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Thread: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Finally.

    Put my Alaska in the water for the first time ever this afternoon after a morning of drizzles and thunderstorms and installing the last bits of hardware (tiller extension, bag tie-downs, etc). Went to a nice little boat ramp on a local creek to avoid the weekend crowds on the nearby lakes:



    It took a long time to settle on a paint scheme, but I'm perfectly happy with how it turned out. It's a beautiful hull for sure:



    So far so good. I didn't have big enough screws to hold the pintles on, so I opted for a rowing only launch, with sailing to follow tomorrow if the weather permits. My family was nice enough to come out and take some photos while kayaking alongside:



    A beautiful evening row--flat water, gentle breeze, beautiful sunset. With 2 passengers aboard the boat feels heavy. Much nicer rowing solo; I was able to keep up my brother and sister in SOF kayaks without too much trouble, though I'm sure they could have left me way behind if they had wanted to paddle hard.

    I think I'm really going to like this boat--thanks again to my brother for all his help, and to Don Kurylko for a beautiful design. Here we go!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  2. #107
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    The trim seemed just about right rowing solo in an empty boat. The 8' 8" oars seemed long and ungainly on dry land, but felt like just the right length for flat water:



    Sitting in the partially completed hull during the (oh-so-long) building process, I was a bit worried that the rowing station would feel cramped, with not quite enough leg room between the thwarts, maybe. Turns out there's plenty of room, though, and we got the oarlocks positioned just right for my reach.



    With her long keel and no rocker, it's not a boat to turn on a dime, but handles well. I think a little bit of weight on the oar looms will balance the oars perfectly, but they were pretty good as is.

    Sailing report tomorrow if all goes well...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-28-2017 at 02:27 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  3. #108
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Congrats, Tom. She's a beaut. I'm sure you're proud, as you should be.

  4. #109
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Congratulations Tom......Just Right!

  5. #110
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    Great stuff Tom!
    Now tell us about the launch ramp compliments. There were bound to be some
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  6. #111
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Beautiful, Tom! Now comes one of the most fun parts of this kind of project--the shaking down and sorting out as you put her to use....Bravo!

  7. #112
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Congrats Tom! She's a beauty.

    She's also a lucky little boat. She was designed to camp/cruise, and she'll get lots of that.

    Of course, now you'll need to find a new first sentence for all of your stories as "I borrowed my brother's Phoenix III" will no longer be true.

    You keep us waiting on the name?

    Have a great first sail.

    Kenny
    "Oh my god, Triscuits are, like, the best." L.F Herreshoff, The Compleat Cruiser

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Indeed I'm pretty excited, as the hardware store opens at 8 a.m. this morning and it looks to be a beautiful day, though maybe not too breezy. A quick stop for two 1/2" #10 screws for the pintle straps and I'm off sailing!

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Great stuff Tom!
    Now tell us about the launch ramp compliments. There were bound to be some
    Well, there really wasn't anyone at the ramp except us. But as we were pulling the boat out, a kid and his dad were landing kayaks at the ramp. The kid said "We should get a boat like that!"

    Dad: "But then we'd have to have somewhere to store it. A boat like that, you have to keep it inside."

    To which my brother (who has been hosting my boat for the past few years in his already crowded garage) replied: "Don't you have a brother?"

    All of which left me thinking: Where AM I going to keep this boat? My "carriage house" isn't even as long as my boat, much less boat + trailer... I will probably build a 4' extension on the front this summer and install some new doors (ones that are more actual doors than the current ones, which are more or less door-shaped chunks of rotting wood that have long since fallen off their hinges and are only leaning up against the frame, with the occasional fall).

    But storage space or no, it's sailing today, then hauling the boat home with me tonight.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  9. #114
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Quote Originally Posted by minuteman View Post
    Of course, now you'll need to find a new first sentence for all of your stories as "I borrowed my brother's Phoenix III" will no longer be true.
    True enough!

