Friday, 15 March 2013

Student support

Sacré Bleu went out for a shake down sail last weekend, at the hands of Piers Hugh-Smith. It seems there is nothing that will get between a 17year old and attempting to get an A* grade at A level. Not even freezing temperatures and at times, snow.

Piers has been building a self designed and self built CNC rudder for his A level and as part of the A level project report - pictures, measurements and test sailing needed to be done.

I happily gave up a Sunday afternoon to help him out. And in the process found that the boat needs a little TLC.

The biggest job is replacing the gooseneck, which got broken whilst being test sailed, and is currently a bit of a lash up using an old spreader screw bar. This is more difficult than it sounds. As the rotating rig needs a fixed gooseneck and finding one is proving pretty hard. It looks like I'm going to have to make one. But if anyone knows where to access a Laser style but NOT fixed gooseneck please leave a comment.

There are also the sort of regular jobs to do. Like replacing the connecting shackles in the kicker system that at currently stretched to bursting point. And replacing several lengths of worn rope. But there are also the sticky jobs to do like; repairing the tiler extension and rudder stock.

Unfortunately when people capsize to windward they tend to haul on the rudder, which in turn forces the rudder cassette agains the pintle supports and this has started to create a stressed and split area in the rudder cassette. This needs to be sorted pretty soon, as it will ultimately spell the end of the stock if not sorted.

And then I've also go to replace the standing rigging.

The current set up is shrouds and forestay terminated with hooks and turnbuckles. The turnbuckles are good, the hooks less so. They go into un-sheaved holes in the carbon mast. And I can see signs of wear here, with the holes starting to elongate. So the decision is to go for T Terminal's and backing plates with either wire or my preferred M-Rig rope. Although the rope is untried, it will be cheaper and lighter.

And then I need to re-progrip. and add a mainsheet jammer swivel base. And sort a popped batten end on the sail.

So I have quite a bit of work to do!


  1. Hi matey
    Did LFC not have some shock chord arrangement on/around the gantry to stop the 'over steering' issues that you speak of? And to centre the tiller when recovering from a capsize...


    1. I think so, but that was so long ago I really can't remember!!! LOL