new trailer and first solo sail

Moderator: GreenLake

new trailer and first solo sail

Postby klb67 » Sun May 04, 2014 9:52 pm

Not sure where to post it, so I'll put it here. I had planned to refurb my trailer this spring. After evaluating costs for everything and the 2-3 weekends to sandblast, paint and reassemble, I opted for the easy button and bought a new trailer Fri. I dropped it at the lake on Fri. and today brought the boat on the old trailer to do the set-up and swap. Set up wasn't too bad - some too long bolts on the center rollers but I scrounged a wood spacer until I get shorter bolts. My plan was to get the trailer done, then sail. The wind was forecast 12 building to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. It would be my first sail of the year and first solo sail on my DS. It turned out quite well-I had to dump wind a few times at max gusts as I didn't have enough leverage w just me hiked out. Weather helm didnt seem ideal - a little heavy on the tiller. I also forgot the trick of tying the jib leads together. I fixed that after my first tack that resulted in a flapping jib and a lead that I couldn't reach after the tack. It went fine after that adjustment. It was a beautiful day on the water and I was the only one out there for awhile. Met a new owner of a Chrysler Pirateer dry moored near me and he joined me on the water after awhile. All in all I couldn't be happier with the new line halyards, new cheek blocks, and new masthead sheaves I fixed this winter.

I'm really looking forward to racing my sunfish next weekend now (I don't have a crew and don't feel ready to race my DS just yet). It is much different sailing "wherever" and sailing through there to there while not hitting anyone.
1976 DSII - #8039
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 04, 2014 11:18 pm

Definitely more to keep track of when there's traffic. And even more, if you are trying to race the other guys, rather than merely following them round the cans. Boy, all the stupid things I did when I tried my first race - that after years of just cruising around. Glad I survived, frankly. You see, we have an interesting venue, where boats of all sizes mix, literally from 9' to 65'.

That said, the one time I got a hole knocked into my hull, it was by the 9' boat. :shock: One of those situations where nobody saw it coming and nobody could have done anything about it (except for the big boat that was between us and blocked our view of each other until the last second).

I've solo'd the DS quite a bit in that venue, even flown spinnakers, but I must admit that for some tasks, I'm reaching a limit and just need to execute them more deliberately to get through them, and slower than what would be possible with crew. Having fun is what counts and not letting lack of crew keep me off the water....
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby IslandFarmer » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:15 pm

Has anyone posted a video of taking their DS out of the water onto a trailer? I would love to watch ... also dealing with the mast ... down at the ramp while in the water or afterwards when on the trailer. I've had my-new-to-me DSII on a mooring since July and am planning the pull-out ... wanting to be as prepared as possible and be able to tell my helper(s) what to do. I decided against a new thread, thinking that this was good as any. Other trailer posts seem to be all about bunks and rollers. I've now watched several videos online about launching and hauling in a boat at a ramp, but none specific to a daysailer. Trailer is Hylander with tipping mechanism which seems frozen. Ramp is very gradual. Wheelbearings were just replaced and a missing roller also (on the first crosspiece). If there is a relevant post I missed, would love a pointer to it.
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1983 DSII 12250
Stonington CT
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby GreenLake » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:26 pm

We'll see whether this needs to be split, but first let's look at your issue.

I'm not aware of a video, and when I got started, no such thing was available.

The process of retrieving a boat is not very complicated. Your trailer looks pretty much like mine did when I first got it.

Here's what you do.
  • You disconnect the trailer electrics.
  • You back the trailer into the water until the rearmost roller is just submerged.
  • You pull the boat's bow over that roller, straighten it out, and then reel it in (I usually give a big yank to get the boat halfway up the trailer before connecting the winch line).
  • You pull the trailer on land (watch for overhead cables or branches!)
  • You check the alignment of boat on trailer and, if needed push the stern sideways to get it centered.
  • You lower the mast and secure the boat, re-attache the electrics, test the lights and drive off.

I modified my trailer after the first few years to make retrieval easier. If you have enough time, I suggest same, otherwise, do it next season.

I replaced the rearmost roller by a much wider one with a shallow V shape and a "notch" or "groove" in the middle. This one captures the bow more positively and helps align the boat.

I also lowered it an inch or two. This means the rear of the boat is supported by the bunks and not that roller (may want to eventually widen / lengthen the bunks). But it also means that the same bunks start supporting the boat before it is fully out of the water. The good part about that is that a boat that slides will always be pulled towards the winch, while a boat that sits diagonally on a roller will continue to go sideways. If you can, you should lower yours a bit as well.

If the water is warm, a helper in the water can be useful. (I usually manage without, except if there's strong side winds or waves/wakes).

I only use the tilting mechanism on my trailer for launching. If you can't clear yours before the next time you launch your boat, you may have to back the trailer far enough in for the DS to float off. However, floating on is something that works best for trailers that have a lot of lateral guidance, which yours doesn't. If you try this, you may find it a challenge to keep your boat centered. (I have another boat, where the trailer has vertical posts, and floating on is the method of choice for that one; you need to know what works for your boat/trailer combination, that's why watching general videos isn't always helpful).

Does your tow vehicle have 4WD? Can make a difference on some ramps esp. if sandy, but won't help if the ramp is slimy. Be very careful, you can lose your car.

Lowering your mast depends on what kind of mast you have (keel-stepped or tabernacle). Let's take that up separately.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby IslandFarmer » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:31 pm

Dear Green Lake,

Your instructions are just what I needed. Step by step. Thank you very much. I can picture it in my mind. : )
Still, if anyone has made a video of hauling their DS, I would love to see it.

I will look at lowering the rear roller ... but doesn't it need to be above the level of the aftmost crosspiece to keep the bow from hitting that?
On another post someone had attached a photo of a wider yellow roller. I can certainly get a different one there (next year).
Oh, just now found the photo of your trailer with that cool wide aft roller peeking above the last crosspiece. I get it.

Good to know about the tilt mechanism being most useful during launches. I sprayed it with WD-40 several weeks ago. Will see if I can free it next year after launching. (I had enough to do this summer just getting used to the boat.)

I have 3–4 options for launch and retrieval locations so it will take a few years before I figure out which is best (under which conditions) and what vehicle is best. I have no hitch or 4wd so am begging and borrowing until I figure that out. Rent a 4WD with hitch for the day, continue to beg/borrow, etc. I bought my 2008 Toyota Camry in August a year ago ... not having any idea that by June 2020 I'd own a sailboat.

I will definitely have a helper but it will probably be me in the water which was still swimmable last weekend (CT). : )
Plan to do at high tide so slimiest part of ramp is under water so if anyone/thing slips it will be me and not the vehicle (which will be 4WD this fall).

Mast is tabernacle-stepped and I am pretty confident about that part since I watched PO put it up and down and raised it myself (with help) in July when launching. This is also covered in the DS book I bought from Roger Conrad. PO made a great wooden strut that sits on the stern with cleats and everything. So I'm set with that.

PO gave me his straps to secure the boat on the trailer as well as a bunch of slit blue foam cylinders of various sizes (swimming noodles, I guess) to keep things from rubbing.

I bought a heavy-duty UV-resistant tarp (30'x20') to put over boat and mast. Indoor storage I could use involves removing the boat from the trailer so I'm opting to keep it outside under cover this first year. I saw some posts on the forum about winter storage and will check those out again for a refresher.

Thanks again for your speedy and confidence-building reply.
1983 DSII 12250
Stonington CT
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby GreenLake » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:26 pm

If you launch/retrieve once a year, renting the perfect vehicle is, I guess, doable. If your memory is like mine, you may need to write down what you did the previous time and what worked / or didn't. It's hard to get the seat of the pants routine when you do something that infrequently. I'm always amazed what I can forget between seasons.

You ought to be fine with a big tarp like that. You might add some additional support mid-mast, in addition to stern and bow supports, to limit the length of an unsupported span. A simple inverted T made from 2x4 should do it.

In securing your tarp - if you use little weights to hold the tarp, it can hang down vertically, allowing air to reach the hull while not flapping. The alternative, to strap the tarp close to the hull can lead to black gunk growing in the right climatic conditions. Likewise, you want to make sure air can get to the cockpit.

I leave the back open, which means critters can get in, but that happened only once when parked in a corner close to the house. Parking on the street or in a wooded yard seems to have been fine (no traces found of any critters).
681
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby MRT » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:23 pm

Can you tell me where you ordered Roger Conrad's book?
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Re: new trailer and first solo sail

Postby Alan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:35 pm

It's at the beginning of the DSII section on the board index page, here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1346
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