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Might have made a huge error or not ?

Author phil299
#1 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 12:31 | Edited by: phil299 
I have to say as a start that I am a complete novice and really don't know what I am doing.
However my son is a very keen sailor and has passed up to stage 4 RYA youth sailing small craft and is going to be 13 latter this week.
I am here because this weekend I acquired a dinghy , and have got past the first hurdle which was actually Identifying what sort of dinghy it is.
I am pretty certain we have a minisail possibly a sprint 1 ???
Here are some pictures.

It turns out, I think ,that the sail is not the correct one for the dinghy as the number on the hull is not the same as the sail.
Also when we put it on yesterday it became clear that the sail was too long meaning the boom would sit about a foot above the hull.
However as I said Its all conjecture as I really don't know.
The hull number is H3532 ( this is on the surround where the mast goes in to the hull ) you can see the sail number on the pics and it is different although on the sail you can see where it had the distinctive MS letters .
This has flagged up the possibility we have the wrong masts , one of the pics shows the masts one set is gold the other black, I think the gold ones seem to fit best, but I am really stretching my knowledge to breaking point here.

So what we would like to do is resurrect this craft for my son, and I am willing to learn. the hull appears to be in great shape as it has been stored in a barn for 30 plus years apparently.
Both sets of masts seem good scratched but no serious damage , I think there should be a bung on the bottom ??? if so they are missing.
The rudder is obviously correct but the coach bolt that ( I assume ) goes through the rudder and attaches it to the rear of the boat is missing, I am not sure what it would look like and if it is a standard pattern , something I would have to fabricate or could be acquired.
Any help or advice would be fantastic, even if it is help to start asking the right questions.

Author rob baker
#2 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 16:25 
Hi Phil.
First thing, both Masts are for Minisails. I am fairly certain that all masts are same length, Sail Luff can't come more than 16 feet from top of mast.
Sails, I believe are all same size, if it has MS on it's the correct sail, not sure without pictures how low your boom is, perhaps top section of mast has been reduced, Mast sizes are in class rules.

Author phil299
#3 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 16:49 | Edited by: phil299 
Thanks for the the quick reply will get tape measure out this evening and measure the sail, I found the class rules here

We are not sure how to exactly rig the boom up, have been studying pictures in google images to get a handle on that, but there seems to be more than one way any hints on that would be good. When we attached the sail yesterday it was a little gusty and so could not actually take a picture before I had to take the mast down.

Author rob baker
#4 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 18:45 
Some booms were just held up with a bit of strong tied through eye near luff, this eye is also where downhaul attaches.
Some of the rigs were very basic, but basic usually means they are quick to rig.

Author RonnyDG
#5 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:10 | Edited by: RonnyDG 
Hi Phil,

Could well be your Minisail is a Sprint I. These came with the black spars, including the "non- bendy boom", had usally six cleats for rigging control and were a bit stiffer built. Hard to tell in words how much stiffer, but if the flat mid to aft bottom of the hull doesn't flop in choppy conditions, chances are it's a Sprint I.

A good way to rig is illustrated in Rupert's blog. Here and here.
Some more ideas on this subject were in the Minisail yearbook 2012 (also written by Rupert).
In the above example the rowlock is prevented from sliding down by the thickening element on the mast.
A different way to do this is like Rob discribed above, or to mount a string with a loop over the bottleneck of the mast and a second loop on the other end to hold the boom (works fine but you will loose the string during de-rigging one day as I found out, bummer).

Yes it's better to have a bung on the bottom of the mast. Mind there are no specific aftermarket parts for Minisails.
So you might consider to make a DIY mast bottom bung, top and bottom if both are missing. The bottom bung will prevent the mast biting the bottom of the hull, the top bung will prevent the mast filling up in case of a capsize.
Some have succesfully re-shaped Laser bungs, I make mine as shown in this illustration.

If it would turn out the top section of your masts were both shortened (they could have been shortened for example to make them Topper sail compatible, maybe not a bad thing to have a 13 year old starting in a MS), you could insert a wooden batten to re-extend them. Jam some foam in the gaps, again, to prevent the mast filling up in case of a capsize.

Maybe replace the 40 year old waterplug in the transom to make it watertight. The one present does leak without a doubt.

About the toe straps; On a certain moment be brave and tug then merciless. If the fasteners give way, replace all 12 of them.

The missing king-pin for your rudder; It's a simple rond sectioned rod really. The silly matter is that it's a hard to find diameter in standard stock. Tom (our MS encyclopedia) found out some screwdriver shafts are perfect to do the job: stainless cheap and available.
Consider this solution before drilling the gudgeon plates to size of a new rod; Your setup would not match any other Minisail gear anymore.

Author RonnyDG
#6 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:29 | Edited by: RonnyDG 
Forgot to add:
Remake the rudder head-stock. These cheeks will give way soon -spoiling the day- and all you need is a jig saw, some stainless screws and patience.

Author phil299
#7 | Posted: 24 Oct 2017 00:59 | Edited by: phil299 
Omg....thanks for all the replies ,sail defo 16 feet to luff so correct.
Thanks for all the info, this is to be our winter project so will keep a record and hopefully it will help others.
I will post a more coherent post tomorrow.

