Author Archives: stanhoney

Outgrabber on spinnaker sheet

In all but light air, we sheet the spinnaker via an “outgrabber”.  This is a nearly forgotten technique from the heyday of symmetrical spinnakers.  It stabilizes the spinnaker when running deeply without having the leech get too tight the way it does if you just moved the spinnaker lead forward on the rail.  For racing it is specifically allowed by 50.3 (b) in the Racing Rules of Sailing.

For details see:

http://www.spinnakershop.com/Out-grabber.htm

 

 

head plumbing, backup bilge pump, shower drain pump, holding tank pump

We use a Lavac head, which we’ve found to be trouble free.  The Lavac head uses a standard Henderson diaphragm pump.  We added some PVC plumbing and valves on the input side of the diaphragm pump so that we can also use it as a backup bilge pump, to pump out the floor of the head if we use the hand-shower, or to empty the holding tank.

 

 

 

DSC_1787 DSC_1786

hatch leaks, foredeck and lazarette

We cut out the original Cal 40 hatches and glassed in  short pedestals that are about 2 inches high at the outboard edges and absolutely flat on the top.  We then installed Lewmar hatches on the short pedestals.   They have been perfect and leak free for 28 years.  We lubricate and clean the rubber seals every few years with some silicone grease.

 

DSC_1642

varnish longevity on cockpit coamings

The varnish on the top edge of the cockpit coamings on Cal40’s never lasts long because folks sit on it, step on it, drag lines over it, and hit it with winch handles.

We borrowed an idea from Lin and Larry Pardey and put a top piece of brushed teak on the top of the coamings.  The bit of brushed teak on the top is slightly wider than the coamings, which makes it more comfortable to sit on.  It also makes it easier to not get varnish on it because the proud edge of the brushed teak holds the edge of the varnish brush when you’re varnishing the coamings.

That bit of brushed teak needs no maintenance, the color looks fine with the varnish surface next to it, and it saves tons of wear, tear, and work.

DSC_1668 DSC_1797 DSC_1814

table for cruising

Bob Pearce built this table for us.  It is removable for racing.  It is terrific for cruising.   The normal Cal 40 table tended to be in the way.

It folds up out of the way against the main bulkhead.  It can be used either in a single width mode or doublewide.  It is held up by a spectra line.

If Sally sets up her sewing machine on it we have a removable foot to hold the table up because the spectra line would be in the way.

DSC_1789DSC_1790 DSC_1791 DSC_1792 DSC_1793  DSC_1788

jib hanks, reefable solent jib.

We use hanks on Illusion.  We like the ability to change headsails easily.  Shorthanded it is also nice to be able to just run the jib halyard and not worry about anything going wrong.  This is a helpful ability either in a squall, or in a spinnaker set. When you’ve got time you can pull the jib out of the bow wave and onto the deck.

In the old days when Cal 40’s were used for the Congressional Cup, with full crews and hanks, we did the same thing.  At the weather mark the mastman would just run the jib halyard and let the jib just sit on the bow wave.  The first crewman available after the set would later pull the jib out of the bow wave, over the lifelines and onto the deck.

Racing Illusion singlehanded on Farallon Races I would always gain on my competitors when we passed Point Blunt and had to change from our #1’s to #3’s.  I’d do a bald-headed change, but I’d already have the new sail hanked on under the old one, so I’d just have to drop the old sail, tie it to the deck, unhank it, move the halyard, and hoist the new sail.  At no point in the process was there any risk of losing control of a sail or having a sail blow out of the luff groove.  Meanwhile the guys trying to change a luff groove genoa by themselves were having a very difficult time, and the guys with roller furlers had a hopeless sail shape once furled and were out of the race.

We don’t see many boats using hanks any more in the cruising fleet, but it works great for us.

On Illusion for cruising and deliveries we use a 125% reefable solent jib, and keep it on deck in a jib bag when at anchor.  We didn’t invent this sail.  I first ran across this idea when I delivered the Cal 40 Whisper back from Hawaii after the 1975 Transpac.  I credit the Brauch’s for inventing it although Whisper’s solent jib used reefpoints instead of a zipper and tended to hold water in the reef.

The jib has two tacks and two clews.

To reef the jib you temporarily drop it on deck, roll the foot up, run the very heavy zipper which encloses the rolled up foot, change to the new tack and clew, and rehoist.  The jib goes from a 120 to a short hoist 100.  Having the reefed foot enclosed in the zippered pocket keeps any water from accumulating in the folds of the reef, which can happen if you use reef points.

Reefing the jib has a number of advantages.  The sail has a perfect shape both when reefed and unreefed.  We are able to carry one fewer sail.

For racing upwind, however, we use a #3.  We do use the highcut, reefable 125% as a blast reacher in Hawaii Races.

 

DSC_1804

mainsheet and traveler

Illusion has her traveler on the aft edge of the bridge deck, which is unusual.

Interestingly, George Griffith mentioned that this is exactly where he intended for the traveler to go on Cal 40’s, but after sailing Persephone, he found that with a full crew it got too crowded in the front of the cockpit.

Also, he originally intended the primary genoa winch to be the after winch, which is why the aft end of the winch islands is wider, but he quickly discovered that Cal 40’s don’t like weight aft.  So nearly all boats moved the traveler aft, and the primaries forward.

On Illusion, however, we mostly race doublehanded, so we don’t have a crowding problem.  We have a 6:1 with 24:1 fine tune mainsheet that can be trimmed directly from the ratchet block and doesn’t need a winch.  When doublehanded or singlehanded it is terrific to be able to steer, and adjust both main and traveler.  Also, having the traveler farther forward allows it to be effectively used at somewhat wider angles close reaching.

 

 

DSC_1815

DSC_1814

DSC_1797

 

stiffening the hull, extra storage, propane locker

 

Illusion’s pilot berths have been replaced with shelves, and the faces that holds the drawers adjacent to the settees have been moved outboard about 8 inches.  The settees are fixed and do not slide.

Given that we didn’t need the space for the settees to slide under the drawers, we removed the drawers and used the old drawer faces as hinged cabinet doors.  There is now a longitudinal bulkhead that extends from the drawer faces down to the hull, and between each cabinet there is a small athwartship bulkhead that separates the cabinets and is also glassed to the hull.  This has made the middle of the boat very rigid.

DSC_1765

Under the gunnel outboard of the quarterberths we installed storage lockers.  Those panels also have stiffened the boat.  the forward most locker is a vented propane locker that has a removable, gasketed panel (varnished) that is used to remove the tanks to fill them.  We carry two 20 lb, aluminum, horizontal, propane tanks, one on each side.  The tank compartments are vented to the thruhull that is above the water line just below the propane locker that is also used to drain the cockpit seats.  We have a removable propane Cozy cabin heater which explains why we can carry two tanks.

Strictly speaking, this propane installation does not meet ABYC because propane lockers are not supposed to open into the interior of a boat.  Whenever Illusion has been surveyed, however, every surveyor has noted that the installation is not precisely compliant with ABYC, but it is safe, the lockers are airtight and vented outboard, and that they would have done exactly the same thing if they owned the boat.  We’ve never had an insurance company complain given that the survey says it is a safe and sensible solution.

DSC_1768