Waples Wines Northern Travellers -Tip Number 3 !!

Travellers tip #3 Rudder play:

“The next time you are in the dinghy park go around the other Flying Fifteens and see if you can move the bottom tip of their rudders. If you can there will be movement between the rudder bushes and the rudder stock. This is bad when sailing, as the rudder will vibrate and upset the flow of the water across the rudder causing drag and slowing you down.

The solution is to replace the nylon bushes which are found top and bottom of the rudder tube. I would recommend that you replace one at a time starting with the top bush and see if that solves the problem. To get the bushes out first try and tap them out with a long shafted screwdriver and if that doesn’t work you may have to use a junior hacksaw blade and wrap tape around one end to form a makeshift handle and cut saw drafts in the bush all around but be careful not to damage the rudder tube you will then be able to pull the bush out with a pair of long nose pliers.

You can then clean off the inside of the tube with fine sandpaper, apply a spot of epoxy glue and replace the old bush with a new one that you will be able to purchase from Pinnell and Bax. While you are attending to the rudder bushes you may also check that your rudder fits snugly to the hull. If there is a gap of over 6mm then you are again upsetting the flow of water across the rudder which slows you down. You can either push the rudder further up through the rudder tube or you may have to reshape the flange of the rudder. Either way make sure that the rudder then rotates freely without scrapping the hull”.

Helm, Bobby Salmond, ƒƒ202.

Dinghy Show Boat and Jib Tracks

Through injury I had to miss the Dinghy Show this year for the first time in…. well, I don’t know how long.    It was very snowy in the week and I’m told it might have been a little bit quieter than usual both in terms of visitors and of course, in boats exhibited. Given how horrid the weather had been, a huge ‘well done’ to anyone who got there!

The Flying Fifteen Class had the World Champion boat on display.

I would guess that with much of the fleet now switching over to the new headsail design, there will have been a lot of interest in the new positioning of the jib tracks.  



The taller aspect ratio sail gives a chance to try sheeting the jib closer to the centre line.  The first trial site was on the onboard face of the vertical side of the seat tank, at the top edge. The traveller cars were not designed for this angle of pressure though and do not run smoothly in this configuration. Thinking has moved on, and Steve has moved his tracks now to the bottom edge of the 45 degree slope as you can see in this picture. Relative to the old track site a couple of inches up the slope the sheet position is a few inches forward.

Tip : I have just had my tracks moved to the same position!  Future proofing, hopefully !!



Phil Tinsley on the Poles….!!

Hi Jeremy, and thanks for the excellent photos and write up yesterday..

Mike and I looked hard at this system, and concluded that it is excellent, but sadly only works for a chute.

As we are both bag sailors, we had to use and older system with barber hauler and a ring and rope system in the pole to hold the guy to the pole.

This stem has two separate guys controlled as shown, which is like the system on Paddy Lewis’ new 505.

It is heaps simpler, but no use with bags – sigh!



Twin Spinnaker Poles Suddenly Topical…..!!

One of the teams at Datchet has been trying twin poles, …. and getting lots of advice from the rest of us – ha!!   Then this item came in from Jeremy Arnold at Notts County :

I’m just sending you some pictures of a twin spinnaker pole conversion that I have just done to my boat (3936) as I know you like to feature this kind of thing on your blog, and indeed I’ve spent quite a bit of time on your blog myself in the past looking at similar pictures.

The modern twin-pole system as developed by the 505s and Merlins etc is becoming increasingly popular on Flying 15s, and the advantages of getting rid of the twinning lines entirely, not to mention the need for the pole to be clipped on and off the guy during every spinnaker manoeuver, is huge. The downside is that the system itself is more complex and there is a lot of extra rope in the boat. We already had a couple of F15s at my club (Notts County SC) with the system who raved about how well it worked, but it was the overall ‘messiness’ of the installation that was continuing to put me off the idea – plus the fact that I was still a bit vague at that stage on exactly how it all worked.

