Hello from the new boat shop!

Hello friends, here’s my little bit to distract you from the anxious times around us.

We know it was a huge relief to launch Ravenswing in 2016. But that also came with giving up the 1,000+ sq ft boat-build workshop in Santa Rosa. I’ve really been missing a working space over these past four years. Until this week, that is ;)

Welcome TuffShed…

Recall our tractor work to reshape the yard earlier this year. The ‘tailings’ became a big flat space over what had been unusable hillside. Now we have a handy 12×24’ shop. Didn’t take me very long to make it look like this tonight.

There’s still some sorting, binning and cleaning up to do, but we’re not letting that get in the way of fabricating! Went to Svendsen’s in Alameda for a half sheet of 1/4” foam core and got to cuttin’

The idea is to make various bits here at home and take these projects to the boat in Mexico soon. Tonight the vacuum pump is running while these laminations cure.

On the table, with foam, fabrics, peel ply and breather all cut, are:

Adding a sealing flange to the inner disk of the emergency escape hatch (its wedge fit isn’t perfect and it shifted a half inch at sea – this will stop movement)

Making a replacement outer door disk for the escape hatch. The existing one is 1/2” core, and with the rubber seal on the hull ring, the door stands too proud out from the hull. Making a skinnier replacement, and getting the shape more exact.

Panels to make a different radar mount. I’ll move the radar to the center of the stern tower. That’s good, but it signals a surrender on what was a huge project. Decided to ditch the self steering, unpowered wind vane steering. Our unused “Autohelm” brand vane will be sold (cheap!) I’ve never installed it on the launched boat – only back in the build shop in parts. It was wishful thinking seven years ago, and our reality is the Pelagic Autopilot steers very well and is energy efficient. So we’ll streamline the tower this way. I’ll tell you about the rudder next time.

Also on the table you’re seeing a new shelf for holding sailing gear, just inside the companionway.

And a new transom plate for the dinghy. The Takacat ships with a coated particle board plate. Yeah, that cracked and got mushy.

It took about 1.5 hours to get everything wetted out on both sides, and properly fitted to the table with bagging consumables in place.

By 9:30pm we fired up the pump and got a nice -25bar suction bag. I really like this red plastic mesh spacer fabric. Learned about it two years ago in Mastachusettes during the mast build project. It allows for a very even bag suction pressure with only one air port in use.

Meanwhile we unwrapped 3 carbon parts made yesterday evening.

You’d never guess from their unfinished state, so, top one = a stiffening spacer to finally fill in between the bowsprit tangs that stick out of the hull. Needed because we changed the sprit mount style after sea trials. Will show you that when back at the boat.

Middle item is a new mounting bracket for the chart plotter. Raymarine bracket is very heavy steel and doesn’t allow the right swing angle we want. This little number should be just a couple ounces.

Bottom item is a new sheave box to add third-reef in-boom routing for the mainsail. Today it’s external, and we’ve needed this bit of surgical addition to match the third reef routing with the system already working for reefs 1 and 2.

So you guys are going to hear about a bunch of upgrades as I get it all ready for the road trip to AZ, the border and Puerto Penasco. Not sure when to roll, but certainly not before we know the next president.

Speaking of great new things, we got a ride on F27 Papillon today to watch Drew’s joy for the first hoist of her spiffy Pineapple Sails carbon main! Holy cow what a piece of work. Look out BAMA folks, team Papillon will be gunning for you in ‘21 :)

Yep, that’s the man Kame Richards driving Drew’s Fboat!

Papillon’s a 1991 vintage that can pop that pink Asym chute and do 14 kts on the Bay in a 12kt true wind. Not many <30’ boats designed in the mid 80’s can do that. It was SO GOOD to be sailing the bay for my first time in at least six months. Phew.