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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:55 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
DM06:

In anticipation of you next questions, here are some pics of the mast topper setup I have. It is extremely simple and un-complex, and only cost around $5 to $10 bucks to make, and really no tools needed except an electric drill.

To start you need to go to Home Depot and buy this sink drain tube.
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This is what it look like after slipping it over the end of the mast.
Image

The tube is made of brass and is triple chrome plated so it doesn't corrode. Mine is still the original tube I put on over 3 yrs ago and have way over 5,000 miles on it in all kinds of conditions. About midway down the tube drill a 5/16 hole thru the tube. You then just take a 5/16 stainless bolt and run it thru the hole, and put a nut on it, your done (takes all of 5 minutes). Now loosen the pull down line that holds the sail down down at the bottom of the mast (take note of the types of knots used, and how it is held down). I recommend sliding the sail off and taping over the end of the mast with electrical tape, so the tube can't scratch the carbon fiber mast (a really bad thing, so be very careful with the CF mast, not to ding or scratch it). Next you slip the sail back over the mast and slide the tube over the top of the mast by pulling the little nylon strap over the top of the sail over to one side. The 5/16 bolt fits nicely into the slot at the top of the mast and prevents rotation of the sail. Now you slip the nylon strap over the end of the bolt (hint, it easier to remove the nut, slip the bolt back, then slip the strap over the end then push the bolt back in and put the nut on. I slid and glued a piece of tubing over the exposed threads so it can't cut into the nylon webbing. Now just pull the sail back down at the bottom and tie it back to the mast bottom (using the same type of knots as it was originally). Your done, you will never have to remove the mast topper again, it's there for the life of your boat. If you ever sell the boat just slip it off, take the electrical tape off, and transfer the tube to your new boat ( I'm now on my 3rd TI). It weighs next to nothing ( a few ounces at most).

Now for the rotating mast topper itself, in it's simplest form at about 4 lbs you can use a 4 inch piece of galvanized pipe (1 inch I think) and a T connector. with a 1/2 steel rod slipped thru the long part of the T, the 3ft rod is slipped in about 1/3 of it's length (1 ft out the front, and 2 ft out the back). I used PVC reducers to keep the rod centered in the tube, then file a couple notches into the rod (so the epoxy adheres better to the rod), then just glue the rod into the T with epoxy. If you can find 1/2: x 3ft stainless rod it won't rust, and will be much stronger than the mild steel I used, If you use mild steel, you will need to paint and cover the rod with electrical tape to prevent rust.
Here is a pic of the finished product.
Image

Here is a closer pic
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The thin rod sticking out the bottom is just a piece of 3/8 steel threaded rod cut to the correct length. I slid in PVC tubing to keep the rod on center (must be on center), and just filled the T with epoxy to hold everything together. You can cut the rod to the correct length later, I covered the rod with a piece of PP tubing so it doesn't scratch anything. The little rod in the center is what spins while sitting on side of that 5/16 bolt that you put into the mast topper. This bearing (it's called a point bearing, like in a watch movement) is exactly the same type of bearing that is at the base of the mast, and makes furling very easy.
You will notice there is quite a bit of slop between the 1 inch pipe and the brass mast topper, don't worry bout that, the mast topper gets sand and everything else in it, so looser is better. Think about it the furler only spins when you are furling the sail, and typically most of us point into the wind and relax the sail to furl it in and out (much easier to furl that way, all boats do that).
I just tapped the end of the rod and screwed eye bolts into the ends. The eyelet on the short end is for the spinnaker, the ring close to the mast (held on by a hose clamp) is where I hang my jib. The eyelet at the back is for the rear stay. I just clip the lines on when setting up. To keep the lines from tangling I just keep the rear stay line and the jib halyard line in 3/8 PVC water pipe. I just unclip each end then just throw the pipes on top of the boat for storage along with all the masts ( I hate tangled lines), simple.
The little guy cable on top of the mast topper is to add a little extra strength to the rod, I had the rod bend when I was sailing with all the sails up in 25mph winds on downwind runs. If you don't plan on really pushing the boat to 20mph speeds, you can forego that little guy cable.

