkles. He took it to a shop that specializes in custom painted artwork and had them paint the Wrinkles logo on the new horseshoe.


Needless to say Brenda is a happy sailor again. Thanks George! That was a truly thoughtful gift.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Headsail Is Here!

The headsail we ordered for Wrinkles back in early December 2012 has arrived. Last season we purchased a new mainsail from FX Sails and it really improved our Com-pac 23's performance and appearance. We thought we were going to get by with just that one sail purchase, but the original headsail proceeded to fall apart during the sailing season. It was impossible to get a good consistent shape in the sail (mounted on a CDI FF2 roller furler) due to all the stretch in it from years of use.

The new headsail is is 115 genoa with a royal blue sacrificial strip. Boy is Wrinkles going to look awesome this year with her full set of new sails. It will really be fun and educational to adjust and tweak the sails for perfect shape. If the sails aren't looking good now it is completely our fault. No more blaming it on the blown out sails. Although we'll probably still have some Wrinkles In Our Sails.