bonehead mistake, passagemaker

I just noticed, as i was getting ready to install the skeg, that I installed the middle seat and the daggerboard case, backwards. AArgh! Ive already cut out the dagger board slot, so it's too late to go back. In effect the daggerboard is 8 inches aft of where it should be. Should I burn the boat and start over? Or will it still handle ok. Good grief!

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RE: bonehead mistake, passagemaker

   Someone that has built a passagemaker or wants to devote a lot of time to thinking about and describing how to help you recover will have to answer on how best to proceed. These boats being wood and glue, almost any mistake can be fixed - sometimes even well-hidden in the process.

However, I'll start with a base line "fact" - moving the daggerboard 8 inches is a huge move in a boat this small.  Lot's of things go into boat design - rudder and centerboard location and size and shape, sail/mast location and size and shape, and even hull shape and displacement shape when heeled - when creating a balance between center of effort and center of resistance on a sailboat.  Design used to be an art learned through training and experience.  Some designers throughout history seemed to have a knack or some special "feel" for design that allowed them to excell where others only achieved mediocrity. Now design is still an art learned through training and experience but assisted by computers. Even on the most modern racing boats they design them on the computer 100 times, tank test models, etc., then once they put the finishied boat in the water they find out there are still changes to to be made.

The point being: If you don't fix the daggerboard location you'll be even more severely disappointed when you try to sail the boat than you already are now over the (yikes!) mistake.

RE: bonehead mistake, passagemaker

   Filling that slot seems easy to me, just cut an extra piece of ply to size and glue in with fiberglass on each side. As long as the grain pattern is somewhat similar I doubt anyone would ever notice.  Removing the daggerboard trunk though seems like a real challenge if you both glued and screwed it in. I would be tempted to cut a bigger hole to remove it then cut off the glued part with a band saw or coping saw.  Someone here might have a better idea though.

RE: bonehead mistake, passagemaker

Hi kevinonputnam, 

just a note that i saw your post.  i used to be a dinghy racer and yes, bubblehead is spot on, 8 inches of misplacement of the centerboard is big and it will not perform need to get it in the right place.

i have made some doozy of mistakes but i think yours is relatively correctable.  what i wanted to highlight, as you pointed out,  is some disassembly will be required with respect to the seat/trunk assembly but it can be done.  filling the hole you accidently cut is also straight forward as described by wookmaster above.

coming back to disassembly, the friend of the boatbuilder in this situation is the heatgun that, properly applied, can heat the epoxy to a temperature where it can be softened to a cheesy consistency and then scraped/cut and disasembled.  once disassembled it can be cleaned up and reset right.

so before i would take a saw to this situation, unless i could make a clean eay cut, i would work with a heatgun as the foundation of my disassembly approach.  practice on some scrap okoume/epoxy to get the hang of it, but i think you will be surprised how deploying a heat gun can help you unravel this 'mistake' and get you back to the right path. 


RE: bonehead mistake, passagemaker

   Thanks everyone for taking time to reply. I ended up buying a Dremel tool with flexible neck and cutting out the dagger board cassette and positioning it to the correct orientation. It cost me a week, but I was chastened by your advice and am now glad I listened. Back on track now, thanks!

RE: bonehead mistake, passagemaker

Glad to hear that you've found a way to move past this and continue on with your build.  If my own experience is anything to go by, you are going to love this little boat!


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