SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend and I recently bought a 1974 Swiftsure 24' by the name of Samurai. She's a pretty little thing, though she certainly falls in the realm of project boat. I know very little about her heritage; she was designed in the Pacific Northwest, and apparently built in Richmond, BC (possibly by De Vries, though this is just heresay at the moment.) She's apparently a racer/cruiser, and from her looks, most of the interior, as well as a good portion of the exterior are from the original manufacturer. She has a few newish sails, and I would guess that she was raced at some point (apparently her PHRF rating is 231). Though we intend on racing her (perhaps next summer, and not terribly competitively) for now we're concentrating on having her be comfortable for weekend trips.

In the style of AllThumbs, and in the interest of keeping my myriad of questions together, I'm making an attempt at a "project boat" thread, if only to remind myself of the hours put into her when the 2'-itis starts itching.

Here are a few of the key projects we're hoping to do by the end of the summer:

*Repairing her delaminated deck (the foredeck from bow to cabin top shows signs of pretty severe delamination. So as to not void our insurance, we have 6 months to complete this)
*Building a venting, self-contained fuel locker.
*Running as much of the running rigging back to the cockpit as possible, and replacing much of it.
*Permanently mounting bilge pump and float switch.
*Adequately attaching the split backstay (6 months - insurance)
*Sanding down gelcoat blisters
*Brightwork & hull spiffy-fying
*Installing a freshwater system
*Installing wire lifelines
*Repairing the fibreglass where the transverse hull stiffener has detached from the hull at the forward keel bolt. (6 months - insurance)
... and many more.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
You were fortunate to get a 6 month window for the "must dos"... we were given 30 days in November by our first insurer to get similar jobs done. (we changed carriers to buy time)

So, yes, you've got some projects on your hands, but as Val says you'll learn tons and prepare yourself for the next one.

btw, I don't live too far from Reed Pt, if you want a second opinion or some suggestions on how to proceed, feel free to PM me. I'd be happy to help if I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reefing Point too far above the boom?

Today I'm curious about reefing. Samurai only has one reefing point (and had nothing set up to actually do so.) On our shake-down weekend trip home from Victoria, we added a cunningham, which will double as the reefing point at the tack. We also added lengths of line at the reefing points along the new foot, and a length of line to take the load at the clew. It's not ideal, but it's what we have.

Here's my question - how close to the boom should the new tack be? Our mainsail is attached with sail slides, which are blocked from falling out with a split cotter pin where the track widens. This is about 8" above the highest position for the boom (the height is adjustable.) However, we've found that the best position for the boom at full sail is another 6'" below that. Say we go to reef - our reef point is now 14" or so above the boom, and we've only taken maybe 6" of sail down and left her with some disturbing sail sag. I *can* raise the boom to make up 6" of that, but this seems like a lot of fussing to reef (especially considering I will already have to untie the cunningham, rethread it through the reefing point, and reattach it) and potentially hazardous to be moving the boom about in high winds.



So, what am I doing wrong? Do I need to be concerned? How do I fix this? Will I be putting too much force on that pin? Does anyone have any suggestions to cure the shared cunningham/reefing line? We'd discussed adding a hook at the boom to simply attach the reef point to, but obviously this won't work if the slides won't come down any lower...

HELP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tip! It had never occured to me to let the lower slides drop below the pin...
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
Unfortunately your slide stop pin is rather high, and you're stuck with having to remove the pin to reef cleanly. This makes shaking the reef out a bit more of an exercise. btw - put a keeper string on the pin for that inevitable time that it slips out of your hand... it'll be sure to bounce overboard.

Also - highly recommend you remove the lines from the diamond patches.. you won't need them. The tack and clew lines will handle the loads just fine. If the reefed fold hanging down is a serious problem then just use them to lightly gather the extra sail. NEVER tie them tight to the boom!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
In your last photo there is a grommet a few inches above the tack. My main has a similar grommet, and it's the one that the cunningham goes through before it runs down to a fastening point on the mast. I don't think the first reef should double as your cunningham.

