Written by Kevin Morin
After many trials and errors, we have found that winterizing boats with the Nickels Boat Works winterizing kit is the only quick and reliable method. Their kit comes with a tarp, a tenting brace, and the necessary lines. Their system installs very quickly (under 30 minutes), and last without trouble through an entire winter season. Their winterization system works for boats that have trailering covers in place, and ones that don't have covers.
Here are the installation steps:
-If the mast is on the mast stand, remove it and set it on the deck of the boat.
-Tie the rear support line to the aft most portion of the trailer near the bunks with bowlines. [picture of the tie down hooks built in to the trailer] The line (when stretched out) should peak at the skeg. [picture of the tie down adjusted correctly]
-Tie the main tent line to the rear support line with a bowline. [picture of the rear support line and the main tent line tied together]
-Run the main tent line through the cleat on the tenting brace and place carpet under each leg of the tenting brace.
-Install the redirection block on to the mast stand. [picture of the redirection block]
-Run the main tent line from the tenting brace to the redirection block. [picture of the main tent line mostly installed.]
-Tie the main tent line down to the tongue of the trailer and snug the main tent line so that it is very taught.
-Verify that the tenting brace, main tent line and the rear support line look well installed.
-Throw the tarp over the tent lines and tie it down to the trailer
A: ASC board members:
By: Geoff Wright and committee
As chair of the boats committee I'd like to (finally) make a formal recommendation for
the "official" ASC successor to the Skipjack.
The ASC has long been using our current fleet of Skipjacks. These boats serve three
core purposes for the club:
1 - They are our teaching boats for the yearly adult sailing class
2 - They are boats for members to use for recreational sailing throughout the year
3 - They serve as our "one-design racing fleet"
I believe that the time has come to start replacing the Skips with an official successor
#1 - Age
These boats are getting long in the tooth. They were built (I think) in the late 60s and
show quite a bit of wear. All have more than a few soft-spots in the hull (Blue #4 is a
particular issue since the whole floor is starting to go), all are "creatively rigged" to work
around missing or broken equipment, and in general these boats are not far away from
I don't know how much longer these boats will last. We may manage to get five or
more years out of them and I think it is in the best interest of the ASC to keep them
going as long as they are safe and fun to sail. But I fear that the demands of the class
and our expanding membership are going to hasten their inevitable end. Further, since
the boats are all of the same vintage, it's possible that we could loose several in quick
#2 - Cost
Replacing these boats will be expensive. Purchasing a "gently
used" equivalent (similar size and sailing characteristics) to the Skipjack will run
somewhere between 5k and 10k (depending on the make and age of the boat) minus
transportation costs. These are likely to be another 1.5k+ per boat. (And it could be
worse if we have to bring in these boats one-by-one.)
The ASC will be hard-pressed to fund adding more than one boat every other year year
to the fleet, and unless we grow our membership even this may be a stretch. Because
of this I think the ASC needs to start planning and saving NOW.
#3 - Racing
Part of the mission of the ASC is to promote one-design racing. The Skip is a "dead
boat". New Skips haven't been made for decades, and there is no real used market.
So as stands that no way for ASC member to purchase our official one-design class.
I've spent most of last winter researching the question of what boat to recommend as an
official replacement for the Skipjack. In process I've asked for input from many ASC
members, done research online, and spoken to many of my racing friends from Back
This exercise quickly led me to the conclusion that I needed concrete criteria by which
to review possible candidates. Here's what I came up with in order of priority:
The official successor to the Skipjack needs to be:
A good boat for novice sailing. This is important in order for the yearly class to be a
success. It's also probably important from a member-retenstion standpoint. If
new members feel frustrated with or frightened of the club boats they'll less likely
to stick around.
Sturdy and long-lasting. It's expensive to bring a boat to Alaska, so we need
something that will last for a long time once we get it up here. Further, a boat
that needs a great deal of repair work and upkeep will be a drain on the club in
terms of both money and volunteer time.
Very popular and established. This is critical for a number of reasons. First, a
popular boat will have a strong used market and this will allow both members and
the ASC to purchase boats at a reasonable price. Second, it makes finding
replacement parts and equipment much easier. Third, it means that we'll have a
large community of sailors to turn for advise regarding repairs, tuning, etc.
A fun boat to sail in the prevailing conditions at Big Lake. The wind at the lake is
usually fairly light, and a boat the performs poorly in these conditions is going to
be no fun to sail or race most of the time. At the same time, the water at the
lake is fairly cold for most of the year, so we need a boat that isn't going to
capsize on a regular basis.
A good boat for sailors of all ages. There is a substantial age range at the ASC. We
need to boat that is, to the greatest degree possible, fun for both older and
younger sailors. This means that the boat needs to be interesting from a
performance standpoint but at the same time shouldn't require unusual strength
or agility to sail in normal conditions
A boat with a solid racing scene. If we're going to truly promote one-design racing,
then we need a class that will allows interested ASC member to compete
nationally should they so desire.
I reviewed quite a few boats against this criteria. The following list is top five
contenders in order from least workable to the best:
Laser. Lasers are great boats. They don't cost very much, they are great for
teaching (especially for teens), they are amazingly popular, are fun to sail and
they have one of the best racing scenes out there. They are also easy to
transport and reasonably priced. However, the have two fairly critical flaws
when judged against the above ASC criteria. First, they require a fair amount of
agility and strength to sail successfully. This means that older and less athletic
sailors will have a hard time with them. Secondly, they capsize very easily.
