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 ??

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 2020 Newsletter

2020 SeaSpray North Americans

Some recent email discussion has the following proposed and most likely site for the 2020 SeaSpray North Americans.  There is a chance that they would give us a Friday start as well so possibly plan to get to the Eugene Yacht Club, Oregon area by Thursday.  Camping on the lawn area is also possible and Eugene is a short distance away for those that would prefer to stay in a hotel/motel.

LIVE ON THE EDGE MULTIHULL Regatta • June 13-14, 2020

Eugene Yacht Club is located on seven acres on the shore Fern of Ridge Reservoir just twelve miles west of Eugene, Oregon.

The most northern of the MHRA events. You can camp on the lawn (I believe) and they feed you etc and do a very good job (I am told). So it would be convenient, and not too far from Canada? Pretty sure we could get our own start. The early date is the issue, so that is why I am bringing it up now, before asking them. The weather can still be unsettled – a chance of rain in June.  Check the links below for more information.


I just sent a request to Larry Cox at Eugene YC for a fleet start, and to see if they will give us starts on Friday.  Michael Butler

This is closer for many of us to drive and the venue location offers a number of interesting areas to explore before and after the event.  A trial balloon of this event was sent to the attendees of the 2018 North American event and at this time six have indicated they would plan to attend this event.  Unless there is some major objection in the next few days over this time and location for the North Americans, plan to make this your destination for the 2020 SeaSpray North Americans.

Check the Eugene Yacht Club’s website for upcoming information on this event as well as any pre-registration requirements.  Often times pre-registering will save some money.

The SeaSpray Canadian Nationals will take place at the Osoyoos Sailing Club on the second full weekend of September including the Friday.  More info to follow on this event as well as pre registrations, etc.  Plan to pre-book your accommodations.

Trailer Storage Box

This fall I had some time to modify one of the two SeaSpray trailers I have.  After making do with small storage boxes on these trailers I thought about buying a larger cargo trailer.  The price and dealing with a third trailer gave me the big idea to modify one of the trailers I have.  It still needs some work a.k.a. getting the boat up and down on the rack as well as organizing the interior.  The box is 4′ wide, 5′ tall and 10′ long so plenty of room inside.  It is now possible to bring more things along like bicycles, camping gear, windsurf equipment.  Weight is an issue as the axle is good for 2000lbs so not a lot of extra capacity, maybe up to 500 lbs. not including the boat.  I estimate the box added 350 to 400 lbs.  Putting insurance on everything might be a good idea.


I would welcome your articles on anything relating to your boat, travel to and from events or other related activities or boat projects.

Next issue-sometime soon.

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Snell Wins North Americans

Congratulations to Don Snell for winning the 2019 North American Sea Spray Championship.  Congratulations also go to Richard Braul for second place and Rupert Holmes-Smith for third place finish.  There were 11 Sea Sprays competing but unfortunately no American competitors were present.  The races were hosted by the Osoyoos Sailing Club with good winds on Saturday and Sunday allowed for 10 races overall.  Friday being the sit on the beach day with only one race on that day.  It should be noted that Chris Scheuren a non-competitor won the Turkey award for attempting a long distance trip with a motor boat without a very necessary gas tank.  Outboard motors can run without a gas tank albeit for only five minutes.  Good thing they had oars in the boat!  There were a few capsizes but no rescues.   John Cormack was able to attend as race officer.  The usual format of running races from the fore deck on land was changed and the races were run from a MacGregor 26 race committee boat on the water.  A windward mark and downwind gate of two marks were placed and the start/finish line was maintained square to the wind and the windward mark was shifted as necessary due to wind shifts.   CLICK HERE TO VIEW SCORING

New Sails

Gary Ford offered some other sail source with the following information….Hi Don, further to our conversation regarding the design of sails for your seasprays. I can send you my notes based on my design and the associations one design sail measurements in both SI and Imperial sizes.
Gary was able to design his sails using this program and have the sails made off shore at a very reasonable price.  More info to follow on this subject.  There are also sail kits available from Sailrite out of Indiana US.  These are a fairly full design but could be modified if conversations with their sail designer take place.  At the moment the cord/camber ratio is about 10:1 but could be flattened a bit to 11:1 if desired.  Make sure they design the sails using the allowable foot roaches for the main and jib.  Having built a jib some adjustment to the patches is needed and I would recommend a slightly longer luff wire for the jib (say at least 2″ or 3″).  There are material choices as well.

