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Thread: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

  1. #36
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Morgan View Post
    I, too, am building a Phoenix III -- thanks in no small part to this thread and, in particular, the pictures in post #12.
    My evil plan is working...

    Good luck with the build,

    Tom
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  2. #37

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Hello,
    Great looking boat and trip. I'm thinking of building one for cruising the west coast of Scotland. Oughtred's boats being ubiquitous in this neck of the woods. (I exaggerate of course). I'm interested in a small, handy, fast and light boat. I think the weight Ross gives in the study plans is 60kg. Are you anywhere near this weight do you think?
    Best wishes,
    Nick

  3. #38
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    What a top cruising ground for a small boat, islands and bays what more could you wish for.
    My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.

    John Welsford

  4. #39
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Warm water.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NickEvans View Post
    Hello,
    Great looking boat and trip. I'm thinking of building one for cruising the west coast of Scotland. Oughtred's boats being ubiquitous in this neck of the woods. (I exaggerate of course). I'm interested in a small, handy, fast and light boat. I think the weight Ross gives in the study plans is 60kg. Are you anywhere near this weight do you think?
    Best wishes,
    Nick
    Nick,

    I'd guess about 68-70 kilos for the empty boat, but my brother used Baltic birch plywood for the hull and decks. Occume would have to be lighter, I'd think. So if you use that, 60 kg is probably possible.

    This is a good light boat, easy to handle for a single person (or two), but it's not a car-topper. I don't think you can go wrong with the Phoenix III. It is exactly "small, handy, fast and light" as you say. Good luck!

    Tom
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    How on earth did I miss this fantastic thread when you first posted it?

    In the finest traditions of sail and oar propaganda, Tom! Lovely! When/if I ever trailer Rowan across to hang out with those Maine boys, I wanna stop in your neck of the woods for a trip like this too.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    How on earth did I miss this fantastic thread when you first posted it?

    In the finest traditions of sail and oar propaganda, Tom! Lovely! When/if I ever trailer Rowan across to hang out with those Maine boys, I wanna stop in your neck of the woods for a trip like this too.
    James,

    of course you're welcome anytime, with or without Rowan. This summer I'll be launching my Alaska, and will be taking a loooong sailing trip through the Great Lakes in 2013.

    Tom
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  8. #43
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Thanks very much for the both entertaining and informative thread. The best reason for building the design that anyone could wish and such a beautiful place to voyage. Interesting about it's tolerance of a variety of rigs. Way back in the 1950's, from memory the Sea Scouts had a boat with a similar build in the racks but I never saw her on the water.

  9. #44

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Thanks Tom,
    Occume should do the trick. How far into the forward compartment does the mast extend when it is lowered for stowage or when rowing? Your photos are really handy for seeing things like this about the design in real life use. I must say on seeing this I'm not particularly keen on this feature of the design - However it's the only thing I've seen about her that I don't like... Is this the only place to stow the mast when lowered - if it is at deck level I presume it gets in the way of rowing?
    Nick

  10. #45

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    By The Way,
    In the interests of minimizing weight, does anyone have any opinions on the use of standard carbon tubing for mast and spars? I don't think I could afford a custom tube, however standard tubes, in many diameters and wall thicknesses, and up to five metres in length seem to be easily available 'off the shelf'. i.e here: http://carbonfibretubes.co.uk
    Is this a viable option for a small boat? What are the engineering considerations? Leaving questions of aesthetics aside for now!
    Best,
    Nick

  11. #46
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Nick,

    From what I recall, the mast shown in the photos is about 4-5" too long to fit in the cockpit. There are hatches in both the forward bulkhead and the aft seating bulkhead so it did fit in with either of those open, as you can see here:

    DSCF1577.jpg

    However, the designed rig with the 104 sq ft spritsail sloop or 76 sq ft balance lug uses a longer mast--not sure how much longer. And again, this is all from memory as it's not my boat and I don't have the plans handy. But I'll be visiting my brother next week and would be happy to take more photos or measurements if you have questions.

