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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Mast flotation!

I know, I know, it's been discussed to the point of being beaten into the ground. I have posted on it some myself, once in a big way on another forum with tongue in cheek...

A couple weeks ago, I was messing with FX and flipped it in shallow water to try the righting bar that came on the boat. First, I got shocked by the way the mast hit the water. Bam! The hull in the air seemed to push the mast down even as much as the weight of the mast did. Long story short, the righting bar didn't work. There's not much good leverage. (I am 6' and 230 lbs.) I got kinda mad with it and almost snapped the fiberglass pole. Luckily one of its ropes snapped first (it was somewhat old). This righting pole is the one that pivots off the front crossbar. (Brand will not be mentioned.)

So... I am wondering about the dynamics of mast flotation/turtling. I assume that the weight of this mast and the width of the boat is about the same as the Tiger, the H17, or H18. I have not capsized this boat yet. I have sealed the mast. There are few boats in this area this size to compare notes with.

The boat was righted by having someone start the lift of the mast out of the water, then it was a piece of cake from there... without the righting pole.

I had considered putting the Universal Bob on it, but not too thrilled at drilling more holes in the mast. Plus if the Bob hit the water as hard as mast did for me, the rivets would certainly get ripped right out.

I am considering some kind of flotation bag attached to the mast tang... Not for use in high speed sailing, just for casual sailing. Don't think it would interfere with jib. My wife and family love to sail and are good swimmers but not great. We'd stay safe but I'd be in trouble big time with them. :roll: Assuming some type of attached flotation would give me some moments to collect myself and everyone else and right the boat, of course.

So, what is wrong with simply attaching a flotation bag to the mast tag? And would it actually do any good? Any experience? Experiences? Anyone had any experience with mastfloat buoyancy bags like this:

Image

I must say, that I love the Bob on the Wave. It make that boat so much more user friendly...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:14 pm 
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The picture you show is of the mast head and the head of the sail. The tang is where the wire attach, too far down the mast to help much. The bobs help the mast stay on the surface, but add weight to the "anti" righting moment, that is you need more weight or leverage to offset the weight. On the Wave, the mast is short so the weight is not a big deal to offset. On the 21 cruiser, the boat is heavy and the mast head volume is too small so the float is "required" unless you like to turtle.

I have seen people tie a square throwable cusion to the head of the sail. It is ugly but helps in keeping the mast on the surface, and the sealed foam ones weigh little. High school sailing on the West Coast has all the teams sew sealed foam into the heads of the sail (in a sealed pocket). This is a better looking more permanent solution.

When you flipped the boat, was the sail up? Usually the boat is moving and the sail slows the mast contact as it drags in the water and through the air. Not sail, no drag, big smack.

I used a righting pole on my 21 years ago. It was a pain, but worked. It needs to be lifted higher than 90 degrees as you hit the water before the boat is righting. Also, you need grip tape on the pole and the strength to pull yourself up on it as you climb up it hand over hand. Option two is a knoted line off the end of the pole, again, you need to be able to climb it hand over hand to right the boat, or a pulley with a water bag off the end of the pole and enough purchase to raise the water. All of this is a pain, but may save you in a pinch.

Better to sail in an area where help is close and other cat sailers are close to help.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:32 pm 
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at your weight you should be able to right an fx 1 by yourself without the pole but the main must be up (sounds like your righting exercise was with no sails) as you need to get the wind between the bows and mast to introduce wind under the sail so as to generate lift while standing on centerboard and hiking hard with standard righting line hooked to your trap harness patience helps here so when you have max hiking weight on line and wind can get under sail it may take a little while but can be done


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Why would you think the mast wouldn't hit hard if you threw the boat on its side? Why didn't you sail it over instead, much slower fall with you on board. There is no way that a 6' 230lb man cannot right a FX1. In the right conditions at 6'2" 195lbs I can right my H18SX solo.

You don't need flotation on that boat you just need to sail it more often and learn proper technique for righting. Thats an easy boat to right!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Quote:
The tang is where the wire attach, too far down the mast to help much.
Hammond, wondered if it was still high enough though to provide some buoyancy? Seems I recall that you own a 21? Universal Bob on it? Or a big yellow West Marine square cushion? :)
Quote:
On the 21 cruiser, the boat is heavy and the mast head volume is too small so the float is "required" unless you like to turtle.
That means, I assume, that the actual weight of the boat pushes the mast, the head of which has too little buoyancy, down into the water. That correct? (Thanks for reply on the turtling question, btw.) If the hull out of water is heavy or tends to roll easily and leans past the vertical toward the mast in the water, it obviously speeds up turtling. Pretty sure a couple of reasons the Wave even doesn't try to turtle (in addition to the Bob) is how tall the hull is, which is wide when it is on its side. Also the hulls are not that heavy.

