Prior to our Wednesday RANSA race we took Passion X for a speed trial under motor. This is my test to see if the hull is clean and she passed with flying colours. We achieved a tide assisted speed over 8.6 knots and the two way average was well over my 8 knot minimum requirement so she was good to go.
Pre start the westerly gusted up over 20 knots well in excess of the forecast 15 knots but as the start was downwind we elected to start with the No 1 heavy genoa. It was a good decision as the wind abated and we never saw 20 knots for the rest of the day. We did get the forecast dead square run to the top mark and by staying away from the crowd arrived with the leading yachts.

The work home was now dead into the wind with lots of crossings along the way. Occasionally we picked a shift and maintained our position near the front. Foreign Affairs managed a break followed by Allegro and Cuckoo’s Nest and then there was a large group including Meridian and Joli from GFS and the two Sydney 36’s Amanti and Crosshaven. Krakatoa was close behind as was Britannia. Agrovation was unusually playing catch up having tangled their genoa leads.
There was plenty of action up to Steele Point when Amanti went in too close and lost a lot of ground. We went wide and were rewarded with clear air and a good line into the mark in Rose Bay. The beat to Point Piper was also busy and we were passed by Meridian and Joli but on the run around Shark Island we were first with genoa out to windward and went straight to the mark with good effect. The work down the back of Shark Island was the icing on the cake as Meridian and Joli were headed going into the mark. Behind us Crosshaven and Amanti were lifting all the way into the mark while the shift did not reach us.
Very fortunately Amanti and Crosshaven kept going on starboard well past the mark which allowed us to tack onto port and make distance to the finish. Joli and Meridian were caught with the starboard tackers carrying on too far and that cost them a lot of time.

Approaching the finish it was our turn for an unfavorable shift as we were headed on the beat to the finish so that we could not cross the line on port. Meanwhile Crosshaven behind was lifted all the way to cross the line before we could tack onto starboard. The line was terribly biased in favour of the port tack but we managed to hold on for a 2 second lead over Meridian and a 4 second lead over Amanti.

We were happy with our mid fleet finish on handicap and the close racing was a bit of a thrill.

Meanwhile back at the boat yard the several days of fine weather were put to good use. It was so unusual to be able to leave the tarpaulins off overnight.

The first task was to finish the and trial fit the quarter berth door so that the two door panels could be glued into position. First the adjoining panels had to be stiffened with straight planks so that the door panels would be both straight and in the correct alignment. Next the joins had to be masked to keep the ply clean and finally the glue applied. It took much longer than expected and was finished under lights at 6:30 pm.

Door frames braced every which way and plywood protected with masking tape.

At 1:00 am I was awake so removed the masking tape before the glue was too hard and early next morning was cleaning the surplus epoxy before it cured further. The result was pleasing so I took a few photos for the record.

Showing off the completed door frames

In preparation for fitting the shelves in the settee area the chainplate frames had to be trimmed to their final dimensions after which the laser level was used to establish the position of the cleats for the shelves. Each of the four cleats per side was fastened with 20 mm silicon bronze nails while the epoxy set and it was encouraging to be able to hammer the nails in with little bounce back. That shows how rigid the chainplate frames have become now that they are fastened to the water tank tops.

Chainplate partial bulkhead trimmed and cleats for shelving attached

Being anxious to protect the plywood from the inclement weather I purchased a HVLP spray unit to apply the epoxy primer. The section of the hull from the bow to the chainplates was then sprayed in a short afternoon. The spraying is a work in progress as I found it difficult to adequately cover the stringers without getting runs on the ply. For the first coat I compromised with a brush for loading up the stringers and with brushing out the runs. I think it will be fine for loading up primer on external hull and in the meantime I have plenty of interior on which to practice.

First coat of epoxy primer in the bow area

Between jobs I took delivery of another 70 litres of epoxy resin and an additional 16 sheets of plywood. If you said I was hoarding against future shortages I would not deny the accusation.

One of my jobs is to take photos for the record and I find that I have to make time for this activity as I tend to attack my list of jobs with a certain level of intensity. One catch up photo was the mast step support in front of the bulkhead and another was the interior view of the head doorway.

Forward section of the mast step support glued in position

Yesterday I was keen to sand the primer between the bow and the mast step and get on another coat but it was not to be. The primer is very hard and needs aggressive sanding to smooth the surface and remove the gloss. Also the first coat shows up any glue drips and any rough timber so the sanding took much longer than expected.

While up in the bow sanding I took the opportunity to finish the bob stay connection. The bob stay will be a dynex dux which is stronger than dyneema and the rope will be passed through a 12 mm hole just above the water line. The hole go through 8 layers of 12 mm ply and two layers of 15 mm hardwood which are wedges in the bow to bridge the gap between the tangent stringer doubles and the 48 mm wide bow knee. That is another job done and mighty strong too.

Primer in the bow area aggressively sanded also blocks to enclose the bob stay hole.

With not enough time to paint I rounded the corners of the cockpit underside in the quarter berth ready for a layer of double bias glass to reinforce the join and stiffen the floor. This is over and above the ISO requirements but I did the same on Passion X with excellent stiffness resulting.

Today is Friday and the rain has returned with a vengeance as if to make up for the sunny days. The ground around the hull is more boggy than ever but I was able to glass the underside of the cockpit floor and prepare all the element for the rudder stock ports.

Looking forward to the coming days, rain is forecast for a week. That means no ventilation for spraying epoxy primer but I might revert to the roller and brush method in areas where there is adequate ventilation. In this way i might get most of the bare timber covered before I move on to installing extra plywood.

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