Friday, December 26, 2008

Tips for buying an Alacrity

I have received some emails recently from people thinking of buying an Alacrity and asking for a list of typical things to check. This has even been discussed in the yahoo-group where I posted basically the same as below and did not get any opposition so I guess I have the rest of the crew with me.

As with all small fiberglass sailboats the things to check are the obvious ones. Most importantly of course the integrity of the hull. If the boat floats and does not leak the rest is fixable. :)
Next is rigging, that's mast, shrouds, stays, halyards and all that jazz and of course the sails. Sails are important to check as they are, together with the mast itself the most expensive things to replace. Shrouds, stays and halyards can be replaced quite easily for little money so should not be of great concern.
Finally the engine if there is one. As Alacrities generally have outboards it's not really a part of the boat and should not prevent anyone from buying the boat - but of course an old or unreliable engine should get you the boat for less money.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sea Devil


Sea Devil is another Alacrity, owned by Jesse Gibbons from Poughkeepsie, USA. He writes:
I just wanted to send you a picture in case you want to put it up on the site, I will try to get some more this spring, It will have new paint on it and I am putting in a forward double berth in place of the single. I will be racing it this next year so Ill be sure to let you know how it goes.

I am looking forward to it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another new owner

David Appleby sent these pictures of his Davalon. He will soon start workning on her and I hope we will soon see more pictures documenting his progress.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Alacrity blog


I got an email from David in Cornwall who just had found this site. This is his story (or his wife's really):
"I have just found your websites and have had loads of fun looking at all ofthe pic's and reading your tales and adventures. We have just got our Alacrity 19 or 18'6" with a sail number of 862. At the time we did'nt even know what sort of boat it was we just liked the look of it.

The boat is called Spindrift and must have lots of history as there is a log on board which shows over 21000 miles not far off once around the world. My wife owns the boat is an artist and illustrator of childrens books. She also keeps a number of blog sites about here work and life, we have now started a new blog about her boat and its new life with us."

Here is the blog about Spindrift.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another innocent member of the crowd



Carroll Owens just bought an Alacrity now named "Virginia's Dare", almost by mistake. Here is the story:

"I purchased an Alacrity 19 a couple of weeks ago not knowing what it was. There is a convoluted story connected to this event. The short version. I originally was searching for a 26 foot Westerly (twin keels specifically in mind). However, with limited sailing experience I decided to ease my way up from my current AMF Puffer to something a little larger before a substantial (for me) out lay of money. My wife and I could then see if we could handle the motivation, motion and maintenance of a daysailor/weekender. There had been a boat apparently for sale in side yard about 15 miles from our house. Quite a surprise finding it a twin keeler. I contacted the owner and, among other things, asked what model vessel it was. He said that he thought it was a Sterling.
Extensive web searching turned up very little on that score. I bought it regardless (against the advice of two sailing acquaintances) . I think the Sterling may have been the make of an outboard motor that is long gone. The fellow I purchased from got it from two others. Each had the intention of refurbishing. That didn't happen so now it is up to me.
Finally Googled "English twin keel sailboat", found some articles and photos so now I know what I have. I have looked at all 635 posts here and gained invaluable information. I am looking forward to the project and reading about everyone'sadventures posted here. I am located in Upstate New York about 40 miles inland from Henderson Harbor on Lake Ontario. Are there any Viv or Alacrity owners in this neck of the woods?"

Any other twin-keeler owners in the area are of course welcome to comment or drop a message in the yahoo groups forum, link to the right.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sail plans and quotes



Just found an extensive array of sail plans on the sailrite website. There are six different Alacrity sail options, a mainsail, two different jibs, a genoa, a spinnaker and an assymetrical dito. The website even offers quotes for new sails online.
Link to the website.

More on goosenecks


Sue Jones sent me a picture of her gooseneck, or her boat's rather. It is of a different kind as mine. The boom has a built in rotating mechanism. A handle (not shown) is to be stuck into the hole in the boom. Inside a mechanism rotates the boom when the handle is turned. A better system as on my boat it seems, but then again it has to work, which Sue's apparently does not. Maybe the mechanism inside is seized.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Fjäderholm expedition

