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10 minutes ago, Stephen Lewis said:

Moving the traveler aft was my original plan for Pretty Penny, but it would have shrunk the cockpit too much. That is not a problem on Improbable.

With the new rudder the tiller will be much shorter, so will be more room.  Not sure yet whether or not to move the primary winches forward. Still have more deck layout design work to do....

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Actually, IMPROBABLE's tiller was 7', laminated of Kauri like the rest of her hull.  In breeze-on conditions under spinny, it took 2, even 3 drivers pushing and pulling on opposite sides of the tiller

Ok folks, here's a video intro to the Improbable story, and a new website is coming soon.  Sleddog, I hope you don't mind me taking license...;-)  

Possibly you've never seen Warwick (Commodore) Tompkins go hand over hand up a rig, even the headstay.  He was up the rigging at age 4, off Cape Stiff, on his father's schooner WANDERBIRD....see it he

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4 minutes ago, toad said:

Now that the improbable chainsaw massacre is well underway, "open transom" :) You'll never regret it, especially cruising.

Thought long & hard about that.  However a swim/scoop/step should do the trick.

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On 6/29/2019 at 4:33 PM, toad said:

Now that the improbable chainsaw massacre is well underway, "open transom" :) You'll never regret it, especially cruising.

Besides, with the now flush cockpit (done by dad so there would be a decent aft cabin), there isn't a cockpit well to extend to an open transom anyhow

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At SEA now, missing the boat already.  Back again on the 23rd for another session. Dave & Sarah will be chipping away at sturctural tasks in the meantime, along with Blake Bentzen (making interior pretty) and Neil Racicot (new rudder, etc,).  I'm lucky to have Improbable in a good place.

IMG_20190629_174354529-1664x1248m.jpg

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Deck mostly clear now, several spots to fix, then toe rails and stanchions coming off.  Whole deck will get a new epoxy & light glass sheathing and repainted

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On 7/5/2019 at 10:23 PM, hobot said:

Good Lord!....there's more Bentzens out there??

I wonder if Mr. Perry and he are friends?

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On 7/4/2019 at 1:37 PM, Haji said:

At SEA now, missing the boat already.  Back again on the 23rd for another session. Dave & Sarah will be chipping away at sturctural tasks in the meantime, along with Blake Bentzen (making interior pretty) and Neil Racicot (new rudder, etc,).  I'm lucky to have Improbable in a good place.

IMG_20190629_174354529-1664x1248m.jpg

 

Is that carpet on the deck just aft of the hatch????

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30 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Is that carpet on the deck just aft of the hatch????

My dad had made custom cut carpets over the thin teak decking in the cockpit.  Was thoroughly baked, so we pulled it all off soon after that pic.  Was debating whether or not to take off the teak, have decided to leave it on.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Fabulous Star Car (2001 Suzuki Esteem wagon) loaded full of aluminum & stainless pieces, headed for the scrap yard...

IMG_20190729_110029036-1040x780m.jpg

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39 minutes ago, Haji said:

The Fabulous Star Car (2001 Suzuki Esteem wagon) loaded full of aluminum & stainless pieces, headed for the scrap yard...

IMG_20190729_110029036-1040x780m.jpg

That's nutty!

 

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4 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Just don't let them grab the Esteem by mistake !

 

Yes, the car is almost scrap too!  However she's not quite dead yet...;-)

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17 hours ago, Haji said:

The Fabulous Star Car (2001 Suzuki Esteem wagon) loaded full of aluminum & stainless pieces, headed for the scrap yard...

IMG_20190729_110029036-1040x780m.jpg

Don’t make fun of the car, our 2000 Suburban is just as bad after a day’s working out the boat.  Yes, I can sympathize 

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They're called parts chasers for a reason.

Old Detroit land yacht wagons were the best for it - I had a few $200 ones that I used until something broke and then scrapped them. Being able to hose them out was a real benefit when they got glass dust in them. :D

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

They're called parts chasers for a reason.

