37 Sailing Superlatives from Huckleberry

Huckleberry Outreach SailConnect a TISC instructor, one motivated volunteer and 11 Huckleberry Wellness Academy students with J/24′s on Clipper Cove and you get 37 Sailing Superlatives! Here’s what the kids had to say, and how you can share your passion for sailing.

The Huckleberry Wellness Academy – San Francisco is an intensive three-year health career pipeline program that fosters interest and engagement in health-related professions. It’s primarily funded by a grant from San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, one of our partners.

We asked the Huckleberry students for a “one liner”  to describe their June 26th afternoon sail with us.  Below is what they had to say, interspersed with pictures from the day.Bow Happy

“I am a Huckleberry student and I had never gone sailing before, but it was amazing! Feeling the breeze and being controlled. It was really fun and I do hope to come back again. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I had a blast!” – Yasmin two j24s in open water

“It was a great experience. Probably one of the best experiences ever. I am going to buy a boat now.” – Wayland        Three smiles

“Fun, exciting, amazing, awesome, fascinating, and peaceful. It was a nice first time sailing experience. I’m definitely looking forward to sailing again!” – Wendy three smiles fwd of mast“The sailing trip was memorable, exciting, lovely, amazing, crazy and mostly fun. I had lots of fun and hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to go sailing again.” – Emely two j24 framed by breakwall

“Thanks for the awesome sailing experience! I’ve had tons of fun and learned a little on how to steer/sail a boat.” – Benton tioga with six

“I really had a great time. I enjoyed myself a lot. It was a total different experience being in such a peaceful place rather than the chaotic streets of San Francisco.” – Alex Sonya plus five“It was fun and an amazing experience. I enjoyed sailing.” – Luisapeacock watching wave  “If you haven’t sailed before you should. You can’t have the same experience elsewhere.” – Vinsonsmiles and salute

“It was fun, exhilarating, one of a kind experience, great close up view of sea lions, breathtaking experience steering the sail boat, and an amazing way to bond with others.” – Edgarsmile under the boom

“It was an amazing experience. We had loads of fun and you feel fab! It’s fantastic and awesome. I encourage everyone to go sailing – and the people were friendly.” – JudySonya Driving

Teaching life lessons through sailing is a great mission loved by everyone here at Treasure Island Sailing Center.  Our programs provide opportunities for 4th graders, make a difference for youth who sail here, and benefit tenants who call TISC home port.  Our 2014 instructors, including Sonya above, are experienced sailors and savvy teachers.

We couldn’t do what we do without the volunteers who help maintain our docks and facilities, support our many events and share their love of the water and the lessons they’ve learned with the kids, youth and adults who sail here.  Tioga, green shirt below, donated his afternoon with the Huckleberry youth on Clipper Cove and out on the bay.  These first-generation college bound students now understand a bit about the wind, sails, tides and how to steer courtesy of his passion and experiece.TiogaI encourage every tenant who can sail during the week, or on weekends when we host visually impaired sailors, to call Chris Childers in the TISC office and schedule time for on-the-water passion sharing.  I can’t think of a better way for you to meet the volunteer hours called for as part of your boat storage agreement with TISC.  And face it, no one has ever had a bad day on the bay while providing a launching point for new horizons for kids and youth !

Regards from On The Cove, D-

In the wake:

This is the first time I had to use a spreadsheet to track all the flowery adjectives and adverbs used to describe and outreach class.  Here’s the list of 37 sailing superlatives (OK, only 32 if you’re an english teacher however 44 if you add “sailing”)  I mentioned above:

Amazing (5), awesome (3), breathtaking (1), enjoyed (2), exciting (2), exhilarating (1), fab (1), fantastic (1), fascinating (1), first (1), friendly (1), fun (7), future (1), great (3), learned (1), lovely (1), memorable (1), nice (1), opportunity (1), peaceful (2)

 

 

Windy Week on Clipper and McCovey Coves

Monday morning’s high winds and cool temperature on Clipper and McCovey Coves were not normal. Didn’t bother outreach groups and students – they love feet dragging in the water and butts on the rail.  Nice view from Bay Bridge bike path.

smiles on a j24j24 framed by transamerica towerWhen high pressure areas dominate early in the morning, as they did last week, afternoon winds can build quickly into 15-20 puffs. With reefed mains on the J/24s used for outreach kids and proper coaching for the dinghy students Clipper Cove comes alive with smiles all around.

The Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center visits to TISC are part of their summer program which serves 400 youth in elementary and middle school.  Chilly temperatures and gusty winds clearly don’t dampen their appreciation of what Mother Nature has to offer on Clipper Cove.

Treasure Island Sailing Center, through our own fundraising efforts and the generous donations from individuals and corporate sponsors, enable youths from all parts of the Bay Area to experience the fun of feet dragging in the water.  These kids leave TISC with memories to treasure and respect for the world in which we live, a world within easy view of downtown San Francisco and just under the bridge from the Port of Oakland.j24 windy feet in waterfeet in water framed by oakland cranesopti with safety boatYouth participating in one- or two-week sailing classes at TISC benefit from our top-notch team of experienced instructors, always encouraging and leading students to take the next step. Last week’s windy Monday provided a chance for true seamanship to shine through.

Early morning cat’s paws provide ample opportunity for learning about safety afloat, wind direction and capsize drills.  The afternoon breezes can excite youth about sailing and develop higher levels of confidence and self esteem.  Enter the fun of “butts on the rail” sailing in San Francisco Bay !opti in 15-18

left exit for TISCClipper Cove sailing in the morning is often a hunt for whispers of wind.  Our instructors use these normal light-air mornings for drills focused on boat handling and teamwork. You can see a video of one of these tacking drills HERE.

These pictures from last Wednesday morning were taken from the bike path on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. We’ve been wanting to check out this path, and were pleasantly surprised how easy it was to access – the entry point is just across Shelmound from the Emeryville IKEA store.  In a year or so this path will enable bikers to drop down to Treasure Island.  For now the path stops at the top of the bridge 185 feet above the bay.

TISC classes framed by bay bridge construction

Co-Able Kids 14-06-20It was windy last Monday over on McCovey cove as well.  Five youth joined TISC instructors  and South Beach Yacht Club volunteers to kick off the inaugural session of the first-ever Co-Able Youth Sailing Camp. Sponsored by the Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors and TISC, this summer camp will combine students with and without disabilities in such a manner that they will encourage and assist each other to become independent sailors.

More McCovey Cove smiles from the BAADS/TISC partnership in a future post.

Regards from on (Clipper and McCovey) Coves, D-

PS – Speaking of windy days, the TISC V15 and Laser fleets race every Thursday evening in the summer.  Here are a few tips on how to stay dry when sailing a dinghy in a breeze on Clipper Cove courtesy of V15 Fleet Captain Al Sargent.

In the wake: below are a few more pictures from Sunset Neighborhood Beacon District and some taken along the Bay Bridge Bike Path.

SNBC framed by Bay bridgeSNBC Smilespath to bay bridgeon the bay bridge bike path old bay bridge deconstruction

Bay Marine and Signarama San Jose Deliver New J/24 Looks

The TISC J/24 fleet is sporting newly-painted hulls and crisp graphics thanks to Bay Marine Boatworks and Signarama San Jose.  This project was funded by the 34th America’s Cup and ONESF. Summer smiles now available for all San Francisco youth.Delos and Barney off to Pt. Richmond

Delos and Barney headed for Bay Marine Boatworks last October.  Five more Js followed.  The project managers, painters and yard team delivered a class job on every boat.  Even though a couple appeared as if “they had been used as rounding marks during a hard-fought regatta”, all were returned with smooth, attractive white hulls.

The team at Signarama San Jose provided design support for the bow and stern graphics as well as the registration numbers for the J/24 fleet.  They guided us through the installation of the 35 unique graphics fabricated for our project, and helped us adapt the design and layout to our RS Venture and FJ fleets.

