Friday, November 30, 2018

Boat TETRIS and Finishing Dolly

30 Nov 18:

Need to work on the deck of the Super Sailfish so that generated a round of boat TETRIS. The first move was to get CHIP off of the Sunfish finishing dolly using Skipper's boat hoist.

The dolly is modeled after the finishing dolly used by LASER Performance, when they used to be in Portsmouth, RI. It has articulating bunks so the boats can be supported hull down or deck down.

(Image credit: LASER Performance)

We moved CHIP onto the sawhorse dolly that ZSA ZSA had vacated.

Next we hoisted ZSA ZSA off of the Dynamic Dolly.

Then she went onto the finishing dolly.

And back onto the Alcort Working Museum. ZIP resumed duties holding down the Dynamic Dolly. WINNIE slept through the whole evolution.

Log of ZSA ZSA.

Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA 30 Nov 18 Float Test and Sea Trials

30 Nov 18:

The bottom on ZSA ZSA is finished, so it was time for a float test. ANd since we were going to do a float test, why not rig for sail? We launched ZSA ZSA from the dolly and I walked her out a bit to clear the dock, Skipper on the helm. A light push and she was underway, for the first time in at least 5 years and many more before that.

There was only a wisp of wind but that is where these boats have a great time.

Barely enough wind to disturb the water but enough for Sea Trials.

Skipper on her high speed pass. She was working hard to maneuver the boat in about 30 inches of water, I had waded out to get pictures, 500 feet off shore and still only waist deep. WE used a longer daggerboard today to improve tacking, more about that in another post. Once she got ZSA ZSA off the shoal she didn't have to hold the daggerboard up with her feet :)

Another pass over the shoal, Skipper and ZSA ZSA were good sports posing for the paparazzi.

Out to play for a bit, tacks and gybes went beautifully. The boat sat great in the water, beautiful lines. Alcort tucked the bow up a little bit from the original design, that helped prevent submarining that was common on the first model.

One more pass for the photog. Skipper has found that on the Super Sailfish that it is easier to lay back to tack versus bending forward, better balance on the boat.

My turn, I used our mini Greenland paddle to get clear of the treeline wind shadow, it worked great. We wanted a small paddle that would fit in a Sunfish cockpit with the Greenland style blade, this works nice and takes up very little room, easy to use one handed because the blade is not too big.

The paddle tucks out of the way nicely on the Super Sailfish, I think we'd need a lanyard on windier days :)

A few quick strokes with the paddle to get through a lazy tack.

Light wind day, fun to just put the tiller over and do donuts. Back to the beach, Sea Trials successful.

ZSA ZSA will head back to the shop to work on the deck fit and finish now, we had a few tiny leaks in the deck seam, daggerboard trunk and mast step. No leaks on the bottom seam or keel! The sail set beautifully and we were very happy with how she handled with her new skeg, in light winds and shoal water she didn't really need the daggerboard. Rudder stayed in place and felt very secure, the tiller straps could be straightened a bit. Overall an enormously successful and fun time!

Log of ZSA ZSA.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Marlin Hitch To Bend Sail

We like to bend our Sunfish and Sailfish sails onto the spars with a marlin hitch, using 50 feet of 1/8 inch nylon line from New England Rope. The sail sets great and the rig has a classic look. This is how the Alcort sails were originally attached, before the plastic rings.

Small Boat Hoist

Skipper designed a boat hoist for me, using Sunfish sheets and deck hardware. Made life a whole lot easier.

Fuller Countersink Set #8

We use these a lot on our wooden boats along with silicone bronze wood screws.

"The Fuller #8 Countersink Set contains five type C countersinks for wood screw sizes #6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 with 3/8" and 1/2" cutting diameters. Five matching taper point drills, 3/8" and 1/2" stop collars, 3/8" and 1/2" plug cutters, and two hex keys are all included in a really nice-looking mahogany case.
Fuller countersinks will last a lifetime if taken care of. The number 8 is our most popular set, favored by wooden boat builders, woodworkers, and other craftsmen."

FMI: Jamestown Distributors

Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA 29 Nov 18 Spar Repair and Sail Rig

29 Nov 18:

Lots of little jobs today, rigging for Float Test and Sea Trials. Takes time to get all the bits in the right spot. Started off by needing to move the boat from the sawhorses down to the Dynamic Dolly. Flying ZSA ZSA using Skipper's small boat hoist, which is made from Sunfish eyestraps, sheets, halyard blocks and halyard cleats.

One of these spars is not like the other. They should be around 13' 9", trimmable down to 13' 8 inchish. Not sure why the boom was so long, not the first time we've seen it.

Much better, trimmed it with a metal blade on a reciprocating saw. Notice how the vintage spars have a different outhaul and cap arrangement, eyebolts vs the integrated plastic tabs on the outhaul caps

Here's another common issue of corrosion at the interlocking eyebolts, solution is to trim 1/2 inch off. We removed the rusted eyebolts by twisting off the stop nut with vise grips and tapping the bolt out with a hammer, then popped the old boom caps off

We used a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade, Kobalt cordless was the tool choice today. It came as part of a set with the drill, impact drill and flashlight. We have been happy with the set.

