State champs!

Gratuitous cross promotion here as we can’t help but shout about niece Molly Carter’s high school varsity lacrosse team winning Northern California state tournament this week. The final game saw frequent scoring, lead changes, many minutes tied, capped with Novato breaking the 9-9 tie literally as time ran out to win the title. Fans rushing the field, dogpile of players, people crying – the whole enchilada. Molly played a lot of minutes as a freshman, so it’s big shoes to fill in the coming years :)
Here with her brother Mack and the champs medal.

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Back at the shop we had a big weekend of putting stuff together. There are 7 thruhulls; 3 below the waterline and 4 drains for sinks and pumps. First some BoatLife bedding caulk…

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Press them in, deal with the backing plates and nuts inside, and wipe away the excess goo. Came out fine.

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The only regret is buying the mushroom head fittings instead of the flush heads. That call was made over a year ago because I was insecure about cutting the 45 degree chamfers. In retrospect it would have been pretty easy. So here’s a tiny bit of robbed speed we’ll suffer.

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We’re also tackling any last fabrication parts, including this plate inside the cabin that holds the daggerboard down-force turning block inside the dagger trunk. This will get carefully sealed and primed to avoid electrolysis as much as possible.

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Luis in Lisbon asked about the opening ports. These are Lewmar Flush Mitre #3s:

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20160523-184549.jpg they don’t really match with the wood trim inside, but we’ll love the ventilation and they look good blending in with the smoked Lexan from the outside. Also, these windows get more obscured by nice fabrics coming. Way to go Jeanne and Leslie for a whole Saturday of magic with foam blocking.

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Patterns are being made for these pretties…

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Now that the labor for hardware is done, we’re happy to have invested extra time in making backing plates, cutting individual bolts to fit in to acorn nuts, etc. The trim is looking pretty good according to recent visitors.

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I’ve only ignored Keith’s excellent advice once, which was him saying it’s not worth building a pulpit. I haven’t had good luck with schedules, costs, etc with welders, and since the mast base is out for ransom right now we decided to utilize on hand materials and knock this off the list with labor. It also means we can feel ok about it as an experiment, and modify/change sans-guilt later.
Grabbed some thin-wall (schedule 200) 1″ PVC plus 90degree PVC conduit bends and epoxy putty / light glassed them together. Decided to use the heavy carbon uni we had purchased to make a bow sprit long ago. And the leftover 5oz uni 2″wide roll for spiral hooping around the uni. Then cover it with a light fiberglass sleeve and this nifty shrink-wrap tubing from Soller Composites in New Hampshire (ok, we did spend about $30 on new materials for this project)

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Here it is part way thru the heat gun process. The film shrinks 2:1, spurring away bubbles and leaving a nice surface.

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Because these are working from a 45 degree bend, it was pretty easy to line up the foot cut and site these on the deck.

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There is also a cross bar intersecting the forward slope tubes, ahead of the forestay. Along with structure strength, it will catch the lowered furled up reacher.
Tonight we’ll make a sheet of three layer 1708DB that can then be cut in to four of these ‘feet’

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We’ll show you in a few days how the feet become bolting flanges on to the tubes.
Meanwhile, the daggerboard is getting a bit more shaping love. After applying Coz’s clever guide tool, we realized that the port size was a little flat compared to starboard. Now THAT would have slowed things down. So we’re being careful with this shaping job (that should have been done last year!)

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If you’re following this story and want to be around at the beginning of the boat’s water life, come on out. The basics are:
Fri June 10: morning: drive beams trailer to Napa then set floats on ground at Napa Sea Ranch (launch site). Deliver mast to Napa Valley Marina (a few hundred yards away). Evening: take empty boat trailer to Santa Rosa and transfer main hull from shop dolly to boat trailer.
Sat June 11: drive main hull to SeaRanch. Lift and bolt beams to hull, on trailer. Lift floats up to waiting beams. Install engine and nets. Expect at least all day.
Sun June 12: finish boat assembly items. Go to marina and dress the mast (halyards, diamonds, shrouds, etc)
Launch the boat!
Monday June 13: motor to Napa Marina for mast stepping.
Go sailing, God willing.

Let us know if you want to details/directions/a role in the process.

The new boat will first dock at Charlie’s house on the Napa River, and within a few days make its way into the bay for a summer dock. Probably in Richmond but we’re still poking around. There will be MANY “sea trials” sailing days and you’re all welcome to come along. We’ll be posting times via this blog, so sign in for updates if you haven’t already.

18 days to go. And the list is still long. I have an evening of tanks and hoses to go join together!

T – minus three weeks!

Ok friends, start your countdown timers ’cause we’re setting the launch date for the June 11/12 weekend. Many self imposed deadlines have come and gone over the past four years, but today we can actually see the finish line. While y’all are grilling, drinking, riding, sailing, etc for Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be hitting this punch list hard.

