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Everything posted by Starboard

  1. Sailing by the lee is a pretty common trick while racing Lasers to keep your advantage of being on starboard tack or avoiding a couple of gybes at the leeward mark rounding. That said, it can be pretty risky in shifty wind conditions and I've capsized plenty of times when it went wrong. Downwind death rolls are just part of the fun when club racing, especially when the stakes are pretty low. I'm not as willing to risk capsizing in my Spindrift 10n with the family on board, or when there's a lot of traffic in the marina. Or just getting cold and wet for that matter.
  2. Glad you made it to Spain with your Spindrift. It's amazing how far and wide these little boats can go. I had the same problem with water splashing out of my centerboard case, especially when motoring. I never made a real cap for it- instead I cut a piece of closed cell foam rubber that fits snugly in the top of the case and no longer have that problem.
  3. I somewhat expect the possibility or turtling to go up when the side flotation raises the mast up from the surface a little bit. I used to teach Sailing 1classes on Capri 14.2 dinghies, which are sealed fiberglass boats with a lot of side flotation when they capsize. They would turtle easily, which isn't great for a beginning sailing class. The solution was to basically seal the top of the mast- no problem since it didn't have any halyards or other lines down the center. That made them much more buoyant, but the could still turtle sometimes. Eventually they put mast top floats from Hobie 16s on as well. They never turtled after that. I originally used my Laser rig, but I have since sold my Laser. I'm building a new rig using a heavy duty windsurf mast made from Carbon Fiber- it may or may not work, but I'll be sure to seal it up so it's buoyant too. I won't get to test this new setup until next summer, since my Spindrift is in Maine now.
  4. I didn't have a chance to swamp it yet, and now I likely won't for a while, since the boat is still in Maine and I'm back in California. I just ran out of time to do all the fun stuff.
  5. I didn't get a chance to capsize it- the tide was coming in (10 feet in Bar Harbor) and I also fell in the water, so the real test will have to come later, since I'm back home in California. The Gorilla cart is great- I bought it to pull the kids around, right? Of course I had other ideas, and it works perfectly- I couldn't have guessed that the outboard would fit with less than an inch to spare, so I lucked out on that one. The cradle also works with the boat assembled.
  6. It's funny how the flotation issue has come up so much this year. I finally got around to adding flotation after getting stuck in a bad spot a few years ago when I capsized by myself in a strong breeze. When I righted the boat it was fully swamped and I had a hard time bailing enough water out, so I decided I'd eventually build in the forward seats as flotation. I documented the process in another post today. I really like having a rear bench, and I really like having a center bench, but I'd probably never use both at the same time- so I decided to make one bench that fits in both spots. It really works well- my wife likes to sit there when we are motoring, but if we were sailing and needed to hike out on the side seats it stows away just fine at the stern. Fits nice and snug in the stern. Also fits great right here in the middle.
  7. I like the idea of removable flotation- I toyed with that idea on the my Spindrift 10n. Ultimately I decided to build it in where the previous removable seats had been since it doesn't affect the nesting ability and only adds a small amount to the overall weight.
  8. Sorry for the very long delay in responding. We were at our house in Maine and to get there I had to drive cross country with a large cargo trailer- in which was my Spindrift which will now live in Bar Harbor for the next little while. While we were there I got her on the water for a little ride- carried the halves of the hull down the rocky pathway to the even rockier shore. It was a little difficult boarding from the rocky ledges but we managed- the only one who got wet was me when I stepped on a slippery rock and went for a swim while getting ready to haul the boat out of the water. As for the forward flotation, it looks good and functions well, but we didn't really have a chance to swamp and capsize the boat and see if it floats better. Forward view of the built in flotation. I really wanted to keep the nice fair sweep of the seats from fore to aft- it was a lot harder building it that way but I love the look of it. I used the same inspection ports in the forward section as in the aft section- the plywood has a slight curve here but when I installed it I used a little extra 5200 in the middle and didn't tighten the screws too hard- so the actual bend is less than 1/32 on an inch. The foam seal on the hatch more than covers the rest. Weight for the forward section is 55.9- maybe a little heavy compared to other builds but still about the same as before I built in the benches. The weight of the plywood was similar to the weight of the spruce seats that it replaced. Here she is on Frenchman's Bay at our house in Bar Harbor, Maine. I repurposed my trailer cradle to fit on a Gorilla cart to walk to boat down to the shore from our house. The Tohatsu 6hp 4 stroke outboard fits in the cart. 6hp? Yup, that's what I have- it's actually a 4hp but I bought the 6hp carb for it since it also gets used on my J/24. The Spindrift handles it just fine, but I also have an older Tohatsu 3.5 2 stroke.
