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Ovington Albacore questions here?

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Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby normofthenorth » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:57 pm

TISC -- www.torontosailing.com -- bought 3 new Ovington (UK) Albacores last year, in time for the Canadians/Internationals. I'm boat captain of one of 'em (8169) and I've still got a bunch of questions and Things To Do. Here's a few, if anybody has any ideas:

1) Despite the Ovingtons' super-rough deck finish, I found myself slipping and sliding when it got wet. I was wearing MEC neoprene paddling boots, which grip fine on OY gelcoat decks. I could certainly try different boots, but I've also been thinking of applying something to the deck to help. (I started thinking about peel-and-stick non-skip bathtub tape, but the first half-dozen stores I've tried don't have any.) Ideas? Sympathy? Derision?

2) The group-purchase Ovingtons came with big inspection ports in their tanks, but no drain holes. I'm considering installing drain-hole fittings (identical to the OY boats that make up the rest of our club's fleet), for a few reasons. (a) Our members are used to opening the little fittings after sailing and closing them before sailing, and I'm afraid one of the big inspection port covers is going to get lost. (b) Although the tanks are well sealed for now, they're likely to leak eventually, and draining them with a cup or a sponge seems nuts. (c) We've got a gizmo set up to pressure-test (or vaccuum-test) our tanks instead of trying to sink the tanks for 5 minutes each. And (d) If there is a leak in a tank, attaching the gizmo and "blowing bubbles" is the easiest way to find it. Ideas? Sympathy? Derision? Cautions -- like where NOT to drill the hole?

3) I've set up an alternative centerboard-control system, based closely on Ken Yamazaki's design (which he shared in Shackles & Cringles a year or two back). It works well, but there are still a few challenges: (a) After modifying the handle on our as-supplied Phil's Foils CB, the handle essentially meets the boat when the CB is retracted into the trunk. That's a hazard to the crew's hand, and it also makes it a minor challenge to pry it up when it's time to extend the board from zero. (Yes, there are lines tied to it, and you can grab a line.) (b) I've SORT OF got the adjustment of the control system limiting the extension of the board to 90 degrees, or a smidge more. But I'm still thinking of putting in a piece of hard rubber or something. . . Ideas?
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby townsend » Tue May 01, 2012 12:11 pm

I don't know much that is specific to Ovingtons, but here's my take based on my experience

1) Strategically placing some anit-skid tape in the cockpit helps a lot. I just use the industrial stuff from the local hardware store, but you can buy "marine specific" anti skid from APS for a bit more money. Bathtub tape may work, but it won't be as grippy as something that's intended to be used with shoes. Make sure you clean and dry the deck thoroughly or it won't stick.

2) Installing a drain bung sounds like a fine idea, especially with a club boat where the members are expecting to find one. I'm not sure where the best place to put it would be. I'd contact Ovington before drilling.

3a)I have the same "issue" with my Skene. It's really not a problem, or at least not worth my time addressing. Unless you are in the habit of retracting your centerboard all the way (I don't do this, since I like to be able to steer YMMV) I wouldn't bother.

3b)Some people think raking the centerboard forward of 90 degrees improves pointing, so you might not want to install a stop at 90 degrees. At least wait until yhou've convinced yourself that you never want ot go past 90 degrees.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby JJHall » Wed May 02, 2012 2:22 pm

1) You mentioned you are slipping in the cockpit. Really? Personally I found it super grippy but have Zhik hard soled boots. I would imagine you will have trouble sticking any adhesive to that surface since it is so abraded. We did however find the hiking decks to be insanely slippery (was this your query?) so much so that we slide fore and aft too often. I washed them down and sanded them with 300 grit wet sandpaper and find them better now.

2) I'd think it should be a number of years before the forward tank begins to leak but maybe I am optimistic. Please let me know if you hear of the proper location.

3) I removed the one fitted out by P&B and installed the Henry Pedro/Barney Harris remote downhaul and remote uphaul. I had the downhaul on a few of my older boats but am in absolute heaven with this uphaul system!!! No hands needed on board ever. I can send photos if you are interested. Word is you don't want to limit it to 90 degrees.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby MrGin » Thu May 10, 2012 5:23 am

I have owned an Ovington for the last 2 1/2 years and I have never had any water in the tanks. I think putting drain holes in the tanks is maybe not a good idea as the water intake may increase the weight of the hull. The hulls are epoxy foam and a lot stiffer than previous grp Albacores, so the chances are they will not suffer from leaking tanks.

I hope this is of use.

Best Wishes from the UK

Phil
A8152 "Albaholic"
Last edited by MrGin on Thu May 31, 2012 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby townsend » Fri May 11, 2012 11:56 am

MrGin wrote:I have owned an Ovington for the last 2 1/2 years and I have never had any water in the tanks. I think putting drain holes in the tanks is maybe not a good idea as the water intake may increase the weight of the hull.
"


Good point - if the tanks are not taking on water at all, then there's no need for drain holes. Were it my boat I think I'd wait until there's something to drain before drilling drain holes.

