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Old 13-05-2015, 06:21   #256
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Very nice Hugh. I like the raised scaffold/work platform idea! It looks like the counter below the microwave where the SUP ends up worked out well
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Old 13-05-2015, 23:21   #257
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Very nice Hugh. I like the raised scaffold/work platform idea! It looks like the counter below the microwave where the SUP ends up worked out well
Yeah, I'm really surprised how non-invasive the SUP modification ended up being. When I mapped this out on the previous hull, I measured to give adequate room, and it looked like the board was going to intrude on the galley. But when we slid the board in there to build the galley around the needs, there ended up being a lot more space. I'm not sure that we would've built the galley much differently without the board.

All told, in order to fit TWO stand-up paddleboards inside Wayfinder, so they are off the rails, protected, and at the stern of the boat for easy launching, it cost half the height of a single plate cupboard. A space about 7" high and 14" wide. That's it. Pretty amazing.
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Old 14-05-2015, 07:33   #258
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Yes, they can put in a shaft drive. The engine is mounted far enough forward.
Thank you for confirming.......
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Old 14-05-2015, 08:01   #259
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Nice to see the shiney stuff going on too Hugh!
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Old 14-05-2015, 10:39   #260
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hugh,

How long will you be staying in South Africa?

The effort you are putting in to this thread, your blog, and the videos is much appreciated by myself and I'm sure many others. It will be a fantastic resource for anyone looking at a SF50 in the future (I'm hoping to be in that category).
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Old 17-05-2015, 14:04   #261
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hugh,

How long will you be staying in South Africa?

The effort you are putting in to this thread, your blog, and the videos is much appreciated by myself and I'm sure many others. It will be a fantastic resource for anyone looking at a SF50 in the future (I'm hoping to be in that category).
I'm only here for another week. I go back to the States, and then return in August, at which point the boat should be nearly ready for launch. And thanks for the kind words. I'm basically putting up the sort of info I wish I'd had when I was doing my comparison shopping. I think too many SF 50 owners are busy sailing around the world that they don't have a ton of info out there. And the used ones never seem to hit the market (or disappear immediately), so there aren't a lot of listings. Happy to provide what I can.
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Old 17-05-2015, 14:31   #262
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

A note about the yard manager at St. Francis Marine:

I'm now sitting in Cape Town, my month in St. Francis having come to a close, and I'm going through my pics and notes and videos regarding the build. I thought I'd share my thoughts on one of the most important people at the yard, because I think he's a large part of the success of these boats, and because anyone building a SF50 will be working closely with him for what I think will be many years.

The yard manager who oversees the build is named Jaco. He's been with the company for over 20 years, and has been involved in a ton of different departments. I was blown away by Jaco over the last month. I've never seen a guy so talented in so many arenas. One example, that I hope will also give you all an idea of how the yard operates:

Jaco has an office on the same floor as the build platforms, right off the innermost cat bay. He's 10 meters from the boat when he's in his office, but he's more often than not on the boat or in one of the many departments, checking out every little detail. But he's also physically building these boats. He can do pretty much anything.

One of the things I asked for on this boat, that I felt was missing from the previous hull, was a fold-down footrest for the helm. Sitting all the way back on the seat, my feet dangled, which is tiring for hours at a time. So you tend to prop them up on the dash. When Amber got on the boat at the shows, she wished there was a footrest so she could see the corners better.

To build this, Jaco first created renders on his computer. I've done a bit of 3D modeling in AutoCAD and SolidWorks, so I know what's involved, and was impressed to watch him churn out renders for several custom parts. Fast and accurate. While he sheepishly admits that he's self-taught and just "fiddles around." Whatever. The guy can design anything from the original idea on a scrap piece of paper, to engineering drawings, to the manufacturing.

With a design for the step, he welds up some stainless, fits it to the bench supports, uses some delron bushings for the swivels, and then taps and inserts set screws behind the bushings so you can adjust the play with an allen wrench. For the footrest itself, he builds a model out of fiberglass, adds the nonskid, then takes an impression to get a mold, and casts a finished product, ready for paint and mounting. All in less than a day. And while doing a ton of other oversight things.

I saw this with the shower floor and fold-down bench as well. Elegant solutions, quick renders, and speedy prototyping. But what really stood out (and what you see in the final product) is that Jaco seems to enjoy doing the extra work, rather than look for the easy way. If I had a suggestion, but was worried about what would be involved, Jaco would point out an even better idea that would take MORE work but come out even nicer. Like how the wires to the laptop will hide at the nav station. I suggested just drilling a hole in the counter, right at the rear joint for the desk hatch, so you can thread the power cables up and then shut the hatch. Jaco suggests instead cutting a hole behind the hinges and creating a wood plug to fill the hole flush when it's not in use. For the vise at the workshop counter, he suggested a similarly more useful and more laborious solution. And any question about modifying the hull or deck to my liking is met with, "No problem. We can do that."