Tomorrow my boat will be hauled out for the season, but with the weather forecast for mostly sunny and nice weather, albeit a little cold I decided to mount a last-minute-expedition to the Fjäderholmen islands. I had already taken down the mast last weekend, so there were no problems to go under the bridge to get there. I would simply be a motorboat for a day. Together with a friend we cast of at about 1130 (it's quite quick to get underway if you are a mobo actually, no fussing with sails and things...).
First thing we saw when outside the canal where my club is located was a quite substantial floating log.
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Then came the bridge. We decided to go under the main arch, 5.4 meters high and no problem without a mast.
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We motored along nicely at 5 knots looking around. This is not the nicest part of the archipelago. In fact to one side it's Stockholm's industrial harbour. So here comes my chance to show that not everything around here is nice green island and summer houses.
Well, first there is Millesgården which is still quite nice, it's a art museum with lots of sculptures in the garden.
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On the other side, though, is the biggest of Stockholms ferry terminals.
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Then there is the oil harbour...
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Having passed that we soon were to sight Fjäderholmarna. Someone was burning autumn leaves...
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Finally we moored our little "motorboat" at the completely empty pontoon. There were some boats at the gas station that was still open and even the dock for local boats had three boats alongside but that was all. During the summer, this is the most crowded place with ferries from central Stockholm arriving every half an hour...
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We got off and walked around a little.
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On a wall there was a collection of fishy faces. Pike heads.
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Discovery at the empty pontoon. All restaurants and shops were closed, the ferry service having stopped running since September 21st.
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We made some tea and had some muffins and sandwiches.
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Now the weather had changed a little, there were quite some clouds and the wind had picked up, but being a mobo we did not really care...we set sail..eh sorry, started the tohatsu-san and headed home.
On our way we met the big HiQ trimaran out for a sail.
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Sorry for the uphill pic, I'll try to fix that later. We actually got some spray aboard motoring into the wind and it became quite cold without any sun.
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This time we took the opening part of the bridge, which however hasn't been opened for years despite a court ruling it should..
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After about three hours altogether we were home again. Quite a report for such a short trip, but it being this season's last it was worth it! Being a motorboat did feel a bit weird though. I guess it is OK for a short trip like this, but there is very little to do and I think I would get bored if I had to carry on like this days on end during a summer vacation...

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Alacrity blogg: Goblin


Goblin is a 1965 Alacrity, recently acquired by Jeff who plans to sail her in the waters of Puget Sound and around the San Juan Islands (Washington State, US). He has kindly offered to contribute with cruise reports and pictures, and he has also created his own blog about the boat. The picture is from the delivery trip (by road).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

About roller boom reefing

There has recently been a discussion on the Alacrity mailing list about how the original roller boom reefing system is supposed to look like. Apparently some boats have some kind of device with a handle that, when turned, rotates the boom and rolls the sail around it.
My own boat does not have this device. Instead the arrangement is the simplest possible. The boom sits on a pin that is round at the top but square at the bottom. The hole in the boom is square. Thus the boom cannot rotate when it sticks completely on the pin. In order to reef the sail you have to move the boom partially off the pin, roll the sail in and then stick it back. This can of course be a difficult enough task when at sea in a swell. I have myself only tried this once or twice, normally I use to reef the classic way with lines. However, I may try the roller some more as it has it's advantages. The reefed part of the sail is rolled tidily away for example. However, one disadvantage is that the boom drops lower at its aft end endangering the heads of everybody in the cockpit when tacking.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beautiful interior refit


I found this Alacrity for sale on a UK broker's website. It's a MK1 model with an inboard engine. The owner had the interior completely refitted in a stunning way. There are more pictures on this website.

Friday, August 29, 2008

4 Alacrities in the same spot


Peter Anderson sent me some picture of this mooring field in Beadnel in North-
umberland, England that features no less than four Alacrities (and 3 Vivacities). Quite some concentration and perhaps even proof that there are far more boats still out there than we think.

More pictures here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hinged instrument panel


Chris Schoonmaker sent med these pictures of the swinging instrument panel he made for his Alacrity. The idea is to have handheld VHF, radio, weather station and chartplotter/depthsounder easily available from the cockpit during sailing, but being able to easily swing them out of the way if not needed. A very tidy and nice solution indeed.
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The depth sounder/chartplotter is flush mounted with all the connections on the backside, while the other items are held by cords/clips so they can easily be removed.
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There are three positions for the panel: along the cabin's aft bulkhead, parallel to the companionway and across the companionway to be clearly seen from the cockpit. A bungee cord and ring/hook arrangement makes changing the position easy.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Peanut" Pictures


Reader Ken Patterson från Victoria, Virgina, USA sent me this report of his project Alacrity, "Peanut".

Alacrity project I have been working on since 2006! Slow progress my fault but hope to have finished by spring 2009. My father picked out the name for sailboat before he died “Peanut” (thin shell with 2 nuts inside). Will keep you posted on progress.

