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Old 02-06-2014, 16:03   #1
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Small Sailboat Problems

I have a 13' Chrysler Pirateer. Interior space looks like this:



I've been sailing on it solo (zippy even in light winds!) duo with my wife (which goes well) and with my wife and 2 young kids (not nearly as zippy!) It is manageable with the four of us as long as there's enough wind, and the kids sit up front dangling their feet in the water (it also seems like this keeps them the most interested) A few questions after three weekends out:

1. Oars - with no outboard I feel like I need at least one oar to maneuver while exiting/entering the dock/boat ramp/etc. And just in case the wind dies completely. Whats the best way to stow an oar on a small sailboat like this with no storage? I tried lashing it to the mast but it just seemed to be in the way for tacking the jib and I didn't want it to foul up either of the halyards. If its just laying in the boat it moves around all over the place, kids wind climing over them, possibly throwing them overboard... There aren't a whole lot of hard points beyond the guy line attach points. I have a solid oar, I guess a collapsible one would help?

2. Sheets - The boat is rigged per the manual and the sheets are cut to the appropriate lengths, however it seems like a rats nest always occurs in the bottom of the boat. The sheets from the jib and the sheet from the main tangle up and it seems like there is always excess length in the sheet. Is this normal? I coil the rope but without a knot it's all loose in no time. Is there some trick I'm missing?

3. If you're bringing along stuff (like a bailing bucket, a water bottle, food, etc) whats the best way to secure it to the boat? Like I mentioned above there aren't a whole lot of places to tie things down.

Thanks folks!

philip
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Old 02-06-2014, 22:01   #2
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

1) frankly I wouldn't bother with an oar. Rocking the boat from side to side with the board down will get you going much better than messing around with a single oar on a boat like this. And is a lot less work. But give it a try and get comfortable with it before tossing the oar overboard.

2) Adding some sheet bags will help, but frankly just welcome to the world of sailing. Constantly taking care of the sheets is a permanent job there really aren't any great answers to it.

3) do a google search for 'igloo cooler tie down'. That will solve the cooler problem. A peruse at your local West Marine should give you a lot of ideas of other things that can be added to make tie down points, or brackets. Depending on what specifically you need to lash down.
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Old 02-06-2014, 22:59   #3
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

In a pinch, the tiller and rudder can likely serve as an emergency paddle for sculling; just be reasonably gentle with them. In an emergency, yet another option may be pulling out the centerboard and using it to paddle. Or if the kids need to practice their flutter kicks.... Velcro may help with some of your stowage issues, such as velcroing the paddle to the side of the interior or velcroing a small plastic bin to the boat. A cheap alternative to yachty sheet bags might be the mesh bags used to wash lingerie in a washing machine.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:12   #4
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

Welcome to dinghy sailing. For several years we raced a Lido 14, so I am very familiar with the issues you raise.

1. Having a paddle on board is a good idea. But, as you mention, stowing can be a bit problematic ... particularly in an open boat like yours. Check out canoe paddles ... and buy the shortest one you can find. You may be able to stow it alongside the centerboard trunk with some sort of clip normally used to hang brooms.

2. The cockpit of a sailboat can oftentimes look like an explosion in a snake factory. Once the sails are raised the halyard tails can be hanked and hung from cleats on the mast ... or alternatively, stored in sheet bags.

In a dinghy storing sheets in sheet bags is a bit problematic because the sails are trimmed more or less continuously ... so most folks just learn to deal with it. But a sheet bag on the centerboard trunk might be useful for the main sheet.

3. Securing miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam in the cockpit is a problem on every sailboat. Mesh bags may help. In the Lido we always carried two bailing buckets tied together with a length of line between the handles. We made the buckets from gallon milk jugs. When not in use they could be nested with the line inside. And when in use the line made it easy to retrieve a bucket that was inadvertently thrown overboard whilst bailing.

Many sailors keep an assortment of bungee sail ties onboard ... and use them to keep "things" from going overboard. The problem in an open dinghy is finding something to fasten a sail tie to.

The important thing is to have everything secured to the boat. That way, after you capsize you can concentrate on righting the boat and getting her bailed out ... and not be distracted by trying to round up your gear.

Meanwhile, enjoy sailing with your wife and kids.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:59   #5
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I have a chrysler mutineer (15 ft sloop). The sheet issue as others have said is part and parcel to sailing all boats. On a dinghy sailboat, though more than big boats, you need access to those lines constantly, so having them bagged is tough. I would say that when dinghy sailing, the main sheet needs to be in your hand at all times to spill wind in a puff.

Paddling these boats is a pain in the butt. The only way I have been successful with a paddle is having two of them, each powered by my kids AKA port and starboard engine, then I helm the boat. Short of that, get a small engine bracket and a small outboard (i use a tohatsu 3.5 with an
integral tank).

Attach your cooler forward of the mast on the bow. That's what I do when we are all on board. I also added a polyplanar mp3 speaker system with a small, sealed 12 volt battery for the kids enjoyment. The ipod (or whatever) goes in a water proof case, and they play their music. It was easy to install, and makes a world of difference to them.

A tree landed on my baby during Hurricane Sandy, and hurt her badly. Currently, she is being fixed. In the meantime I got an older hunter legend 37.5 (full disclosure). If you want, go to you tube and search TeLoop sailboat. I have many videos of my mutineer up there and you can see how packed in we are, but loving it! I would even take the dog (yellow lab).

