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Monday, June 28, 2010

Octave Marblehead Prototype Progress

It's alive! 
RC gear in place, sheeting run complete, rigs assembled. 
Getting closer to that first sailing day...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cat Studies

Just something in the pipeline... 
We want to get this right so the testing will continue until we are confident that meaningful gains are possible. In the excitement of a new project we must remain clear and resolute about our aim and why we are doing what we are doing!

UAV Tunnel Model

More very interesting aerospace work.
Unfortunately details are confidential except that this is a (discarded) model for wind tunnel evaluation...
The experience we are gaining in this field has fantastic applications in boats and other vehicles.

UAV Fitout

Some more declassified shots of another prototype being readied for flight tests...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Class Cat Carbon Boom: Sheave Box

The box is an 'off the shelf' part that we can offer from our own mould, made to take a standard sheave.
It is half the weight and stronger than a steel box. 
Exit holes can be drilled at either or both ends and different pin sizes are possible.
This is an experimental installation in a minimum diametre boom. 
Epoxy glue with no secondary bonding was used and, so far, after several session in max wind conditions, there are no signs of problems.
Contact us to get one or for a complete installation.

A Class Cat Carbon Boom: Outhaul

Carbon swivel system replaces riveted-on plastic fitting (shown at right in second picture)...

Small Mods: Composite Tubes and Fibre Traps

Though the boat was already at minimum weight, we went through the exercise of 'updating' the basic systems and details as a first step to proving some of the concepts we are considering for use on the new A cat.

Despite the minimum overall weight rule, in reality the weight saving imperative still exists for three reasons:
1) Weight concentration. Saving weight in the ends, above the lowest point in the boat and in the moving components allows the optimum positioning of corrector weights and hence gives the option of optimising trim, balance and pitching frequency.
2) Saving parasitic weight frees up material that can be spent elsewhere in the weight budget, for instance in additional fibres to stiffen the platform.
3) There are voices afoot that the class minimum weight may be reduced as technological advances translate into most boats in the fleet carrying corrector weights around the racecourse.

So the 'low hanging fruits' were immediately identified and picked.
Following is a brief description of the principal changes.
They are all 'bolt-on' mods that can be easily retrofitted to your existing boat.
Get in touch with us if your boat is in need of similar improvements.

- The mainsheet system was updated. We modified the standard Harken set-up by replacing the single block mounted to the cleat plate with a 'Tie Light' block. This gets rid of the steel shackle, steel strap and steel spring. We also drilled holes in the steel components of the triple+becket ratchet block and the quadruple top block.

- Trap wires: Swapped steel for Dyneema. This is quite a straightforward swap for an easy 372g weight saving up in the rig and similar windage.
We are trialling a ball and socket trap 'hook'. The advantage is the safety of not having a protruding hook on your harness. The jury is still out on the practicality of the system.
First indications are that it is not as 'positive' as a traditional hook and ring. It also requires more precision when hooking up because the difference in size between the two components is smaller.
With this solution there is no adjustment in hook height but the bungee does keep the system tensioned when coming in onto the trampoline.

- The cross bar (drag link?) and tiller extension were swapped for carbon ones.
This made a perceptible difference to the 'feel' of the helm by taking inertia out of the steering system.
The tiller extension is wrapped in aramid to add a bit of toughness.

A carbon boom is underway.

Now begins the hard work of logging baseline values, and getting into the racing to identify the space for improvement and the needs of fellow skippers.

Test Platform: AUS 794

Just took delivery of this Boyer MkIV. Though not at the cutting edge, this boat represents a known platform, and a practical test bed for our development ideas.
The plan is to gradually modify the boat, replacing discrete components with our prototype parts. 
Once we are happy with the detailing, we can transfer the successful ideas and components onto our newer second platform and eventually onto our prototype.
This is part of a broader programme to gather data (qualitative and quantitative) on the class as a starting point for the Carbonicboats A Cat project. 
Those of you familiar with the Victorian scene might recognise the boat as the aptly named Obsession.
As our followers already know, at Carbonicboats our mission is to make the experience of the user of our products as pleasurable as possible. We believe in responding to the needs of the user with well designed, well thought out solutions, arrived at via careful research and development. 
If you want your sailing to be fun, fast, ergonomically right, and good value, you can rely on our approach in the knowledge that we have done our homework.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Octave Marblehead Prototype Rigs: Swing Rig Junctions

The lower panel of the mast tube is 14mm outside diametre high modulus tube.
A piece of 16mm tube forms the basis of the horizontal element of the joint.
It is glued in place together with pieces of 14mm sleeve that form the first telescopic taper element of the main boom and jib yard.
The joint, where the mast passes through the joiner, is reinforced by simply wrapping carbon 'tow' around it as a way to prevent the tube fibres from splitting, and to provide a tensile link between the tube skins.
Five minute epoxy is used to hold the parts together as tow is laminated on.
The boom and yard are 12mm tube and they need not be glued into the 16mm and 14mm joint body.
This solution also requires no fittings and is arguably simpler to create than a joint with box section or foam sandwich booms.

Octave Marblehead Prototype Rigs: Boom Elbows

This is one solution for M class booms.
A bit labour intensive but light and stiff.
The balsa core in the elbow could be replaced with foam though arguably using balsa offers toughness.
There is possibly a windage advantage in round booms, and our experience shows this to outweigh the downwind projected area and end-plate effect of flat-sided main booms.
Using round tubes allows a family of rigging solutions not possible with foam sandwich or box shaped booms.
The geometry is dictated by the foot round, following the deck as far aft as possible, then kicking up to meet the mainsail clew.
The booms step down in diametre at the joint. The joint is reinforced with carbon sock slipped into position then wet out with epoxy resin.

Octave Marblehead Prototype Rigs: Cranes

Ray is making progress with the rigs for the Octave prototype.
The design uses a simple method for cantilevering the cranes from the upper mast tubes.
After drilling, fitting, and bonding, carbon tow is used to prevent splitting.

The mastheads are filled with low density filler mainly to keep water out.
This system eliminates all fittings from this area where weight is critical.

In a similar manner, the mast/yard junction is done with some 16mm tube.
The 14mm mast tube passes through the 16mm horizontal joiner. Carbon tow binds the junction together.
Main yard and jib yard plug into the 16mm tube then step down to 12mm and 10mm.

Octave Marblehead CAD Files

Screen shots in preparation for tooling files. 
Part of tendering process for outsourced production tooling.

BlackIce IOM Plug Milled

Chris Lawrence has had the first plug milled for BlackIce.
Moulds and a prototype will follow...