Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Long time since I updated but nothing boaty has happened lately, 'Small Wind' is sleeping under her cover. We have had a very warm winter so far, no snow and no ice on the lake, so I actually could have been sailing. Will be starting some boat projects early next year the tent, galley etc.

In the meantime I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tucked in for winter

Even though we have perfect sailing weather (sunshine, +15C and 8 knots of wind) I decide to prepare Xiao Feng for winter. I will be travelling a lot the coming weeks and I do not want to be surprised by snow.
Cleaned her out, rolled up the sails and opened up the hatches. I left the cover on and added a tarp stretched between two 'pillars'. The tarp is mainly a snow cover we will see how well it works.

I launched later than planned and have not had time to sail as much as I would like but I am very happy with my little boat!!! The plans for winter is to get her ready for overnight trips, i.e. a tent, some way of cooking food and a good way of sleeping.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mounting the new winch

Mounted my new winch, had to drill a few new holes but it went smoother than I expected. Was supposed to do a few more jobs but it got too cold.... Winter is coming, last night we had almost freezing temperatures, so soon it will be time to pack her up for winter. I still have hopes for a few nice sailing days in October though.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New winch!

My new winch has arrived, it is made in France and is called Goliath. It is rated to 700kg so a lot bigger than I need but I am hoping that it will turn out to be sturdier than the old one....
Naturally the footprint is quite different than the old so I will have to modify the trailer a little.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Buoy and winch

Yesterday my dad visited so we decided to go for a little row and 'launch' (or maybe it should be 'sink') the mooring buoy.

When we were retrieving the boat we found that the winch on the trailer have been worn out (some of the teeth on the winch drum) despite only having been used maybe 10-15 time (rubbish!!!!). So now I need to find a new winch, turning out to be an expensive hobby..... ;)

So today I removed the old winch and measured the footprint to see if I can find a new that does not require me to drill new holes.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Preparing the buoy

I have a place to moor Xiao Feng in our small harbour but for various reasons I have not managed to get the mooring buoy in place. Hopefully I will be able to do it shortly so yesterday I prepped it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I bought a gadget... It measures the wind speed, accurately as well, the nice thing is that there is no electronics involved in the thing. It attaches to your smart phone and have two magnets inside so that the rotational speed can be measured by your phones magnetic field sensor!!! See more here www.vavuud.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cargo cover

I was planning to put a net across the cargo compartment under the foredeck, to keep all my gear in the boat in case of a capsize. But as I had some canvass left from making the cover I decided to use this instead. So this is what I did:

Drew the shape on the fabric

Cut it out

Hemmed the edges and added brass eyelets

Installed it in the boat using hooks and bungy cord (in the picture you can also see that I use the main downhaul as the centerboard uphaul)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sikaflex gasket

Spent the day fixing the things I identified on my latest sail, the biggest job was to arrange a gasket for the centreboard cap. I put a piece of plastic on the casing that I had lubricated with WD-40. Applied the sika to the cap and screwed it onto the casing again. After a few hours I removed it and peeled of the plastic. So now I hopefully have a gasket shaped after my casing. Will let is cure some more before I screw it back on and then it is time for the test of tightness.....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sailing lessons

Had my first 'real' sail today, before there has been virtually no wind. Went out at four and it was blowing between 6 and 10 knots of wind and the direction was good for a trip around Prästholmen (Priest Island, no idea why it is called that....). Had a great four hours on the water and I also learnt a few things, some that need fixing before I go out next time.

- She is really fast!!!!
- She is very responsive and fun!!
- The centreboard cap really need a seal! I had to bilge the boat a few times.
- I need to shorten the connection slings for the halyard and downhaul, the way it is now I cannot tighten the downhaul enough. (See pics)
- I need to tighten the out haul on the boom and yard. (See pics)
- Make sure everything is attached (I lost the rudder up haul in the water)
- Keep the push-pull stick in the boat. (She was steering herself nicely so I let go and it fell in the water and ended up trailing the boat pointing aft, a bit of acrobatics on the aft deck to retrieve it ;).

All in all GREAT!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cover done

Got home late from work so no sailing, instead I finished the cover.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cover (almost) done

Almost finished the cover today, just need to get some more cleats. I assumed ten would be enough but need about eighteen to get a nice stretch.
Also finished the mast crutches.
Now it is time for a swim....

