Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sailing bits and parts...

In the push to get the XCR sailing, I kind of slacked off the blogging.  Over the next few days or so, I will try and do a post about the various parts of the sailing rig.  Today, the roller furler:

This is one of my favorite features of the rig.  This is a continuous line type of furler that I designed and built based on pictures of commercial ones that I looked at.  The disc is 6" diameter x 3/4" oak.  The 'notch' cut into the edge is not circular, but is actually 12 straight line notches, similar to the sheave of a Harken Hexaratchet (or similar ratchet block).  This allows the furling line to 'grip' the furling disc better.  The pair of lines runs back to my seat in the rear of the XCR where I can easily and quickly furl or unfurl the sail based on the wind conditions.  The mast rotates in a low friction plastic bushing in the thwart and in the mast step.  So far, I have used the system in a variety of wind conditions, and it has worked perfectly.  Up next... the leeboard and leeboard bracket...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Embedded map test

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New map feature

Check out the cool new map feature!

GPS Visualizer allows me to upload GPX files from my Garmin GPSMAP76CSx and show them on Google maps with the track colorized by speed. Cool!

I plan on updating the map whenever we have a good track to show.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This morning we took the XCR sailing for the first time. We had a great time!

Since it was our first time out in a new boat, we left the kids with grandma and grandpa (thanks!) After getting almost to the beach, I realized I had left the akas leaning on the wall in the garage. Oops. Fortunately, it is only about a 10 minute drive back to the house. Back on the beach, we got everything set up pretty quickly.

The wind was VERY light when we got started, tacking usually took a couple paddle strokes to get things around. After a few minutes the wind picked up some and we really started moving. I saw a 5MPH on the GPS before the batteries died; a real bummer because I know we went faster than that later on, but I have no record. That will teach me to check the batteries BEFORE I'm on the water next time. Here is our GPS track before the batteries died:

We sailed up the lake (upwind) until the powerboat traffic and time forced us to turn around. Sailing downwind back to the launch beach was amazing. This is where I really wanted the GPS. I may try and figure out our speed from my SPOT track. By the time we were back to the beach, the wind had really picked up, so we decided to take a quick upwind jaunt in the stronger conditions. We reefed the sail (roller reefing is awesome!) and did a couple quick tacks. The XCR performed wonderfully with the reefed sail too. Finally, we turned the boat back downwind, rolled up the sail just off the beach and surfed right in. Overall, a GREAT trip, I can't wait to get out again!

Oh, and sorry for the lack of pics, our camera battery died too (argh!!!)