May 2021 Newsletter

Early season safety considerations

Since many of you are out on the water already make sure your boat and what you wear are adequate for the conditions.  You are required to carry, as pertains to your SeaSpray,  a PFD for each person aboard (should be worn), a 15 meter heaving line (best with a float on the end), a flashlight and a sound signaling device (whistle).  Besides the safety equipment, wear suitable splash jackets/pants with perhaps a wetsuit underneath, a hat or toque, and water shoes. 

Hypothermia is a real possibility and keep in mind the number 100  if you work with Fahrenheit or 35 if you work with centigrade.  Hypothermia is possible if the water and air temperature combined fall below these  values.  Keep in mind the possibility of falling temperatures and your duration if you end up in the water separated from your boat.  Those numbers don’t count if you are in the water, just the water temperature counts.

Now is the time to check your hiking straps and perhaps consider adding another rope line as insurance like the ones in the picture below.   A similar rope like the red rope can be added and tied to the main and rear beam provided you have a split trampoline.  It could be in conjunction with your hiking straps and  the ropes could be intertwined possibly with the hiking strap to add another level of safety.  You do not want to be separated from your boat when the wind is up.  There is also in the picture an additional rope with knots that runs along the hull and serves as a grab line to help you get back up when hiking out or a rope of last resort.   If you suspect that your hiking strap may fail, add additional rope or consider having the trampoline resewn with new hiking straps. 

In regards to clothing, consider wearing a pair of shorts over your wetsuit if that is what you chose to wear.  Sailboats can be real hard on wetsuits and tear them to pieces in a short time.  If you do want to wear a wetsuit without anything over it look for ones that have reinforced knees at least.  Wearing a splash jacket and pants will keep the wetsuit in good condition and mostly dry and warm. There are also plans, on the canadian seaspray website, to make “fatty” pants with closed cell foam padding sewn in the seat area.  These are an invention of Pam Simonson and are great for comfort and protection of your wet clothing (and your butt). I have always liked to wear layers and have a spray jacket with a hood.  Many times I have had to hunker down, hove to, waiting for a start signal during inclement weather.  Sitting on the water waiting while the wind is howling and in the rain is no fun time if you are cold.  Best to be layered up and mostly dry.  When it is really wild or cold I wear a shorty wetsuit, heavier rain pants and jacket with a layer of polyester type warm long sleeved sweatshirt, lifejacket, wind hat or toque. Consider sailing with another SeaSpray sailor or even get friendly with the fishermen on the water.  You never know who your rescuers might be if you need to be rescued.  Consider carrying spare parts and extra line that could be used for repairs or even a painter for towing your boat.   

Check your boat hull/deck seam for splits  

While preparing his boat for this season Hamish Ferguson found a split on the hull deck joint.  This is a common problem on many sailboats whether they are catamarans or monohulls.  This can be a real problem when capsized as you can take on a lot of water.  The fix is easy and can be done quickly with a few tools and the proper stuff.  I think bondo with short strand fiberglass will work but a better method is to use two part epoxy with some glass cloth and some filler.  If you want, JB Marine Weld should work as well.

Hamish used his own method;  epoxy with filler and glass cloth to make a mixture that will properly glue the deck down to the hull lip.  It is easy to do, just try and get as much into all of the split joint before clamping.  Use a flat spatula putty knife.  Perhaps you have a squeeze applicator that will work.   A little bit will ooze out once the clamping is in place.  This is good as the oozing will tend to fill in any areas that you might have missed while introducing the mix into the split joint.

Even a bunch of clothes pins will work provided they make enough pressure to squeeze the joint together.

Tentative Regatta Dates for 2021

I don’t have anything new to report in regards to upcoming events at this time so keep these dates in mind.   These are possible only if things progress, borders open up and all things go back to normal.  

July 10 ,11th  Prairie Wind Regatta at NSC Lake Newell Alberta

Aug 7 ,8th      Live on the Edge Multihull Regatta  Eugene Yacht Club, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Oregon  Our North American Championship??

September 10,11,12th or 17,18,19th  Osoyoos??  Canadian National Championship ??

Spring 2021 – Regattas, Foils, Trailers


Last year’s Championships were all cancelled but planning has started for the 2021 season — assuming vaccinations are complete, virus spread is halted, and Public Health Orders are removed.

