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Thread: Commander #155 'Mephisto Cat'

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
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    467
    That is so kool!

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    64
    That dingy looks great! Why the change of mind to buy an inflatable instead for your tender?
    Mike E

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    2010 Sailing Highlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Ariel 109 View Post
    That is so kool!
    It is a TON of fun. It really gets going too!

    C38 - I opted for the inflatable because of convenience. The little inflatable fits in a nice bag that is easily stored below when we need to take it on the boat. It is small & light (<35lbs) - It is just big enough for two people - and maybe a dog. I only have it with me when needed.

    It does not row very well (no inflatable does...) but I only use it to get from a occasional mooring buoy to shore or a dock while overnighting somewhere. It does this job sufficiently well enough and I think it is the right choice for this purpose.

    On one occasion, I forgot the pump - and after thinking it was a horrible, horrible, trip-ruining mistake as we were on a mooring, but I actually blew it up by mouth in less than 15 minutes - breaks included... - it was not that hard to do!

    The hard dinghy, I'd have to tow behind the boat as it is too large (8' LOA). A sailing dinghy is definitely the best use for it. This must have been its design intent as it has a nifty retractable keel - which I quickly learned to REMEMBER to lower after going DDW since sailing without a keel is quite difficult!

    The little hard dinghy can still be used as a dinghy without any effort; All I do is pull the mast out (It is held in the tube by gravity and secured with a small line in case of a capsize), pull the rudder (secured by a clip), retract the keel, and detach the mainsheet. And Viola, is is now a plain dinghy again...




    2010 Sailing Highlights:

    Picture 1
    A bit of Sailing with the pooch... She is quite good on the boat shifting to the low side on her own. Still I believe she is a bit large for the boat - and the paws also tend to slip a bit much. She is fine in light weather, and just snoozes in the sun, but I don't imagine she'd enjoy a typical SF Bay sail in the Summer.

    Picture 2
    Ahhh - Spending the night on the Mephisto Cat... One of the great joys of having a little boat. Sausalito is one of our favourite destinations.

    Picture 3
    Some more spectacular sailing weather in SF Bay. We have some of the fastest fog around! (Obviously not apparent in the still picture!) We had planned a meeting up with some other boats on Angel Island. This boat turned out NOT to be my friend's blue boat. I did get lots of pictures of it though!

    Picture 4
    The Mephisto Cat at the entrance of Racoon staits on a calm day

    Picture 5
    Running south under the asymetrical on the 2010 Baja-ha-ha. (San Diego to Cabo Rally). Here we are some 500 Miles south of San Diego some 80 miles offshore. (Right... I did not do this on C-155!)
    Attached Images          
    Last edited by Rico; 03-05-2011 at 03:20 PM.

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    430
    2010 Sailing Highlights (Continued...)

    Picture 1
    Assisting in an offshore distress call during the Baja ha-ha. We were relatively close (1 hrs sail) by and went to help out. This was sorted out, but the next morning we got another call from another boat in the group. A sailor from SF Bay who was actually heading north had missed his alarm and ended up on the beach... There are some tricky currents in that area and the beach is littered with hulls... Efforts by the locals to pull the boat back in were unsuccessful. At least there were some 50 people that volunteered to take as much equipment off as possible... This is just North of Isla de Cedros in Baja.

    (Note: BTW - No, we did not do the Ha-ha in my Commander! It was a friend's nice big cruising sailboat)

    Picture 2
    A nice sunset at anchor...

    Picture 3
    Arriving in cabo at sunrise - 10 days after setting off from San Diego... This is the arch at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. The conclusion of the 2010 edition of the rally... The snd of a sailing adventure is alwas a bit sad.

    Picture 4
    Nice group during 'racing start' practice... This is how the pros do it!

    I had the opportunity to do a bit of sailing with some top bay sailors (some big name world-class ones too!).
    We also helped with some of the TV telemetry testing of the systems to be used for the America's Cup races in SF in 2013. Pretty nifty stuff... It is quite exciting to sail with some of sailing's most serious rockstars! - I was very focused and made sure I did NOT screw anything-up!!


    Picture 5
    A bit of a tour of Alcatraz Island.
    I always sail around the island, but rarely get close enough to really have a close-up look... Pretty neat!
    Attached Images          
    Last edited by Rico; 03-04-2011 at 01:31 PM.

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    430

    Smile Good Start to 2011

    The "Mephisto Cat' has done two (Singlehanded) races this year; The Three Bridge Fiasco and the Singlehanded Sailing Society's 'Corinthian' Race. We've also done a bit of daysailing / touring around the bay despite the persistent cold / wet weather.

    I am happy to report that Spring has officially arrived in the Bay.

    Pictures and recap of the 2011 3Br Fiasco race are in the 'events section' - Post #8 here:
    http://www.pearsonariel.org/discussi...-Fiasco-anyone

    As usual, I decided to undertake a project at the most inopportune time... A week or so before the 3 Br Fiasco, I decided that I HAD to replace my main hartch sliding rails BEFORE the race. My rails worked fine, but I was not completely happy with the way they'd turned out originally. - I'd lived with them perfectly well for a few years, but suddenly they'd become a priority.

