'Triple Jack' rebuild...FU Irma!

European bloke, how right you are.

Back in the day in Plymouth the cure would have been a 'Captain Jasper's everything burger' with a large mug of tea.

Got a good day in today. Hurricane season is done, winter weather has arrived. It's 27 C not 28.

I finished up the laminates around the dagger board casing collar and sorted the salon seat box with finishing tabs. Paul had session one with the main hull bow reinforcements, nice work gone on there. Steve continued with the new chainplate fabrication and absolutely nailed the stbd fwd beam fairing panel.. We are all following the Vendee Globe and our thoughts went out to Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss who was also laminating today. I hope he packed the fast catalyst, that extra slow takes a week to go off, Charal will be alongside him by then! I'm sure he has got some seriously good materials and training to take the task on. Word is that by heading SW he'll connect with the Westerlies first while the others are still in the variables. Seriously though, hats off to all of them especially Monsieur Cam at 61 in a non foiler doing the business. 500 mile days, cheese on bread, that is motoring! 







Crikey, what a lot going on in the performance sailing world just now eh? Poor Hugo Boss, I was believing in his repairs, then no sooner had he got going again he picks up a fishing net at 20kts + which I guess rips off the rudder. What a bummer. And Edmond the trimaran suffering a similar fate, albeit closer to home. Anyhow, go Sobedo go, I hope they do it. For the Vendee my money is on Sam Davies for first of the fairer sex and Kevin Escoffier on PRB. We have a bit of a sweepstake going on.

Back to business, just Steve and I today. Paul junior had back spasms in his loft whilst getting the christmas decorations out! I got the engine cover installed and we had a first look at the new 'yacht like' salon floor. It needs a bit of chocking here and there to be right but overall it looks grand. I also ventured aft to close off the old aft board deck exit and did some general sorting out back there. It has always been an area of the boat that doesn't get much attention. Steve was on front beam fairing details. The time whistled by.

Ah well, a pretty lame posting but they can't all be high drama and exciting history!

See below a picture of 'Blitz' with her new rig. We have her old one just 50' away in the rack. We are gradually sorting out the details for converting it to a trimaran mast.














Super Anarchist
Crikey, what a lot going on in the performance sailing world just now eh? Poor Hugo Boss, I was believing in his repairs, then no sooner had he got going again he picks up a fishing net at 20kts + which I guess rips off the rudder. What a bummer. And Edmond the trimaran suffering a similar fate, albeit closer to home. Anyhow, go Sobedo go, I hope they do it. For the Vendee my money is on Sam Davies for first of the fairer sex and Kevin Escoffier on PRB. We have a bit of a sweepstake going on.
In the meanwhile, Kevin's boat broke in half...

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In the meanwhile, Kevin's boat broke in half...
So, my choices in the sweepstake were;

Charal, PRB and Sam Davies. Hmmm, I'm not retiring this year...Sam has hit something and is heading slowly North.

It really appears that sailing fast offshore requires a plan for hitting something big, I'm looking at our daggerboard casing thinking 'what if'.

If our rudder got swept off we plan to keep the outboard bracket so fitting an outboard could become emergency steering...maybe with the addition of a 'shelled out rudder part' that sleeves over the outboard leg?

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A rainy day here in the BVI's, not conducive to getting anything meaningful done! Two Paul's, Steve and I gamely hung around getting some stuff done but in the end the rain beat us, we packed up the tools and buggered off home.

Paul junior and Steve did manage to trial fit the new stem fitting, an old alloy plate that we fitted years ago as a 'back up' got removed and discarded. Senior and I messed about trying to level up the salon floor and cut out some plywood sacrificial panels to protect the shiny new bits. I got the saildrive GRP collar cut out and trial fitted. Having dealt with saildrives for nearly 30 years I long ago reached the conclusion that the factory rubber flanges are a waste of time. Gluing them on is marginal at best, when that fails I have seen thin battens used to secure them. Much better to simply knock up 3 or 4 lams of 10oz cloth and make up a GRP flange that can be secured with 50/200 or similar. You just need up to 5mm all around to allow the saildrive leg to rattle about a bit and it is job done. Epoxying it on will just mean that a new flange will be required when the saildrive leg needs removing, the 50/200 can just be knifed through come that time.

