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Thread: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I've got access to a tractor with a backhoe, so I don't think it'd be too hard to rig up a sling from a piece of line with two big bowlines on either end to go around the hull. I figure I can just lift it a few inches off the trailer without too much trouble. I do a fair bit of deer hunting and keep putting off getting a hanging scale, so maybe this will be the motivation. I would be interested in knowing the weight, if only to satisfy my curiosity.

    I didn't think about the volume increase being so large on your boat, I bet it feels completely different to sail.


    I've got a few modifications I want to make before I take it out again in the spring:

    1. Rig up a brail line. I've got a boom and am debating whether the brail line should go throat -> clew -> throat -> down, or throat -> leech grommet -> throat -> down and pivot the boom up by hand, or throat -> clew -> throat -> leech grommet -> throat -> down. I feel like the last option would do the best job of gathering everything up securely, but it would result in over 50' of line as it's basically a 4:1 pulley system.

    Every time I've launched I've had trouble getting blown back into the dock before I get going, so I'm hoping a brail system will let me row out to a clear spot, open up the sails and quit looking like a fool haha.

    2. I need to reshape the jaw/boom connection and leather it better. Currently the boom rubs the varnish off the mast if it angles up any at all.

    3. A tiller extension would be nice so I can sit closer to the main thwart and get better fore and aft trim. I also want to experiment with a vang up to the end of the sprit that Ross talks about here. That would require a fairlead and cleat added to the tiller. I'm especially interested to get some GPS data on how much the vang helps.

    There's a bunch of other little things, but those three would be a nice start.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    One of the problems I’ve had with the spritsail is that it’s a little hard to get hoisted and set up correctly. The main issue stems from the fact that the snotter fouls on the sail’s lacing. What I’ve been doing is to hoist the sail, attach the snotter to the correct location on the mast with a rolling hitch, slip the notch on the sprit into the peak lacing, reeve the snotter through the sprit tackle, and finally tension and cleat it off. While all this is going on, my boat is banging itself into the dock or the sails are getting caught against the top of pilings. Clearly there must be a better way and eventually I read about a brail line which bundles the sail up against the mast. This will allow me to row out a bit before unfurling the sail and hopefully save my paint job.





    Open vs brailed.





    A closer view of the brail line setup. A light line runs on the far side of the sail from the halyard bowline to a grommet on the leech. After coming through the grommet, it goes on the outside of the sprit and back up to a 1" diameter stainless ring tied in the halyard bowline. Then it runs down the mast to a cleat. The leech grommet should be the same distance from the peak grommet as the throat grommet is from the peak grommet.





    A closeup of the throat. I kept everything tied into the halyard bowline to try and prevent as much stress on the sail as possible. I also added a patch at the leech grommet that folds around the leech to hopefully spread out the stress.





    A closeup of the brail line in action.


    Currently I’ve only tried this without the boom because I need to reshape the jaw/boom connection a bit. But I expect I can just push the boom up by hand while I’m brailing up the sail and wrap the brail line around it to bundle everything together.





    While I was busy working on rigging everything, my shop helper was busy checking out the accommodations in the foc’sle.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Originally I left the boom cylindrical at the end and glued a strip of leather around the inside of the jaws. This works ok until the boom angles upwards or downwards and then the cylindrical section digs into the mast and chips the varnish off. So I removed the leather and chiseled back the boom to provide some clearance.



    Then I cut out a new piece of leather with some tabs that cover the beveled parts, both top and bottom. I used warm water to shape the leather and then glued it in place with contact cement. Most people tack their leather on with copper tacks, but I’m trying to avoid as many holes in the wood as I can. The contact cement on the previous strip of leather was working really well, we'll see how this one holds up.



    A huge source of frustration has been creases in the sail due to the snotter sliding down the mast. This causes the sprit to slide down and takes tension out of the head of the sail resulting in big diagonal creases from the throat to the clew. I finally got around to cutting out a little hook and epoxying it onto the mast at the right height for the snotter. It's a little taller than it needs to be, I think the next time I need to do a lot of varnishing I'll trim 3/8" off.



