Welcome Aboard!

These pages will cover the restoration and upgrades I have done to a 1979 Choate 40.
I acquired the vessel in poor condition at a reasonable price and so far have put twice that amount into her.
From the evidence I have found, she had been de-masted, run aground several times, slightly flooded, run hard and put away wet.
Fortunately, she had new standing rig with a used mast from a Catalina 40 and a recent head job on the motor.
The rest of the info I'll segregate into pages for detailed information.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Sails & rigging

When I acquired the vessel the sails were old and didn't fit the boat. From evidence it appeared that the original rig had a roller furling. Probably a Schaefer since most all the rest of the deck gear was Schaefer. It came with a bunch of sails, 2 mains, a trisail, spinnaker, an odd screecher with a long pointie foot, 2 roller kevlar taped genoa's one really old and a hank on genoa that's luff was too short, but the best of the bunch.

The mainsail had a shelf in it, which I had cut out to see if it would perform any better. NOT!

So, after a couple seasons and while installing the hyd. steering I bought a new boom 17' long with end castings and a track with traveller car. I cut off abot 5" so it would fit inside the backstay.  The old main foot was 13'6".  You can see, below,  how stretched out the old mainsail was. The foot on the new sail is 16'.

On a close haul it seemed I was fighting the tiller and it didn't matter whether I had the mainsail up or not. At this point I decided I need more main sail, and to reduce the genoa to balance out the boat. I purchased a loose footed mainsail with 4 full battens and a Strongtrack system. At 442.7 sq. ft. using Challenge 8.62 HA (100%) material, with very little roach.

The Strongtrack is for a 46.5 luff, which I'm very happy with It's a lot easier to get the sail up and drops like a rock when released. The battens are clamped into the cars, eliminating the twist/wrinkle syndrome at on most bolt-rope sails. Quantum builds a great sail IMO.

The full batten sails made a world of difference. I can actually sail on the main alone. Before it was like a slug. I think running the COE farther aft help as well. I went with two reefing points. I haven't put any ties in them since I'm not doing any off-shore sail for now. But do plan to use some strong bungee's like soft shackles, to keep the eyelets from getting damaged.

At first I attached the clew to the car but found out I didn't have enough outhaul power even with a 4:1 purchase, which are inside the boom. I tied on a block and it helped but now I have to run the system a bit different then I planned. There's not really enough room in the boom for more purchase blocks with a reefing system installed. And I'd rather keep that.

So, I had a clew block sown into the sail. I wanted to use the boom car as the outhaul, now the car wants to move around so I added a second line to the car and run it under the boom to a cam cleat. 
Due to the length of the boom I don't like to run it too far out port or stbd in a rough sea (boom dipping). With the way I set it up I can run the boom out 45ยบ and then ease off on the outhaul/car to create enough form in the sail for reaching or running. I can balloon out the sail w/o having it rub against the mast shrouds. I do have to use the topping lift to keep the boom off the bimini. But my vang is also spring loaded.

This is the section I cut off the new boom. And the SS vang attachment I made to fit on the under side. The factory attachment wouldn't work.

Then came the lazy jacks................................

At first I went with 3 legs but later on went with a 4th. The stiff off-shore mainsail needed more support to keep it from rolling out.

I don't like lazy jacks flopping or leaving marks on the sails so I designed them, from ideas on the web, to stow away while sailing. They're not tight here, while up for the winter.

It was a bit of a tangled mess at first but learned fairly quick how to keep all the lines organized. The cleats were already on the mast so all I had to do was install cheek blocks up the mast and put a couple storage hooks on the boom head.

The next year I went for a roller-reefing system using a 310-17 series Furlex, which is a size up from their recommendation.  I seen them at the boat show along with others and liked the construction over the other furling systems.
I went for the full UV cover and foam luff for reefing.

Installing the fittings at the masthead was a real job that required some assistance from the wife below. I had a bucket on a line I could raise/lower for tools and such.

I made a special toggle of heat treated 316L SS.
 I wanted the foot of the genoa to just touch the bow pulpit. I've seen too many black streaks on the foot of foresails. Also, it would give me a better view forward.  After it was installed I had a 135% genoa made. Even at that the vessel is over rigged in Sq. ft. of sail. The genoa is 551.6 sq. ft. , making it a total of 994.3 sq. ft of sail area. Never less, I start reefing before 20 kts. of continuos wind.

The furling line takes 3-4 wraps when the sail is all rolled up to prevent any wear on the line clamp connection, where most furl lines brake.

The line runs aft thru stanchion blocks, a cheek block and the winch.

The which I plan to replace with a Lewmar 14 ST, which I have already, so I don't have to hold the line while trying to get the furl started. It seems I need both hands to crank the handle.  Once I get a few wraps on the furling I don't need the winch, unless it's really blowing.

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