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Thread: The 44ft Solway Dory Bermudan Rig

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    On the Forth
    Posts
    122

    Default The 44ft Solway Dory Bermudan Rig

    I am the proud owner of one of these rigs, its first outing was last weekend accompanied by Jurassic with his expedition rig, here are a few of my observations for my set up that worked didn't work, which will hopefully help others with their set up.

    I thought being new to this sailing game I might have trouble assembling this rig, but it turned out to be pretty straight forward, the only issue I had was with the vang, and what way round it fitted, I found rightly or wrongly that the pulley is better on the boom, and the pulley with the cleat (no doubt there is a proper sailors term for it ) on the mast. (I found the other way around it would slacken off).

    I have my canoe ( 15ft Mad River Reflection) set up for single paddling, with a kneeling thwart, forward of the rear seat. I decided to keep that layout for sailing, so the rudder gudgeon's are on the rear of my canoe, and the mast thwart, foot behind the front seat.

    This means unfortunately that as I (atm) sit with my back against the rear seat on the floor of the canoe, there is a kneeling thwart and the carrying yoke in front of me, and in the way of getting to the mast for reefing, that was quite inconvenient with the variable wind we had, as I had no inclination to clamber over the kneeling thwart to reef in or out the sail.

    NB The kneeling thwart will be modified, as per designs available on this site so that it is removable, which will allow me clear access to the vang and mast for reefing.

    The vang, I found this annoying when reefing in and out, it has to be disconnected from the mast, but as you turn the mast it wraps itself around it, and within a few turns locks everything up. I found hooking the pulley hook onto the sail cleat on the mast stopped that happening.

    NB Remember to make your sail leash long enough that it doesn't bind rotating the mast and sail from fully furled to fully unfurled.

    Query; Is there any reason why the vang cannot be attached to the mast thwart instead?, that would allow the mast to turn freely, and the vang can stay in place, as its attached to the boom.

    Sorry but the mains sheet supplied was not long enough for me, (it may work for set ups more centrally located), I fitted a bridle to either end of my rear seat, (be careful of that btw, a few times my BA got caught up in it), when sailing downwind I ended up allowing the sheet end to bind with the forward pulley, and just grabbed the sheet attached to the bridle, I've ordered 10M of 9mm Marlow line, so will sort out a viable length from that.

    One of the reasons I asked about the position of the vang is because of checking out Dave's Raptor, he can reef his sail from his sitting position, it wouldn't be hard to add a pulley to the mast to do the same, just a thought.

    Ok From my first weekends outing;

    1. I switched the vang around
    2. The main sheet needs extending
    3. The kneeling thwart requires modification
    4. I need a Burgee to tell me wind direction
    5. tell tales on the sail
    6. A ratchet pulley to help with the main sheet, (Man was I sore on Monday)
    7. The tiller arm is to long, it needs tweaking.
    8. The mast leash and vang get in each others way when reefing, the sail cleat is a convenient place to place the vang, mast thwart would be better.
    9. Not happy with the bridle on the rear seat, more than once I got tangled up in it and the main sheet, not a good idea if you capsize, still thinking about that one.

    Stephen


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gailainne View Post
    [*]Not happy with the bridle on the rear seat, more than once I got tangled up in it and the main sheet, not a good idea if you capsize, still thinking about that one.

    Stephen
    I know what you mean with this. When I capsized on our previous trip I found myself trapped in the water between the canoe, boom, mast and bridle at the rear. I had to swim under the bridle risking entanglement (which was quite difficult with a BA and air trapped in my drysuit). I think I'm going to fit a safety knife to my BA as the risk of getting tangled is greatly increased when sailing imho.
    I also noticed that the mainsheet running along the boom has a habit of trying to garrotte me when I gybe. So far all the gybes have been slow and gentle but I'm going to get caught by a more violent one at some point. I've already shortened the leashes for the two blocks on the boom to raise the sheet as much as possible but in light winds, running downwind the mainsheet tends to sag between the two blocks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    931

    Default

    Sorry that we havent given you enough information on how to set up your rig.
    Firstly the kicker block should be attached to the boom. That way when you slacken it and unhook the other end from the mast, the mast is free to rotate without winding up the kicker. Also when you tighten the kicker you are pulling downwards into the canoe. If you put it the other way around you will be pulling up on the kicker and you might pull the mast up and out of its mast foot.
    The bottom end needs to fasten off on the mast as this is what stops the mast from unwinding when you have it reefed. You cannot fasten it to the thwart.
    If the cleat on the kicker is not holding the cord well, just pinch the cleat jaws together a bit more with some pliers. I noticed that this weekend showing another new sailor how to set his rig up. These are a new batch of kicker blocks and they seem a bit slack in the inbuilt cleat.
    I dont bother with a leash for the bermudan mast. If you tie a stopper knot on the end of the sheet the sheet retains the rig so that you do not loose it in a capsize.
    I would try sailing your canoe kneeling up against the kneeling thwart, rather than on the floor against the back seat. You will have a better trim of the canoe which will make it go through the tack more easily and sitting up you will be able to lean out further to counterbalance the heeling effect of the rig. Eventually after lots of practice you will be able to move out onto the gunwale from that position which will allow you to sail in stronger winds. You wont get tangled up with the bridle and you will also be in a position to reach forward for reefing. Sitting on the floor feels more stable and in light winds it is ok but as you sail in stronger winds you will need to lean futher out.The middle is also the widest part of the canoe which again means that it is easier to shift your weight to the upwind side.
    There should be a good turnout on Loch Ken next weekend with many Bermudan rigs for you to compare how they have been set up. Look forward to meeting you and Chris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    On the Forth
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Dave

    Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed response, the set up you suggest makes sense now, I'll tweak the cleat jaws, and switch it back the other way. On the Sunday I was actually leaning forward against the kneeling thwart as you suggested, I found it not only trimmed the boat better it gave me a couple of extra feet of sheet, the boat heeling over and leaning out to compensate I'm still getting used to. I'm looking forward to next weekend at Loch Ken, just got to fix those outriggers, I did get them this morning thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,205

    Default Loch Ken here we come!

    Looking forward to seeing you both next weekend, Chris and Stephen. The wind forecast seems to start gentle and increase over the few days so could be good for progressive development!

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