'Triple Jack' rebuild...FU Irma!

Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
I just turned 61 too. Not moving as fast as I used to, especially after getting Covid a month ago.

Glad the bad guys got busted. Here it's the developers and real estate agents that are screwing things up, but nobody's busting them. 

Fugin's dagger foil molds are in my container, but I think they are coming out of retirement this weekend. My buddy Simon built them well, but I guess not well enough for hitting a reef at speed.

I really like the group photo and wish I could meet all of you and see Triple Jack. I look forward to sailing photos.


Aqua Blue

New member
61 is in the past for me! TJ looks great, will be stronger than ever. I'm headed to Portimao to continue "Covid refit" on AB my K39. Prime minister arrested! Here we're hoping mad Vlad calms down!!

Finally, all but the decks are in primer.

It took 6 gallons for 2 coats, that is a bit of weight but Awlgrip 545 is an excellent, tough epoxy primer. Top coat next, just got to mix up a colour, 8 gallons should do it easily with paint to spare for repairs. Steve and Paul jnr took on the port sponson to hull connection in uni and started to close off that portion of deck. I removed some toe rails that we originally fitted to support the nets. They became redundant years ago so off they went, the access into the nets is a lot cleaner now. It's mast step and surrounding area next, then the doghouse. 

Steve, Paul jnr and Paul snr are off all island for 2 months at least from June. I'll likely be taking on the mast work which is the next major job. It won't be the same without the regulars that's for sure.

So, what of Tortola? Well, it's not quite a suspension of the constitution but it still could happen. A new coalition has been sworn in with both political parties represented. There is a hope that they can put their personal agendas aside and focus on delivering good governance whilst the COI findings/recommendations are thrashed out. There will be major shake ups in all departments starting with Ports. Criminal proceedings against some are expected, that will be interesting. On the bright side there is no civil unrest, I would say that the majority of BVI nationals recognize that the 'swamp has to be drained'. 

History, well it was only Saturday but 6 trimarans dueled it out for the annual 'Governor's Cup'. The poor bloke was a bit bit busy to attend in person or get afloat. The last thing he likely needs just now is a photo op with a bunch of relaxed Caucasian trimaran sailors! Anyhow, it was a case of 'snakes and ladders'. I was out with Steve, Paul jnr and owner Mark Saunders on our regular ride, C31 'Island Hops'. We got the course wrong for the first race and came last. To redeem ourselves we won the next two races in gorgeous conditions, flat water, 12-14kts of ESE trade winds with fluffy white clouds. So, we sailed home thinking maybe podium but unlikely with 8pts. Check out the results below, our main rivals all got deep scores and we ended up winning it on countback. Proper job!












Aqua Blue

New member
That does look like a very god barrier coat. Should keep the "water out and air in" to misquote a submariner!  I've been using Gelshield over AB's glass repairs, I rather like the Teal colour.  Heading for Portsmouth/Santander ferry tonight to try and finish the "Covid refit" of AB, currently hauled in Portimao. 

Want to fit the new CB!

CB ascendng AB.jpg


Sunday just gone should have seen the new mast step epoxied in place but a curve ball was encountered. It goes back to the time when we hauled out on the West End Shipyard railway over 20 years ago. That 4 day haulout was all about cutting the forward daggerboard casing out of the boat and then grafting it back in aft of the mast. We also cut out the aft (weirdly offset) daggerboard casing and threw it away. To facilitate the new casing going in we had to cut a large hole in the port side sloping deck panel, see ancient picture below. The void was made good with plywood which had partially rotted out between the laminates...it had to go! That was my rather unpleasant task, but I did show it 'the short stick'. Out with the tile cutter, jigsaw and the excellent cordless DeWalt multi tool. In comes a 1/2" 'Bluewater' Coosa panel, it's now ready to tab in place. The mast step was made with more leftover purpleheart from my home post Irma roofing project. By next Sunday afternoon hopefully the new step will be firmly in place.

