Listname:  PRECISION
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| Table of Contents |
PRECISION list info
  What it is
  Frequently Asked Questions
  Ask me about my Precision sailboat
  Precision Sailboats Owners web site
  The difference between PHRF and Portsmouth Handicapping
  Tips & Hints
    Night vision
    Swim ladder standoff
    Grinder's secret weapon
    Under-cooler grunge
    Installing cam cleats for (P-18) genoa
    Mast raising system(s)
    Noisy lazarette covers
    Pintle failure
    Securing the outboard for trailering (P-23)
    Silencing cable(s) inside the mast
    Tiller alteration
    Trailer bunk alteration for easier landings
    Roller furling
Q & A
Summary of revisions to this document
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       Precision Boat Works
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       Ph:  (941) 722-6601
       FAX: (941) 722-5595


See the new "Ask me" list http://www.precisionowners.com/askme.shtml



| The difference between PHRF and Portsmouth Handicapping |

There are currently 2 handicap systems in common use for club racing - PHRF
for Performance Handicap Racing Fleet and the Portsmouth Yardstick.  Both
systems correct elapsed time based on handicap formulae but both are
different.  PHRF handicaps are locally derived and use the performance of
the specific boat as the measurement.  To race PHRF there must be a local
PHRF handicapping authority which can handicap your boat.  Once they do,
they will issue a certificate for your boat's handicap.  Base ratings are
wide ranging and most boats used for racing fall in the 220 - 280 range.
There are also 2 different methods for deriving the handicap - Time-on-Time
and Time-on-Distance.  Both are based on the actual performance of your
boat, and the actual formula used for correcting time depends upon the Fleet
or Handicapping authority.

PHRF correction for TOD (Time on Distance) is simply seconds per nautical
mile.  So for a Precision 21 (which PBW says has a base rating of 252) you
would theoretically take 252 seconds off the time for every nautical mile
raced.  In practice, you correct only for the difference in PHRF ratings.
For example, our typical short course is 2.4 NM.  If I race against a boat
with a 230 PHRF rating, I get 22 seconds per NM.  The course takes him 28:48
and it takes me 29:35.  I get 53 seconds taken off (22 x 2.4) for a
corrected time of 28:42, winning the race.

The Time on Time formula, which is more complicated because it further
corrects the TOD correction, is explained on this page:


The Portsmouth Yardstick is a much simpler system in which a boat MODEL is
given a base handicap under a variety of wind conditions.  For example, the
base handicap number for the Precision 21 under the Portsmouth system is
97.8.  This is adjusted for varying wind conditions according to the
Beaufort scale.  In 0-1 the rating is 98.5, 2-3 it's 97.0, and in 4 it's
96.9.  The formula is also standard and simple for Portsmouth: Corrected
Time = (Elapsed Time x 100)/Portsmouth number.

People can make a case for which is better, more accurate, more fair and
whatever, but truthfully it just depends on where you race and what method
your club uses.  My club uses Portsmouth so I tend to prefer it.  PHRF makes
the claim that it is based upon the boat only and makes the assumption that
the boat is crewed by an expert skipper and crew, and is therefore more
accurate.  Maybe, but it's also a lot harder to find a handicapping
authority for PHRF.  I've also found that it's hard to find a club that
likes open racing...most racing fleets depend on their one-design fleets and
want people racing one-designs, so few of them will race PHRF or Portsmouth.
My club races Rebels and Stars and on Wednesday nights has Portsmouth races.
I crew for the Rebels on weekends and race my P-21 in the Portsmouth series.

To find out where you can get a PHRF rating you have to find a local PHRF
fleet.  Almost any club can sponsor Portsmouth races, which to me is the
whole point of the handicapping system.