Ol yeller - beforeThe most dramatic change was in “Ol Yeller”.  Quite a difference between the before-and-after appearance. The picture on the left was taken during a Life Learning Academy field trip last year.  The two below show the progress through the painting process and departing Bay Marine.

Ol Yeller DisapearingOl Yeller Departing Bay MarineWe’re using the same names for our new boats for now.  We’re looking for sponsors who might want to see their names or logos on our J/24 fleet.

The new look on our J/24s didn’t go unnoticed during opening day last month.  We had a number of compliments, along and a few questions about where our “new fleet” came from.paddle and sails framed by bridge J24 Cruisin

Our J/24 fleet is used for adult sailing and keelboat lessons, and for many outreach programs during the week.  Here are a few smiles from a recent San Francisco Expeditionary School day at TISC, along with our new hulls with Bay Marine Boatworks and graphics from Signarama San Jose.

bay bridge bow

water boy

stern horizontal

bow boys with bridge

Registration for our Summer Classes starting June 2nd is open. We still have availability in most classes, and are always looking for kids interested in developing life skills while learning to sail and enjoy the water.  The registration page for our youth summer programs is HERE.  Registration page for all programs is HERE.

At TISC we never turn a child away.  Our doors are always open to anyone or any group who has the desire to learn and grow through sailing.  Scholarship forms are here: Individual Scholarships   /    Group Scholarships

Regards, from On The Cove, D-

In the wake:

Many volunteers who helped with the J/24 transits fromTISC to Bay Marine and then. THANK YOU !

 

 

Opening Day: Sails, Paddles and Smiles On Clipper Cove

Saturday’s Opening Day Featured blue skies, steady winds, eight sails, a bunch of kayaks & paddleboards, and hundreds of smiles. Our supportive volunteer force worked Wednesday through Saturday.  Kudos to our TISC team for a job well done!Kayak J24 Bridge

Opening day was combined with Safe Boating Day this year. The rain on Friday was unusual however the Cal Sailing Team showed up to finish the set up anyway, then returned first thing Saturday to make sure all was ready and greet visitors.  No way this event happens without their dedicated support.

Parents and students also turned out in force to help set up and manage beach logistics.  It was great to see them having fun while giving back. Thanks also to the Life Learning Academy volunteers.Parents Setting Up

MadisonThere are many, many, many moving parts to opening day.  Some happen in real time, some must be ready days, weeks or months in advance. Madison Gattis, our Director of Operations, has been on this since the beginning of the year.

 

ChrisOnce the day started Chris Childers, our Programs Director, oversaw the boats, dock workers and hundreds of guests on Clipper Cove.  New this year was the use of the west beach for the water toys with launches transporting guests to/from the docks to the beach.

AnnieAnnie Butts, our Head Instructor, had her hands full with driving, coordinating crash boats and answering lots of volunteer questions. Thanks also for her many hours of boat prep prior to the event.RS Ventures Ready

  • Staging the paddleboards and kayaks at the beach and using launches to ferry people to and from was a great idea.  This plan provided a completely separate venue and afforded a different view and experience for non-sailors.  Not everyone came to sail, yet everyone enjoyed being on Clipper Cove. Here again, volunteers were in place to help ensure safety.Beach Girl

Beach Hands

 

 

 

 

 

The old Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge is being deconstructed.  You can see the initial gap which will continue to widen over time.Bay Bridge Deconstruction

Bay Bridge Framed by J24

The highlights of the day were the huge smiles, compliments, high-fives and sincere thanks from the many guests (we stopped counting sometime after 500) who attended Opening Day 2014.  Some were repeats from last year; many were new to Clipper Cove and wanted to bring their families out for awesome time on the water courtesy of Treasure Island Sailing Center.Painted Face with Wind in HairYoung Driver West Coast Sailing

Skipper in TrainingThree Smiles on Deck-resize Four sail boats departed the docks every fifteen minutes from 11:30 until 3pm. Do the math;  that’s over 300 opening day sailboat rides.  Our volunteers registered all these people, gave them a safety briefing, fitted life jackets and escorted them to and from the docks for embarking and disembarking the five J24s and three RS Ventures. Many thanks to the TI Vanguard and Laser fleets, Cal Sailing, TISC tenants, and Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors for keeping managing the constant flow on the ramps and docks.  Special thanks to the V15 and Laser sailers for setting up the tent (and taking it down tomorrow).Dock Boarding Instructions Dock Lined up to Sail Dock Volunteer

