Pete Pollard

Weta anarchy

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Do people replace the pad eyes on the amas, where shrouds attach? Is it a known failure point?

We have a 2012 yellow Weta, which we got 2nd hand in a "barn find" 3 years ago. From 2012 to 2017 it was probably sailed once or twice. 2017 onwards, it definitely gets an outing a week in the salty, sunny Biscayne Bay. Everything from light winds and sandbar picnics to 30kt. 

About a year ago, a screw on the starboard shroud pad eye was a bit loose, I fiddled with it and found that the backing plate had a bit of rust and generally looked dodgy. Local Weta distributor said the backing plate wasn't a part you could buy. By the time I had extracted the backing plate, putting it back in place wasn't easy so I ended up with the "upside down screws" fix in place.

Last weekend, the Weta dismasted sailing in 10-12kt. The bolts holding the pad eye on port are cut cleanly at deck level, with signs of rust.

The original, factory fasteners have failed at 3 years of sailing. Looking at the weta wiki and other online resources, I don't see anything saying -- in salty environments, check and replace every X years... No other parts of the boat show significant corrosion...

I am a bit miffed. Is this a known issue? Am I unlucky? Is Florida saltier than the Bay of Islands?

My plan now is to build something similar to the original backing plates, with some scraps of G10, drill, dremel, G/Flex...

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39 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Do people replace the pad eyes on the amas, where shrouds attach? Is it a known failure point?

We have a 2012 yellow Weta, which we got 2nd hand in a "barn find" 3 years ago. From 2012 to 2017 it was probably sailed once or twice. 2017 onwards, it definitely gets an outing a week in the salty, sunny Biscayne Bay. Everything from light winds and sandbar picnics to 30kt. 

About a year ago, a screw on the starboard shroud pad eye was a bit loose, I fiddled with it and found that the backing plate had a bit of rust and generally looked dodgy. Local Weta distributor said the backing plate wasn't a part you could buy. By the time I had extracted the backing plate, putting it back in place wasn't easy so I ended up with the "upside down screws" fix in place.

Last weekend, the Weta dismasted sailing in 10-12kt. The bolts holding the pad eye on port are cut cleanly at deck level, with signs of rust.

The original, factory fasteners have failed at 3 years of sailing. Looking at the weta wiki and other online resources, I don't see anything saying -- in salty environments, check and replace every X years... No other parts of the boat show significant corrosion...

I am a bit miffed. Is this a known issue? Am I unlucky? Is Florida saltier than the Bay of Islands?

My plan now is to build something similar to the original backing plates, with some scraps of G10, drill, dremel, G/Flex...

Most probably just unlucky.  Stress crevice corrosion (tensioned stainless fastener).  Happens in stainless shrouds at the swage, as well.  Victim of 5 years of no maintenance.  

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Building replacement backing plates for shroud pad eyes.

Get...

  • Scrap G10 plate, about 1cm thick (substitute with a Carbon Fiber plate - cheap in letter size -  from Amazon or similar - 2mm thick is more than enough)
  • 316 SS machine screws (phillips pan head, #10-24 1 1/5 inch) and matching nuts
  • Ronstan/harken pad eyes  1-3/4 inch between holes
  • Thickened G/Flex, disposable chopsticks, wax (ie a candle)
  • Drill + bits, dremel + bits, clamps

Go:

  • Clamp the plate on working bench
  • Mark the plate, drill 4 holes, slightly oversize
  • With the "barrel" sanding stone make an indent on the plate for the nut to sit in -- bonded into the indent, the nut will handle torsion better. If your plate is thin, keep the indent shallow.
  • With the cone sanding stone, sand the other side of the openings so screw insertion once in the ama is easier.
  • Wax the screw threads
  • Semi-assemble the pad eyes, screws, nuts onto the plate, with the nuts in their indents -- do this inverted, with the screws barely screwed into the nuts
  • Ensure the nuts and screws sit well, and are straight
  • Mix a small amount of G/Flex, put a dab all around the nut, in the gaps between the nut and the indent walls -- clean up any excess that might get into the nut threads (I used paper, wish I had a q-tip with thinner at hand). Excess on the plate doesn't matter.
  • Once the G/Flex has set, remove screws, dremel with plastic cutting disc to cut each piece

https://photos.app.goo.gl/G2aD6uUvcfzZ1PDWA

To install it, I'm going to use a similar technique as for the "inverted screws" approach -- I'll prepare headless threaded rods with a fishing line, drop them through the holes, get them out the back, screw them onto the plate, pull them out, and then... drum roll, clamp one threaded rod under some upwards pressure, and unscrew the other one and put the screw in place. If all goes well in that sleigh of hand, we'll be in business. 

