The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders














R e p o r t s

Leah Gent

I just took this picture, Leah Gent in the front. I had to to a bit of scrubbing, my boat looked a bit trashy next to Brad's nice clean new Mark V 39. My boat is suffering from 3 1/2 years of lazy maintanence.

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This is the first time I have seen the boat. Nice.

Mark Van Abbema

Ellen is Fast!

This feat is nothing short of unbelievable. Every possible congratulation to Ellen MacArthur for her new solo record sail around the world!

To imagine the hammering, night and day in some of the worst oceanic conditions imaginable, is only half of it. To handle manage and repair at sea the working and breaking elements of a 75 foot trimaran while underway with hardly any sleep for more than two months is mind boggling.

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This is one tough, talented and focused lady.

Chris Ostlind

Chuck: Took these a few years ago near Lands End, England....big tides in this area of England means launching the life boat at low tide requires the tractor drag the thing WAY out into the surf....and I managed to get a little British cheese in the picture...Bruce Armstrong

Something you may never see in your lifetime...

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Shot from the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS HONOLULU at the Arctic Circle, 280 miles from the North Pole.

Trilobyte 16
15'6" x 4'1/2" x 6" – 450 Lbs Dry Weight – 1400 Lbs Max Displacement

Plans for Trilobyte 16 are Now Available

Trilobyte 16 is an expedition cruiser for two, capable of being built in-the-field. Based on Phil Bolger’s revolutionary Birdwatcher concept, it has been optimized for ultra-quick building. We estimate that an average couple with basic skills (measure, hammer, saw) can build, rig and launch the hull in three days.

Let’s say a week. That leaves the rest of your vacation to go play! The canals of France? The Yukon? The Yang Tze? It’s cheap enough in time and materials that you can sell or give it away when you’re done.

The comprehensive Plans Package includes a Builders’ Guide booklet, lines, materials and instruction plans, three different rigs, pattern for a fabric and hard cover, oar, dolly and Lenihan charcoal heater plans. Last but not least a full size pattern for the one curve in the boat.

Purchase confers the right to build as many as you wish. We intend it to be possible for you to build for each adventure. Check out www.triloboats.com for articles, photos, study plans, details and support.

Plans are available for $125 (includes postage) check or money order from:

Ohhh Noooooo!

Gotta believe the Captain is on his way to the S.S. Minnow Class of submersibles after this one.

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Chris Ostlind

Tiki Navigator™

World's Easiest To Use GPS Navigation Software
Is Now Available For Download.

Most PC-based marine navigation software programs claim to be easy to learn and use. Most boaters disagree. They have found out that PC navigation programs work better on a desktop than on a wavetop.

Other boaters have discovered that Tiki Navigator's innovative user interface, dynamic help, tutorial, and comprehensive full color User's Guide all work together to make it easier to learn and use than any other navigation software available for the PC.

Tiki Navigator A.s., of Oslo, Norway, is pleased to announce that the new English language version of Tiki Navigator Pro v3.5, for the United States and Canadian markets, is now available for free downloading from its web site, and may be used on your PC without charge.

The great thing about electronic charts is that you can get a good look at the area around your boat. But, at the same time, a small PC screen can't give you the large overview like a big paper chart. Or can it? With a horizontal or vertical split screen and two charts at different scales, TIKI Navigator gives you your choice of the best of both views. A third small window, that stays zoomed-in with your boat centered on the best chart for your current position, is also available. The Digital Magnifier zooms all the way in, to any point on any chart, with just a click of the mouse.

Panning, scaling, and zooming are all available with a drag of the mouse or a couple of clicks. The user interface is always focused where it needs to be - on the charts and where your boat is on them. Menus, buttons, pop-ups, and other elements of the Windows interface never clutter up your screen. They appear in-context instantly when needed, and are removed automatically when no longer needed.

The Tiki user interface has a dynamic help system that can be turned on or off by pressing the F1 key. As you move the mouse or press a key, help appears in proper context without covering up what you are thinking about.

