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Lou452 12-15-2013 11:02 PM

FJ open stern or transom
I have noticed some of the older wood Flying Junior sailboats sometimes have an open transom. The newer fiberglass boats do not.
My FJ is old it is a 1967 but it is new enough to be fiberglass The stern is closed. At the bottom of the transom is a drain plug.
In two foot waves if I swamp the boat and she is full to the gunwale I am not able to bale her out. The center board is below the water line. Waves will wash over the bow or transom. I have stuffed my shirt in the centerboard well and have bailed swimming on the outside. I have tried climbing in and shifting my weight around and bailing . I have had the sails up and also down I have tried to sail full of water and pull the drain plug like my old sunfish. Once full I am Sail/drifting with the wind until I make the shore, the rocks or cliff wall of the lake. :eek:
I have to ask I have seen pictures of the old boats with an open transom how is it they are able to do it. I have been told a newer hull then my 1967 will float higher and not swamp. I want proof !:rolleyes:
I was able to read Webb Chiles open boat across the Pacific . I am not in the ocean just a lake. I can relate to the end of the book when he is swamped an can not get his boat bailed out.
Is this just poor design poor sailing???
Good day, Lou

jimgo 12-16-2013 09:43 AM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
I can't give you specific info on the FJ's, but I've seen a lot of dinghy-type boats (especially planing hull boats) with fairly large holes in the transom. In fact, other versions of my Albacore have pretty large (look to be at least 3x5) holes that are covered on the outside by somewhat stiff plastic sheeting, like you'd fine on the cover of a school notebook. When water gets into the cockpit, the force of the water causes the plastic to deform, and creates and opening through which the water can escape. By contrast, if you were in a following sea and the wave came from behind, the force of the wave causes the plastic to press against the hull, helping to seal it. Obviously, this isn't fool-proof or leak-proof, but I've seen it done. You can see them in this video:

Hope this helps!

SHNOOL 12-16-2013 10:01 AM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
Scupper valves?
Sea-Dog Scupper Valve

but it would seem the question the OP is asking is HOW to remove the water from a wave that rolls him, not really water coming in the scuppers.

I know nothing of the FJ except having seen them on the water. My Capri 14.2 had positive floatation... up under the seats in particular... You COULD swamp the boat, but it would not sink... But you COULD get enough water below in the boat, that you could NOT get it out (I won't go into the long story how I know)...

Suffice to say, I had the same problem with my 14.2, and the ONLY solution I could come up with (since the drain plug was below the water line), was to haul the boat out, pull the plug, and let it all drain out. That boat had scuppers though in the cockpit, but it was POSSIBLE to flood the cubby, and therefore essentially scuttle the boat (without actually sinking). Of course you could STILL sit on the boat (sort of ON)... but sail it? NO.

Bailing? I believe it held close to 400 gallons of water when scuttled in this way... so I imagine the FJ is VERY similar. Even with a perfect 1 gallon container and strong arms... I doubt it could be done in such a way that it'd be sailable again without a stop-off ashore to drain it.

Here's what I'd be aiming to do... Assuming you aren't planning on racing it... I'd fill every square inch of the thing between the hull/liner with foam! Make it have JUST enough positive floatation to NOT be an issue... if that don't work... use the OPTI approach.... AIRBAGS!

Letrappes 12-16-2013 10:31 AM

I raced those boats a lot in college. If you flipped the boat it didn't get a lot if water in it unless you tried to ride it in on the mast. When you flip it back up a lot of water would come out leaving only a couple inches in the boat.

We set them up for quick bailing by drilling a hole in the back slightly smaller than a tennis ball. We then took a tennis ball and attached a bungy cord through it and tied it to the hiking straps so it just stayed in the hole. When the boat is full of water and you are up to speed you can pull the tennis ball to make it stick open and drain the boat. Not that complicated. With that and a gallon OJ container with the bottom cut off you can bail a boat quick. This method doesn't work so well if you don't keep the plugs in the built in flotation and they fill up with water.

Barquito 12-16-2013 12:58 PM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
I have a mid 60's FJ. It has a large blob of foam (looks original) in the forepeak. It fills a majority of the forpeak area ahead of the mast. I have never swamped my FJ, so I don't know how it would float. One thing that bothers me about the FJs is that there is a lot of area under the cockpit sole that is not accessible. I'm thinking of filling that with foam.

Lou452 12-16-2013 06:51 PM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
shnool You see the problem. The FJ is full with maybe 300 gallons of water a wave washes over the bow and fills up any chance I have of bailing out. Scuttle is the term ? I was able to get to shore drag up and drain. At 180 pounds I Stood on the center board pulling on the main halyard and was only able to get her to slowly come up right. I had also lowered the sails as I was not able to get her back up with the sails up. Flipping fast seams like a good idea. keeping from going turtle was hard . I will say the wind was kind of stiff for me but I was flying that day. A 22 footer broke the forestay of their rig also on that day.
The owner before me filled under the seats with foam but I am not sure what type of foam. I can say she will not sink but she will scuttle
Now if I had a crew maybe I could try to flip faster but with the waves and the wind
Back to what I am looking for might be the air bags ? I like the laser and some of the extreme u tube and they seem not to scuttle
GTG, Lou

fj007 12-20-2013 04:19 PM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
Hey lou thanks for asking about this, I had the same question for my FJ. I was planning to do the tennis ball bailer thing as I have seen those available from some of the FJ parts suppliers. But I am intrigued about the "fill it with foam" technique. Since I am really only going to be pleasure sailing my little FJ I want it as floaty as possible. What kind of foam are you guys talking about and where would I get it?

Lou452 12-20-2013 06:02 PM

Re: FJ open stern or transom
It should be a closed cell foam. This means it will not absorb water like a sponge. This is used under the seats. You may have some already in place. I could use some help from folks that know more about foam flotation.
Good Day, Lou

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