As I was laminating the lunar lander bits on Tuesday, I got some perspective on the Earthwise ferry. I often take amazing things for granted, and I have done so with this. What Rob Smith has put together is really amazing. My 25 years of doing plywood/epoxy passenger cats were just what he needed for this venture. He knew just where my skill set would fit in to the big picture. And more than a boat, he has organized the entire venture where they will be built there in Africa with local materials. Showboats magazine has featured a mega-yacht with bamboo flooring and called it “sustainable”. This is the real sustainable deal. It will be positively changing the lives of thousands of people. I’m surprised that Wooden Boat or even Pro Boat are not all over this. This is not 17′ lapstrake canoes for dilettantes. This is plywood/epoxy/core fusion creating big positive change.
I did try to interest Workboat in this a year or so ago. They were so disinterested. “If its not a tin boat built in Houma by a guy named Skeeter, keep moving.” was the sense I got. It’s humbling to be part of this.
Uber surveyor Dennis Smith got to run survey on a couple of 25 year old KHSD CM multihulls. Both had minor rot places. Both spots were inside the hulls at remote locations where epoxy was skimped. The trouble is inside, not the outside. The take-away lesson is coat inside thoughly and make sure any damage is repaired. Cove all the joints. Epoxy hulls still need to be ventilated. Note they were both the $6 door skins and not the 6566 that we use now. But coat it good inside!
On a catamaran, you simply measure centerline to centerline front and back, and you’re there.
On a trimaran, if the amas have no angle, or if the sheer line is parallel to the water, the same.
But who wants amas with no angle and no shape on the sheer? On these, if you match centerline forward with centerline aft, your hulls will not be parallel. This slightly ancient graphic shows why. The CM Construction Manual has this and the new Composites Manual underway now will have a newer graphic of the same thing.
We had the only two sunny days in weeks this last Friday and today. I took advantage. Forecast is again rain for as far as we can see. The lunar lander panels were taking over the shop. They had to be epoxied and glassed so they could be moved outside. The dozen panels were arrayed in the sun all over the yard outside as they were glassed. Laying glass did give me ideas for topics here. Not as Zen as sailing, but close. Back in the office tomorrow catching up on designs again.
As I face the prospect of disassembling my trimaran, I am reminded about the most important thing to do with installing any hardware with epoxy. And I hope to find out that I kept this in mind when I built Geko. MOLD RELEASE
Every fastener set into epoxy should have already had mold release was rubbed into it and buffed. Or even green soap. New builders don’t believe it, but much of your hardware will move or be replaced over the years. And I will admit perfidy on this. The evidence is when is forced to use the battery and jumper cables to heat the fastener. Mold release!
Ok I’m still mumbling about the top level house on my 65′ plywood/epoxy passenger ferry being more like would be found on an 85′ cat, but I’m impressed. It sits well on the water and looks to move well. I can start breathing normally again. It should be the first of 10 vessels. Rob is a visionary.
I took a deposit on my boat. Will miss the zen of single-handing at 25 knots. Or passing F boats. When the prime directive becomes “don’t break anything”, the racing becomes less fun. New chapter, if it goes ahead.
I was stumbling around looking for photos for the new composite construction manual. Found this picture from 1980. My first boat. 31′ then. Tim Ryan steering and Dennis Hough on sheet. Hat Island race. Courtesy John Marples.
I always have the notion that I am the only person who ever reads this blog. Matthew tells me however that it is gaining about 20% every month. And it just got a nice write-up in the French Multihulls World magazine! Thanks everybody. I have a list of interesting upcoming topics that I will do.
This new 20/21 foot shuttle cat has begun production at Zuhai, China (near Macao). It is especially intended as a chase boat for rowing teams or as a mini shuttle. Unit #1 has a bit taller cabin than designed.
One of the rules of plastics is that they all degrade in sunlight. The nets on my 40′ x 36′ trimaran seem to be the exception to that rule. My Net Systems knotless black polyethelene nets have been flawless for some 15 years. They do need to be tightened every season.
I give them the leap-off-of-the-hull onto them every so often to impress the crew. I recall the failure point some years ago during the Shaw Island Classic when Mark Evans leaped into the net. The cast padeye holding the net exploded. Many thumbs up on this product. http://www.net-sys.com/catamaran-netting.php
Kurt Hughes on Catamarans, Trimarans, and Boat Design