  9. I slightly modified the center seat so that it can also be stowed in the stern when sailing. I suppose you could sit on it back there too, but so far it doesn't get much use in that position, especially if the outboard is mounted. It's obviously a little smaller than the usual seat as it it sized to fit perfectly in the stern. It doesn't affect usability at all since you couldn't sit at the very edges anyway. The center seat is supported by the side seats, so I didn't have to add any additional support blocks on my boat. I mounted two small blocks of wood to help locate it when stowed in the stern I have a line with a brass shackle that works in the forward and the rear positions to hold it in place.
  10. Aphers, The Spindrift looks great. I like the natural wood on the daggerboard trunk- it's a nice touch. I was also repainting the interior of my Spindrift today and I'm amazed how many flaws and imperfections made it to through to the final build. I have to say that I don't even notice them when I'm using the boat. You don't really notice them at all unless you go looking for them, so from the dock or from afar I doubt anyone else will either. They'll just see a really sharp little boat that splits in half- always a novelty and always gets lots of questions. Congrats on getting this far. Cheers! -Starboard
  11. It's always amazing what a coat of paint can do. I applied two coats of primer after all the epoxy had cured. Last night as I was about to prep the paint, I noticed that the daggerboard trunk had a little bit of a ledge on it, and wasn't a nice rounded corner that it ought to be. I'm not sure if it was built to plans that way or if it was an oversight when I built the boat seven years ago, but either way I decided to round it off and make it a nicer shape. This will be good for my little crew and also looks a lot better. I did two layers of epoxy last night and sanded it this morning, after which I applied the first coat of primer. That's why I skipped painting the top of the daggerboard trunk until tomorrow, to let it dry. I figure since I was already painting the bow I might as well paint the stern too. I'm using the same Interlux Brightsides Hatteras Off White (1990) as I did seven years ago, but in the unlikely event the colors don't match exactly I'll have done both bow and stern. The stern had a number if dings and scratches too, so another coat of paint or two will cover that up. I masked off the brightwork and the hatches, as well as most stainless hardware and the Harken cleats. I thought about masking the locknuts and washers but in the end I just painted them. The paint may not stick very well, but then again it'll probably be fine. It's getting close!
  12. Captain Tim, We love Portsmouth- we stayed there a two years ago on our way to Maine. Great town! This spring we'll be driving cross country and only have 5 or 6 days to do it, so we'll wave from the bridge. I hope we can get back a few weeks later if we do a run to NH for some big ticket purchases.
  13. Peter, That's exactly the flotation I'm looking for- I hope that my on-the-side waterline is similar to your upgraded dinghy. With version 1.0 of my Spindrift, the waterline is much higher- about up to the mast. When you right it, almost the entire boat gets scooped with water. Many other small dinghies I've sailed, like a V15, have lots of flotation built in and you can almost dry-capsize if you hop onto the centerboard quick enough. I don't expect that from a Spindrift- it doesn't have a self draining cockpit after all. No boat can be all things for every occasion- there will always be compromises. The Spindrift is an incredibly capable small boat that is an excellent sailboat, rowboat, and motor tender. The nesting version notches it up one step higher by splitting itself in two and stowing in almost half the space. It's pretty amazing how clever Graham's design is. The compromises for the nesting version are as a little less convenience with the interior layout as well as less flotation than the non nesting version. I'm adding a fair amount of flotation back which will mitigate that compromise. This may not be an issue for some people as they probably won't be capsizing very often- but I plan on using this boat to teach my kids to sail and it's almost a guarantee they'll go over. I want them to have it easier to recover from the capsizes. The side are epoxied on. Tomorrow I'll round off the sharp corners and get it ready for paint.