It's either that, or the chainsaw :-/

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The only issue I can perceive is galvanic  corrosion between your backing plate and the SS Bolts. I have already had the tiller extension come off in a race because one of the retaining screws had corroded through where it touched the wall of the carbon tiller tube (old boat - new ones use bolts).

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1 hour ago, Pewit said:

The only issue I can perceive is galvanic  corrosion between your backing plate and the SS Bolts. I have already had the tiller extension come off in a race because one of the retaining screws had corroded through where it touched the wall of the carbon tiller tube (old boat - new ones use bolts).

Yeah. I thought the same and looked it up. G10 is glass, not CF, so I think that means no/negligible galvanic corrosion.

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On 9/18/2020 at 3:04 PM, martin 'hoff said:

Building replacement backing plates for shroud pad eyes.

Get...

  • Scrap G10 plate, about 1cm thick (substitute with a Carbon Fiber plate - cheap in letter size -  from Amazon or similar - 2mm thick is more than enough)
  • 316 SS machine screws (phillips pan head, #10-24 1 1/5 inch) and matching nuts
  • Ronstan/harken pad eyes  1-3/4 inch between holes
  • Thickened G/Flex, disposable chopsticks, wax (ie a candle)
  • Drill + bits, dremel + bits, clamps

Go:

  • Clamp the plate on working bench
  • Mark the plate, drill 4 holes, slightly oversize
  • With the "barrel" sanding stone make an indent on the plate for the nut to sit in -- bonded into the indent, the nut will handle torsion better. If your plate is thin, keep the indent shallow.
  • With the cone sanding stone, sand the other side of the openings so screw insertion once in the ama is easier.
  • Wax the screw threads
  • Semi-assemble the pad eyes, screws, nuts onto the plate, with the nuts in their indents -- do this inverted, with the screws barely screwed into the nuts
  • Ensure the nuts and screws sit well, and are straight
  • Mix a small amount of G/Flex, put a dab all around the nut, in the gaps between the nut and the indent walls -- clean up any excess that might get into the nut threads (I used paper, wish I had a q-tip with thinner at hand). Excess on the plate doesn't matter.
  • Once the G/Flex has set, remove screws, dremel with plastic cutting disc to cut each piece

https://photos.app.goo.gl/G2aD6uUvcfzZ1PDWA

To install it, I'm going to use a similar technique as for the "inverted screws" approach -- I'll prepare headless threaded rods with a fishing line, drop them through the holes, get them out the back, screw them onto the plate, pull them out, and then... drum roll, clamp one threaded rod under some upwards pressure, and unscrew the other one and put the screw in place. If all goes well in that sleigh of hand, we'll be in business. 

It's either that, or the chainsaw :-/

So this has worked surprisingly well at installation time. Used a file to make the rods pretty pointy. Including some trial/error/retries it took about 1hr of work at the boat park to install one of them. With a bit of practice, it's a 15-20 minute operation.

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I went for a sail yesterday and had a great time.  Wind was westerly at steady 15 - 17 knots w/ occasional gust to 20.  Seas were 1' - 3' with short period.  Downwind I worked up the courage to try sailing from the aft deck of the main hull again.  It was great and I never came close to falling overboard again.  I really have no idea why I fell overboard on June 12.  

Just to give you an idea of how fun the sailing was yesterday, my trip computer  indicated that I averaged over 11 knots and hit a max speed of over 15 knots.  I pretty much did two laps of Windward/Leeward  for a couple of hours.

Weta + wind = FUN!

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BTW, FWIW this is my observation regarding strong wind gennaker reaching sailing positions:

Mostly in the past I have sat on the windward, aft corner of the aka, hiking out.  From this position I can see the gennaker very well which allows me to keep it optimally trimmed and I can keep the boat sailing pretty flat.  However,  I found that when I sit on the aft deck of the main hull, in my limited experience (yesterday),  the boat NEVER buried a bow.  Whereas from the windward position I more often had to drive down out of trouble and did bury the bows hard enough to pitch me forward onto the tramp once. But, when on the aft deck of the main hull, I felt I wasn't as effective keeping the gennaker optimally trimmed because I couldn't see it very well.

