Archive for the ‘Boat Projects’ Category

Installed the track and car for the spinnaker pole and whisker pole padeye on the mast today. I went with the 1″ T track to ensure the car fits between the 2 V cleats mounted on the front of the mast for securing of the lazy jacks. The car slides between them with just a perfect amount of clearance on either side. Luckily for me the padeye car from ABI is just the right size for my little 14″ twist lock whisker pole that I picked up for a steal at west marine last season. It also sticks out far enough forward that I am able to rotate the whisker pole and use it as far aft as the drifter should ever need, so that also solves my previous described problem of having to use the shrouds to attach the whisker pole to when using the drifter.

I still need to install the padeye up the mast that I will use to hold the end of the pole upright for storage, and pick up a couple more screws for the top 2 holes of the track as between the screw bins at west marine and the deck of the boat, I somehow came up 2 short. Additionally I think I will need a Mast Mounted Pole Chock or two to hold the pole in place so it doesn’t rattle around when underway.

1 inch Mast T-Track with ABI padeye car

Installed my new halyards earlier this week, took the time to calculate the size I should be installing as opposed to just guessing. built a excel sheet to calulate the percentage of working load on the line based on the square footage of the sail, and the tensile strength of the line.

according to the American Cordage Institute the Safe Working Load of a line is 90% of the tensile strength, minus a safety margin of at least 5 times the load you are expecting to put on the line gives you the Maximum Safe Load. Put simply, take 90% of the tensile strength, and divide by 5, and that gives you the Maximum Safe Load you can use that line for.

then to calculate your wind loading of the sail, use the following formula (Square ft of the sail)*((wind speed in kts)^2)*0.00431

I created a Halyard Size Calculator in Excel to do all the number crunching for me… to use it, look up the tensile strength of the line you are considering using, enter the values in row 4, and enter the square feet of the sail you are looking to replace the halyard for in cell C7.

The table below will give you a percentage of the Safe Working Load the line will be at in a given wind speed. You then need to determine what the maximum wind speed you intend on having the sail hoisted in, before you reef it (for most people this will be around 15 or 20kts). Then you need to look down the wind speed row, and find the smallest line that is under 20%. This will be the smallest halyard (or sheet line) size you can safely use on that particular sail.

The other thing you will want to factor into your decision is the working elongation, or stretch of the line. Look at the line specs and see what the stretch specs are for the line you are considering. Most companies will give you percentage of stretch at a given load. so if you are operating the line at the maximum 20% load, and the line has 1.75% stretch (such as the New England Ropes Sta-Set X line that I just bought) you need to calculate the length of your halyard, for example I’ll use 100 feet, you would have 1.75 feet, or 21 inches of working elongation, or stretch of the halyard. You will probably want to minimize this as much as reasonable, and to do so, you will need to use a larger line, so you are working at a lower percentage of it’s safe working load.

For my halyards, to reduce stretch as much as possible, I went with the 3/8″ line, and assuming I am always reefing my 165sq ft main any time it is blowing over 20kts, that gives me a maximum load of 5.75% of the safe working load of the halyard, and roughly .35% working elongation, which over the roughly 40 feet my main halyard that is not coiled in the line bag in the cockpit when the sail is hoisted, gives me roughly 1 3/4″ of working elongation / stretch of the line when a gust of wind blows, thus keeping the sail shape as best as possible.

This is the first post I’m making on the new site. so just to summarize what I’ve done on the boat so far since buying it in June 2009. I’m sure I’ll be referencing many of these things in the future, so here’s the list:

2009 projects

  • sanded and repainted the bottom paint
  • washed and waxed hull
  • purchased new life jackets and safety flares
  • purchased new Garmin 540s chart plotter w/ dual frequency transducer
  • replaced worn old main sheet with new 3/8″ yacht braid
  • acquired “new to me” 200% drifter
  • acquired “new to me” symetrical spinnaker
  • acquired “new to me” storm jib
  • acquired “new to me” unknown size jib (haven’t hoisted or measured it up yet)
  • installed 2 Blue Sea line bag organizers in cockpit
  • 2010 projects completed so far

  • polished / waxed the hull with a “maine sail” type procedure
  • Installed chartplotter in cockpit
  • replaced old schaefer main sheet swivel cam cleat with a Spinlock PXR cam cleat
  • replaced old incandescent cabin lights with white / red LED SensiBulbs in G4 type dome lights
  • replaced old incandescent bulbs in navigation lights with Dr LED Festoon Star replacment bulbs
  • installed new Spinlock XAS Rope Clutch for soon to be installed spinnaker halyard
  • refinished cabin sole with Daly’s Seafin and Profin teak oil / varnish blend
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