Gludy's New Mainsail Reefing System - Dispute

Gludy

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As some may know I have been having troubles with my new sailing boat a St Francis Marine 50 foot Cat.
We have never had the reefing system for raising and lowering the main work properly and having now had it looked at the reasons are obvious.
The boat has a LeisureFurl in boom reefing system which in itself is fine - nothing wrong with it but the rigging to the main and the furling drum is a bit of a nightmare:-

Starting at the winch end of the reefing line side


5553521011_19fe5ffca5.jpg
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reefOntoWinchSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

The problem is two fold.

The stainless steel roller hits the winch drum and scours the drum and the line goes onto the drum at the wrong angle. The roller also used to cut the line but St Francis cured this with a new roller design supplied to us by SFM after all the problems on the Atlantic crossing where we had to replace halyards also replaced by St francis because of the problems they now deny ever happened on that trip. I can prove this with emails and documents. Duncan is simply inventing out of thin air a new history to suit his current wish to hold onto as much money as possible. The noise made on the drum by all this is incredible - grit your teeth time.
The fibreglass in front of the roller plate actually flexes to allow the roller to hit the winch.

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Bracketremoved StbSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

Here we have the steel roller plate and roller removed. The holes are from changes in sea trials at St Francis. There have been to date three attempts at getting the plate right so this time I have done the spec for the fourth plate and it extends under the jammers so the jammers add additional security - it is 12mm thick and has a much larger counter leverage to prevent the roiler hitting the winch.

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ReefingLineJamsOrgiansierCutsPlasticSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

Next the lines pass through the jammers to through a plastic guard which the reef line hits and grooves the guard. You can see the groove in the side of the guard.

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RopeHits Plastic PlateSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]


Then into the organiser:-

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RopeWearsWheelDownSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

There the reefing line jams the simple plastic wheel(no bearings) and then grooves into it. You can clearly see which wheel.
This is because a simple no bearing plastic organiser is being used to do the work of a block!! It has to turn the reefing line through about 60 degrees.

Onto the centre cluster of blocks:-
5554107368_603ba4f222.jpg
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RopeHittingSteelSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

The misaligned blocks actually cause the rope to hit the stainless steel holding the blocks.

This also happens to the main halyard:-
5554105558_33a3641be1.jpg
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MainHalyardHitsSteelSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

The side thrust on these blocks shreds them - see the black plastic on the deck.

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BlockShreddingPlastic with SidepressureSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

St Francis supplied just plain non-bearing blocks that messed up across the Atlantic and they replaced. Again I can prove this with docments to totally refute no problems crossing the Atlantic myth spread by St Framncis Marine. I have since replaced with plain bearing blocks but the problem is that everything is not properly lined up - blocks should be at 90 degrees to the line and they are not.

Then onto the plain plastic block at the bottom of the mast:-
5554105308_7100493e7f.jpg
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Bottom ofMast with plasticOnlyBlockSmall by SV Suliiere, on Flickr[/IMG]

This is simply absurd for the incredible load it has to take. It should have bearings.
Then from there to the reefing drum up the mast.

OK the wool was pulled over our eyes on sea trials. and a surveyor or any experienced sailor would have picked all this up - just as Lesiurefurl state - the system must have been designed by somebody who does not sail.

So St Francis Marine have managed and supported all the failed changes up to date and I am now left with custom blocks and solutions that are very expensive.

St Fracnis Marine claims that all this is OK - its fine - he was happy with it and all that does is say a lot about him and his standards.

He simply will not help with sorting out the mess that up until now he has tried to sort out - its too expensive to sort so the client pays. Had it been properly designed at the time it would have meant standard high end parts.

This caused an big thread on www.multihulls4us.com but despite joining the thread St Francis Marine refused to discuss the reefing system and declined it as a warranty issue stating all man made things can be improved.

The riggers here cannot believe how Bad this system is - it is not functional.

The large thread is here:-
http://www.multihulls4us.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3451&page=6
The subject starts about halfway down the page.

So I am seeking the views of a wider sailing public.

Is it normal to use a simple plastic no bearing organiser to change a high load line through 60 degrees?
What do you think of this rigging design?
I have given up trying to get St Francis Marine to even discuss the reefing system as they claim it is OK and I find that hard to swallow on a new boat.

If anyone ever wants a lost of boats not to buy - I am your man :)
 

FullCircle

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To be honest, I have never bought a sailing boat and not changed the rigging in some way.
My new Jeanneau took me over a year to sort out, and that included new deck organisers, clutches, moving winches, changing lines for different diameters, adding brackets and sheave blocks to the mast.
Get your self a decent rigger on board, take him for a sail, and then discuss your requirements and ideas.
For what you paid for the boat, a few quid sorting out the rigging is peanuts.

If you had issues with the boat on commission or handover signoff (or had a surveyor/project manager), you should have brought it up then.
 

prv

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Not commenting on whether you should have noticed before ordering / accepting, but I'd certainly agree it's all pretty ****. That cockpit winch and its accompanying anchor roller is a crazy piece of "design". (Clearly it wasn't actually designed, but was hacked together as an afterthought.)

