Installing a new mast without measurements

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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Sat May 18, 2019 7:56 pm

Finally got my wife to help me do exact measurements on the lines that come with the boat. Unfortunately, most of them don't match what the boat is "supposed* to have, which standard measurements are posted here: https://daysailer.org/Rigging-Measurements

My measurements:

38' feet with shackle and a block along the rope
2x 49' feet with shackles
29' feet of smoother with a closed loop on the end
36' feet with nothing special on the end
41'8" feet of
45' feet of slightly thicker rope than others

Nothing seems to match, as the closest in length to the halyard (the 29' rope) has a closed loop on the end instead of a shackle. The only thing that seems like it might match is the 45' for the main sheet. Then there's nothing remotely resembling an outhaul. Luckily, the jib sheets are still attached to the jib sail.

Why would he have all these long ropes in the kit? (38', 41', 49')

I'm thinking I should just find a Daysailer owner from the local sailing club and get him to look over my boat in-person.
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 8:35 pm

Marcus, I find that the supposed rigging measurements don't agree with what I am doing, either.

The "slightly thicker" is a good hint that it might be the mainsheet. The reasons is that sheets are often sized for handling, and the mainsheet is the one that's really handled most. The required length depends on the nature of your mainsheet purchase. Mine seems to be rather shorter than that, but you could rig yours and then push the boom out all the way - any amount not used then could be cut - assuming that you correctly rigged it to get your mechanical advantage.

The one with "block along the rope" could be a halyard - for example jib or spinnaker halyard, if someone took off the block from the front of the mast. Jib block goes below the forestay, spinnaker block above, so if your mast has none, it's the jib block, otherwise the one that's missing.

The rigging measurements are for the old system of wire halyards for the main. Therefore, you need to add the length of the wire and rope parts (23+27) to get the total length for an all-rope halyard and that's 50. The same for jib halyard that comes out to 36.

For jib or spinnaker, you can tie the halyard to the sail, or you can use shackles. Both work.

For the jib sheets, the guide gives 26. I believe that is for a continuous sheet.

The 49 look like they may be spinnaker sheets. Those need to go all around the boat - the length in the guide is too short, I think, but 49' is oversized. Some people trim all halyards and sheets down to the minimum required, others don't bother with that and use anything that's longer than the required minimum.

One line might be a dock line or painter.

I would just try to rig the boat once using lines that are long enough to go to where they need to (even if they are too long) until you get a feel for what's needed. Then I would purchase new rope (unless what you have is in exceptionally good). If you are in a location where you have access to other DS sailors, then, sure, that's an easy way to help you sort out a new boat. (Even somebody with decent experience on a number of other dinghies might be useful; much does carry over).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Sun May 26, 2019 3:49 pm

Cool - so it sounds like I might almost have all the line that I need. The daysailer manual says I should have a 3' rope for a downhaul to pull the sail out, and I don't see one of those, so I guess I need that. Also, I notice no pieces that appear to be a boom vang, which is surprising. Do some people not use a boom vang? Is that dangerous?

My wife and I raised the mast the other day and when we went to attach the stays found that the two side stays were too short (by 3-4 inches) even with the turnbuckles fully extended. I'm guessing it'd be okay if just took the stays off the mast and re-riveted them that much lower then all the tensions would still line up and I'd be good to go?

IMG-6098 (Small).JPG
Side stays don't reach
IMG-6098 (Small).JPG (82.12 KiB) Viewed 2389 times


Also, although the front stay reaches fine, I may need to replace it because the bottom threaded part of the turnbuckle is bent and seems like it prevents the whole turnbuckle from tightening. Always 1 step forward 3 steps back :)

IMG-6096 (Small).JPG
Bent turnbuckle
IMG-6096 (Small).JPG (78.37 KiB) Viewed 2389 times


Also - the centerboard lever seems jammed. Don't know if it's because I'm still on the trailer but it barely moves at all. Daysailer manual says there is a lock pin but I don't see anything like that on mine. What's the lock pin look like?

