Model Boat Mayhem

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: Sailmaker on September 10, 2009, 09:09:25 AM

Title: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 10, 2009, 09:09:25 AM
I have nearly completed the Comtesse build and have a question about the jib sail shape.
The  jib seems to have been cut incorrectly unless it is a new shape and modified for some reason.
As can be seen in the pictures the inboard end of the jib boom points upwards by an excessive amount.
Looking at the lower sail edge the cut is very different from the plan view, it runs upward to the inner edge causing the boom to slope up as well.
There is no way to overcome this and I think it looks wrong and in my opinipon it looks stupid.

Has any member built the Comtesse that could post or send me a picture of their boat so as to compare the sail sshape.
I envisage a fight with the company to get anything done.

Looking at the plan shows the jib boom to be just below the main boom which means the jib is an inch or so short.

thanks.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 10, 2009, 08:09:40 PM
There are a couple of pics here which may be of help to you.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478851

I've just ordered this kit myself so will follow your thread with interest.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Martin [Admin] on September 10, 2009, 09:45:07 PM
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=HVdW2ax5y-s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=HVdW2ax5y-s)

Spike's Comtesse :

(http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Modellers/Spike/images/P7150203.jpg)  
http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Modellers/Spike/Comtesse%201.htm (http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Modellers/Spike/Comtesse%201.htm)

Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 10, 2009, 10:19:15 PM
Thank you both for posting your pictures, there seems to be two different sail shapes.
I read somewhere about problems with the Comtesse when all the deck fittings and safety rails were fitted.
It would seem that Robbe have recut the jib to a different shape so the boom can clear the side rails.

I don't like the new layout but will have to live with it.

The best place to get the kit is here  http://conrad.com/
Currently it's £96.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 11, 2009, 08:10:00 AM
The best place to get the kit is here  http://conrad.com/
Currently it's 96.

Not if you live in France, unfortunately. I've ordered my kit from Conrad International and it cost 132 euros (inc delivery)  {:-{

Still the cheapest over here though.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 11, 2009, 08:57:24 AM
Yes I see what you mean, I must have been lucky because Conrad UK were selling for 96 inc tax and delivery and took 5 days to get here from France.
There was a 30 difference in price compared to other UK dealers.

I would make a suggestion about the build.

The main sheet pulley is positioned too high so the sheet can come off the pulley at maximum serve throw.
The Hitec sail servo has far too much throw for my build and the transmitter stick only needs to be at half way for full sail deploy.

I would suggest that you line up the servo height and pulley before you glue it in place, will need a new slot cut in the bulkhead.
It's also difficult to get the main sheet around the pulley so I used a length of solder and tied the sheet to it.

The main shroud wire was hard to solder so I used plumbing flux to help out.

Good luck with your build...
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 11, 2009, 09:27:23 AM
I did a test float to check the balance etc and scared the fish at the same time.
This is a first sailboat build and it seems to look ok.
The fittings need installing then off for a test sail.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 12, 2009, 07:54:06 AM
Looking at those lilies, it's a good job you don't have a bulb keel  :-)

What have you covered the deck with ?
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 12, 2009, 09:56:05 AM
The deck is covered with Walnut strip, 4mm x 0.5mm. The finish is not as good as I would have liked but that's life.
I have included pictures of the radio setup and long shot of the deck.

My lack of experience has affected the overall finish, especially the deck and I decided not to multi colour the hull in case I ruined it.

I made a mistake and used deck stantions on the bow rails and am now 3 short for the safety rails.
Still loads of fiddly bits to fit yet.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: pompebled on September 13, 2009, 09:31:04 AM
Looking at those lilies, it's a good job you don't have a bulb keel  :-)
Speaking of the keel; the Comtesse is very similar to the Graupner Saphir and in our group there were some sailing their Comtesse together with the Saphirs (and my TT Voyager).

The could not keep up, despite similar hull length en sailsurface.
The answer to that 'problem' was to remove the thick keel from the Comtesse and replace it with the much thinner keel (and bulb) of the Saphir, including a keelbox, to made transport easier.

The converted Comtesse is now equal to the Saphir and also gives my Voyager a hard time every once and a while, much more fun to sail with.

But, weeds are a bigger issue now...

