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Old 07-07-2014, 07:52   #2776
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Wow, I am truly impressed with the strength of carbon fiber. I built my dinghy roller beam this weekend from one sheet of 3/4" Divinycel foam, about 7 feet long and 6 inches wide, with five layers yielding a thickness of 3 3/4". Placed between two sawhorses it had a flex of about one inch when I pressed the weight of my shoulders on it. Already being flexy stuff I wasn't getting too excited, in fact I was a bit anxious about this material being what I needed to support the weight of the dinghy, fuel tank and motor, about 350 pounds. But, I had bought the materials, so.....

After using a joiners plane, then the longboard I got the sides of the beam smoothed out, then I routed a bullnose on the four corners, then longboarded once more. Putting a good, heavy coat of West Systems 105/205 hardener, I laid up a 20 ounce unidirectional cloth strip, six inches wide, on the wetted foam top surface, applied some more resin on top then placed a second layer of graphite above the first. One more layer of resin, then I placed the peeler ply (I love this stuff. Thank you Mark for the tip on cheaper sources) on the surface of the wetted carbon, and squeegeed the whole thing smooth. I'm glad I used plenty of resin because very little was expressed from the peeler ply layer, only enough to wet the sides slightly. About an hour later, it being a very hot place in my shop, I was able to pull the peel ply off to reveal a beautiful surface finish. I flipped the beam over and repeated the process. After dinner, I went out and pulled the peel ply off and tentatively pressed down on the beam. Not a fraction of an inch of bend! This morning, I pulled the beam off the 2 X 10 forming timber and set it between the two sawhorses. Getting no bend from repeated pushing, I tentatively sat atop the mid span. It was like a steel beam, not a fraction of bend. Picking the beam up with the fingers of my right hand, I marveled at how light this thing was. Today, I will lightly sand all the sides (being ultra cautious because it has been discovered that carbon fiber dust is even more dangerous that quartz dust to your lungs), then place a single layer of 10 ounce fiberglass cloth over the top and two sides, then later repeat the process on the bottom leaving one layer on the top and bottom and two layers on each side to tie the beam together. Then, it will be time to build up the mounting pad for the roller and then mount it to the boat. Then, I will add a lateral compression post from the beam to the trailing edge of the wing deck, also of foam, but without the carbon fiber since it is in pure compression and so short that stepping on it will have no effect. I'll send some pics later. In the meantime, I am simply in awe, and changing my ideas about how to fabricate the swim platform/boarding ladder for the starboard wing deck area. This stuff is simply amazing. And light weight.
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Old 08-07-2014, 13:16   #2777
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Roy, that's great that you were able to get the satisfaction of building something that is obviously so strong!

Are you going to bond to the full length of this beam on the carbon finish sides? If not I'd suggest that (maybe for your next project) you try using just a layer of mylar sheeting with no peel-ply - (peel-ply usually leaves a textured finish) and just try to be less liberal with the epoxy mix. Perhaps try this on a small panel. If you apply the epoxy to the carbon (or glass, whatever cloth) you can then squeegee excess out by stroking over the mylar. The finished result will be a glass smooth mirror finish.

We also use a 'weak vacuum press' sometimes by laying up the foam/wood/carbon/glass/mylar sandwich and then placing a trash bag over this mess, sealing the edges with even duct tape and then using a shop vac to pull a vacuum. The shop vac needs to stay on for about 5 minutes to get a good press of the laminate together and then you can shut it off but just don't disturb the layup.
This is not as good as a vacuum with a continuous pump but it will give you a much better looking finished piece in most cases. Try it on a small (1 ft sq or so) piece to get used to the process!

If you are doing a more complex piece with curves or corners then you shouldn't try the shop vac approach.
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Old 09-07-2014, 15:06   #2778
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thanks Roy for the detailed lesson.
Just about the best thing about the awesome forum is how much you can learn by just lurking.
I bought some peel-ply along with the last ten yards of 6 oz from Raka just to try it out. It cost $7 a yard which was more than the fiberglass but it cut down two or three steps and will really be worth it when I find a cheaper source. I haven't tried the dress shop for dacron yet but you can believe me I will.