My boat already had a single pole launcher (ie. a Spiro), but Andy Farmer of P&B who sails at our club kept extolling the virtues of the twin pole system and one weekend earlier this summer myself and my crew John Allen arranged to swap boats for one race with Angus Wright (3975), whose boat had already been converted to twin poles. John and I were ‘converted’ during that race too, finding that the system that looked complicated from the outside was actually completely intuitive to use, and indeed much simpler to use than a conventional single pole. John’s only complaint was that he didn’t like the awkwardness of having the cleat for the spinnaker guy mounted behind him and vertically on the inside face of the side tank – and my own chief complaint about every F15 I’d seen the system on was also the inelegant way the spinnaker guy is led via multiple blocks from the gunwale, across the decks, down the face of the front bulkhead, and then (exposed and above the floor) down the sides of the cockpit.

I began to take measurements and realised that by installing tubes through the sidetanks the guy could be led directly from the gunwhales down to the mast base area, and from there along the central tunnel via 3:1 purchases hidden under the floorboard. The photos explain this better than words can, and by happy co-incidence the distance along the central tunnel to the rear face of the console gives you exactly the range of travel required to move the spinnaker pole from a ‘fine reach’ position against the forestay all the way back to a ‘square running’ position.

Brackets were fabricated from thick aluminum (stainless would have been better but I didn’t have any) and mounted on the gunwhales to lead the guy down the tubes. The brackets themselves bolt through the same holes in the gunwhale that originally took the twinning lines.

I moulded-up some cleat mounts (in the same style as the jib cleat mounts!) to mount the spinnaker guy cleats on the side of the console (ie. the cleats beneath the ‘Tension’ cleats in the photos), which puts them in front of the crew rather than behind, and with the spinnaker guy rope led at the same angle as the spinnaker sheet itself. Plus the helm can easily adjust them from here as well, with none of the stumbling-about required when the helm needs to release a forgotten twinning line during a gybe etc.

Twin pole launchers require twin cleats for the launcher ropes, but there isn’t space on the Ovington deck moulding to take two cleats side-by-side – plus, even though everyone and his dog has been using the big Racemaster compass for years, the latest Ovington deck mould still doesn’t have a flat surface big enough to mount a Racemaster properly. To solve this I moulded-up a mount as shown in the photos for both the cleats and the compass, which also raises the cleats up slightly and puts them on an angle.

That’s it really; the system itself operates in exactly the same way as they all do, just with a neater installation and better ergonomics. The only scary bit of the conversion was trying to work out exactly where the inside end of the tubes needed to exit the side tanks, and having the encourage to cut the holes in the calculated position!

Hope the above is of some use to you – if you have any queries just let me know


Jeremy Arnold – GBR 3936, Notts County SC

Time to check your Spinnaker Pole ends…..??!!

At a very crucial moment (!) in the second race last weekend, our spinnaker pole end decided to shear off.  That’s not happened to us before.  We have Selden ends.

When I inspected the remaining end I realised that a fair bit of wear can set in.  I’ve replaced both ends now, but you might want to check yours too.


What’s a Photo of a 505 Doing Here….??!!


Well, the main point about this boat, is that it is the 505 belonging to our very own FF Champion, Richard Lovering.  At least now you know how technical he can get!!

I always lusted after a 505 as a teenager, and only managed to get one season racing one as crew at Queen Mary many years ago.  They just excite me to look at.


You can see here that Richard has made provision to pull his jib sheet inboard of the tank and this is what prompted our conversation about the same issue for the new FF jib – but Richard thinks it wont be necessary in our Class – phew!

The next photo shows the adjustable clew outhaul in two dimensions.  I noticed the Osprey stand had a boat from Hartley’s with a similar arrangement.







Dinghy Show Boat ….!!

Went to the Dinghy Show yesterday.  A great day actually!!

On the stand we had Coweslip, looking… well… Royal…!!  It was obviously very different back then – no toe straps for the helmsman, and one strap for the crew!

Of more technical interest was the new boat – 4047 fitted out by P&B.  In fact, I think it was Alan’s most recent boat and may be on the market if you want it!!

As such, it was in reasonably standard P&B trim but did have some interesting kit in a couple of places.


We first saw adjustable bridles of this kind a couple of years ago on Graham and Chris’ boat.  It certainly caused a lot of discussion on the stand.  Many people seemed to wonder how often you’d use it, but I must say when I asked Graham the same thing he said “most outings”.  Interesting.

I like the cutaway in the jib turning block carrier too.


Perhaps of more interest was that the boat was rigged with the new jib.  At first, lots of people didn’t even notice (!).  Alan though has moved to a twin track jib car system as we commonly used to have some years ago.