Dillon Waltner
P-21 #285 "Mystere"
Greenwood Lake, NJ


Does your bow navigation light show white light aft through
unused mounting holes? Put some self-adhesive tail light
repair tape (it's red) over the holes. You can find it
where you buy car parts. I was lazy and put tape on from
the outside of the fixture but I expect it could go inside
as well. You can still tell the lamp is on but the red is
easier on the eyes.  --wdegnan@puremagic.com
Each year I replace the rubber cap on the swim ladder
standoff with a new crutch tip. (Hardware store or drug
store). A 25-cent piece is inserted between the pipe and
the crutch tip to disperse the stress on the rubber
piece and to keep the pipe from cutting the rubber. You'll
always have a coin for an emergency phone call too.
At the windward mark, it is tricky to gently lower and
cleat the centerboard while trimming the jib. We've
installed a jam cleat to the right of centerboard cleat.
This lets me operate the centerboard with one hand while
I trim with my other two hands. --wdegnan@puremagic.com
A sheet of expanded vinyl (used in commercial kitchens to
provide airspace under glassware and china so they can
drain) placed under the cooler will allow some air
circulation so splash and condensation can evaporate.
 Stuff looks   X X X X X X X X
 a little      X X X X X X X X
 like this:    X X X X X X X X
               X X X X X X X X
               X X X X X X X X
               X X X X X X X X
               X X X X X X X X
A piece of the same material in the sink (cut a hole for
the drain area) will help prevent rust spots from forming
on the stainless from items left in the sink.
7 Mar 96 -- Glen Biagioni warns anyone considering
installing cam cleats for their genoa that the plywood
block(s) mounted inside the cockpit coamings on his P-18
"are very small and not necessarily where Precision claims
they are. On my boat they were several inches back from
where the instruction placed them. Further, they were not
even mounted in the same position on each side of the boat. ... I was
barely able to position [the cam cleats]
symmetrically. One is at the front edge of its block, and
the other is at the back edge." Glen went on to say that he
hopes everything works well with the cleats positioned
several inches back of where the instructions indicated
they should go. --glen@prosoft.com
   04 Dec 96 --(revised) by Bill Pfund:
My mast raising system is composed of 2 parts, a strut with
a roller on top to support the mast at the transom, and a
leverage pole attached near the base of the mast. I have
made both components out of oak (two 1x2s epoxied
together).  Regular 2x4s would work well and be cheaper but
I like stuff to look nice so I went with oak.
The rear strut has undergone some evolution over the past
few seasons. It started out as an inverted "T" with feet
that sat in the scuppers at the back of the cockpit.  It
had a small block on its back at the height of the stern
pulpit so it could be secured to the pulpit and remain
vertical. Initially, the height of the strut was equal to
a height to which I could comfortably lift the mast while
standing on the cockpit seats. I thought higher would be
better since it is hardest to raise the mast when it is
closest to horizontal.  However, I have since shortened the
strut considerably because the leverage system described
below works so well that the longer strut is not needed.
The strut that I am currently using sits on the top rudder
pintle and is lashed to the stern pulpit at the top using
shock cord (bungee).  A standard trailer keel roller is
mounted to the top of the strut (which is at a level just
above the stern pulpit). When preparing to raise the mast,
I place the mast on the roller, go forward, and simply roll
the mast back until I can slide the hinge pins into the
Once the mast is in position to be raised, I attach the
leverage pole. The length of the pole is equal to the "J"
dimension of the boat (distance from the front of the mast
to the forestay chain plate). The outboard end has two eye
straps, one mounted on top, one on the bottom. These are
through-bolted together. The jib halyard is shackled
to the top eye strap and the mainsheet runs from the bottom
strap to one of the jib tack hooks. The inboard end of the
pole is attached to the mast using an old spinnaker pole
car that is mounted to the pole. This car slides onto a
short piece of track mounted on the front of the mast (as
low as possible). The car lets me angle the pole up and
down (forward and aft when the mast is down) as I desire.
