do you think the melges 14 will catch on?

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,879
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South Coast, UK
My main experience with this sort of thing are OK's and Finns- we used halyard locks up top. Is that Aero practice?
The halyard is spliced onto a short piece of thicker line and that engages in a cleat at the top of the mast. There's then a boss on the side of the mast that you route the halyard around to another cleat on the front of the mast. If you get it tight it does not flap that I've ever noticed. The remaining tail then tucks into a sail pocket by the tack. All rather neat and simpler than I'm making it sound.

 
A

Amati

Guest
My main experience with this sort of thing are OK's and Finns- we used halyard locks up top. Is that Aero practice?
The halyard is spliced onto a short piece of thicker line and that engages in a cleat at the top of the mast. There's then a boss on the side of the mast that you route the halyard around to another cleat on the front of the mast. If you get it tight it does not flap that I've ever noticed. The remaining tail then tucks into a sail pocket by the tack. All rather neat and simpler than I'm making it sound.
Anybody figured out how to modify mast bend with this setup? Or is the mast layup designed to take this into account? Does what sounds like a wraparound halyard chafe against the mast as it flexes?
Is the mast top cleat a halyard lock?

 
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DTA

Anarchist
746
12
San Antonio
The Aero halyard doesn't flap if you rig properly.

Those who sail in sandy places may not be too keen on zippers.

Plenty complain about the difficulty of rigging the sleeved Laser in big breeze and adding full-length battens is going to double that pain.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Aero. But my main complaint (which really isn't a complaint b/c there's an easy workaround) is that the halyard pops off the cleat on hard, smashing capsizes (even if you don't pole-vault the mast on the ground beneath the water). Again, not really a "complaint" because I just shackle the head of the sail to the top of the mast and all is well. But there are some reasons to prefer a sleeved sail over a halyard.

 

Mystique

New member
10
0
I like the sleeved sail - that's actually a selling point for me. But the thing that concerns me is that the layout of the boat prevents the sailor from sitting on the back 2 feet or so of the boat. The traveler line at the back basically prevents you from scooting your butt back to the very rear of the boat. From my experience w/ the Aero, that's not good. I need to be able to sit at the VERY rear of the Aero to keep the nose up in big wind and waves.

Is the design of the Melges 14 different? Does the sailor's weight not need to be situated in the very rear of the boat in big winds/waves to keep the bow up out of the water? Maybe it's fine, but I'd like to see video of someone smoking in the Melges 14 @ 20 mph or so in some sizeable chop so that I can confirm that they are doing so seated forward of the traveler.
From my own experience sailing the Melges 14 in those conditions (18-20 knots, 4-5 ft chop), the furthest aft you'll ever need to sit is in line with the traveler. It seems to me that the boat even has early rise/rocker in the bow --- this picture kinda shows what I'm talking about:

ZfmAU0L.jpg


 

DTA

Anarchist
746
12
San Antonio
I like the sleeved sail - that's actually a selling point for me. But the thing that concerns me is that the layout of the boat prevents the sailor from sitting on the back 2 feet or so of the boat. The traveler line at the back basically prevents you from scooting your butt back to the very rear of the boat. From my experience w/ the Aero, that's not good. I need to be able to sit at the VERY rear of the Aero to keep the nose up in big wind and waves.

Is the design of the Melges 14 different? Does the sailor's weight not need to be situated in the very rear of the boat in big winds/waves to keep the bow up out of the water? Maybe it's fine, but I'd like to see video of someone smoking in the Melges 14 @ 20 mph or so in some sizeable chop so that I can confirm that they are doing so seated forward of the traveler.
From my own experience sailing the Melges 14 in those conditions (18-20 knots, 4-5 ft chop), the furthest aft you'll ever need to sit is in line with the traveler. It seems to me that the boat even has early rise/rocker in the bow --- this picture kinda shows what I'm talking about:

ZfmAU0L.jpg
Thanks Mystique. Good to know.

 

mezaire

Super Anarchist
1,226
29
Tasmania
The Aero halyard doesn't flap if you rig properly.

