Sunfish with a jib

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Tidewater, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Tidewater

    Tidewater New Member

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    Ok so I am a college student in my final year of engineering. My wheels are always turning! I have an older sunfish that was given to me two years ago. I absolutely love to sail it. I do most of my sailing off the beach down here in Florida. Recently I had the thought, Why not put a jib sail on the front of the sunfish. I love pushing my fish to the limit and seeing how hard I can keel it over and how fast I can go. Has anyone ever attempted such a thing? I'm just tryin to think of creative ways to make my boat faster without pouring money into it.
     
  2. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    I have seen at least one photo of a Sunfish with a jib. The problem is getting the base of the jib (the tack) far enough forward to clear the point where the boom and the gaff meet.
    Consider a 2" x 4" bowsprit with a hole routed out to fit over and secure to the bow handle. put an eyebolt on the outboard end about a foot or so forward of the bow and fashion a jib and halyard to the top of the mast. For starters, attach two small "c" clamps to the side of the boat overlapping the aluminum trim and attach small blocks to the clamps. Move them fore and aft until you find the optimum position for the jib sheets and then eventually attached the blocks with a lacing line attached to small hole just inside of the aluminum trim. You will need to fiddle with the gooseneck to balance the jib, but, hey, you're an engineer, you will figure it out!

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  3. fbjru

    fbjru Member

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    I too am an engineering student and love the idea of taking something that works and adding something completely ridiculous in hopes of making it better without breaking anything.
    Some buddies of mine added a spinnaker to an opti a couple of years ago with great success. An opti carrying a 160lb guy going as fast as a planning motor boat is just awesome. Youtube it!
    He still has the 420 spinnaker and we have considered trying the same concept on a sunfish or laser. The problem is someone has to donate their boat for the cause and risk damaging it.
    Adding a jib would prove very difficult to get right. How do you plan to work the jib around the funny lateen rig? I'm sure it could be done, but it would have to be a small jib and would take some engineering. The second problem i forsee is the fact that the sunfish is designed to sail with a single sail. Adding a jib would significantly move the center of effort forward promoting leeward helm. The gooseneck would need to be moved way foward to help balance the problem, but even then it may not be enough. The boat would probably sail very funny upwind and have difficulty pointing.

    Then there is the issue of breaking things as wind increases and the boat takes stresses it is not designed to take.

    I wouldnt recomend doing attempting this, but at the same time I would love to see it done.
     
  4. Webfoot

    Webfoot New Member

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    When you get it going, look at the bow and see if it's being pushed down and plowing water, kind of interested.

    2 1/4 PVC fits the mast tube so well I've always though of setting up a Square Rig Sail and Jib. I'd love to try sailing it from a historical perspective. You could do all sorts of funky things with some PVC and bed sheets.

    Might try fitting it with a Sail Board Sail. There is a picture on the web of a Puddle Duck Racer with one. Sort of a combination of Ultra High Tec and Ultra Low Tec. together.
     
  5. katananut

    katananut New Member

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    Instead of a jib for speed, why not just use a Phantoms rig its 84 sq ft instead of the 75 you got. Plus the rigs aren't expensive. I just got a complete rig with sail for $50, I'll let know know how it works on mine. There should be a good pick up in speed, was always told that the Phantoms were faster, so with its rig on a SF It'll be all that much better I hope.
     
  6. Tidewater

    Tidewater New Member

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    Where did you find this rig?
     
  7. fbjru

    fbjru Member

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    Try googleing Pointer 14. Phantoms stopped being produced long ago, but the mold has recently been used and the same boat has been produced under the name "Pointer 14".

    I've always wanted to try a super sunfish, but of course there are very few that still sail. It would be cool to put a laser or radial rig on a sunfish, but the mast diameter is different.
     
  8. Memnar

    Memnar Member

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    I'd like to see a jib put on the Sunfish like the first post said vs. completely changing to another makers sail adapted to the Sunfish.

