The Adventures of Kismet the Jarcat (Catamaran)

This blog documents the modifications necessary to get seaworthy (warts and all), then the adventures (hopefully) on board our Trailer Sailer 6.1 metre Jarcat6 Catamaran, Kismet.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Kismet on Lake Victoria

We were fortunate that we were able to meet with Peter from the Trailer Sailer Place forum while in Paynesville. Peter and crew motored out to meet us and took some pictures (unbeknownst to us) while we were sailing.

That slack near the foot of the main sail, I found later to be caused by the way the main halyard cheek block (pulley at the top of the mast) had been riveted on. Two of the four rivets are within a few millimetres of the sail track preventing the bolt rope from sliding up further. To Be Fixed...

Friday, 17 May 2019

Sailing Gippsland Lakes

Well just Lake Victoria actually. We took accommodation at Captains Cove where we had our own boat berth (picture above). It let us get out on the boat without the rigmarole of setting up each day. A VERY successful four days albeit only two days actually sailing.

We have trying to get out on Port Phillip but out of a nine hour day we don't even get two hours actually on the water - then arrive home exhausted from the whole process.

This way (Paynesville) we arrived and launched and were ready next day to just step out onto the boat. Thete were some complications this time as I had to rig a few things for the first time.

It was quite helpful to tow to 300 or so kilometres down to Paynesville as this is the longest tow we have done with the boat.
For instance:
- Insects splat against the hatch fronts and somehow find their way into the cabin - lots of dead bodies.
- Webbing straps slowly loosen for the first 100km as they tighten on the drums.
- The Tacktrack lines (ropes) along the from of the boat vibrate a lot and need some kind of restraint to stop them thrashing and compromising the ropes.
- The boat becomes more stable at speed but uses more "fuel" from the car than a small caravan that is heavier.

More pictures and details to come...

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

First sail with Main

We got the right wind conditions (that aligned with other life stuff) on Saturday.
We launched at Altona this time - this was a lot better than the Warmies (Williamstown). We raised the newly adjusted jib at the dock and it looked good. We then put it away and rigged main only.

We solved the retrieval issues. I purchased 2 of 6" rollers and frames to replace the offending 2 just forward of the wheels. We launched then I replaced them. During replacing it became obvious why we couldn't easily retrieve. The port side roller stem bracket is welded on crookedly. The 6" roller  fixes the width problem..

Two issues:
1. The Outhaul tends to rotate the boom about 20 degrees due to the padeye being off the side of the boom slot. This stuffs up the mast steering shackle. I think this is easily solved with a bit more thought from me on how I tie the outhaul to the padeye at the end of the boom.

2. Getting the bolt rope into the mast slot as I hauled it up was a pain. It kept wanting to jam at the top of the slot opening. (Googling I find this is common - since this was my first time I'll reserve judgement for now).

Anyway, once up she sailed well on the main but four attempts to tack failed - in irons. No jib, no dagger boards - I hope that's all it was. Crew was very concerned most of the time - hence no jib and daggers.
From what I read since then it was pretty optimistic that I could tack with no daggers down. The Jarcat has quite flat hulls unlike a beach cat so I would think it really needs the daggerboards to steer well.

During the previous week I added grab handles to the front of the cabin roof. Now I don't have to throw myself across the roof (in waves) when going forward. The picture show the starboard handle just above the green navigation light. I realise that they may pose a problem for the genoa in future but they are pretty streamlined and the sail shouldn't get caught on them.

Friday, 15 February 2019

First sale - kind of

We took advantage of the light winds on Sunday to take Kismet out for the first sail. A number of time consuming reasons had us in the water with mast up at 1:30pm.

Nearly ready...

There was a lot of traffic on the water and we had not boated for almost a year so it took us to almost 3pm (having lunch while drifting) to finally raise the jib for the first time.

Given about 5 knots of wind I was happy we made steering speed but we ran out of time to try the main (long story).

The jib appears too long. See attached picture. It's OK on downwind or board reach but closer to the wind it's sitting on the roof. It was up close  against the top halyard block.

Retrieving was a pain AGAIN with Kismet slipping off a roller and gouging the keel a bit. Not sure how we can improve that - it's the worst part of going out for the day. (We are doing day sails while we shake down the boat.)

