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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #3411
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Sorry to be naive but... Where was C&B Marine? I thought both Timberwolf and Sweet Okole were built in NZ.

  2. #3412
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Hi Jonathan,

    C&B (Bob Thompson) was in Santa Cruz, originally at Moore's Reef, then moving to Soquel in 1976. Built many quality wood boats including TIMBERWOLF, WILD SPIRIT, ALERT, ISIS, a 77' Alden Schooner, rebuilt 8 meter ANGELITA, and others.

    SWEET OKOLE was built in Hono by Foo Lim and sons 1976-77. Neither was built in N.Z.
    Last edited by sleddog; 08-16-2019 at 09:06 PM.

  3. #3413
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Sooty Shearwaters are back! Hundreds of thousands, if not millions are nearshore flying in swirls of smoke as far as the eye can see. In some areas the ocean is black with shearwaters as they land for the night.

    What I wrote in 2015: Here in Capitola, on the northern shore of Monterey Bay, we are currently blessed with visitors from deep in the Southern Hemisphere. Surf is head high in sets, the result of a southwest swell from two gales spinning 7,000 miles away, in the Southern Ocean, off the southeast coast of New Zealand.

    Our south swell is the same one that two days ago led to High Surf Warnings and close out sets of 10-15 feet at Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu, keeping half a dozen Transpac Race finishers from entering Ala Wai until daylight.

    It's that time of year. Riding the swell off New Brighton Beach in the evening flockup are thousands of sooty shearwaters. They are packed so tightly, the inner birds in the circle can't take off until the outer rows become airborne.

    These sooty shearwaters, like the ocean swell, also come from the Southern Ocean, flying extreme distances from New Zealand and Tasmania to overwinter (our summer) off the California Coast.

    My direct observation over 40 years, as well as scientific census taking over the last 20 years, is the previously huge number (millions) of sooty shearwaters making the migration is much reduced. Burrow nests on 36 islands off the South Island of New Zealand are hunted for shearwater chicks and the young birds plucked, gutted, salted, and shipped overseas, as well as sold at corner shops as "mutton birds."

    Mutton bird oil is used to rubdown the coats of greyhounds, racehorses, even athletes. "Good for reproductive organs and teeth," says the sales come on.

    Wanna buy a dozen, 25, 50 or more salted mutton birds online, "a delicacy rich in Omega 3 fatty acids," delivered to your doorstep?

    Sustainable harvest? Not to my way of thinking, especially when marketed overseas. Bummer.

    In the early morning hours of August 18, 1961, thousands of sooty shearwaters became disoriented in the fog, and flew into the lights of Capitola, crashing into homes, cars, lightpoles, and shoreside structures. Dead and stunned birds littered the streets in the foggy early dawn. Startled by the rain of birds and the overpowering stench of disgorged fish, local residents rushed out on their lawns with flashlights, then rushed back inside as more shearwaters flew towards their lights.

    The "invasion" caught the attention of local resident Alfred Hitchcock, and he used the shearwaters of Capitola as the basis of one of the all time classic horror movies, the 1963 film "The Birds."

    Itsa foggy night tonight. I know the shearwaters are out there. "We'll Leave the Light On For You" is probably not a good idea.
    Last edited by sleddog; 08-16-2019 at 09:25 PM.

  4. #3414
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    If the upper lifeline is taut on a Moore, Express 27, etc. the helmsman can't sit up straight without having his upper body outside the lifeline. Ragtime! was just wide enough back there to be able to keep the upper lifeline taut and be able to sit somewhat comfortably, but the smaller boats aren't. So it's a case of picking your poison.
    The USSailing report on the MORPHEUS tragedy notes the lifelines had been removed, most likely to facilitate ease of assuming "legs over" hiking for the crew. A photo has emerged taken 12 days after the event that shows MORPHEUS with bow and stern pulpits and upper lifelines.

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    My guess, based on a written comment by Jeff of MORPHEUS's crew, is they sailed the boat shortly after the tragedy as a memorial tribute and likely (my guess) out of respect, replaced the stanchions and lifelines before that sail.

