Sunday, November 20, 2011 Lives!!!!

In case everyone figured I was just goofing off for the last few weeks here is the latest. My mom has been down here almost every weekend for the last 2 months and she has been a great help. It has also helped to start familiarizing herself with the boat. This weekend my dad came down and offered his assistance cutting out parts and gluing them in. It's amazing how much more you can do with 2 people.

We have finished up the cabin sole or sleeping shelf of whatever you want to call it. I prefer "great cabin" and this weekend we installed the main deck with it's hatch opening. The deck is made of a strip building product called duracore. It is 3/8" end grain balsa sandwiched between 1/16" strips of western red to give it some longitudinal stiffness while planking. We laid up a 25" wide cambered panel of it on a curved mold (bent plywood) all in one shot in a vacuum bag last weekend. The panel was 9lbs before fiberglass which is a little more than 4mm plywood (0.4lbs/sqft versus 0.6lb/sqft) but the advantages are that the inside of the "cabin" has a smooth roof for sleeping comfort while still giving the deck adequate stiffness for tromping around and raising/lowering the mast. The deck could have been a foam core layup but this stuff was laying around and about to become firewood.

The daggerboard tunk halves are laid up and ready to be joined and then installed in the amas. The daggers are ready for a final fairing and last coat of epoxy.

The Amas will get some 2lb expanding foam and then the decks will be going on as soon as the trunks are complete.

The next big milestone will be the first float and test paddle sometime in early december. I will be going out of the country over the christmas holiday so work will be on hold until I get back to finish all the rigging and get her sailing sometime in February with the race the first week of March. Yikes.

Current weight breakdown (I know your curious): drum rollllll....

Main hull: 105lbs plus bow deck, hardware, more epoxy (looking like it will end around 125)

Amas: 45lbs each plus some expanding foam, decks and trunks. (looking like around 65lbs a piece) Daggers: 12 lbs each

Rig: recently purchased a carbon stick that was on a Bimare Javeline 18HT catamaran. maybe 30lbs

Add sails and rudder, rigging, lines and some more epoxy and she is closing in on 350 at an alarming rate. I am doing my utmost to keep this in check. I'm still emotionally ok with the her weight. We will see. Whatever it comes out at you'll wish it was lighter but thats just the way it goes.

She has also earned her name. 'Mosquito'

Aside from the many mosquitoes that have met their end by flying into my wet epoxy and become part of the hull (and those that I have swatted), she will be a fast racing machine in all wood and so a nod is given to the de Havilland Mosquito which was a wonder in it's own time. Once the fastest plane in the world at 400mph and constructed of all wood. Pretty Amazing. I often feel like I am building a fuselage as much as a sailboat. Mosquito video link

Sunday, November 06, 2011

UFC Tri Update

Time seems to be flying by and I have been working night after night. My mom has been driving out to help on weekends and this has been a great help. I'll bring you up to speed on what has been done and what is left to do.

All three hulls are now in existence. 2 amas at equal stage of constuction. The second ama went together more smoothly and is very fair and tight and I believe a bit lighter. All hulls have a coat of epoxy on them. The daggerboards have been built, machined and sanded and await epoxy coating. The main hull bulkheads are complete. The waterstay connection points are complete in the main hull. The transom has been installed and the "cabin" floor is going in in the next few days. The aft and bow decks are cut out and coated and will go in within the next couple of weeks pending the fiberglass aka tubes being installed. I have layed up a cockpit seat and the bow cockpit size and location was finalized and cut out this weekend.

Among the remaining tasks are the daggerboard trunks, Ama decks, aka-ama connection structure, aka-vaka connection structure (fiberglass tubes). installing deck support structure, installing decks, making hatch covers, making another seat, installing seats, making main hull aft cockpit. Make structural bow cockpit hatch. Sand everything and apply second coat of epoxy. make a rudder, tiller and cheeks. Those are the big ticket items at least.