Old Detroit land yacht wagons were the best for it - I had a few $200 ones that I used until something broke and then scrapped them. Being able to hose them out was a real benefit when they got glass dust in them. :D

The Fabulous Star Car; devoted support vehicle for the Improbable Project....;-)

IMG_20180820_103639170_HDR-1040x780m.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some of the latest progress...working out the new chainplate positions. Deck has been cleared, old hardware holes repaired & filled, etc.

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I should also report that last Saturday, with the help of great friends we spread my dad's ashes at one of his favorite spots in the San Juan islands.  I had some things to say; thanking him for the sailing adventures in my adolescence that I carry with me still.  I noted that we had our differences, however that I respected and was proud of what he accomplished.  And I know he was proud of me.  He was the greatest fan of my guitar playing, in addition to his pride that I pulled off sailing around the world.

I didn't think I would get choked up. But I did.  

For sure he would be giving me a ton of flack for the changes I'm doing to his beloved Improbable, however he would immensely enjoy doing so, and he would secretly look forward to the results...;-)

Haji

 

IMG_0131-1209x1612m.JPG

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Well, it was a very productive 3 weeks on the Improbable Project.  Major progress on the deck. The pics may not look much different than those above, however there was a lot of sanding, filling of countless old holes, and a light skin of 6oz epoxied on. At least she won't leak until I can get back in Sept or Oct (not sure yet). 

Had some great brainstorming sessions with Jim Betts on the new chainplates and rudder design & construction.  Still some planning to do, it all takes time...lots and lots of time...

Big thanks to all those pitching in. Especially cruising couple Dave Naughton & ace boatbuilder partner Sarah, who also have a cold molded kauri boat built in New Zealand! A lovely Jim Young desiged & built 37 footer named Aikane.  

Will try to upload a shot of Aikane...Dave & Sarah built the skiff in the picture...

IMG_20190622_180616943_HDR.jpg

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And here are some Improbable progress shots (similar to before, however every step forward counts.

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Just a few more...may look a bit sloppy, however most of the fairing on the glassed spots will get sanded off on the next trip. 

The fwd hatch sure stands out now that the rest of the deck is flush.  Hmm...may try to reduce that height by 50% or so.

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1 hour ago, gewoon ik said:

the hatch looks like it belongs on a shed.

Other than that, nice work

That foredeck hatch, along with the sliding companionway and cabin side windows will all be getting new plastic (Lexan).  Which will be much thinner and lighter than existing.

May also put in some hull side windows, 2 or 3 per side, for additional light and visibility from below.

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42 minutes ago, Haji said:

That foredeck hatch, along with the sliding companionway and cabin side windows will all be getting new plastic (Lexan).  Which will be much thinner and lighter than existing.

May also put in some hull side windows, 2 or 3 per side, for additional light and visibility from below.

It's probably worth the time to make a jig and stick that fordeck hatch in an oven to curve it.  The flat look is hideous.  With all the time you're spending - you're going to hate yourself if  you skip little details.  I know I hated myself for the couple of shortcuts I took on my old piece of crap.  Every time I look at them I think "idiot'.

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20 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

It's probably worth the time to make a jig and stick that fordeck hatch in an oven to curve it.  The flat look is hideous.  With all the time you're spending - you're going to hate yourself if  you skip little details.  I know I hated myself for the couple of shortcuts I took on my old piece of crap.  Every time I look at them I think "idiot'.

That's a great idea!  I'll bet Betts has done it before, and he has ovens there...  Would look a ton better for sure. Until you open it. Hmmm....Will look at perhaps sliding hatch options...

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6 minutes ago, Haji said:

That's a great idea!  I'll bet Betts has done it before, and he has ovens there...  Would look a ton better for sure. Until you open it. Hmmm....Will look at perhaps sliding hatch options...

Not necessarily as bad as you would think:

 

xHatch_pers.gif.pagespeed.ic.cZ8ZsI5LII.

I'd curve the companionway hatch too while I was at it.

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5 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

Not necessarily as bad as you would think:

 

xHatch_pers.gif.pagespeed.ic.cZ8ZsI5LII.

I'd curve the companionway hatch too while I was at it.

Was thinking about how it set on the deck when fully open.  Sliding would be lower profile.   Curved, and sliding...now you got me going.