From our US host club for the North American Championship:

Hello sailors,

Thank you for your response to my poll on our 2021 regatta. Very few of you wanted to skip for a second year and are hoping for a try this year. The EYC Board is assessing the situation on a regular basis and based on the current outlook for the summer, they have decided to slowly work towards an opening up of the EYC grounds towards the summer, subject state mandates. With that, our event schedule is compressed into a few months. The good news is that we have reserved the weekend of: August 7 & 8 for the 2021 edition of the “Live on the Edge” Multihull Regatta!

We will monitor the state mandates and will only put the Regatta on if it will be safe for all who want to attend. I will let you know when we open the registration, for now reserve the date. I look forward to seeing you again in August!


EYC Multihull Fleet

So our tentative Regatta dates for 2021  
These are possible only if things progress, borders open up and all things go back to normal.  

July 10 ,11th  Prairie Wind Regatta at NSC Lake Newell Alberta
Aug 7 ,8th      Live on the Edge Multihull Regatta  Eugene Yacht Club, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Oregon  Our NA’s
September 10,11,12th or 17,18,19th  Osoyoos??  Canadian Nationals ??


Two cedar rudder blades, 5/8″ thick by 4.75″ wide and 24″ long. 

If you build rudder blades make sure the grain is perpendicular to the chord (stronger).  Although you can’t see it clearly the left blade grain is perfectly perpendicular to the chord.  These boards are meant for a smaller rudder head than factory.  The cedar came from Windsor plywood sourced from a dump bin of clearance boards.  If you can’t find ideal boards with the grain running the proper way you will have to rotate smaller pieces of cedar and edge glue them to get a board with perpendicular grain.  For additional strength add fiberglass layers or even some carbon fiber with fiberglass and epoxy resin with a final paint coat to stop UV degradation of the epoxy.

Recently while poking around Princess Auto I found some carbon fiber 1/8″ thick boards approximately 5″ by 12″ for $35 each. 

One board will make one rudder head (two pieces).  The white block is a machinable nylon and can be cut with a table saw and drilled easily.  That nylon block is holding the plates together (with two bolts) and connects to the boat gudgeons with the 4″ SS bolt.  The two SS rivets on both sides of the top of the rudder head hold the aluminum bimini tubing (available from canvas shops) on the top of the plates.  The third rivet holds a piece of puck board on the inside of each plate that fills some excess dimension between the plates and is a friction reducer for the rudder blade.  There are three SS bolts with SS washers to help with strength.  The rudder blades are made with cedar and reinforced with carbon fiber.  They are about 24″ long by 9/16″ thick and 4.75″ wide.  The tiller arms will be the next smallest dimension of aluminum bimini tubing that fits perfectly into the rudder head tubing.  You will have to bend these to suit your boat.  Use “eye ends” and “jaw slides” available from the canvas shop to make your cross bar and tiller stick work and also be adjustable.  Why do we do this…the whole setup will weigh considerably less than the aluminum casting rudder head assembly, much larger sized tubing that the factory built boats come with.  It will be set up with through hull rudder blade downhaul line and shock cord rudder blade uphaul cord to make it all work nicely.  It will take some time to make all this and you have to accurately drill your holes (drill press) and be as accurate as possible to make everything work and look nice. 


Remember the trailer to the ABOVE?  Well it was too high to get the boat up there easily so it now looks like the picture on the BELOW.  Although you can’t see it, the plywood storage box has a vinyl roll top covering.  This makes the storage unit a lot more weather-tight and the storage box is more accessible with the increased top access.  If you travel a lot with your boat make sure the trailer suspension and lights are working properly.  Keep your boat snugly tied down to the trailer.  Check your bearing when you stop to see if they are heating up.  Look for metal fatigue cracking close to the hitch coupler and suspension attachment points.  Keep your speed down when trailering to spare the trailer tires and bearings.  Make sure you check air pressure in the trailer tires and the spare tire as well.  Carry a properly sized wheel bolt or nut wrench.  

Race Ready

We received an email from Brian Grant who is selling his SeaSpray, if you are interested or want more details you can email him for more info :

Hi, I am a former Seaspray Assoc member and racer, and have decided to make my Seaspary available to someone younger. Its an earlier model with narrow slots, and racing mods including raised front cross tube aluminum mounts, mesh trampoline, center tube jib cleats, traveler. custom rudder brackets, halyard and sock sail masts, original halyard sails plus Dacron and Mylar Sock sails by North. No trailer.
Please let anyone who might be interested in a boat to race know about. It’s currently in a snowbank at the Saskatoon Sailing Club at Redberry Lake.

