Saturday, May 30, 2009

My beloved Stiletto, Cherokee Sun, is... sold.

(Dragging the engine to slow the boat for picture-taking, still moving well in very light air)
I was saddened to let this great boat go - I h ave been taking her out for "exercise", even as I work on my new boat. I am always reminded that she must be the easiest to handle, fast, fun boat available. A swift racer, the ultimate day sailer, and a capable coastal cruiser in the hands of the adventurous.

Anyone intersted in these boats should read about them at

 I imagine fresh paint helped. Britesides, rolled without tipping (mohair roller, get the solvent right.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Handfull of Minor Upgrades

Nothing earth shattering. Just a few thoughts to share. General cockpit stuff:
  • Wrapping wheel and rear hard top struts with hardware store polymer blend line ($12/100'). We took delivery on the Chesapeake Bay in December, and a stainless wheel is cold even with gloves. Wrapping with line makes it warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, reduces vibration, soaks up sweat, and improves grip. In fact, we liked it so well we wrapped some of the handholds below deck as well. Very simple, no fancy knots needed; wrap the line around the wheel or post, and wearing a pair of rubber faced gloves, twist it VERY tight when nearly finished. Wetting the line will help maximize final tension.Wrap the king spoke as well, or mark it with a knot. If I had an exposed helm I might use something more UV resistant. (Going strong as of 4-2013)
  • Additional cam cleat for main sheet. Self-tailing winches are nice, but not when the wind is up. I like to have a jammer for every line AND a cam cleat to hold the line instead of using the self tailer groove--it is simply too difficult to ease a self-tailer quickly when sailing short-handed. Additionally, I need cleats to tension spinnaker sheets when not in use, since they do not go through jammers. I don't believe I would like to put a spinnaker sheet in a jammer, as a snarl at the wrong time could be ugly. When the chute is up, it is the big engine and deserves its own winch and cam cleat. Thus, I now have 2 winches on each side, and one cam cleat on port and 2 cam cleats on starboard.
  • Footrest Box. Multi-purpose. Storage. An aid to crew members with bad knees when re-positioned
    to just below the big step into the cockpit. Most importantly, leverage for helmsmen that are not over 7 feet tall. Honestly, some of the helm seat spacings are just plain ludicrous, like something out of "Honey, Who Shrunk the Kids?" Later I replace this with a fixed shelf, crafted from a teak/holly cabin sole that was ripped out in a remodel (it had a badly damaged end, which I cut off).
  • Pouches below seat. Keeps sunscreen, a knife, and a few tools near at hand. Canvas shoe pouches, cut down and hung from the original seat cushion snaps: $1 from the thrift store, 10 minuets work, no new holes.
  • Sheet pouches behind seat. More shoe pouches, this time mounted with twist-snaps. Three compartments hold sheets, winch covers, reefing ties, and assorted small items. Matching bag on port. Again, a few dollars from the thrift store. I'm not proud... I'm strapped. They also stay open, which I find handy. I don't sail at a 30 degree heel with waves threatening the cockpit, so I don't need shock corded closures.  (Replaced due to rot 2013)