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I  sailed it! Sadly I don't have any stories of the boat tearing apart on a planing reach, but, it was quite a successful sail nevertheless. The bailers leaked a little but NOT my repair! and one

thought I would send some pics of us launching from the sailing club. This is the third weekend we have sailed it. Yesterday we took it out in conditions 9 kts gusting 20 to 25! Sort of surv

My first 505 and my first Peugeot had something in common: They both left a trail of apparently nonessential parts in their wake.

Posted Images

5 hours ago, Ned said:

Comes up through the bottom, you can see the cheek block below the mainsheet block on the side of the centerboard case.  

Who makes a fitting that lets you come up from below into a rotating cleat? [I have a use for one and have only seen home made jobs so far]

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1 hour ago, Rambler said:

Who makes a fitting that lets you come up from below into a rotating cleat? [I have a use for one and have only seen home made jobs so far]

Allen bros in the UK

0C431808-7179-41CE-BECC-96EC1ACCBCD9.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Rambler said:

Thanks

And Harken... https://www.harken.co.uk/productdetail.aspx?id=5171&taxid=4082

 

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Thanks guys! 

Is there a way to do a similar thing with a block like this?

s-l1600.jpg

that one is a bit expensive...:unsure:

Those guys didn't even attempt to disguise the fact that they're knocking off Harken...yikes.

You could use a thru deck if you have the room for it on the centerboard cap but that seems like a lot of junk to put right around the mainsheet.  If it was my boat and I didn't want to spend the money for the Duocam Swivel base, I'd probably split the vang into two by the mast and run it to each side with a cleat on each tank, like a 505 often does.

https://www.harken.com/productdetail.aspx?id=5041&taxid=1328 

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20 hours ago, Rambler said:

Who makes a fitting that lets you come up from below into a rotating cleat? [I have a use for one and have only seen home made jobs so far]

Harken. 

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Fireball side tanks, being vertical or as near as makes no difference, do not lend themselves to cleat mounting. Also, the boat being so narrow allows twin cleats to be mounted on the centreboard capping in front of the mainsheet swivel. My woodentop built by Severn was like this. Only real issue was not being able to reach the kicker (vang) when sat at the back of the bus on a high thrill three-sail reach. I also intended to double up on some of the minor controls (cunningham, etc) so they could be adjusted from both sides, but I never got around to it, so it couldn't really have been that much of a problem. (Note, however, that I'm not known for bothering the front of the fleet much :D)

IMG_1548.JPG

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18 hours ago, European Bloke said:

My boat is 15 years old, I fitted it out myself and the harken kit is all good. I recently bought one less than 10 years old for my kid that's fitted out with Allen. A significant proportion of the Allen kit is fucked.

 

That piece that Jethrow posted looks like a prototype piece.  Sharp corners, cobbled together.

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15 minutes ago, WCB said:

That piece that Jethrow posted looks like a prototype piece.  Sharp corners, cobbled together.

Nope. Standard fitting. Not for nowt were they known as knee-slicers when they were the only choice for a kicker control reachable from anywhere. Better now than they used to be, but still...

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1 hour ago, GBRNoah said:

Nope. Standard fitting. Not for nowt were they known as knee-slicers when they were the only choice for a kicker control reachable from anywhere. Better now than they used to be, but still...

I wasn't speaking literally...the swivel just doesn't look like something that's worth paying $107 for...

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On 8/17/2020 at 10:02 PM, European Bloke said:

My boat is 15 years old, I fitted it out myself and the harken kit is all good. I recently bought one less than 10 years old for my kid that's fitted out with Allen. A significant proportion of the Allen kit is fucked.

 

The boat that is 10 years old and fitted with Allen could well have had a much harder life and not been as well looked after as your 15-year-old Harken one. 10 years, also seems like a pretty good lifetime for products that take a hell of a beating... 

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5 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Could someone explain to me the purpose of the strut, or mast ram, om our Fireball? 

Thanks 

 

The Vang does 2 things based on simple geometry and vectors, it pulls the boom down and pushes it forward, by controlling the forward push with a strut or mast ram you have more control on how much mast bend you want as well as the leach tension or twist that you require.