Mother Nature favored us with a gorgeous day.  Rather windy toward the afternoon, which put an even higher premium on the efforts from Cal Sailing team who helped with dock logistics the entire day.  Here are three smiling faces who greeted just about all my guests; this was taken after my last trip – they’re still smiling!Smiling Cal Dock Hands

Regards, from On The Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

Many of the great pictures above, including the first which captured the variety of the day framed by the new Bay Bridge Eastern Section, were courtesy of Valerie Santorini from Golden Gate Yacht Club.  She and other GGYC volunteers spent the entire day On Clipper Cove ferrying guests from the dock to the beach while taking great pictures.  Thank You Val !!

 

Farewell Ol’ Yeller

Ol’ Yeller is at Bay Marine Boatworks getting painted thanks to volunteers Jeff, Cory, and Michael.  Fortunata and Great White are back.   We’ll soon have seven great white hulls ready to be rigged for summer classes.  Here’s 22 kids’ smiles.

Jeff Knowles with Ol Yeller Mast

Jeff Knowles helped unstep Ol’ Yeller’s mast in preparation for the transit to Bay Marine in Pt. Richmond.  Unfortunately, two engine failures and a dead battery ended our day shortly after we left the dock.

A week later we departed again, this time using our 15′ ribby to tow Ol Yeller across the bay and retrieve Fortunata and Great White.  Mother nature served up a great day for the transit.  Ready to Launch

Cory Schillaci and Michael Weinman prep for transitCory Schillaci and Michael Weinman graciously stepped in to help with the rescheduled transit.  With the mast out and the boat already prepped for delivery we were able to depart Clipper Cove by mid-morning.

 

 

 

We rounded the Pt. Richmond outer mark shortly after 11.  Mt. Tam provided a photogenic backdrop to our morning transit.

Mt Tam Backstop

We admired the great paint job served up by the team at Bay Marine as we watched Fortunata and Great White (we joked that ALL our J’s are now great white) being dropped in for the return trip to TISC.  If you look closely you can see Fortunata in the shiny reflection on Great White’s hull.

Great looking great white

Two identical boats head back out the channel – on their way home to join another four great-looking white hulls back at Pier 12 in Treasure Island.Departing Pt RichmondHere’s a couple of pictures from Mike.  The first as we pass an oiler that was running lifeboat drills when we first arrived, and the second as we rounded Great Oak Victory on the way back to SF Bay.GW and Fortunata Under Tow from Bay Marine The bay was rather quiet, however we did pass a couple barges on the way home.

A visitor passes aftThe trip back to Clipper Cove was aided by the wind at our back and a flood tide that helped on the final leg of our journey. Back On Clipper Cove

The hulls on six of our seven J/24’s are now refinished; the team at Bay Marine will have the seventh done soon.  We’re getting close to “crunch time” for our opening day on April 26th.

We can use help re-stepping the masts our our J/24 fleet, updating the traveler systems so the boats can be used for both sighted and visually impaired sailors, cleaning up the interiors, and adding graphics to the new hulls so we can keep track of which “great white’ hull is which.  There are many ways you can help.

  • Make a donation to help defray the cost of the new graphics
  • Spend 2-3 hours to help step the mast on two of the boats
  • Volunteer to work on  clean-up on one or two of the interiors; or help pressure wash the decks
  • Donate or purchase new bow and stern lines for one or more of the boats
  • Purchase two new dock bumpers for your boat and donate the older ones to TISC – or just buy two new ones for our J24 fleet !
  • And for the really handy volunteer, join one of our teams working on re-fitting the traveler systems to prepare for our blind sailing days.

To volunteer, donate parts or make a tax-deductible cash gift please let me know (daveg@onclippercove.com) or contact the TISC Team in the TISC office (email info@tisailing.org or call 415-421-2225).

