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Reinstalling the traveler jam cleat.

Walrus13

New Member
I needed to move my Laser and (stupidly) started dragging it by its traveler rigging. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back, having ripped the traveler jam cleat out of the deck. Now I have to re-install it. My plan is to fill the old holes with epoxy putty, drill new ones half an inch closer to the back of the cockpit, and then screw the jam cleat into the new holes. I am assuming that there is a wooden backing plate under the area of the deck where it goes that will provide adequate purchase for the screws. This is an old Laser built in the early to mid-1970s. Any advice or comments? Thanks.
 
I had a 1978 Laser with absolutely no backing plates under the deck. All of my cleats held just fine, just something to be aware of. That boat was considerably lighter to pick up than my 1994 Vanguard. I think a select few builders in the 70's took some liberties with hull construction in terms of quality control/practices.
 

Walrus13

New Member
Thanks bclark. I may have one of those dodgy Lasers. The fairleads for the traveler weren't installed properly, which was what started this whole escapade in boat repair.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
I had a 1978 Laser with absolutely no backing plates under the deck. All of my cleats held just fine, just something to be aware of. That boat was considerably lighter to pick up than my 1994 Vanguard. I think a select few builders in the 70's took some liberties with hull construction in terms of quality control/practices.
How did you notice the plates weren't there?
Did you actually weigh the two boats?
Did Vanguard really build Lasers before 1997? (Answer: no.)
Which builders were the ones who "took liberties"?

Just curious :rolleyes:

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How did you notice the plates weren't there?
Did you actually weigh the two boats?
Did Vanguard really build Lasers before 1997? (Answer: no.)
Which builders were the ones who "took liberties"?

Just curious :rolleyes:

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Boat had two 6+" inspection ports in bow and stern, could reach my hand/see to where backer blocks should have been and felt nothing but deck underside with no backer blocks. Screws through glass and foam, that's it.

Never had an accurate means of measuring the two boats, but I carried them both with my Dad enough times over our 10+ year period of concurrent ownership that we both agreed the 1978 boat was definitely lighter.

I question your statement that Vanguard didn't build boats before 1997. How is that the case? My boat came with an official Vanguard brochure, showing it in its color, packages, etc. The boat has Vanguard bags, and I got it from the original owner who ordered it from Vanguard. The boat also has construction techniques consistent with later Vanguards so I always just thought it was safe to assume that was the case. Do you have any documentation to prove otherwise?

My 1978 boat was an original Canadian (Performance Sailcraft brand I think?) boat. There are plenty of jokes to be made about fiberglass employees in the 70's smoking funny stuff, having poor ventilation in the factory and getting pretty creative with the boat building process. In any case, someone forgot the backer blocks in my older boat and it seemed to be light. Also important to note the oil embargo issues in the 70's which may have led to manufacturers not always having enough polyester resin on hand. I've heard that also resulted in some shoddy/lightweight construction practices due to a lack of available materials. Again, this is all just word of mouth/anecdotal evidence from sailors I have met so it may not be rooted in any fact whatsoever.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
As i said earlier in this thread, I believe that the backing plates in the deck are between the skins so that they simply displace the core material at those points. Therefore you wouldn't feel anything there. (Need to research this though. Any results.will be posted.)

It's pretty much general knowledge that Sunfish Laser was the North American builder from 1992 through '96, and Vanguard only from there on. Check the transom code: does it begin with "SLI" or "OQT"? Nothing else counts.

Interesting thought that shortages of materials (or building boats after 4:20 :D ) in the 1970s would have impacted fibreglass quality. However, it was Ian Bruce himself who ran the original PS in Montreal, and one wouldn't expect him to have let inferior boats on the market.

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
It's pretty much general knowledge that Sunfish Laser was the North American builder from 1992 through '96, and Vanguard only from there on. Check the transom code: does it begin with "SLI" or "OQT"? Nothing else counts. I thought vanguard made the '96 Olympic boats?

Interesting thought that shortages of materials (or building boats after 4:20 :D ) in the 1970s would have impacted fibreglass quality. However, it was Ian Bruce himself who ran the original PS in Montreal, and one wouldn't expect him to have let inferior boats on the market. The resin cut backs on late 70's early 80's sailboats, (notably larger ones that stayed in the water) was a direct enabler of the blistering issues the boats of that time experienced. As a kid working through high school and college doing bottom jobs I distinctly remember drilling out the water filled blisters to find uncoated or very lightly coated fiberglass in the layup and very thin gelcoat applications. Sometimes the blisters were large enough and deep enough we'd have to essentially re-lay the holes with layers of glass and resin. It was a long and expensive process. Interlux came out with a 2 step process called Interprotect 1000 and 2000. The 1000 laid on/brushed on clear and gooey like pure resin. You'd have to let it dry, rough it up and then slap on gallons of the 2000. Boats that were fixed properly help up. Ones that went cheap and only hit the bad spots would just reappear when the unfixed areas blistered up. Some lines of boats were more prone to this than others. Notably Catalina and Irwin from my experience. I'm sure there were others.