    If you don't mind the mast poking out of the cockpit a bit then you can put the foot at the stern bulkhead and let it overhang a bit without getting in the way of rowing:

    DSCF1728.jpg

    Otherwise I do think you need one of the hatches open to stow the mast in the cockpit completely.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 10-09-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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  12. #47

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Thanks Tom,
    I like the design, I'm leaning towards the balance lug for simplicities sake. Looks like you did fine with the smaller sail area. I'm trying to keep things small, light and simple. But still want to take on the big tides and changeable (read bad) weather on the west coast of Scotland. I am thinking that the Phoenix might be a better bet than a small oughtred double ender (whilly tern). I have read elsewhere (think it was Keyhaven Potterer's comment) that the double enders perform better when in the 20ft range. This is more boat than I need. The last thing I want to be is over-boated...
    I'll be wanting to rasie and lower the rig alot, beach the boat, and manage her single handed in all conditions.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NickEvans View Post
    Thanks Tom,
    I like the design, I'm leaning towards the balance lug for simplicities sake. Looks like you did fine with the smaller sail area.
    Yes, it was fine with the 60 sq ft polytarp sail, made good progress to windward in some 20-knot winds and felt fast and smooth. It'll be interesting to sail it next week with the real rig--the 76 sq ft balance lug in real sailcloth. I'll post a few pictures when I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by NickEvans View Post
    I am thinking that the Phoenix might be a better bet than a small oughtred double ender (whilly tern). I have read elsewhere (think it was Keyhaven Potterer's comment) that the double enders perform better when in the 20ft range. This is more boat than I need. The last thing I want to be is over-boated...
    I'll be wanting to rasie and lower the rig alot, beach the boat, and manage her single handed in all conditions.
    Nick,

    I agree. Obviously the Oughtred double enders are very capable (and beautiful), but I was aboard a 19-footer and it felt like a BIG boat. That said, James McMullen and others here singlehand them all the time with no trouble and probably see the extra length and speed as a big advantage. But the Phoenix III comes close to my ideal size for solo (or even two-person) cruising. I'll see how that opinion evolves after I launch my 18-footer later this summer... Small and simple is one of my main priorities, but my 14-foot Bolger boat was a bit too far in that direction.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  14. #49

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Hi Tom,
    Interesting to hear. I guess being used to sailing bermudian dinghy's all my life I can't help being concerned about the lug's windward abilities. However many folk are pretty adamant that set up right they are no slouch to windward. I was out in my old Kestrel (Proctor design) yesterday and the wind was gusting down off the hills pretty hard, and more extended squalls were blowing in at irregular intervals. She can be a handful to hold down even in good conditions and we just reefed her down and stayed that way, and even then we were still getting in a bit of a tangle. (first sail of the season though is my excuse!)
    I just don't think I could single hand her in anything other than calm conditions and in any way stay sanguine.

    I guess what draws me to the Phoenix is that she seems to have certain characteristics shared by lightweight sailing (racing) skiffs, along with the rowing capabilities, and in this length a transom is not a bad idea in terms of increasing volume and initial stability.

    I have also been thinking a bit about the Irish Currach - long and lean and very very light, yet handled ably under oars or small sail in some really difficult conditions.

    Naturally I'm interested in a bit more sailing ability than a currach might offer - yet I still think that perhaps the conceptual link could be made.

    With phoenix there is the added advantage of keeping everything very simple so that quick reefing or striking of the rig can be managed and she is light so that like a currach handling her up and down beaches is a realistic option rather than a last resort.

    In the interests of enlightening a non lug sailer, how does she heave-to? will she sit comfortably head to wind?? Do you have to do anything to help her? hold the tiller over for example? Will she sit quietly to tie in a reef?

    This seems to be one of the main advantages of a boat with a mizzen - the ease of heaving too and handling under sail.

    However I still think that a yawl rig in a 15 footer like the phoenix (or whilly tern, or even tirrik) must surely be overkill... Or am I wrong?
    Nick
    P.s the spritsail is not looked on too favorably on this forum...

