SAILING TODAY ISSUE 179 MARCH 2012
BUILD A CLASSIC ...IN 38 WEEKS
ZERO TO BOAT BUILDING HERO
CHECK YOUR RIG
IS YOUR MAST ABOUT TO GO OVER THE SIDE?
CORNWALL ON A SHOESTRING • USED RIVAL 36 • MY MARINA BRIGHTON • SARDINIA - THE MED AT IT’S BEST? • PACIFIC CROSSINGS • SEALANTS • SOLAR PANELS - 14 ON TEST
MARCH 2012 £4.10
ROD HEIKELL’S GUIDE TO CROSSING THE WORLD’S WIDEST OCEAN PUBLISHING
CORNWALL ON A SHOESTRING
CRUISE THE UK ON £30 A DAY
THE MED AT ITS BEST? ON TEST
THE CHARMS OF BRIGHTON
OLD SCHOOL PASSAGE MAKER
SOLAR PANELS COMPARED
SEALANTS KNOW YOUR POLYSULPHIDES FROM YOUR SILICONES
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Buyerâ€™s Guide p40
MARCH 2012 ISSUE 179
Aroundrld the Wo eikell
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ROD HEIKELLS COCONUT MILK RUN Crossing the Pacific
CHARTER Sardinia uncovered
PRACTICAL Boatbuilding course
04 Sailing Today March 2012
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ESSENTIAL TOOLS Handsaws
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– So mISunderStood Richard Falk, Training Manager at the RYA, keeps us abreast of the ups and downs of the latest safety and education issues around sailing. whose budget extends to such a device. However, it Some months ago I was asked to speak at a Royal is only one tool in our tool bag when it comes to the Institute of Navigation forum on AIS (Automatic issues of safe navigation and collision avoidance. I Identification System), in order to put forward cannot help but get a sense that there are some out the views of small boat users regarding issues there who view AIS as a panacea that in some way concerning AIS. In preparing for this I spent quite a relieves them of their obligation to “maintain a proper lot of time canvassing views from both recreational lookout by all available means appropriate in the and commercial skippers of vessels under 200gt. prevailing circumstances and conditions”. To say the findings were enlightening would be an The simple fact is that AIS has to some degree understatement! AIS originally arrived on the market become a victim of its own success. This relatively a little over a decade ago in the form of AIS A. It was inexpensive device provides users with the ability intended to provide information concerning ships to to see and be seen by a wider range of vessels, both other ships and VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) particularly assisting bases. The information smaller vessels with was intended to assist in poor radar signatures. both managing traffic and Unfortunately, the allowing ship’s masters to increased uptake of AIS B make informed decisions. by smaller vessels has, in In more recent times some locations, created the potential for the wider situations where the AIS application of AIS has display of a large ship been recognised by the is so cluttered that the small boat sector and in watchkeeper is required particular by equipment to filter out some traffic in manufacturers. This has order to be able to use the led to the development of This charting software screen grab shows an AIS display device. This is not the end a system known as AIS screen cluttered with ships off the southern tip of Singapore. of the world, but rather a B, which is specifically way of using some of the aimed at small craft. This features of the device to ensure it remains useful. system provides less information on vessels and due There are two things that the small boat user can to differing communications protocols will at times do to make the most from AIS. It should be used update positions less often, giving reduced accuracy. at appropriate times and in appropriate locations. Both systems effectively provide the user with Turning your AIS on for a sail across the Solent on a information on where other vessels are. Both AIS fine summers afternoon will not increase your safety. options use a VHF based communication protocol However, making sure the magic box is turned on that updates on a relatively frequent basis and is and working will give you a significantly better chance displayed on a dedicated AIS screen or overlaid onto of being seen on a stormy night as you negotiate the either an electronic chart or radar display. AIS B can busy Gibraltar Straits on your way into the Western be purchased either as a transmitter, a receiver, or Mediterranean. AIS is not a panacea. It is one more both, which transmits your position while receiving weapon to add to your arsenal when ensuring you information on the locations of other vessels. can see and be seen at sea. Do not over rely on it. You may have noticed of late a raging debate in It is, after all, an enhancement of the Mk I eyeball – some forums about the ability of large ships (AIS A) to not a substitute! If you haven’t had a play with an filter out the display of small vessels (AIS B) from their AIS B unit yet I suggest you do. They are a useful screens. This has been discussed in quite heated and effective piece of kit. But always remember no tones in recent times with many small boat owners single piece of equipment can ever replace a vigilant showing ‘outrage’ and ‘dismay’ at the prospect of a watchkeeper and a good dose of commonsense. watchkeeper on a large vessel having the ability to Safe sailing. elect to filter out their AIS signature. ■ This is where a good dose of reality kicks in. AIS is Richard Falk a wonderful tool and is, without question, an added RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner safety feature that I would commend to anyone