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1 hour ago, Major Tom said:

The Vang does 2 things based on simple geometry and vectors, it pulls the boom down and pushes it forward, by controlling the forward push with a strut or mast ram you have more control on how much mast bend you want as well as the leach tension or twist that you require.

And the third thing is for newer sailors it generally removes a certain amount of hair from the crew’s head when tacking or gybing.

Edited by Bill5
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Funny that you mention hair removal Bill.

I've been trying to cobble a fireball together since spring with misc bit

Oneofthe odd bits is what looks like a wire drum Vang. It does not come anywhere near the jib halyard to be functional.

Efficient but a bit hazardous

 

 

IMG_20200604_200236_0.jpg

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Wanna.... I am guessing you control the drum vang with a cleat??  It is actually missing the most terrifying part of that Proctor drum vang, that is the lever that had the rope going through the end and had a hook setup to grab the inboard studs to lock the vang.  Perhaps the most terrifying task in a late 60s 505 (ie 3194) was having to go in the middle of the boat in anything over 20 knots to make a vang adjustment, praying that the wire hadn't overridden itself.  Also praying that 1. the boat didn't capsize and 2. you made it back to the gunwhale!  And that wire WAS a hair catcher.  In its defense, it did keep the boom down.   Hadn't seen one of those since around 1971, but what great memories!

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9 hours ago, koolkat505 said:

Wanna.... I am guessing you control the drum vang with a cleat??  It is actually missing the most terrifying part of that Proctor drum vang, that is the lever that had the rope going through the end and had a hook setup to grab the inboard studs to lock the vang.  Perhaps the most terrifying task in a late 60s 505 (ie 3194) was having to go in the middle of the boat in anything over 20 knots to make a vang adjustment, praying that the wire hadn't overridden itself.  Also praying that 1. the boat didn't capsize and 2. you made it back to the gunwhale!  And that wire WAS a hair catcher.  In its defense, it did keep the boom down.   Hadn't seen one of those since around 1971, but what great memories!

That's one weird system, I would upgrade to a cascade vang, simple but very effective https://draycotewater.co.uk/fleets/fireball/html/rigging_-_the_kicker.html

Picture

Picture

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8 hours ago, Rushman said:

I remember some of the cats in the early 80’s had that drum for the outhaul system

Drums can be great, but IMHO the advent of higher-load mini blocks, and Dyneema/Amsteel line, made them obsolete. You can no put an almost infinite cascade in quite a small place. The problem is that they need to be carefully adjusted to get the right power ratio to end movement.

I rigged a 4-ended vang, using a cascade, on my Lightning. This gave the crew an adjustment for hiking reaches, and me (sitting comfy in the back) an adjustment for tweaking on long runs. Replaced the centerboard lifting drum with a cascade, too.

FB- Doug

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33 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Drums can be great, but IMHO the advent of higher-load mini blocks, and Dyneema/Amsteel line, made them obsolete. You can no put an almost infinite cascade in quite a small place. The problem is that they need to be carefully adjusted to get the right power ratio to end movement.

I rigged a 4-ended vang, using a cascade, on my Lightning. This gave the crew an adjustment for hiking reaches, and me (sitting comfy in the back) an adjustment for tweaking on long runs. Replaced the centerboard lifting drum with a cascade, too.

FB- Doug

As Steam Flyer says, drums were the only way to get decent compact mechanical advantage before the advent of ball bearing blocks. (Find a picture of Rodney Pattison’s Flying Dutchman between ‘68 and ‘76 and he had drums on everything.) Their downside was friction, and they destroyed wire.

That drum looks to give about 8:1 mechanical advantage (drum/axle diameter) but with friction you probably only had an effective 6:1 max.

The second sketch in Hornblowers post, is a classic cascade system, which I had on my Fireball.  It gives 16:1 frictionless mechanical advantage, but you would have to use great caution with it on an old boat, as the hull, spars, boom and the fittings were never designed for the loads a cascade vang can impose, plus all the parts are now 40 years old. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Nips said:

As Steam Flyer says, drums were the only way to get decent compact mechanical advantage before the advent of ball bearing blocks. (Find a picture of Rodney Pattison’s Flying Dutchman between ‘68 and ‘76 and he had drums on everything.) Their downside was friction, and they destroyed wire.

That drum looks to give about 8:1 mechanical advantage (drum/axle diameter) but with friction you probably only had an effective 6:1 max.

