Modern Wooden boat | Pro Boat Plans | DIY Boat https://www.modernwoodenboat.com Fri, 25 Nov 2022 10:34:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.3 Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 5 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/epoxy-works-part-5/ Fri, 25 Nov 2022 10:33:10 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1980 in this part we will deal with big areas lamination works , this is going to be a quite long chapter ! In modern wood & epoxy constructions there is sometimes the need to laminate a whole big area with glass fabric , normally hull or deck/cockpit surfaces or both; the reasons for doing this […]

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in this part we will deal with big areas lamination works , this is going to be a quite long chapter !


In modern wood & epoxy constructions there is sometimes the need to laminate a whole big area with glass fabric , normally hull or deck/cockpit surfaces or both; the reasons for doing this go from serious structural reasons in strip planked construction , to chafe protection in radius planked and stitch and glue boats , or protection of the working areas like decks and cockpits; the working sequence is more or less the same in any case, although in the first one (strip planked boats) we will probably have to laminate more than one single layer of glass fabric, while chafe protection is normally achieved with a single glass layer (with local doublers in critical areas like chines or centerline)


  • Preparation preparation preparation !!! the better way to do a work like this in a small-medium boat is to make it in a single shot , and the better way to make it in a single shot is to have a bomb proof preparation: a properly sized and organized crew to do the work, and all the stuffs ready before starting the work.
  • Crew: for smaller works, kayak, small dinghies, a crew of two is fine ; working alone requires a good amount of skill handling the glass patches , a crew of two will make handling the glass patches much easier ; for bigger boats up to 28 feet a crew of three-four people is a good sized one , they are not required to be skilled laminators as long as the working sequence is clear to everybody and each one have his own task to do;
  • preparing the materials: that means mainly cutting the glass patches, take measures on board (or unroll the glass directly on the hull), cut patches on a table (or on board), roll them properly , place them temporary on the hull in their final position , mark each of them with a sequence number form transom to bow and two arrows, one pointing up and one to the bow ; you can also mark their position on the hull with a marker ; re-roll the patches , place them on a table following the lamination sequence , so that you will not frantically look for the “next patch” during the lamination work
  • overlapping the glass patches : this is required in each glass fibers work, to have a continuity in the glass layer mechanical properties, for small project and thin glass layers a 2-3 cmoverlap is fine, for bigger boats and thicker glass layers 6-7 cm is ok ; in case you have to laminate more layers, stagger the second layer so that the overlapping are quite far aprt and they will not make a an excessive step in the glass lamination
  • overlapping on the centerline: for the big projects, I prefer to split the patches on the centerline, making a 10 cm overlap on this area ; remember to mark the patches for port and starboard side (1P and 1ST, 2P and 2ST and so on may be a good marking system)
  • avoid supersized patches: they are a mess to handle and impossible to presoak , for decently sized boast my advice is to take advantege of the glass roll height , start form centerline (remember the overlap here) go down the hull topsides and cut

  • how much resin is required for the work ? This is a capital question because its answer will make you sure that you have the right amount of resin (and the right amount of proper hardener) for the task ; general thumb rule working with biaxial and wave roven is that you will use around one kg of resin for one kg of glass fabric , add some more because you will wet the hull face before applying the patches ; let us make an example: IDEA21 hull is about 23 square meters ; we want to laminate a light glass layer only for chafe resistance, a 300 g/square meter wave roven will be fine; this means we will use 23×300 g = about 7 kg of glass ; we will need 7 kg of resin plus another 20% for wetting all tha area , that is to say about 8.5-9 kg of resin ; we will check to have at least 10-11 kg of resin+hardener available for the whole process ; in tech literature you will find much more precise numbers for the so called Glass/fiber ratio , that will explain why that unidirectional fibers requires less resin than biaxial that requires less resin than wave roven , but for our purposes a 1:1 ratio is enough to organize the process
  • Chopped strand mat : or the so called “mat”, is a kind of “non fabric” made by few inches log glass fibers pressed together ; this stuff is the base material for most of cheap fiberglass works, it soaks a huge amount of resin and has poor mechanical properties , it is required to form intermediate layers among multiaxial fabrics when laminating with polyester or vinylester resin; it is totally useless for our purposes, forget it.
  • what glass fabric will we use ? First , in case the lamination has a structural meaning follow strictly the plans , contact the designer in case you think that the plan solution is not feasible or optimal (it may happens) ; in case we need only a chafe protection layer we may have more freedom to choose:
    • wave roven or biaxial ?: this a field in which previous experiences and personal tastes play a big role ; I would go for a light (200g/square meters or less, down to 90 g/m2 for light kayaks) wave roven glass for small boats, dinghies and kayaks for chafe protection , its only drawback is that it is quite delicate to handle ; it is easy to soak with resin, gives a really good finish surface, it adapt easily even to complex curves and tight corners; my preference goes for biaxial for structural works on bigger projects, but it has one big drawback that has to be managed to do a good lamination: resin tend to flow away form vertical faces much more easily then when we use wave roven fabric; what we can do to manage this problem is:
      • work with slightly thickened resin
      • presoak the fabric on a table (see chapter 4), which is always recommended with biaxial
      • work the resin taking it form the bottom to the top with spatulas, rollers and bubble breaker until it start to gel

  • and now let us finally talk about the working sequence (I normally do this work with hull upside down su here “up” is the centerline and “down” is the sheerline):
    • several hours before: put the required resin and hardener for the whole operation in the hot/cold storage to take/keep them at the right temperature , see chapter one
    • mix the resin you will use for the next two patches or so
    • wet the hull surface for the first patch
    • pre-soak the first patch on the big cardboard you prepared (and wetted with resin), you can avoid this with light wave roven
    • roll the soaked glass patch , place it on board , start from the top
    • unroll the patch on the hull, check position marked previously on board
    • push the glass fabric on the hull using spatulas, if there is any area where resin is missing add resin and soak the fabric with paintbrush or small roller
    • keep on working the patch on the whole surface with spatulas, remove the excess of making it flow down to the floor (cardboard, cardboard everywhere !!!)
    • wet the area for the next patch with resin
    • note on the patch sequence: I prefer to work starting form the bow or from the transom, which is easier for your logistic, and going from one patch to the symmetric one, that is to say for example, first patch bow starboard, second patch bow port, and so on .
    • Repeat the sequence : soak the new patch with resin on the table, roll it, unroll it on board starting form the top, pay attention to have a correct overlap with the previous one , work the patch
    • Do not cut he patches too “tight”: leave a 12-15 cm length in excess on the lower edge (sheerline) , you will cut it during the lamination process before the resin set
    • pay attention to lower edge, fabric tend to detach form the surface, forming wrinkles and bubbles
    • curved areas: in the bow you may find hard to drape the fabric in the final section, in case make small cuts on the glass edges to release the tension
    • “nose” area: I normally prefer to laminate it with one patch covering the bow and 20-30 cm on each side of the hull ; avoid overlapping on the very bow
    • cutting the glass fabric protruding out of the sheerline at the end of operation before the resin set is a good idea, it helps to have a clean lamination edge
    • covering lamination with peelply, put a layer of peel ply on rthe glass once you have ended the lamination works, the amount of resin normally on the lamination surface is enough to soak the peelply properly, in case add a little bit of resin, do not worry abot overlapping or suing small patches or clippings ,it’s fine ;using peelpy is recommended for several reasons:
      • it will give you a perfect surface for the final fairing operations that it will take place after the glass lamination , no need to sand all the surface or wash it to take away the ammines (they are responsible of the soapy sensation of epoxy laminated faces)
      • you can leave it in position and peel it away when you decide to fair the hull
      • it slightly helps to keep the lamination a little bit more compact
    • in case you have to do the work in more than one session: avoid to wet with resin the areas where you are not going to laminate, cover every laminated area with peelply with , when you you will restart the operation simply remove a strip of peelply 50 cm wide and to start the work of the second session.

