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Anyone know much about a (Fillip) Viper 15?

katafloat

Viper 15
I am the proud owner of a 1971 Viper made in 1971 in San Angelo. I have made the daggerboard and tiller from pine and have mahogany available for the next set when I get these patterns right. I am having trouble finding ANYTHING as a pattern for the rudder. I found a picture of a Texas Tornado rudder that has the same hardware as mine, but making a pattern from a 2" picture is a bit tricky. I found a boat for sale on CL but when I called the guy and asked for a tracing of his, or even pictures, he was almost rude. Any help? The rudder I am copying is eggplant shaped.
 

Sean Bergstrom

New Member
Hi, I live in IL and just found a Viper 15. I know nothing about it. Theres absolutely nothing to it but the boat and hardware. If you could give me measurements for all standing rigging, centerboard, tiller and rudder (if you found that?), that would help so much! respond asap! want to sail before winter hits
 

katafloat

Viper 15
Hi, I live in IL and just found a Viper 15. I know nothing about it. Theres absolutely nothing to it but the boat and hardware. If you could give me measurements for all standing rigging, centerboard, tiller and rudder (if you found that?), that would help so much! respond asap! want to sail before winter hits
Hello Sean!!!!this may be your lucky day. I think you and I own the only 2 Viper 15s left in the world!!!!! I bought mine in April of this year and it had everything but any parts made of wood. I have patterns I can send you. The gentleman I contacted on CL did send me the original tracings...the pine I used worked great.....I am in Texas, so our season is just now beginning again.
 

Johnny Mac

New Member
I am the proud owner of a 1971 Viper made in 1971 in San Angelo. I have made the daggerboard and tiller from pine and have mahogany available for the next set when I get these patterns right. I am having trouble finding ANYTHING as a pattern for the rudder. I found a picture of a Texas Tornado rudder that has the same hardware as mine, but making a pattern from a 2" picture is a bit tricky. I found a boat for sale on CL but when I called the guy and asked for a tracing of his, or even pictures, he was almost rude. Any help? The rudder I am copying is eggplant shaped.
Hey,
Congrats on the new boat, I just bought a 72 Viper, 15' and I have all the original rigging and the original boards if you need something; it has yet to be in the water, have to get plates for the trailer, looks like the most simple boat ever made, but seems like a nice boat, a lot of space inside for its size, no jib on mine; trying to get an estimate on getting one made, good luck, fair winds
John
 

jeannebean

New Member
Hello Sean!!!!this may be your lucky day. I think you and I own the only 2 Viper 15s left in the world!!!!! I bought mine in April of this year and it had everything but any parts made of wood. I have patterns I can send you. The gentleman I contacted on CL did send me the original tracings...the pine I used worked great.....I am in Texas, so our season is just now beginning again.
Hi I am the 3rd person...must be trend...I live WI I don't know anything about sailing. You don't happen to have a manual do you? I have a main sail and a jib. Hoping to have much fun this summer with little frustration!!!
 

katafloat

Viper 15
Hi I am the 3rd person...must be trend...I live WI I don't know anything about sailing. You don't happen to have a manual do you? I have a main sail and a jib. Hoping to have much fun this summer with little frustration!!!
Welcome to out small, elite club. I found out quite a bit about the history of the Viper 15, but have found no manuals. Try looking at the instructions for the Sunfish...quite the same. I took a local sailing class for six weeks and learned most of what I know. I have a couple of things to do before I get mine out on the water this year, but I hope to spend more time sailing than ever.
I will look up all the facts that I have on my boat....I keep a log of trips out and other information.
Maybe we can call sometime?
 

Caveman

New Member
Wow, small group! Just purchased a 1971 Fillip Viper locally in ABQ. It came basically ready to sail, but missing the battens and the dagger board is very warped/twisted. Mostly at the tip, but about a quarter of the board. How difficult is it to make a new one? This boat needs a lot of TLC, but is sail-able as is, and came with a Jib. Reminds me of a big Lazer. Looks very tippy, but how does it sail? Very excited to learn on this and a little Butterfly.
 

