Jump to content

Fulcrum Speedworks Rocket


Recommended Posts

On 8/27/2021 at 5:20 PM, craigiri said:

I was a rigger of heavy stuff for many years - and have moved many a mattress and boat without incident.

To me there are a few issues - 1st, having a 14 foot boat just held at 4 feet (rack spacing) could leave too much overhang and make the boat flex? I don't know these things.

Second, which you seem to answer, is the lifting force - of the hull right side up at 100mpg (75 or 80 mph plus wind which could be blowing). Is that negligible (the air between the roof and the boat)??

Third is NEW BOAT. That means extra special to not mark the hull. That differs from old and used boats. 

So, yes, might be over-thinking but 1100 miles is longer than I've done myself. I did send my car on a single car trailer to Florida with a wind rider 10 and floats strapped to the racks - no problem at all. 

Noise is important too - b/c the wifey will yap (and for good reason) if the frequency is not pleasing. I can usually fix that easily enough - as long as flat straps are not anywhere they can flutter. 

I assume your take is no much lift force and the hull being stiff enough that having 5 or 6 feet of it sticking out w/no support (in front) is no biggie?

I would typically advise cartopping upside down unless you've got some fancy fiberglass padded bunks, which are unnecessary imo. Boat should be plenty stiff but it can't hurt to take a line from the bow eye down to your front tow hooks. Re noise, put some twists in the straps as sailwrite said and leave the top cover off. If the ratchets are laying against the hull, its a good idea to pad them with something. Pool noodle, rag, old t shirt etc...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 350
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

One of Roland Barth's "Cruising Rules" is, "Who ever uses the paint brush chooses the color." Stated another way,  It's David's money and time he so gets to develop the boat as he sees fit.

Hi Folks, We're overdue for an update from Fulcrum on Rocket production. We are finally FINALLY  making deliveries. Marathon. That moment during a launch when the cloud of smoke has built and bui

Thanks Dave! Boat arrived last weekend. It’s exactly as advertised - a complete gas that is simple, stable, and fast. Tons of fun. Kids and I love it - we’re going to put A LOT of hours on it this sum

Posted Images

On 8/29/2021 at 4:34 PM, Champlain Sailor said:

I am a big fan of car topping when your vehicle has provisions for securely mounted racks.   It seems to be getting harder and harder to get decent roof racks these days since cars are getting more and more aerodynamic.   But if you have good racks, the biggest advantage (to me) is that I believe it is much kinder to the boat.   Light dinghys get the crap beat out of them on trailers.   Even with soft springs, a trailer hitting a pothole at 70 mph launches the boat and trailer into the air (watch the next laser/sunfish you see on a trailer on a rough section of highway).   If you are just moving the boat down the street to the ramp, no problem, trailer away.  But for long trips, particularly if you will have bad pavement (I-95 corridor, most any stretch of interstate in Pennsylvania), the car's suspention will be a far smoother ride for your new boat than any trailer will be.   Plus, you aren't kicking gravel up at your new hull.   

Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, craigiri said:

Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,

Pretty sure Fulcrum will give you some advise. Go with that. No doubt there is a warranty of some kind. They will want to make sure you carry it right. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, craigiri said:

Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,

Which racks did you get?  I have the same car and looking at racks (for the roof).

Edited by Firefly-DC
misspelling
Link to post
Share on other sites

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, GRW said:

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

I am 73 years old and the RS Aero has just the right balance of excitement and sheer terror for me.

But everybody is different. Enjoy your Rocket.

And remember, you are only as old as the woman you feel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

 

 

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, tillerman said:

I am 73 years old and the RS Aero has just the right balance of excitement and sheer terror for me.

But everybody is different. Enjoy your Rocket.

And remember, you are only as old as the woman you feel.

Or the scotch you drink :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, GRW said:

What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

 

 

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

GRW, What will be your strategy for dealing with the lower boom while you are rowing? Also, when you are sailing, where do you stow the oars?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, GRW said:

What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

 

I have a 7 rig and a 9 rig. Sail the 9 when it's lighter winds - up to 10-12 mph - and the 7 rig when it's stronger than that.

I hear the 5 rig is popular with some of the RS Aero sailors of my age in Florida when it's really blowing, but I haven't tried it myself yet. 



