If you would like to pay your annual membership of the Blase Class Association, then fill in the form below. Please include a contact phone number in the 'note' box.
Membership for 2016 is £20 + £1 paypal fee.
The Fire (small sail) and the Halo (large sail) variants of the Blaze will be getting their own area of the Blaze website. In addition, all Class Association events are now open to both Fire and Halo
In the meantime,here are some descriptions of the two boats from the Cirrus Raceboats site:
It has been decades since a racing dinghy for the larger helm has been launched. Yet in this time the population has grown – apparently we are mostly heavier and larger than in the past.
During this period there have also been a series of technical developments that made rigs more adaptable and easier to use. The impact of innovations such as composite masts and modern sail materials on racing is that today lighter and lighter helms can handle boats that years ago would have effectively been denied to them.
Put another way …. The bigger helm is frequently at a disadvantage today, even in classes where they previously dominated.
We are ‘larger’ and technology has worked to give a differential and greater advantage to the lighter helm.
It sounded like something needed to be done.
Heavyweights also approached the company arguing passionately for a Blaze type boat but one specifically developed for the larger helm. The best way of doing this was to focus on rig development and use the proven and highly effective Blaze hull and systems.
The Blaze-Halo concept was born: We would use the technical advances in design and sail material to put a significantly larger rig on the hull and offer the larger helm a ‘Heavyweights Blaze’. Work with a small group of capable heavyweight helms and produce a modern boat specifically for them and the 30% of adults who currently have very limited choice.
The result is stunning and well suited to the target market. The Halo sail area is 11.5m, powerful but still very manageable and refined if you are the right weight. Early versions used a longer special Halo mast - but from August 2014 a regular Blaze mast can be used on a revised Halo2 North sail - significantly reducing the cost to get into Halo racing. In fact switching between versions only takes 10 minutes.
Halo is fast. In suitable wind it will plane upwind with ease and is very fast off-wind. The additional sail area allows Halo to go ‘deeper’ at speed if the course requires yet the single sail rig can easily cope with the tightest reach without compromise.
Fire - Fire - Fire
'Fire' is the latest addition to the 'Blaze' family and was developed in early 2014 for release from Autumn 2014 in production form.
It uses a totally standard Blaze hull, either new or used, and the sail sets on regular Blaze spars without any rake or other adjustment. The only significant differences are:
1) The 'Fire' sail is approximately 8.8m in area and like the Blaze main is 'semi-battened' with a mix of full width and partial battens.
2) The intended users are mainly a slightly different demographic to the regular Blaze - the young(er) ... and old(er) plus the very light and females. The performance is very crisp and 'Fire' is hardly slow but it is less demanding particularly in higher wind strengths.
How fast then ? The CA and owners have run Fire versions for several months against mixed fleets including Blazes and Halos. Their assessment is approximately a handicap of '1065' at present - or roughly 40 'points' slower than a regular Blaze (about 2.5 minutes per hour).
This is not a manufacturers figure (!) but one in use at several clubs.
This is already being used at a couple of clubs where Fire sails have been supplied. As race results are recorded and forwarded to the RYA (and 'Great Lakes') handicappers more official numbers will emerge.
There are now three Blaze forums to choose from.
The Blaze web forum is part of this site, while the Yahoo forum can be found here.
There is also the new Blaze Facebook group, which is here.
This section provides info from other Blaze sailors on how to convert your Blaze from one configuration to another, beyond what you would normally do when tuning or maintaining your boat.
Dear Blaze Owner:
Welcome to the Blaze Class.
The Blaze Class Association exists to assist the development, promotion and organising of Blaze sailing. Membership entitles you to sail at Open Meetings and the Nationals and participate in the enjoyment of these events.
In order to race your Blaze it will be necessary for you to join the Blaze Class Association and register your boat. Please complete the application form.
Join the Class Association and assist in the development and the promotion of Blaze sailing. For example, advertising the class, maintaining the website and pays for the trophies for the class events. Membership entitles you to sail in The Travellers' Series, Open Meetings and the Nationals and participate in the enjoyment of these events. Our class is entirely self-funding - so please do your 'bit' - download the form and send a cheque for just £20 payable to Blaze Class Association. Alternatively, you may use the Paypal facility.
We implemented this new website and have continued to improve the site since, including the addition of the new Forum and Blaze Facebook group along with some other improvements. However, we really need the support of all Blaze sailors and enthusiasts. Please help by joining the Class Association.
Wishing you many years of successful and enjoyable Blaze sailing.
Choose one of the tabs to check out what events have been planned or to go through
the Results archives to see a mountain of past results and read some of the classic write-ups associated with them...
With 2010 being the most successful year in Blaze history, 2011 & 2012 were always going to be a challenge... But we did it!!
We maintained over 70 boats attending the Traveller Series, with a record turnout of 42 for the Inlands, so no reason for 2012 to be any different with more Blaze fleets popping up all over the country.
So all we hope is that we can continue to encourage more 'Blazers' to attend some of our events during 2013 to keep the mercury rising... in order to do this we have had a slight change to proceedings for 2013 - Choosing to reduce to Four Traveller Events with Three to count and then continue with our Supported Events philosophy, Piggy backing onto various events around the country in the hope of luring out local sailors to these selected events.
Choose one of the tabs to check out what events have been planned or to go through to the Results archives to see a mountain of past results and read some of the classic write-ups associated with them...
2019 National Championships
The date for the 2019 Nationals has been changed. Please update your diaries...
Brixham Yacht Club will be the location for our 2019 Championships on 7th to 9th June.
We will return to Paignton SC in 2020
Winter sailing in the South West 2018/2019
Here are some dates for sailing over the winter with the SW Blazes as part of the SSW series. I have put a star against the ones which had the most Blaze interest last year.
- Penzance Pirate 4th November 2018
- **Christmas Cracker 2nd December 2018 Paignton
- Porthpean Pursuit 15th December 2018, St. Austell
- Sutton Bingham Icicle 26th January 2019 Yeovil
- **Roadford Rocket 10th February 2019 Lifton
- **Channel Chop 2nd March 2019 Portishead
- **Starcross Steamer 16th March 2019 Exeter
- **Exmoor Beastie 24th March 2019 Brompton Regis
- Torbay Tornado 30th March 2019 Torbay
I have put a star against the ones which had the most Blaze interest last year.
The East Coast Championship
The Notice of Race for each event will be published a month in advance and will appear in the list below
Traveller series events for 2018
- Paignton Open for Single Handers (POSH) - 12th and 13th May
- Blaze Nationals, North Devon Yacht Club on the 8th, 9th and 10th of June.
