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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:15 pm
by tomodda
Hi Folks. I'm new to this forum, already picked up a lot of tips and ideas just from reading, so thank you!

Yes, I've lost my mind and bought another project boat - Daysailer I, Number 37 - built in 1958. Her previous, previous owner ever so prosaically christened her as the "Hull No 37," so I guess I will believe him as there is no builders plate, only a mainsail as soft as a diaper:

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Instead of builder's plate, the aft coaming has a prayer. I'm guessing I'll need it!:

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So, lots of work ahead, first goal is just to get her in the water and sailing on my local lake without drowning me (more on that later). I hope you all will be kind enough to indulge me in answering some questions. I've been sailing for nearly 50 years but never a O'Day DS. I know my way around a rapidly cooking-off pot of epoxy and have made plenty of expensive sawdust, but this is still new territory for me. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, I'm off to unscrew the inscrutable on this boat (hot afternoon! I'm taking a break....) and will post more photos later to show what I'm up against.


P.S. Lower shrouds, who put lower shrouds on this thing?!? Wood cam cleats, interesting... They routed the jib sheet HOW?!? Jumper stays, those got to go! This is gonna get "fun".....

Re: #37

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:23 pm
by GreenLake
Wow, that's a bit of history you have there!

Welcome to the forum!

Re: #37

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:31 pm
by tomodda
Thank you , Greenlake... at this point, we're all turning into a bit of history, so why not? What impressed me about this hull is that it's 60 years old and solid as a rock - no osmosis, no problems around the chainplates, doesn't even flex when I stand on it on the trailer. The rest can be worked on.

Speaking of work, here's question #1, shrouds:

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A little hard to see against the trees, and yes, I need to wire the portside shroud to the spreader, but...... jumper stays? Those can go, right? And the lower shrouds - going from spreaders to after-market chainplates about a foot forward of the standard chainplates - is there any reason to keep them? I'm not planning to race (these extra shrouds are definitely not class-legal), but I don't see where they add anything other than a stiff mast waiting to capsize me in a gust. Otherwise, it's just something for the jib-sheet to get tangled in.

Question #2, flotation foam. I read where everyone is taking out the original foam (old, water-logged) and replacing with pool noodles. How do I know if the foam is water-logged? There's foam up forward, behind a wooden(!) bulkhead:

Fwr'd Foam
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It looks cut to fit, when I press on it with my thumb it feels very fine grained and dry. I'm not really loving the idea of crouching under the cuddy and stuffing foam noodles up there.... This boat has been sitting in a North Carolina barn for the past 20 years, the owner hasn't sailed it (nor does he even know how to sail! Inherited it from Dad). So how can I test if this foam is any good? Gouge some out and try to float it?

On the other hand, I need to figure out the side "tanks." Here's the cockpit, welcome aboard, mind the mess, don't sit on anything:

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Except for the coaming and that drawer(*), all the wood is rotted and is going to be replaced. While I'm at it, I want to secure the flotation in the side-tanks (behind the vertical blue/grey side bulkheads). I'm pretty sure there is foam in there because I stuck a screwdriver down a larger hole and pushed SOMETHING that made a foam-like shifting-sliding sound. This area is definitely a candidate for pool noodles. How to do it? I'm thinking of cutting two inspection ports (fore and aft) on each side above the line of the seats, digging out all the foam I can then replacing with pool noodles and then putting on inspection screw-hatches (maybe even leave a small area behind the plates for waterproof storage, using a round plastic food tub). Any other ideas on how to do this? The side "tanks" are walled off forward with a tiny bulkhead, maybe 4 inches wide, I dont think it's worth trying to access the area thru there at all. But what about leaving the foam as is? If I can pull out a sample and again, test somehow...?

Lastly, the aft "tank" is a 18 inch by 6 foot area under the aft deck with an access hatch and an utterly not-waterproof plate. It was filled with junky foam bits that I already took out and tossed (those white garbage bags). Newer than the stuff in the forepeak, because it had the large "grains" of modern styrofoam. It was mildewed to all hell, just pure junk. I'm thinking of putting dinghy-style float bags right under the deck (top half of the tank) and opening up the bulkhead at the bottom, from side to side like the 60's-style DS-1's so that I have a bit of storage for fenders, etc. I have some calculatin' to do before I go that route (make sure I have enough foam+bags for positive flotation), but my rough estimate it that I'll be OK. After all, that area has no flotation at ALL in newer DS's, and I have more flotation in the side tanks and forepeak than the newer boats (and it's up high = less chance of turtling). Yes, I'll be stuffing noodles in the mast as well.

Any thoughts, comments, warnings, or facepalms would be appreciated!

*Yes, old No. 37 comes with a drawer - slides underneath the port bench on little rails, has a locking drawer-handle to keep it from falling out, and has holes in the bottom to drain water. Definitely going to include it in my bench rebuild, a handy place to put my boarding axes, pistols, and small cannon shot...

Re: #37 - foam

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:54 am
by GreenLake
The forward foam seems fine. It looks like they either were experimenting how to to it, or it may have been aftermarket, but that's hard to know. In any case it's not enclosed, which allows any water to evaporate. For replacement foam, pool noodles work well if you have to insert them through an inspection port, but you want to make sure that any tanks are well sealed as the noodles have enough interstices to allow significant amounts of water. They should best be seen not as primary flotation, but as back-up.

If you drill a hole near the bottom of the side tanks and stick your finger in, you should be able to tell whether the foam is waterlogged. And you might gently (!) pressure test these tanks to see whether they are tight.

For the foam under the transom. Modern builder's foam, the blue or pink styrofoam should be good. I don't think that stuff gets waterlogged. Not sure whether there's a difference between pink and blue. I would keep it out of the UV, if necessary you can (spray-) paint it. You can cut it to size with a fine saw or a hot wire and you can get a much better fit and fill than with pool noodles.