    Quote Originally Posted by minuteman View Post
    You keep us waiting on the name?
    Nope, just haven't decided one yet. A few ideas but nothing that has settled in definitively.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  10. #115
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Lovely boat. Nice job, Tom.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  11. #116
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    I just tipped a pint to you and whatshername, Tom. By the way, what's her name? I only occasionally check in, so apologies if I missed it.

  12. #117
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Well done Tom. Beautiful hull. And long oars- love them. Hope you do too.

    I'm guessing a nice cloth cover would get wrecked by snow there? Maybe your next project should be a boat house...

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  13. #118
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Beautiful! Can't wait to see it sailing.

  14. #119
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Wonderful! I wish you many happy years with her.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  15. #120
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    That's gotta be a great feeling to slip her in the water. Nicely done. Looking forward to hearing about the upcoming trips.

    Travis.

  16. #121
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Thanks again for all the comments. I did manage to get out today, in windier winds than I would've wanted, but... the new boat sails:



    The sail, from Dabbler Sails, is excellent. I think it'll be perfect once I get the details of hoisting and sheeting all worked out--it really seems to set nicely, and I think I got the sail ties at about the right tension on the yard.

    It was gusty and fluky winds all afternoon, but we launched from the windward shore of a big lake (10+ miles long) so that went ok. Kept one reef in which seemed about right for the gusts:



    Went out again in the evening when the winds looked like they were dying down. Got caught in a front coming through and found out it's possible to dip the rail and scoop up some water without a major disaster! Luckily I was sailing with a friend, and the extra weight probably helped a lot.

    I need some time in the boat to figure out where I'll be sitting to man the tiller. The Phoenix III excels in seating and cockpit ergonomics, with side benches allowing easy seating. It'll take a little while to find the equivalent comfort in my Alaska. I alternated between sitting on the rear thwart and sitting down on the hull side just behind the rear thwart. My tiller may be a bit too long, and the tiller extension a bit too short.

    I also need to decide on sheeting. With a boomless rig, the angle is crucial, and it needs to sheet behind the helm to work well. Today I was flipping the sheet behind horn cleats on the aft deck, but that is decidedly NOT a long-term solution. Perhaps a rope traveler over the tiller.

    More in a moment...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-04-2017 at 11:45 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  17. #122
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    The rudder set-up worked really well, with the blade and cheeks completely out of the water when raised:



    The uphaul and downhaul lines my brother designed and installed for me are luxurious--no more hanging over the transom shoving the rudder down or trying to pull it up, as in Jagular. One tug on the uphaul and the blade pops up by itself like it's spring-loaded.

    The tiller may need a little adjustment to figure out the right length, but it swings freely without any binding or heavy loads. No slamming it around to tack; seems to need a gradual application of tiller angle to keep momentum.

    Trailering is very nice, as all spars store flat across the thwarts, with the mast partner and the bag tie-downs on the centerboard case bedlogs providing a perfect place to strap everything down. The nice long sail bag for sail and yard from Dabbler Sails is a nice touch as well.

    More tomorrow when it's not too late--but everything worked, nothing broke. So far, so good. Fixing the sheeting point is the number one priority without a doubt, as using those horn cleats is an invitation to, if not disaster, then at least a messy clutter of inefficient motion on each tack.

    The boat still rows like a dream...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-05-2017 at 12:04 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  18. #123
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    Tom, on my Alaska I used a 2 sheet arrangement, like a job. Worked well
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  19. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Tom, on my Alaska I used a 2 sheet arrangement, like a jib. Worked well
    edited for typo
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  20. #125
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Alex,

    thanks for the input. It may come down to a double-sheeted mainsheet, but if a traveler works, I may go with that instead. I like the idea of minimizing the amount of line lying about the cockpit.

    I've probably asked you this before, but did you find yourself sitting on the side of the hull behind the rear thwart? Or sitting on the rear thwart?

