Video: Le kite, un système de traction efficace ?

Le kite, un système de traction efficace ? The Swiss project Race for water odyssey is integrating a kite with their solar powered round the world journey.

I’m particularly interested in the search to automate the kite control system. That in my mind is the key à transformative use of kites for transportation.

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Caledonia yawl project: preparing the gunwhales

This weekend the weather started to turn through the day on Saturday. In the morning it was wet and warmish. But as the day wore on the forcast bore itself out and the temperatures dropped steadily to -9 overnight. With this in mind I decided to forego any gluing and do more things that would set me up for some productive days of gluing when the temperatures start to rise.


I started by sanding all the fillets I had done in all the interior laps. The last set of fillets I plan on doing are between the aprons (inner stems) and the planking. This will strengthen the bond and present a better surface for painting and keeping clean.


I also cut all the scarfs needed to lay up three laminations od 1/2 ´´ thick Douglas fir that will be  nearly 21’ long once glued up.  I just found that my last pieces were a little knotty with some grain runout and so I could only get 8’ out of them. I will need to get two more lengths of 13’ 1/2” strips to have all the materials ready.

Caledonia yawl project: ripping strips for the chainplates frame


Today I was able to share the project with a couple friends who had not been down to see it.  It was interesting to hear that based on the photos they did not have a good sense of scale and found it to be much bigger than expected.

I also borrowed a table saw to rip the necessary strips to create the 1″ by 2″ frame that will be bolted to the chainplates and but into the gunnels (inwhales).


My little roller feeder guide still works great and I’m quite happy with my strips. All from a 10′ 2×4 of clear Douglas fir that cost me $50.

I now have 2.25″ of 1″ wide strips. It is 0 degrees today so I’ll wait for a warmer spell to glue  it all on the mould.


I also started sanding all the fillets I put in at each lap landing on the inside of the hull.


And at the end of the day I got some help vacuuming.


And they helped with getting a good scale aide for the photos.




Caledonia yawl project: joggle stick and making the frame

The plans drawn by Ian Oughtred are incredibly detailed but there are several rig options to include in the plans and so some details are just lightly addressed. The one that popped up for me was with the choice of the gunter yawl rig the plans show the location of the  chainplates and frame for the gunter sloop rig but not gunter yawl.


I had to do some math to look at the distance of the mast step from the chainplates and frame location and then transfer that based on the location of the three sail gunter yawl mast location on the plans. I guess it is there but you have to work a little harder to get the answer.


I have committed to my approach and now the challenge was to measure the shape of the frame I will have to laminate at the intersection of the chainplates. I read a nice description of the use of the “joggle stick” by John Welsford

Which I liked as a faster process than making a template with hot glue.


Pardon the low quality of images, the protective lens on my cell phone cracked unexpectedly in the cold. I’ve been able to fix it and the camera is back to its old form.

Then transferred the joggle stick points to a sheet of plywood.


I also glued down the floor 2.5 and started to fillet all the laps on the inside of the hull.






Caledonia Yawl Project: flipping the boat

Last night I put the call out to a few friends to help out to turn the boat over. I rigged a long 1/2″ braided line to the rafters.

Then I crawled around under the boat trying to find all the brackets I had set up to hold down the keelson. I also removed all the braces for the station molds.

Then under a torrential downpour with the corrugated tin roof making a racket we got ready to lift the hull.


It unstuck fairly easily, and with 6 sets of hands we lifted it without any trouble. We then went along while the line held the boat up to remove all the station molds.


It was amazing to finally have an unobstructed view of the inside of the boat for the first time.


Then we lowered it down and spun it while it was still held by the line just above the strongback.


Here is a short video shot on my friend Dom’s go-pro camera mounted in the corner.

There is a fair amount of scraping ahead of me to get all the spots I was not able to clean up that were behind clamps.

I’m looking to figure out who supplies shavehook scrapers or contour scraper in Vancouver?

Then I think I may round over all the edges of the plywood inside and apply a small fillet of epoxy to help the paint hold better and avoid voids where my clamping was less than even.