16 Sailing Today March 2012
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For the first time ever we are introducing our Moorings Powercat fleet to the The Mediterranean. Our ownership models consist of the New Moorings 393PC and the all time favourite; the Moorings 474PC. This new way of cruising is available in Croatia, Greece or Turkey. Life on board a Moorings Powercat offers a comfortable and fulfilling way to cruise the beautiful turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. More space to relax, more time to discover! When your yacht is managed by The Moorings, you will always arrive to an impeccable yacht and never have to worry about maintenance or operating costs. We take care of everything. Call us on 023 9222 2225 for more information or email: email@example.com www.moorings.co.uk/moorings-ownership January 2012 Sailing Today 17
GEAR ON TEST DUNCAN KENT, SAM JEFFERSON AND JAKE FRITH BRING YOU A VARIETY OF GEAR INSTALLATIONS AND TESTS, FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE POSSIBLY SUPERFLUOUS.
STORMY PFD COMBINED LIFEJACKET/ HARNESS/JACKET £349 There are a lot of reasons I wanted to become a yachting journalist. Not included among these was a desire to jump into Swanwick Marina, fully clothed in January. However, somebody had to do it and there’s nothing like leading from the front to keep morale up in today’s difficult commercial environment. Talking about today’s difficult commercial environment, My initial reaction on seeing the Stormy PFD was that it might struggle to achieve a stampede of UK customers who want a waterproof jacket/ lifejacket/ safety harness combo. Add to the mix the fact that its shell material appears to be a simple non breathable PU coated nylon, which most technical clothing manufacturers left behind in the 1990s and the full spec model I tested with heavy duty harness and auto inflating 150N lifejacket comes in at £350, and it begins to look rather like an overpriced sweatfest. First, let’s go through the concept. Combining these three items into a single, easily donnable and doffable single garment is a sensible idea that several manufacturers have explored in the past. After all, when sailing, it’s quite often the case that a deterioration in weather that leads to crew reaching for the oilies also means them reaching for their harnesses and lifejackets. The reason we don’t all sail with these 3 in 1 jackets is the small matter of configurability. On a hot day sailing offshore, we might want to just wear a lifejacket over a T shirt. When visiting a port on a rainy day we might want to wear only our
The harness component of the package is fitted to the lining of the jacket with multiple plastic pop studs.
waterproof yachting jacket without having to walk round Tescos wearing a lifejacket and harness too. In the case of the Stormy the harness part appears to be fairly easy to remove from the inside of the jacket due to pop stud fittings, so you could wear the harness on its own with minimal fuss. The inflation bladder looks like it could not easily be worn on its own as a lifejacket, although it is removable from the shell for servicing, cleaning etc. Stormy are an Australian company, and due to antipodean climate considerations, this model of jacket has zip off arms, meaning it can be worn as a gilet on hotter days. Rest assured though, that the jacket’s microfleece lining would make it an uncomfortable proposition on a hot UK summer’s day. I also wondered if driving spray
would find its way into the jacket through these non-waterproof zips when the arms were in use. Putting the combo on is a straightforward task, so top marks there. The harness hook has to be passed through the jacket’s lining and storm flap, on the exterior passing through a gasket that looks suspiciously like the jacket’s Stormy badge turned back to front and stitched on. Here’s another issue with combo jackets: I’ve never seen one, this one included that looks like this hole for the harness hook would keep out heavy driving spray. The harness part has excellent double crotch straps- so much more comfortable for gentlemen than a single strap for reasons we won’t go into here. However, and this is one of the biggest ‘howevers’ I’ve ever published in this magazine, the main point about crotch straps is their use in preventing a lifejacket bladder riding up when in the water. This helps keep the casualty’s head higher up; a crucial safety consideration. A traditional lifejacket/ harness has the lifejacket bladder attached to the webbing parts in such a fashion that if crotch straps are properly worn, the buoyancy cannot ride up over the head unacceptably. With the Stormy the inflation bladder is kept in position by the outer shell, not the harness part (which is just pop studded to a fairly loose microfleece type lining). On entering the water, everything worked as intended with the water finding its way rapidly to the auto inflation mechanism and the jacket inflating smartly. Initially things were pretty good (apart from the freezing cold which I can’t really blame the Stormy for), but
