If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Your Life Is Hanging By A Thread, Part A

Making new life lines during the wonderful and varied Mad Beach sunsets

A couple of years ago we went from rusty wire rope on our life lines to Endura Braid.  It was a learning experience as we tried core to core splicing.  Over time a couple of these have started to slip.

Since our first attempt more and more information has been shared on line about installation and durability.  One of the biggest improvements is the expansion of the Brummel splice type and instructions.  Especially with a captive end.

I love the Endura Braid.  It has a good hand and is stronger than steel.  The double braid style has a great protection layer over the core Dyneema.  The halyards I put on svGeminiDreams almost 5 years ago still feel and look great.  If utilized correctly the cover will add months or years to the lifelines.

New style Johnson life line fittings.  An upgrade that cost $100.

Making the protected Endura Braid (doublebraid) Brummel splice type A (both ends available) at the gate end is exactly like a Brummel in single strand Dyneema except with a little extra stuff in the way.

Mark cover 20 inches from the bitter end and remove core at mark.

Make a mark 2 1/2 inches toward the double braid end 
on the core from where the core was removed (bruised section).  

This is where the fitting will be set.
This gives enough sheath to cover the increased diameter of the bury
(not necessary if you have to leave the Brummel exposed for inspection by racing officials).
(Please check the rules to see if you can use the double braid.)

 Mark both sides of line as it crosses tight to fitting. 
Mark A near bitter end. Mark B on double braid end.

Insert fid into mark Band pull tight until mark A is inside line at mark B
6 strands on each side of the Fid!

move fid to double braid end of line

make a mark C one fid width from cross over of mark A and mark B on bitter end

Split line and pull double braid end, including tail, through mark C
6 strands on each side of the Fid!

Return the fid to the bitter end

Push double braid sheath down away from splice at least 2 feet
Make a mark D one fid width up the double braid end from where it pulled through mark C

Insert fid with bitter end into the hollow center of the double braid end.
Exit the hollow center 2 feet from mark C

The double braid end should be bunched up over the bitter end as shown
Do not let the bitter end tail slip back in

Mark every 1/2 inch from the bitter end 

Taper core 1 strand every 1/2 inch

Your Brummel splice is all complete.

If you are racing check with the stewards you may need to stop the cover here.
If so stitch the double braid in place and whip a finish.
Carefully cut excess double braid away.

If you only cruise milk the sheath all the way to the end.
Stitch the double braid cover in place and whip a finish.  
Carefully cut the excess double braid away

Complete Brummel Double Braid spice for lifelines.
At this point you could cover the bare loop with
 heat shrink or rigging tape if you want more protection

Maybe I can get another DSLR and stop taking fuzzy iPhone pics

Your Life Is Hanging By A Thread, Part B, Making the protected Brummel splice type B at the tensioner end coming soon.

Albin Vega 27 s/v Gemini Dreams

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Recent Sail Quotes ... Albin Vega 27... and the Winner is...

I have been using the same old tattered and torn main sail since I purchased s/v Gemini Dreams 5 years ago.  I entertained the idea of buying a new main more than once since then but kept putting it off.  Now here I am at the end of Cruising Season 5.  Even though I didn't make it to the Bahamas this year it still comes as another year of age to the old main.  With tape on a tear, the seams starting to unravel and just flat out saggy and baggy when all else is great, I pronounce svGeminiDreams' mainsail retired.

Upon the initial search the site Northsailsdirect.com was no longer there.  All the previous decisions were now in need of evaluation.  I sent requests to almost all the top sail lofts in the USA.  Almost everyone responded except Doyle and UK (UK responded saying they would get to it, but oh well).  The pricing for a Main came in from $775 to  $2150 for a complete sail (some quotes still need shipping added).  Everyone so far has been cordial except Hood who was a little condescending (unfortunate as my Asymmetrical and Foresail is Hood and I would have paid more to keep the set one maker.  But not that much more!).

