boataccessories- Đ 1999/2001 Frank Ellinghaus -
The Boat Accessories and Rig
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After completing the boats hull I thought the mainpart of the work was done. Unfortunately this wasnīt the case. Crafting and installing all the required accessories and painting the hull needed as much time (or more) as for the hull.
The MastMy boats mast is made from a simple spruce 2īx
4ī. In contrast to a "regular" mast it isnīt round above the deck to the tip.
Only the front edge is rounded to get a little airfoil. Where the sail gets
knotted to the mast with its boltropes I drilled some holes in the masts back
For the sprit rig the mast had to be free standing and turnable.
So it had to be round from the deck downwards to the bottom of the boat. It was
not necessary to have it round all the way up. Thus I glued on wood pieces to
both sides of the mast but only from deck to bottom and sanded it round.
To have it better turning the mast got a small piece of round metal
(like you use for the feet of a chair) underneath. I thought first this piece of
metall (perhaps there is even plastic inside) might not be able to bear the load
of the turning rig. But it worked very well and the mast turned smoothly without
greasing or ball bearings. I think it works so well because of itīs small size.
There is not so much what could produce friction.
The mast has two cleats
underneath the boom. One cleat at the side to tighten the sprit and one at the
back end for the sails boltrope from throat to tack.
see it bigger
||This picture shows the distinct graining of the masts
downward part due to the different woodparts that are glued on. When using
a mast like this (only on a small boat of course) you save not only labor
but it is also lighter than a round one.|
The BoomFirst I tried the boomless sprit sail.
But this was to uncomfortable for me. It seems that the boat sails better and
steering is better with a boom.
The boom is made out of a simple 2īx 3ī. At itīs end and near the middle
there are two blocks for the mainsheet. There are also two cleats at the end.
One for the foot boltrope to tighten the sails foot and one for the sails
boltrope from top to clew. In the second picture you see the boomhead. Two
ledges screwed and glued on both sides and a big screw through it - thatīs my
gooseneck :-) . The difference to a real one is that here not only the boom
turns but the complet rig with mast when you pull on the boom.
| see it bigger
||Fixing the boom to the mast|
Pull out the big screw
insert the mast to the boom
push the screw back through mast and boomhead ledges
Put the nut on the screw and tighten it
Thatīs it, the boom is
fixed to the mast.
Why using the screw instead of a knot?So, you would
say the screw in front of the mast is a bit over done? It could be simpler, say
the boom tied with a knot to the mast.
Yes, you are right, a knot is simpler
but the screw isnīt high-tech neither.
When I sailed at my local marina,
I observed that the sunfishes with their latin rig struggled to come up to speed
again after tacking or jibing while my little polytarp-bomber with a
considerable smaller sail showed them itīs stern.
This is my theory:
When you tack or jibe you have to let your sail out and
pull it in again while accelerating in the new direction.
When the sail
is out the sunfishes lower boom getīs pushed up, there is nothing what holds him
down while doing so; the wind forces produce rather the boom lifting and a less
On my boat the boom gets hold down through the
screw in front of the mast even when Iīve let the sail out. So it accelerates
To the right you see the sad looking rests of my sprit. It served good for some sailing hours but after leaving it on the rack at the marina for a couple of weeks it looked like a banana. I tried to straighten it. Now I have two pieces ...|
The smaller red sprit is my first one it was to short for my actual
sail but still serves as a backup.
||The sprit is made from simple spruce. It is cut at an
slight angle from one end to the other. So the top end is smaller than the
bottom one. The upper side is rounded. To get the round side on the top
when mounting the sprit (for a little airfoil shape) the rope in the left
picture goes from the flat bottom fixed with a stopper knot to the rounded
The sail is made from Polytarp,
the edges are reinforced with a boltrope taped together with carpet tape. How to
make such a cheap sail is described at
Taping the Polytarp Sail.
How I found the right size and how Iīve cut the sail, will be showed at
I also made a drawing about the way how to mount the sail
to the rig at The
The drawing speaks for itself.
contrast to a centerboard there is not much to adjust on a daggerboard. To
change this I drilled 4 holes into the blade. Push two wood pins through this
holes and the daggers underwater length is adjustable.
||The Daggerboard is made of three layers 1/4ī plywood. I
have used a water resistant glue for it but for a more secure connection
using epoxy for glueing would be probably better. The leading edge is
rounded between blunt and parabolic. The building plan asked for a tapered
trailing edge but for me this would be a pain to achieve since I did this
by hand. Try to taper a bigger plywood section and you know what I mean.
So my board has only a very slightly tapered trailing edge. The board is
sealed with epoxy and painted two times. |
board on the daggerīs top is glued and screwed on. It prevents the daggerboard
from sliding to deep into the case and you sit more comfortable on top of it :-)
. The designer has used the daggerboard case as base for a seat and the board is
dropped through the seat into the case. I think thatīs a good idea since the
space for the case is not wasted. If sailing with a second person looking
forward this person is out of the way while the cockpit is free for the
There exists a rule of thumb which says "The centerboard should
be about 4 % of the sails area" (Marchaj). With my boats sailing area of 57
sqft. the daggerboards area should be 2,28 sqft according to this rule. But it
does have only about 1,4 sqft. and works fine for me.
If your center-/
daggerboard is to small, the sails power will push your boat to much leewards.