    Did you sit on the rail much?

    And finally, do you remember how long your tiller was before you switched it to a push-pull? Mine right now goes about to the forward edge of the sternsheets, with a swiveling extension.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  21. #126
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Alex,

    thanks for the input. It may come down to a double-sheeted mainsheet, but if a traveler works, I may go with that instead. I like the idea of minimizing the amount of line lying about the cockpit.

    I've probably asked you this before, but did you find yourself sitting on the side of the hull behind the rear thwart? Or sitting on the rear thwart?

    Did you sit on the rail much?

    And finally, do you remember how long your tiller was before you switched it to a push-pull? Mine right now goes about to the forward edge of the sternsheets, with a swiveling extension.

    Tom
    Tom,
    I think the tillerlength on my boat was about the same as yours, although I can’tcheck as I’ve sold the boat.
    I spent most of mytime lounging against the side of the hull aft of the sternmostthwart, especially when sailing downwind or in light winds upwind. Ididn’t spend a lot of time hiked out, as the tiller wasn’t longenough, even with my temporary extension, to get far enough forwardfor it to be effective. It wasn’t until I went to the longpush-pull tiller, that I could get out to the widest part of the hullwhere my weight made a noticable difference when hiked out.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  22. #127
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    My balanced lug has a boom, but I use a rope traveler running between my aft cleats that are situated about like yours. The line runs through the gaps under the center of the cleats with stopper knots in each end. I also use the same gaps to run a 1/4 nylon line under the tiller and through a tiller tamer. That set-up has worked well for me.

  23. #128
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Quote Originally Posted by cracked lid View Post
    My balanced lug has a boom, but I use a rope traveler running between my aft cleats that are situated about like yours. The line runs through the gaps under the center of the cleats with stopper knots in each end. I also use the same gaps to run a 1/4 nylon line under the tiller and through a tiller tamer. That set-up has worked well for me.
    Yep, I used that a lot in my brother's Phoenix III, and it works great. The boomless rig makes the sheeting angle much more critical in the Alaska, so I'll give it a shot and see if the geometry works out with a rope traveler. Because of the backrest on the stern seat, the tiller is fairly high above the aft deck, so I'm curious to see how a traveler with enough slack to fit over the tiller will work out.

    A double-sided mainsheet (like a jib) is shown in the Alaska plans, so I suppose I might have to go with that.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  24. #129
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    By the time I got out at 9 p.m. tonight, flat calm. Beautiful sunset and twilight, then a mostly full moon.

    Rows like a DREAM.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  25. #130
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    So for boomless sheeting, Mikey Floyd, who designed the Salty Heaven devised a configuration where a line with a knot in it is attached to a fiddle block that takes the sheet. The line with knot is moved when you tack from rail to rail where it jams within a horn cleat. I rigged this system up on my Harrier and it works great. You get the sheeting out where you want it to be and it's pretty simple. It took me one day to get used to it. But in all fairness, I also have a rope traveler that travels across the floorboards that I can also hook the fiddle block to if I'm tacking in really tight spaces.

  26. #131
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Andy,

    that sounds interesting indeed--thanks for posting. I'm not sure I understand how it would be easier to manage changing sides at each tack that way, vs. flipping the sheet behind the horn cleat. But if it worked well for you, it's worth exploring.

    Can you share any more details about how you set it up?

    Thanks,

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  27. #132
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Andy,

    that sounds interesting indeed--thanks for posting. I'm not sure I understand how it would be easier to manage changing sides at each tack that way, vs. flipping the sheet behind the horn cleat. But if it worked well for you, it's worth exploring.

    Can you share any more details about how you set it up?