Caveman

New Member
FillipViperBrochureF.jpg FillipViperBrochureB.jpg Found this this brochure with the title! Look at that sheen on the deck in the lower right photo..... the one I found is far from that condition.
 

katafloat

Viper 15
Hello Caveman! So happy to hear from you. I have made my daggerboard from southern yellow pine and with a lot of marine varnish it has yet to warp. Probably sunlight is the major foe of wood. I had to replace all the lines on my Viper, Braver, but that was a labor of love. I put on a coat of good fiberglass polish on the topside....didn't do much good, but maybe a coat a year would help. They make paint and I have seen pictures of "after" but it didn't get me out on the water. Check to make sure the bolt ropes on the sails are in good shape. I noticed my sails were getting harder and harder to get up, then realized the boltropes were disintegrating into white powder. Being the handyperson I am, I ordered the rope and replaced them myself. Not much a job if you have a good sewing machine handy. I had to replace two battens....find the nearest thickness board in the small lumber section of Lowes and sand it down by hand. I have measurements for almost everything from boat to rigging. Love to hear from you by email or phone. Kat
 

Caveman

New Member
Congrats jeannebean! That's a sharp looking sail and your making a wake, nicely done.

Kat, the brochure I scanned is written all over with my boat boat and trailer info by the previous owner and has a dealer stamps with phone numbers. I took them out in Photoshop before posting, so it will stay with the titles. Sorry. Might be the one!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Hey All, Does anyone have a good method and product for waxing/polishing/general spiffing up this old viper?
For starters, give the boat a good scrubbing with Comet or SoftScrub With Bleach

PS: In your photo, the angle of the boom looks odd, or is it just a photographic artefact?
 

jeannebean

New Member
I will try the soft scrub routine...thanks...Don't know if the angle of the boom is odd or not. It only fits on one way ..LOL I don't think I could mess that up...but them I am a rookie. I raised the height of the boom where it travels up and down on the mast so that I could see more...Any ideas let me know. Thanks for the cleaning tip, I will let you know if it helps!!! Ps do you all stuff your sails into the bag or fold them?
 

jeannebean

New Member
Hey Wavedancer, Kat, Caveman, Sean,I tried sailing again yesterday. It was pretty windy and after 2 unsuccessful attempts at launching I decided to call it quits....this rookie did not want to get hurt before she got started...
So anyway.....I am thinking about the angle of the boom and have been looking at other pictures, I think you pointed it out...the boom really slopes to the stern end...do you think this could be remedied by loosening the shrouds and tighening the mainstay? It does appear the mast is vertical so I am not sure I should start adjusting things like this without really knowing how I will impact other forces....what do you think? Also when I was hoisting the mainsail it stuck about 6 inches from the top....I don't see any reason why this should have happened any advice would be appreciated! Jeannebean
 

Caveman

New Member
Do you not have a down-haul? The line that attaches to the bottom of the boom and gets tightened down and tied off on the bottom of the mast. Does not look like it in the photo. Or you might have a different sail than was intended for the Viper? In the photo it also looks like your rudder is up, is this normal? Was wondering about that on mine as there is just a bungee type rig like yours, and seems a little weak, like the force of moving forward would just lift the rudder up.

At least you followed your feelings and stayed ashore! No reason to get hurt.
 

jeannebean

New Member
Caveman I do not have a down haul. How is yours attached? Do you have a picture of yours all rigged? I do not know if the sail is different or not. It sure appears to be larger than the one in the brochure picutre that was posted.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I will try the soft scrub routine...thanks...Don't know if the angle of the boom is odd or not. It only fits on one way ..LOL I don't think I could mess that up...but them I am a rookie. I raised the height of the boom where it travels up and down on the mast so that I could see more...Any ideas let me know. Thanks for the cleaning tip, I will let you know if it helps!!! Ps do you all stuff your sails into the bag or fold them?
This reply relates to the angle of the boom in the photograph.
There are two issues that you should consider:
1. You raised the location of where the boom attaches to the mast
2. You were unable to raise the sail all the way up. The next time you raise the sail look carefully for the origin of the problem and try to find a solution.