During the week I laminated up some 1" H80 divinycell which will form part of the aft cockpit 'wings'. So, all in all not the end of the world.

History? Here's a few shots of our first 'fancy' Quantum carbon main that was a beast of a sail. It met it's end off St Martin when the first reef block failed during a windy Heineken regatta. No safety line rigged around the clew, bad form! The reef lines were also foolishly around the boom which meant the belly of the sail was simply ripped out of it. Lessons learned there! TJ old timer 'Super' Dave Shaeffer looking slightly despondent with the remains, but still sailing with the second reef in. 


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Nice weather now and plenty going on.

There are airplanes in the sky again and even a few boats at anchor in the bays...the BVI's are slowly opening back up. I wouldn't call it a 'rush' of tourists, I think around 600 to date, all of them doing 4 days quarantine either ashore or afloat. 3 new cases imported, all positives after day 4. It's good see some normality coming back and a bit of business...but most of us have essentially written off this season. The seaports are still closed so no ferries. That may change late Jan but no there are no plans yet to allow private yachts in, unless delivered here by a few approved companies. Nanny Cay is suffering, no new business sailing in at all, it's just boats leaving. 

A good week onboard the 'Triple Jack'. Steve and I carried out a monster grind fest on Wednesday which was mercifully overcast but no rain. I used the air-fed outfit and spent 3 hours suited up with 15 cubic feet per minute of air conditioned luxury clean air filling my hood. 2 Honda generators running flat out and 4 grinders to share the love. I find the 'flapper wheel' grinding discs best to use these days, they are more tolerant of tight spaces and you can use them to 'edge' grind at a pinch. They last better too.

With that done the door was opened to repairs all over as you can imagine. Today I bogged in a new panel to replace the cockpit hatch lost in Irma and then glassed in the inboard stbd chainplate deck panel. That area is subject to aft beam 'loadpaths' so it was tabbed in well. Steve set up the form for the stbd chainplate and got the uni ready for action. Paul Junior fitted the new stem fitting and then shot down below to add 2 large tabs to his foredeck repairs having seen that it was all ground ready to go! Senior was a bit quiet having lost his 15yr old pooch this week, poor bugger. Having only buried her on Friday afternoon I suggested he might therefore be in great shape to dig the rudder fit hole. He managed a smile, but was happy to just form the cleats we need to hold down the new floor frame. We had him laughing like a drain later on after a couple of beers.

We had a bit of a shocker with those panels I laid up last week using regular cheapo boatyard resin. To refresh, the first coat on the divinycell was thickened resin, then a layer of chop strand, then 90/90 biax, then a 10oz cloth, then peel ply. All done without any exotherm, peel ply fully wetted out and what I though were a perfectly legit panels. I pulled the peel plys off once cured and all looked OK until I pulled at a corner and found the 10oz cloth was simply lifting away like a second peel ply. Bollocks! Today I gave up all hope of it being just one corner and we easily pulled off the 10oz cloth from all the panels. I have no idea what went wrong, some years ago we treated all the topsides to a layer of 10oz cloth but used epoxy, none of that has failed. Is cheap polyester really that bad? There was nothing wrong with the chop strand to 90/90 layer, nor the bond to the core. The pulled off 10oz is still 'resin bound', it feels like a well starched shirt. Hey ho, older and wiser, I have more vinylester on the way!

The rigging scene is hotting up. It looks like we can re-use the synthetic 'Norseman' terminals after all. The big question is how to attach the shrouds to the mast. Stemball to eye fittings are available but we like the look of the 'cheeky tang' composite 'ears that would accept the hefty spectra loops we already have spiced to the shrouds. For the Atlantic 42 application they looped over a masthead knuckle on the fixed part of the mast foil. All good stuff, a solution seems to be on the cards. If anyone has used the cheeky tangs it would be great to hear about them. I guess a lot hinges on the quality of that SS bolt!

