Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The vessel has an engineered, composite structure built from laminated foam board. The core structure is made with a standard foam (used to make fridges, surfboards, boats) with a manufactured Polyethylene Terephthalate fabric glued and vacuum bagged to it. The voids in the structure are filled with high quality PET bottles...that's it.
Take a look at this picture:
Monday, April 26, 2010
" The first voyage of the restored Cangarda.
The restoration of Cangarda, the last American Edwardian steam yacht, 1901, has been ongoing for five years. At 126 feet on deck but only a seventeen foot she is a long and skinny boat. Built as a cruising yacht she was expected to be fast for her day and with a flashy look. It has been great to undertake this restoration. The team led by Jeff Rutherford have done a great jog on the construction. Tony Guild was the master of getting a Certificate of Inspection from the Coast Guard. Now it was time for the first open ocean voyage of Cangarda. The plan was to sail from San Francisco to Los Angeles, only four hundred mile voyage but enough to test Cangarda.
Friday at 8:00 am I arrived at the Coast Guard Headquarters in Alameda California. Presence was requested to be present at the signing of the Certificate Of Inspection by the Commander of the operation for the Sector. Quite an event. A full presentation before probably a hundred CG personal, pictures et al.! For three days previous to this the Coast Guard had been completing the inspection of Cangarda. This included the inspection of the CO2 fire suppression system for the engine room, indeed a great thing to have for this vessel, as well as all the other safety equipment. The detail to safety elements was immense. The next day was a test and verification of the system that controls the boiler and burner management. In essence this was like taking your laptop and testing each module on the backplane of the PC to ensure that it communicated accurately to the next. This was a full days effort and highly intense. The third day was sea trials which included the normal testing of the different steering systems (including the tiller) but also demonstrating the use of each of the dinghies and launch. The end included a testing of the pressure relief valves and other items. All along the way you never know if the inspectors will come up with something else they want or if they will ever be satisfied. Finally it was done. After two years of effort to clear our system with the Coast Guard (which was built so well that we did not have to change any systems except one component of the Ethernet equipment) we were to be granted the COI just as they would issue to a thousand foot ship.
Friday evening the crew assembled for a dinner. We were to depart for Los Angeles. One never sails on Friday and we intended to sail with a favorable flood tide at 2:00 am. I went into my cabin to sleep asking to be awakened when we crossed under the Golden Gate. At 4:00 the electrician came in to pick up his tools and leave. Last minute work. The first delay. Steam came up and we left the dock at 6:00 and on our way.
Outside the seas were running a nine foot swell with two to three foot wind waves. A north westerly was to blow of some ten to twenty knots by prediction. Not too bad. We planned to go right out into the sea and sail in the middle of all this to test Cangarda in the sea with consideration of roll on the boiler. The tide was flooding hard with the beginning of the ebb on the south shore so we stayed to the right. Out on the horizon one could see the seas rolling. When we were out into the seas the boat performed very well. She slides down the waves. The stabilizers make it all tolerable and while we had alarms on the drum level we had no trips (the water in the steam drum of a boiler is critical to be at a minimum level or the fire is terminated).
We sailed along through the morning until about one in the afternoon when suddenly the burners both tripped. For obscure reasons we had air in the oil lines making a foam. The burners would not stay lit. Cangarda was dead in the water, no steam. wallering beam to the nine foot seas. Finally, after rolling in the beam seas, we decided to quit the automated system and light the burners in manual and force the air out of the system so we could relight in the automated state later. We performed the task needed to achieve this and indeed we were able to light the system off and run for several hours. However finally the air/fuel mixtures made operation of the burners impossible and we decided to go back to automated firing where the mixture of air and oil are worked carefully by the computers.
But the light off did not go smoothly. We were off Santa Cruse about twenty miles, again wallering in the seas that were building as the afternoon wind was building. A series of misseps kept us from getting a good light off until we realized that a specific trip switch that we had opened when we did the manual firing had not been released. With that misstep rectified we were able to relight and again the burners operated smoothly and we stared again about six in the evening. The only item is that we had been blown all the way past Monterey.
The boat did well in the beam seas. There were a few seas that did come aboard but in a minor way. There were a couple of seas (probably doubles of some eighteen feet) that some of the crew said could have put green water on the deck but did not. In the engine room the roll was not too severe but we are near the pivot line there. The wind had built to thirty five to forty knots. Finally we were glad to be back steaming and again riding down these swells, dipping the bowsprit into the waves and then surfing down. Nothing broken, all safe but a few seasick. The team did a great job sticking to the task until we had worked the last kink out of out problem. It is good to know that the element was not the fundamental control system. Just saltheads not having full command of the highly complex automation system of Cangarda.
We have had no events since this one problem. We are not off Santa Cruse Island (Ventura) and will be in Los Angeles tonight. All is well. It is nice and quiet sailing on a steam vessel. None of the roar of a internal combustion engine. Just like sailing. Cangarda performed well in difficult conditions. Nothing broke. We understand the complications that made for our five hour delay. This vessel deserves the respect of a good sea going boat.
