Well it’s time once again for an installment of Daddio’s Tech Talk. It’s been a while and even though you haven’t heard about it there have been some significant tech’s to talk about. Today we’ll talk about two issues.

Issue #1

First off, as you may know, Cannibal is very unusual in that she has two centerboards…or rather should have two centerboards. On Cannibal, the main board is located just aft of the mast and is used primarily for upwind work. The mizzen board or trimmer board is located further aft toward the after end of the keel. The mizzen board is used primarily for reaching and off the wind work to reduce weather helm. This arrangement is one of the things that makes Cannibal so special. She sails very well balanced at any point of sail if you have the boards adjusted right. While we were sailing from Mona Island to Ponce, the wire pendant that controls the mizzen board broke. “No big deal,” I thought, “When we get to Ponce, I’ll dive under the boat and refasten it.” Well, when we got to Ponce I dove under the boat and lo and behold, the whole centerboard was gone! We are talking about a 500# chunk of molded fiberglass. Yikes! So after making some phone calls, I finally got in touch with the designer’s son, Nord Embroden. He has the molds for the centerboard and can have one made up. Yippee! But the cost of this little construction project he estimated at $3500. Yikes! So the question was now, “How bad do we need it?” I knew we could sail without it but didn’t know for sure if the autopilot would be able to handle the extra weather helm. After doing a little sailing, we determined that although the boat sails better with it and we are taking a little performance hit, we can live without it for now. So the plan is to get the measurements from Nord and fab one up when we get back to the states.

Issue #2

As we continued to forge eastward toward the Virgin Islands we finally got to Culebra. As you know from one of Shirley’s earlier posts, Culebra is one of the Spanish Virgin Islands and is part of Puerto Rico. While in Culebra, we were moored in Almodovar, PICT3425a little bay around the corner from Ensenada de Honda and the town of Dewey. One day we decided to go to town and so loaded up our friends from Kalida and Toucan and took Cannibal around the corner. After a successful shopping trip, we sailed back to our mooring in about 12 to 15 knots of wind. As we turned into Almodovar we had to gybe the mainsail. After it came across, it blew out. Ripped from leach to luff. Yikes! So now the question was what to do. This sail has been sewed on so many times that to repair it this time, we’d be putting patches on patches…literally. So I began searching for a new mainsail. I could have a brand new one made…for about $4000. Yikes! But there are also places that sell used sails. So I began looking for a used sail. Our sail is pretty big, 48 ft on the luff by 18 ft on the foot so there aren’t just a whole lot of that size lying around. But being in Puerto Rico, my cell phone had a great data connection and so I could search the internet over Sprint’s awesome EVDO network. Yippee! I finally found a sail that supposedly has about half of it’s life left (thats about 4 times better than ours was when we bought the boat). All for the amazingly low price of $425. Yippee! So I placed my order with the Sail Warehouse and expected to receive my sail in a few days. That was on Friday the 16th. We found out the following Monday that the sail wasn’t scheduled for delivery until the 23rd. For some reason Fedex thinks Puerto Rico is an international shipment so everything takes longer. No big deal we figured we could find something to do around Culebra for a few more days. However the next morning Fedex adjusted their schedule now showed delivery on the 28th. Yikes! So we decided to bail out of Culebra and head on over to the Virgin Islands under our big 150% genoa only. The neat thing is that when sailing with only the big genny, the lack of our mizzen centerboard is a non-issue. And the boat still makes pretty good speed. We were making 7 knots today going to windward. Yippee! Anyway Fedex has continued to adjust their delivery schedule and now are showing the 30th. Oh well, we are cruising the Virgin Islands so were in no hurry.

It would be nice to have it though. If we did, we’d be entering a race tomorrow on Jost Van Dyke and Cannibal would be “eating up” the competition. More on that regatta later.

Ciao for now!

2 Responses to “Daddio’s Tech Talk”
  1. colquitt says:

    Hey dudes! Been trying to reply but always loosing my password. Now I finally took the time to get a new one. How’s BVI? Is it all its cracked up to be? Have you been to Foxy’s yet? Awesome wooden boat pics of the rigatta, thanks for those… however, your killing me!
    We went down to Palacios this weekend to move El Camino, but it blew 20-25 both days and couldn’t get her out of the slip. Read about your mainsail. Don’t forget about the one you gave me, i thinks it’s your backup main? Its in pretty decent shape. Let me know and I’ll ship it to you…no charge dude!
    Call me when you can, I’ll send my new numbers to your email.
    Still wishin we were there! Don’t go to missin land life, its still lousy…

  2. Daddio says:

    The BVI is an amazing sailing area. I can see why there are so many charters. The wind is constant, the waters are protected from all sides and there are a hundred little coves to drop anchor in. I don’t think it could get any better for just sailing around and exploring. The snorkeling isn’t the greatest but is pretty good. We have found some spots that have quite a few fish. As far as missing the land life, part of me is ready to go back and part of me never wants to go back, but hey, life is good when you’re on the right path evne though it may not seem good at the time.

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