'Triple Jack' rebuild...FU Irma!

A cracking day today with 5 of us on 3 different projects.

Steve and I focused on the salon floor. We determined that the desired 30" wide engine bay was pretty much the full width of the main hull at the lowered floor level. We ended up sacrificing a couple of inches of headroom to get no less than 36" across the floor at the narrowest point,. we will still have over 6' of headroom everywhere. We also decided that an engine install is some way off so we will be glassing in a full 8' longitudinal stringer in with a new bulkhead at 56" aft of the main midships bulkhead. That will give the floorboards something to sit on and will stiffen up this part of the main hull no end. Oh yes, I neglected to say that the entire 8' section of floor will start by being smothered with a single laminate of 1708 biax. When you are adding structure to old girls such as TJ, I always reckon it is best to have new stringers or bulkheads bonded to fresh glass that radiates well away from the new parts. In this case we just decided it would be the whole floor. Pics from the next few weeks will better illustrate this process.

Up forward the 2 Paul's took on the fwd main hull hatch and deck repairs. Most of the prep work had been done so it was just a case of cutting out core and biax to get the first stage down. Paul Junior was a pro ,carpet fitter some years ago so he is pretty dang good at mapping out a few lams of biax! Again, pics next week will show this job in more details but here you can see the start of it.

So that leaves Henry. He has been tasked with sorting out all TJ's winches. Not easy. Some were pummeled into the concrete bridge and through the deck by Irma when she was upside down. All were full of mud and sand. To make matters worse we salvaged a pair of electric Lewmar 55 ST's and a bunch of smaller Lewmar ST's from a cruising mono that was down for a couple of months after Irma. With the JCB's rolling in to break her up we only managed to get the above deck sections. We are hopeful that they will become our manual primaries, time will tell.

DtM, you ask about the mast. Well, we ended up with 4 masts. The first out of a J54(?), see very early in this thread. It turned out to be too heavily built to be a serious contender. Then came 54' of new Lagoon 45 mast. That again was very heavily built and a huge section, also short of 7'. Then came the brand new but broken in transit Swan mast destined for an early 42' It would have needed 2 splices and ALL fittings, with plenty of modifications required, it was a masthead rig. THEN came the undamaged carbon mast from the racing mono 'Blitz'. OK, so it cost us some real dollars but it hardly needs any modifications. We will not be using the rod rigging and have some spreader work to do but that's about it. It sits safely in a mast rack opposite TJ and it will stay there until hurricane season is done.

Historical shot?

Round Tortola November 2015, always a great race.









round tortola 2015.jpg


Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
Man, that's a killer shot! I'd be worried if I saw that behind me. The historical photos make a great thread even better. I'm developing a fondness for Triple Jack and wish I could be there to help out.

No work today but Steve and I did get a mid week early evening stint in.

The mini 'fire truck' came into play. That has been fixed up now with the two 50 gallon water buts secured midships on the bed of the old Mitsubishi roller skate. A brand new shurflo 'blaster' does the honours coupled to its own 4D battery. Also in the truck is the 'ambient air' pump that supplies 15 cubic feet per minute of fresh air into a 3M hood that will make the upcoming grinding bearable. It's in the truck cab because it has AC, sending slightly chilled air down the pipe is quite nice. That machine takes one of our Honda generators to run it, the grinders run off #2. Needless to say, there is no power or water out on the Nanny Cay Peninsula.

The bow repair is coming on well, this week will see remaining core chunks grafted in followed by upper laminates. Steve and I also re-acquainted ourselves with the stbd front beam repair and came up with a laminating schedule to finish that up. Apart from that we just drank a few Shaefers and oogled at the new mast that is sitting there in the rack. Of course there was also the mandatory 'are we mad?' reflective moment... on the bright side, they are becoming fewer as time passes.

Historical shots this evening show the aft beam and main hull before they were attached for the first time back in 1979.







aft beam.JPG

Out of the building!.JPG

Father's day, the Summer Solstice and the incredible Sahara dust...it was all going on today.

Sometimes the resins flow, today it was that kind of day. Just 3 of us on the job but all of us determined to to lay down some cloth.

Paul continued with his bow repairs, laying down a mosaic of core onto several fresh lower laminates around the fwd hatch. It looks kind of patchy, but once the core is ground fair the whole repair will quickly 'take shape' as the top laminates go on and over the rail.

Steve can't walk past the front beam without longing for a lam. We joined forces and added another 4 laminates around the lower, outer section of the beam and on to the sponson itself. There's still a bunch of uni laminates to go on before we are done.

On the laminating bench we knocked up an 8x4 sheet of 3/4" H80 divinycell with a single biax either side...in good old polyester! I have to admit I enjoy the Boatworks channel on U tube. He's a bit of a polyester fan for fabrication. As time goes on I'm questioning the 'epoxy only' mantra we have followed, polyester definitely has its place. This particular board will become the sub salon floor bulkheads.

