Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Foam Toaster

I have started on a foam toaster, since I'm still not in the shed its been the surrogate project. I'm using used and salvaged parts and some bought bits and pieces. I think it will only be necessary for the Floats. Ill likely pass it on to another builder when I have finished them I guess.

I had an old PID temp controller pulled because it was suspect, but seems that it was OK in retrospect. I've incorporated an old scavenged 24V relay board and an HVAC switch with some low cost base board heaters that I think will keep an insulated cabinet at the right temperature to soften the foam. I'm going to use a set of wire shelves and foam insulation as the cabinet. I'll incorporate a squirrel cage fan to move the air around a bit. I think it will turn out nice if a bit of overkill,  but I have time so why not. 

I have completed the controller and safety switch finished (the hard part), I think I'll do the cabinet and door  later this week

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vacuum System

Gathering stuff for the first panels and other materials while waiting for the shop. I rescued a couple of seized 1/2 hp pumps from the dumpster. These were completely trashed with some kind of vapor that caused extensive rusting of the cast pump stators. The innards were really full of gritty rust, cementing the vanes in the rotor. In each case a pretty beefy 1/2 hp direct drive engine would not turn them!!!  For my use I guess these will do, even if not perfect,  as I don't need a micron level vacuum.  I think the plan would be to debulk with a shopvac and turn these beauties loose on the infusion and bagging.

Welch 8907
These are the inner parts of the pump cassette. I have brushed them to remove as much crust as easily possible. The swept surfaces look better than I had hoped although the vanes are shot. 

Time to get serious with the crust rust.  First step was a hot dip wash with a high energy ultrasonic treatment in anti rust detergent soup followed by a stiff licking with a stiff nylon bristle brush.

Here is the result. Reasonably clean. Unfortunately I broke the casting on the inlet stator while getting the pressed-in shaft face-seal out. Welch are being a bit slow getting back to me re: parts.

Edit: The refurb is going to cost 1/2 a boat buck now, as well as an 8 week wait for the part. Probably still worth it? since I'm still waiting for the township to approve the shop plans

Edwards RV8
This one was really badly siezed, been sitting around for a couple of years untill our recent store room cleanout. There was quite a lot of crusty debris. It was a real problem removing the rotor shaft.  It required the bigger persuader ;-)  Shaft tip a little bent now hope the spyder takes care of that.

This pump is a more sophisticated design than the Welch (it is a 3 stage pump) and if it cleans up I hope I can get the genie back in the bottle on this one.

Edit: Ive been slack about posting, but I have now three 8cft/min pumps. All in good working condition. I think these will be suitable for infusion. Here is how the Edwards pumps cleaned up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Building Space

From experience I have learned that it is difficult to do family, work and build a boat. Especially such a large project, unless the access is really easy. Making the trip to a build shop, even if its just 10 minutes, eventually wears so thin that work on the boat will suffer or stop. I have decided to build in the backyard, even if that requires some accommodating to the climate and overall tightness of space.

First step will be to build a shop, the plans arrived today. I will need to get approval for a garage. Limitations are 1) 5ft setback from rear property lines, 2) 15ft height limit, 3) restrictions on impermeable coverage.
This makes the building of the center hull a problem I'll have to solve. Likely by a tent next to the shop and heat w/ a diesel heater.

Plot survey.

Shop plan and elevation.          

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Water Ballast

Still thinking out loud with these posts. I hope the info comes in handy later.

Details for the F32SR have been released recently on Ian's website. The SR beams are "all carbon" also with vinylester resin. They have integrated tubes for water ballast in the float rear compartment. Ian recently said the SR beams will fit the F-32AX, so it occurred to me that this gives the possibility of carbon beams with float and main hull water ballast.

