(17 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

The English Contessa has a boom that is longer and a mast that is shorter than the Canadian Contessa.


(9 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

bnold5000 wrote:

I just safety pinned it until I can get the lock stitches in place.  I'm still trying to figure out what I should be using for that.  The Samson video said to use "braided nylon twine" but none of the places that sell rigging stuff know anything about that.  Does anyone know?


Braided twine sounds like what kite flyers use for larger kites. Since there should not be much movement or abrasion, I would think that a quality waxed whipping line would work.

One advantage would to be able to open them up to inspect for rust every few years. I had a shroud that started breaking strands at sea, even though there were no signs of rust from outside of the swag.  After it was replaced, destructive testing showed that there was sever rust damage down inside the swag. They were 25 years old with some salt water years.

Christopher wrote:

Hey John!

Sorry for the aside everyone. 

Nice photo.  Is the electric pump in the head a spare bilge pump or a macerator for the holding tank?


Its a macerator pump for the holding tank. I added two valves so I can empty the tank through the head water inlet while offshore. That way I did not have to add another thu-hull. There are very few pump-out facilities in Europe or the islands.

If you are unsure of the strength, you could add an additional beam under the mast step. I added a beam to mine. See pic. It is a laminated oak beam Approx 2" x 2". It is bolted from the aft side through the glass beam, the plywood bulkhead and through the oak beam. You can see some of the black bolt heads in the pic. Someone else has added some pics of a similar installation showing the forward side. Do a search for "beam" in the galley section. Before the beam, the rigging would be loose after the first time sailing in hard conditions each year due to the roof sagging. My setup has two transatlantic crossings on it without a problem.

On the outside, the pop rivets are hidden under the aluminum rub rail. There is chaulking under it to seal all the holes. My bow has a small indentation in the gelcoat that seems to be where the two halves meet. It is not a structural problem since there is glass on the inside to re-enforce the joint. The chain plates need chaulking at the deck level on the outside every few years. The movement of the two parts and the heating/cooling of two different materials makes the chaulk break way from the chain plate. I have not had any delamination in that area of the deck.

Dzus fasteners are available at Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. The have an outlet in Ontario. They will sell in much smaller quantities.

Here is a link to an article on marine SSB installation.

If you are cruising, I would suggest an automatic electric eye switch for the anchor light. It was common for me to go away from the boat in the afternoon with full intent on getting back to the boat before dark and then before you know it, its 10pm and you are still sitting on someones boat or restaurant. On one occasion I went to a beach party with only my prescription sunglasses. On heading home in the dark, I ended up motoring around the crowded anchorage. I could not make out my boat with the dark glasses on and I could see any boat with the glasses off.


(11 replies, posted in Technical)

Sorry I was a little vague on the electric crane. It's the marina's 40+ foot tall crane mounted on land with a rotating arm.

I know lots of people who have brought US boats into Canada. Very easy. Most cross border transactions are similiar between the two countries. Should be able to find out with a call to your favour customs bureaucrat and boat licensing office.


(11 replies, posted in Technical)

I use an electric crane to raise the mast. I untie all the lines securing the mast and all the rigging and line. Install the spreaders. Prep the standing rigging. Raise the mast. Then I dismantle the wooden mast supports. tighten the standing rigging. install the sails. run the lines back to the cockpit. route and hookup all the mast wiring. tune the rigging and install the pins. That takes me about 3 hours. I am sure it would be faster if I did it more than once a year and I could remember where all the lines ran. Having to raise the mast everytime to go sailing would definitely eliminate evening and probably most weekend sailing of me.


(3 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

I have 3 reefs in my main with permanently rigged reefing lines to the cockpit. I perfer this over the tri sail. The main thing to remember is that with any solution you will be rigging it in storm conditions. Dragging a sail on deck and getting the sliders into the track while the rest of the sail is trying to rip out of your hands in 45kts is "problematic". Same with reefing with out all the lines in place ahead of time. I found that sailing very close hauled ( almost zero headway) with a storm jib only was better that heaving-to. After that a sea-anchor worked great when the sea was too large. (if you have sea room)

speed is a big factor. I have a one cylinder 9.5hp diesel. When going 4.5 knots I burn .63 liters per hour. At 5.5 knots I burn  almost twice that.

expanding liquid foam is a two part liquid like expoxy. You quickly mix the two parts together and it starts expanding into the cavity. I am not sure how the R value compares to rigid boards designed specifically for insulation. One other factor to consider on a long voyage is that ice is hard to find in many areas or very expensive. I started my year long trip with an ice box and half way through converted it to electric. The frig0boat units are very efficient. I only had a solar panel for power. I paid $9 a block for ice in Bermuda. In the Azores it was unavailable except at the fish plant for free at a particular time if you were lucky and after a mile walk. I eventually gave up on ice.


(1 replies, posted in Repairs/Modifications/Upgrades)

Do not forget that you need two big wrenches in your tool box to adjust it. One for the forward nut and one to hold the locking nut at the same time.

Would a strong power washer take it off?

You could build wooden walls 3" from the sides and front, then mix up and pour in self expanding foam liquid. It would flow into the areas that you can not get to.


(7 replies, posted in Repairs/Modifications/Upgrades)

If you have a Yanmar, do not forget to check the anode inside the engine.

I agree. My outlet is on the transom well above the waterline. Another thru-hull below the waterline increases your risk while you are trying to decrease your risk by installing the pump. If you get a big high volume pump, do not forget that you need lots of battery capacity to run it.

The latches needed replaced on my hatch as well. I purchased rubber latches intended for truck hoods. I got mine at Princess auto, but they should be available at any big truck parts place. The rubber latch came with metal brackets for each end. I needed to attach a piece of aluminum to extend on bracket.  The best part is that they only cost a few dollars each.

I used a back handed solution. I put a quick release mechanism on my cockpit engine hatch, so it is not such a hassle to get to the engine area. Still not a nice as a quick peek from under the stairs.

If I recall correctly, (from 10+ years ago) the guys at Holland Marine told me that the rubber hose connecting the stuffing box assembly to the cutlass bearing assembly should not be the usual black hose with the wire in it. Since it is subject to movement and vibration, the wire will eventually wear the surrounding rubber and come to the surface. They sold an identical looking hose specifically for that purpose that did not have the wire. They also stocked the cutlass bearing.

Mine just has a pin that sticks up from the top of the tiller. But the mount for the fixed end just outside the coaming is elevated to keep the unit level.

2 blade would have less drag that a 3 blade of the same diameter, but if you use a 3 blade then you can use a smaller diameter. So it's not a clear cut answer. You need a certain amount of prop to absorb the horsepower you have available. Since we only have a limited space in the rudder cutout, we are limited in the diameter of prop we can swing. You can absorb power with diameter, number of blades and pitch within limits.  You may be forced to go to 3 blades in order to use all the available power. I use a 12x13 3 blade prop on a Yanmar 1GM10. There is a program online somewhere that takes basic info about your boat and engine and makes suggestions. Your dealer probably has that program and can give suggestions for 2 and 3 blade props.