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



union jack
Build log 2020

28 dec 2020

It's funny that, when the pressure is of the build, it is difficult to keep progress. Other things now have a higher priority.

After enjoying sailing the boat a few times I had to take it out of the water much too soon for my liking. It's in the shed again. I have to address a few small items and install the electrical system and instruments. First task was building a battery. Lifepo4 batteries are expensive but have a lot of advantages compared to lead acid batteries. I bought some 120 Ah cells from AliExpress that got good reviews. With a BMS and a few other things I quickly assembles the battery. After testing they indeed proved to be 120Ah. A bit overkill maybe, but it will allow me to sail a few days in in a row. Charging is via a 62Wp foldable solar panel. Battery weight is 13kg, which is very reasonable.

As I want to mount the battery to the front of the daggerboard cross bulkhead I mounted the cells lengthwise. This meant I had to make my own battery holder. A good excuse to use vacuum laminating again. In between I cut some holes for the instruments etc. I now have most parts assembled. Now I have to find the time to have the boat ready to splash in time with working instruments. With the boat build finished it is now also time to end the building blog.
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28 aug 2020

There was still a bit of time with calm weather to splash the boat. A short sail with light winds had to be aborted because of approaching thunderstorms. In the following days I was not able to sail much due to the weather. I hope to sail a bit more in the coming weeks. It's a great feeling to sail with my self build boat after all this time of building.

In the coming winter there are still a few jobs to do. I have to make measurements for the cushions. Also I have to build an electrical system and instruments need to be installed. Also the trailer will need a few part upgrades. For now this is the last update of my website.

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12 aug 2020

Knotting the trampoline edges took way more time and energy than I had expected. With my job and a family week getaway interfering as well, time flies by. The tramps are finished now though. Ultimately I used more than 160 meter whipping line. For tying the tramp to the boat I spliced more than a hundred 3mm dyneema lines. Except for the tramp tubes on the outside all lines are knotted individually. Due to their shape it is not possible to tighten the forward and aft nets. They function more as safety nets than for walking or sitting.

The last job was sticking on the lettering on the boat, I also stuck on an orange 'rescue' arrow next to the safety compartment. After folding I raised the float support bunks on the trailer. The boat is now ready for sailing. Hopefully the weather will stay nice next week when I return home from work....

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25 june 2020

It was actually quite easy to lift the mast on the boat with tow persons. First I weighed it. 58 kgs, including the halyards and stays. Not bad. I hung the mast top in the tackle and lifted the mast foot on the boat. After pulling up the mast, I lifted the front end on the rear mast support. Then I carefully drove the trailer backwards with my car until the mast was far enough that it could be walked forward. Two more lines needed to be spliced and then the mast went up for the first time. Almost effortless. With the mast up, I checked the rake, took down the mast and spliced a new loop for the forestay to the correct length. The mast is now at 4,5, which is in the middle of the advised range.

The only problem that I ran into, was the roller on the aft mast support. It was too small. This caused the spreaders to run foul of the support. This required lifting the mast, right at its centre of mass. That is a lot of weight in an awkward spot and also precludes rigging the boat alone. Exchanging the roller for a fatter one did not help enough. I temporarily solved the problem by taping a wedge under the mast below the spreaders. Not ideal, as you have to work with duct tape each time you want to raise or lower the mast, so I'll probably have to cut of a slice of the top of the mast support tubes.

A few days later I received the sails and tried these out. It had been difficult to do measurements, as the mast was separate in the shed, so, quite challenging to do. Everything fitted perfectly though.

Next to fitting and splicing some more lines, the biggest remain job is knotting the trampolines. I'm using fishing nets for this. It was difficult to find how to make these. There is not much info on the web and it seems like everybody has his own solution. As the lines run diagonally I made a frame to tension and align the net before cutting it to size. I folded the edges over and then knotted the edge with dyneema whipping line. After weaving through a 10mm thick line, I test fitted the first net with tie wraps. Before installing the side net I needed to slide the curved foils in place, as they can't be placed with the net in place. I'm happy with the result. Five more nets to go. It is a lot of work. Luckily the forward and aft nets are smaller. For those I made templates as there is hardly a straight line in their net edges,

In between I also painted the daggerboard orange. Should I ever turtle the boat, it will be highly visible.

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12 june 2020
Time to work on the mast again. I temporary rigged the mast raising installation and then replaced the lines by spliced dyneema lines. That went quit well, I only had to replace one line as it had turned out a bit too short. I tensioned all spliced lines between a cleat and a winch. This takes away the stretch that I induced when loosening the weave of the line while splicing.

