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Stevenson Weekender


corkman1958
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Hey Mates

New to site and to pocket sailing. Just purchased an already built 19' weekender with Zieman trailer. I have a long history with boating, although very limited skills with sailing. In the process of stripping down the original paint on the hull. Any pointers would be appreciated.

The Sparrow

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Looks like a lot of cleaning, painting and varnishing is in you near future. Welcome aboard . . .

Thanks. I'm sticking with the hull paint removal to start. Starting to extend the lower rub rail. Original owner/builder did not install this section. Can someone suggest a method to attach main sail to mast other than lashing. This has a gaff rig set up with tapered mast. I would like to use mast hoops. Have heard to cut 1/2" sections from 4" PVC couplings. Any other ideas?

The Sparrow

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Thanks. I'm sticking with the hull paint removal to start. Starting to extend the lower rub rail. Original owner/builder did not install this section. Can someone suggest a method to attach main sail to mast other than lashing. This has a gaff rig set up with tapered mast. I would like to use mast hoops. Have heard to cut 1/2" sections from 4" PVC couplings. Any other ideas?

A lot of us have used 1/2" wide sections of 4" DWV couplings (black ABS). They work fine; better if you ease the edges with sandpaper so they slip up and down the mast easier. See our Gaff Rig Main Sail article ... you have to scroll down about half way for the various methods used to attach the mains'l to a pole mast like the Weekender has.

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A lot of us have used 1/2" wide sections of 4" DWV couplings (black ABS). They work fine; better if you ease the edges with sandpaper so they slip up and down the mast easier. See our Gaff Rig Main Sail article ... you have to scroll down about half way for the various methods used to attach the mains'l to a pole mast like the Weekender has.

Thanks. I will go with the ABS couplings to start with. What small thin lashing would be recommended to attach the sail grommets to the mast hoop. Until I feel comfortable with the un-powered craft, I want the sail to lower when I need it to (chicken-out)I don't need additional issues if in a crisis

The Sparrow

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You'll get better preformance with a sail track and slides, plus the sail will flake better too. Tracks are also much less prone to jam or bind as lasing or hoops can. Given the choice of hoops of lased, I'd take lashed, but would use the Bolger method rather then the traditional over and back. The Bolger setup works great as lashings go.

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Thanks Par for the track recommendation which is on my radar (weeks away) right now I have stripped her down to mostly fiber glass as shown in photo. I would like to apply 2-3 coats of high build primer, then 3 coats of finish paint. I have priced Interlux and Pettit, Whoa Nelly! does anyone have any recomendation for primer and top coat other than the (2) two I mentioned. I do want a durable long lasting paint job, but as the saying goes, does, "you get what you pay for apply in this case"post-1765-0-99229300-1308751470_thumb.jpg

The Sparrow

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Thanks. I will go with the ABS couplings to start with. What small thin lashing would be recommended to attach the sail grommets to the mast hoop. Until I feel comfortable with the un-powered craft, I want the sail to lower when I need it to (chicken-out)I don't need additional issues if in a crisis

On a Weekender that has the right mast angle, you can release the main sheet in a blow and she'll head into the wind like a good sloop. Makes a terrible racket, but you pretty much stop. Because its a gaff rig, you can also stall your progress by trying to point closer to the wind (sail into the wind). You can also drop the gaff quickly to spoil the sail shape and dump a bunch of wind.

The Weekender is under-canvassed, so it is a pretty stable small boat. I think I only had to reef once. Most of the time I just tried to point like a marconi rig and it slowed me down enough to gather my wits.

There's a saying about sailing: it is hours of boredom interrupted by brief moments of panic.

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There's a similar saying regarding ocean sailing:

It is 1/3 euphoria, 1/3 boredom and 1/3 panic

Thanks. That will ease my wifes tension after reading other negitive forums about what a poor design the Stevenson Weekender is. Thats all hogwash to me though. We have downsized from a 40' Sea Ray with twin 454's that required a slip and dues payment, not to mention the fuel bills. After she experiences the 1/3-1/3-1/3 along with the savings, she will be hooked for life.

The Sparrow

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Thanks. That will ease my wifes tension after reading other negitive forums about what a poor design the Stevenson Weekender is. Thats all hogwash to me though. We have downsized from a 40' Sea Ray with twin 454's that required a slip and dues payment, not to mention the fuel bills. After she experiences the 1/3-1/3-1/3 along with the savings, she will be hooked for life.

The Sparrow

People who say that are probably reacting to the idea that a Weekender is a blue water boat or "coastal cruiser". It really isn't. Its a pretty capable, flat sailing, un-ballasted small boat. In the end, sailing one is like sailing a dinghy. They are fun and look good, but you have to take its characteristics into account.

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People who say that are probably reacting to the idea that a Weekender is a blue water boat or "coastal cruiser". It really isn't. Its a pretty capable, flat sailing, un-ballasted small boat. In the end, sailing one is like sailing a dinghy. They are fun and look good, but you have to take its characteristics into account.

I have found a site that sells 25# bags of reclaimed lead shot in canvas bags. I may buy 4 and install 2 on port and 2 on starboard in the lower storage sections aft and lash 2 bags forward. The site claims if two 25# bags are purchased together, ground shipping is free. Any thoughts with this idea?

