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Thread: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Hmm... A couple of thoughts that may or may not be useful for you:

    1. I think it may actually be faster to lift an entire mast and sprit rig out of a step and lay it in the boat than it would be to reef a spritsail. Something to consider, maybe.
    Good point on that Tom - sounds like a good plan in some circumstances. I'm just not sure my daughter would have the strength to lift the entire rig, particularly if it's starting to blow.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    2. If on-the-water reefing capacity is a priority, then you might be happier with the 76 sq ft balance lugsail option. Probably too late for that, though.

    Anyway, it sounds like you know what you are doing, and why. I'll be interested to see how it works out. Sorry to hear that you haven't been able to connect with Ross, but I can understand that "retired" might actually mean "retired"!

    Tom
    Another good point. Honestly, I didn't do my homework on sprit rigs (snotters particularly) before ordering my sails. On our larger boat, my daughter loves triming the foresail(s), and so having a jib had some appeal. Secondly, I saw the mast height on the sloop rig and associated extra rigging (shrouds) at setup time, and ruled that out. We already have one balanced lug boat, so thought I'd try something new. Too bad the cut on the sail for a sprit rig really isn't right for a balanced lug or I would consider reverting to that for her. I guess I can always get another sail and make a yard, if we had to.

    All that said, I just finished building it and haven't even got it out yet, so I may be prejudging all this, and overthinking, too quickly. I need to keep telling myself, for this boat(which isn't our race boat anyway), we should just take it out and have fun, and not worry about every inch of performance (as we do otherwise).

  2. #107
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    @Jeff - I think I'll just make a snotter traveler for now, and put the line for position through a double-block where jib is rigged. If I need to slide it past a roband, I'll just unhook it briefly and slide the traveler under, until I figure out where it wants to naturally live. At least for a start.

    Thanks again for the replies - I was really at a loss for what to do, and at least have a starting point now. I see the sun came out too, and snow is melting fast. :-)

  3. #108
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    We've had a few days of decently warm weather lately so I've been able to make some progress on the epoxy work. I've added oak ledgers to the thwarts to carry some side benches, overdrilled and filled the fitting holes with thickened epoxy, faired out the area for the mast partner, and added a doubler to the centerboard case to carry a pair of cleats for the downhaul and snotter lines.





    The ledger on the forward face of the sternsheets had to be split in half to clear the flange on the inspection hatch. Iíve temporarily screwed it on with deck screws while the epoxy cures, but Iíll later remove them and fill the holes. I tried to give everything a smooth shape so hopefully it wonít be too hard on the back if I rest against them.





    Looking forward, this one is fastened so it is flush on the bottom with the thwart. Iíve placed them so a 3/4″ board will make a flush sleeping platform.





    Hereís the plywood doubler that will take the downhaul and snotter cleats. Iíve also smoothed out the area where I cut the mast partner off with a skim coat of thickened epoxy.


    There's still quite a bit more I want to do before launching. The trailer is chewing up the edges of the keel, so I need to repair that. And I'm thinking about making a flat platform on the trailer instead of rubber rollers.

  4. #109
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Looks good--I really like the side benches/sleeping platform set-up in my brother's boat, and you'll have essentially the same thing here.

    I think a full-length plank for the keel to rest on is a much better trailer solution than rollers if you can work it out.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  5. #110
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Those cleats will work just fine. I just epoxied mine too. I like the size of the doublers on your CB case too - wish I had made mine a little larger in case I need more hardware to mount on them.

    I finished making the robands and have the main sail. I used Ben Fuller's suggestion to attach them with a cow-hitch (I call it a luggage-tag hitch) to each cringle on main sail, and take one end up and the other down, to connect them all in a sort of spiral. That way they naturally loosen as the sail is dropped, and tighten as it's raised. They are amsteel (7/64th), so hopefully slippery enough to work. I put a brumel eye splice on one end, and then tied a figure 8 knot, after making a bight to double it up, on the other. I left a little tail material on the figure 8 end for any length adjustment later. I didn't want to mess with little stick toggles.

