Endless Summer: A User Guide

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For generalities, I think that Ian Farrier's sailing instructions for the F-Boats is the best place to start. The following details are specific to Endless Summer and my own sailing practices.

Sailing

Before Leaving

  1. verify that the escape hatches are properly closed. Feel each dog as they are hard to see.
  2. close shower hatch
  3. close side hatches
  4. close top hatches.
  5. pump heads close to empty

Docking

Docking a twin engine cat is very different from a single engine boat. The basic technique is to angle slowly towards the dock stern first until crew can step off the transom onto the dock. Thereafter, the stern dockline is snubbed and the boat can be levered onto the dock with the engines.

Windage is a huge problem and you have to be very careful if the winds at the dock are more than 10 knots. If the winds are over 25, manoeuvring can be really hair raising. For example, it may not be possible to rotate the bows through the wind with engines full throttle, one forward one reverse. Keep the daggerboards at least halfway down and, if you have the choice, keep the stern of the boat into the wind rather than trying to swing the bows into the wind.

Single Engine Manoeuvering

With one engine you can drive the boat forwards. You have to start gently or you'll just spin doughnuts. In reverse you can only spin doughnuts so docking the boat under one engine has to be done monohull style.

Power to Sail or Vice-Versa

To minimize shock loads, I try to start or stop the engines with the boat speed less than 5 knots. To shut off the engines:

  1. if necessary pinch up to slow the boat to 5 knots or less
  2. switch buzzers off
  3. kill engines
  4. shift into reverse
  5. turn ignitions off

If you leave the transmission in neutral, the props will freewheel causing huge amounts of drag. Even though the card indicates that the transmissions should be in forward, I use reverse because that is the direction that the prop is "trying" to spin. I checked with Brunton (the Autoprop manufacturer) on this. In either forward or reverse it is the engine's compression that is locking the prop, but on the off chance that you somehow succeed in overcoming the compression, starting a diesel forward (which is what it will do if you have the transmission in reverse) is innocuous while starting it in reverse may destroy the engine.

Shifting from sail to power is a bit simpler as the transmissions are automatically shifted to neutral when the engine is started. Again, we try and keep the speed less than 5 knots.

Reefing

Generally, we put the first reef in the main as soon as we see a true wind speed of 15 knots or greater. This rarely causes any reduction in boat speed. The second reef comes in in the low to mid twenties. After that, I'd roll up the jib, then go the third reef if trying to work to the windward. Or drop the main and run with jib alone if running downwind.

It is possible to reef on any point of sail, but somewhat easier on the gear (and crew) to round up. Too reef when running downwind, snub the main halyard around the winch pedestal and ease it out while grinding in the appropriate reef.

When reefing, remember to pull in the unused reefing lines (usually second and third) as you go. They will foul the windex units or the radar on the targa bar if left loose.

Watch reefing lines for chafe at the grommets. Generally I get the reefing lines cut long so that I can cut off the end as it chafes. A liberal application of McLube to the line and grommet does wonders. Spectra reefing lines are supposed to be much better with respect to chafe. An excellent career path for old halyards.

The safe maximum true windspeed for the spinnaker is 12 knots, for the screecher, 15.

Tacking

Here's the optimal sequence for a single-handed tack:

  1. loosen mast rotation
  2. let traveller down
  3. make sure opposite traveller is secure
  4. set up opposite jib sheet, one wrap
  5. turn off autopilot & get the boat trimmed
  6. Note new compass course or landmark
  7. walk to wind sensor switch and switch it to new tack
  8. return to helm and put it hard over
  9. release jib sheet as soon as the pressure comes off it
  10. cross to other helm and sheet in
  11. steer to new course and engage autopilot

Thanks to Dave Gilman for perfecting that sequence.

Jybing

Jybing is quite similar to tacking. If there's crew extra, snubbing the opposite traveller (1 wrap) and easing it as the boom comes across is easier on the gear. Pulling in the mainsheet as the boom comes over and then easing it out gently also eases shock loads.

