robjwilkinson

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Everything posted by robjwilkinson

  1. robjwilkinson

    Laser Vago rigging questions

    The original halyard was some 'kevlar' type. Mine was old so replaced it with some nice new stuff. Suprised you didnt get an owners manual with the boat. The most overly complex bit I found was the jib/forestay arrangement. A bit over engineered and just adds clutter to the mast base area. For the vang control: biggest problem with this is the lack of 'feedback' when making an adjustment. I added some bungee cord that goes from the gooseneck...and down to that double pully block of the vang system. ie you want the block to be pulled up/tensioned to the gooseneck. Its a big improvement.
  2. robjwilkinson

    Laser Vago rigging questions

    I think the halyard comes out of the port side of the mast...a slot, then comes down and through a block thats attached to the mast base. G nav or vang control is the 'continuous' type. Either end of the control comes up and through the thwart (or 'seat') the downhaul or cunningham comes down and alongside the centerboard case. A very poor idea indeed. Brush it with your leg and it uncleats. I would modify this if I were you. Vago is a good tough boat. If you can learn to solo trapeze then you got good training for Musto Skiff/RS700/RS600. Avoid the XD mainsail, its not very good and you cant reef it.
  3. robjwilkinson

    From Cats to Dinghies...Hopefully.

    You might want to search for Laser Performance UK...pretty sure they had PDF manuals for all their boats?
  4. robjwilkinson

    From Cats to Dinghies...Hopefully.

    The Vago would only be my choice if living out in the middle of nowhere, ie its very tough. Stability? on its own, afloat, at the slipway the vago will fall over. This suprised me when I first launched mine. Once you get aboard its really quite stable, with crew its even better. Its slow and the XD rig is a waste of time. I bought the dacron main for mine, a much better handling boat was the result. Its only main niggle was the vang control. I modded mine with some bungee cord so as to give it some more 'positive' feedback. It was very frustrating otherwise, crouching in on the trapeze and trying to adjust as it was. The only other weakness I found was the vang assy. The vang ends (g nav/strut type vang) were plastic. one of these snapped once. Was an interesting sail to get back home. Newer parts are metal, and much better. I would have kept the Vago, but just never used it as the 700 was far easier to use, and faster albeit very fragile if not handled well at the slipway.
  5. robjwilkinson

    From Cats to Dinghies...Hopefully.

    Laser Vago is tough and sturdy. Its biggest drawback is its weight. coming from a cat background (I got a Hobie 16) you might find it quite boring to sail? I had mine for a while and learnt to solo trapeze etc with it. I now have an RS700 Skiff. The Vago was ideal as a training boat, the RS700 being far easier to handle. Your demands can only, in my view, be met by a Keelboat maybe? forget the Laser 2 for more than two adults. One adult/two kids is even a bit much for this type of boat. If it was purely solo use I would say get the RS700 or Musto Skiff, as these will provide a lot of fun.
  6. robjwilkinson

    Puffy Conditions

    how often do you get these conditions? I own a 700 as well. I gave up long ago, trying to sail in puffy winds. I mean big gusts and sudden lulls. Waste of time and effort. The 700 rig is very sensitive to downhaul, crank it on for higher winds and she will become a much happier boat to sail. I am much more fussier in what winds I go out in. The normal lifts and headers sort of thing is fine. The more awkward winds are only begging a leeward capsize and the chance of falling onto the sail, which will wreck it and prob the masts sail track as well. I tend to find something else to do.
  7. robjwilkinson

    RS CAT 14 Question

    I am pretty sure the my Hobiecat 16 is set up the same way, ages since I last sailed her. I tend to use the traveller more..as this is the 'main sheet' so the main sheet becomes the vang, if you see what I mean. I set the traveller, then adjust the mainsheet to get the leach set all nice. To adjust the main while out on trapeze I tend to 'snap' the rope out of the cleat. Quite a heavy rope anyway.
  8. robjwilkinson

    Where's "DTA" at?

    seriously? that is an awesome thing to do for someone wow!!!
  9. robjwilkinson

    RS Cat 14 Question

    I looked at the Dart 16 a few times over the years, never tried one as of yet...but next time I am over in the UK I might just get to see what they are like. I do like the toughness of rotomolded hulls, plus the mast looks good and strong.
  10. robjwilkinson

    RS Cat 14 Question

    getting caught in irons is pretty common with cats. Give yourself loads of room when tacking, leave the jib so it backs and helps swing the bows around. Uncleat, if you havent already done so, let the mainsail loose as this is will otherwise stall. Its quicker to gybe most of the time, even in a good wind. I see what you mean about the Hobie, the 16 is very sensative to fore/aft trim. Hulls could have done with some more volume. I understand the 17 (pretty rare these days?) was more suited to solo use. Dart 16 looks a tough little cat, many of those in the USA?
  11. robjwilkinson