Regards, from On The Cove,

D-

 

In the wake:

Here are 22 smiles from our picture archives – courtesy of  Ol’ Yeller:

Sailing east of Treasure Island with blue water in front and TransAmerica Tower off the dirt quarter.

East of TI Fun on the Cove LLA-off to clipper cove Smiles from the West Side Smiles on Clipper Cove Wave from Ol Yeller

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth and Three

Rajat Dutta up topTwo volunteers joined forces to help un-step J/24 masts and complete a round-trip to Bay Marine last week. Four shiny white hulls are done with three to go. Bonus enclosure: directions for navigating Clipper Cove at low tide.

Rajat Dutta, long-time crew on Melges24 “Posse”, donated a morning to prepare Fortunata and Great White for delivery to Bay Marine Boatworks. We’ve been using the small hoist  to unstep masts for the J/24 upgrade program; this approach works well and saves time over the traditional use of gin poles. A +6.5 tide helped.

Bill Nork DocksideA few days later Bill Nork, TISC friend and frequent volunteer, helped with the over-and-back transit from Clipper Cove to Point Richmond; we left on schedule at 11am.  Our normal journey of 90 minutes stretched to two hours because of the unusual NE breeze, strong ebb current and missing motor mount on Great White.

No complaints for Mother Nature – we had a blue sky day with balmy temperatures for a January morning and the Bay to ourselves.

Great White Heads to Bay MarineAs we passed Red Oak Victory the air felt warmer once out of the cool n’easter on the bay.  Beef Cakes and Blue Stripe looked bright, white and ready to go.  After a quick motor switch we headed back to TISC.Fortunata passing Red Oak Victory Bill Nork Thumbs UpThe return trip was much faster; just over 90 minutes from dock to dock thanks to the wind at our back, a boosting current and two motors in operation. The views of the “new” Beef Cakes and Blue Stripe framed by Golden Gate Bridge and Berkeley Pier led to thoughts of “what next” for the graphics on these bright new hulls -suggestions welcome !Bill and Peter Framed by GGBBill and Peter Passing Berkeley Pier
Even with dusk approaching, our four newly painted hulls looked clean and bright.
Four J24s completeAs the sun set on the Western end Clipper Cove the tide lines were clear.
Clipper Cove Sunset at Low Tide

There’s only one more transit before our J/24 fleet will have all new bottoms.  If you are interested in helping, let me know.  Next to providing rides to visitors on opening day and taking pictures of kids smiles, this has to be one of the best volunteer jobs we “offer” to our tenants and friends.

Regards, from On the Cove,
Dave G

In the wake:

Even with a speedy return trip we rounded Pier 1 later than planned and not much ahead of a -.04 tide. While not the lowest of lows (that would be around -1.6) we did have to be mindful of our entry into Clipper Cove.

If you’re in a similar returning situation (or trying to get out for a practice session) hug the large pier closely – no farther than 1-2 boat lengths away. Proceed nearly all the way to the rocks bordering TISC and then take a sharp left 3-4 boat lengths from breakwall. This path may not Low Tide in Clipper Coveenable a 3′ draft to pass over the sand bar across the entry at tide levels shallower than -.5 to -1.0, however it’s your best bet.

For deeper draft boats, not much choice other than stay away from low-low tides; if you must make a transit during low tide use best efforts to do so on a flooding tide not an ebbing tide. That way if you do get stuck your “down time” will be minimum. The boats shown on the right exiting Clipper Cove as we returned did not make it out until the tide began rising.

Two “New” J/24s Join TISC Fleet

Last month we delivered Delos and Barney to Bay Marine for bottom painting. They’re back looking brand new! We swapped them with two more J/24’s before rain and wind announced winter’s arrival on Clipper Cove. Next step: stripes & graphics.

Michael and Jasper before transitMichael Weinman and I splashed Beefcakes and Blue Stripe last Monday.  We were ahead of schedule after un-stepping the first mast.  As with most boat projects sailing is not always smooth.  The mast on Beefcakes was stuck and would not budge.

