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Masthead buoyancy

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Repair & maintenance
Forum Discription: Questions & tips on the subject
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1958
Printed Date: 15 Aug 22 at 7:48pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Masthead buoyancy
Posted By: bigum
Subject: Masthead buoyancy
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 9:43am

I know it's not cool but I am considering using masthead buoyancy on my Contender because

1. I'm still learning to trapese & helm so I swim alot

2. The water where I sail is not very deep and I don't want to get the mast stuck in the mud.

Is there a down side to this idea ( apart from cost & looking like a nerd )? Also should I use the crewsaver "fender" style or the "airship" style that cats use?

All opinions & experiance welcome.....

 

 




Replies:
Posted By: jpbuzz591
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 9:47am
I'm have heard that you need at least 40 litres of bouyancy to make much difference and that will slow down the capsize but not necessarily stop inversion.

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Jp Indoe
Contender 518
Buzz591
Chew Valley Sailing club
Bristol


Posted By: BBSCFaithfull
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 10:26am
Just Strap lemonade bottles to the head of the mast. MAy not look kool. But would do the job.

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Int 14 GBR 1503!!


Posted By: carshalton fc
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 10:41am

Originally posted by jpbuzz591

I'm have heard that you need at least 40 litres of bouyancy to make much difference and that will slow down the capsize but not necessarily stop inversion.

i think they were having u on. that is about 20 large coke bottle's! were i work we have the crewsaver bouancy bags (looks like a cheesy watsit) they will stop masts inverting!



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International 14 1503


Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 10:43am

Hiya bigum,

Hope you're enjoying the warm weather. Ideal for capsizing!

As a fellow swimmer, I have considered attaching a floatation bag at the top of the mast but the Contender experts in our club weren't convinced. It might be more hassle than it's worth. When hoisting the sail, you've got to be careful the buoyancy aids don't get entangled in the halyard.

You might want to make sure you tape all the holes on the mast first and don't take in too much water when you capsize. It's also a good idea to release the kicker (and the other controls, but kicker is most effective) as soon as you feel you've reached the point of no return. That will prevent the boat from turtling instantly. It will also prevent you from banging your head on the boom when you clamber back on board with the boat head-to-wind.

Now you just need to get on that centreboard, grab the trapeze rope (in my case - I need all the leverage I can get) and start pulling! Watch out for the trap hook on the side decks!  



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http://www.lancingsc.org.uk/index.html - Lancing SC


Posted By: jpbuzz591
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 10:59am
Originally posted by carshalton fc

i think they were having u on. that is about 20 large coke bottle's! were i work we have the crewsaver bouancy bags (looks like a cheesy watsit) they will stop masts inverting!

Well according to the RYA's entrapment thingy,

 

 "3040 litres of air at the masthead appeared to prevent inversions in a range of

boats and conditions during trials, with no evidence of masts breaking. The

impact on sailing performance is minimal for basic training and coaching.

Undoubtedly significantly less buoyancy would be effective in many boats, but

a fast windward capsize can result in very rapid inversions. 20 litres was

insufficient on many classes." Quoted from RYA.



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Jp Indoe
Contender 518
Buzz591
Chew Valley Sailing club
Bristol


Posted By: MRJP BUZZ 585
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 11:06am

i always attach two milk bottles to my buzz, doesn't stop it inverting but does slow it down

have always had the bottles since mast breakage

finally i should really get out more



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Josh Preater

http://www.bu22.co.uk">BUZZING IS FUN



Posted By: bigum
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 11:26am

Thanks everyone, taping up the holes in the mast is a good idea while I ponder  going the whole hog.

Any other home made solutions ie cheap would be very welcome as the crewsaver thing seems to be 50. (Dont start with the "can't put a price on safety stuff")

 

 



Posted By: Villan
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 2:35pm
If you have a hollow mast, put Ping-Pong balls down the mast, and then reseal it?

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Vareo - 149 "Secrets"
http://www.TandyUKServers.co.uk" rel="nofollow - TandyUK Servers


Posted By: MRJP BUZZ 585
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 2:37pm
well as far as i can see that crewsaver thing is only a inflatable bag, no diffeent from a bottle

just think how much dairy crest might pay you for advertising their milk


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Josh Preater

http://www.bu22.co.uk">BUZZING IS FUN



Posted By: carshalton fc
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by jpbuzz591

Originally posted by carshalton fc

i think they were having u on. that is about 20 large coke bottle's! were i work we have the crewsaver bouancy bags (looks like a cheesy watsit) they will stop masts inverting!

