This website documents my progress in building a Farrier
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the rudder molds were
ready I still had to perform some additional work. After gluing
together the rudder halves the leading edge has to be laminated with
carbon tape to prevent
splitting. To keep the rudder shape intact, I put some vinyl tape into
Afterwards I applied packing tape to the mold. This is flexible enough
to get a seamless application and epoxy does not stick to it. To ensure
a good release I also added some wax.
builders apply the laminate and core in one go. I wanted to be sure of
equal distribution of the vacuum over the laminate, so I chose to work
in two steps. After laminating the rudder halves I trimmed the cores to
size and glued these in place under vacuum. A little bit of sanding had
the cores level with the mold so I could take them out. This went
really easy. The halves are now ready to be glued together, but are
for the HD insert.
returning from work I found out that the rudder plugs had warped
considerably. I had not expected this as the MDF should be
free from internal stresses. I glued the plugs to their base boards
under vacuum to get them into shape again. After 3 layers of mold
release wax I applied my homemade 'gelcoat', a mixture of graphite
powder, aerosil and epoxy. Just thick enough to still be applied with a
brush. Next came all glass layers, beginning with 25gram glass and
progressively heavier layers. Total glass weight is in excess of
At intervals I let the layers cure to avoid thermal problems. After the
last layers had cured I was able to pull off the plugs. 3 layers of wax
probably is a bit minimal as both plugs did not survive. On the right
mold some gelcoat had managed to creep under the plug, damaging the
leading edge. As the plug had come loose I was able to use this for the
repair job, just before I had to get back
to work. The left mold looks very good.
As the shed keeps getting colder, I started to work in a tent again. To
work on the floats I first need to warm up the shed for at least an
hour after which the floats need time to adapt to the temperature. Part
of the port float needed some more compound, as I couldn't get it into
the right shape. I used a slightly thinner mixture this time, to get it
flow better. When I've sanded that back into shape the floats are ready
for the finishing compound, but that has to wait until after post
time as well, the majority
of my building time was spend on filling and fairing the floats. I've
now switched more to contouring, trying to get both float shapes
optically symmetrical and pleasing. As I was making a lot of dust
and needed some diversion while the bog was drying, I started on the
rudder. A lot of MDF had to be routered away there.
There are 2 ways
to make the rudder. The positive and negative build. If you build the
rudder from the foam core up, laminating the reinforcements and skin on
top, it's called a positive build. I will do that with the board, like here.
For a negative build you need a mold, where you build the rudder
starting from the outside shape, which gives better shape control. The
easiest way to make a mold, is to cut it directly out of MDF,
That doesn't work with me, as my router does not have the required
accuracy, so I'm building a plug first and will make a mold from that.
Before cutting the plug I routered a flat base in a thick MDF sheet, to
be sure the rudder will have constant thickness. As I don't master 3D
CAD, I routered the plug halves in 2½ D. First in height steps of 1 mm.
It was my intention to make a second pass for half mm steps, but the
edges began to warp so that was only possible for the thickest part
where it had the largest effect anyway. Afterwards I also cut the foam
cores. I had already made these to size, with all HD reinforcements in
place. An hour of sanding, and everything was shaped nicely. The rudder
plug halves now have a layer of PU sealer on top and await final
sanding. I forgot to bring my phone or a camera on the last day, so no
pictures of that.
time my days off partly fell
into a school holiday, so I couldn't do very much on the boat. What I
did consisted of filling and fairing, which takes quite a bit of time.
I started with grid 60 and am down to grid 80 now. I can still continue
this for some time. Before the last phase, however, I first have to
post cure the epoxy at something between 40°C @ 24hr
60°C @ 16 hr. I already asked around at a car paint shop, but it looks
as if I have to wait until a hot period next summer. With a tent of
black plastic it should work. Problem however is my work schedule. This
year, during the only few hot days of the year I was in South
previous update I had a
holiday so I enjoyed continued work on the boat. Both floats are now
fully covered in a layer of compound. Fairing is an art I must say.
The bog will sag slightly after filling the ridges, so you
add a second layer before the first layer has fully hardened. That's
try this out, I started with the deck as it has the smallest area.
