Tuesday, December 16, 2008

hand luggage

heres a concept, maybe for the mach 3: a moth that fits in a suitcase! or better still hand luggage. they have fishing rods that do it.

step 1: cut your mast/hull/wings up into little pieces
step 2: place in luggage
step 3: reassemble at desired glabal destination.*

*nick flutter takes no responsibility for any complications arrising from above process
Just a few more images of the specific failures. you can see that the pocket was clean, no sand, dirt or grit. the sail has been rigged up pretty much exclusively on this lawn the last 10 times. and the condition of the mast is, well, brand new.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

1 hour sailing, 3 hours commuting, 2 masts and 1 drunk dude with a broken spirit.

The photos say it all really. 2 out of 3 attempts to go for a sail have had me in my gear, getting ready to lift the boat in the water and this. First my old mast, below the hounds, so i put it down to age or cracks or something. Today's victim was a bladerider mast that had been used twice. im not sure why its happening - maybe i had too much vang on or something when the boat was leaning over. but it was well and truly eased from where id have it sailing, like at 30%. same with cunningham, at say 40%. maybe my spreaders are keeping the bottom section too straight. but how do you tell that? there was about 50mm of 'kink' in the forestay after the mast broke, no idea what it had before. maybe my rig tension was too much, but i doubt it. maybe i crushed it last time i sailed in like 20 - 25kts, maybe a manufacturing flaw (but the new one broke in 2 places) maybe i broke it when i cranked the cunningham while rigging , boat upright, to see how flat i could get the sail for the windy day. but i have 2 less purchases on that than lots of people, and i didnt go past the red line on the mast. maybe its because this mast was different to the standard ones, apparently having a stiffer top section, and that stiff section couldnt take the bend that i put on it with the long front prodder. but then why did the last one break that the spreaders were designed for? surely there is more load when your out sailing...
anyway id be interested to know if anyone has seen this before, and whether, when you rest the boat on the mast, there is a common law that you let the control lines completely go.
to top it off i got yelled at (and told to fuck off) by some RQYS voulenteer with 3 missing teeth, who was at me to move my car when i was packing away the broken bits in despair. a great day in sunny queensland.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the next iteration:
bow higher, aft deck convex, aft wing struts... strutting, gantry (not fully thought through) more kingpost rake to resist max loads (12 deg), decision made not to slope the transom because i couldnt get it to look cool (tiny transom anyway, might revisit this) tramp not updated re. filling holes slightly.
Still not sure about the volume / freeboard, im inclined to thing there is too much at the mast, (450mm to top of deck) yet to measure a bladerider for comparision.

the rest of that foil article

Heres the rest of that article. 80s gold.
Aso i just want to put it out there.. i have hinge damage...

Though i have yet to lose the whole thing on foreign soil, this moderately irreparable cracked hinge may be something that we will be seeing more often.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

foil article

heres something i just stumbled apon when flicking through a 1983 issue of Australain Sailing. may explain why some people have massive rudder ventillation issues and I dont seem to. my rudder is a 66012 as opposed to a 0012. bring back decent sailing journalism!

new stuf (hull, wings etc.)

so ive been neglecting this for a while, mainly due to another architecure folio.
been sailing a few times, but mainly been in front of the computer evolving into one of those hunched, pale, widescreen-format-eyed little creatures (from the future).

anyway the whole time i was studying i was sidetracked with a stack of new ideas for a moth, and im pretty sure ill be building something over the summer "break". The lines are from Doug Culnane's Lord Flasheart, designed in collaboration with Adam May. (cheers doug, looks great)

Flasheart is available for home builders like myself to have a crack at, so in the interests of total tansparency ill be chucking everything up here form design to eventual completion. that puts the pressure on to not fuck it up i suppose.

construction will hopefully be by female mould, cut from high density foam using a 3d router. dont know how much that will cost yet, but the plan B is a hot wire and ply plug. the boat will be built in 2 halves, vacuum moulded etc etc. the aim is to keep construction extra simple and quick so that the thing isnt still half finished in a year or 2. kinda defeats the purpose. 10kg for the hull will be acceptable, but i will of course be going for lighter. as this is my first go i want to make sure it holds together.

what the wind 'sees'

there are a couple of odd ideas in this. this is only the first iteration, i might do a few versions with different configurations to get a feel for what will work best, be lightest and cheapest. I'd love some feedback on what you think will work and what wont. at this stage i think its better to get a bit of consensus on things. The main decisions i've made with this one:

