Starting at the BEGINNING

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Whitecap, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    If it were my daggerboard—and severely split—I'd have a neighbor with a table saw make a cut with a narrow blade. (Follow the split for the full length of the board).

    P1010005-002.JPG

    With that fresh wood material, use West epoxy, slow-set hardener, and add West's high-density adhesive to thicken it. Clamping it together is an important step, so you may want to rent or borrow some serious clamps. (Or buy Pony clamps from Harbor Freight).

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  2. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    WIND INDICATOR

    So, While I wait for the first step of my daggerboard repair to harden, I started to research wind indicators. The front runner from all my research was the C-vane wind indicator. So, I started reading up on it. First, it is expensive at -$40.00 (on APS). After reading more about it on our forum, I am seeing a lot of mixed results from users - some people love it. But, about 25% of our members have buyers remorse over it. Here are some of the different threads that I was reading:

    C-Vane disapointing | SailingForums.com
    C-Vane | SailingForums.com
    C-Vane wind indicators | SailingForums.com


    I got to thinking, how hard could it be to make a simple wind indicator? Well after about 10 minutes in the garage, it looks like a came up with something that's simple and effective. (What's a guy to do while he waits for his daggerboard repair to harden - right?)

    Here is what you will need:
    1: a 4-10 inch piece of dowel that's laying around the garage.
    2. A pushpin
    3. Kitchen garbage bag
    4. A small zip tie
    5. Glue or a regular paper stapler. (I used superglue - but I'm sure anything will work)

    Here they are below:
    [​IMG]

    How to do it:
    1. First take the zip-tie and zip it around the pushpin - securely, but LOOSELY. (The zip-tie should move smoothly and freely around the pushpin - seen below:).

    [​IMG]

    2. Now cut the excess zip-tie away. (This will reduce extra friction on the pushpin.) leave about an inch of the zip-tie remaining, as seen below.

    [​IMG]

    3. Now fix the pushpin into the top of the dowel. It should look like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    4. Get a trash bag ( I used a white kitchen trash bag) and cut about an eight inch strip of it. I made the width a bit smaller than the width of my finger. Now grab your superglue or stapler (or whatever light glue is laying around).

    [​IMG]
    5. Glue the trash bag strip to the excess zip-tie and let it dry. (Mine was dry in 5 minutes). (A simple staple might work perfectly as well).

    [​IMG]
    6. Now tape your wind indicator to the top of the mast. Be sure to place it opposite the main halyard opening, so your wind indicator does not get in the way. (I used duct tape, but clear packing tape might work wonderfully as well - and may look better.)

    [​IMG]
    Here was the result: a wind indicator that is very easy to make (took me ten minutes total - including drying time). A wind indicator that is able to pick up very light breezes (this was how it looked at three knots in my back yard, as verified by KNFW's metar report). You also get a lightweight, rotating, tangle-free set up that is CHEAP to make (from junk thats already laying around your garage).

    Here it is in action:
    [​IMG]
    I turned the mast and the indicator swiveled effortlessly with the wind.

    [​IMG]

    Ill be testing this thing out in the next few weeks (after my daggerboard repair is complete and the water warms up a bit more). Let's see how it holds up in some heavy wind!

    I hope this helps someone, and saves someone 40 bucks!

    Warm regards,
    Whitecap
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  3. tag

    tag my2fish

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    Whitecap,
    For a wind indicator at deck level, I made one from a piece of PVC, a coat hanger, and an old cassette tape.
    See here: sunfish wind indicators
    [​IMG]

    for repairing the daggerboard, I never considered it before, but I really like LVW's idea to use a table saw to make a new clean cut that follows the crack. you could then use dowels, biscuits, etc with your glue to re-join the two pieces. an alternate method is to just drill a long hole through the daggerboard and insert threaded rods and epoxy to bridge the gap at the crack. I used this method to repair the lower portion of the daggerboard on my Super Porpoise.
    sunfish rudder and daggerboard repair – progress

    [​IMG]

    cheers,
    tag
     
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  4. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Tag!
    I remember reading up on both your daggerboard repair and your wind indicator posts on your blog. Thank you for both. It was your wind indicator article, and your discussion about the two different kinds of them, that lead me to try to develop the kind on top of the mast. I want something out of the way - something that when I go flying into the drink, wont have any chance of poking my eyes out!