    With those improvements, I set everything up in the driveway to see how the brail line would work with the boom installed. It works ok, although the main sheet has to be untied and out of the blocks. Maybe I should make the blocks clip onto the boom with carabiners or something so it's easy to install, yet the line can stay reeved.



    Setting it up in the yard isn't much fun, so today I took it out for a spin. Once I get the pictures edited I'll do a writeup on the trip. The 10-15mph wind and 80 weather mostly failed to materialize, but it was still a worthwhile trip.


  4. #74
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    A beautiful and inspiring project. Happy sailing season!

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Sweet!
    Jay

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Here's some pictures of the latest round of improvements.


    When I was building the boat, I decided to epoxy some 6″ long by 3/4″ diameter naval bronze round bar into the mast partner to act as belaying pins. Ross’s plans show two holes, so that’s all that I originally drilled. Two pins might be ok with a balanced lug, but it soon gets quite cramped up there with the sprit rig. I’ve been putting the jib halyard and snotter on the port pin, and the main halyard, downhaul, and brail line on the starboard pin. Finally I’ve decided it’s just getting too disorganized and cluttered so I added a second pair of pins.





    I drilled the holes with a brace and bit because I thought it might be a little easier to get the angle right since it drills slower. I could drill down a bit and then stand back and look at the angle of the drill bit compared to the two originals. I managed to get it pretty close. Before epoxying, I scuffed up the gluing surface of the bronze with a 36 grit sanding pad on an oscillating tool. I haven’t had any trouble with the original ones coming loose, so hopefully I’ll have the same experience with these. The brace and bit came from my great-grandfather who worked at a small shipyard in the early 1900’s. It’s been a while since it’s been used on a boat!





    Much more tidy! From left to right I have the jib halyard, downhaul (tail of main halyard), main halyard + brail line, and finally the snotter. I think this setup is working pretty well. Eventually I want to run a dedicated downhaul and the snotter back to the cockpit so I can adjust the set of the sail, but I’m still mulling out that arrangement in my head. That will free up a pin for the brail line and one extra. I've been thinking about a topsail someday down the road which might need a belaying pin.





    Another improvement I’ve made is a 316 stainless steel catch and protective pad to hold the centerboard in the up position. I welded it from some 3/16″ x 1″ flat bar and 1/4″ round bar. I countersunk the mounting holes on both sides, one for the #8 screws and the other side for a wad of butyl tape. Previously I looped the line on the handle around the centerboard pivot bolt which was awkward at best.



  7. #77
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    My apologies that there's no woodworking in this update, but there will be some coming! Anyway, deer season is over, Christmas gifts have all been made and distributed, the Redskins are out of the playoffs... I guess it's time to get the boat ready for spring!


    Unfortunately the original mast partner cracked when my wife and I took the boat down to Hatteras last year. It rained every day we were there and I think the moisture caused the wood to swell around the bronze belaying pins and crack. This is the second time this has happened, so clearly a better solution is needed. Since I do metal work for a living, I decided to make a new partner out of aluminum.





    I CNC plasma cut out a new mast partner from 1/4″ aluminum plate and bent up the sides from 1/4″ flat bar with a press brake. The circular part is a piece of pipe I split and flattened out a bit. All of the side pieces were annealed with a cutting torch prior to bending, otherwise they’d probably crack. Coat the pieces with soot from the acetylene flame, then turn the oxygen on and heat until the soot burns off. That will leave the aluminum soft enough to bend 90.





    Next I TIG welded the seams around the outside and also the seam between the circular part and the flat bar. I plan to have four belaying pins in the same positions as the original. The 5th hole next to the notch for the mast is for a piece of pipe so I can lead the snotter line back to the cockpit.





    After trimming the sides to size I worked on the rear plate which will attach the whole thing to the boat. I went back and forth between whether the bolts should be welded to the mast partner or if the bolts should thread into the partner… but eventually decided this way would be easier to repair in the future. Also you can see the piece of pipe that forms the passage for the snotter line through the partner.



  8. #78
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I smoothed out all the welds with a flap disc in an angle grinder and then gave it a good sanding with a random orbital sander. I used my mill to smooth out the welds inside the notch for the mast.





    Next I cut some 3/4″ round bar to 6″ long and chamfered the ends for the belaying pins.