IMG-6092 (Small).JPG
Centerboard lever
IMG-6092 (Small).JPG (84.05 KiB) Viewed 2389 times
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Sun May 26, 2019 3:50 pm

Maybe this rusty thing I'm pointing to is the lock pin?

IMG-6094 (Small).JPG
Lock pin??
IMG-6094 (Small).JPG (90.14 KiB) Viewed 2389 times
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Re: Centerboard lever

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 26, 2019 7:32 pm

That lever track looks like it is aftermarket. Even though your boat is a clone, and not a true DS, I've never seen this contraption and we've had some discussions of various DS clones.

If this was a DS, the locking pin would be on the bottom forward of the little triangle that's part of the original fitting. It's activated by gravity, if there, you should be able to feel it wiggle.

If boat on the trailer, the CB won't move much unless it happens to be unsupported from below.
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Re: Outhaul

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 26, 2019 7:33 pm

I believe you mean the outhaul (the one that pulls the sail's rear bottom corner (the clew) towards the end of the boom. Yes, you definitely need one.
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Re: vang

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 26, 2019 7:38 pm

It's possible to sail without a vang. I've done it for years. You can retrofit one (and probably should) if you find you really like this boat and want to sail it better. Look for suggestions in other threads on this forum. The DS originally came with a 3:1 that served only the purpose of bringing the boom down for more sail area in downwind sailing. My boat came (used) without one - I don't know whether because it wasn't supplied of because some previous owner felt he had no use for it.

I now have a 12:1, others use 20:1 so they can set the vang also for upwind courses. It helps flatten the sail when you are overpowered, among other things. Probably need to have new/recent sails to get the best advantage of that, while using it for downwind would have an effect on any sail.

Yes, you can go on your maiden voyage without one.
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Re: shrouds too short - something's OFF

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 26, 2019 7:47 pm

Something is off if these were shrouds that were original to the boat. (And if the forestay and shrouds are from the same set).

I would make sure that the mast support is not taller than it is supposed to be and that it is properly resting on the mast step at the keel. (And that the mast step isn't a "mast jack" that is dialed all the way up).

Now, if there's evidence that some previous owner had moved the mast tangs for the shrouds then restoring them to that position might be fine. (All three should attach at the same height)

However: the shrouds and forestay are normally calibrated to support the mast a certain angle (the mast rake). If you change your mast rake the sailing characteristics of your boat will change - probably for the worse!

When the boat is level on the water (and empty), the mast should point ever so slightly aft. From memory, I believe if you tie a weight to the end of the main halyard, it should come down about a foot aft of the mast at deck level (that should translate to 3°). Don't quite remember the exact value, but minimum would be one hand width (3" for 1°). You cannot try this on the trailer, at least not without leveling the boat to where the waterline is level.

Or you can measure from mast tip to transom.

The mast rake should be 25+- an inch from the top of mast to the transom.


You can then also check that the mast tip is centered laterally by making sure the distance from the aft corners to the mast tip is the same for starboard and port.

The 25' figure works only if you have a mast of the proper overall length, of course.

You need to really investigate this before doing the "random riveter".
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Sun May 26, 2019 10:47 pm

Okay, no vang=ok, need an outhaul but shouldn't be hard to find/order, and I've got a mystery centerboard lever that maybe just needs me to lift boat off trailer and try it again.

As for the mast, reminder that it's not the original mast for the boat. It is "from a daysailer," but I don't know whether from a I, II, or III, and I might be able to find the original guy that sold it to the guy that sold me the boat. I don't know even know if different daysailer masts have different standing rigging.

I haven't seen evidence that the shrouds on this mast were ever moved. And if the mast is too long or sitting funny, that wouldn't make sense either because the front shroud is actually loose at it's current distance, so I think lowering the mast would only make that worse. Also, we didn't put the spreaders in when trying the side shrouds, but that would only make them even shorter, if anything. And it was just keel-stepped on the mast foot, no mast jack or anything.

Is it possible that the Sailstar Explorer has a more curved deck than the Daysailer, and hence needs longer side stays to reach the deck attachment points? Is there maybe a way to lengthen stays by adding line or altering the turnbuckles somehow?