Regards, Jan.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tigertiger on September 13, 2009, 11:41:11 AM
In fairness to the boat, the Comtesse is not a racing yacht.

Neither was the original 1:1 Contesse, a cruiser, although there were Contesse class races.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Jimmy James on September 16, 2009, 08:46:45 PM
We have 3 of these boats in our club but none of the jibs are sleeved up like that --- mind you they are older versions--- Are you sure you have the jib on the right way round???  If you have the luff and leach reversed it would more than likely stick up like that!
Freebooter
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Jimmy James on September 16, 2009, 08:58:51 PM
Been speaking to one of our members who has the boat and he said he moved the jib tack forward 3/4 of an inch  and she sailed better also it leveled out the jib boom
Freebooter
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tony23 on September 16, 2009, 11:04:30 PM
Jee's where did you get that beige receiver and servo from  {-)
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 17, 2009, 09:04:11 AM
I just noticed the picture that Martin posted is the same as mine. The cut of the sail determines the placing of the boom and as far as I can see short of replacing the sail nothing can be done. I still think it's to do with the sail clearing the safety rails.
The jib can only be installed one way round  and it's impossible to get my arm into the bow of the hull to do move anything.

I was wondering what is wrong with using the Futaba M series receiver/servo combination. I bought the set in the late 1960s in a model shop in Abingdon and it's worked fine ever since. I do not intend to spend loads of money just for the sake of it.
I bought new M series cables from http://store.modelpower.co.uk to make an adapter for the Hitec sail servo and that works fine.
See the picture of my North sea trawler installation. This includes a hombrew PIC ESC that works well.
My Comtesse is finished, all that's needed is courage to sail it for the first time.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 17, 2009, 09:27:04 AM
Sometimes you have to laugh at peoples comments  :-)

If the electronics work for you, thats surely all that matters, isn't it. As regards the jib, it will, of course, only fit one way.

I'm just starting on mine so will post a few bits on the build as I work my way along.

One question regarding the decking SM. Do you have any idea on what the total length of planking was required?

Good luck with the first sail.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Martin [Admin] on September 17, 2009, 11:34:45 AM

Nothing wrong with old radio gear...
Just be weary of those spring load AA battery boxes, I've had a couple split on me.
Use a couple of red Royal Mail elastic bands (from any nearby pavement) to help hold it together and a
 little white silicon type grease on all the electrical surfaces to help prevent corrosion.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 17, 2009, 12:20:36 PM
Thanks for the battery tip Martin I will do that.

Regarding the planking timber, I purchased 20, 1 metre lengths of 4mm x 0.5mm Walnut and have 4 lengths left.
I did not waste much so to be on the safe side you need at least 16. I used a combination of super glue and a contact adhesive to lay the planks.
Can you check yor jib sail and see what the bottom cut looks like.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 17, 2009, 12:54:18 PM
Thanks for that.

I'll photo and post a pic of my sail shortly.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tigertiger on September 17, 2009, 01:29:52 PM
Hi Sailmaker

Sailing is easy, getting fast is what takes practice  ok2

You don't need courage, just a fair wind  :}
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 18, 2009, 01:35:18 PM
(http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p211/Bugbear2/Sails.jpg)

Photo as requested SM.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 20, 2009, 11:01:02 AM
Thanks for the sail image Gary, it seems the cut is the same as mine which explains the boom position.
It would be nice to know why Robbe changed the shape.

Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 20, 2009, 01:58:04 PM
No problem.
I decided to do some work on the mast and rigging today and now see exactly what you mean about soldering the stays  >:-o , it simply doesn't work. I've used 'crimps' in the end, much easier and probably just as strong.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 21, 2009, 08:56:54 AM
I thought at first that the shroud wire was stainless bit of course it could not be.
It seemed to be a type of shiny wire that for the 2 main shrouds I ended up using plumbers flux. There is a danger here that some types are acidic and may damage the wire.
For the jib one I used a different electronic multicore solder that worked first time. For the bow and stern railings I used the same multcore solder and sprayed them white.
I have not decided whether to install the safety rails as I broke 3 deck stantions.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 22, 2009, 08:36:04 AM
I've done a couple of modifications, one to the location of the pulley on the bulkhead (following your comments) and one to the forestay reinforcement (it doesn't fit flat due to the raised seam inside the hull).
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 22, 2009, 09:42:22 AM
I wish I had modified the pully as I am sure it's going to give trouble. The only other way is to do something obout the servo range, the Hitec has such a large arm throw and I wonder how other Comtesse builders have overcome this.

