F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

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MattAdams
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:58 am

F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by MattAdams »

Hi folks,

After six years of of dinghy sailing my wife and I are considering moving to a F21 shoal keel. I understand that this boat won't point as well as most bermudan sloop-rigged boats, but before we go down the path of buying one, I want to pose a few questions to the experienced minds here.

My wife and I regularly sail on an inland lake not far from the Rocky Mountain range and as such wind ranges from non-existent to 20-25+ knots. We have sailed regularly in the higher winds but are concerned that the F21 shoal keel pointing ability in this weather would be non-existent, hence my questions below re running backstays and the possibility of a bowsprit.

1. Is the hull in these boats cored or solid fiberglass? I can't find anything that speaks specifically to the F21 on this issue. I know the deck is cored.

2. Has anyone had success modifying a F21 to include running backstays? I think the idea here would be to prevent sag in the jib wire when going upwind in anything more than light airs.

3. Now for the crazy idea - my guess is that the gun-mount spinnaker setup is fantastic downwind, but unusable upwind. Has anyone ever thought of adding a bowsprit to this boat to fly a larger or 2nd jib to aid with windward performance. I am thinking that running backstays would be absolutely required with this configuration, but I worry that the center of effort would be too far forward for the shoal keel to provide adequate lateral resistance, and that too much heal would result in significant leeway.

Any feedback is appreciated,

Matt

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RadioZephyr
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by RadioZephyr »

They are balsa cored. I know this because I have seen one that has been cut in half. The construction appeared excellent.
Josh
Sunset Spy
F38, Hull #152
Boston, MA

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newt2u
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:24 am
Location: UK

Re: F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by newt2u »

Hi Matt,

a couple of thoughts, although I am unqualified to really comment on the F21, having bought one last year and am still waiting for lockdown restrictions to lift so I can get her in the water. However some things do not change from boat to boat and I have been sailing for nearly 60 years.

First re backstay: as the F21 seems to be set up mostly as a fractional rig its not clear whether a backstay will do a very good job of tightening the jib luff wire. Also having sailed both Supernova and Solo, both single-sail dinghies, I am sure you will get reasonable performance to wind, even if you douse the jib in strong winds. You may lose a few of degrees due to not having a slot but you will still make good progress to windward.

I would also be reluctant to do anything to upset the sail balance, putting a large amount of sail forward is likely induce lee helm, assuming the F21 is well balanced already, which is not a good idea. From what I have seen in videos, the F21 sail well and the spinnaker can be used on a reach in lighter airs.
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

chadrider
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:36 pm

Re: F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by chadrider »

Matt,
The asymmetrical on a prodder project is on my list too! I am coming at it a little differently though.

First: Going to Windward. Face it, A Freedom 21 is NEVER going to go to windward like a train. It isn't even going to go to windward like a Mariner. But, it can be hustled to windward adequately. Have you ever been astonished by a Beetle Cat or a Sunfish that is deceptively fast to windward? You are in a Snipe or a 420: your angle is better, you seem to be popping right along but then, next tack, you have only gained 50 feet on them at the cross? Same deal with the Freedom 21. If you sail the boat as though it has a gaff or lug rig, it will give you more than you might expect. The little jib really does help but it isn't intended to be a genoa but rather a way of keeping the airflow attached to the luff of the main. If your headstay is sagging dramatically, ease the jibsheet and trim the main accordingly.

Second: The Freedom's Revenge! Close reach and lower is where you will crush it! I once averaged, 8+ knots for 35 miles in my Freedom 21. A 15 knot SW wind, a ENE near run, gunmount spinnaker, and the rudder was humming non-stop and I was surfing every wave. It was so effortless my wife was asleep below! BUT, my gunmount has a few serious flaws:
  • It doesn't reach particularly well. Beyond 90degrees in anything more than a zephyr it will draw, but all it does is heel the boat.
  • Consequently, there is a weak spot in the boat's polar in 3-7 knots at 60-110 degrees (respectively) off the wind. The jib isn't enough, the chute is too close, to really get the Freedom 21 rolling.
  • The gunmount puts four lines across the tiny foredeck making a hazardous place for a 6'3" guy like me a maze of trips and slides.
So, my idea is to:
  • Add another jib/spinnaker halyard. I am probably going to run small diameter dyneema cored halyard to the masthead (to avoid punching another hole in the carbon mast) and then use glassed in fairleads to bring it to about a foot above the current jib block. Just this gives me a tall-boy option for close reaching in light-medium air
  • Remove the gun mount and add a removable sprit with 3 foot projection. The fitting at the base of the gunmount pulpit is plenty strong to resist the loads if I affix the butt end of the sprit back to just before the mast. I am also going to fit a bobstay to my trailer eye. I'll route the tack line down the sprit to avoid adding more trip-slide hazards than is necessary.
  • add two mooring cleats near the rail under the pulpit to both improve the ability to moor the boat and to solve the interference of the sprit with the center-mount cleat.
  • Fly a 22-24 foot A-sail between the sprit and the upper halyard
This gets me much improved reaching performance nearly equivalent (though not so pushbutton as the gunmount) performance straight downwind. I can even use the spinnaker sock and retriever line if I am tricky!

Third: Running Backstays. I don't think I am going to need them. If the mast is being pulled too far to leeward by my headsail it is probably time to take that headsail down. Likewise if my luff is sagging I am probably oversheeting the jib or tall-boy. They are pretty easy to add later so I'll try it this way first.

These are my plans, but expenditure #1 is a new main sail!!!

Chad
Chad Rider
Rumford, RI
02916

Freedom 21 "Frisson"
1984, Deep Keel, Gunmount.

chadrider
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:36 pm

Re: F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by chadrider »

One thing I forgot, the sprit will be mounted just a few inches above the deck and affixed to the center vertical of the pulpit using the hoops currently used by the gunmount control lines.
Chad Rider
Rumford, RI
02916

Freedom 21 "Frisson"
1984, Deep Keel, Gunmount.

MattAdams
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:58 am

Re: F21 with running backstays and bowsprit?

Post by MattAdams »

Hi all, thank you so much for the feedback and thoughts. Good points all around. Will let you know if we happen to get ourselves into the F21 and whether we find that we actually need the things that I wrote about above.

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