    Another question: was MORPHEUS's tiller extension intact after the MOB? Sometimes an extendable tiller extension will lose its grip and extend at just the wrong moment with unexpected consequence.

    In addition to the Committee's analysis and recommendations, my emphasis would have been on a mandatory requirement to carry the single most important piece of lifesaving gear after a PFD: a LifeSling. Also, rather than mentioning the Figure 8 return as a viable rescue method, the QuickStop is, IMO, better by far in almost all cases.

    Lastly, the CG and other interested parties should have a policy of not disposing of evidence, whether a fatality occurred or not.
    Last edited by sleddog; 08-17-2019 at 03:06 PM.

  5. #3415
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Bodfish, CA


    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Then was then. IMP was the last boat to round Fastnet Rock in 1979, 40 years ago, before conditions closed out. We were under triple reef main only, going upwind at 3 knots and sideways at 2.

    The sun rose 3 hours later on a memorable scene. With 6 crew below for safety, and two on deck swapping the tiller, instructions were firm. "Don't jerk the tiller. It's the only rudder we have. People are dying out here. Don't look back when you're driving.."

    IMP finished safely at Plymouth having heard nothing of the night before. Before we heard the toll, we were happy to be ashore. Initially, our wives and girl friends were pissed at our ignorance. We did not know reporters had seen the RC chalk board listing IMP in the "unreported" column. British news picked that up and reported "IMP MISSING." The NY Times stringer saw that, and wrote home for his paper, naively changing "missing" to "Americans Lost at Sea."

    We did not know our gals for several hours believed they'd been widowed...


    On a happier note, today is also the 50th Anniversary of the 42', Dick Carter designed, RED ROOSTER
    winning the 1969 Fastnet Race.

    Dick's daughter Catherine recently brought up the suggestion of an Anniversary celebration for RED ROOSTER's crew. Credit where due: At age six, Catherine not only suggested RED ROOSTER's name, but also delivered a drawing, complete with red hull and black waterline stripe. Said Catherine, “if you paint the boat red, you can call him RED ROOSTER!”

    Attachment 4659

    The only part of Catherine's color scheme DC nixed was the red mast..

    It should be no surprise 50 years on that Catherine had a major hand in the publication of DC's new book In the Golden Age of Offshore Racing, including exhaustive research, editing, and restoration of the many classic photos.

    50 years? Catherine, never one to miss details, recently asked the exact day and time of this week's 50th Anniversary of RED ROO winning the '69 Fastnet Race, becoming the Admiral's Cup high-point boat, and anchoring the American Admirals Cup Team of CARINA, PALAWAN, and RED ROOSTER to a come-from-behind victory over the heavily favored Aussie threesome of MERCEDES III, RAGAMUFFIN, and KOOMOOLOO. This USA AC win was not to be repeated for 28 years, 1997.

    I had to think a bit and consult my logs...days, dates, and finish times don't always rise to memory's surface 50 years on.

    I do remember motoring RED ROOSTER to the Royal Yacht Squadron start line on a Saturday after the traditional end of Cowes Weeks fireworks. According to a calendar, it must have been August 9, 1969. We had been up much of the night with broken winch gearing that had dropped the keel 6" into the tarmac at Groves and Gutteridges while doing a final bottom polish the afternoon before.

    Attachment 4660

    As we reached the RYS starting area just offshore, DC called the crew aft. Instead of a short speech, DC reached into his sea bag and passed out 8 small jars of p-nut butter, and an apple each. Only 7 spoons could be found, and DC said, "we're going light." "Hope you don't get hungry." End of speech.

    Jim Hartvig Anderson then opened his sea bag and passed out crew shirts: white, Hanes, X-Large T-shirts on which he'd taken a felt tip pen and wrote RED ROOSTER's name on the front. Only problem, Jim was good at drawing boats in the Nahant Tower and had in fact drawn RED ROOSTER's lines. But English spelling was not his Danish strong point. All our crew shirts said "RED ROOTER."

