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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Yesterday Barry and I picked up the mast and moved it under Pat’s porch so his guys could work on it in a more controlled environment.  They did some more bracket lamination, while I went to have lunch with Pat and his friend Yves, a baker from Brittany.  Yves wanted to meet about writing a press release about me for a publication in Lorient.  It should be fun, because Yves wants to play up the Louisiana connection to Brittany as much as possible, with humorous spins buried throughout. 

I also met with Dave Bolyard and discussed sails.  While in Key West, he and Dave Ullman met about the mainsail and jib design.  We will start with an over sized, unfinished sail, and once the mast is stepped again we will get some more precise measurements for Ullman to design the desired luff curve into the sail.  Then we go sailing and check it out. 

And just to see how far we’ve come, here is a picture of Myrna from September.



The black part of the cabin top that runs aft is where there was water in the core from some self tappers that were used to hold down a hand rail or something in the past.  This is mid repair.   Here’s a tip: don’t use self tappers anywhere outside on a boat.  Any boat.  You can also see the beginning of the inboard chainplates.



I’m  starting to realize that I can soon go sailing.  I spent the weekend plotting my course for my qualifier and I’m excited about getting out there.  I have dreams about sailing Myrna Minkoff in her new configuration and at least in the dream she is really alive. 

Besides plotting my qualifier, I’ve also done some little odd jobs. 

One being to fill the holes I cut in the ballast tanks.  I had to cut them out to access the nuts for the old push pits.  On the new pushpits, I laminated a G-10 “thumb” that the tube slides onto with a through bolt.  This way I don’t have to go in there anymore.  This was the second time I’d put a hole saw to the tanks to do something with push pits or stanchions.  Dumb.


Also did some 345 work with the chain plates below deck.  I wanted to be able to load them in more than one direction in the case of an emergency.  The little carbon parts were already made, so I just stuck them on. 


And here is Myrna docked at my friend Pat’s house. 



Where my mast and the Ullman sail loft are.  My sailmaker is in Key West of course.  It is migratory season for sailmakers right now.  They will be back on Monday. 


Yesterday I rented a load cell and weighed Myrna.  Since owning her I’ve suspected she was overweight by about 200 lbs because of her glass hull (not deck) and the thickness of the foam they used to build her.  Plus, the laminate is pretty thick compared to some of the boats I’ve seen.  Anyway I was right, she is 200 lbs overweight.  It’s not water intrusion or anything because I’ve already moisture metered the hull, so there is not much I can do about it but add sail area and try to sail her well.  So with the mast, boom and rigging she will weigh a little over 2,000 lbs (907 kg).  Still this is 200 lbs less than she weighed for the Bermuda 1-2 because of lighter sails, mast, boom, and batteries.  Plus a few little odds and ends that are much lighter than before such as hardware and escape hatch, etc…  Okay, so a modern proto weighs around 1760 lbs (800 kg) and has more righting moment with a canting keel/water ballast combination, so theoretically should be significantly faster.  That is great news for them, but I still think that a strong result in the Mini Transat is up to the skipper, and I am driven to focus exclusively on good preparation and sailing smart.  On top of that, Myrna is a beautiful boat that loves being offshore.  I can’t wait to show what she can do.

Here is a pic of the repaired area around the canard box and with the through hulls all made flush.  From front to back: speedo, canard, depth sounder, water ballest scoop and keel.


And here is the fake painted transom.  You can’t tell it’s a sticker in the picture and that’s all that matters.


They canceled my dentist apt from Monday, so tomorrow I’m going in for the last visit, then I have to return the load cell.


Today I spent the day doing things I can’t so easily do with the boat outside or in the water.  Instead of painting the transom I just bought a roll of white vinyl and stickered up the transom so it will look painted in pics and from any reasonable distance.  I just want to get her in the water at this point.  I also started with some little refinements to the water ballast system, mainly how the pump is mounted in the interior.  This time the pump will be mostly glued down with 345 instead of relying on stainless hardware to hold it in place.  I’m trying to get all of my 345 jobs lined up so I can attack them in one shot. 

Here is a picture Clark sent me of my coloring the bow numbers on with a colored pencil.  It took me forever.