  14. I've epoxied in all the support strips and done the final shaping of the side support panels. I ran out of West systems 205 fast hardener, which is good down to 40ºf. I still have a bit of slow hardener but it is good down to 60º and it's been hovering around 62-63º during the day and will certainly be below that at night- it was getting down to 42º the other night. California problems. So a little trip to West Marine is in store this afternoon. I'm looking forward to measuring how much extra flotation this will give. My visual estimate is 10-15 gallons of flotation per side. That should make a big difference when capsized, and when it's recovered and upright again will be a lot less water to bail out. There's just enough room to install the hatches. Everything is ready to epoxy in once I get the fast hardener. This phase always looks so messy but a coat of paint makes it look great.
  15. Inspired by Sailing Florence who found a broken carbon mast for The Machine, their Spindrift 9n, I recently picked up a Carbon fiber 570 windsurfer mast, which is pretty much the exact length of the Laser Radial mast. I have one old Radial sail, which is in pretty good condition. I'll do another post later in more detail when I start that project. Is the mast even strong enough? We'll see- it's designed to have a clip on boom, so I need to build a gooseneck- oh yeah, and a sailboat boom to go with it. I sold my Laser a while ago and the boom went with it. I plan on making the rig reefing according to Graham's plans, so... a halyard and reefing points? For a Laser rig? Sure. The whole thing will be an experiment anyway and I can always go back to the normal Laser mast if I want. Any updates, Captain Tim? I'm in California but I'm taking my Spindrift to Bar Harbor this summer, so we'll probably drive right through Portsmouth on our way.
  16. I cut the holes and pre-drilled the screw holes for the bailer and epoxied the edges before I painted the hull. I also rounded off the edges a little to make the water drain a little easier. it looks really good. The one issue I had cutting the holes was all the interference from the centerboard trunk, the keel strip, etc etc etc. I had to do the cut from the outside of the hull to have enough room for the skillsaw.
  17. The Spindrift 10n by it's very nature has less built in flotation than the non-nesting version. In order to nest the bow into the stern, the side seats must be removable to make room for the forward hull. The non-nesting version has no such requirement and the seats can be built in permanently and with water tight compartments which provide plenty of lateral flotation the entire length of the hull. When capsized, the 10 will float higher in the water and take in less water when righted than the 10n. I've been stuck when my 10n capsized and I couldn't possibly bail the water out fast enough- I basically had to return to shore to recover properly as it was a very windy and choppy day. The flotation is adequate to prevent it from sinking, of course, but not quite enough to prevent it from scooping up a lot of water when righted. That's fine for me sailing on my own or with another experienced sailor, but since I have little kids who I'd like to take sailing I want a little more of a safety factor. Graham, feel free to correct me if any of the below is wrong. Top: The non nesting Sprindrift on top has plenty of flotation on both side as well as in the forward hatch. Middle: The 10n as I built it has small flotation chambers in the stern as well as the forward hatch. Some people have built the stern chambers a little bigger to conform more to the shape of the bow. I didn't. Bottom: I'll be restoring some of the forward flotation and it won't interfere with the nesting I don't expect this to add too much to the total weight, if anything at all. The 3/4" thick spruce seats are being replaced with 1/4" marine plywood on the top and sides, plus a few thin backing strips and some epoxy to hold it all together. I built my 10n with removable forward and rear seats, which look very nice but don't add much in the way of flotation. I've decided to build in the forward benches and make them water tight flotation chambers very similar in design to the far aft flotation chambers. I have just a little bit of leftover marine plywood and spruce from the original build, and I thank I'll be able to get the pieces I need from it. I very roughly cut the basic pieces to make the seats. I hadn't decided the angle for the side support. You can see the original line I had planned on- it matches the angle of the flotation chambers in the stern. My wife pointed out that it makes the footspace too tight for the forward crew- her, in other words. So listening to her advice I pushed the angle back to give a little more room. Yes, it will take away a little flotation but