Anybody care to chime in with their experiences in this realm?

 

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2 hours ago, unShirley said:

BTW, FWIW this is my observation regarding strong wind gennaker reaching sailing positions:

Mostly in the past I have sat on the windward, aft corner of the aka, hiking out.  From this position I can see the gennaker very well which allows me to keep it optimally trimmed and I can keep the boat sailing pretty flat.  However,  I found that when I sit on the aft deck of the main hull, in my limited experience (yesterday),  the boat NEVER buried a bow.  Whereas from the windward position I more often had to drive down out of trouble and did bury the bows hard enough to pitch me forward onto the tramp once. But, when on the aft deck of the main hull, I felt I wasn't as effective keeping the gennaker optimally trimmed because I couldn't see it very well.

Anybody care to chime in with their experiences in this realm?

 

It's been awhile since I've Weta'd, but I was able to pitch-pole a weta in the power hike position about 1/2 way from the South Tower of the GG Bridge to the St Francis.  In a big ebb. And yes, I intended to do it given I had almost done it by accident, so did it on purpose. Full nose down, ass over bow.

Recovery was easy, and then I went back to do it again but took what I called the "safety position" on the main hull. Bow never came close to burying. 

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Ah, yes, Infamous South Tower. I have been reading about it in another thread.

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54 minutes ago, unShirley said:

Ah, yes, Infamous South Tower. I have been reading about it in another thread.

It was pretty fun seeing that it could be done. I was wearing the harness/tether.

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12 hours ago, unShirley said:

BTW, FWIW this is my observation regarding strong wind gennaker reaching sailing positions:

Mostly in the past I have sat on the windward, aft corner of the aka, hiking out.  From this position I can see the gennaker very well which allows me to keep it optimally trimmed and I can keep the boat sailing pretty flat.  However,  I found that when I sit on the aft deck of the main hull, in my limited experience (yesterday),  the boat NEVER buried a bow.  Whereas from the windward position I more often had to drive down out of trouble and did bury the bows hard enough to pitch me forward onto the tramp once. But, when on the aft deck of the main hull, I felt I wasn't as effective keeping the gennaker optimally trimmed because I couldn't see it very well.

Anybody care to chime in with their experiences in this realm?

 

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

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5 hours ago, Pewit said:

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

Has anyone made an extension of the tramp frame? A bit like the Sydney skiffs. Just a bit of padding...

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10 hours ago, Pewit said:

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

I use to regularly put my ass on the ama back behind the tramp, but, as I have aged, I can no longer get back up to the tramp from that position.  It is not a possibility for me anymore.

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10 hours ago, Pewit said:

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

:-D :-D :-D

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On 10/27/2020 at 6:15 PM, Pewit said:

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

Last time I tried coming back from that position I called it the "eunuch maker"....

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22 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Has anyone made an extension of the tramp frame? A bit like the Sydney skiffs. Just a bit of padding...

That's an interesting idea. Someone handy with carbon tubes could make it easily, I wish it was included in the original boat

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On 10/27/2020 at 4:15 AM, Pewit said:

There is the another option - the widow maker position.

While wearing the harness, slide down from the aft corner of the tramp until you are sitting on the back of the float with the upright arm between your legs.

It prevents the bow from digging in, allows you to keep your weight out and see the gennaker. The only problem is getting back on board!

Paul

#1148, Sydney 

Eunuch maker.

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On 10/28/2020 at 9:18 PM, plywoodboy said:

Last time I tried coming back from that position I called it the "eunuch maker"....

well, that explains a LOT of things

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upwind angles when hiking on the rail vs on the amas.

Edit: sorry I was just seeing things, need to experiment some more before asking

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I guess I saw your post before you edited it, so I will contribute my $0.02 anyway for your future experiments.  When sailing upwind in strong winds, i.e. 15 knots +,  I have the windward telltale fluttering up at about a 45 degree angle rather than streaming.  I do this on all boats I sail on and it works well for me both racing and cruising (day-sailing) situations. 

 

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52 minutes ago, unShirley said:

I guess I saw your post before you edited it, so I will contribute my $0.02 anyway for your future experiments.  When sailing upwind in strong winds, i.e. 15 knots +,  I have the windward telltale fluttering up at about a 45 degree angle rather than streaming.  I do this on all boats I sail on and it works well for me both racing and cruising (day-sailing) situations. 

