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DS identification & centerboard

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:07 am
by vermontsailor
Greetings all. I am now in possession of a new Day Sailer. I would love some help with identification. There are no markings, badges, plates, etc. anywhere on this boat. From looking at other images, I'm guessing it's in the 1968-1972 era. I have all the hardware and, thankfully, a nice set of fairly new and stiff Infinity Sails.

The first big hurdle is to replace the centerboard. This one, made from wood, got sawed off, presumably because it got stuck, but I'm not sure the reasoning. Please note the images of the centerboard and the lever mechanism used for raising and lowering. Note too the bracket fitted into the well where the lever and rachet are located. Would love some preliminary guessing on how I might replace the centerboard. Would a new one fit? Can I use the old one as a template and build it from marine ply and fiberglass? All thoughts here welcome.

The second big hurdle is drying the bilge area. There are no access ports on this boat. Advice on where to place them (one forward, one aft?) would be appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance for taking some time to look at this. After years of sitting uncovered in the Vermont rain and snow, it's now drying out happily in my garage, lifted off its trailer and up on bracing.

Three photos attached. More coming.

Re: DS identification & centerboard

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:58 pm
by GreenLake
Welcome to the forum!

First off, what you have is definitely not a DaySailer II, but a customized DS1. I will move this thread into the appropriate subforum for you.

Why can I be sure? The wooden coamings all around the cockpit and the lack of a bulkhead closing off the cuddy are dead giveaways.

Some previous owner seems to have used plywood to enclose the bilge area. This required a recess for the CB handle and in the process there's a novel way of anchoring it. The original bronze handle seems to have broken off and been replaced by a new one with plastic grip, but it appears to attach to a stub of the original one.

Nobody here (other than any previous owner, should they be active here) would be able to tell you how that new bracket works and how to allow removal of the CB. This is something you need to puzzle out with access to the real thing. Normally, in a DS1, the CB sits on a pin connected to the handle and you pull that pin out by the handle. Should be the same here, the question is what holds the pin in, and how to disengage that.

You show no photos of the other side of the CB trunk. Some DS1s have a bolt or other connection to the CB pin on that side, most do not. If yours does, it would likely have been left accessible, so if nothing is visible, you may be in luck and only have to deal with the contraption on the port side.

You can purchase replacement centerboards from DR Marine, but you can also make your own (or possibly fix what's there - if the existing wood isn't rotted).

The DS1 usually has two kinds of drain. One is right aft of the CB trunk, at a point that's close to the lowest point with the boat on the trailer. The other is in the transom (at the waterline). Both are normally operated from what is now inside the enclosed bilge. You might check whether the transom drain is still in place and whether the plug's been reversed to open from the outside. If that's the case, you drain the bilge by tilting the trailer up a bit, no access ports needed. (There is nothing in the enclosed portion that one would normally need access to).

If you feel you'll want an inspection port to check on the general condition of the bilge, then put one opposite the CB handle. That's the low spot and would allow you to pump any leaked water.

My concern would be with the "well" for the CB handle. If that extends all the way to the hull it would (partially) divide the starboard side of the bilge into a separate fore and aft compartment. That matters, because there is a small raised ridge forward of the CB (the keelson) and it would seem that would allow some water to get trapped in that forward area because it couldn't freely flow from starboard to port. And it would only flow aft if it can get past that well. You can see the keelson in the first picture and it appears there's a circular hole in it (for whatever reason). The well is relatively narrow, so what gets trapped may only be a small puddle.

Might be a good idea to place a second inspection port in the cuddy area a bit forward of the well.

Again, this boat was rather heavily customized, so nobody here would have first-hand experience with that particular configuration. You'll need to do some of your own detective work.

Re: DS identification & centerboard

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:02 pm
by GreenLake
PS: once you have questions that are not about the centerboard, but, for example, about the rigging, or sails, or other repairs and improvements, please post those in separate threads in the appropriate subforum. (Most issues other than the centerboard and cockpit layout are generic for all DaySailers and we like to collect them where everyone will be most likely to find them.)

Re: DS identification & centerboard

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:01 am
by vermontsailor
Thanks for the reply. Super helpful. I too wonder about this handle well housing and if it travels down to the hull and therefore blocks the movement of bilge water. More on that later.

Big breakthrough last night was removal of the CB handle. To do this, I pulled the metal framing rig from the well, the handle slid out, and the broken piece of the CB fell out. The metal frame sits in the well with what appears to be a screw that applies pressure to the handle, keeping it in place. The screw mechanism is rusted solid. This appears to be a homemade solution.

Note too the wooden CB, also appears homemade.

Once I replace this, I'm a big step further. Thanks again. More soon.

Re: DS identification & centerboard

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:46 am
by GreenLake
That "well" does appear to go to the hull. However, it's not that wide, so the amount of water trapped would be limited. Less than a pint, I would estimate. Any more and the water rises around the well.

Does your boat have a transom drain?

The metal frame just serves to push in the handle and to put pressure on the washer, which is what the factory fitting would have done, but it may be that it got damaged in whatever caused the handle to snap. The repaired handle looks functional, you could get a replacement, but why?

Incidentally, the well would capture any drips from the CB gasket. That may have been one of the ideas behind it. The remainder could be sealed well enough in principle to never take on water at all.

If you have moderate skills working with wood, making your own CB is definitely an option. Best way to do it is to glue several strips of wood with alternating grain and set on edge to make a plank in the desired thickness. Then look up one of the NACA foil sections and use a planer and/or belt sander to shape your blank so it has a nice hydrodynamic shape. Finally, some people cut a shallow groove at the thickest part and put down strips of fiberglass reinforcement, before wrapping the entire board in a thin layer of fiberglass cloth and epoxy. You'll also need to find a way to embed the brass plate that engages with the CB pivot. Use some fairing compound for a really smooth surface and sand down well, then paint. And done. The result should work better than a factory replacement (you can get those from DR Marine) because they don't have a good foil shape.

You should find descriptions of the process online if that's something that you might like to try.

I did a rudder using a similar process (but with some details I wouldn't use for a CB) to build a rudder. I'd sau this can be done in one weekend, or two if you like to space things out a bit. (The one that came with your boat uses plywood, which is not strong enough for use in a CB). It also has no foil shape at all and must literally have been a "drag".