result in a happier crew. It still leaves enough room for the inspection ports I'm installing to give access to the nuts for the nesting mechanism. I refined the shape to fit very closely to the hull. I then epoxied the backing blocks to strengthen the joints between the seat and the hull. I used a piece of scrap oak for the curved piece- it already had a bunch of curve to it and was already beveled. I have a unique mechanism for holding the seats in place using these custom blocks I built. This photo is from the original build before I painted the hull. They're fairly strong as they are screwed in from behind the bulkhead. I cut the tabs off and added some shims to get them to the correct height. Seats are glued in. The next step is to install backing strips and then the side supports. I'll do a little fairing and then I will then paint it and install the inspection ports. I can't wait to see how it looks and how it sails with it's new carbon fiber mast- that's for another post. -Starboard
  18. I built a Spindrift 10n and specifically equipped it to use a Laser rig. I’ve only sailed with the full Laser rig but I think the radial would be a good choice. Double handed with good sailors the full rig is a blast, but single handed with a full rig is a little much when it’s really blowing. You don’t want to get overpowered and capsize. The problem with the nesting version is side flotation when you capsize- the hull does float but sinks down much lower into the water so when you right the boat it’s pretty much full of water. Bailing as fast as you can won’t do much if there’s a lot of chop. I plan on mitigating this by adding two flotation chambers to the bow section to help this problem. A non-nesting Spindrift should have enough flotation on the sides to prevent this however. So obviously I like the idea of using a Laser rig, and I think a Radial is a good fit. The upsides are that you can use a great rig you may already own and can get parts and sails cheaply and easily. Laser sails from Intensity are around $200, which is great. Downsides? Pretty much all the stuff you don’t like about a Laser rig already. The traveler can be a pain, the clew hook can unhook at just the wrong moment too. The biggest issue compared to Graham’s design is that there is no easy way to reef the sail if the wind picks up. Just like a Laser. So if you’re cool with all that go for it, which is what I did too.
  19. It's great seeing a Spindrift used as a proper dinghy should be. I also built mine as the dinghy to my little J/24 and it's always fun to show up to a mooring and pull a proper little sailboat off. I always get questions from other boats around me and sometimes even the dockmaster. It rows really well, sails great, and of course motors like a charm too. Thanks for such an efficient design, Graham. Nested on the small foredeck of the J/24: On the way to Catalina:
  20. If you're still trying to track down a Laser rig I'd go where the Lasers are- maybe a sailing club, yacht club or the like. I got my the Laser spars I have from someone at the yacht club who had an extra rig. For very cheap too. I often see old Lasers posted online around here that are pretty much complete including an old rig for around $200. The hull might be trashed but the spars look just fine. A brand new sail can be had very inexpensively if you buy a non-official sail from Intensity or one of the other 'practice' sailmakers. FYI the difference between the full size rig and the smaller Radial rig is the bottom section of the mast- it's about 60cm shorter more or less, so even if all you can find is a full size rig it can very easily be cut down the the smaller Radial size. The top section and boom are the same. Good luck finding the rig.
  21. These are some of the photos I took during the build process. I slightly modified the design of the flotation chambers and benches to be more symmetrical and have a more sweeping line from fore to aft. I also designed a bracket to mount the benches that both hold them in place and allows for a line to tie them in place. Like I was saying before, I plan on replacing the forward benches with flotation chambers identical in design to the aft bench/chambers to bring up the side flotation level when it's capsized. It'll be a lot closer to the non-nesting version which has flotation along both sides of the hull. The idea of removable bench in the forward section is nice, and it makes stowing all the parts easier, but I want an easier capsize recovery. I also slightly modified the design of the rowing bench and made it just the right size to stow in the stern while sailing or motoring. It's held in place by two small wooden nubs in the stern, and by the same cord that holds it in place when it's in the rowing position. It's very convenient and pretty much assures that I'll bring it along every time.