As for the buoyancy tests, you could attach a vacuum fitting to an inspection port cover.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby normofthenorth » Wed May 30, 2012 10:41 pm

Thanks, all. A shmear of windsurfer grip wax solved my problem in the cockpit. (I haven't had a slipping problem on the bow deck yet, despite its high gloss.) I haven't changed anything on the other items.

Now I'm frustrated with the hiking straps. They're too far inboard for my taste, and when I hike right behind the thwart, I often snag the stupid bungie cords instead of the strap. I'm probably going to drill new holes for the crew's hiking strap bungies, farther outboard. The skipper's straps might maybe benefit from the same treatment, haven't really checked yet.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby Mike Heinsdorf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:02 pm

Norm,

Regarding sliding around on the hiking deck as while reaching, I've also found that to be an issue with 8125 which is a Hapco boat. I have fond memories of a slip and slide when I was about 6 - I had a similar experience at World's but they aren't fond memories. I stole an idea from JJ and used hockey tape as a short term solution at Worlds. It's turned into a slight long-term solution. When I take the boat into the shop after the fall season is over, I plan on making several unauthorized modifications, one of which will be roughing up the surface like JJ did.

I would highly recommend against the bathroom tape or similar, especially the stuff that APS sells. It works too well. We used it on a Melges 24 and while the grip was phenomenal, it would also eat boots and shred shorts at a rate of consumption comparable to the Cookie Monster taking down a plate of cookies. I would go through a pair of shorts a season and a pair of shoes a year. Bare feet was fine as long as the wind wasn't blowing, don't even think about it if there was more than 10 knots.

Barney uses high quality marine paint on the interior hull and sprinkles it with kosher salt while the paint is still tacky. It is the perfect amount of grip, is gentle on bare feet and lasts forever.

~Michael
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby normofthenorth » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:39 am

Cockpit grip is still fine with the wax on it. Hiking straps still frustrate me! :!: In addition to being too far inboard, the fact that they're anchored to the bottom of the boat under the thwart, means that it's almost impossible for Skipper and Crew to hike out "shoulders rubbing", right at the thwart. On several OY boats, I switched the hiking straps to Barney's/Hapco's system -- slightly longer straps that run over the top of the thwart, around the bottom, and back out over the top -- so it was even easier for two people to hike close together than with the stock hiking straps. This P&B/Ovington setup seems like a big step backwards.

I'm also puzzled by the difficulty of easing the rig tension and the vang. (The outhaul wasn't easy, either, but a big strong bungie fixed that.) In both cases, getting them seriously eased requires the crew to pull the two aft lines out of the bottom of the boat. Even yanking quite hard on a shroud won't ease the rig tension without that extra step. The bungie takeup on the ends of the controls does some of the harm, but most of it seems like it's just excess friction. But it's not obvious to me why the two all-ball-bearing-block systems have so much more friction than I'm used to. Is it natural that a 2x6 double-block rig tensioner would release much worse than the Hapco-style (3x2x2)triple cascade?

Has anybody changed any of these things to make them work better?
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby georgecart » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:11 am

Hi Norm,

New Ovingtons arrive today with different rigging, so you can look to get some ideas. Yes it is normal for a 2 x 6 tensioner to have more friction, that's why the "magic" boxes were removed from many of the OYs and replaced with the cascade. Ultimately I would do that with the Ovington from last year if the friction cannot be overcome.

The Ovington hull presents some challenges as it is clearly designed for controls to come through the thwart seats (not necessarily everybody's favourite solution), yet it has few easy, clear paths from the raised mast step through to the turning point under the thwart. There are bulkheads under the mast step making this a challenge. An alternative to this is to route the vang around the outside turning near the shroud attachments (look at 8185) but this requires the building and installing of control panels which was going to be an extra cost last year (again see 8185).

What we don't necessarily realize is that although we were not happy with the build quality of the OY hulls, and rightly so, the rigging had been developed over many years by Barney, helped by Henry including changing all of the mast fitting dimensions to optimize the boat performance and upgrade almost every system. In the end although the build quality of the last boats was still not up to standard, the rigging really worked quite well. The rigging in the P & B boat was installed against some of my specifications by a UK national champion who had some better ideas. All well intentioned, we just don't realize how good our rigging is in comparison. Also non-adjusting shroud rigs are a bit foreign for UK Albacore builders.

Now we have great hull. Stiff, fast, longer lasting, better looking. However we need to work out the best way to rig it so it works the way we want it. This year there are improvements including a proper cascade jib halyard and a similar, but improved vang system. This is all challenging when the boat is 3000 miles away and everything is organized by phone and photos.

Rondar are a better long-term partner than P & B and that was one of the reasons for the change. I am confident we have made a step forward. Have a look at the Ovington hull. If you can think of any better ways to do things let me know. Installing control panels is an option moving forwards and routing the vang through blocks on the mast and then aft around the shrouds which would make the vang work perfectly (see 8185). I was just trying to avoid adding extra plates to the hulls to avoid the extra work and cost. It was going to be an extra cost at P & B and delay the order, which was already delayed too close to the internationals. Rondar have a metal fabrication shop on site and this presents no issues to them, I just wanted to keep the systems as similar as possible to the OY rigging.

