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Old Sep 05, 2007, 04:20 PM
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Brooks's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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I think I got the 2nd one sold, a man in Conn. got the first. He was planning a mantle piece model, I believe. I got sidetracked from the ship and never went back. The parts are sitting in the pool hall gathering dust. The build looked too complicated and too long term for me, alas.
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I am not sure what sails you mean when you say driver and main gaff. Irregardless of which is which, the point of changing the sheet arrangement is to allow you to change the balance of sail area on either side of the CLR. If you keep the fore-most sails, the jibs, on one servo, and the aft-most sail (I'd call it the mainsail, the biggest quadralateral sail aboard) on another servo, then you'd accomplish what I'd suggested earlier.

If you are comtemplating adding the middle sail to either servo, then the servo that should get it should be the one controlling sails on the same side of the CLR. Just looking at the rig, I'd think the middle sail should go with the jibs as it looks like the middle sail is forward of the CLR. You can find out easily enough, just set that single sail and no others. If your boat turns downwind, then the middle sail is forward of the CLR and should be sheeted with the jibs, which are also forward of the CLR.

Or, if you prefer to leave the 2 quadralateral sails together, try sailing w/o the jibs and see what happens; ie. if you slack both sails together with their servo, and the boat turns downwind, And you tighten both and the boat turns upwind, you could leave the 2 sails on the same servo, reserving the jib servo for only jibs. The middle sail may be so close to the CLR that it does not matter much which servo gets it.

The behavior of your ship will depend on how much heel it is carrying. The more heel, the more tendency to turn upwind. So factor the heel into your analysis, that is, don't expect the ship to steer the same way when it's upright and when it's heeled over.

If this does not make sense, just keep asking questions and I'll try to explain better.
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To save weight, I'd say get rid of the meters, myself. I use a stopwatch (cheapo multi function watch from Walmart) to keep track of steam, fuel, helicopter batteries, tug batteries, etc. Keep records of the starting voltage, the time on the water, and the ending voltage (or even better starting and ending amp-hrs) and you should get a pretty good idea how long you can sail safely powered. My German charger/discharger will give me the battery capacity in amp hrs. I can discharge my partially used battery after a pond session and the unit will tell me how much was left. Or, you could just measure how much was used at the pond by looking at how much it takes to refill the battery. For example, after 6 hours of pond, my 2000mah vacutug battery took 1800ma to recharge, it was pretty shot. So, I now know that the battery is good for 5 hours usage.
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooks
I am not sure what sails you mean when you say driver and main gaff.
My bad on the gaff sail...it is actually on the fore mast, below the squares, and called the fore gaff sail. There is a small gaff sail on the main mast above the "driver" called the topmast gaff sail. The driver is the largest sail and it is on the main mast.

I understand exactly what your saying about the way she handles straight up and when heeling. I think I understand what you are saying about CLR.

My next question is this:

Let's assume I leave the 3 jibs on the current winch and put the fore mast gaff and the main sails (driver and topmast gaff) on a separate servo. Let’s say I am close hauled beating upwind and ready to tack…are you saying I need to loose the jibs a little, letting them luff while keeping the main sails tight, as I make my tack through the wind?

If this is correct…is there any reason to ever keep the jibs completely in tight close hauled or could I possibly adjust them out a little and not change anything else? Maybe this is my problem? Maybe they aren’t supposed to be tight? All the sail clews had rubber bands attached to the sheets and I removed them because they are a pain. Maybe they stretched just enough to allow the sails to help with the tack? Once I removed them and tightened the jibs I prevented that ability?

Shame that model won't be seeing water...a static model would be better suited for the mantle.

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Tacking

Hoghappy,

The ship should not sail as well without the rubber bands. They are providing sail tension, allowing the sail to change shape with a change in wind.
Your ship is way over-canvassed unless you took all those rail-in-the-water pictures at moments of extreme heel. Stow the flying jib, the main topmast gaff sail and the foremast gaff sail. Replace the main (driver) with the reefed driver. Add the fore topsail if you feel threatened.
The more you heel the less effective the rudder is.
Before tacking, fall off a little bit to increase speed.
Your sheets should not so tight as to flatten your sails like boards. Fore and aft sails only work by being shaped like an airfoil.
Our Prince tacks as soon as you suggest it to her.

Hope this helps!
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 09:35 AM
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Thanks Philip…I know I tend to sail her “over canvassed” …she just looks so great with all those sails! She is a sight and gets a lot of praise.

