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Refurbished Rigs Vs New IOM?


John Taylor
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It was once said, that putting fresh sails on your boat can be better than purchasing a new IOM. So putting this into practise, I decided to replace my existing sails, which are between 3 and 6 years old, for fresh sails (not new ones) in much better condition. Plus, after some maintenance carried out on my goosenecks, where previously I had been experiencing a loss of tension to the leech side of the mainsail, I am hopeful these changes will provide more performance gains to my IOM when racing starts again.

That said and to create discussion, some skippers believe a new IOM is the automatic step up in performance they want. To have the latest and greatest designs and the best of equipment is much better than just changing your sails or refurbishing a rig. However, in every yacht the sails represent the engines of your boat. Look after the engines and perhap the boat will look after the skipper. What are peoples thoughts, is a new IOM the answer in comparison to just refurbishing your rigs?

JT

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Rubix (IOM) Sail Exchange (4).JPG

Rubix (IOM) Sail Exchange (7).JPG

Edited by John Taylor
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Hi Mike

Originally my rigs were made by Dave Potter which I have had on my IOM for 6 years. It is only now I’m exchanging sails and finished refurbishing these rigs. I’m sure Dave put the pre-bend in the mast when constructing the rigs all that time ago.

Derek

I am entering the Championship, but I may not use these rigs in August. 😂

JT

Edited by John Taylor
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I read this topic with interest. I have got all the components of a new rig but they are unused because I'm rather nervous about the 'Bantock' mast bending procedure. I would prefer too make my own bender. Could someone please point me in the direction of the pulley wheels that are suitable for this?

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Just Google 'nylon pulley wheels'. I purchased mine off ebay, a quick look and they still seem to be available with either plain bore (which I used) or with bearings which seemed over the top to me as it is only low speed operation. There is a topic on the Forum with photo's of different benders some having wooden wheels.

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Size of pulley I purchased was total outside diameter 60mm suitable for 12mm rope and approximately 45mm diameter rope runs on.

I'm sure others will have own idea's, but seems to work OK for me. This size was chosen to suit 11.1mm PG mast material. If you want to bend 12mm mast material you may need to adjust width as I think the width for rope is just under 12mm.

Good luck with design, you may want to restrict side movement of centre pulley which is a minor modification that I need to achieve with my design to improve repeatability of pre-bend.  I have bent four masts myself and club members have also used it as makes little sense for all within club to build a bender for number of times it gets use.

I have also used it to remove pre-bend before re-bending a mast to suit sails.

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I think this is possibly the pulley I used:-

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/60mm-Round-U-Groove-Nylon-Pulley-Wheel-Roller-Various-Groove-Size-High-quality/263191313225?hash=item3d476cbb49:g:Z4cAAOSwPpZaLGTC

Just Check to see if you can improve on postage elsewhere or for three pulley's  if you decide to use this pulley as £3-50  postage on a £2-20 item seems a bit high. (Can't imagine I would have paid that)

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4 hours ago, Crashard said:

I read this topic with interest. I have got all the components of a new rig but they are unused because I'm rather nervous about the 'Bantock' mast bending procedure. I would prefer too make my own bender. Could someone please point me in the direction of the pulley wheels that are suitable for this?

Hi Ian, with regards to the Bantock method that will work with Sailsetc tubes which are softer than the French PG tubes.

French tubes are best bent with a mast bending tool. Sailsetc now produce a full and short kit https://www.sailsetc2.com/index.php/products-a-spotlight/mast-bending-tool.html

For those that have bent masts over the years they will know it's not as straight forward as it looks. Each tube will bend slightly differently this will very much depend on whether it was extruded at the beginning, middle or the end of the extrusion cycle. Therefore you would normally weigh the tube prior to bending to ascertain the amount of alloy content, a heavier tube would require slightly less bend to achieve the same results.

The Long and short of this being that there is plenty to learn before you'll work out what works for you.

If you are only bending a couple of rigs to replace masts i'd suggest you are best speaking with David Potter, or in the case of the Britpop, Robot Yachts or BG, it will save you money in the long term.

If however you fancy learning a new art probably best to source plenty of PG tubes and start the learning experience.

Please see image of my bending tool which is a modified Sails etc kit and works well.