    Your daggerboard repair scared me off, a while back. Putting a dowel through the daggerboard requres tools and skills I didnt think I had. (I thought there was no way I would be able to drill through the witdth of that daggerboard without the drill bit shooting out the front of it!). I got to thinking about it, and realized that the resin and hardner is pretty amazing stuff. That if I can find clean wood to bond to, the resin and hardner will do the rest - that I may not need to join the two sides together with a dowel (although its a solid option - thank you.)

    Im making great progress. Ill keep you posted in the next few days.

    Keep the ideas coming, gents. They are all valuable to me.

    You rock, Tag ( you too, LAVW's),
    Whitecap
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Nice, but you want your wind vane to be on the gaff (upper spar). And you really don't want to be looking upward all the time. That's why a coat hanger at roughly eye sight, like Tag made, is most useful. I use my wind vane on the gaff strictly to see if I am sailing by the lee. It's no good for upwind sailing. I also recommend to make the vane in something orange or red for better visibility.
     
  6. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Wavedancer,
    Thank you. That is very helpful - I forgot that the upper spar is much higher than the top of the mast. Ill tape the indicator there for sure. Ill also change the trash bag color so its easier to see - I have a black one laying around; that should be easier to see against a blue sky. Great comments for this rookie - thank you!

    Daggerboard repair:

    Read some of the above posts to understand the problems I was having with my daggerboard. I wont be able to post a step by step picture process during this daggerboard repair; unfortunately, I deleted most of the repair process pics by accident. Sorry.

    What I did learn, is that the repair process is pretty simple overall - nothing to be anxious about. I am a novice with power tools, but with a gentle touch, my disc sander did a beautiful job of shaping the board back to its original form and feel.

    First, let me show you how it turned out. The daggerboard is now very strong, and feels as solid as it was when it was new. Its also very smooth - if I close my eyes and run my fingers across it, I cant feel where the repair starts or ends. Here is how it looks - it may not be pretty, but it will be safe and very functional:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The plan:

    This was a four part job. Here is what my plan was:

    1. Expose good wood for the epoxy resin to adhere to and remove any rotted wood that will reduce the epoxy's bonding potential.
    2. Use west system's resin and hardener (no filler) to fuse the two sides of the daggerboard back together.
    3. Mix epoxy with filler, to a peanut butter consistency, to reshape the huge gouges in the leading and trailing edges of the board.
    4. Coat the whole board and repair with a final coat of epoxy (one side of the daggerboard at a time).

    Here is a close up pic of how separated the board was from itself. The crack had turned into a chasm about 1/32 to 1/8 of an inch wide. One side of the crack, no longer touched the other side. You can see it below below in the pic, as the morning sun comes up in the back yard:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The process:

    1. Removing the bad wood.
    I wish Light and Variable Winds would have made his post before I started my repair process. He offered a great idea - just take a saw and use a fine blade to make a cut down the crack, exposing the good wood. This would have been a three minute process. Instead, I used 100 grid sandpaper to eat away any loose wood in the crack, exposing good wood for the epoxy to make a strong bond with - took me 45 minutes. I also sanded down the entire daggerboard, removing the rough, splintered, rotting layer of this 48 year old daggerboard. I was very surprised to see how transformed and restored the daggerboard looked with just a little sanding.

