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F-9RX wood core questions


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Hi all, I am in the market for a F trimaran. I have located a lovely F-9RX, 2013 amateur built with some professional supervision. The result is awesome and I am hesitating because it is built with a wood core. It is Durakore 1" strips of end grained balsa sandwiched between thin hardwood veneers (the stuff is still available under the name "Baltek Durakore") all laminated and reinforced in critical areas as per Farrier plans and more. The hull is perfect, amas too, no moisture, no delamination. All checked and double checked.

I have made many mistakes in my 45 years of sailing and owning various boats and I am hoping not to make another one...

I am wondering about resale value. Although these trimarans seem to hold well in the market and have done so in the last 30 years, is the fact that this one, homebuilt with a wood core (vs foam) will become a hard sell even if I manage to keep it dry? confused.gif

Thx, Pierre J

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A cedar Farrier F9RX finished in 2013 is a strange beast. The first F32 were finished in 2005 or 2006 if I remember correctly, and Ian offered plan upgrades.

I would only buy it if it was significantly cheaper than a comparable foam boat. And I mean at least 30%.

You wrote "as per Farrier plans and more" - I would also be weary of changes  to Ian's plans. Unless the builder was someone like Randy Smyth, Ian probably knew better what laminate schedule was best. A few additional layers here, a few there and bam, once the builder gets into the overbuilding-mindset, your have another 200kg on the scale.

You are looking for a boat in Canada?

Paul

 

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Yep Toolbar, looking in Canada, more specifically Quebec province to avoid paying sales taxes. She is built with Durakore balsa strips.

and Team VMG, dud? I’m no Shakespearian specialist, but I sense you mean something very negative?

BTW, I appreciate the feedback if it helps me avoid a mistake.

Thx, keep it coming PJ

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Balsa is a fantastic core material if it is kept dry. I'd look very favorably on a well built Duracore boat myself. Do you know if the boat is in the right weight range? What epoxy was used? A homebuilt boat can be lightyears ahead of most production boats in terms of build quality, depending on the builder's attitude and skills, of course.

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A boat built from wood is always harder to sell. It is  the unknown capabilities and attention to detail of the builder. As far as I'm concerned saying it was "built under professional supervision " does not cut it with me. As in all professions there are good and not so good and when building from wood you need the best.  Also with the dominance of fibreglass in the industry  a lot of professional builders may have never even worked on a wood boat let alone built one. Nothing wrong with wood boats if built right but it is too easy to cut corners and someone pays the price later on.   Are you OK with the  risk?

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1 hour ago, The Mad Hatter said:

A boat built from wood is always harder to sell. It is  the unknown capabilities and attention to detail of the builder. As far as I'm concerned saying it was "built under professional supervision " does not cut it with me. As in all professions there are good and not so good and when building from wood you need the best.  Also with the dominance of fibreglass in the industry  a lot of professional builders may have never even worked on a wood boat let alone built one. Nothing wrong with wood boats if built right but it is too easy to cut corners and someone pays the price later on.   Are you OK with the  risk?

It’s not a wood boat. It’s a glass boat with balsa core, not foam.

balsa has some amazing properties, keep it dry and it’ll be fine.

if the resell is lower, so what, you paid less, right?

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5 hours ago, Raz'r said:

It’s not a wood boat. It’s a glass boat with balsa core, not foam.

balsa has some amazing properties, keep it dry and it’ll be fine.

if the resell is lower, so what, you paid less, right?

I am familiar with both duracore and end grain balsa as a core. It is using wood instead of foam as a core so I call it a wood boat. The more friendly term is composite. If it is built right it would be a great boat.  It will be heavier than a foam cored boat so if I thought the boat had been built well enough for me to consider buying I would want it weighed to quantify the  difference. Built right at a reasonable weight it would be more durable than a foam cored boat.   

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I guess my point was; if a home builder was building a boat for him (or her) self, the motivation for quality could far outweigh the hours it takes to create quality. Production and custom boats are motivated by profit, so the hours are watched like a hawk by the bean counters. It's the hours that cost, and the home builder is not so often constrained by time. I think the weight of the finished product is very important, but lightly built foam core boats are delicate. Some of the absolute worst construction I've witnessed was in high priced custom boatbuilding. Not to say that that's the norm, but it happens. All I'm saying is that a well built, home built boat could be the far better value. The wood part would be a bonus in my book.

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Russell, well said. I agree 100% in every point that you have made as long as the home builder knows what he is doing.

I have built many timber boats for myself.   My latest build has a foam core and while It is a great boat and sturdy by foam standards  a timber cored boat would be more durable.

Nothing to do with build quality , just the difference in properties of the materials.

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21 hours ago, SCARECROW said:

IIRC Jeff Schionning used to spec Duracore almost exclusively for all his home built catamarans. 

I helped build one of Jeffs’ designs around 15 years ago and it was built from Duflex panels. Duflex differs from Durakore in that it doesn’t have the timber veneers and comes from ATL as pre glassed balsa cored panels. They are very stiff panels but end up quite a bit heavier (but much cheaper) than the pre glassed pvc foam panels also produced by ATL. 

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I want to weigh the boat and compare with the Farrier specs. Found the F-9A to be 3000-4000lbs (more cruising version) and the F-9R is 2700-3300 (Minimal interior and longer rotating mast and foam core). The X version approx 15% larger main hull... I can’t find the recommended spec... btw those are “empty weights “ is that including mast, boom, sails or completely naked? Current owner claims he weighed her in at 4600lbs with mast, boom, 2 sails, 9.8hp 4stroke, 3gals gas, no water or poop...