    RS Cat 14 Question

    I look forward to it, just seen your ytube link and have subscribed :)
  12. robjwilkinson

    RS Cat 14 Question

    You might want to alter the main shrouds and see if you can induce some weather helm, while at speed? falling off isnt something I thought much about, have been parted from various boats but always managed to do a quick swim and catch up with the, usually, capsized boat. Very interested in the Cat 14 myself. I got a Hobie 16...which needs a new trampoline and few other bits. Just wonder if the Cat 14 is as fast? Hobie is ok as a singlehander, but wonder if a newer type such as what RS are offering will be as much fun. Quite like the look of the NACRA range too. Expensive boats though.
  13. robjwilkinson

    A New Solo One Person Dinghy - Brainstorming Thread

    Hmm, interesting. I think some makers have come out with a 'do it all range' such as Topper with its Topaz range? RS came out with the 100, which for a hiker is a very comfy boat and great with the kite out. I just wish it had a trapeze option because going upwind was so slow, coming from an RS700. Yeah I know I ought to stick with the 700 if I like upwind performance, but I did like the 100's simplicity. A trap option ought to be included imho. A Kite option is a no brainer for me. Foiling option? dunno. I have looked at the F101 Tri in the UK, hot looking boat that looks fun without having to foil. Whichever way, boat manufacturers have thier work cut out. Not so much cash to be thrown around these days. I would only hope that the appeal of sail will always endure. Quite like seeing some of the pimped up craft out there.
  14. robjwilkinson

    Moving up from a Hobie 16

    H17 Doesnt do that well with too much weight though does it? Otherwise for a solo cat it looks a lot of fun
  15. robjwilkinson

    Moving up from a Hobie 16

    Hobie Wildcat maybe? will be a bit pricey though.
  16. robjwilkinson

    RS700 Newbie Video

    Yep, pop the sheave pin out, you will need a shackle thats fairly 'deep' if thats the correct term. I got so fed up with the sail losing its tension, especially when the wind was starting to pick up.
  17. robjwilkinson

    Kiter Passes Away Friday on Alameda

    I learnt on my own, I had to becuase there is no kite school in the place I live. I started with a 7mtr which was idea for messing about with in not very strong winds. I learned to self launch and land and eventually got riding...after many many hours of figuring it out. I would cover as much 'what if' scenerios as you can. With kite size I always maintain that if you struggle to walk to the water with the kite in the air then its size for that given wind speed...is too big. I have had some close calls, one would have seen me killed outright if I had been on land at the time. I got 'lofted' and landed on my head/neck. My ears were ringing after I landed like this....I was very very lucky. kiting isnt to be taken as some safe sport. I still kite but am very choosy on the wind and tide state. There is plenty of good days to kite, dont kite if you arent sure...you need at least two kite sizes, 3 even if you can afford to.
  18. robjwilkinson

    RS700 Newbie Video

    Awesome...reminds me of when I first started out on the 700. I had a lot of previous time on a Laser Vago, solo trapezeing and using the kite etc. You might want to consider two things, I should lock the top of the main sail. Mine had a habit of dropping down a few inches which lost any downhaul or cunningham? (as the USA calls it) which is totally crucial in depowering/opening up the top part of the leach. Its no ordinary sail, think windsurfer sail I tip my 700 on its side and tie off the sail head to a shackle that i used to replace the sheave pin, I use thin dyneema cord. 20 ltr float bag, maybe tie one of these to the sail head? I have no safety boat and a lot of kelp along the shores of my area. Keeping the 700 on her side so she cant possibly invert is a great comfort. Yeah it looks sissy, and i lose a knot or two going upwind but for me its just plain common sense. Keep your trim, going upwind...step up forward, get that leading foot right up next to the shroud, keeping the bow down. They are good boats, I tried out a musto skiff while on holiday, had a huge smile as I zipped up and down the bay (Menorca, Fornells Bay) took very few minutes to get use to the layout of the musto..and drew some admiring looks from others...some puzzled as I dont look like a skiff ace
  19. Hi there, been a while since I posted on this part of the site. Hobie Cat 16, been a while since she last sailed, tramp is getting a bit tired out. I got some really strong fishing type net (really small mesh size, strands are easily para cord thickness) was wondering on a neat and tidy solution to using this. Any ideas? I cant quite justify £500 sterling for a proper one. No, I don't race..tis the only Hobie cat in my part of the world. Was wondering if I can utilise the bolt rope areas on the frames...though might just lace over these parts? Cheers Rob
  20. robjwilkinson

    Hobie cat 16 Trampoline options...