- Warsash SC Blaze/Halo/Fire Open Meeting on 7th and 8th July 2018
- Blaze Inlands, King George Sailing Club, 6th and 7th October
Other Blaze Events for 2018 where Blazes will compete
Sailing Southwest Series
- Jan 28, 2018 Roadford Lake Sailing Club, Devon, The Exe Sails Roadford Rocket
- Feb 10, 2018 Portishead Yacht & Sailing Club, Bristol, The Channel Chop
- Feb 25, 2018 Starcross Yacht Club, Devon, The Exe Sails Starcross Steamer
- Mar 10, 2018 Sutton Bingham Sailing Club, Somerset, The Sutton Bingham Icicle
- Mar 18, 2018 Wimbleball Sailing Club, Somerset, The Exmoor Ales Beastie
- Apr 02, 2018 Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Devon, The Torbay Tornado
- 27 Dec 2017 Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, Brass Monkey
- 30 Dec 2017, Grafham Water Sailing Club, Grafham Grand Prix
- 06 Jan 2018, King George Sailing Club, King George Gallop
- 03 Feb 2018 - 04 Feb 2018, Rutland Sailing Club, Tiger Trophy
- 17 Feb 2018, Oxford Sailing Club, Oxford Blue
- 7/8 th July 2018, Exe Regatta
- 14th/15th July 2018, Medway Dinghy Regatta
- 17-24 August, 2018, Rock Sailing Club, Camel week
CONSTITUTION OF THE BLAZE CLASS ASSOCIATION (UK)
(Sept 2013 Version 3)
1 ) The full title of the Association shall be the BLAZE Class Association (UK).
2) The objects of the Association are to promote and further the interests of the BLAZE and to represent the interests of the owners of BLAZE sailboats as follows:
a) To keep members informed of developments and activities concerning the Class
b) To liaise with the Design Rights Holder and Official Manufacturer on any matter that may affect the Class design and specification.
c) To consider any proposals concerning Blaze Class Association Rules.
d) To organise a series of events within the British Isle including the British Open Championships, the British Inland Championship and any additional events; which may contribute to regional or national series.
e) To administer the Class Association including a members register and bookkeeping accounts.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
3) Throughout these rules the following defined terms will be used:
a) "The National Association" shall mean the BLAZE Class Association (UK).
b) ‘’The Committee" shall mean the Committee of the National Association, consisting of duly elected committee members and co-opted members.
c) “Chairman” shall mean a member of the Committee appointed by the Committee to act as Association Chairman and Chairman of the Committee
d) "The National Association Rules" shall mean the rules governing the National Association.
e) "The National Association Register" shall mean the register of members with their addresses, name and number of boat (if applicable).
f) "The Class" shall mean the class of sailboat designed by Ian Howlett and John Caig and known under the name BLAZE as specified and provided by the Official Manufacturer.
g) “Official Manufacturer” shall mean the person or business currently appointed by the Design Rights Holder(s) to manufacture and sell the Blaze within the British Isles.
h) "Owner" and "Joint Owner" shall mean any person or persons, corporation or association entered on the Register as owner or joint owner of a BLAZE.
i) “Events” are championships, series or individual races organised by the National Association or other clubs or organisation that are recognised by the National Association and may qualify for prizes awarded by the National Association.
j) “Chairman” shall mean a member of the Committee appointed by the committee to act as Association Chairman and Chairman of the Committee
MEMBERSHIP AND VOTING RIGHTS
3) The following classes of membership shall be recognised:
a) Full Membership.
b) Associate Membership.
c) Honorary Membership.
d) Official Manufacturer Representative
4) Full Membership shall, upon payment of the prescribed annual subscription be open to any BLAZE owner or, in the case of joint owners, to any one of them, or in the case of a BLAZE owned by a corporation or organisation, to a nominated representative of that corporation or organisation.
5 )Associate Membership shall, upon payment of the prescribed annual subscription, be open to any joint owner of a British registered BLAZE not being a full member, or to all individuals or clubs interested in the BLAZE Class in Britain.
6) Honorary Membership shall be open to any person having an interest in the National Association who is proposed by a Full Member and seconded by at least one member of the Committee and is elected by members at a General Meeting of the National Association.
7) Members shall be bound by the National Association Rules.
8) A helmsman entering an Event must be a member of the National Association and sail a BLAZE that meets the Design Rights Holders and Official Manufacturers specification for the Class as well as complying with National Association Rules to qualify for a finishing position as recognised by the National Association.
9) Each Full Member shall be entitled to one vote at a General Meeting of the National Association, or in a postal vote. Associate, Honorary and Official Manufacturer Representative Members shall be entitled to attend and speak at any General Meeting, but not to vote.
10) The affairs of the National Association shall be managed by the Committee, which shall be the only body allowed to make recommendations to the National Association for changes in the National Association Rules.
11) The Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than ten Full Members of the Association, elected annually at a General Meeting of Members, or by postal vote, as elected Committee Members.
12) The Committee shall have power to co-opt any person to assist it, whether a Full Member of the Association or not, but such persons shall have no vote in Committee.
13) No member shall serve on the Committee as an elected Committee Member for more than three years at the end of which period they shall retire or offer themselves for re-election.
14) The Committee need not fill a vacancy arising in the Committee unless the total number of the Committee has dropped below the minimum ofCommittee Members appointed to fill vacancies shall resign at the next Annual General Meeting and may offer themselves for re-election.
15) As soon as practical, following the Annual General Meeting, the Committee shall decide how to delegate tasks and responsibilities necessary for administering the Committee and the National Association, including, but not exclusively:
a) Elect one of its members to act as Chairman of the Association for the following year.
b) Elect or appoint a Secretary who will be responsible for :
i) Minutes and records of all Committee and General Meetings,
ii) National Association membership Register,
iii) Communicating the decisions and recommendations of the committee to members of the National Association.
c) Elect an Honorary Treasurer, who shall control the funds of the National Association, make such disbursements as the Committee shall direct and present an annual financial statement at each Annual General
16) At a meeting of the Committee, one third of the elected members shall form aA minimum of two.
17) The Committee shall make all eligible members aware at a general meeting, by post, or by electronic communication directly to all eligible members, all proposals for changes to, or additions to, the National Association Rules. The Committee are allowed to make recommendations to the members relating to proposed changes or additions,
18) The Committee shall hold a Committee meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting. For any other Committee Meeting, at least three weeks notice of the date, place and agenda must be circulated in writing by the Secretary to each Committee
19) The Committee may conduct its business by written communications circulated to ALL Committee members and coordinated by the Secretary or another nominated person.
20) Any Committee member may propose a motion requiring a formal vote by the Committee outside of a Committee Meeting. Any such motion will be circulated by the Secretary to all Committee members clearly indicating that this is a formal motion requiring a response. Any Committee member not responding to such a motion in writing within fourteen days of the date of sending shall be deemed to have agreed to such a motion.
21) The Chairman will have a casting vote on any issues that require a vote of Committee members.
CONDUCT OF GENERAL MEETINGS
22) The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held annually each year between 1st March and 30th November in each year at a place judged by the Committee to be the most convenient to the majority of members The precise date, time and place to be at the Committee's discretion.
23) A Special General Meeting shall be called by the Chairman or Class Association Secretary upon receipt by the Class Secretary of a written request, signed by not fewer than fifteen Full Members of the National Association.
24) At least four weeks written notice shall be given to members of any General Meeting including circulation of the Agenda and any motions due for voting at the AGM.
25) Members not able to attend a General Meeting are entitled to send in a postal Vote provided it is received by the Secretary 7 days before the General Meeting.
