View Full Version : The countdown starts.

Wild Wassa
10-30-2005, 03:21 AM
The Flying Fifteen Nationals are to be held here in the ACT next January. I've been hunting down a ride, I like to crew. I've also been training for months in anticipation of securing a ride at the FF Nationals.

I've started crewing for Mr Bernard Broughton. He and I had our first race together today and we came second in Division 1. It was a great way to start off our teaming up. I think the Skipper was pleased to take home the grog.

One of the Skipper's said after the race, "Just when we thought we had put you in no man's land, everytime we turned around you were running us down." That's because I was new to the boat and the first time I had been in the boat and it has been a while since, I've tuned a spinnaker, as Ive been crewing NS14's over the last year.

The racing is very healthy here, last week seventy eight boats raced, so people said. This week there was only 69. Maybe this week was easy.

The only downside with today was we missed the start by 30-40 seconds and paid dearly for it. Next week we will know each other ... slack starts will be the first thing fixed. Massed starts are very exciting, next week the field will be big as it is a special event, so there will be no tardiness next Sunday. I'll crew an NS14 midweek twilight and on Saturday arvo, that will keep the focus for next Sunday.

I'll put in the hard yards training, every day until the FF Championships now, starting the 8th of January ... now that I've got a ride.


[ 10-30-2005, 03:54 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Henning 4148
10-30-2005, 07:00 AM
Enjoy! They are great boats.

My wife did crew on one years back for one season, sailing against cruisers in a club "ladies race" series.

Initially there were no concerns about a FF sailing in the series, but - they did so well that after that season by request of some long established female club members open boats were rejected by a change of rules for being "unsafe" in the waters where the racing took place. I guess "wetter, faster and more fun" would have been the better description ;)

Keep the good news coming!

Wild Wassa
10-30-2005, 04:43 PM
Cheers Henning, I hope the thread triggered a few good memories for your wife.

Crewing the FF requires different muscles than I'm used to. My upper body staminer needs addressing. This morning I feel like I've dug a grave ... I must have been over pumping the spinnaker, unless it was fatigue from attending to the muscle box. Muscle box is a funny term hey? ... when you don't have muscles.

These two boats were a bit of a surprise to see at the lake yesterday.

Built in New Zild and shipped across. Double layered and diagonally stipped below the waterline. 'Aquilo'. "Supposedly," to quote her Skipper, "her builder was one of the builders of the 'Bounty' and she is made from the Bounty's leftovers."


Top paint job on a Cherub. 'No FX', although the hull is cut and polished to perfection ... how can she be called No FX? A racing surface like that has devastating FX on others. A very nice wooden performance dinghy with carbon mast and spars. Despite their silly Class name, a Cherub is a no nonsence boat.



[ 10-30-2005, 07:40 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
10-30-2005, 05:51 PM
Oh - Nice.

I love fifteens, an amazing cross between the madness of the planing dinghy and the grace of a Dragon - there is little to compare with a perfect three-sail reach.

Do tie the end of the spinnaker retrieval line to something solid. DAMHIKT.

Billy Bones
10-30-2005, 06:37 PM
Warren, are those the sort of custom shaped 'glass trailer bunks you were referring to on Thorne's trailer thread?

Wild Wassa
10-30-2005, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt:
"Do tie the end of the spinnaker retrieval line to something solid."

P.I, It took an hour to rig the boat yesterday, because of the very same thing that you have just mentioned. The line was adrift and needed reattaching from the previous week, when it happened. That is the first thing that the Skipper and I dealt with this particular FF.

Her name is ‘Stirfry’. The Skipper named her Stirfry because he did the negotiations to buy the boat when he was cooking a stirfry.

Next week I'll be in a better position to take a few photographs, of the fleet. Yesterday was all a bit of a blur. The fleet has one or two Classic FF's still. I thought one was FG until her Skipper removed the boat cover. The boat is immaculate. Some guys really know their stuff.

The FF are sailed in three divisions here, Modern, Silver and Classics.

98% of the time an FF looks like this.



[ 11-13-2005, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Wild Wassa
10-30-2005, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Billy Bones:
"... are those the sort of custom shaped 'glass trailer bunks you were referring to on Thorne's trailer thread?"

Yes Billy, they certainly are. Although those ones look a bit rough and not well finished. The carpet could be wrapped around the bunk slightly and glued to the back of the bunk (about an inch or two) and the sharper edges and corners of the bunks could be well rounded to stop the possibility of scratching paint.