Oh yeah, I also need to aquire a mast and sails, trampolines, trailer, rigging and hardware. No problem right? EEsh.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ama part 2

Today, the inwales were fitted and slid in from the stern and the inside of the ama was coated. With the inwales in the temporary gunwales used to pull the sides in could be removed. I weighed the side panels and bulkheads pre-torturing at just under 30lbs. I expect that with epoxy coating, bottom paint, crossbeam structure, dagger trunk and a deck it will easily finish up around 40 which would be ok with me. 45 would be less ok but whatever it comes out at, "i'll own it" as they say.
This time I glued in the bulkheads near the keel pre-torture and that caused the hull to be a little less fair than I would have liked but its rock hard now so no going back. I don't plan to make changes for the port ama. Its not that bad.

You can see that I went for the inverted bow, wave piercer ama shape with influences from the Nacra Infusion, and Seacart 26 tri.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures. the shop is dimly lit at night.

Ama: tortured but alive

You know why they call it Tortured Plywood right?... Because sometimes it dies.

Fortunately the starboard Ama (on which I am now working) underwent severe torture today but the plywood told me what I wanted to know so I let it live. All in all a very satisfying shape achieved (more pics tomorrow). Below is the challenge. Turn flat panels into the wave piercing round bottomed form of a fast ama 1/2 shape at left. After determining what 2d shape I wanted to start with (part, geometry, part "maybe this will work") I joined the panels with a finger joint and stitched them together.

A pictoral journey of the events that followed can be seen below. I knew there would be some compromise in my desired hulls shape something I learned on the main hull but I wanted to really push the tortured shape to the limit of what I thought was possible and I don't think I could have gotten any more out of it. Then again, it didn't crack so who knows.

It was obvious to me that my desired bow shape was going to be a problem so I cut two splits in the bow section 40" long following an isoline from the tip of the bow and curving up along a line of max curvature. By re-stitching these, I could set them at an angle and help the curvature process. It also let me lock in the shape in that area so I don't end up with too fine a bottom near the bow. I have never seen this method used with torturing so I guess I'll call it "split-tortured plywood". The rest of the keel was glassed together over a generous fillet of 3.75" diameter with 20 degrees of deadrise. This angle is crucial to making it work. The smaller the deadrise you set at the get go the more compound curvature your asking for. Unlike the main hull, the ama is made of just two panels.

While the seams were curing I whacked out the bulkheads of 4mm ply on the shopbot. Sooo much faster than hand fitting. This worked great as you can see in the pics. The discrepancy between the bulkhead and the hull in the 1 photo where it is obvious occurs on the way to the bow where the deadrise angle must increase. Eventually at the bow, the angle is 90 degrees so there has to be some compromise there. The rest of the bulkheads fit like a glove.

At the start of initial torturing 2 cracks alerted me to a problem which was recognized at the finger joints. One of the fingers opened up on the outside as tension was placed on it. Work was put on hold until the joints were glassed in the area of maximum curvature. This is the joints weakest bending axis. They are strongest in axial loading such as overall compression or tension of the entire ama structure. This problem was not seen in the main hull presumably because the whole bottom panel was glassed before bending.

Once the patches were kicked, the torture continued. In the end, I was able to get all of the bulkeads glued and filleted and the stem joined tonight, just 3 and a half days after cutting the panels.

Tomorrow, I plan to turn the ama upside down and apply boiling water soaked towels to the outside of the skin in hopes of relieving some of the stress that is built up in the sheet before epoxy encapsulating.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weighing in

It's been just about a month and a half since I cut the first wood for the boat. I spent the better part of 9 months designing in Rhino 3D and I am up to saved version 103. I have 12 ama iterations and about 6 of the main hull. All that and I'm still making major changes to the boat. Such is boat building.

A few days ago I removed the temporary frame that held the sheer line in place while I was installing stations. I've been anxious for that because it meant I could weight the hull. Drum roll.....62lbs as it sits. That is minus a couple of bulkheads, stringers, cabin sole, seats, cockpits, hatches and of course epoxy coating. It's heavier than I had hoped but not a death sentence. She is still on track to be significantly lighter than any production multihull of this size and power.

Below are the visible epoxy marks of a bulkhead that didn't make the cut. It's not that I put it in the wrong place, its just that I moved it after it had already been installed. Oops.

I'm closing in on the last few bulkheads. Once they are all in, I will be able to install the stringers for good, epoxy coat the inside and start closing it up. There isn't really that much in this hull.