    After welding them on I ran a ball endmill around the threaded holes to about .020″ deep to make a slight groove to give the butyl tape somewhere to go.





    All ready for the next time I have some stuff ready to powder coat at work. I think I’m going to have it coated green to match the coaming and shear stripe on the boat.



  9. #79
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Before this post, I didn't even know how incomplete my life was. Now I see I need a metal shop.
    Very, very cool. I'd love to see more like this.

    James

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Thanks James, a metalworking shop really can open up some new possibilites!


    So next up is fixing the birdsmouth mast which developed some split glue joints at the same time my mast partner cracked. The mast has been decidedly octagonal ever since I made it, so I first spent some time with a planer and sandpaper getting it closer to round. I also trimmed down the hook that holds the snotter to be as short as possible while I was at it. At this point the cracks were just barely noticeable.





    Next I took the mast inside since it's way too cold to do any epoxy work in the shop. After 24 hours the worst cracks have opened up to ~1/16" wide and others are just wide enough to get the tip of a knife into. I know I didn't do the best job when I made the mast and the cracked spots are all starved for epoxy. The areas that got enough are still holding great though.







    How would you go about fixing this? I'm thinking of leaving the mast for a week or so to let the cracks open up as much as possible, then fill the tiny cracks with unthickened epoxy and the large cracks with thickened epoxy.


    Or would it be better to kerf the tiny cracks with a oscillating saw and use thickened epoxy? I have a feeling Bruce would approve...

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    i went back to the mast making pics and don't see evidence of coating the joined pieces w/ unthickened epoxy prior to spreading the thickened stuff

    IMHO both surfaces to be joined are to be coated w/ unthickened pox then the thickened stuff is to be spread on both pieces also

    the precoating w/ the unthickened pox aids in preventing starved joints

    maybe the pics just didn't show it if you did

    just an observation from a long range armchair observer/know it all

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Damn SWEET mast partner!

    Great work.

    -Derek

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    You're definitely right Steve, the joint will get some unthickened epoxy before the thickened. I *think* I brushed on some unthickened when I made the mast, but I'm not quite sure. Mainly what I remember is that it was about 95, I had a melting cup of smoking epoxy, I ran out of zip ties, and my rubber gloves broke.


    This evening I marked all 47 suspect areas with painters tape and kerfed them with an oscillating saw. It was surprising how many of these had a crumbly surface layer but big voids underneath. I'll probably fill the cracks in two or three sessions so the epoxy won't run out when it's upside down.





    Thanks Derek, I don't expect to have any more trouble with the mast partner! haha

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Jeff, bummer on all the epoxy holidays in the hollow mast joinery. I hope you can squeeze enough epoxy into those joints to do some good. Try a small plastic epoxy spreader to go over each "hole" over and over to squeegee as much epoxy into each crack the best you can, is all I can think of.

    To round out your mast, I suggest making one of these "spool" sander jigs to fit in a drill motor. I used 4" PVC, 4.5" wide, sandwiched between 2 circular pieces of plywood, and stuck on some rubber to the PVC to give it some grip on the inverted 24" 40G (to start) sanding belt (I've used both 3" and 4" wide belts. I work my way up to 120G. Takes about 30 minutes total to take a 32-sided spar to completely round and smooth.
    spool_sander.jpg
    . boom_sanding.jpg

    There are more pics of this here, if you scroll down a bit.. http://brownz.com/phoenix-iii-construction-blog/

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Gary, I managed to fill all the gaps and that's pretty much how I did it. I did two seams at the time so gravity was always pulling the mixture into the crack. I used a thin putty knife to scoop in some unthickened epoxy and then I came back and troweled in the thickened until it wouldn't take anymore. Plus a bit of poking and prodding to make sure there were no air bubbles. Currently I've got 5 coats of spar varnish on but it's slow going due to the weather. When it's freezing cold during the winter I'm wishing it was summer, and when it's blazing hot during the summer I'm wishing it was winter!


