This website documents my progress in building a Farrier F-85SR trimaran.


dutch flag
Buildlog 2011

22 dec 2011

All glue joins on the inside have now been taped. With the float suspended inverted from the tackle, taping the deck was a piece of cake. Access was really good.

In the mean time I've also started preparations for building the beams. Most parts for the folding system were cut with a waterjet cutter. I still have to finish them though and I will have to make hull brackets myself. The design for the upper strut is derived from the F-82R struts ( and approved by Ian Farrier ) as the F-85SR design can't be waterjet cut.

Because of large amounts of spam I had to close my email address. It has now been replaced with a guestbook.

I wish everybody a merry Christmas; For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder .... Isaia 9:6


8 December 2011

It's hard to believe that a year ago I stood in an almost empty shed. So much has happened and I learned a lot. 

The last couple of days I was able to do quite a few things, there is not much to show for however. I have about 1/3 of the list behind me of things to do before the outside can be glassed. The starboard bulkheads have now been taped. In a few places I had to do this by feel as those spots could not easily be reached and this cost a bit of sweat. But it turned out all right. The tackles are ideal and allow me to easily handle the floats alone.


19 November 2011

If anyone still wants to know why I'm building a trimaran and not a 'normal' boat, it's the ease and comfort with which the boat sails at high speeds. -> please notice the subtle wave ( 1:05)

After gluing the hulls together I have now entered the next stage. Before I can glass the outside of the hulls a great number of smaller jobs have to be completed. It started this week with cutting holes to gain access to the inside of the hull to tape the glue joints.

On the starboard hull I used a bit too much glue when joining. A chisel on a broomstick works wonders ( yes ) to remove the glue ridges.

To reach all those hard to reach places its handy anyway to make several tools to work with 'remote control'. With only a few holes access is limited. The last few days I taped the keel and that went very well.


3 November 2011

After I laminated the foilcase in place, I glued together the last 2 floathalves to create the port float. Of course this also meant first fitting the venting system. That all went smoothly. The mould has been taken apart which gives me a bit more room again. Also I installed 2 tackles so that it will be easier to move and rotate the floats. It might look as if the floats are almost ready now, but looks deceive. There still is a lot of work to do, most of it inside the cramped floats.....

The form frames are still good enough to be used for another F-85SR and are for sale.


14 October 2011

After the previous update I had a holiday, so the build continued. Of course it started with a setback.The foam box that I used for heating the corecell failed immediately, again. This meant I first had to make a proper corecell toaster. The set up was a rough copy from fellow F-85SR builder Phill Brander . I used a radiator fan from a car dump for ventilation. The achievable temperature was a bit of a disappointment, about 70 - 80 C, while 100C is ideal. This is probably caused by the high airflow. I did not fancy more delay, so I used the setup and it proved succesfull. With the help of my heatgun bending the foam went very well and this float half is the best of all 4. I should have done this before nod
Laminating under vacuum was as uneventful as last time with a pressure of 0.88 bar/ 26"HG this time.

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With the hull I also laminated the carbon chainplates ( 2nd try ). This time not under vacuum, but clamped between to plates. A few taps with a rubber hammer helped pulling the carbon tight. 
When I mounted the first foil case the hull could be taken out of the mold, as it the bulkheads gave it stiffness. This time this was not possible. However frame 6 and a few battens would still be in the way. Not to be unpleasantly surprised I had planned ahead and made a work order which required this float half to be made last last. It all went according to plan and the case can now be glued into position.

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27 sept 2011

After ( again ) delay I was able to start work on the boat again. When a float half is lifted out of the mould the shape alters slightly. To align both halves properly I screwed a few battens along the contour of the float. With light pressure the float half is positioned and then glued together and pulled tight with straps. Quite simple actually. When glued together the stiffness is greatly increased. All screw holes have now been bogged and HD inserts placed, so I can continue now with float half #4.

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8 sept 2011

It was my intention to glue float halves #2 en #3 together this week. However, a few other things interfered which didn't leave enough time to accomplish this. On the photo you can see the venting system for the watertight compartments. To avoid having to glue the hose into the bulkhead I glued a plastic fitting in place. This is a lot easier to do before the hulls are glued together.


02 sept 2011

A short update. Today I laminated float half #3. Suspense was in the air when I activated the vacuum pumps. After a first check of leakages I immediately had a good result. In the end I got a vacuum of more than 0,8 bar, with one pump operating and the other on hot standby via the pressure switch. Perseverance pays off! No pictures as my wife had the camera with her.

21 july 2011

This week I made the float supports for when the float halves are glued together ( of better, my router made them, I only assembled them nodding ) . Float half and stringer #3 are ready for glass and epoxy. This will have to wait a while, as the next 6 weeks will be spend on work and a family holiday.