IMG_1843.thumb.jpeg.3e306bdc66abf39cfa5f353711bf841f.jpeg

Edited by Gavin Watson
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Hi John,

Is this some market research perhaps? All interesting anyway.

I know a number of skilled guys who regularly build new boats for pleasure and for the satisfaction they get from that alone. I, being completely unskilled in that pursuit and unable to to do this, must buy from a professional builder if I am to have a new boat and the following are my thoughts from this standpoint.

Well, as a mid fleet skipper, I think I know that a new boat won’t get me instant success, and if I really  want this I must just need to improve my sailing skills. In fact, if many of my rivals get a new boat similar to my own the best that will happen is that I might retain my position in the pecking order. There may be a different outlook if you are one of those lucky skilled people who are always in the van of the fleet who perhaps may feel that they need a new boat every so often in order to protect their position. Maybe we should ask them if this is so?

However, I guess, initially there may be a boost to my confidence in knowing I have a new competitive boat but if that confidence doesn’t lead  to improved performance the honeymoon period could be very short and I know I will have spent a lot of cash just for the privilege of having one. Also, I know that I may well find that it takes some time to get to know the new boat and in that case I may go backwards before there is any, if at all, improvement gain.

That all said, for me there is an excitement in getting a new boat that I don’t get even when, after I’ve put in hours of work in developing rigs etc, and had the satisfaction of some performance gain, with the old one. For me  then it’s an emotional thing even though I know that it is my heart ruling my head. Perhaps it’s the same for many new boat purchasers?

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Over time every boat will lose performance from a number of areas, weight gain, loose fittings, dings and nicks on the fin and bulb and I would suggest that regular checks and maybe updates make sense and also add to the enjoyment of ownership.

This also runs in to the question of buying an IOM and it is my view that a well maintained older boat is still a good buy for all but the very best skippers and replacing items like John is doing can make them a good buy.

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So, going back to the pre-bend issue, the designer of my boat an MX14 by Frank Russell only recommends a 10-14mm pre-bend on the A rig. As I mentioned earlier I bought two new P G masts one of which I tried the Bantock method of bending and only succeeded in a kink.

As only a relatively small amount of pre-band is recommended how detrimental I wonder it would be not to put any pre-band in the mast at all? Maybe I'll try it.

Views and comments please.

Michael 

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Posted (edited)

Rammer and Darin make some excellent points, to answer the question though, the theme of my initial post is purely to create discussion. So far the correspondence has been excellent, in terms of people providing an insight to their rig work and in particular mast bend information. As mentioned, if you are not confident or unskilled when it comes to building an IOM, the option of purchasing a boat from a professional builder is the best alternative for you. After some time researching the spectrum of established designs, maybe the preferred method for some skippers would be the 'One Off' heavy investment into the chosen IOM, but I agree skippers must spend the time on and off the water getting to know their boat afterwards. 

To enable a skipper to gain a greater understand of how an IOM is put together, as Darin alluded to with the passage of time, personnel may begin to have the confidence to recognise what refurbishing requirement are needed for their IOM in the future. Therefore, perhaps no longer requiring further heavy investment. Unless as Rammer mentioned, you like the excitement of owning a new IOM, which is also understandable.

For Michael, as I understand the purpose of mast pre-bend, is to create more tension within the jib luff, whilst complimenting the way the mainsail is constructed and fitted to the mast. Therefore, setting up your rig whilst understanding how these key elements work, will result in improved sailing performance. There are some good articles online which describes how pre-mast bend works.

 

JT

Edited by John Taylor
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Quite right to look at updating rig; as the engine but I have found that the quality sails made by current suppliers rarely "stretch" and the loosening leach is quite likely to be a relaxation of the mast pre bend which is being compensated by extra backstay to maintain the jib luff.

I have conducted strain gauge tests on the bendy aluminium masts that we are stuck with and they will relax fairly soon. There is a lot going on at the forestay intersection and it is constantly working.  Also tried to find any differences between available masts. All are equally poor on bend analysis, some do seem to have a harder anodising though and this makes bending slightly more interesting. The relaxation at this point does not necessarily manifest as a dimensional change; rather an increase in bendiness. Here I can touch on the effect of rolling a pre bend. Get it right first time with absolute minimum passes or it will degrade the stiffness; actually measurable on the strain gauge. The harder coating does seem to require more working and I found it quite easy to warm up the test pieces with the two roller devices that I have tested.