 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, GRW said:

What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

 

 

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

I ordered a Rocket a bit ago...rowing option was not available.  Were you able to order the rowing option?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Delivery is not anticipated until January. I have been assured the rowing package will be available by then.  Oars will be composite and mounted in the cockpit. I am awaiting engineer drawings of configurations.

I was advised that the boom can be down but shifted to one side to row.  I only need to row 200 yards to clear a narrow stone jetty  

I believe the rowing option can be retrofitted  on prior deliveries.  Check with Kirk Nash at Fulcrum.  He responds immediately.

Tillerman, I am humbled.  A 9 rig on an Aero at 73 is impressive.

I guess I chose the rocket over the Aero for the same reason that 3 years ago I  gave up going over the head walls on double black diamond ski slopes. My terror started to loom larger than the excitement.  

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Rbrower said:

I ordered a Rocket a bit ago...rowing option was not available.  Were you able to order the rowing option?

For context, we pulled the first oar blade mold off our CNC machine yesterday. Finally! Machine scheduling has got far tighter as the additional one we ordered in March for delivery before early June is still delayed at the backed-up machine builder. What a saga. The shaft, handles, collar and sleeve are a done deal. All in house. Those are done with a combo of thermoforming, milling, bladder molding and direct printing. The blades are compression-molded like our hydrofoils. The shafts are built in the same process that builds UFO boom tubes up in the mezzanine. So we're frightfully close to done at last. 

I've been a competitive sculler since I was 15 so I'm hands down 100% the culprit for delays on this front. It is true that we simply could have bought oars, if there were any oars to be readily had in this market, which did not appear to be the case when I checked. However at the core of it, I am not at home with the idea of simply buying oars off the shelf that aren't the right fit for this boat. Too many bad memories of things that "have oars". What we've got is a short-shaft hatchet oar with a fiberglass blade and carbon shaft, partially inspired by the Concept 2 oars that I love for rowing on the slide. When you're constrained to exclusively body and arms and can't slide fore and aft, the overall shaft length wants to step down a good amount to gear it for this shorter stroke. Also that keeps it fitting in the cockpit and generally out of the way when stowed. Fit for task and reverse-compatibility have been the core objectives on the oar project. Vertical integration assures as much design freedom as possible and insulates us as much as possible from surprise delays in the future (and BOY has this year been a rollercoaster of shocking supply chain delays as the general economic overheating keeps breaking links in it). Dad did great work with the principal geometry and Henry our new full-time engineer has done great work bringing that through to a realized end product. It's all pretty breathtakingly elegant. As I've said before, regarding 2021, leaving the setbacks along the way aside for a moment, it's been a period of remarkable growth and innovation across the company. More good stuff to come.

In summary: Oars are nearly done. Expect more soon.

DRC

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been been lurking around these forums and been following Dave Clark here. First the UFO and now the Rocket. Can someone please sneak into his office and find out what he's drinking for coffee, I just want a cup of whatever it is.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, I had paddled the Rocket I have 10 miles combined already:)  it is 2.5 miles from my cabin to an open water and wind dies at night in the creek. So I paddle. Firs two outings I used carbon fiber canoe paddle and paddled the boat either standing on one or two knees. 
Then I switched to sup paddle. I like to move the boat SUP style. It works. The paddle fits into cockpit. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

For context, we pulled the first oar blade mold off our CNC machine yesterday. Finally! Machine scheduling has got far tighter as the additional one we ordered in March for delivery before early June is still delayed at the backed-up machine builder. What a saga. The shaft, handles, collar and sleeve are a done deal. All in house. Those are done with a combo of thermoforming, milling, bladder molding and direct printing. The blades are compression-molded like our hydrofoils. The shafts are built in the same process that builds UFO boom tubes up in the mezzanine. So we're frightfully close to done at last. 

I've been a competitive sculler since I was 15 so I'm hands down 100% the culprit for delays on this front. It is true that we simply could have bought oars, if there were any oars to be readily had in this market, which did not appear to be the case when I checked. However at the core of it, I am not at home with the idea of simply buying oars off the shelf that aren't the right fit for this boat. Too many bad memories of things that "have oars". What we've got is a short-shaft hatchet oar with a fiberglass blade and carbon shaft, partially inspired by the Concept 2 oars that I love for rowing on the slide. When you're constrained to exclusively body and arms and can't slide fore and aft, the overall shaft length wants to step down a good amount to gear it for this shorter stroke. Also that keeps it fitting in the cockpit and generally out of the way when stowed. Fit for task and reverse-compatibility have been the core objectives on the oar project. Vertical integration assures as much design freedom as possible and insulates us as much as possible from surprise delays in the future (and BOY has this year been a rollercoaster of shocking supply chain delays as the general economic overheating keeps breaking links in it). Dad did great work with the principal geometry and Henry our new full-time engineer has done great work bringing that through to a realized end product. It's all pretty breathtakingly elegant. As I've said before, regarding 2021, leaving the setbacks along the way aside for a moment, it's been a period of remarkable growth and innovation across the company. More good stuff to come.

