Moth Camp…The Video

Did you read the other blog posts (and one here) about the crazy Americans trying to epoxy, glue and jury rig their little carbon flying boats together before taking on the Super Pros at the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda?

These guys stayed up all night tweaking their boats and reshaping parts and booms and foils to get even an extra ounce of speed out of the twitchy carbon machines. We sent Chris Museler, sailor, blogger, writer for the NYT among others, to NC Moth training camp with a suitcase full of TotalBoat THIXO (fast cure, of course…speed freaks that they are) and 5:1 Epoxy to show this gang of sailors that they can save some dough and not go slow…

The THIXO was a real crowd pleaser and the 5:1 – as expected – performed as well as any other more expensive epoxy system for a heck of a lot less money. And these guys don’t want to waste money on glues and adhesives when the other components cost so much and often require frequent repair. And hey – we sent sweet TB shirts and hats, too. What’s not to love?

Read the blog posts, check out the video and see for yourself how these guys get their speed on. The question is – in a weeks time – will the Garage Band hold their own against the Big Guns of the America’s Cup and other pros loving foiling Moth down in Bermuda?stay tuned… time will tell….

Thanks for being a TotalBoater


Today, ike every other day, we are thankful you are here reading this blog post!

Thanks for being a TotalBoat Show Reader and follower. Enjoy your family, your boating dreams for 2016 and your Turkey!

Thanks from all of us at TotalBoatShow!


Winter Winch Service Tips

People tuned in to ask questions when we posted the last winch service blog post so we thought it might be nice to show you another way to get the job done. Specifically, it is beneficial to be able to remove the winch from the boat, which the other video did not show, as the winch service was executed right on board (and in some sweaty conditions.)

The folks over at Concordia Yachts know a thing or two about winches. And if they recommend seasonal removal, greasing and inspection, you should make sure this is on your to-do list for the winter season. A ceased winch is no fun and can even be dangerous! Making sure all the gears and pawls are in good working order is simple – an ugly winch-cident on the water when you are rendered helpless by a stuck or frozen winch can be far more serious and certainly even costly.

We sell a complete Harken Winch Service Kit which includes pawls and springs, Harken Winch Grease and even new Harken Winches… check out this helpful video and get working on your winches while it’s too cold to paint or varnish and while we dream of saltier times…



MOTH MANIA: Bermuda or Bust

More Moth mania from contributing blogger guest, Chris Museler. If you missed last week’s post – check it out here.

“Ah, the smell of epoxy in the morning, smells like…victory.” This was one of the many punchy comments on Nat Shaver’s recent FB posts of a modification to his International Moth.

Last week’s US Moth training camp in North Carolina, supported by 11th Hour Racing with supplies from Jamestown Distributors and TotalBoat is now in the books. The work lists are smaller and there was a lot tested, performance measured and modified on the boats. The fleet is now packed in a container enroute to the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda.

The finishing touches on boat work are still in progress, though. Today, Patrick Wilson was putting the final paint on his foils in his Charleston garage, ending four months of intense grinding, sanding and gluing. (Details on all projects, products used and outcomes listed below)

“I’m not going to do anything to my boat that’s not going to make me faster,” he said on the last day of the training session in Minnesott Beach. And as he would fly up to leeward of the group to signal the start of a lineup, all would trim in. Just one click off the breeze than the rest, it was just a matter of a minute or so before this barefooted blonde guy took off, ending up boat lengths ahead. His approach is working and it started four months ago.

When the US fleet held its Nationals in Hood River, Oregon last summer, Anthony Kotoun walked away with the title sporting a canting rig that stood more upright while sailing upwind, and also used an adjustable rake system to lean the rig forward downwind. That kicked off a massive carbon cutting and vacuum bagging session in the following months to glue in new bow tubes to make adjustable forestays. Shaver designed and 3-D printed a forestay fitting with a pulley and by last week, everyone was going as far forward as they dared off the wind with their mast before the boats became super squirrely and crashed.

Throughout the season, the sailors in this fleet ordered supplies online from because it was fast and efficient. With the warehouse in Bristol, Rhode Island, the product could be shipped anywhere. The supplies donated to the fleet last week were consolidated for all and sent to Minnesott for use there and in Bermuda.

All the quick fixes and repairs in North Carolina were perfect opportunities to use the TotalBoat Thixo, both the Low Viscocity (during the warmer daytime) and the FastCure (at night when temps dipped into the 40 degrees range). With its mixing tip, this quick, ready-made thickened epoxy dispensed with a caulking gun was perfect for Shaver’s boom end that split into pieces at the outhaul. Two thin carbon plates clamped on either side of the end were perfect anchors for a new outhaul system, ready in the morning.

photoQuick and dirty Thixo repair.

A small batch of TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Kit resin and hardener combined with some carbon tape and a G-10 fiberglass dowel fixed a snapped tiller extension overnight as well.

