This is Page 8 of Building Instructions for the Redneck Racer Camp Boat.
Summary of Activities
- Add lines and hardware: You will need the following:
- A dock line or painter for tying up your boat or anchoring it. Usually this line is fairly long and strong to allow for towing if you need help getting back to shore when the wind dies. I recommend 3/8” diamond braided polyester or polypropylene (which floats).
- A mainsheet for controlling the main sail. With the Bolger sail, this line is attached at the clew (back corner) of the sail. The tail end of the line slips through the slot at the aft (back) end of the sprit boom where one or more figure 8 knots are tied in for adjustment purposes.The line then runs down through a pivoting block (pulley) attached to the top of the tiller right above the rudder case. For more leverage or purchase, this line can be run back up through another block attached to the lower part of the sprit boom a couple of feet forward of the clew. I recommend a 3/8” low stretch, braided polyester line that is long enough to allow the sprit sail to swing all the way forward of the mast. (Important: Always tie a figure 8 knot in the end of this line after it is rigged for sailing to prevent the line from going overboard and causing a loss of control of the sail and boat.)
- The snotter is used to control the shape of the leg o’ mutton sail by causing the sprit boom to move backwards and forward putting more or less tension on the clew or back corner of the sail. A sling or a block (pulley) is attached to the mast and the snotter runs down through the sling or block to a block on the deck and back to a cleat where the line is fastened. The other end of the snotter fits through the slotted forward end of the sprit boom. This 3/16” to ¼” low stretch braided polyester line is knotted with a figure 8 knot below the slot to keep it in place.
- A downhaul is a line attached to the lower front corner of the sail or tack. This short line runs down to a cleat or block and is used to tension the luff or forward edge of the sail.
- (Optional) A halyard is used with some sails to raise and lower the sail. The halyard is attached to the top of the sail, run through a sheave, or pulley, at the top of the mast and down to a cleat on the mast, deck, or some other part of the boat directly below the mast. With the leg o’ mutton, the sail usually is attached directly to the mast through the hole in the top of the mast with plastic zip ties and rolled around the main mast when not in use. A main halyard is usually not needed with this sail.
Some of the hardware needed on your boat, such as cleats, pad eyes, and blocks, have already been mentioned above. Here are some additional pieces of hardware you might want or need:
- Pintles and gudgeons come in sets and are used for attaching and removing the rudder. The pintle fits on the rudder case (see the picture on p ?), while the gudgeon is affixed to the stern transom. Two sets of pintles and gudgeons are needed with one set attached high on the transom and rudder case and the other attached lower down. Usually, the top pintle is a little shorter than the lower pintle to make it easier to lower the pintles into the holes in the gudgeons. Some builders save money by using door hinges with removable pins to attach the rudder to the transom. A stop of some kind that will swing over the top of the pintle is needed to prevent the rudder from being pulled upward and loose during sailing.
- A swivel block should be mounted on the back part of the tiller or top of the rudder case for the main sheet. Look closely at the picture below on the far right to identify this special block.
- Cam cleats allow you to pull the line through the cleat but will lock the line in place when the line is pulled from the opposite direction. The spring-loaded cam cleats are handy to have, but are much more expensive than most standard horn or jam cleats.
- Oarlocks and sockets are a better backup than just a paddle if the wind dies or some other catastrophe occurs. Paddling a PDRacer can be very frustrating if there is current or wind to contend with. I highly recommend carrying a a set of oars onboard for emergencies.
- (Optional) Lifting handles are a good idea to have attached to the stern and bow of the boat for lugging the boat around on land. Duckworks has handles that can also double as steps to get back aboard if you fall overboard.
Duckworks Boat Builders’ Supply at http://www.duckworksbbs.com/index.htm provided me with permission to use pictures of the hardware pictured above and is a good source for hardware. Duckworks is an invaluable resource for boat builders and is operated by two of the nicest and most interesting people anyone could want to meet.
- Attach the rudder case. Mount the gudgeons on the stern transom directly in line with the mast so they are centered 18” in from the starboard side. (See Panel # 3 for location.) The top gudgeon should be near the top of the transom and the lower one should be mounted about 1” above the intersection of the bottom and the stern transom so that the pintle and the rudder case will not drag in the water. Caution:You might have to glue a small piece of 1” x 2” to the inside of the stern transom where the screws will come through the transom. Mount the pintles on the rudder case so that they fit snugly into the gudgeons. Trial fit and mark their location before drilling and screwing in the screws. Use 1” round-headed stainless steel screws to hold the pintles in place. Attach the swivel block for the mainsheet through a padeyeanchored to the top of the 1” x 4” “butt board” with 2” long screws. Drill a ¼” hole through the rudder case near the middle of the “butt” board location. Place a ¼” x 2 ½” bolt through the hole with fender washers next to the head of the bolt on one side of the case and next to the nylon stop nut on the opposite side of the case. Loop the hooks of a commercial bungee cord around the bolt and then stretch the cord out so that it encircles the back of the rudder as shown in the right hand photo just before Activity 12 of Day 4. Attach the bungee cord at the back of the rudder with a small padeye to hold the cord in place. Test that the bungee cord has enough tension to hold the rudder down and in place when moving rapidly through the water.
