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Odd mast set up

Seaotter5

Active Member
I brought my new-to-me Super Sailfish Mkii home on Saturday, and I noticed something odd about the mast. Instead of simply having a hole in the topcap to run the halyard thru, there are blocks at the top and about a foot above the bottom of the mast, preventing the mast from being able to be removed from the yards (blocks won't fit thru the gooseneck). That's not really a problem. I am pretty sure I can work things out. But has anyone seen a set-up like that on a sailfish? Of course this one also has a swivel cam cleat on it, as well, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at any other oddities! I am assuming that the main sheet is supposed to go through the lower block and then thru the swivel cam cleat. Seems like a lot of extra complexity for a Sailfish. And I am not really sure that I like the idea of cleating the main sheet on a boat that's only 3 feet wide! But we shall see. I don't thing that sailing it in a good breeze is ever going to get boring, especially with two of us on there!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I remember from your original pic that the swivel cleat was mounted next to the mast step which didn’t make sense. The extra block on the mast makes the setup even stranger.

Breeze Bender is right about the top block/pulley.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Sounds like an iceboat-style sheeting arrangement, where the sheet goes along the boom to (or near) the mast and then down to the deck. Pretty smart actually for a vangless rig. Pictures needed...

one-design_boat_DN.jpg

_
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congrats on your new boat!

Maybe they cleated the halyard there, not the sheet, so they could raise and lower the sail as desired? Some folks do that if they have to go under a small bridge. Others wanted to raise the sail once they got off the beach and also wanted to be able to lower it quickly.

The block at the top is period correct, but that eyelet can pull open if it is chrome plated bronze and block fall off if excessive force is put on the halyard. You might consider swapping that out for the current plastic fairlead cap. The block at the bottom of the mast is not correct. The Super Sailfish MKII only had a cleat for the halyard, no deck fairlead/block like the fiberglass Sunfish.

We don't like the idea of cleating a sailing dinghy either, esp a Sailfish. The quickest way to capsize it is to lose track of the sheet under you butt or get the sheet snarled somewhere else, like a cleat. Alcort didn't add a block or cleat, so go with the KISS Principle.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
One thought on replacing the block at the top of the mast with a new cap with built-in fairlead - that will only work if your mast is the same diameter top to bottom. I recall early Sailfish had a tapered aluminum mast.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Beldar we know you are crazy, but in the brilliant way. Nice info.

Can you answer these questions that Wayne left us with? Dates for...
• Sail cloth - Cotton to Nylon, Nylon to Dacron
• Date/hull number range for dual drain plugs
• Date/hull number range for bullet shaped halyard cleat
• Gudgeon plate added to rudder
• Reinforcement step added in mast tube
• Bow handle changes - scalloped to smooth.
• The story behind the addition of "International" to the Alcort, Inc. label
• Boom Blocks - From swivel Racelite to a fixed block back to a Swivel
• Tapered aluminum mast to straight form mast
• Halyard deck block to fairlead ('71-'72 ?)
• Halyard horn cleat changed from metal to plastic
• Introduction of plastic spar endcaps with fairlead
• Stainless steel bow handle introduced
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Well, that is a list of questions!!! Unfortunately my cone does not contain the answer to any of them. I had no idea Sunfish came with plastic halyard cleats now. How do they hold up??
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
I am guessing that the halyard goes through the mast head block then down and through the lower mast block and then to the swivel cam cleat near the base of the mast. This would allow the skipper to hoist the sail from the middle of the deck on the water and also lower the sail from the same position. Yes, photos would help.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia. NY
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
That block on high made it easier to hang pirates... er, I mean vertically-challenged pirates, LOL. :eek:

Walking the plank was out of the question aboard such a craft... ;)
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
The first photo is of the lower end of the mast (with the yards attached). You can (hopefully!) see where the block is located, just a couple of inches above where the mast fits in the mast step.
The second photo is of the swivel cam cleat, which is attached to the mast step itself.D99CBD72-2108-4572-BBDA-6464F9F090E5.jpeg262C0B4E-0AEB-4DFE-8158-A2BD33FB264A.jpeg
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
I am guessing that the halyard goes through the mast head block then down and through the lower mast block and then to the swivel cam cleat near the base of the mast. This would allow the skipper to hoist the sail from the middle of the deck on the water and also lower the sail from the same position. Yes, photos would help.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia. NY
Hmmmm. I hadn’t thought about that. It certainly makes sense. I had assumed that the swivel cleat was for controlling the sheet, but the halyard makes more sense.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Has to be for the halyard, the geometry doesn't make any sense for the sheet.

Anyway, congrats on your new boat, how about some more pics? Did she get named yet?
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
No name yet. I haven’t had a chance to do anything ex eat take her off the trailer since I got her home. There is no serial number anywhere on the boat, the brass rudder fixture says Alcort, Waterbury Ct on it, and the mast does indeed look tapered. The owner said it was from the 70s, but I am thinking it is older than that. I plan on taking her out on the water for a test run on Friday. If I do, I will post some better pictures. Below is a photo of the mast.A404756E-2587-4837-92BD-15B1AC2B7A1E.jpeg
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
Congrats on your new boat!

Maybe they cleated the halyard there, not the sheet, so they could raise and lower the sail as desired? Some folks do that if they have to go under a small bridge. Others wanted to raise the sail once they got off the beach and also wanted to be able to lower it quickly.

The block at the top is period correct, but that eyelet can pull open if it is chrome plated bronze and block fall off if excessive force is put on the halyard. You might consider swapping that out for the current plastic fairlead cap. The block at the bottom of the mast is not correct. The Super Sailfish MKII only had a cleat for the halyard, no deck fairlead/block like the fiberglass Sunfish.

We don't like the idea of cleating a sailing dinghy either, esp a Sailfish. The quickest way to capsize it is to lose track of the sheet under you butt or get the sheet snarled somewhere else, like a cleat. Alcort didn't add a block or cleat, so go with the KISS Principle.

I have the mast off of my old sunfish. If I have any issues I’ll use that instead.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Now that the "mystery" block is almost at deck (not boom) level, it's certainly more likely for the halyard. That cleat model on the swivel didn't see daylight until the late 1990s, so it's a much later addition.

The horn cleat must be the original one for the halyard?

_
 

Seaotter5

Active Member
The horn cleat I am familiar with from my old Sunfish and my Minifish. In retrospect the halyard being controlled by the can cleat seems obvious, although why they used a swivel cam cleat still eludes me. A non-swivel cam cleat wold have worked just as well, I think. Especially on a boat as narrow as a Sailfish. But I can see how having a sail easily dropped from the normal crew position could be a positive.
 
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