Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Leaning Towards San Diego

Researching and trying to hunt down a new spinnaker for the upcoming season. Have sidetracked from sailing for a bit but time to get my head back in the game.

I also joined the race committee and have first meeting tomorrow night. Hoping to get a bit more insight into regatta planning, course layout etc....Anything to keep feeding the knowledge machine.

Have a line on a San Diego spinnaker, and awaiting details on another North Sail spinnaker. I am starting to understand the difference between the San Diego and Newport Designs that are out there for the J/24. Found the North Sails had a nice concise explanation for the two different designs.

From what I have read so far I think I am leaning towards the San Diego spinnaker. Looks like it is a more versatile sail for the winds that I will encounter on the lake this year.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Show Me the Wind

First purchase for the upcoming season will be a racing compass. So far the Taktick compass is the front runner. This is a mast mounted compass that will allow me to see data on the helm without having to rely on only the tactitian or trimmer to relay the data, letting the crew concentrate on the tasks at hand.

This particular compass seems to check out on the J24 class requirements so far. I will have to do some more investigating to be sure.

Technical plus factors for this compass are:

  • wireless

  • start timer

  • tracks wind shifts

  • large display

  • computes line bias

  • shock resistant

  • waterproof

The next step is to check to see if the compass transducer fits the current through hull fitting, if not assess what work will be required to make it fit. Also will check out some forums to see if I can find out what the top guys are using.

Will be searching for a spinnaker next. Any thoughts on the compass good or bad please send me feedback.

Apologies to Gary Jobson

In the previous post I incorrectly referenced Gary Jobson as the author of the North U trim guide. The actual author is Bill Gladstone. Must be all the post holiday lack of blood circulation to gray matter syndrome. Sorry Gary (not that you would actually be reading this post!) The article is correct now.

Monday, January 02, 2006

North U Trim

Mentioned a while back, after posting bits and pieces of Bill Gladstone's North U course material, that I was going to purchase the course material in full form and review it. Well Santa brought me the North U Trim Guide this year.

Most of the stuff I have read from Bill Gladstone has been extremely useful and packed with strategy and technique. But I have to say I am a little disappointed right now. I am about a third of the way through the first of two CD's. As I popped the CD into my Mac running OSX, that's right, the publishers of the CD had enough foresight and courtesy to offer the material in an OSX compatible format (which is not difficult given the multimedia software apps that are available in today's production houses) the menu appeared with a great preview of the content.

This is where it starts to fall apart. Now I may be a little bias here because I have spent a good part of my life developing material and presentations for corporate clients but what I saw on the CD hardly uses the media to it's advantage.

If you have ever sat through a really poor Powerpoint presentation then you can sympathize. The animation (a couple boats crossing each other used over and over) has no bearing on the information, the voice over really is poor quality and badly written and read (sorry Bill) and the actual content is primarily contained in the voice over with very little text support to re-enforce or visuals to explain. The video clips on the CD are small and poor quality. The clips play after the voice over is finished and the clips themselves are not shot for the CD but rather a dropped in to give the CD the illusion of multimedia.

I will continue to view the entire contents of both CD's and do so once or twice again to make sure I have given it a proper review and will report back again on my final findings. But right now I would hold off purchasing the CD set and concentrate on the paperback version. Seadated informed me that the book is a better buy and I am believing it right now!