Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bowsprit engineering 101

Bowsprit engineering 101

A seam weld on the upper surface, will far outlast a longer spiral weld which cannot be thoroughly painted internally, and which encourages salty water to pool against the bottom of the weld every 12" internally, thereby preventing water from draining out.

It is possible that the wall collapse was caused by inadequate thickness, or excessive rust. I guess the lifelines will be next. Why didn't Reid paint the inside of the bowsprit, or use some of his magical rubber paint ?? It is more likely to be caused by the brittle nature of the spiral weld itself, in a localized area of stress at the forward end of the mounting bracket. Every sideways and vertical movement of the boat is jarringly transmitted to a small section of the weld in touch with the forward most edge of the FLAT mounting plate and its collar. This could have been avoided by fitting lateral support stays, bobstays and a dolphin striker, or sleeving the tube at this point.

Reid has shown the ability to cut through the pipe. With two more cuts, he could have sleeved the tube or slitted one, so as to slide it over the other. Alternately, he could have lashed the two pieces side by side. He's got fiberglass cloth and resin. he could have straightened the pipe and applied a splint (He's got enough spare wood). You have to question his failure to do any of these things, preferring to say "and theres nothing I can do, sitting in my tin can, far above the world..."

The crudely designed bowsprit had been hurriedly constructed to be readily removed to reduce docking fees (which are charged on overall length). The removable nature of the bowsprit, on a flat steel frame designed in an attempt to overcome an obviously weak fore deck meant that it was inadequately mounted and poorly engineered.

The absence of structural damage to the bow, the absence of antifoul or paint on the bowsprit, and the ease by which they went back to sleep, allowing it to flog around from 2:30 to sunrise with a fragile carving on the end, seriously calls into question, the allegation that the boat was struck. Reid clearly intends to write a 1000 page book about this venture. He thinks he has found something to fit on page 146.


Other factors, such as the low angle for the roller furler, the unprecedented roller furler tension introduced by winching on the runners too hard, (in an attempt to allow one person to do the work of three), the shock loadings of the heavy wooden masts flicking backwards and forwards, a higher than normal wave , and the excessive loadings of a moving pipework pulpit, meant that an inch of the brittle spiral weld decided it had enough. Spiral weld is not brilliant when exposed to compression either.

Thats all it took. A brittle weld decided it didn't like being flexed or compressed.

Read about the whole 100 days. Pages 147 to 1000 are all going to be the same:

Boatspeed zero.
Think we have a net caught on the keel.
Caught a fish and ate it.
Sayonara has two braincells, not one.
fitted more baggywrinke.
Found mold in the water, in the diesel tanks, in the pasta, in the cabin, yada yada yada

$69 from all good bookstores. Hurry and order now while stocks last....

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