zondag 28 juni 2009

Working on rig.

My brother Hans has gotten really enthousiastic about working with the dyneema ropes and is making all kinds of handy parts for my rig, like soft hanks and, below, a tackle for my back up forestay (nylon washers make sure the lashing-rope doesn't bind).
Below picture for my wife Jacomien: yes, I fitted the wind-pointer (???). She demanded I'd fit one (she still has good memories of two boats I owned earlier on - a nordic folkboat and a waarschip 7.25 - which had the same pointer). Telling it's not necessary to have one were to no avail: she gave me the pointer for my birthday and how can I refuse this present?
For ease of mind I made a backup fitting for the shrouds with a piece of 6 mm dyneema and some vulcanising tape (later on a picture which will be more clear). The knot is the same knot used for the soft hanks (don't know the name), and is made by Hans.
My plan was to attach the shrouds with 8 mm olivier links produced by Precourt. However, I got fed up waiting for a response from Precourt about the links he is supposed to be working on, and decided to use two pieces of hardware that were delivered with my mast-section. They are actually meant to anchor ball-terminals, but I figured they might as well anchor a dyneema loop.
Below the overview of the setup: 6 mm dyneema soft hank (the line is fed through itself and then finished with a big 'turkish' knot). The end-knot is not finished smooth: instead the two ends are left proud and there's an extra knot in both lines to make sure the knot won't slip and open up. I made a hdpe bush on the lathe to make sure the loop doesn't chave.
Below an overview of the attachment of the shrouds: 8 mm shrouds (SK75) anchored on the ball-terminal-loops, and secured to oneanother and to the extra mounting point with a piece of 8 mm SK75. The mast will only come down when all three mountings fail, which I don't expect to happen. I will be cruising only, and this setup seems plenty strong for that purpose.
I will for the time being keep my rig very simple. Main halyard with a stopper on the mast (not running to the cockpit) + a tackle at the mastfoot to tension the luff of the main + backup forestay + furling jib with a fixed swiffel (jib will be hoisted with a dyneema line 2:1) + 2:1 sheeting of the jib with no winches. Unfortunately the swiffel & furling drum take up a bit too much space: the jib would hardly fit in between and would not furl properly as the backup forestay was in the way. I need to make a separat tab a bit higher to mount the forestay.
Below a detail of mast raising setup: the trailer winch-band which I use to raise the mast is kept central with a dyneema loop round the bullnose. Here you can also see the stainless steel furling drum which I could buy second hand for not too much money. It's difficult to get anything attached in the hole in the deck with the bow web below and I don't think this setup will work properly (just too small). If I remember right Ian Farrier wrote this is still a loose end in the design.
A part of the design I didn't follow (yet?) is the mast raising wires-supports bolted to the side of the cabin. Instead I made a wire between my lifting eyes with shackles at the ends, and with an eye at the height of the pivot pin. This works well, just onhook the wire and you're done. Loads will be a bit higher because the wires are not at the edge of the cabin, but I don't think loads will be too high.
Overview of the setup (sorry, forgot to turn the picture).
And this is how it looks the right way up....
Below: mast raised 30 cm and feeling steady. Before rigging all the support wires we tried to raise the mast with just the raising pole, but quickly quit. Although this mast is quite light (30 kg or so) it's not easy to handle. Raising it with just some muscle and faith is not for me.....
And.... the mast is up. The rake is of course way too much in this picture. We kept the shrouds short to make sure we wouldn't tip the mast over when raising. You can see the support wires for the mast raising pole are slack, that's my mistake: I used the maststep ball as a reference point for the mounting point of the support wires instead of the pivot pin.
Finishing the boat and all the hardware has taken a lot of time, and I'm still not there. Need to lower the mast again, make a new tab for the backup forestay, grind a slot in the mast for the cars of the main, fit the outboard (will be tight), make a tiller, try to lower the furling drum 2 cm to get a bit more clearance at the top of the jib, etc. etc.
Still the plan is to launch in about three weeks. I'll sail the boat for a week with my brother, and use that week to tune the boat and see if everything works the way it should.

dinsdag 23 juni 2009

In the water

This weekend me and my brother laced the trampolines and put the boat in the water to test it. We were in a hurry, so I didn't take my time to get nice pictures. Still here are some....

Photo below: the lifting eyes work well. I need to make the front two hoisting slings a bit longer to lift the boat horizontally.