    No pictures, but the mast partner is at the powder coater being painted Battlefield Green which will hopefully match the green paint that's on the boat, and I've stripped the paint on the centerboard case and thwarts in preparation for some epoxy work. I'm going to add a pad to the centerboard case for some cleats for the snotter and downhaul. And I'm finally going to put some ledgers on the thwarts that will carry the side benches. I really should have done this when I was building the boat...

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I think you're about there on the varnish. I put 6 coats on my mast and it looks fine. I dont want it too slippery so the snotter doesnt slide. I don't have thumb cleats for it.

    Yep, I did the same thing, put pads with cam cleats on both sides of centerboard case. One side for snotter and the other for boom downhaul.

    Your mast partner shouldn't ever break again, that's for sure! Nice job on that. I'm not much of a metal worker. Wish I had that skill.. need to take a class.
    Last edited by garyb; 02-13-2021 at 08:33 PM.

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I really like the side benches. I think that'll be a good addition. Stow an extra plank under each bench and you'll have a full-width sleeping platform. Easy to strap the planks together with the cleat in the middle to hold them both in place.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  18. #88
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    @Tom - Not sure if you comment on side benches is for me or Jeff. I don't plan to be sleeping on this boat, but some people have made a platform across there to sleep on. Your idea would work.

    @Jeff - Speaking of snotter rigging, I plan to just wrap something around the mast for now, but perhaps we can share ideas on how to improve that. Ben Fuller shared some ideas with me that may be helpful. I don't want to hijack your thread with that discussion, but we could talk off-line.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by garyb View Post
    @Tom - Not sure if you comment on side benches is for me or Jeff. I don't plan to be sleeping on this boat, but some people have made a platform across there to sleep on. Your idea would work.
    I was responding to Jeff, but I think the side benches are a great option even if not sleeping aboard. I know Ross Lillistone says he prefers to sit on the keelson with no side benches, but I find the benches are better for me. You can slide forward (no CB in the way) or backward for optimal fore-and-aft trim, and it's nice to have the feet lower than your seat for long days at the tiller.

    They do work great for sleeping aboard as well:

    sleeping platform.jpg

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I was responding to Jeff, but I think the side benches are a great option even if not sleeping aboard. I know Ross Lillistone says he prefers to sit on the keelson with no side benches, but I find the benches are better for me. You can slide forward (no CB in the way) or backward for optimal fore-and-aft trim, and it's nice to have the feet lower than your seat for long days at the tiller.

    They do work great for sleeping aboard as well:

    sleeping platform.jpg

    Tom
    Ah Tom, so you built one too. Cool. Do you have a website with pics? I've learned some things from Jeff's site. Wish I had known about it earlier during our build.

    I agree that side benches are great. I made ours adjustable in and out so if sitting on the side deck you can slide them to the outside, more under the deck so they don't clash with your calves. Or, slide them inward toward center to sit on.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by garyb View Post
    Ah Tom, so you built one too. Cool. Do you have a website with pics? I've learned some things from Jeff's site. Wish I had known about it earlier during our build.

    I agree that side benches are great. I made ours adjustable in and out so if sitting on the side deck you can slide them to the outside, more under the deck so they don't clash with your calves. Or, slide them inward toward center to sit on.

    Nope, I haven't built one--that's my brother's Phoenix III, which he built and launched in 2011. I've borrowed it a bunch for lots of solo trips, and have also done a fair bit of sailing with him as well. A few trip threads here in case you're interested:

    North Channel

    Georgian Bay

    Lake Nipigon

    Wisconsin

    The build isn't documented anywhere as far as I know, but it's a great boat.
    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Gary, no worries about hijacking... it's good for all this stuff to be out there. I think it's a lost cause trying to attach the snotter with a rolling hitch around a varnished mast, at least I haven't had much luck. I'm going to try a really low profile thumb cleat this year, although I'm still drawn to the idea of attaching the snotter to the main halyard.


    I'm also planning to slightly rework the snotter. Right now I cow hitch it around the mast and then it catches on the thumb cleat. I think it'd be nice if it had a toggle in it so I could get it off the mast without having to unthread the entire thing through the heel of the sprit.


    As far as reefing, I'm thinking a lanyard or something that catches on the thumb cleat to lower the snotter the same distance as the line of reefs is from the foot of the sail.




