2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

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2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

Postby RobH912 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:49 pm

At the end of 2019 I bought DS #2444 but never got to sail her. The previous owner had done a lot of nice restoration, but since I was planning to race her in 2020 I spent a lot of last winter on this forum discussion and learning a lot on upgrades to rigging, purchased equipment / tackle, purchased a spinnaker, and also had a local boat yard help do some rigging for a spinnaker.

Due to numerous reasons (including the pandemic), didn’t get to sail #2444 until last week of August. Since the boat is new to me, it was really fun to finally get on the water and feel how she handled, and to see how the various rigging changes I made worked out (or not), and to see how she sailed with some other DS at our club. No formal racing this year but several boats did get some pick up races in.

Sailing at Cape Cod in the fall can be very windy / gusty and maybe not the best conditions for a first shakedown sail, and it turned out that each of the 6 times on the water this fall it was very gusty, and each time out I would classify as a “shakedown or learning experience” sail… certainly my wife would agree to that. :)

Overall great sailing in the new boat. Boat handled well, had a balanced helm, and I felt that the boat is certainly competitive with the other boats I was sailing with… I however always can be improving my sailing, sail trim, & racing skills.

I had posted various rigging questions on the forum last winter and will go back to update as needed, include pictures, but some of the highlights included:

Upgraded various blocks to Ronstan blocks for jib sheets, main sheet boom blocks, traveler blocks, spinnaker blocks, etc. all worked great. I particularly liked the 55 mm ratchet block with the “auto” setting for jib sheets, and also have one of the auto ratchet on the boom for main sheet… thanks GL (your recommendation)!

Main sheet - I had replaced an old main sheet with 8 mm Bzzz line . Sailed a couple of times and while I really liked the feel of the line, while the Bzzz line felt good, 8 mm was just too thin for my large hand managing the sheet through the gusts. I replaced it with New England Ropes Sta-Set 3/8” and found it much better to sail with. The other issue I had with the Bzzz line is that I had bought 8mm with gray tracers and also 7mm with blue tracers for my traveller set up thinking that they would look different enough to distinguish them… but on the water they were hard to tell apart. More on that when I update my specific traveler posts, also will go to the rope / line post and list which line I used for what purpose. Pretty much replaced all lines this year.

Main sheet swivel cam cleat on centerboard housing - While I never just cleat the main sheet while sailing, I do like being able to cleat, grab some more sheet, get ready to manage through some gusts, etc. I found that while sitting on the rail the angle of the sheet leaving the cam cleat just would not allow me to ever cleat the line unless I got back down on the seat. I added a cam cleat wedge after two times out and found that was a great improvement; improved the angle + raised the cam cleat up. John thanks for sending your “extra” wedge to me last summer!

North main sail - I had kept a set of North sails when I sold my SLI DS #14061 early in the summer 2020, I needed to change sail numbers but that was easy. I had been under the mistaken impression that the main sail didn’t really fit well on the boom / connect near the gooseneck on that boat because the SLI mast had been converted to a tabernacle set up. But the North main sail still didn’t fit properly at the tack…I was not able to fully stretch out / flatten the foot of the sail with the outhaul. #2444 had come with one set of Intensity Sails which fit great, and I fortunately found a good sail repair shop, used the Intensity sail as a template, andthey move the tack grommet and also removed the sail track “car” at the tack that never fit anywhere. Was just odd the way the sail was cut. I’ll post some pictures in my thread on this topic.

Boom Vang - The boat had come with a 4:1 40 mm Harken fiddle block set up for the vang. After many discussion posts last winter on both increasing purchase and having the vang cleat at the boom end rather than the mast end. I went with a 6:1 set up using Harken 40 mm triple blocks (part # 2641 and # 2647). Was happy that the it was easier for crew to make adjustments since cleat was at boom end and “cleats up”, but found that sometimes the vang line “fell out” of the cam cleat since the cam is facing down. Last winter’s vang forum posts need to be updated, pictures added, and I’ll float some ideas around about either flipping the the upper block around, re- reeve that block, or maybe just getting a fairlead over micro cam on the top block that will help hold the vang line in place.

Spinnaker & Spinnaker Rigging - #2444 had never been rigged for a spinnaker. Had a local boat yard (Arey’s Pond Boat Yard) do most of the hardware work for the external halyard, topping lift, and downhaul. I bought a Neil Pryde spinnaker for the boat last winter, spinnaker sheets, spinnaker pole, and tied up soft shackles for the turn around blocks. Unfortunately due the heavy air conditions we were sailing this fall we never got the chute up… Disappointing, but it would have been way too crazy to do especially for our level of skills. Something to look forward to next summer. I’ll post specifics and pictures in the appropriate thread.