Drilled holes for the new spar interlocking eyebolts through the clean spar and spar caps with a Milwaukee 3/16th inch titanium bit. We also added a new style outhaul cap on the bottom spar with the tab pointing down. Why you ask? Some of you folks know why. That plastic tab will act as bumper and prevent the eyebolt from gouging a half moon arc on the front deck.

Time to put the sail on the spars, we like to bend it on the vintage Alcort way. 50 feet of 1/8th inch nylon line by New England Rope is plenty to bend the sail onto the spars. We cut two outhauls off the end, about 2 feet each is plenty. Attach the tack of the sail with an S hook. Tie the outhauls at the head and clew. Then find the middle of the remaining line and run a piece out each spar to the outhauls.

We attach the sail with a marlin hitch, leaving enough slack so the seam of the sail can stand up. Finish off the line at the outhaul with a couple of half hitches.

Time for a halyard. We use 25 feet of 3/16th inch New England Rope Sta-Set. We have the length marked out on the deck. 25 feet works for the sheet as well.

Woo! Check out that classic 5 panel Ratsey and Lapthorne sail, soft like budda. And just drink in the beauty and simplicity of a vintage Alcort.

This hull has a few extra options, toe rails and a splashguard. They are well done so we don't know if Alcort added them at the factory as a trial or one of the owners added them.

Bow handle, rub rail and toe rail detail. We ordered the half oval stainless keel strip that starts under the bow handle tab, wraps under the stem and runs down the keel 18 inches.

Most Sailfish have just a halyard cleat on the side of the mast collar, we will probably change ZSA ZSA back to that configuration.

How we start the marlin hitch, loop it around the interlocking eyebolts then put a hitch on the tack grommet, one for the gaff and one for the boom.

Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA.

ZSA ZSA is being upgraded with a Barrington style daggerboard, it measures 39 inches vs the factory 31 inch board. Tacks will be much improved and leeway reduced. We still need to repair some parts of the deck, sand, fair, prime and paint.

Vintage rudder assembly, check out that tiller. And look at the half moon scatch from the tiller extension bolt, ZSA ZSA was sailed a lot at one point.

New drain plug and bridle.The original drain plug was bronze and they are hard to seal, someone changed it to a newer style plug, which was worn. We'll go with this style for now, sealed in with epoxy.

Ready for Sea Trials. Tomorrow!

To roll up the sail, make sure it is not is not pinched between the spars, pull it away from the mast, find the middle and start loosely rolling it.

Look how soft this old sail is, a new sail will need to be rolled looser.

Roll the sail up to the spars and throw a loose sail tie around it.

This is a good way to secure the sail while refreshments are being had. The rudder can be popped up and held down by the spars so it does not drag while launching or retrieving. We also take a bit of the sheet sometimes and tie the spars to the bridle.

Alcort Museum. (L-R) 1953 wooden Sunfish ZIP, number 13 of the first 20 pre production boats built, snoozing under a boat cover. 1950s Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA awaiting Sea Trials. 1963 wooden Sunfish CHIP patiently waiting for a new bottom. 1950s Standard Sailfish WINNIE says "Im ready!" These boats represent the first 3 styles of boats that Alcort built, beginning in 1949. In 1960 the fiberglass versions of the Sunfish and Super Sailfish began hitting the high seas.

Log of ZSA ZSA.

To learn more about all of these knots check out the Skipper's book Why Knot: Skipper's Guide to Small Boat Knots

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Alcort Super Sailfish ZSA ZSA 28 Nov 18 Rudder Assembly Installation

28 Nov 18:

Time to trim the new keel on the Super Sailfish and fit the latch plate, the bronze plate for the rudder assembly that is on the keel. The important measurement is the distance from the deck plate to the keel plate, we took that off of our wooden Sunfish, which uses the same assembly and has the same size transom.

Brought the measurement over to the SUper Sailfish transom and marked the keel strip.

Marked how far up the keel strip to cut, and how deep.

Scribed the cut with a Japanese pull saw then cut with a multi oscillating tool. Smoothed the cut and trimmed to final shape with a 1 inch long handle chisel. The latch plate is secured at the forward end with a #8 silicone bronze screw that goes through the keel strip and into the internal keel longeron. The aft part of the latch plate is secured with a carriage bolt that goes through the latch plate, up through the transom and then through the spring plate on the deck. A wing nut tops off the carriage bolt.

Well the boat is upside down but you get the idea. Wing nut tightens or loosens to control pressure on the latch plate, if an obstruction is hit the vertical plate of the rudder pops out of the latch plate because downward pressure is put on the spring plate. Tightening the wing nut tightens the latch plate and makes it harder for the vertical plate to pop out.

Log of ZSA ZSA.