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  1. 4 likes
    I had the new wind vane out in fresh conditions yesterday. I think that this is the one, it took everything that I could throw at it and it did the job. I had a reef in each sail and had the rail down a number of times. She went up wind and down as well as a couple of planing reaches. As Alan said the first vane took up too much real estate in it's place and the only place that I could find to stow it was in the cabin and lashed along side my berth. There were other gripes, the clutch was too complicated for the home builder to make and was awkward to use requiring two hands at the back of the boat to use for the course adjustment and it was too easy to move it too much. The new vane stow easily in the hatches. I was always concerned about the vane getting damaged, I did step on and bend it, but the wood ones are cheap light and it is easy to have a couple on board. We have had numerous requests for plans and I am now satisfied with the new version enough to go ahead with the plans. I am leaving on Wednesday to do the Texas 200 solo so I will wait to see if any issues crop up during the trip. The new design is making maximum use of wood and epoxy over metal and welding which will be more familiar to builders. The yoke and tube is glass and epoxy and the course setting wheel will be layers of plywood.
  2. 3 likes
    As was noted to me recently by another builder, some of the best examples of boats are built by amateurs with serious skills and no price point restraints, in terms of their craftsmanship. Many of these "works of art" are simply a reflection of their piano builders nature, but most are by folks that love their work, enjoy doing it and understand that an extra hour or two fine tuning something, isn't really that costly on this particular project.
  3. 2 likes
    This is a boring story. Nothing important broke or screwed up. It was a long tiring 3000 mile drive but the sailing was worth it. Jay and Carol live about 950 miles down the track and very kindly offered to host me for the night to break up the drive and go the rest of the way in convoy. It was a real treat. The skippers meeting was quite casual. After handing over our signed disclaimer we were told that this was an unassisted cruise and if we want to withdraw now or at anytime that was fine, do not bother to inform the group. If you want to rejoin later, that was okay also. “You are the skipper and all decisions are made by you.” I actually like the fact that we were responsible for our actions. In fact they were a most caring group and would go to any length to assist if it was needed. Because we had an extra day they added a new anchorage which they called Camp Zero. It was about 20 miles to windward and they were a bit vague as where we were to go as it has changed from the last hurricane. I had the disadvantage that I was the first to arrive at “I don’t know where Camp Zero is”. I decided on the prettiest beach but most everyone else’s draft was too deep and I became a group of one. The hard way did have a fair proportion of windward work but we did get in an extra day of sailing over the traditional group while they did the car/ bus shuffle. One of the most rewarding parts for me was to be able to see how our boats perform against such a disparate variety of craft in what was sometimes a long hard grind. 63 boats were registered with 108 crew. All of the boats were well reefed some of the time. This year was not as hard as some prior years, but I suspect that one reason that not as many boats withdrew was that there were no crazy boats this year. Probably the most extreme boat was a C scow that was bought on ebay for $200 with trailer. The crew flew in from Port Townsend and Vancouver and picked up the boat in Houston. They spent a few days going over the boat and setting up a reefing system. I believe that they sailed it reefed all of the time as they told me that when it got heavy, it was all that they could do to stop it from nose diving. They auctioned it off for $250 on the beach after the event. Navigation here is always interesting, the water is hard to read as it is somewhat brackish and the charts often bear no resemblance to reality. At Camp 1 we walked over Lost Mans Pass which was several feet above sea level, some of the boats went through it last year. This is where our shallow draft really paid off as we could wing it when we had no idea which way to go. I can’t tell you how many times I blessed the cat ketch rig when I was able to reach the main clew and push it to leeward to make the boat tack where I wanted it to go after I was stopped by the centerboard on the bottom. We all felt for the skipper on one of our competitor’s sloop designs. He came into Army Hole late and decided to beach his boat along side. Like the rest of us, his centerboard hit the bottom and as he lost way, the boat blew off to leeward and his billowing jib pulled him down on the nearby lee shore. He fired up his Honda to back him out of the embarrassing situation. Unfortunately the Honda was not that reliable and I think that he ended up on the lee shore 4 times before he got out of it. When I touched the bottom there, a quick backing of the main and I was around and sailing to the windward shore. The anchorages