'Triple Jack' rebuild...FU Irma!


Super Anarchist
Northern Hemisphere

OK, shade project mostly completed, we have more diagonals than 'My Song's' cradle! 

Working without shade is just a non-starter here, we now have a nice wind acceleration zone across the decks...shade with breeze!

Now we are looking at getting repairs done before any tropical waves decide to get over excited.

All that old tin has to come off if anything threatens but at least the lumber can stay and better still, there are sand screws all around the boat to nail her down.

The fwd beam shot clearly shows where the 1" doubled up lines went clean through during Irma.







Well, another Sunday has passed, it has been a week of good progress.

Today the 2 Paul's assisted by long time TJ admirer Mark conjured up a superb workbench, with underside secure storage to boot!

Steve and I occupied ourselves by getting the final alignment of the stbd sponson nailed down.

Next out came the fein cutter and the more animal metal cutting discs. In short order we had cut access panels to all the pertinent repair sites.

To be honest we were both a little surprised that the sponson had not parted company with the main hull earlier in her checkered career.

We are mindful that this 1979 airex/polyester structure has made it thus far by bending rather than breaking before Irma forced the issue.

Having said that we are 100% confident that our repairs will be 'stronger than original, we just have to watch out not to make any part 'too strong' by creating hard points that could fail. 

The big news this week is securing a dream carbon fiber mast.

It's a 'King Composites' spar from a 40' racing mono, complete with step, spreaders and all rigging.

(Rod that we will not be using)

We already have 3 masts in hand.

Earlier in this thread you will find us salvaging the J54 carbon rig from Virgin Gorda.

It was long enough and a real telegraph pole. It was also a great day out post Irma to go up there mob handed for the extraction.

The alarm bells went off when we tried to lift the new acquisition up onto the roof/floor where the old Quantum loft used to be.

It was HEAVY. Looking at the wall thickness we realized that this spar was magnificent but was designed for a brutish mono, not a 4 ton multihull.

The 2 pictures below show wall thickness and a jumble of spreaders.

Never assume just because it's carbon it's going to be lighter. Talking to riggers it's a common 'mistake', the carbon upgrade can turn out to be a heavier, albeit stiffer spar.

Having sidelined that we found 54' of Lagoon 450 spar for 'not a lot'.

That one is a big fat section and is a splice and lots of gear away from being a solution.

Then along comes a gorgeous brand new but broken Swan 42 rig.

Again that one would need 2 splices and a bunch or halyard gate/spreader and hounds re-configuration.

To cut a long story short, we now have a rig that is within inches or being perfect in every department, just a few feet to chop off the bottom.

More pictures when it comes out of the mast rack, just 200' away from TJ, some things just fall into place!

Having the mast in hand is a real boost to this project, happy days!!

Nearly forgot, check out the innovative cycle-powered beer cooling system.

Just a mock up for now but it looks promising, ice will be a thing of the past on board!










TJ emerges.JPG

2 Sunday's worth of progress to report.

Last Sunday was mild progress concentrated around finishing up the 16x8 workbench with secure storage underneath and shade up top.

Today was more brutal, and a real taste of what is to come.

Steve focused on prepping the mating surfaces around the front beam to sponson connection. After much thought we are have come up with a laminate plan that we think will work.

Paul removed the crushed Lewmar 80 hatch up front and started attacking what we call 'the bubble of bullshit'.

This 'mound' is essentially a mast step that has been added to over the years. We reckon there's a good 50+ llbs of useless material there.

The new mast came out of a keel stepped mono so we have plenty to play with. The new step will be mounted at deck level.

Paul's attempts with a sawsaw were unsuccessful. On Tuesday evening we are getting out the chainsaw.

I attacked the forward main hull decking, there are still seams of shitty foam up there that need to go.

Very soon new glass will be going in, we are looking forward to that!










Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
I'm enjoying this thread. I like the chop & channel and piecing bits back together part. I have done a fair amount of rough and ready work and miss it now that I'm anally retentive and have to vacuum up after every step. I hope your boat goes on to have another long life. I'm also curious about your interest in ultra-light power cats. Are you willing to show any photos? I built a 15 hp 20 footer and am now building a 23 footer. I use them for long distance camp-cruising and commuting. What do you do with yours?

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so Russel, to briefly answer you question wrt. power cats...

We worked on the drawings by O H Rodgers for a 28'x 10' power cat and built from scratch a 30'x 12' prototype, 'Innovation'

It was meant to be the most economical way to transport groups of up to 15 people around the Virgin Islands.

We built from scratch, lofted the frames on a strongback, built the plug with clear pine lathes followed by bondo and tooling gel, built a split mold over the plug,  followed by 2 beam molds.

A whole heap of work but many hours later out came a finished hull #1

We ran it for a year, took it to St.Martin with 2 50HP tohatsu's leaping from wave to wave just to see the Heineken regatta...

To cut a long story short there was a lot of interest but no buyers.

We sold it for a song to a St Thomas power boat charter company.

Innovation 2 slowly followed.

