This website documents my progress in building a Farrier F-85SR trimaran.


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Buildlog 2013

14 dec 2013

I made the beamtops more than a year ago. To glue these on the beams I first had to borrow some clamps here and there. I used a mix of cotton fibres, aerosil and microballoons to make a glue. To keep the glue on top of the frames I used painterstape. All 4 beams are closed now.

The first panels for the main hull have now been laminated under vacuum. Some of the panels need more preparation work. I want to do as much as possible now to reduce the amount of fairing later. On the edges where the foam core is exposed, it has to be routered away and filled with putty, like with the bow tube floor. Then it has to be faired. I prefer to do that now.

As a testpiece I had thought to use the mini table, which will be fixed on the daggerboard case and be a base for the cruising table. My router failed however. It is now repaired under warranty. To cut the foam, I used my drill. The table was then filled with putty and laminated. Cutting the table will have to wait until the router is fixed.

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27 nov 2013

As the weather gets colder, I couldn't get the shed heated anymore. Time to reshuffle the interior. I moved the floats, to make space for the main hull. My old 'tent' had collapsed this spring, so I allready bought a new and bigger party tent last summer. With an extra plastic layer I easily get a nice temperature inside.

For the CMM's I only had one more lamination to go, so they are ready now. The LFS brackets on the fourth beam are in place and work on the inside of the beams is now completed as well. As I had ground away quite a bit of aluminium on some of the backing plates, I filled the voids with JBweld. I don't want to get into trouble with the screws that hold the trampoline in place. The pin tops that I made earlier were a good fit, and the PVC tube slid over easily.

The bow tube needs a little floor that is angled. As I wanted to laminate it in one go, I made a mold so I could laminate the floor under vacuum. The bow tube is now ready as well.

Preliminary work on bulkheads and panels for the main hull has also started now. As the drilling of all those holes takes so much time, I had made a nail board. Three taps with a hammer gives me 120 holes. Getting the board out again takes some fiddling, but it still is less hassle.

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9 nov 2013

The beam pads are now glued onto the CMM's. Work on the CMM's and the bow tube consists of several small jobs. In between you have to wait until the epoxy has cured. Almost finished now.

For gluing the LFS brackets it is important to have the beam area flat and level, otherwise stresses will be introduced when folding. Before the holes are drilled, the LFS is checked to be parallel with the beam in both directions. I routered two molds for this some time ago. This is a critical part of the building process.

In the building book Ian writes: 'May need some grinding at beam bracket bolt/nut areas to allow clearance for nuts'. Well, I had to grind away quite a bit. It's a nasty job in a tight corner taking a surprising amount of time. Everything has to fit well before fitting the brackets, as the brackets are glued down as well. Releasing the bolts to change the fit is not an option.

The pins for the LFS have a very tight fitting. When I have to fit them later, I will have to think of a construction to place them. For now I cheated by using a shaft with a 0.2mm smaller diameter. Still a tight fit though, I have to remove the pin with a hammer. One beam to go.

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20 okt 2013

This week I did a lot of small jobs. Even though small, together they take a lot of time. I made the beampads for the CMM's about 2 years ago, when I still worked with the F82R building book. While recaltulating the size for the F85SR beams ( which are smaller ) I made a mistake, causing the pads to be 5mm too small. As the pads are only loaded at the inside I thought to add some 5mm ply to the outside. To be sure I mailed Ian Farrier with this idea. Within 9 hours I had my answer: That is fine. Great support by Ian, even though he is very busy starting up production of his F-22.

Before I can glue the beampads on the CMM's, I first want to finish the inside of the cove for the upper foldings struts. This is a part where potentially rainwater can collect, although the design alows for drainage. Once the beampads are on it is very difficult to reach.

The chainplate for the forestay has to be positioned at the correct angle on the bow tube. I made a little mold to keep it in place while glueing. The rest of the work on the bow tube is a lot of small steps. They don't take much time, but I have to wait for the epoxy to cure inbetween.