A simpler way to attach the leverage pole to the base of
the mast is to use slotted pieces of steel bolted to the
sides of the leverage pole.  These pieces of steel slide
over the mast hinge pins after they (the hinge pins) are
placed in the tabernacle slots.  I actually prefer this
latter method of attachment since it does not require the
extra "stuff" that my arrangement does (unfortunately for
me this idea was not mine and it was passed on to me too
Once the mast has been rolled back, and the leverage pole
is in position, I raise the rig using the mainsheet.  The
whole rig is stabilized during raising and lowering with
two simple inverted "Y" bridles attached to the leverage
pole.  These bridles each consist of 2 pieces of 3/16" line
(low stretch Dacron).  One piece is about 7 ft long
(knotted at each end) and has a loop in the middle" that is
formed by doubling the line back on itself and tying a
simple overhand knot.  One end of the second line is
attached to this loop.  The other end attaches to the
bottom eye strap on the outboard end the leverage pole.
With the mast laying down, and the leverage pole sticking
up, the bridles form inverted "Y" side stays holding the
leverage pole from moving laterally.  With each of the
lines at the correct length, the joint in the "Y" arms
(loops in the bridle where the two lines are joined) are at
the same level above the deck as the mast pivot.  As the
mast goes up (or comes down) the bridle pivots at the loop
maintaining lateral stability regardless of mast attitude.
I tested the effectiveness of these bridles by raising the
mast a foot or two off the stern rail and pushing it side-
to-side.  I was amazed at the stability that was attained.
I am completely comfortable raising and lowering the mast
by myself now, whereas before there was always one point
were it felt like I could "lose it". --wppfund@juno.com
   16 Mar 96 --contributed by John Clement:
The mast-raising A-frame I'm making is one I've seen
working on several P-23s, including Henk Vanderhult's "Go
Gently" and Dave Edgerton's "Wave Dancer". I'm sure it
has been described in "Clipper Snips" (The Trailer Sailor
newsletter) with diagrams even.
It uses 2 lengths of metal electrical conduit attached
together at one end. Their length is such that the A
lies on the foredeck with the apex falling inside the
pulpit. The aft ends of the A-frame attach at the shroud
chain plates. A bolt passes through the conduit, and
through the U shaped jaws of the shroud turnbuckle. Henk
uses a solid hinge to fasten the apex of the 2 lengths
together.Dave and others use a through bolt, with a loop on
each side for line attachment.
In use, the jib halyard attaches to the aft side of the
apex by means of a light 4 or 6 to one block system (Henk
uses one commonly sold through hardware stores.) The fore
side is attached via the boom vang to the pulpit. One
person on the fore-deck can then raise the A to a vertical
position, by controlling the tension on both lines, then
raise the mast by pulling in the boom vang. (Needs longer
boom vang line to do this, but that allows vang to be
tensioned easier from cockpit anyway.)
(A variant I've seen has the halyard attaching directly to
the apex of the "A", with the "fore" line running around
the pulpit and back to a winch. Works well also, but needs
two people to raise/lower A-frame and mast.)
Henk reports many years using this system, to raise and
lower his mast single handed. For extra lateral stability
he uses a diagonal brace pivoting at the base from a new
fixture attached to the cabin top (brace pivots at a
point level with the tabernacle pivot point), with the
upper end attached to a bolt on the mast. Others,
including Bob Hodgson, use this brace concept (Bob may
have devised it?). I may do same, but would prefer a
bridle system, for less clutter of deck area.
The conduit A-frame system appeals as the mast-raising
gear is on the boat, not the trailer, ie allows for
dropping mast for bridges/locks, etc. --clement@istar.ca
8 Mar 96 --contributed by Paul Osborne:
What I have for side to side stability is the following,
and it works very well. On each side of the mast about 7'
from the base I have attached a small pad eye. At the base
of the mast port and starboard, on the cabin top out as far
from the base as possable, mount another pad eye. I have
then a 1" nylon strap with S hooks which you connect to
each side of the mast, and the deck eye. This forms a
triangle on each side keeping the mast on center as it goes
up, restricting the amount of side to side swing. All parts
came from a local hardware and cost less than $12.
............[end of mast raising system(s)]..............