a small gallery of pictures from my archive , you can see: the effect of wet resin o a sanded hull face, the single glass patch required to glass the kayak’s hulls, working on a hull, and several pictures of glassed hull

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Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 4 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/unveiling-the-esoteric-secrets-of-epoxy-resin-works-part-4/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 09:11:20 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1912 This is the fourth part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works ; in this chapter we will focus on glass taping works glass fabric strengthening works : here we will talk about all that glass fabric works which aims to strengthen the structural joints, we will not talk here […]

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This is the fourth part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works ; in this chapter we will focus on glass taping works

  • glass fabric strengthening works : here we will talk about all that glass fabric works which aims to strengthen the structural joints, we will not talk here about areal lamination works like laminating the whole hull surface (this aspect will be the subject of the next chapter)
    • work ALWAYS “wet on wet” : that is to say, wet the joint area with liquid resin, make the required thickened resin radius and then laminate the glass fabric over it, in a single process before the resin set ; this has several advantages :
      • avoid sanding and using peelply on the radius before laminating
      • have a perfect primary bonding on the joint that is to say a chemical bond among the resin of the radius and resin of the lamination
      • my first choice as glass fabric for this kind of work: this is quite personal, my choice goes on a 300 g/square meters +/-45° biaxial fabric . it can be cut precisely without dismantling itself like wave roven fabric tends to do, it is a good compromise between stiffness and good capability of being drapable on the joint (different story for wide surfaces lamination, here my personal preference goes on 200-300 g/m2 wave roven glass fabric)
      • shifting from heavy biax to lighter one: in several of my plans I recommend to use a 500 g/sqm biax to have a strong lamination in a single layer, this is fine as long as you can work the heavy biax properly ; as a matter of fact in the last years glass fibers fabrics quality is constantly getting worse, so you may have to work with very stiff biax 500 patches; in this case there is not any concern to laminate two layers of biax 300 instead of one layer of biax 500
    • working sequence:
      • as we said, wet the parts and make the radius
      • cut the glass strips in advance
      • tools required: scissors, a small roller, a brush and a bubble roller
      • take on board a 80 cm x80 cm cardboard panel , wet it with liquid resin
      • lean the glass strip on it, soak with liquid resin and roller (use the minimum amount of resin )
      • place the glass patch on the joint, shape it by hand , complete the operation with the brush soaking the eventually dry areas, avoid to work too much on the radiuses
      • go on, patch after patch on the whole reinforcement (avoid to work with too long patches, they tend to became difficult to handle if they are more than 60 cm long)
      • overlapping patches of the same layers : it is a required pratice to have a structural continuity , few centimeters of overlap are enough
      • the second layer: if a second layer is required by plans, you’d better do it “wet on wet” too.
      • Take all the time the resin gives you to work on the patches, avoid wrinkles and spikes and make a clean job , don’t hurry , work meticulously and take care of lamination details, pay attention that all the fabric is soaked, avoid the “resin pools” on the side of laminations or on the lowest corners; you can use the bubble roller to compact the lamination to finish the job , paying attention not to push to much on the radiuses.
      • curved areas laminations : if you have to laminate in tight curves and biaxial begins to make wrinkles, you can do small cuts to release the tension ; in these cases you may switch from biaxial to wave roven glass fabric which curves easier and is definitely a better choice to laminate complex shapes (but it is more messy to manage)
  • Peelply: what is it and when to use it. Peelply is a light polyester fabric that can be used a last lamination layer, soaked with a little bit of liquid resin (often the resin of the underneath layers is enough to soak it properly); the interesting thing is that once the resin set you can peel the peelply away simply pulling it, which is precisely its task; the resulting surface will be perfect for a next lamination session or to accept a layer of fairing compound without needing to be sanded or washed to remove the soapy layer (which is made by ammines, a chemical byproduct of epoxy setting process); my advice is to use it where and when you need a good bonding surface for a next lamination session, or where you need a clean surface for a following fairing session ; you can also leave it in place for days and pull it away when you decide to fair/laminate that area.

you can find the next chapter, dealing with big areas glass lamination here

few images to close this chapter, a typical filletting and glass tamping work on a Saltaspiaggia, a good example of “wet-works” scissors, full metal so that they be thrown in the acetone with no worries at all, a glass biaxial 300 patch and a wave roven glass patch so that you can see the difference .

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Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 3 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/unveiling-the-esoteric-secrets-of-epoxy-resin-works-part-3/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 09:03:06 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1910 This is the third part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works , here we will talk about using thickened resin to make bondings and the so called “liquid joinery” that is to say make thickened resin radiuses to strengthen joints Bonding with thickened resin : it is a quite […]

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This is the third part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works , here we will talk about using thickened resin to make bondings and the so called “liquid joinery” that is to say make thickened resin radiuses to strengthen joints

  • Bonding with thickened resin : it is a quite straightforward work: you mix the resin, add the thickening powder , mix , put the bonding compound on the area with a spatula or a trussel , put the parts in position and clamp them or fasten them with screws until the resin sets; just few tips:
    • remove the resin flowing out of the parts immediately
    • wet or not wet the parts with liquid resin before gluing them: this is a controversial subject, some says the dry plywood tends to absorb resin making the joint somehow poor of it; I never personally experienced this fact directly, but I think giving a quick layer of liquid resin before gluing “dry” plywood parts it is anyway a good practice
    • mark the bonding area with a pencil on both parts to make sure you fill it with resin and you do not pour resin out of the desired area
    • a super pressure while the resin set is not required, on the opposite side, you would better avoid to squeeze all the resin out of the joint, it is better a “not perfect” joint with a little bit of air inside to keep a veil of resin within the joint once it has set
    • for this reason avoid to fair the parts too much, their surface have to be rough enough to retain the good amount of resin in the joint ; a grade 60 sandapaper is enough
  • resin radiuses: they are required to strengthen joints, you will do a lot of them , so you will gain soon a good practice, here I give just few basic tips:
    • the right thickened resin density is the key : the radiuses have to stay where you make them without flowing away, even on vertical faces
    • a disposable pastry chef bag is a good tool to pour the right amount of resin in the joint area
    • use properly sized circular object, a cap, a coin , a mid sized washer , to pull the resin and obtain a clean radius , don’t use the fingers except for very short radiuses
    • use a small spatula to clean the resin out of the radius
    • pull the radiuses in a single shot
    • if you have to laminate on the radiuses (we’ll talk about it in the next chapter) , wet all the lamination+radius area with liquid resin ; the general rule is : try to work always “wet on wet” completing a single area ; working “by areas” is much better than working “by layers” : that means complete an area with all the resin works (bonding , radiuses and glasstaping) is by far more efficient than coplete all the radiuses on the hull and THEN make all the glass taping works , since this last solutions will force to sand all the radiuses or use a big amount of peelply before laminating the glass tape