This means that it's inevitable that people sailing Lasers are going to spend some
time in the water. Novice sailors will probably end up spending a lot of time in
the water. And I think that this means that a Laser would be a pretty
discouraging boat to sail for the "average" ASC new member.
Wayfarer 16. The Wayfarer is similar to the Skipjack in terms of size and weight.
It's reputed to be an excellent boat for beginners and is extremely stable. They
are famous for being bulletproof, and many older Wayfarers from the 50s and
60s are still actively sailing and racing. Wayfarers are very popular in England,
Scandinavia and to a lesser extent in Canada. They don't carry a lot of sail
relative to their size and weight. This is a plus from a stability standpoint, but
hurts them in terms of light-air performance. Do to their stability, Wayfarers are
sailed and raced by sailors well into their 70s. The racing scene is pretty solid
but most of the competition is in Europe. I think the Wayfarer would be a solid
boat for the ASC except for two issues. First, their light-air performance is fairly
lackluster and second, most of the available used boats are in England.
Rebel 16. The Rebel is another "Skip-like" boat. It's well-known to be friendly for
beginners. The Rebel was the first one-design fiberglass boat build and is still
actively raced today. The boats are extremely sturdy and are easily available
used. They are fairly stable and better from a light-air standpoint than a
Wayfarer. Because of their stability they are often raced by older sailors and are
popular for teaching as well. They have a solid racing scene in the US. Rebels
have an unusually spacious cockpit so they can be sailed by three or even four
people. A big downside for the Rebel (at least from a racing / advanced sailing
standpoint) is that they do not have a spinnaker.
Flying Scot. The Flying Scott is "one size up" from the Skipjack. It's 19 feet long
and weighs about 800 pounds. They are very stable and comfortable to sail --
they are very, very difficult to capsize. Scots are popular for instruction, day
sailing and racing. On the Chesapeake Scots were very popular racing boats
favored by those who preferred tactical racing (where sail trim and position on
the course where more critical then crew weight and extreme boat handling) and
older sailors who had retired from more aggressive classes like International 14s
and 505s. They are extremely sturdy and have a very rich used market. They
have a large cockpit that makes them a comfortable day sailor for up to four
people. They are decent all-around performers, but because of their weight they
aren't at their best in light air. (Although they were very popular on the
Chesapeake Bay, and conditions there were similar to Big Lake.) The biggest
downside to Scots is that they hold their value very well, so used boats can be
spendy. The Scot has been included in the American Sailing Hall of Fame with
only 13 other boats.
Buccaneer. The Bucc is similar to a Scott from an overall dimensions standpoint, but
weighs about 300 pounds less and carries slightly less sail. The Bucc is like the
Scot in may respects but is a little more tender and faster -- especially in light air.
Buccs are actively sailed and raced, and have experiencing a lot of growth as a
class in the last five years. They are a sturdy boat -- hulls built in the 70s are
being competed successfully in the nationals. Buccs are a very popular boat,
especially on the great lakes. There have been just over 5000 boats built (about
the same as the Scot). Like the Scot, they are popular as a family day sailor
and gunkholer because of a roomy, comfortable cockpit and general stability.
The Bucc has a good reputation as a light-air boat and can plane in as little as
eight knots of wind.
In final analysis I think the Rebel, Scott and Bucc would all make a viable replacement
for the Skip. The Bucc is my favorite choice for a number of reasons:
Used boats are reasonably priced.
They are comfortable family sailing boat.
The are known to be good light-wind performers.
The class is experiencing a renaissance and is growing very rapidly.
They are easy to sail for beginners and offer growth potential for experienced sailors.
The Scot is a very close second choice. They are great boats, but relative to the Bucc
they are more expensive and a little bit less exciting to sail. Of course their extreme
stability is a plus from a teaching standpoint.
The Rebel would make a very practical choice as well. Unlike most 16 foot dinghies
they can comfortably accommodate more than two people. I think the lack of a
spinnaker would be a disappointment from a racing and performance sailing standpoint,
but not so much so that it should take them out of the running.
The fact that all of these boats can comfortable accommodate up to four people should
help us get more out of our club boats -- it means that a that we can get a more sailors
on the water with the same number of boats. This is a big advantage over the
I'm hoping that the board will take two actions in light of these recommendations:
First, it should bless a successor boat to the Skip. This would allow those of us
interested in purchasing boats for one-design racing to do so with assurance that we'll
have competition in the future.
Second, the board should consider a plan for bringing in boats to replace the Skips.
This means that we'll need to think about a schedule of replacement and how to support
this from a budget standpoint.
I'm available for questions at any point regarding these recommendations, and thank
you very much for your time and consideration.
By Kevin Morin
Examine/Replace the following each year:
-Trailer axle bearings cleaning and greasing
Examine/Replace the following every 3 years:
-Mast head fly
-Jib cloth external line (if line and not metal)
-Vang external line (if line and not metal)
Examine/Replace the following every 4 years:
-Trailer axle bearings full replacement
Examine/Replace the following every 5 years
-Trailer tie down straps
Examine/Replace the following every 7 years
-Control lines (Vang, Backstay, Cloth, Wire, Traveler, Bridle Height)
-Vang metal components
-Jib wire metal components
Examine/Replace every 10,000 miles of trailering