Two-piece mast?

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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby tomodda » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:42 am

No. "Stock" is a pretty irrelevant term, the DS class rules allow one to set up whatever running rigging you want. Even O'Day varied the running rig over the years. Don't worry about it. Start simple, modify later. Learn to sail first, with 5 controls - jib sheet, main sheet, tiller, centerboard handle, your weight placement (where you sit). That's all you need.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:40 pm

Thanks Tom. By "stock" I was just thinking of what is going to come with the boat. Reading up on sailing there are a whole lot of different trims on boats, so I am just trying to get a handle on what I am going to have at my hand when I go out.

BTW the seller and I agreed on a price and I am scheduled to drive down to pick it up next week.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby GreenLake » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:06 pm

Jonny, great, that sounds like progress. Hope it goes well. Spend a moment with the seller and have him demonstrate how to raise the mast and rig the boat, if possible.

Tom message captured the essential primary controls really well. Those are the ones that you need to adjust constantly.

Even a basic boat will have an outhaul, most will have the jib fairleads/blocks on track cars. On a basic boat, the outhaul may not be readily adjustable underway, so you set it to expected conditions. Likewise the position on the jib tracks is set to prevailing conditions and only adjusted if those change.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:01 pm

Thanks Greenlake, I will have to wait until I have the boat to know if I have the cars on mine. I've got about 12 hours on the road for the round trip, so I don't think I'm going to be doing much of a rigging lesson when I get down there, just doing a thorough inspection and making sure it is safe to put on the highway.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:48 pm

I have a transportation question for you guys. When you are towing the boat, where do you put the sails? The foot of the mainsail is ten feet, so if you don't have ten feet of space in the towing vehicle do you stow the sail the cuddy/cockpit for travel? Seems like some of it would be exposed to the wind and flap around...
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby tomodda » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:56 pm

Jonny:

Hi, you're asking the right questions - how to care for your sails. If your sail REALLY is new (crinkly), then you'll want to baby it as long as possible. It's really sweet seeing a sail just POP into a new trim (sailing position), a new sail will do that and will give you a little extra speed. A new sail will almost just sail itself, forming good aerodynamic curves. Some of this is really just "style points" (don't worry if it don't pop), but take good care of your sails and they'll care for you back. Think of your sail as a network of fibers (that's what it is), whenever you fold it you're breaking down the fibers. It's OK to fold the sail in the front/back direction, parallel to the boom because that's along the same lines as the wind passing over the sail, but for a really new sail, you want to roll it in around the front/back axis to avoid any folds at all. It's bad to fold it in the up/down direction (parallel to the mast) because you're breaking down the fibers (and making creases!) at a 90 degree angle to the wind, you're hurting the sail's ability to form an aerodynamic curve. Just a little, but it adds up. So don't scrunch your sails up in a ball, roll or flake them properly. Letting them flog (flap around uncontrollably) is even worse, so make sure they are secure as you're driving.

For a 300-mile trip you take the mainsail off the boom (the foot of the sail is goes into a slot on top of the boom, pull it forward and off). Then you roll it up, put it in your sailbag (hopefully boat comes with a sailbag, if not get one later), and put it in your trunk. Since this is supposedly a brand new sail, you can extend it's life by rolling the foot around itself into a big sausage (10 feet long, like you said), but then it's OK to curve it into a U or S to get it into your trunk or back seat or even up inside the cuddy (maybe skip the sailbag if it's not a sausage-shaped bag). Just avoid any sharp bends, don't loose the "new sail smell"! For an older sail, you want to flake it (look it up), then roll it up into a squat cylinder, put in sailbag, put in trunk.

For shorter trips, it's fine to flake the sail onto the boom or roll it around the boom if it's new. Then secure it with a few bungee cords (the ones with hooks on the end) or tie it with some sort of ribbons or even with the mainsheet, whatever you need to hold the sail on the boom. Then take the boom OFF the mast and shove the boom as far forward into the cuddy as possible. Easier with a DS1, of course, but if you put it in there with the front up and the back down on the deck, you'll be fine. You'll also have to slack the mainsheet as much as you can so it won't snag as you shove boom into cuddy. Now the boom/sail will be out of the slipstream as you cruise down the highway and you save yourself having to hank (attach) the sail back on the boom. I store sail on the boom to go to my local lakes (15 and 40 miles away, respectively), but put it in the trunk when I head to the shore (3 hours away). Up to you.