Next challenge is getting to Maine.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Arrangement of masts and keels
In one of Sailing Anarchy's user forums they've already beat on this striped idiot. Check it out.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Cangarda and Cape James
At Tri-Coastal, we try not to reinvent the wheel, unless it really needs it. Cangarda, unfortunately has been held back a little by unnecessary wheel re-invention.
Cangarda's original awning
Some ridge poles, some guy wires, a few clever fittings...the awning was protective, useful and simple to set and strike. It was a refinement of a design that probably went back to the Babylonians. I think you can tell how critical the awning was to the operation of the yacht by the number of historic drawings we have on the awning fittings. At least half of the Pusey and Jones drawings we got from Hagley Museum are of awning fittings.
Cangarda's new awning frame
I don't know what the heck they have in mind for the new awning, but then I didn't design it. The top looks like it will make a pretty good airfoil!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Reaching down to Cruz Bay a few weeks before her end
Pride and its fatal end have been covered elsewhere. Tom Waldron wrote a book about the sinking. My chapter mostly covers the history of Baltimore Clippers in general and the construction and early days sailing it. I've already been remonstrated for one error in the chapter. I said that Pride never had a new, matched set of sails...obviously false as shown in these photos.
Post any other corrections, or email me.
Friday, May 15, 2009
What I admire most about Captain Nat is the way he handled relations with clients. In 1903, following the brilliant success of Ingomar, Kaiser Wilhelm (yes, that Kaiser Wilhelm, the supreme leader of the German Empire) contracted Herreshoff to build him a new racing schooner. When the model (Herreshoff designed hull forms using wooden models) was complete, the Wilhelm cabled Herreshoff and instructed him to make certain modifications to it. Herreshoff famously replied that he would build the vessel but could accept no design input--basically cancelling the contract with the Kaiser! (and thereby setting the gold standard for client management to which all yacht designer must aspire.) Anyhow, at the end of April, 1910, the Herreshoff schooner Westward crossed the Atlantic to take part in the Kiel Regatta, winning three out of four races, leaving a frustrated Kaiser Wilhelm II behind on his Meteor IV. (This was, of course, the true underlying cause of WWI).
His smaller yachts were also justly famous and are considered classics today with the old vessels patiently restored and new ones painstakingly built to his designs. Almost every issue of WoodenBoat magazine has an article about a Herreshoff restoration or new build. He was truly the "Wizard of Bristol", his designs were great and innovative, and the vessels were wickedly fast...for their era. Now, I don't relish a shit storm of angry responses on this, because NGH truly is like a god to me; however, design and technology have advanced since then.
I had this epiphany Wednesday night at the local SNAME meeting. Former TCM employee Brooks Dees was presenting his latest sport yacht design (I wrote about it previously), a GP-26. Part of the presentation was boat rides. I watched from the dock as Brooks backed out of the slip in front of the restaurant and proceeded to close reach up the Oakland Estuary at nine knots (in about 10 knots of true wind and with seven, somewhat overweight, naval architects on board). In minutes they were out of sight to windward. A moment later, a Buzzard's Bay 15 (much like this picture) dragged its classic wooden ass past us to leeward at a sedate two or three knots. The owner seemed content at the helm, wearing a Greek fisherman's cap.
Yachting in a Buzzard's Bay 15
Although the two boats are similar in size and intended use, they are separated by a hundred years of change. Now, not all change is good, and I'm sure that there are many traditionalists out there who (will rage on me as soon as I publish this)believe that one "can't improve on perfection". They would rather arrive sedately at three knots in a vessel of highly varnish wood than operate something made from carbon fibers.
I feel otherwise. Without parsing perfection, I suppose my argument is that sailing is always uncomfortable, so you might as well get it over with as fast as possible (which is why I windsurf). I don't know if Nat Herreshoff would necessarily agree with that, but I suspect (if he were alive today) he would be appalled that people still build, and claim to enjoy "racing" his 100+ year old designs.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Leaving Richmond Marina (Albany Hill in the background)
A little bow trimThe crew is making progress with the vessel. The automation and boiler managment system are much more stable and seem to be working better. Previously, there were several problems with the steam plant. One of the big ones was maintaining the burner flame when turned down low. They've spent a tremendous amount of time adjusting the steam atomization, fuel pressure, etc. Now (from a distance), it seems to be working... for the first time both burners have operated at once.
Indeed, although Cangarda is working much better, there is still a great deal to do on the regulatory side before the USCG will let the vessel go to the East Coast. Stay tuned.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The vessel is operating under automation now, and navigated around San Francisco Bay this weekend for about twelve hours. According to Steve Cobb, they reached 205 shaft rpms (~ 10 knots), which is about 80% of the theoretical maximum. So far, it looks like our propeller calculations were good (whew!)... the prop seems to perfectly matched to the vessel and the power plant. We won't be able to determine that for sure until we can conduct full sea trials.
The owner is quite anxious to move the vessel to the East Coast; however, there are still a few bugs to work out and regulatory barriers to hurdle. Stay tuned.