Mizzen supports

I haven’t been posting much here as I’ve mostly been working on our YouTube channel, however, I thought I would show some pictures of the new mizzen mast foot support work.

Water had damaged the mizzen foot bolt holes so I used a 44mm hole saw to get to dry solid ply. I’ve already removed the wet wood below the 5 leaking deck glands and filled with thickened epoxy.
There was no backing plate, the original bolts just had washers beneath the deck head. The plywood support between the bulkheads fell off, not attached anywhere apart from by the headlining.
This is my new FR4 backing plate (well it isn’t really a backing plate as the load is down from the mast foot). Attached with thickened epoxy so that the load spreads evenly onto it. I’ll be using 10mm bolts with large washers to attach the mizzen mast foot.
I’ve filled the holes from the top with thickened epoxy. Notice the extra holes at the sides to make sure that there are no voids between the deckhead and FR4 sheet. I’m going to put a sheet of fibreglass on top of this to provide abrashion resistance and bind it all together. Then butyl before the mizzen mast foot.
These are the new support beams, I’ve epoxy coated them (apart from the ends in the workmate, I’ll do them tomorrow).
These show where the support beams will go. These will be through bolted to the remaining port and starboard bulkheads and the 3 upright posts that we have added (plus glues with thickened epoxy and I’ll add fibreglass tape to the joins with the deckhead. There will be a plywood “pad” filling the gap between these and the FR4 sheet. The goal is to tie everything together and make sure that the loads from the mizzen mast are carried without distorting the structure.

I am also adding some fibreglass tape to increase strength where we have cut away the starboard bulkhead to provide access to our “pullman” style double bed.

While doing this work in the aft cabin we have also finished (at last) the chainplate backing plates in the aft cabin. They were the first we did and we over complicated things with a full length plywood backing plate, plus a shorter plywood backing plate for the 3 shroud attachment points. Anyway the FR4 plates have been added and so that part of epoxy work in the aft cabin has been completed.

We have also been working in the lazarette on supports for the solar panel frames. As part of that work we found and fixed a void in the stern at the hull/deck joint and the damage caused by the davits that had been fitted without backing plates.

Now back to the video editing that will show all this.

Lots of updates

Been a bit slow updating the blog, we have several new videos and this evening I have bought a new-to-us mainsail (from a Westerly Fulmar). We will probably have to add a very small extra reef point as the default setting point because it is very slightly too large but for £200 it will be a lot better than what we have. That significantly reduces the amount of work to do on sails (just new soft webbing hanks on the foresails).

We are not at the boat this weekend as we both have Covid and it has laid us up all week.

Anyway on with the videos, quite dramatic changes:

After some discussions on the Rival FaceBook group and further reflection I think some compromises were forced on Peter Brett when drawing the centre cockpit version of the 38. So there wasn’t enough space for a full length v-berth, a watertight bulkhead and a route for the chain that wasn’t through the middle of the berth. They chose a v-berth for kids, a neatly hidden chain but no watertight bulkhead (which the 41 has, not sure about the other models).

Our priorities are different. We want low risk (hence watertight compartments), better anchoring (more and heavier chain below deck, electric windlass, bigger anchor that self stows better – we have a whole load of videos about the new bow roller), maximised sailing performance (hence wanting to store the chain as far aft as possible for better weight distribution). So we are not at all worried that occasional guests will clamber/crawl into either the port side generously sized adult berth or the starboard child sized berth.

We won’t finish this cabin apart from the bulkheads and shoot for the chain until next year but it will be enough for us to fit the windlass and so be able to anchor.

We would really appreciate it if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, it is free. Plus Like and share the videos as it really helps us grow the channel. Especially we welcome your comments on them.

Only 1 month to go and I’ll have 3 months working almost full-time on the boat as I have a work Sabbatical. So there should be lots of progress 🙂

External Dyneema Chainplates update

Our latest video has been getting some really helpful comments on YouTube as well as directly. It has also helped us to reach a new milestone 🙂

It definitely seems worth exploring more. Particularly to consider some of practicalities that people have raised including:

  • Is the sheer strength of the Stainless Steel bolts sufficient? Potentially, the load on the bolt could be reduced by attaching the plates for the dyneema eyes with epoxy. Or they could be replaced by carbon fibre tubes epoxied into place.
  • Is dirt going to get in the dyneema and damage it? Could the solid shield protecting from chafe also stop water washing dirt in? Would a soft sleeve such as we plan for our chainplate loops help?
  • Will the water flow damage the Dyneema? Much the same issue as with dirt above.
  • Might there be resonance issues with the lashing (apparently might be more of a problem with more loops of thinner lashing).
  • Will the wider stance affect sheeting angles? Depends very much on the rig. It might allow a cutter rig to be sheeted inside the shrouds.
  • Should we use a standard thimble or low friction ring, potentially with a solid infill to avoid a point load from the bolt? We were trying to avoid metal in the water and keep the cost down but this might well be a good solution.
  • More thinking about whether to have a separate cover to keep the dyneema on and to provide chafe protection, possibly so that the cover can be removed without affecting the chafe protection for inspection or replacement.

We are planning a similar design for attaching a Jordan Series Drogue (JSD), potentially better than our previous idea.

Anyway, thank for the support on YouTube, it is encouraging and YouTube responds by sharing the videos more.

Bow roller getting to dry fit

Our next video is now on YouTube as we get to dry fit the new Bow Roller (biggest Rival Bow Roller in the world?). We even have Subtitles/Closed Captions this time.

As we create new videos we are basically working at developing three playlists at the moment:

  • Boat Refit Progress
  • Low Footprint Sailing
  • Boat Refit Tips

The best way to catch them is to Subscribe to the channel (remember to hit the notification bell).

The best ways to help us improve the videos and keep them coming are to:

  • Watch them to the end
  • Click the Like thumbs up
  • Comment on the video
  • Share the videos on Social Media

Many thanks

Our first Boat Refit Tips video

Just uploaded:

We would love it if you watch the video and like it 🙂 Comments on the video really help too, we will reply to them!

As we work to build our Sustainable Sailing YouTube Channel it would really help us if you subscribe (and hit the notify bell). As you look on the channel we are going to be standardising on Orange thumbnails for Tips, Red for refit Progress and some other colour for more reflective/theoretical videos.

We have lots more Boat Refit Tips videos planned (and we think we will keep them under 10 minutes long so that they focus reasonably tightly one issue). Do you think that is a good way for us to go? Any suggestions of what you think we be helpful?

Next Bow Roller video is here

Just published this:

One of the challenges we face by trying to sustainably pace ourselves is that a job like fitting the new bow roller takes quite a few visits to the boat. However, we think the process of filling from the new backing plate to deck level using scraps of FR4 with thickened epoxy is a little novel.

This is an area that just need to be strong in compression (sandwiched between the backing plate and the bow roller). FR4 is ideal here as we will never need to worry about water ingress through the bolt hole causing rot. It is a lot quicker (and better in compression) than building up with layers of fibreglass. We don’t need to worry about cosmetics as this part is going to be completely buried. Nor do we need to worry about a smooth finish on top as it will be covered by a larger FR4 board that will be bedded with more thickened epoxy. This board will also include raised bases for the forward pulpit feet to keep them drier.

Later we will create the curve at the aft end with a small wood batten and then the whole lot will be encased in fibreglass cloth to fully tie it to the bulwarks and give us a surface to fair up before painting.