looked prettier than they were with large shell beaches and mud bottoms and mosquitoes. I was not expecting much from the Camp 3 where we met the rest of the group as it was called Mud Island. In reality it was the best of all with a nice beach and the wind was blowing straight off. I just had time to organize the boat, set a stern anchor to prevent the boat from chafing on the beach all night and have a swim when Jay and Carol fetched up along side in their CS20 mk3 "Southern Express". The three B&B boats performed very well and were always near the front of the fleet especially when we were on the wind. Carlita was usually the slowest of the three, it is understandable being the smallest. On the 40 mile run from Camp 3 to Army Hole, Jay tacked as he reached the channel, I had placed my final way-point on the channel and I was heading straight for that way-point. I was able to read that I had .8 miles to go. It is not often that you can measure exactly how far you are behind. If you look at the video that Travis took of Carlita from his Princess 22 “Pilgrim”, it was taken just a few minutes before Jay made his tack, you can get an idea of how perfect the sailing was that day. I tried to get some video of Pilgrim because she looked so good charging along but I could not read the screen in the sun and it failed. Here is a link to Travis’s video of Carlita, it is 4 short takes. It hard to say which boat was the fastest because conditions vary, boats sail different courses and leave at different times. Jay’s boat was right up there as one of the fastest. There were multi-hulls but when overloaded with stores, camp gear and sailing reefed, they were no faster over a range of conditions than a good mono-hull. We concluded over dinner at Camp 3 that we probably had the best boats for such an adventure. There were a number other boats that capsized but were recovered okay. Several boats with deeper draft required help and retired. The wind vane lived up to expectation and overall I am very happy with it, it was driving during Travis’s video. During the harder gusts the vane rudder which is on the starboard side just about came out of the water and occasionally needed help. On the way to Camp 3 I did pull the push rod out of a sleeve that I had used to lengthen it. Because I was on the wind I did not need it and just let the boat steer itself. It pulled out because I did not finish the limit stop and used a line for a stop which became untied. I re-glued it back but put some glass reinforcing across the joint. The line came untied again but the repair held. Raking the vane in fresh running conditions reduced the over steer considerably which gave me the idea that I should tilt the vane axis back a few more degrees. This will reduce some of the power of the vane of which it has plenty in return for more course stability. More testing. Pictures to come.
  4. 2 likes
    Todd, I don't claim this is the best way but this is how I did my deck bungy fit. Made loops from webbing - cut a length, folded and then melted a hole through. Used an old soldering gun for both cutting and making the hole. Best to use polypropylene rather than nylon - uncoated nylon usually has less resistance to UV light. Screwed loops to side of gunwales - not the top. Two reasons for this: 1) side is wider than top so less likely to split the timber due to being too close to the edge, 2) I believe there is a slight mechanical advantage with the loop going around the edge of the gunwale. Either use a wide headed stainless screw or a stainless screw and washer. Bungy installed:
  5. 2 likes
    Another picture Graham sent yesterday. I believe from the anchorage on Tuesday.
  6. 2 likes
    Primer is a "tie coat" designed to really grip a substrate and let top coats, get a grip on it. Top coat paints generally have too much "surface tension" to work well as a tie coat, though some are better than others, none are as good as a real primer. Lastly, primer is easily sanded, so you can fine tune the surface before the shiny stuff goes on. Top coats can also be sanded, but need to be recoated after, just to get the shiny back. I always use a primer, as it's cheap insurance.
  7. 2 likes
    Graham sent this picture yesterday. You can follow his spot track with this link.
  8. 2 likes
    I have had a Suzuki 2.5 for 6 years now. I used to push around a Walker Bay dinghy initially. I spent 6 weeks in the San Juan/Gulf Islands for 3 years running and used it to death. Had a little water in the gear case year 3, time to replace the impeller anyways. Dunked it in the Great Salt Lake, no amount of ultrasonicing the carb made it run right so I bought a new carb for under $100. Have popped out the spark plug multiple times to clear the cylinder of oil after less than careful storing in the back of my van. Not a big hassle really. Put it on a 15' wooden boat and motor-camped Georgian Bay for 2 weeks with it. Now I use it >10 times a year on my Phoenix III to go fishing when I don't want to bother with sails or oars. I guess what I am saying is that I couldn't be happier with it. All the things people complain about are true. They are also a non-issue to me considering it was about $700, easy to fix, and it just always runs. Next it will hang off the back of a Spindrift if I can get around to ordering a kit.