you can find the next episode here

few pictures: a set of plastic spatulas , purchase a couple of them they are super useful to press the resin into glass fabric pre-soaking it (we will see in the next chapter) , a couple of typical resin radiuses, the pastry bag in action; it is quite useful not only for radius works but for all the works where a neat and clean positioning of a glue string is required (gluing the planks in a stripp planked construction like idea 19 and idea 850 for example)

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Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 2 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/unveiling-the-esoteric-secrets-of-epoxy-resin-works-part-2/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 18:21:57 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1907 This is the second part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works ; here we will focus on how to handle the resin properly , which is quite a nightmare when start to work with resin for a medium sized project resin is messy, but we can manage to avoid […]

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This is the second part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works ; here we will focus on how to handle the resin properly , which is quite a nightmare when start to work with resin for a medium sized project

  • resin is messy, but we can manage to avoid it to became horribly messy

  • gloves, gloves, gloves: work ALWAYS wearing latex /nitril gloves, change them if they are punctured or broken or if they have became too messy with resin , you will use a lot of latex gloves box, it’s normal.
    • Pour and mix the resin always in the same area and only there, make a “resin desk” and a “resin area” , protect the scale by wrapping it in plastic film; cover all the desk and the area floor with cardboard and change them with clean ones when resin starts to be literally everywhere.
    • Pouring the resin: if you use big resin cans (we use 20kg cans, they are cheaper than small packages), pour off your next hour work resin quantity from the big can, let us say one or two liters, in a small bucket ; you will use this bucket to pour the resin precisely in the final working pot, on the scale, and weight the resin ; same thing for the hardener (or B component) with its dedicate one liter bucket, this will allows you to keep the big can clean and be very precise weighting the resin. At the end of the day you can pour back in the big can the unmixed resin you did not use (it is important to do this with hardener because it oxides quite quickly)
    • the working pot: we use a two liters one or smaller ones for small jobs, they are made of heavy plastic but slightly flexible (I think here they are sold as products for cheese industry) ; you will need several of them
    • cleaning the pots: we normally let the rest of the resin sets in the pot and then we clean them pushing and flexing them until the resin breaks in several big parts and the pot come out of the process clean (using compressed air helps ); using violence against pots is a vital part of the cleaning process !
    • Cleaning all the other stuffs : as long as the resin has not set you can clean spatulas, roller, paintbrushes, scissors with acetone ; pour acetone in a large bucket and leave the tools inside covered with acetone ; if you let the resin sets the only way to clean epoxy is to grind it away.
    • Scissors: my advice is to have two scissors at least: the “wet resin work” scissors and the ones you will use to cut the glass fabrics with no resin involved; the first ones will be the scissors you will use to make the small cuts required when you are laminating , they will end up dirty with mixed resin so they’d better be metal scissors that you can throw on the acetone without any worry.

In the next episode we will focus on pratical tips about filletting (liquid joinery ) and glass taping works ; you can find it here

few pictures to complete this chapter : our beloved plastic pot new and at he end of a working day, no corners (that means 100% of resin can be used) , strong but flexible , it can survive several boat buildings ; a box gloves, use them ALWAYS ; a really messy resin desk at the end of the day

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Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 1 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/unveiling-the-esoteric-secrets-of-epoxy-resin-works-part-1/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 18:17:52 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1903 One of the most common fear of newbie boatbuilders involved in our projects is related to the use of epoxy resins and glass fabrics. Since this is a very important part of our projects to achieve a strong, light and long lasting boat, we will give some tick and trips on the subject; the following […]

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One of the most common fear of newbie boatbuilders involved in our projects is related to the use of epoxy resins and glass fabrics.

Since this is a very important part of our projects to achieve a strong, light and long lasting boat, we will give some tick and trips on the subject; the following tips are mostly based on my experience as a boatbuilder, so they are not the bible, but at least every single tip has been personally tested.

Let us start form our main protagonist : the epoxy resin !

  • learn your resin system: each resin system has pro and cons but the most important thing is to “learn” the behavior of the resin you selected for your build; I am not going to endorse any specific brand here, as long as you stay within renown brands it is fine, the important thing is that you learn how it behaves with the different hardeners (you will use at least a medium one and a slow one for different operations), how viscosity is affected by temperature, how is the real pot life in your working environment , how it reacts when mixed with silica or cab-o-sil powder, and so on.

  • Temperature is a key factor: temperature will affect the pot life of your resin of course, that is to say to say the amount of time your mixed resin will be workable, but this is not the most important fact. The most important fact is that temperature will affect the viscosity of your resin changing from very liquid, almost like water, to a kind of honey like viscosity ; this will affect HEAVILY your capacity of soak glass fibers, a super easy work with liquid resin , a hard and annoying work with honey like resin, that will lead to a poor lamination with an excess of resin and a possibly resin starving glass fabric (this seems a contradiction but it is exactly what happens, you will pour too much resin fighting with high viscosity and you will not be able to soak the glass fabric poperly)
  • how to master temperature ?
    • Cool down or heat up the resin (it is a smart idea to do this operation with all the amount of unmixed resin you will need in the next few hours)
    • mix only the resin you will use in the next half hour of work
    • in case of cold: keep the resin hot not only before mixing it, but also when you are laminating the areas (a small hair dryer is a good help)
    • try to cool down or heat up all the working environment: this is a little bit tricky, but if you can do it, it will solve a good part of the problems
    • avoid the coldest /hottest part of the day and NEVER work under direct sun during summer (unless you do not live in Norway or similar)
    • it is really difficult to use resin with decent results under 13° C / 54° F and above 33° / 92°F
    • avoid days or environments with super high humidity , it is better to avoid resin works with more than 75% of relative humidity , if you are somehow condemned to work with high humidity (on the seaside, for example) try to investigate which resins on the market are less humidity sensitive

