'Triple Jack' rebuild...FU Irma!

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!

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Definitely not the the only OH powercat design.    He came up with a 15' fishing design boat that maximized the use out of 4x8 marine plywood and achieved 1kt/hp efficiency.   Basically it was a tunnel cat with a center console.    A reusable building jig was created so that folks could borrow it and build their own.

This was before internet and I was plugged into boat trader and other such publications and bird dogged a Johnson triple looper for the prototype.

Said boat achieved all objectives, 65hp johnson, 65kts on flat water.    Only problem was it was very unnerving to drive.   straightline was great, just trim the motor out and go, but think about a turn and you could feel the boat wiggling and just itching to hook.    You had to have had prior experience on a performance/racing hulls, like a tunnel hull or ModVP to feel comfortable with that.    The boat was a very fishable boat, just had to be really tuned in to drive it safely.

Hell, OH Rodgers deserves a thread of his own....

- Stumbling

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Steady progress today.

We laminated the front beam connection, the first laminations since being craned back upright.

We would have liked to get the base and walls done in one visit but that would have been 8-10 laminations, uni's  and 45/45.

Even with slow cure that would/could have been an 'exotherm'.

I'm not a great fan of extra slow cure (Hawk resin in this case).

It takes so long to cure, even down here, that the resin tends to bleed out of the verticals and puddle. The last time I used it I swear it took 9 days to cure enough to work it.

Also even the extra slow mixes can 'exo', especially if knocked up in a big fill. Been there.

We were happy to get half the laminate thickness sorted today and peel plied.

Just in case anyone was in doubt how much grinding is still required I marked all required grinds with a marker spray.

Our post laminate discussion was based on how to build and shape the new coachroof and what core to use.

It looks like we have settled on 1" H80 Divinycell, plain sheets. We will saw draft whatever extra flexibility is needed rather than going for a diced core.

Lay it out over a timber framework, lam the top, tape some joints below and then remove and turn upside down for 'inside' lams and stringers.

It will be a challenge to blend the new in with the old angular shapes, we'll figure that out as we go along.







Lunch off Orcombe.jpg

Cracking on today before the first decent tropical wave passes by the VI tomorrow.

The forecast is for some good rain but check out the new TJ water supply truck, 150 gallons and 40psi belt driven 12v pump.

Some 3/8" H80 divinycell core went in on the aft beam to sponson frames.

One lamination of biax in first to give the core something to bite on, then 4 on top.

Happy days, the boat is becoming whole again.

Another milestone was us deciding to remove the triangular SS welded chainplate.

We have been staring at it for years wondering what lay beneath the surface, all was revealed today!

To be honest once we had cut it out there was some significant corrosion but it didn't look likely to fail any time soon.

However, it's nearly 40 years old, being SS it will slowly degrade until it fails with no warning and we lose the new mast.

The triangle was HEAVILY laminated to the bulkhead, about 1" of heavy roving 'iron mat' either side.

It certainly was not about to be ripped out, it was just crevice SS corrosion that bothered us.

We will be making new chainplates off the boat by pulling uni around a 5/8" SS tube webbing out onto a new bulkhead that we will glass in place.

The new shrouds will be lashed around a 5/8" clevis pin, see pic attached here.

It's a lot of work but we would be foolish not to do it whilst the access is so good!

Video coming up in a couple of days.








chain plate.JPG

OK, the thread is not dead!

Shortly after that last post of mine on July 29th it was time to visit the fossils back in the UK.

While we were away Dorian became a cat 1 as it passed the BVI's and Steve, Mike and Paul had to remove the entire roof over the project.

Once off it was just not practical to put it back up until 'November Remember'.

Hey ho, it was a break from the grind and I managed to fix up my old Nissan Patrol that got Irma'ed too.

Now the roof is back on and we are at it again.

The current project, now all 3 hulls are 75% re-attached, is to come up with a new coachroof.

In her pre Irma condition we had a Spruce pole in the centre of the salon that propped up the middle of the coachroof.

When pressed hard it was not uncommon to see a 1" gap pulsing away between 'top of spruce' and the coachroof as the rear beams squashed it upwards!

It was time to re-design this load bearing roof and at the same time create a more modern look.

This is what we are up to.















A good day today, the coachroof is now taking it's final shape.

There are 5 fore and aft 'rafters' that have identical camber following the new curve that we cut out of the aft bulkhead wall.

Their forward edges are anchored 'in space' on a similar curve formed by a 14' 1x4

We have not quite figured out how the new roof will join the flat slabs that come up from the foredeck around the centre board casing.