Pete
 

Talulah

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Also rust showing at the base of the center cluster block fitting. What grade stainless?
The plastic guard to the turning blocks look pretty cheap. What happens if you turn them around or swap sides? Maybe a better fit?
The steel roller above the winch probably did have sufficient clearance from the winch at time of build but has distorted with the loads being applied. The leverage downward from the winch will be huge. This setup is horrible.
With the ropes cutting into the turning block you could try a larger diameter. However, the Spinlock web sites show some more suitable alternatives. (TS series for taking high cross loads).
The center cluster block fitting was never going to work. To many dependencies on getting dimensions absolutely right in 3 dimensions. This fitting needs to be scrapped and replaced with horizantal cheek blocks.

All IMHO.
 

Juniperskip

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What a mess! Can you get access to a good rigger? From the photos it looks as if you could reposition the winch and jammers, possibly using a smaller winch as I doubt this size is necessary. The blocks at the base need changing to swivel based blocks, etc. I think, having accepted the boat, I would tend to just get it fixed and forget it as a warranty issue.:eek:
 

Gludy

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We have had an expert rigger on board plus taken the advice from Leisurefurl the makers of the in boom reefing which St Francis went against. As a result we have totally redesigned th steel roller before the winch, changed over to a high grade organiser with bearings, changed the centre steel cluster and with bespoke bearing blocks and are changing the block at the base of the mast with a bespoke beating block.

With this out first sailing boat we had the wool pulled over our eyes by St Francis and we trusted them far too much but now they have no intention of honouring the warranty and think that thye system shown is OK - says a lot for the pride they tale in their boats.
 

bigwow

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SFM are so proud of their design and workmanship, on this 1Million pound!!! boat that they want to display it to the world, so of course they don’t want to change anything!!
 

Beadle

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I followed your saga with the Trader, and thought at the time you would not have that sort of trouble with a decent sailing boat.

And now you have!

I admire your resilience, I think I would have taken up needlepoint by this stage.

At least buying 2nd hand we are spared some of this sort of nonsense. It makes you appreciate why mass production caught on.

Hope you get it sorted out soon and actually get to go sailing - in your own boat
 

Gludy

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"That looks very poorly designed. Did you not notice this prior to placing your order?"
There was no in boom reefing set up to look at. They went their own way in build ignoring the in boom manufacturers advice - it did not work so after the crossing the replaced the mangles plastic sheaves, replaced the scoured wind drums and raised the steel roller over the winch 6mm but all this was nothing to do to change what is an utterly flawed system.

They then refused to do any more warranty work or even answer questions on it stating that all manmade things can be improved - that is their only comment on it besides trying to blame me for not using it correctly.

Getting bespoke blocks etc made is expensive and I am paying for all the work to get it done. I had asked that they fit only the best blocks and deck gear and I would pay the extra and this is what they served up.

Even the main halyards for the gennaker and storm sail were 14mm put through 8 to 12 mm jammers causing the jammer to burst open - they are at least paying for new halyards on that one.
 

chippysmith

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Never going to work

Personally I would give up on anything attached to the coachroof to turn the line onto the winch, will never work, to much bending moment from that giant winch.

Remove the winch, design a plate to fit underneath, plate would extend up and a gusseted plate welded to the top to take the roller, get NASA to design it! Wants at to be box gusseted from at least 6mm thk St/St..

Al the other elements are doable using better spec blocks etc.
 

Bilgediver

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The problem is two fold.

The stainless steel roller hits the winch drum and scours the drum and the line goes onto the drum at the wrong angle. The roller also used to cut the line but St Francis cured this with a new roller design supplied to us by SFM after all the problems on the Atlantic crossing where we had to replace halyards also replaced by St francis because of the problems they now deny ever happened on that trip. I can prove this with emails and documents. Duncan is simply inventing out of thin air a new history to suit his current wish to hold onto as much money as possible. The noise made on the drum by all this is incredible - grit your teeth time.
The fibreglass in front of the roller plate actually flexes to allow the roller to hit the winch.


I think you are peeing into the wind by just upping the size of plate as the cantilever bending loads are excessive. The turning roller to the reefing winch needs to sit on a fabricated assembly which saddles that corner of the cabin roof. moreover it seems the winch is mounted too high to allow the use of a decent sized turning sheave.

For a kosher Gludy job I would fabricate a stainless sheave bracket which saddles the corner and with curved fillet plates around the cylindrical portion of the drum for added support so spreading the load and also lower the winch if possible to make room. The bracket should be extended below the clutches and winch to further reduce loadings .
 

sarabande

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Gludy - did the builders have the details of the ineffective arrangements on drawings before they installed them, or was it all done ad hoc ?

Are their other drawings on a 3D CAD system, where presumably the faulty leads could have been picked up earlier ?

Speccing turning blocks and organisers is a fairly straightforward job, given the diameter of lines and details of loads from the architect.

It sounds as if an experienced boatbuilding project manager might have been useful, in retrospect, or do you, like Magnum, enjoy the build process as part of the ownership ?


I am sure the boat will work out well with your new mods, but it must be so frustrating.
 

Alistairr

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Yes, I know is not an April Fools, I simply am astounded that he has problems with yet another boat. I sincerely hope he gets the problems with this one resolved a hell of a lot easier and quicker, and he did with his Trader.

Cheers
Al.
 

Gludy

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The plate/roller in front of the winch - a totally new plate is being made that is 12mm thick and extends under the clutches to give far more counter moment - its also extends over the grp in front of the winch and over the corner to saddle the winch a bit on either side.
 
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