16 August 2009

The boat: BER 9005

As far as I can tell, this boat, BER 9005, is one of the newest 505s in the world. There may be one or two that have more recent sail numbers. Doug Hagan was rigging up USA 9004 across the parking lot from me today.

It's built by Rondar, out of glass & carbon & foam & gosh knows what else they put in them these days. I didn't think I was buying a carbon boat, but apparently they all have that in them these days.

It has the key feature of being brand-new and watertight. Remember that new-car smell? It's like that. When I open up the inspection ports to the buoyancy tanks, dust comes out... That's how watertight it is. Let's hope it stays that way for a long time.

It's a launcher boat -- pretty much all new ones are.

Generally, I've got very simple systems for the 505. I wanted to start with where my last boat left off, and not add a system unless I knew what I was going to do with it.
  • Single aluminum pole & aluminum boom. Lots of guys have carbon booms & poles, which are now allowed under the class rules, some are trying double poles. I figured, I'd never sailed with double poles, why start now, and why pay the extra expense for carbon when I will never be able to really fix it right in Bermuda & the boat is wicked underweight anyway.
  • Standard endless spinnaker sheets. A few teams are using lazy guys & sheets, so there isn't a twing, but instead a separately adjustable guy attached near the shrouds. I do have guy adjusters, a purchase on the guy turning block at the back of the boat, allowing me to pull the guy off the forestay even under load, without having to retie the jibing knots in the spinnaker.
  • Superspar M2 mast.
  • Ram-up is rigged to pull the bottom of the mast forward when the spinnaker halyard is pulled tight; this helps prevent mast inversion under heavy pressure from the kite (since the spin halyard exit is about 80-100cm above the hounds). This of course is also the system that the spinnaker halyard is getting jammed in. if it keeps acting up, I am going to knock it in the head. I can pull ram-up on myself, thank you very much.
  • High aspect ratio Waterat blades, carbon tiller. The blades are wicked narrow compared to what I used to have. I think they are less forgiving about stalling & pinching the boat, and need speed to work well. But when they do, they really work. Hopefully I will get my driving technique in gear for them.
  • North 3DL main & Jib. I used to have Norths on my old boat, and am comfortable with the sailmaker, etc. Although many teams are using Glaser sails.
  • Fixed jib track with manual adjustments -- no continuous adjustments or in-out sideways adjustments. That's just something else for me to get wrong right now.
  • Most things are rigged with very small carbo blocks, and thin dyneema or vectran or similar line.
  • 20 kilos of corrector weights... maybe I could afford to beef up some of that rigging...
  • Mo
I think that's it. Very simple compared with what some of these guys are running. Hopefully much more info about that kind of stuff later one.

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