Paul Jnr and Steve closed out the port side chainplate deck panels whilst Chris gamely continued filling and fairing around the aft cockpit and transom. A busy day to be sure.

Triple Jack will soon be on the move. The space we have grown into has been earmarked for a bareboat cat fleet for hurricane season. That means the whole roof structure over the boat has to go, to be honest it has been there since hurricane Dorian so we can't complain. We are set to trundle along the Peninsula about 100yds and will be sandwiched between a row of 40' heavily loaded containers and two concrete docks stored one on top of the other. Safe? yes, we hope so. With the roof out of the way the mast can be stepped allowing us to accurately measure up for the new forestay and shrouds. Everything happens for a reason!

History? Well this week that has to be our ex.Premier Andrew Fahie. Diplomatic immunity didn't pan out for him, nor did being released on bail. He is firmly in the clutches of the US legal system and unless the evidence stacked up against him and his fellow conspirators falls flat...they are all looking at lengthy spells in jail. The swamp is still being drained here, a few more heads will roll for sure. As a country it is nothing to be proud of. Let's hope that the new order, whatever it becomes, will result in good governance. Time will tell. 

Daggerboard casing moves, round 1.jpg















Really coming together now. I bet its a bit irritating but weirdly satisfying coming upon those old repairs and making them good again. Each one has a story!

Keep up the great reporting you've got some avid fans. 

It's been a while, I had to search to find my last post but great progress all round.

That foredeck panel got glassed in, we went big and did the whole sloping foredeck and the repair in one shot with Vinylester that needed using up. That was the easy bit though, down below there is a lot of making good and tabbing to do below the coachroof perimeter and either side of the daggerboard casing under the sloping decks.

We decided on a colour, Alexseal 'Fisherman Blue'. It is not a common colour, it's like a lighter version of 'Stars and Stripes' blue. The decks will be flattened 'Off White'.

Boom! Oh yes, the matching boom to our carbon mast has showed up. We had bought the mast from Peter Corr, owner of 'Blitz'. He went new mast and boom but retained his old boom thinking it would come in handy for deliveries. Happily it didn't and he has duly handed it over to us. It's too long (better than too short) but with a few modifications it will work well. I thought it was heavier than our old boom but I was wrong, good!

Last weekend Paul jnr, Steve and I figured out the boom height and thus the cut point for the mast. Just our luck, it is bang in the middle of the Spartite collar. How on earth do you cut that stuff off a mast? The Fein cutter just bounces off it, hacksaw gums up...a grinder cutting disc may work but surely it will 'grab'? Nanny Cay have a monster gas powered makita cutting tool, like a wild hand held chop saw. They used it to chop up masts after Irma, maybe I need to try that... Whatever, it was worth nearly a whole morning sussing out that cut point.

We have abandoned the idea of re-using some fibre rigging from an Irma damaged Atlantic 47. Instead we are buying cheeky tangs for 13mm dyneema main shrouds. They will attach to a 3/4" through bolt at the hounds. For the lowers and backstays double cheeky's will site just below the upper spreaders. The babystay will be a T ball cheeky but the lower backstays will simply be cow hitched dyneema around a T ball to welded SS ring fittings. We are not sure if we will need lower backstays but they certainly helped with the old rig. We might not even need a babystay with a stiffer carbon mast. The upper backstays and babystay are at the same level. It is comforting have that arrangement when double reefed because it gives you, effectively a 'masthead configuration' when things get real snarly. The spreader lengths have been guessed and marked. The upper ones came from that J50 rig that we salvaged after Irma, the lower ones will be Blitz's old uppers well cut down. Both sets of spreaders will need modifying to lie beam on to the mast wall, with no rake aft we have decided. All of the decisions above have been reached without any engineering input, we are essentially copying our old mast which served us well. 

