Steve Clark

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About Steve Clark

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    Super Anarchist

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  • Location
    Where the water is thin.
  • Interests
    Human folly.

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  1. Steve Clark

    Vector rudder upgrade

    The Vector is a pretty nice little boat. We made some compromises that I wouldn’t make again. I tried to make the mast almost unbreakable, and inexpensive. I made the sail area too small for easy double trapezing. This wasn’t obvious. Operating the sails at such high lift coefficients made it too easy to stall, and have the whole thing fall off the table. I also should have been willing to put struts between the chain plates and the mast tower. There is a lot of flex in the wings, which doesn’t really effect things because the real forestry tension is provided by the crew on the trapezes, but it would have been more in line with what the customer expects. Anyway, glad you are having fun. SHC
  2. Steve Clark

    Vector rudder upgrade

    The idea behind not using a kick up rudder came from observing all the Laser sailors, V15 sailors and Club 420 sailors defeating the kick up function of their rudders by cranking the pivot bolt down until the blade wouldn’t pivot. All in the aid of taking the last little slop out of the rudder. The 49ers broke every composite rudderhead we built trying to tighten up the fit between the blade and the cassette. So I said fuckit and didn’t bother to design a rudder head that wasn’t acceptable to the customers. Having said all that, you can cut a radius into the rudder head. Glass it together so the skins can’t shear. That is to say grind a 1/2” bevel into each side and wrap glass and epoxy around the front. Use your best techniques to compact the laminate around the corners. I would recommend using 1/8” aluminum for the cheek plates, and SeaSure pintles. These will be wider than the present pintles. In order to fasten them, consider drilling and countersinking the inside of the plates and using flat head fasteners with the heads inside and the nuts outside. SHC
  3. Steve Clark

    C-Class Little Cup news

    I don’t have a link. But chaseback through the “Fredo is in so much trouble” thread and it’s probably there. SHC
  4. Steve Clark

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Not really, but a rubber mallet makes it easier to get the strut out of the boat, and the t foil off the end. SHC
  5. Steve Clark

    When do you just fucking Give Up ?

    Actually I think there is not enough taper and too few uni fibers. The mast is failing because of fiber strain. A smaller diameter could accommodate more laminate and still be bendy. This would require a mandrel with a different taper than one Forte likely had in house. Cutting a new mandrel would likely have killed the project in its tracks. No one could pay to do this right, because there isn’t enough business there to justify the expense, so a bunch of compromises result in something that doesn’t quite work.... This reinforces one of the constant lessons: it is never as easy as you think. SHC
  6. Steve Clark

    Craigslist Finds

    I have had to sell boats for less than the cost of the paint job. It’s discouraging when you realize that people think you have devalued materials by spending hours turning them into a boat. SHC
  7. Steve Clark

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    The rubber mallet is the most important tool in the Moth Tool box. SHC
  8. Steve Clark

    When do you just fucking Give Up ?

    It is very rare for freestanding masts to break anywhere but near the deck. The loads really reduce quickly. Laser masts break at the joint because there is such a big difference between the stiffness of the lower and the stiffness of the upper. A constantly tapered mast shouldn’t have the stress risers that result in mid span failures. I worked with Ted from about 1981-1985. He developed the core technology that FiberSpar used and Forte is still using. Both Forte and Fiberspar developed their own techniques to build their products, but they are using the same fundamental tool to place fiber around a mandrel. Forte has a more production like mindset. They use the same braided set up for all their jobs, modifying only the number and length of layers to make their parts. Van Dusen has an autoclave, which Forte does not, and Ted is willing to use higher modulous fibers than Forte and is more willing to do custom work. Forte typically has shorter lead times. Like any tool, there are thing they do well and things they don’t do well. You build the laminate by making multiple passes through the machine. You can braid in both directions if you are set up to do it, so you can build thickness very efficiently with very little waste. Branders deliver the same number of fibers around the circumference of the mandrel regardless of its diameter. So at the bottom of a constantly tapered spar, a single pass through the braider will build less structure than the same pass will build at the tip. As a result you have to tailor the ply drops in concert with the taper to maintain the wall thickness you desire. The nature of the ply drops tend to happen two at a time because of the way the machine is operated to achieve the ply drops. This can result in stress concentrations. The way a mast bends is a function of its cross section and the strength/stiffness/ thickness of the walls. I suspect there is a fundamental mis match between the taper of the Forte mandrel and the desired bend characteristics prescribed by the rig designer which causes Forte’ designers to taper the laminate too aggressively, causing the top mast to be too fragile. SHC
  9. Steve Clark

    When do you just fucking Give Up ?

