Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Maybe I spoke to soon.  Last minute welding on trailer fender.

On The Trailer

Alan got the trimaran on an old trailer of his, he just texted this picture.  ETA in Chapel Hill about 3pm, hope to be on the road by 6pm.  Three of us driving down we'll take turns and arrive at Ft Desoto around 8am Thursday morning.
Who knew a 1200 mile expedition adventure race would be a relaxing vacation compared to getting ready for it :)

Looks Like a Go

At least from NC to FL.  We've all worked so hard, and Alan harder than imaginable to get this to happen. And again so busy that no real photos documenting the process.

We raised the mast the first time on Sunday.  I have to tell you when we got the mast up there, and the main sail up, I had the world's worst panic attack.  What am I getting myself into.

We've been running on 4-5 hrs sleep each night.  Here I am finishing making the trampolines in the dark, Alan got them strung up Monday night about midnight in the rain.

Alan and Graham took it for a test sail on Tuesday, and deemed it almost ready for the Challenge.  Still some minor rigging adjustments, a few more blocks etc... needed.  Paul and I had to leave to finish getting things all packed up.

Alan's on his way here and we'll drive down to Florida through the night, planning more building and test sailing Thursday and Friday, ready for the Challenge on Saturday morning.

You'll just have to wait till then to get a picture of the "Mosquito" all set up with sails etc...  Paul promises to keep you all informed on the blog as much as possible.  

The WaterTribe forum will be fun to keep up with as well, that is here
Also there will be tracking with our SPOTS and you can follow our movements here, you may have to choose some options from the drop down window, our event is UF2012, and Class M, but play with it, it should be fun.

Paul will include links and helpful hints on following the Challenge in his updates.
See ya.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Too Busy

We've been too busy with the build to even take pictures.  The cold weather and rain over the weekend also set us back a bit.  So now it's time for some compromises.  Not on structure or function, but unfortunately on looks.  No more sanding and finishing.  No time for varnishing or painting.

This week is about finishing the rudder, getting the dagger boards set, getting the water stays and shrouds made and installed, mast stepped, and all the hardware on.  Oh yea, we still have to get the trampolines made.  I'll go down again for the weekend.

I'm still hoping we can get the trimaran on the water Sunday, at least for a short test trial.  We're planning to drive to Tampa on Tuesday, but the Challenge doesn't start till Saturday, we might need those extra days.  I'ts really crunch time now.

Alan posted a thank-you to Murray's for helping us out with some of our gear.  The only real way to thank Graham and Carla Byrnes for the use of the shop, equipment and tools, and time to work on the boat is to name our team Team B&B.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine

Generous, patient, selfless, loving, handsome, strong, handy, creative, brilliant, funny, supportive; just to name a few.

Thank you Love.  Thanks for everything.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Workshop and Build Status

Prior to Alan's trip to Europe, I'd been spending most weekends in Vandemere with him working on the boat.  Now Paul is spending some time working there,  and I came over to help out this past weekend.  It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from our house to Alan's cabin at the B&B Workshop.

For the past year Alan has been living in this wonderful funky little cottage, which is a stone's throw from the B&B Yacht Designs Workshop.   You can really get a sense of it's size seeing it next to his neighbor's house.  That's his cottage to the right.

One room living with no running water.  There is a nice little outhouse, but it's cold in the winter.  He has a refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven, and camp stove, and a small baseboard heater.   There is a small closet like area in the back with a prefab shower, but it just drains though the floor into a bucket under the house.  Showers are taken by heating water through the Mr Coffee maker, then adding additional water to get it the right temperature, get in the shower and go.  It's a bit crowded when there are visitors.  We sleep on a blow-up mattress on the floor.  But it's affordable and incredibly convenient.  The cabin has been quite perfect for Alan, who had spent much of the previous year living on a 40' sailboat with 3 others.

The B&B Workshop is a very busy and active boat building shop.  Graham and Carla Byrnes have been so generous and kind to Alan and our family.  Of course we've known for years just how wonderful they are, as Graham is a fellow WaterTriber, and the designer of our Core Sound 20, the Dawn Patrol.

