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.
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.
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.


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.





Finally the hull before the paint job.


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. Photobucket

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. Photobucket

The next day the wind picked up. Photobucket

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. Photobucket

Once under it suddenly a dockyard appears. Photobucket

Then the inlet narrows yet more. Photobucket


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. Photobucket

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. Photobucket

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. Photobucket

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. Photobucket

Getfoten also is very near the main shipping line into Stockholm and from it the big ship parade can be seen. Photobucket

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... Photobucket

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.

2008 summer cruise - part II

After three days in the lonely lagoon we decided it was time to head back into civilisation once more. In a few days we were to meet with Helinä from Finland and Nigel and Tommy onboard Marie, all part of the SBC (Small Boat Club's) Baltic section. The meeting was decided to take place at the restaurant dock at Ornö, mostly because forecasts now started to mention an end to the high pressure weather. There were even first hints of a storm coming through during the week-end. However, before sailing to Ornö we wanted to visit Fjärdlång, an island on the outside of Ornö. We sailed there in light winds and some drizzly rain that started to become more intense as soon as we reached the anchorage. There were quite some boats inside and more were to come the next day. Then Helinä arrived as well. Jukkas catamaran can by no means be described as a small boat, despite him being a member of SBC. He and his crew dropped anchor just inside the inlet. Later they came to visit us with the dingy. We then decided to move Discovery and raft up to Helinä to share dinner in the cat's big saloon. Photobucket

Here the doggy person, named Tinka, examines the rafting arrangements. Alongside Helinä Discovery really did not feel so big... Photobucket

The second picture was taken the next morning when I took Helinä's dinghy out to take some photos of the boats. That morning the winds were light and the weather was sunny, but in the afternoon and coming night the winds were to increase and develop into one of the quite unusual heavy summer storms. We sailed towards Ornö quite early and in the beginning we took some pictures of the boats under sail. Not too much wind in the sails though. This is Helinä. Photobucket


Doggy person in the famous position on the bow. And this is Discovery with her new high jib, taken by Helinä. Photobucket

A few hours after we arrived at Ornö, Marie with Tommy and Nigel arrived as well, just in time for dinner at the restaurant while ouside the storm was starting to get up with rain and heavy winds. The storm in fact increased during the night and Discovery was bouncing around considerably at her mooring. I went out three times during the night to double the lines or secure things or just because I couldn't sleep and it felt good to be doing something. In fact I did realise that Marie's decklights were on but I put that down to them wanting to check their lines as well. However, the truth was they just had forgotten to switch them off, thus effectively draining their battery. The next morning we found everything still in place, except that Helinä had snapped a mooring ring with bolt out of the dock thus even ripping out the beam it was attached to. Photo by Nigel. After the storm finally abated Helina left for home while Marie and Discovery continued to cruise together some more days. In fact, we just decided to meet at Kymmendö, the same anchorage we visited during the first week of the cruise. Marie went around the outside of Ornö while Discovery first stopped at the next bay to collect a delivery of white wine ordered the day before. This was the first time I used the famous Trouville outboard I got from Tommy who did not want to have it hanging on his boat. Of course I gladly offered to relieve him of it, stowed the little Honda below and hung the big Tohatsu-San on the back, speeding away in 5.1 knots instead of the usual 3.5. The engine in fact was so powerful I had difficulties not to ram the dock at Vargvik the first time I used it. That it immediately tilted up when I put it in reverse did not help either. Otherwise it was a great improvement. That evening we moored both boats to a rock and had a barbeque. It did not rain either. Photobucket

The next day we decided to sail to Härsö again. There was lots of rain in the forecast and Härsö is a good place to wait out some bad weather. However we did not sail together. While Discovery sailed at once, Marie's crew first paid a visit to the Hamburger Bar at Kymmendö. Also Discovery sailed all the way in grand style, in rain, bad visibility (nav lights on even!) and a quite strong following winds. At one time we made 5.5 knots with only the mainsail up. Nigel and Tommy on the other hand, waited in the Hamburger Bar until the rain stopped and then just motored over. In order to charge the batteries. Yeah, right. That evening, Marie missed dinner for some reason, but afterwards we had a nice chat over a quantity of whiskey on the dock. It got quite late actually (both Nigel and my wife retired in due time while Tommy and I bravely defended the place against the mosquitoes and the rain some more hour.) The next morning Marie left. Photobucket

