Star 45

Star 45

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Star 45 Sails, Colors, materials,

Apr 2007 Subject: [Star45] Sails - colors
From: "Larry Ludwig" mailing list

You can have colored sails, it doesn't mean that you have to compete with them. Even if you do, don't discount them all that much. You can make your own from ripstop and the colors are all available. The material is inexpensive enough that even if you do botch the first few attempts it's not going to set you back more than $10.00

Learning to make sails teachs you more about TRIMMING sails and the way they take a "set" than sailing a boat ever will.

If you set your mainsail luff as a bolt rope (and you should IMHO) then it takes only a few seconds to pop off your mast head or foot, slide out one sail and slide in the other. Then if your jib is setup as a hook attachment to a hole in the mast, you unhook from the deck, unhook from the mast and voila, you are ready to hook both ends of the 2nd sail and you are complete. You should be able to change the sails on your boat in 2 minutes if you are properly set up. Of course, using a 2nd mast and complete rig is even faster. If you setup so your turnbuckles remain on the deck, then they are ready to go regardless of which rig you chose, and you reduce the cost of a 2nd rig by $40 right there.

Don't discount ripstop sails too much. They may not be all the rage... but I promise you the skipper skill factor is WAY more important than the sail material. I have rip stop sails here that have lasted 20 years, if they are well cared for, they will last. Skippers familiar with the Vic class will remember a Regional Regatta being won with a stock ripstop mainsail last year ( I think it was)

Give it a shot, you won't be sorry you did. *and it DOES look very nice on your boat.
From: "J Fisher" Sender: Subject: Re: [Star45] Sails - colors

I have seen people in the 914 fleet use colored markers to color sails. I think it was mostly to tell the boats apart, but there were some interesting designs. You could probably paint your sails as well to get color.
From: I have made a lot of sail and could put together a step by step to make sails.

I use mylar which I buy from They only carry clear, so I sand it to make it translucent. It colors well with markers so that would be one way to make colored sails. To make sails you can use the sail block based on the method provided on the star 45 yahoo groups by John Whitford or you can use the block from great basin, which is based on the Sweede Johnson sail block. I have used the sweede block with good results.
From: "Larry Ludwig" Sender: Subject: RE: [Star45] Sails - colors

You can make panelled sails, but it is not required. You can get PLENTY of use out of a single panelled sail. They actually have some advantages in high winds because of the less draught. Also, but putting in the luff curve and using a bolt-rope main, you do have a sail with some draught to it, not just a flat sheet of cloth. The block method works fine, but also.. is not required. Basically you cut the bottom panel seam flat, and draw your airfoil MAC (mean aerodynamic chord) and cut it with a #9 X-acto or scissors. Use seamstress tape and overstitch. Do the same thing with the luff curve, and hem the foot and leech and you are about there. Oversew some corner panels, tack on some batten pockets and thread in a piece of weed-eater line up the hem of the luff and you are ready to put on your class markings and numbers. Grommets in the corners are installed either with a seamstress tool or they could be ordered from Don Ginther at GBMY if he is still shipping, he was in the process of suspending operations.

Where to find the material? Nylon ripstop is inexpensive... typically $6-$7 (x 38-50" long bolt) a yard at LONDON's Fabrics or HANCOCK Fabrics, sometimes you will find it at HOBBY LOBBY retail stores, but if you check your local fabric store you will most likely come up with some in various colors. Also using contrasting thread colors can make the sail more attractive. Start with a single panel sail and go through all the steps. When you are ready to start making paneled sails... don't be afraid to make them out of paper first. Typical brown paper can be cut and taped together and makes a perfect mock up of the sail for pennies.
From: "Al Stein" Sender: Subject: [Star45] Re: Sails - colors

I think I got mine from Potomac Sailmakers in Alexandria, Virginia... I bought yellow and orange, but they had a bunch of different colors in spinnaker cloth, and very light weight and airtight it is.

It's fairly stiff, too, for as light as it is -- something well under an ounce per yard. Price about the same as Larry experienced... less than $10 a running yard from a BIG WIDE bolt (can't remenber exact width, but it was much wider than normal fabric store goods.
From: "John & Kelly" Sender: Subject: RE: [Star45] Sails - colors

I have built US One Meter sails from spinnaker cloth purchased from Sailrite.

I used .5 oz which is only available in red, white, and blue, but .75 oz is available in a multitude of colors.

The part I like best about these materials is you can buy a role of C3 spinnaker tape (pricey at $25.00) and build a set of sails without sewing a stitch.

They actually use C3 to tape together the body seams of full scale spinnakers so I'm pretty sure it can take just about anything a model can throw at it.

I've built two sets of sails and only used about 10% of my role of tape so that $25.00 will go a long way.

At about $12.00 a yard, spinnaker cloth is twice the cost of fabric store ripstop, but spinnaker cloth is coated with resin that makes it far more stable and eliminates all porosity (wind can blow right through ripstop). I also haven't tried using C3 on plain ripstop, so I can't say how the bond will hold up.

For cutting fabric like this I'd use a hot knife. I bought a $4.00 40watt soldering iron at the local mega-mart, removed the tip, hammered it flat, and put it back in. Cutting works best over a smooth heat resistant surface. I use my glass topped kitchen table (when my wife's not home).

Friday, April 20, 2007

[Star45] Update on planking bottom with edge glueing.

[Star45] Update on planking bottom with edge glueing.

John Fisher is ready { 4/19/2007 } to glass his latest boat and is sharing how he planked it. His dad built a ply sided, cedar planked star using titebond II and it came out pretty light and stiff. With this information I started to build another hull using the same materials. He felt that edge gluing the planks added a lot of the strength to his boat. John didn't want to glue in extra wood to hold the pins to keep the planks in place for the glue to dry, so I combined two methods of planking. John liked the quickness of planking with CA and kicker, but it lacked stiffness when sanding the bottom before glassing. So he decided to edge glue the planks and then tack them in place to the frames with CA.

In this photo you can see where John put drops of CA on the planks. The wood is slightly darker.

It worked well. John has an edge glued bottom and he was able to plank it in one evening. To do this John first spray the frames with kicker, then apply titebond III to the edge of the planks. He then would hold the plank in place, tight against the previous plank, and apply a drop of CA to each frame to hold it in place. It did not matter where John started, bow, stern, or middle, but do make sure the CA has set up before moving to the next frame. Once the whole plank was in place he came back and wiped off the extra titebond. To fair the bottom to the sides he used a $10, 6" plane from home depot set at .010" depth of cut. It quickly removed the cedar and a little sanding finished the job.

John had one plank that was too thin that he had to remove, it was harder than expected. He had the use quite a bit of force to break the glue joint at each frame, so he is confident that this method is strong. John will also use this for balsa planked bottoms.

In photo # 10 you can see the stern still needs to be trimmed and sanded. John will probably use a saw to trim in close and then sand to fair it.

Star 45 DECK John Fisher 4/19/2007

4/19/2007 John Fisher just finished the deck rigging last night on his latest boat. The boat is set up pretty simple. Open loop with elastic. Winch is below deck, but the same rigging setup can be used with an on deck winch, just substitute a turning block for the through deck block.

The sheets go forward to a block on a bridle for the main sheet. The jib sheet and elastic go through a double block attached to the chain plate to keep things from rubbing on the mast, then through an adjustable double block forward. The jib sheet then goes back to a deck mounted block. The elastic is then hooked to a loop on deck. John put a hook in the elastic so he can release tension when in storage.

Chain plates and mast step are laid out per Scott Rowlands tuning guide.

In tweaker photo bellow you can see the tweaker servo and winch mount.