Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pop top and main traveller

The trailer is still filling up my garage, and I'm working on it a little bit every day.  Yesterday I modified the fender attachments (as these were really bad/weak design, as well as a bit too high to clear the unfolding floats and too narrow to really cover the wheels), by cutting, bending and welding the ends, going for a different way of attachments.  This will lower the fender approximately 3,5 cm and move them out about the same. I've also prepared the ten square tubes to support the laminated 2" x 6" side supports.  I expect to receive most of the fabricated parts some time during next week.

Today I mounted the pop top.  Quite uneventful session, and everything seemed to work very well, except the anticipated problems with the upper bolt heads being too wide.  I have planned to cut back half the head as button head bolts in the required dimension was not available.

Testing pop top functionality:

Open, plenty of headroom

Partially closed, providing shelter in nasty headwinds?

Closed, this is where the bolt heads conflicts

I proceeded with making up an aft beam mount anchored jig to control the main traveller position.  Then I cut the brackets back to the required size and tacked them to the hull.

Temporarily kept firmly in place with a screw with big washer on each side.  The traveller is only clamped to the brackets.  This means I have to laminate the traveller to the brackets partially up side down, which is definitely undesirable.  The alternative seemed even less tempting, as placing the brackets on the traveller in the exact correct position and angle was very difficult.  I think this way it will be better, as I can avoid any tension in the system.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Work, work, work. And trailer.

Not much available time for boatbuilding again.  I'm working on getting the trailer ready and made up sketches of various brackets and stuff that I will get made.  That took a lot of time, and if others are rebuilding a similar trailer you are welcome to use my sketches, here they are:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More jib traveller and aft deck

It might seem like the progress is really slowing down, but some things just take a lot of time.  Today I added more reinforcements to the jib traveller.  It would really be a pity if the track tore loose from the brackets, so I try to do a thorough job on the attachments.  And because I have to work on several sides of the track, and the fabric is wrapping around to whatever might be the back side, it is very difficult to do much of the job at a time.  That means several rounds of curing, removing peel ply, some sanding and more laminating.  Have to do that tomorrow as well, then I think I'll be satisfied.

I also added a layer of Kevlar/carbon hybrid to the aft deck.  When building in carbon, the panels can get stiff and strong enough with a very thin skin, I'm afraid it is so thin that it do not withstand much abuse, hence the additional Kevlar under the waterline and in all areas susceptible to receiving falling winch handles etc.

Also doing a lot of thought/development work on the trailer, as well as studying the very unavailable rules and regulations regarding light etc.  I probably won't find any policeman in Norway even close to knowing the regulations, if I ever go to Switzerland however....  I think it's best to get it right.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jib traveller, detail work

I filled up the front face as mentioned.  Then I laminated the brackets to the traveller with UD tape and covered the front face with some BD fabric.  The rest of the UD will be covered by a couple of more layers of BD.

The trailer side supports seems to have turned out better than expected.  Some more intensive work on the trailer next week I guess.  The trailer needs a total rebuild (moving axles, increasing constructional width and length, all new supports), and then an inspection from the traffic authorities for it to be approved for F-boat transportation.  The strange thing is that I think a lot of boats are 250cm wide, but no trailers on the market are.  It is not (in Norway at least) allowed to transport goods wider than the registered with of the vehicle and hence most boat trailers in Norway are probably not according to rules and regulations. I will see to that mine is, and that includes among other things to make it 18 cm wider. I don't know how I will do this yet, probably just adding a steel square tube along the side.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I laminated the starboard wing net lashing rail yesterday, using the poor man's vacuum bag technique.  This works great to help the fabric sit tight in curved areas.

Today I started out adding a strip of high density foam on the lower edge of the jib traveller front face.  I will fill the open triangular space on this face in order to angle the track more up.  The geometry here is actually quite complex as the curve should be in the plane of the JLP but the track should face approximately half way up the luff.  I was trying out different angles of the track when making the brackets, but I was afraid the geometry would make tacking difficult if I faced the curve too much up, so I will be doing a half way both, hoping it will work.  The cars will be roller bearing so I expect them to roll OK even if the pull is somewhat from the side. I'm a bit anxious to find out actually.  Probably should have gone with a straight track after all, then all these things would have been omitted.  Time will show. Then the traveller was tacked to the brackets and left to cure.

Then I laminated the trailer side supports from 6 layer of plywood and placed them in grooves made in the temporary hull supports.  Adding a couple of extra compression clamps made the multilayer ply 2" x 6" follow the hull curvature just perfect.
The trailer will provide a very steady bed for the boat. I will have a bunch of steel brackets made up to fix the boards to the trailer.  Hopefully the trailer will accept the hull in a couple of weeks, so I can free the workshop for foil building, one aero and two hydros.

There is not much more laminating on the main hull exterior left, I will add Kevlar on the cockpit seats and the aft deck, and the travellers have to be mounted.  The pop-top mechanism will be mounted when I get all the stainless bolts on Monday.  I will get on with the rudder shortly.  Right now it seems possible to sail next summer, but it will be interesting to see just how much time it takes to make the mast.....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Laminating first lashing rails

Tonight I completely filled the underside, finished the topside filling and laminated the wingnet lashing rails on port side.  Put the hull over on it's side to try and avoid fighting gravity, worked ok but just that.  The procedure was remarkably more time consuming than anticipated but I think I got away with a good result in the end.

Pushing to finish all the laminating work on the main hull so I can bake it and remove it from the workshop, freeing the space for transforming the contents of this box to a wing mast...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hardware, jib traveller, aft cabin hatch

The Telstar has a bow cleat that snags every line within ten feet, so I was looking for a solution to this on the new boat.  Even though the cleat is the specified size, I had to expand the prescribed HD insert in the fore deck to give proper support for this one (to have in mind for new builders).

The good thing with this cleat is it retracts when not in use, to avoid the above mentioned problem, and sore toes.  Also visible is the almost flush anchor locker hatch fitting.

The jib traveller will consist of a Ronstan series 19 track on the carbon traveller support, with a double set of small shacle cars (RC 11902), each carrying a Ronstan Orbit 40 block. The sheet will be led from one cabin top winch via a block lashed to the deck, trough the first car block, the Series 55 OrbitBlock at the clew and the mirrored route on the other side.  This will give a 2:1 purchase and the possibility of furling the jib with sheets untouched.  Also, trimming the jib will be possible from any side winch (freeing the other one for screecher or spin). The traveller will be placed as low and close to the mast as possible to maximize sail area, and will pass between the mast step and the raised daggerboard.

I made up blocks of light foam as moulds for the traveller brackets and laminated them in situ.

In situ jib track support brackets moulding.  The lay up consisting of one layer 400gsm DB - three layers 240gsm UD - one layer 400 gsm BD - three layers 240 gsm UD - one layer 400 gsm BD.

The brackets will be bolted trough deck, in order to accomodate mast step and daggerboard removal. The mast rotators will be attached underneath the brackets.

Side view.

The fore deck area from tack (in the hole) to clew positions.  In the background the heating cabinet I put up for the rudder moulds, they have been repaired and after cure they will receive last sanding finish and high performance mould wax.

A look into the heating cabinet...

One mould half ready for final preparations.

I also made a sturdy raised frame/flange for the aft cabin hatch.  Hatches leak, there is as I understand a universal  understanding of this fact, but the leaks can be minimized by for instance making sure larger amounts of water will not collect at the seal.  Also, I really maximized the cut out for this hatch with regards to the limitations provided by the designer, so I wanted to at least strengthen the perimeter of the cut out.

20 mm raised flange from HD foam and 400 gsm BD carbon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I'm sure several sailmakers would make good sails for the F-22.  In Norway, the loft with the most multihull experience is GranNorth made some good sails for my Telstar a few years ago, so I asked them for a quote as well.  I've also asked for furlers and main sheeting systems (Harken windward sheeting and 6:1/24:1).

The result of my inquiries are pretty interesting I think.  From North I got an answer that said something like yes we make good sails, but Harken is very expensive.  Then I have not got anything more.  I've asked for some more follow up, but no.  The sad thing is they have the Karver furlers.  I'd like a couple of those.  But I think a company that do not respond after several contacts on a deal worth a quarter of a years income, should not be pushed any more.  Do we pay way over price for our sails so they don't have to work hard?  Or is it just another case of good men not being organized in a productive manner?

With Gran I did not get a response either.  So I called up the sales manager, with whom I had been talking to at the start of my build and he then made a good impression, telling him I found it peculiar that I did not get an answer to my quote.  He seemed to feel bad about it, said his computer had crashed but the techs had ensured him everything was retrieved, and humbly asked if I could send my requests again.  Before I got to it, about half an hour later, I had his propositions for the whole wardrobe.  He has from then offered excellent support.

The details of my order is not yet ready due to the mast not made, self tacker not attached etc, but production time have been reserved and I will have main moulded in carbon on black technora, three reefs, the Gran self tacking Glider jib in the same materials, screecher in 2,9oz aramid and a nylon assy.  I'd like all three headsails furled.  I've not decided on furlers, but I'm leaning towards Facnor.  Anyone's opinion on this is most welcome.


I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what would be the best engine for this boat.  I think the best is not commercially available yet, as that would be a soon (maybe) to be launched very light weight and compact 5 kW diesel generator and an electric outboard. 

Having been in the situation where I HAD TO spend a day motoring the Telstar "Frimann" for 8 hours with a 6 hp two stroke Suzuki, I knew some spare power and one of the more silent models would be necessary.  Then again, minimizing weight is what this build is all about.

I ended up on the Tohatsu 6 SailPro, being light weight, Ultra long, with large diameter/low pitch propeller, alternator as standard and the possibility of remote control (aft cabin model).  I do not feel that "Tohatsu" sounds very good, but they are said to be reliable and good engines.  So I ordered one from West Systems in Norway early April.  By the end of July, I was assured I would not get my engine until next year.

So, if they can't supply an engine within a year, what happens when I need some spare parts???

I've had a Yamaha on a powerboat I had in the teens, very reliable engine. My brother in law have an old 4 hp Yamaha as well.  I like them.  The 8 hp HighTrust would probably be the ultimate cruising engine, but then I could save 5 kg off the stern (and a lot of money) by going with the F8CHML. So I did.  I'm currently breaking it in on the Telstar, the engine runs like a charm and it has tons of trust compared to the Suzuki 6.  And there is a "Dual Trust" 9" propeller available that I think I will have to try out.  Might have to borrow the before mentioned 4 hp two stroke for big events, though...

Starting fall season

So, after six or so weeks with painkillers and lack of sensibility, power and control of my right leg, the conservative approach seems to pay off.  I've managed a few short visits to the workshop the last few days, and things are getting better every second day or so.  Just a few months of daily exercises and I expect to be good as new!

I have been pushing a bit the last months in order to get on the water next summer, but missing two potentially good building months could make this hard to achieve.  I will keep on trying, but no matter what I've tried, I don't get more than 24 hours out of a day, and then I have to sleep a bit as well.  If someone have overcome this limitation, please let me know;-)

What I have been able to do is a bit of planning regarding hardware, buying an engine, ordering sails etc.  I will post more details on these subjects.

Somehow I have managed to loose track of my camera during summer, and with all the purchases coming up, there will not be any replacement shortly.  Will have to use the phone-camera with ditto poor quality.  Some of the things I have been able to do on the boat:

Pop top supports end filled with epoxy

Fibreglass pads added at support attachment to cabin top coaming.

Rudder web external laminations.  Aft mast support brackets bolted and bonded in place.

The structural bits and pieces of the aft beam mounts was finished, and then I started the optional coaming extension

As well as doing some external beam recess laminating

As I'm closing off the cockpit with the coaming extension, some more drain holes had to be made

Finishing the extension, with integrated beverage holders I'm squeezing the beam mount top flange laminates during cure in order to get an even surface for bolting the hardware

Wing net lashing support.  No luck in sourcing a fibreglass tube so plain PVC electrician's tubes.  Temporarily attached with some screws and wire.

For the bow net