Thursday, April 14, 2011

Technically Speaking....

When I say that we are up to our eyeballs in technical details, I'm not kidding. Some sailors/old salt types kind of wing it when making modifications to their boats. You know the ones of which I speak. They are the MacGyver's of the sailing world and seem to be able to figure out workable, if not elegant solutions to problems presented. While I fall squarely in the MacGyver camp, Mark is Captain Perfecto so any solution must be elegant as well as functional. There can be no winging it for it would break his little Engineer's heart to rerig the boat using duct tape, dental floss and paper clips, which is what would happen if I were left in charge.

Our boat is a Nassau 42. Its the same exact boat as the Tatoosh 42, just imported under a different name. Sort of like the VW Passat/Audi A4- same exact thing, different badge. She was built at the same yard that builds Tayanas and was designed by Bob Perry. One of the nice things about owning a Perry boat (besides knowing that it is a design fit for purpose) is that Bob Perry offers consulting services for those either in the market to purchase one of his designs or those in the process of refitting. Since we love our boat- she sails beautifully, is well balanced and we trust her to take care of us, it only makes sense to trust the designers opinions when you start setting up the rigging, moving deck hardware, adding weight, etc.

We had the opportunity to get a full set of technical drawings for the boat from the Perry office. Talk about making Capt. Perfecto happy. When the tech drawings arrived by post, it was like Christmas morning for Mark.  Details! Specifications! Precise measurements! HURRAY! He was able to see exactly what Mr. Perry designed the deck layout to be instead of the "inefficient tangle created by some previous owning prat". Previous owners had moved things about, removed winches, changed where the sheets and lines ran, etc. We knew that the current set up wasn't ideal but there are so many different ways to skin a cat its hard to know what is the right course to take. Now we know what the designer intended, and its a good idea to" dance with the one that brung ya".

Mark spends what precious little leisure time he has carefully going over all the drawings, doing research on deck hardware, etc. We are in a little bit of fast forward mode here as we are getting ready to have the running rigging replaced with Dyneema lines from New England Ropes and ideally we'd like to have it all planned out so that its pretty straight forward. The tech drawings are invaluable in planning our attack. Besides, tech drawings make Capt. Perfecto very, very happy indeed.

Now armed with the boat's blueprints, its on to figuring out how to improve upon our set up. Currently we have slab reefing and have to go to the mast. The goal is to keep us in the cockpit as much as possible so we're looking over the different options and currently, I'm liking the looks of the Dutchman system. Then we have to sort out the traveler, boom vang, outhaul, topping lift, sheets, lines, etc. I'm actually a bit excited about this because its finally starting to feel a little less like an enormous home improvement project and more like getting a boat ready to sail where ever the winds take us....

Ever her father's daughter, Kitty digs tech drawings too


  1. Captain Perfecto!! That made me laugh my granola out my nose (a sight to see). So exciting!! Make sure you let Kitty handle the details :)

  2. Love that last picture! :) Glad the refit is going well.

  3. Don't know that I would use the term "well" since we are solidly in year two and I think at this point in time its more fair to call it a "restoration" rather than a "refit" but we are making progress and should be ready for day sails again soon.

  4. Love that last shot. I'm sure she'll love everything he does!

  5. I had one of the original Dutchman systems and still have it (later version). I know Martinus who invented and boat my boat from his father who was the importer and broker for Contest. We tested the Dutchman offshore when we did the Marion Bermuda race with Marty on board.

    Dutchmen is a very good system for short hand sailors and assists in slab reefing. Go for it. I say that even though I am pissed at him... it's very good system.