What's new

Star Dancer

James Eckhardt

New Member
A friend of mine told me that he had a sailboat that he was going to throw away, but I could take it. I've done some research and it looks like the boat is an Edo Western Corp. Star Dancer. The boat is in fair condition. The boat, rudder, daggerboard and sail were all stored outside for many years. The sail is in bad condition. It has about a dozen around half dollar sized holes and lichen and mildew growing on it. The daggerboard and rudder are in very good condition. The hull itself needs some refiberglassing work. I am wondering where I could find information about the boat, how to rig it, part lists, etc. and where I could buy parts and a sail. Once I find some basic information I'll probably come up with some more questions.
Thanks for any help or information you can give me about the boat.
Attached are pictures of the sail, serial number plate and hull. IMG_9315.JPG IMG_9316.JPG IMG_9317.JPG IMG_9318.JPG
 
That's not a bad looking little boat. Once fixed up, she should be great fun to sail.

I'm not familiar with that model, but I have worked with a number of Sunfish clones through the years. If you could post some info about the rig, that would be helpful. Is it a lateen rig? How long are the spars?
 

James Eckhardt

New Member
The boat is lateen rigged. I found the beam and length online, and I measured everything else myself, so the measurements should be very close, but not exact.
Hull length: 165"
Beam: 48"
Mast height: 109"
Mast diameter: 2 1/4"
Boom lengths: 165"
Sail dimensions. Along booms: 160", Leech: 170"

Are there any other dimensions that might be helpful?
danpal, what I have figured out so far is that the rigging is similar but different in certain ways. I need to know exactly how different the sunfish is, so I can see if sunfish parts will fit my Star Dancer.
 
Last edited:

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi James
The measurements are the same, except the mast for a Sunfish is 120" and the mast diameter is 2". You might want to measure the daggerboard/slot as well. It should rig the same as a Sunfish, check the Sunfish Knowledge Base: http://sailingforums.com/pages/Sunfish_KB/
Try washing your sail in the tub with mild detergent. Lay it out on some green grass in the sun to dry. If you want your sail and logo copied, my local sailmaker Schuur Sails Pensacola could do it, probably for around the price of a new class legal recreational sail ($350ish). You'd probably need to send the old sail as a template. Email Hunter@schurrsails.com

Nice boat!!
Kent
 
Last edited:

James Eckhardt

New Member
The sail is done for... I believe it's a 1971 sail that was kept outside for the past 10 years or so. I talked to my local boatworks and they suggested getting a sunfish sail. As I don't have to worry about being class legal, I'll probably just get an Intensity Sunfish sail. Thanks for the dimensions. I was hoping the mast would be the same in case something happens to the mast I have.
 
Kent.... are you sure about the mast diameter? I thought they were 2.25". (I guess I could go measure, but I'm too lazy.)

James- Your mast is indeed a little shorter, but that should not be an issue. You can always tie the halyard a little lower on the boom. If your old mast breaks, a Sunfish mast would work just fine. Also, the Intensity sail should work like a charm.... plus it's inexpensive, so if you need to modify it a little it won't be a big deal.

So... fix up that baby and get sailing! If you are on the Gulf Coast, bring 'er by and we'll have a little regatta.
 

James Eckhardt

New Member
Thanks for the effort Blue Heron ;)
I am wondering about mast diameter, because I would like a mast base cap. It would be convenient if a Sunfish mast base cap fit my mast. There is a lot of information about how and where to install inspection ports on a Sunfish. The how is useful, but I am wondering how I can tell where I can put inspection ports on my boat. Does anyone have advice on this?
 
James.... since I was outside workng on my boat this afternoon, I thought I'd do my one and only good deed for the week and measure my mast diameter. :D It's 2.25"...... and the vendor for masts' website also confirms it. SO.... I'd guess a standard Sunfish Endcap would work just fine. They are pretty cheap, too. I think I paid like $6 for one not long ago.

As far as the port location goes: I have no clue.
 
That's easy: go to Intensity Sails or Annapolis Performance Sailing. Actually, both of them advertise on the forum, so you can just click on them when their ad pops up, or Google them.

I like APS for most of my hardware parts, and Intensity for the sails.
 