    Our good neighbor just randomly gave me oxy/acetylene gear yesterday, so I started making a snotter traveler. This is where I could use your metal working skills Jeff! I'm learning from youtube - hopefully I don't blow myself up! :-) I heated it up and got the 1/4" steel rod pretty much bent into shape and will stick weld it together this morning, after a little practice on the leftover material. I find the wood working much easier - Will post an early pic here of work so far, at risk of embarrassing myself in front of you who who metal working!

    roband.jpgrobands_laced.jpgsnotter_traveler.jpg

  6. #111
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Gary, those robands look pretty slick, I think I'll steal the idea! I've never spliced anything other than three strand, but I watched a video on making a Brummel splice and it looks pretty easy.


    Good luck on the mast traveler! All I know to say is to practice. I'm pretty much self taught and somehow do it for a living now. I've got a box under my lathe full of scrapped machining projects that got messed up for some reason or another. I think I'm going to stay with the thinned down thumb cleat and separate snotter, at least for a few outings. Depending on how it goes, I might switch to the mast traveler idea.


    I forgot to post that I also finished up the varnish. Eight coats on the mast since I took it down to bare wood and two on everything else. My wife was out of town for a week, so it was an excellent opportunity to practice some leave no trace boatbuilding. I set up the coffee table and piano bench with some plastic tarps in the living room and put on a coat in the morning before I left for work. Afterwards, just refer to pictures taken previously to replace the rugs on exactly the right row of flooring Don't mind that breakfast nook in the background that I'm supposed to be working on...



  7. #112
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Jeff, your spars look terrific! Good idea to put leather on the sprit. I need to do that.

    I did get a little leather practice today, after the welding on the snotter traveler. I used a small part of a coat hanger to fill in the gaps. I'm happy enough with the result, and even more happy that I didn't blow myself up! :-) Got to say, youtube is great for learning new stuff.

    Here's how it turned out. Note both loops on the forward side of mast, one for the snotter position halyard, and the lower one for the attach point of the snotter downhaul block. Now I'm ready to rig!
    snotter_traveler_done.jpg

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Well don't look too close, it's definitely a 10' or 15' varnish job! There are some runs and little blobs here and there, but that's ok. The whole purpose of this boat is to get out there and go on adventures. I don't have the patience to make everything perfect.


    Your snotter traveler looks pretty good! You welded it with the acetylene torch? I've done very little of that, just some messing around with tie wire and scrap steel. It's actually very similar to TIG welding which isn't the easiest to do.


    Definitely let us know how it works. I think it'll go a long way to making the sprit rig easier to handle.

  9. #114
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Excellent, excellent work!! Well done, indeed.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #115
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post
    Your snotter traveler looks pretty good! You welded it with the acetylene torch? I've done very little of that, just some messing around with tie wire and scrap steel. It's actually very similar to TIG welding which isn't the easiest to do.


    Definitely let us know how it works. I think it'll go a long way to making the sprit rig easier to handle.
    Thanks. Yep, oxy/acetylene torch. I'm no metal man, just did what they said on youtube. Wow, that stuff bends easy when it's red hot. :-)

    I put the mast up in the driveway today, after getting most things rigged and was about to hoist the sail when a pretty big, shifty, wind picked up. I don't have the boat strapped down on the trailer and didn't want it all to blow over, so had to postpone. :-( I did put it in our barn where I can put the mast up and rig it there, but then ran out of time to do more today. I do have a concern that I have the robands too tight, and the sail won't drop easily. May need to adjust them all a touch looser. I want the main sail to just fall down when the halyard (and snotter) are released. Will get the lazy jacks and everything rigged, and then practice set up and take down a few times so I have the routine down before heading to the ramp for first launch.

