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Top section leaking

So we have finally established that the top section does in fact leak

At least now I know why i can't right the boat from a capsize......

So how do we fix the leak in the top section?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
1. Find the place where it leaks. There are only three possible areas, as there are only three fittings involved. Submerge the spar for a few minutes and then see where the water comes out (maybe you've done this already).
2. Drill out the rivet(s) in question and remount the fitting(s) with new rivets (aluminium for the end plugs, stainless for the sleeve). If it's either of the plugs, add some silicone or similar sealant.

The top plug may be hard/impossible to get out without destroying it in the process, so you might want to have a new one at hand to begin with.

(By the way: I'm not completely convinced that this is the cause of your righting problems, although it certainly doesn't help...)

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
Unless your are turtled for some time when capsized the top section should not be in the water long enough to take on the degree of water you're talking about. You need to be at least 110 lbs to effectively right a capsized laser. What do you weigh?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Rob, that's what I was thinking, too. The volume of the topmast is something like seven litres, and if my calculations are right, you'd need to fill it about halfway to make it problematically heavy for someone who's the exact design weight for the Radial:
Recently bought a laser after sailing double-handed dinghies for many years

Yesterday I sailed it for the second time. It was blowing about 15 knots consistently with gusts over & this had caused some waves to chop up.

I had a radial rig on & I weigh about 68kgs. I was so overpowered. I was hiking so far out that my bottom was hitting the waves, yet I still couldn't sheet block to block as I just could not keep it flat. I had outhaul, cunningham & vang cranked on hard.
So yes, you'd have to keep the topmast under water for quite some time, and/or have a fairly big hole in it. I'm actually thinking of an unsealed rivet hole left from end-for-ending. But we'll probably find out soon.

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Rob B

Well-Known Member
Thanks. You're heavy enough. Do you know how to "feather" the boat when sailing upwind?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Rob, that's what I was thinking, too. The volume of the topmast is something like seven litres, and if my calculations are right, you'd need to fill it about halfway to make it problematically heavy for someone who's the exact design weight for the Radial:

So yes, you'd have to keep the topmast under water for quite some time, and/or have a fairly big hole in it. I'm actually thinking of an unsealed rivet hole left from end-for-ending. But we'll probably find out soon.

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But if the top mast is already full of water at the outset, one may have a problem :(
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
But if the top mast is already full of water at the outset, one may have a problem :(
Of course, if you dunk repeatedly, things go from bad to worse :confused: I tried to calculate how bad (and how fast), but there are just too many variables, including the location and size of the holes where the water enters and air exits, and that the filling rate isn't constant in any case...

So Sailorgirl. just do a leak test. More help will be on its way when we know more :cool:

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thistle3863

New Member
Remember, when the boat is on its side, capsized, all the water in the mast will be at the top. Try lifting 1/2 gallon water (4 lbs.) on the end of a 16 ft pole. All #'s are approximate, and apologies to our metric friends. This is in addition to the regular weight of the spar and wet sail.

Also "pinching" or feathering upwind will greatly decrease healing. The only problem is in heavy waves you can loose headway and start going sideways, but that would be in a lot of wind.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Unfortunately when people end for end top sections, they often don't replace the plastic plugs at each end and the end up with a leaking top section. If the ends are ever removed they should be replaced. If you end for end a section, you need to properly fill the hole where the collar was, not just use a rivet .Also people have a bad habit of bash the sections apart that can compromise the rivet holes associated with the top section. As a measurer, I've seen solutions to a leaking section, rather than fixing a leak, they drill a drain hole in the bottom plug and this results in making the situation worse.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
How would one get full and stay full? If it gets in it has to get out.

True!
But here's what happened.
I had been out sailing, but then a thunderstorm was getting too close for comfort. Decided to come in and wait it out. Tied my boat to the dock, and took refuge. But the boat decided to capsize during a gust. Because of the lightning I had to wait and left the boat on its side with the rig half submerged in the water. After a half hour or so, the weather had calmed down and I could go out again. But it was unusually hard to right the boat. Concluded that the upper spar had filled with water while the boat was on its side, and with a leak at the top (plug), the water had no way to get out. The boat was really tippy after that. Once I got home I inverted the upper to drain it.

In essence, what LaLi described in post #10
 
Yes Rob B, i know how to pinch upwind.

I spent the entire time fighting the boat so much that i couldn't even do that effectively.

Honestly my husband has the same problem (fighting the boat) when he sails it too, & hes a lot stronger than me - the weather helm is just ridiculous. Neither of us have ever sailed a boat with so much weather helm.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Yes Rob B, i know how to pinch upwind.

I spent the entire time fighting the boat so much that i couldn't even do that effectively.

Honestly my husband has the same problem (fighting the boat) when he sails it too, & hes a lot stronger than me - the weather helm is just ridiculous. Neither of us have ever sailed a boat with so much weather helm.
The weather helm comes from the boat being unbalanced. It should not have that much so something is going on with the sail trim, (vang/Cunningham/outhaul/main sheet- all together) heel angle and upwind driving technique. Proper instruction would help, but the internet is not the place for that. If you don't have a good/welcoming fleet, (or at least a few experienced laser people) to sail with and learn from to say it's an uphill battle is an understatement.
 
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