Assembly on trailer and big main begun

Last weekend we finished the trailer conversion, assembled the boat on the carpeted skids, and confirmed the beams would take the load of the hulls hanging from them by the lashings.  We ended up with the desired proximity of hull and ground (about 20 cm) that will enable us to move the boat from the storage area to the short boat ramp and deploy the boat at all Lake Washington levels without having to lift the hulls on/off of the trailer.

On Saturday the Veirs Reese clan drove down to the UW WAC with shiny beams, tillers, and platforms atop the VW.   I forgot the boat keys, so Liam was denied frisbee access and spent a long time ascending the climbing wall with Cora.  I started the trailer conversion (from <8′ wide trailerable hulls on V-cradles to boat-ramp ready) with the stepwise scheme for one person getting the hulls off the trailer:

  1. Tie support cradles to snugly to hull;
  2. Remove inner straps holding forward cradles to trailer and all straps on aft cradles;
  3. Place a sturdy box (about 50-75 cm high) adjacent to an aft cradle;
  4. Lift stern of that hull and rotate hull on forward cradle beam and strap until aft cradle can be lowered onto the box;
  5. Remove forward cradle strap;
  6. Lift bow, rotate hull on box until trailer wheel/fender is cleared, and then lower forward cradle to the ground;
  7. Return to stern, lift and hold it while removing box (with foot or free hand), then lower to ground;
  8. Move box to other side and repeat steps 3-7.

[nggtags gallery=skid-assembly]

I then drilled holes for the T-legs in the ends of the trailer 9×9(cm)’s and through-bolted them, adding straps on the inboard sides of the T-legs.  With unexpected help from a nice boat-owner named Paul, we drilled holes in the tops of the T-legs and bolted the carpeted skids to them using the original hardware (shifted slightly at the aft end to meet the aft T-legs).  The beams looked happy sitting up on their soft perch and the rest of the bits got stored on the trailer’s new double 2x6x8′ treated lumber “gangway” or central shelf.  This shelf was intended for storing beams during transit, but had an unexpected benefit of creating an overhang at the aft end of the trailer which makes a handy step on which to stand during platform assembly.

On Sunday we returned in search of frisbees and climbing walls, with books, sleeping bags, and picnic cooler at the ready.  Proceeding at a leisurely pace (with some assistance lacing up the tramp from Cora), I assembled the Milagra in about 4 hours.  I started by adjusting and aligning the hulls, using 9x9s and 4x9s to raise up the V-cradles until the hulls touched the beams that were resting across the skids.  Lashings went on pretty quick, platform got fit (after some attempts at gluing a spongy split portion of the port section), tramp got laced (again painful that we didn’t put holes higher in central beam so platform doesn’t impede lacing), forestay bridle and traveller tightened, and mast and standing rigging popped up.

Then Liam kicked out the cradles (as I lifted each hull end).  We were happy to see that the beams did not explode in splinters when asked to hold the hanging hulls with the skids acting as fulcrums.  Kevin and the grlz showed up about then and helped walk around on the hulls to further test the beams.  Then Kevin helped me get the cradles back in place.  (Lifting each hull end is a tough affair when it’s all lashed together… Doing it alone will take a jack of some sort, or another use of a sturdy, kickable box.)

So, there she sits, ready for her inspection next weekend!

[nggtags gallery=big-main-night]

In the meantime, I spent this Tiki Tuesday laying out, cutting, and taping up a new bigger (13 m^2) crab claw sail.  It took a couple hours on the tennis court under a starry sky, but guided by Polaris and the Wharram/Boone crab claw for Tiki 21 plans, the sail came out looking great.  Used white WeatherGuard polytarp again (this time a 6×9 m), Samson , and Rhino Grip carpet tape.  The new meter tape measure worked great for getting nice curves, especially when ends were steadied by dual cinderblocks.  Next steps are to sew, grommet, and lace up to the long bamboo spars!



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