Today the doghouse dome got glassed in place. It is a rock solid egg-shaped refuge where you can watch the helm take a green one and I do not mean a Heineken! We also got the carbon out to make up the shoe that will attach the tiller to the rudder stock. Final heights have been marked for the rudder shaft, a few more inches off is the call. It's going to be Chris and I for a few weeks now, he made carbon masts in S.Africa and has good skills. He didn't fancy doing 10 layers of carbon on the SS rudder head though, calling for just 5. I trumped him noting that the SS would be a heat sink and the resin volume was low. No problems to report. We rounded off the day with a sail on 'Godspeed' with ex TJ warriors JoJo and Daniel joining us. It was a cracking sail.






















Busy busy.
With BVI public holidays in full swing we have made some good progress.
We made another carbon rudder stock to tiller shoe, the intention is to have a spare complete rudder/stock/tiller.
We have the material and it's not a lot of extra work to make the extra parts. The spare tiller will be a rough affair but functional. It will mean we can unship our varnished beauty and get it out of the sun!

Chris managed to fill all the voids below the new coachroof and double tab the join all the way round. With the dog house also firmly in place the whole roof has become very solid indeed. Next step will be all the seams under the mast step panels, same story of void filling and double tabbing. After that there are a few areas that will get some precautionary work and it's job done down below...ready for painting.

I fitted the mast step on a 15 spot colloidal/fibre mix. Hope it is in the right place cos it's not coming off, especially with a couple of layers of 'true biax' on top, no stitching or chop.

The new shroud length has been figured out, it's all a lot easier now we know where the mast is being chopped.
The furler will be a brand new ProFurl R430 with a 10mm 'compact' wire forestay. The diamonds will be 7mm compact, I think this is the same as 'dryform', it is still 19 strands but the strands are flattened by a compacting process.

In other news we can happily stay where we are for hurricane season. It would have been a pain to break camp and move 300yds further along the Peninsula. Once again, Nanny Cay are looking after us! I'm sure it helps that she looks so complete now in white primer, there is real momentum behind the project.

Next up will be sorting the exact angle for the tiller shoe to rudder shaft sleeve x2. Then the the new shafts get glued over the old ones and the rudders themselves get their extensions upwards. What a doddle!

History is a couple of Multis that Chris was involved with building in S.Africa. No idea what they are called or where they are now but definitely fit looking boats!










I got the Covid out of nowhere.
To be honest it was just one day and 2 nights feeling shitty but now I have to lay low until the 'all clear'.
So far the Missus is OK but poor Rosie is well into it.

Still plenty to report.
The order is in with Colligo, it's just the main shroud 13mm 'Cheeky Tangs' along with 126' of 13mm 'Dux' and a pair of CSS72 Termination blocks. We plan to put the dyneema cover on here and do the splicing. Also busy sourcing the SS cradles for the T balls, I'm trying to find ones with more 'wall thickness' to suit a carbon spar. The ones I have seen so far seem designed for ally masts being secured by fat rivets.
Anyone in the know??

The Furler will be a ProFurl R420. Not the R430, the 420 saves us $1000, it will take the 1/2" dryform wire and it handles our acreage well within its limits. Lighter too I guess! The plan is to get all the T balls in place, sort out the Cheekys with a bushed 3/4" thru bolt at the hounds, bend on the new shrouds, move the gooseneck and then step the mast for a trial fit. Get the forestay sorted and fitted once the rake is happy, figure out splicing points for the lower triangle and backstays, set them up. At that point it will be mast down again for mast track work, sanding and clearcoat. No mysteries there.

It's been Chris alone this weekend on the tools. He has all the tabbing done down below up to the fwd berth. There's a bit of work in that zone, including making good the crash box which had an old bit of plywood siliconed over a rough hole. One more visit and it will be done down there, apart from fashioning a new step coming in by the companionway hatch. Sanding and painting next.

No history but a wish for the future is a code zero. We have never had a proper one, just baggy old unfurlable cruising sacks that sent us more sideways than forwards. Something like the one in this picture would be nice, don't know the boat but Aussie I believe.







