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Thread: Optimist sail needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Optimist sail needed

    Finished a schooner model and now lookin for a sail to grace an ole 8' V bottom FG dinghy I have to transform to a sailing dink. In my boat junk pile I have a CB, rudder with pintles, and a aluminum mast, just about the right length, numerous small blocks etc. I made the CB trunk,( not installed) mast step and thwart installed and plan to cut the aft end of the slot for the CB in the dinghy. about 39" from the mast and hope it balances out OK. I know the sail is out there somewhere, nothing fancy with all the roach I see but good enough to move the dink to hull speed.

    Thanks

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    There are people that sell second hand sails. Poke around in the web. Or, you could buy a sail kit from Sail Rite. They have a web site, then talk you wife into making it. Four and one half oz Dacron does not require an industrial sewing machine.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Well thanks to JohnW I got a lead on getting a Optimist sail for my "Dink to sail" project. The $ 89.99 sail arrived a while ago. cut by an outfit calling it self "Intensity sails .com" It appears to have a shape built in draft but will need to be re-stitched over at all points due to the existing stitching being too broad in my opinion. Did I get my money's worth ? I thinks so but time and useage will tell after the total reinforcement of all seams. What this will cost I don't know as yet. The spars I had intended for this conversion will be a bit too short. So I'm scarfing 6" into the end of the boom and made an entire new mast out of clear white pine and a longer sprit maybe bamboo. The images shows the sail hastily set up to kind have a look see, but will shoot new images with it all rigged on the dinghy with proper lengthen spars. I have no ides as to the weight of the dinghy but it must exceed the 77 lbs that the Optimist dink weighs. So how well this sail will power my FG dink, I can only guess but so what, it's all about being on the water even in a overweight snot boat. I'm thinking of cutting down on the dagger board as the mahogany one I have 3 and feet is sure a bit long and I might just sail loose footed for a start, when all is finished.

    JD

    Thanks John w againOptimist sail 1.jpgOptimist sail 2.jpgOptimist sail 3.jpg
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Thanks for the update. I look forward to performance reports.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Looks good! Thanks for the information on the quality, I've been thinking of buying from them for my next project.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    I've got about four Intensity Laser sails. Unless the Opti sails are sewn in a different way it appears all but impossible to tear the seams apart or cause any other big problem. On the Laser I'm smashing down on an 8:1 cunningham and the sail is fine, as they all are. I know many people with them and have never heard of a single stitching-related problem.

    While the Opti is a light boat, there are also Opti kids out there who train hiking hard in high winds, and there hasn't been any reports of the I-sails falling apart.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    When I was running sailing schools, I bought lots of Intensity sails, both for Lasers and Opti's. They go a lot of use and even more abuse. The intensity sails were more rugged than the class legal sails, I can't remember any problems.

    My college team just bought 6 new Flying Juniors, they came with North Sails made in Sri Lanka.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Thought I'd post images of the new Optimist sail and a jib cut by our own WB ( several years old) Forum sailmaker Todd B. for a comparison. Notice on his sail, a jib the stitches per inch and the double stitching along the seam near the 11" mark on the ruler. Now look at the single stitching and widely spaced on the Optimist sail. Which will last longer ?

    JD





    Opti sail & jib.jpgOpti sail # 2.jpg
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  10. #10
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    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    That's not terribly unusual for production sails. Mine tend to be overbuilt to some extent, though I'm proud to say that in the 36-ish years that I built sails, none of them ever came back because they were coming apart. Most of the seaming on production sails these days is three-step (one line of big zigs and zags made from multiple straight stitches). It allows them to sew the seam in one pass through the sewing machine, rather than two passes with a regular zig-zag, as most "recently traditional" sails have been built for quite a while. The three step substantially reduces labor time, though it isn't as strong.

    What is actually at least as important (or more important) from a seam strength standpoint is what is being used to baste the seams together, prior to sewing them. Dacron is too slick to just lay one piece on top of another and start running it through the machine. It will wander all over the place as you try to sew it down. In the early days, a small bead of silicone sealer was used to glue the panel seams together before sewing. We eventually graduated to double-sided basting tape, usually with a thin Mylar carrier. On premium sais, just about every seam anywhere on a sail is tape basted first. Within the fairly short time of a few days or weeks (called dwell time) the adhesive sets up, and what was originally just holding the cloth pieces in alignment for sewing actually becomes the main force holding the seam together. The sewing can rot away from UV over time and the tape bond alone will still be enough that peeling it apart will tear up the fabric. There are even a couple types of seam tape designed so that they can be used on some seams without any sewing at all.

    The bad news for production sailmaking is that tape basting the seams takes time, the materials, and a certain amount of skill. You are literally crawling around on the floor, on top of the sail, positioning the seam edges as you move along the seam, slowly aligning the panels, peeling the tape backing out and sticking the panels together. There really isn't any quickie way to do it. Enter the hot pinhole....... Take a small soldering iron and with a skinny tip that is about the size of a needle's shaft. Most of the production sails these days are computer cut and even the seaming lines are drawn on the cloth by the computer. You line up the two cloth panels along the seam line and go along melting them together with these little pin holes made by the hot iron every few inches.

