mizzen, anyone?

Moderator: GreenLake

mizzen, anyone?

Postby DesertRat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:35 am

Having just searched the archives for the term "mizzen" and found only one post that indirectly discussed the subject, I have to ask...

Has no one added a mizzen to their DaySailer?

All sorts of people have experimented with bowsprits, and even cutter configurations. Why not a mizzen?

Granted, its outside of the class purity standards, but for people who want to cruise and gunkhole, it seems a no brainer. Is the lack of mizzens due to the interference with the tiller? An offset mizzenmast would seem to overcome this. Or a transom-mounted mizzen.

What say you?
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby Alan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:57 am

Where would you attach the supports (forestay, shrouds)? Where would the sheets cleat?

I'm one of the bowsprit guys, but after watching a number of race-legal Daysailers, which are impressively quick and maneuverable in the hands of good sailors, I'm now of the opinion that the original rig is the best for normal circumstances. Maybe a light-air jib made of spinnaker cloth, but that's the only change I'd make.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:45 pm

For those that do extensive cruising, that is an interesting question; I could believe that the lack of discussion on that topic reflects not only a desire to maintain boats so they remain class-legal, if only for resale, but perhaps also due to a lack of knowledge and experience with this configuration.

I know (from reading) that a mizzen allows ways of balancing a rig that may be helpful in cruising, but I wouldn't really know how to get best use of one.

For the mechanics, I would assume it's not too difficult to realize such a thing with an unstayed mast if it's stepped through the aft deck. That avoids having to deal with stays. I'd expect that the sail area would be relatively small, but have no idea how to dimension one.

For interference with the tiller: bend the tiller into a U shape where it has to go around the mizzen and make that U deep enough so you get the fulll sweep. Looks a bit odd, but there are examples of traditional boats out there with just that.

The one sail configuration I toyed with was rigging a square sail, like for a viking ship. This purely for fun and effect. Never got beyond the idea stage.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby Alan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:29 pm

You're posting in the DSI section, so safe to assume that's what you have. I've got a DSII, which doesn't have an aft deck - the cockpit molding is only a couple of inches above the hull molding that far aft - but you could step a mizzenmast to the inside of the transom with a couple of U-bolts.

You could make a mast of carbon fiber tubing, which is available on eBay. I've actually done this for my kayak/canoe sail rig. It isn't terribly expensive and you can get sizes that just slip one inside the other so you can build up a really strong spar.

A yawl-type sail would be easy enough to mount, but I'm still not quite able to come up with mounting points for the sheet cleats. The outboard corners of the transom, maybe?

Anyway, I'll be interested in the results if you try it.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby Alan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:29 pm

Answered my own question. The mizzen sail on yawls, which is basically what you'd have if you stepped a mast as far aft as we're talking about, has a boom. With that, all you need is a single mid-boom sheet (similar to the mainsheet), which could be attached to a gaff extending rearward from the transom.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:30 am

I'll move this eventually to the "rigging" section, but let's see whether we hear from the original poster again.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby DesertRat » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:46 pm

Thanks for the replies, folks. I have an early DS I which has the aft deck. My thought was to beef up a partner under the deck to brace the mizzen mast, and a mast step epoxied to the hull below. Probably offset to allow the tiller to move unimpeded. The objective would be to balance the rig and make it easier to heave to, easier to lash the tiller, etc. So more of a steering sail than a power sail, probably less than 20 sq ft. I was wondering about also adding a bowsprit to make it easier to carry a spinnaker for light air, and thinking that moving the jib forward would require something to balance it aft.

Yes, perhaps the rigging board would be a better fit for this discussion. But thanks for the replies.

Brock
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby Shagbark » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:16 pm

There is a tiller configuration that would work but the name escapes me. Instead of the tiller coming straight back from the rudder head, there is an arm that extends perpendicular to the tiller head. Then the tiller attaches to that arm. Instead of swinging the tiller to turn the boat, you push and pull the tiller.