M Vandoren echoed one of my thoughts on the yahoo group forum recently. He is currently building an F-32 and asked about fresh water ballast. "I figure if I have to carry the water anyway, I may as well try to help it improve sailing performance rather than weigh me down". Water makers require a lot of noisy engine time, and fuel, (with only a single battery for everything). So maybe there is merit in the idea. The tank would have to be tightly sealed and able to pump actively from one side to the other. Sea water ballast OTOH would only need a reasonably sealed dump valve system (See Cheekee Monkee). Drip or small leaks would not be a problem as you can replenish the supply.
A few experienced and respected Tri sailors weighed in, Ira Heller doesn't like the idea as it reduces safe loaded weight for cruising. Jim Thompson sits on the fence and thinks maybe in the rear of the main hull is OK, but not in the floats. Paul Butler (Teamvmg F-32 builder) says "must have the facility to dump it all very quickly" I guess like reefing early, he suggests fresh water ballast may lead to regrets if dumping is delayed. Good point! Martyn is of the same opinion and adds wisdom, "I'd keep it as butt simple and light as possible and if you have an option of adding ballast, be sure to have a sure, quick way to dump it"."

On the other hand Skiff and Tri sailor Ron Radko says "Depends on how much ballast and how much crew you have. I know on our 28 the upwind speed difference in planing conditions is huge if you have crew on the rail vs in the cockpit. (7.5 to 8 knots vs 10-12). If you were shorthanded having 3-400 lbs of water ballast in the float would be the same load as the crew on the rail without having to be out of the cockpit".

 Ian chimed in with
"Using drinking water would be a good option when cruising, as one is just
shifting ballast that is already on the boat, rather than adding weight. It
would be viable, but the piping could get rather complex. Probably not worth the
effort for most. Easier to carry extra water in plastic Jerry cans and then move
to windward float on long legs".

Structurally there are no problems Ian said, "the floats can take the extra weight". Is it worth it? He says
"While adding ballast can also slow the boat, ... usually the gain in
performance is higher than the loss from taking on the weight, so the extra
ballast weight is justified".

Cheekee Monkee has a ballast system in the aft extension. As Ron White has said in earlier posts, the tanks are filled and emptied by venturi bailers facing for'n'aft. The SS flaps in the bailers act as valves.

The Mini Transat fleet (Pogos) are using Sofo scoops. (see this blog). The big advantage of these scoops is that they are o-ring sealed and have a big orifice. Only one scoop is required for filling or emptying either side tank but the wider flat bottomed Mini boats use two (Port'n'Stbd) and the pressure in the pipes when moving is sufficient to pump the water to the high side tank of a Pogo. The venturi effect sucks the water out the tanks when the scoop handle is turned 180 degrees.  High side tanks need a vent on the top for spewing excess water to the deck or over the side when the tank is full.  The Sofo scoops are/can be paired with Valterra gate valves.

Perhaps make something like this single unit scoop for filling or emptying either of two tanks and gravity draining the high side to the low side. 

Overall even if the plumbing can be made to work, marine bacteria in the tanks might make the sweet water taste pretty foul after a few days. I'm not sure there would be an efficient way to really clean the tanks out. Everyone knows what a marine head tank does when storing salt water flush, wonder if the water would be undrinkable after long.

Edit: See Capt Pauley's recomendations.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Foil or not to Foil.

The F-boat Yahoo group discussion lately has been touching on somethings I have been considering. Water Ballast and Foils. Foils I think would be very usefull even when not racing to provide that bit more security in  following weather. I think with foils that can be retracted to trim the lift there will be an added margin for safety if required. I have purchased Ian's drawings to reinforce the standarad F-32 beams for foils in the floats.

From the master,
        "The main issue is that beams have to be strengthened, otherwise
        they will eventually break due to load reversal.
        The drawings available as such for installing the foils give the basic
        position and general details of the foils.  But easy enough to fit, provided
        foil is set at correct angle".

He subsequently  "Added a bit more detail, plus corrected foil angle to better suit F-32"

The new beams are built of vinylester resin and coated with gelcoat. I think we all have to paint the gelcoat tops with nonskid. However, I am/was a little concerned about the use of ester resins rather than epoxy, particularly with respect to epoxy adhering to ester surfaces in the important beam to float joints, but defer to Ian's knowledge re: epoxy having the greater trength and durability.