In summary: Oars are nearly done. Expect more soon.

DRC

Great update...thanks for the info!  Looking forward to picking up my

Rocket in Bristol in a few months.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2021 at 10:10 PM, weakhobo said:

I've been been lurking around these forums and been following Dave Clark here. First the UFO and now the Rocket. Can someone please sneak into his office and find out what he's drinking for coffee, I just want a cup of whatever it is.

If you have met his father, Steve, I think you will conclude it is something other than what Dave is drinking in his office.   Dave's energy and ingenuity are either genetic or come from something in the water on the family farm in Bristol that he grew up (to the extent you can say he grew up  :-) ). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the mast up  cover as linked to in one of the above posts.  Fits fine and does the job.  Also shows the rollers I put on the dock that allows my wife who is not a very big women launch and retrieve by herself.  

IMG_1304.thumb.jpeg.b164dad065dbdb39102785b6d5b028b7.jpeg

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Off topic, but since the subject of Oars came up, the sets being offered on eBay by a certain vendor are a great value and well made IMHO. Just something for those in need to file away. They are far and away better than the West Marine Alum, stuff. 

Vendor - USAOceanstuff

What I got for my DInk (8' FG).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254570105530

Carry on!

Link to post
Share on other sites

unnamed.thumb.jpg.d6416f6e420f937df516d56425ed044c.jpg
She floats with uncommon grace. Photo courtesy of our first Rocket owner in Europe. This is taken in Sweden. Already been out twice. Loving it. And yes, we ship to Europe. Been doing it for years with the UFO and the Rocket is no different in that regard. Stuff like this makes me stupidly happy.


DRC

  • Like 9
  • Downvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This photo suggests that the rumors are true....Fulcrum Speedworks has licensed Tesla's autopilot technology and their boats can now sail autonomously.   Will this option be available on the UFO as well?    ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Champlain Sailor said:

This photo suggests that the rumors are true....Fulcrum Speedworks has licensed Tesla's autopilot technology and their boats can now sail autonomously.   Will this option be available on the UFO as well?    ;)

I think Dave is still working up the acceleration curves for the controller in the Z-axis.

FB- Doug

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2021 at 5:25 PM, Dave Clark said:


She floats with uncommon grace. Photo courtesy of our first Rocket owner in Europe. This is taken in Sweden. Already been out twice. Loving it. And yes, we ship to Europe. Been doing it for years with the UFO and the Rocket is no different in that regard. Stuff like this makes me stupidly happy.


DRC

Just knowing one is sitting among the Viking waters - always a high it itself.

I once sold a Wood stove (we made them, and distributed other) to an Indian Raj of some sort (he came with an entire entourage - I heard he was in "Printer Ink" business!) and he had the stove and chimney/vent packed up - it was going up into the Himalayas to one of his vacay retreats, the last parts of the journey on foot (sherpas or whatever). We loved that our little shop had product in view of Mt. Everest! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruising update: 
Katie and I took the Rocket out for a pleasant Sunday outing from Barrington beach yesterday. Truck compatability factor confirmed below. Driving to the beach, putting the rig in and launching, as well as those items in reverse order were smooth enough to definitely keep it as a viable impulse decision at any time going forward. Regrettably, we didn't get any pictures at the beach thanks to a standard couples miscommunication about who was supposed to put the phones in the dry bag. So the phones stayed in the truck, which we also forgot to lock, but sailed back past the beach and locked from range with the key-fob. Genuinely a pretty fun challenge in its own right.

