Rascal 14 won't point (head up)

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by Thomas B. Miller, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Thomas B. Miller

    Thomas B. Miller New Member

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    I bought a 1982 Spindrift Rascal from a man who did not know how to rig or maintain it. I replaced all the dry rotted wood and rearranged the sheets and halliards, but in the 2 times I have had it out, I cannot get it to point up. I tacked back and forth many times, but kept getting closer to a lee shore. The second time out I wound up in the water- and this boat, with a 6' beam, is NOT easy to right. I lowered the sails and hung my 190 lbs on the centerboard with no luck at all. I was only in chest deep water, so I was able to walk it over to a dock and get help, but if it would point I wouldn't have needed it.
    Should I add weight to the centerboard? It is wooden- teak, I think- and so light it doesn't help stability except with lateral water resistance.
    Why won't it tack to windward? Should I adjust the stays to rake the mast either forward or back? All I can get is a 90 degree broad reach, and lose some every time I come about.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2014
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Are you using a jib?
    Are you by yourself or with a crew?
    Strong current? I don't think so from your description.
    I don't think that adding weight to the centerboard is the answer, unless your current one is non-standard to the boat.

    Here is a link to a nice video (of a Rebel Rascal) which shows some tacking:



     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  3. Thomas B. Miller

    Thomas B. Miller New Member

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    Sailing single--no current; lake about 5 miles long--yes I use the jib, with the cam cleats set all the way to the rear. I was keeping both sails just on the edge of a luff. I just pulled the centerboard and found it is pretty dinged, but not missing any surface area to speak of. That board is only 9 1/2" wide and 33" long-- will it improve performance if I make a wider one? There is no room in the trunk to go longer, but I could go up to 14" wide if that will help.
     
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  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Try playing with the rake of the mast.
    And spend as much time on the water as possible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  5. Thomas B. Miller

    Thomas B. Miller New Member

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    I just finished a new centerboard- red oak with a thick epoxy coating overall. I made it wider at the base, to add 108 sq. inches on the below-hull side view, or about 37% to the wetted area. This is the most I can fold into the centerboard trunk. Hopefully this will reduce the leeward drift. I will install it tomorrow, along with a masthead wind vane- which will give a more accurate assessment of wind direction than the ribbon tell-tales I have on the stays. It is possible it was pointing higher than I thought, but that lateral drift was high enough I could make no progress to windward. I'll try this combination before adjusting the rake. Even if this is successful I'll try that next, to improve performance as much as possible. Any other ideas?
     
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  6. Michael Rosso

    Michael Rosso Brakewind

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    Interesting. I have basically the same boat that you do and have no problem whatsoever tacking into the wind. I have often thought of ways I could modify the centerboard, though. It is woefully inadequate at providing any kind of stability and since the boat wasn't really made for hiking (comfortably) out, it makes sailing in any kind of stiff wind semi-frightening with TWO people let alone ONE! I've also thought of giving it a furling jib to make single-handing it easier.
    Let me know how you do and what you figure out. I'm always eager to learn about my Rascal. There just isn't enough info on them out there. Too bad that you can't get those heavy centerboards they had on the older models, eh?
    By the way, I turtled mine the second time I had it out. Not fun, but we managed to get it righted. Would have been damn near impossible with just one guy.
     
  7. Thomas B. Miller

    Thomas B. Miller New Member

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    Not just near- I had no hint of raising it. Since I was in chest deep water, I was able to walk it over to a dock about 100 yards away, and a man there lifted the mast as I pushed the hull in closer. By that time it had taken on so much water that any little wave would come over the gunwales. With a large bucket and rapid bailing, I brought it up some- but didn't make real progress until I pulled the inside cockpit drain. Then I had a river flowing from the 'tween hulls, which holds an amazing amount of water, and could finish bailing. I was glad I had larger than stock drains. The original drains had been broken, and since I hadn't been able to find replacements, I had bored out the holes and installed 1" expanding plugs. These probably more than doubled the rate of flow and weren't so easily blocked by the debris and acorns I had been finding inside ever since I bought it. Hopefully the flooding brought out most of that from below where I could reach from the hatches.
    I have been tied up and haven't had it out since installing the new board, but hope to take it out next week. The sailing season is getting short here in northern Indiana.
     
  8. Michael Rosso

    Michael Rosso Brakewind

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    Lucky that you could at least touch! Still, it's surprising to me that you couldn't right it. It shouldn't have been that difficult. My buddy and I had a tough time simply because the mast (I learned after..) was hitting the bottom, and we had NO idea what we were doing. :)
    Could you post some pics of your boat? That was a really good idea replacing those plugs. The tiny ones that are on mine are WAY too small. You're correct. There's a LOT of empty space in the hull for water!
    Stupid question, but your tiller was all the way down, right? I know sometimes mine will rotate up just a bit and I'll start getting weather helm. I'll be sailing along with a 30 degree deflection on my tiller until I finally think to look back and make sure the blade is all the way rotated down. I'm sure you did, but I had to ask.
    Get that boat back on the water! I had to take mine out for the year just a few days ago and I was sad. I keep mine up in Traverse City, Michigan but live down state.
    I wonder if it would be possible to get a couple of 1/4 inch thick lead plates and fix them somehow to the inner hull on either side of the center trunk? hmmm..
     

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