Collision Bulkheads Fitted

I despise modifications to wharrams. They are reliably ugly and unseaworthy.

While the melanesia plan does not show "collision bulkheads", James Wharram actually said he "did not draw in bulkhead" as he wanted to "simplify the build".

I reckon bulkheads were both desirable AND in keeping with the Wharram design thinking.

Some reasons I considered for fitting the  bulkheads are-
1. boat will not flood after collision.
2. After capsize the compartments will provide flotation
3. dry storage.
4. I gained more boatbuilding experience.

So ... today I shaped & fitted bulkheads at the bow & stern.
Marking high spots

Cutting out for port

Stern bulkhead filleted with Ziploc bag

Stem bulkhead & port

Hinemoa Plan

While trying to find my copy of Heinze's "Landfalls of Paradise" the other day I came across a real find: a set of Wharram Building Plans. I honestly had forgotten all about them. It seems that twenty years ago I was thinking about building a small Wharram too.

The plans are for the Classic Design - Hinemoa 23. Back then I was probably thinking about a lake or short coastal design that I could build cheaply. Now I'm wanting something similar for sailing further afield, maybe Tikopia. I have a vague notion to make my mark and build a small ocean-going cat and head north along the coast to New Guinea and them turn right, the Solomon's, Vanuatu and many of the many Tony islands that few wander to.


time out -sailing on Port Stephens

Yesterday I took myself into respite care and went sailing with my daughter. Without my son and his terrier (usually part of the crew), we got on the water in record time. Kicking off from a lee shore was tricky but as I hauled in the genoa and my daughter dropped the keel, we gained headway and avoided near trouble.

Around the point into Port Stephens proper, the magnificent aquatic Vista opened before us;  two volcanic sentinels guarding the entrance to a vast expanse of sparkling blue-green waters dancing to a large swell and ebbing tide. With a moderate breeze over the starboard quarter we hared off towards the heads.  The large shoals along the east-west axis of the port arely provide an obstacle to trailer yachts near high tide, but today's swell had turned the entire area into a maelstrom of erratic breakers. Nearing our first channel marker off Corlette, we were left in no doubt which way to head as three feet high breakers streaked  right across our bow.  A quick course alteration to the south saw us shooting across the quickly ebbing tide clear into the South Channel.

Settling into the calmer waters of the channel, we came across  our only dolphin for the day, along with its own flotilla of ferries weighted down with tourists and their cameras. Poor sods all!

The rest of our sail on to Shoal Bay was made more enjoyable by witnessing the cavorting of other yachts enjoying the swell and fair breeze. At anchor whilst marvelling at the power of the huge swell to completely close out the bar to the port we heard via marine radio transmissions that those who had gone sailing offshore had found the going to be very heavy.

At anchor in calmer waters
Our return sail to Soldiers Point was by the reverse route, but this time contending with a headwind and adverse tide flow. Our little vessel's performance was speedy though winning over Nelson Head in a strong ebb flow and windshadow found us almost going backwards. With a rough Pacific Ocean over a breaking bar astern, breaking shoals to starboard and a rocky shore to port, the prospects were a tad grim. We could only will "Misty" on to carry any puff that came our way. The last part of this leg saw us blow away all comers except a large racing cat,and the golden sunset was to die for.
Our route, 12 nm. sailed.


As I sit thinking a out the day ahead the people of northern Queensland are being battered by Cyclone Ita. Whilst I'm preoccupied with filling tiny hollows about controllers,  blemishes,  sailors 3 000 k north are hiding out in cyclone holes, hoping to not wake and see their worldly possessions scattered through the scenery.

Recently I took time out of building to read about "The Lapita Voyage" where the Wharrams sailed two tribal design catamarans from the Philippines to Tikopia and Anuta Islands. While I read I was remindedthat "real sailing" is about adjusting sails to  either calm or gusty conditions, getting food and water on-board, navigating and keeping dry. Real sailing is NOT about choosing polyurethane of enamel, or even whether or not to fill and sand  a certain blemish in the bow fillet. The build, huge at the time, is only really a necessary preparation for SAILING.

I also have sense that Wharram designed vessels can take us to some very lovely and exotic lands that are largely free from market-induced confusion. It's the task of the builder to build this philosophy into their vessel,maybe even their worldview.



I couldn't swallow the expense of two-pack polyurethane, so I went with a top quality domestic energy..election ie "houseplants". Sometime  I get extravagant,champagne taste o.   Beer budget, but today I forced myself to stay with I. Budget and go the non-marine paint route. It's.more.wharram anyway.

I've had to recover for. A botched go ish coat.with 25% .microbaloons, when I rolled it on the balloon s Sat PROUD, th hadn't mixed in?! So that had to b Sanders off before applying the paint. One more coat to go after a light sand in between.


"Across Islands and Oceans" - james baldwin, kindle evook $3.69

A Robin Lee Graham type story written by the the sailor as an older man. This dynamic lends polish to the narrative, a gentle tale about embracing culture as well as journeying within. I especially liked parts about his travels through Polynesia and Melanesia.

Typically our voyager takes particular attention to going ashore and getting dirty; learning the language and traditions, walking the trails and climbing the mountains.

I find here a kindred spirit, in that same era, equally disillusioned with Western lifestyles, I singlehanded along much of Australia's east coast, extraordinarily James sails off and around the globe in a liesurely couple of years. A great read.


Hull sanding

DONE: Sanded outer hull for final coat of epoxy. Russell Brown recommends using 80 grade paper here, but I found 120 quite enough. The purpose, after all, is to scuff the surface for the next coat to adhere onto.

I also, of course, sanded the small patches that I filled yesterday. Strangely, the mix dried  white, usually a sign of water in the mix, but I'm sure that wasn't the case. Anyway they came out looking very smooth and felt solid.

Inside the hull, I used a paddle wheel type sanding drill attachment to tidy the little fillets on the frames in the bilge.

TO DO:  Roll on a final coat of thickened (25% microbaloons) epoxy on the outside. Then
 three coats of two-pack polyurethane to finish.

Inside,  a scuff sand and final coat of epoxy, then painting. But before this I need to glass in two bulkheads for and aft as watertight buoyancy chambers.

LESSONS: This pfaffing about is actually great practice for my future boatbuilding projects. I'd much rather makes small-scale mistakes at this time than big expensive unrelated on.

A Note About the Use of Power Tools:
Early on I stated that I would build without power tools and now I'm using them daily. I think it's because the power is there (at my previous build site I had none bar a petrol generator), also I am getting impatient and believe that an orbital would provide a better product long term than if I merely sanded by hand. It's worth noting that many larger and beautiful Wharram's have been built without electricity.