to fill; center is off; back to drain. The third photo shows a drain test. It takes 90 seconds to completely fill or drain the seven gallon ballast bag.
(2) The second thing was installing some cast bronze hinges for the rudder petals. I replaced my original aluminum hinges with two continuous stainless hinges cut to size but after a while they opened up and became sloppy. I found some replacement 2½" chrome plated brass butt hinges that are cast. They are totally slop free and just bolted on. Since they are cast, they cannot open up like stamped ones and should solve the problem. I wanted a no-slop system where I could bolt on the aluminum petals I had. I did not want to redo the cabling I had modified a year ago. Now they will not flex and will not hit the inside of the cockpit as I move them back and forth, so eliminating any scratching. This way my 'poor man's autopilot' (above) should work well.
(3) Third was getting the new custom daggerboard John made for me fit in the daggerboard case. It protrudes 27" below the bottom of the hull (near right). It is about 4" shorter than standard and has a carbon spar mounted inside, so is very strong and should never break. I use the downhaul bungee for the rudder to also hold down the daggerboard (far right).
(4) Fourth was carving out a new bottom seat cushion after redoing the traveler system (below left).
(5) Fifth was adding a "D" ring to the front crossbeam so I could clip on my anchor rode (below center).
(6) Sixth was to add one layer of unidirectional carbon sleeve and two layers of bidirectional carbon sleeve to my 19' mast. This was to make it stiffer as the top was bending way too much when hard on the wind and my pointing ability suffered. The photo (above right) shows the mast with carbon sleeves installed. With 67.3 lbs of weight at the center of the mast, deflection was only 4¾ inches.
(7) Lastly, my sail maker (Jim Gluek) is making me a new sail incorporating all that we have learned in the last few years. I took him my mast and we talked for over an hour. He is a former iceboat champion here in the USA. We tested a few things and he agreed that my current sail is way too full. It also doesn't provide the same drive going straight downwind as my previous sail. He is going to experiment until he gets the correct sail shape, will then tear it apart and feed the data into his computer, which is connected to all the Quantum lofts, and will make me a new sail to meet the criteria. I should then be able to handle the extra sail area and will hopefully have a very comfortable boat that I can use in a much wider range of sailing conditions.
With all the modifications, including the ballast system, my boat now weighs about 160 lbs.
7 February 2009
I know I said I had completed my Raptor but quite a few people thought that I might have problems with water filling the ballast bag due to suction caused by water flowing past the intake at speed. I asked the question on some forums and most thought I would have some problems, especially on a port tack in higher winds when the ama would be almost buried. So I decided to install an additional valve and to clean up the wiring to the switch at the same time.
T & H Marine sent me a sample full flow ¾" remote drain control system, which is used for boat livewell tanks. I installed the remote valve right after the one-way check valve that is already connected to the discharge port of the fill pump. I shortened the cable and after everything was installed the control to open or close the valve works very smoothly.