Sorry for the slack in post-production. I intended to write a small article every month starting from January, but I failed. Graduation deadlines are pressing hard and I’ve had no time to write anything meaningful. It does take time.
I visited Kvark by the lake on the 3rd of May. And I was really glad to see it, smell it and touch it. It has definitely survived the winter. I had a peek under the cover. The varnish (LeTonkinois) is peeling off slightly from here-and-there. So that will have to be refurbished.
I plan on starting work on Kvark as soon as I get my university stuff done. That is around 2-3rd of June. I have decided to simply antifoul the hull, attach a railing, check and refit any critical rigging assets and then call it OK for launch. I’ll have to take the word of smarter people that barnacles do not grow in the dark (they need flowing water) and thus I shall not plug up the water-ballast tanks. We are not going into tropic waters this season and the shipworm teredo navalis is not an issue in the near Baltic due to low salinity and cold winters. Lets have the pictures:
And there is Kvark!
We had a very emotional meetup.
I peeked under the cover and all was dry and in place, as is supposed.
A bit of rust from weld residues.
And here we can see some varnish peeling off. That’ll get fixed, no problem.
And I finally have something to read on the boat! About crazy people on small boats. Sounds familiar …
Our first months sailing Kvark on an inland lake gave us some invaluable insight. Among other things on how to sail, where to place horn cleats and camcleats, how to use them, why reefing is good, how to run lines and finally: railings are good for preventing people from falling overboard. I’m sure I missed some details.
With that said, I have started moving things along to prepare Kvark for a new, better and grander season on the Baltic sea. She really needs fore railings. The one in the back was a blessing to have. For this, I have bought some slightly thinner AISI 316 tubing in the form of a powerboat windshield frame. My running shoe is there for scale (that is a nr. 45 EU size, 12 US). That will be grinded, bent, welded and finally bolted to the fore of the boat. There will be no horizontal tubing to link up the fore and aft railings to save weight. Instead I will use rope and net.
Another thing we will need on the sea are anchors. Of course this must be made DIY. So I have started designing a Rocna-spade style anchor weighing 6 kg and having a total “spade area” of around 500 cm^2. Rocnas are marketed very well, but they also seem to stand up to tests (in user feedback texts and videos). And they are a very new design. That goes to show that you can innovate seemingly obvious things in life. Just keep your eyes and mind open for ideas of improvement. First 3D models have been built:
The roll cage is there to enhance setting even when the anchor initially settles “upside down”. I think I will put some thought into this design, try to improve it and perhaps make some plans to put up for sale. For now it has been modeled after scrap metal I have laying around (The whole thing is made of 6 mm cold rolled steel. All except the the 16 mm round “spine bar” running down the middle and the 12 mm rollbar). It would be very nice to make the shank removable. From what I have read the spade anchor sets very well in softer bottoms, moderately well in plants and OK in rocky bottoms. The spade design enables it to have large stopping power relative to weight. The negative aspect is that it only holds well when pulled in one direction. That is what I have read.
Our workplace is looking cleaner too:
So, here is a rough list of what needs to be done:
- Put railing in the fore.
- Antifoul the boat up to the waterline (This could prove a major task, since the boat needs to be flipped (!?), at least partially(!?). The heel of the keel needs to get a proper finish, some of it is bare wood at the moment. A metal leading edge would not hurt, or some layers of fiberglass).
- Think of a way to either antifoul the open ballast tanks from the inside or seal them up and fill them with fresh water. John Welsford brought to our attention the free surface effect which could be a problem if we do not remove all air from this seal.
- Put a lock on the companionway hatch.
- Think of a good sculling oar solution or fit an outboard motor.
- Get proper sails with reefing lines.
- Make an anchor.
There are more things to do, but keeping some things at bay will get us on water faster.
Have a good year! Dream a “big” and babystep it trough. One of my new year promises is to add one entry per month to the Famous microcruisers page. This means that by the end of 2016 I should have written twelve entries for that page. Sounds like an excellent plan, does it not. All other relevant posts about Kvark will still come trough as additional material. Anyhow, I start off January with Hugo Vihlen and his world record North Atlantic crossings on the extremely small 1.8 m April Fool and 1.6 m Fathers Day. The latter should still hold as the world record for the shortest sailboat to cross the North Atlantic. The boat was shorter than the sailor. April Fool is equipped with a seatbelt enabled seat for keeping the sailor in place in rough weather. Something to concider for Kvark as well. Have a good read and leave a comment!
Hugo Vihlen on Fathers day after crossing the Atlantic in 1993. Image courtesy of National Maritime museum.