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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:16 am 
Dear Sirs,

After sailing a new Kodiak under Folbot sail I'd like to get other people's viewpoints on a few topics.

1. Time needed for assembly, rinsing and disassembly on the same day seemed longish to me.

2. Impression under sail is exhilarating, a bit like riding a stradivarius on turquoise water, or that sort of thing, though I lack experience for that matter. Well, you follow my drift, I'm elated. In other word, I'd wish anyone on this good forum to try it at least once. :lol:

3. Rudder incident: larboard shackle on the rudder stainless steel tiller unscrewed, and I felt line was moot when I was trying to get out of a fjord against strong winds on a lake, with several cruisers messing around, and a capsized dinghy on the top of it. I've now replaced shackle with a bent cotter pin, but at the moment I could get out on shallow grounds and run the line into the perforation thru tiller, and could get back to the car. Wind so strong downwind that all the fore deck was shiny with showering water. :shock: Boom had gone before mast and could not bring it back. Amazing apparent speed. Real speed unknown. Unable to the spot the car for minutes. Glad that on this very forum advice I had bought a Kodiak not Yukon that has mast too close to the bow!On dry land I saw metal rudder yoke had eaten up half of line line thickness, dammit!
One also wonders if new rudder blade's better for sailing than narrower, previous model. Perhaps better at good speed, worse when tacking which is done at low speed. :?:

4. In addition to the risk of gibing, the main sheet is minuscule. It goes into a pair of small clam cleats you have fit to the long coaming sides yourself :roll: The coaming side is hollow and could pahbly not support a larger fitting. When the pull is too strong esp. downwind sheet saws hands so you need gloves, a piece of garment seemmingly unappropriate in summer.
I picked a pair of Ronstan cleats instead that have a ring to the fore, so that I can add another sheet to ease tacking, like you tack a jibsail with one lee sheet tight and one weather sheet idle, so the idle sheet stays in the ring and close to the clam. :idea:
It's much more efficient to let the weather side sheet on though, if you wanna get closer to the wind, but it's not so goos safety- and comfortwise. Problem comes from impossibility to set the sheet amidship between your legs like in dinghies. And sheet still is too thin. :x

5. Boom is set low, 8 or 10" lower than luff. Why? one wonders. Perhaps the pull would be too hard on minuscule sheet and cleat from a longer distance? As a result my head got banged umpteen times at each cruise that's one more too often eh? :roll: Or would it alter the balance on shorter models like Yukon? In August I wouldn't wear a helmet either. :lol: Let alone negative consequences on IQ.
Or should I try to set the boom higher up on the mast nevertheless? That wouldn't hamper visibility to the lee side anyway.
One relative advantage is that you can lay one arm over the boom to take it closer to you to sail closer to the wind, but you get tired of this after a while.

6. Realized steel hook that fits transverse yoke to coaming had torn existing perforations of the coamings. Those two holes to the fore of the coamings' longer sides had grown to a keyhole shape. Steel is harder than aluminium, and on a reach the mast sets at a different angle than normal static 90°, let's say 100° on weather side and 80° on lee side. Mast also bends aft, so smaller part of keyhole is oriented NW on right coaming and NE on the left. It's larger on the right side perhaps cuz it's the leeboard side, or cuz I sailed more often on a right tack.
Good people from Charleston are sendind replacements, thanks to them. :D
Yet you'd ask, why not build stronger parts to begin with?
I snugged a pair of brass washers into the void of each coaming just where the hook comes thru dem, though brass just like alu still is weaker than steel. Am considering adding stays but I guess I'd have to fit them to mast top to transverse yoke, the one that supports floaters.(Sorry can't recall difference tween akas ans amas.)? to be reinforced with nuzzer pair of shrouds fitted horizontally to yoke to top of station 3.
Cutting out a triangular panel into thin PHDE could be better, set triangle upside down, pointed end bolts to mast at boom's height, sides fit to yoke at the bottom.

7. One of the horseshoe latches that connect parts of flooring together broke for some reason and was replaced for peanuts by Folbot, but then again see § 6. (Those parts are made of thin black solid nylon, the broken part is the small el cheapo tab that stands proud and holds station 2 back in place.)

I hope you've had a good time paddling and sailing too.

Best regards,

Eric


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:29 pm 
Ahoy, Eric ;-)

You should visit the forum at http://www.folbot.com - they have a Yacht Club section, may be you'll get more useful suggestions. From my observations, more Folbot owners are using Balogh sails on their boats than Folbot upwind rig. There will be other problems that you'll discover later. I never had Folbot sail, but know other parts, so will answer some questions.

Quote:
1. Time needed for assembly, rinsing and disassembly on the same day seemed longish to me.

Together with the boat? Yes, of course. Any folder with upwind sail rig and outrigger is too much trouble to assemble and dissemble in one day (not to mention rinsing). With your boat and your rig it will take at least 50 minutes from closed bags to sailing off. You don't have to rinse it every time after fresh water - only after sea water.