  11. #116
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Rigging in the barn still, but haven't had much time to work on it.. So far, the snotter traveler is doing it's job. The robands are another story. I thought they had enough slack, and slippery enough being of amsteel, but I could hardly hoist the main due to the friction of the robands on the mast. So I loosened them way up. Not sure I like this approach, but will keep at it to give it a fair shake. I really don't want to put a bunch of parrel beads on them.

    Jeff, do you already have the sprit connected to the main sail peak when you hoist the main? Seems it needs to go up after the luff is hoisted, or it's too hard to get the sail up. At same time, if this is all being done on the water it could get quite clumsy. I can see how having the main already up, along with sprit, and the whole thing brailed to the mast, could make getting under way on the water easier.

  12. #117
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I think you are discovering why so many sailors who begin with spritsails end up switching to lugsails of some kind...

    The spritsail-to-lugsail trajectory certainly describes my own experience with small boats. But spritsails sure are pretty!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  13. #118
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I think you are discovering why so many sailors who begin with spritsails end up switching to lugsails of some kind...

    The spritsail-to-lugsail trajectory certainly describes my own experience with small boats. But spritsails sure are pretty!

    Tom
    No joke! This is my 6th sailboat and first rig of this kind. Pain in the butt so far (no offense intended to any die-hard sprit sailors or designers). I'll give it a chance, but may convert to a balanced lug if needed. (The boat's for my daughter, so I want her to have a good experience with it.) The nice thing about this boat is that the mast can accommodate both rigs, but I would have to get another sail made, and make another boom and yard. My other boat is a balanced lug and I can set it up and be sailing in about 10 minutes from driving up at the ramp. Was hoping similarly for this one.

  14. #119
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Thanks Rich! You definitely beat me in the fit and finish department though.


    Gary, that's interesting the spiral robands don't seem to work so well. Mine are currently 1/8" VB cord that I tie with a square knot as I raise the luff. A little time consuming and they're on the list to improve. They come down and go up ok, and hopefully they won't hang up on the snotter's thumb cleat now that I've trimmed it down.


    Rigging the sprit has been the main source of trouble for me. I currently have a notch in the end that catches a loop of line in the peak of the sail. It can be tough when the sail is flapping around since you need to catch the loop on the correct side and ideally have the sprit inside the brail line. I'm considering drilling a bee hole in the end and then tying a long halyard/outhaul/something to the peak of the sail and then running it down the sprit to a cleat at the heel. I think that would make it a lot easier to rig.


    I've only rigged the sail on the water twice and it was not fun. I now rig in the parking lot, brail up the sail, then launch. The only problem with that is the extra windage, so maybe if we can get the snotter traveler idea and a peak outhaul working it'll be easier to rig on the water.


    Tom, the prettiness is worth the hassle!


    I got my master partner back yesterday. It's not quite as dark as I'd like, but it'll do. I might try a different shade this coming winter. Now to figure out where I hid the aluminum bolts for safe keeping while it was being coated...



  15. #120
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Jeff, your mast partner looks so perfect, and sturdy, that's for sure.

    How loose do you tie your robands (i.e. how far away from the mast is the luff of your sail when it's up and flying?). I just likely had mine too tight.

    I hear you on the sprit and think your idea on addressing that makes sense - I think I've read that somewhere (maybe it was Ben).

  16. #121
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Gary, I'm not sure how tight they are, maybe you can get an idea from this picture. I think performance is better if the sail is closer to the mast? But they had to be that loose to get around the snotter thumb cleat.



    Yesterday I was all excited to dry fit the mast partner when I managed to get a bolt stuck. I should have chased the threads with a tap to make sure no powder coating got in there, but I forgot. Anyway, into the mill to mill the bolt down flat.



    Then drill it out aggressively with a left hand drill. If you get lucky, the bolt will spin right out. I managed to get part of it although I still had to pick out some of the threads.



