Proud New Owner of S4

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Matthew B

Proud New Owner of S4

Post by Matthew B »

Thanks to the miracle of eBay I am now the proud owner of a virtually unused, but distinctly "classic" S4 rig: all wooden components with a very fine bit of cotton, beautifully stitched in red, for the sails. I'm in Maine, and its almost December, so I'm planning to spend the winter tinkering with the thing a bit. I'll try to learn how to sail it in the spring. So, in no particular order, here's the first round of questions:
1. The sail has a number of rust spots on it: any point in washing these off? And if so, how?
2. Several of the chromed brass sleeves that marry the spar halves together are corroded: how do I clean them off with minimal damage to the overall structure?
3. Several of the ropes are made of cotton of some kind. Any reason I should not replace any or all of them with nylon lines? Possibly even color coded so I can remember what bit of rope to pull at what time?
4. Several of the clips and rings are also looking somewhat crusty: Can I replace the existing fittings with stainless steel fittings?
5. The thoughts of the forum on hiking out seats, rudder/tiller modifications, and control boards would be most appreciated.

Thanks friends!

Alm

Re: Proud New Owner of S4

Post by Alm »

From non-Klepper sailing experience (and other experience):

>1. The sail has a number of rust spots on it: any point in washing these off? And if so, how?

Scars adorn a man. Or try any stain-remover that says "rust" among other things. There are dozens of them in Walmart, Safeway etc. Ask your wife or girlfriend. It's just a cotton fabric after all. Though, thick and rough fabrics like that are difficult to clean.

>3. Several of the ropes are made of cotton of some kind. Any reason I should not replace any or all of them with nylon lines?

No reason not to replace if it's worn out.

>Possibly even color coded so I can remember what bit of rope to pull at what time?

Yes. On mainsail I would go red for control line (sheeting line), and black for halyard and downhaul.

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krudave
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Astoria, OR

Re: Proud New Owner of S4

Post by krudave »

"Scars adorn a man."

I like that. Can I cop it, Alex? Maybe it explains the piercing fetish I see among many youngsters these days ... oh, wait, a bunch of them are women.

On topic: The rust stains are likely permanent, although you may find that one of the oxalic acid-based cleaners in the power boat section of the marine supply store might reduce their intensity. Check the ingredients for OA. Should not hurt the cotton. Not much does, except for mildew.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

Matthew B

Re: Proud New Owner of S4

Post by Matthew B »

Thanks for the advice so far . . . a sailmaker friend of mine recoiled in horror when I hinted that I might fool around with cleaning materials, lines and fittings on a "vintage" sail. He sung the praises of Egyptian cotton (which I'm pretty sure this thing is made of), and made me promise not to change anything until he'd had a chance to look it over. So, I'll let my scars adorn me for a bit longer. Any thoughts on my other questions? Particularly ways of restoring (or replacing) the chrome sleeves and brass clips that are all a bit worse for the wear? And hiking seats and control boards . . . . I have a copy of the current Klepper S4 instructions, downloaded from this forum. The newer rig is somewhat different to mine: among other things, it includes a control board as part of the kit, and there seems to be an extra block and line, linking the middle of the boom to the control board.

Alm

Re: Proud New Owner of S4

Post by Alm »

"Egyptian cotton"? It wasn't made in era of pharaohs, even if it's called Egyptian. From practical point of view, good synthetic sail fabric is lighter, more efficient and more durable than cotton sails. But there is a forum of DIY folds with small sailing canoes (and few Kleppers) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sailing_canoes/ , they might tell you more, and there are special brands of sail fabric (quite costly), imitating ancient 300 years old sails, and there is some demand on them. But S4 isn't of that material.

Metal parts - have a look at West Marine hardware aisle. Again, I think stainless steel is better material for this purpose than brass or brass-coated metal (especially in salt water environment), though brass hardware is also available, and has a certain ornamental value, and costs more.

Matthew B

Re: Proud New Owner of S4

Post by Matthew B »

Alm wrote:"Egyptian cotton"? It wasn't made in era of pharaohs, even if it's called Egyptian. From practical point of view, good synthetic sail fabric is lighter, more efficient and more durable than cotton sails.
I think, perhaps, the reference is to modern Egyptian cotton. My sailmaking friend seemed to think that if it was in good condition, there would be no need to replace it, at least for the present
Alm wrote:But there is a forum of DIY folds with small sailing canoes (and few Kleppers) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sailing_canoes/ , they might tell you more, and there are special brands of sail fabric (quite costly), imitating ancient 300 years old sails, and there is some demand on them. But S4 isn't of that material.


Thanks, I'll check it out.
Alm wrote:Metal parts - have a look at West Marine hardware aisle. Again, I think stainless steel is better material for this purpose than brass or brass-coated metal (especially in salt water environment), though brass hardware is also available, and has a certain ornamental value, and costs more.
"Ornamental value" is not high on my list of priorities, so I'll explore the Stainless option.

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