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Designer last won the day on March 29

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  1. Don, I am confused by the question as there is no glass involved in gluing the joint together. I prefer to call them finger scarfs rather than finger joints. Finger joints are typically parallel sided and equally spaced fingers. This means that roughly 50% of the joint is a butt joint which is not very strong. We used to use step scarfs which gave us a strong joint but the edges were vulnerable to handling and were often damaged by the time it was used. The other problem was quality control. We used 9 steps in 6mm ply which gave us steps of .013" . If the end of the sheet was not perfectly flat to the table the scarf was rejected which messes up a good sheet of ply. If a new shipment was 10 or 15 thousand's off in thickness our cut file did not work and we had to make another one until the next batch. Most of our competitors went to a puzzle joint. We tested them and realized that up to 2/3 of the joint was a butt joint. I made up all kinds of joints and tested them. I discovered the worst part with them is that to assemble, you have one part on the table and the other part is positioned above it's partner and lowered and pressed place. A lot of the glue gets squeezed out of the joint. When I cut the joint open I felt that if I was lucky, 60% to 70 % was effectively glued. The finger scarf edge gets loaded with glue and the joint is brought together horizontally compressing the glue and squeezing out the excess glue with 100% glue contact. While a small part of our finger scarf could be called a butt, it is minimized by keeping it to the bit diameter, typically 1/4". We have tested it on lots of different applications and it is working well. We like to think of it as scarf turned on it's side. we do not usually glass the joint at all. Any joint in 6mm ply is fine if you are going to glass the joint. As with all joints it is not perfect. It does not automatically align the joint. When the joint is brought together you need to look to see if there is any gap at the at the end of the fingers at one side of the joint. If there is, you need push the panels together with bias to the side that is open. On wide panels it is hard to get it wrong but if one is careless with narrow panels it could happen. Another possibility is that if the fingers are not in plane and level with each other when you bring the joint together, the wedge effect lock them together out of plane. Usually you can tap a piece of wood with a hammer over the fingers and massage them back to being level with each other. You do not need to use much force for the joint. The main thing is that 6mm ply is not perfectly flat and you are bringing two pieces together that need to be flat in the region of the joint. We have a bunch of 2 1/2# lead weights that we put down wherever they are needed. Clean off the excess glue and you should have a fine joint.
  2. You cannot go wrong if you follow the waterline method that Alan illustrated for putting on the WL and boot top. It is one of the most critical cosmetic components you will add to the boat, get it wrong and the boat will look sad. The most common mistake that I see is that the boot top is measured up the slope of the hull instead of vertical. On boats that have flare forward at the wl or have a counter stern, it causes the boot top to look narrower at the ends giving the boat a frown rather than a big smile that says "look at me". If you do not get the boot top right, leave it off. On high sided boats it will make the boat look longer and sleeker. The proportions of the boot top have to be just right and are different for each type of boat and freeboard height. We give the dimensions on our boats as to where it should be. As Steve said do not put it too low . Small boats are almost never in perfect trim and the water is rarely flat. Small ripples will make the water appear higher on the boat than it is. If you put it exactly on the DWL, part of it will usually be underwater. I prefer the scum line to be on the bottom. I prefer to put the waterline on with the boat upright as there is always some sag or catenary in the string or tape and it could look hogged if it is put on upside down. A tiny bit of rocker in the WL always enhances any boat. I long ago gave up on the string method because you have to do the job twice and best way to put the tape on fair is to pull the tape out a long way as you lay the tape on the hull, why not use the straight edge as a guide? As the illustration shows, put on the stern straight edge on first because you can measure it accurately at both chines to make it truly level to the boat athwartships. Remember to position the straight edge down by the width of the tape. Then position the forward straight edge at the right height forward and make sure that it is in plane with the aft one. It makes sense to do the boot top right after you mark the WL because you have the setup and it will be more accurate than trying to re setup later on. 1" masking tape works great and it is easier to apply if you have help because the tape will slide down especially forward and you do not want that to happen. I put a step ladder or sawhorse etc to anchor the aft end of the tape positioned a foot or two beyond the stern so that I will have enough length as I pull the tape in to the stern. I want the tape pulled out for the whole length of the boat parallel to the boats CL with the lower edge kissing both straight edges and held vertical. I do the bow first and holding the roll out a couple of feet forward of the forward straight edge, start moving the tape inwards with the bottom kissing the straight edge while trying to keep some tension to reduce sag. As soon as tape touches the hull have your helper touch the top edge of the tape and continue touching the as you move inboard. When you go around the chine forward