This week, Wilson was doing something that will definitely make him faster: re-doing his main horizontal foil hinge. The magic of the Moth is directly associated with the main horizontal foil flap. This is attached to a push rod (held within the vertical foil) that is controlled by a linkage that terminates at a carbon wand off the bow. As the boat goes lower in the water, the wand presses back and the flap is pushed down, adding more lift, and visa versa.

photoAnthony Kotoun uses a digital protractor to measure Front Vertical Foil flap angle change as he moves the wand. Minnesott Beach, NC.

For elite sailors like Wilson, making that flap’s “hinge” as smooth as possible on the top and leaving a super polished finish on the entire foil means that he will blow through the 30-knot barrier downwind and hang with the best in Bermuda. The major part of this equation is the flexible joint on the top of the foil. A bead of Sikaflex is laid and sanded smooth, then the foil is sanded, primed and painted and sanded again. For the best guys, this last bit is pure art. We all can do it, but top results come with experience. Too smooth in cold water, the foils will cavitate. Too coarse, and you’re slow.

Wilson_01Patrick Wilson checking the finish on the freshly faired and painted front horizontal foil.11/23/15

Here’s Wilson’s product list this week:

Sikaflex, Sika Primer, Awlgrip 545 Primer, Awlgrip Topcoat, sandpaper (3M Stickit roll of 120, 220, 320; wetland paper 600, 800, 1000, 1200)

Anthony Kotoun spent all his free time wet sanding his foils in North Carolina, even taking an interview with a local journalist at wile he worked his little sanding block at opposing 45-degree angles with the trailing edge of his flap against the table to avoid over-sanding that edge.

photoAnthony Kotoun putting the time in, wet sanding his foil at 45 degree angles.

Shaver was a designer with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last America’s Cup and is now working with France’s Groupama Cup team. Check out his project list below to get a feel for the DIY projects the US fleet completed up until the Bermuda container arrived last Monday:

“For all the carbon work I used a vacuum pump, vac bag, breather and peel ply bought at JD along with sandpaper. For most of the bonding I used SpaBond from JD but have started using Thixo.” – Nat Shaver, US Moth Sailor

Project List: Designed and 3-D printed ball-socket Rudder Rake adjuster; Bent Boom 18 degrees (carbon, epoxy); constructed Boom Spreader (carbon, epoxy, foam); Installed Centerline Utility Tube for forestay purchase (carbon, epoxy, SpaBond); Designed and built New, Longer Rudder (carbon, epoxy, foam, plywood); Faired and painted all foils; Designed and installed 3-D printed Forestay Mount; Rigged boat with Adjustable Rig Rake, cant and control lines moved to outer wing bars.

Wilson_03Double vacuum bagging carbon bow tubes for adjustable forestays.

The Bermuda Moth regatta we are all gunning for starts December 6th. Wilson and several other American’s will be buffing out their foils until then and hand delivering them to that awesome island in the Atlantic. Last week’s Moth Camp was fantastic and the sailors were leapfrogging each other’s performance each day. Every adjustment, modification, seemed to work. The proof is in the pudding and even in Bermuda there will be a work list. But everyone is prepared, jacked up and ready to test their systems and their abilities against all those professionals they will be sitting next to on their flights in next week. I will be reporting on how it all shakes out so stay tuned and follow the US Flagged Moth sailors right here on TotalBoat Show!


TB Epoxy Featured in Popular Woodworking Blog

FORP_upside_down_bench_IMG_9670We were super psyched to read this blog post by Chris Schwartz from Popular Woodworking. He tried out our TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy instead of a wood glue for his beautiful workbench kits, and by golly – he loved it!

His review sums up exactly what we are after with the TotalBoat line of marine and woodworking products – exceptional quality products for a super price.

Chris wrote this without any endorsement or support from us – we didn’t even know he was writing the blog! Have you tried the epoxy or any of our other products? You are bound to be impressed and happy at the savings, but we hope not surprised. We built TotalBoat on the foundation of the very stable and reputable Jamestown Distributors business model, and so far – super good! Check out all our products here! And big thanks to Chris.

*If you write a report or video about TotalBoat, let us know and we will send you a free hat! And a sample of another product you can test out and fall in love with! 


NEW VIDEO: Spraying 2-Part Primer & WetEdge Topside Paint

When Paralympic hopefuls, Sarah Skeels and Cindy Walker needed a sweet paint job for their new custom built carbon fiber seat for their Skud 18, Brendan knew just how to attack this very curvaceous seat. Leaving it in its carbon state was not an option because the black carbon fiber would be too hot for crew, Cindy to sit on in the summer months.