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16 july 2011

It's a strange sensation to pick up a float half by the daggerboard case on your own and walk the 8 meter long hull across the shed. Although only the inside has been laminated the hull is light yet strong and stiff.

Many people ask me when the boat will be ready. Well, I don't know. Theoretically it should take about 2000 hours to build. However, as I am a first time builder, some things will take more time. It was my planning to spend about 400 hours per year on this project. The first half of this year I was able to work for 200 hours, so I am on schedule in that respect.

Last week I turned the float frames and started to build float half #3. To make it easier to bend the foam I improved the insulation of the heat box. This increased the temperature to 70 - 80C. Higher was not possible as the foam of the box started to deform..... The ideal temperature for Corecell M seems to be about 100C. Now I still needed the heatgun in some tight corners. The foam held its shape a lot better though, which is a good thing as my new screws do not hold as good as the old ones. They only go into the foam by about 7 mm. Not having to grind any screws down and bogging them is a great improvement though.

As this page got a bit large, I moved the history of the first 7 month into 'Part 1'. In my links page I added a few links to other farrier builders that started early this year.

26 jun 2011
Laminating the other two bulkheads presented no problems. Next up was the foil case. This required some careful alignment. The curved foils were originally developed for the F-32SR, but are also usable for the F-85SR. It can clearly be seen that the case is sticking out of the somewhat smaller float of the 85SR. As a smaller project I made the composite chain plates. I vacuum bagged these, which was not one of my smartest moves roll eyes. There should not be any wrinkles, so I have to do it again, this time by hand layup only.

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12 jun 2011 
Last week I was able to laminate the float half. Everything had been prepared and cut to size. Laminating took about 2 hours, applying the peelply, bleeder foil and bleeder cloth took about 1 hour. I only was able to take one picture which was when I was placing the bleedercloth. After this, the hunt for leakages started. The good news was that I could only find 2 leakages in the seams and 1 at a screw, which were easily plugged. The bad news was that the vacuum got to only 0.3 bar. I searched for several hours but could not detect any other leakages, not even with my ultrasonic detector. Main suspect is the type of screw that I use, which comes to just under the surface. If there are a lot of very small leakages at those screws they add up, although I would expect to be able to find these with my ultrasonic detector. To be sure, I have ordered different screws to be used for the next float half.

The next day I pulled off all the peelply to check for delaminations. Sure enough there were a few in the tight corner of the deck, so these had to be repaired. At the end of the week I just had time left to tape one bulkhead into its place. 

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24 may 2011

This month started with a 2 week holiday for the kids, so priorities changed somewhat. However we did manage to bring the nacra to its new place and sail there. Also the kids helped placing foam for float half no.2. This a very good activity to do together as I don't want them to be there when I work with epoxy. To prevent leakage I filled the seams in 2 stages. The first layer was a bit fluid and I worked it into the seam with a small popsicle stick. Next week I will see if these extra steps will produce less leakages and better vacuum.

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28 april 2011

Last week I was able to pick up the hatches for the floats. I wanted GRP hatches, but most were either too big or too small. After a long search I found these. The white colour is also very close to the tempress deck plates.

Recently I decided to also put cleats on the floats. This meant I had to place high density foam. This went well, but it is easier to bring it on beforehand. After some sanding, filling of all holes and seams the first half is now ready. One down, three to go!

I adapted part of the building method. No more glue ( didn't help anyway ) and bigger seams. Also I use my epoxy heater box as an oven before forming the foam.

For placing the HD foam I use a simple mould with my dremel. Using two router bits ( 1,5 en 8 mm ) I get a well fitting rebated insert.

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22 april 2011

This week I placed the remaining 2 bulkheads, with reinforcements. Removing the + 1200 screws took only one and a half hour :-)
Move the mouse over the picture and you'll see the result; the mould is ready for the next float half.


15 apr 2011

This week started with a lot of sanding. The front side of the float still had quite a bit of epoxy on it. I couldn't get it all away, the main target was to get the surface fair. When this was ready I decided to also laminate the stringer and other reinforcements. I picked up this idea on the blog of Martin, builder of an F-82. He has a lot of very good tips on his website.

Then came the time to apply the vacuum. Despite having bought an extra pump again I couldn't get a good vacuum. After a few hours of searching I saw there was a tear in the vacuum foil ....
After this the vacuum build up, although there were still a few leakages through the seams. As my manometer had broken down, I couldn't measure the pressure, but after playing with the pressure switch I decided that the pressure had to be about 0,6 Bar. Not yet perfect, but more than sufficient and the laminate came out beautifully.

After curing it was time to cut away the foam flange that was used to hold the tacky tape. Next up is placing the bulkheads. The float has 3 bulkheads. I first placed the rearmost and smallest. Most important is getting it in the correct position and vertical. It's a great advantage that the bulkheads can be aligned with their associated formframes.

