Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘model yacht’

Hello. It’s been awhile.

Last year brought major changes for me, both in my work and my interests. ScaleSailing had to take a back seat while my new business partner and I launched our T-shirt design business, “odd guy art.” We have great plans for that business, and it will continue to take much of my working time. Also, some of you may know that family health matters complicated the latter half of the year. Thankfully, that worked out well in the end.

So, I have chosen to get ScaleSailing back in the water, as it were, by seriously streamlining the business. I intend to concentrate solely on the production of the Kittiwake K2 and OPUS rig/sail kits. A few of my custom accessories will be available, too, but I will no longer sell servos. Check out the products page at ScaleSailing.com for the new line up.

The Kittiwake K2 will be supplied as the same craftsman quality (yet easy-to-build) kit as before. With the comprehensive step-by-step building instructions and the extensive CD of building photographs, K2 is regarded as one of the best kits on the market. The kit builds a beautiful, fine-sailing wooden boat. Two years of increasing production costs and smaller production runs mean that I will no longer try to compete with the cheap (mass produced) kits on the market. However, ScaleSailing kits will still be produced with the same care and love that I always applied in the past and I truly hope that you will still find them to be great value for your money.

Graham

ScaleSailing

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The first OPUS Rig (TM) kits are shipping out of the footy boat yard today. During next week I will be filling the rest of your pre-production orders and building up inventory so I have rig kits ready to go in quick order.

The weather has been a little milder here of late, above freezing in fact. So with any luck the water will be turning soft earlier this year than the last two years. When that happens, I am looking forward to doing more trials with the OPUS Rig on other hulls, especially the K2 as I have had a number of questions about that already. I am very keen to hear feedback from OPUS Rig users as to what hulls they are using it with and suggestions of mast socket positions. I will add such suggestions to the building and tuning instructions for the rig.

Graham

Read Full Post »

The first National Class Regatta for the Footys really was a great event which I thorougly enjoyed despite a raging head cold. Darrell and his crew of organisers did a very good job of keeping things moving along and keeping the skippers happy. The courses set worked out well by using a basically rectangular course to spread the beating and running boats out.  At times the distant marks were well out there which I like, gives you a sense of going somewhere.

As planned I sailed one of the new Pond Sprites which I had built for the event. I chose my ‘working’ size ‘A’ rig as the winds were pretty variable from very light to a stiff blow with strong gusts during each day. There were times when this was just simply too much sail area and the result was the occasional broach and moments out of control when a bad gust would hit while on the run downwind. Beating into  and across the wind the boat handled the wind strength with no problem. But as a few skippers discovered again, even these winds were nowhere near enough for the tiny ‘B’ rig to be of any use so changing to the ‘B’ was not an option in my opinion.

Saturday started with light winds for just the first race or two then increased to give good racing with occasional gusts which created a certain amount of chaos in the fleet. I must admit that I sailed poorly on the Saturday and made some mistakes the most significant of which was to get totally confused after a course change and actually stop racing while in second place because I thought that I had finished! By the time I realised my mistake and returned to the course my 2nd place was a 10th place… very embarassing and costly in the end! By the end of Saturday I was in 7th place and not particularly impressed with my performance! The Pond Sprite was great though and came through from poor starts to good finishes on several occasions so I know it was better than I was.
ncr_2
Pond Sprite (yellow main) makes another poor start.

Sunday again started very light and flukey which I must admit are conditions I like. I won the first race which bucked me up no end and set me off on a much better days racing. Pond Sprite won two other races including the last, took two seconds and three thirds as I remember. By the end of the day I was very happy to take 5th place overall with 51 points, just 2 points behind 3rd and 4th which both had 49 points. Actually I wish that I had been further behind because now my mistakes on Saturday really hurt! Anyway the prize giving was fun and full of laughs which I think pretty much summed up the whole weekend. Once again it was good to meet up with old friends and make some new ones over the weekend, here’s looking forward to next time.ncr_1
I was pleased to see my friend Ed Rohrer finish in 8th place with his Kittiwake K1.5 (that’s an early Kittiwake with a K2 rig). The photo above is Ed and me looking over his set up.

Read Full Post »

Over the weekend I was asked for my thoughts on windy weather footy sailing by a group in Florida. I thought more people might be interested in a few ideas of how to handle strong wind conditions and  I can perhaps expand here on how I answered them.

The first thing to say is that the wind can get too strong for any size rig, even the tiny ‘B-rig’ as specified by the footy rules will simply be too big for extreme conditions. So these thoughts will assume that although the wind is strong it is not enough to change down in sail size. So we will look at how to tune the sails to manage the conditions better. Also this discussion assumes you are using a sloop rig with a main sail and a jib sail. 