Over all I regard it as a great success - the mast appeared solid with so sign of distress in chainplates or tacktrack.

We won't launch at the warmies again for sailing - too busy and takes  too long to get to sailing areas.
We should also rig all sails on land - live and learn.

Better half was quite concerned even with the light conditions so I took that into account - hence jib only.

The jib turns out to be about 500mm too long in both luff and leach so it's at a sail maker now awaiting us to give him some critical measurements so it can be modified.

In the picture you can see the jib dragging on the cabin roof.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Mast up for first time

After bedding and securing the chainplate bolts a couple of days ago, we bought Kismet home for the day of reckoning. Will the shrouds be the right length to stop the mast colliding with the rear of the cabin?

All good. Even the forestay was within adjustable range.

I had to add 30mm of padding under the front mast rooftop mount (for road travel).
I also raised the rear 'V' mount 50mm so that the spreaders cleared the cabin hatches.
You can see the old holes on the lower 'V' mount. The top 'V' mount "unplugs" from the mast support at the orange paint just above the lower 'V'. This reduces our travelling height so we don't take out any service station lights.

Unfortunately I picked a bad weekend to bring the boat home as my storage place isn't open tomorrow and we are too committed to other stuff to actually try to get sailing. I also need to mount the jib blocks and cleats and make a new tiller.

So there it sits in the driveway. I'm not allowed to put on the front lawn again.

I'm currently waiting for William to get home from work (yes on a Sunday) so we can lower the mast and store it on the boat. Since it's the first time we have ever lowered it, I'm not taking any chances that my better half could get injured lowering the mast. (I'm not sure how much he helped me when raising it...).

Friday, 4 January 2019

Chainplates done - Tacktrack repairs & bedding

The Chainplate woodwork is complete and we have successfully drilled the 6mm holes for the bolts. I have to patch-paint the outside of the hull were the old holes were then we are ready to bolt them up. I'm very happy with the result - although it looks a bit messy on the inside.

The top of the elongated holes on the chainplate extensions lines up with the hole in the existing chainplates. The top drilled holes line up with existing and new pieces.

Starboard - I was able to brace across the hull on this one so I could keep it pretty clean of epoxy.

Port - I had to use masking tape and plastic sheet so couldn't see the result until next day. I'll clean it up a bit but it's very solid.

The chainplates are on an angle on the insides of the hulls so the bolts would be under bending strain if bolted up as they are. So I'm also making 12 degree washers so that the nuts can bolt up flush.
I'm using large Stainless Steel washers on a chunk of wood temporarily set on a 12 degree angle with epoxy dribbled into a "mould" made from masking tape. We'll see how that goes.

I'll check them tomorrow.

The main traveller has been re-mounted on a bed of Sika 291 with 10 of 75mm screws, 2 of 89mm screws and 6 of the original 50mm screws (the outside 3 on each side). I didn't epoxy any screws in but they are quite tight and with mostly 50mm penetration into the transom I can't see them letting go.
Sorry no pictures as yet.

I deliberated leaving the tacktrack in place and just removing each screw and epoxying them in but finally decided to removed it entirely.
Part of the top of the tacktrack support was slightly cracked and peeled away a chunk when the track was removed. That was bad and good. Bad because I have to repair it, good because it showed that the builder had used at least SOME fibreglass when the upper deck was built.

The tacktrack support with the track removed.

Close up of the worst damage.

The chunk that came off. You can see the woven pattern.

I'll be bedding the tacktrack with Sika 291 and screwing it almost down, then next day I'll remove the screws one at a time and inject epoxy into the hole and quickly re-insert the screw. Quickly because they are not blind holes so the epoxy will dribble through.

I'll have to be quick with this process because the screws have to be nipped down pretty much bit by bit so as to not strip any one screw hole trying to take all the strain. (This wait-until-next-day to tighten is recommended by Sika to prevent the bedding compound being completely squeezed out).

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Chainplates - The actual Wedges

The wedges that match the chainplate strap angle to the hull were epoxied into position the day before yesterday. I epoxied the chainplate extensions on yesterday - sorry forgot to take pics today.

