Archive for April 2015

GWhizz, Passion and some of the crew of Izzi went to Port Stephens for the annual Sail Port Stephens,

Apart from the regular crews Geoff Lucas from Capriole sailed on Passion and Michael Groves from Agrovation sailed on GWhizz to add to the GFS numbers at the regatta.

GWhizz managed a third on the second day and a first place on the last day of the Commodore’s Cup to seal second place for the series and a trophy each for John and Graeme. Michael Groves at the helm on the last day picked some very good wind shifts and the team had GWhizz moving well for a great win.

Passion managed a fourth and fifth place in the first two races but the handicap of 1.008 for the last race was too much for her.

In the Performance Cruising Divison of the main Sail Port Stephens event Passion managed a second place only losing on a countback to Campeador from RSYS.

Al Fesco the excellently sailed Triton 36 from RMYC Pittwater skippered by ex NS14 sailor Dave Griffin was third with GWhizz 8th.

With the three day 30 knot southerly set predicted following the Sail Port Stephens event discretion was judged to be the better part of valour and Passion with GWhizz and many of the visiting yachts being left at Port Stephens to await a more pleasant trip home.


GWhizz crew at prize giving


Passion crew at presentation – missing is Malcolm


Dave and Elaine with the prize

Nelson Bay Marina

Nelson Bay Marina full for the regatta


Passion with Kath at the helm and symetrical kite aloft

Passion Crew at SPS

Ron Kath and Dave at work in light conditions

Passion Crew at SPS   #2

Geoff and Elaine


Passion with Assymetrical Spinnaker


Good Friday was a typical wet Easter day in Sydney but ideal for a church service and visit to children and grandchildren. Saturday was little better but under the inverted hull I found some useful tasks to finish while waiting for children and grandchildren to visit for the weekend.

After a few practice sessions the filleting of the frames to the hull is progressing well and best done in accordance with the Gougeon Brothers instructions. It would be faster if I had a disposable cartridge to place with a gun but I am managing without although it means cleaning up a bit more filler after smoothing it into the corners with a Magnum paddle pop stick.

I am also practicing fairing the transitions between fibreglass reinforced corners and plain plywood by fairing the join with thickened epoxy. In between tasks I have done a little more routering of stringers and sanding of plywood ready for the next coat of paint in the quarter berth.

Easter Sunday would have been a great day for boat building but church, family and friends took priority. The presence of the family was a great excuse to pull back the tarpaulins to show the progress since their last visit and later in the day to sneak out to the boat and take out a hundred temporary screws ready for filling and fairing.

While the covers were off I took a photo showing the results of just one day of filling and light fairing on the front of the starboard side.

Our Didi 40 Cr after just a day of hole filling and light fairing is already starting to look good.

Our Didi 40 Cr after just a day of hole filling and light fairing is already starting to look good.

2015-03-30 17.00.22

Initial fairing of our Didi 40 Cr. This is the section where the radius chine is four layers of 3 mm plywood and the temporary screws have created shallow hollows which show as the darker plywood in the photo.

All the temporary cleats are off the plywood cladding of our Didi 40 cr and I am progressing the filling of screw holes and fairing of the radius chine as fast as the weather allows.

Another deluge convinced me to purchase yet another tarpaulin to protect the hull and almost as soon as it was fitted another heavy shower came through. I used the time to router the edges of some of the stringers which will be exposed or inside lockers. I have a mental picture of testing the lockers for snags with a silk scarf.

With still more rain I trimmed off the ends of a few overlong screws and removed a few screw heads that were stopping the production of a neat routered and fibreglassed edge on the outside of the wet locker. There was still time to move to sanding the bulkheads in the quarter berth before the rain abated enough for some external work.

Outside I practiced using the hand plane, the belt sander and the orbital sander along with a long torture board. The belt sander does a particularly efficient job at fairing the transition from the flat 12 mm plywood to the two times 6 mm radius chine but it is too short to trust on the round parts without regular cross sanding with the torture board. I have now sanded enough to start filling the shallow hollows formed by the temporary screws which held the plywood together while the glue cured. The darker areas in the photo show these shallow hollows. The sections of the radius chine made up of two 6 mm layers have shallower depressions around the screw holes but they still need a wipe of filler.

I am now sealing all the screw holes with neat epoxy and once it is tacky laying on the filleting filler. This ensures the plywood is well protected and the filler sticks well to the tacky neat epoxy so it is quite a time effective method. I have done about half of the hull including filling the screw holes in the flat plywood panels and just need the rain to stay away for a little longer.

The rain held off for the last of the twilight races at GFS and for the final BBQ of the season. After nine years the caterers are moving to Queensland and we will need to find new caterers for the coming season. They did superbly well for their finale.
The crew of Passion did the best they could of a slow start and managed fourth place on handicap. The pin end of the line was favoured but the wind backed leaving us the leeward yacht in a freshening gust and so we were well run over by the whole fleet but for Tartan who started late. The wind shadow at the exit to Humbug proved as challenging as ever and those with their nose into the breeze first were well rewarded while we took dirty air from everyone. We benefited by staying high on the course on the beat to Long Nose and picked up Avanti and Farrst Company. Gwhizz managed to tack back from the point and onto our line just in front so we had to follow them all the way to Goat Island. Around Goat we took the high ground for once and reached over the top of Gwhizz more by good luck than good management and from there we kept our air clear to lead them home. Up in front the early bolters were not having it all their way. Agrovation had cleared out again but Izzi, Worlds Apart, Saoirse and French Connection were having a close battle for second fastest. Through Humbug we kept Passion moving in the light and shifty conditions to make up some good time on the fleet and secure the fourth on handicap.
Very fittingly at the results presentation Saoirse won the award for the yacht with the most difficult to pronounce name.