Thursday, March 30, 2017

Shaping the Argie 15 Foils

I said in my previous Argie 15 blog post that Kevin Agee laminated the blanks for the foils from strips of cedar and poplar. Aside from making very attractive foils, it also has the benefit that they can be made from relatively inexpensive wood that can be bought at your local hardware store. Cedar that is available from Lowes or Home Depot is generally of inferior standard that may not be suitable for foils. Laminating strips of timber of differing characteristics can use the one to strengthen the other, at the same time serving a decorative function.
Daggerboard blank, cut to outline shape and sanded smooth, ready for shaping.
I won't go deeply into the shaping process for the foils, I will do that in a separate post on my Boatbuilders Tips blog. That should be posted in the next few weeks. For this post I will show only the basics.

The daggerboard is shaped to an airfoil section below the hull and rectangular where it is inside the daggerboard slot. Similarly, the rudder blade is foil-shaped in the water and rectangular where it is inside the rudder stock. I did this shaping with a hand plane, a belt sander, a Japanese Shinto rasp and hand-sanding with a sanding block.
The shaped daggerboard, foil section over most of its length, rectangular in the hull.
Note all the sanding dust on the floor, which must all be vacuumed up before any glassing starts.
The shaped rudder blade. Holes are for pivot bolt and up- and down-haul lines.
The next stage was to sheathe them in fiberglass fabric, in epoxy resin. The rudder is small enough to clamp in a vice, leading edge upward, then to drape the epoxy-saturated glass fabric over both sides of the blade at the same time. This I did by wetting out the glass with epoxy on a flat sheet of plastic, then moving it to the rudder, which was firmly clamped in the vice fitted with soft jaws. The top of the rudder is in the vice, so can't be glassed at the same time and must be glassed as a separate operation later.
Glass fabric draped over rudder to glass both sides at the same time, meeting at the trailing edge.
The daggerboard is a lot larger then the rudder, so maneuvering a piece of glass fabric large enough to cover both sides and weighed down with epoxy would be very awkward, so I chose to glass that one side at a time. I laid the board on a sheet of plastic to protect my workbench from droplets of epoxy. Doing one side at a time allowed me to lay the dry glass over the whole of one side of the board, wetting it out with epoxy in place. I supported the glass that was projecting past the trailing edge with a spacer under the plastic sheet, to stop the glass from drooping, which would mess up the clean trailing edge that is needed.
First side of the daggerboard glassed.
Some of the edges of the rudder and daggerboard don't have glass covering them after this, so they are covered with glass tape to complete the covering. There is also a lot of sanding going on between these steps, to feather edges of glass fabrics and tapes and to generally make smooth surfaces.
Glass-taping the leading edge and bottom  of the daggerboard. This batch of epoxy went off faster than I expected due to warmer air temperature, so the glass is a bit rough in places, needing more sanding.
I added another two coats of epoxy over all the surfaces, with more sanding between coats and after the final one. As a last step on the rudder blade I blanked off one side of all holes with painters tape then filled those holes with epoxy. I let it stand for about 15 minutes for the epoxy to soak into the timber, then removed the tape to allow the excess to drain out. This step is to prevent (or at least minimise) the absorption of water into the wood.
Daggerboard and rudder after 3 coats of epoxy, before final sanding.
The daggerboard still needs a handle, so I cut this from a poplar plank, in two matching pieces. I glued these to the faces of the board along the top edge.
Shaped timber handle pieces glued to both sides of the daggerboard. The board has been sanded to ready it for finishing with varnish.
I have now sanded and epoxy-coated the handle and the foils are nearly ready for varnish as the final finish.

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Argie 15 Dinghy Next Stage

In my last post about his Argie 15 project, Kevin Agee closed in all of the seats. What remained was to tidy up the drains through the centre seat. This he did with an angle grinder to trim them flush with the bulkhead and the fillets against the hull skin.
Trimming the port drain, the starboard one still projecting
 from the seat.
The drains are neatly trimmed and Kevin called me in to help
 him turn the hull over. I got the lighter end.
Kevin at the heavier end. The slight V in the aft sections is
achieved by scribing half-way through the plywood from
the outer face.
Turned over and ready for glassing the outside of the chines.
The chines were glued with epoxy adhesive between the ties before they were
 removed. Now the gaps will be filled before the glass tape is applied.
Also going ahead are the rudder and daggerboard. This started by laminating blanks from strips of cedar and poplar glued with epoxy adhesive, to give a striped effect. Clear-finishing with varnish over fibreglass/epoxy brightens the colours, to give a very attractive finish.
The daggerboard blank, sanded smooth and ready for shaping.
Kevin laminated the blanks and cut the outline shapes, then gave them to me to shape the foils and cover with fibreglass/epoxy. I will cover that work in separate posts.

To see more of this and our other designs go to our main website or our mobile website.