The Sparrow

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A lot of people have discussed the idea of ballasting a Weekender on these forumns. It is an attractive suggestion on its face. Speaking as a rank novice sailing my weekender, I wouldn't bother. One of the things that I like about my boat is the fact that when she gets hit by a gust, she steps out instead of building up tension in the rigging before moving. Sailing a Weekender in gusty shifty winds is going to keep you busy, but isn't all that risky. Yeah she will heel over pretty fast, but she won't go all the way before you have ample chance to do something about it. Currently I am practicing spilling wind and readjusting the sails as a response. You can also let her round up into the wind some to take the tension off the sails. If you really get spooked, just let everything go and she will take care of herself and you. Boy, I did that a lot, and still will if I have to.

I have seen many people on these forums advise to keep her to the stock plans and learn to handle her before moving to making adjustments. I think given her numbers on the water and longevity as a design she has earned that. Also, it will save you a lot of time spent working before hitting the water.

Al

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Ballast in a Weekender isn't particularly effective at anything other then calming down the owner, through a false sense of security. This is because the ballast is being placed on the bottom planks, very close to the level of the CG, which means it's not adding to the stability of the boat, it's just decreasing it's load carrying capacity and lowering it's freeboard. Some think it helps in rough conditions, but Weekender isn't well suited for rough conditions (for several reasons), so if you find yourself in this situation your best move as a skipper, is to find shelter or a get in the lee of something big. This is true of any small, shoal draft, unballasted boat.

For ballast to be effective, it needs to be well below the CG, typically this means a fin or other form of appendage, to dynamically place it at least a few feet below the CG. Since the full up draft of a Weekender is only 12", the best you can hope for is somewhat less then this, assuming a bulb or something on the deadwood assembly, which of course isn't designed to handle these additional torsional loads, nor is a few inches going to do much to the stability curve.

Al is very correct in that "improvements" can only be logical with experience and expertise. Considering your sailing abilities in general and your experience with a Weekender specifically, you'd be best advised to get a season or two under your belt first, so that you can better access what your needs are and not just to conclusions based on what others experience. I say this having modified or drawn up modifications for a couple dozen different Weekenders, Vacationers and Skipjacks.

The biggest improvements you can make to a Weekender are make it lighter, not heavier and reduce windage aloft. You have to remember what she is, a dayboat for protected waters (lakes, small bays, rivers and close to shore). She will roll over and spill gusts easily, which is a good thing. If you make her resist this with additional weight, she'll stand up to higher wind strengths which just makes it harder on everything, including the skipper.

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Thanks to you both

I will continue with my original plan to spruce her up and plan our maiden voyage on a calmer forecasted day to learn the ropes at our own pace.

This site compared to some of the others I visited as a guest have given us a better understanding of our new adventure. "practice creates courage" my father used to say. Tomorrow she gets her first coat of Interlux Pre-Coat polyurethane primer. Photo's to follow.

The Sparrow

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When people have added ballast to the Weekender, they have done it in two ways. Ray Frechette added cast lead bulbs to either side of the keel, a pretty complex undertaking, I think. He was concerned with stability stepping from a dock onto the foredeck area. I agree with PAR though; its probably not needed and may in fact make the boat less safe in the end, unless you have a specific need like Ray did.

Others have simply added weight in the forepeak to correct trim issues. I don't think it does much else.

Being flat-bottomed, the Weekender can pound in chop with the bow up. Weight in the forepeak does help lessen the pounding. You do not want to add weight under the seats. With the skipper positioned at the rear of the cockpit, the boat is already trimmed a bit bow up. When I weighed 248 it definitely helped to have passengers forward. I experimented with a 5 gallon collapsible water container in the forepeak, adding up to 55 pounds. About 40 pounds up there seemed to improve the trim quite a bit.

I haven't sailed her since I lost weight, and I suspect that for someone at 200 pounds no adjustment is necessary.

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  • 1 month later...

Great looking Weekender! I look froward to sailing with you...

I just made mast hoops for my Super Skipjack and this is how I did them:

I used a 3" ABS drain pipe coupler for the I.D. I wanted, then carefully cut them on a table saw (set up a fence and then slowly rotated the coupler, cutting progressively deeper. Carefully.) Then I set up my router table and used a 1/8" radius round-over bit to round the corners. I think I used a 3/32" rad for the outside. After they were all finished, they looked like they'd been machine-made! (which they kind of were.)

Can I stick little bits of video on here? For some reason, the only shots of them I got were as part of a video note I made for a friend.

As far as ballast, skip it. Just get the boat out and get used to sailing a light, dory-like machine. I just had the SSkip out in some pretty good gusts in San Diego and it was FUN! But at 280 lbs sailing weight (I weighed it after we hoisted it out of the water, all the gear from the day's sail still in the boat: 280lbs.) and with the full Weekender sail rig, it was certainly subject to gusts! The friend I had along was a littl unsure of keeping the rail in the water, but that's how I like to sail. I should probably have taken the reef in, but I was happy and it was doing fine. I'll try the reef up here in Monterey Bay when I take it out next.

Mike

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Thanks Frank,

I'll edit a quick bit about the hoops to show what they look like and post it.

To the Sparrow: You might want to get in touch with the fellows from around the Petaluma/Napa areas. They sail up the Delta or trail up and sail back down to the bay and you're all within a fairly easy trailering range. (actually, so am I, come to think of it! It'd only be a couple of hours up to those areas and I'd enjoy putting the SSkipjack in up there. I need to get a new axle for the trailer: I dislike the dinkoid 8" wheels on this one...)

Mike

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