Thanks for all your help Greenlake.
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Re: Installing a new mast with your own measurements

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 27, 2019 12:31 am

The deck layout might be different; that's difficult to know. However, as you have a keel-stepped mast you can step the mast and take the measurement from tip to transom. See whether you get to the 25'. That distance should be good - assuming you have a DS mast and that it is resting on the hull (or, more precisely about 3-4" above: in the DS1 there's a square profile, called a keelson, that sits in the V formed by the two hull sides). In one of your pictures it look like you have a keelson, but I can't tell whether the area to either side is actually the outer hull or whether it's raised above that level (e.g to make it flat).

You can measure that with a tape measure that you pull up to the masthead by the main halyard.

That information will tell us most likely whether the mast is sitting too high -- because the location of the mast step is fixed it would force the mast into the correct angle (let's assume nobody tampered with it). Therefore, if you don't pull on the mast and bend it, the tip should be at the intended location, unless the mast is a bit too long (or sits too high).

You should back up that measurement with one along the mast, that goes from deck level (mast partners, or deck opening) so we can compare to the same value for a DS.

Finally, while you have a tape measure out, get the "slack length" needed for all your stays. You'll need that value to order a custom set of stays for your boat. (I would go that route, rather than moving the mast tangs: for one, your forestay, as you point out, has anyway the wrong length, and second, if you aren't a somewhat experienced metal worker and can get the correct rivets, I'm not sure I would attempt moving the tangs - they are rather critical. If any of them fails, you will have a bent mast).

While it's sometimes possible to recover from that, you risk having to source a new mast and start over.

All the DSs use the same rigging - except the DSIII has a slightly different hull; and DR Marine sells a different forestay for the DSIII compared to the other ones. (I have no idea whether that one would be longer or shorter than the "regular" forestay).

I can't speak for him, but I believe Rudy at DR Marine actually makes up the stays he sells, in which case he should be able to run you a custom set, if you determine your lengths are simply a bit different from DS standard measurements. So, you might give him a call and ask. Also, because you don't have a mast jack you need to be able to set your rig tension. He might know what works best for a keel-stepped mast, whether it's a forestay with tensioning lever.

Alternatively, if you definitely find that your mast height is too high, and that by dropping it a certain distance you get both the magic 25' from the transom and the correct shroud length then you could cut a piece out of it right above the deck and mate the parts with a tabernacle (hinge). That might be considered be a valid "excuse" for cutting a mast. That still leaves you with the forestay issue.

However, all of this should be based on a good set of your own measurements. You should definitely not make those modifications without a complete understanding.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Outhaul

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 27, 2019 12:50 am

GreenLake wrote:I believe you mean the outhaul (the one that pulls the sail's rear bottom corner (the clew) towards the end of the boom. Yes, you definitely need one.


Outhaul: any rope roughly 3/16 to 1/4" would work, as long as it's reasonably strong. Thinner is fine, if high strength. The loads are not extreme, especially not if you double the line the way I do. There should be a cleat at the end or side of the boom that should determine the length. My boom end cap came with two holes; I ran the outhaul through one, back to the clew, to the other, then to the cleat. That gave a 2:1 purchase which is nice to have.

I later upgraded by adding a block for less friction, but there was only room for one, so I still use the clew like a block.

Here's a not so great picture, the only one I could find in a hurry. The sail is seen edge on from the bottom, because the sail is rolled up while still attached to the boom. The red line is the outhaul. I mounted a cleat further up the boom for better access underway; the original one was a horn cleat right where that eye strap is now. The black tape helps me gauge how tight I pulled the outhaul. You can see where I added a double block (it's the kind that uses a lashing, rather than a metal shackle).
OutHaul_900.jpg
Outhaul
OutHaul_900.jpg (102.61 KiB) Viewed 2380 times
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:43 pm

Took the measurements today. One thing was I wasn't sure if the mast tip to transom measurement was the inside of the transom (side facing cabin) or the outside. So I did both.

