Carbon Tillers Really Can Bend…..

Justin spotted this photo on Y&Y….. and he’s right!!  There is a bit of a tiller curve there!

At Datchet in recent weeks, we’ve had nothing but huge breezes – and we’ll have had some of these moments ourselves.  I realise I’m never looking at the tiller when it happens!!

Click here to see it

Carbon Comes to Consoles…..

dw carbon console©David Williamson

When Phil Evans did my boat  last year, for the first time we tried the flat top console idea.  It’s turned out to be very good in practice.

At the time that Phil was doing it we were hoping to get a sheet of carbon in place of the tufnol panel.  It’s just a cosmetic thing – we’re right at the Centre of Gravity here and the weight is not going to matter a pop.  I think in a modern boat this is going to look great !

In David Williamson’s photo I notice that the slots have been lined wit a metal sleeve, which we don’t need on tufnol…..I still think it looks terrific!



So How Do You Know There is Carbon in There….??!!!

With Carbon

Chris Bowen asked himself that very same question!!

You add a thousand to your invoice for a new boat and the thing looks just the same as it would anyway!!

So Chris popped his camera into the stern tank of 3971 (non carbon) and his new carbon boat (about 4016, or 4017) to see the difference.  Check out the two photos here!!

No carbon

Carbon Lords…….

I happened to be at Lords for the Test Match on Friday and by amazing coincidence, there sitting but five feet away in the Stand, was Chris Waples.  You may recall me waxing lyrical about his fabulous new carbon FF at the Dinghy Show.

Well, anyway, chat about cricket and Strauss’ century, was suspended for a moment and Flying Fifteens took over. As they do.  Chris sounds delighted with the new Ovington boat from Phil Evans ….”very quick” – and he says that he notices the extra stiffness most,  upwind in a chop.  The Bulwark this year was a breezy outing (day two cancelled after the Ferries wussed out) and Chris and Tom sailed very quickly.  Relative to his previous 6 year old boat, he says the carbon gifted stiffness was very noticeable on the beats that day….


Phil Evans Console Layout….

The Stand at the Dinghy Show was graced by the new carbon boat that Phil Evans has put together for Chris Waples.

Phil is still fitting his superby engineered console which gives you 360 degree coverage of key controls from around the cockpit. We’ve had it on our last two fifteens and it works superbly.

You will see in the photo (click to enlarge) that Phil now has an extra line coming up the front of the console. It uses the same self cleating principle. It’s the cunningham control. Previously sited on the forward port cleat, this location is now taken by a single line which controls both jib cars. (Yellow line) Very neat….

Aiming to Reduce Your (FF) Weight?? The Lightweight Tunnel Cover …!!

You may have seen the recent blog about the weight reduction program in John Hanson’s superb Flying Fifteen, 3539.  John had lots of good ideas, but the one that catches the eye is replacing the tunnel cover in the floor with one in carbon.  I thought you might like to see a photo of the end result.

If you are interested in having a carbon tunnel cover made for your boat, just drop us a line on .  We’ll put you in touch with the manufacturer – who is in the rowing world, by the way.  They use lots of hi-tech engineering to support our National Rowing Program.

John Hanson’s Weight Loss Program (FF)….

We may have written few days ago that John Hanson, Fleet Captain at Datchet, has had his boat in the shed for a couple of weeks generally drying/fettling, but specifically try to shed the 3kgs that he is above minimum weight.

The boat is an exceptionally tidy Mk IX with a glorious Championship record – once upon a time the Jerwood boat, I think. Anyway, things get heavier over time – and the boat does too !…  So shedding 3kgs is not that easy when you stop and think about it. The same applies to the boat!!

John has done some thoughtful refitting, gone carbon at the tiller and so on. The idea that got my attention was the tunnel cover in the floor. He had the same thing that many or most of us have – a wooden or GRP panel covering the trough, with a handle running along its length – like an inverted “T” in cross section.

Weighs a bit don’t you think?? Fixed to the boat so inside the minimum weight too. And on our Mk X, actually there is a right way round and a wrong way round. Plus we have probably all had our Bowman kick it out of position – easily done, in fact…

Well – John decided to get one moulded in  carbon. Smart move and a great contribution to the weight loss program.  Not only that though, why have the T-bar handle??  If there is no T-bar handle, the Bowman cannot kick it out of position, right? – plus it is easier to fabricate obviously. So how does John get it in and out easily?? He has a 1″ hole at each end to act as a finger pull – a hole weighs nothing obviously !  To see the crew area with a dead flat floor looks very useful to me – a good upgrade.

