Sunday, December 28, 2008

At Last!, Test Sail

My flight to LA was canceled due to the winter storms last week. That gave me a day to get the 460 in the water, albeit with jury rigged steering, sail and ballast, and go for a sail.

Conditions were ideal, 8-10 knots, just barely starting to cap. It went upwind decently, and as expected. With 200lbs of water in jugs for ballast, I definitely had to sit in the bottom of the boat to keep it upright when powered up and on the wind. I loved being able to sit across the boat, which is hard to do in the 12 footer.

I did rather need the windows, which are not cut out yet. Upwind, I had to ease the sheet a bit to be able to sit with my eyes above the cabin coaming. There wasn't much traffic so I could sit on the bottom and sail blind for a few minutes at a time. Off the wind I could stand at my leisure without problems. I was pleased to see that I had a half knot or more on a 22' Drascombe Longboat on broad reach.

I took out 2 crew on the second trip, and the additional weight made the boat much more stable. Any two of us could stand up at the same time. Next to another Longboat, we were faster, and it felt like upwind ability was improved. With about 550lbs of crew weight and 200lbs of water, it felt like the boat had plenty of weight carrying capacity left. I guess we were around 1000lbs gross and could handle more. Clearly, ballast in this design is crucial to stability and it can carry a good load as long as it stays low in the boat.

I have been promised a few pictures and will post them if/when they arrive.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sail Hoisted

I hoisted the sail up to see how things look and get a feel for boom height and how much mast will need to be trimmed down. Looking forward to a test sail before too long. I still have to finish fabricating the furling system and bolt on the rudder, set up the steering rope and some other hardware before she will be ready to hit the water for the first time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Project Moves to Baja!

Packed for the road. I'm directing a sailing program in Baja for the winter. This trip validates one criteria for the boat; that it be trailerable by a 4 cylinder economy car. It didn't do much for my diesels' gas mileage, though. The tires would probably work our better at 8" rather than 12".

The boat made a good camper along the way and I slept in it several nights of the 5 day journey.

Continental Divide, New Mexico (yes, its a snowmobile trailer, works great!) The hatch isn't quite done so had to secure it with straps.

Morning In the Boojum forest near Catavina, Baja.

Laminating Hatch Beams

Hull Faired, Primed

Lots of filling and sanding, then a coat of primer on topsides and deck.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Going with Larger Bulkhead Hatches

I've already documented my bulkhead hatch plan using bucket lids, but have thrown that out in favor of larger hatches. I realized that the bucket lid hatches were going to drive me nuts. Too small.

I thought about making my own, but found these sit-on-top kayak hatches that are just the right size and may even be sturdy enough. There sure are alot of T handles to close, and that could be annoying, but it occurred to me that much of the time, the hatches won't even need to be in place. These hatch covers can be stored in the fore and aft compartments at anchor and in light airs.

Hatch Braces

I noticed the hatch combing wanted some support but there was nothing specified. Matt suggested something similar to that specified on the Paradox plan and here is what I came up with. Not a flattering photo of the install, but it stiffened up the hatch combing nicely. It makes a great handle for moving around the cabin and hopefully won't be too much of a head banger.

Chine Runners on

Chine runner glassed in place.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chine Runners

Builders often think they know better than the designer. I've tried to resist this temptation and so far have always found that Matt's methods are the best. Nevertheless, I thought I'd try and alternate method of creating the chine runner. Instead of laminating and shaping them in place, I thought I'd rough out the chine runners to shape off the boat. No holes needed in the hull, but not as efficient use of wood.

Here is the laminated stock I cut them from.

And the runner cores roughed to shape.

And laminated to the hull.

Final shaping/fairing of the cores and covering with 3 layers of frp with more fairing, still to be done.

Laminating the Rudder Head

OK, I'm back. It has been WAAAAAY too long since I've made progress, but here we go. Heading to Baja in September with this boat, so need to make some real progress!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mast and Rudder Work

Here is the sitka spruce mast under clamps. It's a hollow box construction, but all sides taper both in width and thickness, so getting them to the right dimensions was a bit tedious. For spar building, I found a straight 2x12 and leveled that on horses with shims and a tight string to make sure it was straight. The string was also used to create straight lines on the bench. The mast was dry fit, to the lines, then realigned once glued and clamped. The copper tubing in the masthead are the lightning conductor and the wiring lead for the all round light. Both get cut off flush. The lightning protection will have a brass rod fitted to extend above the mast. The tubing gets flattened at the butt of the mast to press against a tab of the copper plate that extends through the bottom onto the bottom of the mast step.

Rudder core is getting 2 layers of 10 oz glass each side, plus more along the bottom and leading edge.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rudder Core

Rudder core arrived today. Had it computer milled. Probably better job than I could have done and saved some hours of work. Here it is out of the box, Matt doesn't skimp on rudder dimensions. Will sheath/build up with glass/epoxy.

Deck House Interior

Sheathing and taping the inside of the house.

Looking aft.

Did I mention that the boat is upside down? Still pretty easy to turn over by myself and heft onto saw horses. Hoping weight is on target for 250 lbs.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Deck and House Sheathing

Note boards over hatch to retain heat from small heaters placed inside.

Just look at all that sanding, filling and fairing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sheathing the Topsides

4 oz glass epoxied onto the starboard side and lapped over onto the deck. I ran the double layers of 9oz on the bottom above chine a ways so I could cut the 4oz in half lengthwise and do both sides with one length. Adds some strength to the chine area too, but not sure I would do it that way again.

Port side. The shop is pretty cold but an electric resistance heater in the hull brings the temp up for slow hardener (West 206) to go off overnight. I discovered that I like 206 for wetting out in cold weather because it is less viscous. Does take a little longer to go off but there are never any worries about working time!


Here is the hollow box construction boom epoxied up under clamps. That's every clamp in the shop, I think.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Working on several things.

Hatch coaming is installed. I had some mahogany and used that. Heavy but thought this would be a high wear area and may finish the interior bright.

Got to get a sail made soon so want to have boom and yard made for the sailmaker. Here is a test fit of the hollow yard, made of 10mm sitka spruce. Never made spars before. These will be similar to those on Paradox but a little lighter construction and different lengths.

Getting ready to cut the 4 oz cloth for sheathing the topsides.