23 May 2007

Something a little different

OK, not about the Mariner this time, but a few notes on a different sort of sailing. My long time sailing buddy, Dean, invited me out for a sail on his new Vanguard 15. I showed up at the same place we visited last week with the Mariner where we had decided not to launch on account of very high wind. Well, the wind was screaming again that day. Confident in each other's ability and well suited up in wetsuits, pfds, etc. We put the boat out into the carquinez straits. Wow! The boat was flying (literally at one point thanks to a very large powerboat wake) planing upwind and truly screaming off the wind with a wall of spray pounding the forward crew (me.) That's probably the fastest I've gone in a sailboat since racing a Thistle on Huntington Lake in high school. Later, checking the reports from the nearest weather bouy, I found that we had experienced winds at 25 knots gusting to 30. It was a wild ride. And yes, we did capsize once. All was going well, and then bam! We lost the edge. Boat flipped and turtled pretty quick. Took a while for the newbie to figure out how to leverage himself up on the rail, but we were off and running again without too much trouble. Good experience to know that we can handle the boat (even upside down) in that kind of blow.

13 May 2007

Benicia Boat Picnic

Never did hit the water. We went to West 9th, but it was too honkin' to feel comfy taking the kids out for the first time. So, we played in the park, walked on the beach, ate lunch in the boat (cozy in that little cabin), but the wind never did want to let up. The wave surge at the dock there is pretty nasty, too. Later, we rolled on over to the ramp in the marina to check that out. nice little ramp and dock. Says to pay at the office. Where the heck is that? If I can figure that out, I think I'll launch there next time. Motor out through the marina, hoist the sails, and go cruising . . .

11 May 2007

Mothra Paint

The family thinks it would be cool to name the boat "Mothra" or maybe that should more properly be "Rebirth of Mothra." Anyway, here's what she might look like as Mothra. What do you think?

First sail video

click image for some video footage from the first sail

First Sail !

Some more background on the boat and a report from the first sail
In December, I "rescued" O'Day Mariner #1460 (1969 2+2) from where it had been sitting in a back yard for almost 10 years. Over the past couple of months I've cleaned off all the scum, replaced a few bits of broken rigging, and refitted with appropriate safety gear. I finally had a chance to try the boat out on April 6. From scanning through the MarinerSailors yahoo group and the Mariner class website before I bought the boat, I had a pretty good idea that it would make a nice little family boat (the family is little, too.), but she sails even better than I had imagined. The forecast called for 5 to 20 on San Francisco Bay, and I'd say we got all of that. A bit more wind than I had planned for on a first test sail, but we quickly discovered how comfortable, well behaved, and surprisingly fast this little boat is. After a few practice tacks/jibes in the marina, we followed the Richmond shipping channel out into the bay and were soon tacking across to Angel Island with an occasional glimpse of San Francisco poking through the typical fog. Perfect. After an hour or so, we spun around and reached for home topping out at 8 kts. a time or two. Cool!This boat's a keeper. Just ordered a bunch of parts to remedy some of the old boat shortcomings (old jam cleats don't hold the jib in any kind of wind) and spiffy her up a bit.

Here's a Google map log of the first sail

Or, view in Google Earth

Introducing O'Day Mariner #1460

There she is. First time in the water after many years sitting in a backyard in Sacramento. Overall, the boat is in usable condition, but a lot of work ahead to get her all fixed up. More to come . . .