Also please do your due diligence when searching for a sail maker.  Of the list of lofts below, several people on the net have shared their experiences both good and bad.  I will not share directly any of those but I will share my personal experience with the sail maker I choose.  In all fairness to any and all the lofts my inquiry started out the week before 4th of July weekend.

Out of all the quotes, Internet comments and referrals from other sailors I chose Hyde Direct and Judy Blumhorst.  Below will be a ledger of interactions with them.

©Photo copyright Hyde Sails  Mainsail details below

(Albin Vega 27 Performance 211R Mainsail )
[Sail Cloth: Challenge Warp-Drive Race 6.11- upgraded to 7.11]
[Design - Tri-Radial]
[Reefs: 3 Reefs]
[Batten Type: Tapered Fiberglass]
[Battens: All Full Battens]
[Trim Stripes?: Yes]
[Enter your sail #: 1812]

  • June 26th -  Used Hydesailsdirect.com (HSD) to get the estimate for my Albin Vega. This tool is EXCELLENT!  You never have to talk to anyone if you don't want to. There are 5 mains, 16 headsails, and 5 spinnakers quoted already.  
  • July 5th -Sent HSD a request for pricing on Boom/Stacker and G/0. No response from HSD perhaps they do not make the Stacker or G/0 at HSD
  • July 8th - Sent HydeSails.us (HS) web form about pricing on Boom/Stacker and G/0. Auto conformation received.  Later email "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0!  Mark Corbett at HS referred my email to HSD. 
  • July 13th - Used Hydesailsdirect.com to make order for Mainsail.  Albin 27 Vega Performance Mainsail (Challenge Warp-Drive Dacron) 211R  Full batten with 3 reefs at $1589 shipped.  Hyde charged 10% at this time.  
  • July 14th - Received email from David Blumhorst with details and measurement forms.
  • July 15th - Email received from HS and Mark Corbett... "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0!  Mark Corbett at HS has referred my email to HSD.  I still have no quote of a Boom/Stacker or G0! from either HS or HSD.
  • July 18th - Finally had time and weather to measure the sail.  Sent forms and pics to HSD.  Within 5 minutes a reply from Mark acknowledging this email and that they would get me a quote for the stacker and G0.
  • July 24th - Sent email asking status since I have not received either an email or another payment as expected.  Auto return stating out of office until 7/27/15
  • July 28th - Received email from Support@ stating my order has been submitted to production and another withdrawal, sum totaling 70% of the price will be removed from my account.  Estimated ship date is 8/12-18.  Balance due before shipping.
  • July 29th - Called HSD and spoke to Judy about the Stack away sail pack for the Vega. After a rather good talk discussing the benefits and issues with the stack pack and their preference not to sale stackpacks unless local.  We also discussed the G/0 and C/0 for the Vega.  I am currently very pleased with my decision to us HSD.  More on both later, maybe way later.
  • August 2nd -  Received email from HSD saying my sail is in the "Works".  Along with a tutorial on cleaning the mast in preparation.
  • August 5th -  Received email stating sail has been shipped.  Also a second email stating final payment has been charged.  With a third I have a tracking number.  Sail makes it across Philippines.
  • August 6th - Shenzhen, China; Narita, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Anchorage, Alaska;
  • August 7th - Louisville, Kentucky; Clearwater, Florida;  than finally delivered at 10:57am.
  • August 13th - Judy called to follow through on my sail purchase but I was unable to answer.
  • August 14th - I was able to get the sail hoisted, insert battens and check everything.  A couple hours later Judy called to check. She took time out of her day not only to check that the sail was as expected but to have a lovely little 32 minute chat.  Any purveyor willing to spend that much time with a single little Vega sail is a rarity.  
  • August 15th -  Final entry on this page.  When I purchase a foresail I will put that onto a new posting.  I am absolutely glad I chose Judy Blumhorst and the crew at HYDESAILSDIRECT.com.  I will be returning for a matching 211R 135% genoa and cruising Code0.