The second sketch in Hornblowers post, is a classic cascade system, which I had on my Fireball.  It gives 16:1 frictionless mechanical advantage, but you would have to use great caution with it on an old boat, as the hull, spars, boom and the fittings were never designed for the loads a cascade vang can impose, plus all the parts are now 40 years old. 

 

 

 

How do I know when I am using to much vang? And BTW the cascade system on my boat is one I just manufactured from Amsteel 12 strand spectra  and Mini blocks according to the diagrams above.

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51 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

How do I know when I am using to much vang? And BTW the cascade system on my boat is one I just manufactured from Amsteel 12 strand spectra  and Mini blocks according to the diagrams above.

When the wind gets up, in Fireballs you just keep pulling on the vang to flatten off the main, you almost cannot pull on enough. 

Too much vang on an old boat would be indicated by the mast over bending because I assume there is no mast strut to resist the forward thrust of the boom, especially when the boom is off the centreline. This can then result in mast failure. 

Fireball development has been based on using flatter sails of less stretchy cloth, which required masts to bend less, which required higher rig tensions to stop them bending sideways, which required stiffer hulls, which then allowed more powerful vangs to  be used in conjunction with mast struts for more controllable power out of the rig. 

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Talk about using drums reminded me of the attached picture of a Finn vang taken at CORK in 1971. This picture out of the 1972 Lands End catalogue. Not the picture of the 1971 vintage spinnaker launcher on a Fireball.

IMG_0147 copy.jpg

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Coaching the kids it goes something like, as the breeze gets up pull the kicker on. As it gets up more pull it harder. Pull it until you can pull it anymore then pull it again, and again.

When something breaks upgrade it so you can use more tension.  Your problem may be that something fairly fundamental breaks...

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Kicker / vang needs to be used in partnership with the Cunningham / downhaul (see - I'm multi-lingual :lol:.)  Kicker pulls the draft towards the leech. Cunningham pulls it fwd again towards the luff. Check out the North's tuning guide here.

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1 hour ago, GBRNoah said:

Kicker / vang needs to be used in partnership with the Cunningham / downhaul (see - I'm multi-lingual :lol:.)  Kicker pulls the draft towards the leech. Cunningham pulls it fwd again towards the luff. Check out the North's tuning guide here.

Cunningham / downhaul / tricky pig .... now you add Aussie slang to your list

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1 hour ago, Rushman said:

Cunningham / downhaul / tricky pig .... now you add Aussie slang to your list

Sneaky pig here in Blighty.

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Sandy Van Zandt  (great sailmaker and Int 14 and 505 sailor) always called it the "Uker".   Not sure where that came from, maybe he just wasn't a fan of Briggs.

The vang equals power.  Think Binford Tools  "MORE power".

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So here's another Fireball from the same seller on Ebay as previously posted.  This once claims to be a 2018 homebuilt and the HIN does say 2018 but there are ways around that.  This one though....the trailer makes it worthwhile alone!  

"2018" Fireball with brand new looking trailer - $1,275 starting bid"

 

Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 9.31.03 AM.png

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1 minute ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Dang, that's a sweet looking Fireball! Sadly, I don't have the money to buy it anyway, even if it wasn't to far away. Basically brand new as well! 

(Singh)

Nice on the surface but no rigging (so more $$$$) and you don't really know how the boat was built / who built / builder experience  (minimum weight or overweight). Could be a good deal or a disaster....

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1 hour ago, Alan Crawford said:

Nice on the surface but no rigging (so more $$$$) and you don't really know how the boat was built / who built / builder experience  (minimum weight or overweight). Could be a good deal or a disaster....

At that price, it's no disaster, you have a trailer that's worth that much already.

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13 hours ago, WCB said:

So here's another Fireball from the same seller on Ebay as previously posted.  This once claims to be a 2018 homebuilt and the HIN does say 2018 but there are ways around that.  This one though....the trailer makes it worthwhile alone!  

"2018" Fireball with brand new looking trailer - $1,275 starting bid"

 

Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 9.31.03 AM.png

Although the hull might be reasonable new, the rig looks ancient and the mainsheet blocks on the boom are about 40 years old. Looks to be a very basic boat.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/12/2020 at 5:17 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

I just has to share this video I found. Mostly because starting at 6:20 there is a Fireball simply BLASTING along at draw dropping speed. And the spray...!

