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RS400 buyers tips

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5024
Printed Date: 06 Jul 20 at 6:05am
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Topic: RS400 buyers tips
Posted By: Geoff
Subject: RS400 buyers tips
Date 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

 




Replies:
Posted By: hollandsd
Date 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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Laser 184084
Tasar 3501
RS600 698
RS600 782


Posted By: JimC
Date 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...


Posted By: Geoff
Date 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



Posted By: Jamesd
Date 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

 



Posted By: Geoff
Date 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



Posted By: Merlinboy
Date 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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Posted By: Geoff
Date 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.


Posted By: Merlinboy
Date 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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Posted By: redback
Date 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.



Posted By: ChrisJ
Date Posted: 31 Dec 08 at 8:23am

The 400 has a slot gasket: well worth checking before buying. Not a pricey thing to replace, but it is very fiddley and worth avoiding at this time of year!

Foil edges (like any boat) get hit on the bottom of lakes...

Sails: mains last 5 or 6 years at the top of the fleet (shroud wear needs protecting against). jibs about 2 years - but they are the cheapest to replace. Spinnakers: 1, 2, 3 or 4 years - it all depends how many reaches you need to hoist and drop on: windward / leeward courses are MUCH kinder for hoisting.

The decks used to have cracks in them: but kevlar(?) was added and these should be OK now (and all 4xx boats affected were upgraded). Floor where the crews are should be OK (unless the crew was particularly clumsy!). Floor where the helm is should be checked: but again, that would be OK if he / she is not too heavy.

Look at buying direct from LDC: great after-sales care and their prices are not very expensive. If you are lucky, you might get things like a nicely polished boat and a new rope pack, so when you bring your new craft to the club everyone will admire it!

Cheers, Chris

RS400 1288



Posted By: Windy Peak
Date Posted: 01 Jan 09 at 9:21pm

Hi Geoff,

Great choice of boat, go for it. I got mine 18 month ago and just love it. Have owned and raced Fireball, 505's and Laser 4000 in the past but now race the 400 with my wife and having a great time. Bit of a handfull when the wind gets up but hey, we like swimming!

Anyway more to the point, on older boats look out for cracking and softening of the area that support the mast ram. I know of a couple of boats similar age to mine (and mines recently gone as well) where the fibreglass in the high load area begins to collapse. As mine was originally sea sailed it probably had a bit of a pounding at times. I had a local repairer fix it up for 150 and he did an absolutely stunning job - literally as good as new, probably better. Don't let it put you off though, just worth knowing and a bit of extra ammo when haggling over price.

Bob.



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RS400, 628.


Posted By: Jamesd
Date Posted: 02 Jan 09 at 12:02pm
Originally posted by

Anyway more to the point, on older boats look out for cracking and softening of the area that support the mast ram. I know of a couple of boats similar age to mine (and mines recently gone as well) where the fibreglass in the high load area begins to collapse. As mine was originally sea sailed it probably had a bit of a pounding at times. I had a local repairer fix it up for 150 and he did an absolutely stunning job - literally as good as new, probably better. Don't let it put you off though, just worth knowing and a bit of extra ammo when haggling over price.

[/QUOTE

 

Seen this a few times, this is usually a problem because the steel rod for the ram is at the wrong angle. basically the bush in the ali plate doesnt line up well with the hole in the deck. well that is one reson for the problem. if the ram seems stiff even without much load on the rig this is probably the case.

as for the masts breaking. there are new brackets for the spreaders to replace the turnbuckle types that use to seize up. dont offer any more support to the mast. the reason the masts break is that the main is eased too far downwind in stron

 

Seen this a few times, this is usually a problem because the steel rod for the ram is at the wrong angle. basically the bush in the ali plate doesnt line up well with the hole in the deck. well that is one reson for the problem. if the ram seems stiff even without much load on the rig this is probably the case.

as for the masts breaking. there are new brackets for the spreaders to replace the turnbuckle types that use to seize up. dont offer any more support to the mast. the reason the masts break is that the main is eased too far downwind in stronger breezes. (with the help of a bit of corrosion). the end of the boom never really needs to be much further out than the gunwhale at the back of the boat.  this acts as a backstay. you use the kicker to twist and set the sail.