 

unShirley, that is exactly what I "feel" should be happening, but I keep footing off just a bit to get the telltale flowing. GREAT TIP, I´ll try that without feeling guilty :D

Pewit: yeah I´m just now reviewing tracks with RaceQ, thanks

 

Since I got relevant responses, I´ll post the question: I got the impression that when ama hiking in stronger winds (15-20), I  had to foot off and point a little bit less than when just sitting on the rail with a bit less wind, to keep the jib telltales flowing. The boat goes beautifully fast, but lower than "normal" upwind angles.

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Quote

but I keep footing off just a bit to get the telltale flowing.

Yes, a common phenomena called, "chasing the telltales."  It feels fast, but the VMG suffers.

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Just be sure the telltales are in good positions on your jib; that the main telltales and jib telltales are acting similarly together, and that the main leach telltales are showing good flow and, of course, that top, mid and bottom telltales on the jib look alike.  Truth, it is hard to do all of this, which is why sailing is fun.

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Our Weta rudder lockdown rod breaks, on average, once a year. The root cause is that – during launching it has a devilish tendency to getting tangled with the mainsheet and seeing some unexpected sudden side force – mainsail flaps a bit and snap. Or it gets into an awkward angle and jams with the deck sides; rudderhead turns and snap. I've added a pretty short bungee loop to keep it really close to the tiller, and it's helped a bit but not enough. 

There's nothing more jarring than breaking a crucial part right as you launch.

Also, for whatever reason, it fits really tight (screwed to have the shortest length possible, the pin barely makes it into the hole) so its always in tension -- maybe this is a good thing. But that's not the reason it breaks.

Are we doing something wrong? Is there a known fix or workaround to this?

 

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19 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Our Weta rudder lockdown rod breaks, on average, once a year. The root cause is that – during launching it has a devilish tendency to getting tangled with the mainsheet and seeing some unexpected sudden side force – mainsail flaps a bit and snap. Or it gets into an awkward angle and jams with the deck sides; rudderhead turns and snap. I've added a pretty short bungee loop to keep it really close to the tiller, and it's helped a bit but not enough. 

There's nothing more jarring than breaking a crucial part right as you launch.

Also, for whatever reason, it fits really tight (screwed to have the shortest length possible, the pin barely makes it into the hole) so its always in tension -- maybe this is a good thing. But that's not the reason it breaks.

Are we doing something wrong? Is there a known fix or workaround to this?

 

 

I have never had this problem, so, I guess I am confused as to how it is happening to you.  When you say it happens while launching, do you mean at a ramp, or while you are pushing off to sail off a beach?  I ask, because I launch at a ramp, tie the boat to a dock and then go sailing.  I don't attach my mainsheet to the clue until I am about to push off the dock.

BTW: this would be a good issue to post here:

WCNA Forum, Technical Advice

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1 hour ago, martin 'hoff said:

Our Weta rudder lockdown rod breaks, on average, once a year. The root cause is that – during launching it has a devilish tendency to getting tangled with the mainsheet and seeing some unexpected sudden side force – mainsail flaps a bit and snap. Or it gets into an awkward angle and jams with the deck sides; rudderhead turns and snap. I've added a pretty short bungee loop to keep it really close to the tiller, and it's helped a bit but not enough. 

There's nothing more jarring than breaking a crucial part right as you launch.

Also, for whatever reason, it fits really tight (screwed to have the shortest length possible, the pin barely makes it into the hole) so its always in tension -- maybe this is a good thing. But that's not the reason it breaks.

Are we doing something wrong? Is there a known fix or workaround to this?

 

Martin, I only broke it once in 8 years. I launch from a beach with little waves, and I hit sand banks often, so the rod sees a lot of action. Your experience is not common to me. The rod does jam against the sides on accasion, but never snagged the mainsheet. 

Maybe the cause is it is so tight. Mine is in the middle of the screw, so it has travel to adjust back and forth.

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1 hour ago, martin 'hoff said:

Our Weta rudder lockdown rod breaks, on average, once a year. The root cause is that – during launching it has a devilish tendency to getting tangled with the mainsheet and seeing some unexpected sudden side force – mainsail flaps a bit and snap. Or it gets into an awkward angle and jams with the deck sides; rudderhead turns and snap. I've added a pretty short bungee loop to keep it really close to the tiller, and it's helped a bit but not enough. 