    Tom, the sleeping platform is the main goal of this endeavor. I rather like sitting on an extra life preserver on the floor and leaning up against the side deck, but hopefully the side bench will be comfortable too. I did enough daysailing last year to really gain confidence in the boat and get an idea of how far I can go in a day, so this year I'm going to try to do some weekend trips. I've got a few ideas in mind so far. If it all goes wrong I'm blaming you for inspiring me to try this sail and oar business!

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Thanks Jeff. I don't understand how a snotter halyard would be held against the mast at the right point so it pulls on the sprit at the proper angle and location to bisect the main sail correctly. Would like some more detail on thoughts on that. I did see this pic from slidercat but hard to tell if the halyard is outside most hoops and then going under one at the location he wants to have the snotter pop out at. ?? Is that how you see it?

    @Tom. Ah yes, I did stumble onto your site once with these trips documented. Great stuff!

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Here's a drawing that hopefully helps. The snotter attaches to a mast traveller which is held at the correct distance from the throat of the sail by a "snotter positioner line" which attaches to the main halyard. The "snotter positioner line" could be its own halyard for adjustability, but I don't see why that's necessary once you've determined the correct spot.


    I could see the mast traveller might want to tip and jam, so maybe the snotter positioner line would feed through the inside of the upper robands instead of off to the side. Or maybe you'd need to double the line, carry it down both sides of the sail, and attach it to the traveller at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions, assuming the snotter attaches at 12 o'clock. Actually the more I think about it, it might work best if you connect one line directly to the attachment point for the snotter.


    I'm pretty sure this is similar to how Slider Cat has it set up, except he uses a dedicated halyard. This method should allow you to reef, yet keep the same sprit angle no matter where the sail is on the mast. I would make the snotter block detachable from the mast traveller and use toggles on the robands to get the sail off the mast. And mark the sail so I'd know which pair of robands to put the mast traveller between when rigging it back up.

    Last edited by The Jeff; 02-15-2021 at 11:00 AM.

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Ah yes, now I remember you describing this before, with the mast traveler. Very clear picture, btw. thanks.

    Would you make your jib block a double block to take the snotter position line in addition? Or add another block, or?

    Is the snotter position line attached to the aft side of snotter traveler intentionally? Seems that could cause it to jam, pulling up on one side and down on the other. Maybe that's a feature, not a bug.. Alternatively, the snotter position line could attach to the traveler on forward side, so that the tension on the traveler is up and down on the same side of the ring. Then, if you're sharing a block with the jib, this line would be on the forward side of mast where it would want to be anyway, otherwise it's wrapping around to the aft side.

    I have a goal of keeping the main sail bundled up at the bottom of the mast, when I bring it all down, for quicker rigging/setup each time I go out. In this case, the snotter traveler ring could also stay on the mast, in the right position between robands.

    Seems like this could work Jeff. Worth of try. I like that it gives "infinite" adjustability to the snotter position, on the fly, and facilitates reefing too. Just have another halyard to deal with, which does complicate main sail raising a little, but maybe you just raise the main first, and then tighten slack out of the snotter position after.

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    The other idea, I had been toying with was to install a track on aft side of mast for the main sail to raise/lower on slides. This would leave the forward side of mast clear for another track or something for the snotter position. Ben Fuller suggested that, potentially, if the main sail track is mounted on stand-offs, maybe a snotter line (I was thinking maybe a loop of rope like a grommet) could wrap around the mast under the back side of track between stand-offs. I toss this out just to spur thought, not that anyone has tried it or is thinking of doing it.

    I may try your idea first - seems simpler. And, I've made a mast traveler before and know how to make another one, but with 2 closed rings (for attaching halyard and snotter block, instead of a hook on the bottom, like I have on the other I had to hoist a yard on a balanced lug.

  27. #97
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I hadn't thought of using a double block for the jib and snotter positioner since I've just got a low friction ring up there. But I think it'd probably work well since the line will run down the front of the mast and be easier to attach to the snotter block. Plus the mast traveller shouldn't want to jam as easily.


    I'm not sure how adjustable it really needs to be. At most you can only move it maybe a foot or so between robands, and after a quick CAD model, that is only a ~3.5 change in angle. That's why I was considering making it attach to the main halyard so it's set and forget. If you go for a track you'll have way more adjustability.