The amount of pre bend and where it is set is one reason for for experimenting. It must match the sail luff to be effective and not introduce creases.

The need for pre bend is well covered elsewhere as is the reason for the fractional rig of the One Metre. Anyone who has tried to make sails and has found that the superb camber shapes from our current suppliers just cannot be re produced, will appreciate the correct positioning of the pre bend.

We spend most of our setting up time at the water side fiddling with the mast settings to obtain a good sail shape; possibly the single most complicated tuning aspect of the class. Mast pre bend is as much of a "black art" as sail making and seriously overlooked. I note that sail makers offer this service and, just like trying to make your own, it must be worth paying for a mast to match the sails. 

The One Metre is an expensive boat to race competitively; some may say that this is due to peer pressure to use the absolute best equipment. Sadly fewer seem to take up the comments from the likes of Brad Gibson to "pimp" older designs. 

Now for the controversial bit:  Carbon masts. I have rigged up an unstayed, 3 section carbon mast. A delight to assemble and cheap. No long pieces needed and perfectly adequate uni directional tube is no dearer than alloy tubing and no horrendous delivery cost.

No pre bend is necessary, the only technical bit is positioning the telescoped joints in the tubes to achieve the correct bend when the backstay is set. My boat sails really well and the rig is sooo stiff. Maybe I will write more about this later. The main point of this missive was to add to the bending discussion.

 

Richard

 

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Thanks Richard for your comments especially on carbon rigs. 

I also sail a Marblehead with both carbon swing rigs and an A2 conventional carbon rig with shrouds and spreader. It would appear to me a simple rule change to allow carbon rigs to be used on the IOM either unstayed or with shrouds. I wonder what the purists would make of a suggestion to a rule change to permit? Seems an obvious update in line with current thinking. I recall some time ago that a rule change permitted pigmented grp hulls. 

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Michael, lets start with your prebend question.

Could you get away with no prebend? possibly in a Zephyr, anything above that would simply not work. There would be insufficient tension on both the forestay and jib boom topping lift allowing the jib boom to rise uncontrollably, causing excessive weather helm, that won't be quick!

I notice you are not a million miles from Catsails so i'd suggest that possibly the best course of action might be to contact Nigel and ask nicely if he could add prebend to a tube, when Covid restrictions allow.

With regards Richards post, if you are using a genuine french PG mast and it is prebent correctly the prebend will not flatten off over time.

Prebend will flatten out on the sails etc and similar tubes which are softer however they are easier to bend in the first instance!

As mentioned it is tricky to add pre bend to PG tubes, they are not soft, therefore don't flatten out with age.

If you venture to the top of a IOM fleet anywhere in the world, PG masts are used for a reason, if bent and built correctly they last a long time, they recover quickly from any side bend offering good gust response.

With regards to Carbon spars, you can buy cheap carbon tubes however we all know that if the class were to move to Carbon we'd all end up using expensive high modulus sections. Many would argue that IOM's are expensive enough without adding high modulus carbon tubes to the list.

Secondly, it wouldn't end at Carbon masts, all experienced IOM designers will design a boat around a set of parameters, mast stiffness will reflect hull design, foil design and placement and rig placement, IMHO to change to Carbon would completely open the floodgates to a generation of completely different hull designs, more cost.

Finally, sails have to compliment the mast, a carbon mast will have very different bend characteristics, therefore the distribution of both luff curve and camber for the mainsail would change, the cut of the jib would also change as rig tension would be different.

Unfortunately its never as easy as changing the material of the spars!

There are some great tips and webinar videos updated most days at present on the BG sails and design website that i'm sure would be very useful for anyone looking to update rigs or update an older design.  http://www.bgsailsanddesign.com/toptips.html

 

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Posted (edited)

Gents,

These discussions provide some great reading and there is a lot of information that other skippers can take from this post. However, can we start to steer away from the idea of using carbon rigs for an IOM. The initial basic concept of developing the IOM class was to provide skippers, with a cheaper option to continue racing. At the time the Marblehead Class was the most popular and prices were escalating out of control. The IOM became the cheaper and perhaps fairer option for others to keep racing, because carbon was not allowed within the rigs or hull construction. Therefore, grass route or skippers sailing to a budget remained competitive.

