Drifter headsail for DSII

Moderator: GreenLake

Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby Guest » Sat Nov 11, 2000 3:38 pm

I am looking for a drifter head sail for my DS II. I would prefer used. Can anyone direct me to the proper location?

Dan Steill (d.steill-at-gte.net)
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:18 pm

This is an old post, but I have an interest in this thread. When I purchased my boat, 1977 DS II, it came with three sails. A main and 2 jibs. I assumed one of the jibs was a replacement but did not fully unroll and look at them. Couples days ago I pulled them out of the bag. I found a class main and jib by Neil Pryde, perhaps originals. They both looked well used and the main had a hole in it. The second jib looked lightly used but to my surprise the luff = 14' 6'', leech = 13' 6", foot = 11'. The sail has rope luff with piston hanks. The sail is crosscut and appears to be coated nylon or Dacron, probably Dacron. I noticed the weight of the fabric was lighter than the old Neil Pryde sails. Length Perpendicular = 9' 9", so LP/J = approximately 195%. The sail area = 70.5 square feet. Overall geometry of the sail is like a genoa (no roach), but not being knowledgeable about sails I had no idea what I had.

When all else fails, search the internet or maybe go there first. I found an article by Carol Hasse of Port Townsend Sails (WA). Her description of a traditional hank on Drifter seems to fit my sail except for the 195%, she indicates drifters are normally in the 140% - 160% range. Somewhere else I found that drifters sometimes have greater overlap if the boat has an older rig design with the foretriangle relatively short compared to the mast for a fractional rig. I think that is true for a Day Sailer.

What I think I have is a hank on 195% Drifter The stated advantage of this is sail is that it is a light air sail that will work on all points of sail, close hauled to dead downwind. Of course you must whisker pole it out on a wing when the main blankets it too much. However, it is not as efficient as a cruising code zero or UPS etc. when sailing off the wind.

I will sail it this summer in light air to see how it does. Does anyone have experience with a sail like this or any advice for me?

By the way the answer to this 15 year old question is Port Townsend Sails.
Tom
DSII #8483 Old Fox
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby jeadstx » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:24 pm

You might want to check out this thread on Universal Power Sails (UPS). Very long thread and I'm sure a drifter is in the somewhere. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3571

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby GreenLake » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:29 pm

Tom,

we'd love to find out how the 195% genoa works for you, and how far upwind you can sail with it.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:45 pm

Thanks guys, the one thing that gives me pause with this sail is the large overlap. Will keep you posted when I fly it this spring.
Tom
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby GreenLake » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:21 pm

Well, on our local lake, the "downwind" legs seem to invariably become broad reaches instead. That means, the spinnaker is flown with the pole as far forward as possible and it starts to look like a very full cut genoa at that point. I suspect your sail would be equivalent, except hat you could trim it flatter and sail smaller apparent wind angles than the 80 or so degrees that we squeeze out of our spinnaker.

If I understood your description correctly, I would expect that flying this up to 8-10kts should be possible, perhaps even a bit more once you gained some experience. Keep an eye on the wind and don't make your first trials on a day that's full of sudden wind shifts or strong gusts. (But you know that already)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:23 am

Good points GL, Since I bought my DS last spring I have been reading, reading, reading (and drying a wet transom). That makes me a little bit long on theory and extremely short on experience. From what I have read, the hanked on part of this sail is good for sailing closer to the wind, but that must be coupled with a flat cut sail to sail close hauled. It will be interesting to see how well this sail does on all points of sail in light air. In heavier air it would be near downwind or dead downwind only for me if at all. The PO extended the factory jib car tracks about 3 or 4 feet aft on the seat backs. Not sure I like that, but will not do anything re rigging until I am sure of what I want and need. All in all the price is right, $0.00 :). At minimum it should give me an upwind reacher in light air, if I can get the darn thing to tack!
Tom
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby GreenLake » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:19 pm

Tom, I know the feeling, when, towards the end of winter, all the theory has taken over firmly and I can't wait to go out on the water again, and the minute I am on the water, I can't remember a thing :)

The cockpit is about 8' long, so 3-4' of track should be almost half-way to the back. Looks like it's about where you want to sheet a sail of that size; you'd have to experiment to see whether you like it. A spinnaker is sheeted even further back, but the clew is usually a bit higher. A remaining question is whether your tracks are a bit too far inboard. But all of that should reveal itself when you take it out the first time.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby K.C. Walker » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:37 pm

Are you able to contact the previous owner and ask about how they rigged and used the sail? Otherwise, you may be in for a fair amount of experimenting.