Haha good find...that's me driving my old boat.

I bought 14110 unseen from eBay for £350.  I'd been dabbling with skiffs for years, and missed the total blast without any fear of death that only a Fireball can deliver in a solid 20kts plus.  Although the fit out was awful on 14110 and the sails were knackered, my £350 boat turned out to be a bit of a bargain.  My crew and I threw the rig up, and without checking or changing anything promptly went out and got a 2nd on our first club race.  It was a slightly different shape to many of the other other boats, and apparently was the only other boat Winder ever made in the same shape as 14226 Rockers Revenge, in which Ian Pinnell of P&B fame won the worlds.  

The "spray" you refer to was a bit of a trait of 14110, I've had many Fireballs over 20 years and none of them threw it out sideways like 14110.

I sailed 14110 for a few years at Draycote and updated all the systems and put various decent second hand sails on.  However I eventually ended up selling her as she needed a bit of work (she was composite, kevlar hull but wooden deck/transom etc) and I didn't have the time to do it, and ended up buying an all gelcoat replacement, 14474.  14110 went to a good home and was totally transformed. 14474 is a later wide bow boat, which is better on the sea, but is nowhere near as quick as 14110.

Fireballs are superb boats, there's not much out there that can be as quick as a 'ball at full chat, yet will happily take a toddler out on a quiet day!

Enjoy your new boat!

 

 

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117122903_10157756905802411_2599218188933797931_o.jpg

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4 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I need to get to England...

Probably the best country in the world for dinghy sailing, so many active clubs and classes, so many choices. And being reasonably small relatively easy to get to some amazing venues. However, you have to put up with the weather.........

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1 hour ago, Major Tom said:

Probably the best country in the world for dinghy sailing, so many active clubs and classes, so many choices. And being reasonably small relatively easy to get to some amazing venues. However, you have to put up with the weather.........

Our local club has been running a persuit race on Sundays in place of the usual racing during lock down.  There have been over sixty boats out regularly, absolutely nuts.

Combination of people being bored at home, and until recently having fewer other options and no open meetings.

In that 60 it would still be difficult to get any class starts with more than half a dozen boats or so, possibly Lasers...

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  • 5 weeks later...

I found this cleat stand in a box of Fireball parts I was given, any idea what it would be used for? there are two of them...

I thought they might be where all the control lines were led to, on each side of  the boat, but I can't figure out where these stands would have been placed. They are too wide to put on the centerboard cap or thwart.

DSCN4071.thumb.JPG.012097fa505d7e59ab4f33cd34cb74d7.JPGDSCN4073.thumb.JPG.b46dae17399ef9ad1ccb8f769a9d676b.JPG

 Thoughts?

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I had something like this under the side decks on my Lightning and somewhat flatter ones on the cockpit sides of my Santana 23. The placement was such that when hiking, you could reach and work the control lines with a motion like a weightlifting curl. The spacing between the leads and the cleats should be such that you can ease or pull thru the cleat with minimum motion.

If you're thinking about where to put them, give some thought also to where the tails of the control lines will end up

FB- Doug

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11 hours ago, Rushman said:

On the floor perhaps, with control lines running each side of the centreboard case

This is based on nothing but a WAG

Probably not, because the bailer is more or less under the thwart and the helm feet end up against the aft side of the case in light to moderate weather.. they look too large for an FB

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Never seen anything like it on a dinghy - let alone a narrow one like a Fireball! I think it's a refugee from elsewhere and too big (and if it is carbon it would be barred anyway)

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1 hour ago, GBRNoah said:

Never seen anything like it on a dinghy - let alone a narrow one like a Fireball! I think it's a refugee from elsewhere and too big (and if it is carbon it would be barred anyway)

We used to have little cleat bunks like that on I14s. But most folks run the lines to the rails now.

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8 hours ago, Major Tom said:

Probably not, because the bailer is more or less under the thwart and the helm feet end up against the aft side of the case in light to moderate weather.. they look too large for an FB

You are applying far to much logic to my Wild Ass Guess :lol:

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here are some of my ideas for how the control lines will be routed.DSCN4182.thumb.JPG.5d455614d31fa20160a96cac55409f53.JPG

DSCN4183.thumb.JPG.00ecfe55811d86c996fa307af8dc4ac2.JPG

Control lines would be led along the CB case, through a turning block on the case, and then from there, through a through -deck fairlead in front of the cleat, and then cleated off. 

