Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quite depressing end of spring season

As I was about to enter the final ten days of main hull construction, and leave the hull ready for fairing when returning from summer holidays, one of my right side lumbal roots (4th) were trapped in a mess of inflammation and prolapse, leaving my right leg quite useless.  (This happened at about the same time I learned that Frimann had broken the mooring in a squall and consequently left for a sail without the captain.  This ended in an unsuccessful attempt to sail trough a "punta de tierra"/headland?.) This usually occurs, as a few of my readers might be aware of, along with considerable pain.  Drugged on pain killers and slowly returning to a vertical posture, the boat have been left unattended and thus no progress.  I left it with the main traveller dry fitted on the not yet cut supports.

I have though been able to do some minor modifications to my trailer in order to adapt it for transportation of Panta Rei.  The axles have been moved forward 720mm, a few of the athwartship stringers have been moved, and the central rollers are about to be replaced by the bunk board.  i also did modifications to the hitch mount.  It will have to be widened by at least 21 cm, and not more than 23 cm in order to accomodate the 253 cm wide F 22R, and not exceed the maximum trailering with of 255 cm. The trailer needs to be at least as wide as the goods it is moving, and trailers are not made as wide as 253 cm here.  So most people break the stupid rules when trailering boats I guess.  I might add tool boxes/trailering equipment boxes each side to achieve the with.  And a lot more supports have to be added.

I'm leaving for my vacation this morning.  I have received final confirmation that I will not get a Tohatsu this season.  I have been trying to buy one since early April.  This tells me that if I can't get a new engine, then what with spares???  I'll get a Yamaha, I guess.   Look for an update mid August.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Unpacked the jib track carbon traveller today.  Looked good enough.  Extremely stiff.
 Roughly placed, it might be necessary to raise it from deck an inch or so for daggerboard clearance.

I sanded down the main traveller and laminated the first bi directional coat.  I'm making sure to keep it exactly straight during the cure, as several builders have reported that to their surprise it turned out slightly curved.  That is also some of the reason I choose to laminate in several stages as well.

First layer curing, taking care to cure straight

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rudder mould repairs. Travellers

I've been indecisive on what to do with the building of the next two rudders, one being for my boat, the other the common spare.  Torkil's rudder is now painted, I'm waiting to hear the first sailing reports.  The moulds weren't too badly damaged, so I figured I'd go ahead and make another one in the moulds as they were, and if not good enough that would be the spare one.  Then I'd have a rudder to build the casing around anyway.  But when I was about to start the next rudder yesterday, I redecided and started a full repair of the moulds instead.  It's a shame to put all that nice expensive matherials in to a damaged mould without the potential to return a masterpiece foil, he he.  So I started a rather long way towards the next rudder.  After a lot of sanding and filling, I wrapped up yesterdays work on the port mould half with a rather heavy layer of epoxy:

Today I spent a lot of time sanding this layer down, but now I feel more confident the mould will be good again for the next rudders.  And I'm in the progress of ordering some heavy duty release agents for the mast build, and I'll use this for the rudders as well.  That way the moulds will hopefully live for another two rudders.  It was the stupid spray glue that killed them in the first place anyway.  No pictures of the progress.  I wrapped up by putting both halves away for a while, I'll pick up the rudder build after my vacation.

I've been working on the travellers.  The design calls for a carbon based traveller support for the bridging boomless main traveller.  I'm adding a self tacking jib traveller on my own expense.  I'm not sure why Farrier does not have a self tacking jib as a standard, it seems to me that should be standard on any safe, comfortable family cruiser.  But anyway, I've been spending some time trying to figure out the best way to solve this.  There are a few conflicting areas:  I'd like to provide for the largest possible non-overlapping jib.  I'd like to maintain the trailability of the boat, thus not blocking the daggerboard slot.  I'd like a low profile deck arrangement that does not prevent safe movement on deck.  I've been trough a moulded in-deck profile in front of the daggerboard slot via a hinged traveller solution allowing easy removal for trailering but I have settled on a solution where a bridge style carbon based traveller passes between the mast foot and the raised daggerboard, only needing removal for mast foot removal.  It will be supported by one carbon support each side and provide for the biggest possible non-overlapping jib.  Then the question curved or straight.  Jib tracks have a history of being curved, the curve being a percentage (=<100) of the JLP, where every designer and sail-maker seems to have their own one and only correct curve calculator.  Newer designs seems to work well with a straight traveller (Seaon 96), possibly because of the better traveller cars available.  I'll do none of the above.  No specific reason, just felt like it was time to stop speculating and make things happen.  It will be curved, slightly larger radius than the JLP, the thought is the sheet is being slightly eased as the sail passes the centreline for light air tacking.  Details of the supports are not yet figured out but I expect things will be clear as the process goes on.  Unfortunately the mast foot is not available as I had to return it for some adjustments, ie to be as specified in plans (after waiting for it to be finished for a year and a half or so...). 

I will be using a low profile track, the track support being a foam cored carbon structure with aluminium tapping plate embedded.

Foam routed back and aluminium tapping plate fitted.

The traveller support blank.  To be adjusted to final dimensions using electrical planer and then a mixture of unidirectional and biaxial carbon fibres will cover the structure to make it very rigid.

