|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.
When I helped VC Phil Tinsley get the keel off a 20 year old boat ready for refurbishment, it wasn’t half as difficult as I thought. You can see Phil’s description of how we did it elsewhere on this website. (look along the black bar under the banner photo. You will see “About Owning” there. Hovver your mouse over it and a drop down menu appears – click on “Keel Refurbishment”…)
I distinctly remember as we took the keelbolts out, a steady trickle of water emerged – and not from within the hull either, which was bone dry…. I guess the keel platform, the hog, was made of hardwood and was gradually giving up the ghost and letting water in. In fact, when we had the boat back together we found that the keel did a sort of reverse cant operation on each tack – a bit like a 505 gybing centreboard ! Much bar talk ensued afterwards about whether it would improve the upwind performance – the keel being more upright no matter how much we heeled!
So how do they give us a rot proof keel platform in new boats?? This is the keel platform in Charles new Composite Craft Fifteen. You can see how well bonded in the platform is. It doesn’t look like wood, so I’ll have to ask Charles what it is made of next time I see him…..
Have you seen the way that decks are moulded? It always struck me as counter intuitive that they are done upside down … I don’t know why I’d have that notion – stupid really, but that’s the way it’s done.
If you think back to making jellies in moulds as a kid, you’ll very quickly work out that a complex shape like a deck mould is very clever if you to make in one piece. I would guess that there are all sorts of trade-offs and come to think of it, my Ovi X has a two piece deck moulding – there is a kind of foredeck slot that must be bonded on last.
All photos © Charles Apthorp
After racing last Sunday, we were thinking about the way that spinnaker sheave blocks have been evolving. In the Ovi Mk IX it was a bit agricultural – led across decks, outside tanks and around extra sheaves …. but in the Mk X they followed the Dingwall and Composite Craft boats in having sheets travelling in tubes through the tanks. In the Ovi the sheet emerges at the back of the cockpit, but in the Composite Craft Dingwall design it comes out further forward. These two photos are what it looks like at the back of the boat…
This is the Ovington idea, It looks a bit frumpy somehow, but those micro blocks are very light and easily replaced. And my goodness, they run exceptionally freely. So looks aside, I’m pretty impressed actually. You can also get at it easily if anything goes wrong….!!
The next photo is the Composite Craft Fifteen sailed by Charles. You would have to say that the frumpiness isn’t there! I can’t identify the fitting for the moment, but I guess it is some kind of very free running ball bearing block. Access for replacement looks easy enough too. What about threading the sheets through? Hmmm….
It would be totally unlike Charles to have a fitting back there that is heavier than the Ovington solution, but with the metal casing I suppose it just might be. Maybe the Ovington has more weight in the fibreglass to build up the housing…..
So …. a big “hmmmm” on this one…..
This is the cockpit of the new Composite Craft carbon fibre Flying Fifteen. Now what can we learn here??
© Charles Apthorp
Well to start with, the cockpit looks a bit roomier than an Ovi, don’t you think? This is mainly because the side tanks are made as narrow as possible in the rules, so Charles says, to hang out harder – Argghhh !! Then what else can you see here? What do you think of the console? You can certainly move past it a lot more easily than the Ovi Console in a narrower cockpit…. Note the offset bailers too. And generally note the amount of carbon trim around the cockpit – the jib tracks, the genoa platforms – and you can see clearly how the spinnaker sheets emerge from the tanks right up on the centre line…. they are the odd shape black fibre oval shapes in the picture. Note the flashy spinnaker sheet takeoffs too.
It would make a pretty good “RS Flying Fifteen”, don’t you think?
You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it…
Have you seen a Flying Fifteen in the Mould? I must admit – I haven’t. Newcastle is a heck of a way from Kent… and though I’ve had three built at Ovis, I’ve never been to see it in process. I have though been to Petticrows at Burnham and seen the Dragon building multiple times – my own Dragon included. Same thing really!! But I never saw a carbon boat in the mould….