Alan has worked for Graham (above in his office, the back left corner of the shop) for about a year.  He has made his shop and tools available and given Alan's the time he needs to finish the Mosquito.  No stranger to last minute builds for races, Graham built a wooden trimaran for himself in order to race in the 1988 Worrell 1000  which was a 1000-mile offshore ocean race for small multi-hull boat (<20') from Florida to Virginia. That race is the now Tybee 500 (500 miles from Miami to Tybee Island, Georgia) which Alan also raced for a few years in a Nacra 20 high performance beach cat.   I could go on and on about Graham and his winning records, most recently with his Core Sound series of boats, and his Everglades Challenge 22, he's one of the best in the business of design and small boat plans and kits.

Graham has 2 shops. The newest houses a single project: the 45 ft catamaran they are custom building.  The other shop is B&B's multi-project workshop that is used for design, R&D, production, and "everything else";  it is filled with drums of epoxy, huge racks for wood storage, the CNC machine, Graham's office, a wood burning stove for heat, workbenches, and tools galore (big and small).  This weekend it also held our Trimaran hull and amas, the 33' mast, a Mandy Skiff that Beth (Graham's daughter) is doing the finish work on, KiwiBirds kayak, and even a coffin being made (Graham regularly makes coffins for the Jewish community in the New Bern area).

I took a few pictures (phone shots) of the shop below.  It looks a bit of a mess, certainly packed full. Evidently there is some rhyme and reason, as Graham and Alan both seem to know when something is out of place.

I know you would much rather hear about how the boat build is going.  Alan had planned to blog during the build, but the building goes on into the night most nights, and I haven't had any time for photos or blogging. I'm back home, so here's a quick update....     The big pieces are done!  Alan's got the ama decks and ama side strips for trampoline lacing on, Paul's got the seat in the front cockpit in, the cockpit covers and hatches are done.  The mast is cleaned up.  This week they'll get the water stays on, the aka/ama attachments completed, the mast on, and start putting on all the hardware.   When I get there next weekend, the trimaran should be outside and whole :).  I'll work on sewing up the trampoline while they finish the rudder and tiller.  This boat should be in the water soon, and with no time left to spare. In the meantime, I'm keeping busy being in charge of gear, food, packing, and routing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We are Working Hard

Alan's seems to be feeling better, my head colds getting the best of me, but work has to continue if we are to be ready in 3 weeks.

Paul and Alan continue to work hard on Mosquito our Trimaran, it's going to be a build that goes right up to race day.  Today Alan had me cleaning our carbon fiber mast, getting it ready for a nice clear coat.  It's 33 ft long.  Is a mast supposed to be longer than the boat :)

My personal goal this weekend was to see if both bikes would fit in the trimaran.  I know they'll fit in the Kruger Cruiser (everything can fit in that).  With the drought in Northern Florida, there's still no water in many sections of the Suwanee River.  The St Mary's River will probably also mean we are in and out of the canoe and with lots of dragging.  The 40 mile portage section of the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC) might end up being 100 miles, so 2 bikes it is even if it means taking an extra 50-60 lbs of bikes and boat cart the whole 1200 miles, we need to be prepared for all contingencies.

As Paul wrote about on his WaterTribe Blog, I'll just adopt the phrase 'No Whining' as my mantra.

We even have KiwiBird's kayak here at the B&B Yachts Design Boat Shop where Alan lives and works.  She's  going to give the Flat Earth Kayak Sail a try in this years Everglades Challenge (the first leg of the UFC).  Alan and Paul volunteered to strengthen her underdeck where the mast step will go. That's a portable heater trying to dry out the epoxy.  It's going down to 23F tonight, not ideal for boat building.

I'm really pleased she is giving the FEKS sail a go, I've been really happy with mine.  I really need to get some better pictures and find more time to blog about it.

Sailing in Currituck Sound with Jokey's Ridge in foreground

Mick, the owner of Flat Earth Kayak Sails (who graciously sponsored me with one of his sails) has joined the WaterTribe, he's become active on the Forum and now has a blog there as well, he's posted some great videos there, worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Ready for the Rivers Now

The trip to Michigan was a whirlwind, we spent all of an hour visiting with Mark, 15 of those minutes were spent returning to the house after tying down the boat to thaw out our fingers.  It WAS very cold.

Alan is back from Europe and working on finishing the trimaran.  I'm hoping to get him in the Cruiser sometime this coming weekend so we can make a few plans, work out packing, portaging, etc...

We are both fighting off colds, he's good, I'm losing the battle.

The WaterTribe Forum just added a countdown clock on the top of the page, yikes, not much time left.