- City: Sydney
- Country: Australia
- Weta Sail Number: 1300
FAQ for Spray Guards (from Steve McLelland)
They keep the wife happy (and dry)! They keep the salt water out of your eyes!
– How well do they work?
Extremely well! The ones pictured are the 3rd version and have been well tested in just about all conditions.
– How much spray do they really cut down?
They cut down nearly 100% of the firehose spray (esp for your crew). It really dries the boat out. The only remaining spray comes off the of the bow of the ama itself or the small amount that escapes from the edges if you really slam into a wave.
– Do they change the boat performance?
Someone would argue “yes”, but it’s minor if anything; especially on days when you need them ;). In light air, roll them up and use velcro straps to hold them under the lip. If it heats up, it’s quick to unroll them and open them on the water.
– What conditions have you tested them in and have you had problems where it causes the boat to do something unexpected (pitch)
I’ve tested them in a wide range of conditions from ~25 knots in seas, down to using them as a place to store gear on Texas-zero-wind-days. I push the boat as hard as I can and usually use 12.9 kite well outside of it’s operating range and have had zero issues. If anything it actually might help keep the bow from going under since the spray hits so hard when you’re overpowered.
– What about when you burry the ama, doesn’t the fabric catch and drag you down?
Actually if you look at the height of the corner of the carbon tube relative to the bow height, you’ll see that there is a good amount difference. That gives plenty of room to the allow the water to flow under it. Even burying it completely, the spray guard is still above the water.
– Do they make noise or flap around?
No, they are just like the tramps.
– How are the attached?
I tried a bunch of different attachments and simple has been the best! On the bow, I just put a small piece of spectra through the same holes as the forestay. Then tied a figure-eight on the top and tied it tight underneath. On the stern-side, I ended up drilling through the lip of the boat and installing the two Ronstan eyelets under the lip (see photos). I tried a bunch of non-drilling solutions (to the stern, to the poles, even had d-rings sewn into the main traps). The simple mechanical connection is the way to go! Two holes and you’re done. The outside of the triangle, where it attaches to the ama; same thing, I tried a bunch of options and simple was best. The webbing just loops once around the carbon tube, and then through the clasp along the edge and it’s done.
– Are they easy to put on and take off?
We ended up using a bimini top clasp that allows for super easy adjustment and tensioning. Just pull it through and yank it and it’s tight. This is also so that when you come into the shore, you can loosen it with one hand and jump off the front to catch the boat. I was planning on taking them on and off, but I don’t. I just leave them on all the time, even when trailering and so on. I just roll them up and put a velcro tab on and call it a day. Go sailing = unroll, loop webbing around carbon tube and pull tight. If you did want to remove them, then just unloop the webbing on the back, and untie in the front and you’re done.
– What fabric did you use?
I tried a few types and settled on basically the same fabric that the tramps are made of, with a polyester 1″ webbing that runs around the edge. Also the fabric is on the bias (45 degree angle) so that the weave is parallel to the boat. This allows more tension in the fabric along the hull.
– Can you stand/sit on them?
Surprisingly yes. I’ve stood on them. They sag to the water level but, they’ll hold you.
– If I made another set, would I change anything?
Yes, I’d add an additional layer of fabric along the inside edge to stiffen them and prevent the super hard spray from misting through the fabric.
– Who did the sewing and what did it cost?
A local sailmaker whipped them up from my home-sewn prototype. Around $50 of labor.