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Bad ideas with Vanguard 15s


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I've been putzing around small lakes in the Sierra Nevada. It turns out my International Canoe is a horrible boat for tiny lakes with shifty and highly variable breezes. Also, my wife gets annoyed that I spend the whole day rigging the thing, and the kids want to go for rides I can't give. Hence, I have an old beater V15 that makes a totally fine lake boat, and much more suited to small children. 

Buuut... I'm a Canoe guy. I love tweaking things and have a passel of hardware and carbon fiber in the garage. Didn't take many laps around the lake to start daydreaming about the turbo. 

Why turbo a V15, you ask? Because.... 'Merica.*

*Just because I " 'Merica' " does not, in fact, believe that I don't believe in science. As a matter of fact, I started a thread in Sailing Anarchy about science, particularly the materials science underlying the construction of a Vanguard 15 and how not to destroy it when you turbo.

Adding a trapeze is probably cake, though I am somewhat concerned about the mast step dealing with the added compressive loads. Since I sail on these tiny lakes without much fetch, I figure I can probably get away with it because I won't subject it to the pounding loads of bouncing off waves...thoughts? I know the previous owner of Vanguard lurks these forums.

In my mind, I've got a layout of how I'd use G10, carbon, and glass to build me a little bowsprit that would plug into the bow fitting and hook under the gunwale for support. So the sprit is no problem. Similarly, a little piece of something pinned to the mast step would put a couple of control line cleats in place. Easy day, and probably not creating difficult loads. Sheeting the spin probably goes to a block on the traveler eye, then forward to the chainplates if I want a better angle. 

As far as hoist point for my kite.... I'd imagine I'm probably safe enough if I hoist from the hounds, eh? I'd probably just pin the rig about as far back as it'd go and that would work well enough, right? Other than ensuring my kite was small, weak, and generally lame. My old-style 505 kites will hoist nicely from this height, and I would imagine a 29er kite could be made to fit. 

Obviously this doesn't do the trick in ten knots. If I go masthead....think I'll need to add mast support? Wonder if I could just add a spectra backstay with a good-sized batten up top and hook it to the gunwales aft? Bet those corners would take the load. Now we can talk real chutes, though I'd have to search a bit to find an old asym with a 19'-ish hoist to fit. Or, i could just slap on a tiny furler and find a light jib from a 20' keelboat and have myself a poor man's Code sail--which would probably be fun enough to reach around with.

I wager I can do these mods without drilling a single hole in the boat and be able to convert back to class configuration in minutes. 

Or I could just go full moron and plug one of the other rigs I have laying around here (505 and IC rigs litter my garage); I'd think a spare IC rig would be nicely suited, about the same size but made of a proper rig material. 

I know someone here has tried to turbo a V15 and broken it. Whatcha got? 

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4 hours ago, TalonF4U said:

I've been putzing around small lakes in the Sierra Nevada. It turns out my International Canoe is a horrible boat for tiny lakes with shifty and highly variable breezes. Also, my wife gets annoyed that I spend the whole day rigging the thing, and the kids want to go for rides I can't give. Hence, I have an old beater V15 that makes a totally fine lake boat, and much more suited to small children. 

Buuut... I'm a Canoe guy. I love tweaking things and have a passel of hardware and carbon fiber in the garage. Didn't take many laps around the lake to start daydreaming about the turbo. 

Why turbo a V15, you ask? Because.... 'Merica.*

*Just because I " 'Merica' " does not, in fact, believe that I don't believe in science. As a matter of fact, I started a thread in Sailing Anarchy about science, particularly the materials science underlying the construction of a Vanguard 15 and how not to destroy it when you turbo.

Adding a trapeze is probably cake, though I am somewhat concerned about the mast step dealing with the added compressive loads. Since I sail on these tiny lakes without much fetch, I figure I can probably get away with it because I won't subject it to the pounding loads of bouncing off waves...thoughts? I know the previous owner of Vanguard lurks these forums.

In my mind, I've got a layout of how I'd use G10, carbon, and glass to build me a little bowsprit that would plug into the bow fitting and hook under the gunwale for support. So the sprit is no problem. Similarly, a little piece of something pinned to the mast step would put a couple of control line cleats in place. Easy day, and probably not creating difficult loads. Sheeting the spin probably goes to a block on the traveler eye, then forward to the chainplates if I want a better angle. 