You also need to think about how the mizzen sail impact the balance. Talk about your weather helm! You would need to increase the size of the jib more than 20sq feet to offset the additional 20sq feet that far aft. Maybe you do away with the fractional rig and run the forestay to the mast head and get a larger jib, though I'm not sure if that would still be enough?

no matter what, it would be quite a site to see!
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby Shagbark » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:20 pm

Just found it. It's called a Norwegian tiller
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby DesertRat » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:19 pm

Yes... I used that 'norwegian' tiller (also called push-pull tiller) on my last boat, a Bolger gypsy. Not entirely satisfied with it, but it worked generally. I think I'll stay with the standard tiller for this next experiment.

From what I've read, offset mizzens function on small boats without any noticeable difference from center mounted mizzens. Because the very purpose of the mizzen is to balance the rig, I imagine you should be able to set the mizzen at a wide variety of angles. The main concern I think is that it may interfere with the tiller. But there again, I've heard that if you can swing the tiller through 45 degrees either side, no problem. Naturally a mizzen mounted further aft could be mounted closer to center. Perhaps transom mounted in brackets?
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby DesertRat » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:24 pm

Shagbark wrote:You also need to think about how the mizzen sail impact the balance. Talk about your weather helm! You would need to increase the size of the jib more than 20sq feet to offset the additional 20sq feet that far aft.


I was thinking that I would consider adding a bowsprit, moving the jib forward, might be all the balance needed. Who doesn't love a bowsprit? And as you say, all sorts of difference in jib sizes might come into play, spinnakers and gennies, etc. Why not foresails AND staysails?
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby tomodda » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:34 am

Excuse me for being a wet blanket, but I have to point out that if you put a mizzen on it, you'll need a boomkin to sheet the sail. So now you're poking two holes in the back of your boat and adding more weight where you absolutely don't want it. Not to mention the sail balance issues that Shagbark pointed out. Yes, you can put more rags up front (and a boom), but don't forget that the DS doesn't have backstays....

So, you'll be adding a lot of weight, complication, stress to your rig and for what? A mizzen allows you to sail backwards, yipee, and makes it easier to heave-to (in a boat that's already dead simple to heave to). And you can run on mizzen and jib alone in a blow, which is nice but I'd rather have two reefs on my mainsail and drop the jib if it's blowing hard.

Anyway, Uffa Fox designed it as a fractional sloop rig, leave well enough alone. Just my $0.02, and I'll fully admit that I too like to fiddle around with rigging. My new spinnaker (hooray for Craigslist!) will keep me busy enough in the fiddling department for now. And then there's always cupholders, where to rig them? ;-)

Cheers!
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:41 am

I must say that the weight is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, but even that depends on context. If you plan to use this rig on an extended cruise where the cuddy is stuffed full of gear, food and water for a week, it will affect the fore/aft balance of the boat a bit less than when it's empty for racing.

I must also say that not all modifications may bring the intended benefit; in fact, whether these modifications will make a marked improvement or not may be harder to forecast than the costs (weight, complexity, etc).

That said, it's apparently not so uncommon to see this kind of modification for boats in the size/weight class of a DS. I seem to recall that some of the boats in the Texas 200 had aftermarket mizzens rigged. The FB page for that event might be a good place to reach out to people who have practical experience.
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby tomodda » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:14 am

Great point about the counterbalancing weight of gear in the cuddy. And the wealth of experience that the Raid-style expedition folks have. Still, I don't see the cost/benefit here. But winter is for armchair philosophizing. :)

In my case, winter is for hull painting. Today is boat-flip day, wish me luck!
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Re: mizzen, anyone?

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:25 pm

While I haven't done any sail plan modifications of my own, I did hang with a group of people who routinely "upgraded" various Dinghy designs to include things like spinnakers that were not originally contemplated by their designers or builders.

Given the easy availability of cheap used boats this can be a fun hobby - especially if you get to race your modded boats without penalty in a non-handicapped open race.

That said, some designers did a pretty good job with their original sail plan and I'm happy to see you giving credit to Uffa Fox. The DS is indeed fairly easy to heave to. I was on a DS in a Texas 200 when the main halyard popped out of the cleat, trapping the other sailor's head between boom and cuddy. A quick tack and we were hove to and I could free him - he was very relieved, especially as he thought the only way this could end was with a capsize.
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