  1. shorten main sheet
  2. center the traveller
  3. make sure opposite traveller is secure
  4. turn off autopilot & get the boat trimmed
  5. Note new compass course or landmark
  6. walk to wind sensor switch and switch it to new tack
  7. return to helm and put it hard over
  8. steer to new course and engage autopilot
  9. grind in new jib sheet while easing out the old.

Helm

The hydraulics have been trouble free. If you're berthed in a dusty environment for a long time, it is recommended to wipe the rams clean with an oily rag before using the helm. The hydraulic seals were replaced about a month after launch and the hydraulic technician suggested that the seal failure was probably due to construction dust. The symptom of seal failure is dripping hydraulic oil.

Over time, the rudders may get out of parallel. Symptoms of this are the boat performin better on one tack than on another and the rudder indicator going to hard over on one side but not the other. To fix this condition you get the boat going straight and fast and then open the hydraulic bypass valve on the hydraulic lines in the starboard side of the aft beam. You'll need to climb down into the starboard engine compartment to get at the valve. Keep the valve open for a few seconds without touching the helm and the water pressure should realign the rudders.

Daggerboards

In close quarters, You'll find that it is quite difficult to manoeuvre the boat with the daggerboards up, particularly in any sort of breeze. When motoring, we keep the boards about half down (top of the board even with the top lifeline). This makes the boards as deep as the rudders so if you run aground you'll do so with the board which you can then raise as you back off. With the boards half down we usually keep the board downhaul line loose so that the boards are free to rise if we hit something. Otherwise, we keep both lines tight. When motoring for long distances with no danger of running aground, pulling the boards all the way up is best.

Mast Rotation

Generally, we rotate the mast so that it matches the curve of the sail. You can depower by straightening the mast out, but it is generally better to reef and have a fully powered up sail with a CE closer to the boat.

For night watches we frequently leave the mast rotation off so that the boat can be tacked without having to leave the cockpit. Just pulling the rotator over without cleating it seems to get a fair amount of rotation.

If I was serious about racing, I'd run the rotation controls back to the cockpit next to the jib winches.

Anchoring

The anchor sticks rather tightly in the launcher. Generally I like this as it doesn't bounce around under way, however, it can be a bit of a pain to unstick, particularly if someone has accidentally trodden on the windlass foot switches. SOP is to sit on the bow beam, push on the anchor with your feet while wiggling the shank with your hand.

The windlass is prone to overriding the rope portion of the rode. If it does this enough times, the plastic fleming that strips the rode off the windlass will be destroyed. I've replaced the fleming three times already and make a point of keeping a spare on hand. You can use the windlass without the fleming but it is very slow.

The rode consists of 30 meters of chain and 60 metres of 16mm nylon. As a practical matter we can anchor in about 5 - 6 meters of water with an all-chain rode. An acceptable scope unless you're expecting winds over 20 knots. If conditions are marginal make sure that you have at least an 8:1 scope.

Always put on the bridal when anchoring as the boat tends to sail around on a single rode. I use a rolling hitch to attach the bridal to the rope, the chain claw for the chain. If anchoring very shallow, 3 meters or less, the chain claw can hit bottom and fall off the chain. For this reason, I usually tie a clove hitch just in front of the claw as a safeguard. I also put a half hitch around the windlass drum to keep all the rode from being pulled out if the bridal falls off.

The current bridal is just a bit too long. It chafes against the bobstays when pulling hard and hits the bottom when anchoring shallow. I'd make the new one nylon, a bit shorter, and possibly incorporate some of those big rubber bungees to ease the shock loads.

The anchor winch switches at the helms no longer work, probably due to corrosion. I haven't fixed them because we never use the switches due to the override problems with the windlass. For solo anchoring, I just come head to wind and run up to the anchor locker.

Engines

Oil Change

The recommended interval is 150 hours. I've been aiming for every 100 hours and generally get it done between there and 120 hours. I've been using Mobil1 synthetic oil.