As far as hoist point for my kite.... I'd imagine I'm probably safe enough if I hoist from the hounds, eh? I'd probably just pin the rig about as far back as it'd go and that would work well enough, right? Other than ensuring my kite was small, weak, and generally lame. My old-style 505 kites will hoist nicely from this height, and I would imagine a 29er kite could be made to fit. 

Obviously this doesn't do the trick in ten knots. If I go masthead....think I'll need to add mast support? Wonder if I could just add a spectra backstay with a good-sized batten up top and hook it to the gunwales aft? Bet those corners would take the load. Now we can talk real chutes, though I'd have to search a bit to find an old asym with a 19'-ish hoist to fit. Or, i could just slap on a tiny furler and find a light jib from a 20' keelboat and have myself a poor man's Code sail--which would probably be fun enough to reach around with.

I wager I can do these mods without drilling a single hole in the boat and be able to convert back to class configuration in minutes. 

Or I could just go full moron and plug one of the other rigs I have laying around here (505 and IC rigs litter my garage); I'd think a spare IC rig would be nicely suited, about the same size but made of a proper rig material. 

I know someone here has tried to turbo a V15 and broken it. Whatcha got? 

Mast step is definitely going to be your biggest problem.  The earlier V-15s would visibly flex under the step.  And IIRC some boats had NO vertical support under the mast.  

Then there's the mast itself.  Pretty much the same as a 420 mast, and not tapered at all.  If you wanted my opinion a tapered mast would be amazing on the V-15, if you could get your hands on a I-420 mast.  If not you could take a club 420 mast and get longer stays and have all the spin and trap hardware on the mast already...

I'm also not sure why you care about converting back to class legal at this point.  Is anyone still racing them?

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Masthead and only masthead.  Accept no substitute. 

I have sailed a bunch of off the shelf assy dinhies (RS200, Laser 2k, and Laser Vago) and they all left me wishing they were the V15 upwind and had more sail downwind.  Fractional spinnakers make me sad.

 

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I hear you on the lake sailing. Sailed the UFO on Friday and it was foil for a bit and then sail around waiting for the next puff.  I questioned my sanity on owning a foiling boat on a mountain lake.

Do it on the V15...why not, especially since it means sailing with your kids.  If you need a 505 mast by the way, I could free up a Proctor D for free. I think it has a bend to it that could be straightened. Anyways, I think that reinforcement is key for a boat like that. Open it up and put in a tabbed bulkhead or two that cross under the mast step.

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The challenge if you are proposing to turbo a boat for very unpredictable gusty conditions is that the faster the boat, the more dramatic the effect of gusts (well up to a point, but that point is foiling Moth speeds). There's also the very irritating phenomenum of sailing out of gusts. If you have a very fast downwind boat it will sail faster downwind than a gust travels (a gust goes about as fast as a Laser). This means when you get a gust of wind you sail out of the front of it into less wind, and so actually you go downwind in the very nasty disturbed gust front, while behind you the Lasers are smack in the middle of the gust and sailing just as fast as you are. This is only really solved by being fast enough to catch gusts, but again that's foiler/49er territory. So all this suggests is that modifying a boat to go faster in these conditions may well be unsatisfactory. 

So do you do nothing? Or do you think about another approach? Perhaps the right approach is not to make the boat necessarily faster, but simply to make it more fun to sail. Instead of a big blocky solid rig, how about thinking about a very flexible gust responsive rig which will do most of the handling of the gust front for you? Would caps and a long flexy topmast be a good move? What can you do to make the boat tack on a sixpence with the minimum of trouble?  What, for that matter, can you do to reduce the cover on to on the water time? I had my IC set up so that almost every connection I had to make to rig the boat was a simple hook. The jib rolled round a tube and stayed on the foredeck tacked down. Aim for the ultimate lake day sailing boat. In many ways its a bigger challenge since its not often done.

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9 minutes ago, JimC said:

The challenge if you are proposing to turbo a boat for very unpredictable gusty conditions is that the faster the boat, the more dramatic the effect of gusts (well up to a point, but that point is foiling Moth speeds). There's also the very irritating phenomenum of sailing out of gusts. If you have a very fast downwind boat it will sail faster downwind than a gust travels (a gust goes about as fast as a Laser). This means when you get a gust of wind you sail out of the front of it into less wind, and so actually you go downwind in the very nasty disturbed gust front, while behind you the Lasers are smack in the middle of the gust and sailing just as fast as you are. This is only really solved by being fast enough to catch gusts, but again that's foiler/49er territory. So all this suggests is that modifying a boat to go faster in these conditions may well be unsatisfactory. 