Though my UPS sail is quite a bit larger at 120 ft.², I think you may want to have a down haul rigged so that you can quickly strike it. I am often having too much fun and then it becomes too much of a good thing and I need to roll it up in a hurry.

I sheet mine outside of the stays back to the transom where I have auto ratchet turning blocks and then led back up to the jib car. 99% of the time I don't cleat that sail because it's too dangerous. What I've found is that on most points of sail the main is close hauled or nearly so because of the apparent wind. Mostly I don't bother with polling it out but rather sail a broad reach.

Sailing fast in light air is a true pleasure as you are not fighting chop.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:06 pm

KC, The previous owner bought it for his grand children from someone unknown. It sat in a shed for the last 10 years. He had no idea, just knew there were two jibs in the bag. You are right, it will be a lot of experimenting, and yes I have already purchased downhaul line for the jib. Some have suggested a block at the stemhead is not necessary, just run the line up the first hank and clip it to the top hank. Will try that first as very inexpensive. I plan to do my experimenting on light air days and it will be interesting to see how easy it is to go on the foredeck to change out the head sail. I wonder if anyone has had success with heaving to with the main by dropping the jib, cleating the main to center and fastening the tiller to lee or just leaving it loose. I read that it will work on some other boats but not sure about a DS. It seems the weather helm would round up the boat luffing the main, the boat would fall off, and the process repeat, allowing me to forward and change out the head sail.

By the way, in the end, I decided to rig my boom like yours, 2:1 18 inches from the end then up to mid boom. No fouling on the motor or swim ladder, mechanical advantage seems the approximately equal to 4:1 mid boom, better close hauled performance, and the bridle can be unclipped to get it out of the way for grand children swimming. Best of all worlds! Thank you KC.
Tom
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby GreenLake » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:28 pm

If running the downhaul through the bottom hank gives too much friction, one alternative is to tie a ring to the tack and use that. Not an entirely free solution, but still cheaper than a block I'd imagine. Even a shackle or carabiner through the tack might give better geometry. Just a thought.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:40 pm

Why didn't I think of that? I have a carabiner that will work perfectly, so just as cheap! Thanks GL. By the way, you once mentioned that your crew found out the foredeck on your smaller boat was not stable enough to be on it the hard way. What has been your experience on the DS? Just out of curiosity, what kind is your smaller boat?
Tom
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby GreenLake » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:16 pm

Stability: the DS is plenty stable. I can walk around the mast and not flip the boat. Even if my crew and I are on the same side (with sails down, of course and while both standing close to the center line).

The other boat in question is a Vanguard 15. It's just about possible for me to slide forward by pretzeling around the mast. No way could I stand next to the mast (even at the dock).

I always consider that stability a nice feature of the DS.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby K.C. Walker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:34 pm

I go up on the foredeck quite a bit with out problems. With my previous long shaft motor I could even go up while under power. It always needs to be a quick trip if you are under way because the center of resistance goes way forward and it veers off course quickly, that is unless you have crew steering. I tend to stay pretty low. Often I have at least one knee down and if need be one hand on or my backside against the mast. I don't have a downhaul on my jib and I bungee it down to the deck when I'm using my UPS. I may revisit the downhaul idea.

I think changing head sails out in the open with any kind of breeze would be not something I would want to do. If you could find a quiet place, such as the lee of an island it wouldn't be a problem, though.

Chris B flies his UPS (which is of similar size to yours) from a double block at the mast jib halyard block. So, he has two halyards and leaves the jib rigged. It seems like you might be able to fly your drifter un-stayed. If need be, you could tie a length of spectra line between the tack and the head crinkles and hank on to that. I would think that you would need to make that length adjustable so that you could tune the sail. Though, once you got it tuned I would not think that you would need to change it.

I'm glad that the mainsheet rigging worked for you!
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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Re: Drifter headsail for DSII

Postby tmittner » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:44 pm

OK, Great idea KC! As I just said to GL, why didn't I think of that?!! I have a heavy air jib coming as well. With a double sheave halyard system and spectra on the sails, I could have 2 head sails ready for the conditions of the day before launching. ;) To be honest you've got me thinking about your furler as well.
Tom
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