Couples cruising takeaways:

1. Yes it's definitely fun and easy. 
2. Move the halyard knot a couple feet down the sprit to make more headroom. We thought of this about an hour in and will institute it next time around. 
3. Move the ratchet block to the U-bolt on the rudderhead and ignore the block at mid-boom entirely. This gets the whole mainsheet system out of everybody's way. Slightly abnormal but it also allows you to basically sail with one hand. The placement of the ratchet block at the front of the cockpit was a concession to conventional thinking which I resisted for some time, knowing that the mainsheet coming from the aft end and never dangling down makes for a better time with passengers. In development we ended up splitting the difference and building a system which can be rigged either way and switched with a single shackle. I switched it in the last half hour and it brought the comfort factor up by another big jump
4. Katie likes to sit on the seat at the forward end of the cockpit, leaning back into the sloped sprayrail fairing. I like to lounge in the mid-back of the cockpit with my head resting on the windward side of the cockpit and my legs dangling to leeward. The super long cockpit and lack of coamings is vital to this. Plus the soft traction foam on the cockpit bottom adds a bunch of creature comfort.
5. For the first time ever, we now actually like the beach! Both of us have always been stumped by the appeal. The sand is too hot, the water is too cold, the crowds are odd. The peace and quiet plus high and dry of being a bit off the beach bumming around in a small sailboat is utterly sublime.

IMG_7321.thumb.jpg.5360c42a474e168778af0126de29193f.jpg
I'll again state my regret that this is the only picture I have. We'll get more next time. Pickup setup consists of one ratchet strap, two spring lines, a 12 foot piece of canvass and eight large zip ties from the hardware store. We didn't even bother with the dolly and simply carried it to the water's edge.

More to come!

DRC

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

The bullseye class mainsheet block is on the aft deck. So is the Winter Harbor knockabout's.

Fimally, the Cadet class was always rigged from aft back in my youth. Some other English dinghies too.

As you point out, it has some advantages!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully a sketch will be done by someone so I understand better - or, it will probably become really evident the first time I take the boat out. I'm always looking for better idea and being able to sail one hand or even no hands (for a few seconds) is one of them. 

I actually took a swim at Bristol Beach a month back - but only because I had my 11 yo grand daughter with me and had to demonstrate how one attacks the water. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, fastyacht said:

The bullseye class mainsheet block is on the aft deck. So is the Winter Harbor knockabout's.

Fimally, the Cadet class was always rigged from aft back in my youth. Some other English dinghies too.

As you point out, it has some advantages!

The Enterprise was aft sheeting back in the day. Our club FJ’s had the main sheet dead ended on one side of the transom, through a block on the end of the boom, then through a fair lead on the other side of the transom. Can’t much lower tech than that. Only problem with aft sheeting is it is difficult to face forward when tacking or jibing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill5 said:

The Enterprise was aft sheeting back in the day. Our club FJ’s had the main sheet dead ended on one side of the transom, through a block on the end of the boom, then through a fair lead on the other side of the transom. Can’t much lower tech than that. Only problem with aft sheeting is it is difficult to face forward when tacking or jibing.

I remember one of my books as a kid describing the aft facing tacking method. I can't remember which one. Heck, it may have even beeen a Ladybird book!  FWIW I aft face tack as crew in my 505.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I can't believe it's taken me this long to find this thread after ordering my Rocket in April.  Probably a good thing, since it would have made the wait much harder.  Now I'm all set to pick it up on Friday (!) so I've really enjoyed all the information in this thread and especially appreciate Dave and Steve participating with great information and updates.  See you Friday Dave!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, I am a new Rocket owner in Central New York and I could really use some clarification of the modifications you described in your post of 9/20.  The truth of the matter is that I'm not a very good sailor, and I almost feel badly having taken a Rocket away from a real sailor (almost). :D After sailing the same Sunfish for 40 years, I was considering buying a new one, when I came across an article about the Rocket and I thought "That's exactly what I want!" and got on the waiting list right away. 

I have only had time to take it out once, and it didn't go well--everything felt awkward and as if I must be doing it wrong.  I feel like I can sail a Sunfish quite competently in most reasonable conditions, but the Rocket feels a lot "harder" to sail (which I hasten to add I know is due entirely to my lack of experience, not any design flaw!). So here I am with a super cool new boat, and no idea how to sail it.