The conventional Windows help program is not needed, because Tiki itself IS the help system. You have never used anything quite like this before, but you will soon feel right at home and turn the help system off until you need to jog your memory some day.

Taking bearings, setting up routes, creating waypoints, and many, many more functions can all be completed with just a few mouse clicks or keystrokes.

GPS and other NMEA 0183 data from your instruments are read by Tiki Navigator. When following a route or going to a waypoint Tiki can control your autopilot by sending it the NMEA 0183 data it needs.

Tiki Navigator works with electronic charts including Maptech's BSB, SoftCharts, and NDI. Display of Maptech aerial and harbor photographs is included. You can also put your own picture files in Tiki's windows.

When you download Tiki Navigator, you get both a FREE Tiki Demo version that simulates all of the functions of TIKI Navigator Pro without using your GPS, and a FREE Tiki Light version that you can use at sea with your GPS connected for real time GPS navigation.

So why are we giving away a perfectly good working copy of a GPS chart navigator absolutely FREE? Because we want you to try TIKI at sea on your own boat, with your own computer and equipment.

Of course, there is a chance that you will find the free version good enough to meet your needs, but we believe that most knowledgeable boaters will want to purchase the more feature-rich world found in TIKI Navigator(TM) Pro for only $195. Click the "Features" button on the web site to compare Tiki GPS Light and Tiki Navigator Pro to help you decide.

For more information or pre-publication support, call Walter Gulley at 303 407-8263, or visit www.tiki-navigator.com/en/index.htm and click the red buttons at the top to get started. Depending on your browser, you may need to use a smaller text size to obtain the best view on your PC.

Walter R. Gulley, III
Tiki Navigator Agent for U. S. and Canada
341 Eager Road
Howell, MI 48843

Cell Phone 313 407-8263
Voice & FAX 517 548-2907
Email walter.gulley@tiki-navigator.com

Tiki Navigator A.s.
Frognerstranden 2, 0271
OSLO, Norway


By Paul Oman
copyright 12/04

Epoxies tend to form a brittle, plastic like mass. This is good for boatbuilding and many repair projects - people want rigid boats and solid repairs. But in some situations where there is sudden shock, movement, flexing, or large amounts of expansion and contraction, a flexible coating can mean the difference between a coating failure (cracking or 'popping' off) and a successful project. This problem is best illustrated with wood and epoxy. Wood expands and contracts with moisture content while epoxy and most other materials expand and contract with temperature. Put epoxy on one side of a piece of wood in a damp environment and the two materials could be fighting each other..... Another example, giant metal water tanks. One day they are full of tons and tons of water and the next they are empty with air temperatures inside the tank of over 100 degrees. That can mean lots of 'movement' (expansion and contraction) on the sides of the tank - it needs a coating that can 'move' with the metal.

By their nature epoxies are brittle. Some epoxies are more brittle than others and flexibilizers and plastizers can be added to epoxies to improve their flexibility. Generally hard brittle surfaces have the best abrasion resistance while more flexible surfaces have better impact (or shock) resistance.

I do crude flex testing in two ways. I make small cubes or cylinders of epoxy and hit them with hammer or squeeze them in a vise. The really brittle ones turn to dust or break into a great many pieces. Less brittle ones will break into 2 or 3 or so pieces. I also apply the epoxy to a sheet of wax paper and let it cure. I then peel the epoxy off the wax paper and bend it. At some point it will snap and break. Note that epoxies many feel cured in a day or so, but take days (a week or longer) to fully cure so don't perform these tests right away. Give it a week or so before testing. Ditto for adhesion - you can probably pull off your epoxy/fiberglass repair the next day - don't! Give it time to bond....

For boatbuilding you want a rigid epoxy, but still not super brittle (our old Basic No Blush Version 1 was too brittle) that that is 'shatters' upon impact. Epoxy paints are about the same. Some give is nice but not too much. In other cases, such as the examples listed above, a lot of give is needed to prevent failure. In some cases a very rigid epoxy repair putty is a good thing, in other cases one with more give, sort of like a 'silicon caulking' is better.