Looks like I will need to come back here with more pictures soon , at the moment I am caught up with work and it's dark by the time I get home, so will have to get back to you after the weekend by which time I hope to have resolved the mast situation.
Again thanks for all the advice, I think I have an idea where to start now ,once I measure the masts I will know if it they have been cut down or not.
Will definitely repair the rudder head stock as advised and check those toe straps.
The water plug was already on my replace list ;-)

Author rob baker
#8 | Posted: 24 Oct 2017 19:08 
Topper sail a good plan, you have two masts, shorten one to take a Topper sail, will be much easier for a thirteen year old to start off, plenty of cheap second hand sails.

Author phil299
#9 | Posted: 1 Nov 2017 17:45 | Edited by: phil299 
rob baker:
Topper sail a good plan, you have two masts, shorten one to take a Topper sail, will be much easier for a thirteen year old to start off, plenty of cheap second hand sails.

Thats good advice , having looked at the masts I can confirm if you put the two gold sections together you get a mast length that would be good for a topper sail, looks like the top section was cut down.
If you use the gold bottom section and the black upper section you get the right height for the original minisail sail which we have.
The other part of the black mast appears to not relate to this boat at all as it is a completely different diameter.
I am not too sure yet which booms are right , the black one seems more like those I can see in pictures.
Only problem I can see is the black top section has a slight bend in it , there are no fractures but it is slightly off true. Not sure if this is acceptable or not.
If I may ....can anyone inform me what happens if I unscrew fittings from the deck ? are they bolted from inside? Also I understand there is a metal sheet under the mast in the hull to stop the mast cutting through, is this accessible for replacement. Thought i should ask advice before charging in.

Author rob baker
#10 | Posted: 1 Nov 2017 20:16 
slight bend in mast no problem, never seen a bottle shaped mast bottom, I know they exist, so unable to comment regarding size or fit.

go for stiffest boom, will work a lot better with controls such as kicker.

deck fittings are generally screwed into wooden blocks which are fibreglassed into place during build, problem is the blocks can go rotten, also sometimes they actually used MDF, generally if screws have good grip coming out they will have good grip going back in, plus you can use slightly over size srews, on my Sprint I actually re-skinned fore deck with aluminium.

mast base is a major job to do properly, but not undoable, I cheated and did a topical repair, you can look through my rebuild album on photobucket, all issues you have raised and are likely to raise are covered, any thing you are unsure about, I will answer. 12-06030.jpg.html?sort=4&o=110

Author phil299
#11 | Posted: 2 Nov 2017 12:59 
Thanks Rob, you are a star.
Am going to make a detailed record of the way the fittings are at the moment then start to remove them as some need replacing.
However I am also going to start repairing the rudder as this can be done inside so it depends on weather as to which jobs get started first,

Author rob baker
#12 | Posted: 2 Nov 2017 21:29 

Author tommoore
#13 | Posted: 3 Dec 2017 00:21 
Glad you got some help as I've only just seen your posts. All useful information, only one caveat,, a Topper mast is much thinner so a Topper sail won't go over a 60mm or whatever the Minisail diameter mast is.
I have just found Tinker Traveller ( not very common, 4M )sails have a fat enough luff tube to fit a MS mast with a 'turban' like windsurfers t bridge the gap between the top of the sail and the top of the mast. I made one out of cord knotted, but not very tidy. Also the basic 4.5metre "Fusion" dinghy at the Boat Show ( new ) was the cheapest sleeved sail I found to fit the MS mast - £150-, but they said they might have a prototype for a bit less , but never got back to me.
( By the way all earlier Minisail masts had the bottleneck bottom section, just as good as the later black ones. I think the top section may be thinner than the black one). Your white sail is better quality than the original colour striped one. Mast plugs stop the grit grinding a hole through the bottom of the boat eventually. If there is no hatch and going on the sea a buoyancy test would be good. A Philips Screwdriver of the right diameter [3/16" /6mm ? ]( No fatheaded blade )might be long enough to act as a temporary rudder attachment, but needs a way of stopping it coming out, a strop from the handle under the top plate on the boat or rudder. Various rods if stiff enough , stainless preferably can be found/made to fit, ideally with an eye or similar at the top for tying it on, the rudder uphaul or downhaul can go though it for this purpose.

Author Notoverthehill
#14 | Posted: 16 Jan 2018 21:20 
January 15th Just looking back at the previous advice, all useful but a bit more. Put big( stainless ideally )penny washers between the rudder cheeks and bolt and nut either side to stop the latter cutting into the wood> I think Ronny suggested a bit of reinforcement or rebuilding there too.Looks like an original Topper wooden Daggerboard you have ( I have a spare one ), quite solid I think. Bung for the mast-essential, a man in Wolverhampton ( "dinghy Parts"or some such had them for a couple of pounds, need a tiny bit of the plastic grinding off , or Laser ones available for about 3 times as much).Rony's custom made ( wooden ) ones beyond my scope, but a tapered bottom bit of round broken table leg or the like might fit, but building skips are increasingly rare round here and the tip's not much better.Where are you in relation to us in the Extreme South of Hampshire ?Tom Southampton

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