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30 mrt 2011

Last weekend I was able to tear the failed laminate from the hull, without any damage to the foam. Because of the low temperature the epoxy had not fully cured yet. This means that I can give the front side another try  :-)

First I had to deal with the aft part of the float.

My question of last week brought up some helpful advise from Phill, builder of F-85SR #1 and Henny, builder of F-39 'Fram'. It's now absolutely clear that tacky tape and wet epoxy don't mix. The hull edge has to be kept dry. There are 2 ways to solve this. First way is by applying a protective tape on the foam edge until the vacuum foil can be attached. The other way is by placing tacky tape both on the hull and the foil before glassing. I used the last method on the aft part. This went very well. The only problem that remained was a few leakages through the foam seams. This means that next time I have to put even more care in bogging these closed. To optimize the build I had reduced the seams to the minimum. It seems better however to keep them a bit open and use more bog to seal them.

In the end I was able to get 0.2 bar of suction. Far from perfect but better than nothing, and it did press the laminate into the hull very well.

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25 march 2011

During the last few days I had both success and failure. I started making a panel for the bulkheads. As the temperature was still low I had to use my epoxy heat box. Temperature and humidity in the shed were controlled by a gas heater and an air dryer. For vacuum bagging I do not use full vacuum, but a pressure of about 0.7 bar. This produces a nice laminate with a hardly a chance of dry spots. After curing my router cut the bulkheads. As I was not able to find a router bit that can cut through the whole panel, I had to finish it of with my multi tool. It came out quite good.

Next job was the float. I wanted to laminate in 2 parts so I would have ample time to apply the epoxy. A few screws were just pinching through the foam, so I ground these of with my dremel. All holes and edges were closed of with 'bog', a mixture of epoxy and lightweight filler. After final sanding and a last minute touchup with 5 min epoxy (where needed), I could start. I prepared the vacuum bag with the tackytape and everything went well until I tried to tack the bag to the foam. On several places the tape wouldn't attach to the foam. Aaaaargh .... Probably this was caused by a bit of epoxy on the foam. After trying for 2 hours I had to give up. No vacuum. The result is a heavier and weaker laminate that I carefully have to check and probably have to repair in a few spots. Pity.

Coming up next week is the aft part. I will have to follow a different route in applying the tacky tape. If anyone has some good idea's in this area, you're welcome to let me know...
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14 march 2011

Strip planking of the first float half is now ready. As I progressed I got more feel for the process and quickened my pace. On the edges I left some extra foam so that the vacuumbag can be attached there. Finally I upgraded my vacuum system. I first had 2 refrigerator pumps, but for such a big project they do not have enough capacity. I also finished the heat box for the epoxy. Everything is now ready for me to start playing with glass and epoxy next week :-)

vertical stripplank

22 feb 2011

During my days off I also had a few things to do at home, so I couldn't spend very much time on boat building. Despite this another milestone has passed: The build now has really started. The positive mould is a great help in getting the tight radius on the top side in the foam. Forming in the mould is quite simple thereafter. To get a good match between the strips I shiplapped the foam with my router. The first strip was routered symmetrical. Every new strip will then be locked into place between the previous strip and the mould. Even though not deemed necessary by many, I glued the strips together with PU glue.

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5 feb 2011

Normally I build on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This time my days off gave me 2 of these 'building midweeks' and thus allowed me to make good progress. The photo's below show what I have done:
- The mobile glassfiber cart is finished.
- As the Farrier trimarans are build using the vertical stripplanking method, I made a male mould for pre-bending the Corecell-M strips. Final forming is done in the female mould. I think this two step process will be easier, but it will have to prove itself.
- I had to drill 3000 holes in the battens. Through these the foam strips can be fixed with screws to the female mould. I used battens with a length of 4m80 to minimize scarfing.
- And while I was working the router was cutting the form frames.
- Setting up the frames required a few extra hands :-)
- The form frames are now set up, in line and level with the first battens screwed in place.

Preparations are almost finished. The only thing left is building a heatbox for the epoxy.

With the form frames as they are now, I will build the left side of both floats. When they are finished the frames have to be turned to build the other sides. But that will take a while... 

A great video of vertical foam stripping of a hull is in the link below.

Next update will be about feb 23rd.

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20 jan 2011

In the last weeks I added more lights, made a laminating table and finished the CNC router. It works!
After a few test pieces to adjust squareness and dimensional accuracy the first parts have been made. Not for the boat, but for a mobile glassfiber cart. While the router was doing its noisy work, I made the wooden strongback on which the boat will be build. I hope to finish preparations this month, after which the real work can begin.
I expect to update this website on average every 18 days, so the next update will be around Feb. 5.

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30 dec 2010

First priority is building up my workshed. Today I finished the mechanical assembly of my new router.


08 dec 2010

The great adventure has begun!