The idea of carbon masts etc, on these types of boats has already been established in the form of the US1m Class. A brief description from my experiences with this class can be read here (Click)   Although I like everyone's input, lets just keep to the basics of my original post. Refurbish Rigs vs A new IOM?

JT

Edited by John Taylor
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This topic has made me review my own history of IOM sailing. So my progression of designs sailed is:-

1st Jaz by Graham Bantock

2nd Tonic by Alex Austin

3rd Lintel by Dave Creed

4th Psycho by Barry Chisam

5th Britpop by Brad Gibson

 

Now each boat was purchased as they were available at the right price and at the right time. In most cases each boat was an improvement on the previous, probably the only mistake was the Lintel, Great boat in the conditions that suited it but I struggled to master sailing it in light air which we get a lot of in Loughborough but in a blow (top of each rig) it was almost untouchable and could hang on to larger rig when other designs needed to change down. The Lintel improved when a new rig was fitted, at another members suggestion this was raised a little.

 

The Jaz was improved when I replaced the 'A' rig completely using a round mast rather than Groovy with a set of Stealth sails. This rig was moved to the Tonic which I absolutely loved (Still own it), this is a great light air boat but proved to be a better all-rounder for me. As it was an ageing design it was semi-retired by the Lintel, it was used at times when conditions were light. I decided at that point the Lintel needed to go as racing two different boat designs at the same time was not good and both were replaced by the Psycho.

The Psycho is a great boat which if set up correctly is a quick boat, just seems to have a narrower performance band compared to its replacement a Britpop. Replacement sails on the Psycho returned the boat to the initial speed when purchased. I would still be sailing this boat if a Britpop had not become available from a club member giving up sailing.

The Britpop opened my eyes to the difference having a top design with lots of set up information. I find that the boat is fast even if not fully tuned, it could probably do with a set of replacement sails. I have purchased all the components to build a new ‘A’ & ‘B’ rig so will be able to compare new to old. If anyone can tell me where to buy some enthusiasm to get on with the build I would appreciate it. I'm still a novice Britpop owner as only purchased last year, it has spent a great deal of time gathering dust.

To sum up the replacement boats were all good but also replacing sails was a route to a faster boat. I suspect I’m guilty of using sails past their use by date.

I also feel it is important to use a rig box as I only started with a box with the last two boats, I’m certain a lot of sail damage to earlier boats sails happened in transit or getting out or putting them into a rig bag. Even fitting the rig to the boat in a breeze I think is more damaging than the actual sailing.

Would be interested in others boat history and comments on each design.

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Hi John,

Your question on whether to buy new or refurbish an older IOM design is a common one. I am a relatively newcomer to IOMs and I faced the same question. After asking around I was advised to start with an old affordable design so I bought a Gadget and refurbished it. There's nothing wrong with a Gadget except it may be a bit too beamy compared to modern designs. In my opinion if your good at reading the wind making good starts you can still win at club events with an old design but there is no substitute for the speed and VMG of a modern design to get you to the windward mark first and into clear air. Refurbishing an old IOM can cost quite a lot of money. With hindsight I realise I should have put that money towards the the best boat I could afford. I think that IOMs are now optimised and there are numerous modern designs to choose from all of which perform well. Having said that I also have a Lintel which is still incredibly fast even in lighter winds. 

My last two boats are Alternatives which I built myself because I knew the design was fast and I didn't want to wait for the right boat to come onto the market. I have tried to match professionally made boats by maximising the corrector weights, easier said than done.

Roger Threadingham.

 

 

       

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Posted (edited)

There has been some helpful comments made during this post and I hope skippers have taken the bits of information which will work for them. I thank all those who have published their thoughts.

Generally, if you have a competitive IOM and choose to refurbish the rigs, this will usually save money and keep you competitive for the predicted future. A skipper racing their usual IOM, with rigs in good condition will always be a tricky opponent.

That said, a new and well built IOM may have the increased performance the skipper is looking for, yet some time may have to be spent sailing and getting used to the boat before the benefits are realised. There is no doubt sailing a new IOM design, provides skippers with a degree of confidence when launching their boats on the water.

 

JT

 

Edited by John Taylor
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