  9. 2 likes
    I need to lift those weights more often Jay; my arms and legs are skinny and weak! I probably won't finish the boat in time for the Messabout. Working with my kids really slows me down at times . . . . . . but it is worth it when I see a smile like this.
  10. 2 likes
    Made 2 of these a few weeks ago, cut them on a water jet out of 3/8" aluminum and going to either polish them or maybe powder coat them ( silver) I am also thinking I should clear coat them. Planning on mounting them on either side towards the back, probably use a drill and tap the back side and use a hidden screw from the back that way they will look clean and less of a chance for water to get through.
  11. 2 likes
    You can post them. I do not support modifications because when you start changing a boats design, strange things can happen and it is no longer my boat.
  12. 2 likes
    Do all of your painting at once, though separating inside and outside is often necessary. If you're going to paint, there's no reason to leave anything in primer, for any longer then it takes to dry. Primers stain very easily, they absorb moisture, scuff and generally are easily damaged, just leading to more hair pulling, so get the top coats on, while setup for painting. Roll her over after the paint is dry for a week or more, to insure no marks. For most this means painting the outside, then rolling her over to sit in a cradle or on the trailer to finish up the inside. I usually paint the outside pretty quickly, but wait on the inside until the last moment, because there's always that one set of holes that'll need to be drilled right after you've finished with the pretty stuff, at least with my typical luck, planning and forethought.
  13. 1 like
    Carlita and I are leaving tomorrow to participate in the Texas 200 For those not familiar with the event, it is basically a cruise in company from Port Mansfield near the Mexico border for 200 miles to Magnolia beach in Matagorda Bay. There are 63 boats entered so far. There is a second event called "the hard way" with 20 of the boats choosing that option. The winds are usually fresh from the south east giving a fast reach for the boats going north. The hard way goes from the finish, south against the prevailing winds until meeting up with the north bounders at Mud Island called Camp 3 and then everyone works toward the finish at Magnolia Beach. Texas has an Intracoastal Waterway with Outer Banks so that the whole event is in relatively sheltered water. I will be running my Spot for anyone interested. I did the inaugural T200 back in 08 and am looking forward to doing it again. Being hard headed I have opted to do the hard way. There are four B&B boats entered plus regular contributor here Charlie Jones.
  14. 1 like
    Graham. How did Carlita do to windward 'the hard way'? How did your self steering work? Any observations on the TX 200? Any photos or videos? Thanks
  15. 1 like
    Right you are, Drew. Actually, I'll have iSailor on my phone, plus my ancient B&W Garmin Map76. The compasses are back-up and/or nostalgic.
  16. 1 like
    I have been gluing the hatch rings into the boat with thickened epoxy and no fasteners for about 30 years now and never had one come loose or leak. Like you said, it is important that you have the hatch screwed in place to prevent the ring from distorting. When I push the hatch in place, some epoxy will squeeze out the fastener holes, I just wipe off the excess from the holes and clean up the perimeter and I am done. I always paint the boat before I install the hatches and I mask for the hatch ring to save having to remove the paint for the epoxy to bond.
  17. 1 like
    Yes. So ideally, you would use just three lengths of thread to do the sewing. I think, if my memory is right, I was short on my bow thread too. That means you have to pull a knot through your fabric causing bigger holes in that area. The long thread sounds cumbersome but it isn't really that unmanageable. I have no opinion on the tape other than I like the sewing method just fine.
  18. 1 like
    Thanks for your post! Might oughta go in the 'Tips and Tricks' folder?
  19. 1 like
    Got it all lashed, and straight I hope:) Need to build a coaming now.
  20. 1 like
    Well, I missed everyone and everything. Grrr. I got in Saturday morning, and pitched my tent and went right to sleep. I did say "hi" to Graham though. Just hi, too. I was fresh in from a 27 hour nonstop drive, and just pitched my tent and fell asleep. He was gone when I woke up. That handsome, bearded fellow in the Homer Simpson shirt was me, eh.:) Carlita is nicer looking from ten feet away than on the web. Nobody was exaggerating the wind at all, either, gang. It blows down here. We didn't sail, though. Peace, Robert
  21. 1 like
    Don,... Although I couldn't make adjustments to it, I used the European compass on "Tattoo" for several years and noticed no problems. But I was only sailing on local waters and didn't pay much attention to it because I [overly] relied on my GPS. But I'd never had a magnetic vehicle compass (car or boat) that didn't have compensation adjustments. I think that's just "nuts." I love gadgets -- except those that I can't fool with.