There's nothing more jarring than breaking a crucial part right as you launch.

Also, for whatever reason, it fits really tight (screwed to have the shortest length possible, the pin barely makes it into the hole) so its always in tension -- maybe this is a good thing. But that's not the reason it breaks.

Are we doing something wrong? Is there a known fix or workaround to this?

 

The workaround is to remove the rod and use the “Bungee Auto-Kickup System”

Wrap thick bungee cord  (at least 6mm) around the foil and stock between the pintles. It needs to be tight enough so that the foil doesn’t lift under normal loads when the bungee loops are slid to the bottom pintle after launch.

On impact it allows the foil to raise but return to the normal position. To raise fully, pull the foil tip up and the bungee slides up to rest on the “horn” of the foil and hold it up.

If you need to raise the foil to approach a ramp or beach, tie a line to the top of the horn and secure it to the tiller with a loop of bungee around the tiller. Pull the line to raise the foil - you may need to slide the bungee to the upper pintle first to reduce the resistance.

0FE6AC64-5631-4CF1-A146-AA06DF0185A0.jpeg.8371ab039e5de72d9be846dd0f9676fc.jpeg

http://wetaforum.com/forums/topic/bungee-rudder-kickup-system/

 

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Thanks for the replies!

We did try bungee, but in heavy weather it doesn't quite cut it. Thick bungee, 3 wraps, tight. It was an effort to raise and lower it.

We launch from a nice beach, dominant wind is a headwind when launching, pretty shifty. You have to hop on and move quick so we're typically with rudder partially down and main hook on clew.

When launching solo, you're moving the boat about to get the trolley back on beach etc then bear off and hop on boat. In fresh and fun conditions it might be blowing a very shifty 15 header. Flat water as we're in a bay.

 

 

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A further development of the above that allows you to steer in shallow water is to keep the “fork” on the end of the bar attached to the foil.

Wrap some butyl tape around to provide cushioning then, with the bungee slid to the top pintle,  flip it down between the foil and the stock to stop the rudder rising completely which holds the blade in the water enough to steer (don’t make any hard turns as you could damage the stock). Once in deeper water, you can flip the fork out of the way and slide the bungee down to hold the blade down.

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2129EB42-BFC9-4885-B39A-98ACEFE140F9.thumb.jpeg.24abdc0146af6e802363e6a55180cc8f.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Thanks for the replies!

We did try bungee, but in heavy weather it doesn't quite cut it. Thick bungee, 3 wraps, tight. It was an effort to raise and lower it.

We launch from a nice beach, dominant wind is a headwind when launching, pretty shifty. You have to hop on and move quick so we're typically with rudder partially down and main hook on clew.

When launching solo, you're moving the boat about to get the trolley back on beach etc then bear off and hop on boat. In fresh and fun conditions it might be blowing a very shifty 15 header. Flat water as we're in a bay.

 

 

Go fir a 4th turn of bungee and/or tension it more so that it can rise up. You have to remember to slide it down to the bottom pintle after launch. I’ve tested it in winds over 30 knots without issue except if you get seaweed wrapped around it.

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OK,  your adjustment is in the wrong direction, at least for sailing. You do not want the lock-down rod shorter than the placement hole. It should be longer, so that when you attempt to lock the rudder down, you have to push, not pull, the rod towards the rudder. It should be gently bowed up when locked in place.

What you have now, with tension on the rod, is a situation where if the rudder hits anything it slams the rod forward and without any upward bend you get a compression fracture.

If the rod is lengthened and bowed upwards, any time the rudder hits something (with sufficient force) the impact further bends the rod up and pops it clear of the retaining hole.

So adjust the rod so that it is a bit too long, rather than a bit too short, and you won't break another one, guaranteed.

Then make a loose loop of velcro that will fit over the tiller and lock down rod. When the rudder is up and the rod is in the "up" hole, slip the loop over it to hold it in place. This keeps it from coming out, getting loose and snagging on things or having things snag on it. When you launch, just slip the velcro loop forward and off the rod, and push the rod back and into the "down" hole. Problems solved.

...........................

"Modern hull design has made a mockery of theoretical hull length speed limits." 

 

 

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I think Tom has figured it out.  Duh...I should have seen that.  I guess I needed to read your post more carefully.:blink:

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Great stuff all around. Thank you! A small clarification. I didn't explain the rod situation well. Perhaps due to something in the rudder head or the tiller, the rod is always compressed - exactly what Tom recommends. We screw it as short as can be, and the pin barely gets in the hole.

Will write more tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, martin 'hoff said:

Great stuff all around. Thank you! A small clarification. I didn't explain the rod situation well. Perhaps due to something in the rudder head or the tiller, the rod is always compressed - exactly what Tom recommends. We screw it as short as can be, and the pin barely gets in the hole.

Will write more tomorrow.

The rod is suppose to be compressed. It should be slightly bowed in the middle. 

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17 hours ago, bhyde said:

The rod is suppose to be compressed. It should be slightly bowed in the middle. 

That's great to hear. We thought it was an anomaly. I still think there's something dodgy in my rudderhead or tiller because we shorten it as much as it'll go, to the point of jamming it tight. But that's secondary.

About the breakage, it's great to hear it doesn't happen to others often.

- We'll try again the bungee setup -- have 8mm bungee, will go a few extra wraps and go as tight as we can handle. 

- We do have a replacement rod on order -- we already had a short line or short thin bungee loop. I'm going to make really tight so it's a bit of work to remove it (not too tight so the safety feature still works)

Part of the problem is that we launch solo with the rudder half down so the pin isn't in either hole. Maybe some procedure changes help here. Keep it in the up position and only lower the rudder once you're on the boat for example. 

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43 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Part of the problem is that we launch solo with the rudder half down so the pin isn't in either hole. Maybe some procedure changes help here. Keep it in the up position and only lower the rudder once you're on the boat for example. 

Try using the "fork" with the bungee to keep it in the half down position as suggested above and then remove the fork and slide the bungee down when you get into deeper water.

I find the rod is a PITA when half down as it snags ropes and can damage the horn of the foil if it catches as can repeated impacts. 

The bungee setup makes it much eaiser when approaching the beach as you only have to deal with the daggerboard.

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14 minutes ago, Pewit said:

Try using the "fork" with the bungee to keep it in the half down position as suggested above and then remove the fork and slide the bungee down when you get into deeper water.

I find the rod is a PITA when half down as it snags ropes and can damage the horn of the foil if it catches as can repeated impacts. 

The bungee setup makes it much eaiser when approaching the beach as you only have to deal with the daggerboard.

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try it. The new rod will take some time to arrive :-)

When we had it with a bungee before, I cannot fully recall the exact layout but it had a very stable half-down position just with the bungee. We don't go fast on departure or approaching the beach, so it doesn't have to be locked in that position.  

I think we'd raise the bungee halfway, but not past the wingnut, and pull the rudder to the half-way position. The bungee would then be in an obtuse angle over the wingnut, and this seemed very effective in keeping the rudder in that position in sub-10kt speeds.

The reason we abandoned the setup was that we felt it had a bit of give in fresh conditions, the rudder would lift a little bit and steering got super heavy.

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4 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

The reason we abandoned the setup was that we felt it had a bit of give in fresh conditions, the rudder would lift a little bit and steering got super heavy.

I think either you didn't have the bungee tight enough, not enough turns or didn't slide it down to the bottom pintle - it want to be set so that it requires considerable force to lift the foil when the blade is down and the bungee slid down.

The bungee proved itseld recently when we were racing in a salt-water lake with schools of big jellyfish (aka blubber jellyfish) and I hit at least 10 of them, some really hard when moving fast - those using the rod kept having to stop and re-fix it whereas I could carry on.

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5 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try it. The new rod will take some time to arrive :-)

When we had it with a bungee before, I cannot fully recall the exact layout but it had a very stable half-down position just with the bungee. We don't go fast on departure or approaching the beach, so it doesn't have to be locked in that position.  

I think we'd raise the bungee halfway, but not past the wingnut, and pull the rudder to the half-way position. The bungee would then be in an obtuse angle over the wingnut, and this seemed very effective in keeping the rudder in that position in sub-10kt speeds.

The reason we abandoned the setup was that we felt it had a bit of give in fresh conditions, the rudder would lift a little bit and steering got super heavy.

You might also give Nor'Banks a call. Believe it or not the early Wetas delivered to the US had Dotan kick up rudders. My first Weta (#151) originally had this type of rudder, which I later replaced with the current version. If you're not familiar with this type of rudder/cassette system, it is used on several catamarans and can be kicked up or down by pushing/pulling the tiller extension. It's very nice and kicks up if you hit something. I'd be willing to bet there is a pile of them laying around somewhere or someone has one you can get hold of. The guys at Nor'Banks could probably find you one. Might make the off-the-beach launch a bit easier.

rudder-20-blade-2-5TyER.jpg

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We have fickle winds here  November - February.  Been thinking about getting auxiliary power to make sure I can get back to the harbor if I become becalmed offshore.  What auxiliary power have any of you used and, based on your experience with it, would you recommend it?

