Old Boat, New Member

Topics primarily or specifically about the DS1. Many topics are of general interest, so please use forum sections on Rigging, Sails, etc. where appropriate.

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Old Boat, New Member

Postby Medpilot » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:31 pm

Hi All,

I just inherited Sloop du Jour (DS 2555) the family boat I grew up on on the 60’s-70s. I “rescued” her from my ex-brother-in-law’s driveway (yes, I have the paperwork) in the SF Bay Area and towed her, uneventfully, up to Kalama, WA where I live. She’s in remarkably good shape despite decades of neglect and outside livin and shouldn’t take much to put her yar again; masthead sheaves, spreader boots, maybe some new running rigging, woodwork and a good rubdown. I’ve already discovered D&R and found some great advice and discussion here.

For the moment, I’m considering a mast tabernacle and found some good posts here regarding the process, but also found some disparity between what I saw in the photos and what I have. Also some differences in the dimensions. My mast step is a bronze post, with a coarse threaded ring that the mast rests on which is raised after stepping to tighten the standing rigging. I didn’t see one like it in any of the photos. The distance to the cuddy top is 30”. Every article I’ve seen on the process talks about 26” or so. Did that dimension change thru the years in a DS1?

I connected with the Willamette Sailing Club, 30 miles away in Portland, and look forward to meeting some of you. Maybe I’ll see some tabernacle installations there. For now, I’m excited to be sailin again.
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Re: Old Boat, New Member

Postby tomodda » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:11 am

Hi MedPilot!

Welcome to the forum and the world of Daysailers. Some quick answers and an observation:

-The screw and ring that your mast is sitting on is called a "Mast Jack." Should be a big chunk of bronze and yes - it's to tighten the rig all at one go, instead of using separate turnbuckles. I like the solution, gave mine a bit of silicon dry lube to keep it moving nicely and I use an old sawed-off screwdriver as a handle. Don't forget to untighten before you step/unstep the mast!

-Cuddy roof to bottom of the mast jack is 30-ish inches, at least on my boat. Dunno where you read 26". I think you're fine, the molds did not change for the DS1 over the years (except for adding the seats).

-Why do you want to cut your mast? Tabernacle is a pain, in my not-humble opinion. You'll be depending on how well you've riveted the "socket" of the tabernacle into the bottom of the mast and top of your remaining "post". Also, the mast bend gets all wonky because there will always be some flex at the tabernacle. I particularly enjoy watching it flex from side to side on a downwind run - only millimeters, but enough to aggravate me. If I could cheaply switch back to a one-piece mast I would. As for stepping the mast, check out GreenLake's hinged "Mast Sleeve", seems pretty ingenious. No worse than stepping a hinged (tabernacle mast). Again in my opinion, the mast is not heavy at all, I can lift it one-handed. It's just unwieldy, since it's 22' long. So stepping and unstepping it is a question of balance and proper leverage, not force. GreenLake's "Sleeve" will help you there.

Fair Winds!

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Re: Old Boat, New Member

Postby GreenLake » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm

You find a discussion of how to convert a mast like you have so where it can be levered up while being raised (practically a tabernacle, but without cutting the mast) in this discussion (and further discussions linked from there...).

Not my design, but it came with the boat and I've rebuilt it a few times over the years. I've now used it 300+ times, so my data say it definitely works. It's also possible to add a tripod for anyone lacking upper-body strength. I built one and then decided I didn't need it; it's sitting in my basement awaiting my declining years . . .

Instead of a screw driver to run the mast jack, I'm using something that came with the boat and suspiciously looks like a nail punch. The wide end fits the holes drilled partway into the bronze nut and it's just long enough to get enough leverage (but still have room to swing it all the way around the mast).

For me, the big advantage of a keel-stepped mast is that there is no need to hold it upright while attaching shrouds or forestay. That, in my view, makes it easier for single-handed mast raising. I insert the foot into the sleeve, push up the mast, and once vertical, let it slide down gently onto the mast step. (I manage all of that standing in the cockpit). After that, I can leisurely attach the stays, and finally a few turns on the mast jack and it's all stepped and tensioned.

It's not that hard to raise while vertical, and then (with the mast foot still in the sleeve) I let it hinge down gently onto my shoulder before letting it down all the way to the mast support. The tolerances are just tight enough that (a) the mast won't go down except when lined up and (b) the mast foot won't come out of the sleeve while lifting/lowering.

The difference in distance measured may be due to the fact that a DS2 mast step sits on top of a short stubby support that's hidden under the floor of the cuddy. So that other figure may not actually be for a DS1 (most of which came with keel-stepped masts).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Old Boat, New Member

Postby Paddyt » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:45 am

Hello Medpilot,

I just recently got a daysailer as well and this forum is a great resource. Great topics and advice, but I also spend a lot of time looking at the various pictures to see how other boats are set up.

...which leads me to a question about your boat picture. I noticed the spreader bars are facing down and resting on the deck. I try to keep mine from resting like that in case it breaks them. Are the spreader bars strong enough that I shouldn’t worry about it?

As for the mast jack, I use a C spanner that fits perfectly and gives me plenty of leverage.
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Re: Old Boat, New Member

Postby GreenLake » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:27 pm

@Paddyt: as long as the spreader brackets allow them to swing freely in that direction there shouldn't be an issue. Mine are definitely resting the same way, except that in my case I rotate the mast 180 degrees. Originally so the jumper struts would point down, making the mast a straight support for a tarp. Lately, I've removed the diamond stays and jumper struts (collective wisdom here is that they aren't needed) but didn't bother to take off their support brackets. So I still need to rotate the mast.

Spreaders of the original DS1 configuration are really sensitive to being knocked in a vertical direction (along the direction of the mast). I've lost one during mast raising when it snagged on something. I did jury rig something that allowed me to go on the water, but when I lost the replacement the next week for a variation of same, I made the jury rig permanent. It consists of bending plastic strips cut off from the tails of a couple of beefier zip ties in a U shape so they hold the spreader against the pin in the bracket. Then snugging these to the end of the spreader with the working parts from the same zip ties (and snugging them really well). Finished off with electrical tape for UV protection.

This jury rig has now held for several seasons. Under load, the spreader is in compression, so as long as it is held against the pin (and can't slip past it) everything's fine. The rury-rig repair itself isn't load bearing. The shrouds will determine the vertical angle of the spreader (when tight). My setup allows the spreader a bit more movement when not under load with the rigging slack. That's apparently the key to its resilience: it gives a bit, so nothing breaks.

Nice one on the C spanner.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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