26) At any General Meeting decisions shall be limited to items on the agenda, and shall be on the following basis:
a) Voting shall be by a show of hands plus any postal votes received prior to the General Meeting, unless a secret ballot is demanded by not fewer than three Full Members
b) Any proposal for changes or additions to the Rules of the National Association shall require a two thirds
c) All other Agenda Items require a majority vote
27) At any General Meeting the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
28) Within one calendar month, the Secretary shall make the Minutes or Notes of the General Meeting including the results of all voting, available to all members. This can be achieved by circulating them to all individual members or publishing the Notes or Minutes on the National Association web site.
29 )In the event of a postal ballot, all returns shall be made to the Secretary within two weeks of the date of posting the ballot paper.
30) The subscription fee payable for all classes of membership of the National Association shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting and shall become due on 1st March of the following year.A member joining the National Association after the 31st October, whose subscription has been paid for that year, shall not be liable to pay a subscription for the following calendar year.
31) Any member whose subscription has not been paid within three months of the date due may have their name removed from the list of members of the National Association by the Committee.
32) The Committee shall keep true accounts including full particulars of:
a) All assets and liabilities of the National Association
b) All sales and purchases by the National Association.
c) All monies received and expended by the National Association and the reasons for such receipts and expenditure
33) The Committee shall prepare an annual financial statement to be presented at every Annual General Meeting of the National Association.
34) A copy of the annual financial statement, prepared for presentation at a General Meeting shall, not less than fourteen days prior to such General Meeting, be circulated, on request, to every Full Member at the email or postal address currently held for them.
35) The National Association recognizes that the Class is a Single Manufacturer One Design dinghy and that the specification of what constitutes a BLAZE is as defined by the Design Rights Holder and the Official Manufacturer.
36) The Committee shall:
a) Report to the Design Rights Holders and Official Manufacturer any issue that arises that the National Association feels may threaten the one-design character of the Class
b) Work with the Design Rights Holders and Official Manufacturer to resolve any design issues representing all opinions of the of the National Association members (whether a majority or minority opinion).
c) Circulate and make public in writing to all members any information supplied to the Committee from the Design Rights Holders and Official Manufacturer relating to design or specification of the BLAZE
d) Pass on to the Design Rights Holders and Official Manufacturer suggestions for design changes raised by Members and report back any official response to these suggestions
37) The Committee, on behalf of the National Association, will organise a seriesevents within the British Isle including some or all of:
a) The British Open Championships,
b )The British Inland Championships
c )National Traveller series
d) Regional Traveller series
38) It may also identify additional events, not organised by the National Association, to which it will add its official support; these being ones which will promote the Class within the UK sailing population.
39) The events organised by the National Association will be conducted in accordance with:
a) The current ISAF Regulations
b) Any RYA adjustments to the ISAF Regulations
c) Any organising club adjustments as detailed in the Notice Of Race or Sailing Instructions
d) Any National Association event rules as outlined in Schedule A
40) The National Association will provide official prizes for:
a) The British Open Championships,
b) The British Inland Championship
c) National Traveller series
41) At its discretion it may award prizes to other designated Events.
42) Any BLAZE that complies with the specification as defined by the Design Rights Holder and the Official Manufacturer as well as any adjustments to that specification as outlined in Schedule A will be eligible to enter an Event and receive a finishing position.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AND CLASS PROMOTION
43) The Committee can arrange promotional activities either in its own right or in conjunction with other persons or organisations such as other clubs, class associations or the Official Manufacturer.
44) The eligibility criteria being that the effort and expense will promote the National Association’s activities, the Class and preferably promote National Association membership
45) As part of these activities, the National Association may set up and run a website to promote the National Association and Class. It can sell advertising space to offset the costs of the website and any surplus will be added to the National Association Funds
Blaze and Halo 799
Sails at Draycote Water Sailing Club, Rugby
Treasurer and membership secretary
Blaze and Halo 803
Sails at North Devon Yacht Club, Burghfield
Blaze and Fire 809
Sails at Burghfield Sailing Club, Reading
Sails at Carsington
phone: 01332 369751
Company:Hartley Boats Limited
Sailing Clubs with Blaze Fleets or Blaze Racing
The list of clubs is now very long and can be found here:
There are also a number of Blaze dinghies located on the continent (France, Belgium) and there are a few in South America.
Links to other relevant sites
- Cirrus Raceboats Limited - Builders of the Blaze
- Eddie Mays Sailing Photo Site
- Tim Hodges Sailing Photo Site
- French Blaze Website
- Dinghy racing and club search site
- Sailing Index Site - with lots of links Yotting.com - sailing information site
- Wet & Wild Graphics website
- Surfers Against Sewage
- Rondar Raceboats - boat repairs
- Ashdown Marine - boat repairs on the south coast
If you use the following two links, the Blaze Class Association will receive a commission:
Mark 1 Pintles Repair
Replacing a damaged Slot gasket
Question: Anyone replaced their slot gasket recently. Mine has a rip in it. I think 'thixofix' is the recommended adhesive. Not sure about the material though? Northampton sailboats have the traditional sail material that you stick down both sides and but together (or overlap) while rooster has the 75 mm strip that you stick on and cut a slit down the middle. Which is best and how can you get a straight cut down the slot, does it leave a wobbly frayed area and do you have to take the centre board out. Any advice appreciated!
Cheers, david pye (670)
Answer: I did mine using the75mm strip and then cut it as straight as possible with a sharp scalpel and steady hand! A bit of a wobbly uneven result but it hasn't slowed me down too much! If I were to do it again I would try putting the cut in first, taping it back together firmly (black pvc tape both sides), glueing it on then pull off the tape once the glue has set. I think its a fiddly job whatever you do!
Cheers Ralph 667
Answer: I tried the option of using two overlapping strips, and it never seemed to work as well as the single 75mm strip with a slot cut in it. However, from memory the first Blazes were fitted with 2 half strips (37.5mm wide) which overlapped ... which is why the moulding in the boat is slightly narrower than needed to fit a full 75mm strip without cutting. Like all gluing, the main trick is to get the surface of the boat as clean as possible before you start to fit the strip. You don't need to remove the plate to fit the strip - just turn the boat on it's side. I've never tried Ralph's idea of pre-cutting the slit, but it may be hard to get the position right. If you only cut a slit long enough to allow the plate through, you will find that it quickly tears (cos the plate is wider than the slit). I cut a hole (approx 1cm diameter) at the leading edge of the slit to stop it spreading. Also a Vee at the trailing end of the slit (with the point of the Vee forward, and each leg about 1.5-2cm long), which allows the slit to open up as the plate drops.
Best regards, Derek Russell (605)
Answer: I did mine on the old Mk 1boat. The 75mm strip is the one and I but its not sail material. I used a long metal ruler to cut along AFTER glueing on and it didnt fray !!! Centre board was OK left in but that was MK1, dont know if its sligtly different on MK2.
Details of the orignal Blaze experimental rig
The standard and experimental rigs side by side
Special thanks to our Technical Officer Mike Lyons and our friends at Sobstad Sails for there help in the design of the experimental rig
The Prototype Rig
Thanks to Bob Smales for the pics of Mike Lyons in action at Burghfield on 7th December 2000 in light wind conditions. The new sail is shown here without the jib
Further Pics of the new sail from Peter Barlow.