Jan 2021 Newsletter

At this time it’s difficult to predict how the 2021 season will play out.   Please consider joining or rejoining the Canadian Seaspray Association for 2021.

At this time there are no plans for organized SeaSpray Assn. regattas for 2021, but I will advise if things change.  With no SeaSpray Assn. regattas in 2020, there was no opportunity for our AGM to take place in 2020.

Our season here on Lake Newell this past summer was pretty good.  Formal regattas were cancelled everywhere but there were a fair number of non-organized sailing club activities that played out well. We aren’t participating in a team sport so it’s a relatively safe activity to do during these times.

Get Well Soon Tom!

Here’s wishing Tom Alexander a full return to good health.  Tom (photo below) who lives on Vancouver Island was a regular attendee at the Osoyoos regattas until a few years ago. 

Boat Talk – Paint

Tremclad high gloss oil based paint applied with a foam roller, followed by a foam brush to level the paint really can freshen up an old boat. This is a low tech job anyone can do. Make sure you do good prep of the hull first. The most preferable choice for hull restoration is to wet sand. Gel coat can be freshened up a good deal by sanding and polishing and is preferable to painting. Paint may be preferable when no amount of sanding, etc. will brighten up the gel coat, staining cannot be removed or repairs to the hull have been made which make it impossible to make a consistent finish. There are better harder finish paints available that can be sprayed on as well.

This particular SeaSpray (photo above) is a foam core construction boat. The foam core boats are heavier but the hulls seem to hold their shape better. If you want a faster boat try to reduce as much weight (boat too?!) as possible and keep your hulls clean and smooth.

Boat Talk – Masts

The original SeaSprays were built lighter than later models. They were also “sock sail” boats so the rig was lighter as well. You can reduce the weight of your extruded mast a bit by grinding or cutting away some of the unnecessary metal. Some masts had horizontal cuts placed on the sail track portion (don’t cut into the main tube) of the mast to help the mast bend a little more. More bend will help to flatten the mainsail for better upwind flow over the sail.

Sock sail mast cap

The top cap can be removed and replaced with a wooden plug (sealed and screwed on) if you like as well. Many of the masts have main halyard pulleys that are too small (some masts had the bigger sized pulley and work fine). A 1″ or slightly bigger pulley(could use an appropriate harken cheek block) at the top will help to raise the mainsail. Removal of the bottom pulley and cutting away the sail track up to the gooseneck will reduce a bit of the weight and possibly place a horn cleat below the gooseneck for an easier downward pull and lock of the mainsail halyard. Make sure you use non-stretch rope for your halyard. You could even rig a 2:1 system for the main halyard. You really want the top of the sail to stay as close to the top of the mast as possible.

Track end view after riveting the two lengths on.

The other option, if and when more sail luff track is available, is to build a mast using 3″ irrigation pipe. This type of mast system is around 5 lbs lighter than the extruded mast. It will cost you some money, maybe upwards of $350 to build a mast like this but you will get a much bendier, lighter halyard sail system mast.

The extruded mast system is around 23 pounds weight with all the stuff attached. You might be able to cut a pound of weight off of the extruded mast. The tube mast with the sail track attached is around 16 to 18 lbs. The sock sail tube mast is around 12 or 13 lbs. One suggestion I heard about the extruded mast would be to fill it with muriatic acid and let the acid etch away some of the aluminum. Really didn’t think I would want to try this, leaks, safety, etc. but maybe it would work. If you try it make sure to rinse with lots of water and neutralize the acid.Both sock and halyard sail systems have their proponents. After getting used to the sock system I don’t feel there is any difference in time required to set up the boat with either system.

Boat Talk – Renovation Project

So, say you want to get a used Sea Spray and fix it up.  What is a used SeaSpray worth?  If you can find one of the original earlier, narrow slot (3/4″ instead of 1″ wide) daggerboard trunk models you could save a lot of work in not having to remove the two part foam.  These models used a couple of full sized bulkheads inside the hulls to provide strength instead of the multitude of fiberglass ribs.  They also have a finer bow that cuts the water better.  They likely will weigh less and sometimes a lot less.  Depending on the condition of the hulls a boat like this would be worth more than a later model.   Some earlier production, but not the narrow daggerboard slot boats, from Calgary used styrofoam blocks for flotation and these generally weigh less as well.  Remember Sea Sprays started out as race boats for the purposes of training potential Tornado sailers.  They eventually morphed into stronger heavier more rugged sailboats for the recreational market.   The most likely boat you will find in the used market is the later, heavier models.  There are advantages to getting a late model foam core Sea Spray. 