I couldn't figure out how to cleat the main sheet (if that's the proper term and its proper name), and the sail felt like it was much too low, although I believe I followed the rigging directions that came with the boat.  In fact, afterwards I worried that I had bought too much boat--exactly what I didn't want.  I was considering tying the halyard so the sail would be higher, but the internet said I could bend the mast if I did that, so I didn't. In your post of 9/20 you described some modifications that sound like they might help me, but most of it was over my head.  I will take any advice or words of wisdom, and as craigiri noted, sketches and/or youtube videos would be really helpful!  I realize I'm basically asking you to dumb it down, but perhaps I'm not the only one in this forum who could use some basic guidance.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, saraj said:

  I was considering tying the halyard so the sail would be higher, but the internet said I could bend the mast if I did that, so I didn't. In your post of 9/20 you described some modifications that sound like they might help me, but most of it was over my head.  I will take any advice or words of wisdom, and as craigiri noted, sketches and/or youtube videos would be really helpful!  I realize I'm basically asking you to dumb it down, but perhaps I'm not the only one in this forum who could use some basic guidance.

 

Hi Saraj, 

To quote my dad throughout my entire childhood "You'll be fine". Or to put it in different words, let's workshop your setup and put this first awkward experience to bed. I'm entirely certain you've got the best boat for you. By all measures, the Rocket really should be hands-down easier to use than your sunfish, with of course the exception of the necessary time taken to get to know something new. All we did was clean up a lot of sources of waste in the boat, so I'd stake my life on this uncertainty being a passing thing. It's built for user-friendliness.  First off, not all internet advice to do with Sunfish is valid for Rockets. We analyzed the sunfish mast for strength when considering mast extrusions to use and found that it was way too weak and barely enough for the job it was already doing. The Rocket is wider and therefore can carry more sail, which means a bit more load on the spar too. We went for the "more=better" solution and specified an overwhelmingly strong telephone pole of a mast section. Move the rolling hitch on the sprit a couple feet further down the sprit and try again. That'll get it far higher up in the air. Breathing room.

Next, I'm not sure I follow your question on "cleating" the mainsheet, but as you mention, that's more grasping at terminology than a definitive issue-statement. Taking it word for word: In general mainsheets don't cleat on the Rocket, Sunfish, Laser etc etc. Not taking it word for word: Let's talk about the mainsheet in general. Secure the mainsheet to the aft end of the boat at the U-bolt on the top of the rudderhead. Tie it there with a bowline knot. https://www.animatedknots.com/bowline-knot. Pass the mainsheet up to the aft-most pulley on the boom and then to the next pulley. For added comfort, before it gets to pulley #2, pass it through a couple of the velcro loops holding the sail on along the path to pulley #2. This will arrest any dangling down into your face and add some sense of added security. Next, feed the mainsheet down to the big black and red ratcheting block at the front end of the cockpit. This block is designed to make holding the line far far easier and does partially do the "cleating" job for you as it is grippy in one direction and free in the other. You want to hear it clicking as you pull it in and see it locking as it eases. If it's locking on you as you pull it in and then clicking as you let it out, you have fed the rope through the wrong way. Feed from the other side. Finish by tying a figure eight knot in the end of the mainsheet. https://www.animatedknots.com/figure-8-knot

Regarding my post on the 20th, I wouldn't describe what I laid out as a modification so much as different rigging. I made the mainsheet change I described while we were sailing upwind and talking. In that setup, pulley #2 isn't in the picture at all, nor would you pass any line through any velcro loops. You'd un-shackle the ratchet block from it's position in the cockpit and re shackle it to the U bolt in the back. This puts the entire mainsheet system between the end of the boom and the U-bolt and keeps it in the back of the bus with the tiller. However, several dealers fought against it as a standard feature so we chose to be more conventional in our rigging in this case. That's been an odd sub-theme throughout the process where we need to judge feedback carefully to discern where the need for familiarity conflates with a desire for no change at all. It's a unique challenge which we did not have to face with the UFO which is meant to be entirely different from end to end. The design challenge with the Rocket was to achieve familiar but improved rather than familiar and the same. 

Please follow up on this post with any other questions you have. I'm head over heels in love with this boat and am here to make sure our customers get to share in that feeling.