  • Foredeck, wavepiercing bow - The stem is even shorter than Flasheart, which is on the short side as it is. im hoping that the bow in this configuration will go further underwater without digging in, and use the buoyancy around the mast base to pop back up. i find that most of my stacks at the moment are due to the drag of the foredeck, tramps and ropes stopping the boat, rather than the pitch.
  • Kingpost, Recessed foil wingbars - The foil shapes are mainly there to reduce fricion when the hull does go under a wave, though they should reduce windage a bit too. circles are terrible in terms of drag and im avoiding them as much as i can. The kingpost is cantillevered from the keel, so there is no need for a forward support, that adds areodynamic and hydrodynamic drag. ill make a bladder mould for the kingpost, so i can cantrol the fibre orientation and reinforcement.
  • Wings - Raised up and out of the way of everything. the freeboard is slightly lower than flasheart aft, (50mm) the wings are slightly higher. They are airfol shaped, only because i think it would actually reduce drag a bit. it opens up a big gap between the tramp and hull which will reduce windage.
  • Flare - I altered the bow of Flasheart a bit to include a 10 - 15mm deep step. for lift.
  • Centreboard is 100mm further forward that Doug had it - his was in the same place as my current boat, on which mast is 200mm further aft. what is a standard dimension these days from transom to front of centreboard case? assuming 8 degree strut rake.
  • the outside wing bar continues aft of the back wing bar. the joint is easier, and you reduce tramp area, while still having somewhere to sit. and if i find the back bar is too far forward, i dont have to buy new outer bars.
  • There is only one internal bulkhead at the centreboard case, which is pretty small. (divides in 2 as per rules) some diagonal reinforcing will be built into the hull laminate.

anyway the only things i am sure about at this stage are the general freeboard, and the step in the chine.. foredeck could come up, aft deck could be convex (better for 3d router). wings could atach to the hull (i feel it may be better to have something solid to stand on, rather than just tramp, though this means reinforcing the deck a bit?)

anyway ill keep plugging away, please email me if you have any ideas

Monday, October 13, 2008

been out sailing a couple of times since the lake

the boat is getting better and better. the foil mods were aimed at reducing induced drag when the flap is fully deflected, and do seem to give a smoother accelleration at takeoff. the wand system is getting better fast, with my bendy bit of aluminium allowing for the whole thing to be mangled on the water. ive taken all the slack out of it and i now get that bumpy feeling when the boat is going quick upwind, and have a greater range of where i can sit.
my dodgey skin fitting rudder adjuster works a treat as well, after a bit of WD40! ive also managed to reduce a bit of friction everywhere (hello wd40 again!) and im now almost at bladerider standard in this department.
the flap hinge incorporated into the laminate has started to crack and distort, and im not sure ill do it agian. if i do, ill use something different. the problem is you cant replace it when it gets a bit shit (if this one gets worse, ill cut it off and do a sikaflex hinge)
its now obvious that the boat is too heavy, too leaky, and the foils are too square. time, it seems, for a new boat!

Monday, August 25, 2008


lake cootharaba is getting a bit too shallow. the long walk out to the middle to get on is getting too long. and then you get the boat up and get on and you're sitting on the foils on the bottom, i ended up just sitting  back dragging them through the mud until i was up and going, then trying pretty hard no to crash. and repeating this procedure after every tack.

aside from that the boat went well, and improved over the weekend. in 10 - 12 or more it goes fine around the course. in less than that i can foil on reaches and sometimes upwind but not really downwind, and i cant point. since the setup is getting close to good, i'm starting to blame weight, 'square foil drag' and 'fat ass hull drag'. these are things that wont be fixed with tuning, though i plan to make a few changes to minimise 'odd shaped gantry drag' and 'poor sailor finesse drag'. also im getting the pocket in the sail adjusted to my mast, which may hopefully pull some draught back in the sail to line up with my aft centreboard case. i think that may give me some more height upwind. 

anyway that said i had moments of glory; like picking through a fleet of A calss and nacra 5.8 cats on a reach in 10 kts. or beating sharpies and MGs around the track in breeze, despite my shit upwinds.

