Posts Tagged 'great lakes'

rigging a Sunfish sailboat – part 2[video]

this is a great follow-up video on Sunfish rigging setups that was created by Steve King of North Shore Yacht Club in Highland Park, Illinois.  his 1st video was a fantastic introduction to standard Sunfish rigging.

this 2nd video goes in depth a bit more on some of the specific sail settings:

  • halyard position – gives a setting for racing and a setting for cruising or recreational sailing (especially helpful with a guest on the boat)
  • adjustable gooseneck position – settings adjustments based on wind speed
  • outhaul and cunningham controls – additional controls that you can add to the lower boom to adjust the sail shape

I really like how they add some white colored tape on the upper spar to show the 2 different halyard positions that they like to use.  measuring from the top of the upper spar, they use 54″ for racing and 74″ for recreational sailing (but note that the 74″ setting should probably not be used in high winds, as this setting raises the sail up quite a bit, and the overturning forces from the wind could damage the mast step at the Sunfish deck).  the tape takes the guesswork out of it: so you don’t have to count sail rings, or grab a tape measure to try to make sure the halyard knot is set in the right position, because after the sail is raised up, you can’t adjust that position.

the adjustable (quick-release) gooseneck is key for giving you the ability to adjust the sail setting for various wind speeds you will encounter.  in the video, they recommend the following settings:

here is how I’ve marked my lower boom with 1-inch increments so I can quickly see my setting.

he also explains how the gooseneck setting can and should be adjusted to correct any weather or lee helm while you are sailing.

the other two adjustments for wind speed are the cunningham (at the tack of the sail) and the outhaul (at the aft end of the lower spar).  the cunningham line controls the front edge, or luff, of the sail. the outhaul is used to flatten the foot or lower 1/3 of the sail.  he explains the settings for each of these in the video.

Advertisements

my 1st sunfish (a newer picture)

Camp Arcadia is a family tradition with us, but my wife and I have made it an “every other year” tradition.  some of my other family members still go up every year.  it’s a charming and beautiful place, nestled in a quiet town in norther Michigan, and just an amazing beautiful setting right on the shores of Lake Michigan.

this year was an off year for us, as we took the trip to Cancun with some college friends (and sailed the Hobie) –  but my sister took her family and my parents went this year as well.

this afternoon, within minutes of each other, my dad and sister both texted me the same photo, with a text like “is this you?” or “wish you were here!”

it’s funny how things work.  I recognize the Sunfish by that particular sail color/pattern – that happens to be the 1st Sunfish that I ever sailed on, now almost 20 years ago.

I’ve posted about this 1st Sunfish before: my 1st ever sail on a Sunfish, another picture here, and my 1st post ever here!

it was the start of it all.

greater detroit 2017 Sunfish race schedule

the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club (GDSC) has released their 2017 Sunfish race schedule (you can find it with additional information posted at their Yahoo Group).  you can also check them out on their Facebook page or website.

  • May 7th – Maceday Lake (public launch)
  • May 21st – DOUBLE DELIGHT! at Watkins Lake
  • June 3rd & 4th – Gull Lake Sunfish Open Regatta (details & NOR TBD)
  • June 11th – Watkins Lake
  • June 24th & 25th – Tawas Bay State Park & Tawas Bay Yacht Club – a camping & sailing weekend at Tawas Bay on Lake Huron
  • July 30th – U.P. Island Race (Les Cheneaux YC… details t.b.d.)
  • September 2nd & 3rd – Tawas Bay – another camping & sailing weekend at Tawas Bay on Lake Huron
  • September 24th – DOUBLE DELIGHT! at Watkins Lake
  • October 8th – TO BE DETERMINED

all Sunday races start at 12:30pm [uno], with the camping/racing weekends starting earlier in the day to get extra races in over the weekend.

new this year is the Double Delight, where they will be having 6 races. the schedule starts with a 9:30 Skippers meeting then race #1 would begin at 10:00am with two more races to follow.  then a break for lunch. after lunch they would conduct 3 more races… thus creating a 6 race Sunday.

I said this last year (and the year before… and the year before), and didn’t get a chance to sail with this group, but I’m again going to do my best to meet up with them for some sailing races this year.

how many is too many?

I got my notice(s) from the State of Michigan to renew my watercraft registration for my sailboats.

  • 1960(ish) Super Porpoise
  • 1966(ish) Sunfish
  • 1970’s Minifish
  • 2000 Sunfish

is that too many?

the 2000 Sunfish and Minifish both are my go-to boats (me in the Sunfish, boys in the Minifish).  my oldest son is getting big enough to probably sail a Sunfish alone, so maybe the ’66 Sunfish will get worked back into the rotation (after my BIL puts the splashguard back on it…).

but then I’ll need to modify my trailer to carry 3 sailboats…

the Super Porpoise hasn’t seen the water in years, so I should probably just fix up a couple minor spots and try to sell it.  any takers?

