Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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And this is a classic example of why one should start with a boat with an inherently good design if one is going to do this kind of thing. The boat in question started out a 24 foot Bristol Corsair (nee Sailstar Corsair), which were okay coastal cruisers for their day and still make halfway decent coastal cruisers if you find one in decent shape and cheap enough. They were never intended to be offshore boats. There are some things that can be done to make them better heavy air boats, but it would still be questionable whether these 'improvements' would be cost effective in that there are some very nice boats with better capabilities available for far less money that it would take to adapt the Bristol.
But in this case we have a person, who clearly admits that he knows nothing about yacht design, working at cross purposes with his stated goals. One of the short comings of the Corsair is that they were a little weight sensitive and this guy has poured litterally tons of stuff onto this small cruiser in the hopes that it might somehow improve it. While he may have accomplished some of his goals (making the boat stronger) he has done so at the price of others of his goals (making the boat into an offshore cruiser)
And as I read his description of his building techniques, I thought here was a guy standing there shooting himself in the foot and then reloading in case his toes moved again. For example this gem, "After adding all of the solid lead, I poured liquid lead into the voids (in the fiberglass keel cavity)until I had added all of the ballast weight I thought was necessary." In other words, this guy was casting lead within the boat herself. While to some extent the lead ingots would act as a heatsink, the fiberglass would still be exposed to high heat for a substantial period of time. While polyester does not do well with high heat (becomes brittle) the epoxy that he added would permanently lose a large percentage of its strength and ductility by being exposed to this level of heat. In other words, for all of his efforts he actually weakened the keel area.
In other words, this article is a perfect example of what not to do.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay