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Old 16-06-2014, 20:52   #1
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Just Bought a Sailing Dinghy...I need Advice

Hey everyone, I'm new to sailing and just bought my first boat last week. I bought this 11 foot, 2 inch fiberglass dinghy for $500, I guess its a "cat rig". I live on Vancouver island in the Comox valley and just want to sail around locally (on lakes and maybe on the ocean close to shore )and learn to sail.

I took it out on a lake the other day and started to think there must be a better way to rig up the sail, or that maybe I just need some more cleats, pulleys etc.


*sorry in advance for my ignorance of boat and sailing terms*

It seems I should set up a "main sheet" instead of the ring on the boom (held on with a hose clamp).

Can you guys take a look and tell me what you think needs to change? The only way to fasten the tack of the sail is to wrap the rope (that goes from the head of the sail....NOT the halyard) around the mast and then cleat it off, which is a pain because the halyard is also cleated off there. I have a rope tied off at the head which goes through the grommets and down the tack.

Thanks a million for any help and/or advice you can give to this eager greenhorn!

PHOTOS:

3rd one is where the boom connects to the mast...seems kind of homebrew to me....suggestions?

4th is the boom (uhhh, bow end?) with the "clew"

5th is the stays and 6th is the top of mast with halyard
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:53   #2
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

I can get more and/or better photos if needed!
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:57   #3
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

Is this home made? The mast sure looks it.

One of your pictures shows a twisted pad eye. I think it was meant to be the gooseneck, connecting to boom to the mast. You need something that can rotate more, if that is the case.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:05   #4
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

I'm not sure if the boat is homemade, the mast obviously is however! Haha, There are no markings or plaques on the boat so I am at a loss as to what make it is. From my google image searches it seems to look like a minto dinghy...who knows though.


yes the gooseneck is twisted and I need advice on what to replace it with..also the little pulley on top of the mast (for the halyard) is bent as well..........suggestions are welcome!
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:11   #5
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

Is there a slot in the aft side of the mast and a "bolt rope" on the sail?

The reason I ask is that it is common for the foot of the sail to be "loose" and only connected at the tack (mast end) and clew (end of boom) - in this case you need a way to tighten the foot (outhaul) by pulling it away from the mast along the boom.

Going up the mast there should be some arrangement to keep the luff (the forward edge of the sail) tight against the mast.

If this mainsail is loose footed and "loose-luffed" the sail would be no more than an uncontrollable kite.

One arrangement that is very common is for the luff to be a "sleeve." It is passed over the mast prior to stepping the mast - that is contrary to your mast having what appears to be a halyard.

A picture of the mast step (hole or whatever) where the mast goes in would be helpful.

In fact you might consider rigging it all up right there in your yard and taking pictures of stuff you think is not connecting right.

Hard to tell what you have with it laying on the grass and such.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:16   #6
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

Since this mast looks like someone used a pole, I wonder if they make a mast track for such a small sail? It would be riveted on and function as the previous poster mention the slot.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:23   #7
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

So, there is no sleeve on the sail. And there is no arrangement to keep the luff side of the sail tight to the mast.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:25   #8
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

You could sew rings into your sail. You would bend the sail on before stepping, but flake it on the boom, like a slotted mast.

I am still considering a DIY answer to a gooseneck...
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:44   #9
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

Regardless, it looks like a nice rowing dinghy. In British Columbia, one doesn't need to display registration numbers on the hull if the boat is motor or sail powered?
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:58   #10
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

A quick google search says that small sailing vessels (doesnt say how small...) don't need a registry in BC. Though I could be mistaken.
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Old 16-06-2014, 23:51   #11
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Re: Just bought a sailing dinghy...I need advice

@Canada_Dan: here is an advice for you.

Figure out where is a nearest sailing club that has a casual racing program. There is one in Nanaimo and another in Maple Bay. There is ALWAYS someone who needs a crew, and they are usually very welcoming to newcomers.

