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Thread: Solway Dory Expedition Bermudan rig installation thoughts

  1. #1

    Default Solway Dory Expedition Bermudan rig installation thoughts

    Hi all. I have been reading SOTP for a long time but this is my first post. Through this site I have learned a lot, and I wanted to share the fruits of your labors (oh, labours).

  2. #2

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    I ordered an SD sail kit 3 years back and had it installed on a polyethelyne (plastic) canoe built here in Finland (Welhonpesä Winkkari 17). The sail kit worked wonders, and SD's installation web pages allowed me to get the boat immediately well balanced (between sail and leeboard placement), but the hull flexed a lot. also, the thwarts (mast and yoke where leeboard short thwart was attached) were weak. the boat was also heavy.

  3. #3

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    last winter, i traded up to a slightly larger, wider boat, with 4 seats. It's a Robson Brooks 175, made of Armorlite, a composite of polyethylene and glass fiber. this spring i retrofitted the SD rig to the new boat. hoping to post some photos of the changes and discuss some of the results.

  4. #4

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    I'll start out with the mast thwart. This was originally installed, along with the mast step, using the materials sent by Dave from SD on the green, plastic canoe. I used a single bolt on either end of the mast thwart, and as my canoe was designed with a strip of board along the inside bottom of the hull, i chose for a first attempt to simply screw the mast foot down to this board. overall, the installation worked well, but i worried about the significant flexing of the hull caused by the moment between the mast thwart and the mast step in gusts. also, the mast foot was admittedly poorly installed and rotated around the single screw.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Posts
    32

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    iansacs,

    I am not a marine engineer, but if you can post some pictures of the boat, I might be able to suggest some possible fixes. I am also interested in the SD mast rigging and how it is holding up. I am trying to research all the various types of sail rigs and figure out how I should outfit my Grumman canoe for sailing. Most of the research I'm finding is saying that you can brace around the mast thwart with wood or tubing from the mast base to the (undersides) left and right ends of the mast thwart. Then the mast base does not have to take all of the strain from the mast. Some boats with this system even have a "floating" mast base that is supported only by the brackets coming down from the mast thwart. - That might work for you if you can't get anything to stick to the bottom of your plastic canoe, but most manufacturers do have or can reccomend a special plastic glue that will stick well to their brand of canoes. There is also a drop in bracket system that just clamps to the gunwales of any canoe which accomodates the mast, mast base, leeboards and mast thwart all in one unit.

    Pretty much committed to building amas like Outn'Backer has displayed on here, and then start working on the sails and spars. My canoe has to do one special trick however to make it all work for me and that is to clear a 10 foot bridge between me and the lake I live on.

  6. #6

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    Hi Tillerman6! Thanks for these suggestions. Since making the previous posts, I have been quite happy with the solution of a hearty mast thwart with two boys per gunwhale, and a mast step that is connected to the bottom of the boat using an industrial strength hook-and-loop (loops to the boat, hooks to the mast step). This method of connection has remained in place without any movement under many wind conditions, so in the end it warranted a lot less worry than before installation, but of course, one never knows and a failure would have been very undesirable. About stiffness, the bracket we fabricated was with a 5cm wide and 5mm thick aluminum bar bent into a "v" shape with tabs at either end and a flat segment at the bottom of the "v" to tuck beneath the mast step, which we screwed to the underside of the mast thwart and, after routering out a 5cmx5mm notch in the bottom of the mast step, affixed to the hull. The final assembly is so incredibly stiff that I have never seen the hull or gunwhales flex in the slightest. So, I highly recommend this method.

  7. #7

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    https://photos.app.goo.gl/MBuLYFHuPYYBponF7

    Some photos of the mast thwart brace.

  8. #8

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    Please let me know what questions you have about the solway Dory Bermuda expedition rig. I have found it generally to be extremely rugged and very well designed.

  9. #9

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    The SDBE rig is very lightweight (4kg approx.) And extremely easy to rig, remove, and fuel/unfurl. It is about 4m tall, or about half that when the mast is separated into its two segments (which requires unlacing the head of the sail from the mast). I really like the ease of stepping and infinite reefing options. The sheet and block configuration works well (similar to a laser, sunfish, optimist) and the sail itself is cut well enough that even a canoe can point quite high into the wind. My two main gripes (and they are minor) with the design are that you must unhook the boom Vang from the mast for unfurling, furling, and reefing, which requires leaning or crawling up to the mast and some 60 seconds of awkward positioning in a traditional canoe, and that the mast cannot be disassembled into its two parts quickly without lacing/unlacing the sail. But, I must say that any fixes to these two things would result in a more complicated, heavier rig which is not the goal of the SDBE. After several years of sailing this rug, I have adjusted to a narrow boat but amas would be so much calmer (particularly for unfamiliar passengers) and a rudder would be a luxury (although I've developed quite a technique for paddle-steering). Indeed, the biggest question I have with the rig is whether to install a cam clear to lock down the sheet. I have juggled this thought every time the winds are calm and steady and dismissed it every time the winds are strong or Gusty. At the moment I sit on the sheet (a human can cleat) and in a gust I lean forward to "release", but this is admittedly a clumsy routine and results in complete loss of momentum.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Posts
    32

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    Iansacs,

    Yes a couple of questions if you have a minute. - I can replicate some of the SD hardware myself in my own shop, so having more time than money, it seems like the best thing to do right now. I was on here this afternoon and checking out some trip stories from people that use the SD rigs. sometimes a picture will be included in a story that has a view of the mast and or boom of an SD rig. So I'm not sure which of the Bermudan rigs I was looking at, but in that picture, they had the mast laying flat on the boat and the base was facing the camera. But the thing I noticed the most in this photo was the fact that there was some re-inforcement or layers of tubing inside the mast itself. Does your mast have anything inside it? IF so, what materials and dimensions would you estimate they were? I'm using a mast that is 1.5" with an .065" wall in aluminum, but I think this will not be strong enough for the 14 foot mast with a 44 square foot sail on it. The thwart on my boat is just a piece of 3/4" plywood right now, and the mast foot is very solid and glued to the floor of the canoe solidly. With no stays onboard, the mast will take all the side strain about 15 inches above the foot. Right now I have a stub mast in it's place, but the tubing is the same diameter and wall thickness, so it will see the same sort of side loading as the mast with the actual sail mounted on it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Posts
    32

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    Iansacs,

    Still wondering about the tubing inside the mast. What is that stuff?? How far up the mast does it go would you think?

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