Your main tool to combat strong wind conditions is sail twist. Allowing the sails to twist away from the wind towards the top of the sail will dump more air from the upper parts of the sails but maintain a good drive from the sails. The mainsail twist is controlled by the kicking strap or vang fitted from the main boom to the mast. The jib sail twist is controled by the ‘topping lift’ which is the line running from the rear of the jib boom up to a point on the mast or mast head where the forestay is attached.

By loosening the kicking strap the main boom will be allowed to rise and in doing so will control the amount of twist in the main sail. Likewise tightenning the topping lift will raise the rear end of the jib boom (you may have to ease the forestay tension a little) imparting twist in the jib. Set the jib twist to echo the shape you see in the mainsail, look from the rear with the wind filling the sails to see this.

Pond Sprite showing sail twist in main and jib

Pond Sprite showing sail twist in main and jib

The balance of the boat in high winds will tend to gain more weather helm, in landlubber talk that means that the boat will turn up harder into the wind when you are close hauled sailing close to the wind. Using more twist in the main than the jib and flattenning the foot of the main more than the jib are ways to control this ‘luffing’ into wind. Also you can move the jib pivot further forward on the bowsprit if you have one to combat weather helm in strong winds.

Sail foot curve is generally reduced too in strong winds. Set the outhauls (rear bottom corner sail attachment on booms) to allow about a 1/2″ curve from the sail edge to the boom at the mid point.

For a strong wind racing day I like to have a rig (about the size of the original Kittiwake I rig) which is set up with the ability to add a lot of twist in the main and the jib. The rig can then be detuned to be almost like a B rig and tightenned up considerably if the wind does ease a little. Then if the wind does get even stronger you can still change down to a rules size B rig.

Victor V12 with nicely set twist in a blow

Victor V12 with nicely set twist in a blow

Those windy days can be enjoyed, not avoided with the right set up and tuning, give it a try… footys on a B rig can handle just about anything, just make sure they are watertight! And unsinkable is a plus!

Graham

Read Full Post »


Last week we sailed over to Michigan on the Badger car ferry. The Badger is a wonderful coal fired steam ship which sails between Manitowoc in Wisconsin and Luddington in Michigan across Lake Michigan.  For anyone who doesn’t realise how large this lake is, the crossing takes four hours across what is essentially the narrow east west mid-section of the lake, that’s 60 miles. We had a very nice crossing under blue skies http://www.ssbadger.com/newhome.aspx

A few days later we were in Traverse City which we found to be a very attractive and interesting place. Traverse City has a very lively main street with good shops and restaurants. Then there is the Mission Peninsula which divides the deeply entrapped Traverse City bay into an east and west half. Mission Peninsula is a very productive wine growing area with numerous vinyards and ‘tastings’ to enjoy. On the west bay side we found the very inviting public slipway pictured above and I couldn’t resist a sail.

With Arnold at the helm ‘Holly’ sailed very nicely in the very light flukey wind. In fact I noticed a bit of a drift and with the winds being so light didn’t dare to head out very far into the vastness of the lake. So I stayed close to shore in the crystal clear water while Jan took some photos.

You really can’t beat a ‘footy’ size yacht for this sort of thing. Their small size makes them so convenient to travel with. I really enjoy being able to stop when we find a suitable place and there is also the fun of looking for these little public slips to use. Quite often you will discover some beautiful spot which you would have just driven by otherwise. Miniature cruising is just a fun way to add extra interest to any trip you take. We hope you are having fun too.

Graham
(photos by Jan)

Read Full Post »

I had a rather international day at the post office today, Rome, Sheffield (England) and Canada. As I emerged from my underground workshop the weather looked pretty ominous but I thought that I could make it to the USPS and back before the rain arrived. Five more kits set off for our English distributor to add to his stock. When they arrive he will have a batch of the Gooseneck & Vang sets for the UK market too. I sent a Pintail to Rome which will be the first of it’s type in Italy and a mystery parcel to Canada.

On arriving home the rain was coming down hard and thick, yes thick! Things were clearly getting very nasty with wicked wind gusts and sheets of rain. As the tornado sirens screemed into life I made for the basement as I am a sensible Brit who isn’t used to this kind of thing. Jan of course being a local sat and continued her supper unruffled. Is that a train I kept asking her knowing that they say that tornadoes sound like trains. What part of a train I haven’t heard described, the horn, the clickitty clack maybe? After awhile the sirens stopped, maybe they were blown down I wondered, but the storm raged on.

This evening on the tv news they are talking about a possible tornado touchdown maybe less than a mile from here, heck maybe that was a train I heard! Much too close for comfort, but at least the latest kits were in the mail.
Graham

Read Full Post »