I had the same problem with the hull moulding, very poor design. I ended up using a large blob of Araldite adhesive and squashed the wood up and compressed it with the screw.

I wonder what will break or fall off on its maiden voyage.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Martin [Admin] on September 22, 2009, 10:31:57 AM

 Can you drill holes lower (inwards) down the servo arm which will reduce the 'throw'?
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 22, 2009, 03:02:08 PM
I'm sorry if you are all gettin bored with this, why should I be the only one. Todays pre-sail checks continued the spate of disasters.

1, The transmitter died, this was your suggestion Martin, a broken battery box.
2, The main sail got stuck, the sheet had come off the pulley and jammed, good job it was at home.

It was as I said before the pulley is too high, with the servo mounted low down the rope angle was too great. It seemed there were 3 ways to sort the problem.

1, lower the pulley, impossible no access.
2, raise the servo, impossible no access and alter the center of gravity.
3, modify the servo arm, raise the rope by 45mm.

The picture shows the prototype effort. This as Martin suggested lowers the throw of the servo quite a bit.
I have re-tighened the sheets having moved the jib sheet as well and it seems to work well.

A note to Bugsy, do make sure the main sail runs true before sealing the cockpit as there is no access once you do.
Now a new transmitter box has to be made.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 22, 2009, 05:49:13 PM
I set mine up by drawing up (on the plan) the angle of the rope entering and exiting the pully. I then set the pulley equidistant to those lines. As can be seen from my previous photo this involved lowering the pulley by about 8mm and angling it down slightly.

Another option SM, is to either cut out the existing pulley or, if not possible, obtain another. Mount it onto a spare piece of ply that will fit behind the bulkhead, pass it through and glue it in place. Difficult, yes, but if you're going to have the cockpit out to replace the servo mounts it would be worth doing, I think.

Good luck with it.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tigertiger on September 23, 2009, 01:04:12 AM
Another option would be a faillead with a tube that extends to the depth you need. 8mm no problem but 40+ would be a bit of an issue.

I like the idea of angling the servo, this way the pull tension is in the direction the servo was designed for, without any leverage effect.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 25, 2009, 07:58:16 AM
A little mod I'm doing for the aerial wire using Macdonalds straws. Makes it easy to install and remove the receiver should you need to.

BTW The grey paint is overspray from the hull painting.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 26, 2009, 08:43:12 AM
Sailmaker.

Just a thought regarding your sail servo problem, have you tried turning it round on the mounting. This moves the pivot-point further away from the pulley and makes the angles much better.

I know the plans show it the other way but it really does improve it.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 26, 2009, 08:56:03 PM
Thanks Gary, I am unable to do anything with the radio gear now the cockpit has been glued down. The first sail is on Monday so I'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 28, 2009, 07:19:50 AM
Good luck with the first sail.

I've just done a trial rig of mine and am quite pleased with the result. I have decided not to fit any deck furniture but keep it simple. I just have to add some deck 'non-slip' patches, an deck edge line and a float to check the best location for the battery.

Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 28, 2009, 02:35:48 PM
Very nice finish Gary, makes me jealous of your skill.
Anyway it was off to the lake today via a short Geocaching trip. It was generally light wind with moderate gusts.
The pictures show the Comtesse in all its glory.
There are a number of issues I am faced with;
1, Failure to sail in a straight line. The rudder trim was altered on one tack to improve the line only to find it wrong for the opposite tack, running nearly close       hauled.
2, Reasonable rudder control in constant wind but total failure to turn to Starboard when the wind increased or gusted. I ran aground twice because of this.
    The yacht seemed to decide what to do on its own and the only way out was to turn to port and carry on.
3, Both sails were not pulling equally probably just sheet adjustment.
4, Tricky to go about without sufficient forward motion, tendency to go into "Irons" then a  problem to move on.

The green flag is for the transmitter channel and to function as a tell tale.
All in all a succesfull first trial especially for a new sailor.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 28, 2009, 03:11:28 PM
Nice one, and what a great bit of water.