Today we drilled the 6mm holes (from the inside) through the hardwood and hull.
Everything went really well - meaning nothing broke away or fell off. I'm very happy with the strength although it could look a bit better cosmetically on the inside.

I'll get pics of the extension pieces next time I'm at the boat. It's Christmas eve day tomorrow so I'm not sure if I'll get there.
Next is re-mounting the main traveller - drilling all the holes again, sealing the screws in with epoxy and bedding in the I-beam with Sikaflex 291.



Thursday, 6 December 2018

Chainplate Support Epoxied to Hulls

The first support hardwood is epoxied on.
Starboard side.
Port side.

My work area - at least half of it. I'm using a chunk of core flute as a spill-catcher.

Top tiller support.

The chainplate epoxy job wasn't perfect. The next morning I visited the boat to clean up the epoxy and I reckon the bottom 2/3 are solidly bonded to the hull (correct ooze) but there are probably a few little voids at the top 1/3.

I used the two-part process where the pieces are coated with un-thickened epoxy then then left a little while and the thickened then used. Because I'm using such a slow hardener (the BoteCote non-yellowing one) the unthickened didn't really tack-off. The thicker stuff slumped a bit. I'm quite sure I couldn't move it with a Jemmy bar, so I'm not too worried.

So next stage (when our mini-heatwave subsides in a day or so) is fabricate the weird hardwood wedge shapes between the bit I just glued on and the stainless steel. Weird because the two sides are different.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Stronger Tiller Pivot

The tiller pivot on Kismet is rather weak. The only pivot is a rudder pintle bracket with an 8mm bolt going through the tiller then the bracket. The top of the bolt is unsupported.

On William's (son) say so I have made a timber fitting the same shape as the lower one. This will be epoxied to the transom 47mm above the original (lower) one. We will then fit another rudder pintle on the new piece of timber (after painting etc.) - then use a longer bolt.

In order to ensure I glue it on in the correct place I used a few pieces of scrap wood to get the alignment right. As usual the existing support timber ISN'T ON STRAIGHT. So I've lifted the right hand side of the new piece about 2mm as a fudge. Not enough to notice that it's not parallel to the other one, and not enough to notice that it's not parallel with the top of the transom (just don't look too hard).

The paintbrush handle is the right size to wedge the new support onto the transom when I epoxy it.
I've put the pivot bolt back in temporarily to support my "paintbrush clamp".

I've since replaced the piece of masking tape I tore while sanding back the paint.

These pictures will help remind me how I am going to clamp it - hopefully when I do the chainplate timber tomorrow.

This is how I left it today.

Chainplate wedge stage one

Kismet in storage with my $85 eBay telescopic ladder. (Since taking this picture I have since roped the ladder to the boat for a bit of security while getting on and off.)

Today I managed to trim down the port side chainplate stage one wedge to allow the extension stainless steel to fit. I don't need to do this to the starboard one as it clears OK. I.E. The bottom of the new chainplate extension doesn't quite touch the timber piece.

Makeshift workbench.

This is my cut-down chainplate extension temporarily bolted on so that I can get the taper correct.
Method: Measure for fit, get off boat, chisel and dreadnought (wood file), get on boat - repeat...

Once these timber bits are epoxied to the hulls, the next step is to accurately manufacture a timber wedge shape to fill the void behind the stainless steel bits. Again, different for each side.

Bye Kismet, see you tomorrow. I'm off to water our oversewn front lawn.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Prep for new Chainplate wedges

I had a few hours for Kismet today. The port side had been mostly painted where I needed to glue (epoxy) my new support hardwood.

So I masked up the area and sanded back to almost bare wood.
The masking tape is 2 to 3mm outside the wedge area.

The starboard side was not painted as much so I sanded back the paint bits and ensured that I had roughed up the epoxy coating.

I also drilled out the lower existing chainplate holes to 6mm (the scuff marks aren't from my drill).
Then I went and got took 1 1/2 hours (not lunch, the work).

I was hoping to get the wedges epoxied in place today but it was little too late in the day as I'd like to go back a few hours later to check nothing bad has happened.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Chainplate story begins

I retrieved Kismet from storage a couple of weeks ago but haven't had much time to do anything. I did investigate the chainplates though.