The paint job has to be durable to stand up to salt and spray, lots of use and plenty of travel as the boat is shipped all over the globe currently. The 2 ladies are vying for the only US spot on the 2016 Paralympic Skud 18 Sailing Team bound for Rio.  The Skud 18 is a 2 person boat and with 2 US teams competing for the one US berth – every single system aboard has to be top notch and as high performance as possible.

The paint job was an obvious contender for a spray job because of it’s shape. The bottom piece that attaches the seat to the boat (the actuator) is carbon and also needed paint and has even more curves and contours than the seat.

Brendan took it all up to our paint room, a small-ish room with a great ventilation system, a DOOR!  and less dust than the surrounding shop area which seems to make extra.  Watch this new video and see how easy it is to spray paint with the right tools and some great paints. The NEW TotalBoat 2-Part Epoxy Primer is due on shelves before the end of 2015 and makes for a great, very solid and high build finish, perfect for filling pinholes and creating a superior substrate on which to apply your finish coat.

Now you might question why Brendan applied a one-part paint over a 2-part primer. They are totally compatible and very durable in their own rights – so as long as the primer was applied correctly and sanded, cleaned and prepped for a topcoat, the very durable TotalBoat WetEdge Topside paint is a fine choice.  We were excited to see how nicely both paints went on with the sprayer and the flat finish of the WetEdge paint came out great.  Check out the video and then please LIKE and SHARE and subscribe to our YouTube Channel!


ShrinkWrap 411

This video should come in handy right about now as you ponder how much longer the boat can sit uncovered…when will the first flakes fly, can every falling leaf possibly fit into my cockpit? As the frosts come more often, it’s time to make sure you winterize your systems and button up the boat for a long winter’s nap. Shrink wrapping is a great option if you don’t have another cover system and of course Jamestown Distributors sells everything you need to protect your boat from the harsh winter elements.

When this older, yet still timely video is over – you’ll need to watch part 2 which you can find here. And then get to work on your winter work list. Don’t save it all for spring – because as we know – some springs come more slowly than others…and that can make for a panicked and very busy spring of boat commissioning.


MOTHS: The US Garage Band vs. The World

Guest blogger and NYT contributor, Chris Museler, is a MOTH sailor who understands the challenges of running a successful campaign – especially when you are lining up against the best in the world. For this group of sailors – it starts by keeping the boats in one piece and often times that is a crowded club that is open all night long….

“OK, someone has to take a picture and send it to our hosts as a thank you gift,” shouted Anthony Kotoun, the Dali Lama of the US Moth fleet at dinner a few nights ago. “Then we have to shanghai Zack Maxim’s boat from the shipping company. There’s a $200 prize for anyone willing to wake up at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the 1.18-hour drive…” And the list rolled on that way until our beers and grilled oysters were delivered.


It was a pretty spendy call to take a week from work and family and head to the Neuse River in North Carolina for a training session in the outrageously quick and touchy Moth. The US fleet was offered rooms and a launch at Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s compound on this enormous estuary of brackish water and oyster fishermen.

The major selling point? A $10,000 prize, of course! Amlin International Moth Regatta in December has hand-selected the best sailors in the world to bring their personal, single-handed boats to Bermuda and race for not only a prize purse but bragging rights. You see, all the top America’s Cup teams (with the highest paid sailors on the planet) have fleets of Moths for their sailors to train with. And the Royal Yachting Association has sponsored elite Mothies from the UK for a few years now to top this influential class. They all want to beat the crap out of each other on their own terms, with their own boats. Trimmers wanting to take races off their Cup helmsmen, etc.



Then there are the Americans, last week layered in wetsuits during the day getting ripped off their trampolines and hucked into the brown water of the Intercoastal Waterway when the chop would pitch the boats while they were hitting 30 knots. Strangely absent from many of the Cup teams and only supported by the environmentally forward thinking 11th Hour Racing, this group of pro and amateur sailors have been covered in carbon dust and resin every week for the past season adjusting, designing, 3-D printing and training their way toward their goal of out sailing the privileged group in Bermuda.

Last week was my chance to witness how the DIY approach to boat work and training can get someone ready to beat the most well paid, and funded, teams in the world. Very American!


The routine has been the same for this group since the frigid mornings of last April in Newport, the fleet’s summer home. Boat work at night and hours of training during the day to test new systems. North Carolina was a hyper-focused version of this system. Late the other night, Nat Shaver, who designed foils for Team New Zealand in the last Cup and is now working with the French Cup Team was jamming on one of his many carbon fixes since the training camp began.”It’ll be so shitty and ugly,” he said, after using a dremel to grind off the broken bits at the end of his homemade boom, “but it’ll do the job, I think.”


Moth sailors in America easily spend 70 percent of their time on boat work in this development class and barely the remaining 30 on the water. The base structure of the boats is the Mach 2 Moth built by McConaghy in China.