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36 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I'd reframe the opening and put a conventional alloy & plexi hatch on it.

Have thought long about that too.  

Leaning towards a custom sliding setup if I can pull it off.  Building it, that is. Not pulling the sliding hatch off the deck...;-)

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1 hour ago, Haji said:

Leaning towards a custom sliding setup if I can pull it off. 

Sliding hatches are hard to get a good seal on. Unless you build a sea-hood for it, too, and that'd probably be as "big" as what's there.

 

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21 minutes ago, sledracr said:

Sliding hatches are hard to get a good seal on. Unless you build a sea-hood for it, too, and that'd probably be as "big" as what's there.

 

in this interview they also talk about the forward hatch on Flyer.... they couldn't get the sliding hatch waterproof and had one made...:

 

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56 minutes ago, sledracr said:

Sliding hatches are hard to get a good seal on. Unless you build a sea-hood for it, too, and that'd probably be as "big" as what's there.

 

Perhaps a "soft" hood....

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1 hour ago, Rasputin22 said:

How did that new rudder design from Neil work out?

We're still working on it.  I haven't made it easy by wanting to have a vertical shaft with the hull angle the way it is...

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1 hour ago, sledracr said:

Sliding hatches are hard to get a good seal on. Unless you build a sea-hood for it, too, and that'd probably be as "big" as what's there.

 

Perhaps a heavy duty canvas hood help tight with bungee along the edges that would keep water from going under the front the sliding hatch. When opening the hatch stretch enough does shove the hatch Ford underneath it... I'm sure there's plenty of things wrong with this idea, but I'll keep thinking about it.

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1 hour ago, sleddog said:

The deck light prisms were always cool!  We're sailing MERLIN this afternoon out of Santa Cruz for Wed night racing.  Join us if you dare.

I still have those deck prisms! I really like them but the glass is kind of heavy. Was thinking to look for some sort of lexan or plastic that can be cut into the proper shapes for replacements...

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12 minutes ago, Haji said:

I still have those deck prisms! I really like them but the glass is kind of heavy. Was thinking to look for some sort of lexan or plastic that can be cut into the proper shapes for replacements...

You can buy plastic prisms.

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Was in Anacortes today and went to see the carbon cutters at Betts Boats. Noticed Improbable in the yard and wish I had paid more attention to this thread recently as I would have taken a closer look, but did take this shot.

 

IMG_0780.jpg

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Yes, going to build an insert and tie it in vs the endless shaving it was taking to get the skeg off. This was the collective decision after a lot of discussion.  And there's an NC machine 100ft away in Betts' shop...

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Yes, think of a bike tire inner tube in a recess that the hatch slides over and either an electric or hand pump to fill it up. Seals the sliding hatch as it expands to fill the recess and press up against the hatch. Gaskets are super tough and available in a variety of sizes or custom.

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3 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Yes, think of a bike tire inner tube in a recess that the hatch slides over and either an electric or hand pump to fill it up. Seals the sliding hatch as it expands to fill the recess and press up against the hatch. Gaskets are super tough and available in a variety of sizes or custom.

Thanks, interesting!  Can you send me any links?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/14/2019 at 11:06 PM, TheDragon said:

Was in Anacortes today and went to see the carbon cutters at Betts Boats. Noticed Improbable in the yard and wish I had paid more attention to this thread recently as I would have taken a closer look, but did take this shot.

 

IMG_0780.jpg

Yeah, my son pointed the boat out to me when he gave me a tour of Betts when we were passing through there in July. I didn't know much about it, he just said it was Haji's boat when we walked by.

I'll be back in a few weeks, so I'll probably pop over for a closer look.

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Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Maine preparing for the Newport boat show. Then the IBEX show, then Annapolis.  Hopefully can get back to the project after Annapolis, and before METS...  And I will be out in December for sure. aside from working on the boat I'll be racing the cyclocross Nationals in Tacoma...:-)

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4 hours ago, Haji said:

Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Maine preparing for the Newport boat show. Then the IBEX show, then Annapolis.  Hopefully can get back to the project after Annapolis, and before METS...  And I will be out in December for sure. aside from working on the boat I'll be racing the cyclocross Nationals in Tacoma...:-)

I think I'm going to miss you then.  We're visiting Will on the 24th and hanging with him until we fly back to NZ on October 3rd.