Apart from Mike Lyons in Red there is Rob White from White formula in the striped jacket and Jeremy Robinson from Sobstad
These further two pics below from Peter are the Mk 2 Sail
Up for the first time Sun 28 Jan 2001, conditions were light. The differences are the Window in the sail and a slightly fuller shape. The new cut is slightly bigger at 10.1 m
Convert your old Trampoline to the new style
I converted my old style trampolines to new style ones with a very effective, budget method.
If you lay the old style ones out, you have three sets of eyelet holes, one at either end, at one in between, but towards one end. I shortened the trampolines by cutting off this short end, next to the webbing the eyelets are set in.
I then drilled holes in the gunnel, two holes, about 15mm apart aligned with each eyelet. Having set the racks to the width I sail on, I then threaded the original thin rope out and back through each eyelet, got a reasonable tension on the rope, and tied off the end (by noting where the knot needed to be, and moving the rack back in to give some room to tie the knot.)
I have this adjusted so when I pull the racks out, I tension the trampolines then put the rear rack pin in.
I have had no problems with the holes in the gunnel or any chafing. I filled the original holes with gel coat (an interesting exercise as you need to get gravity working on your side - which means standing the hull on edge! I did this in summer on the grass as being kindest to the hull - I'd recommend just covering the holes with insulation tape until its warm and dry enough to work with gel coat outside)
I much prefer the new layout, you get an extra bit of hull to sit on, and you get rid of those aluminium strips which always seemed to attack me.
I did consider buying new trampolines, but this method is virtually free. Also be aware that new trampolines as supplied for the new, parallel tube, racks, are longer than the original ones, so even if you bought new ones, you'd have to cut them to make them fit.
David Angwin, Blaze 613, Burghfield SC
Fit the new Superspars kicker tang
I've just got one and know how to fit it. It should take the strain but I'm not convinced that it won't bend and slightly distort the immediate rear basewall of the mast tube, given the position of the fixing holes relative to the bend in the fitting and direction of pull from the kicker.
Cost is about £5. It is simply a heavy duty 7cm long stainless steel 'mechano' strip, pre-bent about 30 degrees at one end with 4 holes, one in the bent end to take a shackle and 3 in the flat bit to fix it to the mast plug. This is how I've been told to fit it by Superspars ( I might have got it wrong so do it at your own risk):
Drill out the 3 rivets and take off the mast plug. Slip the strip, bent end facing upward, into the inside face of the plug as you reinsert it in the mast. This will show you just how much of a mast tube slot you have to file away so that the strip sits in it without standing proud.
Take it out again and file mast tube end. Then take strip, place it in loose plug towards the front and drill out the plug to match the 2 outer holes on the flat bit of the strip (ensuring that you dont foul the plug mast step on the underside).
Do not use the existing drainhole in the plug. Put 2 bolts through and secure before re-inserting plug in mast and re-riveting.
Note that the bent tab should point upwards as it comes out the mast ( the appropriate surface is painted to prevent electrolytic corrosion) and take care the shackle pin is removed when re-riveting.
It is all, as car manuals used to say when you got to the hard bit, self-explanatory!
Instructions for fitting the new Strutless kicker
Version 2, January 2003
The current Blaze ‘X’ configuration with its semi-soft 10.0m sail has become standard in the class since its introduction in early 2001. It replaced the original 10.4 fully battened ‘hard’ sail that, while powerful, was not ideally suited to the boat in some conditions.
Early boats can be made very competitive by converting to the current sail specification and this is an excellent way to end up with a low cost entry to the class. In March 2001 the, then new, ‘X’ rig was supplied with a distinctive ‘kicker strut’ that helped reduce control line loadings. This required a second gooseneck to be attached to the mast in addition to a repositioning of the original gooseneck as described in this document. This system is highly effective and well proven.
Some have since experimented with a much simpler modification which gives a sufficiently powerful kicker without the complication of the strut. This is permitted by our class rules and is now the recommended way to modify an earlier boat to current specification.
The current ‘X’ sail (10.0m) requires a lowering of the boom to accommodate it’s longer luff. The M7 mast, the boom plus various other fittings are reused.
Modifications are made to the following elements:
Mast: Gooseneck position lowered
Boom: Kicker attachment and arrangement Tools:
- Drill with small bits (you need a 5mm for rivet holes) and to remove existing from Boom and Mast.
- Rivet Gun – suitable for 4.8mm rivets (you will need 9 in total)
Method: We will reuse as many items from your existing boat as possible. The good news is that the modification has been designed to reuse the expensive items such as Mast and Boom plus as many small items as possible from your pre-existing kicker system. You should only have to supply rivets, some high performance and low stretch line like ‘Vectran’, an additional single block and maybe a replacement for one likely to be previously damaged.
- Drill out the retaining Rivet attaching the kicker webbing to the boom.
- Drill a new hole in the boom 920 mm from the boom end – ie further along the boom than the original rivet hole. The aluminium boom has an angled cut on its underside to allow the ‘drop’ of the control line to the deck. (Where a carbon boom has been supplied this is ‘square cut’). The measurement should be from the END of the boom ignoring this cut-out. It is usually best to drill a pilot hole first with a small bit before using a larger 5mm one.
- Rivet the webbing with a 4.8mm rivet. You may choose to add a washer under the rivet to spread the load over a wider area of the webbing.
- Optionally fill in the ‘old’ hole with a rivet – this simply tidies up the hole.
This is best done with the mast in position.
- Drill out the existing rivets on the pre-existing gooseneck. Be careful not to damage the fitting during this process. It may help once the heads are removed to punch the stubs through with either a punch tool and hammer or a suitable old bolt and hammer.
- Clean the area where the gooseneck was located and fill the 4 holes left with rivets – this ensures the mast tube remains sealed.
You now have to relocate the gooseneck.
- Measure from the foot of the mast and mark with pencil the following position - 420mm. This will be the position of the repositioned gooseneck.
- Hold the gooseneck so that its mid-point is aligned with the pencil mark. . Drill a single hole using the fitting as a template in the mast and place a rivet in the hole. DO NOT USE THE RIVET GUN JUST YET ! - Drill a second hole on the other side of the track in each in a similar fashion and again place a rivet to maintain the position of the gooseneck.
- Once you are satisfied with the alignment with just 2 loose rivets you can now use the gun on the first – ensuring the second still locates the fitting. Then go on to the second one. Once these are completed the positions are certain and you can drill and ‘gun’ the 3rd and 4th rivets.
Firstly prepare the following items from the old arrangement:
- Take your existing kicker to pieces. Recover both the double block and the single with becket from either end of the wire – you will have to hacksaw the wire to do this.
- Examine the block with becket carefully – many are already distorted and should be replaced with a good quality and possibly larger equivalent. The double should be in reusable condition.
- You will need to source an additional single block. This could either be a ‘high load’ type or good quality ‘normal’ one. (The diagram suggests this should be ‘high load’.
- The existing high load wire block that was attached to the webbing strop should be retained and used.
Rigging it all up The system is relatively simple – the original (8:1) configuration is largely copied. This had a single 2:1 ‘cascade’ above a 4:1 arrangement using the double and becketed single. This is copied but with addition of a second cascade to give a 16:1 system.