    If you're going to bundle the sail up at the base of the mast, I think you'll want to figure out some way to easily get the sprit up. It's pretty long and it can be tough trying to spear the loop of line in the peak of the sail. Instead of a loop you might want to tie a long line on the peak and run it through a beehole in the end of the sprit down to a cleat near the heel. That way you can get everything ready inside the boat before sending it all up.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post
    Tom, the sleeping platform is the main goal of this endeavor. I rather like sitting on an extra life preserver on the floor and leaning up against the side deck, but hopefully the side bench will be comfortable too. I did enough daysailing last year to really gain confidence in the boat and get an idea of how far I can go in a day, so this year I'm going to try to do some weekend trips. I've got a few ideas in mind so far. If it all goes wrong I'm blaming you for inspiring me to try this sail and oar business!
    Well, I'll take a bit of the initial blame if you insist. But if you're still dumb enough to keep doing it after your 40+ mile trips last year, that's on YOU!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  29. #99
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Aloha, Oregon, USA
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    105

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post
    I hadn't thought of using a double block for the jib and snotter positioner since I've just got a low friction ring up there. But I think it'd probably work well since the line will run down the front of the mast and be easier to attach to the snotter block. Plus the mast traveller shouldn't want to jam as easily.

    I'm not sure how adjustable it really needs to be. At most you can only move it maybe a foot or so between robands, and after a quick CAD model, that is only a ~3.5 change in angle. That's why I was considering making it attach to the main halyard so it's set and forget. If you go for a track you'll have way more adjustability.
    Now I understand.. your snotter position line is really just attached to the halyard at the throat, and is fixed, so it raises to a specific height, and lowers with the throat when reefing - I get it. I don't see why that wouldn't work, although I'd like to be able to adjust the snotter position for different wind conditions. Maybe in this boat it doesn't matter. We race sailboats and are always looking to get the sails just right, and it bugs us when they aren't and we can't adjust them. You've given me great ideas though - I can finally see at least one way I'll be comfortable setting this rig up, to start. thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post
    If you're going to bundle the sail up at the base of the mast, I think you'll want to figure out some way to easily get the sprit up. It's pretty long and it can be tough trying to spear the loop of line in the peak of the sail. Instead of a loop you might want to tie a long line on the peak and run it through a beehole in the end of the sprit down to a cleat near the heel. That way you can get everything ready inside the boat before sending it all up.
    I was thinking of using lazy jacks, like on our morbic, to hold the boom, sprit and main sail all bundled on top of the boom, while backing the boat down the ramp and getting ready to launch. I like Ben Fuller's idea to tie the sprit to the peak, so it can't come off on it's own. When you hoist the main, the sprit dangles in place until you tighten the snotter. Still thinking through this. But the lazy jacks on the morbic make it super easy to set up and launch. I keep them just loose enough that they don't ever affect sail shape.

  30. #100
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    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    231

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    It would be interesting to see how the sprit angle changes performance. I think you'd be better off with tracks since the 3.5 roband limit doesn't seem like enough to make much difference. Also look into a vang for the sprit. I haven't tried one yet, but everything I've read says it measurably increases performance.


    I see how you plan to raise and lower the sail and it sounds pretty good to me. I think as the sail comes down the heel of the sprit will swing out about 22" past the bow. You know, you're starting to convince me that this might be worth experimenting with. I've had good luck with the brail line, but it would be nice to not have all that windage up there.



  31. #101
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
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    10,228

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Well, now, that's interesting. I sailed with a couple of boomless spritsails, but didn't use a halyard at all. If the mast was up, the sail was up. It'll be fun to watch how this more complicated, but perhaps more versatile system, works out for you.

    Have you been in touch with Ross Lillistone at all? He might well be interested in what you're trying out here.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  32. #102
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Aloha, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    @Jeff - Good point on the 3.5 degree thing, if adjustment on the snotter position is limited to within roband spacing. Hum.. have to think about that more. The thing that dissuades me from a track on forward side of mast for a snotter adjustment is that the small tracks and slides are not designed to take such a high point load outward. I think tightening up the sprit with snotter would just rip the slide right out of the track.

    My question is how much adjustment (up/down) on the snotter is enough to fine tune the sail? Is it sensitive to 1 inch of position change? 3"? 5"? I need to just get out and sail this boat and get a feel for it, then I will be able to contribute more to this. As soon as it warms up, just a little more..

    I hadn't thought of a vang on the sprit. What problem are they trying to solve with it? Seems that pulling down on peak would create a lot of vertical cross section draft (for lack of knowing what this would be called). You really want to pull down on the boom to help flatten the sail, to reduce the twist at the top, so you don't spill so much wind, when sailing downwind (if it's not blowing too hard). Upwind you just crank on boom downhaul and main sheet, to reduce twist. These sails inherently have a lot of twist, and with the fixed position for main sheet swivel (no traveler) there really isn't much other adjustment that can be done.

    I love the discussion though, thanks! I just need an initial set up. Hope to get out real soon.

  33. #103
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    Mar 2017
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    Aloha, Oregon, USA
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    105

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Well, now, that's interesting. I sailed with a couple of boomless spritsails, but didn't use a halyard at all. If the mast was up, the sail was up. It'll be fun to watch how this more complicated, but perhaps more versatile system, works out for you.

    Have you been in touch with Ross Lillistone at all? He might well be interested in what you're trying out here.

    Tom
    I definitely need to have a main halyard, to be able to drop the sail quickly. My daughter is getting this boat and where she sails and wind can pick up in a hurry. I was out once with her and a squall came across the lake before we could get off. Wind went from 6-7 to a peak over 50 just like that. it was ferocious! (we were on an Oday 26, but this Phoenix 15 would have been in real trouble) Here's the sail flow chart for the day.. I wouldn't be comfortable with her out there and no way to drop the sail without unstepping the mast. We have on-the-water reef capability as a design goal for the same reason.
    utah_lake_wind.jpg

    I tried reaching out to Ross once, way back, but got no reply. He retired from boat-building and I think he checked out of responding to his facebook group, and other correspondence, as far as I can tell. I'd love to get his input on it.

  34. #104
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,228

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Hmm... A couple of thoughts that may or may not be useful for you:

    1. I think it may actually be faster to lift an entire mast and sprit rig out of a step and lay it in the boat than it would be to reef a spritsail. Something to consider, maybe.

    2. If on-the-water reefing capacity is a priority, then you might be happier with the 76 sq ft balance lugsail option. Probably too late for that, though.

    Anyway, it sounds like you know what you are doing, and why. I'll be interested to see how it works out. Sorry to hear that you haven't been able to connect with Ross, but I can understand that "retired" might actually mean "retired"!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  35. #105
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Good point with the track not being up to the task of holding the snotter tension... I've never used a track. I really don't know what the ideal height of the snotter should be and how much performance you'll lose if it's off X degrees. I tend to think ideally the sprit should bisect the peak's angle, but that's clearly not how Ross has it drawn. It's probably a compromise to keep the sprit the same length as the mast. If you look at Thames barges their sprit goes right down to the tack and are consequently much longer than the mast. But even they don't appear to bisect the angle perfectly.


    I think if you get the snotter height within a foot of the right place on the mast it should be ok. The main factor I've found is the snotter tension which controls the peak of the sail and thus how flat or full it is. I tried to put my sprit about as low as it would go yet still have adjustment for the snotter tension. This helps keep the heel from sticking out so much and catching the jib.


    From what I've read, the sprit vang is not pulling the sprit down so much as it is keeping it from twisting around. For example, if you're running and let the boom out to 90, the sprit will swing forward of the mast and you might get a death roll. If you have a vang, you can pull the sprit back in to 90. Maybe a boom vang would do the same thing and sprit vangs were just invented earlier... you definitely see them in old paintings. Then again those were boomless Dutch boats, so who knows!


    I tend to think reefing is something to do before setting out, although with a movable snotter mast traveler it might work on the water better than my current setup. My plan is to first drop the jib, then scandalize the main, then drop it altogether. Or go to the dark side and make a lug


    Hopefully these ramblings will come in useful to someone in the future! haha

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