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Spinnaker going up to the North, and spinnaker going home Southward. You could not have wished or ordered it any better. Yoga og Salt på Byre

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First glimpse of the Noss and Shetland

First glimpse of the Noss and Shetland

I like alliterations – I have to admit to this. However, Salt is a wane whale and we did go West.

She´s vane with new stainless steel ventilators and a new spray hood. The spray hood is the best investment in comfort for the creature in Salt since the diesel heater. Now it is possible to sit out of the spray even in heavy weather and rain.  Read the rest of this entry »

Oh ... summer

Oh ... summer

Salt is on terra firma and low pressures are marching in towards the Norwegian West Coast – in short – it’s winter.  I know I have been slow on this blog for some time. It seems that the Australians, the Freya double enders and a few international readers interested in Refleks diesel heathers that find this blog interesting. I truly understand you all. I will try to do better.

Let go.. Well – the race season was a nominal disappointment. I don’t think we ever did better than becoming number two or at the best one number one. Consequently, I have decided to forget the season.

To be remembered.. However, I will not forget this summer. We had a long cruise in Ryfylke sailing all day in the sun and warm wind. That is something I haven’t experienced since we sailed the Bahamas. Going downwind it was so hot we had to swim time and time again.

 

Erfjord in Ryfylke. Motor cruising.

Erfjord in Ryfylke. Motor cruising.

Every night we anchored in a new spot. Most of the time pretty much alone with few other yachters around. The deeper you go into the fjords the less other yachts you will see. Ryfylke really is an El dorado for us seeking nice natural harbors or appreciate the tranquil blond Scandinavian nights quietly hanging on the hook. A gin & tonic sun downer with Salt moving in harmony with the wind and waves – hanging on the anchor – is truly a nice experience.

Spring brings new possibilities…Next season I plan to try out the un boomed mainsail and a battened number two genoa, overlapping, and self tacking. Engøy Seilmakeri has redesigned two sailes to fit the above description. In theory this will make her more easy to

Fresh summer sailing at Sjernarøy

Fresh summer sailing at Sjernarøy

singelhand, more effective –particlaryly while reaching – and safer. Most sailing accidents involve the main boom. Getting rid of it will make things easier. The overlapping 130% Genoa will be boomed by battens, switch by the mast, and be regulated by one sheet only. Sounds to got too be true? Right. Even so, I did test it once this fall. Moreover, it all worked out. Admitting, it did not blow much – in fact next to nothing – and I had to take the sails back to the loft – but it did work. Both the fully battened main and Genoa tacked without problems. So this spring we will see.

Furthermore, I plan for a new trip to Shetland, Fair Isle, Scotland and through the Caledonian canal. I am afraid this so far is fireside sailing.

Incoming from Kvitsøy and Skudeseilasen no1. doublehander

Incoming from Kvitsøy and Skudeseilasen no1. doublehander

However, I do think a lot about it. Time will show.

Once more…Besides, I will participate in the Seilmakeren – the race from Bergen to Stavanger (Skudenes) and back. But this time in someone else’s yacht. Two races in no wind is enough in Salt. So I guess it will be a real blow this spring.

Best of x-mas to you all!

The Kaskelot depiction takes you topside

I have to admit it – this has been a good spring-season. And summer has started fine…

Salt became number two in our handicap-group regarding the weekly Wednesday round the can races. Second is not bad when you take into account that we did not attend 3 races. If anyone had taken Salt out one of the missing Wednesdays, we would have won the series.

Two Star

The two-handed race to Shetland – the Visit Shetland Bergen Races – did not go as planned, but worked out fine. On my way to Bergen, the other two-hands (Odd) called in sick. Salt is a lucky ship. New hands turned up in Bergen. Geir-Olav abandoned a Wasa 36 and changed to the Kaskelot. However, Geir-Olav needed to be back in Bergen Sunday to tend to his new career as a non-student. Which meant we had to leave Shetland early.

Anyway, we did well and came in fourth. I am rather proud of that. All the contestants in front of us are far more experienced in short hand ocean racing and just beat us by minutes. The two of us raced the boat well. Just a little bit more will to win, and we would have done even better. I had a low-energy period – listening to the radio and enjoying the sun at the Oseberg platform, instead of trimming and changing sails – and Geir-Olav did not know the capabilities of Salt going hard on a spinnaker-reach.

Practice make good

I don’t know the Cape Horn well enough to use it during racing yet. That is – it’s fast to get it work incredibly well on a hard upwind leg. But it takes to long to set it for a reach or downwind conditions. More correct – to get it to work is fast, but to get it to work properly and fairly accurate one has to trim the boat as neutral as possible – and that takes some time.

