Laser Bailer Springs?!?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by sorosz, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    I just saw this ad on E-Bay for bailer springs and the guy says he submitted the idea to the World Council last month. Anyone know anything more about this? Like do they work better than those damn o-rings? Is it something that might get approved? Sounds like it could be a good idea to me if it means you don't need to redo the o-rings every year or so. . .

    Laser Bailer Springs link on E-Bay

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jimmy

    jimmy New Member

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    The springs may solve the problem of the O-Rings comming off all of the time, but I would be concerned about the plastic tabs they wrap around breaking. I'd rather have the O-Rings be the weak point, at least it is easy to replace them.
     
  3. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    There was, indeed, a very brief discussion of the bailer o-rings at the WC meeting along with a mention of a proposal for some "springs." However, this was way preliminary and certainly what you see advertised is not in any stage of consideration for approval. So... stick with the o-rings if you want to stay legal!
     
  4. Stephen_Green

    Stephen_Green Member

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    Hi all, I'm the person who devised the springs. I'm disappointed to learn that there was only a brief discussion about these, since the existing rings anre a pain.. Have no worries about the force applied to the plastic chute. New rubber rings apply about 1.2 Kg to each hook, whereas the springs apply about 350g to the stop tab. They have been in use by my some of fellow club sailors for the last year, and greeted with enthusiasm.
     
  5. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    Well progress is slow and measured in the class. I don't know what the whole approval process is -- it would seem like a silly thing to have to have a Class vote since springs don't provide any different function only a longer lasting solution than the rubber o-rings. But maybe that's the only way to make changes. Perhaps the boat manufacturers would be interested in jumping on the bandwagon. If the springs can be made cheap enough in bulk and are easier for the guy in the factory to install then maybe they would help push for approval too since it might be more cost effective than installing the rubber o-rings.
     
  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    The rings problem has fascinated me. I had one ring break and fall out a few years ago. that is about it.

    Perhaps it is my other screw up that prednt the o ring problem. I regularly manage to back my boat over something and smash the scoop. Maybe I never keep the rings on long enough to have them wear out.

    A few years ago I was given a bag of a few hundred o rings. Some are about the right size for the bailer. In those years I ahve replaced the rings on a couple dozen bailers. It only takes about ten minutes to remove the bailer, insert new rings and reinstall the bailer.

    My friends can complain about free stuff as well as anyone. None has ever told me, "Those rings you gave me broke again."

    Unless you use a sharp installation tool and hurt the ring during the installation process, I don't understand why the five cent rings will not last many years.

    Ok so why do your break and why am I an ignorant _____ ??
     
  7. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    So wait a minute, you were given a bag of o-rings of uncertain lineage? And they last a couple years? My god those can't possibly be class legal!!! Now the measurers need to start inspecting bailer o-rings for the laser logo too! ;-)

    Seriously though, the first way they break or at least become stretched out is when the bailer gets left open for long periods of time. Of course that's completely preventable but if you have to store your boat outside on a trailer or dolly in a place where it rains you can have problems keeping the cockpit from filling up with water. Then you have to go to greater expense and effort in arranging some cover setup that keeps the water from collecting in the cockpit all to protect the $0.05 rubber o-rings. . .

    The other way they seem to break down is just through use and age. They start to develop tiny cracks that get bigger and the rubber (or whatever the heck they're made of) gets progessively less elastic and eventually they break.

    In my experience I've found that barring accidents like breaking the chute on something or forgetting to close the bailer when I put the boat away that I have to replace them about every year or so. Maybe there's stuff in the air or water or different quality in the batches of o-rings that effect their longevity in different locations. Would use in warm conditions have a different lifespan than in cold? Seems plausible.

    So the idea of the springs seems like it COULD be a more elegant and permament solution. At the moment at over $8 the cost doesn't compare with the $0.05 ring but if springs were approved and put into production so the cost dropped quite a bit they could be a pretty good deal. When you consider the time and effort involved in replacing the o-rings over the lifetime of a Laser plus how annoying it can be when your cockpit isn't draining it might be worthwhile pursuing this.

    I suppose this comes down to what always seems to be the two competing arguments in laser rigging: On the one hand there is "this is how it's always been and it's good enough!" and on the other there is "it's kind of dumb that we still have to hassle with this when there could be a better way of doing it!" Probably most people don't care that much either way when all is said and done but in this case the problem was enough to inspire at least one person to try to find a better solution and develop some prototypes. I suspect that that's how the "stupid rope tricks" and then the "new" rigging ultimately got started and most of us accept that as being standard equipment nowadays.