32 Sailing Today March 2012
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GEAR ON TEST
after 5 minutes of swimming and bobbing around, the jacket part had ridden up and my head was becoming very close to the water. The more the jacket rode up, the more vertical I became in the water, so it began to undermine my confidence in it functioning as a lifejacket, (which should always leave a casualty floating face up). The harness of course stayed beautifully low down on my body thanks to the crotch straps. This was flat calm water here, so any bobbing would be considerably greater in a real life scenario. O.K., a conscious casualty could pull himself back up into the jacket quite easily, as I eventually did, but conscious casualties aren’t really what lifejackets are about. Upon returning to shore with the sodden jacket, the warm fleece lining surprised us all by drying completely overnight which was
The lifejacket bladder started life well positioned but quickly rode up higher on the casualty’s body.
a pleasant surprise assuaging our concerns that it would stay soaked through for weeks. JF
• Not breathable material • Crotch straps do not stop buoyancy riding up.
WE LIKE • Jacket and lining dry surprisingly quickly
★★★★★ VERDICT We feel sorry for Stormy as they are a relatively small company that have taken on the larger players of the marine clothing industry, but I’m afraid it’s all
WE DON’T LIKE • Quite costly
HABITENT COCKPIT TENT £360 I’m sure that Any boat owner who has had to use their yacht throughout the UK summer would agree that a cockpit tent is a welcome addition: The vagaries of our climate ensure that crew often spend time at anchor huddled in the cabin sheltering from the rain and leaving the wide open space of the cockpit sorely under utilized. The obvious solution is a cockpit tent, yet getting a custom one made for your boat can be a costly option, and it is an expense that many owners tend to baulk at. This was the dilemma facing liveaboards Mark and Nicky Green: They have chosen to sell up and live aboard their Cobra 850 Misty Lady (see p70 for a rundown of their summer cruise to the west country). Given that the Cobra is 28ft long, and the pair are living aboard with their dog, more room would be a welcome addition, but their
strict budget meant that a custom made tent was a luxury they could barely afford. They were therefore delighted when they discovered the
too easy to be harsh about an unsafe ‘safety product’. The design flaw of not attaching the crotch straps on the harness more directly to the buoyant part of the jacket is hard to forgive. We also don’t fully support the concept of a single garment to fulfil these three roles because of the reduced configurability to cover the range of weather conditions and requirements, and when, as in this example, the harness is worn inside the jacket, the inevitable loss of waterproof integrity when a harness hook has to pass through a jacket shell. We are unsure about the zip off arms, which we also feel could risk water ingress. While I read on Stormy’s website of the lives saved by their products, I can’t help wondering if a bit of a design rethink might lead them to save a few more. Contact: Stormy Inflatable PFD Technologies Web: www.stormylifejackets. co.uk
Habitent. This is an adjustable cockpit enclosure which is considerably cheaper than a custom built tent and also means that you don’t need to
add any permanent fixings to your boat in order to secure it. It seemed like the ideal solution, as Mark explained: “A sailmaker quoted us
March 2012 Sailing Today 33
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SUNNY SIDE UP
We TooK aT a WIDe seleCTIon oF sMall (25-50W) MarInIseD solar panels DesIGneD To Keep YoUr enGIne sTarT BaTTerY reaDY To Go anD pUT THeM THroUGH THeIr paCes. DUnCan KenT reporTs.
hotovoltaic (PV) solar panels are becoming increasingly commonplace these days, both in the domestic and marine markets. This increase in popularity has helped reduced the price of some units considerably, although ‘marinised’ flexible versions aren’t discounted as much as rigid panels as they’re made in smaller quantities.
hoW do theY WorK? A PV panel consists of a number of silicon cells, usually 36 or more, which are connected together in series to produce a voltage of between 18-24V in open circuit condition (ie – no FL
• GB -SO L
• IN P ROS
load). Most are designed for 12V installations and their current output will not only depend on the amount and the intensity of the sun’s rays hitting them, but also on the quality of the silicon cells, their design and the number of cells in a panel. Panels commonly come in capacities from 5W-250W (although the maximum size for flexible panels is more like 70W) and, like batteries, they can be connected in parallel to give higher currents or in series (must be the same type/power panels) to attain higher voltages (e.g., 2 x 12v panels for 24V).
