Nathan's Sailing Blog/Notes
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.
Sun, 30 Mar 2014
Wed, 01 Jan 2014
Start to the New Year on Echappee
Sun, 22 Dec 2013
Echappee's Merry Christmas - Gifted Spinnaker
Sun, 15 Dec 2013
"Third Half Opener" - Singlehanded Gatecrasher by Elise, Red Sky, and Echappee
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.
OYC/EYC Lighted Boat Parade 2013 on Echappee
Wed, 27 Nov 2013
Thanksgiving-Eve Tour of San Francisco Bay
Fri, 15 Nov 2013
Amel Maramu Offshore Racing/Safety
Amel Maramus are extremely well-built boats for offshore use. In fitting Echappee for offshore competition, here are some notes on rules and compliance
Singlehanded Transpac (SHTP) 2014 safety rules
Some of the safety regs aren't really checklist items (such as being "...properly rigged and ballasted, be fully seaworthy...". I also omit the simple equipment checklist items (wooden plugs next to through-hulls, etc.).
Echappee Gets a Spinnaker Inventory
Fri, 27 Sep 2013
America's Cup 2013 Final Race, Sept 25 2013
Coming into the final day of the America's Cup with the score tied 8-8 (after applying the 2 race penalty to Oracle) excitement was up and the spectator areas were crowded.
Conditions were just about perfect- under the limit but still exciting and sufficient for the teams to foil upwind and down. A mixed group came out on Echappee from work, a few people who'd been on Astraea the day before, and a few other sailors.
I didn't get many pictures in as the spectator fleet was dense and not everyone was paying very close attention. The racing was extremely exciting with NZ taking the start followed by multiple lead changes. Definitely worth the trip out!Sat, 07 Sep 2013
Watching the America's Cup, 7 September 2013
Pics at: http://photos.pierb.com/Sailing/Echappee/Americas-Cup-View-2013-09-07/
While the weather forecast was for very light breeze, it was still a beautiful day and worth a trip out onto the bay.
We left too late to catch most of the first race starting at 1315, but still caught the commentary on VHF 20 and the finish.
The crowd of boats and other craft (even jetskis, etc.) was impressive. We stationed ourselves near the leeward gate, towards the cityfront from Alcatraz. There isn't any one location which gives a great view of the whole race but our compromise gave us a nice view of the foiling downwind and roundings. They were really very impressive though as for competitive racing the wins were by very large margins.
We motored around during the racing for better maneuverability, then did a quick reach back and forth across the bay once the AC show was over.
A good time with great friends.Mon, 26 Aug 2013
Echappee's View of the Express 27 Nationals, Aug 23-25 2013
Pics at: http://photos.pierb.com/Sailing/Echappee/Echappee-E-27-Nationals-2013/
Echappee played the part of tender to Elise this past weekend in her first overnight trip. Elise the Express 27 (ref Nat's Elise blog) was racing out of RYC for the extended weekend. I brought Echappee over to RYC early Saturday morning so she could provide snacks and lodging for Elise's crew during the weekend.
The view on the trip over was great with layers of fog, visibility, and clouds. Nat and Serge brought over some food for the day and Nat gifted Echappee a latte machine because civilized racers should be able to make fluffy milk in the morning before a race.
She was well up to the task of entertaining a tired E27 crew after the races Saturday and Sunday. She has good ventilation, light, and room to spread out.Thu, 01 Aug 2013
Echappee is a 1979 Amel Maramu, a French-built medium/heavy displacement cruising ketch. She is hull #29 of a 275 hull production run. I signed the papers at the very end of July 2013. Particulars:
She was designed to be a go-anywhere bluewater cruiser requiring minimal crewing and strength to operate. Her lines are classic, with significant overhang at both ends. She has two staterooms, two heads, and a very nice living area with a nav station which is generous by modern standards and a galley which is modest by those standards. The helm station is well protected under a hard dodger and sail trim is accomplished from the center cockpit with only the mainmast halyards terminating forward.
She has adequate tankage, storage, ground tackle, and other equipment for long term cruising. Her hull is solid fiberglass with two watertight bulkheads forward (anchor locker and the main transverse bulkhead at the main mast).
While not optimized for speed by any means, she is capable of respectable passagemaking in exceptional comfort. After decades of racing sloops, cruising a ketch is a new direction for me.
Her name has a variety of meanings, including a physical or spiritual withdrawal. It's also the term for a bicycle racer breaking out of the pack and seeing if he can keep the lead.
The name was the result of a number of factors: There are too many Exit Strategy's around, including on the bay. It's phonetically very similar to the old name. Plus, a French couple with an SF Bay Maramu named First Love observed to me that the French give their boats English names and the Americans French names and it seemed apropriate to oblige them.
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