One down side so far has been the artform that is tortured ply in a 1 off scenario, there was no way I could predict the exact section shapes and no one has built this hull before. Sometimes you have to let the wood do what it wants to do. All of the bulkheads in the main hull have been painstakingly patterned and hand fit. This just won't do for the amas. I need to speed up construction so I'm working on a more precise way to predict the ply shape so that I can CNC cut the bulkheads and have two identical amas. This will hopefully speed up construction. Stay tuned. Amas are on the horizon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Steady as she goes

Foreword: Awesome work being done on "The Rise" which is the last remaining Wa'apa that sailed to an amazing Everglades Challenge finish after being built by some crazy college students back in 2007. For a history lesson, just dial back this blog a few years. It's great to see her sailing again at . And she makes her return to the racing scene in under 2 weeks at the North Carolina Challenge under Captain Redbeards command.

The new screen I bought is quite amazing. (HP 2311x) It is a far cry from the 10.5inch screen of the netbook that I have been doing all of my design work on thus far. "Holy cow, now the whole boat fits on the screen. Oh thats much easier!"

Below, securing of the 4 partial bulkheads that will support the floor of the main cabin. Nevermind that the "main cabin" is the size of a sleeping bag. Notches are for longitudinal stringers (11mm x 25mm of Western Red Cedar) of which there are 4 plus the keel batten. The floor will also act as a longitudinal stiffener.

Below, a dry fit of the bottom stringers. They must be slid in from the still open transom after all bulkheads are installed. One disadvantage of building from the outside in. Seems to work fine so far.

View forward from the transom. Far bulkhead is the approximate position of the mast. Note limber holes for drainage. The cabin floor will be semi-self draining with holes to the outside to allow a large amount of water to escape automatically. floor hatches will be "water resistant".

Unfortunately for now, the weather is conspiring against me again. The bulkheads that I cut and fit last night no longer fit the hull as the humidity has swollen the sides of the boat just enough to cause a significant gap. Open air shops can be good...and bad. Hopefully I can sun dry the hull soon and get back to work. A coat of epoxy in it's dry state might be next on the list. In the meantime working on cut files for the Amas.

Interesting geometry problem below related to my hull swelling. If you haven't seen it before, the answer might surprise you or maybe not depending on how much of a nerd you are. In any case,

Say I place a 25,0000-mile-long metal band snugly around the earth. (Assume a smooth planet.) Then I cut the band and splice another 50 feet into it, thus loosening it all around. Can I get my finger between the new-length band and the earth? Can I crawl under it?

Friday, September 09, 2011

Irene Aftermath

We have only now just begun to return to normalcy here at the shop. Irene brought with it a 9.3 foot storm surge into Chapel Creek in our section of the Bay River. One of our boat shops flooded 50inches above the floor. Our "high and dry" shop still received 16inches. Irene sucks.

Some of the tools have come back to life after careful cleaning. Our shop bot tool is now operational again. A new computer had to be ordered. I spent a week remodeling the interior of my small cabin with new insulation and wall panels. I had about 15inches of water in my "house". Work has resumed on the 45' power cat and on the trimaran. Another update maybe next week.

The Trimaran main hull was on a pair of short sawhorses in the higher shop and the hull was "splashed" but suffered no damaged. There is a tub-ring type line around the bottom of the hull. At least now no one can say that I didn't put it in the water before the race.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Step into my office

The Hull is tortured 4mm plywood. Unlike conventional tortured ply cat hulls, I used 3 panels to form the initial shape seen in the previous post. This allowed for a more semicircular cross section with plenty of rocker. With a traditional 2 panel and keel joint, a more V'd bottom is required for the same rocker.

Hull shape finalized. Bulkheads and stringers going in next.

2x4 technology here. A compression strut used to force the
bottom down and narrow the hull.

The first bulkhead. Note also that the inwales and keel stiffener are installed now. The outer 1x2 gunwales are just a form for the hull and will be removed later. I got a bit greedy on the transom shape and wasn't able to pull that much curvature out of the panels so I cut into the joins about 18 inches forward from the aft end and wired them together so I could "reset" the joint angle and narrow the transom further. This angle could have been set when I joined the panels in the first place but this is an experimental 1-off so we go with the flow.