Well according to the RYA's entrapment thingy,

 

 "3040 litres of air at the masthead appeared to prevent inversions in a range of

boats and conditions during trials, with no evidence of masts breaking. The

impact on sailing performance is minimal for basic training and coaching.

Undoubtedly significantly less buoyancy would be effective in many boats, but

a fast windward capsize can result in very rapid inversions. 20 litres was

insufficient on many classes." Quoted from RYA.

i think that must be rubbish. a 4000 mast which must be the heavest mast ever made wont invert with 4 letres or bouancy on it!!



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International 14 1503


Posted By: BBSCFaithfull
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 4:23pm
Smod etc etc Oh no ive turned into a dev sailor hee hee



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Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 6:31pm
Some things not mentioned in the other posts. Buy a non-legal oppie buoyancy bag from Northampton sailboats (10ish)and put it in a canvass bag (i.e. old sail bag cut down and resown or similar improvisation using rope and gaffer tape).

Attach bouancy to mast with a short length of rope so the mast tip is about 300mm under the water (wind can't get under and blow you upright unexpectedly if you capsize to windward (it also reduces the risk of tangles).

Only disadvantage is if you let go of boat it will blow away from you faster and won't eventually stop when it turtles. Masthead buoyancy makes entrapement less likely, training easier and you don't bend the mast.



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Garry

Lark 2252, Contender 298

www.cuckoos.eclipse.co.uk


Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 6:37pm
Advice on kicking strap is good for all classes, not just contender - makes the boat easier to right from inverted plus rig depowered when it comes up. however, I wouldn't swim under the boat to release it

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Garry

Lark 2252, Contender 298

www.cuckoos.eclipse.co.uk


Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 7:28pm

There's no need to swim under the boat, even fully turtled. You just need to stretch out a bit and count 3 clicks: One - Outhaul, Two - Cunningham, Three - Kicker, uncleat everything. Trust my recent but repeated experience, it works!



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http://www.lancingsc.org.uk/index.html - Lancing SC


Posted By: les5269
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 7:49pm

I think most people who use these actually connect them to the mast halyerd so when you puul the main up it doesn't tangle (theorectrically) I've never tried it so wuldn't like to say if this works.

BTW I'm glad you think the 4000 mast is the heaviest mast Luke (not the 5000?)



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49er 531 & 5000 5025 and a mirror(now gone to mirror heaven)!

http://www.grafham.org/" rel="nofollow - Grafham water Sailing Club The greatest inland sailing in the country


Posted By: carshalton fc
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 8:02pm

Originally posted by BBSCFaithfull

Smod etc etc Oh no ive turned into a dev sailor hee hee

yer u sado!!  u just cant handle the speed of the 4k! 

how much bouancy do you think the inter 14mast would need???



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International 14 1503


Posted By: BBSCFaithfull
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 9:34pm
umm actually luke ive been leaning over the gunnal into the boat trying to let off the kicker and pull the kite down and it still hasnt turtled! So answer is bugger all!

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Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 04 Jul 06 at 9:37pm
You tie them to the main halyard. Bouyancy works really well and makes training much easier. Its not only the weight of the mast but also the windage from the hull - plus with beginners their weight hanging off the rigging or high toestrap inside the boat.

Releasing the kicker etc from an inverted contender is possibler because its a trapeze SH but it would be much more difficult on Lark, Stratos, Feva, Topaz or Laser and I expect also on many other classes.

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Garry

Lark 2252, Contender 298

www.cuckoos.eclipse.co.uk


Posted By: bigum
Date Posted: 05 Jul 06 at 2:50pm
Thanks all, many wise words


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 05 Jul 06 at 4:31pm
The big warning with masthead buoyancy is if you sail
on the sea. A boat with masthead buoyancy capsized
drifts downwind faster than a sailor can swim. So if
you lose contact with the boat and there's no safety
boat you're probably going to drown.