Two things i did that added to our enjoyment of the boat was I installed a type of lazy jack system from sail care so I could let the main down without being covered by it AND i put sail slides on the main over the bolt rope from sail rite. These absolutely were the best things. Raising and lowering the main could be done from the tiller, by myself. Check out the you tube vids. You will see what I did.

My apologies for the verbosity of my response. I just love dinghy sailing.

Ben
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:03   #6
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
do a google search for 'igloo cooler tie down'. That will solve the cooler problem. A peruse at your local West Marine should give you a lot of ideas of other things that can be added to make tie down points, or brackets. Depending on what specifically you need to lash down.
I see what you are saying, so you are adding hard points to the boat by installing those four corner retainers and (presumably) two hard points somewhere to strap the cooler down?
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:06   #7
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

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Attach your cooler forward of the mast on the bow. That's what I do when we are all on board. ...

Two things i did that added to our enjoyment of the boat was I installed a type of lazy jack system from sail care so I could let the main down without being covered by it AND i put sail slides on the main over the bolt rope from sail rite. ...

My apologies for the verbosity of my response. I just love dinghy sailing.

Ben
No apologies the verbosity was appreciated! I will watch your videos tonight.

So to attach the cooler you are adding hard points / tie downs to the boat? Can you just use screws for something like that, I presume you aren't tearing the boat apart to bolt through the deck?

And I get the lazy jack system but could you please explain "i put sail slides on the main over the bolt rope from sail rite"? I'm still learning what that all means...

thanks

philip
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:39   #8
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I only used bungee cords and or ropes. I am always afraid of water getting into the hull and causing problems. I used soft coolers, not hard ones so i can squish them into place and tied them down.

I assume you have to stuff the leading edge of the main into a slot in the mast. That rounded part that gets stuffed into the groove on the mast is called a bolt rope (there is probably one on the bottom of your main, too.) (The leading edge of the main is the luff, and the bottom of the main is called the foot.) So I bought hard plastic pieces that just screwed onto the leading edge of the main that would fit in the groove in the mast. This way, the main is connected to the mast whether it is up or down. It is how the sails are attached on the big boats.

Look for the video on my site that shows this. It should be titled "sail slug or sail slides". I only video to make myself happy, so I am sorry for the lack of professionalism. In many cases, my videographer was too excited to shoot stable video (my 12 year old daughter using a kodak playsport).
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:52   #9
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

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Originally Posted by bensolomon View Post
Look for the video on my site that shows this. It should be titled "sail slug or sail slides". I only video to make myself happy, so I am sorry for the lack of professionalism. In many cases, my videographer was too excited to shoot stable video (my 12 year old daughter using a kodak playsport).
I found the video and it makes perfect sense, thanks! Looks like the Mutineer has a lot more storage in the fore. Those few extra feet make a big difference!

I can see the lazy jack also has the added advantage of holding the boom up. Right now its a bit of a dance, I use the main halyard to hold up the boom till I'm ready to raise sail, and then I have my wife/kid hold up the boom while I clip it in. Which works, but solo it could be troublesome if the wind catches in the sail.

Re: oars: I found if I sit on the bow and paddle and either have my wife paddle in the back (I swap sides to steer) or if I'm out with one of my sons have them steer the tiller we move decently. It's not fast by any means but enough to pull us away from the dock. My other hobby is powerlifting so maybe its just my way of putting those big dumb muscles to work! The closest lake to us has the dock tucked in a corner with a narrow passage out to the lake and if the wind is coming head-on its impossible to sail up the channel, there's not enough room to tack. I will try using the tiller next time. Till then, it makes a nice safety blanket.

philip
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:52   #10
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

I'd probably lash the paddle to the sidewalls of the cockpit by installing eyelets and bungy cords.

I'd look at the feasibility of a water tight hatch that allows access the void between the liner and the hull for storage of small items.

There are a number of devices to hang coiled sheets from, but often on small boats when tacking often, they don't make sense. A spaghettied pile of line looks more unkept but actually feeds out better than coils do. Butterfly coils tend to tangle less than circular coils. - Lessons from my old climbing days that help when sailing.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:01   #11
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

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I'd probably lash the paddle to the sidewalls of the cockpit by installing eyelets and bungy cords.
How do you attach those eyelets while maintaining hull integrity? Thats the part I'm wrapping my head around now.

thanks,

philip
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:25   #12
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

Only one recommendation:

Continuous sheets for the jib.

Looks fun.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:35   #13
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Philip,

I use 5200 by 3m for attaching stuff permanently. It take 7 days to fully cure, so you can have an hour or so to move whatever you want attached. It is permanent, though. So.....you could place whatever tie down anchors you want wherever, and the use the 5200. This way, there is no drilling or tapping. The bond is STRONG and permanent! You can get little tubes of it at home depot or Lowe's or west marine.

Ben
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:37   #14
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Father's day is coming up. How about a torqueedo for father's day present with solar charger?

Ben
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:44   #15
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Re: Small Sailboat Problems

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Philip,

I use 5200 by 3m for attaching stuff permanently. It take 7 days to fully cure, so you can have an hour or so to move whatever you want attached. It is permanent, though. So.....you could place whatever tie down anchors you want wherever, and the use the 5200. This way, there is no drilling or tapping. The bond is STRONG and permanent! You can get little tubes of it at home depot or Lowe's or west marine.

Ben
Good stuff. I'll just add that it comes in both fast cure and slow cure. For something that light duty I might also be inclined to use 4200 depending on the hardware used, in case I ever want to remove it someday.
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