Those who sail in sandy places may not be too keen on zippers.

Plenty complain about the difficulty of rigging the sleeved Laser in big breeze and adding full-length battens is going to double that pain.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Aero. But my main complaint (which really isn't a complaint b/c there's an easy workaround) is that the halyard pops off the cleat on hard, smashing capsizes (even if you don't pole-vault the mast on the ground beneath the water). Again, not really a "complaint" because I just shackle the head of the sail to the top of the mast and all is well. But there are some reasons to prefer a sleeved sail over a halyard.
On my Sabre (Aussie class) with a halyard most boats either have a v-cleat or a horn cleat and never pop out that I know of.

 

DTA

Anarchist
746
12
San Antonio
The Aero halyard doesn't flap if you rig properly.

Those who sail in sandy places may not be too keen on zippers.

Plenty complain about the difficulty of rigging the sleeved Laser in big breeze and adding full-length battens is going to double that pain.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Aero. But my main complaint (which really isn't a complaint b/c there's an easy workaround) is that the halyard pops off the cleat on hard, smashing capsizes (even if you don't pole-vault the mast on the ground beneath the water). Again, not really a "complaint" because I just shackle the head of the sail to the top of the mast and all is well. But there are some reasons to prefer a sleeved sail over a halyard.
On my Sabre (Aussie class) with a halyard most boats either have a v-cleat or a horn cleat and never pop out that I know of.
Is the cleat at the tip of the mast, or at the base of the mast in the boats you mentioned? In the Aero, the halyard cleat is at the tip of the mast. So, if you have a really really hard capsize in heavy surf (which happens to me a lot, but is probably not a concern for most Aero sailors) that cleated halyard swings down like a baseball bat at the tip of the mast and slaps the water REALLY hard, and then gets throshed all around in the surf. If the halyard cleat is at the base of the mast, then the cleat is probably immune to this kind of throttling. But with the cleat out at the end of the mast, my personal experience is that this throttling at the tip of the mast knocks the halyard out of the cleat.

TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE AERO - this is not a big deal. If you're not routinely having lots of really really hard capsizes in big winds and surf that slap the mast down into the water really violently, then this is not going to happen to you. And if you *DO* do that kind of sailing w/ the Aero, then a shackle solves all the problems. But that being said, if I ever do buy a Melges 14 I'm going to trash it in the surf, for which it will be nice to have the sleeved sail.

 

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
When the halyard cleat is at the top the mast there is hardly any halyard to stretch so the Cunningham works more effectively. Also, the mast is only under half compression compared to a base cleat when the Cunningham is yanked on. Don't know how important that is in boats like the Aero though.

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
742
91
Sydney
I say good luck to them, but unless Laser Performance continues to shit the bed even worse than it already has, it's going to be a very long very steep uphill battle for Aero or M14 to knock off Laser. With nearly a quarter of a million boats made to date, Olympic class status, expert clinics and coaching available for reasonable fees, several local and regional regattas run year round, and global distribution of boats and parts it's definitely the 2 ton gorilla of dinghy racing. I wish them well, but i'm sure the byte or force 5's stories can pretty much forecast it all.

That said, we can't be too far away from the release of the J/41 dinghy as well. (That's 13.5 feet converted to decimeters in typical J fashion for those playing along at home) I suspect it will be slightly heavier than all of those listed in the thread above, cost about 25% more than the competition, and 6 years later it will become obsolete because the everyone will be jumping ship to the new J/41s.
I think statements like this are fairly backwords looking.

(these notes are US specific)

It's one data point, but, there are 30 RS Aeros in Seattle, and it basically completely replaced the Laser fleet for local racing.

(There are still plenty of Lasers around there, but, the top guys for the most part all switched to the Aero)

Also, what you will likely see (as much as US based sailors cringe at the idea, is a general acceptance over the next 3-5 years of Portsmouth or some handicapped racing of multiple designs.

The dinghy market is simply too fragmented now, with too many options, too many companies importing boats for us to ever go back to the old One Design or Nothing way of life.