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16 hours ago, Haji said:

Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Maine preparing for the Newport boat show. Then the IBEX show, then Annapolis.  Hopefully can get back to the project after Annapolis, and before METS...  And I will be out in December for sure. aside from working on the boat I'll be racing the cyclocross Nationals in Tacoma...:-)

You simply have to get your priorities straight. ;)

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4 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

You simply have to get your priorities straight. ;)

So true.  And on top of it all, my mom just moved to NC in the nick of time to get rained on by Dorian.  She's not even unpacked and is making me feel guilty I'm not there to help out.  It would be much better if she'd stayed in Seattle where I could visit on the way to & from the boat...;-)

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We toured Maiden, the female Whitbread winner some years ago, in Richmond a week ago. Maiden has sliding hatches that, when closed, have cams that rotate against an upper rail to press the hatch downward tightly against a gasket. The hatches and rails are about 3" thick above the flush deck level. that kind of thing might be applicable to Improbable.

Steve

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  • 1 month later...
36 minutes ago, Laser1 said:

Been following this thread and this appeared on my FB time line today.

Improbable

 

Great stuff.  I'm really pining to get back to the boat but have been swamped with work stuff at OceanPlanet Energy.  Will be out again in December, probably Dec 6-15 or so...

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, following the 75’th Sydney Hobart race and was thinking about the incredible races that took place back in the 60’s 70’s etc. It brought back memories of the Allen’s boat Improbable and Kim Desenberg, so I went looking to see if Improbable was still around. I remember Gary Mull was so focused on speed, I think she only had one throughhull for the engine intake. 

It is so great to see that your dad sailed her and she didn’t simply submerge to some unknown final resting place. 

Anyway, I was led to your thread Haji and have spent a couple of hours going through the thread reading all the stories and comments. Time well spent. 

I am glad to see that you are doing great things to get this classic speedster a refit and a little nip and tuck in the transom. 

A comment was made about Windward Passage, and I totally agree. I think Alan Andrews did the work on her and it is so great to see her out on the water bringing back memories of the Johnson, Demuse, Kilroy battles. 

With all the changes that are taking place I hope Improbable sails in a fast smooth balance for you on and off the wind.

Oh, and keep her red.

Cheers!  

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Thanks Steve!  

Progress has been slow lately, with winter and the long commute from Maine. However the design for new rudder and hull insert is coming along. 

There are many little details that are all parts of the overall vision, some of which have been stewing in my head since I was young....

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Great to see your love and hard work for that boat, it has a lot of memories.
For me, I remember Ron's dad arranging for the kids from the local sailing club to have a look on board while she was moored in Torbay (73? the actual date lost in the fog of memory).

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That's interesting, I've actually been to Torbay, it was a stop in the 02/03 Around Alone. Quite an adventure, had to madly finish the replacement boom which had been shipped over from Ted Van Dusen's shop in Concord, MA, USA.

Good to know that Improbable was there too, only 29 years earlier...;-)

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19 hours ago, steves411 said:

Hi, following the 75’th Sydney Hobart race and was thinking about the incredible races that took place back in the 60’s 70’s etc. It brought back memories of the Allen’s boat Improbable and Kim Desenberg, so I went looking to see if Improbable was still around. I remember Gary Mull was so focused on speed, I think she only had one throughhull for the engine intake. 

It is so great to see that your dad sailed her and she didn’t simply submerge to some unknown final resting place. 

Anyway, I was led to your thread Haji and have spent a couple of hours going through the thread reading all the stories and comments. Time well spent. 

I am glad to see that you are doing great things to get this classic speedster a refit and a little nip and tuck in the transom. 

A comment was made about Windward Passage, and I totally agree. I think Alan Andrews did the work on her and it is so great to see her out on the water bringing back memories of the Johnson, Demuse, Kilroy battles. 

With all the changes that are taking place I hope Improbable sails in a fast smooth balance for you on and off the wind.

Oh, and keep her red.