  22. 1 like
    Thank you for your comments. Definitely recreation. Where we are in Vanuatu is fantastic for boating. We are surrounded by great diving and snorkelling spots. The sportfishing possibilities are abundant with Tuna, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish etc etc. all within easy reach of Havannah Harbour where the boat will be moored. Can't wait!
  23. 1 like
    Ken, I've heard of "three foot fever" when jumping from one boat to the next. But in your case, it all happened with the same boat. That's a first!
  24. 1 like
    @Thrillsbe, yes, just like @Chick Ludwig said, you want to ground it out. It can be hard on the ignition system otherwise. Just like doing a compression test. Make sure you clean the plug too.
  25. 1 like
    Hip-hip-hooray for hips! (Isn't it amazing what these posts degenerate to...)
  26. 1 like
    Don, yep, that's the plan. Miss Debbie will plug the hole with her toe while we're out on the water.
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  28. 1 like
    That's what they always say Chick. You should be fairly imune to this line of protest by now. How about a nice paint job in the family room to ease her back down. He who dies with the least number of boats. loses . . .
  29. 1 like
    You'd do the opposite of weather-vaning. Your boat would have a persistent and probably dangerous lee helm. If you were only trying to head downwind, it'd be perfect!
  30. 1 like
    I found a Galvanized Calkins 1000 lb capacity trailer for super cheap ($250). I took off the pivoting roller racks (there were 2 u-shaped beefy things) and replaced with some brand new 8" wide rollers that I found on Craigslist for $15 each (instead of $40) and scabbed one 4" off my old trailer. My bunk brackets will arrive tomorrow and I'll be wrapping either 2X4 or 2X6 with carpet for the bunks. Replaced the cable in the winch with a strap, new safety chain, lights, and replaced and repacked the wheel bearings. I added a cross-member L-beam to the back to provide a home for the first roller. Am cleaning up a few minor rust spots and with any luck, I'll be able to get the boat flipped and on the trailer this weekend.
  31. 1 like
    I agree! I'm just saying that I chicken out, when it comes to experimentation so late in my build. I'm watching the results with baited breath.
  32. 1 like
    The "bumpers" are all timber. All the materials for this build apart from the B&B kit were sourced in Australia. The stainless was supplied by The 316 Shop in Mona Vale NSW. The ends were cut using the B&B suggested system of bending over a 40 degree form then turning over and cutting the bent bit off flush with the inside edges. This creates the rounded end as well as closing up the hollow back. It worked well and was not something I would have thought of trying without the helpful info from B&B.
  33. 1 like
    Thanks for all the comments. Most of the dry spots ended up being ground out as they were poking up over the rest of the area. I ended up filling the resulting divots with ez-weld wood repair epoxy. I think it'll look fine when it's done but the fiberglass wont be providing much structural integrity in those areas. It's definitely been quite the learning experience and I'm thinking of building another boat after this, though something smaller like a kayak or canoe. Since I've been buying woodworking tools during the build it would be a shame to only use them once.
  34. 1 like
    I think it has something to do with the phase of the Moon when it is built. Also, which side of your mouth you stick your tongue out as you open the shipping carton.
  35. 1 like
    Guess I need to clarify this snuggling and such stuff up. No threat to Miss Debbie. Mr. Zuki is not human! I know this comes as a shock to some. He's not even animal---like my cats. I snuggle and kiss the cats all the time, and so does Miss Debbie. They are both "boys"---or, at least they used to be---if ya know what I mean. Boomer and Mitty Kitty. They aren't jealous of Mr. Zuki either.
  36. 1 like
    couple of shots of the new camper on FL 120
  37. 1 like
    Funny you shoujld say this. I have one rather perfectionistic child and as we're wrapping up the school year I've had to instill an old mantra that was passed on to me: "Done is good." It's so true.