The standing rigging and the halyards also needed tensioning. These are much longer, so I tensioned them between a tree and my car, pulling them tight with a tackle. On the side stays I locked the splice with a pvc shrinktube, which also protects against chaving. I used a fishing broach to lead the halyards through the mast.

My second attempt at bending a pulpit also went bust as the bending iron bend itself. So, I decided to have it professionally made. They were happy with my PVC originals, though, as it made it a lot easier to get the right shape.

I test ran the outboard by filling a waste container with water and running the engine inside. It's ready to go now.

Next to the halyards and side stays I also started getting other lines in place and build a temporary wooden forward mast support. Finally, I was ready to lift the mat on top of the boat, but then it started raining ....

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30 may 2020
Cutting the large windows did not give any problems. I used the compressor to blow away cuttings and keep the cutting line in view and after some sanding to fine tune the fit I painted the kit areas on the hull and windows with primer after which I applied the kit.
Of course taping the area around the windows takes more time than the rest of the jobs together. To keep the windows in place I had hot glued some wood pieces on the inside ( on top of some extra tape to protect the windows ). With some elastic lines I pulled in the windows. This was not sufficient for applying the kit, so I had to apply pressure from the outside as well, using lashing straps. The kit does have a rather short work time window for finishing, so I had some help, as I needed two extra hands anyway when placing the windows after applying the kit.

The window fit is good, although it was very difficult to get a smooth transition in the middle split and there is a slight angle there. In one spot a bit of primer had crept under the protective tape. In a few spots the kit was pulled up when removing the tape. I had read that it is better to use electricians tape as this does not seem to pull up the kit. It is more difficult to apply in a straight line though, so I chose not to use it. I'm not fully satisfied with the kit edge finish. I still have a tube with kit, so I'll probably try to redo the kit edge at a later date. At this moment the main focus is on getting the boat on the water.

The beam ends must be flush against the CMMs to take up the compression forces. The plans prescribe a hard plastic strip with the last bit a space filled up with epoxy. I did not have enough space for a thick plastic strip, so I chose an alternative route. earlier I had laminated a strip of glassfibre from which I cut some strips that I fixed to the CMMs with some hot glue. I then filled the space between the beam and the strip with a mixture of epoxy, cotton fibres and aerosil. I used the same epoxy as with the eye bolts. This is more flexible than the laminating epoxy that I normally use and is therefor better in spreading the load.

The outboard was a bit heavy to lift on my own, so I used a tackle. The position of the bracket is exactly right. It paid of that I used the outboard itself when sizing and building. The only disadvantage is that it's out of guarantee while it hasn't run yet. I also fitted the locks on the pop top, so the boat is now fully closed and can be locked up.

In between I continued splicing lines. I made a preliminary loop for the forestay, which will run around the cheeky tangs. It is temporary, as I don't know the definitive length yet. Part of the splicing has to be done on the boat. I slid the bowsprit in place and spliced the hold down line. I can't adjust it in length yet, as the bowcatcher of the trailer is in the way. I also started splicing lines for the mast raising system. I'm getting the hang of accurately splicing to the required length now.

The 'to do' list is getting shorter and the splash date is getting closer smiling

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20 may 2020
One of the bigger jobs still waiting, was fixing the aluminium eye bolts in the beams. Using epoxy, cotton fibres, aerosil and a white colour paste I made a white epoxy glue to fix the bolts in place after screwing them in. First I taped everything to protect the paint on the beams.The glue has hardly any colour difference with the beams. I also screwed the covers of thefloat ventilation outlets in place.

I sprayed the rear mast support black and bolted it together. With the cockpit now finished I mounted the rudder cassette and adjusted the control rod. Also I fixed the pop top hold down brackets in place. This allowed me to screw the slider rails to the pop top. Despite that I do not have a hinge rod across the pop top, sliding the pop top is smooth. I still have to place stop bolts to prevent over rotation of the arms. The curved arms allow extra forward travel for a comfortable entrance into the cabin.

Another job that I still had to do was leading a line through the block for daggerboard control.This allowed me to close up the daggerboard case.