    We reached Fastnet Rock in good shape and set the spinnaker for the DDW run to the Bishop Rock. The SW'erly freshened during the afternoon as predicted by the BBC for the Irish Sea. "Southwest 6, becoming 5 later," was the succinct forecast.
    Attachment 4661

    "This is gonna be good I thought." DC was no shrinking violet when it came to fully retracting the keel, even with the suspect and recently repaired winch. "Dick," I said, "don't we want to leave a little keel down to help with steering?"

    The answer came with no hesitation. "All the way up!" "And remember, the trunk curtain is closed. Don't tear it."

    (Without the fairing over the keel trunk's exit slot, a small window revealed washing machine agitation inside. All we needed was adding laundry soap for our odoriferous clothing.)

    Off we surfed, riding 4-6' wind waves downwind, rolling rail-to-rail, but with never a round up or down. DC seemed pleased as he'd pop his head from the nav station through the companionway hatch. Everyone aboard was happy we had a tiller as we slithered and slewed our way eastward. Billy, Taylor, Commodore, and I, the California contingent of ROOSTER's Fastnet crew, had a dozen or more Transpac races under our belts and these conditions in the Irish Sea seemed like home, minus the popcorn clouds and trade winds.

    Between the Scillies and Plymouth, the breeze dropped as it usually does in the wee-night hours. We just had to finish before the zephyrs quit altogether and the tide turned foul.

    In the dawn gloaming, RED ROOSTER ghosted by the Plymouth Breakwater Lighthouse finish at 3:50 a.m., 4 days and 17 hours after our start. We felt pretty good about our overall chances. Of the three Aussie boats, only RAGS was tied up. No MERCEDES nor KOOMOOLOO in view on our approach.

    We were all pretty drained from the nite-fighting. But not too tired to answer DC's request for a hoist aloft to retrieve the much despised racing flag lashed at the masthead. We secured our captain well in the bosun's chair. Just as well, as DC fell asleep at the masthead where he spent the morning napping above the hubbub below.

    The Awards Ceremony was the next afternoon, Friday, August 15th, the official conclusion of the Fastnet and Admirals Cup. DC had somehow got a cardboard box of 20 dozen Golden Cockerel lapel pin badges from the local Simpson's Brewery. Across the street was a hardware store where DC bought several cans of red spray paint. We spent the morning painting the golden cockerels red, and Dick Carter spent the rest of the day and into the afternoon's festivities at the Guild Hall graciously handing out RED ROOSTER pins to well wishers and smiling admirers along the docks and Plymouth streets.

    In answer to Catherine's question, If RR finished the Fastnet at 3:50 a.m.,Thursday DT, August 14th, 1969, the 50th Anniversary of RED ROOSTER winning the 1969 Fastnet is this morning. As I write, I have my celebratory p-nut butter on an apple half on the desk.

    Attachment 4662

    These posts are a treat to read and enjoy. There seem to be an absence of high profile sailing in my past.

    I wonder if a few more comments could be provided. The fifty year retrospective is more predictable, since we know results. But, as a 20 something year old was there any doubt before or during these events. For example, my recollection that state of the art navigation was an RDF (radio direction finder), and where the knot meters calibrated. Was the voyage surrounded with a lot of youthful naïveté of what could possibly go wrong?

    Another topic would be compensation for the crew - the appearance of a corinthian sport. Currently, fully paid crew and support is common. But in the 70's and 80's, any discussion of compensation seemed to hushed.


  6. #3416
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Did Bill hand you the tiller? Because that's the understanding. Sleddog aboard? Just give it up. Um, the wheel.
    A tiller would work on MERLIN just fine. But the new 7 lb. carbon fiber wheel is a thing of beauty and delicious to hold. It turns so easily it is easy to lose track of accidentally changing course. Guest drivers on closehauled MERLIN would not realize they were bearing off. After all, the jib telltales were properly streaming..until they weren't, and the apparent wind quickly dropped. "Guess the wind stopped," was the common comment. "Uh, no, come up 50 degrees." And the apparent wind machine that is MERLIN would start all over.

    My first Transpac on the 49 foot S&S yawl KIALOA had a different steering issue: the mahogany wheel had wooden spokes. In a moment of enlightenment, someone mounted a laminated perimeter teak ring around the end of the spokes so you could theoretically let the wheel spin through your grip as needed.