First peek in the box

Hyde Sails logo on a massive sail bag.
I mean massive, like two dead bodies in a bag, bag.

 First hoist

Details highlighted by Judy B

  • 1) Horizontal strain reliever at all three reefs, going from luff to leech.  Your reefed sail will resist stretching along the foot.
  • 2) Adjustable leech lines above every reef, to prevent leech flutter and cloth damage (vertical tears along the leech)
  • 3) "Floppy rings" for ease of reefing.  Slides are spaced so you don't need a mast gate to reef if you reeve your lines on one side of the sail...
  • 4) Luff reinforcement pad at the first slide above the tack, and at the slides immediately above each reef, for strength offshore.
  • 5) Rutgerson or Inox super grommets at each reef, tack and cunningham.  Simply the best money can buy.
  • 6) Adustable tension on all batten pockets with inside velcro for smooth airflow.
  • 7) Rutgerson batten receptacles
  • 8) Allslip Low Friction slides at full battens
  • 9) Headboard slide is stainless steel with teflon coating, (supplied when wind range over 25+ is specified)
  • 0) Rutgerson lightweight alloy headboard.

  • Later, definitely later, maybe way later additional comments:

    • Later
    • definitely later
    • way later

    © Photos copyright Hyde Sails

    Sail quotes for Albin Vega 27:  The +/-SR is the amount for a headsail and main (Set) over or under from the SailRite kit.  Quoted pricing July, 2015.

    Vendor135%150%MainSet+/- SRCode 0

    Far East$10807.18oz
    4 full
    Hyde Direct
    4 full
    Hyde Direct
    4 full
    Mack Sails5.77oz

    UK Sails


    Notes: All foresails have the premium sun cover offered by the loft.  All mains have two reefs except the Hydesailsdirect.com as I finally chose three reefs during the order increasing the price by $33.  *not used for comparison,  **used as base but needs to be sewn by you,  blanks and ?'s were either not asked or answered.

    your welcome

    tags: sail quote albin vega 27 estimate maker world news Hillary Clinton jeb bush svgeminidreams loft Gemini dreams cruising Bahamas Carlos lehder Cuba normalcy normal sailing travel Donald trump s/v 

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    Happy 4th!

    Sunset July 4th , 2015

    Last week was the first time in 4 1/2 years I finally had to pull a motor apart and fix the water pump.  I was still dripping but not enough to protect the engine.   I tried the usual things to make the flow better before turning bolts but to no avail.  Once I decided to break open the impeller (my first time) of course I lost the drive pin.  What a stupid design on the little Mercury!  The good news is the impeller was okay but why was the flow bad.  Blockage most likely.  I still had the previous 3.5 on the rail waiting for listing on Craig's List.  So, off came my second impeller and being more careful not to loose the drive pin.  Once the newer motor was all assembled with a new impeller it was time to "start the motor".  Vroom Vroom sputter vroom.  It didn't like being upside down for a little while. Now all was running well except the water was just dribbling out!  It's hot time for a break.

    Natures own 4th show coming to town.
    Stirred up the boats waiting on the fireworks like it was in Boot Key.
    The storm quickly blew over after creating a little excitement.
    Remember people... Manson Supreme!

    Fourth of July at Madeira Beach, FL 2015

     Just a few minutes between shots July 3rd

    The bluest sunset since the reflections on the Banks of the Bahamas
    July 5th, 2015

    Back to the impeller change...  With no real change after replacing the impeller I was going to get a gallon of Barnacle Buster and hope that fixed the problem.  After a few hours I restarted the motor and it has been running as it should every since.  I have a spare impeller for emergency use too.

    If anyone is curious, I use about 1 gallon of gas a month in the little 3.5 Mercury.


    Oh, that little pin... I found it 3 days latter in the dinghy