    Back to where I was yesterday. Did I order an extra bolt when I was making the mast partner? Of course not, life would be too easy haha.


  17. #122
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Jeff, Your robands look about as loose as mine are now, just so I could overcome friction and get the mast raised. Air flow over the first few inches of luff is very turbulent anyway, especially around a big, circular mast, so the extra distance the luff is away from the mast likely doesn't hurt as long as the robands are equally tight so that the luff has a good shape to it. Thinking about it more, having the luff away from the mast may help as more of the sail is in "better air".

    Yeah, we all hate it when bolts break off in holes! I do like learning from how other people solve that problem, so seeing your pain may help one of us out some day. :-) Fortunately, we live about 4 minutes away from an Ace. Heading there now for some more SS screws.

  18. #123
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Nice traveller!
    Nice random gift too

    Nice work all round.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  19. #124
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I've been busy working on a bunch of different projects, but nothing is totally finished. We're starting to get some really nice days, so I'm a bit worried the boat won't be done anytime soon. But there is light at the end of the tunnel when I look at what's been done so far.


    I put 3 coats of epoxy on the new side bench seat ledgers, the snotter cleat doubler, and the holes for the mast partner. Maybe not necessary for a trailer sailer, but I did that on the rest of the boat when I built it and it makes me feel better.





    Dry fitting the mast partner. It should be exactly the same as the old one, at least as close as I can measure. I'm interested to see if the snotter running through the beehole will wear the powder coating off.





    When I built the boat I didn't take the time to over drill fastener holes and then fill with thickened epoxy. So as I have been epoxying things I've started working on the holes. I also shortened the oarlock pads since the bolts didn't actually land in the doubler underneath the deck. That was a measurement error on my part in the rush to get the boat ready for a vacation. Here's how to enlarge an existing hole with a Forstner bit.





    I've never been happy with the slot in the end of the sprit that catches a loop of line in the sail's peak. So I filled it with a block of wood which I'll smooth down and then drill a bee hole though. I'm planning to have a long length of line tied into the peak which will go through the bee hole and down the sprit to a cleat. That should make it easier to get the sail rigged.





    The hard rubber rollers on my trailer have started chewing up the edges of the keel, so I hoisted the boat off the trailer with a chain fall so I could get under there to sand and epoxy. A strap around the main thwart almost perfectly balances the boat, and a line to the bow fitting keeps it from nosing down. I've also started painting the bare spots to build them up a bit before I paint everything else.





    No pictures yet, but I've been working on a platform for the trailer and some trailer maintenance. I'm considering lowering the spring weight, repacking the bearings, and adding bearing buddies.

  20. #125
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post
    ...My wife was out of town for a week, so it was an excellent opportunity to practice some leave no trace boatbuilding...
    Jeff, I just saw your comment about Leave No Trace boatbuilding, and it brought back memories.

    When I was growing up, my scoutmaster and his sons decided to build a canoe. When his wife was out of town, they cleared everything out of the living room, IIRC including a grand piano.

    They rented an aluminum canoe to use as a plug, then made a female mold. Then they laid up the hull inside the mold. Bits of wood trim completed the job.

    This process was messy and left gobs of polyester resin all over the floor. They used a blowtorch to remove the resin from the floor, then sanded, refinished, and put all the furniture back. When Mama returned home she was delighted to see her shiny new floor.

    The canoe floated and could be paddled, but the bottom was badly hogged. The boat had lots of drag and was always the slowest canoe in the fleet.

    I'm admiring your boat and your craftsmanship. Maybe when I finish my build we'll see each other on the Bay.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
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  21. #126
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Good job Jeff, you're making progress.

    I finished rigging our Phoenix and hope to get on the water this week for a first test drive, if weather conditions cooperate.

    The snotter traveler works well and with the "up-down" connected robands I get about a bit more than 1 foot of adjustment on it. I had been sharing one belay pin on the mast partner for both the main halyard and snotter traveler position line, but that was awkward, so I turned a couple more belay pins on the lathe to give me 4, like yours.

