Things you would like to see improved upon by the Sunfish boatbuilder for 2008

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by oompanyc, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. eastmountain

    eastmountain New Member

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    Since I am a casual sailor and never competitive, I would like to see a version that is amenable to carrying more people (and big guys like myself). Not a replacement for the design probably. Instead, a whole new design.
     
  2. leejmontes

    leejmontes New Member

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    Another thing/problem popped ip on my 10 month old Charleston Worlds boat... last Tuesday (week before the worlds) I ripped ou tmy main sheet block... the bolts and small washers tore two holes right thought he deck where the block is mounted... right now my boat is not sailable and I will have to improvise before ig et this fixed... Vanguard needs to put a backing plate under the mainsheet block.

    Lee Montes #2 WPSA
     
  3. jlosail

    jlosail Judy Lazo

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    I've never heard of that happening. There were several problems with the World's boats last week at Brant Beach. My boat had a serious problem with the daggerboard well. It was so tight I had to use 2 hands to pulll it up when standing up after I rounded the offset mark at the windward mark. Several boats had the rudders fall off during races. I think one or 2 boats were separating at the hull/deck seam. Maybe some of you who attended had other problems?
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Judy,

    Especially the hull deck/seam problem sounds pretty bad. What did the Vanguard support people do or say?
     
  5. Bill Siler

    Bill Siler Member

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    There is the Bigfish, a new design from Island Packet Yachts, considerably larger than the Sunfish and well priced. I have not seen one in person but the website is intriguing.

    Bill
     
  6. oompanyc

    oompanyc Member

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    Personally, my experience with the 2007 Worlds boats were great, they seem a bit stiffer, were light, did not leak, and no freak occurrences, so I was a very happy camper. Vanguard represented very well at the regatta between Ned Jones and Josh Toso, they seemed to go around a bit and see how people were rigging and spent time talking with many of the sailors. Any issues they did their best to accommodate as quick as possible. To be honest, I don't recall hearing any one person complaining about the boats this year.
     
  7. adavid

    adavid Member

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    I agree with Brian that Vanguard was well-represented and attended to any issues immediately. My boat had a cracked mast step after the first day. Josh did a 30-minute duct tape and silicone repair, and it actually held. It seems that it was just cosmetic in the gelcoat, which was all chipped at the deck/step seem.

    Also, all of the masts leaked, so that your mast would fill from the bottom to the deck level. The Vanguard guys drilled holes in the bottom of the mast if you asked them so that they could drain easily. However, it only took the first few waves to fill that up again. If it were your personal boat, I am sure that you could find the source of the leak and plug it, though it would be great if that could be taken care of at the factory.
     
  8. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    There are EXTREMELY few masts that don't leak. Back in the day AlCort put cork inside the masts near the top and near the bottom to cut down on the water that could be held inside. We have a plastic cap to aluminum point of contact. Plastic is extremely flexible, aluminum much less so. With all the forces and flexing on the mast cap with the halyard and the same on the end cap in the mast step, I think it unrealistic to expect either to be "water tight." I used to waste time on "sealing it with silicone" and since have joined all the Sunfish racers who simply drain the water from the deck down part of the mast at the end of a days' racing, knowing that 89.973% of the other racers are doing the same. What is held in it? Maybe a liter of water? So, 1-2 pounds, tops? Heck, my personal weight varies that much from one day to another. It's another point of a good start or a good tack or a good play on a shift will far make up for being worried about something that trivial. If you're really concerned, find a waterproof item that will fit into the inside of the mast from the top and bottom (and be sure to get the measurer's blessing first, the cork is legal, anything else--since it's not strictly allowed in the rules--may not be and could result in DSQ) and you want to baby sit it and regularly silicone-caulk it to "seal it," have at it. I'd rather go sail another race!
     
  9. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    Maybe we should consider a new automatic cockpit bailer one of these days. The original metal bailer and the newer plastic bailers just don't move much water and the plastic bailer with the rubber stopper has a tendency to open when you don't want it open and close when you want it open. A smaller, stainless steel affair set in a shallow sump would be a big improvement. Even the Laser bailer is a bad design. The original Elvstrom s.s. bailers were/are far superior.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  10. jsdeimel

    jsdeimel Member

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    The original Elvstrom s.s. bailers were/are far superior.
    They are a lot better I recall sheets, sponges even orange quarters (the fruit) being sucked out the bottom of fireballs and e scows.
    The only drawback is they stick up quite high and they are sharp. The cockpit floor is less then a 1/2 inch thick.
    http://www.layline.com/product/556/333
    also note the price.
     
  11. isleofwightlen

    isleofwightlen Member

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    My International Europe sailing dinghy has a pair of Anderson Super Mini bailers & they work great ( they need to with me sailing it ! ) ..... You can get similar models with either an internal or external flanges ..... To see some examples , scroll down on eBay.co.uk , item # 150163829618 ..... Quite pricey , between $55-$75 a piece , but they do their job well.
     
  12. sailorbabee

    sailorbabee New Member

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    I would have to agree with Derek that I would very much like to see cleats on the masts or at least a reinforced deck area around the mast step. Mine blew apart while sailing at the Wequaquet Lake regional this July in only around 12 knots of breeze.

    My warranty was up in May and now I'm stuck with the repair costs... It seems strange that the mast step would break in such little breeze.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. sailorbabee

    sailorbabee New Member

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    I forgot to add that the entire forward part of the deck separated from the hull as well. I guess that is a given looking at the damage to the mast step. When the eye hole is pulled up - the deck now comes with it!!
     
  14. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    I wonder if there's been enough turnover and shortcut taking since Chip & Co. last purchased the company that it's time for the manufacturer needs to acquire a 1965 or so model, cut it in half, examine the construction methods, and get back to basics. I have not heard, in 25 years of active racing of Sunfish, of the unending, ongoing issues that we keep hearing about these last 5 years.

