Thursday, March 9, 2017

____________________ DAGGER BOARD WOES _____________________

 State of the art advanced epoxy carbon fibre foam sandwich Zephyr rudder, tiller and dagger board. Cost - NZ$3000.

 
My Zephyr 'Slipstream's spare dagger board that I have lengthened - cost of mods: NZ$50.

Earlier this week I launched my Zephyr with the intention of going racing. I was very keen to try out my 'new' lengthened and freshly painted dagger board. This was to be my moment of triumph, my new board would have me sailing away from the competition; pointing and footing faster than a Norwegian racing sardine with a new set of scales.

I clambered aboard and after pushing down the rudder I picked up the dagger board and tried to insert it in the dagger board case. It didn't and wouldn't fit. It would not go in, insert, go down, slot in, be pushed in or do as it was told by 'Slipstream's polite skipper. The board was simply too thick for the dagger board case  ............ bugger.

What's that I hear you ask ? - "Didn't you think to try it out in the dagger board case before you went to all the trouble of launching the boat ? .....  no I bloody didn't and stop your laughing right now.

When I got home I laid a long steel ruler along both sides of the centerboard and found the problem. The problem is best explained by that hardy old mixed metaphor of a first presumption having a domino effect upon all the down stream presumptions so that the whole outfit collapses like a deck of cards ..... bugger - the truth is that's it's not just the dagger board that is a bit thick.

Of course I could solve all my Zephyr appendage problems by simply going out and purchasing a state of the art set of foils as depicted in the first photograph (above); but there are a couple of problems that I would have to grapple with.

'Slipstream' was purchased for $4000. A state of the art set of foils costs $3000 - I am not sure I could live with the yawning contradiction in values - a bit like purchasing a second hand 1950s Volvo motorcar and fitting a couple of solid gold, diamond encrusted hubcaps ............  yes, yes, yes I know there's no logic to any of this, but it is My, logic ..... which gets stretched when I know the hubcaps wouldn't add a jot of anything to the Volvo, but a set of light weight perfectly aerofoil carbon fibre foils would certainly add something to the speed of 'Slipstream'.

The second problem is that I am a great ranter about the cost of sailing and how this is a barrier for many young people getting into the sport. My argument in terms of competitive sailing is that if class rules banned hugely expensive exotic materials everyone would still be racing on a level playing field, cost would not be a barrier, people could more easily fix their own gear when it broke and .....

.......... the money saved could be used to purchase a real small yacht like a NZ  Zephyr and everyone would be smiling and live happily ever after ........ Shipmates, I rest my case .......

...... back in the boatyard, I will fix the problem and be ready for the next round of racing and the Auckland Zephyr Championships in a couple of weeks time.

12 comments:

Don said...

As most Kiwis would say - that was a 'bugger moment'....

Alden Smith said...

Quite right Don - bugger indeed. But with a bit of Kiwi 'Number 8 wire', I shall fix it.

Bursledon Blogger said...

We've all done something similar, couple of pleasant hours sharpening the plane and some good exersice will have it good as new, try doing that with Crapbon.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

3K set with 4K boat? Bit like buying a £1K outboard to put on a £1K Hurley 20 then... oh bugger... :o))

C'mon Alden - get you power plane out ....

Alden Smith said...

Max, my dagger board woes is a kind of metaphor for the life of us humans - it's not the first stuff up I've ever made and won't be the last - and you are right about the carbon, I don't think it would plane very well.

Alden Smith said...

Steve, I am going to go softly, softly with a belt sander first I think. I scribed an aerofoil shape on the boards base yesterday and found it is only misshapen on one side in the last 18 inches - so hopefully it won't be too big a job.

Dan Gurney said...

Who among us hasn't done something like this? You got plenty of company, Alden.

I sure like the looks of those crabon fiber foils, but not their cost! I didn't misspell crabon. I look forward to reading the story of your triumphant races using your thinned and faired wooden foils.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan - as an educator yourself I am sure you know full well that no learning takes place unless we make mistakes; it's all part of life long learning - but some mistakes are really, really annoying! LOL.

I like the look of the carbon foils as well but they are a bit pricey. My main worry with foils of this quality and expense would be damaging them when I come ashore (Currently I am always failing to pull my dagger board up in time and scraping the bottom of it).

Andrew McKay said...

All good bro, I made a shallow water centre board for my flying ant and tested it out, sweet fits great snug as a bug. Then proceeded to apply 3 layers of primer and 3 layers of top coat.
Got out to the beach and set up... same problem the extra few mm on both side no longer allowed the dam thing to fit.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks for your comment Andrew - I was sure that I wasn't the only person who has had their sailing interrupted by too many many coats of paint or a lack of fairing !! LOL - But most things on a wooden boat can be fixed - I'm fixing mine this afternoon : > )

George A said...

No reason that a wood blade can't have the same profile as the fancy foam/carbon item. But you already know that!

Alden Smith said...

George, thanks for your comment. You are quite right, with careful fairing and attention to detail, a very high quality wooden blade can be produced by the amateur sailor. I have another board on the go at the moment that I laminated up from some cedar which should make a nice light weight board. I shall cut an aerofoil profile pattern to help gain a good shape.