The aluminum parts for the Lower Folding Struts are bolted together. The holes need to be alligned exactly. No allowance for twist, so I also made a mold for this. The bolts are SS. To make sure they stay fixed and to avoid galvanic corrosion, I smeared the bolts with loctite 271 and used an activator as the loctite does not cure very well with anodized aluminum and SS.

Internal work on the beams is almost ready. Only the tubes for the UFS pins have to be installed, but I want to delay that until I've installed the LFS beam brackets as the pin is easier to reach that way. Many trimarans have problems with leaking float hatches. This probably is caused by the floats pumping air when slicing through waves. Good ventilation, while maintaining water tightness, is important, and I hope to achieve that this way.

The bowsprit and parts are ready for sanding and painting. I will do that later, so they have been packed and put aside.

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5 okt 2013

Playtime is over, as I had to go to work again. After the previous update I continued building the boat, but it started with a setback. I tried again to make a foil control sleeve for the curved foils. After curing I only needed a light tap to free the sleeve. Perfect. But I can only move it by about 10 cm. After that it is completely stuck. Possibly the thickness of the UHMW is not constant.

The bow wing is finished and wrapped in old peelply, ready for later use. It is my intention to make as many parts as possible, before starting on the main hull.

For the bow sprit I needed a few more parts. I already made the anchor for the screecher. Both sides of the sprit needed a plug. On the front side I made a bracket of foam and carbon for the navigation lights.

The sprit will slide through a tube into the hull. I wrapped a few layers of mylar sheet around a plastic tube, and secured that with tape. The carbon sleeve was made with several layers of carbon sleeve. After the epoxy had cured, I cut the ends off and the tube came off effortless. It fits well, with the prescribed 3mm play.

Cutting into the bow sprit took a bit of courage. Carefully measuring to get everything lined up, measuring again, and then cutting into the tube with my multitool. I purposely cut the hole a bit small. Next week I will file the holes out to get a good fit. The sprit still needs a coating and it is very tempting to use a clear coat. I read a lot about problems with UV, so it's probably going to be white finish. A real shame to hide the beautiful carbon though.

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After laminating the underside of beam #4 all beams were at the same construction stage. I marked them well, as there will be specific differences between port, starboard, front and back. I still have to complete some internal work before I can mount the folding mechanism. The aluminum parts for the mechanism have just returned from anodizing and look very good.

In the mean time I also worked on the CMM's. For gluing the full glass plates, I made a mold, as shown by Martin. In the end I did not like it, so I lined everything up with a 19mm rod, a square and a level. After that I could glue the end pieces in the CMM mold. One CMM is now taped.

Last week I also received some pictures from another F-8SR builder. Clive started at about the same time as me, but is much further advanced in his build than me. His boat is almost ready. From this angle the boat looks really good!

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18 sep 2013

At this moment I've got a workperiod off which allows me to continue work on my boat. It's great to have a few weeks without jetlag and night flights. And sleep in my own bed every night.

While underway I completed the planning for the electrical system. I want a flexible and simple system, with a LiFePo4 battery for lightness. The conduits will be laminated into the boat so there will not be any visible wiring. All lighting will be LED. Part of that will be on its own batteries.

The aluminum parts for the folding mechanism are ready to be anodized. Beam #3 has been laminated on the underside. Beam #4 is out of its mold. The bow wing is ready. I'm now fairing the outside parts. The first parts for the CMM's have been glued together now.
Today the bow sprit arrived. Very long. scratch It almost ads a quarter to the boat length. I couldn't have made it so shiny and light myself.

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29 aug 2013

Because of work, vacation and work it took a long time before I could start on the boat again. I did get to sail in Miami though, on 'Ricochet. That F-27 is kept in mast up storage. A really neat way to keep the boat. Thanks Stefan!

For the Central Mounting Modules I had to laminate one more panel. I then routered and cut the parts. All parts for the CMM's are now ready.

For the bow wing I had thought to use a unidirectional carbon sleeve. It was quite a heavy cloth and difficult to wet out and get smooth and tight around the foil shape. Wrapping tightly in peelply did not solve this either. It did not turn out well and I easily pulled it off after curing. I then used glass uni as per specifications, rolled it around the wing and pulled a double bias sleeve on top to squeeze the laminate tight. I'll see the result next week.