However, Cape Horn took the helm at Bressay – just outside Lerwick, Shetland – and kept us going due East with minimal adjustments for 200 miles to Marsteinen, the lighthouse at the inlet to Hardanger and Bergen. Very impressive boat handling and very relaxing – going fast at 6-7 knots in a nice breeze, waves, but non really heavy, with Genoa 2 a few points off hard on the wind.

AIS for free

Finishing fourth is fine – and next year we will do better! Besides – today I received a gift from the race sponsors. I won an AIS-transponder to the tune of 12.000 kroner (2000 Dlrs). Isn’t that something! Just out of the blue I received equipment I never ever would have gotten money to buy as there is always something speed enhancing equipment more necessary than an AIS-transponder.

One long miserable night

Last weekend we took part in the Ryfylke Rundt race. A long miserable night, with heavy rain and rarely any wind. 2007 was the first time for short-hand-racing in this old and traditional race. It’s hard work as we change directions in and out among the islands and the fjords. I am sure I had the spinnaker up at least 7 times and repacked the wet monster as many times. All sorts of sail combinations were tried out until my fingers and hands were all sore and my back broken by all the hoisting. Well – it paid off, we won our class.

The Kaskelot takes you topside

A few months ago Norwegian motorboat-cruisers celebrated a political victory. Somehow they persuaded the Norwegian Minister of Commerce, socialist Kristin Halvorsen, not to raise the price and tax of red-diesel. For practical and bureaucratic reasons Mrs. Halvorsen decided to let the diesel-consumers go on pollut at 30 % discount.

This might prove to be a very short lived victory. The EU are blown in the direction of extinguishing red-diesel and let us all buy normal white diesel, according to Motorboat and Yachting. The end of story is that Red diesel quite soon is likely to double in price in the EU. And I predict that Norway will not be alone subsidising pleasure boat-pollution.

Sorry guys – but my heart does not bleed for the heavy diesel consumers. On the contrary I am happy for the fish, the fresh winds, the marine environment and the Earth.There is no reason I can think of why it should be cheaper to ruin the marine environment than polluting the cities.

According to Motorboat and Yachting this will come;

– as a blow for thousands of owners hoping that the Government would only impose the minimum duty required by the European Commission and create a ‘third level’ of tax specifically for leisure boaters.

Instead, it now looks likely that the worst case scenario will become reality: that the price of waterside diesel will rise to more than £1 per litre.

British Marine Federation chief executive Howard Pridding, who has been working closely with HM Revenue and Customs over the manner of the price increase, spoke to MBY during the London Boat Show.

He has been told that the Government is not keen on the idea of introducing a new level of taxation for leisure boaters.
The Government simply believes such a measure, which would bring the price of red diesel to around 75p per litre, too complicated to be considered seriously.

More likely, Mr Pridding says, is that boaters will have to buy ULSD, or white diesel, as it is sold at the roadside. That would mean red diesel would double in price from around 55p per litre, to more than £1 per litre.

The price increase has been brought about by a European Commission decision in December to refuse to renew a derogation allowing UK leisure boaters the right to use low-duty red diesel.

In the confusion following the announcement, some radio news programmes and Channel 4 television predicted that the EC decision would see red diesel gone by the middle of this year.

Mr Pridding says this is wrong. The new pricing structure would be impossible to introduce before June 2007, and far more likely is that the matter will still not be finalised come 2008.

Officials from HM Revenue and Customs refuse to rule out the loss of red diesel this year, but they give the impression that it is unlikely, according to Mr Pridding.

The BMF chief executive, who has worked tirelessly with the Royal Yachting Association’s Neil Northmore to secure the future of red diesel for the past two years, also shed light on how the bureaucratic process would work.

Firstly, officials will work out a draft proposal for how the new price could be introduced.

Then, the proposal will be put out to public consultation, with private boaters and all across the marine industry invited to comment.

Exit cheap boat pollutionOnce the responses have been taken into account and a final measure drawn up, it will be announced in Parliament, probably in a pre-budget report.

Finally, the new law must be passed by the Commons and Lords.

Mr Pridding says the impression he has is that the UK Government will take time to get it right, but he points out that they cannot be seen to be dragging their feet. If the European Commission feel the UK is deliberately stringing the matter out, they can start infraction procedures – something which the UK Government would not allow to happen.

Motor Boat and Yachting , , 15 January 2007

The Kaskelot takes you topside

Photo problems: This blog works best via Firefox. You can download the browser Firefox free of charge by going here. The Hot Shot Kaskelot Salt blog also works fine on Apple – but for some reason Explorer makes some of the photos move over the text. Only some photos – not all and not in any particular order. Very annoying. I don’t know why Explorer does this – except that Explorer might revenge the fact that I converted to Firefox when they change the Explorer-layout. I have tried to delete the photos and inserting them once more, I have tried to use the code.. everything is OK and looks fine – and then, bang – Explorer mixes it all up one more. In my humble opinion you are better off with Firefox no matter what you use your computer to accomplish.

