Twisted Daggerboard?

willip

New Member
Hello all,

I acquired a Minifish back in late June and enjoyed taking it out on 10 or so outings over the rest of the summer. Since the varnish on the rudder and daggerboard was worn, I decided to sand it off and refinish as a winter project; however, after drying out in my house for a couple weeks, the daggerboard has taken on a noticeable twist - about 3 degrees counterclockwise from top to bottom (that doesn't sound like much, but if I lay the board on a table, the trailing edge is now a good 3/8 inch higher than the leading edge). How much of a problem will this cause while sailing, and is this something that can be corrected by soaking the board in water and then clamping it flat to dry, etc.?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

LVW

Active Member
The board can probably be fixed by soaking and clamping, but these fish are asymmetrical rigs. Maybe check for sailing closer to the wind while alternating port and starboard tack?

You maybe on to something! :)
 

willip

New Member
You make an interesting point. I did notice that my boat seemed to sail better on port tack then on starboard (if I'm remembering correctly) but wasn't sure if that was due to the upper spar being blown away from the mast on starboard tack (I don't think I had the halyard tied on at the right place), possible daggerboard twist, my clumsy left-handed steering, or something else. I suppose that since I'll have to soak the board to do anything with it anyways, I might as well drop it in and do a test sail ... I have a GPS tracking app and I'll try to remember to report back if I discover anything interesting.
 

LVW

Active Member
My daggerboard developed a major, full-length "cup", which made any movement near-impossible. I clamped it, dried it, and when released, it returned to the "cup" position. :confused: I've still got it, though it offers no benefit.

You make an interesting point. I did notice that my boat seemed to sail better on port tack then on starboard (if I'm remembering correctly) but wasn't sure if that was due to the upper spar being blown away from the mast on starboard tack (I don't think I had the halyard tied on at the right place), possible daggerboard twist, my clumsy left-handed steering, or something else. I suppose that since I'll have to soak the board to do anything with it anyways, I might as well drop it in and do a test sail ... .


The halyard connection can be improved by the use of this pictured hitch. Tie it once and it won't slide unless you want it to:
 

joe c

banned
You'll have a difficult time getting the twist out..and even then you'll have to twist back past 10pct or more for spring back. Water won't work. It is tension being created/released in he board by grain. Look for a decent used one. Or make one. Assuming not the same as the sunfish. Cuz I have an extra I think.
 

willip

New Member
Here's a photo of the boat from August. I had the sail more than high enough to duck under the lower spar and there was still about a foot of halyard between the upper spar and the top of the mast. It sails really well with winds between 5 and 15 knots but the weather helm is almost uncontrollably bad above that (which I understand to be a common trait of the sunfish's rig).

Regarding the daggerboard, I looked into building a new one and there just so happens to be a really good hobby sawmill here in Huntsville. If I started with a quarter sawn board planed to the correct thickness, then it wouldn't take that long to bevel and round the edges to mimick the cross section of my warped one. The old one might recycle into a nice charcuterie board or something.
 

Attachments

  • 20220814_163545.jpg
    20220814_163545.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 19

danpal

Well-Known Member
One way to remove the twist is to cover the concave side of the daggerboard with a wet towel. This will expand the grain on that side and should flatten the board. You might need to keep the towel damp until you get the result you're looking for. I did this with the top of a dresser that warped and I was able to get it to flatten. Once it was flat, I made sure to polyurethane all side.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
“Here's a photo of the boat from August. I had the sail more than high enough to duck under the lower spar and there was still about a foot of halyard between the upper spar and the top of the mast. It sails really well with winds between 5 and 15 knots but the weather helm is almost uncontrollably bad above that (which I understand to be a common trait of the sunfish's rig).”

Nice boat! It’ll sail much better in all conditions with the sail properly rigged. You need to move the halyard on the top spar so when the sail is hoisted it is tight to the mast. The weather helm is being caused by too much sail behind the mast. The sail’s center of effort is behind the daggerboard and it should be above the board. Also, when it’s windy, that extra foot of halyard means the sail is sort of flying loose like a kite. If it’s tight to the mast it stays where it should and will be more stable when producing power and not blowing around like a kite.

Give the above a try!
 

willip

New Member
The puzzling thing about the daggerboard is that the twist is almost perfectly aligned with the axis running along the middle of the board - it's not cupped to one side like most of the warped lumber I've seen.

That makes sense regarding the sail and halyard. In fighting for control in high winds on one particularly memorable outing, I actually bent the two plates connecting the rudder blade to the tiller - they are stuck on with varnish from when the previous owner refinished the stick, so it'll be interesting trying to get the screws loose so I can try to straighten out the plates. I might just cut the tiller a few inches shorter and use a torch on that varnish since it's in exactly the wrong place when you're trying to run downwind and balance the boat anyways.
 

Top