With at least three days a week gained from not being able to move more than 5km from home there is a lot of time to be filled with new activity.
Like many in the same situation Elaine and I have been exploring every street and detour in our district. In the process we are passing neighbours doing the same circuits in reverse. We are very fortunate that we live in a leafy suburb which up to now has been free of the virus and we hope it stays that way.
The daily walks are an opportunity do the permitted shopping and to get the take away coffee so the cars are getting very little use, the yard is getting cleaned up and the house is getting a little attention.
Outside of these limited activities I have been negotiating the design of the new yacht and attending doing a little boatbuilding.
On Passion X the winch bases were formed inside your standard household bucket and then glassed into the cockpit coamings. Punting on a similar arrangement I have laminated up four winch bases out of epoxy glass. The epoxy is more difficult to work than the polyester used on Passion X but with a little patience it lays up well. On the positive side the working time is longer but not by a huge margin. Each winch base has ten layers of glass adding up to 6 mm solid laminate with the base reinforced with a 9 mm plywood insert. Each base weighs 1.45 kg and will be heavier once laminated to the 12 mm plywood coaming.
The first winch base was done to completion so that I could check the finished product before mass production. The production three took three hours a day over four days to complete excluding the time waxing the buckets with mould release. It is a bit like baking a cake and there is quite a bit of satisfaction seeing the finished product come out of the mould.

Winch bases ready for a boat

One of our household jobs was getting a Council clean up and in the clean up out went the moulds from the wings on the original Passion. They were beautifully finished and gleaming with mould release wax but they had to go to make room for the next Passion.
On the new yacht I expect the cabin profile will be similar to Passion X and while the Naval architect has told me to wait I have pressed ahead with laminating beams.
Like taking laminates out of moulds, laminating beams has its own pleasure. The meranti layers of the beam have been cut from two different planks and then end for ended to ensure that any variability in the quality is not concentrated in one place. Then the formwork for the clamping has to be adjusted for the spring back that occurs when release from the clamps. In my case an extra 10 mm of deflection had to be built into the approximately 2 metre arc of the beams. By trial and error I found a radius that gave the required extra deflection over the 2 metre length and look forward to seeing if the spring back does bring it back to the exact designed curvature. The other trick with laminating beams is that the ends will not conform to the arc so the beam has to be formed over a longer arc than the finished product and the straight at the end lopped off.
When all these things work out well the beams are a sight to behold as well as being incredibly strong.

First cabin beam

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