I mentioned the dust. I have never seen it this thick. At Nanny Cay we could barely see Peter Island, it's got thicker as the day went on. In Brewer's bay late this afternoon we could not see Jost Van Dyke, check out the two sunset pics from roughly the same spot on my balcony. It's a real pea-souper.

No boat work next weekend, we are off sailing to Anegada. There is a race but Steve and I will be in family cruise mode. We hope to buzz the race fleet and get some footage, the forecast looks good with a moderating NE'ly trade and hopefully no dust! I'm taking out 'Bob' which IYM (my company) has been fixing for the last 2 years. He didn't do well in Irma, both masts came down and the wing foils shattered, one keel, one rudder and a whole bunch of holes punched through both hulls. Irma did one side, Maria finished the job! A familiar tale. 

Historical shots? There could be only 2 contenders on this day. Ryan and Rosie. Ryan, now nearly 21, is happily stuck in Annapolis with his Mum waiting on university in Southampton to re-open in September. He's a regular TJ crew when here, but wisely dodges any itchy boat work. Rosie has not sailed on TJ yet, but her time will come!  To complete the picture, looking at the TJ girls racing to Anegada about 20 years ago,  Ryan's Mum, Jaeda is the one on the right, second from left is Steve's fairer half, Sue!


IMG_8280 (1).jpg











IMG_8392 (1).jpg






Super Anarchist
Out of the Office
Ryan in the Mount Gay, almost new, red hat. there is history in just that !!!!

Thank you for the update.  I know you hate it when no one comments.

One day maybe I will get there and get a ride on TJ.

Hot Damn!

Check out the start line for tomorrow's Lowell Wheatley Anegada Pursuit race.

6 tris here but another corsair set to show up...and Gunboat 66 Coco De Mer.

Island Hops is a Corsair 31, Ting a Ling and Whoop Whoop are Corsair 27's, Lucky Strike a Corsair 24 and Airgasm is a Corsair Pulse 600.

Back in the day it would just be Triple Jack but since we got wounded a whole bunch of peashooters have turned up!

As per my last post I'm out cruising with the family BUT I hope to snap some shots of the main start at 11ish.

The forecast is a perfect E 20kts to kick off with, moderating as the day goes on with a slight N'ly shift.


Anegada starts.JPG

So, the winner was...

’Lucky Strike’ the Corsair 24, followed by ‘Whoop Whoop’ one of the 3 27’s with 31’ ‘Island Hops’  completing the podium. Coco bought up the rear, this is as close as we got to them off Road Harbour.


Blimey, it's not been 2 weeks and the thread nearly made it to page 2!

Progress has been made but it's not been earth shattering. A spot of family sailing and the firecracker regatta justifiably got in the way! The late June tradewinds took out all the tarps so there goes a whole work day setting that lot up again. Today a solid mid week session saw the whole salon floor get its biax epoxy laminate it so deserved, the foredeck and the fwd beam also enjoyed the sensation of fresh cloth, liberally applied.

We are leaning towards installing an engine. Saildrive or shaft drive? We have the option of both 'in hand' but can't decide. The saildrive is neat, it occupies less space...but ultimately the shaft drive is more robust with a smaller hole should it start leaking! Weight-wise there's not much in it, not enough to sway the call. With the whole salon floor now laminated and ready for stringers it's time to decide. I initially thought saildrive, I've worked with them for many years and have never seen a leg 'ripped out' with a fractured diaphragm. But then I like the simplicity of a shaft drive and dripless shaft seal. Damn, 'I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure'!

We reckon the whole installation will be a 500llb hit. 2 fat crew members. At least the weight will be in the middle of the boat and low down, fat crew members would likely be idling in the cockpit getting in the way. We are mindful that an engine would make the boat 100% more 'user friendly'. Getting underway off a mooring, engineless, in 'Sea Cow's Bay necessitates having at least 3 experienced hands ready to back the jib, waiting for the right moment, ready to ease the main if a gust hits on the bear away...and so on. Sailing back to the mooring is another far more complicated scenario that can easily end with the command 'jump, you fucker, jump!' (with a long line)

Hey ho, it's only this Covid world that allows the consideration of such things. In the BVI we still have our borders closed and cannot see that changing anytime soon. Bad for business, but great for getting 'non essential' projects done like fixing TJ. We just wish hurricane season was not predicted to be quite so active, the weather has certainly become more fruity these last few days.

So, here's a few pictures that look very much like many previous pictures posted. It takes an experienced eye to fully appreciate the volume of grinding necessary to make progress possible.

Historical shot this evening shows a regatta winning 11 strong crew from the BVISR some years ago.












Have you considered electric motor on a shaft? Seems to me it would be quite well suited to what you want, getting on and off the mooring. May even save a fat bastard, and a lot of engine support complication. 