The next and last major job is cutting and placing the acrylic windows. I'm glad to have two small windows in front of the beams, as they allow me to try out techniques before using them on the main windows. For cutting I'm using a Bosch T101bif blade with zero pendulum on the jigsaw. On the small windows this worked very well. Sanding the edges smooth is easy as well. I'm using the original moulds that I used for routering the window cutout in the foam of the hull. Due to the length of the window I have to split the window in two parts to counter heat expansion problems. The windows are protected with painters tape. I glued a wooden block on the inside so I can position the windows, while they are pulled in from the inside. To get a constant kit thickness I glued some pieces of rubber on the hull, made from an old bicycle inner tire. A few weeks ago I had filled it with kit and compressed it to an equal thickness of 3mm. To be continued.

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6 may 2020
I was supposed to be in Greece somewhere, enjoying a holiday. However, Corona ... So, I continued work on the boat. I used the old threshold to make a mold for the new one and a second mold to fit over the cabin entrance. I laminated the top part under vacuum. After joining the parts with a mix of epoxy and microballoons, some filling and fairing, it was ready for painting.

The turnbuckle did not budge, so I cut the rigging in two. Removing the spreader gave another problem as one of the bolts broke. A small part was stuck in the end of the bind rivet nut. Awful things they are. With a 3,5 mm drill bit and a plastic tube to centre the drill and not damage the thread I easily got rid of the culprit. When I raise the mast for the first time I think I will place a garbage collector under the mast as there must be a lot of dust and offcuts inside the mast. I had a new stay made and now everything went together smoothly.

I carefully sanded the repaired spots on the bow smooth and stuck on a protect tape strip. Now I finally got to install the new bow catcher. This setup should prevent new damage.

The cockpit seats still needed Kiwigrip application. Preparation takes the most time and the actual application is quite easy. With that job completed I finally bolted down the cockpit winches, compass and speaker.

The hold down bracket for the poptop is ready. I had hoped to have the remaining aluminium parts anodized, but the mast support is to large for the company to work with, so I'll have to paint them.
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15 apr 2020
With the spreaders now bolted in place I ran into another problem. One of the turnbuckles started freezing up when I loosened the diamond stays. When I tightened the stay again it looked like I had a damaged thread inside as it totally froze, so I can't put enough tension on. This will have to be solved before I go sailing.

Under the cockpit floor, and also in the side storage compartments I applied EVA foam to the floor. The storage nets are in place as well. I applied kiwigrip on the floor of the cabin. The poptop arms are in place and fit well. I can't fix them to the poptop yet, as the front first needs two brackets that limit upward movement when the poptop is in the lower aft position.

The brackets for the mast support and the float ventilation covers are ready for painting. I have yet to make another part though. I had fitted the wash boards in the cabin entrance ( perfect fit ) and then was going to glue the threshold in place. While tapping lightly to spread around the kit, the oak wood cracked. I'm glad it happened now and not later. It shows that wood has no place on a boat like this. I will now use it as a mold to make a glassfibre threshold.

At a few places I glued some rubber strips to act as bumpers. On the cabin step, the rudder cassette and the anchor. No idea how long the last two will stick, but I can always glue on some new ones.
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5 apr 2020
After bolting the aft inspection hatches in place all float mounted parts are now mounted. On the main hull only the cockpit winches are left to do, but I first want to apply kiwigrip to the seats. After the third and last spraying session all parts are in color now and I started placing these parts. I'm very happy with how the cockpit access doors turned out. Also the cover for the water ballast control fits nicely.

I was going to mount back the spreaders on the mast, but had some problems with two blind rivet nuts. They came loose. I banged them back in place with a bit of 3M5200. This is very strong glue, but takes a week to cure...

The floor of the anchor locker is covered with EVA foam and I applied kiwigrip to the hatch, which I bolted in place as well. For the rear mast support I needed two brackets that fit to the traveler. I used a mould and laminated them under vacuum. It was fun to do that again. At the same time I made two covers for the float ventilation tubes that exit in the beams. I had been looking for commercial items but never found them and then forgot about it until I mounted the folding pin covers on the back of the beams, so still two parts to finish and paint.

The inside of the rudder cassette has been covered with a thin waterproof carpet covering. The trailing edge of the rudder butts against a plastic strip that is held in place with aluminium bolts. The idea is that, if I hit something with the rudder, the bolts will brake and the cassette and rudder escape unharmed ( hopefully ). The helm is bolted in place as well, so I was able to cut the push-pull tube to length, fill the ends with an epoxy mix and cut an M8 thread on a lathe. The cassette hits the hull with just under 30 degrees deflection while the helm still has a bit to go. So, if needed, I could increase rudder throw a bit. The fit with the aft mast support is tighter than expected, very tight actually, but it fits and that's what counts smile.

