Thursday, 17 May 2012

It floats!

Well the big news with this update is that it floats but more on that in a bit.

Since the last update I have varnished the yard and added a leather sleeve to offer a little protection as it rubs against the mast, I have also made the boom.   While I played with the idea of making a hollow box boom I eventually made a solid boom from doug-fir, it is a little larger than the plans but I don’t want a bendy boom with a loose footed sail.   To reduce the weight I have removed some material along the centre of the sides to make it a little like an I beam and also rounded over all the edges with the router.  The boom has also had some leather added where is will rub against the mast.   The boom is still rather heavy so I will see how it goes, perhaps I will remove some more material from it or I have now found a source of Carbon-Fibre tubes that could work.

I have had the sail delivered and the chaps at Sanders have done a great job although I’m still try to work out how to fold it when attached to the yard.   The sail has three short battens up the leech and two reef points and I can’t wait to try it out.  The battens loo like they are sewn in with a little stich at the end so I may have to make the top one removable to help with rolling up and storage.

All the blocks, saddles and other deck gear have been added to the boat and spars and I have ended up with a 4:1 purchase on the downhaul.   I was planning to use a cascade on this to make it an 8:1 but I was struggling to make it work satisfactorily so that the boom had the range of height I wanted.  Both the downhaul and the halyard go through holes near the mast, through turning blocks at the mast base and onto cam-cleats, this arrangement keeps all the control lines in the bottom of the boat but I can adjust them from anywhere.  Lastly I have screwed and glued the waterproof hatches so that should keep the boat floating when I have embarrassed myself and the boat is capsized.
To help launch the boat I have made what I think it called a dinghy dolly, with this strapped under the boat I can manoeuvre her on and off the road trailer with relative ease and get the boat into the water.  It’s not perfect as I have to get wet feet to retrieve the dolly after launching and on recovery but I can cope with that as It’s cheaper and lighter than a proper launching trolley. 

So finally to the weekend, on Sunday the goat was trailed down to Gosport where I keep my other boat and after a little wait for the tide to come up enough my wife and I carefully slid “Sneaky Shark” into Portsmouth Harbour, the kids hopped in and we have a little row around before having some lunch.   I did not take the sailing rig with us as the bolts for the cam-cleats hadn’t turned up in time but this was really just a test before the proper launch and official naming.   She rowed well and also motored along very nicely with a 3.5hp outboard on the stern.  With no one in the boat but myself the wind would blow the goat around a bit, and when under engine a fair amount of water would splash up the daggerboard case so I am making a small rowing/motoring skeg that will cap the daggerboard case and offer some lateral resistance to the wind.  After a fun few hours she was packed up and trailed home.   The forward and aft tanks were both completely dry but I did has a little water in the non-standard middle tank.   I think I may have left the hatches a little loose and some water got in when I was motoring but I’ll soon find out next time she is afloat.

That’s all for now folks, I need to make a cap for the daggerboard slot and do a few other jobs but she is basically finished.  The next few weekend are all busy but I hope to have her out sailing in early June.

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