Successful World Ducks

I managed to complete one race without dumping (and not losing the rudder). When the three minute gun went off I was chatting with Carl Danish well to leeward of the starting line. I wasn’t alone being late so I had some company working around the olympic course in very light air. Suited me just fine.

The new rig worked great, allowing for relaxed sailing. With less area she was a bit slower than the other boats but not that much. Lot’s of compliments.

Drifting (and towing) down to the start. Sailing, without a doubt, as slow as I can.

Ms. Beaton
Meghan Beaton ghosting by.

Not last
See, I did beat a few boats, finishing 62nd out of 73 boats in the first race. Left the course after the first race to get home and finish Irene preparations. Wait till next year.

More from Maine

along with recent pics of Speedwell and Sjogin.

Quite calm
Typical morning conditions on the Reach. Julia rowed me around the cove that morning but no pics.

John Brooks
John Brooks and one of his Sommes Sound 12 1/2 designs.

Center Harbor
Neat old Lobster boat in Center Harbor. We were returning on Malabar II, a beautiful boat in a harbor full of them. (Mostly.)

Jett and Bob
Jett and Bob enjoying a Martini.

More Maine pics on Flickr.

Happy Skipper
Running home today in Speedwell. Rising breeze, several gybes and still dry! Duckboat Worlds on Friday.

Without direction.  Sjogin awaits the passing of Irene and several months in the shed.

More this weekend….

For the want of a nut…

the rudder was lost. A somewhat minor disaster befell Sjogin yesterday.

I don't need no stinkin' rudder
Your decidedly Unhappy Skipper.

Julia and I had friends out for sail Sunday, puttering around the Bay south of Swan Point. It was blowing about 6 to 10, gusting higher, out of the SSW. On the eastern side a bit of fresh sea breeze was filling in, fighting the gradient wind. It was like sailing in and out of air conditioning.

We tacked up to Hankin’s Island (a repeat visit this year!) on the shifting breeze and then ran down to the marsh by Reedy Creek. Once there, we hove to on Starboard, slowly fore-reaching towards Swan Point. In between are the oyster boxes, floating in anchored sets. Each set of a dozen or so floats are about 100′ long.

As we neared the floats, I swapped jib sheets to go on Port tack till we could lay Swan Point and head for home. Usually, Sjogin will come up into the wind after the sheets change and go over on the other tack.

Well she didn’t. We were in irons, eventually making stern way. I tried to get her to fall off on Port but to no avail. Sjogin gathered way and ran over the line of oyster boxes. As she slid over the gear it lifted the rudder off the pintles and it disappeared from view.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why the rudder wasn’t secured to prevent it becoming un-shipped. Here’s a clue:

The missing nut

This hefty Monel nut is supposed to be threaded on the upper pintel and backed up with a cotter pin. If I had taken a few minutes last fall before launching this wouldn’t have happened. My fault entirely.

After rigging the sweep as a steering oar we made it back to Beaton’s. Not before the crisis of losing the oar, running down and anchoring close to the marsh and a walk on the marsh by Joe Foster to recover the oar. What a day!

On Monday weekend guest Phil Heffernan and I went out on Beaton’s garvey with Fred to search the marsh and Bay for the missing rudder. No luck. I’m bringing the double paddle canoe to aid in the search. Once Speedwell’s in commission I’ll use her as well.

Here’s a flyer I’m posting to let folks know of the lost rudder. If any of you find yourself in the area between Swan and Sloop Point’s and come across this curious bit of floatsam, please let me know.



First sail!

Last Friday saw the first sail of 2011. Disappointed that the Winter didn’t allow a single sail but ice, persistent strong westerlies, low water and the leaking split plank conspired to keep me dockbound. I did have many watches below thanks to my semi-retired status so don’t feel too bad for me.

There was a moderate breeze out of the NNW, bright sun, about 40 degrees. Couldn’t resist so I did my usual circuit, heaving to off Swan Point for breakfast. Of course the wind picked up, gusting to 15kts with one blast just off Beaton’s that put the deck under up to the coaming. So far so good with no increase in Sjogin’s normal weeping.

Ready to go
Nice breeze; ready to go. No one on the Bay but Buffleheads and Ospreys.