Solvents such as acetone and MEK are often added to epoxies for several reasons: to extend pot life, lower viscosity (especially if spraying the epoxy), improve epoxy penetration (such as into wood - i.e. making a penetrating epoxy). Certainly some of the the solvent evaporates away but a lot of it gets trapped in the epoxy matrix. The end result is that solvent thinned epoxies tend to cure into a rubber (or at least flexible) state. Experts warn that over time (months or years) the solvents may finally work their way out of the epoxy and the epoxy may regain its brittleness. I have never been organized enough to test this (and I suppose temperature makes a big difference too as would the thickness of the epoxy).

We also sell a very unique product called TA 661 which will add flex to an epoxy. TA 661 feels like baby oil and is non evaporating. We sell it as a slow acting cleaner (solventless solvent????) for removing uncured epoxy or semi cured epoxy from tools etc. If troweling down epoxy/sand deck surfaces, it keeps the epoxy from sticking to the trowel. It will also blister and lift dried varnish and enamel paint (overnight or in a day or so). Anyway, a tiny amount of it mixed into an epoxy will also give it plenty of flex.


Note the most epoxies in general have a flex ('elongation') of about 4-8%.....

Our Coal Tar epoxy, like most coal tar epoxies, has an elongation in the range of 20-30%. Although still common, coal tar epoxies have fallen out of favor. Coat tar epoxy can be hard to recoat after it has weathered, it is smelly, and there are health concerns over the coal tar additive.

Our CM 15 epoxy is a general purpose epoxy paint with lots of flex, ideal for boat decks and wood surfaces. Also a really long pot life.

Our Crack Coat epoxy is also unique. We formulated it to fix leaks in cool, damp basement walls and floors. It is a bit too thick to brush on but certainly too thin to be called a putty. It is perhaps more of a gel. Anyway, thickeners can be added to it to make it more putty like without messing up its flexibility. It also works well as a bedding compound or caulking compound on dry or submerged surfaces.

As already mentioned above, our TA 661 is a convenient additive for adding some flex to any epoxy product.

Our 621 Epoxy Adhesive, which we have on clearance (11/26/04 - we are selling out, only small amounts left in stock - not a fast moving product) - has the most amount of flex (about 100%) and was designed originally for joints in concrete floors. It sort of looks and acts like Elmer's glue.


Liquid Co-polymer Rubber paint - The next generation of coatings, this a snowy white mat/satin rubber paint that actually sticks to wax paper and retains all the movement of the wax paper. Originally was designed as a roof sealer. Color white only.

Co-polymer Rubber Deck - the same co-polymer as above, but with rubber grit in it for a professional looking, completely flexible, non-skid surface. White only.

PAUL OMAN Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.
Frog Pond Hollow - 48 Wildwood Dr
Pittsfield NH 03263
10-4 Monday-Thur EST 603-435-7199
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Date: Jan 24, 2005
Contact: Aux. Wayne Spivak
Division Chief - External Communications
Public Affairs Department
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Auxiliarists are taking the Plunge

SEWARD, ALASKA-Members of the Seward Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as the crew of USCG Cutter Mustang, will participated in the Polar Bear Jump Off Festival in Seward that started on Jan. 21.

For the Auxiliarists and cutter crew the annual event is an opportunity to raise money for the American Cancer Society and promote the wearing of personal flotation devices (PFD's).

The highlight of the festival, which began in 1986, is people dressed in costumes jumping into Alaska's frigid Resurrection Bay.

This year the Coast Guard Auxiliarists taking the plunge will be led by "PFD Panda".

"For Auxiliarists this is a rare opportunity to combine a unique fellowship activity and a public affairs event, all for a good cause," says Sue Lang, public affairs officer of the Seward Flotilla.

Sponsors are acquired by the jumpers in order to raise money for the Alaska Division of the American Cancer Society.

There are two ways for those outside of Seward to participate in the event either by a virtual visit to the festivities or making a contribution.

A bird's eye view of the even will be streamed on the internet through the webcam of Major Marine Tours (https://www.majormarine.com/cam/).