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Friday, March 23, 2012

Some skin in the game...

The rudder is starting to come together.  And the lamination took a serious family effort.  All four of us were mixing epoxy, wetting out the carbon on the work bench and laying it out on the rudder.

The process basically goes in 5ish steps.  They are something like this.

Step #1 - Know what you are doing and why.  Design for your known loads and add a fudge factor for what you don't know.  Chad posted a rudder load estimator on the forum and it was clear that my designed layup schedule was not up to the task.  Especially at the critical high load point where the rudder leaves the bottom of the cassette.  That's where the rudder is trying to flex one way and the cassette and tiller are going the other way.  That load is what cracked my first rudder and what has messed up about 5 other i550 rudders that I know of.  I basically doubled the lamination thickness at max cord at the planned waterline of the rudder.  I then tapered from there to not add too much unneeded weight and bulk.  Here is my rudder lamination schedule...

Flying foam cut core cut from spyder foam. at 2.3 pounds per cubic foot.
Spline down the length of the rudder at it's max width made from 2 layers of 17 oz. -45/+45 degree bi-axial e-glass. Cut to fit the rudder and filleted into the rudder core with a 3/32" radius minimum to spread the load from skin to skin.
Skin layup from the inside out with all layers starting at the top of the rudder, which is called the head.
twill is 5.8 oz 2x2 carbon twill fabric. uni is 6.7 oz uni-directional carbon.
1. twill - full length.
2. twill - 25" long cut on the bias (so this is -45/+45 essentially)
3. uni 27" x 6" strip at max width
4. uni 33" x 4.5" strip at max width
5. uni 39" x 3" strip at max width
6. uni 45"
7. uni full
8. uni full
9. twill full
10. twill full

Resulting skin has...
70oz skin thickness at the max width at the waterline. Tapers down the rudder.
39 oz skin at leading edge in the rudder head
34 oz skin at leading edge in body of rudder
30 oz skin at leading edge at tip.

Put full uni and twill on the out side to help blend any transitions in layer thickness as much as possible to minimize fairing.  This worked to a large extent.

Step #2 - get everything ready.  Cut all your cloth and lay them out in order.  Cut your peel ply, which is light weight sport nylon cloth.  Cut absorber cloth, which is cotton knit fabric.

Step #3 - Prep the foam core by coating in a thin layer of epoxy with just a little filler in it.  I used some micro fibers for bonding strength to the spline and silica to thicken it.

Step #4 - Wet out cloth and start positioning it on the core.  I used the pipes to hold up the cloth which worked for the most part.  I wish I had added fittings on the ends so that when a layer was slide up or down the rudder it wouldn't have been able to go anywhere.  The fell several times and the clang of metal pipe on the concrete floor was a delight to everyone in the shop at the time.  I used plastic scrapers to work the cloth to the foam core and previous layers.  In general this worked out well.  My fabric wetting out crew did a great job of keeping up.  In the middle they got the fabric a little too wet.  We worked the final layers on the table with a spreader to get out the excess which was a good thing.  But we still had more than enough epoxy in the lamination.

Finish the lamination by laying on the peel ply and absorber cloth.  Use care so that there are no wrinkles in either layer.

Step #5 - Clamp it all together.  This step worked really well with only one error.  On one side we had it too load at the head end of the rudder and adjusted it upwards.  We created a wrinkle in the peel ply & abosrber cloth when we did that.  We should have pulled it way from the rudder before raising it but we didn't.  Something to remember the next time I layup a rudder or other large part like this.

After step #5 is done, all you can do is sit back and watch.  I had a fair amount of oozing epoxy coming up out of the top and dripping out of the bottom so I know I was on the heavy side epoxy wise.  The picture was taken right after I finished clamping it all together.

Cheers, Kevin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let's all come together

I had quite a weekend and I'll break the progress into a few posts.  First step was to glue the foam core together around the bi-axial spline.  The trick I used here that worked really well was to use straight pins to hold the parts in place.  The steps I used went something like this.

Glue the foam outer parts to the backer board which were made from 3/4" MDF.  Yes, they are heavy but we want them straight and strong so that's what I gave priority to.  This is essentially the mold for our purposes going forward.

Next, I laid packing tape down on the mold along the center line and the joints between the 2 vertical halves which is where the taper begins.  The epoxy will not bond to the tape so this works really well.  I was a little worried initially, but it worked out much better than I thought it would.

