By Aleksandr Pasechnik
tl;dr: Looking for learning resources for non-competitive dinghy sailing.
Hiya folks! So I’ve pretty much finished my Spindrift 11N. Her name is Elsewhere and she is red and white and wonderful. I’m sailing on the Hudson River off Lower Manhattan (Pier 40 is home). The Hudson is fun! Salty, a little icky, and a lot ferry. We play chicken, me and the ferries and the party boats and the giant barges. Never a dull moment.
I learned to sail and practiced on a 22-foot-ish bermuda rigged sloop on a quiet little “river” (more of a long lake, really). Elsewhere is much more skittish and “active”. And less forgiving of errors. Like getting the mainsheet caught on a life vest attachment during a tack. That got me in the water right quick, and the fire fighters dropping by to see what the fuss was about. I’m learning all about the nuances of downwind sailing on a boat without shrouds and how crucial line management and tidiness is.
So the question: are there books or other learning resources for the “beginner” cat rigged dinghy sailor? Not particularly interested in racing, but looking to hone the craft of safe and confident sailing. (My heart rate is apparently consistently two to three times higher on the boat than on land =D )
I last posted on here a few years ago. It's taken me sometime to convince my wife to give up the living room to an N11.
My Spindrift N11 project is called South Queensferry Electron - in recognition of Donald Crowhurst's Teignmouth Electron - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Crowhurst
Following the usual 'messing-about' convention, here is my progress right up to when I found the courage to saw her in half - earlier today!
Nidaplast is very flexible and I epoxied and peel plied each piece of the hull before assembly. Bulkheads are carbon fibre and Nidaplast, three layups of biaxial cloth. A diamond cutting wheel on a Dremmel made short work of trimming excess from the bulkheads and transom.
The hull still needs finishing, as do the bulwarks. Knees still to fit as well, that's the next job.
So I realise that 6mm ply would have been the best route to go down. However, prior to this build I had not worked with West Systems or carbon fibre before. The SQE is a 'learning by doing' project in preparation for the retirement boat.
I will update with more photos as work progresses. I live in Scotland, the weather is getting colder and less conducive to epoxy use and, of course, I have to give the living room up for Christmas. Progress might be slow! However, with the hull complete I can cut out the rest of the Nidaplast components and get the sailing rig ready.
Happy boat building to you all!
For want of a decent local plywood supplier I will be building in 5mm nidacore honeycomb sandwich, carbon outside, vectran and glass inside. If I can get my hands on some affordable basalt fabric I am sure I will find a few panels for it to feature. It is certainly not going to be as enjoyable as building in wood but at least I will get to learn a few new skills along the way. A lighter boat is almost a guarantee, but that all depends on how many laminates will give me the impact toughness I require.
I do have a partial sheet of nice 6mm ply and will cut the transom, mast partners and a few other small parts from that.
The nidacore sheets are 7ft x 4ft, which, as fortune would have it, is just long enough to cut the main hull panels from 3 sheets, one being halved and butt-joined to the full sheets just like the plans for plywood.
Hi everyone, this is my first post--I've been lurking here getting lots of good info as I build and finally have a few questions myself!
By now the boat is 3D and wired together. The hull, bulkheads, and transom all seem to fit well, and the boat has no twist in it that I can discern. Measurements from the peak of the bow to the corners of the transom are 109" +/- an 1/8", and sighting down the centerline, the tips of the nesting bulkheads "disappear" below the transom at the same time.
I've made a number of spanish windlasses to pull the sides together between the forward and mid bulkhead, to pull out the 1/2" gap between the bottom and the bottom of the nesting bulkheads, to pull the forward bulkhead forward onto its lines, and lastly to try to flatten the bottom seam between bulkheads slightly to close a gap in the bottom panels.
The question is how much of a gap along the keel seam is acceptable? It goes from no gap at the transom and widens to about 1mm around the nesting bulkheads, and up to a maximum of about 3mm halfway between the forward and mid bulkheads. I think the epoxy fillets will cover it just fine, but I just want to make sure it's not a symptom of a larger problem.
Also, the plans don't really give dimensions to make a breasthook or quarter knees--do I just make these to fit the shape of the hull as it stands now? The instructions say the breasthook (included with the kit I suppose) is important to ensure the bow takes the correct shape--so what gives? The sheer lines look nice.
Lastly, I centered the kerf gap of the nesting bulkhead on the "center frame" lines running down the sides--is that correct?
bow and gap
As my first post on this forum I may as well start a build thread.
I should start out by saying I have little to no experience with boats, but I love building things and my wife says we don’t need any more bookshelves or lawn furniture.
I have read many of the build threads on this site and have appreciated being able to get a more in-depth understanding of the process.
I also watched Alan's set of videos.
So one day I called and talked to Alan, and ordered the kit.
The next thing you know I have a large stack of wood parts, several bottles of epoxy, and rolls of fiberglass tape.