Wooden Boatbuilding – A Film

This film is a beautiful look at wooden boatbuilding and all of the work, pieces and thought that goes into bringing a once great boat boat back to life.

It’s a bit long, but it’s riveting and beautifully filmed and touches on all of the bits and pieces we know about building wooden boats. It’s a nice start to a Sunday morning and will hopefully motivate you to get to work on your own launching.


It’s Time: Bottom Painting on the Trailer

Last year we introduced this nifty new contraption to help you paint the bottom of your trailered boat while still on the trailer. Reaching the entire bottom of the boat on a trailer was mostly impossible and has been a boon to trailered boaters for years. If this is your story: check out this video about this brilliant solution.

The TotalBoat Trailer Mounted Boat Lift is the answer. In case you missed our intro last spring – here it is again! The lift attaches to most trailers and with 4 units, each capable of holding 2500 pounds, can lift a boat of up to 10,000 pounds. Each lift can be cranked by hand on all 4 points and lifts the boat approximately 8-12″ off the trailer giving you plenty of room to paint the bottom, service bunks or rollers or do other trailer maintenance like rewiring.

While raising the boat, it’s easy to keep the load balanced by turning the adjustable rod on each lift one half turn at a time. As your boat lifts up off of the trailer, it remains stable and secure because the lifts are attached firmly to the trailer itself.

Check out the webpage for this very helpful product and try it out. We even offer free shipping on it for the time being – so HURRY!

Video of the Week: Installing an Electric Windlass

Having an electric windlass on your boat is like having an extra “mate” aboard to easily deal with anchoring.  Come inside the TotalBoat Workshop as we show you how to install a Lewmar Electric Windlass in the existing anchor locker. With advice on placement, how to build it’s motor and battery into the locker space, and wiring help, this is a great winter project that will pay you and your first mate back all summer long. No longer is it a headache to set or relocate your anchor – even in bad weather – as this windlass can be controlled from the bow or inside from the console at the helm.

Check out the video and don’t be intimidated by this project. Our how-to video will guide you and if you need more help – we are standing by all week long to answer your questions and assist you with your boating projects and improvements.  Call our Tech Help line (800-423-0030) or Facetime us and show us what you’re working on and how we can help you out!

We want to help you make your boat better! And an electric windlass is a great way to reap the benefits of a winter project for years to come.  You can everything you need for this project at jamestowndistributors.com 



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 www.JamestownDistributors.com 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 www.TownDock.net 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!


Building a Carbon Fiber Hard Top Bimini – Part 1

This project took a fairly “useless” (ok, it was good for sun protection) and definitely tired existing soft top bimini cover on a Black Watch 26, and replaced it with a super lightweight and very solid, custom built carbon fiber “hard top.” Using the existing stainless steel frame, the tattered canvas top was removed and new carbon fiber panels were designed and built to fit onto the frame, adding surfboard, kiteboard and kayak storage on top of the hard top.

This first video in our 3 part How-To series, shows the first steps in building this hard top – from building a specific table to mold the panels, to laying out the carbon fiber and core cell foam and vacuum bagging the whole panel.

Watch as Brendan and Matt show you all the steps to get a new hard top panel started. And then watch for the follow up videos part 2 & 3 to see the whole project in action!

After a summer of use with plenty of boards strapped to the top, it certainly was a worthy upgrade!



Hot Off the Press, the Spring Catalog is Here!


Have you gotten our Spring 2015 Catalog? Your mailbox should be blessed with its arrival any day now if you have yet to receive it.

Here are a few great deals from this latest catalog:

And as always, we want you to have our catalog by your side as you plan your spring boat work and launching. So if you don’t already get one, request a catalog here.

Rebuilding Team Vestas Wind VO65

We can’t help but be excited about the Volvo Ocean Race. In less than 2 months the VOR fleet will pull into Newport, RI, the only North American stopover,  which is just down the road from TotalBoat Show HQ.  When Team Vestas Wind slammed hard into a reef north of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, few people believed they could rebuild the boat in time to rejoin the race. But they plucked her off and shipped her to Italy for a rebuild with hopes of being done in time to sail the last few legs of the race once the fleet crosses the Atlantic Ocean.

Yachting World Magazine makes a visit to the Persico Yard in Italy where the rebuild work is underway. Have a look at the challenge the team faces as they race time to ready the boat.

YW: Recovering a wrecked Volvo 65 from a remote reef in the Indian Ocean was one thing, rebuilding it to within a few kilos of her original 12.5 tonne weight would be an outstanding achievement, especially in a third of the time it took to build her originally. Matthew Sheahan went to Persico in Italy to see how the team was going about this monster task and how they would go about getting their boat back in the Volvo Ocean Race.

How to use the original screw holes in your frames when putting on a new plank

Master shipwright Louis Sauzedde shows us a great trick for utilizing screw holes already in your boat’s frames, so that when you place a new plank on them you can hit the screw holes from the previous plank. Great way to make your frames and your boat last longer!

Installing a Radar and Display

This video shows TJ installing a Garmin Radar and Display. In-depth knowledge of wiring schematics is required so it is highly recommended to have a professional do the installation.