Alternately if your worried about 4 lbs way at the top of the mast, you can always make a topper using the one of those fiberglass pultrusions, the pultrusion version only weighs 2 lbs all in, and is about 50 times stronger than it needs to be.

Here is the pultrusion version.
Image

Here is a close up of the halyard line for the spinnaker. I just drop the mast, pull the mast topper off the top, then just lay it down in the boat for storage, the tan 3/8 water pipe keeps all the lines from fowling and are just laid on top of the boat. It takes all of 2 minutes to raise and lower the mast. It takes another couple minutes to raise the jib and spinnaker using the two halyard lines. Since going to wing sails, I seldom use the spinnaker anymore, since the boat is faster than the wind on downwind now, the spinnaker no longer works, am planning to make a code zero to replace the spinnaker for use in lower winds.
The new mast topper is made from PVC tubing. I made a fiberglass sock to fit around the fiberglass pultrusion and inside the T, then filled the whole works with epoxy (very strong). The little steel rod sticking out the bottom is the same design as the old mast topper, just a steel rod wrapped with fiberglass cloth and glued into the T with thin west epoxy poured into the whole works (very light weight and strong).

To start out if you only planning on just using a jib in light winds you can probably forego the rear stay line, if you do that you can just use a short rod with an eyebolt as the mast topper.

Image
Hope this helps you.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:21 am 
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Wowsers, that's just what the doctor ordered! This is great. I'm trying to digest it all at the moment and I'm sure I'll have a question or two if you don't mind.

Here's one off the bat, this material in the axe handle: is there a way to get it without buying an axe?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
The same thing can be done with just one piece, probably cost you half a buck. Can be made in about 5 minutes. I need to photo or video it. It is beyond simple, which is why I think it's been overlooked.

The only thing is that the proper place to attach a jib halyard or forestay is at about 3/4 mast. This puts it all the way at the top of the mast. But, it doesn't extend the top of the mast by more than maybe 1/4 inch.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Pics/ video or it never happened :D


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:52 pm 
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I'll draw it up this evening and post it. It's terribly simple.

Sometime next week I'll shoot a quick video and post it on my Youtube channel.

This allows you to stay the mast, add a jib or even a furling jig, but retain the ability to furl the mainsail.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:16 pm 
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I'll have to do a video, it's simple but far easier to explain than to try and draw.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:37 am 
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DM06:
It doesn't really matter what you use, whatever you can find locally will be fine, you just need a 3 ft pole of any type. I just happened to have several of those ax handles sitting in my garage for the last 20 yrs or so, because I designed the thing and all the tooling originally and these we just samples that I kept. I know they are extremely strong because I designed them to be, after all they are being used on an ax, so they have to be extremely strong and basically break proof with minimal flex.
I went to the Home Dept web site and this one would be suitable.
Image

Basically your just looking for an ax handle that has a fiberglass pulltrusion down the middle that you can cut the plastic off the outside and use the fiberglass pultrusion, doesn't matter were you get it from.
If you look on Amazon or someplace you can probably find fiberglass rod, pretty much anywhere on line, (here is a place that sells it on line ( http://goodwinds.com/fiberglass/solid-fiberglass.html ). A 3/4 rod 72" long is around $12 bucks.
If you can't find that, then move onto something else. For example If you go to Lowes they always have a good supply of aluminum tubing. You could get a 5/8 or 3/4 dia aluminum tube, and a 1/2 or 5/8 dia tube ( or something that slides into the larger tube). Basically a double wall tube can be very strong and lightweight. You can also get those road side reflectors that are on fiberglass poles at Lowes and Home depot (the poles are pultrusions). You can go to walmart and buy a kite that has a bunch of those 1/8 dia black rods (the rods are pultrusions). If you bundle a bunch of those rods inside a tube it will be very strong and lightweight.
Basically anything that is strong enough can be easily adapted and made to work for the bow sprit or mast topper. Basically I just looked around at what I had laying around the garage and designed and built what I needed at the time, it only took an afternoon to make using stuff I already had laying around so it didn't cost me anything to make. I've been using it pretty much as is now for the last 3 1/2 years without any issues. All three sails furl and unfurl independently, and nothing gets tangled, and it's easy to setup and take down. I posted all this a very long time ago and haven't really done much since, I just use the stuff.
Hey if someone has an easier setup that works better. that's great, use their setup.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:26 am 
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So 96" with an O.D of .75" would cover me for both the bowsprit and topper?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:47 am 
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Excuse my math. Something about trying to use an iPad mini makes me claustrophobic and lowers my IQ a point or two. Upon moving to my computer I realize that 3 ft X 2 = 72. :P

