Progress Update ~ April 2005


January to April 2005 with launch on Friday 8th April

Remainder of construction went well. Wish I hadnít attacked the sheer capping with the electric planer as it is very difficult to get a consistent edge. Job for next winter to tidy up.

We attempted to cast the bulb keel ourselves however this didnít work due to inability to melt the lead in sufficiently large enough quantities so we had to resort to professional casting using our plug, the cost seemed very high. Fitting the bulb was approached with trepidation however it proved quite straightforward as once the bulb halves were crow barred onto the ground from the trailer they could be moved around quite easily by rocking and walking on the curved side. Use of a ladder against the hull side and a chain hoist saw the bulb halves lifted onto a temporary platform then walked the bulb up to the keel and tipped into upright position by use of jacks under the platform. Bolts holes lined up fine as we had drilled them by sliding the keel under the bulb half whilst on the trailer and drilling through. We fabricated the keel lifting mechanism ourselves and it welded up ok if a little untidily.

The old mast was put in position and rigging lengths measured and new rigging ordered. Once keel was in the boat with the bulb on we realised we couldnít raise the mast as we expected as to fit the heel bolt to the mast it would have to already be raised to about 45 degrees. First thoughts were that we will only raise mast once on water with keel lowered sufficiently for top to be flush with the decks.

Wiring went well and all instruments both old and some new work fine.

A yacht surveyor was called in for insurance purposes and the boat was deemed fine with some minor  changes to get complete clean bill of health, such as second jubilee clips on skin fittings, extra packing around battery, coverings on protruding bolts in coach roof (we had already started on these and called them Ďhead saversí).

Topside painting turned out to be the most unsatisfactory part of the build. We used two part epoxy paint but failed to get a decent finish, probably due to cold weather and lack of time, still there are plenty of coats and from a distance looks fine. Paint finish has been augmented by vinyl stripe and Moondog logos.

Antifouling went on fine with hull lifted onto special timber cradle (4 by 2 box structure) to get under the cradle supports.

We have a different arrangement for the sprit in that it runs in two short tubes, one on the foredeck traveller and the second on a swivel next to the forestay, the forestay being a few inches back from the stem. In haul and outhaul works the same.

 8th April 2005

The boat trailed well behind a Golf Estate and launching was no problem with boat floating perfectly parallel to the antifoul line( We had used a laser level to mark out the line before masking up to paint).

A problem was encountered by trying to use a long shaft outboard, as per plan, straight onto the low part of the transom. This did not work with the prop cavitating 95% of the time. We have now invested in a lifting outboard bracket bolted to the transom which not only works well but saves damaging paint and varnish finish on the transom.

We had to scratch from the first race (Saturday 9th April) as the mast was not raised in time and there were still a number of fittings to add. We managed to complete these tasks on the first race day such that on Sunday 10th we went out for the first sail. Initial impression, under outboard, were of a hull that is very easily driven making very little wash, over 5 knots achieved using a 4hp outboard.

We are using the main and #3 from our old quarter tonner although both sails are as new Kevlar. Boats speed under main and headsail seemed good and then we ventured to hoist the Code Alpha asymmetric and speed leapt quite considerably. The boat handles very well, nice and light on the helm and fast, whether this is fast enough to compete on the IRC  rating of 0.991 remains to be experienced however this will be fast and fun!

 Total man hours to get the boat to the water in sailing trim was 982 and I know just a few were not recorded.

We also spent around £4000 on construction, fittings, paint and epoxy remembering that many items were taken from the old quarter tonner. Donít forget cost of suryeyor and insurance!

Only sails we have bought so far are two asymmetrics, a code alpha and an APR90. It is likely that we will need a lighter weather headsail as a #3 is too flat and too heavy a cloth for the light stuff. Later this year we will get the boat officially measured with the hope that the rating will reduce.

The first two race results have been a bit disappointing however the first was an extremely light weather affair and the second had a drifting patch in the middle of the race. During the second race there was a super beam reach of around 10 knots apparent and consistent over 9 knots of boat speed peaking in the high 11knots. All the time the boat was stable and well balanced. We canít wait now for a cross channel beam reach blast!