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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,
I am brand new to sailing and have yet to get onto the water. I've read a few historical books about sailors and have recently started reading practical guides (Sailing For Dummies and Learning to Sail: The Annapolis Sailing School Guide for All Ages). I've had a pretty intense interest in sailing for some time and after about 2 years of looking, bought a boat this past weekend.

It's a used, Challenger 15'. I believe it's a 1972, manufactured by the Leon Irish Co. I just got it home this weekend and have been looking very heavily at getting rigged up and try my hand at some yard-sailing if you will, but I don't know where to start with the rigging. I have a very basic knowledge of what should go where, but was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for my specific boat. I've looked on the internet for guides or manuals for the Challenger, but have come up empty. I would appreciate any assistance anyone could render.

I'm sure I'll be on this forum a lot, soaking up information as I have a lot to learn. Thanks to everyone in advance!

Chad
 

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Hi Chad: I also have a 1972 Challenger 15. It was kind of beat up when I got it, but I have gotten a lot of use out of it. I modified it somewhat with added ballast, a home made rudder blade, and I relocated the jib fairlead tracks inboard. I upgraded the shrouds to the next larger diameter wire after the starboard shroud nearly gave way which would have brought the mast down. All in all, I feal lucky to have found the boat and wouldn't trade it for most of the other boats I've seen.

CHALLENGER 15 (FORD) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Tom,
Well, it certainly sounds like you were successful in your "kit bashing." The steps you took certainly seem to be for the advanced!

Thank you for the link to the sailboatdata link; I looked at that right before I bought it to get some rough idea of the overall size. I was wondering, do you happen to have any detailed photographs of how the Challenger is rigged? Unfortunately, I bought from a widow, who did not sail, and was not able to obtain a rigging tutorial. The books give a general concept, but any images you may have would help immensely! Also, do you know if these boats have a manual and possibly where to obtain one? I know I'm asking for a lot here, but I guess I'm a typical newbie, asking for the world :)

I read a post on sailmfg from a gentlemen (Mr.Eheman) who said he designed the Challenger. He tells a little bit about the back story of the Challenger and his company. I tried pasting the link, but got an error saying I have to have at least 10 posts before I can include links.

Thanks again for any assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Staredge! This is really helpful and I will certainly contact you when I get full functionality. It's good to know I'm not the only one stuck on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so I was back home this weekend and got the Challenger 15 out to setup all the rigging for the first time. Everything came together pretty nicely. I verified that I had almost everything done correctly today, when I showed a guy at work who used to sail a Sunfish how everything went up. The only thing I'm stumped on is the pulleys and cleats on the boom. There's a pulley wheel and cleat near the front of the boom and then one set near the bow end of the boom. They both are on the starboard side of the boom. I've been coming up empty as to what these might be used for. I thought perhaps it had something to do with reefing?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Sure looks like the block (pulley) is there for a reef point. Is there a pad eye on the opposite side of the boom? If so then the reef line originates there (tied) then it goes through the reefing cringle on the sail, back down to the block and cleated somewhere forward on the boom (or to another block and cleated on mast or deck).
There should be a cringle in your main sail that would get pulled down by this means.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, looks like you are correct CalebD. There appears to be a pad eye on the opposite side of the block near the bow end of the boom.

Excellent!! Thank you very much for the assistance! I appreciate the help!
 

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Hi, I too have just bought one of these. Yours looks all original, mine has been modified. Mine has the long fitting on the deck for the stays missing. I would appreciate a picture of that fitting. I may not need it, but it would be good to know what it was. I also note yours has a wooden piece on the stern top that I do not have on mine, so would like to know what that is also.
Thanks, George
 

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That is a nice looking boat! I didn't feel too bad about modifying mine since it was in rough shape to start with. I do think that you will want to add a boom vang to your set up. It definitely was needed on my boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi, I too have just bought one of these. Yours looks all original, mine has been modified. Mine has the long fitting on the deck for the stays missing. I would appreciate a picture of that fitting. I may not need it, but it would be good to know what it was. I also note yours has a wooden piece on the stern top that I do not have on mine, so would like to know what that is also.
Thanks, George

Hi George,
No problem. The attached image is the best I have right now, but if you need a more detailed one, I can take one this weekend. I work in VA and the boat is in PA.

As for the wooden piece, that is a motor mount. The folks I bought it from said the previous owner had a gasoline motor on it. I'm glad there is another Challenger owner out there! The material on-line for this boat is pretty darn light! Let's keep in touch.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is a nice looking boat! I didn't feel too bad about modifying mine since it was in rough shape to start with. I do think that you will want to add a boom vang to your set up. It definitely was needed on my boat.

Thanks Tom! Someone I was talking with was remarking how his boat had a vang, but figured my setup was just different. What would that do for the boat? I didn't realize I could just put stuff in like that?

Now that we're talking about the boom, the previous owner had a piece of small rope (looked about like parachute cord) running from the top of the mast. The string was more than long enough to tie off onto an eye on the end of the boom, so we did. But after talking with that same guy, he wasn't so sure I would even need to do anything with that cord, due to the foot of the sail being threaded through a groove on the boom. He said as I draw the sail up, it should lift the boom up and would put the load on the mast, which is where it should be? I think you can see this setup in my first photograph.
 

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The boom vang helps to control sail shape and keeps the boom from rising up when you are on a broad reach (sailing down wind). I just drilled some holes in the boom and rivited on a hanger to attach the vang to. I will get some pictures later this week. The line from the mast head to the aft end of the boom is a "topping lift". It keeps the boom from falling into the cockpit when you drop the main sail. This is a very useful thing to have. I also have the jib halyard leading back to the helm along with a downhaul line so that I can raise and lower the jib without leaving the tiller. This is nice to have if the wind picks up suddenly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That makes sense Tom. Thanks for the explanation. I may just put a vang on it then. I didn't think it would be that easy. I might have to get back with you when I decide to tackle that. Might be a Winter project.
 

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Hi Tom,
Well, it certainly sounds like you were successful in your "kit bashing." The steps you took certainly seem to be for the advanced!

Thank you for the link to the sailboatdata link; I looked at that right before I bought it to get some rough idea of the overall size. I was wondering, do you happen to have any detailed photographs of how the Challenger is rigged? Unfortunately, I bought from a widow, who did not sail, and was not able to obtain a rigging tutorial. The books give a general concept, but any images you may have would help immensely! Also, do you know if these boats have a manual and possibly where to obtain one? I know I'm asking for a lot here, but I guess I'm a typical newbie, asking for the world :)

I read a post on sailmfg from a gentlemen (Mr.Eheman) who said he designed the Challenger. He tells a little bit about the back story of the Challenger and his company. I tried pasting the link, but got an error saying I have to have at least 10 posts before I can include links.

Thanks again for any assistance.
Let me try:
Challenger 15
It is a really interesting story and thanks for bringing it to light.
It was nice that the admin for the SailMFG site posted them even though the Challenger 15 was never built by MFG.
 

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Tom, my boat is missing the wood trim inside the cockpit rail. I intend to replace it with 3/8" thick mahogany. Can you measure yours for the width and thickness and let me know what the measurements are?
Thanks,
George
 

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Tom, my boat is missing the wood trim inside the cockpit rail. I intend to replace it with 3/8" thick mahogany. Can you measure yours for the width and thickness and let me know what the measurements are?
Thanks,
George
I haven't measured it yet, but I'm sure it's less than 3/8 inch thick. I should be able to get that for you tomorrow.
Tom
 
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