Pisces

an area to discuss dinghy developments
Nigel
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Re: Pisces

Post by Nigel » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:11 pm

Garry R wrote:so long as the sleeved sail slides around the mast on the tack.
Hi Garry,

I think that is my concern, I do not think the luff tube will rotate around the mast, especially in lighter airs when it is most important.

So much for theory, we will have to see what happens in practice. At the very least, I now have a bagful of reasons why it went wrong on the day :oops:

Nigel

Rupert
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Re: Pisces

Post by Rupert » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:00 pm

Shouldn't be a problem Nigel. If necessary, spray the mast with prolube.
Rupert

davidh
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Re: Pisces

Post by davidh » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:18 pm

ah .......pro-lube.

Next time, listen to Ed.... and when he says do NOT spray the sliding seat with prolube it means just that....... else a rapid ditching into the waters of Baltic Wharf will be the result!

D
David H

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JohnK
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Meanwhile, back at Nessa's mystery boat...

Post by JohnK » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:40 am

The eBay "rowing boat"http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... TQ:GB:1123 looks like an X4 (French Laser look-alike; http://uk.geocities.com/dinghydata/Deriveurs/X4.htm) in the new photo.

JohnK

Nigel
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Re: Pisces

Post by Nigel » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:48 pm

Hi all,
the rowing boat could well be an X4. I got a corrupted photo from the seller earlier. No stern tank, dagger board and the "oars" look to be a two part mast with a bracket giving two side plates to hold the pivot for an "up & down" gooseneck( taking us neatly back on thread).

I cannot think of anything else that fits the bill. Has to be worth 99p if one could get a free ferry ride bbut from the state of it, not much more.

Nigel

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jon711
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Re: Pisces

Post by jon711 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:14 pm

Laser did a rowing skiff (I think in the 80's) could the E:Bay boat be one of these?? I didn't think they had sold any....

Not sure but I seem to feel that it was based on a Laser or Laser 2 hull..

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JohnK
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Re: Pisces

Post by JohnK » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:09 pm

It's an X4 right enough - the angled edge to the side decks, position of the cleats and the curve on the back of the daggerboard case/tank confirm it.
JohnK

Nigel
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Re: Pisces

Post by Nigel » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:29 pm

Hi all,

I have now been out in the Pisces a couple of times and am quite pleased with it now that I am picking up some new sailing techniques.

It seems pretty viceless to sail but the primitive cunningham and kicker are pretty useless. They originally gave me a pretty horrible sail shape when attempting to be close hauled but I discovered the answer is to sheet in to where I want the boom to be then sheet in a further 12 to 18 inches. This just pulls the boom straight sown and shapes up the sail very nicely.

I assume that I have not just invented this and it is a technique well known to people that have sailed stuff like minisails. The question is...are there any other tricks that people can tell me about (before Sunday's shodown hopefully :) )

Nigel

LASERTOURIST
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Location: France

Re: Pisces

Post by LASERTOURIST » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:49 pm

The blue E bay "rowing" boat is a french copy of the Laser , some 4000 made, called the X4 , it was supposed to be an improved Laser and it was worse in every respect, and it is a story well worth telling not only because i was involved with the X4 in it's beginning (so many memories) but because it shows how a lot of good ideas can be ruined by poor manufacturing and misplaced cheapness

LASERTOURIST
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Re: Pisces

Post by LASERTOURIST » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:46 pm

Lanaverre had been approached by PS to manufacture the Laser for Europe, but the franchise deal seem somewhat unfair for him :roll: :roll: so he decided he would make a french Laser

(there was a Japanese Laser called seahopper, a russian Laser called chverbot, a spanish laser called Estel and a german Laser called vario, so why not a french one?)

There were plenty of good ideas: the boats would be built both by professional boatbuilders and amateur ones and be quite cheap ,even cheaper than the Laser that was quite cheap at he time :lol: (Lanaverre had the french federation FFV involved and at the time there were many OK dinghies amateur buit in clubs in FFV molds), the laser defects would be corrected, the boat would be one design and cheap so all clubs would have fleets of X4 so young would be racers could travel by train bus or motorcycle to he racing spot and race chartered boats without buying a bourgeois and expensive four wheeler.

A crack team was built up (The designer of the 420, christian Maury, the thinking head of sailing in UCPA, jacques Meyran and french finn gold medallist in Kiel Serge Maury) but the result gave some truth to churchill's boast that a camel is a horse designed by a comittee.