on the way home some tired dude ran up the back of the trailer in traffic on the highway, doing about 20ks and we were stopped. missed the gantry (that hangs 600mm over the back of the trailer) by centimetres, broke some lights and stuf on the trailer and sheered the bolts connecting the hitch on. so while his car got put on a tow truck with some pretty severe facial modification we sat on the side of the highway wondering how we were going to get 3 M12s to get the trailer back together and get home. anyway long story short his dad rolled up to take him home, turned out he worked with my dad, (brisbane is small) so they went off on a mission to get bolts leaving me and the tired dude who'd just nearly written off my boat to make small talk for an hour on the side of the highway. fun times.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


went out for a sail in gusty 15 kts with Rod from the gold coast. the boat went ok, though the flap response is still not adequate despite all the improvments. i need another change of wand to a bladerider style thing with a substantial flat bit on the end, that will pull it back propperly. also the straight wand is the way to go.
had a go on Rod's bladerider, and doesn't that make it obvious that my boat is underperforming! you just sheet on, point it, it pops up to the right height and accellerates endlessly, without spontaneously launching out of the water, tipping over sideways or sinking back down. i think i hit over 20 on his velocitek, though it may have been lying. the linkages on his boat were working overtime, while mine were kinda stopped, lethargic. it was interesting to see my boat being sailed well by someone else also, and i know a couple of things. it can go quick upwind when sailed propperly, though probably not in less than 15 kts. It looks really bulky when foiling compared to all the other boats. its like the fat kid.
resolve to put it on a diet. failing that a new hull/wings.
new bladerider sail is an improvment, needs slight luff adjustment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


i did a couple of maths and realised that some of my light-air trouble is possibly stemming from my technique, rather than from setup problems. (would be great if it turns out this is the case.)

Basically when i sit at the back of the boat and try and launch, i can get up to about 7 degrees angle of attack on the centreboard foil as the bow lifts up, and my boat's fat ass drags in the water. lifting off like this the wand starts moving the flap up, as the front of the boat starts to clear of the surface. in this configuration, with the flap down say 5 degrees out of 20, the centreboard Cl is 1.57 and Cd is 0.0193
If on the other hand i was to sit really far forward and keep the nose buried, i could keep the flap at say 15 degrees down, at the same stage of takeoff. in this configuration the centreboard angle of attack is 0 degrees, but with the extra flap deflection im still getting a Cl of 1.54 and a Cd of 0.0156. so this is better, same lift for about 80 to 85% of the drag. ill try it out on the weekend.

also i ripped off my crappy wand. finally. i laid up some new bits tonight that will allow me to adjust everything about the wand, and to use carbon rod and tube of varying stiffness and size. I have a choice of two wands to start with - a straight stiff one with flexible tip and a kinked, stiff one like the old prowlers, with a flexible tip as well. ill try both on saturday weather permitting. The aim of all this is to keep the flap at full deflection while the bow is within a foot of the water. the winning wand gets glory. and to stay on the boat. it is possible that they will both lose, in which case shame will be brought apon their families. and they both also die.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


went out today for a few hours to test the new modifications. conditions were like 3 to 12kts. anything above about 8 i was foiling, though probably needed 10 to go upwind and downwind propperly. everything worked well, no breakages, nothing moved at all. didn't capsize or crash, but i was playing it pretty safe. tried a foiling tack and almost threw myself off the back corner of the wing, holding onto the tramp lacing with my feet. it turns much quicker on foils!

The linkages work much better, and the rudder adjutment in particular is a massive step up from what i had. the wand vibrates when going slow, which is annoying, so ill take to it with the grinder and make it flatter on one side. also thinking about a flat surface on the end, so that not as much of it drags in the water.

i need a new sail.

im not quite happy with the angle of the centreboard. i noticed that i had the rudder trimmed back, flap up about 5 degrees, to the point where half the time it was actually pulling the transom down; you could see because the top gudgeon was touching the top of the gantry, rather than there being a small gap. seems to me the rudder foil could be smaller. before i go cutting stuf im going to make an F-box of sorts, a contraption that lets me adjust the rake fo the centreboard over about 5 degrees on the fly. also i want to put a small bulb at the T joint of the centreboard, to hide a wad of carbon uni that i will wrap around the leading edge at the T. the crack didnt get any bigger, but im not going to risk breaking this foil. so there's 2 or 3 projects to keep me busy(er).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

