Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Thanks again!

In between answering questions from other Seattle Boat Show attendees today, Falk Bolk of Gig Harbor Boat Works guided me in determining the final dimensions and arrangement of the cockpit seats (and placement of the oarlocks) to accommodate a sliding seat rowing system in Kingsfold.

It is the contributions from people like Falk at Gig Harbor Boat Works that are making this a successful project.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Next (Last?) MAJOR Construction Phase

Here is a Photoshop approximation of the seats and raised cockpit floor. Now that I think about it, this is the next-to-last major construction step. The fin keel will be the last.

Lots more work remains before we sail away into the sunset. But completing the cockpit will feel really good!

Monday, January 8, 2018

“You’re provisionally accepted for the Race to Alaska 2018 Stage 1—subject to your heavy weather sailing and capsize tests.” ~R2AK Race Boss

So as soon as the boat is finished, rigged, and on a trailer, the plan is to create videos of a couple different activities. Find a small lake to launch in, pull her over and show we can right her again. Then, on probably multiple occasions, sail on some bigger water in stronger winds testing the boundaries of what we can do.

The footage will be posted on this blog.

The Weekender design and Kingsfold's modifications in particular have some useful features in this context. I shared Team Kingsfold’s status on a forum dedicated to the Weekender design, commenting specifically on the permanent foam flotation I’ve added, and the compartments that are sealable, and that I widened my transom 4” beyond the stock design. I received these comments from Paul Riccelli, a yacht designer and expert on the Weekender, and Al Stead who built and actively sails a Weekender.

Riccelli said:

The capsize tests previously done will be a fair bit different than your build, though I'll bet you'll be a little disappointed about the results. My capsize screen of a stock Weekender shows a max of about 70 degrees of positive righting arm, usually less, because they tend to be built heavy. I'll bet you're a little better than stock, because of the raised cockpit sole and hopefully some side and under side deck flotation you've installed. It'll still suck, compared to other boats, but this is not your fault, but a function of a relatively narrow, flat bottom, short LWL craft. This is common of boats shaped like this, in fact, you're will be better than the average, short and flat bottom boat, but not ideal in the conditions you'll see.

[What you described] is about 140 pounds of flotation, with the foam (not much) and another 40 pounds in the keel, though not very handy in this location for these types of tests. With the seat backs sealed, the forward bulkhead sealed up, you'll approach what is desirable in a swamping, but roll over prevention is more a function of hull shape and CG location. The wider butt should help quite a bit too. ... I'll bet she holds up to a press longer than the stock transom, with softer heel angles, though if she's heeled over a fair bit, so the transom drags, steering in particular and handling in general, will likely get cranky so reef early. The wide transom will also make following seas dangerous, without careful skippering (she'll want to broach more readily).

Stead said:

... The biggest thing to keep you safe is to be able to seal up the cabin in bad weather.  If that stays dry, you are good to go.

That gaff rig is your ally.  ...  You can spill tons of air in a split second as well as lower the center of effort.  [The peak halyard will be routed to the cockpit and clearly marked so we can scandalize the main in a moment.] That low aspect rig will help you on most points of sail other than going to weather. ...

After sailing Duckie for eight years, I think that the Weekender is a pretty reliable little vessel.  She is not a blue water boat, but she's not bad in a blunder. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Documenting a Couple Construction Details

Choosing not to follow the Weekender plans and construction videos exactly results in consequences that require figuring things out some other way. I have used the Back Yard Yacht Builders and Messing About forums for many solutions. Touring Barry Pyeatt's Spirit Wind while he was alive helped a bunch, too. Which is where I learned about Racelite products.
The plans show how to install the chain plates after the rub rails have been attached. I preferred to mount them first. In so doing, I discovered a few things I had to deal with.
Situation Solution
Top bolt covered by rail may need to be removed for some reason Hole drilled to allow later access
Need for epoxy-embedded fabric beneath the chain plates Put strips of fiberglass on the hull underneath the chain plates

Situation Solution
No toe rail on the deck makes for dangerous footing. The plans call for a toe rail.
The toe rail in the plans traps water on the deck. I chose to drill scuppers because it is the most expedient option I could find.

Here is a Weekender without a toe rail.

If I were constructing Kingsfold as a boat building "show piece," I might have done a toe rail like the one on this boat.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Significant Progress!

The hull is in place, permanently. Seal up all the remaining screw holes and panel gaps and she would float, right now. Yay! That (not the floating part) is scheduled to happen next week when we permanently attach the rub rails and important pieces on the insides of the hull. Then we proceed to completing the cockpit and hatches, flipping it over for building and attaching the fin keel, …

And in parallel to the construction work, we continue to keep our eyes on the goal—successfully completing the full Race to Alaska in as short a time as we possibly can.

Safely sailing an under-20-foot boat to Ketchikan is a big deal. Ed and I are realizing how much more we need to do beyond getting Kingsfold in the water. We need to be comfortable in conditions like these in Johnston Strait and Dixon Entrance.

To develop the necessary skills we will need to put more time into training. That means we will only go for Stage 1—Port Townsend to Victoria—in the 2018 R2AK. But come 2019, get ready to track Team Kingsfold all the way.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Feeling Lots More Hopeful

Thanks to Ed's help, we now have all hull panels and rub rails dry-fit, waiting to be attached permanently!

She looks a mess at this point in the build process. But it comes with the territory; the mess is a good one.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Feeling Hopeful

While I may be the prime "mover and shaker" on this project, and the one who's put in the most hours, I've not done it alone. Having Ed's help last week got us much closer to permanently attaching the hull sides.

That will mark a major milestone, providing a lot of hope that this boat will be getting wet soon.

(Thanks, Raena Bahnsen, for the photograph!)