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john moffat

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  1. After getting to the stage of taping up the hull and ready to install the keel batten I discovered that the 'Meranti marine ply to BS1088' supplied wasn't, marine ply or to BS 1088 that is. There had been early indications that all was not well but not being experienced with ply I had taken it as part of my lack of experience and clumsiness that the top ply's seemed to peel off very easily when trying to clear minor damage to edges and particularly the tags on the precut panels in the 6mm sections. By this stage I couldn't identify which parts came from which sheet - I was not supplied with a parts list or sheet cut-out plan - so although I took numerous samples from scrap and unstarted sheets I could not be sure exactly how many sheets were affected. Of 26 samples tested - by boiling - only 4 passed unscathed whilst many de-laminated after immersion in cold water for a short time. All the failures were in the 6mm ply, the 9mm was ok but it was all firmly scarfed to the 6mm of course and partly taped in so nothing could be dismantled. At the end of exhaustive checking I believe only the transom and maybe one other cut panel already assembled/installed were unaffected and only one, possibly two unstarted 6mm sheets seemed to pass initial testing. The shock was traumatic to say the least. I had been enjoying the build and it was something I had looked forward to for a long time so I'm afraid I did get a bit emotional; it has taken me a month to bring myself to write about it and hopefully warn others about the dangers of Asian plywood, I understand others have had similar experiences. Fortunately the suppliers of the kit, Trailaway Boats in Brisbane, have not hesitated to correct matters. It was apparently as much of a shock to them as to me as they have been in the business for many years without encountering this problem. They are, or are in the process of, replacing the complete kit with Gaboon ply which is significantly more expensive at no extra cost to me, I could not ask for more than that. I have been in a small manufacturing business myself and know that these things happen, it is how they are resolved that is important and Trailaway Boats could not have been more positive, I can only recommend them as being of the highest ethical standards. I am currently awaiting delivery of the new kit and as I have now been there before Build 2 will hopefully progress much faster than Build 1. Build 1 is sat out in the backyard, I can't bring myself to put the saw through it yet, probably when the new kit arrives I will be able to do it.
  2. R: Tom Lathrops comments about adding lead to a Lapwing centreboard. Would be interested in the details.
  3. Hi Peter, Yes I now know what birdsmouth refers to. Have had feedback on gunter from Rob Askew/Barrie Armstrong and as I feared gunter would require stays and I want to avoid standing rigging. Have always liked the idea of unstayed masts. I think you have the best idea although didn't you tell me that you only had two bottom sections because it was laying around from previous builds? And aren't your masts fixed in single lengths? Over the years I have found slides and tracks develop minds of their own after a time and I don't fancy messing about in a slop and a blow with mast slides jamming in mast tracks so I think I will just go down the path of single length masts maybe with a top wooden section like tours. Unfortunately have been able to get no info at all on what the designer actually recommends, apparently you have to buy the plans to see that. Regards, John PS Thanks to all other respondents, has been/is most interesting discussion.
  4. Thanks for that Peter. I recall we discussed something similar. What do you mean by 'birdsmouth'? I like the idea of a wooden top half, probably with a bit of taper. How would you keep the tracks in line? I was thinking of a gunter rig, is that what you mean? Am not sure how that would go with reefing with the gaff lying too far aft when the halyard is eased. Red was more related to sailing off into the sunset, I'm sure older USA members will remember. Regards, John
  5. Am just about to order a kit but am unsure about which sails to go for and best method to attach to masts. Also what mast material - wood or alloy. I have seen Peter HK's beautifully built CS17 with alloy masts and larger sails. I will be sailing mostly single handed and was most interested in the standard sails -gotta be red, I'm an ex Mirror builder/sailor - so would be interested in comments, experience etc. My sailing area is Tasmania and our winds tend to be boisterous most of the time so reefing is a must. I think wind speed has not been below 20 knots all summer so far.
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