We'll simply never get back to the days of a manufacturer selling 1000+ a year one design race boats in the US.

The future (like it or not) will be mixed fleet racing with technology (likely your phone), doing real time handicapping. Then everyone can race whatever they want/suits them best, instead of all of us on the internet arguing which one design is best.

It will happen, the groundwork is being laid now.

If you think any of the prevalent 40+ old one design classes are safe, you are just not paying attention.

As sailing grows, that will just be less important to most new folks.

Lasers won't go away, and it's still a great boat with a great fleet. But if you write off the Melges 14, Aero, or whatever J boat, just because a lot of people sail Lasers now.... you don't understand what's happening in the marketplace.
West Coast, I truly support you and your business and appreciate all that you do for sailing.
That being said, are you really suggesting that dinghy sailors are all going to be sailing in handicapped fleets in the future? Good God, get me out of the sport now if that's the case. One of the main reasons I left big boat sailing for small boats was all the BS that goes along with handicap fleets. I know it makes me biased in this discussion, but I chose the laser over all other offerings due to its widespread pure OD racing.

I hope you're wrong.

IMHO, I believe the answer to the SMOD equation needs to be a boat that makes the minor enhancements the Laser has needs to get with the times (lighter, better self-bailing cockpit, and removal of the end-boom sheeting are things that easily come to mind) and come in at a lower cost than the Laser.
Just box rule it and let market forces decide. 14' x 5' x 7m^2

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,879
1,581
South Coast, UK
My main experience with this sort of thing are OK's and Finns- we used halyard locks up top. Is that Aero practice?
The halyard is spliced onto a short piece of thicker line and that engages in a cleat at the top of the mast. There's then a boss on the side of the mast that you route the halyard around to another cleat on the front of the mast. If you get it tight it does not flap that I've ever noticed. The remaining tail then tucks into a sail pocket by the tack. All rather neat and simpler than I'm making it sound.
Anybody figured out how to modify mast bend with this setup? Or is the mast layup designed to take this into account? Does what sounds like a wraparound halyard chafe against the mast as it flexes?
Is the mast top cleat a halyard lock?
I don't know what you mean by wraparound halyard. The mast top cleat is a cleat. I am not 100% sure what you mean by a lock. Long ago I used to sail a Europe and that had a thin rope halyard that was spliced to a short wire section with a nodule at the join. The nodule engaged with a little fork near the mast top. If that's what you mean by a lock, no that is not how the Aero is rigged. The arrangement with the Aero allows you to fine-tune the extent to which the sail is hoisted, maximum most of the time but a little bit less in the light stuff.

Mainsheet, kicker (vang) and to an extent cunningham all bend the mast. It is very easy to bend.It is designed to bend in gusts to depower the upper section of the sail like a modern windsurfer rig.

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,879
1,581
South Coast, UK
Returning to the original subject, do I think the Melges 14 will catch on? In the UK, improbable. We've got the D/Zero and Aero with now established fleets, events, local marketing and support. Melges European marketing arm is in Italy.

In the USA, how the hell would I know?

 
When the halyard cleat is at the top the mast there is hardly any halyard to stretch so the Cunningham works more effectively. Also, the mast is only under half compression compared to a base cleat when the Cunningham is yanked on. Don't know how important that is in boats like the Aero though.
There is less halyard stretch, although most dinghy sail designs have a softer luff than the stretch in a typical modern line used as a halyard so I expect it is imperceptible in a dinghy of this size with a dacron sail.

The mast compression is the same whether you locate the halyard cleat at the bottom of the mast, half way up the mast or at the top of the mast. As one naval architect explained to us......."Hold up a broomstick in your left hand with a 40lb weight tied to a line going through a sheeve at the top of the broom stick.....if you tie the line off by the sheeve or at the bottom of the broomstick, the compression is still 40lbs.......compression is affected by the tension on the main and the equal and opposing force provided by the mast, not where you tie off the halyard"

Another trick to prove this......apply max luff tension with the halyard and the mast lock off.....so the mast is pre-bent under compression. Lock the mast lock so the halyard is locked... release the halyard. The mast will not spring back up to vertical under less compression.