The line that you use to hold the bowsprit on: Would the innards of 550 paracord be strong enough? I've got miles of that laying around the house.

PS: If nothing more I'm putting a BA flag up there. Going to be black but instead of a skull and crossbones it's going to have DangerMouse on it. (head only)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Just use the paracord itself, should be plenty strong. I'm sure you can also use a pin thru the cleat as well, just to make sure. The way the Bow sprit works is it distributes the forces that would normally be just on the cleat bolts and the hull itself to a much larger area and the 3/4 aluminum braces stop the side to side and forward and back forces on the bow and keeps the forward hatch from leaking like a fire hydrant. Basically anything you design will help.
Good luck
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:51 am 
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As promised I said I would post more results on my fuel economy using the tri-power capabilities of my Tandem Island utilizing either hybrid gas or electric, wind power, and of course pedal power utilizing the 3 energies combined to get me where I want to go.
Since getting my Honda 2.3 motor I have become a huge fan of powersailing. Like Matt says there is no day that you can't take a TI out (ie... no winds, high winds, etc).
My main purpose for owning my TI is for my exercise program. I make it a point to go out every weekend and pedal my TI a minimum of 15 miles whenever I go out. Now being a clever guy I'm willing to do whatever it takes achieve my 15 mile goal ( ie.... cheating).
It can get very hot and uncomfortable out on the water when there is little to no wind (like your sitting in a frying pan). Once you have a little wind, even if it's apparent wind from your forward motion, being out there becomes less boring. I have determined my minimum traveling speed to between 6-8 mph. Obviously if I had nice winds around here (SW Florida), I could go faster, but we just don't except once in a blue moon.
Here is my GPS track from yesterday
Image
I was also out Saturday and did the same distance, but on Saturday the winds were 5-7mph. On Saturday I used 1/6 gallon of fuel (1/2 a tank). Yesterday the winds were maybe 2mph to 5mph most of the day (a very still day) and I used 1 full tank of fuel (1/3 gallon) to achieve my 6-8 mph speeds. So on Saturday where I had a little wind I got around 84 miles per gallon (14 x6 = 84mpg). Then on Sunday with much less wind my mileage was (14 x 3 =) 42mpg. I finally figured out why my fuel mileage varies so wildly.
Obviously the throttle has to be on a higher setting to get to my 6mph threshold speed when the winds are lower. Typically once I set the rpm initially I leave it locked to that setting and go out and sail trying to keep the sails powered as much as possible. A couple times yesterday I throttled back to idle to see how fast I would go without the motor, and my speed dropped down to 2-3mph (not acceptable).
Since my wing jib is designed to puff out with air pressure (to form the wing shape), and needs at least 5-7mph apparent wind in order for the sail to automatically switch from symmetric to asymmetric form, it is pretty useless up there in no wind. The Hobie mainsail is pretty much the same, it seems to need at least 5-6 mph of apparent wind to do anything propulsion wise. The key word here is apparent wind, the boat doesn't seem to care where that wind is coming from, either natural, or from forward motion. Basically by adding a hybrid gas or solar/electric motor into the mix, this allows you to create enough of your own apparent wind in order to make everything work.