Soft Shackles - I spent a lot of time last winter learning to tie soft shackles, I used them extensively on the boat, they worked great and I’ll post some of examples / pictures.

Items identified that need work / improvement are:

Jib Barber haulers - was trying to re-purpose existing, original DS jib sheet swivel cam cleats mounted on the top of the caddy cabin. Worked sort of OK as barber haulers, but the cam cleats are large and got the jib sheets wrapped up in them several times and the angle of the BH is not really correct. Need to do some searches on the forum, I think it will be an easy fix.

Outhaul system - currently biggest issue on the boat, particularly in heavy wind conditions. I’ll post on the problems, some ideas and pictures on what I am thinking of doing. Looking forward to getting feedback.

Aft open base cleats - Similar to the original DS jib sheet swivel cam cleats mentioned above which I had kept and tried to re-purpose to somewhat maintain a “classic” / as delivered late 60’s look, I had set up my spinnaker sheet turnaround blocks by using a soft shackle attaching the blocks to each of the rear cleats. While I never did get to try the spinnaker sheet turn around blocks, I did find that I got my main sheet caught up twice on a rear cleat… not good. Thinking that both of those cleats are going to be removed and go with a simple eye plate for the turn around blocks.

Over all a lot of good shake down sails in 2020, looking forward to figuring some things out this winter on the forum and hopefully we’ll have a more normal 2021 sailing season.

Thanks again for folks that posted and gave me ideas for DS # 2444.
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Rob


DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
RobH912
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Re: 2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

Postby tomodda » Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:02 pm

Look at all those DS's! Good to see. And thank you for your detailed reporting on your rig. Always like to read how folks solve the little puzzles on any boat, especially our Daysailers.

Question (never could figure this out), why the mainsail windows? I guess the upper window is so you can see the jib to spreader separation. Don't understand why you'd use that as your jib trim indicator rather than telltales. And the lower window? Why have that when the boom is already relatively high? If you are heeled over so far that you can see thru that window, then I'd think that you need to flatten the boat... Anyway, please help me understand.
tomodda
 
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Re: 2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:25 pm

Rob, great writeup. I agree, some of the results might make a nice coda to whatever thread you found your suggestions in. If you have the time.

The barber haulers need to have fairleads on the cuddy edge about 6" across the centerline from the jib sheet they pull on. That gives the correct angle. (There's a writeup somewhere that specifically mentions that, perhaps it was part of the North Sails Trim Guide?).

You can do like I did, and cleat at that location, which means leaning in a bit to adjust, or you can do like others did, just have a fairlead there and cleat closer to the side deck. My setup works for me as we rarely get the winds where we are full out hiking. Otherwise, having some setup where the BH terminates on the side deck would be more convenient.

Vang: I cleat mine on the boom end and have no issues with the free end falling out. I set mine up so that the free end terminates in a bulky knot that I push through some handy spot, so that the line doesn't dangle. It's just long enough to allow full extension of the vang. When very tight, the loop hanging down gets a bit big, but then I tug at that knot a bit and things are OK again.

Tom, about the windows. Some sails have telltales behind the mast. That could be the reason for the small square window - but I'm far from sure. However, the bottom one I fully get: there are conditions where you sit up straight on the side deck (not yet hiking), at which point having a window is nice, if you are tall. I could use one.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
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Re: 2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

Postby RobH912 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:06 pm

tomodda wrote:. Question (never could figure this out), why the mainsail windows? ... Anyway, please help me understand.


Tom when I saw your post I thought: "Mainsail windows? I don't have windows in my sails" :shock: But then I looked at the posted picture and saw the windows. My next thought was maybe the Intensity sails that came with the boat has windows and this picture was taken when my North sails were at the sail loft being worked on, but no looking at pictures of the sails on my SLI DS from 2019, the sails I kept when I sold that boat, I now see the windows on the North main & jib.

GL's reply is good on why sail makers would put them in / why sailers would want them... but windows in sails obviously are a feature that has no benefit to me :lol: and knowing that now I certainly would never order a new set of sails with windows.
Rob


DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
RobH912
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Re: 2020... a series of "shakedown" sails

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:17 pm

My latest jib is lacking the small window for the primary tell tales that the previous one had, and it's something I miss very much: half the time the sun makes it impossible to see the windward telltale without a window.

I often sail in company with more than a hundred other boats, having a "collision" window in the jib is essential under those conditions. The situation might be different if I was cruising solely in otherwise deserted waters.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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