Weather, at least then, was apparently good enough for crew to be almost naked. Continue to part III

Three and a half adventurous weeks

This year's cruise was probably the longest ever in time. I was living on the boat continuously for 24 days which is three days more than last year. Even this time I started together with my wife, who left the boat after two weeks. I then was alone a few days before my father joined me for another week. Weather wise it has been mixed, the first week was really hot and warm, but then the weather became more traditionally Swedish with lows coming through. This summer we also had a real storm, in fact the worst one I have been through on the boat (or any boats). But let's start from the beginning. Our plan this year had been to head north through the main ferry lane. We usually avoid this because of the heavy traffic but after several years going out into the outer archipelago via the "middle route" we got fed up with it and decided to try something else. Of course this was not to be. Due to persistent northerly winds we decided to take the southerly route through Baggenstäket instead, this forcing us to have to lower the mast to get under the Lidingö brigde first. This bridge is a lifting one, but the town being responsible for it's maintenance finds it too expensive and has been dragged thought the courts for years while not opening the bridge in the process. At first we had some trouble getting out the lower bolt in the mast tabernacle but after some serious wriggling it came out and the mast came down. After a short motor under the brigde we raised the mast again and set sail at last. Of course we discovered that the wind was not northerly at all. Having been overcome by the sea breeze it gave way to light southerlies instead. Still we made it to the entrance to Skurusundet by sail. There we had to start the engine and basically motor through the whole narrow passage of about six nautical miles. This passage is one of three ways to get out into the archipelago from central Stockholm and of course this made it paradise for wash-creating motorboats. Photobucket

The picture shows one of the nice houses along the route. Unfortunately the camera did not work that well this season and some pictures have interesting color effects. After having made it through the narrowest part we could set sail for about an hour and make way towards the next passage when we got a strong headwind again. By now it was late in the afternoon and the engine had to work again in order to make it to Harsö, our club harbour in resonable time. After seven hours of passage we finally made it there. We stayed there for three nights, enjoying the quieteness. For some time we even had the dock for ourselves. Photobucket

The weather during that first week was really hot and sunny with only very light winds or the sea breeze. Unfortunately this had caused the algae to thrive in the Baltic and we had to cope with quite of it in some anchorages. However concentration was erratic and some places where completely free of the stuff. On day four, July 30 we left Härsö and sailed almost all the way to Kymmendö in mostly light winds and sunny weather. It was no fast sail, but quite pleasant. Kymmendö is known as the island where one of Swedens more famous writers, August Strindberg, used to write his books. We stayed in an anchorage that is quite open towards the north but has good shelter against anything from the south. Photobucket

The water really isn't that green, it's the camera playing up again. Albeit the anchorage was nice enough there were quite a few boats so we decided to make for a more quiet place the next day. It started with some engine trouble which, however, soon was fixed by actually opening the fuel vent (oops). We then had another great sailing day in a little stronger winds, mostly on a beam reach and with bits of open horizon to the east. After about four hours we had found our quiet place, on the northern end of Jungfruskär. Two nights without another boat in sight. First we stayed on the northern shore but moved the next morning when the wind shifted into the northeast. The second spot was really perfect. A small lagoon with an entrance only about four metres wide. Inside the depth was one meter (1.3 according to the chart, but we had high pressure long enough to make the water level sink) all the way to the rocks. Mud bottom without a single rock inside. Photobucket

This is the view from the inside of the lagoon. The narrow entrance is to the right. Photobucket

And this is the view inside standing next to the entrance. That noon there was a partial solar eclipse which we actually saw. I even tried to photograph it but it did not work very well. Photobucket

During the second evening a big thunderstorm passed right over us, I think there were lightning strikes on the island on the opposite side of the lagoon. Afterwards we got a nice evening. Just before sunset some sheep suddenly appeared on the shore... Photobucket

Continue to part II

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Discovery scrap album

Here are a bunch of unused pics from the old site and other surplus pictures of my own boat.