Archive for September 2014

I would give myself no more than nine out of ten because I found one frame had moved during the keel and stringer fitting despite my braces and regular checks. The errant frame is frame ‘M’ a light 9mm frame with a substantial cut out. It was braced with two 90 by 30 mm strong backs but above the top strong back it still managed to move enough to be corrected. This frame is at the back of the rear bunk which has loose 6mm ply covers and if not square the bunk tops would not clear the frame when lifted. Fixing the error required unmaking the keel join, four stringer to frame joins and the three bunk bearer joins. A multipurpose tool which has an oscillating head and an offset saw end was ideal for cutting out the glue join and the joins were all unmade in three hours. A third brace was then introduced and all the joins remade.

A third brace was needed near the keel of frame M to hold the frame for the reconnection to the keel and stringers

A third brace was needed near the keel of frame M to hold the frame for the reconnection to the keel and stringers

This was three hours well invested since the out of square frame would have annoyed me for years to come and three hours to fix it was a small price. Next to peel ply the multipurpose tool gets my vote for boat building aid of the decade. To be fair they have both been around for more than a decade but the price of the multipurpose tools out of China is now very affordable. I purchased mine when I was removing keel bolt backing plates from my Jeanneau and the oscillating head made short work of cutting out the sealant. Also the sanding heads get into all the most difficult places so it was very useful for grinding off flow coat before laminating up extra layers of glass on the keel frames. After fixing the offending frame I fitted a 12mm ply piece for the base of the anchor well, planed the sides flush ready for the skins and glued it into place.

Anchor well base glued into position

Anchor well base glued into position

I have squeezed a little more room into the anchor locker by lowering the floor 50 mm and notching the front 12 mm where it sits on the stringers. While it is a small increase in depth it is over quite a large area and will accommodate quite a bit more anchor rode. The loss of headroom in the small compartment under the anchor well will be of no consequence. I have not worked out what to do with this space yet but having access to the stem for fitting bob stays is a nice feature. While we are talking about the stem I could not get 100 by 100 lumber so joined a 90 by 70 piece with a 30 by 125 piece to form a T section. After rough sawing the block to the angle of the stem I took the tapered wedges of timber and glued them into the corners of the T to make a solid block 100 mm deep finishing 125 wide at the back. The extra weight of the timber is inconsequential and I get a larger gluing area for the ply skin and eliminate the corners in the stem

The back of the stem goes across the full with of the hull for a neat finish.

The back of the stem goes across the full with of the hull for a neat finish.

The season finished in sunshine with winds that gusted over 20 knots and switched wildly from side to side. We set the No 2 genoa having learnt a lesson from last week when we outsmarted ourselves with the big black genoa. Even that was too much for the breeze that swept through as we turned at the heads for the beat home. Those clever helmsmen who tacked on the mark and headed for the Sow and Pigs picked up the shift of the season and were a minute ahead in seconds. We hung on below the fleet hoping for the switch back that never came . We were even denied the little lift we needed to clear Steel Point so we had a couple of extra tacks on the fleet for our troubles. Allegro and Larrikin were keeping us company in the wind shift woes so our boat speed was not a concern. The work from Rose Bay back to Point Piper was fair enough but the phasing of the breeze as we rounded Shark Island was not favourable. We were lifted when approaching the shore and had to tack away from the lift for deep water on a couple of occasions that cost us dearly and Silky passing us on the last work was a disappointment. The only surprise was that we finished further up the fleet than we expected. Our protagonists from last week, Enigma and L’Eau’Co finished behind on time with L’Eau’Co making our mistake of last week and setting too big a genoa.
Overall it was a good season. We had a string of very good results mid season and beat our mark boats more often than not. The breezes have been better than average for winter and only a few slow races. We have had no gear breakage other than a worn out genoa sheet and importantly no physical injuries to crew.
The racing finished with the protest hearing from last weeks Northshore Sandwich and we were exonerated keeping intact our no protest losses and no insurance claims record.

The rain held off long enough for me to glue all the stringers into place. Just a few spots of rain fell on the hull while I pulled the covers over feeling like a groundsman at the SCG.

It's a yurt

It’s a yurt

Yesterday I installed another four braces to keep the frames straight. Even the heaviest 12 mm frames needed at least one 90 x 30 on edge to keep them straight and some of the 9 mm frames ended up with two strongbacks on them. The effort paid off with a good production day today.
To stabilise the frame even more I have started fitting some of the internal structure and have already completed the bunk bearers for the fore and aft cabins. These are a good cross check on the alignment and as a result of the checking I moved one side of one frame up 2mm. I was surprised that the frame move at all given all the stringers, keel and gunwhales are in place but the designer says it can move a bit until you get the plywood on the sides.

Work can continue in the rain

Work can continue in the rain

Now that the covers are on there are jobs that can be done in the rain so I guess Sydney’s run of rain is about to end.

All the stringers are notched into the stem or glued to the bow knee of keel

All the stringers are notched into the stem or glued to the bow knee of keel

 

The stringer that meets the keel will have a 12mm thick plywood strip for the join between the flat 12 mm ply panels and the curved two layers of 6mm panels

The stringer that meets the keel will have a 12mm thick plywood strip for the join between the flat 12 mm ply panels and the curved two layers of 6mm panels

 

What it looked like during the trial fit of the stringers two days ago

What it looked like during the trial fit of the stringers two days ago

Fairing the stem to match the line of the stringers

Fairing the stem to match the line of the stringers

Next Passion has a very pointy bow but the fairing to match the line of stringers is almost complete.

This morning I cut more stringers and if my calculations are right I have cut enough to fill all the slots in the frames.

This afternoon I sailed at Gosford and captured the sunset.

