Farewell – Tot Ziens

Two weeks before leaving my Dutch friends said they wanted to do the Hull Outer Skin Laminate before leaving. As time was tight we made job list AND a daily hit list.  It seemed to be just about possible, we should at least get one half done, if not both sides, depending on the weather. The first week would be fairing and preparation. In theory (my best guess!) 148 hours estimated, with four of working we would have 160 available (40 hours per person), excluding unplanned work which should never be underestimated!


At the end of the week we were very pleased to see the end of dust and sanding. Item 9 rebates for skin fittings was rescheduled to later.

Nick setup the Wet-out Machine (impregnator). Apart from a good clean and new battery for the counter (liner meters) it ran perfectly despite being in storage for many years. Whilst possible to use the Boatspeed Custom Preg process for a very accurate controlled fibre ratio with this machine, I decided this level of accuracy was not necessary and we set for nominal 50% fibre ratio, which we monitored by weighing each roll as it came off the machine.


Meanwhile the Port Hull Side has been given a good resin seal coat at about 80g per square meter.


There are 5 plies to the Outer Skin, also patches for the Chain Plate reinforcements.

  • Plain Weave 200gsm interface/impact protection  layer
  • Two unidirectional layers at 90 degrees to planking to provide hoop strength (integral ribs).
  • A double bias layer at plus / minus 45 degrees for torsional strenght
  • A plain weave finish/impact protection layer

The hull was divided into drops and half girths measured for the run list.

run list

Approximately 40 kg of resin was mixed, all carefully weighed, mixed  and recorded by Bryony , my daughter.


After wetting out and weighing to check fibre ratio, the laminate could be rolled out on the wet resin coated planking. Then carefully checking correct overlap and squeegeed flat removing air bubbles and creases. Then finally trimming excess.

And finally peel ply is applied to finish the laminate ready for final filling and fairing.

Starboard side still to be laminated.


I calculated 76kg for each side of the outer skin laminate. The actual weight was 84kg. I had neglected to include the centreline overlap join (150mm) on stem and sternpost adding almost a square meter (3.8kg), also the 400GSM unidirectional was actually 415gsm an additional 1.2kg. And I had not included the Chain Plate Patches. So 84kg is acceptable even if my estimate is a little light.

Each drop took about 15 minutes. Laminating duration of 26 hours and 143 man hours.

The total build hours now about 2000.

Farewell  “Tot Ziens” –  Timo, Nick and Pim. Your help and good company was very much appreciated.








Putting on weight

With only a few more sleeps to the start of the GGR 2018 from Les Sables d’Olonne, there is a  lot of activity as skippers make final preparations.

See .

It is with mixed feelings that I am watching the event unfold. But I made the right decision and in four years time I hope to have Pingo completed and ready for the GGR 2022.

Progress = Weight

BHD rep

With most bulkheads tabbed in there is good progress with the hull shell gaining weight, now estimated at 911kg with all bulkheads. This includes the internal skin in the forward and aft compartments, i.e. about 15% of the internal skin completed. In the last few weeks about 150kg of laminate and filler has been applied for backing laminates, coves and tabbing. The drawing below shows the different reinforcement types and where these are to be applied. Water tight bulkheads get an extra layer and the forward compartment has an additional woven fibre layer for improved collision protection. A chock for the  propeller cutaway is also shown.


Looking forward, Bulkhead #1 tabbing completed and #2 bonded only. The snail trails on the lefthand side is excess glue, to be removed, from dowel repairs to the approximate 1000 screw holes.


Looking through the Access Hatch hole in Bulkhead #1 with Stem tabbed in and forward internal laminate completed. Yes I do fit through this hole, just!


Then looking aft through Bulkhead #5 with Bulkheads # 6 to #10 all tabbed in. Bulkhead #11 is lose and ready to be bonded.


And the Aft Compartment with propeller chock installed, ready for cove and tapes.


Bulkheads # 3 and #4 will be installed after the Mast Step. But first a bit of fairing in preparation for the outer skin laminate….

With a little help from my “Dutch” friends – Bulkheads

As this Pingo Project ( Build a Suhaili Replica , Sail the GGR ) moves along I’m often amazed at the interest and offers of help from friends and even strangers who soon become friends. One such old friend is Jelmer who is on the Blog circulation list. He put me in touch with three trainees from HMC mbo vakschool in Amsterdam looking for a Practical Internship for 10 weeks during May to July.

Timo and Nick have their own very interesting project researching and building a replica Monetschip .


And Pim is building  a Wooden Jetski .      thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2018-01-25-at-17_30_30






My boat is at the install bulkhead stage which mainly involves trying to outwit gravity and get wet laminate to stay put on the hull internal surfaces. Optimism,  determination and a good sense of humour are essential. There are eleven bulkheads,  each with twelve construction stages. A simple chart allows us to see progress.

p chart

Dress Planking involves knocking of the planking high spots. This is followed with filling of cracks and defects ( the planking is recycled timber ). Here Pim is carefully grinding prior filling the forward section.P1060647S

Backing laminates provide a hard bearing surface for the bulkheads. Timo is rolling out the bench wet-out laminate onto a sealed tacky resin coat. The masking tape guides  location.