  • weight is mandatory : epoxy resin must be mixed in the exact proportion given by producers (we are currently using an epoxy system that has to be mixed 100 grams of A component with 24 g of B component, for example) , this is a very important factor if you want to have a good quality lamination or bonding.
    • Use an electronic scale or volume pump (I prefer by far the first one, cheap and super precise) ; print a datasheet in which you detail the A and B component for the most common quantities (100g—>24 g, 200g—->48g , 300g, 500g, 700g, 1 kg and so on, for example) ; and stick the printed page on the wall near the scale, and CHECK it every single time you pour and mix the resin ; professionals do it, you can do it too;
    • volume mixing ratio vs weight mixing ratio: some epoxy systems give both of them in their datasheets, you need the ratio by weight to use a scale; they are different because A component and hardeners have different density ; in case you need ratio by weight and this is not given on the datasheet remember that weight = volume x density (or ask resin manufacturer the info)
  • mix the resin properly: that is to say for at least one minute with a wooden stick or similar.
  • Thickened resin: we will use it as a bonding compound and to make the so called “liquid joinery” or “filletting“ works (thickened resins radiuses), so it is very important to master the subject.
    • First mix the resin (A and B component) properly, then add the thickening compound :this is mandatory to have e good resin setting
    • resin viscosity matters, here too (temperature matters, again): if you start from a honey like resin the quantity of powder required to achieve the desired final consistence will be affected.
    • Which thickening powder have I to use ? The better solution is that your epoxy producer has in catalog a thickening powder ready to be added to give a strong, light and slightly elastic bonding compound; otherwise I normally use a mix of silica and cellulose fibers (about 50/50) ; sometimes you can find on the market ready to go bonding compound cartridges, they are expensive, but it may be a good choice , it is by far better if they are based on the same epoxy brand you will use for the other works. You can find a good product on the market under the name cab-o-sil (hydrophilic fumed silica powder).
    • PAY ATTENTION: cab-o-sil or similar silica based fillers are toxic to breath and they are super light, a gust of air and they will literally take off
    • resin volume grows A LOT : when you add thickening powder total volume will grow approximately THREE-FOUR TIMES , that is to say 250 grams of mixed resin will result in about one liter of bonding compound !
    • The right density is when thickened resin stop to flow and stays in position even in vertical faces but the compound is still soft and with all the powder perfectly mixed; avoid to add too much powder, the final compound will result grainy and too hard to smear to form good shaped radiuses , once set it will result to brittle and prone to crack under stress

the next episode can be found here

few images, just to complete this starting chapter: the typical resin cans for big projects, two cans of resin and one of hardener , an electronic scale protected with tape and battle ready , cheap and super precise , and a small weather station, quite useful to keep track of temperature and humidity in your working environment , and a pack of wooden tongue depresser, which are cheap and super useful to mix resin and other small tasks

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Hirundo 750 launched ! https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/hirundo-750-launched/ Tue, 23 Aug 2022 15:39:00 +0000 https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1805 Good news from Brazil : the first Hirundo 750 has been launched !As you can see form the pictures, this boat pushed the project in the direction of a small but capable cruiser, with a sheltered cockpit, transom beach platform , very rational and roomy interiors , keeping the boat trailerable !A very good quality […]

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Good news from Brazil : the first Hirundo 750 has been launched !
As you can see form the pictures, this boat pushed the project in the direction of a small but capable cruiser, with a sheltered cockpit, transom beach platform , very rational and roomy interiors , keeping the boat trailerable !
A very good quality construction with several modifications that has now been integrated in the last version of plans; you can see the Hirundo 750 features here .
A great thank to Jonas the builder-skipper for the huge commitment to this project .
Now we wait fot the first sailing pictures and impressions.
Fair wind !

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New boats on the run !! https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/new-boats-on-the-run/ Thu, 10 Feb 2022 17:06:26 +0000 http://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1774 Hi everybody !!! We have currently a lot of boats in the building stage all around the world ; here are the links if you want to follow the progresses of some of them on the social media, and several pictures —Idea21 built in Sweden : https://www.instagram.com/mycklekajakvarv/?hl=it —Hirundo 750 built in Australia https://www.instagram.com/kenfhoare/?hl=it –-Hirundo 750 […]

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Hi everybody !!!

We have currently a lot of boats in the building stage all around the world ;

here are the links if you want to follow the progresses of some of them on the social media, and several pictures

Idea21 built in Sweden : https://www.instagram.com/mycklekajakvarv/?hl=it

Hirundo 750 built in Australia https://www.instagram.com/kenfhoare/?hl=it

-Hirundo 750 next to the launch in Brazil : https://www.instagram.com/veludopelomundo/?hl=it


 

and we have others idea 21 being built in Asia and south america , a crispy 660 cabin in Eastern Europe , a small Crispy 520 in Australia, an idea 850 in Eastern Europe and several others, not to mention sups and kayaks.


 

We will keep up updated here and our FB profile so stay tuned !!!


 

Apart from a bunch of good pictures and a personal satisfaction, this means we have constant feedbacks from the builders, we discuss better building solutions with them, fix minor flaws in the drawings (a not so clear quote , a better glass fabric lamination sequence and so on) , and our plans keep on improving to make the next builders’ experience easier and more satisfying

 

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The Budget and the Time https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/the-budget-and-the-time/ Thu, 24 Jun 2021 15:04:52 +0000 http://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1749 In the last months I answered to a wide array of e-mails that were all circling around these two very big chapters for an homebuilder : Time and Budget. So I decided to think back about my more than fifteen year of career as boat designer for DIY boatbuilders, and I will try to squeeze […]

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wooden sailboat plans DiY sportboat

In the last months I answered to a wide array of e-mails that were all circling around these two very big chapters for an homebuilder : Time and Budget.


So I decided to think back about my more than fifteen year of career as boat designer for DIY boatbuilders, and I will try to squeeze out several drops of wisdom from both the blatant successes and the mostly silent failures that I witnessed.


  • KISS: Keep It Simple (and ) Sail . Building a boat is a part of the process; the subsequent part is launch her, sail her, improve her, and get back to sailing, and enjoy in both the part of the process, the building and the sailing.

  • The motivational curve exists, even if you cannot believe it , it’s there, hiding in the dark , waiting for every obstacle you will find to lower your commitment on the enterprise; the only difference is how long it will take to pass from enthusiasm to moderate satisfaction to boredom to hating another fu%&in’ weekend of sanding and fairing that sh&%%y boat. For some of us it will take one or two years, for others 4 years or more, but sooner or later the time will come when working on your project will not be a pleasure anymore; the only way to avoid this motivational friction war is to end the process and launch the boat when you still have a positive and enthusiast attitude towards the process. The worst possible scenario is one of those ads that you may find on the web: someone who is selling is half completed boat at the mere plywood and resin price after a decade or more of work, soooooo sad.

 


motivation

 

 


 

  • Assessing the budget : it is a very important to write down a detailed budget before starting the build, sorry, before purchasing the plans; you can use study plans, bill of materials, you can e-mail the designer to discuss the subject; there are a couple of main points to be taken into account:

    • completing the hull will take not more than 50% of the budget : in biggest projects like Petrel 33 this percentage goes down to 35-40 % , so when you assess your hull building budget based on bill of materials, keep in mind this basic point;

    • mast and sails are big pocket-killer items ; don’t underestimate them, get quotations and don’t forget transport costs for the mast ; second hand masts are a risky business, you don’t know their history, and how much they have been stressed, and most of the times they will force you to do modifications on the sailplan too.