At home I installed a new bathroom vanity. This freed up a sink to use as mold for the boat sink, using glass offcuts. Most commercially available sinks have a flat bottom. If the boat is at an angle, they will not drain and the stainless steel models are quite heavy. This way I can make my own carbon sink. smile I now have to find a low profile drain to find out how deep I can make the sink.

I'm not building everything myself. In a few days I hope to receive the bowsprit. This one is made in a mold, with al re´nforcements required by Ian allready there. I will not be able to make it that way. Also I had a protective bag made for my rudder. On the inside is neoprene. The outside is dacron, cut from the old genoa of my brother's boat.

Just before time ran out, I started on a new foil control collar. While wetting out the carbon I had another look at the knitted cloth that I use. The stitching gets loose and makes a rough surface. To prevent new problems, I will switch to a woven cloth, as I have that too. Using an offcut of foam I made a little panel so I did not waste the carbon.

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5 july 2013

Laminating the foil control collar goes in two stages. Everything seemed under control. When the laminate had cured, it was easy to slide it on the plastic sleeve. But I couldn't get it off. In the end I had to cut it in two. I had wrapped the carbon around the sleeve, probably too tight. As most fibers are under 45║  this strangles the sleeve. Adjustment of the curved foils is with bolts. I will pour some fibre reinforced epoxy around the nuts. I made a mold for that with my router.

Normally I work on my boat during daylight hours. This time it seemed handier to laminate the inside of beam #4 during the evening. I started a little later than planned. At the end I had 3 foam leakages to work on, which took quite some time, but I reached 0.5 bar/15 in Hg. As temperatures were still below normal I had heated the shed, but the epoxy was still hard to work with and I used more than normal. To speed up curing at last I build a tent around the mold and used an electric heater. Time flies by when you're having fun...

My wife wasn't amused when I came creeping into the bedroom at half past two in the morning.roll eyes My hat off to all people that build boats in weekends and evening hours. It took a bunch of flowers to make her happy again.

Heating the epoxy had worked well though. Despite the low pressure, the laminate looked good. There was a lot of epoxy in the bleeder cloth and it took quite some effort to get it out of the beam.

Then finally the weather improved, so I could sail my catamaran for the first time this year. It also allowed me to test postcuring on the daggerboard case. Although it was partly clouded with a temperature of about 20║C/70║F I did get almost 37║C/100║F in the plastic bag. Target is 40+/105+ When it became really cloudy, the temperature immediately dropped, but it gives me confidence for if and when we get warm weather.

Preparations for laminating under vacuum take about twice as much time as for hand laminating. Especially drilling all the bleeder holes when laminating two sides. It is worth the effort though. This week i laminated a 6mm ply sheet. I was a bit concerned about laminating a 2m44 panel on my 2m50 table. It worked out really well though. I shielded the tacky tape against epoxy with ducktape.

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17 june 2013

When I'm enroute for my job I can still do a lot for my boat building project. In preparation for the build of the main hull, I now have all frames, panels, bulkheads and floors ready in CAD. Everything stacked for minimum use of materials. Next step is writing the programs for my router.

The weather in the Netherlands finaly has improved and allowed me to help launching F-82R 'max'. It is great to look around and see several good ideas. Thanks Ernst!

The daggerboard case is ready. I haven't done much on the beams. Beam #4 is ready for internal lamination and beam #3 for external lamination. In the mean time I also started on the foil control collar for the curved boards. I ordered these from Ian Farrier and they will come my way in a few month. I also cut foam for the bow wing. It is not part of the F-85SR design, but is part of the F-82R drawings. I think it will improve safety when sailing solo and working on the bow.

The aluminium parts for the folding mechanism are almost ready. The last job was accurately drilling the bolt holes in the lower folding strut spacers and tapping M8 tread. 32 x 30 mm = almost a meter of thread. There is a lot of work in the folding mechanisme. Next up is checking the fit, wet sanding and cleaning before the bits are send in for anodizing. The parts don't look as shiny as Marks, but I am satisfied with them.

Once every half year it is time to clear out all the rubbish that I produce. Quite a lot.

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31 may 2013

Even in may, the temperature was still very low for the time of the year, and I still had to work in my makeshift tent. There was one advantage though: I had to pour an epoxy mix into the daggerboard case and with the low temperatures there is less chance for an exothermic reaction. As I used a slow hardener, I dared to do this in one go.

But first I had to glue the daggerboard cases together. Other builders had some problems, so I worked carefully. Basicaly both ends have to be clamped, while spacers give the case its correct size. In the middle the case sides parted, so I opted clamp the whole case and tack glue the sides together before laminating the reinforcements.

As I clamped the case sides to the laminating table, I was sure everything stayed straight. Disadvantage was that a small glue ridge developed on the inside of the seam, but this was easily sanded away afterwards. After laminating the front and aft sides, I could pour the keel insert. Ian asks for a thin fibre reinforced putty. I mixed what I thought was a thin mix and in the mixing cup it easily settled. After pouring it into the tube a rocky bottom was the result. More sanding was required after cutting out the daggerboard foil shape.

In the mean time I had finished sanding the daggerboard into shape. It now is ready for epoxyprimer and fits into the case neatly. Parts of the case which do not need taping later are faired now, to save work later. I only filled the weave and laminate edges. Because of the different laminate thicknesses, it doesn't make sense to make a smooth board. That takes too much filler = weight.

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In the mean time work on the beams also continued. The third beam now has all webs installed and is out of the mold. The fourth and last beam is now taking shape in the mold. Further down the build of the beams, I need the aluminium folding parts and these first have to be anodized. So, it was time to continue work on the folding mechanism. Most parts have been waterjet cut, but I needed to make the hull brackets myself out of aluminium angles. Luckily there is a good router at my wife's school. I also routered a hole jig for the lower strut spacers.

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12 may 2013

Due to the rest of the family enjoying a school holiday during my days off, I couldn't work on the boat very much, except for some filling and sanding of the dagger board. Recently the F-85SR that was build by Multihulls Direct made its maiden voyage. Pictures can be seen on  sailing anarchy, but I also placed them on my F-85SR page.

25 april 2013

Something which I had been planning for sometime already, was building in a magnetic switch for automatic homing of my router. Works great with a repeatability which is better than 0.1 mm.

Sometimes you find something which you should have used much earlier. In the Home Depot in Miami I ran into this great little paint mixer. Easy to clean and also usable for smaller amounts of epoxy.

This past week I worked on 3 projects. The daggerboard case halves both got a few coats of coppercoat. I want to prevent weed or other growth sticking inside the case as this will make lifting the board more difficult. To improve on friction, I used slightly less copper than advertised, and added some graphite. That is why the coat looks a bit dark. After that I tapped and glued in the bolts that act as studs for the cheek block.

At home, I'm fairing the daggerboard. That can easily be done with a few hours here and there. And at last I picked up work on the beams again. Last year I had problems laminating the aft beams. This time the lamination was not the problem, but the vacuum. Even though I took carefully preparations, some epoxy had managed to creep under the tacky tape. I then laminated the second beam without vacuum as well. I'm not sure yet how to proceed with the front beams. I can copy the trick that Arno used, who enveloped the beam in a very big bag. Probably should have done that on the aft beams as well. The first front beam has been laminated on the inside, and is now curing under 0.83 bar/25".

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7 april 2013

It is still much too cold for the time of the year, so I'm still working in my makeshift tent to keep the temperature under control. Both halves of the daggerboard case have now been laminated, trimmed to shape and are ready for the next step. I first build the right half. The left half has a tunnel for the control lines and it is easier to build up that part of the mold, than break it down without damage.

While laminating the left half I had some trouble getting a good vacuum. I found out I had some small holes in the vacuum foil. Duct tape is excellent stuff to seal these.

For the daggerboard I used quite a hard filler mixture ( including aerosil ) to fill the weave of the carbon cloth and a few low spots. The shape is quite good, and I will use variopox finishing filler for the last part. I also used it for the rudder, and it works perfectly.