    Since I was removing the rails, I took advantage of the opportunity and reinforced the area around the fasteners by drilling BIGGER holes and filling with thickened epoxy & a bit of chopped strand. I drilled new screw holes in the same locations. Although I may add an additional (3rd) fastener on each side later just for added 'snugness'.

    I applied some epoxy to the rails and the interior trim pieces, and then added a handful of coats of Varnish (Epifanes clear - of course!).

    The hardest part is fitting the rails in the right location so that the hatch rails ride securely in the hatch sliders. Obviously the rails need the be parallel; but if the rails are placed too close together, the hatch won't grab, and could come loose / fall off. If they are to far apart, the hatch will not fit or will be too tight to slide.

    Since I made my rails a bit beefier that the originals, I ended-up in the too tight range. But a bit of fine tuning made things work out nicely.

    Picture 1:
    The rails and trim pieces all pretty & ready to be installed

    Picture 2:
    Fitting of the pieces. You can see a hint of my need to renew the varnish on the rest of the companionway. It is not as bad as the area where the board slide, but it is time for me to spend a bit of time on this... My coambings with 10+ coats are still looking beautiful, but I did only 3 or 4 coats on the companionway and I'm paying the price now... (will be taken care-of shortly!) When it comes to Varnish; getting lazy clearly leads to more work!

    Other pictures:
    Nice company during a day sail...
    Attached Images          
    Last edited by Rico; 05-06-2011 at 02:52 PM.

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    467
    Thanks for the pictures Rico. I sanded, refasten, bedded and varnished my Ariel's companionway woodwork last month. It was all raw weathered wood when I started but ten coats of varnish later and it's almost beautiful.

    I love the Herreshoff H-28, one of my favorite of Francis' designs. I sailed on a California built Francis Herreshoff designed Didikai double-ender out of Newport Beach back in 1994. Similar boat, just a different stern. My friend Hans later sailed that boat from Newport to Miami, pretty good for a boat that could have been in a B. Traven story.

    The International One Design was the "boat" on Long Island Sound when introduced back in the thirties. They still race on the Sound with the other one design keel boats, although their numbers a dwindling at the moment. Beautiful boats!

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA
    Posts
    30
    Rico, I think I may have the same make of pooch, with a different paint job. Mine adopted us after being lost/abandonded? in the woods. Is yours a rat terrier?

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA
    Posts
    30
    Really beautiful pictures, by the way, but my recycled rat terrier has stolen my heart.

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Grand Haven / Muskegon, Michigan
    Posts
    588
    Hey Rico,
    You mentioned somewhere having powdercoated your portlights. Curious why and what the benefits are of doing so. Looking at the pictures I could find of them, it looks like you must have powdercoated them to something close to their original color. Mine are in good shape, but not chromed. A friend owns a powdercoating firm and so I have ready access.
    Thanks!

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    430
    Agua:
    Do rat terriers get to be 100 lbs?
    I was told by the people at the humane society (where my pooch came from as a 3 mo puppy we were to foster - temporarily...) and also by my uncle (who is a vet) that the pooch is some sort of German Shepherd / Labrador mix. She is quite big! She loves water & is very playful & also does have some shepherd behaviours.

    Kyle:
    No powder coating for my frames... (I do recall someone on the board going that route...) I just primed & painted C-155's frames - and they are holding-up quite nicely. And yes, they are painted in an aluminum color...
    If you can get it doe cheaply - I do not see why powdercoating would not work well. - unless the coating is not impervious to moisture... (??)
    Last edited by Rico; 07-26-2011 at 12:34 PM.

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
    Posts
    197
    Rico,
    I'm about to install a headsail track similar to yours and your work prompted two questions:
    1. How has this worked out? The sailmaker who just made a 125% for me like this but identified a point about 12 inches further aft that he felt would be ideal for the new sail.
    2. What kind/make of track is that?
    Beautiful boat.

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,549

    powder coated aluminum frames

    Rico,
    Maybe I'm the guy?
    I had all aluminum frames powdercoated in a 'bronze color' - including the little ones

    Used 'lab metal' to fill most of the damage: rage holes drilled in crooked from outside, corrosion, broken screws, old fastening holes and so forth.
    You'll remember these unique frames are all the same except the minature screws made the windows "handed" because the fastening, the clamping of each pair, was done from inside with tiny machine screws.

    I drilled each dedicated pair of frames thru and chamfered the holes outside. However I decided against using the set because I didn't feel that this method of installing a floating lens was ultimately strong enough. Big loose lens, fragile aluminum frames. Not for ocean voyaging or the MORC.
    Also, after the powder coating was done I realized I had not put in enough fastenings (9), nor positioned them very well around the frame. Did like the fact the holes were slightly oversized so that the powder coating became the insulation for the stainless machine bolts. And was unwilling to drill in any more holes. After deciding to go with slab-on carbonate lenses, these nice and professionally coated (Miller Powder Coating, Santa Rosa) frames are consigned to limbo.