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14 mar 2020
measure. Fit. Fix. I'm still mounting parts and hardware. The halyard clutches are now mounted on the mast and the two winches on the cabin top. The traveler is ready and I glued the trampoline tubes in place with kit. The tubes are locked in place on the supports by bolts. It's a bit tricky to neatly drill the holes in the centre of the support, but with a bit of guidance that works out nicely. It is important not to tighten the bolts too much as the tubes will be flattened without compression tubes fitted. I also painted several items white. Some parts need a second paint session for the other side. For the first layer I had not used enough spray thinner. This only caused some problems on the rudder with a few runners. I will sand these down and give the rudder a second coat.

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28 feb 2020
I got access to a spraying booth to paint the smaller parts. I first started with the grey parts. The big extraction system is very nice to work with and I was happy with the result. Sadly, after my departure, someone opened the door to the outside and a wind gust blew over the rudder cassette. I'll have to repair the spots.

In between I made some tools for removing the tap. A circular drill and a slotted wrench. The tap was seriously stuck and the steel of the tools a bit soft. I had to redo the teeth of the drill a few times and the wrench broke up quickly. I had a few pliers that fit, but the tap broke up in pieces. I also broke up two pliers, but got the tap remains out in the end without too much damage to the aluminium backing plate. The hole is now filled with an epoxy mixture.

The bolt rope feeders are in place now and I finished drilling and tapping the holes for the trampoline bolts. Also I started placing some of the parts that I had just painted. On the top of the mast I had to remove a bit of the groove to fit the sheave. For the rudder cassette I had to sand away a bit of paint to fit. The paint layers were thicker than I had expected.

The flashlight of my 9 year old Bosch drill caused a short on the batteries. They were already starting to lose power, but are dead now. Time for a new one.

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18 feb 2020

The gusts of wind from the two storms earlier this month continually blew out my diesel heater. Working in a cold shed is not ideal, so I limited myself to a few smaller jobs. To protect the outboard mount I glued on some rubber strips. I aligned the topblocks for daggerboard control and also started drilling and tapping for the trampoline bolts.

I still had some lathe and router work to do. The pin of the goose neck has now been lengthened. The gooseneck assembly is ready and I'm happy with the result. I also made parts for the bolt rope feeders. I had them welded but still have to finish the surface.

While tapping thread for the constrictor clutches on the mast my M8 tap broke just inside the hole. I tried to drill a hole in the tap with an extra hardened drill, but no chance. It has to come out, so I'll have to find a solution. I'll probably make a custom tool myself.
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28 jan 2020
This time I was able to keep working on the boat for a few extra days. For cutting the bolts I had clamped the cutter, as this was easier to work. With all those bolts that needed shortening I improved my technique and now they are all neatly shortened without a bream. For a few parts on the roof I chose to make some glass fibre reinforced plates to fit on the under side of the deck. Then, finally I was able to start fixing all deck hardware. I try to use butyl tape for most applications. No kit edges that need cleaning. The instructions are clear and spot on. The only downside is that with larger fitting areas the local pressure is not enough to completely flatten the tape and you have to take care to thinly apply the tape. Applying heat with a heat gun does work, but again less with the larger parts. For the deck hatch I needed help from glue clamps to get to the required result. For this reason I used 3M 4200 for all plastic inspection hatches.

I'm happy with the conical nuts that I made. The anodizing process had sludged the threat of some of the nuts, which is a well known problem, so I ran the tap through again. To prevent corrosion problems with the stainless bolts I used an anti seizing paste. To lock the nuts I will have to apply a drop of kit on the edge of the nuts. On the traveler on of the nuts froze up. It is nice to have hex head bolts, as it is easy to stay in the centre when drilling the head loose.

The mast foot and parts for the mast raising system are now in place as well. I glued these on with a strong glue. The mast foot is mainly loaded in compression. The glue is for the side loads as the screws are only there to fix the mast foot in position. I also glued the end fittings of the boom in place.

As I work alone I constantly need to help myself by fixing spanners in place so I can tighten bolts and nuts. For the jib track and the water ballast bailers I needed some help. An extra set of hands makes for easy work and goes much quicker. I'm about halfway now in mounting all parts. As I also fixed the plastic guide strips for the cabin pop top I was able to check the fitting of the top. Perfect.

In between I also started splicing the side stays and made the screacher halyard. The aluminium work for the rear mast support is ready as well. On the cockpit seats I planned to use EVA foam. Experience from other users have shown that this foam is too soft and breaks down. I decided to revert to Kiwigrip. It is less durable for your cloth, but I will mostly use a comfort seat or cushions anyway.

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