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fitting the cover

Decided to scrap the idea of using PVC piping to support the cover and will use the main mast instead. So I built some cradles for the mast, they have since been sanded, painted and I will add some leather to avoid scratches on the mast and deck.
Then we traced the outline of the hull onto the canvas and added some material for the hem, big enough to allow fitting of cleats to the outwale. Final job of the day was to do the actual sewing. Tomorrow we aim to install the cleats.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Longitudinal seam

The main part of the cover is made up of two pieces of canvass with a seam along the centre line. This is the seam we did today, there was a bit of struggle to get the old singer to cooperate. Got it at a flea market many years ago and it did not come with a manual so we had to experiment....

Monday, July 29, 2013

Measuring the fabric

My mother is visiting and since she is a lot handier with the sewing machine than me we figured we would try to fix the boat cover. Today we measured and cut the canvass. It is really to hot to do any proper work.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not quite done yet

One more thing before Xiao Feng is properly done.... Paint her name on the transom.

It was a lot easier than I feared, I printed out the characters on a piece of paper, taped it to the transom and traced them with a ball point pen. The pen makes is small indent in the transom paint and all I needed to do was to fill in this outline. Instead of using a paint brush (shaky hands) I got a paint marker called 'POSCA', basically a felt tip marker but with paint inside! I heard about people using it to decorate surfboards so why not boats? I will apply a layer of transparent acrylic on top for abrasion resistance.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Auto release

My auto release cleats was delivered today. I mounted them on the rudder and centreboard downhauls (I have no weight in my fins so they float). Also painted the centreboard cap.

Now I officially consider her to be finished (only some tweaks remain)!!

And since this is a building blog the update frequency will drop dramatically. Will still update when something big happens, like the cover, the tent (winter project?) and bigger adventures.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sailing !!!!!!!

Same procedure as yesterday only today there was less wind and more importantly less waves. Had a nice 3-4 knots m/s of wind as I rowed out, when I had the sails up it slowly dropped to around one knot m/s. After about an hour the wind stopped completely and I rowed back in.
Despite virtually no wind she sailed nicely, the sail set better than expected and I had no problems coming about.
So all in all a complete success!!! Next we will try with more wind.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Too much again

Left work early to go sailing, had a quick dinner, packed up the boat and left for the ramp. Well there I found there was plenty more wind than forecasted and plenty more than at the house (despite being only 500m from the ramp as the crow flies)!!
Have sailed in a lot worse but I would like a nice steady calm breeze for the first sail in a boat I have never sailed before. So I decided to leave the rig ashore and go rowing instead. There was a cross breeze on the ramp so there was a little more problem launching compared to last time. The wind was blowing straight into the harbour and the waves built a bit as the water shallowed at the entrance. It was great fun for about 40 minutes then I remembered the cross wind on the ramp and decided to turn back to save some strength for wrangling the boat back on the trailer. Had a great ride back downwind!! As suspected I could not get her straight on the trailer but it turns out she is quite easy to move about on the trailer (light weight and a flat bottom). I had built up quite a sweat when I was done.

Only one pic today since I forgot my phone in the car, so only one taken after the trip.

So while I still have not sailed her I have confirmed she is great to row!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Too much ....

.... wind for a first sail (15knots gusting up to 25), I want a bit more quiet conditions for testing out the rigging. The forecast for tomorrow looks more promising.
So instead I built the boat cover support (it probably has a more technical term) from PVC drain pipes. It will need some adjustments but I have plenty of pipe.
Finally I made the centre board cap (will extend it after sea trials when I know how far the cb will go).

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Modifying rudder

Cut down the rudder yoke and part of the rudder stock so that I can get a 30 degree rudder angle, maybe I need to carve more but will test first.

Reefing etc

A perfect day today blue skies and +25C, the only problem is no wind what so ever.
So I practised reefing, worked fine. I stole the idea from a guy called Max in Germany (there was a post on the Wooden Boat Forum, I will add the link later).

I also discovered that the boomkin interferes withe the rudder which means I can only turn the rudder about 25 degrees. I would like it to be at least 30 degrees so maybe I have to modify the rudder yoke a bit.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Same again

I know it is basically the same picture as yesterday, only with more light. I just can not get enough......
Did the last tweaks on the rig and added the reef gear (not fitted yet in the picture).
With a little luck there will be time to get on the water during the weekend otherwise the first sail will be next week.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Missed one pic...

Dry fitting sails

Busy evening...
I got the canvas for the transportation/storage cover, so now I need to figure out how the sewing machine works.
Cut down the oar lock pads an painted them. Painted the boomkin and added the boomkin brackets to the aft deck. Screwed the main downhaul, sheet and mizzed downhaul to the deck. Finally I got to hoist the sails for the first time!!!!!!