Jasper Van Vliet arrived for transit duty at 1030.  Additional attempts to remove the mast failed so we headed for Bay Marine.

Jasper and I left Clipper Cove with clouds behind us and blue sky ahead of us.TI under clouds and blue sky

transit to bay marineWe were greeted by an enthusiastic welcoming committee as we rounded the entrance to Pt. Richmond harbor. welcoming committee cr

The SS Red Oak Victory, one of 534 Victory class Cargo ships built for WWII, served as a second waypoint.  She was turned over to the Richmond Museum of History in 1998 after an act of congress in 1996. SS Red Oak Victory crRed Oak Victory 20mmm gun

Two freshly-painted J/24s were launched and waiting for us. Our decision to transit Beefcakes with the mast up to save time proved to be a good call – the pros at Bay Marine and their industrial-strength crane made short work of the mast removal.A and B by bay marine cr

The 90 minute return journey to TISC was cloudy. Winter is one of the few times we see clouds around here and they always seem gorgeous over SF Bay whether sky blue or stormy gray.blue sky in gray clouds

boat B under SF cloudsA three tanks runWe completed our second refueling as we neared Treasure Island.

Plenty of time to think about boat graphics on the way home with a brand new pearly-white hull on my starboard quarter for an hour. Our current thinking is a blue boot stripe, possibly an upper accent highlight, bow numbers, and CA registration number. And graphics. Bold graphics to showcase our refurbished fleet.

The big questions are how to name the boats and which graphics would look best while remaining durable.  Feel free to send along your thoughts or suggestions (daveg @ onclippercove . com).  If you or your company would like to sponsor one or more boats and/or sails even better!  Imagine how great your name/logo would look on the side of a J/24 with kids smiling as they learned life lessons on Clipper Cove.

Boat A by Sutro cr

Blue Stripe at NightEven with help from the pros, favorable tides, and only one “hitch”, daylight ran out before we washed and retrieved both J’s.  The reflection of the new Bay Bridge was another reminder of how attractive shiny these new hulls will be – especially with bold new graphics on their hulls.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The history behind the SS Red Oak Victory is intriguing. Here’s the link to a virtual tour of the ship.

Connecting the Donor Dots

Thanks to supportive donors and generous grants our J/24 fleet has grown to seven.  Because of volunteers like Michael, Nigel and Sam, Delos and Barney headed for Pt. Richmond in yesterday’s fog. They’ll look new after Bay Marine Boatworks finishes.fog and bay bridge frame Clipper Cove

As we drove over the new Bay Bridge back to TISC after delivering two  J/24’s and a trailer to Bay Marine I was struck by the number of people and organizations who made this first step in our fleet renovation possible.  As always the beneficiaries of their generosity are kids in our summer youth classes, year-around outreach program, and just-started SS Learn program.

delos arriving at TISC DockDelos arrived on New Year’s Eve 2009.  I remember the ultra high tide as we motored from Marina Green to TI, arriving to a Bay Bridge still very much under construction.  The motor donated by Adam Slote and the trailer from RIch Jepson at OCSC are still key ingredients to our fleet.  While the bottom growth on Delos was not as populated with marine Delos Keelgrowth as we found on Barney, it did take some serious scraping to remove it.

When I asked Michael Weinman to help with our transit to Richmond, I made sure he knew this was a fun “messing about in boats” job, not the grungy job he signed up for when Barney arrived.  You may recall that clean up job from a previous blog.

Nigel and Mike unstepping the mastNigel Tunecliff showed up early Wednesday to help get boats launched and masts out..  We decided to use the 1-ton crane rather than ginn-poles, and with the tide rather low all proceeded smoothly after coaxing a few turnbuckles clockwise. Michael arrived right on time just as we removed the second mast..

