An on going build project
(Check back for updates)
This is a project and journey that I have decided to take on. Building my ultimate US 1 meter. The goal is to build a light weight performance boat. Will it be the best 1 meter out there, most likely not, but it will be up there and will use some controversial designs that will push the envelope.
To start, I looked at the carbon fiber Venom but just couldn’t stomach the cost. I ended up choosing a fiberglass hull design by Bob Eger at about $370 less in cost. This is the only concession I plan to make on the project. It may seem like a big one but the Bob Eger hull is a proven design and has been competitive at a National level, and only 310 grams (11 oz).
I want to share some of the components I have put together so far. Some are parts I had and some I bought. There will be more along the way .
Below is the hull, keel and rudder. The keel will be made from a carbon fiber helicopter blade. the rudder is one I had from a Mistral. I will reshape it to fit the new hull as it is a design I have always liked.
For the electronics you can see no shortcuts. For the sail winch I am using the Hitec HS-7950TH. This is a digital high voltage, hi torque servo that should be more than adequate to do the job. The rudder servo will be the Hitec HS-5087MH. This is also a high voltage, hi torque servo in the micro version. For the back stay, yes a back stay servo on a US 1 meter, I am using a Hitec HS-75BB retract servo and finally controlling it all will be the Spektrum AR610 receiver. These I feel are the best components for each application. All are small and light weight. The total package is 130 grams. (4.5 oz)
For the sails I am using a set made by Ken Bauser. They have the max foot and leech. Ken was great to work with and I am super happy with the finished product. Highly recommend.
Now starting to build the keel trunk as I am waiting for the keel bulb I ordered to get here. Check back in a couple of days for pics of both.
Got busy this afternoon and hammered out the keel box. Measured up the helicopter blade I’m using for the keel and cut all the pieces. I’m using spruce for this particular part. I plan to use carbon fiber on much of the frame work inside the boat. I made the trunk 4 1/2 inches long. Its too long now but I wanted to make sure it was plenty long as I don’t have the bulb yet. The bulb is required to set the water line and the exact placement of the keel exit through the hull. The bulb is on its way and should be here tomorrow or the next day. I added some wedge pieces as you can see in the pic to add some stability to the keel and lock it in place. This should keep it from twisting in the box. Only thing left is to seal up the wood with some varnish to make sure it is all water proof.
On a side note, I just got an email from the class secretary that the new boat number is lucky number 13 (#513)
Up next, I am going to start the layout for the servo tray. I want to keep it as small as possible but it will be a little larger than normal because of the extra servo.
The tray ended up being 4 inches by 4 1/2. That’s it for today. I will work on cutting it out tomorrow.
This is the tray after cutting the holes and mounting the servos. Just need to seal the wood. This is the final design for now. I may decide to cut it down on the right side and mount the battery in another location. Hoping to get the keel bulb tomorrow and start the keel assembly.
Below is a couple of pics of the finished tray with everything mounted. One with my thumb so you can see the size of the components.
It’s here! So I purchased an IOM style keel bulb. These are a longer, thinner, more fluid dynamic bulb. Had the slot milled out in the top to fit my keel blade. Filled the slot with epoxy and mixed in some lead shavings. Set the nose up 2 degrees. Going to let it set now for 24 hours and then will drill and pin it through the side. Following that I will do a final fill, molding and sanding. In the mean time I’m going to start working on the rudder tube, rudder and then set the water line and the keel exit hole so the trunk can be mounted and the interior frame work can be completed. Below is a few pics of the bulb mounting process.
Added the rudder tube and trimmed the rudder to make a nice fit up to the hull. Now I need to prime the boat and align the keel.
After a couple of days off I’m back at it.
Put a first coat of filling primer on the hull and then gave it a good sanding before a finishing coat. Later on I will use some spot putty to fill some minor imperfections before final prep for paint. For now the fiberglass is sealed and its ready to set the waterline and place the keel.
While the primer was setting up I sealed up the servo tray and the keel box I built last week.
Next up setting the keel position!
So today I am working on setting the keel. This was a pretty involved process which made it hard to get pics of it all. Just not enough hands. The first thing I did was to find the center line in the bottom of the hull and mark it. The easy way to do this is with a laser.
Next I marked the waterline on the outside of the boat. Setting the boat in the tub, then setting the keel and bulb in the bottom of the hull. You move the keel assembly back and forth until the boat sits level on the waterline. Sounds simple enough right? Once you get it right make a mark where the hole needs to be cut. That will be a project for next week.
Its been brought to my attention that I hadn’t shared some of the measurements for the keel and rudder, so here they are. The rudder is about 7 3/4 inches long. The keel is not allowed to extend more than 14 1/4 inched below the bottom of the hull. it extends through the hull to the bottom of the deck its long now and I will cut it when it is put into place.
That’s it for now. Getting ready to head out of town for a Santa Barbara regatta Saturday and a J boat regatta Sunday. I will be back at it next week!