No history, just a couple of happy faces. That's Jo Jo and his brother Daniel, they both have jobs at another yard now and are as happy as Larry. I think they got their back pay too, the Labour Department here made sure of that.



















New member
We used Cheeky Tangs on Morello. They work well. We had a S.S. bolt machined. Emailed a drawing and description.



Super Anarchist
Out of the Office
I love this project.  I sure as hell would not have the devotion that you guys put in every week.  Go you good things.

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Good evening from the BVI's on this, the shortest day...always a good day when you know the days are now going to draw out.

We are still some way off the momentous 'fitting the coachroof' moment...projects keep cropping up that require the sun roof to be open. The latest is cutting a large access panel out of the port beam longitudinal bulkhead. Why? Well, during the week I was looking at the aft beam box sections (see last pic below of one being built) and I asked myself where the weak point is. I identified it as the aft transverse panel of this structure. Then, looking closely at the panel after hosing GRP dust off every nook and cranny midweek I noticed streaks of 'paint failure' cracks in these panels. They were along the loadpaths presumably created by the sponson driving upwards into this panel or the rigging loads creating similar loads on the opposite tack.  Bear in mind that these 'aft beam boxes' are the only connection between the main hull and the sponsons aft of the mast. For 38 yrs they have been subjected to regular abuse in the form of rig tension loads on one tack followed by nastier twisting and compressing loads on the other tack. Then along came Irma and in the blink of an eye catastrophic loads were cruelly applied fracturing the stbd side and possibly compromising the port side. It has to be said that the boxes you see below survived intact. The port side vertical panel that closes off the box in the cabin had an almighty bow in it but I think that was there before Irma, my memories are a bit sketchy. Anyhow, back on topic, it's time for Steve and I to figure out what best to do. I print out the shot of the box section being built and another of TJ hanging vertically in crane slings after Irma.

In the past our repairs had been focused on what was broken or showing signs of breaking. Notably after the 2001 Heineken regatta the aft beam bulkhead structure was obviously in trouble amidships. We duly sistered up the bulkhead with 1/2" ply both sides up to the 'box sections'. That worked well but it's that old cherry of making one part of the boat so strong that the loads get transferred somewhere else. Now we have the stbd outer box section to sponson connection rebuilt and possibly stronger than the original more will be asked of the box. Since Irma Steve has been surveying and as a result he has a keen eye for weaknesses, in his words 'most repaired structures will display problems where the original structure meets the repair. Aye Aye! Sunday morning saw the grinder come out for an 'under the surface' examination of these paint cracks. Sure enough we found fractured laminates around the cracks, zoom in on the photos here and you can see. The solution? Well, at the very least we will be laminating both sides of the aft walls of the box. The forward faces have the aft beam fairing to share the loads, so maybe that's just an inner laminate there. Sadly the 'Triple Jack, Exmouth' signwriting that was expertly sign-written by our old Cockney friend Tony Parrot will be ground away. His masterstrokes will be gone with the mists of time, those letters have been 'touched up' by wives and girlfriends over the years, we have always worked repairs around them! At the end of this rebuild we don't want a boat that is just good for a few more years, we want to finish up with a platform that can last another 40 years, why not? With this aft structure sorted there will be precious few other areas of concern. Chainplates done, stem fitting, front beams, aft beams and bulkheads, foredeck, mast step...it will all be in our minds and to our abilities 'beyond reproach'.

Other stuff done this week that was getting shit done, not creating more work...

Stem fitting, glassed in at deck level with 1mm gap all around, stbd fwd beam fairing FINAL lams, aft cockpit 'tunnel' hatch closure panel glassed in, fuel tank frame fitted...yeah.















