Friday, June 21, 2013

Honest John's Fish Camp

We launched Friday afternoon at Honest John's Fish Camp.  Honest John's is a wonderful place on the Indian River Lagoon.  Established in 1880 it is still owned by the same family and has a laid back old Florida charm that is becoming hard to find.  Since Commodore Munroe built the original Egret in 1886 there's a good chance that he visited Honest John's at some point.

It's a short and very shallow sail from Honest John's to our favorite island, IRL1.  We could see bottom most of the time with depths ranging from 2-3ft with deeper channels.  As usual on Egret we ignored all navigation aids and just sailed where we pleased.  The cove on IRL1 was pretty full of WCTSS boats as we arrived late Friday afternoon.  

Folks were chatting and hiding from the sun.

Fleet on the beach. Yes that's a pirate ship at anchor in the cove.  No one was home.

Ron Hoddinott admiring Friday's sunset.

Fred and Ted's excellent adventure.  We sailed the Egret for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon.  The weather was perfect.  Note how much helm Fred is having to hold to keep the boat on course.

The water in Indian River Lagoon, near Sebastian inlet, was spectacularly clear.

I wanted to introduce Egret to the Atlantic and the crew was game so we poked out Sebastian inlet for a while.

 Pointing and reaching Egret handled the 4ft waves nicely. She tracked well and had a pleasant motion.  It was a dead down wind run coming back into the inlet and the waves were piling up a bit against the outgoing tide so the ride got a little uncomfortable.  Egret is not fast enough to surf in those conditions and she rolled pretty severely with each passing swell.  Not sure what is going on there as the Commodore specifically mentions Egret's ability to run off the wind with full sails up in almost any weather.  Either we don't know how to sail the boat (very possible) or the Commodore's idea of a good ride is more than I'm willing to put up with.  

 Sailing in waves is fun.

Our GPS track from IRL1 out Sebastian inlet.  We were not working real hard at sailing the boat, just casually tacking upwind.  On one tack we paid attention to the compass and it looked like we were tacking through 100-110 degrees.  The track tells the whole story.  The best of the tacks is 128 degrees and the worst 146.  Average is in the high 130 degree range.  Basically same as before the bilge board repairs.  Both boards were down.  So the boat is still making a ton of leeway.  Oh, and we had an outgoing tide helping us along.

  Coming back down the channel from Sebastian inlet.  Lots of powerboat traffic.  Picture by Dennis Marshall.

Picture by Dennis Marshall.

Picture by Dennis Marshall.

Picture by Dennis Marshall.

Saturday night campfire.

Everyone bugged out early on Sunday so we had the cove to ourselves for a little while.

Us and the Evinrude powered pirates.

On the way back to Honest John's.

We anchored near the ramp at Honest John's and dropped the masts.  Much nicer out in the breeze then roasting in a parking lot.  Stopped for lunch on the way out at the Sebastian Beach Inn.  This is the beach in front of the restaurant.  There are quite a few houses along A1A where the owners have to stare at this sort of thing on a daily basis.

More pics from the trip at the West Coast Trailer Sailor's website. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

End of Bilge Board Saga ..... For Now

Boards are done and installed in the boat.  As an experiment, I decided to foil shape just one board and leave the other flat and square edged.  The plan is to record a bunch of GPS tracks of Egret's tacking angles using each board and compare the results.  It will be interesting to see if there is any measurable advantage to the shaped board.

 Trailing edge epoxy pour.  Since the volume was pretty high I filled the trailing edges in two pours to prevent a runaway exothermal disaster.  Even so, the epoxy was too hot to touch.

The pivot pin and pennant holes got filled and re-drilled.

In the spirit of gettin'er done, the board pivots remain as originally designed with new 3/4" bolts.  This is what $40 of 316 SS looks like.

I used ply templates to get a consistent shape to the leading and trailing edges.  The templates are based on the shapes I used when building the Goat Island Skiff.  Since water flows diagonally across the boards I marked off guide lines and aligned the template parallel to the water flow, in theory...

After laying out appropriate guidelines I used the plunge router and fence to cut progressively deeper grooves in the leading edge.  These grooves act as guides for the belt sander.

When the grooves disappear you are done sanding.  Takes a bit of finesse with the 36grit belt.  Minor imperfections were filled with a final skim coat of thickened epoxy.

  Same deal on the trailing edge except the guide grooves are further apart.

Almost there.

Not too shabby.

Done except for final skim coat.

Comparison of shaped and unshaped boards just before installation.  The leading edges are facing up.

Looking down on the trailing edges.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bilge Board Gets a New Core

The hideous bilge board, dried out and getting ready for a shave.

After some scraping, chiseling and 36 grit belt sanding it looks a whole lot better.

Tracing outline onto new ply core.

Ply core cut out and lead weight holes drilled.  I bought a Lenox hole saw to match the size of the lead biscuits.  This is by far the best designed hole saw I have ever used.  Super sharp and coupled with the Bosh arm breaker drill motor it blew through the 3/4" ply in a couple seconds.  The best part is Lenox has cleverly shaped slots in the saw for clearing the cut plug with a screw driver or some-such.  They really, really work.

 I set up the ply core on edge to route a groove around the perimeter.

This groove will help key the epoxy and glass filler that will run the entire perimeter of the board.  The ply core is smaller than the skins so there will be a big fat chunk of epoxy protecting the core.

Core, lead and first skin being epoxied together.  You can see how much smaller the core is than the skin.  This  is the trailing edge so the glass-epoxy band will be deep to allow for shaping down to a relatively thin edge. 

A few hours later the second skin goes on.  It was a little warped so I had to persuade it flat with some weights and extra clamps.  The only advantage of using epoxy in Florida summer is you get things glued together pronto.....or create a huge mess if your'e too slow!  Tomorrow we seal the perimeter.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bilge Board Blues

While sailing at Cedar Key, the port bilge board pennant chafed almost all the way through.  I already knew that the bilge boards needed some attention because I could see the stainless steel banding that is wrapped around each board, coming loose but I figured that could wait.  The chafed pennant needed immediate attention so I jacked and dragged the Egret most of the way off the trailer in order to drop the board and replace the pennant.

Egret's flat bottom made for easy jacking and blocking.
The banding is separating from the board.  The boards are 1.25" thick and absolutely flat with square leading and trailing edges, yuck!

Nasty rotten ply core reveals itself as I drag the first board out from under the boat.
Might this have anything to do with Egret's lack of windward performance?
The latest in hydrodynamic leading edge profiles. 
When I lifted the board it literally split in two.  Both boards are in this shape.  The round pieces are lead.  Each board has about 25lb of lead in it.
Last but not least this is one of the monster 3/4" diameter board pivot bolts.  The head of the bolt fell off as I was putting a wrench on it.  Textbook case of crevice corrosion.  Bolt looks OK from the outside.
I'm trying to decide how much effort to put into building new boards.  The easiest solution it to just cut out new ply cores and re-bond the old 1/4" glass skins.  But then I'm still sailing around with crap shaped boards.  Foil shaped boards would look a lot better but I wonder if that would make any difference on a triangular ultra low aspect ratio board.  Hmmmm.