Archive for October, 2002

October 6, 2002

Newsletter October 2002

Mike Fahle (Mikefahle) on Sunday, October 06, 2002 – 11:16 pm:

Mystere 4.3 Owners’ Newsletter – Fall 2002 by: Mike Fahle

GREETINGS – The racing season ends next week in Ohio which is actually a bonus since the Mystere 4.3 group at Alum Creek recently got our class invited to the “Alum Cup”, otherwise the season would have already ended. So if you are not ready to be done racing this season then come to Alum Creek next weekend for what could be billed as “the last chance regatta”, at least here in Ohio.

ALUM CUP – Dates: October 12 & 13 Location: Alum Creek Marina, on Hollenback Rd.
Times : Saturday 9:30 skippers meeting Saturday 10:30 first race Sunday 10:30 first race
Fees: I-LYA members $10.00 Non-affiliated individuals $15.00


CAN RACE – Last year the Mystere 4.3 class owners were invited to race at Port Clinton Yacht Club (PCYC) with the Interlake fleet there thanks to Doug Young. It is a race from near the beach to a big navigational buoy near the end of Catawba Island and back (about ten miles). This year they invited us back on Sunday, August 18th. The day was light –medium wind; just right for being between hiking and trapezing – usually hiking. The wind was from the Northwest so that each way was a very close spinnaker reach or a looser jib reach. The big surprise of the day was when Brad Culbert flew by everyone from back in the pack sailing just jib and main, establishing a nice lead almost out to the Catawba Can when he capsized. We learned later that he was well lathered with sun tan lotion and slid right off the trampoline when his boat started to heel. He had been laying across the tramp on his back looking at the sails and just fell in! He showed blazing speed on the whole class before swimming and this was his very first race. We have to get him out again to learn his secrets. After the race we had a great pot-luck lunch with the Interlake sailors and then the awards presentation by PRO, Doug Young. Results are posted on the owners’ website (

ALUM CREEK – This is always a fun regatta just north of Columbus, Ohio, counts as one of the OCRA season counters, and is held on one of the best inland lake venues available. The wind was from the SSW and light each race and often pretty frustrating, especially when the wind would take a break. One sailor lowered his jib while sailing downwind on one occasion to try to get the spinnaker to fill when it temporarily became nearly a drifter and that worked to see the spinnaker better, too. The RC was able to get two races in before lunch and when they tried for more in the afternoon, the wind puked! So they sent us in to prepare for the party at (Mystere 4.3 owners) Anne and Duncan Spillman’s new house. The excitement that evening was when the kids found a swarm of bees that attacked them while they were playing in the woods! The next day, the wind was very light in the morning with fog and the racers needed to be coaxed out to race. Then the wind did about a 120 degree shift and settled in from the NNW with a little increase, making the weather mark placement closer to shore and causing some real “swirlies” there at times. It required being able to “keep your head out of the boat” and handling the boat well without too much attention which was needed to look for the wind on the course. Results are posted on the OCRA website (

SNOW FLURRIES – This is a long running regatta that used to have a large one-design section to go with the large “big boat” section on separate courses. The one-design portion was not held for a few years, then started up again with mostly just Interlakes. Now it is open to beach cats and is an OCRA event. It is also another one day event and was the last OCRA event this year. The Mystere 4.3 class was seven boats out of fifteen total cats, so our class is dominating OCRA and allowed for some nice one-design racing. With two more boats we would have been awarded the trophy for the class with the most
boats. The racing featured trying to sail the Mysteres through large waves on the Lake Erie south shore
that were left over from a pretty brisk Northeasterly that was rapidly easing into the hiking only stage and then, for the third and last race, into the “please keep blowing!” stage. Mike Fahle tried to get out early only to just get into the trapeze, sheet in, and promptly pitchpole upwind! The boat just drove right into a big wave, probably amplified by the Jet Express ferry boat or something similar, and when the wave hit the main beam the boat slowed so fast that he couldn’t uncleat the main before being launched toward the bows. Working to redeem himself for such an embarrassing episode, he led the Mystere 4.3s at every mark but one in the three races. Jamie Diamond was shamelessly conducting head games on Bob Everson between races but he did show significantly better pointing ability upwind, right after working on his standing rigging to increase the rig rake (see article below). He finished second each race and Bob would have been third for the regatta if he had not been over early one race. Instead, Lou Young (Doug’s brother) took third. Lou owns a Corsair F-28R that has won the Nationals and routinely wins the PHRF multihull class in distance races on Lake Erie. The results are posted on the OCRA website. Carol Fahle provided the scoring and RC services needed to pull this “extra” regatta off for OCRA.

BOATS/OWNERS – The new boats are all sold and two boats in Port Clinton have recently changed ownership. The mailing list reflects the changes but here are all of them for this season for your information: (Please let Mike Fahle know of any others not listed here)
Owners of new boats: Todd Hart – Manteo, N.C., Jon Britt – Duck, N.C. , Phillipe Ritter – Fort Worth, Tx., David Rain – Lutz, Fl. , Bob Everson – Liberty Township, Oh., Tim Pickering – Delaware, Oh., Jim Higgins – Charlotte, N.C., Paul Hubbard – Cleveland, Oh., Eric Farnsworth – Madison, Wi., Mike Fahle – Toledo, Oh., Jamie Diamond – Columbus, Oh., Paul Steed – Glen Ellyn, Il.
New Owners of 2001 boats (whose boat they bought): John Williams – Pensacola, Fl. (Mike Fahle) John Knight, Cleveland, Oh.(Lou Young), Matt Lescohier– Indianapolis, In. (Paul Steed), Tom Houston – Cleveland, Oh. (Jamie Diamond), Bill Holt – Toledo, Oh. (Larry Logsdon).

