Tag Archives: Coromandel

Emmelène meets Tammy Norie

Chris Boxer has written about our recent meeting at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. You can find his post on Emmelène’s blog.

Emmelène has a split junk rig, which means about a third of the sail area is ahead of the mast and formed of conic sections called “jiblets”. These direct airflow over the main part of the panels abaft the mast. The slot effect helps the air stick to the back of the mains and so increases the stall angle, and thus how high you can point. To make this work the luffs of the main sections need to be tight near the mast, like the luff of a Bermudan main.

It’s quite like sailing a stack of small pivoting Bermudan rigs!

It’s often said that the Coromandel’s mast is too far back. Tammy certainly suffers from weather helm, especially on a reach. But Emmelène has none at all. It’s quite spooky.

If anything she could do with moving the centre if effort aft a touch. The sheets are perhaps a little too relaxed and sometimes it was hard to persuade the sail to swing out.

This is no fault of Chris’s. He bought the rig second-hand to replace the poor “hi-power” rig that came with Emmelène. In fact it was the exact rig the Practical Boat Owner featured in their comparison of junk and Bermudan rigs (using identical Splinter 22s I think) a while ago.

I look forward to meeting Chris again and perhaps trying it all out in more varied conditions.

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A tour of Siskin

Here are a few notes and photos about the Newbridge Coromandel Siskin, owned by Antoine Maartens. They might be of interest to other Coromandel owners, and worth comparing with my previous notes about Gaspar and Sinobee.

Siskin seems to be pretty much in original condition, except for the mast.  Here are port and starboard views of her in dock at Huizen.

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She has this mysterious addition that Antoine described as “useless” but I was never quite sure what it was for. Antoine?

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Antoine said the mast had some strange modifications. It has a label from Proctor masts (like Tammy Norie’s) but was apparently made of two parts grafted and rivetted together.  I don’t have any pictures of this, but Antoine might be able to contribute some. He divided the mast and installed a hinge similar to Tammy Norie’s with a sleeve over the top. I don’t have photos of that either, I’m afraid. We were quite busy doing the rigging when we met.

I do have these pictures of Siskin’s mast step.

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This has been considerably reinforced from the simple bracket and bolt that appears on Tammy Norie and Gaspar.

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Siskin also has some carefully crafted blocks at the mast partners, that can barely be called wedges at all.

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Sinobee has something similar.

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Siskin’s mast cone also shows signs of repair and reinforcement. That’s the third Coromandel I’ve seen with this a reinforced cone. I recommend that all Corormandel owners reinforce their cones!

Those are the main interesting points I saw when looking at Siskin. I’m hoping Antoine will write up an account of the work he had done to her. He said that when he first got her home she was in a terrible state. I’d like to read the story in more detail.

I’ve put all the photos I have of Siskin in the Flickr album “Newbridge Coromandel Siskin” so that you can study them.

Do post questions in the comments section.  Antoine reads this blog and will likely answer them.

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Tammy Norie and Siskin

It was the chance to meet Siskin and her owner, Antoine, that made me even think of going to the Netherlands this year. I ended up meeting and making many friends, but sailing Tammy Norie and Siskin together was the biggest goal. We had two great days sailing and a lot of fun.

I sailed into Huizen in the afternoon of 2015-08-22 and moored up next to Dulcibella, an immaculate Drascome belonging to Antoine’s brother, Marcel.

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And then it was over to the next pontoon to take a look at Siskin. At that point her sail was off, and none of her halyard, sheet, topping lifts, or even mast lift were rigged. We soon sorted that out!

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Antoine has modified his mast in a way that’s quite similar to Tammy Norie’s, and so it was quick work to fold it down and get all the lines in place. We had a lovely feast of mussels with Antoine and Marcel and their spouses, and a lot of boat chat. It was really great to meet them all.

Late in the morning, after a few more fixes, Antoine and I sailed our boats out of Huizen.  Antoine at the controls for the first time.

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How proud and happy he was.

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We rafted up for some lunch, and soon after we were joined by Marcel on Dulcibella.

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We spent the evening in Kinselmeer, just east of Amsterdam, and caught the fireworks from SAIL Amsterdam 2015.

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Antoine tried out Eaglet.

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And we were joined by a swimmer from a nearby Etap.  I went to visit them and they showed me how the boat had foam-filled compartments to make it unsinkable.

In the morning there was a strong wind from the east, and Antoine didn’t seem sure that we could sail out of the narrow exit to the Kinselmeer. I was sure I could do it, and soon enough he found out that flat sailed junk rigs certainly can go to windward!

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The Markermeer was rough with steep short waves, as I’d been warned, and I was soaked with warm water several times as we reached north to Edam. It was an excellent day.

And here’s video of Tammy and Siskin together.

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Stern locker hinge repair

Climbing all over the stern lockers to mount/unmount and control my Hebridean wind vane self-steering eventually broke the weak locker hinges, mainly because the lockers didn’t fit very well. Here’s a video showing the fix I made in Harlingen. There’s more work to do, but the lockers are much more stable.