28 Mar 96: Rick Thomas, of Casper Wyoming suggests that
using white plastic automobile door guards, slipped over
the lip of the starboard lazarette cover, will help prevent
the load popping sound it will otherwise make when the
cover is stepped on.  Rick asserts that "they hold tight
and provide both a cushion and wider surface to rest
against the opening." --rthomas@trib.com
23 Mar 96: Following a bad experience a friend of his had
with the pintle on a Precision 23, John Clement posted a
warning to "Check your pintles":
"... Another P-23 owner (Henk Vanderhuist) told me that the
pintles on his boat failed. The failure point was the weld
between the stainless steel pin of the pintle and the
stainless steel bracket that supports the pin and is bolted
to the transom. The pintle broke in heavy weather,
when of course the stresses on the rudder are greatest.
(Murphy's Law?)  The breakage meant that he could not steer
with the rudder, and caused him some very interesting times
before the boat was safely back in harbour. He then removed
the pintles, and had the joint solidly rewelded. The
removal was rather awkward, because he only had his travel
tool kit available.
"I followed Henk's recommendation and took a close look at
this joint on my P-23. It was secured by only a few small
spot welds. As one of the winter projects, I removed the
pintles, took them in to a stainless steel welding shop,
and had the joint rewelded with a solid bead all the
way around on both inner surfaces of the bracket. Note
that there should not be a bead on the top surface, as
this is where the gudgeon on the rudder sits and swivels."
8 Mar 96 --Contributed by Bill Pfund: Soon after purchasing
my P-23 I was faced with the decision of what to do with
our 6 Hp Johnson outboard when trailering.  I was not
comfortable leaving the engine on the transom since the
engine mount bolts are only backed by washers, and I felt
that the weight of the engine on the transom would remove
too much weight from the trailer tongue. I was not
confident that I could secure the engine in the boat, and I
didn't want the smell of gas in the van (not that we had
room for it in there).  The solution I came up with was a
trailer engine mount. I made a wood block 1.5" thick, about
1 foot square by gluing 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood together.
This block is mounted on the back side of the full width
trailer cross beam under the bow.
I mounted mine on the port side, though I don't remember
why. The block is mounted (clamped to the beam) using 4
carriage bolts (with heads sunk in the block). Two bolts
pass over the beam, and two under. On the front of the
beam a steel strap from a U-bolt ties each pair (1 top, 1
bottom) of bolts together and clamps the block against the
beam without having to drill holes in the nicely galvanized
trailer. The engine is clamped to this block just as it is
on the transom mount for sailing. The lower gearcase of
the engine is supported by a 2x4 that spans the width of
the trailer further back. This board is mounted under the
side rails of the trailer using squared U-bolts, again to
avoid drilling the trailer. I secure the lower end of the
engine to the 2x4 with strong shock cord to prevent
bouncing. I also pad the gearcase with a carpet pad. One
placed on the trailer mount, the engine looks just as it
would if it were on your transom in the raised position;
tilted to port, shaft angling down slightly. I add a piece
of shock cord running from the upper end of the shaft to
the port trailer side rail to keep the engine tilted.
This mount has worked very well for me. The only things I
would do differently if I were to do it a again would be
to use a plastic 2x4 (from recycled milk jugs, available
at some lumber yards) and I would buy a plastic engine
mount block like I have on my transom. Otherwise, I
did pretty good the first time.
Some notes: I do not know if there is enough room to
put one of these mounts on P-18 or P-21 trailers. I
don't have much room between the engine and the boat.
Also, be aware that adding the engine to your trailer
in the position described will increase your tongue
weight. Be sure your rig can handle it.
I also carry my rudder/tiller assembly on the trailer.