© Charles Apthorp
This is Charles new boat in the mould. (You can click on the photo to enlarge) I guess the blackness is the carbon fibre and I must say it looks very neatly executed. Charles has given me a few photos taken during the build. We’ll post them on the blog over the coming days…
In keeping with the boat, it’s all in very smart black carbon, and if memory serves me rightly they have positioned the tracks slightly more toward the stern relative to Charles’ earlier boats.
They get extra points for the very neat way the control line disappears through the sheave and out of the way….
“Come On, Ovington!!”….
This rather neat jib tack fitting is aboard Charles’ Composite Craft Fifteen. You’d think it was carbon as it’s black… and it’s on that boat…. but actually it might not be carbon…. What caught my attention was the purpose built design, presenting exactly the right angle. I think it’s also engineered so that the furler can’t flop around and is always sitting just so. It’s not visibly bolted either – clever stuff… (double click the photo to enlarge it…)
Much better than on my boat I must admit….
BIFFA President, Sue Bannister, came over for a drink after work a short while back. Great conversation all evening, of course. One particular item caught my attention – Sue has had a race in Charles Apthorp’s new carbon boat from Composite Craft in Cowes.
Charles has told me lots about the boat, and regular bowman, David Rickards, has confirmed to me that he thinks it’s quick. Sure enough, Sue says it’s definitely got a speed edge to it. It has a wider cockpit with narrower side tanks, so you can hike it harder – and downwind Sue says it just flies.
This is all very encouraging for the Class – Ovington build a marvellous product (I’ve bought three from the factory!) but I think another good builder will just stimulate the market for us. I really do hope they get some success.
That’s by no means a bad thing and this one is finished in fabulous looking carbon.
You’ll note too plenty of room to move your helmsman’s feet forward of the console and also the location of lead correctors right down in the double floor. The self bailers are also set away from the centreline to bail best at a slight heel.
You’ll know how important it is to keep weight central and low in the boat… Where are your correctors?? In my Ovi they are bolted inside the central console on the forward face of it…. Can it go lower??
“Come On, Ovington !!!”
(You can double click the photo to see the enlargement….)
Having a little crawl over Charles’ new Composite Craft boat, I was ever so impressed by all the detail thinking that has been put into it….
“Come On, Ovington!!”
A couple of days ago, Alan Atterbury called by at the Office for an hour or two. Of course, we talked boats for 99% of the time – and for the life of me I don’t recall what the business purpose of the meeting was!!
Since stopping his Fifteen sailing, Alan has been off in Cherubs and 12 foot skiffs. A bit lonely, I would have thought!!… He has to travel a bit though. I’m wondering if he can be tempted back sometime…
Anyway, conversation fell to the boat market as it so often does. Much talk about Topper, Laser, RS and how to get fleet racing going etc etc. When discussing the K6, the Elite, the SB3 and so on, we wondered how these guys see competing in the market. Alan’s simple analysis was (i) choose a boat segment (ii) build a product in there priced £5,000 below the incumbent (iii) market the heck out of it (iv) five years later, start all over again. Remember the Breeze?? From who was it?? RS??
So is that the way to attack the two man keelboat market – the Flying Fifteens?? We concluded not. When people fork out £18,000 or more for a new boat (or £5,000 for a second hand boat), what are they buying??…. We concluded we don’t in fact buy a “Flying Fifteen”. We don’t actually buy a boat at all…We buy “Flying Fifteen Racing”… we buy the lovely boat, the fleet racing, and the friendships. You cant buy that in a box from Laser, RS or anyone else. That’s why they fail.
I assume it’s the same in Merlins. If you are one of the 500 or so people that have enjoyed Salcombe week in recent years, you have to own a Merlin to join in.
No – the way to compete in the two man keelboat market, is to build a better Fifteen. So we reckon it’s three cheers for Composite Craft and Charles Apthorp for having a go….
An RS Flying Fifteen – now there’s an interesting idea…