Strips of peel ply were next.  I didn't want to sand before I did the next step so this makes that super easy.  Just pull it off and you are ready for your next step.

Now for the gluing part.  I used a fillet compound pretty heavy on microfibers for bonding strength between the parts and then thickened it with silica.  This worked ok, but it's not easy to sand silica as most either already know or will find out the hard way soon enough.  I laid down a heavy fillet against the trailing half of the core along the bottom edge, placed the spline and then added fillet on the forward side and then located the front half of the core.  With the bottom done, I filled in the top joint and scrapped off any excess and add some more peel ply.

When I pulled the pins I discovered that the bottom side was way too heavy and I didn't apply enough pressure to get the fillet flush to the outside curve of the core.  The core turned out straight and the curve is correct.  But some sanding ensued to get it right, especially fun when there are micro fibers and silica in the mix.  A better plan would have been to focus on gluing the halves of the core together to the spline and filleting the top first. Then flip the core over into the other side mold and fillet it later.  A 3-4 hour wait between sides would have probably been enough for the epoxy to start to setup and allow the flip but short enough that a good chemical bond would occur on the second side.

To mount the foam core in the stand I used 4 long (3" length) screens and some gorilla glue.  I'd recommend the glue for sure.  The whole stand will be rocking on you and it's a simple safety factor.  A quick hit with a mallet freed both ends after I removed the screws.

And here is a quick picture of the molds.  The foam is glued to the MDF backer with gorilla glue.  I used a dab every foot or so along both sides. I then added a strip of wood along the trailing edge.  This is critical so that the trailing edge gets tightly clamped together.  Basically you end up with a solid carbon trailing edge that's double your skin thickness.   In my case that will be a full 1/8".  There is a strip of tape down the wood strips that I put on so it won't bond to the absorber cloth later.

Special note:  It turned out that Flying Foam used a different block thickness for the 2 pieces of of foam.  So I had to add a spacer underneath the head foam block on 1 side so that we lined up well as needed.  I'd recommend that you specify to Bob and Flying foam that he must make all parts out of the same thickness.

Cheers, Kevin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A little back bone

Hello again from the windy city.  It's not exactly windy right now and even if it was, we could used it for much.  The lake is basically closed for the winter each year.  I always find it ironic that some of the best wind is blowing when the lake is off limits.  But people don't last long in 40 degree water so I understand the reasoning.  May 1 can't come soon enough this year.
As the picture shows I've finally made some progress on my rudder worth blogging about.  And more importantly, this means that my work shop has been cleaned up enough that I can even contemplate doing work of any kind there.

I'll try to explain what is going on here and why my core is in 2 pieces.  I had a slot cut right through the cores at the max width on purpose.  My last rudder post showed the drawings which I worked out with some help from Chad. I was interested in following his lead on making a foam core rudder that was tapered using the methods the swift solo guys have used. Another necessity of my sailing area is the need for a cassette rudder, which means I will be able to pull the rudder straight up as needed. So the rudder is one part that come completely out of the cassette.  The cassette is connected to the boat and tiller.

In the course of conversations with Chad about his tapered foam core rudder we talked about the one weakness of the solid foam core.  There is nothing holding the 2 sides together or apart.  So in theory his rudder could have some movement side to side under high loads.  And the point of highest load for a rudder is always at the waterline.  He compensated for this by adding extra wraps around the head of his rudder and his post on the topic are pretty clear.  My challenge was the cassette because that creates a pressure point on the sides of the rudder at the waterline.  If the skin of the rudder gave way under load, it would by another loud crack as the carbon breaks.  And I'm not going there.  But we didn't want to overbuild the whole rudder with a thick, heavy and expensive carbon layup.

The solution we came to was to place a "spline" down the center of the rudder at it's widest point.  This essentially will create an I-beam right down the center of the rudder.  I think it will really work out well if I can just get everything assembled as planned.  The compression load from one side of the rudder will be transferred straight across to the other side's skin which won't let it go anywhere.