    I do the same thing now on the sprit, that is, run a line through a hole at the peak end tied to the sail peak, and then I run it down and tie off on a horn cleat on the sprit, just aft of the mast (so low enough to reach). At first I put a jam (clam) cleat on there, to prevent it from fouling on the forward lazy jack when I take the sprit down, but found it just easier to lift the sprit into place if I run the line through the center hole in the horn cleat while lifting, and then I can take a wrap before cleating it off. Will also prevent it from popping out of a clam when sailing.

    Oh yeah, and I rigged lazy jacks with clips on the ends attached to the boom jaw forward and the line on boom aft when the block is attached for the main sheet (where the sheet then turns and goes down to the swivel cam cleat on the deck, just aft of the CB case. Those seem to be working well.

    I'll get some pics of these things next time I raise the sails.

    There is one thing I need to work out - while stepping the mast, I need a cleaner way to keep the boom and all the robands lifted high enough so everything stays out of the mast partner, while I'm tying the mast in place (I use the rope around the mast to a horn cleat on deck method). Any ideas there appreciated.

  22. #127
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    UCanoe, that's a funny story! One of my favorite books growing up was Rascal by Sterling North. He built a canoe in the living room and had a pet raccoon that rode with him. My dad was a volunteer firefighter and found a nest of baby raccoons in a brush fire. The mom was dead, so he took one of the kits and raised him until he ran off about a year later.





    Dad's raccoon was way before my time, but I've tried canoeing with different cats I've had. The current one seems to tolerate it, but isn't too impressed.





    Gary, how are your robands working? Did you have to loosen them up some? I pretty quickly decided that one line per belaying pin was best and once I move the snotter to the centerboard trunk I should have an empty one. Stepping the mast sounds like a problem.... so far I've always tied my sail onto the mast once it is in place, so I haven't had to worry about it. Looking forward to some pics of how you've got it rigged! Please make all the mistakes and let me know so I can avoid them.


    I've been busy painting. The deck and hull are done, with the exception of the epoxy work I'm doing on the keel. Next I plan to bed the fittings, clean the inside, and give it a few coats. I've also made an improvement to the centerboard which I'll post once it's a little farther along.

  23. #128
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Raccoons around here in Oregon are mean, and would never be a pet. Funny!

    I finished rigging and tomorrow is first launch on the Willamette River. The robands are actually working out pretty well - just needed some tuning on the lengths to get the main to raise and drop easily, and be even on the luff. Did another test drive of the setup this afternoon. I leave the robands, and snotter traveler on the mast when I lower the whole thing. Biggest challenge is just keeping the lazy jacks, various halyards and snotter position line from getting tangled when it's time to raise the mast again. On the Morbic, I have a cleat on the lower part of mast where I tie everything off, and it keeps things straight for the next time. I may do the same for this one.

    Here's a pic with sails up..
    sails_up_complete.jpg

    This one shows the snotter rigging..
    snotter_rigging.jpg

    And this shows the port side where I have the boom downhaul (I didn't put any extra purchase on it), and all the clutter hanging off the mast partner..
    boom_downhaul.jpg

    I don't have a brail line. Will have the sprit and main sail hanging onto the top of boom, in between the lazy jacks, when I back the trailer down the ramp. Once on the water, will raise the main sail with halyard, raise snotter traveler to a position I have marked on the mast, then will raise sprit to peak and tie it off, then tighten the snotter and boom downhauls, then the jib halyard, and I'm off. Will see how it goes.. :-)

  24. #129
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Yeah, the only reason he was a pet was because dad got to him when he was just a few days old. At about a year they get the urge to return to the wild and are harder to handle. Dad would take him to a Hardee's drive through every Saturday and they'd both get a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. As Roscoe grew up, he'd eat his sandwich before dad could finish his and then he'd start climbing all over dad trying to get seconds haha.


