New low-cost "hardware store" racing class; input on proposed rules

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Petros, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Wives are also good for keeping you out of the spray line....

    I don't like hooks under the gunwale as they are potential skin rippers. I suggested plastic conduit as this is supposedly a hardware store class. I don't like loops either as they can trap hands or feet. Knots are better

    I'm wearing the yellow hat, taken a few days ago. A slightly heavier boat than most dinghies!

    RW
     

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  2. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Looks perfect for demonstrating the approved 'scoop' technique......;)

    In practice a lot of heavy dinghies, Wayfarer, Laser Bahia etc cannot physically be righted using the scoop technique if the crew are light to medium weight. That is one of the reasons I am not a fan of the 'method' taught. It should be one of several. Not meaning to 'teach and suck eggs'...

    Appears a bit like (but not), a Salcombe Yawl? or something similar. She must be a bit tender to capsize in those gentle conditions....:) - training I assume. Nice photo and shows the value of a low board/drop keel.

    Thanks for the observation(s) CT, perhaps it's a good thing I mainly sail a single hander.....;)
     
  3. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Much, much bigger than a Salcombe Yawl, 7m x 2.3m x maybe 1.5T so we were all impressed we got it up again so easily. and yes it was a deliberate capsize, part of the RCD and MCA tests we were doing. Downflooding, vanishing angle, 90deg, 180 deg capsize and recovery with/without sails hoisted. And a MOB for good measure

    I cannot really say more, but you'll see it on Channel 4 next year

    I have never used the scoop method myself, only taught it. Mainly I suspect because when I sail I, and my crew/helm, know what we are doing.

    The last boats I capsized before this one were a 420 and RS400. The latter is much easier to right and board. In fact if you look at new designs, say from the last 20 years you'll see they are all designed to be much quicker and safer to right and reboard after a capsize. I am not sure I could get back into a Solo, for example, very easily these days.

    Just because it is a cheap simple boat doesn't mean a capsize recovery should be as hard/dangerous/expensive on rig and gear as it was in the 1950-60's.

    Richard Woods
     
  4. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Thank you for the information Richard, much appreciated. I look forward to seeing the 'episode' when it gets broadcast!.

    Your right about the improvement of designs in respect of righting and recovery. Generally they are much better, and safer as a result, which is a good thing, and reflects on the quality of design thinking.You'd still get in a Solo fine btw, just not over the transom.....;) They actually don't float too high unlike a Laser, side tanks are smaller volume.....and they are stable enough to let you pull yourself in with the hull level in a real capsize. You probably would not need any righting lines but they are permitted....;)

    The 'fun' boats are the max beam Merlins, where it's more awkward to get in from the board...but at least most have a decent buoyancy distribution. I also suspect that generally lighter hull/rig systems also help recovery, as simply a bit less effort is required.
     
  5. DriesLaas
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    DriesLaas Weekend Warrior

    Hi guys,
    I am trying to catch up on this thread, but it's a lot of reading. So please excuse me if I ask something which has been answered.
    My opinion is that the success of a low cost class like this is going to depend a lot on the cost of the rig and sails. I am very curious to see some details about this.
    The hardware stores in South Africa SUCK by the way, so we could never do this from a hardware store. In the spirit of, is quite possible however. I think we could build a pretty decent boat for the budget, provided no marine ply is used.
     
  6. Segler
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    Segler Junior Member

    The success of this class depends on people with the initiative to build. Cost, while a challenge, is not an obstacle. I completed the BLUE HERON for under $500 (see preceding posts). It just means that you have to make most everything yourself with cheap and sometimes unusual materials. Like my standard block, below, made from plywood scraps and a hex-bolt.

    After years of talking about it on this thread, which enjoys a global audience, to my knowledge only two people have completed or are about to complete their boats. Surprising and disappointing.

    I suspect that the hang-up is the considerable amount of time required to complete a project like this. No matter how thrifty you are, you will still need hundreds of hours to do it. To me, that's the fun part. And it goes on...
     

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  7. Dunnage
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    Dunnage Junior Member

    Sails

    My boat, 'Naiad' is ready to launch. I have work to do on my trailer so I can get her safely to the water... projected launch date 17 June. But I am not going to be 'ready for competition' since I do not yet have all the home-made and therefore cheap parts like blocks and sails done. Segler made all of his blocks, including a mainsheet ratchet block, from plywood scrap and a few bolts, and his sails from a superior grade of white poly-tarp assembled with double-sided 'carpet tape'. I am impatient and, when all else was done, I used blocks from my stash of used 'boat bits' left over from 5o5 sailing days. And I decided that the sails from a 420 were just about the perfect size for Naiad and I got, for free, a very used and abused set of them to use 'for testing purposes'. All of that needs to be corrected before any formal competition occurs. But meanwhile I get to test the boat and see what design flaws I managed to build in.

    But, to me, sails are a real issue. If I were to continue to use 420 sails I would have to 'charge' my budget the new, or at least the widely available used, price for them. That amount is way too much... it is somewhere between the entire $600 and upwards to several times the whole budget. Segler's sails cost him approximately $50, I think. Certainly much less than $100. And they set really well and 'look good'. But I have misgivings about the durability of any sail built that way. I expect they will need to be replaced rather frequently. Then the cost of a set of good used sails sewed up of Dacron sailcloth would be cheaper in the long run, but still would be over budget.

