Topic : Conversion to Deck Stepped Mast & Sails

Hi there everyone,
I am in the process of completeing my Hazardous 170 Zero Nine over here in Italy and intend to cut down my original aluminium hog stepped mast which was fitted to Vital Spark (NSM2) to a deck stepped mast associated with the Hazardous 170 specfications.
I intend to use the original sails, mainsail, foresail and spinnaker which were used on Vital Spark. 
Can anyone indicate if this is all perfectly straightforward and acceptable, or, alternatively, if there are any disadavantages or unsuitabilities, please could you specify what they are and direct me to an alternative, more appropriate course of action.
Many thanks in advance.
Best wishes Ainslie French (Luna Rossa)

Posted: 11/04/2018 09:13:12

I'm going to offer my second bit of advice to you - don't do it!

You have built a lovely boat, please don't spoil her at this stage. I don't know what mast you have on your NSM2 but it's almost certain to be too stiff to be converted to deck step. My boat (Fat Pig) was converted in the mid 90s from centreboard case step to deck step as part of a refurb following a 'bit of an incident' at Exmouth and so I changed from a Superspars M3 to an M1. I had to change all of the (one week old) sails as none of them were in one piece (nor was the mast). The difference was marked.

In 2007 I replaced the M1 with a Superspars carbon mast and a suit of sails cut to fit - the change was even more dramatic - she was faster, far easier to sail and I could really tell what the various rig adjustments were doing.

Fat Pig was also amateur built (I doubt as well as yours) very much to a budget. She has been updated over her 29 years and, in the right conditions (i.e. ones that the helm can manage) is still vaguely competitive. I can pretty much guarantee that an old rig on your new hull won't be competitive (though Mr Male might disagree) and will feel surprisingly like your old NSM2, or possibly worse. I'd really encourage you to invest in a new carbon rig and sails cut to suit and enjoy the fantastic dinghy that the Merlin Rocket has become. And of course thanks to John Dalby for his visionary words at the 1993 AGM, without which we might still be sailing round with metal masts...

Posted: 13/04/2018 22:55:58
By: Rob Sloane
I think Rob's right :)

Posted: 14/04/2018 21:26:29
By: Chris Martin
Dear Rob and Chris,
Thank you so much for your input.
Rob, I really appreciate your kind and generous words regarding my boat and the time taken to convince me that a carbon rig is better. You have convinced me and I will follow your words to the letter.
At present I am sorting out the deck, but nothing in this construction is simple (at least for me :-) !!). I will post a further update on my blog once the deck is glued up (in two or 3 weeks time - God willing).
Once again, thank you both so very much.
Best Wishes and Great Sailing.
Ainslie French (Luna Rossa)

Posted: 16/04/2018 16:16:22
By: Ainslie French (Luna Rossa)
Rob: Mr Male agrees, we converted to carbon last year and it has transformed 3339. As I am too young to remember, I would be interested to hear any interesting details from said 1993 AGM, as I guess it has turned out to be a defining feature of the class. 

Posted: 16/04/2018 20:10:55
By: Tim Male


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