Comments: Several of you readers out there in blogosphere sends me e-mail comments. It would be much more fun if you used the blog itself to comment. Partly because more readers could participate in the debate, and partly because it will increase my statistics for the blog.

One reason for using e-mail might be language. I have received German, Danish and Norwegian comments on e-mail. Feel free – use your language – but do it on the blog, please.

I write English as a selfish wish to keep my knowledge of English “bright and sharp”. Don’t let it put you off – go ahead and blurp your thing in Norwegian if you prefer.

Pages: On top of this post and to your right, you will find several pages containing more about racing, about particular regattas, about the Kaskelot Salt and equipment – and there is more to come. The pages are meant to be of a longer lasting information value than the posts. I just want you to be aware of the existence the pages.

New shots: I have enclosed more photos from the New Year Regatta (Nyttårsseilasen 2007) in Stavanger. Some of these shots are taken from other racers. It might be a test of your browser – and it might tell you the difference between a pocket camera and the real thing, about keen photographers and amateurs…..

The Kaskelot takes you topside

As the title suggest, the double-o -7 New Year Race is not going to be mentioned much in our logbook. We ended up being a hardly decent 24th. However, we where the first of our competitors racing with the same handicap. We could have done better. We had problems with flying the spinnaker, we had two, possible five bad tacks and all in all we never really got Salt into the fast track.

At the bright side of life the above photo (Salt at right) made the local newspapers-website (Aftenbladet.no) look good. And to our defence – the wind was more or less down to zero when we started. We moved hardly forward the first 20 minutes, and very slowly the last 10 minutes.

Hunting race
The New Year Regatta is sporting a hunting start where the handicap is taken out at the time of start. Each individual boat is given a starting time according to handicap. The yachts with the largest handicap starts first. In theory all boats will then be at the finish-line at the same time. Besides it is more fun for the smaller and slower boats to be overrun by the big and fast ones, compared to loose sight of them few minutes after the start. At least it gives you time to admire them.

Lame ducks. However, when there is no or very little wind – the small and slow yachts, can not gain distance during the handicap-time as long as noone are moving. Just to make the race more interesting – the wind came back to give the fastest yachts and latest starters a little breeze to move. And the wind gave its last little puff as soon as the largest and fastest competitors had crossed the finish line.

Ugh!

Anyway – the race gave us a wonderful excuse to be out on the fjord. There was even moments of brilliant sunshine – followed by torrents of rain and rainbows. And we hade a nice fight going with Loffen – I think we passed each other four times.

So what did we do wrong?

– First – we could have hoisted the spinnaker in good time before start and just left it flapping in the next to non-existing wind. This way we could have ensured that we would get no problems when we finally started.

– Second – we could have stuck to the original plan of reaching starboard of Tjuvholmen – thus getting a better spinnaker reach, possible a little more wind, and we would have been out of the incoming flow. However, we had Loffen fighting us in lee pressing us above Tjuvholmen.

– Third – we had some really awful tacks. I guess we are plain rusty and out of touch. But still – we have to learn to give Salt a wide tack, filling her big Genoa and let her pick up new speed before we adjust to the new tack and wind angle.

– Fourth – we where to slow getting the spinnaker down and setting the Genoa twice. First I guess I hoped to keep the spinnaker flying the complete first leg, and that the 6-meter-a-second wind (12 knots) from the weather forecast would finally show up. When we finally got the spinnaker down it was during a squall, not out of control, but less elegantly than we normally do and without the Genoa working properly. The second time around was a little improvement, but far from the best we can do.

I guess the proverb – winning a yacht race is not a question of getting everything right, but to do less faults – is true.

Well – next year we will be back and even more ready! The party was nice thanks to sponsor Subsea 7. Besides hot shot sailor and TV commentator, Christen With, had some nice videoshots of Salt and remarked positively about our spinnaker handling. (Admittingly – he also commented that we were to consentrated on the spinnaker and forgott the main…)

The sorry results

The Kaskelot takes you topside

 

The hull is scrubbed as clean as is possible when you are alone and the water is turned off so not to freeze, the large spinnaker is patched, taped and repaired, the new carbon fibre Genoa 2 is repaired by the sailmaker – in short Hot Shot Kaskelot Salt is ready to tackle double-O-7’s first race.

It is cold and miserable, but it is also lots of fun to race this time of year. The race it self is not a big deal, just a couple of hours – but we might be in for a gail with hail. Last year the race had to be postponed for a week, because of a grand storm. In 2005 it both blew and snowed so that ice formed on deck.