- Attach the leeboard. Using the holes you previously drilled in the leeboard and side of the boat, attach the leeboard with a 3/8” x 3 ½” stainless steel bolt, fender washers, a lock washer, and a wing nut. Make certain the wing nut is on the outside of the leeboard for easy access. You might want to mount an old CD between the leeboard and the side to help avoid friction and damage to the side from the pivoting leeboard. Drill a hole in the handle and attach the 3/16” leeboard lifting line as shown in Panel 11.
- Step the mast. Attach the sail to the mast with zip ties or use the sail lacing method shown in the diagram below these instructions. Raise the mast and attach the lines shown in Panel 11 to the mast and sail. The snotter on the forward edge of the sprit boom should have about 1’ of travel between the block on the mast and the forward end of the sprit boom. This extra travel will allow the boom to swing out somewhat when the sail is on the so-called “bad tack” where the boom presses against the body of the sail. On the aft end of the sprit boom, try to position the mainsheet in the slot so that the line is at an angle that bisects the clew angle of the sail. Important: The sprit boom itself should actually slant downward slightly rather than upward as shown in Panel 11. This angle helps prevent the forward end of the sprit boom from lifting too much when the snotter is tensioned and perhaps flailing about and causing the snotter to come out of the slot.
- Review the checklist below:
Sailing can be life threatening. Before jumping into an untested sailboat and attempting to sail off, it’s a good idea to go over the following checklist and be able to answer each question positively:
- Do you know the basics of sailing?
- Have you set up and tested your boat at home on dry land with the sail up to make certain everything works as expected? (It’s good to have your tools nearby.)
- Is the weather right for testing? Light winds about 5-7 mph? Warm water? No threat of storms?
- Are you located on protected waters, such as a small lake, with some people around and possible help nearby? Does your family or a friend know where you are?
- Is the water relatively free of powerboat and personal watercraft traffic?
- Are you wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket?
- Do you have a whistle or portable air horn that will float and that you can locate easily if the need arises?
- Are your car keys attached to your PFD or to a belt loop so that they can’t be lost overboard? Did you leave your wallet locked and hidden in the car or in a waterproof floating container attached to your boat?
- Does your boat have adequate flotation and can you re-board and recover easily from a capsize? (Test the boat in shallow water by upsetting it. Realize, however, that recovering from a capsize in deep water is much, much more difficult even if your boat takes on little water.)
- Have you tied in figure 8 knots in the main sheet and leeboard/centerboard hoist after feeding the line through the hardware? Is there enough slack in the main sheet to allow the sail to swing all the way forward of the mast?
- With the sail flapping in the wind (luffing),are you able to launch from a pier or fairly deep water by rowing or paddling out to a depth where your rudder and board can be fully down or nearly down to begin with?
- Do you know which direction the wind is blowing? (Face your boat into the wind with your sail flapping.)
- Do you have both your tiller and main sheet in hand?
- I highly recommend taking a boating safety course before you go sailing. Go to the following US Coast Guard web site for certification: http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/courses.htm
- Launch your boat. If your answers to all these questions above are “yes”, then you should be ready to give your PDRacer a shakedown sail. Take a partner with you who can take photos or video with a camera or I-phone. You will want a record of this event. Once you arrive at the launch area, prepare your boat for launch as mentioned above. Row or paddle into the wind out to water that is deep enough to put both your rudder and tiller down. Move your tiller so that the boat will head off at about 45° from the wind and start “sheeting in” your sail, and your PDRacer should start moving under sail power. As you tighten the main sheet a little more, you should start moving away even faster. From this point on, you are sailing on your own, and chances are high that you will soon learn how to handle your boat without risking disaster.
- Store Your Boat, Mast and Sails. One advantage of the PDRacer is that it can be stored vertically in a small space on its stern. If there is room in the garage, that is where I would store a PDRacerbetween uses. Otherwise, store it upside down on concrete blocks or some elevated surface. Once a season, give your boat a fresh coat of paint. Changing the colors or using a different theme can sometimes help rekindle your interest in the sport of sailing.
I recommend storing the sail rolled on the mast on some elevated brackets in the garage or some other protected area. Constant exposure to moisture and the sun’s ultra violet rays will eventually damage nearly any sail material. If your sail has gotten wet, lay out the sail and wipe it down on both sides before wrapping it around the mast for storage. The PolySail surface cleans up readily if wiped down with a towel occasionally after sailing. Following these recommendations will extend the life of both your boat and sail.
Notes and Tips Below Correspond to the Daily Activity Numbers Above
4. Most mast lacing techniques do not work too well with the leg o’ mutton sail because the snotter attachment on the mast interferes with lowering the sail completely. This problem might be one more reason that Phil Bolger, who used this sail on many of his small boat designs, often showed the sprit boom slanting downward from the attachment point near the clew to the forward end even though this arrangement does not appear initially to be as efficient in tensioning the clew and flattening the sail as a horizontal or slightly upward slanted sprit boom. At any rate, I prefer using zip ties or simple mast hoops made of 3/16” line to attach this sail to the mast as long as the sail will be stored on the mast and not used in heavy air conditions. If there is a chance of bad conditions, I prefer the luff tie sysem for lowering the sail quickly. One other last ditch safety measure that works with this sail if you have a long enough mainsheet, is to let the sail go all the way forward of the mast, sit as far to the stern as possible, and gently steer yourself to shore-hopefully, a sandy beach.