I keep looking at my boat building efforts and thinking that there has not been much progress. That is true because since my last post I have worked less than six days on the project. The other time has been sailing the Laser or Passion X and celebrating Christmas with the family .
We spent Christmas at Ballina hoping to cross the border into Queensland after our Covid test on the 24th. Christmas was great with a limited family gathering appropriate to the times but the border crossing into Queensland was a non event as the Covid test result was delayed beyond the 72 hour window we needed to get into Qld and the chance of another test result in time was negligible. Instead of a week in Buderim with our son Mark we had an hour face to face with his family on the border at Tweed Heads and headed back home the next day.

Wet weather prior to Christmas and my own plodding progress had dashed any hope of finishing all the stringers before our trip North but now with the unexpected early return home here was a chance to catch up.

As my new project is a prototype there are some surprises in the construction and the biggest obstacle to a speedy finish was fitting the 12 mm by 100 mm ply strips to the tangent stringers. This is the place where the flat sides and bottom meet the moulded ply chine so it is important to get it right. On Passion X the standard practice was to fit short lengths between the bulkheads. With the new design we opted for a continuous strip from front to back with slots cut in the bulkhead. The thinking was to join the lengths and add them to the hull in one go. Well that was far too optimistic as the front end of each strip had to be shaped to fit the bow and a 12 metre length was never going to behave. The next issue was the sweep of the bottom tangent stringer which is much more pronounced that on Passion X. I opted to cut slots half way through the 100 mm to torture the plywood into the required curve with lots of clamps and screws for good measure and the end result looks fine. It certainly looks much sweeter than the series of straight strips on Passion X but the other option of cutting the strips into the required curve is possible the easier one for future builders. The upper tangent is a slow curve and the plywood easily followed this sweet line.
There are now enough stringers fastened down for the hull to be easily covered with tarpaulins if the weather turns wet again.
The challenge ahead is to fix the remaining stringers in position and catch up to my original program by the time we would have returned from Queensland.
I have a lot of options to move forward including starting on some of the furniture elements that are better fitted before the skin goes on or I could skin the bow back to the mast step or I could skin from the gunwales to the upper tangent along the whole length.

What I cannot do yet is skin the bottom from the mast step back as we are still designing the floor structure. What I can reveal is that we have decided on a keel depth and weight. After much consultation with Dudley Dix we have settled on a 2400 kg keel at 2.6 metres draft which means the keel projects around 2.2 metres below the hull canoe body. With the extra beam and the deeper heavier keel the righting moments should be 50% more than the original Didi 40 CR and 40% more than Passion X so there will be a good increase in sail carrying ability. Obviously the extra weight and depth means a more robust keel structure and we are working through that now. It is not on the critical path as I have all the options mentioned above. It is nice to have these choices.

The plywood doubler on the upper tangent stringer merges with the bow bulkhead
The sweep of the bottom tangent stringer was hard to manage and lots of cuts were needed to torture the plywood to the curve
Another view of the sweet sweep of the bottom stringers
Stepping back to look at the emerging hull shape

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