The original wire can be replaced with new for the double cascade arrangement or you can use one of the new hi-tech line equivalents like vectran that you can tie yourself. If you have a ‘fid’ you can produce a very professional looking arrangement with splices in this rope. If you do not then you can resort to knots (though this may reduce the strength a bit – but loadings are not THAT high)
Good luck with the modification, its well worth the effort and will, together with the new sail, greatly increase your enjoyment of this fantastic boat. There is a certain satisfaction in modifying your own boat and ending up with a highly responsive, fast modern racer – with a new sail and at very modest price.
General Arrangement for Revised Blaze Kicker
The lines marked in blue can be either wire made up to suit or vectran or similar. The red one is the pre-existing control line going to the cleats either side of the boat.
Aft Sheeting Quick guide...
Quick guide to Convert your Blaze from
Centre Main Sheeting to Aft Sheeting
You will need:
· New Mainsheet – Max 12m of 8-10mm.
· New Traveller – 2m of non stretch rope (i.e. 6mm Dynema D12, 5mm Excel race, etc)
· 1x Ratchet Block (from £30)
· 1x 40mm Single /Becket (from £20)
· 1x D ring
· 2x Rope stoppers (from £1 for 2)
· 2x 20mm Plastic or S/S rings to keep the mainsheet running along the boom. (from £1 each)
1. Remove your old Centre mainsheet system, including pulleys & strops from boom, also your traveler and the associated D-Rings (or you will be in pain when you accidentally kneel on them!)
2. Fix your D-Ring for Single/Becket on the end of the boom – Put your sail up for this especially if you have the new North Sail as this is longer in the foot than any other! Suggest you try and get it as near to the end of the boom as you dare, but you should put something inside the boom to help spread the load of the fitting, hardwood, surplus s/s plate, etc. Also check what orientation your single/Becket is (if not swivel) as this will effect what type of D-ring you need to buy and whether it is fixed inline or at right angle to boom.
3. Once the Single/Becket is attached, drop a line from this so that it just touches the deck. From this point on the deck is where you need your ‘New traveler’ to run across. It is very important that the traveler is directly below the boom otherwise you will be pushing or pulling the boom to the mast – not quick!
For Reference my traveler is approx 15” from the stern (measuring along the gunwale)
4. I utilised a pre-drilled hole for my tramps as I did this way before the 2009 AGM, so you can either make an existing hole bigger if it’s close enough to where you need your traveler, or simply drill a new hole as necessary now that it is legal to do so. Obviously drill a hole to suit the diameter of rope you are using.
5. Get your 2m length of New Traveler rope and mark it’s centre with permanent marker or sew some whipping twine through it. Tie a knot approx 32” from this centre line
6. Feed the long end of the traveler rope through the hole in either side of the gunwale, then pull through until the knot stops under the gunwale.
Now tie another knot 18-18.5” from the traveler ropes centre and put on the plastic stopper if you choose to use one.
Now put the carbo traveler from your original traveler (or equivalent – this may be a block with ring for greater resistance) onto the traveler rope.
Now put on the 2nd plastic Stopper if you choose to use one, then tie another knot 18-18.5” from the traveler ropes centre again.
Feed the other end of the rope through the opposite gunwale, with a stopper knot approx 32” from this centre line again to stop it from pulling out.
7. Now balance up the traveler so it is central and depending on how tight or loose you want it. Slide it backward towards the rudder support to keep it central. Mine measures approx 16” from the deck.
8. Now fix your Ractchet to the shackle or ring that is fixed to the top pulley of your kicker where it meets the boom strop.
9. Attach new mainsheet to Single/becket go down through the traveler combo(bow to stern direction), back up through single/becket.
Now put your two plastic or s/s rings onto the mainsheet. These rings can then be fixed to the boom using rope or simply Cable ties. Place them at equal intervals along length of boom.
10. Now go through the ratchet block tie your desired stopper knot and your away!
· A good tip is tie a 1m length of 2-4mm rope to somewhere convenient in the centre of the boat to stop the mainsheet trailing out the back of the boat in heavy conditions.
· A gybing line -Tie an 8mm length of rope (12-16”) to the same point as the rachet block. Then tie/fix another 20-25mm plastic ring on the other end. Your mainsheet then comes out of the ratchet and through this ring before tying the stopper knot. Ideal bit of kit for light airs and also handy for heavier air gybing!
Hope this helps - Some pics added below to help...
Converting fixed Spreaders...
Blaze Spreader Conversion (From fixed to swinging)
By National Champion Andy Hewitt.
Pictures in order from top to bottom:
1. Shade area to cut out
2. Cut & File clean
3. Spreaders in swept Forward position for Downwind
4. Spreaders swept Back for Upwind.
Here we go...
1. Remove the spreaders from the mast and shrouds. Keep all nuts and bolts etc, you will still need these later...
2. Remove the material as demonstrated in pics 1 and 2. A Hacksaw will remove the most and a file will tidy up, you will need the help of a vice to do this.
3. Replace the spreader, this time placing the inboard bolt in its most aft hole position. On my boat (760) I had the outboard bolt in the aft position as in pics 3 and 4 but this is down to personal choice, the spreader will swing no matter which way you do it.
You should now be able to swing the spreader with the amount of swing being limited by the 'finger' you left on the spreader, which will catch on the inboard bolt.
Very simple and very effective.
And here is the disclaimer from the Committee...
If the modification is made to a mast currently under warranty (i.e. less than 1 year old), the modification will invalidate that warranty.
If owners want to buy a new replacement swinging spreader bracket, they may purchase the 'official' Super Spars spreader bracket direct from Superspars or any associated retailer.
I have just taken apart the wings on my son's Mk1 Blaze (570) to see if I can improve things and thought I'd better pass on a bit of information.
When the wings get slightly out of shape, which has happened to many of the earlier boats, we all tend to push and shove and occasionally thump the tubes to get wings either 'in' or 'out'. This is a bit frustrating but not a major problem in itself. (and does not ever happen with the 'X' ones) The problem I have found however is not immediately obvious but it may cause you to damage the wing beyond repair. All the manipulation puts repeated pressure on the inboard end fixings, particularly the forward ones. The inboard 'anchor' there is a machine screw which attaches the wing to the hull and it has a stainless steel square shaped 'washer' to spread the load.
As you 'manipulate' the wing it slowly eats away at the edges of this 'washer' which being stainless is fairly 'soft' - its also countersunk to maintain a low profile - and the hole slowly becomes enlarged over time.
Eventually it WILL become large enough for the machine screw to pull through. You will probably be right out on the wing at the time of course and the wing, tramp etc will very rapidly join you in the water as you fall backwards. This also levers the gunwale attachment off the boat certainly destroying the wing, possibly also damaging the gunwale.
I'm investigating ways of improving the Mk arrangement in general currently and will keep all informed however do check these 'washers' now and if necessary replace or at least put a low profile normal washer over them as a short term remedy.
I remember a year or two ago Roger Williams had exactly the experience I describe - I now understand why. It was not a wrongly 'over' countersunk component as we thought it was at the time it was in fact wear & tear on it - so check them out.
The good news is the solution can only be a few pence.
Regards - Mike Lyons
Mark I wings ? If they work well leave alone - if they are bent or 'difficult' you can upgrade to the later type - we do kits. However why spend when its not needed ? ..... A tramp upgrade might be money well spent though - the later, laced type ones are MUCH better and longer.