By the way, there's LOTS of specialized vocabulary in sailing. I grew up with it, but I can see where it may be a steep learning curve. No worries, it's just words, doesn't change how the boat works. By the way, your sails are going to flog eventually, it's inevitable when you're heading straight upwind, so don't get overly concerned, just try to minimize it. 5 minutes flogging at 60 mph while towing will destroy the sail far worse than the flogging you'll do while sailing around. Secure your sails!

Best,

Tom

P.S. you posted a photo of the rubrail at your transom, asking if it's a problem. No, that's normal, the rubrail stops in the middle to leave space for the rudder. Those chrome end-caps sure are nice, mine just look like they were chewed by a dog.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby GreenLake » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:34 am

I haven't done 300 miles with my own boat yet, but for very short trips I just roll the sail next to the boom (not around) leaving the foot in the boom. On a DS1, if you put the boom on the side with the motor well, it "hooks" behind the well (I keep some short lengths of foam and an old 5" fender so the boom doesn't rest directly on the seat. I secure the front around the thwart and also cinch tight the mainsheet.

I see no evidence of any part of the sail flapping, the cuddy probably deflects the wind really well from the cockpit benches. (Yes, flogging is like riding the brakes in your car: either action wears out a part with a finite lifetime sooner than needed).

For a longer trips, up to 50 miles in my case, I might put the sail into a sailbag and rest it on the cockpit floor (bare boom secured as before). Stuck under the thwart, it's not going to go anywhere.

I never fold and practically never flake my sails: they are rolled.

Tom mentioned the vocab: some "nautical" terms from the big sailing ship era don't translate well into the small boat space, and you'll find that they've acquired some modern equivalents. Like "side stays" for "shrouds". The original term is based on the similarity to black lace when you have multiple stays connected with ratlines. Well, ours don't look that way, so many people are more comfortable saying "side stay". (But yachts that have multiple different stays still call some "cap shrouds").

The names for many other items are perfectly serviceable and beat any circumlocutions, like "main sheet". Some terms are specific to small boat or Yacht sailing, such as "Barber haulers" or "Cunningham" named after their inventors.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:07 am

Thanks guys, I really do appreciate it! I will see what configuration the seller has the sails in when I get there; I'm guessing he has them off of the boom, so I will probably stash them in the back of the car. I've been doing some windsurfing (AKA falling the lake) this summer, and those sails are always rolled, never folded, but sailboat sails are obviously of a different material, and after watching a few videos of bigger boats I do see how they (gently) fold the sails.

I've been doing good with vocabulary, most of the terms are also used in windsurfing, it's just few different sails controls/configurations that I have had to learn, so that is good.

Speaking of which, do you guys extend the downhauls into the cockpit for sail tuning when you are under way, or do you just set it for conditions and leave it that way for the day (same with the outhaul)? Do you use telltales on the sails and a windex on the mast?

Tom, yes on the image and question I had here originally, I came across an image of a boat with the same "bare transom", so I pulled the image before anyone had a chance to see it. Except you, of course. :D
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby tomodda » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:12 am

Well, falling off a windsurfing board certainly counts as sail training :) Yeah, a brand-new sail is something like a windsurfer sail - stiff. Gets soft later. GL is right once again, of course - you don't roll the mainsail around the boom, just roll it up next to the boom. Mine is pretty soft, so I flake it down. Dunno re: leaving the boom in the cockpit while trailering, I tend to shove it into the cuddy.

Answering your question, the different controls have different amounts of "adjust cycles." The 5 basic controls that I outlined are adjusted the most - mainsheet is almost constant, the jibsheet less so, you want to be smooth in your tiller movements, you'll change your centerboard angle pretty much only when you go from a reach (into the wind) - full down to a run (way downwind) where you may want to pull it up some/all. Lastly you'll be shifting your weight quite a bit in gusty winds, less so if wind is steady. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "downhauls".. halyards? The ropes that pull the sails up? In theory, you can set 'em and forget 'em, as you get more experienced you'll see that you get more speed and/or more pointing ability by adjusting them a bit (inches, not much). Likewise the outhaul. Basically the more wind, the more I pull on the outhaul, but when I'm running (downwind) I'll slack off the outhaul to present a round belly to the wind. Once again, to start with, just set it for the day's conditions. All of the secondary controls (barber haulers, jib car, etc), I DO adjust during a sail, but it's more like "Huh, something doesn't look right about the jib, let me try moving the jib car back." Eventually you'll learn cause and effect (I'm still learning for some things) and you'll know "Huh, waves are building up, and I need to pinch a bit more, I'm going to move the jib car back." Many of the secondary controls adjust your power vs speed, a lot like the gearshift in a car. In other words, you can set your rig to point (head upwind) better or punch thru waves better, but at expense of speed. Or vice-versa. The boom vang is the primary "secondary control" (oxymoron!) for "shifting gears", so I use it quite a lot. You'll learn all this, but get the first 5 controls down pat first, ok?