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21 march 2013

For several reasons I had trouble keeping the build going at a nice pace for the last few weeks. One reason is the weather. It still is very cold, freezing outside and 5║C in the shed. This means that every time I need to work with epoxy, I have to heat my makeshift tent and plan all steps in advance, combining laminations if possible.

The leading edge of the rudder needed a bit more work than I anticipated. This could be done at home. I finished the rudder with variopox finishing filler, which is very easy to work with and gave a nice finish. The rudder is now ready to be painted, but needs to be used as a mold for the rudder case first.

Laminating the core for the daggerboard went very well. The carbon sleeve is easily stretched taut around the foam core and than wrapped in peelply. I fixated the core on my laminating table. I glued the daggerboard parts together under vacuum. The leading edge has the same reinforcement as the rudder, Kevlar tape and carbon tape to prevent splicing.

Work has also now started on daggerboard case mold.


3 march 2013

My days off partly lined up with a school holiday, so I was able to spend some time with my family. There was one downside: I didn't do much on the boat. The port side of the daggerboard has now been laminated. The starboard side is waiting in its foam bed and the core can now be made to size.

11 feb 2013

After the rudder, I now turned my attention to the daggerboard. This one will be build in the positive method, in two halves. To make sure the laminate sticks to the core on both the leading and trailing edge, the core is positioned on a 5 mm thick mold. Lamination is in 2 steps. The first step includes all UD carbon. The drawings show how much the rebate needs to be. As I use vacuum bagging, I reduced this a bit and that worked out very well. I only needed a thin layer of filler to get back to the profile. Like with the rudder, both halves will be quite flexible until joined together. When gluing the daggerboard halves together I want one side in a bed, to take out any deformation. The idea was to use polyurethane expanding foam between two plastic layers to create a bed. It worked well, but I hadn't given any thought to the amount of moisture in the air with the low temperature and humidity. I'll have to do it again.

I also worked on some other, smaller, projects. The daggerboard is very long and needs to be lifted up if you want to dry out or trailer. I couldn't find any suitable hand holds, so I made my own, with a little mold, from some carbon offcuts.

The rudder mount is build up from several layers. Its tempting to apply these in one go. Problem is that the layers need to be pulled tight in different directions. If you try to do this in one go, it will be a mess, so I build up all layers step by step. One step to go. From some offcuts I also build a part for the bowsprit.

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25 jan 2013

The new HD core looked really good. It was only twice as heavy as the original, 570 grams, so that was not too bad. The rudder halves each were still quite flexible, so I glued them together in one of the molds. The stiffness increased enormously. Rudder weight turned out to be 2800 grams, but that was before I  reinforced the leading edge with some kevlar tape and carbon cloth. The rudder only needs minimal finishing before it can be painted.

In the mean time I had my router cut the foam for the dagger board in steps of 1 mm. An hour of sanding gave a nice contour. Sanding the rebate for the UD took a bit more time. Most of it had already been cut by the router, but at the bottom I still had to work by hand.

For the rudder mount I'm going to deviate from the standard design. I want to use the remote tiller option and the reinforcement tubes will be in the way. After consultation with Ian, I decided to make the mount full carbon, but with the glass cloth weights.

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8 jan 2013

At Christmas I was at work and on New Years eve I was enjoying a family holiday in the French Alps. Great skiing there! In between I found a bit of time to do a few things. I cut rudder plugs for Henny's boat and laminated the HD core for my rudder.

The HD core has to be wrapped in carbon cloth, but I decided to use a carbon sleeve. This worked very well. Soller composites also had shrink tubing, to shrink around the sleeve and get a nice surface. This tubing needed way too much heat to shrink though, locally setting off the epoxy and causing the core to warp. I had hung the core from the ceiling with about 10kg load, but this did not help. So, next time I'll just wrap it in peelply.

So, after destructive testing I followed plan B and made a HD core from CF reinforced putty. This will be heavier, but also stronger. While I had to make a mold in MDF, I also made parts for the rudder mount as it is easier to combine such jobs.

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