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Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig
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Author:  RangerTim [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Close reaching and close hauled on wavy water can put much water in the open cockpit of my Balogh-equipped Folbot Yukon. The Folbot spray deck just doesn’t work with the Balogh rig installed. For years I have been thinking of a deck modification that would solve the problem. I have finally made a first attempt. Despite my inability to sew in a straight line, I believe the modification will work. It will be tested in a few weeks at the Flamingo Flotilla (Please see Special Events forum). Please see the photos attached to this and the following posts.

The modification adds a close-fitting fabric sleeve for the mast and a fabric "platform" for mounting the sleeve. The sleeve and platform are created as a single piece. The modification uses two 9”x11” pieces of vinyl-coated fabric (dull sides facing each other), a sewing machine with V46 Poly thread from Seattle Fabrics, some 1 3/8” inside diameter O-rings, Aquaseal thinned with solvent (MEK, Xylene, Toluene), and a hole punch.

I can post more detailed instructions if anyone is interested, though what follows may be good enough.

Author:  RangerTim [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

The seams create a two-layered "T". The leg of the "T" is the sleeve for the mast. The bar of the "T" unfolds to become the platform. The distance across the flattened sleeve is 2 7/16", designed to accommodate the 1 1/2" OD Balogh mast. The bar of the "T" measures four inches from the top of the hem to the beginning of the sleeve. The other two edges of the platform will be hemmed after the excess fabric is cut away.

Author:  RangerTim [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Cut a hole in the spray deck usng the mast partner as a template. Insert the sleeve through the hole until the platform more-or-less rests on the deck. Pin then sew the outer edge of the platform to the deck. Darts may be necessary for the platform to lay flat.

Sealing seams with solvent-thinned Aquaseal seems to work much better than Aquaseal alone. It is easier to apply, more readily sinks into the needle holes, and adheres better.

O-rings will be rolled over the mast and sleeve each time the rig is installed. The top one is snugged up to the mast partner. These O-rings should keep out most if not all of the water that will pool on the foredeck under wavy conditions.

The photo here can be confusing, making it appear that the platform is below the deck. The platform is on top of the deck, with the sleeve protruding through a hole in the deck.

Author:  RangerTim [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I have Jonathan Waterman's Klepper from his Northwest Passage expedition. He dealt with the problem of his spray deck working with his crosstube clamps by simply cutting holes in the edge of the deck so they would fit over the heads of the carriage bolts. I did the same for my Folbot spray deck with a hole punch.

For the clamps to mount given the additional thickness of the velcro edge of the spray deck, I backed off of the carriage bolt nyloc nuts a little bit. So that I can have snug carriage bolts even when not using the spray deck, I will have a 4" piece of velcro that will live over the carriage bolts.

I'm sure the holes in the velcro edging will wear with use. When they become ragged I believe I can just install sacrificial bits of one-wrap velcro to replace the worn section. Not perfect but probably good enough.

Author:  pogo [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I tried, but I can't find a single idea for any improvement! If it doesn't work first time, I'll be surprised. I especially like that your
design doesn't create any windage. Most of my ideas involved wands to keep the fabric tight in an effort to shed the boarding water.
Doesn't seem to me you'll need that.

Author:  gbellware [ Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig


First rate design and execution, thanks for sharing. I will do my best to copy your design for my Klepper double when I get a spray skirt that will work with a mid-mounted mast. In the meantime, couple of questions...
I am not that familiar with the Yukon, but it looks like there is an existing mast partner in the combing. If that is true then there must be a reason you mounted the mast amidships, can you explain?
Does the platform of your mod allow you to put a crown in the deck? It drives me nuts to have to continually sponge or dump water that accumulates on my deck and it seems like your fabrication might be a fix for that?

Fair winds!


Author:  RangerTim [ Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I'm guessing, Greg, that you are referring to the cockpit nose piece. As you know, the Klepper cockpit nose piece is integral to the washboards and has a hole to accommodate a 1 3/8" mast. A Folbot cockpit nose piece installs separately from the washboards. It sits atop the washboards and is pressed against them by a star knob.

The Folbot cockpit nose piece was never designed as a mast partner. More modern aluminum ones have a nearly complete circle missing from the aft end. On the Yukon (13') and the Aleut (12') models this circle is a support for the top end of a tiny mast, which itself supports a rudder foot control. The GII ( 17') shares the same nose piece, but the cutout serves no intended purpose on this larger boat.

Since about 2003 the cockpit nose piece is plastic and has a complete circular cutout. At the Cedar Island gathering in October you may have noticed Dennis running a jib on his GII. He flew that sail from a small mast stuck through that circular cutout in his nose piece. It seemed to work just fine.

Water pooling on the forward portion of my spray deck is inevitable. I am hoping the O-rings will prevent the water from channeling down the mast and into the cockpit. The spray deck's position below the crosstube limits any crown that might be achieved through battens or arched lengths of garden hose. I could possibly install one of those options to get some crown between the crosstube and the cockpit opening. I may get some for free: from my knees. I'll have a better idea of what I want to change once I try it on the water.

Author:  gbellware [ Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Ah, now I see, said the blind man!

Hope to see you in FL, keep the stick up, the rudder on and the water out!


Author:  DLee [ Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Tim, how about making a little mod similar to your boat cover that just fits over the forward portion of the cockpit?

Let the mast and cross tube hold it above the deck and maybe keep it tight by velcro-ing out to the sides of the coaming.