As for windex and telltales, hell yes! At the very least, put three pairs (port and starboard) of telltales on your foresail, 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the way up the forward edge (luff), about 3 inches aft of the luff. Next put a telltale on the back edge (leech) of the mainsail, right above each batten pocket (so 4 of them). You can get nice stick-on telltales from any nautical shop or amazon, but you can use yarn and a bit of tape too (just doesn't work when wet!). Learn to use them, I think GL has the basics in his beginning sailor's guide, but if not google. Close hauled, I'll be checking the telltales at least once every 5 seconds or so.

Sidenote - I read an "Advanced Sailing Performance" book that gave a long proof about why sailing "by feel" is much less efficient than sailing by your telltales. Meh, I do a bit of both, especially when I'm solo and can't see my jib telltales or I'm busy looking at something else besides my telltales (oncoming stinkpot). You'll soon learn to sail "by feel" and it's a good skill to have. One of my few aggravations with the DS is that if I'm solo, the best place to sit also means I can't see the jib telltales. Remember how GL and I are both telling you to take along a friend for your learning sails, even if they do nothing else besides sit where you tell them? Well if you can get them to read the jib telltales for you, it's even better! All they gotta say is "high" "on" or "low" (look it up.. synonyms are "headed" or "lifted") and teaching them what that means will make you look very nautical :).

As for the windex, it's a great learning tool. Honestly, I rarely look at it, maybe just when I'm raising sail, but when I need it I really need it...What the heck did the wind just do? I'm lost? Then I look up and say Oh! The wind just shifted 30 degrees, no wonder. In practice, I'm too lazy to crane my neck to look at it all the time and you'll learn to "read" the wind yourself soon enough. In the meantime, though, get a windex! If you really want to be fancy, I have a set of detachable mini-windexs that go on the stays (Davis Instruments Wind-Tels Vane, I got em on some super-sale, $24). They're nice to have, your boom should be parallel to the "Wind-Tel" when you're close-hauled, perpendicular when you are running, in between when reaching. Again, I mostly ignore them, often forget to rig them, but they're great when I'm teaching new crew to use my boat. Maybe helpful to you. Also, you'll see that the wind at the masthead is often different, direction and speed, from the wind down at your height. That's one of the reasons why you want to twist your sail (Vang and jib cars do that). In light winds also, windex is a godsend, usually a puff will fill in at the top before the bottom so you can better "see" the little wind you have. Anyway, once you're experienced, windex is not much use, except when it is!

Ok, as usual I wrote too much. On the other hand, this time I double-checked what I wrote, seems reasonably accurate. Bottom line, don't sweat the secondary controls yet, but yes you do adjust everything as you sail. Tell-tales are crucial, masthead windex are needed but not as much. Anything else is "nice to have" but not needed.

Tom
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:29 am

Excellent, thank you so much Tom, that really helps a new sailor. I will pick up some telltales and a windex to make my learning easier while I am learning the ropes (er, sheets). And yes, I called the halyard a "downhaul" (a windsurf rig has a fixed head with a pully on the tack, the opposite of a sailboat); I'll have to adjust my lingo!

Before I pick up the boat, what are some of the crucial things I will want to inspect before I take possession of the vessel? Is there anything to look at on the mast/boom to make sure they work properly? How about the hull/transom of the boat; I am thinking of bringing a little rubber hammer and at least checking the transom to make sure it is solid, anything else important?
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby tomodda » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:18 pm

I'd ask the seller to raise the mast and raise the sails on the trailer with you. Then you can learn, if he'll do it! Look for soft spots bubbles or deep scratches on the hull. All repairable, but something to negotiate. From the photos, the hull looks great.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby GreenLake » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:55 pm

If the hull is distorted around the trailer bunks that could be a soft spot, or it could just spring back. Hard to tell with the boat on the trailer. And areas where a DS1 can get soft can be stiffened by adding a stringer, so, fixable. Some fix this preventatively.