    Thanks,

    Tom
    Plus one on this. Please share Andy!
    One thing I was never clear about with Mickey's arrangement was, doesn't this require you to shift your weight to the leeward side, to hook the block onto the cleat on the new tack, at exactly the moment that you'd like to be climbing the rail on the windward side to keep the boat upright?
    Maybe in practice it isn't the problem that I envision, but I've been thinking about it ever since I read about Salty Heaven's rigging.
    My Goat Island Skiff Project Photos:
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  28. #133
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    2nd photo in #106 my new favourite. What a stunner and you've done a fantastic job. Many happy voyages.

  29. #134
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    OK, I checked out Mikey Floyd's Salty Heaven plans to understand Andy Mcconkey's earlier post about a sheeting system. It may be worth trying out, but in my Alaska I have to sheet well behind the sternsheets to get the right sheeting angle with the mast in the middle step. I think flipping the sheet from one side to the other may be more of a bother (even potentially dangerous in challenging conditions) than using a double-sided sheet.

    However, why not try everything? Since I have a small aft deck, I can't use thumb cleats on the inner face of the gunwale as Salty Heaven's system does. But I might be able to do essentially the same thing: rig a rope traveler between the aft horn cleats, and then attach the block for the mainsheet to the traveler with a short line so you can release the block line and slide it port or starboard when you tack, but it jams in place where you want it (maybe something similar to a prusik knot would work?). So the mainsheet runs through the block, and all you have to do is slide the block over at each tack.

    A rigid traveler bar over the tiller might also work well, though then you'd be limited in how far you can lift the tiller up. Hmm...
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-17-2017 at 08:54 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  30. #135
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Today I sailed about 10 miles across a large lake, and it was good to have a long day alone in the boat to try things out. Started out double-reefed, finished up rowing as evening came on and winds died down. Had a nice long broad reach under full sail in there, too. I was alone so no photos, but here are a couple more from the initial sailing session:



    All the time aboard answered a lot of my questions about this (still nameless) boat, which were mainly ergonomics-type issues.

    Seating turns out to be quite good. With my tiller extension folded up, I can sit on the side of the hull just aft of the aft-most thwart and be comfortable--the thwart makes a nice arm rest, and the tiller (which seemed too high at first) is also a comfy reach with my steering hand.

    Or, I can straddle the aft-most thwart, sitting sideways, and steer with the tiller extension.

    Or, I can sit on the aft-most thwart facing mostly forward, with my legs over the centerboard case and my feet on the opposite side of the boat, again steering with the tiller extension. This is surprisingly comfortable. I can even slide a short distance forward along the side benches (I put these in today to try them out) and get my weight about mid-ships, and set the end of the tiller extension down on the aft-most thwart and keep a hand on it to steer (sounds weird but works well). I'm very happy about that, as I wasn't sure I'd be able to get my weight as far forward as I wanted to. This seems like the best option for sailing close-hauled.

    I can also steer standing up just aft of the aft-most thwart, steering with the tiller extension. This is very comfy, and nice on long passages--it's easy to shift weight and keep the boat sailing flat when standing up. And the extreme tuck of the transom means that there is some flat(ish) hull to stand on at the helm.

    If I were using the designed ketch rig, I'd lose a lot of these seating options--but from what I've seen so far, the 85 sq ft main seems to be more than adequate for my purposes. And having so many different choices will make long passages easier. Most of my sailing is solo, but there should be more than adequate comfort for a passenger as well. Overall I'm quite pleased with how comfy the boat is to sail.
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-17-2017 at 08:55 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  31. #136
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Congrats Tom,

    Looks good and about perfect for what you do!

    Dan

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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    She is a beauty man. Congrats to your new boat.
    max

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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm really liking my new boat:



    The boomless rig seems to really reduce anxiety for passengers who aren't really sure what to expect. Of course, it's not so good for a long broad reach/run like I had yesterday. You really can hardly sheet out at all without a boom--the difference between positions from close-hauled to running are minimal compared to what you can achieve with a boomed rig. Compromises, compromises!