Looking at the pictures I would advise the following:

Set the jib out more, from the pictures it looks to be in too much in relation to the main.
The jib also looks too tight for the wind conditions (but difficult to judge from a photo)

Rake the mast back a little from vertical say 5 mm and then try it.

Gary.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 28, 2009, 04:25:12 PM
Gary,
A question or two.

How far do your sails deploy at full stick and what is the rudder angle at full stick.

I have just noticed my sails do not go out more than a broad reach setting.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on September 28, 2009, 08:13:05 PM
I can get the main to just touch the stays (full up + full trim) in that position the jib is also in full 'running' trim.

My rudder angle from straight is about 30 - 35 degrees, too much really.

I set my rig up (full down + full trim) with the main exactly in line with the centre of the boat and the jib able to move approx. 40 mm either side of centre. Mast vertical. Jib as low as I can get it.

I'll play with this setting when I get it finished and afloat  %)
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on September 30, 2009, 04:01:45 PM
Thanks for the info Gary The problem I have, not enough sail travel since I shortened the servo arm. Looks like a re-fit job.
I took it out today in light winds and it became clear it does not compete well at all.
The clubs 1metre class were outsailing me in the light winds. The larger sail area helps them as well.
Still it's quite relaxing sitting on the bank.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 01, 2009, 07:09:09 PM
Because of the problems with the rigging I have dismantled everthing and removed the radio tray to re-posotion the servos and move the main pulley.
The pulley is now level with servo and with a smaller arm the travel is much better.

Can anyone tell me what sail cord to purchase to replace what Robbe supplied. I don't seem to be able to get the type Robbe supplied.
It's was 1mm cord that seemed to be plastic type.
Is it ok to use bottle screws on the mast stays because the Robbe design is difficult to adjust.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on October 01, 2009, 07:18:59 PM
I put fishing swivels on the stays and that allows easy adjustment without the wire twisting.

Dacron fishing braid is what you need for running lines.

I've just made up a back stay as an experiment. Its adjustable and allows you to put bend in the mast as needed.

First trip out shortly, as soon as our visitors have gone  :-))
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 03, 2009, 03:23:02 PM
I have re-arranged the servos and radio,  and moved the main pully to give more sail movement. So far it seems to be better.
In the light of all the problems I wish I had bought the Victoria instead.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tigertiger on October 04, 2009, 01:46:44 AM
Hi Sailmaker.

In answer to your questions.

The line for the sails sheets. 25kg Dacron from Sailsetc.com will do the job nicely.
http://sailsetc.com/fitrig.htm# product no D25. 20m spool for 2.25  :-))

How far should the sails be out. Well this is how I set up mine.
Stick full back and the trim also full back.
Main sail about 10-15 degrees off centre. If central she won't move anyway.
Jib about 5-10 degrees bigger than the main (i.e. 15-25 degrees). It needs to be offset further than the main (your picture looks the opposite),this creates a 'slot' for the wind to accelerate over the curved side of the mainsail increasing power.
Stick full forward and trim full forward should have you touching the shrouds.

Don't worry about the sail arm, you can make them out of a piece of ply or plastic. I think Martin used a plastic ruler on his sailer. ;)

Regards straight line running. Yours may have been affected by your jib setting trying to swing the boat around with too much pressure up front in balance to the rear. In effect she may be on the point of broaching.
Additionally, as she heels over the water will run around the hull profile. So if she is heeled hard over to the right, she will want to go left. This can be mitigated by a little bit of right rudder (this can be done with the trim). But if he is heeling over to the left, everything is revered (including the direction of the trim). Easily sorted  :-))

When you do the refit, go back as close to the manufactureres instructions as you can. The boat has been on the market for years, it has a good reputation  :-)), I think Robbe will have set it up nicely. I think it may be that veering away from the manufactureres instructions was the beginning of some of the problems you are having now.