To do this I have padded the cross beams running from
the starboard side rail to the keel rollers and lay the
rudder/tiller assembly there. It is held in place
with shock cord. --wppfund@juno.com
8 Mar 96 --contributed by Bill Pfund: The VHF antenna
cable run through the mast by the previous owner of my
boat slapped around inside the mast keeping me awake
even on still nights.  I extended the original wire
channel (leading to the steaming light) to the top of
the mast using PVC pipe (5/8").  I sliced the pipe down
one side with my router using a small (1/8"?) straight
bit and then pushed it over the "T" extrusion in the
mast. The VHF cable now runs through this conduit from
base to masthead. Silence is golden! --wppfund@juno.com
8 Mar 96 --contributed by Bill Pfund (as "stolen" from
Steve Christensen, member of the Trailer/Sailor Assn.):
"Remove the clam cleat on the top of the tiller - the
one that holds the rudder blade down - and place it on
the forward face of the aluminum rudder head just below
the tiller slot. This will allow you to raise and lower
the tiller while keeping the rudder blade down.  Very
convenient to be able to stand at the helm while coming
into the dock for a better view.
"I thank Steve for this suggestion.  I have done it and
it works great." --wppfund@juno.com
6 Dec 96 --contributed by John Clement:
I have made wooden guides, (made from pressure treated
2 x 4) connecting the upper and lower bunks on the
trailer.  These make a "V" shape and guide the keel to
the centre during recovery.  I have two "V"s, one at the
front upright, and one at the centre upright support for
the upper bunk.  At the upper end they are through bolted
to the metal plate where the bunk is attached.  At the
lower end they are notched to sit over the lower bunk,
rounded, and are attached to the bunk by countersunk lag
This system works great.  The boat centres very well, with
just the two "V" guides, and rides up nicely onto the front
roller.  Recovery before this system was introduced was
quite a pain and, I thought, posed quite a risk to both
pride and gelcoat. --clement@istar.ca
The following is a summary of discussions regarding roller
furlers that appeared on the list.
The general consensus among Precision owners is that the
Harken Helifoil (Unit 00) is the premier small boat furler.
However, production problems at Harken have caused this
unit to be unavailable for more than a year. The Cruising
Design Inc. (CDI) Flexible Furler is an appropriate
alternative to the Harken unit in the eyes of many
Precision owners since many have installed CDI units, and
most are very pleased with them.  Only one P-23 owner that
we know of has expressed dissatisfaction with the CDI unit
because his luff extrusion turned into a "corkscrew".  Two
owners on the mailing list with CDI units experienced
problems with their furlers, but the factory replaced
defective parts at no cost to the owner.  The CDI units
come with a lifetime warrantee that the manufacturer
seems to stand by.  The CDI furler is available in several
different sizes (FF2-FF8).  The FF3 and FF4 are both
appropriate for the P-23.  Only one other furler
(Schaefer Marine 750, installed on a P-18) was mentioned
by Precision owners on the mailing list when polled as to
which furler they own.  Installation of some furlers
requires that the forestay be cut and reswaged or replaced.
Some furlers allow the furling drum to be removed so that
"standard" sails can be used for racing.  Some furlers
also have dual sail slots in the luff extrusion to allow
for easy sail changes while underway (usually for racing).
Converting a genoa to roller furling involves removing
the luff wire and hanks from the sail, adding a luff tape
(small bolt rope to feed into the furler luff extrusion),
and adding a strip of UV resistant material to the foot
and leach to act as a cover for the furled sail.  Most
owners agree that it is also worth the extra cost to have
a foam pad added to the luff of the sail.  This pad helps
maintain proper sail shape when the sail is reefed.
Conversion of the sail to roller furling usually results
in a slightly smaller sail.  When my 150% genoa was
converted, approximately 4" was removed from the luff.
This is usually necessary in order to raise the foot of
the sail to clear the furler drum.  There may be some
loss of performance as a result of these modifications.
However, most owners who have added furlers consider the
loss of performance an acceptable price to pay for the
improvement in sail handling and safety.
Adding a roller furler complicates the mast stepping and
unstepping process to some degree due to added weight
and "bulk".  Though the task is a bit more difficult with
a furler installed, I still manage to raise and lower my
mast single-handed using the mast raising system described
elsewhere on the FAQ list.  Since most Precision owners
trail their boat from time to time, a flexible luff
extrusion is recommended by many owners.  This is not to
say, however, that rigid extrusions cannot be used.