With Delos and Skipper’s Gift motors mounted, Michael and Sam Warner got under way slightly behind schedule after a rudder switch on Delos. While starting to lift, the fog was still very much with us as they headed into a rather gray bay to “Red 6” just outside the Richmond Break wall.Departing for Pt. Richmond

Left at the end of Pier 1Michael took these two pictures after they turned north at Pier 1 and as they ghosted  past Angel Island. Sam ghosts past Angel Island

Bay Marine Boatworks will sand and fix the hulls, apply two coats of epoxy, then polish the hulls above the waterline.  To accomplish this they will use our only road-worthy trailer, retired  earlier this year from Moore 24 duty after Karl Robrock’s gracious donation in support of Matt Harper’s gift of Barney.

My plan to get a nice picture with the sun out and two J/24’s teaming into Richmond Breakwater was foiled by Michael and Sam’s rapid transit. They made it just over 90 minutes !Mike and Sam at Bay Marine

Many connections, donations and volunteer hours lead up to our J/24 Fleet upgrade. The final and most critical was this summer’s donation from Team Luna Rossa via the Americas Cup Event Authority.  Funds from their donation provided the opportunity for the work now being started at Bay Marine, and for the furniture in the new Activity Center now on line to support SS Learn.  Both support our goal of providing launching points for new horizons for kids of all ages.

Regards from On the Cove,

Dave G

 

 

 

 

From On the Rocks to On Clipper Cove in 60 Minutes

initial prep grindingWith 1,000 student-drivers per year, dings, nicks and holes can’t be avoided in Treasure Island Sailing Center’s fleet. Dave Collignon, TISC Melges24 sailor and Revchem technical applications expert, shared his fix-it expertise with 26 students using fast-setting UV-cure polyester resin.

Dave’s approach for the class was clever and effective.  He used an old Laser hull with four (self inflicted) holes on the curved chine. He took them to various states of completion before class started then used each to demonstrate a different step in the repair process after students arrive.  At all times he protected the hull from “drips” with paper, and himself from “the itchies” with long sleeved shirt, glasses, respirator and long sleeves.protect the area around the fixDave Callignon Grinding Away

The secret ingredient used during the clinic was UV Cure Polyester Surfboard Laminating Resin that hardens in 10 minutes when exposed to sunlight. Pot life in the shade is hours to days. Along with a few other products (available at Svendsen’s Boat Works), simple tools and mother nature – repairs can be accomplished rapidly, even over lunch between the last morning race and first afternoon race !tools of the trade

Revchem with Bay BridgeDave completed the steps for a simple repair by working on four similar spots in parallel.He used a grinder to remove material around the ding – being careful to leave as much damaged glass intact as a base for the patch.   The entire repair to a real hole would easilly have been completed in an hour.sanding the puttyA hard block was used for fairing to retain the shape of the hull. fairing prior to gelcoatThe final state, before application of gelcoat, was a “50 grit smooth” surface shaped like the hull slightly recessed to make room for the gelcoat.

ready for puttyThree additives provide the basis for repairs: milled fiber for strength and hardness, Q-Cell quartz microspheres to create a filler that’s easy-to-sand, and fumed silica to act as a thickening agent.  Used in various combinations they form a putty with adjustable properties from super strong to super workable.  Sitting on the shady table they remained workable all afternoon and into the evening.stronger-bigger-thicker

Students arrived at 6pm.   With the four dings at various states Dave took the class through each step of the repair process.glass class on clipper cove more grinding

Even with the sun’s rays weakening, students were able to observe best practices for each step in the process as dave took the repairs to completion.applying first glass cloth

applying puttyThe final step was the addition of the gelcoat layer.  working in gel coatfinal putty smoothingAfter application of the gelcoat he used a freezer bag to cover the patch to ensure an almost-smooth finish.  After curing the gelcoat is sanded with 220-600-800 grit sandpaper then buffed smooth.before the plastic bag applying gelcoatFiberglass cloth is available in a wide range of weights, construction and materials. Dave went through many of them, including a short discussion of carbon fiber cloth. He also touched on the use of epoxy resin (best for structural repair) vs the polyester resin used in class ( best for cosmetic repairs).about glass cloth

The last repair of the day was a J/24 hatch cover damaged on one edge. This was a good segue into the use of thick, unwoven glass fiber cloth.  Dave showed the key to success with this ungainly material: gloves and various sized resin rollers !user rollers for wetting chopped glass matfirst layer of chopped glass on hatch first layer of chopped glass adding mat to hatch for bulk

As the sun was finally setting Dave talked through the repair of an Opti with damage to the bow.  The trick on this one was a combination putty made with both milled fibers and fumed silica.  The deck and hull were then clamped securely but not quite touching.  For both the J/24 hatch cover and Opti bow, the last step would be external finishing using same techniques as with the Laser.  Questions and wrap-up followed at 7:30.

