Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping Cool in July

The Memorial Day Cruise was great fun. The wind actually blew this year! For pictures and a summary please see page 5 and look for emails in the List when Ray & Sandy and the Adams' get their pictures out!

On June 6th, Vicki Lathom hosted a rendezvous on Luce Creek on the Severn. By all accounts this was a great event. Once again we tried to get the racing crowd to join in, but between family emergencies, and other instances of reality impinging on our sailing agendas, we were not able to do that. I am looking forward to attending next year. This is a short sail from where I keep Laughing Gull, and I really have no excuse.

By the time you all are reading this,
the heat of summer will have really set in. For us July and August are a a time of evening sails, and so often too much motoring around the Bay. An awning is a godsend. I am always a little surprised when I see a cruising Alberg without an awning in the heat of the summer. Awnings are fairly easy to make. I recently cut up an old sail to make one. This is great during the day, but does not handle the dew well at night. For those of that sleep in the cockpit, this means a potentially soggy morning - depending on the dew. There are plans on the web site for a simple awning using PVC tubing as spreaders. Obviously you cannot sail with this up, but because it mounts above the boom, it tends to let the air circulate and be a good solution for while at anchor.

I am a great fan of a dodger. in nasty weather a dodger has obvious advantages, and you can sail with it up. However, one not so obvious benefit is that during hot weather, it keeps the cabin MUCH cooler by keeping the sun from coming directly down the companionway hatch. Also, depending on how you design the dodger, it covers a decent chunk of the cockpit. I can sail tucked into the shade most of the time. I have an extension that comes off the back end of mine that reaches to the back stay. If you are not doing a lot of tacking, you can sail with this up. However, you need to be in the cruising mode, as it is a pain to tack (you have to put down your beer).

I do not have much experience with biminis. I would like one but as I also race I have resisted adding one. Currently it is OK to remove the dodger to race, but another set of hardware - that sounds like work. Regardless, I keep looking into it - I like the idea of being able to tack without having to wrestle the dodger extension. If anyone has plans for a dodger that they like, and allows them to quickly remove it and not have extraneous hardware that gets in the way, I would like to hear it.

Regardless of how you stay cool, enjoy the summer! Next time -- the report on the summer cruise, the Orioles game, and just how successful we all were at staying cool in Baltimore Harbor!!

No comments:

Post a Comment