The view straight north as I was leaving the workshop at 0:25 am last night.  I live on the peninsula under the sunny part, around 5 km (3 miles) from the workshop.  I'm sure that distance cost me at least a year in launching date compared to be able to work at home.

The daggerboard control lines and the mast foot itself is limiting factors in placing the traveller, so it is being cut back to the thinnest possible in the mid section, almost only allowing the track ,tapping plate and supporting carbon fibres to pass the centre line.  The finished laminate was wrapped in peel ply and packaging tape being applied from centre and out each side, before being supported and put under pressure.

The main traveller (as the rest of the boat) is made according to plans

Foam blank being kept straight as the aluminium tapping plate is being embedded.

Putty filling around the aluminium.  Trimmed to specs.  To be rounded and laminated.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Small parts

While waiting for a period where I am able to build for three successive days, I have made some small parts. Mould making was covered in the last post.  I filled the aft mast support bracket moulds with epoxy/chopped cotton and inserted the sanded aluminium tubes.

The traveller support bracket mould was removed from the boat and cut.  Then covered with plastic packing tape before a number of heavy carbon fabrics of various fibre orientation was laid up wet.

The aft mast support brackets have been trimmed to fit and covered in glass.  I like to avoid direct contact between aluminum and carbon where possible.

I glued together the foam blanks for the carbon travellers, main and self tacking jib

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Meeting the circumnavigators

Thursday night Torkil and I drove out to the coast (we live in the Trondheimsfjord) to meet Børge Ousland, Thorleif Thorleifsson and Vincent on their way north in a Corsair 31 Ultimate Cruiser.  They are trying to be the first to circumnavigate the north pole in one season.

 The trimaran arrives at Grip around sunset

As seen here, a few minutes after 11pm, it is still almost daylight

Trygve also showed up with his recently finished TRT 12oo, his second build after selling the first one at Easter Island after a dismasting due to failure in the standing rigging (steel).  He now use synthetic rigging only.

Thorleif, Trygve and Børge discussing issues when travelling tens of thousands of miles in a multihull in the cockpit of Trygve's 40ft catamaran.Thorleif, who has mostly sailed monohulls since the 80's, when he sailed multihulls in France, expressed his very positive impressions with the sea going capabilities of the C-31UC, already having been trough some rough weather on their way up the coast.

You can follow Børge and company on his blog

Moulds have been made for the traveller supports and the aft mast support brackets.

I will cut this jig apart and use the inside as a mould for the traveller supports

Mould for the aft mast support brackets.  Foam blank for the next rudder in the background

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Update June

Quite some time since the last posting.  Some time have been used to boat related activities, but not so much building.  I popped the first joined rudder out of the moulds the other evening though.  But I'll try to summarize in more or less chronological order.

Just a couple of days after the last posting I made a useless carbon bowpole and destroyed the rudder moulds.  These events helped stall the progress a bit.  The bow pole was laid up on a PVC tube which worked like a charm, but I was not able to shrink the shrinking tube I had bought for the purpose of making a very nice finish, which led to me not being able to pull the layers tight, which resulted in ~800g of expensive carbon/epoxy garbage.

The mould de-laminated due to the spray glue I used to position the skins after first releasing them from the moulds (which was really easy) to prevent mould damage.  The reason I was to release the rudder halves again was that they were routed down to the centre line and ready to join, but the router had touched the edge of the mould a couple of places and I wanted to re wax the moulds before joining the half. 

 Routing the foam down to rudder centreline

To make sure the rudder parts themselves would not get waxed, I decided to remove the parts.  That is when this happened.  I took some pictures, but they seem to have vanished during the setting up of a new server and network at home/my wife's company, which has also contributed to rather slow progress lately.  Anyway, I cut up the loose areas of the mould surface with a utility knife, poured in some epoxy and put it all under vacuum.  Then I left for Oslo to meet friends and shop for the mast.

I had the pleasure of meeting two Norwegian multihull "veterans", designer/builders/sailors of the formula 28 trimarans "XOZ" and "Mirage".  We had great conversations on design and details on building the mast and I picked up parts for the mould and other useful stuff along with a new old rudder for my Telstar "Frimann".  I bought foam for the mast (Divinycell H100 8mm) and had discussions on what kind of carbon fibre to use with several experts.  I have now settled on a high strength fibre like the T700, still one quote to get before final decision.  A high modulus fibre, which I first planned on using, would probably not make much difference but to make the mast more brittle and 5 times as expensive, given the way this wing mast is designed.

When back from Oslo I unpacked the moulds, sanded them slightly and decided they will never be the same again.  Might be possible to use though, but the finish will not be perfect, which was the idea with making moulds in the first place.  Well, here they are, waxed and Norslipped again:

I put the two halves in, inserted the central core with carbon and epoxy wet in the process, joined the halves, bolted the moulds for alignment and put it all under vacuum:

The next day I popped the most beautiful piece of carbon fibre I have ever seen out of the moulds.  Weighing 1950g, it was released from the last mould half by bending the 38mm massive MDF slightly, and as the rudder, even before an elevated temperature cure, being much stiffer than this massive mould piece, popped right out.

Tonight I have laminated the extra leading edge and top end strip.

Tomorrow I'll probably go out to the coast to meet Borge and Thorleif as they have agreed to make a short stop on their C-31 north pole circumnavigation expedition to meet local multihull sailors.