It would make quite a great aftermarket accessory from our favourite chandlers, don’t you think?  – or a good Vac Student task at Ovington maybe. I wonder how many shapes there are – just two for Ovington??  There would be several dozen owners out there who might want one.

I must try and get a photo of John’s work next time I see it.

Ivan on the Carbon…..

Happy to back Phil on this one, having laid up the 15 laminates myself, I suspect for the first boat the carbon skin was added after the hull had been laminated conventionally, meaning the laminate needed wetting out afresh. With a conventional inner laminate I would be expecting to use about 9kg of resin, hence the weight gain.Once Ovi’s were content with this technique the carbon may well have have been laminated at the same time as the rest of the inner skin making for little weight gain.
One of the advantages of carbon in my experience is that it takes up less resin for a given strength.

Ivan Coryn

More on Carbon Fibre Fifteens… from Charles….

The Ovi carbon boat is carbon on the inside and iI dont think it is vacuumed on. The problem has been the hulls have come out only 9kg underweight. Therefore to wet the carbon out they had put 11kg more resin in the inside laminate. The new boats may be better.
As a comparison the boat Gavin built for me was 20.9kg under weight – it has carbon both sides of the hull and the underside of the deck. He charged me £500 for all three layers of carbon pre-preg.
The carbon layer inside will make the boat retain its stiffness a lot longer, so it is a good investment.
Carbon cloth is fiddle to fit and a lot more difficult to wet out, that is why it is easier to use pre-preg, which fits dry into the mould than manually do a manual wet out – that it why Ovi has to charge more.


More on the 2012 Carbon Ovi FF….!!

I spent some time at the Midwinters gazing longingly at Geoff Bayliss’ beautifully fitted out carbon Ovington X from Phil Evans.  Absolutely brimming full of neat and clever ideas….like fine and coarse rig tensioners…. We’ll publish some photos on this boat soon.

Then our Google web crawler spotted that P&B have just published their 2012 FF Price list.  It lists “carbon inner skin, hull only” as an optional extra…. Is that the same as a “carbon hull”, or is it something else?? I don’t know, but will try and find out….

The price premium for a “carbon inner skin” is £960 including VAT (so £800 basic price).  So that is an 11.3% price hike on the basic hull, but probably a 5-6% price increase on your total boat price….. I reckon that it will become “standard” pretty quickly, don’t you??

The price list also shows a carbon tiller hood at £76, but in the very nice new catalogue that arrived it is listed at £140…. I am sure there will be an explanation behind that!!!

You can see the price list here

The Carbon Fifteen…..

Now a carbon Fifteen is not a new thing.  We have one numbered 34xx at our Club – 22 years old I think. Plus we have just had a carbon boat of our Fleet sold to Falmouth numbered 27xx or something like that. That was “Midnight Cocktail” – a famous boat in its time.

Indeed I think my Mk X has some carbon strengthening in it around the triangle somewhere. You may recall that Brett has told us that it cost only about £800 extra at last year’s carbon prices to do a 100% carbon boat…

Then this year we started to follow with interest the development of Charles’ carbon boat from Composite Craft. Lots of clever ideas as you’d expect …..

Then in the Y&Y report on the Hayling Worlds it turns out that our new Champs, Graham and Chris,  were sailing an Ovi X with “an extra layer of carbon” – whatever that means….

Now I hear a rumour that the boats that finished first and second at Perth, in the God like hands of Alan Bax and Steve Goacher, were fully carbon Ovington X’s.  I’m having supper next week with John Hassen of South of Perth YC, so I’ll ask him what he knows about that. I also understand that Steve thinks that it was “noticeably stiffer”….  Now as Steve is a God as far as the ordinary Club sailor is concerned, I don’t doubt that it did feel more rigid to him. The rest of us can’t generally tell if we sail with the wrong jib halyard tension, let alone a stiffer hull !!!  Charles has told me he could tell the difference moving the correctors to the floor has made – blimey !!    Interesting though, don’t you think??

So – things are happening.  We think it’s great actually. It’s really important that the teams at the top are gradually moving the design on – it keeps the supply of second hand boats healthy and Club racing healthy.  Well done, Ovington, I reckon.  2012 will be a tough year in the new boat market, I imagine – all credit to you for keeping on propelling the class forward….