Nathan's Sailing Blog/Notes


Sailing and related topics, SF Bay and beyond.



Nathan Bossett is a San Francisco area racer and now cruiser on a variety of boats.

This blog will evolve in form over time. It's intended to preserve a blog format while keeping subjects/tags intact for sort/search. For now, the minimalist cms bloxsom is an excellent fit.

  • CSS instead of tables
  • links by month
  • cleaner spacing on pics/text

Sun, 22 Dec 2013
Echappee's Merry Christmas - Gifted Spinnaker
echappee amel maramu mizzen spinnaker

Elise/Nat's Christmas present to Echappee: A mizzen spinnaker (in Elise's size).

It turns out that Echappee's mizzen mast isn't all that much taller than Elise's (Express 27). So, Echappee now has a spinnaker for that mast too. Thanks, Elise/Nat!

It looks short on the hoist but it's being flown from the deck. Getting set up with proper spinnaker poles might be an exercise in geometry given the main backstay and boom complicating the space to fly and gybe a spinnaker.

Next up, adding some halyard winches so I can hoist main, mizzen, and two spinnakers at the same time.

nathalie criou mizzen spinnaker
Sun, 15 Dec 2013
"Third Half Opener" - Singlehanded Gatecrasher by Elise, Red Sky, and Echappee
Nathalie Criou on Elise the Express 27 Brian Boschma on Red Sky the Olson 34 Serge Zavarin removing Christmas lights from Echappee the Amel 
Maramu Seal outside the golden gate Pt. Bonita Lighthouse

We'd intended to have a small singlehanded race to the Lightship and back as both a first race for Echappee and as a chance for Serge to host an event. The schedule fell apart as they sometimes do- maybe next time! Instead we would up with an informal "third half opener" to the northern approach buoy and back: Elise (Express 27), Red Sky (Olson 34), and Echappee (Amel Maramu).

Serge came along on Echappee anyway, with a first task of getting Echappee out of Christmas Party mode from the night before and into racing trim. Christmas lights using up all of your halyards and tying the sail covers down seems to hurt performance.

We met on the center of the bay near Alcatraz for a trip out the gate and back: how far to be determined by when we felt like we wanted to get back. The wind more or less cooperated: light at times but up to 14 or so kts at times.

Particularly in the light stuff Elise and Red Sky had an advantage. Maybe I should put the dinghy and two out of three anchors and ground tackle ashore next time. The cooking equipment and food stores are staying, though. Sailing effectively couldn't hurt either.

My first guess at which track to run the jib cars from was totally wrong: the aft track was right for these conditions but I'm wondering if I would wish the track extended a bit further forward in deeper reaching conditions. That's also a function of the exact jib size and clew height; I'll test some different settings. Overtrimming was not helping either; for quite a while on the way back in I had everything snugged in a little too far.

Elise and Red Sky were looking practiced. Red Sky's autopilot seems to be doing a good job of letting Brian take a break from driving to adjust sail trim as required even in the slightly light and puffy conditions with strong current that we were experiencing. I guess that's what happens when you get to design your own autopilot. From prior experience, it also steers Elise well downwind with a spinnaker.

Elise had all sorts of new gear and rigging arrangements to try out: a fine tuner addition to the mainsheet, a line which runs all the way around the front of the boat and back to control the rudder, etc.

Pictures without Serge in them courtesy of Serge Zavarin at Ultimate Yachtshots.

Sat, 07 Dec 2013
OYC/EYC Lighted Boat Parade 2013 on Echappee
echappee amel maramu lighted yacht parade 2013
Echappee herself (by Fred Fago)
echappee crew lighted yacht parade
lighted yacht parade police car
lighted yacht parade blue lights
trawler santa lighted yacht parade

Every year Oakland Yacht Club and Encinal Yacht Club jointly host a lighted boat parade. From the shore side, viewers are clustered at a few Jack London Square restaurants, the ex-presidental (FDR) steam yacht Potomac, the Pasta Pelican, and of course OYC and EYC.

Breakout crew and friends/family formed the group which took Echappee out, Echappee having the joint advantages of a large inverter and berth location very near the parade. The weather was cold but everyone bundled up and we had hot coffee and a heater below.

Our decorations were impulsive. Some of the other boats had prepared very elaborately: police car including soundtrack, Santa scenes, whimsical lighted creations, and even Santa and 8 reindeer rowing an open boat.

Afterward, we headed out to the Golden Gate, examining the city lights and showing off our own decorations to waterfront tourists.

The full size versions of these lighted boat parade pictures taken by me are available in the usual spot. Fred Fago's parade pictures are the official event ones.

nested lights christmas lighted yacht parade


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