there will be a bridge where the tape will hit the bottom 6" to a foot forward of the chine, this is normal, keep going until you reach the bow. If it looks good you can pat the tape on to the hull pushing the bridge horizontal to keep it fair. While you are concentrating on three things at once it is easy to get the bow wrong by rotating the tape on the vertical axis causing the tape not to be straight. Just pull the tape back out for as far as you need and fix that section. Only after you are happy with the line should you pat the tape down to the hull. Repeat for the stern half and do the other side. If you are going for the boot top follow the directions for setting up the short angled straight edges. Taping the boot top is identical to the Wl with one exception. For the WL you want the top edge of the tape to touch the hull first. On the boot top you want the bottom edge of the tape the touch the hull first. This can be accomplished by holding the tape roll horizontally and rotate it as you move it along the straight edge so that it touches the hull with the bottom edge. This sounds more complicated than it is. While a laser is a valid method and appeals to the gearhead, you still have to put on the tape smoothly and when you factor in where to remount the laser in space to get the right curve to the boot top and get it exactly right again for the other side of the boat is harder or less accurate where as the sloped straightedge method is mathematically correct. Do not forget to really press down the tape edge that meets the paint or the paint will bleed under the tape messing up your beautiful work. I usually run the blade of a putty knife along the paint edge of the tape and run my thumb nail into any tape joins that will make a tiny bridge. Or you can spring for 3M's fine line tape.
  3. I have been thinking about this a lot today and after seeing the last picture I think that Joe's last comment is exactly right coupled with an overtight snotter for the strong wind gybe. If you look closely at the reefed main, you can see that the clew grommet is a lot further above the sprit than on the mizzen. If the main snotter was released and the reefing line was tightened until the clew grommet was close to the sprit, the downhaul is eased 6", the halyard re-tightened and the snotter tension set for the right sail shape the sprit angle would be close to the same angle as the mizzen sprit, there would be a lot less load on the top slide. Alan is also correct with the zipper effect. Once the load went above the breaking strength of the top slide it would fail, passing all of the load to the next slide for it to fail and so on. By the time the rest broke there may have been enough slack introduced into in the sail for the next slide to quit breaking. This is not to beat up on Bones because he just proved Murphy right again. "If it can happen it will". Here is my first shot at solving the problem. The drawing on the left shows a cross section of the sail track with a standard slide like Bones and the rest of us have. The one on the right shows my heavy duty top slide. It is thicker and has an eyestrap screwed into the slide. Harken rates that eyestrap at 1600# breaking strength with 2 # 10 screws. I intend to make a couple and test the breaking strength of a standard slide and then test the new one. We happen to have plenty of track, slides and eystraps.
  4. I am stunned. I have used nylon sail slides for the better part of 50 years and a lot of sea miles and do not recall ever braking one. Carlita has a lot of miles and age with the identical batch of slides. Because it is on the main and the broken slides are from the top down I think that they came under unreasonable abuse. My only thought is that because the main is in a tabernacle which means that mast cannot rotate. If the main was over tension-ed by the snotter when close hauled, the sail tightens as it is let out. I have to ease the snotter from close hauled to a run especially if I ease the main past 90 degrees. In fact in light airs the sail will not go out without easing the snotter. Not to be pedantic, slugs are cylindrical and are meant to go into a track designed for a boltrope.
  5. I have been bothered ever since my earlier post on his strange behavior and wracking my brain over various scenarios. Unfortunately we will never know what actually happened. I would like to see some photos from the Coast Guard before they capsized the boat to see what sail combination he had up, was she in a hove-to position or was there any discernible damage or issues? I too looked hard for the centerboard in the capsized picture. It cannot fall through the cap as it is 3/4" solid wood sandwiched between the trunk sides with a fillet and glass coming from one side across the cap. There should be a rubber shock absorber near the aft end of the cap that keeps the leading edge of the board flush with the bottom, perhaps it was not installed allowing the board to retract out of sight. We have discussed drilling a small hole in the lead tip and attaching about 3 feet of 1/8" line for this situation, It would cause very little drag. I believe that I could push a loop of 3/16" line down the trunk behind the board and lift it out. The tip is tapered and there is room to get a line around the board, although not as convenient as the 1/8" line, you have got to do what you have to. I can understand him pressing the OK button, I would have done the same thing if the boat was upright and dry to let everyone know that even though I was not making good progress I was fine. Why would I want to be taken off my perfectly whole boat? As Joe pointed out, why did the Spot quit transmitting after the last OK? I do not wear mine as it works more reliably when sitting flat but I do have the PLB attached to my life jacket as well as the VHF which I do wear when I am offshore. Perhaps he was wearing his Spot when he went overboard and the waterproofing failed.