Galloping on down here.
The new Colligo rigging has arrived in a refreshingly light package considering it contained the 2 main shrouds and the associated tangs and terminations. Years ago now we had to replace the babystay with new 1/2" SS rigging, toggles and turnbuckle. That puppy came in at just over $800 and we were a bit shocked. The landed price of the new Colligo 13mm Lux dyneema (126') along with the cheeky tangs and lashing eye terminator blocks was a little over $2500. OK, so there's going to be some more cost to splice x4 and add some dyneema cover for chafe protection but it really does seem to be the way ahead. In the event of a dismasting a sharp leatherman can ditch the lot in seconds which is a comfort (God forbid)... with that in mind you certainly do not want to piss anyone off at a regatta! I have modified the hounds and fitted the two threaded SS cap shroud receptors cut out from the broken carbon 'Offshore Spars' mast that we have in hand. The 3/4" ID G10 pipe that Larry Ketten sent us for free (full respect) came in very handy. It fitted snugly inside the two receptors and has been rooted into the spar with High Density epoxy. A 3/4" SS bolt roughly 10" long will secure a double 'cheeky tang' either side and that takes care of main shrouds and the backstay. The process will be repeated for the lower triangle. I also have in hand the backing plates for the diamond stays which will have one end terminating in the heavy alloy spreader root bars via threaded stem balls and the other end having T balls. All this will become a lot clearer over the next few weeks as the mast gets plenty of attention, so stand by!

Chris has been busy grinding and fairing all the new laminates down below. The entire interior will have a fresh coat of paint, heavy but the boat deserves it. We also finished up the carbon rudder stock to tiller parts, no trial fit yet but I think I have got it all right. To beef up the connection between the tiller 'shoe' and the carbon 'downpipes' I introduced a pair of 3/4" purpleheart discs, shoved up and epoxied in place. It increases the glued area of the connection twixt shoe and pipe. Sometimes when I am writing this stuff I wonder if how much of it is 'digestible' to all of you reading the blog! I occasionally look at old posts and can barely understand what was going on myself! Hey, ho, I hope the pictures help?

History it literally that this week. I was looking at Yves Gautier's web site 'historie deshalfs' http://www.histoiredeshalfs.com/50 multis/Sommaire multis.htm
It has an impressive alphabetical list and history of MOST notable Multihulls, I was actually looking at the adventures of 'Exmouth Challenge' 1982 which I remember being built. Steve and I met at Rolle College Exmouth in 1980 so it was our back yard. Sad to see that old war horse badly damaged after being swept ashore. Anyhow, I e-mailed Yves and he's happy to get Triple Jack on his list but he needs accurate info on her launch and racing career. I have a rough idea but will need to compare notes with Frank Wood who built and campaigned her. Should be interesting!

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Emerging 2.JPG








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Evening all.
It's steady as she goes.
Chris and I have been ticking off a few 'less than pleasant' items off the 'to do' list.
Whilst re-attaching the stbd sponson we decided to add a couple of ring frames between bulkheads to stiffen up the deck primarily.
That meant the the reciprocal job had to be done on the relatively undamaged aft sections of the port sponson. It's nasty work, there's only room for one and the trick is to go in fully prepared because moving around in there is challenging. Fortunately Chris is very limber and he made light work of it. To be honest neither Steve or I had our hands up for this task, the ring frames had been templated and ready to go in for months! To make myself feel 'part of it' I decided to take on two aft inner sponson repairs myself. Port side was an old war wound from the Heineken Regatta of around 2000. We had a 'coming together' at a Windward mark with a Canadian 'Bareboat 6 ' class entry skippered by Brian Beaver. That is not a made up name, I'm relying on the obscurity of this blog to not be collared, it is certainly a name that is hard to forget. The incident was our only ever foray into the protest room because there was damage. To be honest Steve and I, at the time were new to big boat racing. We were closing the mark very quickly on port, so we sent in crew member Chris Haycraft to the room. He may remember the details clearer than me, let's just say we appeared to be on a very dodgy wicket and feared the 'german sausage'. (the Wurst) Brian Beaver's case was, fortunately for us, thrown out when he declared 'I was clearly within 2 boatlengths of the mark when I tacked' (and calling stbd on us). Back to the point, our wound was quickly repaired once we got back to Tortola but the ugly, pushed in laminate was still evident inside the sponson. To deal with that I duct taped the grinder and finger file to sections of mast track and did some remote fairing. There was another wound port side that got the same treatment. Remote filling was carried out in a similar manner with a wide putty knife on a stick. Job done.