He reminds me a lot of Duncan. Both are genius boatbuilders, and both are not content to leave well enough alone. I don't know what the order of succession is at the yard, or how long Duncan plans on working there and building boats (I have the feeling that he'd go crazy if he tried to retire, so he is probably there for life). But I can say that any fear I had over needing to get a SF50 while Duncan was at the yard was allayed by my time with Jaco. He's a perfect yard manager. A joy to work with. Sees solutions far better than my own. And I think he's a big reason these boats have been turning heads for over 20 years.

This isn't me just heaping praise on a guy that I've come to greatly respect and like; I think this is the kind of thing that makes spending a lot of money on a boat possible. Getting to know Duncan and George made buying a SF50 much easier. Getting to know Jaco and his work crew (head carpenter Anton is another vital piece of the SF puzzle) has made the build process an absolute blast. Knowing this ahead of time wouldn't have changed my choice of boat, but it would've made me feel even more giddy and excited about the decision.
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Old 19-05-2015, 06:43   #263
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Latest walkthrough.



Next time I see her in the flesh, she should be close to splashing. Will have pics from the yard to post until then.
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Old 19-05-2015, 10:01   #264
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Great thread. Thank you for taking us along on your journey. I have a couple of quick questions.
  1. There is light showing in the hull in some places . It looks like space betweeen core edges. Is that a gap filled with resin?
  2. On older videos from st francis, Duncan talks about a insulating foam and skin layer of fiberglass for insulation. Is that on your boat already?

I hope to be in a position to order a St Francis 50 in a few years and I am thrilled to see the details in your post and your thought process with this build. Love all the changes you are making.

--raj
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Old 19-05-2015, 10:11   #265
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Great thread. Thank you for taking us along on your journey. I have a couple of quick questions.
  1. There is light showing in the hull in some places . It looks like space betweeen core edges. Is that a gap filled with resin?
  2. On older videos from st francis, Duncan talks about a insulating foam and skin layer of fiberglass for insulation. Is that on your boat already?

I hope to be in a position to order a St Francis 50 in a few years and I am thrilled to see the details in your post and your thought process with this build. Love all the changes you are making.

--raj
Yes, the resin fills all those gaps. When you run your hand down the skin of the hull, inside or out, it feels nearly smooth. Once they finish fairing the inside, it will feel smooth. Same with the outside. They were working on this while I was visiting the yard.

I believe the insulating foam and skin is in the coachroof, not in the sides of the hulls. This is to minimize the heat load from the sun, beating down on the top of the saloon. I think the hard bimini gets something similar as well. The hulls, you actually want as much energy transfer as possible, because the water is almost always cooler than the ambient air temperature. If you insulated this, you'd be keeping the heat in, which wouldn't be good in the areas these boats spend most of their time.

I could be wrong about the second part. Operating from memory of an old conversation at a boat show years ago. If you get a SF50 in a few years, I'll be excited to see how they've improved the boat by then. Every one of these is better than the last. Seeing how this one is going to come together, I truly believe this will be the best possible cruising catamaran for what I want to do with it. Until hull #20, that is!
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Old 19-05-2015, 10:38   #266
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hi Hugh,
THis is what I am talking about. Watch this video around 10 minute mark.

Watch the Movie - St Francis Marine

--raj
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Old 19-05-2015, 15:17   #267
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hi Hugh,
THis is what I am talking about. Watch this video around 10 minute mark.

Watch the Movie - St Francis Marine

--raj
Ah, I don't know about this. I'll ask.
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Old 23-05-2015, 22:31   #268
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

I was an early backer on this Kickstarter project, and it looks like they'll be shipping in time to have mine on the delivery from St. Francis Bay. It's a waterproof drone that floats and can even shoot underwater. A gimbaled GoPro hangs on the underbelly.

I got my dad a DJi Vision+ for Christmas last year, and this technology is an absolute blast. Now you can get smooth video footage of your boat under sail, or scout an anchorage, or even go dip in at various places and check out the coral, or scout for fish to spear. Or maybe you just follow along in the dinghy while towing a wake boarder and get some sports action.

So many potential fun uses.

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Old 26-05-2015, 04:17   #269
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hi,
Not trying to start a new thread as I'm liking this one but I was curious to know if you were having island beds ilo against each side. I notice from the SF website they only show beds to both walls.. do they do options on this or are the hulls too narrow? My preference is to be able to get out of the side but I've heard some prefer them to the walls so they don't fall out at sea...


Heath
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Old 26-05-2015, 09:32   #270
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hi Hugh


I've only just recently come across your thread. I've spent the last couple of days absorbing it all. Thanks for all this info. You certainly are an accomplished writer, apart from being very informative, it's a great read.


I've poured over so many cats but I always tend to gravitate back to the SF50. Hopefully I'll have one as my future home. I live in Durban SA, so I'm stoked to see you'll have Wayfinder on show in Cape Town. I'll come down there to see it and look forward to meeting you.

Incidently, if you're short of crew to get it to Cape Town, I'll put my hand up
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