The Windknife Daggerboards

After using these boards for the Nationals and the North Americans I would recommend their use if you want to replace or upgrade your dagger boards.  Having built a number of sets over the years the aluminum boards represent a real time saver.  You will have to fit them properly in the trunk which will involve a fair bit of work in order to prevent water slopping up the trunk.  Even after sealing the boards they still do not float so attaching them loosely to the side stays is recommended.
After capsizing in one race my big concern was not to loose one or both boards.  I did have a side shock cord under tension holding them in place but my main concern was to make them secure.  Even after turtling and righting the boat they stayed in place because of the sideways force of the shock cord.
They did bend (but not permanently) when levering the boat to a sideways capsize position and stepping on them close to the hull did not permanently bend them so I would say they withstood a somewhat moderate force.  The trailing edge is sharp and placing a piece of oak or maple with a saw kerf to help quide them up and down inside the trunk makes for a smooth workable action.  I used blue styrofoam in front of the boards inside the trunk and top and bottom was finished and aligned with bondo with the short strand fiberglass strands in the mixture.

For more on this topic see Don’s previous article about these foils.

Waiting for wind on Friday afternoon.

Relaxing and discussing all things that matter

It’s not all about sailing when you attend a regatta.

There was lots of socializing and relaxing too.  The Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club provided some outstanding meals as well.
Wine and cheese Friday night had a wide variety of local wine.  The weather was great on Friday, good on Saturday (with moderate winds) and on Sunday it rained with slightly less wind than on Saturday.  Gas prices dropped to $1.25 per litre in Osoyoos on Saturday, somewhat of a deal in BC.

2019 Nationals


Click here for full results of Prairie Wind Regatta

The 2019 SeaSpray Nationals held at Lake Newell and hosted by the Newell Sailing Club went smoothly enough with fairly consistent light winds that enabled seven races.  It was a large regatta with light winds and close to 80 boats across several classes.

2019 Winners
L to R, Richard Braul 3rd, Hamish Ferguson 2nd and Don Snell 1st.

A fleet of 10 SeaSprays competed with the exception that one of the SeaSprays was really a Sol Cat.  Seven were from NSC, one from St. Mary’s Sailing Club and one from Calgary.  In the photo from left to right, Richard Braul 3rd, Hamish Ferguson 2nd and Don Snell 1st.  The race results are posted in the attachment.


On another topic, we found during this event that some of the competitors boats had trampoline problems, namely their tramps were pulling out from the extrusion.  I took the time to take some pictures to show what your trampoline extrusions should look like.

tramp extrusion

The left extrusion is Glenmore sailboat’s supplied extrusion.  The space is slightly less than 1/8″ and this is the correct gap spacing.  Note also the rounded entrance to allow easier placement of the trampoline into the extrusion.  The top extrusion is a typical awning extrusion supplied by your local tarp or tent and awning or upholstery shop.  The gap on that extrusion is closer to 1/4″ and is too wide.  You can pinch this to a 1/8″ gap with pliers or using a bench vise.  You should also round the sharp corners with a file for easier placement of the trampoline.  If your tramp is consistently pulling out you will have to remove it and correctly space the extrusion.  If it is at the proper spacing, likely the bolt rope is too small or has deteriorated and will have to be replaced.  Make sure that you or whoever replaces the bolt rope uses the correct size rope.  You can try wrapping a piece of tramp material around a potential sized rope (I think 3/16″) to test to see if it will fit into the extrusion before using it for the new bolt rope.  I have seen rotted wood in place of the bolt rope which seems that someone thought wood doweling would work, not!  Polyester rope is the best, a bit more expensive but the advantage is it doesn’t shrink in length like nylon.  Polypropylene will work but may deteriorate in time.  If your bolt rope is consistent but a bit too small you may be able to close the 1/8″ gap a bit smaller to make it hold.  Make sure your extrusion is clean.  Use some spray lubricant to help slide the tramp into the extrusion.

securing tramp

This picture shows the end of the extrusion holding the trampoline.  You will note that waxed thread has been used to hold the tramp here from pulling out.  This works very well.  Some variations are to use wire which is acceptable but try to find some waxed thread and a heavy needle to do this work.  If your extrusion gaping is at the right width and your bolt rope is consistent and you sew or wire the ends you shouldn’t have problems with your tramp pulling out.  You may have to use a nail to drive out the rivet remnants out of the rivet before sewing.

(Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl – you should consider this a must for your sailing toolbox) Available online and in stores.


Covering your trampoline to protect it from sunlight and some dirt will greatly extend the life of your tramp.  If you don’t cover your tramp the sewing thread will go first, the hiking strap material next and finally the tramp material itself will eventually be destroyed by the sun’s rays.

The Verdict on the Aluminum Dagger boards from windknife.

