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  1. Chris Drury, National Champion 1979/80 makes a few comments, maybe contentious, about Sailfish construction, and invites debate . . .

    One building tip for the novice builder would be to purchase a set of Sailfish frames from Jim French. Jim is a boat builder located in Melbourne, Australia with some experience in the class. See if he could cut a set of frames and send them out. Then you will be well on your way towards building a hull that measures.

    The designers wanted the Sailfish to be an economical way to get into sailing. One thing that they decided on was to set a minimum weight that could be achieved using regular materials. Many Sailfish hulls lasted for years and years because minimum weight was still a robust build.

    Observing many Sailfish over about 6 years there were only a couple of things that came up:
    1) You do not want a leak in the centreboard case. You will not know it is there and even if you did it would be difficult to fix. Pay extra attention to this before the deck goes on.
    2) After about 4 or 5 years, many Sailfish had splits in the side were the side stay chain plate takes the strain. These were often repaired with fibreglass tape. It would be interesting to know what other Sailfish builders were doing to prevent this.
    3) Frame 2 takes the weight of the mast. There were a couple of boats getting around where frame two had broken after
    several years of punishing work. If you are looking for weight savings, don’t look here.

    One of the tolerances allowed was half an inch along the centreline of the deck from bow to stern. This generous tolerance created much discussion amongst some when it came up in conversation while others went decidedly quiet, determined to take their secrets to the grave. The observations below might start another debate, or then again ……. maybe not.

    It was thought by some that: boats that bent the strongback in a way that lowered the transom into the water seemed to be off the pace; boats that were built dead straight were good in a drifter; boats that were slightly banana shaped were good in choppy conditions.


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