Cabbage Fumes

New Member
Hello, A little thread revival...
I have an opportunity to pick up this exact same hull, with sails and booms, and rudder. It's missing the daggarboard/keel and mast.
I suppose the question is, since this stuff has been sitting outside in the yard since the late '70s, is it worth the $$ buying all new rigging, sails, hardware, plus finding a keel and mast? It sounds like a lot of Sunfish stuff will work, but I'm mostly concerned about sourcing a keel, and if it's NLA, Would I have to make one?
James, can you share what you decided to use and what worked or didn't work so I can decide if I want to pursue this like you did?
(Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your thread but you seem to be the most likely person to know what I will(?) be going through.)
 
Last edited:

James Eckhardt

New Member
I spent just about all summer in my Star Dancer, so I've gotten to know it pretty well. I'll go through what I found out about this little boat. The specs are almost exactly the same as the sunfish. Mast height is the same, spar length is the same, sail size is the same. As you can see from the above pictures, the cockpit is very much different. It's been a while since I've sailed a real sunfish so I can't compare the experience of sitting in the cockpit to that of a sunfish. I know that I spent quite a few hours in low winds sitting on the upper part of the cockpit and my rear did get sore, however I'm not sure if that would be an issue with the sunfish or not as the deck of the sunfish is much wider outside the cockpit that the Star Dancer. The cockpit does not have a bailer, so with the cockpit being so large, it does turn into a bathtub and weigh the boat down. I have seriously considered installing a bailer and plan to next summer, but I'm not sure if it will work as, unlike the sunfish, the foam in the Star Dancer is not in the form of foam blocks, but rather the foam coats the fiberglass on the inside of the boat. I learned this when I cut holes for inspection ports (picture attached).
A few other things that might make your decision about the boat easier. Daggerboard is the same as the sunfish. The rudder and rudder attachment is different (in my opinion worse) than that of the sunfish. I had troubles with the screws (yes it is held in place by screws, not bolts) coming out and the rudder detaching until I bolted the thing on (at the expense of drilling into a friend's finger, but that's a different story). The sunfish has a block on the deck just below the block on the spar that is nearest to the mast, however the star dancer does not, making holding the main sheet more difficult that the sunfish.
Next summer I'm planning to take the top off the boat and completely fix the rudder, see if I can install a bailer and see if I can find a place to put a block on the deck. I'll probably post my findings for those looking at Star Dancer info in the future.
Overall this is a great little boat. If you can get this boat for significantly less than a sunfish, I would suggest it. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
 

Attachments

BUNNY138

New Member
I've just picked up a couple of these boats from craigslist. I'm glad I've found this resource. One is in very good condition while the other is in need of some fiberglass repair. I've been watching youtube videos on how to do it and it doesn't look especially difficult. It is helpful to know the foam is attached directly to the glass.
Both boats came with small (maybe 1/4 inch) holes in the very back of the boat (the transom i think it's called) near the bottom. Are these meant to be plugged? or are they some kind of bailer and meant to be kept open on the water?
Thanks for all the information.
 

James Eckhardt

New Member
My boat did came with a hole for a drain plug. I believe the hole was around 3/4 in in diameter, but there were no smaller holes. I have attached a picture of where the drain plug is. If your boat doesn't have a drain plug on the transom, you may want to enlarge one of the holes into a drain plug sized hole. If you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer as I'm the local expert on star dancers.
 

Attachments

BUNNY138

New Member
Great! I think I can find something to just plug it up with, a rubber stopper or something, as I don't want to screw into the transom.
Here's a photo of 'em:
http://imgur.com/xaH8XwI

Also, I don't drive and am in the process of building a bicycle trailer to haul them to the lake (less than 1 mile). I made a design in google sketchup that I think will work. What do you think? The front wheel will swivel while the 2 rear ones will be set in place. I'll put foam padding underneath to protect the deck, and straps over the top to hold it down.
http://imgur.com/4KCBefi
http://imgur.com/XgzULWq

I have some damage on the keel and will update with some photos as I do the repair/s.

Thanks for the info!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Great! I think I can find something to just plug it up with, a rubber stopper or something, as I don't want to screw into the transom.
Look in a hardware store for a bait-well stopper—they come in several different- (and much smaller) diameters than for powerboat drain stoppers.
 

Steve523

New Member
James you did some great work on the Star Dancer. It looks really nice. I have a question relating to the one I just bought the deck forward of the splash coaming seems pretty flexible, the cleat and fairlead are not really affected so probably no big deal, but how is yours? And if it is, does it seem to be a problem under sail?
 