(Only some truth because after all the successful 420 was a team's work , just as the Laser)

The side tanks were the brainchilds of serge Maury and modelled after an "ergonomic" finn hiking bench...but you have to make a mch more dynamic quality of hiking to punch a light laser/ X4 through a steep chop than you do on the heavy swedish olympic barge designed by a part time hairdresser long time ago for a finnish located olympic regatta...

The rudder (supposedly bigger meant better compared to the Laser's) was made of cheap plywood just as the centreboard....and it proved both bendy and breakable.

The vang was a lever type , with controls on both sides of the cockpit but some tweak n the design meant he vang setting would change when easing the sheet.

The cunningham had similar two (infamous an cheap, same as period laser) plastic cleats on both sides of the cockpit but as the sail (not builder supplied and thus not one design) had a very wide mast sleeve ,meant to be aerodynamic, but resulting in huge vertical creases wen you took the cunningham in.

The cockpit was single bottommed and rather large, meaning that you would carry some 80 litres of seawater in choppy conditions even with the expensive optional elvstrom bailer fitted

The 3 tubes mast was made of marshmallowesque sort of alminium alloy and the deck was belcobalsa core sandwich (better known by amateur 0K builders and cheaper than airex ) which meant the boat building up weight when stored upside down.

X4 by lanaverre and Keltic were decently built, ACMO ones just average, amateur ones were quite erratic in their weight distribution (some amateurs were very professional ones using forbidden kevlar fabrics and oher ones building their boats mason style with too much resin and too little glass)...

But the worst ones were made by Bremaud who had taken the recivership of the then ailing Gouteron boatyard : the mast sleeve was not properly glued to the bottom (the connecting bit was not a wood block saturated with GRP like the Laser but a molded piece with the gelcoat face upwards )and they forgot to scratch the molding wax and the gelkote in the cup that recieved the mast well, with he result of the mast coming down and tearig he deck in anything stronger than 15 /18 Kts (it happned to me in La Rochelle frustrating me of a good race , some 300 Metres before the fnish line in a 25 Kt heavy chop race)

I was anxious because i needed the deposit money back for the petrol in my infamous 750 Norton Commando to go back to Paris....and kept thinking of it during the ;long (1H30) and difficult tow back to the harbour, with a half sunk X4 with it's bow open like an old bum's shoe

The clubs guys told me not to worry, that they would give me another boat for twomorrows race without claiming the deposit.

I then asked what to do wih the damaged X4 dripping on the slipway and was told to put it somewhere behin this hangar...which i did only to find a pile of broken Bremaud X4 hulls.

But what do you do with those? ...Well we wait until we have ten broken X4 and Bremaud will bring a batch of 10 new ones on warranty...nedles to say Bremaud went over the edge some months after :roll: :roll:

davidh
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Re: Pisces

Post by davidh » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:01 am

what a great story!

Are you still in Sardinia/Corsica? Will you be coming to Hyeres next month - if so, will buy you a coffee to hear the rest of the story!

D
David H

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Brookesy
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Re: Pisces

Post by Brookesy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:38 am

'The side tanks were the brainchilds of serge Maury and modelled after an "ergonomic" finn hiking bench...but you have to make a mch more dynamic quality of hiking to punch a light laser/ X4 through a steep chop than you do on the heavy swedish olympic barge designed by a part time hairdresser long time ago for a finnish located olympic regatta...'

Do I yet again sense a 'slight' bitterness against the Finn which I have seen in your previous posts. We try to avoid rebuttals to the snipes from the SMOD's so I will refrain .
If you are going to Hyeres there are a large number of Finn sailors there, I would challenge you to tell them they are sailing a hairdressers boat...
GBR74 ex custodian of
GBR384 Mickey Finnale (Taylor,wood)
GBR455 Rubber Duck (Taylor, grp)
FD GBR350 Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious

davidh
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Re: Pisces

Post by davidh » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:44 pm

Hi there Brooksey,

Just had a long email from Tony L about the FDs - now all I need to do is to find out how to tell the story.

And now, for all you Finn sailors out there, help is at hand! You can be treated on the NHS for the painful affliction know as FinnHelmitis. Indeed, that well known CVRDA handicap Bandit from Gosport will show you in the showers just how to cure those bad kness (from hiking an uncomfortable boat) and bad backs (from hauling a 2 ton dead weight around on land).