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
Nope. It seems to be a common view that Vanguard built Lasers earlier than they actually did. From Peter Johnstone himself: "I was the builder of Laser from 1991-1997 and supplied the Lasers to the 1996 Olympic Games. I sold Sunfish-Laser to Vanguard in 1997."

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Good to know. Several of the Johnstone's are living in Charleston now. Bob retired here and sails RC boats. I think Peter is here now and Nick, (Peter's son?) is here. I sailed w/him on a J24 in June. Have to learn to to leverage my internal resources better!
 
Nope. It seems to be a common view that Vanguard built Lasers earlier than they actually did. From Peter Johnstone himself: "I was the builder of Laser from 1991-1997 and supplied the Lasers to the 1996 Olympic Games. I sold Sunfish-Laser to Vanguard in 1997."

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I understand how the backer blocks would appear, however, I can adamantly state that when I opened up the holes to attach updated/new traveller and cunningham/outhaul cleats to my boat, foam core bits came out on the screw threads-- not wood. There was a thick spine on the '78 boat that ran up the middle of the deck, but absolutely zero wood within that spine where the cleats went.

That second point raises some questions for me. My boat came with a 1994 dated Vanguard brochure advertising it and the packages you could buy the boats with at the time. The two options were [something] Orange and Glacier Blue. My boat is Glacier blue. Sail no is 151722 if that helps anyone decode the mystery.

We're way off the OP's thread with this but I am now pretty interested in finding out more about my boats. Both were/are solid boats that had few hours on them when I got them and both were fast.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I bought a new boat in 93. Pulled it out of the box myself. It was not a Vanguard boat. Sail number/hull number was 148_ _ _. Does your sail # match the number on the back of your hull or the plaque in your cockpit?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
when I opened up the holes to attach updated/new traveller and cunningham/outhaul cleats to my boat, foam core bits came out on the screw threads-- not wood.
Ok, I was going to ask about any such observations. That raises the question if this was standard at the time or an anomaly. If it's the former, that might explain how easily the cleat came off of Walrus's boat. (You should still attach that cleat in the same area even if there's no backing.)

My boat is Glacier blue. Sail no is 151722 if that helps anyone decode the mystery.
Ok, it's this one. The number indicates that it's a late 1993 build, but the transom code will tell that more accurately. Read it.
Interesting that there is no builder's sticker/plaque in the cockpit.
Extremely cool colour by the way :D

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
I've owned a couple of 98 hulls over the years. They were in the 164_ _ _, 165 _ _ _ range. They were Vanguard hulls. One was red, (kind of a salmon red/pink weird color) with a white bottom and the other was a navy blue with a white bottom.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Ok, I was going to ask about any such observations. That raises the question if this was standard at the time or an anomaly. If it's the former, that might explain how easily the cleat came off of Walrus's boat. (You should still attach that cleat in the same area even if there's no backing.)

Ok, it's this one. The number indicates that it's a late 1993 build, but the transom code will tell that more accurately. Read it.
Interesting that there is no builder's sticker/plaque in the cockpit.
Extremely cool colour by the way :D

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That's a great looking boat. I don't remember Vanguard making that color. Also, I think the dagger board trunk clear inspection port was a standard thing on the boats when Johnstone owned them. Pretty sure Vanguard didn't do these either. My 93 boat was one of the faster Lasers I've owned, but I was also much younger so the sailor might haver helped too....You may just have a random vanguard manual.
 
Very weird. I can't find the original documents I got with the boat, but when I do one day we can continue to solve this mystery! I'll check the big hull no. list thread and see what I can do in terms of detective work.

Who was Johnstone?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Bob Johnstone's kid. Bob invented the J24 and a host of other J Boats including the JY15, (which was not his best work). They also started Gun Boat catamaran company which had issues as well (despite being mostly excellent quality and performing luxury performance boats).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Ok, fine. The ILCA (formerly LP) list isn't helpful, though, beyond placing your number in late 1993, possibly as early as October. However, there were six builders at the time, and their numbers aren't perfectly coordinated with one another or with the calendar. Your boat may be a very early 1994 as well.

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