The emphasis here might be to have a track right on the inboard edge so as to have the ability to sheet it closer to the centre line.  Apparently Geoff Bayliss’ new boat has something similar (I’ve not seen it though), with both cars in place.  I must admit when we used to have two parallel plunger type tracks we used them a lot.   I had the opportunity to ask Richard Lovering of Hyde Sails what He thought of sheeting the new jib closer to the centre line, Richard said that the new sail caused a lot of that effect anyway – as the centre of fullness is much further forward now it might anyway set a couple of inches further inboard.  I think Richard said he might have to think about redesigning the main to match.

There was more than one conversation on the stand that maybe the old jib would be quicker in the light. If so, it’ll be hard to tell anyway!!

Phil Evans was telling me that he has come up with a smart little “two length” jib halyard idea, so that owners can easily interchange between the two sails.  That’s the way to go for me, I suspect.


This photo was mainly to illustrate two points:-

(i) the boat wasn’t rigged fully for its spinnaker.  It had a chute cover, but no sock in the cockpit. Interesting.  No bags either.  Perhaps they stuff the sail back under the foredeck as per “FooF”.

(ii) The protest flag.  Now most dinghies have been relieved of the obligation to carry a protest flag, but at 20 feet, if I recall correctly we are obliged to carry one.  But how many of us do??   Followers of the World Championship reports will know that it was eventually decided in the protest room and that the two main protagonists both flew their Code B, little red flags.

I wonder what happened to mine?  I’d better order up another from P&B…!!





Carbon Tillers Really Can Bend…..

Justin spotted this photo on Y&Y….. and he’s right!!  There is a bit of a tiller curve there!

At Datchet in recent weeks, we’ve had nothing but huge breezes – and we’ll have had some of these moments ourselves.  I realise I’m never looking at the tiller when it happens!!

Click here to see it

Where to put your lead corrector weights……




The Phil Evans finished boat at the show, built for Justin Waples, was carrying about 18.5kgs of lead.  It had been fitted as 2x7kgs, and a 4.5kgs section.  It looked as if there was room above the two 7kg weights to tuck the 4.5kg section away on the top.  Phil though had decided to keep the weight as low as possible in the boat and closer to the centre of gravity by using longer bolts to build the weight out horizontally.  Nice touch !

Little details – Chute Smoothing….!!

I just love it the way that one keeps seeing tiny little improvements on our RYA Dinghy Show stand each year.

For interest, I stuffed my camera down the spinnaker chute of each boat on the stand this year, just to take a look under there.  The photos come out a bit blurry (too close for the autofocus) , but you’ll quickly get the idea.

The first boat looked like this.

4033 chute

You can see what we all expect to see – the securing bolts for the jib tack fitting and the bow eye loop.

Now the same test on the second boat, and you see this….

P and B Nosecone

Nothing !!  What you can just make out is a piece of sticky back sail cloth has been placed over the area, making the chute completely smooth and snag free from the bolt ends.

Nice !!

Thanks to Dave Hemmingway for pointing this out to me!


Seen at the Show – Does Your Mainsheet Ever Catch on the Transom…..??!!

You’ve got to love simple solutions, haven’t you?  If you’ve ever had your mainsheet hook over the rear quarter, you might like the look of this.

This is the standard stern.


This was the stern of the P&B fitted boat at the show.

Very neat, huh?  I wonder if it works ??!!!


Outboard Brackets…..!!

( Ed : To be honest, I never thought at the outset of writing the FF Blog that we would have anything much on the subject of FF Outboard motor brackets….. but here we go…..!!!!   Hard line sailors – bite your tongues !!! ….)

photo 4My friends in Canada, Jeff and Barbara Tarris, have kindly sent the following pictures (which you are welcome to publish) of an outboard motor bracket that they have fitted to their Copland. They have also supplied the following comments.photo 2

photo 3.





This unit fastens to the aft of the deck by being bolted through the outer edges which support the gunwhales. The point should be made that the horsepower should be limited to 2 to 3 HP. Also, to reinforce the point of attachment, the void in that area under the gunwhale could be filled in with epoxy. Finally, a lanyard from the motor to the rudder post, just below the tiller is a must in case things go awry with the bracket.

Photo 1Adrian Simpson