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2 hours ago, unShirley said:

We have fickle winds here  November - February.  Been thinking about getting auxiliary power to make sure I can get back to the harbor if I become becalmed offshore.  What auxiliary power have any of you used and, based on your experience with it, would you recommend it?

My buddy with the Weta fitted a trolling motor on his, but we were never more than a mile away from the marina in these light wind days.  Used it more to get out of the marina than anything since sailing out was pretty impossible since the fairway was dead upwind and too narrow to tack successfully and make headway--of course we did it a couple times, but 20 tacks to go 600 yards was a bit much.  Before he got the trolling motor, we tried a battery operated drill fitted with a prop on a round batten.  Worked well enough to rescue us in becalmed and zero current.  A really light gas engine (but where are you going to stow the extra gas) would be ideal, I think.  Don't think you can get a 2 stroke in CA, but those would give you the best weight/power ratio (but would also use more gas/mile).    

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3 hours ago, unShirley said:

We have fickle winds here  November - February.  Been thinking about getting auxiliary power to make sure I can get back to the harbor if I become becalmed offshore.  What auxiliary power have any of you used and, based on your experience with it, would you recommend it?

You may find this thread on outboard motors and brackets useful on the Wetaforum.

http://wetaforum.com/forums/topic/outboard-motors-and-brackets/

Personally, I’ve only used a telescopic paddle but I can understand the need for something requiring less effort.

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1 hour ago, MultiThom said:

My buddy with the Weta fitted a trolling motor on his, but we were never more than a mile away from the marina in these light wind days.  Used it more to get out of the marina than anything since sailing out was pretty impossible since the fairway was dead upwind and too narrow to tack successfully and make headway--of course we did it a couple times, but 20 tacks to go 600 yards was a bit much.  Before he got the trolling motor, we tried a battery operated drill fitted with a prop on a round batten.  Worked well enough to rescue us in becalmed and zero current.  A really light gas engine (but where are you going to stow the extra gas) would be ideal, I think.  Don't think you can get a 2 stroke in CA, but those would give you the best weight/power ratio (but would also use more gas/mile).    

Dang, I can't find it, but I recently read about an electric "longtail" motor for dingies. It's basically a 5ft or so long tube, with LIon batteries and motor in the tube, ending in a propellor, and it has a pin for an oarlock on the transom. Drop the pin in, go. Would be the easiest to store on a weta of all the little e-engines. For the life of me, can't find the link.

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1 hour ago, MultiThom said:

My buddy with the Weta fitted a trolling motor on his, but we were never more than a mile away from the marina in these light wind days.  Used it more to get out of the marina than anything since sailing out was pretty impossible since the fairway was dead upwind and too narrow to tack successfully and make headway--of course we did it a couple times, but 20 tacks to go 600 yards was a bit much.  Before he got the trolling motor, we tried a battery operated drill fitted with a prop on a round batten.  Worked well enough to rescue us in becalmed and zero current.  A really light gas engine (but where are you going to stow the extra gas) would be ideal, I think.  Don't think you can get a 2 stroke in CA, but those would give you the best weight/power ratio (but would also use more gas/mile).    

I do suggest avoiding made in china outboards.  Had one and while it was cheap, it did not start after getting drenched (so not much use on a Weta).  The pull cord ripped out and was impossible to replace.  Hangkai was the "brand name".  Avoid it.

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4 hours ago, unShirley said:

We have fickle winds here  November - February.  Been thinking about getting auxiliary power to make sure I can get back to the harbor if I become becalmed offshore.  What auxiliary power have any of you used and, based on your experience with it, would you recommend it?

I did what Linda did in the everglades. A paddle with a T handle, sitting in front of the mast, with a couple of lines led aft to the rudder, plus footstraps to steer from there. The paddle splits and is stowed in the hatch. It works well enough to get in and out of harbors or small channels. I have paddled for 2 miles at 2.5kt average with little effort.

Paddle is custom, due to weta freeboard, it is longer than a kayaks and shorter than a SUP's

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