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Evening all. Here we go into the 4th year of this blog! What a thing. We all had some time off but there has also been some good progress. Today Steve and I got a good few square feet of biax over the outside of those aft box sections. A new batch of Vinylester resin has arrived so we are using that for large panel repairs rather than epoxy. After laminating today we prepared a few test panels to see how it is adhering to various surfaces from raw core to ground 40yr old TJ panels. It would have been nice to do the test first but we figure something has to be really bad for large panel laminates to fail...but I have to say I'm a bit twitchy after seeing that 10oz cloth rip off easily like a 'peel ply' with regular Boatyard Polyester resin. The new resin today wetted out the cloth nicely and all the signs are good, so fingers crossed. Paul junior knocked the stem fitting down some more and did a big old 'Christmas pudding' fill on the snout. He'll be having a dusty time fairing that lot out next Sunday. Then it will be stem fitting up and sealed into place with outside lams completing the job around the bow. Steve and I also laminated two 14" by 8' panels on to the inner stbd sponson where it was ground back nearly to the core. That will make the sponson 'whole again' before we tab it to the aft beam box section next weekend. Last Sunday week was just Steve and I on site. Steve nailed the port fwd sponson internal tabbing by crawling up into a near impossible spot. There's unlikely to be much traffic up there for the conceivable future. I got busy grinding off numerous paint layers across the mainsheet winch plinth...of course some delamination was found so that's will need some remedial action. Situation normal!

There has not really been a 'rush' of tourists come here, it is still desperately quiet, we might be up to 2500 now? In a regular season we get that number aboard just one Cruise ship! (remember them?!) The ports are still closed to all but a few local operators who have been granted permission to move boats around. Just before Christmas I teamed up with an ex-employee of mine to deliver 'Blitz' down to the USVI for 'the season'. It was smooth enough and good to be out on the water but our movements were closely monitored, it was 'tie the boat up in Caneel Bay, leave and check back into the BVI's'. So now there's a new strain and it has surfaced in the UK eh?, Cheese on bread! To be real, the prospects for the Caribbean regatta season are looking pretty bleak. The Carib 600, Heineken and STIR all come before the BVI Spring Regatta so they will be good gauges. To be frank I can the see the 49th BVI Spring regatta being a 'locals only' event, after all it is only 12 weeks away! We just plan to keep the momentum going and will see how it all pans out.

On a lighter note, here's a picture of a 2006 haulout with a good turnout with all looking pretty happy to be there. Sadly Olaf Krieger (far right) and Tony (aka #9) alongside Olaf are no longer with us. Olaf was a TJ star crew but not for the normal reasons. The highlight of his year was the haulout, followed by the Heineken Regatta. He was not a great sailor by his own admission, but he loved fixing the boat and drinking Heinekens. Or was it the other way round? He would never miss a delivery to STM and would always crack open a Heineken when STM was in sight, with no regard to time of day or how cold/knackered we all were. 'Vell, ve are going to ze Heineken Regatta, no?' One year we used 'Vivid White' antifoul. Sending him off to collect that was hilarious. If you are German it comes out something like 'Viffed Fveiss'. 'No Olaf, Vivid White' and so it went on. If that is not funny enough try 'Wind Vane Steering'. Makes me laugh just thinking about it!

Number 9 only sailed with us for one season. He famously asked what his place was on board before one race in STM. 'You are number 9' Steve and I replied! Of course that stuck. He was a true English gentleman with a wicked, dry but cheeky of sense of humour. His wife ran off with the milkman so he took up sailing! Poor Tony died quite suddenly in his girlfriend's arms from a brain aneurism in 2008.

