The mastfloat buoyancy bags are APS item, an ad for which says they are "8 liters of buoyancy". Great. The Baby Bob is 14.5 liters, according to Hobie literature. You'd have to measure how many liters the mast and boat shove down... This is the question but no idea how to approach the problem except by experimenting.

As you say, the righting pole makes for work. My assumption that the righting pole would be a quick answer to a capsize was wrong. Question is time. If I know the boat will not turtle, there is obviously time to worry about people.

You're right, eragon, no sails. Sure you are right about wind. ncmbm, who said I threw the boat over, cowboy? Rolled it gently and and weight took over the last several feet. Ain't into rodeo.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:34 am 
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You stated in your initial post that you flipped it in shallow water and the mast banged into the water.

That says that you dropped it over without catching the mast and gently lowering it into the water. I call that throwing it on its side, you can call it whatever you wish.

Have you never capsized a boat while sailing? If you had you would know how slowly it happens. If your mast is sealed the FX will not go turtle unless wind is really strong and pushing against the tramp. You may need a better righting line, what are you using currently? I use the stretch line that goes completely around the boat. It works but is a little too long. Sometimes just using the main sheet tied to the dolphin stricker is enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Someone was kind enough to send me this pic with verification that it works. Pole noodles and cable ties on shrouds and spreader wires. Very kewl.
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:22 am 
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That's from Henry Pau's 1982 H18, the 'Royal George', when we all sailed across the Ottawa River to gobble burgers and drink oat soda's at the Aylmer Marina in Quebec....
It seems when you reach 70 years of age, and you've had more than 50 years of sailing experience, you gain some wisdom!....I can't wait....

We've now adopted this "pool noodle" method for all our Club cats....cheap, effective, and maintenance free.

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'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:32 am 
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Flotation placed below the mast head will allow the boat to roll further over. These below the tang would be ineffective to the point... I doubt they would stop a boat from going turtle in any windy condition. Once the boat rolls over to the point the flotation is into the water, the top hull would be heavily pushing down. That also makes righting more difficult.

Let alone the windage / drag when sailing. That is a big performance killer.

That is the beauty of the Hobie Bobs. Low windage and best flotation placement high atop the mast

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:58 am 
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Matt,

Your's are very valid points...and I don't ever want to knock Hobie Bob's. I've sailed with one for years on my 'old' 1987 H18SE, and now on my 'young' 1989 H18SX.....half of our Club fleet has them, and I would never give them up. (Hint, is Hobie Corp out of stock?) (:

We've used pool noodles on those Hobie's (both H16's and H18's) in our Club when we ran out of funds to buy Hobie Bobs/or could not find them.....and we've found them to be very effective, notwithstanding that the mast sits lower in the water. No, they are not the same as a Hobie Bob, there are issues of looks and windage, but they do prevent turtling, which is a problem of sailing in a river/lake with many spots shallower than 20 feet.

Cat Sailors are an ingenious bunch....

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'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:02 am 
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This float is on New Cat 16 Special and its look very effective and functional.
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Very interesting picture.....
Even more interesting is the location of the 'hook' or 'fork' at the top of the mast.
Is this a new system for securing the mainsail?

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Just Bob it.

My very first cat, an aqua cat, had an ugly ball on top of it that worked great - I dumped it a lot learning how to handle a cat, but I never turtled.

Now my most recent boat, my super wave, has a Bob. We are close. I take him out with me every time I sail. No fear of turtling. Capsizing is slow, as someone else pointed out. You get a bit of warning.

Bob won't let me down.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:08 pm 
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John Lunn C A wrote:
Very interesting picture.....
Even more interesting is the location of the 'hook' or 'fork' at the top of the mast.
Is this a new system for securing the mainsail?

The whole main halyard sheave system looks very different to me- Is this a Hobie Europe system?

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Raise your sail one foot, and you get ten feet of wind.
起你的一只帆,和你10英尺的。 -- Chinese Proverb
William D. Latinette @ Latrobe, PA, USA w. H14 Turbo X 2... wildlatin23@hotmail.com


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Not a Hobie Cat.

The halyard lock is the same as the 17,18, 20, 21. Hook locks to a ring hoisted at the shackle / main head.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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