Category Archives: Plans

Keel draining plans

In 2015 I managed to make a nasty hole in the forward edge of my starboard keel. While I was repairing that I noticed a lot of fluid coming out of the keel. I thought I’d make some more exploratory holes to see if there was a more general problem. Here’s the plan.

Tammy stands on her keels on some wooden boards, which are on the “ribs” of a trailer.  You can just about see that in this picture.

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It might be easier to show you this sketch.

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My plan is this:

  1. Drill exploratory keel drain hole under starboard keel.
  2. Drill several keel drain holes.
  3. Drill large holes in trailer keel boards around drain holes using a hole saw.
  4. Investigate keel material and consider inserting collars to attach keel shoes.
  5. Inspect keel drain holes at intervals.
  6. Fill keel drain holes with thickened epoxy.
  7. Finish keel drain holes and make good.

It’s pretty simple, but I’d welcome any thoughts from my readers.

There are a couple of related projects though. One is to open up and inspect the voids in the upper parts of the keels from inside the boat. My keels are glassed over (as are most, if a recent Facebook thread is to be believed) but there are likely quite big voids in there, as shown by Nathan Whitworth on his sadly defunct blog, “On Kudu”. A picture is still visible in on the Unified Corribee Website:

So I plan to drill a hole of about 8mm into the top of each keel and have a look inside using my dad’s endoscope. Are they full of water? I bet they’re at least damp. Depending on what I find I might open them up further. Some Corribee owners have managed to get 60 litre water tanks in each keel. That sounds like an improvement worth having.

There’s also this curious diagram from The Corribee Manual, reproduced from a 1977 newsletter entry by Roderic Wiggins.

I welcome your thoughts.

Meanwhile, pictures will go up in the Flickr album “Tammy Norie keel draining”.

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Project documents and unsinkability

This is a bit of an unusual blog post. It’s here to direct you to another place: the Tammy Norie Project Documents repository.  That’s where I’ve been developing some of the more complicated engineering projects, including this winter’s big ones:

Now, you might find these documents a bit inaccessible. They aren’t really intended as light or entertaining reading. They are engineering plans that I am using to get this work done.  I’m keeping them updated as I get along with the projects. But if you dig a little you’ll find journals within the documents that record what I’m doing day to day, and will eventually be edited in to blog posts.

I decided to publish them so that other people could benefit from seeing the projects develop, and how I approach these kinds of engineering problems. I’m also hoping that interested folks might have suggestions or spot mistakes before I make them!

The documents are stored in the Git version control system on GitHub, so you can see every change I’ve made to the documents. Become a GitHub user and you can leave comments on any part of any document or any change. You’re very welcome to do so.

Lastly, this is not a replacement for the blog. I intend to write articles here on the blog with summaries of things that I’ve done, and these will be a lot more digestible.  But if you’re really interested in details do dig in.

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To the Netherlands aboard Emmelène

I plan to sail to the Netherlands again this summer.

Last summer I enjoyed some relaxed sailing around the Solent in tandem with Chris Boxer aboard Emmelène, his split-rigged Coromandel. My health was (and still is) very limited by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I spent what little energy I had on sailing rather than recording all my adventures and blogging. Sorry about that!

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Chris explained that he’d very much like to sail Emmelène to the Netherlands, as I did in 2015, and asked if I’d be able to sail in tandem with Tammy Norie. I had to decline: I have to spend an average of 16 hours per day asleep, keeping me from making solo voyages. However, I felt I could go along with Chris aboard Emmelène as mate, to keep an eye on him and help him with any trouble. And so we hatched a plan.

Unfortunately, the summer of 2018 was almost windless.

But we’ve revived the plan for this year. If there’s any wind at all, we’ll be sailing from the Solent to the Netherlands between 2019-07-15 and 2019-07-28. Our goal is to deliver Emmelène to Lauwersoog, home of Marco and his Wharram catermaran Stern with whom I sailed on my last trip. Emmelène will stay there until next year, when perhaps Chris will take her in to the Baltic.

Maybe by then I’ll be able to catch her up in Tammy Norie, or set off in an entirely different direction. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m hoping to visit a number of old friends along the way. Let us know if you’d like to meet up!

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Meeting Ophelia

Hurricane Ophelia is bringing strong warm winds from the south. If I’m able to get aboard, Tammy will be riding the storm.

Met Office surface pressure chart

Hurricane Ophelia approaching the UK

It’ll probably be down to a F7 by the time it reaches me.

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My next boat

While I was working on the new mast step I got chatting to a fellow member of the Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club who had restored a traditional wooden Folkboat. He took a look at Tammy Norie and said “What’s your next boat?”

It took me a few seconds to think about this question. I’m not planning to move on from Tammy Norie any time soon — there’s still too much to learn. So I said “Oh, I’ll build one.”

I can now reveal the design of my next boat.

Narwhal

If that doesn’t make you smile I’m not sure what to do with you. The thing is, it’s only half a joke.

At the Southampton Boat Show I picked up issue 15 of Classic Sailor magazine, mainly because of the retrospective of the Folkboat. Inside I found a review of a wonderful boat, the Fairey Atalanta. It’s a fascinating design by Uffa Fox, resembling a submarine or aircraft fuselage as much as a boat. It has double cast-iron swing keels and is self-righting. It’s steered by a whipstaff, and can plane downwind. I recommend reading about it.

Another inspiration of mine is John Riding’s Sea Egg. Another fascinating boat design, about which very little is available online.

But what’s really got me thinking recently is David Raison’s Magnum Mini, winner of the 2011 Mini Transat. Take a look at this revolutionary hull shape. This is a shallow draft scow designed to form an efficient shape when heeled, quite different from the sharp-bowed design of the typical racing yacht.