    • ask quotations for whatever you think you cannot build by yourself (steel keels and lead bulb for example, altough this last one is feasible as long as you can find where to purchase the lead)

    • keep on board systems simple as you can: if you are involved in a cruising boat project you will need a stove, a fridge, a freshwater system , a toilet, an electric system, a windlass, a serious engine and a fuel system, navigation electronics advices; try to keep all this stuffs simple and working, do not over-complicate things ; you can improve them later, after the launch, once you have a much clearer idea of what you really need on board ;

    • don’t hesitate to change the plan before starting the build if you realize you are tight on budget ; there are few things more frustrating than having the hull completed and struggling to go on with the works because the “big stuffs” are killing our budget . 

    • deck gear: I tend to design very complete deck gear arrangement, somehow racing oriented, I beg your pardon for this; you can easily simplify them , keeping an eye on the pocket and an eye of what you will do with your boat, racing and cruising are different worlds; even in this area, you can improve things later depending on what the first sailing season sailing suggest you. Safety first: if you have a low budget, shape your deck gear to be simple, rugged and effective in rough weather , don’t try to save money undersizing the critical items !

    • Wooden rig: we are offering this option for the smaller sailboat plans as a way to keep the budget under control ; mast is a delicate and tricky thing to build, but at this stage of the process you have been trained by the whole previous boat building work, so it can be done.

    • Logistic: keep in mind that logistic may have a cost, in terms of building a temporary shelter or renting a warehouse or any intermediate solution; try to build your boat as near as you can to where you live, it is by far better to have a not so cheap boatyard ten minutes from your house than a free one 40 minutes away.

    • Logistic AGAIN : plan carefully how to transport your boat from the boatyard to the sea/lake/river where she will be based; this is not an headache for smaller projects but may have a relevant impact for bigger projects.

    • Engine: it has a relevant place in the budget both for bigger sailboat projects and, of course, for motorboats ; try to plan its purchase in time, explore any possible chance to save money not sacrificing the reliability of your engine (pay attention to second hand “super bargains”) , discard second hand old engines out of production or unknown brands in your local boating scene, or you will became crazy the first time you’ll need a spare part. 


Idea 19

 

 

 


 

  • the Time: this is probably the most difficult task: understand how much time will it take to launch the boat, and make a good estimation of the hours that occurs to reach our milestone. Too many variables can influence the process , from the numbers of builders making the building team, to the working hours that you will pour in the process in a month, to the logistic of the place where you are building your boat (which is EXTREMELY important as I previously wrote); I can only give you several advices:

    • read both the study plans and the building plans with attention, in case of doubt call the designer;

    • take your time to learn: the first time it will take 4 hours to do one single step of the process and it will be a mess, next time it will take two hours and everything will go smooth, and so on. It’ s perfectly normal.

    • Build a good boat, but don’t look for perfection, mostly in fairing-sending-painting area ; the step from a good looking work to perfection is a bloody huge step in terms of working hours, and a good looking boat sails as fine as a perfect looking boat

    • split the building process in smaller steps, give them a time budget and try to stay within this timetable

    • party !!! every milestone has to be properly cheered with family and friends (no, I am not joking, it is a really important thing to keep up motivation and make a winning team)

    • once you are closing to the end of works, set a date for the launch and go straight for it, in 90% of the case you will not end the boat for that time; don’t worry, as long as your boat can float and can be sailed safely, LAUNCH her, enjoy your creation, recharge your motivation batteries, you will have time later to end all that small works that have to be completed.


SONY DSC

 

 

 

 


 

Good building and good sailing !!!!

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IDEA21 “Alcedo” varata !!! Prime impressioni https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/idea21-alcedo-varata-prime-impressioni/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 20:27:52 +0000 http://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1629 Prova in acqua di “ALCEDO” IDEA21 cruiser   La prova della idea21 cruiser n.1 “Alcedo” di Milos e Kirstine si è svolta su un lago nel sud della Germania, per un totale di circa 8 ore di veleggiata distribuite su due giorni ad inizio estate 2020; le condizioni dei due giorni sono state pressochè identiche, […]

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Prova in acqua di “ALCEDO” IDEA21 cruiser

 

La prova della idea21 cruiser n.1 “Alcedo” di Milos e Kirstine si è svolta su un lago nel sud della Germania, per un totale di circa 8 ore di veleggiata distribuite su due giorni ad inizio estate 2020; le condizioni dei due giorni sono state pressochè identiche, con un vento ben steso compreso tra i 6 ed i dieci nodi , senza grandi raffiche, giusto qualche salto di direzione vicino alle rive del lago; onda praticamente inesistente.

 


 

La barca

avevo già visto la barca durante la costruzione e avevo riportato sul blog gli avanzamenti dei lavori; in sostanza la barca era quasi pronta al varo già l ‘estate scorsa, rimanevano da fare alcuni lavori , specie sulla chiglia retraibile , e da montare l’attrezzatura di coperta, impegni lavorativi dei costruttori hanno consigliato di fare le cose senza fretta ed aspettare questa estate per il varo. Rispetto al progetto standard di idea 21 cruiser la modifica più rilevante è la cosidetta FLK (Full Lifting Keel), ovvero la chiglia retrattile chiusa dentro una scassa stagna che va dal fondo dello scafo al cielo della cabina (le fiancate della scassa erano aperte durante il test per controllare che fosse tutto ok); la chiglia può essere quindi sollevata parzialmente anche in navigazione utilizzando i winches, con un paranco 1:6 (sforzo richiesto davvero poco, scorre perfettamente nelle guide in teflon) , permettendo la navigazione in bassi fondali o l’ormeggio in tutta sicurezza in fondali “da spiaggia”. Altra modifica di rilievo il rig in legno , costruito a regola d’arte e bellissimo, che paga qualcosa in termini di peso rispetto ad un rig in alluminio ma svolge perfettamente il suo compito e aggiunge fascino alla costruzione. Per il resto la costruzione è davvero ad un livello molto molto alto, con un mix perfetto tra dettagli estetici di alta scuola e soluzioni sempre molto pratiche da usare in navigazione.


idea 21 sailing 4

 


 

Il varo

un altra modifica ha semplificato le operazioni di varo: un singolo punto di sollevamento con una landa ancorata alla cassa della deriva e che spunta dal tetto della cabina, perfettamente sul baricentro della barca; questa soluzione evita di usare le cinghie, basta un grillo ed un loop od una cinghia ad alto carico di quelle usati in cantiere per sollevare carichi e la barca può essere presa in carico dalla gru “al volo” e messa in acqua. Semplice e veloce.