The square 'washers' used on the inboard end of the wing tubes can be the cause of premature failures. These items spread the load over a large area of the 'fixed' alloy tubes and feature a countersink recess for the fastening screw that goes into the hull (actually into a tapped small brass block moulded into the hull).
The way that the 'washers' countersink has been manufactured for much of the boats history is by drilling into them with a large drill partially through the stainless material. This is fine in principle but it leads a 'sharp' inboard edge that can be widened if there is any working (movement) of the wings whatsoever over time. Stainless steel is fairly 'soft' and perhaps this is inevitable.
The answer was to produce a countersink by different means - by only drilling a hole to the thread diameter of the fastening screw and then using a press to create the countersink. You end up with a countersink but with NO thinning of the material where the screw rests on it - ie full material thickness is retained with no vulnerable angles or 'edge'.
Anyway I recently had a batch made because I was concerned about my own supplied 'washers' and wanted to sort something before mine failed (I saw Roger Williams demolish one of his wings a year or two back !) I substituted them last week after having them in my toolkit for about three months. I should have done so sooner and was horrified by the wear on these critical items - the boat is 18 months old but I am a more intensive user! The removed ones had less than HALF the screw head supported and were obviously very worn. Stuart Brown has taken some of my spares to do his boat and Peter Barlow another couple.
If there is demand I can get a load made up and bring them along to Warsash in a few weeks time. It may be possible to fashion a temporary fix out of a stainless 'penny' washer but whatever you do my advice is to check out your ones NOW - if the hole is much more than that needed for the screw thread to pass through be concerned.
Mine were very dodgy indeed. The basic wing design is not bad and the general engineering OK. In most respects it is better than RS or even Ovington wing systems. However manufacturing variability means that 'drilling' is not the way to go when producing these vital washers in my opinion.
For longevity they must be 'pressed' not 'drilled' and on some very recent boats I have now seen pressed washers but don't know if these are original or replaced units.
I'll take a photo or two and sent to David Pye to put on the website in the next week - but do check yours asap in any case - all it takes is a screwdriver and 5 minutes. Could save your wing after all and might avoid a bit of an incident !
Let us know what you find and if there is sufficient interest I'll organise it so we have enough for all those who want some 'pressed' ones at Warsash.
Question: Any advice on how long a length of vectran is needed as loops around pulleys can be deceptive!
Answer: No not really, but the good thing about 'hollow' rope like vectran is you can rig everything up and finalise it by trial and error. If you have a 'fid' its easy to splice and the job can look very professional. You could also benefit from the 'extra' 8cm frankly (this was the rivet point along the boom for the webbing strop in case you were wondering) and set up a double cascade before the standard 4 to 1 control line setup - see new website instructions.
Paul Hemsley - 'powerup' Well you may find that on the sea with 'constant' you do not have a speed problem anyway. Otherwise I cannot add anything to what's already been said. Slack seems to work for me but not too slack - can't define it easily but I run with about 704cm rake which is 3 less than early this season when I was a bit slower, but I also have less rig tension as well since the inlands.
Whenever we are underpowered it's also so easy to oversheet the Blaze, it feels right of course but it's slower. Equally it's too easy to stick the bow down TOO hard in light winds on the reaches and runs, optimum is just for the hull at the stern to clear 50% of the time. Maybe best to get the new boat first .....
Cheers - Mike Lyons
Go for standard 4mm control line, low stretch not needed but a hard wearing one is best - You will need approx 6.5m per side. A small amount will be left but better to order slightly too long than too short !!
I sailed in Peter Barlow's Blaxe Mk II the other day and it 'felt' very different to my own MK II. I've since compared it also to my son's Mk1 boat and this felt closer to my own Mk II despite a lot of detail differences between the Mk II' and the MkI. Paul Hemsley also remarked on a very different 'feel' when he upgraded from Mk1 to Mk II recently (and sold his converted Mk1 privately in less than a week!).
I've had a think about this and have noticed that while all Mk II boats have the new RWO rudder stock I've got the only one with a tiller the same length as the Mk1 boats (as it was the prototype it was probably copied exactly) Subsequent production Mk II stocks have a shorter tiller fixed to them.
Now this is all up to personal taste and is not controlled by the rules but you might like to measure the length and let us know what you think - to me the shorter tiller made the boat feel a little 'dead' on the helm.
However its often what you get used to that determines what you like. The advantage I can see for a shorter tiller is when you are screaming along on a broad reach and are right at the back of the boat - it will be much easier to control + the cockpit is a little more spacious. Still aluminium stock tube is not expensive and you may like to experiment. For the record my own Mk II's tiller is 1070mm overall (overall tube length) and it projects 933mm forward of the stock. I'm not suggesting this is correct merely that perhaps we do not know the optimum length yet.
The other observation about the RWO stock is that it allows the rudder blade to project forward of the vertical when the rudder is 'fully down' - if you occasionally find the high wind 'feel' a bit twitchy especially in waves this is the cause without doubt. (been there etc) Helm will be nice and light as its partially 'balanced' either side of the pivot point which projects vertically down from the pintles - BUT it can very easily get much too sensitive when it blows, especially if you do not (or cannot !) keep the boat absolutely flat.
My advice is to glue, with impact adhesive, a small block of hard foam in at the front of the stock so that when the blade is properly vertical its stops against it. About 7-8 mm of a synthetic wine bottle 'cork' does wonderfully ! It will ensure you do not overdo the downhaul.
Paul Taylor will be sending - by 'snailmail' - a renewal form to you in the next 2 weeks for 2003. The association is run by volunteers, (who often abuse the facilities of their 'employers' to keep costs low!) to organise racing, training, technical trouble-shooting, website, pursuit of sponsorship and even this forum - we charge a very modest £ 16 per year and keep your costs at events to the absolute minimum.
In short its a bargain - so please help us to keep helping you by getting back to him promptly. If your address has changed or perhaps you are new to the Blaze and we may not have your details yet please get in touch with him via his contact details on the website. If you do not get a letter within 3 weeks please contact Paul anyway.
Regards - Mike Lyons
We have some pre-cut and shaped strips that we can sell via Cirrus (But not on website) intended for new boats. The secret is to very carefully clean off the old stuff (use acetone if available) and put a THIN layer of evostick on both surfaces and wait until they really appear to be dry. Only then put in contact. The parcel tape idea is a very good one and I use it myself. It's well worth doing indoors if you can, particularly at this time of year.
Cut it down the middle BEFORE you put on the boat and hold it all together with a bit of tape (I use masking tape) until all glued in position. Remove when all is completed. This ensures both sides match very accurately.
Lastly - leave it as long as possible before the plate is put down. Impact stuff can work well in only a few minutes but a couple of days is better. And when not using make SURE the plate is held above the slot sealer on the cleated control lines. If it rests for any length of time on the sealer when not used you really are tempting fate!!!