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2015-09-05 · 16:21

You ain’t going to make it

I’ve just found Blueboatman’s excellent thread of junk rigged Corribee and Coromandel advice for the Jester Challenge via Steve Hickey on the Jester Challenge mailing list.

This is a really useful list of failures and risks of the boat, and advice about what to do about them.  What’s great is that it corresponds very closely with that I’ve observed after two years with my Coromandel thinking about the Jester Challenge. I’ve only just found this thread, and it’s great to have some confirmation as well as a few things I’ve missed.

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A tour of Gaspar

Newbridge Coromandel Gaspar (sail number 100) is for sale at Andy Seedhouse in Woodbridge. I took the opportunity to have a look around her, since I know at least one person who’s expressed interest, and highlighted differences from Tammy Norie and other Coromandels I’ve seen.

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All the photos are in my Flickr album “Newbridge Coromandel Gaspar” and the description of each has my comments.

You might also like to compare her with Sinobee in my album “Visiting Sinobee in Brighton”.

I’ll shortly gather together pictures I took of Antoin Maarten’s Siskin as well and link them from here.

I’m in contact with two other Coromandel owners, and one ex-owner, but haven’t seen their boats. There does seem to be quite a variety in the layout of fittings.

Incidentally, Dylan Winter has an interview with Andy Seedhouse in his video about the Deben. The whole thing is worth a watch.

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Visiting Sinobee

On Saturday I went to Brighton to see Jake McLewee’s Sinobee, a Newbridge Coromandel and sister-ship of Tammy Norie. Once again it was time to put on my deerstalker and uncover Sinobee’s history from the evidence. We discovered quite a few interesting differences.

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Firstly, Brighton Marina is gargantuan. Jake told me it was the largest in Europe for quite a while, and I can well believe it. The marina occupies reclaimed land below the cliffs east of Brighton, and the approach reminds me of getting in to an airport. Half of the area is occupied by a food and entertainment complex the size of a small town.

Sinobee was moored up in the boatyard pool, waiting for her turn on the crane to have her mast stepped.

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She has a one-piece mast (no hinge) and so once it’s raised Jake won’t easily be able to get to the mast head to alter rigging, add the VHF antenna, etc.  I’d almost forgotten about this problem, since I can dip Tammy’s mast in a few minutes whenever I want.  There are a couple of strange things about his mast. Roughly the top quarter has been painted.

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We’re note sure why this is, but speculated that it’s to protect the mast from chafe from the yard.  The other odd thing is that the mast has been extended by about 300mm at the base.

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Clues to this mystery were revealed when we unwrapped the sail from its cover. Jake had so far never seen the sail, so it was quite a reveal! Unfortunately we didn’t have space to lay it out flat and see its shape, but we soon learned that it wasn’t an original Coromandel sail like mine.

The battens are fibreglass tubes, backed with narrower tubes on the other side. What’s more, they’re very bendy. The sail is cut flat, but every panel is tapered, so it must be a fan-shaped sail. I think it might be a Sunbird 90’s rig. Part of the reason for this is that it was made by Chris Scanes, who often works with Robin Blain of Sunbird Marine. I’ll write and ask Robin if he remembers Sinobee.

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The sheeting system is a complete mystery and makes little sense to me.  Various spans had long loose tails not tied to anything. I started a thread on the Junk Rig Association forums to see if anyone else had any idea. This diagram shows what’s there as far as I can tell.

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There may well have been a sheeting system designed to go with the sail, so it’s important that we figure out what was intended. In the meantime we can put together something sensible from the blocks and lines he has at the moment. If we can find the mainsheet or its block!

Sinobee’s mast cone has clearly been completely rebuilt.  It’s considerably thicker than the original cone, and the fibreglass has been coated, but clearly didn’t come out of a mold. I broke my mast cone the first day out with Tammy Norie. I’m now pretty convinced that this is a weak point in the design, and any Coromandel owner would do well to beef up their cone with extra layers of fibreglass.

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Sinobee’s pushpit has been replaced. It’s definitely a modification, rather than an improvement by Newbridge, because you can see the filled holes for the old pushpit’s feet on the deck. The new pushpit has a rotating fixing for the mainsheet block at the extreme port quarter.

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Robin Blain recently advised me to change my block fixing for a track.  I often find my mainsheet block’s offset position a bit unhelpful. I have to adjust the sheet when tacking. Sinobee’s is going to be worse, I think.

Sinobee has a few differences to the foredeck.  A rather handsome Sampson post replaces my large low cleat, and there’s an additional cleat on the starboard side.

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I can see the advantage of this.  Even though my cleat is large, I often find it gets crowded. Sinobee’s post will nicely handle the anchor chain running out of the locker and over the bow fitting. In fact, Sinobee has a welded stainless steel bow fitting, unlike Tammy Norie’s molded aluminium one.

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Those are all the main differences that other Coromandel owners might find useful, I think, but if you have any queries please do leave them in the comments below.

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