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Jun 08, 2010, 11:35 PM
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Syren to sail...

Weather finally looks clear for tomorrow. Will try to sail and test the new angled cart design and see the effect of the keel weight reduction.
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Jun 13, 2010, 05:14 PM
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Syren at Edina Model Yacht Club - Parade of Boats

No pics yet, but the guns worked very well. And the new angled cart design worked extremely well - a really big improvement over the original cart and the trailer type cart. Waterline at the bow was perfect with the recent keel wt. reduction.
The day was gray with rain seeming just ready to fall, but it stayed dry.
Jun 14, 2010, 04:46 AM
meatbomber's Avatar
with the keel reduced and the topweight increased did you notice any different in stiffness?
I`m always amazed how much sail these hulls can carry with the little keel
Jun 14, 2010, 08:06 AM
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keel weight

The keel reduction was 1.75lbs out of 40lbs, or only about 4.5%, pretty small. Main effect was just to raise the bow about 1/2". No other difference noted, but didn't expect to see a difference because there was very little wind on tis outing. At this boat show, the pond is too small sail and there is too much traffic to sail. I attach outboard electric motors to the rudder for power and don't really sail. Wind was almost non-existent for most of the show.
Sailing in Ohio with Paratrooper, before the keel reduction but with all the guns in place, I didn't really notice any difference. Winds were gusty and we had a lot of wave and wake action, but Syren was well behaved. In addition to the weight of the guns on deck, there is weight added low in the hull from the rotary switch mechanism and gun system battery pack.
Last edited by DanL; Jun 14, 2010 at 02:24 PM.
Jun 14, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Syren Build Document

Get a lot of requests for Syren info, so I thought I might start a comprehensive write-up, posted here as a series of PDF's.

Here's a start - just an intro and PDF Contents outline - any thoughts appreciated....

Building and Rigging the Brig Syren
A Modified 1/24-scale Square Rigger Model by SC&H Ltd.

Introduction: Building the Syren, my first sailing ship model, and one of my first radio control projects, required a lot of learning, experimenting and almost constant modification as build weaknesses were discovered and new ideas were learned from others. The constant challenge presented in building and sailing makes this model the basis of a great hobby.
Many others and I have posted hints, tips, methods, plans, data questions and even our mistakes on various threads on various websites in order to share our build and sailing experiences.
I thought that trying to capture the build and operational material on the Syren in one place might be helpful since I get a lot of PM and e-mail requests for that type of information. I donít profess to have all the answers or the best answers (and maybe not even good answers), but it is what is working so far on the Syren.
Attached as a PDF is a Table of Contents. Iíll try to add a section on a regular basis until the Contents are covered. Please donít copy the PDFís to other threads or websites. Instead, please share by linking back to this original thread.
Jun 14, 2010, 01:54 PM
meatbomber's Avatar
Awesome Thanks DanL thats exactly what a lot of us have been looking for !
Jun 17, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Syren build and rigging info

Here's the first section on removeable/operational rigging approaches used on the Syren: Chapter 5. a. Removable and Adjustable Standing Rigging

Helpful? Less description, more pics?

Hope to keep at it until the outline is covered.
Each new PDF will include all previous ones so that info is all in one document (or in parts at the 3 meg maximum PDF attachment size).
(not killing tress, but killing megabytes...)

Next will be 5. b. Yard Rigging
Jun 17, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Syren Rigging Info - GREAT!

This will be very helpful to get my Brig Fair American rigged and sailing. I look forward to each section. Thank you!
Jun 18, 2010, 03:42 PM
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Dan, these PDFs are magnificent and could form some pages or chapters of a book. I encourage you to keep doing these.
Jun 19, 2010, 03:07 AM
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Hi Dan,

That pdf is fantastic - well done and thanks a lot for the info. I'd been puzzling over things like that looking for solutions between looks and ease of set up.
I had to read the first bit three times before I got it. I think it just misses a "how to use it" sentence near the beginning of the section. Such as "To set up, the stay is looped around the tops /crosstree and the hook is hooked over the stay just below the mouse. There is sufficent flex in the mast to allow this and when released the stay is tensioned" or something like that.

I take it you don't fold down your lower masts? Presumably though if you did, the same approach could be used on the main and fore stays?