    I might be wrong, but I don’t think there is much Megabyte class activity, so conforming to the class rules is kind of irrelevant. You want a little boat that is fun to sail which doesn’t have a mast that breaks and leaves you drifting into the middle of the Pacific. The Megabyte isn’t really a product. Zim has made a few, but it is a pimple on their ass. They got the Megabyte when they bought the assets from PS2000 and have maybe sold 3 in the last 5 years. The spars are made by Forte, and aren’t core business for them either. So you may have had the impression that the Megbyte was something like the Laser of you past, supported by sales volume in the millions of dollars with all the R&D, QC and other associated letters, it really is nothing of the sort. These Bethwaite inspired masts that require very bendy tips to achieve appropriate leech response are hard to get right and often are operating at the limit of fiberstrain. Julian is so particular in achieving just the right bend, that it is hard to manufacture spars so close to the limits. I lost lots of skin in the 49er game on this very issue. The Forte/Van Dusen braiding technique also has its particular limitations. The braided doesn’t necessarily permit the blend of axial and off axis fiber to achieve both the flex characteristics and durability. As suggested above, this isn’t something someone is going to spend the time on to get fully dialed in, more like” that otta work-shoot from the hip-because we are pricing this like a production product not a custom project-even though it isn’t -having to set up the machines to run one mast is a full on pain in my ass-is costing me money.” I think you ought to talk to Forte about a new tube, tell them where the last two have broken and have them modify the laminate to make it stronger. Rig it yourself using hardware from the two broken rigs. You may need to put stiffer battens in the sail to flatten things up top. This should make getting the sail to pop easier as well Or talk to CST or Killwell about making you tube based on their OK dinghy or other freestanding dinghy mast designs. In summery, keep the boat you like. Give up on buying “class approved” masts from the class suppliers. SHC
  10. Steve Clark

    Valiant butt surgery

    Olin Stephens said that he looked over the quarter about 10 minutes after dropping the tow rope and said “ oh damn.” Valiant was one of the first 12 designs based on flawed tank data. SHC
  11. Steve Clark

    When do you just fucking Give Up ?

    looks like the standard mast isn’t designed correctly. There aren’t many Megabytes out there, so it may not have been discovered. I would repair the mast and then add unidirectional to reinforce the laminate. Probably more of a science project than you wanted, but what the hell. SHC
  12. Steve Clark

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Azeck Fast Cure. It’s white. I haven’t seen it in all stores. SHC
  13. Steve Clark

    C-Class Little Cup news

    I couldn’t figure it out. It happened on the final Stbd tack of the previous race, and I didn’t pay much attention. When it happened after lighting up in the next race, I figured it was a bit of weed . Sometimes little knicks on the leading edge cause things to go foamy, so if the edge got chipped during a weedclear, that might have been the reason. In any event, it stopped shortly there after and didn’t happen again.These things get pretty fussy sometimes. SHC
  14. Steve Clark

    C-Class Little Cup news

    I have to say it again. These boats are terrific fun to sail. Yes they are a lot of work, but DAMN! I also have to thank Trevor for guiding me around Lac St. Louis. In our part of the world the rocks sho w themselves twice a day. In Quebec they not only hide, but can move from one year to the next due to ice. There are many places which look like they would be fine places to sail, where you will tear the boards out of your boat. So having Trevor to keep me off the bricks contributed significantly to my enjoyment of the weekend. Thanks Bro. SHC
  15. Steve Clark

    C-Class Little Cup news

    It takes me time to figure things out. I particularly did not want to lose the ability to iceboat in sub foiling conditions. If I have to surrender a few knots at the top end to maintain a few knots at the low end, I may be willing to make that deal. Particularly if I can drive really hard downwind and not be concerned about crashing or going over the handlebars. As she sits right now, Aethon is really very polite and predictable. I could sail her without any practice with a crew that had never been on the boat and quickly feel that I wasn't going to make an expensive mistake. After 4 days, I would feel pretty comfortable in most conditions. I was happy that I could transition from fast foiling to old school wild thing when necessary. This may have been entirely because of the difference in the wings, But not dragging the big lifting surfaces through the water has got to help. SHC