Indeed, some Precision owners have furlers with rigid
aluminum luff extrusions and manage to step and unstep
the mast without incident.
Virtually all of the Precision owner who have installed
roller furling systems are glad they did.  One owner
wrote: "My wife thinks its the best thing I have spent
"boat money" on."  Now that's a testimonial!
| Q & A |
Q. Have you used Starbright on your deck and would you
recommend it?
A. Ed has and does. Works great.
Q. Someone mentioned "Starbright" on decks. Was that on
the non-skid too?  I'd like to find some safe way to
treat/clean the non-skid areas.
A.  Starbrite makes a non-skid deck cleaner that works
well and they make a non-skid protectant which I haven't
tried.  For treating the deck after it is clean a friend
of mine with a Catalina 30 uses Future (the acrylic
floor "wax"). I used this on the cover to my anchor
locker last year and it was the only part of the deck
that cleaned easily after the boat became covered (and I
mean covered) with mildew after sitting for 2 weeks
under a tree during the hottest, most humid days of last
summer. Based on this, I treated all non-skid surfaces
with Future at the end of the season. The deck looks
absolutely brand new again! A few words of caution: the
deck  must be CLEAN before treatment since the Future
will seal in dirt. Also, my friend claims that the deck
retains its non-skid character after treatment. I agree,
when the deck is dry. HOWEVER----I thought it was more
slippery when flooded (not bad when wet with dew). I
will try it this year and let  you know how it goes.
--Bill Pfund...P-23, #099
Q.  Has anyone been successful with a transom-mounted
transducer, or do these lift out of the water when
heeled over? ... Where on the inside of the hull is a
good place to bond the transducer, if I want it to keep
working when I am heeled over, say 45 degrees?
A.  I mounted a transducer internally this past spring.
I chose to mount it in a water-filled "jar" (with no
bottom) epoxied to the hull rather than embedding it in
silicon or epoxy.  The location that I chose is on the
flat area of the hull, under the companionway to
starboard.  I accessed the area through the inspection
port just above the cooler.  My speed transducer is
mounted just opposite this location to port.  Function of
the depth sounder is superb with the transducer in this
location.  In fact, I was able to track depth more than
100' deeper than the instrument specification (540'+
total, confirmed from charted depth).  --Bill Pfund
I've seen on a C-22, but not P-23.  I'd much prefer an
internal location. ... [Bond the transducer] just aft of
the companionway, to one side, eg. a foot or so off
centre. I'd suggest mounting in a well.  To try locations
you can put the transducer in a baggie with water in it.
This conforms enough to the hull to allow sonic
transmission. --John Clement
I'm sure [a transom-mounted transducer] works. But does
it do what you want a depth sounder to do? ... I think it
is a poor trade-off. After you've run aground, you don't
need to know how deep the water is. ... With the sounder
mounted under the v-berth, you've got a chance to to an
emergency tack or suck up the centerboard in a real big
hurry when the alarm sounds. Can't count how many times
I've seen that. It's a _lot_ easier on the gelcoat. }8-)
--Bill Degnan.
Q. My compass is located on the flat part of the cuddy
cabin to the port of the doorway. It is a bracket mounted
compass and it frequently gets in the way of people
wanting to lean up against this "flat part" and it is also
hard to see when someone it sitting there. Does anybody
have a different place where I can put this compass where
it is easier to see and it is out of the way? Maybe
someone recommends a different kind of compass(i.e.
smaller, flush mount, etc.). --Todd C.
A.  I didn't have to use the compass much so I made a mount
for it on the lower hatch board.  The mount was designed to
enable the compass to be quickly installed when needed or
easily removed when not.  It also had the advantages of
being equally visible from both sides and of being low
where the eye could read it comfortably. --Bob Hodgson.
I cut the hatchboard into two sections, the bottom being
just wide enough to mount the compass and yet step over
easily. When closing up the boat I just turn the board with
compass on it around so it's inside. Works great for me!