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  39. 1 like
    I took the short shot out for it's first trip. It was beautiful in the water. I used the premium 6oz poly fabric and really struggled to get it stretched over the boat and it was pretty obvious there was not a lot of shrink. I made a bad incision and ruined my fabric. So I tried out Dave Gentry's side rail method for applying the skin. So this is not Pure Kudzu craft bit I am super happy with it. Cypress stringers with Baltic Birch cross frames. I only have to finish the hand holds and I feel good about it.
  40. 1 like
    Congratulations! Looks like you're good to go. All of our boats have "should haves". The real struggle is not pointing them out to other people. Enjoy sailing!
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    Amos,... I used 3/4" yellow pine. Yes, I'm happy with it -- although I'll try not to have any hardware on the caps. I have purchased but not yet installed a pair of flush (lift-up) mooring cleats for the stern. I plan to install them just forward of the transom.
  43. 1 like
    Nice suggestion, Don. Will do.
  44. 1 like
    I had a bit (.125 +/-) of waviness in the planking at the shear clamp along the cockpit that was created by the planking pulling (tumble home) on the shear clamp. Possible causes may be my material selection or the span. I let Alan know what I found and sent photos. I'm sure they have a fix in place already. Below is my preferred solution. Incorporate the covering board and the clamp in one piece. This has it's own perils, but fairly minor.
  45. 1 like
    I've spent more time working the egg crating on this build than anything else. Couple of items that I could have done differently to speed this along for those of you who are considering a build of this sort and for my future reference. Clean your glue joints up nice and neat and tight. I thought I did a decent job but it has caused some extra time. Glue seeps between the seams of the planking in the first layer when you add the second, sounds obvious right? Not at the time of doing battle, never even thought about it. Add the stiffeners/bearers whatever you call them at the tops of the stringers and frames before assembling them. Glass the stringers and frames before assembling onto the jig. Use peel ply on every glassed surface, not just the ones you think you'll be bonding to. Much better for finishing and secondary bonds If you can't glass it, hot coat it before you start planking. Don't allow surface intersections that create a thin deep slot to remain. Fill them. I did fill beside the keel but left the forward bottom planking and stringer intersection creating a difficult area to work. Cockpit shear clamp needs to be more robust Don't be in such a rush to have a chemical bond on the outside glassing. Would be better to do one strip, cure, then bevel the edge to accept the next sheet so it can all be ground flat. Ease fairing immensely and reduce the amount of fairing materials used and time and labor. I did do a couple things right Fill beside the keel. Worked out very nice. Lifting strakes were a pita, but I like what they provide. Filler sheet at the stem to fair the bottom planking to the topsides planking worked nicely Fairing all outside corners to a sharp edge. Sand, sand and sand some more. The joy of being done will be forever diminished by the sight of an obvious blemish that could have easily been removed. I still like double diagonal planking. I'll have more as I think about this.
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    I don't think you really will gain anything using it for the rudder up/down haul. You could use it for the second line on the CB purchase but not really necessary.
  48. 1 like
    I've never used anything but porch and floor on my boats. Well, for the painted bits. I've never had one problem. When there has been damage, it has been easy as pie to repair. Porch and floor is formulated to walk on. It ain't interior wall paint. Would I use it on a moored boat? No. A drysailed camp cruiser? Yes. In a very obnoxious orange, too. A little pirogue or canoe? Sure. Yellow, with green trim... Peace, Robert
  49. 1 like
    A fairing trick I'm not a big fan of, but many are is, to use a small notched trowel to spread the first layer of fairing compound. It's really handy around tape seams where the area raised is slight and hard to see. A uniform smear of goo (all over) with the trowel and let it dry. Next you come back with the long board and start knocking it down. Blowing off the surface you'll see the little ridges left by the trowel, but some will be deeper than others, which is what many like about this technique. Because you can literally see the low and high spots in the valleys of the notches, you know where to focus filling and knocking down efforts. Once you've got it pretty much fair, you simply come back with more fairing compound and fill the grooves, flush to their neighbors. What I don't like about this technique is the amount of waste in used filler, but it is an effective method, that many pro's employ. It can also be pretty fast. A buddy of mine is a metal boatbuilder and he uses this method exclusively. I can understand why with metal builders, as there's always a considerable amount of fairing with plate distortion and such, so it makes sense for him. For a small boat a 1/16" V-notch trowel is fine, unless the surface needs major low spot filling.
  50. 1 like
    Add a block of wood to raise the oarlock horns higher. If you look hard, you can see them on Turtler...