Tip to inside transom: 25'1"
Tip to outside transom: 25'11"

Mast tip to partners: 22'10"

Measuring the stays I had the tap measure start at clevis pin and then go through spreader and go to other clevis pin on hull, and right and left needed about 13" more length than the stays currently on mast.

Also took a picture of where the mast sits as you mentioned you couldn't figure out how that was set up.
Here's the mast sitting on the footing.

IMG-6144 (Small).JPG
mast on footing
IMG-6144 (Small).JPG (84.17 KiB) Viewed 2295 times
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby GreenLake » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:07 am

So you have DS clone as a boat, but with a mast (and presumably stays?) from an actual DS.

Nobody here really knows your boat, so it is possible that the hull of your boat is shallower, so that chain plates are further from the tip of the mast, but it seems more likely that the mast is simply a bit too long. Let's see what we can figure out from your new measurements and picture.

If you look at your picture, it shows a small platform for the mast step, surrounded by a wider platform (flat blue). There seems to be an access panel (white) indicating that there may be considerable distance between the platform and the actual hull.

I would have expectd the mast to be too high above the deck because of that, but your mast-tip to partners measurement is within 2-3" of expected (the standard measurements, other than that for the mast rake, are all based on the top of the sail track, not the actual tip of the mast).

On a DS, the nominal value for the luff of the sail is 20' 6" and another 2' 0" to the top of the deck. With those values the bottom of the boom clears the deck by ~16 to 18", (For my mast that works out to about 29-30" for the distance deck to mast step but each mast may be adjusted to the actual height of the mast step). From your mast tip to partners number it looks like you are within 2-3" of the target.


I'm attaching a drawing from the DS Handbook of a few years ago. This gives various lengths in reference to the deck level.
Drawing-7.1.JPG
Drawing-7.1.JPG (45.13 KiB) Viewed 2288 times


(The "band 3" in that figure is how high you can possibly raise your sail, so it's practically at the end of the mast track, if you want to relate it to my measurements. Band 2 is at the top of the boom, and my 16-18" "clearance" agree with that, if you add the width of boom itself: to get to the 24" in the diagram).

You should also be able to confirm whether your shrouds are attached to the mast at the expected position (22' 6" minus 15' 3" equal 7' 3" from the end of the mast track). Likewise the spreader brackets (15' 3" minus 7' 8" equal 7' 7").

If they are off by 13", either the deck layout of your boat is really different (that is 13" taller from the chainplates - which I don't believe based on the pictures) or your shroud attachments were moved. Based on the diagram, you should confirm their location.

If they are attached in the right place, but still come out short, you could have super wide spreaders. From what I remember that was not the case. Or they are mounted too high, so that the upper part has a steeper angle. Still 13" would be a huge discrepancy.

In summary, what you are trying to do is match the configuration above the deck level as per the diagram. If you are able to match that, then you can use standard DS sails and you will have enough clearance for a boom vang.

Looks like your mast is approx the right length relative to the deck level, which is good and after you have confirmed you shroud positions you should be able to figure out whether they need to be moved or are just too short for some reason.

Hope this all makes sense if you apply it to your boat.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby marcusg » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:55 am

The stays and spreaders (which are the standard size) are where they should be according to your measurements. I looked around for a standard length of the stays to compare to what I have, but I can't find anything. My side stays are roughly 15'4". Any idea what yours are?
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Re: Installing a new mast without measurements

Postby GreenLake » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:59 pm

No, but you can see that 15' 4" can't be correct. The attachment points are 15' 3" above deck level, and you lose some because of going around the spreaders. So with 15' 4" your stays should be hanging slightly above deck level. However, your chainplates are clearly below deck level.

At this point, you do need new stays, and the best course for you is to call Rudy at DR Marine to order a new set. You can confirm with him that his are longer than 15' 4". You should let him know that you confirmed that the attachment point is at the correct height above the deck and also let him know of your 15' 13" straight-line measurement; then let him confirm that he can deliver the correct stays for you.

Since you have a fixed mast step and a keel stepped mast that will influence the choice of adjusters, I believe. Talk to him.
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