     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    I should have known not to play with rings around Sorosz


    Seriously.. Great explanation. For storage...I do pull the plug foreword on the wire so that the chute can be closed but water can drain from the cockpit..The plastic flap does not really seal.

    But...If we are going to re visit the bailer design, why not really have a good hard look at what can be accomplished? Sure one fellow may have an idea that might improve function for minimal cost. What if we let all 180,000 of our "engineers" work their brains?
    Example: ILCA North America could sponsor a contest. The winner would be required to agree to give the rights to the design to ILCA-NA. If we actually find a new design we like in the submissions, we could get the new design voted in and become the supplier. Proceeds could go to the employment of extra people who could gather information about Laser sailing, regattas, venues and etc and help publish it on our website and in the newsletters.

    Example: I have been fiddling with the concept of a hose / funnel design for the bailer. it seems to me the bailer would work a lot better if the water flowed through a smooth walled sealed outlet. The current design allows too mcuh of the suck to be wasted on turbulence and leaks around the sides of the chute.

    It seems to me an effective bailer device that fits in the current hole could be manufactured and packaged for under $5. The NA Class could $20 for promotion, management, and etc. Shipping could be $10 apiece. The dealers could add another $15 and sell the device for $49.95.

    Just thinking with the fingers...
     
  9. Stephen_Green

    Stephen_Green Member

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    The suggested method of refitting the bailer on this site includes using a sealant, so; turn boat over, remove bailer, remove old sealant, apply new silicone, fit bailer, wait 24hrs, screw up. All because the rings have broken!

    O-rings are piston seals and are formulated for wear and chemical resistance, not elasticity. They come in various hardnesses, so hardware stock may not be ideal. The moulding process leaves a weak point where the material joins in the mould. They are not suitable for this application!

    The rudder retainer, mainsheet block support and cam cleats all have steel springs, so why use rubber on the bailer? If they break, you can ruin your bailer!

    My springs also can be used with bailers having weak or one broken pivot, since there is a downward force on the pivot, not upward as with rings, so Gouvernail may not have to buy so many bailers and could spend more time on the water.

    Later Nautos bailers have strengthened pivots, but pivot friction has increased so much that rings loose the abilty to fully close the chute in a few months, based on the experience of my fellow club members.

    I just want owners to have the choice.

    SG
     
  10. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    The springs seem really cool. Stainless vs rubber is a no brainer.

    My point above was meant to be.. Let's not limit ourselves to redesigning what opens and closes the plastic POS.
    We have had 35 years to think of a better device. Somebody have an idea?? Anybody???\

    http://www.meanrabbit.com/music/crickets.wav
     
  11. Rob E

    Rob E Member

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    Gouv: What problem(s) are you trying to solve? If you have some specific gripes, others can propose solutions.

    Incremental improvements are generally preferred to more extensive improvements. Lower risk. Easier and faster to implement.

    The suggested springs sound to me like an excellent incremental improvement.

    Having said that, I have a few issues with the current bailer:
    • Disassembly. It's a PIA to have to remove the bailer to fix problems. If we simplify it, we can eliminate the need to do this.
    • Leaks. The plug on my bailer is always leaking. A valve would be better. It would provide positive shut-off. Quick and easy.
    • Door. I don't like the door. Most of the problems with the bailer are from the door. Don't other boats have just an opening? What if we make it permanently open? No door - no hinge - no spring/o-ring. I am thinking of a hard plastic piece that sticks out the same as (or a little less than) the current bailer. Does a closable door provide a measurable speed advantage?
    • Durability. There are new plastics available now that might be stronger/more durable. Any new plastic must have good adhesion to sealant.
    Of course there will be some who will say that it's fine the way
    it is. That is a subjective assessment of their own level of
    satisfaction with the bailer. Others will have different opinions.
    And I don't necessarily disagree. The bailer is servicable as is,
    but it could probably be a bit better.
     
  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    My problem with the bailer is ...
    One company has a monopoly and has produced at least a couple hundred thousand of those "much less complicated than a typical $5 flashlight" devices.
    I think it is way past time for a device that:
    1. Fits in the hole
    2. Drains the cockpit
    3. Is absolutely going to last forever

    One of us ought to be able to come up with something
     

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