Tuesday, April 17, 2018

DH550 Charter Catamaran

The DH550 catamaran has been or is being built in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Australia. All of these builds have been to the original design, as drawn for Phil and Laura Harvey to build the prototype "Wild Vanilla" as a family cruiser.
"Wild Vanilla", now renamed "Taika" under her new owner
We now have a new version of the DH550 , named the DH550 Charter. It was commissioned by a charter company and construction will start in the next few weeks. It has features that are better suited to charter service, in the cabins, bridgedeck accommodations and rig.

This version has four equal double guest cabins, each with en-suite heads and shower. There is also a compact single crew cabin in the bows of each hull and a shared crew heads with shower in the starboard hull.

More space has been given over to life outside, so the bridgedeck accommodation has a smaller saloon and larger cockpit than the cruising version. It has two galleys, one internal and the other in the cockpit. The forward cockpit, a working area in the cruising version, is changed to a social area with seating and folding table. The working cockpit has moved aft to above the outside galley, with helm and engine controls. All sail control lines, except halliard and reefing lines, are led to a pair of electric winches mounted on the cabin roof. This cockpit has large cave lockers to keep the ropes tidy and out from underfoot.
DH550 Charter accommodation
The rig commissioned by my client has in-mast furling for easy handling. It has vertical battens to support modest roach.The boom has been raised for better clearance over the working cockpit. It has also been lengthened to regain some of the lost sail area and to move the sheet further aft to where it won't conflict with the working cockpit. A pair of posts has been added in the cockpit to pick up the loads applied to the cockpit roof by the mainsheet.
DH550 Charter rig with in-mast furling and vertical battens.
I also drew an alternative charter rig with slab reefing instead of in-mast furling. It regains area by means of more roach

Aesthetically, the charter and cruising versions are little different. The working cockpit is fairly inconspicuous, so doesn't spoil the clean lines of the cabin.

This version is only offered with cruising keels, for simplicity of operation. Lack of the daggerboard casings also gives more freedom for fitting in the required accommodation in the forward guest cabins.

The two steering stations are separate, connected only at the tillers on the rudder shafts, giving 100% redundancy. In the event of breaking a steering cable, the boat can still be steered at the other helm.

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Glassing the Sportfisherman

Glassing of Kevin Agee's 26ft sportfisherman started yesterday, using WEST epoxy with a slow hardener to give ample time to do the work. We settled on a procedure that would give a surface that will need the least amount of fairing after completion of the glassing. That needed the glass fabric, 1708 biaxial glass with chopped strand mat on one side, to be laid down in a single length to eliminate transverse laps.

The procedure was to set up the roll of glass on a stand in front of the hull, then roll it out onto the bottom of the hull, cutting to size and shape. The 50" roll width was enough to cover one side from alongside the keel runner across to the chine, including the overlap onto the side. We cut two of these, one for each side, then rolled them up, ready for use.
Glass fabric laid out on hull and cut to shape.
The glass layer was to be covered by a layer of peel ply, so the order of tasks was to pre-coat the wood with epoxy in increments of approx 4ft, roll out the glass, wet-out the fabric with epoxy applied with mohair rollers, roll out the bubbles with ribbed rollers, lay peel ply over the top, squeegee smooth, then move on to the next 4ft section and repeat the process. The peel ply we laid in transverse strips so that we wouldn't be working with two rolls one behind the other to complicate the process.

Michelle mixed the epoxy, Kevin worked from the side on a ladder and I worked on top from the other side of centreline. We worked from transom through to the bow. About half-way through we realised that the planned completion of both sides of the bottom was not going to work. How was I going to work on top of the hull with fresh laminate where I had to stand? So the plan changed from doing two bottom panels in the day to doing one bottom panel and the opposite side, to remove any conflicts.
Half bottom glassed and covered with peel ply.
Glass wrapped onto transom. The glass roll on top of the engine bracket is for other bottom panel.
Two of Kevin's friends arrived to help after lunch, so we now had five working together to follow the same procedure. This was a big help because measuring out the glass for the side needed the glass to be held up against the hull, rather than calling on gravity to hold it there as we could with the bottom panel. The two new guys had done this work before, which none of the other three of us had done. They introduced the additional step of laying the glass back against the previous work to roll resin onto the contact surface of the new glass before it is pressed against the resin on the plywood, speeding up the wetting process.
Hull side glassed and covered with peel ply. It wraps across the chine flat and onto the bottom. When the second bottom is glassed there will be a double layer over the chine, a high-abrasion area that needs greater protection.
Side laminate wrapped onto transom. 
Other work that was done prior to starting the glassing was gluing the bottom panels onto the engine bracket, as well as structural epoxy fillets around the perimeter and inside the bracket. Some of this can be seen in the photo above.

The rest of the hull will be glassed over the next week.

This design is still not on our website, so there are no links to the design in this post. To see our range of designs go to our desktop website or our mobile website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cape Cutter 19 Developments

Following on my post of a few weeks ago with Cape Cutter 19 News, I have some more developments to report.

First is the CNC plywood kit. Years ago two plywood kits were cut by CKD Boats in Cape Town before the moulds for the GRP boats were sold to Honnor Marine, who rescinded the rights to cut kits. Now, with the moulds and GRP production under new ownership of Cape Cutter Marine, we are once again able to sell CNC plywood kits. I completed the new files, with jigsaw joints to all components that are too large for one sheet of plywood. The kit comprises bulkheads, centreplate casing and skin panels for hull, deck and cockpit. We will be able to supply kits in USA and they will also be available from our normal kit suppliers in various countries. Email me for more info.
Cape Cutter 19 being built from one of the two kits cut years ago. The new kits will be similar quality but with jigsaw joints to larger panels.
The other development with the Cape Cutter 19 is under the water. We have had a bilge keel (twin keel) option for the Cape Henry 21 for a few years. The first was launched in Cape Town in 2012. Sailing reports have been of good speed and handling characteristics, with the owner very happy with his boat and other observers impressed with her speed. There is not a similar boat with centreplate nearby to allow comparative sailing to tell us the differences but that will happen sometime in the future, when the opportunity arises.
Cape Henry 21 with bilge keels, being launched in Cape Town, South Africa.
We have not had the bilge keel option for the Cape Cutter 19. A few people have asked when we will have this option and it has now happened. Today I have completed the drawings and will add it to our pricelist in the next few days. The first boat with this option will be built by an amateur builder in the Philippines. This version is able to dry out on shallow moorings, standing upright on the twin keels and skeg.

To see our full range of designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.