Saturday, May 5, 2012


Here's a shot of the boat with the sail sitting in the lazy jacks. Floatation has been added to the boat in the hopes of making the boat recoverable should a knock down occur.

View of the interior. The blue cushions on either side of the boat are of nylon rip stop material covering 4 inch wide styrofoam. If I was crossing the ocean I'd probably provide different floatation but for a beach toy I think this is fine, relatively easy, and cheap.

Here's a closer view of the interior. Inside the cushion is a 1/2 inch strip of wood attached to the upper edge of the styrofoam. The white PVC "clamps" snap in place over the wood strip which is inside the blue cover. The clamps hold the top edge of the cushions in place snugly up against the inside of the hull. The bamboo floor holds the bottom edge of the cushions in place snugly up against the side of the hull.

Here is a closer view of the PVC clamps. I took a large diameter of PVC pipe and cut it into 1.5 inch wide circles. One can soften PVC enough to bend and shape it by putting it in boiling water. The clamps seem to be pretty sturdy. I pushed and pried a whole bunch on the cushions and could not break the clamps or cause them to work loose.

So lets test it. Here's a view of the boat floating on it's side in about 2 feet of water. The boat is floating relatively high in the water due to the cushions. No part of the boat, sail, or mast is touching the bottom. The boat, when righted from this floating high position contains some water but is manageable.

Without flotation the boat would float half in and half out of the water when on it's side. When righted from the half in and half out position the boat would contain a lot of water and be hard to manage. So I'm basically happy with the floatation for now.

Close up of the submerged cushion. The cushion's clamped edge is submerged a few inches under the water by the weight of the boat. Only the upper cushion edge with the clamps is submerged. The cushion edge near the floor is not submerged. The weight of the sail pulls press the mast downward and angles the boat so the rail is submerged.

Back home the cushions and floors are removed and everything gets to dry out. This is Florida and mold would quickly form without a dry out. Hope you enjoyed that. Till next time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Sail and Mast

Well I got busy with work and worked out of state and didn't touch the boat for a long time. Nice to be back and nice to have done some work on the boat and to update the blog. Since the junk rig sail didn't work out quite right, I made another poly tarp sail per the plan's dimensions. As recommended the sail is a lanteen sail. Below is the picture of the unfinished sail. The sail has been cut out of the tarp. The sail edges have been folded over and rope has been sewn into the perimeter of the sail.

Below is a close up of the sail corner where you can better see the folded sail edge with the rope sewn in. There is also a dart in the corner. Two of the corners have darts which allow the sail to have a concave shape.

Below is a view of the finished corners and dart. The corners and dart are reinforce with polytarp and tape which are also sewn onto the sail. Putting in the gromets was fun. I hadn't ever messed with gromets before. Oh, and I should mention it was my mother who kindly sewed the sail for me. The corners and sail seem surprisingly sturdy.

Since it's a lanteen sail I also needed spars. Luckily I was able to get some nice lengths of bamboo at no cost to use for the spars. How does it get better than that? The lengths of bamboo are a little bit too bendable so I doubled them up and lashed them together with zip ties. Yeah, I know, could have used duct tape. Below is a veiw of the sail corner and bamboo spars. The spars are attached to each other in the corner by a peice of rope secured to the spars with hose clamps. I read that bamboo will splinter and break if you drill holes in it and bolt it together. I used pieces of rubber inner tube beneath the clamps to prevent them from sliding around. This seems to be working well.

View of the spars and mast. The mast is a larger piece of bamboo that is approx 11 feet long also obtained at no cost. The plans call for a 10 foot mast. Now that I know that 10 feet is actually enough length for the mast, I will probably trim the extra foot. The sail is hoisted up the mast by a rope through a pully that I've tied to the mast. The bottom spare attaches to the mast with rope and hose clamps. The sails are attached to the spars with zip ties, yea zip ties. I like the bamboo. Gives it a homey look.

And below is a veiw of the whole thing. I took the boat out for a spin in winds of 10 knots and had a good time. The boat moves and steers well in light air. No problems with the new rig. I like it. Will be interesting to see what it's like with more wind sometime. If you noticed the absense of the dragon, don't worry, he's fine and will be along another time :)