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pyorgosp

new design, 15' cat ketch

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The hull is finished, with skeg, keel and bow trim, epoxied and painted on the outside. Today I flipped the boat right side up (with four pals) to work on the inside. As my wife said, a real turning point! Nice to see the inside structure for a change. For more, see http://176inches.blogspot.com

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"Not Dead Yet,"

even though I haven't posted here for 9 weeks. Have been working on the inside of the boat, and it is slow and picky (and I had some pleasant interruptions). Bench tops are on and I am close to doing the decking, but there is a lot of small things to do. I may manage to finish all but the flooring before the really cold weather sets in, but maybe not. Centerboard, rudder and spars I can perhaps do in the basement over the winter, and I have many months to sew the sails. The floorboards will probably have to wait for the spring. Keep checking http://176inches.blogspot.com.

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I am done with the boat except for centerboard, rudder, floorboards and some coatings. During the winter I will deal with the spars, sails, etc. For latest progress and information on the rig, including a sketch, check out http://176inches.blogspot.com

Any comments and advice welcome!

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I am looking for opinions on floor design, so please pitch in.

Since my last post I have made the centerboard, rudder, tiller, yards and sails (check out http://176inches.blogspot.com). What remains is the masts and oars, which I hope to do this month, then the floor and finish work on the insides and decking, which brings us to this:

My original plan was to have removable floorboards with the oars stowed below (thanks due to Francois Vivier for the inspiration). I now have my doubts both about oar stowage (why not stash them against the bench seat risers? easier to get to, and I won't have to cut notches in the frames under the floor) and about floorboards. Why not have a permanent, watertight plywood floor instead? It's not too late yet!

The way I see it, floorboards let any water drop to the bilges (no splashing around my ankles) from where it can be pumped later and dry safely, since the gaps between the boards allow for air circulation. A permanent ply floor needs inspection ports (at least six of them, actually, given that the sub-floor space is divided by frames and centerboard trunk) to make sure water does not accumulate and cause rot.

Opinions welcome!

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All but the running rigging done!

I didn't post for almost twelve weeks, but I've been busy. The boat is now built, varnished and painted, with only a few details left plus the running rigging. Here it is on its new trailer. Go ahead, tell me with a straight face that she's not a beauty!

(PS: I had trouble appending the photos last night, here they are)

For more details, check out http://176inches.blogspot.com

IMG_1536.jpg

IMG_1535.jpg

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First launch was Saturday. Lots of work, mistakes, problems and some good, fast cruising with wind speeds between 15 and 20 miles. Worst were a (relatively slow) leak and an inability to tack (flat out stalled). That last one would have been a real killer, but it was fixed simply by pulling down tight on the mizzen downhaul. Main points:

  • After retrieval I found the leak, and it's through the joint between CB trunk and garboard. Nothing that some nails, epoxy compound and caulk won't fix. Unfortunately the supposedly watertight buoyancy compartments also took on some water, so I have to dry them out and seal them with caulk this time. Clearly epoxy compound leaves invisible holes for water to come through.
  • Rigging her is a pain, and a lot of things can go wrong. It takes two people to do it. On a calm day she could be rigged at the dock, but since the mizzen partner is also the rowing thwart, I would need a motor, which I don't intend to get (yet, anyway).
  • She rows very well, but the high sides and nine-foot oars mean she is not a real row boat.
  • She is very dry (well, except the leak anyway :)), weatherly, stable and stiff. She has very little leeway. Also a slight weather helm, which is exactly how I designed her.
  • She can really fly on a moderate breeze.
  • The tacks, and especially the mizzen one, need to be tightly hauled down. I had been warned many times in books and web articles, but I didn't realize that the consequence would be inability to tack.
  • The masts, although slender, performed perfectly well, with no perceptible bend. I can't vouch for them in a much stronger wind, but I am very pleased with them.
  • I need to clearly label yards and sprits so I don't repeat stupid mistakes like I made on first launch. On Sunday I painted the tips of the mizzen yard and sprit blue. Easy to remember, since Blue at the MIzzen is the last one in Patrick O'Brian's series of nautical novels (of Master and Commander fame).

For more details and a couple of measly photos (too busy and worried, and no friend to take them from another boat) check out http://176inches.blogspot.com

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So...Nobody cares? No questions, comments, suggestions, advice, criticism, cutting remarks, nothing? After over a year of hard work and steep learning curves, my boat is real, she floats and sails. Why the silence?

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Congratulations on your launch. She looks very pretty. It looks bit like the cs boats save for the sails.

Given what iknow about epoxy, water should not penetrate. You must have had a void or hole or something similar.

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Thanks. The only weak spot in an epoxy/lapstrake boat is the centerboard slot That's where the voids were (where the CB trunk meets the garboard), and they were barely visible. Since I diicovered the leak I used more epoxy followed by caulk along the slot, plus caulk along the inside seams. I hope it is now fixed.

The similarity to the CS is not accidental and I credited B&B for the inspiration. But it is more clearly influenced by the Lapwing (also by B&B ). It has a rounded cross-section (I need to post a photo of the transom) with a total of 8 strakes (4 per side). Other influences include boats by Fran├žois Vivier and John Welsford and the Iain Oughtred Caledonia Yawl. My boat has more freeboard than most of the ones I mentioned and also 50 lbs of lead ballast on the keel batten.

The rig really is dinstinclive (or maybe crazy). I did a couple of Google searches and couldn't find a single example of a cat ketch with two sprit-boomed standing lugs. Welsford's Houdini has the same type of sail but only a single one. It's finicky to set up but it sails very well, as long as the tack downhaul is nice and tight.

Chris: Have you finished your Caravelle?

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Chris: Have you finished your Caravelle?

No, I was painting the hull and discovered a warp in my centerboard case which broght me to a stand. Then life in its insensitive fury dumped on me a bit and sucked up all my free time. I've nearly come to the conclusion that I should cut the case out of the boat and fix my issue. If I did that I could add in a few mods of my own design that occured to me after its installation of the case. So anyway another year on the stocks it seems.

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Thanks, Frank. I kept the cost down by not using fiberglass, using the most standard paint I could find (mainly so I could always find it in the future), sewing my own sails, and being really ruthless on the chandlery: very simple but functional blocks, clam cleats instead of cam ones, etc.: I find that with this traditional rig, costly, high-efficiency hardware is not needed. I don't know why but I tried hard to keep the cost down as a point of pride. As I mentioned there may be costs that I missed (I just remembered the $12.50 I spent on a closet rod for the mizzen sprit, and $13 for the oar leathers, waxed thread and needles, plus a few bits of stainless steel hardware left over from the past). Whatever they were it was well under $2,300, anyway.

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She's a fine looking craft and apparently a good sailer too. Some nice creative design stuff, great work, and super thought on keeping costs low. Should be a neat inspiration for others. Safe sailing. Rick

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Spent two weeks finding and fixing the source of the leak, which had persisted despite my early optimism. It was mostly through the centerboard pivot hole, which meant dismantling the ballast box, taking out the lead shot (which had started to corrode) and doing all sorts of diagnostics and fixes. Hopefully the leak is stopped or at least minimized and the lead protected from corrosion. For details, as usual, see http://176inches.blogspot.com ,

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Had many adventures with Aerie, rerigged her into a gaff sloop, took her to California. Now building a new, also self-designed four-strake15-foot boat (this is a cat with a single sprit sail) in Greece. Hull assembled, will restart work in the spring.

For details, as before, see http://176inches.blogspot.com

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