Did you use epoxy to laminate the 7'X6" pieces to start? I hear guys use a simpler glue to laminate strip plankers. Like white glue cause all the strength comes from the outer layers not the inner.
I used Mark Johnson's tip on using a "pizza" type cutter to make my own 3" bias cut tape to lap the rails on Corazon. Made a huge difference. Anybody use scotch tape or even masking tape to give a non-raveling edge to tapes made like this? Didn't try it but if it worked it would make for nicer jobs. I always use tape to mask off a glass job and then cut the cloth when the epoxy has gone off just enough. You know old school surfboard builder tech.
speaking of blue tape.... it is a rare boatbuilding photo without at least some blue tape. Mark's are really full of tape and great information
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Old 09-07-2014, 18:22   #2779
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

dale d, I used West System epoxy resin 105 with 205 hardener. It's all I use, though I used some of the 403 cotton microfibers for gluing the laminates, and 407 lightweight filler (microballoons to us old farts) for gross filling. Fiberlay, who is my supplier in San Diego for glass, carbon fiber, honeycomb and Divinycel, sells its cloth and carbon fiber by taping te edge with 1/2: wide masking tape, then cutting it with sharp shears. I use single edge razor blades for all my fabric cutting. I have no confidence in using alternate glues because I believe that the epoxy forms a matrix which embeds the carbon fiber in a permanent lock. Call it superstition because I have no refuting proof.

I will have some pics within the next few days, due to some technical issues caused by not sprinkling gingerbread crumbs in concentric circles around my computer (clockwise, that is). Today I was doing some last minute trimming of the "beam", plus picking up some sail handling hardware. I spent the last half-hour idly spinning the sheave on a new Harken turning block while ingesting a cold, local craft brew. It's a new definition for low friction. Amazing.

Oh, Steve Chambless dropped by today to say hello. He has a 37 moored in Coronado, and was working on a nearby boat. I hope to see it soon. Searunner folks are really nice people.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:07   #2780
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Finally got the electrons and megabytes corralled and proceeding in a quiet and orderly fashion. Clockwise, the dink riding on its four point bridle, the problem of jamming at the wing deck bend, the desired position, eventually, and the stern view.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:41   #2781
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Okay, that worked, now for the second batch: Clockwise, beam building, weight of the assembled beam on a certified scale, layout in position (2x4 indicates center line of dinghy keel), with the roller in position. Now, the next stage is final fitting and securing of the beam in place. I am making design changes as I proceed. The most recent decision (at 3 A.M. this morning) is to fill the triangle forward of the beam with a honeycomb composite deck extension. This eliminates a compression post to transfer longitudinal stress to the wing deck, eliminates the need for a webbing net under the triangle (and its necessary lashing supports), and makes it much easier to walk right up to the edge of the extended wing deck. I will be fabricating U-shaped supports for the beam to act as lintels, do as much cosmetic work on the beam as possible in the shop, and preassemble the deck extension components so as to reduce the dusty/dirty work over the water.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:07   #2782
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Here are some closeups of the dinghy bridle whoopee slings. You can see these being made on YouTube. Same idea as soft shackles. The composite propane tank can be seen in the picture, lashed beneath the thwart seat. As the liquid level (and weight) change from fuel consumption, adjusting the new balance point is a breeze using the whoopee slings.
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Old 10-07-2014, 14:28   #2783
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Well done Roy innovative and practical. Looks like youve done lots of thinking before your took the plunge. Very nice tender
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Old 10-07-2014, 16:36   #2784
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Wow, the last two pages are full of good ideas!

Roy, Thanks for the compliments on my dodger/bimini/cockpit enclosure. Thanks as well to the others who've expressed the same sentiment in the past.

I had several advantages in this project. I never finished my mechanical engineering degree, but drafting was my best course. It is really easy to master the basics of drawing and the use of a scale rule. I've always had my own drafting table as well.

For the 5 years it took us to get the "hull only" ready to launch, (before the 150 mile route to the sea closed in), I spent a lot of evening down time, staring at the side and front profile plans sheets. WITH PERMISSION from John, I copied this sheet, used white out on the 50% I didn't need, and copied it again X5. I used these working sheets to draw every idea I could come up with, over and over and over.

With the Searunner cabin stripes and port shapes, I couldn't come up with ANY shapes that were better imo, than what Jim Brown drew decades ago.
The Searunner concept is brilliant, but they clearly needed a more protected cockpit. I set out to solve this in a way that was hurricane worthy or could be put down for a REALLY bad storm AND was < 100#s, counting the stand on top hard dodger, the bimini top, and all enclosure curtains too.