I've got some shots of a few bunks that I've made, showing the different steps in the process, I'll dig them out ... it will take a while.


[ 10-30-2005, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Wild Wassa
10-31-2005, 03:45 AM
I hate losing posts. That's why I post in stages. I'll try again.

Billy B, This Oughtred Grebe also known as a Tammie Norrie bounced on the trailer when being launched and the rollers punctured the bottom. The boat is coated in Deks'. You might be able to see the repairs.


I look at rollers and only see pressure points, that's why I like the wide bunks. Over time rollers distort thin hulls.

Having launched small boats from trailers using either bunks or rollers, I don't see an advantage using rollers.

This is all I do to make a bunk. I try to put the bunks over bulkheads if possible. 4 or 5 layers of chop strand mat, well rolled to remove air bubbles. The cellophane is used as the release. The more glass used than resin the stronger the bunk. I do a dry run because once the resin is mixed there isn't any time to stop and make adjustments.


I fill any steps with clay so the bunk has room to fit the marine carpet and still hold the shape well. The clay or in this case plasticine, is filling the step of this keel strip.


The finished bunk just before the carpet is glued on. What I like about FG bunks is that they are a template for the next stage.

Photo coming, Image Station is slow tonight, I'll try again in the morning.

[ 10-31-2005, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

10-31-2005, 04:03 AM
Warren, I owned and sailed a Cherub in the late 60's, a wooden one. The best fun, the boat I remember most fondly, a blast! I dont recall she looked like that. A very wet boat, hull underwater at times, practicaly airborne at others. I've looked at a few wooden hulls to restore but they've all been pretty worn out. Not surprising if it was sailed like we did. Pitchpoled it once.
:cool: :D

Wild Wassa
10-31-2005, 04:32 AM
Jeff, I knew you had sailed a Cherub, that's why I put the shot up.

It could be the distortion from my wide angle lense or it could be a distortion over time. Cherubs are a development Class.

I talked to her Skipper that's how I know she is a Cherub. In the photo she looks more like an MG hybrid.

If I see her again, I'll photograph her from a few different angles.


[ 10-31-2005, 05:26 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Billy Bones
10-31-2005, 08:09 PM
Thank you Warren for these shots and description. I like that system for its profound simplicity. If you ever run across your pics of a more finished result I'll be eager to see them. At your leisure, of course. I'm a boat and a half away from re-bunking.

Good luck at the championships.

Wild Wassa
11-01-2005, 06:12 PM
Thanks Billy B.

Once the bunks are set and peeled off the cellophane (sheets of cellophane are expensive compared to clear Cellofilm on a roll, as an other option), the rough edges are trimmed before the fibre glass becomes rock hard, about a day to a day and a half later. After another day the fibreglass is good and hard, all the corners are then rounded and the remaining sharp edges are removed as well. All I do then is lay the bunk on the support to be fitted and trace around the profile.


One of the problems that I created when I first started sticking on carpet, was to cut the marine carpet too close to the finished shape, below. I use Selleys Gel Grip contact adhesive and allow two inches of wrap-around now.


This is an interesting bunk. Xabica the 18ft Skiff. The tie-down strap goes through the bunk. With fibre glass the possibilities are endless.


On a wooden dinghy I make the bunks big to spread the load, for light fibre glass hulls, like this MG (Manly Graduate), 6" of bunk on a launching trolly will do the job. Notice the wooden lurker?



[ 11-02-2005, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Wild Wassa
11-06-2005, 04:00 AM
We didn't win the Woollahra Plate today, held on Lake Barely Sailable. I thought we may have picked up a place on corrected time, we sailed about as good as it can get. Blast, so close, but just not good enough.

The Woollahra Plate is a National Trophy, it is a gold plated plate set in a background of Huon Pine and donated by the Mayor of Wollahra in Sydney. The previous holder was a Canberra Seafly Skipper, Ian Fullager (I think). Ian Fullager presented the Plate to the winner and Cup to the runner up. We may have come 4th today, blast again. I won't know for sure, until I check the results on the web. Such a close race, but alas no win.

I really like being the spinnaker boy on a boat ... it keeps me trim, as I trim. We free raced today, no hugging rumb lines not once. The 3+ hours (on a big course) in top wind ... was an afternoon spent hunting every pressure difference we could find. So many good lifts, shifting weight was non stop ... I had about one or two, one minute periods, where I was still, during the race.