As for the cotter pin in the sail track.... what do you do when you douse the main? Do you leave all the slides above the pin? When the sail is up or down, the cotter pin is unnecessary. It's only while the sail's being raised or lowered that you need the pin there, assuming that all the slides that would end up above/below the pin start out above/below the pin. I would recommend that you take the pin out to reef... of course that means you can't reef from the cockpit.

The other thing that occurs to me is this: identify the slides that need to go past the pin, and tie their grommets directly to the mast (i.e. a line running around the mast, loosely enough that they can still slide freely, and tightly enough that, as the slides pass the wide part of the track, they don't pop out. You could even use some kind of rings like you see on a gaff rig. Then you can leave the pin out permanently and not worry about the slides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the great suggestions!

The short yellow lines in the diamond patches are going to have to stay, unfortunately. The sail bags out, and hangs in front of the helmsman something fierce. DIY lazyjacks are going to be part of the up-the-mast project we'll be doing at the end of the month, and should help with that. I know there can't be any tension on them - hence the extra concern at getting the reef point closer to the boom.

The grommet about 6 inches up from the natural clew is what we use as a cunningham - that's where the line normally threads through (it's tied with a bowline to a fairlead on the port side of the mast, up and through the grommet, back down to the base of the mast now on the starboard side, where there's a sheave which redirects it to a cam cleat in the cockpit. To "transform" it into a reefing line - remember this was out of desperation, facing high winds and heavy seas - I untie the bowline, rethread it through the reefing point, and reattach the line to the fairlead)

We haven't bothered to remove the pin when we douse the main, so all slides are always above the pin. It all fits under the cover as is, even if the first few flakes are a bit wonky. I don't want to be messing about with ensuring that each slide goes into the track everytime we hoist. We can't reef from the cockpit yet, and considering the pin-conundrum, I doubt we ever will be able to. Once we've replaced the main halyard (currently stretchy goldbraid) and installed a reefing hook, the cunningham will return to her regular duties.

I hope that made sense!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
I wouldn't expect you to pull the pin when you douse the main... all the slugs will fall out and, as you said, you'll have to feed them in again. Pulling the pin is only required/suggested for when you need to get the reef tack down to the gooseneck. It would be real nice if that pin was closer down, but it is what it is.

If the reefed sail is bothersome, then yes, leave the ties in place but please don't use then for any purpose other than to loosely gather the reef fold. I've seen more sails torn when newbies tightly tie all those tight around the boom before hoisting, only to tear a couple when the hoist the sail, or when it first fills.

AS for your cunningham/reef tack situation.. maybe buy a tack hook for easier transfer... you'll lose a bit of purchase but also a lot of friction, so it may be a saw-off. Then it's a simple matter of moving the hook from cunningham cringle to reef cringle as required.
 

·
Junior Senior
Joined
·
247 Posts
You could get rid of the cotter pin completely and close up the wide spot in the mast slot (gate) with a couple of pieces of aluminum plate screwed to the side of the mast. Don't close it up completely, just narrow the opening down to the same width as the slot in the rest of the mast. Your sail slides will drop all the way down to the boom when the sail is lowered. This will also allow you to reef from the cockpit without removing any of the sail slides. Of course you will have to remove the aluminum plates if you remove the sail, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience of reefing from the cockpit.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Backstay Tensioner replacement

So today's project is the split backstay (see below for update on reef point) As per insurance requirements, "the backstay tensioner must be replaced with an appropriate mechanical unit".



As you can see, it's really just a length of line tied off with no proper way to adjust it. It runs through a wire splice at the top, and through a shackle bolted to the deck at the bottom. I assume a turnbuckle would do the job - however, I'm not sure if there's a better way for a fractional rig, especially one with a split backstay, something a bit more readily tuneable perhaps? FYI, the block at the top of the split is just a basic round original 1970s block, with the topping lift hanging off the connection to the rest of the backstay.

Thursday's projects are installing hose from the sink drain to the thruhull (yes, it currently has a sink - that doubles as a step once you step into the companionway - which apparently drains directly into the bilge - and no bilge pump. Don't ask. Many of the "creature comforts" aboard had been removed, apparently in an attempt at weight reduction for racing.), an attempt at reseating the head and filing down a jagged metal edge on the luff foil. I seem to recall that once upon a time I had a life... and it's only been a few weeks!