DRC

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some photos from the Fulcrum Speedworks shop today when I picked up my Rocket. Owner Dave Clark and Sales Manager Kirk Nash couldn't have been nicer and more helpful. Not pictured is the prototype oar blade and carbon fiber shaft I got to peep. It's really an ingenious solution and will only involve drilling a hole in the gunwale and gluing in a plastic sleeve for the oarlocks. There were at least 3 Rockets in various stages of molding and 3 or 4 UFOs under construction. They told me that soon they will be moving to a larger shop that will allow them to work on more boats at the same time. The goal is to have enough of an inventory next year so that people won't have to wait for their boats to be built and just pick them off the rack. I see a really bright future for this company. A 90 lb board boat that is wicked fast for less money than a new Sunfish that has to be shipped from Portugal is a guaranteed success. And they haven't even begun advertising yet. I'm proud to own the 50th Rocket that rolled out the door.
 

PXL_20211001_163954516.jpg

PXL_20211001_164144138.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2021 at 8:13 PM, Firefly-DC said:

Which racks did you get?  I have the same car and looking at racks (for the roof).

I have a VW Jetta GLI and the Thule Evo square bar worked for me with the kit 145016.  They finally got them back in stock in September.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, hull #50. Shows how much work goes into these things. It's not a Henry Ford type of thing (although Im sure if orders for 500,000 units came in we'd figure something out).

I'm looking forward to getting mine before the Winter and hauling it to FL (that is, assuming the whole state isn't zombies by then).

I was out sailing the "whitehall thingy" I have yesterday and, although any day out on the water is great, it had me looking forward to a bit more skimming (over the water). 

Bigger shop sounds good. Another Big Job in moving but that's a challenge I always enjoyed (trying to move things digitally or physically with no burps). 

FYI (all), I just got a 360 digital camera thingy and that sure seems good for sailing. Not only the stills (it removes the selfie stick from the pic) but even videos! Yes, I also bought an Oculus a few weeks back. No, I haven't done porn on it. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rocket Launch! I ended up not hooking up the GoPro today because a neighbor who is new to sailing needed my help learning to rig his Sunfish. Conditions were kind of challenging with the breeze blowing straight onto a shallow shore, so instead of sailing his boat I invited him to come with me for a demo.  The guy seemed very inexperienced and wanted to put 3 adults on a 70s vintage Sunfish, so fortunately I convinced him to sail with me instead of endangering his girlfriend and brother.

I learned a lot. With 2 large men aboard it is a wet ride. Probably 450 lbs between the 2 of us and the Rocket was riding real low in the water.  I also wish I had rigged the mainsheet block on the u-bolt on the rudder - we were in each other's way a lot and it would definitely be easier to keep the mainsheet free at the stern. I'm thinking I'm going to rig this way going forward even when I'm solo.  My dyslexic brain rigged the halyard wrong at the masthead, but it still worked.  I also forgot to rig the downhaul, but it wasn't too windy so not really needed. Now that I've done it, it should be much quicker and easier to rig next time. I even finally figured out how to attach the dolly correctly after I got it home.

IMG_3407.jpg

IMG_3416.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2021 at 10:34 PM, craigiri said:

Wow, hull #50.

Turns out, it's hull #56 - the HIN is a little hard to read.  Makes sense though when you look at the photo of the daggerboard slot.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave! Thank you so much for explaining about the mast, not worrying about having the sail higher will make a huge difference. Putting the mainsheet through the velcro loop will also help a lot because I was getting caught in it a bit. I’m only understanding 50% of how you rigged it, but I’ll sure I will figure it out! Did I mention I managed to tip it in about 4 feet of water while real sailors observed its launch? It wasn’t as easy to hop in as it was 40 years ago! Your enthusiasm for the Rocket and willingness to offer tips to a newbie is awesome, thanks for making me excited about the purchase again!  

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

It shouldn't be hard for some forum participants to sketch up various ways of showing what has been described and also their own suggestions - such as whether the "reduce sail mod" that many sunfish owners use works for the Rocket.

If I didn't miss the convo, does anyone know what ID and length tube (or box I built one) would hold the mast and starts easily for transport and storage? I know you don't need to "box" them, just thinking out loud.

I'd be tempted to roll the sail up around them - but I think that's bad for the sail as it eventually can get caught on hardware and messed up. I assume removing the sail is the way to go.

I've never flipped a boat (being a keel and tri sailor and watching conditions), so maybe I will flip my rocket a couple times like the little kids do just to get the feel of it. For me, a non-dinghy sailor (( have sailed Catalina 14's and such once or twice in light winds)....I am going to try and learn from scratch like a child would. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, craigiri said:

It shouldn't be hard for some forum participants to sketch up various ways of showing what has been described and also their own suggestions - such as whether the "reduce sail mod" that many sunfish owners use works for the Rocket.

