Monday, May 21, 2018

This is a time of year full of anticipation, but also impatience. My Shark 24 is a wonderful boat. I can't wait to be out racing on it. However, there is a lot of work to do before that. I have removed all the windows and rails. We frequently took on water last summer, and it cannot be ignored any longer. It is time to get the boat more watertight. I envy everyone who can simply commission spring prep, maintenance, or big jobs and upgrades to our local, able shipwright! I am not a natural do-it-yourselfer. I need to get advice, learn what to do, get the work done without professional contracts. Time constraints and my ignorance mean the work will be far from perfect. Still, it will be my own pain and pleasure. These things are often a good learning process.

I do know that when it goes well it is a satisfying process. It can be another way to get away, and see your project evolve with satisfaction. I do want to join the racing though! Another great season is about getting underway. Meanwhile, it is a statutory holiday, the weather is warm and sunny. I will quietly appreciate the process today. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Une conférence sur la voile à Montréal populaire

Tyler Bjorn et Jean-Pierre Kikens organisent une conférence sur la voile à Montréal le 7 février en français. C'est au café Imagine.

Les billets sont distribués sur Eventbrite

L'invitation Facebook indique que plus de 50 personnes seront présentes et 250 autres sont intéressés!

Avec une telle popularité, les organisateurs pourront en organiser d'autres!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Winter Shiver and Cover

Winter is in full force. As I write it is -26 degrees centigrade outside! Still, it will pass as always, and in about 4 months it should be boat prep time for spring sailing.

I remain very pleased with the fitted cover from North Sails. Designed to be a perfect fit for my Shark 24, it is so easy to put on. I did it tugging around the boat without a second person assisting, and had it snugged down in very little time. It is vastly more simple and convenient than struggling with a tarp and numerous pieces of rope. With a plastic tarp, there is always the possibility of wear and tear, flapping and blowing off. This is particularly so, as it ages and weakens. This fitted cover is as good and as strong as the day I bought it years ago.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Late start to the racing season

After the long wait for the beginning of the season, we are finally sailing again on Lake St-Louis. There are now 4 former Olympians with Sharks. Hopefully we will be able to report on all of them here later. For now, the one to watch is the pale sky blue shark, he's in the middle of the sandwich on the left.

George and crew won the race. They went fast choosing a good track on the both upwinds. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Johann Tanzer: January 3, 1927 - October 23, 2016

The work of Johann Tanzer was significant. Like many, his products played a role in how I have spent a significant part of my life. My first keelboat, a Tanzer 22 was, and is, the most popular racer/cruiser in the Montreal area. There are more Tanzer sailboats here than any other. Many different Tanzer models were built from 16' to well over 30'

Tanzer's boats, as many of you know, were so heavily and solidly built, that they will outlive us all. Most sailors have spent time, perhaps a lot of time, sailing on Tanzers. Indeed, for many, the Tanzer brand developed a cult following. The Tanzer 22 was successful for being practically bullet proof, but also because it did everything quite well. A spacious boat for a simple overnight at Dowker's Island, a delightful, quick sail in light wind races, a massive spinnaker to pass many on downwind legs, and the most spacious cockpit around for parties! Yup, the Tanzer 22 does it all, and I continue to have just such experiences with friends who continue to sail them here.

Whatever boats we sail, Johann Tanzer's contribution to sailing was huge, and the impact can still be felt today. All of us can thank him for the many people who have experienced sailing thanks to him. Tanzer has broadened the popularity of our sport and made racing and cruising with our friends so much popular, accessible, and fun.

Cheers Johann.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Blowing big time today

As is often the case, the wind forecasts are way out of whack today. The snip above is from Windguru, but others are the same. I measured the wind from the shore at Beaconsfield Yacht Club at around 10:30 a.m. The lulls were in the high teens to mid-twenties measured in knots. The usual wind was in the low to mid thirties, and the highest gust measured at 45.7 knots. Offshore, the wind was easily much higher!

The race committee postponed on shore, and perhaps will get a race in later. We did not wait however, and cancelled our racing for today. Always better to be safe, not sorry.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last evening race of the Good Neighbour Series

This great photo was taken by David Speak after the race finished.

We have done our last evening race on Ambitious for 2016. It was a good one. We were first of the Shark pack to finish, less than a foot ahead of Jin Frati's Shark team. John Linton's Tanzer 22 took first, we were second.

A ruckus in the pack occurred at the final windward mark rounding. David Bowen's Shark tacked to avoid a collision. That caused quite the stir as the tack caused him to cross a pack of Sharks closing in on the mark. A protest will be heard over it on Sunday, after the day's racing.

We are 2nd overall for the series, and tied on points with Mike Anderson. The protest hearing could change Mike's score and will determine whether we are 2nd or 3rd ultimately. It's all part of the drama.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Ishkoodah is a big race again

51 boats registered for the Ishkoodah race! That is a huge turnout, and a huge variety of boats from dinghies to beautiful cruisers, and the ubiquitous Sharks and Tanzers. There is something of a pageantry to see so many of the sailing community come out on a particular day at the peak of summer and enjoy the spectacle.

The St. Lawrence Valley Yacht Racing Association is a big booster of the Ishkoodah. As the most historical race on Lac St. Louis, well over a century old now, it has a strengthening position again. We think it is the perfect event to hail all types of sailors and boats to come and enjoy our sport. In the past, the Ishkoodah was the largest event on Lac St. Louis, and SLVYRA would like to see the trend continue, restoring its stature. For this year, SLVYRA issued a challenge to our clubs to win bragging rights by being the club with the most boats entered. BDYC won with 18 entrants.

A light, steady wind that made for very pleasant wind at the start. Unfortunately, it did not last for the entirety of the race, and some sailors did have to crank up the motor to make it back to harbour. We persisted till a breeze returned later in the afternoon, and did make it across the finish line. Despite, taking a long time to finish the distance, patience was rewarded. Post-race, BDYC members put together a very pleasant dinner in the evening. I haven't salivated over an old fashioned chicken and ribs barbecue in a while.

Large events like these are opportunities to gaze at all manner of sailing craft we use to take to the water. Two Solings from IPYC had a good race. A homemade wooden trimaran was probably the most original. I marvel at how some of the larger ,light boats can move in light air. like the Laser 28. Just as interesting are the old classic narrow-beam cruisers. BYC had a contingent of members trying to keep Graham and Donna's beautiful Douglas 32 moving along. They might have moved the least, but had the most fun. Pictured below is another marvel, Windermere, a Classic 37 footer.