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Geoff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: RS400 buyers tips
    Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 3:57pm

Hi, I am looking at selling my B14 and getting an RS400 as its a bit more suitable to sail on the small lakes that we get up North.  Prob got 3,000 at the most to spend.  I've owned loads of boats in the past so know what to look out for, but never had a 400.

Any particullar things to look out for?  Sail numbers to avoid?  Didn't they used to have a problem with masts breaking in heavy winds?

Am I better off getting an old boat that has new sails, or a newer boat with old sails?  I have seen a couple of very early boats for sale that have brand new sails with them.

Thanks

Geoff

 

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hollandsd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hollandsd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 4:06pm
If i were you, i would go for a 59er, you could also fit a trapeze if you wanted and they certainly shift. The downside of course is the lack of class racing if thats what you are after.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 4:43pm
Originally posted by Geoff

Any particullar things to look out for?
Didn't they used to have a problem with masts breaking in heavy winds? Am I better off getting an old boat that has new sails, or a newer boat with old sails?

Apart from usual stuff I've seen problems around the mainsheet hoop supports and IIRC the cockpit floor in general, but on the whole they seem OK. Check rudder fittings.

New rags and old boat is faster than old rags and new boat in just about any class I think, but of course new rags get old and then you have an old boat with old rags...

Edited by JimC
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Geoff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 5:00pm

Originally posted by hollandsd

If i were you, i would go for a 59er, you could also fit a trapeze if you wanted and they certainly shift. The downside of course is the lack of class racing if thats what you are after.

No thanks, class racing is what I am looking for.  I've spent 4 years floating around ponds on the B14 handicap racing, trying to get past slower boats that are easier to sail to their optimum.  Decided that it is a boat that needs to be on the sea, or a massive lake.  I think the 59er would be in a simillar league, plus I might as well throw my money into a fire cos once I buy it I'll never be able to sell it again if I don't like it!!

So I am def after an RS400.  Anyone know if there have been any changes made to the boat or internal structures over the years?

Cheers

Geoff

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamesd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 8:59pm

Hey mate good choice in boat. this is something roger gilbert wrote a few years ago:

A few thoughts below

Boats don't seem to get heavier... even the new ones leak a bit so don't
worry about this too much... if its dry when you see it it's probably OK. No
correctors ever, weights vary quite a bit but no one worries about it and
hence it doesn't really matter...:-)

The foils were changed in around 2001 - definitely worth a new c/board if
you can get one and new rudders are also much nicer though I never bothered
to change mine. The new ones have near razor sharp edges and a near perfect
gloss finish and are much stronger.... the old ones had around a 3mm
trailing edge and a matt finish and ripples and bumps etc. They are
allegedly the same shape but I'm convinced the new ones point better. It's v
important to pack the foils into the case... normally there is about 2mm of
slop on a new boat!

Mainsails last forever and don't really slow down at all in my opinion... I
still use my 6 year old one! They shrink quite a bit especially in the bolt
rope but this actually isn't much of a problem, just swing on the cunningham
a few times! The problems tend to centre around not protecting the battens
where they touch the spreader / shrouds.

The actual finish of the kite makes a big difference to how easy it is to
fly and gybe... once the silicon breaks down it tends to stick to the jib -
that said I notice very little speed difference between a brand new kite and
a really old one in a straight line - there is an enormous amount to be
gained from sailing the waves, changing angles, weight position etc. This is
easily worth around 200m a nationals run in marginal planing conditions over
even a well sailed boat... a new kite will only make a couple of lengths
difference if you're lucky so I wouldn't worry about it too much to start...
that said a new one is expensive. Once again the kite cloth was changed
about 2 years ago... the new one is slippier but in my opinion definitely
doesn't last as long! If you have problems flying the kite, before blaming
it completely check the luff rope inside the kite... these can get untied /
broken and the kite becomes completely unstable and impossible to fly...
they're actually quite sensitive to the tension in this.

Jibs tend to suffer most, however they are made of a pretty heavy 5oz cloth
so last reasonably well... look for wear at batten ends and check they
aren't broken (it's generally not a good idea to wrap the sail around the
forestay but many people do!). If they're broken its a nightmare to repair.
Realistically a new jib should easily last a couple of seasons of events...
probably slightly less if you use it every weekend... despite all the
grumblings they actually last pretty well in my opinion.