Cheers!  

It was when Improbable came to Sydney for the Hobart race that this then wide eyed teenager went for a sail on her with Skip. In turn my Canadian mother invited him over for Thanksgiving. I can only remember the opportunity of steering one of the fastest boat downhill, downhill with that tiller.

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  • 3 months later...

I was supposed to be there March 25 to April 8, but a little pandemic got in my way...

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Thanks for the pic.  Good to know she's ok...:-)

I'll get out there again as soon as it's safe.  Lots of work to do....

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10 hours ago, Haji said:

I was supposed to be there March 25 to April 8, but a little pandemic got in my way...

Total bummer. Our boat is in the yard, keel and rudder off, mast down. And she sits...

We've been in lockdown for 26 days now.

We're doing as many of the garage things we can, and I'm even making things up like carbon spin pole saddles for deck storage of the poles.

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4 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Total bummer. Our boat is in the yard, keel and rudder off, mast down. And she sits...

We've been in lockdown for 26 days now.

We're doing as many of the garage things we can, and I'm even making things up like carbon spin pole saddles for deck storage of the poles.

Don't let too many know you can make carbon parts...you could get deluged as all the yards have their hands tied...

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16 minutes ago, Haji said:

Don't let too many know you can make carbon parts...you could get deluged as all the yards have their hands tied...

I would go broke!  I take WAY too long.

To do it right I'd need something like a CNC machine to build the plugs/molds, but I do it by hand. I think I'm on my 4th layer of fairing the plug for this dumb little saddle.

Reminds me of the the Jordan lapstrake Baby Cradle I built, including the davits. It's awesome. Still in the master bedroom even though the kid is now 16. I had a couple enquiries on "make me one", but I figured I'd have to charge something like $5k each as I'm too slow. Just can't make a living with my hands. But I still enjoy it.

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31 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

I would go broke!  I take WAY too long.

Heh.  I can relate.  When I had my own rigging shop, I'd often charge what I thought the job was worth (aka, what *I* would have paid for it) rather than the actual cost.  That was .... not good.

I remember one job in particular, a guy wanted a mast-mounted winch removed and a replacement installed.  Quoted him two hours for it.  Didn't occur to me that the winch base and the aluminum pad it was mounted on had gotten married at some point in the past.  It took two DAYS to get the fasteners out, using everything from heat and oils and solvents to a sledge hammer and an impact driver, always trying to avoid twisting the heads off because having to drill out the bodies and use EZ-outs would have been a nightmare.  And then more time to pry the winch base off without damaging or distorting the pad.

So, yeah, then I charged him for two hours of work.  <O_O>

It was about that time I decided I needed to hire a business-manager with a heart of stone, so I could do the work and let someone else deal with the moral dilemmas.

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1 minute ago, sledracr said:

Heh.  I can relate.  When I had my own rigging shop, I'd often charge what I thought the job was worth (aka, what *I* would have paid for it) rather than the actual cost.  That was .... not good.

I remember one job in particular, a guy wanted a mast-mounted winch removed and a replacement installed.  Quoted him two hours for it.  Didn't occur to me that the winch base and the aluminum pad it was mounted on had gotten married at some point in the past.  It took two DAYS to get the fasteners out, using everything from oils and solvents to a sledge hammer and an impact driver, always trying to avoid twisting the heads off because having to drill out the bodies and use EZ-outs would have been a nightmare.  And then more time to pry the winch base off without damaging or distorting the pad.

So, yeah, then I charged him for two hours of work.  <O_O>

It was about that time I decided I needed to hire a business-manager with a heart of stone, so I could do the work and let someone else deal with the moral dilemmas.

Been there!  Now that I'm the "boss" here at OPE, I'm supposed to be the one with a heart of stone.  I often fail miserably, so I hired a bookkeeper who is serious and doesn't mess around...;-)  Now that we have more people on payroll, have to think about more than myself.  I'm lucky to have a really great team (most of whom are working remotely right now).  Hopefully the investment in them will pay off someday...I'll sure need it to, in order to finish the Improbable Project!