The first picture shows the boat newly painted. The following pictures document how it looked like when he bought the boat.
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Finally the hull before the paint job.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Summer cruise part III

Another reason for the stop at Härsö was that my wife was to leave the boat and return back to town and work. This is very convenient for her to do by bus from Trinntorp, on the mainland opposite Härsö. So on Sunday I motored over to drop her off at the bus and get some supplies. I was now alone for a few days, socialising with the other club members at Härsö (there weren't that many once the week-end was over, though) and waiting for my father to arrive. He would then join me for another week of sailing. The weather actually was quite nice those days and I got in a fair amount of swimming (with some help of the sauna at times). The rain and wind had also effectively done away with the algae and the water was now clear as in spring.
My Dad was to arrive on Wednesday, at the same time as another, less severe gale was forecast, this time from the southwest. So I decided to meet him at the posh marina at Saltsjöbaden, head base of the Royal Swedish Sailing Association, which mainly reflects in lots of average white boats and really high harbour fees. Much shelter against the wind the place did not have. It was safe enough hanging on the dock with the bows, wind and spray coming right over the pontoon, but there are more comfortable places. Over all I find marinas often quite badly sheltered, it may be better to sit out those gales in small sheltered bays instead. However, then there are no pubs to get out of the rain into.
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This is the place, with the famous hotel just visible in the background. In fact there were quite a few brits around, one big converted fishing boat from Jersey even. It's visible to the right in the pic above.
In the evening there was a regatta outside the harbour.
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The next day the wind picked up.
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Then my father arrived. At least it did not rain. Still the wind was a bit too much and also I had planned the next leg to be quite long so we started the cruise in the pub.
The next day the weather was fine, with light winds and only some clouds. I wanted to move the boat up into the northern part of the archipelago again, in order to be able to get home without having to lower the mast under that brigde. Also with the more powerful engine I wanted to take the opportunity to sail through Strömma canal, basically a shortcut to get from Saltsjöbaden to Sandhamn without having to go around the outer, less sheltered part of the skerries. Usually trying to sail as much as possible and with my wife liking open horizons more than narrow canals I never had sailed through there before. I am sure that, having seen the following pictures, Nigel will have to take his Super Anne through there next year as well.
The canal starts as a natural sound which eventually narrows. There are two bridges as well, the first is high enough for most sailboats.
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Once under it suddenly a dockyard appears.
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Then the inlet narrows yet more.
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In fact, there are much nicer spots, but I had no time to take pictures as I was too busy navigating through. After a while the water opens into a lake-like inlet that can be sailed again. At it's end is the small village of Strömma. Here is a gas station, a restaurant and according to the pilot book even a food store. That, however had been closed for three years so we did not get any provisions there. We had a hamburger though.
In Strömma the short man made canal starts. Here also is the second bridge which has to be opened for sailboats to pass. Once again, sorrily enough no pictures, we simply forgot to take any until we were through already.
Shortly after the canal, the water opens again. From here we could sail comfortably in increasing winds all the way to our destination, Gällnö. Well, not all the way, as we had to make a little detour. About one hour before we normally would have arrived at Gällnö we were hailed by a small motorboat with engine trouble and occupied by a woman and her child. She asked us for a lift to the next harbour and I accepted, provided that it was OK we would tow them under sail, which is something I secretly dreamt of for years.
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We towed them under sail at 3 knots for a while but when we neared the next headland the wind dropped and in order to reach our destination i reasonable time despite the 4 nm detour we had to ask Tohatsu-San for help. After having dropped her off outside the village of Sollenkroka where there is a dockyard and repair facilities, we set sail again and had a nice evening sail towards Gällnö. We arrived there at 1800 after almost 9 hours altogether (including the lunch stop at Strömma).
We felt a little tired so we stayed at Gällnö a few days to rest.
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My Dad doing his best to lighten the boat by drinking the admiral's left-over white wine. The stay at Gällnö also was prolonged by persistent rain during the second day. Still, poor father walked the 2 km distance through the dripping forest to the store in order to buy a newspaper and get his football results. Of course I did not go with him! He brought some Danish and nice bread for breakfast though so there was some advantage in it.

Our next stop was Ekholmen, a private club which does accept visting boats. We had a nice sail there and the rain did not start until we were right outside the harbour. We were now in waters previously covered by my reports, so I did not take so many pictures. We then sailed in quite some winds, tacking most of the way to Getfoten. There, again is a restaurant where we had a nice meal and celebrated the last evening of the cruise.
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The next morning a rescue helicopter was about early waking up people by hovering around for half an hour, probably not finding a good spot to land.
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Getfoten also is very near the main shipping line into Stockholm and from it the big ship parade can be seen.
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Our final leg home was some kind of anti-climax as we had to motor almost all the way due to light or no winds at all. It was sunny and warm though.

As every cruise even this one brought some improvements. The first one was a footstep I made during our first stop at Härsö. I probably am getting older, but this year I found the step up from the cabin to the bridgedeck a bit high...
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The second one was roast bread. I cannot understand why I never before had the idea to just put slices of bread into a frying pan. It's quite obvious isn't it?
Gladly, even this year nothing on the boat broke. However, the flag pole has swelled tight in his base so I cannot get it out again...oh well.