      "Only marginally so, if anything compared to the new infusion vinylesters.
      These are very impressive and I prefer not to use epoxy again. Epoxy beams
      would be very expensive as all procedures would have to be changed, and
      considerable testing done, as epoxy does not infuse as well as vinylester".

I was a bit puzzled by Ian's comments, quite a while ago now re: the Factory made beams. He has stated that the factory beams will be lighter, stronger (sure thats a no brainer) but also higher than the home made beams. Higher?

Edit: Going through some old F82 posts on SA and found this from Foiledagain.  Noice!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Info Repositiory

Today I created a Google website to hold build information and material that I want to keep a little more confidential.

Of course I realise foremost I need to protect Ian's plans and copyright from disclosure but I do want them available to me anywhere, anytime, at least in part as a low res electronic version, so I'll use the site for that.  Mainly though, I wanted a place to keep copies of information I glean from the web so that it doesn't clutter the Crossbow build blog with too much superfluous stuff.

Moreover, out of respect (not the least for their copyright) and not wanting to republish material from other boat builders on the blog, particularly F-32 builders, I'll keep the site private but for maybe some invited guests and collaborators.  Of major concern is that I am noticing material seems to be disappearing from useful websites as they age, broken links and pictures disappearing, etc. It is gracious of previous builders to have put that material up there and I'll likely derive great benefit from it.  By the time I finish this project those websites will be another 6 or more years older and likely more degraded. In the meantime I'm betting that Google will still be around offering free websites until then.

So beginning the process today of sucking content to my collection mirror. I have found some material using the Wayback machine but its not perfect (what a great invention - (Google take note!!). I'll start linking to some of these usefull sites as well, in the RHS column unless the authors object.

I'd invite readers to propose link resources if they like.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What’s in a name?

First Post, Hooray!

It has taken a long time to get to this place, from a kids hopeless desire to the reality of owning a fast ocean racing boat. There are probably several ways to make it happen now, but building the boat for me is the closest to wringing all the sweet juice out and eating the pulp too. Ive decided on a Farrier F32. I've had the plans for 2 years, mulling over the decision to start,  now, its time!

What is the first step required when embarking on a project like this? Something guaranteed to ensure its completion, if there were such a thing? Obligatory, nowadays, is to start with the blog...  and then what next?

Does something without a name really exist? Can a name call something in to existence? Then that is the place to start.

Human beings have an obsession for naming things and names carry an entire army of connotations and expectations with them.   Is it possible that the wrong name can doom something to obscurity and failure?
Ideally, a boat name should convey expertise, values, strengths and uniqueness. Funny or punny names abound, and not the least in the world of three hulled boats. Some experts believe that the best names are informative.  Maybe the best names should be abstract, a blank slate upon which to create an image. Some believe that coined names (that come from made-up words) are more memorable than names that use real words. Others think they’re forgettable. In reality, I think any name can be effective if it’s backed by the appropriate narrative.

What are the features of the F-32 that lend or bend a name, design and speed of course, practical and safe, family and fun. After sailing fast skiffs and racing basically all my life I don't think I can want to go slow, so the name must support at least the mental image. The strength and available bespoke interior design of the F-32, its pedigree and potential speed are criteria for consideration, but the family aspect of the Farrier design is a big pull. The character, tenacity and uniqueness of legendary multihull boats also come to mind, can these qualities be lent by a name? J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie's designs bubble to the surface....  these were incredible boats, leaders and record breakers.  Can a boat have a better borrowed heritage? I don't know.

As a name, "Crossbow" seems to fit the F32 design. A sturdy tool to protect, designed perfectly fit for purpose, a weapon in the right hands, silent, deadly. So lets hope our F-32 "Crossbow" can match the speed and the legend of Macalpine-Downie's Crossbow while at the same time introduce my new generation to the idea that sailing can be fast but doesn't need to be scary with the right platform.

This blog I hope will capture the spirit and the process of Crossbow's build.
                                           Lets begin!