A HUGE advantage, was that I was designing on a boat with no rig, winches, or hardware in the way. Within reason, I drew the complete enclosure first, and made the rig etc, fit the Dodger/Bimini/cockpit enclosure, rather than the other way around.
I drew stick figure "MEs" under the bimini top, to scale, and used the same idea to draw winch locations on the cabin and mast.

(Note that most of our mast winches are outside the enclosure in order to have more room in our smaller cockpit, but they can be reached by standing on the seat with my torso through the clear connecting piece "smile").

I have initially reefed the main in a gale, without really leaving the cockpit, and this is also true with the whole thing closed up when at sea. We very seldom do this full closure thing when under way, but in really nasty breaking seas and/or hard driven rain, it is REALLY nice to have the protection.

I drew the whole thing about 20 different ways. A hard top would weigh too much. A large aluminum pipe "T top" sort of bimini was easy to have built, but looked really bad, so I stuck with a conventional bimini top. The challenge here, was where to have the necessary support tubing, and still have a place to get in and out of the cockpit and operate the winches. It WAS a challenge.

On the Dodger, I tried to compliment the beautiful lines of a Searunner, without uglying up the boat. This is very hard to do...

After construction of the dodger, the foam & verticell cored frame only weighed 30#s before the Lexan went on, yet we can both stand on it. It also had to be easily removable, in order to get the CB out of its trunk. TALK ABOUT INTEGRATED!

Here are a few pics of our new cockpit bimini cover, which is now 2" taller. The complete enclosure "curtains", are mostly great at a dock, or if expecting a 4 day norther when safely anchored out in the Bahamas during winter. Otherwise, it takes too long to put them in, for just for an overnight stay... (takes 15 minutes). For longer stays with milder weather or an overnight stop even in the rain but anchored out and facing the wind, we had another solution. I designed and Mariam made this really nice "small" connecting piece between the dodger and bimini top. It only takes a few minutes to put in, and facing the wind, it blocks 95% of the rain... "sun too". For more ventilation, we just open the two dodger hatches! Note the way she made the connecting piece collar go under the skirt extension she sewed onto the mainsail cover. Now... NO MORE DRIPS!

Mark

btw... I usually take the bimini down for the H drill, but the hurricane that hit last week (a cat 2), was centered on the outer banks, just far enough away that we were predicted to only get 60 or 70 knts. In these conditions, safely tucked in our very protected marina, I have and did leave up the entire enclosure. It is FAR better than leaving up the bimini alone, which could scoop up the air. As it was, we only got tropical storm force...

Using the connecting piece shown here, and facing the wind while at anchor, we are good for those 60+ knot gusts in a summer thunder storm. I guess we've done it a dozen or more times.
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Old 10-07-2014, 17:43   #2785
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

When we were spending months tied to a funky jungle dock FAR inland up the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, we really suffered from the heat. When we returned to the US for a refit, one of our first projects was to make this HUGE awning. It was a real project, what with all the stuff to go around and it needing to be gale worthy too. Once again, I did the design, marking, measuring, cutting, and grommets... while Mariam did the masterful sewing on her new SailRight machine.

It is a great awning and makes a summer heat spell almost tolerable, but takes about 30 tedious minutes to set up. We love it when we really need it, but always talked about a quicker set up version that we didn't have to worry about when we went ashore.

This big one has stood a gale fine face on, but in 30 knots from the side, (like at a dock), it really throws the boat around. I don't know its upper limit, and don't want to know.

With our new recently made bimini top and curtains, (which was over our head to make, so we hired it out), we specified an additional set of connecting zippers under the for and aft sun flaps. The lower zipper is for the clear OR canvass connecting piece up front, and curtains aft.

Above these lower zippers and their sun flap, is another zipper and ITS sun flap, but these zippers are oriented for a horizontal pull, rather than a curtain's more vertical pull. Mariam and I plan to make much smaller awning pieces for up front and aft of the bimini top, that zip directly to the bimini. Being much smaller pieces, (like 5' up front and 6' aft), they will not make Delphys want to take flight in a gale. They should also be a 3 minute operation to put them up or take down.