Get in touch with the club and ask to join a race. Or even just show up on the docks an hour or two before the first start (4pm on a Wednesday, more likely than not), and ask if anyone can take a newbie sailing. Wielding a 6-pack may help

Sailing on other people's boats is a much safer and faster way to get through the first few steps of the learning curve. They can also help you with rigging you dink.
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:07   #12
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Re: Just Bought a Sailing Dinghy...I need Advice

Red Herring,

Good suggestion.

Canada_Dan,

What a lovely dinghy! Beaut shape.

Mast, not so much, follow Red Herring's advice, and you'll get some ideas. If you see a gooseneck that doesn't look home made, see where they got it. It should be good, if it's a similar sized dinghy. We usually call the litle pulleys "blocks", and we, for our bigger boat, find them in chandleries, or fishermens shops, or hardware stores (when bargain hunting).

Cheers, mate, she's a pretty dinghy.

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Old 17-06-2014, 01:59   #13
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Re: Just Bought a Sailing Dinghy...I need Advice

OK, so I need to get a mast track, is there anyway I could buy one and install it on a DIY mast like mine? Also, why does that sail need to be tight to the mast?
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Old 17-06-2014, 02:02   #14
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Re: Just Bought a Sailing Dinghy...I need Advice

Air flow.

A.
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Old 17-06-2014, 03:49   #15
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Re: Just Bought a Sailing Dinghy...I need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada_Dan View Post
OK, so I need to get a mast track, is there anyway I could buy one and install it on a DIY mast like mine? Also, why does that sail need to be tight to the mast?
The shape of the sail is what makes it propel the boat. Like an airplane wing the "curve of the sail creates lift.

Look at some pictures of spinnakers - the spinnaker has both the luff (windward edge) and leech (leward edge) loose. It is a big bag that catches the wind going downwind and works good.

Now look at a few pictures af sailboats beating (going to windward - usually indicated by the boat leaning over real good and the sails trimmed in "tight"

The better and more aerodynamic the shape is the closer towards the wind you can point the boat effectively.

Big square riggers did not go to windward well. This is important because going to windward is all about tacking back and forth - making zig zags. If I can point to 20 degrees into the wind and you can only point to 45 or 50 I will make way towards the destination way, way, way faster than you.

So one control you will have to shape the sail is the outhaul pulling the clew out and making the bottom of the sail flat - for now remember that going upwind flat is fast (there are a lot of nuances) - The second is the main sheet. The main sheet pulls the boom in from the side but as it approaches center it pulls more down on the boom. The flattens the aft end of the sail and takes curve out - (closes the leach) and aerdynamically helps aim the air back or in complex sails across the boat so I can point ever higher towards the wind.

Good race boats can get to 8 degrees or less. My knockabout does 20-25. You should see similar maybe a bit worse - keel, hull shape and other things matter too.

So if the luff is loose the only thing that can take the curve out of the front of the sail is halyard tension. No matter how hard you pull the halyard you will not get the luff flat and you will never go to windward easily.

A picture of the luff edge of you main sail would give folks an idea of how the main sail was supposed to be rigged. Someone suggest rings around the mast - I don't disagree but there should be eyelets to tie to along the sail.

You may not necessarily need a sail track because your sail has to be designed to match whatever you get.

It is quite possible the rigger/builder decided that a loose luff can work and accepted that windward performance would be terrible.

If you are going to fix this up I think we would all like to help you create a rig that makes the sail versatile (a few adjustments to maximize performance) and is easy to rig.

Google dinghies and look at some single sail dinghies and I think you will not find any with a loose luff.

BTW - I will echo others - the hull looks nice - I assume you have the dagger board?

Also - I may be counter to others - I have seen the gooseneck (how the boom attaches to the mast) arrangement you have on small dinghies - it is not ideal but it can work fine. In your case it looks like someone let the boom go way too far forward and that twisted and damaged the d-ring.

What I haven't talked about and am curious to see is the mainsheet arrangement. You talked about the ring and hoseclamp arrangement and that is clearly something that is not right and needs to be fixed.

Most (all?) mainsheets usually involve a block and tacke arrangement attached to the centerline of the boat (or a moving "traveller) and the other end to the boom. The block and tackle allows you to overcome the wind forces pushing the boom out. I didn't see that in any of your photos.
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