    The came the coup-de-grasp. The owner ordered the new perimeter grip to be wrapped with marlin in the traditional manner. To further screw it up, multiple coats of varnish were brushed on the marlin to make the wheel look good. WTF Over?

    So we get out into the trades and things begin to warm up. Not only does the marlin begin to unwrap, but the varnish begins to melt. When you placed your hands on the wheel for your steering shift, that's where they were going to stay, stuck in melting varnish. Then, a little off course, the mizzen spinnaker would drop over your head, only to refill with danger of taking either the binnacle or your neck, or both, aloft. I was not a happy camper, and being youngest and least experienced, came in for a fair share of abuse. DORADE and her sisters, like KIALOA, may once have been breakthrough designs for Olin Stephens. But the nuance was lost on this kid.

    I knew I could do better. When I built WILDFLOWER, my Wylie 27 custom cruiser, a New Zealand friend presented the boat with a beautiful laminated kauri and mahogany tiller, strong enough to stand on and wonderful to grip for long hours of singlehanding. This tiller had the appropriate 22 coats of varnish, and was the only varnished wood on deck. Give me a bean bag and that tiller, and I never tired of steering.

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    In 1980 I became project manager on the SC-50 OAXACA, and in 1991 the owner upgraded to the SC-70 MIRAGE. Both had large, aluminum, "destroyer" wheels exquisitely covered with the finest elk hide and lovingly hand-stitched in place.

    I didn't think steering could get better than that ....until MERLIN and her new carbonfiber wheel hove into view last week.

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    If you have the opportunity at next month's Big Boat Series to visit MERLIN, ask for a quick look aboard and give the wheel a turn. You will not be disappointed.
    Last edited by sleddog; Yesterday at 12:48 PM.

  7. #3417
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    For those following Randall Reeves adventuresome and well planned and executed Figure 8 Circumnavigation, MOLI is currently anchored just inside False Strait adjacent to the west end of Bellot Straits at the southern end of Peel Sound.

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    Randall made a long run yesterday from Graham Anchorage and is moored nearby to ALIOTH. These two well found yachts now face the crux of their East to West NW Passage transit. South of Bellot is a snout of 7/10's and greater ice coverage. (See the yellow/brown finger pointing southeast on the left-middle side of the below ice map.) Green color is 3/10 ice coverage or less, and can usually be transited with caution. Yellow is 4/10-6/10's ice coverage and beyond the limit of small craft. 7/10's and greater is only available to icebreakers.

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    It will be interesting to see if MOLI and ALIOTH wait for an opening. Or proceed today in an attempt to get south and out of the danger of further heavy ice that could compromise their passage. Once south of Bellot and the 7/10 snout coverage, it looks like clear sailing all the way to Alaska.

    Bellot Straits marks an interesting geographical landmark. The narrow strait separates Somerset Island on the north from the Boothia Peninsula on the south. At its eastern end is the Murchison Promontory, the northernmost point of land of mainland North America.

    Bellot averages about a mile wide and 16 miles long, prone to strong tidal flow of 5-6 knots, and makes a short cut connecting the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet on the east with Peel Sound and Franklin Strait on the west. It was first navigated in 1937. As recently as last year a yacht was sunk by ice in Bellot.

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    This season entry into Bellot from the east is closed by ice and likely will not be transited, which is why MOLI went down Peel Sound to the west, bypassing Prince Regent Sound and Bellot. Exciting and stressful navigational challenges for singlehanded Randall!

    Noon Update: AIS shows MOLI has left her anchorage and is proceeding on a slow bell into 1/10-3/10's pack ice....Presumably ALIOTH will leave shortly. ALIOTH is another story, a fully capable 53 foot aluminum sloop built in 2009 with a lifting keel, water ballast, twin rudders, and crash bulkheads in the bow and stern. She is an ocean-goer with some miles in her wake, having completed a circumnavigation. If ALIOTH completes the NW Passage, her next destination is New Zealand and Antarctica. Here's a photo of ALIOTH. Kinda makes MOLI look like a VW beetle.

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    Last edited by sleddog; Yesterday at 05:04 PM.

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