A rear deck opened for work on the transom. Note the stiffening ribs

Although they weigh more they are generally in better condition with hulls that keep their smooth shape (no wavey look punctuated with rib locations along the hull).  Weighing your finished Sea Spray requires that it weigh no less than 180 lbs all up so if you end up with an older model that could weigh 160 lbs all up, you are required to carry 20 lbs for racing purposes.   You could spend up to or more than $3500 for a complete overhaul with everything new, so if that is your plan, make sure you don’t pay $2000 for a used Sea Spray that requires a whole bunch of work and expense.  With a trailer, a good price might be in the $500 to $1000 depending on the boat model/condition and trailer type/condition (registered or not).     

Example of foam to be removed

Nearly all of the used boats I have acquired have needed a lot of work.  Waterlogged overweight boats can be difficult to re-right if you capsize, not as lively to sail, and harder to manhandle when loading or launching.  The ropes become filled with dirt over the years and are nearly impossible to run through the pulleys and need to be replaced.  If they have been replaced with nylon or polypropylene rope that doesn’t work well on a sailboat, get dacron non-stretch line.  Often the rudder blades and daggerboards are in broken or poor condition and may need replacement or a lot of work to restore.  Sails nearly always need to be repaired and battens are often missing.  Many cleats don’t work and the tramp is pulling out of the extrusion.  

Fixing up an old sailboat, that can be fixed, is a cost effective way to get into the sport. If a SeaSpray were built today it would likely cost way over $10,000 just for the boat so it’s worth your time and expense to restore an older boat.  Besides you are doing your part for the environment by keeping an old boat out of the land fill.  Whether your intention is to race, sail recreationally or make a more attractive/reliable/functional boat for resale fixing up your Sea Spray is a cost effective investment. 

Boat Talk – Now for something completely different

If you have the time, check out Fulcrum Speedworks newest boat the “Rocket”. It is a fresh take on a really old sailboat type. From the sailing videos of the Rocket, the lighter weight difference really helps the performance. The price is relatively inexpensive compared to new comparable boats and it comes with a launching dolly! A little more research about Dave Clark and his positive approach to sailboat building is infectious. It’s nice to see such a progressive approach from a boat builder.

Fall Newsletter Update

If anyone is interested in getting a good race ready SeaSpray for free the following email may interest you.  Unfortunately we Canadians cannot travel to the US at this time but maybe a vaccine is just around the corner.  If any Americans are in the area where Gary lives this is a great opportunity to acquire a good boat.  Bring a trailer and a way to piggyback the second boat.  Thanks Gary for your generous offer!

Have two Sea Sprays for free. One took second in a North Americans in California a dozen or more years ago.  Very race rigged with great sails. Would have taken first but the sailor weighed about 225 and first place guy weighed 150 ok light air (#411). I traded him my Nacra 5.2 for it. Also have a parts boat.  Two boats will fit on one trailer, I suppose.  I live in Vista, San Diego County, California . 
Sent from Gary Rempel (

Here is another item you may be interested in buying from Grant Henderson..
Grant Henderson has a set of SeaSpray sails for sale.  They are in very good condition, clear (see through I think).  He is located in Rosetown, Saskatchewan.Contact 306-831-9663  email


It has been a tough year for sailboat racing.  Most events were cancelled or at the very least modified to conform to the health rules.  The single handed sailboat is a great way to socially distance so we had a couple of SeaSpray weekends at Newell Sailing Club located on Lake Newell.  We have a diverse group sailing this boat at our club so here was a chance to get together and discuss safe sailing, what to bring along, what to wear, sail setting and adjustments, some race tactics, and proper boat setups.  There were practice races and repairs done to boats.  I think it was well received and very helpful.  We had 7 boats for each weekend so considering our club has around 13 SeaSpray owners the numbers were pretty good.  Thanks to Hamish Ferguson for picture presentation on sail shape and helpful boat modification work (bridle rebuild and parts supplied) 