Posted By: jpbuzz591
Date Posted: 05 Jul 06 at 7:43pm
Very comforting words there Jim.

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Jp Indoe
Contender 518
Buzz591
Chew Valley Sailing club
Bristol


Posted By: Phat Bouy
Date Posted: 11 Jul 06 at 1:08am
Another few words of warning - your mast can get severely damaged if you have a lot of bouyancy at the masthead and you suffer a high impact capsize  

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Je suis Marxiste - tendance Groucho


Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 11 Jul 06 at 9:41pm
Looking at the original post I would guess mast damage from the mud is more likely!

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Garry

Lark 2252, Contender 298

www.cuckoos.eclipse.co.uk


Posted By: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 1:16pm
Originally posted by Black no sugar

...It's also a good idea to release the kicker (and the other controls, but kicker is most effective) as soon as you feel you've reached the point of no return. That will prevent the boat from turtling instantly.

Does letting the kicker off really slow down an inversion? or does it just make righting easier? I don't capsize that often any more but when I do it's always at a critical point in a race  and stopping an inversion could make all the difference.



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RS400 1289, Laser 203001


Posted By: jpbuzz591
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 1:19pm

As far as i know it just makes it easier to right



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Jp Indoe
Contender 518
Buzz591
Chew Valley Sailing club
Bristol


Posted By: Black no sugar
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 2:11pm

Maybe it's just my boat, being a grand old lady and all that, but if I capsize and forget to release the kicker, she turtles instantly. I suppose the sail is slacker when the kicker's off and "balloons" a bit over the surface before sinking.
If the kicker's on, I can't right it at all - I'm on a fine balancing point there

(I'm 60 kgs in a wetsuit and the hull's about 85 kgs, not counting the water that gets in the hull! 



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http://www.lancingsc.org.uk/index.html - Lancing SC


Posted By: Guest
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 2:25pm

I would have thought that releasing the kicker makes no difference to the speed of inversion but does make it much easier to right as the sail dson't fill as the boom end drags through the water.

Smart thing to do is sail a boat with the boom end very high ...

Rick



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Posted By: 29er397
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 2:49pm
once its inverted, it is much easier and quicker to bring the rig up to windward and the boat will drift a lot less, (stating the obvious i know!).


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http://www.kielderwatersc.org - Kielder Water Sailing Club


Posted By: phantom871
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 6:05pm

Another alternative is to fill the mast with foam and then drill holes for the halliards through it. the foam will float and where the foam is the water isnt!

 



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If its bent pull harder


Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 7:40pm
I think I heard of someone who filled their mast with ping-pong balls - don't know if it was true!

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Garry

Lark 2252, Contender 298

www.cuckoos.eclipse.co.uk


Posted By: Guest
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 8:12pm
I heard that - excellent idea.

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Posted By: Hobbo
Date Posted: 12 Jul 06 at 10:09pm
My brother got a Crewsaver mast float for his RS200 that i used the first couple of times i sailed my Contender as he as not out and now i used two of the bags from inside wine boxes blown up, one wither side of the sail. To decrease drag (as if it really matters with the speed i sail the thing) i tied a rope to the bottom of the Crewsaver one and lashed it hard to the bottom of the mast so it effectively lay along it, this int possible with the bags due to their square nature and lack of a point on the bottom of the bag to tie a rope to.

As i am learning this was extremely useful particularly as my first sail was in a 4-5 and resulted in 28 capsizes, it kept the boat completely on it's side and allowed me to right the boat easily and even rest on the centreboard before righting in the latter stages. Contrary to JimC's observation i did not float at all far downwind ( Northerly wind, sailing out of Shoreham). In all i think it is a very good idea for a learner in any class who is not particularly confident in the abilities to right from turtle/ does not have the energy to constantly right from turtled. Also contrary to what someone said there is no visible damage to my mast although to be honest i havn't really checked yet.

I will eventually be removing them though despite how bling bling the silver bags are at the top of my mast (That is a joke ).

N.B. Wine bags are not quite as buoyant as the floats and are slightly harder to hoist without getting caught in the track (i can be a bit of a numpty so getting it caught is not a problem if you are paying any kind of attention.




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Contender GBR 362
Osprey 1318 - IVplay
SSC



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