The vang cleat could be substituted for a swiveling base and cleat as well for easier adjustment.

DSCN4185.thumb.JPG.e252711c61e58136be0d502344d03ed6.JPG

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

DSCN4181.JPG

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Keep it simple, the only thing that absolutely needs to be accessible from both sides is the Vang.

Everything else can be on the casing top with a block or bullseye aft of the cleat so you can pull from either side and it automatically cleats.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
4 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Is there a way to tell if a Fireball is a wide bow or narrow bow?

thanks, 

Ad.H

I'm only going off memory Admiral but on the wide bow boats, about a foot back from the bow they are probably 4" wider.

It's quite noticeable when you see one beside the other.

Edit: The actual bow plate shape is relatively the same, the "wide" bit is between the bow and the first measurement station.

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The main reason I asked that question was because I wanted to know if my Fireball was a wide bow. It turns out it is!

My Fireball was one of the boats mentioned in this article http://www.fireball-international.com/media/78615/Wooden Boat article.pdf that Dave White and his students created with a jig that allowed them to build wide bow Fireballs. A very interesting article.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

The main reason I asked that question was because I wanted to know if my Fireball was a wide bow. It turns out it is!

My Fireball was one of the boats mentioned in this article http://www.fireball-international.com/media/78615/Wooden Boat article.pdf that Dave White and his students created with a jig that allowed them to build wide bow Fireballs. A very interesting article.

 

 

Your boat predates the proper wide bow boats by at least 10 years, the first Delanges were in the 13000 sail no range if my memory is correct. The white/Northampton boats were late 13 to early 14000s and there were Severn and Winder making composite or timber wide bows, but all following on from the Australian Delanges.

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3 hours ago, Major Tom said:

Your boat predates the proper wide bow boats by at least 10 years, the first Delanges were in the 13000 sail no range if my memory is correct. The white/Northampton boats were late 13 to early 14000s and there were Severn and Winder making composite or timber wide bows, but all following on from the Australian Delanges.

you're right... something doesn't quite add up. Here are some photos of the bow.

DSCN4345.JPG

DSCN4354.JPG

DSCN4355.JPG

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  • 1 month later...
3 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

I found this discoloring on my Fireball after, unfortunately, it had to remain outside in the snow for a few weeks. (I have it in a garage now)

Anyways, what is it and how could I get rid of it?

DSCN4531.thumb.JPG.51e80c349280a7676687d8724ea4fdf5.JPG

The top veneer has been sanded through exposing the middle, coarser grained middle veneer which has cracked due to wate ingress either caused by too little varying ur expansion and contraction of the veneers. 

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Paint stripper. Get all the varnish off the area. See what the colour looks like. Then sand it as minimally as possible (you already are thin there) and epoxy coat it. Then 8 coats of varnish.

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To add to what @fastyacht says, from my experience (hot molded wooden Thistle only - 5 plies each being 1/16" thick) it is important to remove all of the discolored wood before re-coating. Otherwise, you will continue to have a problem.

@Admiral Hornblower if you find that you need some veneer for a repair, let me know by PM as I have a good supply of 1/16" mahogany and can send you a piece.

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58 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

To add to what @fastyacht says, from my experience (hot molded wooden Thistle only - 5 plies each being 1/16" thick) it is important to remove all of the discolored wood before re-coating. Otherwise, you will continue to have a problem.

@Admiral Hornblower if you find that you need some veneer for a repair, let me know by PM as I have a good supply of 1/16" mahogany and can send you a piece.

thanks! I'll take a look at what I'll need to do and let you know.

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Can anyone give me some advice on a repair like that? How do you merge the new veneer into the rest of the deck. I would really appreciate it if someone could explain this repair to me.

Adm.H

 

Scarf...thickness if oatch planed to overlap and taper to zero some distance onto thecsurroubding match grain. Use a straightede to figure out howcfar. Use a tick on a stick at the max to alight.