I bet (not a whole lot ;)) that one or both of these issues is relevant.
 

Caveman

New Member
The goose neck on the front of the boom (part that slides into the mast) should have a small ring underneath that you can attach a line to. Pull down hard on the line and tie off on cleat on the bottom of the mast. This will tighten the sail, keep tight for high winds and a little looser for light. At least that's what they say. I will look at mine when home to check if there is one. I have yet to rig this newly acquired Viper.
 

jeannebean

New Member
Hey Caveman, I checked my boom for a ring. Did you have time to check yours? The weather is supposed to be bad this weekend so I doubt if I will get out. However, Slim Jim has been working on my rudder and center board. He disassembled the center board and is refinishing it and adding a new bunji cord thing. He is also refinishing the rudder.
Yeow.....It looks like it belongs in the showroom!!!!! Please post as soon as you get out!!!
 

Caveman

New Member
Hi Jeannebean. Here is a shot of the down-haul mounting ring on the bottom of the goose-neck. Tie off on that ring and pull the boom down to trim your mainsail so there are no wrinkles, then trim the out-haul at the boom aft to take out any more wrinkles in the sail. Wow, sounds like I actually know what the heck I'm talking about. Shows what a little reading will do.

The next shot is of my sad daggerboard warped really badly. The top of the board is on the floor and you can see the top rails are straight and the tip is... well ... useless.

This Viper will not sail until I can get a new daggerboard.

GooseneckArrow.JPGDaggerboardWarp.JPG
 

Attachments

Viper15okie

New Member
Hi Jeannebean. Here is a shot of the down-haul mounting ring on the bottom of the goose-neck. Tie off on that ring and pull the boom down to trim your mainsail so there are no wrinkles, then trim the out-haul at the boom aft to take out any more wrinkles in the sail. Wow, sounds like I actually know what the heck I'm talking about. Shows what a little reading will do.

The next shot is of my sad daggerboard warped really badly. The top of the board is on the floor and you can see the top rails are straight and the tip is... well ... useless.

This Viper will not sail until I can get a new daggerboard.

View attachment 15026View attachment 15027
Thanks for posting the photo. I will now try to rig a cunningham.

I was wondering if the Viper 15 has a boom vang?
Anyone know what diameter the halyards are on this boat? Mine need to be replaced.

I sailed mine for the first time in about 15mph winds and was very impressed at how well she could point. Then the outhaul came off the cleat and it was too windy to get it back on. The boom extends beyond the stern of the boat and the sail was whipping around violently. I guess you should tie a stopper knot instead of cleating the outhaul. On second thought we probably should have just brought down the sail and started over.

I am very impressed with the way this boat was made. During the winter the starboard shroud popped off the tang on the mast and the mast came down. Instead of damaging the deck of the boat it just popped 3 rivets in the mast bracket and 3 rivets in the boom bracket. Easy to replace and you're back in business. Is this boat the forerunner of the viper640 or the VX1?
 

jeannebean

New Member
Hey All I am posting some photos of my centerboard. It is being repaired by Mr. Quality Control. QC is going fix the edges with fiberglass then sand and paint the edges yellow or the same mahogany color as the rest of it. STAY tuned for photos of end result... I don't think I have an outhaul...but then I could only dream of being able to sail in a 15 MPH wind....Yikes ....you must have been having a blast. My one and only time was not even a moderate breeze...LOL....we moved though and I learned a few things. My viper has a block ...sort of in the center of the boom connected to the bottom of the port near the centerboard.
I think it is called a boomvang. GEEZ I need to take a language class. What a blast this all is.
 

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Viper15okie

New Member
The outhaul is the line that connects the clew of the mainsail to the end of the boom. The Viper 15 does not have a boom vang. I read that the placement of the mainsheet on the boom was designed to function as a vang. Sort of . The rope at the foot of our mainsail is deteriorating and ripped out toward the end so we didn't try to run it inside the groove along the boom. We sailed it "loose footed" by just securing the clew of the mainsheet to the boom with the outhaul alone. My guess is that this method is not preferred in higher wind. Someone mentioned on this thread about sewing a new rope to the mainsail. Do you need a special kind of sewing machine to do that?

