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Old 06-10-2010
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Ok, so here we go - taking the plunge

Hello, I am Dave. Don't know how much I will post here, but have been lurking a few weeks, and figured I'd better join. I've loved sailing ever since high school. I took a week of instructional sailing at a church camp in OH, and have been hooked ever since. Shortly out of college, I bought a 14' Hobie Cat from a coworker. Have sailed it off and on as time would allow. It is a fun boat, but requires constant involvement to sail - no time to relax. Its also very wet. I've sailed it out on lake MI, best fun I had was in 2-4 foot waves and small craft advisory. The boat handled that very well, although I almost learned the hard way that you have to be careful as the pontoons tend to poke through the waves, rather than go over them. Had one big wave brake over the trampoline and almost flipped the boat over forward.

Since being married and having kids, my hobbies turned to other things, mainly RVing. I own a 1983 Revcon Motorhome. It is a custom front wheel drive chassis, all Aircraft aluminum - very light weight and low center of gravity. It will slide, long before it would ever roll - ask me how I know. I've done a bunch of mods, including installing a 502 CI crate engine, with and Edelbrock multiport fuel injection. It runs around 440 HP and before re-gearing would light up the front wheels from a 20 mph roll.

So what does all this have to do with sailing? Well in planning our vacation this year, I decided to get back to some forgotten things I love. I was going to try to get the Hobie Cat back into the water and also fix up an old Sunfish someone gave me. However, I realized that it was just not going to be practical for the whole family to be out on the Hobie Cat, so on a whim, I searched Ebay for a small boat that was still big enough to have a cabin. Cabin is a must, as I have digestive issues and occasionally need instant access to a porta-potty. So on a Friday morning I starting surfing Ebay, found a boat that was local, and bought it Saturday afternoon. So within 2 days, I went from thinking I needed to do something different, to owning the boat. This is pretty amazing, as I am one of those people who can't make a decision if my life depended on it. Like took me 2 years to buy living room furniture. So I don't know what hit me. I had surfed Ebay maybe one or 2 times before - seen prices all over the place and didn't begin to know where to start. Basically what happened is that I found a boat cheap enough that if it turned out to be a mistake, it would only be a small one. Structurally the boat hull is sound, sails look new. Rigging intact. I've had the boat for 3 weeks. Discovered it has a bunch of leaks in the deck - mostly windows and grab rails. Unfortunately, that rotted the interior wood in one of the lower compartments. Its only a small section, 1.5' X 4' X 8". I've ripped out the wood and was able to leave the fiberglass intact that covered the wood. I will rebuild it using plastic / composite decking boards. Hopefully that will never rot again. Replace the windows and have made new grab rails from "Brazillion" Teak decking. Hopefully that should be all it needs.

The big sailing vacation is planned for August. Going to try Lake Monroe in Indiana. Got my camping spot reserved, found it by a fly over on Bing maps. Never been there, but it looks pretty cool from air. Anyone been there, let me know how it is.

So that is how I got here. Oh, I suppose one last thing is in order. The boat. It is American Fiberglass Mini Tonner 2+2. It seems like its a bit of a cheapy, but for a 1976, it has held up well all those years, so it can't be too bad.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Hello from another newbie to this forum!

Sounds like you dove right on back in there! I had never heard of the boat you have, looked it up, looks like a clean little pocket cruiser. We are taking the slow road on purchasing... doing a lot of looking and planning a demo sail for next weekend if possible. We believe we have narrowed it down to one of the trailerable 25's. So far the MAcGregor 26M is topping our list.

I was prompted to say hi as we share some commonish ground... sailed a lot when younger, life took me away from it in the middle part, now getting back into it.... and like you I got involved in a motor sport during the dry years... 4 wheelin specifically. I own a '99 Jeep TJ (Wrangler) 4.0L 6cyl. I have made MANY mods... including swapping a blown tranny (2yr ago) and replacing the blown original engine (late '09). Lifted, lockers, etc., etc... My wife now drives an '05 TJ 4.0L 6cyl and my son (a Marine) has 2... a '00 TJ 2.5L 4cyl and an '06 TJ 4.0L 6. My bro-in-law, a professional mechanic! (schweet!) drives my wife's '99 XJ (read Cherokee) 4.0L 6. but will ALL his mods from his old '88 XJ swapped over. MAJOR lift, lockers, tires, roll cage, etc., etc.

Enjoy both my friend! There's nothin' like hitting the road (or the channel) and exploring! Happy Sea and Trails!
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Old 06-10-2010
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Aren't all sailboats "pocket cruisers" as in empty your pockets - cruiser?
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Old 06-10-2010
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OK, I'm cheating. One needs more than 2 posts to post a photo, so this is the rest of the post above.

I guess we do have some things in common, although my WJ is stock except for having the biggest tires that will fit without a lift kit. I do go wheeling once in a great while, but not often enough to make a big investment.

I do have a picture of the boat. This is the day we brought it home.