The spline is 1/16" thick and is made from 2 layers of 17oz -45/+45 bi-axial glass cloth.  I made this part last summer using 2 planks and some weights.  It was also my first experiment with peel-ply and absorber cloth.  So to do this at home :-)... Use packing tape on your planks to stop epoxy from bonding to it (Chad's favorite trick).  Lay out the absorber cloth first, this is t-shirt knit cotton fabric, and then the peel-ply, this is light weight nylon.  Wet out your cloth on top of the peel-ply and be a little generous with the epoxy. The add peel-ply and absorber cloth on top.  Add the weight to squeeze it all together and that's it.  This is basically a poor mans version of vacuum bagging. The excess epoxy will come out through the peel-ply and into the absorber cloth.  Once it sets up you peel off the nylon and absorber cloth together.  The result is a smooth part ready for the next step and no need for sanding or worry about blush.

The other important feature of this I-beam spline is the radius in the foam.  This radius will create a fillet that will disburse the load between the spline and the skin lamination.  I used my handy new to me 24"x6" belt sander for this job.  The radius is approximately 3/32".  The peel-ply surface of the spline will bond nicely with the silica filled epoxy fillet.  The picture above shows the core after I added the radius and the spline shaped to fit the profile.

The next step will be to attach the outer part of the foam block which will be our "mold" to some stiffened planks.  I'll then use some tape to protect the foam mold and fillet the spline between the core halves.  I'll probably use peel-ply again so that I don't have to sand the core before putting on the skin lamination.  Then we hang the core on a stand and put it all together.

Cheers, Kevin.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spinnaker Pole Rigging

Brandon from Tasmania chatted me up last week about how I rigged my spinnaker pole. Since I typed everything up to him, I thought I would post it here for anyone else that is curious.

For background I purchased a my spinnaker pole along with a inner and outer sleeve from C-Tech. The inner sleeve is .5m long and has an inside diameter to fit snugly on the outside diameter of the spinnaker pole. The outer sleeve is a thin walled tube larger than both the others and long enough to go from frame 18 to 110 to contain any water that gets in the forward end of the prod sleeve. The aft end of the outer sleeve is at frame 110 and the drains into the cockpit. What's not pictured here is the spinnaker pole and inner sleeve. Both are inside the out sleeve and I didn't remove anything for this photo opportunity.

Here are some pics to clarify the prod rigging (I hope) on pipedream using the c-tech spin pole with inner and outer sleeves.

This is the forward end of outer sleeve at frame 18. Note retraction bungee (green) and deploy block attach to small eye straps. A very small piece of G10 is on the other side of frame 18 and the eye straps are mounted with #8 screws tapped into the G10. Yes that is carbon on frame 18. I had some spare cloth and added it to frame 18 around the inner prod sleeve. The aft end of the inner sleeve is where all the upward force from the kite will go because there is no bob stay in this setup either. Then the outer sleeve was filleted in place. There is a U shaped hole in the top of the outer sleeve to allow the deploy line (yellow) inside.

This is the aft end of outer sleeve at frame 110, picture taken from above. Retraction bungee (green on the left) turns here and goes forward inside the outer sleeve to aft end of prod where it goes through a whole in the prod and is knotted (the hole in the prod was drilled, rounded the edges and then coated in epoxy. The tack line turns up in the same block and runs up to a thru-deck block and cleat mounted in frame 110. That's a piece of g10 laminated to the forward side of 110. The blocks are mounted with screws tapped into the 6mm g10. Note that the tack line is stripped endra braid. In normal operation the stripped portion never gets back to the block but we are in travel mode at the moment.

This is frame 53 where the deploy line goes through a fairlead at frame 53. It terminates at another stainless steel lined fairlead at frame 110 just below the cabin top. This lead seems to work just fine and keeps the 2 main jobs during a hoist/douse together in the pit, spin halyard and spin pole deploy. The sleeve is just below 53 and the bungee is green running next to it.

This the aft side of frame 110. The "pit". Deploy line cleat (yellow line) uses an upside down mounting of the cleat. This allows the line to run free during a douse (Same for the spin halyard which uses the cleat with red fair lead). Stopper knot in deploy line stops the prod so it doesn't over retract and come out of the inner sleeve. The hardest part about this setup is getting the prod into the inner sleeve from the rear. I just use a pole in from the front to lift and align the prod with the sleeve while the deploy line is pulled.