 

Deck gear e vele

Come da piani costruttivi, tutto semplice e lineare, due winches da 8 in tuga, due batterie di 3 stopper , organizers , torrette girevoli per le scotte fiocco (molto comode), rotaia per il trasto randa parecchio larga, paranco 1:5 e torretta girevole, attrezzatura sportiva ma necessaria per gestire al meglio la potenza della randa square top; dobbiamo rivedere il paranco del carrello randa, troppo diretto e troppo duro da regolare; nelle prove mancavano i terzaroli ancora da installare e avevamo i punti scotta del fiocco armati in maniera provvisoria, le rotaiette con il punto scotta su carrellino arriveranno presto. Rollafiocco a prua , il modello piccolo della Plastimo, forse un pò “plasticoso” esteticamente , ma perfetto per una barca così. Le vele , randa e fiocco per il momento, sono della Lee Sails Germania, da crociera, in dacron con taglio cross cut, molto ben confezionate, con una buona forma, specie la randa , la cui confezione non era affatto scontata, con stecche , porta stecche e tasche ben fatte e accessori di buona qualità, ottimo il rapporto qualità prezzo, tre mani di terzaroli sulla randa per quando la barca passerà dal pacioso lago al mare, il fiocco ha tre piccole stecche verticali perfettamente compatibili con il rollafiocco. La randa square top con gli sliders in plastica scorre perfettamente nella canala in legno, senza impuntarsi, quanto prima verrà installato un lazy jack in spectra che faccia anche da amantiglio, ora assente , a quel punto la randa sarà gestibile anche da soli perfettamente in issata e ammainata e presa dei terzaroli.


idea 21 sailing 2

 


idea 21 sailing 5_1

 


 

 

 

Motore

E’ stato installato, su un supporto fisso a poppa, un motorino da 1000W/24V elettrico leggerissimo (4 kg circa) con marcia avanti e retro, che fa perfettamente il suo lavoro nell’ambiente lacustre, facendo arrivare la barca a 4 nodi di velocità in condizioni tranquille , le batterie (due AGM) sono ospitate sotto la cuccetta di prua, e fungono anche da batterie servizi; se si vuole rimanere sull’elettrico, cosa che consiglio, in mare opterei per un motore un pò più potente , 2 kW, , ma è pur vero che con poca aria, 5-6 nodi, la barca naviga già perfettamente a vela, quindi l’uso del motore è ristretto alle bonacce totali e agli accosti e uscite dalla banchina. Con due batterie come queste l autonomia è un non problema, potremo smotorare su e giù per il lago un paio di volte.


idea 21 sailing 1

 


 

Uscita dall’ormeggio

Qui si usa ormeggiare di prua, quindi si mollano le cime , si tira una smotorata in retro e si è fuori, i timoni lavorano perfettamente una volta che si ha un pò di abbrivio, sono fuori dal flusso dell’elica, non abbiamo neppuer sfruttato lo sterzo del motore, quindi marcia avanti, tutto timone a dritta e siamo fuori dal molo, stando attenti a stare al centro del piccolo golfettino per evitare un paio di bassi fondali, ci allontaniamo dalla riva a tre nodi e arriviamo a 4 nodi e spicci, giusto per capire quanto spinge il motore.


idea 21 sailing 8

 


 

Issata vele

Mettiamo prua al vento a motore; essendo la prima issata randa “vera” siamo in due, uno al winch e uno a piede albero a controllare che tutto vada bene , le issate sucessive con gli slider della randa già inseriti nella canala saranno molto più semplici e gestibili da soli (manca un gate in metallo a chiudere la canala albero in basso e tenere dentro i carrellini, verrà installato, un giro di scottino sottile fa oggi la stessa funzione). Il fiocco si rolla e srolla in tre secondi senza attriti. Il winch lo usiamo con la maniglia solo per dare una tirata alla drizza randa una volta arrivata in testa albero. La randa ha passato un anno piegata nella sacca e si vede, solo alla fine del secondo giorno di “stretching” il tessuto si stenderà bene eliminando un pò di pieghe. Da prua al vento poggiamo 45° , spegniamo il motore, lo togliamo dall’acqua (ha la funzione di tilt a quasi 90°) e siamo finalmente a vela.


idea 21 sailing 6

 


 

 

Reazioni al timone

la barca in queste condizioni di aria leggera ha delle reazioni molto neutre al timone, per quanto possiamo chiudere randa oltre le giusta regolazione non c’è mai la sensazione di “tiro alla fune” tra randa e timoni; la barca si timona con due dita sullo stick, forse pure troppo neutra per i puristi “old school” che vorrebbero sempre un pò di tendenza orziera, ma per me va benissimo; in bolina quando arriva un pò più di aria la pala sopravento è quasi fuori dall’acqua fatti salvi gli ultimi 10 cm, quella sotto vento totalmente immersa ha piena autorità; il primo giorno il timone era affllitto da una vibrazione molto fastidiosa che si manifestava oltre i 4,5 nodi, rientrati abbiamo comprato un euro di rondelle di plastica dal ferramenta in zona , registrato i dadi autoblock degli assi dei timoni, ed il secondo giorno la vibrazione era solo un ricordo, rimaneva solo una minima vibrazione su una pala sopra i 5 nodi emezza (probabilmente è il bordo di uscita da ricontrollare). La barca è molto agile, reattiva ai timoni, il sistema è leggermente “pastoso” per via delle aste e della connessione dalla barra centrale ma comunque è sempre diretto, preciso e senza giochi fastidiosi, la prolunga regolabile permette di timonare praticamente da dove si vuole in pozzetto. (nel video girato il primo giorno è ancora presente la antipatica vibrazione al timone); considerata l’autorità dei timoni si può accorciare un pò la barra centrale se si vuole.


 

 


 

Comportamento a vela

Alcedo nelle condizioni del test è docile, reagisce molto velocemente alle regolazioni, specie della randa che è il vero motore, mantiene un buon passo, compreso tra i 4.3 ed i 5.1 nodi in bolina a 45° dal vento nelle condizioni di test; il comportamento di bolina è abbastanza classico per una piccola barca sportiva di nuova generazione: inutile impiccarla in boline strettissime, ci va ma perde velocità, bisogna lasciarla camminare a 45° dal vento o qualcosa in più e sfruttare magari qualche salto di vento per guadagnare prua; in queste situazioni la barca è veloce, sbanda sino a mettersi “sullo spigolo” intorno ai 10 nodi di vento reale, e sensibile ai pesi ma non eccessivamente, e mantiene una buona andatura; poggiando dalla bolina verso il traverso si percepisce l’accelerazione e non si fatica ad arrivare e tenere circa 6,5 nodi (credo che la punta di 7 del gps fosse ottimismo e fiducia) , in queste condizioni, e a vele bianche, il traverso è di sicuro l’andatura più veloce ; poggiando ancora in queste condizioni di poca aria ci si attesta sino ad un lasco ottimale a circa 140-145° dal vento , la sensazione è di essere lenti, ma in realtà siamo oltre i 5,3 nodi stabilmente con punte intorno ai 6,2 ; strambiamo di circa 80°, la randa passa docilmente in queste condizioni, il boma è un pò basso perchè probabilmente siamo stati un pò ottimisti dando le misure al velaio (le vele sono state fatte prima di avere la barca alberata, cosa che col senno di poi si poteva evitare), ma il pozzetto è ampissimo, i timoni vanno usati il giusto, inutile forzarli ad angoli esagerati a meno che non si stia monvrando in spazi molto stretti; un test in questo senso è stato fatto il secondo giorno quando abbiamo fatto “i modelli”, più la barca che noi, per un fotografo ospitato su un vecchio Bavaria 800; in questa sessione abbiamo apprezzato la capacità della barca di virare e strambare come un derivone, accellerare e rallentare molto velocemente per posizionarci dove il fotografo richiedeva rispetto a luce e sfondo.