The sails seem small for the boat. I'm tempted to try my Hobie Cat sail, as the masts are the same height. I also wonder about not raising the sail all the way to the top if it is really windy. The boom is a mile over your head, so it would seem I could run it with the boom lowered about 18" if it heels too much with the Hobie sail. The Hobie sail is much more rectangular at the top and has full battons. As pictured, the main looks slightly smaller than it is as the short battons were missing when I bought it. I now have some fiberglass sticks in it that seem like they might work OK.

Well, I guess I need to get back out and get working on it. Hopefully just a few more days and it will be ready to use.

Dave

Last edited by Daveinet; 06-10-2010 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010
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The picture helps a lot.
If I am not mistaken there is no back stay to the top of the mast on your boat and it has swept back spreaders? That would give you room to try hoisting up your hobie main sail with it's long battens on a moderately windy day. I would start using the main sail that came with the boat before playing with the Hobie main though. Get to know the boat a little first. It wont be nearly as fast or as wet as a Hobie, hopefully.
Over time you may appreciate how high the boom is mounted on the mast. This kind of rig relies on a large jib or genoa as in your picture showing a deck sweeping jib. It also looks as though it is a hank on sail rather then a roller furling rig in which case you would want to have some smaller jibs then the one pictured for higher winds.
The picture also shows that you have at least one reefing point on the main sail which will lower and reduce the sail area for higher winds sailing. Search this forum for topics about 'reefing the main' sail and 'heavy wind sailing'. Learning how to reduce sail in a blow may take a lifetime.
Welcome and good luck.
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Old 06-11-2010
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You should probably add a back stay as the first item on the agenda, so you can bend the mast and flatten the main sail in harder winds (and tighten the forestay at the same time). If it gets really windy you have a reef, I notice, but before that you can flatten in a bit when beating against the wind.
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If old memory and current reading serve me right you have a fractional rig designed w/o a backstay.
The swept back spreaders allow you to properly 'tune' the rigging. You "need" to read up and ask a LOT of questions about tuning your boat's rig. It makes a world of difference in how she handles under sail. The sails, mast and rigging make up the "engine" of a sailboat... it all works together and each part must be setup to do it's part the best it can.
Not to disparage ulferlingsson's advice and you may decide to add a backstay at some time, but (1) as this rig was designed w/o a back stay, and (2) this is definitely not a blue water (IE open ocean) sailboat, you should not "need" to add a backstay.
The swept back spreaders give the shrouds the angle needed to put the proper bend in the mast and the rake is set by the shrouds and the forestay.
Just one man's opinion...
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Old 06-12-2010
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SA/D calculator

I just ran the numbers through the SA/D calculator and get a ratio of 25.5?? Based on info I read from those who own the boat, they say it is under powered. Is the SA/D number even remotely accurate? Or is it just the class of boats -racer vs cruiser a bit misleading.

Also did some quick reading about sail trim and not sure I understand back stay concept. It seems like it would do all kinds of weird things. Mostly make the leach of the sail baggy. I could see it pulling on the curved part of the sail and flattening it out, but I'm missing some of the logic. Taking the curve out of the sail makes it less efficient, but it seems if it becomes more like a wall, the force would go from pushing the boat forward to just plain ole knocking it down. So what am I missing in the concept?
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Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Ok, so here we go - taking the plunge

Perhaps thread necromancy; but I just surveyed one of these boats. I searched the WWW trying to find *anything* yesterday; but didn;t havre the actual Co. name or the "mini-tonner" bit.

Quite an interesting vest-pocket cruiser. In need of some perhaps extensive repairs to the CB trunk tucked up into the stub keel??? IT's a mebbe boat at this point.
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Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Ok, so here we go - taking the plunge

Wow, waking an old thread. There is a Yahoo group for all of AFC, and several Mini Tonners= 2+2's in the group. I can't figure out why the center boar trunk would ever need extensive repairs. Its just glass around concrete. I can't imagine what could ever damage it. Sure, you can scrape it up, but its one solid piece of material. Did someone scrape it so bad, they wore through the hull down to the concrete? I suppose if one stored it beached on rocks, I could see that, but I'm surprised to hear of extensive damage.
Over all its not a bad boat. I think the sails were blown out a bit. It really needs the mast raked back as far as you can get it. Its a little slow, there is turbulence created by the centerboard trunk. The speed kicks up quite a bit when you raise the board. If I had to repair the trunk, I would look into changing the exit angle of the interior of the trunk. The trunk traps water, which seems to be a source of drag. From a design standpoint, I'm surprised the rear of the trunk was enclosed. Had they left it open to the rear, I think it would have acted much better.

Oh well, its sold now. Paid 1300.00 for it. Put about 300 bucks into materials and a whole bunch of labor. Sold it for 1350.00, which seemed like a fair price for a boat in good operational condition. Got 3 years of use out of it. Been trying to save money for a larger boat, but just can't seem to keep the funds in the bank.
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