Help restoring an Otter

Discussion forum for the Otter class of sailing dinghy

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brindolini
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

Help restoring an Otter

Post by brindolini » Tue May 05, 2015 11:49 am

We have been given a beautiful little Otter dinghy. She has been used as a tender with an outboard for the last 10 years or so. We have the aluminium mast and rigging complete with shrouds and forestay and hope to get her back under sail. Unfortunately, the location where the mast should fit the boat has been fibreglassed over (see photo), and she may be missing some of the cleats and stays that she will need. Does anybody have any useful photographs / manuals etc. of their own Otters that could show me a/ where and how the mast is fixed and b/ likely locations for renewing cleats etc? Many thanks!

Update - so the otter has been out to sea with an outboard 3 times since the post above. I dug out all of the sails and rigging this weekend. She is sail number 701, so at my guess around 1976 production, so double hull, aluminium two section mast, bermuda rigged. From zooming in on photos from around the web it looks as though I am missing the metal plate that the rectangular section of the foot of the mast clips into. I was thinking about trying to make a hardwood version, a small oak block with a U shaped rectangular section cut out for the mast to slot into, maybe with a pin to hold in in.

Does this sound sensible, i.e. would oak be strong enough?
thanks
Attachments
Otter.JPG
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cweed
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by cweed » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:07 am

Hello.

I can't see from your photo clearly where the mast may be located.

On mine, (gunter rig) the foot of the mast sits on the foredeck just before the cockpit. It is located there by a pin in a hole in the deck which also locates into a hole in the bottom if the mast.

Are you sure the mast should locate on the floor of the cockpit?

I suggest you 'try' the mast in each position, andsee how the shrouds locate to the shroud plates.....

i.e. :if you place the mast on the floor, and the shrouds are too long, do they match up if you try the mast sitting on the foredeck?

What does the foot of the mast suggest the base plate should look like?


Good luck!

springer5
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:21 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by springer5 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:36 am

Hi there
I haven't been on to the forum for a while so I've only just seen your post. I don't know if you've already sorted out your problem but in case you haven't I've attached an image of where my mast step is (ignore all the mess on the foredeck, I was in the middle of fitting an access hatch). I hope that helps to see where the step should normally be placed.

Also, in case you haven't already made something up, you can buy these. They're not particularly expensive. This is the kind of thing. ...

http://marinestore.co.uk/Allen_Adjustab ... _Step.html

... You can just cut it to the length you want. The rectangular block at the base of your mast just sits directly between the two adjustable pins and is held there simply by the stays holding the mast downwards.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Neal

P.S. I have sail number 640. So mine is an aluminium Bermuda rig and double skinned hull the same as yours. My mast is all one piece, but in all relevant respects is the same set up. So the foot position should be the same as yours I should think.
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springer5
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:21 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by springer5 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:38 pm

Actually this mast step looks better than the first one I posted. Looks a bit more solid.

http://www.tridentuk.com/gb/super-spar- ... p-ems.html

Cheers
Neal

cweed
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by cweed » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:39 pm

Yeah, i 've got a spare one of those, but as nobodybothered to take up my previous comment about the mast step, it's still sitting in my spares boxes..............

brindolini
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by brindolini » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:59 am

Cweed, Springer - many thanks for the info, and sorry i had not responded Cweed.

All the lingo is new to me - so 'foredeck' fixing it is then! And its called a 'mast step' - I've been looking on a few chandlery sites and until you know what things are called its tricky to find them. I've been looking to replace a couple of rusty old things that i now discover are 'bottle screws' which i assume were used to tension the shrouds. I think that the forestay was kept as a fixed length, and the shrouds were adjustable and in turn would tension the forestay as they pull back?

So if i went for an adjustable step as your link Springer, i could play around with moving it forward and back until i am happy. I had made up a wooden mast step, but held off fixing it in case someone came up with a better solution - the metal one looks a better fix

Happy to give you some money for your fixing Cweed, or can buy online if you'd prefer to hold onto it.

Have done my RYA 1 this summer and been spending a lot of time out in Toppers learning the ropes.
The hope is to slowly get the Otter back to her former glory and use it as a family boat once the wife and I are a bit more competent.

Thanks chaps

cweed
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by cweed » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:36 pm

Okay,
You may as well see what Aptanet turns up with.
I'm often around Emsworth / Hayling.

brindolini
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by brindolini » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:13 am

Will do, thanks cweed

brindolini
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by brindolini » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:28 am

So - I have a mast step fitted! I went for the super spar, thanks for the recommendation Springer. I fitted an access hatch and hey presto bolted on. I've replaced bottle screws to the shrouds and main sail is up (see pic below). Woodwork all sanded and varnished, now the fibreglass just needs some patching over winter.

Having attached the mainsheet and boom I am left with quite a lot of mysterious ropes, blocks and the like. I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable chaps might have an idea what they should be doing? Below is a secure link to some photos I took.

Sheets and blocks: I have a rope with two double blocks, with one of the two blocks also having a clam cleat (I actually have two identical sets of the same - sheet, with two blocks x2 - there are two close up shots of the blocks). I then have a sheet with a block and a D clamp, then finally a sheet with a shackle clamp either end (sorry if my terminology is off).

Outhaul: Does anyone's otter have an adjustable outhaul - or do you set it, and tie it off at the end of the boom?

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=3 ... lder%2cjpg

Many thanks for any help, as you'll have guessed I am new to boats, but have learnt a lot so far and sailing is coming along well - hopefully will get some pics of her sailing in the next couple of weeks!

Brindolini

brindolini
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

Re: Help restoring an Otter

Post by brindolini » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:44 am

sorry, had to compress the photo
Attachments
Otter 701.jpg
Otter 701 back in the game
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