Hot fish, bragging and beer

After the race we all assemble downtown Stavanger for hot fish-soup, beers and video commented by hot shot sailor Christen With from big town capital Oslo. It is all nice and friendly, bragging, hugging and lots of well wishes for the new year to come.
My two daughters Thale and Vilde, my brother Morten and friend Odd and two girlfriends, both named Elin, will be the hefty racers this time.

I’ll blog you all about the results and what happend at the race – even if it is bad news!

 

The Kaskelot takes you topside

 


I was on the verge of ordering a new Genoa 2 140% from Aker Seil, when I found this second hand Genoa from UK-sails. It looks good, but there are quite a few patches and it is in bad need of a repair from a careful and loving sailmaker. The Carbon-fibre tapedrive Genoa is only used for two seasons. But those two seasons must have been some very hard ones. A few of the carbon-strings are broken, there are patches along the leach and at least two major rips along the foot.

Besides, it is on the small side. My 100% jib is 31,5m2, the 150% Genoa 1 is 47,25m2 – the correct size of a Genoa 2 should be 140% which amounts to 44,1m2 – the second hand carbon dream from UK-sails is closer to 126% which amounts to 39m2. That makes it ready to tackle some very hard winds, which mean I have to wait longer for a sail-shift going from Genoa 1 to Genoa 2 – while I can wait longer before I need to shift down to the 100% Jib.

Arguments

I Even after I have paid the sailmaker to patch the Carbon-fibre, the leach and the foot – I should be able to save a lot of money, compared to a new sail.
II Besides the sail from Aker Sail would be a Dacron/Pentex Genoa which is OK and affordable, but it is not a carbon-fibre supersail.

III The steps with the UK-Genoa are kind of nice and symmetrical – 8M2 down with the Genoa 2 and another 8m2 less with the jib.

IV I have so far done OK without the Genoa 2 – so I don’t really know if I need it or how much it is going to be used. Second hand is not free, but it is definitely a less costly way of finding out.

So – should I stay or should I blow?

Anyone out there who feel like giving me some advice? How long will a carbon-fibre sail last? Will it make good in our rather cold New Year Regatta, January 6? Will the sailmaker be able to make a racing sail for Salt out of this? Should I stick to Pentex and let the guys with the money go for the carbon-fibre?

Maybe this is all about wanting a sail I normally could not afford? I wish for it and then I fix all arguments to fit my wishes.

The Kaskelot takes you topside

It’s dark, cold and time to think of expensive non-toys for yacht “Salt”. For years I’v wished for a windwane to take charge in hard winds and during long passages. There is no way any known electronic device can keep the boat sailing in anything close to gale conditions in the North Sea. The only reliable solution to endure a two-handed regatta, or a long cruise, seems to be a trustworthy windwane.

More about windvanes – check the page named Equipment – windvane top left

Navik & Monitor

However, on a doubleender like yacht “Salt” its hard to fit a Navik or a Monitor. First they have to be fitted onto a sturdy stainless steel harness bolted to the rear – outside and on top of the existing rudder. That is the exact spot I least want excess weights. Besides none of them will enhance her already strange, but charming, good looks.

If you click the manipulated photo of “Salt” with Cape Horn windvane, you’l get to a large version of the rather crude, but effective manipulation.

Cape Horn

So I have sniffed my way to information about the Cape Horn Windwane, or more particular the Jean-du-Sudmodel – which fits “Salt” properly, without further damage to her looks, with a minimum of extra weights and one circumnavigation guaranteed. It is not hard to fit, most of the windwane “plumbing” will be under deck, and what you see will be gleaming stainless steel, teak and the wane. In fact all about the Cape Horn sounds so good it’s hard to understand why Monitor, Navik and all the others are sold at all. It’s simple, made to fit the boat, excellent material, very persuasive engineering, nice people who actually answers the mail – what more can a yachty ask? Yea – it’s even less expensive!

Comparing Monitor and Cape Horn
The above link give you the comparison in Cape Horn manufacurerers own words – be aware of who’s the author.

Sounds good?

Anybody out there with real experience with the Cape Horn Windwane that can set me right? I mean – look at all the heavy stuff needed to keep the Monitor happy, in place on top of the rudder and to make sure it holds on during a spell of not-so-nice-weather! (Oil-rig photo – from Monitor)

The silence, or more correct the non conversation, involving the Cape Horn windwane is in fact the only thing that makes me a little sceptic. There are at least two forums on the web discussing windvanes, but all I can find is discussions about the general performance of a wind driven system versus electronics and how to get hold of spare-parts. Nobody, as far as I know says a single word of sailing with the Cape Horn outside of the Cape Horn website. It might of course be because the Cape Horn guys are so happy and content with their windwane that they don’t need to search the web for information or take part in any discussions. They might just be out sailing!

Who knows? Give me a clue… please!

More about windvanes – check the page named Equipment – windvane top left

The Kaskelot depiction takes you topside

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