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Enterprise dilema

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Beginner questions
Forum Discription: Advice for those who are new to sailing
Printed Date: 27 Sep 22 at 9:04pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Enterprise dilema
Posted By: krt1978
Subject: Enterprise dilema
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 6:45pm
Hi all,
I bought a composite 1978 Enterprise dinghy to use over our local 25 acre sailing lake with my kids (7& 4). The deck has seen better days & has damage, lifting varnish, soft bits.
Had real fun learning to sail again ( got commercial coastal skipper in a past life, but forgotten most of it !)
Really not sure weather to repair/re-deck it or get wayfarer instead. My 7 year old son has had us racing the last few Sundays, which is great fun but find myself drawn towards the cruising side.
Our Enterprise has a very good set of cruising sales & combi trailer, the thing that really puts me off keeping it is when it is righted after capsize the water level is above dagger board casing. This makes it a real bitch to bail    
Any advise or abuse appreciated

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 7:00pm
Well, it doesn't sound right for it to be quite that deep in the water. If you've got any good modern Enterprises at your club it might be worth comparing notes and see if you can cure the problem without too much effort.

Personally though I'd have a more modern boat with decent buoyancy... A worst case Wayfarer might not be any better than the Enterprise.

Posted By: patj
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 8:20pm
Take something with you to stuff the centreboard case slot to stop the water coming in - soft hosepipe for example or even a towel - plus a bucket to bale with. And don't forget to tie them on!
To get moving you need to back the jib to the opposite side and sail on a reach then open the transom flaps when moving well.

Posted By: Jamie600
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 8:24pm
Do you have a built in bow tank or a boyancy bag - or anything under the deck at all?
Ents take in a lot of water but should not be above the centreboard case, check the bags are all present and fully inflated, if not then you have the dual problem of both inadequate floatation and the weight of the extra water taking up the space that should be occupied by the bag.

RS600 1001

Posted By: krt1978
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 8:38pm
Transom flaps have been blanked off, previous owner said they let in more water than they removed, thinking of reinstating them. It has 4 buoyancy bags, might have been slightly under inflated in rear (slow puncture), has built in buoyancy in bow ( 2 circular screw hatches )
Has self bailers, but really could not get it moving quick enough for them to work we just limped to shore for hardcore bailing session.

Posted By: Lukepiewalker
Date Posted: 25 Oct 15 at 9:42pm
In those 'swamped' circumstances you really need the transom flaps, or a bucket. As has been said, you need to get it moving on a broader point of sail, then once most of it has gone out the transom flaps you should be able to get the self bailers working.

Ex-Finn GBR533 "Pie Hard"
Ex-National 12 3253 "Seawitch"
Ex-National 12 2961 "Curved Air"
Ex-Mirror 59096 "Voodoo Chile"

Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 26 Oct 15 at 1:53pm
The side bouyancy bags should be long enough so that the aft ones touch the transom and the fore ones touch the front tank. They don't on ours and on the ocassions we have capsized have taken on a lot of water.

We too sail on a small water so at the moment I am not too bothered and as we have capsized only a couple of times and have sailed it dry so will live with it until the bouyancy bags need replacement or the boat gets upgraded.

Posted By: krt1978
Date Posted: 30 Oct 15 at 4:31pm
Thanks for advise all, think we going run Enterprise with new transom flaps & see where the sailing bug takes us before deciding on next boat.

Posted By: RichC69
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 10:20am
I appreciate this is an old post,  but it is of interest to me non the less,  as I have just bought a mid 1970's GRP Ent (possibly a 404 before they amalgamated the class).  We had our first capsize last Saturday after a poorly executed gybe - my fault.  I managed to right her okay,  however when she came up,  the rear of the transom was level with the water and the centre board case was well below the water on board.  My daughter was scooped up,  but I was concerned that my weight could actually sink her.  I got on board after a bit of frantic bailing but we were still very low in the water,  we managed to get underway and opened the self bailer which seemed to help a bit,  but the transom flaps were submerged unless roll tacking and then let in more water than they got rid of.  We managed to get rid of most of the water through bailing and the self bailer.  At the end of the day we found she had taken on a lot of water into the buoyancy tanks as she was very heavy to pull up the slip way and the water ran for ages from the two buoyancy tank drains.  I am going to do a low pressure integrity test on the hull to hopefully find and fix the leak,  I think there may be a hairline crack under the gunnel that was submerged.  Wish me luck!

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 10:38am
The seam between the tank and the floor is notorious for leaking and a real pain to fix permanently.

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 12:11pm
Only one side of boat was in the water Saturday but both tanks held the same amount of water, so capsize wasn't the issue, probably floor joints.

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Only one side of boat was in the water Saturday but both tanks held the same amount of water, so capsize wasn't the issue, probably floor joints.

ISTR some of those old glass Enterprises had no separate tanks so once it was upright the water would be evenly distributed on each side.

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 1:31pm
That would explain it, front and sides one tank ? WOW, get holed it's all over

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 2:18pm
They had lumps of polystyrene foam in to prevent them completely sinking.

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Apr 19 at 2:56pm

Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 18 Apr 19 at 5:59am
Having capsized an Ent or two, my recollection is that the top of the centreboard case was just under water.
The best bailing technique is to stand at the transom, feet apart and use a bucket to scoop water over the transom. Ignore the fact that some water will come in over the side decks. You should be able to scoop a bucket full every few seconds - after the first few minutes you'll have shifted enough to bring the water level down...

I used to sail on the Thames - some helms found it quicker to beach the boat full of water and capsize the boat with helm & crew ashore to drain more quickly.

Using transom flaps requires several factors:-
Bow tank (early wooden boats had a bow buoyancy bag - these are difficult to drain with transom flaps)
Force 4+ wind (or sufficient for planing condition)
Nerves of steel.
Start by releasing the flaps, now start sailing on a reach, building speed up, then steer onto a broad reach. As the boat speed increases, the bow will want to submarine, use crew weight to prevent this.
As you get a substantial bow wave, both crew run to the transom and bounce. This lifts the bow out of the water and at the right speed the bow will stay up. At this point, the water in the hull will rush aft, hit the transom and pour out over the transom, be sucked out via the flaps.
You'll also notice that a wave will rebound from the transom and travel forward in the dinghy. Keep the bow up - play the job, bounce. As this wave goes forward, it depresses the bow. Hopefully, it will rebound off the is tank, and when it reaches the transom you'll have only a few inches of water remaining.
Boats will the bow buoyancy bag find that this wave will travel around the bag and the bow will go down and down and you end up swimming again...

Flaps are good when coming ashore - they drain the hull faster than the drain holes, but using afloat take some practise.

For modern dinghies with double floors/different hull shapes they're great, just some of the older designs aren't as easy to use.

Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 01 May 19 at 9:46am
The very early FG ents had a rounded gunwale with halfround fillets of hardwood screwed on the underside. The later FG ents had chamfered gunwales.

The very early FG ents that I've had experience of not only leaked at the tank/floor joint but also inside the front stowage, where the side walls meet the underside of the can be fixed but is it really worth it? flexible hull, no rig tension without cracking the side decks.

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