Posted By: RTFM
Date Posted: 22 May 19 at 7:58pm
RS400 - leaking badly in only light air sailing...Couple of questions, are there any specific areas where these boats leak? -  so far found a couple of dodgy hatch covers/seals so far, rudder fittings, toe strap anchorages all OK... I am repairing a friends Rs400 and cannot get it to hold any pressure when testing with a hand pump via bug in the transom.. Also, does the RS400 have a 'breather hole' in the boat?  Boat is sail number circa : no. 700 Ta...

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Nobby.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 May 19 at 8:00pm
the stern hatch is a good bet.


Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 23 May 19 at 6:24am
Originally posted by RTFM

RS400 - leaking badly in only light air sailing...Couple of questions, are there any specific areas where these boats leak? -  so far found a couple of dodgy hatch covers/seals so far, rudder fittings, toe strap anchorages all OK... I am repairing a friends Rs400 and cannot get it to hold any pressure when testing with a hand pump via bug in the transom.. Also, does the RS400 have a 'breather hole' in the boat?  Boat is sail number circa : no. 700 Ta...

I think there is a breather hole under the thwart.

Loads of soapy water and a pump will hep find it. If you're putting air in its coming out somewhere!

If its leaking a lot in light winds its got to be somewhere low in the cockpit floor, hull/transom join or rudder fittings/bung hole. Ive never seen one leaking at the gunwale but this is possible.


Posted By: RTFM
Date Posted: 23 May 19 at 7:33am
Thanks !-- will keep working on it...

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Nobby.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 23 May 19 at 9:08am
I use a 12V electric blower/pump designed for inflating air beds to provide continuous low pressure in the boat. I wrap the nozzle in LX tape and push it in the bung then I can go around the boat with the soapy water.

My first candidate for leaks would be fittings but your light wind scenario suggests looking at the hull to centreboard case join.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 23 May 19 at 2:24pm
Very early boats had a bung under the main sheet tower, just by the bailer and you could not get to them to replace I ended up cutting it out and filling the hole. I think this was up to about 460.
Mine was 450. 
There has been a few problems with the Ram and post below so worth checking.
Great boats we had 14 out club racing Tuesday racing from early 600's to 1470ish and all competitive subject to sailors ability's.
Dark colours fade so worth getting a cover with extra long sides from Rain and Sun.



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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 23 May 19 at 2:46pm
In light winds, the only risk areas underwater should be the centreboard case, mast step, control sheave blocks and aound the bow, where you have a towing eye under the flaps and various fasteners etc inside the bow. Front hatch covers. Hoop base fittings.
The bottom pintle is also a possible.


Posted By: Mike7722
Date Posted: 20 Jun 19 at 8:48pm
Might also be worth noting that during rigging the job should be rigged first to avoid the main cracking the deck near the mast ram.

Quite obvious, and you probably already know it, but just in case...


Posted By: ClubRacer
Date Posted: 20 Jun 19 at 9:19pm
 RS400 - leaking badly in only light air sailing...Couple of questions, are there any specific areas where these boats leak? -  so far found a couple of dodgy hatch covers/seals so far, rudder fittings, toe strap anchorages all OK... I am repairing a friends Rs400 and cannot get it to hold any pressure when testing with a hand pump via bug in the transom.. Also, does the RS400 have a 'breather hole' in the boat?  Boat is sail number circa : no. 700 Ta...


There are 5 breathers on those early numbers

2 under the deck either side of each other just forward of the mast
2 under the thwart near where its bonded to the hull
1 behind the rudder gudgeon

When you get air in the boat they are easy to hear. Certainly how I found mine!


Posted By: RTFM
Date Posted: 21 Jun 19 at 6:20am
Thanks to all for the tips and advice.  Found the culprit.  In the bow.  See short video link. Now repaired and boat is dry...
[TUBE]https://youtu.be/H8vxIVkJhh0[/TUBE]



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Nobby.



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