Good luck and have fun. Mike Lyons
...Slot sealers - awful job but well worth doing as the result is a worthwhile speed improvement for low cost. Patiance and planning - I cut the slot before fitting but tape it back together with masking tape to place/glue on the boat - much easier that way
Just putting the mast back up at BSC I checked over the standing rigging - shrouds and forestay etc. I found the 'rigging links' that connect the shrouds to the mast tangs were badly cracked on both sides - literally 2/3 through on one side and 3/4 on the other !!
The stainless was also rusted in the cracks from the recent salt exposure. Note that these were cracked on the top surface and would have been unnoticible from the ground - if you have not checked yours recently do it soon ..... It would be an extremely quick way to lose a complete mast for just a couple of pounds to replace suspect items. I'll photo and put on the Cirrus website soon. The morale of this tale is simple - check your boat regularly, rudder fittings, mast fittings, wings etc - you sail a racing boat and like everything else stuff wears or get damaged occasionally.
These parts on '720' were only about 3.5 years old and while I use the boat often we can all miss stuff especially if we 'expect stuff to last forever' or if we don't do a bit of preventative checking - I reckon one more windy day and the mast would have gone and with it the race or event to say nothing about potential injury. It's been really windy this last year and I'm often surprised how well the Blaze copes with enormous imposed loads some days ... but there are limits. Cheers - Mike Lyons
The alternative might be to go for a 4 fastening top gudgeon fitting if you have a 2 hole one - making sure it is lined up accurately.
To make doubly sure it stays put put some resin into the screw holes.
Then get the alingment sorted by adjusting the bottom bolted pintle - the small hatch obviously allowed whoever to gain some access originally. You might have to remove the fitting completely first - fill in holes with resin and a little glass and then carefully redrill and bolt - fiddly stuff but might be much easier than a larger hatch.
The piintle problem is well known - later Mk II boats do have bolted fittings and a hatch to allow access to the inside of the rudder post. MkI boats have screws going into a nylon block within the post. The screws always undo in time - best method of improving is to remove the screws and fill the holes with epoxy resin before replacing the screws in the holes. Do not overtighten though as this does not help - let the resin do the job. You can also use gelcoat if you do not have epoxy.
The stainless steel part that keeps the rudder attached: loosen the screw and adjust it down so that it just clears the top of the gudgeon (rudder) when the rudder stock is fully in position.
Well the Blaze is fun of course and this is really a minor issue. Superspars and Cirrus use stainless or equivalent in all high stress places so why not keep it simple and just get hold of a few. I've never seen stainless ones fail on any Blaze goosneck well ..... er ever ! 'DIY store' rivets are about as useful as using chewing gum on a racing dinghy.
Even good quality alloy ones should be fine and the gooseneck should not come under too much load anyway unless the boom is slamming into the shrouds (tie a strategically positioned knot in the mainshet to stop that!).
Anyway come to the show buy a small handfull of s/s rivets, and simply have fun ! Keep us in the picture as to what works in the end for you.
Cheers - Mike Lyons
PS - there is a life after Lasers ...(and if you are old enough there was plenty before as well !)
Boom fitting for outhaul
Question: Is this additional fitting allowed under the class rules? As the outboard cleats are then used for the adjustable forestay an extra control has been added to the boat.
Answer: As Paul has said it's OK. It would not be an additional control as we already had the outhaul control system - and the recently ADDED the option of controlling the forestay. PT is right to point out that you cannot drill additional holes in the hull and therefore would probabaly want to reuse the set of 'outhaul' ones made redundant if you put a cleat underneath the boom to look after the outhaul adjustment.
Good luck with forestay adjustment - tried one myself but can get the same (desirable) effect by adjusting other existing controls so off it came!
I like to keep things as simple as possible. Think adjustable lowers are more likely to be beneficial anyway and more certain in effect but it's not legal to adjust them during racing (yet!) I'm going to propose the idea at this years AGM - "EITHER adjustable forestay OR lowers but not both"
Cheers - Mike Lyons
Blaze Mk II mast step
Its an interesting subject as looking through the topper stock recently acquired it appears that they cut a standard superspars mast track down to a smaller length. I've seen several screws broken in recent years and it is probably because of the leverage over the shorter base.
In my own case on 720 I've used the next screw size up and applied the right sort of 'setting' mastic under it - result NO movement and intact screws. Roger Williams has a tube of the stuff (I scrounged some! ) and he might be able to say what it is - he got it off Dave Evans - now a 300 sailor but Dave is a salesman who sells the blessed stuff. (Dave will you return now I / Rondar can supply you with a new boat - you said you would if anybody else eventually made the boat :-).....well that's what you swore !) If you are out there perhaps you can advise us anyway.
The other thing we at Cirrus are looking at is to provide an angled wedge to place under the foot given the almost standard rake settings now used. It makes things much much more secure !! The front is 6mmm higher than the back and the mast looks much happier. Once proven we will be offering them via the cirrus website.
Gelcoat - Topper 'deck grey' is what you need - I'm waiting for a moderate quantity currently and will soon be able to supply small quantities by post (BUT you need to buy your own hardner from the local chandler as it's 'banned' from the post !
Cirrus default deck colour will be an anti dazzle off white.
Question: I currently have the small mainsheet blocks as supplied on the Blaze Mk II, but was planning to change to larger ones. Can anyone recommend the best type to get ? Ken
Answer: Any of the 40mm ball based ones by Ronstan, Holt, Harken etc offer a massive improvement. The latest Mk II's should finally have them as standard from now I'm assured (Ronstan presumably) as the old 'mini' Holt ones were about as much use as a chocolate teapot - wasting a good proportion of mainsheet effort. I prefer Harken myself - a little more expensive but they don't burn out - I've used to get through a set of Ronstan's every season for some reason - (Anyone from Ronstan out there like to comment perhaps ? - very good elsewhere but less good on the mainsheet)
The Harken 'carbo' ones are really good and readily available. No experience of the later Holt ones but they look good as well. (Rooster do Harken ones on webbing as well if you need that element as well). You will be really surprised how much less effort is required to sheet the sail under load with good 40mm blocks when fitted.
Regards - Mike L. '720'
Any good quality 38mm or 40mm ball race block will do - Harken or Wichard are the best but you can also consider Ronstan or Holt. Best attached on webbing loops around the boom as the early aluminium booms do not have a good attachment system and in extreme conditions the boom can break.
Question: I need to replace my mainsheet. Any recommendations on the best rope? 7mm Polilite? This for a Mk I with 40mm blocks.
Also, I've lost both the end bungs off one of my racks. I've got Mk II aluminium racks. Does anyone know where I can get some replacement bungs?
Answer: Marlow 'Excel Lite' in 8mm costs £ 2.36m through Northampton Sailboats / LDC etc - get a length a little longer than the standard - you can always cut a piece off but you can't do anything with one that's too short.
Question: Is the standard kicker also 16:1? The measurement I was wondering about is from the mast to the bow. I think the original Topper supplied kicker was a single cascade and 4:1 giving 8:1 overall.
Answer: The mast to bow measurement - never measured it personally. The 'X' has it's smaller deck fitting in exactly the same 'forward' position as an adapted Mk1 with it's longer fitting. (All you do to adapt is take off the fitting and drill extra holes near the front of it to relocate the bolts that hold the mast - but not closer than 10mm from leading edge for the front one) So X and modified Mk1's one share the same position exactly.