It turns out the a suspicion I had since I got Kismet was correct. The timber wedges supporting the chainplate bolts that are supposed to be epoxied to the inside of the hulls - aren't.

So there is a self tapping screw and one 3/16" bolt attempting to prevent the chainplate from being extracted up through the deck.

In additions, the wedge shown below used a combination of hardware and some softwood like oregon. The shorter piece is the softwood.

I guess that the shape of the wedge would provide some support as it bears against the lower edge of the timber running along the edge of the hull. Not good though.

I won't be replacing the chainplates but the plan is to add an extension and increase the bolt size to 6mm. I'll then add a second bolt for the extension. I'll increase the size of the screw as well. The screw and top 6mm bolt will join the extension to the existing chainplate strap.

The new wedges will be wider and be long enough for both bolts plus a bit.
(I'll also be sanding back the paint before epoxying them to the hulls.)

The fact that the wedges were not glued in helps me enormously as it allows me to simply make a whole new pair of wedges rather than attempt to add material to the existing wedges. I'll use about the left 2/3rds of the extension piece below (Ronstan RF47). Using the elongated hole (the very top of it) and the next hole down lines up exactly with the holes in the existing chainplate. The next hole along (about the centre one) will be the extra 6mm bolt going through the timber wedge and hull. I have stainless steel mudguard washers for the outside of the hull. I'll pre-tension the extension as much as possible when doing up the bolts.

I have had to store Kismet again but I have changed storage places and can now get access to the boat every day - about 20 minutes drive away. I am allowed to work on it while in storage (no welding or grinding or mess), so I'll be able to progress now without killing our front lawn.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Swab the decks - Washing Kismet

After our cruise up the Yarra, Kismet was very dirty with scum and dried salt.
We don't have any boat washing places within a 45 minute drive wash-so at-home it was to be.
I used the tarp normally covering the boat as a water capture and arranged the sides so no salt could get on our garden or the  nature strip.

I lay another tarp in front of the big grey one (across the footpath) and rolled the sides to form a gutter. Setup and washing took about 2 hours.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Second Boat outing - to Herring Island

After greasing all the rollers on the trailer we were suddenly confronted with perfect weather today. We organised a picnic lunch and invited daughter and wife's sister to a cruise up the Yarra again - this time 8 NM up to Herring Island.

The boat slid off the trailer with ease and retrieval was easy too. Pictures are going up the river and tied up at Herring Island.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Rollers Greased

Yesterday I removed all 16 rollers (one at a time) greased the shafts and sides of the rollers and spaced the rollers (using galvanised washers) so they stayed more in line with the keel. 
I can now move the boat back and forward while on land.

The next launch should be a lot easier. None of the rollers were frozen but they were difficult to rotate - now they spin freely.

The zinc plated split pins were all I could get so if I had to use them I swapped them up front where the trailer doesn't get immersed.

Waiting for retrieval

This is a nice picture of Kismet while we waited for Fisher folk to finish their trailer refurbish. I should have tidied up that messy line first...

Friday, 6 April 2018

First Launch without drama

We launched successfully for the first time yesterday at 2:20PM at "The Warmies". We were very late getting started but it was important not to stress. We only intended to motor for a couple of hours.

Here I am putting rudders down - not so difficult that I'd bother adding any line system just yet.
Note the PVC pressure pipe tiller. It works fine but feels a bit like a toy.

We motored up the Yarra. here we are approaching the Westgate bridge.

Launching required a bit of huffing and puffing to get the boat moving off the trailer and it was the opinion of an onlooker that we should have reversed in a bit deeper.

The motoring was very nice and we did not take on any water. We ran the motor at about 1/3 throttle and generally made 3.9 to 4.5 knots.
We got back to the ramp at 4:20PM then had to wait while two fishermen fiddled with their trailer for 15 minutes AFTER they quickly launched on our side of the ramps when they saw us tying up.

Retrieval was a real pain as the rollers have 10 to 15mm of sideways movement in them and they all went the wrong way. Retrieval and prep for travel took 1.5 hours. The straps slowed us down a lot too. I'll be looking for a better way to secure the straps to the trailer.