Originally Posted by ldrhawke
Having started the post, it's great to hear from the builder
and owner. It is a beautiful design and execution. I do have a few questions. In your full refit what were the things you changed that you found you didn't like? It appears the boat doesn't have a sacrificial fin keel. Do you find sailing in shallow waters without a fin keel to help protect the rudders be a problem? What is the mast
height off the water? What is the sailing weight? I get so tired of boats being listed in salesman light ship weight which often means little compared to the boat in the water weight. With the hulls little protection from scraping a reef and getting damaged through the surface protection, has the hull be tested for moisture level and water intrusion in the balsa core
There were many small changes. Originally the air intakes for the blowers to the Outboards were located under the top transom step. Occasionally if you got a big wave up there while crossing a bar, then the blower would suck seawater and blow it into the engine hood
. The blower bearings would fail a week or two later. To fix this, we used the top step locker (which also houses steering
components) as a dorade, moving the blower intake to its top inside corner and putting two vents in the front of it. Seawater that enters the locker runs out the drains without effecting the air flow.
Originally we had used a non acidic silicone around the windscreens. This failed due to the expansion and contaction of the acrylic
. It lost
its bond with the edge of the acrylic
. We have know used an automotive type wndscreen sealant
which has a greater elastisity and will bond to the acrylic better.
We changed the paint
system from Jotun Emperite 300 to Awlgrip 2000. This is a much more expensive paint
system but it is very easy to patch and buff in when it is damaged.
The sail locker has a large internal drainage channel around the opening but high pressure water was squirting over the channel. We built a thin lip around the inside locker lid so that sits down in the drainage channel when closed. This intercepts the water and directs it down into the drain. No more wet sails
Other things included raising the height of the mast rotation block anchor
points to stop the blocks damaging the paint and fairing. Strengthening the attachment point for the control lines on the mast rotation spanner. This had been broken twice.
On the boom we removed the single
line reefing equipment
(we had already stopped using it long before in order to simplify) and glassed on the bottom inspection panels
to give it better longitudinal rotational resistance. The lower inspection
panels were necessary to allow access to the single line reefing and were screwed on. The twisting moment off the boom would wind
the screws out even if they were beaded in Sikaflex. This was annoying, however glassing the bottom on now means that the boom has a full box section and will be stronger. It has added a few Kgs though.
Numerous other small things that I won't bother you with. This is in addition to many major items that we changed or updated in the five years that we were cruising.
She does not have any keels. The rudders are in a cassette system which kicks up for beaching or on impact with a UFO. The breakaway system is very simple but works very well. The rudder
cassettes are held down buy a simple cabinet/locker bolt positioned under the sugar scoop. When the bolt is in the closed position it enters a s/s saddle that is screwed onto the bottom of the cassete with 6G x 12 mm screws. On impact these rip out of the soft epoxy/spheres core they are bedded in letting the cassette pop up. This saved a rudder
3 times. To continue sailing there is a backup system to hold them down. At anchor
the cores are re-filled with a little epoxy
filler and another saddle screwed on.
The dagger boards
have a sacrificial foam end built in so that they will not damage the case on impact. We had damage to one from a log but easily repaired.
The first 500mm of the bows are solid foam in front of the stem. Log impacts produced some large dents in this at the waterline but the bows then seem to ride over the object.
Because we have a draft
of 500mm and we live in Australia
we do end up crossing some very shallow bars or negotiating very shallow areas in rivers. Sometimes we will lift
the rudders up and run the engines in half down position at low revs to negotiate 6-700mm of water (on the flood of course). The bottom is always sand or mud. The rivers that enter the Gulf of Carpentaria are particularly shallow at their entrances but open into a wonderland full of crocs and fish
(up to 400 pound cod) plus mudcrabs, prawns and birdlife.
The mast is a conservative 18 m. The exact height of the water would be more lie 21m but I'm not exactly sure. (We don't have any power wires to worry about where we sail).
Jeff calculated that she was 6.7 tonnes when we launch by measuring the waterline and calculating the displacement
. That was with fuel
and anchors, chain ect aboard but not our cruising load. After that I am simply guessing but we must have been in excess of 8 tonnes in our last trip to the islands from NZ. We had an enormous amount of food
and supplies on board plus around 200 litres of wine and 50 cases of beer
. She still sailed was down to the top of the boot stripe but still sailed well. I took it easy but we still sailed 200 mile days.
I would definitely know if I had scraped a reef but to answer your Qn. No, we have not tested the balsa for moisture as that would entail drilling holes in perfectly good hulls. On top of the glass are the normal flow coats of epoxy
,then epoxy fairing compound, then we put coats of copper epoxy antifoul system on top of that as an additional sealant
layer. The normal antifoul is on top of that. A visual inspection is all that is necessary to ensure that the hull has not been damaged.