Further thoughts if you please gents, thx, PJ

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If you want real world weights rather than designer estimates check out the MYCQ OMR page http://www.mycq.org.au/omr/omr-ratings and filter the F9/F31's out of the spreadsheet. These are actual load cell weights, all up racing weight. There are a few double ups with the same boat appearing more than once but the data is basically sound.

Mixture of foam (e.g. Hawkeye) cedar (e.g. Goldfinger) and balsa core (e.g. Tearaway) boats there. Weight is all up racing weight, i.e. everything but the crew. Average is 2096kg, which includes a few light and heavy outliers. 2000 kg to 2050 kg would be a reasonable expectation. 4600 lbs is 2086 kg so right on the average.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My F9A is a Gavin Hall built boat put together launched in New Zealand in '92 its built from Baltek Duracore and epoxy.  I can tell you its a lot more solid, quieter, better insulated, and just looks alot better than the two piece Corsair boats with big seams running along the amas.  Its had no issues with leaking, rot or any other problems.  Its an old boat but its holding together well.  Insuring no problem with Progressive.  Maintenance is easier since its painted and not gelcoated exerior.  Its a very lightweight and fast boat too!  Build quality is over the top!  Duracore has better curves without the cuts neccessary in foam and uses little to no fill to get a fair smooth surface.  Impact resistance and shear strength is much greater than foam.  Yes it can wick and soak water but if its been saturated with resin properly this is not a problem.  I keep the boat in a mooring so I also use a proper epoxy barrier coat on the bottom.  Boats never had or do I worry about rot its just not an issue.  My previous was a '91 F27 so I'm familiar with the Corsair foam cored boats, IMHO the Duracore boat is much superior but it does have to be put together right, which usually means professionally built.

Steve

F9A Malolo

IMG_20191110_130742294_HDR.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Malolo_F9A said:

My F9A is a Gavin Hall built boat put together launched in New Zealand in '92 its built from Baltek Duracore and epoxy.  I can tell you its a lot more solid, quieter, better insulated, and just looks alot better than the two piece Corsair boats with big seams running along the amas.  Its had no issues with leaking, rot or any other problems.  Its an old boat but its holding together well.  Insuring no problem with Progressive.  Maintenance is easier since its painted and not gelcoated exerior.  Its a very lightweight and fast boat too!  Build quality is over the top!  Duracore has better curves without the cuts neccessary in foam and uses little to no fill to get a fair smooth surface.  Impact resistance and shear strength is much greater than foam.  Yes it can wick and soak water but if its been saturated with resin properly this is not a problem.  I keep the boat in a mooring so I also use a proper epoxy barrier coat on the bottom.  Boats never had or do I worry about rot its just not an issue.  My previous was a '91 F27 so I'm familiar with the Corsair foam cored boats, IMHO the Duracore boat is much superior but it does have to be put together right, which usually means professionally built.

Steve

F9A Malolo

IMG_20191110_130742294_HDR.jpg

lovely boat.

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Killer ride Malolo! I recently learned that balsa (as a core material) can be infused and gain very little weight from resin absorption. The end grain only absorbs as deep as the individual cells and with infusion, the skins have very low porosity. 

I'd like to do some testing myself.

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8 minutes ago, Russell Brown said:

Killer ride Malolo! I recently learned that balsa (as a core material) can be infused and gain very little weight from resin absorption. The end grain only absorbs as deep as the individual cells and with infusion, the skins have very low porosity. 

I'd like to do some testing myself.

I would think that the higher the resin absorption the lower the chance of moisture absorption and the higher the compressive strength.

If you do get around to  testing Russell please post the results.

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2 hours ago, trisail said:

Pretty boat!

I think the F9 is the best looking of all of Ian Farriers's designs.

And a beautiful boat to sail offshore too. I miss mine.

I beg to disagree with the first part of your statement. Of course, the F32 is better looking :)

I wholeheartedly agree with your second sentence. Unless you are beating into big waves, the Farrier trimarans are great boats to sail offshore .... and I miss mine too.

Sarimanok Barquera.jpg

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21 hours ago, Sarimanok said:

I beg to disagree with the first part of your statement. Of course, the F32 is better looking :)

I wholeheartedly agree with your second sentence. Unless you are beating into big waves, the Farrier trimarans are great boats to sail offshore .... and I miss mine too.

Sarimanok Barquera.jpg

Yep, also pretty! Obviously comes from a good family hey!

Did you build her yourself?

My old boat, an F9AX that I built myself. Foam core, hand-layup. Minimalist boat with no gadgets. A no budget boat, we had no money, so no need for a budget.

But a mate and I did take it on an epic 1800 mile ocean race.

Sadly sold it 9 years ago to a good home.

 

image.jpg

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22 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Really enjoyed this story. Brought me back to my Vic Maui race on Redshift. The F31s really are fantastic boats.

 

Thanks Wayne,

Your voyage and the pics of your yellow hulled Redshift helped to keep me going while I was toiling late into the night building mine.

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14 hours ago, Russell Brown said:

Tell us about the epic ocean race please. That is a f'ing cool ride!

 

Hi Russel,

Check Nyker's link. That's the story. 

Yes, these little multis really are cool rides on the open ocean. As a kid, pictures of the Brown's boats have also encouraged my ventures into trimaran sailing. My first multi after a Hobie 14 was a Dragonfly 8 meter. ( the fixed beam jobby)

The guy who bought the boat from me has now done the same race three times, first to finish every time. So I'm pretty proud of my backyard built F9AX.

After 12 years of some heavy sailing the boat is 100% sound.

Here are some pics of their race starts. Not my pics. Taken by the crew's family and friends.

image.jpg

image.jpg

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