Michigan sailboat registration is cheap, though – only $9 for a 3-yr sticker.

that’s another reason that Michigan is a great place to sail!

ghost ship on Lake Superior

this video has been going viral online over the last couple days, so you may have already seen it, but a videographer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was shooting video of a rainbow out on Lake Superior when he caught what appears to be a ghost ship out on the horizon.

not exactly the Edmund Fitzgerald, maybe it could be the Flying Dutchman?  most likely a perfectly simple phenomenon of weather, with patterns of light, moisture in the air and curvature of the earth coming in to play… but it sure looks like a ship if you ask me?!

et ego in Arcadia: Sunfish sailing

it was a traditional family vacation at Camp Arcadia, filled with good food, plenty of relaxing & some book reading, and wonderful time spent with family and friends (some old and some new). a lot of time spent down on the beach, playing in the sun and sand, doing some swimming, jumping waves on the wavey days and playing with kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on the calmer days.

there ended up being 2 good sailing days (for me anyway, my oldest son sailed on a 3rd day, but it was pretty light winds and he mainly just drifted around in circles for a while).

day 1: Sunday afternoon

after walking to the local Lutheran church in the little town of Arcadia, we headed back to Camp and ate the buffet lunch.  the weather seemed promising and Sunday afternoon’s schedule at Camp was fairly light, so most of us headed down to the beach, and T2 and I both got the boats ready for sailing (with some help dragging them up and over the small sand dunes and beach grass).  after setting up T2 with the Minifish, he was off and sailing.

IMG_8551 - Copy

I rigged the sail and misc parts on the Sunfish and my 3rd son, Luke, joined me for the 1st sail. he begged to take the mainsheet and tiller as soon as he could!  north bluffs are off in the distance behind him.

IMG_8546 - Copy

after a while of sailing with Luke, I headed back into shore – dropping off Luke and picking up his cousin, Sam.

IMG_8547 - Copy

later on, I gave a ride on the Sunfish to my sister-in-law, but didn’t get any pictures.

afterwards, I got to solo sail on the Sunfish for a while, so I’d chase T2 on the Minifish for a while, or just spend some time tacking and working on getting as much speed going as I could.  the winds were pretty excellent, with wind speeds in the low teens, maybe 12-15 miles per hour, with gusts into the high teens.  not strong enough to tip me over, but good enough to catch a good puff and get the Sunfish up on a plane, every once in a while perfectly timed to catch the crest of a wave and “surf” the Sunfish for a short while.

in my excitement to get down to the water and out sailing, I forgot to bring my GoPro camera, but did have my iPhone in a dry bag – so I was able to snap the pictures above and a few real quick videos, but that’s all.  I did turn on my Runkeeper app on the phone to track my route for one of the times out that afternoon.

sunday sail

the next couple days were dead flat calm water – perfect for playing with other water toys (kayaks, SUP’s, etc.) but not good for Sunfish sailing.  Wednesday is “day out of camp” day – we went on a canoe trip… and that is a whole different story for another day.

day 2: Thursday evening sail

so the wind finally picked up some on Thursday and the waves were perfect for playing in the water, so the usual afternoon crowds at the beach were even larger.  due to the lack of beach area (Lake Michigan is up approximately 4 feet!), I didn’t want to try to launch and return to the beach with that many kids swimming and jumping in the waves. fearing that the week of vacation was coming to an end with no more sailing, I decided to go for an evening sail, when far fewer people would be swimming and lounging at the beach.  as luck would have it, this time I remembered the GoPro, but left my iPhone up in our room.  here’s a screen cap: me on the Sunfish and T2 way off in the distance on the Minifish.

sunfish gopro snapit was a beautiful evening for sailing – the sun was slowly setting amidst the clouds out on the horizon and T2 and I had all of Lake Michigan to ourselves – not another boat in sight.  my sister-in-law snapped this amazing photo of us and the sunset from her vantage point up on the Camp patio.

IMG_8676

Friday ended up being a decent day for wind, but straight out of the west pushing big waves up onto the beach.  on an empty beach, launching could be done setting off immediately on a 45-degree angle to the wind, but with again so many kids playing in the big waves that day, we didn’t try to sail.

still 2 great days on the water was better than none, and it was a blast!


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,326 other followers

my2fish archives

my2fish stats

  • 470,967 hits
Sailing Blogs
Sailing Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory