First time singlehanding.

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First time singlehanding.

Postby zeroready » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:21 pm

What a blast. Wind was only about 5 mph, but without the extra 200+ lbs of family and gear it was perfect. I could have stayed out there all day. It was so nice to just sit quietly and sail. Coming from Hobie Waves that I learned on at the local sailing center over the last year, the DS feels much better in low wind. Had no issues raising or lowering sails by myself, which I thought would be much harder without my wife crewing with me. Just pointed upwind, tied a loop around the tiller to the cleats and it held just fine.

After doing the CB uphaul fix, there was only 3 gallons in the bilge after 2 hours on the water. Much better than before, and I think I'll just leave it at that and call it fixed as that doesn't seem like that much water for a 40 year old boat.

Thanks to everyone here for all the help and advice!

https://youtu.be/u2Bo0c_eZIE

https://youtu.be/ZkdoPNOkfUM

Image
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby GreenLake » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:52 pm

Nice.

DS is quite good at low-wind sailing, indeed.

Glad you could make it single handing. Did you set up any sort of bungee or tiller tamer for any part of it other than raising the sails? Were you motoring while raising the sails?

I would regard 3 gals as 3 gals too much still. Especially, if you were sailing in lower winds (and therefore more slowly). If you sail faster, there are places where dynamic water pressure builds up and that could magnify any existing leaks. Also, you may want to take your boat out for more than two hours. But, while I wouldn't give up on getting to the bottom of that, it shouldn't keep you off the water if you monitor things (and preferably have inspection ports through which you can pump out the bilge if the leaks gets worse while you are out on the water).

(My take on a "small" leak would be something that drips slowly enough that a large sponge can keep up with soaking up the water for a 2hr trip.)

PS: Given the thread's title, I'll move this to "seamanship and boat handling".
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby zeroready » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:39 pm

I raised the sails about halfway to get out of the marina, it's in a sort of protected cove and there's a very narrow bouyed channel to get through before you get to open ocean. Full sail would have definitely overpowered the motor even with the light breeze coming in. I just tied the tiller and left the motor on low idle upwind and was able to get both sails up while occasionally running back to straighten the the motor out. When lowering just tying the the tiller into the wind wind was enough, the sails came down easily and quickly.

I didn't need to tame the the tiller any other time than raising or lowering sails. I would say that given my current level of experience with two sails 5 to 7 mph winds would be the most I'd want to singlehand in for now.

I do have the two ports up front just aft of the cuddy and a really nice hand pump that moves a lot of water very quickly. But as you say 3 gallons is 3 too many. I would like it to be closer to 0 gallons of course, I just don't know where else to look for leaks. I don't have a CB bolt, it's the other later model type of system. There are no cracks below the water line. The bilge drain is water tight. I'm not dunking rails so its not coming in through the inspection ports. I just disassembled the auto bailer, there's no access to the bilge from there the hull is solid. The only obvious answer is somewhere through the CB trunk but I just don't know where it could be in there. I guess I could make sure the bilge is totally dry then just sit in the water looking in the ports with a mirror and flashlight and try to see where it's coming from.

Thanks again for all the help. I'll try to track down that leak.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby GreenLake » Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:29 pm

Setting sail: If I let my main weathervane, I can motor with sails up with my 1/3hp electric motor. I've done that alot being too lazy to take the sails down for the 1/4 mile traverse in the wind shadow of a bridge. Unless you have the same motor (or a 40# trolling motor, which uses more energy but delivers the same propulsion) you should be able to motor against those light breezes with your sails up but not sheeted home. However, nothing wrong with the way you are doing it (keeping the sails down until you need them). Especially, if this takes more than a minute or so, keeping the sails from flogging is already a good thing.

(I have dropped sails with my motor running more often than raised them - reason being that I sometimes like to square away the boat when the launch is busy and I have to wait my turn. However, now that I think about it, I did try the raising sails in light winds with my really minimal motor and it maintained steerage).

Sailing single handed: put a small eyestrap (simple sheet metal screws into the fiberglass are fine for this) into the seat backs or top of gunwale on either side, about 4" behind the tiller tip. Purchase a bungee that will stretch between these two with some degree of tension, but not super tight. Depending on where you put your eyes, it will run either right above or right below the tiller. Purchase a bit of shock cord of smaller diameter or cannibalize a smaller bungee or bungee loop. Use it to wrap the tiller 3 times to the other bungee. Not too tight, and then tie the ends of the small bungee together.

You now have the perfect assistive device for single handing: it will allow you to steer as before (the wrap will slide along the bungee). When you let go, the tiller will stay in that position (there's just enough friction in the wrapping).

You engage it as you cast off and forget about it. When you need to let go of the tiller, the boat will be well behaved until you can get back to steering. If the sails are super balanced, e.g. going upwind in a light breeze, the thing can be self-steering, luffing up the boat in (small) gusts, and falling off in the lulls.

If, for any reason, you ever need to focus on the rudder feedback from steering, just flip the wrapping over the tip of the tiller. (I never do that anymore, but I also don't attempt to single hand without it).

The loads on the steering bungee are very small, esp. if you limit the wind strengths you are sailing in. The wrapping can be fairly loose; in fact you want to to (roughly) aim for it to be as loose as you can get away with: that way, it tracks better when you select a different tiller position.

Finally: in really light winds, the bungee is faster than the human (your tiny wiggles eat speed). I those conditions I make infrequent adjustments by directly easing about 1/4" of the main bungee through the wrapping in the direction I want it to go, instead of relying on the system to track the tiller movement (because that requires a bit of overshoot, which is really deadly in very light winds).

I can only suggest you try it. If you are panicky about drilling your boat for the eyestraps, but want to experiment you can make temporary anchors from duck tape (or gorilla tape). Fold 1" over a nail and leave 4-8" of tail. Attach the tail to the far end of the gunwale and hook the bungee behind the nail on the inboard end. The loads are low enough, that this will hold and let you experiment with the system before committing.

CB leak: The typical thing for the DSII is that water leaks from the exit of the uphaul - most should end up in the cuddy, but I gather that the configuration is complex enough that some (or all??) could end up in the bilge. Let's discuss that when you are ready to work on that, but in the DSII section.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby tomodda » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:44 am

What a nice day! Congrats on your first solo sail. The DS is definitely a boat that lends itself to single-handing. An observation, meant in the spirit of teaching - trim your sails! IN your video of going to windward, you should sheet in both your main and jib about 2-3 inches (till the windward side telltales lay flat). For your downwind video, congrats on sailing wing-on-wing, it's not easy to do. You could probably have let the sheets out another 4-6 inches for both main and jib, though, You want to "spread your wings" as much as possible - the jib just short of collapsing forward and the main almost touching the shrouds. Admittedly, going dead downwind it's all "style points" unless your racing, not hat much speed difference. But upwind, learn to steer and trim by the tell-tales, Greenlake has a very good explanation in his " Basic Concepts and Techniques" thread.

Another tip, for the future. I'll assume by the fact that you were videoing and steering the boat at same time, that you had your main and jib sheets cleated down. Fine for that beautiful calm day that you had (I'm jealous!). For stronger winds, you'll want to hold your sheets in hand to ease/hike/trim as needed. In other words, you'll need to let the sail out to avoid capsizing! Now, I'm always advising folks to walk before they can run, so don't go out in a half-gale tomorrow, eh? Work your way up to it. But use these lower-wind days to practice. Hold the mainsheet in hand and go thru a couple of tacks, get the feel for it. Advanced - hold both main and jibsheet in one hand and tiller in the other , learn to juggle all three. Tip! hold your tiller extension like a microphone. Pulling in big lengths of mainsheet (like when you're going from a reach to close-hauled) is especially fun. I've been known to use my teeth, although the proper way to do it is with coordinated movements of your tiller hand - grabbing the loose lengths of sheet, sawing the extension back and forth without affecting the angle of the tiller. Look at online videos of Laser or Opti sailors and you'll learn how. Do you need these techniques for light wind days? No, of course not. But it's good practice Also, seriously consider investing in ratchet blocks, makes single-handing in higher winds much, much easier.

As for self-steering, I use GreenLake's bungee setup, works a treat! Try it, it's a great help to have the tiller "park" for a moment as you reach for a beer... :)

Best,

Tom
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby bilbo » Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:16 am

If you haven't yet, you could fill your bilge with water on a trailer with a garden hose and see where water leaks out. Not sure if it's a concern supporting the water with the bunks/rollers on the trailer, but I figured it supports it when the boat's pulled out of the water until it all drains anyway. I used the tongue jack to level the boat like it was in the water and filled it through one of the inspection ports. I had a little bit of water, not quite 3 gallons but maybe 1/2 gallon to a gallon after a few hours, and wanted to see where it was getting in. I found small drips at the centerboard bolt (mine has one) and the bilge drain. Replacing the gasket on the drain plug helped a lot. I used a garden hose gasket. I'll have to look into the CB bolt later on. The PO smeared sillycone all over it so it's going to be a job just cleaning that up to start over. It also looks like the PO did the pipe nipple modification for the CB control lines, but may not have done it well so I'll have to look at that, too.

The first time I singhlehanded was not as nice as yours. Probably too much weather and lots of distractions. Second time was great, and I agree it's probably one of the most relaxing things I've done. It commands just enough attention that my mind doesn't completely wander and create more stress. Good luck with your leak and let us know what you find.
Last edited by bilbo on Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby tomodda » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:46 pm

Good idea! I've had my boat on the trailer, filled up to the seats in water (and my boat has the wood seats), no problem, Before you ask, it was Hurricane Florence, wind pulled the cover off, leaves clogged the drain.

Tom
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby GreenLake » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:23 pm

Dynamic water pressure can cause leaks well above the static water level. Filling up your boat to the level required may well damage it.

Case in point is the common DSII leak from the CB uphaul. If not sealed, that opening will pump gallons of water when the boat is moving. Compare that to a CB gasket leak for a DS1 which is a simple drip-drip-drip and in the worst case may add a few pints to the bilge.

I suspect, but don't know for sure, that some DSIIs have a leak from that uphaul into the bilge instead of onto the cuddy floor. If that were the case, no amount of water in the bilge will lead to a reverse leak.

A small amount of water in the bilge should be enough to rule out the CB pivot, a faulty transom plug or a crack in the CB trunk to hull connection.

Likewise, spraying cockpit and cuddy with a hose should settle whether water can get into the bilge from cockpit sole or the cuddy.

If you sail with your rail buried, you may get water in from a faulty hull-deck seam. That's something that is not that easy to detect using the reverse leak method; except, perhaps, with the boat on its side. However, I've not heard of anyone having tried that.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby tomodda » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:32 pm

Hmmmmm. true enough, forgot about dynamic water pressure. Also agreed, I wouldn't fill the boat up to the coamings while on the trailer. Up to the seats, the weight is still over the bunkers, any further and you have WAY more water and it's on the overhang. Anyway, good luck... you're next sail may be best to someone else steer the boat and crawl around to find this leak. Betcha it's the centerboard, somewhere....
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby Alan » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:46 pm

GreenLake wrote:

I suspect, but don't know for sure, that some DSIIs have a leak from that uphaul into the bilge instead of onto the cuddy floor. If that were the case, no amount of water in the bilge will lead to a reverse leak.


That is entirely correct. The uphaul line passes through both the hull molding and the cockpit molding. The factory installed soft goop of some kind in the passage to prevent water leaks, but it gets worn out or falls out over time.

The result is that the water comes through the uphaul line hole in the hull molding, but never makes it through the cockpit molding into the cuddy. Instead, it runs down into the bilge. There's a good set of drawings and technical description here:

https://forum.daysailer.org/pdf/qtr_DS2CBTLK_100.pdf

I've gotten at least a foot of water in the bilge after sailing for only a couple of hours. Sitting in the water at a slip overnight made no difference in the water level, so I assume it was coming into the bilge through the uphaul line hole.

Because I was desperate for time on a later trip, I did a quick-and-dirty fix by packing the space around the uphaul cable, where it passes through the trunk, with chunks of pool noodle foam. That kept almost all of the water out, so it confirms my assumption about the source of the water.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby zeroready » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:41 pm

Hey thanks everyone for all the great advice. I really appreciate it. I will definitely work on sail trimming, still coming to terms with how much the DS heels compared to a Hobie Wave.

So I did the pipe nipple uphaul fix a few days ago
Image.
Went out again today and came home with another 3 or so gallons in the bilge after a couple hours on the water. Now I cannot tell for certain weather or not the end of the pipe into the trunk is completely bridging the gap into the bilge or not. I screwed it in as far as it would go, the threads are all the way into the hole, it feels like it's making contact with the inner hull and I want to believe that it bridged the gap.

However today after getting home and draining the bilge I had my wife spray water directly into that nipple while I looked at the bilge drain at the stern. While she was spraying water was flooding out the CB slot under the boat which is good right?, and a very small trickle was coming out the bilge drain. So it seems like water is still getting into the bilge, albeit slowly, from the nipple, which means when sailing and dynamic pressure is involved it's probably pumping even more water into the bilge than what I saw draining. It's frustrating because the amount of water coming out the bilge drain while she was spraying into the nipple seemed insignificant. Like just drip drip drip not even a steady stream. But after trailering my boat into the water, parking the car, and motoring for maybe 5 minutes under the power lines around to the gas dock from the launch to raise the mast, there was already a quarter inch of water in the bilge looking in from the inspection ports. I understand that the dynamic pressure while under way can make a difference, but it was maybe in the water for 10 minutes, hardly moving at all, and I already had half a gallon to a gallon in the bilge. While sailing I do not have water coming out the nipple into the cuddy.

I already took apart the bailer, the hull is intact between the two parts, I don't think it's getting into the bilge from there. I don't have the CB bolt, I have the two metal plates on either side of the CB slot. I'm going to do another pipe nipple on the downhaul hole I guess, just to eliminate that possibility.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby GreenLake » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:10 pm

The pressure at thar nipple location is something else, so if you see a tiny reverse leak from a spray bottle, you would see a good stream from sailing. Also, according to the paper, it looks like the DH has the same issue. Don't assume that there will be no water at the top of the trunk.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby zeroready » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:14 pm

Not a spray bottle, a high pressure water hose nozzle. But yeah that was my thought as well, I probably didn't actually seal the gap with the nipple then did I?
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby GreenLake » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:52 pm

Looks like not. Don't know what to suggest, other than perhaps finding a way to get a good dollop of sealant in there first into which to push the nipple (which then leaves you with the task of cleaning any overspill out of the nipple itself). But, again, from the document that was linked it looks like the DH at the top of the trunk is also subject to this issue, and if so, might need to bee sealed as well.

To be sure, there was much less water coming out that opening when I sailed for a week on a friend's DSII, but he may have sealed the DH itself better than his UH. However, if there's a leak at the top for water to get between the moldings, my assumption would be that it would contribute.
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Re: First time singlehanding.

Postby SMichelsen » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:53 pm

Greenlake, I have become convinced that my DS III is suffering from the same uphaul leak as others here. Every two-hour trip results in about 15-20 gallons out the bilge drain. I have taken to pumping most of it out of the boat before I lift it out with the club's crane (you can see the crane in action here); as you can imagine having 150 pounds of water sloshing about makes the boat unstable when lifting from a single point!

I believe that I need to make this a project over the winter. As I will be attempting to install a DS I centerboard on my boat, I will be starting from scratch with fresh cabling and lines, etc.

I downloaded the pdf that details the repair. I found it difficult to read given the small text. I took the liberty of rebuilding the file and saving it as a pdf.
You can see it here if you like. Nothing's changed; it's just easier to read.
The only thing that confuses me about this fix is - won't all the water that was destined to leak into the bilge now come through the pipe into the cuddy?
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