Tack line(green line) cleat in frame 110. This is a new setup. If you tend the spinnaker prior to a hoist you can set the tack line before you start of the hoist. The tack will have to be forward of the shrouds so you can't sail upwind like that for long. The pole deploy will finish the job and pull the tack out to the end of the pole. You just have to make a mark on the tack line. I have a wiping at the proper place and the tack line is stripped so that part of the system runs very nicely.

Note: I originally had a more complex setup that worked but was too complicated for my tastes. The deploy line continued on as the tack line. It went from the aft end of the prod back to a turning block and then forward and out the forward face of the prod. Thus it had a 1:2 purchase that sucked in 2 feet of tack line for each 1 foot of prod extension. This setup was not quite long enough to get the tack back to the companionway so there was adjustment needed on the turning block every time you hoist. And it was adjustable while flying the spin only by a hefty crew member (usually myself). The separate spin tack line is the easier setup to rig and allows easier control.
I hope this helps anyone who is interested. By the way, a trick that Jeff used to locate the forward hole for the inner sleeve was to cut the hole in frame 110 and then shine a light through it forward onto the hull. Worked like a charm.

Cheers. Kevin.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rudder #2 - Step 1, the plan and the cores...

So I just got the quote from flying foam for rudder #2. Details below are for a tapered rudder, a cassette to go around the rudder and a tiller to be attached to the cassette. I'm following the build method used by the swift solo guys. Basically you use the outer part of the foam core block (the female part if you will) as a mold to squeeze the layup against the core to get a lean fiber to resin ratio and a nice light part. Peel ply (nylon fabric) and absorber cloth (cotton knit fabric) are used to pull extra resin out of the part. The goal is to achieve similar results to vacuum bagging with clamp pressure. Pretty clever actually, but I didn't figure this out.

A few differences between my plan and the swift solo rudder because this is a bigger boat. First, I intend to add a spline down the foil at max width. This is to link the to skins together to counter compression loads that will build between the rudder blade pushing one way and the tiller/cassette pushing the other way. The spline will be about 34oz layup of +45/-45 degree biaxial fiberglass cloth. Because this is compression load, carbon is not really the best choice, it's far better in tension than compression. The biaxial layup is key to the strength of the spline. Second, the general size of the rudder is bigger because we are a bigger boat.

The cassette is intentionally larger than the finished rudder head by .375". This gap will be filled with a pourable urethane to create a custom fit gasket between the blade and the cassette. If a new rudder is made, you can re-do the urethane gasket and you are in business. The gap is a little big to allow good flow of the urethane which tends to leave bubbles if the gap is too small.

Finished foil will be 57" long with 42" below the water line which is about what the plan calls for and what my first rudder was. This rudder is designed with a symmetrical taper a little less aggressive than what Chad used for his rudder. Chad's first blog entry on his rudder can be found here. For the record, the profile documented publicly has been changed to a naca 0012 to protect the intellectual property of a 3rd party.


Project or plane: Rudder #2
Core: 2 piece, 2.3# Spyder foam
Panel Length: 21.0 / 40.0
Airfoil Name(s): N0012 / N0012 / N0012
Chord Length(s): 10.0 / 10.0 / 7.0
Setback Length(s): 0.0 / 1.5
Foam Block Height: 1.8
Dihedral: none
Washout: none
Sheeting Allowance: .0625
Leading Edge Length: Round per airfoil
T.E. Thickness: 0.06
Spline slot: 0.125 @ thick point?
Core total: $ 81.86

Project or plane: Cassette
Core: 1 piece, 2.3# Spyder foam
Panel Length: 18.0
Airfoil Name(s): N0012 / N0012
Chord Length(s): 10.375 / 10.375 (researching hopefully this would be 10)
Setback Length(s): 0.0
Foam Block Height: 1.8
Dihedral: none
Washout: none
Sheeting Allowance: 0.0000 (researching hopefully this can be -.1875)
Leading Edge Length: 0
T.E. Thickness: 0.06
Core total: $ 30.83

Project or plane: Tiller
Core: 1 piece, 2.3# Spyder foam
Panel Length: 56.0
Airfoil Name(s): 1.5x1.25 / Ellipse
Chord Length(s): 1.5 / 1.5
Setback Length(s): 0.0
Foam Block Height: 1.8
Dihedral: none
Washout: none
Sheeting Allowance: 0.0
Leading Edge Length: 0
T.E. Thickness: N/A
Core total: $ 27.93