  15. #50
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NickEvans View Post
    However I still think that a yawl rig in a 15 footer like the phoenix (or whilly tern, or even tirrik) must surely be overkill...
    Well, I think you're wrong about that, obviously. And the reason why is the answer you've given yourself:

    This seems to be one of the main advantages of a boat with a mizzen - the ease of heaving too and handling under sail.
    But whether or not you'll actually ever need to do that depends on who you are and how and where you like to sail. There's lotsa people who sail in protected areas, warm water and predictable weather only. There's a great many people who only sail when the conditions are favorable. In fact, that almost certainly applies to most people who sail 15' boats.

    But not to all of us. Those small boat sailors who go on multi-day, self-reliant expeditions out into the wild need to be able to handle all conditions, not just the pleasant ones. And amongst those of us who do exactly that, the two-sticker is justly popular.

    ...the spritsail is not looked on too favorably on this forum
    Well, not necessarily. The spritsail can be an excellent low-tech rig that spreads a lot of canvas for a short length of spar in normal, everyday sailing weather. Where the spritsail fails is again for those less common and more extreme situations where the boat is sailed away from help under all sorts of conditions. Here the spritsail is at a disadvantage because it is much more awkward and clumsy to reef and stow quickly than the lugsails which share the benefits of low tech and short spars.

    But the main reason you're seeing a buncha smack about spritsails on the forum these days is because of an unruly gang of loudmouthed and opinionated sail and oar cruisers in the PNW who have abandoned their former spritsails for the lug rigs that suit their mission better. That doesn't mean that a spritsail might not be the right answer for a different boat operating in a less challenging regime.

  16. #51

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Hi James,
    Nice to hear from you!
    I have been reading over the threads on Rowan on this and other forums and most instructive and inspiring they have been! You are a great and generous example to the rest of us.

    I have therefore been very nearly persuaded many times that a Sooty Tern is indeed the perfect boat for me - given that some of the places I sail at the moment, and most of the places I want to sail to in the future (the Garvellachs! what a destination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garvellachs) are just what you would describe as NOT protected waters, favourable conditions ad warm water. The waters around the West of Scotland may be a little similar to your home area - totally unpredictable weather, big tides, strong winds, wet, with amazing scenery.

    Granted (within a certain envelope) seaworthiness has most of the time more to do with the seamanship of the skipper than the exact specs of the boat. The Wayfarer springs to mind as a pretty challenging boat doing some pretty amazing journeys. However I guess discussing the parameters of 'the envelope' is what so much fascinating debate seems to be about on this forum.

    So can we start with my experience so far? My last cruiser was a Mirror, cruised in the firth of Clyde. Protected waters, yes, but by no means warm water or clement weather. Not open ocean, but by no means a pond. I got on really fine with her, I like her, but boy is she slow. And terrible in a chop, and very very wet.
    Before I got into the world of Sail and Oar as a fascinating design category I picked up an old Kestrel, a proctor design. Basically a racing dinghy. Much drier, much much faster and climbs up to windward like a rat up a drainpipe. Also gives all the big expensive cruisers a bit of a run for their money which makes us laugh. However I have no illusions about her basic unsuitability as a cruising boat for the type of thing you like to do, and I would like to do. She is great fun, but a bloody handful. Even when reefed down she has too much rope always getting tangled around something or other... partly user error admittedly.

    So basically I'm in the market for a sail and oar design.

    I know there are numerous and lengthy threads on this topic already so I want to keep this focussed.

    I keep the boat at a club designed for classic keelboats, kept on moorings. Not designed for launching sailing dinghys so the slip is steep and ill maintained. I can launch my Mirror just about fine on my own but the Kestrel is a job even for two. I'm not keen on using the car on the slip. Besides I have no tow bar...

    So small and light is an advantage here. Also I think smallness and lightness has other advantages too... Simplicity, budget, maintenance, consumption of the worlds resources (all to do with minimalism basically) feeling of contact with speed and nature (although a bigger boat will actually be faster I know, a small light one might feel faster!), the relationship between the land and the sea is a little more blurred when you can beach and haul out with ease.

    I just look at 'big' boats (over 15 foot!) and feel they are a bit of a handful for me and that If I am happy cruising in a boat the size of an 11 foot Mirror then why do I really need a 20 foot double ender? Beautiful though they undoubtedly are.