Old wives/Etchell sailors lore.

 
A

Amati

Guest
When the halyard cleat is at the top the mast there is hardly any halyard to stretch so the Cunningham works more effectively. Also, the mast is only under half compression compared to a base cleat when the Cunningham is yanked on. Don't know how important that is in boats like the Aero though.
There is less halyard stretch, although most dinghy sail designs have a softer luff than the stretch in a typical modern line used as a halyard so I expect it is imperceptible in a dinghy of this size with a dacron sail.
The mast compression is the same whether you locate the halyard cleat at the bottom of the mast, half way up the mast or at the top of the mast. As one naval architect explained to us......."Hold up a broomstick in your left hand with a 40lb weight tied to a line going through a sheeve at the top of the broom stick.....if you tie the line off by the sheeve or at the bottom of the broomstick, the compression is still 40lbs.......compression is affected by the tension on the main and the equal and opposing force provided by the mast, not where you tie off the halyard"

Another trick to prove this......apply max luff tension with the halyard and the mast lock off.....so the mast is pre-bent under compression. Lock the mast lock so the halyard is locked... release the halyard. The mast will not spring back up to vertical under less compression.

Old wives/Etchell sailors lore.
For a bendy unstayed mast? If the halyard running through a masthead sheave is cleated under pressure at the bottom of the mast while the mast is bent, you've created a bow.

 
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A

Amati

Guest
My main experience with this sort of thing are OK's and Finns- we used halyard locks up top. Is that Aero practice?
The halyard is spliced onto a short piece of thicker line and that engages in a cleat at the top of the mast. There's then a boss on the side of the mast that you route the halyard around to another cleat on the front of the mast. If you get it tight it does not flap that I've ever noticed. The remaining tail then tucks into a sail pocket by the tack. All rather neat and simpler than I'm making it sound.
Anybody figured out how to modify mast bend with this setup? Or is the mast layup designed to take this into account? Does what sounds like a wraparound halyard chafe against the mast as it flexes?Is the mast top cleat a halyard lock?
I don't know what you mean by wraparound halyard. The mast top cleat is a cleat. I am not 100% sure what you mean by a lock. Long ago I used to sail a Europe and that had a thin rope halyard that was spliced to a short wire section with a nodule at the join. The nodule engaged with a little fork near the mast top. If that's what you mean by a lock, no that is not how the Aero is rigged. The arrangement with the Aero allows you to fine-tune the extent to which the sail is hoisted, maximum most of the time but a little bit less in the light stuff.

Mainsheet, kicker (vang) and to an extent cunningham all bend the mast. It is very easy to bend.It is designed to bend in gusts to depower the upper section of the sail like a modern windsurfer rig.
Your Europe example was exactly what I meant. In my Finn, I raised the sail to the upper band, clicked the halyard into the inverted stainless v fitting , and adjusted luff tension with the downhaul. Of course this was with Wooden Bruder mast with a luff groove that was polished so the bolt rope moved very easily.
 
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When the halyard cleat is at the top the mast there is hardly any halyard to stretch so the Cunningham works more effectively. Also, the mast is only under half compression compared to a base cleat when the Cunningham is yanked on. Don't know how important that is in boats like the Aero though.
There is less halyard stretch, although most dinghy sail designs have a softer luff than the stretch in a typical modern line used as a halyard so I expect it is imperceptible in a dinghy of this size with a dacron sail.

The mast compression is the same whether you locate the halyard cleat at the bottom of the mast, half way up the mast or at the top of the mast. As one naval architect explained to us......."Hold up a broomstick in your left hand with a 40lb weight tied to a line going through a sheeve at the top of the broom stick.....if you tie the line off by the sheeve or at the bottom of the broomstick, the compression is still 40lbs.......compression is affected by the tension on the main and the equal and opposing force provided by the mast, not where you tie off the halyard"

Another trick to prove this......apply max luff tension with the halyard and the mast lock off.....so the mast is pre-bent under compression. Lock the mast lock so the halyard is locked... release the halyard. The mast will not spring back up to vertical under less compression.

