Leech line solution

Leech line solution

Before I dive in to the main topic of this post, I want to wish all you stingy sailors out there a Happy Thanksgiving Day. Even if you don’t live in the US or don’t normally celebrate this holiday, I hope you can take some time today to express your gratitude for the blessings in your life with those around you that you love. Whether it’s good health, a loving family, a job that pays the bills, or just fond memories, we can all find something to be thankful for.

Let’s face it, if you’re reading this blog and you either already own a sailboat or are just thinking about getting one, you’re more prosperous than most of the people on our planet. I urge you to look for ways to share your prosperity with those who are less fortunate. On to the project!

The current sail inventory on Summer Dance is a collection of mostly older, original sails. The mainsail, at least, is from a different C-22. That means, besides the fact that these sails are well-used and a bit stretched out by now, that they were made before leech lines became a standard feature on most sails.

The mainsail is still in fair condition, the jib and genoa are in good condition. So far, my efforts to get better performance and longer life out of these sails has been to improve their ability to be trimmed properly by adding control lines: boom downhaul, mainsail outhaul, boom vang, and headsail pendant. These have helped the shape of the sails a lot but they don’t do much to extend their life other than to prevent them from flogging around as before. Even when trimmed properly now, the leeches often chatter in a fresh breeze, which breaks down the fabric and, in the case of the mainsail, causes extra wear on the partial batten pockets from the battens vibrating.

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Important address change

Important address change

It’s official. The $tingy Sailor blog now has its own domain name, stingysailor.com. In part due to your nudges, I registered the domain name this week. You can now forget the wordpress.com domain part and simply type stingysailor.com in your browser’s address bar to get here. If you have the old address bookmarked in your browser, it will continue to work and will redirect you to the new address or you can update it with the new address. If you haven’t bookmarked this site yet, now is a good time to do it. Then you can get here with a click anytime you want. It won’t get any simpler than that. Continue reading

Sunset from Hope, ID

From the skipper

A hearty Ahoy! to all you stingy sailors out there who have followed this blog this year. I’m not sharing a project with you this week to pass along a few personal comments and ask for your opinion.

Winter editorial schedule

First, I want to announce that I will be slowing down on posting new projects here over the winter. The northern hemisphere winter, that is. I did a LOT of work on Summer Dance this year and posted new projects here every week starting in March. While there’s still a lot more to do, I’ll spread it out over the winter. This is partly due to the size of some of the projects, partly due to the holidays coming, and partly due to some personal reasons.

But rest assured that you’ll be able to find plenty more fresh projects here, just not at such a fast pace, probably more like one a month until spring or summer. Things might pick back up then or I might start posting articles that aren’t only about restoration and improvement projects, I don’t know yet. If you have any suggestions for posts that you’d like a stingy spin on, please leave a comment about this post. The best way to stay tuned in and to follow what’s happening here is by subscribing to this blog by clicking the Follow button in the upper right side of this page. Then you’ll get an email message every time I post a new article.

It’s not about the numbers

But the numbers ARE interesting. At least to me and it’s my blog, so there you go. Seriously, though, it continues to amaze me how popular this blog has become. More than I would ever have imagined.

  • Google #1 ranked website about sailboat restoration
  • Over 70 project articles
  • Will soon exceed 60,000 page views
  • Over 300 views/day average. One day in August saw over 600 hits!
  • Visitors from over 100 countries. It’s a small world.
  • Five most popular countries:
    • US
    • Canada
    • Australia
    • UK
    • Netherlands (a shout out to my Dutch visitors: I work for a Dutch software company, MVG)
    • New Zealand
  • Three most popular posts:

Southern style

For those of you who live in the southern hemisphere and are starting your summer sailing season, I can only offer my apology. I sincerely appreciate all the Aussie, Kiwi, Saffer, and South American visitors who follow this blog. Tell your friends! I’d like to hear from you how these projects play down under. In between the new blog posts here, get out there and sail!

Future projects

So what can you expect to see here in the coming months? When I mentioned above that there’s still more to do to Summer Dance, these are some of the projects that I have in mind:

  • Gel coat restoration – A full compound and polish treatment of the topsides and underbody.
  • Single-handed mast stepping – Not many people step their masts like I do and it takes little or no extra equipment. Plus some tips on tying the rig down for trailering. This might be a video demonstration.
  • Cruising spinnaker rigging – If you don’t have an asymmetrical spinnaker yet, I urge you to get one, they’re impressive. I’ll describe how to rig one up on a budget.
  • Swing keel restoration – The toughest job for a DIYer.
  • Cove and boot stripe – How to paint these so that they look amazing.
  • Custom settee table top – Replace that ugly particle board and laminate with a fine, inlaid, hardwood centerpiece for your salon.

Others will likely crop up along the way. As you can see, some of these projects are pretty involved and will take more time than the average for past projects.

A word about our sponsor

You might not think that anybody other than me sponsors this blog but they really do. This blog uses a free account with WordPress. They supply the servers, storage, and the software platform for this blog. In return, they sometimes place ads at the bottom pages to help them pay their bills. I’ve never seen an ad here but I don’t spend much time looking at it the same way that you do. I spend most of my time in the administrative interface.

But I’m curious how often WordPress puts ads on this blog, so I’ll ask you:

I’m also looking ahead to the future and how to make this blog better. Some of those ways will include expenses.

For example, I can see the phrases that visitors search on when they visit this blog. One of the phrases that is becoming more common is “stingy sailor.” It’s a pretty uncommon phrase (partly why I chose it as the name) so that tells me that some of you forgot the address of this blog, don’t have it bookmarked in your browser, and want to get here directly without searching for something like “headsail pendant.” I could make that easier for you by registering the domain name stingysailor.com. Much easier to remember and type than stingysailor.wordpress.com. Registering that domain name and mapping it with WordPress comes at a cost. Another example is squelching the WordPress ads, especially the ones that don’t interest stingy sailors. That too comes at a cost.

One way to offset those costs (besides stepping up my personal generosity), is to accept specific advertisements from companies that are of interest to stingy sailors. I try to link to the specific sources and products that I mention in this blog to make it easy for you to check them out for yourself. Relevant ads would make it easier for you to find the resources that you need for your own projects. In return, they would help pay some of the costs of growing this blog to the next level. But I promise that I will never let the ads crowd out the info that you enjoy coming here for in the first place or let them influence the products that I use. That is, unless they want to send me products for review or in exchange for advertising space. In those cases, I’ll make it obvious that’s why they’re used.

But I want to know what you think:

Don’t be stingy with your opinions

That goes for anything else here too; I want to know what you think. Not many of you leave comments but I really appreciate it when you do. Just let me know when you like a post. There are several ways at the end of every post:

  • Rate this – Click one of the stars from 1 to 5. Done.
  • Share this – If you use social media or just plain email, pass it on to others that you think would find this blog useful
  • Like button – If you’re shy, just click the button. That’s all and nobody will know it was you that did it.
  • Leave a comment/# Comments – If you have a suggestion, alternative, recommendation, or gripe. Every project post has a question addressed to you at the end. Be brave and share your answer.

That way, I’ll know what interests you more and I can write more like it.

In closing, remember to sail well, sail hard, sail safe.