    So looking at small, (15 foot range) boats, capable of doing the adventurous things of which you and I are fond I basically think that Oughtred's Whilly Tern and Tirrik fit the bill, but i also really like the Phoenix. There are probably others I'd be delighted to hear about.

    I would use the balanced lug rig on any of these boats for any solo cruising type adventure. I might use the knockabout rig on the phoenix for day sailing, or for raiding.

    The simplicity and practicality of a single lug sail really attracts me, coupled with the lightest, most easily driven hull possible (that is not a Goat Island Skiff. Sorry. Just Not Keen.)

    However if the single sail is going to be a pain to set, reef and strike single handed in one of the fierce squalls that roll in and strikes unexpectedly (although the massive black clouds should be a give away!) and really, really needs a mizzen to make life manageable than I guess I need to think again about how I define 'simplicity'!!!

    I know that there are other issues. The hull form of the double enders has great reserve bouyancy, making perhaps a drier boat, and perhaps greater carrying capacity, but the phoenix is designed with a deck and very fine entry so probably also quite dry. And the transom increases volume, so carrying capacity in that regard. Basically I can't see much between them design wise, apart from Iain offers a yawl option on the tirrik but, in print (I think it must be in his catalogue of designs) says something along the lines of it is "hardly worth it" in a boat the size of the Whilly Tern!

    Interesting!

    Best wishes,

    Nick

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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    If you like seaworthy boats in those smaller sizes you might also look at Oughtred's Penny Fee and Welsford's Navigator, both transomed sail and oar boats in the 16' range.

    As the Penny Fee has very nearly the same midships sections as Rowan, if I were restricted to a 16' or less LOA for some external reason, I would be seriously considering that design. But I think the longer double-ender works better yet if you can afford the extra length.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 05-14-2012 at 12:01 AM.

  18. #53

    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    I see what you are doing here Mr McMullen... Those boats have Yawl Rigs!
    Seriously though, The Navigator is a really good looking boat, but perchance not a sail and oar boat? Everyone seems to drag around a combustion engine on the back.
    The Penny Fee is also nice but classic marine put the weight at 105 kg. For the sake of an extra five kilos i get an arctic tern... I think both you and I would prefer the double ender... I think I'd just have to keep her on a mooring then as she's not going to go up and down the slip... And then then why not go the whole hog and build a sooty tern and be done with it - you see what happens here?

    Things are moving away from the small, light, fast and handy. But could it be I'm just asking too much in the way of seaworthiness from one of these small light boats?

  19. #54
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Nick,

    I just noticed new comments here. I did get a chance to try out the designed 76 sq ft balance lugsail in the Phoenix--with just one day so far (15-18 knots, maybe), I didn't see a huge performance difference between it and the 60 sq ft standing lug. One difference I did see was the boom of the balance lug sets pretty low; the boomless standing lug was less of a hassle for the passenger tacking and gybing.

    As for the advantages of a mizzen: even without one, a lug rig lies pretty quietly if you just loose the sheet and let the sail weathercock freely. It's not heaving to exactly but it's a fairly good way to park the boat. And for reefing you can drop the entire sail and lie ahull as you tie in the reefs--it's still a pretty friendly rig even without a mizzen.

    Another thought--most small boat people I know seem to like a bunch of blocks on the mainsheet and downhaul. I find it's nice to do without that if you can, especially on the sheet. I tend to use a simple horn cleat for sheeting, or a ring on a rope traveller at the transom. Makes for a much shorter sheet and simpler set-up. And the sheet loads in the Phoenix III are light enough to do that easily.

    Tom
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  20. #55
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NickEvans View Post
    In the interests of enlightening a non lug sailer, how does she heave-to? will she sit comfortably head to wind?? Do you have to do anything to help her? hold the tiller over for example? Will she sit quietly to tie in a reef?

    This seems to be one of the main advantages of a boat with a mizzen - the ease of heaving too and handling under sail.