Caledonia Yawl Project: adding the brass rub strips

After two layers of grey primer and three layers of Cloverdale paint marine maintenance alkyd enamel on the boat I’m hoping I’ve laid down enough to give this hull a good start.


I had anticipated this day and spent quite some time chasing down 1/2 round brass rub strips in Canada.

I finally found that the best source for me in Vancouver was to order from Alaska Copper and Brass and go pick it up at the shipping warehouse at 225 North Rd, Coquitlam.

I was able to get the lengths I needed of 3/4″ half round brass as well as 1/2″ half round brass.


The next step was to drill the holes and countersinks for the bronze fasteners.  I used a prick punch to set the spot for the drill press to set nicely and not slip off the convex shape of the half round.


I then used a countersink bit to drill out the space for the bronze screw to sit in nicely below the surface of the half round.

et voila 30′ of drilled brass.


All that was left is the filing of the ends into nice rounded shapes.


The next step of fitting it to the keel and the runners was relatively straightforward.  I was just careful to drill pilot holes and carefully screw in the silicon bronze screws.


This capping off of the keel really felt good. I still have some 3 – 4′ ends left of the 1/2″ and 3/4″ half round and I look forward to installing it in critical spots on the gunwale and other spots where the rope might chafe.

Next up… flipping the hull over.





Caledonia Yawl Project: painting the topsides and sheerstrake

Once the waterline was painted, it was just a matter of removing the masking tape and setting it on the other side of the waterline.


I then painted the white topside marine alkyld enamel paint. Wearing a good carbon VOC filtering mask.


It took me three coats to make sure I had good even coverage where the grey primer was completely hidden.




With the second coat it really started to smooth out nicely and the third was really based on just a few small areas where the coverage was not perfect.


Finally I was able to add the sheer strake colour




and the lower rub strip that I put just below the sheer strake I chose a deep rich yellow to accentuate leap between the white and the blue.




Caledonia yawl project: painting the waterline

This was profoundly satisfying. I used alkyld paints from Cloverdale paint on Terminal Avenue in Vancouver. The colour scheme is inspired by @captainMax’s (on Flickr) Sooty Tern in Sweden.

I like the bright colours. I hesitated a long time with something more like black with a thin yellow or light blue stripe. But in the end decided that white highlighted de clinker construction more.


I taped the waterline that was still visible through the two primer coats and went to work painting.


Two hours later it was all done


I rolled and tipped with a brush to fairly good effect. I just found that the “nice roller” I’d selected lost quite a lot of fuzz. So I’ll have to do a bit of sanding before the second coat.


Caledonia Yawl Project: more primer

Monday I returned to see the dry hull with the first coat of primer. It was a transformation to no longer see all the epoxy at joints and fairing spots and to see the hull’s form become more prominent as a cohesive unit and less the individual parts.

I proceeded to sand down everything lightly to knock down the fibers that were kicked up by the primer. After vacuuming and wiping down once more I added another coat of primer.


This time the second coat completely obscured all the discolorations from the epoxy below and the hull is a uniform grey. We came down today after school / work to check it out.


And my assistants approve of the progress. It is going to be exciting to add colour to this hull.

Caledonia yawl project: priming the hull

Today was a turning point. I put a roller in a tray of Cloverdale paint alkyld primer and started to hide the wood.

the first few strokes of primer

Yesterday after consulting Ian Oughtred’s guidance on whether or not to paint the hull with epoxy before painting. He is adamant that it is not a good idea. So I decided to go straight to priming the hull.

My next resource is the small book by Joni Blanchard “Tricks, Cheating & Chingaderos” a collection of knowledge and tips for varnishing and painting wooden boats.

I liked her suggestion of wiping down with denatured alcohol to try and have the surface as clean and dust free as possible. The only problem is try finding denatured alcohol in Canada. You won’t find it in the paint section of the hardware store. I found it as burning ethanol for garden fireplaces and stoves at Rona called Bio light. Otherwise the other option was marine stove fuel or 99% isopropyl alcohol à the pharmacy. But that only comes in small containers.


I also found a neat little tool to mark the waterline in such a way that it would remain visible under the paint.

It comes from our sewing kit. And leaves a nice little series of small bumps.