So do you do nothing? Or do you think about another approach? Perhaps the right approach is not to make the boat necessarily faster, but simply to make it more fun to sail. Instead of a big blocky solid rig, how about thinking about a very flexible gust responsive rig which will do most of the handling of the gust front for you? Would caps and a long flexy topmast be a good move? What can you do to make the boat tack on a sixpence with the minimum of trouble?  What, for that matter, can you do to reduce the cover on to on the water time? I had my IC set up so that almost every connection I had to make to rig the boat was a simple hook. The jib rolled round a tube and stayed on the foredeck tacked down. Aim for the ultimate lake day sailing boat. In many ways its a bigger challenge since its not often done.

Ultimate lake sailing boat is a sunfish.  Pull halyard...cleat it off.  Go catch puffs.  

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

The challenge if you are proposing to turbo a boat for very unpredictable gusty conditions is that the faster the boat, the more dramatic the effect of gusts (well up to a point, but that point is foiling Moth speeds). There's also the very irritating phenomenum of sailing out of gusts. If you have a very fast downwind boat it will sail faster downwind than a gust travels (a gust goes about as fast as a Laser). This means when you get a gust of wind you sail out of the front of it into less wind, and so actually you go downwind in the very nasty disturbed gust front, while behind you the Lasers are smack in the middle of the gust and sailing just as fast as you are. This is only really solved by being fast enough to catch gusts, but again that's foiler/49er territory. So all this suggests is that modifying a boat to go faster in these conditions may well be unsatisfactory. 

So do you do nothing? Or do you think about another approach? Perhaps the right approach is not to make the boat necessarily faster, but simply to make it more fun to sail. Instead of a big blocky solid rig, how about thinking about a very flexible gust responsive rig which will do most of the handling of the gust front for you? Would caps and a long flexy topmast be a good move? What can you do to make the boat tack on a sixpence with the minimum of trouble?  What, for that matter, can you do to reduce the cover on to on the water time? I had my IC set up so that almost every connection I had to make to rig the boat was a simple hook. The jib rolled round a tube and stayed on the foredeck tacked down. Aim for the ultimate lake day sailing boat. In many ways its a bigger challenge since its not often done.

^ this ^

More complex, more power, faster in a straight line... all are fine things but not necessarily the key to more fun.

FB- Doug

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20 hours ago, TalonF4U said:

Adding a trapeze is probably cake, though I am somewhat concerned about the mast step dealing with the added compressive loads. Since I sail on these tiny lakes without much fetch, I figure I can probably get away with it because I won't subject it to the pounding loads of bouncing off waves...thoughts? I know the previous owner of Vanguard lurks these forums.

 

If the crew isn't bouncing around, adding the trapeze will probably reduce the compressive loads most of the time. 

The crew's weight unloads the stay & replaces it with a force at a more efficient angle.

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And then you up the rig tension because the weight on the wire is unloading the windward spreader and the mast is bending all over the shop...

 

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9 hours ago, Doug Halsey said:

 If the crew isn't bouncing around, adding the trapeze will probably reduce the compressive loads most of the time. 

 The crew's weight unloads the stay & replaces it with a force at a more efficient angle.

I tend to agree but the real problem with a trapeze is that the sails and rig just aren't designed for that much power.  I find that when I run over 350 lb. of crew, hiking normally, the sails get wonky, especially the Jib where the foot gets strapped and flappy.  I can't reproduce the same sail shape that I get when I sail with sub 300 lb. crew (ie. solo).

I kinda hate hiking so I have rigged up a form of trapeze-assisted-hiking where I use a wind surf harness that I carry at chest height.

If harness you must, don't use a hook.  I became pretty adept at mounting the board of an I-14 with a hook (my apologies to the owner about the scratches at first but I figured it out).  The I-14 rides considerably lower in the water when it's on it's side and the board is narrower which makes it easier to get on top of without flopping your whole body on it.  The tanks in the V15 are quite boyant and put the wider board way up there so you would be hard pressed to not make a mess with a hook (voice of experience here).  I do prefer a hook but for the V15, I feel that a ball and socket are a must (you can ignore the voice of experience if you never plan to capsize).  Here's my getup:

image.thumb.png.badbb6ca3e3b9a773f3db1ef72c7bb08.png

 

I run the bungee between the main sheet bridle attachment points.

image.thumb.png.fb8466b91323abab2ec36c26df00132d.png

It's pretty easy to get in and out of since it really is optional, it just makes hiking easier, so you get yourself hiking and when you start to feel lazy, clip in.  I have been out in 25 on a puffy-shifty lake as well as the Columbia (much easier to see the puffs coming at you on the lake) and it works pretty nice.