Old wives/Etchell sailors lore.
The definition of mast compression decides whether you think the compression changes. I agree that halyard cleat location does not effect compression at the bast of the mast - that is provided by mainsail forces, standing rigging (not applicable here) etc. However, the mast will be compressed between the head of the sail and the location of the cleat by the halyard tension and any cunningham tension applied to the sail. Having a halyard lock, or cleat at the top, ensures that this compression is only experienced by the very top of the mast, which is the definition being applied here.

With an Aero, the halyard cleat is external to the mast, so with the amount that the rig bends it must cleat at the top. Otherwise, the distance between mast tip and where a mast base cleat would be would shorten too much as the rig bends, reducing halyard tension and allowing the sail to sag. If the halyard tension is kept high enough to ensure a tight luff when the rig bends with a mast base cleat, you would, as Amati states, simply create a bow.

 

J22hack

New member
I'd like to hear some details from the LLSC people to see how they decided on the boat. Things like age range and rough sizes of the skippers. I'm interested in the boat because I'm too big for a laser but would like to be able to race alone. Finding crew for the keelboat isn't getting any easier. I'm in western South Carolina so having a fleet relatively close is very interesting.

 
When the halyard cleat is at the top the mast there is hardly any halyard to stretch so the Cunningham works more effectively. Also, the mast is only under half compression compared to a base cleat when the Cunningham is yanked on. Don't know how important that is in boats like the Aero though.
There is less halyard stretch, although most dinghy sail designs have a softer luff than the stretch in a typical modern line used as a halyard so I expect it is imperceptible in a dinghy of this size with a dacron sail.

The mast compression is the same whether you locate the halyard cleat at the bottom of the mast, half way up the mast or at the top of the mast. As one naval architect explained to us......."Hold up a broomstick in your left hand with a 40lb weight tied to a line going through a sheeve at the top of the broom stick.....if you tie the line off by the sheeve or at the bottom of the broomstick, the compression is still 40lbs.......compression is affected by the tension on the main and the equal and opposing force provided by the mast, not where you tie off the halyard"

Another trick to prove this......apply max luff tension with the halyard and the mast lock off.....so the mast is pre-bent under compression. Lock the mast lock so the halyard is locked... release the halyard. The mast will not spring back up to vertical under less compression.

Old wives/Etchell sailors lore.
The definition of mast compression decides whether you think the compression changes. I agree that halyard cleat location does not effect compression at the bast of the mast - that is provided by mainsail forces, standing rigging (not applicable here) etc. However, the mast will be compressed between the head of the sail and the location of the cleat by the halyard tension and any cunningham tension applied to the sail. Having a halyard lock, or cleat at the top, ensures that this compression is only experienced by the very top of the mast, which is the definition being applied here.

With an Aero, the halyard cleat is external to the mast, so with the amount that the rig bends it must cleat at the top. Otherwise, the distance between mast tip and where a mast base cleat would be would shorten too much as the rig bends, reducing halyard tension and allowing the sail to sag. If the halyard tension is kept high enough to ensure a tight luff when the rig bends with a mast base cleat, you would, as Amati states, simply create a bow.
The definition of mast compression is the down force being applied through the walls of the mast which is equal and opposing to the up force exerted through the halyard (lifting against the sail) and shrouds (lifting against the deck).

When you tighten your shrouds, you will create a similar "bow" effect , even though the shrouds are effectively "locked" at the top of the mast. Next time you are going out on your Aero, apply aggressive halyard tension with the halyard lock off ...sufficient to apply prebend to the rig.....then lock the halyard...et voila, the prebend is unchanged.

Now agreed that if you stand at transom and pull halyard, you are creating an additional force which is not compression , which will bend the mast.

There are a variety of forces that the controls of a sail boat can apply to the mast. Some create compression. Some do not. Its all fun to figure out.

Force can turn a corner. The outhaul on a boom is similar. The compression along the boom is the same whether you cleat at aft of boom or at front of boom.

 

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