Cargo Ferry Prototype

July 2021#2
Messy couple of weeks, but the bottom sections of the masts are now in and the beams on. The photos do not show the support struts under the beams or the fore and aft struts. The second mast was raised with a sheer legs which is strapped around the hull so it can be used to step/unstep the masts while floating, although as the masts also support the beams, there will need to be a temporary stabiliser strapped to the hull as well.

July 2021#1
Not much to show for the last couple of weeks which was spent finishing the bottom mast sections and lifting one of them into place. The bottom sections weigh 78 kgs each, which is not bad, assuming they are strong enough. The lift was pretty simple including raising the gin pole which is the middle section of the telescoping mast. It will be replaced with a much lighter deck mounted A frame for future use. We also built the athwartships struts for the beams and some fittings for the rudder mounts, which raised more conundrums, followed by brainstorming and solutions, a couple of which are quite elegant. Next jobs are to raise both masts, fit the beams and struts, then install the sockets, bulkheads and some local stiffening in the windward hull and close up the foredeck. It’s uni holidays, so we have a couple of volunteers to start work on the wing coverings for the mast, the winch table for the toybox and some cfd analysis of the boat. We also had Chris who swapped 3 days of labour for the chance to discuss some innovative ideas he has for boats and the best way to build them. Lots of fun.

June 2021#1
Rob Rassy (who also took the pics)
We continue to be impressed with the size and weirdness of the vessel our labours have produced. It’s probably a form/function thing that gives it the radical business like appearance, but whatever it is, it will attract attention when first sighted. The current focus is on getting the two mast bottom sections built so that we can get things aligned and completed as weproceed with the assembly. Lately Rob seems to be constantly cutting and sanding carbon strips as each day we glue a bundle of pairs together. It’s quite impressive how much carbon is going into the masts, as well as time and effort. After helping Rob with the carbon gluing in the mornings I have been fitting dummy stub masts, cutting “V” gaps in the WW hull and lifting the beams into place. Once the beams were fitted and photos taken I parked my car under one of the beams to show the clearance and prove we are not adverse to the occasional publicity stunt. To get an overall perspective of position and scale one of the rudders was put into place as well. On Friday Rob took a break from his carbon chores to trial fit the deck piece and help me lift the toy box into place. The work has both a fun and daunting aspect to it now, as the more we assemble the more we realize how many extra jobs need to be done.

Rob D
We are at the stage where many of my “no need to be exact, if it looks right, it probably is”, “we can sort that out later” and “no idea, let’s hope for some inspiration when it is assembled” jobs are coming home to roost.   
As well as getting the top and middle sections of the first mast built, we rough assembled the boat for a video presentation next week.  This involved Rob R putting the beams, cockpit and toybox in place.  It is starting to look like a boat, although not much like anything currently available.
The pultruded strip mast build method is still a WIP.  Getting better, but not yet ideal.  We are doing more hand laminating and less infusion or vac bagging wet laminates, which adds a couple of kgs, but makes strip alignment much easier.  Laying light laminates over a tube is a rare instance where hand laminating can give a better product than infusion as the laminate does not get crinkled.    It will be interesting to test them and see what gives.  The bottom section is nearly ready to roll, then we need to figure out the best way to add more strips to it.  
The cockpit is a sheet of infused fibreglass over a net to reduce the number of strings, keep the crew dry and prevent things falling through it.  The plan is 6 strings fore and aft tied to the beams and ~40 athwartships tied onto the cabin side and the toybox. For the video, we set it up with just 2 strings fore and aft.  It does not look quite the way I envisaged it, if more strings don’t work, we may need to add some stringers.  
The toybox is big.  It is going to require some imaginative support once it has anchors, tyres/fenders and other stuff in it.  Plus the winch loads and people sitting on it.  
Rob R cut the slots in the ww hull decks for the beams and came up with a better way to fair them in.  He also made temporary masts to support them on the lee hull.  The beams slope to winward and look decidedly weird, but have over a metre clearance on the lee end so should not hit any waves and have plenty of room to get the tender under.  Filling in the rest of the space between the beams, the tender and the lee hull is still in the “waiting for inspiration” basket.   We also need some more standing room at the masts unless we can make sail raising/lowering/furling controllable from the cockpit.  The first 2 are easy enough, furling not so much, especially if the sails are epoxy/fibreglass cloth, which is (maybe was) one of the options to be tested.  

May 2021#2
Rob R has been wrestling with my incomplete ideas on attaching the rudders to the hulls.  The jury is still out on whether we can make them work, but agree it will be the lightest, easiest and cheapest attachment if we can.  They also have some potential as lifting foils, with few of the drawbacks of other big multihull solutions, which is food for further thought.
I have built 2 sections of one telescoping mast, extended the table and cut the full length pultrusions for the other section. The build process from flat panels is not entirely satisfactory, to the point that I was thinking about building a mould. Parts of the problem are bonding the strips to a layer of glass, bending the result into a tube and then infusing the outside. Fortunately the pultrusions are not affected by any stuff ups in these processes, but there is a bit of repairing to do on the pieces so far.  The next piece is the bottom, which is highest loaded and contains most carbon.  I’ll try hand laminating the glass on the pre glued extrusions, see how it goes.
Once the bottom masts are built, we can install them (easy) and fit the beams (not so much, maybe). Probably not going to happen this week as my car needs some tlc after hitting a ditch hard enough to punch a hole in the tyre so I am taking Monday off and Tuesday we have a dry run of a video of the project.

May 2021#1
Rob Rassy: A major milestone was passed this week with the deck fitting and bonding to the LH mid section. Once the mast mounts are done the hull can be moved outside and the beams fitted. After a lot of thought and some failed starts Rob has finally come up with a jig and method for setting up the hull/mast
mountings. The masts will not rotate in the hull or beam, which has made the setting up of the masts a lot easier. We actually managed to get one end done on Friday, and should get the other one finished when work starts on Tuesday. Wednesday should see the start of the assembly process. We manage to take  some time out to check out a possible launch site, but more on that next posting. There’s also a couple of videos coming to Rumble and Facebook
of Rob showing off his fiber-glassing skills :=)

Rob D: Apart from assembling the last of the major bits and maybe finding the launch site, there were 2 other highlights.  One was using the 3D router at the UQ Makerspace.  A really cool piece of kit.  I was meant to be inducted and shown how to use it by the very patient and knowledgable technician, but we ended up using my job (the mdf rings used to line up the mast bearings) as the demonstration so I did not have to do anything difficult.  I also had a look at their sewing machines, which should allow us to sew our own sails.  A great place and people which we should be using more than we have been.  The other was the purchase of a laser level with which we checked the hull alignment which had been set up pretty much by eye, with Rassy adjusting the bulkheads.  According to the laser, the 12m long box is straight and square within  a couple of mms, which is good to know. It is also remarkably stiff with 2 stringers per panel and bulkheads every metre/40″.   It weighs the best part of 300 kgs so will be a challenge to get off the table and out onto the gravel/mud.  A couple of days of fun, followed by the tedium of adjusting the 2 hulls to get them level and parallel, then fitting the beams. I have just bought a sky hook to hopefully make this tolerable.