It's important to know that if you were tempted to go further forward still by remounting the fitting forward of this position - there is NO suitable reinforcement under the deck forward of the standard position ! And a stong possibility that under high load the whole lot would simply punch through the foredeck and maybe carry on through the hull below ....
So be very careful with this one .... I'm also pretty sure that the builder would not honour any warranty, actual or implied and it could be quite hazardous.
While on the subject - and this mainly concerns 'X' owners with the shorter deck fitting - Urgently check the screws attaching it to the deck. There have been several recent instances of the front screw breaking. The head gets sheared off the threaded element by the high lateral loads of the mast twisting in the deck fitting. The rear screws seem to still retain the mast step but they will surely also break fairly quickly afterwards as they then have to deal with even higher forces. I'd suggest that if you have any doubts about the front screw remove it before it breaks (leaving the fixing hole full of broken screw) and replace with a slightly larger one - next size up.
Cheers - Mike Lyons
Question: I've been looking at the pictures of the continuous form of centreboard/kicker lines, and wondered if anyone could advise:
- What length is best for these lines?
- What's the best way to join the two ends (and what type of line)?
Thanks, Colin Helliwell (612)
Answer: For kicker and centreboard I use them about 11.5 metres long and run these around the boat as per diagrams. They are 5mm excel 'pro' which despite the name is about 85p per metre. The way I connect them together to make them continuous is 1) to heat seal the outer by waving a lighter at each end 2) Then with some long nosed pliers pull the 'inner' out about 7-10 cm and cut off. This leaves a hollow end. 3) Get a 15-20cm piece of 3mm line - anything that is reasonably stiff will do, heat harden the end and insert as far as possible into the now hollow outer. 4) Sew/whip through both at two locations - near the end of the inserted bit - say 5+ cm and near the end of the outer. Don't whip it for more than 6 or 7 mm at each location 5) The outer is probably a bit frayed with all this work despite the heat sealing you previously did, so trim back the frayed bits to the end whipping 6) heat seal/tidy again but be careful not to get over exited now and burn through the whipping.
Before you complete the second link just make absolutely sure the line is not twisted or routed wrongly ! It's a labour of love but very well worth it if you get the systems working properly. For the cunningham I do not make them continuous and my boat is as per the diagrams on the website. One variation I've now copied from others is to put a cleat on the underside of the boom and NOT lead the outhaul to each side of the boat - this makes things very simple and frees up two cleats for other purposes such as adjustable forestays if you want - or they can be removed completely if, like me, you like to keep the boat ultra simple. (it saves a load of line/elastic, control cleats, blocks etc etc and you rarely need to adjust the outhaul anyway). Make sure if you do do this that the boom cleat is forward as you will not be able to adjust it easily if far back.
Another refinement recently tried and now recommended ....... The centreboard is often a bit reluctant to come up when initially you pull on the control line. The reason for this is that the two blocks just behind the mast that route these lines to each side are on a common fitting. When you pull either port or starboard lines they pull against eachother - giving the impression of a very stiff centreboard. The answer is to take the deck fitting that anchors them off the boat (and fill in the holes) and to separate the two blocks - attaching them with small shackles to the fittings that already anchor the kicker control line blocks. These will happily accommodate these extra control line blocks and naturally keep them a couple of cm apart. Result - much improved lifting for virtually zero effort. I've noticed a lot of boats being supplied with what looks like 3 or 4mm control lines on the centreboard which really should be 5mm - this may have been done to overcome this problem but the mod covered here is much better - should be a production change really and it will save a few pence as well.
Good Luck - Mike Lyons '654'
The Mk1 boat has a very similar one to the recommended system - the only difference is that the webbing is further along the boom (see website) and that there is an EXTRA cascade. Very easy to setup and one of the reasons we went that way.
The only issue with Mk1 kickers is that they needed an extra cascade to increase the power from 8:1 to 16:1 and this means that you must move the webbing along to give sufficient 'travel'.
The other point worth considering is the quality of the existing block at the foot end (the single one with the becket) These are often found twisted and therefore are not very efficient. Replace them with a larger one if yours is like this. The wire may also may not be the right length - vectran is a very easy substitute and if you use a 'fid' the result can look professional.
There are no photos of this on the website but there is one of my inexpert graphics at the end of the kicker guide !
Hope this helps. Regards - Mike Lyons
Yes the 'X' is generally lighter and every salesman will tell you so and that it makes the boat SO much faster - well it does not although it does help! HOWEVER the 15kg claim is a bit of a salesmans line .... "suits you sir" etc. There are many really light
Mk1's and I don't think Rob White was ever in the habit of giving away kg's of resin for nowt !! And there are a few lardy 'X's out there anyway but there will always be some variation.
KEEP THEM DRY - if you have a MK1 in particular then ensure you have extra hatches in it to ventilate it or it will put on the pounds for sure - also consider a wing upgrade - later ones, as put on the X version, are lighter as they are partially carbon.
Also think about a replacement boom as the alloy ones are heavy as well as being mechancally 'suspect' and generally 'c**p' (always were on the superspars equipped boats). I'd guess the spread is no more than 6-7 kg max and unless the concrete mixer was involved or its soaked up a few extra kg's no more. The boat is very flat (low rocker) and as a result it is far less critical anyway.
Mk1 boats often sail with older (nackered) sails as the owners are often on a tighter budget -
Good sails are MUCH MUCH more important to speed that a few kg's of hull weight. (And X rudders are much heavier than Mk1 you will be glad to hear !)
Advice to all to check out the forestay attachement on ALL masts after Rod's experience. I've never liked the SuperSpars single rivet and self tapper. Not because its not necessarily stong enough when fully tightened in a new mast - but because the self tapper can loosen over time, erode the tapped thread (disimilar metals) and drop out or eventually pull out the last couple of mm if its loose.
ANY more suitable replacement fitting is acceptable in my book - a 'tang' similar to those used for the shrouds must be favorite as I've never ever seen one come off !!
I'm not sure a knife would necessariy help in some instances though but not a bad idea to carry one. I also think it is good practice for anyone seeing others capsized or in 'difficulties' of any kind to keep a watchful eye on them - you could often be the first on the scene in a real emergency. So if the helm is not obviously OK assume the worst and be prepared to investigate. This stuff applies to all classes of course, but especially singlehanders.
Not sure it's relevant to this particular one but I'm no fan of adjustable raking systems - and its just too easy to overdo things and the mast could 'pop out' of the deck fitting with too much rake. The mast could come down almost anywhere !! So if you are a user of such adjustment controls - be careful and don't be tempted to overake it - ever.
Mk I to Mk II boom relocation
Question: ...regarding the conversion of the kicker
"Measure from the foot of the mast and mark with pencil the following position - 420mm. This will be the centre position of the repositioned gooseneck. "
...is the measurement from the end of the mast including the stepped portion i.e.. the very extremity of the mast or from the shoulder part, if that makes sense?
Answer: ...from end of the mast ignoring the 'plug' which slots into the deck fitting - hope this helps. (ie from 'shoulder')
Will it be ready for the Nationals next month ?
We're making it a 'first nationals friendly' event for all so do come along. Accommodation list is on the website if you need it and its a great place to sail and combine with a long weekend break.
Regards - Mike Lyons