Metal mast and one string questions
I have just bought my first Merlin, 3381, a Jon Turner NSM4. It currently has a metal hog stepped mast. I will probably float about mid fleet, on a good day, so is it worth me considering a carbon rig?
You may think the performance increase of a carbon rig is negated by your abilities, and I guess that is true, but it means a heck of a lot less weight floating around at 20ft up, which makes for an easier life. But it is a lot of cash too....
P.S. If you've got a hog-stepped rig at the moment, you'd have to do a deck-step conversion on your boat. With a 33xx number it would probably be OK, but not ideal.
N.B. The weight advantage of a carbon rig is not wholly about the all-up weight of the boat - its about not having a chunk of heavy aluminium waving around 20ft up in the air, giving you more to hike against etc.
The link above, and the photos in the gallery (see link at bottom of that page) are open to anyone. Its only the article on conversion that is password-protected as it was taken from the magazine.
You wouldn't have to deck step your boat just to have a carbon mast , we have at least 4 hog-stepped carbons at Tammy, they would need to be sleeved up to the Spinnaker eye though....
I think that this is something that I won't rush into! I'd like to keep her 'near to original' as practical, while making her fun and easy to sail.
Looks like the championship winning Seventh Wave you have there. In it's day there was nothing wrong with the boat or the rig, the best there was in the 1980's. A decent set of sails and a big spinny and long poles if not already installed will give you a big performance boost. I have already been reminded that 3339 has beaten a lot of more modern boats without a carbon rig. Conversion is not cheap if done well and you wouldn't want to do anything half-baked to this boat. I think you either keep what you have and make sure the sails suit the rig or spend a couple of grand at least on deck-stepping and carbonising. Looked at like that, you may consider selling and buying a more modern boat a better option. I would have some reservations about a carbon mast being hog-stepped with a strut as the mast wall is not as strong with point loads as alloy.
If you are looking for a carbon rig Kev Berry is selling a superspars second hand for £500. They are like hens teeth so won't hang around long. You will find his details under 3582 on the for sale list.
I bought Seventh Wave as I wanted a Jon Turner boat. I crewed in one of his scorpions, Nelly Welly, and have been lusting after one of his boats since then. I just want to enjoy sailing it and owning it. It is in good condition and is being tarted up by Jamie Stewart. It has carbon poles and a big kite, so all I need are main and jib.
I know the one. Did you not have some nice new decks put on her a while back?
Yes, we had the false floor removed and new decks about four years ago. We had the hull re furbished two years ago and new sails lasy year. She's under a programme of continual improvement.
When someone was trying to pursuade me to get a boat with a One-String, the answer I got about the benefits of a one string raking system were:
It's not really that bad, you let off the jib halyard to the appropriate mark, puller is not on anyway as beating. Pull in shrouds till leeward shroud snugged up, tighten lowers to the mark, adjust kicker a bit if needed. All done by crew with string accessible when hiking. I have only 3 marks - upright (light), powered up, and full rake. One advantage of the Jon Turner boats is that they were very well fitted out with quality cleats and blocks, I have not had to replace much and the boat is now 16+ years old.
Yes, I have been doing BE Week for about 20 years in the Merlin, although I missed it last year due to Honeymoon commitments, My wife and I won it in 2008. Always loved the Raters to sail and to watch. I know allot of the guys and gals from Thames too.
Sorry meat last time not year!!
Fribbs - I dont have a one string system and it doesnt affect my performance at all!
deck v hog stepped
Can someone please explain why a one string won't work if you are not deck stepped? Is it that it has not been tried as the trend of the leading boats is to be deck stepped, or is there something that prevents it from working?
One major difference between hog stepped and deck stepped is the rake angles achievable from a hog stepped boat are limited by the mast gate - to rake back as far as a deck stepped mast can, would probably result in the mast coming out of the slot.
It's more a case of you don't need a one string becaus you dont need/can't use large amounts of rake with a hog stepped mast.
The reason why the raking isn't as effective on a hog stepped mast is to do with the point of rotation of the mast foot. The higher the rotation the more effective the system. Taken to an extreme, you have Dangerbatt which has a stub mast and the 'mast foot' rotates from a point just below the gooseneck.
The actual work involved (woodwork) to convert to deck stepped is very easy as I have done it on my very old boat MR 908, the only difference with my boat is that I don't have an adjustable rig as the hull would not take the loads and would fold like a clam. 3381 has a low bouyancy tank and therefore is ideal for conversion. The cost of conversion is in all the fittings required to create the multitude of pulley systems. Alternatively you can get it done professionally as there are plenty of boat builders out there that can do the job, just depends on your location? The other good thing about deck stepping is that if you want second hand kit then pretty much all that is available on this site is for modern rigs so it spreads the net in terms of choice. Good luck.
Stringing along on a Wednesday
This might be a stupid question from someone who will never get to understand the forces at work on masts but if you have a stub mast which is in fact the lower portion of the mast from the hog to above the mast gate and an arrangement of hinging at that point would that not allow more mast rake? Or perhaps that's what GGGGGG is saying is on Dangerbatt?
Yes, I think dangerbat is used as an example of alot of rake, vs hog stepped = not much at all
You can of course put a raking rig on a hog stepped boat!!
Good point made above - the main cost of deck-stepping is not the carpentry, but the chandlery. You're going to need more than 20 ball-bearing blocks, for starters...
For those requiring "string" or rope may I commend
My back of envelope calculations for deck-stepping even if components sourced 2nd hand:
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
Kev Driver did Enchantment for £600, plus repair to 2nd hand carbon twig (Superspars, bought for £80) costing £300. Blocks, rope (replaced the high load bits after a season), cleats, etc. about £500 unless you have a pet chandlery or work for one. Main & jib to suit bought through a trade contact - not going to reveal that cost! - plus square top hoop (home made in carbon, cost about £200) as you'll need this to get the modern sails to work. Not cheap.
It does when (for once) everyone has stayed on topic!
Not sure if I agree with the hog stepped mast + more rake + spreader angle comments above.
Chris, make yourself a crude model with a drinking straw and bits and you'll see that you are not right the effect of rake on fixed spreaders is as the others have said, if the shroud anchorage stays the same.
Mainly because the mast pivots around a point 2ft lower than the shroud anchorage points.
deck v hog stepped
So a hog stepped mast with the hounds 2 foot lower would rake similarly to a desk stepped mast... But you dont want to lower the hounds as jib luff is controlled by the rig dimensions and you want to keep this where it is.
I think the shroud anchorage points being referred to here are where the shrouds go through the deck. The hounds move with the mast and therefore are not altered by rake.
I was going to deck step a mast,but a well known, brand name sail maker talked me out of doing it.
Chris I'm with you! If you rake the hog stepped mast it will bend the mast more at spreader level and the distance between an imaginary line across the shrouds and the mast will reduce as the mast is raked.
Further to my earlier post where I mentioned why it is we had decked stepped masts.
yep on a hog stepped boat bend INCREASES as you rake, hence furballs / 470s etc winding winding thier spreaders forward as they rake to keep the bend constant.
Surely if when the mast is upright, and the spreaders are in front of the shrouds, the mast bends normally under shroud tension. When the spreader tips come aft of the shroud base points, the mast bends the other way - wants to invert. I thought releasing the pressure on the spreaders (420s etc) would allow the mast to bend more normally and not try and invert it at the spreaders.