Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend Warriors

A day truly devoted to the challenge. Here we see the Mike (AKA MikeMike or Kotzebue) in this natural habitat surfing around on the WaterTribe forums and planning our route through ten thousand islands in the background.
The team fell back into the groove today and got some great work done. Read on.

Yesterday we got the final word on the unused project rooms on the west side of campus that we were hoping to move into for a couple of weeks...or just a week.... or hey how about just ONE weekend! The answer...."NO". What a bummer. So it was back to the Aerial Robotics Lab (Oh yeah, that's what Mike, Matt and I do when we are not building boats, we build UAV's) for workspace while the boats sit outside in the cold under a tarp and will no doubt be covered in about a quarter inch of ice by tomorrow evening.

We are pursuing a storage unit which may be donated to us until the start of the challenge which would at least give us a big place to store all of our gear and stuff between training days and a place to sprawl out and unload all of this boat building tools that I have been hauling around in my truck for the last 3 weeks.

On a brighter note, I finally got in touch with (by e-mail) a potential sponsor (not telling yet) who we hope with come through for us in a big way. More details to come I hope.

My dad came over to Raleigh and Mike, Chris and I helped him use the Vacu-form machine in the design school workshop to make a plexiglass mold of my mom's Dreamcatcher seat. My dad has offered to build four fiberglass seats for us to use in the Wa'apas. THANKS DAD! I guess you could say that "He's got our backs" (backsides in this case).

After saying goodbye to the clear plastic butt bucket as it came to be known, the team got to work on some of the major "TO DO" items like...the akas. We are using extruded aluminum mast sections from two long since departed hobie 14's that my good friend, occasional business partner, and Nacra 20 racing teammate gave to us free of charge. Thanks Trey.
If you get a chance, check out, this is the Velocity Sailing homepage that documents team Velocity (See the team Bio for names) and their quest to become pro catamaran sailors. If you ever are in need of sailboat parts, rigging or equipment at a good price give Trey a call.

We got to work cutting the akas using a chopsaw with a metal cutting blade which was very satisfying. After making a final decision on where the crossbeams should go (at least initially) we started working on the ama pylons that will lower the amas down from their high perch on the straight akas. These blocks are made of dense blue foam and will be fiberglassed over with multiple layers of fiberglass tape. A dowel rod will run through the pylon and a chunk of squishy foam will cap the pylons and the aka will be lashed to this top surface with bicycle tube. Very exiting. We will do the fiberglassing tomorrow.
Also on our plates for tomorrow are the leeboards which will be made out of 1" think 8ply plywood that we found outside in the dumpster, SCORE!! As well as the thick aka mounting blocks which will be glued to the side and deck of the hull to support the aka above each side of the boat. Since the decks are curved and the akas are straight this piece will be very important and will be very strong. Look for more updates tomorrow.
And now some much needed Thanks:

A big thanks to Brian (AKA Capitan of the "O" Dark 30) for his unwavering support. He has graciously sent us two C-scow sails (over 200sqft each) that we will be able to use to construct any size sails that we like. SWEET! Thanks again Brian. Check out Brians Blog (Captain of the "O" Dark 30) its a good one.

Thanks also to Stan Hanson for lending us his EPIRB to use on the challenge since the CG pushed their new regulations forward on everyone. What a HUGE time and money saver for us. Thank you, Stan.

One more thank you to Vlad (AKA Crazy Russian) for shipping us two hobie rudders to use on the boats. We will have foot pedal control of the rudders from the aft sailor in the canoe similar to a regular double kayak. Thanks again, Vlad.

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