York River

A few pictures from the York River in Virginia.

There was enough wind to try out the main sail today. I mastered the furling and unfurling. There is a little technique to make sure the lines don’t get caught up on the inappropriate spindle but after a while, I got the hang of it. I’ll probably try out the spinnaker the next time I’m out.

I saw and talked to one sea kayaker out on the Your river. Besides us, there was just one other power boater out there. Besides that, we had the whole river to ourselves.

My only boat issue was the rudder. The bungee that is suppose to hold the rudder down didn’t provide enough force to overcome the buoyancy of the hollow rudder. The rudder was in the water but only partially submerged. I’ll have to think about that some. I might need to engineer something that holds it down with more force.

[Edit.  I may have had the bolt too tight that attaches the rudder.  I’l ltry loosening it the next time I’m out and also add some WD40.]


Another manufacturer recommended upgrade is to add a nylon spacer to the masthead to raise the spinnaker attachment so it won’t drag on the top of the mast.

The TRIAK website has the following image.

I decided to use a thinner nylon spacer above the bracket so the bolt would thread in farther into the mast.  I use the thicker one below.  Below is my set-up.

Note that the bolt is metric so you will need to use a metric stainless steel lock nut to fit the bolt.

I’ve been thinking about putting some kind of battery operated masthead (all around red over green) light at the top of the mast but the regulations say the red and green lights should be separated by at least 1 meter and that would mean a one-meter pole would need to be added to the top of the mast. That may not be feasible. I don’t think a white anchor light would have any use since I would typically pull the boat ashore instead of anchoring out at night.  I’ll probably just leave the masthead with this simple nylon washer extension.

I haven’t rigged up the spinnaker yet but this is what the retrieval device looks like.

Raise Cleats

One manufacturer recommended upgrade is to raise the three cleats and add a forth for better sheeting angles.  To do this, first remove the old cleats.

Then the instructions say to knock off the glassed in nuts inside the hull.

This made me kind of nervous and I explored some other options but finally just decided to do it.  I selected a 3 pound sledge and a large flat-blade screwdriver that was about 13 inches long.  This was long enough to extend past the rim of the cockpit lip and give me a good angle to hit the back with the hammer.

After a few tentative whacks, I finally hit them hard enough to remove them.

The inside looks like the following.

I removed some of the remaining glue ridges with a dremel tool so my backing washers (5/32 x 7/8) would fit more flush.

The new bolts are 8×32 and 2 inches long.  The old hardware was metric.  The new bolts, washers, and lock nuts (all stainless steel of course) in place look like the following.  The bolts are just long enough.

The other side looks similar.

I added a little goop behind the washers.  I may add some epoxy around the washers (but not touching the nuts) but I haven’t decided yet.

It was necessary to drill new holes for the cleat to go at the Main Unfurl/Spin Retriever because the original holes were too small and spaced too far apart.  I enlarged the hole to the right and drilled a new hole just to the right of the hole to the left as seen below.

When all done, the four new cleats (raised higher than the originals) look like the following:

The two on either end also have a fairlead facing forward.

Maiden Voyage

I put her in the water for the first time the morning of Saturday, Feb 18 in New Bern North Carolina.  I just paddled her and was impressed at how well the boat paddled.  I never came close to nicking the wing.  There was plenty of room for a full paddle stroke.

Then later in the day we drove on to Beaufort NC and tried launching her off my in-laws floating dock.  I carried the parts down to the floating dock and assembled her there.

Then pushed her in.

Inserted the mast, paddled over to the nearest beach and ran the lines.

Didn’t rig the spinnaker yet.  I’ll save that for the next time out.

The furling and unfurling worked OK but I think my unfurling line may be a bit too short.  I may need to replace it with a new line a few additional feet long.  [Correction. The unfurling line is fine as is.] The wind was very light that first day so I mainly paddled.

While paddling up and down Taylor Creek, I saw one idea for lifting small craft in and out of the water.

I may just put some rollers or something on the dock to help me get the hull down and back up from the floating dock.

As it turns out, I wasn’t the only thing in the water that weekend.

Then finally it was time to head on home.

One of our days in Beaufort was rained out but that didn’t deter the neighbor in the next house over (water-tribe’s LensCap). He just put on his cold-weather gear and went out for a paddle in the cold rain. He was also kind enough to give me some good advice for preparing for a watertribe event.  I’ll need to start collecting my own gear so I can go out in less-than-fair weather as well. Hopefully the next time I’m back in Beaufort, I’ll be geared up and ready to tackle the elements.

Replacing steering cables

I decided to replace the galvanized steering cables with stainless steel cables. The tricky thing was the stainless steel cables were a bit more stiff and I had a hard time keeping a tight fit around the thimble so I could crimp the sleeve. I was able to solve that problem by wrapping some smaller wire around the thimble to hold the stainless steel cable in place for the crimp. It was a bit time-consuming but it worked fine.

Now crimpt it


Now remove the small wire

shrink the heat shrink

put in place


Similar steps done on the other side and also at the rudder at the stern.

I then shrunk the heatshrink on the rear as well but didn’t take that picture..

Building a storage rack

I don’t have a garage so needed to build an outside rack.  I already had a place for my canoe that was somewhat convenient to my driveway so I decided to build a combination TRIAK and canoe rack in that location.  To keep it simple, I just used pressure-treated 2x4s and deck screws.  For the presure points on the TRIAK, I used two side by side 2x4s (7 inches) covered with the same foam you can get to put under rugs.  It was all farily inexpensive to build.  I also had the pressure points on the TRIAK coincide with the internal bulkheads fore and aft of the cockpit.

And to protect it all from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, I covered it all with a plastic sheet folded over with a piece of tyvek inbetween.

Choosing the boat

I chose the Watertribe pseudonym “CleanSlate” because, like many of us, I’m able to clean or clear my mind whenever I go sailing or kayaking.  I find it a rejuvenating experience.

My first boat was a yellow Windrider 16 which I enjoyed for a few years.  Eventually I wanted something a bit bigger to take the family on so I sold it and got a Hunter 216 cubby cabin sailboat.  I enjoyed that as well.  After a few years, though, I found myself using it less and less.  When I did use it, I would typically take it out by myself.   I finally decided to sell it and use the money to get something more in line with my original Windrider 16.  I was watching with great interest both the new TRIAK as well as the Hobie Adventure and Tandem Island.  The TRIAK appealed to me because back when I had my Windrider, I always wished it was in fiberglass.  The Hobie Tandem Island appealed to me because I could still take my wife and/or sons out on it.  I ultimately decided to take the plunge and get the TRIAK.   See http://triaksports.com.

Now I just have to make that the right decision for me.  I need to work out all the usability issues that make it easy and convenient to use the boat.  I have a Yakima rack so to start with I got the Hully Rollers and the Mako Saddles to carry the new craft on top of my Ford Explorer.

[Edit.  I’m not thrilled with the Hully Rollers with the Yakama setup.  I find that even with the locking mechanism unlocked, they tend to bind up.  I may end up just using all Mako saddles instead.]

Rollers in rear of Vehicle

Next up will be building a custom rack to store the boat.

Then I will do some boat upgrades and perhaps some aids to using the boat at or near docks and floating docks.