    The fiberglass cloth used in the 60's was definitely different than that used today. The foam used is different (it's not everywhere when you open up the hull any more for an inspection port). OSHA has gotten involved and it may be the materials used then can't be used in the same mix. Some specs have been changed over the years. Dan Feldman spent a TON of time trying to help the company understand what Alcort (before AMF) was doing for construction so that the outcome would be as close to the same as possible, but his efforts are now many years ago.

    The change to the flanged hull to deck and cockpit brought new challenges. Where the alumninum rail provided integral strength, fiberglass is now expected to serve. The plastic cover around the cockpit definitely does not provide structural strength, particularly when compared to aluminum and that likely needs to be a visited issue. The outer edge splitting didn't used to happen because the aluminum would punch a hole into whatever it hit (unless other aluminum) or it bounced. Part of this should come down to sailor responsibility. Should the manufacturer be held responsible for a boat splitting on impact? I don't think so ...

    The mast step issue stymies me. Every once in a while one would break, but usually because someone had the boat on the beach for years, wasn't really careful about rinsing sand out of the step or had a rivet at the base of the mast and the bottom of the step would wear out.

    Tying the halyard to the deck so hard that it rips the step off the hull is also likely unneccesary, but how to you control individual strength? Shouldn't racers be responsible enough that when they buy a new mast they simply acquire a cleat, two screws and install the cleat themselves? Recreational sailors simply aren't going to be bothered with the mast cleat and by having it fed through the eyeblock on deck and onto the deck clean ensures that the mast and rig stays with the boat in case of capsize or break.
     
  15. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    I wonder if there's been enough personnel turnover and shortcut taking since Chip & Co. last purchased the company that it's time for the new manufacturer to acquire a 1965 or so model, cut it in half, examine the construction methods, and get back to basics. I have not heard, in 25+ years of active racing of Sunfish, of the unending, ongoing issues that we keep hearing about these last 5 years.

    The fiberglass cloth used in the 60's was definitely different than that used today. The foam used is different (it's not everywhere when you open up the hull any more for an inspection port). OSHA has gotten involved and it may be the materials used then can't be used in the same mix. Some specs have been changed over the years. Dan Feldman spent a TON of time trying to help the company understand what Alcort (before AMF) was doing for construction so that the outcome would be as close to the same as possible, but his efforts are now many years ago.

    The change to the flanged hull to deck and cockpit brought new challenges. Where the alumninum rail provided integral strength, fiberglass is now expected to serve. The plastic cover around the cockpit definitely does not provide structural strength, particularly when compared to aluminum and that likely needs to be a visited issue. The outer edge splitting didn't used to happen because the aluminum would punch a hole into whatever it hit (unless other aluminum) or it bounced. Part of this should come down to sailor responsibility. Should the manufacturer be held responsible for a boat splitting on impact? I don't think so ...

    The mast step issue stymies me. Every once in a while one would break, but usually because someone had the boat on the beach for years, wasn't really careful about rinsing sand out of the step or had a rivet at the base of the mast and the bottom of the step would wear out.

    Tying the halyard to the deck so hard that it rips the step off the hull is also likely unneccesary, but how to you control individual strength? Shouldn't racers be responsible enough that when they buy a new mast they simply acquire a cleat, two screws and install the cleat themselves? Recreational sailors simply aren't going to be bothered with the mast cleat and by having it fed through the eyeblock on deck and onto the deck clean ensures that the mast and rig stays with the boat in case of capsize or break.

    I know I don't beat on my boat as hard as some of the other racers. In the midwest we simply didn't have any wind this year at regattas to warrant the kind of extreme sailing that causes breakage. I'm still happy with my 2000 World Championship boat, aside from the lengthwise cracks in the cockpit floor from the cockpit floor to hull exterior supports.
     
  16. derekcjackson

    derekcjackson Member

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    It is interesting to note that the person who posted the picture of the mast step generally sails on VERY small lakes where there is VERY little wind. I would think this would be more common if you consistently sailed in breezy conditions and the boat gradually weakened over time.

    As I mentioned in my original post, since around 1990, I have separated 4 decks from the mast step tube. The very large majority of the sailing I do is on those same lakes with very little wind.

    What people fail to recognize is that the deck torquing comes from two different sources. The first two boats I damaged were because I tied a halyard, using a purchase to the deck of the boat. However, the second two were damaged on very windy days while the halyard was cleated on the mast. The torquing on the deck was caused exclusively by a very hard boom vang.

    As Gail points out, my own actions and decisions contributed to all of four my incidents.
     
  17. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    This image seems to show a rather poor lay-up of glass and inadequate resin around the mast tube and onto the deck. There should not be large bubbles of air between the gel coat and the mast tube/deck opening/step. Somehow the folks on the assembly line need a gentle reminder that this part of the assembly is extremely important, that the mast step is integral to what makes the boat go, and that the air bubbles must be worked out.
     
  18. zaney

    zaney New Member

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    I would like to see the foam stay attached for more than 2 regattas.
     
  19. JimB

    JimB New Member

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    I'm new to sailing and the Sunfish, but no one mentioned what seems to me to be the dumbest thing ever done! Why, in all these years, hasn't the drain plug been moved to the stern instead of the topside of the deck, so the boat can drain while on a trailer?
     
  20. Offramp

    Offramp New Member

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    Possibly because the stern of a sunfish is not the lowest spot on the boat. The water would only drain out if the trailer was tilted enough to run the water back to the stern mounted drain plug.
    BTW AND IMHO, Trailoring is very hard on a sunfish hull. I now only trailor with the deck down.
     

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