First sail!
Running out of Beaton’s with the stove doing it’s work as the smoke streams to leeward. Unlike most times when there’s a long time between sails, it felt like I had been sailing just the day before.

Sail covers off!
Left the sail covers off in hopes of another sail but this interminable cold Spring put paid to that hope.

Happy Skipper
Your very Happy Skipper enjoying the first sail of 2011.

Rearranged books
When I got back to the dock and looked below I found the ships library had been shifted to leeward when hit by the gust off Beaton’s. The white and green book on the shelf ended up directly opposite the place where it started. I imagine there was a bit of bouncing to have ended up where it did as Sjogin was certainly not knocked down 90 degrees.

The Maid emerges
Silent Maid out of the shop after an off-season makeover looking Beaton Fresh. Oh how she glows. Word is that she’ll stay on the Bay this summer and compete for the Toms River Challenge Cup against the A-Cat fleet. This will be the first time a boat other than the 28′ Mower/Sweisguth designs have competed since 1906.

Happy Retirement Jake!

She sails!

Finally got out for a sail on Sunday. For a change I had a crowd on board. Julia joined me along with Thomas Armstrong and his friend Liz. Thomas writes the always interesting Blog, 70.8%. You’ve seen him mentioned here before.

This has been the longest without a sail in years. She still seems to be making up as the usual suspects provided an interior gurgle when heeled. I suppose I’ll need to sail her more to keep those seams above water tight.

Most of the following pics were taken by either Thomas or Liz and lifted from Facebook.

Hove to again
Hove to once more off Swan Point. We had a light breeze to start, varying from calm to 3 kts or so. I like to have as little stress as practical on the hull for the first few sails so the conditions were suitable. (Except for the calm bits rolling in the still present motorboat chop.

One man power
At one point we were a little too close to the marsh with no wind so it was time to start the auxiliary.

Good crew
Julia and Liz during one of the quiet spots. Thinking about rigging the sculling oar with a soft lee shore approaching.

Thomas and your host
Thomas and I discussing something boaty. I think we’re actually sailing here.

Red sails return
Finally! After sculling away from the marsh we entered the Sea Breeze Zone. SSE about 6 and much cooler. We rode it home and managed a one try docking.

End of the Season
Here’s the Silent Maid getting unrigged. What a great season for this race proven Queen of the Bay. Here’s a link to John Brady’s Blog where you can read about her Summer cruise. She got as far as Brooklin, ME for the Eggomoggin Reach Regatta.

One of the reasons I just had my first sail. (Along too much of the semi in semi-retirement). I spent a few days on Boss Lady in the Chesapeake a week or so past. And spent as much time as I could on the settee above. A fine place to watch the day go by.

I’ll try to catch up with some other items this week.

2010 Duckboat Worlds

Edited to add: Here’s a link to the article by Joshua Moore in the March/April 2009 issue of WoodenBoat.

Speedwell made the starting line on Friday and sailed in the three morning races. Despite having the oldest, and probably heaviest boat, I did, in fact, beat a few boats in the first two races. I had a reasonable start in the third one but got hit with a puff soon after and wasn’t quick enough to avoid a knock down. Once these boats get the rail in the water there’s precious little reserve stability and they slide under. Thanks to a tow from a safety boat, I was able to bail her out while standing in two feet of water just inside Swan Point and sail her home.

He's smiling!
Julia was on board the Beaton boat watching the races and heard the rescue. She knew I was alright when she heard on the radio, “he’s OK, he’s smiling”.

Here’s proof that I actually was in front of several boats. Even managed a couple of crowded gybes.

Air on!
Very shifty conditions with a gusty westerly weakening before the sea breeze set in.

Not the only one
I wasn’t the only one to go over. That’s Erin Beaton and her friend Allison.

Downwind action
With 65 boats starting there was plenty of opportunity to mix it up. Somewhere in there is Gary Jobson, President of US Sailing and local legend.

Hove to
Hove to, chatting with Julia between races. (IPhone pic by Julia.)

Happy couple
Photo taken by Charlie Best at the party at Mantoloking the evening before the Worlds. The sun is setting over Beaton’s.