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Bent Deck Plate - Why???

seawardone

New Member
Hi Folks,

A rather embarrassing post, but has anyone seen this before?

I've managed to bend my cunningham/outhaul deck plate twice now in two years. It happens in the exact same place (starboard side) and I simply have no idea how it occurred.

FYI - in picture, left block=cunningham; right=outhaul; shock=daggerboard cord; other = mast retainer

'Appreciate any insight/experience you might have to share!

Cheers
 

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AdamCrescent

New Member
I myself dont sail lasers yet, but the guys at the club have this problem actually today this happened and =he snapped the ring too! it was heavy wind so i think the blocks could have been under stress but i cant say
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Wow, that looks bad. A friend of mine got his plate bent somewhat like that, but it was on both sides and only half as much as that. We agreed it must have been a piece of defective material, but I don't know if that applies in your case because of the asymmetry. How much purchase do you have in your cunningham and outhaul?
 

AdamCrescent

New Member
Wow, that looks bad. A friend of mine got his plate bent somewhat like that, but it was on both sides and only half as much as that. We agreed it must have been a piece of defective material, but I don't know if that applies in your case because of the asymmetry. How much purchase do you have in your cunningham and outhaul?
It was a guy at the club who bent his, tomorrow Morning if i remember i will check the purchase and report back to you
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Adam, I was actually talking to the original poster, but of course the more data the better.
 

seawardone

New Member
LaLi - Thanks for the response. Both vang and outhaul are the stock upgrade kits from Harken. I just can't imagine I did this with normal adjustments even under big breeze. Defective material was my conclusion the last time I did this. I'm second guessing this now.and $41 is a lot for these!
 

old laser guy

New Member
I heard from a laser dealer that the stainless steel comes from China on the newer plates, thats why they look rusty after 2 times out in salt water.
 

tcraig812

Member
Hi Folks,

A rather embarrassing post, but has anyone seen this before?

I've managed to bend my cunningham/outhaul deck plate twice now in two years. It happens in the exact same place (starboard side) and I simply have no idea how it occurred.

FYI - in picture, left block=cunningham; right=outhaul; shock=daggerboard cord; other = mast retainer

'Appreciate any insight/experience you might have to share!

Cheers
Yes, I had this happen. None of my deck fittings on my 20 year old Laser were reinforced. So I cut a few service ports in the deck and put in bolts with washers. I bent the bracket flat and rebolted the bracket to the deck and no more problems.
 

wjejr

Active Member
I have little experience with Lasers, but it is hard to imagine the force of the cunningham or outhaul could do that. Is there any chance the mast retainer is getting caught somehow and then winding up and pulling on the fitting when you sheet out? The leverage on the boom when sheeting out would be huge at the axis/mast. If somehow the line got caught and wound up, I would think the force could bend anything.

The pictures I was just looking at online have the line running through the fitting rather than tied on, which I think is what you show (black w/yellow flecks). If the retainer did get caught up somehow, it would pull rather than run through.

Just guessing.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Mast retaining line is usually the culprit and it is because it is not rotating when the mast rotates or the result of capsizing. Personally I prefer using shock cord that rope.

These fittings have bent from day one when they were introduced. If they don't bend, you'll find the screws ripping out. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the stainless steal, 304 / 316 are both fairly low strength stainless steels. General corrosion issues with these materials are usually the result of the materials not being pickled particularly after welding, the solution is dipping the fitting into nitric to form the protective oxide layer.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Feels like such a "no-brainer" after reading the previous two posts! Yes... if you use a non-elastic mast retainer, be sure you tie it when the mast leans forward, and then rotate the mast from one extreme to the other to see that the line stays slack in all positions.

Cheap fixes are the best.
 
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Brucebrad

New Member
I've bent mine also - and I'm sure it was the mast retainer. I had it tied loosely, but it always seems to jam itself. Any suggestions on the best tie-off method?
 

seawardone

New Member
Hey Guys,

Bingo! I failed to share with you that Sunday morning my mainsheet stopper knot came loose. I proceeded to watch as it snaked its way out of the boom blocks. Before I knew it, the boom had rotated a full 180 degrees from center line and was directly out in front of my bow. I could see how this must have caused incredible torque on my non-elastic mast retainer and the deck plate material simply gave as designed.

Thanks again. Another testimonial to the power of this forum and sailing such an awesome boat.

Have a great week!
 

seawardone

New Member
Brucebrad et. al: I'm going to try the setup below from Steve C. Looks pretty solid and clearly would have prevented my issues. He even demo's the full mast rotation!

 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Cockerill's system above must be the simplest possible, but it needs so much slack for the rotation that it lets the mast move vertically quite a bit before stopping it. Just thinking, how far can the mast come out before anything is likely to break? (Not something one would want to test in real life.)

