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Masthead float on a sleeved mainsail?


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I want to put a masthead float on an Escape Solsa.  It has a sleeved mainsail that slides over a two piece aluminum mast, like a laser but less nice.  The sail is some sort of nylon, doesn't even feel like proper Dacron and certainly not laminate or fancy. The boat is really beamy so I suspect won't take much to turtle once she's over (though I think it'll take some recklessness to tip).  However it's a first-small-boat for me to introduce my young kid to fun wet small boats...  So I'm willing to sacrifice performance and style points for knowing the boat can be on her side a while without inverting.  I had actually planned to tip her intentionally and introduce him to the boat by swimming out and right it together so he isn't afraid of capsizing with me (he loves swimming and just needs to wrap his head around the idea that it's part of the fun with dinghies).  I was thinking to just rivet a small eyestrap to the side of the mast near the top, and maybe use a hot nail or something to just melt a hole there in the sail.  I think there's enough slack in the sail sleeve to fit.  Then attached a small fender or even a classy bleach bottle with a soft shackle.  Tell me a better choice that isn't expensive.

 

Luke

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10 hours ago, ldeikis said:

I want to put a masthead float on an Escape Solsa.  It has a sleeved mainsail that slides over a two piece aluminum mast, like a laser but less nice.  The sail is some sort of nylon, doesn't even feel like proper Dacron and certainly not laminate or fancy. The boat is really beamy so I suspect won't take much to turtle once she's over (though I think it'll take some recklessness to tip).  However it's a first-small-boat for me to introduce my young kid to fun wet small boats...  So I'm willing to sacrifice performance and style points for knowing the boat can be on her side a while without inverting.  I had actually planned to tip her intentionally and introduce him to the boat by swimming out and right it together so he isn't afraid of capsizing with me (he loves swimming and just needs to wrap his head around the idea that it's part of the fun with dinghies).  I was thinking to just rivet a small eyestrap to the side of the mast near the top, and maybe use a hot nail or something to just melt a hole there in the sail.  I think there's enough slack in the sail sleeve to fit.  Then attached a small fender or even a classy bleach bottle with a soft shackle.  Tell me a better choice that isn't expensive.

 

Luke

There is a safety trade off with a mast head float.

I understand people have been lost when a boat on its side has blown away from them. Some manufacturers quite deliberately design their boats to completely invert (Julian Bethwaite being one). But of course, you can also be trapped under an inverted boat too

So it depends a bit on the waters you're sailing on and the present rate of inversion.

I actually added a (expensive, custom made) mast head float to my high performance skiff because the first time I used it (in 20 knots) the boat quickly inverted, buried the mast in the mud and broke it.

The float is enough to slow the inversion process (and I hope sit on top of the mud, not in it). 

 

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The good ole bleach bottle is what we did. Put cap on empty bleach bottle. Tie it to halyard with the head of the main and hoist. Good too go. If it is too ugly for your taste, paint racing stripes on it.

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Hi guys, there are 3 things to this. (plus 2 other subs)

#1, the amount of air you can trap (by plugging the tip)and the resulting amount of bouancy it trivial, take a C5 rig, think about the topmast only as that's the bit that might stop inversion, you have a ID at the tip of about 19mm and a ID at the joint of about 50mm, 2.6m long.    Keep the sum super simple, =  2.5kgs floation  (I did it in a 3d program).

Then remember that in a best case senerio, the tip weights 1.4kgs, plus the sail so the reality is it wont even be able to hold up it's own weigh, plus to get even that amount of support, the entrie length of the top mast need to be emersed, and on a boat like a last that floats high, by the time you get any meaningfull "push-back" the boat is well on it's way to a turtle position.

#2 is that a FRP tube you need to keep under it's TGi temp, and the best way to do that is to allow air to flow up the inside.   Plug the ends and you get a oven, and the temp can quite easily get to 150c plus (wont happen in Scandinavia, but Singapore) and that's well above most FRP laminate TGi's &

#3 most of the boats I design have mast head spinnakers, and sure you can run (the halyards) them outside, but that has a lot of additional complications, bow-stringing, frictons, etc.

Then i) - is a conversation I had with the late Ian Bruce, which was early in the laser days in Florida, where a boat capsized and the tip did not sink fast enough and it continued to flip down wind at a rate faster than the sailor could swim, and from memory, it did not end well.

ii) - is if there is a cavity, water will get into it, and you need to get it out.

So plugging the tip is not a meaningful soloution on a wide range of fronts.

We have developed a sock, quite similar to what ldeikis has suggested, 5mm per side, that can be added very quickly to mast head, it conturs the sail, it comes down to the 2nd batten and it generats about 4.4kgs of bouancy right at the tip, which it is where it's most effective.   

Roughly = to 2 milk bottles.    It weight approx 1/2kg, so people can opt for it to be on or off.

Kid's think it's a lot more cool, it's more effective, can go on and off in seconds and in shallow areas, it's pretty effective.

The big thing is you get the result right at the tip, and it starts working as soon as it hits the water.

It's really up to the individual.

                            jB  

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