Buidsear Fiohda

New member
Not sure there's any weight advantage in going electric

Electric motor and saildrive: 170lbs

4x 8D AGMs for the 48v 400 Ah required: 175lbs each

Total: 870lbs

That's three fat bastards and a St Bernard dog. Or nearly half a Volkswagon Beetle, in old money.


Plus I'm pretty sure that by "in hand" RIP means "got it for free of another boat" so spending 20k on an electric set up is almost certainly off the table.

Not sure there's any weight advantage in going electric

Electric motor and saildrive: 170lbs

4x 8D AGMs for the 48v 400 Ah required: 175lbs each

Total: 870lbs

That's three fat bastards and a St Bernard dog. Or nearly half a Volkswagon Beetle, in old money.


Plus I'm pretty sure that by "in hand" RIP means "got it for free of another boat" so spending 20k on an electric set up is almost certainly off the table.



New member
Triple Jack, Happy to see that you are still at it. On Morello we went with a shaft and prop. I think that a saildrive may be less drag but I did not want to haul out annually to service it.

We sailed up to St. John last weekend, our first trip north since we saw you at Christmas. Saturday morning we sailed east into Sir Francis Drake Channel on our way to the south shore of St. John. The only boat we saw was a ferry coming out of Roadtown. It was eerie. Monday's sail back to St. Croix was nice and sporty. I hope that there is an around Tortola race in November and outsiders can participate.

See you on the water sometime, Morello

So, saildrive it is, less drag, prop in line with the hull, engine, SD20 and max prop all in hand...just the saildrive base/ engine mount molding to find.

There's still a bunch of wrecked boats around so hopes are high. With the new coachroof not yet installed the cutting/grinding and fabrication will be 100% easier now rather than later. We must be getting old eh? It will be electric winches next!

Good progress all round, more laminates on the bow, the mid section is laminated and prepped for bulkheads/engine mounts. Stbd fwd beam repairs now just 2 visits away from completion, then it's just recreating the fairing. Port fwd beam crush injuries have been exposed and the repair plan is clear, winches are being rescued...good turnouts for work days and evenings, it's all good!

Soma sits just along the Peninsula from us, it's an unfair race right now with our borders closed, from all accounts Niels isn't exactly sitting around twiddling his thumbs...BUT we are not far away from being on level terms as far as 'Irma repairs' go. Not counting our chickens yet though!

We have all been out racing and cruising around the BVI's lately and it is SO strange. it's a rarity to share an anchorage with another boat. I've said before that the situation is not sustainable and at some point we will have to figure out how to welcome visitors to our shores, but until that happens it is maybe our 'once in a lifetime' chance to enjoy the islands in their 'natural state'. 














On we go.

Saturday saw a 'pirate' mission to try and find a saildrive base for the new donk.

It was Jervis' 5th birthday too, Steve's youngest. Rosie, Jervis, James, Steve and I had a grand time crawling over and into the various wrecks that are still scattered around here. Paraquita Bay first. We were not quite sure what the cat was, but being upside down with a huge hole just fwd of the engine bay really helped. Oh, and the saildrive/engine combo has conveniently been torn away from all 3 mounts. It's a Yanmar too but a 4 cylinder, the bed looks too big. Then on to 'Moon River', a horribly sad looking Lagoon 380 washed up on Buck Island. It's a 3 cylinder but Volvo. However, it will be an easy cut out and it looks like the modification to take the Yanmar will be doable. Watch this space to see what one we go for, it may be both! The Yanmar 30 is up and running on the bench, I keep telling myself what a light engine it is!

Today saw a load of boat work going on. Paul senior is framing the whole salon bilge with 3/4"x 3" wide purpleheart. It will be epoxied and tabbed into place, becoming the sole board shelf, also offering a good bit of structure. Paul Junior and Steve focused on foredeck and fwd beam repairs. We found some wet balsa in the port beam fairing and some rotten ply around the top of the Daggerboard trunk. Both self inflicted wounds but easy to deal with. I built a new ring frame for the stbd sponson and finished up squaring up the main aft bulkhead ready for new material next week. Henry continued rescuing winches, it is heartening to see them come back to life.


















Russell Brown

Super Anarchist
Port Townsend WA
Dang, you guys blow me away! Not only are you fixing a worthy wreck, but you salvage both an engine and a sail drive and you look like you are having a blast and your kids are involved. It's like the good old days! The Caribbean spit me out hard, but you guys seem to be finding the light there.



Well done for recycling and involving the kids..... I could do with some of your weather myself right now......

If that triangle is going to have more than a small nominal load pulling away from the surrounding surface without a lot of the reinforcing going inside and bonded to somewhere else in the direction of loading, it might fail due to delamination?

Don’t ask me how I know......

Last edited by a moderator: