Flip Flopper

Politicians get a bad reputation for changing their stories. Here we told you the boat work moved to the interior, but now a post about more exterior fabrication. Seems to work out best if we have multiple projects going at once so things can progress while other parts let the epoxy cure (lots of timing dance lately!)

First up is the boom – got the last structural thing done, adding carbon-wrap spacers to the bottom side. Less than a pound of material has now replaced the 20lbs of heavy laminate we sliced off this old mast last year.

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Rick WS brought Matt and pro rigger Guy Stevens to the shop today for a tour, and Guy managed to rattle off about 20 great ideas for the boat, including solving the reefing and main sheet attachments for the boom. I was deservedly chided for putting an out haul track – those holes will now be filled in and we’ll do nice spectra grommets (continuous line hoops) around the boom for reef and main sheet block anchors. This also made me see how to nicely hide the reefing lines inside the easy-access boom. Nice.

The final cabin top opening hatch went in, this one over the shower.

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In this close up of the hatch cut out area, notice how the cedar core strips are tongue and grove fitted during the primary hull construction. This wasn’t called for in the plans, but the extra labor should be giving us more structural rigidity for zero added weight.
All three of the hinged deck hatches got 3/4″ ply spacers added above the deck as mounting flanges (seen as the tan square over the hole in last photo). It’s against the trend of the new flush mount hatches, but I like raising this lip up to help keep splashes out when sailing in spray or perhaps rain and the hatch cracked open.

Today’s work was a task that’s been a worry for three years; finally time to make those big cap shroud chainplates. (For Mom: these are the very important bases sticking out of the decks of the 2 outer hulls, to which the mast rigging is affixed. Old ships had metal plates bolted to wood timbers and the chains going up joined at the plates). Making them now in composites and permanently bonding them deep inside the floats means they should never need replacing. Two weeks back I showed the steel pins and lashing ‘bear paws’; those get joined to:

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Only the light yellow section will be visible above the deck – the long tan part is what is glued and glassed inside the float hull. Here goes two layers of heavy 45-45 bias carbon with ten layers of 9oz uni carbon sandwiched between the double bias layers.

20150219-233827.jpg you can just make out the staggered uni layers in that photo.
Here’s what’s curing overnight:

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This weekend we’ll make the slices in the boat to accept these 24″ long carbon chainplates.

Concurrent with the fabrication work we have two pros tackling the stuff that would get the amateurs in trouble. Joe at Digital Marine in Sausalito came to the shop and devised the whole electrical system layout – now he’s translating the ideas in to schematics and parts lists. There are hundreds (it seems anyway) of choices to make in this realm. While he figures out the ‘what’, I’m doing the ‘where’, busy building hidden but accessible wiring chases around the boat. Every wire will be nicely labeled and available along its entire length.

And up in the sky, Keith Burrage of Skateaway Designs has thoroughly modernized the sailplan from our dozen year old plans. We’ll get a better main shape, an exciting full batten reefable jib and a lightweight furling reacher set on a shortened bow sprit. For my F27 brothers, I’ve decided this is not a screecher, ie we’re going to cut it fuller to make it a better 90-120 degree sail, and rely on a better jib and main setup to head upwind. I’m excited about the main and jib sail cloth – just about to commit to radial cut HydraNet, which is Dacron with Spectra weaved in. This means very light weight, easy stacking, excellent durability and rather racy performance with all that spectra/dyneema structural rigidity weaved in. Further helping the shape-holding is the computer aided design personalized to our rig and boat performance. Keith thinks the main will have over 100 panels so that’s a hell of a lot of sewing to do this spring.
We will also do true running back stays to the main hull, unlike the “baby caps” out on the floats of other FBoats. This should further stabilize our light mast and give more performance shaping options.

Things are moving in high gear now and the credit cards are being pounded. As Dad says about growing old, “this ain’t for sissys”!

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