    On my 10-mile sail yesterday, I also tried out some sheeting options. A double-sided mainsheet (like a jib) worked better than I feared, though it certainly needs some attention to prevent one sheet from wrapping itself around the other when luffing--making sure the non-working sheet is pulled tight seems to help. Any other tricks for managing a double-sided mainsheet?

    A rope traveler alone didn't work too well, as it has to be fairly slack to fit over the high tiller, which prevents the ring from sliding far enough outboard. But maybe something like the sliding block Andy Mcconkey mentioned might still be worth trying.

    I definitely need some kind of snap links on the sheet and downhaul to make reefing faster. I may do something like that on the end of the halyard as well, maybe even one of them fancy halyard ring/hook combos that the PNW sail & oar bunch seem to like so well.

    Today's plan is a rowing trip on the northern-ish stretches of the Wolf River, below the whitewater but mostly above civilization.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-19-2017 at 07:53 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  34. #139
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    OK, it was a blustery day yesterday--too much for messing around with new sheeting systems, and the nearest launch point was on a lee shore with 10 miles of fetch--but I played around with my Alaska anyway, getting things set up for my first real trip next week. I rigged the same tarp I used on my brother's Phoenix III over the sleeping platform and the lines and set-up I used on this Lake Nipigon trip fit the Alaska almost perfectly as well (an indication that in interior space and layout the boats are surprisingly similar--the main difference being that where the Phoenix III's transom is, the Alaska has the backrest for the sternsheets seat, and then a small aft deck and smaller transom--i.e. the Phoenix is an Alaska with the hull cut off at the sternsheets backrest). No pictures of the tarp rigged on the Alaska yet, but here's the basic idea:



    As is, it doesn't keep rain out of the boat, but does keep the sleeping platform dry--it's actually luxurious by my usual backpacking standard of comfort. A few refinements will make this good enough to use aboard my Alaska this summer until I get around to making a custom-fitted boat tent.

    1) Small carabiners to clip the tarp in, with all lines properly adjusted to fit the boat automatically (one line will be tied off with a tension knot to adjust fore-and-aft tension, the rest will simply be clipped in)

    2) Use the halyard to hold the tarp up, rather than a ridge line from mast to rudder

    3) Switch the lines running under the side decks (for clipping items in, also securing the tarp at a few points) to non-stretch line
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-19-2017 at 08:31 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  35. #140
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    Default Re: Progress on Kurylko Alaska Build

    I also played around with an idea for sheeting the mainsail that looks promising. The problem with a rope traveler over the tiller is that the tiller is quite high above the aft deck (it has to be, to clear the stern seat backrest). With enough slack in the line to clear the tiller, the ring for the sheet is not able to slide far enough outboard to get the proper sheeting angle for the boomless mainsail.

    I haven't seen this before, so it's an original "invention" if you will, but I'm sure (if it works) that other people have done similar things. Here's a sketch of what I'm thinking:



    1) Run a rope traveler over the tiller between the aft deck horn cleats, with a metal ring running along the traveler to run the sheet through.

    2) Attach a "sheet hauler" line to the ring with a girth hitch, then run the ends of the "sheet hauler" through the horn cleats (using them as a turning block), then forward along the side decks to small jam cleats.

    3) After tacking, when the sheet gets stalled too far inboard because of the slack in the traveler, the "sheet hauler" lines can be used to pull the ring (and the sheet) all the way outboard to the horn cleat itself.

    I'm not sure how messy this will be in practice, but probably less messy than a double-sided mainsheet. At each tack you'll have to uncleat the "sheet hauler" line, and then pull it taut and re-cleat it on the new windward side of the boat. I think it'll work. It will certainly be easier to cleat the "sheet hauler" line off on the side decks without having to lean all the way back and to leeward to reach the horn cleats directly.

    Has anyone heard of or used a system like this? Anyone have any thoughts or reactions?

    Thanks!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-19-2017 at 08:48 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

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