linkages relinked

just a quick note: the boat is nearly back in one bit again!
all linkages are now stainless, after much swearing at (breaking of) expensive taps/dyes. there is less slack and the ends are more robust, especially the new flap joint which is a beast. see below, pretty self explanatory. i think the bladeriders have a similar thing, with the benefit of having a nice thick bullet fairing to hide all the shit in. i reckon ill have to fair it a bit.
the main foil appears to be at a good angle to the static waterline, about +1.5 to +2 degrees; i think the flap was just jamming in the 'up' position after the linkage broke within 10 seconds of leaving the ramp, giving me that 'sucking' feeling. also theres a 10mm long crack at the t joint of the new centreboard, not sure if its superficial or not. im keeping an eye on it. be sailing soon, should be interesting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The States

Im not actually on the same lap as matt...

1. out of control approaching the bottom mark. i was on the same lap as the scows.

2. at least i missed them.

well I finised two races, and in one of them i beat another boat.
Had a couple of teething problems as you do when your that unprepared at a regatta.
Saturday was a bit of a write-off, as it was squalling through at 20-30kts as predicted. there was one boat in a fleet of 11 which did not sustain any damage, and that was Matt with his bladerider. He sailed the boat pretty damn well for the conditions. The sheer variety of damage seen on the rigging lawn after racing was abandoned was impressive even for a moth regatta. I lost my rig, and in the process busted a panel in my pretty shagged sail. (fixed with gaffa tape) The foils were fine, but they were probably to blame for the whole 'losing the rig' caper in the first place.

I have somehow managed to stuff up the angle of atack of the centreboard, i think. There isn't enough +ve angle, which meant i wasn't getting up and foiling at the kind of low speeds i should be able to. I will fix it by increasing its forward rake, which in the long run isn't a bad thing. This means i need to modify my centreboard case thing.

The rudder adjustment systems is shit. needs a better sollution.

Both ball joints failed on saturday, and though i tried to fix them with 5 minute epoxy, they were too loaded up and snapped again within minutes. So i sailed Sunday with no flaps at all, and it was predictably hard to foil and hairy once up. I have a new 'bladerider inspired' sollution, which should work or at least look a bit pro. Means ill have to go back to stainless rod for pushrods instead of fibreglass. no big deal.

Anyway, for the next month or so I've got a bit on at uni, probably not much will happen on the boat. After that ill sort out a new mast and sail, and get to work on the few things to tune before i go sailing agian.

Friday, April 18, 2008

race ready but no sail today

its 30kts from the SE today. had a couple of odd jobs to do, could have dropped the boat down to the coast today and got a quick sail in but i decided it wasnt worth it. probably better to get some uni work done. Rigged it up as best as i could in the garage to make sure the flaps worked etc. they did, here are a couple of images.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Done and dusted

Dusted figuratively not literally. The dust will blow off on the highway tomorrow.
Missing one tripple block on the cunningham, ill have to get that on the way. The forecast is for breeze, 20-30kts, i am dobtful whether the boat will last the weekend and more doubtful about the sail. (now largely just gaffa tape) However i haven't fixed the low-rider rudder so foiling it is, and theres no backing out. The boat is literally rough aroud the edges, and obviously underprepared, but pending the success of the ball joints on the flaps (curing now) i'd say all the systems are go. [im liking this motif of using cliches in their original context] The adjustable gantry looks pretty good, though i realised why everyone else's have only one lower strut and not two; there needs to be some flex in the joint between the strut and the bottom gudgeon to facilitate easy adjustment. anyway its fine for now, hopefully i've got the angles right and i wont need to adjust it. The cams seem to work in the sail, ill wait and see on that one as well. i have a spare just in case.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

gantry done pending 12 hours @ 80deg.

The release went well from the mould, by my standards. (lucky i didnt spend too much time on the mould.) The vacuum finish is impressive, the part is actually lighter than my previous gantry and 200mm longer. and intact. yay. at this point i declare the design to be good, and the construction to be good. lets see how we feel after a couple of sails...