If I didn't miss the convo, does anyone know what ID and length tube (or box I built one) would hold the mast and starts easily for transport and storage? I know you don't need to "box" them, just thinking out loud.

I'd be tempted to roll the sail up around them - but I think that's bad for the sail as it eventually can get caught on hardware and messed up. I assume removing the sail is the way to go.

I've never flipped a boat (being a keel and tri sailor and watching conditions), so maybe I will flip my rocket a couple times like the little kids do just to get the feel of it. For me, a non-dinghy sailor (( have sailed Catalina 14's and such once or twice in light winds)....I am going to try and learn from scratch like a child would. 

Having rigged and sailed my Rocket only twice (today would have been perfect to see what it's like it a medium breeze, but unfortunately my schedule wouldn't permit it and I had no one to help me load and unload), I can offer the following:

- A "Jens" rig or a "Gust Adjust" is absolutely workable on a Rocket.  It will probably be next season before I can experiment on the right halyard location, but as long as you can tie a rolling hitch it's easy to relocate the halyard anywhere on the top spar.

- When car topping the spars and mast just fit under either side of the boat on my roof rack.  Keep in mind the Rocket has about 4 inches more beam than a Sunfish.  I have been rolling my sail around the spars without any problems.  The only hardware to deal with are the 2 blocks on the boom and everything else is soft (like the velcro sail rings - there is no metal gooseneck like on a Sunfish - it's a simple Dyneema loop).  That said, over the winter I intend to shop for a trailer hitch for my VW and a small Trailex trailer to make loading and unloading solo easier.  A spar box would be a great addition.  The Rocket's spars are roughly 14 ft long (I say 'roughly' because measuring them solo while hanging on the garage wall is not an easy task), and the Rocket mast is thicker than a Sunfish mast (3" OD).  If I had to guesstimate I'd say 14.5' long by 8" x 8" interior dimensions should be adequate for a trailer mounted box (probably more width and depth if you also wanted to keep the foils in it).  A tube would need to be 6" ID to hold just the spars and mast with no sail bent on, and may not fit on a roof rack with the boat.  This is again just a guesstimate.

- The first thing I do when sailing a new dinghy is flip it to see how difficult recovery is.  I can honestly report that a Rocket is even easier to right than a Sunfish.  One bit of advice though is to be sure to tie off the daggerboard.  It floats well enough, but for my own peace of mind I want it tied to the boat.  A loop of paracord tied around the mast is fine, but I have found that by rigging the Rocket for stern sheeting I can also use the eyestrap where the mainsheet block is conventionally shackled.  This involves shackling the mainsheet block to the U-loop on the rudderhead and only using the aft boom block back to a bowline tied to the U-loop.  This setup makes it more comfortable to take passengers along and keeps the mainsheet out of everyone's way.  If you're used to sailing a Sunfish it might be awkward at first, but I found that sheeting with my foreward hand and steering with my aft hand works great.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a question for the Rocket owners - I was thinking of starting a Facebook group for the Rocket.  I realize that there are probably only 60 or so of us worldwide, but I think it might be helpful for us to connect with each other and share tips and tricks, and might also be of use to prospective buyers.  Any interest?

 

Fulcrum Rocket Sailboat Owners | Facebook

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see Aerosouth has launched a replacement rudder blade for the Rocket! First, I’d trust the Clarks far more than the Aerosouth guy to come up with an optimally shaped rudder.  Second, given there are probably only 50 or 60 Rockets out there so far, I hope he doesn’t have high sales goals!

Scroll down at this link for his Rocket rudder blade. https://aerosouth.net
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Flyingfish said:

I see Aerosouth has launched a replacement rudder blade for the Rocket! First, I’d trust the Clarks far more than the Aerosouth guy to come up with an optimally shaped rudder.  Second, given there are probably only 50 or 60 Rockets out there so far, I hope he doesn’t have high sales goals!

Scroll down at this link for his Rocket rudder blade. https://aerosouth.net
 

 

I appreciate his optimism, but no thank you.  Looks like he made a Rocket compatible cheek assembly and put his regular rudder blade into it.  Also, there's no U bolt on it to attach the mainsheet, so this would probably involve some drilling to attach the U bolt and the tiller.  I'll stick with the Clarks.

PXL_20211020_130218859.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...