Fact is I’m ashamed to say I never got around to building the “reefed driver”. I feel like the wind conditions are fairly light most days I sail…so I never saw the need for it. Maybe I see the need now.

YES…those pics were taken at extremes and most of the time she is not heeled to those extremes, unless she takes a gust. However, this last time out she seemed to heel more than usual...I had also removed all the rubberbands and kept her sails flatter. I just learned from a simulator that my tendency to pull the sails all the way in except when running is not the way to get the most speed out of her. I tend to forget that sails (like wings) need shape to work. I have a hard time remembering that the wind is actually pulling the ship (except when broad reaching and running) rather than pushing it.

I really don’t like the rubber bands. I’m trying to eliminate them all.

How can I remove them and still have a good sailing ship? Would leaving a little slack in the sheets (say ¼ to ½”) compensate for their removal?

Would the slightly loose sails help my tacking woes?

Does one sail sheet need more or less lack over another, or should they all be tensioned equally?

Do I need separate sheet control for the fore/aft sails?

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip @ SCH

Add the fore topsail if you feel threatened.


Philip...what do you mean by threatened?

Have you ever had your sails "IN" the water? Do you think she could recover from that scenerio?

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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For some advice on practical model square-rigger sailing, I like the 1930's pages:
http://www.swcp.com/usvmyg/squarerig/sq1.htm

For the best book on square-rigger sailing, and multimast sailing in general: "Seamanship in the Age of Sail" by John Harland. I got to talk to Mr. Harland by phone several years ago, very nice guy. His book was The text for crew on HMS Rose and HMBark Endeavour.

I agree with Phillip's sailing advice. Don't have any experience with the rubberband clews, but he has lots of experience, so I would not question his advice on that either.

As DanL said in his brig thread, to get the most out of a sailing craft's sails, you have to be close enough to see how they set and how they respond to your joystick(s), eg kayak. Whether slacking your jib sheets would help is something you will just have to try; there is a lot going on in a sailing ship, as Harland's book reminded me last night, so I can't make a prediction one way or another. On a beat, the fore and aft sails need to be slacked about a point off of dead center for them to develop any forward thrust; otherwise, they just attempt to pull the boat sideways.

Tacking: to turn upwind, loosen the jibs. But, if you can turn w/o loosening them, they will continue to drive the ship forward, increasing the effectiveness of the rudder by maintaining boatspeed up to the last possible moment (from Harland). To tack the Rose we would bear off to gain some speed, then start the tacking turn. We would not start (loosen) the jib sheets during the turn, but would tighten the spanker, even hauling it upwind ("bagging it") to help the ship weathervane for the first 1/2 of the maneuver. You could do the same by tightening your mainsail sheet as you start the tacking turn. Be sure to let it out as you go through the eye of the wind, though, otherwise the tight mainsail will inhibit your bow falling off to the next course.

Remember, Subtlety Rules; gross adjustments of sheets or rudder rarely give you top satisfaction. Little adjustments will have less chance of stopping the thrust at an inopportune time. For maneuvers, try to sail through them, not slam through them (of course you can slam if you want, it just takes more timing skill to know when you can jam the controls and not stall the surfaces). That is, don't treat them (and I don't mean to imply that you do) as push-button affairs, shoving sticks by rote. Of course, if you are far from the ship when you tack, it will be harder to see what is going on, so when the ship is far offshore, you have to rely on your feel for timing of the manuever, turning it into a rote procedure. Timing feel is gained by practicing tacking so close to you that you can see what is going on, of course. Don't be afraid to trust your feelings to tell you when to move the joysticks. Sailing is a Right Brain endeavor, for those of you familiar with Betty Edward's books, primarily "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain."
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 11:07 AM
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"threatened"

Hoghappy,

By a British Cruiser Class brig of course!
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip @ SCH
Hoghappy,

By a British Cruiser Class brig of course!
Very Funny!

The Limeys dare not to show them selves in these waters!

So what about the questions above Philip...can and/or how do I do away with the rubberbands and still have a good sailing ship?

Brooks...that is some interesting reading!

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 12:32 PM
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Fascinating thread! Glad I just discovered it!
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Palo Alto, California
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Sail control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoghappy
I really don’t like the rubber bands. I’m trying to eliminate them all.
How can I remove them and still have a good sailing ship? Would leaving a little slack in the sheets (say ¼ to ½”) compensate for their removal?

