Centreboard Uphaul/Downhall and mast floats topic

Kenneth Brooks posted this 02 September 2021

I am a new member of the association and my brother and I have recently purchased two solos. We are relatively new to sailing (3 years) so please bear this in mind when responding. we sail off the south coast at sea.

The dinghies are also a bit "vintage" - sail numbers 1884 and 3810. 1884 has a grp hull and wooden deck, 3810 is all wood.

Neither boat has an uphaul/downhall system for the centreboard (both are wooden).

Has anyone any photos/diagrams to show a simple roping system for the centreboard. I presume that a gearing system my be useful to reduce effort.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Also, what mast float would you recommend - I have already turtled it once!

I look forward to your comments


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Ian McDonald posted this 03 September 2021

My experience is that with a carefully adjusted friction damper extra rope is not required. Sailing inland means enough tacks and chance to make adjustment on the handle en route across the boat. And not having extra string means that the chance of the board being locked in the up position during a capsize is good.

But we both sit ready for a " proper " solo sailor to advise!

Barrie Woodhall posted this 03 September 2021

with regard to mast floats, I think most in our club have sailed with a 20l 0r 25l float usually obtainable from amazon - I have been told that they are actually buoyancy aids for canoes. These just tie on to your main halyard shackle, you can get a type which fit in the mast track but are quite expensive. I have used an Amazon type, 25l, the mast does not submerge! you can stand on the mast, boom, centreboard casing etc the boat just lies flat and you can recover very quickly, over the side and onto the centreboard, with luck you will not even get wet.

Will Loy posted this 12 September 2021

Welcome to the Solo fleet. Although I do not do much sailing these days I would recommend fitting uphaul/downhaul ropes but also use a properly tensioned friction pad. Generally, the system is very helpful when it's pretty windy. You start the race in a punchy force 4, the board is pretty far down to give you height off the line but within a few lengths you have a nice lane and want to lift the board a little as the wind increases. The helm needs to concentrate on leaning out and keeping the boat flat as he/she powers upwind, tweeking the centreboard position up a tad if it is tripping up on itself. Without the system you have to lean in to reach the handle and that one movement loses you half a length to leeward. With the system in place you can pull the board up as you round the top mark, moving to leeward onto the plane rather than in to raise the board manually. That is another length. You go to gybe and require the board to be a little further down but if you lean in to grab the handle your bow buries into the wave ahead. Alternatively you grab the control line and give it a little tug, staying on the plane and maintaining speed. Speed equals less pressure on the sail and easier gybes.

I will try and set up a link to centreboard controls.

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