Bringing up the bog is not too difficult. I use a putty knife to
spread the bog and use a 30 cm trowel to scrape off the excess. The
ridges are still visible then. After partial curing, I sanded away any
ridges, which are unavoidable. In practice it is very difficult to
up a second coat of constant thickness. A 1mm layer over both floats
requires 30 liters of compound, most of which has to be sanded away.
And if you don't you are stuck with 12 kgs of extra weight.
I found out that, if you keep the bog quite thick ( not runny ) and the
trowel at a shallow angle the sagging is not too bad. You need quite a
bit of pressure and work slowly but that is easy to control. As I
hadn't sanded the
ridges completely back to the laminate it should be possible to sand
most parts back and only fill a few local areas where needed. I'll see
To keep the work from being tedious I also continued work
on the beams. Making different small parts takes a lot of time. Halfway
the building of the beams the aluminum parts have to be ready and they
have to be anodized first, so time to get started with those.
4 beam tops have been laminated. I'm starting to get laminating with
carbon under control. It's a lot trickier than with glass. It's also
more difficult to get a good fiber/resin content without vacuum. I'll
probably retry laminating the beam undersides under vacuum, even though
I had decided not to after 2 failures back in April.
As the value added tax
soared to 21% last week, I ordered all remaining foam, glass and epoxy
just in time. Now I've worked with both PVC foam and Corecell, one
thing is clear: Corecell is worth the higher price. The only
disadvantage is that it requires more heat for forming. Also I will use
2 layers of 300gr glass cloth for the main hull, in stead of the woven
cloth. More expensive as well of course.
great to be back at work
on the boat. The floats look like zebras. All ridges of bog have been
laid down and sanded back again. Time to start filling. There was one
tense moment when I took the wooden plug out of the chainplate. I had
waxed it well, so the hammer was not really necessary. Next to the
bogging and sanding I also resumed work on the beams. The third beam is
taking form in the mold and the first beam top has just been made under
been a while since my last
update. Due to work and school holidays I haven't been able to work on
the boat. Last week I enjoyed sailing my catamaran and helping my son
to learn to sail. Very important as well .
Also I crewed on the 'Trillseeker' while racing for the Henk
Eggink Trofee which was really motivating. I'm itching to have a go at
the boat again, but I have to wait another week before I'm back from
Ian Farrier indicated he will stop sales of his building plans per
September 25 so he can devote his time to production of the F-22 and
later the F-33 as well. So, if you have a desire to build your own
farrier, you still
have 3 weeks to decide!
though I had used peel ply,
I still had spots that had a glassy look, especially in between the
fibers. The glassy coat has to be sanded away, but that is impossible
between the fibers. I read here
that sand blasting works really well and I decided to give that a try
and rent some equipment. In practice it worked, but not as good as I
had hoped. I think it works better on a finer weave. The 600 gram cloth
is quite coarse and I didn't dare bring up the pressure too much. It
makes an incredible mess, but the heavy compressor makes easy work of
blasting the shed clean.
After repairing the imperfections in the cloth it was time to start
bogging and sanding. For applying the bog there are several methods. It
would be nice to apply one layer in a single go, but I think that is
not easy on a compound curved hull. Most people make ridges of bog,
each about 5cm apart. Much of the material will be sanded away and it
is easy to see when you are getting close to the hull. The space
between the ridges is filled after the sanding.
blogs I generally saw 2 ways of applying the ridges, using a 30cm wide
notched trowel or a candy bag. I tried both methods. With the notched
trowel I had the problem that ridges were curling up. With the
candy bag the thickness varies and the bog doesn't stick to the
laminate very well. A lot of material is used, most of which has to be
In the end I decided to apply the bog with a candy bag
and finish it with a notched putty knife. This works really well.
Thickness is constant and the ridges attach very well. As the resulting
layer is quite thin, ( about 3 mm ) sanding the ridges down again ( 36
grit ) takes
less time than applying them .
the time arrived to put
some laminate on the outside of the floats. I made all preparations to
use vacuum bagging. After laminating the first float half I couldn't
any vacuum however. And I couldn't find the cause either. After some
time I ran into the time limit for applying vacuum, as the epoxy
continues to cure. Even without vacuum the laminate looked quite
acceptable. The floats do not have any hollow shapes and that makes it
easy to pull the glass tight, so I decided to laminate the rest without
well. I rather spend my time perfecting the laminate than hunting for
leakages that I can't find. It doesn't mean I've given up on vacuum,
but I thought it was
better this way this time.