    Your boat is looking really good! One thing I noticed is you've got a blue and white line going over the sprit. I've found that it's better to have it between the mast and sprit, otherwise it can prevent the sail from going out all the way in light air.


    Do you have any trouble with the boom downhaul pulling back at that angle? I haven't rigged anything permanent on my boat yet, but thought I'd mount a turning block to the mast itself so the line pulls straight down.


    I've finally got all the epoxy work and painting on the hull done. Next up is the improved platform on the trailer and repacking the bearings. I've got a pair of Bearing Buddies, bunk carpet, trailer jack, and bow stop coming but FedEx got lost today...




    Still gotta paint the inside and bed the hardware again.

  25. #130
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I’ve been working on the trailer while the boat was hanging in my shop. I built a platform to support the keel and keep the trailer from scraping the paint off when I launch. I also lowered the side bunks and moved them ahead a bit. After the platform was built, I took the wheels off to repack the bearings and change the dust covers for some Bearing Buddies.





    I’m glad I did because I was greeted to a handful of rollers spilling out of the hub when I took the wheel off. This trailer is pretty old and I don’t think the bearings have ever been replaced. Anyway, I bought some new A-4 bearings, packed them, and got the wheels installed again.





    Next I stapled some bunk carpet to the new platform. There’s a wooden block that supports the keel’s rocker up forward under the carpet. I added a jack too, so I don’t have to move the trailer with a dolly or the winch handle. The red bow stop is new as well, the previous one was a black rubber roller that left black marks on the bow. Hopefully this one doesn’t make my boat look like I ran over a scuba diver.





    And finally I got the boat back on the trailer. I’ve bedded all the fittings that go on the deck which was a job. You don’t think it should take that long to bolt stuff down but it does. It didn’t help that I had to remake the backing plates because I put the originals somewhere for safe keeping… I still need to clean and paint the inside of the boat before I can put the inspection hatches in.





    And of course no project would be complete without uncovering more problems than you started with. The trailer lights have quit working, even though they’re only a year old. They’re LED and I always unplug them before backing into the water, so I think there’s a corroded connection somewhere. I’m getting 1.5 volts measuring between the trailer ground and the plug. There’s a complete circuit but I guess there must be too much resistance somewhere for the lights to work. Anyway, I’m thinking about running a dedicated ground line to each light and changing the wire nuts to those heat shrink butt connectors. Either that or make some clamp on lights and remove them when going into the water. Whatever I do, I don’t want wiring the trailer to become a yearly thing!
    Last edited by The Jeff; 03-19-2021 at 06:37 PM.

  26. #131
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Excise those wire nuts. Be gone!
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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    ♦ George Orwell

  27. #132
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I have excised the wire nuts! I bought 25′ of 7 strand 14ga trailer wire so I could run individual ground wires to the lights. I’m not going to use the trailer as a ground again, too much corrosion. The purple wire is the second brown wire to the brake lights, and the blue wire is the second ground. The red wire isn’t needed at all. I wired everything up with solder heat shrink fittings, which seem to work really well. These things have a little blob of low temperature solder in the middle that melts with a heat gun. After testing to make sure it was wired correctly, I wrapped everything in a few layers of electrical tape. Probably not as good as amalgamating tape, but I didn’t have any.



    I finally got around to painting the centerboard. Instead of making a bracket on the board for the rod to hinge, I just drilled a hole and bent the rod to fit up through the centerboard case cap.



    I originally built wooden rudder cheeks, but somehow they ended up too tight for the rudder. I was about to go on vacation and needed something, so I welded one up out of aluminum. I didn’t have time to paint it, so I’ve been sailing around with it bare for two years. I finally decided to have my buddy powder coat it the same green as the mast partner, but it outgassed quite a bit during the baking. Part of the problem was galvanic corrosion between the stainless gudgeon and pintles, so I cut some insulators out of a milk jug. Might not be necessary with the powder coating, but it can’t hurt.