James Eckhardt

New Member
There were some flexible parts on my boat, most notable being some places on the underside of the hull. The deck fore of the coaming was only slightly flexible and this had no affect on sailing. On a day when someone besides me rigged my boat and sailed (I'm mentioning this, since I can't guarantee the boat was properly rigged in this instance), the pulley through which the halyard is rigged pulled out of the deck. I don't know if the deck being flexible had anything to do with this.
 

Steve523

New Member
If you have not replaced the pulley (actually refered to as a "block"), you may want to replace it with a fairlead. I say this because of this method on the attached link of using the halyard as a vang to hold the boom down on the mast. Mine has the block too, I think the fairlead is a better idea. The video shows a cleat on the mast. I dont have this, however you can still use the tail to vang the boom by cleating at the deck with a single turn, then back through the fairlead, over the gooseneck and back to the cleat to tie it off. the line passes through the fairlead (block) three times. Maybe I will put a halyard cleat on the mast, to simplify. Seems like a nifty way to rig though. And with the cleat on the mast you can make adjustments to the vang.

 

Jim Parker

New Member
James, thank you for chronicling your experiences with your star dancer. We just recently salvaged a star dancer that had been sitting out for the past fifteen years in the Maine woods. We have her scrubbed and (sort of) clean and are fiberglassing some cracks we found. Once that is complete we will be rigging the boat to sail We have two mysteries we are hoping you might help us with:
1) the rudder attachment seems to be just slotting on the two pins in the back. There seems like there are attachment points on the deck for perhaps a line or bungee?
2) rigging the sheet: The boom is completely bare. No pulleys or even holes where hardware used to be. We are wondering how the sheet was attached?

I'm hoping you might be able to describe or photograph the rudder/tiller installation and the main sheet setup for your star dancer? Thanks in advance!

Ps:typing this lakeside on an iPhone. Apologies for any typos/misspells from autocorrect!
 

Steve523

New Member
The boom goes on the port side of the mast, rigged exactly like a sunfish (google sunfish rigging) through a fairlead in the cap at the top of the mast, then to a faairlead on the deck and tied off at the cleat next to that. The mainsheet rigging at the aft end where the sheet block attaches to the aft deck is the (essentially) the same. I can get a pic of my rudder and post later. It's not original but cut to the same profile (wrong type of wood, its warped), and the hardware is original.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
"...On a day when someone besides me rigged my boat and sailed, the pulley through which the halyard is rigged pulled out of the deck..."
As I learned here, a sail left up in changing winds can circle the halyard around the mast a couple of times, putting a great strain on the fairlead (or block), and possibly can pull it out of the deck.
 

James Eckhardt

New Member
I am currently far far away from my sailboat and will be for another 9 months due to work, so I can't provide pictures. I can try to answer the two questions. The lower boom of my sailboat has two blocks attached, in a similar fashion to that of a sunfish (You can see an image of the placement of the blocks on any sunfish rigging guide). The sheet on my Star Dancer is attached to a line, attached to the deck on either side of the rudder, at the stern of the boat, and then rigged through the two blocks on the boom. There is no block on the deck the Star Dancer near the daggerboard, and this is the only difference from the sunfish.
As to the question about the rudder plate, the attachment method is simple. The rudder is attached to the boat by two pins on the rudder plate. As shown in this image, there is a line that goes above the tiller, and is marked by bridle http://www.oocities.org/fodellus/images46/sunfishdigram3b.jpg
If you look at the first page of this forum posting, there is an image that shows the bridle and then the two attachment points you mentioned. I don't think there is a use for these.

Although I would like to post pictures, I hope this answers your questions.
 

Steve523

New Member
I have one, not made by EDO, I have been working fiberglass on it for quite some time over the last two years. It was built by a company in a very small rural Kansas town, not far from Wichita. It had places in the hull which were as thin as 1/16 of an inch. It had large stress cracks all over the deck. Eventually I figured out that the boat was so flexible repairing the cracks would not be a sufficient repair. So, I cut the deck off of it and spent much time adding reinforcement to stiiffen everything. I have a facebook page with an album of photos dedicated to the project, feel free to check out my profile. I think I made the album open to the public. If you cant see it let me know.
 
Top