But there is nothing major wrong with your boat. It just needs tweaking. ok2

Try resetting up your sails first and see how much better she sails.
To give you an idea of the improvements you can get with a longer sail arm try this. Set it up so that with the stick full back the sails are already out 30-40 degrees (jib a further 10 degrees out). This will give you a better idea of how well she will sail  when she is not heeled over heading into the wind, but doing a nice broad reach, and running  :} :}

Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 04, 2009, 09:44:54 AM
Thanks Tiger, most helpfull.
The biggest problem is that to use the full servo arm travel the servo has to be too far forward to clear the moulded cockpit floor with the stick full back
With the servo too far forward the arm goes beyond and under the pulley and the sheet jams. There does not seem to be a servo position to give full sail movement. In the manufacturers design the pulley is too high and the sheet comes off or gets jammed when the arm goes below it.
In my modified version that does not happen and the sails do go out further but not fully to the stays.
I cannot believe the someone has not noticed this before. When I mailed Robbe they were very dissmissive to me about any problems with the excuse they had been manufacturing the kit for 30 years.

I think the only real option is to use a sail winch which will overcome all the sail problems.
The boat does heel alarmingly in moderate wind  whereas the IOM boats do seems to have a lot more stability.
EDIT,
I just had a thought, lengthen the arm 25mm that will do it.
I am interested to know how you get on Gary when you sail for the first time.
Could you post a picture of your radio/servo installation please.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 04, 2009, 10:34:06 AM
Problem solved, an extra 25mm on the servo arm and full sail deploy.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on October 04, 2009, 11:00:07 AM
Sorry its a bit out of focus but it shows the layout. Battery pack is temporary as I'm waiting for a NiMh pack to arrive.

You can also see that I have modified the dacron attachment to the sail-arm, by bolting the 'S' ring loosely on the top. This gives a much neater fix than hooking the 'S' ring through the hole in the sail-arm and allows proper movement.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on October 04, 2009, 11:14:18 AM
A better picture of the connection. (M3 bolt with Nylock)
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 04, 2009, 02:19:48 PM
Really neat job, I can see that your servo position is far the best way to do it.
Thanks very much.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on October 08, 2009, 03:36:05 PM
Well, visitors gone (finally) so off to our village lake for a sail. Arrived to be greeted my a nice breeze in my face which brought about 'the' smile.

Unloaded the car and set up on the bank and blip, the wind had disappeared.

Sat there for a while with a fag and a can of coke and watched the wildlife.

Eventually a bit of a breeze, enough to get it wet, anyway.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Sailmaker on October 10, 2009, 06:45:47 PM
This is a note for Gary,
Had a 2 hour sail around the lake today in a good breeze, sufficient to put the boat on its side a few times.
The modifications have worked a treat, full sails deploy  completely straight line when running and reaching.
No problems going about, just let the jib out a fraction and around she goes.
I have a short MP4 video to post somewhere, I suppose it needs re-formatting for uploading somewhere.
Ran aground  once while munching at the same time and not concentrating.
Today was club racing day and I seemed to be doing well for speed compared to the larger sail areas on the IOM class boats.
So this is the end of this topic, it turned out fine in the end.

Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Bugsy on October 10, 2009, 08:46:38 PM
Nice one SM ................................ :-))



Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Islander1951 on October 10, 2009, 10:01:05 PM
Well done, Sailmaker, glad you're happy. :-)
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: tigertiger on October 11, 2009, 02:06:31 AM
Glad your happy.
The Comtesse is a nice boat. I am sure you will have many happy hours sailing her.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: Dazzle69 on February 21, 2011, 07:43:51 PM
Hi guys.
Have received my Comtesse from Conrad's and am wondering if there are any advantages in making the fore sail and main sail independently controlled?
Look forward to your thoughts on the subject.

Daz

If anyone knows of any other forums to glean info from on separate sail control I'd be greatly appreciative.
Title: Re: Comtesse query
Post by: wibplus on February 21, 2011, 09:41:51 PM
Just a quick suggestion after having read previous posts about the pulley on the mainsail sheet being too high. When I built mine, I realised  that the servo arm was much lower than the pulley and the sheet would enter the pulley at a very steep angle. (Asking for trouble IMHO)  <:(

My answer was to mount the pulley at 45 degrees on the bulkhead so that the sheet would enter the pulley at one angle and leave the pulley at another angle. That way, the sheet would form its own "straight line" and would not jam or leave the pulley. Simples.   :-))

Never had any problem with jamming or tangles.  8)

Hope this helps.