While laminating I ran into another
problem. I'm using stitched fabrics i.s.o. woven fabrics because of
their strength. On a few spots part of a yarn is missing so that the
stitching releases the crossing yarns and causes them to curl up. This
causes local delamination and weakening and requires repair. A pity, as
it makes the laminate thicker and requires more bog = weight.
To avoid runners of epoxy, I taped the hull with painters tape, which
had some plastic attached to it. This worked well.
Next up is finishing. Final finishing will be completed after post
curing, but I can make a start now.
laminating jobs have been
finished. I'm now bogging and sanding the floats so they're in good
shape before I laminate the glass on the outside. Part of the bog is
for closing and fairing the gaps between the foam strips. Besides this
there are a few spots with scalloping in the curve from deck to hull
sides, especially in the rear. Float half #4 has the least spots, which
proves that the foam oven was a good idea. It does mean a bit of extra
work and weight though, although I will probably need less than 1 kg
of bog to fair it out.
Small imperfections can be sanded away, but I don't want to do that
too much, as it thins out the laminate. For the bog I use a 50/50 mix
of brown and white micro balloons and epoxy with a slow
It means I have to exercise patience before sanding. The advantage is
that the epoxy now has a low viscosity and allows me to almost
add 40% micro balloons in weight. The bog is light and sands
easily. During spreading and scraping it off again, it dries out a
little, so I keep some epoxy on the side to mix through the bog.
Disadvantage of the brown micro balloons is visibility. The
floats look like they've been sailing through a minefield.
The deck is slightly curved while the inspection hatches are flat,
so I sanded a flat spot. To reinforce the opening I added a ply ring.
While gluing the bow bumper to the hull, I lined it up with my laser
leveler. Works great.
the second beam flat showed that the carbon had a good wet out this
time, so that problem was solved. At the same time the temperature
finally went up and allowed me to continue to work on the floats. This
allows me some breathing space to think about the next steps on the
The floats still had some lamination jobs to go. I want to laminate
the bow eye into the hull, just like Phill did. Also for gluing the
bow bulkhead into place I used the same procedure; a strip of carton
which keeps the glue in place and ensures a nice fillet.
Laminating the chainplates in place was tricky. I first glued them in
place and clamped them, with the hulls upright. I then turned the
floats upside down and lifted them up so I could work at it from the
underside. Access to the front side was easy through the float hatch
cutout. Laminating the rear was much more difficult as it had to be
done though the inspection hatch cutout. The fact that the chainplates
have been moved further to the rear didn't make it any easier as it was
very hard to make the glass follow the shape of the chainplate.
For closing up the transom I use the same method as Henny.
is only possible if there is enough room for access so I doesn't work
for the narrow bow of the F85SR. Works very well.
last couple of weeks I was
able to spend quite a few hours on the boat. Initially I made good
progress and both beams were soon ready to be laminated on the
underside. As I couldn't source any 320 gram unidirectional carbon, I
use a combination of 250 gram and 300 gram uni. The total laminate
weight is slightly higher than required. The 300gm cloth is easier to
handle but more difficult to wet out.
After I had laminated the
first beam and taken off the vacuum, I ran into a problem. I had made
an insert for the upper folding strut recess. This did not fully fill
the recess so I could finish the laminate properly. The indent probably
had caused some stresses in the vacuum foil leading to wrinkles in the
laminate. Not a good thing and I had to grind of the carbon. While
grinding down the carbon uni I found a few spots that were dry inside
the laminate, so I'm glad I did that. It creates a lot of carbon dust
For the second beam I decided to lay a piece of mylar
on top of the bleeder cloth and raise the insert for the UFS recess. To
prevent dry spots, I not only wet out the cloth on my laminating table,
but added epoxy as well when I applied the carbon to the beam,
carefully working the epoxy into the carbon. Also I used a slower and
thinner harder mix.