Check the joins running down the sections of the foredeck... cracks here
normally suggest something is moving - they're quite common and I don't know
of many problems... so I suppose no cracks is definitely a good sign!.

There have been several revisions to the masts (honest!), hard to tell the
difference unless you lay them side by side but things to look for are
spreader ends permenantly fixed to shrouds... older masts had the blue
detachable ends (which can fail and the mast will break )and a solid
aluminium mast foot. Middle aged masts ( a slightly different section to old
masts - one design... !) generally have the spreaders fixed to the shrouds
and a mast foot (aluminium) with a central gap in it. New masts have the
overhanging pulley option at the top. Don't think there is much between any
of them tho', bend control is easily achieved using the RAM / spreaders.

Toestraps can wear on underside of thwart so check the wear and either
replace them or don't sit out if they're worn!

Mainhalyards are always breaking... check if it is kevlar (standard fit), if
so replace it straight away and save yourself some hassle - I'd strongly
recommend 2:1 4mm spectra.

Most 400 masts will lean / bend slightly when setup with the same pin
settings, 9/10 boats I've looked at require the LHS pin to be 1/2 a hole
lower, so check bend when in its on the floor as well as in the boat.

Booms corrode and break at the main sheet blocks eventually.. worth a check.


Any slop in the rudder is a nightmare and if you get an older boat replacing
all the pintles and gudgeons is well worth the cost. Also the tiller is
rivetted into the rudder stock so if there is any play renew the rivets or
replace with bolts.

Poles seem to be either bent through collision or indestructable in less
than 40knts!

Another to check for is the condition of the hull where it sits on the
trolley... some people put carpet on their trolleys and this holds moisture
agains the hull which is a bad idea! Speaking of trolleys if you can get
hold of a gunwhale hung one (they don't make them any more) they were much
better, though harder to launch with... the new fibreglass cradle ones are
pretty poorly designed and as soon as the boat rocks on the trolley in any
wind the edges of the cradle snap and the whole thing becomes very unstable
on the beach!

Happpy sailing...

Should be able to get a very competative boat for 3000. there are a few things that really help such as continuous control lines but i wouldnt worry about them when buying a boat. 

the moulds were changed in 2001 which i think is about 1100+ numberwise. not a great deal of difference, apart from the foils.  the early 1200s were pretty shoddy built. But they are probably a little above 3000. An older boat is fine, they still seem to be stiff and as long as it isnt to beaten about will probably be fine. 2nd at this years nats was number 9?? and 4th was 645. the hulls are very much the same whatever age as long as they have no repairs dents scratches etc.

just pm me if you have any queries about anything.

 

Jim

 

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Geoff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 9:42pm

Cheers mate for the comprehensive reply.  One last question - have the spreader  brackets been upgraded?  If so are the newer ones anything to do with avoiding mast breakages and are they easily changed on an older mast.  Apologies for all the mast questions, but I have seen more 400 masts break than any other boats put together!!

Just need to sell the B14 now!!

Geoff

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Merlinboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Merlinboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 9:49pm

I think the masts break on the 400's when you dump the main sail down hill in a guest, the problem occurs when the boom hits the shrouds. The secret is to not dump the main that much. I have never seen a 400 mast break at the spreader bracket, its usually just above the deck. 

 

The 400 is a fantastic boat, with very few build quality issues,  Just watch for soft cockpit floors!

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Geoff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 9:55pm
Is that inthe Helm or Crew area? or both?  I guess that is a big job to fix, so walk away from any boat with that problem then.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Merlinboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 10:00pm

From what i understand they all have a "little" flex.  But i wouldn't buy a boat with a flexible, soggy floor.  Its generally found in the crew/helm area (where you run around on the inside of the boat)

 

They are great boats, i crew for my brother when its blowing his boat is an early one and holds rig tension well, it is still fast and beats newer boats.  You won't be disappointed.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 08 at 11:32pm

Yes the 400 is a fantastic boat for lakes, and tighter courses, and not having such a huge kite is OK on some of the tighter legs pond sailors have to live with.  The 59er is a completely different sort of boat which needs big wide open spaces and windward/leeward courses.  In fact the 59er is more like the sort of boat that a B14 is.

The mast can break if you dump it in a gust downhill, rather try to bear away but being a B14 sailor you'll understand that.  Incidentally the 59er breaks mast in just the same way.



Edited by redback
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