Our Everglades Challenge project boat -- the Frankenscot -- performed well enough during the first round of sea-trials to earn a few key new parts. Call 'em blades, or foils, or boards, or what you like, but it means that the slab-like rudder and the portly centerboard that came standard on the boat are getting a makeover.
The centerboard, just a clever reader might expect, is a board that can be found at the center of a boat.
Unlike a random 2x4, a standard Flying Scot board (or foil, if you like, or blade) is about 5 feet long and a foot and a half wide, and looks a bit as if it was originally designed out of Lincoln Logs. It's made of wood and fiberglass and can be lifted or lowered by means of a pulley system.
Technical explanation (short form): centerboards serve to keep a boat from slipping sideways.
It's possible for a carefully designed centerboard to act as a lifting foil that can raise a boat clear out of the water as it scoots along. In case you missed the 2013 America's Cup, here's a quick look at a foiling machine that did pretty well (controversy and allegations aside):
Which is a bit beyond the scope of the Frankenscot.
If we get a theme song, however, things might just turn around.
But back to the business of being a modern Prometheus: the plan is to replace the blobby 105-lb Flying Scot centerboard with a lighter one designed for hydrodynamic performance. Something that looks more like an airplane wing, say, than a handful of bricks in a bag.
Zaftig = pleasantly plump, as a full-bodied, voluptuous woman. From the Yiddish zaftik, juicy.
To create this new centerboard, TwoBeers went to the Monster Garage -- or as good as: his brother's Monster Woodshop. Using O.H. Rodgers' schematics, his first step was to create a structural core for the new centerboard. TwoBeers cut 3/4 inch signmaker-grade plywood into strips 1 and 1/8 inch wide.
We turned each strip on edge and (very quickly!) painted epoxy on both sides. Using yards of waxed paper to contain the gooey epoxy, we smushed the strips together and then applied a handful of carpenter's clamps to make sure the whole thing cured tight and square.
Photos? Sorry, the process was rather sticky and the Monster Woodshop has a fine coating made up of 60% sawdust, 10% tobacco ash, 10% dusty spider webs, and 20% unidentifiable shop detritus. The poor camera has already weathered a green wave of salt water this month in the interest of Frankenscot; it took the afternoon off.
The core, once the epoxy dried and the clamps came off (and it had a couple of swipes from the sander) looked a little bit like a butcher's block. But very light.
The next step of the project will transform this flat plank into a smooth wing-shape.
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