Besides, either side of the hatch is the best lounging
position on the boat. --Paul Fox
There are electronic compasses available that can be
mounted at any angle to the centerline and corrected for
the angle used.  You could even put one at 9:00 or 3:00
o'clock and it would read the boat's heading.  I have the
Ritchie Mag/One (discounts for $200) and it works very
well. --Ken
Q.  I just noticed that I have some abrasions in the gel
coat on the hull just below the rub rails. I am positive
they are from the straps because the marks in the gel coat
actually match the pattern of the strap.
A.  I solved the vibrating problem by putting a couple of
twists in the tie down straps. They don't look so nice but
they look a lot nicer than scuffed gel coat! --Bob Hodgson.
We deal with this problem in two ways:  First, I put at
least three (3) turns on each side of the strap; Secondly,
I velcroed along the seam of a strip of soft carpet approx.
4" long around the part of the strap that could contact the
boat on each side. They can be slid in place because they
are not attached to the strap itself (only around it).I
have coined them "strap cozzys". --Bill Bowen
Here's a tip a friend gave me and it seems to work pretty
well: put about 2 or 3 half-twists in the tie-down strap
between the trailer and the gun'l on both sides of the
boat, then cinch the strap down flat and tight over the
cockpit area.  The twists help to keep the strap from
vibrating in the airflow.  I've trailered my P-18 like that
for the past 3 seasons and have had no noticeable abrasion
on the rail or anywhere, and that's without any padding at
all between the rail and the strap. --Tom Carstensen
Q.  Speaking of trailer tie-downs, I went to buy a set from
my dealer the other day (for my new P23) and he persuaded
me NOT to buy a set, saying it really wasn't necessary, the
weight of the boat and the design of the trailer should be
stable enough without them....  I think I'll feel better
having a set, and plan to do so by spring....  What do you
folks think of that? --Mark M.
A.  Maybe he wants to sell you another boat when this one
breaks? ... I use a heavy nylon rope across the boat,
forward of my side-deck (genoa) winches. Theory is that I
want to be sure to keep the boat and trailer together, and
also use the strength of the winches (very firmly mounted)
as insurance against the boat coming forward on the trailer
and through the back of the van.   Continuing on this
theme, I've written before about the trailer winch mast,
and am much happier now mine is reinforced. ... By the way,
I do not rely on the snap shackle at the bow as the sole
bow tie down.  I use a short length of strong line to back
this up, to avoid losing bow tie down if the shackle pops
open. --John Clement
I don't know if tie-downs are necessary for a P-23 or not,
but I would be very uncomfortable trailing mine without
them. ... I use 2 pieces of 3/8" 3-strand nylon line
(basically dock lines) that I attach to the tie-down
brackets on the trailer and then lead them up over the
gunwale to the winches.  The lines take a few turns around
the winches and are cleated off with the jib cleats.  I
place a piece of carpet under the line where it goes over
the gunwale to prevent damage to the rub rail.  These lines
are softer than typical tie-down straps and I have seen no
signs of abrasion on the gel coat (just some dirt smudges
that clean easily). --Bill Pfund
Up front, my winch cable has been replaced by a strap (a
lot less likely to snag or cut the operator when launching
or retrieving, in my opinion).  I keep the winch strap
taut, but not bar tight, when I trail, and I supplement it
by using my 6' anchor rode chain as a safety chain; I loop
one end of the chain around the trailer tongue forward of
the winch tower, padlock it in place, then snake the chain
up and around the tower and under the winch assembly, then
hook on to the bow eye with a clevis.  I know that the odds
of the strap failing are probably somewhere between zero
and none, but...  And, with respect to trailering the boat
(I don't care how big or how heavy) without tie downs  --
an absolute and resounding "NO!"!  Really good straps are
relatively inexpensive ($20 or so), and it takes, what?, 5
minutes to rig the straps and tighten them down?  Why take
the chance?  Spend the money, take the time.