The rubber bands that hold the clews of the sails act as springs to dampen the effect of the wild variations (at our model scale) in the wind. Take them away and it would be akin to driving a car without any springs down a very rough road - you have less control.
Hoghappy - Would the slightly loose sails help my tacking woes?
Loosen the attachment points of your (spring-less) car’s axles to its frame (loosen the sheets) and you get some improvement on that rough road, but nothing like that provided by adding springs (the rubber bands).
Hoghappy - Does one sail sheet need more or less lack over another, or should they all be tensioned equally?
We sail successfully with all the sheets tensioned equally.
Hoghappy - Do I need separate sheet control for the fore/aft sails?
Having read the postings I believe you mean control of the sails forward of the center of lateral rotation (rotation seen from above the ship) independent of those sails aft of it. This would add an additional element of control which might be nice. It adds complexity which I try to avoid, and, as before, I have not found the need for it in the Prince.
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Once again Philip thanks for the expertise.

I'm reading that the rubber bands are the best way to go even though they are an eyesore and a pain in the you know what.

I have looked back at all my photos over the course of sailing this ship and as time goes by, I have removed more and more of the rubber bands. I also remember saying last year that I was now experiencing handling problems and we discussed the increased drag caused by the drilling of holes in the ballast plate and her being over her recommened displacement (sitting below waterline) and thought this might be her problem(s). Having corrected those things and seeing no change in the handling problems I now feel it is the removal of those rubbers that is the cause of my woes.

I don't want to put them back on...

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Slick, how about trying the .04" elastic line that we BritBriggers use for the upper shroud deadeyes instead of the rubber bands? It might be too strong, but it is a lot more durable and attractive. Worth a try.
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Old Sep 06, 2007, 06:06 PM
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OK, research needed.
I've tried the rubber bands, elastic and solid line both loose and tight, and don't see how it makes much difference on the brig. BUT, as usual, after I test various options to original SC&H design features, ponder the results and get more experience, I get back to (or closer to) Philip's original design.
Based on Philip's comments, I'm going back to test elastic sail attachment. I have some very light (comparable to the rubber bands) elastic cord, white in color. I'm going to color it tan with acrylic ink (OK,OK - I just like the slight added appearance bonus of "tan" vs white) and use it to rig the sails.
On my last outing, I set the lower sails a bit loose with solid line and they seemed to look and work great. The small topgallants were set with the rubber bands, and in all the pics they looked a bit flat/tight to me.
I'll probably rig the foremast sails with rb's and the mainmast sails with solid cord and take pics during sailing to see what they look like. Since were not racing, I'm thinking appearance is more important to me than absolute sail efficiency. I think she's sailing absolutely fine now, but maybe I'll get pickier with more experience.
Next outing I'll use the light cord and see whats up.
(Don't worry - I really do have a non-brig life...)

Dan
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Old Sep 07, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Hey you Brig Drivers...

...how are your jibs attached and sheeted? Do you have the rubbers too? If so… how critical is your jib in tacking…and have your tried removing the rubber bands to see if it affects performance?

Ray...I'm thinking if I have to use rubbers, they need to be at least as flexible as the ones I took off. How flexible is that .04 line? Can you test it against one of the small rubbers? My upper and lower shrouds use the same diameter line, but I don’t remember that diameter is.

Dan…let us know about that line you’re trying. If it’s more durable and as flexible, it may be worth a try. As you know, I agree with the going for the better looks idea, that’s why I make most of my changes, but the ship has to be sailable too. Right now mine isn’t, and it looks like I am going to have to at least try the rubber bands again to see if that is my ships performance problem. Those rubbers die very quickly (a week or so), and I found that one reason the rubber bands disintegrate/melt so quickly is a chemical reaction with the brass connectors/hooks. The rubbers that aren’t touching brass last a little longer. If I decide to go back to the rubbers (which is the direction I am now leaning), I will have to once again readjust my sheets. I have a choice of either singling or doubling (folding them over) the rubber bands...but… if they are that critical in allowing the sails to flex and form to proper shape, I would think singling them would be preferable.

I am absolutely amazed that these little rubber bands are so critical in the scheme of things….but Philip IS the expert and so far no one else has chirped on building or sailing one of the PDN models and/or contributed alternatives.

