Tightwad Bob - an affordable DIY mast float

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by Russ and Jennifer, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    Hello. my name is Russ, and I'm a tightwad.
    Wile I'm sure the Baby Bob is a fine piece of craftsmanship and does what it's intended to do admirably, I just couldn't seem to, in good conscience, pay $90.00 for a chunk of foam with a bracket attached that needs modifying anyway. After some hours of searching, I located what I feel is a suitable floaty thing, and purchased it online for $8.65 + shipping. Now that seemed a fair price to me.
    For an attachment devise I dug through my scrap heap and found a piece of 20 gauge stainless to make the mounting base, and 6" of 1 1/4" stainless tubing. a slot was cut in the top of the tubing at an angle, and a small piece of stainless welded into it to form a "thread" to screw the foam float over, thus holding it on the tube. Photos show it all better than I can explain:

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    The foam lobster float I got from Hamilton Marine. it's # HML-buoy-7x15 . as the part # indicates, it's 7" x 15", weighs just over one pound (Baby Bob is 2.5 lb. I believe) with a buoyancy of 16 1/2 pounds (Bob is 32 lb). there was a larger 8x15 buoy also. it's a bit heavier, but of course has more buoyancy as well. I figure if my 16.5 lb isn't enough I can always "upgrade" for about $10.25 ;) . I resealed the mast head wile I was there also.
    BTW: the tang on the back of my mounting bracket is to attach a topping lift for the boom.

    Cheers,
    Russ
     
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  2. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    We took our little Alcort Puffer to the lake today and somehow came home minus it's 8" inflatable mast float. must have broken it's retaining strap and escaped onto the hi-way somewhere along the way. anywho…. the mast float on the Capri worked out so well that I think I'll put that one on the Puffer and use the larger 8x15 on the Capri. looks the same, just a tad bigger and has 22.1 lb of buoyancy instead of 16.5 and weighs a couple ounces more. the 8x15 came from Hamilton marine also and is # HML-buoys-8x15. kinda spendy at $10.25 but I guess I can skip a PBJ to pay for it. ;)
     
  3. pat earing

    pat earing Can't we sail the Capri instead?

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    Well done-looks great. I chose a Baby Bob, and had a chance to use it this week. As the mast was in the lake I noticed that even with the larger size of the Baby Bob it was completely submerged... As such, if I was to do this again using your float system, I think I would opt for the larger float. Try it and see-might not matter, as I was amazed at easy it was to right the boat (although that might have been the adrenaline talking.)

    Pat
     
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  4. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    Is your mast head sealed Pat? I've never actually calculated it out, but the volume within a sealed mast will add a surprising amount of buoyancy to a "system" also. even with the mast float slightly underwater, due to the angle of the mast when laid over, a swimmer should have a hard time pushing the mast/float underwater further. 32 lb is a lot of lift. :)

    Russ
     
  5. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    Just an update to note that I finally got around to actually testing my "tightwad Bob" float. I'm very happy with the results of the test, and really can't imagine why anyone would sail any dinghy without some type of float up there. Due to the angle of the mast when the boat is on it's side, there isn't sufficient mast volume in the water to provide useful buoyancy until the boat is well on it's way to being inverted, at which point any amount of floatation seems pretty moot anyway. I still think it's a really good idea to seal the mast and boom however (which I did), just to keep water, and therefor weight, out of the mast for easier raising.
    During the test, I pushed the mast float under water as far as I could and it still bobbed up again quickly. this was with the larger 22.1lb buoyancy 8" float I mentioned above.

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  6. Craig Rees

    Craig Rees New Member

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    What about sliding a pool noodle or two down the mast?
     
  7. RobtKyle

    RobtKyle New Member

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    Russ: Read with great interest your posting on "Tightwad Bob" . We are doing the same thing with a lobster float. The pictures posted have for some reason been deleted. Is it possible for you to re-post them, or otherwise make them available. BTW, my 1987 Capri mast will float very easily by itself and think the smaller bob will work just fine for me. Thanks.
     
  8. Char-shir

    Char-shir New Member

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    C 71IowdEcSnL._SL1500_.jpg Could this be used as a mast float, clamped to the top of the mast? it comes it different sizes...the one I am looking at is 8"X11.5" for $34. I am not real handy with tools? I would also like to see pics of the tightwad baby bob. :)
     
  9. Phantom Driver

    Phantom Driver Member

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    Check Craigslist for a used one; I found mine for $30.00 and made my own bracket from $15.00 worth of aluminum from Lowe's. Not hard, just takes time.
     

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