No - joking aside, Finns are close to top of my priority list right now. Expect a major article soon on this (age challenged) single handed star of stars.

So go on....define the pleasures of Finn sailing (from teh classic boat perspective) in less thgan 50 words!!


Brooksey..... I am worried about getting an unsavoury reputation! I am already skulking around barns and the like in the stubbington area, looking for a certain Hornet, now I may start looking in barns in the Lymington area fo a certain FD!!

D

PS... back to the Finns! I've just uploaded a new departure, it is a topical magazine column being run as a podcast. The first one is fairly uncontroversial, do not expect that to last though as there are a number of hot topics that need airing.

BUT - JOhn Derbyshire, Performance Director from the RYA, speaks really well on the benefits of the Finn (against those of the Laser) which shoul dbring a smile to your faces). Also covered.... Jack Knights.... the 29erXX/470 debate and money for grassroots sailing.

http://www.dinghy-racing.com ( then look for 'Hitting the Corners)

D
David H

Garry R

Re: Pisces

Post by Garry R » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:57 pm

David - Not being picky or anything but can you get the apostrophe removed from "it's voice" on the front page of the link under the Hitting the Corners section - it doesn't belong there or anywhere else except when you shorten "it is" to it's. Sadly my eye goes straight to these typos - I am often asked to do proof reading for scientific papers within the Institute....... how sad am I?

LASERTOURIST
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Re: Pisces

Post by LASERTOURIST » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:49 pm

As a matter of fact , I live in Paris and run a sailing school in Corsica during my holidays (low paid , long holidéays elementary schoolmaster, I'm afraid i 'm that lazy kind of bloody civil servants unable to undersatnd the beauties of the Thatchero - Blairian society :lol: :lol: )
much more time for sailing than in my early job as a chemeistry tech.

No hard feelings for the fin but as im only 75 Kg / 1M 73 it was not for me (and standard laser isn't any more with age and ban on weight jackets).
The truth is Laser had everything , in the beginning : light , car -toppable , reasonably fast and easily planing (the feeling of speed being enhanced by the low freeboard) simple and strictly one design.

I was viewed as a crude boat but in fact it wasn't; The foils, though simple, had a fine aifoil naca section only seen (in the early 70's) on high competition boats like FD's ( while so many "budget" boats of the period used a flattish bit of marine ply) , the spars weren't just two or three bits of any kind of tubes , they were made of high grade alloy (broke neatly under stress, but rarely bent) and some thought had been put in connecting the tubes together (the loosely connected 3 bits mast from X4 or Yamaha sea hopper were a disaster).

Airex foam core sandwich and rolled deck for the gunwales was comparatively high tech at the time (The sunfish adipoopted them in the wake of the laser's success) and even the mainsheet system was coherent with the smallish section of the boom (same as top mast allowing cheaper booms and even a free boom made out f a broken top mast section)

The centre main in the X4 was somewhat better for jibes , but it tended to bend the boom and was not the real big asset it was supposed to be.

I think one of the keys to the laser success over its imitators lies in the good original ideas (even if coherence with the general concept meant some defects) and careful testing and refining before market launch, along with the choice of high tech (for the period) solutions where it really mattered, combined with overall simplicity...as the guys from Seagull used to say
something that isn't fitted cannot break down!

The only point that seriously matters in my post is that even deck design is considerably different for a 130 Kg Hull than with a 59 Kg one, Maury's bench with carefully calculated angles relative to limb segments of an average sailor fwas great for a Finn and stupid for the X4,

Offset lever was good for a fireball / 505 and unsuitable for a rotating mast (The proper vang for low boom boats , OK's Europe , Finn vas always some kind of designer nightmare)
The X4 had somewhat higher freeboard than the Laser and a turtleback deck in front of the cockpit (probably better for Belcobalsa, while thick airex is better with a flat surface) so a laser 3/1 purchase would not give good results, but the cheap lever (two cables , a section of shroud spreader and three blocks ) was even worse except you made a few improvements that were not exactly class legal.
Retrospectively i think that the battle between Laser and its clones is a very good example of how narrow the margin is between a successful boat and a "dog" especially when you want a cheap mass produced boat, The X4 had some seemingly good ideas but the devil was looming in the details

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