After putting on the vacuum, everything looked good. The next day
however, I found that the laminate wasn't smooth at all. The use of
mylar on top of the bleeder cloth didn't work out. On this beam I will
have to grind the uni carbon off as well.... Allows me to check for dry
This is no way to make progress however. Advantage
of these setbacks is that my laminating technique is getting better. I
haven't had any success in using vacuum on unidirectional carbon until
now. I had the same problem with the chain plates last year,
from now I will laminate the unidirectional cloth on the beams without
vacuum. In the mean time I'm waiting for the temperature to finally go
up and let me resume work on the floats.
week I laminated the inside
of the second beam. The preparations for vacuum bagging take quite some
time but give a good result. Before I applied the carbon I wet it out
on the laminating table, to ensure a good laminate. I also was able to
do a bit more finishing on the first beam. Space is confined inside the
beam but I make good use of the flexible extension of my dremel.
other builders already
wrote that building the beams is very time consuming. I can confirm
that. Internal work on the first beam is ready. I combined a few steps
so I could laminate everything under vacuum. To be sure the
carbon fibers stayed in place, I put a mylar sheet under the vacuum
foil. This worked very well. Work has now started on the second beam.
time my days off coincided
with a schoolholiday so I couldn't spend much time on boat building. I
did however cut parts for the folding mechanism and the beam pads.
time that I spend in the shed partly was lost in realigning a part in
the mould as I was not satisfied about it. When all preparations were
ready, I was just able to laminate the first carbon parts before duty
came back from a trip
through sunny South America it was a bit of a shock to see -17ºC ( 1ºF)
indicated in my car. Luckily the shed was still just above zero.... By
building a tent around the laminating table and using 2 electric
heaters I was able to create a workable temperature of 18ºC.
allowed me to continue work on the boat. While the tent was heating up,
I kept myself warm by sanding the floats.
I could make any parts for the beams, I first had to laminate some
panels, like a solid glass panel from which the CNC-router made several
I chose to cut the foam parts by hand with the template that I
had cut for the beam mould. The parts can be spaced closer together
this way. For the beams I had chosen to use PVC foam i.s.o. Corecell.
I'm glad I didn't do that for the hulls as it's a lot more brittle.
This is not so important for the beams, as the foam will be surrounded
by a lot of carbon cloth. It's easier to cut though.
As I want to
vacuum bag the beams as well, I routered rebates in the edges of the HD
inserts so the seams can be bogged close. This takes a bit of extra
work and by the time I was ready to
lay the foam into the mould, time was up!
The interior plan of
the F-85SR is different from the F-82R as the cockpit floor and bunk
height have changed. Settees are not included. F-82 settees can be used
but it is no longer possible to extend them under the cockpit seats.
With some fiddling I was able to think up a new interior using cushens
of different height and a pull-out kitchen. I have adapted the
drawings on the F-85SR page.
enroute for my job I
always try to prepare the tasks for my next period off. Sometimes I
also make a workorder. This way, when I'm at work on the boat I don't
have to spend time working things out. Last week I made the
mould, beamtop mould, beam stand, beam template and CMM mould. Work on
the floats was limited to some sanding. The temperature in the shed
slowly follows the outside temperature... It should stay above freezing
Farrier finished the lines for the main hull and the sailplan. Luckily
the chainplates do not need to be moved. I'll have to change my ideas
for the interior though.
temperature in the shed
dropped to about 8 ºC. My epoxy needs a mimimum of 15ºC for
application. Still I was able to work without problems though, as
lightbulbs keep the epoxy at about 20ºC in the heater box and an
electric heater keeps the inside of the floats at an acceptable
temperature. Smaller jobs on the outside kan also be kept warm by
building a temporary tent, but that is not as easy.
Except for the chainplates all
internal work on the floats is now ready. Also the cutouts for the deck
hatches are finished. I can't place the chainplates
yet, as Ian is still finalizing the sailplan, and they may have to be
placed further aft then initially intended.
Except for some
sanding and a few small jobs, work on the floats will now rest until
temperatures go up again. I don't want to heat the whole shed each time
I need to epoxy something on the outside of the floats. The beams are
not so big and I can build a tent around it which is easily kept warm.
So, I have now started to cut the moulds for the beams and the Central
Mounting Modules ( CMM ). The ash wood blocks for the beam pads are now
to be glassed.