Re: #37 - standing rigging

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:58 am
by GreenLake
Check the gauge on the standing rigging. Most people use 1/8" now.

The jumper struts should not be necessary, but let's make sure that this early DS uses the same mast profile as used in later boats. Also see whether it looks like someone replaced a mast on this boat. Thinner, more flexible profiles might need the lowers.

Re: #37 - drawer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:07 am
by GreenLake

Re: #37 - Mast/Standing Rigging

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:23 am
by tomodda

Thank you for your answers! Specifically on the mast, I got out the tape measure and calipers - standard DS1 24'7" length, but the extrusion dimensions are 2 3/4" by 1 7/8" which is below class legal specifications, EXCEPT:

(DSA Bylaws 7.1) The untapered portion of the mast shall be
no smaller than 2.50 inches fore-and-aft and 2.00 inches athwartships, except for the
Zephyr mast originally supplied with boats numbered below 1000, which may be no
smaller than 1.70 inches athwartships

And the mast fits perfectly in the hole in the cuddy top (partners), so I'm thinking that I have an original "Zephyr" mast. Since the original boat did NOT have lower shrouds - and I live in a light-wind area, at least till October - I'm going to take off the lower side stays, leave the hardware and observer carefully. Any idea if the "Zephyr Spars" subsidiary of CapeCod shipbuilders is the same as the Zephyr masts in Association By-laws? Well, I'm going to call them and find out, can't hurt.


PS. Thanks for the tip on the builders foam, perfect solution for my aft flotation, no pesky bags needed. In meantime, I'll cut a pinky-sized hole in the side tanks and feel around. If that foam is good, I'll leave it alone.

Re: #37

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:19 pm
by GreenLake
remember to seal any test holes . .

Looks like you are on the right track with the mast.

Re: #37 - Epoxy and Mainsheet

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:12 pm
by tomodda

Yes, my pot of epoxy is ready to go. I know there is better epoxy available for filling small holes (some gel-like System 3 stuff)? But I still have the better part of a gallon of "ordinary" laminating system 3 epoxy (ahem.. 8 or 9 years old) and I think some purple micro-balloons. Any issues in using it? Anyway, I'll do some test work on scrap wood and see.

Mainsheet question - I have a olkder mainsheet, an ancient stand-up block and cam on the centerboard, and a small Harken block on the boom, 2x1 purchase. Winds are light right now, so should be OK for a test sail. Fall winds are in the 10-20 knot range on a good day. What overall purchase would you recommend? I'm thinking of setting up a Bridle and Ring system like a laser - one of the regatta photos on the main page shows it. The "traveller" position is controlled by a ring withthe bridle rope braided thru it. Any opinions on such a setup?

Thank you again,


Re: #37

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:46 am
by GreenLake
Your laminating epoxy is most likely fine, but some testing can't hurt. The "gel" stuff they sell is intended as a glue. Microballoons sound like they would be good for mixing a non-structural filler. What if you mixed short lengths of glass fiber?

For your mainsheet setup: I still sail with the original block and cam for my main. But I replaced the block on the boom with a Ronstan 55 auto ratchet block. The auto setting on that block works well for me and the holding power (friction) of that design is better than much of the competition, so I never felt I needed more than one.

The picture seems to show a split-tail main, with the ring defining how close to the deck the tail can split. I haven't seen that in operation but it seems to work for someone. I'm using a fixed-triangle traveler, but have a 2:1 purchase between end of the boom and traveler. Being at the end of the boom that gives me enough purchase even with winds into the low 20's (not common here, but we've had a few races like that).

The equivalent center-boom purchase would be 5:1. That should give you an idea about dimensioning.

Re: #37

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:03 am
by tomodda
Thank you for the tips! I'm getting a better idea of how I want to set up my mainsheet, definitely incorporating a ratchet block, great idea! Hopefully with that setup, no-one at the helm will ever feel the compunction to cleat down the mainsheet! I have a few friends asking me to teach them to sail, I'm not in the mood for teaching them capsize recovery......

Re: #37

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:46 am
by GreenLake
At one point I got ratchet blocks for the jib sheet as well; they're great, especially on a reach or in shifty winds, but now my crew forgets to cleat the jib for upwind in steady air ...

Re: #37

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:22 am
by tomodda
My crew is my wife, she can do whatever she wants :) Although I'd prefer if she uncleats the jibsheet in a blowdown.....

In the meantime, I called Zephyr Spars about my old mast. They confirmed it - you don't need jumper stays, you dont need lower shrouds (you = me!). Apparently they get the jumper stay question a lot, I'm the first to come along with a DS that has lower shrouds.

Re: #37

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:43 am
by GreenLake
Ratchet blocks help your crew to hold a jibsheet in shifty winds for immediate release.

If you remove the lower shrouds check that the standard chain plates are in good condition, including the way they are attached to your hull. (I'm trying to think for reasons why someone would have added these, other than that they were used to bigger boats. If it was in response to something they experienced with that boat, then perhaps there's something you might need to address differently). Also, just double check that there isn't some old damage to your mast - just to be sure.

Re: #37

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:53 pm
by tomodda

I hear you on double-checking everything.That being said, the original chainplates look great, inside and out including the hull area around it. The mast looks good from what I can see with naked eyes and fingers. Considering some of the other owner-installed stupidities on the boat, I wouldn't be surprised if someone put the lower shrouds on her because "that's what big boats have." But, I plan to do some easy sails without those stays and then I'll take the extra chainplates and mast hardware off over the winter.

Today is sanding, scraping, painting day, oh joy!