Back On Track

Our little hiatus is over. We're settled in, the essential work is done, and it's time to get back to the boat.

The next thing on the Starwind 860 build schedule is to finish up the crossbeams. Today, with perfect weather and (for the first time ever) plenty of space to work, we laminated the lower flanges of both forward beams.

You'll see a lot of Katy and not much of me in the construction photos.... partly because she's far more photogenic, and partly because she's the one with the epoxy-soaked gloves.

Now that we have a LOT more space (and more experience), we can get a bit of an assembly line going for these parts. Productivity is up by more than 100% since we did the first crossbeam in the fall, and laminating both of today's flanges took less than two and a half hours.

It helps that, having learned from the first set, we simplified the layering scheme for these ones. They're still laminated from four 6mm layers, but in simpler shapes and more accurately fitted. This structure is insane overkill for sailing loads, but it's not only meant for that – the boat needs to be able to take a hard grounding or a dock impact in stride, because accidents happen rather more frequently than we would like to think.

There are occasional small gaps that must be filled, for which it's handy to have a bunch of small stock lying around. Wood-epoxy construction is quite tolerant of gaps like these, as long as the seams will be glassed and the final product painted instead of bright-finished.



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