The ball joints on the other hand were a complete failure, i tested them with a good solid yank and they came off. will swage copper ones tomorrow. also got the rudder gudgeons on. 6 jobs to go.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


My $150 ebay vacuum pump came through with the goods!
im bagging everything form now on! something to bag, ill bag it. fibreglass, oranges... small animals... lock up your pets!
yeh anyway so i had a couple of small issues getting it to work, seeing as it was my first go, and the job was quite complex. i think that box was the most complex thing i've ever laid up; it had lots of different ingredients and was awkward to get your hand into. My main problem with the vacuum was in the spikiness of the mould. You wouldn’t think so hey. The spikes, nails, bits of glue/bog etc made a couple of little holes in the bag, and i tried patching them up with tackytape. Didn’t work, so i got a whole new bag (garden strength garbage bag) and put the whole mould and bag in that. Taped it up. sweet.
Carboned up the other bit of the gantry, the two tubes. Also stuck some little globs of glue in the exact right places on the control rods in the foils to serve as the balls in my flap ball joints. Got the stainless T piece welded also, thanks to Rod at Astro Metal for being a good bloke.
8 things to go on the list.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

working parts

tried out the vacuum today, seems to work. will have a more definitive answer tomorrow when i 'bag' the gantry.
otherwise on track to be done for thursday night hopefully for a sail on friday!
rigged up my flap adjustment systems, the rudder system is a bit questionable. not sure if i have gone forwards or backwards with that one. (the extra bits on the rudder are the remains of my old system; im not prepared to write that one off just yet.
The centreboard control mechanism needs a taller mounting block to attach the cable to the cockpit floor, and i think ill bodgey something up there cos i already have the gear to stick a rod through the boat bladerider style. just not the time. there is more friction than id like in that system but at least not too much slack.
Overall im pretty happy with the new main foil, which is now completely done sans ball joint. The top skin hinge is neat, and flexes really well, and the gap closes up completely when the flap is at full deflection. I have an issue with some .5mm lips on the top surface around the hinge, due to my not laying the kevlar up in the mould, but tacking it in later. not top priority though. if it survives one regatta i might think about fixing those.
pretty hectic day tomorrow of uni and gantry, with a few vacuum bits still to get. we'll see if i cant stuff up my schedule.

a sigh of relief for the foils are done...

pretty much anyway.
a few cuts here and a few holes there, a bit of sanding.

the rudder is strengthened almost to the centreboard spec, it will hopefully be strong enough. (in its defence it is 2/3 the area... your honour.) i made it shorter beneath the boat so its foil travels 60mm above the line of the centreboard foil, and out of its downwash. there will be a reduction of the torque on the gantry from steering and foiling high, and also it will help the foil ventilate in a crash and thus not snap. we hope. and since there is not so much rudder in the water when foiling high, it will reduce my tendency to jam the tiller towards me to bear off before crashing, as that little bad habbit was breaking things... well reduce it by making it pretty much ineffective. hopefully my new reduced friction centreboard flap will help in that respect too.

Now for the gantry. The QLD moth states and my deadline are fast approaching (we're inside a week) The gantry should take 3 or 4 days to put together so i may even be able to rig the boat before the regatta. ha! as if. I bought a vacuum pump off ebay today for $160 bucks, which i think was an ok buy, and its in brisbane too so ill pick it up tomorrow, get some tacky tape on monday and be sucking on monday night. in the mean time i need a jig to get the angles of the tubes right and get them glued/carboned together.

other than that i need to fix the hole in the boat (i bought a clear bulkhead cap for it, stuck it on, but it was a tight fit so when i tested it after the sikaflex had dried, i realised it was squashed and the cap wouldnt screw in.) (try again timmy. Timmah!) I need to get my welding bloke to weld my little stainless gudgeon for the gantry lower attachment, i need to get a batten for my sail, and i need to make those fiddly little ball joints that attach the rods to the flaps.

and that is all.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bell Cranks and linkages

Knocked off a few niggling little jobs today. It's been hard to work around uni and last night was my first good sleep all week (3am - 11am). will be no such luxury tonight, this counts as procrastinating and i have a meeting at 1pm tomorrow (sunday!) and about form now till then worth of exploded axonometric diagram to do...

Anyway i got the bell cranks designed and cut out. All the linkage bits i pretty much thought up as i went along, though i had a vague idea of what i wanted; they definitely had to be bigger than before, and i wanted to minimise friction and slack as much as possible. The little carbon forks on the fibreglass rods I think were a good idea, easy to make, we will see whether they hold together or not. they look pretty tough anyway. My little stainlless threaded fork is an M5 turnbuckle body that i cut up, and took about 5 minutes to make with the grinder. The thread is done for you its great.

