Custom Daggerboard

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by SeanFish, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. SeanFish

    SeanFish 1st Class Skipper

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    It upsets me extremely that I can no longer find a wooden daggerboard anywhere and they no longer make them available on the official Sunfish website. I have looked for one extensively and they're either over $300 or plastic. Based upon this I decided to try and make my own. At this point I am not sure what type of wood I will use so please post a message of what type of wood would be best (and if you would a place to buy it). Below I will post my designs to do this if you see any problems or have a comment please let me know.


    [​IMG]
    *3/4 Inch thick
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It should be possible to get a 2nd hand wooden board for less than $300. Alan Glos has one, it looks like; see the For Sale section.
    But if you really want to make one yourself, you should make one that mimics the 'current' (plastic fantastic) board in dimensions.


    PS: Mahogany is the preferred wood (expensive); there's a fair amount of info on this topic on this Forum. Just use the Search function.
     
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  3. SeanFish

    SeanFish 1st Class Skipper

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    I feel like I want to make myself one now and I measured these dimensions off of my current daggerboard so I'm confident in them. I would rather not use mahogany because of it's cost though. I'm thinking teak and then sealing it with a commercial product. Does this sound good?

    P.S: I looked around a little while for some information about this but I guess I need to try and search something else for better results.
     
  4. tag

    tag my2fish

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    John at JO Woodworks still makes Sunfish wooden daggerboards (for about $150).
    even if you want to make your own, he is a great resource to email with questions.

    is teak that much cheaper than mahogany? I was just at my local Woodcraft, and saw a big slab of mahogany - but I didn't price it out. for more readily available wood, I think that I've read on the forum that white oak is an okay substitute (it doesn't absorb water as much as red oak). I'd probably coat it with a couple coats of epoxy for extra protection prior to varnishing the board.

    I agree with Wavedancer that you should probably shape the board (including shaping the profile to be more like a foil) similar to the new FRP boards.

    cheers,
    tag
     
  5. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Teak does not seem like a good choice. It is oily, so a finish won't stick to it, and it is very rough - it abrades tools and sandpaper very quickly. I believe it is quite a bit more expensive than mahogany as well. I'd search the forum and find a good wood. You want one that is strong but not very porous. I remember someone trying red oak, but absorbs varnish like mad, so it turned out to be not the best choice. BB
     
  6. brianZ71

    brianZ71 Member

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    I used white oak for my tiller. It didn't seem very porus at all, and didn't absorb any varnish. Sanded it to a beautifully smooth finish and coated it. It came out looking awesome. The wood is very rigid, when sailing hard against 20mph winds it only bowed a tiny bit under the pressure.

    I saw a pic on here somewhere with the dimensions and shapes of all the sunfish daggerboard generations. I'll see if I can locate it. I also would like to try to make one, mine is is rough shape and I find wood way more attractive than FRP.
     
  7. brianZ71

    brianZ71 Member

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  8. SeanFish

    SeanFish 1st Class Skipper

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    Yeah white oak is also being recommended a lot so I'll ask a carpender or someone what they think.
     
  9. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Be sure the carpenter understands nautical applications.
     
  10. A2

    A2 New Member

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    I've got drawings and a pipe dream to build one with a wing on the bottom and try to get a little lift, "moth" style. I know I won't be able to get it out of the water, but it will be fun to experiment.
     
  11. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    A2 - If your high lift daggerboard worked, you would have a Flying Fish, not a Sunfish.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
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  12. sailcraftri

    sailcraftri Well-Known Member

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    My Flying Fish doesn't lift up. I actually have one. But back to the horizontal fins to create lift. Back in college my brother and I made hydrofoils for a Banshee sailboat. We had one main beam with a large foil system that ran under the hull and was mounted just aft of the mast and forward of the daggerboard. Then we had a vee shaped foil attached to the rudder. In order to get lift we had to take into consideration our weight and the boats weight. The Moth class foils are doing the same. They get away with small foils because the boats themselves are very light. This is why I think for your Sunfish you would have to have some large foils in order to create enough lift to get the boat to rise. But it may also require foils aft to get the boat "balanced" on the foils. The idea is to get the hull out of the water to reduce resistance thereby increasing speed.

    Craig
     
  13. Rob C.

    Rob C. Member

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    My neighbor who builds wooden sailboats uses juniper for his daggerboards. and blades.
     
  14. Michael Owen

    Michael Owen New Member

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    I left my dagger board on the ramp two weeks ago and someone stole it. However, I made a new one out of a pine wood board, gave it several coats of yaght varnish and it performs really well. It may not last more than a year but for 20.00 euros or about $30.00 I am not complaining. Better than $300.00+ for a new one.
     
  15. SeanFish

    SeanFish 1st Class Skipper

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    Can you send me a picture so I can see how you did it?
     
  16. Rob C.

    Rob C. Member

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    Anyone ever tried making a Sunfish daggerboard or rudder blade out of King Starboard? I know it wouldn't be class legal but I bet it would work. Starboard lumber is not exactly cheap but it would cost a lot less than what they get for those new plastic daggerboards and rudder blades these days.
     
  17. Michael Owen

    Michael Owen New Member

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    Hi SeanFish. The dagger board is made from a jointed pine board and 36" long, 9 1/2" wide and 3/4" thick.
    The top stops are from a piece of 1" x 1" and angles at the ends.
    Attached with 2 - 1 3/4" Stailess screws. Four coats of yacht varnish.
    Two small problems which can be easily overcome and I havn't had time to fix:
    The leading edge is too sharp an angle so at speed the dagger board flutters and vibrates the boat. It needs to more rounded.
    It does tend to rise up an inch as it really needs a wedge or spring strip to stop it trying to float up.
    Here are a few pictures. If you need anything else let me know.
    Mike in Malta.
    p.s. I taught myself to sail in the Bahamas when working there from California. Although I am now retired in Malta.
     

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  18. sailcraftri

    sailcraftri Well-Known Member

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  19. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    Something to think about:
    Back in the olden days I remember discussions and testing for a new board. Seems like the optimum length would be 6-8 inches longer than the current 'plastic fantastic' from the testing. That would give the surface area needed for optimum sailing.
     
  20. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    If you find mahogany check to see if it has a tight grain so it will stain
    Better. And if you decide to have one made from mahogany let me know,
    we can get the shape you want, we have an older board also.
    My wife liked the mahogany so much she made two table leaves out of it !!
     

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