I would look for any cracks (not the light cracks/crazing you can get in gelcoat, but anything that looks like it might go deep): around CB/hull connection (top and bottom) for example. Basically, anything that looks like damage not visible in the photos (because any price you agreed is based on things being like the photos show).

Also sight along the mast to see whether it's straight. Anything really noticeable would be cause for concern (but if you look really hard to detect anything, I'd still call it "good condition"). I agree with Tom: driving distance or not, have the seller raise the mast.

@Tom: some of your remarks about sail controls seem useful material to base another post in my basic concepts on.

@Jonny: on the DS, there's really little call for "leading things into the cockpit" in my view. Unlike a large keelboat, you can reach the mast from the cockpit, and unless it's a control that you find you need to tweak while screaming along fully hiked out...

I've put a V cleat for the outhaul halfway along the boom and use a bungee to hold the tail end parallel to the boom to the forward end. That way, I can usually reach it and adjust it while sailing; some stock setups use a horn cleat at the end of the boom; that's obviously not practical to adjust.

One of the more powerful (and useful) things to add (or upgrade, if there's one on this boat), is a vang. Look for the discussions on this in the forum. I'm happy with a 12:1 (6:1 plus 2:1 cascade) some have gone for 20:1; it helps keep the sail flat going upwind when you ease the main to depower in a gust (otherwise the boom would come up and make a belly in the sail, powering it up). It also helps to keep the boom down for more projected area sailing downwind.

Telltales, I cover in my basic concepts. Windex is great for downwind (telltales do nothing) and if the wind has shifted out of the range where telltales are sensitive (they are best for small angle adjustments near the optimum).

PS: @Tom: in waves, I wouldn't pinch but foot. You'll need more power/speed, so sailing a bit free is what you want. If you pinch, you may point higher, but slow down and increase your leeway.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby tomodda » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:17 pm

@GL, You're welcome to grab whatever you want out of what I wrote. You're right of course, one would foot to meet steep chop. I was giving an example of how the secondary controls are more for dealing with conditions than just driving the boat. But I should have been more accurate for any future reference.

@Jonny, look at the recent forum thread entitled "Greetings from a O'Day Spray owner," looks like someone local to you who's asking for a sailing buddy in TX. Yes, I know it's a big state, but he mentions he sails "on the lakes," which I assume is DFW area. The only other place I know of in TX with PLURAL lakes is East Texas (Sam Rayburn area), but then he's be saying "I sail on the alligator's backs" ;-)
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby GreenLake » Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:33 am

@Tom: I came across a Windsurfing video and now I think I know what that "downhaul" is that Jonny keeps talking about. On a windsurfer, that control will bend the mast, but unlike a vang, will not tighten the leech. It's akin to a boom downhaul, in that it pulls on the tack (alternatively a bit like a Cunningham), but they apparently use serious purchase there (and in their lingo there are "pulleys" not "sheaves" in the blocks of the block and tackle).

I guess you could get a similar effect with a bit of halyard tension, however, our masts are much stiffer and sails are often cut so that you run out of room (they are fully stretched before you get to full tension - that's where the Cunningham comes in, I think).

Anyway, when you tighten the DH on a windsurfing sail the mast bends and the leech gets looser. On a DS, I'm not sure anyone has that much purchase on their Cunninghams. If you pull the vang, you can bend the mast, but it also tightens the leech, as it is the induced leech tension that helps bend the mast. A vang, effectively acts on the clew of the sail, while that DH acts on the tack.
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Re: Two-piece mast?

Postby jonnycat » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:00 pm

Thanks guys, I do appreciate it. I will give some extra attention to the centerboard area and where the boat rides on the bunks (both inside and outside), and I will spend the time to set the mast with the guy as well.

@GL: Yes, in windsurfing the downhaul (pulls the tack down towards the base of the mast) does have the affect of bending the mast (and the luff, which opens up the leach), and is a part of tuning the sail (along with the outhaul). On high wind days I have given some extra attention to tightening both of those a little more to depower the sail a little bit to give me more of a fighting chance before I go swimming.

On another note, I was perusing the forum earlier in regards to recovering from a capsize, and there was a mention that the DSI was redesigned at some point by George O'Day from the original as designed by Uffa Fox (Gen1 vs Gen2 DSI). Any idea as to when this happened?

Thanks again.
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