Currently pedaling while power sailing doesn't add any speed into the mix (maybe 1/2 mph at best), but it does make a marked difference in the fuel economy, I haven't worked out the math yet, but I think pedaling with 1 mirage drive provides enough supplemental power to increase my fuel economy by 1/4 to 1/3. By pedaling 2 mirage drives, I am hoping to double my fuel economy (pretty optimistic). I know I know, most people would give up on the pedaling part LOL.

I think of the sails as amplifiers, they take whatever forces are supplied to them and amplify the forces into power (just like an air conditioner or heat pump does). The motor is necessary right now because I cannot pedal fast enough to produce enough forward motion to make everything work in light winds. This week I am building a pulley system to connect both my mirage drives together, so I can pedal from the front seat, and operate both sets of pedals. I'm usually pretty tired after pedaling 15 miles with 1 mirage drive, so adding the second drive might pose a problem, at least until I can build my legs up further. I see no reason why 2 strong peddler's couldn't do very well in as the added weight of the second person doesn't seem to have much if any negative effect on the speed, the boat seems to go the same speeds whether you have one passenger or two. Unfortunately my wife works Saturdays, and has no desire to go out pedaling a kayak very hard all day for no apparent reason on her only day off (Sundays).

Once I complete my wing mainsail ( I'm in no rush), I am thinking I will be able to eliminate the motor out of the equation (as a source of power). Currently the motor is not a show stopper since I am able to power sail most of the time for about a dollar in fuel. Once I build my super efficient wing main sail, I think I will be able to leave the motor off and out of the water (it will always be mounted on the boat though for emergency purposes). At least that's the plan.
Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:05 pm 
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One of the issues I foresee, regarding a bowsprit, is that the extra length will make it too big to store in my garage.

I was thinking of using your framework but using square aluminum tubing instead of round fiberglass for the bowsprit itself.

For the bow attachment hardware: On top of the aluminum "wing" (the part that you applied bondo to) I could rivet a 1Wx1Hx2L 1/16thick tube (hole facing forward). I would also rivet the same sized tube at the bow on or around the vicinity of the hardware that the hobie handle is attached to. I would then slide a 3/4Wx3/4Hx whatever length bowsprit I decide on and fasten it to both of the square tubes with a horizontal bolt. This way I could easily remove the bolt (possibly pinned on) and remove the bowsprit (or slide it back towards the stern) to get my garage door closed. A retractable bowsprit.

There would probably be some play, but I could use aluminum washers or nylon washers to keep from left to right play...I donno, what do yall think?

BTW did you use pop rivets? Way back in the day I went through aviation maintenance school but never pursued a career. I don't recall how strong pop rivets were. I don't think we used them for structural applications. Cherrymax comes to mind...

EDIT: Instead of two 1in pieces of tubing run one piece from front to back. Have the 3/4 in bowsprit tubing telescope in and out of the larger tubing. When deployed it would bolt to the outer tubing at the bow and half way back....


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:31 pm 
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I love your idea if using 2 pieces of sq tubing instead , that pultrusion is an odd shape and difficult to add things to. I have a similar problem in my garage, and must angle the boat. If the 3/4 sq alum is too week you can always stuff a fiberglass or aluminum rod up thru the center to add strength.
I wouldn't use pop rivets, they are only good for static joining and can't be used on anything that moves. It's actually faster and easier to drill and tap aluminum and use 8/32 stainless flat head screws. Just drill an 1/8 inch hole with the power drill, then put the 8/32 tap into the drill chuck and spin the tap in and out of the hole (you might want to tap by hand until you get the hang of it) wd 40 works great as a drill and tap lubricant on alum. On flatheads it's a good idea to countersink before tapping.
Good luck
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:38 am 
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Something like this:

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:20 pm 
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So you tap the holes instead of using a nut? Do you use lock-tight?


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