I used the extruded aluminum dagger boards in this race and found them to work well.  There was no hum like my wooden/glass boards make. When considering all the work involved to make wood/glass/carbon fiber boards they should be a consideration if you want to upgrade your standard boards.   Downside is that they do not float and the trailing edge is near knife sharp so be careful when handling.  Consider some way of tying them to the boat if capsize is a possibility or just do it anyways.  There was time spent to make them fit precisely in line.  I used pieces of maple (oak would do) for a guide for the trailing edge.  A saw cut 1/8″ deep was made dead center lengthwise and these boards were varnished and placed inside the trunks before being glassed into place.  The trailing edge of these boards are almost knife edge sharp and could do some real damage if grounded.  These saw cuts act as a guide to keep the boards aligned.  Tape around the boards when doing your bondo or epoxy putty work to make a precise fit.  Care must be taken to make sure the boards align as perfectly as possible with the lengthwise center line of each hull.  At around $100 each with shipping they are a bargain and could/should be part of your boat upgrade solutions.

Shows loops for pulling out and epoxy filled end


Hamish mentioned that during some of the really light upwind wind sailing, flattening the mainsail was better than leaving it full.  My observation was that sailing with a bit of jib luff flapping but with the leach streamers still streaming worked for some of the time going to windward.  Most of the boats were fairly close speed wise.  Wind shifts or being on the right tack or side of the course made big differences.


Download a copy from our website now and send your payment to Hamish Ferguson — details on the form



Foil Fun by Don Snell

Always looking to make his SeaSpray faster, easier to sail, and less fragile, Don Snell has submitted this information to the Class Newsletter.

After some looking on line regarding the possible availability of extruded aluminum dagger boards I found a company from England called Windknife ( that supplies a product at a reasonable price.  Considering all the work involved in building an acceptable dagger board these seem like a bargain at around $100 Canadian a piece.  You will have to cut them down to possibly 36″ or so and you will end up with almost enough to make a set of rudder blades.  Anyways this may help many of you get a good set of dagger boards and possibly rudder blades without a lot of work and expense.  In the pictures you can see that the ends are sealed with an epoxy/filling mixture made thick enough not to run.  It can be pushed into each end.  You could drill rope holes as I have done and force the mixture high enough to make the rope holes water tight as well.  You do want these boards water tight as they weigh a bit more than a reinforced wooden dagger board.  They are 5.25″ wide or cord length and after calculating the surface area of a 4.5″ wide board 40″ long a 36″ length will give the same surface area.  They are the minimum required thickness of 1/2″ and should be acceptable class rules wise and there is no reference to material of the dagger board or rudder blades.  Some consideration as to fitting them properly into the trunks is the next step.  Possibly a cassette or blade holder would enable moving these dagger boards to a few different boats with the one inch trunk size.  The trailing edge of the boards are very fine and I could see them doing some damage to the lower dagger board trunk if the board bottomed at higher speeds.  Anyway hope some of you will try these boards and come up with some acceptable ways of incorporating them into your boats.  Here are pictures for a better look.

Shows finished length and one with protective cover

Shows loops for pulling out and epoxy filled end

Bottom end, epoxy filled, showing cross section of board

North Sails Update on SeaSpray Sails

Some discussion with North Sails may have us again able to get our sails from North.  Apparently design work will have to be done first.  Possibly a start with a fairly full sail will be easier to modify than a flat sail so this may be what an initial set will look like.  More discussion with North urging some progress on this will have to take place I am sure.


2019 Championships

2019 SeaSpray Canadian Nationals will be held in conjunction with the Prairie Wind Regatta, Sat. & Sunday, July 13 and 14.  Check on the Newell Sailing Club website for more information.  If you are planning on camping at Kinbrook Island section “I” will likely have some sites held in reserve (by phone for this event).  There will be complimentary tent camping on the club’s lease during this event.


2019 SeaSpray North Americans will be held in Osoyoos, BC at the Osoyoos Sailing Club on Sept 13, 14 and 15th.  More information to follow or check on the Osoyoos Sailing Club website.  Remember to book your accommodations.  Pre Registration on the club website will likely be available a little later.


We hope you will plan to attend one or both of these events this year.


2019 Championship Details Released

Championship Dates

If you have been itching to settle your 2019 racing calendar, you are in luck because here are the dates and locations for the 2019 Championship Regattas.



2019 Canadian Nationals will be held in conjunction with the Prairie Wind Regatta, Sat. & Sunday, July 13 and 14. More information to follow or check on the Newell Sailing Club website in a while. If you are planning on camping at Kinbrook Island section “I” will likely have some sites held in reserve (by phone for this event). There will be complimentary tent camping on the club’s lease during this event.


2019 Seaspray North Americans will be held in Osoyoos, BC at the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club on Sept 13, 14 and 15th. More information to follow or check on the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club website. Remember to book your accommodations. Pre Registration on the club website will likely be available a little later.

We hope you will plan to attend one or both of these events this year.

Other News

Recently we found out that North Sails lost our race sail pattern. This is unfortunate if you are looking to purchase a new set of sails. After a couple of conversations with Dennis at North in Vancouver there is some hope that either a new pattern (design) can be made or the old pattern is found. Perhaps we may have to look for a new sail maker. If any of you have some thoughts on this issue let us know.

All for now.

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