    2. Fusing the board back together.
    Upon inspection, the crack only extended almost 1/2 the way up the board, but was still solidly joined above the crack. All I had to do was join the sides back together. I think I will make a dam! Seemed simple enough. I started by taking my 3 inch wide duct tape, starting a few inches above the start of the crack, I taped over the length of the crack, extending the tape around the tip of the daggerboard on the other side. I put the tape right down the middle of the crack, so I had about 1.5 inches of tape on each side of the crack. Make sure the duct tape has made solid contact over the crack and is laying flush against the wood. I then flipped the dagger board over, so the tape was now on the bottom of the board, touching my table, with the tip of the board and tip of the crack, covered, wrapping around the tip of the board. Next, I took a finger-width strip of tape and placed it about 1/2 an inch away from the edge of the crack completely encircling the crack and joining the tape on the tip of the board. Once I had the entire crack, completely encircled on all sides by tape, I laid strips of tape, on top of strips of tape, until I had a wall of tape surrounding the entire crack, about an 1/8 of an inch high. All I had to do now was mix a bunch of resin and and pour it all into my tape dam. I poured enough resin in the crack so it extended a bit proud of the board - so sanding will be easy. I let it dry for about 24 hours or so. The next day, I peeled off the tape to discover that the process worked beautifully. The resin seeped into every little crevice of the crack, and effortlessly bonded the two sides together. (I did not want to use any filler here, as I thought a thinner epoxy would give me a more uniform bond, without me having to force the epoxy filler down into the crack - possibly missing a spot. Ill just let gravity do the work for me.) all I had to do now, was to grab my disc sander, with 100 grid paper, and sand away the epoxy that protruded proudly above the surface of the board. It sanded away to the board in a few seconds. I then sanded the length of the crack using some finer paper, smoothing it out, but not really caring terribly how smooth it was, because it will all be covered in a coat of epoxy, which will be very smooth as it dries.


    [​IMG]
    3. Fixing the gouges on the leading and trailing edges.
    I started by sanding all the gouges, removing all loose wood. I then mixed west systems hardener, resin, and silica together for a peanut butter consistency. I spread it across each gouge, and made sure that the thick, gooey stuff, was extended past the edge of the board (proud), so I could have dried epoxy material to shape back into the contour of the board. After it dried, I had a horrible looking bump where my gouge used to be. The disc sander, with 100 grid paper, did a beautiful job, removing any excess epoxy until it became flush with the board. Shaping, and rounding the curve of the board was surprisingly easy as well. The repair ended up conforming to the daggerboard's natural curve very well. I switched to finer sandpaper and smoothed it all out. I repeated the process on all three big gouges. You can see the gouges covered and blended, below. Look for the white:

    Pic: leaning agains the chair.
    [​IMG]
    Lesson learned - If I was to do this repair over again, I think I would have used sawdust instead of silica. The silica, made a great bond, but the white color of it, really stands out, bringing attention to the repair. Its strictly an aesthetic comment, but I think sawdust would have thickened the epoxy and maintained a wood-like color, making the repairs less noticeable - Ill try sawdust next time.

    4. Coating the repairs.
    Last, I covered both side of the board in a final coat of epoxy - one side of the board at a time.

    I was surprised overall, how simple this repair was. It was my first time doing anything like this - of course I am no professional, and Im sure there are way better techniques out there for these kind of repairs - but I was able to save my old daggerboard that I was about to throw out, and turn it into something way better than it was. The hardest part of the repair, was waiting for the each repair to harden up and dry. The final product turned out well and I saved my family a bunch of money, fixing it myself instead of buying something new. Ill do an even better job next time!

    I hope this simple repair gives you the confidence to try to fix your daggerboard, instead of throwing it away and buying a new one.

    Cheers to you all, and thanks for the suggestions LaVWs and wavedancer!
    Warm regards,
    Whitecap

     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  7. Sylvan Sunfish

    Sylvan Sunfish New Member

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    Whitecap,
    Thanks for posting up the Hiking Strap mod. I thought my mods were complete for the year until I logged into this last week... all the parts just showed up yesterday from Intensity. Your pics gave me the needed motivation to get the hiking strap installed. My wife thanks you as well.

    SS
     
  8. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    for those that like a little wood...... bottom is a bit more rugged of course....
     

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  9. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    standard windex works too.
     

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  10. signal charlie

    signal charlie Active Member Staff Member

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    Okay we need a picture of your boat rigged and on the water now :)
     
  11. Whitecap

    Whitecap Member

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    Ok... I get back from my work trip late tomorrow night. My plan is to go sailing the next day. I'll see if we cant get a few pics taken for ya'.

    Remember, she ain't pretty...But she's safe, dry, and all mine!
    Thanks to you all, I brought her back to life.
    This is a great boat to learn on and teach my little children how to sail on.

    -Whitecap
     

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