Daysailing modifications, improvements, gadgets.

Thread starter #1
Its been a while since I have posted much here mainly cause I have been working a lot of hours and haven't had time. Does anybody know of any new inprovements or gadgets for use when cruising/daysailing with the C14? I have made a few with mine that make it easier for me and my wife. We usually sail on a large lake and usually sail for the day. I have been meaning to take a bunch of photos and post them on a web page with all the mods and little extras becuase some of them are hard to explain without a picture. I have made most of the additions or improvement because there does not seem to be that many things for the C14 for sale out there. Right now I am working on a small ladder to put on the back. Its telescoping so that it won't touch the water when sailing, but when you let it down there will be 3 steps to let you climb back in the boat. My thinking is that this would be real handy for taking a quick dip in the water or getting back in after a capsize because the telescoping ladder rungs will be held up with a samll bungi cord that can be released from within the boat or when your in the water. I am making it out of aluminum to keep the weight below 5 pounds. There have been plenty of times that I wanted to get in the water but it was just too much trouble to get back in. I tried the rope with a loop thing and it was more trouble than it was worth for me, the bow rises and the stern lowers and the rope and my feet end up underneath the boat. I'm going to have this ladder with a brace down near the water line that kicks it out from the back a little to make up for how the boat reacts when you step on the ladder.
I don't have any improvements for the boat, but I didn't make a new mast crutch from 4" PVC that is cheap, light, fits very well (without wobbling), and supports the mast very well. If anyone is interested, I will post pictures and a template that can be printed on 8x10 paper.
Thread starter #5
Re: Stern Ladder

Originally posted by Ed Jones
Kim - If your boarding ladder works out, please send me a pix and text for a Mainsheet article. Send to Thanks.

Ed Jones
Will do ,Ed. I'm still in the design stages as yet. It may turn out not to be a telescoping type ladder, but it must give me what I want out of it. 1. It must not drag in the water. 2. It must be long enough when lowered to climb in easily. 3. It must fit tightly(clamped) on the boat so it will not come off if the boat rolls over. 4. It must be able to be lowered by somone in the water. 5. It must have a brace against the lower part of the stern that holds the bottom of the ladder out away from the boat at an angle, to make up for the bow rising when you step on the ladder. When I get one that meets all of these, I will fill you in:)
Mast crutch picture #1: Here you can see how I notched the 4" PVC pipe to fit over the transom. What you can't see is the notch at the bottom to fit over the hiking strap anchor.


Mast crutch picture #1: Here you can see how I notched the 4" PVC pipe to fit over the rub rail. The curved edges of the notch allow it to slip over the rub rail with slight pressure. (The PVC flexes a little, which allows it to be cut to relatively close tolerances without breaking the crutch or damaging the rub rail.) While the bungee really holds it all in place, the tab created by the notch allows the crutch to snap in place and stop it from twisting or sliding. In the picture, I have the bungee all on one side of the crutch, but when traveling, I wrap the bungee over the top of the crutch, which keeps the bungee and mast from sliding around. Finally, I attached the reflector that was on the old crutch, but as you can see, the mast blocks it. I will be replacing it with a larger, rectangular reflector that can be seen with the mast in place.

I bought an 8-foot piece of 4"? PVC for about $6.00. I used a Dremel with the cutting wheel to make the large, initial cuts. I then used the Dremel with the sanding drum to clean up the edges and shape the parts more precisely. Make sure you use a dust mask, eye protecting, and gloves when using a Dremel on PVC, because it creates a lots of dust that likes to get into your mouth and nose and hot PVC slag that likes to stick to fingers and fly into your eyes.


Great approach!

I think it could be extended as a boom crutch as well or as a stable base for a boom crutch. using the base Approach it would give more stabity to my Sailor's Tailor cockpit cover.
Thread starter #10
Well, I went sailing on the lake last week Tuesday through Saturday. The area we were vacationing in missed the effects of the hurricane exept for the rain. We had goods winds everyday and I tested my ladder and it seems to work well. I anchored and took a swim for a while in one of the coves and climbing back aboard was no problem. When up the ladder does not touch the water at all. I never could make the telescoping idea work with the materials that I had so I made a ladder that folds up hinged in two places and forms a triangle when stored. It weighs about 5 pounds and only obstructs the rudder when the rudder is nearly turned all the way , so it was no problem. I need to take pictures and was going to last week but my wife forgot to pack the camera :confused: I also made a small frame for a tarp to go over the boom when the sail is lowered to give some shade. I'm back to work now so, I will do this when I get time to take some pics. I like the pictures of the boom crutch, it looks like it would work well. My next idea would be hard to explain unitl I attempt it, but if has to do with storage in the cuddy area. I have heard that Mod 3's have storage under the seats, but for the rest of us its not so easy to get things out of the cuddy (fenders, spare fuel, food, drinks, etc.) while underway. How do others have things aranged in that area. Seems like it becomes a real mess in a hurry.
I've seen it done, and it looked good. I have been a little apprehensive to do it too, but I think that I will do it soon (or have it done at the local maintenance yard) because I have had the same issues with the cubby. I saw a site with an article where a sailor put these on his boat. It had step-by-step instructions with pictures. If I find the link again, I will post it. If I install the ports, I will post pictures and info if you are interested.

I'm glad to help. :) I also tried a shorter piece first, which worked fine, but I saw the same lateral movement. I apologize, but I see now that I didn't mention that in my previous posts. The crutch in the pictures is my second attempt, made from a longer piece of PVC pipe that is nothced at the bottom to go around the hiking strap brace, which helps to keep the crutch from shifting.

We installed a 4" port on the seat by the stern, we like it. So we are going to install one more on the other side, and a 6" port on the deck.

Pretty easy, good suggestion Dave :)

Well, I got my first port from West Marine, and they don't have cat bag and also mine is not contoured. So I ordered tow more from your link. One is 4" and the other is 6" both have cat bag.

Now I wonder if I can find some recessed cup holder; I feel like cutting her up. :D :D :D

So far I have cut three holes and I found jigsaw gives me the best control free hand. I used a hole saw (1") first and finished up with a jigsaw. When you do the port on the seat, make sure you move the plastic floatation device out of the way before cutting.

I ordered two port bags, but I found that using a waste basket is better. I found a nice once at Sears, it has a same radius as my 6" port. I bolted it to port with plenty of marine Goop. It comes out very nice and water proof even when capsizes. :cool:

I have pics too.