    However I still think that a yawl rig in a 15 footer like the phoenix (or whilly tern, or even tirrik) must surely be overkill... Or am I wrong?
    Nick
    P.s the spritsail is not looked on too favorably on this forum...
    Sorry I missed these recent posts. You ask about heaving to: well, if you let the sheet fly free, the sail weathercocks nicely and the boat sits quietly and comfortably with the bow about 70 degrees off the wind--not quite beam to. That's fine unless you're dealing with big waves; I've never had a problem because I'm generally too chicken to sail in big waves. This is a remarkably fast (instant) way to calm things down and eliminate terror, strike the rig or reef, or just grab a bite to eat or whatever. No need to lash the tiller, just let it flop freely. It couldn't be simpler.

    So, I hear (and believe) that mizzens are handy for cruising, but I do think that in a boat the size of the Phoenix III, especially rigged with a lugsail, that a mizzen is not essential. Even without it, this is a good cruising rig, with the bonus of not having the extra complication and expense of a second mast and sail.

    I have sailed with spritsails (boomless and sprit-boomed) and would never go back to them for cruising; I far prefer a balance or standing lug. That sprit has to be LOOOOONG and won't stow aboard, the rig won't reef easily, no easy/fast way to strike it, you have to move forward to the mast to deal with it, etc. etc.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-30-2013 at 09:24 AM.
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  21. #56
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Thank you for the thread and the pics, and the comments re Ross's design.

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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Tom,

    That has to qualify as the sail and oar boat picture of the year (so far at least)
    I agree! The emotional abuse of such situations must stick with you for a lifetime. ;D
    "You must believe it will happen, or it won't. Believe me, you gotta believe first" Tim Goad

  23. #58
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyBCool View Post
    I agree! The emotional abuse of such situations must stick with you for a lifetime. ;D
    Oh, it's a tough life for sure! Yeah, we really lucked out on those particular full moon/island pictures that night.

    Tom
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    WI-Tom, I've been there before I think! #7, 3rd photo N view ,East side of Eagle Island. If not could be the Benjamin's or the Sow's Back Between the Benjamin's & Eagle Island. If not Let me know, I want to go back.

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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by cooperg View Post
    WI-Tom, I've been there before I think! #7, 3rd photo N view ,East side of Eagle Island. If not could be the Benjamin's or the Sow's Back Between the Benjamin's & Eagle Island. If not Let me know, I want to go back.
    Actually, that picture from #7 is a little cove on the south side of Fox Island, pretty much right here:



    We sailed into a horseshoe bay tucked behind the rocky outcropping; the picture shows views from that peninsula out into the main North Channel looking generally southward. But it's right in the same neighborhood as Eagle Island.

    This particular bay might not work for every boat, though; there were some huge slabs of granite just a foot or less below the surface at the mouth of the bay. Perfect for little boats.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 10-02-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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  26. #61
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by cooperg View Post
    WI-Tom, I've been there before I think! #7, 3rd photo N view ,East side of Eagle Island. If not could be the Benjamin's or the Sow's Back Between the Benjamin's & Eagle Island. If not Let me know, I want to go back.
    Oops--you asked about the THIRD photo in post #7, and I told you about the first two photos instead. I think the third photo was taken along the eastern shore of North Benjamin Island, probably right about here:



    OR, it might have been a bit north of that location. OR, it might have even been along the east shore of South Benjamin--kind of lost track, I guess. But it's 100% definitely one of those two islands.

    What kind of boat were you in while you were there? It's a great place to be.

    Tom
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    My dad built a 19' sailboat from a plan that was in Rudder Magazine in the late 1950s-early 1960s. It looks similar to the 19' DN Goodchild, but I can't recall if that was the design. It was a 4 to 5 year build & launched in 1973. He kept the sailboat in southern Lower MI. and trailered it to Spanish ONT to the Government Dock" Mitchells Marine". We spent 2 years in the 1960s at Hottum island at one of Mitchells camps (Houseboat pulled up on the island) and liked the area. With SailBoat "Homaid", we camped on Eagle Island for 5 years.

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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in the North Channel

    All right, time to start restoring photos. Down with Photobucket! And thanks to Scott for providing a reliable photo posting system right here on the WBF.

    This'll take a few days, but the thread should be back together after that.

    Edit to add: Thanks to Scott and the new photo posting method here on the WBF, that went a LOT faster than expected. Thank you!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 10-07-2017 at 02:01 PM.
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