As for the reefing cringle, the battle lines have been drawn. We went down to the boat last night, mostly to do a full clean. We talked about the reefing system... well, argued about the reefing system. He feels that simply raising the boom to its highest point will suffice, and doesn't seem concerned about the gap between boom and reefing point. He is adamantly opposed to removing the pin to let the bottom two slides fall below.

So am I being the nut to insist on getting that point lower? Does it really matter that much? Will the integrity of the sail be compromised, potentially resulting in a rip, either at the mast or at that fore diamond reefing cringle? (I realize that line will have to be incredible loose, but I'm concerned about the odd angle of force...)

So we've discovered what's going to make this project boat difficult - two headstrong individuals with separate sailing backgrounds coming together on one project ;) I think this is going to turn into a question of "Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?" Any tips there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks heinzir and Faster - I think I will certainly be replacing the cunningham end with a hook. Significantly quicker to attach and to shake out.

Does anyone recognize what the Sigma on the sail is? Could it be from the original? As I believe Faster mentioned in a previous thread, the (relatively new looking) headsails appear to have been made by Thunderbird sails (my apologies on the confusion that they were from a Thunderbird) though the main and downwind sails (older) all appear to be from Macken.

** Nevermind! took a look at the one other swiftsure I can find pics of - same sail. So original 1974 main sail...
 

·
Tartan 27' owner
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Serah,
Regarding the reefing and boom height question.
As I think you know, the idea behind reefing a main sail is to 1) reduce total sail area and 2) reduce sail area primarily at the top of the mast so raising the boom to reef kind of negates this purpose by raising the sail higher into the stronger winds aloft. A few inches in boom height may not matter that much but I would shoot for reefing at the height you normally have the boom at. The higher up the mast the sail is the more leverage it has to push the boat over in a stiff breeze.
For the split back stay you have wouldn't some small hardware with either fiddle blocks or double blocks work? Think of the pulleys involved with a main sheet or boom vang.
It sounds to me as though you have a pretty good handle on much of the standard rigging.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
993 Posts
Serah—

You really do want to have the cringle for the reefing point come down as close as possible to the boom. For instance, the higher up it is, the more slack that the reefing line has to have, and the less control you have over the reefed sail's shape. Ideally, you want a reefed sail to be as flat as possible, since you're in a high-wind situation and need to depower the boat as much as possible. Not being able to tighten the reefing cringle down to the boom and mast as close as possible means that you can't shape the sail. This is in addition to CalebD's point about raising the boom moving the center of effort higher, which is what you're trying to avoid doing.

As for the split backstay. Attach a block for wire to it... and then attach a piece of wire to one side, run it through the block and terminate it with a fiddle block on the other end. then put a fiddle block with becket and cam cleat on the bottom on the hull on the other side. Tie a line to the becket and run it up reeve it between the two blocks and then through the cam cleat, and you'll have a nice 8:1 backstay adjuster.

To get the blocks, buy a Garhauer boomvang block setup, like their series 25 UAG 4-1, shown here, currently on sale. Only $76 or so. You'll need a short piece of wire rope that has a toggle on one end and a fork on the other and a wire rope block with a fork on it to attach to the backstay—but any good rigging shop can set you up with that.



Photo courtesy of Garhauer Marine, click to go to their website.

It'll basically end up looking like this Harken setup, but 8:1 not 12:1, image courtesy of Harken.com

 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
Re your backstay... replacing that piece of line with a multipart tackle (6:1 min) will probably get you where you need to be. If you're worried about the security of the adjustable part, then have a wire piece made up that loosely competes the current backstay, and connect it to the deck and the split part. It will slacken as you tension the backstay adjuster, but provide a safety in the unlikely event that the adjusting tackle were to part.

Our boat is a similar frac rig to yours, with perhaps more severely swept spreaders. I've just replaced the shrouds and headstay with new wire, but have gone to an all-spectra backstay system, and a cascading 12:1 on the same split arrangement that you have.

And I agree with you (and the others) that you should be getting the reef tack down to the normal gooseneck position. Close the slot as heinzir suggests, or learn to live with letting out a couple of slides.

