Runner Alignment

There are probably as many ways to align runners as there are to skin a cat, but I’ve always done it just like Lloyd Roberts taught: with the dial indicator on a long pole. I’ve settled on a windsurfer mast, which is nice and stiff and will do planks from ten to sixteen feet. We’ve always tightened the runners in the chocks so they don’t move, leveled them and go for zero. Once it’s there, we tiptoe out the door taking pains not to sneeze or slam the door which could create enough of a sonic boom to move the chock. When the epoxy has cured the next morning, I always check the finished product with the runners loose in the chocks, essentially in sailing trim. They are usually no longer perfect, so a bit of shim tape sets them back to within a couple of thousandths.

Recently, I had the opportunity to rig and align chocks on three new Whizz in three days. The first boat had plates, so in the morning I was able to lightly sand some burrs on the stiffeners to bring it back into alignment after loosening the runner bolts. The second job was with inserts, so a small spot of shim tape did the trick. On the last boat I decided to set the runners in sailing trim for the alignment; just tight enough to almost flop. It came to zero with judicious tightening of the chock bolts, and the next morning it was still the same. I loosened and then re-tightend the runner bolts: still zero.

The top DN guys have gone way beyond all this, of course, and Tom Nichols new C Skeeter will have adjustable chocks, but this might help the rest of us get that much closer to a perfect alignment. And don’t forget to compress the plank the same amount as your weight plus that of the boat when you do the alignment.

Check out the excellent reverse plank curve on Denis Guertin’s Whizz #10.

Frank’s W-11. Denis and Frank have engineered their new trailer to carry both Whizz, three DN’s and all the gear. Gross trailer weight 2450#

And Bill Bernhard came all the way from western New York state to have his W-8 rigged and aligned. While he was in the area, he and his wife Judy went up to stay with Rick at Five Lakes Lodge on the shores of wonderful South Twin Lake. If we can get back on that lake before spring, we’ll make another expedition to the Boom House museum of river driving.

Bill will be selling his Nite at the NEIYA Swap Meet on 10/25, Knights of Columbus, Westboro, MA. Includes trailer, all covers and two planks.

The two cockpit Skeeter featured in the post of 9/15 will also be there, and could turn out to be the bargain of the day!

Back to Whizz news: NEIYA Race Chairman Oliver Moore has offered the Whizz fleet a start of their own at the Doc Fellows Regatta. We’ll need at least three boats to qualify for this terrific offer. If it works out, the other regattas will have a Whizz class as well. For all you cruisers who might feel a bit intimidated by a formal race, just look at it as a bunch of boats all with the same destination in mind. Same rules of the road as when reaching around. By the way, it’s always good give yourself a refreshing look at the rules before the season begins. Lastly, welcome Ryan Haskell who has bought Curtis Rindlaub’s Captain America DN. Curtis had sent him a video of the boat sailing on Plymouth Pond, and lo and behold there was Ryan in the background!

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