    With careful handling, the pinhole basting is strong enough to get the sail rolled up and over to the sewing machine to be sewn. In terms of adding any seam strength to the sail, or reinforcement to the seam stitching though, the pinhole basting does virtually nothing. It's all up to the stitching. Add stuff like spray glue on the backs of corner patches to baste them and you can cut a lot of the labor out of sailmaking, though it doesn't always mean that they are bound to fall apart.

    I'd take it out and go sailing. They seem to have a pretty good warranty and folks here have had good luck with them. If it comes apart, send it back, but it may do OK.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2010
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    central cal
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Thanks for all the info, everyone. I think I like the duck punt enough to keep it, so I suppose I should get a real sail.
    I’ll see about gifting spirit hearing I need one.

    Peace,
    Robert

  12. #12
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    Christchurch NZ
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    I bought an Intensity opti sail in 2009 and it got used pretty hard by both kids - still going strong when I sold it . If anything the cloth was heavier than needed and it was took a bit of fiddling to get it to sit nicely, but this is likely to have changed. Mid winter Krait.jpg
    A bit more sprit tension required here

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    First thanks all on responding to my concerns about the stitching on the Optimist sail. I'm still tinkering with it all and here is what the sail looks like on the boat. I clamped the snotter to the mast to figure just where the snotter chock will be. The rig looks a bit low for me to easily duck under the boom when tacking so I might be scarfing in another foot to the mast height to bring up the boom or maybe just make another mast. My scheme for now is to explore regions inaccessible due to low bridges etc As shown all I have to do is release the sheet by means of a snap hook ( not hooked up yet)and swing the boom up parallel with the mast and pick it all up out of the step to lie down in the boat. Then paddle or drift under the bridge to erect it all on the other side. (Marine Viagra will help here) This vessel will eventually be for "OLIVE" a Gran daughter 2ys old and will be painted an olive color.
    When viewing the pix try to ignore the wagon on the port side. It's easier taking the boat in and out of the basement.

    BTW how did Optimist sailors deal with the main sheet before the ratchet block ?

    ThanksOptimist 55.jpg

    JD
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Having seen the boat, I can recommend simple modifications to make it easier to sail. Move the thwart/daggerboard trunk support forward to give you more room to sit in the bottom of the boat. Make the after thwart removable.

    When sailing, you sit in the bottom of these little boats, not on the thwarts. You won't have to lengthen the mast then, as it will be high over head.

    The rig looks perfect for the boat.

    And the sheet loads on these little boats are tiny.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    The first time your slide your hand along that overhanging seam tape and it cuts your fingernail away from your finger, you won't like it as near much. Todd's sails won't slice under your fingernail...


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    Having seen the boat, I can recommend simple modifications to make it easier to sail. Move the thwart/daggerboard trunk support forward to give you more room to sit in the bottom of the boat. Make the after thwart removable.

    When sailing, you sit in the bottom of these little boats, not on the thwarts. You won't have to lengthen the mast then, as it will be high over head.

    The rig looks perfect for the boat.

    And the sheet loads on these little boats are tiny.
    On my little boat, the thwart is at the center of buoyancy, so I can sit on the seat and just slide my butt across when I tack. The sheet leads from the stern, so I face the stern while I slide across, it's a lot easier on my old knees than sitting in the bottom.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    John Did it take long to get used to ducking that low boom ?


    I made a new mast 9' long. This will allow the rig to be hoisted higher on the mast raising the boom to allow my head more room and not be clunked. As I "train" myself to duck , maybe I will little by little cut some off the mast length to the point ducking the right amount on a lower rig will become easier..




    Optimist data


    For images click here https://northsails.com/sailing/en/re...hy-speed-guide
    For tuning guide click here.
    https://northsails.com/sailing/en/re...t-tuning-guide


    Researching the Optimist class is quite enlightening. Sailors sit for the ,most part not in the boat but on the gunwale. or the thwart, conditions permitting. Before each race Optimist sailors secure their rig to the expected weather / sea conditions T he many tuning guides( above ) on line relate to measurements in MM , like the ties of the luff to the mast varying in length allowing for mast bend etc. Nomenclature also is different in the tuning guides, "snotter" never mentioned at all Notice the 3 to 1 tackle for the main sheet another strong tackle for adjusting sprit tension. Varying mast and boom flexibility is also mentioned. I guess it all justifies the $5,500 price tag for a competitive boat cost. The result in the end for a well educated competitive sailor..... If you can afford it.


    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Optimist sail needed

    The sprit tensioner is the snotter. When I coached Oppies, I'd let them call it the snotter, but only amongst the class, part of the team building.

    Happy birthday.

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