On the cutting edge. Note, again the temporary 1x2 gunwales. She has about a 10 degree half angle of entry so I expect very little wave making resistance from this hull shape.

Friday, August 19, 2011


The design and construction of the trimaran for UFC 2012 next march has taken over my life. The goal is to be sailing her by the end of November. I won't be doing any in depth posts about the build but I will post pictures whenever I feel like it.

Folding up the main hull. First Panels are joined, not much of a boat yet. How did I know what shape to make the panels so that it folds up into a sleek and sexy hull you ask? Well wouldn't you like to know.

Main hull almost to final shape. Compression posts will be used to force the bottom to the final depth which will flatten the sides and narrow the shape further. More pics to come.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Fishing is Hard

Second try fishing off the dock in Chapel Creek off of the Bay River. I was able to catch some minnows off the dock with a little net but this is all I could manage to catch. Need some smaller hooks (lots of bites and lost bait) and... some better bait. I want a flounder BAD.

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Slightly Longer Commute

Some pictures from this week. I've been working on my hatches and Sunday I took the boat out for an overnight in Swan Creek to meet up with Steve on Spartina and another sailing friend who is sailing around the outer banks for the next 2 weeks. Steve was just wrapping up his "walkabout" trip and it was fun meeting up with them and getting the boat out on the water. This morning, I had a slightly longer commute back to work. A 16 mile sail back to Chapel Creek from Swan Creek out in the Neuse River. Sailing to work... allllright, now I can check that off my list.
Hatch Mold. 3 coats of honey wax and 3 coats of PVA partall release film.

Hatch mold with part under vacuum bag.

Drip ring hatch frame installed in port side.

Sailing out to Swan Creek from Chapel Creek. 16 miles out the Bay river and hang a right.

A beat out the river, some paddling around Maw point and a staysail reach down to the creek.

A relaxing sail. Very glad that I got the boat back in the water. I started working on the hatches a couple of weeks ago and wasn't finished but some ducktape and red plastic board fixed that temporarily as you can see in this picture. I'm sure Steve will have some good pics on his blog from his trip over the weekend. Can't wait to read his report.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boat Hatchathon

I just finished laying up a fiberglass hatch frame tonight (the first of 4) that will go into the CS17 Southbound to replace the old hatches and shore up the seat tops. An advantage of living at a boat shop is that there are lots of scraps of material. This frame is made of recycled fiberglass which would have otherwise ended up in the garbage. Big boats make big scraps fortunately.

There are some hairline cracks and some delamination in the seat panels that I wanted to seal up and the old hatches were needing some love. My stomping around on the seat tops during the last few outings on the boat didn't do them any good either. I decided to just make some "stock" CS hatches off of Graham's trusty hatch frame mold that will be more watertight and strengthen the seats as well. I want to try resin infusing one of these but I really needed to get a move on since you can't sit in the boat without the hatches in. This one I just layed up and vacuum bagged conventionally. There have been some really nice sailing days lately that I have had to pass up. Plus if I really get it in gear, I may be able to meet up with Steve on Spartina on Sunday who has planned a multi day trip in the area this weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

St. Thomas Vacation

Taylor I just returned from a 5 day romp in St. Thomas USVI. Originally planned as a training trip for the upcoming (and now cancelled) Tybee 500 catamaran race we turned it into a great vacation with friends and some great sailing thrown in for good measure.

Sign outside a snack bar on the East End

We stayed with friends of mine, another Alan and his wife Cristina in their new home on the north side of the island. He owns and operates 104.3 "The Buzz" radio station serving the USVI and Puerto Rico with nonstop rock and roll and he organizes a lot of charitable and community oriented fund raisers and events through the station. He's a busy guy but knows how to have fun. After being reintroduced to cat sailing a few years ago when Trey and I flew down to do the Rolex regatta he has been with it ever since. He now sails a Hobie 16 and last year he raced in the Tybee 500. Another mutual sailing friend Mark owns a Nacra 20 on island and he was nice enough to let us use it during the trip. Thanks Mark, it was great sailing with you.

Team Alan rig the Nacra 20 for warp speed and maximum ferry chasing capability

Mark- "Hey, you guys can use my boat, no problem, here are the sails, lines, rudders..."
Alan- "Mark, we will take really good care of it."
Mark- "I know you will"

We had a great time blasting around Pillsbury Sound but the above is why we felt really bad about accidentally sailing into a very small and obscure coral patch off of St. John outside the ferry channel. After impact, we managed to keep the boat upright despite Alan's trip to the tip of the spinnaker pole. Afterward, Team Alan limped back to the beach clutching the unfortunate dagger board and generally feeling just SICK about the damage. The starboard daggerboard also known as the "good news board" as well as the hull itself fortunately suffered no damage

As predicted, Mark thought nothing of it and wanted us to take the boat out again the next day. "Just switch the board, you'll be fine". Mark your the nicest guy ever. But no, we picked up some epoxy and glued it back up Wed. night. Just needs some good filler and gelcote and it will be a fine spare but we've got a lead on a new one for him. The least we could do.

"Hey Alan, that water looks kind of funny..." Crunch.

It was a very memorable island vacation thanks to Alan and Cristina's generous hospitality and we can't wait to get back down there again. Maybe for a sailing trip from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico? We'll see.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Goose Creek Island Sailing Weekend

This past weekend my mom talked me into joining her on Goose Creek island (20min from Vandemere) in Hobucken, NC for the second annual paddling party. Of course, I would rather sail and Sail I did. It was a very windy weekend and even today it has been blowing steady 20knots all day out of the West which is unusual. Saturday it was gusting to 35 and I was solo. It wasn't long before I had the main down and was sailing with only the reefed mizzen. Even the windage from the main mast was overpowering little Southbound and so I strapped it to the deck. The boat took great care of me. I have some great video that I'll try to get put together. Here is a picture planing towards Jones Bay at 8 knots with...a reefed mizzen. I really put the boat through her paces and now I'm doing some repair work to pay for it. Don't worry ken, nothing major ;)

Saturday, everyone paddled (I sailed) out of Pates Boatyard and into Jones Bay. We made our way down toward a narrow cut that joined up with the ICW and the plan was to return via the ditch. I made it through the cut to the surprise of many and partially myself but was stopped by fierce headwinds and a knock down where I decided to turn back. If I had looked closer, I might have realized that just a little farther and I would have made it into the ICW and saved myself a couple miles of hard upwind sailing back to camp. Oh well. Sean, the owner of Pates boatyard was on hand with his pontoon boat to pick up those who did not wish to endure the elements further. I think I did about 12 miles on Saturday.

I was able to make it up the narrow channel again the current by a combination of motor sailing and poling with my paddle. It was about a half mile.

Sunday, my mom was up for a sail as was John a resident of Hobucken who is an aspiring sailor and a possible CS17 convert. Maybe he will end up building himself a 17 pretty soon. What do you say John? He seemed quite taken with the boat and was a natural at the tiller. We made good use of the 20 knot breeze on sunday with all three of us on the rail and a reef in the main and mizzen. We sailed down with some other kayakers to a spot known for having pieces of old clay pottery from injun times. We found some stuff that looked like clay with some printing on it. Not sure if it was real or not but was fun to find anyway.

Above, the result of a hard weekend of sailing, The back screws holding my lower gudgeon on worked themselves out and I torqued some slop in the hardware as well as the glue joint at the base of the rudder. Some sandpaper and epoxy will have her strong as new in no time flat.

Happy Boat

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Three Hour Tour

At about 6:30 after work it hit me that it was a pretty nice day (clear and not too cold) and that I had a boat! I could...go sailing. I thought it would be a fun little adventure but couldn't have thought just how cool.

Fleece, Jacket, Pants, PFD, radio, cellphone, hat, sunglasses, SPOT, water bottle, banana, apple, and a jar of peanut butter. (always bring peanut butter). Bam in the boat. Bam masts up, rigging and sailing away from the dock at 6:45pm. 3 hours later I returned, a little changed.