    The notch in my new mast partner ended up just a hair smaller than the original, so I needed to thin down my leather padding. I sharpened a little thumb plane razor sharp and it worked surprisingly well. Leather seems to have a grain to it since it would dig in one direction, but cut beautifully in the opposite. I took the leather down to about half its original thickness.



    Added a small cleat to the sprit which will hold a line running through a bee hole from the peak of the sail. I figure this will make rigging easier, rather than trying to catch the peak in a notch on the end of the sprit.



    Through a convoluted story, I ended up with this little outboard. It’s a Honda BF2A that looks to be in pretty good shape. It seems to make decent compression and everything turns freely. The oil didn't look milky like it had water in it. The only catch is that it’s missing about $300 in parts. It needs a carburetor, gas tank, air guide, and throttle linkage. I’m currently trying to decide if it’s worth fixing up, especially since I don’t know that it’ll run. I would really like to replace my British Seagull with this since it’s a 4 stroke, even though I don’t really run the Seagull enough to worry about the crazy oil ratio.

    Last edited by The Jeff; 03-26-2021 at 10:43 AM.

  28. #133
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    Aug 2012
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    463

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post

    The notch in my new mast partner ended up just a hair smaller than the original, so I needed to thin down my leather padding. I sharpened a little thumb plane razor sharp and it worked surprisingly well. Leather seems to have a grain to it since it would dig in one direction, but cut beautifully in the opposite. I took the leather down to about half its original thickness.






    Skiving leather with a wood plane is a great idea. I'll put that technique in my quiver. A spoke shave might work too if the leather is clamped.

    I have not read this thread so forgive me for asking a question which likely has already been covered. Do you feel Lillistone's plans were well done? My wife likes his Periwinkle design best of the boat plans I have shown her.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  29. #134
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    Nov 2010
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    196

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous
    Skiving leather with a wood plane is a great idea. I'll put that technique in my quiver. A spoke shave might work too if the leather is clamped.

    I have not read this thread so forgive me for asking a question which likely has already been covered. Do you feel Lillistone's plans were well done? My wife likes his Periwinkle design best of the boat plans I have shown her.


    I think the plans are really well done.
    I got a 35 page pdf of dimensioned drawings which would be enough to build the boat, and a 68 page pdf of instructions guiding you through each step. Ross also sent me a number of articles from various places on the sprit rig and how to set it up. The only issue I found is a few places where multiple dimensions didn't add up to the overall dimension. This was due to rounding during conversion from metric to imperial and was never off by more than 1/16".

    I sometimes think I would have liked to build Periwinkle, but I'm probably just suffering from two-foot-itis. The First Mate is a fantastic boat for one person.
    Last edited by The Jeff; 03-26-2021 at 02:23 PM.

  30. #135
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Bay Area, CA
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    161

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Periwinkle was a major temptation for me as well. In the end it was my (uninformed) reservations about sleeping aboard that pushed me away. I, too, wonder what could have been.
    Great idea on skiving the leather! Just another one of those things I wouldn't have thought would work so well, and there it is working perfectly.
    I'll say this for your motor: that $300 will get you most/all the way to an electric trolling motor and all needed accessories. I have yet to regret moving away from liquid fuel, its attendant slicks and smells, and its capricious demands, particularly after longer storage. My kicker is good for at least four miles in a dead calm and never fails to start - that's plenty for my purposes.


    James

  31. #136
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    Mar 2017
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    Aloha, Oregon, USA
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    103

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    I have not read this thread so forgive me for asking a question which likely has already been covered. Do you feel Lillistone's plans were well done? My wife likes his Periwinkle design best of the boat plans I have shown her.
    Lillystone's plan are alright, now that I've purchased some plans from another designer that are worse. Maybe it's all relative. But, honestly, at the time of building my Phoenix there were many instances where it took quite a bit of head scratching and digging to figure out dimensions of various things. He could have annotated some more numbers in the plans to reduce the constant math. I had previously built a Vivier design that had much better plans and instructions, and provided a logical order in which to do the build, imo. That said, nothing was a show-stopper in the Lillystone's plans and the design is fairly well thought out, so I don't want to paint it overly bleak.