(To the non racing sailors). You should have heard the language at the start of the race Skippers. Inner city lingo blended with Bazza MacKenzieisms. Today proved that Bazza must have been a competitive sailor. 55 starters and not one of them backing off at the start ... not one inch. It is amazing how good massed starts can create such interesting sailor's language. The intensity in the Committee Room, lifted the roof off, to finish the event. The air was totally blue at the start ... and a deeper shade after the race for one very disappointed unknown Skipper. What's it like where you sail? Noisy?


[ 11-06-2005, 05:10 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

11-06-2005, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the report. I don't race, much, but the frostbiters in the harbor and the r/c pond racers next my shop might hold there own in your company. I was once in a start at a small craft festival with 65 boats from 7' sailing prams to 35' log canoes all starting on the same line; great fun! The big races here are mostly held far enough off shore so it is hard to hear the starts and roundings. Is that why?

Wild Wassa
11-07-2005, 05:36 AM
Thad, I've been trying to track down the local R/C sailors ... their where abouts are eluding me. I think that I'd like to watch them. Their boats are a few years ahead of normal sailboats.

I would have thought that the R/C sailors would be standing a bit too close to each other to be really direct ... I can only guess that the odd sailor gets pushed in, electronics and all ... zap.

All sound travels well across water ... the best of the sailors stay detatched, I notice.

If anyone wants to stretch their legs between the 8-13 January, a couple of the FF's are available to be leased for the Championships ... stranger things have happened.


[ 11-07-2005, 06:09 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Billy Bones
11-07-2005, 09:55 AM
What's it like where you sail? Noisy?The silence is deafening. That is to say there should be more racing, although the CORT series starts off here and has its share of hooplah.

Next Sat/sun is the annual 'Round the Island race and I've been invited along. We wouldn't be racing, just along for a pleasant sail in company. I may go, as I've never sailed round the island, just the pretty bits.

Congratulations on a race well sailed. Sorry you didn't take the prize.

Thanks for the trailer/bunk updates. That's very useful to me. Good topic juggling, with two discussions in one thread.

Wild Wassa
11-13-2005, 03:38 PM
Second yesterday, club racing at the CYC. The race was sailed on a medium 3 lap triangular course with alternating sausages and finishing with a sausage ... and then another sausage, a sausage sizzle and beer.

The guys are proving some-what hardish to beat at the CYC. Most sailors that I talked to yesterday, said that the conditions were attrocious ... I really liked the conditions yesterday. Tricky and fluky with big holes to attempt to sail around. I tend to concentrate harder and work more in difficult conditions, than when it is just a cruisy ride when in good winds. We won the start yesterday and immediately got into a hole and watched the fleet then put 300 metres on us, very quickly. I though that was a bit off.

We were out of sequence (wind wise) with the fleet yesterday. It took a long time to run them down. Each time we caught up, it was then our turn to sit in a hole, our work wasn't always rewarded or it didn't seem like it. In the more even of the lighter winds, we tended to make our biggest gains against the fleet. NS14 sailing has taught me to make losts of adjustments to the jib shape in the light air (more than sheet tensions alone), that surprises my Skipper, watching me play.

After the race, we had a long de-briefing about our jib problemos. The boat didn't point well yesterday although the speed wasn't too bad. The winning Skipper gave us the drum and helped sort us out. The Skipper isn't happy with coming second either. He certainly is the right Skipper to be with.

Changes will be made to the setup of the boat for next weekend's race. The jib was a touch low at the tack, about 6cm above the deck, it needs to be 10cm (even for a deck sweeper). The luff tension was too tight, we had no wrinkles, in the light wind. I'd set the barber haulers, too far outboard. The tack and the head of the sail could have been about 3mm closer to the stay, they were separating slightly. These small change over choosing correct wind settings, certainly made a bad difference. This problemo arose because of a new top furler and my lack of skill ... and whether I got the ram right yesterday, was questionable as well. I'll be studying the tuning guides this week.

A few of the experienced sailors got yesterday's course wrong, which surprised me with their experience and all, they had DNFs. Sausages can be very interesting (or overlooked) ... when coming head on to many boats. Some of the roundings were dog's breakfasts for some because of the high boat numbers.

One Skipper let us off a 720, when I didn't spot him coming head on. I think he cut us some slack because of the congestion and that probably made a big difference to our result. We didn't deserve second, second was very generous, yesterday.


[ 11-18-2005, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]