If it is to big this will slow the boat down. To make things more complicatet
the balance between the water forces on the daggerboard and the wind forces on
the sail changes with the boats speed. If your boat goes faster the needed
daggerboard area decreases. (Look at the military airplanes which go very fast
and their short wings in contrast to the wings of conventional
The solution for an optimal daggerboard area would be to take
some of the board out when it goes faster. Then the speed should increase even a
If you like to dig really deep into theory about foils like
this youīll find it on John Kohnens website. There is Paul Zanderīs
article about design and construction of centerboards and rudders and Craig
||As with the daggerboard the rudder was made from three
layers of plywood glued together coated with epoxy and painted two times.
Here is Jim Michalaks nice article about building a kickup-rudder (with drawings). This rudder comes up when banging on something on the ground and down again afterwards.
Another idea is to use an oar as a rudder for sculling and steering at the same time. Youīll see it on
Don Hodges website
As with seat plate I measured the shape of the deck with wrapping paper. You can get
large rolls of this stuff at places like Office Depot for example. Its a great
help to find out the exact shape of the deck plate. You simply lay it on the
hulls front part clamp it on and scratch it with your fingernails on the
underlying gunwale edge. Than cut this paperscratch out and use it as form to
draw the lines on plywood.
The deck plate is made from two 1/4 inch
plywood pieces. The first plate put on the hull edges and on inwales which have
been screwed and glued on before installing the deck. The screws are covered
with epoxy later so you can let them in their holes.
Screw (into the
inwales) and glue this plate from upside down. After that you can get a stronger
connection through laminating a tape on the plates edges and covering the
gunwales. Than the second plywood plate should be put on immediately. This will
cover the disturbing tape on the decks surface. The slant edge on the sides is
filled with epoxy putty.
Actually this could also belong to the hull,
since the seats and here the seatplate give the structure a lot of strength. But
my plan did not give measurements for accessories like seats. Only the
structural parts of the boat hull was delivered. Chances are this could be the
same for other plans. So you are likely to be the designer of your boats
I didnīt build separate seats but one big seatplate. This sure
adds some weight to the boat and reduced the size of the cockpit in my case a
bit to much. I think, I will cut a chunk off the plate when I take the boat home
plate is made of two layers 1/4 īī plywood. The left picture shows the first
layer. The first layer is made from 4 parts since itīs almost impossible to
measure all at once. The measurements were taken with wrapping paper as for the
The layers 4 parts are glued to one piece using the butt joint
procedure. This means all pieces are put together as they are without scarfing
and connecting all parts on both sides through 2 layers (in this case) of cloth,
filled with epoxy. These cloth-epoxy-joints should be as strong as the plywood.
You find more about this method on Dave Carnells homepage , look under
"Invisible Butt Joints".
Iīve put this first-layer-plate on two ledges,
crossing both bulkheads. But this isnīt a must. It was caused through my
decision to set the seat a little higher than planned before. If you get the
dimensions right in the first place you donīt need those ledges. After placing
the layer on the ledges I glued the plate with epoxy-filled cloth to the hull
To get the measures for the second seatplate layer was simple,
since the completed first layer could be used as a pattern. Glueing this on the
first layer was no big deal. After filling the voids on the side with epoxy
there was a strong bond to the hull and the completed hull got a very stiff
The slit in the fore part of the seatplate is for the dagger
like to write of my selfbuilt oars full of pride in this place. But it didnīt
work out that way. I have cut the handle (outch) of the oars into two parts
since Iīd liked them to be stickable (for better stowing them in the boat). I
thought to stick the parts together again through placing them in a plastic
pipe. But both oars broke with the first heavy use at the pipe. The blades made
from 3 layers plywood scrap did work but they have been a little heavy compared
to the later bought oars in the right picture above. Unnerved from this
experience and wanting back to sailing (with oars) as fast as possible I
capitulated and bought new ones.
To get a glimpse of some better oar
building projects take a look at
more about oars
featuring some pretty cool oar building techniques and on Jim Michalakīs articles new about oar building and rowing.
least I can write about one successful oarbuilding task. The new oars (as the
selfbuilt ones) got a chafing and creaking protection which holds the oars to
the oar locks at the same time. It was made from a simple thin polyester rope
glued on the oar handles.
How can you get such a useful
Simple, cover the part you want protected with wood glue and clamp
one end of the rope to the handle. Than wind the rope in narrow spirals with
steady tension around the handle. If you have covered the desired area, tie the
other end of the rope to the handle. Let about 2 foot of the rope free and cut
the rest off. You can use the free rope end to tie the oar to the oarlock. So
the oars donīt fall out of the boat and if you take them out, the locks are
attached and there is no danger to loose them. You should take a closer look on
the right oar picture for this kind of attachment. Click on the picture and you
can see it even bigger.
What has "tupperware" to do with building a sailboat? I used it to store
small things, which shouldnīt roll around inside the hull. Since I liked the way
you can store things in commercial kayaks with storing compartments accessible
from above I tried to get the same - only cheaper. On my dinghy there are two
built in tupperware boxes in the stern part of the seat plate. For this purpose
it is important to find boxes with an sideward looking edge to all sides, so
they canīt fall through the hole.
||Youīll surely already wondered about the two extra holes in the
Plate. Their pupose is to hold the storage boxes. |
To get a durable bond the boxes should be taped at the sides with carpet tape
(to seal the connection) and screwed on in addition. When I taped the boxes in
without screwing they fell out when the boat was stored upside down on the rack.
In case of capsizing your boat youīll be
happy, when all the small parts in it are secured to the hull. Since my boat is
small, I do this with oars, rudder, centerboard and even a bucket with a sponge
(to get the water out of the boat).
A convenient way is to lash or screw
some strings with a loop at the end to the hull. The parts youīll want to secure
get also a string with a spring hook at the end attached. Snap the spring hook
to the loop and the connection is secured.
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