That make any sense?

Great looking mod for the mast. Can you push that up at all under the cover, with the 'O' rings, so water slides away from the mast?


Author:  RangerTim [ Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I have made such an abbreviated cover for a GII, with the fabric resting atop the crosstube and a small vertical fabric sleeve. It helps, but quartering seas still dump much water into the cockpit.

Since my crosstube serves as mount for sheet, halyard, and downhaul cleats this arrangement did not seem suited to a full spray deck. I still have not tested this mod. I hope to within a week or so. The o-rings can roll up snug against the mast partner, but I expect that water will pool on the foredeck. Sitting in my Yukon on dry land, my knees elevate the deck, which may help with the pooling.

Over the summer the crosstube for this BSD rig broke at the clamp hole. I received the replacement while traveling for the winter. I have marked the new crosstube for holes to match the old, but I am on the road and lack a great deal of skill at drilling precisely-located holes in tubes. I am waiting for either more skilled assistance from friends on the road, or a machine shop willing to take on the job. Thus the reason for not testing the spray deck mod.

Author:  DLee [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Ah yes, I didn't think about that. I like the way you have the cleats mounted on there. Very tidy.

Good luck with the hole drilling. I'd hold out for a machine shop, ha. My freehand ventures haven't faired well with drilling tubes either.


Author:  RangerTim [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I managed to install the new crosstube in the field last week at the Flamingo Flotilla. Drilling aka pin holes and washboard clamp holes to match the previous install, using an electric hand drill and no work bench, was risky but it worked out.

A breezy day on Chokoloskee Bay allowed me to test the spray deck mod. More fetch would have allowed for a more thorough test, but I can live with the results thus far.

The spray deck worked fine. The Folbot skirt uses shock cord in a sleeve to hold skirt to deck. That worked. The same arrangement is meant to hold skirt to upper torso. That worked less well. I plan to add suspenders to solve the slipping problem.

I was disappointed by the confining feel of the deck. I very much enjoy the large cockpits of my Folbots. Should I launch in 20 knots with fetch I will use the spray deck. For less severe conditions I may opt for dry suit, pump, and baler.

Author:  RangerTim [ Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I'm still away from home so haven't had a chance to install suspenders on the Folbot skirt. The Yukon was sitting out the other day with a rainstorm approaching so I decided to try installing my Seals size 1.4 cockpit cover, which I use on a hardshell, over the hoop in the Folbot spray deck. A bit of a tight fit, but it worked!

The next step of course was to try the same size spray skirt. I have an all-nylon Seals Inlander for warmer days and an all-neoprene Snapdragon EXP for cold days. The Inlander was quite a tight fit but it too worked. The Snapdragon has such a robust perimeter shock cord I'm afraid I couldn't get it on. I plan to buy a slightly larger spary skirt soon.

Chilly day sailing on the Gulf of Mexico off Florida's Hidden Coast yesterday was a delight. With a real spray skirt and a Folbot spray deck, waves broke over the Yukon when beating but zero water entered the cockpit.

Author:  DLee [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

Sounds great Tim. I too prefer the open boat. Actually I'm not sure I've ever sailed or paddled with the full on spray deck and Mark's LH suspender skirt thing. I have sailed with the sprayskirt alone but found it pretty difficult to work within if I wanted to fix anything 'below decks.' ha

I should break down my stubborn aka/ama barrier, put the outriggers on, and hit Long Island Sound with the MK1 and full BSD rig. Just to see how well it actually works.

Greg's write-up of y'alls adventures has got me excited again about doing some sailing.


Author:  RangerTim [ Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Folbot Spray Deck Modification for Balogh Sail Rig

I love sailing in 15-20 knots (with akas and amas installed, Dennis!), but the amount of accumulated water from waves breaking into the open cockpit bothered me. While I do love the big open cockpit, I am becoming accustomed to the confinement of the spray deck.

Since the Folbot deck attaches with velcro, while on the water it can be pulled up over my head. I begin aft and then progress forward to the crosstube. Then I can shove that portion of the deck between my legs to get some room to work below deck. Not perfect, but helpful. I can pull up just a bit of the aft portion to gain access to gear stowed behind the seat.

Dennis, I'm guessing your boats have the tuck-under style spray deck (Longhaul deck in my case) that my Klepper uses. While it makes an excellent seal, removing and replacing that deck on the water seems more trouble than Folbot's velcro. I have a hard time with the tuck-under without releasing a bit of air from the sponsons, which is also not easy on the water. I confess that I rarely use the Klepper, so I am not far up the learning curve.

In an earlier post I mentioned that the modified spray deck keeps out all water. Now that I have used the deck several times I am finding that water does get in somehow. Testing on land with a hose and a cockpit cover the arrangent is watertight. On the water in windy-wavy conditions (and once on land during a downpour accompanied by 45 knot+ wind) not an insignificant amount of water enters.

I am still not certain of the source. When the bow submerges water can enter a gap in the skin located under the bow casting. Water can enter at the forward point of the cockpit and at the aft cockpit corners.

Water may be entering between the spray deck and the spray skirt. The flexible hoop in the deck may not be making a good seal with the shock-corded skirt. My flimsy nylon Seals Inlander skirt may leak. I have purchased a better skirt.

I'll be testing on Pocomoke Sound in a week or so at the Tall Pines gathering of kayak sailors.

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