I think you're doing great here, btw!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We had a productive night last night (though no resolution to the reefing point battle.) I'm not sure if I mentioned this: we bought the boat so we could use her. We've decided that we are not going to undertake any projects that will keep us off the water (excluding a haul & paint in the fall, and possibly repairing the delaminated foredeck - we'll figure details on that one out when it's a bit warmer out) Another thing of note is that though I'm relatively handy, bigger projects tend to intimidate me, especially those that require drilling/cutting and in general putting more holes in the boat. However, I've insisted that I be the one who does most of the work on Samurai - mostly in the interest of learning these skills, but also so that if something does go wrong, I (kind of) know how the systems work. I did most of the initial rewiring (with the boy's excellent guidance of course) of the lights and the bilge pump. Anyway, just trying to explain my fascination with this, and why what seems to be simple projects seem momentous to me.

The projects we've been focusing on have been ones that make it more comfortable to be out. We knocked off three projects last night, two of which needed to be done before we could comfortably spend any time aboard:
1. Attached drain and hose to sink and connected it to the thruhull. This drove us nuts on the trip home - dishes were done in a bucket, usually on deck in the snow. No more, thank you. Also, it's nice to have somewhere to wash your hands. This was "my" project - first time using a jigsaw in anything but ideal shop conditions. The contortions required to cut while laying on your stomach in the bilge! The reason we chose to cut a piece out of the bulkhead was because there was no way the hose could run from drain the thruhull without dips in the hose for water to collect/clog in.


*please note the beautiful 1970s original cushions - in mint condition!!

2. Unbolting the head and remounting it. This still had the original 1970s non-stainless wood screws (the ones with the square heads) "holding" (read: the head itself had about two inches of give in all directions when sat on, or pumped). We drilled new holes, filled the old ones with sikaflex, made an attempt at removing the rust stains and remounted her. Solid as can be now. Also, as per the surveyor's recommendation, we poured a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil into the bowl, and pumped it through - this trick works remarkably well! It was incredibly difficult to do before, requiring both hands and body weight to persuade it to pump - now she quite happily pumps away! Some of the seals are obviously shot (water squirts out the handle as you pump - lovely!) but they no longer make seal kits for this model of Bryden Boy (I think that's the make) If anyone happens to know someone who has extra parts kicking around...
3. Very simple project of cutting a thick dowel to length so as to fit in the "hanging locker" This boat is great for relatively inaccessible storage (under the v-berth and setees) or non-dry storage (huge lazarettes and bilge storage) but little for quick-access.

We haven't touched the jagged luff foil, or the backstay yet. It's rained every night we've been down - surprise, surprise (well, it is early spring in Vancouver!) Actually, we haven't even given her deck a proper scrub yet :( Sunday is the day though! Supposed to be sunny, and we'll see how this lady actually sails :)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
Serah

If you've got a head you can't get parts for, the Jabsco heads are quite inexpensive these days, under $200, many rebuild kits run upwards of $50 so the difference isn't all that much and you get something new. Not the quality of a good Raritan, or others, but certainly servicable.

We're off to Bowen Island tomorrow, will keep an eye out for you on the Bay Sunday (if you get out there!)

btw- nice job on the sink drain... using expensive hose too!!
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
993 Posts
From what Peggie Hall said on another forum, if the head is in need of replacement, a good option is to buy the base and pump for a Raritan PHC or PHII head and re-use the bowl. She said that most bowls with four bolts will fit the base and pump setup. The Raritan PHC and PHII are among the most reliable of manual heads and doing it this way you save considerably on shipping and on the cost of buying a new head.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
From what Peggie Hall said on another forum, if the head is in need of replacement, a good option is to buy the base and pump for a Raritan PHC or PHII head and re-use the bowl. She said that most bowls with four bolts will fit the base and pump setup. The Raritan PHC and PHII are among the most reliable of manual heads and doing it this way you save considerably on shipping and on the cost of buying a new head.
Not a bad idea, SD... but I reckon that the Raritan parts (pump) will run more than a Jabsco head complete - of course the quality will be better.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top