As I write this, I just came up with one idea though…I wonder if I can cut my sheets in two, below deck, and connect them together with rubbers at that point? Would that change the flexibility factor?

Good: It would get them out of sight, out of the light and away from brass and maybe let them last a little longer.

Bad: They would be harder to replace and will probably rub on the adjoining sheets, unless I can add a sheet separator/spreader of some sort. In the pic here the 3 jib sheets are the top/starboard most ones. They are attached together at the bowsie and go to the drum as one sheet line. I would need to place the rubbers before the bowsie. I would also need to put a stopper on them so they won’t go all the way back through the blocks up under the almost inaccessible fore deck when they break.

This is something else to think about down the road, but first I have to prove to myself that the rubbers are the solution to my inability to get her to tack the way she should.

Capt. Slick
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Old Sep 07, 2007, 10:12 AM
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HH - A long note on what I think TODAY, based on my sailing experience so far, observations of the brig (rb's, etc) and some tests.

1. Brass/rubber interaction - I blackened all hooks, eyes, etc. and notice no degredation of the r-bands. You have more heat and humidity - that could be a problem, or maybe it could just be a bad batch of rb's. Also could be a minor contaminant in the pond. Any petrochemical can potentially eat the rb's. A small lake near here has ppm levels of some hydrocarbons from a nearby asphalt plant - it wrecks neoprene on scuba gear.

2. Under deck tensioners - difficult to manage. To act as a "servo-saver" in case the rudder takes a hit, I use a short piece of bungee on the control lines to the rudder (see pics - I rigged rudder/tiller lines). It works fine, but to get the tension just right and the balanced on both sides is a bear.

3. I "wind tunnel" tested rb's vs solid line on the sq sail clews. From observation, solid line wins in my book. I know very little about sailing, but I think you want the most rigid mechanical linkage of sail to ship as possible for maximum energy transfer. The rb's do flex and "bounce" as wind plays in the sail, but it seems to me that the flexing rb's just dissipate energy that would be better used to pull the brig forward.
Fill/shape of the sail:
Depending on exact location of sail clew, eyebolt on the yard, singling or doubling of the rb, etc, the sail shape and response to the wind can be anything from loose to tight, all depending on the factors above (basically, on how you assembled the kit). Those factors aren't really adjustable. (Single or double fold rb's is a really gross adjustment)
On the setup I tested - rb's on the topgallant and solid adjustable attachment on the topsail (hope I have the names right - see pics) and then testing rb's on the topsail too, the "wind" from high to low speeds filled the rb sails and they remained flat with very bouncy rb's under all conditions. So the rb's didn't seem to provide a different profile depending in the range of windspeed tested. They did seem to be less efficient for energy transfer. The solid line sail was pretty stable, not bouncy at the clews, and I could see/feel the tension in the attachment - seemed like a good solid pull to me. The sail of course was the same shape under the high and low wind speeds. BUT, I can very easily adjsut the length of the solid line attachments. So, for light wind, I can loosen the sails, for heavy wind they can be flattened (see pics) (Hope I have that right and not reversed). Anyway - they are fully adjustable, unlike the rb's.
If the rb's stretch more under higher wind, they would loosen the sails, and under low winds the sails would be more flat - the opposite, I think of what you would want. Again, though, I didn't see any significant change in the rb'd sail shape anyway under the hi/lo wind speeds tested.
Another point related to springs and shock absorbers. Performance cars have very stiff suspensions to manage forces. For mechanical energy transfer I think stiiff/solid is key vs. soft/flexy. The rigging line stretch and angular movement, the wood of the yards, the loose yard attachment to mast, the stretch of the sail material, the flex of the stayed masts, etc etc seem to me to provide plenty of "shock absorber" for the system. The real ships didn't use rb's. I know the wind speed is way out of scale, but the solid line rigged sails seem to handle the gusting winds just fine (so far).
Pics show "wind tunnel" rig, some sail profiles, adjustable sail attachment.

4. Jibs:
Have, I think, an easy way to get crossover using the sqr sail braces - attaching a line from each side of the jibs to the braces as they run up alongside the mast. A separate line with a ring end sets jib tension. Sketch later. (see the way too loose jibs in pics)

Fine print: All the above determined with relatively little on-water experience and under artificial conditions. Philip is still the expert. But I do think anything goes - try what you like and stick with what you are happy with. It's a toy! I paid for entertainment, not a box of parts. And this forum is a great part of the entertainment!
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