20 October, 2016

Teaser - Croatia 2016

This year we went again to the Croatia and the Adriatic sea.
It was again a great adventure with a lot of pictures, but I had not time to pick the best ones, so I would like to tease you a little with this short sailing movie :-)

Enjoy and stay tuned for more.

14 October, 2016

Biminy Top

It has been a long time, since I've tried to prototype the bimini top back in 2014. The problem is, however, that building a custom bimini top that covers the most of the cockpit and having the ability to sail is almost impossible.
That would require moving the boom a bit higher, moving the mainsheet forward and building the stern arch to relocate the back stay.That's a lot of work and investment.

One intermediate step was then to build a boom tent for the 2015 season, but is has shown to be difficult to deploy and provided a big shade for the solar panel we have under the boom.

So I've decided I will order some cheap bimini and test it how it work without the ability to sail with the main sail, but still have the fast deployment especially when it's gonna rain.

I wasn't able to find some in the gray color locally so went to the internet and found this chinese 3 bow bimini top.
Its dimensions are 6' long (183cm) x 46" high (117 cm) x 79-84" wide (200 - 214 cm), made from 25mm aluminum tubings, nylon fittings and 8.1oz polyester (600D) canvas with PU coating and UV protection.
The UV resistance is quite debatable, because after one summer season, the bimini top cover/boot has changed a bit. But hey, it's cheap and easily replaceable.
One big advantage is that the tubing is foldable and assembly takes only a minute.

photo from the seller before shipment

Installation was pretty easy, but required to raise the mast to check all the clearances between the boom and folded bimini frame and so on. To ease the further bimini deployment, I've used the stainless fittings with the quick-pins for the main frame and the support struts.

dry test

finding fitting location

deck hinge

The deck hinge is the 80 degrees fork fitting, but due to the slope of the coaming I had to fabricate the additional 10 degree pad from HDPE plastic. If I were doing it again, I would use the pivoting fork.

installed but folded bimini

As you can see above, the boom clearance is just ok.

aft support strut

fully retracted

Forward support straps are attached to the stanchion base, so there is no need for any additional boat drilling.

fully deployed (sorry for the towel :-)

sailing under shade

still able to sail with the Genoa...

...or Gennaker

Verka can stand under it, but not me with my 187cm

This is a very great upgrade and proved to be very effective and very simple to deploy.

12 October, 2016


I've always wanted a "light wind" device like Gennaker, Spinnaker or Code-0. However the more you will think about these sails, the more you will be confused what is the best option for you. I'm not any kind of a racer so I wanted just one and the most usable sail for a light wind conditions.
After a few months of discussion with different sail makers I had decided for the most general purpose sail Gennaker G1 on the roller furler from the polish sail maker SailService.

The rig dimension of the Phobos 21 with a standard bowsprit is:

I = 7800mm
J = 2720mm
LP = 8200mm (If I will subtract the height of the roller furler Ronstan 60 series, the sail luff can be 7900mm maximum)
B = 6000mm (Horizontal dimension between the bowsprit and sheet's block)
Sail foot ~5100mm

rig dimensions

Gennaker G1 with straight luff from SailService

As you can see, the shape of this sail is slightly different than regular Gennaker. That's because with the regular shape, you need a "top-down" roller furler which is a bit expensive. For our size of the boat, the Ronstan 60 series with 8mm anti-torsion rope is just enough, but the sail needs to have a straight luff! This sail shape is also called as Code-D. See the theoretical wind angles bellow.

Code-D wind angles (trade mark of  Delta Voiles)

Ronstan 60 series and 8mm anti-twist/anti-torsion rope.

The sail cloth for the winds up to ~15 knots has been chosen the Contender nylon Superkote 75 - orange color.

Finally arrived at the beginning of the year

Pretty long luff in comparison with 4 year daughter :-) 

SailService sail bag

The hard work had to wait till the warmer months so I could prepare the mast and boat with the necessary hardware.

At first I had to drill a hole for the halyard - Holt-Allen HA28 40mm sheave box.

mask the mast with the tape to prevent scratches
Cutting the hole for the sheave box was pretty easy. Drill the holes at the ends of the groove and then use the jigsaw to cut through the remaining material. Then finish the groove with the file.

finished groove
Then insert the sheave box and drill the holes for the stainless rivets.

finished halyard block
Fortunately, the mast is already equipped with the line exit at the mast step, so I just had to use the mainsail halyard to pull the new line through the mast.

Harken furler with the snap-shackle attached to the bowsprit eye

The continuous furler line is led aft on the port side and ended with a small block that is attached to the pushpit with a bungee cord. This bungee cord will hold the line in the jaws of the furler and helps a little from free wheeling. When you need to unfurl the Gennaker, just push the bungee cord a bit forward and pull the sheet.

continous furler line and Gennaker sheets with cam cleats

The sheets from Gennaker lead to the 40mm blocks attached to the pushpit and then to the Ronstan RF5010 cam cleats. The cleats are fastened through the deck inside the cockpit lockers.
I can use the main winches instead of the cam cleats, but this is more convenient to keep all the sheets from the Genoa and Gennaker cleated and in the stronger winds, I can still handle the sheets by hands without any trouble.

first test

first test

During the summer season we have used it plenty of times, even single handed, and I must say, it's worth the money. It's a great upgrade to every boat!

running with mainsail - Orlik dam

close reach on Adriatic sea

Adriatic sea
As you may notice, there are white velcro tapes near the clew. This is a clever idea of the sail maker that keeps the Gennaker from unfurling.

One hint on the Gennaker sheets - the rope should be as light as possible so they will not pull the clew down in light wind. I was lucky enough that I was able to get 8mm dyneema core sheets from Lanex during a boat show for a very low price.

great time sailing