  6. The Coast Guard has found the boat. Unfortunately the crew was missing. That is all that we know at the moment.
  7. Alan spent the night near Rabbit Key and is heading for the Cape. A lot of boats are dropping out due to the strong easterlies gusting in the low 30's. Graybeard is leading our group and id hugging the shore where the seas are a lot flatter and is off Ponce de Leon inlet heading for Cape Sable. I am a bit concerned with Sailorman in a 17mk3 solo. He appears to be hove-to and has been drifting SW. He pressed his OK button at 7:24 this morning. This is not a good place to be as he is long way offshore where it is very rough and it is hard to get back east in that seaway. On my older Spot, if you press the OK button you have to reactivate your track. He may not realize this as his last three signals have been OK.
  8. Alan always ducks in at Marco. With the winds just north of east, Alan will have a close reach to Indian cay and Dawn Patrol will have to tack. I see that Alan stopped at Sanabel last night for a while. It is good to see DP doing so well for his first try. Michael (Grey beard) is doing very well in the 17 mk3
  9. Alan called a while ago and said that there had been a weather hold. The wind was fresh from the NE and that was a small craft advisory for 3 miles offshore. Alan and some of the boats have now started. Crews that did not feel comfortable with the conditions could trailer their boats to the other side of the bay. Check point 1 is now optional which will save the offshore boats having to mess with Stump Pass. B&B has 5 boats which includes 3 CS17 mk3's , Dawn Patrol and Southern Skimmer. There is also a trimaran that Alan designed not ling after joining B&B called Sponge Bob. The fresh NE winds are expected to turn to hard east winds just in time for the fast boats having to cross the Florida Bay. It is living up to it's challenge name.
  10. I got the same results using Chrome. I found that if I click on advanced, it brings up a new page which gives you the choice to proceed if you dare. As I know that it is safe, I clicked and the site came up. Obviously something that needs to be solved.
  11. I have group 27 battery on Carlita and a 50 watt Renogy solar panel on the forehatch. All of my lights including the masthead tricolor are LED's. I run the GPS and charge cell phone and tablet and occasionally run a small fan mounted near the forward bulkhead vent while sleeping in hot weather. I have used an inverter to charge my laptop. Except for my first battery that had some age on it when it went bad on me, I always have enough power. I have spent hours at night after a days sail, checking the forecast, plotting the next days routing and have not run out of power. It is a good idea to allow for more power than you think that you need as it is more costly to to increase later plus you do not know how much charging you will get if it is overcast or your course puts the panel in the shade. Another key component is the charge controller, don't go cheap or undersize or it will restrict charge when conditions are ideal and give you less in poor charging conditions. I like to size it so that I can add another panel if I find that my demands get ahead of what my panel can give. Another pleasing thing I find with this system is that with Carlita being stored under shelter during the winter is that there is enough light to keep the battery up.
  12. Starboard, I am glad to hear that you are getting such good service from the boat. I agree with you on forward flotation tanks. I tried out the prototype S10 without those tanks thinking that no one would need to sit there. The first capsize test showed the error in my thinking. Like you found, with the forward compartment full, plus the free surface effect of the water sloshing from side to side encouraged a recapsize. I put the tanks in and the next test was night and day. Because the daggerboard is slightly forward of the capsized center of buoyancy, I found that if I put an aft twist as I pushed down on the board, I could keep all of the water out of the boat except for the bit that sits inside the gunwales. Typically with a standard layout I could get it up with about two gallons in the boat, which meant that I could sail on and leave it to the bailer to remove. The nesting version is not as good but if the bow section is dry it will be a lot easier to self rescue. A lot of laser rigs have ended up on Spindrifts and have given good service. Unless you are very good sailors I recommend cutting about 2 feet off of the bottom of the sail and maybe about 14" to 18" off the of the lower mast to get the right boom clearance. We developed the sleeve luff single line reefing system for cruisers because the day might start out light but it can get very strong by the time you need to return. I love the picture of the boat on the beach at Catalina Island.
  13. What Ken has not told you is that he is building a 9 which has a lot less stability than the 10. Also it is built from 4mm instead of 6mm ply because a light boat was important to him. I hate to see so much HP on that boat.
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