UVA GoneAfter the last pizza box was cleared and tables/chairs put away the UVA from Mother Nature was replaced with moon beams over the new Bay Bridge.  While not great for UV Cure resin it made a nice bookend for the first annual TISC “Glass Class”.

Thanks again to Dave Collignon for an entertaining, fact-filled, hands-on fiberglass boat repair clinic.  And thanks in advance to those attendees who will be using their new-found-skills to help maintain the Treasure Island Sailing Center fleet as they set sail heading out for new horizons.

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here is a link to the reference materials from Wednesday’s clinic: TISC-glass-class-aug-2013

Phone number for  Matt Ford, the manager at Svendson’s Chandlery: 510-521-8454 ext# 34.  These guys sponsor the Thursday night Laser/V15 races and are great TISC supporters. If you need supplies they are willing to drop off at TISC.

And by the way, if you have a skill you’d like to share with other tenants or a suggestion for upcoming clinic let me know: daveg@onclippercove.com

 

Think Fast ! (gasp, gasp)

Tetons Frame Wedding VenueThe Tetons were breathtakingly beautiful and Yellowstone NP showcased Mother Nature in live-action color for a recent family wedding in Wyoming.  Saturday we watched Emirates Team New Zealand race Luna Rosa from Skipper’s Gift.  Also colorful and action packed.

The time seemed to fly by quickly between setting up chairs at 7:30 Saturday morning at Heart 6 Ranch and the first music from the string quartet at 10:30.  I can’t say our hearts were racing but I will admit to working up a deadline-driven sweat before the wedding.  The Tetons delivered a view unlike any other wedding we’ve attended.

A week later we were watching the pre-start action between Aotearoa and Prada  – the most strategically significant part of Saturday’s match race.  Seeing two foiling AC72’s was the most exciting part of the day.

Maneuvers were a highlight. Synchronizing the efforts of all eleven crew has to be one of the most demanding aspects of racing these boats. Watching the Emirates Team New Zealand boat round the leeward gate put a new perspective on dropping the chute on our J/24. Thanks to my friend Youssef Ismail for this shot taken as we passed south of Alcatraz.ETNZ at Leeward Gate

training to win leaderBack home I watched  “Training to Win”, the second episode in the Red Bull series “Inside the Americas Cup: No Second Place” and was impressed by the focus on decision making under great stress and elevated heart rate. Especially the scene where crew members were stopped in the middle of their grinding and running exercises to solve mind puzzles.

The America’s Cup presence here in the Bay provides exciting, even heart-throbbing, action whether you race sailboats, enjoy sailing, or have spent little time on the water.  We’re fortunate to be able to watch live from the bay, on land, via TV and over the internet.

TISC doesn’t claim to train our kids for sailing in the Americas Cup (well, not yet anyway!).  We do use sailing as a platform to teach goal setting, communications, teamwork and self-confidence to help them be successful now and later in life. We hope to peak kids’ interest in racing and we provide opportunities for racing individually and teamed with others.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Manufacturing and repair technology has progressed rapidly over the last decade, even few years.  We’ll be hosting a hands-on materials technology clinic here at TISC mid-August on a week night to be announced.  If you’re interested in learning more about the current state of technology of epoxy resin, gelcoat and carbon fiber materials used to manufacture and repair sailboats and sailing gear let me know via email (daveg@onclippercove.com).  We will send additional details when available.  Registration will be limited, with TISC tenants receiving first priority with advanced registration.  A great opportunity to learn current best practices for working with epoxy-based materials.