MonoCrYstallIne, polYCrYstallIne or aMorphous Cells? The active ingredient in almost every photovoltaic (PV) cell
O LA R • N ASA • P O W E R FI L M •
is silicon, which is derived from silica – or sand as it is more commonly known! Various methods exist to extract silicon from sand, but usually its heated to 1,700°c in the presence of carbon, which forces the silicon to form crystals as it cools. The slower the silicon cools, the larger the crystals that are formed will be. The difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells is simply that the former is produced from a single crystal of silicon, which is thinly ‘sliced’ to make a cell and therefore as ‘pure’ as possible. The latter, constructed from numerous smaller crystals, is less pure and therefore absorbs slightly less solar energy. This results in a lower power output for the same area of silicon so, to achieve the same energy levels, panels made from polycrystalline cells have to be a little larger than the monocrystalline
SOLARA • SPECTRALITE • SUNWA W RE • S WA
46 Sailing Today March 2012
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solar panels equivalent. Polycrystalline panels usually emit around 120-135W/m². With monocrystalline it’s more like 140-170W m². on the positive side, though, polycrystalline cells are simpler to produce, resulting in them being a little cheaper. Amorphous (thin-film) panels are only about half as efficient as crystalline panels and are usually used in small electronic appliances such as calculators and watches etc. Despite this lower initial efficiency, the power output from amorphous panels doesn’t deteriorate in extreme heat, unlike solid crystal types, and its make-up also allows the panel to be flexible to a great degree, which is an obvious advantage in many cases. Amorphous panels are usually encapsulated in a durable, flexible plastic and can be walked on to a degree without damage.
rIgId or FleXIBle? We have chosen to concentrate on the proper marinised PV panels in this feature as they are the only units that are recommended for marine use and tough enough to withstand being walked on and having things dropped onto them. Whilst aluminium-framed, glass-covered domestic PV panels can be considerably cheaper per square metre, they can only realistically be mounted in a reasonably well-protected area on a boat – such as across the top of a cockpit arch or onto a rigid bimini. They are also noticeably heavier than flexible panels so will require fairly solid support and mounting. The real benefit of flexible and semi-flexible panels is that they can be rolled away when not needed or formed to take the contour of a sloping coachroof and stuck down permanently. Although some flexible panels (namely amorphous models) don’t produce as much energy as fixed units, they can be
Peak power when angled at 90º to the sun
laid out where and when you need them and can easily be moved to continue facing the sun – thereby making up for the loss of output from a fixed panel as the sun’s angle to the latter becomes more oblique as the day wears on. If you want to keep the units producing power continuously without the bother of moving them about, then I would suggest that the semi-flexible, frameless panels would be the best solution. They can be glued or screwed to the deck, reducing the chances of having them stolen, and they can be walked over without worry and are easily cleaned.