The aim of this development is for the exercise to be a one-stop shop when a club calls Rondar and orders a boat that looks great, works perfectly and nobody else has to get involved. We are close. Next order we will be there. All for about $2000 less than an OY costed 2 years ago.

Believe it or not, I personally have never even sailed an Ovington, so it is hard for me to fully optimize the rigging. This will change with the new Mooredale boat, so I am looking forward to seeing how things work and making improvements.

It is very common in many classes to re-rig and change many components when you buy a new boat, including the OY for many years. The aim is to avoid this with the Community Club Ovington Albacore.

Again, have a think about the hull and rigging. Let me know of any improvements.

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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby normofthenorth » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:27 pm

Thanks, George, that's very helpful. I hope to be able to check out 8185 and the (other?) newest Ovingtons, but I'm not sure when. When our racing schedule was mostly clumped into "marathon weekends" -- FNR, Regatta, & HMs all in a row, all in the same place -- I used to leave my TISC boat on Westwood's lawn for the weekend, and have lots of chances to check out and swipe good ideas. Now, mostly because of the change in scheduling and partly because the rest of TISC doesn't like hanging out in the OH as much as I do, I never seem to leave a boat there unless the Canadians are in town.

I've just instituted a reasonable kludge on 8169 (and designed an even better one in my mind) to solve the worst of the hiking-strap problems (i.e., that they draw the skipper and crew APART and AWAY from the thwart, instead of TOGETHER and TOWARDS it). The "Mark I" was just to tie a rope loop around both straps, above the thwart, drawing them pretty close to the top of the thwart. Haven't actually used it yet, but I think the crew will bounce when the skipper hikes hard, and vice versa, so I'd be better off with 4 lengths of rope instead of two: Bowline around the skipper's strap just aft of the thwart, over the top of the thwart, and down to the fitting on the cabin sole. Similarly for the crew's strap, and port & starboard makes 4.

I've gotten used to the straps being farther inboard, and haven't lost a crew to a missed strap yet, either. Everything else has resolved itself or been solved, except for the high-friction rig tension and vang -- and even the vang usually releases by itself if you're not too impatient (and cleat it loose by pulling a loop out with your foot!). I'm also getting better boat performance than I have for a few seasons, for whatever reasons, so it's hard for me to dislike the boat!

My version of Ken Yamazaki's simple one-handed centerboard-pennant setup works beautifully on the Ovington boat, as it did on the OY. It's got rope-on-rope friction at the front and the back of an elongated loop of rope and bungie. Once it's adjusted, the CB just stays wherever it's put. The front and back friction ropes are loops that can be rotated to prevent wearing out prematurely, and their size is adjustable with tautline hitches in case the board starts sliding. TISC's other two Ovington Skippers/Boat-Captains stayed with the fancy supplied "Rube Goldberg" setup, and at least one of them has installed an OY-style CB pennant and cleat, presumably because that system didn't hold securely enough.

If I were rigging and de-rigging more frequently -- e.g., trailering to distant competitions -- I think I'd blow up or chop out the molded-in mast-gate, because it makes stepping and unstepping the mast so much harder and scarier. If there's a trick to it -- other than getting a bigger, stronger, younger guy to do it -- I haven't figured it out. I'd gotten completely blase about stepping the masts in the OY boats, even by myself with nobody else around -- but not on these boats where I've got to lift the mast foot over the deck!!

BTW & FWIW, TISC only got one of the last crop of OY Albacores -- 8137 -- and it's been a great boat for us (and me, when I've raced it). I was surprised when we all didn't give OY another chance, based on that boat. Bygones now.
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby JimE1 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:03 pm

Just an FYI on a newer boat being slippery. Sometimes new boats still have wax left over from when they were popped out of the mold. Can make for very slippery boat. Had this on another new boat I bought. Took a couple of months of sailing for it to wear off. :)
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Re: Ovington Albacore questions here?

Postby normofthenorth » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:45 pm

One more Ovington Q/issue: In this season's hairy (gusty shifty breezy wavy out-on-Lake) Mooredale Regatta, two of my club's better racing skippers (Neil Wilson and John Bennett), with excellent crew, had serious re-dumping problems in their late-2011 Ovington Albacores. Like most competitors that day, they dumped. But when they got their boats right-side-up, in the big waves and wind, they had big trouble staying right-side-up. At least one of them got some help from a rescue boat before settling down.

I spent that day at home (moaning and groaning with Salmonella food poisoning!), so this is all second-hand, and conditions that day were clearly pretty extreme. But they sounded convinced that the Ovingtons were harder to keep upright in those conditions -- big wind and waves, while post-dump awash -- than the OY boats.

Any opinions here?
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