    The cute little aluminum opening ports came out really nice and are small enough imco to use on an offshore boat. Famous last words.
    Last edited by ebb; 08-11-2011 at 01:20 PM.

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430
    Thanks SkipperJer,

    The track is a 1" Schaefer 'racing' track (the 'racing' model has more notches for sheet car adjustment) that the standard one. It has worked beautifully so far. I use the twin sheet cars on the track.

    I suspect that your sailmaker is about right on the location... I have a 90-100% jib and then a BIG genoa. I do not have any sails in the 125% range. I would appreciate some pictures to see where your sheet cars ends-up with a properly trimmed 125%.

    Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you need further details...

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lutherville, Maryland (near Baltimore)
    Posts
    197
    My 100% works well sheeted to the tracks on the cabin top. It's an old style high-cut jib that looks just like the one on the cover of old Commander brochure. When I got the boat in 2002 it had the 100 and a 170% that worked well on the toe-rail track aft of the winches. The problem was that I often found myself in the situation where I had one sail too big and one too little. Worst case was when the wind blew up after I had launched the 170 when sailing single-handed. The boat became quite a handful rather quickly if I got caught out near the lee shore. Did I mention I'm a rookie who did that a few too many times before I learned not to ever fly the big sail by myself? There were a few times when that boat proved it was tougher than I was by getting us through that.

    I finally got a used 150 that works OK but is sheeted too far back when fastened to the old track. I can never close the top of the sail. The old 170 was pretty beat so I had it cut down to 150 and I use it downwind as a second headsail. Keeps me from getting caught out with too much dacron flying too.

    I think of this boat as an vintage car with crank windows, stick shift, and no AC. I've learned to not try and make too many "improvements". With that in mind I think the best solution for me may be to simply extend the toe-rail track forward 3-4 feet and sacrifice a little in-board angle in order to keep the decks clear. The Commander decks are skinnier than the Ariel's. Your track tucked in close to the cabin trunk addresses that well but I need something to go further aft. My 125 would need track mounted just forward of the winch base overlapping the ends of the coamings and would take up what is now a narrow but clear section of side deck. Rig-Rite has the same flat track and fittings as the original track. I think this is going to be a winter project. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks for the response.

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Posts
    430

    2011 Sailing...

    Here are a few snaps taken during outings in 2011. It was a good year...
    I did a few offshore races (on other boats) in addition to the races I do on the Mephisto Cat...

    The 2012 edition of the 3 Bridge Fiasco just happened. It was another good one. They always are, although some can be very frustrating. -I won't spoil it here, but I'll have the race recap write-up shortly on that thread. I'll put a link here when it is done.

    Picture 1.- The Commemorative plaque at Angel Island. We go there often as it is one of my favourite destinations in the Bay. There is a lot of history there...

    'European ships had sailed up and down the California coast for more than 200 years without sighting the fog-shrouded entrance to San Francisco Bay. The first ship ever to enter the San Francisco Bay was the San Carlos, a Spanish packet-boat under the command of captain Juan de Ayala. The San Carlos reached the entrance to the San Francisco Bay on August 5th 1775, but the strong current pushed it back out to sea. Eventually, the boat slipped through the Golden Gate guided by the dim light of a half moon at 10:30 pm.

    The San Carlos dropped anchor behind an island which was christened 'Isla Santa Maria de Los Angeles' (Spanish for 'Saint Mary of the of the Angels'); It is now known as 'Angel Island'. Over the next forty-four days, ship pilots set out in longboats to chart the various arms of the Bay.'

    Picture 2.- One of the personalities inhabiting SF Bay; the USS Potomac (AG-25), formerly the USCGC Electra,[3] was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht from 1936 until his death in 1945. It is one of only three still existing presidential yachts. On August 3, 1941, she played a decoy role while Roosevelt held a secret conference to develop the Atlantic Charter.

    In January 1964 she was purchased by Elvis Presley for US$55,000. He gave it to St. Jude Children's Hospital which sold it that same year for US$ 75,000. By 1980, she was involved in drug smuggling and was seized by the United States Customs Service in San Francisco, then towed to Treasure Island, where she sank.

    After being refloated by the U.S. Navy just two weeks later, the Potomac was sold to the Port of Oakland for $15,000 and underwent a major restoration. She is now preserved by the Potomac Association, and berthed at Jack London Square in Oakland

    Picture 3.- A (fast) 'mini' waiting for a race start off Crissy field for the Half Moon Bay Race


    Picture 4.- Racing out to the so called 'Lightbucket'; the former location of the old lightship that used to mark the approaches to the main ship channel leading into San Francisco Bay. The location was originally described as: "Off San Francisco, 8.6 miles and 244 degrees from the Point Bonita Light, and 3 1/4 miles outside the bar in 109 feet, with Alcatraz and Fort Point lighthouses in range." The station was replaced by the San Francisco lighted horn (LNB) buoy "SF".


    Picture 5.- Other 'sailors' out on the bay do a 'fly-by'...
    Attached Images          
    Last edited by Rico; 02-28-2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: typos

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