Saturday, April 21, 2012

More photos of "Fleet", the planing version of "Flint"

The first example of Fleet, the planing hull version of Flint is getting much closer to launch day. In fact she has already been in the water to allow the marking of the waterline in preparation for the painting of the boot top - empirical data gathering!

Painting has gone ahead at a great rate, using the skills of people who normally apply coatings to aeroplanes and helicopters.

First real opportunity to view the hullform in the flesh.

 The hull shape is similar to the designs of the late William H. Hand, said to have been the inventor of the vee-bottomed motorboat. What made the William Hand designs significant was the way they would handle well at lower speeds when throttled back. Weston Farmer said of them, "They were steerable throughout their entire range of speed in following seas. The full planing boat is a dog in this department. Unless they are banging along full bore, you cannot steer them. And full bore in some seaways with this type of boat, demands Polident for the helmsman's teeth and metal brassiers for the ladies." ("From My Old Boat Shop" International Marine 1979.) Now, I think planing hull design has come some way since Weston Farmer formed his opinion, and there are some very fine designs around for full planing hulls, but the fact remains that for moderate planing and semi-planing speeds, a long, narrow Hand-style hull can be superb.

Getting ready for a trip down to the boat ramp for waterline marking. Gunwales are masked, as they will be finished bright using Deks Olje #1
First splash. Chines don't even touch the water when light. I hope that with a single oarsman on the forward thwart, the boat will be reasonably pleasant to row, even though she is a planing hull. Trim will be everything with passengers aboard.
25 litres of water in the aft well to represent the outboard and fuel, plus two people. The fellow on the helmsman's thwart is quite light, but the trim is very close to that predicted on the plans.
After the floatation tests, marks were made to allow masking-off for the boot-top.

Note the chinagraph pencil marks at the base of the stem.
Boot top masked ready for topside painting
Here you can visualise the fine, sharp lines up for'ard - she should give a smooth ride at moderate speed in a chop.
Almost ready for the water - just the oiling of the gunwales and breakwater/coaming to go. Test motor will most likely be a 6HP 4-stroke, but that is to be confirmed.

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