I also took the opportunity to finish off the cams and do the wand as well. The centreboard system is pretty done save a bit of bog and the ball joint on the flap. Im waiting until I've done the gantry before i cut the rudder to length and put its linkages together.

I checked the centreboad foil angle of attack today too (first time in the boat) and its what i wanted (good management more than anything i think!) between +1.5 and +1.8 degrees on roungh calculations. Much more than that and you start paying drag penalties, but form memory up to about that range you only gain 1% or 2% Cd but significant Cl.

Also i went to pick up the carbon tube I got from CST for the gantry from the post office as i was out when the courier rocked up (as is always the case) but the post office is apparently shut on the weekends??? wtf? how backward are we! I now get the whole '5 working days' thing. There must be an easier way to get something from one person to another... in this day and age.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It had a baby and then the baby had a baby.

What i am of course referring to is what is by now one of my favourite things to do; pulling a mould of something out of the oven and then pulling some nice looking carbon bit out of the mould. and intending to wait until it is cool to open the mould but not having the patience and getting burnt. and in this case dropping half the mould on my toe.

cool. so randemnity aside, i have, for the most part, a foil. the flap works after a bit of cracking of stray bog, and the recess i made in the mould (at the T joint for the flap) came out perfectly.
The oven sat on 75-80 degrees for 24 hours, last time it was summer and it all got a bit hotter, more like a solid 80-85. and the resin loves that, so consequently i haven't got the tesnile strength in the resin quite as good. and it has a different, dull pitch when you knock it. but its still ok. that coupled with the better lay-up and a couple of other dirty tricks i have up my sleeve (rubs hands together) should hopefully make this one not break.
so also the top hinge worked well. The kevlar is 2 layers of 75g, one at 45 degrees, so its pretty much exactly as flexible/stiff as it needs to be. as you can see the gap closes up pretty much prefectly when its fully deflected, which will be fine, as id say it will create turbulant bubble at the kink and be pretty efficient. with the flap up at high speed the separation point on the bottom surface is well forward of the gap, so no real drag there either I imagine. Thats my (probably ill informed) justification anyway. wait and see.

Monday, March 31, 2008


laid up all the carbon on friday, laminated the 3 bits together today. went fine, im happy with the amount of material, though this time i didn't reinforce the skin so much at the exit point and at the T-Joint. There was still ample weight of carbon in those areas but, the weakness last time was in how i dealt with the shear loadings.

Anyway i've improved the sheer resistance in a couple of ways, the result of which will hopefully be a long as prosporous, successful life for the foil: (carreer as a banker, hot wife and a couple of kids, townhouse in central sydney, big boat etc.)
  • First of all the T joint has no foam in it at all, just glue (sp microfibres). Last time it was foam and bog (Q-cells) with carbon strands in it, that wasnt enough.

  • There is some diagonal carbon along the front and back inside edges in the areas of high shear stress - i just chuked it in there with a big glob of glue in the middle; the idea is that when the mould squeezes together it gets pushed to the places the glue is oozing out.

  • you can see in the photo I integrated my carbon T-piece into the bottom surface, that pushed straight up into the foil and is encased in glue. hopefully there is no way in the world it will separate from the bottom skin, or pull out of the strut.

  • Lastly i plan to further tie the leading and trailng edges of the foil together around the T joint area and the exit area by making carbon 'wet bolts', at about 30-50mm centres for about 250 - 300mm, to join the top and bottom surfaces. ill put photos of them up when i do them.

Also i cut my finger twice in the same spot with the grinder. first time with the cutting disk then again with a sandpaper disk. the second time it went straight through my nice fresh band-aid. I put a heavy glove on after that. When you wear a glove you might as well have a bit of wood for a hand.

Friday, March 28, 2008

waxed and ready

I think this is turning into a way for me to summarise my days work, so i can swich off and so it doesnt keep me up half the night planning anf recapping. and mistyping.

anyway i thought id get the foil laid up today, but kinda ran out of time and oomph.

made a last minute alteration to the mould; something id been planning to do but forgot about. its made out of some thin acrylic filled with araldite/Q-cells, took 5 minutes to set. stoked. i wanted it to be quick as at that point i still thought id be putting some carbon down over it tonight.