After the Backing Laminate has been applied and cured the Bulkhead is trimmed to fit, and bonded with a microfiber blend in epoxy resin.


After bonding the bulkhead a microsphere epoxy filet is applied to provide a landing for the tabbing tapes and remove the hard edge created by the bulkhead bearing on the soft western red cedar planking. Timo, Pim and Nick below.

Double bias tapes are laminated over the cove extending onto Backing Laminates and Bulkhead surfaces.


It only takes time and patience, AND a little help from my friends.




Hull Shell


The Hull Shell, Sheer to Keel, is complete. 1300 hours for 1100kg  of planking plus bulkheads (not yet bonded).  Almost 1kg per hour to this stage although there is still a few hours of dressing to go.


Dressing involves removing a minimum thickness of the proud plank edges using a small block plane with 25 degree blade bevel .





After dressing the planking is given a light 40G orbital sanding. The new 700W Makita Sander comes standard with a built in Samurai Warrior who endeavours to throw one off the boat particularly when working high up near the keel and hanging on by ones teeth.



work list

Before laminating the 120kg of epoxy E-glass Outer Skin there are a few tasks yet to complete. And then I will need a few days with ambient temperatures less than 30 degrees C.  I’m already seeing 42 C at one meter off the floor and 46C higher up nearer the roof, so it may be March 2018 before the outer skin laminates go on.  There is plenty of fill in work to keep me busy until then including the Rudder and False Keel.





Knees, stealers, two short planks

If I’m not going to get this boat finished for the 2018 GGR then the 2022 GRR seems possible, even with my very slow progress. There will be much to learn from the observing the 2018 race, what works and what does not.

Current Progress includes the Stern Knee installed, tapered stealers filling the gap towards the keel and a few garboard planks still missing as I’ve used up my entire stock.


With most planks on the hull is now taking shape.


Up and down the hull sides so many times its now second habit.


Ducking for head room.


Or stretching. The last few planks are taking a bit longer just because access is a bit more difficult.


Back to building in November…


Building by Numbers



  • 2.5 months since planking started mid May 2017
  • 1.164 km of planking, fetched and carried, brads removed, sanded, cut to 36mm width and straightened, scarf joined, fitted up and edge glued and nailed
  • 4.08 minutes per linear meter to recover scrap strip planks =  80 hours
  • 2.08 minutes per linear meter to cut and glue scarf joins = 54 hours
  • 60 minutes to fit up and edge glue one plank = 110 hours
  • 150 grams of epoxy resin ( excluding fillers) to edge glue one plank = 16.5 kilograms of epoxy resin
  •  244 hours to date for planking


Still to go

  • 30 planks to go = 300 linear meters = 30.8 hours for recovery and scarfing + 30 hours to fit up and edge glue = 61 hours


Its time to plan to end planking. The keelson trailing edge is dressed to provide the correct angle relative to planking by extending the power plane’s base with a batten to give a rough finish angle. A follow up with a shooting hand plane will get the angle exact relative to planking. Its also time to add a harness, and maybe a hardhat, to the shopping list.

P1040507S And now also to improve scaffolding as there will be yet plenty of work to come at height. Thanks to Colin H at least I have the basics. AND now you know what the ropes are for!


Breaking News

Abhilash Tomy will launch his Suhaili Eric Replica built at the Aquarius Boatyard in Goa India, tomorrow 7 August 2017. Looking good…

Abhilash-Tomy-Boat S

Don McIntyre the founder and organiser of the Golden Globe Race 2018 has made a pre release announcement in the The Coastal Passage magazine (free emag worth subscribing to..) of his steel Joshua One Design (as sailed by Bernard Moitessier in 1968 Golden Globe Race). At 15 ton she is twice the size of the Eric (8700 kg). More information in TCP #85, pages 13 and 14. In theory the Joshua will be 21 days faster that the Eric for the GGR see Still Planking Blog based on average speed to length ratio for heavy displacement boat speed. For owner builder GGR entrants a Eric CSP one design offers an alternative solution. More to follow…



Still planking after all this time

The end of planking is almost in sight, but formwork is now required. And a friend has offered me his scaffold planks and trestles. Amazingly how help just keeps coming at the right moment.P1040411S



During the mindless recovery of cedar planks it occurred to me that this boat will be doing a lot of shovelling. Lightship (empty) displacement is about 8 tonnes. The boat length is 10 metres. Every time the boat moves one boat length of 10 meters, 8 tonnes of water is moved aside. If the boat is sailing at say 5.4 knots or 10km per hour. it is moving 10km/10m = 1000 boat lengths per hour. AND that is 1000 x 8 = 8000 tonnes of water pushed aside every hour. Or 192000 tonnes per day. For a 300 day GGR that is a staggering  57600000 tonnes!