It was chilly and my hands were cold. Gloves would have been a good addition to the list. There was a good breeze from the SE and I decided to just keep going till it was dark and then turn around. Normally that would seem like a bad plan but the sun was already nearly set and the river is pretty narrow so the chances of being lost are slim to none. I made it to the Flashing green #5 just outside of Vandemere (about 4.5 miles from the dock. I rounded the marker and started back. I made it about a quarter the way back on a light reach but the wind died soon there after. And the fun began.

It was just after twilight and the stars were out but the shore and water were illuminated by various streetlights with views of the water and house lights around the river. The boat was ghosting along and I was just sitting in the silence thinking about picking up the paddle. It was very quiet and still. I heard a sound and then another and turned to listen. I recognized the "pshh" as dolphin breath! I sat silently as more breathing came closer. They were too far away to see ripples but judging by the breaths and directions I guessed there were between 5 and 8 of them.

I heard the sound getting fainter and at that point I was very happy to have heard them and so many. I pulled out the paddle and started making my way back. Just as soon as I started paddling, the dolphins returned. This time they were curious. I guess because of the paddle noise and motion. They came closer this time. A LOT closer. At the height of it, there were at least 10 dolphin around the boat. 2 off the bow, then 3 in formation, 2 off the stern, but on either side as well. They were all around and within 2 boat lengths of me. I could hear them talking to each other as their squeaks echoed in the cockpit. It was like I was sitting in a speaker cone. Amazing. I have only heard this once before on board the WTP during my trip with Eye of The World.

I stopped paddling and could hear them breathing and talking all around me which probably lasted only a minute. As they swam farther away, I started paddling again stopping occasionally to see if I could still hear them. What an amazing 3 hour sail. Just when I thought, "crap, now I've got to paddle back" I was reminded what an amazing environment I have access to right outside my back door. It also occurred to me that with a small outboard, I would have been tempted to use it and get back to the warm cabin and would never have had a chance of hearing the dolphins.

I ended up paddling the last half of the return in a dead calm which was ok because the bio-luminescence in the wake of the paddle blade was incredible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


This weekend the trailer hitch came and I got it installed. Got the lights working so i'm ready to hit the road with the new trailer hitch upgrade done on the Corolla. Of course now I'm realizing that the next upgrade is some new rear struts. Can you say low rider.

Of all the trailer wiring and lights I have installed or worked on never ONCE has the operation gone without (wait for it...) a hitch. This time was no exception. I got the converter wired into the tail lights in the trunk and used the little tester. Looks ok. Ok plug into trailer. Left signal, good. Running lights, GOOD. Right signal, uh oh. Brakes, Houston, we have a problem. Then after some more fiddling the signal fuse blows and now the car has no signals. Awesome.

So, after more diagnostic testing... A right side trailer bulb was found blown and a new signal fuse was popped in. Also I found a lost connection in one of the little blue plastic clips used to attach the converter. (operator error). With all that set right the lights work fine. Sigh.... I hate trailer lights.

Off we go to some saltier water.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Southbound to Jordan Lake

Well, its been a busy few months lately. My dad and I are back from the Everglades Challenge which we took the win for in class 4 this year in the Dawn Patrol. We have not yet even fully unpacked from that adventure when off we go again. This weekend marked a momentous occasion for what is sure to be the first of many great trips in my new boat 'Southbound'. The story...

A sailing friend of mine who for some unknown reason decided to get married AND move to Australia has charged me with the care of his beloved Core Sound 17 which he built with his own 2 hands. I know full well the value of a hand made boat since I have built one as well and although his boat wanted to accompany him on his big move south-bound (ha ha) it was not to be. I only hope that I can continue to care for this boat as well as he did by regularly watering it and making sure it gets plenty of wind and sunlight! Taylor and I had been anxiously looking forward to this past weekend when we planned to take her out for our first trip in her, and believe it or not, only our second overnight trip in a boat.

We couldn't have picked a better weekend. Great weather, a full moon, clear skies, and even a Sunday regatta with the Carolina Sailing Club which I of course signed us up for. :)

We had a relaxing start Saturday packing up some camping gear, cloths sunscreen and other miscellaneous sailing stuff and after stopping for food and subways for lunch made our way to see the new boat. Knowing full well how much this boat is used to being sailed and having sailed it before myself. I knew that the boat was probably way more ready to get out on the water than we were. We found the boat sitting patiently in her storage unit with all possible sailing accessories one could ask for. The boat must have really wanted to get to the lake because it followed us the whole way there.

We got to the lake and found ourselves surrounded by bass fisherman, their trailers cars and boats everywhere. Some kind of fishing tournament it turned out but we managed to find a spot and started figuring out how to rig the boat. Well that took all of about 10 minutes since everything was either already rigged or snapped together almost as if someone had put a lot of thought into minimizing rigging time and maximizing sailing time. It took us way longer to get ourselves ready.

We had a great time sailing that day, It was warm and breezy and we focused on getting Taylor caught up on her sailing skills since we plan to do this a lot more. As it turns out she is an excellent sailor and after about 15 minutes of expert instruction she was sailing and trimming like a seasoned pro. By the end of the trip, we were practically finishing each others sailing sentences.

We saw another double masted boat on the lake which just had to be a sea pearl and sure enough when we finally crossed paths who did we find in said sea pearl but none other than fellow watertriber and UFC finisher RunningMouth! who is living in Raleigh and was at the lake testing out his new vertical battened sails with his lady friend. We yacked about watertribe and current events and did some drag racing until they packed it in. We headed back to the ramp to load up our evening gear.

We relaunched with camping gear aboard and motor sailed (paddled) out to a small cove off Poplar point campground and dropped the hook. We set the cockpit tent up (yes she came with a cockpit tent!!!) in the slightest of breezes which kept the mosquitoes away and after getting the boat stowed away and blowing up our air pads we were enjoying the sunset and eating some nice hot hot freeze dried dinners. We agreed that in the future we will try to plan dinners a little more formally. I one day strive to eat aboard like our friend Steve does on his trips. Log of Spartina.

It was a chilly night but we were warm and toasty in our sleeping bags and the moonlight was incredibly. Like sleeping in a tent under the soft glow of a streetlight. I woke up occasionally and watched the moon arc over head until it set across the lake. We took our time waking up and hosted the tent up to dry out in the morning sun. We got underway around 10am and did a quick intro course on setting the stay-sail which we planned to use in the race! We got our system down pat and headed back to the ramp to make some lunch and see what other boats had showed up.

We had about 13 boats on the water. Lasers, Flying Scotts, Lasers, Thistles, a 505 and what came to be our main competition, a buccaneer. We got to the line on time and as I sailed past the race committee boat they asked, "Are you here to race?". Yeah, I said. I signed up on the website. We are the Core Sound 17. "Oh ok. I got you here" they replied. so we were off.

We got in 3 races in very light and on and off wind. At one point I commented that it was just like a game of 'red light green light' where you have to stop and go and stop and go. This is not the CS17's favorite wind condition and we came in dead last on the first race but we had a crappy start. I was still getting warmed up. The second start I was ready and we were fighting for position with the 505 but we both got pushed out right at the committee boat and lost some ground but still managed a win over the buccaneer...who came in last. Ok so the Core Sound isn't much match for large overpowered sloop rigged round bottom racing mono hulls in light and variable conditions but I would have really liked to have been out there in 15 knots just to see the difference. We did however, learn how to sail the boat in light wind and after a while we were heeling the boat hard to leeward to reduce our wetted area and that helped tremendously. The last race was a pretty exciting drag race downwind between us and the buccaneer with our staysail pushing us right along which ended in a photo finish for last and second to last place but we probably had the most fun. We were the last boat back to the beach but thats ok, we were there to sail anyway. And yes, I left the paddle (and one of our anchors) in the car to weight. I'll probably not do that again.

We left the lake with warm and slightly sun and wind burnt faces but we had more fun than we could have asked for and can't wait for next time. Trip #1 down in the books.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Out the door

Lately at the B and B shop we have finished the major fiberglassing of the starboard hull and slid it out the door. We can now start building the 4th and final "side" of the complete boat. The completed starboard hull will be living outdoors until the other side is caught up.

Here is a video of the move. As you can see, the hull is still relatively light weight and 4 of us (and Mandy, the dog) can maneuver it pretty easily by hand.