  22. According to the specs the Tohatsu 4 stroke is 59 pounds. The 4hp is identical to the 6hp- mine started as a 4hp but I swapped the carb for the 6hp version, which has a slightly wider throttle. It's still a bit of a handful getting it from the J/24 bracket to the stern of the Spindrift- but next time I may build a hoisting bridle and use the halyard to support some of the weight. I previously used a 5hp 2 stroke which was about 45-48 pounds with on board fuel. It was still a challenge to move it around. I really like the idea of having one outboard serve two purposes. I really don't use it often for sailing, but knowing it will get used on the dinghy gives it double the value.
  23. I don't really know what the top speed is- I haven't really pushed it. I probably putter along at 6-7 knots. And with the high thrust prop I have on it for the J/24 I doubt it would get on a plane. Keep in mind the Tohatsu 6hp is identical to the 4hp except for the carburetor, which has a slightly wider throttle. My motor started as a 4hp but I upgraded to a 6hp throttle. At lower RPMs the performance is pretty much the same. Previously I've powered the Spindrift with a 2 stroke 3.5 Nissan made by Tohatsu and a 2 stroke 5hp Mariner, also made by Tohatsu. They were also used on my J/24 but were a little underpowered for that use in adverse currents, etc. so I upsized a little bit. I liked them power wise on the Spindrift except for the 3.5 which had no neutral setting- it was pull and go. Made for some exciting launches from the dinghy dock. One issue while motoring is water splashing in through the daggerboard slot. I cut a piece of unused foam from a camera case to fit perfectly in the top of the slot and that took care of the splashing. Next time I take the Spindrift out with the 6hp I'll bring my old waterskis and see if I can get up- that would be a very worthy photo on this forum! This photo is the Spindrift hauled up on a deserted rocky beach while exploring Catalina. That pretty much sums up why I built the boat.
  24. I built my Spindrift 10n to fit in a very small space in my garage. It's set up with a modern Laser rig with controls for outhaul, cunningham, main sheet, etc right where they would be on a Laser. My benches are optimized to be ideal for both sailing and rowing (and motoring too!) I have a hiking strap in the sole and it handles great with two people in a breeze. I designed a modified version of the benches that is easily removable and maintains the look of a continuous line from bow to stern. The aft benches are also symmetrical in the sense that either bench will fit on either side in whatever orientation you place it. It's a little hard to explain but makes rigging fast and easy. I also designed the center rowing bench to perfectly fit in the stern when sailing. It's a very small detail but makes a difference when you have so little space to work with. The one thing i would (and will) change is the forward benches. Right now they are removable but I plan enclosing them so they have more side flotation when you capsize. The forward flotation chamber is just too small to keep the most of hull out of the water, and when you right the boat is scoops up a lot of water and swamps the boat. In choppy conditions it's too much to remove even with a good sized bucket. The Spindrift is a great boat and a lot of fun to build.
  25. I have a 6hp Tohatsu I use for both my Spindrift and my J/24 sailboat. Obviously we sail whenever we can on the J/24 but there have been plenty of times when the wind has died coming back from Catalina and we would rather motor than drift for hours. We can easily motor at 5-6 knots with the 6hp Tohatsu. It's a 15" shaft which is great on the Spindrift. On the J/24 we have a height adjustable auxillary motor mount that also works for a 15" motor. On a sailboat you can lock the tiller on the outboard and steer with the sailboat tiller- I'm not sure how that would work on a powerboat. I picked up the Tohatsu on Craisglist for about $500- it's a 2005 4 stroke, and I made sure to get a high thrust prop for it- sometimes they're called elephant ear props. It's meant to push slow heavy loads that won't be planing, which is perfect for the J/24. I accept that maybe the Spindrift will be a little slower as well, but it's not really a planing hull either. I recently acquired an old Boston Whaler 15 Sport, and you better believe I'll be rigging it with an aux motor mount for the 6hp Tohatsu. Just knowing that you won't be stuck out there is worth a lot.
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