I font see needing it. Real problem is blenf at the gunwale

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8 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Can anyone give me some advice on a repair like that? How do you merge the new veneer into the rest of the deck. I would really appreciate it if someone could explain this repair to me.

Adm.H

 

I wouldn’t waste time trying to do something like that, the veneer on the ply is probably so thin from being sanded too many times so there is about a 90% chance you will sand through the surrounding veneer on the ply after attempting the repair. I would sand the damaged area down to wood, put a layer of ultra light glass on using a clear epoxy, then overcoat with a clear uv stable varnish. The other option is to work out a paint pattern on the deck so all dodgy areas get hidden away.

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On 2/9/2021 at 10:53 PM, Major Tom said:

I wouldn’t waste time trying to do something like that, the veneer on the ply is probably so thin from being sanded too many times so there is about a 90% chance you will sand through the surrounding veneer on the ply after attempting the repair. I would sand the damaged area down to wood, put a layer of ultra light glass on using a clear epoxy, then overcoat with a clear uv stable varnish. The other option is to work out a paint pattern on the deck so all dodgy areas get hidden away.

 

Thank you! that sounds like a much more manageable fix to me.

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  • 1 month later...

DSCN4572.thumb.JPG.c45d7db1163e9565741420b20ae59f3a.JPGDSCN4573.thumb.JPG.6209025a0691b26cfb11d0b13581126a.JPGDSCN4574.thumb.JPG.9e03e63fb754a284c819fa2832e71c1c.JPG

A quick update! I have been painting the cockpit, it looks sooo much better!

I have also been working on control systems. I have installed a reverse purchase spin halyard, as well as installing cleats and through deck fairleads on the thwart for the vang and cunningham.

My next job is stripping the paint off on the bottom and repainting, a slightly daunting task!

The boat looks much tidier and cleaner!

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3 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

DSCN4572.thumb.JPG.c45d7db1163e9565741420b20ae59f3a.JPGDSCN4573.thumb.JPG.6209025a0691b26cfb11d0b13581126a.JPGDSCN4574.thumb.JPG.9e03e63fb754a284c819fa2832e71c1c.JPG

A quick update! I have been painting the cockpit, it looks sooo much better!

I have also been working on control systems. I have installed a reverse purchase spin halyard, as well as installing cleats and through deck fairleads on the thwart for the vang and cunningham.

My next job is stripping the paint off on the bottom and repainting, a slightly daunting task!

The boat looks much tidier and cleaner!

Lots of work! I do, however, see some problems with a thwart that is that busy. 

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10 hours ago, Bill5 said:

Lots of work! I do, however, see some problems with a thwart that is that busy. 

What do you mean? Like to many lines to get entangled with over in the middle of the cockpit?

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23 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

What do you mean? Like to many lines to get entangled with over in the middle of the cockpit?

Have a look at the photos of boats from the UK - your post of Aug 16, Iain CE’s of Sept 7 and GBRNoah’s of Aug 18. You will see those boats have very little on the thwart - I believe most are on the centerboard cap like GBR’s or on the side of the centerboard box. The crew needs a place to sit and slide, plus you may find lines (spin sheets come to mind) getting hooked around those wood blocks. And your crew’s trapeze harness. Are those blocks screwed and glued? You may have the odd tack in a blow where the crew is coming in off the wire aft foot first and his foot smacks into one of those blocks. 

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I am also concerned about what appears to be a very steep angle from the thwart into those cleats. Those cleats are meant to be in shear as much as possible. You could have a lot of friction, and an awkward pull angle. Is the entry into the underside of the thwart the same as the top - through a fairlead? 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been making use of the great heat wave we've had here (70's and 80's) to paint the bottom of the Fireball. I had to strip all the old paint off, which was a PITA! And then sand it, of course. But it was worth the effort!

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On 3/21/2021 at 12:23 PM, Bill5 said:

I am also concerned about what appears to be a very steep angle from the thwart into those cleats. Those cleats are meant to be in shear as much as possible. You could have a lot of friction, and an awkward pull angle. Is the entry into the underside of the thwart the same as the top - through a fairlead? 

I just tried out the setup today and it seems to work OK, though I can't know for sure until I go sailing.

There doesn't seem to be much friction through the the underside of the entry either. I'll post pics.

The pull angle is hard to know as well until I go sailing, which is coming up!

 

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