Friday, March 17, 2017

DH550 Kit Shipped to Southern Africa

Exocetus Yachts has shipped another kit for the DH550 sailing catamaran, this one to a builder in Southern Africa. This was more than a CNC plywood kit, it included many extras in the form of equipment and materials for the boat. The total package needed a 40ft container to keep it all together. The photos below show the order during loading. Exocetus is able to customize their kits to suit any builder, from a partial plywood CNC kit through to almost everything needed to build the boat.
"Wild Vanilla", prototype of the DH550 design. This is what the completed boat will look like.
Some of the components of the building stocks.
Pre-formed plywood panels for the hull radius.
Plywood and more plywood, CNC-cut and clearly referenced for assembly.
On top are timbers for stringers and other structural members.
Generators and engines. Behind them, porthole frames, also cut with CNC equipment.
Hardware, plumbing, electrical and other equipment.
Epoxies, tanks and more equipment
Container packed and ready to be closed and sealed.
Container loaded and heading for the ship.
To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Aluminium Vickers 45 launched in Italy

"Alemar" is an aluminium Vickers 45AC, built in Florence, Italy and launched a few weeks ago. She is owned by friends Marco and Alessio, who have also built her. Marco is a computer programmer with his own business and Alessio is a woodworker in the boatbuilding industry. I was fortunate to be hosted by Marco and his lovely wife Anna for a few days when I visited Italy for the launch of an aluminium Dix 38 Pilot about 6 years ago.

Marco and Alessio appear to have done a great job of building the cruiser of their dreams. The hull looks to be nicely faired with a beautiful standard of finish. They have modified the shape of my superstructure design, adding Italian flair. This is not surprising, considering the stylishly beautiful sports cars that are built by Italian factories. I remember that Marco asked me why I was rebuilding a British Lotus sports car and not an Italian Ferrari. Well, we can't make everybody happy.

To read the full story about their build, go to the "Alemar" blog, where you can also follow their sailing adventures. It is in Italian but this is easily translated if accessed through Google Chrome.
Ready for launch.
Nice standard of finish.
About to get wet.
Italian styling added to pilothouse roof.
Waiting for her rig.
Rig up, floating nicely.
I look forward to sailing updates from "Alemar" and also sailing photos.

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kidz At Sea Racing in the Caribbean

The students of the Kidz at Sea boatbuilding and Sailtraining program have been racing again in the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta. They race on the Didi 26 "Purple Heart", which they built in their boatbuilding program. They are also building a sistership to join in the racing next year. They build these boats using our plywood CNC kits, shipped to them from Maryland.

Garth Steyn, who runs the programs, sent me these photos of the students racing their boat.
Getting some high-speed downwind action.
Nice new sponsored asymmetrical.
New sponsored jib as well.
To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bruynzeel Yacht "Stormy" Needs Help

Most boatbuilders in the world will know the name Bruynzeel, manufacturers of high quality marine plywoods, among other wood products sold worldwide. I have used their plywood on various of the boats that I have built.

Kees Bruynzeel was an accomplished yachtsman and boatbuilder, who commissioned Ricus van de Stadt to draw a few designs for him to build. One of these was the 52ft "Stormy", which he skippered to 3rd overall and 2nd in Class II in the inaugural Cape to Rio Race in 1971. He skippered her to line honours and handicap wins in the 1973 Cape to Rio Race after suffering three heart attacks in the previous year.
"Stormy" as she was when Kees Bruynzeel owned her
And as "Lady Margaret", with extended stern
"Stormy" has changed hands a couple of times since then, been renamed "Lady Margaret" and had an aluminium bolt-on stern extension added. She currently has a Virginia Beach owner, who started a major refit but ill health prevents him from continuing.

"Stormy" sorely needs a new owner to take over and complete the work that was started. I have done a quick inspection of her laminated wood hull and it appears to be very sound, aside from a couple of small patches of superficial rot where some water has been allowed to lie. She has been redecked except that the cockpit has been left for rebuilding after the interior and engine work are completed.

All of her seems to be there. The structural interior is still in place, all loose interior items are stored inside the owner's home. He has a newer engine to replace her old one, as well as a generator and loads of teak that was planned to be laid over the fibreglass-sheathed plywood deck.

"Stormy" is available to go free to a good home where she can be completed and go sailing again. The new engine, generator and teak are not included free but can be bought for a reasonable price that must be negotiated with the current owner. Removing and relocating her and all the materials and equipment must be paid for by whoever takes over ownership.
"Lady Margaret" in a Virginia Beach garden.
Galley, representative of interior.
Aft cabin, structural joinery in place but loose bits in dry storage.
I sailed a major coastal race on the sistership "Stormkaap" in about 1978, in some serious Cape of Good Hope weather. The boat fared a lot better than I did. These are seaworthy, strong and weatherly ocean voyagers. "Stormy" deserves another chance at ocean voyaging, not to die somewhere in a breaker's yard.

Anyone interested in taking over this great boat and restoring her can contact me via email, then I will connect you with the owner.