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

    Sunfish / Laser Innovations

    "Most" of this is pretty obvious. Increase sail area and go faster in light air and down wind. Improve foils, point higher/ make less leeway go faster upwind. Reduce weight better, but harder to do. All of the above have little structural consequence and will only have incremental improvement in speed. To go faster you have to increase the righting moment. Read Frank Bethwaite's book on Sail Carrying Power relative to displacement to inform this opinion. Sailboat loads are driven by righting moment, so adding wings or racks ripples through the whole boat. The Sunfish mast step assembly is a more robust than the Laser mast step in that the tube is glassed to the hull and bonded to the deck instead of the other way around. Sunfish masts break after a few years of racing as specified, so you are going to have to ( at the very least ) sleeve the mast in the deck bearing area. You could add shrouds. The hull deck joint can probably take a pretty good load. The hull is made of 2oz mat and 18oz woven roving and is robust . You could place the chainplates slightly ahead of the mast so the boom can still be eased to 90 degrees. If you add enough power to get the fish planing consistently, you will be frustrated by the relatively primitive hull form which is kind of a pointed scow with a constant dead rise angle. It really is too wide up front and too narrow back aft. Scow moths evolved in this direction, but not to this extreme. This along with the amount of rocker means that the Sunfish trims very bow up as it goes faster. This is also called squatting and is slow. One way to resolve this is to add a T foil to the rudder to counteract the suction much like the trim tabs or power tilt on a motorboat. So I guess adding 1' wings wouldn't be that hard. I would laminate wood to fit the deck and kick up about 15 degrees at the gunwales. They could be bolted through the deck in front and behind the cockpit, and possibly trough the gunwales themselves. I would get rid of the rudder head and build a cassette style rudder head that can accept a move vertical rudder with a 18" t foil at the bottom. The Sunfish rudder head is barely strong enough, and doesn't have enough range of motion. I would reduce the chord length of the daggerboard by 25% and increase the draft by 30%. A NACA 5 digit series foil is not a mistake. By reducing the chord, you can get enough camber to be meaningful. Plan to break masts, booms and gaffs and to reinforce as you learn. Or give up on the Sunfish and start with an International Canoe hull which is already better than a Sunfish and has a group of like minded people top play with. Used Canoes are really cheap! SHC
  2. Steve Clark

    Rounding up into wind in a controlled manner

    Turn faster. or maybe “ with more authority.” It may not be obvious, but when sailing up wind and down wind, fore and aft stability contribute to overall stability. It’s harder to roll a boat fore and aft than side ways, so the boat is least stable when the wind is beam to. So you want to get through that “zone” as rapidly as possible. So you can start to head up slowly, but then turn quite quickly to your close hauled heading. If the sail trim lags behind and things flap a bit, it is no big deal. SHC
  3. Steve Clark

    How the other half live .............

    “The other half” The fraction is a fuck of a lot smaller than that. SHC
  4. Steve Clark

    DC Designs

    Mike raced Machete. David raced Dance Commander. SHC
  5. Steve Clark

    Peeling Gelcoat Project - Laser

    Of course you are aware that the Standard lower and Radial lower are different extrusions. A cut down standard lower is not a class legal radial lower. Furthermore the two bend differently and this will effect how the boat performs. Other than that, you are being a champ getting this kid on the water. SHC
  6. Steve Clark

    Peeling Gelcoat Project - Laser

    Gel coat bond to laminate : ”Normally” gel coat is sprayed into a mold at .020 “ wet film thickness. It cures before you laminate, but not completely. Gel coats are “air inhibited” which means that the very top surface does not completely cure, but remains “open” and cures when covered by the laminating resin. Further, the styrene in the laminating resin, softens and etches into the gel coat further facilitating a good bond. If the gel coat is not applied thick enough, the styrene will cause the gel coat film to wither and die, a thing that looks like lizard skin called a Gator is the result. the gel coat\ laminating resin is well understood and not a mystery. I can’t really explain what caused the problems on your friend’s Laser, except for some wholesale contamination of the open gel coat. This would have to be something like an oiled airline exploding all over the mold, or guys with oil on their hands. When patching Gel coat it is not unusual to add wax to the gel coat which floats to the top of the film and allows the entire thickness to cure. There are also specialist gel coats for painting interiors that have different chemistries to eliminate the thin sticky surface of an ordinary in mold coating. Maybe this boat was sprayed with the wrong stuff, but those things aren’t supposed to happen in factories. SHC
  7. Steve Clark

    Peeling Gelcoat Project

    Boat will not absorb water in normal day racing use. The water absorbing ability of fiberglass is mostly a problem for boats left in the water 24/7. Shortish termish, not a problem at all. SHC
  8. Steve Clark

    DC Designs

    If you had to call it anything, it might be “Clark mk2.” In 1984 I changed the seat design to have a tighter radius and more vertical depth than my early seats. The goal was to get a bit more clearance over the waves and have a stiffer seat for the same reason. I don’t have the numbers off the top of my head, but it’s pretty close to what I still use. The San Francisco fleet made a mold for seats with still a bit more curvature. The English still use pretty flat seats. I also designed the heavy aluminum seat carriages that could be adjusted fore and aft, not necessarily on the fly, but as a general tuning thing. The class minimum weight was pretty easy to hit, so making the carriage bomb proof was a good way to concentrate weight right where you want it. I thought it was a great idea and ordered six of them. Then the bill came and then holy fuck we’re not doing that again. SHC
  9. Steve Clark

    Sunfish drawing/CAD file

    If I didn’t generate one, it doesn’t exist. I didn’t generate one. Sunfish documentation from Alcourt was all hard copy drawings. I had a big file at Vanguard, that went to Laser Performance when we sold the company. Most of the “ documentation” was samples. SHC
  10. Steve Clark

    DC Designs

    Tether May have been fixed to the seat by a hole in the heel cup, or two holes with a spectra loop. Done it so many ways I don’t recall. The hole in the seat carriage may even be off center so a single hole in the seat could be used. There isn’t a heel cup at mid span. Another way to keep the tether from fucking up is to put a bungee take up on it. Can be done under the carriage. Requires a bushing . That vintage seat and carriage has plenty of clearance between the bottom of the seat and the center of the carriage. SHC
  11. Steve Clark

    DC Designs

    Use a dynemma line small enough that it doesn’t cause the seat to bind in the carriage. I think 3 mm is what was probably there. SHC
  12. Steve Clark

    What's this ?

    Oof....that is ugly. If they thought they were bringing grace and elegance back to the America’s Cup by re introducing monohulls.....swing and a miss. To the tune of Hendrix “Are you Experienced” “You will never see a dial up again.” SHC
  13. Steve Clark

    Snipe Questions: Jib Sheet and Daggerboard

    Called a “rope eater” because that’s what they did. Pretty cool devise actually, essentially a two way cleat. SHC
  14. Steve Clark

    custom shaped silicone

    Smooth-on.com supplier if all sorts of useful products. SHC
  15. Steve Clark

    Flying your ensign while racing

    I was taught it was improper to fly ensign while racing. However, it was good form to have one for sailing out to the race course at international regattas, so we had little ones we could either fly from the backstay or f4rom a staff suction cupped to the deck. One more thiong to do at the Warning Gun. SHC