After 20 years of amateur small-boat building I thought it was a time to take the plunge in the cold water and make it my daily occupation as boat builder. The business is named “BERTHAS“. Check out Berthas.be to find out what it’s about (Maybe with some help of Google translate for now, the website is not multilingual yet).
Anyway, this blog will stay here, and will keep generating random subjects about sailing and racing small boats, slightly Minisail orientated.
… And if it happened that you would like to order a replacement part or even a complete hull (for any of the wooden dinghies), I’d be delighted to discuss with you the object of your desire.
This assembly had to snap sooner or later didn’t it? Look at the picture above. The leverage is straining the seat tray way to much.
And it snapped all right. I gave the Meson for a spin into the hands of a young Europe Moth racing sailor and she sailed it back home with a broken seat ten minutes after she left.
Just in case, the Meson I talk about here below.
Genuine dinghy racers roll tack the boat and throw themselves to the windward side of the boat, hooking into the hiking straps (I don’t). With no hiking straps and only the seat to rely on my dear young friend threw her on the extended seat that then gave way.
I guess she sailed all right and I made a faulty seat.
A better seat for a Meson would be a straight plank like this one:
As I will need the item for the Minisail gathering 2018 at S.C. Bowmoor it’s now repaired. Probably to be modified to fit the Sprite later on. For the Meson a better and even more simple plank will have to be made.
Anyone still reading? Thank you and how about this:
Would an inverted sliding seat be any good? It might not be, then again it looks all right, anything inverted does. I might make one.
To be continued!
Last year a friend bought this boat,a nearly 5 meter Catboat steel hull and wooden superstructure. Doesn’t the character pictured above make you smile and make you feel joyfull for a moment?
Some of it’s history has been preserved (link catboat club Holand).
It is one of a series of 5 and built around 1930. After some changes in ownership, she is now owned by “Captain Frans”.
Below the boat in it’s current glory.
Some necessary repairs to the steel and woodwork were recently done and they were surprisingly simple; This boat is particularly well build, whatever needs replacing can be easily done without sacrificing the originality.
The intent with this gem is making it into a working daysailer.
With 20m2 canvas (2 reefs) she has plenty of power to keep up with cruising sailyachts. As a flat hulled keelboat she doesn’t turn on the spot, yet tacking is surprisingly evident.
Equally evident are the benefits of her shallow draft; access to shallow water and care-free falling dry in tidal water.
Hang on, “Care-free falling dry in tidal water”; Would this be a valid contender for the 2019 edition of La Semaine Du Golfe? It would! … if we find an affordable way to get her there and back. And no before you think, sailing her to Vannes France and back to Amsterdam Holland is not an option.
The indispensable outboard disfigures the boat, but with the rapidly advancing development of electric propulsion, this Cat will undoubtedly celebrate its 100th anniversary with a discrete electric motor on board. (Central heating, hot- and cold running water, room service and minibar? one has to be believe in the future).
Went out sailing with the 14 foot sail and row “Bertha” today.
I needed to test three things: rigging on the water, how does she sail with the added jib and check if the hull is watertight.
– Rigging afloat: It worked but lesson learned, it’s vital to prepare all parts and strings before setting off. The mess I had to deal with (having to start over and over again) was due to just having thrown in the rig at random in the hull.
– Sailing with the added jib was easy and the boat was neutral at the helm. Very neutral, the slight weather helm I used to feel with this boat was gone.
Forgot during the build to install some jib sheet cleats. Must get that sorted.
– leaks?: None, huraa!
With one boat less in the workshop there is room to take care of the Minisail Meson that’s going to be in action at Keyhaven next weekend.
Some weeks ago two lovely sisters, good sailors and friends of mine, found the forestay chain plate of their old 470 finding it’s way through the deck and asked me if I could take care of it.
Having told them I probably could, but cosmetic surgery aftercare would be for them, they agreed.
Browsing the interweb I found a documented report of a similar repair on the French website forumvoile.com.
With a good insight of the specific construction I went over to have a second look at the patient and it was obvious I wouldn’t be the first one to get that nose done.
The deck had been lifted before and was sealed shut. No way I would lift it from the hull with a few gentle ticks from the hammer.
Out with the (fantastic) oscillating tool and off went a good part of the front deck.
Found the original GRP square profile gone and the repair GRP-wood combination end-of-life since the (second?) wooden back-up material had dissolved.
I cut away most, if not all repair-GRP.
With some pitch pine wooden stock I made a wedge profile and fitted it snugly in the corner, wel soacked in epoxy and three layers of 280 g/m² over it, re-creating the original GRP profile… Sort of.
That needed curing so hang on, I’ll finish this nose next week.