Out with the hatches! It's actually quite tough planning to cut out sizeable chunks of structural deck and coachroof for the hatches. With the deck closed off there are no leaks at all below, that's a first. However, ask anyone what the most important feature of a Caribbean Cruiser is...they will say ventilation. We have plenty of donor hatches from here and there. I'll wait for Steve and Paul to return for final calls but see here some options.

A couple more Cheeky tangs arrive this week for the lower triangle, here's a few pictures of the spreader root modifications that allow the threaded and swaged stem balls to anchor the diamond stays. The upcoming mast work will be a welcome and 'technical' break from the literal grind of the hull repair work. I think it's going to happen quite quickly, all the materials are in hand or available locally.

Frank Wood has got back to me with some of Triple Jack's early history, see below a link to the 1981 'TwoStar' which makes interesting reading.
Here's Frank's take on that race for now...as they say on the Radio 4 shipping forecast, 'more to follow'.

Hi Richard;
We started to build the boat early 1980, it took one year and we qualified for the race early in 1981.
(ahem, Classic British understatement!!)

This the first race Triple Jack participated in, if you open the link you can see the results.

Triple Jack got dismasted about 190 miles from the finish in Newport Rhode Island. The boat was insured and judgement in the high court was awarded to me and insurance co…and Proctor Mast was ordered to pay for the salvage and all repairs...











I also want to know if there's a story behind the fanny hatch, which is probably funnier for us Brits than the yanks.
Hmmm, for sure there have been a few memorable moments with the old 'eye level' small porthole that sneakily looked out towards those innocently seated in the cockpit.
I think I'll just stop there and leave the rest to any fertile imaginations out there!

A good day today. I assembled the rudder head and attached the tiller for the first time. It is going to work perfectly. It clears the cockpit coaming by about 3" but if you accidentally step on it there's enough flex for the tiller to contact the coaming before any damage is done. The tiller is over 8' long so there is the potential of huge leverage on the rudder stock. I'm not quite done with it yet. To stop the carbon head shoe cheeks 'ovaling' out at the bolt hole I'm going to laminate in a heavy SS rigging washer either side. That should do it.

Chris continued with the sponson ring frames and fitted two deck hatches. With the deck and sponson openings 'far from fair' our method was to temporarily screw the hatch to a 1/2" thick plywood oversized 'frame'. With the hatch closed that frame becomes 'flat as a dab' with the hatch happily being the boss. Then the hatch and frame are sat onto the opening in the deck. You can immediately see where the deck is less than true. mix up an appropriate quantity of epoxy and sit the hatch with frame onto the glue. Then just an sit a dumbbell or two onto the hatch lens and it self levels into the smooge for a perfect flat fit. I would have used Coosa but we have run out of that. The plywood frame will get a layer of biax on top, overlapping onto the deck to seal it off, for my lifetime at least.

Early racing exploits continue here.
I'm lacking the colourful 'true picture' that would likely only be revealed by trapping Frank Wood in a pub for a few hours.
The link gives you the basics, a lot of very familiar names come up.

This from Frank;

This is the second race: Round Brittan in 1982,Triple Jack placed second in her category.

There you have it, I did not embellish it at all!