Shipping via Fedex Ground (Zone: 8): 24.00

edit note: I'm researching using a negative sheet allowance so that the cassette profile is a larger version of the rudder profile. Upping the chord will not create a larger version because the width is a percentage of the chord and would thus be a smaller amount than the increase in chord. I want a 3/16" gap around the entire rudder for the gasket.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The worst sound any boat builder can hear is the sound of his own boat going crack. The analysis starts immediately. Where was it? Is something falling? Is everyone safe? The good news is that nothing fell and everyone is A-OK. The bad news is that the rudder went crack and we were done for the day. I'm guessing a 18ish knot puff is what did the damage. We were pretty powered up in 12-15 knots already and then the wind just kept on coming. Here's a little video of what the rudder looks like... video

The issue was that I put all of my rudder to tiller load into one spot. A 1/4" bolt through the rudder to the tiller, which had a piece of stainless steel on each side. This is just one more reason to go with the rudder cassette instead of fixing the rudder to the transom. The pain in the butt of connecting the rudder to the transom is another great reason for the cassette. What a joy it will be to just drop the rudder into the cassette instead of fighting the buoyancy of the rudder as you try to connect it to the pintles. Adjustable draft so I can get in and out of the harbor past those blessed sand bars is another good reason for the cassette.

So, I'm off to the drawing board to figure out a new rudder foil and cassette setup. Thankfully the season was about over anyway so I don't feel like I'm missing great sailing opportunities. But having said that, it will be 70+ degrees with a 8-10 knot breeze from the southwest blowing for the next 2 week ends. If you are willing to share a hot setup, I'm all ears. Old foil was a simple NACA 0012 profile and I had plenty of control so I could probably take it up a notch or two.

Cheers for now. Kevin.

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 i550 US National Championships

A great time was had by all. We raced in light and rather binary conditions (on or off, not much in between). Format was simple 2 lap windward/leeward races on a short course to keep thing tight and interesting. In the first race we had 4 lead changes so it was very exciting and fun racing while the wind was blowing. We learned a lot but mostly we just had fun. Ron took home the Epoxy Cup Trophy with 5 points over 4 races. Jeff was just 2 points off the pace. I had good starts and good upwind speed by couldn't hold on for better than 3rd.

Here is a shot of PipeDream with the spin up and looking pretty good. Concensus is that the luff is a touch short. We had the spin halyard eased about 18" and that gave us a better shape. Another thing to work on and figure out.

Special thanks to my fantasitc crew. On Saturday Andy, who works for Mad Sails in Madison and a friend Matt were with me. On Sunday we had Eliza at the helm with Andy and I pulling the strings. Eliza did great in her first big regatta and is looking forward to her next turn at the helm already.

A huge thank you to Jeff and Traci for organizing a fantastic weekend event. They have set a very high standard for the next years venue to live up to.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A little mast base detail

Someone chatted me up and asked about a detail picture of the base of the c-tech mast. I took this picture horizontally and then rotated it so the background may look right to you.

Starting at the bottom I have a hinged mast step. This is about an inch tall and pretty heavy duty stainless steel. Because the keel sticks up above the cabin roof the mast can't go straight back so I've rigged up a "flexible" lashing with some line that lets the mast come down and to the starboard side around the mast. That's what the red/yellow/orange line is doing.

Next is the stainless steel shoe/step provided by c-tech. This provides a vang attachement point in the center. Several additional holes for added vang blocks are also pre-drilled. Along the side are slots for turning blocks for your halyards. I've not optimized these just yet. In the center running across the step is a 1/2" stainless tube welded to both sides. This provides the structure to the step and locates the mast to the step.

Inside the base of the mast is a extra sleeve tube that is glued into place. This doubles the wall thickness at the base and helps eliminate any edge weakness at the mast base caused at the end of the tube. I glued mine in with some g/flex 655 from West. I like this stuff alot by the way. There is a 1/2" wide by 3/4" deep notch in the bottom of the mast which fits over that cross tube. This was the hardest part of setting up the rig because you really want that slot to go straight across your mast in line with spreaders.