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1 hour ago, Haji said:

Don't let too many know you can make carbon parts...you could get deluged as all the yards have their hands tied...

a friend uses his (or his wife's) sauna to cure his creations... result: resin on the floor...

For example he build a carbon tiller for his J-35. (saved a lot of weight...)

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17 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Total bummer. Our boat is in the yard, keel and rudder off, mast down. And she sits...

We've been in lockdown for 26 days now.

We're doing as many of the garage things we can, and I'm even making things up like carbon spin pole saddles for deck storage of the poles.

If ya don't mind my asking, how are you doing that?  3D printing a male mold and then laying up the CF? 

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13 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

How much weight? 1 Lb?

the standard wooden tiller is big and heavy, the carbon replacement with a foam base is much lighter... probably 1-2 kg... but he had a lot of fun making it....

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16 hours ago, sledracr said:

It was about that time I decided I needed to hire a business-manager with a heart of stone,

congrats on the nuptials :D 

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5 hours ago, daan62 said:

the standard wooden tiller is big and heavy, the carbon replacement with a foam base is much lighter... probably 1-2 kg... but he had a lot of fun making it....

Well... as long as he notified his local PHRF board about the modification...

 

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9 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

If ya don't mind my asking, how are you doing that?  3D printing a male mold and then laying up the CF? 

Hand building the plug, CNC would be better.

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  • 1 month later...

We're swamped here at OPE, and I'm supposed to be working... But I couldn't resist having a peek at the thread again.  Hoping to somehow arrange a trip to Anacortes soon.  I'm going crazy with the boat just sitting there...groan...

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/2/2020 at 7:41 AM, Haji said:

We're swamped here at OPE, and I'm supposed to be working... But I couldn't resist having a peek at the thread again.  Hoping to somehow arrange a trip to Anacortes soon.  I'm going crazy with the boat just sitting there...groan...

Tell me about it. Kahoots has been in the yard for ages, with the yard at 1/2 staff and no hurry to launch we’ve taken our time. Keels back on, autopilot installed. mast this week, instrument senders in, need the prop shaft and prop back in, bottom is 1/2 painted. 
then back to the slip for deck painting, instrument install, hatch rebed, repair/replace, a real charger for those fancy carbon batteries off that internally regulated alternator, etc, etc.
 

Best of luck getting back out west

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Tell me about it. Kahoots has been in the yard for ages, with the yard at 1/2 staff and no hurry to launch we’ve taken our time. Keels back on, autopilot installed. mast this week, instrument senders in, need the prop shaft and prop back in, bottom is 1/2 painted. 
then back to the slip for deck painting, instrument install, hatch rebed, repair/replace, a real charger for those fancy carbon batteries off that internally regulated alternator, etc, etc.
 

Best of luck getting back out west

 

 

 

Thanks.  And even with your delays I'm definitely a bit jealous...

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  • 2 months later...

So I've been chickening out (so far) on flying out west.  Been looking at train (probably even worse risk with more transfers, etc.) or even driving with my old gen1 Honda Insight.  Biking is definitely out of the question...have always want to bike cross-country, but east to west is upwind....;-)

Will have to bite the bullet and fly at some point. I'll just wear my sanding outfit on the plane...

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2 minutes ago, Haji said:

So I've been chickening out (so far) on flying out west.  Been looking at train (probably even worse risk with more transfers, etc.) or even driving with my old gen1 Honda Insight.  Biking is definitely out of the question...have always want to bike cross-country, but east to west is upwind....;-)

Will have to bite the bullet and fly at some point. I'll just wear my sanding outfit on the plane...

Heard on NPR just yesterday that planes aren't too bad due to the filtering. Similar to outdoors.

 

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16 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Heard on NPR just yesterday that planes aren't too bad due to the filtering. Similar to outdoors.

 

Yeah, I'm probably being a wuss.  However, in the past I've caught a cold on what seems like 50% of the times I fly.  Perhaps that's inflated in my memory, out of paranoia. Last year, coming back from METS (or perhaps while in Amsterdam) I caught a horrific cold that lasted well over a month. Totally messed me up for Cyclocross Nationals where I was hoping for top 10, but could only manage 24th after a month of hardly riding.

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