hoW MuCh poWer WIll I need? It’s important to be realistic about how much actual power you will get from a solar panel and not just believe everything the salesman tells you. yes, a 24W/12V PV panel would, in theory, produce a 2A charge current when in strong direct sunlight at exact right angles to the cells (Peak Power), but this condition will so rarely be the case unless you have a particularly sophisticated sun-seeking mechanism that retains the optimum angles at all times. outside of the superyacht world we cruising yachtsmen have to be a little more pragmatic. If, like a large majority of boat owners, your panels are fixed down to the deck, then the movement of the sun through the sky during the day will reduce the effectiveness of the panels by a considerable degree. Taking the seasons into consideration as well, and the possibility of something shading or part obscuring the panel from the sun, then it is plain to see that what you actually get over time from solar panels is a lot less than their Peak Power rating would indicate. To detail the maths would be tedious and
require more pages than we have here, but suffice to say the average annual output from a PV panel kept horizontal is likely to be somewhere between 15-25 percent of the stated power in the Uk, and 20-35 percent in sunnier climes like the Mediterranean or the tropics. For instance a 36W panel is likely to return around 15Ah a day during average Uk summer conditions, despite being able to produce 3A at peak power. So, assuming you have two 100Ah domestic batteries and you consume some 75Ah/day when you’re cruising, you would need five 36W panels (around 3sqm in area) if you were entirely reliant on solar power to provide for your energy needs. of course, most cruising yachts will incorporate a combination of power generation sources, so are unlikely to fit so many bulky panels. A more common use for solar panels is to maintain engine battery charge at all times so that you can always start the engine and use the alternator to fully recharge the domestic battery bank – especially if you have a smart charge regulator fitted to your alternator, which will replace the consumed energy far more quickly than any green resource. on my own boat I have two 20W panels, which are wired in parallel and connected directly to my engine start battery. between the engine and domestic batteries is a latching voltage sensitive relay (lVSr), which connects all the batteries together when the engine battery reaches 13.8V, allowing some of the charge from the panels to go into the domestic bank. This also means I don’t need a regulator as all three batteries are enough (3 x 110Ah) to soak up the available current (3A max) from the PV panels without overcharging. I will, however, fit a regulator next season when I plan to add a 300W wind generator as well.
almost a ﬁfth less power when horizontal
FLEXCELL • GB-SOL • INPROSOLA L R • NASA • POWERFILM • LA
SOLA L RA • SPECTRALITE • SUN LA March 2012 Sailing Today 47
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USED boaT TEST
56 Sailing Today March 2012
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Jake Frith Meets a sailor who was so iMpressed with the rival 36 he owned FroM new in 1984 that he re-bought the saMe boat in 2011. a lot has changed in the world oF sailing since the 80s, so how would the old girl stack up?
ention Rival yachts and most sailors think of fairly heavy, pretty, bulletproof affairs designed for crossing oceans in safety, with high speed not featuring particularly high on the priorities list. Rival Yachts, in its first iteration, was started by yacht designer Peter Brett in 1967 with the Rival 31, the first one of which was popped out of her mould in 1968. This was quickly followed by the slightly extended 32 and then later with the well respected 34, 41 and 38. The first 36 was launched in 1980, making it the sixth and final Rival from the company in its original form. The Rival 34 in particular had gained many admirers in serious yachting circles following Wild Rival winning the OSTAR transatlantic race on handicap in 1976. The race had been a windy one and the 34 had triumphed in the main due to an ability to plug relentlessly to windward in conditions that had caused many other crews to ease off and yachts to retire. The 36 was launched
with this triumph fresh in the minds of the boating public, to fill a gap between the slightly fuller ended aft cabin 38 and the bulletproof 34. The 36 was a fairly successful design for Rival with 78 hulls being launched from the Woolston, Southampton factory. Later, in the 1980s, Rival Yachts’, like many other boatbuilders’ stories became more complicated, performing and being subjected to various takeovers and mergers featuring Bowman, Starlight and Rustler, all illustrious names in their own right when it comes to world girdling cruising yachts. The 36 was designed from the start with a lift keel variant, the 36C (for centreboard), which has a slightly shorter mast. The lift keel is a GRP foil that operates within an external stub keel with a flat bottom and grounding shoe for drying out safely alongside a harbour wall or similar. It is raised and lowered using a deck mounted winch. The 1984 model we are looking at here has the alternative deep fin keel of encapsulated lead.
There was a third shallow draught variant offered with Scheel keel. The 36 was offered with sloop rig as standard and cutter rig and furling headsail were offered as options.
About the owner Peter Jones bought Aronele from new in 1984. She soon proved too much of a financial commitment for him and he reluctantly sold her, owning a series of smaller boats through the 80s and 90s, including a Moody 31 and a Puget Sound 34 motoryacht, during a period of his career spent in Canada. Peter’s last boat in the UK was the Etap 26i we tested in May last year, but he was by then feeling the urge to travel further afield in more comfort so had a look to see if any Rivals were on the market. When he saw his old boat, Aronele, for sale in Coleraine she was too good an opportunity to miss.