Quote:
3. Rudder incident: larboard shackle on the rudder stainless steel tiller unscrewed, and I felt line was moot when I was trying to get out of a fjord against strong winds on a lake, with several cruisers messing around, and a capsized dinghy on the top of it. I've now replaced shackle with a bent cotter pin, but at the moment I could get out on shallow grounds and run the line into the perforation thru tiller

You mean steel yoke. Make sure the shackle pin is screwed all the way in. Very seldom had problem with those small shackles, but I have added a tiller to the steel yoke, to control the rudder by hand, so shackles were not important. The shackles were still functional, with steering lines connected to them, so I could use foot steering yoke any time (like a double steering on a car from driving school). I don't think that sailing long hours is possible without hand steering. Sailboy at the Folbot forum has come up with a hand steering system using a line on pulleys around the cockpit in GII - ask him. I have his photos too.

Quote:
On dry land I saw metal rudder yoke had eaten up half of line line thickness, dammit!

You've tied the line to the steel yoke, so this was to be expected. These lines are one of weak points of Folbot rudder system. They are not only unreliable, but also stretch too much, so you don't have a precise control of rudder position. Some people replaced nylon lines with steel cables in vinyl tubing. Dave Kruger here, probably, did.

Quote:
One also wonders if new rudder blade's better for sailing than narrower, previous model.

Don't know how different is new but the one that I had (2003?) had goofy, hanging back design, so-so for sailing and terribly big for paddling. It is not too big for sailing. I don't think it should be any smaller. But it is too wide, hanging tilted up, too far behind the stern, instead of hanging vertical, with blade longer yet narrower. Sailing rudder has to be "balanced" - vertical and with some blade area (5-10%) fore of the vertical pivot axis. Again, Sailboy had made a hydrofoil-shaped rudder (I think I have this photo too, but may be there is more news on Folbot forum since then - I haven't read it for long time).

Quote:
4. In addition to the risk of gibing, the main sheet is minuscule. It goes into a pair of small clam cleats you have fit to the long coaming sides yourself

Clam cleats are good for jib, but not for main sail sheet. Again, check Sailboy arrangements for his fore mast on GII (he's got 2 masts, it's a schooner, both masts are Balogh Sails). I don't remember Folbot original sheet diameter, but diameter 1/4" (6mm) is enough. You may try a thicker line - it's cheap.

Quote:
When the pull is too strong esp. downwind sheet saws hands so you need gloves, a piece of garment seemmingly unappropriate in summer.

I'm using REI Warmers gloves when sailing in heavy winds. They don't keep hands dry, but protect them from blisters. Good bicycle gloves may work too. Even though I rigged my sail with a "storm" rig (one more pulley, to ease the load), it still can be too much stress to hold it in heavy wind.

Quote:
5. Boom is set low, 8 or 10" lower than luff. Why? one wonders. Perhaps the pull would be too hard on minuscule sheet and cleat from a longer distance? As a result my head got banged umpteen times at each cruise that's one more too often eh?

Can't say, don't know the details of this sail, but 8" from boom to sail foot seems too much. Make it less if you can. Lifting the boom higher than you head is usually not practical - too much leaning moment, even with outriggers. Besides, you might not have enough mast length to lift the boom that high (considering Folbot sail sleeve).

Quote:
6. Realized steel hook that fits transverse yoke to coaming had torn existing perforations of the coamings.

You mean steel hook that fits crosstube midsection to the coaming. Yes, these hooks are some of bad ideas in Folbot rig. Make or buy plastic fittings similar to those by Balogh. They are easy to make from HDPE. Original Balogh fittings will have larger diameter (his crosstube is thicker than Folbot's).

Quote:
Mast also bends aft, so smaller part of keyhole is oriented NW on right coaming and NE on the left. It's larger on the right side perhaps cuz it's the leeboard side, or cuz I sailed more often on a right tack.
Good people from Charleston are sendind replacements, thanks to them. Yet you'd ask, why not build stronger parts to begin with?

They are fast at sending replacements. No kidding. And their parts are inexpensive. But I suggest you fix your mast to the crossbar more reliably (Folbot plastic U-bracket isn't good enough), and also get reliable fittings for crossbar-coaming joint that I mentioned before. Keep in mind that it's not a disaster for a mast to be tilted aft by a few degrees, no more than 5 deg. Tilted aft is better than tilted fore. But it has to remain in this position, not swaying back and forth all the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:47 pm 
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
Yup, that rudder line sucks. I bought a spool of harder-finish line and have been sending 30-foot segments off to other Folbot owners, for the postage. But, like Alex says, for sailing, you want stainless steel cable. Available at the marine supply store, complete with fittings to make end-loops, etc. But, a tiller will make you a lot happier, (Even I recogmize that ... and I don't sail!)

If you hit the Folbot Forum, check out Sailboy's posts. He really has sailing Folbots dialed in. His rudder is a thing of beauty and function. Definitely worth copying.

Also check out the modifications on this site. You will find some good suggestions on how to improve on the rudder system.

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:34 pm 
Thanks, some good ideas there again.
I wear bicycle mittens that don't protect the fingers, and had some push-pull tiller in mind but procrastinated. After reading your posts I'm thinking of a belt-and-suspenders fitting of steel cables and a tiller.
I sure was sorefooted after a few hours of steering arch-bent on those pedals so I wore boots, but even then had trouble correcting the route under sudden wind blows.
The mast sleeve actually, and paradoxically, stops at a 8-10" distance from the boom. :shock:


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