I think about 6 months ago I reported that all repairs forward of the mast were finished, hmmmm, that was an exaggeration. Now they truly are, apart from the snout fill fairing, the stem fitting up and into place and a few lams around the bow. Paul junior was off turtle tagging on Sunday so they have been delayed a week but Steve and I completed the last 'blanket lams' on the port fwd bean to sponson connection. That was the last of it! We also connected the stbd aft beam box back to its sponson which went a lot quicker than we had imagined. Even passers by are now remarking that we must be close to painting! Nice one! The Vinylester resin is in full flow for these large laminations, the test samples we did last week were convincing so happy days. The underside of the beam box to sponson lamination was three 70" tabs, 16", 12" and 8" wide. We wetted those out on top of each other on plastic. Then we pulled the plastic onto a suitably sized oblong of old carpet. The whole shooting match was then taken to the underside of the box and we able to whack the whole lot up in one go using dry rollers on the carpet to smooge the laminations in place. It worked really well, none of it tried to make a bid downwards to freedom! Once the carpet had done its job it was dropped away leaving us the plastic to work the laminates, then off with the plastic and we had a perfect upside down treble laminate in place. As that lot started to set up we shaped up triangular core 'step downs' to fit into the narrow void from above. They went in with putty and 3 top tabs followed to complete the structure. All very satisfying seeing the aft beam convincingly bonded back to the main hull. It's really hard to see how this zone can ever be a problem in the future, dare I say!?

We also came up with a plan to close off those large oval access panels we cut out of the inner aft beam bulkheads. Again it's going to be a 'belt and braces' upgrade that will work in concert with the new coachroof when it comes down and gets bonded in place. More of this next time. I'm going to be focusing on that, along with the interior aft beam box reinforcements whilst Steve builds the chainplates.

The historical shot is a good one. Guy Rowsell at the helm in the storm we sailed upwind for a week to get into, returning to Exmouth from the Canaries in 1992(?) The only weather information we could get was Meteo France on a short band battery radio. With only schoolboy French it was really hard to make sense of it, 14 always sounded the same as 40! No GPS of course, no satnav, no phones, listening to these forecasts wasn't really enabling us to plan a route home, it was more like 'what are we in for?' Fortunately the storm was out of the south and that was the direction home so we survived by literally keeping a press on and staying ahead of those 'large houses with balconies'. We did get nailed by one and nearly flipped which was very scary. All this with a crazy amount of excess weight on board, a heavy timber 'ammo' box with spare winches, a spare mainsail, bikes, windsurfers.... That winter trip to the Canaries and back from Exmouth makes me cringe now. It's not like we were looking after the boat, it was more like the boat decided to look after us. We were not reckless but we were lucky to get away with it! As Steve aptly puts it 'what fun and fear we had'!











People say that large waves don't come across that way from a photo but is that a monster on your stbd quarter behind the closer wave or something else?

Eric1207, nah, I don't think that is a big wave behind us. I didn't take the shot and it was close to 30yrs ago but it looks like the sun had come out briefly and has highlighted a low cloud astern. I'm pretty sure we were either under reefed staysail or bare poles at that point, the problem was 2 wave trains merging. We got caught beam on to a breaking side swell, that's what nearly sent us over.

On the subject of being sent over what about the AC eh? It was bad luck to meet that big gust on the bearaway but why oh why didn't they go for the other gate? Ah well, it's been a good excuse to stay up late and drink a few beers, hence the late post!

We have been cracking on this week with a full house on Sunday. I made up the aft beam box inner bulkhead 'stiffener' panels. Steve demolished the port side chainplate, cutting the thing out and creating access panels. Would it have failed next week? Likely no. Would it last another 40 years? Definitely not. As I have said before there will be great comfort in knowing we have 3 bullet proof connections holding up the new mast. Worth the extra work. The boat would have looked daft with one new composite chainplate and one 40yr old rusty triangle!  Steve's joke..."I used to play triangle in a reggae band but gave it up, it was just one 'ting after another'!

Steve also got the smaller of the 2 access panels cut out of the stbd rear beam ready to go back in. If you follow the pictures you see how he first created a lower 'fence' against a bit of ply strip. Then the clever bit, necessary because there is no access to 'get inside' and laminate the back of the panel. Core is removed 2" into the panel and 2" into the boat. Non structural ply battens get glued to the underside and allow the panel to sit where it came from...then the inner skin gets laminated from above creating a continuous inner laminate in a 4" frame. After that a thinner core will bridge the gap before the outside laminates finish the job.