    My learning was that all plans are not created equal, and depending on your experience you may or may not need clear plans. You might look to see if other builders of the boat have photo-documented things. That can be super helpful. I found a couple Phoenix builds on Flickr that had enough clues to supplement the plans that we were able to get by. On the Vivier build, I was building hull #1 of a new design (and it was my first boat build) so I had nothing to refer to except the plans. And, they were plenty clear enough to get me by.

  32. #137
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    Jan 2009
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    northwestern Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Interesting--my own reaction to Ross's plans is much more positive. I thought they were some of the best-presented plans I've seen. A big spiral-bound booklet, so each page lies flat. Clear drawings. Lots of basic instructions on procedures on glued lap planking--just the right amount of information, very clearly described with text and photos. Of course, I didn't actually build a Phoenix III, just watched my brother building his. But I was impressed with the plans, and I don't think there were any errors in them at all.

    There is, as you say, quite a bit of variance in how plans are presented, and how much figuring the builder has to do along the way. And looking at photos from someone else's build is super helpful, that's for sure.

    On another note, I love Periwinkle and almost chose it for my own boat, except:

    1. I had a sneaking suspicion it would be bigger than I actually needed, or wanted (and I think I was right).
    2. I wanted something with better rowing performance.
    3. And that mizzen seems like's it's just in a bad spot. I've sailed ketch-rigged small boats before (Jim Michalak's Laguna, for one), and there's just a slight twinge of claustrophobia having the mizzen right there at the helm, even if it works in practical terms (tiller clears mizzen, comfortable to hold the tiller and sit at the helm, etc.). Especially now sailing a similar-length (but lower volume boat) also designed as a ketch--and leaving the mizzen out entirely--I've concluded that I'm happier without a mizzen in the cockpit. If I wanted a mizzen (and they do offer real advantages) I'd use a small yawl mizzen of 20 sq ft or so intead.
    4. Finally, it seemed like it would look a lot like my brother's Phoenix III, only bigger, and I thought it would be neater to have more differences to compare when we sail together.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  33. #138
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Vivier has digitized plans for CNC cutting which I suspect more designers will implement. Not as complete as CLC but still a big plus for accuracy and speed of completion.
    Hello, Ross, John, are you listening?
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  34. #139
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    I'm glad planing leather worked well. My first thought was a table saw and dado stack!


    I can see that the instruction pdf might could have been arranged a little differently, but it wasn't a huge deal to me. I read through it so many times I had a pretty good idea in my head of what needed to happen. I also converted the drawings into CAD so that helped me visualize what everything looked like. A buddy took too long setting up his CNC router, so I ended up cutting out everything myself.


    I spent this afternoon making some spiral robands for the sail. They are made from 3/16" polyester and have an eye seized into one end and a stopper knot in the other. I thought I was tying an Ashley's stopper knot from memory, but I ended up tying something else. Not sure what it is haha. Two carpenters pencils ended up being the perfect size for the loop. The tails are pretty long and I'll probably need a bit of trial and error to get the sail's luff consistent with the mast. Eventually I'll cut them down to the right size.



  35. #140
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    Mar 2017
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    Aloha, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post

    I spent this afternoon making some spiral robands for the sail. They are made from 3/16" polyester and have an eye seized into one end and a stopper knot in the other. I thought I was tying an Ashley's stopper knot from memory, but I ended up tying something else. Not sure what it is haha. Two carpenters pencils ended up being the perfect size for the loop.
    It is good you made them long - I thought I had left plenty and ended up with just barely enough length, so they would slide easily on the mast. Good luck with them!

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