At the moment the pine lattice 'sticks' are there to make sure we have a fair curve, they will be replaced by 1/4" ply pinned into the rafters.

That will make the structure strong enough to work on along with a few mid rafter uprights from the floor.

Then my plan, currently still in the 'committee stage', is to put plastic over the ply, core on top of that and then 1 or 2 laminates over the lot.

When cured, temporarily tab in upper 'upside down' rafters that run alongside their partners below running fore and aft.

Add transverse 2x4's to form a flat 'bed' that locks the shape...and crane the whole lot off to flip upside down onto a trailer.

Now, with gravity on our side, the inner laminates go in along with the structural stringers after the lower rafters, ply and plastic have been removed.

Then, once that lot has cured it can be flipped over, the upper rafters and 2x4's go and the whole roof can be faired/laminated and 'finished'.

While this has been going on there's a whole bunch of work that needs to happen back on board before the new coachroof assembly joins the boat.

New salon structural floors, port and starboard fwd bulkhead modifications to meet the new roof and some Irma crush injuries to the aft beam mid bulkheads that this new roof will mate to.

Sounds simple eh?






Steady progress again this week.

Time was spent on the forward face of the new coachroof, shaping inserts so we can remove the 1x4 we used to get the basic shape.

With them now in place we can now more easily figure out how we join the foredeck 'ramps' to the new coachroof.

There are a two options we are looking at.

A full width 'step' across the deck or smaller 'side steps'.

Each solution has its merits, it's just a case of mocking up both to see what works best.

We also carried on the 'we must laminate' regime by laying 5 layers on uni along the fwd beam top bridging the break.

For the coachroof we have decided to glue and screw down 1/4" ply over our 'rafters'.

Sorting the coachroof is proving to be both tricky and enjoyable, there are so many variables to consider...it's a break from the 'grind and lam' of which there's still plenty to do!








A gorgeous day here today in the BVI's, temperatures are down to 27 from 28 and there's a bit of N in the tradewinds.

The crane guy flew in for a visit to check out the repairs.

All the battens are off the coachroof now, Paul and I spent the morning making the final cut in the aft bulkhead to accept the 1/4" ply sheets that will cover the roof.

Having 'sistered' that aft bulkhead many moons ago it was refreshing to see how solid it still is.

More so when it becomes connected to the new structural coachroof.

Mid week we'll get the outer roof panels on too and the whole lot covered in plastic.

After that it's core and top laminates.

Then the crane!

On Monday mornings I go to work for a rest and to sort out the inevitable car full of tools!

Off topic but of interest...since Irma and Triple Jack's temporary lay up, 6 new to the BVI trimarans have showed up!

A Farrier 31, 2x F27'S, 2 new Corsair 760's and a Corsair 24.

4 were out racing yesterday, fun was had!

When TJ gets back on the racing scene there will be some lively competition, looking forward to that. 








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OK, steady as she goes today... the weather has changed and the Xmas trades, accompanied with spicy squalls are pulsing thro the BVI's.

The coachroof mock up is finished and covered in plastic. Good thing with rain coming across the peninsula horizontally!

Now we have to decide on a laminate schedule for the inner and outer skins.

We are set on using either 3/4 or 1" divinycell H80.

We are leaning towards using unscored and just saw drafting where required, the curve is very slight.

The roof measures roughly 14'x8' so 2 laminates on top and 3 below equals nearly 50yds of material, basically a whole roll.

When we built our daggerboard we used an entire roll of 50" wide uni, 55yds so we know what that means in weight.

It's tough for 2 guys to lift.

The coachroof looks like it's going to be the same or slightly heavier, once all the underside fore and aft stringers are attached...and no core where the primaries and jib tracks locate.

The first 2 laminates on top are going down by hand, no vacuum, just peel ply.

After that the thing is craned off and turned upside down.

The lower laminates may well be vacuumed.

'Add less weight' they say. Hmmm, maybe one biax on top followed by 10oz cloth and only 2 down below...?

we'll see.







Seeing old boats (especially badly damaged ones) being given a new life is inspiring. She’s a lucky boat to have such a dedicated owner and team looking after her... RESPECT!



Super Anarchist
Might be an idea to laminate some strips on Uni [or biax tape] onto the bottom of your foam before you lay it onto your mold.

Even with a couple of layers of biax on the top, the thing will get all out of shape when you flip it off of your former, the laminate on the bottom will lock in the shape.



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