idea 21 sailing 14

 


idea 21 sailing 7


 

 

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Ammainare e rientrare all’ormeggio

Accendiamo motore, cimettiamo prua al vento, rolliamo il fiocco, e ammainiamo randa, che viene giù praticametne da sola e rientriamo in ormeggio docilmente, togliendo motore metri prima dell’arrivo del pontile, ovviamente data la stazza ridotta della barca , qualsiasi manovra poco precisa in ormeggio può essere controllata con una pedata sulla barca vicina o sul pontile.


idea 21 sailing 12

 


 

Pozzetto e Interni

in otto ore di navigazione abbiamo avuto modo di apprezzare la ampiezza (per un 6,5 metri) degli interni, che includono un bagnetto separato (non ancora montato ma i divisori sono già lì); si ha la possibilità di sedersi ovunque, la cuscineria è arrivata il giorno dopo i test, senza mai avere la sensazione di dover stare attenti a non picchiare la testa, le cuccette sono comode, sia quella doppia di prua che quelle di poppa, non si avverte la sensazione di “sarcofago” spesso presente in queste barche, il legno a vista impreziosisce gli interni non poco; la cassa deriva integrale ovviamente impatta sugli interni così come il bagnetto separato, ma avercele fatte stare e avere ancora una barca vivibilissima lo considero un ottimo compromesso per avere un piccolo cruiser non eccessivamente spartano; il pozzetto anche in questa versione è amplissimo, ci abbiamo navigato stracomodi in tre adulti, credo che in 4 sarebbe cambiato poco, i puntapiedi e il box dove si può mettere la zattera sono perfetti come posizionamento pwer essere usati come puntapiedi, si sta sempre fermi e comodi con i piedi puntati senza sforzo, senza doversi “attaccare a qualcosa” ; nonostante la barca per ora non abbia pulpiti, candelieri e draglie, anche andare a prua è comodo grazie alla falchetta più che generosa.


 

 

idea 21 sailing 9_1


 

idea 21 sailing 3


 

Conclusioni

 

il progetto idea21 nacque con l’intento di mantenere le prestazioni brillanti di idea19 e avere degli interni che non fossero ridotti ad un igloo da campeggio; direi che gli obiettivi sono stati ampiamente raggiunti, la barca è anche più docile della sorellina piccola , le performances sono frizzanti e divertenti e permettono percorrenze giornaliere in crociera non male, (e mancava il gennaker) e gli interni sono perfettamente in grado di far sentire a casa per brevi crociere e non rimpiangere due metri in più di barca. Se poi il vostro circolo organizza qualche regatina , sia tra le boe che lunga, potrete togliervi le vostre soddisfazioni.

Un gigantesco grazie a Milos e Kirstine per avermi ripetutamente invitato durante la costruzione della barca e per aver voluto condividere queste prime ore di navigazione.

Buon Vento !!!

idea 21 sailing 13

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IDEA 21 “Alcedo” launched !!!! https://www.modernwoodenboat.com/idea-21-alcedo-launched/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:48:04 +0000 http://www.modernwoodenboat.com/?p=1603 First Sailing of “ALCEDO” IDEA21 cruiser The test of the idea21 cruiser n.1 “Alcedo” of Milos and Kirstine took place on a lake in southern Germany, for a total of about 8 hours of sailing distributed over two days at the beginning of summer 2020; the conditions of the two days were almost identical, with […]

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First Sailing of “ALCEDO” IDEA21 cruiser

The test of the idea21 cruiser n.1 “Alcedo” of Milos and Kirstine took place on a lake in southern Germany, for a total of about 8 hours of sailing distributed over two days at the beginning of summer 2020; the conditions of the two days were almost identical, with a well stretched wind between 6 and 10 knots, without great gusts, just a few shifts of direction near the shores of the lake; waves were non-existent.


The boat

I had already seen the boat during construction and had reported on the blog the progress of the work, the boat was almost ready for launch last summer, there were still some works to be done, especially on the retractable keel, and assemble the deck gears; work commitments of the owners have recommended to do things without haste and wait this summer for the launch. Compared to the standard design of IDEA21 cruiser the most relevant modification is the so called FLK (Full Lifting Keel), i.e. the retractable keel slides closed inside a watertight keel box that runs from the bottom of the hull to the top of the cabin (the flanks of the box were open during the test to check that everything was ok); the keel can then be partially lifted even during navigation using the winches, with a hoist 1: 6 (very little effort required, it slides perfectly into the Teflon guides), allowing navigation in shallow waters or mooring in complete safety in “beach” depths. Another important modification is the wooden rig, built to perfection and beautiful, which pays something in terms of weight compared to an aluminum rig but does its job perfectly and adds charm to the construction. For the rest, the construction is really at a very very high level, Milos and Kirstine did a top notch work, with a perfect mix of high school aesthetic details and solutions always very practical to use while sailing.


idea 21 sailing 4

 

 


Launching

another modification required by the builder/owner has simplified the launching operations: a single lifting point with a chainplate bolted to the keel box and popping out from the roof of the cabin, perfectly on the boat’s centre of gravity; this solution avoids the use of belts, all you need is a shackle and a loop or a high-load belt of those used in the yard to lift loads; the boat can be taken over by the crane and put in the water. Simple and fast.


