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Old 23-12-2013, 15:41   #1
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Flopper Stoppers?

In the December issue of 'Cruising World' magazine, Cap'n Fatty Goodlander writes about his home-made "Flopper Stoppers" reducing the amound of rolling in a rough anchorage. He describes these as weighted plywood triangles suspended from two spinnaker booms, poled out on each side of the boat.

I've never heard of this, so can someone elaborate? Are the wooden triangles suspended horizontally? If so, how? Are they both continually submerged or only one at a time when the boat rolls to each side? These things must take up quite alot of space and would not seem to be useful for anything else. Wouldn't some other dangling arrangement (buckets? sailbags?) be better to dampen the roll? Any info appreciated. Thanks
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Old 23-12-2013, 15:57   #2
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

Yes they are horizontal with rope to each corner which then tie together and suspected from a spinnaker pole or boom, but I think you need a hole in the middle for them to be stable.

The other option is a riding sail, say an old dinghy sail run up the back stay and sheeted really tightly, upside down if it helps to make space on deck.

I have never tried it, but been in a couple of anchorages when I wish I had the bits necessary particularly with wind and waves at different angles so the boat lies to the wind but the waves hit broadside so roll the yacht, not a good combination.

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Old 23-12-2013, 16:27   #3
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

They work for many boats. In general the bigger, the better. There are lots of designs but basically you want them to drop on the water quickly but then provide enormous resistance when yanked towards the surface. You can put one out on the side. Both sides are better than one, and the farther out the better.

Reasons I don't personally have one:

- they're big
- they put a lot of dynamic load on the rigging which probably isn't a big deal, but either way the boat wasn't designed to do it so I'm not a fan
- they're a pain in the ass to rig
- the worse anchorages tend to be ones we're just stopping in for the night and I want to make a quick getaway in the morning so the idea or rigging those things just isn't worth it.
- you can often achieve the same results with a stern anchor

I have a good friend who uses one and he's a pretty decent sailor, but he also curses it constantly.
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Old 23-12-2013, 16:39   #4
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

I have used my storm trysail run almost as high up as it could go, and sheeted it to the stern pulpit. Had to move it up or down a little to get the flattest sheeting , but it worked wonderfully in a rolley anchorage. Almost any type of riding sail will help. Higher up is better since it can be much smaller and still work well. As Pete said, maybe an old dinghy sail up the backstay or your storm jib, up the backstay. I cant imagine storing flopper stoppers on a sailboat, but I am sure it has been done. Good Luck._____Grant.
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Old 23-12-2013, 16:49   #5
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

We have used a couple of variations in the Channel Islands off southern California. If they are poled out off the beam of the boat, they do work well to dampen the roll. There are a couple of off the shelf commercial versions. Chuck
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Old 23-12-2013, 18:18   #6
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

We used one while in Mexico, stored in a flat rectangular sunbrella "envelope" open on the top edge and stored on the lifelines.
We had it rigged with a rubber snubber on the line with an eye at the top.
The whisker pole on a mast track was suspended over the side with the spinnaker halyard, and held against the rigging with a bungee. We put leather chafe guard over the pole in the spot where it contacted the rigging.
It only took a couple of minutes to deploy or retrieve.
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Old 23-12-2013, 18:27   #7
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

A lot of shrimp boats will put their "birds" in the water when underway and not pulling a net, same principle, I'm sure you've seen that
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Old 23-12-2013, 18:28   #8
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

Isn't this about the time someone chimes in about having a Cat?
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Old 23-12-2013, 18:58   #9
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Isn't this about the time someone chimes in about having a Cat?
They were fast on their way to reply to this thread but then they realized that 1/4 of their progress was to leeward.
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Old 23-12-2013, 19:21   #10
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

I used the flopper stopper on a mono (LN 35).
Now I own a cat and a half.
While not all cats will tack easily (roomarans), our tri will make 90 degree tacks all day long even down to 1 knot.
That myth is partially true, but it's mostly cats made for the charter trade.
Have a look at Catana, Gunboat and similar makes with daggerboards.
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Old 23-12-2013, 20:11   #11
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

See this article:
Will my flopper stopper work?

and

offshore-sailor.com - Flopper stopper you can make yourself

Tailwheel
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Old 24-12-2013, 04:33   #12
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Isn't this about the time someone chimes in about having a Cat?
I'm confused, why would a properly designed boat need flopper stoppers?

We do use a bridle on occasion to keep her pointed into the waves.
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Old 24-12-2013, 06:51   #13
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

They are used on trawlers for addition stabilozation. The dampen reduce the roll. We may add them to the Eagle as its round soft chime. Trawler drop use them mostly when under way. Not just at anchor like a sail boat would.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:21   #14
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm confused, why would a properly designed boat need flopper stoppers?

We do use a bridle on occasion to keep her pointed into the waves.
There are many occasions when wind direction or currents just won't allow a bridle to work. We use this technique a lot. We have seen boats from 30 feet to 50 feet, both power and sail, roll like 55 gallon drums in places like Normans Cay in the Bahamas. Chuck
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Old 24-12-2013, 18:31   #15
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Re: Flopper Stoppers?

We used them, a few times then stored them and never used them again. Too much hassle for us, plus we had chafe problems, and there are other techniques that can be used. I'd rather put out a stern hook and winch the bow into the swell. ...or get up early and leave. We've done that, too. Jim's other trick is to lead a long line outside everything from the primary to the anchor rode, veer out 15 or 20 more feet, and then crank the stern around. That works as long as the breeze remains from the same direction.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Ann & Jim
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