Why do the boats need so much work? Foiling sailboats are still new, at the boundaries of the sport and when you are traveling upwind at 16-17 knots and downwind at 20-30, the most minute adjustment can make many knots-worth of difference. So the short answer is: systems.

Making carbon levers to articulate and assist canting the rig from side to side, gluing little tabs to anchor sail adjustment pulleys (some so tiny they are sourced from remote control boat manufacturers) and repairing the constantly breaking modifications to the carbon wing bars and booms are added to work lists daily, attended to at night, and tested the next day.

The Americans are their own pit crews and coaches. And they want to kick ass next month. Jamestown Distributors president Mike Mills, a foil boarder himself, saw an awesome parallel between what this group is doing and what he was part of in the late 1990s in the International 505 class, easily the most elite double handed class in the world. Mike won the worlds in 1998 with Nick Trotman after years of this very organic approach. JD sent me down with boxes of their own brand of TotalBoat epoxies and supplies to support the group.

Asking around, I realized that literally all the top performance sailors in the US, all plugging away in their garages to modify and repair their boats, use JD and the growing line of TotalBoat products, especially the epoxies and fibers.

And when you do everything yourself, and pay out of your own pocket to make your boat faster, knowing there is a company that understands and gets you what you need STAT, makes a huge difference.

I’ll report back on how it all went with the work lists, which fixes worked, which didn’t and if this rag-tag group of rouge sailors will be ready to dethrone a few of those fully-sponsored pros in Bermuda next month.

Check out this video from the Moth Camp:

Donna Lange – Around Cape #1 (of Good Hope)


Have you checked in recently to see where solo cicumnavigator, Donna Lange, is on the chart? She has covered an amazing distance and kept it together – for the most part. Certainly there have been issues along the way – but nothing dire and I, for one, feel proud of the resourcefulness Donna has shown.

She is blogging fairly regularly on her blog, and she often includes a photo from her voyage. Imagine our excitement when the photo of the day gave major props to TotalSeal, one of the many products we packed in her TotalBoat Kit for her voyage around the world. Read the TotalSeal excerpt from her blog post below and feel the love she gives this clever little tube of elastomeric marine sealant.

DL: I also ended up caulking the forward hatch with fantastic Total Boat product Total Seal. I am getting a lot of water either in through the hatch or from condensation…I am not quite sure if it is salt or fresh…it could be condensation with the sun so warm in the day and so cool at night…but it is dripping wet if it is fresh water. I figured it must be salt so I caulked the outer edge today to try to allow it to dry. The fabric is totally soaked on the port side where the wood comes to the walll. A strange place. It isn’t coming from the edges…I have a tarp under hatch with a chamois on it to actually absorb the water and then it dries with the sun in the hatch window. works well actually…If there is water in the morning,, I will taste it to make sure it isn’t condensation.

It has been “amusing” let’s say, to follow Donna in her journey. She has been proclaiming a bit of “sea madness” and frustration with items left at home (not enough: propane, sugar, fresh water…uh-oh) and has been suffering from a touch of lonesome blues, longing for home and her friends and a warm, dry bed.  The sea madness thing is real – and is something I imagine can set in for any adventurer who is spending months alone, with no human contact. The crazy solo circumnavigators of the Vendee Globe who race each other around the world on 50 or 60 foot racing sailboats, have well documented the crazies that take hold when you spend so much time out there alone – just you and the sea life, some birds (Donna’s are named and seem to pay her frequent visits), and music to keep you “sane?”  (Donna is writing songs and singing to the birds and her blogging audience…) Music seems important for noise, rhythm, happiness and sanity – although the French solo sailor in the video below might prove otherwise… In any case – sea madness is real. Check out this craziness from the middle of the Indian Ocean a few years ago. He must be doing 15+ knots with wicked seas and he isn’t touching the helm or the sails – he is focused solely on the  chords he is cranking out on his…harness… 

How to Roll & Tip Paint on your Topsides

Rolling and tipping paint on your boat’s topsides can be an intimidating task.  Proper preparation is key, as with any job, but the best paint job comes with practice and the right method of applying topside paint. In this video we call on TotalBoat Tech Team paint guru, Hillary, to show us how it’s done.

Hillary spent many years at Concordia painting the beautiful wooden topsides to glimmer like glass when done. Her tipping method is tried and true and she goes to great lengths to properly prepare all her materials, to get the brush just right and to thin and mix the TotalBoat Wet Edge one part polyurethane paint for perfect flow and a killer finish.

Watch and learn as Hillary and TotalBoat Total Expert, Eric, give new life to a tired paint job on a Quoddy 12 sailing dinghy. Not only does the boat look awesome in Fighting Lady Yellow, but it will protect the hull and turn heads in the process.

Treat yourself to a new pro-looking topside paint job in 2016. This video will help you do a pro job by yourself or with a friend. Good luck! Get painting!

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