Saturday, December 30, 2017

It will be new years eve here tomorrow, so here's a progress report on Long Steps.

All the very best wishes to everyone for 2018, may good fortune and happiness be yours wherever you are.

Christmas time is busy here, engineering customers wanting to get orders out the door needing machinery running again,  family to visit, a bit of sailing to do and my dog still wants to take me for a walk every day.
But 25th Dec has come and gone, I’ve managed to keep the sander and the paintbrush going on small things around my ship, Kairos, and I’ve even done a tidy up in the shop.

Consequently drawing and boatbuilding has been on hold to a certain degree, so there is not a great deal to show.

But, here is what has been done.

First of all the tiller line tunnel is all complete, the beginnings of the tiller pivot is there, and the hatch into the lazarette is in place although not fastened yet.
Some will note that I’ve put a single hatch in there rather than the two shown, but there are reasons. One is that I only had one in my store of parts, and didn’t feel much like buying another. Two is that I want to build an anchor well in under the tiller, while its not usual to carry the ground tackle back there, there will be a monster truck battery up in the bow and I want  to even the weight distribution out, and  the third is that given the anchor well being there I’m going to bridge the gap from the well sides out to the stringers with small seats so I can lounge back there with an arm draped over the tiller when on a broad reach or running downwind.
Those seats would not leave enough space for a workable hatch through that bulkhead, so it all works out.

Yes, I changed my mind, filled original pair of hatch holes back up and hacked out a central one. The anchor locker will be just below that white hatch and come out just into where the old hatch openings that you can see are. The seats will go from the walls of that out on the level of the black line you can see out on the right of the pic. The "tongue" sticking out is the lower support for the tiller pivot pin.

Next, I’ve started on the rowing footrests, they are a single piece of 12mm plywood, cut to fit across the removable “footwell” section of the cockpit floor and shaped so it will still allow visual access to the compass, and have high enough “rests” for the feet. It hinges down flat when sailing.

The rowing footrest, just rough cut at this stage, will be hinged to that removable deck over the footwell, and it is to be supported by the compass binnacle in the middle, and a pair of cleats on the seat fronts. Rowing without footrests is not really much fun, but permanently mounted rests would be in the way when sailing. Hence the fold down setup.

Third little thing, I’ve put the nosing piece on the port side seat, that has a carefully made profile on it that lessens the stress on the underside of the thigh when seated, and it traps the rowing seat between the underside of it and the rowing seat support rail.
That rowing seat can be moved forward and backward to any position needed, rowing, sailing, cooking or whatever, but it has to go out the ends of the slide as it cant lift out, so its secure.
Thats visible in the pic above, next to the Whale Gusher hand bilge pump, one of a pair to be fitted in addition to an electric 800 litres a minute one.
No, the gusher wont be mounted there, it goes on the end of the seat  with just the handle sticking up back toward where the coaming will be.

I’ve also got the towing eye in place, it’s a big heavy 10mm stainlesss steel eyebolt, 185mm long, with a 25mm inside diameter eye. It’s a big lump, but its possible that Long Steps might be under tow at some stage, so its strong.
I’ve counterbored the hole through the stem at 30mm diameter, and 30mm deep, filled that with epoxy filler and run the drill through it again. I’ve also proofed the hole for the rest of the way through the plywood stem.
The filled area will have a small countersink in the face, then a 3.2mm neoprene “o” ring will be fitted over the eye bolt, coated in anhydrous lanolin and the whole thing done up tight.
At the inner end, there is a grown crook, I think its from where two similar sized branches met in a fruit tree of some kind, and I’ve bandsawn it to shape to fit between the third pair of stringers up where they meet the stem, and run some really big screws through the stringers into it so it will carry the towing load out into the main structure.

I’ve a few of these curves and crooks, thanks to my friend Bill who’s moving house to a smaller space, he’s kindly passed them on. Thanks Bill.

That’s about it for now, but if anyone can find some Rotring Rapidograph Kapillarpatrone MF black  ink cartridges I’d be very grateful, the New Zealand importer cant supply and neither can the major mail order suppliers.  The standard ink doesn’t work on polyester drafting film and if I cant get it, that’s about two grands worth of pens that I have to replace with Mars ones.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi John, I did a google search for your ink and found many sources in US. - Let me know if you need help getting same.
    Found exact match on Amazon US. Not sure about the "MF" part matching up.

    1. Thanks George, its the MF ink that I need, and Rotring have informed me that they no longer manufacture it. Its a "special" for drawing on coated polyester drafting film, and I'm off in a few minutes to the drawing office supply people to get a Staedler ink to try out. Thanks for trying, all the best for 2018 to you and yours.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. After several exchanges of emails with Rotrings technical dept, me getting more and more hot under the collar, they admitted that there was a different ink, still in production, that does the same job. Hooboy! I wish that they'd done the obvious thing when I asked about the MF ink and told me then that they make a useable substitute. Ah well, alls well and all that. Thanks again all of you who went to the trouble of asking around.

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