    Hulls are in very good condition, have poked and prodded the areas mentioned and they are sound. Question, I am not happy paying 400+ pounds sterling for a Trampoline...any UK based places that make such a thing for the Hobie? Rudder uplock/downlock cams at 40 odd pounds EACH!!! screw me sideways...one bit of plastic costs that?
  21. robjwilkinson

    build and sail a small scow?

    For your first ever build I would keep it simple. You could add the wings later maybe? Either way, building your own boat is a special experience. You only need some basic carpentry skills and a willingness to learn how to use epoxy resin etc. Ply 'stitch n glue' methods vary but will result in a good build if you get the basics right. Plenty of hints and tips on YouTube I would have thought. My first build was a Kit, a 'Mirror' dinghy. I wont ever forget that first voyage, a very special time:) My second boat was a Wharram 'Hitia' 14 Catamaran, again this was a unique experience and the skills it taught me (as to how cats behave) laid the perfect foundation that applied to a Hobie 16 which I now own. Thoughts? hmmm....if I could have done anything different on either the Mirror or Hitia. The Mirror could have done with a basic Assymetric Spinnaker system maybe. I sailed solo so the classic symmetrical spinnaker would have been a bit tricky on my own. The Hitia Cat could have done with its Beams being made from alloy mast section (small yacht type mast section) this would have made a much lighter all up weight. A mesh trampoline would be more comfy than the current ply deck. What I am saying is keep the build simple but explore the options to keep the craft light and comfy. The Moth scows look fun, reminds me of the 'Topper' scow dinghys (plastic hulled, very common in the UK sailing schools at one time) Don't skimp on the sail and rig, get the best you can afford. Don't be tempted to make your own sail. Proper sails have built in camber etc and behave in a certain way when secondary controls are tweaked. In fact the sail and rig will make up over half your budget for a build, on a guess. Been a while since I built my two projects so figures are a bit hazy. Ply stitch and glue/glass covering etc methods open up a whole realm of projects. Its a good method and leaves you with a craft that's light for its size and is easily fixable should you prang the boat Have fun!
  22. robjwilkinson

    Hobie cat 16 Trampoline options...

    Hulls are good, as far as I know. Which parts should I Be looking at? she was built in 91 and hardly ever been used. Previous owner kept crashing the thing along with inexperienced crew. I bought it all for £1200 sterling I might just go with the stitch the net onto the tramp thing for now....the newer mesh type tramps look to be pretty well made.
  23. robjwilkinson

    Hobie cat 16 Trampoline options...

    Wondering if slugs can be made? hmm, I got some S/S tubing that might just be small enough to slide inside the tracks. Would love the proper tramp, but its going to be pricey enough to replace the standing rigging and trap wires. Shes an old boat and been stored outside all these years so would be a good idea to get the wires changed.
  24. robjwilkinson

    420 vs 505 for beginner

    420 might not so bad...have sailed two up on a Laser 1 on many occasions
  25. robjwilkinson

    420 vs 505 for beginner

    my second boat was a Laser 2, there was no way I would have been ready for that without time with my first boat (Mirror). The Laser was like a rocket in comparison. I learned on my own, so no benefit of instructors let alone a Club. Buying an unsuitable boat is a sure disaster, if not financially it could put you off sailing for life if you have a nasty experience. It takes a while to learn the basics, yeah you can pick up all this in a weekend etc etc on some 'zero to hero' course. The reality is that it takes a lot of time to pick up the finer points, plus learning to deal with emergency drills; which should result in a safe and responsible crew. I once taught a guy who had bought a Laser 1. He turned up wearing some outdoor jacket and matching trousers. After a brief discussion on the pitfalls of such attire we went out (it was a light breeze day). On returning I discussed in no uncertain terms that he ought to get a wetsuit etc as Lasers are quite flighty boats...plus to NOT go out on his own as he wasn't ready to do so. What did he do? goes out on his own and had a near death experience. He sold the Laser and didn't bother with sailing again. Totally silly of him. I would go to a Club, join it and get some time on a modern dinghy, one fitted with an assymetric spinnaker and get some serious learning under your belt. My route was quite pricey to the RS700, the Vago I had used for training was sold at a huge loss...had no choice unless I wanted to keep it the rest of my days..which I didn't as it had gotten too boring to sail. Get that time on the water, then if you are sure its an activity you cant live without ...maybe then you can sit down and really think about what you want out of sailing, and which boat will tick the boxes?