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505 rig.  That'll be funny.  Like pushing it off of the top of a 5 story parking structure would be funny.

Ain't gonna balance.

Lead position is wrong so the Jib's gonna be a wonky

Going to tip over at the dock.

It already takes a lot of weight to get a V15 up from turtle, through experimentation, we have found that a 160 lb. man can't do it alone, so good luck with that.

No way you can properly tension.  Have you seen what's backing the little #10 bolts that hold the chain plates to the deck?  You'll find little #10 washers.  It's gonna break the boat.

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8 hours ago, Teener said:

505 rig.  That'll be funny.  Like pushing it off of the top of a 5 story parking structure would be funny.

Ain't gonna balance.

Lead position is wrong so the Jib's gonna be a wonky

Going to tip over at the dock.

It already takes a lot of weight to get a V15 up from turtle, through experimentation, we have found that a 160 lb. man can't do it alone, so good luck with that.

No way you can properly tension.  Have you seen what's backing the little #10 bolts that hold the chain plates to the deck?  You'll find little #10 washers.  It's gonna break the boat.

Why you kill our buzz, man? We almost had him convinced to do it!

- DSK

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Vanguard 15 mast steps are just fine if you put the mast as far aft as you can.  Which is where they were supposed to go. Neal Fowler and I spent the time necessary getting the spreader length just right with the mast aft, but someone decided that it wasn’t important and it would be easier to ship the rig with 420 spreaders instead.  This screwed thing up, so that the racers put the mast as far forward as it would go in the step, effectively making the spreaders shorter..but the masts started to break the little plywood gusset. 

It took me a while to figure this out, and no one wanted to hear that the problem with the mast steps was the spreaders, and the Class didn’t want to “ change everyone’s tuning.” So I lost the fight, and the boats got even heavier.  

So if you want to not break your V15 mast step, move the mast but all the way back and you should be ok.

But we aren’t out of the woods if you want to trapeze. The 15 uses the same mast section as the Junior and the 420, but the hounds are quite a bit higher. This means that the lower mast isn’t as stable in compression as the 420 or Jr.  In fact it’s a bit dicey.  Adding compression and unloading the windward shroud ( and thus removing the support from the spreaders) is likely to end in an expensive noise.  I would add lowers that hit the mast about 2-3 feet above the gooseneck.  I would also recommend a 2:1 jib halyard with a clam cleat right under the hounds to get the compression of the jib halyard out of the system. We did this on the Vector and it works really well with a jacketed dyneemma line.   You can add the trapeze to the shroud tang using the same Harken shackle stunt we use on the 420.

We discussed adding a spinnaker to the 15 but decided that we didn’t want to get to the bottom of the lake so much faster than we got to the top of the lake.  Of course the trapeze may solve that.  If you must go masthead, add  another set of spreaders just above the hounds.  I would run the uppers back to the base of the mast instead of out to the rails. My 14 is rigged this way with a purchase on the uppers which gives me nice control of the mast.

Whenever we debated the spinnaker we had the Symmetrical Asymmetrical debate.  While A Sails are cool, they have to be a lot bigger than a symmetrical in order to beat them down wind is a boat like a 15.  It’s also a whole lot easier to do the conversion.  You don’t have to do something terrible to the foredeck or install some manly piece of shit. I have done A Sail conversions by cutting a 3” wide slot down the centerline of the foredeck and molding a U shaped piece that the sprit runs in.  Done nicely, it doesn’t add much weight in the bow, and almost looks like it was designed that way.

On the other hand, Vanguard 15 are pretty nice just the way they are.  We did quite a lot of thinking and testing and got it close to right.  I would have liked to spend more money on the Mast and Boom, but that would have raised the price about $1000, which would have cost sales. One Designs have to include the people who don’t have as much money as they need, so you are always driving the costs down to gain acceptance.

SHC

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve, I am deeply appreciative of the weighing in. 

I do have some random adjustable spreaders laying around--how much longer do you think I should go? 

