slowly but surely
The lack of a main sponsor (read money) has not
speeded up the building, but also as it became
obvious the boat would not sail this season, things
have tended to calm down.
The deadline for the hull & rig is now set
for the Helsinki boat show at the beginning of
February, where the more or less finished boat
will be displayed. These pictures were taken in
The Styrofoam mold that we told about in part
I of our story, was not a complete success.
Both the hull and the deck sticked to the mold
so intensely that the molds had to be destroyed
to pull out the laminated boat. That much for
the plan to use the molds for a second boat.
Regular (cheaper) polyester resin was used to
build the hull and the deck of the boat. The styrene
in polyester resin melts Styrofoam like a hot
oven melts butter. The Styrofoam was therefore
covered with a thin layer of epoxy prior to lamination.
In some places, however, the layer of epoxy was
not sufficient and the resin penetrated though.
As a result, the hull would stick to the mold
and the mold could only be removed in pieces.
This was not a failure of the building method
per se, but rather a result of lack of experience
- next time we will know better. In any case,
Reiska, the most skilled sailmaker in Finland,
is well on his way to become a cunning boat builder
|The sail plan of the Mini-Transat boat is huge.
The total height from the bottom of the keel to
the top of the mast is limited to 14 meters, the
boom may not pass the stern and the bowsprit is
nearly 2 meters long.
That leaves plenty of room for canvas, needed
to make the best of the rare days of light air
these boats meet on their Atlantic crossing. Upwind,
the 30 sqm mainsail is most of the time reefed,
and the 10 sqm fractional jib is used. It has
a reef in it, too.
The bowsprit is hinged at the bow and bends back
to the side of the boat when not in use. Downwind
the 65 sqm masthead asymmetrical powers the boat
easily over 20 knots.
The underwater appendages are no less unusual.
A 250 kg bulb at the bottom of a very narrow stainless
steel fin can be angled 35 degrees to the side,
to increase stability - the boat carries no water
In front of the canting ballast keel, a dagger
board is needed to add to the lateral plan. Wings
fitted to the canting keel is being considered
as an alternative to the dagger board.
An additional dagger board in front of the
twin rudders is needed for directional stability,
to relieve the autopilot's burden when running
off the wind.
The deck plan gives an idea of the extreme proportions
of this amazing little boat, nearly as wide as
it is long.
|Perfect fit - with the deck on, the boat starts
to reveal its nature.
||A very comprehensive internal structure adds slightly
to the weight but gives an extra boost of confidence
to the builder/sailor - nothing more unpleaseant
than finding your boat disintegrating in the middle
of the ocean.
Not much of interiors or headroom to boast of
for the skipper-builder Reima Alander.