Paul Junior sanding off the 'Christmas pudding' fill on the bow and then went off with Senior to cut out 6 hatch frames out of 1/2" marine ply. Senior also got busy leveling up the salon floor frame. There you have it, this week in a nutshell. Looking ahead we have the cockpit 'wings' to ready to laminate which will be 2 full sheets of 1/2" H45 divinycell with 2 structural lams top and bottom and possibly only one layer of chop to 'join' the 2 cores together. I say possibly because it has been vaulted that there is no point having a structural laminate between 2 sheets of core, it's the outside lams that do the work. Personally I think that some 90/90 with a layer of chop either side would be great for the middle...these wings will accommodate the helm seats and one spinnaker winch either side. Fire away folks!

History, that will be the 'car port' poles over our work bench, they are very nearly 'history' having succumbed to the sea blast. Time to finish up! 














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Aye aye, a bit of a slow patch. Last Sunday week it was just Paul junior and myself. I trimmed the 2 new aft beam box bulkhead panels and did a trial fit...junior Paul did the final fit on the new stem fitting. Then we both went on our ways, boating for me and the family being such a glorious day. Yesterday? Horizontal rain, no work possible. It did clear up in the afternoon but a day off was had by all.

So, the Carib 600 and the Heineken Regatta are both off. More cancellations to follow I fear. The 49th BVI Spring Regatta is still on the cards but I fancy it will be a local affair only. An unusual complication is that all the bareboat companies are fully booked early April, there are no bareboats available to rent to race! Most of those bookings are re-bookings from previously cancelled charters, it would be unlikely to see them all actually happen. To be honest it's all a bit of a relief, one does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Triple Jack will not be finished by early April.

Steve and I had a little diversion doing a carbon repair on a HH daggerboard. It was bent and the skipper wanted it straight again. Seriously though, a line had gouged a decent sized hollow into the leading edge. Some careful grinding and 9 laminations later it's a fix.

Talking about boats being fixed 'Soma' is on the move. She is now in the working yard getting the Irma holes sorted and a spray job. Great to see that old war horse getting up and running. Soma will be back in Cruz Bay offering quality day charters. Over the years we have had some monumental battles with Soma, let's hope there's more to come under new ownership. I can't imagine the new owner having the same intensity as Nils and his crew, but bring it on!

Here's a link to the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta, the first few shots show us possibly overhauling Soma, to leeward, off the start line. I seem to remember that we kept them at bay for a good part of the first beat up to Dead Chest, but I might be wrong. We only appear early on, the rest of the video is very pedestrian!

Here also are the latest pics.















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Sedate progress this week.

Nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to do with regattas being cancelled right, left and centre. We may be moving away from the Peninsula soon and before that happens we want to be done with GRP work...we are getting there. I contented myself dry fitting the port beam box longitudinal bulkhead stiffener panel. It worked great, all the curvature disappeared as I tortured it back into shape with three 8" coach bolts each side braced thro 2x4's inside and out. Now it needs a nasty grind session before getting epoxied into place. Steve closed off one of the stbd access cut outs and ventured into advanced chainplate lamination details. Here's the link to the way we think we are going, nice project.


Poor Paul Junior was tasked with emptying and re-organizing the chaotic storage cupboards under the workbench. We helped empty it and did an Irish jig stamping on a herd of ninja cockroaches...then handed over to Paul. He is the only one with an ordered mind to do this. The end result was very satisfying, 5 tape measures and 7 pairs of scissors surfaced.

To round off the day it was a roastie up at Paul Junior's. Here's a pic showing how our fairer halves in the foreground have been driven to drink as we trundle into yr. 4 of this rebuild.

History mixed with thoughts of buoyancy...how easy would it be to sink your multihull? In this picture TJ is close to sinking as she has ever been. The sponson hatches were all off or open for ventilation. The only thing holding her afloat after the lightning strike blew out the senders was those same aft beam boxes I am working on now. OK, so normally you would not be sailing with the sponson hatches all open, granted. BUT, it was shocking to get that early morning call, Rich, TJ is sinking!  Steve thought I was taking the piss! Needless to say the access hatches for the aft beam boxes will be sealed with rubber gaskets and plenty of fixings. 












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