Okay, it’s just vinyl.  I just wanted people to think there was a reason this was taking so long.


Here she is waiting patiently to go outside.


And the stern view.


I’ve got to run over to Cat 5 to do some little things before going to the Dentist for the final visit today.  I’m starting to see a horizon to all of this.


This Saturday, Raul and I primed Myrna’s bottom with EP- Prime 1000.  It’s a very sticky epoxy primer that their EP-ZO-HP bottom paint binds really well to.  This is their high performance bottom paint and the finish is really hard.  Unlike their EP2000 the HP is not a water based paint, and the EP2000 wont bind to it, so no orange this time around.   I took loads of pictures and will have a camera cable tomorrow. 


I left it at Porta Fiberglass where the M65 is.  I’m flying back to NOLA to continue working on my boat while the rest of the parts show up and Todd and his guys finish some details with the m65 like installing the keel and the “garage door” companion way.  I’ll have Jeffrey send me some pictures.  Anyone who has spent even a couple minutes with him knows, he takes a lot of pictures.  A trip to China for him would be like this “and here I am taking a picture of my new shoes at the Great Wall” etc…  It was fun working with him though, and I’ll be seeing him and Christian Fittipaldi in Miami some time next week to finish the deck hardware and do some test sailing. 

I’ll post some pics tomorrow.


Okay, back at the house.  Here are some pics of the M65 as I left her.


And the booty shot.


From left to right, me, Todd and Jeffrey.


Three very tired people.


I’ve installed all of the Lewmar deck hardware, and Todd is painting the keel.  Just waiting for Jeffrey to bring the rest of the Ronstan hardware up from Miami and we’ll get on that through the evening.


I’m preparing to hang the rudders at the moment.

Here is the primed keel fin.


And the lovely little tripple spreader rig from US Spars.


We set the rig up a couple of days ago.  The M65 has a narrow shroud base, much more so than even the Pogo 2, which will be great upwind and will allow the code zero to be sheeted very close to centerline for light air upwind work.  Because it is so narrow Owen Clarke opted for a triple spreader rig which was repeatedly showing to be all around quicker on the velocity prediction program (VPP).  I believe it’s the only series mini to have a  spreader mast.


Okay, maybe we’ve been working too much, but I need to get this lovely little boat into the water and sailing so I can get back to my little project.  It’s a good project though, and I like everyone involved.  Also there is progress on Myrna while I’m out, so it’s not like nothing is getting done. 

As for the M65, I spent a good bit of the day fairing the bulb. 


Jeffrey and I then finished installing the hardware that we had available.


I’ll get a better picture of her tomorrow. 

Todd Fuhrmann, who built the boat worked on finishing the rudders.


The rudders are beautiful, and a good two generations beyond what Myrna Minkoff is sailing with.  They are a tad deeper and with a shorter chord.  Todd has done an excellent job with this build and we were really psyched to see how well the rudders came out.   

Due to persist ant rudder envy, I’m talking to Tim Sadler from Owen Clarke design, about having a carbon set built for Myrna from these molds.  I’ll sail this boat, and if I like the feel of them I’ll go ahead with the new set.  In my case where I’ll be racing an older boat against the new protos during the Mini Transat I have to optimize the platform I have.  So with a new, more sophisticated carbon mast, boom, deck layout, sail plan, dagger board design, lithium ion batteries, and new generation rudders, I’ll be able to close the gap a little on the newer boats.  That’s the theory at least.  Of course it all has to stay together.

More tomorrow.


I’m in Edgewater, Florida putting the Owen Clarke production mini together right now

While the guys at Cat 5 finish Myrna’s bottom repair and prime her for painting.  Also Mr.Baker has started on the mast as of yesterday and his guys should have it ready in a week depending on the weather. 


All they have to do is fair in the repair and it’s ready.

Here is a picture of the below deck chainplates I did before leaving for FL.


And here is a picture of the 20:1 purchase for pulling the mast forward at the deck partners and the 10:1 for securing it aft.


That is the cabin top.

Beyond that Ullman is designing the sails right now and they should be ready to start building when I get back to Louisiana.

We have been working until midnight on the M65, but I’ll try to get an entry every day or so about what’s going on here.