First time in the water. The centerboard pivot doesn't leak (didn't think it would, but you never know). The boat is floating very high. Hope this is how it's supposed to be.
My brother is lashing the trampolines.
Close up of the trampolines below: lashed with 2,5 mm dyneema SK75 (cheaper than a roll of nylon, but hard to get tight as it is difficult to pull). I still need to work on the attachment of the beginning + end of the lashing to the hull. Details will follow in due time.
The trampoline is a bit too close to the hullside to my liking, and it is difficult to get the lashing tight like this. I'll have to live with it for at least this sailing season, maybe I'll alter the trampolines this winter. Tip for future builders: maybe make the trampoline a few cm less wide than plans specify, or first finish the hull + floats before making the trampolines, so you can measure the actual distance between the float-rail and the hullside.

Below the front view. I guess the boat will be a bit lower in the water once I put the mast on the boat and put some extra gear in it. That would be a good thing, because the floats are now a bit too high above water.

donderdag 18 juni 2009


I stitched my trampolines on this old Singer sewing machine (it is motorized). It can't zigzag, but for the rest it works just fine. The trampoline was put together with double sided tape before stitching. Lesson learned: stitch directly after using the tape. One trampoline was put away for a while unstitched and more or less fell apart. What a sticky mess! Other tip: spraying a bit of WD40 on the needle helps to make sure the needle +thread don't stick too much to the tape.
For the lacings to the hull I won't use rings, but a 6 mm alu rod in the sleeve. Probably stronger than rings, and less fuss.
The shop I bought the materials warned me the last ring on the side of the trampoline is loaded a lot and has a tendency to fail. That's why I strenghtened it a bit.
Apart from the tiller and some small jobs the boat is ready. I still have to take care of the rig and the raising pole + wires, though. I can't finish that because I'm still waiting for Erik Precourt to fabricate the 8mm version of his Olivier Link which I plan to use for the shrouds. Erik mailed me he would be working on the links this week, so I hope there will be some white smoke at the end of the week.

maandag 15 juni 2009

Plastic Fantastic

Working on some of the last parts of the boat: bushings.
Some time ago I bought a very old Unimat SL micro lathe, it works OK for plastics and small metal work.

Below: piece of Arnite (PETP) rod in lathe.
Step 2: outside diameter ready.
Step 3: inner hole bored. I tried to do this on the lathe first, but this didn't work (too slow: in stead of cutting I melted the bushing-to-be). In the drill press it was a piece of cacke. The two pieces of hardwood with triangle-formed cutouts keep the rod level (vertical). This works well, as long as you make sure the cutouts in the woodblocks are cut precise (no problem for me, because I'm a happy owner of a very precise festool table saw).
Below: finished bushing for the rudder. No, it's not as good looking as a professional bushing. Yes, it will work anyway. No, it's not worth to save money this way (unless you've got time to spare) but I just enjoy trying to fabricate parts myself.
Below: bushing for mast pivot ball, made out of Delrin rod. The router bit was very expensive for the (this) one time I will use it.
I've got plenty of delrin to spare, and my expensive router bit. If someone is interested: I can send some delrin rod with the hole routed in it for the costs + a few dollar for my invested time, and save you the trouble of buying the router bit. I also have a spare type 316 1" ball I can send with it.
Plans call for acetal washers for the folding system. I couldn't find ready made washers, so just drilled a hole in a piece of delrin rod and chopped washers off on the bandsaw.
This weekend I drove the boat to my home to pick up the mast (the mast was hanging in my garden) and tried to shoot some photo's back at the marina but instead by accident made a film. Still some people might be interested, so below is the clip.

donderdag 4 juni 2009

Mast Step + Retaining Thingies

Still got to make some pieces. Below is the mold + glass for the four beam retaining brackets. I made the mold on the bandsaw (my advice: buy one if you haven't got one!) of some scrap pieces of mdf.
When cured I cut the mold + glass in four straight pieces on the table saw. I know it's not good for the sawblade, but for this kind of work I use a blade that's already damaged (hit some screws with it long time ago).
Below the finished brackets and the (almost) finished mast step.
Welding aluminium and making it good looking isn't easy. The mast step looks messy (+ I burned a hole in the top side of the tube) and sure won't be in the book 'This is pro welding". I'm not dissatiefied though; part of the fun of building for me is trying to acquire new skills and experience (like welding). Having a not so good looking mast step is the price I have to pay for that choise.
Although the mast step is not good looking (looking from close range), I'm sure it's strong enough.
I have to do one more weld in the low corner and cut off + isolate the bolts and then have to decide on the finish. Camouflage paint might be the best option.
I'll probably just prime it with epoxy primer and then paint it. The mast foot in the mast will also have to be treated, as well as the mast support and the (still to weld) mast raising pole.
I would actually rather leave all those pieces untreated, as painting will probably look messy and anodizing is a lot of trouble and not always possible (can't anodize the mast foot as it is welded in the mast). What will happen if I leave all the pieces as they are? My boat will mostly be sailed on fresh water. Anyone with good advice?