Lk Newell SC SeaSprays racing clinic


The other important thing was to check out a new set of “Leitch and McBride” new sails from Victoria, BC, to see how they would work against our North sails.  North has not been able, due to pattern loss, to supply us with sails.   After a couple of days of sailing, the new set is comparable, and in some ways, better than the North sails.  They are a bit different in that there are five mainsail battens.  The foot sections do not match exactly the North foot (this could be done exactly as the North but may need a good description/pictures along with an order).  If anyone is interested in getting a set, contact Leitch and McBride about ordering.  The set in the pictures are a sock style mainsail.  I do not think the halyard style would be any problem.  If you do order for racing purposes with laminate material protection, ask for a long bag so that rolled sails will fit in the bag properly, also ask for battens to be sewn in (except for the top batten).  My current North set is starting to show their age with some ‘motorboating’ along the lower leech of the jib and some softness of the material near the clew area of the mainsail.  I have gotten good value from North brand sails and they are still competitive and will last a long time yet.  My first set of North sails which I sold years ago are 17 years old now and are still competitive, so buying a laminate construction sail, not letting them flog in the wind and rolling them will get you very long service. 

New Leitch & McBride sails on SeaSpray closest to camera


Renew your membership or become a new member by visiting our Canadian SeaSpray Welcome Page. You will find a link to the membership form, a link to the SeaSpray Questions Forum, and a link to the SeaSpray Files page.

I hope everyone is actively working to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus because it isn’t going away on its own.

Canadian Championships Regatta Update

From Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club:

At last night’s exec meeting of the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club it was
decided to cancel the 2020 Canadian National Seaspray Championship Regatta
because of COVID – 19.  Although this is disappointing it was felt to be the
prudent thing to do. We’ve been having minimal club activities to protect
members and guests.  Stay safe, all.
Stan Storwick

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this decision has been made. Although we all enjoy getting together at these events, we shouldn’t ignore the potential contact dangers associated with travelling to the regatta site. This virus cannot move on its own, it can only move when people move to or from a place outside of their ‘bubble’.

Prairie Wind Results

From Don Snell, Newell Sailing Club:

Eight SeaSprays participated in an open weekend sailing time on July 11 and 12 at Newell Sailing Club.  Some impromptu, socially distanced racing took place and the results are shown in the attached photo. 
The weather for the weekend was pleasant and about 8 other boats participated as well.  It is hoped that by next summer the normal Prairie Wind regatta will happen.  
Take a look at the windknife website from Britain again if you are interested in getting a new set of daggerboards.  One of our club members has acquired a set and I also bought another set for a second SeaSpray that I own.  So far I think that they work well and are a real time saver compared to building a set of wood/fiberglass boards.  You still have to fit them into your daggerboard trunks and seal the ends of the aluminum boards.  They do not float so some system of attachment to the boat is necessary.  The next item would be a set of light weight rudder blades.  If any of you find a source let me know.
As far as I know some type of event will happen at Osoyoos the second full weekend of September.  I will keep you posted if and when I learn more about that.  

Prairie Wind Regatta NOR

Don Snell sent this along regarding the Prairie Wind Regatta in Brooks, AB

Hi All,
The Newell Sailing Club will host a very non-typical regatta at our regular time frame July 11 and 12th 2020.  It will still be called the “Prairie Wind” Regatta however it will be a “bring your own food and beverages” event. There will be some (possibly 10 or more) on site tent camping spaces available.  Hotels and other camping are available in the area as well as there may be space left in Kinbrook Island Campground as well. 
You should contact John by phone (number on the notice of race) to let him know you will be attending so that we can follow government regulations in regards to our current viral situation.  At the moment the club hall and other buildings on the club’s grounds will be off limits (this may be subject to change).  The park bathrooms will be available for public use.   
The club will follow the current health regulations and expect members, competitors and guests to follow all mandated requirements. 
I have attached the Notice of Race and also you can view it on the Newell Sailing Club’s website under the regattas page.  Planned races to a maximum of 10.
We do not expect a large number of competitors but we could attract a fair contingent of SeaSpray sailors.  
You may also contact me at 403 362 7196 Don, for more information.   Please continue to check the Newell Sailing Club’s webpage for info or changes to this event. 

— — — — — — — — — — — 

from Steve Sherry…
In regards to the late Terry Clow

I remember his sail. It may be owned by Phil Minnehan.  Terry was a fun guy.  We had good adventures on the water.   

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