RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
from Rob Legg Yachts

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hull stiffening
read in the owners registry that alastair stiffened the hull of his mark 1 rl24 Q1 how is this done? Q2 would it need doing on a boat that probably wont be raced?, though i have been told my mark 1 has been set up for racing ie tapered curved mast fully battened main and no backstays, and who knows i might even get competent and confident enough to enter local races down the track.
jim boyd 15-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening
Your boat has survived very nicely for the past 30 plus years without stiffening, so under normal use I see no reason for it now. More important is for you to check out the bouyancy compartments and ensure that they are intact, and if in doubt add more bouyancy in the form of sealed cell foam or bouyancy bags.
Rob. Legg 20-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening
thanks for the reply and advice Rob, and double thanks for a terrific trailer sailor, yep the R L is certenly standing the test of time and my old girl is not showing any obvious signs of stress and has probably done her share of hard yards over the years,the bow flotation looks fine and i will add some closed cell under the cockpit floor and moveable flotation in the qaurter births
jim boyd 22-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening
Our RL24 has some minor gelcoat crazing and at least one minor hull crack. The latter allows a small amount of water through into the battery compartment, say, a litre or two. The quantity/level suggests the height location of the crack on the external skin. (This water has been checked as coming via the hull and not rain, etc.).

The boat has had a history of racing although our intent is more toward the relaxing side of things.

Rob's comments would be appreciated as I intend to do a fair bit of refurbishment this year and rectification/strengthening was a thought for the program.
John 24-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening

I agree with Rob and I would go further and say that all racing trailer yachts for safety reasons, should be self righting and buoyant when in a swamped condition. In this condition the boats deck should be parallel to and just above the sea level. As required by the TYA rules, I would also suggest that you fit and use a keel lock down device and of course use it at all times when sailing.

I bought a mark 1 in a poor and damaged condition in 1980. She had been badly home assembled from a kit and needed money and time spent on her to get her into seaworthy condition. We had a large racing fleet of swing keel RL 24s at Port Kembla Sailing Club then and being a keen technical racer from way back the RL 24 suited me as I was allowed to play around with Para Handy to gain any legal boat speed advantage.

The first thing I did was put a prop/post between the floor and the cabin top to stop the mast pumping the cabin top up and down in heavy weather. The rig and sails were replaced with the very successful Mike Coxon/North Sails skiff rig (no back stay). All the measurements, go fast and tuning details for this rig are documented in this web site. I then installed a larger and deeper Holm Brothers balanced vertical drop rudder to improve control when racing in heavy weather.

To reduce forestay sag and help mast bend I beefed up the shrouds and forestay to reduce stretch and then fitted a 10 to 1 forestay tension device. This bulged the side decks excessively so I then fitted long 3/8 “aluminium plates under the side decks to spread the load.

For performance purposes only and to reduce the hogging and sagging in the long hull when racing in heavy weather. I fitted struts between the deck and hull mouldings along the centre line. In the swing keeler the centreboard box acts as a girder and this is the main hull stiffener. The mark 1 rl24 was designed to get up on the plane and to do this the keel/ballast was a wee bit on the light side and this meant that you had to have heavies on the 'gunwales/sheer' when going to windward in a breeze. She was always a bit tippy when compared to the other RL24 marks.

I also found that with the more powerful skiff rig she was making too much leeway so fitted a larger and heavier second hand mark 2 swing keel and to do this had to raise the height of the centreboard box and at the same time I re-routed the keel lifting wire out of the water flow. I also fitted a quick release top to this box so that I could fit a water flow diverter/filler and keel lockdown to improve both performance and safety.

This had to be done back then because in NSW the drop keel and the swing keel Rl24s were on the same CBH handicap rating. I also increased the buoyancy placing it high near the gunwales/sheer and made a removable outboard well plug. Everything was carried out in accordance with class or NSW state TYA rules.

After all this work was completed, Para Handy was relatively fast, well balanced and easily controlled especially in the heavy weather with her efficient and modest rig. I reckoned my Mark 1 was faster than the ‘as built’ drop keel mark 4 in winds over 18 knots.

Back in the eighties the RL 24 was the bee’s knees boat at TYA events and remember she was the first TY, with accommodation, to get up and stay on a controlled plane in high winds. Other TY builders at that time went for the short beamy designs to give them more comfortable accommodation. Then of course tried to improve performance by cramming on more sail area. This I can tell you led to some pretty exciting times with many of these out of control boats broaching all over the place when racing in the heavy wind events!

It is only in more recent times when some of the newer TY’s have appeared with modern computer generated hull and rig shapes and are also being built using modern lightweight composite fibre materials, that our RL 24 has become to look a bit dated. These new designs have been helped by the introduction new sail materials and methods of manufacture along with asymmetricals with their carbon fibre retractable bow sprits. My favourite new designs at the moment are the NZ designed Elliot 7 and the Ross’s and the Aussie designed and built Spider 22.

Even now, I would just love to give my boat a suit of North’s 3DL sails along with ultra light weight cockpit. But with the various CBH rating systems being in decline and at the point of collapse, this is a no go area. As a retiree I just cannot justify the high cost or the effort to keep my RL24s boat speed up to that required by its CBH rating. It should be noted that the present problem has been compounded by the attitude of some classes and/or their owners ignoring the requirements of the RRS rule book by showing no respect for the boats/class CBH declared measurements.

Anyway Jim I hope you have some good times with your mark 1 Rl24 as it is a good monohull sailing/racing boat and does not have the hang-ups of the short fat floating caravan type TY’s. I suggest you should not be in a hurry to jump into the expensive TY CBH sail boat racing scene at the moment. I would sail in the new and growing social cruising/racing type events until Yachting Australia fixes up the present mess. YA have recently taken over the CBH system and have laid down new procedures, a new set of rules and a set of provisional CBH ratings.

I think we now all have to wait and watch to see if all the various State TYA associations and TY racing Clubs accept the new National CBH system this coming season.

Alastair 25-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening
You will see a thread above regarding boat repairs, I would suggest that you download it as it contains all the imformation that you require to make repairs.
Damage to hulls is mostly caused by trailers that have bilge rollers or pads that are taking the weight instead of the centre rollers, so it would pay to check your boat as it comes off the trailer during launching to make sure that the centre rollers are adjusted properly and taking the weight.
Rob Legg 25-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening

Thanks for the comments. Downloaded the file this morning and have had a scan through it .. some studying there to be done by me, I suspect.

The trailer will be getting a refurb as well. I fancy going to a tandem for redundancy on interstate towing and will be reworking all the support fixtures. The centreline rollers take the load but are on the way out .. more trouble refurbing them than replacement, I think.
John 26-May-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: hull stiffening
Thanks Alastair,I plan on spending a big part of my retirement messing about in my R L which BTW looks fast just parked in the driveway,i will be very much a fair weather sailor for awhile and doubt i will ever have the skill or stomach for racing, i have seen how close your boats get,its certainly not for the faint hearted
jim boyd 27-May-2009    Edit    Delete 

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