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Nidaplast and carbon Spindrift N11 build

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You're right about the odd bit of epoxy here and there adding to the weight. It's difficult to keep on top of the incremental rise. A big learning curve. I think if I'm 15-20% overweight I'll be doing well. 

However, I'm not hugely concerned about the extra weight being too much of a problem. If a skinny half N11 comes in at 16kg and mine is over 20kg it's no real problem. My wife I are getting used to shifting the two sections in tight spaces and they're not too much for us. It's getting used to the size and shape. A block and tackle on a halyard will make quick work of a deck launch. 

I do like the look of the CS17 in aluminium and the fact that she could stop a .38! She must have been an ice breaker in Alaska. Avoiding being overbuilt is the challenge but that's still impressive metal working! 

Weight is always a concern - I thought that a Bruce Roberts design would be perfect for us until we met someone who had a PCF 40 (which wasn't a design we were considering but a similar length). We helped them berth in a breeze and the weight of it was immense. Way too much to handle. Put me off steel completely. 

Anyway, an interesting off topic interlude...back to thinking about cam cleat positioning 🙂

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A quick request for comments and suggestions please - 

I while back I was reading one of Lin and Larry Pardy's books where they were waxing lyrical about their Fatty Knees tender. Larry had added a floatation collar, an 'add-a-buoy' (which has a nice ring to it). I have searched high and low without success. 

A while back I stitched up a canvas washing dryer cover. The thought occurred to me that I could do something similar for the N11. A bit of extra buoyancy when using her as a swim/dive platform with the added advantage of a giant fender. Has anyone seen anything similar available commercially? 




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You're right about sewing an airtight seal. Tricky unless it's taped. The yellow inflatable in the photo is a pvc boat roller. I got a couple to assist in putting the N11 on a roof rack. I thought it would be easier to roll the boat on the roller before deflating on to the roof rack. 

I need a hand with how to attach the canvas tubes (with boat roller inner tubes) to the gunwhale. The only photo of the Add-a-buoy shows it laced together round the transom. Along with this I thought tying it through a couple of holes in the gunwhale would hold it in place and it would be firmly secured at the bow by the tow D ring and bow painter hole. Trouble is I've never seen one so I'm not sure.

If the tube just rides up it could be secured by passing a tie under the boat (not hydrodynamic) or adding a couple of attachment points along a rubbing strake on the hull. Perhaps a flat piece of webbing tape could be sandwiched between the hulls during assembly? Any ideas gratefully received! 

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I made some air bags for a SOF kayak from a material from Sailrite called Shelter-rite.  I glued with a contact cement HH-66.  It is pretty easy, I just cut the material with a 1 inch glue seam around the perimeter,  ya put the glue on as smoothly as you can on both sides, let it completely dry, place your seems together,  get everything aligned as you want it then use a heat gun and a wall paper roller to stick them together.  Found the air valves from a old pvc dingy but they are easy to find.  I was amazed it was/is relatively air-tite.  I had some tire slime that I put in to seal any leaks but I wouldn’t do that again, what a mess that stuff is!  The whole project cost about $25 bucks, and it will stay airtight for 2-3 days before it needs a top-off. 

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What about a "collar" of pool noodles? Cheap, easy to work with, could be strung around the hull with a line through their centers, etc. From what I could find on the internet a 3"noodle provides 2-2.25 pounds of flotation per running foot. SO I replaced the 40 year old bags of popcorn styrofoam in my Drascombe Dabber ( "Daphne" who is Petunia's sibling...) and added approximately 350 pounds of flotation.

I have one of the Duckworks boat rollers which Paul suggests, but because of it's girth I can't imagine HOW you'd incorporate it into a dinghy situation...You can even pair the noodles  to get double the flotation without adding much more weight, or volume...



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Thank you for your ideas. I will see if I can source a sample of Shelter-rite on this side of the pond. I like the noodle idea too. Not a lot of weight and plenty of buoyancy. I might stick some in the aft buoyancy tanks - just in case there is a catastrophic delamination 😳

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I posted about this very question a couple of months ago:

I'm leaning towards using pool noodles sleeved in layflat hose. Cheap and fairly cheerful. My plan would be to have shorter sections of the layflat permanently attached to the hull, and to slide the pipe/noodle fendering through that- kind of like passing a belt through belt loops on a pair of trousers.


It's also tempting to do away with the noodles and try to make the layflat itself airtight, with valves,, since that would be more rigid and less wrinkly looking. But it would be a lot more work and less foolproof. Maybe it would be best to have the noodle inside anyway, as it wouldn't do any harm.

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I think the canvas covers with the inflatable pvc roller blown up inside will be what I go for. The canvas in the photo I posted has been outside for a couple of years and is still in good shape. It's tough as old boots and will protect the beach rollers from puncture/uv etc. The rollers will be inflated to fill the canvas tube but only to about 75% of their capacity, so no risk of blowout. 

I think I've solved the potential problem of the tubes potentially riding up. As well as being well secured fore and aft, they will need a couple of tabs stitched on so that they can be laced downwards over the outside of the tube, then back up to the gunwhale.

I had a good couple of days sorting out the bow section. All the fiddly bits take more time than I thought! I'm still optimistic that we might be able to get out on the water this summer. The canvas work is definitely a winter project.

You're right about the possibility of a wet ride. I have a bit of flexible pipe and an equal T connector that might form a frame from the painter hole in the breast hook and then between the two forward rowlock sockets. A tiny spray hood might be possible...

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