The backstays look nice an easy. Did you make the extra deadeyes on the backstays yourself?

Great work

Jun 19, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Syren rigging feedback

Thanks for the feedback. I agree - pretty sketchy in some of the explanation. I find it a lot harder to write a procedure than just doing it and your feedback really is helpful.
I'll make the changes you suggest and include them when I make the next addition. Will also add more detail on joining the wire to the line.
My lower masts do stay up, but you are right - the technique can be used for those stays too.
The deadeyes were purchased.

A question - since I used ropewalk twisted line, should I cover that process early on in case someone wants to start making line for a build?
Jun 19, 2010, 05:43 PM
Registered User
Hi Dan,

Placing the rope making early on in the manual would be best. A new section just before 4 or 5 in your outline would be probably be best.
To make it complete I would suggest that in addition to the ropewalk mechanics you include the material e.g dacron cotton, nylon etc. used and their properties. Plus a list of rigging sizes, material, colours commercially available. Finally, also add dyeing techniques.

I was thinking about your pdf this morning in the shower, as you do, and there was a comment that you should make a book of this. It certainly looks like a commercial opportunity and I'm sure it would sell well but of course only in a limited market. But there might be a few bucks in it for you. The downside of course is that we would not be able to share your work in progress over the forum which would be a great loss. Anyway, probably worth considering.

A bit of a laugh, I purchased some extra rigging from a UK model yacht supplies manufacture, I thought I would get some elastic for use in a few areas expecting it to be white - it came - a beautiful shade of purple! True early 19th century colours.
Jun 27, 2010, 07:55 AM
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New gun igniter design

The gun igniters still tended to be a bit slow and also to become less reliable with fouling and as the wire loop gets compressed and makes contact with the brass breech plug surface. A new pin type igniter seems to perform better. It actually penetrates the charge for sure contact, putting the heat source directly within the black powder charge.
Attached is an updated diagram of the new design.
Jul 04, 2010, 05:08 PM
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New igniters on Surprise

Thanks to Dan and his upgrading and testing new mechanisims for these magnificent guns, I now have all 18 carronades refitted with a much better igniter.

Dan made the new parts for me and after installing them I found that loading and firing is much easier as the wadded up flash paper in the barrel and against the old igniter is no longer needed. The cartridge is made up the same way as before, a 1/2 X 1/2 inch piece of flash paper is run down the cartridge, a measure of powder is dropped in, and the backer rod plug is installed.

When loading the carronades all I have to do now is run the cartridge in and feel the new igniter go through the flash paper, and ram the round home out of the cartridge and into the barrel.

When firing the new igniter fires the powder direcly. The flash paper is used only to hold the powder in the cartridge but it is burned up when the gun is fired which eliminates the need to clean absolutely clean every shot.

Once I cleaned the contacts on my rotary switch I found the guns fired flawlessly every time.

The next gun fight now scheduled for September will prove whether this is the ultimate fitting or if Dan comes up with the Mark V-A1 gun between now and then. These we have now are the straight Mark V.

Videos will be coming once I get some sailing weather. It is way too hot and very little wind these days.
Jul 14, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Maintopsail geometry discussion

Almost perfectly consistent winds in the last outing, along with focusing on sailing vs. taking pictures (forgot the camera), let me really notice again that the maintopsail is always the first to luff - much earlier than other sails. A lot of work went into rigging the yards to maximize rotation, allowing Syren to sail very high into the wind. So this one sail, the main topsail, is always the problem, even though the main course and topsail yards comes sharply around as all the yards.
Posted are pics of what I think are the contributing problems. What do you all think?
Seems the maintopsl leeches are too long, as even when the foot of the sail is fully taught the leeches are still loose. The sails were made with boltropes added to give a very slight belly to the sails. I think this sail needs to be taken in along the leeches.
The other contributing factor seems it might be backwinding by the staysail.
The staysail works wonders in helping through a tack (I think), so I don't want to remove it (I think it looks good too).
She sails really well, but it would be great if I could improve the early luff on the maintopsail.
All thoughts appreciated. Also, correct my terminology if not right -that's a weak spot for me.
Last edited by DanL; Jul 14, 2010 at 08:44 PM.

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