Matt Layden’s Paradox, Elusion, and Enigma are also fascinating designs, especially because of their shoal draft, chine runners, and lugsails. I was lucky enough to have a close look at a Paradox named Faith at Ashlett Creek.

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And finally, there’s my dad’s favourite, the Thames Barge. Dad led the restoration of a Thames Barge at Pin Mill when he was in his 20s, and he’s very fond of them. He strongly believes in the capabilities of the boxy barge shape and its lee boards.

Honorable mentions also go to the Wadder and the Southerly shoal draft cruisers.

I have many many sketches of boats, including this one I made (very rapidly) for Annie Hill’s Sib-Lim challenge (very sensibly ignored too).

http://www.junkrigassociation.org/technical_forum/3144241?mlpg=24#3384275

I think perhaps you can see a theme here.

Edit: It looks like Yrvind has been thinking along the same lines. He seems to have lee boards and metal sheet ballast (like the Southerly), as I intended in my Sib-Lib sketch above. Time to brush up my Swedish!

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A New Rig

It’s been three years since I first wrote about making new sails for Tammy Norie. Since then I’ve been delayed by illness and injury, and have been getting along quite well with her existing sail, but now I’m planning to make a move.

Seeing Emmelène with a split junk rig was inspiring, because of improved light wind performance and especially the significant improvement in boat balance.

There has also been some very interesting (and sometimes fierce) debate about sail position and balance on the Junk Rig Association forums. This prompted me to experiment with my own sail position and geometry, with some very encouraging results.

But mostly, of course, I want to play around with the rigging.

Currently I’m doing several things simultaneously, as my health allows:

  • Designing a new mast step that will allow me to adjust the rake of the mast up to about 5° forward.
  • Making sketches of sail plans to see how they might fit.
  • Sailing Tammy with the sail tied in various odd positions to see what happens.
  • Experimenting with materials for making short-lived experimental sails and sail battens.
  • Shoving Tammy around with a boathook to discover her centre of lateral resistance.
  • Reading about Roger Taylor’s experience with his “Triple H TB” rig on Mingming II.

I hope to write more about all these activities and cover the actual construction and testing of a new rig, so I’m starting a new blog series called “A New Rig”.

Be warned that what I do is going to be experimental. This won’t be a step-by-step guide on how to build a junk rig written by an experienced constructor. (You can find that information at the Junk Rig Association.) As usual this will be me trying out ideas, making mistakes, and possibly discovering some new and useful stuff.

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To Purbeck with Emmelène

I’m planning to sail from the Solent to Purbeck and Poole next weekend in company with Chris Boxer aboard Tammy’s sister Emmelène. This should be a fun outing. I’ll be meeting family there, but more interesting for my readers, this will be a good chance to compare my flat Hasler-McLeod rig with Emmelène’s split rig under a variety of conditions.

Here’s the plan:

  • Thursday around 13:00: Tammy and Emmelène rendezvous in the eastern Solent and ride the current to the west. Most likely overnight at Yarmouth, Lymington, or Keyhaven.
  • Friday 13:00: Pass through west Solent tide race at slack water and ride the current to Studland Bay.
  • Monday 04:00: Catch the tide change to sail back to the west Solent channel before it becomes impassable at around 11:00.

As always, if anyone wants to meet up please get on touch. (My nephew and niece get priority as crew on Tammy Norie, but have not yet confirmed.)

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Tammy Norie and I are both alive

Hello friends and followers of my adventures on Tammy Norie. I’ve had several messages asking after me. I thought I should give you a quick update!

I have been quite unwell for several months, and unable to make very much progress with plans and repairs to Tammy Norie, let alone launching and sailing her.  There are several stories to tell.  When Dad and I towed her south from Cambridge, both the offside wheels fell off the trailer. Tammy had to be rescued for the second time since I’ve had her. This time it wasn’t a salvage company, but a low loader that brought her home.  The studs holding on the wheels sheared.  There was no other damage or injury, though the traffic on the M25 was stopped for a few minutes while I retrieved one of the wheels. It has taken quite a bit of work to fix the trailer.

I’ve made repairs to two nasty dings in one of Tammy’s keels, and this weekend my girlfriend and I cleared her out completely and gave her a good clean. I’m hoping to get her re-launched within a week, so that we can enjoy some relaxed sailing around Purbeck this summer.

My health has necessarily limited my plans a great deal this year. You’re probably wondering what’s wrong with me. So is everyone else! I’ve been extraordinarily fatigued and weak for months. In March and April I only had a few hours each day awake, and those felt like I had severe jet lag. I seem to be recovering though, and I’m sure getting out in the sun on the sea will have a positive effect.

So, expect some new stories, pictures, and video.

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Beaulieu Boat Jumble

I will be at the Beaulieu Boat Jumble tomorrow with a boot-load of bits and pieces to sell. Do let me know if you’d like to meet.

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I promise I’ll write a longer update this week!

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Jester Ipswich Challenge

Poor Tammy Norie has been sitting in the mud at Woodbridge for a few weeks since the North Sea crossing back from the Netherlands.  Suddenly I have a lot of work requests from clients and very little time to sail. I’m having something of a three bus problem at work.

This Saturday night there’ll be a dinner for Jester Challengers at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. There’s a big morning high tide at Woodbridge on Saturday, pleasant weather and a fair wind, so it looks good to get off the mud at about 10:30, sail down the Deben, around the corner at Felixstowe, and up to Fox’s.

Sunday is not quite so convenient. There’s a very high (4.4m) tide at Woodbridge at 00:44 on Monday, so I should be able to get back on to the dock at about 23:15, then head back to Cambridge in the morning.

As usual, do let me know if you’d like to meet up or join in!

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