6 April, '07
Well, there is a lot going on around here, and with a new part
time job, a house abuilding and a family who have their holidays
at this time of year I’ve been busy. But so has Charlie
and I’ve had a number of people asking what he is up to.
So here we go.
The engine's systems are mostly completed, exhaust and water
trap muffler, cooling lines, fuel tank and filters all complete.
There is still the electrical system to go, but the battery
box for the engine battery is almost finished, and the toolbox
is nearly done as well. The woodwork in that area has been fiberglassed
and painted where needed, primed with epoxy primer elsewhere
and the beginnings of the companionway steps under which the
engine will hide are there as well.
The cockpit floor, seat fronts and seat tops are in, and the
big locker at the after end mostly complete. That locker, essentially
a continuation across the after end of the cockpit of the locker
has become known as the “smellies locker”. It drains
out into the cockpit footwell and from there out the cockpit
drains so its not possible for spillages to go below so fuels
such as kerosene, methyladed spirits (fuel alcohol) and paint
thinners will be safely stored there.
The cockpit footwell is all fiberglassed to prevent wear or
leakage, and the hatch that has been selected for the cargo
hatch opening in the after end is a very solid one that will
cope with foot traffic without leaking.
The cargo hatch is aft of the watertight bulkhead just behind
the engine bay, and it will hold a good amount of odds and ends,
mostly items like awnings and spare water containers, handy
space to have in a long range boat.
We have put access holes in the main cabin after bulkheads
so long items can be stored inside the cockpit seat coamings.
Oars, fishing rod, spare lumber, rigging spares and such, up
to about 2m long; another handy space.
Charlie has the decks all complete, two layers of 6mm plywood
laminated over frames and stringers and fiberglassed with 10
oz triaxial glass cloth; you could dance a jig up there without
any movement at all. Solid as a rock and very reassuring to
At each end of the main cabin the bulkheads are up, the forward
one has another part bulkhead to go on ahead of that, it forms
the deck boxes and dorade vents as sell as bracing the mast
tabernacle and cabin top, we ran an eye over the cabin with
Charlie in there the other day and pulled the cabin top down
a little to reduce its height, enough headroom is enough headroom
and as long as it clears his hat while he is standing up that’s
In the same area there is a couple of big laminated beams to
ensure that the mast step is well supported, and that in the
case of a dismasting the damage is likely to be confined to
the above decks area and keep the cabin structure intact and
Steering the boat requires a rudder, and the rudder blank has
been made up, a mixture of Australian Jarrah hardwood and kauri
with bolts from one side to another its big, heavy and very
strong. I don’t want to see this break and if anything
I have over designed it, there are big hardwood cheek pieces
to go on it yet and that odd little styling device at the op
of the blade is actually there for a reason. It provides a place
to put a foot when climbing aboard, it will be drilled to take
steering lines if the tiller is broken or out of action, and
the hardwood insert greatly reduces the likelihood of the rudder
blade being split.
At the foot end of the rudder there will be a “wing”
or end plate, which like a lot of other features is there for
more than one reason. It will improve steering, and provides
a place to put a foot when beginning the climb on board for
a person in the water.
Fittings and rigging items continue to arrive, parcels a couple
of times a week and the shelves are filling up with gear. Its
feeling as though the build is in the finishing straight, lots
done and the jobs to be done are getting smaller .
Watch this space.