March 2012 Sailing Today 57
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From damaged ugly duckling to sublime Swan.
INVISIBLE MENDING After Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club’s Swan 53 Lutine was T-boned in a high profile incident before the start of the 2011 Round the Island Race, it needed a very special repair to return her to her immaculate preaccident condition. Jake Frith took a look at how the specialists undertook this mammoth task.
The round the Island Race of 2011 was a blustery one and this, the largest participation yachting event in the world, has busy start lines at the best of times. During the pre start jockeying, Lutine was struck very hard amidships by another yacht, even though she alledgedly had right of way. It put paid to her participation in the race, but Lutine had a busy racing schedule ahead, with her owners keen to compete in Cowes Week and the Fastnet. With this in mind, Mark Goodacre from Goodacre Boat Repairs and Refits decided to go for an outdoor repair, thus removing the necessity of derigging and storing her mast. Though they would gain extra time by not having to remove and refit her mast, they had to begin the process by creating a substantial scaffold, including a roof section built around her mast. The scaffold was covered with marine shrink wrap to keep off anything an English summer might choose to throw at her. Glassfibre boats, in common with other
GRP items, such as cars, can be deceptive to evaluate after damage. This is because immediately following any impact, the structure often pops back into something closely approximating its original shape, meaning quite severe damage can look ‘not that bad’. With this in mind, the first stage of any repair consists of finding out the total extent of the damage. On the inside, this consisted of careful inspection of all the interior joinery around the impact. You can see how, in this case, the stresses have been spread through the bulkhead and around the fridge compartment, even splitting the teak fiddle round the worktop, along with various electrical conduits and gas piping to the cooker. It was then a case of removing all the broken woodwork, plus everything else that could be broken down around it. On the outside, following the removal of the toerail, a chalk dust of a contrasting grey colour was rubbed into the whole area to show the stress cracks and how far they radiated.
86 Sailing today March 2012
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GRP RePaiR LLOYD’S AND LUTINE
aBOUt tHE EXpErtS Goodacre Boat Repairs and Refits is based in a large modern facility at Port Solent, Portsmouth. With decades of experience gained worldwide returning damaged luxury yachts to original condition, this family run business was Lloyd’s of London’s first choice when it came to providing a quality repair for Lutine. The Goodacre team includes specialists in traditional boatbuilding and interior joinery, along with the skilled laminators and gelcoat experts that this repair required. The team was responsible for a refit of Lutine in 2009/2010, so already knew the yacht inside out. Web: www.goodacreboats.co.uk
Lutine is the name traditionally given to sailing yachts owned by Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club. The name refers to a Magicienne class frigate of the French Navy, launched in 1779, captured by the Royal Navy, recomissioned as HMS Lutine, and lost in 1799. The Lutine Bell from the ship is preserved at Lloyd’s of London. Traditionally bearing the sail number GBR809, there have been three Lutine yachts since the inauguration of the club in 1938. The first Lutine was a 60ft Laurent Giles designed bermudan yawl built by Camper and Nicholson’s in 1952. For the second Lutine, commissioned in 1970, Lloyds made the move to GRP, but stayed with the C&N yard, going for a Nicholson 55. The third and current Lutine, is this Nautor Swan 53. Lloyd’s of London has been synonomous with insurance ever since its first beginnings in Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in 1688, where ship and cargo insurance were first negotiated.
1. Scaffold frame erected...
2. ...and covered with marine shrink wrap.
3. The impact had damaged inernal woodwork
4. The interior was inspected for damage...
5. ...which was more than first appeared
6. First a rough repair to bring the shape back.
The outside of the repair was battened with lengths of flexible softwood screwed in place through the hull. This was because further delaminated areas would be removed from both the inside and the outer layers of gelcoat would be removed as far as the stress cracking reached. For the trademark profiled
Swan stripe moulded into the topsides, a piece of plastic waste pipe fitted the profile perfectly. The wider cracks were filled with a low density filler known as ‘pug mix’ to further hold things together before the full strength could be built back into the laminate. Now that the shape was set from the
outside, all the loose material could be removed from the inside, first by hand, then by power sanding. Once cleaned, the inside was laid up with resin, chopped strand mat and woven rovings to original specifications. Now that the inside part of the laminate >> was holding the shape, the screws and
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