    -Erik
     
  9. Tidewater

    Tidewater New Member

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    I don't think its going to be that hard. Yes it might cause the nose of the boat to dig into the water but I'll just have to wait and see. I was going to extend the front of the boat with a peice of wood but have decided against that. SO my plan is to run a line from the very front of the hull all the way to the top of the sail. Then have the lines run back to the cockpit so I can control the sail. I have drawn some ideas up but I can't seem to upload them online yet. I wish there was a picture of this idea out there that I could compare my idea too.
     
  10. timbersmith

    timbersmith New Member

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    Now here's someone who shares a common idea - I've been wondering about putting a jib on a Sunfish-type sailboat for a little over a month now (reason: just because), and have found basically no information about it. I think the main reason is because the lateen-type sail is not as friendly to a jib as other sail shapes are.

    In my case, I've got a Phantom that I had worked on and refreshed 13 or 14 years ago (fix small issues, custom paint, etc), but that had sat languishing outside for probably almost 10 years, now. It's still outside, but I've sewn up a cover for it so that it's not totally unprotected. Lately I started looking at it to get an idea of what will need to be done (or what I want to do) in order to get it 100% again, and that's when I thought about putting a jib on it.

    I've gotten as far as taking measurements to see how big of a jib could fit, but beyond that I'm considering my options. It'll be a while before I'm ready to tackle this upgrade, so I'll be watching your build to see the kinds of problems you run into.

    My thoughts on adding a jib would be to have the least amount of lines as possible, so I was looking at small auto-furlers and home-made furlers for the sail. I was also researching self-tacking jibs to get an idea of the complexity and mechanics behind them, but don't know if something like that would be useful on such a small boat (beyond the "set it and forget it" aspect). The big problem with a self-tacking jib is of course the sail itself, cause you have to make sure that the two sails won't interfere with each other, so in this regard I would probably have to add a bowsprit in order to get a useable jib sail out of the exercise - probably no longer than 8 or 10" (which of course would mean re-inforcing the hull and deck for the extra strain), but I haven't done any designs at this point in time. I have looked at modifying the mast cap in order to fit two pulleys (one for the halyard and one for the forestay), but haven't made any modifications yet.

    I'll see about posting some measurements tomorrow, but the mast is 10' tall above the deck, and I want to say 4' from the bow. The Phantom gooseneck is currently riveted to the boom (don't remember distance), but the clearance between the front of the boom and the hypothetical forestay (at max sail height) was only about 17" or so.

    Maybe this'll give you some ideas.
    - Mike
     
  11. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    A long time ago, the Sunfish class newsletter was a magazine called Sunfish. There used to be a guy who advertised ready-to-go Sunfish jib kits. If you could find a copy of Sunfish magazine - someone on here may have one - you could see what sort of setup he was offering. That magazine was published in the mid-70s.

    There used to be all sorts of gizmos for sale in that magazine, including the "rotaboard." That was a centerboard the could be flipped up under the boat by pulling on a line so you could sail in stump-filled lakes and ponds. You still had lots of board underwater, unlike if you just pulled the board up. Of course the boat would not have pointed at all like that! Probably a better solution would have been to find a lake not filled with stumps!

    There was also a set of oarlocks for sale that you could use to turn your Sunfish into a rowing shell of sorts.

    BB
     
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  12. jbushkey

    jbushkey New Member

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    Interesting this subject came up recently when I was given some deck hardware. The previous owner told me how he had sailed a sunfish with an extra sail years ago. He must have been talking about the ready to go jib kit. I would love to see some info on this.
     
  13. Tidewater

    Tidewater New Member

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    I'm thinking I'm not going mess with a bow pulpit to start with. If I need one I will then take on that task. For the rigging, I plan on setting and Forgetting, making it so it will self tack. Anyone ever sewn their own sail before? I'm trying to figure out what size sail to create.
     
  14. Oceanfish

    Oceanfish sailing addict

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    if you are interested in making your own sail i found a website advertised in sail magazine. the site is sailrite.com and it has sail plans, kits, and supplies.
     
  15. timbersmith

    timbersmith New Member

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    I've dealt with Sailrite several times and they do have good quality materials and equipment. I've got their LS-1 ultrafeed sewing machine that I've been using for some automotive upholstery projects, but I would think that a home machine could do the work when it comes to a small sail like this (as long as you don't have to sew through any plastic reinforcements - the LS-1 can practically sew plywood together). I'd imagine that this sail could be done with a single piece of fabric, where the only real sewing required would be reinforcing the edges and attachment points (unlike a main sail that needs multiple pieces of fabric), though sail design is something I know nothing about.

    They can also help you in designing a sail as well, but I've never had to take them up on this. You'll have to come up with the important measurements, but they can do the designing as well as assemble a kit for you (even sew it up if you'd want them to). There might be more information in the forums on their website, but I'd feel comfortable working with Sailrite on a project like this.

    As far as the self-tacking rigs, maybe you can take an off-the-wall idea I've only contemplated and run with it. Since these boats are so small, I was thinking that using some aluminum T-Track bent to shape, with a car attached to some ball bearings riding in the track could be a nice, low-cost alternative for the basics. Course bending the aluminum track might prove difficult . . .

    - Mike
    (yea I know I still haven't gotten around to posting my Phantom's measurements . . .)
     
  16. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    If you make your sail in one piece it will have no draft, therefore no power. Sails are assembled from panels, and the long sides of every panel are cut with a predetermined amount of curvature so that when sewn together the sail has some depth (draft) to it. The luff also has a curve, this allows it to conform to mast bend (not relevant for a Sunfish) In any case you should get a basic book on sail making so your efforts will yield the best results.
     
  17. predator

    predator Fear the 'fish!

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    For such a small bowsprit, would you really need to reinforce the hull/deck?
    Could you take something like electrical conduit, flatten one end and drill some holes to match the handle mounting points, and secure it to the deck under the handle? I'd guess the handle has to be pretty strong. I'm not sure how it attaches.
    I like the idea of a 2x4 test rig first to optimize the length and positioning of everything.

    I love the idea-- and since I'm a pretty heavy guy, having the bow dive a bit might actually help things for me. I'll be watching your progress too!
     
  18. Tidewater

    Tidewater New Member

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    This is exactly what I was planning on doing! I'm not going to start work on my project for another two weeks but I'll be sure to post my progress!
     
  19. mackavity

    mackavity New Member

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    thought about this in the past. Hope I'm not too late, but the bow handle screws into a (small) piece of plywood under the fiberglass decking. Great for the lifiting/tension forces the handle is meant for, but when you put a long lever arm on it (bow sprit) I would be really worried about doing damage and having some glass work to do (I learned this when repairing a bow handle that had been crushed into the hull). perhaps somethign that attaches to the bowhandle and mast to distribute the moment (and put tension on the handle)

    At one point I played with a random spinnaker i'd picked up. I don't recall much about the performance other then having fun. I'd rigged a block to the top of the gaff to hoist it and didn't have a spin pole, but I was able to fly it and jibe (not having a pole meant I was DDW anyway...)
     
  20. BrianC72mg

    BrianC72mg New Member

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    (Disclaimer: I know almost nothing about sails and rigging. )

    Poking around and found The Sailstore, searched for "jib", sorted by price and here's what I found

    Jib sails

    I didn't see any dimensions listed, but am assuming that a lower cost sail = a smaller one, which is probably what we're looking for. I'll give them a call and see if they have any detailed specs for some of the cheaper ones. I was thinking about stress to the deck as well.

    I imagine for testing purposes, you could get a piece of plywood and cut it to match the profile of the front of the hull, clamp it down around the edges with a bunch of spring clamps or even a ratchet tie, and then play around with mounts and pulleys and configurations in general. 3/4" electrical conduit and a couple of clamps would be cheap for a test rig. Once you're happy with the layout, then come up with something more elegant/permanent.

    You could also probably rig up a luggage scale with a pointer that records the highest load at the bottom mounting point for the sail to get a feel for the degree of reinforcement required...if any.

    A jolly roger jib on a diy furling spool would be a hoot!

    Regards,

    Brian C.
     

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