The aft beam got stronger and no longer sat up above the aft beam.

The transoms came up 5" to take 30' outboards and we made a solid front deck.

Once again lots of interest but we ended up selling #2 to the same charter outfit who loved #1.

That was 6 years ago, both boats are doing great and will probably never wear out.

Epoxy, triaxial, vacuumed decks, they are tough!

They use 70HP outboards and can be seen all over the Virgin Islands with happy punters on board whilst sipping petrol.

They wanted #3 but production costs prohibited any more builds.

'take the molds and build one in STT' I said, still no # 3.

That's the end of the story, the molds flew away in Irma.

I didn't lose my shirt but that's enough of new boatbuilding for me.

The whole adventure probably deserves another thread!

inno 2.jpg

inno 3.jpg


Anyhow, back on topic, it was 'Chainsaw Tuesday'.

The chainsaw did great for about 5 minutes, after that the chain was blunt.

Identifying weak glue between the many layers of plywood proved to be more effective.

The late 1970's 'resourcinal' (?) glue was past its sell by date and the layers of plywood separated out quite easily.

At least 80 llbs of useless weight gone, happy days!







Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
Thanks for that. I really love slippery, low-horsepower motorboats. It seems like it's a lot harder when you have to carry lots of passengers and be legal, etc. I'll post some photos of what I did and what I'm doing now. Not sure why, but after a life of sailboats, the low-horsepower motorboats are really fun for me. Really like watching the progress on Triple Jack.




    The paint shop at Nanny Cay repainted a pair of Hobie 18 hulls for a friend of mine from St John. This was ages ago and the guy didn't come pick them up for a couple of years. Now this was in the Land of Manana but the paint shop guys told him that they were going to sell the hulls and my friend asked that I pick them up as deck cargo on my Cross trimaran when I went to BVI Spring Regatta. I did so the afternoon after the first race and continued racing the rest of the weekend. Sunday when I got ready to sail home, I noticed that my boat was overrun by ants! The Hobie hulls had laid in the grass and dirt back of the paint shed for a couple of years with the stern plugs out and ants had taken residence in the hulls. They found flaws in the inner FG skins and had dug out a veritable ant farm in the low density foam core of the hulls. It took a couple of weeks of bombing my boat to get rid of the ants once they got on my boat and I was so pissed at the H-18 owner that he told me to keep the hulls and come pick up the beams, mast and rest of the boat for my troubles.

    The decks seemed to have been pretty riddled by the ants, seems they got into the core through the cutouts for the inspection holes. I never trusted the integrity of those hulls to even bother putting the rig back on but I did bolt up the beams and put the tramp on and made a nacelle of sorts and motor mount for a Yamaha 2 stroke 15 and used it as a motormaran for years in the VI. I put plenty of miles on that rig as a surf scouting boat and cruised the nude beaches and generally had a blast with it for years. I served as the photoboat for an article that Wooden Boat Magazine did on the big day charter catamarans that Gold Coast was building, I'm sure you have seen the article, your Dad wrote it! I gave him a ride in the motormaran and he just loved it.

     Years later, I made a visit to Key West with the head honcho from Gold Coast to one of their biggest customers for both the sailing cats and the wave-piercing ferries and was introduced to our host. He just laughed and said he knew me from the photoshoot as I had given him a long ride on the motormaran Hobie in some really rough conditions while he shot the big cats sailing out in front of Caneel. The Gold Coast guy was a bit taken aback when the fellow told him that he gave me full credit for being the actual genesis of the wave-piercer with that castaway Hobie! 

    Gold Coast ended up in a long court battle with INCAT, the builder of the big fast ferries down in Tasmania but only won the rights to the trade term 'wave piercer' even though Gold Coast had applied and been granted a patent. Don't think that they ever got a dime out of that though.

    I designed a 65' powercat for Gold Coast that still runs between Fajardo and Vieques but can't find a decent photo of it. 

Incats ferries. The are now building these under the name AUSTAL in Mobile, AL.



Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
I want photos of your motormaran, Rasputin. One of the many names given to my motormaran is "Film Waster', because everyone takes photos of it, so I have lots of photos. Quite a bit of fun was had...








Make a trophy out of that lump of deadweight for the Multihull Class for BVI Spring Regatta with the provision that the class winner has to race with the 'trophy' on board for the next year! A new form of handicap rule.

Itch and scratch Sunday with multiple grinding centres in action.

The remaining layers of mast step plywood chiseled away, more nasty core removed from the main hull bow and the stbd front beam 'peg' is now ground, feathered and ready for uni directional glass.

I removed year's worth of rear beam to sponson wall repair laminates, it revealed torn original laminates next to the airex.

I guess that's what 40 years of 'pulsing' followed by 'the big bang' does!

We have decided to enlarge the main hull coachroof out to the aft beam inner bulkheads. That will take out the vertical wall that marked the start of the coachroof.

We will need some fore and aft inner stringers under the roof to replace the structure...but are hoping for a cleaner, stronger, more modern look.