20160518-224539.jpg That’s the list on the shop white board, and of course there’s another dozen or so items in the margins of the little orange notebook the builder carries around :) (eg fix the flat tire on the trailer holding the beams out in the driveway)

All deck hardware is just about buttoned up now. About an hour more of securing a few more bolts to go. Ventilation should be good inside, with three deck hatches, the two companionways, a dorade up front, two opening ports in the main cabin, two in the bow, and three in the aft cabin.

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The all-stainless steel purchasing for sailing hardware has Jeanne appreciating the “boat bling” look. All this stuff cost about like buying decent gold and diamonds, but hopefully the enjoyment per hour is well spent on the sea side of the equation.

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Last year we wrote about concerns of the captive-pin mast base, especially after seeing the same design as our mast’s step having cracked on the Contour34 tri. Recall the Keith at Skateaway set us up with a receiver cup at the bottom of the mast. Yesterday we finally tackled designing and building a replacement mast step. Farrier’s F39 plan isn’t quite right because he has the halyards on either side of the receiver ball, while we built our mast for them to exit just aft of the ball. So we used Farrier’s load solving but did some shape changing. Things were a bit tricky because the deck slopes about seven degrees off level and we want the ball to sit close to level with the water. Here’s the one we’re replacing. Missing in the photo is a high density plastic insert carved with a cylinder to accept the round steel pin from the mast. Note the old piece is stainless steel.

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So first on paper, then mocked up in wood. The plywood chunk at the left represents the deck slope.

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Next was sharp blades on the chop saw and table saw to cut shapes and make the 7 degree bevels needed. Ouch, $125 for about 2-1/2 sq feet of 1/2″ and 3/8″ 6061 aluminum.

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Took about three hours last night to cut and sand/grind everything in prep for the welder this evening.

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The welding shop was happy to get things properly prepped, with 1:1 scale drawing and a wood go-by mockup. We had left the proper 1/4″ fillet weld spaces at the seams – overall not bad for first time amateurs. Then the casually noted, yea we can do this in two hours; that’ll be $280, sir. After that it’s a stop at the anodizer, and this will be a $500+ part even though we designed it and cut it all out. Geez.

The bow area got its last big job, the forestay installation. Thanks again to Colligo for custom cutting this in titanium. Kind of a pity it’s hidden down in the hole. Keith will note the nice big ring nut to anchor the jib tack adjuster :)

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The bottom paint isn’t on yet because the thru hulls aren’t installed because one had to be special ordered from Forespar, etc (see how this works?), and we don’t want to mix up bottom paint until the daggerboard is also prepped. Last winter recall the America’s Cup foils building vet Cozmo pointed out the flaws in my dagger leading edge (“you know that sag will be slow, Carter” has been haunting for months ). He instructed on setting up a straight edge and re-fairing. Here goes: first see the problem gap.

20160518-232213.jpg next we filled that void.

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And got the leading edge of the board back to a straight line up and down.

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A quick phone call with the foil master tonight confirmed the next step is to make a careful wooden shaping jig cut from a proper foil leading edge shape (have that shape in the Farrier full size plans). He said we only need to worry about getting the right leading edge rounding, and a properly symmetric first three or so inches shape flowing back. So the jig can be short-legged, not pulled all the way down these very large daggerboard sides. A few more hours this week to go.

All the hardware backing plates are pretty woods inside – more photos next time- but anything outside is plastics. This 3/4″ high density stock from Tap machines very easily to make spacers under the rope clutches.

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This is the stuff we’re doing each evening now as the push to finish the list heats up. Very excited for Saturday when Jeanne and Leslie measure all the seating areas and map out the cushion foam we’ve been squirreling away for a couple years :). Curtains begin this week too. Yea!

Rollin’ out the paint

The boat shop is a bit more navigable tonight with the FINISHED beams loaded on their little trailer and stored off site. The daggerboard is getting its last bits of bottom paint, and once that cures will get wet-sanded smooth over the weekend.

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The remaining work on the floats is painting the net lashing tubes, the chainplates and some other minor modifications to the hatches. Here we’re finally ready to get that going.

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And this evening was the first coat of Interlux PrimeKote.

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Work was actually stopped last week while Greg visited Colin’s place in Virginia. We made new mountain biking friends and found about 100 miles of great trails. Definitely going back there! But the best part was finally sailing Colin’s Coronado 15. Long time blog followers remember the second boat we squeezed in to the shop last year for a rehab – careful what you find on craigslist. Anyway, the little orange boat is a kick in the pants.

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Right after VA we picked up Keith and Val Burrage at SFO for a day of sailing aboard a nice charter cat (thanks again Rick!) then time in the shop for Keith to inspect the work and help unpack the sails he designed. The HydraNet sailcloth looks and handles great so far. As a pleasant surprise, it’s semi translucent so it should look pretty swanky up in the sky

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This is a full batten jib, and in this shot it’s reefed down with the excess foot rolled up and tucked in to a pocket bag that zips on to each side of the sail. Keith and others swear this is possible at sea.

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We’ll keep the paint rolling, and figure out how to juggle numerous projects while layers dry.

Rudder trim tab completed

It took a few hours today to get the trim tab properly spaced in its rudder slot, after the hinge-area covers were built in carbon. It’s all done now, ready for some final fairing and paint. Now we can build the rudder cassette that mounts on the stern of the main hull. That needs the completed rudder to serve as the mold for the cassette shell. Work starts next week.