I also read that this boat is very tender and prone to capsize and turtle where the mast goes straight down toward the bottom of the lake. Does anyone use any type of mast flotation? I was thinking of tying an empty milk container to the head of the sail in case we capsize.
 

jeannebean

New Member
Hey Viper1Skokie, I have about 6inches on the foot of my mainsail that is pulling apart...this is called the bolt rope I think. Anyway, I am sure I can "patch" it using a zipper foot and my regular sewing machine which is not heavy duty. I am going to call a sail maker and get some information on material and thread, I am pretty sure I won't be able to get what I need at Joanne Fabrics LOL. So I will let you know how it goes....thanks for the picture......so I do have a boom vang and of course I do have an outhaul. What is the boom topping lift?
 

Viper15okie

New Member
Jeannebean, Our boat does not have a topping lift. Seems like it would be nice to have to keep the boom out of the cockpit. I think it would be a cable from the mast to the stern end of the boom. The topping lift may be reserved for larger boats. We haven't had the chance to sail our viper again since winds have been over 15 with gusts over 20. Have you tried to sail yours again? We rigged an empty plastic bottle with a metal ring to connect to the top of the mainsail in order to try to keep the mast from turtling in case we capsize.
 

Viper15okie

New Member
We raced our Viper 15 last night in about 11 mph winds. Wow, what a ride. The boat is fast but very tender. We were able to come up on a plane while running downwind. We capsized 3 times with two adults on board. About 375 lbs. The boat turtled twice and the mast filled with water. One time the rudder came off but it floats so we were able to re-attach. In the end all of the Lasers but one beat us in the two races. I plan on attaching a plastic jug to the top of the mainsail next time. I also plan on getting a pintle coupling to attach to the rudder pintle to keep in from coming off again. Our boat only has one block on the boom and we need another purchase point because the mainsheet doesnt come in very easy. Anyone else have a different setup?
 
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Caveman

New Member
That sounds like fun Viper15okie! How hard is this ship to right after capsize? Seems odd that so many of us Viper 15 owners are new to the sport, especially after reading about how tender and easily capsized this sailboat is.

If anybody has the original sails, could you please measure your battens. My sails came without them

Thanks!
 

Viper15okie

New Member
Caveman, it's not too difficult for a grown adult to right the viper but it would even be easier if it didn't turtle. You have to hurry if you turtle because the centerboard wants to slip out. To right the boat you have to grab the centerboard from the bottom of the boat and pull it over and down until you can stand on it and the boat comes right over. The reason we capsized is because we were sailing aggressively both of us hiking way out. New sailors probably should go out on a light air day and take it slow. The coach at our club recommended capsizing the boat close to the shore just to learn what to do. I would also recommend finding a pintle shaft coupling (a metal ring with an allen screw) to fit around the rudder pintle below the gudgeon so the rudder doesn't come off.

We had the hatch full of ice and drinks so I guess it was too much weight because it broke off the little handle and all the drinks sank. My sail is also missing battens. I'm thinking about just using wooden yardsticks cut down to size until I can find some.
 

Caveman

New Member
Thanks Viper15okie. Will be single handing this one without a jib, and was worried about righting it myself. Even my Barnett Butterfly can be a bear sometimes righting in higher wind because of the scow shape and no footing. The Viper is actually more narrow, but way longer and a heavier mast. I tie a small line from the rudder to anything on the stern just in case the rudder comes loose. Unfortunately this is a PITA for drinks coming out of the cooler... where exactly did you race? HAHA.

Absolutely get some battens in your sail. Without them, your sail will not have the designed airfoil and spill wind as needed, which can cause handling problems, and also will quickly trash the sail fabric. Katafloat said she used the yardstick method with good results.

Jeanebean, I just noticed that in your sailing photo, you do not have battens in your new sail. Did the sail maker not provide them?
 

jeannebean

New Member
Thanks cavemanI will get battans...the yard stick idea of katafloats is a good one!!! Mr QC may be through with the centerboard and rudder repair this coming weekend!!!!
 
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