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Last Month of Season 3 beginning

Aug 3, 2012
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
Upstate New York has been unusually cool at the end of Summer. Our temps are low-to-mid 70s in the day the last 2 weeks. I am sure we will get some warmer days yet, but will they line up with our days off?
I say this is the last month this year because we will probably take Firefly out of the water in early Oct. We have a trip planned in mid Oct, and we won’t return til late Oct, so we are thinking to remove her before we leave. We also have my friend’s Oday 26 to remove, so having our boat out of the way will be good.
The list of items to fix and upgrade is growing. The boat is in good shape, but 3 seasons of wear and tear are showing. Meanwhile, we are also planning some upgrades to get her more in shape for coastal cruising.
We will need a larger motor. Interestingly, the Telstar will accommodate up to a 50 hp motor! I would never hang that much weight on my boat. However, a 20 hp weighs nearly the same as a 9.9, and will get my boat moving with some power to spare for tides, currents, and inlets. We will also need to add a vhf radio. Being on the lake, we just use cell phone or our handheld vhf. The vhf records transmissions on any channel, and I have heard about 1 transmission a year. I have never heard one live. However, a longer range radio will be needed for cruising.

We will also are going to want a mast raising system we can carry easily. Luckily, the later Telstars came with a mast crane that used 2 sets of fixed struts that lift the mast and stand it up or lay it on deck nicely. We are going to look at fabricating a modified version of this in the offseason.

Steering is still an issue. I love that the boat has a kickup rudder, but that means using a linkage from the quadrant to the rudder head. That linkage builds in lots of slop. It is appalling. I have considered bushings and spacers, but each link only has a little play. Added together, it is like an accordion. I am not sure how I would dampen it reliably. I am brainstorming all sorts of solutions: wire and chain, cable, hydraulic. I do not want to lose feel, but I need smooth, tight, powerful steering force. When she is going fast, steering force gets large with a small tiller. Yes, I shortened the tiller, but the boat has a small cockpit, and most T2 owners shorten their tillers.
I cannot fix the rudder in place either. I need it to kick up for putting the boat on a trailer. Once it is on the trailer, I remove the rudder for transport. It is quick to remove.

My mast lighting deck connectors will have to be moved if I build a mast crane. The base of the mast will slide forward out of a shoe, so the deck connectors will be in the way. I will move them to the side.
The port outrigger continues to get water in it. It went from 1/2 inch last week to 2 inches this weekend. I am convinced that it is from the hull-deck flange, so I will do a thorough investigation in the Fall. The flange is pathetically thin. Light is good. Frail is not good. I am determined to have dry outriggers! I am also tempted to install a small bilge pump in them, but I should wait to see if I can fix the leaking first. I may build up the flange, so I can install a proper rubrail.

Reefing is another issue. Right now, my wife hands me the desired reefing line, and I haul it as she eases the main halyard. No problem so far. Then, she ties the reefing bunts. The problem is that the reefing lines are in-boom with no real cleats except for little locking cams beneath the gooseneck. She has to reach under, find the cam, and swing it up while I release the line, so it locks the cam. It works, but it is a poor design. We are going to add blocks and clutches, so we can lead the lines outside the boom, through both the leech and luff reefing cringles, and aft to the cockpit. Thus, I can release the line, and the sail will stay reefed while she ties the bunts.

The outhaul is also an in-boom device. I will leave it in the boom because it probably has a 4:1 setup, but I am going to run that line aft to the cockpit too. Now, I have to turn off the wind to ease pressure on the sail, go to the mast, haul the outhaul, and lock the little cam. I will probably need to add a small winch forward of the clutches to adjust the outhaul.

These few changes will make the boat much easier to sail and faster to adjust.

So, we will sail her through the end of Sept. We hope for more good days like today!

  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I take it you will be trailering to the coast next year, but is there a canal route into and out of Seneca?

-Will (Dragonfly)
Aug 3, 2012
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
Yes. The Erie Canal connects Seneca to Lake Ontario and even the Hudson River!