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Modifications to Avocet

Don Silsbe

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Don’s latest photos today… busy guy!!

A canopy… more effective than the tarp that we tried last summer.  (A bracket for the spare wheel was put on earlier. 


A couple more keel rollers:



A board for the centerboard (with a bumper to help me when I forget to raise the centerboard to load onto the trailer. 


New today… some electrical stuff… and outlets on the new bulwark racks. 







This winter storage plan is working out great!  😁

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Don, I can't thank you enough for chronicling your work. I just finished watching the video Alan had made of Carlita's modification and your photos and I'm ready to start. Luckily, I hate jammed c-boards so mine is a bit sloppy to begin with which I think is good in this case. I didn't see in your post much about the downhaul, but one of the pictures makes it look as if it's there. Can you confirm? And what did you do for tackle? I think a release like is used for the kick up rudder is in order, but I don't see it on the plans. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve been sailing Avocet for about two weeks now.  I’m here to report that she has neutral helm (when desired)!  I prefer a little windward helm most of the time.  I really need to do something weird to get leeward helm now.  

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  • 1 month later...

There was one big area of changes that I have failed to mention.  The reason was partly because I wanted to make sure it worked, before I broadcast it to our little world.  These were the issues that we had with the rigging.

1.  One of PadrePoint’s complaints was all the “spaghetti” that was on Avocet.  Yes, there are a lot of control lines on a

mark 3.  I thought I could improve that a bit.

2. Because of the builder’s clever way of reefing the leech of the sail, the reef lines either needed to be threaded on each time, or left attached, and the sails rolled on the sprits.  The latter was how I received the boat.  I thought this was awkward.  And besides, I didn’t have a vehicle big enough to stow the furled sails on long sprits out of the weather.  (Plus, I think sails should reside in sail bags.)

3. The clew of the sails attached to the sprits with snaps, which kept shaking out.


This is what I did.  

First, the reefing needed to be detachable from the sprits, but hold up to heavy use.

59E52461-78C9-439A-97DD-836D96C501BF.thumb.jpeg.a0330a29b7f69468beb5b9940f23e316.jpegI lashed an eye-strap to the leech block.



It goes in end-for-end, and “locks” in place. Sometimes, they lock in so well, I need to apply force to get them out.  (I like that.)



The end product looks like this.  You might also notice that I have replaced a soft shackle for the snap at the clew.  These hold very well.  The length is 6”.  The only problem is that they are a loose part, and can be misplaced.  I made extras.  If you zoom in on the sprit hardware for reef #1, you’ll see that the bitter end is attached through the eye strap with a stopper knot.  The block is attached with a 4” long soft shackle.


At the forward end of the sprit, I added two-sided velcro ties, to tidy up the excess cordage.  This is especially useful, if Ted decides not to rig one or both of the reefs for a daysail.  Lately, we added recleaters to the clam cleats.  They kept cleating when you raised the sails.



This is the mizzen, rigged properly.  (Not like the above photos.  Oops!)



I made some sail bags, too.

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