Sunset at Gosford Sailing Club

Sunset at Gosford Sailing Club

 

The vintage Northshore 38 and the more recent 370 are great examples of good quality yachts. These Aussie made icons are good value for money and with many in excellent condition will be racing around the harbour for years to come. As much as I admire them I prefer to admire them from a distance and not at the close range we experienced on Wednesday when we were jambed between a luffing NS38 and a non responding 370.
Very sadly some damage was done to the lovely NS38 and we will wait for the outcome of the protest meeting next Wednesday before I say anything more.
This early incident took the gloss off what should have been an enjoyable day on the water. Sadly we can blame only ourselves for the mediocre sailing performance. For once we got the sail selection horribly wrong. L’ Eau Co started with a 100% no 3 which looked tiny on her and she suffered a little on the run to the heads but she certainly made up for it on the work back. Her showing in the breeze was a surprise and shows how the correct sail selection is key.
We started with the big black genoa anticipating easing conditions through the afternoon and could not handle the conditions regularly up towards the 20 knot range. Despite the reef in the main we were over powered and rounded up even with the main flogging.
The strain of the big genoa was too much for the genoa sheets which gave in to age and overwork and tore apart at the turning point on the genoa lead.
Poor Passion, she has been worked hard and not given the same passionate care as in previous seasons as I have a love affair with Next Passion. Still we did try to make amends with all the safety checks up to Cat 4 completed and next week I will give her some new genoa sheets.
Now to add insult to injury as well as the poor sail selection, the on course incident and the broken genoa sheet we copped some pretty poor wind shifts. It might have been bad luck or it might have been that we were so busy surviving that we did not look far enough up the course and plan or tacks accordingly. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
Next week is the final race and our last chance to beat Rainbow and L’Eau Co on the water.

The flared topside of the wide transom becomes clear as the gunwhales and stringers are fitted

The flared topside of the wide transom becomes clear as the gunwhales and stringers are fitted

Today was another bonus day as the forecast rain held off and I was able to glue the gunwhales and a couple of stringers onto the frames. Now the shape of the boat is starting to emerge.

View of the gunwhales from under the building frame

View of the gunwhales from under the building frame

As predicted the backbone is installed on the frames. The only difficulty was at the bow where the profile is quite curved. Here the 32 mm dense meranti timber was too strong to bend even employing all the methods the designer advises. The solution was one that Kevin and I had discussed and it involved laminating the front section. I was able to cut the front couple of metres of the backbone timber into two, separate one half from the backbone and introduce a scarf join. While the front end was just a half thickness I was able to bend it into position and router the slot for the stem knee join. A neighbour came over at the right time to pass up gear as I glued and clamped the sections together. The glue is well on the way to being set and I have turned my attention to the gunwhales.
Too busy for photos today but I did take some when lining up the frames.

All I needed to get a bottom string line was a 15 mm hold drilled through the mast post and that gave me a top and bottom line.

Top string line for aligning the frames

Top string line for aligning the frames

Bottom string line for aligning the frames

Bottom string line for aligning the frames

Half the frames mounted on the jig before the rains came

Half the frames mounted on the jig before the rains came

Back home by 3 pm I was able to have a little play with the new build in the back yard. Undaunted by the prospect of rain I have fitted and glued into place half or the backbone.

Now the backbone of 250 mm  by 30 mm meranti backbone is locked into the transom with a couple of large stainless steel screws into a solid knee that is routed into both the keel and the transom. The first scarf join is completed in situ as the whole backbone would be too heavy to handle. The preparation included a final fairing of the scarf join surfaces in preparation for the joining with West System epoxy resin.

It all seems too easy after the days of struggling with the frame set up the center line of the backbone is landing perfectly on the center line of the frames. I have covered the backbone with a tarp in case of rain before the glue sets and to ensure the gluing surfaces will be dry tomorrow.

If it is fine I should be able to finish the backbone and stem and start on the gunwhales. As far as progress on the new build goes I feel like I have won back a whole day and with a couple of more good days will be back on schedule. Not that I am admitting to any schedule.

Despite the cancellation of the RANSA Winter Wednesday race due to the windy conditions I had a most productive day.

En route to the sailing I fitted in couple of jobs for the Greenwich Flying Squadron including checking my repairs to the club dinghy and picking up a new pump for the inflatable. A couple of other tasks for GFS were progressed by a lucky coincidence of the right people being at Joe Walsh Rigging when I was following up Joe’s sponsorship at GFS. On board Passion Kevin and I topped up the diesel fuel while waiting for word of the race and I was able to tidy up Passion from the category 7 and 4 audits conducted last weekend.

Back home by 3 pm I was able to have a little play with the new build in the back yard. Undaunted by the prospect of rain I have fitted and glued into place half or the backbone. Now the backbone of 250 mm  by 30 mm meranti backbone is locked into the transom with a couple of large stainless steel screws into a solid knee that is routed into both the keel and the transom. The first scarf join is completed in situ as the whole backbone would be too heavy to handle. The preparation included a final fairing of the scarf join surfaces in preparation for the joining with West System epoxy resin.

It all seems too easy after the days of struggling with the frame set up the center line of the backbone is landing perfectly on the center line of the frames. I have covered the backbone with a tarp in case of rain before the glue sets and to ensure the gluing surfaces will be dry tomorrow. If it is fine I should be able to finish the backbone and stem and start on the gunwhales.

As far as progress on the new build goes I feel like I have won back a whole day and with a couple of more good days will be back on schedule. Not that I am admitting to any schedule.

Finally thanks to the loyal crew who turned up knowing full well that the race might be cancelled. We are coming third overall in the series and a windy race might have moved us up the ladder ahead of Rainbow. There are still two races to go so we need wind but not as much as today.