Should be easy enough to rig up some lowers and do the jib halyard job. That gets me upwind in pressure. Let's be honest, I didn't even enjoy hiking out in college that much, and while I'm fatter than I was in college, I'm not so much fatter that I can singlehand a V15 to windward in pressure at pace sans trapeze. 

I am loathe to try to put a symmetric kite on it. Jibing, a sad inevitability in small lakes, kid of sucks when solo with symmetric kites. I kind of got the routine down in C420s back in the day but always struggled to singlehand 505 jibes in anything more than casual pressure. Course, I didn't have double poles back then. I found I could right a 505 solo with main and jib, but it sometimes got ugly if the kite was up when I went over. Fortunately I only punched one hole in the tank with the trap hook before I learned proper hip positioning during capsize recovery with a trap hook on. Since I'm really just doing this to goof off, I don't really need to get anywhere efficiently...  

I'm also kind of thinking of adding a head-knocker for the mainsheet to make life a little better for the long tiller extension I'm going to have to add. Fortunately I have one of these laying around for some reason. 

I always liked the race days at KP in college because a V15 felt like a Laser to me and the Laser was my happy place back then. It's interesting how much of that stuff comes back after two decades off when it used to be your sole priority in life. It's also interesting how sailing skinny boats changes your perspective on less skinny boats. V15s were hot rods in college (at least for the fat boys like me). These days, solo on one in 15kts, I never find a reason to set down my beer. 

Fred, a Triton? Love the boats, and have spent many a pleasant day on a smallish lake solo on one, but solo ramp launching 8,000' of solid fiberglass sounds like no fun :-)

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Yes on the boom sheeting.  All I did was move the stock block to the boom.  A bunch of benefits.

Makes it much easier to tack the jib single handed because you don't need to reach around the main sheet.

Gives you a handle to move in and out of the boat in puffy conditions also gives you a little help hiking.

If you sail with little kids you don't have to worry about them grabbing the sheet and getting their hands sucked into the block.

Opens up the cockpit for that Spinnaker bag you will have soon:D.

 

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Speakers should about 1 1/2 inches SHORTER.

the mid panel of the mast wanted to bend to leeward, and with the lee shroud slack, the leeward spreader doesn’t play.

Lowers  should be about 1/2 way to the spreaders.

Expect the windward to unload. The load bearing stays will be the lowers, the forestay and the trap wire.  

SHC

 

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Easiest solution = replace jib halyard block with a double and attach a bowsprit inside a few eyelets to the foredeck, then get a Laser/RS 2000 Asym and be done with it. Portsmouth racing monster (if they even let you through the door).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hard to say.  That picture is 15 years old and I didn't have the backstay all figured out yet.  Pretty sure it inverts a cm or so but I've had that rig up in 25+.  That big telephone pole offers a healthy safety margin for a less-than-properly-engineered solution.  The V15 is a good canvas for the tinker.

Gets trickey when it's very puffy.  At the Jones Beach on the east end of Cathlamet island, we get big downdrafts off of a 500 ft. cliff and it's puffy as all get out.  If the boat isn't really moving and you get hammered with a big puff, it tends to push the bow down and overpower the foils. If you are caught off-guard, are pinching, and don't have your weight back, it can spell trouble.  If you already have some weigh on, it's all good.

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On 7/20/2020 at 3:51 PM, Teener said:

I became pretty adept at mounting the board of an I-14 with a hook (my apologies to the owner about the scratches at first but I figured it out). 

image.thumb.png.badbb6ca3e3b9a773f3db1ef72c7bb08.png

 

No worries Teener, we were both figuring it out! Those were good times! USA 1150!!

I like that spreader bar! Fuck the hook!!

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Because I already own a V15  and my yard is full of boats already, mostly. 

FD would probably do the trick on the family cruising end, but I have to say, I'm not 100% sure I could recover one solo if I dumped it. I had a memorable crash with a friend in about 22kts in SF with the kite up on a bangin' reach, and while it was a sweet ride, it was a bear to put things back together after we augered in. 

Got my parts for building up the traps. On hold about the kite biz for a hot minute while I sort some other things out in life. Will probably affix an old 505 kite to the boat with duct tape and spit just for kicks the next time I go out because I found a box with at least four of 'em in my garage. 

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11 hours ago, Teener said:

i14 distance races.  Incredible memories.  Nothing like em in the whole world.

How about the '09 San Francisco Nationals around Angel Island long distance race? 30 - 35 around Point Blunt!?

And we survived - upright!

And then no wind on the other side... we bailed out due to flight times!

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