    I have found and purchased some really nice 4 oz. Dacron sailcloth from eBay that I paid about $3.50 (USD) per square meter (really cheap for sailcloth; but I assume if I found it on eBay then it is 'available to all'). I also got some Dacron seam binding tape that is 3 inches wide for about a $2.00 per meter. The heaviest Dacron thread that will go through the needle for a home sewing machine is affordable too. But I have tested a number of home sewing machines (Believe it or not, my wife has eight sewing machines counting a couple inherited from her relatives... including old ones with real steel gears.) The best a home machine can manage is to seam through four layers of 4 oz. Dacron, and that is really marginal. An industrial machine to do the job right is at least $750. So the formula that seems to enforce home made sails is artificial; artificial because it counts material cost while ignoring that an unusual machine, not widely available and quite costly, is required to make use of those materials. I do not know what to do about this. Maybe we need to compete using poly-tarp sails; but put them away between competitions and do ordinary sailing with proper sails obtained outside of the rules. But maybe you forum members can come up with a better solution. I look forward to it.
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Congratulations on finishing your boat

    As you know, I also followed your route of using second hand gear (even if I was the original buyer). I still think that is in the spirit if the class. I certainly won't be making my own blocks instead of using better ones I already have. And I certainly won't use polytarp sails that might blow out at any time in any wind. That is very unseamanlike.

    Have you check out Infinity Sails, they have a fat head 420 mainsail for USD179 new. A friend on Whidbey has one and is pleased with it. I'll see it for myself at the weekend at the Lone Lake regatta (maybe a good place for your first sail?)

    We have made many sails, up to drifters for 35ft boats, using a domestic sewing machine (one came from a US charity shop, another from a free-store in Canada, like your wife mine also collects sewing machines). So I think you should be able to make dacron dinghy sails from scratch on a domestic machine. After all most Sailrite customers make sails that way.

    I said many posts ago that a better, simpler set of rules would be "all boats use a Laser rig. All hulls in plywood" Then the rig factor would be taken out of the equation and we would very quickly know which was the best hull design that could be easily built on a budget

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. Dunnage
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    Dunnage Junior Member

    Richard... Thank you for the encouragement. I have yet to try the oldest straight-stich machine; a 1950 vintage Kenmore from Sears and Roebuck mail order that came from my mother-in-law. It is alleged to be able to sew galvanized steel siding. Anyway, I will persevere in the sail making attempt.

    As to the first sail outing... I think I will try out the boat semi-privately before exposing us, Naiad and I, to broader opportunities for ridicule. ;-) This is my very first attempt; and the odds are against everything working as well as I have hoped. My design mantra has been "make it look like the median example of every other 14 foot dinghy and it will be more likely to be an average good boat without major flaws". Admittedly a low mark to shoot for, but I lack both personal boat design experience and sophisticated design and modeling tools... so I am aiming for the center of mass and hoping to avoid missing the target entirely.
     
  10. Dunnage
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    Dunnage Junior Member

    I just looked up the 'Long Lake' regatta. The real name is the 'Sail What You Gotta, Regatta' and it is sponsored by the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District. The Third Annual occurs this year on July 30th from Noon to 5:00PM on Lone Lake, S. Whidbey Island. See www.swparks.org

    Maybe by then I will have things sorted out...
     
  11. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

  12. DriesLaas
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    DriesLaas Weekend Warrior

    I have done some recent work on polytarp sails, after eventually sourcing white material in SA. I hated the idea of a trailer cover colored boat sail. The white stuff lends a certain legitimacy to the sail, I think.
    Anyway, I made several testpieces. One was bonded with sikaflex and reinforced with ductape.
    One was only ductape
    one was double sided carpet tape
    one was fiberglass reinforced tape

    The initial results are:
    Sika does not bond to polytarp at all
    Ductape alone may work, but is actually quite weak. One a tear initiates, it "unzips" itself.
    Carpet tape works awesomely well, have not been able to tear a 80mm wide sample stuck with 48mm wide tape. Will have to make a testrig and pull properly.
    Fiberglass tape is as good as carpet tape, and much stronger in the tape direction because of the glassfibres.
    I think very promising to lay along loadlines and help the polytarp.
    I think two seasons of sailing, given that I have to fit sailing into family life, is very realistic.
     
  13. DriesLaas
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    DriesLaas Weekend Warrior

    I think that a aluminium pipe as a mast is the best bang for buck.
    A 6 metre length of od 76mm wall 1.6mm 6063T6 costs R458 which is $31.
    A freestanding rig allows about 1100 Nm of righting moment, which is probably OK for the size of boat we are discussing. A sleeved main to save mast hardware.
    I think you can not easily make a sailing rig cheaper than that.
     
  14. DriesLaas
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    DriesLaas Weekend Warrior

    And on to the final variable which drives the feasibility of a boat like this:
    Man-hours:

    I can not get more than 40hrs per month, and that is actually neglecting the normal things I have to do around the house. Realistically, I think 30hrs per month can be done.

    I am trying to compile a man-hours required per task list, and my guesses are as follows ( by no means verified or complete yet, I am relying on more experienced builder to pile in:)
    Fillet a joint between two plywood panels = 5 minutes per metre
    Tab two layers of glass over a previously filleted joint = 15 minutes per metre
    Glassing a hull outside = 10 minutes per sq metre (simple "low-convex" surface)
    Finishing a previously glassed surface = 4 hrs per sq metre (filling, sanding, spot-filling, sanding, primer applied, flat-sand ready to paint)

    Please help me to improve these estimates.
     

  15. Segler
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    Segler Junior Member

    Richard, you just created a loophole big enough to drive a dinghy through, rigging and all.
     
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