Always keep spare oil and at least 1 complete oil change in the boat.

Spare belts for the alternator and raw water pump live in the tool trays in the engine room.

Fuel

I've never had a problem with bad fuel. I use a fuel treatment against bacteria and water and try to keep the tanks full. The fuel gauges seem to stick so I never trust them. I use 5 liters per hour as a fuel consumption estimate.

I make it a policy to fill and use onely one tank at a time so that there's always a complete tank (and jerry cans) of good fuel. When switching tanks, remember to switch the fuel return as well.

If both engines cut out at the same time, you have a fuel problem. Most likely, the current tank is too empty and sloshing has allowed air to get into the lines. Unless the sea is quite smooth, I'd avoid going lower than a quarter of a tank.

Alternators

Proper belt tension (tight!) is very important as the alternators are quite powerful. I check the belts every 10 engine hours (or so) and reapply belt-grip spray. To tension the belts or to install a new belt, you'll need the socket wrench, long extension, 12mm socket, and the big screwdriver.

The alternators can each take up to 5hp from each engine. If you're in some sort of emergency situation where you need full engine power and the batteries are a bit discharged there are switches (below the main electrical panel) on the field wires which will turn the alternators off.

In general, if leaving an anchorage, I start the motors 10 minutes early and take care of the bulk of the battery charging before attempting to manoeuvre. If you're going to shred a belt it will probably happen when the alternators are at full chat.

Use only Gates or Dayco heavy duty toothed belts. Keep a couple of spares on hand.

Systems

Electrical

Generally, the solar will keep up with the fridge. If leaving the boat at the dock, for as long as a week, I think it is safer and easier on the zincs not to be plugged in to shore power.

When cruising, I think it is best to motor once a day in the morning. Even if only at the 85% level, the AGM batteries can accept a large amount of amperage. Running the motors early will quickly get the batteries to the 90% - 95% level. Solar is ideal for the remainder of the charging, vastly better than running the engines lightly loaded.

Typically, if we start the day at 100% charge, we're down to 80% - 90% charge in the morning depending on how late we stayed up, if we used the anchor light, etc. With good solar and careful water use it is quite possible to go two or even three days without running the engines but charging from 60% puts a lot more wear and tear on the belts and the watermaker likes to be run daily anyway.

Watermaker

We usually run the watermaker once a day when we run the engines. It works more efficiently with the full 14.4 volts provided by the alternators.

The watermaker really likes to be run daily. If you can't run it for a couple of days there's no problem, longer than that and we'll usually flush it with fresh water, either watermaker water or rainwater. Chlorine is bad for the membrane.

Clean the strainer whenever it looks bad and replace the paper filter every 4 months or so. The manual says to wait to change the filter until the feed pressure rises but it looks so awful that I always change it earlier.

Heads

The heads are a "waterline" installation. Waterline is about at the top of the bowel, so the bowel will gradually fill unless the pump switch at the base of the head is set to empty the bowl.

We find that flushing a couple of cups of vinegar one a week or so keeps things clean and nice smelling. If you notice that the water you pump in is smelling bad, this seems to be caused by the water in the intake hose going stale. Detaching the input hose from the head and pouring a little vinegar down it seems to take care of the problem.

If leaving the heads for a while, flushing with vinegar and a couple of gallons of fresh water is recommended.

If you get a clog it is probably due to excessive TP. Don't force the pump handle. The flap valve at the bottom of the bowl is also a safety valve and will "blow," producing a really spectacular geyser, if too much force is applied to the handle. Best strategy is to let it sit for a couple of hours, then retry the pump.

Grey Water

There is a lint/hair screen in the portside sump which must be cleaned regularly. If it clogs, water may back up into the head drain. After cleaning the sump, verify that the pump is primed and the float switch operational. Generally, boiling water seems to help remove the oily soapy residue from the plumbing and a cup or so of vinegar keeps things smelling fresh.