Wednesday, June 21, 2017

More on the Off Center Board

Work on the board continues albeit in bits and bites.  It has been one of those jobs that has dragged on since starting last winter.  Just as a recap, and so you don't have to refer to older posts, Autarkia's off center board will be a single board, as opposed to lee boards that wing out, thereby needing one on each side for either tack.  This board will bear the lateral loads in either direction for either tack.

Because I had a lot of structural fir 2 by 4s I decided to laminate the board from those.

I glued them up with PL premium and used epoxied deck screws to hold them all together.  The board overall was 8 feet long and 2 feet wide.

I achieved the foil shape by rough shaping each individual piece with the table saw, and once glued up final shaping with a power plane and belt sander.

For a leading edge, and for ballast, I epoxied in a length of 1-1/2 inch mild steel bar stock.

I didn't do anything else to it until recently so here is where we pick up.

I fiberglassed the whole thing with epoxy and 10 oz cloth, doubling on the edges.  I made a steel bearing plate for the outboard side, epoxied it in along with galvanized lag bolts, coated the whole thing with more epoxy and painted it.  The pivot bolt is 3/4 inch diameter.

I am in the process of painting it now.

Here is how it will mount to the starboard side of the boat.

Once I have made a final determination of where exactly along the side the board will be mounted, I will install the reinforcement on the inside of the hull.  That consists of 3" by 3/16" steel angle about a foot long, that will be through bolted to the paired 2 by fours under it.  The pivot bolt I already have installed on the board was longer than I needed, so I will make spacers with some HDPE I have.

Since The upper part of the board will bear against the rub rail I will make a bearing plate from some more HDPE that I will fasten to the rub rail with bedding and counter sunk screws.  The lower part of the board that bears against the chine will be made with some Teflon I have, and will be bolted to the board itself.

I will make some spacers from HDPE to go between the board and the hull.  When I drill the hole through the hull, I'll coat it with epoxy.

The board has holes drilled and coated on the leading and trailing edges at the bottom to accept lift and downhaul lines.

If I make a rudder, I will likely use the same technique, although I'm going to experiment with a steering oar first.

And now for something completely different - our new fridge!

We bought this fridge from Costco online.  It is Canadian made, runs on 12DC and when running typically consumes about 33 watts.  It has two compartments - one larger and one smaller (compressor is underneath) for a total of 2.4 cubic feet.  Either compartment can be run as a fridge or a freezer or both as one or the other.  We've had it in for a week now, and the solar panels and deep cycle battery are doing just fine with it.  And we haven't had that much sun!

Lorri is pleased

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Back to Junk Again!

Here is a very low aspect junk sail for Autarkia.  The mast - a single section of 5 inch Schedule 40 aluminum pipe (comes in lengths of 20') extends about 20' above the waterline.  This gets me under most bridges except for during freshet, when we won't go out anyway.  It is a small sail for the size of the boat.  Only 218 square feet, but it will be easy to sew up and cheap to make.  And I don't have to worry about a tabernacle or stays.   Autarkia will be under-powered under sail, however as a motorsailer she should do ok.  Going downwind or on a reach she'll poop along, and if I get a few knots then we'll be happy - for now.

I have to make a decision soon because I'm just about ready to install the off-centerboard.  The placement depends on the sail I'll use and its center of effort.  Also, I am going to experiment with a steering oar that I can deploy or stow as required, and also fix in place as one would pin a tiller.  The advantage is there is no issue in shallow water with nothing to hit or hang up on the bottom, and it may also function as a Yuloh.  More on that in a later post.

The sail by the way is a traditional fan shape.  According to Hasler and McLeod it should furl nicely as the boom, yard and battens all point to roughly the same spot.  I can likely get away without any winches, and by using a double sheeting system can keep most of the lines and mess forward.

Fickle me.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Autarkia as a Gundalow

Well, truth be told, we are nearing the limit of our budget to build Autarkia.  However the good news is that she is mostly built, mostly fitted out, and once I install the off center board within the next short while she will be completely functional as a motor cruiser.

But the dream has been to sail her.

And over the past year and a half I have kicked around, researched and have agonized over a sailing rig for her.

The criteria have been specific in one case, and loose and flexible in others.  For example, we have always wanted to get under the bridges on the Fraser and Harrison Rivers.  The spars and rig must be dippable and easily done so by two people in their sixties and ,alas, not getting younger.  But in all other areas, we are quite willing to compromise.

Autarkia is based in Mission Harbour here on the Fraser.  We don't see that changing any time soon.  The Fraser is a tidal river and depending on the time of year can even flow a little backwards on the incoming tide.  During freshet though (the time of this writing) she flows along at up to 5 knots or so.  The tug towing operators here (log booms and gravel barges mostly) take full advantage of what the river is doing at any particular time.

And that is exactly what all of the traditional sailing barges around the world have done.

Take for example the Gundalows that used to operate in the Piscataqua Region of Maine.  These flat bottomed cargo carriers would follow the tide up and down the river, augmenting the tidal flow and providing control with a lateen sail - an ancient and proven rig.

What makes this rig desirable functionally for us, is that we can use a very short mast (say 16' from the waterline) that I can easily build up from fir lumber that is readily and economically available.  I can hoist a long yard (say 35 to 40 feet in length) at the beginning of the season and leave it there, hauling down the high tip as required to get under the bridges.  I can also build that yard from fir lumber, and counter-weight it with lead so that it is easy to do so.

The other interesting and economical thing we can do is hank on a genoa for a sail.  It should be relatively easy to find a used one for a reasonable cost, and maybe have a nicer one made later on.  In any case it will not be something strange and difficult for sail-makers to quote on.

Here is a sketch of Autarkia with a lateen rig, using a genoa with a luff of 34', leech 30',7" and a foot of 21'.  The sail winds up being about 315 sq.ft.

No, she won't be a rocket at all.  But we have tidal flow here and an engine.  Facing the truth once more we know that we are now at a stage of life where the time to learn  to cross oceans or venturing dangerous waters is behind us.  Being realistic about how and where we will enjoy Autarkia - our local waters - and taking into account our present skill set with regard to sailing, I think we may be on the right track.