Its there to create the gap between the foil and the flap, so i dont have to cut a gap and thus stuf up the carbon skin. also last time i had to reinforce the centre of the flap from the outside after id made the cut, this time i can do it from the inside and it will all be flush. saved some time. its a bit rough cos i didnt sand it at all, just chucked wax straight on, but itll do. may have to bog the foil slightly (probably will anyway, as the fibres wont want to bend around, and i dont have a vacuum set up yet.)

Came to the realisation that i should have wet out the flap hinge in position in the mould, and stuck the plastic spacer strip on it there too. now i have to glue it in with PVA, and glue the spacer onto it. hopefully the mould type PVA will stick it. I wasnt organised yesterday to do that, so it never would have happened, but for next time...

Also completed step 2 of the cams, ill see how they come out tomorrow. ill bake them with the foil so ill post a photo of the finished product. i think they will be ok.

The carbon is now cut out too. its such a shame to cut up those big perfect sheets, but you gotta grit your teeth and do it. and hope you get it right. the hull became a pretty good bench, at 21kg bare, i think it is almost better as a bench than as a hull. anyway thats a couple of projects down the track. Oh also i cut a hole in the hull that i really shouldnt have cut... more on that later.

Finally i just want put it out there and say thanks to Andrew and Scott at CG composites for being so helpful with the resin and reinforcements, bog, glue, and peel ply etc. and to Mel and Miller and David at Glascraft Marine for putting up with my crap. From those two places i've been able to get 90% of the materials I need to keep this project going, and some good sound (and patient) advice, which has probably been the diference between a semi success (so far) and a complete cock-up. also Bretts/Bunnings you're both wankers, though 'Tube Sales' at Yatala i like.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

gantry mould, cams, foil prep

Unrolled the sail today and noticed that its not only completely shagged, but i was missing 4 out of 5 cams. i think i gave them to emo in return for partly busting his sail. so anyway i've half finished a new set of 5 out of carbon, i dont think there will be any weight saved rather its just easier than finding where to buy them. when theyre done ill decide whether theyre good or not. i hope they dont snap in a race. just one more thing to go wrong.

also laid up the T piece to tie the bottom plate of the foil into the T joint, and also the tang to attach the gantry to the transom (in the same mould.) mould looked cool i took a photo. The T piece i will drill some holes in, to make sure it bonds well to the bottom plate, also i will put a couple of layers of carbon over the top of it.

Did the hinge as well, had an interesting incident with the leftovers of my hardener-heavy resin (to make it a bit more flexible than normal) started smoking and actually boiled and set in the tin at the same time. must have been hot today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

construction commences!

about a year late... but hey. what can you do.
hopefully it will all be done in time for the states on the 19th of april. if the new foil's maiden voyage is race 1 then i guess that constitues success. !.
The foil is designed with some sneaky new improvements, and i have re-surfaced the moulds (they are a fraction more accurate to the NACA shape now) and added and subtracted aluminim strips as appropriate. The front edge of the foil is now 10mm forward of the strut, so that the rod has more leverage on the flap. I've stuck the moulds back together like before, so that all the angles are adjustable, using longer bolts this time, and the result resembles some kind of fusion beween a smoked chedder and a jarlsberg. lots of crumbly holes. whatever, they'll get covered in wax and resin anyway.

I've also designed a new gantry, maxed out to 500mm, as the spacing between my foils is, well, close, due to the limitations of working with an existing boat. Ill make a good mould for this so that sometime down the track, if need be, i can make a good, light version with my vacuum gear that im going to buy when i get cash. Although if there is a new hull, there may as well be a new gantry. orrite so ill make a slap-up mould. or just buy vaccuum gear now.
I've sussed out a (hopefully more effective) new rudder flap adjustment system using a piece of string and a cleat and some elastic/pulleys etc. we'll see how that goes.

also my stsainless cables inside the foils are going to get replaced with some nice smooth fibreglass rod. the centreboard first, the rudder may need to wait until after the states. Ultmately there will be a bladerider style tube through the foredeck so i can do away with the friction-friendly throttle cable. and a new wand hinge mechanism.

i have my work cut out for me i guess, but im on holidays this week so ill get right into it and see if i can't get a foil laid up and a gantry laid up by next friday
to buy:
release wax and PVA release agent
fibreglass rod & end fittings
new wing tramps
some rope and pulleys