Deck gear and sails

Everything is as by building plans, all simple and linear, two size 8 winches in cabin top, two batteries of 3 stoppers, organizers, swivel turrets for the jib sheets (very effective), wide rail for the mainsail car, 1: 5 mainsheet and swiveling turret, a little bit sporty gear, but it is necessary to better manage the power of the square top mainsail; we have to review the mainsail car purchase, too direct and too hard to adjust; in the trials we lacked the jib sheet points and we had the points of the jib provisionally armed, the rails with the jib point on cars will arrive soon. Owners fitted a jib furler in the bow, the small model of Plastimo, maybe a little “plastic” aesthetically, but perfect for a boat like this. The sails, mainsail and jib for the moment, are by Lee Sails Germany, cruising sails , in cross cut dacron , very well packaged, with a good shape, especially the top square mainsail, whose making it is not super easy , with battens, batten holders and pockets well made and accessories of good quality, excellent value for money, three reefing points on the mainsail for when the boat will pass from the peaceful lake to the sea; the jib has three small vertical battens perfectly compatible with the roll bow. The square top mainsail with plastic sliders slides perfectly in the rig wooden groove, without sticking, as soon as it will be installed a spectra lazy jack that also acts as a boom tophaul , now absent, the mainsail will be manageable singlehanded, in hoisting, lowering and reefing.


idea 21 sailing 2

 


idea 21 sailing 5_1

 


Engine:

It is a very light 1000W/24V electric motor (about 4 kg) with forward and reverse gear, it does its job perfectly in the lake environment, making the boat arrive at 4 knots speed in quiet conditions, the batteries (two AGM) are housed under the bow berths, and also act as load batteries; if you want to stay on the electric, which I recommend, at sea I would go for a slightly more powerful engine, 2 kW, but it is also true that with light winds, 5-6 knots, the boat already sails perfectly, so the use of the engine is restricted to the total nowind patches and to the approaches and exits from the dock. With two batteries like these, the range is not a problem, we will be able to run motoring up and down the lake a couple of times.


idea 21 sailing 1

 


Out of the mooring

In this small cute pier club sailors use to moor bow on the dock, so you let go of the lines, motor reverse and you are out, the rudders work perfectly once you have a bit of speed, they are out of the flow of the propeller, we did not even use the steering of the engine, so we go forward gear, all rudder to starboard and we are out of the pier, being careful to stay in the middle of the small gulf to avoid a couple of shallow waters points; we move away from the shore at three knots and we reach at 4 knots , just to understand how much the engine can push.


idea 21 sailing 8

 


Raising sails

we point the bow to the wind with the engine on half throttle ; this is the first “real” mainsail hoist so we are two, one at the winch and one at mast foot to check that everything is fine, the next hoists with the sliders of the mainsail already inserted will be much easier and can be single handed managed  (there is no metal gate to close the mast channel at the bottom to keep the sliders inside, it will be installed, a lop of thin line does the same function today). The jib rolls and unrolls in three seconds without friction. We use the winch with the handle only to give a final pull to the mainsail halyard once it reaches the masthead. The mainsail has spent a year folded in the bag and you can see it, only at the end of the second day of “stretching” the fabric will stretch well eliminating some wrinkles. From the bow to the wind we bera away 45°, we turn off the engine, we rotate it out of the water (it has the function of almost 90° tilt) and we are finally sailing.


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Steering the boat

The boat in these conditions of light air has very neutral reactions on the rudders, as far as we can pull the mainsail there is never the feeling of “tug-of-war” between mainsail and rudders, the boat con be steered with a fingertip on the stick, perhaps even too neutral for the purists “old school” who would always want a little bit of weather helm, but for me it’s fine; sailing upwind when it gets a little more air the upper ruddeer blade is almost out of the water except the last 10 cm, the one in the wind has full authority; the first day the rudder was plagued by a very annoying vibration that showed over 4.5 knots, we bought a euro of plastic washers from the first hardware store in the area, recorded the autoblock nuts of the rudder shafts and the second day the vibration was just a memory. The boat is very agile, responsive to the rudders, the system has a minimal of frictions because of the rods and the connection from the central tiller but is always direct, precise and without annoying gaps, the adjustable tiller allows you to steer the boat practically from where you want in the cockpit.


 


Sailing

Alcedo in the test conditions is docile, reacts very quickly to sail trimming, especially the mainsail which is the real engine, keeps a good pace, between 4.3 and 5. 1 knots upwind under test conditions; the upwind behaviour is quite classic for a small new generation sporty boat: it’s useless to hang her upwind , she can do it but she loses speed, you have to let her walk at 45° from the wind or something more and maybe take advantage of some wind shifts to gain bow; in these situations the boat is fast, she heels until she “sits” on the chine around 10 knots of real wind, and she is sensitive to weights on the cockpit but not too much, and she keeps a good pace; bearing away to beam reach (90° degrees TWA) you can feel the acceleration and you don’t struggle to get there and hold about 6.5 knots (I think the top speed of 7 knots of the gps was only optimism and confidence); in these conditions, and only mainsail and jib, is certainly the fastest pace you can obtain; keeping beraing away in these conditions of light air we are up to an optimal angle at about 140-145 ° from the wind; the feeling is to be slow, but we are over 5.3 knots steadily with top speeds around 6.2; we gybe about 80 °, the mainsail passes slowly in these conditions, the boom is a little low because we were probably a little optimistic giving the measurements to the sailmaker (the sails were made before having the boat rigged, which in hindsight could be avoided) but the cockpit is very large, the rudders must be used on small angles, it is useless to force them at exaggerated angles unless you are manouvering the boat in very tight spaces; a test in this sense was done on the second day when we made a ” modelling set “, more the boat than us, for a photographer hosted on an old Bavaria 800; in this session we appreciated the ability of the boat to turn and jibe like a sporty dinghy, accelerate and slow down very quickly to position ourselves where the photographer required to have the best light and background scenery.


 

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Lowering the sails and return to mooring

we turn on the engine, we point the bow to the wind, roll the jib, and lower the mainsail, which comes down on its own releasing the halyard, and return to mooring dock smoothly, switching off the engine meters before the arrival on the pier; of course, given the reduced weight of the boat, any maneuver inaccurate in mooring can be controlled with a small push on the boat nearby or on the pier.


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Cockpit and interiors

During eight hours of navigation we have appreciated the (for a 6.5 meters) roomy interiors, which include a separate bathroom (toilet not yet fitted but the divisory panels are already there); you have the opportunity to sit anywhere, the cushions and mattresses arrived the day after the tests, without ever having the feeling of having to be careful not to hit the head somewhere, the berths are comfortable, both the double one in the bow and aft, you do not feel the feeling of being buried in a coffin often present in these boats, the exposed wood definitely embellishes the interiors; the integral keel box obviously impacts on the interiors as well as the separate bathroom, but to have them and still have a very liveable boat I consider it an excellent compromise to have a not too “spartan”small cruiser ; the cockpit in this version is also very large, we have sailed in three adults, I think that in 4 would have changed little, the toerails and the liferaft box are perfect as positioning, you were always steady and comfortable with your feet pointing effortlessly, without having to “stick to something”; despite the boat for now has no pulpits, stanchions and liflelines, going to the bow is comfortable thanks to the more than generous toerails fitted on the deck.


 

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Conclusions

The idea21 project was born with the intent to maintain the brilliant performances of idea19 and have interiors that were not reduced to a camping igloo tent; I would say that the objectives have been largely achieved, the boat is also more docile than its little sister, the performances are sparkling and fun and allow good daily cruising mileage (and missing the gennaker) , the interiors are perfectly capable of making you feel at home for short cruises and not regret two meters more boat. And if your club organizes some regattas, both between the buoys and offshore, you can proudly battle for a good final ranking.
A huge thanks to Milos and Kirstine for inviting me through all the building process and sharing with me the first hours of sailing.
FAIR WINDS !!!

 

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