My own retainer does two loops around the mast, once through the eyes on the deck plate and once above the vang fitting. The ends are tied together. I like it.

And by the way, if you want to lead the centreboard elastic the way it's done in the video above, it's simpler if you use a separate piece of line as a fairlead to attach the elastic to the deck plate.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
I still prefer using shock cord for the retaining line as it gives a softer loading if the retaining line is utilised and is still taught enough to prevent the mast falling out. I form a single loop utilising both eyelets of the deck fitting and the loop needs to be slightly stretched in the neutral position when hooked over the vang tang.Rigging 8.JPG
 

seawardone

New Member
The following new laser rigging video from the gang at West Coast Sailing shows another simple but seemingly effective option for mast retainer setup.

 

NickolasG

Member
Usual reason this plate bends is that mast with security rope on may turn around 1-2 times and due to tension on this rope this thing bends.
 

Pierson

Member
Usual reason this plate bends is that mast with security rope on may turn around 1-2 times and due to tension on this rope this thing bends.
I don't know why it bent. I was not the last person to sail my boat... when properly rigged, my mainsheet is long enough to sail way by the lee and still not have tension on the security line. So who knows. Maybe they didn't tie the mainsheet to the back of the boat and dropped it going downwind? I don't think that the wind was strong enough that day to rip both screws out of the deck and bend the plate like that but it's totally possible your hypothesis is correct. I did not think of that!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Listen to Nickolas; the security line was too short. With the mast in the normal position, there should be plenty of slack in the security line.
 

NickolasG

Member
I don't know why it bent. I was not the last person to sail my boat... when properly rigged, my mainsheet is long enough to sail way by the lee and still not have tension on the security line. So who knows. Maybe they didn't tie the mainsheet to the back of the boat and dropped it going downwind? I don't think that the wind was strong enough that day to rip both screws out of the deck and bend the plate like that but it's totally possible your hypothesis is correct. I did not think of that!
It’s not about mainsheet length, mate, it’s about security line length. Do you set your mainsheet when you’re ashore? I don’t think so, but I’m sure that you set mast security rope, sometimes it’s too short and won’t let mast turn freely when weather shifts, and from the tension that appears between that block plate and vang fitting plate bends as well as vang fitting does, so at some point this plate will break or vang fitting will first bend and then break.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I love it when new sailors ask a question and then question the veterans who have "been there, done that" answers.... Also, love the input from the "Well I've never sailed that boat before but...." Jeez...
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I love it when new sailors ask a question and then question the veterans who have "been there, done that" answers.... Also, love the input from the "Well I've never sailed that boat before but...." Jeez...
Pierson is not doing that.

Looking now at the previously posted pictures, I should have noticed at the time that the retainer is(was) indeed on the short side. So I am partially to blame :(

To repeat, what obviously happened is that whoever operated Pierson's boat untied the sheet, and let the boom swing forward (or even :eek: over the bow to the other side). The block plate isn't designed to take that leverage, and the wind doesn't even have to be very strong to bend it.

Next it's a new plate... and bolts. (And therefore an inspection hatch probably, too). And a longer and maybe differently attached and more elastic line.

_
 

Pierson

Member
I'm now considering changing the security line after having to fix the holes(which I thankfully did without installing an inspection port). But since I made all the rigging myself, I know how it works. And since I know how it works, I know it works for me.

Nickolas, I'm not sure what you mean by "It’s not about mainsheet length, mate, it’s about security line length. Do you set your mainsheet when you’re ashore? I don’t think so, but I’m sure that you set mast security rope,"

I do set my mast security rope before sailing but what's this about not setting the mainsheet before sailing? Are you meaning to tell me you cast your boat from land, neatly coiled mainsheet in hand, and proceed to rig it on the water? I prefer to do things in a way that takes the least cursing and yelling, so I rig my mainsheet on land. I rig it the same way every time so that it's the same length every time. I don't even untie the knot that rests at the becket of the aft boom block.

Mainsheet length and security line length both mattered in this situation. If the mainsheet was not tied to the back of the cockpit, than the boom would be allowed to swing out past it's normal range, thus taking tension to the security line and bending the plate. If the security line was longer, this could still happen given the mainsheet not tied to the back of the cockpit. As long as the mainsheet is tied to the back of the cockpit and is short enough to not tension the security line whist under strain, you should have no issues.

My mainsheet is long enough to sail at a broad reach when by the lee(I'm not sure the angle in degrees). The security line is, agreeably shorter than most people's but does not take tension and stays out of the way.

The issue is that the user of my boat neglected to look at the pictures of my rigging or any instructions specific to my boat I sent him prior to sailing. After getting the boat back, I could see they didn't set anything up correctly.

Rob,
It's too bad that I'm so inexperienced to not listen to internet veterans. I'll try better next time.

And I'm sorry all for the late response; I was out sailing my laser(even with my minimalist security line).
 

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