With these future bimini top "extenders" zipped in, we can opt to leave out the bimini/dodger connecting piece for more ventilation, even in a moderate rain.
For even more shade, we already have a duplicate set of enclosure curtains, made of black Phyfertex screen. We could put in just the screen sides for shade, along with the new bimini/awning extenders. OR, in a real jungle, if we can stand the partial loss of breeze we can put in the ENTIRE enclosure of screen to keep the skeets away. With the bimini/extenders on as well, it will be a screen poach under a huge overhanging roof.

Not to the same degree but like the other "clear plastic" enclosure curtains, the screen curtains are a bit of a production to put on. Hopefully... not so with the yet to be made bimini/awning extenders alone.

More later...

Mark
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:00   #2786
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Attention to detail, both in design and fabrication. Bravo to the both of you. Well done!
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Old 25-07-2014, 17:08   #2787
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Okay, it's time for an update: I've got the beam and deck filler installed and faired. It's been pretty hot lately so I had to do my epoxy work early in the morning. Today, we had a bit of threatening thunderstorms and thunder and lightning as I was mixing epoxy and low density filler to fair out the bumps, but no rain and things worked well. Tomorrow I'll put the final 'glass layer, and start prepping for the roller installations. To do this, I need to haul the dinghy out (I've been doing it once a week to deal with the critters growing on the hull), in preparation for painting the inflatable with antifouling. I'm using Pettit 1841 Inflatable bottom paint for the fiberglass and the Hypalon tubes. While the dink is upside down I will fit the variety of polyurethane boat rollers to get the best fit and spacing when I start pulling the dink out with the halyard. I am going to build the roller supports of 1/2" Baltic birch ply, epoxied and painted. It will be good to finish this side project that has kept me from completing some other jobs for the moment. While waiting for the epoxy to cure, I have been working simultaneously on floorboards (made, also, with 1/2" honeycomb core, and graphite/fiberglass skins), and begun stripping the non-skid from the decks, so I can do the repainting. The new bow nets arrived this week, and I'm repainting the pinrails on the bows so I can install the new nets. I feel like I'm juggling, but it works well, kind of like a dance. Pour some paint stripper on the deck, brush it out so it doesn't drip onto the hull sides. While it cooks the old paint, I grab some sandpaper and work on the pinrails, stopping every fifteen minutes to scrape nonskid, then recoat the next section with stripper, then back to the sanding of the pinrails. Then a short stint of grinding the portside wingdeck roller area of low density filler, then back to the nonskid removal. With plenty of breaks to rehydrate in our summer swelter (though nothing like you folks in Florida or the Midwest are suffering).

Hopefully, I will have some status pics for you next week showing the new rollers in place, some areas stripped of nonskid, and the pinrails ready for installation of the new bownets. Then, back to completing the reefer installation, so I can start having cold beer to help with the rehydration. I have been using the new dink though. It's a gas (LPG, that is).
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Old 01-08-2014, 20:06   #2788
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Man, this dinghy roller project is complex. I'm finishing up the assembly of the roller units, but I have to strip the nonskid from the project area before I can install them. I'm using some Stoltz polyurethane trailer rollers to carry the actual loads. I chose them because the black rubber ones mark up the hull and the black rubs off on your skin when it's been in the sun for a while. Also, the polyurethane ones have embedded 6061 aluminum tubes to stiffen and support the roller. I was going to use 5/8" stainless bolts to attach them to the supports, but the stainless is really heavy and costs a bundle, as well. Further, the rollers would need to be lubed, from time to time, and that grease has a tendency to drip out onto the deck in tropical heat. So, I decided to substitute some 5/8" Delrin rod, black to protect it from UV damage. It is self-lubricating inside the aluminum tube and needs no lubricant. When this project is complete, it should be a snap to launch and retrieve the RIB back onto the deck, out of reach of nasty critters that try to acquire these craft. Meanwhile, I'm glassing the roller support arms so I can paint them with LPU and have them disappear (other than the bright orange rollers) on the deck. I will be a very happy man when the decks disappear in new nonskid paint and the bownets are finally installed. I think that will be the major project for August.
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Old 01-08-2014, 20:54   #2789
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Wow! We're on the same course.

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Old 01-08-2014, 22:30   #2790
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Good luck, Timbo. I don't even want to imagine working under your conditions in a Florida summer. Send some pics of your work.
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