SPARE PARTS – We have two spinnakers for sale: one .75 oz (light) that is the original green color and one 1.5 oz (heavy)that is all blue. There are two new style (nylon spinnaker material) snuffer bags and some new dacron jibs available also. We also have spare battens, a few rudder springs and screws, and hull plugs. Anyone interested should contact Mike or Carol Fahle at: (419) 729-9965 and/or e-mail.

PLANNING – Mystere sponsors a National Championship series each year in Canada. We can offer incentives again next year for regatta attendance as was done last year (read previous newsletters) and hold our own U.S. National Championship series at locations around the eastern U.S. where there are owners willing to host such a regatta. We would have at least five regattas – the North Carolina group wants us to come sail on the Outer Banks for a regatta and John Williams wants us in the Florida panhandle for a regatta. The owners near Lake Carlisle could choose an event for that location and we could have two in the OCRA season counters, such as Ceasar’s Creek and Alum Creek. We could score the events like we do the OCRA season results with a throwout. Please provide your input on this plan to Mike Fahle and/or throw ideas out on the Owners’ forum – Note the new website address: – and discuss this at the upcoming events so that we can plan for next year in time for vacation schedules. Last year the incentive was based on the BOAT’S participation which worked well and helped new people try it out, so we should keep that. Let’s hear your ideas!

RIGGING MODIFICATIONS – Look for more details about rigging changes on the owners’ website. All owners are encouraged to share their ideas and developments with all the other owners to keep making the boats faster, easier, simpler, better! Meanwhile, Jamie Diamond has been experimenting with rig rake. Early results look promising. We will compare boat performance at the Alum Cup and if his changes work, we will report exact shroud and forestay lengths for everyone to copy easily if they decide. Here is Jamie’s rationale and description of what he is doing:

I don’t know what length shrouds I ended up with. I didn’t touch the forestay and I really need a longer one. Here is my rational: My goal when setting up the Mystere 4.3 is to give it us much mast rake as it will stand. By that I mean that I rake the mast back until, if I went any further, I would not be able to get adequate leech tension when sheeting hard. This is determined by raking the mast until the mainsheet blocks just touch each other when you have cranked in on the mainsheet as hard as you ever will. To get close to that I made the following changes:
1.) Replaced the existing chain plates with the 11-hole chain plates all the way around (forestay and both shrouds).
2.) Shortened the shrouds by one swage. i.e. I cut the shroud as close to the existing swage as I could, and then re-swaged it with as little additional length loss as possible.
3.) For last weekend (and the upcoming Alum regatta) I added a really long (approx. 2 inches) shackle to the top of the chainplate on the forestay artificially adding an extra 2 inches to the forestay length.
4.) At this point the shrouds are pinned in the top holes of the 11-hole chain plates and the forestay is pinned 2 inches above the top hole of an 11-hole chainplate.
5.) I changed the knot at the standing-end of the mainsheet from a bowline to a stoppered half-hitch (saving about an inch of mainsheet stack-height)
6.) After all of that I was still not quite going block to block on the mainsheet. (So I need to add a little more length to the forestay and take the shrouds down perhaps one hole before Alum, probably by adding a second chainplate to the forestay.)

The boat went upwind awesome. The rudders had a reasonably aggressive angle of attack and yet were not stalling out. The boat tacked quickly. The only bad news was I probably had between 5 and 10 lbs of apparent weather helm which meant steering upwind was a pain, or maybe even painful. I will rake the rudders forward significantly between now and Alum to relieve some of the apparent weather helm while preserving the angle of attack of the rudders. After Alum (over the winter) I will probably make a new forestay that is at least 5 inches longer. I may switch out my bottom triple mainsheet block to one without a becket. Removal of the becket and moving the standing-end of the mainsheet to a fairlead bolted to the top of the camcleat will save another 1 inch of stack height allowing even more mast rake if I want. If the boat still seems happy with that much mast rake then I would then pursue getting shorter shackles to hook everything to the mainsheet saving perhaps another half-inch or so.

The reason I do this, the reason I want as much mast rake as I can, is that the boat is a skeg boat. The best underwater foil the boat has is the rudder. The second best is the skeg. So I want to put as much of my sail area (center of effort) over the rudder as I can making it take as much of the underwater effort as is possible (observable via it’s angle of attack), and letting the rest of the boat drive through the water straight, minimizing form drag. I will stop optimizing in this direction when the rudder starts stalling too often or when the boat gets too underpowered to make up for the reduced underwater drag.

Editor’s note: BTW, this is what we learned about the Hobie Wave as well. People were even changing the tiller connector from on top the tillers to on bottom so that they could rake back even further (the sail would hit the tiller connector before the sheet was double-blocked). We shall see if the boats behave similarly to rig rake.