This year for Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Open House Regatta – Jess and I finally got the Snipe out for this event. This was a progressive start race and we just barely made our start time. The wind started out good out of the west and we had more of it to work with as one of the first boats to start.
By the time we round Piankatank 8 we had passed the boats ahead of us and had a few shining moments in the lead before the big boats rolled us. We got through 80% of the course and were just off Stove Point when the wind shut off again. At the prospect of sitting out there for a while and missing the raft up – we dropped out and took a tow in.
The raft up was fun as ever and we got to cruise on Mad Hatter for ride back around afterward.
PICTURES | RESULTS
We got Jess’s snipe back in the water for the first time this year. We made some upgrades – mainly new halyards and halyard turning blocks in the mast.
We got to FBYC early for the One Design Spring Series #2 event – Jess towed the boat behind the jeep for the first time – and we got everything rigged and in the water. We were a little late to the start of racing and caught the 3rd race. We were in the Portsmouth class with two San Juan 21s.
We were about halfway up the first leg when the halyard that we had just installed broke – putting our jib in the water. We attempted to sail under main alone, but got stuck in irons and so far behind we gave up on that race. For the next race I drove under main alone around the short 2 lap windward leeward. We still managed to beat the San Juan 21s around the course, but one of them corrected on time to tie with us so we got a 1.5 for the one race we finished.
RESULTS | PICTURES
We started the Memorial Day Weekend by hosting a Young Adult Member cookout at FBYC. We had a great turnout of nearly 40 people and beautiful weather for a party that apparently went well into the night.
Jess and I spent Saturday morning putting the Snipe together for the first time since Labor Day of last year. We fixed a few things along the way including some trouble with the main halyard that kept jumping the sheave at the top of the mast. Eventually we made it onto the water and sailing pretty good in the 10-14 knots of wind. About 20 minutes into our sail we heard a pop, saw the jib come down a little bit and realized that we blew out a block at the bottom of the mast for the jib halyard. We sailed in and ended our hopes to sail the boat again tomorrow.
With the Strange Bird Snipe restored it was time to take it for a sail. Jess, Laurie and I rigged it and went for the first sale on what turned into a gorgeous Monday of Labor Day Weekend. Even better – she floats! We took turns sailing while figuring out how everything is rigged and what still needs some work.
It’s been a goal to get the Snipe Strange Bird out sailing before the end of the year and it looks like this might happen on Labor Day weekend. Since I picked it up in December a lot has been done to it to get it back into sailing shape:
- patched holes in the hull
- strengthened, reinforced and repaired damaged rails
- fixed dings in the hull and smoothed it out
- built a trailer
- reinforced the deck under the seating
- patched the centerboard trunk
- cleaned and oiled the splash board and rub rails
- re-ran halyards in the mast
- replaced all running rigging
I made another trip to Dallas in May to visit Jess that started out with a few delays getting there. The plane I was scheduled to get on at LaGuardia had gotten hit by another plane on the way to the gate. It was fun watching the commentary on twitter and contributing to it. Fortunately, the damage was minor with no injuries and just an inconvenience for all of the passengers affected.
The first night in Dallas Jess and I joined Tim on his Flying Scot and we sailed down the lake near the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden where they were having their Thursday night concert series. We listened to a Michael Jackson tribute band while we relaxed on the water having drinks and eating dinner while we were surrounded by Stand Up Paddle boarders. I had never been to a raft up where the Flying Scot was the ‘big boat’
On Friday Jess and I went to Fort Worth and had the most Texas date ever – steak dinner followed by a rodeo followed by a honky tonk.
On Saturday I got to sail a snipe for the first time on a very light-air day at Corinthian Sailing Club. Lauren let me sail her boat while Andrew and Jess practiced their light-air boat-handling for Nationals later this summer.
Sunday we relaxed and I made the trip back to Richmond.
Late last year I came by a Snipe and began getting it back into sailing shape this year. One element to getting it sailing was to get a road-worthy trailer under it. After trading some cash and an old AppleTV I got a used Laser 2 trailer that would fit the snipe nicely. I replaced some of the hardware, addeda jack and new wiring and lights. The hardest part would be building the bunks and what made it harder was the fact that I’d have to do it while the boat stayed upside down in my backyard.
We made a pattern for the bottom of the hull by using a jig to draw a line on the board that matched the shape of the hull. See the device here.
The shape fit the hull perfectly and just needed to be mounted to the trailer.
And the boat finally upright on the trailer:
More pictures of the trailer build starting here.
My adventure with the Snipe sailboat began in early December. It’s a boat that has intrigued me since looking at pictures of the 1st Snipe World Championship at the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club when I was growing up. My girlfriend Jess has been sailing them in Dallas and I think for a variety of reasons they could be a good boat at FBYC for those that would want something smaller and with fewer sails than a Flying Scot. A Laser sailing friend of mine has one that he hasn’t sailed for some time and said I could have it for a case of beer. So today I rented a trailer and went up and got it. It’s going to need some work, but it’ll make a good boat for getting started in the Snipe.
This month a few of my photos were published in US Snipe Sailor. When I got the request I was quite surprised that my photos of Lasers were wanted for an article in the US Snipe Class magazine.