Jeff just has his mast sitting in the slot while sailing. His step is bolted right to his cabin top. He has to loosen his shrouds to place the mast over the center tube and then tighten them down. I have the hinged step and can keep my shrouds tensioned where I like them. I use a 5:1 purchase on the jib halyard to tension the rig into place and then attach the forestay. So far that system has worked pretty well for me. I have to remember to put the mast step pins in at the right time though becuase they don't want to go in or come out when the rig is under full tension (which is a good thing I think).

Cheers for now. Kevin.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Now the fun part, Sailing!!!

On Sunday morning I hit the water with my good friend Claus. The goal was to get some shakedown sailing in and to figure a few things out. The wind was from the north with gusts from the north west (a good 40 degree shift) which kept thing interesting. Up wind the boat just gets in a groove and goes, it was really simple to get going. Down wind we were surfing waves and hit 10.3 knots as our max with plenty of time in the +8 knot range. It was a fantastic first outing. Especially considering everything isn't figured out just yet.

Lessons learned...
a. My jib was too long. This made de-powering the jib pretty impossible.
b. My jib tracks are a little to far aft at this point. I think this will vary with sails too.
c. My tiller still needs some figuring out. It sits too low and the extensions kept getting messed up. Part of that is just being tidy which we didn't take the time to do.
d. My vang purchase was too short. You may recall my cascade purchase I built which is awesome but limited in range. I changed it to a double block at the top and a single at the bottom and ended up with the same purchase and a little more simplicity.
e. My cunningham wasn't quite right either. Another thing to make sure you have right as it's hard to de-power with no cunningham.

The bottom line is to get help if you need it. A great boat like the i550 will attract attention and it shouldn't be too hard to get some folks to come along and have some fun.

Cheers, Kevin.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly.

So Tuesday was a great looking day and we decided it was time for a shake down cruise. I have to give full props to my 1st mate who put up with the tedious process of figuring things out for the first time over and over again. With a few repetitions I think we'll trim considerable time from our arrival to launch time.

It was a day of way to many firsts. But you have to start some where right.

#1. We got the rig up. I've done that 4 times now and this time I even got the cunningham line rigged right instead of pinching it in my mast step like I did back in March.
#2. Then it was time to launch. That proved to be a little more challenging because the keel didn't clear the rear bunk. I needed to make a cut out in mine like Jeff did. Ended up lifting the rear of the boat to get it up and over.
#3. Worked out the keel hoist system. Turns out my 3:1 setup didn't have enough purchase. Had to release the main halyard to get the keel all the way down. Then had to re-rig that so we could get it back up.
#4. Re-drilled the cross bolts in the keel/keel box so the keel doesn't go anywhere while we are sailing.
#5. Ready to go :-)

#6. We motor out of the harbor (which isn't very big). Everything is going fine and then Doah #1, the sand bar is only 3 feet deep. I thought for sure my 4 feet of draft would make it past. Ok, let's get the hoist on the keel and lift that up until we are free. We'll be ok once we are past that because this is lake Michigan after all. So the hoist is setup and we give it a yank. Keel doesn't even move. But I know it works because I used it 4 times at the dock when I put the pins in. Doah #2, the pins are in. Ok. I go below and the pins come out with a little wiggling. Let's get that keel up. Doah #3, the top plate bolts on the keel have failed. The top of the keel is now sitting a foot above the cockpit sole and I can access the pin holes and lash the plate to the keel so we can hoist. Check the pocket and there are the reefing lines for the main. With the lashings in place we lift the keel but we are not free. Doah #4, the rudder is also hanging up in the sand now that we've drifted so far onto the sand bar. With a little work the rudder also comes free but for a while there I wan't sure if she was going to cooperate. With some assistance we were towed back into the harbor and tied up at the dock. Back safe and mostly in one piece.

Now I'm in repair mode. The new bolts with nuts are now setting up in thickened epoxy in a much improved setup. For my first attempt I had drilled into setup thickened epoxy and then threaded in lag bolts. Obviously, that didn't work too well. So I'm using regular bolts coated in a couple coats of McLube as a release agent. Once cured I'll pop them loose with a wrench and voila we have a great setup to keep the top plate securely fastened to the keel. For the record the holes were 5/8" wide to fit a 3/8" bolt with nut.

I'll hoist up the transom next and pull the rear bunk off the trailer so I can open up a slot for the keel next. With these 2 jobs done we should be ready to give it another go.

Cheers, Kevin.

p.s. If you are in my neck of the woods the christening is on Saturday at 4pm.