 --Tom Carstensen
I have seen two boats with the transom ground off when they
slid off their trailer. Also second impact damage from the
boat impacting with the trailer' after the trailer ran over
a large bump, caused at least one boat I saw in an Ins.
salvage yard to fracture all the internal hull attachments,
a total loss, when the exterior of the boat showed no
damage. --Bill Bowen
Please let me borrow a minute to tell a story. ... Before
retiring from the Air Force, I owned my P23 and my friend just upgraded
from his P18 to a P21.  He was a proud
papa, with custom covers for everything on the boat,
including the boat itself.  He was stationed here in Austin
with me, but was preparing to take his new "child" to
Illinois for a few weeks of vacation - part of which he
wanted to spend on the river, showing off his new boat. ...
The dealer convinced him, and against my advice and
practice, that he did not need a tie down to hold the boat
on the trailer. ... As [he] was whistling along the
Interstate, listening to an Enya tape and feeling no strain
behind his 7 liter Ford diesel truck, a motorist pulled
alongside.  At first [my friend] thought the motorist to be
playing an exciting game of charades.  But finally he
realized that his new highway friend was pointing to his
boat and the hand motions indicated that his boat was no
longer nested on the trailer. ... [My friend] pulled off
the road. ... Sadly, the winch lock released and slowly the
boat launched itself onto the Super Slab. [He] noticed the
concrete wasn't as soft as water, but the upside was his
boat floated well above the waterline on the Interstate.
Damage assessment revealed his keel to be modified.  The
rear foot or two was ground completely off and closer
inspection revealed a clear passage for things less dense
than concrete, like "Water," to enter the boat. ...[The]
family was impressed with his less than two week old boat,
but wondered why they had to wait a week while the local
boat repair shop rebuilt his keel. ... Moral of the story,
1) It's nice to keep the boat on the trailer until
destination [and] 2) Leave land barge stuff to people like
Winnebago. ... I use a two inch wide nylon web belt with
ratchet at one end.  This is the same type used by the Air
Force to hold pallets to the floor while transporting them
in aircraft. [My friend] returned to Texas with rope
holding his boat to the trailer, but he had me escort him
to "Austin Wire Rope and Sling" to get a 6,000 pound
strength web belt with ratchet. We both use carpet to pad
the belt where it passes over the gunwale. ... I've towed
Revelation about 4,000 miles and my keel is fine. ... A
word to the wise, etc. --Ed DeBee
Q. Can I add ballast to the P-23 to make it less tender?
A. The designer, Jim Taylor responds:

"Regarding Mr. Shore's question about adding ballast to 
the keel cavity of the Precision 23:  this would add less 
than 8% to sailing stability, or about a third of that 
added by an extra 185 lb crew sitting to windward. 
Also, remember that the added ballast will degrade light 
air performance and make trailering more difficult.  There
is no free lunch, and optimum stability can vary with 
personal preference and intended sailing venue."
Q. Information regarding the Trailer/Sailor Association?
A. Dues are $12 per year, for which members receive:
    1) Two newsletters per year, consisting of
contributions from members which include useful rigging
ideas, trailering tips, cruise reports, boat reviews, and
other interesting and helpful information.
    2) Membership directory listing all members,
addresses, pohone numbers, home ports, E-mail addresses
(few, but increasing) and the type of boat sailed.  The
1995 directory listed 15 P-23 owners and several owners of
P-18s and P-21s.
    3) List of contacts for various cruising areas.
    4) List of contacts (members who have advice to
give) for various topics covering engines, launching,
living aboard, maintenance, navigation, etc.
    5) Discounted membership to Boat/U.S.
  If you wish to join, contact:
    Don Ziliox
    1340 Elmdale NE / Grand Rapids, MI 49505
    ph: (616) 361-8230
  He will send you an application and other
  The TS/A web site URL: http://www.trailersailors.org
--Bill Pfund......P-23 #099..."Pflotsam"...Portage, MI
--John Clement ...P-23 #182..."Taranui"
rev. 9 Feb. 2003
Summary of revisions since previous version:
    Trailer/Sailor Association URL
rev. 10 Mar. 2008
    Trailer, upholstery. and dealer list obsolete.
    See factory website for this info.

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