Hinge covers starting out in foam core:

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Needed vacuum bagging to conform to the tricky shape …

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And the result covers the hinge area nicely, hopefully providing clean enough water flow in the neutral (straight ahead) position.
This building method with the hinge tube imbedded at the start and the tab cut out from the completed rudder has resulted in everything lining up just right. (Sure glad I didn’t try to retrofit a trim tab hinge tube in to the first rudder built last year).

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PS – the boat sat quiet for two days when Jeanne turned up the house thermostat on the first cold night this fall – yep, the 25 yr old furnace croaked. Saved a bunch of money by doing our own demolition, new condensate drain under the house and building a sturdy new platform for the furnace man to come in as the hero. Final price tag was ironically exactly the same as the boat’s new Suzuki motor. I like the furnace’s 10yr warranty better!

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Take it Easy

12 hours later that task was DONE! Woke up early, worried about the geometry of the trim tab swing since the top and bottom edges are not perpendicular to the pivot axis. So we invested an hour in a rough mock up.

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That wood is cut at the same angles as the trim tab needs to be, and it showed how a gap needs to be left between the tab and the rudder to allow the 45 degree swing. Now it was time to cut for real…

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Now it needs some edge smoothing and figuring out some carbon layup to reinforce all the newly exposed edges. Since we couldn’t cut the rudder on a curve around the pivot tube we need to add back some little wings to cover up the hinge, in terms of keeping good water flow between the rudder and the tab. That should be mellow work, coming off the stress of getting this whole thing built and cut right :)

Try this link to see the trim tab in action:

 

Measure thrice, cut once

Sometimes the next step in the boat shop is a scary one. Here we have a nice new 6.5′ tall, 32 pound carbon fiber rudder, all faired out to spec shape and ready for paint.

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BUT it’s not done – sitting on the workbench tonight all marked up for cutting out the trim tab section on the trailing edge, so the boat can be steered by the windvane up on the tower shown a couple weeks back. So with at least 50 hours of work and about a grand in materials I decided to sleep on it and take one more check of the measurements before cutting tomorrow. It’s so counter-intuitive to take a saw to a finished product, but the windvane company and the naval architect are all on board and eager to see how this thing works out.

Hopefully good photos will get to you this weekend.

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Boom shakalaka-boom

Ok, you got a better song with Boom in the lyrics?

Today it was time to pull out the old mast segment we’ve had squirreled away and start creating the main boom. This stick is 18′ of a salvaged carbon mast. The section may be overkill but if we leave it as is, it should be a hell of a strong boom. One option is to cut away the last three inches off the skinny side and form a new, much lighter lower edge the whole length. Or we take Mike Leneman’s simple suggestion of making Swiss cheese holes all along the boom. That would also save weight and make it easy to run reefing rigging internally. And we also need to think through making sail catchers that stick out about a foot on both sides of the boom.

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We started making a forward end bracket to bolt inside this boom, which will provide a strong pivot pin attachment to the gooseneck on the mast. One big bummer is that goose is already bedded and bolted to the mast at 54″ up (for the Shuttleworth it was commissioned to) but we need it a foot lower (that would get it to the level resting position seen in these sawhorse holding photos). Can’t really do that mast work until the boat is out of the workshop. Hmmm. The next update should have that boom end bracket to show you. And yes, the boom in this position shown is 6’3″ above the cockpit floor so fewer whacked heads expected. It’ll be about a foot above the hard top, leaving room for some solar panels up there.

The rudder came out of its final carbon layer vacuum bag this morning, looking good (and big next to a grown up!)

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The yellow strip is a Kevlar piece to help make the leading edge tougher against hitting small stuff in the water. I’ll do a bit more final fairing on this board over the next couple of days and then it will be time to make the scary cut into it to creat the trailing edge trim tab. Cover your eyes, Mertyl, this one’s not for the faint of heart.

The boat has suffered some October down time due to excessive viewership of the SF Giants run. The prudent move would have been to purchase 10 gallons of epoxy, but instead the $ went to tix for Bumgarner’s shutout on Sunday.
Great time with Griffin!

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But World Series parades also mean it’s time for the weather to turn. Cold epoxy does not flow well, and I finally thought it through – make a winter warming hut! This simple box (old Sheetrock and leftover styrofoam) is now keeping the fluids at just right viscosity, with an air temp in the upper 70s. Venting the box more or less lets us modify the temperature and therefore adjust the go-off timing of the epoxy hardener. REALLY wish I had spent the two hours on this box two winters ago :(

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It’s warmed by a simple incandescent 60 watt bulb under an aluminum plate holding up the bottles.

Good things are happening building out the aft cabin furniture. Photos to come once the bunks are bonded in. Yes, doing some work on the inside even though I said no cabin work until all exterior parts are complete. Thankfully it means we’re getting to the end of the outside stuff and can see the light towards the winter interior build. We’ll skip the Giants parade and work on the rudder!